#1406 The Christmas carols

My first intention for tonight was to head on down to the local carols in the park for some festive cheer and fun.

‘Twas not to be. Hubbie was tired from work and not ‘feeling it.’

We settled in for a night of carols on TV instead – if I couldn’t have them in person I had to have them someway, right?

“Don’t they do those on Christmas Eve?” Hubbie asked me.

Automatically I responded –

“Channel 7 do Carols in the Domain the Saturday before Christmas, in Sydney… Channel 9 do Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve from Melbourne.”

BAM! Just like that. All Christmas worded-up and everything.

Well I have been watching them all my life, I SHOULD KNOW.

Knowing the Wiggles were on in the first part of the night, we all sat down while baby girl asked repeatedly when they were going to be on.

She totally made up for it when they did arrive on screen, and she danced along to them while we watched her, revelling in her happiness and joy.

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There wasn’t a lot of quiet in our house tonight. We weren’t all seriously watching the carols and singing along with our flashlight features turned on on our phones… we were talking over one another, tuning in and out to songs on telly, singing along to some and talking about our goals for next year and just having the best time together.

We didn’t need no community park concert. We were all we needed.

And then I looked outside and – YES! – our new solar Christmas light was working!

It looked magical 🙂

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My memories of Christmas carols stem way back. Growing up on Christmas Eve I’d sit in the lounge room with my Dad as they played, and Mum would come in and out, busy in her preparations for a big family Christmas lunch the next day. We would then wait up ’til midnight and exchange presents, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and go to bed excited and buzzing that Christmas was finally here.

They are the best memories.

Well we made some of our own tonight. And though the night actually started out pretty average and flat… as soon as the carols started, something magical occurred in our lounge room.

It was, Christmas magic. ♥

#1254 The first production

Hubbie and I are always telling baby girl she can pick any extra-curricular activity she likes… like sport, or a musical instrument.

But tonight another area of possible interest emerged…

Because tonight, baby girl was a penguin.

She was in her Madagascar school production 🙂

She had no leading role. Cuter though, she was part of a whole swagger of penguins (more like, a waddle) and they were all dressed in black and white, wearing white vests with ties, and orange hats on their head to serve as beaks.

Oh my. How my eyes welled up.

They came on stage twice during the show. We found her amidst the groups, pointed and clapped and cheered. At the end of the show the entire school came onto the stage, and the preps were at the front, youngest as they are…

And guess who was clear and centre in front of us?

Our ♥

I tell you, watching her perform her moves, sing along with the group and make out the actions, looking out into the crowd while beaming happily, my heart actually SUNG.

My eyes welled up so much, I could barely see. Hubbie and I waved at her excitedly. Blew her kisses. Gave her plenty of thumbs up.

And I couldn’t help but be transported to when I was 16. Sure, a tad older than baby girl. But I was in year 10, and remember being part of about 7 acts for our end of school revue.

I remember the buzz clearly. I remember the feeling of excited anticipation as people rushed behind the curtain. It was dark, and it was all happening in a frenzied quiet.

It was magic.

I remember that fondly. Sure I never went into that line of work, but I developed a tremendous amount of respect for those that do, as I got a taste of it myself… I felt what it was like, to be a performer. Where the world is your stage…

I don’t know what the future holds for baby girl. But I do know that she had a great time tonight, and that is as good a start as any to start creating good first-time memories… ♥

(waddle waddle waddle).

#1250 The different ways to appreciate my friends

A recurrent theme for me in this gratitude blog is in finding different ways and discovering various angles in which to appreciate the same thing, place, event, food… or people.

And in life, it is common that you find yourself repeatedly thankful for the same thing, many times.

Consider it something truly special, if you find it. It’s not repetitive or mundane.

It’s magic. Blissful. Electric. Beautiful.

To find yourself anew with wonder, happiness and a heart full of love, at the same thing again and again… it’s a blessing.

And so again tonight. Dinner out with friends. Maybe not the number of us that there were meant to be, so hearts were missing… but the hearts there were full of love regardless. ❤️

And how do I pinpoint, and make notice of the different ways in which the night made me smile, filled my soul with joy, and truly made me appreciative of the night?

Well, straight off, Thursday night out. It’s practically still mid-week, and us mums were rocking it, school routines and all waiting for us the next day.

Stuff it.

Nothing says ‘stuff it’ better than a mid-week cocktail.

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Stuff it.

And then there were the moments. The constant talking, how silence DIDN’T fill the air…

The coriander.

My name in their drinks.

The spiciness.

How nothing else was open after we ate, and yet we idled about walking from one place to the next, biding time, while we talked to our hearts content.

Or how we stood talking for half a length of a movie outside the cinemas… just chatting, laughing and sharing stories.

Or how we talked a further 20 minutes in the middle of a vacated shopping centre as we said our goodbyes.

And then said some more…

And so you see, it’s all these things that made this night with old friends so unique. And actually, it isn’t at all common, no matter how many times we catch up, where we eat, who is there, or what we do.

It’s in the memories shared with those you love, and that is always special.

Look after your friends. Good ones are hard to find.

 

 

#1172 Letting go – part two

I’ll tell you a story… or two. I seem to be telling many of late. But this one is about my miraculous observation in the art of letting go… and how when you actually LET GO, and free yourself of expectations and what you believe should be, or should happen… well the right thing presents itself to you.

#1.

The day when we went to the animal shelter to meet our soon-to-be, yet not known at the time, cat…

We were let into the big human-sized cage to watch him. Be with him. The worker placed him into my arms and I held him for a bit before he jumped onto a nearby scratcher and climbed all the way to the top, so he could be at our height.

He looked around, pupils growing wide, curious, observant. A shiny black coat, white socks, white whiskers. We immediately loved him.

But someone else was going to see him FIRST. We were told that since someone had already called and queried about him, they had first preference. We nodded, patting this black and white cat, this cat that was oblivious to the owner wars happening around him.

We smiled and laughed. We patted him some more. We left the large cage and I started to fill in the application for the sake of crossing all t’s and dotting all i’s, but you know what I was thinking? Hubbie’s thoughts mirrored my own though we didn’t express them ’til later…

There’s nothing wrong with this cat. Surely the people will get him. He’s great. He’s gorgeous. He’s entertaining. We are too late.

Just the fact of knowing someone else wanted him, that was reason enough for these people to get this cat. It is part of the human condition, after all, to want even MORE what someone else wants.

I finished filling in the form as Hubbie and baby girl went across the room to look at other cats in cages. I felt a bit sad thinking it wasn’t likely we would see him again, and yet I still felt this happiness, this positivity… and knowing all that I did, smiling at him through the cage, I placed my finger through a hole to pat his neck and I whispered

“See you later.”

With a wide smile. I knew there were people first in line before us. I knew he was practically perfect. I knew all of this, and still I put those words out there with hope and happiness in my heart, but most importantly I –

LET GO.

And of course, the next day the shelter called me to say…

The cat was ours, if we wished. The other people?

They never even showed up.

Such a small moment, but it held so much weight. I have been replaying my state of being, my feelings, just my general mood as I whispered those words to him that Sunday. I have been thinking it over again and again, trying to bottle up the exact feeling, the exact feeling that led us to what we wanted.

And in going over it again and again, it happened… AGAIN.

#2.

My work is giving us all training allowances in our redundancies. I’m doing an online writing course at the moment… and two weeks ago I wrote in to apply for another one (as I still had funds I could use).

But last week, I got nervous. My new course started this week, I hadn’t heard back, and yet I had failed to mention to the relevant people that the course started like, NOW… so I sent a little reminder. A little “sorry, but just wanted to mention…” type email.

I came into work today and still… nothing. 

I fluctuated. First I was angry. How could she not approve me that course? There were no grounds not to? Was she busy? She had replied to another non-related email of mine within seconds of me sending, why wasn’t she doing anything about this? 

Then I went the other way. Maybe I should take this as a sign. Maybe I am pushing too much. Maybe it is not meant to be, now.

But no! I argued in my head. I had a whole plan. A whole plan as to how I was going to progress with my courses… I soon realised I was becoming too controlling, too much trying-to-make-everything-my-way and not life’s way.

I hesitated. I paused. I still sent another reminder to say I had days left to apply within this week’s period, but I pondered the repercussions of not doing the course immediately.

Maybe I should do this course at another time… I would have to wait another 2 months or so, but maybe that time was better? I was feeling exceptionally busy and overwhelmed by a lot at the moment… maybe this was my blessing in disguise. Maybe, just maybe, there was something else better waiting for me.

By the end of the day, I had convinced myself it was better this way, and that there were advantages of not doing the course now.

I felt the benefits.

I felt the relief.

I had –

LET GO.

Guess what happened 20 minutes before the end of my work shift?

Email. Approving my course.

(Face palm).

Big, little, in-between or life-changing, I am seeing a theme. A theme whereby I have let go of an expectation, an ending I believe to be correct, and allowed the Universe to take over as I focus on other things… and then those things that I have wanted, have come into my life, so easily.

Effortlessly.

Magically.

And all I had to do is LET GO, and believe it. Which sounds easier than it is. It takes serious practice and repetition that all is good as it is. Like one of my fave Pulp Fiction quotes:

“Bitch be cool!”

Well that’s what I have been doing. I have been practicing, being cool. 

Letting go.

Releasing.

Surrendering.

Not controlling.

Just, allowing.

And in such simple terms, going with the flow.

And it is a miraculous place to go.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

 

 

#1161 The shimmering Moon

The general consensus amongst Melburnians today would be this:

The weather was amazing.

Stunning. Bright. Happy. Glorious. All the sunshine-y things.

It was a perfect Easter Saturday, and a wonderful way to continue this Easter long weekend.

But few people would have been privy to the other celestial show I witnessed earlier today.

I left the house for work at 6am. It was black as midnight. And yet instead of doing my usual hurried dash towards the car (boogie men, that’s why, and a certain cousin who likes to scare me shitless with horror videos) I stopped, and I stared.

And I took out my phone.

The moon was so full, so bright and so low, that it was casting a beautiful shimmering reflection on the water before me.

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It was magical. Like something you would read about in a book… but this was before my very eyes. My mind wasn’t making it up at all.

And I realised… if it weren’t for work, I wouldn’t have seen this spectacular lunar display.

Often, we find ourselves in places that we are meant to be in… but it’s whether we realise it or not that makes the difference.

 

 

#1147 TGIs and games night

For the second half of the day, I was looking forward to this burger at TGIs:

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While baby girl was looking forward to the moment where she could do this:

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Hmm, what to buy with my game tickets? Decisions, decisions…

All her hard-earned and played tickets spent shooting, throwing, aiming, squirting, bashing, and so on, on various tools, balls and instruments, led to this glittery prize…

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A wand. To create magic. Of course. 💗💫 💫 💫

#948 Rainbow on the road

My gratitude today comes from the sights I witnessed while driving home from work.

A rainbow that you drive underneath as rain trickles down, is sure to bring a smile to your face.

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And then as I got home, I actually couldn’t resist this:

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I know, I know. Another sunset? But you see, it was all the more sweeter, because I snapped it before I walked in and got the best greeting in the whole wide world.

“Mama’s home!”

She sure is 🙂