family · life

It’s the Weekend!

And what a week it’s been!

Today my heart heart is full. We have no sport and I have no pressing chores, study or commitments, so while the kids are keen to go visiting or you know Mum, do something, I’m content to stay in bed and say, “maybe later”.

I’ve finished what for me is a classic re-read, no.2 in Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series, Love’s Enduring Promise. The stories are rather light but the characters absolutely grow on your heart and re-reading feels like coming home to somewhere special.

The kids are now off checking sheep with Grandpa and Hubster is spending the day crop touring with mates. We are very blessed to live in a part of this dry continent which so far has had enough rain to begin a promising crop. We pray it continues and that those not so fortunate are given wet relief soon.

I feel like the last 3 weeks have been full-on busy. I think it’s been since trying to get to the gym twice a week, with the second day being a usual home day for me and organising to switch that day with another. Hubby did comment this week that he thought with me not working anymore I’d be home more and yet so far it seems to be less! I think next week scheduling will have fallen into place.

I had 6 counselling clients this last week so that too is falling into place with the aim to have done 100 hours (with clients) by the end of the semester. My sister and mum are sadly unwell and have been on my mind and last week I attended an AGM. It was my first meeting with this group and I walked out as chairperson! It’s a great cause and I’m excited about the opportunity although the extra commitment definitely was not on my agenda.

We’ve been seeing emus almost daily in the paddocks, which while lovely now will soon be an issue for the crops (no doubt already is). My son has a drippy nose but still has to wear shorts and run around outside as much as he can playing footy. My daughter went away for her first school camp and seems to have grown up again overnight. They both  were satisfied with my mediocre assistance with book week costumes. Thankfully they feel no pressure and just love seeing everyone dressed up with massive smiles on their faces. I too had a massive smile on my face with Bookclub fittingly hosted this week. And hubster and me? Last week, with the aid of PMS I was ready to walk out the door but this week we have been communicating well and spending time together watching Suits.

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The only real bad news to share is the state of Australian federal politics. I believe a law needs to be passed that leaders can only be changed in sickness, death or elections and if a party supports that I think they’ll have my number 1 vote.

So my life in a nutshell. As always post ideas have been coming and going but I’ve been more than satisfied cuddling on the couch. Let’s see what God’s got in store for me next 🙂

How are you? How was your week?

God bless this weekend

xo GJ

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life · Uncategorized

Summer Holidays

I’ve had a great week 🙂

  • I finished my work notes and shut that computer off
  • Hubby took kids for a swim in the farms finally ready swimming pool (was out of action 2017) while I finished a nap
  • I finished a book and a puzzle
  • I enjoyed a new tv series but ready for a break which means I can start latest season of Grey’s Anatomy tonight
  • It was great to have Vacswim give the kids and I some routine this week
  • Found my daughters Vacswim book (yay!) and my son did a whole lesson without crying (even if my Mum had to take him for this to occur)
  • I cleared the floor of the toy room
  • We caught up with friends
  • I continued to feel positive about the New Year
  • Hubby and I have been on similar pages this week
  • The weather was awesome!

Basically I have nothing to complain about and I’m not sure there’s many people who can say that.

I do have a few resolutions to add to my list (and a confession that I’ve not really been outdoors the last two days – yesterday was a work day and today is just hot :p )

  • I realised there were no resolutions regarding my children which I think was a bit of an oversight. I know self-care as a parent is important but I think I do tend to put my needs first especially in regards to free time so I’d like to aim for a purposeful activity each day with each child – we’ll see how that goes
  • Also watched a One Million clip this afternoon reminding me I want to make decisions in my shopping that reduce my negative impact on the environment
  • Lastly because you know it’s the first week and I’m feeling great and gonna reach for the stars (!) I want to keep focusing on advocacy – have just been in touch with a friend whose son is suffering from bipolar and unfortunately when she reached out to services they were overstretched with waitlists – so many areas our community local, state, country can improve on.

Hope 2018 has been treating you well so far too – I’d love to hear about it…

GJ

 

blogging · life · mental health · relationships

Off to a good start

This past Christmas week has been full of the highs of festivities with friends and families but also lows of feeling flat, dealing with children and a lack of motivation/direction. The lows culminated in a head cold which thankfully gave me an excuse to lay low. An excuse also helped me build a fighting spirit and I finished off the week ready to bring in the New Year.

It can be tough when you finally reach the much longed-for break at the end of the year. My husband and I of course struggle with different expectations. I’ve generally already had a few slower weeks and am ready to, or at least wanting to be ready to, start doing some jobs together but he’s only just getting a chance to stop and generally still has a few daily work things that need seeing to.

Today on the first day of the year I’ve been productive and bright and hopeful and just HOORAY! As I always say on the flipside of a rough day or two – the hardest part about is not knowing how long it will last. This blog is an amazing reminder that it does always pass, generally much quicker than it feels.

Although not big on New Years resolutions I still think they have a place – I need something to aim towards, particularly this time of year when I actually have time. Last year I had a lot of goals for this blog which really didn’t come to fruition. I was going to do:

  • weekly Gratitude/Positives of the Week Post
  • WWW – Wednesday + When are you reading? challenge
  • fortnightly issue post
  • random regulars
  • 2+ weekly posts?!?

I did say it was wishful thinking at the time LOL

This year I’m focusing on personal goals:

  • Spend 5 minutes outdoors every day –  I’m hoping it will be 5 deliberate minutes and maybe even involve a bit of mindfulness and fitness too.
  • Keep working on my marriage. I made a casual suggestion today at morning tea that we should have a night each week where we discuss the week ahead which wasn’t received well – all suggestions seem to be work to him rather than opportunities. One relationship theory I studied last year by the Gottman’s was called Sound House Relationship – I’m really wanting to work on Building Our Love Maps and Creating Shared Meaning together – the other levels I hope I can strive for myself making a positive impact on my loving man
  • House goals – work towards getting a patio built and changing our lounge room carpet/set up (I’d love to take out a wall!)
  • Continue my slow journey towards decluttering – I’m happy with my pace and progress. I actually think my Fly Lady routine of ‘a load a day, keeps chaos away’ has changed my life!
  • oooh and study I want to start preparing again for that…….especially PRAC (eeek/:D)

Blog wise my brainwave today was to try and learn about my followers. It truly amazes me that 156 people have clicked that follow button. I know it means different things to everyone and I’m nowhere near 156 likes but WoW. I reflected recently that I’m not really a writer but community is super important to me. I think one of things I learnt about myself in 2017 is that I struggle socially out and about but I love reading and feeling connected, even if I can’t manage it all the time!

I’m back to writing down lists to do and feeling positive about 2018. I pray you are too,

God bless.

Dear Lord, give me wisdom and guide me to the choices You want me to make. Amen.

 

 

life · social issues

Resilience

I have just finished reading Resilience by Anne Deveson, an exploration into this indescribable characterisitc – ‘we all know what resilience is until we try to define it’ (Dr George Vaillant). Anne writes that it has come to mean an ability to confront adversity and still find hope and meaning in life.

This week my adversity has been searing pain each time I use my bowels, following a colonoscopy to supposedly get rid of hemorrhoids. I’ve had the joy of enduring these for seven years since my first pregnancy. I spent the last week of my last pregnancy living off painkillers to enable me to be. When I asked the doctor if it would effect the delivery process (as far as I was concerned this pain was already torturous!) he just laughed – fortunately (?!) he was right labour pain is of course an entire league of its own!!

This morning I was also awoken with an overwhelming negative attitude. My dreams all night were forebodingly dark and my children awoke before the break of dawn. I’ve given thanks for a family I love (even while I hate!) and a roof for shelter, all whilst apologizing for the lack of strength to shake this mood off. Two hours passed since I was rudely awoken, I yelled at each family member and returned to bed the moment my husband seemed more awake than dead. This week I’ve finally had freedom, study done for the year, hooray! But my resilience felt mighty low.

Tim Costello’s review on the front cover suggests the book demonstrates ‘resilience as a celebration of life’ and as it follows the last days of the author’s dear friend, indeed it does. The Victorian government is currently discussing a euthanasia ‘assisted dying’ bill where I wish it would spend money on palliative care and sharing story’s like Anne’s of all the trauma of death but also the honour and dignity (perhaps not bodily) of the journey.

If you love, you grieve (Thomas Lynch). You fall in love in a thousand ways, and you grieve in a thousand ways (Allan Kellehear). ‘For some…pain filters through more slowly, a little at a time as the body can bear’. I do not believe I am very in touch with my emotions. The months of November and December seem to be harder for me, the end of year rushes and conclusions, so much anticipated but then here and leaving me with the question of what now? And of course the anniversary of my Harry’s birth(death)day.

But perhaps I am learning the art of resilience, I took a walk, I folded the washing, I even played a bit of monopoly and while not on my list of top ten saturdays, today was ok.

How has your Saturday been?

Do you have a definition for resilience?

Have you experienced hemorroids, Dr Google I believe is shocking on this topic so please feel free to discuss here 🙂

 

family · life · relationships

An Open Letter on my Brother-in-laws second wedding day

To the open universe,

Today was an emotional day.

Today my amazing brother-in-law, my hubby’s wonderful younger brother, married my beautiful new sister-in-law. I love them both just so much. They are my family and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

I wasn’t at his first wedding. To the wife who passed away within a week of their first child being born. I missed that special day. And the truth is I have many regrets. And fears. We married into this family. One family, two different sons and two very different women. And yet right from the start she enveloped me wholeheartedly and boy was she excited about her first niece. Despite being far away at that time, she was so very involved in showering both her and myself in love. We drifted apart, making decisions we each didn’t agree with and I remember clearly telling myself that just because we were sisters didn’t mean we had to be the best of friends. And then she was gone. And even though things at that time weren’t great with us, they were getting better and with time I know our wounds would have healed. But we didn’t get that chance and although I forgive myself over and over, and even (I think) truly believe deep down that we were good, obviously its still there and no words, absolutely none, can describe how much I miss her, the way I miss her and how much I wish we had more time.

And so today, as I welcome a new sister into the family, who deserves so, so much more than to be compared to the sister I’ve lost, I can’t help but think of what could have been. And I’m so sorry but I can’t think of one without the other. While I miss and mourn for one at the same time I welcome and respect and admire the other. And yes, fear too that we too, may create wounds. We are different, we have different opinions, and we don’t need to be the best of friends but you are my sister. You are the mother and step-mother of my nephew and niece, you are the wife and chosen life partner of my husband’s brother. I know I don’t always say the right thing but when you look at me and shake your head, it breaks my heart. I don’t want to live (I can’t live) in fear of losing you. So please whatever I may do, please, please know I love you.

It doesn’t help, I’m sure that it’s that time of month, that I forgot my anti-depressants…

Today was an emotional, wonderful day, for two people, perfect for each other to be wed.

sincerely

Gee Jen

 

life · relationships · Uncategorized

So Much More than Just a Sport

I’ve wanted to write for quite a while about a topic very close to my heart. despite the fact I can easily imagine others looking at it as a complete non-issue. I’d like to start therefore by proclaiming that I am a strong believer in the concept that it takes a village to raise a child. Indeed I am very fortunate to be among wonderful supportive ‘villages’ that both make my parenting life easier and also enrich the lives of my children. A predominant one of these villages is my sporting community. My husband is an avid aussie rules and cricket player, so year long our saturdays are taken up by sport, our sundays by recuperation and the week for preparation. I also play and love netball but this year made the BIG decision not to play for the same club as my husband but another local club which plays in a different league.

It was an incredibly hard decision to make, especially when at the start of the season I was basing the decision most pressingly on a memory I had that I wanted to change clubs next year. At the start of the season I couldn’t precisely remember why I’d been feeling that way but I decided to trust that memory and try out for another club.

Things that made the decision difficult:

  • I love the club I was leaving behind – the people and the sense of community
  • They were struggling for netball numbers – actually I thought they would only have one team instead of the usual two which meant I’d be ok
  • Friends not understanding why I was making the decision

One thing that would have changed my mind:

  • My husband was very against the idea. He’d said so and yet (and yet) he didn’t (wouldn’t) discuss it with me. He wouldn’t give me his reasons and he didn’t (wouldn’t) ask for mine.

My husband won his grand final yesterday, I am so happy for him and proud BUT I am also now sitting here in bed reflecting (crying involved) on why I want to make the same decision again next year. I’ve decided to put finger to keyboard and communicate some of these reflections.

Reasons I made the decision:

  • The lifestyle/culture – the only way to celebrate a grand final is to drink all night and all day, or at least that’s how it feels to me. I’m not good at this. I get tired and grumpy and unsociable. I’m more a stay home, read a book, cuddle up kinda girl.
    • I don’t think my husband minds this about me but I feel like I miss out. I want to be apart of his victory, I want to celebrate with him but it just doesn’t work that way.
    • There are other wives/girlfriends who seem to be able to do this and I’m jealous.
  • As I’ve said I LOVE so many people part of this sporting club. My children have so much fun with friends there. I decided though that there’s a difference between loving people and wanting to spend majority of your time with them. They are my family but they are not the people I would sit down and chat with for 4+ hours on a weekly basis. We are different and that’s ok.*
  • I started to hate particularly after training nights walking in and waiting to find someone to sit with. It was a weekly decision/agony and why should I put myself through that?
  • Training nights were the same for both me and my husband making child care difficult. Also due to tea and socializing they were late.
  • Relationship/family stuff – I would always feel like as soon as we arrived at the footy oval my husband would clock off. Now was his time to prepare for the game while I was responsible for the childcare even though involved in my own sporting game. He would often be last out of the change rooms and sometimes I would feel that even after he did arrive out he would not look to acknowledge or come see me. This was his domain.

It was the right decision to make, for me. Not so much our family, we missed out on travelling together for games and the kids missed out on seeing as much of their friends. I would still often head out to club rooms after my games, which would be nice but not great. I enjoyed playing netball with a different group of girls. I enjoyed that the focus was solely on netball and not working on maintaining a whole community. I also appreciated the flexibility of training on a different night.

But now we are at the end of the season (actually I still get to play in a grand final next weekend!) and I still feel the same way about many of these issues. I believe it’s important to my husband for me to be there as a sign of support but I want to be wanted for my company.

There is no conclusion to this story, it’s a work in progress. In good news for me though my husband and I are starting to see a counselor so maybe just maybe by the start of next season we will be making a decision together.

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*I’d like to note that some of these people I would happily spend endless hours with and that some of my feelings are likely overly swayed by my moods. I also want to say how supportive many of these people have been – a number will be there to watch me at my grand final next week and an even larger number asked me yesterday how my team went.

Books · life · social issues · Uncategorized

Bookish (AND not so bookish) Thoughts Thursday

I missed WWW Wednesday yesterday so had a look around for a Thursday Meme, this one hosted by Bookishly Boisterous  looks perfect!

  1. Attended yet another awesome bookclub last night. We were all fans (except one prude :p) of An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney (pen name of Sarah Gardner) a great, easy, fun (sexy) read
  2. Signed a petition today for Amnesty International regarding child labour on palm oil plantations in Indonesia (specifically Wilmar) – I’m not 100% sure about it and did a little research which initially was mostly about the environmental impacts of palm oil plantations. To this end it does seem that some companies have been improving their practices – WWF Scorecard  and Australia Scorecard . This website had a good explanation. However my friend asked a good question regarindg the child labor – if the companies stop buying these products what happens to the children? Do they get pushed into other areas of slavery/sex objects/ etc so that they can survive?
  3. Read a bit about family law and royal commissions – absolutely love Rosie Batty and all the work she does
  4. Also read about the new Australian Conservative Party and although I liked this tag line ‘policies, not personalities. Principle, not politics.’ I don’t think I’m onboard with them.
  5. Have had two home days, yesterday super relaxing as both kids at school/kindy, today was harder to get motivated and harder to indulge for second day.
  6. Tried to get my head around Four Corners expose on the Murray Darling Basin, quite relevant for my local area but not sure of anything. Good list of ABC articles here  but my question is which response is best out of a federal judicial inquiry (Labor option), independent inquiry (Australian Conservatives) and senate inquiry (Greens option)? Disappointingly I havn’t seen anything from Liberals.
  7. Just had a lovely 30 minute phone call with my Mum, love that woman!
  8. Other parentals on my mind are my father and father-in-law spending the week together volunteering in the Bush – not sure how I feel about that!
  9. Oooh and last but not least I havn’t started any other books so have made progress on Silence

 

 

Hope you are all having a good week. Would love to hear your random thoughts on all and everything too 🙂