Ollie Boy, our little ray of sunshine. He lights up everyday with his cheeky smile which you just know is going to be followed by some cheeky act. He certainly keeps me on my toes. He could not be more different from his big sister but I wouldn't have it any other way. His personality has only blossomed this last year. He is adventurous and daring (which we are constantly reminded of by the scars on his face and head after several trips to the emergency room). He helps give his sister courage to do things she might otherwise not be brave enough to try. He has learnt so many words this year and he is now just as much of a chatter box as Gracie, to the point that sometimes between the two of them, I can't get a word in edge ways. Oliver, you bring us so much joy.
Jonathan and I have had many highs and lows this year, as I suppose we all do every year. One thing which I have learnt and something which I am taking into this new year, is that all that really matters is what is happening now, in this very moment. To SLOW DOWN and BREATHE, to soak in everything that there is to experience in each moment. And this will probably mean doing less and learning to say no sometimes. So whilst I love to capture our moments and reflect on them and share them, I'm learning just how important it is to be fully awake in all those moment. Sometimes the camera lens helps me to do this. I can see things in a way that sometimes I otherwise wouldn't have seen. However sometimes it calls for me to put down the camera and fully engage and submerge myself in that moments. The sparkle in Gracie's eyes when she has realised she can actually do something all by herself. The surprise in Oliver's face when he discovers something he's never seen before. Or those giggles. All those giggles. There is so much to experience and explore but there is also so much we will miss if we don't pay attention. Being present moment by moment is also a tool I rely on heavily to maintain a healthy mind and spirit. I am very susceptible to anxiety and it is a demon which regularly raises it's ugly head. Anxiety takes me away. Away from my family. Away from my friends. Away from what is actually happening right now and sends me to an imaginary world full of fears and worry. A world which actually does not truly exist yet somehow seems so real. I spent a very large part of 2014 learning about this imaginary dark world and how to battle it. It's a sneaky world. It creeps up and is very quiet at first and if I'm not careful it can become very loud and obtrusive. The blurr in this world plays hide and seek with peace. Peace which Jesus daily gives me. But when I'm entrapped by this anxious world, this game of hide and seek can last what seems like a lifetime and peace is no where to be found.
But if I am living more quietly and I am actually living by remaining awake to what is real and right now, I can see Anxiety trying to sneak up on me, with those lies and torments and together with an awakened awareness of the present moment, I can stop it from coming too close. No Anxiety, I do not want to play hide and seek today. It's a daily battle. One that can take a lot of energy. But it's also one that I am slowly getting better at with practice. So that's how I'm going to try and live this year. Daily. Moment by moment. I don't want to miss a thing.
What a year it was, 2014. I'm sure 2015 will be filled with just as many high moments and low moments as the last, and we will expereince every one of them as they happen. Right now I'm off to give Ollie a cuddle as I get him out of bed. I love just-woken-up cuddles. They're the best. My moment. Right now.