So, How Do You Waste Your Time?

This question was asked of me at my meditation group this week. It made me think about what we consider to be wasted time in our lives, and if, in fact, such a thing exists.

The gentleman leading our meditation on that day had expected quite bland responses I think – such as watching TV, or sleeping in, or things such as those. He did not get what he expected from his question. People thought about their responses far more than he had envisaged or was prepared for. It was an interesting question for sure, and one I gave a lot of thought to as it came toward my turn to answer.

In the end I challenged the premise.Read More »

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The Mother Club

This week has seen the invention of another new word in our household …

Haribwoe –
noun: The guilt and self-loathing one feels having eaten too many sweets, resulting from no children having knocked on your door at Halloween, necessitating a frantic consumption of said sweets to do away with the evidence that you ever bought them in the first place.

I can imagine the conversation amongst the neighbouring parents as they took their little people up and down the street “Oh no, they don’t have children, we’ll leave them in peace”. Imagining that this is the sentiment (unless we have other issues with our neighbours that we are unaware of) I can appreciate their consideration. However, it is just one of many little reminders throughout the year that we are on the outside of a club. The biggest, most natural club in the world.Read More »

Contemplating Cobwebs & The Doorstep Of Destiny

A desire for sausages, and a distracted exit from the house last weekend, resulted in an unplanned detour, and the contemplation of a new world-view, both literally and figuratively.

My parents had just left our house in their car – having finished tea and biscuits, and a reading of the Saturday papers. My husband and I now needed to buy some food for the day ahead, and were debating what we might like for our evening meal. I had a hankering for sausages. Our local butcher makes really good sausages. So, with my husband leaving the house ahead of me, I grabbed a shopping bag and headed outside, pulling the door behind me, and striding for the gate.

My husband hesitated, and then he swore. And then he peered back into the house through the living room window …Read More »

A New Word, A Storm & A Headache

Today I have a paint headache. I did yesterday too. I have been painting all kinds of stuff in my house over the last few days and have now been forced to leave, as I was starting to feel pretty sick with the fumes.

The reason for this intense activity is simple. My house is a scruffy mess. Walls and doors are shabby and shameful. Furniture scratched and unfit for any nice thing or person to sit upon. The last two days of warp-speed activity was long overdue and – because I am me – and I have tried to fix a million things all in one go rather than take a planned and steady approach (like a normal human being might), this has caused some considerable upheaval throughout our home. The living room that I am currently hiding from, is this very minute strewn with newspapers covered by various bulky items of furniture gently emitting their evil post-updo fumes (hence the headache).

Sitting with my husband at the weekend (prior to me having thrown the house up in the air and trying to catch it all with my trusty paint roller) we were listening to somebody else discussing some upheaval or other in their lives. My husband noted …

“You never hear much about ‘Downheaval’ do you?”

Hmmm, interesting – Is that even a thing? I quietly pondered this for a little while and realised, well of course it is a thing! Not only that, but one I have some experience with.Read More »

Lessons Learned Log: My mind is not a sausage machine

Some of the best advice I was ever given was by a friend of mine who knew I was wrestling with a particular problem, and making myself sick trying to force the answer to emerge. She bought me a greeting card and gave it to me, a few days before I took myself off on my first ever silent retreat, to try and figure out what on earth I was going to do next with my life.

The card shared the following words from Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves”

These words (taken from a letter written by Rilke in 1903) continued ….Read More »

A Refreshing & Entirely Inappropriate Conversation

Yesterday my mother and I went to get our hair done. It is a little ritual we do every 10 weeks or so. Some quiet time for her to read magazines and drink coffee, and a nice little me and her thing, which we don’t often get the chance to do.

When I went to pick my mum up I was in a terrible mood. It had been a tense week for one reason and another, and when my dad asked me “So, what is new with you?” my brain leapt immediately to “Nothing good!” and I clammed up, as I so often do when asked this question.

For others I might try to invent a positive slanted something or other that tells them absolutely nothing. For my dad, I sometimes try and fudge together some diversionary train of thought, perhaps about current affairs (which he loves), or what somebody else we know has been up to lately. Yesterday I just didn’t have the energy or the imagination or the heart to even do that. I shrugged and said. “I have no idea”.

So my mum and I headed out to our hair appointment and I was left feeling agitated and dissatisfied with how my life is going just now.

The new junior (who recently started working at the salon) came over to take me to the back room, in order that she could wash my hair. She was very young, and very keen and very chatty. For me, the extraction of a tooth is often less painful than the extraction of small-talk, but I tried my best, so as not to squash her springer-spaniel spirit.

She asked the usual questions:

“Do you have any holidays planned?”
“What are you doing with the rest of your day?” 
“Any plans for the weekend?”

I have no holidays planned in the foreseeable future. The rest of my day was probably going to be spent trying hard not to get my grump all over my parents. And the weekend felt like a big gaping void of nothing fun at all at the present time.

Then the conversation took an unexpected and alarming twist.Read More »

One Small Step

The blanket’s embrace is calling
As it did yesterday
As you know it will tomorrow
But your dreams cannot breathe under there
Your dreams are at the windows
Noses pressed, breath shaped questions on the glass
Looking in
Contemplating the small amount of hair hiding there

Just one thing
It doesn’t have to be a big thing
One small step outside
A walk to the end of the road
A glance at the sun, a testing of the air
That might be all you can bear
Or you might walk a little further
It doesn’t matter if you don’t
Just put on some shoes

You know what has to be done
But it seems wholly monstrous from here
With its eyes fixed and teeth bared
You are sure it will feast on your fear
Yet instead it would seek to converse with you
To share its true nature and cares with you
If only you’d dare to come near
Despite the beast’s seeming enormity
It would happily walk gently in your company

Just a few steps
The world need not be traversed in one day
See those pieces on the floor?
Pick one up … just one
Feel its shape in your palm
Just do that bit
I won’t ask too much
I won’t bring you to harm
Just choose one piece to hold
We’ll take it from there
And if that feels too much
I’ll understand

No agenda
I promise
Just go stand in the rain
I know you like rain
I know, I know, but try to breathe through the pain
Just let some drops fall and see what comes
You don’t have to get drenched
Just let it fall upon your skin
And see how each drop feels within
One small step
Just dip one toe
You never know

 


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