The Last Six Weeks of 2015.
The end of 2015 felt like a freight train rushing along on the tracks, making every obligatory stop along the holiday/end of the year line, and then some.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with more than 50 Australians and Americans in our humble abode. We baptized our youngest into our crazy Catholic faith. We celebrated three birthdays. Our oldest son came one step closer to being an adult, clocking 17 years on the planet, and our youngest son celebrated his first birthday.
We mourned the deaths of five family members, friends and colleagues in these few short weeks. Each one was painful and heartbreaking in its own way.
The train kept going all the while. Festivities began. The house was decorated. Christmas cards were mailed. The Elf on the Shelf noted and reported behaviour to the big man. School ended. Presents were wrapped. Carols were sung. Church was attended. Santa was visited. Work ended. Christmas parties were attended. Cocktails were drunk. Prawns and Christmas pudding were eaten. Jesus was born. Santa stopped. Stockings were stuffed. A magical pony, among other Christmas wishes, appeared under the tree.
That morning, Christmas morning, the train stopped. It had arrived at its final destination. We all got off. All the rushing, planning, organising, attending and doing just stopped. The holidaze was over and the holi-days began.
Smiles and cuddles and giggles were abound. The lazy days began between Christmas and the Epiphany. The days when you do not know what time or day it is. The days when the true Christmas spirit has filled your soul with joy and it just lingers there, like the end of a summer day at dusk.
These days were filled with playtime, kids, beaches, coffee, long walks, movies, barbecues, workouts, totem tennis, ice cream, canoes, kayaks, bowling, Jenga, puzzles, books, smoothies, art, unplugging from technology, first steps, fireworks, Christmas crackers, boccie ball, adventures, cheese, wine, naps, cuddles, running in the rain, friends and family.
A stay-cation was just what the doctor ordered.
The Party Bus.
The holidays are now over. Today I went back to work. This year I did not mind going back to work. I like my work. I like writing. I like having some time to myself. What I minded was leaving my kids. This morning, 6 January, on the Epiphany, I have had an epiphany.
I enjoyed my kids and our unscheduled time more than ever over these past two weeks. I realised that they are only this little for such a short time, and I have to savor as much of this time as possible.
I am making a commitment to me and to them this year:
I am going to weed through the barrage of possible things to do this year and only do what is best for my kids and my family. I am going to stay off the train. I am going to reflect and play more and consume less – thanks Alex De La Cruz. I am going to spend less time having coffee with my friends at a cafe while my kids sit in the pram (US translation: stroller) and more time having milk shakes with my kids at parks.
I am going to follow the routine that works for our family and break our routine when it does not. I am going to turn off my phone more and take more unplanned adventures. I am going to do more of the healthy things that keep me sane and successfully brought me out of a rough battle with post-natal depression in the middle of last year: running, yoga, meditation, prayer, writing, finding time in nature and playing with my kids.
I am going to say no more often. I am going to say yes to my kids more. I am going to be more of an unfucker. I am cutting out the negative in my life. I am celebrating and focusing on positive people, language, inner voices and outlooks.
Life is about perspective and how we choose to see the world.
I choose to be positive.
I choose happiness.
These are not resolutions, as much as they are building on the foundation I laid down last year.
As a friend of mine once said…you are either on this bus or it will run you over. (Or, perhaps it will just leave you behind.) I like my 2016 bus and I hope you will get off the train and find your own party bus. You are – of course – always welcome to join mine.
Here is to a year ahead of adventure, joy, and enjoying the short time we have here on Earth.