Janey’s December Letter: Look To The Future And Embrace The New!

It’s funny how we never know where we are going to be a year from today – or what we’ll be doing.  We may have a plan in mind, but fate often has other ideas and we can find ourselves in unexpected places doing things we’ve never even heard of!

jane felstead christmas

Last week I was manning the phone lines for Groupon.  They have launched a new service.  SOS or ‘Second Opinion Service’, which provides help gifting the truly un-giftable. I’m here answering calls from people panicking with the all too familiar refrain of‘ AGGGGH what am I going to get Great Aunt Ethelreda?’

I had a blast as I can so relate to these people and their problems.  I hadn’t ever thought about buying ‘experiences’ – which are among the things that Groupon specialise in, and is such a good idea (so, dear family, expect many this year).

Buying a  car race day for a man, or a stylish tea in a swanky hotel for an aunt is such a good plan, and as many of these treats are for two – it means you can actually join in and spend time with some of the people you may not see too much of.

jane felstead two

All this learning has come at the right time for me.  I never seem to find out what people would like.  I always ask – and never get a concise answer, so spend much time and far too much money getting something that nobody much wants.

Being knocked aside by a million desperate shoppers all seeking inspiration –  feeling I’m going to pass out from the heat one minute, and knowing that it probably won’t be long before I feel deathly cold, as Flu sets in.

We are none of us here forever and to see these little creatures laughing and rolling around is a celebration of life itself

This year will be a different one for me and I so excited about it.  Two new babies are wonderful, and buying them gorgeous little bits has been a joy.  They have taken my mind off the scary news of my MS, and although it sounds a bit trite – have given me a whole new lease of life, reason and purpose.

Having them around this Christmas puts things into perspective.  I no longer feel the need to be ‘The One’ provider of all things.  I can take my foot off the pedal and relax. I have grown up children, who because they are now parents themselves, have actually, in many respects become ‘grown up’!

jane flestead christmas with family

The babies give me an excuse to sit and cuddle without guilt. Without them, I would be tempted to be too busy,  and as a result unbelievably tired and probably spoil Christmas for everyone.  Old habits die hard, but these days I’m just not as able, although admitting that to myself has been hard.

There is also – and I don’t mean to be morbid about this – and sense of ‘ moving on’. We are none of us here forever and to see these little creatures laughing and rolling around is a celebration of life itself, explaining the reasons and purpose for so much.

If I  can’t relax and be assured of my place at the table so to speak, then that’s pretty pathetic.  I still have a terrible problem with FOMO, although only recently have discovered that most of the things I fear missing out on, I don’t want to be at anyway!

Moving into 2018, I’m urging you all to say ‘yes’ to the future and ‘no’ to the guilt.  Things can change. Matriarchs like me can learn to sit and direct operations without needing to get our hands dirty, and actually, love it.

We don’t need to feel our authority is being threatened and that we are somehow irrelevant and unseen.  The silly thing is that it’s only recently that I’ve realised all this.  Up to now, I’ve kept myself at the forefront of everything, often through gritted teeth.

I feel blessed this Christmas to have two more people to love, and more reason to celebrate the future.

Never looking to the future, I hadn’t really thought through how it would be if I could no longer perform the duties I thought validated me.  Suddenly the big hand comes out of the sky and points at you – and alters your future in a way you hadn’t imagined – but maybe has hidden blessings.

Forcing me to take it easy, an enabling me to appreciate what I have without tearing around and wearing myself out and being miserable as a result.

I feel blessed this Christmas to have two more people to love, and more reason to celebrate the future.

My love to everyone for a wonderfully happy time – and I raise a glass to us all for a blindingly fabulous new year!

J

xx

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