I guess it's true what they say, old(ish) writers never die; they just go on a loooong hiatus. Boom tish.
Well, what a difference a year makes. Those twelve little months can whoosh past in the blink of an eye, can't they? Before you know it, you're unpacking the fairy lights and Christmas decorations even though it only feels as if you've just packed them all away. (Unless you're like one of our neighbours down the street who leave their fairy lights up all-year round.)
So what's been happening, you ask? What has Sarah been doing? And what IS Sarah doing next? At this point I can honestly say I only know on a day-to-day basis. I have no big plans. Nor do I need any. The past year has seen a steep learning curve of changes for me and mine. Nine months ago I separated from my husband after almost 19 years of marriage. Yeah. BIG change. Massive. Huge. I won't go into all the gory details here - this is not that kind of blog, sorry - suffice to say that it was my choice to leave and I have no doubt it was the best decision for me, and my children. A happier Sarah is a much better Mum and/or everything!
So as you can imagine, the landscape of my life has changed immeasurably. I can't say it was quite how I imagined my life might look at age 48, but it is what it is and you know what? That's alright by me. The benefit of age and a fair bit of hindsight tell me that life in general is usually an open book - it's whatever you decide to make of it. That's not to say that I haven't had my moments of uncertainty, stress and fear-induced anxiety; God knows I most certainly have. I've weathered some very dark days, awful, desperate days. There've been panic attacks. Hyperventilating episodes, fighting to calm myself days. I hardly recognise the woman I was then.
But I am finally starting to find my happy place. YES! The optimist in me is slowly but surely exerting her influence and I'm so glad. That means I'm on the mend. Sleep is coming in longer bursts and is more restful. I look less strained and a lot more relaxed. I moved to a new house recently and it's beginning to feel like home, a true reflection of me and my boys. I walk in and it feels welcoming. I was at home on my own the other day and I caught myself looking around the room and thinking: "I did it. I really did it. And I'm doing okay." It was a pretty cool moment, readers. The beginning of something GOOD.
So I'm grabbing hold of these new beginnings and holding them close - they are only a few small things, for sure, but nevertheless they make me HAPPY and that's the whole point. I was watching Pharrell Williams on the Graham Norton Show last night and they mentioned his song 'Happy' from 'Despicable Me' that the kids and I both love - I defy anyone to sit still while it plays; you cannot help but tap your feet as it bops along.
What's made you happy lately? The thought of school holidays and no alarm clock? The start of next term? Or maybe it's just you, the couch and a bowl of Maggie Beer's Burnt Fig & Honeycomb ice-cream in front of the TV??