About 10 days ago I had a mini existential crisis. This isn’t unusual for me. I have moments of great self doubt often, even when they defy my logical brain. This particular spiral was fuelled first by memories that were summoned during a pretty hard core Mental Health Training course I was on for work. The memories were of a very dear friend of mine who took her own life two years ago. Memories that are filled with both joy and sadness. Memories that are bigger and more personal and more important than any words I can write on a computer. Memories and histories and futures we never had that stir me, right to my core.
So I was feeling a little fragile. Not necessarily in a bad way. Just in a way that made me vulnerable.
I was finding that the internet was a noisy place and so I logged off and out and disappeared for a week or so… I removed all the apps off my phone and I turned off my computer for days on end. There was something rather liberating about the whole thing.
I was in a permanent state of ‘taking stock’ for about a week. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and comes with it a sort of sweet melancholy that is not a negative thing. I enjoy it. To sit and simmer in my feelings for a while. To take the time to stop for a while in the middle of it all, watching as life continues on as usual all around, allowing myself to just feel what I feel. Bo and I lost ourselves in storybooks and bowls of soup walking the dry paddock behind our current house sit, herding chickens and cats and quietly eating mulberries in the sun. A week of gentle contemplation.
When I ventured back onto the internet I accidentally read something that was pretty hard to read. It was rather damning feedback from someone who watched my talk last month. It wasn’t a troll, it was just a regular person who doesn’t believe in my project – and that is, of course their right – the words she used could have been a little less harsh, but it wasn’t really about that either. There was something about the vulnerability and the place that I was in that made it very difficult to read. It made me question myself further. It made me doubt, for a while, my own conviction. And then of course, a beautiful friend shook a little gentle sense into me with a few words that basically said – we cannot possibly expect everyone to love us, when we are incapable of loving everyone in return… Duly noted.
Contemplation is a state I am quite comfortable in, though these days its far less romantic than it used to be. I’m no longer sitting in a philosophy class, or in a beer garden on a wednesday afternoon basking in the Melbourne sun… Now I’m here, doing the repetitive tasks that keep our little life going. Cooking. Cleaning. Washing… but there is always time to stop and check out for a day or two.
With well over a week of contemplation, I thought it was high time I did another little ‘taking stock’ exercise… and when I take the time to look around, I’m pleased to see – everything is really rather wonderful.
Making: plans for a new little photo project
Cooking: granola bars and sweet carrot soups
Drinking: all the water kefir
Reading: The Power of One
Wanting: for nothing
Looking: forward to putting a few more feathers in my cap
Playing: on the farm.
Sewing: Nada – though there are a few little christmas projects brewing
Wishing: for little
Enjoying: the little things; good books, good food, good friends.
Waiting: for Godot
Liking: some intense alone time.
Wondering: how the world can seem so huge and so small all at once.
Loving: a pretty spectacular group of strong, powerful women who share (both their hearts and their homegrown goods)
Hoping: for little surprises.
Marvelling: at just how quickly strangers can become very special friends
Needing: a big warm hug
Smelling: lavender and sweet white wine
Wearing: my heart on my sleeve
Following: the sunshine.
Noticing: the baby face turning into the face of a little girl
Knowing: that I’m doing my best.
Thinking: about where I stand.
Bookmarking: nothing but the pages of books.
Opening: doors and windows and letting that sweet spring air in
Giggling: at very silly chickens
Feeling: good. feeling grateful.
Have you checked in with yourself? Have you taken stock lately?
Taking Stock is the lovechild of Pip from Meet me at Mikes? You should pay her a visit, she’s pretty ace and has an endless stream of awesome stuff going on in her little corner of the internet.