New Year’s Eve has long been a pain in the neck for me. That expectation of change to occur overnight and the anti-climax of dropping into a new calendar has long left a bad taste in my mouth. Plus, January is a time for hibernation, the fairy lights come down and the decorations get packed away, the kids drag themselves back to school and all sense of occasion and celebration is ripped from your hands to return back to everyday normality. This year feels harder than most, the passage of time feels upsetting, whilst it feels good to embrace a clean slate, it is also saddening to know the hours are passing further away from when Dad was last here.
Looking ahead to 2018, as in my last blog post, I’ve encouraged myself to embrace the good in acquiring a clean slate. Somehow, the pressure feels less consuming and instead I feel motivated to take on those resolutions for which I have promised myself. And not just myself, but for Dad too.
Today me, Mum and the wolf went for a walk around Hardwick Lakes. This place holds precious memories to us as it was a haven for my Dad when he became poorly. He fought back his strength and even on high oxygen assistance, was able to walk himself round, all the while smiling and immersing himself in the quietness of the scenery. There was a picture I captured of him, surrounded by a frame of autumn leaves, he was a silhouette of black with his rucksack filled to the brim with liquid oxygen and his umbrella as his walking stick to steady himself. This is the image of him that I encourage myself to hold onto. Those precious moments where it was just me and him, talking the world away and watching proudly as he overcame everything so that he can still walk in nature as he would have wished to.
As we walked round today, skipping from mud pile to mud pile, this memory came back to me and it filled me with joy and hope. It was an inspiration to watch him fight through the intense breathlessness, the struggle of gaining back his strength and watching as he fought to feel some sense of normalcy. That treasure trove of memories has given me courage in that if he can overcome such upset, I can as well.
Over the course of 2018 I plan to change, and for the better. I’m going to put my health and fitness first, alongside my happiness and I am going to reach even further to go for the ambition that has been sparked from within. By September I am aiming to reach my ideal weight range, which is losing approximately two pounds a week, and to round it off I will be walking a 50km trek around the Peak District raising money for the British Lung Foundation. I have also got a few ideas in my noggin on raising awareness of lung disease and also sharing the wonderful charity that is Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. I have battled inside my mind of how best to share this journey and finally I am settled on bringing it here to my blog and potentially even recording a few video diaries along the way.
2017 has been a shit show, there is no denying, but I cannot ignore the precious six months where I was with Dad and where I was able to have the honour of caring for him and sitting alongside him until he passed. It is with his hope, his spirit and his courage that I’m going to take 2018, clutch it in my arms tightly and I’m not letting go until my resolutions are complete.
To all my followers, readers and visitors, I wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year’s Eve and here’s to making 2018 one to remember! (for all the right reasons).