2017: A Year In Review

So that’s 2017 inches away from being in the rear view mirror, and since I seemingly like to write nonsense for very little reason other than the fun of writing, I thought I’d talk a little bit about 2017. If you’re not very excited about that prospect, then here are some cute pictures of cats if you feel that’s more up your street. Also, if you’re thinking about taking up a New Year’s Resolution, then keep an eye out for a later post in the New Year.

It’s been a rather bizarre year for us. For a start, we had Isabelle, which seems a pretty obvious place to start. And as you may have heard, it didn’t exactly go as I had expected. I’ve wanted Isabelle since 2009, so to finally get to the point where she was delivered in that theatre and placed on Rachel’s chest was one of the most surreal moments of my life.

I’d seen babies being born hundreds of times thanks to One Born Every Minute (something you watch much more of when you’re pregnant), but having it happen in front of you is just weird. What happened next was something I’d never thought would happen. I had postnatal depression. I’m not going to talk about that a whole lot here, I’ve done plenty of that this year as it is, and if you’re a long time reader, I dare say it will bore you. If you’ve never read anything from me before, then you can read that story here.

First one
Our first picture together! Isabelle seems like a totally different baby here

What Else Did We Do?

We actually did quite a lot this year with Isabelle. For one, we did an awful lot of travelling. In total, we went to the following places: Weston-super-Mare, Bournemouth, Salisbury, Glastonbury, Birmingham, Blackpool, Newcastle, the North SeaAmsterdam, Hinckley Island and Pembroke. We even went up to London to appear on This Morning, which as you can imagine was totally bizarre. Every now and then I just sit there, look at Rachel and go “remember when we were on This Morning?” in a joking, disbelieving tone. Here we are on there:

Never thought Isabelle would get to tick “bite Amanda Holden” off her bucket list, but life is full of weird surprises.

So yeah, in essence, we got about quite a bit. Had it not been for the fact I wanted to keep annual leave for 2018, and had we had a load more cash, we would’ve gone away a lot more. Isabelle absolutely loves being in a new hotel, so unfortunately I have to shell out to keep the little bugger happy. It’s probably not a good habit to get into, but we’ve started now, so I guess we’ll just have to keep travelling.

Blackpool
A typical reaction of Isabelle being in a hotel

 

I’ll be honest, most of what has happened this year has revolved around Isabelle. Which is probably pretty normal for the first year of having a child. It’s also not something that I want to moan about, I love dedicating a lot of my time to Isabelle and Rachel. Although in fairness, if I didn’t, then chances are we wouldn’t last much longer as a family and divorce would very much be on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, statistically speaking, that’s very likely to be the end result of all of this anyway, but as of this writing I’m happy being a married dad of one.

Personal Growth

I personally feel like I’ve grown quite a lot as a person this year. I’m always trying to give myself more perspective and I’m in constant pursuit of changing the way I think about almost every topic. I’ve absorbed myself in the history of WWI via the Dan Carlin Hardcore History podcast, which has helped me look at adversity with much more clarity. When you hear about the things people went through, and the conditions they found themselves in, it really does help put your life into better perspective. However bad we have it in the Western world, it really is the easiest way of life any humans have had since the beginning of our existence. Never lose sight of that.

Looking Ahead to 2018

2018 is going to be another strange year. For start, it won’t be long and Rachel will be back in work. It won’t be until the end of March where’s she in full time (albeit only 3 days a week) so we have some time before childcare becomes an actual issue. Either way, this coming year will see me actually have to look after Isabelle on my own for a prolonged period of time; Rachel works 12 hours shifts, so if I have her for the day, I really have her for the whole day.

Ill admit, there’s one half of me that’s a little nervous about it, and the other half that thinks I’ll be fine. I’m someone who likes my alone time. I like solitude, and I really struggle without it. So being faced with having Isabelle all day on my own is quite daunting. But I also know that I just have to get over it and do my job as a dad.

I also know that Isabelle is constantly changing, and with every passing day she grows closer and closer to becoming an actual person. I know, she already is a person, but let’s face it, a baby isn’t really a person, they’re just a baby. You can’t talk with a baby, you can’t get much out of a baby, but as they grow so does their personality. In the beginning I felt more connected and got more out of our dogs than Isabelle, but now she’s started to pass them and I can actually see more of a person in her. I know all of what I just said sounds stupid, but it makes sense to me, and that’s the main thing.

Well, I guess that’s all for now. If you really want to see how my 2018 goes, then you can subscribe to the website via one of the widgets, either along the side or underneath this post (depending on whether you’re on mobile or desktop), or you can just follow me on Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram.

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