Patience for the New Year

I have a strong inclination to post something reflective as we say goodbye to 2022 and look towards 2023.

And this time, it’s different. Not novel, but different.

For me anyway. Because for the last few years, it’s been a variety of sentiments from me when it comes to looking towards the new year.

“Happy New Whatever-You-Want-It-To-Be!”

“It’s ok to not be excited.”

“Tomorrow is just another day.”

The last few years my feelings towards New Years and all the promise and opportunity it embodies have kinda fallen flat for me. I’ve been very easy come, easy go. Make the new year/month/week/day, what you will.

I’ve fallen on many hard times in recent years, so much so that my hope and faith have been completely tested… and restored, once again.

Because you see, this year was different. I got what I wanted, in a BIG way.

Life can have so many ups and downs. It is a guessing game and you never can know what is around the corner. It keeps you humble: amazing and uplifted one time, frustrating and despondent the next.

That’s why sometimes it can be very hard to look forward to a ‘new year, new you’ promise, when nothing has really been promising for you at all recently… the last few months… the last few years.

Trust me, I know. I have been there. I have a daily gratitude blog, and I think perhaps one of my major lessons was learning to find something ever so small to be grateful for when I was secretly hurting so much inside, for so long.

I don’t have the answers to life.

Sometimes, you get what you want.

Sometimes, you get what you want, after a really, really, long time.

Sometimes you don’t get what you want at all.

Sometimes you get presented an entirely new path, and realise this was the one meant for you all along.

Something that helped me surprisingly, was music. 🎶🎵

I found solace and comfort in words that touched and moved me to tears with their profound insight, love and strength and sense of hope that matched my own.

Words that spoke of difficulty and heartache, but that presented a sense of… “let’s see.”

One such song was Guns n’ Roses Patience.

This was a key theme of mine as we were in quite possibly the hardest and most uncertain struggle of our lives… trying for another baby.

I can’t pretend everything was alright. It wasn’t. I was upset and cried a lot. I shut myself off from people. I grew very uncertain about everything, questioned life, my existence, my past actions, the future, my body… EVERYTHING.

I put on a smiling face and went into social situations tentatively, praying that no one would ask or make a joke with some insensitive second baby comment… sometimes I was lucky.

Many times I wasn’t.

The only thing I knew how to do, was get by, moment by moment.

Day by day.

Month by month.

And that’s how many several years passed before our miracle happened. 🙏

So from someone who’s been there, and done that, I have some thoughts as we enter the new year…

It’s not so much about “smash out your top 5 goals!” or “keep consistent, chip away every day.”

It’s to think about what you really want. If in your heart of hearts there is something you want, a goal you wish to achieve, question, do you really want it, that bad?

If so, keep going. Keep your mind and heart open to new experiences, people, things, as any one of them, or a combination, may just be the key to getting what you want. Try not to listen to others, this will confuse you. Learn the lesson yourself.

You don’t know where the answer, the breakthrough will lie. It may lie on the first day of the new year. It may lie somewhere far down the track. It may lie, in Winter.

You just don’t know. Try not to guess or assume too much.

If you discover you really don’t know if you want what you want… letting go can be the most liberating experience. It takes great strength to say, ‘hold on, I’ve had enough. This is not for me.’

Remember you are in charge. You can decide to let go, and then decide you want to hold on to hope! Or you can hold on some more, and then say, I’m done, I’m finished.

Patience, overall, is key. It is the worst answer I know, and I know because I didn’t feel patient, I didn’t want to be patient anymore, but I had no choice in the matter.

I did it step by step. Moment by moment. Day by day. And I got there. I’m here. 🙏

I have one more thought for the New Year… so many people focus on the body and exercising more… saving up and travelling more… learning a new skill to move to a better life path… and while these are all good and honourable pursuits, here’s a different one for you.

Training your mind, so you can be a better YOU.

In amongst all these big, momentous things happening for me this year, something else clicked in my life.

It was something truly unexpected, and yet if I hadn’t been open to it, it never would have entered my life.

FORGIVENESS.

Learning from the past and deciding to try and be a better person is a valid and very honest goal that all should aspire to, at many points in their life.

I do question though… did I learn, and allow forgiveness into my life because other things were falling into place? Was it because I was in a happier state, that allowed me the strength to not only see the good in my life, but in others?

Quite possibly. My reflections remain…

Be patient.

Try to better your mind.

That is it. No time frame. No “let’s be consistent every day with this” bullshit. Know that some days you will fall down, others you will climb the mountain.

It’s all part of the journey.

As you head into 2023, know only this… anything can happen, at any time.

And sometimes, nothing will happen, no matter how hard you try.

Just do what you can, if you want to, if it feels right.

That’s all. 🙏💖

“If I can’t have you right now, I’ll wait here.”

🙏🤰🎶💖

Photo by Tairon Fernandez on Pexels.com
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Getting to Christmas amidst a pandemic

I had to question myself the other day, only days before the big festive day.

“Why was I so behind in Christmas preparations when we had been in iso over half the year?”

Why wasn’t I prepared?

Why didn’t I get to it earlier?

What was I doing ALL THAT TIME?

It’s enough to make you feel down and unaccomplished, especially in comparison to those that share their Christmas achievements, way from, I don’t know, OCTOBER.

But it’s been a tough year. A tough year for many. A tough year for ALL.

Like something I read on social media… we have all been in different boats. Some of us went through the pandemic in a fully-manned yacht… others were swept up in the storm from within the rickety confines of their dinghy.

Everyone has had such a different journey, so it’s important not to compare their covid boat ride, with yours.

Just like all of life, really.

We are all on a different life journey. Things will happen at different times for ALL of us.

We will be sad when others are happy, and vice versa.

We will be well when others are sick.

And vice versa.

Personally, I had both good and bad. Good in that I was fortunate enough to get a job just as the lockdown began.

Bad in that I experienced a bevy of health problems that manifested physically, and then caused me a great deal of mental stress.

When you throw in the worries, routines, and schedules of all those around you – children, partners, parents, family, friends…

No wonder we have barely held on.

I am here to tell you.. if you’ve managed to get to Christmas by the skin of your teeth… it’s ok.

This is your journey, remember. Be easy on yourself.

Look after yourself this holiday season. Be kind to others, but most importantly yourself.

You are here. You have survived. That is more than enough.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 🎄🎅💖💪

The Age of the Epiphany

If you’re anywhere under the age of 30, remember this: Your parents are right about EVERYTHING.

I’ve always listened to my parents advice, don’t get me wrong. I guess I was just kinda like working things out for myself, and thinking, like the over-confident Leo I can sometimes be, that I can do it differently, and better, my own way.

Ha.

My parents and my MIL are all super-paranoid when it comes to their babysitting duties with baby girl. They’ll cover the coffee table with the throw we have draped over our lounge, trying to cushion the pointy corners so that if she were to fall the material would soften the blow. When she runs around the dining table at full speed, they cringe. They used to barricade the bottom of the stairs with the pram, so that she couldn’t climb up them.

I didn’t so much mind all their little additions, but I told them to stress less and to not spend so much time worrying. Yes, sometimes she fell. It was never anything major, it toughened her up and taught her a bit about what she should and shouldn’t do. For some reason though, having them put the throw on the table… well it just shit me. I don’t know why. The throw was for the couch, and they were covering the coffee table with it. I felt like saying ‘she never falls near the table with us, stop over-reacting!’ To add to it, Mum further aggravated me with her comment “That’s ok, we put it on when you’re not here.” And then she laughed. Grrr.

Last week, baby girl fell while running around with her Dad, and hit her head on the tiles. It was the smallest of hits – Hubbie didn’t even think her head touched the ground. But the blood splatters on the floor and the drops down her jumper told us otherwise.

I can’t begin to express the chaos that followed that incident. There were tears and freak-outs, mostly from me. She had hit her head, but it was a minor graze, and she settled very quickly after. Thank God. But it was a major wake-up call for us. Our parents’ constant stresses and worrying was for a good reason. They had raised us. They had been through all of this before.

I haven’t said boo about the throw on the coffee table since.

On the weekend, Hubbie and I had a decent blue. We were arguing, and were both very stubbornly holding our individual positions. We were shouting angrily at each other, and not because of something we had done or said to the other- it was about a family member. I went to bed that night seething, yet so sad. And I contemplated how every single time we’ve had a big argument (minus the every day nagging stuff you just get used to) it was about a family member. I fell asleep on that.

To my surprise, we made up immediately the next morning. I didn’t think there was any going past it. But Hubbie was adamant that we weren’t to yell at each other like that again, and made the same observation that I had: all our big fights weren’t about us.

We are good, so good together. And we realised, through this struggle, that we shouldn’t let outside interference get in the way of our relationship. In fact that weekend I had read a quote about struggles being the instigators to find another way forward. Which we had. I also heard my Mum’s words circling around in my head:

“Never let anyone get in the way of your family. People will always try to make trouble between you, but don’t let them.”

Even though there was no one intentionally making our lives difficult, it was so true that we shouldn’t be letting an outsider get in the way of US.

You might be lucky, and under the age of 30 and know all of this. You may be older, and still learning. That’s ok. Life is a process. It’s fortunate if you can learn from the experiences and words of others, but often the best way to learn is when you live the lessons yourself. Just try to make the tough lessons a vicarious experience, if you can.