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This morning I went for my now regular walk with a wonderful group of mum’s who are all trying to support & encourage each other. It was a beautiful morning, sun shining, happy people around me (even through the staggered breathing after jogging intervals!) I went back to my car. I was a little pissed with myself that I didn’t do better. Then I thought to myself how extremely lucky I am even just to be here, on this beautiful earth. Others get taken away from us too soon.

My family lost two wonderful people in the last half of 2011. The first was my dog, Bowie (I know, not a person. But she was the first child I ever had. I know there are people out there who understand me). She was only just 11 years old. Faithful as a dog ever could be. Happy to see you when you returned home, ready for a play with anyone who would give her time and she seemed to understand that I couldn’t always have time for her while running around after 3 kids. But at the end of the day, we would snuggle on the couch and be in peace. One late September evening, she had a massive stroke & while overnight at the vet’s passed away, without us being able to say goodbye. I was heartbroken and I think I always will be.

The second person was my husband’s cousin & new friend to me, Claudia. Not only was she family but she also taught at my son’s school. She made the transition from Kindy to Reception easy for him. She may not have even known it. He didn’t even want to go to school but we kept reminding him that he already knew some of the kids and not only that, he had a cousin there in Claudia, who would look out for him. She would be there if he ever needed it. He never really said too much to her but he always told me how thrilled he was to be related to her, the coolest teacher at school. Everyone loved her! Claudia passed away just before Christmas a few weeks ago. But she does live on in her gorgeous and sweet little boy.

Losing anyone close to you is hard. Losing people who mean a lot more than they will ever know is just a little bit harder. I never told Bowie how much her company meant to me all those lonely nights while my hubby was away, before & after we had kids. I never got to tell Claudia that she made my son love school a little more, just because she was there & I never got to know her as much as I would have liked too.

I will be thinking of these two a lot this year as I go through my little journey called “Life”. I will remember that I am still here and I need to make the most of the life I have, I need to love and appreciate the people who are in it and I need to learn not to sweat the small stuff. The small stuff doesn’t matter in the end. The people you love do. This includes yourself.

I will look forward and face life head on, being confident and courageous and still having some fun along the way.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.” – Dale Carnegie