It’s been a tough week for a lot of Western Australians. There are a lot of people who have lost a lot over the past few days, with devastating bushfires threatening several small towns in the south west, sadly wiping out the historical town of Yarloop and taking the lives of two elderly community members. I just don’t think I could write this week’s happy list without acknowledging it. While we were always out of the danger zone, it was our neighbouring communities who felt the brunt of the fire front. It was close enough to scare my parents and it affected people and places that we know well. I often think of these people/places as our extended community. I went to school with kids from those communities. It feels like everyone from my home town knows someone from there. It was impossible to ignore – especially with the spectacular and confronting glowing smoke cloud that loomed over the area – a visual reminder that we are not likely to forget easily. A lot of people (even those not directly affected) have spent the past few days running on pure adrenaline, checking for updates constantly and combined with the searing heat and thunderstorms – causing more lightning fires in the state – not a lot of sleep was had.
Before I start my happy list I just want to say that my heart goes out to all those who face the task of rebuilding, of those who lost loved ones. I cannot imagine what these people will face in months and even years to come and I hope they will be OK. I know the surrounding communities are already rallying to offer support (click the link to see how you may be able to help). Let’s not forget these people once the adrenaline and urgency wears off.
While writing a happy list feels a bit trivial right now, I do believe in finding those small pleasures and I hope that through the tough times, those affected can find little things that keep them going.
Here’s my list…
Seeing the helpers during tough times
I’m sure a lot of you have seen this quote countless times on social media. It just resonates whenever something scary happens. And I saw a lot of helpers this past week. I got quite emotional every time I saw a fire truck headed in the direction of the fires. I just wanted to reach out and hug every person who bravely fought the blaze. Not just career fire fighters, but volunteers and all of the people who stayed back in dangerous conditions to save their homes (some sending their own families away to safety – can you imagine???) and the homes and businesses of their neighbours.
People offered up their homes and places of business to displaced people and their animals. The list goes on. Not to mention the outpouring of generosity of those wanting to offer food, drinks, other useful items to those who were stuck in evacuation centres or who were fighting the fires.
Numerous people donated their time and money/services to organise amazing fundraising events.
Gosh, people really are good.
Swimming in my parents’ pool on a 40 + degree (Celsius) day
Oh the heat got crazy! While we are blessed with air conditioning units throughout our house, we knew it was a hot one when they stopped being efficient and the air coming out of them no longer felt cool. At one point I thought the air con in our living area was broken, it was so hot! On Thursday afternoon, I cracked and called my mum – it was time to hit the pool! Even our slightly woolly, black dog came for a swim – she had been taking the heat the hardest. Mr Unprepared even stopped by on his way home from work (usually nothing can stop him from getting home and watching the cricket – he’s a tragic). The Little Mister had a ball and it was so nice to cool down. Considering what was happening at the time, I felt very lucky to not be out in the fire affected areas. I did not take it for granted. It was a little relief – especially before a very scary night ahead for some people we know and care about.
I have really been relishing in the ability to collapse into bed nice and early when there’s nothing good on TV. It’s so great to snuggle up with Mr Unprepared and watch Netflix by the light of my iPad (totes romantic)! I don’t think I’ve gotten through an entire episode of Narcos yet, before falling asleep (despite liking the show a lot). I blame it on the effort involved in reading the subtitles. Yes, I know how embarrassing that is to admit haha. Still, it’s been good. Those who have ever stayed up way too long, because their brain won’t switch off, will relate to the joy of collapsing into a content sleep without having to try.
Time in the kitchen
Late last year (so not that long ago haha) I’d been lamenting the fact that taking time to cook or bake seemed like an impossibility. I hate when cooking is reduced to a mad rush to make something blah because my family expects to eat every day. How inconvenient! Since the silly season has ended and the Little Mister has been having a break from day care (before he starts kindy next month – hold me!), I’ve found time to enjoy creating new meals and trying out new recipes. I just find it so therapeutic and calming (when I have the time to actually enjoy it). Yay!
The satisfaction of organising all my Pinterest boards
I find that Mr Unprepared’s preoccupation with the cricket (while frickin’ annoying at times) is a good time for me to get some selfish, time consuming stuff done without feeling like I’m sacrificing couple time. Like I spent one evening re-organising all of my pins on Pinterest. I was sick of not being able to find my pinned recipes easily. So I fixed it and I was so happy. I had virtually decluttered. It was so satisfying. It’s fun being able to do those silly little things that you never get around to because they’re not that important.
And yes, I am aware of how sad that makes me look, but this is a HAPPY list. Haha.
As you can probably tell from the items on my list, I spent a lot of time at home in the past week (often using the heat as an excuse). It was much needed time to slow down and be more present with the Little Mister. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but while I was glad for some time out, I think I was actually missing him more than I thought while he was at day care during 2015! Let’s see how I feel a few months into this year haha.
What would you put on your happy list this week?