SLIDER

My Mid-Life Gap Year

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It’s New year’s Day. 2013. I’m sitting here in the sunshine at our beach house. I’m in my bathing suit with my hair pulled back, and feeling lovely and cool after a long, relaxing swim in the sea.


What does this new year hold for me? I love to look at the calendar stretching out before me with all those blank days, wondering how I am going to fill them up – what new things will come to me in them? How will I have grown and changed and developed by this same day next year.
We will hopefully be in our new home. Our long home – the one we want to stay in until we retire. Our family home that the children will grow up in and remember. Where they’ll bring their friends back after school, and where we’ll celebrate all the milestones of childhood and family.
Just before Christmas we bought a section in Bethlehem – one of the last. It’s on a busy corner, but only a short walk away from the school and the shops and the doctor and dentist. So different to what we are used to, but we are ready for it. We’re enjoying the change and not having ties to the land or animals.
For me, personally, I am ready to put 2012 behind me. It has been a tumoultuous year for me – a year of change and a year of learning to grasp the preciousness of life and of time. A year of revelation and a year of inner struggle. I am looking forward to reaping the benefits of that struggle and putting the mistakes of the past behind me.
I am starting up my Glad Game blog again. I want to find the good in all the days of the year. I’m not going to commit to a photo for it everyday though – that was my undoing at the beginning of this year, but just sometimes include a picture. I think that’s acheivable.
I also want to get back into more blogging. I really struggled with it this year to find the time and the inclination, but one of my goals this year is to focus on my writing and developing my own style and voice. Blogging is a great outlet for this – not for my serious writing, but for the discipline of writing, so I am going to aim to do every two days, and every three days if I’m really going through a busy patch.
I’m joining the local writers group – they specialise in getting new writers off the ground, so I think the encouragement and mentoring will help.
So my writing is going to become my priority this year.
I’m also looking forward to cultivating new friendships. One thing I have learned this last year is that true friends are rare. A real friend should be a positive influence in your life – someone who supports you and appreciates you. I might not be Miss Popularity or Miss Life-and-soul-of-the-party, but everyone, even the boring, quiet ones deserve love and friendship. It’s just finding out where they are, and knowing that kinship when soul meets soul.
At the end of this year, my life is probably going to change. I’m anticipating at least 3 years of study and work ahead of me, so this year is like my Gap Year. A gap year for the middle aged.  I’m finding myself – though I hate that term, and developing things that I should have developed when I was 20 – but I’m glad I’m still young-ish and maybe I’ll appreciate it more now that it’s had to come the hard way.

I’m looking forward to seeing my children grow and develop at Bethlehem College. I know it’s not perfect, but we are still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of a new school, I guess. And Alice is starting at her new kindy. Kindy School – as she calls it. It’s situated at the gates of Bethlehem College, and I only just learned a few weeks ago that children who go through the college from kindy to graduation, get special acknowledgment when they leave school. That will be nice for one of my children to have.
I hope the start of the New Year has been a wonderful one for you – and that as you think about the days ahead they are filled with hope and anticipation. I always feel that at the beginning of the year, even though I am old enough to know that life can throw in diversions and unplanned and sometimes unwelcome events, I am hopeful that 2013 will be a better year for me.

5 comments :

liz said...

Lovely thoughts and images of the year to come. I do love putting up the calender here too. All those pages to fill with memories.
Hoping here that 2013 is a better year too.
Oh and I am very envious of the bathing suit, Summer seems a long way off here, but Spring is not so far away.
Happy New Year to you and your family xx

Heather L. said...

Happy New Year! Love the quote on top of your blog!! I hope that you have a very wonderful year and that you are able to put a lot of the things that happened in 2012 behind you. Can't wait to hear and see more about your new house!!!

mother of pearl said...

Happy New Year! Wishing you and yours all God's best in the coming year.

I really enjoy reading your blog, so I'm glad to hear you say you are planning to write more on it.

MandaBurms said...

I was pleased to say goodbye to 2012 too. Looking forward to reading more of your blogging. Sounds like some intersting new things coming your way whoop whoop.
Love Leanne

Jennifer said...

Happy 2013 to you, Rachel!

I certainly hope it will be a very good year for you and your family. It is exciting to hear you have bought a section and are looking forward to putting down roots!

I love that photo of the lanterns in the foreground with the sea behind it - beautiful. I am missing the NZ summer right now!

Looking forward to reading your blog posts this year - you write so well.

Best wishes, Jennifer

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