Firstly, I am grateful that both my girls are napping right now. Ah, the Golden Silence! And without napping girls, there can be no post, so without further ado…
This week I am grateful for the lovely area in which I live, that gives me so much pleasure when I am out pounding the pavements doing battle with the baby weight (and making promises to self about not baking any more delish biscuits from my new Vegie Smugglers ebook. Or at least, not gorging myself on them when I do!).
I used to exercise in the glorious in its own way City of Glasgow, Scotland. This could not be much further from that! All of these pics were taken on my smartphone while listening to very loud music and feeling very good indeed 🙂
I’m sitting here feeling grateful that it’s not as blindingly hot as it has been, while also waiting for ex-tropical cyclone Oswald to come through the Mid North Coast. So, mixed feelings this afternoon!
I’m grateful that both my babies are napping right now, because it’s perfect weather for getting a bit of cabin fever, and two-year olds are not good with cabin fever. Nor are the parents of two-year olds.
I’m grateful we’re on a hill and so not at risk of flooding. Grateful that we are prepared – big shop done yesterday so we’re not going to run out of food while we wait it out!
I’m grateful that today is my husband’s day off and we’re all together while it’s going on. I know that we’re at low risk of major incident here at home, but since watching the Queensland floods on TV two years ago, I have become quite frightened of weather like this. I really realised how powerful Mother Nature is and how we tiny humans are in many cases so powerless against Her. I’m now working on not passing my fears onto my girls, and instead I plan to instill within them a healthy respect for their country’s climate and weather.
I’m still so very grateful that I get to bring my kids up in this wonderful country though, despite the extremes. When I think that in the UK you can sit under grey and rainy skies like this for months on end, well, I don’t know how I’d go bringing kids up over there, I’m bonkers enough as it is – a touch of SAD would tip me over the edge!
Oh. My. Gaaaaaaawd. I wish I had sat down to write this post yesterday, it would have been a whole lot easier! Yesterday was a Good Day. It began with a lovely friend coming to visit armed with chocolate profiteroles and blueberry custard danishes from the local artisan bakery (not just any old bakery, ya know!). What day wouldn’t go well with a start like that? Fabulous!
Today, however, is another story. Poo on the floor . Wee on the booster seat. The usual baby sick. Those things I can handle, yadda yadda. But throw in the HEAT!! The HUMIDITY!! And a very fractious toddler (arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *silent mummy scream*) and I am struggling a little to be all bright and grateful for my lot right now. We should have tidied up the toys last night, folded a bit more washing. I hate waking up to chaos and try hard for that not to happen, it just sets me up all wrong. I didn’t manage to juice until late morning either, and I think that had an impact. Body craving good stuff and not happy with just a cup of hot water with lemon and a slice of marmite on toast until 11am. Silly.
So. About all I can do at this moment is sit in the moment and try to be Mindful through gritted teeth. In this very moment, nobody is screaming. I feel a nice breeze at last. And, breeeeeeeathe….
I am thinking back to my first grateful post of this year and counting a few of the thousands of things that have actually gone right today…OK, could be worse!
I am grateful for Tractor Ted and to my Auntie in Aberdeen, Scotland, for sending it to Miss M, who is (I hope not suspiciously) quietly watching it as I type. We are still TV free (as in, it’s not plugged into the aerial). It’s been months now and I don’t miss it at all, although I do still get my fix of occasional docos and British crime dramas on ABC iView. But show me a mum that wouldn’t collapse in a hopeless, sobbing heap now and then if it wasn’t for the existence of some nice DVDs or In the Night Garden on the iViewer…if you are She, please tell me how!!
I’m grateful that my husband is finishing work 45 minutes early this evening. Those 45 minutes may be the difference between this mama’s thread snapping and (relative) sanity.
And that’s about all I can manage for gratefuls this afternoon!
Today I’m beyond grateful for the bedroom aircon in which my baby and toddler are now (finally) napping; and grateful, not to mention incredibly relieved, that our landlord agreed to install ceiling fans and a front door screen just a few weeks ago, in time for this hideously hot spell. BOM forecast a high of 36 degrees today but having just been out to hang washing (burned my fingers on the metal bits of the clothes pegs!) I reckon it’s higher than that. It’s HOT, especially for a Scottish lass!
So I’ll be grateful when the sun sets. Pictured is a local beach. I’m grateful that I live in such a very beautiful part of the world.
You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy
~ Buddha ~
I’ve shared that one before but I love it so much I’m sharing it again! When I get down to the brass tacks of my life, it’s so very true.
This week I am grateful that so many little things go right every day, even though I may sometimes feel like the days are pretty rough with Miss A being only 6 weeks old and Miss M being, well, her usual toddler self! This image came up on my newsfeed this week and it’s a great thought to begin the New Year with. So, today I am grateful that nobody is sick, the water and electric are on, breastfeeding continues to go so well, sun was shining so we could go for a walk, didn’t run out of milk, managed to get a wash on, flooded the laundry but caught it in time and no serious damage, internet working, remembered to hang the washing out, Miss M napped easily, Miss A is slept well too, and I got some much-needed down time….the list is endless when I really think about it! For that, I am grateful.
Fortunately #reverb12 doesn’t involve a commitment / goal to blog every day or even to blog at all, as my time at present does not permit! However, I have been reading the daily prompts and pondering upon them as I go about my day, and I’ve tweeted a little in response. It’s good to reflect on the past year as December with all its busyness begins, and I’ve found the prompts to date to be most thought-provoking. Today the question is:
Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year?
I like this one very much as it is perfect timing for me to look back and consider how things have changed within me, given that I started this blog back in January with the express intention of making some changes in my thinking and living. By the end of 2011 I wasn’t in a good place mentally. I’d stopped counting my blessings and appreciating the little things, and my lack of perspective was making me miserable. I’d become very resentful of my lot, and having had a few brushes with some Buddhist teachings, and the concept of mindfulness in particular, I decided that some changes were required for the sake of my own happiness and that of my little family. My mission was:
I am not my best self, and my family deserves my best self. I will find out what is missing, one post at a time. I will become a Mindful Mum!
I’ve been blogging on and off since then, following my quiet path, learning along the way from a variety of sources. I’ve found a lot of great blogs that have been an enormous, inspirational help to me on this journey (sidebar blogroll is next on my To Do list!). I’ve also learned by doing. That is, I have tried very hard when in the thick of things to be Mindful, that is, (to me), to stay in the present moment, to fully experience it, to just Be. Not allowing past or future worries cloud the present. Not getting ground down by the more mundane aspects of stay at home Motherhood but learning to appreciate the beautiful little moments, of which there are many. I don’t manage this all of the time, obviously! But I have learned the skill of taking that step back. I am a whole lot more likely to hear the birds singing even while the toddler tantrum goes on. I take a breath nowadays, more often than not – my husband might not fully appreciate this but the fact is there would be a LOT more meltdowns if I hadn’t learned a few lessons in the past year!
Learning to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” has also been invaluable to me in improving my thinking.
I’ve learned that I’m a work in progress 🙂
I’m also definitely a LOT less resentful, which was my biggest, most destructive issue at the start of the year. I’ve learned to get over and around that by adjusting my thinking. I recently came across this poem by the 14th Century Sufi poet Hafiz which kind of sums it up for me in relation to both my marriage and my children, if that makes sense:
All this time
The Sun never says
To the Earth
“You owe me.”
With a love like that.
It lights the
It’s all about love at the end of the day, isn’t it?
I find that, like me, my “gratefuls” are increasingly closer to home as the birth of our baby girl becomes ever more imminent. Apart from sticking to Miss M’s regular outings (without which we would both go mad), and my joy and relief at the re-election of President Barack Obama, my world has shrunk to home and hearth. The kicks are everything, the regular tightenings are an obsession, my hospital bag is packed and I’m putting together a little bag for daughter #2 today. I’m organising and list-making and trying to rest as much as possible. Thirteen days to the scheduled caesarean date but I feel more and more sure that she’s not going to wait that long!!
In particular this week I am grateful:
* to my husband’s flexible workplace, which has allowed him to take Miss M to work on a few occasions to give me a break, and also cut his hours to mornings only in these final 10 days before his 4 weeks off begin – much needed respite for this big, tired mama;
* that the hospital is only 5 minutes down the road;
* that I got the lovely OB I wanted via public healthcare, that he’s on call the entire week before my scheduled c-section date, and that the OB I can’t stand is now off rotation until the end of the month (relief!);
* that I’ve found a sleep book I hadn’t yet tried, on my own bookshelf – Elizabeth Pantley’s The No Cry Sleep Solution – and so there is (I hope!!!!) some light at the end of the sleep deprivation tunnel for both daughter #1 and her parents;
* that my pregnancy continues to progress relatively easily with no major issues even though the minor ones are starting to get me down a lil bit at this point – I am, for example, sad that I had to (with great difficulty and much assistance) remove my wedding ring from my swollen fingers last night – but if that’s the most of my late pregnancy hassles apart from being so cumbersome and achy, then I’m grateful indeed!
We are a long, long way from Europe and family. Come April it will have been four years since we left and while we are not especially close to our families, we still love and miss them, would adore it if we were able to see them more often, or indeed at all – and at times like this, well, we need them. But we can’t have them. In all honesty I realise now that we didn’t really properly think through the whole concept of having children so far away from our home countries (Germany and UK). Our current issues have really brought it home to me that by emigrating to the other side of the world, we have in reality sacrificed a great deal on behalf of our children before either of them were even conceived – the opportunity and security of getting to know their own extended family. That said, we know that this is the right place for us to be. We don’t regret our decisions. However, the difficulties of recent weeks have left me facing the reality that our little immigrant family is very vulnerable under certain circumstances, and it has been quite frightening and very stressful at times.
I have as a result of this realisation, and having been let down by someone I trusted, been forced to ask for practical help amongst my mummy circle. It wasn’t easy to do it. I explained the situation, told them I need them, that my little family badly needs help right now. Those I asked directly came through for me, straight away, and offering more than that for which I had asked. Others also proactively offered assistance to me and my husband and my girls. Immediately a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I slept well that night for the first time in almost two weeks.
The word grateful doesn’t cut it, how I feel on discovering that all I had to do was tell the truth and ask. This week I am so very, very grateful for the true friendships I have discovered here in a small town in Regional Australia. I can now breathe easy, knowing that our little family is not as vulnerable as I thought it was. And best of all I am now able to look forward to the birth of our second little girl without anxiety and with joy again. We found out yesterday that she will be born (via c-section) exactly three weeks today, almost to the hour!
Without going into detail, as a family we have some stuff going on right now that is making a grateful post pretty tough to write this week. When faced with impossible, heartbreaking choices that simply cannot conclude in that ever-sought-after “win-win” outcome, it can be very hard to see any light in things at all. However, it is true that we always have something to be grateful for no matter what, if we look hard enough; and if nothing else hard times like this force one to strip things back to the very basics of life – the most precious things.
As such, this week I am grateful that my little family has a safe home and food on the table, both luxuries for so many. And I am grateful with all my heart for each day that I wake up to a healthy toddler, a healthy unborn daughter, a healthy husband; and that I am, today, in good health myself.
Blogtoberfest 2012, 26/31