I don’t think I could have predicted how 2015 would have panned out. I don’t think anyone could have.
It’s been a really difficult year for us as a family. How the year started, the challenges we thought we were facing all paled into insignificance.
We are out the other side. No doubt stronger, but quite a bit altered.
And now, there’s no way I’d even dream of predicting what 2016 has in store.
I know, to some extent, what I’d like to happen.
I’d like to find a new challenge, to accompany the new job I need to find.
2016 will be the year I was made redundant.
I’d very much like to finish my employment and go straight into a new role. This is a huge ask, but the difference that using my redundancy to help pay off the mortgage would be my ultimate goal.
Because this is my ultimate hope for 2016. That we will end the year having paid off our mortgage. Words I’d never thought I’d type.
Because, with the downs of 2015 came the unexpected achievement of becoming debt free, unexpectedly. A series of upturns meant I finally paid off all the debts I have accumulated over the years. And so redundancy, alongside money Tony would rather have not received, should allow us to become mortgage free.
So, we also need to get better in 2016, better at financial management, better at saving, and better at deciding what our priorities are, as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.
2015 saw us ending the year deciding whether a move back to West Yorkshire is in our plans. It was definitely not in my plans, but that’s the difference when you’ve moved back to your hometown, the shoe is on the other foot, and we’re no longer in his hometown, and after the year he’s had, that’s been tough.
The reality is it doesn’t meet our needs as a family to move back, and that’s a real difficult truth, because it’s trampling over someone’s individual needs, and it’s all well and good dismissing those needs for the sake of family, but it’s not that easy.
So, we need to decide how West Yorkshire becomes a bigger part of our life moving forward – the children were all born in Halifax, and despite their growing Welsh accents, they are (probably) technically English. And their heritage does need to be nurtured.
And for all the unknowns 2016 will have in store, we have plans, hopes, and a few dreams.