a little light in the darkness


I am finding that I need to hold on really tightly at the moment to my words and wishes... so many things threaten to chase them away... tiredness, dark nights, heaviness, work.

I am someone who generally likes to operate on a spontaneous basis from within a framework of stability. When instability makes spontaneity impossible or too difficult, it can feel like a sort of entrapment, and the only things I end up doing are the things I don't want to do. So I have been challenged to approach things differently... normally I like to book holidays when I feel like taking them... this year I have decided to book them in now so that they are there, ready to pop up when I need them (and I do, already). So, this weekend we are going away for one night to a lovely boutique hotel in one of my favourite ever places, and next month we are cashing in half our Airmiles for a few days of sun. In the summer I have a tiny little cottage lined up. In the autumn I think we might go and see Paris again.

Normally this sort of forward planning scares me, but one of the things that's given me confidence is having completed a whole year of lists. A year ago, I decided to list five things every day that made me happy... reading back over the year is a wonderful aide memoire of all the things we did and the places we went and when we went... meaning that this year, I can predict for myself when something new might be just the thing. It's also a lovely record of the changes of seasons, moods, little people, the garden, the birds, everything that's meaningful. If you haven't discovered Listography yet, I passionately recommend it! You can search your lists, I love doing that.

17 comments:

Dan said...

Hi Sue
Sounds like you have some wonderful holidays to look forward to. I wonder if it's something about January that makes it hard for us to get going or muster any enthusiasm for action? I feel the same myself - everything seems like such an effort at the moment.
Keep holding on tight to those words and wishes!
Dan
-x-

Alison said...

What a delightful idea, a year of lists, of five things that are happy-making... While I make a practice of noticeing the good, to actually write it down would both commemorate it and allow, as you wrote, the looking back over past joys. I just might have to try it myself...

Vintage Tea Time said...

Sounds a good plan you have worked out there! I love holidays / breaks, etc. - they're really great to look forward to, great to be on and great to remember!! Enjoy!

A Time to Dance said...

I have to have things to look forward to and because of my work, I plan a trip or nice thing to do each holiday...although for the first time in years I havent planned the summer yet...very unlike me...its lovely having plans...something to look forward to and you can plan and make lots of lovely lists (I love lists) as you do so.

sweetmyrtle said...

love your listograpghy Sue. hope you enjoy the holidays, how lovely to have them planned in, i think i may do that this year else i may never find time for them. wishing you the happiest of years in 2011, with warmest wishes
ginny x

Mag said...

I like your lists - it's an excellent idea. I might give it a go.

Love your blog, too.

Best wishes
Mag

elizabethm said...

I too love lists and having something to look forward to. I hope you won't mind my saying this but reading this has reminded me of how much I needed my breaks and my holidays when I was working too hard. Now that I am doing less I find that I have lost that need to have the next stepping stone in the flood.
Ignore me if you like but have a great year however you spend it.

alice c said...

I found myself staring at your photo on my huge computer screen at work, taking in every detail. I know how carefully you will have chosen it and I was immensely moved by the image. I recognise the thought process that arrived at that choice from difficult periods of my own life which seemed inescapable but ultimately were left behind.

Lesley Austin said...

I really appreciate this..."I am someone who generally likes to operate on a spontaneous basis from within a framework of stability." That is my natural approach, too, tho' I couldn't have expressed it so well. And it has worked over the years.

But now, as my mother's caregiver, spontaneity isn't really an option and the need for restorative get-aways and fresh perspective is more needed than ever. So I am keeping your post open on my desktop to remind me to get planning!

Thank you for sharing some light.

Martina Tierney said...

I have just booked a family holiday in St Ives for late summer, it's the first time I've ever planned a holiday so far ahead! In fact I hardly ever take holidays. Now I'm terrified that I've done the wrong thing... I've never even been to St Ives. Oh well, time will tell. Love the idea of Listography - in fact I've joined up. My first list was vintage medicines from 1957 onwards... Loving your blog.

Chrissie said...

I'm sure you will be glad that you have dotted some things to look forward to throughout your year. No.43 looks a-maze-ing!

Jackie said...

This post rings so many bells for me. I want to go on holiday spontaneously and last year it didn't work out , so I am determined to plan ahead this year.(Mind you, finances may affect that adversly!) No decisions yet.
Secondly, you and I must have been separated at birth...I have looked longingly at No 43 many times. I think we even went in for a brochure last time we went to Arnside. What a terrific idea, to go and stay there.

Jackie said...

oh and thirdly, Helen gave me a book to write my 'good things' in. A great idea.

rossichka said...

Just knock and the door will open; just make one step to start a change; just plan something nice and you'll feel happy while waiting... You always make me ponder, Sue! Well, we don't plan so early our vacations. I'm a "fatalist" more or less - I'm worrying that something unexpected could ruin the plan (it has happened not once ot twice) and then the disappointment will be strong... But I understand what you mean and I think you've done the right thing to feel good and calm!:)
This time your "happy lists" inspired me to give a try! In the very beginning of the year, while shopping, I was attracted by a colourful notebook and I bought it without any particular purpose. Now I know - it will be the keeper of all the beautiful things that will impress me during 2011! I already began writing... Thank you!xx

Cottage Garden said...

Its funny Sue because I love planning and have just put up a post about that very topic! I love to plan things and fill up the diary. It gives me something to look forward to in these dark and often grey days of January.

I like the idea of listing five happy things every day. I may just pop on to the Listography website and give it a go ...

Your posts are always inspiring and calming Sue. Thank you.

Jeanne
x

JP said...

hope you have enjoyed your weekend

Poshyarns said...

Oh what a good idea the year of lists sounds like. I must investigate listography, thank you for the link.

I love the image accompanying this post, there is something tranquil about it.