The chapters of life; A tale of many parts.

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As we transition into a new season full of cool breezes, morning coffee’s and afternoon reflections, I smile and remind myself that this too shall pass. Like the chapters in a book, life is an intricate weaving of stories… of characters coming and going, some fading into the distance like a long forgotten dream, and some remaining till the very end.

I suppose whenever you go through periods of transition, it’s a very definite closing of a certain chapter of your life – I suppose those times are always going to be both very upsetting and also very exciting by their very nature, because things are changing and you don’t know what’s going to happen. (Daniel Radcliffe).

 As I sit here writing this blog, thinking about how far I’ve come in the last few months in creating my new chapter and escaping from the last, I must remember that all our chapters – both the good and the bad, carry meaning and lessons in this crazy journey of life. I can’t simply erase one chapter because I didn’t like it, or because the memories and wounds still ache from time to time. We are the sum of all our parts, and each experience makes us a better person – this is something I do firmly believe.

Embarking on new career opportunities has given me fresh hope… that I will find something that makes me leap out of bed in the morning and feel proud of, work that actually helps people and has a positive impact on their lives. For too long I slaved under the protocols of a soul-less money making wheel, just another number in the game. I’d turn up to work feeling like a zombie, carrying out mind-numbing tasks with zero enthusiasm and judging the people who cared about this job. Didn’t they want some real satisfaction from a career? Didn’t they want to help less fortunate people, or work in a creative and stimulating environment? Well the truth is, I shouldn’t have been worrying about what other people wanted from life – everyone is completely different and NOBODY can or should be told what to do. My only regret is that it took me so long to get out of that rut, but now that I’m free and feeling the sun shine on my face once more, I can appreciate how this chapter has made me stronger, wiser and ready for the next.

So as I sit here listening to the gentle rustle of wind passing through the trees, smelling the fresh cake my Nana is baking and sipping a warm mug of tea, I’m filled with a sudden rush of butterflies to the stomach. Excitement, wonder and appreciation for life’s chapters are something that evaded me for most of last year, and I couldn’t be more happy to be seeing the world in colours once more 🙂

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Photo credits – folk_boy & anthropologie

The frost of Autumn approaches..

It’s finally reached us here in North Queensland; the inevitable freshness of a new dawn, a slight crispness to the air followed by a cool, refreshing day. We’re just over 4 weeks into Autumn, and most of us were starting to think it would be warm all year round. But alas, I had to pull out the socks this week when I awoke to a pleasant 16 degrees! My friends in London and New York laughed at me. ’16 degrees?’ they said, as they piled outside rejoicing in the warmth. Well yes, up here in the tropics we’ve been blasted with hot days for months on end now, so the cool change has been quite a surprise.

Not all surprises are unwelcome though, and to be honest I’m quite looking forward to the cooler months this year. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a sun, sand and surf lover, and wholeheartedly embrace life in a bikini November through March. But there’s just something so bittersweet about the cooler months, teaching us a few lessons in resilience as we venture out into biting winds, teeth chattering and noses dripping. Homes aren’t properly insulated in Queensland, so even though we don’t get snow and sub zero temperatures – we still feel the frostiness ripping through our thinner walls. As we layer ourselves in singlets, T-shirts and cardigans, we promise ourselves that next year we’ll invest in a proper winter jacket (while knowing full well that’s not going to happen).

The great thing about cooler months is the guilt-free consumption of hearty meals, numerous hot chocolates and elastic waisted pants. Nobody enjoys being confronted with their pasty white skin during this time, so we simply refuse to look at ourselves naked in the mirror until it’s too late to do anything about it. They say summer bodies are made in winter… I’m still waiting for the self-motivation to get on board with 6am jogs while I’ve got numb toes and a blocked nose.

So this year I’m going to embrace winter with an appreciation for all the comforting things it brings. I’ve got a newly knitted blanket from Nana, soft flannelette PJ’s with cute little donkeys on them, and a dachshund who replaces a hot water bottle in bed as she snuggles in at night. A changed mindset is sometimes all you need to get through the day, and living to see another winter pass by should be good enough for us all 🙂

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Photo credits – naughtyteas, cabinporn & _justynaniko_

A slow goodbye to an endless summer.

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It’s March now, which means it’s Autumn… apparently. The sweat stuck to my thighs as I sit here in an air-conditioned room could have fooled me, but alright I’ll trust the experts. Summer is officially over for another 9 months, so even when I’m sipping a pina colada by the pool next week I’m going to have to hashtag #Autumn… though it really doesn’t have the same ring to it. So what am I meant to be saying au revoir to? The sand, my bikinis and watermelon? We shall see my friends, we shall see.

Having grown up in the tropics of North Queensland, I’m definitely a summer girl. If I could get around in some togs, a singlet and thongs all day – happiness is mine. Although I lived in (mildly) cooler Brisbane for the last 10 years, I never quite got used to the winter chill creeping through my various share houses (and no, Melbourne/Sydney friends – I don’t need to be reminded of how WARM Brisbane is compared to your southern dwellings). It was cold enough for me to not see my feet for at least 4 months due to their being covered by Explorer socks and Uggies at all appropriate times. WHY do people choose to live anywhere further south than Queensland? Winter literally HURTS my bones!

Of course, I want to experience an authentic winter in somewhere beautiful like Canada, where I will (hopefully) be wearing an expensively warm and stylish jacket, sipping hot cocoa by a fireside with my rugged axe-bearing male companion (this is ‘Lumberjack Wants a Wife’ right?). Seriously though, I want to make snow angels and sit on a warmed toilet seat, eat hearty casseroles and have a white Christmas one day. I can’t wait! Until I can do it authentically though, I’d rather be sweltering in the tropics with minimal clothing and my tacky blow-up swan toy (#summerlovin).

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Photo credit – shotzdelight & _lovingseeds