#2541 Presence, not presents

I think I’ve done my job well when my daughter teaches me what I should already know.

Today we headed off to the shopping centre to do some last minute shopping. Tomorrow I may hit another local shop or two, and do some more LAST LAST minute presents.

But part of today’s trip, was to get presents for Hubbie and me.

We left ourselves last this year. He wanted something in particular, but could only find it online, not in store… other hitting a few places, he said “oh well, I’ll get it after Christmas.”

“We can’t NOT get you a present!”

“I don’t care.”

“We still have to get you something.”

I was pondering just what we could get him in lieu of what he really wanted, as we still walked around for my gift. There was something I had wanted, for months and months now… but after some very decent research (this is an expensive item) I realised it didn’t do something quite important that I really thought it could do.

It’s purpose and ability therefore, had changed.

But… it was still shiny. New. An interesting gadget.

With a decent price tag. $$$$.

I struggled with this today. We went to the shop it was in. Spoke to the salesperson. Hubbie and I looked at each other, debating the pros and cons, and he even said, “if you want it, get it!”

But something was holding me back. It’s function wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Even though there were so many sparkly things about it distracting me, the price tag was high, and that DIDN’T distract me. Especially with so many expenses for us lately. And with baby arriving soon.

I walked away. But I sooked about it. I said “now I won’t get anything for Christmas.” 😟

And baby girl, said the best thing:

“Christmas isn’t about presents Mum.”

She snapped some sense into me. Mind you, I was still upset, and mind you, she had a list for Santa with about 10 items on it thank you very much.

But she was right. Christmas isn’t about presents. It’s about presence.

Spending time with loved ones. Making memories. Laughing, and sharing, and bonding over good times.

I kept brewing over this fact, amidst appointments and crazy driving and rushing around all day. And then I had a shower, and those are truly therapeutic for me, because answers always somehow pop into my head during those moments.

I had made the right decision by walking away from this expensive, unnecessary present. Maybe it would be essential or necessary at one point in the future, but definitely not now. My intuition had been right. It always is.

I had been so fixated on this external, materialistic present, that I had lost sight of all that was important, and that was, the life growing inside of me.

Cliche it might be, but it really is the greatest present I ever could have wished for this Christmas. I got confused, because I have everything and didn’t really know what to do with myself. I don’t need anything else.

Hubbie and baby girl DID go out afterwards and get me something else… 🤣🤣 I’m guessing, not as stupidly expensive as the other thing.

It’s very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, even for me, this glass half-full gratitude girl. Lucky I have a mini me to put me back on track. 🥰💖

AND, another mini me in the works.🙏💖🤰🤰

#2538 More than a Sprinkle

Love and gratitude are wonderful feelings. More so when they have filled your weekend, and then you enter the week ahead with a full well of 🥰😍💖💗

Today was about Mums and Daughters, Sisters and Nieces, and upcoming Babies. Or should I say, Baby, singular in my case!

I’ve had a lot of growth happen in my life over the past year, important lessons I’ve learned. There is growth I expected to happen, and then there is the growth I have recently found myself becoming acquainted with.

I’ve found myself growing, not just physically from my belly, but my way of thinking, my morals, my outlooks on life.

My whole mindset has shifted in ways I never thought possible. I question if it’s the pregnancy, happy hormones, is it baby? Is it timing? Is it having had enough of the same old, realising it didn’t serve me and deciding I would prefer peace, love, light in my life?

All of the above perhaps?

Nonetheless, today was precious. It was all about celebration, us, baby, the future. I am happy in this new space, new place. I am making room for this now. I am grateful that I allowed myself the possibility to be wrong.

Always allow yourself the possibility to be wrong. So much growth happens in that space. I promise you. 🙏🪄💫🌟

#2512 Give yourself permission to be totally wrong

Yesterday and today, I haven’t taken baby girl to school.

Or picked her up. My car is at the mechanic’s and it may be there a couple more days.

Hubbie instead, has left work both mornings to run home and drop her off.

Yesterday I asked baby girl’s friend’s mum to pick her up for me.

She more than happily obliged.

Even though she told me that she was able to pick her up again today… I was hesitant.

You see, I kinda realised something about myself.

I find it REALLY hard to ask for help.

It’s something I’m so used to doing, being, ever since we moved down here and made our sea change. We knew we had no one in this area to rely on, to help us out with child-minding duties, random help here and there, and although we were prepared, we weren’t really prepared.

But we have accepted it, it’s what we wanted, and it is the way it is.

Because we rely on ourselves so solely, I think this is part of the problem.

My problem.

Not only do I find it hard to ask for help… I hate to put people out. I felt sooo bad to ask the mum again if she could help out this afternoon, I was on the verge of tears. But my Mum had told me on the phone yesterday to ask again, to not feel bad about it, and Hubbie was much the same, saying one day, you’ll help her kids out too!

But there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye.

I was reluctant to ask for help, because this mum I’ve been feeling up and down about for a while now.

Without getting into the full history, we started off really good. Since prep. Lots of playdates, the girls had fun, and we always bump into each other at the same beach.

Sometime in the last year, I found out she had a playdate with another friend of theirs. Not just someone, but a girl from baby girl’s small friendship group. Essentially, out of the three girls, baby girl was left out.

This kinda enraged me, I will not lie. I never exclude her close friends from playdates, I include them all so no one is left out.

I didn’t know why baby girl was excluded.

I withdrew. Avoided her at the pick-up gate. Gave her a bit of the silent treatment.

Then to make matters worse, that friend of hers actually said some really mean things to baby girl. I got involved, told the teacher, there was intervention, etc, etc.

Things have been returning to some kind of prior normal, but I’m an elephant. I don’t forget.

I thought I had this mum all figured out. At first, she seemed to be the super friendly, easy-going, happy-go-lucky type, but clearly there was no loyalty. Clearly she wasn’t too involved in her daughter’s life, or else she would have stepped in to tell her not to say such hurtful things to a so-called friend.

I thought she had been my type, but I had clearly been way off the mark. I was keen for baby girl to move on, and being the end of the year I knew there was a chance they would be split up next year.

But then, a birthday party happened a couple of weeks ago. At that birthday party the mum told me that she was available if I needed her to watch baby girl, at any time now, leading up to baby’s arrival, what with all the increased appointments I have during the end months now, etc.

I was shocked, moved even. It was the furthest thing I was expecting after the year that had passed.

Which is why I had been so tentative yesterday to ask her to pick her up.

Which is why I was tearful today when I had to ask her again.

I felt guilty. Very, very guilty.

Clearly, I had gotten it all wrong. I had gotten her ALL WRONG.

Yeah, she was happy-go-lucky. She was casual. She probably didn’t look into things as much as I did. I’m a classic overthinker. She probably set her daughter up on play dates, not to exclude baby girl, but just to keep her daughter happy (now that I think, there have been plenty of times only her daughter and mine have caught up too).

She didn’t know about her daughter’s mean words, probably…? Which child tells their parent everything though? It’s a really tricky area, because her daughter is actually nice, but I think she is used to getting her own way, a bit like baby girl. So they clash. 🤦‍♀️ I often wonder what baby girl perhaps said or how she contributed to words being spoken between them. However, I see that their teacher did a wonderful job of helping to repair that friendship, because nothing has happened since.

I had gone grrr. All mama bear. Ultimate protector of my child. I went into defense mode, got judgmental, and decided that I didn’t want her in my life anymore. Hi, bye, that was fine.

But nothing else.

So when she offered help, and then again kept saying to me yesterday “just tell me if you need me to pick her up” insisting she was there for me…

I was quite honestly at a loss to explain her actions.

I was only left with one conclusion.

I had been completely wrong.

Or really, my first thoughts were correct. It was when things went askew that led me to have these other thoughts, and I guess, I’m human right? I should have trusted those first positive instincts, and if anything this experience has taught me a lot about myself, how I look at others, and that sometimes, I can be completely wrong.

It’s very easy to let your experiences and biases cloud your judgment. It happens on a daily basis for everyone! I want to try and not be so quick to assume, to judge, and only hope if I make a mistake somewhere, others give me the same benefit.

Her real person came through these last couple of days when we had no one else to help. She threw us a massive lifeline, and I know now who she is, where she stands, and what kind of person she really is.

There is enormous power in allowing yourself to be completely wrong, owning it, and then changing your thoughts, your ways. We have so much to learn in life, and by stubbornly holding onto views or opinions that serve us no more, we limit ourselves to a close-minded view of life where growth never happens, and learning is non-existent.

Allow yourself to be wrong. I was talking about this with Hubbie today, and there was something incredibly refreshing and liberating about saying to him, wow, I was sooo wrong.

(Even he admits, he was a little wrong too 🤭)

I won’t forget this. Remember, I’m an elephant. 🐘

#2389 Feeling the Rain

When you’re sick you don’t really have the desire to do the things that usually make you happy, because you lack all motivation for it. So when I put on a favourite CD tonight as I prepared dinner, I knew I was on the up again.

Madonna, Something to Remember. I love these slow, melodic, romantic and woeful songs, especially when times are slow and dark and cold such as this. They really allow me to be present with my thoughts, feel the songs properly, and appreciate them for the beautiful melodies and lyrics within.

I paused the album as we ate dinner, then hit play again as I went to wash up. A very familiar song started up, and I like, froze. I had to listen to it properly, no interruptions, and I said as such to Hubbie as he moved around the kitchen, telling him I was trying to appreciate the song.

It’s one I’ve shared here before in depth, and I will do it again for the strength of emotion it brought forth in me tonight. It’s not only one of my favourite Madonna songs, but one of my favourite songs of all time.


There’s just something about rain for me. I can’t explain it. There is great symbology present for me, and it isn’t just that it’s connected to my novel in a big way. It’s been my fascination, a sense of curiosity, wonder, for as long as I can remember. I wrote about it before, and I feel the same, if not so much more about this ethereal element of Mother Nature.

I listened to this song, and I was feeling it. Every single word. I was quiet, my face distorting because seriously I was going to cry. Call it this past week, my body having gone through a wide range of physical and mental things, but I was seriously emotional.

The song finished, and I couldn’t help it, I had a cry. The last time I had listened to it I was different. The last time I had written about it I was different. Today, again different. I thought about life, the unexpected beautiful and difficult things that hit us in the face, throwing us off balance, I guess, a bit like unexpected rain.

But rain is beautiful. The song is beautiful. And I think if we learn to embrace all of life’s changes, good and bad, just like a well-known quote, we will be able to dance, no matter what.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

I’ll share the video again, just because it makes me so happy. 🥲🌧️💖🎶

#2259 Life and death at the beach

I want to share with you a story. It’s a story about life and its opposite, and though its set at the beach, I assure you this story is vitally important.

Stay with me.

I was tired and a bit cranky when we went to our local beach yet again today. We went later since Hubbie had worked half the day, then we had to do a grocery shop, and so we got there to a muggy and overcast scene about 4pm.

There weren’t many people around. It seemed the long weekenders had missed this part of the coastline, or at the very least left to go home already. I was feeling rushed, like I had to do everything, chase everyone, get it all done, and so I proclaimed to Hubbie once I had hastily put sunscreen on baby girl, that I was just going to SIT THERE on the beach chair for about 10 minutes.

Not doing anything.

They headed off into the water, and I was so happy to be at peace. I took a few breaths, took out my phone, and took some snaps.

Then I clicked on facebook out of habit.

What I saw staring back at me was shocking. A tribute to a lady, a woman who I followed. It was posted from her social media page which was a self-publishing business for authors, and here her husband was telling me, us, the world, that she had suddenly passed in front of his eyes yesterday.

Shocked isn’t even a word to begin to describe my feelings. Shock, sadness, extreme disbelief. It was a shaking to the core. I felt numb. I read his tribute, staring at the growing hundreds of shocked and sad comments and condolences coming through, and looked up, blinking to the scenery in front of me.

When Hubbie came back moments later, my sunnies hid my emotions. But as I spoke my voice began to waver, and I couldn’t help it… I started to cry.

I had only met her once, so I can’t say I knew her personally. But she had come to town to host a writing workshop, it was about the various avenues of publishing available to authors… and I had followed her self-publishing business since way back then. She was a prominent force on facebook, her posts about writing and all it encompassed frequent, and I enjoyed reading the nuggets of gold she dispersed on the writing-editing-publishing process.

I had even recently been wondering if any of their services would be of use to me in my own editing process, and so to have had them, her, so often in my mind, to then hear of this…

Hazy, shocked, and so, so sad for this person I barely knew, I questioned, what was so upsetting about this passing? People sadly pass all the time, and there have been other prominent figures who have recently passed in the public eye… I was sad to hear of it, but I had nowhere near the reaction I had when I heard of her.

I walked about to the shallow water with my family. My eyes going over everything anew. The beach. The coastline.

Hubbie suggested we walk all the way down the beach, and it immediately agreed with my soul. We started to walk, and tears fell down my cheeks so easily, they could have easily passed for sea spray from baby girl’s splashing about.

Was it the shock? Yes, it was a SHOCK. A huge one. She had been there, posting on social media about writing one day, and then the next… her husband was posting about her.

It had happened so suddenly. She was living her dream. Writing, self-publishing, she had created this company that could help grow and develop writers and turn their author dreams to reality.

And there it was. Not just the shock, but that there. She was living the dream.

I hadn’t even started.

Still, her life was cut so short. She probably had so many stories left to tell. And yet so quickly, before anyone knew what was happening…

I nearly sobbed. I said to Hubbie that suddenly, I didn’t want for anything. I was deeply, deeply grateful for everything in my life – my health, my family, where I was, what I did… everything. And never would I ask for a thing ever again.

I cried.

Then, with the sadness washing through me, I took some photos.

Of life, really. My family. My love. My happy place. I take these to remember the beautiful parts of our life, the moments that are cherished and that matter. I take these to remember, even when I am no longer around. I take these for others to remember, and to feel too.

As we walked back, I now had another thought.

No… I will ask for things. AND be grateful at the same time. I will be so deeply grateful, more so than anything, and I will count my lucky stars each and every day.

But life is not guaranteed to anybody, and so I want to squeeze the most out of it that I’ve been given. I will be thankful and appreciative, but I will always keep trying, will always keep doing, will always try to live my passions… because living your life to the fullest and living the life of your dreams, THAT is most important.

R.I.P. BVH. 🙏

#2237 Little step by little step

I’ve been slowly coming to a conclusion for a while now, and when I said it out loud today I realised it had culminated in an awakening of sorts.

We lead busy lives. We want to work and make money, but we want to play. We want to go out, be social, have a life…

But we want to cook healthy, home-cooked meals and eat the good stuff as nature intended.

But then we get tired and bored and want to splurge on takeaway and nights out too.

We want more than what we had for our kids. We want to encourage them at school, work, after-school activities… yet they must have EVERYTHING at home too. All the gadgets, the games, the clothes, the toys. All of it.

No wanting is allowed. Not for them, not for us. We are an instant, wanted-it-yesterday society, and we are spreading ourselves THIN.

How then do we achieve anything, and maintain any kind of work-life-EVERYTHING balance?

The answer is boring, but so simple:

In really, really small achievable steps.

I was having this talk with Hubbie today. There is lots we want to do with our house. Little and big renos, here, there and everywhere. Some we must outsource… others we can do ourselves.

And it was here that I was breaking down how to tackle one such task:

“First we get the sample paint.

Then you sand the window frame. Just a tiny section.

We’ll test it first, take a step back and see how it looks.

Then we’ll paint the whole frame.

Then we’ll paint all the windows, but one at a time… when we feel like it.

When the mood strikes.

When we have TIME.”

Ahh, that all allusive mother f*&^er, time. Yes, we want to do it all, and so our pockets of time aren’t big chunks, rather little itty-bitty pieces that we must work around and adapt to, to make anything work.

My gratitude today is realising how to achieve this.

Not by wishing for grand stretches of time to achieve massive jobs.

But by identifying the little pockets we have, squeezing what we can into then when possible, and following through.

Whether that be a home reno.

Whether that be researching for a new home.

Whether that be getting fitter.

Whether that be writing a book!

We can’t make these things happen overnight.

We have to first accept that

1) it will take time, and

2) we must make it super-duper manageable, and put it into little itty-bitty baby steps.

Then we can achieve it ALL.

But slowly. Oh. So. Slowly.

That is the ride that’s called LIFE.

Photo by Akshaya Premjith on Pexels.com

#2217 Holiday learnings

Hubbie went back to work today, baby girl starts back at school tomorrow, and I start back at work later this week.

It’s been a super chill holidays. We did zilch sight-seeing, went to very little new places, with most of our visited list being places that we’ve been before, and also we did absolutely nothing at home.

No jobs. No appointments. No annoying phone calls.

Just doing whatever the hell we wanted. Lots of beaches and eating out sure. A dash of watching tennis.

But just, CHILL.

We all agree it’s been one of our best holidays ever, and we slept in our bed every night too.

When something happens to you like this, like you have the best time ever somewhere, or over a period of time, you can’t help but look back and question, ‘what made it so awesome?’

And when you see what it is, well naturally you want to implement it into your life.

Here is what I learnt:

It’s ok to do nothing. Actually doing nothing is extremely powerful. And you need to do this mindfully, like actually sit there, WITHOUT feeling guilty, saying to yourself ‘yes, I need this! I deserve this.’

Keep things simple. My God this is a huge one for me. How can we make things easy? How can we make it so that we aren’t running around like headless chooks day after day, doing mindless crap to check off our list while the days tick on by?

Simplify. Reduce. Remove the crap. We actually don’t need that much, i.e. material stuff, jobs, responsibility. Take the pressure OFF.

And my last one, which is REALLY controversial… you don’t need holidays. Not in the 2 week type of way, though after having them I can’t deny they are absolutely essential for a yearly reset.

But if your life is balanced, with the right amount of on and off days, you don’t need that much time off. If you fill your days off with people and things you love while doing work you are passionate about on other days, well your life should be pretty damn fine.

Now that all sounds easy in writing, but it’s bloody hard to make happen instantly overnight. It’s a work in progress like all of life, but that’s the ongoing challenge I guess… creating the life you dream of. 💖

#2213 The other end of the bay

Still on beach posts, but you gotta admit the photos are pretty. 😍

It was an overcast, cloudy and humid day, and yet those conditions still made it practically perfect beach weather. There was a mildly gentle breeze, and without the sun directly blaring down on us, it felt sublime.

I had the idea to walk all the way down to the end of the beach, until the tip of the alcove coastline as it were. So we walked.

And it was different. Beach boxes still adorned the sand, but they grew fewer in quantity, whereas the trees and sloping green landscape rose in abundance. A few small staircases leading down from the grand clifftop houses above appeared out of nowhere, only visible to the immediate eye, and it really did feel like our own private beach.

It was simply lovely to view our local from a different vantage point. An essential life skill I think. 🤔😉

#2109 A year on

I woke today, and within moments my phone offered up a memory from this time last year.

It hit me.

It was the anniversary of my procedure.

Flashes and thoughts, sounds, people, feelings swept through me. Who was there, what they said, how I felt. How I coped. I shared it all with Hubbie as we lay in bed, before getting up and the day officially began. We moved on.

But I hadn’t really. Because after we had dropped off baby girl at school and had some brunch, we had time to walk down to the beach, and why the hell not, the day was gorgeous.

And we got to the top of the walkway that leads down to the beach, right here…

And I began to cry.

Emotions, feelings spilled out of me, and lucky I had my sunnies on. We made our way to the sand and watched a high school class get a lesson on rowing canoes, and we just took it in and paid gratitude that we were there.

But I couldn’t help but go back to that day, last year, multiple times. On top of thinking of my personal anniversary, I was reminded of another… my favourite front-man, Freddie Mercury died on this day 30 years ago.

How interesting that an anniversary signalling the end of someone’s life, could be an anniversary of a new beginning for someone else?

And it could also be just an in between, a point in time to separate two different identities, opinions, thoughts or ways of life, a point in time where nothing really changed…

Whether your day, or your personal anniversary, is good or bad, just like the sun rises at the beginning of it, so too does it set on it.

And I pondered this all as I looked at the sky tonight. Good, bad, it all ends. Be humble. Good times end.

But so do bad times. Have hope, and be grateful.


#1996 Post workout ritual

Today I headed back to the Loft.

Once again I was overcome with emotion at the last part of the session, the relaxation/meditative element if you will, that follows the main yoga-exercise part. Once the session is over our teacher gets us to pick a card from a spiritual deck, and read the message that we have been drawn to read.

I read mine over twice, letting it sink in.

It was all about ‘The Space Between.’ How often we feel frustrated and stuck being in that in-between space, where we are neither here or there… and yet it is in this space of indecision, of the unknown, that we do the most growing.

It is the space that is the most beautiful, because we learn and get the most out of it.

Interestingly I came across the same thought elsewhere just days ago, and the thought was, if you can be comfortable not knowing, then you can learn anything.

I sat quietly, going over these words, freaking out at just how accurate they were for me during this limbo stage of my life.

After all that stretching, lifting, pulsing, deep breathing and contemplation, it made sense that I had to head down a couple blocks to get myself a post-workout pick up… 😉

I then took myself and my boosts of energy down to the water, to sit, breathe, take in all I had learnt and felt the last hour, and just BE.

I also went a step further, and I didn’t only take photos of the glistening wavy waters in front of me…

But I looked behind me, and around, looked at the sand, the trees, the grasses.

I looked at the spaces in between. 💖