See this photo above? That was taken a little over a year ago, I wish I could say it was staged, that I was faking to be sleeping in the kids blow up pool, but it is real.
I had worked 3 nights straight, and on little sleep had got up the following days to look after my kids and run a house.
I was so tired that I felt sick, I remember sitting in our front yard, knowing that I just had to fall asleep right there and then. I looked at the nearby blow up pool (which was thankfully empty), and crawled into it, falling asleep only moments later.
My husband and children found me here, and as Jamie took this photo, I was awoken by the sound of Kiara whispering “Are you dead Mummy?”
Within half and hour of this photo being taken, I was preparing dinner for the family, only to crawl into bed shortly afterwards.
My health was deteriorating, I was exhausted, drained, and looked and felt older than my years.
I was working shift work to help pay the bills, to get us a bit ahead and out of the financial rut we had found ourselves in, but I was feeling like I was just purely existing, not experiencing life around me, just one big bag of emotional, over tired mess. I was feeling pretty damned sorry for myself as well.
Something had to change, if I was not able to change my position, I had to change my way of thinking.
I commenced my gratitude project, photographing a moment in my life to be thankful for each day, and surprisingly there was lots to be grateful for, even when I was tired, overworked and exhausted.
In time I found a job that suited me and my family circumstances better, along with more sleep, and a brighter outlook on life, I started to feel a bit like “me” again.
That smile began to return, and I felt I was breathing in all the beautiful things life had to offer.
Amongst it all I stupidly began to think that being grateful would make life perfect….. it didn’t, but it did make life better.
Even now as I write this, the last few months in our house have been rather hectic, we had been renovating our house, surrounded by dust, dirt and mess, when we were suddenly forced to take our teenage niece on, forcing a stall in the renovations while we set her up, organised a new school for her, a place for her to sleep, and many other things.
As a result I now have a very close family member refusing to talk to me, and spreading some pretty nasty gossip and false stories around our small town about me.
We have had some tough times, no tougher than anyone else, but money has been tight, emotions have been high, and we have all felt a bit drained. The kids have also been effected by the changes in our house, including Jazz, my niece who has found herself at a new house, in a new family dynamic and about to start a new school.
6 months ago our family unit looked like this:
Now it looks like this:
Yep, we are a bit of an eclectic bunch, we are still trying to find our way in our new situation, a few hurdles and obstacles have come our way, but we will get there, slowly (hopefully).
A lot can happen in a year, a woman can fall pregnant, and have her baby in that time, someone can move to a new city, start a new job (or several in some cases). There are people who were alive and breathing this time last year who are no longer with us today.
Time stops for no one.
In the space of a year we laugh, cry, learn, stress, rejoice, celebrate, most importantly we all grow as people, every single day, we learn something new, maybe meet a new friend, find a new passion, grow a little more.
In the last 365 days, in this last year, I know I have grown. I have documented all the wonderful things in my life, as well as acknowledging all the things that have not been so great. I have learnt from some, grown a bit stronger, a bit wiser.
There is still loads of learning to do, some obstacles in my way that I still need to climb and move on from, I will get there, once again slowly, step by step, but I will get there.
A lot can happen in a moment, an hour, a day, a week, a month, and when you put all those possibilities together……….
So much can happen in a year.