Santosa – The End of 2015
Christmas has come and gone, and again I am sitting at my dining table (my favourite place to be of late) listening to some good music. It is January 1st, 2016. New Years Eve celebrations are just settling down, and I’m thinking about how lucky I am.
In my pilates class a few days ago, the instructor mentioned the word ‘Santosa’ and told us that it means to be grateful for what we have and where we are in life, and to feel a sense of calm and peace in your body right here, right now. It got me thinking about where I am in my life at the moment.
The idea of ‘santosa’ really struck a chord with me. I feel so content with my life and what I have – I know there are things out there that I want but I don’t have right now, but I also know that there is nothing more that I NEED than exactly what I’ve got.
I have an amazing family, am married to the love of my life, have two fur-children with whom I am completely besotted, and some fantastic plans for the future.
Now, I won’t make this post about what I hope 2016 will bring (I’ll save that for next week!), instead I thought I’d list just a bit about how great the trifecta of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day 2015 were, and some reasons as to just why I am feeling so lucky. These three days in particular really embodied what has made this year so great, and why I’m loving life.
Reason #1: Christmas Eve – Our family is bigger now than ever before.
My sister-in-law and her husband invited us for the first time to his family’s version of Christmas – Danish Christmas. Held on Christmas Eve, we got together at their house with her husbands family and enjoyed a smorgasbord (actually a Swedish, not Danish word!) of Danish delights, such as Brunede Kartofle (Danish Sugar Browned Potatoes), Rødkål (red cabbage) and Risalamande (Danish rice with cream and almonds). These were just a few of the amazing things we ate and drank on the 24th. The fact that we could spend a night with Tom’s family and it feel like home was a testament to how lucky we are that Cass’s new relatives have seamlessly slotted into our own. Unfortunately in the pre-Christmas rush I forgot to bring my SD card along with my camera, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say how amazing the decorations and food looked!
Reason #2: Christmas day – with our own families – together.
Now I have been told quite a few times over the past few weeks how unusual it is that both my parents and Ryan’s parents get along so well. To me, it has never been any other way – my family and Ryan’s family knew each other before we even met, so it’s no surprise that they have seamlessly melded from two separate entities to one big family unit. Our parents celebrate each other’s birthdays, our mothers catch up for movies and coffee dates together, and we spend Christmas day together. We even take it in turns – last year I hosted, this year was Cheryl, and next year will be my mum. This is the first year that Cass couldn’t join us (but I think at 7 and a half months pregnant you’ll have to forgive her!). It is so nice to not have to rush to fit in two separate Christmas events in the one day, or worse – risk upsetting someone by choosing a different house to go to.
Like the past few years, we were joined by Ryan’s grandparents and Uncle Brett, both of whom get along very well with my parents – yet another thing that makes life a lot easier!
Reason #3: Boxing Day and the days thereafter – Friends
The past few years we have visited Alicia and Nick (one of Ryan’s coaches from football) at their house for Boxing Day. They host a BBQ and poker day, and it’s always something to look forward to. I didn’t know Nick, Alicia or any of their friends very well a few years ago, and so I went to the first BBQ feeling pretty much like a fish out of water. I can now see how many new friendships I’ve made in the past few years because of how much I was looking forward to it this year. It’s nice to catch up with everyone even if it’s only once a year, and I look forward to the tradition continuing.
The past few days we have also celebrated a couple of friends’ birthdays and had a visit from some dear interstate loved ones. While I didn’t get to catch up with all of my friends this Christmas, I realise it’s because I have so many friends that it’s impossible to catch up with them all in such a short period, and for that I am grateful.
Santosa is not just about being content, it is about realising that the world isn’t and will never be perfect, and accepting that. It is a peace that comes with accepting life with all it’s challenges, and being happy that what we have, rather than unhappy with what we don’t have.
So as I’m ending 2015, I don’t have regrets about the year. Everything happened for a reason, and I’m thankful that I get the opportunity to make the most of my life all over again in 2016.