#899 Hello August my old friend

A new vibe today.

Waking up, August.

The mood had lifted. The sunshine was out in full force. Smiles were on. Decisions were made. Things progressed.

The skies, were BLUE.

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Ahh. Just like that. Leaving more of Winter behind us, with more good times, gorgeous rays, and happy memories before us.

And, BIRTHDAY month.

Just like that. A new day. A new month. A new mentality.

Bring it on.

And it even started with a ♥

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#897 This too shall pass

This Winter is dragging on. I thought a saw some relief days ago, but just as quickly it has vanished.

The days are long, dark, cold and windy. The heater is our only respite.

My child chooses to argue with me relentlessly, and I respond over-emotionally – I don’t know if it is the after-affects of the lunar eclipse that is wrecking havoc in our worlds, but times are trying.

I try to look up, but when I am reminded of repeated failure, I feel like that is ALL I know. How do you feel good when what you experience is anything but?

The slimmest of lights has me wondering. It has me with little Hopes.

My sister once owned a clock that read

“The best times and worst times have one thing in common… they never last forever.”

It’s one of those sayings that have left a forever imprint on me.

Because it’s a sentiment that lifts you up amidst times of hardship, reminding you that something good is around the corner… and it keeps you humble when you are as high as a kite, riding on the coat-tails of life and feeling the love and adoration of the world at your feet.

What goes down, must come up… and vice versa.

And just this afternoon, I noticed that it was lighter outside when baby girl finished with her usual Monday afternoon swimming lesson.

We leave at the same time each week, but today it was lighter.
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Well, maybe things are turning around the corner after all.

The darkness is leaving, and making room for the Light.

#868 Sunday’s ‘Bye Bye Boxes’

It’s 5pm on a Sunday. I have had a great day with the family. A great weekend in fact. The day was fun and productive, we were all in good spirits, and yet in the late afternoon, something in me switched.

It helped that Hubbie was geared up to make dinner. He had been talking bacon-wrapped marinated chicken since lunchtime, and with his music blasting out of our mini portable speaker, I knew he would be right.

Just as well, as my switch, could not be turned off so simply.

It was the stubborn OCD switch, and there were boxes that HAD TO BE UNPACKED.

Bye Bye Boxes time.

Ever since we gained an extra kitchen/hallway cupboard, the OCD bug that has lay dormant in me as I tried desperately to not freak out at the sheer volume of boxes and stuff lying crammed all over our house, well, it woke up, and like a can of worms, it cannot be contained anymore.

It doesn’t even have to be a Sunday. Hubbie doesn’t even have to be home. Just earlier in the week I was going apeshit over another hallway cupboard, reorganising it, and putting in things I had just discovered, all giddy with joy, all at the lovely time of 6pm, which is when I really should have been preparing dinner.

But like I said, I CAN’T HELP IT.

“My name is SmikG, and I am recently addicted to clearing out all of our packed boxes.”

After going through about three boxes this evening, I feel great. Plus I re-filled baby girl’s bean bag with more foam beads, which turns into a messy job even when done in the bathtub as suggested, so beware. I have two more boxes on the kitchen floor just waiting for me to get my eager hands into tomorrow, and not only am I unpacking, but I am doing the tough task of deciding, what actually stays. A lot will. But a fair bit will head off as donations, and I have been getting myself into that mental frame of mind, and reminding myself that

a) if it doesn’t give me any joy, move it on

b) just because ‘I feel bad’ about giving it away or throwing it out, does not make it a valid reason to stay

c) who gave it to me, and how long it has been in my life, is also not an indicator of its staying power – if I can take a photo of it and that be sufficient, then out it goes.

It’s a long process, but this OCD girl is finding it a fascinating and exciting one.

Just by saying –

Bye Bye Bye… Boxes.

 

 

 

 

#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.

#847 Adaptable Sis

There are many things I love about my sister. One of them being, that she is quick on her feet. She is fast in thinking up a new plan in light of things going wrong.

She doesn’t react – she responds. There is a difference. Responding is a positive action, on top of her already can-do attitude and the general optimism that she exudes. She doesn’t freak out when things don’t go to plan – she keeps a level head, thinks quickly and calmly, and with effortless action – BOOM! Problem solved.

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This was made apparent tonight. The fact that she didn’t have a ‘9’ candle for her birthday didn’t stop her. The wheels kept turning in her head, yet her happiness remained, and within some short time this makeshift ‘9’ was sitting on top of the birthday cheesecake.

Just like that. People thought it was great. People thought it was super-inventive. People were impressed.

Just think about that for a second. If we just trusted in ourselves a bit more, allowed ourselves to take risks, and also, to stuff up… if we still charged on ahead, knowing things hadn’t gone to plan…

We wouldn’t be ridiculed! No. We would be congratulated. We would be appraised for our adaptability. We would realise that the only important rules were

To keep on going

To turn up, and

To not be swayed by things that affect us along the way.

There is a lot of things I have learnt from my sister during the years, since she was my first role model, and continues to be throughout the years…

She is a perfect example of what a human being should be. Compassionate. Giving. Supportive. Loving. Selfless. And a hell of a lot of FUN.

It is easy to say that you want to be like that, but it is another thing entirely to live it, and breathe it. She is THIS. She continues to inspire me with her ways, but it wasn’t until tonight’s little incident, that I appreciated a completely different part of her.

Respond. Don’t react.

Happy Birthday Sis. Don’t worry – no one will let you forget the candles for next years one 😉

#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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#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.