5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Thursday, August 3, 2017

DARKNESS AND LIGHT by Michelle Somers

In the Somers household, the month of July has been a month of reflection. Of sadness and joy. Celebration and commiseration.
So much positivity and laughter, so much love, all lurking beneath a dense, dark cloud.
After years of thinking our time would never come, of financial stresses that saw weeks where grocery shopping was a luxury, we bought a house. My husband’s business is booming. My oldest son finally celebrated his Barmitzvah, my youngest gained a black belt in taekwondo. For the first time in many years, after a horrible spout of bullying, my middle son is happy and thriving at school. 

As we celebrated all these wonderful occurrences, clouds closed in. We attended a funeral for one family member whilst being told there’d be another not too far down the track.

How to feel?
Life is such an emotional rollercoaster. Such wonderful highs. But when the lows come, they slash the wind from your sails and roil the deep, dark waters into turmoil. 
I have a tendency to ride those waters, the ones that drag you down. I wouldn’t dare to label these emotions. Depression, some might say. Who knows? I only know the darkness. Yet over the past few years, I’ve taught myself to see the light.
I don’t want to focus on the doom and gloom here. Life will always throw us curveballs. There’ll always be sadness and loss and a time when we must say goodbye to the ones we love. Yet, there’ll always be time to make every day, every moment count. To gather up the experiences, the memories, the little things that will cast a light on our darkest moments.
I count myself lucky. I have an incredible husband, three incredible boys, and an extended family that for the most part is warm and open and loving. I have friends who know I am there for them, as I know they are there for me.

Every day I build memories, and am grateful that I was able to do so. I hug my kids, sometimes a little tighter than they’d like. I kiss my husband and tell him I appreciate him. I text or call a friend, see how they’re going. Speak to my mum every day. Thank the universe for being alive.

I’m also thankful I have an outlet for these emotions – my writing.
Writing has been my savior and my solace. In times when emotions have threatened to get the better of me, I’ve poured my soul onto the page. When anger or frustration hit, I’ve written the anger and frustration onto paper, ripped it to shreds and tossed it into the trash. And with that action, I mentally toss the darkness that would otherwise follow.
It doesn’t always work, but there are times it does.
It doesn’t stop the darkness from lurking, or people being stripped from my life. I still feel a deep sadness, a helplessness, knowing what is waiting around the corner and knowing there’s not a thing I can do to stop it.

The temptation is to say ‘what a waste’. Yet if we live life to the fullest, make the most of the days we have, are they really a waste? And are we doing ourselves and others an injustice to think this way?

It’s really for the individual to decide. Me? I want to make every day count. For most of us, we don’t know when our last day will be, but it’s so important not to let that last day sneak up and leave us with regrets. I don’t want regrets. Or missed opportunities. I want to make the most of people and opportunities while they are here, and celebrate them and what we shared when they are gone. I want to make a life worth living, and not squander or take for granted what can be snatched so easily from me in the blink of an eye.

So, what’s the message behind this month’s blog?

Life is short. Life is special. Life should never be taken for granted.
Make the most of your time on earth, and make the most of time with the ones you love. Hug those who are dear to you a little bit harder. Don’t let ‘busy’ get in the way of living and making memories.
Don’t let the sun set on your anger. And don’t let life’s opportunities pass you by.
Don’t waste a single day, and live each one as if it was your last.
I hope your July was a good one, and that August brings you nothing but special memories and sunshine. If you’ve had some good, some joys and laughter and triumphs, I’d love to hear them. Please share J
Thanks for stopping by, and once again, thanks for your love and support. I look forward to connecting with you again next month.
I’d like to share one more high from the month of July. My website is finally up and running and beautiful, thanks to my gorgeous web designer, Lana Pecherczyk. If you have time, click here, pop on over and take a look. I’d love to know what you think J

Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she's a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she'll put them through one hell of a journey to get there.

Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making. And Emmie, her furry black feline who thinks she’s a dog. Her debut novel, Lethal in Love won the Romance Writers of Australia's 2016 Romantic Book of the Year (RuBY) and the 2013 Valerie Parv Award.
Her second novel, Murder Most Unusual is available in ebook and paperback now. And the first in her Simply Writing Series - Simply Synopsis - is out on 8 August 2017.


Sarah Raplee said...

Congratulations on buying your home! Also on the fabulous website! It's attractive, informative, showcases your work well, made me want to explore. Kudos!

Thank you for this thoughtful post. Although we've had many difficulties, like you I focus on the positives. My mother and I both had health problems that came under control in July, my daughter survived a car crash that could easily have killed her - unharmed, and family and friends came together to help and support one another in a variety of situations. I am feeling positive about the future, whatever it brings. When I look back at all we've been through in the past, how we've learned and grown, I look forward to the future with hope and expectation.

Diana McCollum said...

Insightful and good blog, I enjoyed reading it. My sister, Sarah Raplee, and I have a saying. "This to shall pass." When I'm down or feeling low I try to remember that saying. Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But unless the tunnel has collapsed, there is an end and there is light. Love your new website! Very easy to get around and I like the color scheme.

Michelle Somers said...

Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry you and your family have had such a rough time. It's never easy when not one, but a whole succession of difficulties fall into our path. I'm glad you've all come out the other side well and so positive.
May the remainder of the year be good and kind to you.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my website. I'm so thrilled it's finally gone live!

All the best for the coming month, and thanks so much for stopping by.

Michelle xxx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Diana

It's so hard when we are entrenched in all that is going on. So hard to see that light, however bright, at the end of the tunnel. I’m so glad you could see it, and you’ve come out the other side.

May the remainder of 2017 bring you only goodness.

I'm so glad you liked my website. I have to admit to being more than a little in love with it!

Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting.

Michelle xxx

Savannah Blaize said...

A very heartfelt and pertinent post Michelle. In Winter, when it is cold and gloomy, we tend to stay indoors, stay away from social gatherings and bury deep under the doona in an endeavor to stay warm. It is also a time where a lot of people are lonely and alone. I agree we need to reach out to those we love, to friends and like minded people. Keep in touch with elderly friends who are often snatched away too soon. We need to appreciate the quality of life we have in Australia, and enjoy our hobbies and pastimes that draw us together. Like you, writing and the writing community are like a second large family, and one I treasure.

craneclaire said...

Thank you for definitely is ups and downs, sometimes those downs seem never-ending and at times I've not ridden that wave as well as I'd have liked. At the moment I'm afloat. I love your message, live life to the full, I do try and I'm hoping to continue pushing boundaries and taking chances. Xxx I hope August is a good month for you and your family

Barbara Strickland said...

Great post Michelle, lovely really.

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Savannah

You are so right - the winter months tend to steal the warmth from our lives and it is so easy to feel the cold and to feel alone. When tragedy strikes, it's so much harder to fight against the sadness when we are already down.
I'm glad you have your writing. It can be a great comfort, as well as a great distraction.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Michelle xxx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Claire

Thank you so much for your kind message. I hope, too, that your August brings you happiness.

Ups and downs are such an integral part of life, it can feel at times that we are in constant battle with those waves. I'm so glad you are afloat right now. May you continue as the year progresses, always with rainbows and never with rain.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story.

Michelle xxx

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Barbara

Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post.
Wishing you a wonderful, happy and healthy August.

Michelle xxx

Maggie Lynch said...

Great post! Congratulations on getting your first home. It sounds like it has been a long time coming. I love that you have found a way to walk through darkness and can dwell in the light on the other side instead of fear darkness may again be around the corner.

I've always believed that without the dreadful darkness we would not rejoice in the light. If every day was easy, it would become monotonous and boring. We would not have appreciation because there would be no contrast. It is in a diversity of experience that we learn and feel more deeply and grow in wisdom.

I have been fortunate in that my network of family and friends always brings peace and blessings to smooth the passing of dark times and they rejoice with me when the light appears. It sounds like you have found that same network. May this time of happiness be a place you can dwell for a long time.

Michelle Somers said...

Thanks so much, Maggie.

Yes, you are so right. It's only by contrast that we are able to fully appreciate the good times. It doesn't make the bad times easier to accept, but they can be easier to bear. There is always light, even if at times it seems so very far away.

I'm glad you have such a great network of friends and family. May they always bring you peace and blessings ❤️

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. May this month be a great one.

Michelle xxx

Judith Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing your real life with those of us in your writing life, Michelle. I recently listened to a motivational speaker who suggested when we give ourselves three days to see if our perception of the situation changes. I recently had a very bad day, reminded myself of that and lo and behold - in three days when I looked back on the incident, it wasn't as awful as I'd thought.

"I can and will be kind and gentle to all, including me." is a saying I repeat to myself every morning along with a few others that inspire me to stay focused on what I can do to be a positive influence in my world.

Sending love and light to you and your family. Congratulations on the new house and the new website along with new books!!! You are on a roll!

Michelle Somers said...

Hi Judith

Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I love the idea of waiting 3 days - time is great for putting perspective on situations.

I love starting the day with a mantra also - Mine is 'I am thankful and grateful for all that I have and all that I will have'.

Thank you for your kind wishes and thoughts. I hope the upcoming month is both good and kind to you.

Michelle xxx