#594 10 Minutes to spare

I had about 10 minutes to spare.

I was at the post office a bit too early, the result of being too damn organised, and so I looked around me at the area in which my work resides, wondering how I would fill the time amidst endless cafes, despite being already-caffeinated (but first, coffee, ALWAYS) and yet not being hungry enough to call in somewhere for an early lunch.

There was no point in walking all the way to work, and then coming back…

Then I spotted sun, and glistening water, through the alleyway up ahead of me, and suddenly I knew how to while away the time…

And so minutes later, I was grateful. Generally speaking, we don’t often have the time to just sit and be in the moment, amidst the busy-ness of life, and so to be so organised as to be so early for work as to be so early for the post office, well, I was going to enjoy this moment of peace and extreme organisation as much as I could.

This was my peripheral vision… from my left

To the centre

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And finally the right

A glorious landscape of water, and boats. I sat there in the chilly air, cold, but with my bomber jacket keeping me somewhat warm as I sat close to the water’s edge on a wooden bench, just taking it all in.

The strong ripple of water.

The rowers competing against one another amidst the endless water up ahead.

The sky-scrapers.

Boats of every shape and size.

The freeway far away, with seemingly few cars, for what was a weekend day.

And then to my right I heard some noise, and coming from afar I saw a young boy with what I assumed was his little sister. I felt a pang of longing as I immediately thought of my baby girl at home, but then as this girl scooted around here and there, the boy keeping a close eye on her, I realised if baby girl was here she would launch herself into the water, and so the longing quickly passed replaced by immediate relief.

Phew.

Yet still, I kept a close eye on them as they passed me by. The boy put his younger sister up on the raised garden bed, and she ran off while he kept close to her side.

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I wasn’t with my baby girl, but I could appreciate the sweet sight of another on the last Saturday of this sunshine-y cold September morning.

And just like that, my time was up. It was 10am. I stood up, and with an invigorated swing in my step, I headed off to do my jobs.

#593 Stupid time-wasters…

I feel soooo guilty.

I actually don’t have all that much time to spend doing what I wanna do. I am constantly in a state of ‘must-write,’ and yet having a little girl and a part-time job, a fussy (yet so lovable) Hubbie, and constant 24 hour responsibilities OF LIFE, mean I don’t get to write as much as, or when, I’d like to.

I don’t even get to watch the TV shows I love. My Foxtel planner is currently full of 50+ unwatched Bold and the Beautiful eps, and the only reason I get to watch the current season of The Bachelorette is because I practically demand it.

I haven’t even watched any NEW movies, for about 5 years now, let alone an old fave, in soooo long. I am hanging.

Which is why, to do a totally useless thing, a completely time-wasting activity, feels so horrible, and yet at the same time, so so good…

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Hangs head in shame.

I know. I am sooo late to the party. I think this was huge 5 years ago, and yet for some reason still unknown to me, when I saw the link on my computer as I was adding up sums on my laptop calculator for ‘boring as bat-shit’ bills, I thought “is this a freebie?”

I didn’t expect it to be a full-blown game. I thought it would be ‘meh,’ and not only ‘meh,’ but it would immediately lead me to a section where I would have to go online to pay before I could gain full access to the game.

But it didn’t.

And so for nights now, after doing my obligatory writing projects (gratitude post, personal journal) I have been moving up stages in Candy Crush Soda Saga.

God Help Me. I am up to Stage 17. And even earlier today, as I had 20 minutes or so to wait until my cauliflower soup had simmered to a ready stage, instead of doing something useful online, say, like ANY writing…

I moved up 3 stages. Damn.

I am getting really addicted. I feel bad to be doing something so trivial, so useless, and so inconsequential to the progression of LIFE, but I think at the same time that is what is so appealing about it all …

Because as Women, Wives and Mothers, our lives are full to the brim with responsibility and jobs and routine and drop-offs and lunches and cooking and cleaning and bills and paperwork and work work work work work of ALL KINDS.

So although there are so many things that need constant doing…

Sometimes, not doing anything important at all, feels like the most freeing, and therefore important thing to do.

Yes, this post is about my gratitude to Candy Crush. Yes, I know. I never ever ever EVER thought…

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#592 Fleeting sunset

I passed by the downstairs window, and saw a big orange half-Sun disappearing into the watery horizon ahead.

It was vibrant. I went and got my phone, got slightly distracted along the way, and by the time I had gotten back, I was surprised at how much more of the Sun had disappeared behind the water. It was now this:

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I realised I should try and catch a view of it from upstairs, before it disappeared any further, and in the minute that I said a few words to Hubbie and actually went up to our room, it was now THIS:

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I couldn’t believe it! So fast. Before I could even catch a proper appreciative look at it, this bright orange sunset had vanished, leaving a golden hue all along the water.

About 30 minutes later, and the landscape had dramatically changed again:

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Although the sunset had moved past me way too quickly, I know the beauty is always there… in brightness, in fading light, and in the night.

#591 Gutsy Hubbie

He is tough, my love. Inside, he is super soft, like the sweetest marshmallow, the cuddliest bunny, or the sweetest pussycat you could ever feast your eyes on.

Yet still, he is tough as guts.

He has done tough things. Gutsy things. Brave things.

COURAGE GUTS. He woke up one day, and just decided he was going to find a new job. He was going to put himself out there, and into a field he wasn’t especially learned with, and just go for it.

He got the job.

PERSEVERANCE GUTS. He has been working 50 plus hours a week, for about 5 years now. He does this for us, for our family, so we can live a nice life. He gets up early, he works long hours, and he doesn’t complain, or whinge, or moan, when I am at home with baby girl, and he is in a cold meat room working for US.

STRENGTH GUTS. He had to get a tooth out recently. I admit, I was a tad nervous for him, but didn’t dare show it. He went into it with such strength and determination. With his usual wit, humour, and can-do attitude.

Sure, he was scared. I know he was. To know someone will be cutting into your gum, removing your tooth AND the root, while scraping off bits of bone for grafting, while you lie in the chair alert, hearing it ALL, that is freaky stuff.

I have pushed a child out, and still I say, that is freaky stuff.

But he did it, and came out of the surgery room, two thumbs up.

We sang Dora The Explorer on the way home. Her end of episode tune “We did it!”

That is his humour.

And today he showed me some more guts.

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I-CAN-DO-ANYTHING GUTS.

A couple of weeks ago he proclaimed that if the decades long underdog, Richmond team of the AFL, were to be in the finals, he would mimic the out-there hairstyle sported by one of the team’s best players. As it was, the player in question ‘Dusty’ Martin, won the Brownlow medal earlier this week, a medal awarded each year to the league’s best and fairest on field, and this was after it was confirmed that Richmond would indeed be in the final.

Why would he do this? He isn’t even a Richmond supporter. But his Dad was. And in true spirit, a nod to his father, and in acknowledging that his Dad would be excited about his team making it so far, Hubbie made a vow that he was going to get his hair done in this buzz-cut style of Mohawk-Mullet.

I had to sigh. Like when he actually told me this, I just went “mmm hmm.”

Of course I didn’t believe it.

He told me again and I started to think there was more substance to his previous crazy-happy outburst.

And then he told me his work mates knew.

And suddenly, I knew it was serious. He couldn’t back out now.

“Are you sure?” I had asked him.

“It’s only hair. It’ll grow back.”

GUTS.

And so it will. And so he did. He got his hair cut today and the feedback has been pretty spectacular to say the least.

I am proud of my Hubbie. I am proud of his guts, his can-do attitude, and the fact that he doesn’t care what people think… it doesn’t faze him at all.

And what do I think? I think it is not as bad as what I had imagined. Whether I do or I don’t though, I love this marshmallow strawberry-centred man all the same. ♥♥♥

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#590 Park Days no. 3

Baby girl and I had been eyeing off the re-developing park for about 8 months.

Well, maybe more. I wasn’t counting. But I know it was a while. Every time we went over to my parents house on the other side of town, we would drive past this park that was getting a much-needed facelift.

It is on a kinda-main-road, and bit by bit, looking in at this fenced-off development, we would see the workmen, putting up poles, ropes and all kinds of play equipment; measuring off play areas versus green and seated areas; and finally, the day arrived when there was a huge hose-like machine pumping out bark onto the areas surrounding the kids play.

Then I knew we were close.

We were over at my parents place today. And not only did baby girl and I decide immediately upon driving past this finally-completed park, that we would definitely check it out… but after waiting seemingly endless months for it to be finished, the beautiful symmetry of our first park visit there, culminated in us getting to see my parents again after 24 days.

Yep, exactly. I remember the number, because the last time we were there it was the day before Father’s Day. There’s been a health scare, lots of us have been sick, and there’s even been an almost buy at an auction. I feel like a lot has happened in these 3+ weeks, making it feel more like 3+ months since we were last in each other’s company.

But what a day for it all to come together. Sunshine, Spring, perfect Still days, a brand new Park, and being in the company of my Parents, who, I realised today, I had missed so much…

A gorgeous Spring Park day. A perfect metaphor for all the joy we felt today.

 

#589 Signs of Spring no.2

I was looking forward to something special in particular. I knew the time of year was upon us, and so as I waited for the familiar ‘sign,’ I took snapshots of some other bits of garden beauty:

And soon, as I did this, one morning I went out to my car, and there it was.

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The tree had started to bloom.

It’s not even our tree. It’s our neighbour’s tree, but the branches tip over into our driveway, and welcomingly so… I had been thinking of this tree for a while in the lead up to Spring, as I remember distinctly this time last year, we had bought the Sea change house, yet we still didn’t have the keys as settlement was still weeks away… but we couldn’t stay away from it nonetheless.

On one visit, I was astounded at the brilliant bright colours this tree produced, and back then, especially so since everything was so novel and exciting and fresh, it really felt other-worldly.

And it wasn’t even our tree.

This year, each day I see it it grows fuller with beautifully flowering petals. Close up you would say there are only two colours, but from afar, I can see three: white, pink and the elusive lilac. It is so colourful, so uplifting, so vibrant.

(Left to right, shows the progression of the flowering tree over a span of days).

I know it is not my tree, but I love it like it is so. And yes, I know the expression, “the grass is always greener on the other side…” but with this tree, peeking over onto our side, I just happen to think we have the best view 🙂

 

#588 The Greatest Show of All

I LOVED going to the Royal Melbourne Show as a child. My parents took me often, and it was always, ALWAYS, a highlight, every single year. As I grew older I remembered one time where I had a great day there with my sister and Mum too, and then after I met Hubbie we went a couple of times, a night session, and a full-on day session as well.

But we haven’t been for many, many years.

What is there to love about the Show? Why, everything. There is truly something for everyone. There are rides of all kinds, for big kids and small; there are games, again, for everyone, that take out the child in you when the lights flash in your eyes and you observe giant oversized toys that suddenly, YOU MUST HAVE; there is amazing carnival food, as trashy and truck-y as you like, or as discerning and Masterchef-quality as you please, kind sir and madam; there are even animals in talent contests showcasing their skills, entertainers singing or performing death-defying stunts, and then of course, at night, the explosions in the sky.

FIREWORKS.

Well, after what seemed like too long of a break, we went today. It was baby girl’s first time EVER, and weirdly, I had known about a month ago, even before I got my free tickets, that this was going to be our first year to go. It hasn’t worked out for us, or her, any other year, but also, this year I knew she was truly ready for the walk-a-thon that was to be the Royal Melbourne Show adventure, and also, this year she could start to appreciate it. Really appreciate it.

And start creating memories. 🙂

It is so exciting when you start to expose your child to fun things you did when you were young. Hell who am I kidding – I still love to do kid stuff! And I was about as excited as her today, as we jumped off the train about midday and arrived at the Showgrounds.

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It was, a BRILLIANT day.

We ate Showground food of fish and chips, coupled with some glasses of beer and wine.

We watched dogs leap over hurdles and fly through tunnels in high-paced canine comps.

Baby girl went on several rides on her own, and with both Hubbie and I: flying through the air in a row-your-boat contraption, spinning round on a floating mini air balloon ride, going round a merry-go-round track in a car, AND she had her first ever dodgem car experience on her own!

She was the bomb 🙂

We played games, and baby girl fished out some prizes for herself.

We stopped for a well-deserved coffee and sweets break, and found some awesome Nutella doughnuts courtesy of the famous food trucks.

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We went on the GIANT Ferris Wheel, and nearly died as we were perched up top of the world, the insane wind rocking our carriage and making us hold hands, while I actually bent over and encouraged baby girl to pray to God that the wind would lessen.

She thought I was hilarious.

And then the big one, the clincher, the reason for even going to the show AT ALL…

The showbags.

They don’t come cheap. Of course she wanted character ones, which are even dearer than some other kiddie ones, so we let her pick two bags and got an extra pup toy as well.

It had been a big day. We were glad to have taken the train part of the way, so it could take us a fair distance out of the city and to our parked location, before we jumped in our car and drove home.

Watching baby girl, and seeing her response to so many fun events of the day, was absolute GOLD. She now knows, what the Show is all about.

And what’s most important, her memories of them have just started… and they are already beautiful 🙂