#504 Work ‘break’

This ain’t the type of work break you’re thinking of.

You immediately thought I was grateful for getting a break from work, right?

WRONG.

I am so grateful today, that I was able to get a break, by going to work.

Yep. I’m hitting the gratitude game hard when I’m thankful for work on a Sunday. Let me explain.

I mentioned that yesterday was a difficult day for me. I was flat, lowly, and in my trakkies all day, having only left the house to walk down the driveway and wave off my sister in the late afternoon.

I was also physically unwell. I was really keen for it all to be over soon.

Soon came when I woke up at 5:30 this Sunday morning.

And I was ok. I was happy, even. I questioned myself at several moments throughout the work day, and realised that despite how low I had gotten yesterday, NOW I was actually quite, alright.

I felt really good actually.

How had this come about? Clarity? Hindsight? I can’t even put it down to a good night’s sleep, because baby girl woke me once throughout the night, I was struggling with too many covers at another point, and in total I probably had about 5 and a half hours of shut-eye.

Then I realised.

It was DISTANCE.

I had removed myself from the place where I had been so upset – our haven, our home, our security – and in doing so, stepped away and out of the problem.

Doing so made me feel fresh and bright-eyed again. The problem was still there. But now I could deal with it and take the steps necessary to move forward, with a level-head.

And often I find, when you have a problem and you throw yourself into something completely unrelated, i.e. work…. suddenly things seem much more manageable a couple of hours or so later.

Thank you work. You are actually my God-send, my relief, my break and my holiday, in so many, many, many ways.

 

#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).

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I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!

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Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂

#443 Beautiful things at the Royal Children’s Hospital

Baby girl was only little when we learnt of her hip dysplasia. Her left leg socket wasn’t fitting snugly around her thigh bone, creating the possibility of the bone slipping out, and not forming properly, and in turn hampering her future prospects of walking normally.

Or something to that effect. It’s not that an uncommon thing, as I soon learnt, though at the time I was absolutely distraught. My baby girl had to wear a leg brace from the early age of 8 weeks, for nearly 5 months, with the upside being that she was able to spend the second half of that time wearing it only at night, allowing her the possibility of movement during the day.

This of course pushed back her rolling/crawling/walking milestones. I was still impressed however when she took her first steps at 16 months – that was her willpower to move about and cover as much ground as she could. My trooper girl.

All is good now. She stopped with the brace when x-rays showed the socket wrapping around the bone, securing it more tightly, and follow up x-rays over the years showed further positive progress in that area.

Which is why we were at the Royal Children’s Hospital today. These doctors have a predisposition for cautiousness and check-ups.

I was so pleased to see the halls, walls and rooms in a new light this time when we walked in, about 2 years after our last appointment. The lift interiors had brightly-coloured drawings covering from top to bottom, and on the ground floor there was a windy climbing pipe contraption, with a huge mechanical butterfly upon the top with its wings slowly opening and closing every so often.

In the orthopaedic section there was a craft table set up for the kids, where they could colour in, paste scraps of material on paper, and create some special artwork to take home. Volunteers oversaw this area, helping out the kids where needed, and nearby there was a playmat with building blocks and cars to push around.

Soon, there was a “choo choo” sound, and whether coincidence or not, an odd-looking clown then wandered by to entertain/make fun of the kids. He blew up bubble-type balloons, called children “Nanna” and “Adidas” (“because that’s what’s on your top”), but most importantly, he made them laugh and smile.

He made them forget they were in a hospital. All of these things made the children forget, if only for a bit.

And isn’t that a precious thing… while we wait for a world where children never fall sick, in the meantime let’s make the world a little happier, a little more fun, a little brighter for the ones who do need to visit a doctor for whatever reason…

… and I’m so happy to see an institution like the RCH, doing just that. It makes me proud to be a human.

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And, baby girl is doing well 🙂

#411 Life & Family

It’s the simplest, and most non-complicated of gratitudes.

It’s something everyone reading this blog has, and yet not many of us give thanks for it, often, or at all… that is until you go to a funeral.

Today I went to a funeral.

Nothing makes you humbler, brings you down to earth, sets your priorities, and shows you what really matters in life, like the death of someone you know. And when it is someone who had a young and loving family, and who still had so much more to see and live for, it is especially heartbreaking.

I don’t need to tell you the scenes: it was devastating. I broke down. Everyone did. And at the end of the day, driving to pick up baby girl from my parents place, I reached across and clutched Hubbie’s arm: “I love you so much.”

We should all be so, so grateful. I know I am. I am alive, I have my Life, and I have the blessing of having a Family – nothing could make me happier. I am the richest woman because I have that, and I could almost end this blog, this whole carcrashgratitude online journal, right here…

But I have so much more to be grateful for, and I will spend my life looking for all the ways.

But the above gratitude? That wins it all.

 

#406 Coffee Walk Life Reflection

This post has very little to do with the frivolity and luxury that a coffee walk evokes. And I don’t mean to put down any serious coffee drinkers out there with those words (myself included), but really, this post is less 1st world luxury, and more about the serious humbling nature of Life and Death.

Late last night Hubbie and I learned that a man we knew, a family friend, had died on the weekend. He had been in his 30s, a little older than Hubbie, with two beautiful little kids, and a loving wife.

This man died due to a horrible, horrible disease. The same disease that took Hubbie’s Dad away.

Our hearts broke at the news. Of course, with a terminal affliction such as this, death becomes a thought that makes space in your head quite early on, cleaning up the floor and moving stuff away so it can become a prominent feature in the living room of your mind.

But, he was young. And strong. And had so much to live for. We really hoped, that he at least, for the sake of himself and his family, would be one of the lucky ones to survive.

But… bastard disease.

This morning I walked in-between my two work colleagues to grab a coffee. The sun bathed us as we crossed the road to the sunny side. I thought of him, this man that was no longer walking on Earth. It had been days since he had left us all. He could not see the beautiful sunlight streaming down upon us. He could not bath in its beauty. He could not see the light sparkling off the rippling water, and he could most definitely not walk out to get a coffee.

My quiet reflections humbled me. Here I was, doing the most simplest of things, something that I was always so grateful and happy to do… and this morning, it just meant so much MORE.

We are all so lucky. If you are reading this, take a moment and show some gratitude that you are even still here on this earth. Life is so fragile, so fleeting, so flagged by chance, that I thank my lucky stars every day, that I am here with my loved ones.

Be grateful. Be grateful for it all. For it is all beautiful.

#405 “Thanks!” or “Change!” ?!

She says “change” or something to that effect, but really she means “thanks.”

She’s been expressing her gratitude for little things lately (aww, starting early 🙂 ), and it makes my heart just about burst.

She didn’t say it when we went to Cruden Farm today.

She didn’t say it after we waited 50 minutes for her to jump on a trampoline with 5 other kids for the measly duration of 5 minutes.

She didn’t say it when she saw the massive dinosaurs interactively walk past.

Nor did she say it in the car when we were away from the heat, and I gave her a packet of crisps to tide her by.

She didn’t say it when I handed her her happy meal in the Maccas drive-through.

No. But baby girl said it moments later at our dining table, as she was opening her happy meal: she poured out her fries on a spread-out napkin, happily took out her Barbie pony toy, and then saw that she also had nuggets.

“Oh!” was her gasping response.

“Do you like it?” I asked her.

“Ohhh,” she replied fondly, hugging the packet of warm nuggets to her chest, smiling with her chin pointed down to one side, eyes squinty as she said “Change.”

LOL. ‘Thanks.’

Having her say “thanks” is about the sweetest thing in the world. Because not only does she recognise that she is getting something special (she is 3 and a half and has only had a happy meal twice in her life – mind you our next child will probably have had 30 by the same age, part of the deal when the older sibling influences the younger), but she is recognising that it is important to be thankful for it. Appreciative.

Grateful 🙂 All for a packet of nuggets. I love it.

 

#399 Colleague appreciation no.2

So, it’s getting later in the gratitude game now, where I’m tending to double up on gratitude moments.

Not really double-up, but the theme is similar, hence all my “no.2” posts at the moment.

Take coffee for example (of course I would use coffee as an example). A narrow-minded person may be grateful for it, once. But an open-ended and wide-ranging one, would take cause to notice it’s deep aroma, the texture, the way it perks you up, it’s up-lifting qualities, of course it’s taste, and then there’s all the places you can enjoy this fine beverage in a range of wonderful locations… and so, so much more.

You get my drift.

I actually have been grateful to coffee in a number of ways too. And I will continue to be.

As I will find reasons to be grateful, for many, many other things multiple times over.

Like, a nice compliment. Appreciation. Who doesn’t need a bit of kindness directed their way???

So today I had my usual coffee walk with my work colleagues. I haven’t seen them properly in a while, which means that although I, and they, have all been working, with all of our shift work, and then my part-time work on top of that, I’ve just been catching the end of them as they conclude their day’s work.

I was both surprised and touched to hear, amidst our light-hearted banter, that they had missed me, and preferred when I worked earlier in the day, as opposed to late in the afternoon.

“But I don’t make that much of a difference!” I exclaimed, referring to my part-time work.

“But you do!”

Awww. I’ve known them for quite a few years now, and it’s interesting how well you begin to know each other’s lives and everything in it. I’m pretty lucky to work within a great team, and to hear from some of my longest and best colleagues that I’m missed when away…

Well, that just makes me blush. 🙂