At the beginning of the year my word was notice. 2015 was the year that I was going to notice more around me and see things with new eyes. If I’m honest, a better fitting word to describe this year would have been battle.
I’ve battled to spend quiet time with God.
I’ve battled to keep up with learning new things.
I’ve battled to make time for Jacob as I work at night and mother during the day.
I’ve battled to make healthy food choices. I’m addicted to sugar or anything quick that I can eat on the run.
I’ve had a few battles going on behind the scenes of this blog. There are always the battles of time and wondering if your blog really makes a difference to others, but then there have been the battles of ownership and this year I had to be honest about whether I could let my blog go if a particular situation couldn’t be resolved. It’s been a year of questioning my intentions and wondering whether my heart has been in the right place.
And I believe it has, but the battle also showed me my weaknesses. And although it was hard to go through, I also know I’m better for having gone through it. I’m hoping 2016 will be smoother sailing. I’m not a fan of confrontation, unless it has to be done, and this year, it had to be done. And I’m glad it’s done.
So 2015 had a battle going on that many of you didn’t realise was happening. And it’s nearly resolved. I wish my opponent all the best in their endeavours for 2016. My intention was never to stop their progress, but simply protect what I’ve built here and to ensure it can keep growing.
Other battles that I faced throughout the year were time. Never having enough time to do all the things I needed to do to keep the blogs going and to ensure my family was well looked after. But I somehow managed and I’m hoping I remember this for next year when I feel stressed for lack of time. It all gets done in the end.
There were financial battles due to a mix of unfortunate events and unexpected surprises.
But the year was also littered with rewards and happy moments.
After the wins at Kidspot last year, The Plumbette was named as part of the Alumni – featured alongside some of the best bloggers in Australia. I probably have the smallest readership out of all the Alumni, but The Plumbette earned a place and for that I was grateful. It also became my encouragement when I felt down about my battles.
Another surprise during the year was being asked if The Plumbette could be archived by the National Library of Australia on their Pandora Web Archive, which means all posts by The Plumbette are archived in the present and the future.
Despite not being on the tools much this year – unless it was reviewing a product or doing some sort of maintenance at home or Esther’s kindy, I was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald at the beginning of the year and various other online blogs including Be a Fun Mum, Outstanding Women in traditionally masculine fields with Choices Flooring and on Steel Heels on being a pregnant plumber. I also did my first podcast with Tradies Business Show.
In September Nicole (The Builder’s Wife) and I started Home Improvement Thursdays (#HIT) which hasn’t gone as well as we’d hoped but we will continue to hold the link up in the New Year and see what happens. The blogging sphere is about to be infiltrated with building and renovation style blogs. 2016 is going to be the year of the Trade and Building Blogs. I’m excited to see what and who will emerge and for this reason #HIT will continue to give these blogs a chance to build their profile and readership.
Last month I had the honour of sharing my journey to being a plumber and why I started The Plumbette, at Parliament House. That morning would have to be a highlight of my year because I realized, if I hadn’t become a plumber, I wouldn’t have the blog or the amazing opportunities that have come my way. It’s truly amazing where a trade career can take you.
What you may not have known is I also write for other websites. A good blogging friend of mine put my name forward to do some freelance writing work. I got the work and it’s been a blessing to have a small income each week while I build The Plumbette and my other blog, Styled by Bec. It hasn’t been easy keeping all my ships afloat, but I’ve managed. Doing this work for the last 9 months has been rewarding and I have now been asked to be the editor of two of the sites next year which is exciting and daunting. I hope I will be able to manage it all.
In amongst the work was family life. Esther started Kindy which was new and exciting, and unusual having two little ones at home. A highlight for Esther was not only going to Kindy, but also turning 5 and going to see the Mister Maker show where she was picked out from the audience to be part of the show. It took all my willpower to stop Maggie from joining her up on stage.
Jacob and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We headed away… with the kids to Byron Bay and had the best time. It’s amazing how much life can be lived in 10 years. Bring on the next 10, 20, 30 years plus.
At the beginning of the year Phoebe was only 6 months old and could only sit and then she learned to crawl and now at the end of 2015 she runs. Fast. It’s crazy that Phoebe has grown from a baby into a toddler in less than a year. We celebrated her 1st Birthday in style with a Tiffany and Co party. She was also dedicated at church in October.
The days seem to be busy and exhausting looking after two toddlers and a 5 year old. I will admit there are days that I wish my younger two were more independent, but then I have moments where I don’t want them to grow at all because of their cuteness and their ability to make me stop and reassess my priorities.
I haven’t quite thought about my goals for the New Year. I suspect just to survive each challenge as it’s thrown at me will be an achievement. I do want to relax a little more and be less highly strung.
I’m so very grateful for what this year has brought me – even the battles. I’m grateful for my thorn because it gave me new perspective on what I value in life and I wish them the best for 2016.
Of course, I have to thank you all for coming to read my blog each week. I love writing and being able to encourage or share my different views on things, and I love that even if you don’t agree with me, you respond with love. Which is how it should be.
Next year the blog will still be very similar to what it is now, but more of a focus on faith and encouragement for female plumbers and tradies. I hope I can share wisdom from what I learned as an apprentice and plumber and share different perspectives to assist tradies in thinking differently when it comes to work and working alongside female tradespeople. I hope what I share can be reflected in all industries that are male dominated. I will always share my family life and personal reflections because they are some of my favourite posts to write.
If you’re interested in reading my Top 5 posts for the year, here they are. Chocolate, blogging and house finance were the main contenders.
Overall 2015 has been a good year. It didn’t trump 2014, but I don’t think each year is meant to trump the last, only spur us onward to be better and do better with the lot we’ve been given.
How was your 2015? What are you looking forward to in 2016?