- Our Whistle-stop Tour of New York City with Kids Part Two: Where We Stayed and Ate
- Our Whistle-stop Tour of New York City With Kids Part One: Getting There
- Our Family Trip to Berlin
- Packing Essentials for a Family Ski Holiday
- The Big (and Not So Big) Move
- The day Shawn Mendes taught my daughter an amazing life lesson
- 10 Things for kids to do in Costa Adeje, Tenerife
- The Croke Park Stadium Tour
- Tips for making the most of a day out at Tayto Park
- 10 Kids TV characters you will love to hate as a parent
16 things I want to do in 2016: The half-time analysis
At the start of the year I set out an ambitious list of things I wanted to do in 2016. It’s hard to believe we are now at the half way mark. I’m sure it’s not just me who feels as though time has sped up since becoming a parent.
The death of my Mum has certainly thrown things this year but I feel the need to take stock and see where I am at with what I wanted to achieve. It would be very easy to just sit and wallow in my grief but isn’t it bad enough that my Mum was taken too soon without me wasting the precious time I have on this Earth and not achieving what I want for myself and my family.
So, using the list in the same order it was originally published, here is where I am at:
1. Go skiing
Starting well, first item complete! We headed off during the Easter school holidays and had a fantastic time. I have a post in drafts about our time so I won’t dwell on it but suffice to say we had a blast and the kids loved it.
Big school starts on 31st August so we haven’t quite gotten there yet but I did have a meeting with the school principal and she got to meet her teacher and see her classroom for a little visit before the big day. It’s all systems go!
She is so very ready and very excited. I’m sure there will be nerves on the day (and tears from Mum) but we will enjoy the build up.
3. Turn 40 gracefully
My birthday is not until October so that is (obviously) still on the to-do list.
4. Get a health M.O.T
With my Mum’s illness and death getting a health M.O.T has been very much in the forefront of my mind. I started off the year well with arranging my slightly overdue smear test. That all went a bit belly up when the test showed abnormal cells. I had a colposcopy and they took a biopsy. I put it to the back of my mind, especially since I had skiing to enjoy and then a very sick mother. A week after my Mum was buried I got the news that the biopsy showed CIN2. Not cancer but pre-cancerous cells and I needed a procedure to remove them. Well clearly I needed that like a hole in the head but I went and did it; a Lletz procedure. All went well and I have a follow-up in November to make sure all is well.
With all that going on I got on to my GP. I had blood tests and a colonoscopy. With the exception of a slightly elevated LDL in my cholesterol test everything was perfect. So I just need to work on reducing the LDL a little; better food and more exercise.
It feels good to know that, for the time being, I am in reasonable health.
5. Eat more fruit via a daily smoothie
This one has been touch and go. I started well but more recently I haven’t managed a daily smoothie.
With Mum in hospital and then her death I will not beat myself up over this one. I will try over the summer to get a bit more fruit into me. Will be good for the cholesterol levels!
6. Drink less alcohol
I was doing really well and reduced my alcohol consumption by over 25%. Then I went on a ski holiday in mid March and then my Mum died, although while she was in hospital my consumption definitely reduced.
Another one that needs a bit of work to get back to where I was at earlier in the year. I’ll be honest, not likely to happen over summer when I probably drink the most, especially when away.
September I promise!
7. Have a family day out every month
We can definitely improve on this. Besides our ski holiday things have been a little hectic. We have taken a couple of visits to Tayto Park as we are members, had a lovely family dinner out in the city centre following a trip to Merrion Park playground and a couple of trips to Rosslare but otherwise well organised, enjoyable family days out have been limited. We have a voucher for the Croke Park experience which I want to use and the school holidays will hopefully mean things are a little less hectic and we can plan a few little adventures. All suggestions gratefully accepted!
8. Bring the kids swimming in Dublin
This hasn’t happened yet but we did take a visit to the pool we want to join, we got shown around and got all the membership forms which are all filled in and ready to go. I just need to get back to them to drop them in which went off my radar with my mum being unwell. You get 2 weeks free swims so I am waiting to pick a time when I can take advantage…..maybe sometime in July and I can bring the kids swimming on rainy days and get them ready for their summer holiday!
9. Schedule walks and other exercise into my weekly schedule
I have to admit that the exercise side of things has been neglected but I have great plans for after the summer holidays since Zoe will be in school and I’ll get more time for myself. See point 11 below!
10. Blog every week
Well this fell flat on its head! Being away in March and then Mum being sick and passing away sent my blog to the back burner. My laptop screen smashed a couple of weeks ago so now that I am in a position to be blogging regularly again I don’t have the proper equipment. I think I will just admit defeat and accept that I need to stick with slightly sporadic and irregular blogging until September.
11. Forward plan
I am a massive procrastinater and huge chunks of time can literally vanish with nothing to show for it if I’m not careful. When I have lots to do I rely heavily on making lists. I am really at my most productive when I map everything out. Things were obviously a little erratic in my life over the past few weeks but I now want to focus and get down to some serious productivity.
In my pursuit of productivity I came across a concept called Bullet journaling and immediately realised it is for me. There will be more on this to come over coming weeks as I start my first Bullet journal 1st July (to kick off the second half of the year) and I hope that it will keep me on the straight and narrow and bring 2016 to a productive end.
12. Do a professional organisation course
Haven’t even looked into one. Say no more. We will see how the rest of the year progresses!
13. Finish my online Writing course I am enrolled in
Since the beginning of the year I think I have logged in to the course once so suffice to say this item needs a bit of work. It’s definitely something that I need to schedule because it is not something that I think to do if I have a few free minutes.
14. Go on a summer holiday
Summer is here and having been blessed to be able to take a family holiday to Tenerife for the past three years we were torn about what to do this year. We have already had a ski holiday but I am a sun worshipper and NEED my annual dose of foreign sun.
While the kids wanted to go back to Tenerife we really felt we needed to have a change of scene and so we are going to Lanzarote on the 29th July. Ok, not exactly a radical change but a new location nonetheless. We wait with bated breath to see how it pans out and hope we won’t be lamenting our Tenerife holidays!
15. De-clutter every room in the house by scheduling a room a month
I have been doing quite a bit of decluttering but it has been a little sporadic. A drawer here, a press there. I have come to the conclusion that there are 5 key problem areas for clutter in my house and I have put together a project plan to deal with each of them.
For what it’s worth these are the five areas:
- Clothes (particularly kids)
- Kids school and art work
- Kids toys and equipment
If I can deal with these five areas then the level of “stuff” in my house will radically reduce. I have started the paperwork project and am about to commence the clothes once the kids are off school.
16. Promote myself and my blogs more
With not much action on the blogs there hasn’t been much to promote but hopefully with more blogging there will be more to promote!
Based on the above, if this were a school report (given time of year) I would be saying “must try harder” but given the difficult circumstances of the past few weeks I am cutting myself lots of slack.
I intend to hit the ground running in the second half of the year and hope that it is far more happy and enjoyable than the first half.