Soul food

Just some of my purchases from the bookfest.

Today, we went to the annual Lifeline Bookfest. For those who don’t know, the bookfest is basically a massive secondhand book sale. Rows upon rows of books are available from $2.50 down to a bagful for $5. Yep, perfect afternoon in my opinion šŸ™‚

I love rummaging around in the various sections. My heart does a little leap if I see a title from a favourite author that I haven’t bought yet. And I get a little whirl of anticipation in my stomach when I pop books by authors I haven’t read yet into my bag. Oh and the thrill of finding a long sought after title, just sitting there, quietly beckoning me over. Bliss.

The thing that struck me today was the eclectic mix of my fellow bookloving browsers. Such an unlikely mob we all are. Well dressed, sloppily dressed, young, old and in-between. We are all there, united by our love of the printed page, the scent coming from the ‘classic/rare/out of print’ section making us half crazed and feverish.

And that’s what I love about books and reading. It doesn’t matter who you are, opening up the pages of a book does the same for each of us. We travel to far away, or fantastical lands, we mix with people we are sorry to leave at the end, or extremely glad we don’t know in person. We live situations we never would normally. We cry, we laugh, we feel things we didn’t know we could. We escape. We fly on words weaved by others, to places created and nurtured by another’s imagination.

And we are all equal. Whether we read slowly or quickly. Whether we dog-ear the pages or have too many bookmarks to count. Whether we love romance or philosophy.

We are all doing the same thing – feeding our souls from a table lovingly laid by a stranger who has become a friend.

Play is for grown-ups too!

I love stationery, and at the beginning of the new year, I can usually talk my way into buying new pens, paper, diaries, and sticky notes that I just couldn’t possibly start the new year without.

Recently, whilst on this traditional expedition, I spotted this notepad –

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And knew I ‘needed’ it.

Each morning, I write my tasks on the separate notepads inside. The ‘home’ one gets filled with all the mundane chores of the household, the ‘work’ one, well that gets more than it’s fair share.

However, I noticed a few times that the ‘play’ notepad stayed empty, and then I noticed that that made me a bit sad. And then I realised that I actually neededĀ to write something on that ‘play’ pad each day.

It’s so easy to forget to ‘play’ as adults. It’s so easy to be so busy that we do nothing fun at all.

And it doesn’t have to be big. It can be simply to take an hour out to read, or go for a swim, or put your favourite song on loudly and dance and sing along, or play a game of cards with someone, or watch funny clips on youtube.

What the fun or play is doesn’t matter, as long as you enjoy it and it makes you smile.

So, actually, I was right when I saw that notepad, I really did ‘need’ it. It gives me a prompt every day to have fun and play, a reminder I think we all need.

Do you do something fun every day?

This was trickier than I thought

You may remember that I was keen to nut out my epitaph, not so that it could actually be used but so that I could set my life goals to that end.

Well.

I have been pondering, musing, wondering and generally doing mental gymnastics in the two weeks since, trying to work out the handful of words that would succinctly convey what I want my life to amount to in the end.

I don’t know if any of you have been doing the same, but it really is quite hard! One of the stumbling blocks for me was the feeling of being egotistical, and then I remembered I’m not saying this is what I think people would necessarily say right now, but what I want to live towards.

So here it is:

She was true and sincere and full of verve; unwavering in joyous living, no matter the weather. And she knew how to fiercely love.

True because I want to always hold fast to the Truth and the One who gave it, and to stay true to the ‘me’ He created; sincereĀ because it’s dictionary definition isĀ freeĀ from pretense or deceit; proceedingĀ fromĀ genuineĀ feelings;Ā and verve is the serious, tough side of enthusiasm to me – I don’t want to be enthusiastic, like a puppy, rather I want a spirit that will get the job done with stamina and determination.

And by weather, I mean the weather of life – sunshine, storms, bleak days, rain or glorious sunrises. Whatever life throws at me, I want to be joyous and revelling in it all.

And fiercely love? I want to love beyond how I currently love. I want to love with no fear, no limit, no boundaries, no qualifiers.

This exercise has been so useful in cementing my goals, not only for this year but ongoing too. I might just put it above my desk to remind me.

What about you? What do you want yours to say?

 

Happy new year. Now, let’s think about your death.

Okay, so not just your death but mine too. As we turn the corner into another year, we’re all madly making new years resolutions, promising ourselves and those around us that we will eat better, exercise more, blah blah blah.

I’m not a big resolution making girl, largely due to the fact that they never seem to stick but also because that just seems like too much planning and not enough spontaneity to me.

This year, however, I am looking forward into the year and thinking about what I hope it looks like. And in order to do that, Ā I am giving serious proper consideration to my epitaph.

In Sarah Cunningham’s book, The Well-balanced World Changer, there was this:

What do you value? I’ll tell you without you saying a word.

You value

1. Whatever you’re putting the most time into.

2. Whatever you’re putting the most money into.

3. Whatever you’re putting the most energy into.

We live what we value, don’t we? So what we value, aka how we live, will be reflected in what people say about us at our funeral.

It’s nothing new, this imagining what we want people to think about us after we’ve departed but it is timely to think about in light of our resolutions for 2014.

I haven’t finalised it yet, but I am quite literally going to write my epitaph. Once I know what I want the end result to be, I’ll be able to work backwards and see if my life is heading me in a direction that would make those words true by the end of my days. And if it isn’t, I can look to adjust my life to fit in with my values and who I want to be.

I’m going to share it with you, too, so feel free to join in and think about what you want your epitaph to say.

Challenging, yes. Confronting, yes. Morbid, possibly.

Worth it in order to live the life you want before it’s too late? Definitely.