Friday, 28 December 2012


One of my favourite words.
What is it?
baggage, really.
We all have it, whether we admit it or not.
I discovered "chimidunchik" in a book called "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lasser.
She tells a story... 
"There's an old yiddish story, a bit slap stick of course, about a man who gets on to a crowded train & all the seats are taken except for the seat next to one particular man..he asks him if he'd mind moving his luggage so he can sit down, no after a while he asks again but still he gets no response, by now he's fuming so he starts yelling at him "move your chimidunchik, move your chimidunchik!" still the man does nothing so the annoyed passenger picks up the bag & throws it out the window, turns to the man & says "there what do you think of that!!??" The man shrugs & says it wasn't my chimidunchik."

Did you ever think about what your chimidunchik looks like?
No, of course not, you've never heard of such a thing until this minute, right?!
But think about it..
Is it a crazy huge container full of all kinds of random useless/toxic junk?
Or would that be all neat & tidy, labelled, categorised & orderly?
Or just maybe, you are one of those rare people that has managed to come through life..
   bearing only the lightest of luggage, filled with happy memories & good legacies.
 If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, then this post probably isn't for you.

Some of us have been loaded up with baggage so high we can't see if the sky is blue or gray & the crazy part...most of the stuff doesn't even belong to us, only, no-one ever told us that we didn't have to store it nor carry it for some one else our whole lives.
Every object has a story, a bit of history & got given to us or collected somewhere in the journey.
I guess, I've been on an unpacking mission for the last 23 years.
When I started out my life looked a lot like the picture above, only the room was about 10 times as full. One day I began to really look at the conglomeration & I realised that it was nearly all, really ugly, dumb stuff...
 not mine,
 & that's not mine
 & neither is that!
So, I started throwing it OUT &/or giving it back!
 I soon discovered, not many people are too keen on you doing that.
 They'd rather you just kept all their crap & didn't tell, even when the stuff is suffocating you & there's no room left for you to live your life around it.
I have found that when you don't own your own stuff; face the pain & the failures & the broken-ness, then most likely, your children will have to wear it or your grandchildren will suffer & have no idea why.
Through the years I've been told to "pull my socks up", "just try to be positive..focus on all that you've been given", "be grateful", "let it go", "just give it all to the Lord", "just relax!".
I have also heard a million times oh "yes BUT children are SO much more resilient than you think".
 No-one blames their autistic child for being autistic, or an asthmatic daughter for her condition so why do kids from broken homes so often get left to fend for themselves?
The mess is not there fault!
I was born a long time ago, to young, unsupported parents who failed to find their way in marriage or draw the threads of family together. Before it barely began, the family was shattered & broken & I was subsequently left without any sense of value or knowledge of my place in the world.
In the interim decade before I left "home" I was largely displaced & mostly miserable & I shall simply say that my step-mother's mantra "if you haven't got anything good to say DON'T say anything at all" didn't work out well for her, or for me.
I married at 19.
Life was immensely better for finding a soul mate.
 Rob & I muddled along together learning & loving & growing quite well for a decade or so & I felt reassured that life would improve for me now that I had a kindly christian mother-in-law, but sadly, it turned out that she was more toxic than anything else I had ever encountered.
I did all the good things like praying a LOT, being nice, forgiving, accepting...did I say being nice.
It didn't work..I got sick & stayed sick.
And nobody cared.
I lost two decades of my life.

And then I timidly, quietly started blogging &
soon my darling husband gave me a little camera
& then something remarkable began to happen..
At the beginning of 2012 a brave woman wrote & owned these words:

"liberate - grant freedom to; free from confinement
set free
free, release, rescue, save, deliver, discharge,
redeem, let out, set free, let loose, untie, emancipate,
unchain, unbind, manumit

so I am ready .... 
ready to liberate from:

any chains that are bound around me
carrying the burden of other people's choices and actions
things I cannot control,
worry about what others think of me
unnecessary expectations of myself and others
worry that if I do it ... it could be all wrong
prejudices, negative thoughts, the gremlins
worry of "not being good enough"
jealousies, all the "shoulds" that I lug around day to day."

And I said yes..yes that's for me too.
It's time...time for liberty.
Largely because of you (& a very good homeopath) kind, sweet, friendly sisters,
 I have found the voice, the courage & the inspiration to live this..liberty.
Thank you!!!!
I want to hug you all & shout thank you!!!!!!

Funny though, even as I write this, I "hear" a knock at the door & I go to see who's there, only to find an old familiar suitcase. I lean down to pick it up & stop abruptly, oh my goodness, I nearly bought it back inside; just in time I doesn't belong to me, it isn't mine...

 & I turn & walk away.
I can now stand at the threshold of a brand new year with gratitude in my heart & in the knowledge of a new, gentle confidence that everything will be alright..
I call it intentional grace (thank you Angela).
Intentional grace will be the "colour" of 2013 for me.
If you read all're amazing!
Thank you & bless you!



  1. Hello Catherine,

    I certainly learnt a new word today. All the best for 2013. Loved reading this post.

    Happy days.

    1. Yes strange old word isn't it! Happy days to you to Bev & all the best for 2013. Much love Catherine x

  2. Wonderful post Catherine and one I should take note of and acknowledge. I certainly recognise some of that luggage! All the best for 2013 :-)

    1. Hello dear Lorraine, thanks for the acknowledgement. Hard year for you I know. I am glad we get a chance to begin again, as it were, bearing fresh hope & maybe doing the odd thing a little differently. Wishing you a year of small & satisfying triumphs. Much love Catherine x0x

  3. YOU are precious, so open and teachable. Rob is a treasure, too.
    I don't think anyone could be around your for five minutes and not recognize your unique ability to gather beauty around you and create beauty to share with others.
    You have shared so much beauty with me. I thank you, friend.

    1. Thank you my dear much!! Your kindness, friendship & encouragement are more precious than anything to me. Thank you for your example, inspiration & sweet gentle shepherding. You are aMaZInG! Much love GK x0x0x

  4. 2013 will be a wonderful year for you Catherine. You are a brave woman to those things that so many of us don't even realise we have hanging over our heads.
    Enjoy the liberation,
    Anne xx

    1. Thank you dear Anne. We've journeyed together a fair way nice. I am so glad that we are not needing to correspond standing up/falling down anymore..isn't that good : ) Have a grand year yourself. Wishing you a year filled with many flowers & much creativity. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  5. I could do with some of that intentional grace. I can identify with your earlier life greatly as my parents were unable to manage our family, my dad left at intervals - the longest being 3 years and my mother became very angry and bitter at times and yes, violent too. I couldn't wait to leave home and met my hubby age 19, having my own family has been wonderful and leaving all that baggage behind has taken me years too but I'm glad I did! let's look forward to travelling light in 2013! Betty

    1. Intentional grace is something that we get to practice together Betty. I had a big clean out of my clothes (not that you'd notice!) recently when I swapped over some of my summer stuff & I got especially brave in ditching things... as I remembered your big clean out not so long ago! Bags & bags went out the door to op shops & it felt good. Now that much of the junk is gone I am going to do some observing..I am already taking note of things that do & don't touch my heart. Look forward to journeying with you some more in this coming year. Thanks for your own frankness. Much love Catherine x0x

  6. Hi Catherine,

    I would say we are of a similar age and I find it to be a very soul searching time in life. As one gets older more baggage is added and added and then one really has to think where am I.

    So I did stick with your post and know what you're saying.


    1. Thanks Christy, for your reflections & sticking with the post. Well, if you're anywhere near 51 & 3/4 we're around the same age ; ) I am of the mind that a little soul searching or even a grand metamorphosis around about now is not a bad thing for most woman. A passage to power some would call it! Love to you Catherine x0x0x

  7. No Catherine ,,, are amazing :-) I am so glad you found that liberty, I still struggle with mine, but reading this post, gives me an awful lot of hope x
    Thank you my bloggy friend x

    1. You are so kind Sophie. I have drawn so much strength from your own frank, funny & bravely open sharing. I have loved seeing many things through your witty, sharp little much fun you are! We need to hold on to hope for one another I reckon. Yes, I chose liberty & now is a new time but this year will be one of practicing being me better. I am staring with a bit of observation. Sometimes i feel that I don't have normal emotional responses to many things so I am simply taking notice of what does actually move my heart. It's turning out to be quite an interesting exercise. Much love to you dear bloggy friend & a big hug x0x0x

  8. Oh what a post as the new year approaches. let's travel lighter in 2012. I know EXACTLY which suitcase is going out the window first and it's going out right now!

    1. Good for you Mags! Hope you didn't hit anyone important on the head as it went out ; ) & that you've managed to escape Christmas by now & move forward to standing on the threshold of 2013! ha ha. Big hug to you. Thanks for your fun witty friendship. much love Catherine & the boys x0x0x

  9. Way to go, sister! Best wishes for a wonderful, liberated 2013.


    1. Thanks so much for that Sharon!! All the best for 2013. Much love Catherine x0x

  10. Hello Catherine - a most lovely & thought provoking post. I can see & hear LOTS of myself in there (my old self) - I too have been on a journey to be more "me" & not be the person everyone "expects" me to be & it is quite enlightening sometimes, & also a very difficult journey. I think the New Year always tends to make us kind of "take stock" & take a better look at ourselves & perhaps our situations & maybe time for a fresh new start or some changes.
    I am certainly looking forward to perhaps sharing your 2013 journey of 'intentional grace" with you - side by side as blogging friends.
    Much love - Julie :-)
    (have to say . . . just adore the little teddy in the suitcase Xox)

  11. Wow, that post was beautiful and amazing, just as you are beautiful and amazing. Wow. Stunned. I wish you all the best for a fantastic 2013, free of unnecessary baggage! Take care :)

  12. Catherine, what a lovely post, so poignant and full of wisdom. God never intended for you to live enslaved; I'm so glad you found your courage. His grace, mercy and love are more than enough to fill us to overflowing. Your desire to live with intentional grace is wonderful; live LARGE!

    1. Thank you Sandra for your kindness, encouragement & nice strong words!

  13. Catherine, I loved reading this post, most thought provoking. I,m going to read it all again. Blessing s to you,love juliex

    1. Thank you for your comment Julie...I am so glad that you got something from this post.
      Blessings to you too.
      Much love Catherine x0x


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