When I write I feel free, like some feeling of flying or running at a perfect pace. It feels almost effortless on the first draft and suddenly I am completely at peace. It is like the biggest deep breath out that you could ever imagine and as my shoulders drop and my face relaxes it feels like for a moment, I am right on purpose.
And then…the pup will steal something, start to wreck it and look at me as if I were the worse Mother in the world. She has shown me that it is possible to be beautiful, loving, vibrantly enthusiastic and friendly whilst at the same time being utterly nervous, mischievous and snappy tempered. She is an ever-changing amalgam of character that reflects us all. Of course, we try to shield the world from the latter parts and manage them as well as we can behind closed doors. Getting Mr Din to understand that discipline is part of loving care is an ongoing process and his definition of emergency treats is looser than mine!
About twenty years ago I decided to have a WORD for the year. It was a rare thing at the time so over the next few years my WORDS were ~ trust, truth and love. Guess what happened? I didn’t have more of those things in life, I had less and huge lessons in those values. My experiences with untrustworthy behaviour and confrontations with the truth led me to understand that when in trust we seek truth we find love. I was blessed with loving parents and a safe home, after that some very precious friends and some experiences where I felt like a right mug. Too trusting, too generous, too soft….too tired out from it all. I knew I needed some boundaries and had some hard knocks trying to find them.
This year I decided to try it again with UNBOTHERED BOLDNESS. I wanted to be bolder and not bothered by disappointment. Has it worked? The boldness ~ well, I’ve been clearer in mind and worked hard to discern where it has been wise to be bold in words and deeds. That is an ongoing exercise. The bothered-ness ~ I have been less bothered about the behaviour of others than I used to be, but still a lot of my energy is used up trying to negate and placate.
Even though I thought my soul and heart had been about as stretched as they could be, there was more to come. Watching someone you love suffer and struggle more, has not become any easier. There have been some very harrowing months this year through which I discerned that my role was to be cheerful and resourceful. Neither of which were particularly easy. I have kept asking myself ~ what can I do to make it better and what can I do to make it a bit less bad?
Then I realised that I would be wise to view my thinking as if I were my own client. That distance allowed me to see how my emotions were often driving me when the facts were firmer friends.
During all of that increased level of demand there were two books to edit, clients to care for and the admin that comes with self-employment. I have learned that my need for days off is as valid as that of others. I donned the term ~ Sacred Saturdays for two of my hardest working clients ~and we did a deal that if they had a day off a week then I would too. We’ve managed it for most of the time. The next adventure might be a whole weekend ~ wouldn’t that be bold?
I’ve learned some things I knew already ~ my need of communal gatherings is significant (but still have to be so careful about infection), my need for silence and stillness is immense and reading still fills my soul. The latter has been consumed by reading for work and clients. This year I ventured to read two fiction books which has been such a restful joy. That’s been a surprise!
I’ve learned that a life with a lot of restrictions can still be full of love and joy and hope and endeavour. If we only see and show the beautiful parts of life, then we lose some of our boldness. We become too bothered by the comparisons and the perceptions of normality. We make our own normality and must rejoice within it. My clients have become my daughters, and sisters. Their courage and willingness to work has been astounding. I thank them for having me.
Perhaps the thing that I have learned with most profound repetition is that answered prayers come in odd forms. One of the most poignant moments of my year was when I saw a road sign ~ it was just an advert and that made things a bit less bad. It gave me a thought that gave me a hope and ended up with some help. Sometimes we only need a bit of hope and then help to make a miracle. Remember that within the LIFEJOY philosophy there is the quest for tiny treasures to make life joyous regardless of our circumstances. I wish you the best kind of treasures this coming year. I hope and pray that you can look and learn and be bold and blessed in equal measure.