Starting as I mean to go on

It’s 1 January 2014.

Having spent New Year’s Eve with good friends at The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale (great pub by the way), I rolled in at 3am with my gold shoes fully in tact, ate some cheese and crackers and then woke up five hours later wearing my mouse onesie (it includes a hood which is the head of a mouse) lying on a coat hanger with a false eyelash stuck to my cheek and a contact lens on my neck. This is not the way I had imagined ‘starting as I meant to go on’.

So I took control. It was throwing down with rain so I pulled on my best lycra and went for a run to St John’s Wood. I felt so good afterwards – fresh, energised and proud. I was also very wet.

2013 had its ups and downs.

In Feburary I was made redundant. Although I’d known for six months, when the time came I just felt so rubbish. I always thought redundancy was something that happened to other people and certainly not to me. New jobs aren’t that easy to come by but after two days of being formally unemployed I was offered a great job which I’m looking to grow even further in 2014. I have a great boss and a chance to really make a difference.

In April I took a tumble on a Ryanair flight due to a slippery floor outside the toilet and badly sprained my ankle. The crew weren’t at all interested and didn’t offer me any support during the flight. I turned up at my friend’s wedding in Ireland with my ankle strapped up and a pair of shoes I couldn’t fit my foot into. Following some great physio sessions I’m now back on track and am never flying with Ryanair again!

In June my dad was admitted to hospital unexpectedly and within five days had open heart surgery. He had complications and was taken back into theatre. It was the longest and most intense week of my life with the 24hrs of him being in a medically induced coma the most stressful I’ve ever experienced. I genuinely don’t know how I got through it but somehow knowing I needed to be strong for my mum and sister gave me the fight. Sitting with dad in intensive care watching the machines and drips do their thing made me feel completely out of control. And when I took the call in the middle of the night to say his condition had deteriorated, he was losing pints of blood and that they needed to take him back to theatre, I was physically sick. My dad has always been my hero and there was nothing I could do to make him better. The good news is that the amazing team at Morriston hospital in Swansea were able to mend his broken heart. The NHS is often given a hard time but the team in the Cardiac Care centre are truly exceptional. Truly. And now we have our dad back and his wounds have healed well enough for us to be able to hug him. Lots.

So all’s well that ends well and in spite of those pretty significant lows, some particular highlights were:

Rekindling my enjoyment of fitness and losing almost two stone in the last three months of 2013. I have two amazing personal trainers who motivate me and encourage me. I’m really excited about what we’ll be able to achieve with my lifestyle in 2014.

Doing lots of firsts: my first ballet (The Nutcracker); my first opera (Madam Butterfly); climbing a mountain in Scotland; visiting the Lake District with friends; organising my first ever tweet up; going to the ladies’ final at Wimbledon and shaking Tim Henman’s hand; ladies’ day at Ascot; receiving public praise from our CEO. The list goes on.

Meeting so many new friends with whom I’ve been lucky enough to create new experiences and memories. And of course the ones who always stick by me through the rough and the smooth. I have a lot of love in my life and am truly thankful for that gift.

So what are my hopes for 2014?

Health, love and happiness. I’d also like to be three stone lighter and meet the man of my dreams with whom I’ll live happily ever after but let’s be realistic! He’s not appeared in the past 36 years but then who’s to say that 2014 won’t be different?

So I’m going to start my year as I mean to go on.

I’m going to be thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life, the great experiences that I’m afforded and I’m going to look forward to what lies ahead.

Happy New Year everyone!

Gabriella x


One thought on “Starting as I mean to go on

  1. It’s now 20 hours since I wrote this blog and it has so far received 71 likes and 17 comments. I’ve also had a number of supportive tweets. I felt massively exposed when I published it but am now so glad that I did. Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Much love x

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