Tag Archives: Books

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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Grateful for…much, close to home

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!

This post is part of the 52 Weeks of Grateful link-up hosted by Maxabella Loves

Escaping into the Days of Empire

I have always loved to read, and since ditching the television I am of course finding the time to read more, which is wonderful. I’ve found that my tastes have changed a great deal in recent years, a natural progression I am sure, given that I am now in my late 30s, and at a different stage of life, as a relatively new mum. Gone are the days of being sucked into a Jane Green or a Marian Keyes for relaxation – for some reason the old style chick lit just doesn’t hold my attention the way it used to. I’ve always mixed the chick lit with the more highbrow stuff, both have their time and place. Nowadays, however, my “chick lit” seems to be a good Joanna Trollope, which is a bit worrying – can I really have reached that stage?!

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Whilst backpacking in Southeast Asia a couple of years ago I discovered many new authors in the book exchange stores and guesthouse swap shelves over the seven months or so we spent wandering around over there. Choice can be quite limited so you’re forced to try books you might otherwise not consider or even come across, which is a great thing. For example, I read all Wally Lamb’s novels and loved them. I also read George Orwell’s Burmese Days, while in Burma. It was incredible to go up into the hill station outside Mandalay and actually see all the colonial houses, the clubhouse, places Orwell probably visited during his time as a police officer in Burma. During that trip I also read J.G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun, reread A Passage to India by E.M. Forster, and worked my way through several other novels set in colonial times in places such as Singapore and Malaysia.

Along the Singapore River

On many occasions during that trip and during a previous extended stay in Southeast Asia, and particularly when visiting Burma, I felt ashamed and embarrassed to be British. I am no great expert on all the historical details of the time, but it seems clear that the British took everything they wanted and more, and left broken countries in their wake when they departed. Not to mention the abhorent, inherent arrogance and racism of Empire. However, I have always had a fascination for Merchant Ivory type films and novels about the British Empire and there was something so special about reading about those times in their proper settings.

Cavenagh Bridge & Fullerton Building, Singapore

I haven’t read anything of this nature for a couple of years now – motherhood does tend to limit one’s concentration span and free time I have found! – but last week in the library I happened upon Bone China by Roma Tearne, which is set in Sri Lanka (where I have not yet been) in the early 1940s, as the British are preparing to depart. I find I can really disappear into this novel, which is wonderful, escapist relief, and much appreciated particularly at the moment when I am having some issues sleeping and relaxing. It is also a thousand times better than watching mindless nonsense on the telly to wind down! So, I am now compiling a list of similar titles to get from the library and I plan to escape into the days of Empire as much as possible in the few short weeks left until my daughter is born. If you have any suggestions, please share!

Reminder of colonial times, Singapore

Blogtoberfest 2012, 29/31

Through the eyes of my daughter

I’ve ploughed ahead with the first chapters of Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for Mothers in the last couple of days and already I notice a difference in my daily life! Best of all has been the reminder to really look at my daughter, and be in the moment with her, see things the way she sees them. Sometimes when I hear her wake from her afternoon nap I’m guilty of thinking,”oh god no, not already…”. If I lay her down with that attitude, of course we’re not going to have a positive start to the rest of the day when she wakes. I know such feelings are normal at times and I shouldn’t beat myself up about them, but at the same time, allowing them to take control of my thinking just isn’t constructive. And after all, she is wonderful, and all of life is just wonderful to her –  I don’t want to miss that in her, and when I take a step back and really look at her, my mood can’t help but lift!

This morning we went for a long walk by the ocean. Everything takes more than twice as long with an almost two year old, but hey, what’s the rush! Watching her pick up leaves and stones and listening to her chattering away and giggling is such a joy. The world viewed through her eyes is very simple and if I’m mindful to take a leaf out of her book and just stay in the moment with her, all of life just seems simpler to me too.

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