My post at the end of last year about me limping to the end of 2017 was spot on. I don’t think I realised just how exhausted I was until the first day of my holidays when I slept until almost midday, not even getting up for a pee in the middle of the night. (Thank you, Loop!)

That pretty much set the tone for the next three weeks.

I’m not good at holiday holidays. You know, the ones where you spend all your time at home and just mooch around, losing track of which day of the week it is, and using public holidays as signposts for gentle reminders of how much time you have left until your return to the grind.

As it turns out, that was exactly the holiday I had and, most obviously, was exactly the holiday I needed. The initial pangs we all felt at not being in New York with friends, as we often are at this time of year, was eased thanks to visits from four different groups of NY mates all here either visiting family, or stopping by for their vacation. The brutal blizzards in that part of the world also made not being there a little easier, as instead, we managed to build up some vitamin D stores with leisurely walks around the neighbourhood, visiting favourite cafes or trying (unsuccessfully) to tire out the littlest dog at the park.

I spent time with my nose in books, scrolling through pointless social media feeds, trying to make sense of Trump (failed), binge watching Suits or just staring aimlessly at the sky.

I felt myself recalibrate, regroup and reboot until I knew that my breathing had slowed. The constant feeling of ‘what next’ gave way to ‘I’ll do it later’ and the most pressing thought was whether or not I really wanted to bake something right there and then. Usually, the answer was yes.

I realised that I started 2018 with a very different diabetes outlook to previous years. The same comfortable state in which I found myself once I started Looping seems to have moved in permanently. Perhaps it was having time to really notice it made me realise just how much my attitude to diabetes has changed.

I thought back to an early 2017 post last year where I decided that instead of making New Year’s resolutions I was going to have a word that became my guiding directive for the year. The word was ‘pause’ and I was going to do just that before taking on or tackling things.

Truthfully, I didn’t do too well with it all. I threw myself back into things with typical fervour, and the thing I’d hoped for by thinking ‘pause’ was that I would come to the end of the year and feel less overcome, exhausted and shattered.

Nothing changed and I think perhaps I’ve just come to the understanding that we all get like that at the end of the year.

Still no resolutions this year. But I do like the idea of having a word that I come back to when I need to feel centred. And it became clear and very obvious that my word for this year will be ‘focus’.

I don’t feel particularly unfocused. But I like the idea of a reminder to rein me back in when the distractions make it hard to concentrate on what’s important. Background noise can become overwhelming and losing the ability to stay focused and determined slips away all too easily.

And it’s a word that can mean lots of things. More focus on the diabetes issues that matter to me. Access and affordability to diabetes technologies, treatments and insulin will always be important to me both in my ‘real job’ and in my own advocacy efforts. Reducing diabetes stigma and ensuring language helps rather than harms people with diabetes. And peer support, because we need to know and feel that we are not alone. Plus, more focus on my family; more focus on ME.

We’ll see how it goes…

I’m back at work now: rejuvenated and ready to go. Happy New Year – it’s great to see you here!

Wearing stripes, carrying stripes, standing in front of stripes. Some things won’t change in 2018…