25 June 2013

Life's Good -- LG

It's not about having everything 
It's about being & living & pushing through & loving & giving & getting up to go again. It's about believing & seeing from a different perspective. It's about doing small things & hard things. It's about the actual grind of life & transforming the everyday numbness into the everyday moments. Fairy tales & fictitious stories are just that. Feel good loveliness but no substance of day to day real life. The way your life is portrayed to others can so often be a pretense, an outward appearance of having it all together, because who wants to look like you haven't made it or are struggling. But the truth be told we are all the same -- mere mortals who all struggle, some are just better actors at hiding it than others. Comparison with others is the greatest killer of hope. 
Hope that as a small seed there is a chance. Hope that even though its not like the others it's still ok. Hope that with what I have, who I am & giving it a go life will become the story of fulfillment without regrets. 


20 June 2013

Housework: Whose job?

Not long after we were married we meet a couple whose premise was, "If you are both working fulltime, then $20-$30 a week for sometime to clean your house is not much for the weekend relaxation & peace of mind it gives -- especially for the wife!"  We both thought this was a great idea & although only once in our lives so far have we done this, I must admit, it was really nice when it happened.
As you know I have been thinking a bit lately about productivity & the new role I find myself in as a stay at home Mum.  It is a role & job & I have heard often the classic -- "Mothering is a fulltime 24/7 job, you are a counsellor, teacher, nurse, taxi driver, you do this & that & whatever, lade da de da."  I dont disagree with that but at the same time it makes me cringe because it seems as though it comes from the need to justify your work & make yourself feel a bit better about a job that no one really likes to do.  I wonder if we have our thinking a bit out of whack on this one.
I read this article the other day "Strong marriages depend on dad's involvement with kids and chores."  I enjoyed what it had to say & got me thinking back to paying for a housekeeper if you are working fulltime.  I also was reflecting on another article " Motherhood is a calling & where your children rank"  and although I dont fully agree with everything in either articles it really made me wonder about how we view being a stay at home Mum.
Here's where I am heading...  My job used to be school teaching.  I would be at school from about 8-4 (approx) each day (or the days I worked).  I would sometimes have extra work to do but mostly my job fitted within those hours.  Before & after school my life consisted of pretty normal things such as grocery shopping, cooking & general living stuff.  I would also have hobbies, time with friends, volunteering in the community & down time relaxing.
Said no one ever!
Now I have changed careers -- I am now instead of a school teacher a mother.  I am with my child for about (at the moment) 8-10 or so hours a day (the rest she is sleeping) and in those hours I have differing tasks that need completing & stuff that needs to happen -- that is my job.  It does seem a lot longer hours than I am used to, but like any new job it takes awhile to adjust to & learn the ropes.  The rest of my life should still have the other things in it, like it used to.
My job is not to keep the house clean, or finish all the washing or make sure the loo is cleaned & baking is in the tin -- these are things that I do because it is part of my general living stuff.  If my fulltime job (being a Mum) gets in the way of these things, then maybe we need to look at hiring some one for a few hours a week.
Maybe for some this is no big deal -- but for me this is a new way of thinking, a revelation that has changed the way I perceive what I do.  I hate cleaning & would never voluntarily become a cleaner -- and being a stay at home Mum is not that -- I am a mother -- that is my role/job.  I find this rather freeing & helps me to see my day in a different light.  And just in case you are wondering -- I love my new job :-)
Well that's what I reckon -- what do you think?


16 June 2013

Eclectic Links

Another lot of random links coming your way.
With cleaning out my closet & selling extra stuff around the house, it seems to have a "de-clutter" theme this week!

1.  Living with less
Getting more stuff means you need more stuff & more problems -- this guy learnt this in an interesting way!

2.  Getting rid of 6 things
Keeping on this same topic, this article has some interesting points -- not sure if I could get rid of these 6 things but how did we ever live without these only about 10 years ago??

3.  The Taco is Amazing
Another interesting post from Jamie -- we often need to loosen our grip on life -- I like that! :-)

4.  I don't wait anymore
Interesting angle on purity... "When I was 16, I got a purity ring.  And when I was 25, I took it off."  

5.  Book Depository -- free delivery worldwide!
I am an affiliate of the Book Depository, so if you are thinking about buying any books online -- they are having a big sale this coming week & if you click through to their site from this blog then whatever you purchase gives me a commission! That's nice of you -- thanks :-)

6.  Bible v Cellphone
I stole this from someone's status on Facebook, because I thought it was really good: 
Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone? 
What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? 
What if we flipped through it several time a day? 
What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text? 
What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we used it when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of emergency?
This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think 'where are my priorities?' And no dropped calls!

7.  Three things I would like to make... & one crazy video
These are yummy!

Very cool fire pit :-)

I think I might have to learn to crochet


14 June 2013

Today's score

Well today's productivity score (see last post for reference) would probably be a 4/10 based on external factors! After a 3:30am wakeup that never really ended (unusual fro Gabriella) there has not been a lot of energy or excitement about today! On my to-do list was the sheets, baby's washing, finish painting the bookcase, plunket visit & make more of baby's food -- of which I have accomplished two!
I am wondering if our minds/society/education & schooling have us so hard wired into extrinsic or external benefits.  I do a job because I get paid or because someone can notice it & pat me on the back.  Doing stuff for only intrinsic or long term gain is that much harder to get motivated for.
I'm still in the process of trying to figure out a new way of scoring productivity -- any ideas?  
Also thought about what our society & culture has as expectations toward mothers -- I am interested in studying this a bit more as to why so many mothers I have talked to over the space of my adult life & how many blogs & facebook followers that are mothers who struggle with the baby/toddler years & being "stuck at home."  Has this been the case for other generations & cultures? What do we as a community & culture expect that produces these frustrations?
On the video I blogged yesterday talked about feeling isolated.  Yesterday for me I spent the day with people coming in & out of our home, feeding & hosting them, chilling around the fire (or heating up actually) and just spending some good quality time.  It felt good and although I wouldnt want that all day every day, I wonder if we as a society have walled ourselves off from normal "village" life.  Part of me would love the community & relationships that develop from living in a commune, marae, village or extended family situation.
Be interested in your thoughts...leave a comment if you wish :-)

While you are thinking about it have a look at this for a laugh


13 June 2013

The productivity curse

There is no preparation for being a stay at home Mum.  It is something I have always wanted to be & so thankful that I can now be one.  But the reality is so very different from the ideal (another post brewing on this particular topic -- watch this space).
I have at other times in my life not been able to get a job, or only worked part-time but all of these have been short-lived & I have filled the time in many differing ways.
I'm not saying that now I am a stay at home Mum that I have oodles (love that word) of time on my hands, but I do find myself stuck in a "productivity" mindset.  I have always been a " to do list" kind of person, so nothing has changed there, but now that I am scraping the barrel on my list & the jobs are getting less & less interesting, challenging, or desirable (ie stuff I just keep putting off but needs to be done -- such as sorting out the photo albums!) my days are getting to become rather routine & boring!
Here's a great video that addresses all of that...
I love to be creative, to be busy & do stuff.  I love to re-engineer situations & make chaos into order.  This satisfies me & makes me feel "productive." If my day consists of washing, fiddling on the computer, cooking, feeding & not much else (often because I don't feel like doing much else) then I have to deal with my thought processes of not being productive.  Maybe this is an overly strong work ethic (hmm on second thoughts, I don't think I have that disease!) or the way I was bought up (idle hands create mischief) or a case of listening to myself instead of talking to myself, but maybe also I need to define what "productive" is so the guilts don't kick in & each day can be a productive day for me.


  [proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee, prod-uhk‐]  Show IPA
the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services: The productivity of the group's effort surprised everyone.
Economics the rate at which goods and services having exchange value are brought forth or producedProductivity increased dramatically last year.   

When I use this definition I don't feel like most days are productive.  When I searched the internet & found "7 drivers of workplace productivity"  the seventh one really struck a chord with me.  It was "measuring what matters."  Re-defining productive as measuring what matters I think is a great revelation to help me see each day as productive.
So what does matter?
1.  My baby is feed, happy, loved, trained, clean, extended, provided for & safe.
2.  Our home is clean, happy, welcoming, mostly tidy, warm & safe.
3.  Our marriage is feed, nurtured, not taken for granted & fun.
4.  I have some creative outlets that extend my brain & I have some thing to show for it.

I dunno, have I missed something?  Am I on the right track?  Will this redefinition actually help me to see things in a different light?  Can I turn this into a to-do list so I can visually cross things off?

Does productivity need to be measured in "what did you do today?"  Do productive things show up over time rather than in day increments?  Does productivity have to be seen?

 Is life made up of doing small things & hard things?

7 June 2013

Eclectic Links

1.  Was interested in reading this column in our local paper this week -- the breakfast (or food in schools) debate has me in two minds & I thought this guy addressed it well.  It also got me thinking about maybe re-training as a social worker...I know I think about re-training as something every year but ya never know...

2.  I have spent a bit of time working on the camp website updating the banner & logo and style.  I'm not yet 100% happy with it, but it is lots better than it was.  You can check it out here...www.lonsdalechildren.blogspot.com 

3.  I fell down the stairs on Monday -- was really sore -- but thankfully only hurt my ankle & got a huge bruise on my thigh!  Been putting RealDealHurtCream on it & has started to heal up really well.  Could have been so much worse.
4.  This is a fascinating article about what the Finnish government give each expecting mother.  It would be cool to plot the contents in image form & discuss the ideology over time.  

5.  McDonalds has failed in Bolivia because their idea of food is that it is slowly & lovingly made! Awesome :-)

6. Colin Meads who received a Queens Bday honour offers young 5 life lessons.  I especially like his first & last one -- some good advice.  

7.  A few funny you tube videos to finish the week off...
NZ TV Advertisement featuring one of my students from last year
Makes you think about "short term missions" Helping Africa?


5 June 2013

My thoughts

Today I look back & choose thankfulness...
Gods faithfulness & love
The direction & choices my life has taken
My life partner -- our children
Gods blessing
Our health & wealth
Passion & vision

I look forward & choose increase...
In Gods work
In our family
In our influence -- salt & light
In our intentional living 
In our marriage 
In the impossible 

I pause now to enjoy the small things that are the sum of fruitfulness...

For its in the little parts, the moments, the every day mundane things that our course is continually set, our attitude developed & sails trimmed as we journey through life.
Choosing to pause & enjoy the small things which are the sum of fruitfulness, rather than looking for the next thing or thrill -- life is good NOW!
In all of our insignificance, we & all we do plays a significant part in the whole picture -- life in PERSPECTIVE. 
We build precept upon precept & day upon day as we choose. Each time the choice makes a mark & moves us more toward the outcome -- life is INTENTIONAL. 
Choose the outcome but also choose each day to live in the light of the goal. With both things held in tension the small affects the big & the big affects the small. Little becomes big, big is broken down into little. All of it is a choice through which the impossible can be achieved. 
Life is a CHOICE -- to enjoy & make the most of :-)

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." -- Robert Brault