Thoughts on life

Hidden doors

I'm driving my son to work, well technically he's driving, but being on his L (learner) plates I still need to accompany him to supervise.

We're driving down a road we've travelled on many, many, many times as it's a main road that runs from our house to the city, work and uni (did I mention…many times??)

As we pulled up at the red light, my head was turned to the left, daydreaming a bit and people watching as I often do…(oh, don't worry…my son is "this close" to getting his licence and a very competent driver) when I noticed a new, tiny alley way splitting the familiar shops in two.

The cutest little narrow walkway that linked the main road to the side street behind.

It was actually jarring

WHAT? Where in the hell did that come from??!

Honestly I've lived in this city for 40 years, I've driven down (or been driven down) this road hundreds of times. Heck, I've even walked down this road and right past this section.

So when did this Harry Potter portal suddenly appear?

Truth

The alley wasn't new. Nope, it's always been there…

But I've never seen it
Because I've never actually looked

I just see the same things I always see…each and every time I travel this road

The things I expect to see

Which got me thinking…

What else aren't I seeing?
What hidden alleys, paths and doors am I missing, as I travel down the road of my life only seeing what I expect to see…what I plan to see.

If I started paying more attention and looked a little more closely to the world framing my road…could I actually find things, people, thoughts and feelings that I didn't know existed?

That I wasn't expecting

Travel the same roads if you must
Daydream all you want…

But don't forget to pay attention from time to time

You never know what you'll find

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family, humour, Thoughts on life

Boiling point

I’m not the world’s most patient person. 

Not even close 

Barking dogs in my street annoy me, I get angry when I hear cars being “revved” unnecessarily in my neighbors driveways

I’m trying to relax to my Chillout Lounge Ambience megamix, thank you very much…

and don’t even get me started on my neighbours late night parties with his Doov Doov mus- no, noise (seriously mate, that’s NOT music!) pounding through my walls til 4am!!

I don’t like noise unless it’s my own. I especially don’t like my neighbours noise.

Okay, perhaps I just don’t like my neighbours

which is weird – seeing as I actually married one – but that’s a whole other story…

Anyway, the house next door always emits strange sounds. It is old, and extremely close to our fence line, which also happens to sit along my bead head 

like, literally. 

Our bedroom wall is their back fence

When they walk through their house it’s like elephants on parade. When they slam doors it gives me whiplash. And when they run through their back yard it’s like the whole damn zoo is charging.

At my head

While I’m trying to sleep

Did I mention I don’t have much patience??

They always seem to be up late

Not always partying with late music (which is a shame, as at least I could get the cops sympathy on that one)

No…just living

late

…and LOUD

In fact, it almost seems like they deliberately stay quiet, until just before I’m about to go to bed.

I’ve even considered moving, because – seriously – how do you have that kind of conflict resolution conversation?

Ummm, excuse me mate, would you mind terribly ummm – not walking, using your doors or living? Cheers, thanks, oh, and while I’m here can I borrow some sugar?”

Yeah….right!

But the other day I found sweet salvation

Sitting in the lounge quite late at night, I was rejoicing in the realisation that it had finally gone quiet next door and I could, perhaps, actually go to bed and get some sleep before the dawn chorus woke me (oh I forgot to mention…not only are they late night party animals with no taste in music…they also happen to be tradies who develop elephantisis at 5am as well)

With everyone else in my house either in bed or preparing for said activity, the house went deathly quiet as soon as I switched off the TV

Tick

tick

Tick

That’s when I heard it…
The most beautiful sound in the world!

The most God awful rattling, gurgling, popping, wheezing and just plain ANNOYING sound I’d ever had the pleasure of hearing…

And it was coming from my house.

From the side of my house where noisy neighbours live..

From very, very close to the house where I assumed my dear neighbours would now be peacefully slumbering…

Hallelujah!!!

It turns out we own a defective, loud and just plain irritatingly NOISY hot water system

One that could easily wake the neighbours, their dogs and quite possibly the elephants too…

             * * *

Almost midnight…

Time to jump in the shower!

Thoughts on life

Fear is easy

“what if I fall? Oh but my darling what if you fly?”

It’s easy to be scared

Embracing the new, leaving the old…learning to find yourself and starting again, we’ve all been there (maybe right at this moment) and let’s face it, it sucks

It’s SCARY

It calls upon relying on a strength we may not remember, fully believe or possibly even know we possess…

It’s something we are all born with but sadly many lose somewhere along the way

It’s the very thing that bonds us with caregivers and binds us to life…

trust

The simple yet elusive act of believing we are safe and that the future is too…

It’s a big word despite its minimal letters. 

Those two little constenants surrounding “you” and book ended by two humble and well-worn “t’s” is what we need to believe the next step is coming…even though we’ve lost sight of the ladder

What are we so afraid of?

Afraid to fail. Afraid to fall. Afraid of not knowing. Afraid of making the wrong choice. Afraid to be in the void. Afraid of rejection and afraid of being afraid…

But haven’t we been there before? 

Think about it…before we were old enough to be capable of questioning outcomes we believed in our “selves”. We trusted our journeys, followed our little hearts where they led us, enjoying the adventure of discovering what we liked, who we were and what made our hearts sing (or dance!)

We didn’t chastise or question ourselves if our favourite colour changed from green to yellow, our preference for playing soccer turned to football or we decided we simply preferred English to Math.

We trusted our instincts and our choices, trusted the path we were finding ourselves on and believing with childlike innocence that it would lead us to our future selves…one day

What if we still allowed ourselves this perspective on new beginnings?

Saw ourselves not as adults who question and worry, adults who are afraid to “start again” but instead as children who are still on our trusted journey, which is bound to change but which we still allow ourselves to be simply and happily on regardless!

What if we think of ourselves in this way?
…it actually isn’t easier to be afraid…it’s in fact much more natural and effortless to trust.

To continue on the path we’ve always been walking…allowing the wisdom of adulthood to help, not hinder, the journey.

But, what if I fall???

“Oh but my darling…

…what if you FLY!!”

family, life

Love….of a different kind

An amazing thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been wanting to write it down ever since but wasn’t sure if I should…

Let me start by saying I don’t believe in ghosts. At least…I don’t think I do.

I think I believe in spirits…well…let’s just say I’m getting more used to the idea as I get older

But I DO believe in love

* * *
A text msg to my sister was not answered as fast as usual.
Knowing she was working through some differences with other family members I wondered if I’d said or done something wrong…

Doubt rising, worry filling in the blanks, I feared the worst

The whole day passed and the reply finally came back.
Colder than normal and in a strangers “voice” it confirmed my suspicions.

All night and the next morning I grappled with the most natural of human instincts…fight or run (in other words, hide and avoid dealing with the conflict my brain was inventing)

I knew I needed to call. I knew I’d done nothing wrong.

But I also didn’t know what was going on…all I knew that there was a massive disconnect in my family that I hadn’t been able to fix…and I feared it was about to get worse.

Fear. Worry. Doubt. Pain. Repressed “stuff” (we all have it…)

I felt numb

Then, for some strange reason, driving to work, I saw my Nans face in my mind. The brevity of time spent with her before she passed, did nothing to minimise the love I still felt for her.

Love. Family. Connection. Life

I found myself clinging to this feeling.
I felt my heart grow with a fullness of warmth and light.
I realised then, that all my efforts to stay distant and avoid possible conflict wasn’t actually the answer, but I just couldn’t get past all the negativity that had settled into my bones…

So I sent all that love outwards into the universe and said

“I need your help Nan. Our family needs your help. You’ve done it once before…(I know it was you and Grandad who did it last time!) please help fix our family….”

I arrived at work, went about my day, called my sister, had a really good talk, reconnected, cried a bit, laughed a lot and then went to my dance lesson….filled with a newfound optimism that my family would, in fact, be okay!

* * *

Driving home two hours later I did what I always did while driving…singing along to very loud music I had my very own little in-car party.

Somewhere in between “Livin La Vida Loca” and a Coldplay song I can’t quite remember….

…I saw her

I stopped singing.
Stopped breathing.
I wondered briefly whether I’d been thinking about her without realising it?
(It was like she was there)

Then it hit me.

A smile that came from somewhere surreal, filled my face without effort.

Goosebumps ran up and down my arms, though I was feeling anything but cold…

“Oh…thanks, Nan…” I whispered

crap I say, life

How dare you call me beautiful!

“…I’m so beautiful!”
“Look, Mummy….I can do it!”
“I did it, all by myself!”
“Oops! Try again….”

Ever notice how little kids talk? The way they so naturally and effortlessly praise themselves…positively affirming their own efforts, appearance and even their failures?

The sheer joy they possess, finding out their own capabilities…learning new things and finding out “who” they are. Pride and self-validation go hand in hand. As they stumble along the path of their tiny little lives, mistakes are simply brushed off, so confident are they in knowing that they can give it another go…and not feel a failure just because they have (technically) failed.

When they look in the mirror, they see perfection. When someone says “what a pretty dress!” Or “aren’t you a good swimmer?” they don’t miss a beat. They don’t have to think, or self analyse, or convince themselves it would be a good idea to agree. They just say “I know…”

I’m so jealous.

I can hardly remember a time when that kind of self love and self-acceptance was the voice I lived with. I am a confident person, I feel good about myself most of the time and I don’t think I’m that unattractive…and yet….there is still that voice….

You’re agreeing, aren’t you?

Yes. It’s an adult curse…we reach a certain age (6, 7, maybe 8, I don’t know) and we just become the most destructive, sadistic bastards you could ever imagine.

“I can do it!” becomes “I can’t/shouldn’t/don’t know how…”

“I did it!” gets felt momentarily, but quickly unravelled by thoughts of “it wasn’t that hard anyway” or “I could have done it better”

“I’m beautiful” turns into “I wish I looked like Miranda Kerr…”

This is crazy!! We actually hate ourselves…

So much so that whenever we are given a genuine compliment, we do our damnedest to convince them that they are wrong!

“Oh, this old thing?? It’s soooo old/only cost $5/makes me look fat”
“Trust me….you wouldn’t say that if you saw me before I’ve had my morning coffee…”
“It’s probably the lighting”

Why do we hate ourselves so much?
Why do we sabotage our own efforts, with critisim, self-doubt and “worse case” predictions?
Why can’t we lovingly talk to ourselves without fear it will make us appear conceited.

Why shouldn’t we feel beautiful…
Why shouldn’t we expect to do well?
And why shouldn’t we feel jump out of our skins happy-proud when we do…

The worst thing is we fill our lives with so many questions…and stop using exclamation marks.

it’s simply not good enough

So….guess what?

“I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!!!
And so are you 😊

… please feel free to agree…

I want so desperately to say

“I know”

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Poetry, Uncategorized

Built by thoughts controlling

I see you holding onto your fear, cradling it in trembling hands, not wanting to know it, yet unable to let it go…

I hear you making plans. Bigger, better, faster, more. Distraction from the quiet within…

I feel your relief
every
tick
of
the
clock
that
brings
no
change

No discomfort
No pain

See you still within your walls of safety, built by thoughts controlling

who and what is allowed inside

Breathing not, lest the walls collapse.

Holding tight
holding on

Shallow thoughts

Moving not
Changing not

Shallow breath

Feeling safe
Being safe
Needing safe

* * *

But control is a lie you choose to believe
For fate will one day have it’s way…

We control nothing in the end

With the next turn of the hand bad news may come

Will come

What if the walls were to crumble, under the sheer weight of it

…if one on the outside was suddenly gone, just as you find you need them there…

And the quiet within became so loud, that the whole world could hear?

the hands unable to turn back
the cries contained no more
control surrendered

No distraction great enough to ignore the unexpected gasp pulling the breath from your lips…

deep thoughts filling empty lungs

fear slipping from futile fist…

…as your pain finds it’s way home

life

Conversations with God

I suddenly felt out of place standing over him….displaying a superiority that I didn’t intend….

When he had called out to me, strutting past in my heels, asking if I could spare some change for a “sexy homeless man”, something made me stop.

Taking in his shabby clothes and young but aged face I considered dropping a 2 dollar coin into the dirty hat to make a gold
quartet, but I simply said “why are you homeless?”

And although his position hardly granted him the right to care that I asked, I felt compelled to add “if you don’t mind me asking…”

He didn’t, as it turned out

For half an hour painful tears and raucous laughter alternated as he confided stories of a painful childhood….why he couldn’t find a job…how “love” is what’s needed to save the world….how he walked all day once, just to get away from how bad his feelings were, why he didn’t belong at the halfway house (full of druggies and alcoholics)…how his heart was so full….insensitive parents who just didn’t “get him”….judgement from society….and he also told me about his psychic abilities…..

“I help strangers who stop to talk to me. I know they are sad and I ask them why. They can’t believe I know…that I feel their pain….I tell them how to fix it and they think I’m God”

I realised then, that I was still standing there, on the sidewalk…looking down on him, while others stared and I suddenly felt out of place.

So I crouched down beside him, asked him his name, and gave him mine. I don’t know whose hand came out first, but they met in the middle.

In the space between us that was neither mine nor his.

He grasped my hand and it lasted longer than I expected, longer than it should have felt comfortable…yet it felt absolutely necessary.

I told him he was destined for much more than this. That his heart was indeed full, and he needed to shine his light on the world.

He told me to stay beautiful….

* * *

I returned home at the end of the day, to a hot shower and a bowl of pasta, glass of red wine and my favourite tv shows on the big screen tv….

As I lay in bed, soft pillow under my weary head, the loving weight of my husbands arm across my body, I couldn’t help but think about all those homeless people…somewhere out there….trying to keep warm, hungry perhaps…afraid, lost, frustrated by their struggle and, most certainly, all alone.

And I wondered where God was tonight….