Make a Choice

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

Over the years, and from the depths of new motherhood, I’ve been deliberating. I’ve never been someone who finds decision making easy (be it choosing something from a menu, for fear of food envy, or something bigger: where to live, what to do). As I’ve become older, decision making seems to become harder and harder. There are more people depending on me, more needs to meet, more things to take into consideration. So I mull and obsess, I yo-yo, I circle.

Lately, as this year draws to a close and a new one begins, we have needed to make some big decisions. I’ve struggled over a particular decision that I have needed to make for myself. I’ve tossed and turned on it, I’ve decided at midnight, only to have changed my mind again by morning. The longer it went on (a few years), the more I struggled; it became bigger than it needed to be. It exhausted me.

Today, however, I did it. After consulting a few friends who have followed a similar path, after taking action and doing the necessary research: it was time. Now or never.

I made a choice.

And it feels SO good. I am now questioning whether or not it would have mattered which choice I made, in the end. The simple act of finally deciding has lifted the cloud from around my head, from sitting heavy around my shoulders. For the first time in a few years, I can see more than a few feet ahead of me.

Earlier this week when time was running out and I was in turmoil, I was texting a wise friend of mine. She reminded me that Sarah Wilson has written a fair bit about decision making (you can read more here). I came home and devoured a few of her articles and this helped me to take another step forward, to put one foot in front of the other instead of standing on the curb, looking this way and that and never moving, never showing up.

We still have a number of decisions to make to get 2017 sorted. But through the process of making this one decision, and through the various obstacles of motherhood, I have come to realise the perfect choice rarely exists. There is simply the choice that has the least amount of negative outcomes, or perhaps more often than not, just the one that is better in that moment. Trying to predict whether it will be the right choice in a month or a year can become a torment. Believe me, I’ve been there.

So go ahead and make a choice! Whether it is what to have for lunch, or something bigger, I’m sure it will clear the path ahead. It certainly has for me.

Creative Pursuits + Motherhood

img_7656

I get a lot of questions both online and in person along the lines of: how do you find the time to [insert creative pursuit here]? We all know well enough that social media is only a small part of a person’s life, and no matter how hard you try, you can never create the same amount of depth, substance, activity and stressors that come together to make up a real life. Social media simply cannot fully represent this. While I try to keep it real, my instagram and this blog tell the story of such a small portion of my actual life that it is hard to see the balance that I struggle to find each and every day.

Truth be told, being a creative person and a mother is hard work. My own mother is always telling me to let things (writing, making) go for a while. I think she thinks this will somehow alleviate my frustrations, that it will allow me to feel more at peace with the housework and the domesticity if I focus on getting those things done instead of thinking about the next thing I am going to make or write. But the issue with creativity is that you can’t switch it on and off. When people say they don’t know how I find the time to write this blog, it comes as a shock to me in the first instance. I package it up and think about it – I realise I actually don’t have a choice. I don’t plan my posts, I only write when the urge is so strong that I just can’t not write. The same goes for other writing I pursue. As I type this, I have my laptop balanced on top of my sewing with my foot on the pedal of my sewing machine. I was sewing some velcro onto some nappy wallets and had my laptop in the room so I could listen to spotify. When I suddenly needed to write, I half stopped what I was doing and started tapping away. It usually takes me days or, more likely, even weeks to finish a piece of writing or to finish sewing or crocheting something. Sometimes I get lucky and see a gap in time, but more often than not I have to put things aside and get back to it later. I am much better at using smaller winks of time now than I used to be!

I don’t have any answers in regards to how to fit things into a busy life with small children. I puzzle over other people’s lives and also wonder how they get things done. I think sometimes things are an illusion, that when you’re chatting at school pick up or at the coffee shop or in the supermarket or on instagram – I think that everyone smiles and says they are great and the accidental illusion is given that people (parents) are going to bed each night feeling that the house is in order and the washing is done and the lunches are made and the floors are clean and tidy. In reality, I don’t know anyone who is actually in that situation.

I know some people get up a few hours earlier than their families every morning in order to write/bake/make/sew. I am not this person. I have tried to be a morning person and at this stage of my life while I’m still getting up in the night to attend to small people, I just don’t have it in me. At night is when I come alive, and I have to try very hard to not get carried away when the moon is high and the sky is brightly lit with stars and little heads are sleeping soundly on their pillows.

What I do want to stress is that when I make something, I am forgoing something else – the washing, the floors, or sometimes even time with my family.

Motherhood is a constant balancing act, and no one is perfect. We are all getting up each day and going to work or doing the dishes or cuddling children or, on occasion, behaving badly and getting to the end of our tether (yes, this was me this morning when I didn’t get my own way haha!). At the end of the day, we are all doing our best. And like my parents said to me, and I’m sure yours said to you: always do your best, and your best is always enough.

A Kind of Meditation

Moving slowly around the kitchen, buttering toast, filling cups of water. Flicking on the coffee machine. Quiet thoughts floating past my consciousness. Wiping faces, passing wooden spoons and saucepans to idle hands. Sweeping the floor, wiping the tiles on hands and knees because the mop broke. Feeding the dog, filling her bowl. Putting seeds out for the birds, pausing for a small moment in the sunshine. Taking off my shoes, walking barefoot on the boards. Picking flowers with the girls, placing jars with their arrangements around the house. Getting in the car, doing up the straps, pausing for a moment to breathe. Coming home again, unloading. Repeat, repeat, repeat throughout the day for various this and that; shops, school, kinder. Putting the kettle on, spooning tea into the pot. Standing for a moment to collect my thoughts. Moving again, pouring the tea, folding the clothes, reading a book to eager ears. Turning on the oven, chopping vegetables. Leaning over to pick things up off the floor, clearing space. Turning the oven off, serving up the food. Wiping faces, changing nappies, running a clear warm bath. Warming pyjamas by the heater, doing up buttons, encouraging little bodies into bed. Tucking in, giving kisses.

Re-boiling the kettle.

Sitting on the couch.

Barely moving.

Tired but content.

Turning Down the Volume

I heard excited squeals from the back yard this afternoon. I went outside to find Bird and the Pixie jumping up and down next to the four wattle trees we planted a couple of years ago along the fence, now in full flower. Last year they produced a few flowers here and there, but this has been their first proper show. I was taken aback by

Read More

Getting Out There

20160807_123802

We spent the weekend in the high country of Victoria, celebrating a little friend’s first birthday. The town we were meant to stay in was fully booked out due to a few events we weren’t aware of, so we had to look further afield. We ended up in a historic gold rush town that neither of us had visited in a number of years, and it was

Read More

Kombucha Induced Road Rage + a Vegan Fried Rice Recipe

Coming at you from the library today. I spent the morning here getting some stuff done for the NGO I work for, and then stepped out to grab some things for dinner from the shops. I also picked up some rice paper rolls from my favourite sushi shop and a kombucha to get me over the $10 minimum eftpos line. So I jump back in my car and am

Read More

A Recipe: Red Lentil Dahl

IMG_7467

I have been receiving emails lately asking for recipes and ideas for meal planning. I thought I would share a few of my favourite staple recipes with you, beginning today with my step mother’s lentil dahl. A quick google search will uncover an entire world of dahl, I have made many different and more traditional versions, but this one with

Read More

Bringing in the Weekend

IMG_7440

We’re taking things slowly this afternoon. There’s a chill in the air and nothing to hurry to or from. Just after school chit chat with the girls and breathing into this moment.

We saw some brightly coloured birds on the way home today. One of their favourite things to do is look up birds we see in my Grandpa’s bird book. We (they) rushed to the bookshelf as soon as we walked in the door and we discovered the birds we saw were

Read More

1 2 3 4 5 6 40