Wednesday

Everyday life goals

Firstly, Where the heck have I been? - I have been trying to do this thing where I am more in the moment and thinking a lot less about what I feel I "have" to be doing. The more I focus on how bad I am at not being organised or creative or productive - the more I am inclined to curl up in the fetus position and watch something really uneducated on Netflix, whilst nibbling too much birthday chocolate - aka wasting time!

So.. I started doing this thing about letting go and being a little more slow and so far, it's working.
I actually took some time for myself a few weeks ago, and had a long soak in a relaxing bubble bath. It was full of soothingly scented bubbles and I was surrounded by low sunset light and a couple of deliciously calming candles. Instead of enjoying the pure silence I decided to watch 'Minimalism' on Netflix and boy was I left inspired.
I absolutely love that idea of having less of the meaningless 'stuff' and more of what brings joy to your life. I have so much around me that has me feeling claustrophobic and untidy that I would be happy to fill a skip and ship it off to the secondhand shops. The closing line was everything; "love people and use things, because the opposite never works." *insert heart eyes emoji!!*
This perfectly coincides with the book I am currently reading; Simplicity Parenting. I have always dreamed of a slow life and always imagined my children having a very little amount of 'things'- A few special wooden toys and puzzles - those that would last. A childhood with little television and technology and so much room for imagination and exploring. Some days I find myself with an overstimulated toddler who demands things, who will ask for a certain song to be played on my phone or for her TV show to be put on and refusing to change her nappy coherently without holding the tube of Bonjela or a ride in the pushchair without having a snack. All these things I have used once or twice to make my life easier some way or another and now it's coming back at me and biting me in the bottom. Apart from the snacks in the pushchair, she rarely got the outcome she desires unless it was on my terms, however it sure as heck opened my eyes to what I was trying to avoid before her arrival. I am proud of how her childhood as been so far. She's bright and has an incredible vocabulary, she wants to learn and her memory is a sponge! She asks for the radio on when we're in the kitchen and the record player when we're in the lounge. She loves to read books and play independently. She sleeps well and eats well. It's wonderful. But those tantrums and moments we have can be quite testing, however I realise it's usually when she's tired and overstimulated, frustrated when she can't do something herself or if I'm have a quick scroll through social media.
On some days I feel grateful of the tantrums purely because it reminds me to be more in the moment, to put the phone down and to give Olive the right amount of attention, with fewer choices of toys to play with. This book is helping me to do that as are a few 'rules and curfews'.

A few weeks ago I decided to give my phone a curfew of 930pm as well as lights out before 11pm. This way I get to switch off and escape the huge distraction that is social media and I feel and sleep so much better. I also make sure I give myself a little time to read my book before falling asleep - time to switch off, which is something I haven't done since way before Olive was born.
I also have other scheduled things to make my life as 'tidy' as possible; Laundry days, days for batch cooking for Olive and evenly spreading out Olive's play dates/Toddler groups and quiet slow days. I feel more relaxed, in control, organised and well slept!
I also hope to schedule some blogging time in as I have thoroughly missed it. I have so much to share, write, record here and I am making time to do that, for myself, for you - if you're still out there reading this that is!


What do you do to tidy your mind? What do you think of the minimalism process? 
Parents - Are there any tips for simplifying your children's/family life?

Sunday

Birds

After constantly peering through my netted curtain to watch the pigeons (attempt) to make their nest, I realise that the whole scene is a metaphor of my life right now. The male pigeon flies off to seek the perfect twig which he hands over to the female for her to create the perfect surrounding and he flies off to get another. However her clumsy beak just drops it almost instantly and so when the male returns with another twig, she is stuck in the same process of constantly dropping it.

What amazes me is that they just keep on going, determined to make this nest, to lay those eggs and to fly off happily ever after. They mate for life you know (or so the internet tells me!), this makes my heart ache every time I see yet another twig pile on the previously fallen ones. I swear they could make a nest out of the ones they've dropped - if only they would look below! They could have teeny pigeon babies in no time! So frustrating!

I think this is how my close ones feel toward me and my fog of late - frustrated at the thought of me giving up so quickly. They can see the outcome, the potential magic but I just see the long road with no end. But each path has a turning or a pitstop and most definitely a destination. That destination is what I visually see but without focusing on it, living, breathing, dreaming about it, feeling like I already have it - I won't ever get there. I will be stuck at the traffic lights with no way of them going green.

These pigeons are determined, they'll make their nest. Maybe after a few failed attempts of this one they'll move onto a different spot where making their nest, hatching those eggs will be easier, more comfortable and will be 'just right' for them. Making the decision to change direction but stay on course is normal, sometimes important to achieve that end goal.
The metaphor that I first thought (of the pigeons trying and trying but constantly failing) was actually not the metaphor here - it is the fact that the pigeons try and try and keep trying with so much determination and THAT is inspiration right there. Who would have thought a couple of birds would inspire me so?!
*
Thank you so much for all the comments, messages, emails that you have all sent me. Your kind words changed everything. Truly. I am so grateful to have such sweet friends that check in and such beautiful online followers who care so much to reach out. Thank you.

Also - my littlest brother is the wisest person I know :
'You aren't a pigeon my dear sister you are an eagle - don't allow what you see in your reflection tamper your mind... water ripples causing your reflection to be tampered with. So don't allow two parts of a false cog, create a false machine. Spread those wings!'
- a little tweet he sent me whilst I was experiencing a foggy moment. Thank you dearest Samuel. You oh so wise.

Wednesday

words.

As little Olive softly sleeps in her bedroom down the hall, a couple of pigeons are busy making a nest outside my window, I sit. Finally having a great urge to write.
I am so tired, physically and emotionally and instead of closing my heavy eyes for 20 minutes or so I sit cross legged on my bed desperately tapping away at the laptop.

I have had the most magical weekend. Celebrating my 30th birthday and Easter all in one big long weekend was truly wonderful. Family, cake, balloons and all the love surrounded me in one big shiny bubble. I felt so very happy. Happier than I have in a long while. Somehow, today, as I get to unwind and collect my thoughts alone during nap time, I feel like my shiny magical bubble has been popped.
For a long time I have been unhappy with certain little things in my life and now I feel it's all taking it's toll. I know so very hard that for things to improve and to make space for all the magic I need to be at peace, to feel grateful with everything in my life. It's hard though. I have probably told at least 3 people this week to do just that and as I say those words it feels like it pours out of me to them and I'm left drained of my own wise words. Empty and at a loss. I can't shake it. My mind spirals into deeper thoughts and feelings and moments I try many a time to let go of and they are there, lingering. If it were on paper I could cut those pieces out and throw them into the wind and watch them swirl up and float away and the paper would feel so much lighter, cleaner, shinier. But it isn't on paper it's inside of me and I can't quite reach far enough to shut it all off.

I want to pack all the important things in my house and grab my husband, my daughter and tell them it's time to go. Time to go and start somewhere new. Somewhere far away in the hills, next to a forest where you can hear nothing but birdsong and sheep. Somewhere where we can feel free and live slow and be happy. Away from all the pretending and away from the people who are too busy and away from all the noise and the frustration and just be at peace.
Writing all this down is as easy as achieving it, I know that. Gosh it would be easier if I could drive, it would be easier if my husband and I were earning proper money from boring jobs to be able to take that risk. It would be easier if we both had the nerve to take the risk and just do it!! Why do we make things complicated for ourselves? Why do we always look for excuses? Why do I consistently focus on all the bad things when a grey cloud swoops by? When the logical thing to do would be letting all the negative energy go. Feeling grateful. Focusing on the positive. And to simply close the door to the past and the people. 

Only I can change all this.

I want to accept that I live in the centre of town and it's noisy, and filled with people I just do not want to ever meet. And that neighbours are louder than me and that people like to share their awful music with the rest of the neighbourhood - and have no idea how disrespectful it is (whatever time of day it is!). I want to accept that even the closest of people really just do not even know me anymore and that it's okay to move on. I want to accept that right now is supposed to happen and that it is setting me up for such magical things and that one day soon all this will be long behind me.

I have to be grateful. I should be grateful! I have a supportive and loving husband and a beautiful daughter who is the cleverest 16 month old I have ever met. Not to mention funny, healthy and so very perfect. I have a roof (albeit old and in a undesirable place) and a loving family. I have exciting Summer adventures planned with my girl soulmate who just completely gets me.

I am going to start right now. Olive has just woken up from her nap and by the sounds of it, is happy looking out the window for a little while. I am going to spend my evening, planning my Summer adventure, sticking inspiring pictures and dreams in my dream book all whilst snuggled up in bed. I have the decision to change my life. I need to take every single opportunity to do it. Otherwise I'll be here again, in the same place, saying the same thing. And that just cannot happen!

Thank you for listening xxx