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Expectation Vs. Reality

**Post originally written 9/12/2019**

So it’s month 12 of my year long experiment to become a better version of myself. It has been a really interesting year and I’ve definitely been a lot more mindful of my motivations, noticing the patterns in my behaviour (the good and the bad) and have realised that this is only the beginning.

I have accomplished things that I could not have imagined this time last year.

I have been shouty mum and grumpy wife a lot more than I wanted to be.

I am at this moment in time, the most confident I have ever been in my life and that is both wonderful and a crying shame at the same time! There is a loooooooong way to go on this one but I still want to acknowledge the progress I’ve made in self confidence and more importantly, that it is not purely tied up with how my body looks which for the majority or 35 years it had been.

Turns out I have major control and trust issues. As I sit in my car unable to go do anything on my list as the kids are both asleep, almost every aspect of my life is in someone elses hands…especially how I get to use my time given that those opening statements were written on the 11th of November. The kids both woke up and it was back to their business as usual. Which I keep having to remind myself is what almost every parent has to deal with (there are of course exceptions, somewhere, in a galaxy far, far away) but being an introvert and textbook Enneagram 5 I just can’t seem to ever get used to being in constant demand with so little recharge time.

Anyway, back to my recap of the year.

I went back to work part time in February, in March I started messing around with polymer clay and from then on in, my time for reading, cooking and exercising dwindled away to almost zilch. Along with my time for writing these blog posts! The weekly plan that I had written about previously worked beautifully for almost a month but then life happened. The kids got sick or didn’t go to sleep by their usual time or my husband would end up working late so any slither of time I had allocated to a certain activity was eaten up. I got so completely run down that I felt like I was going to puke every day (and no, not due to pregnancy) and so something had to give. In my case I stopped doing just about everything for a while, other than messing around with clay and counting down the days until my great escape to London with my sister.

You can think what you like about my desperation to have a break from the kids but I have never been so present on a trip in my life as I was for those six days. To the point I can still picture it all so, so vividly, from the ridiculously easy exit from Southend Airport to the taste of heirloom tomatoes with burrata and strawberry sorbet we had in the Duck & Waffle restaurant the night we arrived and the shock of seeing a car suspended upside down and spinning in the Saatchi Gallery. I’ll stop there, that really does deserve a post all of it’s own.

We are in December now so I will be opening up a Christmas Carol tonight to keep up my tradition of wanting to read it each December.

Playlists – I have been listening to my December Part 1 – Hold your horses Christmas playlist on Spotify since October as that was when I started to make my Christmas earring range. I’ve only briefly dipped into the December Part 2 – Giddy up Rudolph as I will be saving that for full throttle mode in around a weeks time.

Exercise – not happening right now but may creep back into action before December is done as I won’t be making any more earrings until some time in January (I did have a minor relapse after a particularly stressful few days but it’s all good now – I have fabulous neon earrings and the kids have stopped puking win-win)

I have managed a bit of playtime in the sea though, more of that to come for sure.

Cooking new recipes – this one had become quite difficult to maintain due to it needing more time than I could allow to sit and choose recipes and go out and get all the specific ingredients etc. BUT thanks to Megan from Sandwick Bay Candles sharing her box from Simply Cook on her Instagram Stories, I signed up for my own trial box and then regular subscription as here was a way I could try delicious new recipes, minimal fuss and expenditure and most importanly minimal TIME spent cooking! This is not an advert, I am just really, really pleased with their products!

Oh and my gratitude journal. I need to get back to using that. Some days I remember to write things down in my phone, some days it’s all I can do to remember to be grateful at all!

Basically what this comes down to is, I have improved, I am a better version of my frazzled 2018 self but I am by no means the picture of serenity, overflowing with mindfulness and gorgeous, perfectly formed curls to boot.

Did your 2019 go as planned? Have you experienced any dramatic twists and turns like I did?? I seriously can’t believe I’m sitting here writing this as a business owner (tiny though it may be, a business owner I am!) 2018 me would be so proud! I will have to get onto Future Me and write my email for the six month mark in May.

Here’s to the next eleven and a half months of self improvement and ‘Mums on the Run the Sequel’! I would love if anyone wanted to come along for the ride next year, whether that’s through writing a blog detailing your own journey or even if you wanted to keep some kind of accountability through Instagram, gimme a shout, there’s bound to be some good craic along the way! (no, not the drugs). Until next year, I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a New Year filled with hope and fresh eyes for the year ahead!

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