#876 My arty mug

Well, talk about BALANCE.

After the full-on day that was yesterday, today totally lived up to my wish of doing not much at all.

But amidst all of the nothingness, there was still one thing that provided me with novelty, and it was actually in its reminder of the great day we had yesterday.

Meet, my new mug.

IMAG1865

I think I officially have a thing. I like to purchase souvenirs when I visit interesting places, whether they are from concerts, shows or exhibitions… and mugs seem to be the perfect memory capsule. I mean, I use them, EVERY DAY. You can never have too many. And they are the ideal small-sized reminder of whatever it is you’re remembering, without taking up too much selfish space.

I saw this print somewhere else a while ago, which is why when I saw it again, I knew I had to have it. I think the simplistic representation of each artist’s style via face is excellent, a great resource for any arty novice, and just a cute little joke for anyone with more of a discerning artistic nature.

The mug has already settled in comfortably… in my hand. ♥

#873 Her love of pasta

I know kids generally love eating carbs. Plain foods, with not much discernible taste. Bread. Rice. Cucumber. Corn. Potatoes.

I have always loved my carbs, and believed myself to be of Italian descendance in a past-life, so strong was my love for durum wheat flour mixed with eggs/water.

But baby girl? Her love of PASTA not only amazes me – it fascinates me, baffles me, and it heavily amuses me.

And it follows that something that should humour me, should also be something I am grateful for. 🙂

This girls antics are hilarious. She celebrates the knowledge of pasta being made for dinner at night, like a lottery win! Just tonight, when she saw the packet beside the stovetop, she shrieked “YAY PASTA!” grabbed the packet and hugged it to her chest before kissing it over and over and over and over again.

Oh gawd.

It is really so sweet. And I find it so because it brings things back to basics, showing that the fact she is so happy about really, such a simple thing… it highlights her young age, and represents her naivety.

Both things I long to keep forever.

But in absence of ignorant youthfulness…. there will always be pasta 😉

IMAG1610

#862 K2 Swimmer

It’s such a simple thing that has me feeling grateful today. It is about growth.

Baby girl has been doing swimming lessons now for just under 2 months. She shares the class most of the time, with a boy, and a fellow girl, who I can only say is slightly younger than her just based on her size. Although younger, this girl can swim with her head in the water, legs kicking furiously, for almost half a lap. She has clearly been doing this for a while.

Monday nights are crazy, in that half of the Peninsula is there at the swim school between 3 and 6pm, all the lanes packed full of classes containing kindergarten and primary school-aged kids, all with varying levels of skill and ability.

And as these lessons take place, so too do you see the ‘walkers.’ The swim teachers who aren’t in the lane, but they are doing their rounds, their walk-a-bouts, checking attendance when they approach each teacher, and also, from time to time, checking the children’s progress.

It was baby girl’s class’ turn today.

She approached baby girl’s teacher, and from my position I could see them exchange some words – suddenly baby girl was in the water, and demonstrating how she could push off and kick with her kickboard. They nodded in understanding, but then I didn’t see the rest of baby girl’s progress, as she moved from my view behind a huge brick pillar.

I watched the other children partake – both the boy with permanent goggles on his face, and the younger, feisty girl. They both did longer laps, kicked for a decent duration, and were able to travel a greater distance than baby girl. I mean, it made sense. They had been doing this longer.

Sure, she could put her head under water. She didn’t get worried when her face got splashed on. And she was getting amazing at her floating, even doing it by herself! She just wasn’t as skilled as the other two yet, in travelling a lap-type distance.

I watched the ‘walker’ give some positive encouragement to the kids when they were done. She high-fived each of them, and then headed on over to us parents, to give us the update.

I was the last parent to get the news.

“She’s doing great!” she exclaimed to me. “She’ll be moving up a level!”

Really? I thought. I’m the first to praise my child, but also I am not blind.

“Wow!” I said out loud. “That’s great!”

She went on to explain that from baby girl’s K1 level, her goals had been to make four kicks with a kickboard – that was achieved today, and with her other skillsets, was now able to move to K2.

“She’ll still stay in that class, as it is both K1 and K2,” she went on. “But she will be going home with a certificate today.”

Oh. Now it made sense.

As the ‘helper’ headed off to review more kids, I was beaming. Rapt. Next time baby girl looked over at me, I gave her not 1, but 2 thumbs up.

I was so proud.

It was such a simple thing, yes. But as I always say, the simple things are the most important.

And though it may seem like an everyday, average event…. the feelings I got were far from. 🙂

#854 Back to bed on a Sunday

My gratitude came super early this morning. Like 7am early, in the form of baby girl calling out to me from downstairs.

7am is early for a Sunday. A Sunday in Winter. A Sunday in which darkness is still creeping through the sides of the blinds, and a Sunday where I had to work the following Saturday night, late into the early hours of…

Sunday Morning. It was that kind of Sunday.

It was cold. I was still so tired. But after attending to baby girl, I headed on back upstairs…

To sleep in beautiful peace for another 3 and a half hours. We all slept. We all needed it. The house was still and silent and calm, and we drifted off into our fairy tale lands amidst it all.

I LOVED IT.

olya-voloshka-88159-unsplash

Photo by Olya /Voloshka on Unsplash

#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:

IMAG1248

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

 

#837 Kitchen moments

I don’t know what YOU think, and what the general consensus, if any, out there is of me… but this gratitude thing doesn’t always come super-easy.

Sure, I am able to find happiness in smaller things, and that I attribute to being so self-aware. I am aware that outside of our square worlds, there are lost lives; damaged lives; sad lives; sick lives – and so the littlest things, the smallest joy, the slightest thing to put a smile on my face – well that makes me happy.

It isn’t always so easy to find new and novel things though. Come the colder months. The day to day. It all rolls from one to the next – in fact, is there anything discerning from one 24 hours, to the other? Unless you make a concerted effort to find an event to focus on, that’s all your days will amount to… one long 168 hour week.

Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. There’s appointments. Classes. Kinder. Buy groceries. Make lunches. Wash dishes (repeat by a trillion).

The monotony has my mind asking me several times a day… “what will I write about today?”

Think of what to make for dinner.

That’s it.

Dinner time prep.

IMAG1195

I started on dinner tonight. And I found gratitude for a moment of it. A moment that truly represented where I am in my life right now.

Chopping vegies. Baby girl was nearby colouring in, her textas and pencils and crayons spreading out to the greenery that was going to go in the steamer soon.

I had Ricky Martin’s self-titled album on. One of my faves, and yet I haven’t listened to it in yonks. And then, you know that moment, when a song you love, and yet have forgotten about, comes on, and just BLOWS YOUR MIND?

Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon) – Ricky Martin and Madonna.

It was never released as a single, but the music and lyrics of this amazing medley by two of my most favourite-st of artists, is just… magical. It’s haunting, romantic and dark, a truly unique collaboration. I started to sing along as I cut my cucumbers, with baby girl in the background telling me about the plot in Beauty and The Beast.

“If I could reach out to you…”

“Mama! Old lady comes to Beast’s house…”

“Yes sweetheart… take your head, in my hands – “

“Me not scared of old lady. Me fine! Old lady make prince into beast!”

“Yes honey… kiss your eyes, sing you to sleep – “

“Why Gaston want to kill Beast?”

Sigh. “Because Gaston is upset that Belle loves the Beast. But Gaston wants to marry Belle. It’s not nice that Gaston wants to hurt the beast… Here’s my heart to keep- “

“Yes, very cheeky.”

“Please be careful…”

I actually found it funny rather than frustrating. And it’s all about perspective and gratitude.

 

 

#819 What to be grateful for on Mother’s Day

They say ‘tomorrow is another day.’

But sometimes the crap feelings of the previous day seep into the next morning, and you are left feeling like the bad vibes just won’t leave you alone.

I was feeling pretty average this morning. After I swore I wouldn’t do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day for myself EVER AGAIN, my Mother’s Day presents told me that maybe, I was doing just fine.

IMAG0755

Sometimes, these ‘celebrated’ days are just too hard to handle. Polished and carefully selected social media photos make you feel awfully incompetent with any, sometimes ALL parts of your life, as you witness your immaculate family and friends, their children and Mothers and themselves, looking all smiley and happy and a picture of perfect family bliss.

They don’t show the tears. The fights that stopped just before the snap of the camera. The relentless arguing and disappointments that can precede the happy snaps.

Pretty snaps that, let’s face it, present a very brief moment in time. Often not at all a proper representation of life.

And yet, we still beat ourselves up over not looking as perfect as ‘others.’

Which is why, we must not worry about others and their social feeds. We find our own, real reasons to be grateful anyway.

We look for the simple things.

IMAG0800

The fact that mornings sometimes don’t start off too well, but we can still make something of the day, and turn it around.

The fact that we have family, and love, and also, great food.

IMAG0777

Some people don’t even have that.

Some people eat their lunch from a plastic container, their table the car park kerb, moving their life from street corner to street corner.

Some people are in hospitals right now, sick, alone and unable to move without assistance.

There are poverty-stricken children in the world right now, who have their sewerage pass them in an unenclosed hole, right near where they bath and feed themselves.

There are young girls being sold into sex slavery.

My sister told me that the frequency of ‘amber alerts’ that go off at schools is bone-chilling. Strange people loitering and hanging around the school gates, watching and taking photos of our littlies, trying to bait them over.

There are people, who don’t talk to their Mothers.

There are people, who don’t have their Mothers with them anymore.

And there are people, who want so bad to be Mothers.

Just because we may not know these people or see these things, does not mean it does not happen.

IMAG0803

So to have a day, where I was with my family, my loves, my happiness, spending cherished and truly special moments with them… my reserves were filled. My happiness was restored, and I felt again, that the simple moments with loved ones, are worth their weight in gold.

IMAG0817