Many more chances.

Wow, I’ve really let this one lapse, haven’t I? *sheepish look* Thank goodness I didn’t start the 100 Days of Gratitude (#100daysofgratitude) when I was tempted to. So, life got a little hectic, as life does. Nothing major, just lots of little bits and medium-sized things.

So I shall strive for one post a week, to be realistic. Here’s to a chance to pick that up again.

I was thinking about chances, about second, third chances. About this line from (of all things in the whole world!) Neighbours or Home and Away– one of those shows no one ever publicly admits to watching at some point in their lives: “That’s the thing about life. The more you screw up, the more chances it gives you to get it right.”

Or something like that. It’s been more than a decade now. I can’t even Google it to verify it, and I can find pretty much anything online if you give me a day, a large pot of tea and a piece of cake. I’m like a tea-fuelled gopher.

I’m grateful for chances to get it right, and every single person who has played some part in giving me those chances.

Tiny little cars.

I love Smart cars, little Volkswagen Beetles and the sweet little Minis. Yes, I like fuel efficiency and environmental economy… but, the main thing is, I love cities with little cobblestone lanes and streets. And that means big cars are just a nuisance because they don’t share well; they certainly don’t share those sorts of charming little roads with bicycles or pedestrians well. Also, you could park a Smart pretty easily on a crowded road in a country with more relaxed road rules.

I’m grateful for cute little cars!

I’m grateful for my path.

I love being at this point in life.

It’s when you have enough strength to bear your sensitivity, to wear your personality, to choose your feelings and responses, to walk away from situations that do not suit you, to say “no”, to say “yes”, to say “if you don’t like me, you can leave”.

It’s when you have enough exposure to visit a new city and walk confidently, to start a new job and walk tall.

It’s when you feel so peaceable and whole, you no longer have the craving to shop and buy new things to fill a hole, or to escape into a television series.

It’s when you are so good at enjoying your own company that you can love your friends and family much better because you no longer need them to tell you who you are and what you’re worth.

It’s when you are experienced enough to make a decision that is good for YOU without needing everyone else to approve it, or feeling like you must justify it.

It’s when you are solid enough to look disapproval, judgement and rejection in the face and hold on to everything, giving away none of your sense of self-worth.

It’s when you are secure and stable enough to see someone clearly and love them away.

It does not make you invincible. It does not stop the tears. It does not give you any more control over what happens to you in life. But it gives you a moment of reprieve; a moment of mercy, kindness, grace.

This was earned. That’s why it’s precious. And I’m grateful I was given this journey, this path, and no other.

Fireworks.

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I know, I know. They’re a waste of (often taxpayer) money, very expensive, pollutive, noisy, indulgent, wasteful, etc.

But the hopeless romantic in me just loves a good occasional firework display, especially when it’s been creatively choreographed, they’ve invented new fire bursts, and it’s combined with other bright fiery showy elements. And rivers. Yes, I just realised that most of the fireworks displays I’ve liked best have been on rivers…. except in cities where there was no real river to speak of.

The most memorable fireworks display I’ve ever seen was one in the late 90s, in Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra River, during a festival called Moomba. It was beautifully choreographed, poetic, quirky, smart, atmospheric, even moody and mysterious with a hint of the Cirque du Soleil at times.

I’m sheepishly grateful for fireworks.

Spiders!

resident spider

 

It seems I have a resident spider. This little guy/gal is perched on my bathroom mirror, and we startled each other this morning, but then I just left it alone and we’ve been regarding each other suspiciously since, each time I need to wash my hands. Actually, I have a few resident spiders– just a few tiny little ones in various dark corners of my room. I leave them alone and barely see them. They quietly go about their tiny spidery business.

I actually don’t mind spiders. And I like house lizards. Basically, I like pretty much most creatures that are “on my side”, so to speak. When summer started, I was getting bitten by mosquitoes each night until, one day, I noticed that I wasn’t. When I next dusted and swept, I noticed a few tiny panicked and scurrying forms– the spiders had moved in. Now I just regularly brush up the desiccated corpses of mosquitoes and houseflies from the dark corners and thank the little critters. :)

I’m grateful for spiders!

A cool, sunny summer.

Everyone’s been warning me that where I currently live, summer can be scorchingly hot.

So far, though, none of my fears have materialised (I have neither air-conditioning, nor an electric fan, decent or otherwise). It’s been beautifully cool (sometimes even a little chillier in the mornings that I’d expected of summer), but sunny, or, at least, patchy. Rain is warmish summer rain, not the kind you can freeze to death in, or even catch cold. I live in what must have previously been a cloister for Catholic nuns, with solid walls and cold brick floor, so my Plan B of desperation was that I would bring my pillow and duvet downstairs and sleep on the stairs, ala the littlest Von Trapp girl from The Sound of Music. I have not yet had to resort to this.

I’m grateful for mild summer weather! :)