I always take a moment when I leave my front door, just to breathe in a little bit and take in the ocean air. I genuinely do feel like I live in the best place in the world. Sometimes it’s easy to get complacent when you’re surrounded by the beautiful edges, seemingly infinite sunshine and ocean breeze. Particularly when you’re making your way to work or to run an errand or just really attempting to do life. But driving towards Wickam on Saturday evening, really forced me to take a moment and realise just how lucky I am. There was live music flowing through Pacific Park, and seeing those lucky few walk around taking in the sweet sounds was truly incredible. It’s those kind of moments that we sometimes miss. I feel like as well, we all have our favourite parts of Newcastle, the ones that remind us of a time, or a feeling or a situation where we were truly happy.
Speaking of Christmas… It’s definitely full steam ahead, totally heading our way. I always love finding out how others spend their time on the day, the lead up and what makes people truly happy. I guess my family is a little strange, we tend to put up our tree on Christmas eve, and it’s kind of a massive event for us. I don’t do any of my shopping until Christmas Eve, because as they say if you leave it until the last minute it only takes a minute. I have a system, a routine, and everything seems to fall into place… eventually. I can hear some of you now (the seven people who are not in my immediate family that religiously read my post - I thank you) getting second hand stressed at the thought of really leaving everything to the last minute. But think about this. Every Christmas eve, the rush of all the excitement really hits me like a freight train, and I pretty much mirror all those classic Christmas sorties about small children hearing sleigh bells and losing their biscuits.
Oh yes carols. Of course, I love them. You’re right. I have so many memories engrained in my brain from being a little kid, sitting on the hill at King Edward Park eating a pluto pup. Ok that was last year, and the year before that as well, and for breakfast whenever I can get my hands on the most convenient and wholesome food on a stick. But it’s not just for the Christmas cheer that I make the trek for. It’s a wonderful sense of community and spirit. It’s about spending time with people who mean a whole lot to me, smiling at strangers. People get that glow in their eyes that says community spirit. In a world where Trump may become president this is a rare and heartwarming experience. And no you haven’t missed them, because thankfully they are one this Friday. It’s all about making the memory stuff happen. I’m oh so about that. And honestly, people become a lot more relaxed around Christmas time. Much more willing to help, or be nice, or simply realise that it’s actually cool to be a nice decent human. Or so someone told me.
So back to my original point. I’ve been really struggling lately with what it actually means to relax, to switch my brain off from work mode and into some sort of holiday mode. I always get an overwhelming feeling like I’m meant to be doing something or be somewhere or catching up on something. But I’m trying. Christmas helps with this a lot. As do some very important people in my life. Who are also incredibly hard working, and when I tell them that perhaps they need to acknowledge that fact, they look at me like I’m a crazy person and that I should take my own advice. I think our little corner of the world has a lot to do with the way I am managing to find these little pockets of relaxation. Whether it be spending time at Welsh Blacks or my new morning haunt Dark Horse drinking the coffee having the chats. Maybe even getting lost on the streets of Cooks Hill even after 21 years I still don’t know my way from street to street. Being drawn to the beach to recharge and find space. Escaping the grind and trekking to King Edward Park just to take time to think. There are so many spaces right here that allow us time and space to reconnect with the things that are most important to us. I’m also remembering and maybe even realising for the first time that it is 100% actually ok to feel happy and fulfilled. There are a lot of words on this page, and I think I talked myself in circles a little bit. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe my brain is already in holiday mode and set on exploring another little hidden pocket of wonder. Christmas, thoughts, stuff and things.