I had this thought like the night before baby girl started Term 3 of school.
So, last Sunday night.
“Hmm, so no lockdown? This will be a LONG term. No public holidays. But she’s back at school… So that’s good.
But we need to look at the positives. Like sleep. Sleeping in, that is. Because when I’m not getting up for work, I am actually sleeping in to late morning with her, and it’s the only saviour in this Winter July Lockdown, that has no definite end date, while I am agonised during the day with home-schooling.
You know, I am doing an extra job! A job I haven’t been trained in, that I am not paid for, and a job that is made much worse because I am her mother, not her teacher…
Do you know the stuff they get away with because they’re at home? Do you know the number of times I’ve said to her “Would you do/say/be like that in front of your teacher?”
And the response I get?
No! That’s right, the smart-arsed difficult replies are reserved to only me, the parent, because I know so clearly what I am doing!
But this is turning into more of a whinge, so let’s go back. The sleep.
In the words of the late, great, genius Freddie Mercury…
“Can anybody find me…
Something to be grateful for?”
Or something to that effect.
Oh man. Victorian lockdown number 5.
This sucks majorly. I understand there are greater issues and problems at play here, but it’s still ok to be pissed. It’s ok to be upset that once again, everything in our schedules has changed. Shifted. Pressure mounted. Responsibilities added.
There are so many people who are suffering financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, that the addition of yet another lockdown brings so much angst. Plans are changed, and though at surface level it all appears to be just a ‘simple inconvenience,’ many of us count on seeing our friends and family, to lift our spirits, to get us through hard times, to be amongst loved ones so that we’re not lonely.
Some of us just need a bloody break, and another lockdown to keep us away from all that we love is the icing on the cake, or in this case, the horse poo on the top of the pig vomit.
There has to be another way to avoid this. We can’t just change everything and halt life every time a couple of cases roll into town. There has to be another way.
And yeah, I know, look at NSW. I don’t wanna be like NSW at all. No offence guys. We’ve been there, done that, for 5 months of last year that was quite frankly soul-destroying.
So yeah, NAH.
But enough on my soapbox. Yeah, I’m a bit over it all…
But in true Freddie fashion, I did find something to love (or be grateful for) after all.
It’s July 15th folks! We are officially half-way through Winter!
And although there are still other worldly problems larger at hand, making the coldest season of the year pale in comparison, knowing that the trend of lockdown tends to go down the warmer the months get…
It sits nicely amongst other fave Winter days, and the unifying theme is all about hope. Hope, and happiness.
So, what are my fave Winter days? I never thought you’d ask.
June 1st is first. There is so much dread and anxiety approaching the coldest season of the year, that honestly having the day tick over to Winter is a RELIEF. The waiting is over, and most of the time, it ain’t that bad.
And also, this year was really not that bad at all. You know what’s bad? Covid, and LOCKDOWNS. But Winter? Nah. Chuck on a jacket and go outside with your freedom.
June 10th. This is my sister’s birthday, and so it comes to reason I love it because she’s one of my favourite people. 💖💖
The end of June is great. We are a month down of Winter! July 15th is a similar reason, in that it’s halfway through Winter, and then end of July, we’re two months done peeps! I consider August HALF-Winter, LOL.
And speaking of August, there is mine and baby girl’s birthdays, including that of everyone I know in my life, pretty much, almost. And I say time and time again, come our birthday, and Spring is in the air, I SWEAR. I will fight this to the end guys.
So, what’s so spesh about June 21st?
Two things, really. Kinda three.
Our engagement anniversary. 13 years ago we had a terrific celebration where our families and friends united for one amazing, joy-filled, hopeful night. Full of happiness, dance, laughter, and great memories.
The second reason is it’s the Winter solstice. The shortest day of the year! So from here on out, the days will incrementally start getting longer, oh-so-small at first but it will be there.
An aside from the Winter solstice is the meaning behind it. Our number three. The spiritual significance of the day has to do with the dark making way for the increasing lighter days, with renewal and rebirth both major themes.
I absolutely love this, and so every year I look forward to it with excitement.
I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to engage in self-care on such a day, a day when your intentions and what you put out into the Universe is paramount. I walked, I worked out. I had coffee, made a warm breakfast. I read, I wrote, I sat in the sun, and I also chilled, like watched TV, so, so peacefully.
It is a day of hope, of promise, and after losing a lot of hope for so long, I am feeling like I am starting, very slowly, to gain it back.
And this winter solstice is therefore so timely. 🌞
Over this last month of winter, every time we’ve had a sunny day, a still day, or a day worthy of breathing “ahh” despite the cold, I’ve had the same lyric waft through my head.
“Here comes the sun…”
Lately, it’s getting stronger.
It’s from Madonna’s song, ‘Rain.’ It’s one of my many favourites of hers. Not just because she sings it, but rain itself is a dominant, spiritual, natural theme in my life that I draw on time and time again.
It’s cyclic emergence, and subsequent meaning, is so important to me.
And although she sings about rain, with the downpour of it being a release of emotions, she then goes on to sing about the sun.
“Here comes the sun,
Here comes the sun,
And I say,
Never go away.”
It’s a little like my yin and yang post from the other day. We need a balance don’t we? Life can’t exist with just sunshine, with just rain…
But at the same time, we’ve had so much rain in our life lately.
Rain in the form of winter.
Rain in the form of crap raining down on us.
Rain in the fact that life is a lot harder for us than it used to be.
Rain in that it is absolutely guaranteed that we are collectively struggling in one form or another.
It’s metaphoric connotation is HUGE.
Today, I didn’t wear my jacket as I headed off to do the groceries. Sure it was a little fresh, but generally, I was okay.
The sun was out.
I felt the difference. It happens sometimes in late July. There will be a couple of sunshine-y days, and you can just tell, that slight shift to crisp, bright, Spring days, is just around the corner.
It wasn’t a surprise to me this morning, when a friend reminded me it was now officially, the season of the lion.
The Leo horoscope, was upon us.
Only it wasn’t really a reminder to me. I wait for the changeover to this feline month, and the last month of Winter, not just because I love cats and hate the cold, but mainly for the fact that it’s my birthday month, and a celebration month for A LOT of my family.
But, things are a bit different this year. It’s guaranteed there will be none of the usual birthday hoo-ha’s this August, and so for the last little while, I’ve turned my attention elsewhere.
Well, it IS always there… I’m just really engaging all of my energies into it.
It’s a scary place to be. Putting yourself out there, exposing your passions and insecurities right there on paper/word doc/social media…
Allowing people into your mind, your heart, your soul. But it’s what I love, and so a part of me must be masochistic, because I keep doing what terrifies me most, inching forward increment by increment, hoping to God that everything stays smooth.
Everything keeps sailing.
I took a bit of a leap recently. I joined a local writer’s group. It’s no basement-budget style catch up either – it’s a proper, paid, yearly membership, where you immerse yourself with other like-minded, passionate writerly types as yourself.
Today I joined the closed facebook group for the club… and you know, it felt SO GOOD. I was kinda terrified of putting myself out there, as is normal since writing is uber-important to me, but I did what I’ve been doing all this year it seems… and pushed past the fear.
“What’s the big deal?”
“Why are you so scared?”
“Stop over dramatising!”
All very valid thoughts you might be thinking, I get it.
But imposter syndrome is a real thing, and trying to push past the self-doubts, the questions as to why you’re there, the fear of rejection or denial, of discovering you’re actually shit… all of those things are genuine fears that keep people from doing what they should be doing.
From pursuing their dreams.
But the thing to understand is, these self-doubts we all experience are completely normal, to some degree. We all have them, we all feel them at some point or another, and as long as they’re not physically or mentally debilitating to our psyche, if we learn to accept them and push past them anyway…
Guess what we’ve just done?
I actually came across a lovely quote today, quite indicative of the step I took:
“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.” – Brendan Francis Behan.
And how convenient, that we are talking about all of this courage, at this particular month…
During this particular season.
Try to channel the lion in you, and take a step closer to what you most love to do.
But today we headed out to grab our last, in-store, sit-down, cafe experience…
Along with the rest of the town.
I mean, really July. What trickery are you fooling us into? How gorgeous was today? And it’s meant to continue for 2 more days… only for the sunshine-y days to return again next week!
Ahh, Winter. You’ve made me kinda like you again.
You know, I have to say… it is A BIT annoying. And I think I am allowed to say this, because last I heard, our shire had NO current cases of coronavirus.
And yet we are suddenly part of ‘metropolitan Melbourne’ (only when they want us) and yet our neighbours across the Port Phillip Bay in Geelong have 2 CURRENT CASES, and are exempt from this lockdown.
Kilometres wise, they are further from the city than we are.
It does not make sense.
I’m not gonna focus on it too much though. We have to do what we have to do. And if too many shires are given reprieves (ahem, Geelong) well then no one is going to listen, and they won’t be happy, right?
I’ll suck it up.
Baby girl took my cue from the other night, and had stuck this note on our bedroom door last night:
I mean, we couldn’t say no to a 6 year-old, right?
Everyone was out and having their last lunches, last drinks, last cuppas…
They were all still social distancing. Counting numbers inside and outside the cafe. Sanitiser was within reach. It was very much across the board.
And the coffee was GREAT. But, it all felt a bit surreal. I mean, you could tell people were getting in their last whatever’s before midnight tonight. I could hear the cafe owner telling loyal customers they would be open for takeaway every day.
We enjoyed it. And then we left. Walked down the main street…
And to the PARK.
Poor baby girl. Poor all kids. They have to go through this shitty time again. Look I get it, we have to do this. Baby girl is actually amazing and totally understanding of what we have to sacrifice again.
But, I wanted to let her run. I wanted her to play.
And she did.
I’ll see you all on the other side… but stay for the gratitude journey, of course, as always. 🙂
It’s a lot nicer when you don’t expect anything, and then the opposite occurs.
Something. We were happily bound to our home for the day, Sunday, the first day of Spring (yippee!) and also, Father’s Day.
Baby girl had happily helped her Dad open up his presents after our late morning breakfast, still on a high from the night before yet feeling the lack of sleep, when I got word, that our quiet day might be different.
I had seen my Dad at my bro-in-law’s birthday the night before after all… I had seen my whole family.
But then I heard my Mum and Dad were going to my sister’s place for a quick visit, and so then we might as well pop on by…
And what started as a very non-expectant day, had us around a table talking, laughing, and then watching the rain pour down later when the clouds decided to merge overhead.
It didn’t affect the sunset though. Just as I had been longing for Winter to be over, just as quickly it came to an end… and this seems to happen every year. June, July and the start of August feel so long, then mine and baby girl’s birthday passes and it no time – BANG!
Spring. Sunshine. Sunsets like this:
And so the message really is… don’t expect anything. Things are that much sweeter when you think of not much at all…