I am really happy with my decision to stop blogging. I have made so many wonderful connections in the virtual world since starting my blogging journey over a year ago, but some balance was much needed and I know I’ve made a very good move.
This final post is just to let y’all know that you can still find The Mindful Mum on Facebook and I would love to see you over there! It’s an interactive page where I’ll keep sharing the things I find that keep me inspired and on my Mindful path, in the hope that they might inspire you too.
~ Pam ~
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!
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
What word did you select to be your travelling companion in 2012? What gifts did this word bring?
The concept of choosing a word for the coming year is a new one for me, so I didn’t actively select one last year. However, had I chosen, it would without a doubt have been Mindful. I’ve done my best in 2012 to learn to be more mindful in every aspect of my life and I’ve learned so much along the way. I know that I’ve weathered a few storms a lot better than I would have done had I not embarked upon my quest to live a more mindful existance. It’s a lifelong journey and I look forward to honing my mindfulness skills in 2013. Certainly I now have a great many resources from which to draw inspiration and knowledge moving into the new year. Blogroll coming!
What word will you choose to guide you through 2013? What do you hope it will bring into your life?
Calm. Being a stay at home mum is a joy in so many, many ways, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s also bloody tough work – emotionally, mentally and right now 5 weeks post-caesar with a toddler to care for as well demand breastfeeding, physically. It’s 24/7. There is no let up. I have to stay calm in the face of it all, for the sake of me, my girls and my husband. I must remain smiling (albeit doubtless a bit maniacally at times) in the midst of the madness and remember that it will get easier. That way I’ll be sure to enjoy the precious moments, of which I know there will be many.
What was the most important thing you learned in 2012? How does this learning shape the path going forward?
Without a doubt the most important thing I have learned in 2012 is the value of making a concerted effort to live Mindfully, which to me means being in the moment, cherishing each moment, really noticing each moment and all it entails. Especially in relation to really looking at and interacting with my daughters and my husband, not just rushing through the days and tasks and always thinking about the next thing on my To Do list.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be considered from a Buddhist perspective but for me it’s not only a psychological pursuit – I do find myself drawn towards Buddhism. In my hardest times this year, particularly recently, I have been able to grab hold of what I have learned about Mindfulness and about other aspects of Buddhism since starting this blog in January, and it has helped me beyond measure. From when I was having a spinal block prior to c-section and when the pain during surgery scared me, to when I feared for my marriage and when tragic news came from overseas, to more simple things like when I need to take a step back and realise that I just need to eat something to get centred again…I have learned to focus on the moment, to not catastrophise, and to breathe my way through.
I don’t always manage this, I get carried away with things, I forget. But when the proverbial has hit the fan, this year I have had something to hold on to. I have found my saviour in Mindful practice. I don’t know what I would have done at times without it. Words of The Buddha relating to Mindfulness have given me great comfort at times and I know that going forward my learning will be in that direction. I want to learn more about Buddhism, and about Mindfulness. I have gathered many tools and resources this year and I want to keep learning, and putting that learning into practice as I go forward into the New Year ahead.
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?
#reverb12 is about taking a little time out at the end of the year for some gentle reflection, in order to:
* celebrate the successes of 2012
* honour the challenges of 2012
* plant the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013
Hosted by the lovely Kat over at I Saw You Dancing, each day in December there will be a question to think about. This is today’s question:
How are you starting this last month of 2012?
Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel…
… in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?
I’m starting out tired and a little trepiditious in body and mind, but hopeful and full of love in my heart. My second daughter was born via c-section eight days ago and while my recovery has been excellent to date, I am still feeling a bit battered and fragile. Plus of course as a family we are getting used to the joys of living with two gorgeous little girls instead of one, and I am a little bit concerned about how I am going to manage everything when my husband goes back to work in a few weeks! And I’d forgotten all about night feeds and cluster feeding. And clustered night feeding 😉 But, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time as necessary, is my game plan. To be mindful.
My body has been through a lot in 2012 but I am feeling very positive about my recovery in the next few weeks and my goals for getting back into shape in 2013. Already keeping a food diary! And I picked up an ancient exercise bike on Freecycle yesterday. Looks like it comes out of the ’80s but once cleaned up it should allow me to squeeze in some exercise on days when it’s not possible to leave the house for anything outdoorsy or more formal!
In my creative life, well, definitely no time to sew this month, but I hope to be able to write a little now and then. And hey, I did just grow a baby, so I think I can say it’s been quite a creative year all in 😉