I decided that I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year, not after last year’s fiasco. Last year’s resolution was to step out of my comfort zone and experience new situations; simple enough, I’m sure you’ll agree, for someone who mostly looks after her family. It all started off very well too, with dinner at Liverpool’s highest restaurant, choosing dishes from the menu that I would never normally pick. Then it all started to go a bit wrong.
My Dad was diagnosed with cancer, had a complicated operation and reconstructive surgery, daily radiotherapy sessions at a hospital forty miles away and has had to learn to live his life in a whole new way. Our neighbour’s house caught fire and we did our best to support the family whilst fire crews struggled to put out the blaze in the middle of the night. A dead body was found in the fields just across from where we live. Our dog became fascinated by a cyclist in a fluorescent jacket and ran off across the fields to catch him - how he managed to avoid being hit by a car I will never know.
It would be easy to write the year off as a disaster, but it’s important to remember the other moments of the year, too; the excitement of catching a runaway horse, laughing – a lot – with friends and family, and enjoying some wonderful holidays, including a trip to see Father Christmas in Lapland. Small daughter’s face was just priceless when she met him, and she was actually speechless which isn’t something that happens very often! Even the smallest things have had significance, from listening to the endless rain on the windows whilst snuggled up in bed at night; a book recommendation by a friend that turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever read; watching the sun break through the clouds and turn them fiery shades of pinks and oranges. A year isn’t made up of isolated incidents and events, they are all connected and even the worst day can contain a wonderful moment.
So does a resolution that we make, sometimes without really thinking, on the first of January really affect our whole year? Of course there are times when it can, in the case of really life-changing resolutions, but for the rest of us, I suspect that what happens to us is just part of the rich fabric of our lives. I might not want to go through quite a few of last year’s experiences again, but they certainly took me out of my comfort zone and made me look around at how life can be for other people. They broadened my horizons in a way that was unexpected but I have learnt valuable lessons from all of them – perhaps not the least being “be careful what you wish for”!