Boxing day here.
Sitting here still feeling somewhat strangely beautifully bloated from yesterday’s festivities.
How was your Christmas beautiful you? Was it good? Did you get to spend it with people who make you feel special and loved? Or was it like pulling teeth and you could not wait to get through it, wishing like hell it was over?
I have had many of those in my time, but yesterday, for me, was lovely. There were no dramas, no person who spoiled the festivities, no awkward moments. It was a day filled with the proverbial love and laughter and boy, am I so grateful for that.
Life has an uncanny way of not working out how we want it to go and I have admit that in the run up to Christmas I was not feeling it all that much. There were Christmas posts by bloggers in their thousands, but I just couldn’t find the mojo to write it. A sadness settles over me at this time of year, and I do find it difficult to connect with this time of year.
I worry about those people who will be on their own, who don’t have a home or food, who are completely overwhelmed by this time of year. I worry about the over indulgence of it all, how commercial it has all become. As I waited in the queues to purchase my own christmas items, I watched with dismay the amount of packaging that covers even the smallest thing, and I couldn’t help but think over 2 billion people world wide celebrate this time of year and all of it is going to find itself into landfill.
Yes, I know, it’s all rather depressing.
But then the day came, and all those worries were suspended for just that day and I was so lucky to have an amazing day to celebrate just being with family and friends that do just love each other, who want to be together. It is a beautiful thing and for me, truly does represent the true spirit of christmas.
Despite how commercial Christmas has become, I do love the ritual of the festival. I imagine what it would have been like in the pagan times, preparing for the winter solstice, gathering food, creating hand made gifts, the congregation of the entire village at a time when hibernation would have been the order of the day. It is in that spirit that christmas exists and if we can reclaim that in some small way, then it doesn’t become invalidated, doesn’t become tainted somehow.
But that is all over now for another year.
And now it is Boxing Day, and so we look to the New Year. We look to a new beginning.
But before we can look forward, we have to look back. It is helpful to reflect. What was 2014 like for you? What were your highs, your lows?
2014 promised to be a great new year, but by mid-january, my depression had gripped me so badly that on the recommendation of a friend, I went to see an art therapist. She recommended I begin a blog and so I started an amazing blogging course with the lovely Pip Lincolne from Meet Me At Mikes, called Blog with Pip.
When I began that course in February, I had absolutely no idea just what journey I would be taking. To say it has been life changing is not an understatement. This space, that first began with The Imperfect Crafter, and then transitioned to the Sarah’s Heart Writes that you see today, has opened up my heart, my faith in humanity and has afforded me opportunities I never thought possible.
I had no idea what I wanted to write about, or who would read it. I went through highs and lows. I got caught up in the competitiveness of wanting to make heaps of money (with no product to sell) to returning to my authentic self of just writing from the heart.
I wrote a post about how I had Androgenetic Alopecia, how I got a new wig, and even found the courage to post a photo of myself bald, which has had the amazing effect of me now speaking openly about my baldness and even removing my wig to show people how it actually works. This is something I would never ever have imagined possible just 10 months ago.
As I kept showing up, my voice emerged, speaking more and more of those things that meant the most to me. I opened up an Instagram account and started to post a regular kindness bomb, to remind people that even though they might not feel like it at the time, they matter, they are valued and they are loved. The response to those have been humbling.
I met an amazing group of women who I now speak to on a daily basis. We encourage and champion each other every single day. We all started our blogging journey at the same time, and we all have our own strengths to offer. Just like friends meeting for coffee for a good old natter, we show up every morning online and talk about life, love and blogging. I have been astounded how quickly these women have made it into my heart, the depth of which I care for these human beings. I have also been so grateful for their love and kindness towards me, for it is through this unconditional love and encouragement, that I have learned to trust in life again and Mr C has noticed a marked reduction in my depressive episodes, noting that even when they do occur, they are of a much less intensity and don’t last as long.
That has been the best gift of all with this journey.
But, of course, like the yin and yang of life, there have been some lows.
Mr C and I both had awful health this year. I had pancreatitis and had to undergo a fairly major operation. My liver enzymes were so off the chart that the hospital staff did not want to believe that I had been sober for 4 years. They were convinced I was a heavy alcoholic. Luckily my surgeon has known me for three of those four years and stepped in to assure them. The operation brought with it its own complications – it was discovered I have a minor heart condition known as Idiopathic Non-Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia. I’m highly unlikely to drop dead from it, but it will need monitoring for the rest of my life.
I also broke my wrist which has been a slow healing process.
Mr C had Occipital Neuralgia, a debilitating condition that caused him to have a 96 hour migraine and then later in the new year, Mr C had to undergo emergency surgery for two slipped discs that were at risk of causing him to become permanently incontinent. Luckily, the operation has been a success, but the healing process has been slow and that is frustrating for a man who cycled the Tour de France route last year.
So heading into 2015, our big goal is our health.
I have undertaken to stop talking about losing weight and to actually do it. My goal is to be my goal weight by the end of 2015 and that will require a weight loss of 35kgs. Not a small job, but like my blog, if I just keep showing up, little by little I will find my groove and my health will improve and I know that will have a knock on effect in ways that I probably can’t imagine right now but will be amazing to look back on this time next year.
Some changes will take place on the blog. I want to talk more of the kindness of humanity, in a world where the only media we are subjected to is its darkness. I want to talk about social justice and how we can make a difference in practical, easy ways that make sense to us. I will always talk about what is going on in my heart.
There are some skills I would like to gain:
Learning to use my DSLR camera, learning to do Hand Lettering, learning to get out more (being the reclusive animal I am).
So as we head into 2015, I wish you all health, happiness, self love and care and a healthy dose of sun and laughter.
I look forward to connecting with you all in the new year, so that our journey together can continue, so that we can walk on the boardwalk of life, arm in arm, whistling a tune that makes sense to each of us.
Thank you for reading my blog, especially as I am not one for a short post (1374 words and counting). I am so grateful to have this space to share with you and for the fact that you read it.
See you on the other side of new year’s eve. Make it a good one.