Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friends bring Lemonade

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So yesterday I blogged about making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Today I have lemonade! Thanks to some beautiful friends who turned up last night with a gift of lemonade,  a beautiful card that shared amazing words of gratitude, encouragement and inspiration along with an extra surprise that was so unexpected and truly appreciated.20140131_214829

Friends called all day to see how they could help and I am truly humbled by the out pouring of generosity from each of them. Other people let me know how my words along with the way my husband and I were approaching the situation has inspired them to make their own lemonade.

My husband remarked last night how he was touched by the friendship and support that surrounded us. And it got me thinking about the essence of friendship and the impact that we each have on each other. How just a simple act of picking up the phone to ask ‘are you ok?’ can turn ones day around. The act of catching up for coffee… or wine… and sharing stories and laughter lightens the heaviest of loads.

Our friendship are formed in all sorts of ways, through life long knowing, to those we work with, though our children. People who share a common interest, and there are those that cross our path and touch our hearts in the most magical ways. Some friendships come and go, some last a lifetime.

friendship 2I look at my circle of friends and see so many different personalities, so many varying points of view. We come from all walks of life. For some of us we are in daily contact for others we can go months and pick up where we left off like it was yesterday. Each one of us brings to our friendship their knowledge, their understanding and most importantly of all, each one of us is a friend without judgement. For the time we share together is not about judgement it is about fun, laughter, support, enrichment and enjoying life in the company of people who make us smile. These are the people we choose to have around us and share in the living of our lives. I dont beleive there is a one thing that defines a friend …….. its more like a million things.

I look around and I see that people have so many events happening in their lives, some big some small….. Some have been thrown bucket loads of lemons….and what I see most of all is the beauty that each of us is willing to help squeeze those lemons for each other and help make the best lemonade life has to offer us at that time.

So I want to thank my friends you mean the world to me. I want to extend thanks to the people who have contacted me who I don’t know, who have thanked me for helping them with my words. At the end of the day lemonade is a nice drink once you make it, so I raise my glass to you and say CHEERS!cheers

Making lemonade

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lemonsWe all know the saying when life gives you lemons make lemonade. That’s exactly what this family is about to start doing!!!

Yesterday as I picked my boys up from school I got a dreaded phone call. My husband was on the other end.

He said “I have just been thrown a curve ball, please take me off speaker phone”

I have a habit of everyone being on speaker phone opps….

He went on “I have just been told I have no job ……….”

Silence

Me “from when?”

“From now I am on my way to the station I have just packed up my belongs from the office” he informed me.

So at 3.35 yesterday our life was turned upside down. Here I was settling in for a year of fulltime study and being an at home mum to help my children thrive at school, and now …… well all the balls are back up in the air.

My mind raced and raced finally I said “ok well this just means that there is something better out there for you”.

For those that know me well will know that this even uttering these words was a huge shift in the way that I view the challenges that life throws our way. A few years ago this news would have seen me fall to the ground and crumble. Finacially security is a long held stress trigger for me, and sends me into a tail spin when ever I am challeged with it. NOT this time. This time I was already in my mind working on plans as to how we will not only get through this but how we will seize the opportunity given to us.bt-business-opportunity.gif

My first thought was to our out empty bank account, it literally contained $0.19  in it, and my husband was due to be paid on the 31st, however there was a fear there that this would not happen. The reason for losing his job was the company was no longer financially able to support the works, so would he even get paid? There was food in the house so we would not be hungry at least not for the next few days. Petrol in the car was an issue it was shaping up to be long walks to take the boys to and from school.

Master 11 came out and asked me what was going on, obviously sensing the tension and when I let him know he burst into tears fearing the worst. Right then in that moment I knew that my attitude needed to shift up another gear. I would not let him be worried about what would happen next and I would not allow myself to be consumed with fear like in the past.

I wrapped my arms around him and let him know “This is not a bad thing, this means that there is a greater opportunity waiting for us all, we will be fine and there is no need to worry.” As I uttered the words I felt them ring true and provide me with a strength of conviction to show him how great an opportunity this can be.

So what action to take next, first I message a good friend of mine to see if there are any jobs at her work that I could apply for? I let her know what had happened she was gob-smacked to say the least. She later turned up with a bottle of chilled wine for me ……. Friends really do know how to turn on the light for their friends when it’s dark.

The next two hours were consumed with job hunting for me, and finding out what financial assistance we could get. Needless to say we have a load of meetings to attend in the next few days, all while I need to be studying for my psychology exam. And again I remind myself …… it will be ok.

After my husband got home he reinforced my worlds to Master 11 that everything would be fine. He jumped right onto the computer and started the job hunting process. We were not going to let this beat us. We got given lemons and today we would start making lemonade.

The beauty of being hit with a curve ball when you have young children is that they see things with innocence and without all the strings attached. So when Master 7 went and grab the magic 8 ball he asked two questions:

“Is dad happy?”  The magic eight balls reply ‘count on it’

“Will dad get a new job soon?” the magic eight balls reply ‘Yes’.8 ball

Master 7 jumped up ran to his father and said “The magic eight ball said Yes! It’s all ok.”

In that moment of pure innocence I once again felt the strength of conviction, and that everything would be ok.

The world has given all of us lemons at some time in our life, most times I would have just been tasting the sourness from them. Allowing fear to step in and take control of how I reacted to the situation. This time I would taste the beautiful lemonade and enjoy the process of making it and teaching my children resilience along the way.

School year begins

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schoolAnd so beings the start of another school year, my boys are growing up fast one in his last year of primary school the other in year 2. Last year was trying school year to say the least, while my children had great teachers they both struggled with social issues. My eldest due to the school yard bully and my youngest due to just being him I guess.

Before leave for school today Master 7 came to realization that this would be the last school year for quite some time that he would be attending the same school as his brother. Next year Master 11 ventures off to High School. Master 7 was starting to panic you could see it in his eyes.

He turned to me and said “who will look after me in the playground, who will stop the bullies?”

I replied “you will be fine and it’s a year away so no need to worry about it.”

Not satisfied he proceeded to explain how his stomach was feeling funny, how it felt like it was jumping inside.

Again I calmed him down “they are just nerves of excitement.”

We managed to get over this; but still like so many parents in Sydney today when dropping my children at school this morning. I did so with fingers and toes crossed that this year would be a great school year.

3pm rolls around and there I am waiting at the gate for them both to tell me about their day. They both walk towards me with smiles on their face… and I breathe a sigh of relief day one down only how many more to go?

Much to Master 11 delight he has the same teacher as last year. The boys in his class are all his friends and his bully from last year is in a different class. Yippee we have a winner here.

Master 7 has his best friend in his class, this may be a good or bad thing but he is happy and that’s what counts. His teacher is nice and she can be quiet firm something he needs so I am happy.

So as we jump in the car to drive home they both then hit me with how the bully from last year is at it again during playtime. Sigh perhaps it was too good to be true, until……………

Master 7 “I played with the bully at playtime.”

Me “what he let you play…. Did he let you play I ask his bother?”bully

Master 11 “no he is up to his same old tricks.”

Master 7 “that’s ok I just told the teacher.”

Master 11 “yes the bully knows that he will be told on each time now.”

Me “So Master 7 he was okay with you playing?”

Master 7 “no but I don’t care he is not in charge and I will tell on him every day.”

I sat in the car getting ready to drive away, I know I should show restrain and just say some nice practical parenting advice to them, but I can’t, and I can not hide how happy I am about this turn of events.

“Hi Five Master 7 you handed it to him!”

I drive away feeling guilty for feeling so happy that the bully was handed it to him by my 7-year-old. Yet at the end of the day I am happy he did it! I very proud of how my 7-year-old who this morning feared being bullied stood up and showed that he was not going to be pushed over by child who thinks they are better than everyone else.

So the year began with everyone happy, well maybe the bully was not too happy but ……….

The year still began with everyone Happy at this house.happy

Inspiration comes from………………..

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inspirationWow must have been the most restless sleep I have had in a long time. My shoulder had been hurting all day so I was after a good night’s sleep and that’s not what I got. Instead I was woken so many times, once by son who had a bad dream and then the rest of the night by pain and inspiration.

Several times I woke thinking stupid shoulder and tossed and turned to get comfy again, but as I tossed and turned thoughts ran through my semi-conscious mind. Silly thoughts like what to wear when I wake …. Seriously how about I stay in bed all day….. To write this down it will be good….. Write what down I asked my mind??? Just let me sleep how about that!

No sleep was not something my mind had in store for me so I lay there and watched and listened to the words that flowed through my head. At one stage I was tempted to get up and write them down, but the want to be tucked up in bed kept me there.

Finally I drifted off to sleep, and when I woke to my surprise I remember the words that floated through my head in those early hours.  So this time I got out of bed and wrote them down, without questioning without out looking over it ……. At the end of writing I had written two pages.

Two pages of what totally ramblings smacked together? I sat back and reread what I wrote. I have to say at this time I was smiling like a Cheshire cat!!! In amongst the rambling words were several book ideas.  I have always held the desire to write for children and in there on those two pages where the ideas for the books.

So silly shoulder pain I thank you! The tossing and turning you caused help start a creative journey this morning. Where will it lead I have no idea yet ……one thing I am sure of is that the first solid steps on the journey wmageshave started and all I need do now is keep walking, or should I say writing.

So inspiration comes from ………….. My guess it comes from the time and place that you least expect it. Inspiration asks you to step onto a journey of discovery, to let it lead and guide you and to perhaps push you along the way.

Don’t wake me before coffee

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There is a promotional ad for a TV show, ‘Through the wormhole’ on TV at the moment and in it a crew member ask Morgan Freeman ‘when does life begin?’ Morgan answers ‘as soon as I have had my morning coffee’.  My children say that’s me….. They say that life doesn’t begin in our house till mum has her morning coffee and they are right.

coffee lifeIt’s a small ritual but one that I cherish every day to be able to sit in silence and enjoy the waking moment of life in our house. I love early mornings, the peace and quiet before the world stirs with its noise and bustle that breaks the silence, pushing us all forward into the hectic pace of life. So I sit each morning, coffee in hand and just take in the stillness, it’s my favourite time of the day.

My ritual morning coffee is my morning meditation, it is my time to zone into the day and what I wish to achieve and most importantly to set the tone of my day. If I am disturbed during that time, the tone may very well change from happy too annoyed; need a second coffee on days like this!

My 7-year-old is usually the first one to come find me each morning, waiting until the coffee is finished of course. He breaks this time of stillness and I am always grateful that he does, because when he does he gives me a huge cuddle and he tells me he loves me …. Then he asks for food, he will be a master manipulator creating great business deals one day I am sure with his smooth tactics.

Then life begins in our house we get through breakfast and move forward in our day, the hectic pace of life once again intrudes as we carry out all we need to do that day. When it gets too hectic and my world feels out of balance, polluted with crazy time schedules, screaming children, unfinished obligations and interruptions; I stop and remember my thoughts of the morning and I bring myself back to centre. In that moment of peace I know that life is short and one needs to cherish each crazy hectic moment of it.

…. And so the day goes on and my morning ritual reminds me to enjoy it no matter what the day brings my way.coffee life

Believe in your rainbow

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I am always inspired when I see people take a chance and make a change in their life. The courage it takes to step out from dark clouds and basking in their own rainbow leaves me filled with happiness and admiration for that person.

It’s often not easy to step out of what seems to be a perpetual cycle of darkness, bad decision-making, heartbreak, financial woes, self-doubt, blame games and internal conflict. Yet it can be done, the first step however is to see the pattern.  If you feel like you are constantly being tested time and time again then there is a pattern to the choices that have been made over and over again. The great news you don’t have to make the same choice ever again.

The next step is to stop the blame game, stop blaming everyone else around you for were you are, stop blaming yourself for were you are, stop yelling at god the universe whoever, and instead take ownership of the current situation. The moment you stop blaming is the moment that you take charge. When has yelling at anyone including yourself every made you feel better about what is going on? Beating yourself up about mistakes only rainbowserves to lower your self-esteem it’s not healthy so STOP!

Once you have taken ownership of the situation you then have given yourself the power to change it!! The power to step away, to move forward, to make change for the better, the power to be YOU!

Grab hold of that power and make the changes you need. Stumbling blocks may appear along the way that’s okay …. Instead of feeling down about them, view them as stepping-stones or a time to rest. Sometimes we need to stop and look back to see just how far we have come. When you are feeling down look up and see the rainbow as you move the dark clouds away.

For my sister who has just stepped into her own rainbow, betting the last money in her wallet to take a chance and make a change. You are my inspiration today, and I say to her and all others wanting to make a change and needing the courage to do it.

Believe in the Power of You, because soon others will see it too!

Challenge the habit

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Over the school holidays my eldest son has added the word funny and like to just about every sentence he says, instead of using um…. Err…. and…. he has unconsciously added these words. Sometimes they are in totally context others times they so out-of-place.belief

Somehow this has now become a habit and without wanting to sound hurtful in correcting him I have simply asked him to define funny and like and how they relate to the sentence and story he is telling me. I have asked him what other worlds he feels may be a better fit at times as well. I don’t want to encourage umm…. err …. and ….so I have also asked that he slow down and think about what message he wants to convey before speaking.

Watching him learn to undo the habit and replace it with a new thought process had me thinking about all the little things we do unconsciously that have become habits, some possible help us get through our day while others do not serve us well at all, some just seem to have crept up on us.

I know I am not alone when I say that Facebook on my phone can be an become an addictive habit, checking when I wake, over lunch, while watching TV before bed. Some of my friends have recently undertaken a challenge to only use Facebook when at their desk computer and have since remove the app from their phone. So I thought it would be FUN to write down all the things that could be achieved by removing Facebook from ones phone.

Family – amazing how much time we spend looking at a phone ignoring those that truly matter.

Awareness – meditate, relax and become aware of you and the real world you live in.

Cooking – imagine being able to enjoy doing this because you have time on your side.

Exercise – no excuses now you have more time and there is energy to burn.

Books – reading it’s amazing what reading a good book can do for the soul.

Organise – where can you make life more efficient for you (mine is my study schedule).

Obliterate – determination now to remove other worthless habits (we all have a few I am sure).

Kip – Imagine being able to fall asleep without a status update in your mind.

habitMy friends are doing a one month challenge with this to see how it changes their lives. What habit can you remove for one month to see how it changes your life? And once its change will you take the habit back up again or gain a new thought process that is for the better?

Wish I had, Wish I could, Wish I didn’t

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Life is full of boundless opportunities and yet we so often walk past them, never taking the chance. We let so many things slip by that often we end up looking back with wishful thinking

Wish I had………..……..

Wish I could……………..

Wish I didn’t……….…….

Unfortunately most of us follow-up this with

It’s too late now to …………………………

Believing that change cannot happen. That we have left the run far too late to achieve anything we may have wished we did. Or to make the change on what we wish we didn’t, leaving us with a life of regret.

The biggest issue of life that is full of wishes is that there is usually then a pattern of a life with no action.  One cannot achieve anything unless they are willing to participate in life and take action upon the wish.

So what if we could? What if it’s no too late and we can still reach the dreams we set ourselves, what if we can change the aspects we don’t want anymore?  What if the opportunity that once presented shows up again, maybe in a slightly different format, will you walk past it or reach out and take it with both hands?

Simply the choice will be yours….. and it will come down to how passionate you are about achieving the dream and how willing you are to work at achieving it. There are no fairy godmothers waving wands that turn pumpkins into carriages. Yet surround yourself with the right people and you will find a fairy godmother in the words of encouragement you receive along the way.

wishitMake the wish become the dream and let the dream become the reality. Just because you walked past the opportunity once doesn’t not mean it’s lost. You may not be able to capture every lost wish, and you may not want to. However if the wish is big enough, stop wishing it away and take action to bring it to reality. Taking small steps will eventually lead to leaps forward and a wish realised.

Change the Scream for Calm

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Screaming and yelling and still no result …. The feeling of talking to a brick wall. That’s what most of my friends have been telling me is going on when they talk to their children these school holidays. scream

Pick up your clothes, don’t hit your sister, pack up this mess, and eat your dinner ….. The list is endless. As parents it can feel that we spend our life or a good majority of it screaming to get things done. And children seem to spend most of their time ignoring this or complaining about it.

So why does it always seem to boil down to a battle of wills. Simple really imagine if your boss screamed at you to get things done how quickly would you tell your boss to take a hike! It would not take long, at the very least you most certainly would be looking for a new job.

So since our children can’t or we hope never tell us to take a hike or look for new parents, perhaps it is in the way we approach the request that needs to change. So here are some simple strategies to try before our children do tell us to take a hike or worst still turn into the screaming teenage/adult from hell!

  1. Set some simple chores that are age appropriate and don’t need to be done every day, responsibility is a good thing but keep it balanced.
  2. If the room is mess does it really matter that much? If your child is tired you are fighting a losing battle that will only see you get a headache, shut the door and tackle it tomorrow when calm.
  3. Stop yelling and screaming, talk to your child the way you want to be spoken to, not only is it more effective you will then raise a child that has respect.
  4. Get down and play with them, encourage creative play, have FUN, build a cubby house, and as you help make the mess you get to help tidy the mess.
  5. Half an hour before bed make it wind down time, grab a book and read to your child or if your child can read then read the book together.
  6. Get outside with your child go for a walk, take them to the park, not only do you get outdoors you get exercise as well.
  7. Count to 10 and step outside if the stress is getting to much, fresh air calms down most and a little bit of space can give you the perspective as an adult to know the right course of action to take.
  8. Encourage them to make the right choices when being asked to do things, this will help them in later life.
  9. Surprise your child with a reward, don’t let them expect it like pocket money, just surprise them with a reward of your choice.

calmOur child are only our children for a short period of time, before long they are young adults trying to be the best they can in the world. They learn how to do this from you, have fun, enjoy them and most of all love and respect them…… the world will thank you for it.