Well, here we are again, another year over and a new one just about to start. It is always crazy how fast the days go by – and that feels like an old lady thing to say! I feel like for this end-of-year blog I want to re-cap all of the things that have happened in our world, but most of you will know most of the things because thanks to my rambling each week, you have all been on the journey with us!

Obviously the highest of our highlights this year have been my oldest son’s wedding in May and the arrival of my first grandchild three weeks ago – and he is the squishiest, cutest, most delightful baby ever!

Benjamin Thomas

I went overseas to Malaysia and had a fabulous adventure, and I am looking forward to finding other new places for me to explore. I have changed my job and moved to a new hospital for work which has been both a very good thing and also a challenge for me – I will stay here at this stage until the end of April and then see what comes next. I have just bought an investment property and I know that Claytie would be really happy with it. Looking at real estate was something of a hobby for him, and we always talked about doing something like this. And on the romance front, I have been seeing a really, really nice fellow for the last couple of months and I am excited to see how that continues to go…..

In between all of the really big things are of course the usual day to day things that happen in my world. Trivia Tuesdays are still a thing – and the “Black Widows” have done very well all year! We seem to win often enough that we have had plenty of team dinners paid for with our stash. We are definitely the naughty table and spend a lot of time laughing and coming up with inappropriate answers. I really look forward to Tuesday nights and catching up with the team – it is definitely a high point each week. I have also still been going to Karaoke, although not as much in the last few weeks with the lead up to Christmas. It is also a high point each week and I really love the energy and people watching there. It is always fun to see who is there each week and what their song choices will be, I also love the friends that I catch up with when I go, it makes me stupidly happy!

This year I have also changed the Widow support group that I go to and have made a whole bunch of sensational new friends. There are at least two coffee catch ups each month that I go to, as well as other social events, and it has been the best kind of therapy for me. It keeps me busy, which I like, and these people understand me in a way that others can’t and I am so grateful to have made these connections. Grief is part of every single day for me in one way or another – I know it will be for the rest of my life. Claytie was and continues to be the biggest part of my world, but I am doing my very best to navigate this new space with out him. Its a bloody bumpy road, but I think the boys and I are doing OK for the most part.

As always tho, I have to say a huge thank you to all of you who are part of my world. It matters so much more than I could ever say to know that I have such amazing people around me that I can vent to, drink with, drag to Karaoke, and cry or laugh with. My world would be a much darker place without the light that you bring and I am so lucky to be able to call you my friends. I am amazed at how many of you follow this blog and the feedback that you give me. I never thought that this would be something that I would do, let alone enjoy and look forward to each week. It seems bizarre to me that people feel like they are learning all of this stuff along side of me – I hope you never need the lessons!

I hope that this Christmas and New Year period is filled with good food, great company, lots of laughs and happy memories for you. Spend time doing things with those that bring you joy. Be grateful for something every day – there are so many fabulous things to appreciate in our world. Enjoy the big exciting things, don’t sweat the small stuff and tell people that are important to you how much you love them. Life is short – live it big! Do all of the things that make you happy! xx R

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