As the end of another year draws near, I can't help but look back and reflect on the last 12 months and where we are headed in the year to come.
It's been year of battles, and not many won is how it feels. A big year of learning, of frustrations and a lot of 'one step forward two steps back'. It also feels like the challenges will serve their purpose, like changes are around the corner, but just what changes I'm not too sure.
I look back and it seems I've been completely caught up in us, our work, the day to day, and now all of a sudden its christmas time, the end of the school year and summer holidays.
In a blink! Another year down in the whirlwind of life.
Last night I felt so overcome by negativity and angst. Unsettled by things that are out of my direct control, like I'd been dumped by an ocean wave and wrung out. Early to bed followed by the first uninterrupted night of sleep in forever, and things felt a bit better. Isn't it amazing how much better we cope with a decent night of sleep!
This morning I sent my excited boys off to school for the last time this year. I cleaned and tidied, then put Olive and my nephew into the twin stroller for a walk. As soon as we left I could feel positive energy beginning to flow. Taking my time time to walk and look around, watching the sea mist blow through the air. Stopping to talk to people, popping my head into the dry cleaners to share a friendly tip we'd been talking about the last time I was there. We stopped to say hello to Santa selling the Big Issue, who then reached into his sack to pull out a present each for my two happy toddlers.
We ran some errands, stopped off to buy our Big Issue Santa a morning tea treat and headed home. I walked, apologising to people we passed for our oversized stroller taking up the footpath, some would smile and say hello, others didn't. A little further on we came to a lady who stopped, made a big arm gesture to allow us to go first and said, smiling "make way for these children, our grand future". I smiled and thanked her, we stopped and chatted about this time of year, about children, about all the unrest in the world and even about God (!?). She did most of the talking, but it was lovely to listen to her and to hear her thoughts, albeit a little 'out there'.
It was an encounter I felt I needed to have today. Sometimes people are sent to cross our paths for a reason. We introduced one another as we were saying goodbye, and as I turned to leave she said "I wish for you all that is in my heart..there is a lot in there, and it is all good."
A sudden chance encounter, and I feel just a little bit lighter, a little bit less wrung out.