#1068 ‘Til we see Yule next time

Finally, the Christmas tree and decorations are packed away.

I sound relieved. I am.

As much as I love Christmas, once a week after January rolls around, I am keen to put the festivities, back in their box.

I started packing up earlier this week, but due to social engagements and work and random holiday stuff, the boxes have been sitting around the house, just waiting for Hubbie to put them underneath the stairs.

Why don’t I put them under the stairs you ask? Why there are bugs, ew. And I needed some other stuff out of there, so…

We nailed the Christmas star to its coffin tonight, and everything is all tidy again, and I feel free.

No more Christmas ’til mid-November December, right?

Well…

Baby girl has hugged several Christmas lights, decorations and bears as they have gone into their Christmas hibernation places.

She said tonight “Mum… do you wanna put on some Christmas music?”

And when she ate dinner tonight, it had to be from her Christmas plate (like the last 5 months have been).

Someone isn’t keen to say goodbye just yet. πŸ˜‰

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Photo by Chelsea Francis on Unsplash

#1051 A grateful start to 2019

What more can I ask for?

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Photo by Oskars Sylwan on Unsplash

Seeing in the New Year with family, friends.

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Love, happiness, fun, laughter.

Dancing and d&m’s.

Roasted marshmallows.

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Splashing by the pool.

Selfies by the tree.

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All the good things, are all the simple things.

Happy New Year to all. May 2019 bring you all your greatest desires.

Every year with my loved ones, I am supremely grateful.

Here’s looking to a 2019 filled with more gratitude, or ways to find it, than the last.

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

#1038 Reminiscing on kinder days.

Today wasn’t as bittersweet as I thought.

Because I focused on the sugar.

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I love all the colour. Her unicorn backpack. πŸ¦„πŸŽ’ Soon it will be navy, with the rest of her standard uniform… gone the wear-what-you-like, heart leggings and butterfly top days. Β β€οΈπŸ¦‹

I love the freedom. Walking into class, with 5 different activities and games happening in different corners. The kids choose as they please, but next year there will be structure, and the choice will be offered within strict parameters.

I love the size. 20 or so kids, and 20 or so parents…

when next year it is them, versus the SCHOOL. 🏫

I love the teachers. They have helped her grow and mature. When I wasn’t around to settle a sore finger or bruised knee, they sat with her as she cried. πŸ˜’πŸ’”

And the trees… how I adore them. 😍🌳🌳🌳

I say β€˜I love,’ but now it is really, β€œI loved.”

Because the kinder days are officially over.πŸ”š

 

 

#1030 The wrapping begins

And the Christmas gratitude continues.

You know there are some people who wait until they have bought ALL their Christmas presents until they begin wrapping them? Hey, YOU may even be one of those people.

I am here to say though, that I am not one of those people.

Part of the reason is because if I waited until I had bought absolutely everything, I wouldn’t wrap anything ’til days before the festive day, since there is always some little pesky last minute thing I need to get.

Another reason is that I have catch-ups leading up to Christmas day, and that too means I need to get my wrap game on earlier.

And thirdly? Well I need to see the Christmas tree filling up with presents as soon as possible. Seeing all that delightful red, green and gold underneath, with pretty ribbons and sparkly stuff, well it just warms my soul.

And for that reason, I started wrapping my first lot of presents today.

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I did it strategically, while baby girl was at kinder… and when she later saw it, she gasped and said “Wait a minute, presents under the tree! I can’t believe it! Any for me?”

And that’s why I had to be strategic πŸ˜‰

#1028 Nothing’s changed

It’s been a good 4 months since we’ve last seen our ‘best man and fam.’ We always say we need to do it more often, but alas, LIFE happens people.

The kids grow… interests change… news happens around us, and to all of us…

And yet, our times together do not change.

We still laugh.

We still sing.

We still play.

We still love, respect and admire one another.

We still love doughnuts…

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And baby girl still goes to sit next to her buddy when it is ice cream time πŸ™‚

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We definitely won’t leave it for 4 months next time. β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯

#1026 Kinder photos from the past year

It’s an early post for me today, but sometimes you know in your heart of hearts, what you will think about for days, weeks, even months later, when you look back at a certain day.

And I know what I will think of when I look back on today.

It was the most beautiful day at baby girl’s kinder for her informal graduation ceremony, and Christmas family day. It was an early one this year, because the kindergarten teacher will be off overseas soon, and so they held the party today.

Never mind I am already having kinder withdrawals with 2 weeks to go. Not only will I miss the place terribly, the innocent culture, the amazing teachers, the kids, the community vibe… but I will miss their greenery.

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After the kids sang some very sweet songs and Christmas songs to the parents, and were presented individually with a group photo congratulating them on their kindergarten participation, we took a couple of graduation hat photos, before heading off home with all her Christmas presents and goodies from the day.

I went through one of the bags at home. She had received book upon book upon book. I instructed her to put them under the Christmas tree, and she promptly did so, as I came upon an envelope…

I peered inside.

There were photos.

As I started to pull them out, I gasped, and burst into tears.

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It was tears of happiness. Tears of gratitude. Giant, sobbing, shoulder-heaving tears. I went through the photos, only half a dozen, but photos that showed my daughter playing at kinder. Interacting with others. Playing with her friends. Mucking about on the slide. Posing in capes.

I tearfully went through each one, pouring over it enthusiastically while trying to gain an inside glimpse of her kindergarten life from the brief snapshots I had.

They were soooo valuable to me… because baby girl rarely tells me what happens at kinder.

She will tell me dribs and drabs. Who she sat next to for lunch. Whether she had a turn on the spiderweb swing or not. How many times she went to the loo. She seems persistent to not tell me much at all, and though I try to find ways to ease the information out of her, and the teachers put up photos of their various activities week in and week out, I still don’t get the feedback I so crave.

Which is why I figuratively clutched the photos to my heart when I saw them.

It was a build up of everything. How far she had come. How far she had grown. Where she had started when she started there last year, to today, standing front row during theΒ  songs and singing loudly “there’s a reindeer on my roof!”

I am so happy today. So proud. Time goes on, and sometimes it goes slow, yet sometimes it goes fast…

And it’s on days like today, these brief glimpses within our lives, where we look back and say “wow. Here we are.”

Here we are. β™₯

#1014 Scaling heights and shedding fears at Faber

I remember going skiing with my sister and her friends when I was about 16.

It was then that I had to face my fear of steep inclines. A fear I didn’t even know I really had until then.

I had these long narrow skis on for the first time in my life, and after becoming quickly bored by the amateur kiddie slope, I knew I had to move on to something more challenging.

But the next step up was actually down down down… a slope that seemed dangerously steep.

It probably wasn’t. Being next in the skiing procession, it likely was a realistic step 2. But for me terror gripped my heart and made my arms and legs go numb at the prospect of going down it, and it wasn’t just from the snow.

I must have expressed my fear to my sister then – I wanted to ski, go down, do something… but it was so damn steep.

She gave me some sage advice. Advice that helped me through that moment, and advice that you can apply to almost any overwhelming situation in life:

“Just look at the space in front of you. Don’t worry about the next 10 metres, or even try looking all the way down the slope – just keep your eyes in front of your feet.”

I was completely shitting myself, but following her lead, did as I was told.

I made it. Sure, I fell over myself awkwardly a few times, but soon I was sailing down, swerving left and right, and making sure my eyes were safely trained on that small space in front of me, that small space I knew I could accomplish.

Little skiing steps.

I had to overcome a similar fear today… but this one involved looking UP.

It’s been 5 years since my last writing workshop/class, an activity that was severely overdue for this creative head. I headed over to the Allen and Unwin East Melbourne office to partake in a Faber Writing Academy one-day course.

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I absolutely loved every moment of it. The interactivity, the encouragement. The shared and similar ideas, sharp proof that I was on the right track. The writing space provided, and of course, the highly sought after, terrifying feedback.

Wooo.

I can honestly say that once the day was done, I felt with all of my being, that I was definitely on my lifelong path. With so much upheaval this past year, uncertainty and confusion being such a prevalent theme in my life, to find that what I had always known and hoped for, was definitely the path I had to take, the path that was for me, was a true joy to realise.

How did I know?

Just the way you know in the feelings that emerge from such an experience.

Like when you have custard for the first time and you go “mmm.”

Or when you hear a new song and straight off you KNOW you’re going to play it until all those around you start to despise you.

The way you feel when you find love, and that little voice tells you “watch out – this is it.”

It’s that same knowing.

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I’ll leave you with one of my writing exercises of the day that we did off-the-cuff… it tells you more about my journey today in ways that I simply can’t at this heady midnight hour.

Theme? A journal entry. Why, I know ‘a little’ about that πŸ˜‰

 

THE JOURNAL ENTRY EXERCISE

I thought I had given myself ample time to get there.

6am start.

Local cafΓ© brekkie. My cappuccino had a leaf design in it, the way all hipster cafes do nowadays, and it reminded me of my most favourite emblem, the tree.

Tall, looming and abundant in nature, its roots expansive and far-reaching, to places our eyes were not privy to.

The tree was the symbol of growth and renewal, and the way in which it bared its leaves for all to see, still stood grandly amidst its shedding, and then found the innate courage to sprout green all over again, was an inspiration to me.

It was to be a similar fate for me that day.

The unveiling of myself. My deepest and most personal stories, a torchlight shone brightly on, magnified and criticised for all my like-minded peers to see.

There’s nothing like being in a room of those who do what you do, to instil the greatest sense of doubt in oneself.

Suddenly, I had 10 minutes to go and this huge mother of an escalator LOOMED before me. What? No one had told me I would have to scale those insane heights?

I clutched the rubber rail to my left at the train station, staring at the man’s orange tiger on his sneaker in front of me, willing the mechanical steps to go faster.

But because I had a fear of steep inclines, of course it took its time.

My journey to the top, body leaning forward at a 90 degree angle, was a brutal one. I couldn’t even look back down to the depths of the platform below to see how far I’d come.

I think I’ll take the lift on my way down.

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And that is why I am a never-ending… work in progress.