I originally shared this post on Facebook, but I think it’s worth sharing here on my blog, too.

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It’s a new year and a new decade.

(I won’t be a purist and mention that decades start at 1 and end at 10, because I accept we’re about to enter the 2020’s.) 

Ten years ago, when 2009 was about to become 2010, I had four kids at school, only one of whom was in high school. I also worked as a doctor and director of a breast clinic, and I hadn’t started writing.

Over the last ten years, I have (in no particular order):

Watched three of my four kids finish school 
Stopped work as a doctor
Taken up writing 
Told my childhood story
Made lots of parenting mistakes
Made lots of mistakes in general
Apologised for most of those mistakes but not all even though I should have
Watched my dad wither away from dementia
Said a forever goodbye to my dad
Lived in the same house
Watched a beloved pet die
Gained two more pets, who are now beloved
Found my passion in writing
Found my tribe in the writing community
Written a novel
Published a novel
Felt like giving up writing
Made lots of parenting mistakes and lots of mistakes in general (I know I’ve already said it, but I’ve made so many, it needs to be said again)
Found a wonderful therapist who’s become like a replacement mother
Learnt that life has some really hard moments but they’re never permanent
Realised I need to be outdoors
Realised being outdoors is not kind to my skin
Got more wrinkles (courtesy of ^^ )
Learnt to accept my wrinkles and my skin
Stopped antidepressants
Gone through menopause
Gone through menopause without HRT
Got braces
Watched one child graduate from uni
Fallen in love with David Attenborough all over again
Watched a sixteen-year-old girl lead the world on the most pressing issue of our era 
Learnt to pay attention to what my body is telling me
Stayed in love with my husband
Celebrated twenty-five years of marriage
Learnt that there are things over which I have no control and to let them go
Learnt that I have no control over my kids’ decisions now they’re adults and I have to let them go and make their own mistakes and learn life’s lessons for themselves 
Learnt to let unimportant things go, like housework, or I won’t have time to do the important things
Learnt that things like my writing and my passions are important, much more important than housework
Fallen out of love with clothes
Lost weight and fallen back in love with clothes
Decided I’m never going to stop wearing high heels
Started wearing glasses full time
Become more forgetful
Started to feel old
Realised my time on earth is finite 
Written like there’s no tomorrow because there might not be
Got up on stage and told an audience about all the times I’ve failed 
Been overwhelmed by people’s friendship and generosity 
Learnt to accept my imperfect self. 
Learnt to love my imperfect self.
Learnt how much of an introvert I am 
Realised how much I need nature and solitude to regenerate
Got angry at politicians
Made parenting and life mistakes (Yep, yep. Needs to be stated again.)
Made friends with people young enough to be my children
Made friends with people old enough to be my parents
Made some of the closest friendships of my life
Realised how important friends are
Realised how much art in all its forms means to me
Realised how happy I am when I’m making art
Realised nothing means more to me than my family

Let’s hope 2020 is kind. 
Happy New Year.

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