A new friend on Facebook recently asked what people were proud about from the past year and that got me thinking about the past year a bit more resulting in this post.
The first half of 2017 was quiet on this blog because I had signed up for a an online course in counselling skills. I completed and passed that course and at the time I investigated the possibility of gaining further qualifications in counselling skills. After much thought and investigation into options and costs I decided it is not the right time for me to commit to trying to gain further qualifications. I am however prud of having completed the course successfully and gaining new knowledge and confidence.
In the last year my devotional practices have continued to develop and deepen. I’m now beginning to settle into a devotional practice where I am spending some time in prayer and contemplation on six days of the week. In the last year as well as relaxing into my relationship with Loki I’ve also started developing a devotional relationship with Gofannon. It’s almost two years since Loki started making his presence felt in my life so both of these deities are still relatively new to me. I also continue to be a flame tender with Clann Bhride, a practice I began on Imbolc 2015.
I’ve now been involved in volunteering with the Riding for the Disabled Glasgow group for just over a year. I’ve learnt so much since I started there and I’m still learning more including finally having riding lessons myself. I’ve wanted to learn how to ride horses for as log as I can remember and this year I have been able to begin that journey and it’s just wonderful! I literally cried tears of joy after my first couple of lessons, that’s how much it means to me.
This time last year I had completed counselling sessions to help me with managing my social anxiety and had also just come off medication for anxiety and depression. I have remained off medication this year and have not had a relapse. I still get the occasional anxiety attack with social situations and have had a couple of more severe panic attacks too this year but I am still improving. I have managed social situations this year that I could not have done last year. I am proud of my progress.
My daughter had been attending dance lessons with Indepen-dance for a full year now. She’s absolutely loved these lessons so I know this will be continuing for the coming year. My daughter has also joined her school choir this year and has experienced her first performance with the choir outside the school as part of a carol service. She also had a solo to sing during that carol service. I am extremely proud of how well she did, not only with her singing but also with her behaviour during the service. Sitting quiet and still is not an easy thing for my sensory seeking, bouncy Aspigirl. So proud of my girl!
This year my son completed his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. To complete this award he had to do some voluntary work, develop a new skill, do some physical activity and complete an overnight camping expedition with the group from his school taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award activities. His physical activity was hillwalking, his new skill was pyrography and the voluntary work was organised by the school and took place at an allotment. I am incredibly proud of his achievement!
Last year (2016) I went through the assessment process for adult autism diagnosis. I didn’t meet diagnostic criteria. Perhaps part of the reason for this was that at the time I went through the process I was also suffering badly from stress and anxiety. Needless to say I didn’t agree with their conclusions at the time and I still don’t agree. It’s still something that irritates. I have been peer recognised as autistic by a number of autistic adults as well as by my wonderful kids and that recognition means a great deal to me. I am immensely proud of being neurodivergent and probably autistic. I still hesitate over calling myself autistic because I didn’t meet the diagnostic criteria during my assessment. I know many within the autistic community are perfectly fine with self diagnosis and if I had never attended and failed the assessment I’d be happy with self diagnosis too. Failing the assessment makes me doubt myself and means I often don’t feel comfortable in saying I’m autistic without adding the story of not meeting diagnostic criteria. Anyway, this year I have becoming more aware and more confident of myself as neurodivergent. If you are unfamiliar with neurodiversity as a concept here’s a good staring piece on the neurodiversity paradigm
My other area of achievement this year is still very much a work in progress. I have begun writing a book about being a polytheist. It will have a great deal in it about my own practices. My tentative working title at the moment is “Life as a British Polytheist”.
To all my readers on this last day of 2017 I hope you take pride in your achievements whatever they may be and I wish you a very happy 2018!