(#66) The A-Z April Challenge: Z – Zenith of this challenge!

We have reached the flag-bearing point of our journey… looking high into the sky, at the primary goal of our trek, after searching and climbing and often crawling clumsily through the earth, we are now finally at that peak – the zenith of the A-Z challenge.

And I’m grateful for it.

But not for the way you might think. I was already posting once a day for my gratitude blog, so it wasn’t much of an exertion to do it still for this challenge. I’m grateful for reaching the end of it all, sure, but I’m also grateful for what I learnt along the way.

I learnt that sometimes it was interesting to have the direction of a letter to keep you focused on what to be grateful for. Prior to that, I’d be going through my day asking myself ‘should I write about this?’ With the A-Z challenge, knowing I had a certain letter, such as ‘C’ coming up, I’d be running through things in my head as the day approached, to try and prepare myself for something ‘C’ popping up.

That was another thing too. I completely winged it, going day by day and seeing what interesting things would pop up in my life. There were probably only 2 days where I knew more than a day in advance what I’d be grateful for, that being W for Wind and ‘Z for Zenith,’ actually (it makes it easy there not being too many Z words!) Although this can be seen as particularly hard, and even somewhat limiting as I was fearful of, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t too bad overall, and felt promise that even though my goal was to be grateful for something of a certain letter on a particular day, something that may sound forced, all the things I wrote about were genuine and relevant to that day. It made me think that there is so much to be grateful for, only we are generally too oblivious to realise it. Overall, this provided me with hope. There is hope not only for me, but for everyone out there.

Having said that, it forced me to get creative. I went slightly abstract with A for Absence, and Y for Yonder… and also, with Prince’s passing, I was desperate to get my feelings out in a post, and searched for songs of his that I loved beginning with S – there were some I didn’t mind, but in honest gratitude blog fashion (and SmikG fashion) I just couldn’t fake it. So I got crafty with one of my favourite songs of his, and posted “Star, Baby I’m a.” You sure are you Purple genius.

I did get stuck, undeniably, and ran to Google and the good old dictionary for help, churning out my V and X – hey, I didn’t even know what Xylography was until I came across the definition, but I sure as hell am grateful for it! Coffee was mentioned a few times, as was food, and my V showcased my everyday appreciation of baby girl with her Vigour – these posts displayed part of what I generally think about, what I love and what inspires me. It represented a few facets of me, and all I was doing was presenting different aspects of appreciation for them.

I had to question whether I would have normally had Quiet time on my Q day, and whether it was just the letter of the day forcing me to sit down and take a photo with my feet up on my favourite chair. But, I didn’t mind. I mean, I needed it, 1. And 2, I was genuinely grateful for those moments. That was the point, right?

I’m grateful overall that I’ve reached this point. In fact, I think all A-Zers should be grateful and thankful for this process. I did write after midnight on some days, coming in a tad late, and I don’t know if that counts as a fail or not… personally I don’t think it does. Whether it was me doing it, or you doing it and you couldn’t get your post in on time, I think the point here is that you got your post done AT ALL. Life happens, shit. Sometimes we fall behind. Getting up and trying to get the job done is the hard part, so if you did it, but did it late, well good on you. You did awesomely.

And for those of you who stopped the challenge without reaching the end? I respect you. I know how hard it is to admit it’s too hard and stop a project half-way, or to realise it is not for you… but I will tell you something. That takes guts. It’s hard to even start something and give it a shot in the first place, to commit to a new goal or a plan or just something completely left-of-centre for you. That’s credit in itself. I’ve never done something like this before, so I’m pretty pleased with myself I won’t lie, but even having the balls to start it to begin with, is plenty in itself. And to stop something and realise it’s not working, is just as hard. Remember, you tried, which is more than a lot of people can say. That’s brilliant. You should be proud of yourself.

Would I do the challenge again? Life is ever-changing, fluid, in a constant state of shifting, so that answer is… I don’t know. Who knows where my life will lead me by next April. But in the meantime, I’ll keep on with my blogs. I’ll keep doing my writing. And I’ll keep looking for things to be grateful for. That I will try with all my might.

I hope you can stay on for my journey. If not, I wish you well in yours.

XOXO

 

(#65) The A-Z April Challenge: Y – Yonder

I will be doing something, anything, usually something routine like walking to the park, having a coffee, or driving in the car, and it is this habitual act where my mind wanders and I observe something, or think of someone, and a sentence and descriptions form that I believe would make a great line in one of my novels, somewhere. I may not know where to put it yet, it may not even have a purpose for the current book I’m working on, but just the act of writing it down makes me feel good. I write down all of these random one-liners, about things, people, and also nature, in a book, content and hopeful that one day I will find a great home for them in my writings.

Today I saw something in the distance while driving. The clouds up ahead were so distinct, so large and looming, that the sight made them almost look like mountains. Immediately a scene formed, and words sprung forth in my mind:

The large clouds rose up into the horizon like mountains, in stark contrast to the spotless sky above.

Hours later, as I’ve been going about my business and thinking about what to write for the ‘Y’ of the day, I remembered a word: yonder.

Yonder means ‘over there,’ ‘in sight but distant.’ I recalled my random scene describer of the mountainous clouds (just made up a word I think) being over there, and applied it.

The large clouds rose up like mountains in the yonder, in stark contrast to the spotless sky above.

It made me LOL a little. I still prefer my original, but I am grateful for the inspired thoughts I have. I’m grateful when I get them here. And I’m grateful when I get them yonder.

(#64) The A-Z April Challenge: X – Xylography

Ha! I did it!

I admit, I had to look up the letter X, in two old dictionaries, but it was alas Google my good friend who presented me with this website:

http://phrontistery.info/x.html

which is where I found this word and description:

Xylography – art of engraving on wood

That immediately reminded me of this, a prized possession in our home.

2016-04-28 16.38.21

I love trees. I love the renewal, the growth, the abundance they represent. I have little tree emblems all over the house, and it makes me happy to look at them. The above one hangs on our wall, and is actually carved from wood, so it totally counts.

Phew. That was a close one. It was almost as hard as ‘V,’ as then too I had to go to the dictionary for inspiration…

2 days to go… come on A-Zers, we can do it 🙂

 

(#63) The A-Z April Challenge: W – Wind

Today was a tug of war between ‘work’ and ‘wind.’ I did have other inspirations floating in, but these were the main two having it out in the boxing ring. Yes, I am grateful for work, quite often actually, but that’s a post for another day. Today ‘wind’ won out, and that’s not something I always say. In fact, I rarely say it.

Brace yourself wind. Today is your lucky day.

Wind, on most days it is around, shits me. I consider it the worst weather condition. It really has no business anywhere to be honest (well maybe out on sea to assist sailors – but there too it could blow in the wrong direction and piss everybody off).

In Winter it just makes things that much more dreary. Depressing. Difficult. In Spring it gives many people the most fantastic of symptoms, hayfever, and in Summer it turns a beautiful sunny day into an irritating one as you clutch your dress in one hand, hair in the other, looking like a waddling penguin as you barge into the outdoors.

However, today we are in Autumn. We have been experiencing a pleasant spell of mid-20s weather this week, which is fantastic. Summer is holding on. It was a mild night, and so as I walked into work, looking out across the water, I felt a gentle breeze stirring my hair. It was a firm waft, but nothing too disruptive.

As I walked home later that day, the wind had a much stronger current. The kind of strong that when it pushes itself against you, you need to fight hard to walk into it and not get picked up and carried away into that water I was observing so peacefully that morning, strong. So really, insane strong.

But, it was still mild. Warm. And I was happy. Had it been a touch cooler, I still would have been happy. You know why? I took a different perspective on it. The wind was invigorating. It hit my face and threw my hair about, but I relished in the feeling of being alive. The wind reminded me I could feel. I was alive, and here, and I was so grateful for the reminder.

That’s probably the only day I’ll ever be grateful for the wind, but I’ll take it.

 

(#62) The A-Z April Challenge: V – Vigour, Baby girl’s

She points to the stereo speaker. When we turn it on, she squeals excitedly, spinning around. She gallops around the kitchen, round and round, from front door back to the backyard window, jumping jumping jumping.

“How does she have the energy?” I wonder. She is not tired in the least. Just the mention of bed, or pyjamas, or milk, and it only spurs her on further. Jumping jumping dancing twirling jumping squealing. She waves her arms at us like ‘come on Mum and Dad!’ We join in, jumping with our arms raised above us, mirroring her. Squeal jump dance.

It isn’t really tiring. I actually find it addictive. Seeing her energy, her vitality, makes me so happy.  We have a happy girl. I couldn’t be prouder. Consequently, I am so grateful for it.

Let her dance. Let her dance. That’s what life’s about… she’ll sleep better tonight 😉

(#61) The A-Z April Challenge: U – Unknown

Being that the unknown can kind of represent nothing, it seems redundant to write about it for ‘U’ day. However I’m talking about the unknown that presents itself to us in our everyday lives, the unknown in our future, in things, in the everyday routine of life.

We’ve returned from our long-weekend getaway, from the place that we’re intending on Sea changing it to. We feel we have more answers than questions after visiting the location once again, and yet although we are more definite about our decision to move, there are still so many things we don’t know… we think we will love it. We think things will turn out. We think we have a sure-fire back-up plan. And yet we think we think we think, when really we don’t know ANYTHING. It is all unknown.

The unknown can be scary. The unknown can be exciting.

Likewise, knowing too much can be scary; conversely, knowing too much of impending happiness, can also be exciting.

Which is the preferred?

I am a curious cat, yet I believe the unknown is much more conducive to living a happier life. We are meant to live life in the present, one step at a time: not stuck in the past, not worried too much about the future.

Life is a challenge, which is why we are not meant to know everything. If we did, there would be no growth, and there would be no point in living, because there would be no life. What’s that really negative quote, about the only thing certain in life being taxes, and death? Well it’s true.

Right now we have so many unknowns…but that’s good. I mean, we’re alive after all. I’m grateful for it.

 

#60 Sunday Fish ‘n’ Chips in Mornington Park

Hubbie reading about the explorer who discovered the area on the plaque of the life-size statue. 1700s.

Baby girl doing circuits on the modernised playground. Ladders, slides – let’s try slide down backwards this time.

Eating fish and chips on the pitch in the middle of the park. Seagulls are suss. We say “shoo!” Baby girl is upset the chips are too hot. Then they are perfect, and so is the atmosphere.

Blinding sun beating down. From cold morning, to sweaty heat.

Chasing sea gulls across the picturesque lawn. Ain’t this the most perfect Sunday afternoon?

Grateful.