It began with surgery – anchoring down into survival mode – and then suddenly life began to bloom again. Hudson recovered amazingly well and began sleeping deeply and talking so much more clearly. We let out the breath we scarcely knew we had been holding and welcomed the wave of gratitude.
Spring has been a season of discovery, for exploring more of what makes me come alive, setting up an experiment called ‘The Enchanted Table’ following the intoxicating experience of hosting a French Feast. We ‘travelled’ to Portugal for our first instalment and it was deliciously fun. Blogging took a back seat because there were literally just too many fun things to do. There was lots of cooking and creating – delving into cuisines such as Scandinavian, Yugoslavian and Portuguese.
I’ve slowed down on listening to podcasts at the moment because I wasn’t allowing myself enough time to just ‘be’. Everything is so conveniently located a swipe away and I have had to learn that just because I can listen to everything, learn something new or read something, doesn’t mean I have to. It is an ongoing learning experience that was initially prompted by the exceptional and practical book Essentialism (Greg McKeown).
I know, there is always something that needs to be done – benches that need wiping, laundry to sort and haphazardly stuff into drawers… but really, that stuff can keep. I have learned the hard way that if you aren’t pursuing at least one thing that makes you come alive, everyone in your household will suffer. Rest your fingers on those piano keys, borrow some patisserie recipe books from your local library, download a novel and flop onto the nearest couch while the kids are playing – it really is a game changer. I picked up the guitar again this season, not having played a note since pre-kids, and was surprised at how easily it all flooded back. I even got the opportunity to revisit my gigging days (much more impressive than it sounds, trust me) when I performed ‘Breathe In Now‘ by Katie Noonan at our annual Thanksgiving Feast.
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but sometime in the course of reading ‘The Little Bookshop on the Seine’ by Rebecca Raisin, I found myself downloading the DuoLingo app for learning French. This isn’t a sponsored post by any means, but if you ever wanted to learn a language this app is incredible. It uses translation, word pairing, spoken phrases for accent feedback and it is just a little addictive. By replacing the majority of my ‘scroll of death’ Facebook and Instagram time with the mini-lessons I have managed to master the basics in about four weeks.
Somewhere in the last few months Dave and I came to a definite conclusion that Harvey is our last. It is refreshing to acknowledge it in some ways, but there is still that twinge of sadness when I sit cheek to chubby cheek and drink in that baby scent knowing that it will disappear all too quickly. I marvel at how rapidly all of the kids are powering through stages that I thought would last forever. At the very least, this whole experience has given us huge perspective on the value of life, the magic of the moment and the treasures hidden in the mundane.
When I first heard of this as a concept I’ll admit to being a little skeptical. Really? How would it even work? Safe to say now, however that I am a definite fan. Ryan O’Neal from Sleeping at Last has done a phenomenal job of translating the rich insight of the Enneagram to capture the essence of the types (One and Two out so far) to incredibly creative and haunting music. I love that the core of each song contains the message each type needs to reinforce to themselves (‘Grace requires nothing of me’ for the Ones and ‘I will love you without any strings attached‘ for the Twos.) I cannot wait to hear all the remaining songs, and I love reading the background to the lyrics that Ryan captures on his blog.
Now over to you, what did you learn this season? Any hacks, insights or tips to share? I’d love to hear from you!