I have immed and ammed about writing this for days. Part of me really didn't want to, as this year has been a real struggle for me. I haven't read too many of other people's posts for fear of feeling inadequate and I haven't reviewed last years as many of the things I had hoped to do have not occured.
5 Highlights of 2014
1. I got engaged, only a few days ago in fact. Crazy!!! It is sinking in, probably will sink in more onceI get my gorgeous ring back and I can wear it for the first time. We've started to think about numbers and venues so this is going to keep me occupied for a while
2. I did a course in something I wanted to do. I wanted to learn how to use my camera properly and so did an adult education course to learn the basics. It has given me the confidence to get out there and try things, use manual mode and the knowledge to attempt to correct it if I get it wrong. A new lens, backpack and Photoshop Elements has also helped.
3. I got a diagnosis. I have been ill for a considerable period of the year. 10 months of it. I knew how I felt but it was like no one believed me. I felt I was existing in my own, foggy, exhausted and sore world and no one in the medical profession was willing to help. I went for endless tests, had more blood removed than ever and had a steroid injection which left me collapsed in a corridor at the hospital. Finally, after 7 months of trying things and feeling no different the specialist relented and diagnosed fibromyalgia as a result of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As many of you will appreciate this is why this post is considerably shorter than many of my earlier ones, it just hurts to type.
4. I took control of what I wanted to do. I decided to leave teaching for a while if not permanently. It is the right decision for now and was not taken lightly as it has left me with weekly trips to the job centre and filling in application forms whilst trying to manage my illness. But I decided. Me.
5. I got better with babies. My friend had a little girl about 6 weeks ago and as I've been off I've been in a position to help, even just make her a cup of tea and hold the baby so she can drink it! I've discovered that little things sometimes make all the difference when a small child is involved and I have actually enjoyed spending time with her even though she cries a lot. I didn't think I'd say that ever!
5 hopes for 2015
1. Get better. Maybe not 100% better but better. I'm waiting for a referral to a new specialist and hope I get it. At least then I will be able to learn how to manage my condition and things I can do to help myself. At the moment no one can seem to tell me what I should or should not do. It's baffling!
2. Get a job. My first non teaching job. As I type I am waiting to hear back about an interview I went to before Christmas. I'm trying not to let myself get my hopes up but I would love it I think. I'm looking forward to evenings and weekends, it's worth the massive pay cut for the quality of life I need to manage my medical condition.
3. Plan a wedding. Hmmmmm - any sensible suggestions for how to save money on a wedding for around 90 people send them my way please! I think we know when and even where maybe...beyond that. Nothing!
4. Master my camera. I want to get out and photograph. I love photographing wildlife but want to improve landscapes too. I've got everything I need now to give it a good whirl
5. Live my life my way. One thing I've learnt from being ill is that you only get one crack at this life. The last 2-3 years as teaching has changed, in my opinion not for the better left me drained and emotionally exhausted as you see child after child lost within an ever complex system. I can't kid myself anymore and I can't continue to work within that lie of a system. So I've stopped. I'm going to try something else, I've got a CV and everything. I want to remember who I was and be the person my fiance fell in love with. I want to be me.
Happy New Year Everyone and remember to take care of yourselves and any staff you are responsible for.