An Open Apology

I don’t often make a big deal of apologising. If I’ve done something wrong, I like to fix it. Even if I don’t or didn’t realise I’d stuffed up, I like to put things right where I can.  For a while now I’ve known that I’ll need to make an apology, see it’s been an interesting 6 months. Or more than that really.

In late 2013 I moved house, had some wisdom teeth out, had a gum infection, had a weekend of anxiety/depression meltdown (due to being sick), had some more teeth out, prepared to go overseas, got my life in order and then found out I was pregnant and didn’t go overseas. Now, I’ll make this VERY clear, I’m not apologising for being pregnant.

My little Bug as I affectionately call him (yep, he’s a boy!), was a surprise. A life changing surprise. My first trimester was the hardest time of my life. Each day was a battle to keep food down, it felt like every time I moved I vomited or at least was attacked by waves of nausea. Then there was the emotional turmoil of a surprise pregnancy. I still can’t put into words that first few months.  It’s a haze of sickness and a retreat into myself. Implosion.

Over the past six months I have had very little to give, there hasn’t been anything left over. My energy has been focussed on getting through a day and getting through my shifts at work. With already depleted physical and mental/emotional capacities, work has taken most of what I had left. For the most part, I have not had the capacity to deal with interacting with other people even on a casual basis.

The emotional side of things has been incredibly tough. To step outside your faith and belief system and “stuff up” has immense ramifications to your state of mind and faith. Add to that facing life as a single mum and the reality of bringing a child into the world in this particular situation. Then there’s the “high risk” pregnancy label thrown in as well. There’s been a lot to process. There just hasn’t been space left in my head for anything or anyone else. That’s the best way to describe it.

It hasn’t been so much a depressive episode or phase, there  are qualities of that, but more a situation of being knocked over and having to find my feet again. It’s been a tough time as I’ve been acutely aware of not being able to do as much as I usually do. Relationships and other areas of my life have suffered from neglect. My house is a mess most days and this blog is sorely neglected.

As I look forward I am so pleased to know that I have started to find my feet. Or rather my feet have planted themselves again on the rock that is higher than I. I’m so very excited about the next season of life as a mother. As much as I struggle with change there is something refreshing and enlivening about your life being turned upside down. As I look forward I’m also aware that my capacity to “be there” and present in people’s lives is going to remain slightly diminished for a while. Soon I’ll have the needs of a child to attend to and he will always come first. My capacity to give has started to be restored but it is still much restricted. There just isn’t a whole lot of room in there to add others to it.

So I’m sorry.

For being distant.

For not “being there” in general and on any special occasions I may have missed.

For being rude or impatient.

For not giving as much of myself as I usually do – whether my time or my attention.

For not being my usual self.

I’m sorry for what has been and for the coming months of not “being there”.

I think about my people often. Know that my love and affection remains unchanged. Drop me a line to tell me about your life if you like, it’s a nice distraction from baby stuff!

Love,

Sara xo

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details Part 2

Another place that little Levi and I visited was the Australian National Maritime Museum. We went there for a “Mini Mariner‘s” session, an interactive tour for 2-5 year olds. If you’re heading to Sydney with kids, I highly recommend you check out their website and see what’s happening for kids. Levi and I had a whole lot of fun with the pirate themed hour.

Back to the point, on my way out of the museum, with Levi now fast asleep in the stroller, I stopped to watch the work of this man. He was crafting a replica ship. Simply amazing, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Love,

Sara xo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

This one is late. It’s a blinking obvious photo too. I’ve put the word in there. Wait though, there’s a story behind it.

First, the pictures!

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The story is this, I have moved around a LOT throughout my life. As a child my family moved about and I continued the habit through my early twenties. Fortunately I’ve slowed down over the past decade and I tend to settle in one place for at least 1-2 years. Finding a new home has not always been fun, at times it’s been exciting but other times it hasn’t been a choice that I made. There have probably been more times that I have been forced to move on than a choice in my hands.

When this photo challenge came up I was thrown into a lengthy discussion with myself (sanity is overrated!). What IS “home”? Where is MY home? If home is where my heart is, where is my heart? Is that really where my home is? Definitions of my home included bland words such as “dwelling” and “residence” but they also include words such as “refuge” and “place of safety”. I’ve always had a residence in which to live, but is that what a home is? To add further confusion to my home discussion, I have always sought refuge in other homes – those of friends and family. I tend to have 2-3 “second homes”  where I am comfortable, this of course is due to my relationship with the home makers there. At times my actual home of the time has not held safety or refuge and I have been more at home at my “second home”.

All of this has lead to a bit of messy thinking when it comes to “home”. I tend to live with the anticipation that I will be uprooted and forced to move again.  Despite the fact that I have a wonderful homely home that I live in, I will sometimes feel more at home at one of my second homes.  I will literally live with boxes unpacked and have a list of things to do in that home that never gets done.

Today, I am blessed. I live with a wonderful family who have embraced me with kindness, compassion and I have become a part of their family. It was thinking of this home concept that I’ve realised that  over the past 20 months I have grown deep roots into this home and family. God gave me a wonderful place to grow and a true home. I knew it, but I have had a deeper revelation that physically, emotionally and mentally I have been planted into this home.  Home is where I am planted, where He guides me to go. I bought these letters to remind me of that each and every day. I have a home, a refuge and safe place in this house and with this family. I just realised I have no boxes unpacked here and most of my “to do” list to organise my bedroom is done! That in itself powerfully reveals how much I have settled here.

No longer will I live with itchy, anxious feet, anticipating the certainty of change before it happens. God goes before me and with me, He provides my home for me.  I will not be living here forever, my physical home will change and yet I will create another home with unpacked boxes and to do lists completed. Perhaps, I will welcome others into my home and give them a safe place to be loved and treated with kindness.

Love,

Sara xo

Thirty Two Plus Two

32 + 2 followers! Again, I’m humbled and overwhelmed. Thanks to all 3shot_13450317422104 of you for following my musings, it’s so encouraging to have you all aboard the musings journey. I am excited about having so many along this blogging journey. I genuinely hope and pray that my blog brings light to your life. I’ve found that vulnerability and transparency are incredibly powerful in our own and others lives. Knowing that others struggle reminds me that I’m not alone. In honor of my 32 plus 2 followers, I’ll share a story about 32 with you.

Do you like my candles? I turned 32 in August last year and the actual day was one of disappointment. Most of my birthdays something happens, my counselor found that fascinating..hehehe.. This year a few things happened out of anyone’s control and my original plans went out the window. I had kept it all simple and low key to avoid any disappointment and I got it anyway. This just pushes all the low self worth buttons that I am trying to deal with.

The lead up to my birthday had been great, but my actual birthday half my guests couldn’t make it and my close friends had massive turmoil happening in their life. By the end of the night I was miserable, I had an amazing Superman cake made by my cousin but everyone was subdued and there were no candles. After going out for dinner we got home and I wandered if they were going to sing happy birthday. Everyone went about their business then I sulked. Not just went quiet, I went to my room and sat on the bed and sulked. I was “just changing into my PJ’s”. Slowly. There may or may not have been some tears.

Someone knocked after a bit and asked if we were going to do cake… “Nope, there’s no candles” I called through the door. I sulked some more. Why me? Why does it always happen on my birthday? Why can’t I just have one birthday that is fun? I’ve got an amazing cake but no one to enjoy it with…etc etc…I wandered out and they asked if I was ok. “Not really” I mumbled.

I don’t really remember the next bit, locked in my sulkiness. But then there was some banging and crashing from the kitchen and talking and laughing. Sulk, sulk, sulk went I. Next thing I know in comes two of the friends with a proud 32 brightly burning on my cake. Everyone sang happy birthday. I smiled, we all laughed and the mood was much lighter after that.

That zero turned into a two is the best candle I’ve ever had. These friends that I have are the best friends I’ve had. They probably thought I was being ridiculous over candles. Yet they knew it was important to me and they made me smile and feel special. Friends to walk with us on the journey of life is essential. My near friends that I drink tea with regularly and those that I only share a virtual cup of tea with, they are all important to me. Without them all, my mental health issues would be far worse. If anyone needs to share, an “ear” to listen, a virtual friend, always feel free to contact me.

Love,

Sara xo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

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Resolved. Having made a decision, I have set my mind to a task. The resolutions we make are the choices we make to make our life better. There’s so many jokes going around about New Years Resolutions not being met. They’re funny I must admit, yet at the start of each year I have that firm belief that it is a precious moment to move from. A chance to start again, a fresh slate. A change in digits can signify new beginnings.

I’ve been on a mad clear out at work and less so at home. My housemate laughed and said it must be my Scottish blood – not sure that I have any by the way. Other friends told me of their Scottish Mother who would clean the house from top to bottom before the first of January each year. It had to be done! Including the fire put out and the hearth cleaned, in the midst of winter while the snow lay on the ground. Brrr!!

What’s all this mean for me? I have two resolutions – to take better care of myself. That’s a boring but profound one that I may share another day. The other is to write. Blog, short stories, kids stories, novels,  journals, letters, emails… I will write until I can write no more.  As a child I would write for hours and hours. When I write my brain processes stuff, it creates and grinds away. I love to think and by writing I will constantly think and ponder. Writing makes my spirit soar. I fell into a groove of writing in 2012, blogging and started a novel in the NaNoWriMo in November. This is one of my favorite achievements of this past 12 months, of reclaiming my dreams to write and create. I have loved writing my other blog A Flutterby In Stitches, in which I share my knitting and now crochet projects. It started as a motivator to finish some projects and now I am enjoying sharing mine and other’s progress.

At the ending of one year and the beginning of the other, I will take this opportunity to urge myself forward. To clear out clutter in mind, spirit and my room.

Do you think resolutions are a joke? What are you resolved about?

Love,

Sara xo

p.s The lovely journal in the picture was a Christmas gift from my parents. It’s stunning! The pen is hand carved from Tasmanian wood. I bought it whilst on holiday there.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

shot_1355526314982I’ve been so busy, both with the festive season and with life. My boss is away and I’m being bossy and doing extra shifts. The past few weeks I have felt as if I work, eat, sleep and shop and that’s it! In amongst all of this I have been pondering this delicate photo challenge. I have photos of flowers and a few other delicate things that reflect delicate but I just wasn’t satisfied with them. I wanted something that creatively reflected delicacy. I also wanted to use some photos I’d taken of Christmas ornaments recently. I was driving along one day and I had this revelation. Christmas is delicate in so many ways.

In the past Christmas has been incredibly delicate for me personally. I have often had to work on Christmas day and have even spent a Christmas or two alone. It is a time where I have felt intensely alone and lonely which has deepened the depression that plagues my life at times.

Christmas is a delicate time for our family – personalities, issues, long standing difficulties, the wants and needs of 10 adults and 4 kids and the other families involved is complicated. Christmas is often preceded by arguments amongst sisters about where, what, when, who doesn’t love who, who travels most… the list goes on…. Delicate hearts and minds are pushed and prodded and wrestle with one another.  No one wins in the end.

This year, in my own delicate state, I am trying to focus on Christmas. For some that means family. For me, it means remembering why we celebrate Christmas and finding the joy and magic of Christmas that I once knew as a child. My heart smiles as I say that I have found some of it! Christmas lights, the Melbourne Town Hall display, Carols, the awe struck faces of Children, the generosity and love of friends around me and reminding myself to count my many blessings even when the negativity within tells me that I have nothing and no-one. I am not perfect, I still make choices that are in a word – stupid. I struggle each and every day to find joy, it is there but blinkers blind me from the truth.

Finally, I remember the delicate nature of Christ’s beginning as a man. He came for us beginning as a babe in Mary’s womb and then a fragile, tiny newborn. My good friend and house mate wrote a beautiful article on Christ as a baby – read it here

God bless you all during this Christmas season. If anyone is struggling with Christmas, feel free to comment or email me privately.

With Love

Sara xo

A Challenge or a Dream?

As a child, I would sit and write stories with a grey lead pencil, eraser and loose leaf paper. I was obsessed with little coloured folders that I’d file each story into. I’d write for hours. Teachers loved my stories and I won a competition at 13 for a short story. I dreamed of being a novelist before I left my teen years. 

But somehow I stopped writing. I guess I grew up. Or allowed rejection, life, a total lack of self worth and busyness get in the way. 

I stumbled across National Novel Writing Month this week and I’ve taken the plunge, signed up and cracked the 1,000 word mark (only 49,000 words to go!). I’m excited and nervous but enjoying the challenge. Will I write 50,000 by November 30? Probably not.

I’ve already won. A story has me entranced, a story that I have had whispering to me for a few years now. It consumes my thoughts. Imagination is coming alive again. I dream once again of a book with my name on it.

A challenge and a dream.