Sunday, March 29, 2009

Job well done

Today I tackled my gardening and chores. My hands, hamstrings and back are screaming!

Dad who is still in remission from Lymphoma has been diagnosed with a chronic spinal condition that might require surgery. Although not cancer it has effected him and I have realised how much he has aged in the last couple of years. He turns 70 next year and losing his brother a couple of months ago has frightened him as well.

He still loves his consulting work and although "retired" he loves spending time in the office and being approached to work with particular clients. In many ways this is his time and it has been selfish and lazy of me to rely on him to do my odd jobs around the house.

Maybe I lacked confidence in tackling jobs around the house, but seriously what is the worse that can happen?

I stained my deck chairs and deck mindfully. I focussed and relaxed as I stretched to trim my lawn with clippers (I don't have a lawnmower). I basked in the sunshine and enjoyed the sea breeze as I pruned my kangaroo paws (plants). I watered in a responsible fashion using a watering can and water from the sink. I raked the leaves in awe of the autumnal colours and realised how fast this year has gone.

The garden is such a joy for the soul and it rewards you for all your hardwork instantly.

What better way to spend a mild Sunday afternoon than working in the garden listening to lawnmowers, children playing footy in the street and the background buzz of a busy suburb?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dancing in the dark..

So on Friday night I had my first school function - a bush dance! I was dreading it! I am not really sure why - maybe it was the whole idea of a late night out with a 5 yr old who normally goes to bed at 6.30pm or the trepidation with which I approach a new and different social experience, possibly magnified as I am a sole parent and don't have the buffer of a partner to stick with in social situations.

Luckily I am blessed with the gift of the gab (funnily the 5 yr old does too) and found it quite easy to blend in - or maybe that was the charddy! Either way I was surprised to find myself enjoying the whole experience. From the bush dancing to chasing the kids around the dark playground.

The smile on my daughters face was priceless and the sound of the her laughter joyous!

We stayed to the very end and I will not be so skeptical about attending the next school function. Being apart of a community feeds the soul through friendships, conversation, play, laughter and pride. I felt proud to be apart of my daughter's school community and enjoyed the laughter and conversation over a drink with some new friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A week...days...

Wow - what a week! Non stop, sick child, issues at work! Just full of drama and a teeny bit of stress!

It always surprises me when I observe other people reacting to a crisis in the workplace. A typical planner, over zealous organiser and list maker I tend to be prepared when an issue or concern arises and maybe the pessimism in me makes me ready for when someone doesn't do what they are meant to do.

Laying blame is usually the first thing I notice. It seems to always be somone elses mistake or problem. I just don't get this, if you have made and error or messed up in anyway I am not sure why you wouldn't take responsibility for it. This week I have watched two managers lay the blame for a major error on each other. Being stuck in the middle of this has been almost comical.

The next thing I noticed was one of them trying to blame the "system" or process, and in effect trying to make me the scapegoat. Probably the most stressful parts of this week has involved me having to stand by my work output and integrity. One positive out of this has been the support of my Manager.

The audit set for Monday which has sparked this weeks events will ascertain where the system has fallen over and hopefully it will hold the right person accountable for their errors or lack of action.

I meditated, chanted, burned my green candle for positivity, had lemon and orange oil in the oil burner , recycled and placed my jade owl for wisdom on display to feel good this week. And wow - what might previously have turned into a disaster of a week at home for me - was a a positive challenge....if that is possible.

A lovely moment this week was reading on a seat over looking the beach on a cool blustery day...the sea air was cold, fresh, salty and the waves choppy and slate grey. Just gorgeous!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So I didn't enlighten the world with my thoughts yesterday - wasn't feeling inspired or creative I suppose.

As I sit here this morning with the 5 yr old pretending to be a hairdresser (on me) and watch the sun turn to storm outside I can reflect on my day yesterday which was full from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. Full of chores, conversation, work and me time. It was the perfect balance of me and non me time! At the time I felt a bit overwelmed by all I had to do. At the time I was annoyed that my phone kept ringing. At the time I was aggitated and felt time poor.

In hindsight I got most of the work I had to do, so that is good. A new friend rang a couple of times to organise stuff which is so much more therapeutic than an email or facebook posting, which is how I tend to communicate with friends due to time constraints. I found the time to meditate and the 5 yr old had a good day at school and a great swimming lesson. I also enjoyed a glass of wine while listening to the 5 yr old chatting to our neighbours and even saw the news!

My sticks are my photo from yesterday. I love the fact that I have influenced my daughter to take more notice of the world around her. She is constantly bringing me seeds and sticks and shells asking me if they are beautiful and insisting we bring them home. She has a nature bowl outside (it was inside until I realised that we were sometimes bringing home more than just the sticks and bits) and it is full.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Work work work.....

I paid for a long weekend today at the office. Only working part time it ended up as my only office day this week! My desk was already piled with paperwork as I walked through the door at 6.30am!!!!! The phone didn't stop, the emails kept coming and I had to sit through an hour session on the technicalities of a new training package while I very non mindfully kept thinking about the other things on my page long "to do list".

At one point I think I actually declared outloud "I can only do what I can do" and should stop feeling stressed for not being able to fit all the work into my work hours this week. It is what it is. So I rescheduled an afternoon meeting and got the more urgent things done and left on time to get home to pick the 5 yr old up from a friend's house.

A non meditating day and I can feel it. I had planned to spent 15 mins in the quiet of the office this morning - but the CEO scared me when he arrived not long after me! Glad he didn't find me sitting in the dark with my eyes closed and ipod on!

It did rain today, beautiful heavy rain that soaked the city this morning. It was as dark as night and just refreshing and invigorating to see the water splashing off the window sills. The garden looks more green - if that is possible! Hopefully more to come!

Note to self - add to personal to do list, find a new job that is more unique, colourful and creative. I know the grass is always greener but the grey office is just too colourless! I need to look outside the square.

My photo today reminds me of why I do work....ssshhhhh

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Think before acting....

My patience and energy were tested today.

I am not quite sure what I was thinking when I suggested that the 5 yr old ride to school today. It was such a lovely morning, we were up early and all seemed good! We did make it 3/4 of the way there before I ended up pushing her bike, so I guess that is a positive. So is the fact I got to walk/run home and get some exercise done before 9.30 in the morning.

I enjoyed a productive and energised day of household chores - including using the grey water from the washing machine to water my limp looking james stirlings out the back and a peaceful meditation session.

I walked back to school with a positive mantra running through my head "she will want to ride home and she won't throw a tantie in the school yard".....well she didn't throw the tantie in the school yard as I bribed her with the idea of buying an icypole on the way home. She did throw a tantie when we hit the main road and she decided she didn't want to ride anymore....her legs were tired. So started a mexican standoff of mega proportions.

My patience won out (or maybe it was the threat of no icy pole) and she hopped back on the bike with me pushing her. We were talking by the time we got to the shops and she was positively perky after we bought her icy pole.

Lesson of the day - school for a 5 yr old is enough of a challenge - physically, emotionally, mentally - without the added addition of a 2km round trip on a bike - no matter how much mummy wants to get some exercise.

Instead I will be better organised to use my child free/work free time to find time for me. I have managed to find 20 mins a day to meditate, now I just need 30 mins 3 times a week to exercise. The benefits were evident today as I positively bounced from chore to chore after my morning run!

I must work out how to load my photos from yesterday and today off my phone. I am a bit of a techno moron!

American Idol about to begins mummy time!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Tuesday....

So was feeling a little gloomy this morning. Two dead mice this morning - good for you Harry!

On autopilot, had the 5 year old at school on time. Had a couple of uninspiring chats with some mums. Everyone seemed a little flat. Maybe it was the long weekend? Me I think it is the challenges of running my own business, the challenges of being a sole parent and having a part time job I am not really fond of. PMS might have something to do with it to.

Rather than loath in self pity, taking on board mindfulness I headed to the shopping centre to stock up on buckets to collect my "grey" water and put petrol in the car. Better to be ticking things off my to do list.

Home and meditated for 20 mins emerging feeling more energised and a little more focussed. Another coffee and some work for the business. Money is a bit tight so am juggling a few bills at the moment - not sure how the ATO will feel when our BAS is late!

Another important me thing to do is to try and squeeze in some exercise. So just back from a 45 min walk, listening to some new and daggy music - got to love FAME! Walking route took me around the school (no I don't stalk my daughter everyday!) and saw the cherub in her sport class! Made me smile!

Also lifting my spirits is the greenery that surround the metro area I live. Amongst golf courses it sometimes feels like we are in the middle of the bush with the large gum trees and their lovely Australian aroma. This morning I saw the biggest Magnolia tree I think I have ever seen - the flower must have been the size of a dinner plate and brilliant white.

So having successfull ticked a lot of my list today I will ride out the PMT and spend some time reading in the sun and enjoying the serenity. Might surf the net for some other inspiring sites and blogs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Awful beginning.....beautiful day....

So this morning I was woken by my 5 year old before 6am telling me there was a dead mouse downstairs. Stumbling downstairs with my tigher than ever achilles and sleep head I was greeted at the bottom of the stairs by a very dead 20 cm long mouse (or RAT). Harry the cat had done his job over night which is the positive. Being woken to it at that time in the morning made it impossible for me to see any positives.

Anyway after noticing that the dog I am minding had dug another two holes in my lawn I decided it was time to try and revive my rather dead patch of greenery and headed to the local nursery, one of my favourite places! In between the squeals (such a wonderful sound) of my 5 yr old who loved going in search for the bird baths and other squeal (spelling) worthy objects, we managed to purchase the grass seed and a selection of flowering stuff (chosen by the 5 yr old).

What a delightful day it has turned into. The sound of giggles as she plays with her friend, searching the park for bits of tree (I like the way they look when they have been out in the weather, she likes seeds and other odd things to go in her nature bowl) and searching the local organic shop for good stuff for the environment and real looking fruit and vegetables.

I had an apithany (spelling) yesterday that I feel good when I am doing something good for the environment. So in keeping with making every moment great, I plan to do more of the things that make me feel good (common sense really). Today's new "good thing to do for the environment" is putting a bucket in the sink and collecting the water I use daily, while washing hands and dishes. I have to say I am astounded by the amount of water I would normally wash down the sink.

I also feel good when I surround myself with things I like the look, touch, smell and colour of. Hence the collecting of twigs and seeds. I do sound a little eccentric! I use them to make wind mobiles with shells. The 5 year old's cubby is adorned by them.

I haven't loaded my daily photo but have taken some of the 5 yr old planting her seaside daisy outside. I wonder what other surprises and experiences today will hold. Living mindfully is a tough assignment for someone who is a typical Type A personality and extreme organiser and list maker!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A start

So here I am with a blog. Not being the techno type I really didn't know what one was but when my folks started talking about a blog they were reading I thought it was time to investigate. It seemed the like the perfect place to start this journey.

This year is my year. In the turmoil that is the world we live in I have found myslef lost and without focus. Step one in this process was enroling in a meditation course. This has been life changing and allowed me to focus and calm the constant chatter in my head. It is also teaching me to be more in the now, appreciating what I have now, and not focusing on what I don't have.

My blog will be a daily reminder of all that is good in my life. I read recently about a lady who took a photo a day for a whole year to remind herself how wonderful her life was. I think this is a great idea. She is artistically inclined and the photos are gorgeous but it is something I am going to try. She plans on copying the document for both of her children, another lovely idea.

Last night I signed up to receive some newletters and updates from some lovely sites and I hope to learn more about alternate methods of relaxation, personal appreciation and appreciation of the world around me. From leaves to sand to seeds to rocks to birds to trees to water. So I begin.

Today's photos - the beauty outside my own front door. I walk past these things everyday without noticing the colour, texture, beauty right in front of me.