#861 Buy and purge day

It wasn’t the best start to the day.

We’ve all had those days. Those days where upon opening your eyes, it is immediately shit. You lift your head off the pillow with heaviness, dread weighing your feet down as you try to swing them over the sides of the bed. Eyes downcast in sorrow.

It doesn’t matter what the reasons are for these crap starts. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. We’ve ALL had them. And collectively, we could fill a book, or 2, or 20, with all the ways in which a day can start soooo wrong.

On the flipside, we could also create 600 books and more, on ways to turn it all around.

That’s what happened today. You see Hope, it’s a funny thing. It drives me crazy, because no matter what, there is always that little part of me, that is against all odds, HOPING. Hoping for the best. Hoping it all works out. Hoping that my luck will improve.

I rely on Hope heavily. And other times, like today, I HATE it. Sometimes I want to lose it. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel. Sometimes I want to curl up into a ball and shy away from the world.

But then, this freaking little annoying thing called ‘Hope,’ this tiniest of glimmers, pops its head up and asks “but, what if?”

It drives me MAD.

But it also saves me.

Step by step, I turned my day around. Isn’t that what we all do? We have no choice, and on we go…

STEP. STEP. STEP.

And then through the haze and confusion, two separate events helped me to move on.

BUY

Retail therapy. I mean, for such a heavy post, this really is a materialistic no-brainer. If you can, buy your way out of misery. I didn’t go mental or anything, though when I saw a nearby lady about to dig into a huge milkshake/ice cream/sundae, I had the insane urge to borrow my head into her gross and overwhelming dessert.

But I did buy some clothes, and since I’ve been wanting to get some new pieces for my Winter wardrobe, ticking this off the list on such a low day, started to really help.

PURGE

If by some chance you can’t buy your way out of unhappiness, there is one thing you can most definitely do that is FREE. And I think we are all screwed up and over-consumerised in our lives that we can ALL do this:

Get rid of STUFF.

After our shopping visit, I started to head at random, from room to room in our home, getting rid of stuff. There is a pile of ‘stuff’ we had in the corner of the top of our stairs, placed in such an odd spot because I think we thought putting that pile in the already crowded spare room of ‘stuff,’ would somehow overcrowd it.

(Huh. Get that logic. Put stuff in weird place near corner of stairs, but not in the room of actual ‘stuff.’ Anyway).

I worked at getting this pile out of there, using two categories.

Donate

Find a proper home (in the house).

I removed the entire pile, and honestly the donate to keep ratio was about 40/60. I was impressed.

I then moved to other areas of the house, with the added category of

Throw away

This was particularly handy when going through baby girl’s play area. I actually have a work in progress post about toys, the mental anguish parents go through, and how to tackle the problem of space and moving on from them. Watch my SmikG space. But I found it interesting that I didn’t tell baby girl what I was doing as I took various bits and pieces of hers to the bin, yet she somehow knew, because if she saw me pick something up that she liked, she called after me and made sure she retrieved it, yet for the other items, she didn’t say a word.

Interesting.

I did bits and bobs, even putting some things away in our new cupboard adjacent to the kitchen, and by the end of it all, boy did I feel rejuvenated.

Fresh. Lighter. Freer of junk, and freer of unhappiness.

I felt better.

BUY and PURGE. Take your pick, or do both, and get on with it…

STEP by STEP.

#842 Scones and Schnitzel

It’s kinda hard to look for gratitude and try to find small things that make you happy in amongst shitty days, even more so when those shitty days reveal even worser days for others.

How can one complain about smaller issues when they know of family or friends in ill-health or distress?

It actually reminds me of what I used to say after my father-in-law passed away. Here I was, a new Mum to a beautiful baby girl, yet still completely overwhelmed by my new parent role and the life that came with it; and then there was Hubbie, equally besotted by her, while simultaneously still in deep grief over his father’s passing. And sometimes, someone, somewhere, would tell me they were having a bad day.

They would quickly realise their words in my company, and apologise for complaining. They saw in me, in us, in our family, that there were far harder things to go through. To manage. To overcome.

But you know what I would say to them?

“Everyone has their own problems. You shouldn’t feel bad about yours, and feel guilty that they aren’t big enough to cry over. You are allowed to be upset, it’s your life, your problems.”

Sure, little problems in light of big problems become an awareness of the bigger picture, and that enlightenment is major in itself.

But we can’t all be in woe at the same time, can we? Then we wouldn’t have those others around us, less in woe, to pick us up from our sadness…

At this time of my life, I think I’m in a state of ‘less in woe.’

So I’m grateful.

But that isn’t what this gratitude post is about. That in itself is actually huge, more so because I know, and I have felt the comparison of being WHOLEHEARTEDLY in woe.

This is perhaps about the most trivial of things in light of today… baking.

For a week now I’ve been planning on making scones. They seem to make them for any given reason at baby girl’s kindergarten. Parents getting to know each other afternoon tea? SCONES. Mother’s Day? SCONES. Neighbourhood primary school visits? SCONES.

A possum jumps from the gum trees into the yard and shits all over the kids play equipment?

SCONES.

Ok so clearly I am bullshitting with you but you get my drift. I have not made scones in ages, well since we moved here really, and part of that has to do with

  1. kitchen reno, AND
  2. having half my kitchen stuff still in boxes upstairs because I’m waiting on one more damn cupboard (COME ON kitchen guys!) to get made.

I’ve forgotten half of what I do own in the way of bakeware and pans and the like, it’s been that long I’ve seen half of my things. But after repeated reminders by the kinder that both baby girl and I, really enjoy them, well I said to myself “I’ll damn well making them.”

You require next to nothing to make scones after all.

I really wanted to be grateful for them, really I did. And at the end, I was, for some brief moment at the end as I indulged in jam and cream upon pillows on doughy lightness that were apparently ‘café-style’…

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But the ‘before’ was hard, because baby girl was sick you see. I held her back from kinder, quite rich since THAT IS THE PLACE SHE CATCHES ALL HER WEEKLY COLDS FROM.

Not shitty much.

She was weak, tired, and developed a sudden ear ache during the day which had her retreating to the couch often to lie down. I had imagined us making these together with happiness… the most she did was brush the tops with milk.

And then the ‘after’… because as I was trying to enjoy my coffee/scone break, breathing slowly, ALONE, in peace, once baby girl had finished her babycino… I somehow spilt my coffee.

No, it gets worse. ON MY PHONE.

I swore better than a sailor out at sea. OH MY. Baby girl knows her Mum too well, and wasn’t afraid. In fact she came up to me and asked “Mama, you ok?”

Awww.

So instead of being grateful for my scones, the preparation time with baby girl which wasn’t special, and then the clean up which was devastating (I’d let dishes pile up half of the day), I instead became appreciative of something else.

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Hubbie cooked a killer chicken parmigiana tonight. He cooked it fresh, placed passata and ham and freshly grated cheese on top, grilled it in the oven, and it was THE BOMB.

The best part to him making it for us?

I didn’t have to clean it up.

(That wasn’t agreed to from his original contract, but from the day I’d had, there was no other choice).

Every time I complain about something going shitty, really I am grateful… because I do know better… I know better, that there is worse.

P.S My phone survived

#834 Hubbie’s good vibes

You know that really lovely and positive saying… the one about how you can’t depend on others to lift you up? You can’t rely on loved ones – family, friends, colleagues – to make you happy?

“You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.” – Unknown.

So, yeah. Both yeah…

And Nah.

Sure, it is important that you rely on yourself to lift yourself up. Depending on others for your well-being and self-worth is a dangerous game – when you rely solely on what others give you, say to you or how they make you feel, you are giving them all the power and leaving yourself none. What happens when they aren’t around? What will you do when you are alone? How will you cope in your own head when things take a downward turn?

You are meant to be Master of your Universe – and that includes your head too. The thoughts, emotions and actions that came from it.

But I am going to turn all of this on its head and go… sometimes, nah.

NAH.

I was feeling off for a few reasons today, one of them being sleep-deprived and the other being flatter-than-a-pancake vibes. I was feeling lowly and down, and then Hubbie came home for lunch…

He was smiley. Encouraging. Happy. Upbeat. Just having him around made me feel better. I whinged about what was bugging me, got it off my chest, he said some words to make me feel better…

And just like that… better. Because of him. And it reminded me of another quote. One that said that the important thing about relationships, was that when one was down, the other could swoop in and lift them up. It is called balance.

Balance. Lifting each other up. Making each other better people.

relationship quote

#819 What to be grateful for on Mother’s Day

They say ‘tomorrow is another day.’

But sometimes the crap feelings of the previous day seep into the next morning, and you are left feeling like the bad vibes just won’t leave you alone.

I was feeling pretty average this morning. After I swore I wouldn’t do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day for myself EVER AGAIN, my Mother’s Day presents told me that maybe, I was doing just fine.

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Sometimes, these ‘celebrated’ days are just too hard to handle. Polished and carefully selected social media photos make you feel awfully incompetent with any, sometimes ALL parts of your life, as you witness your immaculate family and friends, their children and Mothers and themselves, looking all smiley and happy and a picture of perfect family bliss.

They don’t show the tears. The fights that stopped just before the snap of the camera. The relentless arguing and disappointments that can precede the happy snaps.

Pretty snaps that, let’s face it, present a very brief moment in time. Often not at all a proper representation of life.

And yet, we still beat ourselves up over not looking as perfect as ‘others.’

Which is why, we must not worry about others and their social feeds. We find our own, real reasons to be grateful anyway.

We look for the simple things.

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The fact that mornings sometimes don’t start off too well, but we can still make something of the day, and turn it around.

The fact that we have family, and love, and also, great food.

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Some people don’t even have that.

Some people eat their lunch from a plastic container, their table the car park kerb, moving their life from street corner to street corner.

Some people are in hospitals right now, sick, alone and unable to move without assistance.

There are poverty-stricken children in the world right now, who have their sewerage pass them in an unenclosed hole, right near where they bath and feed themselves.

There are young girls being sold into sex slavery.

My sister told me that the frequency of ‘amber alerts’ that go off at schools is bone-chilling. Strange people loitering and hanging around the school gates, watching and taking photos of our littlies, trying to bait them over.

There are people, who don’t talk to their Mothers.

There are people, who don’t have their Mothers with them anymore.

And there are people, who want so bad to be Mothers.

Just because we may not know these people or see these things, does not mean it does not happen.

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So to have a day, where I was with my family, my loves, my happiness, spending cherished and truly special moments with them… my reserves were filled. My happiness was restored, and I felt again, that the simple moments with loved ones, are worth their weight in gold.

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#818 What Mother’s Day really means

You might think I am a day too early, but this has all happened after midnight you see. If you must, let’s call it Mother’s Day Eve.

Or just Motherhood, or Parenthood, right? Because putting things mildly, things went from crabby to horrific in a matter of hours tonight.

We were at a function on the other side of town. Baby girl had been better today, amazingly so, and so we went. She complained of something new though – her teeth. She said they were sore, and so on and on it went… from the car… to the reception… THE ENTIRE NIGHT.

We left as early as we could. She fell asleep in the car as expected. But then, woke up about 20 minutes from home.

And she cried and whinged the entire time.

At times she screamed. She whimpered as if having a bad dream. Her breath stuttered from crying so much. She was even hysterical.

What did we do? Well I tried to reason with her. I told her to stop. Ask her what was wrong. I told her I was there for her. I told her she had to calm down. I wiped her nose, and held her hand – while driving.

It barely helped.

So I did the good cop bad cop routine, and put on my angry hat and DEMANDED she stop crying. She was being ridiculous. She only cried louder. She was red and babbling and upset and no matter how angry I got, again, nothing seemed to help.

In fact it made it worse.

What was Hubbie doing? Well he tried. But let’s just say if she is not working with me, she won’t have a bar of him.

We finally got her inside the house. She cried as we walked up the driveway, after midnight, and I was sure her frantic cries would wake the neighbours and make them want to call the police.

The end of the night, had been a disaster. I was so upset. Is this what my weekend would become? Was this my lovely payday leading up to Mother’s Day? Did I deserve this wholehearted crap heaped upon me and my family?

Was this it?

I rugged her up and put her into bed, securing the blankets around her tightly. I sat close, and whispered to her as I gently stroked her head, to sleep.

“Shh, Mama’s here.”

“Mama loves you, always remember that.”

“I’m always here, whenever you need me.”

Her ragged breaths rose and fell, her small body shaking with every stutter, and as I made my strokes on her head more gentle, more softer, more deliberate, her breath evened, turned into whispered starts, and went silent.

Her body and the cold bed had merged as one, warming itself like a cocoon, and I could see from her face she was getting deeper and deeper. I sat there watching this peaceful face. This face that had made me so worried/mad/sad, and now all I could see in that moment, was love.

She had had enough of everything. She was over it all. She was tired. She just needed a break. 

Go figure. I had thought it was the teeth. All she needed was bed, my gentle touch, and my loving words.

A Mother’s work is not easy. It is trying and exhausting and it will make you cry from frustration as much as it will make you cry from happiness.

But when you watch their still and peaceful faces at the end of a long day…

You come to understand that the flowers, the chocolates, the gifts on Mother’s Day, mean nothing.

Because it is in these moments of reflection and tiredness, relief and grounding, that you come to appreciate what Mother’s Day is all about.

Simply, being a Mother. In every way, shape and form, through sunshine and storm.

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#816 Second Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Winter had arrived early.

The cold snap was upon us. Icy winds and stay-at-home conditions meant all my running around after dropping baby girl off at kinder was definitely NOT what the doctor ordered.

The second half of the day was just as mind-numbing. A child getting progressively sick as the day wore on (I am not surprised anymore with all these grots at kinder), more freezing weather, a worsening mood brought on by stress and pressure and also, weird body feelings (please don’t let me get sick)…

Punctuated beautifully by a C U Next Tuesday of a job that meant Hubbie and I were scatter-brained and pushed to the limit this evening in trying to submit a form that HAD to be completed tonight… and it wasn’t even for us!

It wasn’t the best of days.

But the middle part, WAS. Because it was the Mother’s Day celebration at kinder day, so in amongst all of today’s crap, I got to spent some beautiful time with my baby girl, watching her play, and getting cute little gifts from her, to me.

What? What is crossroads?

Yes I like my eggs.

How often must I say I have work to do that she thinks, I actually like it?!

I must admit though, I ♥♥♥ that letter.

And my most favourite accessory of the day that I can take with me everywhere –

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Another Mum poked fun at the fact that our necklaces were so stunning, sarcastically speaking, and quietly I thought –

“I would actually wear mine out.”

It may not cost $100, and it may not be made from specially sourced and original jewels… but they were threaded by my baby girl’s hands, and that is more precious and prized than any store-bought item… 🙂