Small strokes in unchartered waters: on Easter Sunday, a Spring in bloom & the need for nourishment

Hola hola, it’s me. If you didn’t already know, I don’t have much time to sit and write anymore but I miss writing. I’m now blocking out a daily half an hour to an hour for this so here we are in the midst of that time.

So here are some unpublished entries for you all cobbled together and letting you know what I have been up to, and not been up to, since the start of 2021.

January

I’m taking a backseat this month. It’s official. I filled my head with so much at the start of the year, despite my desire to slow down. I think admitting that you have lost your way, lost sight of your priorities and ultimately yourself, is the way to truly make changes and move forward.

I’m realising this year that there’s many a part of me that needs nourishment. There’s some physical things I have left unaddressed, uncared for and regrettably are now impacting me; but then there’s also more mental and spiritual parts that I’m wanting to explore.

The years at university were whirlwinds, flurries of student-psychotic behaviour that isn’t out of the ordinary for most young adults. But as we approach close to a full year in “lockdown”, I am coming to realise that by slowing down, taking stock and even things like drying and brushing my hair properly, are ways to keep my sanity. And, appreciate what I have. It is so easy to get wrapped up and live for the good moments, but it is the tough moments, the silent moments, the excruciatingly lonely moments where we can learn about ourselves.

Blossoming was a word I adored in 2018-19. I remember it being the subject of diary entries, of Instagram captions, of blog posts. But this 2021, nourishment is coming to mind. I have the four words I spoke of in January’s blog post still beside my mirror: Health, Breakthrough, Strength and Gratitude. These keep me grounded in my priorities this year, even when my mind gets as cluttered as my brain.

Back one weekend in January, I had had a nice, slow day. After a chilled out morning, I had taken an afternoon walk – more of a stroll – through the village. It was very much a glorious winter wonderland! But in North West fashion, as freezing as the Arctic.

The moon above the Bowling Green

Late afternoon my dad and I had watched the film H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, which he gifted me for Christmas. It wasn’t what I had expected, but was so romantic and touching that it was the perfect accompaniment to a slow Saturday snowed in. I think it will be one of those films I will remember for the rest of my life, and many a parallel between our values and notions of life, our perceptions of time and our ability to overthink, permitted a typical dad-daughter discussion.

I was in such a good mood I offered to make dinner, a rare occasion since moving home after university. Following the same recipe as I have come to love: Raymond Blanc’s celeriac remoulade. A French favourite of ours since the early noughties, celeriac remoulade was an accompaniment to almost every meal we ever ate on holiday at my grandparents’ French home. But this time, it was homemade by me (rather than from dear SuperU) and was worth all the effort of hacking at a whole celeriac and grating it to an inch of its life.

Reflections on January – March: a demonstration of gratitude

To think are used to write these blog posts in one go baffles me. Now I usually lie here in bed using the microphone and writing direct from my brain to my mouth to the post itself. It’s surprising how much energy writing takes out of me these days. It has been a long time since I have let go of some of these thoughts and feelings verbally let alone textually. It is hard sometimes to know what to say in the midst our current context (lockdown): a climate that can be so lonely and so toxic yet so calm and inviting.

Tonight as I speak these words into this microphone, I am very much aware of the years gone by that I have come to terms with mental health as a real presence in my life. There isn’t really a free moment in the day to take some time to put some thoughts down, so here I am late at night forcing myself to take some time to reflect. This is not a pity post, nor an in-depth exposé into my “struggles” or my “journey” but more a demonstration of gratitude. By the grace of God I have learned so much, lived through so much and I am currently in a place where I feel settled and secure.

I feel very blessed to have reached a point of security despite uncertainty. And while I still wake up in a panic some mornings, or sob myself to sleep, I am constantly comforted knowing that I really am not alone in this life – and there’s nothing more comforting than that time of loving presence. Tonight I have felt rather overwhelmed with this gratitude. The new things I began during lockdown have meant I have developed friendships with new people not just in my own country but across the world. I never thought starting a boutique, and a new Instagram page for it, would result in over 40 new friendships.

I’ve gone old-school today, popped on some worship music, Elevation Worship to be precise, and doing some active reflection. For me, that does look like this: pyjamas on in the day time, under the duvet, lay on my front typing as I sing along (out of tune) to some good ol’ Christian music. Sometimes it is just necessary for me to do this. “Your promise still stands” is the phrase that jumps out of me as I listen to Do It Again. There is something about knowing the promise, and having it with you. Even when you feel far from God, lost, or you simply are not in the mood for reading the Bible… His promise still stands. Even in moments of unbelief, His promise still stands. A bit of faith is truly all you need sometimes.

A diary entry from… Easter Sunday

Happy Easter Sunday! It is with very much renewed vigour and faith that I announce Kulayrosas will be alive again with more words from this moment onward. Maybe it’s the chocolate Easter egg that did it, maybe it was the new Spring trends and articles that did it, but I am well and truly feeling ready to write again. ‘In bloom’ is a phrase batted around at this time of year as the flowers begin to open, and the lambs are birthed, but I really feel this newness this Spring.

Sunday afternoons are enjoyable for their moments of reflection, joy found in the sips of coffee, and peace in the soft snoring of my grandparents. As my Grandad rearranges the table mats for no apparent reason (we have already eaten), we sip on our tea and watch Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, while my Dad kips in the chair. It is these easy moments where I find myself feeling so grateful. To be here with family in comfort and happiness is to be content with my life where it currently is. The morning was just as filled with content. Taking my Gran to St James’, our local church, my Dad and I read the prayers and intercessions as a pair. The sermon reminded me to take some time out over this holiday weekend to read the Gospel of Mark.

To relax and not worry, is what my Grandma uttered about being at our house on a Sunday, sleeping with a magazine in hand and a cup of hot tea slowly going cold. My Grandad circles words in the Culture magazine, my Dad still snoring in the corner. We will soon be off for more enjoyable family time to my Auntie’s and Uncle’s where we are bound to laugh a lot and revel in the Mather spirit of fun.

My Mum had the fabulous idea of putting on an Easter Egg Hunt, primarily for my Grandad, in the garden. He soon got the hang of it, reading every ‘Happy Easter’ out before putting it and the chocolate egg in the basket. We basked in the sun before coming in for cake and chocolate, and of course many a nap on the sofa – collective napping is becoming a regular Sunday occurrence.

I’m very ready to use what now feels like a new year to make more time to take things in, and write them out. I’ve been missing expressing myself using the written word and have honestly felt rather trapped because of it. So here we are, attempting to read more and write more.

And today…

I’m too brain dead after a very long day sorting out other people’s problems to really think so I’m checking out for the night, putting my phone down and sleeping.

Before we go, please know the below:

Until next time.

Love,

Anna

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