Saturday, 30 December 2017

Little Big Things

Regular readers among you will know that I usually limit myself to one post per month, but a few days ago a post I wrote in December 2012 came up on my On This Day app and inspired me to write an extra one.

It was a summary of the year: both for the country and for myself, and I was delighted to find (when I was self-indulgent enough to read my own writing back) that there were memories in there that I had completely forgotten about. 

A sad moment for me this year was when I discovered that the diaries that I wrote religiously for four years between 2008-2012 had been ruined by damp in my mum's garage (and unlike when that happened to Monica in Friends I didn't manage to bag myself a Porsche out of it), so finding that reading my blog back can feel similar to reading old diaries was wonderful. Which is why I decided to do the same thing for this year. 

(I should note here that between deciding to write this and actually sitting down to write, my little brother has expressed disdain for anyone who insists on reflecting on the year on social media. If you either are Chip or are like him in that way, apologies. This post is not for you. In fact, this post is mainly just aimed at 2022 Rebecca, but please do feel free to read on if you're interested. Also how mad is it that we're as close to the end of 2022 as we are to the end of 2012?!) 


2017 was a mixed bag in that it was a sad and scary one for the world, really. I often find myself wondering whether the world has always been this scary. Perhaps I'm just more aware of it as I get older. But there were some super moments for us all as well, and in my personal little world it was one of the best years ever. Probably the most important so far (maybe ever?) for me. 

I've convinced myself that it's okay to write about my best year so far as my 2012 summary was of my worst year so far. So that's okay, right? Keeps the balance? I don't want this to be like one of those awful Round Robin letters (or emails as the case may be) where you have to read about how flipping wonderful everybody else has been this year when you're there in your jammies, surrounded by chocolate wrappers and covered in spit up (me, right now) and feeling fairly gross.

It is a joy to read about warm and happy things at this time of year though. At the beginning of the month I deleted all social media apps from my phone because I was driving Dale crazy with my fury at the ridiculous things I would read.

"Why do you do it to yourself, especially just before bed?" 

But as Christmas Eve crept up on us I logged in on the internet on my phone; partly to have a little peek at how all my creative mummy friends had used Elf on the Shelf (if you have me on Facebook and shared pictures of how you make magic with that little guy, trust me, I saw it and loved it-well done!) and partly to look at the cosy Christmas pictures of my friends across the globe. Everyone suddenly manages to have something happy to say at this time of year and it really is wonderful to read. 

This year is the year I got married and had a baby. Big Things. 

And the thing about having a baby in October is that when you welcome the new year in you have no idea that you'll be ending the year with a new baby. And somehow that feels huge. New Year holds such weight for me- as it does for many. Sure, there are the scrooges who insist if you want to make changes you can do so at any time of year, and of course they are right. But the thing is, I- along with many others- do make new resolutions throughout the year. I don't realise I need to change something in my life in May and think ah well, only seven months until I can action that. Obviously. But New Year is a super opportunity to reflect and set goals because it's one that's easy to measure in time. 

So I take New Year seriously and it's just mad to me that when I was making my plans for the year this time twelve months ago I had absolutely no idea that I would be seeing in 2018 with a new little human that I spent the year making from scratch. Huge. 

But of course, I won't ever forget getting married and having a baby. I won't forget those great things like walking down the aisle or meeting my little girl for the first time. I won't forget our incredible honeymoon or the moment we finally agreed on a name. 

But I might forget some of those little but important things, so here are my top five big-and-magical-but-minor favourite moments of 2017...

1) Moment Number 1

My cousins, mum, auntie, Grandma and I have somehow found ourselves in a pattern of meeting for breakfast every now and then to laugh until we choke on our Eggs Benedict. I'm fortunate enough to be related to the funniest women in existence, and hanging out with them has created a million magical moments for me this year. 

But the number one moment has to be when one of us (and for anonymity's sake I won't tell you which one of us) had egg on her face. This is how it went: 

"Oh you've got a bit of egg on your nose. I can't carry on telling this story whilst that's there." 

"Have I? I'll wipe it off." Gone. Super. The story continues. 

"Wait. Sorry. I can't continue. Now it's on your cheek. How has it got there? The plates have been taken away! I can't-even-tell-the-story-now." 

Spoiler alert. It ended up on the forehead. None of us could breathe for laughing. The story was never told. 

You know those moments you laugh so much it forms a magical bond between everyone that's laughing? That's what every moment is like with that bunch of ladies. 

2) Moment Number 2

In May of this year my beautiful friends planned me a Hen That's Not a Hen. I'm not a Hen weekend kinda gal. I'm a coffee and a chat kinda gal. Okay, I'm not boring (I like to think), I just can't think of anything worse than dragging my nearest and dearest away from their husbands and kids for the weekend so that we can drink too much through phallic straws and scream a lot whilst wearing devil horns and sashes. 

So instead, six of my absolute favourite humans in the entire world surprised me with an afternoon tea in the sunshine. It turns out that my mum is a genuinely fantastic actress because I really did have no idea, and that my friends are just the best. 

Anyway, that's not my favourite moment. My favourite moment was the moment that they presented me with a book they had made me filled with photos, messages, and funny stories from throughout our twelve years of friendship. I laughed, cried, cringed (I remember saying to them when I was seventeen that I just couldn't imagine we'd ever look back and regret our 2006 clothes and haircuts because we just looked normal. What did I know?) and laughed some more, and every now and then I get it out again to look at and am filled with warm, fuzzy, loveliness. 

3)  Moment Number 3

Dale and I were standing at the altar, in the middle of our vows. The registrar asked for the rings, and so the ring bearers- Dale's nephews aged 7 and 2- brought them up, and we began to exchange them. 

We got as far as "I give you this ring as a token of our..." before we were interrupted. Dale's two year old nephew had wandered over to the little stage we were standing on, hoisted his right leg (and it was such an effort) up onto the edge, followed- with equal effort- by his left leg, straightened himself up, wandered over to Dale, and gave him a little packet of biscuits to snack on. In the middle of the wedding ceremony. Oh, he knows his uncle so well. 

It was just the kind of magical moment that you could never have planned but which made the day. I don't think you're supposed to laugh out loud during your vows (although my friend Pumbaa did laugh during hers saying with my body I honour you ha) but we all laughed and it was the talk of the reception drinks. 

4) Moment Number 4

My leaving party from work involved the team ordering a lot of pizza and playing Heads Up in the centre. Hanging out with people from work is a rarity in my job because we're open seven days a week, so just being together without the responsibility was brilliant. 

The whole thing was full of so much fun and laughter, but the highlight for me was when someone got carried away trying to win the game and described the movie Tower Heist as 'a a tower!' 

5) Moment Number 5

It was Boxing Day, and the entire family was sitting around the lounge, sipping glasses of wine and waiting for dinner to be ready in the next few minutes. None of us even realised anyone was missing. And that was when my mum popped into the kitchen to check on the turkey and immediately came running out squealing and laughing. Grandad Derek was in there. Eating the dessert. With crumbs all around his mouth. He really thought he wouldn't be caught. 

When will he learn? 

Hopefully no time soon. It's the most I've laughed since Tower-Heist-Gate.

And so it ends- the best year so far.

My resolution last year was to Be Fearless- something that I worked really hard on all year and will continue to keep in mind as we move in to 2018. This year I have a sparkly new diary that I plan to keep to record all of those Little Big Things that I know will mean the world to me, and encourage everyone to ignore those New Year Scrooges (sorry Chip) and take the time to reflect on your year, make a resolution that's important to you, and continue to find the magic in your own Little Big Things <3 

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