All the lonely people

It’s a bit sombre but Christmas can be the happiest time of the year if you’re close to your family and the saddest time of the year if you’re not. There are increasing numbers of people living on their own but that doesn’t necessarily mean they feel lonely. I remember reading Stephanie Dowrick’s book Intimacy & Solitude many years ago now and it was particularly ground breaking for me regarding my own views on relationships. If you do know someone on their own – it’s good to reach out to see if they’d like some company not just at Christmas-time but on a regular basis.

If you’re lucky enough to have a partner, a family, close friends or a job to anchor you (even with all their faults!) – connection to people and place shouldn’t be underestimated as much as we all complain sometimes. Engagement with local community and the people around us is the very fabric of life and gives us meaning. When you don’t have those things, it’s very difficult to feel like you belong anywhere. It’s important to be able to love and heal yourself and know that we are responsible for our own happiness – it doesn’t lay ‘out there’ somewhere but is within each of us to find our own centre. If we can’t love ourselves first, then how can we expect anyone else to? It’s important to recognise your own worth as an individual but sometimes it takes a number of years and experiences to realise. You’re lucky if that’s been intrinsic for you but for many of us, it takes time to develop such insights into our own behaviour. We can be our own hero in life.

I’ve taken leave early from work this year and have needed time out. It’s been a big year of change for me and the pace has been unrelenting personally and professionally – I need some time out to re-group and I think more progressive workplaces realise this and work cultures are changing including my own. There will be an update to working flexibly in the new year and I know some employers have instituted a ‘work from anywhere’ policy to take advantage of the global workforce in a time of labour shortages and others a ‘work to your own circumstances’ approach. Mental health is also paramount and it’s great to see wellbeing and culture being prioritised as well as zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour – something to keep in mind if attending Christmas parties. The times have definitely changed and it’s a good thing.

I try to be more mindful about present buying and it’s been good to see the rise of B Corporations and partnerships such as that between secondhand retailer Vestaire Collective and courier company Sendle – there is so much focus on instant gratification but if your goods aren’t urgent then slow delivery is much more sustainable and kinder to the planet. I have stopped to smell the roses and if you look around – there are so many butterflies in the air at the moment. I spent one memorable Christmas with my sisters many years ago in the butterfly house at the Melbourne Zoo, which is open on Christmas day. Between noticing the bees and the butterflies, hearing the cicadas sing as well as discovering a ladybird beetle (or ladybug) yesterday while gardening, I hope it’s a sign of good things to come and that summer has truly arrived.

While it’s a cheap and cheerful Christmas for me this year, if I ever have the money to splurge then this is designer handbag of my dreams – not Chanel or Dior but Loewe’s 70s-inspired Flamenco clutch (first image above) along with these Tiffany silver Open Heart hoop earrings (second image above) by Italian designer and 70s icon Elsa Peretti. I can only dream of visiting Spain and New York to buy them in person.

Mr Rosanna and I are starting to feel a bit more at home in Ivanhoe, which includes trying local takeaway cafes. We got very authentic and delicious thin crust pizzas from newly opened Little Naples Pizzeria on Friday night, which were delicious and I’ll be telling all my Italian friends as they were the real deal – the complimentary cannoli were also appreciated! Next on our list is Syrian restaurant Dama Rose, to which I’ll look forward to dining.

Finally, while New Year’s Eve can sometimes be an anti-climax, if I was free I’d be going to PBS FM’s Soul-A-Go-Go NYE Spectacular at the Brunswick Ballroom. Speaking of soul, keep an eye out for Banyule Council’s exciting Twilight Sounds 2023 lineup at Heidelberg Park Oval, which includes Mayfield, The Meltdown, Benny Walker, Mahalia Barnes and PBS DJ MzRizk – you’ll definitely see me and Mr R there. Stay safe this week if you’re amongst crowds, no-one wants a COVID Christmas!

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Author: missrosannablog

I'm a marketer, writer, blogger and creative type interested in all things arts and culture in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia ranging from inner city to outer suburbia and beyond.

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