This always happens. I get more excited about Christmas in late November than I do when the real thing is almost upon us. Somehow this year there is a sense of unreality which I can only attribute to the current calmness of my life. I am not in a rush. I have time. I do not have to balance working and homemaking. I have lists where I can actually tick off actions, one by one, in a normal, sane manner. This is indeed new territory for me. I like it.
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I finally watched the film 'Black Swan'. It's a great film, I can entirely see why Natalie Portman won the Oscar. But what has stayed with me as well, a little like an unwelcome guest, is a fascination with how her body looked. How thin she was. How all ballerinas have that grace, that look, which is almost prepubescent. I found myself wondering what it would be like to be that thin again, as I once was, aged about 15. Now of course I am a healthy, fit weight and after my children I have curves in places there never used to be curves. Thanks to a lot of training in recent months, I am now fitter than I have ever been; but conversely I weigh more. Gone though, is that waif-like quality of youth. A dancer's body...is it wrong to silently covet such an unobtainable thing?
And so this week continues, children counting down, while I try to keep a grasp on the real meaning of the season. My answer to everything: walking in the great outdoors. Now, with the addition of the puppy, walking is an everyday pursuit that I inflict on my family.
At the weekend, I woke early and my son and I did rounds of the fields behind our house before the sun had come up. It was an icy morning, crisp and fresh and oh-so-bracing. At times like those, I am so grateful for my impetuous decision to get a dog. Without him, we would not be charging round fields before sunrise on any given Saturday morning. Maybe when I made the choice to get him, I knew somewhere deep inside that we needed him. We needed something him our little family.
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