Work nightmares. You know the ones. Those that make you toss and turn at night. You can’t stop your mind from going a million miles an hour. Trying to solve problems all night long.
These dreams have been a curse for me for a long time. A stressful case at work will keep me up all night. So will urgent deadlines. An early morning flight will have me dreaming about sleeping through my alarm clock and waking up to a taxi in the driveway!
Worst of all are those dreams where I’m actually making up the problems – real or not.
And in the morning, I wake up feeling tired and stressed instead of refreshed. Continue Reading…
On 1 July I pledged to give up alcohol, and I signed up for Dry July to raise funds for people affected by cancer. A month later and I’ve reached my goal, I’ve abstained from alcohol and I’ve raised $249.75 for Look Good Feel Better, to help people living with cancer. And I’ve been surprised with what I’ve learned along the way.
Why I gave up alcohol
I had a number of reasons for giving up alcohol and signing up for Dry July. Firstly, I was looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month. Secondly, I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.
I lost my father to cancer over 15 years ago. Despite his fight, he didn’t make it to my graduation. He wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. And he never got to meet his beautiful grandchildren.
It’s Friday and it’s time to celebrate the weekend!! Unfortunately, I’m still doing Dry July so I won’t be seeing in the weekend with the traditional Friday night glass of wine (OK, the reality is it’s probably more like a bottle!)
I’ve been back at work this week after our beautiful holiday in Taupo. Here’s a little snapshot (proper blog to follow shortly):
Miss M and I exploring Taupo whilst Hubby and Miss T are off skiing without us…
I’ve also been a bit quiet on the blogging side. But truth be told, there is a reason for that!
If you’ve been following along you will know that it is currently school holidays in New Zealand. If you’re new to this blog, welcome! Anyway, it is currently school holidays, and I’ve got a week off work to spend with my girls.
It all started out great, with traditional hut making and sleepovers, and a touch of roller skating… And that is where it started to go wrong (unbeknown to me). Miss M was complaining of a sore wrist after a fall on the roller skating rink. She could still move her wrist in all directions, bend her fingers, and do everything else a wrist is supposed to do. So we decided to put an ice pad on, and give it a day or so to settle down.
A few days later and the wrist was still sore. The X-Rays revealed a sprain. The Doctors were a little more concerned. And this is the result:
I was so proud of the girls today. We managed to have a great day, without devices – wet and windy wild weather and all.
After a treat for breakfast (bacon and egg baps, with coffee from the cafe around the corner for Hubby and I), I took the girls roller skating. Although Miss M has been skating before, she is still very much a learner, and this was Miss T’s first time on a skating rink. After a few false starts, they had a ball. They raced each other and the clock. There were “musical spots”, “show off your tricks” (i.e. manage not to fall over), and skating “limbo” (not surprisingly, the tiny tots on wheels won this one!). A hurt tailbone and a sore wrist later, they can’t wait to come back! All for a $2 entry fee! A bit of frugal family fun for my new better budgeting segment I think.
The girls – in a good mood – even helped me with grocery shopping on the way home. Well, not sure if “helped” is the right word, but they certainly took it upon themselves to fill up my trolley for me…
After lunch we did the traditional childhood thing and had the neighbourhood children over for an afternoon of hut building, playing board games, making a banana cake for afternoon tea and pizza for dinner. Followed of course by ice cream sundaes.
Somehow we have been convinced that the neighbour should stay for a sleepover. They dragged the spare TV into the hut, snuggled up in the piles of cushions and blankets under fairy lights and sheets and watched a movie. And that is where they are now. In the hut, on the floor, snuggled up in blankets and cushions. Not quite asleep.
There were thirteen candles in our house this week. Officially a teenager in the house. A milestone duly celebrated with even more teenagers for a teenage sleepover!!
All whilst I’ve pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for Dry July! Luckily for me, a compassionate mother has sponsored me a “Golden Pass” so I can commiserate the upcoming teenage years with a well-deserved glass of red wine.
So what are we in store for?
The metaphor of conquering Everest in the wrong shoes springs to mind [Rachel Halliwell on the terrible teens]
To me, the most surprising thing is how much my 13-year-old resembles her two-year-old self.
Like her two-year-old self, she is prone to tantrums because she cannot find the “right” shoes or the pants she wants to wear are in the wash (absolutely my fault, washing should be a same-day-service, oh, and I should be a mind reader and ensure that whatever has been dumped on the bathroom floor appears clean on the day she wants it!).
“The world is a book and those that do not travel read only one page.”
The Icefields Parkway was my reason for visiting Canada (after seeing the photos on a blog!), and it didn’t disappoint.
The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93, or ‘Promenade des Glaciers’ in French) is a 230km majestic drive between Jasper and Banff. I have never travelled any other road in the world that has such a diversity of attractions – aquamarine lakes, spectacular mountain ranges, rushing waterfalls, glaciers and wildlife!
What does the phrase “living my truth” mean to me? It is about being at peace, and content. And the freedom to be me, to drop the mask of the person I show the world, and to honour what is important to me.
“Living my truth” is a journey in getting to know myself. But one benefit of going through the grief process is that it makes you stop. Stop and assess what is really important to you.
Years ago I wrote my goals down. It was in the wake of losing my mother-in-law suddenly, and in the context of having already lost my father to cancer, long before he could walk me down the aisle or ever meet his beautiful grandchildren. One of my goals was to:
Spend more time with my children. Make that QUALITY time. Spend more time playing hairdressers and bouncing on the trampoline and making cakes and reading stories.
I was going to write a Working Mother’s Survival Guide, but then I thought – why should we just be surviving? Life is short. In most cases our children won’t leave home until their 18 or so. That is a long time to just be “surviving”. Why can’t we be happy?
I am the first to admit I struggle with balance, of balancing the desire to be there for my children with the tug of work commitments. I’ve struggled with the guilt. Every extra minute I spend at work, or away, I feel the guilt that I “should” be at home with my children. Every time I miss a school outing I feel the guilt. Every time I’m late or I miss a newsletter – I feel like I’ve failed as a mother.