28.11.2016 - 31.12.2016
Simon, Maya and I have had a really exceptional year. I read a while ago that everything in our life is part of the Law of Change, the Law of Cycles, or the Law of the Consequence. Meaning, things change fast and they change slowly, they change in cycles and everything that you do will have consequences. We certainly experienced these three separate stages over these last 12 months.
Leo Roache, our very good friend unfortunately died earlier this year. Our lives definitely changed when he passed away and his cycle finished. We (or I) had the opportunity to know him for ten years and over all of those years, his support was exceptional, our meetings every Thursday and Sunday were full of wisdom and laughs with his unexpected comments, most of them with a double meaning, and showed us a different way to view things. Simon is a very strong person and seeing him really sad for Leo’s absence was hard for me and Maya. However, in a way we learnt to know each other more and Leo will always be in our hearts.
Simon’s job as a project coordinator at the hospital put him in a very difficult situation for the last 18 months. He was working with a manager who was a bully which was affecting him a lot and even though he tried not to bring his problems home we could all feel the pressure he was under. He coped really well with things most of the time, until Leo passed away. Simon used to visit Leo and ask him for advice and talk about his job and this helped him to keep everything in perspective, but when Leo was gone Simon started to take a lot of things happening at work quite personally. We discussed things and he came very close to resigning, but instead he was very brave and made a formal complaint about his boss and was given some stress leave from work. While on leave he was advised he would be moved to a different area and would not have to work with his old boss anymore, then he was given a promotion and his own projects to manage, then he was given a raise, then he was made a permanent staff member, then his old boss’s contract was not renewed and was effectively fired. A lot of very positive changes that kept occurring, and Simon is now really enjoying work, the responsibilities, support, and friendly environment.
Maya has changed a great deal over the last twelve months. This time last year she was starting to walk and now she does not stop running. The climbing and exploring around the house stages have slowed a little bit, and currently we are seeing dancing and singing stages, which I love. She is talking a lot, her Spanish improved significantly during our stay in Colombia, with her speaking mostly in Spanish but she can understand both languages. Her personality is similar to Simon’s and she loves to help people, and she will make sure everyone around her has everything they need before she thinks of herself. For instance, Maya knows which toys make her friends like, and if they are upset she runs to find that toy for them; Maya loves carrying the bags of her friends to their car; if any of them needs water she knows which is their bottle and she runs to bring it to them.
Maya has also closed many cycles in her life, ha ha ha. She was toilet trained in Colombia, so the cycle of nappies is now closed (this has to be one of my highlights of 2016). She has been learning to use cutlery, so the cycle of bibs is nearly over. She learnt the word “wait” (sometimes she does not hear it), the cycle of my running behind her has reduced a little bit. She learnt to imitate the movements of the people in her music classes, so the cycle of people moving Maya hands for her is over. She is learning to play by herself, so the cycle of us needing to entertain her “all the time” is finally finished. She has had most of her teeth come through, so the cycle of teething is closing. She is sleeping through the night, so the cycle of sleep deprivation for her parents is going. She has learnt to talk a lot, and the cycle of guessing what she is saying and dealing with her demands is starting. Simon appears to have gone deaf to most of this! So I am dealing with most of this stage.
With me, my year was really busy with Maya, Simon, work, travelling, Avon, exercise, and enjoying life. As you know Maya keeps me busy busy busy ….. I love being with her and I feel absolutely blessed to have quality time to share with her. She has taught me so much about life. I start working early at 7am and finish at 3pm, meaning the afternoon is for me and Maya, and we enjoy this time together: we play, cook, she helps me clean (sometimes to make more mess while I am cleaning), we visit friends in the afternoon, and enjoy our time together. Maya and I travelled to Colombia in October and November, which was really fun, and she was amazing on the planes. On the way back I miscalculated the time between flights so once Maya and I had to run through an airport to catch a connecting flight. We always have angels to help us, and thank God we got there at the last minute to check in.
During my time in South America, I worked as a travel companion for an amazing kiwi family in Chile and Peru. One of my good friends owns a travel agency and asked me if I wanted to help with this trip some people he knew had planned. It was so much fun to help put it all together. I had the responsibility of organising their entire trip, talking to the people at the hotels, tours, drivers, etc. and making sure their trip was enjoyable. During our time travelling with Jocelyn, Chris, Sophie, Adam and James I learnt a great deal about being prepared for the unexpected, and breathing, smiling and trying my best to solve any problems that arose. I felt privileged to have the opportunity to show them South America, parts of our culture, and create a long-lasting friendship with them. It was a great experience and I hope many more opportunities like this will come up. If you want to travel please contact me and/or Takeme2theworld to help organise things for you.
2016 was an eventful year in general. We said goodbye to our great friend Leo, we moved houses, Simon now has a great job, Maya is healthy and growing, I started a new career as a travel companion, we were surrounded by family and friends, Maya and I travelled, I could be with my Colombian family for a month, Maya and I are still selling Avon and we have many new customers, and we are still a loving and happy family.
We wish you all a happy Christmas and a great 2017. Hope next year I have the discipline to write more blogs to let you know how we are.
All our love and best wishes,
Erika, Simon, and Maya