Friday, 30 December 2011

Fare thee well 2011...

Tomorrow is New Years Eve and we will then move into 2012.  Personally, I can’t wait.  I’m over this year.  I feel like a lame horse limping to the finish line, but then again, I feel like that at the end of every year.  Not that that means that things are going to miraculously change.  I’m still going to wake up bone weary tired.  I’m still going to get annoyed each time my two kids hit/fight/scratch/bite, whatever – insert your own annoying verb here.   I’m still going to be getting their dinner ready at 5:00pm and I’ll still be doing the ironing every second day (at least).   I will still be addicted to Facebook and Twitter and I will still keep a gratitude journal of some description.

A lot happened this year.  Floods hit South East Queensland and whilst we weren’t affected directly, my heart hurt for everyone who was.  There were people who lost their loved ones and this helped me keep things in perspective and be thankful everyday for all that I still have.

Earthquakes rocked my birth city of Christchurch and currently 40,000 people have left the city.  Since the most recent earthquakes in Christchurch, I would imagine this number has increased significantly.  Remembering how beautiful Christchurch is, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be there now.  Potentially an entire city will be relocated and my heart is heavy for the people of Christchurch.

On a personal note my Polynesian Princess went to kindergarten this year and I was home for five days a fortnight with my Little Warrior.  One year has flown by again and this marks year two of being at home with the little brown-eyed wonders.  The days of logging into a computer at work, sushi for lunch, pointless meetings, impossible KPI’s  and cold Melbourne Cup lunches seem to belong in a parallel universe.  I sometimes stumble on my old corporate-wear when I’m putting away or getting out winter/summer clothing, which is kept in storage.  Maybe 2012 will be the year I get them out, put them in dry-cleaning and hop back into the corporate saddle.  Or maybe it won’t.

I have but one New Years Resolution: to blog once a week.  There.  That’s it.  I’m excited about this blogging universe and it allows me to express myself in the way I’ve always felt comfortable.  I remember being young (nine? ten?) and writing lots of poems and short stories.  I continued writing poetry throughout primary and high school and sadly I didn’t keep any of my yearbooks because one of my poems featured in the back of one.  After high school I didn’t write anymore…..until this blog.  And since beginning this blog, I've felt invigorated, excited, happy.  So onward and upward, I say :)

Fare thee well 2011 and Happy New Year to everyone!


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

I love this season....

What season is that you may ask?  Why, mango season of course!  Here in Australia, it's summer and summer means summer fruits.  Summer fruits means gorgeous, fresh produce available everywhere and in abundance.  Nectarines, plums, watermelon, lychees, apricots and mangoes.  Lots and lots of mangoes.

My kids love them and we eat about two a day.  Little Warrior likes munching on the seed and walks around for ages clutching this juicy morsel.  Occasionally I'll find it, abandoned and bereft of any fruit, on his couch, on the deck or in his bedroom.  As long as it's as far away as possible from the nearest bin, that'll do him.

Me?  My favourite way to eat mango would have to be with prawns.  In a salad.  Washed down with a Marlborough Sauv Blanc on a warm day.  Or on a pavlova.  Like 'dis:

Mangoes means Christmas to me.  And Christmas is a special time of year.  Getting together with people you love (and perhaps some you kinda don't) and eating, drinking and being very, very Merry.

So a toast.  A toast to mangoes, merriness and Christmas.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas to all

It's Christmas Eve and here I sit in my parents' backyard. The backyard I've known for the past 31 years. I'm watching my Polynesian Princess race up and down the lawn. Running along a patch of grass that used to be our pool. The pool I used to swim in constantly until I hit my teens. Then, not so much.

I'm nostalgic today. But that's normal right? Normal to be nostalgic at the end of a year.

This year has seen me yo-yo'ing between returning to work and not returning to work. We visited Hamilton Island in the beginning of the year and had a great holiday. I don't think we'll be doing that again soon. Tightening our belts, one income and all that. But the biggest thing this year has brought for me is peace and less attachment.

Anyone familiar with Buddhist teachings will be aware of the Four Noble Truths:

1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

I have lived most of my life attached to physical things. It hasn't made me feel good. Well, maybe for a little bit after I had bought the latest handbag I would get a little rush, but it never lasted long. Inevitably I would already be mentally picking out the next thing I "needed". And so the cycle would continue. But the good thing about not having a lot of money is you have no choice BUT to let go of all that longing. It's the only way to be happy.

I'm determined to be thankful for all the things I have. I still have both my parents. I can still visit them in the house I grew up in-I love that. I have a loving relationship with my husband, two gorgeous children and a roof over our heads. What more could you need?

Merry Christmas all and Namaste


Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Another compliment

“You should take all of your stuff off Facebook and start a blog”.  There.  That’s at least the second time somebody has made a comment about my writing.  I know, I know.  It’s not a glowing recommendation about my writing, hardly a reason to start writing a novel, but it’s something.
Maybe I should.
Maybe that’s how I can use my writing style/skills for the next however-long-it-takes-me-to-get-back-to-work.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Harden up!

So it was my DD’s last day at kindy yesterday and you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was my last day on God’s green earth.  I felt so sad for the end of such a wonderful year, but anybody who knows me, knows I tend to grieve for the end of anything.  Even a book.  I get this sense of ‘loss’ that seems to envelop me and that I can’t tend to shake.
Yesterday was yet another example.  I tried a few times to thank my daughter’s fantastic C&K teachers for doing such a wonderful job throughout the year, and yet I couldn’t get past the initial smile.  The mere thought of saying thank-you and what I wanted to say, was enough to produce a lump in my throat so big that I had to just walk away each time.  Pathetic.  I mean, REALLY?!  What the hell am I going to do when she finishes primary school?  Or high school?  Or uni?!  Let’s all hope that I get over it by then and harden up.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Aldi Showdown

Everytime I put my groceries on the conveyor belt at Aldi, my anxiety levels are already rising.  By the time I pull my trolley around to “face off” with my opponent (read: check-out operator), I’m mentally thinking: “Let’s dance”…
The usual pleasantries are exchanged, but in Aldi they seem to be so much shorter than my local Woolies or Coles.  Even the customer contact is less?!  And then we’re off.  With swift, practised precision, they’re swiping all my groceries through at an alarming rate.  If I don’t keep up and move the groceries into the trolley fast enough, we have a ‘back-up’ situation that I somehow find embarrassing?!  I mean, how ridiculous right?  This is a mere transaction.
They scan the groceries.  I put them in the trolley.  Simple. And yet I have managed to put a competitive spin on it in my mind.  If I can keep up with them and clear the groceries almost as soon as they’ve been scanned, I am “winning”.
But that’s not all.  I am actually planning the entire thing as I’m shopping.  I’m mindful to put all the heavy stuff to the front, so that when it comes time to load onto the belt, I can place all the tins and heavy things first.  This way, when I’m loading back into my trolley, I’m putting heavy first and all fruit and veg on top, thus saving them from getting squashed.  Did I really just waste minutes of my life by typing this paragraph?  And am I REALLY going to hit “create post” after this?
Yes, dear non-existent reader.  Oh yes, I am.
I need to get a life.