life

Just a taste

I was feeling quite enthusiastic today by the prospect of writing a new blog: It’s been a while (but thankfully not quite as long as I thought); I’ve finished my most recent read (coincidentally the book from my last posts to read read list!); we’re running out of data so best to give my newly acquired Netflix a break and it’s been a good week, so I thought that would be nice to share. But of course now I’m sitting here, I’m feeling tired and a bit clueless for direction.

However, some recent feelings:

  • delighted at how relaxed I feel these school holidays compared to the last
  • Grateful to live in South Australia which has consistently stayed COVID free
  • Motivated by my latest read to keep learning about Australian politics
  • Nostalgic watching my favourite childhood series return to the screens on Netflix, yay The Baby-sitters Club
  • Excited that my small counselling business is getting off the ground
  • Content with my relationships
  • Happy to be home with the kids
  • Busy with my various roles but also relieved I shelved one responsibility a little bit

And now I think I’m ok to leave it at that, short and hopefully sweet 🍓

Happy Friday All 🙂

How have you been feeling lately?

family · Farming · life · mental health · relationships

Emotional

Feeling cold, sad and lonely.

I just finished an episode from Season 2 of The Crown. Prince Phillip has been travelling around the Commonwealth, predominantly via ship, away from England for months, Queen Elizabeth is home and one of the Prince’s staff’s wife is seeking divorce.

It was not a good day to watch this show. My house is cold. I’ve turned the heater on, but I think the batteries are going flat in the remote and the mode hadn’t changed properly sending out cold air (just finally feeling warmth now coming out). The window in one of our doors has been broken for over a month (the new glass is s sitting waiting to be replaced along with new screening laying around for literally years), so cold air has been more easily able to enter. I reattached some cardboard today and have shut off that section of the house, although being the kitchen area can not avoid it entirely.

We have just had some wonderful rain. The perfect start to seeding and my husband is hard at work. I had three weeks at home with the children for extended holidays in SA. I’m incredibly blessed that we have had 6 days free of new COVID-19 cases and my children have been able to return to school (Indeed our shutdown has been minimal compared to many countries).

Even prior to seeding starting on ANZAC Day my husband had been busy preparing for this time on the farm and despite no usual sporting committments on the weekends family time was still limited.

I know I’m sad from having just watched a sad show but I’m also crying because I can’t remember the last time my husband told me he loved me without myself first saying the words. Nor can I remember the last time he asked how my day was. He is a wonderful provider and a good man but he puts little effort into our relationship. Sometimes its ok. Sometimes I have enough else going on in my life I am distracted from this absence. Sometimes I’m happy just to be living peacably and doing my own thing. But often, today it hurts deeply.

I had no intention of writing this post. Although I struggled mightily in the holidays with negative thoughts and lack of motivation. I also (belatedly) reached out and received wonderful support. I had wonderful cuddles with the kids in bed this morning, so although lacking patience at bedtime in general I’m coping.

My body is warming up, I have plenty to do today with time too I believe for rest and bingeing (no more The Crown, I’ll turn to Gilmore Girls!). But I am sad.

 

 

community · faith · life

Kindness Pandemic

The last few weeks have seen so much change in our society and with it at times overwhelming anxiety. I confess to being scared to go to the shops unsure of what I’ll find. I’ve also been one of millions of parents thinking about the decision whether or not to send my children to school. Living in a country area, there’s a sense of false safety perhaps. But also living on a farm social isolation doe not feel all that new, and I know whats not entirely best for my mental health.

I was very blessed this week to be added to a facebook group with Mums from my sons class where we could share our choices and thinking. Within this group we also acknowledge the superhero efforts of our school and it’s staff and I can’t even describe the joy it gave me to be part of this group who arranged these gorgeous flowers for these very special people in ours and our childrens lives.

 

I’ve also been completely uplifted by The Kindeness Pandemic group on facebook recording kind deeds all over the place. Also learnt about Up Lit and read the darling book A man Called Ove today. So while the world may at times get us down, there always good to be found.

Praying for everyone in need at this time

God bless

GJ

ps I also recommend Humans of New York for good fuzzy feelings – have you got any recommendations? Any specific prayer requests? xo

 

faith · life

Decision anxiety – leaving it to faith

I’ve been itching to write a post this last week, being I felt well overdue, and yet until last night I had no inspiration to use my spare time on this endeavor.

Finally I wanted to write, but no real topic came to mind….I found the start of this in my lengthy drafts vault….

 

As previously mentioned, I quit my job (2018) and it’s a little bit scary. I’m scared about having made the right decision, a Godly decision. Thankfully even amidst my fear I have peace that it is the right decision at this time, I just don’t know what the future holds, of course we never do. For the past 7+ years though I knew I had work as an occupational therapist. I don’t know if I’ll ever work as an OT again. I don’t know if I’ll ever work in a paid position again!

The last two days I’ve had ample free time and it’s felt weird, quiet, empty – scary!

Yesterday I asked God to let me know if I had made the wrong decision, I’m running out of time to change my mind. He answered my prayer.

Today I read a blog from The Godly Chic Diaries which shared ‘Life requires a total surrender, a flying leap of faith. Sometimes the tighter we hold onto life, the louder the message from the universe is. FAITH! It will all turn out as it should be, even if it doesn’t seem that way at all in the moment. Every experience is an opportunity to practice letting go and of grasping onto life as we believe it should be, and free-falling with acceptance into the life we have.’

Also ‘We’re human, we’re not meant to be perfect. It’s your journey. Own it. Bloom where God planted you. Be your most authentic self, all in. Honor yourself and make choices not because someone or society expected it of you, because they are right for you and consistent with your beliefs.’ ….

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Wow. I can use these same encouragements now! I’m still not in a paid working position and I’m very much considering letting my occupational therapy registration lapse but there are many new adventures in my life.

I finished a Masters in counseling and am supported by a local church to offer services locally.

I’m volunteering in the mental health space in my area, my biggest passion, including being available to help kick start a new exciting collaborative co-design process. I confess it’s keeping me busier than expected, that on top of trying to deal with a mouse plague in the house! Oh and scary primary school attitudes….I swear my parenting role is based entirely around managing snacks and screen-time – I have serious work to do to adjust this pattern in my home.

On top of this I’ve been trying to prayerfully considering a position of more responsibility at my children’s school. It’s been hard to read the signs, to trust my intuition but as above FAITH will be my best guide. I’m finding this easiest when I start my day with prayer and Bible reading. Again not an activity I always find myself inspired to spend my time on even though the rewards are obvious.

 

So here I guess is an update on my life. Daily decisions to be made and daily trying my best to let it go and trust God. Now off for church and footy. I wonder what decisions you are making today?

 

 

life · mental health

December – not just for Christmas

December is a bit of a weird month for me.

As a farmer’s wife we may be in the midst of harvest, my husband is well-worn out from working all hours and I’m worn out from trying to provide food and all-the care of our children. And then it stops and we both have different needs. I need some quality time together and he just needs a bit of nothing. I try to be patient but farm life can be lonely and isolating and there’s other Christmas stressors…

December is the month our first son was stillborn. This year by complete chance the kids and I were at his cemetery in November. This left my heart very heavy. A helpful counsellor reminded me how fatiguing grief is, no matter how how ‘good’ we may be at dealing with it.

I do like Christmas, especially time with loved ones but I’m not so big on decorations and Santa and thinking of everyone and what to buy. I did well not to feel the pressure of Christmas too early this year but still the desire to make this time of year special for my children does not fit well with what December really represents for me.

And then there’s the busy-ness of life. As a volunteer I’m well able to slow things down when I want/need and this was half-way through November for me this year. Probably too early because suddenly I was left with time to do all the things I really don’t want to do (very much housework related) and the guilt of it not being a time issue but simply ‘I don’t care enough’ issue.

So I got down in the dumps and it’s been hard to claw myself up. During my ‘time-out’ I indulged in reading, puzzling and sleeping around the basic activities of household and children. Now as my days feel a bit brighter and my belief in myself is returning, it’s still a bit hard to get in to proper routine – after all it is school holiday time. I do continue surviving each day, my children smile despite constant fights and proclaimed boredom and a new year is just about upon us.

Belated Christmas Greetings Wp world!

 

p.s. Despite the whinge /reflection I did have a good Christmas, lots of family, food and love for which I am very grateful. It’s always so comforting to be around people who love your children almost as much as you and accept you just as you are – my family is just that for me, for which I am very grateful.

 

Books · life

Thankful for…

As is tradition (or so it sometimes feels) I’ll start my post my saying it’s been a rough couple of weeks with grief, depression, end of year busy-ness/slow-ness taking it’s toll. Each day ends with a significant sense of survival, I made it through another day. In between there have been small moments of wonder, joy, connection and….thankfulness

  • I’m thankful for good books

A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird – a powerful read, with a gum-boot wearing Granny, a daring big sister and a big dose of trauma.

The Calling Of Emily Evans by Janette Oke – a re-read as I think about division in my church around women pastors. Janette Oke has written many sweet christian-romances and they are great go to, easy books – this one looking at the role of a deaconess

Up Out of Egypt by Helen Marsh – one of those books that sit on your shelves for sometime before appearing again at just the right time, a very personal autobiography.

Streiker 1 & 2 by Robin Hardy – I’d love to do a more in-depth review of these books, an analogy of Christ and his church with many poignant metaphors.

And tonight a truly Australian read Taking Tom Murray Home by Tim Slee – another great story told from the perspective of a young boy with a timely rural message. (Plese check out https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/13822335/posts/12677 for a great review)

  • I’m thankful for good tv shows

A Million Little things and I started The Handmaid’s Tale Saturday and have already binged my way a fair way through.

Along with the last book above though I wonder about their messages and the take-home points…

  • my children and the deep  love that connects me to them
  • Christmas shopping with my husband
  • meaningful distractions
  • puzzles
  • no judgement from others just myself
  • limited pressures
  • being trusted to listen to others stories
  • health and security
  • God
community · life · political

#5 Sunday ABC

This is my very un-regular regular post! Please feel free to join in with your own responses either in the comments or as your own post 🙂

A is for Affirmation

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B is for Best, Worst and OMM

Best – Gosh it’s a bit hard to cast my mind back on the week that was – school went back for last term that’s a definite best (!) but other worthy mentions include, a beautiful christian funeral, a productive action plan meeting with a community group, first cricket game including shopping with my daughter and just generally a nice rate of busyness

Worst – Developing a cold, with a persistent dry throat – son waking up with ear aches

OMM – (On my mind) Watched the movie The Post last night about the Washington Post’s involvement in leaking the Pentagon Papers (about the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War) with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep – it was a bit slow but supremely interesting, leading me on to a Wikipedia binge learning more about the real life events and characters.

I’ve also just finished reading Rogue Nation by Royce Kurmelovs a South-Australian non-fiction writer (and journalist) about Australia’s populist uprising and outsider politics. Although a bit too focused on Pauline Hanson for my liking, it did cover other minor parties and inferred why many Australians are dissatisfied with the major parties. A fascinating easy-to-read book about politics, good enough that I want to buy my own copy.

C is for Community

B came easy for me this week but A and C are a bit harder. It’s been a good week generally so I don’t really want to highlight the bad stuff but grief is a part of life and it shouldn’t be swept under the carpet.

In the last weeks I’ve lost three friends. I sit here typing and wondering how awful it is to say thankfully none too personally close to me (?) but all affecting my community. Death sadly is all around.

In relation to this topic, I am grateful to Lori Greer who shared two beautiful and poignant prayers on her blog this week. I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing of her words as she experiences the loss of her daughter in law to cancer. There are no words really for grief.

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”   Meister Eckhart 1260-1328  Christian Theologian

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Talking about death and grief can be distressing and it is important that we take care of ourselves at such times. Access support by speaking to someone – a family member or friend or one of the many helplines available, for example lifeline on 131 114.

 

 

 

Books · life · movies

Feelings about The Public and life

Things weren’t going right last Wednesday – just little things – like not getting my preferred parking spots on the main drag in my small country town. Cos you know it meant I had walk a few extra metres….

And then this week I was just tired (it has been rather cold). Monday started out good, I had a cancellation = time to get ahead which surely would mean a head-start for Tuesday. Maybe if I’d had some motivation…

I still got through things. It just feels like whenever I’m close to getting on top with potential to get to the extra things i.e. cleaning out the darned spare room, things fall apart.

In all this I have finished a book AND saw an awesome movie today. So of course I can’t really complain.

THE BOOK:

Bridge of Clay – Markus Zusak

It was another big book which took awhile to suck me in. And if I’m being honest despite reading and enjoying all of Zusak’s books his writing style is not really for me. But his characters – oh how I love his characters. Five brothers…”their mother is dead, their father has fled” and a vast array of stories, including a peg.

THE MOVIE:

The Public

This movie had everything I love – books, libraries, humour, social action and love.

Starting with black and white footage of books and librarians and then opening into credits with song/rap lyrics ‘burn the books’ it had me right from word go (or perhaps from lights, camera, action)

The screening I saw was to raise funds for a local organisation that works with homeless, in this Homelessness Week. The movie itself was about an ‘occupation’ of a Cincinnati library due to freezing weather. It was poignant and meaningful. (Not to mention full of some well-known names)

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I’m beginning to learn to appreciate mindfulness and the above quote is helpful. Except….when it comes to things like homelessness….shouldn’t we do something with the feelings? Along with mindfulness I’m trying really hard to practice kindness to myself, I know telling myself off for not doing more won’t help, and after all my children are fed….

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So yes I definitely recommend The Public and Bridge of Clay is Markus Zusak special. I hope my energy lifts (more nutrition shakes?!) but if it doesn’t straight away I also know I will survive. Amongst it all there are moments of gratitude.

Wishing you all a blessed new week ahead

GJ

life · mental health

Weekend Check-in

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I feel…. accomplished, I got through quite a bit of my to-do list this week and even better have felt happy and balanced 🤗

I need… family and rest time this weekend, maybe even a book?!

I forgive…the multitude of things I didn’t get to. I feel I prioritised well, still there’s important stuff I still didn’t get to…but I will 💪

I celebrate…reviving catch ups with friends and connections with those I love (yep Bookclub that includes you!)

I release….I’d love to release my shoulders and back somehow… but today I’m hoping to release myself and kick up my heels a bit at a lady’s event, I think I also release myself to give it a miss if it causes more stress than relaxation 👠💃🏼 or ☕️🛋

…I also wonder about releasing my guilt at the numerous blessings in my life that allow me to enjoy regular such releases (saw an amazing musical last weekend with friends), staying home doesn’t help those without such good support…

I trust…that I am working towards helping those less fortunate than me, as above, guilt and self-punishment doesn’t help in this process. Awareness and not taking for granted my blessings, while not the be all, is okay to start with.

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… thank you Mentally Fit EP and @heyamberrae

 

Please feel free to join us in the reflection process 🙂 and have an awesome weekend

 

GJ

blogging · life

A Quick Hello

Just to prove I was thinking of you all during my hiatus, somehow this blog didn’t quite make it to click publish button!

Hello

Life is good at the moment, and busy. I am continuing my study, placement, looking after the kids and indulging in games, tv and at the moment just the occasional book.

It’s lovely to see people continue to visit my blog-home despite my inactivity here. Despite my goal to write once a month, I think I’ll be missing for awhile yet as I finish off my degree – the end is in sight and almost touchable!!

A few topics worthy of mentioning before I go to bed ready for the start of another week….

  1. The drought 😦
  2. The election 😐
  3. The shave 😀 we raised nearly $2000 for the Leukaemia Foundation this weekend

Happy Mother’s Day….Hmmm Happy we’re over Halfway through School Holidays Day??

Further Updates:

  • Placement hours slowly getting ticked off, not in any real rush though
  • Have enjoyed reading Jane Harper’s character Aaron Falk
  • We have had rain!! Indeed it’s been sprinkling the last few days (probably not a lot worth measuring but still wet)
  • A lot of un-edited posts were published recently I think when I accidentally deleted the WP app from my phone, oops and oh-well.