When Things Aren’t Quite Right: 2017, I’m Talking To You

There’s nothing quite like a change of seasons to help lift a mood. One of the reasons I love living in Melbourne is because the seasons are so pronounced. Even though the calendar says we are now officially in Spring, winter has not yet departed. I can feel the transition though; the days are getting longer, the mornings are brighter and even on those bitter frosty mornings, spring daffs and crocuses continue to show themselves.

The other day an image of “120 Days till Christmas” came into my Facebook feed. It startled me. That Christmas will be here before we know it, and 2017 will be gone. I’m not one to wish things away, but 2017 definitely hasn’t panned out how I’d imagined it would. 

A couple of weeks ago Beth of Baby Mac blogged about the Mercury Retrograde – I read it with a degree of cynicism.  But may be she is on to something. For those that don’t really know what  mercury retrograde is (join the club!) it has something to do with the planets, the earth’s orbit and the speed of orbit. The speed of the orbit is too fast, so creates turbulence on earth. But essentially, what we need to know is that it can make stuff go a bit cray cray and leave us all feeling like we are on a bit of a downer.

So if that’s a an explanation for how I’m feeling, then I’ll take it, as nothing else really makes sense.

Truth be told, 2017 so far has just left me with the feeling that I want to collect up my kiddos and my fella and move to the country. Where the kids can dress in hand-me-down chunky knits and gum boots, and spend Saturday mornings skimming stones. To wake to rolling hills, shrouded in mist, and the smell of an open fire to warm up next to. Compared to being up at dawn for kids’ sport, then over to the shops for a pair of new Nikes. Followed by more sport drop offs and pick ups.

I’m sure they don’t need Nikes in country; gumboots would suffice, wouldn’t they…?

Maybe I’m being idealistic, perhaps there is as much social pressure for ‘all the things’ in the country, as there is in the city. Perhaps a feeling of low-grade disappointment always leaves one pining for a simpler life. I thought our trip to Vietnam would help to reset my outlook. The trip was wonderful, but it didn’t really shake anything up within me. It just feels like 2017 is in a shadow. 

As an antidote to this I am trying to focus on the good things. So here are a few:

My excellent husband has been working hard on the winter veggie patch and this year we have potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, radish, coriander, silver beet. We have started eating the radishes in our salads, and they are exquisite. Home grown veggies are exquisite.  I can only imagine the sense of satisfaction my husband enjoys when he sits down to a meal with food he grew himself.

The strawberry patch was always meant to be my responsibility, but he got impatient with me and tidied it up, so now there is space for them to fruit again this summer. And our lemon tree grew a beautiful batch of juicy lemons – our first ever successful lemon tree.



When we got back from Vietnam we had a beautiful family weekend. On a Friday night a few weeks ago, we headed off into the sunset to stay with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in the hills. They have a log cabin with a roaring fire and a house full of lots of love and yummy food. They have three sons, and so my one and only boy was in his element surrounded by his boy cousins.

We combined it with a day frolicking in the snow at Mt Buller. There was so much snow, it really was like a winter wonderland. We didn’t ski, but a friend loaned us their toboggans, which was enough for this non-thrill seeker! When we got home I brewed up some mulled wine, which we drank while grazing on home made salami and a cheese platter, while being warmed by a roaring fire.

The next day we set off to my Dad’s farm for a day with my family. I am one of seven children so the opportunities to see all my siblings in one place and at one time are few and far between. Especially because one of my brothers lives in Queensland. He had flown down for the get together, with his two kids. Nearly all my nieces and nephews were there, and my Dad built a massive bonfire in the paddock up from the house. It was a glorious winters’ day; the air was cold but the sun was shining and the flames of the bonfire warmed us up.

The calendar clicked over to Spring. This is worth enjoying in a moment of contemplation, because as I said earlier, there is nothing quite like a new season to lift a mood. And apparently this mercury retrograde was due to finish yesterday, so onwards and upwards, hopefully. I’m not sure what I make of all this astrology talk, but sometimes a bit of other-worldly talk is a good thing for making sense of things that don’t really make sense. Like the shadows of 2017. (If you want to know more about the mercury retrograde, take a look here.)

Focusing on the good stuff really does make a big difference to how we feel about life. I know that sometimes it’s just not as simple as that, and that sometimes the only thing that will make a difference is changing things. But in the interim, if change is slow, or if you’re just feeling the effects of the mercury retrograde, it’s worth making a list of a few things that make you feel better on the inside.

What are somethings you’ve been up to that make you feel better about life?


  1. says

    “2017 is in a shadow”: great way to sum it up! I agree. I had high hopes for this year but so far it’s been hard work and sometimes downright weird. Here’s to brighter things in the last few months!

    • collette says

      Well I am glad to hear that it’s not just me, perhaps it is the mercury retrograde after all! Hope things level out for you. xx

  2. says

    I do love the countryside Collette and being a bit of a farm girl too I think there is something different about it. I dunno, its just a feeling. I’ve gone backwards and forwards to it for years. I’ve never regretted it and I also like the city. Gumboots and veggie patches and bonfires do float my boat though. You could move! Float that one for a while xxx

    • collette says

      I could totally move, but am I just pining for something because I haven’t got it? I am city born and bred, but my parents were country folk. I do love being so close to the beach… so torn. But yes, a veggie patch and a bon fire can’t fail to offer perspective. xx

  3. says

    It’s wonderful what plays out when you focus on the good things. Sounds like Vietnam, A new veggie patch, a trip to the snow and a visit with family were all things you needed to keep you going through this year. It’s definitely been a strange one, with drama playing out all over the world. I’ve felt like hibernating too. Maybe a drawn out Winter is just what we need to help with that. <3 Lots of love and hopefully 2018 will be a bit more positive.

    • collette says

      Fingers crossed for the rest of the year. Really, when I look around, there is a lot to be happy about, often it’s just a case of adjusting your perspective. And I’m certain 2018 will be better. Hope you’re feeling well – final straight for you now! Nothing like the anticipation of a new bubba!

  4. says

    I definitely think there is a lot to be said for the power of tree therapy. Just a few days in rural/country areas helps to re-energise. I think the key is to not let it be too long between trips … even if they are short ones, they help.

    • collette says

      You’re right Neil, it’s when we get too busy and think we don’t have time to stop and re-energise. I’m over due for a dose of green, but luckily living by the beach has a similar effect.

What are you thoughts?