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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Quirks…. This could take a while…

Quirks

I love today’s, actually it’s yesterday’s Daily Prompt – quirks, the ones you love and the ones that you loathe. I love it because I myself am a bundle of quirks that at times leaves others smiling condescendingly. See the thing is, over the past few years I’ve come to a place where I accept and love the quirky things that come with the Sara package. When we can embrace our quirkiness instead of hiding it, wonderful things happen. We find others our own kind of quirky.

One of my hobbies/quirky attributes is my love of knitting, crochet and craft in general. Some think it’s quaint, old fashioned but definitely a quirk. Find some other crafters and you end up with a thriving craft group that meets once a month. True story. My heart sings when I gather with people who are the crafty kind of quirky.

Then there’s the quirky interests/fascinations/obsessions, ones that truly reveal that I never want to grow up. Superman is one of them, I love Superman so much that I wear these shoes. I also love Superman so much that some of my little friend’s also love Superman. Yes, one little friend also has Superman shoes. We’re pretty cool.

There’s many other quirks to add to my quirkiness: feeling the texture of clothes when I’m shopping; humming in public; talking to myself; my fascination with medical dramas and medical stuff in general which then leads to panic if I cough funny and my strange ability to either chat with anyone or absolute social awkwardness. I’ll stop now, this could take a while.

I guess the point of it all, my post on quirkiness, is that we all have them. Don’t hide who you are (unless you can’t use their/there/they’re or his/he’s properly, then change that. It’s one of my frustrating quirks – the grammar police within me). To finish, I’ll leave you with a thought from one of my favourite authors.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

Dr Seuss

Love,

Sara xo

Where Thoughts Are Made

Thoughts are a constant flow. Mostly a steadily flowing river and at times a torrential downpour. Cyclone like thought conditions prevail at times also. It can be difficult with a head full of thoughts to actually make head and tail of them. At first this was to be a photo of my shower head, or perhaps my pillow. Both are places where thoughts are made. I thought about it some more. These are places of inspiration and clear thinking and yet there is a better place.

When I smell the scent of salt water something within me becomes instantly alive and yet calm. Sitting on the beach surrounded by the hustle and bustle of people is where my mind slows down. Walking through the water my thoughts slow down enough to make sense of them. When the cyclone hits, it’s the safety of the beach that I seek out. It is the beach where my thoughts are made.

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

Honest

Honesty is the best policy has always been one of my most important values. I had it drilled into me at an early age that lies are terrible and that I must always tell the truth. I must have really taken this to heart, even not telling the whole story is lying and therefore bad. If asked a direct question, especially to my face, I am unable to lie. I did once, lie that is, and I then spewed. Literally. That’s how strongly honesty has been ingrained into who I am.  As I’ve grown up, I have had to learn that it’s ok not to tell everyone everything. Not everyone I know needs to know every detail about my life. At work if the boss or someone complains about something and it was me, I’ll fess up straight away.

Recently I was too honest too soon. I don’t regret much in life, things happen for a reason. I regret being too honest this time. Not the honesty, but in the timing. It’s hard when you can’t keep something to yourself because of that intrinsic part of who you are. This time, for my own health and wellbeing, I wish I’d been able to keep it to myself for a little bit longer. I wish I’d been selfish for a change. It’s been a rough couple of months and I wish that I had just waited a bit longer. To when I could deal with the fall out a bit better. To when my feet were back on the ground and I’d begun to find my center again. I still believe that honesty is the best policy, it’s the when and how that I need to be cautious of.

I wonder though, if in a few weeks or years, I’ll look back and realise that even this was meant to be. 

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

All Tied Up

*This is not a movie review, it’s some ramblings about my musings on life triggered by a movie. Also be ready for some generalisations! Feel free to argue with me after reading this post 🙂

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the new Les Miserables movie twice at the cinemas. Both times I was swept away by the story, the characters, the music and the raw emotional outpourings of the characters through song. For over two hours I was on an emotional roller coaster ride that I have rarely experienced on the big screen. As I have reflected on the movie, it is the pure, raw emotion that hits me to the core. As a melancholic introvert, I find raw emotion to be thrilling. Even when it’s Fantine at the depths of her despair. I have tried to think of another movie that has the same effect on me, yet I find none. Perhaps Baz Lurhmann’s Moulin Rouge comes close, another musical!

Some movie’s these days are superficial compared to the musicals of old. We’re left to figure out through dialogue, facial expression, body language, content and story line to know what is happening in the minds of the characters. Generally this is enough, we know what is happening and what they are thinking and feeling in general and we laugh and cry. Les Miserables takes it that one step further. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe’s acting was overwhelmingly……awesome. Awesome in the true meaning of the word. Throughout the movie the viewer is drawn into each character’s mind and inner turmoil. Songs like “I Dreamed a Dream“, (click to listen) are soliloquys that reveal what is happening within the person’s mind and soul. These moments bring us deeply into the movie and deeper into the character’s psyche. We experience the emotions powerfully as they are expressed eloquently through words and music. The human soul is displayed for all of us to see.

After watching it twice I have wondered so many things about emotion and it’s expression…

Were people more expressive in the old days? The impression that I get is that we’re more verbal and free with our emotions in this era. Yet at the same time most of us are all tied up. Sometimes I don’t actually know what I am feeling and sometimes I know but I can’t express it. Sometimes I know exactly what I feel and how to express it but don’t  for fear of being rejected for my highly emotional tendencies (the blessing and curse of an introvert). So many people are too tied up in trying to play the part of having it all together. We don’t speak of our emotions regularly, I don’t think many people would know how to.

Is that a modern day dilemma? Surely the literature and plays of older times expressed and revealed a person’s inner workings much more strongly than now. Think of Shakespeare, the Bronte Sisters and others. The arts have many functions in our world and one of them is to tell a story and take us on a journey. Paintings, movies, stories – they express and engage us in the human experience of emotions. A lot of blockbusters are action films where it’s all about saving the day and shooting the bad guys. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good action film! But in these it’s all about the special effects and people don’t get sad, they get mad and shoot some bad guys.

Les Miserables takes us on a ride through the rainbow of the human mind and emotions. It’s a musical of old that has highlighted to me how much we’ve actually “buttoned up” in our expression in both personal lives and within the movie world. It is incredibly refreshing to see the human heart and soul out there on the big screen, joyous, in love, broken, bent, despairing and touched by the grace of God.

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