#747 Library sessions no. 3

I was in a cranky-pants kind of mood this afternoon, which meant getting out of the house was absolutely necessary.

Baby girl came to me about half hour after finishing her lunch, proclaiming she was still hungry. Rubbing her tummy at me, in that low, testing, needy tone of voice, saying that tiny teddies would apparently do the job.

But little did she know I also needed a fix. So I raised her.

“Why don’t we go to the library, get some books for you, and have a babycino?”

PAUSE from her. “And biscuit?!”

I nodded. Really, my underlying meaning was also ‘get a coffee and sugar fix for Mum too.’

A little while later, and we were much more relaxed.

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I found an interesting book on writing children’s books in my favourite aisle, and ended up borrowing it, because hey, I may just be able to finish one chapter of it now, what with baby girl at kinder 3 times a week.

I particularly thought one part was brilliant. The part on why you should write a children’s book included common reasons why you should not go into it, one of which was wanting to write an adult bestseller but thinking that a children’s book was an easier option to start with.

No?! Apparently that was wrong. I almost closed the book there, because that was HALF of my reason for going into this line of query.

But then I stopped. Thought. Kept reading.

A children’s book is harder to write, you say….

Challenge accepted.

MWA HA HA.

#743 2 years and 2 days

I totally missed the celebration boat. Because, you know, LIFE. I actually thought the day was today, or tomorrow, but alas, I wrote “#1” 2 years and 2 days ago.

That is because on February 24th 2016, I wrote my first ever gratitude post.

YAY! For 2 years I’ve been doing this gratitude game. A game where I as recipient, always win. Because if you can find something to be grateful for, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it to be, as long as it does something for you and lifts you up, that is all that matters.

It need not matter if your neighbour doesn’t appreciate it. Your work colleague. The green grocer, taxi driver, hell even your kids or partner don’t have to agree – if there is something in your life you are happy for, pay attention to that, and then watch it GROW.

I’ve been constantly amazed at the amount of material I still manage to find to write about and be grateful for. Sure, I have a decent portion of posts with infinite ‘parts’… like my shopping posts, my dancing in the kitchen posts, even ones about coffee…

It was always a question, and a challenge for me to see if I could write every day about something novel that I was consequently grateful for. I have managed to do that for all of these days, despite also having hard days, trying days, boring days, uninspiring days, sad days, and depressing days. Despite all of life’s crap, I have tried as my own personal challenge, to find something.

I sometimes wonder if I should stop here and now – ‘thank you very much’ – and give this whole gratitude game a rest. Not for lack of gratitude or tiring of writing. I have done this for 2 years now and I know I can find gratitude, I know I can find something different to write about every day.

For now, I am happy to stay in this gratitude game and keep practicing it via this online forum. I am enjoying this process, and I think, as is the nature of Life, I still have a lot to learn.

And, if I ever do decide to finish up on this blog (insert shameless self-promotional plug here) there will still always be my parent blog smikg.com – where I talk everything and anything Life, gratitude or not-inspired (things that shit me, anyone?)

Ta for sticking around folks, and let’s see how far we can get.

Further more, why don’t you see how far YOU can get?

🙂

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Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash

 

#642 Library sessions no.2

The purpose of today’s library visit was primarily to get another sticker sheet for baby girl in her 1000 books before school reading challenge. She hit the 200 mark a week ago, and so off we went to the library to get some more sheets to fill in.

But then… I hadn’t had caffeine. It was 11:30am, and there WAS NO caffeine coursing through my veins. Also, we had no other plans for the day, other than to just go back home…

“Baby girl, do you want to have a babycino at the library?”

Short pause.

“Babycino, and biscuit?”

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I think it is THE MOST FABULOUS premise that a library should have a cafĂ© within its walls. I mean, it should almost be a prerequisite in EVERY reading institution. Once we had gotten some more reading challenge sheets, I made our order up at the counter, and soon we were drinking, eating, baby girl was going crazy bringing me all manner of DVDs/books that she absolutely had to borrow, while I went into my most favourite-st of aisles, and managed to find a book about writing that I HAVEN’T browsed through yet.

And I think it is one of the most simple and beautiful luxuries of life, to be sipping on coffee, your child is nearby and happily entertained, and you are reading about a deep personal passion of yours.

Finding the simple things, in the every day 🙂

#525 Small portable heaters

Today I’m loving this girl

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This guy is super awesome too

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I like this black one

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And this emanating one rocks in a real chilled out, undercover way

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This other identical white one is much appreciated

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And even this ancient relic, that DOES blow warm air, while at the same time simultaneously releasing some kind of cold gust from the sides, making you need to turn it off because you just can’t take anymore cold air, well even this one is somewhat liked. Somewhat.

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All of this because our ducted gas heating broke down on us last Friday morning.

I spoke about my love for our ducted gas heating when after ages of trying to get it fixed here after Sea changing (the gas pipe leading into the house had rusted, having had no occupants in here for years before we moved in) we finally got it working after repeated, repeated, repeated visits from our gas heater/ plumbing guy.

Back then he said it was old, but the unit was really good. It was dependable.

Dude, the thing has shit itself half-way into Winter. I don’t call that overly reliable.

When it worked though, it was the BOMB. It heated us up so efficiently and quickly, that honestly, baby girl would be left red-faced as she strolled around the house with no socks. I loved the heater, and it treated us well, until I turned it on one chilly morning last Friday, and waited…

And waited…

And waited…

And then went, “Oh Damn.”

All I can hope is our heater can get fixed soon, and for the smallest amount of $$$ possible. Make it just $. In the meantime though, those above beauties are gold, and actually doing a decent job of keeping various main rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms around the house, cosy.

They are saving us immensely, especially this cold-hating girl. And yet I have to wonder…. who else in this world today, is writing a post about being grateful for a portable heater, huh? I bet you NO ONE.

Challenge: Prove me wrong!

#435 New library

I think, when we collectively call ourselves avid readers and writers, surely then we must be a member of more than a few reading institutions?

The first library membership I got was when I was about 10, and that was a school incentive since they had built a local library in our suburb, up in the North.

I loved it, and thrived on my library membership, for ages. I would bring home the maximum amount (back then 10 books only) of Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and then Sweet Valley High series books, up until my mid-teens. This phase lasted long, and had me happily perusing through the library shelves for years on end, maybe until I was 15 or so.

Then boys kind of became more prominent. I would still visit, but much more infrequently, and later in Uni days, a lot of material from my essays would come from those aisles. I would walk up and down, and reminisce about the good old days, where I could read 10 books well within a few weeks time, and come back to borrow more earlier than I needed to, thirsty for more.

Fast forward many, many years, and a brand-spanking new library opened near my work. It is a work of art, and it is my belief even a non-reader would find interest, solace, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the written word, in here.

Of course, I became a member. I borrowed a few books, and then when I realised that reading, taking notes, and then reviewing the book within a few weeks span became a bit too much to take on, I kind of stopped borrowing from there.

It’s temporary, and it’s only because I’m awaiting the day I can devote much more time to fiction books.

However, today baby girl and I ventured to our new, local library. The first time we went there was right after we moved, and so I didn’t have the proper I.D. with my new home address to subscribe. Today however, different story.

At the Mornington library, I am told I can borrow unlimited books at any one time. Woah. Up to 10 DVDs, and there’s a bunch of other benefits of becoming a member too. Baby girl enjoyed the kids nook, sat in a reading booth, and I just happened across (this stuff seriously jumps out in front of me) a couple of books that I just HAD to borrow.

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You can totally tell which are for me, and which are for baby girl, right? I mean, I’ve been hanging to read Dr Seuss’ take on fish for yonks now.

😉

Seriously though. Am I the only writer that has tonnes to read and write, a whole book shelf at home just crying out to me “read me! read me!” and yet I still go out and borrow/buy MORE books?

I think the novelty of the library, is the fact that if you do not read a book in your borrowed time span, not to fear – just re-borrow, or read it at a later stage. There is no commitments, and I think in my case, for now, with so much fiction for me at home just STARING at me whenever I go past my shelves, I can happily borrow reference books and the like, and then pick what content will serve me best from within its pages.

And while there, I registered baby girl for the ‘1000 books before school’ challenge, where she will aim to read up to 1000 books, and track her progress on a chart with stickers, with little incentives as she hits big milestones along the way. This number can include any books read at home or school or her grandparents house, and even the re-reading of favourite books. They can all be counted, starting from today. If you’re interested in doing so for your littlies, I understand many libraries are partaking in the challenge.

The end of the challenge is either the commencement of school, or when she hits 1000.

Do you seriously think I will let baby girl, the daughter of a writer, not get to 1000 books within these two years?

To answer your question… she already has 4 stickers today.

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God Bless the Library.

#267 Beach day – #1

Today I was officially made a beach gal. Since I am now permanently beach-bound, how many times do you think I can find appreciation for the beach, in a blog where I find a new and different piece of gratitude each and every day?

???

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS.

Today for example. At Mount Martha, with baby girl and my big sis. Today I was extremely appreciative of the endless water views and breathtaking coastline…

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Challenge accepted. 🙂

#106 It’s over!

I surprisingly got some fabulous news today! I had started to believe I would never hear any news back from the insurance company, and if I did, I was sure it would be a bad result… and despite how frustrated and over it all that I was, I knew that if it came out against my favour, I would still try to contest it. It wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be right. Anything other than ‘in my favour,’ was not moral.

What am I talking about you ask? Why, the incident that sparked my whole carcrashgratitude blog, that’s what! My car accident, from 3 and a bit months ago, that now feels like ages ago. If you are new or just need a refresher, my How this all started explains the shit-ass event that happened right after I got my new car.

Anyway. Hours after my Mum asked me earlier today “have you heard anything from the insurance company?” and I frustratingly replied back “no,” adding that she should probably not ask me again because the whole drama just puts me into that negative state of anger and sadness…. I noticed a missed call on my mobile. When I saw who had called, I was nervous. Did I really wanna call back and find out what they had to say? I was feeling spent already from today’s activities… did I want to argue with them that I was in the right, and not in the wrong?

To hell with it. I’d just get it over and done with.

I didn’t even set up baby girl with a DVD as I usually would making an important phone call. I immediately dialled the number provided, and after a little while of waiting, a lady answered.

I explained that I had a missed call from them, and provided her with my reference number for the claim. Baby girl had noticed the pen in my hands with the scrap piece of paper I had grabbed just in case I had to note anything important down. As the woman on the other side checked the notes to see why I had a missed call, baby girl climbed up onto my lap, grabbing the pen and starting to draw long lines.

“Oh!” I heard suddenly. “I can give you good news!”

Before I had a chance for my hopes to rise up too high, she confirmed with the following “We can pay you your excess back!”

“Oh, great!” My mind was whirling. We had paid the excess a while ago in order to fix the car as it had been gathering dust in the garage. It was insured, had registration, and we didn’t want to wait until the verdict was handed to get it fixed. Who knows how long that would have taken. We went ahead and had gotten the door replaced, and had been enjoying the car in the meantime, while we not so patienty waited, and waited, and waited.

And then waited.

And then waited some more.

(Insert more waiting).

Waiting.

More waiting.

And more.

Wait! More waiting.

Some more waiting to rub salt in the wound.

Might as well throw in some more waiting, waiting, waiting.

Wait. Wait.

Wait!

Waiting.

You get the drift.

She started talking about how I wanted the money, and in between all of this, and baby girl’s pen encroaching onto the tablecover underneath the scrap paper, I asked “sorry, can I just ask: does this mean the other driver has been found at fault? Am I getting the full excess? Because we haven’t received any other news regarding the accident other than this call…”

She checked a bit more, and sure thing, getting paid the excess meant that the other driver was being held responsible for the accident.

After all the official stuff was noted, I told her “Thank you, you’ve made my day.” (Note yesterday’s post). She went off to most likely get a mocha, and then I got off the phone to jump up and down excitedly with baby girl, doing high-five’s, and shouting “baby girl! It’s over!” We celebrated with chocolate, and then later, I made myself a coffee, which smelled so damn sweet.

I’m still in a state of disbelief. Is it over? I kind of expected an official phone call or letter from the insurance saying “we are sorry for our initial verdict. We are wrong; you were right. Here is $10,ooo in mental damages” or something along those lines. In lack of that, I’m still pinching myself. I am so grateful and appreciative that the Universe worked this one out. I was frustrated for the longest time, calling the insurance company repeatedly at one stage, to the broken record answer of “we’ve got it under control, you don’t have to call, we’ll call you.” Many times I questioned them: “if you can’t get in touch with the other driver, it comes to assume that he may be avoiding you, because he knows he’s guilty!”

I eventually let it all go, particularly when the car was repaired, and tried to forget. I would let them work it out. I would see what happened. And in the meantime, I would enjoy the car, and try to forget the horrible details of what had happened the first time I drove it.

I am elated. I am grateful. I am proud of myself for sticking to my guns and telling the insurance company on their first verdict, that they were in fact wrong. I wanted another opinion. And I got one, and that opinion was on my side.

I am grateful, that I trusted in myself. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, yet the words of the other couple haunted me, making me doubt my memories and point of view of the accident. But I scared those demons away, focused on the facts, and reminded myself that I was moral. I was honest and he was not. He was lying, and one way or another, he would not get away with it.

It’s been a hard slog, and a very trying, difficult one during those first few weeks. For some reason, the accident happened. Maybe it was to teach me a lesson. Maybe it was to teach the other driver a lesson.

Maybe it was to start this blog.

And now? I will still continue with this blog. This blog wasn’t ever meant to be a temporary event-based blog, only in existence while the ongoing saga of the car accident was in debate. No. I decided, based on that day, that I was going to look for gratitude in each and every day, to try my hardest to seek it out, no matter how hard, or boring, or sad, or frustrating the day was. I would do my damn best. And for as long as I can, I will continue to.

This will always remain, my carcrashgratitude. 106 days in, and the saga is over. (Woo hoo!) But the gratitude journal will continue on, continuing on…

🙂

Damn I’m happy!