#457 Sweeping Autumn leaves

I’m loving Autumn more and more each year.

Not only because the season reminds me of when Hubbie and I wed. But it’s often been an under-rated season for me – I’m always too busy dreaming about Summer, dreading Winter, and getting excited at any ray of sunlight that decides to peak through the clouds in Spring.

Although we are less than half a month away (yikes!) from the coldest time of the year, I’ve come to realise, as years go by, that there is something so magical and beautiful about Autumn.

Autumn brings us the boldest and brightest of colours, shining and then fading as they roll majestically to the ground. Even the way the leaves fall, there is no hope lost in their descending action, only pristine beauty, with the promise of even brighter leaves and trees, in the far-off future.

Days may be slightly colder, but the sun is still warm, and the days are calm and peaceful, allowing for silent reflection and contemplation about what the future holds, and what actions we can take now to make our dreams come true.

That’s how Autumn feels for me.

Baby girl and I have been doing something for a few days now, which is, sweeping leaves by the side of the house. I noticed how peaceful this activity was on a crisp yet sunny Autumn’s morning last week, and was amazed that I actually enjoyed it: being outside, sweeping leaves that had fallen from our neighbours fig tree, and not even minding that they weren’t even OUR leaves. Not even OUR trees.

There is a reason why baby girl is so fascinated with the sweeping leaves process – in doing so I am literally paving the way so she can ride her scooter, leaf-free. So today, amidst baking like mad for my parents’ upcoming anniversary party, I took some slight refuge amidst the busy-ness of it all, and while bringing in provisions from the garage, I stopped to ask baby girl, who was already turning the scooter around “do you want me to sweep the leaves?”

I was so busy, but a part of me wanted to do it. A part of me has found real solace in the gentle, cleansing action, the scraping of the broom against concrete, bristles against crackling leaves. In fact, I adore it.

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Finding gratitude, everyday, in places I’d never expect…

 

#444 8 Years

(There’s something beautifully symmetrical about the above…)

Sure, last night we all went out as a family to celebrate, at a local and pretty nice restaurant. But tonight, this is how Hubbie and I spent our 8th wedding anniversary:

(Baby girl ordering us to hide, so she can ‘find’ us)

She runs out of the room squealing, pretend counting.

We huddle under the couch’s throw, wrapping it around and ensuring we are well covered, giggling as our bodies draw closer and we cheekily kiss and hug, knowing we are well out sight.

“Happy Anniversary bubs.”

“Happy Anniversary.”

“I love you.”

“I love you honey.”

Baby girl re-enters the room and excitedly pretends to look around, trying to ignore the fact that she knows where we are. Hubbie’s head pops out of the throw cover and he asks “where’s Mama?”

Minutes later and I am ‘found,’ and soon enough we are all under the covers, laughing and tickling and making memories. No fancy restaurant can match that, because that’s the most important seat in the house.

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#421 Kinder days no.2

….. and we are BACK. Back from school holidays, and back to kindergarten.

(Mwa ha ha).

Even though baby girl only goes one session a week because she is 3, those 5 hours mean a lot to me, let me tell you. If only for sanity, for catch-up, for myself, those few hours make such a difference, and the absence of them over the past few weeks has been sorely felt.

Today I did grocery shopping, alone.

Today I recommenced Zumba – my body needed and wanted it, BAD. (My left leg not being able to perform a particular movement towards the end of the session, showed me how badly my body was out of whack).

I ate well, having extra time to prepare a healthy lunch.

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(No that’s not cucumber, that’s broccoli stalk – shop your vegies finely, pop it into a Microwave safe container, fill 1/4 to a 1/3 with water, and put in the microwave for about 2 minutes with the lid ajar, or if you have the above Tupperware contraption, even better. Mix with tuna, carbs, or all of the above – done).

I cleaned the house – let me tell you it was very necessary.

I completed and ordered online invitations for my parents 50th wedding anniversary – sis and I are extremely excited.

Ahh, there’s nothing like catch-up. Getting ahead. Feeling accomplished.

I love Kinder.

#365 A whole year!

It’s officially been done folks – I’ve been doing this insane thing, called ‘an item of gratitude a day’ for a whole year! No breaks, no mishaps, although sometimes I completely forgot to post in the busy-ness of life, but then soon made up for it immediately afterwards… despite all of life’s many ups, and many downs, I’ve nailed this MOFO to the wall.

One year down.

Just the rest of my entire life to go.

Sigh. But yay too!

And it all started with a God-damn car crash.

Not only does today mark a year of this blog, but there were two other significant happenings, on this February 23rd:

  1. I started exercising again. It happened during my new-found ‘me’ time in baby girl’s 5-hour kinder block, and it has been something that has been on my mind for a while. You know when you just aren’t happy with ‘things?’ Well the only way to change it, is to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And I took action today. AND I felt awesome.
  2. I just literally found out that someone dear to me is pregnant. So, it all feels very poignant and happy and memorable, and I am just stoked to the point that I will fall into a heap from the excited exhaustion soon.

That’s it peoples. I am happy. And mostly, I am grateful.

That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

 

 

#364 Our conversation

So I’m at work, and I call Hubbie.

Light chit chat. She slept this much. They’ve done this. It’s so windy here. Why don’t you cook like that when I’m home.

Then, there’s some noises, disruption and shuffling, and I realise, baby girl has taken the phone off of her Dad.

“Hi Princess! Did you have a good sleep?”

“Ya.”

“Are you having a good time?”

“Ya.”

“Are you playing with your blocks?”

“Up up up!”

“Ohhh, you’re building them up! That’s good! Are you watching Frozen?”

“Let it go, let it go!”

“We’re going to see them on ice in 5 months! Are you excited?”

“Ya, woowoowoo!”

“Yes, we’re going to see the Wiggles, too, but in 2 months.”

“Oh.”

Maybe a bunch of nonsense and incomprehensible words for some, but for me, it was the first telephone convo I’ve had with baby girl where not only have I held her attention long enough to pass words between us, but we’ve BOTH understood each other and been able to respond to one another.

It was GOLD.

Aww this girl. She has a big chunk of my heart. 🙂

(Just for fun, can anyone guess what tomorrow’s post might be dedicated to? Just look above, and think… 😉 )

#118 Shortest day marks re-birth of the Sun

It’s always a pleasant surprise when I am going through my day, this gratitude blog floating in the back of my mind, just waiting for something to happen, and then something does so that it jumps forth and goes ‘aha!’ Such a moment happened just minutes ago, as I discovered today is the shortest day of the year.

Today marks the Winter solstice in the Southern hemisphere.

As a Summer-loving gal, you just KNOW that I am grateful for this day, because being the shortest day today, only means the days are going to be getting longer and longer.

(Yes yes yes! Llyeton Hewitt style).

But then something else happened. I was focusing on the article I was reading about the solstice, and looking at the date: June 21.

Then it hit me. On this day, what seems like almost a lifetime ago, Hubbie and I got engaged.

So we got engaged on the Winter Solstice.

I read some more. Turns out that historically, in ancient times this turning point is considered the re-birth of the Sun, where a new spark of Hope is ignited. It makes sense: through the longest and darkest of nights, there come the promise of light, and new beginnings.

However, the fact that the days will get longer, does not mean that sunrise will come sooner in the day – not yet anyway. This is all to do with the fact that the Earth’s path around the Sun is not in a perfect circle, and also the Earth is off-centre on its axis (you can thank me for the lesson later).

I found all that info pretty damn cool, (no pun intended)… don’t you?

On that cold night of historical significance, we made a commitment to each other… we danced the night away with family and friends, smiled ’til our cheeks hurt, laughed, and wished, and Hoped, and promised, and looked forward to our future together.

The re-birth of the Sun. The promise of Hope. That suits me to a T. Actually, that sits perfectly with how I live my life.

 

#95 2 years of Word

I’ve been practicing the written word for as long as I can remember… in grade 2, copying my favourite story in class, word for word…through my teenage years, capturing the angst and desperation of those turmoil-fuelled days, with words in my diary… and in recent years, trying to take in all the words of books written by authors from all around the world, while trying to capture my own unique take on the word, via the creation of fiction, more personal writing, and blogging.

I’ve been doing all of the above for well over 2 years; many, many more in fact. But it’s my anniversary with joining WordPress that has come to the number 2 today.

I do have another, unread blog still floating around in cyber-space that was my primary outlet of online expression prior to this one, but it’s only once I joined this online community that I said ‘Ok. No more anonymity (well kind of…) time to express myself and say “Hello World. This is SmikG, your writer speaking.”

Which is how my first WordPress blog, SmikG, came to fruition: my online writing presence as a writer, where I could write about the things that pleased or angered me. Personal pieces, book reviews, and a hefty portion of food reviews abound this blog that I’m still building up. I’ve got much more I’d love to do with it, but all in good time.

Then, in late Feb of this year, I decided to jump on board the expressive gratitude bandwagon and start a project that had been milling around my head for ages… which is how this blog, carcrashgratitude, came to be. I’m now so close to the 100 mark, and knowing that I’m reaching yet another blog/writing/gratitude milestone makes me happy and grateful.

There are days when I think, this is the easy bit. It’s still so early into my gratitude ongoing life challenge, that I worry there will come a day where there is just nothing absolutely new or fresh or novel to write about for that current day. Say on day 95, today, that isn’t such a problem. However when I’m up to day 1195, I might be struggling to find something I haven’t already explored in some capacity.

This thought keeps the wheels turning in my head. I don’t want to think of having to call it a day due to lack of content… but seriously? That day is inevitable, right?

And then glass half-full gal kicks in.

No!

The whole challenge of this, I remind myself, is to try and find a little piece of gratitude, no matter how small, no matter how specific, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may appear to others… as long as it is something I am appreciative for, then it totally matters.

It’s my challenge to be grateful for things, often the exact same thing, but in a million different ways, from a million different perspectives. (Take how many times I’ve already posted about coffee here, for example). That’s not just my challenge as a writer, to find ways of being creative even when I am lacking in any writing juices, but it’s my challenge as a person, to find things to be happy for, even on low days, dark days, sad days, and boring days. It’s a hard challenge, and I haven’t even hit the hard part yet. I’m a happy person, and my heart sinks thinking of the hard parts. But I have to try. Hope is the song of my heart, so I will have that to help me through.

So today, I’m grateful that I’ve reached the 2 year milestone with WordPress, yes… but I’m also grateful that I have had the material to keep me blogging for this period of time.

And you know what? As a writer, if I didn’t have the material to blog…

I’d bloody go and find it.