Monday, 23 September 2013

Lorna

Today I attended the funeral of a friend who recently passed away. 
 
As a young woman entering the workforce I first came to known Lorna as one of my senior work colleagues.  In those early days Lorna took me "under her wings" and showed me the way.  Lorna was a kind and patient teacher, she was always positive and caring to all she came in contact with.  It was very easy to respect such a lovely lady who also had such wonderful and peaceful respect for others.
 
Even after moving from that job, Lorna and I would still bump into each other, particularly at the hairdressers.  I still remember the day we both had a laugh when we realised that my hairdresser whom I'd been visiting for years and who was also a good friend of a friend of mine was in fact Lorna's youngest sister.
 
For the last four years I had the pleasure of working alongside Lorna again and it was simply wonderful.  Lorna had a strong zest for life and she loved sharing her interests with you.  I remember sharing with her my thoughts and feelings on the loss of my grandfather and talking to her about his funeral.  I mentioned his Scottish heritage to her and that the bagpipes had been played at his funeral and how much I adored the sound of the pipes.  Lorna then told me that she played the bagpipes in our local pipe band, invited me to come along and listen anytime I wished and of course I did.
 
It was also during one of our "hallway catch-ups" that another one of Lorna's interests was shared and led to probably the most important way I was lucky enough to have known her.  I came to know Lorna as a wise, kind and caring Tai Chi instructor.  Saturday mornings were spent in our beautiful botanic gardens surrounded by giant trees with the breeze whispering through their leaves.  Relaxing, moving, breathing, cleaning out the stale energy, gathering new and positive energy and storing it within.
 
Today Lorna's funeral was a celebration of her life.  Lorna's kindness and generosity touched so many.  I, like so many others shed tears for a very special lady and although feeling sad I was also left with a strong feeling of peace and gratitude.   I and others have been extremely lucky to have shared time with Lorna and have been enriched by having her in our lives.  I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to have the qualities of kindness, respect and humility passed onto me by someone so wise, someone who was my elder and someone I respect.
 
Thank you Lorna, rest peacefully xx

Friday, 2 August 2013

Buddhism and Happiness

A few years ago as a first time mother I found myself one day feeling quite "frazzled".  I was a mum to child who did not sleep very well at night, he had been ill quite a few times, this combined with a return to the workforce had me feeling far from relaxed, if not a tad anxious. I remember having such a strong feeling of wanting to be better person and parent.  Unlike some, parenting didn't come naturally to me, but I wanted it to.  I wanted to feel more relaxed with my child and I wanted the anxiety to go away.

It was whilst visiting my local library that I came across a book title "Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring".  I remember being so drawn to this book,  I picked it up and just could not put it down.  This little book gave me some wonderful advice and helped me find the calmness within.

Since that day I have read a lot more on Buddhism and also the teachings from His Holiness The Delai Lama and whilst I wouldn't necessarily call myself a practising Buddhist, I do try to incorporate the beliefs into my everyday life.  I think they make me a better person.  That's not to say I don't slip up every now and then, but I know overall I am a much calmer person and suffer from far less anxiety than I ever have. 

An example of this is the joy felt from feeling and sharing genuine happiness for others. 

Today at work a fellow colleague of mine won Employee of the Month.  Sometimes a natural human reaction to such news, could be to feel "some" happiness for the person, but also to feel some jealousy, (hmm why didn't I win, why did she win).  A few years ago, these thoughts could have been mine.  If I reflect back to the person I used to be, I really do believe that I was perhaps that type of person.  I would of had a "level" of happiness for my colleague, but it wouldn't have been genuine and "honest" happiness and I am sure I would have allowed those jealous thoughts to enter my mind.

Today when my work colleague won her award I had nothing but pure, honest, genuine happiness for her.  I was so excited for her and also very proud of her.  She has been working long hours with a new program we have and she is also responsible for training other staff members on how to use this program.  The whole time Miss B has remained kind and caring, even though she has worked well past "overtime" and has been tired and unwell (I need to link her into this post!!).   When Miss B won Employee of the Month I so excited and happy for her, it was a lovely feeling to give her a hug and share in her happiness. 

Feeling and sharing genuine happiness is uplifting and good for the soul, I felt fantastic for the rest of the day.  I'd say that's much better than entertaining jealous thoughts, being false and having an "average" afternoon.  :)




Saturday, 6 July 2013

A Good Old Belly Laugh

There's nothing better in life than a good old belly laugh, but no I am not about to join "laughing yoga". Sometimes I don't realise how uptight I am or how stressed I have been feeling until the magic of a good old belly has taken place.

Over the past few weeks I have decided to "mix things up a bit" and add more to the load.  I have been doing all my normal stuff, plus taken on some temporary extra days at work and then if this hasn't seen me busy enough, my body has decided to "help me out" by adding a dreaded cold to the mix and it's one that I just can't shake!

The other day while sitting at the pool in a drugged coldral cold and flu haze with my two children busy with swimming lesson along came a good friend of mine with one of her children for a surprised play/pool date.

Both of our daughters are 5 and have started school this year.  Both girls are enjoying school and love learning all that there is to learn.  Each week the girls have a new letter of the alphabet to learn and associate words with.

My dear friend "S" then told me that her daughter Miss K had the letter F this week.   The other night Miss K's grandparents were visiting and she was proudly sitting in the lounge with the whole family filling them in on her day at school and then what the letter of the week was.  Numerous F words were said as an example by the eager 5 yo and then ever so innocently out came the one no-one thinks a 5yo would know............yep the good old "firetruck"!!!!!

F is for F**K  isn't it mummy?,  Yes F**K starts with F doesn't mummy?,  well my dear friend "S" couldn't get any further with her story of horror and mortification in front of her parents in-law because I had fallen into the throws of absolutely cracking up, I was far too busy doing the most uncontrollable belly laughs (remember in a public place too) to hear any more words.  I managed to stop laughing for approximately no more than 5 seconds,  took one look at S and said "damn where has she heard that one before"  and we both started all over again.  I guess to others in the pool we must have looked like a pair of nutters, laughing our heads off and tears running down our faces, but it is one of the best laughs we've ever had.

So thanks go out this week to my dear friend "S"  for a lovely, unexpected but very welcome tension reliever :)


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Suprised by my own Blog

For the past few weeks we haven't had our laptop at home (it was a tad sick) and whilst this break from technology has allowed me to catch up on a few good books, I have come to a suprising realisation ..........I really enjoy blogging.

When I started blogging I think I may have been a little flippant about it and perhaps didn't put a lot of "indepth" thought into something that at the time I perceived to be just a simple little bit of typing.  It was during the absence of our laptop and not being able to blog that this "itch" arose and I found myself missing my blog. One night as I sat there thinking about blogging and missing the fact that I still couldn't blog, I started to think about why I seemed to be missing it so much. 

As I thought back to each blog I had written (which at this stage isn't too many), I thought about how I felt as I was sitting there typing, correcting, rewording and then ultimately posting my end result and I surprised myself with the answer.  Blogging to me has become a wonderful tool for self expression (der I hear you say), but not only that, I have found that the whole process has also become a newly found relaxation tool.

I tend to blog at the end of my working week (yeah a bit of a creature of habit) it's usually late at night, the TV is off, the house is warm and cosy, I have two children safely and soundly asleep and hubby is usually watching footy.  I happily type away in my own quiet and peaceful little world, post my blog and before I know it I'm off to bed feeling tired and very relaxed.

After a week of running around like crazy, working, picking up kids, driving to and from basketball, squashing in gym and personal training sessions and all the usual day to day buzz that seems to come along, blogging has allowed me to cap it all off peacefully, unwind, reflect and relax and I've got to say this is something I never thought a simple writing outlet would ever do.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Time Spent with Friends

This week amongst the busy and crazy I have been so lucky to spend some quality time with a few of my closest friends. 

The frenzy of life quite often means that we can take ourselves for granted.  We push ourselves too hard, we forget to take time out for us, to stop, be calm and relax.  I, like most, am guilty of not listening to myself, sometimes I don't stop until its too late, I fall in a heap, I am grumpy, tired and feel terrible.

Late last week I went walking with my BFF, we usually run together every Sunday, but do to my icky injured calf muscle, we are temporarily back to walking.  While walking and talking my friend noted that she was tired, I reflected upon myself and realised that I was starting to feel that way too, my upcoming week at work was going to be huge and just thinking about it made me yawn.  My friend gives a lot of herself to others and I really wanted her to take some time out for herself and relax.  Instantly I hatched a remedy, a morning spent at a local day spa - perfect!

The day before Spa Day I was lucky enough to spend with another close friend who was home from Melbourne.  Over what turned out to be the best milkshakes ever and a walk, where aching backs were discussed, Spa Day was mentioned and another was added to the remedy list.

The day arrived, and off the three of us went.  Our morning was spent lulling about in a beautiful mineral pool set to THE perfect temperature and equipped with "The Worlds Best Tension Killing Jets".   We laughed together, giggled, gossiped, offered advice, talked about dating and all things girly.  It was wonderful and just what we all needed.

After a long and successful soaking, the day only got better with a scrumptious lunch and a little bit of shopping.  I arrived home that afternoon feeling superb, relaxed and mellow, I'm fairly sure my friends did too.

Today I was lucky enough to spend time with another friend.  She lives 3 1/2 hours away and for a couple of days was going to be in a town that was a bit over an hour from where I live.  When talking together on the phone I knew that today was going to be hectic as I had a few commitments, but I decided to go over anyway.  It's been a couple of years since we have seen each other and unfortunately we only had few hours to catch up, but we made the most of the time we had - it was fun.  We ate, we shopped and just enjoyed each others company.  This is a friend who has known me since I was 12.  Friendships of that length are rare and special.  This is a person that has known you since you were a kid!  We giggled at so many things.  Like when I said the word orange.  She giggled and got me to say it again.  Her next words were "OMG you used to say it that exact way when we were at school".   Apparently I pronounce it funny!....hmmm do I?, well I said it again, listened and what do you know, yeah I do! (haha).

Normally my weeks are not rewarded with this much time spent with friends.  Perhaps sometimes I am guilty of not making the time.  This week I am thankful for a well placed long weekend and only working part time.

Oh and the outcome of our first ever successful Spa Day?,  BFF and I have made a solid promise....once a month (we hope) there will be no running, once a month...is Spa Day!

Perhaps you should too   :)






Sunday, 21 April 2013

Liebster Award

Recently my annual tradition took place.  Me dressed in my gown (dressing gown), plonked in front of the telly, watching the glitz and glamour of the Logies.  Whilst oooing and  ahhhing over the winners and loving their acceptance speeches, little did I know that my own acceptance speech was soon to be needed (haha)....So thanks to my buddy Jodie (no not me another one), I humbly accept my Liebster Award.

The Business End/Rules:

1. Anyone with less than 200 followers can be nominated for The Liebster.
2. Each nominee should post eleven facts about herself or himself.
3. Each nominee should answer the eleven questions that are asked by the person doing the nominating.

There are more rules, but I am cheating, well not really cheating, but being new to blogging my numbers don't add up!


The Fun Stuff:

1. If you could experience anything again for the first time, what would it be?
The first time I saw Michael Jackson in concert.  He was such an important part of my teen years and I still remember the excitement and the tears I shed when I first saw him.

2. If you could change one thing in history, what would it be?
John Lennon being killed.

3. How do you think the world would change from your answer to #2?
He wrote so many beautiful and inspiring songs, I think the world has missed out on so many more.

4. What's your happy song?
Anyone of these will do it:
Blackbird, Penny Lane, Imagine, Beautiful Boy and anything by Ben Harper.

5. What scent are you wearing?
Happy by Clinique.

6. What's the most important thing you would tell your 16yo self?
Hang on, life gets better, it really does :)

7. Described your town/country in one sentence.
Oceanic

8. Sweet or savoury?
Both

9. What are the five best things about women?
- We are lucky to have close, loving relationships with our beautiful friends
- We can do 101 things with our hair, clothes and makeup
- We learn to love ourselves as we grow older and wiser
- We can do more than one thing at once
- We live, we love and we laugh

10. What are the five best things about men?
- They're strong and fix stuff
- They don't take themselves too seriously and really know how to have a laugh.
- Gay men, because they are a woman's best friend (please don't take offence as I say it with the utmost sincerity)
- My man balances my personality
- My man is a kind, caring and loving father, brother, uncle, son, nephew, cousin and grandson

11. Who would play you in a movie?
Haha for those of you who know me personally of course it's Debra Mailman, but if Hollywood was calling then it's Deborra Lee Furness, only because that would mean Hugh Jackman would be parking his slippers under my bed!

These are 11 random facts about Me:

 I am absolutely petrified of geese and a close second is spiders

I love orange

I love the ocean and couldn't live away from it

I am claustrophobic

I was best friends with a beheaded ghost when I was 4 (I wasn't scared of him, but everyone else was)

I have survived and conquered the terrible and come out smiling

Buddhist monks take me to a very happy place

I love yoga

I prefer vegetables over meat

I wish I had the courage to sing in public

I absolutely love being a mum and still cannot believe that I didn't want to be one

Hope you had fun reading, please do my a favour and visit my recommended bloggers (as listed at the bottom of this page)



Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Lesson From The Pet

Recently we acquired a new pet.  I had been thinking about a pet for the children for quite some time, but life seemed far too busy, I always had too much on and frankly did not want the extra work.  That all being said we became the new family for a lost kitten.  He's a friendly little thing, tabby with four little white paws and the children have named him Boots

Although the kitten is cute he soon became a source of frustration for me.Whenever Boots needs to use his litter, he doesn't seem happy unless he has dug all the way to china and managed to spread clean litter all over the floor.  Every day I could feel myself becoming more and more frustrated and really impatient with the whole situation.  These are traits of mine that I am not proud to have, they serve no purpose and I never feel happy when I have displayed them. 

So, "how can I turn this around", I found myself asking one day.  The answer was simple really, accept and be happy.   Accept the situation, accept that you have an obsessive little digger, but most of all be happy.  This little kitten is doing EXACTLY what you want, he is using his litter every time, he does not leave accidents anywhere through your house.  Accept his little bit of mess, see the positives in the situation and be happy.

I think this lesson could be used a lot in life!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Memories and Moments of Happiness

This past week has been one that I have been lucky enough to share with my wonderful Aunt, a woman I truly adore.  She called recently and said she was on her way to visit.  We hadn't seen each other for more than 3 years and I was looking forward to seeing her.

As a small 5 year old girl I was sent away to live with my Aunty.  Her home and love offered a safe haven from the household that my biological mother offered at the time (a whole other story).  I lived with my Aunt for more than 12 months until my mother sent for me again. 

Upon return, my mother's house now contained a step father.  Violent, aggressive, explosive and tyrannical are an excellent choice of words to describe him and the type of household he ran.

It was whilst growing up in this household that I developed the capacity (looking back now probably a self preservation technique) to really enjoy the small moments of happiness that most tend to take for granted.

One of my fondest and happiest memories is of early Saturday mornings spent with my younger brother watching cartoons together.  The whole household would be asleep and it would  be just the two of us.  Free to be ourselves, free to enjoy small moments of peace and quite together, free to laugh and free to smile.  This doesn't sound like much, but to us it was the world. 

Another fond memory I have is of my sister and I sharing a room.  This room has created memories, that the two of us share and laugh about today as adults.  We both remember the "invisible line" between neat and orderly and total utter chaos and my fantastic AFL worthy kicks at the invading items!

Whilst growing up my Aunty moved overseas and travelled for many years. I always looked forward to her letters and post cards filled with adventures and stories to brighten our days.  When she called a few weeks ago and said she was coming down to share Easter with us, I was so excited and couldn't wait.

I felt such joy watching my Aunty spend time with my two young children.  She read books, played basketball, went for walks, watched the birds fly by, picked flowers, giggled and laughed.  These were all the things she and I did when I was that little 5yo girl and it was wonderful to see my children enjoy these things with her as well.  I loved sharing Easter with her.  She helped the children write their letters to the Easter Bunny, she understood the importance of choosing the healthiest and freshest carrot you can find for Easter Bunny and she shared in the love my husband and I have for our children whilst we all watched them excitedly hunt down the Easter eggs.

It was sad to see my Aunty leave, but this week I felt blessed.  I had the chance to share with my Aunty, my life and my love.  That sad little 5yo girl has grown up and she's OK.  Her life is safe and comfortable.  She feels and gives love and her life is filled with many moments of happiness.









Sunday, 24 March 2013

Onesiephobia - a new word for the oxford dictionary

I, like most am prone to the odd, weird, random thought.  For some its probably an intermittent occurrence, for me its daily.  My mind is weird and I'm ok with that.  Unfortunately I find that once that weird thought has entered my mind, well there's no going back, I simply can't stop thinking the thought, no matter how ridiculous it may be.

For example.  At the moment on TV, Target are running ads for "onesies", those all in one pyjamas.

I watched the ad the other night and immediately my mind decides that these fan-dangled pyjamas scare me, what happens if the "call of nature" urgently arises?  I would hate to be stuck in my onsies, not being able to get out and instead share my onesies with a onesie or a twosie! 

Now the more coherent mind, would of course scoff at this thought, note a logical, sound solution and immediately be done with it.  But not me!  Nightly I see the ad and nightly I think the same weird, random thought over and over again.  I mentioned my new found "onesiephobia" (yes this is a real word, I am writing to Oxford as you read) on facebook and the whole toileting trouble I had observed and the sheer terror I felt, to have a kindly soul point out the whole "bum flap" solution installed in onesies (much to my relief.).

So, equipped my new found coping mechanism for my ever so recently acquired onesiephobia, I sit and wait for the next ad to venture forth and it did.    But alas, my mind "goes to town", I end up with a mental picture that no-one needs to see.   Me stuck on the toilet floor in some sort of over-twisted yoga pose, "bum flap" securely closed and bladder control almost lost..........oh the sheer terror of it all.

I think it's safe to say, I will not be venturing down to Target in the near future to buy a pair of onesies and come to think of it, I guess I won't be receiving a call from them either to assist with their next ad campaign!

 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

St Pats = Memories of Grandad

Today is St Pats Day, for most its a day full of fun and merriment, mischief and all round "Irish Craic", for me its a day tinged with sadness as I remember my grandad. 

After a long and brave battle with prostate cancer, grandad died on St Pats Day 10 years ago today.  At the time I was heavily pregnant with my first child.  Grandad died knowing that our first born was to be a boy and his middle name was Max (named in his memory).  I still clearly remember the utter heartbreak and sadness I felt knowing that my brave, strong grandad was never going to meet the newest member of the McIntyre Clan. 

Grandad was a gentle giant (over 6ft tall), he was calm, kind, peaceful and very proud of his scottish heritage.  A quiet man, never "over the top" with affection, but all of us grandchildren knew we were loved.

Like anyone who is or was close to their grandad, I have a head and heart full of wonderful cherished memories and I will spend my quiet moments of calm today remembering them, all with a smile on my face and a tear or two in my eyes.

                                                                    For a Grandad,

                                                      never forgotten and always missed

                                                         soraidh, sl├án, beannachd leat


Friday, 15 March 2013

New to the Blogging Scene

So after a gentle nudge from a dear friend (thanks go out to her xxx) I find myself here new to the blogging world and here goes:

I used strongly believe that my personal happiness and success was measured by how far I went in the business world.  It's amazing what a few more years of hanging around this world do to clear your head and set yourself straight.  I have had 5 years now away from the corporate ladder (really didn't get that high) and I haven't missed it a bit.  Whilst I am no longer interested in business management, human resourcing, budget forecasts and team leading, I have, however realised that there is a certain level of responsibility that I crave and enjoy. With my youngest child recently settled into Prep, the urge to take on more responsibility has become apparent (weird I know, you'd think I would want to relax!) and its time to do something about it. 

So today starts off like any other day...wake up, good morning greetings, kisses and cuddles for sleepy heads, shower, dress in suitable work attire (no high heals thanks to a new leg injury), lunches made and packed, breakfast eaten by all and make up done. Me thinking to myself with less than 5 minutes to spare "Phew did that well today", only to realise that little miss 5yo still hasn't had her hair done for school.  Her hair is long (half way down her back) and thick, as a general rule a "more than 5 minute" job....needless to say the morning ends up feeling busy and it's a rush out the door and off to work.

Work today was the scene for my new challenge  -  take on those new responsiblities.  As we all know learning takes time, its a process of watch & listen, put it into practice, perhaps make a few mistakes (I did), get help where necessary (I did, thanks Boss!!), perfect your mistakes, learn from them and then succeed with the task completed correctly...smooth sailing right????  During today's steep learning curve the phones for work crashed, IT were in a frenzy, we in customer service were in a frenzy, customers were in a frenzy and 5.00pm Friday couldn't get here quick enough.  I left work feeling tired and frazzled, but strangely content...My mission to learn and take on new responsibilities and kick the brain up a notch, all achieved.  But with two children to still collect, bags to unpack etc etc, my moments of Zen still seemed miles away.

Like all humans, as I have gotten older I have begun to know myself better.  I now know that no matter what I do each day, one of the most important things that I can do for myself and my ever thinking and busy little mind is to somewhere, somehow find that little moment of peace and calm, to really take that moment, reflect on it, enjoy it and let my mind and body stop and relax!  Today, that moment came in the form of a Dachshund (or as we like to call them in our house "Snitzel Von Krumms").

My son and I went for a walk in the evening, happily walking and talking.  I still hadn't really slowed down and calmed my mind.  Walking and talking, walking and talking and then along came Snitzel!  He was cute, we stopped talking, smiled and looked.   Little legs trotting along, tail wagging, floppy ears jiggling, cute, cute, cute.  We whispered to each other on how cute he was and watching him walk on by.  Big smile on me, big smile on my little boys face  and a big smile on the owners face as he watched us smiling at his cute dog.  Simple happiness shared by 3 complete strangers and one happy little dog.  As I walked along, my son now further along on his scooter, I reflected on that quick moment of shared happiness, calmness and peace today wrapped up and presented in the form of a dog.