I have been tagged by the_last_slayer at A Hell of a Woman to write about my highs and lows of 2011 as part of Kate at Kate on Thin Ice‘s Groovy Mums. I think this is a great opportunity to reflect on my year and it has really made me appreciate the positives that have come out of the things that didn’t seem so positive at the time.

So I will answer the 12 questions set by Kate, tag some other fellow parent bloggers at the end of my post to do the same and then I will leave a comment on Kate’s original post so that she and others can read what I said. So here goes…

What was your happiest event?

Probably our first holiday as a family. It wasn’t a big holiday, just a few days at Longleat Center Parcs, but it was fun to get away for a bit. I loved seeing my little one enjoying his new surroundings and getting excited, once we had been there for a couple of days, when he recognised we were getting close to the swings. His little face when he saw a cat and a squirrel on our patio was also a lovely picture. He also had his first restaurant meal in the pancake house. Most of it went on the floor, but he seemed to have fun! It was a big milestone for me too proving to myself that I could cope with different routines and realising it was me who relied on them more than my little boy.

What was the saddest thing to happen?

There have been many moments that I have found sad, but I think one the saddest was when I found out that one of my ex-colleagues is terminally ill and may not have long to live. I reacted much more strongly than I thought I would to this news. He is a lovely, gentle and kind man and his new wife (they got married on New Years Day), who was also one of my colleagues, is a very sweet and funny woman and I really feel for them.

What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

I didn’t return to my job at the end of my maternity leave. This was unlikely for two reasons, firstly I didn’t think we would be able to cope financially and secondly, I thought after being in that type of work, mainly in the same organisation, for over 10 years I would be far too institutionalised to actually have the balls to quit. Fortunately I found the whole process of arranging to come back frustratingly slow and so quit I did! And before anyone worries, my husband’s business is doing pretty well so we do have money.

Who let you down?

In some ways I feel a bit let down by the response of my past employers, but that has worked out really well, so I’m not going to complain about that. There are friends who I thought would perhaps be there for me more than they have, but I’m starting to look at life differently because of the experiences I’ve had. I’ve realised that I don’t know what’s going on for them at the moment and they could well be thinking the same about me, that I’ve been a bit distant towards them. That’s the beauty of a new year – fresh starts…

Who supported you?

My husband. He has been fantastic at trying to keep me up when I’ve been down, helping me look after our son when I haven’t coped and making sure we actually have the money to live the life we want to lead. I can’t really say thank you too him enough, but thank you again.

My husband’s and my parents have both put us up this year while we were moving house and for that I will always be grateful. Especially when it meant they had a baby in their houses again that didn’t sleep through the night (still doesn’t most of the time!).

I have also been very lucky to have so many wonderful friends, old and new, that have made 2011 a bit more bearable during the very rubbish times and a lot of fun during the good times.

Tell us one thing you learned.

If you need help you should ask for it. People aren’t psychic, you need to tell them if you need help. If you do need help people are more than happy to give it and they don’t judge you for asking. A lot of the time they seem genuinely pleased that you thought highly enough of them to ask.

Tell us one thing that made you laugh.

My little boy makes me laugh a lot as does my nephew and the combination of the two can be hilarious. They are four months apart in age (now 15 and 19 months old). One particularly amusing moment, a couple of months ago, involved them “sharing” the lid to a box of bricks. Slapstick comedy at it’s best! (No toddlers were hurt in the making of this memory!)

Tell us one thing that made you cry.

This one thing sums up most of my crying – Post Natal Depression. Since entering the world of blogging I have realised how many people have suffered or are suffering with this and I wish I knew that when I was at my lowest because hearing other people’s experiences and how they have come out the other side has been extremely helpful.

Tell us three things your child did to make you feel proud.

He walked, he talked and he has been so brave during his examinations and tests to see what’s going on with his kidneys, braver than I thought he would be. I am very proud of him for that.

Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself.

I started writing this blog, I published some of my poems and became a Director of my husband’s company. I know that’s three things, but I want to shout about the good things when they happen!

Tell us one challenge you overcame.

Moving back to the town I grew up in. We did it so that we had support, which we definitely needed, but I hated the idea. I didn’t like the house when we moved in, felt funny about moving back to the area, like I was taking a step back in life and therefore I felt I’d failed. Then as time went on and I saw my friends more, had family near by when I needed them, was able to help out friends and family as well when they needed it and then I realised that it was the best thing we could have done and I managed to change my mind set and see the good in the situation. Now I love our house. We have plans to extend one day and I couldn’t think of anywhere better for us at the moment.

Tell us three things you would like to change about your life in 2012.

See my previous post New Year’s Resolutions for my full list and explanations, but in short: be more organised, relax and become a paid copywriter.

These lovely bloggers are going to look back at their 2011 highs and lows as well, so why not click on the links and have a read:

Alice at My Life My Son My Way
Bryony at Views from the Lounge Window
Suzanne at Chickenruby