While the children slept and Dave was away for a golf weekend, I read the last pages of The Happiness Project. In the unusual silence, I contemplated the questions posed by Gretchen. I put pen to paper. It's the kind of book that it's difficult not to be inspired by. I adopted Gretchen's mantra and noted, 'Be Christina.' I mused on the things that made me feel happy and which created an atmosphere of growth.
I find that it's easy for motherhood to swallow your identity. But it is something I don't really notice until someone asks me what I've been doing. Each response that springs to mind tends to be what I've been doing with my children - we've been going to the park/ playgoup, we've been making toilet paper robots, Emerson has her six month check up. But me? I feel like appologising. I've only been doing solitary things - knitting, gardening, reading, blogging. But I realised, I shouldn't appologise or try to justify it. I should 'Be Christina.' They are all things that are a source of creativity, growth and community for me. Things that make me happy.
It made me think about what else made me happy. What else I hadn't been indulging in as often since becoming a mother? An entire empty Sunday stretched before me and I decided to make it an ideal Christina day. My first love has always been fine art and I'd been meaning to visit the 'Portrait of Spain' exhibition at the Qld Art Gallery since it opened in July. What better day that this?
I joyfully wandered the gallery, sharing the paintings with Cohen while Emerson slept. I renewed an old tradition by having a cuppa at the cafe, though unlike my uni days, I splurged on lunch as well too. I visited the book store at the State Library and brought a set of three Moleskine cahiers in order to start a garden journal. I also brought myself a print of a painting I'd admired.
The gallery assistant captured this image of us in front of a large photograph of the Prado, so that it looks like we stepped out of Brisbane and into Spain for a moment. And do you know what? I think I look pretty happy.
(We also visited the Gallery of Modern Art and the fabulous sculpture exhibition currently on there. I'll share some of my favourite pieces with you tomorrow.)