One step forward

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Minutes, hours, days, weeks, actually nearly a couple of months.  Where has it gone?  Why was it here so strong and then the next it was missing from my life again.  Creativity.  It got lost in the day to day routines again.  I keep letting this happen over and over again.

So how to take that first step forward? Promise again to do something creative. Go to inspiring places. Read inspiring things. Spend time with inspiring people.  This I did all weekend and now I feel that it is time. One step forward….. moving back to the path of creativity.

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Sometimes you are forced to slow down

coffee-flower-reading-magazine

My life has been busy. I hate saying that. I read recently that we measure our worth by saying how busy we are. We think we are more important if we are able to complain about the busy, crazy lives that we live.  Maybe life has not been busy but perhaps more that is has been totally out of routine.

Term 2 holidays. I had just come out of three weeks of school holidays where I juggle being mum, full time worker, social organiser etc.  I love the school holidays, but I hate the fact that I juggle work and children.  I feel guilty about taking time from work, leaving early, I feel like I spend 3 weeks of not working full days.  Then I have mother guilt.  I am dropping the kids to other people for them to entertain, I rush them out the doors in the morning, little time for them to relax and I only get one or two days to actually spend with them per week in the holidays.

But as we always do, we got through.  Then my dad arrived to stay with us. He lives overseas and returns every couple of years.  The stay ended up being about 6 weeks.  I gave up my room and camped in with my daughter.  Four of us shuffled about, sharing one bathroom, living space, tv etc.  Generations trying to get along.  He had deteriorated mentally and physically since I last saw him. The shock was over whelming.  I was tired after the school holiday circus and then to have an extra person in the house who does little for themselves, well it added to the tiredness.

So here we are. Two weeks to the school holiday circus commences again.  Dad leaves tomorrow and life will fall into routine once again.  Take a deep breath.  I obviously needed to slow down and for this week it has been forced upon me. My youngest is now sick with flu.  Temperatures and pain.  The last two days have been lounging on the couch, the two of us.  Naps, movies, reading… And even though it becomes another juggle, worry about a sick child, will the older one be sick now for exams, what about all my responsibilities at work? But in this case I can do nothing.  I have to slow down, be here for her, serve chicken soup, ginger beer and just be mum for the next few days.

Sometimes you are forced to slow down, and I don’t think that is such a bad thing to happen.

to mind,

Snail Mail

snail mail

I have always had a fascination for paper and stationary items.  Oh the smell of paper, they way it folds, cuts and can be re formed into something beautiful.  I have always loved to write letters.  I have recently unearthed a box of letters that I have kept over the years. Correspondence between me and a best friend who was having adventures overseas. Letters from loved ones, innocent young love, and beautiful messages from first love.  All of these have been kept in a box and over the years I have read and re read the words. I am sure that my letters back to these writers have long since been discarded. Lost in moves, lost over the years. But in the writing of these friends I can read about the person they saw me as, the love they had for me, the friendships we created.

So I was thrilled to find Michelle Mackintosh’s book, ‘Snail Mail’ – celebrating all things posted.  Gifts, cards, letters, postcards…. so many things that can end up in the cycle of writing, creating, stamping, posting, sending.  Only to bring happiness to the receiver at the other end.  Like slow dinners, technology free days, people are embracing the way things were, the simple things. This is including a movement to go back to writing.  Put pen to paper, create, write, send.

So I am putting pen back on to paper.  Packaging up some words, some crafty items and sending them out into the world.  If you wish to join me then email me at shenarratesherownlife@gmail.com or private message me via the facebook page.  Send me your postal address if you dare, and I will send out a little package your way.  Let’s celebrate the old fashioned snail mail.

How do we write the next chapter?

nature-grass-green-book

There is something really special about catching up with friends from your past.  Friends who have known you in your school years or university years. Friends who you have a past with, people who remember what you were like before kids, careers…before responsibilities.

My weekend was filled with this.  One catch up was with a friend I went to   school with, and we have shared memories of our teenage years, parties, first loves, summer holidays roaming from one experience to the next.  She now lives too far away to catch up regularly, but we talk often and catch up when travel allows us to do so.  I also had a lovely lunch with a friend who I had lost contact with, we met at university and then a few years later we worked together.  Years and lives divided us but we have found our way back again.

Conversations with both friends were filled with catching up on where life has taken us all.  The twists and turns that we have been through, some we are still navigating and are raw and painful.  We relived the past, remembered good times, questioned some of the choices we made that have since put us on the path that we are on today. There were memories, good and bad.  There was longing for things that did not happen and sometimes sadness for some of things that have occurred.

Today I chatted with the lovely elderly neighbour at work. He was out, pottering in his garden. We discussed his recent birthday, he celebrated turning 82.  He could not believe it. Where had the time gone?  He remarked that he still felt so young, if only his hearing and eye sight was better.  He had no regrets, he still had good health and he had and still was enjoying life.

My elderly father has come to stay for a while.  Confronted full on with the passing of time. How old he has become. Frail and sad. Age frightens me.  Shock was what took hold.  In forty or so more years, is this my end? Will I be just a ‘burden’ on my children?  Will I have done all that I want in this life I have been given?  Will I have regrets. Probably. I already do about some of the experiences I have lived or some of the opportunities I did not embrace in my past 40 or so years.

So where to from now? How to write the next chapter of our lives? What will the next chapters begin to look like? What words will play across the page?  I spent a weekend looking back. Enjoying the memories.  Young, free, irresponsible.  The chapters of my past were certainly different from what I expected. Do I need to remind myself each day to make the most of each moment? Experience the experiences with all senses present.  Feel all the emotions that life has to offer.

So the weekend was wonderful.  I enjoyed the catch ups and the questions that were raised.  I love looking back. I was so different to who I am now.  So it is important to start looking at the fresh pages, ready to write the next 40 or so years! Yes… Yes I am ready.

 

Closing one door and opening the next

doors

Six or so years.  Yes it has been about that long.  I had a small business.  The dream was to one day have a shop.  Have you seen Mr Magorium’s Wonderful Emporium?  It is the most magical movie about the best toy shop.  Yep, that was the shop I was going to have… magic and all.

However my lovely little on line business never really raised enough money to make this dream  become reality.  Six years ago, not many places sold wooden toys, today they are cheaply available at all the big chain stores and they are lovely.  So I have had a facebook business page, sitting alone, unused for about the last six months. I just could not bring myself to say, that journey was at an end, my toy shop was not going to happen.

But, other interests have slowly taken over. Mindfulness, creativity, books, paper… oh yes paper.  As much as I have always loved beautiful toys, I have also loved paper and stationary.  So over the last few months some things have combined.  I have been creating again.  Something I had little time for when I was trying to run an online business.  I have been using books, paper, folding, making, designing, creating.  This new creativity is not a business, not yet. I  started this weekend to take the items I had made to a couple of markets but I am not doing this adventure for the outcome of a shop. No, I am doing it to feel creative again.  To feel mindful, balanced and not so structured, organised and responsible.  After two days at markets, surrounded by creative types I have come home, officially renamed my old online business facebook page and made the move to open the new door.

I do hope that any of you, who are staring at the need to close one door and open the next, find the courage to do just that.  Now that I have opened that new door I look forward to seeing what is inside!

I have found the Answer

Melbourne city
Melbourne city

I have found the answer. It came to me in the way of an article from The Age. I have always wondered which area suits me best for living purposes.  The city? With the people, the cafes, the smells, shops, lane ways, buskers.  Everything with in such an easy reach. Just so much life.

The city laneways were buzzing (2)

Or do I desire the peace of the country? Yes I can see myself living in the country.  My place would have a huge wooden table, it would be the center of the house. French doors would open to outside. Friends would visit and sit around the table, eating beautiful bread, cheese and drinking wine.

Is it possible to have both?  I have often wondered this. But in reality you probably need a bit of money to have the city apartment and the country house.

But yesterday The Age ran this amazing article by Pauline Morrissey, titled the hidden houses of New York. There I saw pictures of country cabins sitting high in New York on top of a block of flats.  Oh so perfect. But wait, go for a stroll and discover the english inspired secret world behind the gate in the Upper East side.  How simply amazing to have the two worlds collide so perfectly.  I think, this is how to have it all. Now to find my tall building to develop my country house. I will meet you there for wine and dinner soon.

Fiona
she narrates her own life

 

Hello Weekend

Hello Weekend

3.45 pm. Saturday afternoon. There is nearly silence.  Only the hum of the heater or the occasional tweet of a bird from outside filters into my hearing.  The children are not home and the animals have realized I am not going to give them attention and have gone to find somewhere to sleep for the afternoon.  The sun is beginning to cast long shadows across my desk and my hands as I type.  There is no warmth left in the sun this afternoon.

Another Saturday almost closed.  There have been half a year of Saturdays already. Where have they gone too?  What did I do with them all?

Weekends come and go so fast.  Sometimes so much expectation is placed on the two days. Will I go out? Catch up with friends? Laze about at home? Spend the day on a craft project?  However, more often then not, a large part of the weekend is filled with chores, cleaning, washing, cooking, shopping – all in preparation for the next 5 week days ahead.

I find it hard to throw routine out the window, to allow myself to  say, “not today, today I will let the dirty laundry pile around me, let the carpets be not swept, the dishes not done”.  To give my self permission to bury myself in the delight of a book for a day, the inspiration of craft making for uninterrupted hours. Nope, not me.  I find it hard to relax into the joys of creation if the house is still a mess around me.

So half a year of Saturdays have played out pretty much the same, weekend after weekend.  Chores and then fun.  Mind you the chores can sometimes  take up till noon. But the afternoons then become the time to relax, drive to the hills, meet up with friends, discover a market, take an adventure with the children.  Or spend the day in, making and reading. It has been a happy pattern, comfortable like an old jumper that fits your shape just right.

How do you spend your weekends?  A day of sport?  Running from one sport event to the other?  In the company of friends or family?  Are you weekends often planned out, or spontaneous?  

I don’t think it matters how you spend them.  In a social whirl wind, or time of solitude, planned or unplanned.  It is a break from the 5 days of work.  The possibility of the unknown hours.  A time to revitalise.  Half a year of Saturdays.  Just gone…… I wonder how the next half will play out?

Fiona
she narrates her own life