Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel
It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me.
Yeah, it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, ooooooooh...
And I'm feelin' good.
I saw someone reference this song this morning - as it was the new dawn of a new year. So now the ear worm has taken hold completely and it's been in my head all day. I love New Years Eve for all the symbolism of one book closing and a blank page and new chapter beginning. I have had a number of crappy new years and some corkers. I have always wondered if they set the theme for the next twelve months?
In recent times I have had a couple of difficult years and I've kept awake until midnight to ensure I saw the back of those awful times (2012, I'm looking at you!). A girl can dream, that somehow this would make a difference. It seems 2014 was a hard year for many people and a particularly awful one for others. My 2014 can best be summed up as stressful, and for the fact I worked really fucking hard. I realised I hadn't really had much of a break last year, which resulted in my brain not resting. It was always whirring and focussed, which ultimately is exhausting. My workplace went through a massive redundancy process which took months and dragged almost everyone through the nine circles of hell. I survived.
But it wasn't until a day or two ago that my brain finally slowed down. I am beginning to rest, which is a nice feeling. This headspace is well needed and I've read a couple of things over the break about how essential stopping and breathing is. Taking a moment to stop...and think. Get perspective. There is an interview with Bill Nighy in the latest Australian Big Issue. He talks about laying down on grass and looking at the sky through the branches of trees, and how good this is for him. Even just thinking about this makes me smile. There is also an article suggesting there should be a National Day of Doing Nothing. No emails, no screens, no work...just quiet introspection. Perhaps we would think about our place in the universe and about other people if we just stopped for a second. I think these are both great ideas that I hope to keep hold of for 2015.
Something also came through my Facebook feed this morning. Neil Gaiman's latest blog post - about New Year. He charts what he hopes and wishes for everyone in 2015 and visits previous New Years wishes. He talks of doing things that scare you, being creative, making mistakes, wishing, hugging and loving. It is things we should all tell ourselves every day, not just once a year. Perhaps it just seems pertinent as Peter gave me two presents for Christmas that will make me do things that scare me. One was a gift voucher to Catherine Deveny's Gunnas Writing class. Yep, not terrifying at all...ha! I like writing and I'm actually pretty proud that I've kept this blog going for so many years. Writing has taught me to express myself and communicate. It helps me think through stuff and enables me to articulate difficult things. But the idea of talking about it in front of someone like Catherine and a group of strangers is somewhat terrifying.
Another of Peter's gifts was a beautiful Vox practice amp. I have a number of guitars that have basically been collecting dust for the last eight years. Even before this, I only kinda noodled about and tried to play stuff from guitar tab books. I was never confident and just kind of bumbled. I was also incredibly shy and could never really play in front of people. It was just something I did on my own. So when life got busy and complicated it was easy to put down. Now Peter is reminding me not just to walk past my dust-laden guitars. I am thinking about finding someone to give me lessons and finally do something I've always...like since I was 14...wanted to do. Play guitar properly.
When I return to work things will be changing. The outcome of the redundancies will be in place and new structure begins. This also sees me in a new role and I do feel a bit intimidated by the challenges that lay ahead. So Neil, it looks like the universe heard you. My 2015 will find me facing lots of things that will be scaring me shitless and need me to be creative. I was already someone who wishes and wishes hard. I feel I hug and love freely as people are so very important to me. But I would add one more thing to his list. Laughter. Life is hard and the world can be a grim and awful place. Smile and steal those moments of laughter whenever you can. They help you get through the other bits.
My New Years Eve was lovely. Peter and I were supposed to go out but we stayed home. We drank Sangria, listened to The Smiths, ran around outside spotting fireworks and laughed a lot. For the first time in a long time I felt light hearted. Calm. Happy. It was such a lovely feeling.
So, Happy 2015 everyone. What's on your list to do?
In the meantime, enjoy the gorgeous smokey voice of Nina Simone.