One Year. Not much in the scheme of life but today marks 365 days since I first pressed publish on my website and CheltenhamMaman HQ opened it’s imaginary doors. That’s something worth blogging about don’t you think?
It’s been one of the strangest, best, most exciting, most disconcerting, quickest, slowest, busiest and most creative years of my life and much like motherhood overall the days have been long but that year has been so short.
The idea was just a flicker – one of those ones you get whilst trying to fall asleep but that you’ve usually forgotten come morning and though you remember that you thought of something that had the potential to be life changing the detail escapes you. This one was too important to forget and for once I stood up and wrote it down. Of course as soon as I’d done that there was never any way I’d get to sleep – the ideas continued to buzz around my head and grew and grew and grew and over the next few months it was to a lesser extent my new human baby that kept me awake through the night and more so my new business baby.
I’ve done a lot in this year. Always at the forefront I’ve been a parent – not always a great one but always decent, definitely decent.
I’ve made more really good friends than I’ve made in the first 34 years that preceded this one last year. My pre CM friends remain and some of those friendships have grown so much stronger – particularly with those who have been behind me and supported me on every one of those 365 days. I’ve tried really hard to continue to listen and give as much to a friendship as I take but I’ve been a needy friend this last year.
I’ve hosted 17 events (and jointly hosted countless walks in the park) and learned something from every single one. My favourite? Impossible to say but I walked away with the most satisfaction after the Maman Moon Meet at Studio 13. Why? Because I could see it had made a real difference to most of the people who came.
I’ve made introductions that have grown into friendships and helped people to feel less alone like I felt 14 years ago. I’ve made introductions that have grown into business collaborations that have been the start of something special.
I’ve written a lot and I’ve read a lot. I’ve discovered that writing has always been my passion but that my blocker has been longevity and commitment to one single story. Maybe I have a book in me but for now my little stories and recollections are satisfying the creative side of my brain. I’ve read blogs that have introduced me to new ways of thinking, of mothering and of being.
I’ve struggled with the way people perceive me and in the same breath I’ve found the courage to be my actual self not the person people expect me to be or want me to be. I’ve cried and I’ve laughed almost in equal measure.
I’ve stopped pretending that CheltenhamMaman is a massive entity, hugely successful with teams of busy worker bees keeping the wheels in motion. Instead I’ve learned that authenticity is all that matters and that my vulnerability is what makes me unique (this has been one of the hardest adjustments.)
I’ve won two awards. The first I won with all of you lot – all of you writers and readers and listeners and speakers. Great highs always followed by inevitable lows as I question what happens next. What does happen next? Ideas on a postcard people…….
I’ve got a few more months to make this work. Thanks for ALL of your support so far. Cross your fingers for me and Happy Birthday to CheltenhamMaman.