The year ahead…

…actually we might just start with this week.

I find that if I start looking too far ahead (like more than a day or two) I fall into the trap of wishing things away, planning and/or worrying about stuff that probably won’t happen and not appreciating the here and the now. Yes there are lots of things that I am hoping for 2016, but they don’t all have to appear right now.

As a new year dawns, I am feeling a bit out of my comfort zone. It’s normally at this time of the year that I start to plan (code for ‘dread’) going back to school. That has pretty much been the pattern of my whole entire life – going to school, going to uni, and then going and teaching at schools. I haven’t dreaded it each time, but I have definitely had a heavy feeling as most Januarys come to a close. So it’s no wonder that I am tickled pink to be kicking off this year with a new purpose. My new job is looking after our brand spanking small person, so I am thinking of just one child instead of many, and the only other staff member is Bill. I wonder what our playground duty roster will look like!!

So I am excited and yet a tad apprehensive. The year ahead of looking after someone who gives us so much joy is something I can’t really describe. Lenny was a long time coming so I think it is still kicking in that he is actually here. And yet there is a funny feeling, that will no doubt flare up as I see the school buses motoring past our place in a couple of weeks (actually a stack of school buses – their depot is at the end of our street so they’re hard to miss) of thinking ‘So, is this it?’

I have had a few chats with new mothers about this feeling – I’m now a mother, so what does that look like? It is funny to think that I won’t be contributing financially to our household, my diary is pretty much empty (not even sure why I bought one) and my workplace will be our house. I don’t think it hurts to air these feelings. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy – just wondering how it will all pan out. One day at a time is how it will pan out.

So to the year ahead. I have a few different levels of hopes for the year and some are pie in the sky, while others are a bit more realistic…

Big picture:

Why not: Go on a holiday somewhere that involves a passport.

Why not: Get my meditation practice down pat.

On the whole:

 

I think I can manage to: Keep Lenny alive

I think I can manage to: Be more loving towards the people I love.

Day to day:

 

It’d be really nice if: I can eat more fruit and veggies than I do processed foods.

It’d be really nice if: I walk every day…at least to the clothesline.

 

If I could sum up my hopes for 2016 in one word, it’d be ‘HOWEXCITING’

Cherie

8 Ways to survive a damp holiday

It’s been therapeutic. I feel proud of myself to know that it has been awfully wet out there, yet I don’t feel ripped off or like this is the worst holiday ever. It might even go down as one of the best.

It wouldn’t have been too long ago, that if this same fate had befallen me – ie non stop rain for 3 and a bit days – I may have gone a little crazy (and taken everyone down with me) But now that I am older and wiser, I am taking it for what it is. And that’s nature. I can’t change it, so I might as well learn to love it.

So what have I done to get through the days:

  1. Use my husband’s ‘Personal hotspot’ (that sounds a lot sexier that I anticipated) to tap into his wifi data. While the rest of the world seems to be taking on a New Year’s resolution of a social media hiatus, I have upped the anti. What a treat!
  2. Cook. Every meal has been a labour of love. Usually I might insist of eating out every meal while on hols, but not this time. It’s breakfast for kings and a few of these frozen banana and peanut butter bad boys in between.
  3. Read and read and read. And while I thought I would be flying through the books, I am taking it easy and reading slowly – just one page at a time suits me fine. I used this list as my inspiration, and so far have ticked off…one of them.
  4. Cuddle and snuggle the boys.
  5. Not wash my hair. I’m leaving it to its own devices and letting it sort itself out. I hate showering and seeing as it’s bucketing down outside, I am having my own little private protest and not adding any more water to the system. And the result? It’s a fair old grease ball. But we’re not going anywhere so who really cares?!
  6. Watch a truckload of daytime television. Who knew that you could start watching Bold and the Beautiful again – after not seeing it for over 12 months – and still pick up exactly where you left off? Amazing that show. Amazing in so many ways.
  7. Give the ping pong table a serious workout. I wanted this one to read ‘Give my husband a good old fashioned whipping in ping pong’ but sadly that’s still a work in progress. I am seriously considering getting a coach. Actually I might you tube some tips. I am a bad loser so I am also working on my ability to handle defeat.
  8. Get in touch with old friends & family. I have had a chance to think about lots of different folk, with all of my free time, and have even sent out the odd text. I am hopeless at keeping in touch with people so this down time has given me a chance to rekindle a few old friendships. I might not check back in with them until the next rainy day but at least it’s a start.

(I’m looking out the window now and the sun is doing its darnedest to poke through. So this means I might, just might, have to readjust my holiday strategy. That’ll at least buy me some time for more data)

Now where was I?

Goodness me. There goes another 6 months, and another 6 months of not posting a damn thing on this blog. I just lied down for a nana nap – which is an actual thing for me – and couldn’t nod off due to the pure excitement of putting pen to paper (aka fingertips to keyboard).

I know this blog started off as a recount of my sister’s house being built, but that started to feel a little bit showy and a little dull. Who actually cares about wall colours and the width of floorboards? I think I thought I cared, but it turns out I was just looking for an excuse to start a blog.

And now I realise that it’s not so much the content that matters, but just the sheer enjoyment of having a chance to write. So I am going to give this blog another crack. And this time because I hope to be more authentic – and write about things that shake my world – I’m hoping there’ll be a bit more regularity and something even readable (ooh, wouldn’t that be a thrill!)

I’m on our annual January summer holiday and this one is affecting me like no other. For one, I am here with not just one loved one but two. So that’s three all together. (If you’re like me, maths might not be your strongpoint so I like to help out when I can) Baby Lenny is the snooziest by far – although it’s a toss up for 2nd.

Secondly, we have had our holiday interrupted by rain…like truckloads of the stuff…and it’s taken me a while to come to terms with it. You see, when you live in Central Western NSW, relentless rain for days is just not really a thing. I don’t think I have ever – in my whole 40 years – experienced this much precipitation for consecutive days. And it’s thrown me a bit to be truthful.

On the first day it was a novelty (gee, the farmers will be happy) the 2nd day was a bit tedious (code for bloody frustrating) but now on day 3 I finally feel at one with the rain. It’s forced me out of my January holiday comfort zone. We haven’t touched the togs for days, the beach umbrella has been traded up for a proper brolly and the book reading is so strong that I have even picked up ‘Eat Pray Love’ again (and this time I actually like it!) I know…confronting stuff.

So instead of the beach holiday that I had become accustomed to – which entailed hours on the sand, a fair dose of retail therapy, and a good deal of sun loving – I have been forced to take a good hard look at myself. It’s kind of like solitary confinement I guess. Except there is tea, bread and a whopping 40 inch television.

And it is now that I am pondering my next move. Where do I want this blog to go? And where, more importantly, do I want myself to go? Because I want this blog to reflect where I am at. And let’s face it, no one wants to read about nana naps.

See you soon!

Cherie

 

A bit more radio action

I might as well keep updating this blog with the little radio stints that I do in Orange. I head over to the ABC studio once a month and have a lovely chat with Angela Owens about the best blogs I have found. They tend to have a pretty strong food theme, but I must admit that I am broadening my taste (sorry) as I search for a variety of stimulating blogs.

This session dates back to February. You can listen to it down the bottom – I would rather die than listen back on myself.

How do I find out about new and fabulous blogs?

Friends are a great source – I always seem to be having conversations with girlfriends about something they saw recently on a blog. Once upon a time it might have been about a magazine I had purchased, but now it’s online stimulus!

The other place is from bloggers themselves; they often provide links to new blogs that they are fond of – a personal recommendation that usually leads you to more like minded people with similar interests.

How do I keep up to date with blogs?

I don’t subscribe to any blogs to come through to my email – it is not used for that.

I use ‘Feedly’ which is an online filing cabinet for blogs! They come in automatically and I have categorized them according to their content. It is a fantastic organizational and time saving tool.

3 of my favourite blogs for February:

Food: Stonesoup

Jules Clancy who is based in Cooma NSW created this informative blog. She is a nutritionist and apart from providing amazing recipes each week, she also offers an online cooking school and meal planning course – so you learn to cook healthy and simple meals virtually!

The meals take 15 mins or less, all of the ingredients (5 or less) can be sourced locally and they are so nutritious. It’s a winner.

5 Ingredients or Less

Sweet Potato Hummus + Lamb Cutlets

Life: The Slow Poke

A stunning lifestyle blog, curated by a lady based in Sydney, who has an eye for life in the slow lane. It encompasses all things that go into making a more simple and authentic life.

One of my fave posts is about the benefits of walking around barefoot – feeling the dirt and grass under your feet. Read it here

theslowpoke_barefootearthing1

 Regional: Red Agape

Amanda lives has a guest house in Milthorpe and her blog is inspired by all things crafty. And while I’m not that crafty myself, I can live vicariously through her blog. She has created a community on social media that uses craft as therapy and it has created a real buzz amongst people who have turned to craft as a way of coping with stress, illness or hardship.

A clever crafty 'Olives and Pickles' created this masterpiece as part of #craftastherapy

A clever crafty ‘Olives and Pickles’ created this masterpiece as part of #craftastherapy

So see if any of these blogs tickle your fancy. And if you have come across a blogger that needs some light shone upon them, then let me know in the comments section and I’ll check them out.

February Bits and Blogs: Listen HERE