Honest

Honesty is the best policy has always been one of my most important values. I had it drilled into me at an early age that lies are terrible and that I must always tell the truth. I must have really taken this to heart, even not telling the whole story is lying and therefore bad. If asked a direct question, especially to my face, I am unable to lie. I did once, lie that is, and I then spewed. Literally. That’s how strongly honesty has been ingrained into who I am.  As I’ve grown up, I have had to learn that it’s ok not to tell everyone everything. Not everyone I know needs to know every detail about my life. At work if the boss or someone complains about something and it was me, I’ll fess up straight away.

Recently I was too honest too soon. I don’t regret much in life, things happen for a reason. I regret being too honest this time. Not the honesty, but in the timing. It’s hard when you can’t keep something to yourself because of that intrinsic part of who you are. This time, for my own health and wellbeing, I wish I’d been able to keep it to myself for a little bit longer. I wish I’d been selfish for a change. It’s been a rough couple of months and I wish that I had just waited a bit longer. To when I could deal with the fall out a bit better. To when my feet were back on the ground and I’d begun to find my center again. I still believe that honesty is the best policy, it’s the when and how that I need to be cautious of.

I wonder though, if in a few weeks or years, I’ll look back and realise that even this was meant to be. 

All Tied Up

*This is not a movie review, it’s some ramblings about my musings on life triggered by a movie. Also be ready for some generalisations! Feel free to argue with me after reading this post 🙂

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the new Les Miserables movie twice at the cinemas. Both times I was swept away by the story, the characters, the music and the raw emotional outpourings of the characters through song. For over two hours I was on an emotional roller coaster ride that I have rarely experienced on the big screen. As I have reflected on the movie, it is the pure, raw emotion that hits me to the core. As a melancholic introvert, I find raw emotion to be thrilling. Even when it’s Fantine at the depths of her despair. I have tried to think of another movie that has the same effect on me, yet I find none. Perhaps Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge comes close, another musical!

Some movie’s these days are superficial compared to the musicals of old. We’re left to figure out through dialogue, facial expression, body language, content and story line to know what is happening in the minds of the characters. Generally this is enough, we know what is happening and what they are thinking and feeling in general and we laugh and cry. Les Miserables takes it that one step further. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe’s acting was overwhelmingly……awesome. Awesome in the true meaning of the word. Throughout the movie the viewer is drawn into each character’s mind and inner turmoil. Songs like “I Dreamed a Dream“, (click to listen) are soliloquys that reveal what is happening within the person’s mind and soul. These moments bring us deeply into the movie and deeper into the character’s psyche. We experience the emotions powerfully as they are expressed eloquently through words and music. The human soul is displayed for all of us to see.

After watching it twice I have wondered so many things about emotion and it’s expression…

Were people more expressive in the old days? The impression that I get is that we’re more verbal and free with our emotions in this era. Yet at the same time most of us are all tied up. Sometimes I don’t actually know what I am feeling and sometimes I know but I can’t express it. Sometimes I know exactly what I feel and how to express it but don’t  for fear of being rejected for my highly emotional tendencies (the blessing and curse of an introvert). So many people are too tied up in trying to play the part of having it all together. We don’t speak of our emotions regularly, I don’t think many people would know how to.

Is that a modern day dilemma? Surely the literature and plays of older times expressed and revealed a person’s inner workings much more strongly than now. Think of Shakespeare, the Bronte Sisters and others. The arts have many functions in our world and one of them is to tell a story and take us on a journey. Paintings, movies, stories – they express and engage us in the human experience of emotions. A lot of blockbusters are action films where it’s all about saving the day and shooting the bad guys. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good action film! But in these it’s all about the special effects and people don’t get sad, they get mad and shoot some bad guys.

Les Miserables takes us on a ride through the rainbow of the human mind and emotions. It’s a musical of old that has highlighted to me how much we’ve actually “buttoned up” in our expression in both personal lives and within the movie world. It is incredibly refreshing to see the human heart and soul out there on the big screen, joyous, in love, broken, bent, despairing and touched by the grace of God.

Love,

Sara

xo

 

Thirty Two Plus Two

32 + 2 followers! Again, I’m humbled and overwhelmed. Thanks to all 3shot_13450317422104 of you for following my musings, it’s so encouraging to have you all aboard the musings journey. I am excited about having so many along this blogging journey. I genuinely hope and pray that my blog brings light to your life. I’ve found that vulnerability and transparency are incredibly powerful in our own and others lives. Knowing that others struggle reminds me that I’m not alone. In honor of my 32 plus 2 followers, I’ll share a story about 32 with you.

Do you like my candles? I turned 32 in August last year and the actual day was one of disappointment. Most of my birthdays something happens, my counselor found that fascinating..hehehe.. This year a few things happened out of anyone’s control and my original plans went out the window. I had kept it all simple and low key to avoid any disappointment and I got it anyway. This just pushes all the low self worth buttons that I am trying to deal with.

The lead up to my birthday had been great, but my actual birthday half my guests couldn’t make it and my close friends had massive turmoil happening in their life. By the end of the night I was miserable, I had an amazing Superman cake made by my cousin but everyone was subdued and there were no candles. After going out for dinner we got home and I wandered if they were going to sing happy birthday. Everyone went about their business then I sulked. Not just went quiet, I went to my room and sat on the bed and sulked. I was “just changing into my PJ’s”. Slowly. There may or may not have been some tears.

Someone knocked after a bit and asked if we were going to do cake… “Nope, there’s no candles” I called through the door. I sulked some more. Why me? Why does it always happen on my birthday? Why can’t I just have one birthday that is fun? I’ve got an amazing cake but no one to enjoy it with…etc etc…I wandered out and they asked if I was ok. “Not really” I mumbled.

I don’t really remember the next bit, locked in my sulkiness. But then there was some banging and crashing from the kitchen and talking and laughing. Sulk, sulk, sulk went I. Next thing I know in comes two of the friends with a proud 32 brightly burning on my cake. Everyone sang happy birthday. I smiled, we all laughed and the mood was much lighter after that.

That zero turned into a two is the best candle I’ve ever had. These friends that I have are the best friends I’ve had. They probably thought I was being ridiculous over candles. Yet they knew it was important to me and they made me smile and feel special. Friends to walk with us on the journey of life is essential. My near friends that I drink tea with regularly and those that I only share a virtual cup of tea with, they are all important to me. Without them all, my mental health issues would be far worse. If anyone needs to share, an “ear” to listen, a virtual friend, always feel free to contact me.

Love,

Sara xo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

DSC_0289I thought and I thought about this one. I’m single and sometimes bitter about that fact so I didn’t want to do anything romantic. Besides, I tend to find the mushy stuff too mushy and predictable. Romantic love is just not a part of my life at the moment. I thought about doing something about friendship, family, God, Jesus etc etc.  As usual I wanted to express my Weekly Photo Challenge in a creative and meaningful way. As I was driving along one day I remembered this picture.

This is is little Sarah, my almost 4 year old housemate. We have a mutual adoration society between the two of us that makes my heart smile each and every single day. I captured this photo in one of those magical moments of a child’s life. She LOVES the beach, she is captivated by the sand, water and shells. I love this photo as I’ve captured her in a moment of pure joy and abandonment.  A moment where she is loving life without restrictions.

Love for me at the moment is about learning to love my life. To be captivated and in love with who and what I have around me. I have so much love in my life – to give and receive.

One of my life goals, one of the most important ones, is to love life with joy and abandonment just like this moment in little Sarah’s life.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

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Resolved. Having made a decision, I have set my mind to a task. The resolutions we make are the choices we make to make our life better. There’s so many jokes going around about New Years Resolutions not being met. They’re funny I must admit, yet at the start of each year I have that firm belief that it is a precious moment to move from. A chance to start again, a fresh slate. A change in digits can signify new beginnings.

I’ve been on a mad clear out at work and less so at home. My housemate laughed and said it must be my Scottish blood – not sure that I have any by the way. Other friends told me of their Scottish Mother who would clean the house from top to bottom before the first of January each year. It had to be done! Including the fire put out and the hearth cleaned, in the midst of winter while the snow lay on the ground. Brrr!!

What’s all this mean for me? I have two resolutions – to take better care of myself. That’s a boring but profound one that I may share another day. The other is to write. Blog, short stories, kids stories, novels,  journals, letters, emails… I will write until I can write no more.  As a child I would write for hours and hours. When I write my brain processes stuff, it creates and grinds away. I love to think and by writing I will constantly think and ponder. Writing makes my spirit soar. I fell into a groove of writing in 2012, blogging and started a novel in the NaNoWriMo in November. This is one of my favorite achievements of this past 12 months, of reclaiming my dreams to write and create. I have loved writing my other blog A Flutterby In Stitches, in which I share my knitting and now crochet projects. It started as a motivator to finish some projects and now I am enjoying sharing mine and other’s progress.

At the ending of one year and the beginning of the other, I will take this opportunity to urge myself forward. To clear out clutter in mind, spirit and my room.

Do you think resolutions are a joke? What are you resolved about?

Love,

Sara xo

p.s The lovely journal in the picture was a Christmas gift from my parents. It’s stunning! The pen is hand carved from Tasmanian wood. I bought it whilst on holiday there.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

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All around her the bustle whizzes by. Lives of others surround her existence and she wanders through between them. The joy, the magic, where has it gone? Her heart cries sadly for the woman she has become. Each Christmas the darkness clings to her, it’s wretched claws tightening around her until she can’t breath under it’s grip. She awaits it this year, sniffing the air for the foul stench of her festive season darkness.

Surprise, surprise, she doesn’t detect anything She starts to look forward to and plan a Christmas day with gladness in her heart. One night an adventure begins with pancakes and the best friend and her 2 year old. It’s surprise ending is a late night trip into the city. The Melbourne Town Hall is lit up in a magnificent display of light and sound. Magical minutes of perfectly timed animation and music fitted intricately onto a majestic building. Then wandering through Melbourne discovering Christmas lights and windows on it’s streets.

The magic of Christmas lights reflects in the face of a child. Something trickles into her soul. Her own heart finds again the joy that once filled her heart as a child. She remembers nights tracking the progress of Santa, swearing that she heard him chomping on biscuits in the dark hours of the night. This Christmas season she finds delight in the magic of Christmas, surprising herself. And others.

She thinks she’s made it through. The grip of the monster comes by surprise as she is going about her tasks on Christmas night. It should be a special day she thinks, but here I am doing what I do every day. As the days pass, families do family things and for her, life continues as normal. Her singleness and far away family rendering her life bland and out of any loops.

She holds on. Clinging to the magic that trickled into her heart only days before. Fighting the claw that feeds her lies awaiting the next pleasant surprise of freedom.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

shot_1355526314982I’ve been so busy, both with the festive season and with life. My boss is away and I’m being bossy and doing extra shifts. The past few weeks I have felt as if I work, eat, sleep and shop and that’s it! In amongst all of this I have been pondering this delicate photo challenge. I have photos of flowers and a few other delicate things that reflect delicate but I just wasn’t satisfied with them. I wanted something that creatively reflected delicacy. I also wanted to use some photos I’d taken of Christmas ornaments recently. I was driving along one day and I had this revelation. Christmas is delicate in so many ways.

In the past Christmas has been incredibly delicate for me personally. I have often had to work on Christmas day and have even spent a Christmas or two alone. It is a time where I have felt intensely alone and lonely which has deepened the depression that plagues my life at times.

Christmas is a delicate time for our family – personalities, issues, long standing difficulties, the wants and needs of 10 adults and 4 kids and the other families involved is complicated. Christmas is often preceded by arguments amongst sisters about where, what, when, who doesn’t love who, who travels most… the list goes on…. Delicate hearts and minds are pushed and prodded and wrestle with one another.  No one wins in the end.

This year, in my own delicate state, I am trying to focus on Christmas. For some that means family. For me, it means remembering why we celebrate Christmas and finding the joy and magic of Christmas that I once knew as a child. My heart smiles as I say that I have found some of it! Christmas lights, the Melbourne Town Hall display, Carols, the awe struck faces of Children, the generosity and love of friends around me and reminding myself to count my many blessings even when the negativity within tells me that I have nothing and no-one. I am not perfect, I still make choices that are in a word – stupid. I struggle each and every day to find joy, it is there but blinkers blind me from the truth.

Finally, I remember the delicate nature of Christ’s beginning as a man. He came for us beginning as a babe in Mary’s womb and then a fragile, tiny newborn. My good friend and house mate wrote a beautiful article on Christ as a baby – read it here

God bless you all during this Christmas season. If anyone is struggling with Christmas, feel free to comment or email me privately.

With Love

Sara xo