Before this new year even began, I started putting together a list of what this year would bring me, or rather, what I would bring to the table for this year. Christmas was quiet and hectic at the same time; with a family death on Christmas Eve and another one just before New Year’s Eve. Life is cruel with no room for fairness, but it teaches us to value those closest to us as well as those who aren’t. I wasn’t particularly close with my family members who have recently passed on, but I still hold memories of them when we were both in each other’s company. I value those moments. It won’t do me any good to fill my head with the famous what ifs because they don’t give justice when the gavel lands.
St Stephen’s day started at 06:30am to get a bus to Kilkenny. Three buses; worth it. I know most people are nervous when it comes to spending time with their partner’s family, but I am the opposite. My boyfriend, Dylan’s family is one that takes you in as if you’re their own blood. Presents and Christmas cards were exchanged and when it came down to Dylan’s grandmother, Mary and I, we both had each other in tears as we exchanged presents. I had bought her a Tipperary Crystal bee necklace due to the loss of her son years ago; a loss she still grieves. I knew that bees were a symbol of remembrance; it seemed like the perfect gift. Little did I know, she bought me the exact same gift as I am still grieving the loss of my grandmother since 2019. We hugged and she said “Now, see, I told you there was a strong link between us”. She reminds me a lot about my Nan and I often cry because it feels like I’ve gotten my old Nan back, in some way. It was an emotional, but beautiful few days.
However, every high brings an intense low; my job is starting to take a toll on my mental health. I know too well what happens when this overwhelming and anxiety-induced feeling comes knocking; the anxiety of getting out of bed and entering the workplace, the degrading looks from the higher-ups, the zero appreciation that comes with the back breaking work we do. The reward for that is more work. A toxic cycle that I want to end. I took that first step today by sending out my CV to a nearby smaller store. I hope it all goes well. I really do.
On the lighter side, we celebrated our hamster, Pipsqueak’s first birthday on January 3rd; I can’t believe he’s a year old. My little baby! Okay, I’ll stop with my mushy mother-hamster talk, but I also wanted to share another bit of good news with you, something big in my life that I’ve been wanting to do for years, but have been too scared; I’m writing a novel. My novel. My masterpiece that now consists of ten chapters, but I have a long way to go. I watched a movie recently and one of the scenes acted out was a book signing. I turned to Dylan and said “I’d love that to be me this year or the next, meeting my readers and signing their books with a smile”. He had no doubt in his mind that it would happen, assuring me he would be standing right beside me with a proud smile.