It is nearly Christmas! Whoohoo!
I love Christmas. I really do. It is such a special time of the year.
It is a time to let your family know that you are thinking about them.
It is a time to choke up to soppy Christmas movies without getting judged
There is food, wine, (In Ireland, Aunty Mary's Irish coffees), Christmas carols
And of course, the Doctor Who Christmas special!
This year, I am taking Christmas as a day of relaxation and reflection.
A day to remember all the things that I am thankful for. (American pals, we don't have thanksgiving... otherwise I would have covered this already ;) )
And, there are a couple of things that have really stood out for me this year, that I am thankful for.
1. My dad.
My dad is one of the greatest men I know. I am aware that we all say that about our parents, but wait until I tell you why. We had a turbulent relationship when I was a teenager, but we learnt in my early twenties that a lot of that turbulence was created through lies and half truths. Throughout my twenties, as our relationship grew stronger, other relationships in my life started to turn sour, and at times I really doubted myself. Was I a nice person? Was I worthy of being happy? Did I deserve to be content. My dad learnt to read me like a book. He learnt where these doubts were coming from and he did everything he could to show me that I was worthy of having the world if that is what I wanted. When I break he fixes me. When I cry, he opens his arms to me and tells me that life is tough but that I am tougher. He would do anything to see me smile as would I for him. I couldn't imagine not having him in my life. I think the best way to describe my dad is, he is the one man in this world who can make me cry genuine tears, but he is the one man in this world that will make sure that will never happen.
Vera is my aunt and my godmother. She is also an awful lot more. I don't know how to describe her. She is pretty much the female version of my dad, the main difference being she also hooks me up with my Lyons teabags, purple snacks and tayto! I love and adore her and she is where I get my tenacity from. I would be lost without her. She is also going to be my holiday buddy this year! Iceland better watch out!
3. My granny.
Grannies are great. They all are, Mine is just superb! She is the personification of that quote from Cool Runnings.
I miss her a lot, living in Scotland. I love it when I do get to meet her. She is a great one for force feeding tea and sandwiches. Her determination to have me married off and giving her great grandchildren before she dies (her words, not mine!) never seizes to amaze me.
4. My family.
This year was a big year for family. It was great. We had reunions, weddings, scandals, laughter, disbelief, the whole shebang. This year, my family were a soap opera, and we did it well. We came out of it stronger, in fighting form and united and supportive of each other. I have a lot of pride in being an O'Dwyer and in being a Forde. I do think my favourite moment was the 'will they/won't they meet' moment in Dublin airport when my cousin's flight was delayed. We did!!
I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends in my life. As much as I miss my Edinburgh crew, the move up to Aberdeen made me realise just how lucky I am. So many folk have really made an effort to stay in touch, or to come see me up here. And, I have been so lucky with my housemates (As have they, with theirs...ha!). 2015 was definitely a year of feeling very loved. The best part is, it finishes in Glasgow with my Glaswegian big brother and his missus! I can't wait!! I am literally counting down the days until I get my hug. You just can't beat the Glaswegian hugs!!
6. Star Wars,
I haven't had that level of excitement in my life in years. It helped that my housemate is also a fan. Only a year and a half until we find out what happens next.....
As weird as it sounds, I am so thankful for my job. It has allowed me to embrace a new city, meet new people and my peers have been superb. I am excited to see what lies ahead.
I may be a few days early,
but I plan to do very little on the day itself
Merry Christmas everyone!