Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the trudging

I had two hours to myself on Saturday - bless my husband. So I went for a walk along the seaside, and as I watched my feet, advancing, one in front of the other, over and over again, it dawned on me that this is much what my life is like at the moment.

Doing one thing after another, day after day, and doing so almost like an automat. Pretty boring and unexciting.

But then I stopped in my tracks and thought: it doesn't have to be this way. It is in my power to make a conscious decision to do a few fun things, to notice the beautiful, to treasure the moment and to transform the mundane into precious sparkling moments. So I took a few pictures for you of things that struck me as beautiful or interesting.

I saw a beautiful white flower on its own on the side of the road. Much like me at that moment, being blown around in the wind, but holding firm by its roots.
What are your roots?
For me, it's first and foremost my faith in God. Second, my husband. Third, my kids. They are my three constants, who guide me through life.

I also admired the beautiful blue and sparkling sea, the vivid azure of the sky, the soft and fluffy clouds, and the brilliantly red pohutukawa trees. I sat in awe of nature, listening to the soothing sound of the sea. My soul was overcome with peace and tranquillity. I could feel my emotional and spiritual batteries getting charged up.
It was a gift.
A magical moment that came unexpected, but which I opened myself to.


After that, it was time for a coffee. Alas, it was disappointing. Not hot enough and too bitter. However, I decided to stay in my positive frame of mind. I enjoyed sitting outside, and just watching people walk by. In the world of a Mum with young children, sitting down and doing nothing equates to a magical moment.

And as I write these words for you, I am on my own again. I feel so lucky and privileged to have a husband who sees my need for time alone and who makes it happen (and yeah - that's an empty iced coffee container in the background, tsk tsk.)
Be encouraged today.
If you feel like you're trudging along, you are not alone. Far from it. Take a minute to breathe deeply and be aware of one beautiful thing, thought, smell or person around you.
Kia kaha! Be strong!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

4 weeks of holidays to go - eeeek!

You must forgive me for not writing over the last few months. Sometimes life gets too busy and complicated, and when that happens, I find I cannot write anymore.

Have you been there, dear reader? At that point where you are so submerged in and by life and its complexities that you can't even find an outlet for your gifts? And yet, using your gifts is what essentially keeps you going, isn't it?

So here I am, dear reader. I have been stripped bare over the past few months, but here I am, and happy to be here.

What are you facing at the moment?
Are you in a happy place?
Are you in a worried place?
Are you in a sad place?
Are you in an "I don't want to feel anything anymore" place?

I'm in an anxious place.
My head knows that being anxious doesn't help:

But there it is, in its naked truth: I am anxious. I almost feel there should be an AA group for Anxious Anonymous. "Hello, my name is Ann and I'm an anxious person". Some of my anxieties are unidentifiable. It's this latent underlying feeling that usually rears its ugly head early in the mornings or late at night. The rest of the time, it rests pretty dormant, just occasionally popping out of its hole to remind me that it's still there.

Some of my anxieties, however, I can put my finger on. For example, right now, it's 4 more weeks of school holidays, with 2 kids at home, a husband working long hours, and no family around to help take off some of the load.

What am I going to do with them? Both Master 2 and Miss 5.5 are very energetic, highly interactive and extremely bright kids. Oh I have ideas of what we could do, and I always have a few ideas up my sleeve. But the hardest is the knowledge that I will not get much respite for that length of time. I've loved having a part time job outside the home. It keeps me balanced and able to give my kids the best of me when I am home. But at the moment I'm not in a position to do so very much. So while it makes me anxious, I also want to treasure the next few weeks. There will be beautiful moments. I know it.

So, I'm interested. What are your tips for surviving the long summer holidays? Please share!

I'll start:
- create some form of routine (because this works best for us);
- see friends;
- plan one non free activity per week;
- make things as fun as possible;
- stay relaxed;
- get the kids outside at least once a day;
- it's okay to put the TV on. Really, it is;
- involve the kids in baking etc;
- arrange at least 2 hours of ME TIME at the weekends - this always involves good coffee;
- plan some dates with my husband.

Kia kaha dear reader. Be strong. Keep cool.