So, friends. I bought a house on the weekend. You know, A House.
I am so so so lucky to be able to do that and I am crazily grateful. The funny thing is, I just didn’t feel that excited. My dad came over after the auction and said a huge congratulations and asked me [full of expectation]: are you happy?! And I said yes! And I was. But weirdly, just not all that excited.
I felt bad about that. Like a spoilt brat, actually. But on reflection, my response wasn’t bratty. Just normal.
These past few weeks I have been excited about a lot of stuff: going on a train with my little one for the first time, relaxing at the hairdresser for three hours with no kids [wheee!], walking with a lovely friend by the river, diving into a big new pile of books, the arrival of Autumn, fishing out my winter wardrobe, introducing my littlest one to real food. Those things are immediate and I can see and smell and feel and enjoy the results. A house though, is three months down the track. And at the moment, that seems like a long way away.
I know that when the time comes closer, when the boxes are packed [or maybe unpacked] and our pictures are hung, I will be deliciously inspired and excited about possibilities for our new space. Until then, I’ll be getting a bang out of the more immediate stuff.
People have been telling my daughter she’s beautiful. She is beautiful. Definitely. And smart and funny and curious and fast and silly and creative and goofy and a whole lot of other things. But the thing she is told, more than anything else, is that she is beautiful. And that she has amazing hair.
I also have a son. And more than anything, he is being told that he is strong. That he is good at kicking and rolling and trying to stand. That he is strong.
Before I had kids I was aware of how differently boys and girls are treated and I always used to try and greet friends’ kids [boys and girls] with hellos and questions about what they have been doing and about what they think rather than with comments about their appearance.
But now it’s my daughter and I’m intensely aware of those throw-away comments implying value based on her physical appearance.
Some mornings, when my little one has fallen back to sleep, I fit in some emails and computer work.
I tend to grab my computer from wherever it’s hiding and sit at my breakfast table, sort of because the table is big but mostly just because that’s what I did once and so it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
This morning, I found my computer in my bedroom, where the morning light is crazy.beautiful and makes me happy just feeling it settle on my skin. So I’m sitting on my bed, as I type, wondering why I don’t normally do my work here.
When so much of what you do is habitual, a really obvious, happiness-boosting alternative can sometimes not even register in your brain. I reckon it’s a really good idea to check in occasionally, to go through your day a little more consciously.
I keep thinking about Lena Dunham’s words in describing her friend, journalist David Carr. She said that she had never met anyone ‘so deeply alive’.
Over the last week, those words have been swirling in my head, reminding me how brilliant this is [This. Life!] Reminding me to recognise the tired/hurt/annoyed/angry/jealous/worried stuff and to relish the thrilled/happy/joyful/amazed stuff.
For me, it’s not about being happy all the time. Its about having the courage to live richly, fully, deeply.