Tag Archives: happiness

A reminder from Dumbledore

Ah the ups and downs of life! Enjoying the spring weather and a happy mental state one day, down in Melbourne in the grey gloomy rain and being called home to deal with dramas the next. When I found this, from the website Striking Truths, pinned by a friend on Pinterest this evening, it resonated with me.  JK Rowling, with her Dumbledore Manifesto, got it right.

I have to admit that I need a bit of extra inspiration at the moment. Parenting a child with a complex diagnosis is challenging.  I have lost count of the number of times I have sat in the Principal’s office and said “I don’t know what we do now” as something new has transpired.  Today was another of those days.  Although I always manage to pick myself up, start working on the next strategy, the next plan of attack, the next piece of analysis to try to understand what is making him tick so differently from everyone else, there are times that this all seems unattainable.  Today was one of those days.  I still don’t have an answer to the latest conundrum, but a bit of a reminder from a fictional wizard that that I can turn on the light and find happiness in the darkness, is just what I needed.

On a different note, proving that my mother’s assessment of me as impulsive was probably much truer than I gave her credit for, it appears that I have an au pair!  I had started the search through a site recommended by a friend, and noticed that one of the au pairs was already in Australia.  After exchanging emails I found out yesterday that she was in Melbourne – and I was flying there for meetings this morning.  Deciding that this was more than fortuitous I arranged to meet her in the 20 minute window between the airport and the first meeting.  Within minutes of meeting her I had the call from Canberra that I needed to come home again – but even having that window into the dramas in our life didn’t phase her.  She was so warm and bubbly, sensible and open and honest that my colleague also agreed that she was just right for us, and we both felt the need to hug her goodbye!  The chicks and I spoke to her via Skype this afternoon (after I had checked her references on the phone) and the boy begged her to come and live with us (!!!!).  So she arrives on Saturday!  Oh my!  (Hmmm….. mental note – might need to clean the house a bit so she doesn’t run on the first day!)   Much quicker than I thought, but the very idea of some respite and flexibility has me giddy!    That might just be the light in my darkness today!  Even though I have moments of complete despair, little things like this remind me that someone upstairs is looking after me, despite my balance sheet looking more than a little skewwhiff these days.

 

 

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Another step

This week has been quite wonderful so far. I mean that in the true sense of the word – I have wondered and marvelled at all the lovely things that have been happening around me!

On Monday I had a great day at work, including a lovely visit with my career mentor, a good session with my chiropractor (who is helping with an injury to my back/neck/shoulder so I felt much better), a visit with a lovely friend (which enabled us both to laugh uproariously at the expense of her ever-tolerant husband), a great phonecall with another friend and an impromptu visit from another. All of those events on their own would have made it a great day in my books (even if only one of them had happened!). But wait – there was more! Some pendant making kits that I had ordered from Etsy arrived, another one of my bags was on the front page of the Etsy website, and my house was clean when I got home (courtesy of my cleaner, the miracle-worker/housekeeper). Then…I received an email from Sian at Janes Apple asking if I would like to be featured on her blog! Her site is great – tips for blogging, features on Australian artists, and links to her own shop where she sells lovely fresh original cards. I feel so humble to be asked – and so excited! What a great finish to a lovely day!

In the middle of all of that, those lightbulbs from the workshop on the weekend were continuing to pop, sizzle, flicker, burn and be fed by support and ideas from my amazing friends. I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who not only allow me to get excited by the things that make me happy, but encourage me and add their ideas to the mix. I have been working on my homework from the workshop and, if I follow my action plan, I should have some new ‘products’ to share with you within the next 6 weeks or so! I don’t want to give too much away now, but the ideas are fuelled by things that I am passionate about. Part of my homework was to prepare a statement of my ‘passion and purpose’. I thought it would be hard….. but the words kept flowing!

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One of my first tasks was completed tonight (and much easier than I anticipated!).  This website is now officially a ‘dot.com’!!!    So my address is now www.alittlebirdmademe.com.  (My sister and her husband helped, so I need to give them credit!).  The next step is to register for an ABN (an Australian Business Number) which makes me even more ‘business like’. I feel sooooo grown up!!

As a result of all of this activity – no sewing to show you tonight.  Instead I can share the lovely prints that I have purchased for the girls’ bedrooms.  They are by Kelly and Adam from Colourscape and are just beautiful quality.  I highly recommend!!

These two are for the artist-in-residence as part of a set of three.  Words that I hope she will take to heart as she grows.  Words that are good for all of us.  Dr Suess.  A very wise man.

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This one is for the eldest chick.  I am soooo tempted to keep it for myself.  It certainly says what I believe (as well as being a quote from one of my favourite bands, Mumford and Sons).

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There is a new decoration on it’s way for the boy too….. nothing like these.  More Star Wars, glow in the dark, green and wise…..  Once it is up on the wall I will share the giant Yoda wall decal with you!  He will be so excited!

I hope that your week is wonderful too.  Remember to do more of what makes you happy.

 

 

Working out what works

Life is busy, and happy and full in the nest at the moment – even the quiet moments are things to be enjoyed.  Which is just as well, as the year feels like it is rushing past very quickly!!    We had a patch like this last year, where everything worked, and life was good, and it went for a few months!  I have learnt to enjoy these moments – sometimes they will be just a day or so, but they are little drops of peace that make the hard times easier.

My beautiful mother left us this morning to fly home to spend some time with Dad and in her normal life.  If all goes well at home she will return to us in about 11 days to look after the children while I travel to Byron Bay for Bluesfest (yes it is completely self-indulgent on my part).  Having her in the house for the last couple of weeks has provided that lift that we all needed – she has introduced a new routine for the kids with unpacking their school bags, and putting their own clothes away that sounds simple, but has made a big difference already to the smoother running of the house!

After we dropped her at the airport this morning we negotiated our way through traffic much quicker than I expected, so had enough time to ride our bikes to school and work.  I had already been to work earlier so was dressed in the black dress, heels and necklace – so stuck leggings underneath and off we went – mother duck and three little ducklings all in a row.  It was great!  The kids enjoyed it, and I was at work quicker than I would have been in the car!  The ride home was also good – although slightly warmer (not as good in a black long-sleeved work dress……) so we all had to lie on the floorboards to cool down!  Simple things.

Stopping to reflect on why we are happier is important (as is acknowledging that we aren’t necessarily unhappier normally – this just appears to be a sweet patch of life).  I have reintroduced our screen time rules – no screens between 9am and 5pm.  Despite the non-stop requests for the rules to be changed, it is working.  The children have boundaries, and have to work to find things to fill in the gaps.  All rules are flexible and this afternoon we have negotiated that they can watch some TV a bit earlier because they have ridden their bikes, and are going to martial arts classes tonight.  But overall, sticking to the rules seems to lift everyone’s behaviour and mood – including mine!

They have also all been exercising more – riding their bikes, walking the dog, bouncing on the trampoline – and all at their own request.  Once again, as life rushes along, it is the simple things of exercise, good food, and reduced time on screens that make the difference – exactly what happened last year when we had our ‘good patch’.  I am taking lots of mental notes as I write this and work through it in my mind.  There are little lightbulbs popping all over the place!

On the same vein, I have started participation in a mentoring program through my work.  I flew to Sydney for the day yesterday to participate the launch and to spend time with my mentor (who kindly also flew to Sydney despite the inconvenience it caused her).  I think that I am going to get a lot out of the program and the relationship, and have already paused to think about the importance of striking a balance with exercise.  A few things she said had me thinking about my approach to my fitness.  I tend to put it way down the list of what it is important.  I will find something new like running, or going to the gym, and enjoy it and stick at it for about 6 months.  Then as life gets complex it starts to be the first thing to get dropped – as if things for me aren’t as important as everyone else’s needs.  Hmmmmm.  So my personal goal for the next few weeks is to work out how I can prioritise time for myself to work on fitness back into the equation.  Bike riding is a good start.  Next will be how to find time for gym sessions a few times a week.  That one will take some thinking and planning, so stand by!

The other thing that I need to continue to work on is making time for my crafting  – because it does mean so much to me.  I have been slow and steady this week – I made an art folder for a friend to give her daughter for her birthday, and made a rainbow cape for my niece’s birthday.  I finished it in time to pack it in mum’s suitcase last night – and forgot to photograph it!  So I will have to ask my sister to send me a photo of the birthday girl wearing it instead!  I am itching to start some pillowcases for another friend so might try to get them started this afternoon/evening.

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Having used this as a chance to work through what is working for us right now, I am off to play a game with my kids and then do some sewing.  I hope that your week is working for you!