Twelve Notes From Underneath The Divorce Table.

Long time, no write. I know. What you don’t know is that I have been writing, but just not publishing. I’ve had to be selective for my own purposes.


We have filed two divorce orders into our household admin system, as of today. Life has been a strange twist of circumstances, but I think it’s time I wrote this. People find it uncomfortable that I’ll talk about divorce, but hey, a whole bunch of you are/have/will go through it, and I am gonna talk about it. Some advice and guidance if you are going through this:

1. Keep a record of everything. Every email, text, fart, whatever.

2. Keep a journal, for yourself. You have feelings, process them.

3. Understand that the legalities are clinical, and do not care for your feelings. It may feel good in the moment to scream like a banshee, but it will not serve you, ever. 

4. Understand that, if it gets nasty, you will have to apply the 2-asshole rule: If 1 person’s being an asshole, you don’t get to be one. Big tip: Not being an asshole is actually easier on you. Bigger tip: Keeping your grace is way easier on you too. People will mistake it for kindness and weakness. Let them.


5. The admin of it is horrible. Understand your intention in doing it, then do it. I paid for and did everything for my divorce myself, making it very easy on, the other party. I did not make it easy on them because I wanted to, or, as I was told “I owed it to them” to. I made it easy because I did not want my kid to live through some protracted and unnecessary crap. Big tip: the process of making it easy started long before we got married. Yes, you need an antenuptial contract. And, if you are not comfortable enough to contemplate and discuss the intricacies of one with your future spouse, or they are disinterested in doing so: do not marry them. 


6. Celebrate every step in the legal process, because it is far longer than you want it to be, or would imagine it to be.


7. You cannot get through the rigours of this without taking care of yourself. Yes, even when you are being told that you don’t deserve to. It is like taking on an additional job that you need to care for. Care for it, but understand that it will be over.


8. Ask for help. This is weird for me, because I suck at this part, but I did end up asking for help. And every bit of it was life-changing.


9. You will not believe the things that get said about you, your ex, and anyone connected to you. Understand that none of them can hurt you unless you let them. I have let some of them hurt me, because I have learnt from them. Most of all, I learnt exactly who really was on the bus I mention below. You’d be surprised if I told you. Very few people who I expected to, made it onto that bus. Way many more unexpected people got on to that bus and drove it for me when I could not. Those people have been lights, and continue to be, long after the manic noise has faded. 


10. You will discover extreme toxicity in your life. Cut it out, without fear. I do not miss a second of the things I had clung on to, thinking it was the ‘right’ thing to do. The second you spot something toxic, cut it out. You do not have to tolerate anything that does not serve you (this is a rule for life).


11. This is your divorce, and it was your marriage. You do not need to explain it to anyone, unless they’re actually listed in the legal papers. Anyone who demands to know, is there for their own curiosity and intent. They are not there for you. People either get on the bus for it, or they do not. You do not have to explain the bus ticket to them. They will, very quickly, get on the bus, or not. See point 10 for people who don’t get on the bus, no matter who they are.


12. Move on with your life, unapologetically and with purpose. Figure out yourself as you are, beyond this. This isn’t an ending. You are just coming home to yourself.

The Playlist From Underneath The Table [The Divorce Edition]

Around the same time that we started to realise things were not going to turn out the way we planned, I started listening to music again. That must seem super-strange to read, but it is what it is. I’d been so focused on trying to find quiet for so long, that I had forgotten what noise made me comfortable. I’ve been building this playlist over the months, and there have been some constant favourites.

[Sidenote: this playlist is no indication on the state of the relationship between my ex-husband and I. Try not to read something into everything. Not everything has a hidden meaning or agenda, much like me]

You might think I’m a bit sick in the head for creating this, but boohoo, go get your own blog. So, here goes…these are the songs that have got me through, so far, two months in. They have helped me run the gamut of emotions, and they’ve helped me run into my life (and, occasionally, run through my neighbourhood in the mornings). Sure, there’s probably an extra slice of cheesy cheesiness in this, but then, I’ve always loved the cheesiest music. Maybe you need them too:

You Never Really Think…

You never really think you’re going to get divorced, and then you kinda end up there, wondering how the things you (sensibly) planned for anyway, somehow ended up being the main plan, even when the main plan looked nothing like this.

You make the In Case Plan, with your partner, all sensible and serious, yet you still kinda ignore it, because it’s Not Going To Happen.

Realising it was happening, and then realising it was going to take some follow through…terrified me.

But then it galvanized me, along with a bunch of other circumstances, that set my organisational mind ablaze and – once she summons control – things just flow.

So that’s where I am. Sitting in the middle of the ebb and flow of it all.

And guys, it’s weird.

Am I deleting this whole story from my life? NO. It’s been a fundamental life experience.

Do I hate him? Not even a little. He probably hates me, but is too kind to show it.

Is this really it? Yeah, it is.

Should I be writing about it? Nope, not for anyone but myself, at the moment. Nobody reads this anyway.

Does it suck? It sucks so much. I’m having to unlearn all the habits so entrenched into my life. It is the strangest thing to go from a full-time communicator to barely nothing. I miss that check in. But I know it’s less about me there, and more about his needs, and I respect the hell out of them.

Does it suck for him? Yep, I imagine so. But I’m not about to make assumptions about his process here. That’s his, not mine.

It’s so weird that I still don’t have the words for it, and I’m still kinda trying to come to terms with it myself.

But I know one thing:

Freeing him was the good idea.

Freeing me was the necessary idea.

And while it has hurt so much,

I know it was the right choice.

I can’t wish you a Happy Birthday

Dear Mum,

The last time I got to wish you a Happy Birthday was when you turned 67. In 2010. You would not live much longer.

But how much time is “much longer”? Well, for this particular scenario, it was less than 4 months. By that time, you were weak, unwilling to give in, and yet so desperate to just give over and go to Dad. I think you felt betwixt and between, and I think you know that I never quite knew where to sit on that spectrum.

I still don’t, and because life never lets you focus on just one thing at a time, I’m still feeling that feeling, just over other things.

Mum, you’d love this part. Where all the things that happened before, come back. Where all the things that went ahead, turn around. And where all the things that’d make you giggle in the passageway, have me giggling in the passageway.

I can’t wish you a Happy Birthday, but I can wish you present. I can’t get you cake, but I can eat it for you. I can’t toast to your health, but I can take care of my own. I can’t hug you, but I can hug my family. And in all the noise, soaked in sound, and all the quiet, soaked in silence, I can still hear you within my own voice.

Happy Birthday, Mum. I miss you forever.

10 Things.

Traditionally, I’ve written a lot to myself (into the void), or passed notes from underneath the table to others. Those letters, written to everyone from my parents, to my child, to my husband, to my friends, are the things I often can’t say in person, but have to be said.

Many people do a year round-up of things, and I often did them for myself, in the past. I’ve not done one for many a year, but I’ve realised that – for a lot of reasons – I should. Even if I just read this one Friday evening, in the future.

This is the year we got married. It still feels somewhat surreal, but I’ve realised that’s part of the magic. Our life together wasn’t ever planned for, or theorised. It happened, as it wanted to. That’s not to say we weaved no control over it…it’s just that we let our life happen as it wound towards us. Looking at it now, the stories were writing themselves, long before we picked up our pens. I’m very grateful for that. There is a comfort that comes from knowing someone is on your team, no matter what the format may be.

Things I’ve learnt (and sometimes, had to relearn) this year – 10 things for 2017: 

  1. Insatiable curiosity pays off, unless you’re insatiably curious about something illegal. To be sure, I was not insatiably curious about anything illegal, but I had to make that distinction. Wanting to learn, and working doggedly towards learning…It’s worth it.
  2. Being wrong does not mean the conversation has come to an end. You just have something else to learn. Shut up and listen.
  3. Not knowing the answer to something – saying “I don’t know” – isn’t a reflection of your intelligence. It is an opportunity to learn. Shut up and listen.
  4. Even your worst decisions were still decisions. Stick by them, because decisions always either advance you, or teach you. I have not made all of the best decisions this year, but I have certainly learnt from each one I’ve made.
  5. Sometimes, telling people how you feel is the most difficult thing in the world to do. It’s worth it.
  6. Sometimes, cutting people out of your life feels like you are murdering your own memories. You’ll know when you have to do it. It’s worth it. It hurts, but it’s worth it.
  7. Sometimes, standing up for yourself feels impossible. Defining your sense of self-worth is not the job of someone else. Do the work and then be prepared to defend it. It’s worth it.
  8. If you can speak, half as much as you listen, you’re doing well. This year, I learnt to shut up and listen.
  9. Loyalty isn’t some transient, intangible thing. It lives, and thrives, through action. Pick the team you’re on, make sure it’s worthy, and then commit. The moment you feel that a loyalty needs to be questioned, question it. Any element of doubt here…arrived for a reason. You’re not just paranoid. Your instinct is speaking. Shut up and listen.
  10. Realise, and acknowledge, that you are good at some things, and not good at other things. That’s absolutely okay. Nobody is expecting genius, but you are expected to try your best, and then be able to prove you did. It’s worth it.





Notes, from underneath the leaves in the Midlands.

Over the years, people have quizzically asked me why this blog has always included a reference to being from “underneath the table.” It’s taken on many forms, over time, as sometimes I’m writing from underneath the table of a whole life, or from underneath the table of parenting, or from underneath the table that I am actually hiding under.

As a young child, I used to “hide” underneath the table in our lounge. I have exceptionally crisp memories of throwing a blanket over our round table with the bow legs, and climbing underneath there to play. It was the right distance of being close to the noise and love of my family, and alone in my own world, that left me both comfortable and relaxed.

I live my life a lot like this. Hiding underneath the table is a theme that followed me right through my teen years (my dad would often find me reading under my desk, when I was supposed to be studying), and hiding under my desk when things got too chaotic at the office, was a common event. At one point, I remember plugging my laptop in, underneath my desk, when I had a massive project to conquer, and was fighting off a horrible case of heartbreak. Being underneath the table helps me focus, and feel safe. And yes, I know I am strange – I am okay with this.

Recently, my life accomplice – Jane – called me up and told me she was booking us for a night away. As it turned out, the timing could not have been more perfect for the both of us. We’d leave the day after my birthday (and yeah, I know, I didn’t write a birthday letter this year – consider the first 3 paragraphs of this that letter for this year – my re-commitment to being underneath the table) and, unfortunately, as life has her way, Jane suffered a huge loss in her life just two days before we were to make our escape.

You’d imagine, of course, that when someone loses an important person in their life, they want to invoke WH Auden and stop all the clocks. But that’s not who Jane is, and it’s not who the person she lost was. In fact, after witnessing her family wishing their beloved matriarch farewell today, I know her family do not stop clocks for anything, for life is far too fleeting, and memories – not time – are more important to cling to.

So, with the internal jangle of having turned 37 within me, and the hurt of her loss still stinging, Jane and I set off on a meander through the Midlands and a visit to Granny Mouse Country House.

You should know that I don’t travel well and (as Jane will tell you – from our drive back and me hyperventilating on the regular over trucks), it takes a lot for me to leave routine and head away for a bit. But, I need to say this: this little getaway needed to happen and it could not have happened in a prettier place.

We opted to take a slow drive towards our destination, and stop whenever and wherever we felt like it. We stopped at the cheese factory, Rawdons (thanks for my birthday G&T) and Jane had me check out a possibly haunted hut. I’m still not entirely convinced that little hut wasn’t infested with mutant spiders but, hey, I still have my head and haven’t sprung any web from my wrists. I think we’re okay.

Arriving at Granny Mouse, feels like walking back into your own family home. Now, of course, every second place you stay tries to convince you of this, but there’s something about this very particular place that gets it so right. I’d had an hour’s sleep the night before, off the back of a litany of bad, sleepless, nights, that left me with a spiky soul and droopy eyelids. But there’s something in that air, that view, and that comfort, that made me – finally – feel okay. More than okay, in fact.

We were booked in (great idea, Jane, best idea – remind me to listen to you, all the time) for a full body massage at their Spa and – well, I fell asleep very soon into it. I woke up when the masseuse asked me to turn over, and my eyelids sprung upon, where I felt like I’d been asleep for eight hours. Instead, it was just twenty minutes of slight snoring and probably drooling. I felt alive for the first time in a long time.

After my body and mind were once again re-aligned, we headed off to dinner. I’m probably going to talk about dinner a lot more often in my life, because I have this latent-but-obvious desire to become a true food critic and live out my days by reviewing eateries everywhere. I’ll tell you this much about dinner at Granny Mouse: It’s no country bumpkin menu with cheese sauce everywhere. Heck no. Each piece of my meal felt like they’d gone through my food diary, picked out the things I liked the most, mashed them together and gone “OH HEY! WE READ YOU DIARY. THIS WAS MADE FOR YOU”. I mean, who else turns blue cheese into a rosemary-crumbed gorgeousness that makes me feel quite emotional? Hah. Of course, eating dinner in the cellar was a total treat, and being surrounded by such incredible wine made me think very deeply about our selection at home…I think it needs expanding.

After dinner, we holed up in our gorgeous suite, with a crackling fire and, of course, donned our onesies. Curled into bed and blissfully warm, I finally fell asleep – and stayed asleep – for more than 4 hours, for the first time, in a very, very, long time.

Morning came round, and I missed wishing my kid a good day at school, because I slept right through the time she left the house (awful parent, awful) and rolled over for an extra twenty minutes of snoozing. A lazy morning, a beautiful breakfast, and a quick walk along the riverwalk ensued, with us packing up and driving back to Durban shortly thereafter. Of course, we stopped at every possible spot we could along the way, for coffee, shopping, and treats to take home.

Image: Jane in Pictures

Hanging out with my life accomplice (p.s. Did you know we run a business together now too? True story. Maybe I’ll tell you about that one day), in a gorgeous place, surrounded by the wonder of nature that we have somehow lucked up in living around, felt exactly like being underneath the table in my childhood home again. It was the right kind of comfortable, the right kind of quiet and, when I came back out into the real world of life, alarm clocks, and deadlines, I felt like me again, for the first time, in a very long time.

My point? It’s this:

—> Thank you, Jane, for taking me with you on this adventure. I could not ask for a better accomplice in adventure, including all Instagram Husband duties.

—> Thank you, Granny Mouse, for the incredible treat of a stay with you, and the way you shaped every detail around ensuring we had the best time.

—> Thank you, Super Shmooshy and Incredible Child, for taking care of the home life for a little bit. I think I need to trust you both a little more in being able to cover all the bases, and the 20-point list.

You enabled me to spend some time underneath the table of life again. I had forgotten how important this was. Thank you. 


Deadlines For Decisions

In our house, the worst question you can ask anyone is:

“What would you like to eat?”

We will share memes about it, laugh about our own inabilities to make an actual choice and then, of course, opt for the usual favourites that are certain to bring a smile at the dinner table.

I’ve never really been very, naturally good at making choices. It has taken a conscious application of will to force myself into making decisions, because dithering about makes absolutely no sense and wastes a whole bunch of time I don’t really have to spend wandering the inroads of my mind over. Similarly, I’m so bloodymindedly aware of my own choice-making failings, that I’ve focused a tonne of my parenting on teaching my kid how to make choices, on her own, for herself and, without fear – this has made her a better decision maker than I am. But, back to the art of conscious decision making (It is an art, and not a natural talent. This is stuff I had to learn):

Learning to do this was tough, but important and, there are three principles I operate on nowadays, and apply to my own process of making choices. They are:

  1. If it’s a business decision, I need to make it within 24 hours. Anything else stresses me out, and makes a perceived problem or obstacle feel a whole bunch bigger than it actually is. Luckily, I don’t work for shareholders, a boss or anyone but myself, and the only criteria I need to impose upon these decisions are, usually: Can I do this? Do I need to do this? Do I want to do this?
  2. If it’s a personal decision, I give myself 48 hours, to mull over the possibilities, consequences and shout about how frustrating it is for me to have to make a decision. Yes, really. Ask my significant other – when I am frustrated, I shout. There’s also the frenetic texting phase, where I’ll find things out, try and figure things out and, then, well, I make a decision.
  3. How will this decision count in five years’ time? It can feel a little bit strange to think this way, but it’s been a source of both comfort and concern for me. Generally speaking, if I can imagine myself being comfortable with this choice, and its consequences, in five years’ time, then it’s a lot easier to make. It also helps to alleviate fears I may have, because fear-based thinking, and decision-making, is an absolutely stupid way of doing things (this is something it took me a long time to learn).

These are all very nice and wonderful to read, I realise, but they’re not always easy to apply. If you know me in person, you’ll know that I am, on the regular, clouded by emotion. Working my way towards not operating on that is hard for me – so flipping hard – but I try and do it, more and more. Often, I find I have to get the emotion out of the way (see: frenetic texting) and then I can think clearly beyond it. One thing I have realised is that I have to not make decisions when I feel compelled to frenetically text someone. It’s usually Jane.

Which brings me to the bonus #4 part of this brainvent post…find someone you can vent to. I’m lucky in that my vent space is equal parts business and friend, which is something I did not know I lacked a few years back, and yet I have discovered I needed more than I had ever suspected. She’s exceptionally good at conceptualising decisions and helping with point 3 above, which is both useful and helpful. She also supports me, in whichever end of the choice I end up travelling. I am exceptionally grateful for you, Janey Jane.

So, what’s my point? It’s this, really: 

I have, for as long as I could muster, used my own perceived inability to make decisions, as an excuse. It’s not a valid excuse or reason for me to continue feeling adrift when faced with decisions. Even the hardest ones can be tackled if I apply myself. Sometimes,  I do not want to, and that’s okay. But if there’s one thing that motivates me, it’s a deadline. That’s why I have deadlines for decisions now.

The Blume of Blooms

If you grew up in the decade before, during, or after, I did, you’ll know this book. Maybe you read it, maybe you didn’t – it was, back then, very much “a book for girls” (what rubbish, but anyway…even ‘the boys’ knew about it) and I have strong, strong memories of the Judy Blumes always being booked out at the school library, and the sheer exhilaration of being the person who manages to scoop it up on library day.

I digress, but not really.

The book title has always stuck with me – ‘Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret’. This post has nothing to do with religion or the contents of that book though, but it does have something to do with my relationship with Judy Blume, and other things other people seem to uphold as quaint and important. I am one of them too – do not get me wrong, Blume was an important reading journey for young me – but there’s  a weird reverence around it that I see matched in other things of my life today.

I should attest to the fact, first, that like a tween heirloom, my kid is now reading the Blumes, and I have, in fact, purchased a few for her during our book store browsing days. 

As a 36-year-old adult though, I am fully aware today that the wet-tongued excitement over things we all believe we should have our moment in the sun with, still exists.

(Oh, by the way, Hi. Sorry. I kinda skipped writing here for a while. I got busy)

At 36, the things I strap to the Blume-like moments are far bigger than books, but a lot less effective or real. That was the attraction of Blume (although many called her controversial – I mean, she wrote about periods, and sex, and all the things young women are supposed to not talk about – what heresy! Burn the witch! NOT) – she said things, and talked about things, we are all taught to care about, desire and work for, but not necessarily speak of, openly and freely.

It is the same now.

As we plan our wedding, and the questions come thick and fast, and stupidly, I’m left feeling like the girl who is last in the queue for the new Blume that’s arrived in the library. There’s one small difference though – the only reason why I would want it, is because I’ve been taught to want it, or led to believe that everyone wants it and so, therefore, there must be something wrong with me for NOT wanting it.

It started with: talking about flowers. The most goddamn expensive accessory to a wedding and, guess what? THEY DIE THE NEXT DAY. SOMETIMES SOONER.

I’m far more keen on skipping the flower jol and using ribbons (reusable), or popping down to Woolies for some country bunches and a couple of fairy lights (again, reusable).

But, as is the way with all things wedding, I did some investigation anyway (By the way, I still live in NOT A CHANCE ARE WE SPENDING THAT ON FLOWERS land).

The responses to my enquiries ranged from “Ooooh, what are your favourites?” – followed by an exceptional markup in the online-listed price of the bloom I had mentioned; to “Well, you should choose a flower that means something to both of you” (LAWD. WE DON’T EVEN HAVE A SONG YET. NOW YOU WANT ME TO FIND MEANING IN SOMETHING NEITHER OF US WILL ACTUALLY PAY ANY ATTENTION TO) and…my best: “Well, yes, but no expense should be spared when you’re creating the most wonderful day of your life, and we’d be so happy to help you, Kathleen.”


What’s to say THIS will be the most wonderful day of our life together? Does it make a difference if I think we’ve already had it? What if I told you we have these days a lot, and that, in fact, just yesterday, when my two people, dogs and assorted dustbunnies were watching Harry Potter, I was utterly enraptured by the way our family just fits together? Do you know how DAMN GOOD that feels? Or what about the time we decided to go for lunch somewhere different and ended up at this insanely expensive restaurant and had an incredible time, giggling, and I was wearing slops, and it felt like we were lampooning the place and – actually – that day is one of the most defining reasons why I love him?

So, why am I even bothering with this? Just as the Blumes have now become the Blooms in my life, I’m realising that…all the things other people deemed so desperately important, actually aren’t, to me. The weirdest thing is that I’m almost expected to be apologetic about this – because it is “very strange” that I absolutely could not give an inch of care about whether or not Bob & Linda will enjoy being seated at the same table as Ted & Teresa (names changed to protect the innocent).

The things that I count as important are the parts we haven’t planned to the second, or decided upon in strung out conversations (you should know, we decided to live together, by choice a few years ago, because I called him at work, and told him my lease was ending. It was, literally, that easy and that plain-speaking. We didn’t choose the wallpaper first).

So, that’s me, right now. Trying to figure out what the Blumes in my life are, and what else is actually lying in the library, waiting to be taken out and read.

For me, the most important book is the one we’re writing together, and not the one that tries to figure out how coordinated his tie needs to be with my shoes. I just don’t care about these Blume Blooms enough to give this any more energy than is required.

The beauty of our life together is not found in some gilted, lacey invitation or the wilted corsage someone tried to sell me over the phone, which cost the same as my kid’s school fees (no, I’m not joking).

It’s in the life we have when he takes the trash out, and I’m in the kitchen wrangling dogs, homework books and cooking dinner. It’s in that moment where I am in a hellfire of a mood and he comes in to ask which ice-cream he can pick up for me while he’s out. And the most magnificent day of our life? It’s the one where I know I can phone him and tell him I wrote this, because I’m pretty damn certain he absolutely hates himself for wanting to marry the hot-headed mess I am on some days. It’s the day where I can lie on our bed and cry with uncertainty over our future, and he steadfastly assures me that we will be more than fine (we were)  and it is every single time I look at my diary and realise I share my life with the most brilliant human, who believes in me beyond myself,  and in our family, beyond every possibility.

There are no flowers for that. 

Self Loathing And Other Stories


Yes, this is awkward. I’ve been cheating on you a bit and writing over here, every now and then. Sorry about that.

I suspect, much like many others, that I’ve puddled myself into guilt and self loathing over my own words, thereby shying away from here, because I just felt like I didn’t have anything worthwhile to say.

I do, however, because we’re all saying worthwhile things every day, even if we fail to notice them.

Taking some time away from this screen has had a strange effect on my life: I’ve learnt, and feel, some level of objectivity over the world as I see it, which has enabled me to disengage with the crappiness we seem to read about in the headlines. I’m not saying I’m not terrified of the future – I am, actually. Paralytic, in fact… to the point where I’ve had to untangle my own mental limbs and start to make decisions around my own fears.

Weird, hey? Fear-based decision making is a bad thing, but this is not that. Instead, I’m making my choices around my own fears, rather than because OF them. It’s helped me feel a little sense of clarity, and exhausted the bubbles of confusion I felt for the last 12 months. Feeling headstrong in this time, is important.

Back, however, to the self loathing. My friend Charlie reminded me that we — most of us — live with a level of self loathing that can either propel us to be better, or will swallow us whole.

I admit to letting my self-loathing swallow me whole…and then spit me out. A very dear friend of mine has been through this too, and is now clawing her determined self towards life.

It had to happen, because I need something new to look at the world with. I don’t particularly like this view, but it is the one I need to work with if I’m going to get anywhere that I want to go.

And that’s why I stepped away from the screen. While we’ve all gnashed our teeth over the past year, it hasn’t actually led to anything fruitful, aside from persistent teething problems and a startlingly scary guy who thinks everyone is lesser than him. Sorry-not-sorry.

This post has nothing to do with anyone else, really. I remember, once, reading a poem, written by a friend, where she articulated her way through the world as a being encased in shiny, brushed steel. As the world outside her casing was reflected upon the steel, so she would see brightness and lightness, dark and dustiness. But she would not feel it in a way that affected her, or that led her to change her missile’s course and trajectory. I keep thinking about this poem, every morning, as I flip open my computer and confront the world, my to do list and, well, people.

This wasn’t meant to make sense, anyway.

Sometimes, perhaps, the satellites bleep.


It Was Less Than Ideal, But Then We Found Something New

For some reason, or a million of them, this year has felt like hot molasses with no spoon. But, as we move towards the winding up of this year’s clock, I’m finding little beautiful things that make my heart happy.

A friend sent me this, and it’s reminded me of this very discovery.

So, to buck the trend of 2016, I thought I’d list the incredible things I have managed to find in a year that has been less than ideal:

  1. The Gilmore Girls Revival. I cried for the first ten minutes of the first episode. The good cry, like when you meet someone, you haven’t seen in years, at the airport arrivals area.
  2. There’s a beautiful tree outside my bedroom window. It’s lost all its leaves, for no apparent reason. A lot of trees around our neighbourhood have…which is worrying. There is, however, now a clear view to somewhere I wanted to be able to see, but never could. We get the vision we want, eventually.
  3. Today, I watched my kid be proud of something she has worked so hard for. It’s been a less than ideal year for her, for us. It’s been…there have been gaps in our days that used to be filled with something hilarious. We’ve had less to laugh at, but we have not forgotten to laugh at ourselves, so that’s okay.
  4. Rediscovering my ability to be abruptly kind. That sounds like an oxymoron, but if you ask anyone who knows me, I am good in a crisis. I am not particularly maternal, and I’ve softened over the years. Getting back to the part of me who gets to the point has been a weird revelation. I was missing the point, for a long time there.
  5. That little Rolodex of mine has grown this year, and not just been dug into. Expanding that has had to be a priority this year, and I hope it keeps growing next year.
  6. Figuring out and finding the humanity within someone who I dislike. Feels like a mean task to even write that, but it’s something I’ve had to do. Learning about agendas, understanding motives and trying to find something good in even the most awful scenarios or situations…has been hard. But I’m trying, and that has to count for something, right?
  7. I’ve turned my back on things that do not feed me, or respect me. Hard, because I always – so desperately – want to please people. Learning how to not instantly do that has been really, really onerous to navigate.
  8. The acceptance that, at some point, I will have to do that again, and it won’t be pleasant. It’s a constantly nurtured item, not a kneejerk reaction. The more you learn to draw the lines of your life, the better your pencil work gets.
  9. Flurrying around and through life’s demands, but there’s a simple home truth that I get to have in my life every day – a foundation of love, that functions as a unit. We are a trio of fluidity and focus.
  10. Noticing the creativity that gets poured into even the most seemingly simple of things. Take a little time to take notice of it, and you will find it. There’s a person’s mind and motivation beneath there.
  11. This is super lame, but I’ve always wanted to own a coatstand, since I moved out of home, which happened long before you even knew what the difference between 3G and WiFi was. I’ve never bought one, because the expense was just too much, and I always put it off to the One Day List. Today, thanks to an incredible sale, I bought one.

We need to hold these moments close to us, as we wander into the wilds of a new year, soon. Just hold them, because our moments are always gone too soon.