A Slow Start

It’s Wednesday yet it feels distinctly like a Monday. With school holidays, three weeks off work due to the uni break, Easter, an operation, three trips in and out of Melbourne (for fun) and a seasonal change to boot, the last month has seemed like a circus. A mainly good and fun and happy circus, but a circus nonetheless.

Bird went to school for one day after Easter before having grommets in and adenoids out last week. A big week but overall, a success. That afternoon as we sat in recovery she looked at me and said, “Mum, everything is so loud!” After five years of hearing and congestion difficulties, I breathed a sigh of relief. For all the anxiety that had come in making that decision, will we, won’t we, will we, won’t we; in that moment, it was worth it.

She went back to school today and I’m back to teaching tomorrow and kinder is back and KB is at work and, as such, our life will start to resemble normality once again. No more late nights, dinner when we feel like it, pyjama days or nicking off to the country… at least, not during the week for the time being. Weekends are another story.

Last night I lay in bed as the night folded around us. I heard the flow of gentle breath coming in waves from all except me. My breath was full and awake at the midnight hour, though in the daylight, I long for sleep.

And such is motherhood, flowing from one moment to the next, the uncertainty coming in ebbs and flows, the solidity of our day to day routines seemingly fluid yet always constant and neverending.

Today, we took things slowly on our first morning back. We hung around at school chatting to parents, and worked our way back home to a hot cup of coffee, babycinos and a moment around the table cutting out pictures of dragons and making people out of toilet rolls with sticky taped wool for hair. We are heading off to swimming lessons now.

Even though the routine is back and a rhythm will once again be in place, I welcome it. Sometimes it’s nice to have something to rely on.

(Oh, and I baked a cake… this simple, delicious, refined sugar and dairy free orange blossom cake.)

Wintery Things

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We took a drive out to a beautiful pine forest yesterday and proceeded to wander around it with some friends. I didn’t think I liked pine trees very much, always favouring the familiar pale greens and greys of the Australian bush over the grim regiment of large pines. Yesterday though, these slender ladies made quite an impression on me.

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settling in

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Thinking and dreaming and writing (elsewhere!). Reading things that make my path and decisions easier. Focussing on mindfulness in the day to day. Trying not to get bogged down by the irrelevant. These are a few of the things I have been doing. As Autumn comes into focus (albeit a rather warm one) the world around us seems to slow down. The days become shorter and, if you pay attention, nature begins to wind down, reminding us that we should be doing the same. The Ashtanga Yoga I was doing over summer has merged into sporadical (read: rare) trips to the studio for rejuvenating stretching and meditation. Food has become warmer in our house, and cooked longer and slower as I follow the seasons and my instincts to fill our bellies with fresh, warm seasonal produce. In a book that I constantly refer to, I read that Autumn is a time for shedding, and not to be surprised if you cry a lot as we move into this season. I’m never afraid to cry. Are you?

holidaying

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I haven’t been getting the camera out much lately. Life has been flowing on day by day and we have been living it. A nice feeling really, not to be constantly viewing your life through the lens. Life first, lens second.

Now it’s holidays. Oh, how I love the holidays. The holiday feeling. Watching movies in the afternoons. Hearing the call of our kettle, filling hot water bottles and bringing our biggest mugs forward from the back of the cupboard for steaming cups of herbal tea in the evenings. Wearing loose trackies and jumpers around the house. Sometimes staying in pyjamas all day… oh, wait… 😉 Opening the blinds to the wintery sunlight…

In a couple of days we will head down to the beach. I love the beach in winter. I love rugging up and wandering the shores in the cold. I especially love it when the beaches are empty, don’t you? All the better to go home to the beach house couch and cosy dinners.

So for now I will just share with you a some more instagram pics, come and say hello there if you like, I’m there every day… @motherwho.

What are you doing this school holidays? Do the holidays mean anything to you or do you just work your way through? If you are in the Northern Hemisphere I think it is the middle of the super long summer break is it not? If so, enjoy! If down here, I hope the fire is stoked and you have a hot cuppa in hand.

Final note – having a school teacher for a husband: I recommend it.

exhilaration

exhilarate |igˈziləˌrāt|verb (usu. be exhilarated)make (someone) feel very happy, animated, or elated : the children were exhilarated by a sense of purpose | [as adj. ] ( exhilarated) all this hustle and bustle makes me feel exhilarated | [as adj. ] ( exhilarating) riding was one of the most exhilarating experiences he knew.

Does anyone else find themselves overcome with exhilaration and excitement and an urgent sense of I-Have-To-Change-My-Life-Right-Now-By-Doing [such-and-such] when reading blogs/twitter/facebook/other? I find myself logging on to write a new entry on my own blog. Instead of going straight to ‘New Post’ I read my subscriptions. I follow lots of different blogs. Sometimes I click on link after link until I have more than twenty tabs open. I get so excited by projects and things to do and see that I become completely overwhelmed. Which one first? How to fit it all in? How to get it right? Gee, that person really has it sussed! Why can’t I be more like that? What would it take? 

Yes, me!

Me who preaches living a slow life and taking things step by step, one thing at a time.

I find it easy to slowly act out each day physically, most of the time. But to slow my thoughts and practice mindfulness is a battle I am challenged with each and every day.

I read and I click and I read and I click and I open and I close and I tweet and I click and I think and I read and I… Before long half an hour has passed, then an hour, then two, then the baby is awake and my mind is full of other people’s thoughts and rhythms and recipes and ideas of exactly what my life needs to look like to be the perfect-rhythmic-slow-happy-family-life and why it isn’t perfect just the way it is.

Stop.

Breathe.

Relax.

My life is exactly what it needs to be, right now.

I can take ideas from other people’s blogs.

I can write down recipes and maybe even try them sometime, if I want.

I can save projects in my bookmarks and refer back to them when the time is right.

I can find inspiration in other’s rhythms and daily comings and goings.

At the end of the day, though, here I am. Immersed in my own life. Surrounded by my own family. Doing my own thing. Which is, whatever it might be right now, today, in this moment.

Right now, I am away from home. With my family. Baby is asleep. Prince Charming has found himself in a rare moment of relaxation on the couch, watching the AFL grandfinal [snore]. I’m on the other couch, looking out the window, trying not to watch the AFL grandfinal. It’s snowing. The mist is so deep that I can see one tree next to the balcony, and beyond that… nothing. I know that a huge mountain range fills the space beyond the mist and sits, day in, day out in quiet, majestic solitude. Every now and then I can hear big chunks of melting snow falling from the roof.

Ah.

There we go, found myself.

But one last little note… oh – come on, let me! Just to indulge my click-happy self, ok? I’ve been reading Unplugged Sunday lately. I just read this post by the writer of Luna Pacifica, who I mentioned a while ago. I think some seasonal journal writing might help curb my link-clinking and keep me in the present, just a little bit more. And what better time to start, than the beginning of Spring… What do you think? Do you keep a journal? Does it say anything about the seasons?

There – now you can all go clickety-clack on my links instead of the other way around! I’m off to have another cup of tea!