Celebrating the 'lasts' and the 'firsts'...

It's funny how quickly we fall into routines and habits. So often subconsciously, that you only realise you built them when it's time to move on.

I spent the last eight months house sitting for my friend’s parents as they travelled Australia and Canada and I hadn't realised how much their place had become like home. I've now moved on to another housesit and this morning as I woke up, I lie in bed waiting for the first grandfather clock chimes of the day.

They would always chime at 7:15.

But this morning, they didn't come because I'm no longer in the house with the grandfather clock.

So often when I was working from home in the silence of my own company, the quarterly chimes of the clock would be my solid companion. It was so comforting to know it was there, the backbone to my day.

I'd even say good morning to the clock every time I came down the stairs into the hallway. Other small rituals too, walking into the conservatory throughout the summer months, sitting and gazing out into the garden as I sipped my lemon water.

Those little things you don't realise you'll miss until they're gone.

But the beauty of leaving somewhere is that you get to appreciate all that you had.

It heightens your awareness of these moments in life.

When I woke up this morning and flicked through Facebook. I was reminded of a memory from this day last year. It was the day I left my childhood home that I'd lived in, other than when I went to uni and short stints with partners, for most of my life. I’d spent 28 years in the house and I’d spent all my life in that town.

I'd written a post that turned into a poem on my last morning of waking up in that bed.

All the 'lasts' I would have the final chance to do.

The last walk to my gym.

The last awkward flush of the dodgy toilet and the upstairs bathroom.

The last glance through my bedroom window to the houses opposite

The last click of the gate where the postman hadn't shut it properly and it jiggles on the latch.

The last time I crouched down at floor level to look in the fridge whilst making my lunch.

I remember that feeling of melancholy, of losing, of missing of almost clutching to these memories. But in that same moment, I realised that with all these lasts, comes the appreciation of those memories but also it's the 'lasts' that make the room for new 'firsts' to take their place.

I love that reframe. Because without all those lasts, without that awareness, appreciation and forward momentum of moving into a new chapter. There is no room for whole host of new firsts and that's such an exciting and beautiful anticipation.

What 'lasts' can you honour and what new 'firsts' can you create in your world today?

Silly selfie taken on the lawn at my old house a few weeks before I loved last year…

Silly selfie taken on the lawn at my old house a few weeks before I loved last year…

As an additional note, I thought I’d share with you the poem I wrote on leaving day from the childhood. home. I remember the moment I wrote this poem. I’d just woken up, I hadn’t yet got out of bed, I was lying on my back and my notebook was by my bedside so I reached over and grabbed it.

Reflecting on all the memories that had come before in those 28 years, this poem evolved.


Moving day dawns
I find myself noticing the ‘lasts’
The last nights sleep in this bed
The last gaze at sunlight hitting my curtains as I open my eyes
The last awkward flush of the dodgy upstairs toilet
The last turn of the stiff shower handle
The last morning mug of lemon water stood in that kitchen looking out at the birdbath
The last time I walk barefoot across that garden
The last time I handstand against that garage wall
The last clink of the garden gate that the postman didn’t shut
The last time I hear that landline ring
The last time I take those stairs two at a time and hold the banister to jump down the bottom three
The last time I cycle to the gym just around the corner and cut through the woods
The last time I crouch to stare into that fridge whilst making lunch
The last time I hear the cats scamper down the stairs as my mum prepares their food
The last time I hear bikes rattle down the bridle path running alongside the house
The last time I smell the scent of my childhood
The last time I maneuver my car out of the driveway on autopilot
The last time I pause to check for traffic at the top of that road as I pull away

The last time...

I notice a subtle melancholy
An inward celebration
But then the dawn of realisation...
That these ‘lasts’ create the space
For new ‘firsts’ to take their place

A smile creeps across my face