At the beginning of 2015, I wrote a blog about New Years and IEPs (Individual Education Plan), but it was never published, until now.

‘We celebrated this New Years Eve with our family cooking and sitting around a fire in the garden.

New Years Day is a mark in the sand. It is a point from which I stop to reflect on what has happened, where I have been and where I am heading. I remember, in the first couple of years of Sam’s life, my friends would quip about how time was flying; how they couldn’t imagine life without their fast developing newborn.

I never had this feeling. Time dragged for the first couple of years. Not because I wasn’t enjoying life or my beautiful boy but because I had so many marks in the sand. I had so many new diagnoses, ambulance rides and bad patches, that each month I could pin point a day and recall its events in detail. I could see life before and after my son’s birth because it was a day when everything changed. As Sam’s health has stabilised, our hospital visits have become more routine and the events that mark my year have returned to holidays, birthdays, Christmas and New Year.

This year, I looked back at my resolutions for 2014. It seems I had high expectations. I listed nine at the front of my 2014 diary that ranged from being creative to making memories and living in the present. Some have been more successful than others. I figure being pregnant ticks off the creativity target. You don’t get any more creative than making another human being.

At school, Sam has his Annual Review and IEP in January and it made me think.

My New Year’s resolutions paled in comparison with Sam’s IEP targets.

When Sam’s teacher states what she wants him to do next, she details the ways in which she plans to get there. My ‘Don’t value busyness’ aspiration, had no real concrete plans for how it would be achieved. 

In the past, I have reflected on my life in a more in-depth way through my church’s Life MOT. This New Years, I decided to take a leaf out of Sam’s book and consider my ILP (Individual Life Plan – not IEP)…’

After all my musings, my own IEP (or ILP) didn’t get very far and it failed to contain any SMART criteria. Maybe, that is why I never published the blog.

So, here is my first (and only) draft of my ILP in 2015.

Can you spot the theme?
Live more simply
Recycle more
Spend less money
Do less laundry
Be more eco-friendly
Recycle more
Eat less meat
Do less laundry
Get my book published
Create more space for writing, by doing less laundry
Be creative
Create time to rest and reflect, by doing less laundry
Be more present in today
Put down my phone and look people in the eyes

I think one significant apsect of my ILP hinged on me doing doing less laundry.

Then I had a baby, so that was never going to happen. However,Laundry pile the whole ILP process continues to provide poignant insights for me. I did make more specific plans for getting my book published and was proud when ‘The Skies I’m Under’ went on sale at the end of 2015.

Although it took me a year and a half to publish this blog, it’s still being worked out. I’m still trying to be more present, I eat very little meat and, more than ever, I’m desperate to do less laundry

It’s nearly May, so what New Year’s resolutions have you actually managed to maintain this year…any…any at all?

The Skies I'm Under