A blogging year in review – 2015

It’s pretty much been the worst year of my life.

I am intrigued looking at my list of most viewed posts. At the top of the list is my post “Alone”. A pretty stark presentation of some intensely dark days of my grief.

I wonder, why was that most readable? It was honest? It was intriguing for people who haven’t experienced that kind of loss?

Sometimes I can forget how easily it comes to me to just say it like it is. Truth is, a lot of us don’t want to share the deep pain we are feeling and all its ugly. Additionally, a lot of us are scared of what we feel. We like to be in control but most of all, we want to be happy. Bad feelings shouldn’t feature in our lives so we ought to try and do something about them in order not to have to feel them. Perhaps just reading someone else express them brings some release for you too.

It has been a hard year but looking back over my year, I can’t help but feel a little well of joy over some of the things that have taken place. One of them being this blog. It has been a true lifeline but also, a new passion has been born and I have written my first short story along with 74 blog posts. My blog has been viewed by people in 38 different countries. I have had a total of 4116 views and 1781 visitors to it. In the grand scheme of things it’s pretty small fry but feels great to me! I have even written poetry, not something I ever thought I’d do.

I have been reading with zeal and must have read over a dozen books in the past six months. Doing my 30 things before I’m 30 has been exciting and inspired me to embrace life. Last night, I checked off going to a special place for a meal when we went to Amberley Castle with friends. It was magical. I smiled the whole way through knowing Dad would love to have seen us experiencing life, tasting good food and wine, savouring moments with special people, and feeling vaguely like a rock star for the night in a black velvet dress.

Me amberly.jpg
Me (I’ve cut J out for privacy reasons not because I’m self-obsessed)

The past year has cemented something I already knew which is that I have some absolutely amazing people in my life who I feel truly, deeply, thankful for. Family and friends who are just overwhelmingly wonderful people. I will never stop being grateful for you all.

I’m grateful for my new-found motivation to be healthy and eat clean. I feel better than ever and blessed as I am not sure I would’ve coped quite as well with the turmoil of the past year had I not been living this way.

I had been dreading Christmas in the past few months (that may have come across a couple of times…!) but I have since reflected on it and now feel deeply appreciative of this time of year. I am thankful for the story. I am thankful for the family and friends I have to enjoy and treasure. Yet there is a huge hole that cannot and will not be filled. The commercial side of Christmas feels even more empty than it normally does. I feel so detached from my memories of Dad that I’m wondering if numbness will play a big role in getting me through this first Christmas without him. But I take comfort in knowing that he will want us to enjoy our time together. To treasure our family here and now for as long as we have the privilege to do so.

Like he did. So I will make the choice to do just that.

And there it is again – that strange apparent dichotomy of a deeper appreciation of the things of life alongside a churning, dark reality of pain. Empty, yet full.

Life is harder than it was before, but I feel, more so than ever, I am truly living it.

Have a great Christmas lovely readers. If you’re swimming in joy and merriment – enjoy it, if you’re in pain, feel it and embrace the good moments… Emmanuel – God with us. Through it all.

Cheers! (Raising a G&T)

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8 comments

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  1. Bel

    Thank you for your blog Jeni. Ive not always commented but I read every one. I can relate in so many ways to how you’re feeling at times, the pain the joy the frustration… It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my crazy emotions. Sometimes I think I must be the only one and have this insane need to get it out. People can’t or don’t want to be THAT honest but we all find ourselves there. Thank you for sharing your memories of Robb… It feels right to laugh and remember him. You are so precious. Thank you for your honest thoughts. You have been an inspiration to me to from the whole sugar-giving-up thing to embracing where-I’m-at thing…. So, in summary I’m routing for you.Go on girl!

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  2. Danielle White

    Hi Jeni,

    I didn’t know you had lost your dad, or that you had been writing a blog. Your post was very real. I think that’s what may have drawn so many people. And like you said, the openness about your pain. You were able to write about it in a way that wasn’t fussy or indulging. I’m sorry for your loss honey. I remember meeting him just the once at your wedding. He reminded me of you…Wishing you and Your family the best Christmas you can have. Xo

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  3. Roma

    Beautiful and honest words Jeni… U looked stunning in your black velvet dress and loved your clarification of why J isn’t in the pic. I find myself welling up and heartily chuckling at your posts. The reason for my enjoyment is how genuine and REAL everything u write is. I am sending you so many well wishes and strength to get you through the festive season. Lots of love and hugs for you and your family, Roma xxx

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