I am eating the remains of a New Year's curry. Me and her stayed in and ordered a saag bahji, saag panir, cauliflower bahji, brinjal bahji, a tarka dall, and chowed most of it down with a portion of pilau rice between us. Younger Dad, only not so young anymore (psst, he's 38 this year), saw in 2016 with his mates in Norwich. I don't do New Years Eve - give me a warm bed, a grand novel and my bed socks any day.
And today, the first day of the year, I've been rewriting this post over and over in my head, over being the salient word.
I'm throwing in the towel, taking the decorations down, closing the door. But carefully. I must take care to wrap the baubles in finest tissue, not to tread and crush out the fairy lights. Everything must be dismantled gently, stowed away with love, as I may need it all again, yes - I'm sure that I will... someday.
...this blog, this blog, what it has given me, or maybe I should rephrase that to what I've given myself.
Never thought to write, it was all a ruddy great accident at the time. But light is so often found in the darkest of corners - thank you post natal illness, thank you anxiety, thank you fear.
And I was in a muddle when I started this, when I wrote the first words. A mother to an eighteen month year old. A mother. A mother who had forgotten herself, saw the curtains drawn instead of the stars, who couldn't see beyond the bridge of her nose, the future and the journey.
One post followed another and then another.
And now... and now I am a writer, a therapist, a yogaholic. I have cut off my hair. Had a tattoo. Plan another. I am not sad or anxious. I'm in a pretty good place. I have finally made peace that I will only ever be a mother to just one beautiful child, but the decision feels right - no more doubt and vacillation, and anyway, my body clock has ticked on, and I have been lucky, so very lucky. I have clarity, the fog lifted on the road ahead. Illness has moulded and shaped me. The person I was before my daughter seems unfamiliar and unmade, just a different person I guess.
I don't call her Little A anymore. How can I? Little she ain't, the height chart, the marks on the wall confirming otherwise. She turns six at the end of this month, and I don't feel as comfortable writing about her anymore. Or maybe I've simply run out of ideas.
I am about to take a greater step back from the blogging community, a community that has supported and nurtured me and my writing. And this I do feel nervous about. I will try to read blogs when I can but I can't make any promises; time has become a squeeze, two enclosing walls - Han, Leia and Luke in the garbage room - and I must organise it wisely.
So I need to create room and sharper focus. I feel split having my creative writing divided between two blogs, and now I need to narrow this down to one.
Closure is important to me. It releases energy, expectation, while granting new ideas.
Thank you dear reader for reading Older Mum in a Muddle, for commenting - your thoughtful words and encouragement have meant the world to me. I wish you a wonderful 2016 and fulfilment in whatever projects lie ahead.
And if you wish to adjust your television set, you'll find me twiddling words on my other blog, Sadie Hanson. But never say never - a moment may arise when I'll need this space again.
My word for 2016? Bold.
Over and out.