My Fresh Outlook for 2017


fresh outlook

I am ready to put 2016 behind me and plan to start 2017 with a fresh outlook.

My kids have been away visiting their grandparents and cousins for the last 10 days. I am now back at work recovering from 2 falls and 2 infections. This year, I will find time for myself. I will be healthy – both physically and mentally. Here’s what I have learned during a difficult last few months of the year.

I need to slow down and take care of myself

The second time I fell, I was rushing with my boys and not paying attention. I fell flat on my face and knee; they were gashed and then got infected. I looked so awful, even Brooke agreed. The fall really set me back and made me depressed. I was so upset with myself for being careless and nervous that I might have injured myself again. Thankfully nothing was broken, just some scrapes and bruises. But, I did feel physically broken.

I have to let go of this need to do 100 things at once. I have to let my house get a little messy sometimes, let the kids skip a bath, and order takeout on the weekends. I need to let go of all the single parent guilt!

I cancelled my 40th birthday dinner. I was not in the right emotional or physical state to celebrate. I do plan to put myself first this year. I will start to go out socially again and open up more about my feelings. I need to continue accepting help from friends and not feel guilty about it because it makes my life easier

I will send the kids to Montreal for long school breaks so I can get some much needed “time off”. As much as I love them, not having them around the last few days has been exactly what I needed. It’s not that I don’t miss them but I appreciate the lack of responsibility. Coming home to a quiet house has been heaven. I picked up takeout, got into flannel pyjamas, ate in bed and fell asleep at 9pm, pure bliss! This is something I haven’t done in years.

I accept that it is okay to feel lonely

I admit I that I quite enjoy my solitude, sometimes. This year part of me liked being able to call the shots with the kids and make household decisions. I didn’t miss the spousal arguments over these things. However, I also don’t want to get too comfortable being alone because I would like to meet someone. I do miss the companionship. But, for now I am going to stop focusing on this and continue to find ways to be happy and fulfilled on my own. In time, the right person will enter my life.

I have realized humour heals

It is important to stay positive and I really tried while I was off work over the past 9 weeks. I must admit I have become very funny; I almost need my own stand up show. When I returned to work and told my colleagues I need to start wrapping myself in bubble wrap they loved it. It feels really good to laugh again.

Working is important for my self-worth

Now that I am back at work, the anxiety of returning is going away. It feels really good to be useful again. Getting up in the morning with a destination has lifted my spirits. I missed my colleagues and patients. I am still scared of falling, but I think with every day my fear will lessen. It takes me longer to get to work because I am slower and more careful. I refuse to rush and if I am running late, so be it. This is all short-term while I get over this hump. Hopefully as my stress decreases, my friends and family will stop worrying and let me be “normal” again.  That is all I want.

I have learned that life is way too short

Sitting home I’ve had lots of time to reflect. I really thought about how life can change in an instant. I know I have said this before but now I want to change the way I live. My kids will only be young once and I want to have fun with them. Maybe start taking family vacations or trips to visit friends and family. I want to not work so much but to be home to enjoy them. I will have time later on to work more. My kids need me to get stronger and happier. For now I will continue with my physiotherapy, try to rest and really put myself back together. I know Matthew would want me too. After everything I have been through I am really looking forward to 2017. In fact I think I might buy a lottery ticket because I am due for some good luck. 


About Author

Heidi Wilk was born and raised in Montreal and received her dietetics degree at McGill University. She moved to Toronto in 2002 with her husband Matthew. Heidi works full time in a downtown Toronto hospital and has 3 beautiful children under the age of 7. Trying to achieve a work life balance was put to the test in 2008 when Matthew was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer and their lives and dreams were forever changed. Heidi has recently started sharing her own personal struggles, how she has overcome them and the important life lessons she has learned as result. Contact Heidi by email at



    I just read your current post in HER magazine.
    I’ve been through all your emotions and pain and am happy that things are turning around for you.
    Allow those feelings to rear their heads from time to time. Crying feels good even 18 years later. Know that you must TaKE care of you.
    As an aside…. I’m in Mexico. This is the second week. Three days before we arrived, I fell in Toronto on black ice. I smashed my knee. It was ok until a day after we arrived then the major infection arrived. I spent each day for a week at the doctor’s office getting it cleaned out. The antibiotics made me so nauseous and I couldn’t sit outside cause it was too hot and I couldn’t go in the ocean due to open wound. I’m happy to say that today is the fist day I feel like myself in 10 days. So if we have patience, life has a way of turning around.
    I wish you a happy, healthy 2017 and may all you wish for come your way.


    Dear Heidi,
    God bless you and your family always. I am so sorry for the heartache that you have been through. I hope that you
    implement your plans. Schedule PA days off whenever you can etc. Delegate and make your life easier whenever you can.
    You are wonderful and wise, may you only fall in love. You are blessed to have so many family and friends. 🙏 Our family
    is very isolated, every holiday is Passover sadly. As every holiday passes us over. Remember, tons of people in marriages are lonely. Avoid picture perfect postings, so proud of you. Practice mindfullness, it is incredible and only takes a very short time. May you never know heartache

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