Life has been so busy lately. So busy, that we’ve forgotten a lot of who we are.
May has come around too fast. And another Monday, come and gone.
It was only last week when I went “damn. That came fast.”
Our ‘special’ day.
Not having the time to celebrate when you’re ‘meant to’ does not mean jack.
Take the commercial days, of Valentine’s Day, hell even throw in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
They’re all the same.
We’re told as a society that we have to do something, we must do something to celebrate it, show off for social media, friends and family…
It is lovely to celebrate, appreciate loved ones in our life, and I’m not saying that I don’t do it, personally…
But you should celebrate your special people, ALL THE DAYS of your life. Not just when the catalogues and ads tell you too.
Same as for other days.
Days like, an anniversary. 💖💖
Our anniversary fell on a Monday this year. Work, school, swimming, groceries, phone calls, emails, basketball game, routine routine routine… it was all too much. It was a fairly uneventful day, and that’s ok, because we share our love for each other on other days, in other ways, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s not on this EXACT day.
I’m not trying to convince myself, honest. 😂 In fact, we are going out tomorrow night, and going away for a couple of nights soon too.
Let there be love on all the days. Let there be hugs, kisses, displays of affection, cards and presents, snuggles and all kinds of lovey-dovey things, on all the days.
Not just when it is deemed special, by society, by milestone, or by date.
I had a really lovely night… sans Hubbie. He was out playing basketball.
Baby girl and I had dinner together, then we sat on the couch and she read school books to me.
Then we watched Masterchef, and we never watch Masterchef. 😂
Hubbie came home, and then eventually we sat on the couch as a family, to do one special thing together, something small to highlight our ‘special’ day…
We looked through our official photos. 😍
Baby girl and I put on the special photo gloves, and she helped me leaf through the pages, as we all reminisced, and she learnt and discovered.
And I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night.
Two appointments on the other side of town, visiting my parents and sister and fam in between that, and then a big writers meet-up at the end of the night back home.
It’s been a lot.
It’s been a day of a lot of things. Hope. New directions. New people. New plans.
I’m a glass half-full gal, and things are starting to feel right. That glass is filling up again.
With HOPE. 🤞
I’m going on, rambling a bit, I know. I just don’t really know where to rest my creative mind, to release these thoughts from, what to centre on when much has given me happiness today.
But I will talk about nature, because it inspires me.
Specifically, my parents and my sister’s backyard.
I used to love spending time in the backyard of my childhood home. All those memories, all those fun times, so much joy within those trees and the shady spots. I was amazed and surprised then, when I found myself loving my parents’ NEW backyard, finding beauty in little pockets of grass, verdant greenery full and lush underneath your feet, life brimming and blooming from the smallest spring of herb, to a wide-reaching leaf of a fern.
That beauty extends equally to my sister’s backyard.
I was admiring this gorgeous tree, sprouting golden Autumn leaves. We were in her backyard sitting and talking, and so many times I was accidentally witness to a yellow leaf floating easily to the ground.
Before my very eyes.
It was a magical sight.
And I realised later when I headed off, how I find beauty in both of their backyards, and how that must mean something more… for those we love, we find the beauty inherent everywhere, all around them, because they are love.
We are doing renovations at the moment… small ones, yet they will hopefully be long, beautiful and lasting.
(On us, or our backyard do you think????)
One day I hope, someone will look at our yard and see the beauty lying in wait, wanting to be found.
Living through lockdown has given us a new way of connecting with other people… online.
I am still working from home, and today we played this online Pictionary game. You have to draw on the screen from a selection of words you’ve been given… and the rest of the room, (people participating) have to guess what you’re drawing.
I thought it was pretty cool, and it was Friday, so later my mind wandered where it usually goes to on Friday nights… to my friends. We spent a lot of Zoom calls together during those few months last year, and so I got to really get used to seeing their faces, talking about anything and everything, and just connecting in a way that honestly, we never really had before.
The lockdown had given us a new opportunity to learn even more about each other, through a multitude of topics, discussion, and debate.
And it was great. I realised no matter how much they talk, how much we disagree, how much we maybe shit each other up the wall… we are ultimately stuck with each other for life. That’s it.
And I love it.
So, missing my crew, I sent the random message out: “Anyone wanna play a game online?” Well to be expected, most were busy and couldn’t, but one such friend said “sure, give me a sec.”
And so I’ve spent the last hour or so of this night, chatting to her online while we played online Pictionary!
She is one of my oldest friends. I actually can’t remember if we were friends first in grade 1, or grade 2… I have no idea. I have no idea because after a while, your memory starts to get blurry. I never believed it when I was in my teens, or late childhood. I couldn’t understand how people would say “I can’t remember” about a huge, momentous milestone in their life. I used to think, “how can you not remember something so important?”
Well, now I know. Because as life goes on, your head gets filled up with more and more stuff, and the other stuff that you don’t think of as much, well it starts to fade.
So, so true. Maybe that’s why I’m so adamant about capturing every written word. It’s my own personal record for my unpredictable mind.
Anyway, you get my drift. We’ve been friends for about 30 years, not a word of a lie. And while we laughed at each other’s funny drawings, and tried to make sense of the game, we also caught up and reconnected, and it made me realise that technology, lockdown even, brought a few pretty good things with it.
A Friday night spent watching something on TV, or just letting the hours while away on random stuff around the house, was instead spent sharing some laughs and having fun with one of my oldest besties.
And then, in amongst all that… a milestone! Baby girl got fed up with me on the computer playing games, and put herself to bed!
It’s actually the second time she’s fallen asleep on her own like this, but the first that she did it intentionally… the first time she went to bed as I set up watch over a huntsman in our room, making sure he didn’t hide anywhere, waiting for Hubbie to come home and get rid of it. I’d told her to wait in her bed for me another 20 minutes, and instead she had fallen asleep.
But tonight, tonight was intentional. I was there chatting away, and then went to check up on her… I even kissed her head… and she remained sleeping. Peaceful. Absolutely beautiful, as all sleeping children are. 🤣
So, a good night all around. Looking back, looking forwards… as long as it’s done with the right people…
Today one of my all-time favourite songs made me happy.
Well it almost made me cry… but happy tears.
It’s really hard for me to pinpoint one song that I love, out of ALL the songs. I mean, they all give you different feels, and are meant for different occasions, right?
You have seasonal songs that you love. You play them repeatedly for 3 months, and then think of them fondly (or not so fondly!) when you hear it half a year down the track.
Then you have those songs that you love, but you have to be in the mood. A lot of my favourite artists fall into this category.
I love Madonna, but I have to be ‘in the mood’ for her.
Same for Prince.
The list goes ON and ON.
Yeah, I love these guys. But you have to be there, to feel it.
Then there are those random songs. The ones that you love so hard, that you can’t play them too much for fear of overkilling them and suddenly becoming immune to them. These songs feed your heart, your soul.
Whether they make your feet dance and your arms rise up in joy, like my ‘Diamonds For Her’…
Or whether they make you weep sadly, hand on your heart, like Sia’s ‘Unstoppable’…
Or whether they make your heart wanna burst with happiness… like the song I heard today.
‘O Sole Mio.’
It’s one of my all-time favourite, treasured and protected songs, held closely to my chest, so so personal, and also, from one of my all-time favourite movies.
Only You. The movie that stars Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. It’s a romantic comedy which affected me early on in my teens when I first saw it, and it seems the movie has affected me in more ways than one, over the years…!
But this song. Ohh, this song. You know I heard this song, in St Mark’s Square in Venice when Hubbie and I honeymooned there, many moons ago. And it made me all teary, knowing I was hearing it, in Italy, played by a band, LIVE, in such a romantic setting, knowing it was the same country that the characters of Only You have a journey in!
The version on the movie soundtrack that I listened to today is performed by Quartetto Gelato. The voice and power behind it is so strong, so moving, that when listened to, you can’t not get a tear in your eye (or 200) listening to the depth and breath of passion in his voice when he sings the song translated to mean “my sun” or “my sunshine.”
I was just there, this afternoon, trying to pick myself up while washing dishes, and then I put on this… this song. And it filled me up whole, entirely, the way all great all-time favourite songs should do.
Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.
The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.
The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.
The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.
Goodbye, number 14.
It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.
Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.
Here is the emotional part.
I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.
But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.
Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.
And love. SO much love.
Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.
In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.
In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.
In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.
The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.
She made it look effortless.
Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.
The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.
At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.
The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.
In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.
It’s always been the better room.
I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.
I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.
My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.
I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.
I talked to SO MANY people, through it.
I listened to music for hours on my bed.
I had sleepovers in that room.
I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.
When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.
I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.
All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.
Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.
Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!
Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…
News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.
People were welcomed. People were greeted.
People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.
And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.
And we drove off, for good.
That was seriously bitter, right?
Where is the sweet?
Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.
How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?
Including most importantly, the people.
I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏡🏡
But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.