The Day After

Boxing Day has always felt like the lesser-holiday.  The day after.  It’s often kind of a let down.  Low key.  With that feeling of not knowing what to do with yourself.   So, I decide to do another hourly photo post.  To see if Boxing Day is as much of a let down this year as it has been in the past.

I guess it’s all about perspective.  I don’t think I did much differently this year, but today wasn’t a let down at all.

7am – Good morning.

8am – Coffee and Boxing Day sales.

9am – DD2 is upset because DD4 won’t share. See culprit in the back gleefully playing.

10am – DD2 seems to have forgotten all about her earlier problems.

11am – Paper doll.

Noon – Packing.

1pm – Homemade fish and chips.

2pm – Shoveling.

3pm – Eerily quiet.

4pm was naptime so

6pm – Decisions, Decisions. (And being fortunate to have so much to choose from.)

7pm – DD2’s still plumpy baby hands.

8pm – Euchre. (Aside: I won both games… this never happens!)

9pm – 3D puzzle time. Same one I’ve done every Christmas since 1997.

10pm – Almost bedtime.

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My Merry Christmas

The holidays this year have been restful and relaxing. The best part about them has been having so much quality time with my girls, without any work pressures or other stresses.  I appreciate them so much more when I don’t have a dozen other things on my plate.

This is the second year in a row I’ve documented the day using the #hourlyphoto hashtag (See @missfish‘s post about it here.)  Enjoy… I know I have.

6am – DD4 discovering that Santa ate all the cookies she put out for him the night before.

7am – My boyfriend writes the best love letters.

8am – Craft time.

9am – Time for my second cup of coffee.

10am – Cuddles.

11am – Uncle Richard and Grandma (a few dirty lyrics to Christmas tunes may have been sung.)

Noon – Lunch! I look forward to this all year.

1pm – Presents? For me?

2pm – Presents opened. Food coma started. I need a top-up.

3pm – First time I’d heard my honey’s voice since he left for Costa Rica five days ago.

4pm – Cranberry juice, apple juice, mulling spices.

5pm – Playing games with Grandma.

6pm – Leftovers.

7pm – A bit of telly with Grandpapa before bed.

8pm – Movie on tv, Kobo and single-malt scotch. Can’t complain.

Day 365 – The Finale

721 days, over 15,000 hits, 365 beautiful things, and finally the journey is complete.

And now, for the finale, the last bit of beauty that has brought me joy…

CHANGE.

I don’t deal with change well. I never have. I can see it in my daughters too. I’ve passed on that certain inflexibility to them. However, the wiser I’ve become the better equipped I am to deal with change. As scary as change is, it’s impossible for me to deny how beautiful it is. Life truly is about the journey. I mean, what exactly is the destination? What is our purpose? I still don’t know. There were days in my life where I thought I knew where I was going… that I was on the “right” path, and eventually discovered how “wrong” I was. But did that take anything away from how I got there? No. I can still appreciate every amazing moment of the journey for what it was and for how it has made me the person I am today.

There is beauty in change. There is joy in accepting the new moment for what it is. There is exhilaration in not knowing where life is going to take you from day to day, from second to second. There is power in knowing that all you can really do is make the best of the circumstances you’ve been dealt while fighting for what you want to adjust, and accepting the things you can’t.

Looking back at the blog, I’ve noticed that I haven’t rediscovered much beauty in the stuff that is unchanging because I naturally find joy in those things. I appreciate them, and I am grateful for them. The real joy is in noticing what is different… what is new… what is slightly scary.

Have I succeeded in really slowing my life down, properly soaking in the little things, bringing new smalls joys into my life? Not really. I move too fast. I don’t see very well. But, I have grown. I have embraced change just a tiny bit more than I did 721 days ago. Though this project had a deadline, it should never have been about the end result. It was about all those blips, bumps in the road, and beautiful moments that got me here.

Change isn’t quite so scary anymore. I’m looking forward to more of it.

Huh…

Well that’s done.

So…

Now what?

Who knows?

I sure don’t.

And that’s fine by me.

Day 364 – Aura

I’m not talking about a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object here.  I’m talking about the perceptual visual disturbances migraine sufferers get, usually before the pain hits.

One is  light and fluffy and lovely.  The other is disorienting, anxiety-inducing, and just plain strange.

My mom told me she used to get them a lot, usually as a sign that a particularly nasty migraine was on the way.  When I started exhibiting migraine symptoms in my early 20s, I didn’t have any aura.  I counted my blessings on that one.  Turns out I was just bidding my time.

I’ve had aura three times in the past year and, though it certainly has its downsides, it’s also beautiful for a couple of reasons:

1) It warms me that a migraine is coming.  The aura doesn’t hurt.  Not really.  It’s more awkward and annoying than anything else.  The good part about it is that when I see it, I have enough time to  take some meds and, hopefully, stave off the worst of the pain.  Hopefully.

2) Once you get over the utter weirdness of not being able to see properly out of one eye, the effect is actually quite pretty.  Like the spots you get after staring into a bright light, but to a much more intense degree. Mine has a dark grey center with a thick bright yellowy-white edge.  The aura starts as small as a pencil tip, eventually becomes as big as a dinner plate, and finishes by working its way out of my periphery.  The bright edge is jagged, with lots of think black lines and chunky dark geometric shapes.  It’s got a crystal-like quality.

Sounds fancy right?  Sadly, once the pretty part of the aura is gone, I’m left with a screaming headache and  accompanying symptoms similar to stroke.  Not so fancy anymore huh?

I had the aura last night around 9pm.  The migraine started at 10, and it’s still there now judging by my inability to type anything properly the first time I try.  Oh and I’m still in pain.  There’s that too.

But it was beautiful.  For a few moments anyway.

Day 363 – Doing it Right?

I’ve been fortunate.  I’ve felt pretty darn confident doing 95% of the jobs I’ve had in my life .  Motherhood is *not* one of them.

Most of the time I really don’t feel like I know what I am doing.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  Constantly looking under the couch and behind the dresser to find that damn manual that’s supposed to answer all of my questions… tell me what to do… make this whole thing easier.

But sometimes, I trust my instincts.  Sometimes, I have a strong gut feeling and I follow it with all my heart and soul.  And sometimes, it pays off.  Big style.

I had one of those moments this weekend.

I should trust my instincts more often.