Verklempt (adj) — choked with emotion (German verklemmt = emotionally inhibited in a convulsive way; stuck)
Happy (adj) — 1. Feeling or showing pleasure or contentments; 2. Having a sense of confidence or satisfaction with a person, arrangement or situation.
Verklappy (adj) — the feeling of simultaneously wanting to comfort eat your body weight in chocolate out of misery, start a bareknuckle fight in a biker bar, and spontaneously re-enact the entire opening sequence of The Sound of Music out of sheer joy at the fact you are alive to enjoy this particular moment in the grand expanse of human history.
So it’s the long weekend. The last day of the Anzac Day/Easter Weekend to be exact, and I’m sitting here at the computer in our house in the country. It’s just after 8pm, after the kind of day you wish all Autumn days were like. The sun shone and the air was crisp in the morning before heating up; a day of really blues skies dotted with wisps of white cloud, where you feel like you really can see every inch of the far reaching countryside of gold plains, hills, houses and trees. The landscape is all red roofs that sit interspersed with leafy dark greens; everything is intermittently punctuated by scarlet, orange and canary yellow bursts of deciduous colour. Every now and then, at the last half hour of twilight when the sky turns this deep, indigo-fringed lavender colour, there’ll be these giant square patches of fire roaring in the distance, where stubble is being burnt off for the winter in preparation for a new crop to be sown later. Scorching orange squares of heat that contrast wildly against the cold that descends so quickly here at night. Now, of course, it’s dark. You go outside and you’d swear you could see every star in the cosmos. Here everything is clear, quiet…serene. The day has disappeared like a drawn veil to the west and you can’t help staring up at the sky. One that makes you swear you’re looking out at the universe as it truly is.
My dad is watching tv. My mum is boiling the jug as we prepare to drink our third or fourth round of tea for the day.
And all I have is this double thought.
That this is home, and that everything fits.
All things considered then, I can’t think of another place I would rather be right now. Almost everything else in my life seems to be in such a massive state of flux or repair or uncertainty; here, everything is grounded, sure. I think that maybe it’s just that I’m more certain of what I am here.
So. I’m spending this precious few days watching my world from the comfy, armchair-like vantage point of home and it’s bliss.
To be honest, I’ve spent most of the last few weeks stewing endlessly.
Some things, I have not been able to stop worrying about to save my life. Thank goodness for my dad, then. We had one of those brilliant talks where everything feels clearer afterwards; til then, I hadn’t realised how much uncertainty had crept back into my world. Well, less crept, more arrived with a loud honk in the driveway and a subsequent smug smirk on the doorstep of my life. Again. Like it always knew it would be back, and has had ever so much fun anticipating the look on my face when I realised it finally was. So as such, I’m searching again, on the hunt for everything from a new job to a decent suitcase before I head overseas in July.
Actually I wouldn’t have mentioned that here, would I!
Whoops. Of all the things to leave out for so long. Yes, indeed: after six long years of talking about it, Erin Brown finally spoke those immortal words to her travel agent and told her to book it. A six week stint in the US and Canada starting mid-July and ending on August 31st. Well, Sept 2nd by the time I land back in Sydney. In all honesty I’m a bit terrified, but in some ways I think that’s a good thing. A little fear can be healthy in that it drives you to be that little bit more prepared before you walk out the door with your luggage, dreams and expectations tagging smartly behind you. And for me, when it comes to something as big as this, I’m all about the over-prepared…ness. Hah. Wouldst that such thinking transferred to every day life.
And, I’m realising, the eleven weeks until I go will be just as jam-packed. Hotels to book. Travelling cash to stash. A new job to find (and start – YIKES). An old job to finish (in one way or another – again with the YIKES). A 60’s-themed birthday party for which I have no idea what to wear (it’s a family event, and my family are THE greatest theme-party throwers of all time, so suffice to say the stakes are high).
Ooh, AND I bought tickets to the WWE RAW tour on July 1 (where I’m hoping my darling and most daring Canuck, Edge, will make a farewell appearance…*sigh* I miss him so much), where I’ll get to see a big stash of my favourites clash at Acer Arena. And for the record, Vince McMahon: if you even THINK about drafting CM Punk away from this tour in this weeks WWE Draft, there will be consequences.
Big, grumpy, feisty, HULKSMASH-like consequences that will involve much stomping, cussing, growling and fist shaking in your general direction. So DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE.
NB: Since I started writing this, Randy Orton and John Cena were drafted away from Raw (obviously someone in WWE programming hates me) BUT CM Punk stayed (so clearly they also feared me enough concede to my BIGGEST demand) As such, I’m both verklempt AND happy.
I’m verklappy. It’s not comfortable.
So yeah. Lots going on at the moment as I head into the next few months.
Lots of good stuff though, and – as I’ve been lagging so terribly behind in my Book of Happy-ing – here’s four big things and four little things that I’ve found myself being extra thankful for this Easter and this year so far.
Four Big Things…
No Greater Love
Isaiah 53: 4-6
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
1 John 4:10, 18-19
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.
This long weekend I was blessed enough to get to see my grandad Hilton march in the ANZAC Day parade here in our home town. Pop doesn’t talk about the war very much at all, but from the tiny snippets I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s enough to make me understand why. What he went through, like so many other soldiers of that time, must have been harrowing. You can see that it was by the expression he gets on his face whenever the subject comes up. And he did all of it, alongside thousands upon thousands of other Australian sons, so many of which did not come home, in order to fight for the freedom that we so often take for granted in this country today. This man has lived more lifetimes in the span of his own lifetime than many of us could ever live, even if we had a hundred of them. It’s taken us many years to get the point in our relationship where it is now – it wasn’t always the easiest road to tread between us – but I can say now, without a shadow of a doubt that it was a humbling and beautiful thing to point him out in the parade as he marched, and be able to say that that I was his granddaughter.
This – the wild, blazing perfection of this free and amazing country and its people – is what our Diggers have fought and died for over the many battlefields scattered across oceans and the sea of time. As we remembered them this week, I was challenged to let my mind wander to what it all would have been like if the courage of our forefathers had failed them.
Only it didn’t. Their courage drove them to face the greatest terrors man could devise and still stand firm.
For this, and for us, their utterly blessed descendants. Because of them we are a free Australia, and because of their successors, there will never fail to be somebody with the courage to fight for it to be kept that way.
Being Able to Hug Whoever I Want, Whenever I Want, and Know that They Will Hug Me Back
If you knew my family, you would know that being affectionate isn’t just something we are, something we were raised to be. It’s part of our genetics, I think, just as it’s a part of those who’ve become part of our family. As much embedded in our various DNA strands as our eye colour and the famous tell-tale Blomfield freckle (Seriously. I’ve seen strangers prove they’re related solely based on the appearance of that freckle). As for me, I got this particular in spades. I love hugging people. I love getting hugged. I love telling someone I love them, and I love someone saying that to me. In Sydney – lovely and wonderful as so many of the people I know there, are – I’m reminded on a regular basis that I don’t know that many really affectionate people there. So it kind of feels like holding my breath; going days in a row where I can’t put my arms around someone and ask them how their day was, or tell them to their face that I love them heaps and go off to make them a cup of tea already knowing they have milk and no sugar. Here, it’s the opposite. You hug aunties who still wear the same perfume you used to steal into their bedroom and secretly try on. You hug grandparents who will sit and hold your hand all day if you ask them to, and tell you stories out of the rich wells of their lives that suddenly remind you just how lucky you have it. You hug cousins who are edging towards 18 and 20, that you remember being born. You hug parents who tell you everything will be okay. Tell you that to them you will always be beautiful and capable of anything. Who tell you and show you every second of your life that you are loved beyond measure. This is what means to be who I am, and belong to this amazing group of people.
Man. I hope wherever you are in the world right now, that you know what it is to love and be loved this way. If you are, you’ll know what I mean when I say how much I understand now, that the most important things in life cannot be earned through being deserving. But are, by grace given, though we are so often undeserving.
Oy. Tears here. Must keep writing, lol.
Four Little Things…
The changing colours of Autumn
So much of my home town is coloured like this now. Walking down by the lake this morning with Mum, Dad & our dog Buzz, there were all these amazing trees scattered between the gums and firs; massive, bright punches of gold and red and orange against the cornflower-blue sky. So breathtaking.
For the record, it’s also not the particular bed pictured, but it’s very close. I kid you not. It’s splendiferous. It’s marvellous. It’s MASSIVE. It’s toasty warm and covered in damask. You can sleep in it for ten days running and not hit the same spot twice. It is also Central Station in Pillow Heaven. In short: this bed? BLISS ON A STICK.
Nutella on a Spoon
If I need to elaborate on why this item appears on this list, then you need to see a medical practitioner. Seriously. GET THE MEMO.
This Man’s Everything
I mean really. Just look at him. He’s what Nutella would be if it were human. AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE NUTELLA? Only weird people with no taste.
CM Punk. He can haz purrfectshun.