It has become tradition for me to steal five minutes alone with my laptop on January 1st to compose a blog post that reflects on the previous year and looks forward to the one just beginning.
Not only do I find the process of thinking about and writing these articles cathartic, but reading through them years later is fascinating. If this blog is nothing else, it is an amazing record of the last five years of my life. To join me on my journey down memory lane see 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
Mr LA and I ushered in the New Year with good food and a lot of cocktails. We finally watched Argo, an incredible movie that immediately secured a place in my top ten. It’s good to go out on a filmic high. We were somewhat unimpressed by Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, although I’ll admit to singing along with The Proclaimers. We maintained our usual tradition of kissing at midnight, drinking a little more and finally collapsing into bed around 1am. It was perfect.
It will be hard to look back on 2013 as anything other than ‘the year we moved house’. All in, it took us almost 10 months to relocate to Bristol. From the moment we made the decision to move, till the day we actually loaded up the van and set off for our new city, the process was all consuming. It dictated almost everything we did, and didn’t do, this year and unsettled us as a family in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I vividly remember sitting on the sofa in our old house on December 31st 2012, wrapped in my husband’s arms and full of the delicious food we had just shared, as we agreed to put our house on the market in the new year. What followed is without doubt the most stressful thing I have ever willingly done. We sold our house twice, lost a home we thought we loved, found another one and endured weeks of waiting and worrying. On top of everything else, Bristol council refused to process the children’s school application until after the exchange of contracts. The summer holidays were underscored by huge uncertainty and I questioned our decision to relocate countless times.
I doubt I’ll ever forget the day it all fell into place. Three separate phone calls within the space of an hour gave us our new home, a school place for Izzy and finally a place for Jesse too. We had much to celebrate that night!
It’s hard to discern the highlights of the past year among the chaos and disruption of our big move. The summer, our last in Devon, will remain engrained in my memory forever though. Despite its many challenges, it was perfect. Endless sunshine and an array of beautiful moments spent with my children.
Jesse starting school was another red letter day.
I turned 30 and two of the most important people in my life got married. That was a good day too.
2014 feels like the biggest opportunity I’ve faced in years. It is a completely blank slate. There are no grand plans, no huge life events chalked up on my ‘to do’ list. I’m excited to watch our new city pass through all four seasons and make a million memories in our new home.
I don’t make resolutions, but I do set myself goals. This year I’m determined to reconnect creatively and push myself harder in terms of my career. There must be more reading and better writing in 2014. I’m aiming for less crippling perfectionism and more faith in my professional abilities. I plan to venture outside my comfort zone wherever possible.
As a family, I want us to do some wandering over the next 12 months. Travel is one of my deepest passions and it needs indulging. I don’t know where we’ll end up just yet, but I can’t wait to start plotting and planning. Turning our house into a home will remain an ongoing project and I look forward to sharing our progress.
More than anything, I want 2014 to be kind to us and everyone we care about.
Happy New Year! How did you celebrate last night? What are your hopes and dreams for 2014?
Love Audrey xxx