January in reviewJanuary is summer holiday time. You know the drill: hot days, splashing by the beach, sticking to the lounge after eating too much Christmas ham. It is also my longest break from work for the year (five weeks!) and, to top things off, it was the first January ever where neither Kirsty or I had to go to work. It was shaping up to be the summer to end all summers with long sleep-ins, a camping trip and nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company. Now, what is it they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…

Unfortunately my father-in-law’s health took a sudden and very serious turn for the worse which made for a stressful Christmas, and cast a shadow over all of January. No need to go into all the details, other than to say cancer is a bitch. I’m really pleased that, after some really touch-and-go moments, Kirsty’s Dad seems to be on the mend. We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that this trend continues.

Holidays Near and Far

Fake plant from IKEAWe had intended to go camping up at Kirsty’s parent’s place but that obviously didn’t work out. On the bright side, it saved us having to buy a new tent! We instead stuck close to home and to be honest didn’t do a lot at all. Kirsty was a regular visitor to Sydney to keep a watchful eye on both her Mum and Dad, we took the kids out to the movies a few times, and Kirsty and I made an epic trip to Ikea to buy a plastic plant for the hall! All-in-all it was a pretty quiet January.

This was quite a change from last January when we took our first overseas family trip. Going to New Zealand was a huge step for us, because for a really long time Kirsty and I had been afraid to take our kids with autism anywhere too far from home. We had been concerned that taking them away for an extended period of time was going to push their limits and cause us outrageous amounts of stress. As it turned out, it did push their limits, and they thrived! It was the most relaxing and enjoyable holiday we have ever had as a family.

WDW BooksDisappointed that we didn’t get very far these holidays, inspired by our success last January, and made all-too-aware of the need to not put off the things that are important to us, we were spurred into action to finally chase one of our long-term goals: We have booked a family trip to Disney World! We have been talking about doing this for more than two years, and decided it was time to stop talking and start doing. We could plan forever, but there reaches a point where you have to stop researching and dreaming and actually take the plunge. Sometimes I get stuck in the planning stage of things because it is the safe option – I’m so glad we have moved past that point on this particular endeavour!

My Birthday

I turned 38 in January. I don’t normally pay much attention to the passing of my birthdays and quite honestly have to count back to remember how old I am most of the time. I kid you not.

This year, though, I remember being in an incredibly bad mood the days leading up to my birthday. It was a culmination of things I think. Not only was it my birthday, but I pulled out of going away with some mates, and there was only a few days before I had to return to work. I stewed under my own cloud of self-pity for the better part of two days. Thankfully I got over myself. My parents took the kids for the night and Kirsty took me to my favourite restaurant (The Figtree Brazilian Barbecue!). I turned another year older, went back to work and the world didn’t end. I guess my birthday turned out alright in the end.

Health & Fitness

I started going to the gym in December and continued through January. I am really proud of myself. Before I started I had never stepped foot into a gym! I have a personal trainer and work out with a group of guys with a similar level of fitness (average to poor!). Getting a trainer was really important to my motivation, because I knew that if I just bought a gym membership or pledged to go walking a few times a week I would soon lose interest and start making excuses and letting myself “off”. It’s been 11 weeks and I have started to notice some real changes in both my fitness and my body. I’ve lost almost three kilos of body fat, my back has toned up, and I have bulges where my flabby arms used to be! My stomach still protrudes in front of me, but I’m working on that too.

Next Month

With the holidays over, it is time to really get into the swing of work. I have a new role, new responsibilities, and a few new opportunities. February is where I buckle down and make sure I am on top of everything – it is important to start the year off right in order to create the right momentum for the rest of the year.

I’m no longer Year Advisor, but have been really proud to watch those kids begin their journeys towards work and further education, and I’m looking forward to seeing many start university this month.

February needs to be a month where I sort out my priorities and get on top of my time management. If all goes to plan you will see a few more posts from me over the coming weeks.

How was your January? What are you looking forward to in February? Share in the comments below!