The Mum Network

Was 2011 A Good Year or a Bad One, I Can’t Make Up My Mind.

Found myself today thinking “I can’t wait for this year to be over, what a shitty year it’s been” then I thought about it, why? I really don’t have a lot to complain about and whilst it’s been a tough year for many, I can’t say it’s been as bad as some have it.

When I looked at the list of good things vs bad things that have happened this year, it’s not been too bad.

1. Quit job, started a new company – Good thing
2.  Sister had a baby, I was asked to be Godmother – Good thing
3. Bought a new car – self indulgent good thing
4. Travelled a lot to USA, New Zealand, China and about to go to Malaysia – Good thing
5. Little brother getting married in December – good thing
6. Managed to be good mother and attend school excursion and school swimming carnival – good thing
7. Eldest child has started eating apples again – good thing


  1. Youngest child hospitalized twice with very serious illness – bad thing
  2. Close relative diagnosed with cancer – bad thing

Two bad things have completely overshadowed 7 really big great things which made me decide 2011 was a crappy year.

When discussing this with the crew internally here Josi in our office said “the negative always overshadows the positive” which is true, we all have a propensity to remember the crappy things that happen to us rather than the good things. Brent in our office said he classifies a good year as:  1. If you’ve done anything significant that year 2. If you have money in the bank. Our office manager Cathrine, said she’s never thought about it and simply lives in the now. She admits that she’s not a particularly deep person though so this doesn’t really cross her mind.

Perhaps we’re conditioned to be negative rather than positive people but we also put things on a scale and our health is much more important than anything else. My two negative things that have happened this year also involve people I care about, not material things. They are way more important than anything material.

Years ago I used to write a Christmas letter to all my friends and family with an update on the year that was. My sister called it my FIGJAM letter, which stood for F*** I’m Good, Just Ask Me. I stopped writing it because I report my entire life on facebook daily, no one needed a summary of my facebook feed. Secondly, the year I stopped was the year I didn’t have a major project in the works and nothing major had happened that year….

Not sure about anyone else but I have a propensity to need a ‘project’ at all times. Not being busy doesn’t suit me, I start bitching and whinging about simple things like housework when I’m not busy enough, it’s very unappealing. I also think this is why I have so many kids, not only do I have ‘puppy syndrome’ (I love love love newborns) but when I look at the last 8 years of what I was up to at the end of the year, it generally involves being pregnant, having a newborn in the house or a wedding (our lot are good at planning weddings around the most expensive time of year, I did it too, who on earth has a wedding anniversary on January 3!!!

Xmas 2004 – Just had baby no 1
Xmas 2005 – Was pregnant with no 2
Xmas 2006 – Had two kids under 2 (was itching for no 3)
Xmas 2007 – Just had baby no 3
Xmas 2008 – Had a very new important job
Xmas 2009 – Secretly pregnant with baby no 4 and lil sis got married on Dec 30.
Xmas 2010 – Just had baby no 4
Xmas 2011 –Little brother getting married

Nope, not pregnant with baby no 5 at the moment but perhaps that’s why I felt a bit empty at the end of this year. No new babies to look forward to? Not sure, it’s certainly got something to do with it but unlike the Duggar family who are expecting their 20th child, I will not being going much past the number of fingers I have on one hand so I’m going to have to find something else to keep me busy each year to ensure that I’m not feeling that ‘got to have another baby’ feeling I seem to get around Xmas time.

Either way, I’ve decided to turn my 2011 Annus Horribilis into a positive that we have had a good year, we’re happy. With health being the one thing that’s most important to all of us, we’re supporting our family who need it most and that still sucks, in fact it’s not fair. My little boy is on the mend and will be ok and that’s the most important thing. It could have been worse.

When you’re thinking about the year that was, perhaps try to think about those who aren’t as fortunate as you and turning the negatives into positives. There will always be things that make you think you’ve had a shit life but perhaps compare it to others and realize how lucky you really are.

That’s all.


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