Looking back at 2013 – personal reflections

About this time last year I did  a New Year Resolution post, writing down some of the things I’d like to achieve during 2013.  It was a bit of a selfish post, a way to motivate myself to improve the balance in my life as I  was feeling totally consumed by all things #SEN.

Well a year on I think I can say that I  have made some improvements.  I have read a great deal of books (reviews still in the pipeline) and I have picked up a new hobby – crochet.  From picking up my first crochet hook last Christmas I have taught myself enough skills to have started a huge 300+ square blanket .  It really is a project and a half but I love dipping into it whenever I have a moment to whip up a few squares.  It helps to focus my mind on something else and stops me dwelling for too long on the negatives in life which sure as hell have been plentiful this year.  It also makes me feel as if I am accomplishing something which is a rather lovely feeling.

Besides the blanket I also created this Christmas wreath which was inspired by Attic24, a really super blog that I recommend to anyone  starting out on the crochet journey.  It took some work, this wreath of mine, but I am so pleased at the end result and I adore its place on my kitchen wall.  It lifts my spirits every time I look at it.

Ta-dah!

For some reason my wreath is lacking vibrancy in this picture.  Maybe it’s due to the lighting as I took the picture in the evening but I think you get the idea!

Anyway moving on.  Work has also been good this year.  I continue to work as a support worker (albeit very part time) and am enjoying my contact with the students and tutors though the politics of education remains  an issue with me.  For those of you who don’t know I started training as a skills for life tutor many years ago but had to give it up due to demands at home.  Now I am unable to progress as the  ‘rules’ state that I can’t teach unless I have the qualifications but I can’t get the qualifications without a placement.  Sigh, the inflexibility is so rubbish and I often feel frustrated at not being able to develop a career but with two #SEN kids the reality of me ever having a good job is remote.  My kids come first which is what it should be but still I have moments of frustration that I can’t do anything more meaningful outside the home.

In terms of my social life; this is pretty dismal.  I have gone from someone who had a fair number of friends to someone who has little contact with anyone these days.  This is partly my fault.  I simply have not made the time for anyone either because I’m too busy or feeling too tired.  I ought to try harder but exhaustion often gets the better of me and any spare time I have is spent curled up on the settee with my crochet.  I have also found that as my children have got older it has become harder to keep the connections going.  I think in part this is due to the widening ‘developmental’ gap between my children and others the same age.  My children cannot socialise very well which means that I don’t get any contact with other parents.  Similarly those who I did know when they were  younger have not understood our difficulties enough to stand by our side.  This doesn’t bother me so much these days.  I don’t want people around me who make me or my children feel unhappy; far better to focus on those who do make us feel good.

This also rather nicely moves me onto the subject of social media which frankly has been a god send.  I can’t tell you how relieving it is to tweet with people in the same boat and to read their blogs.  It is simply wonderful to think that I am not alone in the world even if I do feel alone at times.  It helps me to get things into perspective and to shake myself out of the hole of self pity.  So to all of you who use social media in a positive  way to help others or to spread awareness of a particular cause I want to thank you for doing what you do.  Your courage in sharing your stories helps others to feel less alone and I am sure helps to break the taboo over certain subjects.  I hope very much that one day these efforts will pay off and that the world will become a much more tolerant place particularly to those with invisible disabilities.

And with that I’d like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year.

Deb xxx

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5 Responses to Looking back at 2013 – personal reflections

  1. A wonderful wreath and great to read that you are making time to do things for yourself that you find fulfilling. Like you,I have found social media to be the one place where there are people who get it. So happy that I found your blog too, as I learn so much here. Hope that 2014 will be a better year for you all xx

  2. Jazzygal says:

    You’ve done well with your books and crochet this year! I started learning how to crochet about 2 months before you, via the weekly Art of Crochet magazines, and am also making a very large blanket. I love that wreath and intend following Attic24.
    Happy New Year Deb.

    xx Jazzy

  3. Wow Deb, that wreath is amazing! Big thanks to you too from a blogger who started out reading your posts – am sure you have given lots of others the strength to carry on even on those days when you haven’t felt like it yourself. We’re all fighting the fight, just at different stages. Hope you never feel like you have to give up – it’s worth it for the children, eh? Happy New Year x

  4. WomanUnadorned (JuliesMum) says:

    That wreath is fantastic! Will have to get out my crochet hook.

  5. Galina V says:

    What a gorgeous wreath, Deb! Love it.
    Like you, I have drastically narrowed the circle of friends, and most of my interaction is online.
    Happy new year!

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