MBT Menu Tabs JavaScript

Monday, January 18, 2010

Precious Moments

There have been so many wonderful, funny moments in the last few days that I wanted to share them. My camera is on it's last legs and I'm hoping that we can afford to buy a proper SLR sometime soon because I LOVE taking photo's. Anyhoo, here's my offering:

"Can I try some of yours?" Sharing ice cream on a blissful beach day.

Beanie the proud maker of sandwiches...all by herself.

Me and My Parasol

Carpet Picnic with Pinky the (slatternly) Dolly, Tiger and Popcorn the Dog.

Mummy as taken by Beanie

Swordplay - The Pirates of Penzance

Cooking with the Robot Astronaut

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Time To Myself

Time is a rare commodity in my life, as it is in the life of most women with children. I always seem to be time poor, rushing from one thing to another, often needlessly. I think that the rythm of my life, or perhaps my personality rhythm is just fast and rushy and I find myself foisting this particular habit onto my wee girl, as I did this morning. The reason for this unreasonable bustling and hassling was because today is my once weekly day off. I look forward to and long for my day off from being a mom, especially recently when we have been having a more challenging time with our beautiful girl. (Let's just say 45 minute screaming tantrums in the middle of the night and an abject refusal to sleep in her own bed (with one of us - never alone) and leave it at that). This combined with the inevitable tiredness and cumbersome physicality that comes with pregnancy, puts a damper on my enthusiasm to do anything and makes me long for some peace. And don't even get me started on the recent and absolutely unbearable heat. Anyway, I digress.

The problem with this much anticipated time to myself is that I can't settle into it in any truly nourishing or satisfying way. When I'm with Beanie, I'm dreaming about all the things I'll do with my bubbit free time. When she's safely in the loving arms of her Nanna, I come home and do buggar all. Mostly I retire to the bedroom, watch movies, read and eat chocolate. I feel the need to achieve more with this short precious time slot and it irks me that I'm too tired and unmotivated to do more with it. I have all of these projects waiting for some attention. I have creative pursuits I want to get into. I have things that I want to at least give some thought to and yet...and yet. I do nothing. Now, one might argue that it's nourishing to do nothing sometimes and I agree. Nothing is good when you are constantly busy and overstretched - which is how mothering often makes me feel - and it's not a bad thing in and of itself. And last week I watched three movies back to back (extravagant I know) while I sewed a friend's daughter a lovely green and white stripey sock monkey (it took me all day to do it - I'm so terribly slow!). It turned out great (I called him 'Minty') and her daughter loves it, but for some reason I feel like I should be achieving more. Today? Nuttin'.

I visit blogs like 'Angry Chicken' and 'Soulemamma' (not to mention a whole host of non professional crafty bloggers) and feel terribly slack. These women have all got children, often more than one, and yet they get stuff done. Stuff that must make them feel productive and creative and useful. And it's not just crafty stuff (because I am somewhat new and therefore handicapped in this area as yet). It's doing things that are good for body and soul like yoga and pilates and meditation. I want to do it. I dream about the benefits and how good I will feel if I do do it and yet, I don't. I slob around in bed getting fatter and more pregnant and feeling more and more tired while a whole host of things I dream about, gather dust on shelves. Why is this? Is this just not the time for doing but for sitting? I know. I know. I shouldn't compare myself to anyone else, but then, where does inspiration come from? I am inspired by these women. I am in awe of their time management skills when I can barely muster up enough energy to eat an icy pole.

And yet, even with the sitting, there is no stillness in it. There is a constant feeling of restlessness in me that makes me irritable and frustrated with everything. I cannot drop into anything even slightly resembling a peaceful state. I would love to go to sleep but can't. At the moment sleep is another rare commodity around here. Our nocturnally wakeful daughter sees to that. Plus bloody pregnancy hormones and the whole PND shennanigans make sleeping difficult. Bah!

And so. I am here. Trying to empty this itchy uncomfortable energy out of my body and onto the page. Seeking answers as always. Seeking, more than anything, comfort. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I want peace. I want to feel comfortable with where I am at. With who I am. With what is yet to come. And I want to feel like I have a purpose in this life. I know raising a healthy, well adjusted child is a purpose but, I'm sorry to say, this does not fulfill the heart and soul of me. It is, on it's own, not enough. It is a good purpose and a heartfelt one and I am doing my very best to mother her well and find the journey in it all, but I need something that is just for me. Something that gives ME a sense of purpose and development. Something that feeds the creative in me and let's me know that I won't die with my music still in me. Because right now, I am stagnating.

Oh happy, happy post.

Sorry about that.

There are things to be grateful for. I know. I am aware of them too. It's not a question of not being grateful. It's a question of knowing that I am fulfilling my innate potential and I have always felt that I had/have great potential, if I only knew what for. I guess that the journey isn't it.

Well, would you look at that. Time for bed already.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One Little Word

Photo by G-Square

Sara over at Mammacraft has a lovely post all about how she chooses one word that sets the tone for her year and it got me thinking. Thinking about what my word might be and how, if I choose it well, it might help me to remember to breathe and to let go when things are getting tough.

I had to think about it for a little while. So many great words popped into my head like LOVE or PATIENCE (sorely needed) or SURRENDER, which, lets face it, is the word that haunts me like the ghost of Greyfriars Bobby. It is my LIFE word. But in the end I chose COMPASSION, which is a lofty word but also a simple, easily understood one.

I am not as compassionate as I would have thought. In delving into the meaning of this word ('awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.'), and what I think it can bring to my awareness this year, I realised it had the potential to be truly transforming. I also realised that the two people who needed my compassion the most are the same two people who receive it least often - my beautiful Beanie-girl me and me. And that was both surprising and terribly obvious.

I am aware of my own suffering, some of it needless - a case of suffering over my suffering if you will. I am acutely aware of my daughter's suffering, even though she is not and aware that I am the cause of much of it, even when I try so hard not to be. I am aware of every mistake made and every wrong choice. What I need to be aware of is every right choice made, every kind word, every good decision and every time I get it right, as opposed to so very, very wrong. What I need to be aware of is her smile, her curiosity and her unbelievable awe at the world and allow myself to be more often humbled by them. I need to remember that there is no time for us but now and that I can't afford to waste even a second of it because it will never come again. Hence compassion. When I am angry or frustrated, if I can breathe and unclench and remember that I am, fundamentally, a being of love and grace, then maybe I can bite my tongue before I lash out verbally. If I can remember to be compassionate with myself, then maybe I won't be so bitter about my mistakes or so ruthless with my imperfections. If I can remember to be compassionate to my child, then maybe I won't take everything so personally and I will stop trying to escape from the 'what is' in favour of the 'what I wish was'. A tall order I know, but then maybe I need a small but lofty emotional ambition this year because without it I fear I may drown.

I don't think that this word/heart journey will be easy. I have gotten so used to being hard on myself and my child that I know I will forget more than I remember. But I have hope. Hope of a change in the dynamic of our relationship to one of gentleness and tenderness instead of aggravation and struggle, because it is only a lack of awareness in the heated moments that prevents me from being the mother I long to be. And it is only my desire to change this that allows me to face each new day.

And so, I invite you to choose your word for the year and, if you want to, share it with me. You can do a link back to this post if you like and we can take a gentle little journey through all the simple words that touch our hearts and inspire our journeys.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

99 Things Just For Funsies

Apropo of nothing. Just a saucy start to the New Year.

99 things

I found this over at The Magic Teapot Chronicles (where much fun stuff is to be found) and couldn't resist. I am afraid I make more comments and yes,I do name drop, but more for fun than for brag.

Things you've already done: bold
Things you want (or might want) to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band. (I think that singing in one counts).
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower. I would LOVE this.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity. (Not sure. Given plenty to charity certainly).
7. Been to Disneyland/world. (Nope and never want to).
8. Climbed a mountain. (Can't remember - certainly climbed some big hills like Glastonbury Tor and the Wrekin, think I may have been to Snowdonia but can't remember).
9. Held a praying mantis. (Hell to the no!)
10. Sang a solo. (Yes. I was 7 and dressed like a Cockerel at the time! I've also sang in a choir on Telly in the UK, 'Songs of Praise' people. That was before my evil pagan side took over. Heh heh Heh.
11. Bungee jumped. Feck no. I prefer my brains in my head thanks.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art/craft from scratch. Sewing little felt animals, sock monkeys and fairies for my Beanie. Learning quilting but with help from a friend. Made a clay scultpure without having any lessons.
15. Adopted a child. Again, with the no. I have one of my own and one on the way and that's way more children than I can handle. My sister has adopted a family of 4 though.
16. Had food poisoning. A bazillion times, particularly when travelling in India.
17. Let someone else take the credit. I know I have and I know it stung. I'm just that shallow.
18. Grown your own vegetables. Attempting to. My green thumb is severely disabled though.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France. Would love to see anything in the Louvre.
20. Slept on an overnight train. Yup. In India, Vietnam and Thailand.
21. Had a pillow fight. Yeah, like me and my girlfriends get together and we get all shickered on peach schnapps in our jammies, then we put on Love is a Battlefield and get like all into it, you know? Before gently slapping each other with pillows in slo mo. The pj's might get wet at some point...
22. Hitch hiked. From Wolverhampton to Cornwall and back. I was young.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. More times than I've actually worked I think.
24. Built a snow fort. Yep, and a bikini clad snow-woman with a Girl's World head.
25. Held a lamb. Lived on a farm in Scotland. I was always cuddling the gorgeous little feckers.
26. Gone skinny dipping. Proud to say yes and yes and yes. Would do it again too.
27. Run a marathon. No. Not into the whole 'running' thing.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice. I've been to Venice, so I'm including this. We didn't ride in a Gondola because it cost over $100 and we flew for $20. Seemed a bit pricey.
29. Seen a total eclipse. Not only have I seen one in real blinding life, I was an extra pretend 'watching' a total eclipse in an episode of Eastenders.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Many, many times. They never get boring, do they.
31. Hit a home run. I'm including Rounders here because that's almost the same as baseball in that you hit a ball and then run around the bases.
32. Been on a cruise. Nervously and overnight from Cyprus to Egypt with my mamma. Not unlike being in a washing machine on spin cycle.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. With my mamma and my man, pre childers. We visited all the spots in Scotland that our ancestors were born and buried.
35. Seen an Amish community No, but man I'm curious.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing. No and I don't want to. Ever. Heights. Hanging on by my fingernails. No fangs.
40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person. I'm not sure if it's the original but I've seen the one in the British Museum.
41. Sung Karaoke. Alas, yes. I HATE Karaoke and I did it on my miserably unhappy 30th birthday. And yes, I sang (at other people's request) 'It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.' How very apt.
42. Rode a camel. Yup. Very uncomfortable as I remember. Rode an elephant too.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Been on an African safari.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. And worked my magic on a beach by moonlight. Even more fun.
46. Been transported in an ambulance. Just remembered that I have. Had to get a ring cut off my finger.
47. Done something illegal. Yes, but I didn't inhale.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. OH MY GOD NO. My own personal hell involves being anywhere on the deep sea doing anything. ANYTHING.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling. (Both)
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie. (Been in several and a few TV series too).
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (it was full of sweaty men being all butch, pimply teenagers trying to toughen up and overly agressive girls. I hated it.
59. Visited Russia. Doesn't appeal.
60. Served at a soup kitchen. No but I keep thinking about volunteering for something.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. Does Brownies stuff count?
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Received flowers for no reason. (Last time was too long ago).
64. Donated blood. I'm not allowed to! Preggers.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. Not Nazi but I visited the Fields of
67. Bounced a cheque. Mine were practically made of rubber when I was young.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Kept a favorite childhood toy. Clunk Click is still going strong.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten caviar. Quite accidentally. Very, erm.. pondy.
72. Pieced a quilt. Still in the process of buggaring up Beanie's actually. HELP!
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Been on TV.
75. Been fired from a job. See above.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London. Yes. Yawn.
77. Broken a bone. No. Nor do I want to.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. Not sure it was speeding but it sure was fast.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book. Definitely on my To Do List.
81. Visited the Vatican. More to see if I could sneak past security and into the archives to see what goodies they are hiding.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem. My man has.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. A few times.
85. Read the entire Bible. Not ALL of it but I was a catholic for quite a while.
86. Visited the White House. Not sure I want to.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Listened to Tibetan monks chanting, in person. Makes me go all wibbly.
89. Saved someone’s life. I once dragged an old drunk man out of the snow and back into the pub he had staggered away from with a pithily delivered, "I think you forgot something." He would definitely have come a cropper if I hadn't.
90. Sat on a jury. Nah.
91. Met someone famous. I've actually met a lot of famous people. I worked in the Theatre and worked in a new age shop where I met Robert Plant (swoon), Robert Frip (didn't know who he was), Toya Wilcox, Van Morrison (surly), Peter Gabriel (short but very charismatic), Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy) absolutely lovely and Julian Cope (hmmm - looked like a hobo). Was also sorely disappointed by one of my favourite ever actresses, Juliet Stevenson - not a nice lady.
92. Joined a book club. No time to read. Love the idea though.
93. Lost a loved one. Unfortunately yes. Two grannies, one grandad, two Uncles, two cousins, two aunties and a good friend.
94. Had a baby. Yup and stupid enough to go back and do it all over again.
95. Seen the Alamo in person. (Erm. What?)
96. Went skinny-dipping. This is a double up. See question 26.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee. Stung by a wasp. On the tongue. Not fun.