- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way e.g. “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
- In general, serendipity is the act of finding something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it.
Apologies first up, that this current effort is a bit of a “Clayton’s Blog” (in honour of the non-alcoholic spirit advertised in Australia in the 1980’s as “The drink you have when you’re not having a drink”)
Today is the first birthday of this Blog “Serendipity”. My initial instalment “Let’s start at the very beginning” was published on April 4th, 2015.
From the encouraging comments received there, I was prompted to continue on, and this little site has take on an astonishing life. “WordPress” keeps statistics of “Views” “Visitors”, number of Blog Posts (this is Number 40), and countries the “viewers” emanate from.
To date, there have been a total of 3295 “views” of my efforts in 32 different countries. The majority have been in Australia (2109), the United States and the United Kingdom but the list includes: Denmark, South Africa, Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Papua New Guinea, the Dominican Republic and Panama! That’s simply astounding! The world is surely becoming a smaller place.
I’ve always loved to write and indeed seriously contemplated a University course in Journalism, right down to attending the Orientation days at the College in Adelaide where it was taught. I fancied myself as being a Music Critic –attending concerts and events and writing them up for the papers. However, that ambition was thwarted when, investigating the available tertiary course, I discovered it was necessary to take a specialty subject or two, but almost everything was on offer EXCEPT music. This put me off the idea, so I instead signed up for a Bachelor of Music Degree after all.
However, my interest in the written word has always remained …indeed from teenage times onwards I have expressed myself privately in writing – keeping journals and notebooks to work through typical, I guess, teenage issues. In my 20’s, living on the other side of the world, most writing was correspondence, largely with my Mum who was the most faithful letter-writer. As a trained stenographer her efforts were largely typewritten and it’s amazing how may words she could fit on an aerogram.
Dozens, even hundreds of her offerings have been preserved and are boxed up in our garage. When my elder sister and I cleaned out our childhood home after Mum’s death a few years ago, something I retained was the “other end” of that correspondence – Mum had kept all of mine and my husband’s letters to her stretching back years. Eventually I will marry them up –one of those “get a round tuit” jobs, probably waiting for my eventual retirement or when my kids are grown.
The genesis of “Serendipity” as a Blog came from the encouragement of a friend, who I suspect had heard once too often me bleat about my “issues,” especially my long-running struggles to reconcile what I felt to be my basic personality type and all too real flaws, with the fact that I was viewed as “the Pastor’s Wife” with all the preconceptions and stereotypes that came with that. And this simply because of the individual who I had married.
That, despite over 20 years of this, something still didn’t sit right with me. That I felt to some extent unworthy of any perceived special position that some seemed to think I had. But, on the other hand, how it also amused me when people who had known me for some time – but didn’t know my husband – would find out what he does and laugh: “You? A Pastor’s wife? Really?”
Anyway, eventually this one friend said “Kylie, did you know he was going to be a Minister when you first met him?” I had to admit that I knew he was studying Theology “from the off”. “So you knew he would end up being a Pastor?” Well, yes. “Well then you knew what you were getting yourself into, so you ONLY HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME!”.
OK, I had to admit she had a point.
She followed this up by asking: “So, how did you get yourself into this in the first place?”
On reflection, it was, of course, because I “played the man, not the ball” as they say in sport. Like many bright young things in love, I didn’t look too much further than my nose and glossed over what might be the day to day hurdles and frustrations and strictures. I didn’t really choose the life. Or train for a role (Never have). I was simply a girl in love who wanted to take life further with this young man from the other side of the world. Who only saw the promise and the adventure.
So my friend encouraged me to write about it.
And, do you know, writing this blog has been such a blessing to me. It has made me focus on how blessed I really am. How much good I have experienced in my life. The opportunities I have had. The wonderful people I have met and experiences I have had.
Yes, it started out as an attempt to explain “How I got into this in the first place”, a reasonably detailed autobiographical account of events which happened 20 plus years ago. (And I do intend to return to this historical walk).
But then, one week, I diverted into something I was thinking about on that particular day, next I wanted to honour my beautiful friend and colleague Claire on her Baptism day, and I thought to myself… “It’s my Blog so I can make my own rules”. Since then, I have covered many topics and surprised myself in a number of ways.
One, which has been an ongoing revelation to me, is that although my basic premise (I am simply an ordinary person, not defined by the person I married), is that I have more of a Christian perspective on many things in life than I had realised. I have often found myself dropping in “Bible Bits”, progressing to occasionally traditional prayers and hymns.
I was concerned at once stage that this might alienate readers who are not themselves Christian, as my “Facebook Friends”, many of whom kindly keep up with my Blog, come from many different walks of life and a range of backgrounds. But I hope not to have upset too many, and I have been heartened by those who have commented that they have appreciated or learnt something from a Christian perspective.
I don’t intend to preach, although I have amazed myself how “preachy” I have become sometimes (I was thanked for my “Easter Sermon” recently). I think it is probably more that I am passionate about certain things, and I tend to get firmly on my Soapbox.
Serendipity has sometimes become a confessional, and I know at times I have quite passionately expressed my feelings about difficulties, events and personal relationships which have caused me ongoing angst. Occasionally, I have wondered if I have put too much “out there” but the honesty has done me some good, I feel.
And I have been upheld, supported, encouraged and humbled by the many thoughts shared and much feedback, both expressed as online comments or privately or in person especially at those times when I have been down or struggled or have been doing it tough.
I have been honoured when I have managed to touch someone else, when I have discovered that my words have struck a chord with another, have been timely or helpful or thoughtful or in some way assisted a reader in their own life.
Thank you to all of you who have been there for me when I have needed it, or given something of yourselves in sympathy or empathy when things have not been going so well. I have been encouraged and uplifted when others have shared their own experiences in support and solidarity.
Thank you to those who have featured in my stories, either by allowing me to include photographs, or by name, or – while not specifically named- those who have been part of something of importance. You know who you are.
Equally, I hope my year of Blogging has not been all doom and gloom – I have tried to also share joy as well as sorrow. Thank you to all who have shared joy with me and added wonder and delight and positivity to my life.
This is not my Swan song – I intend to continue to write – but I just wanted to pause for a moment and count my blessings – those blessings largely being people – each and very one of you who read, and think, and contribute, and have become in some way an even more important part of my life through sharing this journey with me.
You are my angels.