Quote

Food For Thought Friday

Poem-Image
To do one thing that is true
to yourself,
not listening to the voices
that would mock you
into staying ordinary
 
To do all the many things
that are inside
and need to get out,
not remaining beholden to
the suffocating tedium
of other people’s expectations
 
To be brimful with anticipation
for whatever new passion might be
waiting to unfurl;
 
To have stories to tell,
instead of nothing to say
 
How sad to live a life
that is not like that.

A poem written by my mum that featured in her funeral booklet.

Finding Your Bliss

MAKE YOUR BED AND LIE IN IT

Part 5

You may always have known what “floats your boat” or you may have spent much of your life in vague or outright discontent because your existence so far has been some other director’s movie when you should have been directing it yourself. Whatever the case, you need to grab the director’s chair ready to re-invent yourself and your life, and start making the movie your way, from the heart. If you need some help to dig out your authentic desires so you can turn them into a stunning script, there are many wonderful books available to show you how to do this, including one called ‘Simple Abundance’ by Sarah Ban Breathnach, from which the following excerpt has been taken:

The key to loving how you live is in knowing what it is you truly love. ‘To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you that you ought to prefer, is to keep your soul alive,” 

Robert Louis Stevenson reminds us. Keeping our soul alive and nurturing our creativity is paramount in our quest for fulfilment , and it is only after we acknowledge our inner needs that we can harness the energy necessary to manifest them in our lives.

“It is inevitable that when one has a great need of something, one finds it,” Gertrude Stein reminds us. ‘What you need you attract like a lover.”

                                                                      Refined from  ‘Simple Abundance’

To discover your ‘bliss’ you must first discover what pleases you, that place where your heart leaps for joy.  Follow your instincts – they are the signposts to an exciting and fulfilling life. Choose paths that feel appropriate to you and follow them wherever they lead. There is a journey and adventure ahead, no matter what your age or circumstance. You are being called, and opportunities will always make themselves available to you when you follow this call.

Each of us is called to be courageous and trust the voice within. When you do so, every cell in your body is alive. There is an amplification of life and consciousness. You may not know what your next step is, but the adventure has begun.

Your experiences in life are unique. No-one has lived a life like yours before. Nor will anyone have your particular opportunities and talents. It is the uniqueness of your life’s journey that gives you the potential to contribute so much.

                                                                                             From ‘Happiness

Whatever the components of your “big, fat dreams” the same principles apply when it comes to living them.

Bliss-Low

Tell your  children…

No-one knows how long their time on earth is going to be, so when we are of an age to understand that this is our one chance to get it right, we should find the things that sing to our soul and make them our driving force.

Having a fulfilled soul will bring us joy when all is going well, and solace when life is difficult.

The songs will change with different phases and decades, but you must always follow your bliss.

Two Year Olds 

tractor_1

Usually I like to take some time to think up a catchy blog title but anyone with children usually understand what a simple exasperated ‘Two Year Olds’ probably intones and it is usually followed by commiserating looks and murmurs and recollections of the terrible twos.

Finley was 2 in December and having a full blown tantrum has started to become an epic event. All at once funny, embarrassing and infuriating. Cohen wasn’t really a tantrum thrower, he was far more relaxed and had a limited vocabulary at this age, so in hindsight I see how spoilt I was the first time around.

Finley is making up for that in bucket loads.

So, yesterday I decided to stop at the beach on the way to pick up Cohen from kindergarten. Some lovely sea air and a walk was a nice easy way to tire out my youngest child who had already refused his nap. Our local beach is two minutes down the road from us and there are three car parking areas – a middle car park by the surf club and a car park at either end of the beach by the boatsheds on each side. Since it was on my way I decided to stop in the middle car park and give him the run around towards our boatshed at the other end. The whole time he made a beeline for that boatshed and our tractor (as pictured above) because honestly, what little boy doesn’t want to play on a tractor all day? After some convincing and going up and down a set of stairs 3 4 times we went back to the car and drove to collect Cohen. This is where it started to get interesting.

‘Do you want to go to the beach boys or go home?’

Chorus from the backseat ‘BEACH!’

Ok then, they both agree. Brilliant. Challenge #1: Getting them to agree to said destination/activity complete.

Since Finn had spent the entire time at the beach wanting to go to the boatshed I decided to just go straight there and park on the beach right outside. Makes sense right? Of course it does! Why walk 15 minutes to the boatshed when you can park right in front of it? So I pull up.

Tears. Instant. ‘No want this beach! Other beach! No want this one!’

‘Finley, this is the same beach. You wanted to go to the boatshed’

‘No want it!! No! Other park mummy! No want this one! No want this beach!’

‘Finley, don’t be silly. We are at the beach. You love the beach! Look, the tractor!’

I drag him out of the carseat kicking and screaming (seriously, kicking and screaming). What two year old doesn’t like the beach?!

Plonk. Face down in the sand. Muffled sobs and ‘No want this beach!’ omit from child. Get out second child who is happy as larry to be at the beach and wants to get running to play on the rocks further down. I decide to take the ‘leave them and hope they follow’ approach. Get about 10 metres down the beach. Child has not followed and is wailing louder. Turn and go back.

Now, this is the time to note that there were other people in these boatsheds watching with great amusement. They know my husband so I am pretty sure this will get around and become a great joke. One of the guys actually came down and offered me some chocolate bars for the boys, trying to help (bless him) and commented that F was a feisty one. Yep. So I was very conscious of the fact that we were actually the main show brightening up their quiet afternoon.

After 10 minutes of this I decided, right, that’s it! He wanted to go home and so while going home is usually the punishment, at this point it was giving in. Two can play this game. So I hefted him up under my arm like a football and carried him down the beach. By this point, people were making no attempt to hide their entertainment and were openly standing at the doors of their boatsheds watching the show with big grins on their faces. I kid you not. So I carry him down the beach still crying and say ‘I know Finn! Why don’t you jump in this puddle! You love puddles!’ and put him down.

PLONK. Face down in puddle. ‘No want puddle! No want it!!’

So now I have a soaking wet sand covered child screaming instead of just a screaming child. Great. He then gets up and stalks back to the car where he then lies flat on the sand like a plank, face down in silent protest.

At this point with echoes of laughter (not mine) I decide that it is time to go home. Fighting with a stubborn two year old for 30 minutes in front of an audience is not my cup of tea and in the end his ability to remain stubborn bet out my ability to fight him. And I was by then in desperate need of a coffee. A strong one.

And all because I parked in the wrong place.

Two year olds!

What irrational moments has your child had lately or what is one that stands out as memorable?

Linking up with EssentiallyJess and doing IBOT for the first time. Thanks for popping by!

A Tale of Chaos and that Darn Lunch Box ..

For some reason getting up at 5am to be at work by 7am is far easier than having a day off and doing kindy drop off by 8.30am. I hate kindy drop off with a vengeance. In fact, I hate everything about getting ready for kindy. I can meet a deadline on an important job at work with less stress than I can prepare a ‘school house’ lunch box. Seriously.

Since when did putting together a kindy/school lunch box become so complicated?

Since I had the fussiest child on earth.

Does anyone else add fruit to a school lunch box for show knowing full well that said child will not touch, let alone eat it? No? Let’s be honest here! I have to do batches of stewed apples on weekends to disguise into weetbix in order to get fruit in these boys. C has always had a strange phobia of touching some textures of foods (namely fruit and vegetables – convenient?) so disguising has become part of my repertoire. School house lunches on the other hand are a bit of a nightmare for me with a child who only really likes white foods. Bread (plain, no butter or any other spread/filling must go anywhere near it), rolls (as above), biscuits (must be baked to avoid any ‘may contain peanuts’ warnings which is fine but means many a late night panic of baking before a kindy day and then there is the big question of how many biscuits are acceptable a day when it is all they will probably eat?), chips (plain, usually come home untouched and soggy). I then find myself topping up with things that look good but will be uneaten for the most part (sweetcorn fritters, potatoes cubed and seasoned, even pizza!). Why I go to so much effort when I know he won’t touch them is beyond me (ok, maybe because I hope that one day he might try it and surprise me but mostly because I can’t exactly send him off with three slices of plain bread and 5 biscuits).

This does not go unnoticed by the kindy teachers who have approached me with concern at how little he eats. So stress #1 leads to stress #2 – drop off. For some unknown reason I can never get them out the door in time. The juggling act of getting them up, dressed, fed and out the door just continually turns to chaos. Then juggling two children into the building and dragging the kicking and screaming two year old out of the sand pit and back out the door while the three year old is standing there saying ‘Ok mum, BYE now’ in a ‘please hurry up you are cramping my style’ tone of voice, is just the icing on the cake. And yet all the other mums (and dads) look so relaxed while I feel like I have run a marathon. I come home literally exhausted and it’s not even 9am.

Am I the only one out there or is this a universal problem that we are all just good at disguising?

Playing House

Somehow the idea of playing house was a lot easier in my dreams of having a family (much like the idea of getting pregnant being easy, the idea of leaving high school for the big bad world being easy, the idea of doing it all being easy). The idea of losing weight after babies being easy. But that is a whole other post! Back to the topic at hand …

A 3 year old boy and a 2 year old boy require about the same amount of exercise as 6 farm dogs to be tired enough to sleep at night. Or 2 Labrador puppies. Hence we have had sleep issues for years now. I am not even joking. At 11 months old F was in hospital with a bad virus and decided on me was the only place to go to sleep at night. Fast forward a year and he still felt I was the only place to go to sleep at night. This became exhausting and meant I had no time out in the evenings. C then decided that he needed to come into our bed in the middle of the night and F soon followed suit. Then they both decided sleep was for sissies. Fun times! I conclude that this was my punishment for having babies who slept through from 5 weeks old.

Until they didn’t.

Lack of sleep for extended periods of time does funny things to a person. Essentially my memory has been fried. This makes work difficult when I can’t remember which customer I was serving, I forget I took someone’s passport and immigration papers and it takes tears to return them half an hour later when it suddenly clicks that I had indeed served them (oops!) and I have the attention span of a fruit fly (I may or may not have googled that, google is awesome, especially when you tell it you have x,y and z wrong with you and it tells you you are dying). Anyway, what was I talking about again?

Right, so lack of sleep can really stuff you up (did I already say that?) and I am at the point where I literally feel like I might be going crazy (in a hormonal evil witch way, a which way is up way and a ‘CHOCOLATE!’ kind of way – hence the weight thing becoming an issue). My solution over summer was to drink lots of beer (on top of the coffee addiction). Unfortunately after months of multiple beers a night I realised that alcohol was making the problem of being snappy and grumpy and just not a box of fluffies worse. I’m not depressed, I’m just exhausted with two very full on (F is VERY full on) little boys on a few hours sleep a night, 5am wake ups, a full time job, a commute home, 2 hours in the evening with which to stay on top of house work and cook dinner (enter exhibit number 2 causing weight gain – easy meals. Sausages in bread, sausage rolls, pies, pasta, rice – pretty much anything that does not include anything green or rather, anything one might consider healthy).

So yes, I am a balanced crazy. But nobody wants to admit that they find it hard do they?

Does anyone else often feel crazy from this full time job called parenting where you have tiny little unpredictable humans driving you slightly insane while being completely loveable at the same time?

Make Your Bed and Lie In It – Introduction

I am going to start intermittently sharing my mums book in parts with you all. It inspires me to read, hopefully it may inspire some of you along the way and reveal why she was such an amazing lady. It may not be a movie but I’m pretty sure she would be feeling pretty chuffed regardless!

INTRODUCTION

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR LIFE

When you see life as a truly precious commodity, you don’t want to let it just drift by. Making the most of time, your gifts and your blessings is essential. Even if you live to be eighty, you want it to have been a grand existence, no matter how it started or what obstacles you encountered on the way. And if you don’t have that long, it’s even more important to use and enjoy your time to the fullest.

By integrating the wisdoms of this book (and others like it) into your life, whether you falter a little or a lot, you have a strength of spirit and purpose that enables you to harness a real dream of a life from the universe.

There will be glorious lilting moments, softer contentments, warm satisfactions; there will also be mistakes and hiccups and sadnesses; all of them making up the story of your life. To have a story to tell, and giving the people in your world the chance to tell a story about you, is better than ending up with vague memories (on your part) or vague platitudes (on theirs.)

You:  “Oh, it was just a life. I wish I’d done a bit more with it, actually. I had/never had the opportunities. Too late now, I guess.”

And them: “Oh, she was a nice enough lady. Two lovely cats. She worked hard for thirty years but I’m not actually sure what she did there. ”

(Or, worse: “her? She was a cow.”)

No, this is what you want. You want to be able to say you have very few regrets; that you accepted your gift of life with a big thank-you, undid the satin bow and carefully removed the paper and used what was in the box with reverence and panache. And you had a great time along the way!

And you want someone else to say: “Yeah, she was really cool. She did this/that and she made a real difference, in fact I can’t imagine life without her. And she was always so kind and funny, but sharp. Totally switched on. We loved her. We’ll miss her.” (Or better still: “They should make a movie of her life.” Well, we can but dream!)

“LIFE IS A PRETTY PRECIOUS AND WONDERFUL THING. YOU CAN’T SIT DOWN AND LET IT LAP AROUND YOU …YOU HAVE TO PLUNGE INTO IT; YOU HAVE TO DIVE THROUGH! AND YOU CAN’T SAVE IT, YOU CAN’T STORE IT UP; YOU CAN’T HORDE IT IN A VAULT. YOU’VE GOT TO TASTE IT; YOU’VE GOT TO USE IT. THE MORE YOU USE, THE MORE YOU HAVE…THAT’S THE MIRACLE OF IT!”

KYLE SAMUEL CRICHTON

Starting Again!

Getting back into blogging is a daunting prospect. First of all, there is the fact that I had a clear topic before and an evolving story, a challenge, a journey. And I wasn’t so tired. My life is one crazy day after another these days. My brain is slightly fried and dare I say it, a bit boyed out! Not that boyed is a word, but it should be! I live with them, I work with them. I grew up with females so males are not really something I was accustomed to being around on a daily basis. Not counting all the boys at school of which I stalked a lot! Don’t tell my husband.

On second thought, he already knows.

I grew up with my mum, my Nana, my aunty, a few female boarders here and there and my poor grandad. Then my mum got married and I gained a step sister and a step dad. Three females against one! For some reason when I moved out of home I thought moving in with all guys would be awesome! Why? I don’t know! Silly young girl. We had ants on the bench daily from the guys not pulling their weight in the cleaning department, but really, how many 20 year old males do you know that clean?! They also set up a grandstand in the lounge for the sports they lived to watch and there may have been a few, um, untraditional things being cooked on the stove top *cough cough*. I had nothing to do with that though! Naive young woman I was. No one cooked (other than the subtly hinted at other grassy item) and I quite literally lived on two minute noodles. I kid you not! I was given a box (I’m talking one of those big boxes that the supermarket are supplied with) for my 20th birthday of chicken two minute noodles and I lived on those for months. The upside was that I was a skinny wee thing who still thought she was fat (and I would so adore to go back in time and slap her around the face and tell her to start flaunting it and stop hiding her figure under baggy clothes!). The downside was that it wasn’t exactly nutritious and more than a bit boring!

Little did I know that moving in with all guys in a flat at the age of 19 would be the trend for the rest of my life! For 12 years I have worked with all guys (4 to be precise plus technicians who are also male), then I continued to flat with all guys for 4 years (why?!) and then I had a son. And another one. And a cat and dog that are both (you guessed it!) male. I am quite literally surrounded by BOYS. And people wonder why I am addicted to coffee! I am the girliest of all girly girls. I got notes written for me to get me out of PE thanks to a mum who knew precisely how I felt and who, ironically, grew up on a farm! I did enjoy the great outdoors where sport was not involved and then I am really not sure what happened … I grew up into a girly girl girl girl. Outdoors was for sunbathing! Not exploring. And now I have two sons who want me to let them play in the mud which usually involves me having to get in the mud to remove them from the mud while they are covered in mud which ends up with me covered in mud. And then I inevitably need a third coffee of the day by 10am. Scratch that, make it a wine!

So perhaps this blog will be about learning to be a mum to boys. To embracing a boys world. On top of this I am a working mum. A wife. A coffee lover. A motherless daughter.A woman who has overcome infertility, experienced the ups and downs of not being able to conceive, who has endured IVF and experienced miracles.

Welcome to the next chapter!