A father’s day post

Absent Fathers

 To all my female friends, who’ve gone through life with an absent father (however you wish to interpret that)… I salute you.

Perhaps you are familiar with the ‘lost at sea’ feeling that a young girl feels when she’s growing up without the much needed guidance of a loving caring father.

The anchorless feeling and the lack of self worth that drags on into your adult years.

It has taken me a long time to get to a point where Father’s Day no longer rattles my soul.

To forgive an absent parent. To realise that I am enough.

Today is a day to do something nice for yourself.  Have a cup of tea. Soak up some sun. Reward yourself for all of your resilience and courage.

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Live with less – can I say no to new pyjamas?

live with less

How a pair of PJs almost brought my live with less mentality undone.

A few days ago on holidays in the Southern Highlands, I found myself a little perturbed when I couldn’t find any winter pyjamas at the local shopping mall. It was averaging 4 degrees at night, and I’d had to pack a pair of old track pants in place of my usual PJs – they’d lost their elastic the night before I left for holidays. The track suit pants were old and daggy and not quite  long enough in the leg to keep my ankles warm, so I decided to buy  new PJs while I was on holidays.

Now, it’s cold in the Southern Highlands. Particularly at this time of year. The warm weather is months away, yet despite the single digit temperatures, the shops had begun stocking summer clothing. There were absolutely no winter pyjamas to speak of (and no, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the numerous discounted winter onesies on sale that no one else seemed to want either).

After a quick trip around several shops, it became apparent that I wasn’t going to find winter PJs easily. I decided to just deal with my old daggy track suit pants and sort out some new PJs when I got home.

So I’m home now and planning the last few days of my break. An hour ago I started a to-do list with “get new winter PJs” at the top of the list.

Whilst planning, I decide that some new decorative pillows for the bed would be nice. Maybe some bedside lamps from IKEA (did you know that they start from $10 each?). A new throw for the bed, and curtains too – I figured that if I’m going to wear new PJs, that I may as well shuzz up the bed as well.

Before I know it, I’ve got 10 things on a list that are ALL outside my holiday budget. There’s a little whisper in my head… credit card, credit card. And we all know how successful us human beings are at repaying back purchases on the credit card. N O T   V E R Y…

Now, if you’ve been following my blog, here and here, you’d know that I’m trying to simplify life and live with less – to be a little more frugal. I’m aiming for more “experiences” and less “objects”. To make decisions that give me more “time”, in place of having more “money”.

It’s not as easy as it sounds though. Just how do you learn to live with less stuff?

Have a think about the last time you went shopping. How much other paraphernalia did you buy?

But back to the PJs, I’ve been having trouble working out if I actually need them.

There’s a part of my brain that keeps harking back to  ‘they are only PJs, just bloody get them’. Even if the PJs are el cheapo ones from Target… And yes, it’s taking all of my willpower to stay off Peter Alexander website. (Did I mention the credit card?)

Hang on, STOP I tell myself. It’s impossible to get out of those “only-$7-must-have-department-store-kingdoms” without walking past at least 5 must have items. The cheap stuff adds up. Look at the list you just made that started with PJs and ended with new lamps and curtains, and that’s without the impulse instore buys!

The list is already up in the $100s, so I decide not to buy the PJs. Do I sound too harsh?

Well… one thing that I have been learning through my efforts to live with less, is that it is an ongoing day by day attitude. Shops and advertisers have the you-cannot live without-this-message really buttoned up. It takes ALOT of effort to distance yourself from instore charms. You’ve got to keep working at it. It’s about looking at everything as a potential “can I live without it?” scenario. Because somewhere along the line, me/we/society seem to have gotten the message that everything is necessary.

Yep. Everything. How crazy. I won’t even get started on the ethical issues regarding super cheap clothing, not to mention the environmental problems the clothing boom is causing when it comes to landfill.

Now I’m not saying that life has to be colourless and no fun. That I can never ever buy anything. But for me, I’m trying to avoid those crappy junky purchases that don’t add that much to my overall happiness – you know the ones that clutter up your house, burn through your cash and end up in the charity bin a year later.

Can I live without the new winter PJs now that I’m back home and it’s not quite as cold?

Given that I don’t seem to be able to contemplate buying them without going hell for leather on a bedroom makeover – yes I can live without them. I’ll keep exercising my minimalist muscles. In making a decision about not purchasing more stuff, I get the mental strength to flick away all the other “must buy stuff” thoughts.

Oh yeah, and PS, I’ve got stacks of nice summer PJs waiting in my draw and it’s spring in just 5 days…

 

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The art of really listening

I have one particular friend, who I won’t embarrass with defining details, who has the enormous capacity to listen. After conversations with her, I’m left stronger, warmer, calmer.

In a world that moves at a seemingly more and more frenetic pace, this friend cuts through with a gentle heart and a quiet voice. She has the ability to listen, and listen deeply at that.

Everyday the world shouts out around us, media slams, social media whirrs in an endless suffocating foam, we glorify busy, and glamourise mind boggling financial debt.  It’s as though some days, the universe roars angry on its’ concrete perches.  We’ve got it all so wrong. Conversations between real people, when they actually occur in place of a text or email or instant message, can feel like not much more than a well time table tennis banter. We wait without hearing, eager to jump in with our bit.

So to have one particular friend down the volume on all the noise and to just listen –  it is nothing short of spectacular. She listens intently, with an open heart, without judgement, without well intentioned unwanted advice, or jumping in with an empathetic story to prove how much she understands. She just listens, and she hears you.

I’m so incredibly lucky to have her kindness in my life because with real listening, comes real understanding. It’s a gift she gives to others. Her time and a capacity to hear the other person. It’s an age old skill and a beautiful one at that. And each time she gives me the gift of listening to me, I’m reminded of how important it is to be heard. Really heard. To be heard as opposed to liked or shared or ‘fixed’ with an answer. And I’m inspired to do a little better next time I’m listening to someone who needs to be heard.

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Letting your dreams change tracks

 

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had the dream of becoming a fiction author. I’ve chosen creative writing courses at uni, I have writen short stories to help me get through hard times. I love books and films and all things story telling. However, I haven’t been able to put the . . . → Read More: Letting your dreams change tracks

Simplify life. Less decision. More headspace

I’m short on energy these days. More so than I ever thought possible. So in an attempt to simplify life and have more time and energy and room in my over active head, I realised today that I hold onto way too many unnecessary decisions.

Little control freaky moments. OH MY GOSH.

. . . → Read More: Simplify life. Less decision. More headspace

How many clothes do you really need?

 

Last year I got rid out most of my clothes. They weren’t fitting. I haven’t replaced them. When I threw them out (aka gave them away) the strangest thing happened. The process of getting dressed, or rather, selecting clothes each day, became so much easier. No more raking through overstuffed drawers or the . . . → Read More: How many clothes do you really need?

The summer of succelents

This morning I made a start on what I hope to be a summer of creating beautiful succulent art.

Succulent cuttings growing in the makeshift hot house – now, to wait for them to grow!

Repotting left over pieces of other succulents. All of these came from small pieces and other succulent plants. For . . . → Read More: The summer of succelents

Getting back into my blog

It’s time to get this blog back up and running. Stay tuned people!

 

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Discipline and freedom

When I was a highschool student, my rep basketball coach taught us that the way to reach your goals is through patience, tolerance and determination.

Coach would then proceed to run us ragged with suicide drills. Which is the term used for timed sprinting drills up and down the basketball court. If the team . . . → Read More: Discipline and freedom

Gunners

The 2013 Australian Guns & Roses concert. I had absolutely no expectations when I went to the concert, despite thinking it might be woeful, with Axl being the only original band member, I was still keen to go.

When I was 17 my next door neighbour Michelle and I were miraculously given permission to . . . → Read More: Gunners

On picking oneself up off the ground

 

A missed opportunity. Passed over for someone else. Failing to reach a personal goal. When the chips don’t fall your way and you miss out on something great, for reasons that you can’t control, what do you do?

I generally land in a heap on the ground. I sulk and mope. My internal . . . → Read More: On picking oneself up off the ground

How to figure out sugar content

 

Just after New Years Eve, I decided to take Sarah Wilsons’s I Quit Sugar Experiment which runs for 8 weeks. During a stressful work period, and over the summer holidays, I’d somehow let sugar was creep into my diet and I wanted to do something about it.

So, armed with Sarah’s e-book (which . . . → Read More: How to figure out sugar content

Rainy days

After weeks of scorching heat, the rain has finally arrived. It’s a lazy melancholy public holiday here in Sydney, so I thought I’d take a few moments to wander around my garden in the rain and snap some photos on my phone. My garden is small and more wonky than whimsical. It won’t ever win . . . → Read More: Rainy days

It’s beginning to feel like armageddon

As I ever so gradually and gracefully become more seasoned in life, I’m starting to enjoy the warmer weather*. For a very long time, I loathed super hot weather – possibly because for a long time I was 19 years old** with a face full of luscious make up, my hair perfectly styled into . . . → Read More: It’s beginning to feel like armageddon

My thoughts on writing

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