Wednesday, 11 January 2012

serene

When I was little, my mum had these special playing cards that told fortunes. Time and again, I got the same card: 4 of Spades, I think it was, aka 'petty annoyances'.

Not the biggies, like Ace of Spades (death), just those everyday irritations that are part of life.

If my mum were to tell my fortune right now, you can be sure that card would turn up: stress and pressure at work, poorly toddler, bad night's sleep, having to cancel my mum's visit this weekend (sniff!) Sometimes life's trivial obstacles sure can get you down.

The thing is, I can be a bit of a stressy person, a worrier. There's a good deal of truth in the notion that it's not what life throws at you but how you handle it.

My traditional way is: eat a lot of chocolate, drink a lot of tea, get snappy with everyone and withdraw into my self-pity in melodramatic, martyr-like style. Not very pretty! It hurts my pride a little to write it out for all to see!
When my friend Ashlie mentioned the FlyTribe WordHop 2012, I initially wanted to pick "complete" i.e. finish all my projects! (You should check out her amazing choice of word, perseverance!) But I've since realised that the last thing I need at this moment in my life is to add pressure and set myself up for the failure of incompleteness. Instead I want to think about changing the way I react to and deal with situations. I'm hoping that ultimately this will help me achieve my goals, but more importantly it will help me stay calm and juggle all the different aspects of my life. So my word for 2012 is going to be:
It is interesting looking up the word in the Oxford English Dictionary. Serene is not just calm, it is also brightness, an illumination. In Shelley's poem Prince Athanase (1822) he writes  "Through which his soul, like Vespers' serene beam‥Shone, softly burning." As well as an adjective, it can also be a noun referring to the vast, unruffled sky. 

Within the calm stillness of the word is a light that shines. I hope that in seeking to be serene, creative strength will shine through in everything I do: as a mother, a partner, a friend, a creative, a person.

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