I’ve seen a lot of posts about how 2019 was a sh*&t of a year (or equivalent) and how people can’t wait to dance into the new year and the new decade, and I must admit I feel like 2020 is going to be a cracker. But I also know that right now exists this perfect moment to review and honour all that has been to truly have the freedom to create going forward. And maybe, they don’t intend to skip that bit (the review and honour) but I know also that I spent many times in my life trying to propel myself (thinking I was graceful but mostly doing it erratically) away from all the things that hurt and confused me and made me question myself, and then by default I brought it all with me.
Each year (for a few) I tried to do a yearly blog, just touching on the year – like the family Christmas letter – and being both whimsical and funny. When I went to write it for 2016 it wouldn’t come out for a month and the only title I could come up with was ‘2 oh one 6 like a hatful of dicks’. Which was about all the anxiety and the hiding in the walk-in robe moments that happened when we first began blending our family in the same house. It was about the ugly crying, the tantrums, the competition, all the times I couldn’t stand being a mother, arguing with my not-yet-husband about all the things when we couldn’t work out how to work as team yet. It was about all the times the cat pissed on his floor rugs to advise us of his disapproval about having to move houses, and the way my dogs wrecked the back yard and the kids fought over every seat in the car all the time. When I told my then-fiancee about the blog (when I’d actually managed to write it by May 2017) he was devastated. He said, “2016 was the year we got engaged”. He took me to Magnetic Island, off the coast of Townsville where I did most of our biology camps during University and studied birds, butterflies, tidal mud flats and rock pools. The basic set up for these camps was that you’d be allocated a group and each day you’d do a different activity associated to biology (so dawn bird-watching one day, beach combing another day, quadrants in the mangroves another day that kind of thing). On (at least) one of these camps a small group of us stayed up late (at least once) drinking at the beach, and at 1 am as we staggered back to camp school we had the idea of waking up the Birds Group (as when you were on dawn bird watching you got woken in the dark at 5am and had to quietly get ready and sneak out without waking everyone). We went from cabin to cabin knocking quietly and calling out “Birds. Birds” (also quietly we imagined). Quite a number of people got up and had showers and got dressed before realising it was 1am and angrily going back to bed. The next day (after they were woken again at 5am and had been bird-watching) we all got a talking to. Our favourite thing for the rest of the year was to call out “Birds. Birds.” And fall about laughing.
We went to Magnetic Island which is the most beautiful place, and he booked a room overhanging the ocean. He was a bit nervous, so I had an idea of what might be coming. He proposed on the bed in the room overhanging the ocean – by getting me to put on headphones and listen to Ed Sheeran and using one word at time on paper. It was magical.
But in my lack of review and honour all I could see was the overwhelming, and the things I didn’t do well and the things that were still hard in May 2017 and probably still hard in December 2017 and may have trailed into 2018. Without the honour of the everything, I could not move on without it. And without the honour of the everything I didn’t remember some parts that were magical and everything I’d ever dreamed of. Because also in 2016 we turned the upstairs front ‘sitting room’ of his house into my studio. And years before, in 2013, I’d had a vision about a studio that looked into the trees of a back garden, with lots of windows and from which I could see/hear my chooks. The “sitting room” has massive windows with ocean views and looks right into the trees of our backyard. And in 2016 he also built me a chook pen, by chance directly below the studio. I hear the chooks all day. And it was not in 2016, and maybe not until 2017 that one day I breathed in the space of the “new” studio and had the huge realisation that I’d been working in my ‘vision’ for a year. I was too busy not noticing to notice.
All I would say is don’t rush into 2020 carrying 2019. Honour what needs to be honoured. Forgive what needs forgiveness. Let go of the times you hid in the walk-in-robe and didn’t say the most productive thing during an argument. Burn the bits that should be ash and let them float out to sea. Grieve fully and honour the evolution of grief over time. Count all the holidays and weekends and people you served and dinners you made and times you laughed. Honour every speck. And then 2020. OMG.
Big loves xx