Saturday night was really special for my family. We celebrated my nonna’s 75th birthday. She was actually glowing all night. So happy to be surrounded by her loving family. Over the last few months everyone in the family have faced some challenges, but when we were all there together it was as if those things were put aside for a moment.
When I was younger my family moved around a bit. At one point we found ourselves living at nonna’s in a house with nine people. It was my family, my nonna and nonno and two of my uncles. I won’t lie, it was a challenge living all together with one bathroom. But the beauty of it was that we got to be surrounded by family all the time. Now as we have all grown up we don’t get to be together as often so occasions like nonna’s birthday on the weekend are particularly special.
My zio came down from Queensland for the weekend and my boyfriend drove back from a boy’s weekend to spend the night with my family before driving back later that night. To me these gestures are a representation on the value of family. it felt so wonderful sitting all together out for dinner and then watching the fire shooting up into the sky outside of Crown. It is those kinds of moments that just make me stop and reflect on what is truly important. Family is and always will be at the centre of my life. It is a blessing to be surrounded by so many loved ones. To be able to talk, laugh and share stories together is something I never want to take for granted.
Yesterday morning I woke up so early for some reason so I decided to watch a movie in bed for a bit. When I got out of bed at about 8:30am I made some breaky and started preparing for exam number three. I stared typing and I honestly couldn’t get settled at all. I was ravenous in my seat and just could not concentrate for more than 30 seconds without completely zoning out. I made a decision in that moment that the day was going to be for me and my family, study can wait.
I got out of my room, had a shower and got into my comfy gym clothes. I cleaned my room and then set out for long walk. The podcast I was listening to was actually hilarious, people around me must have thought I was absolutely insane. When I got back I did something that I haven’t done in ages, read a book. There is something about the simplicity of sitting down with a cup of coffee on the couch and reading. The next hour passed by so quickly.
In the afternoon I went back to nonna’s and spent time with my zio chatting before he was leaving to go back to Queensland (while the chaos of cleaning out nonna’s garage happened around us). I came home and just spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen, my truly happy place, and just relaxed. I know that I could have definitely got a jump start on some work for the week but honestly I just didn’t feel like it.
I feel like this semester has definitely been one that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Five subjects, a new job and moving house… it has definitely been one for the ages! At the same time, I have really come to understand just how important it is to rest. I knew from the beginning that I was taking on a lot but I was determined to do it. I took it a day at a time and it worked for the first few weeks. But as the pressure I put on myself began to mount I knew things were getting slightly out of hand.
The last few weeks I have been so ridiculously overwhelmed with a type of stress I have never experienced before. I felt like my heart was constantly racing and that no matter how many to-do lists I wrote they weren’t going to be completed. I was watching biology lectures in my ‘break’ times and literally dreaming about the content I was studying. I have officially one more week of studying (cramming) for one final exam and that will be it. I know I have a lot of work to do this week but I definitely don’t want to drive myself into the ground.
Bruno has always encouraged me to do my best but he always emphasises the importance of taking a break. The other night when I was stressing out about an exam I had the following day he reminded me to go to bed early and wake up a little bit later to make sure I had enough rest. I’d be lying if I said I welcomed the idea straight away but I am so glad that I did. I woke up with energy and was able to think clearly in my exam. This week I am going to carry that advice with me. I have spent so long pushing myself that maybe it is time to relax a bit. At the end of the day it is only one more exam, I am going to study hard and do my best and that is all I can ask of myself.
As I sit here writing this article I just can’t help but take a moment to breathe a great sign of relief. Having a weekend to give some time to myself and to my family reminded me of what is important. I love my work and my study but they aren’t everything. It can be so easy for me to become consumed in the day to day and lose sight of what is really important, family.
“Family is not an important thing. It's everything.” – Michael J. Fox.