#584 Beautifully treacherous lookout

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

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They say. And they are right.

Moments before I took this photo, I was crying. Not from happiness at the gloriously serene, glistening, and picturesque bay water before me.

My tears stemmed from fear. Intense, sudden and wild fear, that manifested into acute anger and overwhelming sadness.

It all started after our lunch. We were spending the day together as a family, mid-week, which was reason enough to celebrate. So we lunched of course, on pretty meals like this one:

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and then we headed over to Mornington Park, where baby girl let off some toddler-steam on the slide and swing… and after a while we let our feet lead us off into uncharted territory some more, and followed the sea view, all the way to the point of the pier, heading up up up to the rocky lookout which faced the beautiful image of serenity above.

Hubbie had to go as close as humanly possible to the edge. Baby girl followed him. I instructed firmly, that he MUST hold her hand. I couldn’t keep up with them because I had small heels, and was trying not to break my step in amongst the uneven dirt and rocky path. They headed on towards the edge, as I watched helplessly, yelling out to him “hold her hand!”

He did. But I was slowly dying inside. Here was a 4 year-old, curious toddler, letting go of her Dad’s hand every so often to peer over the rocks at the edge of her feet, rocks that in my mind could give out at any moment. She didn’t understand danger: as a toddler, they are not wired that way. It’s the reason toddlers get into so much trouble, they have an inability to judge what is before them, and the obvious consequences that come with it that usually, adults are equipped with by the time they are, you know, adults.

Usually, adults. I say that because Hubbie, is STILL a child.

This is why I was so concerned. He laughs in the face of danger: hangs over far too much over a 25-storey railing; he’ll walk along a brick wall where one side is a path, the other a dangerously high drop to breaks-ville; he will jump and climb up and off of any kind of climb-worthy apparatus, without so much as a care, second thought or slow deliberation.

Also, he had just had two double-shot coffees – and that with his childish and wild genetic composition, was a BAD combination.

Here he was, with our pride and joy – MY pride and joy – standing casually, a bit too TOO close, to the edge of a rocky drop where the other side of the steep descent was dangerously pokey rocks, and smooth, still, ENDLESS water.

I was dying.

As I approached them, I was in a serious state of panic. They were so calm, so chilled about it all. Peering over the edge, getting closer to the descent. I started to cry. And I yelled out some choice words to him. I painted a stark picture, and it got his attention.

He took baby girl’s hand, and they started to walk towards me. “Come on baby girl, Mama is upset,” he said.

“Sorry Mama,” she said.

“Just go over there,” I said breathlessly, as I ordered them back up the wooden steps and to the stable, safer, lookout point.

I turned back to the water, and breathed.

And breathed.

And soon after, I snapped that picture.

And I was grateful. Because the beautiful image before us, could turn ugly in an instant. l am an eternal dreamer, but a realist too. And though I am a glass- half-full gal, I have seen too much sadness to stick my head in the sand anymore.

Life and everything in it, terrifies me to no end, ever since baby girl entered our world and made it so precious. I am grateful for the beauty in it, but I always look behind me, I always check my footing, to check there are no uneven rocks.

I love views like this. And I will continue to photograph them. But under still, calm waters…

 

 

 

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#575 Girl Power

Women who support, love, promote and encourage one another, are a beautiful, beautiful breed.

And there is no stopping us and what we can achieve, when we have this such network around us.

It’s a horrible thing then, that many women are taught from when they are as young as little girls, that the female race is the enemy. They are their competition, their opponent. They must be better than them, and fight to the death to

get that job.

get that guy.

get that attention.

get that scholarship.

get that money.

and on and on and on it goes.

It’s a sad thing. Because I’ve realised over the years, that there is more than enough

Love

Happiness

Success

Wealth

Jobs

Men

$$$

FOR EVERYONE. It is called abundance, and there are so many out there, men and women alike, who act like they’re at the fish markets and bargaining with the fish monger over who is going to get the last piece of salmon at the best possible price.

But there are tubs and tubs of fresh salmon rolling in behind them.

I decided a long time ago I was only going to surround myself with these beautiful supportive women as much as I possibly could, but MOST importantly I was going to be one of them too – I was going to be supportive and helpful, loving and nurturing, passionate and inspiring, helping them through good times and bad, and just being there, whether it was to help them be the best person they could be, be that sidekick to dance or laugh with them, or be a shoulder to cry on when things got tough.

I am really lucky, that I have such beautiful women like this in my life. And by having them, baby girl is blessed…

Because she has them too. Not only are they my sidekicks, cheerleaders and personal superheroes, but they are automatically and unequivocally, her IDOLS. Leaders. Role Models.

And they are the cream of the crop.

Today I had some of my cousins over, AKA ‘The Sisters.’ And I realised as we chatted, laughed, had some meaningful convo about life and love and choosing the right colour paint for kitchen cupboards, that not only was I lucky, but baby girl was too. She is growing up in a family of strong, courageous, passionate, confident, funny, sassy and smart women, and it brings me such joy that this positive energy has been around her from day dot.

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You know the icing on the cake? We are expecting another little one to the family soon…

Those hands are hiding a baby. A baby girl.

Go Girl Power 🙂

 

 

#555 Mindful swinging at the park

Baby girl has just learnt how to swing on her own. Today was the second time she had the opportunity to practice it as we headed on over to the local park.

We had just had a babycino and cap, and a salted caramel ‘something’ to share at the nearby café, so we were properly fuelled. As we got closer to the park, I let go of her hand and said “go, run. Be free. Frolic. Be 4.”

Soon she was headed over to the swing, the place of her new-found confidence and extension of never-ending playfulness. She wanted me to give her a big push to get started, and then said “let go Mama.”

(Oh darling. I will never let go).

But then as life would have it, as our children grow up, she wanted me beside her. ( 🙂 ) She motioned to the swing beside her and told me to “sit.”

Soon we were both swinging, sometimes going back and forth simultaneously, other times in opposite directions. It was a still day, the sun sometimes coming out from behind the prevalent clouds of the day. We were silent for the longest time, going back and forth at our varying paces, and my mind wandered over to something I had read the other day.

Mindfulness. What was the quote?

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”  – Bil Keane.

The article had mentioned 7 habits to cultivating a happier life. And one of the points that had captivated me had been the act of living in the present. Not worrying about what had passed, and not stressing about what may, or may not come… but concerning oneself solely, with the NOW.

The technique mentioned was to be aware of your palms and feet, and clenching both while becoming aware of your surroundings. It said to try and concentrate on where you were, and if your mind naturally wandered, to not judge yourself too harshly, but to simply gently steer your attention back to where it needed to be.

So that’s what I did. As we swung back and forth, in the quiet of the local park, I clenched the hands that were around the swing chain, and tensed my feet below me that were swinging back and forth in my white sneakers. I observed my body in the almost-too tight swing seat, breathed in the fresh air, felt the warmth on my face, and tried to think of NOW.

A young teenager was nearby, walking home from school in their uniform, and the image before me made my mind go elsewhere. Suddenly baby girl was also a teen, and there were a multitude of concerning issues flooding my mind. How would I help her with her problems? Would she ask for help? Would she be happy? Would she like school? Would she like her Life?

I suddenly realised my scattered thoughts, and ever so gently removed myself from them, taking myself back to the present.

The beautiful present. Of me and baby girl, swinging at the park, with no concerning cares in the world.

🙂

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#551 What he said no.2

“I just want you to know.” He held my hand tightly as I drove, and I looked at him. “If you are ever unhappy with anything I do or say, I want you to talk to me about it. I never want it to get to the stage where you want to leave, but you never spoke to me where I could help…”

It wasn’t the most romantic thing I’ve heard from Hubbie, but tears welled in my eyes. I needed to hear that for some reason, and I didn’t even know why at first.

It followed a really crappy morning. Whinge whinge whinge, moan moan moan, sook and cry and life is crappy. All from ME. I’d been having a crappy week, holidays and all, BIRTHDAY INCLUDED, and I just felt like giving up. It was nothing major, and I was well aware that there were more important things in life to actually worry about…

But I had gotten to the advanced stage where I just wanted to vent about everything, no matter how small or insignificant it was. Trying to start the day afresh, plant a smile on my face, Hope for the best and “make the most of it!” had fallen on Deaf Universe Ears, as day after day I had been disappointed in some way. Enough to really frustrate me.

Even for a glass half-full gal as myself, I had seriously had enough. There is only so much hanging on I can take

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before I say FUCK EVERYTHING. Screw it. No asterisks or exclamation marks to hide it either. *!

Of course, as the day wore on, I lightened up. Some things made me happy and not stress so much. But still as we were driving in the late afternoon, and the attention somehow drew to a couple who had since separated, he grew solemn, and gave me the above sweet words.

Why did I appreciate them? It’s because he was realistic… not about the possibility of our relationship not being – no, I don’t even want to entertain that fact. That is an idea so far from my/our reality, that the sky turning a permanent purple, UFOs landing on our roof, or a Money Tree literally growing up out of our yard, all seem more plausible than that very unattractive and sad, sad sad proposition.

He was realistic that life was hard. Relationships were hard. Marriage was hard. He was realistic and understanding that shit happened, issues would come up often, and WHEN they did, he wanted me to talk to him about them. Not necessarily about he and I. But about anything. Knowing he wouldn’t stick his head in the sand, tell me to forget about it, say I was crazy, or dismiss my genuine feelings, made me feel incredibly relieved.

He cared. He cared enough to put me, before us. And that meant that WHEN the shit-pile avalanche started its descent down the hill, he would be there in the middle of it, pushing it up and getting the brunt of it, helping me to run away from it all.

And then I would be waiting for him, with a hose. And water him off. Because we are in this occasional shit-storm of life together. So I said to him

“The same goes for me.”

The real Happily Ever After’s don’t end in the nicely dressed Prince and Princess heading off into the sunset into their white carriage and gold-chauffeured horses.

It’s a guy and a girl in trakkies, covered in poo, walking down the street. One of them has a hose, and they’re holding hands.

That’s real. That’s life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

 

#506 Shopping with my girl no.5

A day of two sides, where one weight on the scale main support would dip perilously low, before the opposite weight took heed and balanced it out.

So to fuel today’s fire, first the following events:

  • nearly losing my voice in an effort to get baby girl out of the house
  • having to take a detour en route because a major road was closed
  • spending up to 30 minutes looking for shopping centre parking because school holidays… AND baby girl needed to go to the loo.

STRESSFUL.

But then the other weight chimed in.

  • baby girl choosing rice for lunch over a happy meal, and eating it gratefully (Parental win moment!)
  • whispering to me cheekily, 30 minutes after purchase of a new doll “one more toy, and finish, shhh!” (her cleverness makes me shake my head in ‘I can’t believe she’s ours’ moments)
  • and after she heard  a person walking past us say sorry to another, explaining to baby girl that sometimes people make mistakes and then have to say sorry, examples being people bumping into others, or stepping on someone’s foot – to which we had to step on each other’s feet, and bump into each other, as we walked through the centre, for example. Laughing and bonding along 🙂

It wasn’t a day of huge purchases – in fact I didn’t get what I wanted, so another shopping day will be on the cards this week – but there were a few things that we walked away happy with.

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‘We’ is a strong word. We all know ‘baby girl’ was the happy one. Well me too, when I see her so happy. From our friends at Tar-gé, baby, the gorgeous aqua jumper with pink heart and Ariel doll with layered outfits; and baby girl received a cute little muffin box from Muffin Break, containing two mini muffins, an apple juice, and then the kind gentleman there threw in some colouring pencils and a picture for her to draw with.

I am not in any way endorsed by the above two brands for my opinions, but if they ever wanna get me involved…

I AM HERE. Just sayin’.

😉

Yes, a day of two sides, but I will remember us bumping into each other while walking through the centre, more so than anything that may have tried to weigh me down otherwise. Glass half-full, like that.

 

#478 Turning bad news, into a good day

Anyone who would have seen Hubbie galloping alongside baby girl this afternoon in a playful fashion, laughing excitedly as we all headed hungrily towards the Westfield Doncaster glammed-up food court, would not for a moment have guessed that less than an hour earlier, he was receiving not-so-favourable news.

It wasn’t good news.

You see, he had seen an Endodontist this morning, and had been told that the front tooth he was experiencing some sensitivity with, this tooth that had been hit in a basketball game over a decade earlier, was slowly dying from the root, and his body had been slowly rejecting it all this time.

The tooth, could not be saved. It had to be removed, a denture put in for a while, and then eventually a false tooth to be permanently drilled into his gum.

All for a fair bit of $$$.

As he laughed alongside baby girl, I observed them and you couldn’t really tell who was sillier, who was more childlike of the two. I had to wonder ‘had he just been given bad news?’

Yes, he had. And yet he turned the day around, accepted it for what it was, and despite the knowledge of what was ahead, and the realisation that he could not save his damaged tooth as he had hoped, he looked at the positive and moved forward.

So we had a delicious Schnitz lunch.

We splurged on some clothes from Dangerfield – his and hers.

We had some coffee and cake at Zumbo café – sharing a cronut, and taking no heed of the advice from the Endodontist that sugar can rot your teeth in as little as half an hour after eating it, and that no, brushing your teeth twice a day does apparently jack sh*t towards preventing decay. Yay.

And then later at home, we got some pizza for dinner, danced with baby girl around the kitchen to Wiggles songs (that could have been a gratitude post in itself) and then drank red wine and ate some more doughnuts (you only live once, so screw advice)

It was a great day, and we had a lot of fun.

I feel especially lucky and fortunate to have a man like Hubbie by my side. It wasn’t me instigating the turn around of negative to positive energies today. It was him. ALL him. He was certainly dismayed by the news, and it WAS NOT what he was hoping to hear, at all. But having gone through some serious, heavy shit these last few years, he knew, that in comparison, this was a pebble drop into a pond compared to some boulders he’s seen smash through the smooth surface of pristine waters.

His attitude shift and positivity inspire me, and the fact that he turned something bad, into good, is kind of the point of this blog, isn’t it?

Ain’t love grand 🙂

 

#381 ‘Snap the f*&k out of it’

Is what Hubbie said to me as I was having a whine as we were bathing baby girl.

Or something to that effect.

I deserved it though. Whole-heartedly. I was still wretched when he said it, but I know I deserved it.

To sum it up simply, I was upset about my tummy. And a little about my arms. I had started workout sessions a few weeks ago, but because after a particular session I later developed quite concentrated lower back pain, I had to stop.

Then I felt unwell for a few days, and I’ve just been hanging around the house, all woe is me. Feeling sorry for myself.

It’s hard when you notice you don’t look the way you want to look. When your body is different, and you want to change it, and don’t know how, or where to start, and then when you do find the motivation and courage to put yourself out there –

Ow. ‘Ow,’ ‘ouch’ and ‘ooh’ happens.

My tummy is not how I want it to be, and even though I was proactive about fixing it, developing an exercise-related injury made me feel like ‘What!? What do I do now?’

Whinging, moaning.

I know. Like a little bitch.

So he started “I’m just gonna put it in perspective for you here.”

And suddenly, I read his mind. I knew what he was gonna say, and where he was gonna go, and immediately, my negativity sobered up. I let him say it anyway.

He told me how he was feeling flat at work today, getting out of his car, and then he saw a man across the road in an electric wheelchair. That man’s only mode of transport was that chair, and that was the way he was going to spend his life. His only life. In a wheelchair.

But wait, he continued. He wasn’t done sobering me up yet. I listened as he recalled the story someone had told him recently, of an adult woman, who wears a nappy, and basically has her shit cleaned up by a family member, every day.

She is not well, this woman. Which is why she has to wear a nappy. And if it weren’t for her family, looking out for her and tending to her, she wouldn’t even have a clean bum.

Is she ever going to ever have a boyfriend, Hubbie asked?

Will she ever have sex?

Will she ever get married?

Will she ever have kids?

No, no, no, no. No to all counts and so many more. The one life she has been given, is this one. And this is how she has to live, this life. Will she come back in another lifetime as a supermodel? Does it even matter, if the above answers are no? How does it matter, if this life is the way, it is, spent in a nappy?

I then took the move to agree with him, and added that I’d read the startling fact recently that the majority of the world, is poor. So anyone getting by half-decently, like us, had hit the jackpot. Basically, we were incredibly rich compared to many folk doing it tough out in the world.

And I was shitty about my stomach. Post-baby. And my arms.

For fuck’s sake.

I then felt, awfully bad, for feeling the way I had. For being so ungrateful. Because I know this shit! Gratefulness, is my bread and butter. And I had completely forgotten to use any of it, instead wallowing in selfish pity.

So, this story serves two purposes. A grateful thank you to Hubbie for being so blunt and reminding me how lucky I am, for so, so, so many reasons.

And also to serve as a reminder, to anyone else wallowing in self-pity out there, that life isn’t all that bad. It’s actually pretty freaking awesome. You too, should snap out of it.

And he will kick my butt in basketball by the way. He’s promised me that. And my stomach too.