New Year, New Me


Bringing in the New Year.

It was only the other day that it hit me, how much can happen in just one year.

Even more so in two years.

Two years ago I had just been discharged from Hospital, I was at home taking it nice and easy but still wanted to go out to celebrate the New Year with my friends. I decided to go to a friend’s house party, my parents weren’t too keen but decided to let me go. I had a long nap in the day and arrived at the party after supper time. I can’t remember the actual event but I have been told that I had to go upstairs for a ‘nap’ at around 10pm and was then woken up just before midnight for the countdown,,,

Looking back, this helps me to realise just how far I have come in the past two years. Of course, I can take a look at my hospital, psychology and Dr reports, but these don’t show just how much I have improved since 2011.

For me, being able to celebrate the beginning of a New Year is very special.

I am so thankful to have come through everything and to even see in 2014, and for the first time in my life I have decided to make some New Year’s Resolutions…

Firstly though it is important to look back on Twenty Thirteen and what happened. I cobbled together a Christmas Newsletter summarising the main events of the year which have helped me to determine which areas of my life most need changing or improving in Twenty Fourteen:

Elizabeth Christmas Letter 2013

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Whilst I don’t want to completely forget about 2013, I do want to ‘move on’ and make some New Year’s Resolutions…so here are my fourteen 2014 Resolutions:

#14 Spend more time with my family (not just immediate family but all of my relations, blood or not)


Spending time this past year with certain members of my family has made me appreciate the value of family and how lucky I am to have such a large, supportive and amazing family. Right from my Grandparents, down to my American Cousin’s baby Charlotte, I love each and every one of you and hope to venture to see more of you this coming year…

#13 Travel to a Continent beginning with the letter ‘A’


I have been lucky enough in 2013 to travel to Switzerland and France skiing and then to France again to the city of Love that is Paris. However, next year I wish to venture a little further afield. Whilst I cannot remember too much from year 9 Geography, one thing I can remember is that there are seven Continents…

North America
South America

Four of these begin with the letter ‘A’ (well six if you include the ‘Americas’)…therefore I am determined to travel to at least one of these in 2014.

#12  Take care of myself. Twelve times.


Spend one day a month looking after me. Just me. I will call this day ‘Pamper Day’. It will happen on the 12th day of each month (which just so happens to co-incise with my Birthday).Whatever is happening that day will be cancelled and I will spend the entire day pampering myself from head to toe. From bubbles in the bath to bubbles in my glass, a monthly day of luxury.

#11 Raise more awareness about Encephalitis


Whilst 2013 was great in the respect that I became a representative for the Encephalitis Society and was able to take part in the ‘Family Weekend’ and attend the ‘Annual Members Meeting’, I hope to spend more time in 2014 raising awareness about the illness, especially with the first ever World Encephalitis Day coming up on 22/2/14…Watch this space!

#10 Be less flash with the cash


Sometimes I think it is easy to forget what it is in life that actually makes us truly happy. Often I forget that it is not the money in my bank account that makes me rich or the cash I spend on inanimate objects, it is the people that I spend my time with and the experiences that we share together that make me the wealthiest woman alive…

#9 Get in touch with old friends


It is so easy (especially when you are hidden in the depths of Devon) to get out of touch with people. In 2014 I will make a concious effort to be more proactive in contacting old friends and organising gettogethers and gatherings.

And make new friends.


Although it is great reminiscing about old times and looking back at the past, for me, 2014 will be the year when I get out there and meet new people and experience new things. Throughout 2013 I have tried to do this by joining organisations such as vInspired and becoming more involved in the Encephalitis Society, but in 2014 I hope to venture out onto unknown paths and develop new relationships which will help me to understand more about life and what there is to offer.

#8 Kiss the RIGHT frog.

Girl Kissing Frog Prince --- Image by © Sandra Seckinger/zefa/Corbis


Fall in love.

At least once.

2013 was what can only be described as a love roller-coaster. After coming out of a 3 and a half year relationship with the love of my life I embarked on the new ways of single life head on; having a dip in the pond of plenty of fish, going on some very nervous first dates (where my HR got up to 120BPM beforehand) and even engaging in some less than Christian activities…all in all a rather eventful year.

Here is to hoping that 2014 will be the year that I finally meet my very own Prince Charming.


#7 Keep ‘Building the Sustainable Generation’

Being part of such an incredible campaign made a huge impact on my life. By being part of Team v I have been able to develop many key skills such as leadership, event management and teamwork, which will of course come in handy when writing my CV…BUT…it is the message of the campaign that I have taken away with me which I hope to develop into the following year.

“I pledge to not buy any new clothes for the whole of 2014”

So my resolution #7 will be to only either buy from Charity shops or swap with friends…going to need some help with this one I feel!

#6 Make some Music


I’m not sure how long ago it was that I last picked up my cornet. It is sat on the top of my cupboard (probably growing all sorts of mould and horribleness). In 2014 I hope to take this back up again, my aim is to play at next year’s Remembrance Sunday.

I did also promise my Grandpa many years ago that I would play at his funeral (and he is getting on a bit now) so I suppose I should start practising…


#5 Run a Marathon (in total – over two half marathons…)


Completing the Great South Run was a huge achievement, raising vast amounts of money for the Encephalitis Society doing the Great North Run felt awesome too. But. What about running just for me. I want to be able to complete this year ahead of us knowing that I have managed to run 26 miles over two separate races. At the moment I am looking at doing one near the beginning of the Summer and one later on in the year….however…this will mean a change in lifestyle…

#4 Wake up earlier


I must admit, I have never been a ‘morning person’. But then again, who is? Getting out of bed in the mornings has become even more difficult since my illness as fatigue seems to play a funny role in making you not want to wake up! It also doesn’t help that when you are in bed insomnia comes into play. However, I have now been put on enough drugs to make this more bearable, SO, 2014, watch out…


I am going to be catching worms all over the place…and in doing so I should have time to…

#3 Learn one new interesting fact each day


and make a note of it. This year I was able to learn about the common bumblebee and how it has managed to overcome it’s aerodynamic problems in order to fly. Through this I was able to learn more about myself and how it is possible to overcome any struggles in life. There is so much out there to learn about, School may have finished years ago and although I still get asked “how is University treating you?” I did actually graduate in 2011…HOWEVER…by the end of 2014 I want to have compiled 365 new facts so that this time next year I will be a more interesting (and hopefully intellectual) person, and may even stand a chance in a Pub Quiz!

#2 Blog more


I may be new (some may even say virginal) to blogging, but I am already hooked. I hope to keep up my blogging in the New Year, sharing stories about ‘living life with a brain injury’ from my point of view and looking at how brain injuries can affect people in different ways whilst also exploring the differences and similarities to others in day to day life.

#1 Be more awesome than last year:


Although I was able to achieve many things in 2013 that I may not have believed to be possible, next year, in 2014, I want to be MORE AWESOME.

Each morning I am going to wake up, look in the mirror and say “I am awesome”. Whilst this may seem a little much, studies have shown that this can help increase your self worth and make you more positive in your attitude towards life…

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Thank you 2013 for a great year.

Bring it on 2014, this year is going to be AWESOME!

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