As another year is about to draw to a close I find I’m reflective on the year that was. For my loved ones it was a year of sickness, stress, heartache and joy. It was a massive year in a lot of ways and when I find everything is a little dark in my world, the universe has a wonderful way of slapping me on the back of the head and saying “Hey! Someone else has it worse than you, don’t sweat this,” and the universe is right.
I am blessed in so many ways and yes I will have my days where I lose my shit, but I will find calm again. After an early morning feed one morning I found myself staring at my son in wonder. Here is this little person just starting out. What will he be like? Will he be a good man? Will he always know he is loved? His smiles are like nothing I’ve ever felt and it got me thinking about things that make me happy that don’t cost a thing.
In a world that is go, go, go and where we never really switch off (I’m terrible at this) I have made a list of things that make me happy and don’t cost a damn thing. As 2016 begins I hope that I can spend more time in the now and just enjoy the moment and not worry about capturing it on my phone and enjoy the things we are gifted for free.
|(Not my son but still pretty cute)|
My son’s smiles. If I could bottle up and sell my son’s smiles I would put drug dealers out of business. Sometimes the smiles are easily won but other days I have to work for them. I have no idea what is going on in that tiny head of his, but when he smiles everything is perfect and I’m filled with a warmth and happiness I’ve never known before. Yes, technically he will cost me a lot of money in years to come, but that pure joy on his face when he smiles is something no drug can replicate.
Health. This is something I find we take for granted until we get sick. Our bodies are amazing things and although I don’t believe in depriving my body of the fun and naughty things in life (life is too short) most of the time I will try to treat it well. My body amazed me while I was pregnant and then after as I was nursing my son, and then I was reminded of how fragile it was when I ended up back in hospital 6 weeks after my son was born with appendicitis.
Some members of my extended family are currently dealing with serious illness and are battling health on a daily basis. Be thankful for every day you wake up and feel good, well normal because you never know what is around the corner (like a gangrenous appendix).
Dusk. Dusk has always been my favourite part of the day. As a kid I loved playing in our backyard as it turned to night. There was something almost naughty about being outside as it got dark and as I got older and was driving at dusk, I fell in love with it even more. I love the colour of the sky as it turns from blue, orange, mauve and black and the satisfied feeling that I’ve survived another day and the promise of a good night ahead.
The smell of rain on a hot day. Yes this one is a bit clichéd but really, apart from the smell of a wood fired pizza, is there a better smell in the world? Although rain on a hot day usually makes things humid, the smell kind of makes up for that. That fresh air feeling after a stifling day hits your nostrils and you can’t help but smile.
Thunder storms (minus golf sized hail stones). When I was younger I used to imagine that the claps of thunder were giant’s footsteps as they came to get us. Growing up in the hills I knew the giants lived on the other side of the rolling green hills and it was only a matter of time before they got us. Thunder is equal parts terrifying and thrilling and as long as I’m inside I still love watching a good storm (granted it’s not the tail wind of a cyclone).
Imagination. This is one of the best gifts I believe a person can possess and doesn’t cost a thing. I am lucky (and sometimes cursed) with having an over active imagination (don’t most writers?!) and it is something I truly treasure and hope my son inherits. I am rarely bored as my mind wanders and keeps me and those around me, entertained. Think Anne Shirley but without the habit of getting myself into tricky situations. My imagination keeps me sane and happy and that is kind of a helpful tool when you’re a writer.
Autumn. Apart from the fact my birthday falls in Autumn, it is not the only reason I love it. Summer is too damn hot and feisty, Spring is a mistress with severe mood swings (you never know what you’re going to get and times that if you live in Melbourne) and Winter can leave you sad and depressed, but Autumn? She’s a fine lady. I was lucky enough to spend the first 28 years of my life in the Dandenong Ranges, a place I consider one of the most beautiful in the world. Autumn has cool mornings and evenings but warm days and the colour! Oh the colour! Yes raking up leaves is a pain in the arse (or should that be arms?) but watching the leaves change colour from green to yellow or red that then create its own yellow paved road, warms my heart. Who doesn’t love trudging through fallen leaves and kicking them up in the air like you did when you were younger? Free, it’s all free.