Reflections on 2008

This is a very cleansing time of year. I  love the feeling of letting go and moving onward that this time of year promises. I love the expectation of a new year and the reflection on the old.  There is always something to learn in the year that has passed – information that should be heeded before moving on into the new year.

In January, as we faced surgery for Philip, I learned the value of blogging. So many of you followed his progress and offered support across the internet. Lots and lots of  you sent emails to the hospital to wish him a speedy recovery. He received fart jokes from all around the world. (we must admit that the fart is the international language of humour) Bloggers came to see me in real life with gifts of company, food and outings as we waited in a city so far from home for Philip to recover. We all learned the value of patience Philip took  six weeks to recover from his surgery.

As the year progress I learned the value of letting go, as Ashleigh  left us to live in France and cope with life all on her own. She solved her own problems, met her own day to day needs, learnt a new language and navigated the complexities of a new culture. She visited seven different countries, she ate food she couldn’t identify and she grew into a capable, self-suffiecient adult. That is the real value in letting your children go – giving them permission to be adults.

In July I learned that families face challenges together.  When one of Ashleigh’s closest friends was killed in a car accident we struggled with the decision to bring her home from France for the funeral. We struggled with the decision to send her back to France two weeks later. We struggled with every minute and every thought and every decision made. We struggled with every day, day after day, week after week.

This one event coloured my thoughts and actions for many, many weeks. I am really not sure of what I did for the seven weeks after Ashleigh returned to France. We coped, that is all we did, just coped.

In September I learned the value of travel as we went to Ashleigh in France. We found a measure of peace in being together. We found strength in new experience.

In October I found the value of hard work. A request from a quilting magazine to write a profile about me prompted me to get moving on an idea I had been discussing and s.l.o.w.l.y developing since late last year. I have continued working on this and in a very short time I will have a website ready to reveal.

I am not sorry to let this year go. There were lots of reasons to be worried and sad in 2008. I am resilient, I do know how to solve my problems and move on rationally, but this year has tested every one of those skills and abilities. There were lots of reasons to be happy this year. Thank you to the bloggers I met in person. Fancy them finding me worthy of a visit! Thank you to the bloggers who chat with me over the internet. Your company and wit is always a highlight in my day.

We wish you, one and all, a happy new year. Come on 2009. We are ready for you now.



A song for you – it relates to nothing, but I dare you not to sing and dance along!


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23 responses to “Reflections on 2008

  1. Happy New Year to you and your gorgeous family Tracey. I love that first photo of you. I’m looking forward to 2009 too, and to meeting you in person when you head south. Cx

  2. How could one not sing and groove along to Wham!! That seriously made me smile Tracey – thank you.

    Happy 2009 to you and your wonderful family, whom we are lucky enough to get to know through your blog. You’ve had a ‘one-out-of-the-box’ year haven’t you?

    C’mon 2009, lets get the ball rolling…

  3. …the best Wham song, and the best to you in 2009!

  4. Pip

    You’ll probably notice how the first photo is how smiling photo, the second one is the silly photo. You’ll also notice that Dad looks exactly the same in both photos.
    Question is, did he screw up the silly photo or the smiling photo?

  5. Best wishes to you and your lovely family for a really fantastic 2009!

  6. What a year Tracey! Here’s hoping that 2009 brings you all health and happiness. x

  7. You’ve had quite a year; I do hope that 2009 is more tranquil.

    All best wishes to you and your beautiful (and funny) family.

    (By the way, the person who chose my very tasteful gifts was… me. Ahem. The efficacy of the powerful hint.)

  8. Meeting you all was one of the highlights of 2008 for me. I felt very sad to let you go knowing that you would be flying back to the other side of the world. I knew that there was so much more I wanted to talk to you about – thank heavens for email.
    Thank you for your generous and thoughtful friendship – I wish you and all your family happiness and good health in 2009.

  9. h&b

    LOL at Pip’s comment for starters – bwah ha ha ha !! Poor Pete 🙂

    Happy 2009 Tracey .. your blog is a delight of interest and honesty and songs and laughter. 2008 was tough for you guys, I know, but the future is always fabulous, because we don’t know what it will hold, and no-one imagines anything bad.

    But look at me, singing to the choir 😉

    Happy New Beginnings, Patcher Family 🙂

  10. Happy New Year Tracey,

    It has been a pleasure “meeting you” via the world of blogging. I am looking forward to the big reveal when the magazine comes out, and we see all that you have been working on.

    Wishing you a productive, fulfilling 2009 – and good things for your whole family.

  11. Happy New Year dear Tracey – my lovely friend…

    and I adore your hair!

  12. Peta (aka the Apostrophe Bandit)

    I love how Pete always rises above. That is not my favourite Wham song ever but it did lead to George’s “Freedom 90” and that’s in my top ten. Watching the video though – how did I not know he was gay?

  13. We should have known about George. He was too pretty AND had too much fashion sense.

    Pete screwed up the silly picture. He’s your bit of calm.

    Happy New Year Tracey and family. You are all so lovely!

  14. You had quite the 2008. I hope your 2009 features much less worry and much more happiness and laughter!

    I loved the photos of your family! The first one reminded me of the photos Ashleigh took of herself through Europe for her blog. She’s developed quite a knack at taking self-portraits! The second photo… well, Pip hit the nail on the head!

    Here’s to 2009!

  15. candiedfabrics

    Here’s hoping your new website is a smashing success!

  16. M

    You certainly have had a busy, emotional year. So many of us are glad to leave 2008 behind.

    Happy New Year!!

  17. What a pretty family you all are!
    I think I came here when Pip had his surgery – what a pleasure it has been to learn about the four of you.
    I hadn’t thought of this time as being especially cleansing – but I’m liking that notion – we’ve had a rough road this year and I very much appreciate thinking of New Year’s as cleansing.
    Isn’t it funny how you can touch people’s lives? So far away and yet meaningful.

  18. What a great post!
    Very glad I stumbled across your blog earlier this year(via ShellyC).
    All the best for 2009

  19. Tracey – a lovely way to share with us the summary of 2008. May 2009 bring you different lessons – some with smiles and laughter. As I’ve only just found your blog, I’ll look forward to see how things unfold. Is Alsheigh still in France? I’d be interested in someone to write to in French… Thanks also for Wham, you’re right, I couldn’t resist.

  20. All the best to you too Tracey and all the Patcher family – that is a really great photo – the first one Pip! I’d put that one in the “pool room”!

    You certainly had a VERY challenging year in 2008 and I hope that 2009 is a little easier on you all.

  21. My Meggie wants to know is that Mr Bean in the last photo :)? I am so over 2008 and also happy to see our new year!

  22. I’m sorry 2008 has been such a tough year – such a year of letting go. We too are very happy to see the back of 2008! Bring on 2009 with much more fun and laughter.

    Great family photo by the way. Those ones are the best!

  23. Happy New Year to you all!
    I love your family photo – you look so right all together.

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