#2016 Simple laughter, simple things

I felt a familiar lockdown feeling wafting over me today as the sun shone through the window, and I set off to work from home yet again.

It was this flat, gnawing feeling of unsettledness. Of unsatisfaction.

I did my best to remind myself that all was good in my world, and even argued with some of my thoughts. I reasoned that it was lockdown blues, yet again, making their presence known.

I’ve grown to get used to their presence, and even allow them to pull up a chair at the table.

Just as I finished work, I came across a hilarious Sooshi Mango video. If you haven’t seen these guys and you’re of European descent, you MUST check them out. Anyway I watched this latest vid, gasping from breath and nearly crying, and quickly went to share it into the messenger group chat of the Sooshi Mango fan club.

Otherwise known as, me and my four friends. 🤣🤣

I had to share the joy. It was a quick share, a comment here, comment there… insert some laughing emojis, some OMGs, and all was good.

All was good in the world.

And it had me thinking… how lovely it is that I have this group with my friends, where we just come and go, drop in random stuff about our lives, share memes and jokes and more personal stuff, and some of us comment, some of us don’t, but you know what?

It’s all ok. We move on. We don’t take it personally.

You know those people where you feel as if you are walking on eggshells constantly? You need to watch what you say, how you say it, and then you need to check in, ALL THE TIME. If you haven’t spoken to them, you need to justify why, and I HATE justifying.

Like, life, that’s why.

That’s what I love about this messenger group we have, and that’s why I love my friends. We are bloody mature people. There are no freaking games and bullshit.

We drop in, we laugh, we comment.

We move on.

And then the next day/week, we pop in again, and it’s like the conversation never ended.

I was thinking all of this, feeling super proud of us, and then I realised…

I had a lot more to be grateful for than I first thought.

Those lockdown blues, I chased them away. 💖🥰

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

#1974 28 days of movement

My suspicion about today was confirmed when I checked my diary calendar.

28 days of movement, today. I was right.

And yet, it hadn’t been hard. Hasn’t been too much of a sacrifice, a stretch on mine or anyone in this household’s part to allow me some peace, some 23 minutes here or there, to work on myself, mind, body and spirit.

I wanted to commit to 28 days initially, and I did it! I got there.

In those 28 days I have done:

12 sessions of ‘body work’ – those are the Rachael Finch 23 minute workouts that get your heart rate pumping and gasping for breath.

8 sessions of ‘body tone’ – these are like yoga, but ha ha ha ha ha, if you think that means easy. This body tone workout is by no means easy. In fact several times I found myself asking for body work instead, where I could gasp for breath instead of feeling my entire body BURN.

On one such occasion I swore so profusely and angrily at the instructor, I would have embarrassed a sailor. True story. Mother F&*ker, everything. In front of my family, I didn’t care, I was DYING. And no, I didn’t just stop, because I’m stubborn, and swearing came easier. (Note to self and anyone else, if Rachael isn’t doing the body tone and they bring in an instructor, expect it to be a whole lot of HARD).

1 session where I went to the Loft in town and had a class session, yoga, pilates, whatever you call it, I did it, and felt amazing afterwards.

All the Saturdays were my off days. I’m usually running around on those days, and am active enough in other ways that I felt that was the most appropriate day to have ‘off.’

I then had 2 days off when I was cramping. Nothing at all.

I had one meditation day, where I didn’t do any body movement from the app. This day followed that intense body tone session when I was swearing like a trooper at the instructor, in disbelief that she thinks us normal folk can contort our bodies like that and have the leg strength of an Olympian. My legs, thighs, butt and other parts of my body hurt for two whole days afterwards, and I could barely crouch or bend over.

This is when the meditation occurred. I did it on my first ouch day.

And there you go. 28 days of movement, some days lacking, though few I am pleased to say, with fair amount of rest too, in a kinda detailed snapshot.

But fitness isn’t a destination, right? As the app tells me between reps, “fitness is a way of life!”

So, I’m not stopping anytime soon. I’m super rapt at the energy and confidence it has brought me, and today, I was able to do more plank exercises and half burpies than I ever have before… so my arm strength is improving, something I was severely lacking in before.

Fitness is so much more than about body. It’s about more than many people will ever realise.

It’s about you, your life, and what you are saying is important in it.

And if you say that your health is important, you are setting an example for others, and all the good things will follow.

💪💖

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

#1917 A special birthday

Check out the numbers on those cakes:

8-0. 80.

Yes. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday today, a day earlier from his actual birthday.

Wow. What a milestone. It’s what I wrote in the card too. Just think about it… all the things you must go through, pass through, live through, to get to that grand age…

I was feeling grateful and fulfilled that we were together today, able to celebrate as family should.

And though life can be hard, and IS hard, and there are moments where you can see more hardship than good, these are the moments you ultimately live for.

The togetherness. The laughter. The love. The food, the drink, the memories, and the D&Ms through all crazy hours…

These are the moments where you thank God/your lucky stars/Karma/yourself, for where you are in life, and who you are with.

And to celebrate my Dad’s birthday today, was the ultimate icing on the cake. LITERALLY.

Happy birthday Dad. We love you. 💖💖💖💖

#1885 Keep that snail pace

All I can say is, don’t give up.

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 moving.

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.

Progress.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

#1866 Peninsula sunset no. 10

As long as we have a view, I will keep taking these photos:

I mean, who knows where we might be 10 years from now… still in this home, or maybe another? I don’t know. I have no plans to move, but often in life things happen that we never would have expected.

I don’t try to assume to know, or plan for too much anymore. Because LIFE.

I captured this sky tonight, and I just loved the beams of sun rays bursting through the clouds, creating a beautiful glistening outline from each puff of white up there.

Just beautiful. I can’t get enough.

#1837 Class yoga

Today I did something that I haven’t done for a long time.

Yoga… in a class.

I started doing home-based practice last year during covid, before other things turned pear-shaped… there were also a couple of online videos here and there, but…

Let me tell YOU. Class yoga is a whole different ball game.

You don’t get to break for as long as you want between poses. The moves come faster after one another. And then the clincher, you actually do try harder when there are 15 other people in the room with you!

Today the instructor started with a whole lot of breathwork. And I was sitting there cross-legged with hands in prayer pose, thinking to myself –

“Crap. This is gonna be too easy.”

Ha! How wrong I was. I was huffing, breathing deeply, building up a sweat, taking off my hoodie… it was intense. The kind of thigh-burning, leg quivering, heart-pumping and wobbly kind of intense that you get with yoga.

But I loved one thing that the instructor said. She was likening a really hard pose she was going to get us to try, to life. She said –

“You probably will fail. But you’ll get up, and you’ll try and try again. It’s like life. You fail, but you try, and eventually, you’ll get there.”

It was this little moment of motivation, of high significance for me, in amongst downward dogs, cobras, and triangle poses, that made me smile, and even tear up a little.

I too, struggled to achieve poses today, and had to re-centre and adjust several times.

But I’m very used to doing that. Hopefully soon, I will find greater balance. 💖🧘‍♂️

#1820 Pink and grey up there

Things are so often muddled in life.

It’s neither here, or there.

It’s neither black or white.

Right or left.

Correct or wrong.

Up or down.

Happy or sad.

Rather, it’s a whole lot of GREY.

So much of it is in the middle. In that really confusing, uncertain, unknown place known as limbo.

Yes. That’s where most of life, most of us, most of everything, LIES.

And yet amongst all of this, there is also HOPE.

In the form, of PINK.

Check out tonight’s sunset. Such interesting cloud formations. Stripes of fluoro through the sky.

It makes one think, that maybe things can one day be…

Here.

White.

Right.

Correct.

Up, and lastly…

HAPPY.

#1816 Sweet sugo

Do you think it’s too much to ask that a cafe stays open ’til past 4pm on a weekday?

Is it? I mean I don’t live in a regional town, and our main street is peppered ALL OVER with cafes… and yet finding one to fulfil my caffeine craving so late in the day, seemed almost impossible today.

First world problems, I know. It might seem awfully petty to be concerned with these little nuisances, especially on a day like today when I went to a funeral…

You’d think I wouldn’t worry about things like that.

But we all deal with life and death in different ways, right? And there’s nothing like the reminder of the end of life, to make us really funny and fussy about all the things that we choose to do before that…

I had driven for a lot of the day. It was hot. Still, not feeling the best. I had eaten lunch in the car, picked up baby girl from school, and then we’d gone to exchange a Smiggles drink bottle she got for Christmas that had a faulty part.

I just wanted to sit down and have a coffee. It didn’t seem too much to ask. I wanted to sit down with my daughter, on what was a tiring day, and just stop for a few minutes.

The first cafe was doing takeaway only… damn you recurrent restrictions.

The second cafe was closing.

The third cafe was already closed.

The fourth cafe was also… closing.

I walked away, gritted teeth, cursing the fact that there were cafes galore but none apparently taking customers.

Finally. We went to our last option in that block – Sugo.

It’s weird that we’ve never actually drank or eaten at this place. There’s nothing wrong with it, it looks really nice… but we’ve never even thought to sit down there…

Too many options elsewhere.

Anyway, they were OPEN!

Baby girl and I sat down for our late afternoon coffee break, sharing a cookie, happy that we had gotten our small happy ending.

It isn’t the be all and end all, and it isn’t life or death, certainly… but it’s what we do in the space between the beginning and end of life that matters.

And if you want to have your coffee and sit down with it, well damn it so you should be able to.

We’ve only got one life.

🙏

#1807 Restless day

Today I was incredibly restless.

It was grey, there was wispy rain. Some of it may have had to do with the interrupted night – a man actually died in a horrible crash outside our home last night. There were emergency services everywhere past midnight.

The low mood carried into the day.

We didn’t want to do anything… yet being free, off work, together, we felt we HAD to do something.

Yet we couldn’t be bothered.

Look at this precious life we are granted! And to waste it away on days, doing nothing, lounging around, yawning, and crying “bored,” when we have just been privy to another life being snatched away?

But that’s assuming life is meant to be busy. Full of stuff. Running around.

Life can be just as beautiful, and just as meaningful, by enjoying the things around you. Taking a pause. Breathing in deeply. And respecting our earth.

So we took a walk. To clear our heads, process our thoughts, and connect ourselves to the ground on which we walk on every day.

The water was there too. We may not have touched it, but we felt the force of the wind as it rippled across it, smelt the sea air, and knew that no matter how beautiful it looked, those waters were merciless.

The danger is so far, but a wrong step from the lookout, and it can come running up to our faces with a loud smack.

Life can change so easily my friends. Take care out there, and enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy… yes, even if it means lying on the couch.

Sometimes we need that too… only as long as we get back up again. 💪

#1793 A day of contrasts

It was a day to lay-back…

And a day to get wound up.

It was a day to reach high for the sky…

And a day to lay low to the ground.

It was a day to daydream…

And a day to mull over crap.

It was a day to wander down a new path…

And a day to lie on the couch.

It was a day to look a little closer at the beauty in front of us…

And a day to whinge and moan about what is IN us.

The holiday reality is, life doesn’t just escape you. Meaning you still feel all the bad, as much as you feel the natural highs of being away.

Your feelings don’t change when you’re away. You just have less of other stuff to do while you keep those same thoughts, or have that same life. Just a change of scenery, which is what we’re all craving, right?

But, despite the whinging and the moaning, the change of environment can provide us with insights, not usually granted to us when at home and in the everyday routine of life.

Is there a lesson to be learnt?

Can I take this newfound experience home with me?

How can I deal with this in a more learned manner in future?

What is this life trying to teach me?