2011 was a tough year for a lot of people. I can't tell you how many people I know who, rather than celebrate the start of the New Year at midnight last night, celebrated getting through a year most deserving of the title Annus Horribilis.
Yes, 2011 was a rough year, however, I think that when things are particularly bad it is even more important to look back on the good things that have happened, goals achieved, moments that have made us smile. Even the darkest day has a little ray of sunshine.
So for me, today - the first day of what I hope is a great year - I'm going remind myself of the great things that happened to me and my 2 kids - no matter how small.
- Issie had a much better year at school! She made new friends and is finally starting to remember that she is Issie, not "Issie the diabetic".
- Tim excelled at sport, is doing great with his music and managed to keep his grades up at school and get moved up to advanced classes in a couple subjects!
- I learned to stand up for myself in situations that would previously have left me paralysed with fear.
- My kids proved themselves as confident and competent public speakers.
- I found my voice, and finally figured out where my life is headed. And, I know that I CAN do whatever I set my mind to.
Of course, there are other things that happened throughout the year, so I know that even though we had some very rough patches where we all really struggled, we, as a family, have a lot to be proud of. Not quite Annus Mirabilis - but definitely plenty to celebrate.
And now we look towards the new year.
Last night the kids and I were invited to a party at the home of some very good friends. This was their big family New Year celebration and I was honoured that the kids and I were considered "family". The party was typical of a big Italian family gathering, wonderful food, loads of happy kids running around, lots of laughs and wonderful stories.
When the clock struck midnight and the fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit the night sky I found myself surrounded by so much love and happiness that it was almost overwhelming. I was embraced by people I'd never met before as though I was part of their family. Every single person was genuinely happy to be right there, in that place, at that time.
It was a beautiful start to what I know will be a beautiful year.
From my family to yours, may 2012 be a year filled with good health, hope and above all, happiness.