Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are all well and that Santa Claus was kind to you.

Our Christmas Day was very quiet as there was only my husband, youngest daughter and myself at home. However, this did not stop us from consuming a fantastic Christmas Lunch courtesy of my husband and then an enormous amount of mouth-watering goodies that we just had to devour that evening. I’m afraid to say we aren’t the best at eating well on Christmas Day but who can blame us when there are so many tempting foods around. 

On Boxing Day our day was much livelier as we visited our eldest daughter’s home, on arrival we were greeted by a very enthusiastic 2-year-old granddaughter who was eagerly waiting by the front door for Santa Claus to make an appearance! Ever since she was told before Christmas that Santa was on his way she literally thought he would walk through the door. Thankfully we had a sack full of presents which quickly distracted her although when we visited her again in mid-January she was still talking about Santa visiting. I have told my son-in-law that he needs to wear a Santa outfit next year which hopefully will please her although she is so bright she will probably guess it is her Dad or she will want Santa to move in which could be fun!

Talking about my granddaughter, the amount of presents she received could be described as being obscene although when she is the only little one currently within the family we can’t help but spoil her. 

On Christmas morning she was greeted with a climbing frame in the back garden although describing it as a climbing frame is a bit of an understatement as there is also a two-storey playhouse, swing, see-saw and two slides attached to it. In fact, when I asked Charlotte what she had received from Santa she shouted out excitedly “a park!” which we all laughed at although she was pretty accurate with her description. My daughter has a huge garden so there is still plenty of space for a patio, two sets of decking and a lawn! 

I did say to my husband when we got home it is lovely to see your children be successful but when your first home which was a starter home was very close to being the same size as Charlottes ”park” then it can be a bit of a shocker. I have never been a materialistic kind of person which is just as well otherwise I could be quite jealous just as well the thought of having 3 bathrooms to clean gives me the shivers haha!

When it came to New Year, this was even quieter. My husband wasn’t too well so was in bed by 10.30 p.m. and I followed him not long afterwards. Although I did read in bed until midnight which was when I heard a few fireworks going off nearby. I thought this year there might have been more noise but it was very quiet where I live which is unusual as a few of my neighbours are the types who like their house parties. 

Talking about New Year as usual all my friends have been telling me of the New Years Resolutions which they have made. Well, this year I made the decision not to make any resolutions as I only break them before January has even got started, especially the “diet” one! 

Instead, this year I have set myself “Goals”. In fact, I quite like the word goal because then if I mess up I will just award myself a yellow card and start all over again. An odd red card may appear but I am determined that no matter how long it takes me I am going to reach at least one goal.

One of the main goals I have for 2022 is to ensure that I live life to the full. I won’t go into all of the details but the last 6 months of 2021 were pretty rough for all of my family with some problems still ongoing. However, I have made the decision that even if we have some hurdles to overcome and some hurdles which we know we can’t get over I am still going to look on the bright side of life. One thing which this Pandemic and a serious health scare made me realise is that life is too short and that you have to make every moment count! 

One of the main things which I have really struggled with over recent months has been my mental health due to lots of things going on in the background. Looking back I now realise how much time I have spent focusing on all of the negatives and not realising that there were some positives there too.

I am not really a one for mindfulness but I am trying to concentrate on the here and now although enjoying every minute of cleaning the oven or bathroom may be a step too far haha!

As for the "D word" (diet) well that has now been obliterated from my vocabulary, instead, I am concentrating on the words “healthy lifestyle” which includes physical and mental health. It also sounds like something out of a celebrity magazine that makes me conjure up images of Kim Kardashian.

Something which I would really like to do this year is to concentrate more on writing. Last year I took part in the writing group which was set up by Liv Hunt a local theatre maker via Gateshead Carers which I really enjoyed. This year we have just started a new project which I can’t say a lot about at the moment but there is hopefully going to be a play produced by the end of it. So you never know by the end of the year I may be a celebrity in my own right.

Well, that is it for now, I hope I have encouraged at least some of you to look to the future with some positivity in these challenging times. Even if you aren’t wanting to do anything too big just remember every little helps (I should know as I do as little as I can possibly get away with haha!)

Take care of yourselves and speak soon.

Susie x