3 lessons the hardest year of our lives has taught me

On Saturday 9th September 2017 we got married at Oak Tree Meadow.

On Thursday 14th September we set off on our honeymoon to Fuerteventura.

On Saturday 16th September, less than 48 hours later, we returned from our honeymoon after the sudden death of Danny’s dad.

This was the most emotional start to married life two happy twenty-somethings could have imagined.

In the months that followed we stopped living between houses and moved into the family home full-time with Danny’s mum. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and New Year were emotional cocktails of tears, hugs and shared stories.

It’s fair to say it wasn’t the start we’d hoped for. It wasn’t the first year of marriage that other newlyweds got to enjoy, and I’ll admit I’ll always be a little bit jealous of that.

But it has certainly made us stronger as a couple and as individuals.

 But why am I writing this now?

In the past two weeks, we have celebrated our one year anniversary and commemorated the year that has passed since we lost Ian. But this confusing line between celebration and sadness got me thinking how much life has changed in the past year!

And today, as I sat staring out the window on this sunny Friday evening, for the first time in a long time, I felt something lift. Suddenly it felt like things were looking up and we were back on track, as we had been this time last year.

This post is not meant to be about the sadness experienced over the past year, but the incredible life lessons it has taught us…

1. Life is too short!

Obvious? Yes. Cliché? Maybe a little. But this is something we hear so often, yet very rarely stop to truly take on board. But now I feel like we have a new found perspective of just how short this life is and why you’ve got to grab it by the balls before it’s too late!

2. You only have room for the things that make you happy

I recently heard a stand-up comedian explain life through the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle – and it was eye opening! Let me try and relay this to you, albeit in a much less funny way than he did!

Imagine your life is a jigsaw puzzle and the outside pieces represent the basic things we have and need in life. Then each person you meet or each thing you feel passionate about is a puzzle piece slowly working to complete your puzzle. But as he explains, you can’t make a piece fit if it doesn’t, and each piece must contribute towards the completion of the puzzle in a positive way (no one wants a jumbled up puzzle now do they!).

So what’s the point I’m trying to make here? If people, jobs or things don’t fit with your puzzle and they don’t add to it in any positive way – these are not meant to be part of your life and you shouldn’t spend your time trying to make them ‘fit’.

3. Kill ‘em with kindness

Someone recently said this to me and it really resonated with me. If you ever find yourself faced with challenging situations or people, the strong thing to do is not try to desperately fight your corner, it’s to walk away from the nonsense with your head held high.

If someone isn’t 100% OK with who you are or the choices you’ve made, that’s OK! Don’t spend your time agonising over something that is out of your control. Just keep being kind and always wear a smile on your face. You’ll walk away a happier person.

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