There’s a saying in the military that is both a colloquial term and an actual order (depending on context) that essentially means take the pressure off the tightly coiled spring. That saying is “Ease Springs”. At the very end of the decade, at the very end of the year I’d like to take the opportunity to ease springs. I’m not normally one to ponder too much on the events of a year that might make it “best ever” or “thank god that’s over” but this year, 2019 … don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out. There has been a lot of loss in my life in 2019, some that I continue to grieve and recover from still. Shadow (#gymdog), my dad and some military mates, all way to soon and well before their time. Some days have been incredibly difficult to just do the basics to function, other days I’m filled with light, laughter and joy. It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster.
One of the things I have learnt over time, is how important it is to have a team of people that support you in being you. Anyone who is trying to take away from you, from your being, just isn’t welcome. It can be difficult to set those boundaries that keep the people you want in, and that keep the ones that you don’t want, out. I think what people don’t consider when they are setting boundaries is that they can be temporary. For what you need then, in that very moment could mean that your circle of trusted people is just you. It could be more than that. It could mean setting boundaries around family. Especially over the holiday period, families just get crazy. I swear something gets dropped in the water to make people extra crazy to each other at Christmas time.
I like to take the Christmas break as an opportunity to slow right down, to sleep late, to plod around the house, to listen to music, watch movies, snuggle under a blanket with the air conditioning on. Most of all, I like to take the opportunity to NOT PEOPLE. For me this is being responsible to no one, to not to have to be anything for anyone except me. That is my gift each year to myself. Typically, Canberrans make the great migration to the Coast over the Christmas holidays and that makes the place incredibly quiet. However, this year with the catastrophic fires in just about every state in the country, I think people will be a little closer to home this year. In previous years, I’ve really enjoyed spending some quality time with Shadow. We would get up early, go for a walk, then he would supervise a gym session for those that were keen for a Christmas day workout. Then we would spend the day snacking, sleeping, snacking again and enjoying each other’s company. This is my first Christmas without my little buddy. First Christmas I’ll be getting the hell out of dodge to surround myself with some of my tribe. That is my gift to me this year. Put my hurting heart in the hands of people who get me, who will care for me and will let me be me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of people in my life that are this exact thing for me. The difference with this is that when the question was posed “come spend some time with us”, for once I’ve not feigned “I’m fine” in that high-pitched voice that is a dead giveaway for a lie, or come up with excuses as to why I couldn’t. I just booked a ticket and said I’m coming. This in itself is growth for me. Being fiercely independent means learning that it doesn’t mean you are alone in your struggles, in your pain, or in your joy and successes. Fiercely independent means I can pay my own bills, buy my own stuff, happily go to a restaurant or movie solo because I want to. It doesn’t have to mean loneliness, aloneness and always doing things solo.
It’s been a while since I’ve written down my thoughts, which is fine (not said in a high-pitched voice for those playing along). This year I’ve been flat out trying to get my mojo back. I’ve floated way more than ever this year, I’ve dabbled in meditation, I’ve thrown myself into work, I’ve thrown myself into my garden (for those that have been taking basil home, you’re welcome). If I had of thought writing would be a salve for me, I would have. Life is all about choices, right? But I’m not sure I’ve been truly kind to myself. I’m not going to wait for 2020 to start to do that. Life is too short to wait for anything. Don’t go waiting for the new decade to show yourself kindness, to start something new, to take that chance. Do it now and stop waiting for the right time to do anything because the right time will never come.
EDIT: Noting the publishing date is 1 Jan 2020, clearly I didn’t get this out there when intended. As a post script, I’d like to add a thank you to all that have checked in on me when you know I’m “fine”. You guys rock.