#869 Late night soccer

Just as well I brought the hat home last Friday.

It had been in my old room, at my parents house. Just as I have been purging and sorting through my own stuff, so too have my parents been trying to purge – themselves of my stuff. LOL.

I always said I would tend to the big pile of childhood and teenage accumulation and mementos that I had left at their place when I first moved out. That promise turned into a faraway and not very concrete date, and so my parents took it upon themselves to take everything out of hiding and line it up accessible and for me to see in my old room.

Every time I am there, I go through a little more. I came across some carnival hats that baby girl was enamoured with… I thought ‘fine.’ There’s many things I am bringing home, simply because I am not sure of what to do with it, but I feel that I should really be throwing it away.

The hat, is not the case.

Because the hat, is from the homeland. It holds my parents roots, and is an emblem of where I hail from.

The discovery of the hat was so timely, because I was able to hold it near and dear to me, during the viewing of the Soccer, very very late (or very very early, whichever way you roll) last night/this morning.

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Croatia has progressed into the second round of finals in the FIFA world cup. I always said if they did get this far, then I would stay up/get up early, and watch. I knew baby girl having school holidays would make it easier – no early start and subsequent running around after a 3-hour sleep due to Soccer match… so very very early this morning, that’s what I did.

I had a preorganised massive blanket on the couch to wrap myself in. Little did I know it was the coldest night of the year, but I was all tucked up and cosy, the only light coming from the guys on the green field and the soft glow of our hallway.

In those 2 and a half hours, I learnt a bit. I didn’t think I would. I picked up strategies and things about the game which I had never noticed before. I got emotional, my head lifting from the pillow in anticipation when a goal was near; I whispered “damn!” at missed opportunities; and I also nearly fell asleep several times.

I am more sleep ambassador than a soccer one.

But it was the memories and the times I had spent watching the World Cup before, that led me to this night. I remember my Dad staying up late, and me sitting with him, trying to work out the game. Asking him questions. Things about the goalie, and how hard his job was. All of this came flooding back to me, the time I spent with my Dad watching this sport, excited about the rare late nights, and the bonding that I didn’t realise I was partaking in, ’til just last night.

And there was more. I remembered World Cup soccer parties at my sister’s place. The excitement of driving across town at midnight to watch the tournament take place. I remember sleeping in my bed at 3am, and the phone ring because Croatia had just progressed into another round, and my sister across town was calling to talk to my Dad, who was watching on our side of town.

“Sorry SmikG,” she said. “I’m calling for Dad.”

So casual, yet so novel. It was fascinating, how this event turned all our lives upside down.

And then when Croatia did make 3rd place in that same year, the happiness the people experienced and devoted themselves to, awoke something in me.

A deep curiosity for World Cup Soccer. Now, it was going to become a ritual.

Years later when Australia made the World Cup, remarkably it was Croatia they faced in one-play off. Although I couldn’t really lose in this scenario – ‘homeland’ team, playing ‘home’ team – I nonetheless went for the regional underdog, while Hubbie, then BF, was happily cheering for the land down under.

Our rules were: take a shot when your team makes goal. And run around the house with the national flag wrapped around you.

We did it.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, my parents were in Croatia, their native home, watching the very same game. They would wince when Australia faltered, silently cheering and smiling with glee when they moved ahead, noticed by my uncle who said to them

“Why, you’re cheering for Australia, not Croatia!”

That’s because Australia was their real home now.

Or maybe it had to do with going for the underdog in their current location, just as I was doing, cheering for Croatia to win as I sat in my Australian house.

I never remember who won. I don’t even care. All I remember are the memories.

I am not a soccer devotee. I will not claim I know all the players’ names. I will not pretend to watch soccer at any other time for the next 4 years after this event.

But I am a fan of where I come from. And as long as Croatia will feature in this 4-yearly event, so too will I haul my ass out of bed in freezing cold Winter temperatures, and remember, the memories from before.

For those keeping score… my ass-hauling last night DID pay off. Croatia won. In an epic extra-time plus penalty shoot-out setting. They won on the last kick!

Incredible. And if all I remember from this World Cup is…

coldest night

reminiscing on the past

cuddled up on the couch

Hubbie joining me post 6am before heading off to work

and then cheering happily because they had won (and I was going back to bed!)

then that would be enough.

#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.

#856 Lotsa everything day

Today I was fortunate to have many things to be grateful for.

I was grateful for… lotsa.

I was grateful that we visited one of the last schools on our primary tour for baby girl… and we think it is the one. Sure, the school we last visited we also felt ‘good’ about. But this one gave me a certain vibe on the info night I attended weeks ago. And Hubbie and I agreed today, that it felt like our own primary schools that we attended, growing up.

It had a real community vibe, and that’s what appealed to us. The clincher was the realisation that the trees out the front of the school are my trees, and if you don’t know what they are, go and look at the background pic on my smikg.com page…

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Absolutely sublime.

I happily took baby girl to kinder late because of this tour, and discovered a coffee truck in the outside car park.

I wasn’t planning on having coffee… but when one is presented with such, one MUST HAVE.

I’ve never seen it there before, because I’ve never been 1 hour late to kinder. I must hang around and ‘help’ them on some other occasions me thinks…

I headed off to do some furniture and flooring window shopping/research on my own, and we all know as a parent, anything you do ‘on your own’ is gratitude enough, especially since such simple tasks such as wiping your butt and having a shower are often accompanied by a little person.

Our kitchen progressed that little bit more today… we have an extra cupboard for storage, hooray!

And speaking of the kitchen… perhaps the best part of the day was dancing around it in the evening before dinner, with Hubbie and baby girl, to her favourite song Go Bang by Pnau.

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Our socks may be mismatched, but let me assure you, we are family folks.

It’s a happy day when you don’t quite know what you are most grateful for…

So let’s just be grateful for it ALL šŸ™‚

 

 

 

#851 In hot water

When you move to an old house, that just so happens to also be your dream house… well you’re happy, that’s to be expected. But at the same time, the time comes where you need to start renovating, and removing the old, from your old house.

And each time we give our house the much-needed facelift it so desperately needs, we breathe a united sigh of relief: “Ahh. Another thing down.”

Let me provide you now with a song by one of my favourite groups:

It is totally relevant, let me assure you. Because it is related to our most recent house facelift. Queen sing about being Under Pressure as a bad thing… sure, when you’re rushing to work, rushing home, rushing through life… trying to make ends meet, being pulled left and right by family and friends, trying to find the money to make it through… Sure, that pressure is SHIT.

But not all pressure is shit. For example, like that essential water pressure you require to come out of a tap.

Segue eat your heart out.

Our house was built sometime in the early 80s… and we may have inadvertently found out the actual year, when we first reviewed our building inspection report before buying the house, and found on a photo of the very old electric hot water unit, the year ‘1980.’

1980! Not just the house, but the electric hot water unit! Who even has electric hot water units these days?

Until this morning, we did.

We were living on the edge for a year and a half. Because of the age of the system, we were told that changing it to a newer hot water unit was imperative… and instead of doing it immediately, we waited…

Why? Because priorities. Other things seemed more important. Also $$$. And then again, I mean, it was still working… just for how long, we didn’t know.

But we made it. We made it through without the dreaded ancient thing exploding on us. It used to make this insane screeching sound, each time the faucet was turned to hot. This shrieking was reminiscent of the horror scene from Psycho, with longer pauses between screeches, and the screams themselves prolonged. Hear, have a listen from 1:10 (or if you wanna freak yourself out watch the WHOLE THING):

I am not kidding you when I say our hot water system would screech like that when you turned it on. We grew accustomed to the racket, the ongoing Psycho shower scene of our life that we were stuck in, like a really horrible episode of the Twilight Zone, yet at the same time not so accustomed so as to turn it on in the morning to wake up a certain princess. No siree, I wasn’t going to let Hubbie, or myself, risk that.

Freezing cold water for every early morning it was.

And the pressure! Ever since renovating the kitchen, well the old hot water system suddenly couldn’t keep up with the new tapware and plumbing. It was frustrating, having a new kitchen, new applicances, all shiny and new and workable, and then there was the

SCREECH SCREECH SCREECH

psycho theme going on in the background, with non-existent water pressure.

But today. Ohhhh today. This:

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We finally got our new gas hot water system installed. It is huge, it is situated outside, NOT in the prehistoric ‘attic’ position, and well, there is pressure.

It is HOT, but it is set at a certain temperature so it is not scalding. I won’t develop 3rd degree burns when I turn the lever a little too much to the bottom when washing dishes.

It may be the most boring as batshit post to some, but to me, to us, it is everything…

Looking forward to turning up the heat tomorrow morning… and no more of this –

psycho shower scene

 

 

#840 Soulful Sunday’s no. 1

And so begins a new gratitude thread, one dedicated to doing things that feed your soul and settle your mind and body, on what is the sacred day between the busy-ness, drinks and catch-up with friends that is Saturday, and the return to routine and day-to-day school/work/life cycle that is Monday.

Sunday. Soulful. It can really involve anything, with the determining factor of success being that after doing it, you feel good. The sky is the limit when it comes to doing whatever it is you please, as we are all made happy by so many different things… some so extravagant…

Some SO simple. Like my day, today.

It was just a quiet, really quiet day. I caught up on stuff around the house, because God knows I neglect it and the things I need to do more than I care to admit; I sat on the couch at one point with Hubbie watching the footy, my head on his shoulders; and I got a lot of special hugs from baby girl, rapt herself that we had simply spent the whole day together as a family.

Looking out the window at Sunsets being submerged by impending dark clouds was a point of interest too:

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So there is my quiet, simple, and soulful Sunday. Because I feel replenished after it all, I know, it was a success šŸ™‚

 

#780 New artwork

Our walls have been plain for far too long.

A while ago we were fortunate enough to be gifted with an amazing piece of artwork, or should I say, artworks, by a very talented friend. Hubbie was there talking about his recent love of all things Aborigine-inspired, and this friend piped up “have you seen my old paintings?”

Before we knew it, we were going home with several of them. Not only were we blessed to be receiving them for free, but this was a friend’s creativity poured out in front of her and now passed on to us – that is some heavy and inspiring shit! I get it, I know how difficult it is to express yourself creatively and put yourself out there for all to view and critique. And though it isn’t in the same exact art form as hers, somehow, same same. Where creativity grows, there is also that other side of the coin, of fear, judgement, and helplessness at not being able to control what other’s think.

It is a very sobering and humbling interaction between creator and observer.

Which is why we appreciated the kind gift, all the more. Tonight, after looking at the paintings leaning against our walls for a good month, or so, we finally put one up:

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The series of others need tougher nails to go into actual bricks, so that will be another day’s job, possibly another day’s gratitude post. But for now, the above painting has brightened up our walls with colour and excitement, the intricate and detailed patterns bringing with it a sense of introspection and meditation.

I love it.

Thank you D.SĀ ā™„

#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.

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