2013 – was unique and life-changing. I realize that every year is technically life changing given that each day alters one physically, mentally and experience-wise moving us closer to the time we meet our maker. This last year has been such a milestone as to change me and my life beyond recognition.
I have always identified myself through the prism of my job. It separates out my talents and capabilities, the strengths that make me proud of who I am and the weaknesses I must strive to overcome. It gives me a set of achievements by which I feel valued and a marker to aim for the future. I see myself through my interaction with those I spend my day and most of my day (and week even) for the past eight or nine years has been spent at work, leaving little space beyond to develop my self as an independent person. So when, during the summer, I became very sick, I found myself in an empty space, without my usual guides. And I had no roadmap to help me out of this uncharted territory. Lack of energy added to this feeling of bewilderment. Days melted it each other.
Today I felt strongly as if I was walking out of a fog and could see some things more clearly. I cannot see the way home yet but I can look around me and find signposts to help me there.
Every day we take things for granted….our homes, our families, our routines, the simple act of breathing in and exhaling. Those we love fit in a familiar dance of interactions throughout our days. The rhythm of this dance is the simple pattern of conversations and silences we unconsciously trace and retrace with our loved ones.
When something happens to break the rhythm we falter. Stop momentarily and realise we don’t actually know the steps well enough to restart. Or rather we knew them too well and had become lazy, on autopilot, the movement had slipped from conscious motion. We took them for granted precisely because they felt easy.
Such days remind us to shake ourselves into mindfulness and reflect upon the day-to-day and cherish the caress of the mundane. Perhaps it would be better if we seek to do so ourselves before life takes a tumble and it is too late to reflect.
Here safely. My daughter, a precious new life that came into being within me. A tiny thing that relies on me for warmth and sustenance, utterly dependent. Huge bright eyes that follow my every motion, tiny rosebud mouth that breaks into a gummy genuine smile at the slightest bit of attention. Wee nose that wrinkles up as she puzzles and concentrates and tries to shape the words that she hears. Plump cheeks that fill roundly as she coos her approval. Tiny fingers intertwined around my one large one holding fast – a strength belied by her size.
She is a thought. A poem. A lyric. A dream. A work of art beyond the greatest masterpiece ever conceived and rendered by man. She is the echo in my every heartbeat and my reason for waking.
She is love made whole.
As the hours trickle away at the end of 2013 it feels right to take a few moments to consider the last year and look forward to the next.
The insistence on ‘celebrating’ the New Year is something that often feels forced and unnecessary. Why this night, of all nights do we force ourselves to stay up late and consume food and alcohol in the middle of the night – even when we were up early and have lived through an entire day first? There is an emptiness to the requirement to cheer and be merry at the stroke of the hand of a clock. This is probably why so many end up feeling low and unfulfilled by the New Year’s Eve experience. It never meets the unreal expectations set by film and television and media in general.
It is hard to imagine how much can change in a year – 365 days. Devastating health diagnosis, surprise pregnancy news, new homes, work changes – all of these things alone can spin one’s world on its axis. Together they leave a person reeling. So much difference that for once a New Year is unrecognisable from the previous one when it dawned. Hope and fatigue mingle in the tiny first hours of the newly born year and like the newborn child slumbering beside me, everything is depending on me to make it happen. But that is an enticing – if terrifying – challenge. I will put down this journal. And sleep. And meet the new day, new month, new year face on.
My first real post of 2013 after the darkest hours at the start of the year. I’m not sure if it was a cry for help, I really tried to blot out the pain and the despair, only luck and a determined loved one pulled me back from the brink.
So I have been taking time to try to get my head back to a space where I can cope with things. I think it may be working- life has thrown me two curveballs since but I am managing to repel if not catch them and run. Today’s photo of the day is a symbol of my intent – a light shining through the dark bringing warmth and hope.