#1005 Grateful for all the shitty things

When death happens in the day, it’s hard to talk about anything else.

Death. Life. Death and Life, Life and Death. Both things trump pretty much everything else, yet we go on about the bullshit of day to day, the annoyances, grievances and grudges we hold like they actually matter.

They don’t. Like I said – Life and Death trumps all.

I heard of a death today. I didn’t even know the boy. Boy. That in itself speaks volumes. Not only was it a death, but a sudden, cruel and early exit.

But you don’t really need to know the person to feel sad, do you? Death in itself is scary and terrifying enough, but when it comes on so suddenly, and takes away someone that still has years and years and years ahead… it becomes so very heartbreaking.

It seems so very unfair.

There are about a million and one ways that we could die. Quite literally. Study biology and you will start to learn all of the diseases and bodily faults that can lead to our early demise. It is actually terrifying.

An accident, or an unlucky brush with the grim reaper, could be waiting for us at ANY TURN. Apart from hoping to God you stay healthy, you should also hope to God you don’t get hit by a car, a bookcase doesn’t fall on you, a tram runs into you, a flesh-eating bug eats away at your limbs and you eventually rot to death, a champagne cork pops in your direction and hits your temple, and, AND…

All the ways we can die are actually mind-numbingly baffling.

And yet, so many of us are LIVING. Day in, and day out.

We are in a sense, the lucky ones. The ones managing to escape death. That we are still alive today, and have managed to avoid disease and misfortune, and all the various ways in which our life could end, well that is a miracle. A true, unimaginable miracle.

We might be left behind, to cry, grieve, suffer as we experience deep loss, and wonder

“what is the point of it all?”

But still: We are the Lucky ones.

So today, on this day where I can’t think of much else but this fact, these are the things I am grateful for:

I am grateful I swept the floors.

I am grateful I mopped the floors.

I am grateful I changed the bed.

I am grateful I cleaned the toilet.

I am grateful that baby girl gave me attitude after kindergarten.

I am grateful we argued and she stormed off, slamming the door on me.

I am grateful, that harsh words were spoken to me.

I am grateful, that I spoke harsh words.

I am grateful, that I shook my head in disbelief.

I am grateful, that I sobbed.

I am grateful, that my heart broke just a little.

I am grateful for ALL of these things, all of these shitty, annoying, boring and fleeting things… because it means I’m ALIVE.

Because it means, I’m one of the LUCKY ONES.

And if you’re reading this, that means you are too.

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Photo by Sydney Sims 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.

 

#973 Taking to the pedal

My deep and heartfelt gratitude did not come from our family event outing, nor during the bonding we spent there, the down time at home, or that cheeky ice cream we squeezed in on the Main Street afterwards..

No. It came later on in the day, after much tiredness, frustration, raging emotions, and passionate tempers.

It came when baby girl hopped onto her bike.

She got her first bike after our first Christmas here in our Sea change location. She was almost 3 and a half, and was more than excited about riding a bike that had her fave character, Dora the Explorer plastered all over it.

But, it was HARD. She found the pedals difficult to circle. A couple of attempts here and there, and though we regularly went back to it at the start, the bike soon found its place in a corner of the garage, gathering dust, while baby girl still didn’t have a good grasp on how to ride it.

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As it happens often in life, doesn’t it? We buy something, and it just sits there, unused and unwanted. We think something will be a peace of cake, but it isn’t.

Baby girl had said she would ride her bike all the time… and we thought so too… but she didn’t.

It’s always been there in the back of her mind though.

Like the streamers peeking out from the handlebars in the corner of the garage, so too did bits and bursts of other bikes pop into baby girl’s mind, or in front of her eyes, reminding her that she did not ride a bike.

She had one. She didn’t ride one.

It’s been picking up momentum lately though. Kids from her kinder will ride to and from the pre-school. Littlies will ride past our house with their parents. She even watches Disney dolls riding bikes on youtube.

She would say “when can I ride my bike?”

And we would say “you need to practice honey.”

So today… we practiced.

Sure, it was hard at first. The whole motion of turning your legs in opposite directions in a circular motion, combined with steering the handle, and looking ahead, is a very multitasking job! We had to keep helping her with her feet, pushing them around, trying to steer her at the same time, reminding her to go “forwards, not backwards,” and “look ahead,” and “don’t go into the grass”…

She started to get it.

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Just a little bit of encouragement, praise for her getting it, and she was off and running! Or should I say riding! There are still quite a few stops and starts, riding into bushes of flowers, and random sudden brakes… but to see her so happy, riding along in glee, telling me “watch out Mum I’m coming!”…

It just clutched at my heart strings in the strongest way.

And it made this funny, interesting and mixed up day, the best one. 🙂

#954 Park Days no. 6

It’s been a pretty ordinary start to the school holidays, to say the least. I had all these plans and had even written out a to-do list of all the exciting and fun places I could take baby girl… but then, LIFE happened.

As it does, like ALL THE TIME. Plus it has been dreary and grey.

But today… RESPITE.

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We went to catch up with one of our usual school holiday friends that we try make a point of seeing every end of term. The sun was peeking through the clouds, and I relished the feel of the biting cold air on my skin as we ran up the hill towards the playground.

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It’s really nice to have someone who I get along with, but with who we can watch our kiddos play and have fun together, swinging and jumping and climbing and running about. The phrase of a ‘2-way street’ applies strongly here. It is no fun when only one party is making the plans. Also it is lovely to be wanted, to be included, to be remembered.

Something others fail to do.

And like the cold slap of wind against my face, I really needed that acknowledgement, that realisation… I accepted it. I embraced it.

#953 The best part of Google

‘Google is greash.’ I actually have that tag floating around on this blog, and I use it often.

And yes, I am dedicating today’s gratitude to it. When you get to the bottom, you will understand why.

Because it is not a frivolous or materialistic thing. Sure you can find things online, buy them and have them delivered to your door… but that is not what I am grateful for.

Sure you can search for the lyrics to your latest fave song, and be singing along to it within minutes of finding it… but that is not what I am grateful for.

Sure you can turn to it in times of wordly need, and search for the synonyms of breakable, just as you can look for the antonym of exhilaration… but that is not what I am grateful for.

Sure you can look up your city’s weather in 2 weeks time, and try to determine if you will need to re-think picnic plans for that weekend… but that is not what I am grateful for.

Sure you can search for the most uncommon, weirdest and rarest object (try the image of the cat in water saying “I’ll F&*k you right up,” a round rug no bigger than 2 metres diameter in various shades of blue, and silver 1970s Pontiac wheel trims  – that one is on Hubbie), and it will still give you some kind of info, even including where to get it…

But that is not what I am grateful for.

Instead I am grateful for this: I am grateful to Google, because as much as you can find the most obscenely tedious and trivial things on it, so too can it help you mend your heart.

You can find online forums and support groups of people who are going through the same thing you are.

You can speak anonymously, when in real life you can’t speak up at all.

You can feel comforted by the fact that you are not alone, and there are in fact hundreds if not thousands of others like you that have gone through, and are going through the very same thing.

You can feel a little less lonely, a little more connected, and happy in the fact that there are others who can help.

In this regard, Google excels.

So today, Google… I thank you. ♥

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#925 Funny convo sends me roaring

“I don’t know what’s wrong today.”

Those are the words a fellow Mum said today as she walked away from her daughter during her swimming class alongside baby girl. Her daughter was upset, not listening, not cooperating, and as this Mum walked away coining this phrase, she smiled tensely.

Lady, I hear you. Those words are the living mantra of ALL of parenthood.

“I don’t know what’s wrong today.”

As I laughed internally at the very true nature of those words, feeling sorry for the Mum, and thinking I too have had those really hard days, I realised that it’s a sentiment not just reserved for children… but for adults as well. Because we are big kids too, aren’t we?

Sometimes we’re hungry. Sometimes we’re tired. Sometimes we’re sick. Sometimes it’s the Moon. Other times it’s our raging hormones. Whatever is the case, we too have those moments, those days (even those weeks or months, even) where we say –

“I don’t know what’s wrong (insert timeframe).”

Well, funnily enough, my timeframe was today, this morning in fact, and I had been in the worst and shittiest mood WAY before baby girl’s swimming lesson was even in the horizon. And no they weren’t post-holiday ending blues. It was just drab. Super cold. I was still sick. In fact I was copping it bad since coming back. Baby girl was also sick. She was staying home from kinder because of that fact. We were a WHOLE LOTTA FUN TO BE AROUND. And I was also super-duper-super-duper-super-duper erratic and emotional.

A REALLY bad combo.

I was having a whine, a moan, while all 3 of us were in the car together – Hubbie, baby girl and I. We were in between heading out and heading in, to be honest we had NO IDEA what we were doing…

I had already received a message from my sister about some weekend plans, and asking when we could talk… but I was so cranky-pants, that I just couldn’t. I don’t like getting on the phone to my Mum or sister and being in one of those states, because it doesn’t help anyone, and I just hate putting them in that zone. It’s not like I’m sad, or I need help… I’m just shitty. I’m upset, then I get them upset, and then EVERYONE is upset. It’s just no good.

So while we were in the car doing absolutely nothing, I texted her quickly. Just a ‘hey, all good, I’ll call you later because I feel like shit to be honest XO’ type message.

I soon got one back telling me that she was feeling particularly sick and crappy too – oh no… was it going around? I sent her my well wishes in return, and then, had a funny exchange with Hubbie that quite frankly, made me smile. He didn’t find it too funny which made it more so (HA HA HA).

So I decided to text my sister, hoping she might find the humour in it:

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Oh, how I roared with laughter at the ‘Nah!’ Baby girl was in the back asking “what did Ja Ja say?” (her pet name to my sister) and then I showed Hubbie the message, laughing out loud even more.

All of my anger, all of my negative emotions, all of the crappy-ness of the day just flew out and away from me at my loud guffaws, and I swear, I immediately felt lighter. I was happy to learn that Sis did, too.

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And suddenly I was grateful. I was grateful I had reached out when I was feeling most shitty and the least like I wanted to reach out. And in doing so, both mine, and my Sister’s days became a little brighter, a little lighter.

It just goes to show, sometimes sharing the angst with those you love, can actually help…

And if you’re lucky, you might be able to laugh about it too 🙂

 

#921 The ferry ride we fought for

The immediate theme apparent today soon after waking up?

“God help those trying to drive into the MONA ferry area and find parking for longer than 2 hours.”

Firstly, baby girl was not well. She went from absolutely fantastic and bubbly upon waking, to a seriously fast decline of blah.

And although we repeatedly asked her if she was sick, or sore, or was going to vomit, she continually declined the suggestions, saying she wanted to go on the boat.

We tentatively left the house, watching her carefully.

But it was meant to be even harder. The only parking’s surrounding the ferry were 2 hour slots. This was no where near enough as simply a one-way ferry ride across the river to the Museum of Old and New art (MONA) was 25 minutes.

The only 3 hour parking we found, required coins.

No credit card. JUST coins. At $3.50 an hour, did they expect me to be carrying around bags of gold on my hip? Seriously did these people just carry around bags of coins?

???

After I let out some steam bitching and moaning (or should I say, MONA-ing) about the lack of credit card facilities available on parking meters, I got some helpful info from a MONA staff person who told me there were 8 and 10 hr parking slots available, but it was a good 10 minute walk from the ferry pick up point.

Fine. Fine fine fine.

We headed there, scrounged around for gold coins, and finally, FINALLY, found a park!

Baby girl had repeatedly denied food, I’d had to force a sandwich down her during a small lunch, and she was so, so tired.

It seemed like the idea of going to MONA, wasn’t meant to be.

But alas. We GOT THERE.

We boarded the ferry, talked with the staff, and while revelling in some gorgeous and breath-taking riverside views on the other side, also wandered around the dark corners and twists and turns of this most eclectic and thought-provoking museum, holding baby girl’s hand and carrying her (because it was a tad scary).

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A day that was so hard to come by, was a unique experience that we came to treasure. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but sometimes, you need to do the best with what you’ve got.

Baby girl crashed enormously once we were back at our place… and yet she still said through squinty and teary eyes as she lay on the couch watching her Tangled DVD…  “best boat ever.”

🙂

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