Monday, April 6, 2020

New Seasons!

It appears I missed a whole season on my blog - summer just came and went.... and here we are in Autumn already. There's no way I can catch up on a season - especially the one we just left behind. Oh gosh, it's been a summer. My opening image, I think its called 'yesterday, today & tomorrow' bush, is my meditation for today...

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that this past summer in Australia has been tragic. Bushfires have destroyed so much of our precious and loved bush, many millions of our loved wildlife, so much of our heritage, and many of our communities. The smoke haze that covered our land suppressed the joy of a real Australian Summer, and many of us spent our summer indoors to avoid the heavy haze and impacts of smoke. 

It is with a sad an heavy heart that I realised, we are going to be spending much of this year indoors now. While the global pandemic known as COVID-19 has surprised health officials, it has probably scared our governments and our communities even more. Here in Australia, and many parts of the world, we're learning to live with the rules aiming at keeping us safe - distancing. I dont want to call it social distancing - because I am a firm believer in the need for socialising - especially in times like this. And, there it is, the reason I am back at my computer and 'Thyme-for-Tea'.

Only just last week I've had 2 people ask me if I was going to host Paris in July this year... and to be honest, it had barely made it to the forefront of my brain in this years planning.... but the question did make me stop and think. I found myself reflecting on why I've had a break from blogging... and its essentially about emotional energy. This is a new personal insight for me, and one I want to hold to for a moment. [side note - have any of you listened to Esther Perele's podcasts? - she speaks about 'sitting with that thought'].

Traditionally I am a new years reflector - as the year turns over, I take time to consider the year in review, and play forward to new year. This year it didn't happen. So, this new insight, didn't come to me earlier....

Over the summer period, as a volunteer with the state emergency services (which I something I do ontop of my working life)... I was deployed to assist with bush fires. I dont fight fires, but I go to the 'staging area' where fire fighters and other emergency workers congregate morning, noon, and evening. There I support these people with welfare checks, debriefing, advice, and generally care for them. My role is to ensure they have enough energy to keep going - that they are safe to keep going - and if there're not - I support them to have a rest.

Guess what? Did I do this for me??

I have not been blogging because I have had some big stuff going on. for more than 18 months, I've been leading a big (like massive) project at work. Something I'm really proud to be involved in. But I wanted to make it perfect. I wanted it to be a career changing moment for me. This project with the outcomes that blows people away. However, this high expectation on myself was unsupported by my workplace. I've been running this high expectation all by myself. [note to self - ot's been going really well and people are noticing].

This pineapple flower has appeared recently in my garden (planted from the top of a shop bought fruit), and when I discovered it, I felt a new sense of joy. I helped this thing find it's flower!

Summer was difficult. Emotionally draining.

On top of that, my second hip (first hip was replaced 3 years ago) started deteriorating. Pain started coming back into my routines. I new I would be up for more surgery. Again, I set high expectations to be physically fit for the procedure. I used whatever energy I could find over summer to focus on exercise, diet, sleep, and well-being. The surgery was 3 weeks ago, and I am already feeling an improved sense of movement, and sleep. and in the next 3 weeks I will return to work, walking and (hopefully) the gym...

So, the question remains - will I be hosting Paris in July this year?
The answer is yet to reveal itself to me - but I hope that I will find new emotional energy that will allow me to pick up the things I love in life. Paris is one of those things.... Gardening... Bush walking.... and being with my friends.

The challenge I set myself now - is to sit with the new insight that work has been very demanding. My own high expectations have been demanding. The world, and the way I relate to it (by volunteer in disasters) is also demanding.... and I need to make my own Summer - find my own time to do the new years reflection.... and find new ways of being in a world with distancing rules.

Even if we cant be social, we can see beauty in the world around us. I am so lucky to live near the ocean, lakes, bushland and mountains... places where I can witness such breathless beauty thats refreshing for the soul.


Marg said...

I have participated in Paris in July a few times over the years, and was super excited at the idea of it this year because I was going to have visited there. In fact I was due to be there later this week. But alas, this year happened and so I am at home instead. I hope you do host it, and if you need help in any way I would be happy to.

It has been a rough year that's for sure, and that's without any extra pressure such as you have mentioned

Jeanie said...

Oh, Tamara, I really get it. Sometimes you just have to mull and ponder -- sit with it as you said. These are times where sitting with something, knowing that it will really count to your best benefit, is a wise thing to do. Your year sounds grim on every level, physical, professional and emotional and that's hard to wrap one's brain around. Just when you think maybe you can-- boom. A pandemic. I am high on the terrified/anxious side and trying hard not to be. Thinking of faraway place is a bit healing.

I agree on terminology. I tend to call it spatial distancing. We need to be apart but we also need to be together, whether it is online, on a ZOOM meeting, the telephone, whatever it takes. Please stay safe. You have survived one huge disaster this year. I don't want to see another enter your world.

Mel u said...

I love the Paris in Juky event. I already have a few books accumulated. I try to post in my blog every other day,. It is my way of saying life will go on. Now my family and I are in lock down in Metro Manila. I started a series of posts on literary works I relate to our current condition. Good to read your post and wish you safe Times.

Mae Travels said...

Coming just after such a difficult summer, this pandemic must be even more terrible for you and for your country. Some of the time I feel as if it couldn't be real, it has to be fiction or a bad dream. But when do we wake up? No one knows the end game. By July we might all still be sheltering in our houses, and supplies of food and other necessities may be even scarcer. Too much to contemplate. Maybe you could do April in the World instead of Paris in July.

be well... mae at

Carola Bartz said...

Gosh Tamara, you have had a lot on your plate. I totally understand that blogging was not on top of your list. It wouldn't have been on mine, either.
Since we're living in wildfire country as well and went through some horrific fires we followed the news from Australia anxiously. Those fires were far far worse than ours, and I was heart broken to read about all the terrible losses. A break after that would have been something your country well deserved - instead COVID-19 made its way around the world. Your country has dealt with it in a much better way than mine, and I am just thankful that I', living in California where we have actual leadership. I hope for all of us that we get through this without losing our sanity. I'm mainly thankful for the privilege to be able to work from home (both my husband and I) and still have our jobs.
I enjoyed Paris in July last year, but I think if you don't feel up to it then just let it go. Somehow I feel that a good rest would do you good.

Lisbeth said...

Dear Tamara, so sorry to hear about your hardships. It is difficult when you have high ambitions on something and the people around you are not supportive. I hope you can find enjoyment in other things around you. You are doing such great work in the garden. Fantastic pineapple! I admire how you are able to keep such a garden.
I hope you have the energy to do Paris in July. I hope it is also rewarding for you, knowing how many of us appreciate this challenge, and possibilities to exchange views on a common interest. I have to admit that I have an unfinished post from last year, that I will finish this year. I have already started to think of what kind of Paris themes I can write about this year.
Hoping life will be easier for you this year, in spite of the limitations the pandemic puts on us.