Reflections and Resolutions

This month, I’ve missed blogging on the full moon, acknowledging the summer/winter solstice (depending on which hemisphere you’re in), and I’ve failed to wish you all a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas or whatever other celebrations may have occurred in your life.

Is it too late to do all that now?

Probably. So, to prevent falling further behind, I’d better wish you a very Happy New Year now.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

But before we dive into 2014, let’s take a last lingering look at 2013.

If you Google major world events for the year, you may be tempted to end it all before midnight. There is little to celebrate in what the world news offers us. Click here to see for yourself if you wish.

Image representing Google Search as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

Instead, I thought it would be fun to focus on some good news stories, but finding those is a little more difficult with a simple Google search, especially if you look for stories that weren’t prompted by a bad news story to begin with. There are stories about a woman’s kindness towards the man who robbed her, young boys standing up to bullies, and  others about positive actions prompted by someone’s cancer. They are all admirable and show the better side of human nature, but why is it difficult to find a good news story that isn’t the result of some disaster or drama?

Maybe it’s because we are wired to be aware of danger. It’s a survival mechanism and news sources are aware of this – they know the best way to get our attention is to feed us bad news stories. Unfortunately, these days that often results in many people feeling afraid and believing the world is becoming less safe.

I’d rather focus on the positives in life, and a good starting point to do that is to avoid paying too much attention to television news. Instead, I try to notice the goodness around me – the checkout girl at the supermarket as she cheerily chats to shoppers, and the store assistants who are prepared to give that little bit extra to help you. I’m often aware of mothers and fathers listening, playing and talking to their children, explaining something, or having fun with each other, loving. I see it on Facebook, people caring about others – brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, acquaintences and animals. I read about it in blogs and novels and watch stories about kind people in movies.

In general, people are good. Once in a while, you may come across someone not so good, or someone who is angry and unpleasant, but most of the time, if you pay attention you will find that people want to be nice. They care, they love, they give.

I’ve had a wonderful year. I’ve been treated extremely kindly by family and friends, but also by people I’ve only come to know in the virtual world, people I’ve never met. There is kindness and love everywhere, good deeds happen on a daily basis in a normal everyday way.

My resolution for 2014 is to keep choosing to notice the goodness in the people all around me because it makes me feel wonderful.

What about you?

My wish for you all is that you, too will choose to notice and enjoy the goodness in our world.

Let’s all work to make 2014 one of the best years yet.

And So This is Christmas – John Lennon

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace A Chance by R...

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace A Chance by Roy Kerwood (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To The Blog

 Surprise!

Surprise

I’m starting a blog. I can hear your questions, the same ones that bounced around my head for months:

Why would you want to blog, and what on earth will you write about???

Let’s take a look at them.

Why do I want to start a blog?

Because I’m a writer and as such, I’m meant to write, but more importantly, because writers need a Google presence. I need my name to come up when typed into the Google search engines, so publishers can readily find me. Fascinating stuff!

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Eggs-actly, which brings me to –

What will I write about?

Nine years ago, on the night of a full moon in August 2003, my husband, youngest daughter and I flew into Fort Lauderdale, Florida to begin living in another country. I wish I’d written about the adventure as it happened, but I didn’t and my memory of the changes  we underwent has blurred. Let’s blame the stress. Learning to live in a new culture, finding my way around a new place and navigating simple things like finding the food we liked was challenging.

Now we are reversing the process, and I want to record my thoughts as I approach the much-anticipated return to living in Australia. Once there, I hope to continue to record how it feels to adjust to living somewhere familiar but changed from the home I left many years earlier.

Don’t panic! I won’t bombard you with many posts, despite the advised recommendation to blog often. Frequent blogging is not for me. Who has time to write a blog every day? Certainly not me; I don’t have time to even READ a blog a day, and so I’ll assume you’re in the same boat – a busy person with more important things to do than to read my words of wisdom. This is a SLOW BLOG. I plan to post something about once a month. Let’s say, every full moon.

Full Moon

Full Moon (Photo credit: kennytyy)

Very fitting, although a lone wolf howling at the moon might be more appropriate. Mmmmm…

I like that the moon is the same all over the world. Melbourne will have a full moon on the same date as Glasgow’s, although I’m not surprised to discover it’s a day earlier in Florida. I’ll forgive Boca Raton for not complying with my same-day-the-world-over belief, because I still remember its wonderful full moons of creamy yellow in those warm night skies. Sigh! I miss Boca nights.

Ahem! Where was I apart from sitting at my computer in cold Glasgow? Oh yes, the full moon and blogging.

What I need you to do, is to head outdoors, or look out the window, or Google it, and work out when the full moon is going to happen this month, so you don’t miss out on my first exciting blog instalment. Alternatively, you can simply click where it says ‘Follow’ on the left of this page to receive email notifications each time I write a post.

Let me know if you have a blog, too.

And for those few I know who have already made the move back to Australia after living in the US, I’d love to hear how it worked out for you. Please, tell me your stories.