A Fresh Start: 2018

It’s here! The first day of a brand new year: day one of another 365 days that have yet to unfold; a year full of pages that we haven’t yet read. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

I’m sitting in bed with a box of chocolates by my side, fingers licked and at the ready as I write this blog post on the first day of 2018. It’s only 11.00am and I’ve already broken my first resolution: eat less chocolate. But what the heck, who cares really? The gold wrappers on the caramel Roses are far too shiny to ignore and washed down with a cup of tea, they are simply the best! So, onwards……..

Some of my friends reading this, have celebrated New Year in Sydney and are a further 11 hours into this new chapter of our lives. Happy New Year to you too! You’ve experienced more of this new day than we have in the UK. I hope it’s unfolding well. In fact, by the time you get to read this, you will probably have entered Day 2 of 2018. Funny that.

How is everybody feeling today? The effects of a few too many tipples last night might mean you feel a bit ropey but the good news is that as each hour passes, that will wear off and the new, more clear-eyed and 2018 version of you will begin to emerge. Or, you might, like me, have made the decision to drive last night and not drink alcohol. (I had a great time, honestly, just without the addition of alcohol). For that reason, I don’t feel so bad having indulged already this morning and munched on chocolates. How very rock ‘n’ roll!!

However we’re all feeling, may we all remember this: today is a fresh start, the beginning of a new year. There are lots of things that will happen this year that will challenge us. Some of those things will make us feel strong and some of those things will make us feel less strong. And, some of those things will be out of our control but there are also lots of things that are going to happen because we have been in control. Big thoughts like that make me feel a bit overwhelmed if I let them but this year is going to be the year where I try to feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

In the lead up to Christmas, in fact on the morning of the 23rd November, I woke up and a dog of the black variety had decided to pay me another of its unwelcome visits. It arrived without warning but made its presence known very quickly.

I wasn’t prepared for that particular visit. On other occasions I’ve been more prepared. I know I’m not alone in this because I talk, a lot, to other people who experience this and for those of you who recognise how those episodes feel, you’ll understand when I say that the long, dark days of the end of November felt very long and dark indeed.

Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you because I want to acknowledge that it happened. I’m telling you because by my telling you, it might help somebody else and I’m telling you because I want to say thank you. Thank you to my family and friends that supported me and an even bigger thank you, that as quickly as it arrived, the four-legged feeling of gloom, skipped off in to the sunset on the 20th December, in time for me to enjoy Christmas.

How random is that? But life is random. None of us know what tomorrow will bring (well actually, that’s not quite true). It’s the not knowing what’s around the corner that can make life exciting or terrifying. But, whatever challenges and/or opportunities we might face this year, all of them will be easier to deal with by talking.

When I started blogging in July of last year, I did so with a big knot in my stomach when I pressed, ‘Publish’ for the first time. Every part of me allowed me to think the worse: that nobody would read it and that those who did would think it was a load of rubbish. I didn’t allow myself to glimpse at how it might feel if my blog was well received and how it might feel if somebody contacted me to say it had given them a boost or brightened their day a bit.

Well, I’m starting 2018 with another big thank you, to every single one of you who have taken the time to read my blog posts. You will never know how much you have helped me and made me feel – all of which has been positive. I’m acutely aware that not everybody deals with things by publicly speaking about it but I would never be where I am today unless very kind people had taken the time to tell me that I am not alone and never will be. My blogging has helped me but I know now, because lots of you have taken the time to tell me, via emails, texts, Twitter and FB messages that it’s helped you.

So, in our own way, let’s all try and make 2018 our year when we help one another more: our families, friends and even people who we don’t yet know. We all hope that 2018 will be a great year but we know already that for some it will be difficult. Make it less so by helping each other in whatever way we can. My helping might be different to your helping but that’s what makes us all so unique and special.

2018: let’s do this.



Published by Laura Ashurst

I'm a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunty, cousin, niece and friend. My husband and two children are my anchor and, in the background, which is where we like to place it, is secondary breast cancer. I've had cancer in my life for 17 years but I'm living, hoping and enjoying life. My Dad always used to say, 'take the rough with the smooth and live your life'. So....here's to my life, its challenges and milestones and love and laughter along the way.

4 thoughts on “A Fresh Start: 2018

  1. Happy 2018 to you Laura and everyone reading your blog.We’ll take whatever is thrown at us on the chin.Keep writing the blogs.I look forward to reading them every month.They sometimes light up days that can be a bit dim!
    Love Chris xxx


    1. Hiya Chris. Happy New Year to you too. I’m sending you this with a huge hug, full of love and best wishes to you. Debbie keeps me up to date and you’re in my thoughts you wonderful woman you. Xxx


  2. Hello lovely Laura! I have just had chance to read your blog. I only read them once I have the house to myself and I can sit and take in everything you have said. This one has especially struck a chord with me as another of my friends had a really dark time during December and knowing that I too am a sufferer decided to call me on one particularly bad day. I rang a few of our friends and we all spent the day at her house talking and looking at how we could support her. On that day I also asked her to message me every morning with just a number, 1 being bad and 10 being good so that I know when she is heading down and when she needs me/us to be there for her….it’s our early warning system! I know you have lots of friends and an amazing family but if you are ever low and need someone to talk to please just text me your 1-10 and I will call you. I’m so sorry you were struggling in the weeks before Christmas, you are such a lovely person you deserve only joy, laughter and love in your life. Love you lots Ann xx


    1. Hiya adorable Ann. What a wonderful thing that you did with your friend. I think it’s a great idea….an early warning system. Thank you so much for sharing that with me and thank you for being such a lovely friend. I’m feeling much brighter now. I’ll look forward to our next meet up. Thank you for continuing to read my blogs and here’s to more happy times together in 2018. Love you lots too.xx


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