Well my darlings, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I did; one of the best ever. Who would have thought? This time last year life was full of trauma. I suppose much of the last three years have been. I don't mean it's all been bad, heavens no, there have been some beautiful treasured moments. But it hasn't been easy. Now, though, with both Mum and Dad gone and most of the estate stuff finalised, I've entered a time of respite. A weight has been lifted and (though I feel a little guilt at saying this) I feel relief and a sense of freedom. Don't get me wrong - if there was some magic that would bring my precious Mother back I'd use it in a flash - but there isn't. And I know life is going to keep presenting challenges, but those challenges won't include being a 'daughter' and the expectations that can come with that role. I was raised, like many, in a home where you were expected to think, feel, and behave in a certain way and if you didn't you weren't a 'good' person. And, of course, none of us as human beings can be 'perfect' so we end up feeling flawed and lacking. So the challenge continues for me in accepting myself and all the things that have happened in my life with kindness. I know I'm not alone in this. More and more I realise that we're all one. Each of us has joys and sorrows. It's the kindness we need to cultivate, for ourselves and others. Blessings to you all in these early days of 2017.