Curating Memories: Auras and Intentions
On Christmas Eve, I received an email from a friend who had gone down to New York’s Chinatown with her daughters to get their auras read for the New Year. She wrote, “Mine was all purple and sapphire and pointed to a quiet period in the coming week for reflection and restoration of energy.” Far be it for me to appropriate her aura but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.
By the time our Christmas holiday is over, the four of us will have spent a total of 16 days together — 5 of them in New York and 11 of them in our house on the Connecticut shoreline. While our friends and relatives spend family time in exotic locations where they partake in sun, sea or snow activities, we retreat and hibernate like bears in a house that was built for summer — cold toilet seats and all.
Our short days are simple. Thanks to the freezing ambient temperatures, we sleep well for many hours. We start our days with freshly squeezed green juice and end them with No. 2 Son’s various mixology concoctions. Exercise — anything from walking along the beach, throwing a football (American) on the front lawn, rollerblading, playing paddle tennis, working out in our makeshift gym in the garage, and in my case practicing yoga — takes place daily. And in between, we sit by the fire, reading, catching up on boxed sets or playing games.
In the last four days, we have left the house on a needs only basis, relishing the quiet and peace we carve out at the end of the year in this place that is 3,500 miles away from home. Raised and schooled in the UK, our sons feel and are for the most part British. It was important though for my husband and me to provide them with a US base, which is what this house has become — their man cave, I suppose, where we can reflect and restore before going forth again.
And as the adult world is imminent for them both— No. 1 Son turned twenty-one on Boxing Day —who knows how many of these holidays we have remaining where it’s just the four of us in our own little world?
Tonight, we are going to a neighbour’s house to see in the New Year with friends. Tomorrow we drive across the state to go and spend a few days with my sister and her family before flying back to London early next week where we all have activities and projects to look forward to in 2016. I can’t help but notice though that as we welcome the world back into our lives, our family time slowly erodes away.
In yoga today, the teacher asked us to reflect on our intention to stay present for the remainder of 2015. And to keep myself from racing ahead into the New Year, I stay present by being thankful for so much:
• Permanently Jet-Lagged Husband, who is the “sriracha to my everything”, despite his grumpiness and large periods of absence.
• No. 1 and No. 2 sons who can frustrate me to no end at times and make me so proud at others.
• My loving mother and for the time I have been able to spend with her this year.
• My two brothers and sister — none of us live on the same continent and I was able to see them all and their families, adored nieces and nephews included, for extended periods of time this year.
• Friends — from those old enough who feel like family to new ones who have shown me that it can be possible to always make more.
• All the welcoming communities we have built-up wherever we have landed on both sides of the Atlantic, digital ones included.
• The support and positive feedback on My Contents Have Shifted that I have received from readers, friends and family. So much so that I am in the process of starting a new venture in the New Year — watch this space.
Wishing you all a rewarding and healthy 2016. All the best, Xtine.
Visit and tour the man cave here.
N.B.: This post first appeared on My Contents Have Shifted on 1 January 2016.