Tuesday 28 July 2015

There's no place like home

I have struggled for a month for ideas for a conversation on coming home. Which I find a little odd as I've written two short stories on home comings, and awhile back I wrote this little ode on the indescribable joy of returning home.

I've no idea why I have this block.

I suspect, it may be because we are about to move. Move out while we get some building done. We are leaving the neighbourhood for six months - and that will turn my little world and daily commitments into chaos. The boy that has started walking home, will have to be picked up again; the daughter will need planning and additional time to drop off and pick up, and then there's the time to fill in between commitments, as we won't be able to duck home for afternoon tea and to get changed before heading on our way again.

Our home is currently like a control tower, where logistics are arranged and the blips on the screen are juggled with care as they roam in their orbits. This will all continue, but there will be additional trips and a more difficult juggling routine. For me, a greater level of stress as we all adjust to the new location.

There will also be the packing - the constant requests for loved items not in the temporary housing. The lifetime of possessions, not important enough to travel with us, but wanted and missed all the same.

There will be a lack of space. All of us crammed into one tiny living room (and kitchen and dining). We will have no where to go, to read quietly. No garden to hide in with a book in the sunshine, no room to watch tv away from the kids, nowhere that music can be played without disturbing others.

Ultimately, it's cost effective, and it's only six months. We'll return to some lovely additions to our already beautiful home, and the siblings will no longer have to share. I need to keep reminding myself of this.

I guess I'm scared. Scared of the changes to our home. Scared that we're making a mistake. Scared of the cost and the debt. Scared that the feel of our house will be destroyed.

Of course, a house is just a building. I was reminded of this when I went back to see my childhood home recently. It looked so small compared to how I remembered it. This is ironic, as it is actually much bigger than where we live now. I remember it through the eyes of my childhood, and it was the whole world to me for such a long time.

A new house replaces the old home, and the fondness grows with the happiness experienced there. The building is irrelevant, it's the feelings you bring with you. This is why you can't return home, because you never really leave. You bring it with you, and create a new one, where ever you may be, no matter how transient the time frame is. That home is now your home and the buildings of the past are just that, buildings crammed into your memory.

"One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time." Hermann Hesse

Linking with #MummyMondays and #OpenSlather

Monday 27 July 2015

First of the Month Fiction - August

Seriously, this year is speeding by! I am currently reading
Life on the Pharm by Damian Rentoule and I came across this quote that stuck with me. "The caregivers lacked the imagination to see a future that was not represented in the past."*

It rattled around in my head for a few days, so I decided this month's story would be built around that. It didn't quite work out as I'd planned (and I'm not that happy with it) but I'll put it out there and maybe return at a later date. (it reminds me a bit of this one, so if I worked a bit harder, I could merge the two perhaps). Sometimes the word count is a blessing, and sometimes it's a curse.

So mine is 100 words:

The concealer worked much better here. You could hardly tell at all that she had a black eye. There would be no need to wear sunglasses this time. She paused a moment with regret and reflected that it had been a mistake to lack the courage for a better future, not to have the imagination to see a life not replicated by the past. There was nothing to be done about it now. It was too late for any of that. Gingerly she touched the cut on her lip. It was almost gone. Things certainly healed quicker in the afterlife.

Newbies, write a 100 word story (exactly) or one less than 30 words and put it in the comment - then link your blog (if you have one) so we can all check out your unfettered style.

*Life on the Pharm is a dystopian adventure, with a sci-fi feel - it reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 and Feed, in terms of the people stuck in gross machinations. Losing the sense of what makes us individuals, I guess. Only 40 pages in though....(just didn't want you to think it was remotely anything like my little 100 words above).

Linking with #WWU and later #WeekendRewind

Thursday 23 July 2015

Rules to live by....

I'm sure you've all seen this wonderful post by Regina Brett with 45 rules to live by - some classics such as "When in doubt, just take the next small step" and "If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it".

I did write a post on mottos to live by - My favourite being "Walked in, danced out".

But for this confessional, I'll keep it simple. The rule to live by is "Don't be a dick".
Don't take out your anger and aggression on others (especially on the road), don't treat your spouse like they're irrelevant, and don't take them for granted. Don't throw away relationships due to selfishness and ego. Don't walk away from your responsibilities. Don't turn other people's lives into fodder for gossip. Don't steal. Don't hurt people for your own entertainment. Treat people with respect. If you wouldn't like it, don't do it to others. And a myriad of other Don't's that can all be summed up with the simple:

Don't be a dick!

Sometimes, we have to look beyond our own horizon, we have to walk in the other man's shoes. We know we can do better, and we must always try to do so. We live on a big planet, we can all do things to make life better for someone else. Unfortunately, you can't control other people, but you can do your part in making change.

Hopefully it's contagious.

What are your rules to live by?

Linking up for #FYBF

(PS I went to a Cyberbullying talk last night. That could also be used when talking to our kids about how to behave online)
With Some Grace

Tuesday 21 July 2015

It's a new day full of possibility when the sun rises...

I've been housebound with sick kids, and falling behind in all my writing and pending tax submissions.

I've yet to see if today keeps me stuck at home again, but I noticed the day began with such a beautiful sunrise, and I thought 'how lucky we are that beauty comes to our door'.

So no matter what is heading your way, may a little beauty also come to your door today.

Linking with #TIK and #WWU

Monday 20 July 2015

Where's the good news?

I was catching up with some friends, at one of the women's new home. We'd ooh-ed and ahhh-ed for a couple of hours, as it is a big sea-change for them and stunning house. About three house into the day, as we were sitting down to lunch, my other friend mentioned quietly she'd just bought a beach house. I was so excited for her, but my instant reaction was "How'd you sit on that piece of news for so long?!" I had assumed it was because she didn't want to steal the spotlight from our other friend.

By coincidence we were also having lunch again the next day, and I laughed in disbelief at her for holding back on such exciting news. She responded "You just feel funny telling people, because you don't want to be lording it over them". (To which I replied, 'Not me! Lord away! I need the good news!')

I have a number of friends that no longer put up their travel photos on Facebook, because they receive such a negative reaction. The veiled criticism 'You're always away", "Where are you now?" or "Do you EVER work?"

My question is, when did we become so pissy? Why aren't we happy for our friends anymore? Why do you have to feel awkward when you have something great going on?

Basically, I'm at an age where friends are dying too young, battling cancer, getting divorced, losing their house, losing their jobs and a myriad of other crap news that you are helpless to do anything to change for them. I am more than happy to be the shoulder to cry on in these cases, but for me personally, I'm needing some good news. I want to hear your happiness. I want the holiday snaps of sunnier shores, to celebrate your good fortune, your beach house, your fabulous new life! I need to see that something is working out for someone, somewhere.

I will always be more than happy to listen to the bad, but I want to be able to celebrate heartily the good news when I can. It seems so infrequent these days.

So please don't hold back on your good fortune, sing it loud and celebrate it. Some of us are desperate to celebrate with you. And for those that aren't, let them go!

“There is no bad time for good news.”   - Stephen King

Linking up for #MummyMondays

Tuesday 14 July 2015

The enchantment of snow

A very quick Thankful Thursday for me. We went up to the mountains for the weekend, and as luck would have it, it unexpectedly snowed. It was so exciting and
magical, probably more so for me than the kids.

I am thankful I am not so jaded to lose that feeling of gleeful excitement and I'm glad there can still be so much delight in nature. I hope I never cease to see all the wonder in things the world has to offer, fleeting as it may be.

Lastly, a little wisdom - "Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together".  Remember we can make a difference.

Linking with #OneSmallThing

Monday 13 July 2015

Life's too short to....

A friend was asking when you gave up on reading a bad book, or did you struggle on until the end. Someone replied: Life's too short to finish boring books.

Which got me thinking, what else is life to short to do?

Here's what came back:
Life's too short to do dry July. (That says more about my friends than anything else!)
Life's too short to fear failure.
Life's too short to eat low fat dairy products!
Life's too short not to live everyday like it's your last.
Life's too short to stop shining.
Life's too short to do a thing you hate, out of a sense of duty and no other redeeming feature.

And me, I just think Life is too short.

How would you finish the sentence?

Linking up for #MLSTL

Monday 6 July 2015

My, what big fears you have, my dear!

We get very excited when we contemplate a new venture. We enthusiastically pack a basket of goodies but before we set off down the new path, the doubts begin to set in. Should I even try? I probably won’t be good at it. What if it’s a mistake? It won’t work so why even bother?

For some reason, the human brain isn’t always our best friend. Instead of cheering us on from the sidelines, it stands in the doorway of change, tearing us down until we decide it’s all too hard and a waste of time.

Most of the time, we instantly believe what our mind tells us. We don’t doubt for a minute the validity of the fears that take control. Yet we would never let someone talk to our friends like that. We would defend them. If a friend raised such self-doubt, we’d be quick to challenge them, and encourage them to at least try. So why not do the same for ourselves?

If you have a mean little voice in your head luring you off the path, then you need to challenge it. You need to argue with the doubt so it can’t become too powerful. You must defend yourself and your abilities. If the negative thoughts aren’t logical, then you need to push past them and carry on your merry way. As the old German proverb says 'Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is'.

We need to remember that fear is normal but sometimes stupid. Fear is like the little devil on your shoulder but he has no angel on the other shoulder arguing back, so he just expands and becomes stronger. It is time to tame the beast.

I’m not saying to ignore all your fear, as it can be a self-protecting mechanism and a great survival tool. I’m talking about challenging those irrational fears that stop you when you really have nothing to lose. So if you can decide the fear has any basis, if it can’t be refuted, then take heed. However if it’s just telling you that you won’t succeed, then ask why not? You might find the fear slinks back off into the forest. There’s a lot of truth to the saying ‘Self-doubt killed more dreams than failure ever did.’

So like Little Red, skip happily off on your new venture, whatever that may be, as you know that story works out well for everyone in the end (except for the rascally wolf). Remember if you can change your focus, you’ll change your life. “Miracles start to happen when you give as much thought and energy to your dreams as you do your fears” – Unknown.

Linking with #MischiefandMemories


Wednesday 1 July 2015

Children shouldn't have baths. It's a very dangerous habit.

That's a line out of the Roald Dahl book, The Witches. Along with "Children are revolting" and many other truths humorous lines.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to review the adaptation of the classic at the Monkey Baa theatre. I'd never been, despite having been asked to many of the shows by friends - the dates just never worked out for me. I was very excited to finally get there!

The space is a really good for kids, as it's intimate so no matter where you're seated, you feel part of the action. They also have activities in the foyer, before or after a show, usually themed with the production, so it's a great way to introduce kids to high quality theatre.

The Witches is, as you would expect, very funny, but you only have 4 more chances to see it at the lovely little theatre in Darling Harbour. My review is here, and you can buy tickets here. Perfect from 6 up, but still entertaining for the adults.

There was special 'after party' and low and behold I finally got to meet the lovely Seana Smith, after all these years of trailing around the web behind her.

Darling Harbour has all the Cool Yule holiday offerings, and that enormous playground is right at the entrance of the theatre, so you can really make a day of it.

This post is really just a thanks to Monkey Baa Theatre Company, as my whole entourage enjoyed the show (me included!!), and a heads up for people looking for some school holiday fun.

While the top two lines weren't used in the play, there was much raucous laughter every time the High Witch said 'Children smell like dog droppings'. Little wonder she was the firm favourite!

Linking With #MummyMondays, #IMustConfess and #OpenSlather