Grateful for My Life Lines

While not exactly over the hill yet, I am 32 years old, and gradually more and more lines on my face appear.

It may sound weird to some, but I actually like them, I call them my “life lines”, a sign of having lived life, having cried, laughed, stressed, rejoiced, having just experienced emotions.

As a child I wanted so desperately to have dimples in my cheeks, it is one of those things that friends who were lucky enough to have them, wished that they didn’t.

I would be found standing still, concentrating as I poked the tips of both index fingers into the sides of my cheeks, hoping that if I did that often enough and long enough, I would eventually get myself a set of my very own dimples.

As you can imagine, it did not work!

Now in a weird sort of way, my smile lines look a little like those dimples I envied for years, sure you can tell they are NOT dimples, but I like them all the same.

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Only recently, my daughter Kiara asked me why I had lines around the corners of my eyes.

Some may call these “crows feet”, but I shall call them ” laugh lines”.

I told Kiara this, and she said she thought I was pretty lucky.

I asked why.

Her answer was simple.

“You must have laughed and smiled many times in your life to get those lines, I cannot wait until I have smiled enough to earn some lines for it!”

And you know what?

She is right!

As a  young teen, I participated in a makeup and deportment course. The teacher told me one day that I really needed to work on the emotions I showed on my face, she said that I moved my forehead up so much that the lines would become permanent over time.

I was worried about this, and tried so hard to keep my face still, and free from lines, but really that was never meant to happen.

Those who know me, know that I am a little loud, and prone to making funny faces.

I make jokes a lot, especially when I am the subject, and you really cannot do that with a smooth forehead!

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The lines are slowly becoming permanent there, but I really don’t mind.

They remind me of all the fun times.

I feel blessed to have some lines to show I have lived.

My sister died at 22, never getting the chance to see these small wrinkles appear on her face.

She never got the chance to grow old.

She was never given the chance to earn her lines.

I am not old, I know that, and I know that my wrinkles and lines will only grow more as the years dwindle on and my age ticks by.

You will never find me in the queue for Botox.

I like that you look at my face and you know I have lived.

Too many people are not given that privilege, and I am grateful for my small blessing.

BRINGING BACK THE PROJECT!

Hi All!

I feel as though I know so many of you, even though I have only met some of you.

On this page you have allowed me an outlet to share the moments of my life, big and small.

I started the page as “Alicia’s 365 Moments of Gratitude Project” when I embarked on taking a photograph a day of something in which I was thankful for.

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The project was fun, and as someone who does not always finish what I start, I felt it was a huge accomplishment for me.

I spent hours printing out each photograph and the story behind it to put in my own folder to keep.

It has been a while since I have looked back on the project, but I feel happy to know that it is there, a permanent reminder of a wonderful 365 days of my life.

The photos ended up filling two Facebook albums, which can be viewed here and here, feel free to browse when you have some time.

It has been over a  year since the project was completed, and it has been a huge year at that.

I attempted to change the name of my Facebook page  to just “Alicia’s Little Moments” (like this blog), but was unable to.

So the gratitude reminder lived on.

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Lately I have received some beautiful messages from lovely people commenting on how much they enjoyed the project, on reading the stories that went with the photos I was grateful for.

I feel so happy reading these messages, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

You see, it has been a very tough year since that project ended, and it was always so nice to look back in my darkest days and remind myself of all the beautiful things in life.

I have continued to be grateful, in fact on being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, my doctor recommended I keep a diary of things that make me happy, so in healing I kind of continued my own project privately.

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I am ready to come back, though in being honest, I really do not have the personal time any more to take and edit photos every day, with a new business, time is very short at the moment.

So I have a request.

Lets bring back the project, but I need you to help me please.

Last time I invited readers to submit their photos and stories, which you did, but this time I need to share the job more so.

If you have a photo or a story of something you are grateful for, this is an open invitation to share it on my Facebook page . For this to work I need you to join in with me please.

It does not have to be every day,  just post something when the feeling arises, when you feel grateful for something, big and small.

You see, you all will never know how much your support and comments helped me over the years, now lets look at the beautiful things in live together.

The project is back, but this time it is not “Alicia’s project”, it is “Everyone’s project”

I look forward to sharing it with you!

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xoxox

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained

“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”, 4 words that I have been heard saying many times lately.

Jamie and I recently purchased our very own business, we became franchisees with a Mobile Coffee Van franchise.

Anyone who thinks it is easy to work towards your dreams are wrong.

It has been a lot of hard work, many hours filling in documents with the bank, conversing with  suppliers, setting up the van, getting our selves organised  and don’t get me even started on getting my head around the book work!

I am a self confessed over thinker, and the thoughts of what could go wrong by purchasing a business could very easily snowball if I let them, so this time I decided once we had done our research to not over think, for once, to just dive in, that was the first of many times that I was heard uttering the words ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

As anyone setting up a business would know, it’s hard work, stressful and draining at times, but it is worth it.

One of the main reasons behind our choice to do our own thing, was the opportunity for more family time together. At the age of 4, Noah cannot remember a time which we had regular weekends together as a family.

With Jamie working every weekend, and Kiara in grade 1, she only got to spend time with her Daddy on school holidays.

Jamie was overworked and stressed to the max, and I just craved some time, any time together.

Kiara cried happy tears when we told her that she would get to spend weekends with Daddy at last, in fact even now, over  a month into our new life, squeals of delight can still be heard around the house on a Saturday morning when the kids realize that Daddy will be home for yet another weekend!

I wont deny that it is tough, that we have found a whole new definition to the meaning of ‘exhaustion’, but at last it is happy exhaustion, the knowledge that slowly, our hard work is going to pay off.

We have met some lovely customers, and I am more then happy to go to work with the knowledge that excellent coffee is on tap.

I love the vibe of happiness and excitement that greets us when we arrive at a workplace, ready to provide people with much needed refreshments and a chat.

I love witnessing friends shouting a mate a coffee.

I love working with my husband , although in the interest in being honest, we have had a few little tiffs already.

I love that we are both finished in time to pick the kids up together, and that one of us is not walking in at dinner time.

Original plans were for me to continue at my second job to assist with bills, but that unfortunately did not work out.

Many nights are spent doing things for the business when the kids have gone to bed, but that is to be expected.

It’s been lots of hard work, some have already told us we wont be successful, they just give us more fire in our belly’s  to prove them wrong.

The house is trashed, the washing pile grows, we fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day and right now we owe the bank ore money then we ever had in our lives, but you know what?

We are happy.

We are loving having so much more time together as a family,

We love that we are growing our own little business,

That we hope to watch our hard work pay off, both at home and at work.

We  continue to chant the words

“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”