The 2014 roundup

I’ve to-ed and fro-ed about typing a ‘year end’ type blogpost, because I’m really aware that you can’t possibly summarise an entire year in one post and give off the impression of it that you want to. I’ve tried to think of words to summarise the year – you know like 3 words to describe it and I simply can’t. I’m afraid I won’t do the year justice, or the people in it.

2014 has been a massive mashup of good bad and ugly from start through to end. The year has seen three weddings, and four funerals attended – which pretty much spells out the kind of year its been. I have a different job title, an actual commute to work and I’ve met loads of people I wouldn’t otherwise have had the pleasure (or displeasure! Haha!) of meeting. I’ve learnt who are the people worth keeping in touch with, and who were the seasonal friends (and don’t get me wrong, each person has their worth as a friend, whether seasonal or lifelong!) I think the year has changed me immeasurably inside – at least it feels that way to me, even if I don’t appear to have changed much externally!

I sort of want to go through the year in order, but really I feel I should start with the biggest ‘life changer’ for me.

Over a year ago I had the first of what turned out to be many long conversations with a co-worker (we’ll call her T, because it’s a nice letter) about her health. What started as a relatively minor doctors trip which quickly grew and grew into, what would turn out to be, terminal cancer. And honestly, I’ve been close to people with cancer before but something inside me this time really tugs when I think about it. I can truly say that I will never be the same again for the experience I went through with T. Now, I’m not claiming rights here. I was not a family member, I wouldn’t even say we were friends before the start of 2014 particularly. We got on well enough, we were acquaintances who could have a laugh and a joke together, but never was a particularly serious conversation had, never was any detail had about family or feelings or major events that had occured in one anothers lives. It just was a very average knowing of a person.

Wow did that change. And wow did it change me.

Throughout the whole experience with T, she taught me incredible patience, awe-inspiring strength and genuinely the importance of simply listening to someone. Listening to the words they’re saying, and listening to the words they are not saying. Afterall, we’re British – we have the stiff upper lip going on. We don’t falter for anyone!

I don’t want to talk about the end of her life, or make this all morbid or anything. But I genuinely have to say that I am a better person for the experience I shared with her, I am honoured that I was a part of that in many ways, and although I certainly wish more than anything that things had turned out differently, I am a better person – more compassionate, empathetic and well-rounded than perhaps I had been beforehand. And T will always be a very big part of my 2014.

So to get towards the end of 2014 and find another friend to have lost their life to cancer felt like life just got very unfair for a lot of people I care about this year. And my heart really does break for those that lost someone close to them this year – because I’ve seen too much of it within 9 months and that makes it really hit home. But I’ve also seen, yet again, how awe-inspring and incredible people can be. And how those with faith in God show that life can be incredibly difficult and hard, but they still get through. And anyone that’s faced the loss of someone very close to them and has managed to continue to go on with life – you need to know that I admire you greatly.

I suppose the other big change for me was the moving from my nice comfy job that was a 10min walk to my house, to the not-so-comfy, work-every-hour, 35-min-car-journey job that I am currently in. And I have to say after a bumpy and rocky road to start with, we seem to have levelled out now and getting down to business. Which is a welcome relief – shame its taken me 9 months to be able to say it!

3 weddings this year – THREE! And what a delight to be a part of all of them. Stunning brides, handsome husbands and a whole lot of love between them (almost too much for my stomach to handle – I mean 3 weddings is 3 times the mushy-ness. Yes mushyness is a word.)

In June I yet again stepped up to run 5k at the Race for Life – which seemed all the most poignant this year with T and other people I knew facing the disease. In a bid to make next years more exciting (and to raise lots of money for Cancer Research) I may have committed to myself to run the 10k for a real challenge. I might have also admitted this out loud at the time of finishing the 5k. Oops. So that’ll be something to look forward to in 2015. Eek.

With the coming year I haven’t made any resolutions – because I am horrendous at sticking to them, but I’d like to be able to say at the end of 2015 that I made a difference to someone somewhere, that I was a positive impact on somones life and that I didn’t watch quite so much TV! At the end of the day, life is really short – a lesson that really seems to have hit home this year – and I don’t want to wish it away. I want to be able to say that I did something good with mine, that even one persons life was made a little better for having me in it. And if I achieve that I will be very happy with myself.

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