It's a new year and it's funny, living in the northern hemisphere it lacks the "newness" or "fresh start" that is does in the southern hemisphere. I think it's because it's just a small break and the school year continues on. Anyway, it lacks that certain 'punch', but it's still a time to reflect on the year that's been and the year ahead.
The past year has been up, down and all around. We travelled to more than 10 countries, spent more than 110 hours flying (the kids are expert flyers now), had our 10-year wedding anniversary, we moved house, Darbs started at the girls' school, the girls have grown like weeds, I have spent countless hours worrying about the kids, I spent weeks not knowing if the tumour in my neck was cancerous or not (and then had 3 hours of surgery to remove it), we bought a new house, we met new friends in Dubai and said goodbye to old.
We have been lucky enough to watch good friends get married in the NSW vineyards, drink wine with friends in Viennese vineyards, camp with friends in the rainy emerald fields of Ireland, eat chilli crab with mates in Singapore and slide down the Arabian sand dunes with others. This is just a handful of amazing experiences the year brought.
Recently, I was looking at the kids, and I'm always amazed when kids have that growth spurt. The kind where it feels like you've just looked away for a minute and you turn back and they're suddenly taller and older and more mature. All of my kids have had those this year, but I feel like I've had one myself. I suddenly feel like my vision has widened, I feel older and wiser, I literally have scars from the past year. I feel like I have grown and learnt a lot. The year went fast but I feel like I packed a lot of life into it – good and bad. As I say to the kids, everything can't be good all the time, it can't be Christmas Day every day, or else you won't appreciate it. It's the hard times and the challenges that make you grow and keep your brain alive. The mundane and the dull have their place too. They make the good times even better. This year there have been challenges, as there always are, but they've definitely made the good times even brighter and shinier.
2016 is going to be a very big year, but I think I'm ready for it, for better or worse. That little growth spurt is helping these older eyes see a little better.