Saturday, June 23, 2012

What to do in the School Holidays

Amy over at Mahlimoo, Me and Three is asking what people have planned for the school holidays. Amy has little people and has planned a wonderful list of stuff to do that brings back a whole heap of great memories for me. But sadly, even though my brood still need supervision, they are too big for archaeological digs in the sandpit (which is no longer more) and great stuff like that.

So Amy's question got me thinking. What are we going to do?  These holidays are now gold - before I know it they will be sloths sleeping off big nights out and working. I need to make these days count and try and plan activities that we will all really enjoy and fits in with the fact that I will be working.

So what comes to mind for my 13, 11 and 8 year olds are

1. Basketball clinics - they all are pretty committed to the sport and there are some great holiday clinics locally

2. Cooking - letting them go loose in the kitchen without me in control. Angus is taking food tech ( remember we called it home ec) and is keen to duplicate his learnings at home. Miss M is a whizz on cupcakes and all of them can understand a recipe. So I will let them have a go solo.

3. Swimming

4. Bushwalk

5. Sewing / Art days - the Tullster and Miss M are mad on making softies at the moment and Ango is a budding artist. So declaring a day for creative pursuits may just capture their attention.

6. Earn yourself some big bucks day. Not to be confused with exploitation - I will be offering good pay for jobs I hate e.g. cleaning windows, weeding, cleaning out wardrobes etc.  My kids will fall for this totally!

7. A day in the city - Fed Square, ACME exhibitions, park wanders, aquarium.  Catch the train in.

8. Holiday faithfuls ; bowling, movies

9. A day trip to regional Victoria

10. Play dates with mates, probably a heap of sleep overs here (we are the go to house)

But after this I am a bit stumped, too wet and cold to camp, go to the beach, I have no time to take kids away.....So what are you doing with / for your kids in the upcoming holidays?

Recovery part 3

Recovery Part 3.

Part 1 was about recognising that my "stress" was not just daily stress and resultant of 2012 chaos but my old companion Anxiety has snuck up and was really stuffing me around, messing with my emotions and ability to think rationally and basically derive enjoyment from life.

Part 2 was about writing a Recovery Plan for myself, which turned out to be ironically challenging as I am a mental health worker that works with others on their recovery plans. So I started small and concentrated on breathing ( sounds ridiculously simple but slowing down your breathing really aids in controlling anxious feelings), I started practicing Mindfulness which seems to be the dress of the day in most therapy based treatments  - but it is simple and truly very easy to incorporate into your life and yields so much more pleasure from even the most mundane task.

I also had to take stock of what was going on in my life , note the things I could tweak or alter that would allow me to be able to assess the degree in which my anxiety had taken over and where I was simply not taking care of me.

I noted many such things, most of which I was not blind too but certainly when I wrote them out, together it was clear that I could do much, much, much more to improve my situation.
Such as,  whilst I wasn't a "wake up and light up smoker", I would self medicate with lighting up so I was lighting up a lot.

My workplace was in a state upheaval - people leaving, people arriving, no real leadership, no real support for workers in roles that require strong leadership and support. I was taking on things outside my role requirements and getting nothing in return. My wonderful colleagues were great, but they too shared the dilemma of a workplace in disarray.

 I was also having a wee bit too much wine before bed ,night caps you know - not ironing myself out but hiding from the phone, kids and settling down to watch a funny DVD. This of course would happen after 9.30pm. Not a good time to be chilling out with a glass or two or three - alcohol disturbs sleep. And I was sleeping real BAD.

I hadn't exercised in ages. Not because I didn't want to but because I was way toooo knackered, I craved it but just didn't have the energy to get out of the house. Things felt cluttered around here, routines were showing signs of breaking down and the idea of cooking just made me want to cry.

Well Recovery part 3 is well underway. I butted out cigarettes and used World No Tobacco Day as the perfect marker to give up. I have been cigarette free since.

I also looked hard at my career path, beyond the current conditions that I was faced with - I realised that another factor in feeling disgruntled was that my "five year" plan was ending. I needed to update and consider new options. I knew I didn't want to burn out and face further distress with my own mental health, I loved my job so it was important to end up hating it, so I have moved on. I am about to take a up a small short contract that will provide breathing space but allow me to exercise some "muscles" that need to be used again.

I did visit my GP and pick up a low dose of Valium - I don't use it often, but certainly there are times when it provides relief and allows me to continue on. I am not opposed to medication at all, but rather see it as part of a plan rather than the solution.

I have spent the past two weeks lolling around between jobs, going for walks, making things and have even found myself being able to read a little (anxiety plays havoc in one's ability to focus on a book I find).  Looking after my brood, doing pick ups / drop offs and cooking good meals.

A few weeks back I spent 5 days on a detox ( liver cleanse) style diet. Gotta say I felt sooo good. This past week saw me catch a lurgy and you know how to treat that don't you? Yup,a day in bed with  marshmallows, red velvet cupcakes and Pride and Prejudice (Matthew MacFaddyn style) on a loop and  a loving husband bringing thai food in a 6.30pm....although I am still a little poorly today, I will start a detox.  I can't wait!  So my recovery is moving forward and I feel significantly improved and hopeful about what lies ahead in the immediate future.

I find it fascinating the fragility of our health, both mental and physical can be turned one way or another by care or neglect of it and sometimes it is beyond our control.  Our attention to our health is imperative and powerful,  how we care for ourselves-  and often the fate of our health it is in our very own hands.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Being thankful, I mean it this time

saying yes to the universe

It is 10am and I am in bed still, I decided to stay here all day as I have the lurgy and I want the lurgy to go before Monday. Monday when I start my new job.  As I snuggled down, pillows aplenty, Pride and Prejudice on the DVD player, I realised how very, very, very, very lucky I am.

I am lucky that I can stay in bed today, yet I moan I am "dying" when I am not.

I am so very lucky that I so much choice in life, yet I complain I am bored.

I am so lucky that I do not have to worry where my next meal is coming from, that my kids need shoes and I cannot afford them.  

Ilive in abundance. I live surrounded by love and good fortune.

I have my health and yet I take it for granted.

I live in a beautiful country, yet I feel resentful I have not been to Europe.

I live in a house that may not be by the sea, may not be big and airy, may not have high ceilings - but it nice nonetheless, is safe, is warm and is full of life. It is a home.

I could go on longer and write a loooooong list of my failures to be grateful, my apparent blindness but I won't. I will however spend more time on thinking about this.....Do take things for granted? Have you opened your eyes to what goodness is right under your nose?  How has this changed your lifestyle?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Big News

I have just made a BIG change. At first I was nervous about it but it soon proved to be to right decision.

I have left my job!

My beloved mental health outreach worker role!

It was my third year in mental health outreach, prior to that was a couple of year in Drug and Alcohol support work.  So I needed a bit of a break before I burnt out.

Next week I will start a short contract with a very small Non Government Organisation (NGO) for 4 months and then who knows!

My last week was lovely but very emotional. Saying goodbye to the amazing people (clients), some of whom i have known for 3 years. Receiving gifts (see the flowers above) from people who can hardly afford bus fare - because they wanted me to "know they cared".  I received very touching cards that I will keep forever and most startling was the heartfelt and very unexpected hug I received from a man I know as most UN demonstrative and withdrawn - not a hugger myself, I really understood what this meant for him to go outside his comfort zone like that.

My colleagues sent me off after a wonderful breakfast out and lovely gifts.  It is a good feeling to leave a job without bitterness, with full closure, people saying I will be missed.  Moving on because the time had come.  It's a good feeling.

Monday, June 18, 2012

School Camp - do don't forget to pack your...

Vigon and Kathwaroon playing chess
Image borrowed from here

The Tullster is off to school camp today. He has been packed for over a week.
He has a new suitcase (swanky with rainbow stripes, wheels and indestructible outside - I hope).
He packed himself. He is a good packer having packed independently and get's right.
Mr G urged me not to go through his bag last night, reminding me of his past triumphs in packing.

This morning, just in case, I went through a few things : got your toothbrush? Yes.
Got your scarf?  Yes
Packed enough undies " Of course.
Shampoo? I don't plan on showering, oh maybe once.
Got a hat? Yeah, my Fez.
Your Fez?????

What can I say. The kid has style!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some house candy

 How could I resist a new mixing bowl in duck egg blue! 

A nice canvas from Typo ( oooh I love Typo - it's Smiggle for grown ups)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

NIce little hooker

I have been really busy with needles and hooks, I whipped up this little bag for Miss M a few days ago.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You may remember me starting this project, inspired by Paisley Jade's Liquorice Allsort Granny Stripe Blanket, I began my own version for Mr Tully aka Rainbow Boy.  I started last year and - it - took- f-o-r-v-e-r!!!   Finally it is finished!!  Phew! So, drum roll please....introducing the turquoise all sort granny stripe rug!  Yay!!!

 Tully wanted it so he could sleep with it on his bed and snuggle on the couch with it, so it got pretty big but not square.

I think his sock monkey thinks it is nice and cosy too!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Just a little thank you

My kids had their Mother's Day stall recently and I made heaps of fabric brooches. I did this last year too and I am a little more than flattered to say the feedback I got indicated they were a big hit and this year once work got out they were back on the stall some mum's even confessed hinting to their kids to get one!!  So I am reasonably confident that few dozen mum's were happy! I did suggest to my kids that it would be fine not to get me one! LOL

Well I made a few more and am sending them to some lovely bloggy friends that have given me much support in the recent weeks. This one went out this week