|Smile Ian. And try to look older. We might need this shot for 2013.|
Except I've been informed I'm not - as a bonafide Aussie - allowed to call it that anymore.
The holidays rocked, mate.
Said with faux British-American accent with a trace of fake German.
I may have mastered some of the vocabulary but I'm still lost on the accent!
In any case, two married couples, with eight kids, sharing living arrangements for an entire week, minus electricity and running water. And we're still friends.
It's been the best summer vacation - eh hem - HOLIDAY - that I've ever had. (If only I could figure out how to post the pictures!)
First we had Christmas. Then Damon's bday on South Bank where we FINALLY rode the Big Wheel above Brisbane. (And came off seven to eight minutes later asking ourselves WHY we actually chose and PAID to lock ourselves into a small, enclosed glass container swinging precariously 60 meters in the air with five children, all of but two - and the one year old doesn't count - turns out are afraid of heights! Ah, the memories. Good times, those!) Mexican food. Chocolate desert. Nice couple from Harvey Bay who turn out to be counsellers and end up telling ME to SURRENDER, that Ryan is FINE, and that our spiritual journey together would be a hoot to watch. From Harvey Bay. Oh and good luck with that. Namaste!
|Just imagine her a little taller - and uh yeah, you'll get the idea!|
|Whaddya mean, I don't look like a one year old?!|
Why Ryan doesn't feel lucky is beyond me.
(I never did tell the kids that I discovered - on the last day there - that sharks sometimes swam up the river system we were swimming in. Sometimes its better just not to know. We were in shallow water most of the time and blissfully unaware. Thought I would keep it that way for the rest of them!)
|Aidan and Matthew now have shorter hair. Ian has hair.|
Ah heck, who am I kidding. My soul is fragile, this world is harsh, and I am a brave brave girl for facing the harsh ugliness of other people's negative energy. I have the energy to create my own reality. In fact, that is all we ever do. And if I create it based on fear and anger, then that is what I will receive.
I did okay with this for about four days after coming home. I was peaceful and loving and kind. I was gentle with the kids. And Damon. And myself. We made New Year's posters with resolutions such as "be kind" and "be joyous" and "create your own world." With sparkles. Laminated and hung on the wall. We kept up all the Christmas decorations. And made an altar out of things that were important to us. Like Jesus. And Buddha. And little bits and pieces of Grandma. (Well, things she had given us really, but bits and pieces of sounded better.)
Damon and I snuck out one night after putting the kids to sleep and watched Les Mis. It rocks. We have decided to choose our friends only amongst people who "get" Les Mis from now on. (While we're handing out Academy Awards, what about one for the make-up artist who managed to make Hugh Jackman look like a dirty, ugly convict with bad teeth?!! Really, is it fair that that man can do EVERYTHING well?!) I thought of Victor Hugo and his portrayal of suffering - and I thought of my experiences in the last year. Maybe I DO need to treat some of what I witness with the same air of detachment as I watch a movie. My heart can bleed for poverty, ignorance, addiction and abuse in real life just as in Les Mis. But I can't let my soul be broken by it any more.
We create our own realities. All of us. And I can bear witness and I can empathise and I can lead by example. But I cannot be broken by the suffering of others.
So yeah, I'm working on getting rid of the guilt this year.
|There are still wallabies in Australia.|
My heart broke when Aidan came home from his first day at his new school and told me that the bad kid had asked to be his partner and he had said 'No.". My heart literally hurt. But the sad lesson we have taken from this past year is that, while we are all equal in the eyes of God, in that Namaste kinda way, while we may want to love our neighbours as ourselves, we also owe it to ourselves to choose our friends wisely. Let Aidan empathise when he is old enough to know his own values. For now, he needs to make his own, wise choices and leave the empathy for those whose choices are not as wise to the teacher. Ouch. Still hurts though.
But I have a wise friend who told me that everything strong comes from something broken. And a faint memory of a movie recently where a character tells his son that a heart isn't anything until it is broken and mended.
My heart will still bleed for that boy - and for others like him who don't have the advantages of me and mine.
But it is healing.
Let's see what reality it can create for itself - and for us all - in 2013!!
(Oh dear. Was that another spiritual sojourn? So sorry. So sneaky of me too. I honestly didn't know it was in there. Really.)
But I am a soul on a powerful journey.
Now if only I could figure out how to get those pictures onto the internet!