Saturday, July 14, 2012

month of beauty: the shape of joy

We're almost done! One day, hopefully soon, my house will look like a home and not like someone came in, ransacked all the drawers, threw everything other than the jewels and gold bars onto the floor, then added dog hair, paper, cardboard and dust just for fun.

One day soon (maybe even tomorrow?), I'm going to have a newly dedicated learning/computer/reading room and a cosy space for reading on a couch, and things put away on actual shelves. All on top of a new floor, a clear floor, a un-peed on, un-wrecked floor—aka the Floor Of Awesome.

We got some new shelves from that magical/scary place called IKEA yesterday, plus some little desks—the plan is to make computer "nooks" in the old living room and finally have storage space for all our homeschool books and stuff and papers and knick knacks and doodads. Today, with my boy and husband up in Sydney for a music workshop and my girl busy making iPad movies (and helping, and chatting), I've spent the day putting everything together.

I've been totally focussed, hardly stopping to breathe, eat, or pee—going since 7am for about 12 hours. Everything's assembled, with the only hiccups being 1) dropping a whole shelving-unit-in-a-box on my toe (Ouch! Very sore, but not broken) and 2) getting totally muddled with the little screw thingies and trying for about 3 minutes to fit the wrong screw thingy in the right hole. I just couldn't get why it wouldn't fit! I seriously considered crying. Took a deep breath, then looked over at my pile of screw thingies, and figured it out.

After I seriously considered crying actual tears over a mixed-up screw thingy from IKEA, I realised I needed to get outside.

You see, if I spend a whole day inside, I sometimes go a bit funny in the head.

The kids notice it; my husband notices it; I think even the cats feel it. I start feeling all jangled and kind of miserable and, if anyone is close by, sometimes I start making wild declarations about anything from homeschool to life in general, saying mostly how none of it's working out and everything is going to poo.

At least, that's what I used to do. Now, of course, I'm perfect!

Okay, I'm not at all perfect, but at least now when I've been inside too long, or under stress, or feeling low (or all of the above), I don't automatically launch myself wildly into my once-well-swum Whirlpool of Negativity. Having spent the past 6 months moving myself away (with professional help) from the cliff edge that was Severe Clinical Depression, and having learned a lot about myself and how thoughts work in the process, I actually pick up pretty quickly when find I'm "In A Mood." I notice the mood and how hard it's trying to crawl inside, and I do my best to turn it around.

Oh, I know—I've said this before, in so many posts. But you see, I'm so glad to be alive and (mostly) well that I'll probably say it a thousand times more!

How do I turn it around, I hear you asking  (because you haven't heard me say it a thousand and one times yet)?

I take a deep breath, try and find a new path, look for the joy.

And if I can: I get OUTSIDE.

So that's what my girl and I did today. Even though the sun had just about set and it was getting cold, we rugged ourselves up, and went to the beach!

Oh, it was so scrumptious there.

I mean, look, and look, and look:

See how the waves are curving in, as though they're trying to hug themselves? See my girl's bounce? See the ducks? See the light? The glorious light?

Do you smell that, feel that, hear that?

I know, right?

It is, all of it,
the shape of joy.


  1. You know, "they" also reckon that there something about ocean air, negative ions or something, that extra-specially helps you feel good. So, scientifically speaking (as I do), going outside, by the ocean, is not just mind-games - it's a really, really good thing to do for yourself :-)


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