Sometimes, as I'm sure you all know too well, life throws us some 'curly ones'; things that are unexpected or that test our creativity or resilience or courage. Those things don't need to be earth-shattering or even, in fact, of any note or meaning to someone else. Nonetheless, we can feel shaken and unsure of ourselves when those 'curly ones' come our way.
Just recently life threw me a 'curly one' in the shape of me feeling a strong need to move out of a living situation that had somehow led me to feel deeply unhappy. Now you can tell me that happiness is all in the mind, and that I create my own happiness, and that happiness is not the only human emotion worthy of experience. I know all that, but I also know that my default position in life...my default emotion if you like...is to be basically happy. I don't need a lot to be experiencing happiness, or at least a deep sense of contentment. When I am struggling to feel that level of peace and contentment with life, I process it as a need to change something. I can embrace discomfort or 'unhappiness' as a fleeting situation, but if it's hanging about then I figure it's up to me to do something about it. The trouble is that no one is an island and there is that inevitability that someone else may be saddened by the choices I make in order to care for myself.
All that taken into account, I did make a move and stayed in the home of generous and gracious friends for a few weeks while I sorted my head out. During that time I visited my children in Victoria and enjoyed a week with them. On my return a couple of days ago I moved into a new place that became available for me to live in. Although I've only spent two nights here, I have to say that the decision to move was a good one. I realise that I need to have my life arranged so that I can have my 'stuff' around me. I don't collect just for the sake of having things, but I do love to read and write...so there are books and pens and of course, my computer. I also like to craft so there is a sewing machine, a small amount of fabric, a couple of sewing boxes and some patterns. There is a basket of wool and needles for knitting and crochet. There are cookbooks and candles and various other bits and pieces, and I like to see them all around the place. I'm not one to put everything away all the time. Part of my joy in life is to have those things beckoning me...hey, come read a few pages...or knit a few rows...or write a few lines. I like those reminders that I am creative...and I like those times when I can indulge myself and spend a few hours on a project and lose track of time. This stuff is part of my identity somehow.
I'm still not completely organised, but I have promised myself that I will go through all the paperwork and discard what is no longer necessary. It's such a task, isn't it, to go through paperwork. I still have most of my final assignments from uni...I completed my degree in 2010. I have a friend who recently let go of her 'stuff from uni' and she graduated almost 30 years ago...so you can imagine that these things are not easy to let go of. I think I still believe that I can get something out of going back over some of those essays. But if I'm being realistic, I can Google anything these days and track down all the whatever that I could ever need. I wonder if it's some sort of attachment still to what was an incredibly important phase of life for me. I have to say that some of the memories of that time would be better let go of...but still there is the temptation to hold on. Anyway, I will get to it. Perhaps I can set myself a goal to halve the amount of stuff this time. That might be a way to begin. I can say that having to keep moving that great load of paper from one location to another (paper being so darned weighty!!) means that I am becoming less attached to moving it. I can't imagine staying in one place for the rest of my life...moving is for me some sort of inevitability...so I guess I'll have to reduce the load a bit if I want it to be easier next time I get itchy feet...
Still, as I look at the view, the bush surrounding this cosy little home, and my various projects beckoning...and as I realise that it's only days until I'm back into full time work mode...I think perhaps it would do me well to sit tight and stay put for a while. Moving house can be exciting but it's also very tiring and expensive. I wonder if my unsettled nature is something to do with being a 'Scanner' (see Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher)? Perhaps I'm driven to keep moving too. That's something for me to think about. Perhaps I could arrange my life so that I can nourish my urge to keep moving by planning trips to see new sights (this is such a strong need for me)...sounds like fun. Perhaps it would be kind of good to stay in one place (at least have one place as a base) long term. I'll have to think about that.
Today has been another day of moving bits and pieces of furniture and testing to find out if the internet connection was going to be satisfactory or not. To my great joy it is better than I've had for the last several addresses...at least it is today so I'll make the most of it! I also indulged myself this morning in a little pamper session...a home-grown facial, a manicure...popped on some of my favourite perfume and just enjoyed being me. Mum called in for a couple of hours' mother and daughter time and it was just...nice! Relaxing!
I'm planning to enjoy the remainder if this Aussie long weekend just hanging close to home and reflecting on how darned quickly holiday times seem to disappear. I'll remember some precious times with my gorgeous kids and how very lucky I am to have them in my life. How big is a mother's love for her kids? I forget sometimes that my mum feels the same love for me (and my brother too, of course!). It's pretty special...to know that you are so well loved.
I'll also be allowing those thoughts back into my head...the ones I've been fighting off valiantly for the past weeks...the ones that are the start of planning a school year with a new class, a new job, new parents, new colleagues and new challenges. They kept sneaking up on me every time I let my guard down and I'd tell them firmly (after taking down a few notes on occasion) that it's holiday time and that I'd get back to them closer to the end of the summer break. Well, work looms large...back I go on February 3, so it's time to start some serious thinking and note-taking, study and planning...and prepping the classroom so it's all ready for things to run smoothly when the children start back. Holidays can't last forever...and really I'm looking forward to getting back into seeing life through the eyes of the children I work with.
You can never really know how things will work out. We all do the best we can, I think....the best we can with what we know and what we have to work with. I don't know how life will work out this year. When I was young I used to think that there was some magic point in life where you knew who you were and what you wanted to do and how to do it; that life would become 'smooth' somehow. Now I'm older I know that the bumps are a big part of the adventure of being alive, and I'll just have to go on riding them for as long as I'm here. It's kind of comforting in an odd way. It would be so unsatisfying to know what the future held. Here's to surprises and serendipity! A toast to new experiences, new challenges and new knowings. It's lovely to be back and I'm looking forward to seeing what piques my interest to write about for you over the coming weeks. Hoping your adventures are all good ones!