#823 An afternoon with Dead Poets

It was the perfect day…

It was cold.

It was dreary.

I was under the weather.

I had a sore throat.

I was tired.

I was uninspired.

And all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball…

Yes, it WAS the perfect day…

To stay in and watch a movie.

The combination of wintery conditions, and a tired mind and body meant it was ideal weather to just curl up on the couch with a tea and watch something for a couple of hours while baby girl was at kinder.

The only problem was, I couldn’t quite curl up on the couch, as the DVD player in that room has started playing up. I couldn’t put in a DVD loaned to me by a work colleague, with the risk that it wouldn’t come out, much like the current scenario and baby girl’s Moana being lost in there?

So I improvised.

I went into her play room… grabbed her bean bag… brought her small art-y table close by to me, and plopped into the player Dead Poets Society.

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I think it’s been in my hands for at least 6 months. Maybe even close to a year. I seriously can’t remember. I know he didn’t expect me to return it immediately, but at the same time he doesn’t talk to me much anymore so maybe he thinks he’s lost it for good.

Oh LOLS. If there’s one thing I am, it’s an elephant. I don’t forget. I don’t keep people’s things.

I needed some thoughts of inspiration and meaning. I sat with my tea and a cherry Danish on the table beside me (alongside baby girl’s own tea set)…

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And proceeded to get lost in a fine work of art by one of my favourite actors, Robin Williams, for the next two hours.

It was certainly an interesting film. It made me want to read more poetry. It made me want to go and live life to the fullest even more than I already try to do.

Robin Williams’ teacher character tells his students that they are little more than worms to feed the earth in future years, leading to his main statement:

Carpe Diem.

Seize the day. Make the most of what time you have. Live your passion. Don’t follow the path well travelled – forge your own. Love and the Arts are notable pursuits.

And one of my many fave quotes of his from the film:

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

It was a sweet, funny and passionate movie, but one also starkly true and grim about life’s pressures, taking a sad and horrific turn right near the end, leaving me going “No!” I didn’t just spend the last two hours of slowly-building inspiration for this?

But then there was the promise of something learnt, of not all lost… of Hope… and that reminded me of my own book, where I pretty much do the exact same thing.

It was a lovely afternoon which I spent not doing much at all. In a week where I have felt bombarded and overwhelmed in all avenues of my life, with just too much going on all at once, I needed a moment, an hour or two, to not tend to any of those things… and just take some time out, to do my own thing.

To find inspiration and the meaning of life again.

To remember where I am.

And to remind myself of where I am going.

 

 

 

#810 The scenic route Home

It doesn’t matter if I’ve been on the other side of town ALL day.

It doesn’t matter if I’ve just been stuck in a traffic jam while heading home from work.

Nor like today, does it matter if I’ve driven for about 4 hours and just wanna get home.

Because I’ll ALWAYS take the scenic route.

To be fair, if I take the extended freeway length and get off it closer to home, it may or may not be 5 minutes shorter. Certainly, going that way means I don’t have to get off the freeway earlier, and contend with traffic lights and 60-80 km/h traffic through Frankston and Mt Eliza…

But then I wouldn’t see this.

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Driving an extra 5 minutes is totally worth it. Every single time I sneak a look at the water when I drive past Frankston Waterfront – every time. I’m not the only one though. You can tell the 60km/h speed limit is as much for the water-gazers all turning around the bend in unison and getting perilously close to one another as they take longer than necessary looks upon the ocean before them, as much as it is because the road curves.

I’ve had both good days and bad days looking out towards that view as I drive home.

And each time, I am brought a renewed sense of Hope, no matter how shitty things may have been that day.

Today’s mood? Reflective. And appreciative, that I was Home. ♥♥♥

#807 A day of handling Anxiety

Many separate and non-uniform events coincided today in an effort to reduce the stress and pressure on my mind.

Did they try, or in my mind, did I seek them out in an effort to distract myself?

The distraction is for removing myself and my troublesome thoughts from something I do not want to do… yet I have to.

All these distractions, were also instances of momentary gratitude, where I tried so hard to see the bigger picture.

This quote.

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It set me up for the day, and reminded me that without troubles and fear, I was not going to grow. I know this, and yet the fear remains, hanging in the shadows.

A rose, cut from the garden.

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A fresh batch, sprung up again. This rose tree continues to amaze me with its constant renewal and rebirth. I prune and cut for my own personal satisfaction, and still they spring up, fragrant and pretty and pink. They do not fade, they do not tire. They keep on, going on, despite the scissors that come to them, often.

The park visit.

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Have you ever done a U-turn on the spur of the moment, and changed the afternoon’s plans? Baby girl was begging for the park, and I went “what the hell.” I needed the fresh air. And the laughter. And the frivolity. And the trees. There’s nothing like being surrounded by children screaming at the park, to remind you of the humble and naïve beginnings they, and we all started from. It’s important to remind ourselves of that fact, from time to time.

And finally, the sunset.

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Pink, and blue. A colourful display as always, Autumn. Watching the colours fade into the horizon, and be overshadowed by night, to know that tomorrow light will appear again and the world will go on, happy and sad, good or bad…

Whether you show up or not.

All of these images present a metaphor for me and the things plaguing my mind, and all I know for sure is that combined, they speak of one thing, the thing I hold dearest to me:

Hope.

Hope can beat fear, Hope can push us forwards, and Hope can put my mind into a safer place than it is, with Anxiety.

I can’t wait ’til tomorrow is over.

 

 

#781 The heart symbol

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What do you think the symbol for the above heart represents today?

My heart-to-heart with Hubbie where I spewed all my troubles onto him, and I didn’t feel I was worrying him, he just listened and heard me? That was heart.

Baby girl serenading me at bedtime, singing “I love you you you you you, I love you you you you you…”? That made me laugh, and it was ALL heart.

Playing Frozen Bingo with my family? Memories – heart.

Actually, the heart moment happened this afternoon, when baby girl caught up with an old kinder friend today at the park, and her friend handed her this envelope. It contained a card inside, with a drawn picture of the two of them holding hands, and the word ‘Love.’

And although all of the above things gave me some hope of heart today, it was this little gesture of growing friendship and reciprocated love, that made my heart swell.

Oh, my heart. ♥♥♥

 

 

#758 Her encouraging nature

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See that light? You can see the setting sun creating a circle, a halo, far on the water of Port Phillip Bay.

There is a reason why I say that.

Today I did the usual at kinder drop off. I hung around while baby girl settled in, watching her paint, observing the kids around her, looking around while parents came, kissed their little ones goodbye, and then left.

Still, I stayed behind.

A boy saw baby girl painting, and decided he too would paint at the easel next to her. On the smock went, and he reached over to grab a paintbrush sticking out of a cup of blue paint.

He painted somewhat haphazardly, not really sure of what he was doing, glancing over at baby girl, while also distractedly looking around the classroom to see what else was happening. A few minutes passed, and while baby girl was carefully painting with her fourth colour, he took off his smock, and walked off, leaving his painting hanging there.

Baby girl, suddenly noticing his absence, leant over to his easel. (It was a plain piece of paper, with a few streaks of blue. I know kinder art is very preliminary, but this didn’t resemble much of anything).

And viewing his artwork, she said happily “oh, he did a great job!”

My heart SOARED. No, my daughter was not misguided. She was not ignorant in her paintings. She was not daft, and didn’t know the difference between what was good, and what was not.

She had compassion. She held encouragement in her soul.

It was something that lacked in others. It was something that lacked in a similar girl her age, who had seen baby girl drawing a picture at a party, and said to her out loud, in front of me, after I had complimented baby girl on her “great work!” –

“I don’t like it, that doesn’t look nice.”

You see, it’s not about the artwork. Rather it is about the character. For me, it is not whether baby girl turns out to be a Picasso or not. For me, it is about whether she has a heart or not.

I was initially worried when baby girl received that negative comment from that girl. I was worried that the girl’s negativity, rudeness, and mean manners, would rub off on baby girl, and turn her usual bright happy and smiley soul, into a cranky, angry, and negative one.

But then when she said about that boys picture, with the same encouragement as those she looks up to “great job!” I knew we had done something right.

Like a light, encouraging Hope, amidst the darkness.

And here, for arts sake, baby girl against the sunset. Hubbie reckons the power lines kill the photo. But I know what makes it 🙂

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#750 The roses keep on keeping on

I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye. I realised that, on March 1st, after dropping baby girl off at kinder, and then parking in the driveway amidst the misty morning.

Misty. So it was Autumn now. Huh.

And just like that. My most favourite season was OVER. Although sadly, despite the warmth and beach and all, because of our lack of air con, I was so concerned about whether we would survive the intense double-storey heat, that I was almost looking forward to the cooler months.

NO! Blasphemy. I know, I know (hangs head in shame).

Which is why I failed to remember to say ‘au revoir’ to Summer. I stood there then in the driveway, realising that now too, my slowly-turned, poorly-looking roses would need to be chopped back to nothing, too.

Sigh.

But then… there was a realisation. The other day when leaving the house, I noticed something.

Amidst the tired and empty looking rose bushes, in the middle of rose bush #2…

A solitary, small rose.

Suddenly, in the absence of Summer, it gave me Hope.

And then today, again leaving the house…

Another one. In rose bush #1.

I made a plan with these obvious signs of happiness, and in the late afternoon sun headed on outside to do some pruning.

Because the roses had told me, it was not over.

There is a solitary rose on each rose bush, and I am so happy to report that there are small buds blooming in other places too.

Sure, the rose bushes now resemble NOTHING to what they did when they were blooming amazingly some time ago (a report of that account can be read here, worth reading only to see baby girl’s photo bombs), but amidst the days getting shorter, the nights and mornings getting cooler, and beach days turning into couch-fests, I take solace in this last hurrah presented to me by the greenery in our front yard.

And just an extra side note for any novice gardeners like myself out there… when gardening, do wear a hat. Even if it is not sunny. Sure the sun was out today, but still, if I hadn’t been wearing one when I brushed against a set of sharp thorns today, I would have needed stitches in my head, rather than just my hat getting stuck to the roses.

#RoseWorldProblems

 

#711 ‘Work’-ing it out

There’s just something that happens when you combine your work friends, with alcohol.

I don’t know why it is. Maybe because you spend most of the day getting shit done, talking about shit, and complaining about shit, that if the opportunity arises to drink with any of your fellow shit-talkers, well you don’t miss the chance to get shit-faced.

Ok, so maybe my shit-face drinking days are over. But still, its nice to hang out with my work colleagues, after work. And have a drink or two.

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Something happens. This connection arises. Not that it hasn’t been there before. Sure, you share the same workplace. There is teamwork involved. You need to talk to each other – it is a prerequisite.

But then you ask about each other’s lives. Your spouses, your parents. Real care and concern.

What, you live where? How old is she now?

Clink clink.

What did you do to your kitchen? I like that brickwork.

Do you remember when we started… hang on who else was here before me?

Clink clink.

– How long do you think we have here…

-2-5 years tops.

-I’ll open a Butcher shop with Hubbie then.

Clink.

-I lay the blame on you!

-I begged for the job!

-Ok so I will shift the blame… to HIM.

CLINK.

Tonight the drinks were for a couple of colleagues leaving us – so it was bittersweet. But nonetheless a great excuse to remember, reminisce, and look forward to the future with wonder, curiosity, and Hope.

Because although we don’t always know where we are headed, or what is around the corner, if we at least have good people – NO, great work people –  around us, life becomes much, much easier.

CLINK to that.