#597 A well-read break in the afternoon sun

I had many options.

1, I could wash those growing stacks of dishes that had accumulated in the sink throughout the day.

B.  I could write, in any of my writing projects – just pick an avenue: book review, journaling, updating my SmikG page… I would not be bored.

c) I had emails to send, and phone calls to make, regarding our upcoming kitchen reno project.

8: There were also messages to be sent out, to various professionals and also close friends.

Z – I could even dedicate some learning time to baby girl, or break out the sports bra and Zumba away.

But I chose to do NONE of those things.

I looked out at the GLORIOUS day, as Macklemore sings it, and also, baby girl’s new favourite song to sing…

…and I thought, how could I possibly stay inside on a day like today? I had to shirk all my responsibilities and to-dos, and do something else…

I don’t just love coffee. And aside from baby girl, my family, and shopping, and heading outdoors, and looking at sunsets and dancing in the kitchen, there is something else I love, that I don’t get to do as much as I wish to, but it will always and forever remain an intense, deep, reliable, faithful LOVE of mine.

Reading.

I took a new book from the bookshelf that I hadn’t yet opened, and sat outside on our bench, the afternoon sun warming me right up as I turned a couple of dozen pages.

Baby girl found me and brought out a sticker book, sitting on the concrete before me and getting to work.

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Sure, she interrupted my reading every 30 seconds. Sure, at the beginning I got up more than I was sitting down and enjoying the moment, either to help her or get ourselves some sunnies and hats for protection.

Sure, it wasn’t ALL peace and quiet.

But sitting there with my girl at my side, the sparkling water before us, and with Spring putting on a quite stunning show, I felt so relaxed. So at ease. And so ‘me’ again.

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#593 Stupid time-wasters…

I feel soooo guilty.

I actually don’t have all that much time to spend doing what I wanna do. I am constantly in a state of ‘must-write,’ and yet having a little girl and a part-time job, a fussy (yet so lovable) Hubbie, and constant 24 hour responsibilities OF LIFE, mean I don’t get to write as much as, or when, I’d like to.

I don’t even get to watch the TV shows I love. My Foxtel planner is currently full of 50+ unwatched Bold and the Beautiful eps, and the only reason I get to watch the current season of The Bachelorette is because I practically demand it.

I haven’t even watched any NEW movies, for about 5 years now, let alone an old fave, in soooo long. I am hanging.

Which is why, to do a totally useless thing, a completely time-wasting activity, feels so horrible, and yet at the same time, so so good…

sodapop

Hangs head in shame.

I know. I am sooo late to the party. I think this was huge 5 years ago, and yet for some reason still unknown to me, when I saw the link on my computer as I was adding up sums on my laptop calculator for ‘boring as bat-shit’ bills, I thought “is this a freebie?”

I didn’t expect it to be a full-blown game. I thought it would be ‘meh,’ and not only ‘meh,’ but it would immediately lead me to a section where I would have to go online to pay before I could gain full access to the game.

But it didn’t.

And so for nights now, after doing my obligatory writing projects (gratitude post, personal journal) I have been moving up stages in Candy Crush Soda Saga.

God Help Me. I am up to Stage 17. And even earlier today, as I had 20 minutes or so to wait until my cauliflower soup had simmered to a ready stage, instead of doing something useful online, say, like ANY writing…

I moved up 3 stages. Damn.

I am getting really addicted. I feel bad to be doing something so trivial, so useless, and so inconsequential to the progression of LIFE, but I think at the same time that is what is so appealing about it all …

Because as Women, Wives and Mothers, our lives are full to the brim with responsibility and jobs and routine and drop-offs and lunches and cooking and cleaning and bills and paperwork and work work work work work of ALL KINDS.

So although there are so many things that need constant doing…

Sometimes, not doing anything important at all, feels like the most freeing, and therefore important thing to do.

Yes, this post is about my gratitude to Candy Crush. Yes, I know. I never ever ever EVER thought…

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#578 Mumhood moments

I was going to write about something completely different tonight, and even that it took ages to get inspired about.

Nothing particularly bad happened today, yet at the same time, there was nothing novel.

Nothing novel to write about (yes, deliberate pun).

And then I took my laptop to bed, opened it up, and found this

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and suddenly I had a new reason to be grateful.

Baby girl had given me the sticker earlier in the day, because I had been a “good good girl.”

When a 4 year-old gives you a sticker, that’s something spesh.

And I realised once again, that I am at a beautiful time of life, and though it be on my very important writing equipment, I will take all the stickers now, while I can.

#548 Returning to Island time

I wrote a post very early this year about a photo I took while on holiday with Hubbie at Phillip Island, many many many years ago.

Not only did this photo stay with me due to it being taken at a highly creative and deeply personal awakening time for me, but its strong and subtle message of taking it easy while being on an island, sang an especially sweet song. It spoke of not just relaxing into the moment, but allowing all worries and stresses to melt away as you succumbed to the slow-down pace of a more mindful part of the world.

Well today after about 5 years, we were back at Phillip Island.

Then it had been a still and sunny, though cloudy January day.

Today it had been a grey, incessantly rainy, and hair-flailing windy August day.

Then there had been an abundance of tourists everywhere lapping up the scenery.

Today there had been few overseas people about, the streets mostly empty and quiet.

Then the shops and cafes had been bursting with livelihood and excitement amongst the best time of the year.

Today there were more shops blackened and closed, than were open.

Then I had taken my sweet time to take the best shot possible of my favourite pic, angling the camera just the right way to get the best light, while using the poster’s message to take it slow and take it in, in my task.

Today I had forgotten about the poster on the passing building until we were nearly past it, and I made Hubbie slow down in the middle of the round-a-bout while I made a mad scramble for my phone and took a hasty shot of it again.

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I didn’t even get ALL the words in.

And yet I didn’t care. The people, conditions and comparison didn’t matter to me: all that was important was that the poster, the message was still there. And as long as that poster was in that same spot, that meant it was always going to be island time.

And it forever will be, rain, hail or shine.

(The background tree photo on my SmikG blog is of the Phillip Island iconic trees on the main strip, an ode to the time when an especially important story and group of characters came to life in my head…

#540 Her phrases

We are driving home from Spotlight. In the car, and it has just started to rain.

“Mama! Wipe wipe wipe!”

Baby girl wants me to put the wipers on. I flick the wand, and the wipers move across the window.

“Good job Mama.”

(!)

We are driving to another shop.

“Mama, one more toy, and finish.”

She says this ALL the time. Every time she says “one more toy, and finish,” it actually NEVER EVER EVER finishes. It’s the never-ending finishing toy story, which never actually finishes, unlike the movie, which DID.

I give her a look, trying not to smile. “Baby girl, don’t be cheeky.”

She cocks her head to the side, imitating my amused smile, and laughs. “Mama,” with the same tone I used on her.

(How do I win with this super-charming and cheeky girl?)

I am cleaning up after having made a cap and babycino for baby girl and I this afternoon. She takes the empty milk canister I have on the side, placing it in the sink.

“Be careful! The milk can drip.” I try to convince her, with my own hands full, to get her to leave the canister alone. She doesn’t.

She places the lid on top, in an act of ‘packing up,’ and then starts to walk away.

“Thank me Mama.”

She wants me to thank her.

“Thanks baby girl… not that I asked you in the first place,” I mutter.

(Sigh).

She has just finished brushing her teeth. We make a HUGE deal out of this, every single time.

“Great job honey! You did so well! You are a superstar!”

“No, a rock star.”

Geez! Where did that one come from?! ;-D

(LOL LOL LOL)

Sitting on her Dad’s lap, drinking her nightly milk. She is slipping off his lap, and repositions herself on him, resulting in extreme discomfort for him. He winces, but he is well-used to this wiggle worm by now.

“Ahh,” she says, taking the milk cup from me, now that she is more comfortable.
“Much much better.”

🙂

I write these things, not only because they make me happy, and grateful for these moments that display her growing humour, personality and maturity, but also as a snapshot into our life, into her life and world, and in particular the moments captured on August the 7th 2017.

It’s the reason why I write and document life so much. I want to remember, and for my children to one day read back, and go “wow… that happened? Wow.”

Life is precious, and life with a child is a wild adventure and bag of tricks that is almost necessary to note down… because they are memories to treasure forever.

#513 The joy of coming out… as a Writer

This post has absolutely nothing to do with proclaiming that you are interested in the same sex… and yet despite the differences, I think, same same.

Because there is still fear attached.

Fear of being judged.

Fear of criticism.

Fear of gossip.

Fear of being told you’re unworthy.

Fear of people treating you differently.

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I took this pic tonight near my work. I don’t know why. I like the Ferris Wheel symbol – a huge manufactured orb-thing, shining brightly in the night, despite the shadows of black surrounding it. It is huge, and sometimes scary, but always shiny.

Wherever it shines, here it is bright.

And that’s how we should be with ourselves too.

Wherever we shine, here it should be bright.

We should not fear what others think or say about us. It is none of our business firstly, just as it is none of theirs what we think of them.

We all have our own opinions, but simultaneously, we should try and choose our company wisely, and keep those with our best interest at heart, close to us.

We should live our authentic selves, staying true to who we are and what we are here to do, and live this passion of ours as fully as we possibly can. We don’t know how long we are here for, so we should do whatever makes our hearts sing, now.

Where is all this leading?

Well, I’ve been super silent about my writings and my blogs, for many years now. Say 6 years. And in those 6 years, there are 7 people who have known what I was doing.

Only 7 people.

From last Saturday, it was 8. And from the weeks progressing forward, I will hit double digits… and keep the numbers moving up,

And you know why? Because I am ready. I’ve been thinking about telling people for a while now about what I do. But intense fear has stemmed from the almost certain  questioning and criticising that I would undoubtedly receive… and also, having people both close to me, and not so, who know who I am, reading every single one of my private thoughts that I’ve ever posted online… is terrifying.

I’ve been scared. I always knew this day of release would come, and I had to be ready for it, but I always told myself that I would ‘come out’ when I was published. When I had some kind of outside, literary confirmation that my work was good enough, then and only then would I say to everyone “hey! This is what I’ve been doing. This is me, and I am now officially “A WRITER.”’

But this is complete bull. Because you are not a Writer only because your work has been published. You are a Writer because you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and decided that this is where your passion lay.

This is what you would devote your life to.

This is what you want to do, above all else, even if you got no rewards for it.

That, is what makes you a Writer.

So, something I have feared for so long, I am getting really excited by. Because I am choosing wisely. I am choosing people to tell, who either understand and have an appreciation for the writing/reading process; those also doing what I do; and highly supportive family and friends.

I don’t need everyone to know just yet, I just need my circle to know-all. And I think that is what excites me. The fact that supportive people will be ‘in on it,’ and that with the release of the private information I’ve been guarding so closely to my chest, knowing it will be out there, well…

It scares me, excites me, and thrills me, to no end.

I don’t just write food reviews, and I don’t just write book reviews. I write about myself. My family. My fears, and my day-to-day life. My goals, my dreams, and every shit moment I have. I write about all the in-betweens, and knowing that people will be able to access this at whim, without the necessary “how’s things?” question to me at face value, does intensely freak me out and have me palpitating with sweats.

But it has to be done. I have to proclaim myself as a Writer, and I’m damn well excited about it.

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And as I came closer to the Ferris Wheel, I realised there was not much to be scared of, and it was smaller than what it seemed from afar… it was actually quite beautiful.

#500! Rum balls

Bloody sweets, again? This girl is crazy, you’ll say. All she does is bake!

Well, I didn’t bake. I rolled. And it just so happens that by pure coincidence, this week is heavy on the sweet-making front, because my cappuccino cupcakes I made half for us, half for some family earlier on in the week…

and the rum balls I rolled today, is for a shared plate I need to take to baby girl’s kinder tomorrow, for their end of term 2 PAR-TAY…

(and a little for us too).

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I mean, it would be pretty cool if I had heaps of time to just bake, and roll, and cook, and spend a heap of time making sugary-sweet-time in the kitchen… but by the same token I’m more than just a creative kitchen enthusiast, and I don’t like to be defined by just one thing. I like to spend my time outdoors, taking in sunshine, reading, shopping even when the account kind of doesn’t allow me, and jumping on trampolines… with baby girl of course.

Of course.

Oh, and writing. That little hobby too 😉

It makes sense to talk about the things I do and what makes me happy today – after all it’s a monumental post, the big 5-0-0! Woohoo! I say, make the cake, and eat all the cake!

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Well, leave some for the kiddies too. They are child-friendly in case anyone is wondering, totally rum-less.

So what exactly am I grateful for today? A whole bunch of things. I am grateful for easy recipes like rum balls, yes. I am grateful for milestones. And a big shout out to Hope too. Hope keeps my feet taking one step in front of the other. Hope keeps my chin up when things are down. Hope keeps me a glass half-full gal, and Hope is there to tell me that everything eventually works out, and everything is for a reason.

Celebrating sweet things, big numbers, and things to keep us wishing…

Thanks to you all for joining me on this ride, and here’s Hoping this 500 is the tip of the iceberg for the lifelong Gratitude Journey I am on. 🙂