Alright, 2021 is coming to an end, and wow what a year! This year has been a whirlwind of emotion and I am sure I am not the only one who was filled with more drama than a novel. New chapters in my life have opened and one giant one has closed (pun intended) 😉 let's dive in... I have TWO giant accomplishments for 2021. First I earned my BScN! I finally finished my bachelor's degree and what a freaking relief! Secondly, I started writing, I wrote a book! (it’s not published yet…but I wrote one! More details further down. I promise). The year seems to be a blur with the crazy amount of stuff I threw myself into. Covid-19 lockdowns, homeschooling my nine-year-old with ADHD, having a rambunctious deaf toddler and a new baby seems like it's enough to keep me busy but there’s more! I also entered my 4th year of university, while on mat leave, and my husband worked two jobs, one of which was night shifts 4x a week...oh, and the whole book thing… Yep, what a freaking year. For all the parents who had to homeschool, I praise all of you! Multiple kids, multiple grades all while you worked from home or studied (like me) it was hard. There were more than a few times jumping out my window seemed like a more reasonable option than having to try and have my kid write a sentence! (which kills me a little because I love writing and reading! Yet, for him, it's worse than a trip to the dentist! Parents of kids with any kind of learning disabilities know what I am talking about!) The struggle was real! Like most parents in Canada, we have no idea if the kids are going back to school in the new year. I guess, the hubs and I better brush up on those teacher skills...again. Speaking of education...MY education, what a long rocky freaking road! Covid shifted my classes online (which in my case actually worked out) but that meant a lot of late nights since I could only do the course work after bedtimes. Going back to school 6 years ago was a hard choice, I’m a 'mature' student with a job, family (a 3yr old), and real-life responsibilities to juggle, maintain and PAY for. University is NO joke. It's hard, there's a zillion tests, papers, assignments, and clinical hours but I did it! It may have taken me six years to complete, but I FINISHED SCHOOL!!!! I earned my BScN (Que the champagne). I have never been so proud of myself, and I have to say that my cheerleaders (aka the girls), my family who helped with the kids, and my poor husband who had to put up with me during this grueling schedule were the reasons I kept going! That and they refused to let me quit...and man did I want to quit (often). Maintaining my FT job schedule was tough! I had a dick of a boss when I started the program who refused to help me rearrange shifts to make it to class! (terrible right? Good thing we ended up with a new boss;))in the drama, I had to drop some classes changing everything around. In the end, it worked out better for us to enter a part-time school schedule. FYI, the school I chose, does not offer PT programming so it was like piecing a jigsaw puzzle together to get the classes I needed and some of them only came around once a year... I was stuck in 3rd year for nearly 3 years! thank you, babies and COVID! Yup babies... Baby no.2 came in 2019 and to my surprise baby no.3 came in the fall of 2020...(conceived pre-covid 2020 lockdowns for those doing the math, LOL). Quitting seemed like it was the only option there was far too much on my plate now but again those nagging little cheerleaders of mine refused to let me walk away with only 1 year left in the program. So I dug my heels in, took my online courses with a newborn, a toddler, and homeschooling. It sucked and I was losing my little mommy mind. What's a busy mom to do running on no sleep, emotions, and caffeine? She looked for a hobby. Yup, my kindle was my savior. I read late at night to stay awake when the baby was difficult (he was colicky...I know right? like shit wasn't hard enough, the 3rd was the colicky one.) I read like crazy to bring my mind elsewhere... It worked! Then I had this brilliant idea that I could write a book. A romance book to be exact. I had a great storyline in my head and thought why not? let's see what becomes of this. Writing is easy! I wrote the first draft in just a few months! I was excited about something again! It became a therapeutic tool for me. I became the night writer 😉 each night when the kids went to bed after my homework and the chores were done, between baby feedings, I sat at the dining table and wrote. Words poured out of me like verbal diarrhea. Every. single. thought. went into this book. Then the learning curve kicked in…I had no idea of the concept of word count, formatting, etc. The stuff outside of the actual writing like social media, building a platform? making a website? by the way, for those who aren’t tech-savvy, building a website was harder than earning my degree and it’s DRAG AND DROP! Turns out writing or being an author is f*cking hard! All of this may seem like a far cry from the I WROTE A BOOK moment I was excited for earlier but I did it. I started and finished a project (final editing aside) those who write know how big of an accomplishment that is, let alone the other hundred things I was doing. Including this website and my blog! I am nowhere near perfect and a lot of shit fell through the cracks with everything on the go. I felt like I was failing at being a student, being a mom, a wife, and just being a good person some days... I had plenty of meltdowns. But I realized I don't need to be perfect, I need to just do the best I can and it was okay to let shit go! If the housework wasn't done, or we ordered dinner instead of cooking then that was okay. Not getting straight A's (I never did) was okay too. Breaking down, crying, or sharing a moment of happiness when it all worked out, was part of how I got here, right now! A damn graduate of my Degree at 41 years old with 3 small kids and I am so proud of it all and everyone who stuck by me and believed in me! Special mentions are the moms. My mom and my MIL saved my ass more times than I can count with the kids so I can get to class, study, work and whatever else thrown at me! To my absolute bestie/sister Tammy. The best cheerleaders a girl can ask for Hayley, Holly & Karen, and of course my hubby who was pivotal in supporting me in this long AF journey. Thank you xoxoxoxo What's next for me in 2022? New job for one, maybe, even in a new place? The options are infinite right now. Now, that I have actual time off and school not bogging me down, I will hopefully publish my book! I will continue to be a force to be reckoned with because if anything, 2021 has taught me is that resilience is key in driving forward with goals. If anyone else is stuck out there in the trenches, it's hard! but don't quit. The reward is far too much to walk away from. Tell me what you are proud of this year? small or big it's worth celebrating! Cheers to the new year!