This was my measured response, after my initial “F$#K!”
The TV had been on the Olympics this afternoon, when all of a sudden the volume changed, and when I glanced towards it there was an extreme close up of Dan Andrews’ face with the banner on the bottom screaming in red, lockdown from tonight.
My fuelled response was 100% reaction, but after seeing the disappointment start to show on baby girl’s face of yet another week of home-schooling, I quickly changed gear and started giving her positives where I could.
Later tonight Hubbie was saying how our world has changed so much. You just have to go with the flow, constantly.
If we’re out on parole (as he calls it!) then live. Get out of the house, have friends over, go out to dinner.
Then when we’re back in lock-up, well, enjoy that too. The quiet, the chance to catch up on home projects, Netflix, books, all that.
And my gratitude comes from those thoughts… because I realised happily that we’ve always lived like that.
We always make the most of it.
We don’t wait for the right time to have fun. We don’t wait for a special age birthday to throw a big birthday.
We just do, what feels right. We try to make the most of the moment, as much as we can, when we can.
Covid and lockdown and everything that comes with it, has been a metaphor for life really.
Make the most of it, because you don’t know what’s around the corner.
And even though baby girl’s upcoming birthday may not be exactly on the date we wanted, as I told her today –
“IT WILL HAPPEN!”
We just have to allow things to flow more freely, roll with the lockdown punches.
There’s another metaphor too.
It won’t happen how we want it, but it WILL happen. 🤞
My suspicion about today was confirmed when I checked my diary calendar.
28 days of movement, today. I was right.
And yet, it hadn’t been hard. Hasn’t been too much of a sacrifice, a stretch on mine or anyone in this household’s part to allow me some peace, some 23 minutes here or there, to work on myself, mind, body and spirit.
I wanted to commit to 28 days initially, and I did it! I got there.
In those 28 days I have done:
12 sessions of ‘body work’ – those are the Rachael Finch 23 minute workouts that get your heart rate pumping and gasping for breath.
8 sessions of ‘body tone’ – these are like yoga, but ha ha ha ha ha, if you think that means easy. This body tone workout is by no means easy. In fact several times I found myself asking for body work instead, where I could gasp for breath instead of feeling my entire body BURN.
On one such occasion I swore so profusely and angrily at the instructor, I would have embarrassed a sailor. True story. Mother F&*ker, everything. In front of my family, I didn’t care, I was DYING. And no, I didn’t just stop, because I’m stubborn, and swearing came easier. (Note to self and anyone else, if Rachael isn’t doing the body tone and they bring in an instructor, expect it to be a whole lot of HARD).
1 session where I went to the Loft in town and had a class session, yoga, pilates, whatever you call it, I did it, and felt amazing afterwards.
All the Saturdays were my off days. I’m usually running around on those days, and am active enough in other ways that I felt that was the most appropriate day to have ‘off.’
I then had 2 days off when I was cramping. Nothing at all.
I had one meditation day, where I didn’t do any body movement from the app. This day followed that intense body tone session when I was swearing like a trooper at the instructor, in disbelief that she thinks us normal folk can contort our bodies like that and have the leg strength of an Olympian. My legs, thighs, butt and other parts of my body hurt for two whole days afterwards, and I could barely crouch or bend over.
This is when the meditation occurred. I did it on my first ouch day.
And there you go. 28 days of movement, some days lacking, though few I am pleased to say, with fair amount of rest too, in a kinda detailed snapshot.
But fitness isn’t a destination, right? As the app tells me between reps, “fitness is a way of life!”
So, I’m not stopping anytime soon. I’m super rapt at the energy and confidence it has brought me, and today, I was able to do more plank exercises and half burpies than I ever have before… so my arm strength is improving, something I was severely lacking in before.
Fitness is so much more than about body. It’s about more than many people will ever realise.
It’s about you, your life, and what you are saying is important in it.
And if you say that your health is important, you are setting an example for others, and all the good things will follow.
(Fuck, something has to go right in my life about now…)
Excusez-moi my F bomb, but after a certain amount of time, zero Fs are given.
I walked up to my wonderful words today, to see my story come true before my very eyes.
Yes, that is me, I am breaking smikg protocol and displaying myself for all (or am I, really, am I? 😉)
I participated in a wonderful initiative last year by submitting some works towards a community project… the writers club I am part of teamed up with the local shire to get writers to create a mini fiction, no more than 6 words, on the theme of community, to be drawn and displayed along the streets of Rosebud.
Why, having my words out there for all to see? How could I miss the opportunity!
After finding out yesterday that yes, it DID happen yesterday, I headed on down with Hubbie today to pinch myself.
You know what’s funny about that photo? The sun was shining DIRECTLY on the SHINE part, but the photo didn’t show the light and dark well so I got Hubbie to like, hug me from the side so that we could block out the sun… can you see his outline? 😂
I got a little teary, I won’t lie. I’ve been longing to be published in some form for so long. And even this, on the footpath, just 6 words… it makes me so happy. It’s given me the much-needed boost I’ve needed, in the midst of life difficulty, frustration with everything, and very regular bouts of writer’s insecurity, like “am I good enough?” “my writing isn’t as good as theirs,” and “who’s going to want to read this?”
But to be published, just once,anywhere… it’s broken the spell. It’s crashed through the dam of insecurity, of doubt, and now the water is crashing down, happy and unbridled and free, and it wants to do it all.
I can just stare at that, like ALL DAY.
I will enjoy this moment, and hold on, as much as I can.
***Big thanks to @rondelle for her fabulous artwork, and @peninsulawriters along with @mornpenartsandculture for this great opportunity to try and inspire. ***
Things aren’t perfect, and they can always get better. But I find myself at a point where I feel like despite everything, there is nothing else to do BUT keep going.
Keep yourself distracted with passions, personal pursuits. If some things aren’t working out, well then find what IS, and run after that at full-speed.
But also, don’t be hard on yourself. I found myself the other night nearly crying with despair to Hubbie.
“And I want to do this, and do this, and I’m trying to do this, and then I’ve got my book! Then I want to do this, AND this…”
The list goes on and on and on.
We put sooo much pressure on ourselves.
We want to create this perfect family life. But we have to also work, and make money. Maintain the house. Cook wholesome food. Clean. Wash clothes every second of every day (or so it seems). Feed people.
But also chase your dreams! Be fit, exercise. Eat mindfully. Take time out, but don’t waste a second!
Play with your kids. Give yourself me time. Take walks. Sleep in. Keep in regular contact with family, friends.
What the actual fuck am I to do with all that?
Something has GOTTA give.
I’ve been giving so, so much lately. I can only do things, and move forward in incremental steps, and it’s these tiny baby steps I’ve been taking that are making me feel like things are actually moving.
Snail place, but still moving forward.
And that leads me back to, don’t give up.
It’s so tiresome and banal, telling people to not give up. I’ve felt like telling people over the last shit year who’ve passed out that quote, to piss off and shut up.
But I find it to be true, too true. Even in super-crawl slow-mo pace, I find it to be the most factual of all things.
Keep your head up. Look at what positives you can… even if it’s the blanket on you right now. A hot drink. Sun peeking through the clouds. Someone sending you a nice message. A cute cat.
I am skilled in the art of looking for things in the smallest of spaces. I should know. It’s awfully difficult, but it can be done.
And I guess, it’s nice to be passing out this advice, instead of looking for it.
It’s been a REALLY long time. It was made all the more fun because
a) it was a voucher given to her some time ago, and
2) we thought it may have expired, because well, IT HAD EXPIRED.
But, in true post-covid world fashion, the use of the voucher had been extended, affording us the ability to use it and have the best time today!
We went to watch Peter Rabbit 2 at the Vjunior cinemas. It was brilliant. I zoned in and out for most of the time, (let’s be honest, I was with child after all) and when the kids went bezerk at the ‘pause’ mark to run up to the mega slide, I slid my legs out across the tiny aisle from my beanbag seat and went –
But it actually was a really sweet and thrilling movie, and I took great pleasure watching baby girl’s smiling face, happily devouring her kids pizza, snacking on seemingly endless popcorn, and giving me a heartfelt ‘thank you’ when I got her a surprise chocolate milkshake.
F%$K it. It’s school holidays, give them all they want.
So close, so so soooo close to throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog.
You know I’ve never said it out loud, but I’ve seriously considered finishing this blog at number #2000.
I figure if I’ve managed to be grateful for at least one thing for all of those days, then I have the tools necessary to help me through life when times get hard.
Also, it’s a nice even number, and I have plenty of other writing projects to keep me busy anyway.
#2000. That’s only 187 days away. Sometime this year in fact.
But after the day I’ve had, I honestly am questioning if I’ve learnt anything at all.
Because I’m finding it very hard to be grateful.
I get knocked down,
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down
Am I being too hard on myself? I mean, when you go through bad times, or nightmares keep repeatedly coming back to haunt you, how are you meant to act? With a laugh? A yippee? A friendly ‘oh darn, not this again’ with a Joker-like smile?
When you’ve had the same freaking thing, annoying you, bugging you, and no one can tell you why, or explain it, and you’re going around and around in circles, and you’re even considering psychics for answers because seriously NO ONE ELSE KNOWS, and then it strikes again…
I get knocked down,
But I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down.
Seriously. How am I meant to act?
Anyway, This is my bitch-fest. My whinge to the world. Take it as you will, because it may not last for long…
And I don’t swear lightly… on social media, that is. But today was totally fucking swear-worthy.
The start and end of it look quite blissful… see?
Baby girl’s babycino following our buffet brekkie. Then me enjoying some relaxing time while baby girl screamed “cannonball!” launching into the shallow swimming pool’s waters.
But the meat of the sandwich that was between those two photos? The middle of the day?
That is a story and a half.
Because we had started the day happy, you see. We had brekkie, and on our way to visit a beach we had only stopped by days earlier, made a pit stop to get a boogie board for baby girl, which ended up being a family boogie board, so awesome and big and colourful it was.
We were just pumped. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, oh, 10 minutes away…
But then my car overheated.
The temperature gauge went to red.
Hubbie pulled over in a panic.
And in the space of a few hours, we were waiting waiting waiting, had a huge mix-up with our car roadside insurance that resulted in help being sent a lot later than we would have liked, we were hot, stuck on a busy road. were in the vicinity of a possible Wolf Creek type abduction attempt when a man pulled over after seeing me outside the car, and in between all of the waiting, being told by the roadside guy there was nothing he could do, daydreaming about the boogie board we should have been using then at the beach…
Well there were the water birds.
We called them ducks the whole time, but they were too big to be ducks. These birds were on one side of the busy road as we waited over an hour for help, and in that space they proceeded to leisurely cross the two sides of traffic, a number of 4 times.
At first, we couldn’t watch. We told baby girl to cover her eyes, sure that one of them would be splattered and flattened over the asphalt. They were lanky, moved slowly, and just lacked any kind of fear or trepidation when it came to forcing huge pieces of machinery to brake to a stop to allow them to pass.
And yet, they passed. They made it. There were 6 of these animals, with one of them hobbling like it’d been swiped by a vehicle… and yet they crossed the two-sided road 4 times.
It was a miracle.
Cars, even trucks, pulled to a stop. We watched in amazement as traffic on this busy tourist road came to a standstill, as these slow-moving water birds ambled across slowly, seemingly unaware of the chaos they were creating.
They managed to move, however slowly, while we sat there static, in the heat, a little bit in awe of their bravery (and sometimes, stupidity).
My faith in humankind was restored, even following the Wolf Creek incident, seeing ‘most’ of the cars patiently wait for these indecisive avian kind to work out which side of the road they wanted to be on.
And that faith in people continued when some time later, a random cafe owner we had passed only that morning on our fated way to the beach, ended up helping Hubbie get back on the road, however slowly, where we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were back in a known, safe, comfortable place.
But now, we are stuck.
There are a couple of morals to this story. One is the REAL truth behind all the social media photos you see. Despite the filters being put on display, it doesn’t mask the truth in between the snaps of photos being taken and the 100 special effects being created.
And secondly… there are miracles to be observed, even amongst unbelievable odds and impossible situations.
Isn’t it THE BEST when you pose a challenge to someone, and you just know they will never get it?
“Guess what cd I’m going to put on!” I smugly asked Hubbie tonight.
He guessed something that I had taken out of the archives like, 6 months ago.
I pressed play, and the sound of a dial tone came on immediately.
Soon, it was this guy talking in his unmistakable Aussie/European accent.
Yep. Good ol’ Guido.
This wasn’t my CD. Newsflash, it wasn’t Hubbie’s either… he borrowed it off a friend a gazillion years ago, and never gave it back.
Tsk tsk tsk.
I know, I know. But it’s so damn good, I kinda don’t want him to give it back (I think it’s long-forgotten by his friend now!)
Over the years, from our dating days, to early married days, to pre-baby days, to now, we occasionally put this CD on. And it’s the best way to do it, like any comedy. It’s not so funny if you watch or listen to it all the time, because YOU KNOW THE JOKE. But if you come back to it, every year, or even longer, then it’s hilarious.
It’s truly been years since we listened to Guido. We let the CD run tonight, but then strapped for time, we went to the Florist phone call. We thought that was the one that we loved best from memory, but after a minute or so realised it wasn’t the one, though it is funny… Guido calls a florist to say he will accept the job being advertised, but first things first… they have to get rid of the flowers.
Anyway. The phone call we wanted, was the one AFTER the florist.
I actually found the call on youtube, for your ultimate listening pleasure. 😁
But before I share, they’ve added a Guido cartoon for effect… I think it totally detracts from the call itself, so sure, play the video, but keep your eyes closed! Listening to Guido and the plumber on their own, is comedy gold.
I won’t say anymore, because like in the words of my other fave comedian Eddie Murphy, who talks about people who “Fuck my jokes up on the job” after seeing his show…
As much as I was like “damn baby girl’s teacher is gonna share this photo around with all the other teachers!” the other part of me was thinking it’d be a nice little, real representation of life at the moment…
That they are still allowed to laugh about. LOL. Even I am.
Can you just imagine the stuff teachers see, hear, and are exposed to? Who knows what your child has said to them, about you??? 😮😮😮😲😲😲