It’s amazing how our brains work- we can achieve ten incredible major accomplishments and then have one minor set back and that set back will undoubtedly take centre stage. I know that I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly wish that I could just move on, brush it off and skip into the sunset but honestly, I don’t. I reflect, replay and contemplate my life choices. It recedes and then comes forward with a vengeance like a tsunami gaining momentum until it consumes my thoughts - REPEAT. So my plan going forward is to amplify my accomplishments, the big wins and the small wins- pump them up so huge so that the setback is barely a blip on my radar. This photo above is one my small but mighty wins, cycling with my family. I felt like a badass out there cycling in the Scottish countryside, gorgeous rolling landscape to one side, glorious water on the other side and infinite possibilities in front of me. So what I did there? - AMPLIFY! - It will still be there like a speck of fluff on my favourite sweater but I'll hopefully begin to worry less because I look so cute in that sweater who cares about the Fluff!
Photo credit: Ingrid Mackinnon (Selfie)
We are constantly evolving. At least I think we are… I meanI feel different today than I did last year and I can see myself physically changing as the years go by. I have different friendships than I did 10 years ago and my priorities are shifting alongside my ever evolving parenting skills. None of this ever feels weird to me, in fact quite the opposite. Feels very circle of life (yes I know Lion King). It can feel as organic as a river flowing, as the breeze on my skin or as the sun shining on my face on a perfect summer day. When it goes pear shaped is when I start to long for the way it used to be, when I pine for the good ole days and when that graceful evolution starts to feel like ageing! A dear friend suggested to me that I was mourning the loss of what was, that this feeling was a form of grief and assured me that if I continued to move through the grief on the other side of that I would find growth. So maybe we should say that we’re constantly elevating from one magic moment to the next because I don’t know about you but going round and round in circles makes me dizzy, I’d rather have a shift of perspective, elevate to a different point of view.
Do you believe in yourself? This is a very serious question because I'm slowly discovering that the ability to believe in yourself first and foremost is probably the single most effective tool you can have in your toolkit. When this happens, and let me emphasise 'when' as I am an eternal optimist, I believe you could probably do anything. Like anything. The problem is, there is always someone who messes all of this up! I know this sounds like I'm passing the buck but hear me out. I'm not even talking about strangers or social media trolls, I'm talking about friends and family who just say that one thing that you play over and over in your mind. Like a well loved cassette tape (showing my age..), you replay this statement, that look, the passing comment until THIS is what you believe. You believe them and not yourself. I have not figured this out, I'm merely sharing this thought in the hopes that maybe through the physical act of typing these few words I might begin to believe in myself enough to write more on another day.
One of my goals for 2022, if I should even call it that, is to continue to find moments of peace in my life. Walks, coffees, art galleries, daydreaming, naps, belly laughs to name a few of my 2022 aspirations. Here is a moment of peace in 2021 in Devon. I was on a work trip and made time for a quiet and peaceful exploration in the countryside. It was perfect.
We have been going on a lot of muddy walks these days with our little guy and I’ve realised that I am now another step closer to understanding my own mother. You see, she was born and raised in Jamaica, left in her early twenties arriving in Canada for a new life. When I was growing up I understood that almost all of the opportunities, activities and events that I was fortunate to experience were all new to my mom. She didn’t grow up shovelling snow, going to dance lessons, cheerleading or having a paper route. Growing up in the countryside in Jamaica, having left school at an early age she had a very different upbringing but I can remember the smile, the joy she found in taking us ice skating, or having a snow fight or barbecuing hamburgers on national holidays. Now here I am with my five year old in country where I didn’t grow up doing all sorts of things that I know nothing about. Like muddy walks. Who walks around in the mud on purpose? Middle class British people do, and they do it in style. Wellie boots, waterproof trousers for their kids and dogs everywhere! I was squelching my way through the forest with my boys smiling at the thought that this was how my mom might have felt with me in the snow. Glorious.