Happy New Year everyone! In keeping with the theme, it’s in with the new and out with any stuff that doesn’t work. Hopefully that means a refreshed blog that you enjoy reading (well hopefully you enjoy reading it already, but you know what I mean). I’d love to hear your ideas for how I can make my blog better so you get something out of it in 2013.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Friday find your flow – I want these posts to be practical – exploring ways in which living is easy (as in flowing smoothly) because we are doing what we love, accepting the NOW even when things are tough, embracing change, finding things to be grateful for, living from a place of non-judgement of ourselves and others, imbuing our lives and relationships with meaning, listening to universal wisdom (which is very wise) and finding a place of peace, love, balance and contentment within ourselves.
Perhaps a big ask (all of the above), but on Fridays, at the end of the working week for most of us, I usually get this sense of freedom that anything is possible (either that or I flop on the couch with a couple of wines before flopping into bed – sometimes I just flop straight to bed!).
Anyway, I will try to have something useful to offer on Fridays and we’ll see how we go. I’d love you to check in.
Yin Yang Yum – I’m going to see if I can come up with and/or road test some recipes that are really balanced, from a yin yang perspective. As we all usually focus on our health at the start of the year after the indulgence of the holiday season, I’m trying to learn more about balance in our diets, as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) pays a lot of attention to dietary imbalances that can block our energy flows and cause ill-health. Foods are considered to have hot and cold, moist and dry qualities with the aim to obviously balance the energy in our foods (as well as the flavours hopefully). So a different take on achieving a balanced diet from the usual carbohydrates, protein fat, Low GI etc. Of course I don’t have any qualifications in this area, so my suggestions will be based on my research as a novice, and my experience as someone who likes to cook. And I do make some pretty mean yum cha (dim sum).
Little Yang lessons – kids are such great teachers and while quite a few of my blog posts have sprung from funny anecdotes or things Little Yang says, I want to capture these moments more carefully in the future for a learning or a laugh, and maybe you might get something from the lessons too (or laugh along). They grow up so quickly – hard to believe our little man will be three soon!
Miss Yin moves – Miss Yin mostly teaches me (read tries my) patience at the moment. But when she dances it’s with a joy and beauty that comes from deep within – I like to think that she gives love grace and movement. I want to learn more about classical dance positions and choreography and to reflect more on how dance moves can be a metaphor for how we can ‘dance with life’ and express the joy within.
And, my memoir manuscript…I started writing a ‘memoir’ as therapy while going through infertility. Originally more of a journal, it morphed into a story of sorts. I’ve chopped and changed it numerous times – had it critiqued by a writing teacher/agent and even submitted an old version to a publisher in 2006 after they responded promisingly to some sample chapters (but they didn’t’ go ahead with publishing….PHEW….because I rejigged it all again in 2011 when we lived in Canada and ‘completed’ it again in April).
I’m still not sure it’s the story I want to tell, but I do think it could help or inspire people going through infertility, the long adoption process or just struggles in general. So we will see what is to become of it. I’ll bravely push the publish button on some excerpts on my blog, and I’d love if you could let me know what you think. All feedback welcome.
So here goes with the first short excerpt:
‘Forever Day’ is an expression we borrowed from other adoptive parents because it sounded so perfect for a day filled with such promise of permanence. We would be a family bound together evermore by bonds of love. It is unconditional love that binds one to another so that the ties will never break. It’s not necessarily blood, which ensures an eternal connection, but gives not guarantee of everlasting affection. It is not the vows of marriage, when divorce is an escape clause and commitment comes with provisos.
Unconditional love is a love that joins, not shackles. It is a love that unites, not trusses together. It’s a love that inspires and motivates, not compels and obliges. Unconditional love does not force itself and demand loyalty, nor does it seek exceptions or make excuses. It’s not contrived by circumstances, but is constant regardless of them.
To love unconditionally is not to have to try hard, but to try as hard as you possibly can. Always. Forever.
Unconditional love, given and received freely in perpetuity, can forge a permanent bond, can weave an invisible red thread that will never break. Such undying love is most often exemplified in the relationship between parent and child – the devotion that springs eternal, regardless of the vicissitudes of life.
But on Forever Day, thoughts of this invisible red thread were pushed aside in the pain of the present, in trying to form that initial thread of parent-child attachment, and in Qichun Jiachang’s gut-wrenching anguish as we were guilty parties in severing the ties of her past.
All the pain I felt over our eight-year journey to this day must have been condensed, for her, into twenty minutes of trauma. Agony, concentrated like venom. All the pain I felt over our eight-year journey to this day was forgotten, for me, in those same twenty minutes. She was an antidote, my elixir. ‘Forever’ made a new start in 1,200 seconds, give or take.
The room was spare and small, hardly big enough to contain the emotion. We sat on the hard timber benches that were its only furnishings, save a trestle table for official business and a water cooler. It was like waiting at a bus stop. The faces in the room – Jon’s, five other mothers, five other dads and two big brothers reflected my own angst as we awaited Forever’s arrival. The Chinese looked nervous too. If the mounting anxiety could have been measured in decibels it would have registered the ear-splitting pitch of a jet engine. At 9.34am I breathed in charged atoms.
And then the babies were brought in and Qichun Jiachang was the last (and loudest) of the six to make a noisy entrance into the deafening room. Sorrow in stereo played out in a chorus of crying, whilst my guilty heart sang with juxtaposed joy.
More to come if you are interested in reading about the day we met our darling daughter. Please let me know in the comments below.
PS – If you missed my short Happy New Year video here it is – hope 2013 goes off with a bang – exploding the bad stuff and celebrating the good.