Best wishes for 2012!

Haven’t posted for a while as Christmas is tough on people with ME/CFS, among other people – the work involved doesn’t stop just because you’re exhausted! Anyway, I hope that you all had an enjoyable festive season, and that 2012 will be a positive year for you.

It’s time for my recap of the year. I used to always do this on the first page of a brand new diary, when I was a teenager, but now it’s the blog! The start of 2011 was a cold one and a sad one for us: our first dog, Holly (who I took my writing name from), died on 18 January, aged 12. I was with her when it happened and it was heart-breaking. She was one of the family and we miss her every day. We could never replace her, but felt the need to get a puppy. We had no intention of getting another tri-colour, but it seems that Ivy chose us. You can keep up with her advertures at

Aside from welcoming Ivy in to our home, there were lots of good things such as new babies within the family and plenty of engagements amongst friends and family – 2012 sees us celebrating with 3 soon-to-be-married couples so far. I love weddings, though I’m feeling the pressure of being a Matron of Honour (how old does that make me sound). I worry that the ME/CFS will make its presence felt. We’re happy that our friends have entered the final phase of their wish to move to New Zealand, but will miss them a lot. I value my friends, as so many disappeared over the years. When you can’t socialise, you find that you’re no longer included in people’s lives. Sad but true. In the summer, we went to see Mrs Browns Boys with my parents – it was hilarious. I haven’t seen my dad laugh like that, ever. In fact, I didn’t think he was capable. Needless to say, we booked tickets for this summer’s show too. There are lots of milestone birthdays and celebrations due in 2012 – a 30th, a 21st and a 40th anniversary, to name but a few.

Last year, I tried to volunteer to do some things that I felt I was able to do. I can’t say it’s worked out as planned, as I’ve been sidelined (which actually makes me feel worse than not been accepted as a volunteer). On the positive side, our annual fundraising event for Marie Curie was very successful, with the support of fantastic family and friends. It makes me feel good to do something for others as, so often, I feel useless for the things I can’t do. Nice to be able to help.

I discovered that my publisher was no longer in business – can’t say I was sad for them, but I was for the staff and the other authors. This made me look at writing again, so I am still in the process of trying to turn Karma in to an e-book. I’m glad it belongs to me again. I also took a big step and signed up for a creative writing class. I didn’t know what to expect, and I’m very uncomfortable in reading my work aloud, but I was pleasantly surprised. It took a few weeks for the group to gel, but I like it (though I do wish it was an afternoon, rather than a morning – I really, really struggle on a morning). It resumes in January, and I’m seriously considering returning. I’m also contemplating my own version of NaNoWriMo in January, to get me focused on novel 2 – it may not happen, but I’m going to give it a go. Then it can be an e-book too! I’m also still working on my degree. It’s very tough, as I’m unmotivated and fnd it difficult to concentrate. I can’t attend tutorials, due to the CFS, and I almost quit when I discovered there was an exam. My ability to retain knowledge is terrible – I used to have an almost photographic memory, but now find learning difficult. I just want to prove to myself that I’m still the person I was before the CFS made its presence felt!

I’ve been invited to do some things and my instinct is to say no, but I had hoped to try and do more adventurous things (mundane to you, adventurous to me). I haven’t made resolutions, but I do have an ongoing Wish List, which I re-evaluate every year. Many of the things on my list are restricted by the fact that I’m ill, but more so because of the fact that they cost money (which is DUE to the fact that I’m ill). I’d love to be able to drive, and that’s been on my list for about 20 years now, but it could be there for another 20 years! Last year, I impulsively signed up for a few things and then fretted about them when I was accepted. However, if I hadn’t, I’d have missed out on some fun opportunities, like being in BBC Good Food magazine and being a Morrisons Taste Tester. Maybe there’s a lesson in that?

I’ve probably waffled on enough. I hope that your year has far more good things than bad things, and that your wishes are within your grasp. Happy New Year to you all. x