I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. This year has not been anything like I expected. It has not been a bad year. There’s been low points, but there has been many high points also. Busyness has simply been the main culprit for this year’s departure from my expectations. I have read online articles attacking our seeming addiction to being busy and that make me feel guilty. Truthfully, I’d love to be less busy, but do you know what? I think it’s impossible for me to do anything less right now. Honestly, I’ve searched for things to remove from my plate. Blogging, you may have noticed, to be one thing that has (hopefully temporarily) disappeared from the real life dining experience.

For the most part, there’s not much I can take away. Having young children, and a lot of them at that, just has certain responsibilities that need to be met. Those little mouths keep begging for food no matter how hard I try to avoid making dinner.  Although the little bodies certainly don’t demand to be dressed, (due to the childish delight in a good nudie run), eventually the little bodies need to be clothed, and therefore clothing that is required to be washed (and possibly ironed).

Apart from housework, I do have other reasons excuses that are keeping me busy. I’m going to list them for the record, since there is not too much here detailing the happenings of 2016.

  • Work. It finally occurred to me the other day that I really am a working mother. I hadn’t been giving myself credit for this because the majority of  my work is from home. I asked for an increased amount of work this year, and they certainly supplied me with it. It’s chewed up all the time I had planned to do more exciting stuff. But in return I got money. Money is good.
  • Toastmasters. Have you heard of Toastmasters? It’s an international group that develops communication and leadership skills. Primarily through developing public speaking skills. I joined two years ago, and have been loving it. (If anyone has a speaking gig, I’m your gal!) This year I’ve become the President of our club, which has taken a little bit more time, although thankfully we have a really experienced and committed executive which makes my job easier. It also takes a bit of time to write speeches and present them. But it’s paying dividends. Recently I won first place in our local area conference for a humorous speech. Yay!
  • Husband. The Accountant has set up his own firm. Free plug here. Here’s really busy working looooong hours. We are so proud of him and the clients keep trickling in, and he bends over backwards to give the best possible service. It does change the dynamics on the home front sometimes though.
  • Grandfather. My grandfather passed away in August. He had been suffering with dementia for years, but the finality of death is another issue to walk through. It also takes a bit of time helping prepare for a funeral, but it’s also an honour to remember and commemorate a man who was important to me as well.
  • Bushwalking. I’m proud to report from my New Year’s Resolutions the one that I’ve kept is monthly walks with our family. Alex and I are loving it. The kids not quite as much because they don’t deem it as playtime and they are jealous about Saturday playtime. Never mind, we drag them along nonetheless and once they are out in the great outdoors, they mostly forget to complain. (Until the final few hundred metres anyway.)
Our September bushwalk was climbing Mt. Coolum. So proud of the kids efforts. Little champions!
  • Health. I’ve been terribly sick throughout the year. (And years prior to this as it turns out.) I started having regular (monthly that became almost weekly) labour-like abdominal pain and violent vomiting episodes we and finally discovered that I had been making a rock garden in my gall bladder. Within two days of seeing a surgeon these rocks were removed and became the talk of the hospital ward for their dazzling size. I was blessed that we got them just prior to bursting. In addition to that I have ongoing issues with scoliosis. The deterioration of my spine is becoming significant as I get older and is causing me quite a bit of pain. We’ve planned surgery early next year to prevent the curve from continuing to worsen in the future. That will be major. Gulp.
  • Reading. This one is purely recreational and enjoyable. But since I’ve got out of the routine of blogging, (and when I just can’t move because of my back) I’ve been picking up my beloved books a lot more. Not that I’ve ever stopped reading because of blogging, I just have read more this year. I think my favourite so far has been “The Golden Prince” by Rebecca Dean just for being a good enjoyable light read in a genre that I enjoy. (Historical Fiction) I also really enjoyed “The Dressmaker” by Rosalie Ham.
  • Dog. Our beloved labrador got sick in April. It was so emotionally draining watching him struggle and we thought we would have to put him down. In the end, he was able to have a simple surgical procedure that he responded to. But he may have had an underlying issue such as cancer. He wasn’t in huge amounts of pain, but he wasn’t completely OK. He died peacefully in his sleep about two weeks ago. The kids showed their remarkable resilience as we worked through the issues dealing with death and grief.
  • School and Kindy. I’ve helped out at school and kindy a little bit. Not as much as I might have expected. (See all of the above.) But a bit of reading here, literacy there and an excursion thrown in here and there and your days tend to disappear!

Well that’s my excuses. Of course I could fill you in with school holiday activities, mini getaways and all the other types of things that fills our days, like making a birthday and a wedding cake last week, but I think this has been a good little catch up. What have you been doing in 2016?

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