I can’t believe that it is day 365. #365dayblogchallenge complete.
A blog every day for 365 days. My thoughts and feelings every day for 365 days.
At the time I had no idea what kind of year it was going to be or what was going to happen. No one can see the future.
In the end, it was one interesting year…
My husband took a job 250 miles away leaving me and our 2 young boys on a Sunday night and returning late on a Friday. The impact on our marriage and family was intense.
The day I started my public journal, my lovely Mumbo was taken with a police escort to a mental hospital.
My eldest son started a brand new school, where he was hurt – both emotionally and physically.
My Mum got worse.
My youngest son felt left out, alone and unloved.
I felt guilty. Torn.
My Mum died.
My husband came home, fresh from being and living like a bachelor… to chaos and emotion.
I lost my self esteem, self worth and self love.
I broken down.
And I have built myself back up.
The blog has documented my innermost feelings, thoughts, joys and despair; how I have dealt with grief, loss, parenting solo, parenting full stop and how I have continued to find joy and love in my life.
For me, it has been a pivotal year. In being faced with multiple challenges, I have embraced different techniques to survive the rollercoaster of ups and downs, highs and lows and held on tight.
I have learnt the importance of gratitude; finding the smallest delight, a chink of light in an otherwise dark and painful day.
I have learnt to live in the moment, survive in the moment, to let go of past mistakes, free myself of hurt and to not waste energy on worrying so much about what may happen in the future. My imagined ‘pain body’ of January and February of this year has shrunk, taking with it the anger, rather than letting the anger and rage destroy me internally.
I have worked hard on forgiveness, realising it may not be easy to forgive, but that it is worth it for myself, my sanity and to find inner peace.
I have introduced habits of daily breathing or meditation to help find focus and calm and to distance and then distract myself from the raging storm around me.
I have learnt that self love, self compassion, self respect and self care is one of the most important foundations to life, so that you can serve others and in turn fill them up with love and respect.
I feel very different to the person a year ago, at the table with my friend on that dark wet, miserable September evening; I remember feeling lonely, lost, confused about my future, unhappy and overwhelmed.
Today as I sit in my sun drenched office, I feel stronger.
I have confidence in my purpose, doing something that gives me pure joy.
I have fallen in love with motherhood.
I am a far cry from the cynical corporate ladder climber of 3 years ago and I have embraced a life where I put my children first, with no apology or guilt about my historic, excellent schooling and previous career credentials.
And I have fallen in love with writing, sharing my noisy thoughts and streams of words flying across the cinema of my mind.
So is this the end of blogging? To continue to blog or not to blog?
The blog started with my my Mumbo being put into a home in distress and it has come to an end with my Mumbo being laid to rest.
The blog started with me a single parent, a frustrated partner in a disconnected, unhappy family and it is ending with a family happier and unified and a relationship stronger than ever before.
The blog started with me not really knowing where I was in my life sandwich – what was Ali? The filling, the butter, the wrapping?
The sandwich will never end, there will always be moving parts, bits falling out, filling being shoved back in, the bottom falling off and the lid being lifted. There will always be bits you love and the bits you tolerate.
I close on the 365th day knowing I am all of it.
I am the Ali Sandwich.