The Highs and Lows of 2013

A little over a year ago I lay in bed, listening. My sixteen year old son arrived home. I heard him follow his usual routine. Get a glass of water from the kitchen, come upstairs, leave the water in his bedroom, go to the bathroom then back to bed. The bedroom door closed and with all three boys tucked up safely in bed, I could rest easy. I turned to my husband and said, you know our life is perfect right now. We need to appreciate that. With both sets of parents alive and well and the boys still at home and healthy I knew it wasn’t going to stay like that for long.

The Lows Begin

In January my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. My beautiful amazing mother began to waste away in front of us and there was nothing any of us could do. From a healthy ten stone, dancing and writing poetry she reduced to 7 stone. In the middle of the chemo she likened herself to the boy in the striped pyjamas, her shrunken body and hairless head screaming mortality.

The Highs – Miracles do happen

Eleven months later her doctors have given her the ALL CLEAR. The doctors are amazed. They told her they never thought she would make it through the first round of chemo. If she had of been a car, they would have put her off the road! Because not only had she cancer, when she arrived in hospital reluctantly in January this year, she had only one functioning kidney, a chest infection, a lung infection, fluid on the lung, the cholesterol of a beach whale and the blood pressure of a race horse. My parents believe it’s a miracle, I think SHE is the Miracle. I regularly speak about positivity she breathes positivity. I aim to live in the moment, she is always there. This year has been very emotional and tough but so inspirational. I learnt there is a big difference between talking the talk and walking it! This month the world lost it’s Madiba, I on the other hand got to keep mine, at least for a little while longer.

The Super Summer

The summer was good, we had summer in Ireland. Yes real summer where the sun shone daily and the summer clothes that the shops sell, for once had purpose. I missed it, but don’t feel sorry for me I was having my own fun in 40 degree heat. I spent the month of July in Vigo, Northern Spain. The city that is home to my eldest son’s father, my sister and her family. I lived in Vigo between 1992 and 1998. This year I learnt a very important lesson, I learnt to relax, to take it slow and stop putting pressure on myself to achieve. I came back from Spain so chilled out that it took me quite a while to take work seriously again. But before long, everything went back to normal only I was different, and life was different, all in a positive way.

More Lows

In September my seventeen year old soon took off for a year in Spain, I thought I was ok, happy about his decision. His father has had another child so he needs to be able to speak Spanish fluently to speak to his little sister. And yes the red head in the picture is my half Spanish son!

A couple of weeks before he left I was folding a t-shirt which had come from the wash. I broke down in tears, my little boy was a man and this was the end of his childhood. I knew he would be back next year to go to college. Not for a minute did I want him to stay, but I realised that our lives were changing, never to be the same again. Although my thoughts were all encouraging and positive, my heart felt crumpled. You know these moments are inevitable but that doesn’t make them any easier. It’s Christmas now and he is home and all is wonderful.

More Highs

Business is booming, I’ve waited so long to be able to say that. My hard work has paid off and the referrals and inquiries are happening organically. I recently took over the Presidency of Network Dublin, an organisation that supports women in business, the professions and the arts. I am really looking forward to an exciting year ahead. An opportunity to make amazing connections and meet some amazing women and talented speakers.

The Web Summit

The Dublin Web Summit is always a highlight in my life. Technology is a passion and having so many techies in the same place at the same time sets my pulse racing a little too high. My goal this year was to see Gary Vaynerchuk, I sat in the second row and listened to him tell us we don’t know sh*t about social media. What I didn’t expect was for him to buy me a Guinness in the Four Seasons after the event. God Bless Twitter! Very excited about Gary’s latest book Jab, Jab, Jab right hook, I’m waiting on my copy to arrive. Another highlight was meeting the guys from Evernote, my favourite piece of kit.

My inspiration

The two books that have had the most positive influence on my life this year are Susan Hayes’ “Savvy woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom” and Lara Morgan’s “More Balls than Most

Having always been a bit of an Ostrich when it comes to money, my philosophy being “I have to earn more” rather than know what’s going on in the accounts. Susan Hayes’ book The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom has had a very positive impact on my life and on my finances. It’s hard to believe so much wisdom can come from such a young lady.

I met Lara Morgan at the Network Ireland Awards Ceremony in Cork earlier this year. I accosted her in the ladies loo and asked her to put eye drops into my irritated eye. She had spoken at the conference earlier in the day. Unfortunately I had missed her talk, which apparently was very well received. Lara was the founder of Pacific Direct and is now the owner of Company Shortcuts, a company that helps small companies grow. Lara’s book More Balls than Most is an excellent account of how she grew Pacific Direct from a one man show to a £20 million company. Well Worth a read.

2013 was a good year, it’s had its ups and its downs but I suppose that’s real life. The joys and the pains but we get through it all. Doing a review of your year is a great exercise to do before setting goals for the New Year. Do a review of your year and let me know below about your highs and lows?

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Have a Wonderful Holiday and an amazing 2014, a year when all your dreams can come true