The day is born exactly how I like it: grey, overcast, a chance of rain. This is what I call perfect weather, especially during summer. Summer with its blinding brightness and heat and tourists. I prefer the days on the beach when it is wild and windswept and empty. I prefer non-summer weather, but more specifically subtropical non-summer. When the weather is mild but not cold. There’s a chance of rain and a cardigan and maybe just maybe I’ll wear closed in shoes. 9 months of the year it’s perfection here, for me. Today, blessedly, is a cardigan day. Maybe not out there racing about on heated concrete carparks, but here in my little nook, it is.
I started this year feeling too constrained by my office set up. When we bought this beautiful home, my desires for a separate office were at a low ebb. I’ve had them previously and found I didn’t often use them. So an office here for me was an afterthought. I thought I’d take up residence in the smallest room in the house, a desk crammed in beside a guest bed. After 6 months though, I realised it wasn’t enough. Especially when I had burgeoning dreams inside me to be more intentional and intense with my business this year. I stayed awake for a few hours one night worrying about it, wishing I’d made better choices.
But then the next day, a sweet miracle: my youngest kid sighed softly and said “I really wish my room was in here instead, Mummy.” I asked her why: she coveted its large, bright windows and closeness to her big sister. Her room was bigger but darker. We decided to sleep on it, but the next day the answer was obvious. We spent a day moving things around, and now we’re both blissfully happy in our new rooms. Her, looking out over the front garden and street with great gads of light. Me in my dark, comforting nook with its built in desk. Guest bed set up like a daybed. Lamps in each corner. Art and collages and statues and photos and notes to myself. Room for a reading corner: an old armchair, an antique sidetable we found in Tasmania, a chipped blue cupboard of books. I’m writing here now, surrounded by my favourite things. I am grateful.
Looking back over the last year, I don’t feel particularly proud of anything I’ve created. I don’t feel like I did my life’s work. I don’t like that feeling. And I know it was a rough year, full of personal calamities. A family member’s cancer diagnosis. Two depressive episodes. A difficult neighbour. Buying, moving and selling a house (despite it being a wonderful change, it was still an enormous transition). Having to talk to the police more times that I ever have before due to other people’s bad behaviour. My cousin’s death. An awful thing happening. Six months of mayhem at my kids’ school before we pulled them out. It was a lot. A lot of compound stress that is still finding its resolution.
A few weeks ago, I told my love that I still didn’t feel at peace over my cousin’s death. He listened and understood. “Maybe he’s not at peace yet, hon. Maybe it’s still finding its way home.” I nod, tears brimming. I just want him to be happy.
And then this tender miracle. I see a viral video on my cousin’s birthday. A bloke working on an oil rig, making videos about his hilarious co-worker. He’s got the same long, dyed green hair and wispy goatee and blue eyes as my cousin. Same nerdy sense of humour. And somehow, it brings me peace. Somewhere, somehow, out there in alternate reality, my cousin is happy. At peace on an oil rig. It makes no sense at all, but it makes all the sense in the world.
Here I am, on this cloudy day with my rainbow jumper on. Sitting surrounded by colour and beauty and quiet. Committing myself to writing more. Remembering that there’s something healing about this. This is the place where the world begins to make sense again.
Thank you for being here with me.
I love you,