Because I let time get away, I'm catching up!
Wrapping up 2020 and still quietly contemplating my intentions for 2021.
I stuck this together,
in a kind attempt to not overload your inbox,
though I've more to ponder,
more to say,
so please excuse the spurt of activity...
it will pan out and find a rhythm soon!
This is me keeping track of myself.
Seems I'm a mixed media human too!
with peculiar consistency,
slow and steady,
full of wonder and dreaminess,
overwhelmed with happy-sad emotions,
inspiration and desire,
wishing to do everything
contradictory and nonsensical,
I am me.
It got way too hot, too soon!
counting down school weeks
going through the motions
staying up late
Before I knew it, 2020 was gone!
December was a blur even though it felt slow.
I headed to the coast.
I caught a summer cold and got my first covid test.
Grey days and regular rain have been glorious.
I stretched myself out, continuing some pottery glazing and helping friends at their native plant nursery.
It is a crazy month for making as the days fill up with end of year stuff, so there will be catch up to do.
I tend to get quiet and reflective this time of year.
It certainly has been ripe with emotional upheavals!
Last months heat has evened out and the festive season was cooler and wetter than it has been for years, so refreshing.
I am always seeking out new perspectives.
I have a tendency of overthinking situations and often feel like I’ve missed something, that I’m over invested, over talking, over emotional, over acting... all of which leads to me and others, feeling overwhelmed!
I listened to a meditation this week titled doing the best they can, from https://www.facebook.com/bodyandsoulretreats/
with Kelly Hine which shared the following thoughts;
“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” ~Brené Brown
Everyone is doing the best that they can with the understanding and resources they have. Adopting this belief changes our relationship to ourselves and to others.
Deepak Chopra said, “People are doing the best that they can from their own level of consciousness.
This was helpful because I am living with teenagers in isolation.
I am full of assumptions, judgments, shoulds, why nots and lots of feeling disregarded and I just don’t get it!
I’m not even sure what is right or wrong anymore...does it really matter if they sleep all day, stay up or night and not help much?
Does it REALLY MATTER? And if it does, who does it matter to?
It doesn’t matter for them, it only seems to matter to me.
I’m the one letting myself be weighed down by feelings of sadness and disappointment.
I mean if we are all happier and quieter doing our own thing, it’s obviously easier and nicer for everyone.
Can I get by with minimums? Yes I can. Do I have to do everything for them? No I don’t.
Can I see the positives? Yes I can, we are all safe, sound, comfortable and as well as can be expected.
I don’t want to make excuses for laziness or a lack of consideration.
I do want to let them live and learn. As a parent that means giving the benefit of the doubt, accepting, adapting, allowing...myself as much as them! It isn’t easy but if I look through a different lens and focus on the positive, on love, on what I have, what I’m grateful for, all the rest seems obsolete.
Before too long they will fly free back into the world. They’ll get it right, make mistakes and figure it out as they go. So for now I’LL DO MY BEST to enjoy my hibernating zombie vampire teenagers in all their adolescent glory!
How about too much?
Why or how is that a problem you ask?
Well, as incredibly grateful as I am about feeling awe-struck on a regular basis, my difficulty lies in using this gift constructively.
You are correct. Inspiration isn’t really the problem; cleverly managing my self discipline is! I get easily caught up in all of the amazing-ness around me. Call it sensory overload, so many ideas and possibilities - who hasn’t peeked at Pinterest and got lost for hours scrolling through all that wonder? Or given in to the temptation of ALL those books to read among other distractions?
Maybe I am over ambitious, lazy, slack, too hard (or easy) on myself or a combination of all of the above, organisational fine points are tricky. For me.
Reining it all in and focusing on one or two projects at a time is challenging. Using time efficiently is super challenging.
My life load is fairly average - juggling teaching, library shifts, commuting, study, domestic bliss (me and the fur balls) and parenting from a distance (which basically means they call me when they need something). Nothing overly demanding.
It’s not that I don’t manage, I do. On the surface, I’m doing ok. I make and create often. I just don’t feel as on top of it as I could or should be.
Yep, I could do more.
Should I? (Don’t you love that word - should, uh-huh).
Perhaps that is the million dollar question...who says I should?
On whose authority?
Give your/myself a break!
Maybe it isn’t about any of these things? After all, a problem is only a problem if we let it be one. Owning and accepting my pace, my processes, quietening down my mental 🤪mind, letting it all simply BE and enjoying where ever it takes me. Slow and steady, full of gratefulness. (I feel better already).
Not experiencing or sharing my finest moments lately. So many emotional outbursts from uncontrollable sobbing to desperate verbal showers...usually at moments when I’d rather be cool calm collected competent professional.
Feeling ANGRY is so foreign.
There is nothing comfortable about it.
I like my creative positive me better.
Time to revive myself and get my sparkle back.
Serious nurturing required, no quick fixes, simple effort action motivation mindfulness and posterior shove. Time to enjoy spring flowers and make more lists!
I have been dozing off a lot lately, usually right in the middle of reading or writing, which leaves me attempting to fill in the gaps.
My birthday was quietly lovely, with pre-day roaming in Tamworth, a little op shopping, a cafe brunch and a good dose of forest bathing.
On the day itself, Artemis organised some surprise visits and I chatted with Armand about accepted birthday celebration etiquette, (especially your mum’s). Not sure what the teenage boy standard is but I had to let him know that weird, grumpy, dismissive and slack is NOT acceptable! (He eventually caught up and found me a stunning gift while in Vietnam), wonder how he’ll go on Mother’s Day!
And yes, it does make me feel like a boring, nag of a mum, though the hope is that he will remember to celebrate special people and moments thoughtfully in the future. #parentingbliss
Though I have been writing, I haven’t been blogging as such. I also unfortunately, lost all my iPad notes which simply decided to disappear from one day to the next for no apparent reason. No luck in retrieving them and it’s probably best that I don’t remember exactly what I had. Very annoying.
Chances are the gaps won’t be filled till later with Vietnam almost upon us!
I’ve been feeling so angry this week.
The kind of anger I rarely feel.
The kind of anger that makes me feel like screaming and swearing.
If you know me, you probably understand why this is weird for me.
I am not an angry person.
I get flustered, sometimes annoyed and I rarely swear.
It was the usual scenario of one thing then other things piling on
when you are emotionally raw and vulnerable, therefore less able to cope well.
It’s hard to keep your cool and remain positive when you feel so crabby.
Then I get annoyed with myself for letting unimportant stuff get to me,
but hey, I’m human and I deserve to be treated as such...
In a situation, a world where respect is a given.
REALLY! Oh no, I’m not going down the global track.
Way too depressing, besides, in my little world
I am surrounded by respect and support.
I just lose sight occasionally and momentarily struggle to find meaning to grasp on to.
Maybe we can ponder on the possible influences of super full moons, windy days,
Crazy hot days, change of seasons or the alignment of the planets, (is Mars lightning fires
in my celestial houses...now that would explain all those hot flushes!).
In the midst of it all, I saved myself by making;
a little red dress,
Crepes with maple syrup and strawberries,
Listening to The Smiths and The Church
smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and dukkah
A handful of hand bound books,
Pear, cinnamon and raspberry clafoutis
Reading, writing, mind mapping and watching episodes of a sappy series,
Though not all on the same day!
Method & madness
Anytime is a good time for a little self reflection and care.
I have often been told that I am easy going, laid back, calm - some have even told me I am too calm!
On the whole I feel pretty relaxed, so my recent realisation/awakening that I am not as cruise-y as I feel was kind of a surprise. How we feel we are isn’t necessarily the same energy that others feel from us.
Nothing new there really. How often do any of us wonder about how others perceive us or wish we could see ourselves from the outside?
How does a generally unstressed person stress?
Well, I believe in the same way I do many things, it comes in spurts.
> Beginning of school year/term is usually overwhelming until I figure out what I’m doing, then it’s just a question of improvisation and surviving the daily flow of surprises.
> time management/organisational tasks - the time it takes to find strategies that work, juggling the daily flow of jobs, parenting, STUFF. Despite being a list lover, it’s not often that everything gets done.
I am also a slow and steady paced person. I can move quickly when I have to but I like to take my time, whether it’s eating, walking, making, being. I like taking time to be in and enjoy what I’m doing, to experience life as best I can especially the little stuff.
> household chores can be a drag, (I never feel cruise-y when I have to ask the same things over and over...#life with teenagers!) though we seem to have found a system that works for the moment, fingers crossed!
I imagine having super organised work and living spaces but I haven’t got there yet so it’s quite handy not being a perfectionist!
> I’ve figured over time that I like to be in control. Not in the sense that I want to take over things. I like to be in control of my faculties, of my person, to have the ability to act and cope when needed for myself and for others, as a parent, as an educator, as a community member, as a human. Feeling helpless in a situation can be overwhelming, scary, disappointing.
So I am careful not to take on too much responsibility. Enough that I feel confident in performing well is good. I don’t want to disappoint others or myself and I can always build on this.
> Decision making can be tricky too and I have definitely stressed over it, wondering and worrying over whether I am making the right choices. Fortunately on a day to day basis it’s not much of an issue, but bigger things can take up my headspace for awhile.
Mmmm, so when I break it down like this, I hardly seem relaxed.
(Is this what Sharon and Armand (“No mum, you’re not that cruise-y”) were referring to?)
This is one of the many reasons why friends and family are important, they help us keep perspective. I have always enjoyed pondering over life, the universe and everything so taking time out to reflect and self evaluate is one of my valued rituals.
I even it all out spending my weekends indulging in lazy mornings, baking for neighbours, making crepes, reading, watching a movie and creative stuff like sewing, letter writing, bookbinding, paper making to name a few.
So I am a little bit of lots of things depending on which way the scales lean. I liken myself to being a ‘muddle headed wombat’, though once I have a plan, direction or focus, I’m okay. I work hard on motivation, it doesn’t come naturally. I have to drag myself away from comfy distractions, it’s so easy to get off task.
I am probably not unlike anyone reading this; not quite as confident as I could be, comparing myself against others and social expectations.
It’s the standard recipe for never feeling satisfied, content or happy even though we know it’s unrealistic.
Lucky for me I prefer to ponder on the positive, there is always plenty of it.
I am falling behind this week. It isn't a huge problem but we all know what happens when we let things lag, catching up is hard work.
I try to embrace my slumps as much as I can but that doesn't keep the frustration at bay. I am not...wait, I need to turn this around.
I often overthink things which sometimes leaves me feeling overwhelmed.
I am slow and steady.
Once I find my starting point, things usually come together quickly.
Maybe messy beginnings allow me to reign in the essential or maybe that's the way it flows sometimes.
I am as confident as the next person which, from what I've understood. isn't as much as I should be.
I get things done.
I doubt. I try not to but I do. Mostly I doubt myself.
I am fairly trusting of people though I try to be cautious.
I trust my instincts, my intuition is rarely wrong, though I try to look at things from all perspectives.
I am easily distracted.
I have lots of ideas.
These ideas excite me.
I strive for optimism.
Living positively is as natural a high as they come!
And yet, occasionally I feel like I'm kidding myself.
I am made up of contradictions.
My energy fluctuates like teenage mood swings.
Sometimes all I want to do is stop;
To stop in front of the TV and binge for a day,
To escape between the pages of a good book,
To drink bottomless cups of tea,
To do anything except what I know I should be doing.
I am human.
No surprises there.
None of this makes any any sense or difference to anyone but me.
So in my long winded way I get to the point.
I find my way.
This weekend I didn't feel like doing anything.
I felt physically, emotionally and mentally lumpy.
Perhaps it is befitting that my succulent terrarium was made during a dry spell in the middle of a downpour.
Nothing like dipping your hands in good earthy energy and the promise of new life.
Succulent, from the Latin sucus meaning juice or sap, is one of my favourite words. It has a juicy feel in the mouth. It arouses the senses with culinary associations.
A lovely way to finish the week after feeling two-dimensional for most of it.
in the middle of my face
small curvy lines
define this nose
which is right there
plain and invisible
we look past it
into the eyes
which frame it
and yet this nose is preciously
through which I breathe life
and smell the roses
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.