Category Archives: Goals

2013: Bring it on!!

My word is calm, and I’m keeping my goals simple and realistic, while ensuring they still pose a challenge:

1, Run 10k during local running festival in September

2, Juice daily

3, Read the 10 Aussie Books to Read Before You Die

4, Take part in 52 Week of Grateful again, but this time posting 52/52

I have a couple of others but they’re not really specific and measureable, as we all know goals should be! I shall mention them regardless, however, as they run within everything else I do:

a, I still get resentful at times, mostly of my husband. I need to work on that, as I did last year. I am much better than I was but we begin this year with massive change as we now have a newborn plus a toddler and well, in all honesty it’s hard dealing with the constant exhaustion, incessant demands, and 24/7 responsibilities of managing my family, much as I love them! And sometimes I don’t deal well with it all and I take it out on my beloved. I’m recognising that. Which is a start, right? 😉

b, Stay on my Mindful path – keep learning, practicing, working on it. Because I know it works!

Happy New Year! X

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#reverb12 Day 26: How will you make time?

How very apt that today’s #reverb12 prompt should be about making time! When both my children are sleeping, as they are now, I feel I have a modicum of control over things. The rest of the time, not so much! I am told that things will get easier, and I know it is true, but right now I’m in the thick of it with a toddler and a breastfeeding five week old. My time is not my own to prioritse beyond making sure I eat properly. Sleeping is rather outwith my powers as I grab what I can between night feeds. As for “sleep when the baby sleeps” during the day, well that’s all very well until you have more than one child – and a burning desire for a little bit of time to yourself when a small miracle happens and they are both asleep at the same time!

{24 hours later}

How do you intend to carve out more time for the things that are the most important to you in 2013?

1, Get up 30 minutes before husband leaves for work regardless of who else is asleep so I have time to shower, dress, put on a load of washing and eat some cereal, so I can start the day in a better frame of mind to PLAY! Because my children are what’s most important to me and they need me to play with them, not be a frazzled, distracted wreck first thing.

2, Start expressing in about 8 weeks so that husband can be left alone with the baby as well as Miss M and I can get out on my own now and then – primarily so I can start running again. It’s really important to me that I start running again – so very good for my mental health and also I really want to lose the baby weight and get myself back in shape. One of my 2013 goals is to take part in our local running festival in September, either 10k or half marathon, and serious training will be required.

3, Whenever I chance to have both girls sleeping at the same time in the afternoon, after eating (always most important) I will take 30 minutes just to sit down and read a book or blog or sew or watch something on the iViewer instead of runninga round doing chores. It’s most important that I get some me time to avoid burnout  –  and just to stay smiling for my family!

4, Stop obsessively checking Facebook, so many hours are sucked away!!! There are so many other things that are more important to me. Facebook has become a bit of a bad habit – I so appreciate the connection during my SAHM day-to-day, but I don’t need quite so much, and that time can be much better spent. I intend to disconnect from social media more in 2013, because pretty much everything is more important than Facebook and Twitter!

And now, my time is up!

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

Meditation update: epic fail!

Toward the end of the week before last I challenged myself to manage just five minutes of meditation for seven consecutive days. Alas, it did not go well. Days 3 and 4 didn’t even actually happen and by Day 5 it was abundantly clear that independent meditation was not working for me. Or I was not working for it? It’s only five minutes, after all! Day 6 I managed but Day 7 was forgotten as Life got in the way once again. In my defence we have had a lot going on at home in addition to my being almost 36 weeks pregnant and in sole charge of a very energetic and willful toddler for the best part of most days. Perhaps this is not the best time to begin my meditative journey? And yet, I believe that the coming weeks and months are when I am most going to need it. Quandary!

I came across an interesting article today over at the Buddhism Now blog that has helped me to realise that meditating should not be about putting pressure on myself:

We have a tendency to think that meditation is something we’ve got to achieve, another thing we‘ve got to do and get, but Ajahn Chah would put it in terms of a holiday. Try that, try seeing meditation in that way.

The author also suggests that meditation can be seen:

 as awakened-ness and awareness, mindfulness, so that it actually is something you develop throughout your daily life in whatever way you have to live it, in whatever conditions.

This seems to be a much more constructive and indeed manageable approach to take. I’ve decided that I do really, really want to try to start meditating with at least some regularity and that guided meditation is perhaps a better idea for me right now. Some soothing music and a calming voice telling me what to do and when my time is up sounds appealing. I don’t have time to conduct extensive research at present so I am just going to go with what Spotify gives me and see how I go. Anything that gives me a little oasis of calm and helps me to recharge at least every day or two would be most welcome!

However, as suggested in the article mentioned above, I’m not going to put pressure on myself and have meditation on my list of Things To Do. I’ll do the guided stuff as and when I can, and then rest of the time I’ll just focus on being Mindful and practicing exercises I have read about that suggest that even small daily tasks such as doing the dishes can be approached as a minor meditation by just carefully noticing and appreciating every tiny little aspect of the process – the smell, sounds, feel of the action being undertaken. Manageable goals that will hopefully be enjoyable and beneficial. No pressure!

Blogtoberfest 2012, 30/31

You are never too old

I’m only 38 but sometimes on days like today I feel old. Woken at 5.15am, Miss M on fast forward, routine chores done by 7am, school holidays so no Wednesday playgroup, and looking at almost 12 hours before husband returns from work, oh dear god, how to fill without going completely bonkers? Early text from a friend (at least I know I’m not the only one in this boat!) tells me there’s a kids fun day on in a local park, do I have the strength? No, but I’d rather be knackered in company than steadily going madder at home. Make packed lunch, pack bag, find clothes for us both, have usual war regarding teeth brushing and sunscreen application. Try and persusade Miss M into car without having to lift her (separated abdominal muscles – not supposed to lift toddler. Ha!) Fail. Get into car ready to get into bed. Attend exhausting event, go to supermarket on way home for items forgotten in yesterday’s shop which need for today’s dinner. Is it easier to prise Miss M into trolley / buggy / let her walk? Opt for walk to save abs, mistake. Supermarket traumatic, milkshake used as bribe. She refuses to share and I only bought one, so I’m grumpy too. She shouts joyfully yet clearly on the cusp of hysteria (overdue nap) all the way home in the car about nothing in particular. Painful. Now she refuses to get out of the car OMG I shall die if I have to endure another second of this, I need to SIT DOWN. And…she sleeps. It is only just gone 12 noon, I’ve been awake for 7 hours, and I feel about a 100 years old. Not for the first time the thought passes through my mind….what happens after all this? What will become of me, in my mid-40s, not having worked for years, who will ever want to employ me? What will I do with myself? Then I remember seeing this quote on my Facebook newsfeed the other day, which I absolutely loved, and I sip my tea and think, hey! There’s still time! All will be well! This too shall pass.

(original source unknown, found here: pinterest.com/pin/245727723388793371/)

Blogtoberfest 2012, 3/31

Mindful Pregnancy

There hasn’t been much blogging going on around here recently, due to first tri knackeredness and nausea. I just haven’t had the energy to do anything beyond the necessary, and play with Miss M. Didn’t even manage my 52 Weeks of Grateful post last week, and despite feeling utterly crappy, I do indeed have everything to be grateful for at the moment! I’ve written the best Buddha quote on my whiteboard to keep me straight when I start feeling a little bit overwhelmed and sorry for myself: You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy. Damn right!! Coming up to week 8 so hopefully just a few more weeks of this to go and my energy levels will increase again and the vile nausea will dissipate. Fingers crossed!

Such has been my exhaustion that I was almost ready to throw in my blogger towel, until I remembered that the real point of this exercise is not the blog itself (much as I like to write) but the process toward my goal of learning to live mindfully, and thus without resentment. That resentment has started to creep back in just a little bit in the past several days and I think it’s partly a pregnancy thing (if men had to bear children humankind would cease to exist yadda yadda, oh my poor husband…) but also because I’ve taken my eye off the ball with regard to my journey and I’ve lost sight of my goals a little. I need this blog to keep me on track. So, I might be posting a little less, but I’m going to keep posting, and stay focussed.

It occured to me last night that perhaps the best way for me to approach this new pregnancy journey is mindfully. A quick google shows me that this method is tried and tested, so, I will be researching! I am also looking forward to the arrival of Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, ordered from the UK about a week ago, so shouldn’t be long now. To my mind, a truly mindful mum will be a truly happy, fun and healthy mum, and that’s what I want to be for my babies more than anything else in the world.

Mindful Visualisation

The idea of a vision board is to collect pictures that inspire you and which represent how you would like your life to be, make them into a collage, and then to look at it often…and it will happen! I’ve heard a lot about vision boards but I’ve never felt much inspired to start cutting up magazines and pasting things onto cardboard – way too messy and time-consuming for this mama! However, I recently read a great article about vision boards in the March issue of Prevention magazine and it occured to me that I could make one using Pinterest. It’s all about visualising your goals and I figure this might be a fun way of thinking through ideas that will help me achieve a more mindful and fulfilling existance in all aspects of my life, now and going forward – marriage, motherhood, career, spirituality and health (in no particular order). I’ll be able to add to my Pinterest vision board at any time and it can also be printed off and made into my laptop screensaver – perfect!

Pinterest is invite only and I’m just waiting for my personal account to invite my bloggy persona 😉 Shouldn’t take long and I’ll be up and pinning. If you’ve made a vision board I’d love to see it, please feel free to link up in the comments. I’ll be building mine in coming weeks and will update here. If you would like to build your own  Pinterest vision board let me know, and I’ll invite you too!

Minding my own business(es)

Apparently not sufficiently occupied with setting up one business (party planning), last night I restarted my eBay seller account & also set up a Facebook page for selling new & second hand books! Not really intentional, but I’ve been pondering these things for a while and it just kind of all came together yesterday evening. I don’t think it’s too much to handle because all of these little ventures can be run in a very flexible manner, and indeed can be put on temporary hold if / when I get pregnant  (fingers crossed!). I plan to keep the eBay selling only to what I have at the moment and see how I go timewise – family first, always! – but I’ll probably be buying a few books here and there to post up and see if I can make a few bucks. Before we moved to Australia I always made more money than my husband, and who earned more was never an issue in the slightest for either of us, but since I became a stay at home mum I’ve found it quite hard to adjust to losing my financial independence. By becoming a part-time work at home mum, I get to have a bit of fun and (hopefully) create some disposable income for myself at the same time!

My first goal after breaking even on the party planning is to reward myself with an iPad2. I don’t really know why I want one but I really, really do! Sucker for the marketing I guess and certainly it is not Buddhist in the slightest to lust after material objects. So, it would appear that I am not very enlightened when it comes to the iPad2. But, I can live with that 😉

Menopausal Mama? Not Quite Yet!

So I went to the Women’s Health Centre this morning to sign up for beginner tai chi lessons starting at the end of this month, and while there I enquired (inquired?) about the waiting times for seeing a doc. I was told that the wait list was very long indeed but that I could certainly see a nurse for an hour on any Wednesday to talk about things, for example, the menopause…! She did mention a couple other things but I only heard this first one and I couldn’t hear anything else after that for the horror. I am only 37!! In one fell swoop my confidence was shattered with regard to both my looks and my ability to conceive a second child! Thanks very much, lady!

Fortunately I was cheered up later in the day upon seeing a regular GP who on hearing my concerns about getting pregnant again at this grand old age responded, “PAH!! If you have periods, you can get pregnant!” Well thank you, kind sir!

I am trying to deal with this morning’s crushing blow in a Buddhist manner i.e. not sending ill will into the universe and in particular toward that bloomin’ WHC receptionist. Tempting though it is!

Life continues to move at a hectic pace here but am making time for my Buddhist learning in small snatches and my goal is to keep writing this blog regularly as a tool for keeping focussed with regard to my mindfulness journey. To achieve this I am going to aim for 10 minute posts that will help to keep me on track and mindful of what is going on daily, rather than long, thoughtful prose at irregular intervals whenever I can make the time. I can see that I won’t be able to make that time, and I think short braindumps will be of more benefit to me. On that note, over and out for today!

Tizzie Hall Day 5

This morning my daughter and I went for our morning walk at the much more civilised time of 8.30am. It’s taken a lot of heartache but I am delighted to report that it looks like Tizzie Hall  has indeed saved our sleep! Plus, I’m thriving on the new daily routine and I think Miss M is too. I only wish I hadn’t dismissed the idea of a strict routine for so long! She still wakes around 5.30am and cries a little, but she goes back to sleep by herself or plays until about 6.45am give or take a bit of squawking. To go from starting the day at 4am to this in less than a week, with the added bonus of no fights at nap time, is just wonderful!

Today we’ve had some distressing wider family issues, but because we started off with cuddles, a lovely walk by the ocean and a visit to the play park, I’ve been in a good frame of mind from the outset, so it’s all been manageable. My goal is to take Miss M for a morning walk by the ocean at least three times a week. She has a great time, and the benefits for me clearly go way beyond the physical. The ocean is there for the taking every single morning, it’s free and it makes me feel good. What better way to start the day!

Facebook Disconnect

Over breakfast this morning I read an article in Wellbeing magazine (February 2011) about mindful eating. My relationship with food and body image is something I’ll leave for another time because what really struck me today was the following:

The fastest way to increase your awareness of yourself, your moods and those around you is to switch off electronically and from information sources.

I immediately thought of my relationship with Facebook. Most of my IRL social life is organised via Facebook groups so it would be impractical disconnect myself completely. However,  I also spend a lot of time just browsing and commenting and basically, well, timewasting. In fact I daren’t work out how many hours a day I spend on it if I include my late night browsing through sewing groups and joining in mummy chat. I had already checked in before breakfast but resolved not to touch it again until late afternoon. I didn’t suffer overly and got a lot more done that I would have otherwise – but when I logged in at 4pm WHOOOOSH I was sucked right in and before I knew it a whole half hour was gone, on nothing in particular. Being mindful of this morning’s reading I shut the machine down completely and haven’t been back in since. I’ll check for updates on tomorrow’s scheduled mothers group event, but I will not take my phone to bed and browse.

My goal is to limit Facebook to 20 minutes morning and evening, which is still way to much when I see it there in black and white, but it’s a start. It’s time to become more mindful of how I spend my precious time!

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