Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Loving moments

The Little Big Fella has been sick this week and (surprise, surprise) now I am too.  Somehow, as well as the coldy thing, I also picked up a tummy bug.  Yay me!

So I've been doing everything that needs doing but feeling fairly average today.

When the Little Big Fella had his nap this afternoon I put all the to-do lists aside and sat at the computer, vegging out.  And took a Strepsils :-)

The Little Big Fella takes a while to wake up properly so we often end up having a bit of a cuddle.  Today we sat on the back stairs in the shade, with the afternoon sea breeze cooling us... and he fell asleep again.

As I was sitting there (with my butt going numb on the concrete) I had lots of happy sighs (not about the numb butt, obviously).  I could have gotten annoyed about my numb butt and sitting there in a fairly awkward position, with my feet burning on the concrete that spent the afternoon in the sun but was now shaded but still hot, and while I probably could have been doing something else.

But you could say I took time to "smell the roses" and appreciate how loving my son is and that I get to be an at home mum and spend precious moments with him.  He's healthy and clever (I could be biased about that, but probably not), somewhat cute ;-) and becoming such a joy to be around... most of the time.

And that 20 minutes or so made my day!

It got me through the whipper snipper running out of cord, the mower being a pain, mowing and whipper snipping in the heat and humidity (could have done with a swim after that!), being the neighbourhood after-school carer, and evening children's TV.

And now, as my little angel (that can be his name tonight because he's sleeping and sang "I love you too" over and over to me while he was going to sleep) sleeps in his bed, that huggy afternoon nap-y thing is making me smile and feel loved and worthwhile.

And this is why I wanted to be a mum in the first place!  Not the sleepless nights, loss of identity, reduced income and all the other crud people don't tell you enough about.  It's the loving moments where your heart is full and life is good.

If I can continue to recognise and enjoy these moments, I think I'll be doing well in this happiness journey!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Can I help you with that?

Tuesdays are normally the Little Big Fella's swimming lesson days.  But, as he's still green in the nose, we didn't think it would be nice to share and skipped the lesson today.

So!  How to fill up another day at home with just the two of us???  Get out in the garden of course!

Tomorrow is our bin day and I realised that our bin was almost empty so I decided it was time to clean up the weeds again.  And, being nearly 3, the Little Big Fella wanted to be in on the action.

We swept up the patio (he had to do his bit first, then I got to finish the rest). I even moved the BBQ to sweep away the accumulated dirt from many months. It looks quite welcoming in the patio now!

Then we attacked the weeds!  (Insert evil laugh here.)

We pulled the little weeds from around the garden paths, and trimmed back the mint and tarragon plants (if they weren't so useful they could SO be called weeds!).

Then we attacked the back garden along the fence!  We pulled out onion grass, and the weeds with the pink flowers.  We put the branches (that I chopped off the prolific trees weeks ago and dumped in the garden) into the bin.  Then we pulled out clumps of bracken ferns and climbing something-or-others.

At each stage (and almost each handful of weed) the Little Big Fella says to me "Can I help you with that?".  How could I possibly refuse???  The funniest was when I was trying to pull out a rather large clump of ferns, he helped me and I nearly fell on my butt!  Turns out he's pretty strong :-D

By then the bin was full and we were covered in dirt and sweat.  The Little Big Fella suggested we have a "picnic" in the shade with our icypoles.  So we did!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Sick kids

The Little Big Fella didn't sleep so well the last two nights.  Yesterday morning he woke up sounding like a frog when he spoke and his nose suddenly started running like a tap.  After his day nap today he woke up with a "sore nose".

There's two parts to horrible when your kids are sick.

Part 1.  Watching them feeling awful and not being able to do much about it.

I'm pretty sure every parent knows all about this one.  From the first time they throw up and cry because they don't know what's going on (and why you don't want to cuddle them close in the middle of it), to watching them struggling to breathe because they haven't learned how to blow their nose yet.  And because they're kids, there's not an awful lot you can do most of the time.  It sucks!

Part 2.  The selfish, missing out on stuff part for the parent.

When the Little Big Fella is sick I don't take him out of the house, or let him be around the neighbourhood kids.  He doesn't go to day care or playgroup or swimming classes.  I don't want to pass germs around and make others suffer.

Not going out sucks for him, but it also sucks for me!  I don't get to see my friends, or get a break at all!  I can't just take him to the park to run off some energy, or drop in on someone to entertain ourselves for an hour (because we're both going nuts at home after a couple of days).  It takes full-time parenting to a whole new level!

And of course, they're generally cranky and clingy when they're sick, which can be quite draining as a parent.  And don't forget that because they're sick, they don't want to do anything, but they get sick of watching TV and movies, and they're too young to read.

I'm sure some people would read this and be shocked at how selfish and uncaring this makes me sound.  And I know that on the scale of things having a kid with a cold, or throwing up is really not a big deal!  But I guess it's just that it throws everything in to a spin and the combination of things just makes things really hard.

In the spirit of my happiness journey of 2012, I should probably look at these times as an opportunity to develop my relationship with my son, and to be creative in education and entertaining.  But not tonight.  Tonight I'm tired and I'm going to bed, because it'll probably only be a couple of hours before he wakes us up coughing.  And I'm going to need all the energy I can get to tackle another day tomorrow!

On that highly positive note, goodnight!  :-)

Sunday, 26 February 2012


As I mentioned the other day, I've always been relatively frugal.  The main reason for this, I guess, is that my parents didn't have much money when I was growing up.  Mum's told me about times when they were literally counting every cent.  I clearly remember a "bread war" going on when a new supermarket opened in our town and we were paying about 19 cents a loaf, and buying as many as we could fit in our deep freezer.

So some things I've learned directly from mum, and some things I think I've learned from mum by osmosis :-)

But even though I do some frugal things by habit, I think I've seen being frugal in a generally negative light.  

And I have to say, I think that's changing.  You guys have given me some awesome ideas and resources!  And the more I read, the more excited I get about the possibilities!  I was so tired last night, my eyes were literally trying to glue themselves together.  But someone sent me a link to a lady in America who cut over eighty thousand dollars of debt in just 6 months - while being the stay-at-home-mum of 6 kids!  And I read her story and some of her techniques and tips and I got excited!

Imagine how much I can really save!  Imagine what I can do with the savings!  Imagine the good food I can make for my family!  Imagine how well looked after we'll be!  Imagine the overseas holiday/s that can become a reality!!!

Add all that to the possibility of having our own land in the near(ish) future, and I'm just about jumping with ideas!  Growing our own food and doing preserves, having chickens and a dairy cow (I'm such a fan of dairy food!).  Using home made cleaning products (as long as they work).  I don't know that I'll go as far as cloth toilet paper or sanitary products, but there's lots of other stuff I'm keen to try.

I've also been using the FlyLady system ( for keeping house and I think the two concepts work together really well.  A little bit of cleaning and tidying each day, rather than a big crisis clean, would make much more sense with chemical-free cleaning solutions for example.

You never know, I might become a career stay-at-home-mum!  With some of the plans the Big Fella has for our future piece of land, I might need to be!!!!  :-D

Saturday, 25 February 2012


March is traditionally one of our busiest most expensive months.  We have five family birthdays, two anniversaries, and my best friend's birthday.  Then another family birthday in the first week of April, so I guess we'll count that too :-)

But, as you might realise from my Penny Pinching post the other day, this year will be a little different.

Tomorrow will be the kick off of our month really.  The Little Big Fella and I will be attending a double birthday plus baby shower party for two of his little friends and their soon-to-be sibling.  I'm putting together a little pack of activities for the kids, including colouring pages and some fun things to do.  It's my kids version of a home made gift.

Given that most of the family live in a different state, my current plan is to do some hand made cards and fill them with heart-felt words of gratitude.  I might attempt to send some baking products, but I'm not sure how they'll go.

I sometimes feel bad about doing handmade gifts.  I feel like the receiver is missing out, because I'm one of those people who love to scour the countryside (or internet, as the case may be) for the "perfect" gift for my friend or loved one.  I try to find something that I know they'll love!

But then I remember that I love receiving hand made gifts!  I always appreciate the effort and time that has gone into making them.  And that, as an adult, I rarely want or need anything in particular, so it's not the dollar value of any gift that I appreciate (unless someone has gone all-out and spent a fortune, in which case I feel quite humbled).

I know my family and friend will be quite happy to be acknowledged on their day with a card full of my love for them.  And just like when I buy a gift, it will be personalised for each one.  Of course, I'll try to call them and talk with them too!

But what do you think?  Are hand made gifts precious to you?  Do you prefer gifts that are purchased?  Or would you rather people didn't bother with gifts at all?

Friday, 24 February 2012


Over the past week or so, I've been working with the Little Big Fella on speaking respectfully to each other.  For some reason, he's making all of his requests in a grumpy, demanding, yelling way.

I suspect this is partially because sometimes I don't hear him properly (I find it really hard to hear what someone's saying if I'm in another room - most likely a sign of my age :-D  ).

And, as I'm paying attention to the way he speaks to me, I've also been noticing that I'm not always speaking respectfully to him.  I get tired or frustrated or impatient.  And that's not okay.  My speaking shortly to him is just as unacceptable as him speaking grumpily to me.  So I've been working on that too.

But I've also been noticing how people generally speak to one another.  In shopping centres, in the yard, as they walk along the street.  And then we have our wonderful politicians!  Foul language, anger and disrespect are surfacing all over the place.

I love Aretha Franklin's song, "Respect".  It's a fun, funky song.  But it also characterises the way everyone wants to be treated.  And treating others with respect is sometimes really hard!  But I think everyone, regardless of what they say or do to you should be treated with basic, respectful speech.  Even if they only reason you can find to do so is because they are a human being!

I wonder what would happen if people started genuinely speaking with respect to everyone they come into contact with.  If we all put more respect into our speech with our families, our spouses, our children, our workmates, our customers, the person serving at the counter, the waiter or waitress...  Imagine what positive effects that could have!!!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Penny pinching

Living apart from the Big Fella means that our living expenses are higher than normal, but we're trying to save enough money to afford to move.  So we're tightening our belts (I wonder if that will be literally????) and pinching the pennies everywhere we can.

I think of myself as a fairly thrifty person.  Whenever I see articles on saving money, I find that I'm doing almost all of them normally anyway.  But I've realised how much I fritter away on this and that.  A couple of dollars here, a treat for the Little Big Fella there.

And, really, penny pinching sucks!  I mean, who wants to be disciplined for goodness sake???

But, it also provides a huge opportunity to be creative!

Can I get a week of meals for 2 people, plus any other cleaning products or bits and pieces for half of what I normally spend?  I've discovered that, when there's already a deep freezer with plenty of meat in it, I can!  Until the freezer's empty I guess, then we'll see how far my thrifty skills can really take me!

It's interesting the different meals I'm coming up with when I'm meal planning for money rather than exclusively for taste.  I'm still adding plenty of herbs and spices to our meals, but they are definitely a lot simpler with less exotic ingredients.  I'm also baking from scratch rather than purchasing packet snacks.  This isn't really a long-term option for me because I tend to eat too much while I'm baking and then add a couple of "samples" when they're done, and I really don't want to end up blimp-like.

So then, how can I cut my other fortnightly expenses by several hundred dollars?  Amazingly, we can if we drop some things for the short term, and reduce our general consumption around the place.  It's not a long-term solution, but it will help us meet our goal over the next month or so.

Where else can I scrimp and save?  And how do I keep from going nuts at the same time?  Because I don't want to feel like I'm "missing out", even if it is in the short-term and leads to something I really want!  Because then I start sabotaging my saving efforts, and that's not what we're after.

When it's dry, I'm finding I decide to ride the bike with the Little Big Fella, rather than drive somewhere for entertainment, just because, or to pick up a few bits and pieces that I'll possibly just put in the cupboard for another day.  This also has the added effects of helping the environment and boosting my exercise levels!

There are plenty of websites around that give more ideas on how to save money.  I regularly read from and as well as other sites that people mention on Facebook or in passing.  Oh!  And some of the stuff I've seen on Pinterest (my latest addiction) has been really helpful too!

So, audience participation time: What are your best tips when you're penny pinching?  And what things have you been working towards whilst tightening the belt?  I'm seriously looking forward to hearing from you all!!!!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The joy of friends

I had the pleasure of spending the morning with two new friends.  We met about two years ago but have only recently started spending time together outside of our children's swimming class.

It was so lovely!  The kids played together beautifully.  The conversation was comfortable and comforting.

My family moved towns (as in two hours or more away) three times before I left home.  And I've been reflecting that the happiest times in my life are the times when I've had great friendships.  And the times when I've been most low, are when I felt isolated, even though I may have been surrounded by great people.

I'm sure you've all experienced the feeling that people around you are wonderful, but somehow you're not connecting on a level deep enough to bring you a sense of satisfaction.  There are so many reasons for that too!

And then there are the times when you meet someone and you instantly "click". You feel so comfortable with that person!  It's awesome.

Friendships obviously aren't the be-all and end-all of happiness, but I think they're a really significant element.  It's really hard to feel happy when loneliness kicks in all the time.

I'm a little bit annoyed though.  I'm finally spending time with these two women, who are encouraging and down-to-earth and so relate-able, and we're about to move towns!!!  Why didn't we get together earlier???  I'm really glad for them because they both appreciate the friendship and I know they'll continue after I'm gone, but it sucks that I won't get to continue to enjoy it in the same way.

But it certainly encourages me to make a move on friendships early in our new town.  To make opportunities to catch up with people in un-threathening environments.  To invite people over to for play-dates or meet them at a park.  And more than that, to find families where the Little Big Fella, the Big Fella and I feel all comfortable with our counterparts in another family.  That would be truly awesome!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Stormy weather

We've got a fantastic light show going on just now and I LOVE it!  I'm such a thunder and lightning fan!

I remember when I was younger I'd love to sit out on the road (we lived in a quiet enough street) and watch the thunder storms go around us.

I love the smell of rain on hot concrete and roads.

I love the variety in the shapes of the lightning strikes.

I love the feeling of power behind the thunder.

I love the effect it all has on my garden :-D

And then I love lots of music written about storms too.  There's "Stormy Weather" of course.  And Garth Brooks has one about thunder rolling.  It's a bit sad because the hubby has been out cheating but the sound of the song is great.  And good old "It's raining, it's pouring".

I had a friend who was quite scared of thunder storms.  She had a great reason for it too!  As a very small child she'd seen the lightning (blue, I think she recalled it as being) come across the room, very close to her, and strike her TV. I'd imagine the thunder that went with it would have been phenomenal!

We did have one day where the lightning struck in the next street so the flash/boom was awfully close and loud.  But I still love the storms!  I'm a bit of an addict.  Guess there are worse things to be addicted to :-)

Monday, 20 February 2012

It's HOT!!!!

I don't know what the weather is like in your part of the world but today it's HOT right here!  And unfortunately, I'm not referring to how I look!

I spent the morning at the pool with the Little Big Fella, which was great.  And we put the aircon on when we got home so he could have a good sleep, which was great!

And we went to the supermarket, which is air-conditioned, which was... not so great.  The Little Big Fella hasn't quite learned how to stay with the trolley at the supermarket (he's only just graduated from sitting in the seat every time).  It can be frustrating, embarrassing and exhausting.

Then we came home and I didn't put the aircon back on and now I feel HOT.

It's so hot and dry here at the moment and I find myself daydreaming about cooling down all the time - pools, water parks, air-conditioned playgrounds, air-conditioned stores, snow!  Apparently we're in for some storms this week and I'm SO looking forward to it!

No doubt it'll rain as soon as I put washing on the line, of course! :-)

Hope the weather you're in is enjoyable for you!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Getting along with others

Well, we're home from our weekend away and we had a lovely time.  The Little Big Fella loved swimming in the pool every day, and playing on the beach with the Big Fella's younger cousins.  We had some great moments with my in-laws and it really felt like a holiday, not just a weekend.


Over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about getting along with others and dealing with conflict.  Sometimes people see things from such different perspectives that there really seems to be no middle ground.  Does that mean it's impossible for them to get along?

Then there are situations where there is a real misunderstanding of intentions or words or expectations.  Soap operas are full of these kinds of scenes!  But they happen so often in life and if we don't take the time to take a deep breath, slow down and check our understanding against the other person's intent, we can end up in World War III before we know it!

I'm basically a conflict-avoider and a peace-maker.  It's something I'm very aware of in my personality and I try really hard to remember that conflict is part of life.  It's really unhealthy to avoid it all the time!  But constant conflict is also unhealthy and can cause irreparable damage to relationships, often the key relationships in your life.

So how do we find a balance?  How much do we allow space (grace?) for others and their point of view, and where do we need to draw a line in the sand?  Where is the line between loving someone unconditionally, and condoning life choices that you completely disagree with?

There's so much hurt in the world, and generally the people who do the hurt (no doubt I'm also guilty of this somewhere along the line) believe they're in the right!  So how does humanity choose a standard?  I know what I was brought up to believe, but even in "religious" fields there is so much disparity!

I know this is fairly basic philosophical discussion, but sometimes the lofty ideas find hard earth to show up and show off.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The coming weekend

We're all going away for a little long weekend, starting tomorrow.  And I'm a little nervous.  The Little Big Fella and I are driving about four hours and the Big Fella will be driving with his workmate to meet us there.

"There" is the Big Fella's parents' holiday apartment at a lovely little island just off the mainland.  It's on the 2nd storey, has a lovely view of the park and ocean, and is in a lovely quiet part of the town.  There's a pool in the apartment complex, and a playground across the road.

Sounds pretty ideal huh?  And hopefully it will be!

But the Little Big Fella hasn't been great on long car trips in the past.  In fact, he was downright horrible for a long time!  I'm hoping that timing the first leg of the trip with his afternoon nap will work, and the portable DVD player I just got off layby will cover the 2nd half of the trip :-)

If not, it'll be a loooong drive!

Then, hopefully being in the same place for three days will not cause any niggly-ness between the Big Fella and his mum.  They often get along just fine, but in confined spaces for too long, they just know how to push each others' buttons.

But I'm as prepared as I can be, so now all I can do is hope for the best!


This evening I decided to bake a cake.  We had a couple of bananas that were past it so banana cake was on the agenda.  (I think it's a good thing to turn up to someone else's holiday house with something home-baked!)

The Little Big Fella loves cooking, especially when beaters are involved so I set it all up for him to help me.  (By the way, the Tupperware mixing bowls with the splash cover are SO worth it when baking with kids!  The splashes really are almost all contained.  And their sifter fits in the hole so you can sift straight in without getting it all over the kitchen.)

We cooked away (him in his birthday suit incidentally) and then I said to him, "you can lick the bowl if you like".  He, being nearly three, took me literally and stuck his head in the bowl!!!!  There was banana cake batter ALL over his head, face, hands and body!  It was rather funny, at the same time as being a little gross.  So when he was done it was off to the shower (without touching anything on the way).


Have a lovely weekend everyone!  I'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

It's playtime!

I spent some time this afternoon playing with the Little Big Fella in the backyard.  I don't actually do it very often but I recognised some of the awesome benefits today.
  • It gets rid of lots of energy so he sleeps well
  • Boosts his self-esteem
  • Reminds him in a practical way that I love him
  • We get to know each other that little bit better
  • It's a bit of exercise for me
  • It's good "play" time for me, and I think every adult needs a bit of that in their life!
  • It's just plain fun and induces lots of laughter, which we all know is very good for us :-)
  • There are incidental learning experiences along the way - for both of us
So with so many benefits, why don't I do it every day?

I have lots of "mummy" type excuses - housework, other things on my mind, housework, appointments, housework, I can get bored with child play...  oh!  And did I mention housework?

But today, these excuses just look like excuses.  Yes, housework needs to get done, and appointments and classes and such need to be attended, but making time to play with my son is really important... for both of us!

And one day (people with older kids tell me it'll be soon) he won't want to play with me because he'll be too busy.  So I need want to make the time now, because we're worth it!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Nothing much to say, but happy anyway

I'm having one of those great days where you don't necessarily do much, but you feel good anyway.

The Little Big Fella woke at 5:30 this morning and I really wasn't ready to get up.  We put a movie on for him and I dozed on the couch next to him.  Both of us were happy :-)

We kind of sat around for most of the morning really, then decided to go to the pool for a little while... in the middle of the day!  There's a great idea!

We got all sunscreened up and I packed lunch for the Little Big Fella and some snacks for my friend and I, then we bundled into the car and went off to the pool.

It was SO nice and cool!  It's been a little hotter here this week, more like our normal summers, so the cool water was fabulous!  And the Little Big Fella loves to swim by himself now so he gets exhausted and I just have to follow him around a bit, rather than hold him expend huge amounts of energy :-)

Unfortunately, we all got sunburned.  (Insert fail music here.)  Despite the sunscreen, it was the middle of the day and we didn't have hats or sunnies on.  And my friend didn't have a rashie so she got it all over her shoulders and back as well.  Ooops!

The afternoon has passed along mostly in happy, comfortable quietness.  I feel relaxed and content tonight and I quite like that!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Kids these days!

I'm very aware that I'm about to sound like a boring old person on a soapbox.  But, like I said yesterday, this is my post and I can say what I want to!

Last night I woke at about 12:30 to discover a mob of up to 100 young people (looked maybe 17/18 year olds) wandering drunkenly up my street making an awful lot of noise.  As I observed them (from the safety of my upstairs window), a police van came down the road and one of the idiots turned and shook his tail feather at them.  Unsurprisingly, he was arrested.

The police left to take the guy to the lockup and the group kept wandering its way loudly along the street.  I checked on my son and my friend who's staying downstairs then went onto the front verandah to make sure the last of the group went by peacefully.

As I was standing there, a couple of young fellas decided to encourage their friend to knock over my neighbour's letterbox.  I was suddenly quite enraged and yelled out at them to stop, which, surprisingly, they did!  Then they got their "courage" back and tried again.  I was really mad by this stage and ran down the stairs and across the road after the guy.  He got away, which is probably a good thing for all of us, and the letterbox was only crooked in the ground rather than completely ruined.

I watched them continue up the street then went back to bed, taking at least 10 minutes to stop shaking.  It took me almost an hour to get back to sleep though because I was so angry about the whole thing.

So here comes the soapbox part.

My neighbours were terrified.  They're older, fragile people, and there's a family with young kids next door too.  How can we, as a society, allow this kind of stuff to happen with no consequence?  Sure, a couple of the very drunk ones got arrested, but really, the cops can't do anything.  If I had caught up with the guy who'd tried to bust up the letterbox, I probably would have been in more trouble with the law than him.

Stuff like this happens every weekend, and the thing is, we think it's normal and okay!  Since when is wasting your brain cells, not getting the rest you need, wandering around destroying public and private property, urinating and puking all over the place okay???  I know I'm going to be in a serious minority on this, but I really think we as a society need to start reconsidering what we encourage our young people to do with their weekends and evenings.

How many of these kids would have spent a better night getting a good sleep so they can perform at their peak in their chosen sports or activities on Saturday morning?  What about those who might otherwise use their brains for high levels of study or creative endeavour?  Our young people are such an incredible resource of energy and inspiration, but so many of them are wasting their lives because we don't encourage them to be better than this!

Yeah, most of these kids are probably old enough to drink, and I really don't have anything specifically against drinking. But our kids are aiming for this as the peak of fun and entertainment! Come on! There's SO much more to life than this!!!  Especially as a young person when you have no major ties or responsibilities!  The possibilities are endless!  But they require full use of brain cells, great rest and good nutrition.

Come on, let's give our young people something better to aim for!  Wouldn't you love to see our younger generation living life to its fullest extent?  Wouldn't you love to see them engaged in the community, rather than destroying themselves and their surroundings?  Oh, I really, really would!

Friday, 10 February 2012

It's MY blog!

I had my hair cut and coloured this week.  As well as Super Carer, I'll be devastated to have to find a new hairdresser when we eventually move to be with the Big Fella.  I can't think of a cool nickname for her tonight (I'm a little tired) but as soon as I do, I'll let you know :-)

Anyway, my awesome hairdresser is one of the people whose absence from my life I will notice and feel most severely!  As well as being supremely competent as a hairdresser and colour artist, she's such a great person!  And in true hairdresser/bartender fashion, she is a font of wisdom.

She asked how my blog was going and I mentioned that I've been somewhat slack in blogging recently.  This has mostly been because I haven't been feeling happy (actually, I had a week of being rather down-in-the-dumps) and this is meant to be a happiness blog.  Her response was, "it's your blog, you can write whatever you want in it!"

I've been pondering this piece of wisdom and realised that she's right!  I don't want my blog to turn into a bed of negativity, but the reality is that I struggle with happiness sometimes.  And, as it's my blog, I can write about that if I want to.  Hopefully it'll still be somewhat interesting to someone, but that's rather a secondary concern.

Strangely, I feel somewhat freed by this thought.  Released and, dare I say it, happy!  I wonder how many other things I'm allowing to constrain me that are entirely superfluous?  But that's a thought for another (less tired) day.  Goodnight all!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

So, what IS happiness?

I went back and reviewed my first posts and it brought me back to one of my original questions; what is happiness?

Is it just a feeling?  If it is, it's probably not a very good goal because, ultimately, that's pretty selfish and is therefore not likely to lead anywhere particularly good.

But when I think of happiness, I'm not referring just to a feeling.  And I think I'm using the term to encompass a whole bunch of similar words: contentment, positivity, smiling, joy, satisfaction, high self-esteem.  I envisage a sense of rightness and comfort with oneself and the world.  And I suspect this is impossible as an entirely selfish goal - a sense of rightness and comfort seems to inherently require positive and selfless interactions with others.

I started researching the substance of happiness one night and writing some stuff down, but it felt like I was researching and writing an academic paper.  In itself, that's not a bad thing.  But it didn't meet the need that I have in asking the question.  It only engaged my academic brain, not my creativity, emotions, tactile skills (unless you count typing)... it just didn't satisfy as a way of answering my question.

But because I was so annoyed about the process, I didn't answer the question.  And I think that's because ultimately I can't answer the question.  Because everyone just seems to understand what you mean when you say "happiness", and "happiness" looks completely different to each person!  One person may find happiness in pottering around in the garden all day, while another would find that uncomfortable and would be happy on a computer for the same time.

So I guess what I really need to ask myself (and I think I'm a little afraid of the answers, which is why I haven't stopped long enough to answer it yet), is what makes me happy?  What does happiness look like for me?  If I could change my world in any and every way, what would it look like if I was really happy, content, satisfied?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Has anyone seen my creativity???

Today I've been working on the cardboard cars for the Little Big Fella's party.  The Little Big Fella decided he needed to do some painting too so we got some of his finger paints out and let him at it.  And the Big Fella has been creative in the kitchen (let me tell you, I'm looking forward to dinner tonight!!!).

And we've been dreaming over the past few weeks of what we'll do with our hobby farm, when we eventually have one.  All the animals, plants, buildings, produce, butchering, storing... so many things to think and dream about.

I think for a long time I didn't have, or make, opportunities to be creative.  But it's a really important element of my life and enjoyment of it.  And I think it's likely to be a necessary part of everyone's lives, albeit with different expressions.

So, tell me, what gets your creativity excited?  And is it an essential part of your life, or just something that adds flavour every now and then?

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's a YAY day!

Oh yes!  A YAY day!  So many lovely little "yay"s fitted in my day today... and it's not even over!

For starters, Super Carer is back!  The Little Big Fella goes there 2 days a week and absolutely loves it!  But Super Carer broke her arm, and ligaments and tendons, back in October and it's only just healed enough for her to have the kids again.  No tears when it was time for me to go, a great day for him... YAY!

This meant I was able to go to my favourite class at the gym this morning.  It's Body Pump and I really enjoy it!  I took it fairly easy because it's been a while, but I feel great and mostly enjoyed it... YAY!

I got all the housework done between last night and my shower after the gym... YAY!

I spent several hours in the cheap-y stores and around the place collecting bits and pieces for the Little Big Fella's 3rd birthday party (end of March but with everything else over the next 2 months, it's time to get it together now).  I got almost everything... YAY!

And the Big Fella will be home tonight, possibly as early as 8:30... YAY!

*Happy sigh*