#523 Meeting like minds

It’s been 9 months and 1 week since we moved here. A lot has changed in that time but also, very little.

On our first night we slept on solely the mattress on our bedroom floor, and I felt what was the first gust of cold seaside wind as it wafted on by from under our ensuite door.

Tonight we are freezing our arses off, because our heater has broken.

Like I said, same same. (You can be sure I’ll be damn grateful when that ancient monstrosity of a heating system is repaired).

But then, other things are beginning to change. Have changed. Hubbie found his groove, and a group of locals from the area, once he found work here. Likewise, baby girl started her first year of kinder by the beachside, and has also found little playmates here and there. They’ve both solidly positioned themselves in our new ‘hood, and meanwhile, here I am.

Here I am.

I work on the city fringe which took any meet-the-locals opportunities away from me immediately. And though I know Hubbie’s workmates, and I sometimes chat to the kinder Mums, I really wanted to find something for myself, here on my own, FOR ME.

A while back, I very accidentally stumbled across a local bloggers group on Facebook. I’d joined many local FB groups, for that whole intention: to learn, be in the know, and perhaps learn something novel, or even make new friends along the way.

I didn’t even think a group for local bloggers existed: but, so it was.

Cue today. Today I met up with some of these bloggers and their kiddies, in a post that will appear over at SmikG very soon. The kids ran amuck, while we as bloggers, positioned our cameras (who am I kidding, my phone) into every nook and cranny of the establishment we were in, taking shots here, there and everywhere. 

It was out in the open, nothing at all like any of my previous posts based on life experiences or food, or anything ever that I have written ever was.

I was OPENLY OUT as a blogger. It was fantastic. And made even more so, by meeting people, who like me, had turned online to promote a medium, for whatever art they deemed interesting to themselves: whether it was life, children, providing a service, or promoting a business, I came in, with nothing to lose, no one who knew me, and I felt as light as a feather.

Not nervous. Curious.

Not scared. Excited.

Not shy. Questioning.

Not only a blogger… but a Writer.

I loved the day, and the meeting of all of these people. I don’t know what will come of it, and how this group, or these people, will play a role in my life, or if they will play one AT ALL… but I’m excited at this new beginning our Sea change has brought us, and am hopeful that after today, many more experiences of being OUT as a Writer/Blogger, will abound.

Actually, I’m pretty damn sure this is only the beginning.

I am exceptionally grateful, indeed. 🙂

 

#513 The joy of coming out… as a Writer

This post has absolutely nothing to do with proclaiming that you are interested in the same sex… and yet despite the differences, I think, same same.

Because there is still fear attached.

Fear of being judged.

Fear of criticism.

Fear of gossip.

Fear of being told you’re unworthy.

Fear of people treating you differently.

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I took this pic tonight near my work. I don’t know why. I like the Ferris Wheel symbol – a huge manufactured orb-thing, shining brightly in the night, despite the shadows of black surrounding it. It is huge, and sometimes scary, but always shiny.

Wherever it shines, here it is bright.

And that’s how we should be with ourselves too.

Wherever we shine, here it should be bright.

We should not fear what others think or say about us. It is none of our business firstly, just as it is none of theirs what we think of them.

We all have our own opinions, but simultaneously, we should try and choose our company wisely, and keep those with our best interest at heart, close to us.

We should live our authentic selves, staying true to who we are and what we are here to do, and live this passion of ours as fully as we possibly can. We don’t know how long we are here for, so we should do whatever makes our hearts sing, now.

Where is all this leading?

Well, I’ve been super silent about my writings and my blogs, for many years now. Say 6 years. And in those 6 years, there are 7 people who have known what I was doing.

Only 7 people.

From last Saturday, it was 8. And from the weeks progressing forward, I will hit double digits… and keep the numbers moving up,

And you know why? Because I am ready. I’ve been thinking about telling people for a while now about what I do. But intense fear has stemmed from the almost certain  questioning and criticising that I would undoubtedly receive… and also, having people both close to me, and not so, who know who I am, reading every single one of my private thoughts that I’ve ever posted online… is terrifying.

I’ve been scared. I always knew this day of release would come, and I had to be ready for it, but I always told myself that I would ‘come out’ when I was published. When I had some kind of outside, literary confirmation that my work was good enough, then and only then would I say to everyone “hey! This is what I’ve been doing. This is me, and I am now officially “A WRITER.”’

But this is complete bull. Because you are not a Writer only because your work has been published. You are a Writer because you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and decided that this is where your passion lay.

This is what you would devote your life to.

This is what you want to do, above all else, even if you got no rewards for it.

That, is what makes you a Writer.

So, something I have feared for so long, I am getting really excited by. Because I am choosing wisely. I am choosing people to tell, who either understand and have an appreciation for the writing/reading process; those also doing what I do; and highly supportive family and friends.

I don’t need everyone to know just yet, I just need my circle to know-all. And I think that is what excites me. The fact that supportive people will be ‘in on it,’ and that with the release of the private information I’ve been guarding so closely to my chest, knowing it will be out there, well…

It scares me, excites me, and thrills me, to no end.

I don’t just write food reviews, and I don’t just write book reviews. I write about myself. My family. My fears, and my day-to-day life. My goals, my dreams, and every shit moment I have. I write about all the in-betweens, and knowing that people will be able to access this at whim, without the necessary “how’s things?” question to me at face value, does intensely freak me out and have me palpitating with sweats.

But it has to be done. I have to proclaim myself as a Writer, and I’m damn well excited about it.

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And as I came closer to the Ferris Wheel, I realised there was not much to be scared of, and it was smaller than what it seemed from afar… it was actually quite beautiful.

#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).

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I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!

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Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂

#498 Food: Winter Warmers

I’m actually in the midst of writing a blog post about all the wonderful things YOU, and I, should LOVE about Winter.

Todays gratitude post is a sneak peak, and it divulges one of my ideas.

Winter Food.

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Curry just isn’t the same unless it’s eaten on a cold Winter’s night, now is it? It’s been way too long since I made my vegetable curry, in fact we think at least 2 years… and why the wait? Well this thing called having a baby happened. And when something so monumental happens, everything changes… life, when you sleep, how you go out, how you react to things, how many people you see, and oh, what you eat.

And what you cook.

Once baby girl was of a certain age to start experimenting with food, well of course I was going to be making fairly safe, baby-friendly inoffensive tasting food. Which meant the curry we used to eat so much and so often of in Winter, was gone.

Yeah, I could have made two meals. But you could get two jobs too, couldn’t you?

😉

Yep. So it’s been a while. And as we ate it tonight, Hubbie swore it was like we were in our old house in the Northern suburbs. I think that means it was good 🙂

And as for baby girl? Well she gorged on the rice that was underneath the curry, in fact she completely overdosed on it. Did I mention my girl loves carbs? She does. I’d rather she overdose on rice than chocolate, so massive parental win there.

Winter Foods… get yourself into some warming curry and feel the heat 🙂

#474 A fresh bag of beans

Coffee beans, to be exact.

(Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t name this blog ‘carcrashcoffee,’ or ‘coffeecrashgratitude’?)

Yes, I write about coffee, a lot. About the way it makes me feel. What I’m doing while I’m drinking it, which is usually enjoying life and taking a pause. How it tastes. Great coffee. What happens, due to coffee. Running on time and having a coffee (like it somehow made me early or something), or having coffee with a miniature figurine. It’s all here folks. And there is sooo much more to come, I assure you 😉

But one of the most amazing things about making your own coffee, at home, is that moment when you open up a new bag of beans.

Ahhhhh.

How can I not stick my head in the bag and inhale deeply? It is a sensory experience of erotica, through the nose. The scent of it itself, makes you high on caffeine, and that’s without ingesting any of it.

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The fresh bag of coffee I inhaled seductively today was from a local place we have already tried for beans, called Commonfolk Coffee. We are yet to eat there, but the place looks amazing. Industrial warehouse turned funky hipster café. I know, I know, EVERYONE is doing it. But when they are freshly roasting their own coffee, and proceeds are going towards a sustainable coffee making industry, it just puts them a par above any other dread-head recently turned barista.

The first bag we tried from there, the Progress Street blend, was not to our taste, at all. This one however, the Godfather blend (how can a name like that fail?) proved to be much better on my first try today, but the beans are probably a little mixed with the old ones, so we need a few coffees to go through the machine before we can accurately tell.

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I think I can safely say, the scent of fresh coffee beans, can never, ever disappoint…

#464 A new way to Write

I had it REAL good when baby girl was in fact, a baby.

I mean, aside from the not-knowing what the hell I was doing, second-guessing every decision, crying a fair bit, being sleepless and fatigued most of the time, and just wondering when this confusing and struggling never-ending stage would pass.

But then, came the naps. That’s how I had it good.

During her day naps, baby girl would sleep for hours. Sometimes her day naps combined, would equal about 5 hours of sleep time for her, and non-baby time for me, a day.

This was really good. At first it was all catch up on this, maybe I should meal prep for dinner, pay an online bill, make that important phone call I’ve been putting off for 3 months, and wash that pile of soiled baby clothes that will re-fill by the day’s end.

But then, she settled a bit…. while the naps remained.

And as she settled, so did I. I relaxed into Motherhood, and so began journalling again.

I really wanted to capture as much of parenthood and her early months and milestones as much as I could, and so recommenced a fave past-time of mine that I hadn’t done for quite a while, a past-time that I both love and loathe simultaneously. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and that is exactly WHY I loathe it. Because I feel it needs to be done.

And I can’t stop.

And then, I relaxed MORE into Motherhood. And I began to do some food reviews, here and there, read some books, start notes on them that would eventually become my book reviews… and hell, I even started my parent blog, SmikG.

And years later, that followed with this one.

Now as the years have passed, her nap durations, as her naps, have significantly reduced to just one a day. It’s still allowed me some great ‘me’ time, to do whatever I need to do, and yet I always try to do what I feel I need to: write in some capacity, however I can.

However recently, I’ve come to a realisation. With baby girl getting cheekier and cheekier at bed time, her hyper-activity shooting through the roof, I decided I had to do the only thing that made sense.

Drop the nap altogether.

It was doing me good, because it meant she was more tired (or so we hoped) at bedtime, since she hadn’t napped at all during the day, and would be ‘out’ quicker. Well yes. She is ‘out’ a bit faster, a bit less reluctant to drink 15 sips or water, go to the loo 7 times, jump on the bed 10 times, and then ask for a tummy, hand, arm, leg, foot and back massage, following her 3 books read to her by lamplight.

Yeah, a bit less.

But anyway, bedtime routines are somewhat better. She does go to bed slightly earlier now. But it means my writing time during the day, IS GONE.

R.I.P precious writing time.

Or so I thought.

She’s 3 and a half, I thought today. Often, she is quite happy to play on her own, build some blocks, or watch some Paw Petrol.

Surely she would let me do some writing. She’s not 2 and climbing over me to grab at the laptop as I pay a bill or buy the one concert ticket I’ll be going to that year.

A year and a half, makes a difference.

And so, today, I tried. We had had our coffee/babycino/cake break, she was fuelled, she had Nickelodeon shows on in the background, a whole family room full of toys including her new Sofia the First mini figurines, and I sat in the same room as her, and began to do what I started all those years ago, so tentatively, while she was out cold in another room –  I began to write.

Journalling in fact. And there were times I stopped, and she called my name, repeatedly, and I looked back over my shoulder. Repeatedly. And she left the room and came back, and even walked on over and yelled “O” multiple times after looking at the keypad. But after about 90 minutes, I had written 3 pages long.

3 pages! I was a bit surprised, yet pleasantly so. Had I just learnt a new way to write? Multi-tasking, with child in room, interrupting me every so often?

And I did it?

I did it. Yes it wasn’t smooth sailing, but it was done. My quiet writing time may be over, but that’s not to say, I can’t write if I don’t want to.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

No excuses people. That’s what I take from this. No excuses. And I’m pretty chuffed with that 🙂

 

#390 Baby girl’s naps no.2 – catch-up

This post has very little to do with baby girl, and all to do with what I do when she is NOT around.

I’m lucky that at the age of 3 and a half, she still naps. About, an hour to 90 minutes a day, sometimes even 2 hours if we’ve been to the beach, or she’s been to kinder or run around heaps. And even then I start to make a lot of noise at the 90 minute mark, as I know that putting her to bed that night might be a tad difficult after a long nap.

She’s just like her Mum. She loves her sleep, and I’m fortunate to say, she always has.

Today she went for an hour 40 minutes. During this time, I plop myself in front of the laptop, and begin all kinds of writing tasks/passions.

Today it was personal journal writing; food review writing; and book review writing.

I’ve been behind in my food and book reviews for so long. Soooo long. You know when you are so behind in something, you start to consider giving it up?

‘It’s too hard. I can’t keep up.’

‘My life is too busy right now.’

‘This is getting out of hand.’

‘Maybe I’ll try this in 5 years time.’

I wasn’t sure, whether any of it was worth it. The reviews. The blog. Even the gratitude. I question myself on some days, when things are hard, when time is pressed, and I don’t think I’m going anywhere.

But, I am grateful for the stubborn Lion that I am.

Because I just can’t freaking give up so easy. It’s not in my DNA.

You shouldn’t either.

As hard as it has been in the last months/years/life since parenthood (!) I have still persevered. I have moved EVER SO SLOWLY. And I fortunately, have not given up. These moments I get when baby girl is napping, and then when she is sleeping late at night, I am able to move on, to try and catch up, to keep things going with my blogs, my personal writings, my passionate pursuits, as much as I can.

They are slow, ever so slow, baby steps. A snails pace. And there are days when I have to do other things. ‘Responsible’ things. I can’t write every day, and those days feel so wasted on me. But when I can, I try my damn best.

But today, after doing some more writing, and then taking a kind of step back to go ‘hmm, my food reviews are almost catching up,’ and ‘hmm, I’m heading through my current book review at a decent pace’ (with 3 more looming in the background but that’s not the point!) I felt, good. I felt like, I was getting somewhere. And I started to feel like, I might actually be catching up.

That was such a good feeling. And I am so grateful, I had it. More so, I’m grateful that baby girl’s reliable naps, gave me the opportunity for it 🙂