2019’s Biggest Lesson

Remember when I went to Tanzania, started to write about it, then never finished?

Ha Ha Ha!

It’s coming. Truly.

Truly,truly, truly!

I brought something back from Tanzania that was far greater than stories and photos and I will actually share that with you today.

For real.

No kidding.

I’m not even lying.

I’m not really a goal oriented person. I’m happy to live my life, floating along this way and that. Travelling to Tanzania was the ONE thing in my life that I wanted to do.

I wanted to see the animals and the landscape. I wanted to bask in the beauty and the wonder of a place that was so different from my home. I imagined doing so would bring magic and meaning into my life and the experience was most magical. My time there was positive and special and full of meaning and emotion.

And then* poof* it was gone.

I lived every moment of that time. I was the most mindful muthafucka there ever was ! I squeezed out every last drop of experience I could. I let the whole thing sink into my very being and when I got home life was the same as it ever was.

One minute I was there, the next I was not. One minute I was surrounded by magic, the next it was like I’d never even gone. (Did I go? I mean I know I have the photos…)

After the post trip depression cleared and I got my working brain back I was struck by the greatest piece of wisdom I’ve gained this year.

I think I’d come back from a fun weekend with family. It might have been Miss. Sassafras’s dance recital, when my mum in law was in town and my family enjoyed dinner together and lots of love and laughs.

It might have been when I had my goodbye chat with Carolyn. When it became really clear that she was not going to outwit cancer, she was not going to live with it as a chronic condition. She was going to die. And she was going to die soon.

It might have even been a day when I was sitting on my porch in the sun having a chit chat with a wild crow.

I don’t know. But it came and it grabbed me and it stuck. I am ever grateful.

The Big Moments are fleeting. They do not last.

You might think they will because they GIGANTIC but they slip right through the hands. They may be grand and spectacular but in the scheme of all things, they are just small compared to this:

The seemingly small bits in the everyday that become HUGE. These are the things that add up, to make up a life. These are the things that matter. That count. These are the things that stick with you and glow far brighter than the big moments.

A smile from a loved one. Their smell, their laugh. Going out for coffee with a friend, your partner making you a cup of tea. Family dinners, neighbourhood walks. Birds chirping, the furnace roaring to life in the dead of Winter.

The small bits of the every day are the things that sustain us , without us even knowing and become what matter most in the end.

Go and do the big things

Then come home and make a good life, in all it’s perfectly ordinary, spectacular glory. Really focus on that.

Home, family and friends.

That’s where it’s at.

According to me 🙂

What’s been your greatest lesson of 2019? What did your Inner Wise Owl tell you? Won’t you share?

❤ Love & Squishy Hugs.

K is for *Knowledge. A-Z Challenge.

I came across the coolest post this year, on a blog I follow. Art by Wildflower

She had written about all the things she’d learned thus far this year and I just thought that was the neatest thing. Both her post and the idea.

It got me thinking about knowledge and how we sell ourselves short sometimes. Especially when we can’t see something that others might be able to. I really do think that if we sat down and had a bit of a think, we would find that we’d gained some knowledge, and learned a thing or two!

So that’s what I’ve done. Had myself a sit with a cup of tea and the wonderful world around me and just let it come…

  1. January is the longest month. February is not all that much better. I’m not talking about actual number of days. I’m talking about how those days feel. They seem to drag on forever! I’ve always known this but I’ve never known this. Once I get through those first two months of the year I seem to develop amnesia and am suddenly surprised and horrified again, once the new year comes. GAH!
  2. Sometimes, even when you don’t want to, especially when you don’t want to, a person has to do some things they might not like, in order to live a better life. For me, its going outside during the Winter months. I think had I not holed up in my house, snug as a bug in a rug, I might not have felt January/ February were so long and awful! Watch for a new me next year, ha ha.
  3. I need way more human contact than I think or want! According to science we’re social animals. I’ve always scoffed at this because humaning is exhausting to me. BUT, without human interaction I seem to go a wee bit squirrely, and me thinks I need to up my interaction throughout Winter from once a month to more than that! This was easy when I was working as I was forced too, ha! Perhaps science is right on this one….
  4. Here’s some with a broader view. No one person is all bad. No one person is all good either. Same goes for situations and circumstances. The world is both ugly and beautiful.
  5. A person can influence and affect change just by being themselves.
  6. The sky looks different from season to season.
  7. It’s better to get right to a task and do it rather than sit around complaining about it. The work is the same but the latter takes way longer and is super stressful.

And that’s that for me. A small collection of the things I’ve learned since January. I know I often rush through my life and never stop to think about what’s really happening. It feels good to realize that I have been picking up some new things as I go.

How about you? What new knowledge have you gained this year?

January Ramble

Happy Monday!

I love Mondays. This one in particular because it’s the start of the first full week in January and the first full week of 2019. ( Technically, Sunday is the first day of the week, but whatevs! )

I feel like I need a rest from all the resting I did over Yule. The Hubs and I became one with the couch and it was AWESOME! I’ve never been able to just be so this was HUGE for me. I finally learned how to rest. A great achievement.

Did you make any intentions? I have two:

  1. Stand Tall.
  2. Be Kind To Myself.

I’m pretty awesome everywhere else so that’s all I need.

Ha Ha Ha!

Ok. I’m pretty average. The truth is I view this time of year with mixed thoughts. On the one hand I like the idea of a fresh start. As humans, we love our clean slates, the chance to symbolically start anew. On the other hand, sometimes this time of year can feel like an assault.

YOU ARE FLAWED. YOU NEED TO FIX SOMETHING!

Meh. I’m just not about that. It encourages perfectionism and I’m not down with that. Perfectionism is anxiety in disguise. I have enough of that on my own. I don’t need to willfully add anymore.

So. Today I bring you this:

I’m going to celebrate learning how to rest and making it through my yearly dark days. How about you?

Family Dinner, Bullies and Pie.

For the first time in a long ass time, the Hubs and I had everyone over for dinner. Just because. As of late our family has been fractured. Disconnected. 

First there was ( and is ) my son’s drug addiction. Then there was The Great Marriage/Mental Health Fiasco of ’16. We’ve been struggling! Grasping at what was. Hurting with what is. Longing for what could be. 

But fear not! A shift has occurred, as shifts do and somehow – I’m unable to pinpoint it all exactly – our family is coming back together, once again.

Dinner went well! There was food- mac n cheese, roasted sausages, mixed vegetables- there were laughs-lots of good natured “roasting” lots of chasing the kids around, lots of jokes and silliness, there were grandkids..

and there was pie!

When I was making said pie, I was triggered by a memory of a former life. 

My very first job after having my son was in this crappy little bakery, tucked away in the back corner of a garden shop. I was a clerk. I sold treats, sliced bread, made sandwiches, washed dishes and sometimes got to bake cookies.

It would have been an alright job had it not been for one of my co-workers. A spoiled, rich asshole and son of the owners. A man prone to temper tantrums. Legit, tantrums. The kind a toddler would have.

So I’m working away up front, his mother is in the office and Dickhead is in the back doing baker things. I’ve got customers in the shop and we’re all distracted from our calm by the sound of metal clanging and things flying around , followed by the slamming of a door. What the…??? I know what’s going on but the customers don’t so they very quickly finish up and take their leave, visibly disturbed by the commotion. I don’t even remember what I said to them…probably nothing. I have no idea WHAT the problem was this time but from past experience, but I’m sure we’ll ALL hear about later.

Dickhead comes back in after a while – Shawn! His name was Shawn!- Anyway, Dickhead comes back in and the mystery of why is solved. I hear him talking to his mum about how his egg whites wont build because apparently I didn’t wash the bowl properly- grease in your meringue bowl impedes lift-  and how I’m an idiot and this and that and on and on. He’s totally raging and trashing me, saying the vilest of things. 

This is all said out loud with no regard for privacy. I can hear every word. Mommy is trying to calm him down and placate him and he eventually chills and tries to make it all again, saying nothing to me. Nobody says anything to me! Which makes the whole thing even more awkward. 

I carry on with my job, tense as fuck, not knowing what I should do in any direction. I’m not the only one who does dishes in that place! Do I say something? What should I do? Ahhhh! I hate this! I have to walk past Dickhead much later and he is still simmering with rage. So much so that, as I pass him he spits out at me ” You stupid fucking cunt!”

Whaaaaaat?! 

Now, present day Lael would have stopped whatever she was doing, gathered up her belongings and walked out the front door, never to be seen again. No question.

Past Lael wasn’t as wise. Or as brave. What did I do? I ignored him. Which I guess is a defense in itself. But then I kept on working there until I eventually quit because Dickhead started sexually harassing me.

OY!

The thing of it is, I didn’t tell anyone about that first incident. Why? I felt ashamed. Like his asshole behavior was a reflection of me. Maybe I really did do a shitty job of washing the bowl…I was paralyzed with fear and doubt and …the ickiness that comes from being around adults who have temper tantrums and treat people like garbage. Of course, even if it was my fault, is a poorly washed bowl ANY justification for being so aggressive and awful to another human? Nope! Of course not! I wish I had said something to someone, I know now I would have gained wisdom and clarity. But live and learn!

Silence is NOT golden. Silence is isolating. I’m grateful for the lesson.

I’d love to go back in time to redo THAT experience. In a way now, every time I speak up, stand up and take myself out of a toxic situations, I am! 

All this from pie 🙂 

Which was delicious! I found the recipe online, here. 

Have you ever been in a situation like that? Have you ever thought back and wondered WHY you put up with something so obviously toxic? What did you learn in hindsight?