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Posted in Writing

A sense of ponder…

I heard this morning that she passed away.

And although she was not known to me-a story owned by others, I found myself staring aimlessly at the floor. A floor strewn with dirty clothes and a families clutter, yet a floor so desperately insignificant.

The chill in the air iced my bare feet and darkened the room. It was quiet. With absolute deliberateness I grabbed a bean bag and a cup of hot tea and headed outside. I wanted to see the world in a different light. I wanted to shake my ponder-Why are some spared when others are drowning in tragedy?

 
There will never be an answer to that.

 
I threw the beanbag down on the tiles and collapsed into it. The warmth of the sun ran right through me. It was a comfort not felt for some time, as we are usually escaping the heat in the tropics. The sky was the bluest of blue. The birds were carrying on, and everything was perfect. So spectacularly perfect-and yet not so-you know?

 
The impossibility of righting the wrongs in this world can be overwhelming yet acceptance and gratitude help us navigate our way through.

Posted in Writing

When our Teenagers don’t want us anymore

Underneath the seemingly impenetrable teenage armour, a needy little human lies Dormant

They need us when they’re babies.

They need the comfort and security of our physical selves. They need to be told that Santa has presents for them if they’ve been good, and that the tooth fairy can carry enough gold coins in its pockets to cater for a whole city of toothless kids.

They need us to tuck them in tight so that the monsters don’t come, and they need us to cheer and cheer to an embarrassing level when they sprint down the 80 m grass running track at the school sports day. They need us to take their temperature and feed them ice cream when they’re sick, and they need us to carry them inside and put them to bed when they fall asleep in the car after a big night out.

They need us to wash their dirty little bodies, and ensure they brush away the 10 packets of wiz fizz they snuck in when you weren’t looking. We brag about them on social media and they don’t even care, and we catch up with their mums and compare teachers and reading levels. We truly believe they are amazingly motivated, special little humans that will never change.

And then one day they do…and then somehow, we feel we need THEM.

We need the comfort and security of seeing them lying safely in their beds and not walking the streets somewhere unhappy.

A hug might be asking a bit much, but we need them to at least make an effort to say goodnight so we feel like they remember who we are.

We  need them to at least pretend they enjoy Christmas for more than the 5 minutes that they’ve unwrapped a new phone, or some type of device that will take them away from us again.

We need them to not be indifferent to our  presence at sports days, and care just enough to at least tell us how they went. We need them to look over at us and wave with a smile, so we remember we are still their parent.

We need them to turn off their computer and say “Should we all do something together?”

To them, we are the person that feeds them, the taxi, the bank, the one who demands they tidy their room and the one who appears to be placed on this earth solely to ruin all their fun.

We need them to do their chores without having to literally put a bomb underneath their backsides every-single- time. They’re not naughty, just oblivious.

We need them to open their mouths and spit out some words that resemble a conversation, so that we can get to know the person they are becoming before they become it.

We are more careful on social media not to offend their sensitive little souls and we try not to like their posts in fear of embarrassing them.

We haven’t seen their mums for years and are not entirely sure who their teachers are.

We are required to learn a new language by the name of ‘Grunt’ if we  have any hope of communicating.

We attempt to feed them but the fridge always seems to be empty as they happily demolish everything you only bought 5 minutes ago…so we run away, again…to the supermarket only to be told when we return that they are “very sorry mum but I drank all the milk when you were out”

We need them to use the manners we spent so many years teaching them just so we know something sank in after all that energy spent, and then they forget, and we almost die in disbelief.

They don’t need us anymore…it would seem.

But they still do though don’t they?

They need us to keep going to their sports days even though they pretend they don’t want us there…because when they’re 40, they’ll wonder why we stopped.

They need us  to pretend that Santa still exists and the Tooth fairy is alive and well, and that the Easter bunny is as present as ever-even if they’re 15 and too grown up for it..because if we don’t do it, nobody will, and all connection with their childhood  magic will be gone from their lives. They need to see us sneaking around hiding eggs and putting out carrots even if they are clueless as to why we still do it, so that they know we are still in the game with them. So they look back when they’re older and say…”I remember when..”

They need us to continue bragging about them because it makes them feel strong and valued and confident and loved for who they are- The’ll squirm and whinge, but their strength of character will flourish.

We must keep buying them food. They are starving teenagers who will eat their way through all of our  food plans for the week, and force us to drive the country side to feed them more and more. They will still claim they are the most underfed beings on the planet. They love us because we feed them, but they won’t realise that, until they are one day stuck doing it themselves.

We need them to bond with us, but their definition of bonding and ours are totally different, so we both end up feeling we’re on different train tracks. This is when learning  ‘grunt’ proves very helpful.

Their rapid desire for independence makes it feel as if we are the last person they want to spend their time with, but we have to remember they are locked inside a suit of teenage armour, that we as parents will struggle to penetrate, and they as teenagers will struggle to free themselves from.

To them, we are a weird, old person, with no idea about life.

Their rejection is a game they don’t even know they are playing. A red herring, a trap, to see if we’re sticking around.

Our biggest mistake?

Assuming they need us less and withdrawing our attentions.

In actual fact, whether a baby or a teenager,

“…they need the comfort and security of your physical self. They need to be told that Santa has presents for them if they’ve been good, and that the tooth fairy can carry enough gold coins in its pockets to cater for a whole city of toothless kids.

They need you to tuck them in tight so that the monsters don’t come, and they need you to cheer and cheer to an embarrassing level when they sprint down the track at school sports day-They will remember your support of them.

They need you to take their temperature and feed them ice cream when they’re sick, and they need you to look after them when they’re over tired, and a totally disgusting, grumpy grot,  after a big weekend out…”

Baby…Teenager? Not that different really, when one thinks about it.

Posted in blogging, Daily muse, Deep, mindfullness, My mantra's, Writing

When the best thing to do is nothing.

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Sometimes, the only thing to do is nothing.

Park your emotions.

Put them on hold for a bit.

Shove them up on the top shelf until such a time that you can deal with them rationally.

In times of deep upset our ability to see the real story is severely hindered.

The bigger picture, is hidden under a huge pile of rubbish-stress, anger, confusion, resentment, disappointment, sadness and desperation.

This rubbish pile in the early stages is sometimes so heavy that any attempt to shift it will fail.

Each futile attempt to sort through it simply moves rubbish from one pile to another.

So when this happens,

park your emotions and wait.

Wait for the rubbish to slowly decompose, and in time,

it will be dust.

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Portion-Small mounds are easier to jump than mountains.

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Posted in Writing

Back to the beginning again

Sometimes I wonder why it takes me so long to realise when I’m on a good thing. I have a terrible habit of moving from one thing to the next, constantly exploring new options, only to revert back after a period of restlessness and uncertainty to what worked best for me. Perhaps it’s a result of my unsettled personality, or perhaps it was life’s plan for me from the start-to learn and grow and change, in order to fully appreciate my best fit.

The above paragraph could be applied to many things in my life, but tonight I am referring to this blog of mine-All of me.

There was a time I was writing often. I expressed my feelings in the form of stories, with no real structure or flow, just in the form of a mess of honesty and energy all thrown together onto paper to reflect the mood of my heart. Like a splash of a million drops of paint on a canvas, splattered in no particular order. Yet it was me…back then.

As time progressed though, my needs changed, my heart started to beat on its own with out the support of my writing, and this blog, all but faded away. I never realised it served as a crutch for my everyday survival, until I Re-read some of the words that I wrote, recently. I have grown, and my writing needs have changed, as have I.

Despite this, my desire to connect with like minded readers and writers is as strong as ever. I had forgotten how much warmth I received from fellow WordPress friends, and how important that was to my emotional strength.

Facebook has never left me, although it has often left me feeling empty and distant as the connection with readers disappeared somewhere underneath the mass of social media over kill. Friends left, and most became bored with what FB and its participants had to offer. Facebook has also evolved over time, together with its people, and still serves a valuable purpose for me, however its capacity to fulfill my needs, has dwindled.

I want to blog, and want to share and I want to feel and I want to connect. From now on, I will be posting my thoughts on this page. I will be interacting with my readers via this notebook, in a way that is now. In a way that is newly today.

I hope we can share stories in the future.

Warmly,

Me-from All of me

x

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Posted in Articles, Writing

Pressure, fatigue and burnout in the caring sector.

 
 It’s a tired health industry
 I love it when my human side sneaks out from behind the façade of

 

‘organiser extraordinaire’ or ‘multi-tasking I got it all together senior nurse’ or ‘mega capable whirlwind speedy gonzales who has 3 brains and ten arms’

 

who when the truth be told, is rarely able to achieve work satisfaction, who is always drowning in the demand and NEVER catching up, and who is so burnt out she can’t even remember when the flame was extinguished.

This crippling phenomenon is not exclusive to me-It is nursing, and medicine, and other health disciplines CONTINUOUSLY battling to provide a service with a dangerously low level of skilled staff.
Why are there so few skilled staff? Because they all leave. Because they are burnt out and over worked and under valued and disrespected by patients, by other equally stressed colleagues and by the health system as a whole.

There are those individuals who always make it work for themselves of course, but the large majority persevere through their battles not making them known in view of avoiding being a trouble maker, and are largely forgotten about. Those who have real issues with work/life/balance, with bullying, and with unfair treatment, but who have no voice.

Why? Because nobody has the time or the energy to help them.

What a tragedy it is to lose so many wonderfully experienced professionals. What a shame to those entering the health industry to have so few mentors from which to learn. Those that remain are often too tired and too stressed to give one more ounce of their being to a fresh new and excited student, and that’s the truth.

So what then is the problem and why can’t we fix it?

Economics? Poor communication between hospital big wigs and front line workers? Environmental factors? (Shift work and long physically demanding hours together with poor skill mix), or is it simply a case of working in a high pressure environment hour after hour, year after long year which in effect kicks longevity in the guts?

I guess it’s different for everyone… but something that’s true for us all, is that it ain’t easy.

 
 

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Posted in blogging, exercise, fitness, Life, Physical fitness, Sport, Writing

THE PHYSICAL BATTLE OF TRAINING- THROUGH MY EYES

THE PHYSICAL BATTLE OF TRAINING- THROUGH MY EYES

Featured Image- Tom Gersekowski

Late this afternoon, I went for a run as part of my training for the 70.3 in June. You know, I probably wouldn’t have done it, if I didn’t have to. It was humid, and hot, and I was tired for the simple reason that I am always tired. I am becoming quite bored with this excuse, but a valid one it is.

As I was pounding the pavement, I found myself watching the people on the esplanade. Little kids kicking balls with their folks, people walking their dogs, and others simply lying on the grass taking in the serenity. A little mirror in my head brought attention to the fact that for a second or two, I was wishing I was one of them. One of those people who appeared to be completely happy to sit still, and smile as the world happened around them.

I could feel the sweat dripping from my arms and legs and running down my face. My breathing was controlled, and my pace was steady, but my mind was wandering. It was jumping into the lagoon pool with all the tourists, it was walking along the sand with my puppy-who was sitting at home so desperate to go with me- it was reading a book on the grass under a sleepy palm tree and it was parked with my mouth permanently perched over the bubbler, hydrating me with the best tasting water in the world. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be far away from the heat and the thirst and the sore feet and the tweaking knee and the Garmin.

Oh the Garmin.

Having a Garmin watch is like having a spy attached to your wrist. Those little numbers on its screen have a habit of telling you when you are too slow. I can hear them shouting at me like a school teacher.

“You are not trying hard enough today. You may as well go and lie on the grass and watch the pelicans in the mudflats”

But my feet keep moving…like they always have. I often wonder why I don’t just give up and turn the dial down a few notches.

Perhaps it’s because last weekend I ran 9km in 41 minutes, and I smiled when my Garmin delivered the good news. Perhaps its because when I swim, I no longer have back ache like I used to. Perhaps it is because after a training session I can stack the Cadbury drinking chocolate into a cup and fill it with cold milk and devour its contents without worrying about the consequences…

Or perhaps it’s actually because I like it.

Despite the moans and groans, I must actually like it. I like conquering the discomfort in order to be a little better than I was yesterday, even if I’ll never be as good as some. Even if I can’t compete with those around me. Even if sometimes I want to throw in the towel because no matter what I do, I am slower than those I admire.

The thought of giving up on finding the ‘best of me’, makes me feel as if I am on a downhill slope, as if the best of me has been and gone. So I must pound the pavement. Because the truth is, I never want to let go of growth.

The best of who I am lies in tomorrow’s challenges, because that is how it is for me. And as long as my heart desires new experiences, there will forever be a reason to put one foot in front of the other.

I might be 43, but life ‘aint over yet baby.