…..and I am blessed

I am so very tired.

I am so very ill.

I am so very tired of being so ill, so unable to function the way my life demands I must.

Deadlines still come in, yet my brain, my body,  my energy will not rise to the challenge.

Every day is just so hard.  So exhausting.

Yet……

In the midst of that deep grey there are some things that sparkle.

A friend who hates the phone as much as I do.  She calls in a time of need.  It’s a big thing for her to call.  We talk for an hour.  She feels better.  We feel closer.  I am blessed.

A funny, fuddy duddy step-father who sees my time of need and offers to help.  He cares.  And I am blessed.

A phone call from a real estate agent.  I have been accepted for the rental property next door to dear friends.  They will be watchful over me.  We embrace.  And I am blessed.

A beautiful text comes through from a beautiful friend who has been doing it tough.  She is going to be ok.  I smile.  I am blessed.

A student who has struggled all year has a penny drop moment.  He gets it.  He’s on a roll.  His face lights up!  His world just changed.  Maths is no longer a big black looming monster.  I do the happy dance and the class laugh.  Wow.  I am blessed.

A friend also battling pain and illness shares my moments through the day.  The highs and lows.  She gets it.  Someone gets it.  Someone gets that daily struggle.  I am not alone.  She is not alone.  And I am blessed.

A silent student finds her voice and discovers she has a knack for impromptu speaking!  A big smile spreads across her face and she blushes as people applaud and comment, “Wow!  You’re really good at this.”  Joy wells inside of me.  I have to tell someone!  I am blessed!

Golden shining moments in the middle of deep tired grey.  They shine all the more beautifully because of their contrasting dark background.  They sing a song in my heart.  And I am blessed.

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The Beauty of Weakness

 

I’ve been having pretty rough run lately. Recently I wrote an email to a friend, filling her in on all the happenings in my life and home and it read like something from “A Series of Unfortunate Events”! At the moment I am kind of bracing myself thinking, “What’s next?”

I have the unfortunate disposition that when I experience enough stress for a prolonged period of time, eventually the cracks start to show and I become physically ill. I hate that! I feel like a basket case. I struggle with debilitating dizziness, physical weakness and levels of brain fog that leave me not knowing what the hell I am doing a lot of the time. To know that your physical condition is psychologically induced is hard to come to terms with. I wish I were more resilient – made of tougher stuff.

I stood in front of the mirror last week. I stared at my reflection and all I could see was weakness. And I despised that weakness.

Why do we hate weakness so much?

I don’t hate the weakness in my friends. In fact I love my friends all the more for their weaknesses. Those little chinks in their armour make them human. They make them someone I can relate to. I don’t know about you but I don’t relate terribly well to squeaky-clean people who appear to have it completely together.

For a person to allow you to see their flaws and weaknesses is a great privilege. It is a sign of depth of friendship because of the trust that comes with it. A weakness in a friend also gives you the unique and special privilege of offering them support. And in doing so, the bonds of friendship and love become even deeper. When I look at the people I love, their weaknesses are a blessing, not a curse. They are a gift.

There is a Japanese tradition called “kintsugi”, where, rather than throw away broken or cracked pieces of pottery, they are repaired with a resin and gold powder, or substance made to look like solid gold. It is born of a philosophy that the cracks and breakages are a part of story of the piece, not a reason to throw it away. Once repaired, the piece often looks more beautiful than it did before it was cracked or broken!

So why do we hate weakness? Why does our culture despise weakness? Why do we despise cracks and flaws? Why do I look in the mirror and despise my own weakness? My weaknesses are a part of my story. Yours are a part of your own story. If I can see the gold in the weakness of others, perhaps it is time to start looking in the mirror and seeing the gold in mine.

 

Kintsugi

Get Out of the Back Seat and Behind the Wheel!!!

“Jodie you have a go!”

“No I can’t.  I’ll be the one who slides the car into a tree.”

“Go on!”

“Dory you have a go”

“No it’s not my car.”

“Katie?”   (Names changed)

Well that sweet, timid, little 19yr old angel leapt out of the back seat and plonked herself down in the drivers seat, took the wheel,  revved the engine and said, “Ok.  Tell me what to do.”  And then she showed us how it’s done.   She had that truck sliding round the paddock and spinning on it’s axis….. like a pro!

Dory:  (Holding on for dear life)  Go KATIE!!!!!!!!  THAT’S MA GIRL!!!!!!!

“So are you gonna have a go now Dory?”

Well, without hesitation, she took the wheel and took us on one hell of wild ride….and managed to spare us from slamming into the fence…….just!!!

“Jodie!  Come on!  Have a go.”

You know, everything in me wanted to recoil into the safe zone.  Well almost everything in me.  Being comfortable, doing what I knew to do.  What if I sucked at it?  What if I was the only one who looked so lame, cos she couldn’t get that truck to do anything but drive in a straight line? What if I slammed it into a tree?  What if I made a fool of myself?

 Well  A) I had to do it now or I’d be the pussy who wouldn’t give things a shot….the only one who didn’t give it a go.

And B) I said nearly everything in me wanted to recoil to the safe zone, but there was the part of me that didn’t!  The part of me that wanted to be let out of the cage!

So it was seat belt off and out of the back seat for me.  Into the driver’s seat, taking the wheel!!!!

Well, I had the time of my life last night!!!!!!  This little chickie tore up the paddock and learnt how to drift and get that truck spinning like a child’s spinning top last night!  We laughed till our bellies ached over the silliest things!  It was an evening of bonfires, marshmallows, the men working on a project….. building a bench seat out of pallets and loving doing blokey things, puppies in laps, flamin’ country music playing and watching the boys get their wiggle on, farts, belches, and huddled up in blankets out in the night air with best friends!

Ahhhh golden friendships are a glorious thing!  I am so fortunate to be surrounded by creative, free spirited, happy friends who just revel in the joy of living!  Last night I was blessed with a new dawning moment of just how blessed I am.  I’m surrounded by people who, by their very nature, push me to live beyond my comfort zone.  They challenge and inspire me to live without fear, to use the gifts and talents inside of me, to explore, to notice, to do, to be.  Without them, there is a part of me that would live in a comfortable box all neatly packed up and stored on shelf.  There is a part of me I would never set free.  There is a part of me I would never know.  But because of them, that part of me is learning to come out to play!

I’m surprised by how much I’ve learnt to NOT HAVE A GO!  I miss out on so much of life because I don’t have a go, because I am afraid to be take a risk, because I don’t have faith enough to believe I could do something so well that I could really succeed at it.  I start projects and they look amazing and then I lay them aside with the anxiety of ‘what’s next’ and ‘what if I can’t’?

Well, it’s time to GET OUT OF THE BACK SEAT!  And now you can ‘watch this space’ yet again, because number one on the agenda of getting out of that back seat and taking the steering wheel firmly by the hands is…….

I’M AUDITIONING FOR X-FACTOR!

I’m having a go!

Somehow last night, amongst my amazing friends, a message was sinking in…..

“It’s not to late.  Don’t ever stop growing.  Don’t ever grow old.  Grow young.  Grow adventurous.  Grow into the real you….the you that can fly….the you you would be if you weren’t afraid.  The world is too beautiful to not get to enjoy it from the heights above!”