Monday, December 31, 2012

Clean Slate

I don't know about you...but I can't wait to see the back of 2012.  Overall, it's been quite a terrible and shitful year.  Sure it wasn't all bad.  There were some cracking moments, and it's nice to look back at those and smile.  But overall, it's been a fucker.

I know I'm not alone.  2012 seems to have been filled with illness, death and hardship for almost everyone I have spoken to.  Friends, family and acquaintances alike, everyone seems to have war wounds thanks to the last 12 months.

So here I sit, on the eve of a new year with my fingers crossed.  I'm hoping 2013 is a much better year for everyone.  It doesn't have to be brilliant.  It doesn't have to be amazing.  I think most of us would settle for something beige and uneventful.  In fact, when talking to a friend recently, we decided that 2013 - the year of 'not-shit' would do us.  Honestly, just simple contented happiness is all we're asking for.  Maybe even happiness is asking a bit much, all things considered.  Look, I'll happily have 12 months of average, thanks very much.

So in thinking about what I'd like the not too distant future to hold, I realised recently that I need a bit more time for me.  This year has been about other people and external things like work and study.  I think I need to look after myself a bit.  I could be a bit healthier (understatement!), and I could do with finding time for inspiring things.  Stuff that nourishes who I am.  A simple bit of fun.

I've been lucky in that, even in the darkest moments of 2012, I have found moments of brevity.  I can always find black humour and laugh whilst crying.  I'm lucky that I have someone in Peter, who shares that same headspace.  But I guess recently I have had some quite nice moments, and that's made me think.  Something as simple as driving home at night on a balmy evening with with car windows down, a breeze rushing past me, singing along to great music and looking at the christmas lights lining the streets can seem like an incredibly special thing.  Joy in the moment.

I think I've been so worried about life, or thinking about stuff that has to be done, my brain hasn't had any calm space for a number of months now.  And maybe that's my resolution for 2013.  I know the ticking over of a clock from 12pm 2012 to 12:01 2013 won't make a difference in the scheme of things.  But I do like the symbolism of a new year.  The shedding of what was, and the promise of what can be.  New years always feel like a clean slate.

So 2012 - good bye from me.  You've been an arse of a year.  But those of us who survived you are stronger for doing so, and hopefully a bit wiser too.  Here's to 2013 - a lucky 13 I'm hoping.  I wish you all a safe and happy celebration.  May your new year find you happy and with those who love you.  So here's to a clean slate and perhaps a year of 'not shit'.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

There is a light that never goes out...

It seems that the Mayans were wrong.  We're all still here.  Well, many of us are still here.  I have been wanting to write for a few weeks now, but the end of year rush got more complicated with my Uni study extensions.  What a relief it is to have that all behind me now.  What a year!  Actually that's an understatement.  2012 really has been a bastard of a year.  So much heartache, death and illness.  But we're still here.

I was putting up the Christmas Tree earlier in december (anyone who knows me, knows that I am a Christmas tragic) and I always need to play christmas music while I dress the tree.  And as I unpacked the decorations, I thought about the places and people in my life.  You see, I have decorations from overseas when I travelled, I have a decoration I bought on my honeymoon, and I have many given to me by friends.  The beautiful Sufjan Stevens song 'Hey guys! It's christmas time' came on.  This song gives me goosebumps and at that moment I had in my hand a decoration given to me by my friend Robert. He died a number of years ago, and every year as I put his bauble on the tree I smile thinking of him.  I got a bit teary.

This will be the first Christmas without Dad.  I have a friend who lost her Mum only a few weeks ago, and another friend who lost her husband this year.  It will be a different and possibly difficult christmas for many people.  And maybe this is part of the real reason I love Christmas so much.  It's a moment to stop and think about who you love, hope for peace, and spread good will.  People smile and wish strangers a merry christmas or a safe holiday.  We should be reminded of what's important...which isn't gifts, but rather spending time with people who matter to you.  It's good to count your blessings, and perhaps that feels more acute at the end of a hard year.

When I look back at the ups and downs of this year, I'm pleased to realise that I can get through things. My friend Morfia was right - getting through the hard times makes you re-evaluate how strong you actually are.  And it does make the good times sweeter.  As hard as this year has been, there have also been some good things happen.  I did a job rotation that had me working with a new team, where I've made friends and learnt new things.  I know this is going to sound weird, but there have been some simply lovely people who I've met online via Instagram.  Some I've actually been lucky enough to meet in person and so many people are inspiring and so generous.  I'm lucky that I also have some wonderful friends who have supported me, and a dear and loving husband who always holds my hand.

So, on this Christmas eve I'm thinking how lucky I am, and I'm thinking about family and friends; new and old, here and departed.  I will continue to do this every Christmas and I'll feel closer to those people I've lost.  To quote The Smiths song, 'There is a light that never goes out'.  By remembering them they will always be part of my life.  I will always be grateful to have known them and I will know how blessed I am for those people in my life that I adore.

Have a wonderful Christmas and may it be merry and bright.  Stay safe and enjoy a few tunes.