I’ve come to realise that this blog has become a very expensive diary – it only gets the love from me at the end of each year around the time I start ruminating about the last 365 days and how I’ve lived them. I’ve seriously contemplated deleting it, and in fact I did a few days ago but panicked when I realised how many memories I hadn’t saved. So I had it restored which cost me a pretty penny…. and now here I am again having my dear diary moment again. Maybe it’s a part of me that I just need to have around…
2018 was a mammoth year all round. Time passed quicker than I’ve ever felt and so much happened at home, at work, and to my mental and physical being. I learnt a lot about what my body needs to stay balanced, and I felt its wrath whenever I failed to keep the balance in check.
In 2018, I became a Primary One mother.
Everyone had warned that it’d be stressful, that you’d get sucked into the classic vortex of Singaporean kiasu-ism. I can now see how that can easily happen if you let it. As an old girl of the school, I unwittingly got asked to be a class representative, which to me sounded like a good idea so I’d at least never have an excuse not to know what’s going on with schoolwork or class life.
The daily slew of emails and WhatsApp messages would become a challenge in itself to manage. Keeping up with homework and spelling tests weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be, although I’d credit that to the ‘prep’ we had from pre-school. But keeping up with other parents and the expected communication was tough and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sometimes frustrate me. I also hadn’t expected the changes that I’d see in my little Bug and the emotions I’d now have to manage. It still surprises me how much she wants to talk things through with me and process her feelings, and I guess I love that she allows me to be there for her in that way.
The 5.45am wake up calls were hard though, especially my calls at night sometimes ending beyond midnight. And there were lots more of them to keep up with this year. But part of me has loved being there for her each early morning over breakfast, braiding her hair and getting her down to the school bus on time. I’m sure the memory of giving her a big hug and kiss and waving her off will stick with me as the years go by, especially one day when it is no longer cool to have Mummy send you off.
I’d have a bit of time each morning before Charly woke up. Some mornings, I ran after the bus which Naomi loved. Other mornings, I’d get some time on the mat in before Charly woke up. And I did like being there for my littlest each morning when she opened her bleary eyes and immediately called out for Mama. She’d be yawning and stretching and just being that cuddly baby she loves being.
We had a bit of a routine going too. I’d get her into her uniform and she’d have breakfast before we both set off on our day. She’d wave me off at the corner with so much excitement. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I really love the individual time I could give her this year.
Without a doubt, the biggest progression I experienced in 2018 was on my bike. For years I’d lamented the lack of activity, the longing to feel a passion for a sport again, the melancholy at the lack of any real goals to spur me on. I’ve never really been able to keep to an activity without a goal. But somehow this year without really fixating on any one goal, I found myself finding a lot of joy on the saddle and in a way I never imagined would be possible for me.
When I first started cycling as a young adult, I was obsessed with the fitness and endurance behind it. I was fortunate to already be natural at the balance of things and never had to focus too much on the “how” to mountain bike. So I indexed on climbing and covering long distances, but I was also deathly afraid of all things downhill.
This year, I got to put a lot of the basics I learnt from Whistler and California in previous years to practice. We went to Maydena in Q1 and that lit a fire in my belly to dial up technique which made me have a lot more fun going down than up. I hit my first jumps this year – went out with Hubba one day and just decided it was time to get some air. It was exhilarating! We also went on another DH jaunt in Fall’s Creek later in the year and well, I just feel absolutely hooked and would love to do more gravity riding in the future.
All this has made me rethink my fitness, which is exactly I think having goals and an innate passion is important. Now I’m thinking I’d like to start getting on the trainer when the husband does it, that I want to up my game on the mat… ‘coz the truth is when you want to ride down a big mountain at high speeds, your body and mind both need to have the power, strength, focus, and overall fitness is great for when there aren’t any shuttles to take you up the mountain and you have to peddle your way up.
On a mental front, I’ve really made meditation and yoga an important part of my life. I breathe deeper and I understand there are things I need to do to keep the rest of my life in balance. I’ve also learnt that it’s ok to not control all things in life. That some things will just be and you can’t beat yourself up about what won’t go your way. It’s something I continue to work at every day but I’m glad to say this year end my heart has been a lot happier than it has been in years.
I can’t put a post in without mentioning my best friend and how grateful I am that we’ve learnt to be even more positive and more supportive of one another’s careers and goals, which has in turn brought us to a new level in parenting, I feel.
Some may think otherwise, but I know that we try our hardest to foster the most positive environment that we can for our family. And we hardly think we are amazing at it or halfway done at striving for more, but I love that this year we’ve been on the same page and stood on the same firm rock together.
Having said that, there’s always room for improvement…
So 2019….. Let me at ya.
Janice’s personal goals for 2019
- Sleep better, eat better, learn how to power nap
- Get on the trainer once a week with the husband
- Get two workouts in on the weekend