Wednesday, February 29, 2012

JOYful Warriors Newsletter

Today is the day - the March edition of the JOYful Warriors Newsletter arrived in my Inbox - I started the morning with my orange juice and a few moments of laughter, fun and pure delight.

Being invited to being a contributor to this great newsletter is such a JOY - to share the positive aspects of life is rewarding and special and I invite you all to share the link and read along with us each month.

Check it out:

JOYful Warriors Newsletter

Hope you have some fun.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mud, Sweat and Cheers!

Thursday we had our new environmental sewerage system installed - of course if you have read my previous blog you will know that it rained and since then it hasn't stopped.  So our once beautiful lush green garden has turned into a quagmire.

The Old Sewerage System and green grass

The new Sewerage system and mud and clay

What a Mess

 So on Saturday morning after a whole day of rain on Friday, we headed out to the shops to buy some plants.  In the seven years we have lived here, we have planted over 400 trees and plants 99% of which have been natives - this has attracted bird life and insect life and enriched the garden. But, colour and flowers have been low on the agenda. So we decided that this bed in front of the cottage would be a riot of colour.

 End of Day One we had a lovely bed - that looked half finished - grrrr!  So back to the nursery we went and bought another bunch of plants.

Sunday morning fresh planting.
 Another 10 plants completed the bed, although we had to leave out three of them because the ground where we wanted to plant them was too wet and sticky with clay.

 Instead of paying for a load of topsoil to dress and break-up the clay we began using the rich compost heap that we have been making for the past 7 years.  It looks fantastic and we have in just 2 days managed to turn Mum and Dad's building site into a beautiful garden bed and a place for the grass to regrow.

 At the end of a long day I was feeling tired, but still smiling.

 Our boots and my knees tell the story of the mess and the mud.

And this photo says it all - if you look at my face - I am spaced, tired and finished.  Thanks Mum, next time tell me to smile :)

Will post a new photo in a week or so, to show the progress and the flush of colour.

What a rewarding weekend - I love gardening.  I hate exercise for the sake of exercise, but love exercise when it is to achieve something like this.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Having Fun . . . When S**T happens!

Having fun - the end of a very long day. 

Yesterday we had to replace our Environmental Sewerage System.  After a very long struggle with the old system (just 6 years old :(  but a disaster) we finally called it quits and decided to replace the old system.

Having postponed the job a couple of times due to rain, yesterday was the day and guess what?  Yes, it rained!

Still at 7.30am the guys arrived and began.  What a great crew we had on site!  Scott, the plumber; Craig the excavator driver and Trent our flirty electrician.

Out with the old.
 A huge excavator arrived and began smashing up the old tank, after it had been sucked dry by the super-sucker.  Then after a new tank arrived on an even bigger truck, it was lifted into the hole. Weighing 7.3 tons, it was fascinating watching them manouver it into position with ease and grace.
 With the rain, doing any electrical work was a bit difficult, so a big beach umbrella solved the problem. Trent, was such fun - flirting with Mom, Elizabeth and me all day - he had a million dollar smile and lots of lovely stories and jokes to share.  It was so much fun watching a 'shitty' job that was miserable enough in the rain turn into a great day.
So thank you guys all of you for making it so easy.

Now why did I post this photo of Elizabeth and I at the top of the post.  Well we were clearing the drive of all the mud from the excavator at the end of the day, when she said the mud looked fun and squishy. So I picked up a handful and gave it to her. She couldn't believe I had handed her a whole handful of mud and pretended to throw it at me.  Without thinking I picked up another pile and threw it back, getting her fair-square.  We ended up in a mud fight. I had mud on my arms and my face as did she.  We were laughing so hard.  Of course, we had to then rinse off under the hose and that resulted in a water fight.  The photo is the two of us drowned rats, still laughing. Behind us is our beautiful mud garden - oh well grass grows and in a month or so, it should all be fixed - especially if it keeps raining!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

54 Years Working

Matthew - 18; Elizabeth - 22 & Sarah - 14

I am serving my notice after 54 years of hard work - it is a minimum of a 4 year notice period, but I have tendered my resignation and beginning the final 4 years of service in my 58-60 year working life.

Now many of you  may not have any idea what I am talking about, but today I figured out the following - I have been mothering my children for a total of 54 years.  Elizabeth for 22, Matthew for 18 and Sarah for 14.  Each of them has been a full-time job and I have dedicated all my love, time and energy to them, keeping only what I have left over for myself.  

It has been a wonderful job, the pay stinks; but the rewards have been amazing.  I have seen growth and development in all of them, and pay day may not have been in cold hard cash but smiles, hugs and words like 'I love you Mummy' are worth more than all the gold in the world.

So, why am I resigning?  Well I realised today, that unless I resign at some stage, my company (children) will stagnate. They cannot grow and take over their own leadership roles, while I remain working for them.

It is a long-term resignation as I have said - at least a 4 year programme, but today I start the process.  I need re-training, but I am looking so forward to retirement.

Aahaa Moment!

Why do things happen the way they do?  I have been trying to find a solution to a family issue and have been looking in all the wrong places - and then today someone suggested that I don't make it my issue. I let it be and stop trying to solve it.

I am a 'fixer' I didn't realise how much until even in a general conversation I found myself suggesting solutions for others, when it really wasn't needed.  Now I wonder why I do it - most likely because I suffer from the 'Mother-Guilt' complex!

I also listened and heard a simple sentence - "It takes 2 people to argue" - silence solves all!  I immediately said "Wow you are right, I can just say 'I am not going to discuss this'" and then I realised that even that was an explanation and a discussion in itself.  I don't have to feel guilty, I don't have to participate, I don't have to do it anymore.

I am the Boss!  My life is mine to live, mine to enjoy and mine to control.  I don't have to do anything for anyone else, unless I choose to.  I am not being mean in this statement or even selfish - I am just learning to live my life. 

So away with the guilt, away with the explanations and away with the negotiations.  I am going to set some boundaires - Wish me luck!

P.S.  Thank you all for your wonderful support - am feeling a little better. Each day is a new step along the road to recovery and I have found a tiny bubble of hope and light inside today.

P.P.S  Wish me luck to make these changes last.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good morning World

My new haircut - very short!
Hi everyone,

I have been out of the loop for a few weeks now - well more like a few months.

Why? Because I suffer from depression!

Most of the time, I manage and deal with it really well, but for the moment I have not been doing so well. So I have been silent - not wanting to burden the world with my issues, my sadness and my problems.

However, the 'happy' Me is not the only side of anyone and so along with the good news, the joyful news and the happy news - I guess it is time to be honest and share the 'black fog' that engulfs people like me who suffer from depression.

It is such a hidden illness, because everyone feels 'down' at times; everyone feels sad and feels like they cannot cope.  But . . . depression is something different - it is an all pervading grey that invades every aspect of life.  Living with thoughts of non-existence - not a desire to die, but a wish that you had never been born and don't want to be part of this life anymore.

I am lucky in that I have the most understanding and amazing husband who loves and supports me and my beautiful family who gives me a reason to be here.

I am on my medication now and each day is a little better. I wake up and I do the things I need to do; I rest and sleep as much as I can and I try to find small pleasures in life. At times I find myself smiling and laughing and I reach out to grab hold tight of these moments, but like gossamer they slip away in the fog.

For anyone out there who suffers from any mental illness; know you are not alone.  Seek help.  The world does care. Those who love you and know you will help, and even strangers will be sympathetic if you let them.  If someone asks you how you are - be honest - don't burden them with your woes; but don't lie - tell them you are not so good.

So today I wake up and look out at the day and say 'Thank you God for my life - teach me the lesson I need to learn, so that I can pass once more into the Joy and Love that you send out into the world.'

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Answer is Simple

I am doing Sonia Choquette's online course "The Answer is Simple" - it is a great course that looks at the simple things in life to reconnect you to your Spirit.  I am joining a friend to do the course and today I listened to the first lesson and practice - her message - BREATHE!

I realised that I have been holding mine for a while - when I get stressed, worried, angry, anxious, concerned or all those sort of things; the first thing I do is hold my breath, or breathe more shallowly. So I sat with my headphones in, listening to her and breathed - what JOY!

I could feel the stress flowing freely away.  Then I took a hot shower, lit a couple of candles, put a relaxation playlist on my Ipod and spent the evening writing.

It is now 9.23pm and time for me to sleep - I think I will tonight as I am feeling most relaxed.

So if you are feeling stressed or upset - Remember to Breathe, slowly, deeply and fill your soul with Spirit.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Second Month of the year

2012 is flying by - we are already into February - could someone please tell me what happened to Janaury.

I guess when you take 2 weeks out of the month to go on holidays it certainly eats up time.

So where am I at?

I am not sure!

Our holiday in Disneyland was wonderful, although I think we are sort of Disney'd out - if that is possible - everyone agrees that we need a 2-3 year break before we return. But who doesn't enjoy an amazing holiday like this.

Mickey Morning Toontown madness
The planned treat of the holiday was to celebrate my birthday in Fiji - hmm well that one didn't quite work out at planned.  Rain, rain and more rain, flooding and river crossings in 4-wheel drives, dilapdated run-down hotels and bed-bug bites all added to the adventure, but not in quite the way I expected.

I did have my hair braided on my birthday, loved that - and also did dip my toes into the swimming pool at the hotel, but most of the time, we spent in the rooms playing cards and sharing fun with the kids.

Feeling fantastic!

View from our room of the flooded pool area

Flooded pools

A dip in the pool - taking advantage of one of the few breaks from the rain (not bad for 48 years old?)

More rain

More rain

I did however, manage to take some time to write in my journal and keep up with the trip.
The biggest frustrationn of the trip is that I didn't have my camera out, when we headed to a hotel near the airport the day before our departure.  High tide and the flooding had completely isolated Denarau Island where we were staying at the Sheraton and it was only at low-tide that we had a chance to get across. Thank goodness we took it, as a couple of days later the island was totally isolated. We crossed swollen rivers and chatted to locals on their balconies of the submerged homes.  A couple of young men shouting out to us "What leaving already?"  It was very sad to see the damage the flooding was causing to a country suffering already from poverty. 

I did realise however, that I am very resilient - I didn't flinch and dealt with the situation without any great anxiety - but the children, most especially Sarah were very unsettled.  I guess she has never experienced anything but 5 * Luxury in her life - something we should rectify - or maybe not.

So another installment to follow tomorrow:  Getting out of Fiji