A brief Christmas post... it is a ridiculous time in the evening, but I suppose this is what happens when we reach what has become better known as 'no man's land' this year. Thanks to my Uni friends for naming this period 'no man's land'! We re-named it as we decided this would be a brilliant time to arrange our Christmas meet-up. This was, until York became a partial under-water city and nature once more demonstrated just how powerful it is and flooding has taken over much of the city. It has been very sad to see what has happened; York has become my home and a place that I love dearly so to see so many people here (and in many other places in the North) lose so much is hard to see. However, of course it is so heartening to see the spirit of the city rise above to do what it can to support those who have not been fortunate.
So, no man's land became truly a no-man's land and our meet-up has been postponed. This really is an odd week because it is the week I lose track of the days, the time, sleeping patterns become not what they usually are, I eat all kinds of food that I don't usually eat. I drink wine every (yes....) every night... And for some ungodly reason I have even put my work down for a week and a half. I have still been doing a few emails, writing a few applications, etc, but my work... my research, the thing I needed to spend time on.... Well I haven't opened a single article page or a single document. I actually feel good about this, but it does need to change rather soon unless I want to play serious catch-up in the New Year.
I do indeed have a very good reason for taking this time off because I have been home to visit family and we also adventured down to the South-East in Kent to see my Grandparents for a brief visit. I don't spend too much time with my family lately; my brother is in Australia, my mother works as much, if not more than I do (I do come from a family of very strong females but we also don't know how to stop working!) and I am lucky if my sisters come to visit once a month. Over this break, I noticed that sometimes I started to do what my Nan sometimes does (this really off-putting thing where she just stares at you....). I started just looking at people and taking them in and think I semi-understood a bit of why my Nan might do this. This is really what Christmas is about for me. Not cryptically staring at dearly-loved family members around the dinner table, but just embracing spending time with them.
Of course whilst we were away we also took a trip to the coast to take stock and take in the moments. This trip was largely planned by myself... But I made a promise to myself that this coming year that I will make more of an effort to take myself to the coast whenever I can. I will actually just make more of an effort this year, for myself. This is not to say that I do not usually make efforts. I do in fact make great efforts each day to maintain my life, my friendships, my jobs, my house, etc... But I don't mean the efforts of maintaining, I mean the effort it takes to initiate real change; to not to become trapped or attached, to be bold and make change happen. To say yes to more things, to take more risks, to make this the year that I actively stop putting limits and boundaries around what I 'can' and 'cannot' do, and accept that once I let the limitations go, there will be more choice and although change means leaving things behind, the road less travelled is the one I need to try. Seriously, the beach and the sea-air makes for some powerful reflective time.
This may well be the last post of 2015. Although now I write this, I will most likely take to writing another tomorrow!
'At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important.
Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.'
- Lee Jampolsky