April – a bittersweet monthPosted on: Apr 03, 2017
Many of us have a time of year that we find particularly difficult. Some people suffer from SAD and can’t make it through the winter without litres of Baileys-infused hot chocolate and electrically-powered blankets. Some parents dread the summer holidays because of the extra child care demands, and the seemingly unending weeks that need filling with entertainment and snacks.
Lately, for me, April has become a tricky month.
It’s the month of my birthday, but having waved goodbye to my twenties years ago this doesn’t seem to be a cause for either alarm or celebration.
It’s (usually) the month of Easter, which to an atheist/agnostic like me is little more than an excuse to buy over-priced, egg-shaped chocolate.
It’s the month that I started to freelance full-time. I clearly remember the cosmic irony of sitting down to my first day of self-employment on April Fool’s Day.
It’s the month that my Mum died, two years ago. She died on the same day as my goddaughter’s birthday – another unwanted coincidence. Lung cancer had taken hold and before we had the chance to catch our breath, she was gone.
At the time, starting a freelancing career was both a blessing and a curse.
A blessing because I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to get dressed and go into an office, and working from home gave me ample opportunity to hide from everything. Which was, of course, a curse too. A blessing because it gave me something new and hopeful to focus on – I had waited so long to ‘go it alone’ so there was nothing to do but put my head down and get on with it.
All proof that no matter what you plan in life, you just don’t know what’s around the corner. April will always be bittersweet for me now. But it is, and always will be, the month when Spring starts in earnest; a time of optimism. I will buy some yellow roses for my Mum.