I always undertake a period of reflection at this time of year. It's not exactly circled in the calendar, in fact it's largely an unconscious process. But I can roughly break it down into 'giving thanks' and 'getting sad', followed by a sense of gratitude.
Giving Thanks. Picture me driving with the windows down handing out large Toblerone's and bottles of Moet to those on the fringes of my friendship circle that displayed generosity and kindness. This year it included a school mum with a home yoga studio who invited me to use the space as often as I liked and the excellent Nat Thomas, whose blog Natty Solo, a natural born investigator and agitator that has taken a blow torch to the gender inequities of artworld in true style.
Just as I'm gearing up for Christmas Cheer and Getting Jolly, confusingly I find myself Getting Sad. This always takes me by surprise. I usually cotton on when I catch tears leaking down my face for no apparent reason. But this year there are reasons a-plenty to cry. The feature length film script that didn't make it into production -– only fourteen years of hopes and dreams in that 90 pages – now consigned to the metaphorical trash. And children who are properly unwell.
This was a year when I stepped off the hamster wheel and into deep time or 'only being' in the parlance of wellness guru Elizabeth Lesser by way of Albert Einstein. Just being. There was no other way.
It was a year in which I often felt isolated; bad times can be like that. Sharing problems felt like a risky proposition. For every friend who met my woes with an open heart there were just as many who looked at me with pity, glad that misfortune had not visited them.
It was a year in which I became softer – and a year in which I toughened up.
Once my tear ducts, the very ones that had put in touch with my feelings of disappointment and pain ran dry, I wandered into the living room where I found my man playing the bass guitar.
Thump, thump, thump.
The sound was like a beating heart. My heart. His heart. Our hearts.