#1023 Laps of calm

It was one of those days.

Everything was bugging me. I was stressed. Anxious. Biting back easily. Overly emotional.

Just feeling like a pile of shit.

I threatened cancelling baby girl’s swimming lesson several times during the day when she didn’t listen to me… but to be honest, it would have done me as much of a disservice as to her, if I had gone through with it.

That’s because, of the guaranteed peace that comes with her swimming lesson.

It’s all go-go-go up until Monday afternoon. Pick up from kinder… go through her bag… clean up… much-required coffee… more clean up… get her ready for swimming… get in the car…

GO-GO-GO.

And then.

Just like the kids jumping into the water, there is a –

WHOOSH!

of release.

And. Silence.

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I breathe. Sit back against the wall. There is commotion and voices all around me but it becomes white noise as I focus on being still.

Breathe in….. Breathe out.

My hands are collapsed on my lap. Eyes are glassy, reflecting the water in front of me. My pupils dance as the children leap and dive, splash about and swim with arms thrashing all about them.

I breathe in…. and I breathe out.

I stare blankly at the sights before me. The humidity of the room creeps into me, covering every inch of my body, seeping into every garment I am wearing, forcing the tension and stresses of the day to flee away.

I start to smile. When baby girl waves and looks at me in recognition, I nod. Hold a thumbs up. I usually look at my phone at times like this – 1 minute head down, 2 minutes head up. And on it goes, ’til the 30 minutes are up.

Breathe in… breathe out.

But this time I hold the phone, for minutes upon end. I don’t look down. I don’t need to be entertained. I don’t need to think about other things, read about other things, or even laugh about other things.

I need to centre my scattered thoughts.

Breathe.

And suddenly, like a swimming board clapping down against the water, the children are exiting the pool, and just like that my reverie is broken.

My 30 minutes of calm are up.

A dripping, overly-excited, goggle-eyed girl, stands before me, threatening to spill water all over me if I move the wrong way.

Wide-eyed. Wild expressions dance on her face, and I read the future antics in her head in a heartbeat.

My girl is back.

And my work, once again, begins.

 

#976 The hot water bottle

Some days, it is the simple things.

Who am I kidding? MOST days it is the simple things.

Like a hot water bottle.

Sure, it may not be as effective (or numbing) as painkillers, but in terms of comfortable and supportive assistance, that slight warmth to take the edge off of any doubling-over pain, well it is pretty cool.

Or should I say, warm.

And… there is someone else who is also finding recent fascination with the water bottle…

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Yup. 😉

 

#923 The holiday bath

There is something that I haven’t yet indulged about our time away in Hobart over the last few days.

At one stage or another, we have ALL been sick.

Hubbie was the first. Or should I say, his nasally symptoms and hoarse throat, followed him interstate and over-seas.

Baby girl was second. On the day we were planning to go to the MONA museum, she began showing symptoms of an unwell state. Not eating. Lying down. Looking sleepy.

All of this right after waking up. This was not normal for her.

And though she was determined to jump onto the ferry, her symptoms overwhelmed her, and after falling asleep on a lounge at a MONA café after we walked all over the place, she then crashed even harder on the couch back at our accommodation.

I copped it today.

Or should I say, I progressed today. Because I have had the same annoying cough, incessantly beating its way up into my throat passages and forcing itself up, scratching my insides and thudding my lungs in the process, for about 3 weeks now.

I woke feeling weak, my throat was worse, and I felt absolutely wrecked and emotional.

It’s no surprise that we have all been sick, or been more worse off at one time or another, during this holiday out of all times.

We haven’t stopped. You know that phrase, you need a holiday from your holiday? That is totally US. Because we’re just go-go-go. We’re taking it all in, trying to sight-see and experience and involve ourselves in as much as Hobart and its surrounds has to offer.

All at the expense of our health. Because we have not had a chance to breathe.

Today we still went out and did things… but there was a distinct period in the late afternoon where we were just hanging out at our rental abode. We had deliberately cleared the schedule for this time, because it was needed, as much as the sight-seeing and walking and tours and driving and scenic lookouts were needed.

And then, after I cleared it with the boss –

I decided, I needed a bath.

The boss being, baby girl of course. I had to let her know where I was disappearing off to, because God help me if she didn’t know, she would walk around the place yelling “Mama!” and any serene water spell would be immediately disturbed and broken.

I put on my pouty lips and sad face when she first joked with me that I was not allowed to go. She wanted me, all to herself. I play-pretend cried, and suddenly my wish was granted.

I headed into the bathroom, filling up the water in the bathtub, at 4:30pm.

When I sat in the bath, I was just about submerged. I relaxed as the water enveloped me, tried to settle my mind, my thoughts, and my weary spirit, and breathed…

Hold on. It wasn’t at the perfect optimum temperature. I turned only the hot faucet on, watching the water trickle out slowly for a few more minutes.

I lay there all content and steamed up afterwards. Ahh, that’s better. Submerged in the extra heat of the water, I felt my skin tingling and blistering from the temperature, knowing that small clusters of red were forming all over my skin, creating the large framework of lobster that I endeavoured to look like every time I exited out of any shower/bath.

Because if I ain’t hot, well the shower/bath ain’t worth it.

Finally I was able to relax more. The bubbles which had been so in abundance when I first set in, dispersed into puddles of flat foam, swimming easily around the bath.

I closed my mind.

Drip drip drip.

The tap wasn’t turned off all the way, and the dropping of water interrupted my thoughts for only a moment.

My mind went to the past day, to where we were eating that night, to the next day, to our bird back at home… things I had to do, whether or not baby girl should go back to kinder on Monday… but at some point these rational thoughts ceased, replaced instead by things I had heard and seen in the last few days, street names and places, with characters I did not know, and it was all flowing together in swift disconnected cohesion, though none of it was actual reality.

My body, stilled.

I was starting to very lightly dream.

Drip drip drip.

The dripping of the tap brought me back to the present. I was here in this foreign bathtub, in another person’s bathroom, with sounds of Hubbie and baby girl floating on through from the rooms above me, while I lay there in the heat of the water, drifting away, in both physical and mental form.

I allowed my eyes to rest a few more times, but as the water began to cool, my eyes began to open more frequently. My body was now hot, the kind of hot that makes you all hazy and sleepy and cloudy in the head. I lay for ages, thinking how well they were doing without bothering me, until I heard Hubbie’s footsteps coming down the stairs. Then there was a knock on the door.

Since I had no time on me, I had asked him to tell me when 30 minutes was up. In fact, it was 5:20 – he had let me go way over.

I knew I had married him for a reason.

I was grateful for the time spent just being this afternoon. I was grateful that Hubbie had been kept busy with his extensive folk music collection online, and I was grateful that baby girl had been busy watching dolls on youtube.

Both of their ‘busy’s had allowed me to do NOTHING AT ALL. And it was exactly what the holiday ordered.

But the weird thing was, I could have done the exact same thing at home… and yet I had to fly 720 kilometres, just to be reminded of that fact.

Now I hope, I have reminded you too 🙂

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Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

 

 

#762 Home, after away

In light of recent work developments, which has led me to many more Friday and Saturday night, late, late, late shifts (i.e. crap shifts), I am still trying to do my glass half-full thing, and look around me at what good can come out of this.

One such thing is Saturdays. I usually have to work during the days, but working these ‘crap’ shifts, means I don’t have to work my usual day shift on the weekend.

Therefore, I suddenly have Satur-days off.

With this in mind this morning, I headed over to the Emu Plains Market with baby girl, full well knowing that it wouldn’t come around again for another month, and also knowing that work shifts may change again suddenly, and then I wouldn’t have Saturdays off anymore AT ALL.

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It was nice to get out of the house and do something different with baby girl. We got there late because I had tried to sleep in following my ‘crap’ shift, which meant we only had 90 minutes to peruse the grounds.

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Large shadowy enveloping trees circled the Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring, providing fantastic shelter for the stall after stall of virtually anything you could imagine to be at a market – jewellery, food, furniture, clothes, candles, plants, alcohol, toys, ANYTHING really. We walked through the area quickly, made a toilet stop, I watched baby girl jump on the kids jumping castle and slide, we ate some food truck food, and then she waited her turn to get some paint done on her arms.

 

 

By this stage she had had enough, and following said arm painting, decided she then DIDN’T want the arm paint, for reasons I still don’t know. She cried and held her arms at her side rigidly, like they were in a cast or something, and only once we were in the car, after repeated attempts to calm her down and tell her she could actually move them around, did she then decide that yes, she would keep the arm paint.

FACE PALM.

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The visit was short, intense, and relaxing, all at once. I would love to visit that market again, with more time on our side of course. But there was another visit today that had me relishing the company of.

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A visit with my couch. I realised, that I appreciated the Emu Plains day out, more so because we were having a Saturday night in, and in turn I was appreciating our Saturday night in, because I had already gone out that day with baby girl to the market.

I’m getting philosophical now… but ‘whole’ appreciation almost couldn’t be there without the other. Yes, both activities existed on their own and both had their merits, but their joy was amplified by the existence of the other.

It was all a balancing act.

You need to have it well-rounded, and tonight I realised this, while sipping on some cider in the March Melbourne mugginess.

I was happy to be home, but only after I had been away. And reverse.

 

#724 No shopping at Chaddy day

Today, the fog was lifted.

I was physically able, and also desperately needed to escape the house walls (and the soon to be 30+ degree heat that would be upon us today) and so we escaped to Chadstone.

And though a good 5 hours or so was spent there, and I looked at things, and tried them on, and picked them up…

Hubbie bought A LOT of things…

yet I did not buy myself ONE.

And I couldn’t be happier.

The gift I received today was greater than anything I could have bought with any $$$. Because today I was better than I was yesterday, which honestly meant more than the world to me.

It’s funny how we take our health for granted, even going as far as to question how bad being sick is, when we aren’t in fact, sick? I know I ask myself that question sometimes, thinking ‘it ain’t that bad,’ or ‘I can get through it.’

I wanted to remove myself from my body yesterday, that’s how bad it was.

I’m not 100% yet, but I am far better than I was 24 hours ago. And that was the greatest present I could have ever received.

Sorry Chaddy. You lost out to something greater this time…

#715 Dancing in the Summer rain

I thought I was hilarious last night, when I considered messaging Hubbie from work, with the quip “I’m considering putting my cardigan on.”

That remark was so hilarious, because I was in air-conditioned coolness, almost too much of it hence the quote, while Hubbie and baby girl were at home, sweat literally dripping down their bodies.

I got home after midnight to a 27 degree night minimum. Not just at our house, the heatwave was State-wide. And upstairs I went, to the bedroom of our double-storey house, to eat ALL my Karma, as I proceeded to have the most restless and muggy sleep ever.

It wasn’t just the heat. It was the possibility that baby girl would wake up again, because she had woken up once with Hubbie, and then with me when I got home, all heat/dehydration related, and then of course there was a HUGE huntsman on the outside flyscreen outside one of the upstairs windows, and even after Hubbie hit it from the inside so it wasn’t staring at us while we slept, I spent the night freaking out over the spider somehow getting inside, and baby girl waking up again.

Like I said, I ate ALL my Karma.

In the morning, a cool change was promised, but there was no sight of it, as I walked around the still-humid house, tired, deprived, exhausted, and slumping around in my sogginess.

So at about midday when I heard a familiar rattling, I interrupted baby girl’s chatter.

“Shh,” I said. “Listen.”

We both went quiet as I heard the all-too familiar sound of increasing rain on the roof.

“It’s raining,” I confirmed with relief. “I’m going outside.”

She followed me silently, perhaps because she couldn’t believe her ears and what I had just said.

But when I stepped out the back door, some of the rain hitting my head, and asked “are you coming?” the pause from her, was all incredulous and excited wonder, rather than stunned hesitation.

She broke into a smile, and followed happily.

We celebrated the rain, and her excitement only increased the longer we were out there, and the more I spoke gratefully for it. We let it fall upon us, not caring for the wet splatters and spots upon our skin and clothes – it was refreshing and cool and necessary.

We then headed out into the front yard for some more cool relief, and she yelled happily as she observed the raindrops everywhere – on the car, the roses, the plants, and the window.

It was a brief and light rain spell, but it did the trick. We were invigorated, alive again like the garden was after such a hot night, and most of all, we were free and one with nature. Only the best way to be.

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#713 Beach mornings

Sometimes work makes us do weird things. And forces us to get out and do something, we normally wouldn’t.

Like today. Sure, the beach is fairly close and accessible to us. But getting up early enough to get there, in the AM, just never happens for this lover of sleep (and a certain baby girl who follows in her Mama’s footsteps).

But because I was due to be working tonight, thereby losing my Saturday night with the fam, and the weather was going to be hot, I thought…

“let’s sneak a cheeky beach visit in early on.”

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Hubbie was working so it was just baby girl and I. But a working woman’s gotta do what a working woman’s gotta do… grab that opportunity by the horns and run with it! Don’t wait for anything! Enjoy the moment NOW.

Which is exactly what we did. 3 and a half hour of cheeky beach fun. The weather was actually perfect. Not too hot, and yet somehow, hot enough. No wind. So still. And I reckon they were generally locals around, since it would have been more packed than it already was if the Long Weekend touros were onto us…

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But just imagine. Imagine I missed out on perfection with my daughter, just because I was waiting for the right day. When Hubbie was around. When I wasn’t working. When we had MORE time. When we were all well-slept.

Scoff. Nope.

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It was heaven, it was bliss, and sitting here at work now, I am soooo glad that we did it.

Here’s to more beach mornings, and early rises 🙂

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