I have travelled a journey this last year of challenges, tears, joys, fear and growth, of becoming reacquainted with old friends and most importantly reacquainted with myself. Someone recently said to me quizzically that I was different, that I had changed. Initially I was shocked by their comment and their apparent confusion. Taking a deliberate pause in my day I stopped and reflected on change and my life. Change I have come to realise is a sly creature, tending to evolve in small increments, unnoticeable in its individual steps but obvious when examined and in its accumulation.
One year ago, after 29 years shared with my old love, I suddenly found myself single again as we went our separate ways in life. Yes, I had been single before but that had been in my twenties! This was different, now with four adult children, one still at school and three at university and me the only bread winner. Fear kicked in and became my constant companion in every waking hour determined too to share my half empty bed at night, even in my dreams. Yet here I am one year later more at peace with myself and the world, still fearful at times but able now to welcome this guest called fear, opening myself up to finding out what it has come to tell me about myself and the new opportunities of growth that it has to offer.
Nature, breath, mindfulness, walking, visual journaling, counselling, problem solving, time in silence, prayer, old friends and new, my family and my dog have all in their own ways sustained me on this journey but most of all it has been my focus on gratitude that has been the biggest support and life lesson. Gratitude in the small things in life that until a year ago I had forgotten how to see although they were right in front of me. The gentle breeze on my face, the curl on the end of my dog’s nose that warms my heart, the smiles and hugs of my children, the sun peeping through a grey cloud, laughing at puns, the triumph of learning to back a trailer, paying bills, putting food on the table, a freshly made bed with clean sheets still smelling of sunshine, watching birds in the yard having a dust bath, these and all the other small wonders and joys that life presents to us countless times each and every day. Yes I have changed, I am more aware and appreciative of the blessings in my life, of the world around me, of living in the moment rather than the past or the future and of the precious gift that life is. I am here to savour what life has to offer me, to learn and to keep changing more and more into the person that I believe that I am and can be. Fear will be my companion on this journey but so too will growth, courage, laughter and tears, all there to nudge me to live in the moment, open to all that life has to offer.
Blessings to you all on the journey.