Slow steps are still steps

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho.

This quote greeted me today as I sat down to work from my desk at home. I managed to smile somewhat amused, while wondering –

“Does the same apply if you’ve fallen 216 times… and it wasn’t just in this COVID year?”

“Shouldn’t getting up then, be harder?”

The answer came to me, like a whisper in the air…

‘Falling down that many times should make it easier.’

Tonight’s sunset. Possibly the last I will snap for this year. A year that has been rife with drama, heartache, loss, sadness, frustration, and SO much sickness.

I, like many, are heading into the new year VERY cautiously. I do like the idea of a fresh slate, but remember, the construction of life, of time, into days weeks months years, is a human construction.

One digit in the year date changing, does not mean things will magically change.

We, US, have the power to change our life and our state, every day, every hour, and every minute with our decisions.

Scary stuff, right?

As a kid I always wanted to know SO BAD, what was going to happen to me in my life? Where would I end up? What would I do? Who would I be surrounded with?

I’ve come to realise that we just aren’t meant to know.

Life can be seriously scary, and the last few years have shown me that. Tell a person the obstacles, hardships and frustrations they will encounter over the next few years, and they will likely collapse and die… and I am not even exaggerating. People would just give up. Cry mercy and throw their hands in the air, throw in the towel as it were.

Nothing.

So instead, we know nothing. This is how it is meant to be. This is how we get through life.

Slowly. Minute by minute.

Hour by hour.

Day by day.

Step by step.

Living in the present moment. Being in it wholeheartedly. Dedicating ourselves to the nature of just being, and by being in that space, finding that slowly, but surely, we are inching forward.

That is my plan for the new year. Really, my only plan.

We can’t guess, nor can we assume to know what will happen. It would be ridiculous to. And this past year has shown us ALL, how we really do know nothing.

It might be good. It might be bad. Likely, it will be both.

But how much of either, and when, and how?

Don’t fret.

As the sun soon sets on the day which many people will celebrate the end of, remember…

It’s all in your head. Sure, have fun in the moment. God knows we deserve it.

But remember, each day…

Step, by step.

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Getting to Christmas amidst a pandemic

I had to question myself the other day, only days before the big festive day.

“Why was I so behind in Christmas preparations when we had been in iso over half the year?”

Why wasn’t I prepared?

Why didn’t I get to it earlier?

What was I doing ALL THAT TIME?

It’s enough to make you feel down and unaccomplished, especially in comparison to those that share their Christmas achievements, way from, I don’t know, OCTOBER.

But it’s been a tough year. A tough year for many. A tough year for ALL.

Like something I read on social media… we have all been in different boats. Some of us went through the pandemic in a fully-manned yacht… others were swept up in the storm from within the rickety confines of their dinghy.

Everyone has had such a different journey, so it’s important not to compare their covid boat ride, with yours.

Just like all of life, really.

We are all on a different life journey. Things will happen at different times for ALL of us.

We will be sad when others are happy, and vice versa.

We will be well when others are sick.

And vice versa.

Personally, I had both good and bad. Good in that I was fortunate enough to get a job just as the lockdown began.

Bad in that I experienced a bevy of health problems that manifested physically, and then caused me a great deal of mental stress.

When you throw in the worries, routines, and schedules of all those around you – children, partners, parents, family, friends…

No wonder we have barely held on.

I am here to tell you.. if you’ve managed to get to Christmas by the skin of your teeth… it’s ok.

This is your journey, remember. Be easy on yourself.

Look after yourself this holiday season. Be kind to others, but most importantly yourself.

You are here. You have survived. That is more than enough.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 🎄🎅💖💪

How it feels when waiting for feedback

What are the feels when you give away your most prized possession?

How are the insides of your body, every second, every minute, every hour, of EVERY SINGLE DAY?

How do you cope, knowing someone is out there, casting a seriously discerning eye over your soul’s work, while you are there…

Alone. Wondering. Waiting.

If you aren’t a writer, here are some other-worldly scenarios that you might be able to relate to.

WAITING FOR FEEDBACK…

It’s like getting to the train station on time, but the train leaves as you reach the platform.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Pexels.com

It’s waiting all night for dessert, but then you throw up, and everyone else eats the cake anyway.

It’s giving someone your newborn child… and then they don’t call to tell you how the baby is going. And then they leave the country.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

It’s having your arm hanging out the window of a fast car, flailing about wildly, and the driver won’t slow down no matter how loud you scream.

It’s someone taking the last bite of your favourite meal. Without asking.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It’s calling someone repeatedly on their phone, but only getting through to their voicemail.

It’s the ellipses (…) being a permanent part of your every day life.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

But finally, waiting for feedback is like being in a seemingly unending lockdown that has no definite end date.

Waiting. Just waiting.

Hold on… 🤔

Photo by Felipe Cespedes on Pexels.com

(Inspired by life, but not intended for anyone in my life… I promise 😉 )

My Quotes #5

“Like a tsunami that hits the coastline

A hurricane that throws up houses

Or an earthquake that splits the earth in two

Watch your words.

They can change relationships forever.

Think carefully.

Choose them wisely.

They cannot be unsaid.

Elephants don’t forget.”

– SmikG.

Some social commentary on isolation in COVID

Gee we’re living in interesting times.

And that’s not to trivialise any of the sicknesses or deaths associated with COVID here, or around the world.

Absolutely no.

But just look around you. Look around us. Look in your neighbourhood.

We’re all running around like a bunch of chooks with our heads cut off, not quite sure how to deal with another 6 weeks of isolation.

Buying up at the shops… going out quickly to grab those last minute things we just can’t live without!

Calm down people.

Why are we going nuts like we did at the start? Don’t you remember what happened the first time around?

We will still have eggs.

We will still have dishwashing tablets.

We will still have freaking toilet paper.

I for one, don’t mind this round two one bit.

So what? We’ve been in one form of isolation or another since late March. That’s approximately 15 weeks if you’ve been social distancing correctly, and 106 days going off my gratitude blog since this all began.

If this had been done properly the first time around, and restrictions hadn’t loosened as early as they did (I always felt they relaxed too soon) this may not be occurring.

Only Victoria. It had to happen in Victoria. The garden state. The state, ‘on the move.’

Too right coronavirus is on the move.

This time feels different. I honestly feel like if we’re able to get through these 6 weeks with EVERYONE isolating, we will kick this virus well and truly.

Read a book.

Watch a movie at home. You can rent, Netflix, subscribe to an online service.

Go for a walk. Remember that’s still allowed.

Connect via zoom and video calls.

Listen to some old records.

Dance in the kitchen.

Flick through photo albums.

Rediscover the fuel that makes you tick, that which makes your heart soar, and what makes your soul happy.

Sure, some things are gonna suck. Work will be hard, school will be hard (if it’s done from home again, especially hard) and being isolated from those you love can be especially disheartening.

But remember this. What sucks more is this thing going on for months and months because we as a state can’t get it right.

What sucks more is the people who have died from this.

Whatever problem, issue or inconvenience this isolation causes you, it is not as bad as dying alone in a hospital room.

No support. No holding hands. Because that’s what this virus does to you.

Keep that in perspective.

Do it right now, please. Do the right thing, so we can go out in the glorious Spring sunshine come September, and breathe in that fresh air, knowing it is finally, over.

Let’s go from corona, and ‘BC,’ before corona…

To ‘AD.’ After disaster. After disease. After death.

Let’s do it.

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Friday night conversations #11 What is allowed on pizza?

I’m bringing you a very serious topic tonight.

It’s concerning food, and we all treat what we eat seriously, right?

We want to like it, right?

So then, why do weird things sometimes adorn it… like, for example, on pizza?

What topping do you think SHOULD, OR SHOULD NOT GO on top of pizza?

I’ll start it off by throwing out some obvious and not-so-obvious toppings to see where everyone stands.

Some might make you think ‘YES’ I hate that!

Others might make you go ‘NO’ I actually don’t mind it.

And then there might be some neutral ones that have you neither here or there, because yeah whatever, you like to eat, nom nom nom.

So firstly… Anchovies.

For me? No. I have strong memories of my childhood where we forgot to ask for no anchovies on the capricciosa, and because it all kind of blended in, biting into the pizza only to get that unmistakable extreme saltiness…

Ugh. Yuck. I still remember it.

Next up… Pineapple. I have nothing against the fruit. And I’ve had some things on pizza that people might find unusual.

I’ve had vegetables like cauliflower… I’ve had chicken strips and barbeque sauce… and I’ve had all forms of seafood… I’ve even had potatoes on pizza (with rosemary, mmm yum!)

But pineapple… I mean, is it trying to be a dessert pizza, with lashings of chocolate, bananas and strawberries all which AREN’T there? Did it miss the dessert bus? Hmm.

I’ve bitten in and come across the pineapple before… and I am not a fan. It feels kind of squeaky against the bread and meat and cheese, and let’s just say when Hubbie orders it on his half, and some of it encroaches onto my pineapple-free side, well I’m picking the pieces off and flinging them in his direction like “here, take it.”

Yes, take it.

Last, but definitely not least for my little survey… tomato sauce.

YES.

Now I’m not talking the base that the dough is spread with. I’m talking, you get your pizza delivered from the pizza shop…

And then at home, you squirt tomato sauce (or ketchup, whatever’s your fancy) all over your pizza.

It might sound crazy, but it actually makes complete sense.

You’re just making it saucier, that’s all. I learnt this one off my cousins when they moved to Australia from overseas, and it must be a European thing because Hubbie learnt the same from his own cousin when he came from overseas…

It must be a very Balkan thing.

Admittedly I don’t eat it like that anymore… but it’s a very easy thing to get used to.

So tell me… any of these tickle your fancy? Are you disgusted at the thought? Or do you have your own pet peeves?

Please tell… what does or doesn’t belong on pizza?

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A different ending for Narcissus

You don’t make an online splash,

But I hear the ripple of wind as you hawk over me.

Pretending like you don’t see it all,

Choosing where your thumbs up go

I’m not meant to know, that you watch me after all.

You wonder why I don’t mention you.

But things that have hurt you,

Events that have impacted you,

And people whose words and actions have harmed you beyond anything you’ve ever known,

Are not things you want to dwell on, dance in, and dawdle over.

I prefer to ignore forget it all.

Your image of yourself is flawless,

But you fail to see the many errors of your judgement.

How the smooth lines of your life are pulled so tight, like a Botoxed face,

Gnawing at the sides, tearing what is naturally there, and creating cracks in it’s wake like the desert ground.

You are actually lucky.

You have more love than you know what to do with

And just as well it comes from obligation

Since you continue to throw it all down the drain.

I feel your judgement, with every word written, and every syllable spoken

I feel it in all my good and bad moments.

And I know what you must say about me, because I’ve heard you say it about everyone else too.

Does anyone think,

Narcissus died not from the perfect vision of looking at himself in the waters reflection,

But in the horror of seeing his inner ugliness portrayed and distorted and swayed to him, that no one else but Mother Nature could show?

Hmm.

Well when you fall, it will be too late.

I won’t be standing by the waters edge, waiting to lend you a hand

I will watch you from the bushes, just as you’ve watched me from a distance, all this time.

You won’t see me, but you may hear my presence,

As a rustle in the trees… and a whisper in the wind…

“Pssst.

I see you.

I hear you.

I know you.

Yes, I know.”

It’s all fine, it’s alright

Keep smiling through all your lies

Tell them what they want to hear

Then turn your back and bash their ear

Give them a sweet name, that always works

But when they need you, you bitch and lurk

You treat them on a scale of 5, but always expect a 10

It’s never you… it’s all of THEM.

Jest guess? but caution over violent breaths.

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Friday night conversations #10 What was your childhood show?

On the way home from school today, baby girl asked me a question.

“Mama, have you heard of Pippi Longstocking?”

“Yes!”

“Our teacher read us that book today.”

It’s a real full circle moment when your child starts to get introduced to what you used to watch…. sooo long ago. I remember when she learnt who Mr Squiggle was last year… that dude is an Australian childhood institution!

I got her to tell Hubbie over dinner, what she found out about today.

“Who?” he asked.

“Pippi Longstocking!” I said.

“I don’t know him,” he replied.

“It’s a girl!” I cried. “Are you kidding me? You don’t know Pippi Longstocking?”

“Never heard of her.”

“How? This is when we were growing up! That’s like someone from our generation saying they don’t know He-Man.”

“But I know He-Man.”

“Yeah, but imagine they didn’t.”

We grew up with 5 channels, not an abundance of options and on demand services like what we have nowadays. And even though back then it was probably considered more of a girl show, I am still baffled as to how, with such limited kids content, with only certain times of the day where kids programs would air, that he NEVER came across Pippi Longstocking, with the curvy plaits going out to the sides in a smile.

I even brought up the theme song… oh it’s engraved in my head! Even after all these years!

We all wanted to be her!

Anyway, all this talk made me think… what was your childhood show? What show do you immediately think of, when you think of your childhood?

What show is synonymous with you growing up?

This could be anything. You could have grown up in the 70s, 80s, 90s, even the 2000s… for me it was the 80s and early 90s, and I struggle so hard to pick just one show.

So I will be cheeky and pick three.

Mine are:

Duck Tales. “Duck Tales, woo ooh!” I loved that theme song. Huey, Dewey and Louie were fun to follow, and their great-uncle Scrooge McDuck, well, who could understood him?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were huge, EVERYONE loved them! My favourite was Donatello, because he was purple, and I liked that colour (typical 7 year-old rationale).

And finally… who can forget Scooby Doo! Oh gee. The amount of kids that scared themselves silly watching that show, huddled over, on, or behind the couch, terrified of the bad guys out to get the Scooby gang… that show was seriously freaky stuff! And then we all went to school like nothing at all happened, only to do it all over again the next morning.

What show do you think of when you remember your childhood?

Friday night conversations #9 How isolated are you?

Isolation. It’s not the nicest of words, because no one wants to be, or feel isolated… and yet it’s become a common sentiment over the past few months.

The definition of isolation: to set apart from others, to quarantine.

And yet the way we’ve all been isolating lately has been widely subjective according to personal circumstance.

I will put my hand up here. My family and I all started out really taking things seriously. Look to some extent we still do. We hand sanitise constantly, our social gatherings are at a nil, and we’ve grown accustomed to this new, quieter, more low-key way of life.

We’re also surprisingly, enjoying it.

We hear repeatedly that we must only do, or go out for essential things.

Groceries.

School.

Work.

Health/medical care.

Checking in on vulnerable loved ones.

Exercise.

But how many times can you say you’ve done something not considered essential?

Well, I can count them. Because I’ve done a few things that definitely did not qualify in the ‘necessary’ category.

Or did they? Let’s have a quick look.

After baby girl was denied back at school due to her NON-INFECTIOUS, post-cold cough, we went to Target… I bought her a toy, and in effect said stuff you to the whole community because I was shitty at the situation.

We went to Chadstone shopping centre during the Queens Birthday weekend. Us and the entire state, it felt like. We needed stuff, but did we really NEED it?

We’ve gone out to a couple of cafes since restrictions eased.

I’ve been to my sister’s place. It was her birthday and I was in the area.

Likewise, I just saw my parents.

Seeing your family is allowed. And cafes and restaurants are now open, so therefore supporting local, going in to grab a coffee should be ok, right?

Shopping for random stuff on the other hand, may not be the most important thing, but mental health is…

And therein lies the point. I think lots of people after all this time, may be getting a bit lax in their choices and their judgment when it comes to where they should go.

Because it’s been so long that we’ve been so strict on ourselves, that we need to get out, do something, go somewhere, see something or someone that we haven’t for so long, or else we’ll go crazy.

Maybe you haven’t been so strict… maybe you think I’ve been too lax…

Anyone game to put up their hand and share where you’ve been? Share a place or event that wasn’t essential?

What do you think will happen now? Do you think things will get even stricter as the cold descends further, or will we all just throw in the towel, and with that the sanitiser too?

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Friday night conversations #8 What is your trash TV treasure?

Or treasures. Hey I’m not one to judge if you have multiple.

And yes, I know what I said… not guilty pleasure… but trash TV treasure.

Because let’s face it, what our favourite trash TV show brings us, is no reason to feel guilty for AT ALL. It brings unadulterated pleasure, and why the hell shouldn’t we enjoy it? Huh? Huh?

It allows us to escape into another world, one far, far removed from our own…

And the sordid stories, oh the juicy gossip! So much drama, tension, lust, it is just TOO MUCH.

Only it isn’t too much. Because we keep coming back for more.

It made me wonder, what do other people out there pine for? With the re-vamped Big Brother so close to hitting our screens, followed by the next season of Bachelor in Paradise chasing it… then there is that other one, the one that sounds something like maths…

Oh yeah, MAFS! Totally joshing with you.

As much as I loved the ‘middle’ seasons of Big Brother (the hilarity of the Hotdog season… if you know, you know), I’m not sure I’m up for this reimagined version… though I might give it a peek.

My big go-to? Bachelor in Paradise! Although there will be pre-planned plot points, a guaranteed love declaration, proposal, or two, with a just as guranteed public break-up after that will make me heavily disillusioned with the whole series… I will still lap it up, happily.

So, what are your trash TV treasures? Any from this list, or have I missed your favourite pleasure? 😉