#1885 Keep that snail pace

All I can say is, don’t give up.

Things aren’t perfect, and they can always get better. But I find myself at a point where I feel like despite everything, there is nothing else to do BUT keep going.

Keep moving.

Keep yourself distracted with passions, personal pursuits. If some things aren’t working out, well then find what IS, and run after that at full-speed.

But also, don’t be hard on yourself. I found myself the other night nearly crying with despair to Hubbie.

“And I want to do this, and do this, and I’m trying to do this, and then I’ve got my book! Then I want to do this, AND this…”

The list goes on and on and on.

We put sooo much pressure on ourselves.

We want to create this perfect family life. But we have to also work, and make money. Maintain the house. Cook wholesome food. Clean. Wash clothes every second of every day (or so it seems). Feed people.

But also chase your dreams! Be fit, exercise. Eat mindfully. Take time out, but don’t waste a second!

Play with your kids. Give yourself me time. Take walks. Sleep in. Keep in regular contact with family, friends.

What the actual fuck am I to do with all that?

Something has GOTTA give.

I’ve been giving so, so much lately. I can only do things, and move forward in incremental steps, and it’s these tiny baby steps I’ve been taking that are making me feel like things are actually moving.

Snail place, but still moving forward.

And that leads me back to, don’t give up.

It’s so tiresome and banal, telling people to not give up. I’ve felt like telling people over the last shit year who’ve passed out that quote, to piss off and shut up.

But I find it to be true, too true. Even in super-crawl slow-mo pace, I find it to be the most factual of all things.

Keep your head up. Look at what positives you can… even if it’s the blanket on you right now. A hot drink. Sun peeking through the clouds. Someone sending you a nice message. A cute cat.

I am skilled in the art of looking for things in the smallest of spaces. I should know. It’s awfully difficult, but it can be done.

And I guess, it’s nice to be passing out this advice, instead of looking for it.

Progress.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

#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. 🙏💖

#1819 Encouraging feedback

Simply and humbly, quietly even, my gratitude today is for something I’ve been slowly pecking away at for years and years.

Despite challenges, and hardships, and life being hard, so hard that I can’t even get a grip on all that I have to do… I’ve been oh-so-slowly doing little bit by little bit for my novel.

I got some feedback recently from a writer friend who read my novel, and her words were especially encouraging.

But I did what I do always when I get feedback for my novel – I first doubted it.

“They don’t want me to feel bad.”

“They secretly think it’s crap.”

“They said it’s great, but really they just think it’s mediocre.”

“They don’t get what I’m doing.”

And so on and so forth. But I caught myself saying these things, and said to myself –

“Do you really think that all these people who are telling you these things are lying to you?”

So I’m making myself believe not just in them, but in ME too. Because that’s where the fault lies.

And in doing so, well… I have to believe something works, right?

So, that’s made me happy.

#1813 I get knocked down…

But I get up again.

So close, so so soooo close to throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog.

You know I’ve never said it out loud, but I’ve seriously considered finishing this blog at number #2000.

I figure if I’ve managed to be grateful for at least one thing for all of those days, then I have the tools necessary to help me through life when times get hard.

Also, it’s a nice even number, and I have plenty of other writing projects to keep me busy anyway.

#2000. That’s only 187 days away. Sometime this year in fact.

But after the day I’ve had, I honestly am questioning if I’ve learnt anything at all.

Because I’m finding it very hard to be grateful.

I get knocked down,

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

Am I being too hard on myself? I mean, when you go through bad times, or nightmares keep repeatedly coming back to haunt you, how are you meant to act? With a laugh? A yippee? A friendly ‘oh darn, not this again’ with a Joker-like smile?

Nope.

When you’ve had the same freaking thing, annoying you, bugging you, and no one can tell you why, or explain it, and you’re going around and around in circles, and you’re even considering psychics for answers because seriously NO ONE ELSE KNOWS, and then it strikes again…

AHHH!

I get knocked down,

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down.

Seriously. How am I meant to act?

Anyway, This is my bitch-fest. My whinge to the world. Take it as you will, because it may not last for long…

So, what am I even grateful for?

I get knocked down,

But I get up again…

For now.

#1794 The truth behind the holiday pics

What a fucking day.

And I don’t swear lightly… on social media, that is. But today was totally fucking swear-worthy.

The start and end of it look quite blissful… see?

Baby girl’s babycino following our buffet brekkie. Then me enjoying some relaxing time while baby girl screamed “cannonball!” launching into the shallow swimming pool’s waters.

But the meat of the sandwich that was between those two photos? The middle of the day?

That is a story and a half.

Because we had started the day happy, you see. We had brekkie, and on our way to visit a beach we had only stopped by days earlier, made a pit stop to get a boogie board for baby girl, which ended up being a family boogie board, so awesome and big and colourful it was.

We were just pumped. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, oh, 10 minutes away…

But then my car overheated.

The temperature gauge went to red.

Hubbie pulled over in a panic.

And in the space of a few hours, we were waiting waiting waiting, had a huge mix-up with our car roadside insurance that resulted in help being sent a lot later than we would have liked, we were hot, stuck on a busy road. were in the vicinity of a possible Wolf Creek type abduction attempt when a man pulled over after seeing me outside the car, and in between all of the waiting, being told by the roadside guy there was nothing he could do, daydreaming about the boogie board we should have been using then at the beach…

Well there were the water birds.

We called them ducks the whole time, but they were too big to be ducks. These birds were on one side of the busy road as we waited over an hour for help, and in that space they proceeded to leisurely cross the two sides of traffic, a number of 4 times.

At first, we couldn’t watch. We told baby girl to cover her eyes, sure that one of them would be splattered and flattened over the asphalt. They were lanky, moved slowly, and just lacked any kind of fear or trepidation when it came to forcing huge pieces of machinery to brake to a stop to allow them to pass.

And yet, they passed. They made it. There were 6 of these animals, with one of them hobbling like it’d been swiped by a vehicle… and yet they crossed the two-sided road 4 times.

It was a miracle.

Cars, even trucks, pulled to a stop. We watched in amazement as traffic on this busy tourist road came to a standstill, as these slow-moving water birds ambled across slowly, seemingly unaware of the chaos they were creating.

They managed to move, however slowly, while we sat there static, in the heat, a little bit in awe of their bravery (and sometimes, stupidity).

My faith in humankind was restored, even following the Wolf Creek incident, seeing ‘most’ of the cars patiently wait for these indecisive avian kind to work out which side of the road they wanted to be on.

And that faith in people continued when some time later, a random cafe owner we had passed only that morning on our fated way to the beach, ended up helping Hubbie get back on the road, however slowly, where we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were back in a known, safe, comfortable place.

But now, we are stuck.

There are a couple of morals to this story. One is the REAL truth behind all the social media photos you see. Despite the filters being put on display, it doesn’t mask the truth in between the snaps of photos being taken and the 100 special effects being created.

And secondly… there are miracles to be observed, even amongst unbelievable odds and impossible situations.

To be continued…

#1779 The last sunset dance

Tonight the sun set on The Last Dance.

15 minutes difference this evening

We started watching the Netflix documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ 6P, six championship wins, back in October.

If anyone had told me ages ago that the show would be like a lifesaver for me, I wouldn’t have believed it.

But it was. It has been.

Things are much different now, to what they were then. We had the last episode to watch tonight, Episode 10, having had a huge spell of absence because BUSY LIFE.

And even though nowadays I’m not looking for that huge a distraction that I got back when I really needed it, I realise tonight I still liked it. I still kinda need it.

It is a truly amazing, awe-inspiring series, and if you haven’t watched it, I encourage you to.

I might even watch it again!

Now that’s an incredible story. 😉

#1776 Thank God It’s Christmas

“Oh, my love, we’ve had our share of tears

Oh, my friend, we’ve had our hopes and fears…”

Did you know Queen has a Christmas song? Actually, two that I know of. The one I’m referring to, the same title as my blog post, well I discovered it a few months ago.

But upon finding it to play, I struggled to get through it without tears in my eyes, as the lyrics hit me hard, having gone through some issues at the time.

This morning, I put it on repeat, several times.

“Oh, my friends, it’s been a long hard year

But now it’s Christmas

Yes it’s Christmas

Thank God it’s Christmas.”

Those were my sentiments exactly, and I went into Christmas at my parents house, shared with my sister and her family, feeling utterly grateful.

Snapshots of Christmas 2020.

You might notice a plate of lemons in there. Well you see, lemons are the right fruit to refer to with what I’m about to share, having played an important part of a moment I had today.

Not only was I grateful to be amongst family after a year like no other, where hardship and difficulty seemed to arrive at every opportunity, but it was a bittersweet Christmas in that it would be the last at my childhood home before my parents moved house.

It was a Christmas, like so many we’d had there before… full of love, happiness, laughter, and great memories. But every now and then, it hit me – CRAP, this was our last one there.

I was cutting up lemons for our evening prawn feast, when it struck me again.

Last Christmas here.

And suddenly, it was bittersweet. Much like the lemons. On their own they were hard to take, your face screwed up when you bit into it, they were so sour…

But in accompaniment, with something else, like prawns… with a martini… or with honey… somehow it tasted a lot better.

It was great, even desirable.

Much like this last Christmas.

It wasn’t the last, but it would be the last there.

I could take it though. I could take it, because I still took with me all the memories of being there, celebrating Christmas after Christmas with my family and friends, all throughout the years.

Most importantly, I was taking the most important thing with me.

My family.

As if on cue, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ came on the radio, and I had to smile.

If only there were no change. Things would be so easy, with everything staying the same, static, and with no room to move.

But that’s the point of life you see. To grow. To evolve.

There MUST be change.

So I took the lemons to the table, and we enjoyed them in the best prawn feast ever.

Merry Christmas. 🎄🎅💖🤶

#1764 The X-tra Axil food pit stop

The first half of my weekend was amazing… and honestly, the second half was meant to be good too.

We went shopping today to get some much needed Christmas gifts ticked off our list.

We got some stuff… there is still quite a bit to go…

But my recurring pains meant the day was not as happy-go-lucky as I’d expected.

Damn.

Like I do all the time on this blog, I tried really hard to find the positive. And despite not really understanding what the hell is going on, there was some really simple, understated happiness to the day…

Axil Coffee Roasters.

The cafe at Chaddy was so good, we stopped there twice. Once for lunch…

And then after some more shopping, for coffee.

Now, I really should’ve taken the table photo of the coffee, and not just my cap, because honestly, the brownie, doughnut and danish we ordered alongside our 3pm pick-up would have made you DROOOOOOL.

This place brought the goods today. When other things failed, and I was getting down, this cafe hit the mark every time…

Well something went right, anyway. 🤷‍♀️

#1759 My TV Friends

Something that got me through some tough months recently was my Friends.

But not just those relationships in my life friends… but the ones on TV.

Friends.

I don’t even know how I got onto the show. It must have been a particularly hard day, and I probably would have stumbled across it on TV…

And miraculously, it helped me forget.

It was like a drug. Suddenly I found myself dipping into the Friends group, checking them out at Central Perk, visiting Monica and Rachel’s house, and lounging about in Joey and Chandler’s massive recliner chairs, all too often.

It wasn’t even like I watched the show religiously or anything when it first aired on TV. I was a teen at the time, and though I tuned in and out, week to week, I know for a fact that I didn’t watch it anywhere near as devotedly as I have been recently.

And though some difficult days have passed lately, and some things are easier… life can be shit at times, right?

Like today.

So, on Friends came.

But it’s unfair to link the show to times that I am struggling. I find myself wanting to laugh out loud, tune in to the characters, and find out what happened next… the fact that the show takes me far away, gives me the giggles, and helps me to find 20 minutes of reprieve from this otherwise lonely, confusing and ultimately frustrating world…

Why, that’s just a bonus. 💖