Thursday, 28 February 2008

Growing pains

I have always known this day was coming. I just didn't think it would happen so soon.

I'm talking about the day when my relatively compliant, mostly happy child turned into a snarling, grunting, hormonal almost teenager. It's like someone flicked a switch inside his head the day he started high school and changed his whole view of the world. Apparently the "whole world" (read that as his parents) is "out to get him" (read that as stop him having fun) for absolutely no good reason. And don't even get me started on the homework issue!

It's times like this that I resort to my "little book of sanity". This is a collection of poems, thoughts, essays and letters that I have come across over the years and kept, just in case. I was reading through this book this morning and found this: (with thanks to Adair Lara)

"I just realised that while children are dogs - loyal and affectionate - teenagers are cats.

It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then, around age 13 (sometimes earlier), your adoring puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry - then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving. When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realising that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings. Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch, stay and sit on command, you assume you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit and it jumps on the counter. The more you go towards it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn how to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still and it will come, seeking that warm, comforting lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big hug and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you." Then you'll realise that, at last, your cat is a dog again."

That pretty much sums up what I'm starting to go through. The operative word is "through" because I'm sure I'll come out the other side.

Alex, however, may not make it to next week!

Breathe in, breathe out, count to 100... repeat as often as is necessary.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008


I managed to drag myself out of bed early this morning and while I was hanging out washing and bringing in the uniforms for school today, I noticed the colours of the sky. The clouds were all wispy like big tufts of cotton wool, but they were orange and pink and yellow and all the shades in between.

I just had to stop and watch them changing which probably wasted a good ten minutes, but I felt so much better for having just stopped and being at peace. No kids screaming and fighting (they were still asleep), no neighbourhood dogs yapping, no cars revving and speeding down the street. Just peace and quiet and a beautiful sky.

Now I'm off to face the rest of the day and all it entails, but I'm going to take that little bit of peace and tranquility with me.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Nice to be appreciated...

and kind of "blow my own horn".

I got a biiiig box of choccies at work today as a thank you from one of the managers. He gave them to me in front of everyone and told me how much he appreciated the extra effort I put in. What an ego boost!!

I have been helping him out with his paperwork for mostly selfish reasons (it was annoying me) but I also figured that he had so much else to do that it would take a weight of his mind too. I didn't tell him I was doing it; just asked him to sign it when it was done. It was worth it for the surprise on his face .. kind of like giving someone an unexpected present.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, this is only one of the managers I help out. All of them (women included) have had their paperwork done by me at times when they're busy with special events. It's just that this one is one of only two who actually say thanks!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Relaxation ...

"You are walking through a beautiful garden. Stop for a moment and.."

"Quick, kill him! Alex, I said, kill him NOW! Let's go!"

"...and smell the tropical flowers. Admire their..."

"Freeze move. Now Brad, grab that cannonball and ..."

" the gate. Walk down the steps towards the.."

"Master robot blaster! Now, Drew, now!!"

Ah, the joys of boys while trying to listen to a relaxation CD!

Another week over ..

This week seems to have flown by because it's been so busy but I feel like I haven't actually done anything.

The house resembles a bombsite, there's washing everywhere and let's not even think about the outside of the house! But I have managed to keep everyone fed and clothed with minimal stress so it can't have been too bad. And .. I get to scrap tomorrow!! Yay, some "me" time!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Group dynamics

My store manager has just started 9 weeks long service leave and man, what a difference in the atmosphere!

Don't get me wrong, he's a nice enough person, but his people management skills suck. Add to that the very strong personality mix we have, and it's a recipe for disaster. Well, a lot of fights anyway. One of the other department managers is off too, another very strong negative personality, so the whole place has such a different feel about it.

I'm trying to work out if it's affecting others as much as me. I am able to get more work done in less time and can actually take a lunch break because I'm not having to deal with him and all the others who try to avoid him and come to me. Mind you, they are still coming to me, but they don't have to get through him first .. cutting out the middle (management) man. LOL!

Back to my original thought, it really is amazing how much a situation can change just by removing or modifying one single element/person. I know there's been lots of studies done about just that, but until you see it, you just don't realise how much we are all inter-connected, whether it's negative or positive.

I'm off to try to be a positive influence on the world around me .. for today at least!!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Thoughts, words, actions ...

"Watch your 'Thoughts,' they become words.

Watch your 'Words,' they become actions.

Watch your 'Actions,' they become habits.

Watch your 'Habits,' they become character.

Watch your 'Character,' for it becomes your Destiny."

Don't know where this came from but it struck a chord with me today ...

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A very wise woman said to me ...


I have come to conclusion that waiting for something "great" to happen is really rather stupid - I miss so much while I am waiting!"

A variation on "Happiness is in the journey, not at the destination" but just what I needed to hear at this exact moment in time!

Thanks Deb.

Looking back ...

The SS Blog challenge (below) made me think a lot more about my childhood and I have realised that I had a really good one.

We moved a lot and, at the time, that was hard to deal with but it helped me become more accepting of different cultures than I would have been if we'd stayed in one place. It's a shame I don't remember more of the earliest years in Singapore and England but I have great memories of the times in Fiji and Hawaii.

I would love to go back to Fiji some day, hopefully soon, but I know it won't be the same. A lot of the places we lived aren't there anymore and we all know how time enhances some memories to make them seem grander than they really are.

Maybe I'll just hang on to my versions of the memories instead ...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

SS blog challenge #3

"When the phone is ringing, the doorbell is going off, kids are yelling, laundry is overwhelming and dinner has burned and you sit down to a cup of tea, where do you let your mind go?"

Somewhere .. anywhere .. far, far away!

Seriously though, I don't seem to have a particular "happy place", more like happy times.

The ones I've been thinking about the most lately is the family holidays we had at the Paradise Point Motel in Fiji, when I was about 6 years old. It was right on the beach and they had a great pool with a log across it, that I used to walk across pretending I was some jungle explorer, while Dad used to be the crocodile in the water trying to pull me in. There was a juke box just outside the reception area that took 5c pieces and I spent almost all of my 50c pocket money playing the Kiss song "I was made for loving you baby". Probably not the best song for a 6 year old to be listening to but oh well! Everytime I hear that song, I'm transported back there.

Overall, I think I just go to a "place" where things were easier. I probably go back to times spent in Fiji as a child more than anywhere else, but I also go back to teenage years with the flush of first love, first real kiss and no real responsibilities.

Today I will ...

achieve at least some of what I set out to do so that I can go out tonight and not feel guilty.

Some of the girls from work are going out to a local bar/restaurant tonight and have invited me along. At first, I said no, because Peter is away and so is Mum, so I didn't have a sitter. One of the girls wouldn't take no for an answer (apparently I need this LOL) and asked her daughter to sit with the boys so guess what .. I'm going out and dammit, I'm going to enjoy it!

my little maestro

Drew(10) went back to piano lessons this morning, very nervous about how much he hadn't practiced over the holidays. Both he and I were pleasantly surprised by how much he remembered.

I enjoy going with him to his lessons, even though it puts my teeth on edge at times (those wrong notes make me jump!) and I like watching his face when he "gets" it. He is such a serious child at times that it's good to see him enjoying the whole experience. I hope he will continue to get joy from music even if he doesn't end up playing when he's older.

A new day...

Every new day gives us the opportunity to start again.

Obviously there are quite a lot of things that can't be fixed just by going to sleep and waking up again, but there are lot that can. Especially if you (I) make a conscious effort to not make the same mistakes again. Habits are hard things to break but here goes...

Friday, 8 February 2008

In the mood for unloading ...

See, I knew this would be an interesting can of worms to open.

I don't know if it's the fact that most of the "real" people I know will probably never read this, or if I really don't care if they do, but now I have the urge to just pour it all out. Warning, this could get long, involved and possibly messy!! I have issues .. lots of them .. the main ones being depression and weight.

I have suffered with low-grade depression for years, many of them without realising it was a medical condition and not just my warped perception of the world. I feel really, really bad that I don't remember most of my boys' early years due to PND, and that I'm still riding the roller coaster of emotions, which is bound to be affecting them and their world view. Medication helps, but it's still there. I can remember my mother riding the same roller coaster, and not knowing what to expect at times. My mother says she can remember her mother doing the same thing. I just hope and pray that I haven't passed this on to my boys. Mum's brothers are fine so there's hope yet ... or maybe they just don't talk about it. Every silver lining has a cloud...

Part of the reason for me feeling invisible is that I'm fat. Not just a couple of kilos overweight kind of fat. Morbidly obese, according to the height/weight and BMI charts. Have you ever noticed how normal/thin people don't look fat people in the face or the eyes? It's very isolating. I'm not seen as a woman, I'm just the "go-to" person .. the person you go to when you need help or answers or, in the case of the kids, food/clothes/toys. I know the reason why I'm too fat .. too much comfort eating, not enough movement .. but I still self-sabotage every step of the way. I'm working on it, but it's really hard. My boys love me, as does my very patient husband, but I don't love me the way I am. Something else I'm working on ...

Okay, now I've got that off my chest, I will lighten the mood a bit from here on in. Thanks if you stayed with me this far .. if there's even anybody reading.

Invisible woman

You ever have one of those days/weeks/months where you just feel invisible? When no-one seems to recognise your hard work or even acknowledge your existence? Well, I've been having one of those for a while now but the sun broke through the clouds a little yesterday and then again today.

I had a few days off from work and the welcome back I got yesterday made me realise I'm not invisible or unappreciated at all. Also made me realise how much I actually enjoy going to work .. not for the actual work, but for the company of the people. It's kind of like a big family .. you know: mostly people you would choose to be around (at least some of the time) with the occasional one you would gladly give away to the nearest travelling circus or failing that the nearest loony bin!

It is hard juggling work, the boys and Peter when he's home, but I think I would go mad if I didn't have that outlet. Admittedly, none of the people at work see the "real" me, issues and all, but it's still good to get out of the house and face the world.

Here I go ...

I've finally joined the rest of the 21st century and got myself a blog. Now all I have to do is find something, preferably interesting, to say!