#1378 Squeezing in the tree on Saturday night

Today was my off day, my break from doing something, anything.

Actually it was imposed upon me. I didn’t choose to catch a cold just before December. But alas Rudolph nose, flemmy throat and snots galore are here to give me festive cheer.

Let’s not forget the bouts of weakness interspersed with aches and pains. Nooo.Β 

I would have much rather been entertaining family and friends… but shit happens.

I was, and still am, out for the count.

But I got inspired, for a moment. Hubble was going crazy moving pots and plants outside, and then moving furniture inside the house…

So I asked him to take some big bags out for me from under the stairs…

And we put up the Christmas tree! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ€ΆπŸŽ

Yes, on the 23rd of November, thank you very much.

Baby girl then told me that her school bestie already had put up her tree, and I was like “shame on us for taking so long!”

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Before anyone has a heart attack… it’s JUST the tree. The bare basics. I have all our Christmas bags and decorations in corners of the room to tend to throughout the week.

Because this is, a process. A journey. I like to take my time, put the baubles up with care, hang decorations from the ceiling, and light up the walls wherever I go… to Buble, Mariah and Sia contemporarily caroling in the background. 🎢

It is an experience to be enjoyed.

I don’t do it early, just because I want to. I do it because I’m usually really busy in the first week of December. And having done the same last year and put up the tree in late November, I felt so in front, and so organised with Christmas… that now it’s a thing.

Once the tree was up however, I was on the couch passed out again. Just as well I do this slowly…

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#1376 Clearing her early artwork

Here’s something no one probably knows about me.

I have kept every single piece of artwork that baby girl has EVER brought home from kinder and primary school.

EVER.

Now you may not think this is much, her being nearly at the end of prep and all and still so early into her education… but if you combine this year, with her 3 and 4 year-old years of kinder, and top that with the knowledge that baby girl LOVES painting and crafty things and even made it her subconscious mission to bring home about 2-3 artworks per day when she was at kinder, well that equates to one impressive collection.

I have kept it all, sure. But the place I have been shoving it all into (i.e. spare cupboard) is bursting at the seams with this art, and I for one had to find another way.

Enter the phone, and the idea.

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I couldn’t part with these artworks, I just couldn’t. But at the same time I HAD SO MANY. At this rate I should have bought the house next door just to accommodate her take-home stuff, and that would have been one expensive storage solution.

So I decided to do with her artwork, what I do with all those photos I take that I don’t develop.

I store them digitally.

I set about today taking photos of every single piece of her art from kinder years. I’ll get to primary school in due time πŸ˜‰ I lay them out and snapped away, throwing out piles and piles of paper to feed the recycling bin, while I kept what is a minutely small pile in comparison.

Well I have to keep something, duh.

I feel better already. And though it’s only the beginning of my clearing process, the weight has already begun to lift off my shoulders…

 

 

#1094 Rainy (rained on) Day Rules

You know how they say the heavens wait for school drop-off and pick-up for them to open?

They ain’t wrong.

See, baby girl was alright. I got her into class as the light drizzle began, thinking that’s all it would eventuate to… a steady drizzle.

How about a steady onslaught.

Because that’s what it felt like. The rain got heavier and heavier, falling with greater intensity as I made my way back to the car, first speed walking, then running.

It felt like someone had turned the dial up on the rain-o-meter, such was the change in nanoseconds, from raining, to shitting cats and dogs.

I got into the car with a sigh, huff and puff… soaked.

How do you move on and regain composure from such an event?

Home-made coffee…and Freddie Mercury.

Now it was ME turning up the dial. I particularly liked Queen’s version of ‘I want to break free’ at Wembley Stadium.

1:53. “Oh how I want to be free baby, oh how I want to break free… oh how I want to break free.”

Guitar. Oh so good. The crazy Wintery wind that has thrown itself on our Sumner season masked the thumping walls and my warbled tone.

Soon, as the wind continued its rampaging around the house and the rain started its downpour AGAIN, I felt the urge for some necessary rainy day activities.

Photos.

I haven’t filed away photos since 2013. No jokes. Today I was putting away, in order, photos of my pregnancy and the first 3 months of baby girl, such is the volume of photos I have.

Hundreds. Thousands. I am not kidding. I had them packed away in a box upstairs, and fuelled by the weather unleashing around me and telling me it was definitely one of those ‘home days,’ I tended to a long-standing task, and felt absolutely terrific afterwards.

Did I finish? I told you there were thousands. The answer, HELL NO. But I have started, and a start is as good a place as any to begin something that you have held off on for 6 years.

Despite doing these things that made me happy, it seems the rain that had poured onto me after school drop-off, along with all these recent never-ending early mornings, my ‘almost’ sickness of the weekend and baby girl’s primary school sniffles, well it ALL caught up to me… I officially have the cold.

Sniff.

What could I do then, in the evening to make things that much more bearable and easier to deal with?

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I shouldn’t just have a bath when I’m sick. That, I know. But it was something that occurred to me, that I needed time out, a place to be warm, a site of refuge, and the bath was the first thing that came to mind, though it isn’t something I am able to do often… a fact I wish to change.

And you know what? By the end of my watery paradise, I had even forgotten I was sick.

(Until 15 minutes after I was dry, and my nose/head/body reminded me again).

I guess my point is, you don’t need to write off your day with one bad incident that may occur at the beginning of it. There is always room to turn it around, make it better, with conscious effort and a positive mind.

Being free with music. Organising myself inside and out. And calming my body and soul with water. They are all things that made me happy today, despite anything else that may have tried to hinder it.

Let’s face it… I was hindered… but I turned those setbacks into great memories by purposefully seeking out ways to make me happy.

Creating a bevy of uplifting memories for my day.

And that is the point. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

#1029 Getting the Chrissy list sorted

You know where most of the pain of buying Christmas presents comes from?

It’s not from finding the time, or even trying to find the money for it… but rather, it’s knowing WHAT to buy.

That is the real work.

I have about a third of the presents from my list bought already. And that is only 9 days into December.

But better than that, is that I know every single thing that I will be buying for the rest of my list, except for a handful of people.

That is pretty awesome.

The only thing holding me back from going out and buying everything, is of course, time and money…

$$$

And for the other few I have left… I still have 16 days to go before Christmas arrives.

16 days to get organised for just a couple more!

Woo hoo, I’m feeling good πŸ™‚

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

 

 

#932 The Paper cleanse

Maybe it’s because I am a writer, that I hoard so much paper.

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This was the scene earlier today when I was at home and at peace, going through piles and piles of stuff that has been accumulating in random drawers and buffets and shelves, all stowed away for ‘another day.’

And that’s not even all of it.

I have this insane need to keep things and have them documented. It’s part of the reason why I write. I journal. I keep a blog. I have this gratitude blog. And I also keep lots of little bits and pieces, info and notes and documents, all for the ‘what if’ day I need them.

What if?

There’s something else you may not know about me. I have kept EVERY SINGLE CARD I have ever received. Yep. Every one. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter (yep even random Easter cards for the very few that have ever handed them out) special occasions, even ALL of Hubbie and Baby Girl’s cards… ALL OF THEM. They’re in shoeboxes scattered all over the place. And although I will probably forever keep those given to me by my sister, parents and Hubbie, I have been thinking of going through the piles, scanning the cards onto my laptop, and then throwing the paper versions out.

It quenches my need to keep sentimental items, yet also serves the purpose of culling and throwing that I equally yearn for.

Because I really do. As much as I keep things, boy do I love when my throw pile grows bigger and bigger. That is what happened today, in the above photo. I sat in the middle of the room, and started to piece through bit by bit, finding homes for some things, and for others…

BIN!

I have gained an immense amount of satisfaction from just this task today, and that gives me gratitude to no end. Because I have tackled a task that has been nagging me, not just since we moved here, but one that’s been bugging me for years. Years of lack of storage. Years of lack of time. Years of lack of resources. Just years of not being in the right space and time and capacity to sift and throw and itemise, but today, today I was finally going through all those piles and hacking them to pieces.

It feels soooo good.

Most of my stuff now has a home. And the other stuff now lives in my bin.

Ahhh. To be continued tomorrow… πŸ™‚

 

#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.

 

 

 

 

#835 4 year-old kinder progress

There were a lot of notes I made in my head today. All while watching baby girl.

Firstly, I love it the most when she doesn’t know I am watching her – this is for anything. Whether it’s playing with her toys at home, or playing at kinder, I gain so much by watching her nature and character unfold when she doesn’t know I’m there.

Today I watched her interact with others. AsΒ I walked towards the kinder gates, I watched her learn in the yard as she dug in the garden. I watched her run around and bolt from kid to kid, even more excitedly so since there was a visiting choir from a nearby primary school come to show off their talents, and let’s face it, try to gain more enrolments from our kinder kids in the process.

I watched amused, as she put up her hand with few others to volunteer and play some instruments – this is a room of primarily grade 1 to grade 3s – I was impressed. My girl, not intimidated? Wanting to go up there and give it a go?

I watched as she later found a friend, and they wrapped their legs around each other in a hug so that they were swaying back and forth on the swing together. I hung back, smiling, as it reminded me of my own neighbours and I at that age, swinging at our local park.

I watched with OCD-pride, as she found a toy in the sandpit, and promptly took it to its correct location at the dollhouse table.

And then as I was leaving with her for the day, I threw in a casual line to one of the teachers: “How is she going?” We were alone in the foyer. There was no one to distract her from answering.

“She’s excellent.”

Phew. Sure, she paints more than she cuts up bits of paper she said… but that’s a fun thing I’m sure we can work on together πŸ™‚

A day where I was made grateful for my daughter’sΒ  progress. In confidence, in learning, in playing… and in Life.

(This post comes a day late due to technical difficulties posting it from home πŸ˜‰ )