Sometimes it’s hard to catch my breath. One little mumma and so much life to negotiate! I can’t remember if I truly understood how much free time I had before kids, if I truly appreciated it as I was living it. Probably not.
The beginning of a new year is always hectic, but this year has felt particularly so. But in a great, busy living life kind of way. The only drawback is that I find it tricky to snatch back time to write. I miss writing when I’m not doing it consistently. Thoughts and ideas build in my head and bother me until I get them down. I need to write.
But I have enjoyed just living. Doing. Keeping the kids busy has helped avoid that climbing the walls crazy that often sets in during the school holidays. Everyone is a bit older which means going places with all three of them is easier. In short, I took my kids places and didn't want to turn my blood to vodka afterwards. This is the definition of success.
And to wrap up the holidays, we spent the final week beachside. I took the kids to Point Lonsdale overnight to visit with my lovely girlfriend and her daughter. Then we headed to Cape Paterson to spend the Australia Day long weekend with two of our most favourite families.
I hadn't been to the beach in a long time and I can't remember the last time I actually swam in the ocean. I have a love hate relationship with the seaside. On the one hand, the crisp, salty air coming off the water feels incredible when it hits my lungs. On the other, the ocean is a beautiful but fierce creature of which I am very mistrustful. It ebbs and flows, tumbles and crashes, and as I stand beside it, I feel very, very small – in the best way and in the worst.
Then there is the issue of sand.
But I tried to move past my fear and the gnarly feeling of having sandy hands. I stood at the shoreline and watched the ocean race towards me and then race away again, the sucking motion displacing the sand beneath my toes. The ground was literally moving beneath me. And I suppose that's why the ocean is so exhilarating because you really can't trust it. It is a living, breathing thing and it reminds me that I am alive, too. Very small and quite insignificant on the whole but ALIVE and part of something so much greater than my own existence.
Bren and I decided we should retire to the beach some day.
Seeing all our kids, seven of them in Cape Paterson, running wild together was pretty special. Apart from a small amount of down time spent watching movies, there was no other tech. There were bikes and beach frolics and imaginations on fire, and it seemed almost retro in its simplicity. It reminded me of summer holidays when I was a kid.
And me, I faced down the anxiety that always creeps in when I stay away from home.
Getting away is good for a body.