#1877 Appreciating the little things

The above post title feels really redundant to write, because isn’t that what this whole blog is about?

But I’ve been reflecting a lot on life at this moment in time, versus life at this time last year.

It is so different, but I don’t need to tell you that anyway.

Easter this year was wonderful, and when I think of how it was last year… well to be ghastly honest, the end of the day was pretty dark and depressing.

Last year’s Easter school holidays were monotone… home home home. And I was working from home too, so it was work work work.

This year we’re planning all the fun things we can do with baby girl, out and about town.

Last year, libraries were closed. SHUT DOWN.

This afternoon, I was seated in a library chair reading about writer Kurt Vonnegut as baby girl piled high a stack of books to take home.

We even stopped at a grocery shop, sans masks, and seriously, I am still getting used to the freedom.

No matter where things lead us this year… I remind myself, we are in a better place than where we were last year.

Forever, getting there. πŸ™πŸ’–

#1876 The light in darker days

“Oh, oh, the night comes down…

And it’s dark again.”

These are the lyrics sung by Queen in the song ‘The Night Comes Down’ on their self-titled first album.

And I can’t help but think of these lyrics when looking out at the sky tonight.

The sky, which came darker, earlier. I can’t lie and tell you I’m jumping for joy over the thought of reduced daylight hours, colder days and cooler nights, shivering as I head outside instead of relaxing in overabundant warmth.

But the older I get, the more I am coming to appreciate all of the seasons.

The last 6 months have been crazy. We’ve gone from a covid world, to attempting a life back to ‘normal’ following super-tight restrictions.

We all went a bit crazy. We’ve tried to cram in as much as we can, as much outside/social/happening time as we can, because you know, you just don’t know.

We don’t know what is in store for us. In life, and in covid.

And so the last 6 months, which have honestly been horrific-ly long at times, while also being stunningly beautiful, well I won’t mind to see the back of as daylight fades a bit.

I am feeling up for some mellower days. Staying in. Watching Netflix. Board games. Reality TV. Shopping where I’m not sad to be missing out on the outdoors. Catch-ups with family and friends, sitting around the table and sharing our woes, our laughter.

There is a season for every moment. I am coming to appreciate the different aspects of each, instead of only holding on stubbornly to Summer.

Every season brings with it something beautiful. It’s up to each of us individually, to find out what that ‘something’ is.

πŸ‚πŸ

#1844 My star reader

I’ve been really trying to get baby girl reading more.

Not for me, because I’m a lover of words… but for her. It’ll be so much easier for her, education wise, if she’s a good reader, and so I’ve been pretty adamant since school began, that she needs to read something to us every night.

Tonight she continued on with the Hot Dog book she’s been reading, from the local library. This one from the series is called Camping Time. Written by comedian Anh Do, these books centre on a sausage dog called Hot Dog, and his friends, with the adventures they get up to featuring in some wacky way or another.

Well, she started reading from about page 26, since that was what she was up to the other night.

She kept reading…

And reading…

And reading…

AND she got to the end of the book! She had read up to page 113, which means she had almost gone through 100 pages!

WHAT?!

She was on a mission. Aimed at primary school kids, it’s an easy to read page-turner, with large graphics, speech bubbles and engaging sound effects on each page! And on she went, and she did it all.

I’m so proud of her, but mostly I’m happy she chose to do it on her own. Hubbie and I told her multiple times to leave it for another day, but she persisted…

And just look where she ended up. Unbelievable.

I hope this helps her appreciate books and stories a lot more now. πŸ’–πŸ“š

#1842 Here I am

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you didn’t sit down ALL DAY for downtime?

As busy as life gets, I usually find myself having some kind of rest, couch time, if only for 30 minutes at the end of the night.

But t’s 11:04pm as of my writing this and only just minutes ago did I sit down!

But, here I am.

And I am happy for that. 😊

You know, I really try not to be all “glad the day is over.” I try to appreciate things in every day (as you may well know with this blog!)

But sometimes you are glad that you got through, and survived it.

Phew.

Here I am.

#1817 Laughing with a loved one

What a beautiful thing it is to laugh.

It feels like a privilege even, to pay someone to make you laugh. I mean, to get those belly-aching jiggles, gasping for air, stamping your foot guffaws, I don’t know…

It’s wonderful.

But what if, you didn’t even have to pay???

I cashed in my competition win tonight. Because I had won a competition on a page I follow on facebook, I was able to take sis with me to see the amazing AKMAL tonight!

Yes, he’s not there. I know. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Oh my God, he was hilarious. Swearing all over the place, making fun of people in the first few rows, offending all walks of life every which way.

(Note to self, never book front row seats at a comedy show).

To laugh, to let go. It really is an honour. Sis and I certainly guffawed, and we continued our night out by getting a nearby coffee…

It has been so long. I always appreciate things, but I appreciate them all the more now after the year we’ve had. Sis mentioned how lovely the restaurant was, and I had to agree, it had a warm cosiness to it…

But then I thought later…

Even if we were in a tiny cramped milkbar…

Or sitting on a rickety park bench…

Or holed up in a stinky dingy bar (mind you we avoided the male-dominated, cheap looking pub, but you get my drift)…

As long as we were together, it would be the best night ever.

And so it was. πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1567 Day 69 of getting there: What happened after I got locked out

Have I got a gratitude story for you.

Today, I got locked out of my house.

For 90 minutes.

In the morning.

With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.

Without my phone on me.

Before breakfast.

IN MY PYJAMAS.

It was about 10am. I stepped out to feed the cat, while baby girl was inside.

But then she followed me. And when she leant down to pat Mister F as he started eating…

She brought the door that she was leaning on with her… and it closed.

It’s one of those old doors that has no handle, it can only be turned with a key.

Only the key was on the other side of the door.

I looked around in panic.

The garage was locked.

The back door was locked.

The front door was locked.

Hell, even if I climbed like an ape onto the balcony, that was locked too.

And obviously, the laundry door was now locked.

So, I went around to the front… to wave someone down.

Pretty quickly, I saw a man walking past. When I called out to him, standing there in my purple fluffy robe, explaining that I had been locked out and needed to call my husband… well I must have looked genuine.

He took out his phone, asked for the number, and proceeded to call.

It went to voicemail, but he left a message on my behalf, nonetheless.

I thanked him profusely, and then proceeded to wait.

But I was anxious you see. I know Saturdays are busy for Hubbie. And I know he won’t generally open up voicemails left to him by unknown numbers…

It might have been 45 minutes later, when standing by the rose bushes, baby girl and I flagged down another passerby, a woman walking by with her daughter.

She was also, so so lovely. I wasn’t presumptive of taking her phone, but she was more than happy for me to take it and call Hubbie.

Again I called his phone… he didn’t answer. And I left a message:

“Please come home… we’re locked outside!”

But it just kept gnawing at me, and gnawing at me. I knew, I just knew the only way to know he had gotten my call, was to call the damn store itself.

Or, we would be waiting many more hours ’til lunchtime.

But how would I get his work number? I had no mobile. Calling his phone wasn’t working when it kept going to voicemail…

I needed someone like me. I needed someone with internet who could look up his work number online and get the number to me in a jiffy.

I sent baby girl over to several neighbours. Two doors down wasn’t home. The next door neighbour had moved out. But on the other side, well they seemed to be home, but they weren’t answering the door…

After baby girl’s third attempt over, the young boy came out. I didn’t hear him – his head just popped over our fence, and my eyes lit up.

“Hi! Can you tell your Mum we need her mobile… we’ve been locked out.”

She came over, and something like within 0.8 seconds, she had Hubbie’s work number up on her screen.

Praise the lord.

Hubbie answered, and he came. We had been outside for 90 minutes. The house was warm from the heater being left on. Our brekkie that we were about to prepare, was sitting on the bench. I re-boiled the kettle.

I took our stuff to the coffee table… and sat down.

I was emotionally exhausted.

It hadn’t been the nicest experience. Being locked out of our safe space, waiting for someone to come and save us, not dressed appropriately, feeling helpless, the rest of my day dependant on other people entirely…

You know what that sounds like there? That sounds like a homeless person.

As I sat on the couch, eating my toast, and drinking my hot tea at midday, I realised what I had experienced was similar in many ways to what someone living on the street would experience.

Out in the elements, with no shelter to protect them.

Their livelihood dependant solely on others.

Clothes that weren’t quite right or didn’t fit properly (I had fluffy socks on, sleep socks as I like to call them, and because I had literally put on slip-on shoes to feed the cat, the socks kept slipping down my ankles).

Having to ask others for help.

And in my case, I had someone with me. I wasn’t alone. I had a sunny morning, I was within the confines of my yard, and I was safe.

And yet still, as I came into the house, the sense of relief was immense.

I was able to walk into a sheltered home. Have food. Have all my creature comforts.

It changed my outlook for the WHOLE DAY.

I was able to get changed out of my sleepwear. Into clean clothes.

I was fortunate, that I had the means to wash my clothes.

Clean the house.

Tidy my surroundings.

Clean the bathrooms and toilets, that allowed us to be hygienic.

Oh how lucky I was, to have these taken-for-granted items and chores that we all whinge about all-too-often.

I WAS SO LUCKY.

I actually got really emotional during the day. I thought of those homeless people, here, there, everywhere around the world… who cannot escape their predicament, for whatever reason.

It made me feel so much for them.

I remembered getting off at the station in the city before iso, for my new job, and how the lines of pre-9am people heading to walk would just charge by the homeless person sitting in the same corner, head hung, almost devoid of life, every single day.

What had happened to them, that their life was reduced to this? Did we not have a greater responsibility to look after our fellow humans, more so than to just walk right by without a second glance?

I remembered an old work colleague, who said on her clubbing nights in the city, she would buy a cheeseburger from Maccas for them, instead of giving money, so she knew that her gift was of value, and being used wisely.

I think that’s a great idea.

And as I sit in bed tonight, warm, the wind thundering and beating the roof outside… I think of them all.

They are on my mind.

And I think they will agree, a cheeseburger sounds pretty good right about now.

All this, from getting locked out.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

#1524 Day 26 of getting there: Mister F

Oh, our poor buddie. Just when we think it’s all going alright.

He just doesn’t seem to get a break.

Or maybe he did get a break, today. Depends on how you look at it all.

Because our cat Mister F, has had urinary issues of some sort for a while now. We took him to the vet today, and though some results came back great (no kidney stones or kidney disease!) we still don’t have an answer for some of his peculiar ailments.

So, it’s a bit of a TO BE CONTINUED.

Tonight, he slept on the rug. All cosied up, his paw over his face like –

“I’m trying to block the whole world out!”

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I hear you buddie. Lately, I hear you BIG TIME.

He didn’t have the best day, but he got to go home… and that’s what we look for around here isn’t it? Positivity? Appreciation?

HOPE. β™₯

#1497 My cat’s face

My gratitude peaked exceptionally high this morning, at 8:25.

You see, overnight I was anxious and worried. Both Hubbie and I were.

Because we had let our cat Mister F out of the house after dinner last night… something we never really do, because as we like to joke, he meets up with his cat friends and sees his girlfriend and goes to the cat club, and then WON’T COME HOME.

The way we get him back is by shaking his special packet of cat treats. These things he would fly through the air for. It’s a little trick we use for when we need him inside, quickly, and don’t know where he is.

But last night, he didn’t respond to the treat-bag-shake.

For maybe 90 minutes, we repeatedly went to different doors, shook the bag, and called him. But nothing. It got dark. Our calls got quieter, not wanting to upset the neighbours with our cat calls.

Still the treat bag shook.

When Hubbie went to bed, we had to make the choice… Mister F was still not there, but our bird Orange-cheeks was outside. If we allowed both of them to stay out, Mister F would surely arrive at some stage and try to jump on Orange-cheek’s cage.

We didn’t want a bird-blood-bath to tend to in the morning… soΒ Hubbie brought Orange-cheeks in.

Lowered the blinds.

Turned off the lights.

But even though everyone else went to sleep, including our bird in the other room, I couldn’t help but check a few more times if Mister F was sitting outside the laundry, waiting to be let in.

But still, nothing. I went to bed worried, thinking how he had never slept outside before.

In the morning, an ambulance woke me early as it passed the street… and then that was it.

My mind was turning. I could not sleep anymore.

I was preparing for the worst, imagining horrible scenarios.

Who would I call first? Surely the shelter where we had gotten Mister F from… what if someone had handed him in? He had been found on the street, possibly injured?

Which photo would I post of him on the lost and found pet web site for my area?

We hadn’t even had him a year.

I trudged downstairs, fairly resolved in what I believed was our definite fate. Still I peeked into the laundry, hoping I would see something, my heart feeling heavy.

And I did… a familiar black and white furry figure was sitting outside on the mat, huddled up.

I gasped. Dropped my phone on a nearby bench. And I ran to open the door.

“Mister F!” Overwhelming relief was submerged by my tears that flooded out as I pat him, this cat that had a look on his face like he had gone through some heavy shit overnight.

“Ohhh, pussy cat.”

I will never take you for granted again Mister F. Nor will you ever see daytime after dinner either. πŸ˜‰

 

#1467 A crazy little thing tonight

I was driving in the car this evening, on my way to my musical destination.

I was on my way to see Queen.

Bona fide proper royalty. πŸ˜‰

And they were blasting out of the car too… but the crazy little thing was, the Queen I was listening to had Freddie Mercury, and the one I’d be seeing tonight had… Adam Lambert.

It’s another one of those crazy things, when someone or something you love is not there, and something else, or somebody else, stands in.

Tonight, Adam addressed the elephant in the room early on.

He was NO Freddie. He was a fan, just like we were.

And tonight he was going to pay tribute, the way he knew how, and the way that he could.

With those formalities out of the way, the show went on in superb style.

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Adam is a performer in his own right. He did an exceptional job bringing his take to Queen classics, and his vocal range is just as remarkable.

I loved some of his camp parades, and started to appreciate him in a whole other way.

He was somebody else to love.

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But perhaps most touching of all? When Brian May did the guitar solo for Love Of My Life, even singing the sweet words Freddie used to…

And then 3/4s through the song, Freddie suddenly appeared on stage, on a screen next to Brian.

It completely took me aback. I fumbled for my camera, trying to record the moment, while looking past the phone to the stage before me to take in… Freddie.

It was the closest I’d ever get to him. Being in this large arena, with all these thousands of people, with Brian on guitar and Roger on drums… and Freddie as a pre-recorded video… I realised, this was as good as it’s gonna get.

It was emotional and extremely humbling.

And yet, it was still one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and it was missing one very important frontman.

How would it have been like, if Freddie were there? Would he have been able to hit his high notes? Would he have paraded around in his undies or some other garish costume? Would he have done his operatic solo, competing against the crowd, only to say “fuck you,” with a cheeky smile at the end when they managed to keep up?

No one knows.

But what I do know, was that despite his physical absence, his spirit was definitely there tonight.

He was all around us, just as his music grows in influence and deepens connections and traverses continents and generations.

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I was thinking on the drive home, my head full of Queen and giddy from the experience… my relationship with Queen has grown like that of a friendship.

It started off as an acquaintance, grew to a friendship, merged to best friends…

And now, it’s true love.

“When I grow older

I will be there at your side

To remind you

How I still love you… (I still love you)

I still love you.”

😍πŸ˜ͺ🎡

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Best birthday present EVER. Thanks sis and bro. This one was definitely worth waiting for. ❀❀❀

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#1422 ‘Twas the ‘second’ night before Christmas…

What? She must have her dates wrong you say.

No siree.

It really is the night before Christmas… for those of Orthodox faith.

It’s an interesting thing to celebrate two Christmases throughout your life. It’s a privilege now awarded to baby girl as she joins in the doubled up of festivities.

Growing up, although the primary Christmas we celebrated was on the traditional Westernised date of December 25th, due to my Mum’s background and heritage we were always aware of at the very least, if we weren’t helping our relatives celebrate the Orthodox Christmas day of January 7th.

Seeing as Hubbie’s family is also of Orthodox faith, this acknowledgement and acceptance has grown and continued. All of my life, family and friends around me have celebrated this day… I have been to countless Christmas parties and participated in token Orthodox traditions, drank and ate and been merry on this holiest of days.

Which nationalities celebrate this day you might ask? Well there are Macedonians, Serbians, Polish, Russian, and Greek, to name a few…

I think it’s important to respect and value other traditions, even those that we may not be privy to or understand in the fullest.

Just as living in Australia, I believe that Australian customs should be respected and appreciated by all those who choose to call this country their home, so too do I believe the reverse should be norm: Aussies should respect the traditions and heritage of those with customs and holidays from far off our shores.

Including a different Christmas.

Sometimes I hear a bit of ignorance. One side might discount the other, calling theirs the ‘real Christmas.’

I think this is a bit sad. I don’t think we should be arguing over religion and politics and trying to up our own stance by discounting the other.

Why can’t we all respect each other’s traditions while still enjoying our own?

THIS GOES BOTH WAYS.

Baby girl went to bed tonight excited. She was asking if Santa would come again… I told her he only makes one stop a year, but that there would still be PRESENTS.

We did the majority of presents on the Westernised Christmas day, but I have an inkling she will get something. πŸ˜‰

A second Christmas for a kid? That’s like a second birthday!

She, and we, are fortunate to have double the Christmases, every year. β™₯

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash