On Sunday I was transported to the magic of Nine Lessons and Carols at Waltham Abbey Church. It’s a beautiful, traditional carol service by candlelight, which for me, marks the start of Christmas. But more than that, a pause before the bustle of work and Christmassing to finish up before the big day. I left feeling full of peace and calm.
But the calm is quickly replaced by the bustle of pre Christmas meets, tidying and preparation. Not to mention planning for 2016. The ups and the downs, the highs and the lulls, the tears and the joyful grins have been acute in 2015. So here’s my summary – in brief!
Youngest turns 1, starts to walk, starts nursery.
Chicken pox, hand foot and mouth, impetigo, stomach bugs, coughs, colds and headaches.
Eldest gets super frustrated with pencil skills and has massive performance anxiety.
Eldest almost overnight reads fluently and is clearly bored by nursery and play school.
Fabulous holiday with friends to a caravan park in Norfolk.
Sand dunes, sunshine and good times.
Lots of bumps and twins in my ante natal classes.
New corporate classes and some pre-existing ones re-start.
Finishing up a writing project for Rachel Holmes.
Networking and marketing event with Claire Mockridge.
Local classes over-subscribed.
Fit School tribe growing – suddenly we notice all our members are exactly the sorts of people we’d love to go out for coffee and chats with.
What’s on 4 Me awards finals.
Epping Forest Baby Show launch with Natalie Goldsworthy.
Start writing for Huffington Post.
First feature for Fitpro magazine.
Re-connecting with Janet Murray and the ‘Soulsters’ for an incredible three months of journalism and PR education.
Meeting more amazing entrepreneurs and bouncing ideas around.
Reunions with special friends.
Locking my baby girl in the car and needing some very dishy firemen to rescue her.
Nearly passing out on my dear dentist friend’s chair.
First tooth extraction.
First experience of sedation.
Coffee and chats with amazing women like Amanda Herbert – always on my team.
My incredible, always there for me bestie.
My toddler girl’s emerging personality.
Lots of sleepless nights.
Lots of blissful cuddles and a thousand ‘I love you mummy’ moments.
Meeting the wonderful soul that is Sarah Mackie.
More amazing women that have come into my life this year, including my fellow WIFE Rising Starts Jacqueline Hooton, Cheryl Forshaw, Hannah Epps, Claire Baker and Pollyanna Hale.
Taking on some bloody brilliant PAs who are also brilliant at crisis management, “Er Michelle … I can’t talk … half my face is numb … I’m on the motorway and my back window is missing after the fire brigade had to get Naomi out of the car so it’s pretty noisy … and I’ve just nearly passed out … do you think you could call everyone to say I won’t be teaching tonight please.”
Eldest starts school.
He loves it.
We love it.
He makes it through a class assembly and Christmas play without tears and says he enjoyed it.
Eldest’s first gold award for being a brilliant and supportive friend.
Family holiday to Zante.
Some beautiful memory making for our family.
Remembrance day bugle calls at – amongst other places – my son’s school.
Commissioned by the Guardian.
Asked to be a part of next year’s Fitpro LIVE event.
My fabulous family.
Embracing my ambition.
Truly giving life my all.
My unfailing, supportive and hands on husband.
Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the Inspire Christmas concert at St Margaret’s church, Westminster (it’s the church that looks dwarfed by the Abbey but is actually pretty big). What I thought would just be a wonderful opportunity to watch and listen to my nephews singing turned into one of the most beautiful music services I’ve ever attended. There was a Salvation army band, Ruthie Henshall (one of my favourite ever singers), John Betjeman (not the man himself but my favourite Christmas poem) and David Walliams (and his mum). It was pure magic. So as I ponder 2016 I know the most important thing for me is to stop, make time for special moments, and appreciate life before it depreciates me!