I did not know what to write to start this New Year. The Christmas period was very busy with my beloved parents here in Italy with us. It was also quite sad because my son did not come home for the first time ever and although I know that things must change, and the best thing anyone can do is give loved ones their freedom, nevertheless the magic was missing for me this year.

There were some lovely highlights to the festivities, such as the new friend who saved the big day by giving me a homemade Christmas pudding, a skype video call with our son while he opened his presents and a special New Year’s slow dance in the kitchen with my darling husband.

Then there was Befana which ended with Guido in the hospital emergency room. Fortunately, after a week spend frantically visiting him there, all was resolved and I feel I am the luckiest woman ever, because I have been given a chance to start a new life in health and happiness together.

So, a start to the new year full of shock, panic and fear but also of acceptance of one’s vulnerability, awareness of my inner strength and a demonstration of the very strong and wonderful friendships I have.

Yesterday I went to the hairdresser. It was about time I got a grip and made myself look a bit better or Guido would get fed up of looking at me! I have a very special hairdresser who always lifts my spirits and makes me laugh but who is also capable of seeing deep into my soul. She was working on the nails of another client when I walked in and within minutes the three of us were chatting about life as if we had known each other for centuries. Maybe we had. Out of the blue this, rather ordinary looking, middle-aged woman said that she thought that, maybe in another life, she had been a Mermaid. My hairdresser, who is not exactly tiny, laughingly said she thought she might have been a whale. We all smiled at that but the lady went on to say she had always felt a deep affinity with the sea and being near it made her breathe more peacefully. Rather shyly, she said that in another life she could have been prettier. Well, in that moment she was almost beautiful. The light shining in her eyes as she thought about her inner self, which did not resemble the face and body reflected in the unforgiving mirrors, transformed her and opened a window on her soul.

We are so much more than that which we reveal on the outside. Our complex bodies take us through life so well, only occasionally breaking down and needing repairs. We often take them for granted and seldom take the time to look deeper inside at the “real us”. So, I think that I would like to take some time this year for inner reflection and maybe rediscover the “mermaid” within.