I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy hormones or what, but I had a very teary day.
Just soooo emotional. Emotional about everything – health stuff, feeling overwhelmed, feeling stuck.
Feeling in the middle of nowhere. Feeling neither here or there.
Was it the weather? Was it the stupid neighbours’ kids beeping their car horn 20 times this morning and waking me from my deserved weekend sleep-in?
Feeling like there’s never enough time. Feeling like there’s never enough time for me. Feeling like I have so much to finally say, bursting at the seams, with no one around to finally listen to it.
I was in a sorry state.
This lasted most of the day. Punctuated by some good moments, but generally this cloud followed me around everywhere.
So much pregnancy confusion. So much life confusion. So much health confusion.
But you should be grateful! Look at what you have!
Conflicting thoughts made it that much harder.
But tonight I walked into baby girl’s room as she got ready for bed, and my gaze just lingered a little on a photo.
A photo of her in a christening frame. Her christening. In it she’s 11 months old, dressed in white, holding her cute little soft shoes on her feet, her short hair with a bit of a fringe, sweeping over her face.
This cherub, just looking so darn sweet and looking back at me.
And that was kinda the reminder I needed. The reason for my being, for accepting things as they were… because something greater, bigger, sweeter, lovelier, was coming.
A little one, just like in the photo. 🥰💖🤰😍
It put EVERYTHING in perspective. Suddenly I was teary, but now for a whole other reason…
The savior of this lockdown number 6 for us will be, coffee, cake, and walks.
I felt like a semi-trailer rammed itself into my head today. All of a sudden after breakfast, bang.
I felt flatter than a pancake.
The feeling of sadness just overwhelmed me. All that talk yesterday about taking a path less travelled to feel better?
Well I had no motivation to get up at all, much less follow a different route.
The day was grey. I am 100% certain that there won’t be any lessening of restrictions next week, which leaves me to ponder, how much longer can we live like this? How much longer can we take?
Then there is the book I’m reading. Without too many spoilers (I will post a review in due time) I am charging through it, both because I really want to know what the big horrible secret is, but also because I can guess at it and it’s so traumatising that I must finish it quickly.
All of this was really messing with my head, truly.
After lunch, feeling some mojo start to come back, I insisted on leaving the house.
Baby girl and I walked the Main Street, where she had ice cream, and I got a big cappuccino and cookie.
And we just walked. There was nowhere to go, no shops we could enter. We bumped into her school friend, and it was SO NICE to see someone we knew. I started a full on conversation with a man as we were waiting for our coffees, so strong is my desire to connect and talk to people, even if I’ve never met them before.
He responded happily. He is feeling it too. We all are.
The house is wearing me down. It’s my solitude at night, but during the day, I can’t take it.
I need to get out.
The gentleman I spoke to told me his daily ritual, and I have to say, he’s got it spot on. We gotta do what we gotta do, even if it costs money, even if it puts kg on our bodies, even if we get super cold…
But he’s been getting a coffee in the afternoon, a cake, and then heading down to the local beach (also our local beach) to watch the seagulls.
Huh. There you go. A pretty cool ritual if you ask me, seagulls and all.
My kinda different path today, led me to a different person… that makes me think I must speak to strangers more. 💖
I considered some time ago throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog, just because I felt I had done what I set out to do.
That is, I now know how to practice gratitude daily in novel ways.
But a part of me feels like I’m not done in this area, not yet anyway.
So for now, I’ll keep going. 💪
How did I celebrate my blog milestone today? Well after not being sick all winter, my body went ‘stuff this’ and threw in its own towel today. 🙄
Enter panadol and tea.
But in true gratitude, glass half-full fashion, I made chicken soup, and Marion’s hoisen beef noodles, and I’m happy that I made some food for my body (and soul) that’ll hopefully get me back into tip-top shape.
There’s always worse out there to put your own woes in perspective, and remember, there’s always better waiting for you. ❤❤
I’ve happily settled into a regular exercise routine.
It’s something I’ve been trying to do for a while, and yet things have kept popping up, life stuff, health stuff, that have made me put a big brake on it all.
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t wait anymore. I wouldn’t let anything stop me. I was going to keep going, keep moving, and in doing so, move myself physically.
It doesn’t really matter what the motivation is behind my new routine. I’m not only feeling better physically, but mentally, it is really doing WONDERS.
I used to question how people could do exercise at the start of the day… didn’t it leave them spent? Tired? Unable to do anything else for the rest of the day?
But I get it now. Once you get past the initial huff and puff of the workout, the energy coursing through you becomes contagious. Addictive.
All that blood, flowing.
It awakens your senses.
You’re not even that cold – it’s like it sets you up for the day, because you’ve worked your muscles, and now you’re reaping the benefits of strength, of warmth.
There is a spring in your step.
You become motivated to get stuff done.
You motivate others, to get stuff done.
The other day when I was doing a really hard rep in my home workout, that involved a plank-type position where I had to lower my arms, and then lift myself up again… well I managed to do like 4-5, barely, before I pretty much collapsed on the yoga mat.
I took a deep breath and pushed myself up, trying to do as much as I could in the time allocated.
I had looked up, and through the window saw baby girl. She was outside, watching me. She had watched me fall.
I nodded, disgruntled, in her direction, and before I looked away to keep going, she smiled and gave me a thumbs up.
No. I was wrong. She hadn’t watched me fall.
She had watched me get back up.
And it really hit home when days later, she searched for my exercise routine on youtube.
I said “honey, those exercises are for adults! You run enough at school, don’t hurt yourself.”
And she said –
“But Mummy, I want to be strong like you.”
Oh. My heart. 💖💖💖💖
I’ve held those words so close to me. They have given me strength, hope, and courage to keep going, no matter what life throws at me.
Children model their parents’ words, their parents’ actions… their whole way of being.
It’s amazing that as I choose to do something really good for myself, I also choose it for my beautiful daughter.
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.
Every so often my daily calendar tells me exactly how I’m feeling.
I turned the page over later in the day… so when it told me what I was feeling, after I was already feeling it… I thought it was more than coincidental.
100%. I couldn’t agree more. And I did find something tangible to be grateful for.
This picture baby girl drew. Of a mouse. I was not my usual self, and when she showed me this picture, the last thing on my mind was observing and admiring a picture of a so-called mouse… as she called it, “a different mouse.”
But the colours and intention and creativity got me, and it made my lips curve upwards.
But sometimes it’s not the tangible things that grab our heart. I was also thinking of quotes that didn’t jump out at me today, and this one came into my mind:
“A problem shared is a problem halved.”
And that is the biggest truth for me today. Sometimes we don’t need a quote to come along and literally stare us in the face… sometimes that quote is inside of us, telling us that truth, ALL ALONG.
The second part of this proverb? It’s the part I love the most:
The day was fine. I felt fine. There wasn’t necessarily any major pressures.
The one thing actually missing was the homeschooling, but I wasn’t actually missing it in ANY shape of form.
But I think the start of the school holidays may have played some part in my weird feelings.
I still don’t know for sure what it is, that made me feel unsettled, off, incomplete…
But I have a few ideas.
It’s school holiday time. Usually I take time off and have a full schedule as we galivant around the state, going to attractions, meeting up with family and friends, and just generally having fun.
None of that is happening at the moment… I am working from home, and even if I wasn’t doing that, we aren’t allowed anywhere anyway.
None of the usual places are open. Almost nothing is allowed.
Today was a warm-ish kinda day. Knowing the week ahead falls in temp again, and we didn’t make use of today by going out for a walk, or to the park… Well it sucks.
So I had to do something. I had to change it up.
I started to move again.
Back when covid started, I was becoming more active, taking more walks around the block with baby girl, hell, sometimes running after her as she careened on her bike over rises in asphalt, as I tried frantically to catch up.
Still, I was running.
I was moving.
Winter fell, and the days grew colder. The lockdown and subsequent isolation, grew in length. The walks and runs around the block became more infrequent, and instead I turned to yoga. A regular practice began, and even though I wasn’t huffing and puffing, I was still doing something…
I was still moving.
But then a month ago, an infection struck. And due to the nature of it, I stopped everything.
I felt shit. Knowing I had been doing something good for me, mind, body and soul, and then I had to stop it abruptly, was actually quite painful emotionally. It was really difficult to grasp, but I realised my body needed some kind of break, so I gave it what I thought it needed…
Today though, I realised it was time to start again.
I did the yoga. I didn’t realise how much I missed it until I finished, and I felt…
My mood had improved.
But I decided to take it a step further tonight. Hubbie has been on a major health/workout kick since covid began, and he has very clear goals for where he wants to be when we get out of it… he has structured nights for different types of training, and work outs, and tonight was his push-ups and sit-ups night.
And I joined him.
But, baby steps, baby steps. When you know yourself well, and how you work, you have already won. I know that I don’t deal well when faced with a major challenge. When a task feels so huge that I don’t know how I will do it, I tend to give up easily.
I know I have to give myself little goals. Little itty bitty teeny weeny goals. It’s how I approach writing. And it’s how I’m going to approach this movement thing.
Not exercise. Movement.
So I did it! If someone had been a fly on the wall tonight, they would have seen me, Hubbie AND baby girl (because she thought it looked like fun!) on our hands and knees, huffing and puffing and doing sit-ups and push-ups.
When I start small, I am more likely to achieve.
But I don’t think I’m that unique. I think we’re all like that, right?
Anyway… I’m filling the void in a positive way, and looking forward to making little progress.
Walking has become such a necessity in recent weeks.
Such a real, true, essential part of our living.
Which is why it comes as no surprise really, that exercise, i.e. walking, is part of the four reasons we are allowed to head outside of the house.
Essential item. Saving our sanity while we lock ourselves up from the world?
Yep. That’s about as essential as you can get.
I was in front of the computer for so long, and it was gorgeous out. After I finished my work shift, baby girl and I headed outside, around the block.
I am still amazed at the power of fresh air. The mental benefits that a walk down a neighbouring street can bring. How passing other people out on the footpath, walking their kids, or pets, can bring such a sense of community, when we are all meant to be staying away from each other.
More than the atmosphere, I loved the conversation. Baby girl and I were yammering away about Mister F’s latest antics, what we were gonna do after this whole CV was over, and how the Easter Bunny was gonna make his way over to our side of town during the weekend.
Smiling, skipping. Like there wasn’t a pandemic happening right now.
That’s the way it should be.
Because although we should be vigilant with our health and physical boundaries right now, we should also MOVE ON. ♥
At a time when there is so much uncertainty and confusion, sadness and despair, withdrawal and isolation…
There is also so, so,so, SO much to be grateful for.
I am grateful for freedom. I have the freedom and right to pull my daughter out of school, at my discretion, and have my wishes respected by the school community.
I am grateful that I can still work from home at this time of crisis.
I am grateful that my daughter will be within our home, our care, and within our sight, during this stage.
I am grateful to have a fridge, a pantry, and items that will help us get through this isolation period.
I am grateful that I have so much to keep me busy – books, music, podcasts, movies.
I am grateful to have a roof over my head – a comfortable bed, a heater, clean clothes, running water, a toilet.
I am grateful that I can pick up the phone, and be in touch with anyone in my life.
I am grateful that I can stay up-to-date on the latest updates, world happenings, and have my favourite musos sing/perform to us from the other side of the globe and keep us all happy and connected during this pandemic.
Your gratitude list may be similar or vary wildly. Either way, you can’t deny the facts…
There is so much accessible to us in this day and age. A hundred years ago and something like this could have felt truly isolating. But going through all of this, now?
We may be separated in our homes, but we have an abundance of freedom in how we choose to move within those walls.
How we choose to connect.
What we choose to see.
How much we want to know.
We have it all literally, at our fingertips.
And although sure, life is going to be disrupted, FOR US ALL…
We are all going through the upheaval, together.
And just think… can you just imagine, how it’ll be like when this is all over?
We will hug, kiss, hold hands and dance.
We will go outdoors, rain hail or shine… we will see our family and friends, hold them close, laugh together, get our hair done, get massages, do girls’ day outs, watch movies, love harder, stronger, deeper, and most importantly…
REALLY LIVE LIFE.
I can’t wait for that day. It is going to be incredible.
We can do it. Because we are all in this together. ♥