#1904 Looking back in time

Life has been so busy lately. So busy, that we’ve forgotten a lot of who we are.

May has come around too fast. And another Monday, come and gone.

It was only last week when I went “damn. That came fast.”

Our ‘special’ day.

Not having the time to celebrate when you’re ‘meant to’ does not mean jack.

Take the commercial days, of Valentine’s Day, hell even throw in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

They’re all the same.

We’re told as a society that we have to do something, we must do something to celebrate it, show off for social media, friends and family…

It is lovely to celebrate, appreciate loved ones in our life, and I’m not saying that I don’t do it, personally…

But you should celebrate your special people, ALL THE DAYS of your life. Not just when the catalogues and ads tell you too.

Same as for other days.

Days like, an anniversary. 💖💖

Our anniversary fell on a Monday this year. Work, school, swimming, groceries, phone calls, emails, basketball game, routine routine routine… it was all too much. It was a fairly uneventful day, and that’s ok, because we share our love for each other on other days, in other ways, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s not on this EXACT day.

I’m not trying to convince myself, honest. 😂 In fact, we are going out tomorrow night, and going away for a couple of nights soon too.

Let there be love on all the days. Let there be hugs, kisses, displays of affection, cards and presents, snuggles and all kinds of lovey-dovey things, on all the days.

Not just when it is deemed special, by society, by milestone, or by date.

I had a really lovely night… sans Hubbie. He was out playing basketball.

Baby girl and I had dinner together, then we sat on the couch and she read school books to me.

Then we watched Masterchef, and we never watch Masterchef. 😂

Hubbie came home, and then eventually we sat on the couch as a family, to do one special thing together, something small to highlight our ‘special’ day…

We looked through our official photos. 😍

Baby girl and I put on the special photo gloves, and she helped me leaf through the pages, as we all reminisced, and she learnt and discovered.

And I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night.

💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

12.

#1877 Appreciating the little things

The above post title feels really redundant to write, because isn’t that what this whole blog is about?

But I’ve been reflecting a lot on life at this moment in time, versus life at this time last year.

It is so different, but I don’t need to tell you that anyway.

Easter this year was wonderful, and when I think of how it was last year… well to be ghastly honest, the end of the day was pretty dark and depressing.

Last year’s Easter school holidays were monotone… home home home. And I was working from home too, so it was work work work.

This year we’re planning all the fun things we can do with baby girl, out and about town.

Last year, libraries were closed. SHUT DOWN.

This afternoon, I was seated in a library chair reading about writer Kurt Vonnegut as baby girl piled high a stack of books to take home.

We even stopped at a grocery shop, sans masks, and seriously, I am still getting used to the freedom.

No matter where things lead us this year… I remind myself, we are in a better place than where we were last year.

Forever, getting there. 🙏💖

#1873 April sun in Melbourne

Well would you look at that?

An April beach day!

WHAT? And on the Easter long weekend. Sure we live near the beach, so heading there is often easier to manage than if we lived let’s say an hour away…

But still, you have to be free.

AVAILABLE. When Melbourne decides to turn it on.

And so to get a beautiful and warm summer’s day, in Autumn, in April, on a public holiday, Good Friday no less…

It sure was a Good Friday. We bathed in the sun, and I even read a book (for 5 minutes)…

But still! I read.

And I loved it. 💖📚🏖

#1856 Writerly wanderings

Finally, a DAY OFF.

A day without jobs. A day without appointments. A day without anything really urgent to do, where I could just let my feet lead me wherever they felt the pull.

It was EXACTLY what I needed.

I dropped off baby girl at school. The clouds were parting, and the sun was already starting to kick in. I kinda drove aimlessly, yet at the same time knowing precisely where I was headed.

To the water.

I walked. I sat. I looked around. I thought. I felt the burn in my legs as I walked up stairs, up red-earth cliff faces that showed sand and dust so raw and bright as the earth’s core.

Later I went to the grocery shop… sure, a job, but I did it slowly, and ambled around the store, with more ‘me time’ in mind…

I got myself a takeaway coffee, and at home headed up to the balcony to research, edit and read and write, for almost 2 hours.

Ahhh.

I felt at home. When everything else around me crumbles and falls, things don’t work out the way I’d like, and the future feels uncertain, confusing, and I feel lost… my writing makes me happy.

It’s that one guarantee, that one escape, that one thing, that makes me so light and free.

It makes me feel at home. The process brings me such joy, and I don’t even need to tell you what I did the rest of the day…

Because wandering, writing, musing. Bringing myself back to centre, made me, ME again. That is enough.

😁💖

#1844 My star reader

I’ve been really trying to get baby girl reading more.

Not for me, because I’m a lover of words… but for her. It’ll be so much easier for her, education wise, if she’s a good reader, and so I’ve been pretty adamant since school began, that she needs to read something to us every night.

Tonight she continued on with the Hot Dog book she’s been reading, from the local library. This one from the series is called Camping Time. Written by comedian Anh Do, these books centre on a sausage dog called Hot Dog, and his friends, with the adventures they get up to featuring in some wacky way or another.

Well, she started reading from about page 26, since that was what she was up to the other night.

She kept reading…

And reading…

And reading…

AND she got to the end of the book! She had read up to page 113, which means she had almost gone through 100 pages!

WHAT?!

She was on a mission. Aimed at primary school kids, it’s an easy to read page-turner, with large graphics, speech bubbles and engaging sound effects on each page! And on she went, and she did it all.

I’m so proud of her, but mostly I’m happy she chose to do it on her own. Hubbie and I told her multiple times to leave it for another day, but she persisted…

And just look where she ended up. Unbelievable.

I hope this helps her appreciate books and stories a lot more now. 💖📚

#1738 Day 240 of getting there: The Cat in the Hat

Sometimes we go through busy times.

Hard times.

Difficult days.

And everything else falls to the wayside, while we try to cope.

It’s been one of those days… weeks… months.

And one of the things that has fallen to the wayside has been baby girl’s nightly reading.

I realised that I haven’t gotten her to read to us since last week. So I said tonight, “let’s read,” and waited to see what book she’d bring over from her room.

THE CAT IN THE HAT.

A classic, for sure.

She started to read… and I started to forget.

Forget about everything else going on… and instead, I remembered.

Remembered all that is good. All that is right.

I listened to the joy in baby girl’s voice. Reminisced on my early childhood reading.

And we listened, and watched, as she turned page after page…

Reading and reading…

I had said to her “we can help you read a page here or there if you like.”

But, NOPE.

She read the WHOLE thing!

All 61 pages!

Crap! I wasn’t expecting that. Neither the length, or her dedication to the task.

But she did it, we listened, and it was a beautiful way to both forget, and remember… if only for a little while… 💖

“Sometimes, the worst place to be is in your own head.”

#1671 Day 173 of getting there: school iso feedback

It’s interesting to get feedback from your child’s teacher on their school progress.

It’s even better when the feedback is good. 🤩

I had an online conference call with baby girl’s teacher today. She’s been doing well for the level she’s at… but my main happiness came when she told me baby girl is past the expected reading level for this time of year.

My eyes, shone.

I mean, I read. I write. I don’t expect my daughter to love to read, and write.

Well, I do expect her to appreciate reading, and to be well-read.

Which is why we read, often, and I try to get her to read independently as much as she can. She was put into an extra reading group at the start of the year as well, so to hear now that she has jumped 5 reading levels since the beginning, and can probably even go up another level soon…

I had to hold back the tears. I was super grateful. Super happy.

I still am. 😍💖

#1667 Day 169 of getting there: finding the meaning of life, amidst death

I was beyond shocked at about midday today.

I was working from home when an old work colleague called me.

She told me that a mutual friend of ours, our old work friend, had died.

She cried, and I said ‘Oh my God,’ repeatedly.

It wasn’t that much of a shock. In terms of, we knew she had been battling a serious illness for years now.

But she had been winning. She had been beating it, time and time again, and I really felt like her bubbly personality and upbeat attitude would actually kick its arse.

I really did. I thought she had.

I read her posts on facebook, and I also followed her journey, taking in eagerly her updates that she was getting better, she was part of the small percentage that was still alive since her original diagnosis, watching her face on the screen of my mobile, all happy and positive, the way I used to see her when we worked together.

Back in the party shop days, when we were both in uni. We’d usually work the same Friday night shift, 4pm-8pm, and she’d fill me in on her weekend plans, the clubs she would frequent, the friends she would go out with. She was so bubbly. So positive. I don’t think I ever saw her mad. EVER. Even when a sad or sore topic crossed her lips, all it did was lower her voice, make her eyes go distant for only a moment…

But then she’d be back. That happy girl we all knew.

Today on the phone, my old work friend cried. I just stared at my computer screen, my mind blank with shock. I told her I’d call her back to have a good chat… I was at work, and had to process it all. She urged me to check out the facebook page that confirmed the sad news.

We hung up, and I knew I shouldn’t have… not just because I was at work, but because my mind was already becoming a jumbled mess.

But I did. I looked up the facebook page and burst into tears.

Why? Why her? How? She was 2 years younger than me. She was 34 when she died, months ago, and we’d only found out now. My heart sobbed. I felt sad all over. I thought of her again and again, her fight, her courage, her strength…

I struggled to think of memories. They were from so long ago, over a decade now. But slowly they came back, more and more.

Her long nails that she kept immaculate, strong and healthy despite all the balloons we tied and dust we encountered.

I remembered her 21st birthday. It was in a huge hall and she had hundreds of people there. She was dating a guy she was rapt about at the time, but he ended up to be a bit of a douche. I have to say, I wasn’t surprised about him when she later told us.

But I was beyond floored to hear the news of her death today.

Why? How? How did this happen? She had a loving family. A wide circle of friends.

She was going places. She loved her job. She was motivated. Dedicated. hard-working. Fun and cheeky and hilarious.

How did this happen?

This afternoon, my thoughts went into a deep, dark place. I cried over my keyboard, and then Hubbie came home for lunch and I cried some more.

He just nodded. He understood.

I told him I was scared. “What’s the point of life… we’re all leading towards death, or heading towards watching all our loved ones die. I’m scared to love anyone.”

I struggled with these thoughts. To and fro I went, battling, thinking of her, thinking how life was scary, life was unfair… life didn’t ask you. Things happened.

Things just happened.

Nothing mattered anymore. All this coronavirus crap… seriously who cared?

We were alive! We were breathing. Hell even if I felt pain somewhere, it meant I was alive.

I was feeling. Breathing.

A few little things made me realise what was important in the second part of the day. I finished work, and instead of rushing off to do home-schooling, and start the whole routine of getting jobs done, I sat with baby girl. Watched her draw with some colouring pens she’d re-discovered.

We had our coffee break on the balcony.

I used my eyes to look at the water.

My hands to wave at the passing neighbour.

I smelt the coffee with my nose.

I felt the sunshine on my face.

I heard the wind breathing as it wrapped the warmth of Spring around us.

I was alive.

We took a walk around the block. I needed it. We looked at houses. We counted street signs. We laughed. Touched leaves. Ran.

At home, I read, on whim. I’ve been holding back, trying to not read as much in order to motivate myself to catch up on my Book Reviews for my blog… but it’s made my soul sad. My soul wants to read. I want to read.

So I read a chapter just before dinner.

Yes, if you looked at it deeply, darkly… we were all leading to inevitable death. Ours, or everyone around us.

And we didn’t know what would come first.

Bleak, yes. Not very glass half-full at all.

But we had this life to live… and to love, was to live. We had to spend our time on this earth making the most of it, enjoying the little moments, using our senses, experiencing them, and being grateful that we were granted time on this earth at all.

Doing what we wanted. What made us feel good, in our core. I realised I had really followed my heart today, because the news of our work friend passing was so upsetting, I had to do something to make myself feel better…

I am still so profoundly sad. I think of her and I feel like crying all over again. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe she’s not here anymore.

Despite everything, I spent my time doing something for me today. Something to make me smile through my sadness. Something to make me happy through my tears.

And it was made all the more meaningful tonight. Baby girl kept asking for kiss after kiss after hug after hug from us, as she lay in bed tonight. It became a joke to her, saying “one more,” every time we moved back.

But it meant something entirely different to me.

“Yes honey. One more.”

And more. And more.

And more.

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

RIP SJ. 💖🙏

#1608 Day 110 of getting there: A trip down babysitters lane

Don’t tell me pruning isn’t therapeutic.

I’ve been going to town on our front yard. Yesterday I was getting rid of weeds from one side of the yard, all these fiddly, annoying, tiny weeds that take all this major wrist action to rip out.

But then I went to the other side of the yard, along the fence, and there were these HUGE MOFO weeds… and yet they came out so easily.

When I told Hubbie last night he said “of course, the soil is softer there.”

Ahhh. That explains it.

So today I returned to the fence side of the yard.

It was soooo satisfying.

I ripped out ALL the weeds alongside the fence. They were massive, and I got them ALL OUT.

After such a massive effort, I went inside, had my babycino and coffee break with baby girl…

And then we sat on the couch, to relax and Netflix.

I was really excited, because not only was it a show I was really curious to see, but I thought it might also kind of interest baby girl.

The Babysitters Club!

When I heard the popular book series that I started reading in the 90s, was coming to the small screen via Netflix, I didn’t actually think I would watch it.

Would it suit me, NOW? This 30-something year old (emphasis on ‘something’) watching some early teen girls go through childhood woes and crushes while looking after little kids?

But then I actually read an article saying that older folk (ahem) would enjoy going back and reminiscing about the characters they loved delving into back then, while also appealing to the new middle-grade, tween audience.

Hmmm.

I know baby girl is only 6, but I felt it might be something we could meet in the middle with, and enjoy together.

I loved Ann M. Martin’s books growing up. I still have original books from the series, stashed upstairs in a box, and I told baby girl today that one day she could read them too.

I gained a lot of joy along with many other things, from reading the series growing up. This led to me appreciating the form of the story, the development of the story arc, engaged in watching the characters grow, and the sheer joy of writing which I obviously developed over the years.

The verdict from the show? I actually LOVED it. Baby girl enjoyed it too, though she asked many questions, like at the start, “where is the Babysitters Club?”

“They haven’t started it yet honey.” (In the first two minutes!)

There are plenty of themes of friendship, some mention of boys, the issues of blended families AND even the hints of eating disorders, which I know to be true to the original, because I remember coming across the theme in the books I read so long ago.

A great Netflix watch, it’s light-hearted for the younger girls in your life… or just for those of us wanting a trip down memory lane…

#1595 Day 97 of getting there: to have like-minded souls

It was wonderful that we got to see some of our dearest friends tonight.

Via Zoom, of course. 😉

We had a great chat with bestie and her hubbie via our computers. I tell you, technology is a Godsend at this phase of our lives.

You can’t be with loved ones, but by seeing them live, hearing their voices, and watching their mannerisms, in their lounge rooms, (with their pets!)… it’s the next best thing to being there with them.

After the video call was over Hubbie and I spoke about how wonderful it’d been to catch up with familiar faces, and people that we cared for. And I don’t know how it came into my mind, but I said to Hubbie “you don’t have to have the same interests. It’s not about that. It’s about finding like-minded people.”

Because we don’t all have to like the same things. Do the same things. Go to the same places. Eat the same food, or sleep the same way.

It’s about how our minds work. And you seek out people who are reflective of your morals, attitudes, and generally your way of life.

I don’t need everyone in my life to love writing. I don’t even need them to love reading. I don’t need them to love cats, yoga, the fact that I can’t stop listening to Queen at the moment…

I just need them to get me, and I want to get them.

It was a really lovely thing to contemplate, after a video call with friends who get us… as we get them.