December 31, 2012 by talkaboutyork
Some years roll quietly by. 2012 wasn’t one of them.
A year ago, I was slipping on my boots and heading out across blustery fields for a walk to clear my head.
Just a few days before that, my husband and I had taken a similar walk to discuss what we wanted for 2012. We agreed that we needed to move. This wasn’t a new topic. We’d been discussing it for years. Most of the south of England and indeed as far afield as Seattle, had been researched and visited with the intention of finding a new home.
On 31 December 2011, I knew that in a year’s time, life would probably be different, I just wasn’t sure how. I also knew, as my boots crunched on the hard ground, that wherever I went, the thing I’d miss most were the solitary walks in beautiful countryside. They had a loneliness to them that was both sad and liberating at the same time. Out on the fields on my own, I had the space to breathe and think and feel without any interruption.
It’s harder to do that in our new home, but I try to take time out every New Year’s Eve to reflect on the year that has just passed. So this is my summary of 2012:
I started the year running a franchise that turned out to be a disaster. While I massively regret the lost money I invested in it, I don’t regret the learning experience it gave me. Other than that, I did a bit of freelance work but 2012 has been the first proper year as an adult that I haven’t worked. I’m undecided about how I feel about not working. It can be lovely to have time to get on with all of life’s day to day activities that otherwise get crammed into evenings and weekends. But I feel a bit lost and directionless without paid work (not to mention poorer). So I think this will be something that changes in 2013. I have three ideas percolating in my brain. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them come to fruition.
We moved. To a new county, a new city and a new home in the North of England, not an area we’d ever considered before. We lived through a major building renovation and all the dramatics and frustrations that go along with that. Such fun. I spent the first half of the year trying to get ready for the move, selling furniture and organising things. I’ve spent the second half of the year in a very similar fashion, just in a different location. If I never see another box or have to sell another thing on ebay, I will be very, very happy. Our new house is now complete (if you ignore all the boxes in the garage) and I hope that in 2013 we can actually start to enjoy living in it.
One of the main reasons for moving was school. The boys’ old school gave them a fantastic start in life but we wanted to give them more opportunities as they got older. Their new schools are brilliant, not only in what they give the children, but as adults, we feel part of the school family. It almost feels as though we’re getting the opportunity to go back to school, not least as I rather foolishly agreed to help run the PTA equivalent. School life has got busier and I predict that 2013 …and indeed the next 12 years or so will be the same.
Moving to York has given me the fantastic gift of new friends. When you move to a new city and don’t know a single person there, you can be forgiven for wondering how you’ll ever make friends. But the people here have been so fantastically welcoming. Thank you to all my new friends who’ve made my transition to a new city so much easier. I am sure that 2013 will result in many more
champagne fueled memories being made. Sadly, in the process of moving, I lost a friend. The person I would have called my closest friend for the last five years, who knew why I wanted to move because I’d shared most of my thoughts with her, has ended the friendship. It’s a chapter of a book that has a sad ending, but I’m grateful she was in my life story all the same.
As I type this, my house is full. Both of my sisters, their husbands and children, plus my father are all visiting us. This was the first Christmas since 1991 that I have spent Christmas with both of my sisters. It has reminded me of how precious family time is and even though we all live in different corners of the world, I hope to see more of them. Perhaps not in 2013 if we’re going to be realistic, but there has been talk of a gathering of the troops for the Rugby World Cup in 2015….
2012 was also the year that we discovered my mother-in-law had cancer. More importantly, we found out that even at 85 she is as tough as nails and has survived major surgery, coming out the other side smiling.
I started a new blog in 2012. This very one that you happen to be reading. I haven’t given it the love or attention it deserves. Partly because of all the other stuff that has been going on this year, and partly because of another undertaking I took on – a writing course. I have thoroughly enjoyed that and will complete it in 2013. Thereafter, who knows, perhaps I’ll unearth a novel loitering in the recesses of my brain. I had hoped to spend 2013 learning Spanish, but I feel this is a resolution to far. I will however, get back into shape. Whether it’s running, rowing or yoga, I have two months before I turn 40 and I’m pretty determined to kick my own butt.
We got to visit South Africa, my home country, this year and we had a very exotic holiday to Panama, which was an amazing learning experience. I have no idea where we might travel in 2013 but I hope to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside of Yorkshire for at least some of it.
2012 was a crazy year, a wet year, a year of jubilee and Olympic jubilation, a year of vast change, an emotional year, a stressful year, a brave year. Mainly, it was a landmark year that lays the foundation for the next phase of our lives. They say life begins in at 40 right? Well 2013 is the year that happens. I’m ready.