Forever Begins Today

Neil Baldwin

Every year we make resolutions that we fail to keep.

We promise ourselves faithfully that we will lose weight, stop smoking, drink less, spend less, save more, get fit, etc etc

We celebrate the end of the of the year by getting totally trollied. We dance about, cry a bit and Big Ben’s dongs are usually drowned out by the strangulated sound of somebody barfing their Shiraz up all over the cream carpet.

First resolution is that we will never drink again!

This resolution usually fails within a week, especially if the Coop have a deal on.

I’ve had my share of heaving down the toilet, we’ve all been there, right? But thanks to my menopause, a pint of beer is now my limit and I’d had it by 8pm so I saw the New Year in with a mug of Horlicks!

So I was able to ponder 2014 with sober eyes and it was a memorable year for me and my clan.

It was the year that my youngest son was diagnosed with autism. With a statement in place and excellent support from school, he is thriving.

My eldest son made his TV and film debut and was nominated for best actor in theater awards. One of the other nominees was only Kenneth bloody Branagh!! Branagh won (the bastard) but C was just happy to be there. To be nominated for best actor only three years after leaving drama school aint bad at all, folks!

My son, K, held his first photography exhibition in London and passed his university course with flying colours. Clever boy! Gets it from me? Er, no. He knows how a camera works, I just click and hope.

My step-daughter, C, qualified as a hairdresser and having fantasized about being 18 since she was 13, decided she wanted to be 13 again having reached 18 to find that it involved having to pay board – which she found a bit shite. I had to cough up half my YTS money to Ma so I felt her pain.

We finally got the lurcher spayed, so now there are two menopausal bitches in the house!

After a three year break from driving (due to malfunctioning hormones) I started to drive again.


And finally, on Christmas Day, K and his girlfriend ‘face-timed’ me with the news that he’d popped THE question and the fool said YES so I’m to be a mother-in-law! *preens*

Unfortunately, prior to the call, I’d been watching The SnowmanΒ and when he melted, so did my face. I had a full emotional breakdown at my son’s announcement, ON SCREEN and in front of her PARENTS!! Damn technology!!

I’ve always wanted to be a mum. I remember wanting to be a hairdresser when I was about 15 but that was because I had to do something as ‘dole’ wasn’t in Ma’s vocabulary and it was becoming obvious that Nick Rhodes wasn’t going to marry me. 😦

I’ve worked in pot-banks, been a nursery nurse, a school caretaker, packed drugs (that’s pharmaceutical drugs I’m not Mimi Maguire, dear!)Β  and I’ve cleaned bogs for a living but the best job of all is being a mum.

Watching my boys grow up has been the joy of my life. They think I’m a tit at times. They even tell me I’m being a tit occasionally (and I can be a bit of a tit) I’m complex but they know that as long as I live and breathe (and beyond) I’ll always love them. I hope this paragraph will earns me some extra TLC in my dotage..

So, I’m going to gain another daughter. She knows were all insane in this family and still wants in, so she’ll do for me! I hope she’s as happy about gaining me!

Yes, life can be good but, sadly, it’s not always the case..

In 2014, four stories affected me deeply.

The first was of Stephen Sutton – a terminally ill young man who spent the last months of his life raising money for charity. He raised over Β£4.96 million. I was humbled by his selflessness.

The second was the story of the amazing Neil Baldwin, the former Stoke City kit man, featured in the inspirational BBC film Marvellous.

The third was the tragic death of Aussie cricketer Phil Hughes who died after being struck on the neck by a cricket ball.

The forth happened a few days before Christmas…

Reports on the radio started coming in that a bin lorry had gone out of control in Glasgow and several pedestrians had been seriously injured. As the tragedy unfolded, the gravity of what had taken place became shockingly apparent. Six people were dead and many injured. For me, the saddest part of this tragedy is the woman who is thought to have stopped to use a cash machine and witnessed her mother, father and 18 year old daughter fatally injured after being struck by the lorry.

I have no idea how someone can even begin to deal with that much sadness.

I can’t make sense of it but if I’m to take anything from such a tragic story, it’s to remind myself that life is unpredictable and precious. We all think we have time but unfortunately life has other ideas.

A new year is the chance to start afresh but so is every day. If every year is a new book, then every day is a fresh page on which to write our story. We may not be able to control what life throws at us but it’s completely up to us how we write it.

I have only one resolution this year… to be happy with what I have today because that’s all that I can be sure of.

I hope 2015 is kind to you all.



28 thoughts on “Forever Begins Today

    • Thank you. It’s easy to get caught up in life’s plans..we always seem to be working ahead of ourselves and that means we often miss out on living in the moment because our minds are elsewhere. x

  1. Wow 2014 sounds like it was quite a year for you. The Glasgow bin lorry tragedy was so awful though and that lady’s story was particularly tragic. It is so important to enjoy the here and now – we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

    • I really took that story to was incredibly sad.
      We really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I know I’m standing here, drinking my coffee, answering your comment…that’s all I can be sure of. x

  2. Such a great 1st blog of the year for you Tracy. You are really quite inspirational and what’s more you don’t realise it! You flip bad into good, you don’t WINGE about your trials & tribulations with the little man and his autism, you look positively at the help you will be getting. Comparing your hormones with the dog LOL!! You personally deserve all good things that come your way hopefully in 2015, Tracy. Family’s are our lives and the only things we can have some control over, the wider world is a much bigger picture, how unjust does it seem, especially after the Paris hideous murdering crimes. Sometimes I have to blank the deeper matters, they are just to big to deal with. We could scare ourselves silly, is Ebola going to get us all, I must be ignorant as I had never heard of the virus before. The same was the Tusnami 10 years ago, 10….really? I had never heard of that name until it happened, is that going to happen again? Therefore we should embrace our family’s, enjoy our times

    • Thanks Sheerie, I know what you’re saying about the news. I try to stay away from it as it affects me too much but sometimes I can’t. I have my whingy moments like anyone but I’ve found that humour helps me to cope. It’s therapeutic to laugh. However, somethings just can’t be laughed at (in my book anyway) and those things affect me deeply to the point of OH turning my laptop and the news off.
      I hope 2015 is good to you and yours, lovely. xXxXx

  3. Sounds like a busy year! I liked reading your round up. The tragic events you mention really struck me too. Just when you’re busy with family life (and grumbling slightly about it as I do), something like that suddenly comes on the news and your world stops spinning for a moment while you remind yourself about the important things in life.

  4. Oh my days, this has given me goosebumps. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, you threw in a punch with the final paragraph. I wholeheartedly agree with your philosophy of ‘why wait until new year to make changes/be happy’. Indeed! So many lovely memories for you in 2014. I didn’t know about the cash machine fate of the surviving family member in Glasgow and it really does make you want to hug your loved ones so close. Thanks for reaffirming the need to grab it with both hands πŸ™‚

  5. As always, a wonderful piece of writing that had me smiling and sniffling in equal measure. Firstly, huge congratulations to you and your boys. How lovely to hear what an amazing year they have both had, and by extension, you too.
    Two of my friends have an office that overlooks George Square, and that stretch of road is somewhere I have walked hundreds, if not thousands, of times having gone to Uni in Glasgow. My blood ran cold when I read that news story, and as one of those friends pointed out, it came almost exactly a year after the Clutha pub tragedy. These things really do put life in perspective. Your final quote is quite perfect.
    Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt and a very Happy New Year to you. Wishing you all good things for 2015 x

    • It’s cruel that the city should have been united in grief so soon after the Clutha crash. It’s one of those random things which forces the point home that it could happen to any one of us at any time. Worlds can be turned upside down in a few seconds and it has far reaching effects. I hope your friends are OK, it must have been a terrible shock for them…
      Hope 2015 is kind to you and yours X

  6. What a fantastic post – and what a year! You have so much to be proud of from 2014. I’m sure you will be a great MIL – it’s good that you are feeling so positive about it, that’s a really good start.
    Those news stories were all so moving and incredibly shocking and they really do remind us that we never know how much time any of us have got left.
    (Belated) Happy new year to you all.

  7. You and your family have had some amazing achievements this year! To be nominated alongside Kenneth Branagh! Just WOW! And you’re right about making the most of today – you never know what’s around the corner. I would say ‘Happy New Year’ but it’s nearly the end of january (how did that happen?!) and it seems a bit late! xx

    • Thanks Maddy, I still can’t quite believe it. My son talks about famous actors and actresses (and directors) that he working with and I’m totally star-struck whereas he’s totally calm about it lol
      It’s still January (just) so Happy New Year to you and yours as well. Hope it brings lots of good things. πŸ™‚ xx

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