Friday, September 7, 2012

Cravings


I am finding myself being drawn to a simpler, calmer and more peaceful way of life lately. 
It started when I began hanging out the laundry. I realize instead of dreading laundry I am enjoying it. It is a quiet activity, I'm in the sunshine and my attention is focused on just one thing. When I started baking more often I felt the same feeling of peace as I was kneading bread.  These activities require me to focus and engage in just that activity rather than trying to do several things at once. Perhaps that is why I am finding peace in them. My mind calms, some of the constant pain I am in reduces as my body relaxes. Multi-tasking has become such a part of my life I didn't realize how much it increased my stress level.

The craving for peace has taken over my thoughts. I crave the quiet, the time to focus, the calm, the peace. How do I achieve that in a chaotic world in a large and busy family? I believe small steps are the way to go.

Instead of tv shows playing on my laptop in the background as I go about my day I have switched to playing music, often classical. Sometimes I turn off the music and the only sound in the background are those of the activity in the house and the sounds coming from the window. 
I am keeping the air conditioner off unless it gets unbearably hot. I find the noise it makes annoying and unsettling. Better to sweat than having a constant sound grating on my nerves.

Because of our current financial crisis I will be seeking out more ways to simply life and reduces our expenses, I believe these changes will in turn increase my peace.

Carving out a new daily routine now that I have a few days a month without kids home is contributing to me feeling more peaceful. I feel comfort and security in knowing the plan for the next few hours or days. As the days march on a routine for exercise, cleaning, cooking and personal activities is forming. The rhythm of the days and tweaking the routine as needed are having a positive impact on my thought process as I go through the day. 

Peace, it's my craving and my focus. I am enjoying this journey toward a more peaceful and contented life. I look forward to seeing where this will lead me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I get knocked down (but I get up again?)


Why is it every time I think I'm getting a handle on things something comes along to knock me down again? I keep getting knocked down, I keep trying to get up again but it is getting harder and harder to get back up. I feel as though my emotional responses are just shutting down again and I'm going into "robot mode" trying to deal with life.

Due to a cascade of events today I found out our income this month is about half of normal. This was a bit of a shock. (How's that for the understatement of the year?)  We had made a strategy for September to try to simplify and save some money. Now instead of "let's implement these ideas so we can save money" it has now become "let's implement these ideas because having gas to get to work and feeding the kids seems like a good idea".

So as of today I will stepping up the September strategy. Instead of consolidating shopping to one or two days a week we will be avoiding stores as many days as possible, buying only what is absolutely essential that I can't make myself. 
I will be revamping the menu plan so we do not have to buy anything for our meals other than fresh fruit and vegetables and milk. I have a fair amount of baking supplies so hopefully they will last. We will be walking everywhere possible to save on gas. The priority has to be having enough gas for the drive to and from work.  I'll continue to hang out the laundry, though that isn't really saving money in the short term. I'm a little overwhelmed but I know this is doable.

I've been pretty zen about this. Initially I almost fell apart but quickly gathered myself together again and started planning instead.  With one exception, I'm feeling okay with taking up the challenge to live on such a reduced budget for the rest of the month.  Our get away is cancelled, which is sad. We were going to go to Algonquin and spend the weekend hiking. Honestly this is upsetting me the most. We really needed to get away and reconnect. We haven't had time alone at all since we reconciled, we haven't had time together to process everything that has happened this summer. I guess this is another challenge we need to take on...how to connect in the craziness of life. I think I should start brainstorming free date ideas.  
** My fabulous friend Jenn, after reading this post, sent me a couple links to cheap date ideas. Here they are!

20 Pocket-Change Date Night Ideas

and
Free As Can Bee: Creative and FREE Date Night Ideas

Now if only I could get that Chumbawumba song out of my head while I pick myself up again.


Friday, August 31, 2012

September's strategy


There has been a lot of talk around here that begins with "we should". Since September is like the beginning of another new year we decided to make September 1st the day to put these "shoulds" into action and we have come up with a plan.

We need to overhaul our finances, food and habits. It's a lot to take on but it's just for a month so we can do it. Hopefully some new habits will stick and we will continue them after the month is up.

Here's our September plan:

* Follow this month's menu plan. Substitutions made from what we already have in the freezers or cupboards to use what we have rather than buying more

* No restaurants, take out, junk food snack runs except for one dinner date night and one dessert date night.

* Consolidate shopping to two days per week or to times we are already out for another reason

* Have at least eight no spend days during the month

* Hang out the laundry to dry as often as weather permits

* Donate at least one garbage bag of items from the house

* Walk the Littles to and from school as often as time and weather permit

* Walk to and from the gym on days that time and weather allow

I feel that all of our goals are interlinked and each will have a cascade effect. Hopefully by the end of September we will be healthier, the house will be emptier and we'll have saved a little bit of money!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aftermath... new focus...striving for balance


The aftermath of losing the baby has not been pretty. It's been hell on earth. Since my miscarriage I feel like my world, once again, has been thrown off its axis. I've been reeling. I have gone into a dark and terrifying place where I feel like I've been wandering in a fog with no idea how to escape. Little by little I am escaping.The shock of the pregnancy threw me, the shock and devastation of the miscarriage almost destroyed me. The guilt and pain overwhelmed me. The resulting surgery and infection took a toll physically. But now each day I find myself physically stronger and slowly crawling from the fog. This time of year helps. It's my favourite "new year" of the year. The first cool days of August arrive and I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose. I find myself motivated to make changes and move forward.  I'm adjusting and finding new focus every area of my life, not forcing anything, just letting it progress naturally.

This time of year I get more organized. Starting with the first cool days in August I start cooking more and baking bread and snacks. I always say I'm a better mom once the weather cools down because I will start using the stove and oven again. Every fall I start a new menu plan and actually stick with it. I dust off my housework schedule that was ignored during the hot weather. This year I think I'll make a home management binder in my quest for more organization.

For some unknown reason at the end of August I start hanging my laundry out to dry again. Why I don't do it all summer I'm not quite sure. Most likely the main reason is I despise heat. I don't like hanging out laundry only to come in so sweaty I've just created more laundry. In the last three days I've done six loads of laundry and only used the dryer for about ten minutes. I like that.

I'm back at the gym almost every day. Actually, this morning I am not going to the gym to work out. As everyone who knows me well utters a communal gasp of shock I will explain. Yesterday I did a killer workout for an hour and a half. Today my hips and lower back are screaming in protest. Normally I would push myself and go to the gym anyway but I am trying to find balance in my life. What good will all these workouts do if I injure myself and can't walk for several weeks? So this morning I am home stretching and breathing. I'm more active in every day life and trying to be more realistic in my workouts.

Last night I issued a new rule: At ten p.m. our door is closed. We will only answer it (or answer texts) if it is a 911 worthy emergency. If you walk in you might find yourself in need of therapy so don't come in.  I'm hoping this will give us some more time alone to reconnect since the events of the summer have put such a strain on us each individually and as a couple. I am mulling over ideas for cheap dates and ways to connect daily.

In less than two weeks all five kids will be in school. Since Junior Kindergarten is a part time program of full days every-other-day-ish I will be given a gift of nine days a month with no kids at home. At first this freedom put me into a panic. Now I choose to embrace it. Between September and June I have been given the gift of approximately eighty days (give or take for holidays) of time to work on myself. I've been a stay at home mom for seventeen years and now I get some time to work on me. I'm not entirely sure what that looks like. I've been looking after everyone else for so long it feels selfish to look after myself. If any of my friends suggested such a thing I would shoot them an incredulous look and explain to them that it's not selfish, it's necessary. I'd give that speech about putting on your own oxygen mask on a plane before helping others. I need to start talking to myself apparently. I want to work on my writing. I'd like to learn my fancy camera properly since right now it's being used as a cumbersome point and shoot. I want to get the house organzied yet again. I'm actually getting excited at the prospect of having enough time to do what I need to do and have time for what I want to do.

This is the beginning of a new year. It's the beginning of another new chapter in my life. I wonder where life will send me now.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heaven's Nursery

I don't know who wrote this so I can't give credit. I was sent this by a friend after a previous miscarriage and found it again.  Wishing I could hold our newest member in heaven's nursery.

HEAVEN'S NURSERY 

In Heaven there must surely be 
A special place, a nursery 
Where 'little spirits' not fully grown 
Go to live in their Heavenly home. 

The angels must attend with love 
Tiny spirits on wings of doves, 
The choir of angels must sing lullabies 
Maybe quieten their tiny cries. 

The Father must come by each day 
To cuddle and play in a special way 
These tiny spirits left earth too soon 
Little ones called Home from the womb. 

These sparks of life did not perish 
But came to the Father's love to cherish, 
To grow and be taught in His own arms 
Safely away from all earthly harm. 

The comforter was sent to earth at once 
To the parents who lost their little one 
Their hearts so ache, their arms feel empty 
The question 'why' seems so tempting. 

Then all at once in the midst of tears 
There comes a peace that stills the fears 
The parents share the Father's own need 
To hold their tiny spirit being. 

They relinquish their own desperate hold 
And release their baby to the Father's fold, 
Then comes an angel to whisper the truth 
Of a nursery in Heaven bearing rich fruit 

Of tiny spirits chosen to worship the Father 
A place that couldn't be filled by another, 
Called to be spared from the struggles of earth, 
Chosen to be one of Heaven's births. 

So Father, whisper words of love from me 
To our unborn life in your nursery. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes


There have been a lot of changes going on around here. In the last two weeks my oldest daughter moved home and my partner started the process of moving in. It is a wonderful feeling having my family reunited!!! My heart rejoices at us all being together! I thought life couldn't be more perfect. And then...


Two lines. Two pink lines. 


I can't post what my first reaction was, I'm trying to keep this clean after all. Hmm, how can I say it... My reaction, upon seeing the two lines was something like. "NO!!! NO! NO NO!!! FIRETRUCK FIRETRUCK FIRETRUCK!!!!!"


I sat there dazed and confused. How did this happen??


I finally had a plan, I was finally looking after myself & making plans for myself and this has thrown me back to square one. Literally. 


I have five children right now. Four were planned, one so planned we used fertility drugs. My first was a surprise, a shock, a life changer. And apparently, if this baby sticks, so will be my sixth.


I feel like I should cry. I feel like I should wail. I feel like I should feel something.  All I feel is that telltale ripping feeling of my pelvic muscles every time I move. 


Every once and awhile the reality of the situation starts to surface and I feel complete and total panic overtaking me so I immediately push it away and think of ANYTHING else and wade waist deep in denial.


I worry about the progress I've made in my health - both physical and mental - being lost. Already I am experiencing unwanted changes in how much I can do at the gym. I get worn out so very quickly. I'm doing less than half what I normally do for my workouts.


I hope that before this baby comes, if it sticks, that I can learn to quit resenting it. I hope I can stop being angry. 


I wonder how long this state of shock will last.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New focus

I haven't written in a few months, not just on this blog but at all. I've missed it. For awhile I was blocked, nothing would come. For awhile I felt like I had nothing positive to say so I chose to say nothing. And then life got busy. So much has changed.

I have a new focus.For the first time I am putting myself on my priority list.
For two years I saw a counselor who told me I needed to start looking after myself so that I could look after my family. How could I do that? I was so tired and worn out looking after then I had nothing left for me. 


I decided to make some major changes in my life. I stopped dating randomly and started spending time with and talking with people who I valued and who valued me.


I started exercising at the Y. What a difference this has made!


I started making changes to my diet. This has been the biggest struggle and I am still struggling. 


I dejunked so much from my house. As items left my house I've felt more and more free.


I can't describe how different I feel. I feel like I actually matter and have something to contribute. I enjoy being alive - a far cry from the last year when I spent more time wishing I was dead than living.
I find I have more patience and energy for my kids. I'm not so
Wrapped up I'm my cocoon of depression that I can't help them.


I find, even with a crazy schedule of two to four gits of exercise a day I now have more to give to my kids and actually live my life. 


I've been in a relationship for a couple months now and it's a healthy one. How foreign that is compared to my relationships all my adult life! Being treated with kindness and respect and being loved and encouraged is amazing. Having the opportunity to treat someone that way and have it be accepted is beyond my wildest dreams. I am truly happy.


I need to continue on this journey of health.
I still have some major steps to take but I'm heading in the right direction!