December 27 – Ordinary Joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
(Author: Brené Brown)
Airports make me cry. It doesn’t matter if I’m picking somebody up, dropping them off, or travelling myself. I inherited this trait from my mother.
In June and July I spent a lot of time in airports. I flew back to my family, and then, because I needed her, my Mum came to visit me.
I paced in the airport arrivals area, hugging the baby to me, completely wired with anticipation.
The arrivals board flashed landed and I watched the top of the escalator intently, willing for the first glimpse of her. She finally appeared behind a bunch of enormous business men, and right on cue I burst into tears. By the time she reached me, we were both crying, and laughing because we were crying and then finally we hugged.
We must have made quite a scene, because I saw other people watching us, and every time someone else caught my eye they smiled or laughed, too.
Airports are full of ordinary joy.
Posted in loved ones
December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
(Author: Elise Marie Collins)
I started this post three times – the first time I stopped to make iced tea for my mum, and I just finished making a potato salad for the New Year’s barbecue at my sister’s house.
All food is soul food when you share it with those you love.
But sometimes the food you eat by yourself is just as nourishing.
I’m going to tell you about one of my guilty pleasures. On Sundays, the baby has adventures with his father. I get to do whatever I want. Sometimes I go to the National Library to write. Their cafe is awesome. I can sit up against the thick, juicy stained-glass windows. I drink coffee, watch the people and read whatever quirky selection is in the magazine rack. Sometimes I write.
Once, I ordered banana bread. It was nearly lunch, and I only wanted a snack. When it arrived at my table, I was engrossed in an article about The Magic Pudding. I looked up to see an enormous plate – two fat slices of banana bread, marscapone, and sticky date sauce. I almost laughed with delight! My snack had turned out to be a decadent dessert-for-lunch.
Soul food for one.
Posted in food, writing
December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you
are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
(Author: Tracey Clark)
I love this photo. I’m standing in the middle of the adventure playground, wearing my favourite Freo-hippy-mama clothes. The baby and I were on a playdate with some of our favourite friends, and it didn’t matter a bit that I was the only single mama there.
Some days I grieve for the family life that I no longer have. Some days I grieve for the earth goddess mama that I won’t get to be.
This photo reminds me that even if I’m a single mama, even if I work full time, the baby and I can still have adventures.
Life is still good.
Posted in loved ones
December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
(Author: Kate Inglis)
I woke up. I woke up by myself, to light streaming in the window. It was early morning, but not the crack of dawn, and I was startled to realise I had woken up naturally. There wasn’t a sound from the baby. I did the automatic arithmetic in my head – how many hours had he slept? – but realised he hadn’t squawked all night.
Sudden jubilation was replaced by an equally sudden panic – was something was wrong? Just in time to quell my fears, he grumbled and stirred. I got out of bed with a big smile on my face.
We didn’t need any help to get through our day, or our nights.
We were both okay, and in that moment I knew it completely.
December 23 – New Name
Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?
(Author: Becca Wilcott)
I’m blessed with a complicated first name. It’s phonetic and easy to spell, but there are many, many similar names, and nobody hears it or spells it right the first time.
So if I got to choose another name, it would be Sam or Julie – something everyone can spell.
December 22 – Travel
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?
(Author: Tara Hunt)
I have a gypsy soul.
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I wouldn’t judge the prize against my mortgage, I wouldn’t start day dreaming about a shiny new Audi – I’d be counting how many round the world tickets I could buy. Or maybe how many months I could afford to live in Spain, Morocco or Thailand.
Things are a little different now. It’s not so easy to cut and run, but I still have dreams.
The big dream for this year is Africa. That was actually the big dream for 2009, but I was big and fat and pregnant, and had to put it aside.
This year I might just have the time and money to pull it off.
Don’t kid yourself, it’s been a bitch of a year. And no matter how you re-badge things to ‘the year of radical change’ and ‘a chance to find more inspirational work’ – you aren’t done grieving yet.
Looking back, I’m amazed how well you coped, at how compassionate and fair you could be from the midst of your pain. At the same time, you connected with your mama bear self, and learnt to advocate fiercely for your baby and yourself. You learnt to be strong without apology, and that is a wonderful thing.
However, I need to warn you about what’s to come. It feels like the biggest hurdles are behind you, and that’s kind of true. You feel like you deserve a break, and that’s never been more true. But there is the temptation now to collapse in a heap and wallow, and you mustn’t give in to that. Because I know you, and you might never dig yourself out of that wallow again.
2011 has the potential to be the best year yet. But you have to get out, and get into it. Start many, many new things – don’t worry about finishing right now, just try everything. You chose ‘explore’ as the word of the year, so go out and live it.
By the end of the year, you won’t recognise your life. You and that beautiful boy will be living dreams that you haven’t even thought of yet, and reviving some that you thought were long gone.
Be brave! Push out into the blue!
with so much love and admiration,
your future self.