I found this quote the other day and it took me back to when I was a little girl watching my mother spend hours polishing her silverware and putting her beautiful ornaments away in the crystal cabinet which as a young girl I thought was the most beautiful thing in the world. It seemed to me that all of Mum’s treasures were in that crystal cabinet, every one of her beautiful pieces she had painstakingly saved for, putting away whenever she could after the expenses of raising six children, feeding, clothing and putting us all through the catholic education system, whilst paying off a mortgage all on one salary.
Each few years Mum would dress us all nicely and walk with us all to the train station, hop on a train to the city where we would have lunch in the Coles cafeteria which was a really big deal back then. I remember she would have in her bag all of her collected Lipton tea coupons that she had saved in that year until she had enough to trade for a beautiful cup and saucer and would spend quite some time selecting from big glass cabinets at Buckley and Nunn’s, a Melbourne Icon for those who are too young to remember it and for those of us who do, it was a time in Melbourne where you felt very posh just walking in, such a glamorous store. Buckley and Nunn’s was a prominent Melbourne department store that operated from Bourke Street from the late 19th century until 1982. Its distinctive buildings are now part of the Bourke Street’s David Jones Department stores.
A week from now, I will have lived 52 years and with each ‘new‘ year I try to instill a new practice or create a new habit or just do something different, something which will enhance my life or make it easier. Sadly I was speaking with some people this week who told me their birthdays were just ‘another day’ and not worth fussing about. To me, this is the one day I get to call my own and such a great chance to change some things I feel need changing even though you can begin anything new at any time, another birthday always seems the perfect place to start for me. I have a whole new year ahead to try something new, its like another new year!
I have given myself next week off, not just because its my birthday but its the middle of the year, middle of winter here in Australia and a mid point to just sit and reflect on the first 6 months and think about the next 6. I love that our winter is in the middle of the year, I do a lot of sitting by a roaring fire all cosy with a warm blanket, soft socks and a good book, hot steaming tea and pen and journal or my laptop to write. I write about places I still want to see, or think up things I still want to do and plan when I can get them done. I know the reason why I treasure each and every year I have on this earth, a parting ‘gift’ from my brother Michael who did not live past 40, so already I have been given another twelve years more than he had. Each and every year for me is a gift, to see what else I can experience, to see who else I can help or learn from. There is still so much more to do!
So as I sit here tonight and remember Mum with her special ‘things’, I happily sip my wine in my beautiful crystal wine glass which I have used since my engagement many years ago and have just remade my bed with a new sheet and pillowcases I bought today to go with my new pillow and doona I bought last week in the sales to keep me warm in these winter months. I feel very blessed that I am able to treat myself to some new things and always feel very special when they are first unwrapped and used. Its been many a year since I stopped putting ‘things away’ to use only as ‘good’ or for ‘special events’ ~ now every day is a special event, today I woke up healthy, warm, clothed and fed with another day in front of me to do mostly what I like and for every new year as I turn another year older and get the chance to do this, I am eternally grateful.
Enjoy your winter moments this winter xx