12 December 2012

Dear 2012



Dear 2012 

I'm writing to you on 12.12.12 because some people think there are magical qualities attached to the date, and although I'm very skeptical, there is no harm in playing it safe. I've been meaning to write for some time to tell you how wonderful you've been and that I've thoroughly enjoyed our time together these past twelve months. I knew I was in for the ride of my life with my book launch in February but when I saw my 11 page itinerary there was a deer-in-the-headlights mix of apprehension, excitement, anxiety and "who me!?!" I didn't know then that I'd enjoy every minute of it.

It gave us the opportunity to travel around Victoria and New South Wales, having a little holiday of sorts, while signing books and meeting many interesting people from the online world. I was amazed that so many turned up to meet us. It was a wonderful surprise and I will remember those two weeks with much fondness for many years. When the book was released I wondered how well it would sell, if at all, but even now, as you're drawing to a close, it's still doing well and the ebook version is about to be released. It's astonishing. You pulled the rug from under me when we came home again. I was expecting to rest and relax but there were so many requests for interviews that we kept on moving and remained busy for months. We still are and I appreciate you continuing to shower me with various opportunities. 

I decided to stop public appearances in September and sure enough, The Real Food Festival was my last. That was good timing because you shook us up in late August when Hanno had a bad accident with a chain saw and nearly cut off his hand. That brought my time at the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre to an end because Hanno needed me at home. I said goodbye to my voluntary and committee work and retuned to my home once again.

I am currently testing cheese recipes in my kitchen. Who would have thought that I would be doing that at this age? I see it as part of the magic you've weaved into my life this year. I am doing things now I never dreamed about. I love waking up every morning knowing that here in my home my days are filled to the brim with work that keeps me interested in life. But I am getting older so I took a bit of time recently to think about the coming years. I have decided to keep writing for the next two years, to try to build up a little nest egg for Hanno and me, to get a few things fixed in our home - retiling the bathrooms and the front and back verandahs, and then I'll start taking it easy. Who knows we might even go on a driving holiday through southern Australia.

In the meantime, I'll write my blog and continue on with the forum. Penguin want me to write more for them, I'm releasing an eBook in America next year and while that will probably fill in the next two years, it will require a bit of juggling. I still love my blog, I can't give it up, but it might not be written as often as it is now. The local Council has asked me to do a series of talks in the libraries and my friend Ernie and I will be starting up our blogging workshops very soon. I wonder if we will fit it all in. I'm still a sucker for new ventures, I doubt that will ever change.

Thank you for giving me the time to grow closer to my family and grandsons. We've watched them grow from tiny babies to little boys running around and starting to talk. I love being a grandma and I thank Shane, Sarndra, Kerry and Sunny for giving us two of the most beautiful boys to love and care for. When they were born in 2011, I didn't think life could get much better, but you improved with every passing month. I know I live a charmed life. I look around and see others who don't have what we have, who have no home or family and no one to love and I wonder why I'm so blessed. I wish I knew because if I could give away some of what it is, I would do it in an instant and be grateful for the chance.

Thank you for being so good to me during our time together and for keeping my family safe. Oh, and if the world ends today even though I'd think you were a party-pooper, I think we made a great team.

Yours in appreciation,
Rhonda xx

PS: when are you thinking of ending? We're already four hours into the twelfth so will it be 12.12pm or is this another one of those things that magazines use to fill up space? I hope it is because I think many people in the world are working towards living more sustainably and I would like to know that Jamie and Alex and all the other boys and girls will have the chance to grow up and make a mark on the world. If you've decided to not throw in the towel, let your neighbours, 2013 and beyond, know that we'll be working with them, not against them this time.

41 comments:

  1. Loved your post. Good for you going for your dreams and making them happen! So many people wonder why some people 'seem' to have it all. If they only knew that hard work is what it all takes and a lot of sacrifices! Good luck in your new ventures!

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  2. Still another day before 12.12.12 arrives here in western Canada, but thanks for pointing out that date, I hadn't thought of it that way LOL I selfishly hope that your blog continues regularly for ages to come - you've opened so many doors to me :) (I'm currently immersed in Carl Larsson's art and finding out more about his family, especially his wife Karin's weaving and stitching.) Unless you hop over here to Canada for a workshop, I'll have to content myself with reading the blog, forum and your book! And I think I'll have to try stitching the design here, if that's all right (you may have posted it before as a pattern, but if not I'll just do my best with it, even though I haven't done surface embroidery for quite a while!) Early best wishes for a happy, productive, and healthy 2013.

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    1. Look below at Jules' comment, Dianne, we still have another week. LOL The Larssons were an incredible family, I'm so pleased you read more about them. Please feel free to use any of my designs. I love knowing they're dotted all around the world.

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  3. " .. I know I live a charmed life. I look around and see others who don't have what we have, who have no home or family and no one to love and I wonder why I'm so blessed. "

    You are brave to speak these words out loud. Knock on wood, quick.

    I am always fearful to give voice to my blessings as this seems to tempt the gods in a Job-like way. For instance, I would say I havn't had the cold in 4 years. Then next day I would be floored by a nasty, battering cold. Always things like these happens. As a result, I 'hid' my blessings or whisper them while looking fearfully over my shoulder. Ha.

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    1. Fran, you comment reminds me of my grandma. She used to tell me not to speak of the devil because in he would walk!

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  4. Dear Rhonda. Thank you so much for sharing this personal letter. I hope you will get many, many more years to write and inspire. You know you have a special place in my heart.

    Love from Holland

    Love from Monique

    (P.S. We still live on the 11th of this month...) ;o)

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  5. Rhonda: Love this!! What a wonderful idea.

    p.s. I think the world is supposed to end on 12/21/12, according to the Mayan calendar.

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    1. HA! maybe I should have been reading those magazines after all. Thanks for letting me know, Jules.

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  6. Hi Rhonda. I loved reading what you wrote for today's blog. You are a special lady and that's why you deserve a charmed life. You help so many people with your writing, your thoughts and your life experience. These things are priceless in themselves. I did however have a giggle cause it is the 21/12/12 that the world is supposed to end. I watched a show just the other day about Nostradamus's predictions and they were talking about the Mayans and Nostradamus predicting that the world would end on this day. Today's date is a lucky date for those who get married or are born on this day. Anyway, please don't stop blogging because I always feel like I have had a chat with a good friend first thing in the morning so it always makes my day.

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    1. Thank you. See, that is what I get for not being part of popular culture, not reading magazines or watching much TV. So both the Mayan and the Chinese think doomsday is 21 Dec! I wonder what they'd all think about how much the world has changed. I hope today is a lucky one for both of us.

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  7. awwwwww. what a sweet letter! Love it.

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  8. Wonderful Post Rhonda - I don't know how you find the time to do all that you do!! - even tho I have people say that to me, you beat me hands down!!.
    Here's to another great year in 2013 for each and everyone of us, and may we see many more sliding across (may it be ever so slowly or very sudden) to more calmer, self sufficient and fulfilling lives!

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  9. Finally bought your book for myself - borrowed the library copy and loved it so much - I ended up buying my own .
    Thank you for your inspirational, beautiful, gentle blog - and hope you continue writing for many years. Christmas joy and blessings to you and your family.

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    1. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the book. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

      Rhonda xx

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  10. A great blog entry as usual Rhonda. Although I am a pretty silent reader, I would like you to know that I still read your blog every day. I am "addicted" to my daily dose of common sense thinking and inspiration. Thank you!
    Right now we have an hour and a half left of the 11th December. Outside, the snow is lying thickly on the ground making the gloomy days seem much lighter. Yesterday we had the Nobel Prize ceremonies to watch on TV and on 13th December there´s the traditional celebration of St Lucia. She is the symbol of light in Sweden. Children dress up as little Lucias with light crowns on their heads, or as gingerbread men small "santas". They sing the traditional songs and we all eat Lucia buns and gingerbread biscuits. This tradition is a real mixture of ancient and modern but since it lights up the dark season, it is well loved. You can read more about it here: http://www.sweden.se/eng/Home/Lifestyle/Traditions/Celebrating-the-Swedish-way/Lucia/

    I´ve just remembered that the first time I saw a Lucia celebration was in Sydney!! My neighbours there were Swedish so they took us along. It must have been a strange experience for all the "exiled" Swedes celebrating in the height of the Australian summer.
    Christmas greetings from Uppsala/Sweden
    Ramona

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    1. When I read the comments before I approve them, if they're long I don't see the end and have to approve them before I see the name. Reading the first paragraph you wrote, my head said "Ramona". Thanks for that link. As you know my grandma was Swedish so I enjoy learning more about her culture. I recall a Carl Larsson painting with a girl dressed in white with the candle crown. I didn't know it was St Lucia.

      Merry Christmas Ramona.
      xx

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  11. What a lovely post and as someone else said a wonderful thing to read first thing in the morning (the first thing I do with my morning coffee!). For me your book collated a whole lot of different thoughts I had been toying with yet not realised they were part of a whole way of living. I borrowed the book from the library and extended my loan the maximum number of times and way so sad to return it! I had it full of post-it notes with recipes to try and quotes to reflect on. I encouraged my mother to read it when she came to help me with my new baby and she also fell in love with its message. She's now retired (!!!) and decluttered her house. Big changes. Hilariously she confessed she had me as Kris Kringle and couldn't think of what to get me (knowing I don't like unnecessary 'stuff') and I mentioned the book. She didn't realise I didn't own it and we walked straight to the bookshop and purchased the last two copies! One for me and one for my Aunt. Happy days! xx

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    1. I'm so pleased you and your mum enjoyed the book. I hope you and your family enjoy the holidays.

      XX

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  12. great post rhonda
    so many emails with good luck messages for the 12.12.12 drive me nuts lol & every year where they have the same numbers in the dates, i.e. 11.11.11, 10.10.10, etc
    all to do with good luck & good fortunes, i never believe any of it. i haven't tv to watch or do i buy magazines (unless theres awesome knitting patterns in them) or newspapers, so i never know whats going on. and of cos there's this " the year is supposed to end in 2012" really doubt it & hope not as i enjoy my new family here & on the DTE forum & would love many more years to get to know them
    hope you & hanno have a wonderful xmas
    have a great day
    selina from kilkivan qld

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    1. Thanks Selina, merry Christmas to you too, dear.

      XX

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  13. Wow Rhonda I didn't know what I was reading for a while but as I kept reading I realised that you where being thankfully of all the tha happiness and knowledge that you have shared with us it is always said what you give freely to others come back to you thanks for the blog your book and all the wisdom you have shared .

    Have a fantastic day

    Linda from Melbourne xx

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  14. What a lovely post today Rhonda, and I believe that you have also helped others to live a charmed life as well. Looking at life from a glass half full perspective, we often find blessings that might have gone un- noticed had we not been living this simpler life. You are a blessing to the blogging community and I thank you!

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  15. Hi Rhonda,

    A truly lovely letter. I too am a pretty silent reader but I read your posts every day and feel like I have been invited into your life and family. I recently lost my internet connection for a week and felt a bit left out not being able to catch up with you. I wish you, Hanno and your lovely family a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the New Year (that's if we get one of course, ha ha).

    Dawn.

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    1. Thank you Dawn, Hanno and I wish you a very merry Christmas. Hopefully we'll all get through to see the new year.

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  16. Such a cute post Rhonda :) Thank you for following your heart in 2012! Your new book has opened the doors to even more lovely people living a simple lifestyle. How wonderful!!! :)

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  17. Rhonda !!! An eBook for the US !! Yeah. This is me dancing across the floor. I know it's more work and I'm really sorry.I know you have plenty to do without adding us to your list. But we share your concern about the future of our families and communities. What we know, do and share will make us all more secure.
    Merry Christmas and the blessings of this season to you and your family.
    JudieJ

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  18. Oh, what a wonderful post to start my day with! It resonates deeply, especially the phrase "I'm still a sucker for new ventures, I doubt that will ever change." It seems I've become very cautious and though I say I want more excitement in my life, on Monday I have a chance to do something I'm striving for (conference interpreting for a government ministry), I've never done that before and feel quite scared. I've been telling people that's what I want to do (I've been a translator for 16 years), and when someone offered me the opportunity, I jumped at the chance but now feel very anxious. Your post inspires people not only to live simpler, but also to take chances, you see!

    On another note - I really hope the e-book will be available not only in USA. I live in Latvia, that's northeastern Europe, and the postage exceeds the price of the book by so much that it seems I will have to just long for it and never see it. An e-book would solve that problem easily.

    I am astounded at how big your heart is. You get thousands of comments and you put a lot of time and effort into your writing, and still - you manage to answer the comments with kind words and grace. You are a star, if there ever was one.

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    1. Diana, as you read in my post, before I went on the book tour I felt apprehension, excitement and anxiety. I get scared too. But scared is just excitement in pyjamas. I encourage you to take the opportunity offered to you. The anxiety, fright and excitement will fade and you'll realise you right for that job. Those people who offered you the job have faith in you. Have faith in yourself and step up to your life. I'm sure you can do it and I'm sure you'll love the change. And let me know what happens please. Good luck.

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  19. I too love your blog, wish I had found it years ago. Hope you carry on for many years to come.
    Wishing you & your family a very happy Christmas & a peaceful 2013.

    love Angela (south England) UK

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  20. Julie ... Barossa ValleyDecember 12, 2012 10:07 pm

    Evening Rhonda...my status update on facebook today read "at exactly 12th day of the 12th month in the 12th yr at 12.12pm I was blanching yellow beans for Christmas"...I truly believe that you had something to do with this !!! and that you also helped my family to live a charmed life, a simple life but the message i really heard in your post was "Who knows we might even go on a driving holiday through southern Australia" ...this would be absolutely amazing to meet both yourself and Hanno :)
    good night

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    1. Julie, are yellow beans, butter beans? What do you do with yellow beans? Are thy the full bean or the seed?

      Who knows ... ;- )

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    2. Julie ... Barossa ValleyDecember 14, 2012 11:19 am

      Morning Rhonda, Yes they are a yellow bean called Roc D'Or from Green Harvest. I often wandered down the backyard to pick and couple and eat them raw so I rescued an ice cream container full and blanched the whole bean ready for Christmas lunch :)

      Merry Christmas
      Cheers Julie

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  21. A wonderful letter Rhonda...i really did enjoy reading it...you have had such a busy and exciting year...so amazing when life begins to take us in a new direction isn't it? time for a little break for you and Hanno though i'm sure. Truly wonderful that many of your dreams are coming true xxx this end of the world thing has had my teen in a spin for months, i think we forget that even though they are growing older kids can still fear the unknown just as much as we do...hopefully everyone can move on from the notion now lol!

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  22. Chin chin to a successful year for you Rhonda and best wishes for an even better 2013 :)

    PS - Any chance of your book being available in the UK soon? I look for it on Amazon from time to time but so far no luck.

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    1. Tanya, I'll talk with my agent to see if the US version can be sold in Europe too. I think it can be.

      Merry Christmas, love.

      XX

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    2. I keep looking for it too!
      I want to buy it as a "thank you" to you for all your work on the blog over the last few years I have been reading.
      :-)
      Karen (Scotland)

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  23. Thank you for the giggle, it's such a sweet post. :)

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  24. While the world was meant to be ending on 12/12/12 I totally missed the day/date as I was cleaning up vomit. Yes I was wishing for that to end, the vomiting, not the world, but no I think there is too much unfound good for the world to end now.
    Congratulations on your lovely 2012.

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  25. It was supposedly meant to end on December 21st, so you've still got a few days of Life on Planet Earth ~ tongue in cheek, of course.

    I, for one, am glad to see 2012 go away. Surgeries, stress, politics, financial woes, more stress.... yes, I'm ready to put it to bed.

    When the New Year turns, it is met with a bit of trepidation. What will this year hold? Mostly good? I pray so. I think the world needs a bit of a break ~ a Year of Jubilee.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Rhonda. I'm so glad you have had a wonderful year and I hope your new year is a blessed one! God is good!

    Kate

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  26. thanks for sharing.

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