#555 Mindful swinging at the park

Baby girl has just learnt how to swing on her own. Today was the second time she had the opportunity to practice it as we headed on over to the local park.

We had just had a babycino and cap, and a salted caramel ‘something’ to share at the nearby café, so we were properly fuelled. As we got closer to the park, I let go of her hand and said “go, run. Be free. Frolic. Be 4.”

Soon she was headed over to the swing, the place of her new-found confidence and extension of never-ending playfulness. She wanted me to give her a big push to get started, and then said “let go Mama.”

(Oh darling. I will never let go).

But then as life would have it, as our children grow up, she wanted me beside her. ( 🙂 ) She motioned to the swing beside her and told me to “sit.”

Soon we were both swinging, sometimes going back and forth simultaneously, other times in opposite directions. It was a still day, the sun sometimes coming out from behind the prevalent clouds of the day. We were silent for the longest time, going back and forth at our varying paces, and my mind wandered over to something I had read the other day.

Mindfulness. What was the quote?

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”  – Bil Keane.

The article had mentioned 7 habits to cultivating a happier life. And one of the points that had captivated me had been the act of living in the present. Not worrying about what had passed, and not stressing about what may, or may not come… but concerning oneself solely, with the NOW.

The technique mentioned was to be aware of your palms and feet, and clenching both while becoming aware of your surroundings. It said to try and concentrate on where you were, and if your mind naturally wandered, to not judge yourself too harshly, but to simply gently steer your attention back to where it needed to be.

So that’s what I did. As we swung back and forth, in the quiet of the local park, I clenched the hands that were around the swing chain, and tensed my feet below me that were swinging back and forth in my white sneakers. I observed my body in the almost-too tight swing seat, breathed in the fresh air, felt the warmth on my face, and tried to think of NOW.

A young teenager was nearby, walking home from school in their uniform, and the image before me made my mind go elsewhere. Suddenly baby girl was also a teen, and there were a multitude of concerning issues flooding my mind. How would I help her with her problems? Would she ask for help? Would she be happy? Would she like school? Would she like her Life?

I suddenly realised my scattered thoughts, and ever so gently removed myself from them, taking myself back to the present.

The beautiful present. Of me and baby girl, swinging at the park, with no concerning cares in the world.

🙂

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#554 That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things…

I was shocked, and then immediately saddened, to learn today that the Mother of one of my oldest and dearest friends, had passed away last night.

I knew she had been sick, but still I had had no indication that her condition was getting worse. I knew it might be a long road ahead, which is why I didn’t see this coming.

I called my friend, and told her if I were closer, I’d give her a big hug. We cried. I sent her my love and support.

Then I got off the phone, and sat, with some more tears, before baby girl found me and took me into her play area.

I was grateful. Grateful I could do these ‘Mum’ things, and even just as grateful, that I still had a Mum.

I called my Mum and told her the news. We spoke some more, and it was so nice that when I called, I could hear her voice.

Later on I made a cake with baby girl. I used some sponge cake that had passed its use by date, and also some cream that was weeks old, but had been unopened.

Both were perfectly fine.

I threw in some melted chocolate, and melted white chocolate, that I had used for recipes weeks and months ago, that had gone hard again in the fridge, and melted them again.

I whipped the cream. Added berries.

And the cake was pretty damn good.

How is this at all relevant? There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. About re-using what you think is no good, and holding it all together…

That I have a Mum, and doing ‘Mum’ things.

 

#552 The facial

I can easily refer to it as ‘the,’ rather than ‘a’ facial, since the duration between facials has been so long, I almost forgot WHAT IT WAS.

I think I had a series of treatments before I got married, you know, to get my face all ‘getting married ready.’

That was over 8 years ago.

I received a voucher for a beauty salon from my beautiful cousins a year ago for my birthday, and today I was finally able to redeem it, one day before it expired.

Actually, the fact that the salon is not even open tomorrow, means I actually got in at the last day.

There are so many excuses as to why it took me so long to get there, and furthermore, why I don’t do facials anymore: lack of time, attention elsewhere (more ‘important’ things), Motherhood, WIFE-hood, both a.k.a putting myself last, and the worst of it all, the guilt that I should be doing more worthy things, rather than splurging on myself.

All a bunch of bull.

As I lay there in the darkened room, moisturiser getting lathered and massaged into my face and neck and shoulders, I vowed to myself I had to do this more often. I had to put myself first, look after my own body and mind and wellbeing, and then when I did, I would come back to my family all –

Rejuvenated. Fresh. Alive. Ready to take on the world. And with a restored sense of calm.

And isn’t that the best way to be with your family? The best person you can be? I, and YOU, owe it not just to yourself, but to them.

So honestly, I need to get a facial every couple of months, for them. Good point, good point… 😉

#551 What he said no.2

“I just want you to know.” He held my hand tightly as I drove, and I looked at him. “If you are ever unhappy with anything I do or say, I want you to talk to me about it. I never want it to get to the stage where you want to leave, but you never spoke to me where I could help…”

It wasn’t the most romantic thing I’ve heard from Hubbie, but tears welled in my eyes. I needed to hear that for some reason, and I didn’t even know why at first.

It followed a really crappy morning. Whinge whinge whinge, moan moan moan, sook and cry and life is crappy. All from ME. I’d been having a crappy week, holidays and all, BIRTHDAY INCLUDED, and I just felt like giving up. It was nothing major, and I was well aware that there were more important things in life to actually worry about…

But I had gotten to the advanced stage where I just wanted to vent about everything, no matter how small or insignificant it was. Trying to start the day afresh, plant a smile on my face, Hope for the best and “make the most of it!” had fallen on Deaf Universe Ears, as day after day I had been disappointed in some way. Enough to really frustrate me.

Even for a glass half-full gal as myself, I had seriously had enough. There is only so much hanging on I can take

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before I say FUCK EVERYTHING. Screw it. No asterisks or exclamation marks to hide it either. *!

Of course, as the day wore on, I lightened up. Some things made me happy and not stress so much. But still as we were driving in the late afternoon, and the attention somehow drew to a couple who had since separated, he grew solemn, and gave me the above sweet words.

Why did I appreciate them? It’s because he was realistic… not about the possibility of our relationship not being – no, I don’t even want to entertain that fact. That is an idea so far from my/our reality, that the sky turning a permanent purple, UFOs landing on our roof, or a Money Tree literally growing up out of our yard, all seem more plausible than that very unattractive and sad, sad sad proposition.

He was realistic that life was hard. Relationships were hard. Marriage was hard. He was realistic and understanding that shit happened, issues would come up often, and WHEN they did, he wanted me to talk to him about them. Not necessarily about he and I. But about anything. Knowing he wouldn’t stick his head in the sand, tell me to forget about it, say I was crazy, or dismiss my genuine feelings, made me feel incredibly relieved.

He cared. He cared enough to put me, before us. And that meant that WHEN the shit-pile avalanche started its descent down the hill, he would be there in the middle of it, pushing it up and getting the brunt of it, helping me to run away from it all.

And then I would be waiting for him, with a hose. And water him off. Because we are in this occasional shit-storm of life together. So I said to him

“The same goes for me.”

The real Happily Ever After’s don’t end in the nicely dressed Prince and Princess heading off into the sunset into their white carriage and gold-chauffeured horses.

It’s a guy and a girl in trakkies, covered in poo, walking down the street. One of them has a hose, and they’re holding hands.

That’s real. That’s life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

 

#550 Chaddy shopping day no.3

Today Hubbie and I had the rare luxury of heading to the shops together, without baby girl! I may sound horribly evil at the amusement of leaving her at kinder while we went to do so, but when you are a parent and have lived through the hardships of completing any shopping at all, let alone personal shopping when child/baby is in tow, well then you will understand my delight.

He bought a linen white shirt for beach days.

I bought a couple of tops.

And then I also bought these:

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I was really inspired when I picked up the Rebel Girls book. My first thought was to buy it later on, when baby girl was like 5 or 6 and could actually understand the stories more when I read them to her at bedtime, but then Hubbie was like “buy it now and just keep it!” and of course that was all the ammo I didn’t need to change my mind.

I even read a couple of entries on some of the influential and inspirational women when I got home, those of Jane Austen and the Williams sisters, and they blew ME away. I think this bedtime storybook is suitable for women of ALL AGES, not just young girls (and that’s my thoughts before I’ve even reviewed it!)

And the other book? Well it was timely that a book about things going wrong and not giving a flying f&^k when they do so, would pass before my eyes the day after I posted about birth-days not going to plan. I’m all very ‘think positive’ and ‘look at the brighter side of life,’ yet found freedom and relief in the premise of a book that was telling me to JUST NOT CARE.

I’ll let you know how I go. I’m grateful for it all, nonetheless.

 

#549 Making the most of a special day

Let me tell you, birthdays can be deceiving.

There is a whole heap of expectation placed upon the ‘special’ day, to be better and greater and more superb than any other day.

This ‘deceptive’ day is placed in the same category as any large celebration, also including Christmas, Easter, and MOST ESPECIALLY the most cunning culprit, NEW YEARS EVE.

We think we must have some kind of exceptionally amazing day, and then when it is just… ordinary, at best, we feel sad.

Disenchanted.

Frustrated.

Mad at the world.

Pitiful.

Glum.

Today the winds were raging like hell. It was cold. I had an argument with Hubbie that brought me to tears. A small one, but I was pissed nonetheless.

I spent a good portion of the day packing, and then unpacking as we came back home from our San Remo short stay.

Hubbie was still suffering side effects from the antibiotics he took after removing a tooth, so he was pretty lowly and flat himself.

We hadn’t eaten proper healthy meals in days, and felt crappy as a result.

And it was my birthday.

The expectation of amazing, compared to the dismal reality, wore me down HARD.

I did feel sorry for myself for a while. But then when I realised that a Birth-day, is just like every other day, I dragged myself out of the rut…

You see, all days are the same. Birth-days, Christmas-days, New Years-days. All require you to do something about it.

We can’t be sitting around and waiting for stuff to happen. Or waiting for people to come in and make our life and day better. We need to do it ourselves, but also be mindful, that sometimes, life goes up…

and life goes down…

and sometimes this happens on a ‘special’ day.

And that’s ok.

There was nothing remarkable about my birth-day today, and yet I spent it the best way I could, enjoying my downtime with Hubbie and baby girl.

And in the end, my changed mindset, made the day better. That’s all it was. A changed, and accepted mindset. Because I realised that although I was going to make the most of the situation in the day as it was, I was also accepting of the fact that sometimes days don’t go to plan, and we don’t get what we want, and we just need to breathe in…

Breathe… Inhale

and breathe out…

Breathe… Exhale

and say “tomorrow’s another day.”

And in the end, I ended up having a lovely day 🙂

(But just saying, I have a party this Saturday and I’m going to rock it mofos. Like, watch out).