Christmas joy and summer sparkles

Christmas joy and summer sparkles
Posted on Wed 15 Dec 2021

Written by Hannah Diviney, author, activist and client of CPA. She writes a regular column for CPA exploring her journey with cerebral palsy and activism – you can read the first blog post here.

 

Hi friends,

Happy December! It’s my favourite and some say, the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas. Summer. Two seasons of life that have always felt to me, as though they carried a little extra sparkle than the rest of the year. It’s all the endless blue skies and warmth, (I always find my body copes a lot better in the heat – less spasms and tension/pain) or at least it’s supposed to do.

I think I also love the fact that everyone seems to relax a little bit and let themselves have fun in ways that they might not at other times. As for the magic of Christmas, that magic has been passed down through my family, originally belonging to my grandmother. It was her favourite time of year too, which as I’ve gotten older seems strange considering her mum died on Christmas Eve. But maybe that loss was exactly the reason why she worked so hard to create joy. Maybe that (without sounding too airy fairy) is the point of all of it.

As I write this, I’m inhaling the scent of pine, courtesy of the real Christmas tree that stands almost to the ceiling downstairs in my living room. It’s packed with Christmas decorations, some of them handmade, some of them heavy. There are garlands on the stairs and stockings hung over our (ornamental) fireplace. Lights flash and flicker on the front porch too, pulling squeals of excitement from the neighbourhood. It strikes me, that after everything this year has been, it’s pretty special to have these moments. Now, because it’s December, that also means it’s my last column of the year. A year that has had more twists and turns than the most thrilling of rollercoasters. It’s been a big one. Lots of personal and professional change packed into 365 days.

I’ve started seeing myself as less of a girl playing dress up and instead as an actual adult woman working hard to understand the stakes of things and build positively on them. That shift has come from a number of things. It’s the sheer grind of the last six months, building Missing Perspectives from an idea into a media company that involves constantly convincing other people that it’s in their best interest to take us seriously. It’s watching my own profile and platform grow in shape and size. It’s being in rooms full of people with power and realising they see me as a peer, as someone who deserves to be there, someone who has a right to take up space. It’s discovering things about myself I never knew, skills I had as seen by others, that were entirely new to me. Apparently I can act, I’m funny and I keep people leaning in.

Recently, I was a finalist in the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Women of The Future Awards’ and although I didn’t win, I had to give a speech to a room full of influential and powerful women who had all in some way or another, blazed a trail. I was the only disabled woman in the room, which if we’re being honest is far more common than acceptable. I knew that people like me didn’t get into rooms like that one and if they did, they more than likely only got one shot at it. So, I took my shot. And it landed gracefully. It said to everyone in that room, I belong here, and that means things are going to change. That energy will be the cornerstone of my 2022, a year I cannot wait to share with you because of how full, exciting and unexpected it will be… I hope you’re ready.

Happy Holidays

Hannah x

 

Check out Hannah's episodes on Cerebral Conversations and The Slow Home podcast.

Instead of having the fun-filled family Christmas I'd planned, we spent Christmas with COVID. Over the course of a week, all five of us got it, resigned to the fact that isolating from each other at this time of year, especially given how much I rely on other people for self-care, was a pretty fruitless exercise. 

An update from CEO Rob White on how CPA is supporting and protecting our clients during COVID-19, and CPA therapy and services in January 2022.