I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all. ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977
Right now, a candle is flickering in my kitchen, sending its papaya and mango scent all throughout the house. A vase of wildflowers stands beside it, and in the fridge, two jars of home-made lime curd are cooling down ready to be eaten up.
Since coming home I’ve felt inspired. Within the ebb and flow of daily life, I’ve been both determined and desperate to stay connected with that part of myself I’ve ignored for a little while and which I found again in Coromandel — the quiet inner voice that sacrifices its needs first when other responsibilities call. This voice, it withers if it’s not fed, slowly taking with it motivation, confidence, inspiration, and contentment. And while sacrificing taking care of our own selves can sometimes feel good because we’re giving to someone else — our kids, our family, our jobs, our community, our friends — it only lasts so long. The source from which you give must grow as well. And lately I’ve realized, I need to fill it up. I need more music, more creativity, more quotes, more calm, more exercise, more pleasure reading, more thoughtful food choices, more fresh living spaces, more nature.
What I really need is to fit my oxygen mask first, because when I can breathe, my family flourishes. My friends get the best of me. That quiet inner voice I have submerged reawakens and cries, “I’m alive! I’m alive!” and with it comes a flood of inspiration and motivation.
This weekend, I noticed myself and I did things for myself. While juggling a sick, needy little girl, I also took a furniture painting class.
I wasted an hour flicking through recipe books and inspiring myself with wholesome, fresh, new meal ideas.
Joel and I did all those little, niggly jobs we’ve been meaning to do around the house.
Including finding a home for the treasures we brought home from our holiday.
I went for a walk by the water, collecting shells and flowers.
I even took an afternoon nap in an empty house and spent the left-over quiet time just hanging out with my boy, feeling him toss and turn and kick like he was having a party in there.
And since I’ve taken efforts to renew myself, I’ve reaped the rewards. My patience is more concentrated, my arms more open, my happiness larger. And once I’m inspired like this, I go a little crazy. Coincide this with what month it is and, well, let’s just call it an out-of-control Festive Gold Mine Explosion.
You guys, it’s October. As in only-twelve-weeks-left-of-the-year October and ohmygod-Christmas-is-coming October and three-weeks-til-Halloween October and holy-Lord-it’s-Spring October. It is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year and I don’t know about you, but I’m on a serious high-kickin’, chandelier-swingin’, streamer-throwin’ festive blow out right now. Things keeps arriving in the mail like wizard beards and Christmas lights and Halloween decorations and Joel simply stares, groans and passes them to me. It’s endearing really.
Anyway, to honour this high-on-life time of year, I’ve written a bucket list.
And by God, it’s gonna get ticked.
The Spring Bucket List:
- Plant a herb garden
- Make home-made lemonade
- Throw a Halloween party
- Go camping with friends
- Make plum chutney
- Bead a shell curtain
- Sew two summer dresses for Ella
- Bottle up home-made bath salts for Christmas gifts
- Befriend the neighbours (possibly lure them over with lime curd cupcakes???)
- Throw a baby shower
- Find a good driftwood beach and make something crafty out of it
- Make an advent calendar for Christmas full of daily Christmas activities
- After-dinner bike rides along the water
- Star-gazing night in the backyard
What’s on yours?
Enjoy this long weekend, friends. See you back here soon.