Perfectly Frank: Looking ahead to what 2018 brings

Mandie is looking ahead to this new year
Mandie is looking ahead to this new year

I would like to open my first column by welcoming 2018. Some of you have had a fantastic 2017, others are happy to see the back of it. I’m excited to see what I can cram into a brand new year.

I haven’t made any new year resolutions.

I decided a couple of years ago to be appreciative of life and that itself is a good enough change for me.

Christmas was quiet this year for the Stevenson household, my sister living it up in Sydney, my brother celebrating at his in-laws which left me having quality time with my mum, dad, grand parents and Frank.

As usual, my mum provided the most delicious Christmas dinner which we all thoroughly enjoyed – it is probably my favourite part of the day.

This year on Christmas morning my friend and I ran a 10 kilometre route around Denny. I’ve never previously jogged on Christmas Day but it was the perfect start to the day and I then didn’t feel as bad for indulging on festive treats.

I am determined to continue the training regime. It never feels easier, which I thought it would, but my friend has pointed out that we are getting stronger, fitter and completing longer runs.

It is my dream for 2018 to complete the Stirling marathon and I will not give up. I enjoy the social side of the training with my brother. We have nice chats as we run around our routes and likewise with my friends, we feel like a tight unit and it makes me feel part of a team.

New Year I think is something you either love or hate. I choose to stay quiet, I prefer other occasions over New Year, like celebrating birthdays.

Living with an incurable illness, when I think about New Year it slightly scares me a little as, on one hand I smile thinking ‘yes another year reached, let’s have a great one’ and on the other I worry about the prospect of treatments for my cancer.

I have been experiencing some pain on my sternum bone which could mean the tumour is growing and a change in treatment may be on the cards.

This I will put to the back of my mind until my mid-January check up. Sometimes a little step back is required to move forward. I am, therefore, trying to remain open-minded.

I have Batman pug Frank to keep my spirits up and he is my super hero. I hope you all had a good Hogmanay and New Year’s Day wherever you were and pray 2018 is kind to you all with lots of cherished time with family and friends.

For all of you that have been lucky enough to have some relaxation time from work or in general have enjoyed it as have I.

I have loved not having to set an alarm and wake up naturally and I know Frank has enjoyed having me around all day, everyday for long winter walks.

I have enjoyed seeing friends over the festive period for food and drinks and I am sure this will continue into the new year. My first adventure is Belfast in January. I am excited to explore as I have never been before and I have been told it is a great place to visit. I am sure it will live up to my expectations.