It’s been an age, friends. I can’t even tell you what I have been doing with my time that prevents me from ever stringing a sentence together on here these days but just picture three kids and the end of the year and you’ll have a clear enough picture.
I know a lot of people are looking forward to seeing the back of 2016. It certainly hasn’t been an easy year for our family but when I look at the bigger picture, I’ll remember it positively. We moved into a new place that we all really love. I hope the universe intends for us to be here a while. Bren continues to work hard. I am steadily building things with my writing. The kids are happy and healthy and each of them has had an amazing year at school. If I had one complaint, it would be financial. I wish that things flowed a little more easily in that regard. But again, if I look at the bigger picture, we always have enough to pay our bills and live our lives so I can only be grateful for that.
But being short on coin is particularly shitful at Christmas time. The kids make their little lists for Santa and my stomach is in knots. I don’t like to talk about money. It’s personal, it’s private and it’s really no-one else’s problem but ours. Also, if it’s true that the energy we send out into the universe is the same energy we get back (and I believe it is), then the last thing I want to tell the universe is that we are flat broke, struggling and maybe actually a little bit frightened.
So I turn it around. I remember that money is a never-ending flow. It comes and it goes. But it always comes again and we always meet our obligations. This time will be no different.
And then I remember all the riches we have that money could never buy. But an extra $20,000 would be fucking handy.
I share loads of personal stuff on this blog and am generally comfortable doing so because I know it helps me to tell my truth and it helps others to read it. But money is such an awkward topic. It’s hard to talk about without it sounding like a sob story. And also, it’s kind of embarrassing to admit times are tough. But there it is. That’s my truth right now – and it’s the most uncomfortable one I’ve ever told. Give me anxiety or post-birth vajay-jays any day! I share it only because if anyone reading this is also feeling the pinch at the moment, you will know that you are not alone. Know that I am riding this bullshit wave with you and that we will come out the other side.
But enough of that. Even in the shadowy depths, there is light to be found. And we can all use more light. So let me share with you two things that have inspired me and made my heart feel lighter of late.
If you’re not familiar with Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement then you need to remedy this immediately. In particular, I highly recommend seeing Taryn’s documentary, Embrace. I saw it on the big screen with some girlfriends and it was a profoundly moving and uplifting experience. Since I have seen it, I look at myself in the mirror each morning and attempt to give myself and my body unwavering approval. In my undies and singlet I stand, sometimes I do a little dance for myself and always, I turn around and look at my butt and think, “Well, aren’t you a slice of peachy goodness!” I ignore all the reasons this body would never be allowed on the cover of a magazine without extensive Photoshopping and I just shake it around. Because this is the only body I have. There is no option to trade in for a newer model. This is it. So I have decided to love it. I falter from time to time but I am getting better. And my capacity to feel joyful has grown along with this self-acceptance. It’s nice.
The DVD has just been released. Every woman – and every man – should own a copy. It’s life-affirming stuff.
Special Books for Special Kids
In the way that Humans of New York helps us to really see one another, Special Books for Special Kids gives a rare and glorious look into the experiences of the neuro-diverse. I can genuinely say that Christopher Ulmer and his incredible Facebook page have changed the way I see the world and the diversity of the human beings who inhabit it. If I need a dose of goodness, I just watch videos of Chris interviewing kids and adults with diagnoses and differences and it is, in a word, magnificent. We are all worthy of love, every single one of us.
Check out this video of Maddy and her sisters, this one of Josie, and this one of Tim and his gorgeous mum. They are but a tiny glimpse of the magic that Chris captures. This young man is changing the world, one Facebook post at a time.
Onwards and upwards, friends. There is always good news to be found.