Goodbye, January!

I always tend to forget that in the wake of my excitement at the start of a new year, January looms. Large and grotesque usually. With sticky reminders that we are fragile and bloody hopeless sometimes. And at the end of each January I remember that January must always be treated with humour. January is the metaphorical first pancake of the year. The trial month. If you don’t think of it that way you might just expire out of a morbid sort of self preservation.

January sucks.  Thank God it’s finally February!

New Year, Who Dis?

I may have mentioned every year for the past forever that New Year is my favourite time of year. The only time I ever remember not being happy about the new year was in 2009, when I entered January as a single mom with a shattered heart. I needn’t have worried. I met the second love of my life in 2009 – Noah being the first – and he’s still here. 2009 turned out pretty great.

This year is a bit hazy, I will admit. I don’t have a long list of resolutions. There are only two things on my list, really, but there is something that has been on my mind for pretty much the whole of last year and it remains a looming question today.

I have been wondering if I should give up blogging.

Blogging. Still such a stupid word. I’ve never been able to get on board with it. Blogging. It sounds so ridiculous. Perhaps it makes me question if this thing I (sometimes) do is ridiculous.

But here’s the thing: If I look over the last eleven years, it is the bravery of those who have spoken their truths that has contributed most to the growth within myself that I am most proud of. Those who write and blog and speak and shout the things that plague their minds are such powerful teachers. It is why reading has always been such a source of inspiration and profound comfort to me. Because every now and then there will be something that makes you stop for a moment and go me too! And this counts for so much.

And so if I can speak openly, and honestly, no matter how hard it may be sometimes, and have it resonate with just one person who might be in need of solace, then surely I have a duty to do so?

The last three years have been the hardest I have ever endured. But also the most life-affirming.

Maybe it’s time that I be brave enough to tell you why.

A Habit of Writing

I’ve been quiet again. I’ve fallen out of the habit of writing I suppose. It’s not that I’ve had a lack of things to say, it’s more like a writing melancholy exists and I might be afraid to indulge it. It doesn’t matter. Write I should. Because the habit of writing is important.

I started this blog at the end of 2008. Newly single and fresh out of the career I had been cultivating for almost two years. I found solace in the idea of a blog, despite finding the word “blog” to be irksome. How can anyone take “blog” seriously? You can’t. It’s too stupid a word.

But there I was, ready to write again after two years of neglect. And I wanted to re-create the habit. Because the habit counts far more than bouts of inspiration do. It takes nothing for me to sit down and write a whole bunch of words with zero inspiration. I don’t have to be amped to write. The problem is that without the “amp” it feels pointless to sit down and do it, even though it isn’t pointless. Feelings are stupid. They lie a lot.

And so here I am again. Ready to write. Ready to re-cultivate the habit. Because writing was one of the reasons I moved here. The freedom to write a bit more. Although granted I didn’t take into account the busyness of this place. The busyness that consists of fetching and taking kids to school and sport. That part keeps tripping me up. Distracting me. Eating away at my time because it takes so long for me to snap out of one mode and into another.

We’re cultivating though.

The New Bucketlist

Last week I asked you for some ideas for what I could put at the top of my Bucketlist after my daft self went and actually completed my #1 travel dream last year. It’s kind of tough to come up with a new #1 I must admit. And I have not actually achieved this goal even though I’ve been thinking about it all year. I imagine the answer to this is that perhaps one day my #1 will instinctively reveal itself to me and I will just have to wait until that happen. So there’s no ultimate #1 anymore (why does this make me so sad?!) but I do have a list of things that make my heart soar a little so I thought I’d share those instead.

I should disclose up front that it is most likely this list will get neglected a bit. Not because I have no intention of completing it but because the things at the top tend to be the most costly and I am just silly little old me we a tiny budget so some of them are a little (a lot) pipe dreamy.

In no particular order:

  • Drive from South Africa to Kenya over a period of 6 months
  • Swim with the pigs in the Bahamas
  • Eat pizza in the place where Elizabeth Gilbert ate pizza in Eat Pray Love (where was that?)
  • Be in Japan when the sakura trees are blossoming
  • A cruise to Alaska (where I will hopefully see killer whales in the wild)
  • Rent a car in Iceland and drive around the whole island (when I’m richer than God)
  • Disney – I don’t even care which one I just want a selfie with Minnie Mouse
  • Dance lessons in Argentina
  • Tulip field photoshoot in Holland
  • Prague

Good list, right?

I’ve broken up with myself…

When the new year rolls around you inevitably find a slew of folks suggesting that you leave bad relationships in the past. This, of course, is sound advice, and I have followed it myself on quite a few occasions (it gets easier to do with practice). This year, however, the person I am parting ways with is myself.

Of course, the only reason I am putting it this way is because it sounds very dramatic and it will make you roll your eyes.

What I really mean though, is that my travel-loving adventurous self and my introverted curl-up-with-a-book-and-never-leave-home self are parting ways. But only in the blog sense. Unfortunately in the real world we share a body so we’re stuck with each other.

That’s right: I have finally listened to all the experts and I’m splitting my home-schooling blocked-author mom persona and my travel persona up, because honestly the combination doesn’t make sense even to me so I can only imagine how many raised eyebrows occur when folks land up here.

The travel self is being spoiled, because even though she is relatively new, she is still being allowed to keep the Passing the Open Windows url. The older self, that some of you might still know and love, will be adopting her namesake as a url and will be pondering life and sharing her facts and fictions over at Nadine Rose Larter. For now, you’ll have to forgive both sites for being stuck in a bit of a transition period. I like to think they’ll soon find stability.

Here’s wishing you all a great new year of positive changes and progressive happiness. I hope your 2017 is filled with the exact adventures that make your hearts sing!