So given that we had Australia Day on Thursday – the husband and I decided to take Friday off and make it a long weekend with the view of getting stuff organised at home. And because it’s January I always like to do a bit of a clean up and clean out and we’ve recently wanted to start simplifying our life. We’ve started organising our finances so that they’re more ‘automatic’ and start paying off debt quicker. And we’re also starting to organise our things at home so we don’t have so much excess!
I recently saw a post on instagram that said 99% of stuff that is purchased in America is thrown out within 6 months. 99%! This statistic floored me, that’s a huge amount of waste going straight to landfill. I’m not sure of our Aussie statistic but i’m sure it’s not much better. So we’ve decided to be a lot more mindful about our purchases this year. I’m not saying we’re going to have a ‘no spend year’ but we’re definitely going to have a ‘spend less on stuff we don’t need’ year. Now I have to say straight up that my other half is MUCH better than me at this. I really have to make an effort not to buy ‘stuff’ – he is a much more ‘mindful’ purchaser of goods. He thinks about it, and usually only really buys what he actually needs (as opposed to me who buys stuff I want ).
So we’ve also been decluttering at home…..I have to say it’s not as easy as you would think. Some things are easier than others. For example – the medications cupboard – easy! Throw out everything that is out of date, and keep only the stuff we need. Simple. Clothes…not so easy. I love this dress but it’s just a little tight, when I lose a couple of kilos it’ll fit me perfectly! Oh these shoes are so cute (don’t mind that they kill my feet every single time I wear them!) – I couldn’t possibly part with them! I got rid of three garbage bags full of clothes and shoes….I honestly think I could go another garbage bag or two but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
We also rid ourselves of about 60 DVD’s. We kept our favourites for now but it was awesome getting rid of the one’s we did! So slowly slowly we’re getting rid of our excess….I do think it’s going to take a lot longer than I initially thought but it’s a process. And hopefully, if we don’t buy ‘stuff’ to replace the things we got rid of then we might just be able to have more room to move and more time to enjoy the things that matter most!
I have to say that the more that I get rid of stuff the better I feel. There’s still SOOOO much stuff in our house that needs to go but it’s a start. I have started to wonder about how much of all of this ‘stuff’ do we actually touch/use? My bet is maybe 10% and that’s being generous.
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” William Morris
Do you remember when you were a kid and you were playing outside and you layed down on the grass under the shade and all you could hear was a far off lawnmower and the birds chirping? Today is one of those days……
I’ve had all the windows and curtains open while cleaning and now the breeze is blowing the curtains ever so gently and I’m listening to a far off lawnmower while H drifts off to sleep.
I find it so relaxing to listen to, it reminds me of long summer days as a kid climbing plum trees to get onto garage roofs. Gosh we used to get up to some mischief…..honestly. Looking back now, I would have been quite young climbing trees, jumping from trees onto a roof, reaching up for warm sun kissed fruit and then laying flat on the roof (so we couldn’t be seen) eating fruit we shouldn’t be eating (if it’s too warm off the tree it could give you a belly ache apparently). But we ate it anyway. And it was delicous.
We had figs too which were huge and so sweet! But the plums…..the plums I will never forget. They were the juiciest, sweetest, biggest plums you’ve ever seen. We had purple plums that were green inside, but my favourite were our blood plums. My grandfather would pick them every week and put them in a box in his room then when family came over he would fill up bags of them and hand them out. And everyone took them and everyone loved them.
Every Sunday our family would come over to my grandparents house (where we lived) and those were some of the best memories from my childhood ever. All of my cousins would come and we’d play all sorts of made up games to pass the time. Sometimes they stayed for hours and hours and as the sun began to set we’d do cartwheels and have wheelbarrow races while our parents and grandparents looked on chatting and catching up over cups of tea.
So the sounds of lawnmowers and birds chirping….that makes me happy 🙂
I’d love to hear some of your favourite childhood memories
On my days off I try and balance my ‘shit I need to do’ with ‘awesome time with Harry’. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.
Yesterday I had a moment in time that made me so happy.
So I had a couple of errands to do about 45 mins away from where we live so I thought id drive there and let Harry snooze too. When we arrived I had to wake him up (I HATE doing this) so that I could return something in a shop.
Harry woke up grumpy and reluctantly came into the shop and stood next to me while I tried to explain to the staff what was going on with my return.
I got that sorted and Harry and I walked out of the shop and into the sunshine. He was adamant that he didn’t want to get back in the car so i asked him if he wanted to go for a walk.
Instantly his mood shifted.
There was hand holding and skipping!
We crossed at some lights and went into a shop to buy a frosty fruit. Then we stopped at a grèen grocer and bought a bunch of bright orange flowers. We shared the icy pole for a while then Harry held it as we walked slowly back down the street holding hands.
This was my beautiful moment, holding my son’s hand as I held some beautiful flowers walking in the sunshine saying hello to passing puppy dogs and a looking up at helicopters.
I took it all in and vowed to remember it forever.
Have you had a happy moment today?
Do you know that feeling? You’re feeling nervous, and a bit unsure of yourself. You’re not really making eye contact with anyone because you’re just trying to figure out where to put your jumper and keys. You know you look like a newbie and it makes you more self conscious as you struggle with your headphones and your phone and your water bottle doesn’t want to play the game. You stand on the big machine and suddenly you realise you have no idea what you’re doing. What button do I press? Oh there’s a button…..it says quick start so it can’t be that bad…..and then you press it and it’s moving….and you’re walking! Now to figure out how to move faster than the snail’s pace that is set….push more buttons whilst not falling off and not getting your headphones tangled in your swinging arms.
Then you stand tall and start walking like you’ve got this in the bag….but on the inside you’re thinking ‘that lady is probably looking at me like what the hell is she doing??’ but then the door opens…..and you see it. A familiar face! You wave your arms whilst trying not to fall off, then they look up and see you and wave and smile and you automatically feel better. All the self consciousness is gone and you feel like you belong.
isn’t that the best? It made me so happy.
I’m not good with deep emotional conversations face to face. I’m just not. I’m not one of those friends who would just pour her heart out to you, no matter how close we are. I don’t do it with my sisters, I don’t do it with my husband and I don’t do it with my friends. I just can’t express the words right off the bat when I’m sitting in front of someone.
I’m better on email, or sms or even in a hand written letter….but don’t ask me to ‘open up’ to you if we’re sitting down for a chat.
Don’t get me wrong, I do talk about stuff that’s going on but I just don’t go into the nitty gritty ‘I feel this, and I need that and oh wow this pains me’ etc etc
I know this frustrates some of my friends because they think I’m not opening up to them. I don’t do it on purpose, honestly I don’t. It’s just who I am.
Anyways, the reason I’m saying this is because even though I don’t always express how I feel, some of the people in my life just get me and accept me for who I am. And they know what I need to make things ok, even when life has thrown me a few…..challenges (I really wanted to put a few other choice words there).
And this makes me happy, it makes me happy that I don’t have to explain myself. I don’t have to weep on their shoulder for them to know it’s been a really crappy week. I don’t have pour my heart out or make myself vulnerable. They just know, and they do stuff that helps fix it.
I don’t need much. Sometimes all I need is to watch TV laying on the couch with my head on my husbands lap eating marshmallows. This makes me happy.
So last week H and I went to Mum’s for lunch.
When we arrived H was smothered in kisses and giggles from Mum, and he gave them freely in return with lots of giggles.
Mum ushered us in as the wind had picked up and even though the sun was out she didn’t want to let the cold in the house. If you have ever met my mum you’ll know that she’s obsessed with not getting cold, catching a cold, being cold, feeling a cold draft or being IN a cold draft. And she insists on making sure no one she knows does either. There’ll be many times we’ll see her and the first thing she asks us (usually spoken in Maltese ) ‘Are you wearing a singlet under that?’ Even now…..as adults. She’s even been known to ask me (again in Maltese) whether or not my husband is wearing one….especially in winter time. There’s been times that my sisters and I have said ‘yes’ just to keep the peace but if the others find out that we’re lying they’ll quickly try to trip us up in front of Mum….just to make sure she knows we’re in fact, NOT wearing a singlet. Then there is usually fits of laughter when Mum realises that we’re not actually wearing one…..geez louise you’ll know about it!
Anyway…I digress! So we weren’t actually planning on having lunch at mum’s…..but if you arrive anytime between 11 – 2 at Mum’s lunch is usually offered, and then even if you don’t accept, it’s made and laid on the table so you just eat it because it’d be rude not to. There’s usually drinks, biscuits and coffee too. Plus fruit…there’s always fruit. The funniest thing is that Mum usually apologises because she’s not been shopping or has run out of one thing or another, yet she’s able to offer an amazing spread of food and she’s so generous. If she has people drop in unexpectedly she’ll make them sit down and will literally give them the meal she was about to sit down to and will make herself a sandwich. She always leaves the smallest piece of whatever it is for herself. She serves herself last and has been know to microwave her meal to heat it up at family gatherings because she’s making sure everyone has their meal, and seconds and a drink and bread etc etc.
H thinks this is the bees knees! It means that he can pretty much eat ALL the food and is usually offered more yummy food before he’s even finished. His favourites like yoghurt and fresh berries are always available at Nunna’s. He loves helping her prepare the strawberries…and when I say ‘help’ I mean he stands next to her while she cuts the first one up and offers it to him so he just stands there eating strawberries until she’s fast enough to put some in a bowl and top them with yoghurt.
Seeing them like this in the kitchen makes me melt….
I actually have a photo of me with my Nunna doing something very similar while she peels me an orange…..
Such a simple thing….lunch at Mum’s makes me Happy.
Recently I’ve started noticing how lucky I am to be surrounded by strong women. They have been popping up everywhere, and gosh they are amazing.
In the last 12 months I’ve seen women get diagnosed with cancer and kick arse while they fight it . I’ve seen women beat infertility and fall pregnant after years of trying. I’ve seen women fight their inner demons and front up to work even when they haven’t wanted to or even felt they were able to. I’ve seen women struggle in their marriage and have fought to make it work with all their strength. I’ve seen women support their parents through heart attacks. I’ve seen women front up to a biopsy with their big girl pants on and just be fucking brave. I’ve seen women have brain tumours removed. I’ve seen women lose weight after years of trying and are now training for marathons. I’ve seen women start their own business and make it work. I’ve seen women continually strive to be a better version of themselves. I’ve seen women have beautiful babies. I’ve seen women go back to study whilst juggling family/work etc.
This all inspires me to be a better version or me and it makes me proud to be a woman.
Because sometimes it’s hard. It’s hard to be the best daughter/wife/aunty/sister/mum/grandmother/work colleague/best friend/girlfriend/boss that we can be while we fight for a good life for us and our family.
So please know, if you’re reading this, that I admire you and what you’re doing. Whether you’re about to embark on another run in your training, or you’re starting a course or your starting another round of IVF, or another round of chemotherapy. Please know that I admire you, I look up to you and I applaud you for getting on with it and moving forward.
To all the strong women out there – Be Happy
So recently I went back to study part time. This was a huge decision for our little family so when we decided that it was going to work I set my mind to make sure that I do the best job I could possibly do with my studies. I didn’t want this to be a wasted opportunity and I didn’t want the sacrifices that we were making to be in vain.
If you know me then you know I don’t do things by halves. If I commit to something then I want to do it with all of my heart and soul. This time has been no different, but with that commitment comes the pressure that I put on myself. And it has been HUGE. What if I fail? What if I suck at it? What if? What if? What if?
Then last night as part of our class we had to do a self evaluation – this freaked me out. I wasn’t feeling very confident with the stuff we’d learnt thus far and we are only a few months in ! But then suddenly I was doing one of my least favourite sequences and it started to click. The fog started to clear and it felt like I kind of knew what I was doing…and it was awesome! Now I’m not saying that I’ve got it all sorted, far from it. But what I do know is that I CAN in fact do it. All of my self doubts and negative talk was pushed aside and I felt like it wasn’t as scary or unachievable as I thought it was.
You cannot imagine how happy this made me. I had some self belief and it felt amazing.
Have you had one of these moments?
So it’s been a busy year so far….hence this being only the 2nd blog post of the year. Before you stop reading…hear me out please! I’ve gone back to study and this Mumma bear is stuffed!
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought….if I could just find the time to write a quick blog post?! However that time has been quickly eaten up with housework/work/study/classes/playing trains/sleeping/being a wife/daughter/Mum/sister etc etc.
Firstly I wonder how people do it…honestly there is just never enough time in the day. But lately I’ve realised….they don’t sit around wondering how to fit it all in. They just do it. They study whenever there’s a 15 minute window. They cook ‘easy’ dinners for the family. They wash clothes and when they’re dry they pull them off the spare bed, shake them a bit and throw them on for their outfit for the day. They vacuum once a week and mop once a month. They call Husbands/Mums/Sisters/friends on their way to and from class/work/shopping. They run errands on their work lunch break so they don’t have to do it on their day off so they can spend it playing with their child and partner in crime.
They just make it happen….and that’s how they do it.
I’m not saying I have everything sorted, however I’ve come to realise that things don’t have to be perfect. You just have to get IT DONE!
And this makes me happy because it means that I’m getting closer to my dreams. And it also means that my work/study/life balance isn’t so out of kilter.
Are you studying and working and adulting all at the same time?
How do YOU do it?