Today, I am so very grateful for...
1. Actually making it to Lake Street Dive last night! I did begin to doubt my sanity when I arrived in the city to discover it was White Night (how did I manage to miss that "little" detail?). But it was a beautiful balmy evening and the music was beautiful and there was something very appealing about weaving anonymously through the crowds... who were rather well behaved, may I say..
And then there was the journey home.
There were literally thousands of people crowding the platforms at Flinders Street Station. But I had Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl for company. And my train was only eight minutes delayed and I managed to get on when it arrived. It didn't go through the city loop, due to congestion, which cut about eight minutes off the journey time. And then I got chatting to a random stranger standing next to me... only to discover that she will be hosting my daughter's birthday party next weekend!!!
Which is a nice segue into the next two things I am grateful for...
2. After a lot of dithering and deliberation (and too many hours of internet research and fear of letting her down), I managed to tee up two excellent birthday parties for my daughter. The first will include all the students in her new class and will centre around Lego activities (hosted by the lady I "met" on the train!); the second will involve a selection of her old school friends and a lot of bouncing up and down! There will also be smaller gatherings with each side of the family and her dearest preschool friends. So it's going to be party month at chez nous and it will be somewhat exhausting but completely worth it.
3. The Universe sending me exactly what I need at any given time. Last night on the train was the perfect example. Other instances include: needing to visit a particular location so I could include it in my novel then noticing a link on instagram to an interview which included photos of every detail I was wondering about; and attending my daughter's school working bee and chatting to other parents to discover that their children had been complaining of all the same things my little 'un had, thus reassuring me that it was just something that came with the turf rather than an indication that I'd made a bad choice for my daughter's education. I am so blessed and grateful. And happy to be awake.
4. Speaking of blessings, I received the most amazing email from a beautiful reader called Corinne and a card from a gorgeous gal who participated in Reverb14 called Melissa. Both reminded me just how powerful and present is the community that has gathered around my offerings. I feel so humbled to be seen and supported by such kind, wise and genuine souls. Love.
5. Humans of New York. Anyone doubting the power of social media (or the ratio of kind people to stink bombs in the world) should check out the story of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn. It was a privilege to witness this story unfold and an honour to contribute financially.
6. My little niece, who is six weeks older than my bambino. She spends the day with us on Mondays when my sister goes to work. It's an intense day, for sure, and I am so grateful for my parents who come to help for a few hours. But that little girl is such a delight, she's so affectionate and hilarious and we all love her to bits. I'm so grateful that I have the chance to provide this opportunity so that my children will grow up close to their beautiful cousin.
7. Looking back over the wonderful theatre my daughter and I attended over the summer holidays: La Befana, Giggle & Hoot, Charlie and Lola, The Tiger who Came to Tea, and Caribbean Pirates. We laughed and cried, ate gelato, went on treasure hunts and learnt a lot. We're so lucky to live in a city that provides such amazing cultural activities for little people... and we didn't even scratch the tip of the iceberg.
8. Hearing Amanda Palmer read from The Art of Asking. I have mixed feelings about Amanda Palmer and her music, if I'm going to be honest, but I loved her TED talk and her book was truly excellent. The conversation aspect of the evening was pretty disappointing -- a real missed opportunity -- but it was incredibly moving to hear Neil Gaiman read passages from the book about him and their relationship. It was also one of the first times I'd been out of an evening for a looooong time... and it was a palpable reminder that there is a lot of world out there. Sigh.
9. The work of Lucy Knisley. I've absolutely loved soaking in her world, documented in comics about travel, art, cooking, love and growing into her self. I highly recommend her books Relish (which includes gorgeous recipes) and An Age of License. She's my kinda gal.
10. The Alchemist's Oracle Deck by Lauren Aletta aka Inner Hue. It is absolutely breathtaking and check out the exquisite card it came with (pictured above and below, front and back). Did I mention that Alchemy is my word of the year? More on this sooooooon.
What are you grateful for today?