It has just turned from Monday morning to Monday afternoon and it is a beautiful day. I am lucky that I have a picture window to my left with a view to the garden beyond. The garden is looking a little weather ravaged, but the blue sky and winter sun is making up for the randomly wind placed small branches and twigs, as well as the blown-over swing seat.
My original plan for this morning had to be postponed in order for me to sort out the piles of sh*t left for me by various agencies over the weekend. Now I’ve done as much as I can there it has left my afternoon rather blissfully task free. That isn’t to say I don’t have things I need to be doing, but I can afford a few minutes to just enjoy the peace and quiet of my office area. I can hear a drill somewhere, and various bangs from the workshop next door. A dog is barking and a rather delicate and musical sneeze just echoed through wall. It is definitely a good time to be counting blessings and feeling grateful. To just enjoy the moment. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hassle and hustle of every day living that we forget to just sit still.
There’s a saying I like to use when I think I am too busy to stop. “Meditate for half an hour a day, and if you are busy, meditate for an hour”. I personally like to meditate, but I know many don’t. For those that don’t I definitely recommend spending time to just sit. I prefer to sit near a window if I can’t be outside, but anywhere will do (not when you’re driving though, please). Switch off any noise and distractions you can, TV, radio, music, phone (or put them on silent for a while) close your eyes and open your ears. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold that breathe for a second, then exhale through your mouth. Then breathe normally while you take in the sounds around you. In your mind’s eye, see where you are, the building you are in, the structures around you. See the landscape beyond. Feel how comfortable and safe you are, right now, this minute. Allow yourself this time off and away from your busy day. Now take a deep breath again, release and open your eyes. You’ve just given yourself some time out – and it didn’t take too long out of your busy day 🙂
I have just realised my new year starts at a slightly different point than that standard 1st of January. Or the changeable Chinese New Year (31st of January this year). It actually dawns of the 10th of January, tomorrow. Along with my own new year date comes a taking of stock and a nod to wear I’ve been and how far I have come, and we have come. As my new year of the 10th of January only started 6 years ago, it is still fairly new, and yet in that time I have:
- Moved house twice, including clearing, packing, organising, unpacking, etc, etc etc, the whole thing. The first time my eldest was 14 and youngest was 5. The second time my eldest was 18 and youngest was 9 – second time was much easier! Both moves were down sizes, so both required huge clear-outs. Loved both moves.
- Learnt to drive. Took me a year and one failed test. It is still one of my most favourite achievements to date (after having kids that is). Bought my first car.
- Went back into education. Firstly just one morning a week, then full time university for 4 years. Loved every minute of it.
- Got divorced. I can’t say I celebrate this, but it is notable nonetheless.
- Completed the Race for Life. Epic wonderfulness.
- Stood up to one local authority, and won. Shouldn’t have had to do it in the first place, but given that I did, I am so proud I managed it.
- ‘Diagnosed’ with Dyslexia. This is here as, after I recovered from the shock of it and stopped being angry with everyone (and myself) for not noticing sooner (I was 41 when it was ‘discovered’), I embraced the difference fully and started to understand my coping mechanisms. Two of my children are also Dyslexic, so we share tips and understanding.
- Graduated with a 2:1 in Fine Art. Say no more.
- Became a student representative and was nominated for Faculty rep of the year. Loved that too.
- Learnt to love public speaking. Now, if you had known me 6 years ago at this point I could barely caste my gaze off the ground, so to be able to stand in front of a room full of people and debate the merits of employment education, give talks on artists, debate with lecturers about the strengths of another’s work, etc, well, let’s say, you wouldn’t recognise me.
- Gave a presentation that enabled me to join the artist group I am now with. This is my future.
- Taken part in and/or co-organised 5 exhibitions in the last year.
- Found myself. I didn’t know I was lost till I discovered myself. This is a good thing, although I think age has turned me into a bit of a gobshite at times. Tough.
- Had therapy. Fabulous stuff. If you are willing to work hard on yourself, this is so worth it.
- Discovered my ‘other’ side. The bit that makes me special. 😀
- Got a paid job, and another voluntary one.
- Rekindled and maintained my relationship with my father.
- Found love – couldn’t find it elsewhere until I learnt to love myself again.
And many many more things, this list seems tiny compared to what I have achieved, but this is perhaps the most palatable (for want of a better word) and publishable. This list is not in any particular order. So, it has been a busy 6 years. Here’s to the next six!