Has it been a big December for you? It has for me. So much so, I’ve had to make some tough decisions about the workload I take on next year. I do love the mix of what I do and I will have all children in school next year, which technically means I will have more time…but there are new avenues I want to explore and sometimes you have to let go of a few things, to make way for the new.
December has been a big month and I can’t believe its 10 days till Christmas and that we’re in the middle of the month. This time last year, we were on a plane to America. Where has the year gone?
I thought I’d share what has happened over the last month or so.
Let’s wind back to November, because December starts in November now. It’s the start to the end of year craziness.
I work part-time from home and I also work for myself as a freelance writer. I enjoy the mix of work and while I’m not on the tools, I still keep in touch with plumbers and also help some with their social media and blog content for their websites. It helps that I know what to write because of my plumbing background and because The Plumbette is my resume.
I’ve also been helping create content for some of my favourite interior blogs too, which was a goal I had 2 years ago. I haven’t sought these opportunities, they’ve literally fallen into my lap through networking. I’m so grateful for these opportunities.
With my part-time job, recognition is always celebrated. On Melbourne Cup, I received an award for my conversations with customers. It was lovely to be taken out for lunch and given an award.
I was also nominated for an experience where you could spend a day with a head of in our company. I was nominated while in New Zealand, and came back to an email to say I had been chosen. I spent the day in Central Plaza 1 with Head of our Contact Centres, Cath Stewart. It was a day of back-to-back meetings and getting to see our city contact centre.
It helped me understand directions delivered from the leadership when assisting customers and some of the issues discussed were items I had an opinion on because I’d experienced them in the frontline of the company. It was a great day and again, you can never underestimate the power of networking.
Life has been busy on the family front too. These past two weeks have been full of celebrations, catch-ups and end of year events.
Last weekend, we celebrated my grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary.
Such a wonderful occasion to celebrate, although it hasn’t been easy going to get to this milestone. They never had a cake when they got married, so it was special to have this cake made for the day by JoJo’s Treat House. After that celebration, we drove down to Ballina to see Jacob’s side of the family. There have been health issues on multiples sides of the family which have prevented travel interstate.
Unfortunately, due to work and having the girls involved in Christmas performances, we only had a small window of opportunity to catch up before Christmas Day. I’m glad we were able to get down to see them.
Kids and End of Year Events
This week, Phoebe graduated from Kindy. I had to be in two places at once and busted a sweat – literally – to make both events.
While I was sad it would be the last time ever being at Kindy, I also felt sweet relief. Next year is the first year of the 1 drop off instead of 3 or 2 sometimes 4 if Jacob’s bus to work decided to not show up.
Phoebe is so ready for school. She had her transition afternoon and I was excited to see parents who I’ve known in our street, or have recently met, have their kids in Phoebe’s class.
Phoebe was happy to be in the same classroom Maggie was in Prep. Me, not so much as it’s one of the furthest classrooms in the school. But, the extra walking may help with the extra 5kgs I’ve gained from doing the quick drive thru drop off and pick up.
My two oldest girls have thrived in their second semester of school. When I received their report cards this week, I swelled with pride on their results, but more so their behavior and application to studies.
We had end of year parties and the school concert. I didn’t get photos because of the rush and being too far away from the stage. I took photos of food though. You can see the fruit platter I made, and the Rudolph Treats, which were able to be stored in a fridge before serving to the kids.
I was looking forward to my work Christmas party, which was held at the Brisbane Convention Centre on Friday night. I organised a hotel room at Ridges Southbank and what a great way to celebrate a big year, with colleagues I trained with when I first got my job.
In fact, I first met Sarah and Tash in the foyer, outside the lifts while we waited to go through for the group interview. We got along instantly and how fabulous it was to find out we all got the job.
I met Mands when we started training and we were meant to be friends. We don’t see each other very often due to working from home and being in different teams, but we had the best night and how good is it being with other mums who understand balancing work and family life?
From now till Christmas, we have Christmas performances at church and Southbank Piazza. I have another team Christmas party to go to, an MRI and back to back work shifts right till Christmas Eve. It’s still busy, but what blessing spending time with those we love.
People to keep in your prayers
While it’s a busy month for all of us, it can be an emotional month too. The loss of family members, a marriage breakdown or the unexpected health diagnosis can remind us life is fragile. Life can change in one moment. It’s important to be grateful and celebrate wins, but it’s also important to look out for others and offer care and assistance to those needing it.
For some of my friends, this Christmas will be the first without a special member of their family. Send them a kind thought and prayer to let them know you’re thinking of them.
I’d love for you to pray and if so inclined, help my friend Lauren and her husband Marcel. It was only a few years ago I had Lauren over in our playroom and were catching up about life. She shared their family dream of owning a dental surgery. That dream came to be, but an unexpected diagnosis and immediate surgery has thrown a spanner in the works for this family. If you want to help a family with medical costs due to an unexpected medical diagnosis, a go fund me page has been set up.
The recent volcano eruption in New Zealand has also had a ripple effect on friends and work colleagues who knew victims from the event. Such a horrific event that makes my own heart ache at the loss, and unexpectedness of it all.
In amongst the busyness, I pray for eyes that see. There are many hurting amongst us and sometimes I can be blinded by my own agenda, and forget there are people aching – needing a smile, hug, prayer, encouragement, meal, Christmas gift or some time out because they’re struggling with burdens God never intended for them to carry.
Life can be a mixed ride for all of us, but we’re in this together, and knowing someone sees what we’re going through… I think it can make all the difference.