#1067 The night-time driving game

Hubbie doesn’t like it when I work late.

I can’t blame him. It takes me away from him, baby girl, and their bedtime routines… and when I have to pull away from them in the driveway, waving to their sweet faces and knowing I won’t see them again ’til the next day… it’s hard.

A couple of little things make it ok though.

Very few things I might add. Like the obvious one – starting work late, means I get up late, right?

Right. Plus one point.

The other point is dependent on the season, as it occurs only in Summer, and is a little game I play on hot nights…

And no, I ain’t acting like no Fast and The Furious character as I head on home.

But I am using the freeways.

But you should really make sure there are no cars around.

You are scratching your head, aren’t you?

You’ll never guess, which is why I am here to tell you.

I love throwing my hand out of the window.

It might sound super simple and not very unique at all, but trust me, it’s all in the way you do it.

Take tonight for example. It was warm, not just after a hot day, but what has been an uncharacteristic spate of hot days. 

I saw the signs. I was ready.

At 100 kms/h. Not 80, it just won’t do. There isn’t enough force and pull action.

I put my hand out the window, which was all the way down.

I held it at a steady angle as the wind pushed against it. I resisted the force of the wind ever so slightly – sometimes instead of keeping it there, I slowly push my hand forward against the wind tunnel blowing into it –

And then suddenly, I let my hand go slack.

As I relaxed it, it flew back with the force of the wind…

And then I did it all over again.

I know, you think I am crazy. It’s something I would suggest you don’t do when there are other cars around! And you can just as easily do it as a passenger. At my usual pre-midnight hour when I am driving home from a late shift, there are almost no other cars around.

Just me and my car, and a hand wildly flapping out the window.

I find something truly calming about surrendering yourself to Mother Nature, holding your hand up to fight it, but then abruptly, letting go.

Letting go of thoughts.

Letting go of stresses.

Letting go of control.

Letting go of the unseen forces in life.

Completely surrendering to the process around us.

And flowing with the wind, as it were… at 100 kilometres an hour.

Hot night and all, you’ll draw your hand back into the car chilled to a crisp.

But you will feel refreshed. You will feel alive.

You will have gained more than just a point 😉

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Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

 

#983 Holding out

I kind of made a realisation today. The kind that helps you, to keep hanging on.

It has been an interesting two years.

I say that with happiness, utmost respect, yet also, supreme diplomacy.

Our life has been turned upside down in these past two years. Things have gotten interesting, and things have also gotten harder.

There have been many times where I have had to remind myself, and Hubbie, that this is a passing phase.

ALL of life is. Nothing will ever stay the same, for too long. Give it an absolute max of about 2 years. At the most. Something always shifts.

I remember when I was pregnant, and Hubbie and I were sharing my car to get to work. I’d be standing at the bus station, waiting for this highly unpredictable mode of transport to arrive (anytime, sometime that decade) and muttering ‘when will I be able to drive without waiting again?’

Now, we have our own cars.

I remember the nights of holding a crying and unsettled baby girl. I would stand in her dark room, only the hallway light illuminating the space from the slightly ajar door, thinking of my work colleagues.

I would imagine them sleeping. They would go to work all refreshed after their 7-8 hours sleep, and enjoy the morning cafe-ing away.

(I told them that too, after I came back from my maternity leave.)

I remember staring out the window of our old place, wondering if I would ever have a view that showed me something other than trees and brick houses. A nature strip that wasn’t littered with other people’s cars. Neighbours that actually slept at midnight in the middle of the week.

Now… my wildest dreams have been succeeded. My view is that of the water. I watch the sunset go down over it. No one is even close in our front of house vicinity, and the only time I hear the neighbours is occasionally post 4pm when the primary school kids start practicing with their basketball.

My how things change.

And it seems to happen, in about 2 year phases. We’ve had some things bugging us for a little while… but what I realised today, is that our 2 years are almost up. We are almost there. Nothing ever lasts forever, and that accounts for not only the best times, in order to keep you humble…

But it accounts for the hard ones too. To lift you up and help you keep going when things feel too difficult.

So today, I am grateful. For hanging on. For holding out.

Because I can seriously feel it in the air. We are almost, there.

 

#894 July 27th opens windows

Today.

Friday.

It is 2:40pm.

I am on the other side of town, driving my car after having had its regular service, back to my parents house.

I have a jacket on… but it is warm. There is no heater on.

In fact, the window is open.

WHAT?!?!

I can’t remember if the mechanic left it open after finishing with it, or whether I in fact did it. But all I can tell you, in that warm car on today the last Friday of July, the open window was INVITING. I can even add, that the sun was on my face as I jumped onto the freeway, and I wondered –

“could I get sunburnt?”

Get out of town! it is July 27 folks, this is insanity!

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Can you see the suns rays just BURSTING down through the open window. You can just feel the warmth.

I know I am creating a yearly theme here. But seriously, this time around I am 4 days early. So 2018 wins.

I felt it. I feel it. Spring. It is a-coming.

Shucks you under-achiever July… you may have me reformed on your Winter-y reputation, just yet…

#796 Vomit and timing

The story of the old shoes, April sunshine and plastic bag. Read on…

I was half-aware of it as I brought baby girl’s old shoes to the front door this morning. Usually in having to drive across town for an appointment, I would have fished out her new shoes. These, though highly functional, were the type that I only reserved for kinder and park days, where an endless amount of bark and sand would enter them off her own free will.

I was half-aware. Still, being a little late, I pushed on and ignored my thought.

Maybe it was that. Or maybe a voice on a different level of consciousness urged me on, knowing what lay ahead…

Half an hour into the car trip, she mentioned her tummy. It was sore. She said it once, twice, three times. I didn’t know what to think. Was she playing games with me? Is it because I was feeling ill last night, and she was somehow imitating me? I asked her specifically if she was unwell, and when I asked she said she wasn’t… but then she would lie on her side, close her eyes, and almost nod off. She managed to take off her shoes, and dropped them onto the mat below her.

I honestly thought she was just tired. But then, 10 minutes before we arrived at our destination, she started to cough. It was out of nowhere. She was covering her mouth, coughing incessantly, and I said “honey, don’t cover your mouth, let it out.”

And it CAME. She pretty much projectile vomited a large amount, and then another large amount. All down to the mat below her. I had just entered the freeway, was driving at 80 km/h, holding her hand at the same time to comfort her, while telling her to just “spit it out! Get it out!”

She did. ALL OVER HER OLD SHOES.

And suddenly, I remembered. Needless to say I care about her first and foremost, and had she thrown up on something expensive, I still would have told her to ‘go for it.’

  1. But in that moment, I was suddenly grateful.

And the timing. Sure we were nearly on our way to the appointment, but that would have to be a raincheck for now. I pulled over when I could, made the call, and then kept on driving in 10 minutes of stinky vomit smell (open windows DO NOT make a difference) and arrived at my parents house requiring a bucket, old sponges and the hose.

How lucky was I that this had happened close to our destination, and also, on old shoes? I could care less as I hosed them down. These were on their way out anyway. She walked around in her underwear ALL DAY at my parents house, as I had no other change of pants for her.

2. Thank God it was a warm day.

My parents gave me plastic bags before I headed home. “You never know when you’re going to need them.”

Sitting her on a towel on the way back, after we had spent 3 or so hours at my parents house, where she got her appetite back, ate pasta, drank some milk and had teddy bear biscuits, I thought all was fine.

I THOUGHT all was fine. She was laughing herself silly with my Mum in the backyard.

Something had just upset her tummy before, right? It was a once-off, right?

???

I wasn’t so lucky on the way back. Because about half way through my trip, 45 minutes from home, she woke from her nap. And was complaining. And was hot.

AND STARTED COUGHING.

Now, doing 100 km/h on the freeway during peak hour, I fished out one of those plastic bags given to me only hours earlier, and gave it to her, saying “if you’re going to vomit, do it in there!”

She vomited… to the side. In the car. AGAIN.

And then the next lot… went IN THE BAG. Phew.

The timing of when it happened, and the distance from home, sucked balls.

3. But the fact she got a fair amount in the bag, was AWESOME.

And that is my gratitude story of the day. Of the old shoes, sunshine and the plastic bag.

 

#783 I’m coming home

I realised just a short time ago that I left the house for work today at 7:30am.

I got home after that same day’s work, at 7:30pm.

It was purely of my own doing. I only left so early today because I didn’t want baby girl to hear me leaving home and get upset, so I made sure to leave at a time I was sure she’d still be sleeping, and then spent the first 90 minutes of my work day eating weetbix, reading emails, writing, and looking at ‘coming soon’ movies online, before my shift ‘officially’ started.

And it was a good day, but a long one. It was intense and pressure-fuelled, but I had a great work colleague to coffee and muffin with, and also to assist with some work-related duties too 🙂

And yet, as I jumped into my car and soon entered the freeway, joining the endless array of cars also cruising down the M1, I had the biggest sense of relief as the weight that was today, started to lift off of me.

I was coming home 🙂

 

#759 Driving home, alone

I was thinking hard about a novel thing that I was grateful for today. I was at work, doing a late shift, and so my happy moments amidst coffees getting stuffed up, were at a kind of minimal. 

But then, when I got in my car to drive home, I was suddenly at peace.

And it wasn’t the fact that I was headed home… sure, that helped. But rather…

It was the ACT of driving home… alone.

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I could do what I wanted, how I wanted, when I wanted.

There was no Hubbie taking over the CD player with his music. Baby girl wasn’t telling me “my song!”

It was late. There were few cars around.

I was alone with the ipod.

I was alone with the CDs.

I was alone with the stereo.

I was alone with my thoughts.

I was driving home, heading home, alone in my car, and I gotta tell you, the peace and tranquility that comes with it, is worth driving to work for 🙂

 

 

 

 

#697 Mindful colouring at Mechanic’s

As a busy Mum/Wife/Woman/PERSON, finding time in your day for things that you want to explore, things outside of your ‘box,’ and for things that you just want to indulge in, well they are minute, if actually, NON EXISTENT.

So when I see that I will have a future moment to myself, I try to prolong and make the most of it the best I can.

If I am at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser’s, I bring a book.

And when I am at the mechanic… I bring a colouring book.

I honestly haven’t coloured in for fun, for ME, probably since sometime in high school. I do it on occasion now with baby girl, as she asks me to draw something for her and then we go on colouring Beauty and the Beast, or something like that, together… but nothing just for ME.

Back when it was my birthday, I received a mindfulness colouring book with good ol’ fashioned Derwents – that I was sooo excited about – but that nonetheless remained untouched for months.

Until today.

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Sitting in the mechanics kitchen, I got to work. Leaning on the old European 80s-styled tablecloth, as my car got its much-needed service in the huge garage outside of the room I was in, I found a drawing in the ‘good health’ section, and started small. What started off as just colouring, became something more. The TV was on in the background, ‘ABC news’ so it was pretty serious going with heavy issues and all, but I found myself getting deep in my thoughts as stroke by stroke I filled in the patterns and shapes and lines, still completely aware of my surroundings, but in a deeper, calmer, more meditative place.

The mechanic came to me too soon, as I was nowhere near completing my page. But for now, it was enough. You’ve got to take what you can as a busy individual. It had provided comfort and a different avenue of expression that I am not normally used to, and in turn that gave me creative insight of a different kind.

I’m looking forward to more stolen moments with my Derwents 😉