Word of the Year 2023

Greetings and Happy New Year my beloveds! Did you even notice I took a little sabbatical over the holidays? No worries… here I am back in your inbox for another week and another brand new year!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that I no longer subscribe to resolutions or goals at the beginning of new calendars, but have adopted the practice of picking a #wordoftheyear. You are welcome to check past posts or my Pinterest board dedicated to such endeavours. Here are some links:

And so the time has rolled around once more for a new word to embody my feelings and actions for 2023. Are you ready for the reveal?! Here it is:

REFRESH

Perhaps many of you are feeling it this year as well. Refresh. Not “freshen” or “fresh” but “Refresh” as in — again. Here’s the definition I found in Oxford’s dictionary:

re·fresh

/rəˈfreSH/

verb

  1. give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate.” the shower had refreshed her”

Sigh. That’s where I am feelin’ this year is going to go. It’s the kind of revamp your computer and “refresh” your screen kinda thing. When you have too many tabs open and everything is slow and sluggish. Covid has done a big number on so many of us and I’m feeling we all need to hit the refresh button!

It’s like you’ve been working hard in the hot sun and you finally sit down for a second or two to cool off with a fresh lemonade… but it’s not always sweet. Sometimes you need a little spike to quench the heat. It’s the same in life. You need a cool-off that clears the palate without adding the fillers or sugar coating. A little shock value to reset and refocus. It’s only then that we can carry on with the hard work. It’s what I am manifesting this year. A refresh.

It’s shaping up to be a full year for the Mitton crew and some big changes are coming down the pipes: two of us have milestone birthdays, I am so going to dye my hair, and the kids are getting older and flexing their wings ready to fly from the nest. Will the hubby and I survive? Are we ready for the next stages? Will he like my hair? Refresh.

The Bible refers to this state of “refreshing” after an extended period of lamenting. The time of sitting in ashes and fasting is followed by a time of “getting up, washing, eating a good meal, dressing in clean garments” and moving on with life! That’s what I wish this year to be. There is a time for lamenting and feeling sad… reflection even. Then, there is a time to scrub yourself clean from the past and go out into the world ready to face the next step! Refreshed.

“REFRESH” photo by: Tadeusz-Lacota (Unsplash)

Are you with me? Will mittonmusings change? Maybe. Will life change? Certainly. It usually does — whether we want it to or not. I’m ready for the Refresh this year! Join me to see how it all pans out!

A Day of Mourning

Grief is personal. Death is universal. So far, no one has been able to escape death. During this week of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, it has been interesting to see the reactions, of literally, the world. Those who chose to use her death as an opportunity to push political statements against the monarchy and authoritative rule. Those who are simply curious and want to be a part of history. A chance to say “I was there when”. And those who mourn her for who she is to them. A Queen. A picture of longevity. A symbol of something more. Then there are those who mourn her personally. Her staff. Her children. Her grandchildren. Can you imagine being one of the privileged few who served Her Majesty her morning breakfast? Who knew how she liked her tea and her favourite dessert? Or if she took her teeth out at night. I wanna talk to the guy who watched her skin a deer or throw her goloshes by the castle hearth to dry up after mucking out her horse. Did the Queen muck out her own stall? Who ‘stooped and scooped’ after the Royal corgis? Surely they have neat and tidy rose bushes in the royal gardens hiding poop baggie depository cans! Seriously, friends, these are the things I think about.

Photo Credit: Town & Country Magazine

Grief is personal. We can watch the long funeral procession and wait in long lines to pay our respects, but how many of us have sat at the bedside table and watched as a loved one’s chest slowly stopped moving. On both occasions, you count the hours. Or minutes. God has given us such a unique opportunity to feel emotions. Pain. Joy. Grief. I marvel at the chemical reactions that occur in our brains, our physical reactions, our change in temperature, and our inability to keep tears from flowing no matter how hard we try. Some of us crave the comfort of others, we need a steady hand to hold us up and assure us that there is solid ground. Others of us pull away. We need our space to process and “work it through”. Only then do we gather ourselves up and press on.

I watched the younger generation mourn their grandma. Oh, I am sure they have been trained well to accept flowers from the crowd, and nod and wave. To stand tall in fine black clothes and try to not show emotion. But grief is personal. What memories flash through their mind’s eye? Christmas morning with gran? Do they wonder if her broach will get handed down? Do they giggle about the time when she told them off for being silly? Does she carry around mints in that handbag of hers to shush the children during church services?

Members of the Royal family in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour during Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee in The Mall, London, UK. 01/06/2022 Credit Photo (c)Karwai Tang

We are told, “there is a time to be born and a time to die”. No one tells you how you react to either of those events. Nor can we cannot predict the exact moment they will occur. Who will be there? Who will miss it? Grief is personal. If you feel you need support because you are grieving, I encourage you to seek out good counsel. It is wise and worth it. Time does heal. May we take this time to reflect on our unique ability as human beings to experience grief. I have seen many creatures die. Creatures do not have the same emotional attachment to death that we do. That has been breathed into us as unique masterpieces of a living God. Cherish it as a gift. Because grief is personal.

LIFEMARK the Movie

Welcome back my beloveds! I’ve missed you! How was your summer? I’m not sure my mini-sabbatical achieved anything more than a little break in scheduling. Not much has changed. Creatively speaking and blog mind-ed anyway. Nonetheless — here we are — musing with you again! And what better way to start than a little movie review?!

It almost didn’t happen. Due to some “technical errors” (okay it was me, I was the technical error) I missed my chance to premier the new collaboration of the Kendrick brothers (Facing the Giants, Overcomer) and Kirk Cameron (Fireproof) CURRENTLY IN THEATRES. But… thanks to my friends at GrafMartin and their promotion team, the crew and I squeezed it in. Chips and Salsa included.

Currently Showing in Select Theatres in Canada!

Celebrating life and adoption, David (the main character) gets tossed into the thick of it when his birth mother reaches out to find him after his eighteenth birthday. It’s a story of reconciliation, connection and family. It tackles some tough topics and makes some hard, faith-based lines when it comes to abortion and choosing life. Consequently, it put the Kendrick brothers in a little hot water when it came to Hollywood. Unapologetically, the true-life story celebrates the joy of adoption and the potential for family joy, so the brothers pushed forward and it has arrived in theatres in both the US and in select theatres in Canada. Rather than pushing the grusome details of abortion clinics, the wholesome film focuses on the potential for celebrating life. It’s a chance for us to stand up and support faith based movie makers and their projects (go see it in theatres, people!). All the while filmed by David’s best friend: “for the documentary”. Key the socials and all that bloggers hold dear.

Personally, the movie pulled all my mom heart strings. I sympathized with both the birth mom, and the adoptive mom. I’ve felt both helpless loss and sat in that chair as they present you with “options”. Thanks to the grace of God, I’ve also experienced all the joy a new life brings. In one sense, the movie glossed over a lot of those crazy mixed emotions… but you can’t capture that it a few hours.

Maybe she just looks good in yellow…

My kids were convinced that the film makers had a hidden agenda in the actor’s choice of clothing colours. Why was there always a yellow and blue complimentary colour in every scene? I think they’ve been in media class too long. Maybe Rebecca Rogers Nelson just happens to look good in yellow. They did pick some great actors, though. The resemblance to the real life families are remarkable. And Nate was just super cute as David’s sidekick and amateur film maker. I wanna see the original “documentary” that led to the full length movie. His high school humour broke up the intensity of the emotional rollercoaster that makes LIFEMARK a classic Kendricks brother movie.

So there you have it. Today marks the beginning of another round of mittonmusings. And LIFEMARK pegs the date David’s birthmom made a difficult decision and chose life. Check out #LIFEMARKmovie or @FaithFilmsCA for more or better yet, go see it in theatres… it’s playing now!