Saturday, October 30, 2010

Returning to normal ?

Our lovely visitor (my nephew) has left and our house is strangely quiet.  It's quite amazing how the addition of one person can liven up a household.  We all have our routines, our habits and it is interesting to observe how these are changed when someone else comes to stay.  I enjoyed getting out and about a little more than usual, visiting a few places I haven't been to for a while.

We live very close to temperate rain forest and as my nephew loves to walk, we went for a walk in the forest to see a small waterfall.  I had forgotten just how lovely it is to walk in the forest and really enjoyed being reminded that this beautiful place lies on our doorstep.  The smell of the trees, the tree ferns, the undergrowth, the damp earth and all the birds making their different calls was delightful. 

My nephew comes from a dry region in Australia where it rains infrequently and running water is a novelty.  I was delighted to see the enthusiasm on his face at the sight of the small waterfall and what is really just a small creek.  We spent a very pleasant 20 minutes standing on the little bridge watching the water and tossing in leaves and twigs to see them rushing over the rocks and into the distance.  My nephew was itching to get his hands in the running water, so after a quick scramble down the embankment that's just what he did.  The enthusiasm of youth is infectious and we spent a large amount of time laughing at silly things and generally having fun.

My two daughters who are 20 and 17 enjoyed spending time with their cousin who they rarely see.  The last night he stayed with us, the four of us got caught up in a cushion fight (which I started I might add) and I can't remember the last time I laughed so much my belly hurt.  There is something quite liberating about trying to hit a very tall, strong  22 year old nephew on the head with a cushion, grabbing cushions off your opponent, dancing around chairs and sofas to avoid getting hit on the head yourself.  :-)  Don't you think it's great that a 48 year old auntie and mother can start a cushion fight and enjoy it?  Oh the bliss of not acting ones age!!!  :-)

I would have to say that I very successfully spent 3 days living in the moment while my nephew was staying with us.  Very pleasant moments they were too.

I hope everyone is going well and thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Handling the off days

I suppose it had to end, the feeling good every day.  What a lovely holiday it was waking up feeling happy, refreshed, enthusiastic and well, just well.  Today I'm off colour in every respect, but you know what, even though I feel out of it, it's o.k.  This too shall pass and who knows by this evening I may well be feeling better.

I am continually surprised by how much I am affected by stress, little stresses, big stresses, they are a direct link to my overall sense of well being.  The stress of a situation or situations is generally not going to disappear immediately.  So the question might be how to manage these so that they have minimal effect on how we feel?  Still learning how to do that but a very good start might be by living in the moment.  When I live in the moment, I'm hopefully thinking about what I'm doing right now, not about how I'm going to manage the next 6 hours or even the next 5 minutes.  I find this very hard to do because I'm generally someone who likes to be organised and plan ahead.  Sometimes that just does my head in, especially on off days.

We have a visitor coming, someone I'm looking very much forward to spending time with and I'm so annoyed that I'm feeling off.  The annoyance isn't helping me one bit, so I need to remember that people who come to visit, come to see us, not the house, the dog who smells and needs a bath, the floor that needs washing, the windows that desperately need cleaning from the dog slobber.  There will be a bed, food, shelter, love, laughter and friendship.  They are the important things, yes?

I'm about to live in the moment of eating some honey on toast (yummy homemade bread) and a lovely cup of tea.  Let the rest of the day take care of itself.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Muddling along

It's been quite a while since posting on here and I think that is mainly a good thing.  I certainly have enjoyed feeling better the last few weeks and I'm positive the nicer weather has had an impact on me.  In complete contrast to yesterday which was sunny, warm and about 28C, today is gloomy and raining with 19mm of rain falling overnight.  I do love the rain for the garden, for adding water to our water reservoirs but please bring back the sun.  PLEASE!!!

I found the stress reducing commandments below over on the delightful blog Marigold Jam.
I've seen them somewhere else before but had completely forgotten about them.  I think I might just have to add them as a permanent fixture on this blog to remind myself how important they are.

1 Thou shalt not be perfect nor even try to be
2 Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people
3 Thou shalt leave undone some things which ought to be done
4 Thou shalt not spread thyself too thin
5 Thou shalt learn to say "No"
6 Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and thy supportive network
7 Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly
8 Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and inattentive at times
9 Thou shalt not ever feel guilty
10 Especially thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy but thy best friend

I've certainly learnt some of the things on this marvellous list, others I fail at dismally.  I grapple with No. 1 continually.  I am a perfectionist by nature so living with untidyness drives me nuts.  

I would like to add another commandment to this list, 'Thou shalt not apologise to anyone for who you are.'   It's very easy to be concerned about what other people think of you when your house is less than tidy and needs a good clean.  You are still in your Pj's at 11.00am on a Saturday morning blogging when other people are out doing the weekly shop, taking the kids to sport or doing some other industrious thing.  Your mind is on some wonderful creative activity instead of making sure your daughters school clothes are being washed so she will have something to wear come Monday morning.  All in good time, it will get done eventually, just not yet.  Surely it's time for a nap.

Today might be a little less wonderful than yesterday but I'll find some things to make me smile.  I'll daydream a bit more about designing images for a lino print and try and try to loose the feeling that I might make a mistake and mess it up.  (The perfectionist side is coming out).  I'll take pleasure in the fact that yesterday I made a lovely shell and button hanging thingy to put out in my garden room.  And I'll certainly be smiling when my hubbie walks back through the door after taking Miss G. to swimming squad.
I hope everyone finds something to smile about today.


Friday, October 8, 2010

No blues

Hi there.  Something very exciting has happened to me,  I've had about 5 days of being happy all day!  I can't remember feeling so good for such a long time and I'm enjoying every moment of it.  I've had to deal with a number of things which would normally do my head in, but I've coped remarkably well.

I have been totally immersed in creativity which may have something to do with it, or perhaps it's more daylight hours and I'm making vitamin D.  I don't really care what the explanation is, I'm enjoying the ride.

This morning I attempted to make my own stamps for the first time.  Inspiration for this project lies firmly with Chantal    of  Chantal Vincent Art.  I'll probably show the results on my other blog.  It was nice to be learning a new crafty skill, another thing to add to my growing list of crafty interests.

I must away to pick up Miss G. from school.

Have a great weekend,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lost in a world of creativity

In complete contrast to yesterday, today has been a better day.  Routines are good things as they force you to be active.  So much so that I even swept and mopped the floor and now I feel like I've got some head space.  Back to that thought in a moment.

My oil painting classes resumed today so I was able to enter that magical world of creativity, being lost in strokes of brush against canvas, colours, the smell of paint and turps.  A little bit of conversation with fellow artists, admiring the photos and paintings our teacher took and painted from her recent trip to France (she flew in this morning) and the the tranquility that comes from doing something you love.

Before painting class I cut out a pattern to make a little bird made from fabric.  I've been yearning to make some since I've started blogging and seen them on other blogs.  They look so cute.  So two creative opportunities in one day  Sigh.  (A good sigh).

Back to thoughts on head space.  Does anyone have a theory on why clutter in our houses makes us feel like we are cluttered in the head?  I'd like to understand the psychology behind it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Irrational thoughts

This morning we awoke to another beautiful sunny day, perfect for hanging clothes on the line and other general outside activities.  But what was I thinking about?  I really need to vacuum and wash the floor, it hasn't been done for ages.  I was quite prepared to get out the vacuum cleaner and mop and clean away.

But something happened in between waking up, breakfast and a shower.  I went from downright cheerful to panic attack in about 15 minutes.  I have no idea what bought this all on.  Well perhaps I do, it's the contemplating back to the routine, stresses and what I talked about yesterday.  Funny how we think we are o.k. with it all but the subconscious is doing it's thing.

After my shower I came out looking for hubbie as a he gives the best hugs in the world and that is usually something that helps me catch my breath and calm down.  I couldn't find him.  I looked in all the usual places he might be.  No hubbie.  Then I realised his car wasn't in the driveway.  He never goes anywhere without telling me he is going out or leaving a note.  By this time I was seriously freaking out as this was such uncharacteristic behaviour for him.  (I'd just like to point out here, I do not stop my gorgeous hubbie from doing his own thing.  I'm not a controlling wife, shudder, we just always let each other know where we will be etc.)  His phone and wallet were gone, Miss C. had already gone for the day and Miss G. had just risen from her slumber so she was in the dark as to his location as well.  I rang his mobile only to get voice mail.  FREAKING OUT BIG TIME NOW!  About 5 minutes after I rang he phoned me to see what I wanted.  Oh it was so good to hear his voice.  Apparently he had taken Miss C. to the bus 'cos she was running late, had decided to take a little detour on the way home and when I rang, his phone was not connected to hands free and had fallen on the floor of the car.

When I knew he was safe, hadn't done a runner, I cried bucket loads.  Silly irrational thoughts, he would never run off and leave me ever.  He is just not that type of person.   It wasn't about me not believing in him or trusting him, it was about me being in a fragile emotional state and allowing my world to tilt.

So this brings me to the question I've been pondering for some time now.  Am I too dependent on my hubbie for my emotional strength?  Am I too reliant on him to get me through my difficult times?  Do I need to develop a bit more backbone?  I believe I need to.  So how do you learn to be self reliant emotionally while maintaining the sharing in a relationship?  It's a big one, isn't it?  I also want to teach my daughters by example that we have the ability to be emotionally self reliant.  I sure don't feel like I'm doing that at the moment.

Does anyone else grapple with this?   Many people don't have partners, what do they do to cope, to be emotionally self reliant?  There is no choice for them.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No routines, less stress.

Today was a gorgeous day weather wise, the first warm day we've had in a long, long time.  Our winter has been incredibly long, grey, wet and cold and it's a time when I never get enough vitamin D. 

When I woke up this morning and saw all that sunshine, there was only one thing I felt like doing and that was get out into the garden and tackle some of the weeds that still managed to grow without sunshine during the cold months.  It felt soooo good to get my hands in the soil again, to breathe in fresh air, to be totally absorbed in something I love without any distractions.

We have had school holidays here for the past two weeks so there has been a little bit of respite from the normal routine which I hate so much.  Deadlines, schedules, demands, have to do this, must do that.  The absence of the stresses of the normal routine have made me realise just how much I don't do routines.  Well I do them, but not well.   Routines cause me stress and stress contributes to depression.

With Miss G. on school holidays, she's not as stressed either.   It's surprising to realise just how much of her stress filters through to me.   I suppose that's because she chats to me about her homework deadlines, difficulties with certain subjects etc.  So how do I learn not take the stress of everybody else on board.  I don't know.

Does anybody else struggle with this?  I'd love to hear about your strategies.

Wishing you a stress free Sunday.