A New Year… and some breathing space.

In this last week between Christmas and the new year, I’ve been doing lots of sleeping and more sleeping.  I’ve stopped.  I’ve had a quiet week.  I don’t generally do quiet weeks.  They just don’t really exist in my world.  There is just no room for them and I am the kind of person who likes to go, go, go, but it can take it’s toll on a person.  Granny had Goose for five days (they had a lovely camping trip together) Mr FGB was home, we pulled out of our planned holiday with a group of friends and we stopped (as much as is possible when life still keeps moving).  It was nice to breathe.

I can’t seem to start a new year without writing some kind of reflective post to bring in the new year.  It doesn’t seem right to move on without one.  You can find the last two year’s reflections here and hereI see many changes this year.  All positive.  I can’t wait! 

I feel like I’ve been swimming through deep water for a long time and just keeping my head afloat and slowly, slowly, I’ve been making my way through to the other side.  I’ve very much been head down with blinkers on for the last four years just to survive.  Focusing on one foot after the other.  Having my last two kids just over a year apart, having just moved back to Melbourne with a husband working ridiculous hours along with our Mums both losing their husbands within the following 9 months very nearly killed me.  I’ve been slowly, slowly coming back from that place and I now feel like I can look up and see the world around me.  So I’m now at a place where maybe I can spend a little less time wading through the water that at one time was threatening to drown me and just have a rest on the shore line every now and then.

























I have high hopes that this year will be a much needed breath of fresh air.  

2013 – one word.  I’m not so much into New Years resolutions, but I like to give each year a word.  I’ve had the year of ‘me’ (2010) which turned out the be the year of ‘exhaustion’, the year of ‘survival’ (2011) and last year (2012) started off as ‘balance’ which seemed far too unattainable and ended up as the year to ‘shine’.  This year the word that sums up my hopes for the year is ‘breathe’.


breathe.
stop.
slow down.
simplify.
self nurture.  
say yes to my kids and no to others.
space – physical space and head space.
breathing room.

This year I need to breathe.  To take the time to be able to inhale and exhale fully.  













This year there is actually potential for this to happen. I’ll have more physical space and room as we are moving house at the end of the month.  (a quick, but necessary, decision to move to larger quarters – more on that later).  I’m cutting down on a lot of external activities.  Bear goes off to school this year and Frog to four year old kinder leaving me two whole days (well, two whole six hour school days – that’s twelve hours - I‘ve been longing for that for 9 years!)  People have been asking me what I will do with myself – my list is a mile long!   I’m under no illusion.  Life will still be busy.  I like it that way to a certain extent, but my aim is to be a less cranky Mum and maybe, just maybe feel like I’m a little more on top of things and not forever chasing my tail and feeling overwhelmed.  

We have a month of ‘slow’ ahead of us with no routine and more family time, lots of sunshine and sleep-ins.  Of course in all of that we’re still moving house and celebrating a nine year old birthday in there… so not too slow.  Our slow.

 

What are your plans for 2013?  

Do you have a word for each year like me?


P.S. These photos of our family were taken by my lovely & talented friend Susannah on a fun and relaxing morning last month. If you’d like some photos taken of you & your fam and you live in Melbourne – she’s your gal!

A QUOTE…

Did I say I’d be back in mid Jan…. I meant early Feb…..
Apologies for extended break in transmission.

As a teenager, I collected quotes.  I had a small bound notebook that I had purchased while travelling in Nepal when I was 15.  In this notebook I wrote snippets from books I was reading, quotes from cards, posters, bookmarks and any other words that resonated with me at the time.  This notebook expanded into 2 or 3 notebooks.  I stopped filling the books some time in my early twenties, but every now and then I still like to collect the odd quote or two to inspire and remind.  I have a particular favourite on my fridge at the moment.


My mother is a quote collector.  Quotes on inner beauty by the bathroom mirror were not unusual. I found this quote on her kitchen bench when last at her house.  I had come across it before, but not in it’s entirety.  It is just what I need to hear at the moment.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 


(Although often attributed to Nelson Mandela, this quote can be found in A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Marianne Williamson, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])

Each year I like to have a word to describe the year to come.  Two years ago, it was the year of ‘me’, last year the word was ‘survival’ and this year was going to be the year to find  ‘balance’.  I’m certainly more on track with feeling balanced this year and I was all set to join in Maxabella’s ‘one word for 2012′ meme earlier on in the year, but the word just didn’t feel right.  I read this great post about the myth of balance and realised why I hadn’t been comfortable with it.  So this year is going to be my year of allowing myself to overcome my fears and to shine and to explore even more of my creative side.

I’ve recently started up quote collecting again via pinterest

Do you collect quotes?  What is your current favourite?
What does the year ahead hold for you?

A REFLECTION…

For me, the last year can probably be best described in one word – exhaustion.

I have found being a mother over the last 12 months particularly hard and at many times, overwhelming. I had many many days when putting one foot in front of the other was all that I could focus on and even that was a struggle at times.

Paradoxically, at the same time, I have found my family
particularly gorgeous and have felt more content and happy with my lot than I have ever felt in my life. Life is rarely black and white is it?
For a lot of the year I felt a little trapped in my role as a Mum and at many times felt that I was barely holding my head above water. I felt like a single Mum most of the time and found the constancy of motherhood on my own utterly exhausting.

More recently though, thanks to a few changes in our life, some wonderful support from my extended family and friends and some big changes this year with my husbands work, I’ve managed some ‘me’ time and I have been able to focus more on the contentment and joy within the chaos. Blogging has helped too (best form of therapy!).
I still have my moments of course (quite regularly in fact), but more often than not I feel like I can push through, hold my head high (way above the water that threatens to sink me) and enjoy the ride with this stunning family of mine.
It has been reinforced to me over and over again in the last year, mostly in the most ordinary of moments, how much I am just where I want to be. I have been so blessed in all the areas of my life that matter the most to me.

This year, I want to have more tea parties and smell more snails and focus less about the state of my house and feeling like I’m never organised enough because, although I’m far from perfect, I need to stop focusing on the lack of perfection and see that actually I’m doing a bloody good job!

Bring on 2011!

What does the year hold for you?



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