Chinese New Year 

If you didn’t already know this weekend marks the beginning of a New Lunar Year or Chinese New Year.   As someone who has worked for and with Chinese focussed companies over the years I’ve probably been interested in Chinese New Year more than most.  I also have a best friend who is Chinese and another friend who grew up in Hong Kong.

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A Violet Sunset over Hong Kong Harbour

This Chinese New Year is even more special than usual however as it also signifies the reset of the twelve year calendar cycle.  The rat is just the beginning. This new twelve year cycle gives the Chinese time to reflect on the last twelve years and make bigger plans for the next twelve too.

The year of the rat therefore often sees a time of great change so its quite apt that brexit will happen in the year of the rat lets hope the sinking ship analogy doesn’t apply here too.

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Hong Kong Harbour during the Light Show

The last year of the rat was of course twelve years ago and it saw great change for me. I had made the decision to quit my full time job at the end of the previous pig year and by the time the rat year started I had ventured into new projects in new industries. I started work on communications for a huge sporting event, alongside one of my friends, and started working with what would be one of my favourite clients the airline Finnair. I’ve now been working with airlines for twelve years! Wow. I also ended up setting up my own agency and continued to be my own boss.

Through working for this airline and other firms at this time twelve years ago I ended up meeting some of my favourite people and made some good friends that are central in my life still today.

The last twelve years saw significant personal change too. I met my now husband and married him. I became a mother 3 times. Unfortunately I lost my daughter and a son but we still have a little rainbow daughter keeping us on our toes.

I bought a house in Cyprus (you can rent it here) and a family home with the hubby too that we have been renovating.  I’ve circumnavigated the earth more than 3 times visiting friends and family all over the planet. I’ve been privileged to explore new cultures and places.

I started a blog about childloss to try to help others and I’ve raised over £40k for Charity.

I finally finished the twelve year cycle by undergoing an operation to fix my heart, which thankfully seems to have been successful so now I begin a new 12 year cycle with a newly refurbished ticker!

I don’t know about you but I feel exhausted reading all of the highlights that have happened in twelve years 😂 interesting though to realise that the biggest shift career wise for me happened exactly at the start of the twelve year cycle shift.  I hadn’t realised that until this weekend.

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Lucky red lanterns in Hong Kong

Here’s hoping any changes we all go through at the start of this rat year and brand new cycle are positive ones that work out for the best in the end so that by the end of the next twelve year cycle we can look back to see all that has been achieved then realise the effort was worth it after all. 

I’m personally hoping for a slightly more peaceful and less dramatic twelve years but let’s see what happens. My life seems to have been non stop drama in the past twelve.

There’s also been a significant shift already in my professional life as I’ve started lecturing at university opening up a new avenue career wise alongside my consultancy business. I wonder what else this year will see, perhaps more opportunities.

Anyway no matter what animal or symbol you are in the Chinese zodiac here’s hoping the next year or twelve are good ones for you all.

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Chinese Lion Dancers outside the Yang Sing

Love Sarah

Always Violet Skies xx

If you enjoyed reading this you might also be interested in these articles –

Reflections on the decade that was…

September = New Beginnings

Due Date Anniversary

Also check out my gallery of photos from my travels to Hong Kong here too –

Hong Kong photos

Anniversaries of loss

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Anniversaries after loss are always really hard for all those family & friends who were close to the loved one.

Commemoration

Talking from experience it really does help when others remember our cherished one on this day and when they commemorate their memory in some way, it reassures us that their legacy will live on.

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Never forgotten

Our worst fear is that our much loved child, brother, sister, mum, dad, family member or friend is forgotten so today take the time, observe the silence at 2.30pm today, light a candle, say a prayer or just give a thought to all those who lost their lives in the Manchester bomb last year and know by doing that you are fulfilling the wish of their families and friends in that they are not forgotten.

We will not forget them. Bee strong everyone. 💜🐝

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Making new memories

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It can be very difficult when you’re grieving the loss of your child to remember those that are living and that you still need to invest time in your relationships with others especially with your husband or partner.

Special anniversaries

One crucial thing we did as a couple was to ensure we planned and booked time in our diaries in advance to mark important anniversaries and occasions.  Making a dinner reservation, booking a hotel for the night or even flights for a weekend away ensured we couldn’t decide to give it a miss when the date came around.  Occasionally one of us would say we weren’t in the mood and the other would encourage and persuade.  

I once even went out to dinner in a lovely restaurant with hardly any make up on and hair was scraped back (as I wasn’t in the mood to try to look nice as it felt too superficial). The fact we did it made the next date we had slightly easier.  The more we forced ourselves the better we actually started to feel about going out and the less guilty we felt about “enjoying ourselves when we had lost our most precious daughter”.

Here’s a photo of me with hubby, minus make up, after being encouraged out last year.  I cheered up when all the lighting was Violet and I was served a Violet cocktail almost as though she planned it!

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Travel

Anyway we still keep this up over a year on and sometimes it can still be difficult for us but we make sure we take time out.  A few weeks ago we celebrated the anniversary of our very first date so my hubby treated us to a night away in Cartmel in the Lake District with dinner, bed and breakfast in L’Enclume.

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Cartmel Priory

I will talk more about the amazing food we enjoyed in my next post but I wanted to share that even though we are fortunate to travel and dine in some amazing places our lost children are never far from our minds.

Before we headed home I visited the amazingly historic Priory at Cartmel that has an 800 year old history and lit candles for Violet and Arthur.  I also took some photos of the amazing building.  You can see them all here http://violet-skies.com/portfolio/cartmel-lake-district/

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Inside Cartmel Priory