THE YEAR THAT'S BEEN
Petra Bagust takes us on a journey of discovery – combining words and images in a celebration of the year that's been.
Speeding towards the end of the year, we all know that ‘Christmas rush’ feeling. There was a point this year when I knew my Christmas rush had begun – it was the day term four began. I am sure it’s never been this busy so early in the year before!
I’m wondering, in the midst of this giant jigsaw puzzle of people, plans and projects that life sometimes feels like – how do we take a moment to sit within the chaos? I’m also wondering – how do other people cope?
Something I’ve begun over the past two years is writing short poems – they are a form of journaling for me – moments where I sit, be still, and pour out a feeling or thought. I know these poems are good for my health.
As you and your family enter this silly summer season of celebration, let me encourage you to take and make moments – allowing yourself to be truly in them. Whether it’s a coffee, magazine, car dance or folding the washing ‘sweetly’ moment – they can really help us recharge and recalibrate.
Moments of creativity can fuel us, and they come in all shapes and sizes – be brave, have hope, seek solace and make some of your own sunshine this summer.
A friend recently told me about discoveries in the study of epigenetics – how our DNA carries memories of the experiences of our ancestors. When we're under pressure, our DNA literally unwinds or frays – but it’s possible to live in a way that protects, and even restores our DNA. So I wrote a poem about it.
When told us she’d be flying solo with her four month old, we jumped at the opportunity to get her story in the mag. If you’re planning on taking an overseas trip with your little one over the holidays, this one’s for you.
When I received an excited call from my best friend Sarah, I knew it. I knew she was going to tell me she was engaged. I had also hoped (since the days of us ‘playing house’ in kindy) that I would be in her bridal party. So you can imagine my delight when she asked me to be her matron of honour.
Sarah is still living in our home town of Buffalo, New York, so being a part of this wedding meant travel. I have made the trip several times over the last six years of living in New Zealand. Very sadly, my last visit was for Sarah’s mother’s memorial service after her short fight with cancer. So I was excited to return for a much happier occasion.
Historically, my only concern about a trip to Buffalo was paying for it. However, this time around I had a new concern (or rather, a new person) to consider – my four-month-old daughter, Madeline. My husband Josh and I are a great team, so at first I wasn’t too worried, but then we realised Josh couldn't take the time off work, and that Maddie and I would be flying solo. The prospect of flying alone with an infant left me more than a little nervous.
When I am stressed I like to research. It’s like worrying, except a bit more productive. So I googled ‘how to travel with an infant’ and found lots of blogs and posts about what to pack, how to save, what to wear etc. I tried as hard as I could to anticipate all the things that could go wrong, but I learned there will always be things that catch you by surprise. It turns out the trick is to expect the unexpected.