Christmas, Noel, Yuletide, Hanukkah, festive season, holiday, whatever you call it, or how you celebrate it, I send you the best wishes. I hope you enjoy, love, happiness, good health, good cheer, prosperity and peace. It’s a time where families come together to share food, presents and good times. But for others, it can be a lonely time. Think of your neighbours or friends who don’t have family nearby. Share some of the festive spirit with them. Compassion and kindness help make this time of year a celebration for everyone.
I’ll be sharing my Christmas with family. It will be our first Christmas living near our grandchildren, so this year it will be a priceless time. There will be too much food, ham galore, prawns on ice, beers and wine in the eskies, dessert in the fridge (for later and so they don’t melt) and Christmas decorations adorning the table. We’ll wear the mandatory cracker paper hat and tell the ‘dad jokes’ most of which aren’t funny (which makes it even funnier). Secret Santa gifts will be stollen and swapped (causing hilarious heated debates). We’ll play cricket in the neighbouring block, swim afterwards to cool off from the summer heat, drink some more, laugh lots and watch the kids unwrap their presents with squeals of delight. We’ll slather ourselves in sunscreen and insect repellant, reminisce on our year, talk over the top of each other, argue good-naturedly, laugh that we do, play games and love deeply. Family! I can’t wait.
And if you’ve been affected by fire or drought I hope the season brings you some respite and your 2020 is prosperous and filled with happiness and healing.
I’ll be updating you on some exciting Christmas news soon. A bargain book set will be coming soon.
1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). (Nah, not this kind)
2. a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization. (That’s it)
My epiphany: To write in a healthy way.
How did this moment come about?
A close friend dropped by my house. Nothing unusual with that, at least I didn’t think so. As I made tea I waffled on with my dramas (trivial ones in hindsight). Though she seemed a bit quieter than usual, my normally attentive emotional radar did not kick in. I should have twigged when she started on the lame jokes (her cover), but no I kept rambling. Finally, I asked her how she was (a smack in the head moment).
“I found a lump in my breast,” she said simply as my jaw dropped along with my shame. Breast cancer, the big C, the frightening, dreadful disease that no one should have, let alone a life-long friend.
Usually a non-crier, her tears fell, joined by mine and then my husband’s too. It was a moment of no, why, what, how, and this totally sucks! Of course, we talked about her options, emotions, ethics and yet to be made decisions until she was obviously exhausted from revealing the news.
When she left, I cried some more. Shock. Though I believe she’ll fight the big C and WIN I found myself thinking the oddest thoughts. Anger. How can I help her? Care. What would I do if something did happen to her? Selfishness and fear. Why someone so healthy? Questions. Why so many with cancer? More questions. I don’t want this to be happening to my friend. Sadness.
The next day I entered my home office. I answered emails, filed, created spreadsheets, did research and other things for four hours on autopilot. Occasionally I glanced at the books lining my shelf. Two are my own self-published books, two anthologies I feature in and the rest are writing references. When I finished my employed work (RWA), I stared at the books again. I looked at my desk with fresh eyes. I was organised with all my trays, nooks and folders. My office was functional and pretty. I loved working in my own writing space. Problem was I was not writing enough.
But what if my health stopped me working or writing? What if something happened to me, like my friend. I’d previously overworked and my health had suffered. I realised how important health is.
Another good friend (a fellow writer) has kidney disease and is awaiting a transplant. She’s ten years younger than me. Her first book will be out soon. Her disease spurred her on to get it done.
My epiphany made me hit reset. Restart all goals. Writing goals cannot be achieved without good health. The brain does not function properly with a lack of exercise and bad diet.
What will I do now (and yes, I have started)?
Wake early each morning to jog (I’m unfit so this is tough)
Walk the dog as a warm down (appreciating nature too)
Eat cleaner, fresher, wholesome foods
Always have breakfast (usually oats plus fruit or nuts)
Stretch the fingers after being on the keyboard all-day
Step away from the laptop if the neck or shoulders hurt
Go to the beach at least once a week
Write on notepads instead of always on a screen
Take supplements (like magnesium for cramps)
Eat more Keto-type foods
Buy a standup paddleboard and paddle on weekends
Get my skin checked
Purchase more hats to wear in the sun
Wear sunglasses in the sunshine
See the grandchildren (they give us life and lessons)
Listen to what people are really saying (watch body language)
Keep learning about writing
Finish Elephant Creek
Start the next book (and keep going and going)
There’s probably plenty of extra things I could add but that will do for now.
Keep writing you never know when you will no longer have time
Until next time here are photos of my new office on the Sunshine Coast. Plus, the updated version of Elephant Creek’s cover. I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think.