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Catherine Ann x

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Blogmas #2: The Frozen Picnic

You join me today on my sofa, in comfy clothes, with a nice mug of tea by my side. For the first time in a long time, I am relaxed... and I’m about to tell you why.

I suppose three things happened to take the edge off. Lately, I haven’t been getting much sleep, and on Wednesday night I didn’t go to sleep at all—I sound like I’m exaggerating, but I was literally still awake when it was time to go to school. I ended up taking the day off and tried to relax, but I couldn’t manage it. I did, however, sleep well on Thursday night and had a reasonable day on Friday. Basically, it became apparent to me, as well as my parents and friends, that it was about time I learned to... how to put this eloquently... chill the beans.

1)      This was pretty simple. Normally I have all my Christmas presents bought by now, but this year something must have gone terribly wrong and the other day I hadn’t even decided on, let alone bought/made, any presents. I had ideas for a few people, but when it came to Wolf and Phoenix, I was stuck! I hadn’t a clue. Anyway, yesterday I had a little help deciding what to give them, came up with ideas I’m really excited over, and bought what I would need. I just feel like it’s a huge load off my mind, and I can finally look forward to Christmas rather than fretting over it. All things being equal, I’ll post about their presents after the Big Day!

2)      The second thing was something I’d forgotten I was able to do. I made a decision! I recall a few years ago, as I’ve mentioned before, making the decision to not be bullied, making the decision to be happy. And it worked! If you make a choice and believe in it enough, it can come true just like a wish. So I decided to relax and not let everything get to me. And somehow, once I’d made that decision, it was easier. It’s just like picking a door to walk through. The choosing part is agonising, but once you do, no matter which door you’ve chosen, the house you enter will feel safe.

Picture by Erin, aged 15. 

3)      The third thing that relaxed me was called the “Frozen Picnic.” Intrigued? So was I...

Crow and I had something to celebrate this week and it was decided (by SOMEONE) that we’d have a picnic in a local park. So. As you probably know by now, we live in Ireland. As you definitely know by now, it’s December. Most picnics take place in, oh I don’t know, the summer... but I’m nothing if not adaptable...

I arrived at the park slightly before Crow and sat down with my part of the picnic on a bench. I hadn’t been looking forward to sitting out in the cold, but I was shocked at how cosy I felt in my big coat and jumper, and how lovely it was to be there. There were only a handful of people around: some brave soul with two kids on the swings, a woman equally bravely jogging, and someone with two adorable dogs.

The one thing I love about my current phone is the panoramic camera! Look how deliciously empty the park is... 

It was just those people and me alone with my thoughts. I didn’t have many thoughts at that moment: in fact, I’d just bumped into Bambi on the way so I was just thinking how lovely it had been to see her. I concentrated on breathing the fresh, clean air in and out, filling my lungs to the top and emptying them completely, and looking around at how empty the world was. It was the most peaceful I’d felt in weeks.

Then Crow showed up and ruined it.


He’s a very restful sort of person, and I always feel relaxed after spending the day with him. I think we all need a friend like that: someone we can totally relax around, and when things are going wrong the only thing they say is “Hey, don’t worry about it, listen to my impression of a grumpy Irish teenager...” and suddenly you can’t remember what you were so worried about in the first place.

I do have more than one friend like that, when I give them the chance. Wolf always knows how to make me laugh: it’s nice to be sitting in maths, not having a clue what’s going on, and to look around and see her with this expression, too:

Then I have Phoenix who can always tell without me saying anything that I’m about to go mental, and often manages to stop it happening! I’ve got Bambi to spoil me rotten and tell me I’m wonderful, too. And then there are my parents with their little snippets of advice like “There simply must have been one nice thing that happened today. Tell me about that.”

It got me thinking that we should not only surround ourselves by these understanding, relaxing people, but we should also try to be that person. Of course we should talk to people about our lives, but we should also be able to take some time out, spend time with someone and say “Hey, here’s my impression of...” (I don’t know. Personally, I do a mean elephant). It might just give our friends the boost they need.
Anyway, it was the best Saturday I’ve spent in a long time, and at the moment I’m ever so unwound and ever so grateful for my wonderful life.

(Wait till the next time I step in a puddle, though...)

Happy Christmas! Just two weeks to go! xxx

PS. Have begun listening to Jack Johnson while doing maths homework, which is also rather relaxing. However, by the time I was doing an essay on Stalin, Lady Gaga had come on... that was pretty hilarious. 

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