Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: resolutions

We’re having the time of our lives

Do you ever go back and read your old blog posts? I do it every so often and it’s fascinating remembering the emotions behind the posts. One post in particular stuck with me and that was published in early January 2012 and was a review of what had happened in 2011.

Part of the reason it stuck with me was the sense of excitement and enthusiasm that comes across in the words. At that time I was a dad to Matilda and the lady of the manor was 3 months pregnant with Henry. We’d been on holiday to New Zealand a couple of months before and had just celebrated our first Christmas as a family.

The tone of that post worried me a little which may seem an odd reaction, but it’s because I don’t feel quite so excited and enthusiastic now. I feel weary and worn out, slumping into the sofa each evening happy to have successfully made it through the day. I’m sure at least part of this is due to being ill and having mouth ulcers for the last 10 days so not enjoying Christmas as much, plus Matilda and Henry having been sick for the 2 weeks or so before that.

But there is definitely a part of me a little freaked out that I’ve lost some of that enthusiasm and sense of adventure, something to think about in this time of setting resolutions. Looking back at the posts at that time it’s clear that a larger family has also changed my blogging, much fewer posts now and also I’m more likely to go a week or 2 with no post when there simply isn’t room in my head to write something. Nothing wrong with that but the first time I’ve really acknowledged that evolution. Life is certainly tougher 1 year on with 2 children under 2 and a busy job to juggle, I’m hoping that the move and much shorter commute will make a big difference to this.

2012 was a good year though with the big event and main highlight clearly being the birth of Henry, giving us a perfect set of one pink and one blue baby. Plus of course there was the big family holiday to France which was perhaps the start of a regular holiday destination for us? Then towards the end of the year we sold our house and found a new one to buy hopefully moving in February.

We of course celebrated Matilda’s 1st birthday and I turned 30 a week later giving us lots to celebrate, shortly after that Matilda took her first steps which I have to say has been the most magical moment of being a dad so far. Potentially even beyond the birth itself, that moment was just incredible seeing her figure it out and the excitement on her face. Now we have a chatting, laughing, crazy toddler and I love it.

From a blogging perspective winning the best dad blog at the BIB’s was incredible, I love blogging and writing so to be recognised for that gave me a massive confidence boost. It’s a shame that the timing of the awards was just after Henry was born so my motivation to be writing was at a low with all my energy consumed with supporting my new larger family.

But what about those resolutions from last year? Well actually I’ve done pretty well, aside from our mortgage we are now debt free which I have to say feels pretty bloody good. I also think I’ve done well with the eating, I’ve made a real effort to cut down on sugars and finding new and interesting veggie dishes to eat. Combined with the increased running I’ve lost over half a stone this year and feel 100% better for it.

For my running I’d only give myself half marks, it’s taken me a lot longer to get back running regularly with my back problems that started in 2011. Then with Henry being born there really wasn’t time to get out too often. Now though I feel good, running strong with no back pain at all. I even entered a race and have more planned for 2012 along with a big challenge, but more of that at a later date.

2013 is shaping up to be pretty quiet in comparison with just the small matter of moving into a fab family house in February if all goes well. However it may be the first year in 4 where we haven’t either had a baby or got a puppy which all sounds a little easy. Going to have to find someway to challenge ourselves I think. There is no big holiday planned due to spending all our money on moving so it looks like it could be a year for us to simply enjoy being a family. Fab.

Thank you to all of you who read this blog and chat with me on Twitter, it truly is a joy and I appreciate every one of you. Here’s to an awesome 2013.

Debt free and care free

Ok, maybe not care free but certainly a big step towards it. Back at the start of the year I wrote about my objectives for the New Year ahead. One of these objectives was to get our family finances in order to allow us more flexibility with regard to the lady of the manor going back to work. So I am pretty bloody happy to announce that as of this week we are debt free (if you ignore that big fat mortgage of course). For the first time since I started university we have no overdraft, no credit card, no loans and no consumer finance for furniture etc.

It’s been hard work getting to this point and taken a bit longer than intended after graduating (7 years) but it feels pretty damn good. We’ve certainly taken a gamble at times with our finances, but with no children or mortgage for most of it and me in a job where I was making good progress up the grade ladder it seemed worth it and thankfully has paid off.

There is no doubt that the free and easy credit of a few years ago didn’t help, making it all too easy to borrow. But while the banks own some of that responsibility for their lending behaviour, we still said yes so must own our piece as well. Something which I’ve noticed a few people not doing recently. They place all the blame at the banks for ‘throwing’ credit at them. But we’re all grown adults aren’t we? It doesn’t take a genius to realise that you do have to pay back what you borrow at some point.

But that aside it is an exciting time, we can finally start building some savings, make plans for our expanding family and make choices that are good for us rather than simply the ones that our finances decide. With this new financial situation I am also making a resolution. From now on we will only borrow if we truly have to, we won’t buy things just because we can get credit to do it. We won’t get into that situation again so that if a rainy day really does come we can easily buy a new umbrella.

 Now where did I put that vintage champagne…..