All of a sudden we are here in December! Beach bags at the ready, alfresco dinners and sand between our toes..oh, yes please!
2014 is coming to a flying end, and I woke yesterday, the first day of summer, reflecting on the year that has been.
My body tired, my mind weary and my heart a little heavy. Its been a year of great loss, with the passing of two beautiful members of our extended family. The sadness becomes a part of your everyday, but you don't always acknowledge that its there. You worry about other family members and how they're feeling, if they're coping, the enormous weight of grief they must be carrying in their hearts. Though there is comfort in the fact that our family is so big and so very wonderful. We are lucky.
Then in October, we welcomed my darling niece into the world. My baby brother's first baby, what an absolute joy! Seeing my brothers become fathers, and watching our family grow is really something very beautiful.
Its been a year so busy and so distracted, that I feel changed. Hopefully for the better, I'm not sure yet, my head is still spinning. My mantra for this year has been 'let go', and boy, have I had to let go! Let go of everything being so perfect, let go of commitments that were not a priority, to not be as available to school as I would have liked, to not care so much about what everyone else might expect of me, or what they might think of my absence everywhere.
To let go this year has been my survival mechanism. Sometimes for the better and if I'm honest, also to the detriment of this family and these little people that are my whole world.
I came across our very favourite christmas story book recently, it's tradition to read a story from it every night in the month of december, and a sudden realisation hit me like a tone of bricks, 'we haven't been reading bedtime stories! When did we stop reading bedtime stories??' I don't even remember! I picked up that christmas book and we started that very night.
Ever so gradually, our priorities had shifted. Work went to the top, managing the house close second, and everyone else fitting in the gaps. I'm sad to say, that somewhere along the way I let go of the values I held most dear, being available to my family. I could see it happening, too. But trying to stay on top of everything else was completely consuming. I was forgetting things, important things, life was spinning out of control. Then I got really sick with a shocking flu. My boys were so wonderful, offering to help with all kinds of things, giving me extra hugs, doing their best to behave and not fight (at least so they didn't think I could hear them). Through endless fevers and aches I worked, got them to school and back, made dinner (of sorts) each night and cried, I cried a lot, at the craziness of it all.
After a week the fevers broke, and everything looked different. The illness was gone and with it, the distorted way of living life I'd become accustomed to over the last few months. I can't ever get that time back, but I can make sure I do not let it happen again. Remembering to be in the smallest of moments. Sitting in silence. Listening to my kids, and talking with them, not at them.
Of course, this time of year has a way of becoming manic, with all the tying up of loose ends, preparing for christmas, school books and uniforms for next year, and so many dates to remember. It's busy, but I will make lists, I'll plan ahead and I will not loose my way like that again.
A new clearer, brighter year is just around the corner, but for now I'm just looking forward to our christmas break and living each beautiful day with the blessings that surround me.