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Like many people I am looking back on the year, to see how far I’ve come and to take stock of where I am right now.

This time last year was pretty wild.  I spent Christmas alone with my husband and we over indulged in everything, especially sex.  We would not have believed then that this would end up being the year that we started practising karezza and abstinence (well periods of abstinence anyway).

I had grand plans regarding work and my career, there’s a list in the back of my work diary that begins with ‘be the best at my job that I possibly can’ and included all sorts of personal and professional development plans that never really came to fruition as we got short staffed and other stuff demanded my attention.  I still developed though, I just did other things, and I have completely got over my regret that the progression I had planned didn’t happen.  I’ve never planned my career, and even if I had the chances are I would never have done everything or achieved everything I wanted to, stuff just happens as it does in life.

Still, I never would have thought that this was the year that I would be leaving not only this job but my career.  (It is my intention to burn my degree certificate and registration card when I leave, if I can be brave enough, as a show of faith that there’s something else out there for me.  If this sounds crazy, well it’s not as crazy as keeping your dead dog in a solid wood coffin that you drag from room to room so it can be with you while you watch television or do the dishes, as my mum’s neighbour does, and she’s out there, surviving.)

My relationship with my son is much better than it was this time last year:  as near as it can be to two adults who meet now and again and talk about their respective interests.  He is doing much better which makes everything easier, it is very painful for mothers to watch their children suffering, no matter how old they are.

My own mother is not totally on board with all my plans, even though I am not suffering and am in fact, when I am not worn out or run down as I have understandably been lately; very, very happy, and soon to be ecstatically excited- I can feel it brewing!

Apart from my wild teenage years I have not really gone against the opinions of my mother (except for having a baby at 19 and more recently getting married, and the tattoos…) but generally, I’ve gone to work, I’ve recycled, and on a day to day basis I’ve not done anything to provoke discord.  Which is why this is probably quite hard for both of us, but the sooner it’s past the point of no return, the better.

I was thinking this morning, when we are teenagers and can’t wait to leave home and be free of our parents, we have no idea that we’ll still be under their power and influence in our forties and beyond, not all of us, but definitely some of us.

I have photographed all our furniture and sent the pictures to friends to see if they want any of it, before the man who is buying the house comes round to decide if he wants anything.  Anything left is going to go to charity.  Tomorrow we are tackling the sheds and garage and making trips to the dump, as long as it isn’t raining.

I have also spent some time thinking about India.  I have written down the names of places we want to go, some for an extended period of time, some just passing through or for a brief stay, others in between, with a rough route planned whilst knowing we will be open and flexible to going with the flow when we actually get there.  I am happy that two hill stations that a friend recommended are in Tamil Nadu, where we want to spend a lot of time.  I am a little apprehensive about the heat*, so knowing about them gives me reassurance.  Plus they look beautiful! – Ooty and Kodaikanal.

*Mind you, I’m not doing so well in the cold of the English winter, yesterday we had all the heaters and about seven layers of clothes on but it wasn’t until the woodburner was roaring that we finally got warm.  Just as long as we didn’t venture outside…