Why Blog? And why a whole new blog?

Getting back to blogging has been something I’ve thought about doing for a while but I kept telling myself I had nothing to say, nobody to say it to and no time to say it. Then I realised that these are just stories I tell myself and I can do whatever the hell I like! One of the main reasons I’ve decided to start writing again is because I like the feeling of getting my thoughts out of my head and having someone validate them or challenge them or chime in with their own thoughts/feelings/ideas. I know that those are the reason I log in and out of Instagram, because I use it as a place to download my thoughts ( and share a shitload of photos of food that nobody really needs to see) and then I get uncomfortable with the amount of time I spend there or how easily I reach for it when I’m bored, lonely, need an escape. So then I dug a little deeper to try to figure out why I need that and over the weekend the answer came.

As a child and into my teenage years I kept a diary, writing little daily tidbits and then as the years went on I used to to poor my thoughts out onto the pages. It was helpful, cathartic. When I had my first baby (two weeks before my 21st birthday) I tried to keep writing but I’d lost my time, my headspace and in a way I’d replaced my journal with my mothers group. These women were my touch stones for the first 7 years of motherhood. We caught up all the time, in person and over the phone ( this was the early 2000’s, phone calls were still a thing!). We shared more than just kids born within the same month, we shared our whole lives.

Then we moved across the country. I lost my tribe. I tried so hard to find new friends when I first moved here but man, the woman were CLIQUEY! I had my best friend from high school and that was it. Poor Amy, she was my solitary friend but she never complained about having to shoulder my constant word vomit, pretty sure she’s used to as we’ve been friends since we were in year 8! Then for the first time since becoming a mum I had a full time job. I’d worked casual jobs since having kids so was lucky to still have time to see my friends. Working 40 hours a week does not leave much time for making new friendships. Eventually I became friends with the women I worked with but they didn’t have kids and were much younger than me so it wasn’t really the same. Then I made some friends thanks to the school P&C- yay me!- friends with kids and similar interests and I felt better. Much better!

Fast forward a few years and I switched jobs. Suddenly I wasn’t interacting with people as much and that meant less chatting which meant less opportunity to download. Then I had some more kids so was home a lot on my own ( husband used to do 4:1 FIFO so not much adult interaction was happening), I was getting NO sleep and I think I kinda lost my mind a little. Seriously, I look back now and think I may have been a little depressed and A LOT tired. I cried a lot. I lost myself but also found myself too. And this is where Instagram became my lifeline. I felt like I was connecting with people, sharing with people but it was through my phone and not in my kitchen or the local park like it was all those years ago. Oh, I also started a blog for a little while. How the hell I managed to write while existing on 3 hours sleep and solo parenting 4 kids between the ages of 14 years and 4 months I’ll never know.

You see, I’m a people person. I LOVE people. I love talking with people, listening to people, laughing with people. People are important to me. I don’t need to be surrounded by lots of people but I really need a core group friends and I’m lucky, I’ve got 5 super great friends. I love them all so much but 2 live across the other side of the country and the rest of us are so busy working, mum-ing, wife-ing while also trying to do normal life stuff we just don’t get to see each other very often at all. So online becomes the place we go to make sure we know what’s happening. It’s where I go when I need to vent or share or just talk shit. I need a place for all the stuff that dances around my head during the day and at 2.43am.

So here I am with a shiny new blog. I did think about going back to She Who Rambles but I just didn’t feel like that was the right place. Times have changed. And maybe I have too. Plus, I bloody love starting a new project! Why The Back Fence? Because as teenagers Amy and I used to call each other out to our back fence to talk. It’s where me and my neighbour Brooke chat as I hang the washing out and she waters her garden as our kids play. It’s where, in our first home, our elderly neighbours would stick their heads over to say hi, pass a bottle of home made ginger beer and pass me gardenias from their bush. I want this to become the place I can share stuff with people who are like me, who need connection and conversation but life has gotten FULL so finding the time to have those real life chats doesn’t always happen as often as we’d like.

I don’t know what this place will be, probably just an extension of the stuff I share on Instagram with more words. I like words more than pictures so don’t come looking for shiny photos OK? Just come if you like words, this is going to be the place for words

xxx

Some Fun Music And a Story About Friendship

Once a year my friend Taryn has us, (us is me & Kaz, some years there’s been others but we are the OG crew, the die hard music lovers that look forward to this day every January) over to her house so we can spend the day listening to Triple J’s Hottest 100. We’ve been doing it for quite a few years now & it’s one of my very favourite days of the year. We start texting each other at 9am when the countdown begins & the texting doesn’t stop until Kaz & I arrive at Taryns, food & drinks in hand, at around 11am. From there we sit, swim, talk music, discus life, eat & generally have the best time ever. Hours spent with good friends, listening to great music & laughing-what’s not to love! The school P&C brought us together but it was music, our love of 90’s grunge/alternative music & our devotion to Triple J (even though we are no longer there target audience) that made us say ” you are my people!”. After nearly a decade of friendship we have way more than the same taste in music in common but today, Hottest 100 Day, is OUR day.

So I thought I’d share two playlist with you. The first is my shortlist, the one that I took my top 10 from ( I’ll post a photo of my final 10 in case you’re interested in knowing what made my final vote) & the second is a playlist that has mine, Taryn, Kaz, Col ( Taryn’s husband and also an OG Hottest 100 crew member & has stellar taste in music ) & Nathan’s ( Nathan is Taryn & Col’s eldest son who has been raised right & knows good music!) top songs. We had some over laps in our choices so that’s why there isn’t 50 songs in the list. This is a GREAT playlist with a real good mix of songs. I hope you like it!

And for the record, all of Kaz’s songs & 8 of Taryn’s were in the top 100 I got bloody 4, my worst polling ever! I think Col & Nath were at 4 too but they weren’t as outraged as I was. It’s not a competition between us, no prizes or anything (that’s changing next year. The four of us have come up with new thing starting next year & we are forcing Kaz’s eldest to vote because he had lots of opinions today but unless you vote your options mean nothing. It’s the rules )but it’s always good when your songs poll well. I stand by my song choices though, they are EXCELLENT songs that kept me happy for all of 2019.
X

Is Everyone Else Lonely or Is It Just Me?

Last Sunday I went to see Louis Theroux. It was great. Tim & I love Louis (we call him Louis Thux) & have spent many a night watching his shows but Tim opted to stay home with the kids while I went to watch Louis chat with Julia Zehmiro ( FAVE!). I asked some friends but nobody was available so I went solo & from the few thousand people there I think I was the only solo audience member. Look, I didn’t check out every single person to see if they were with someone but everyone that I could see was with one or more people. It was fine but also a little weird but mostly I wasn’t bothered by it. It’s a new thing I’m learning to do, to go to the thing on my own.

I enjoy time on my own, I really do. I come from a big family so when I moved out at 18 I moved out by myself & I thought it was bliss. All that quiet! Now I have kinda big family too ( I’m never sure if 4 kids is classed as a big family or not? I was one of six, that’s big to me) I also enjoy some time where nobody wants me for anything & I have some space to myself. But not for too long. My sense of self is firmly tied up in being a mum & wife so I feel slightly untethered if they aren’t around me for any lengthy period. Plus, I like people. I’m a people person. But what I have noticed is that I am lonely even though I have this big family & some solid friends. Being alone & feeling lonely are two different things & I am most definitely lonely.

When I told Tim that I was lonely he said he thought it was because we are at a different stage of life to our friends. We went back & had a second lot of kids well after everyone else had stopped having kids. But the funny thing is, we also had our first lot of kids well before anyone had their kids too. We’ve never been on the same parenting page as those around us. And he said everyone is just trying hard to get on with all the things life demands that unfortunately friendships take a backseat for most people most of the time. And those things are all true. He is right. We are all doing our best to give the time to things that need the time.

Somewhere in the last few years my friendship burner has been turned impossibly low. And I don’t think it’s my fault or my friends fault because they are great, I love them a lot & I like to think I’m a pretty great friend too. I certainly try to be. But somewhere in the mess of becoming a legit grown-up, parent of 4, working-out-of-the-home lady I’ve stopped seeing friends on a regular basis. And it’s made me lonely.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened but I don’t think I’m the only one whose work & family take up so much time that seeing friends, friends who live no more than 5 minutes away, has become something that happens once every 6, 7 or even 8 weeks! Is that normal? That’s a proper question, I’m properly curious as to how often you see your friends? If it’s normal maybe I’m worrying about nothing. But it doesn’t feel normal to me.

I know I’ll sound 87 when I say I honestly think social media has had an impact on the way we interact with each other. Seeing status updates & photos everyday of our friends lives makes us feel connected but are we really? Is tapping a love heart the same as picking up the phone? Is me writing this blog post the same as sitting in front of a friend pouring my heart out? Kinda? It’s weird right because if you’ve got young teenagers you’re probably familiar with the phrase “get off your phone/game & go see your friends in person!” (Don’t worry, as they get older you can’t keep them in the house, they are out with their mates ALLLLLLLL the time. It’s nice.) But I feel like we, us grown ass adults, are guilty of it too. I know I am. I know that after a day of work, kid wrangling, dinner cooking, next day prepping the last thing I’ll probably do is make a call to my friend for a half hour chat. And come the weekend, if I’ve spent all week at work & hauling my kids to school, to sport, to work, those two days are probably going to be spent grocery shopping, cleaning, doing something with my family that’s a little bit fun or lying on the couch trying to catch my breath. Where is the time for my friends?! Because I miss them & I feel lonely because I don’t get to see them more.

My friends have always played a big part in keeping me sane, in making my life better, in making the world make sense. Whenever I do get time with them my heart grows. I feel more like myself. I feel refreshed! So why the hell is it so hard to make the time for something that’s so important? I don’t think I’m the only one who feels like this, who looks at the hours in her week & wishes there was 5 more that she could allocate to friend time. Because it doesn’t matter that we are grown, that we have partners to talk to at the end of everyday, every woman knows that the conversations you have with your girlfriends are not the same conversations you have with your husband. And that’s not to say the conversations with your husband/wife/partner aren’t fun or important or soul filling, OF COURSE THEY ARE! But they are different. I need both. I’m greedy. I want it all.

There’s no answers to this dilemma. No quick fix. None of us are suddenly going to get those extra hours we wish we had & our responsibilities to our families & employers aren’t going to disappear overnight. I doubt any of us are going back to the days where we had actual phone conversations (is anyone still having regular phone conversations with their friends?) instead of commenting on our friends socials but it’d be kinda nice if we did wouldn’t it? I know, I know, I’m such a bloody grandma pining for the ” good old days” but sometimes I look around at where we are, how fast things changed for all of us & think ” this is fucked. I wish it was still the 90’s, things felt simpler then”. Again, such a nana! But is this just normal now? I hate it but has busy, full days killed the face-to-face friendship & are we all ok with it, accepting that this is just how it is now? Because if that’s true I missed the memo. I was left out of that meeting where the world decided this is how things would be from now on. I was probably having a baby or something.

For those of you like me who work in a solitary job, who are fully entrenched in family life, who never feel like they see their friends enough so end up feeling quite lonely lots of the time, I just wanted to say hey, you aren’t the only one. I’m lonely too. And it’s a hard feeling to get to your head around. Sometimes I feel too needy & perhaps it’s my own fault I’m lonely, that if my friendships were so important to me that I would try harder to make the time. But here’s the kicker- when I take time for my friendships I then feel like I’m stealing time from my family! THERES NO WINNING IN MY HEAD! Lately I’ve started to look ahead, like WAY ahead, to the time when my youngest kids aren’t so dependent on me (from experience I know that age comes around 13 from them but I’m not ready to fully let it be true until they are about 15-16). So in about 10 years time I think is when I’ll be able to see my friend more. That’s not too bad right? ( she says while laughing & crying at the same time).

100 Day Challenge

As I laid in bed with my youngest son I scrolled my phone, flicking between news sights, blog sites, emails & instagram. It’s my usual morning routine if I have a slow morning. Then my son turned to me & said ” put your phone down mama. Put it away”. And then he threw his arms around my neck. His words are the words that have been rolling around in my head for weeks but hearing them spoken by my 6 year old really hit home. And it wasn’t a nice feeling. It made me feel like shit.

I think if we are honest with ourselves we’re all a bit addicted to our phones aren’t we? And we can’t be blamed for that- they are made that way! But lately I’ve noticed that my attention span is so bloody small. I used to read for hours on end but now it’s half hour tops before I pick up my phone. I scan articles instead of read the whole thing. And I’m always looking for a distraction. Text message? I’ll reply then hit all my usual sites before going back to whatever I was doing before the message came through. I don’t like it.

Lately I feel like I’m always trying to cram my head with information, read all the articles, all the links! And I don’t make it makes me happier or smarter or more connected but it’s almost like a compulsion. It’s like I need to be across all the things, know all the opinions, have all the facts. What the hell am I doing? What’s the void I’m trying to fill? They are the questions I keep asking myself.

If you don’t like something you change it right? If I want to expand my attention span, to stop constantly picking up my phone & to break the idea that just because I have all the information in my hand doesn’t mean I have to engage in it, then I have to change something right? Step up my 100 Day Challenge!

So I’m proposing to myself (& obviously you) that for 100 days, starting on Saturday January 11th, I will only use my phone for my most basic, & what I feel, are necessary reasons. I got the idea for the 100 day challenge from Elsie & Emma’s A Beautiful Mess Podcast. I could have said a week or month but I’m a go hard or go home kinda gal so 100 days it is!

What do I think are basic & necessary uses for my phone?

-calls

-messages

-whatsapp chat (one of my best mates & all my family live far far away from me & this is how we communicate)

-podcasts

-music (Spotify)

-audiobooks

-Goodreads (it’s my book tracker & I really only need to look at it when I start or finish a book)

-blog reading

-maps

-anything work related

-banking

-emails (but only in the morning)

Considering I have 83 app/icon things on my phone, I don’t think 12 things is too bad. Most of the things I’m allowing myself are quick tasks or have a single purpose so hopefully they won’t distract me too often or for too long. My basic & necessary reasons for using my phone are probably different to what you’d see as basic & necessary or maybe they aren’t? And the things is, I’m not giving up the internet, just accessing a lot of the internet from my phone. If I want to read my news sites or scroll Pinterest or instagram I can do that on my computer. How often do I use my computer? Hhmmmm maybe once every few weeks. HA! Will my want of information, entertainment & distraction get me to use my computer as much as my phone? Doubt it. The joy of the phone is it’s convenience isn’ it. So by making it less convenient I think I won’t use it as much. Who knows if that’s true but I do know I don’t carry my computer with me all day so there’s that.

I seriously just want to try & re-wire my brain before it’s too late. I didn’t used to be like this! And I don’t want my kids to think the world is more exciting through a screen, even if we are constantly told & shown that it is. And. I want my brain to remember what it’s like to rest, be quiet, be bored! I don’t want my kids to see me with a phone in my hand all the damn time either. It’s nice to admit but I am on my phone often. And don’t look at me all judgey like, we are all like this. I work IN THE COMMUNITY. I see people on their phones ALL. THE TIME. Walking. Eating with friends. At the park with the kids. At the traffic light. Taking work breaks in the toilets. We are all on our phones all the time. Even those of us who like to kid ourselves we aren’t addicted to our phones, to the scroll, to the searches, to the never ending information & opinions. We are. We just bloody are. And if you’re ok with that, cool. That’s cool. I’m not here to judge you & your phone use. Actually I lie, I’ll judge you if you use your phone while you’re having a conversation with me. That’s not cool. Please don’t do that. This challenge is about how I feel about me & my phone use. And honestly? I don’t know if anything will actually change after 100 days but I want to try.

Do you think it’ll work? And more importantly, how do you feel about your phone? Love it & don’t want to be without it? Or is it slightly problematic for you too?

xxx

Why I Have a Veggie Garden (even though I’m a bit crap at it & it’s cheaper to buy them)

I have had a veggie garden before I even ate veggies. I didn’t start eating veggies until I turned 30 but Tim & I planted our first veggie garden in the back corner of our garden in the first house we bought way back in 2001. That garden grew gang busters! The corn was taller then me, the zucchini were bigger than my arms & everything was so lush. We knew fuck all about what we were doing but somehow everything just did it thing perfectly. I look back at that time with wonder because these days I try, I mean I REALLY try, to have an abundance of vegetables growing but it doesn’t always happen. In fact, it rarely goes to plan despite my best efforts. I will say this in my defence- I live on the opposite side of the country now. Before we had fertile soil & decent rain. Now we have harsh summers, little rain & soil that needs a lot of love to be any good. Still, I try.

Through frustration, disappointment & envy (yes, I get seriously envious when I see other people’s productive veggie gardens & all the produce they are hauling out. It’s not a nice trait of mine but it’s true) I persist. Year after year, season after season I continue to put seeds in soil, send a prayer to Mother Nature & then I wait. And often, as I did just this week as I wondered why I wasn’t already harvesting tomatoes, why my cucumbers didn’t take & why the hell can I not grow constant zucchinis, I ask myself WHY? Why do I put myself through this? Why do I spend time & money on trying to grow food when I could much easily go to the shop & buy it? Why do I do something that makes me doubt my ability? And the answers are always the same.

I do it because I need to. I need to have that connection to the earth. Yes I know, it all sounds a bit woo woo but I am a bit (or a lot, depending on who you ask) woo woo. Putting my hands in the soil really does ground me.

I do it because the joy of watching a seed sprout, grow & then produce something you can eat is truly magical. I’m not kidding. Look at a tomato seed or a pumpkin seed next time you eat one. That tiny thing contains a whole new plant! An abundance of food! If that’s not magic I don’t know what is.

I do it because NOTHING is as good as a homegrown mortgage lifter tomorrow. They are all I think about from the moment I put my seeds in the greenhouse. The smell of tomato plants is one of my favourite smells in the whole world. I love growing tomatoes more than I love growing anything else.

I do it so my kids know where food comes from. They may not eat it, which is ok (it’s not ok but let’s pretend I think it’s ok) but they enjoy being part of the process. I enjoy talking to them about the plants, encouraging them to try it, to smell it, to watch the bees buzz around. It’s good stuff.

I do it because it’s good for my head. Gardening is a good way to lose yourself for a moment. Tying up tomatoes, pulling weeds, planning beds, it’s a nice way to switch off. And it forces me to keep learning. Every mishap I have, every dud season sends me to a book, a google search or a cry for help on Instagram to try & learn why. Guys, I have even called Sue McDougall on her weekend radio show to ask her about my patch once! She told me I had to attract more bees. Im always trying Sue.

I do it because it’s actually part of who I am now. For over 15 years I’ve been trying to perfect my veggie patch & despite saying almost once a year ” that’s it, I’m not growing anything next season!” I can’t stop myself. I am a veggie grower. I need to have some food growing to feel normal. Doesn’t matter if I get 109 tomatoes or just 5, having plants to tend to makes me who I am.

So as I lament the late fruiting tomatoes, as I curse the harsh start to summer that killed off my potato plants, as I wonder what the hell went wrong with my passion fruit & as I marvel at the all the kale that’s still gracing my plate from the same plants I dug into the ground 6 months, I know that I will always grow something. As one season passes into the next you’ll find me with my seeds spread over the table plotting, planning & dirt under my nails. I’ll be the woman with a sparkle in her eye & hope in heart that this will be the best growing season I’ve ever had.

xxx

A Bookish Challenge

So it’s 7pm on the last day of 2019 & I just finished my 64th book of the year, the utterly delightful The Little Library Year by Kate Young. I’m sure more exciting people are out doing exciting things or celebrating with their favourite people but I am not exciting people. I am stay at home & be asleep by 9pm people. I am not a celebrate New Year’s Eve kind of people & I am AOK with that so please don’t feel sad for me.

Anyway, I have been thinking lately that I needed to shake my reading life up a little because I’ve spent the last month in a reading rut & that does not please me. I want books to force me to pick them up, I want the characters to call to me when I’m not reading & then not leave my brain for days, weeks! I do not like having to force myself to pick up a book to read, as if it’s a chore. No. That’s not fun at all. So, in these last hours of the last day of December I have formulated a little reading challenge to get me out of my reading rut.

A few years ago one of my online faves, Pip from Meet Me At Mikes, had a reading challenge called ” A Year of Australian Writing ” which I joined in on. It truly changed my reading life & got me reading so many books I would never have previously read before. And I had so much fun discovering new authors. I want that again, that fun & excitement in my reading life. I want to broaden my horizons when it comes to books.

Do you wanna know what the challenge is? OK, I’ll tell you! For all of 2020 I am only going to read books that are on my (heaving) bookshelves or that are on my Goodreads “to-read” list. If I don’t already own the book I choose from my to-read list I can only borrow from the library, lend from friends or buy from second hand shops. My to-read list has 273 books on it. My shelves probably have 100 unread books to choose from. That’s normal right? We all buy books only to be distracted by new release books or suggestions from friends, librarians, bloggers, websites, a person you walk by in the book isle of the op-shop don’t we? Clearly I will not struggle for choice. I shall not go wanting when it comes to finding something to enjoy. The only caveat will be cookbooks. They are not included. They are my one purchasing weakness so I will indulge at my own pleasure. But in saying that I do realise I’m getting to capacity with those too so perhaps I won’t be adding as many to my, ahem, large collection, as I have done this year….we’ll see. No promises.

I know not everyone likes to put boundaries on themselves but I do. You might be a rule breaker, rebel. But not me. I like having some rules to follow. It makes me feel like I have a direction, something to work towards. And more than anything I’m hoping it’ll guide my reading into new directions, open up whole new worlds to me. And also empty my shelves & lists a little. I haven’t set my Goodreads challenge yet. This year it was 52 & I feel like a book a week is doable without pressuring myself to read just to meet the number. So let’s see how this unfolds. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as the year rolls on.

Oh, and happy new year friends. I hope that however you spent it it was exactly what you needed/wanted.

xxx

January Person

Are you a January person? I am a HUGE January person! You might be sitting there thinking ” what are you talking about?” Let me fill you in. A January person is a person who LOVES January because they feel like it gives them a fresh start & the thought of a whole brand spanking new year ahead of them fills them with hope & delight. January people talk about alllllll the things they want to do in the new year, about ways they want to change their lives & how optimistic they feel about the coming year. We are enthusiastic about one year ending & a new one beginning.

Us January people understand that any day is a good day to make changes to our lives but we just love the idea of the fresh slate January brings. We don’t necessarily make new year resolutions, some of us might & some of us may disguise these resolutions as “things I’d like to do in the new year” (I’m the latter), but what we do do is, during the weird week between Christmas and January 1st when you constantly have to check what day it is, is we start looking at our lives & take note of all the things that haven’t worked for us this past year & need changing, things we didn’t achieve, stuff we need to deal with or things we bloody nailed & want to continue doing. Some January people just make a a giant TO-DO list for the coming year that encompass every aspect of their life. I am not adverse to that either. I love a list.

The difference between January people & regular new year resolution people is we don’t put as much pressure on ourself. We know that we have all year to get our shit together. We know that January is just the kick off, the time to feel our way around. It is NOT the time to do drastic things like suddenly quit our jobs or give up dairy. (FYI, neither of those things are on my lists. I love my job & barely eat dairy).No. We take baby steps towards those things. We plan. We research. We asks questions.

So now that I’ve explained what a January person actually is are you a January person? For me, January is my very favourite time of year so I am a card carrying, wear the slogan tee, bumper sticker buying January person! And I thought I’d share the stuff I’ll start working on as January rolls in.

Here they are-

No phones after dinner or in bed

Get my eyes tested

Work on my fear of the dentist & then go to dentist (It’s been 14+ years since my last visit. It’s a proper actual phobia)

Do 30 days meat free

Read one book a week

Try to cook more recipes from my cookbooks

Work on my attention span

Find a good TV series to sink into

Crochet some things (also finish the things I’ve already started!)

Print some photos from the last 6 years!

Try some different veggies

Keep healthy habits going!

So there you have it. My list. I’ll add to it as the year goes on & hopefully tick some things off too but if not well, it’s no biggie because there’ll be another January next year to look forward too!

Tell me how you feel about January. Do you love it or is it just another month?

2020 Will Be The Year Of…..Rest.

I am the kind of person who likes to have things to do all the time. I like to tick things off my list, get shit done & I bloody love that feeling of accomplishment I get from doing even the simplest of task. I am a doer, a multitasker, the person who unintentionally makes everyone feel as though they need to be busy all the time because that is my default mode. Busy. But what I started to realise in the last quarter of the year was that I was starting to resent my own busyness.

In the last eighteen months, for the first time since 2013, I began working outside the home again. Last year I started studying at TAFE, then started working the days I wasn’t at school & then as soon as school finished I filled those days with work too. Then in the second half of the year I picked up more hours, all of my own choosing. I like my job so taking on extra work & earning more cash was a no brainer. But what I seemed to have forgotten was that the hours I normally had to do all mum/life/house/fun things were now mostly filled with work & then my younger kids started doing a lot of after school activities ( this is a love hate thing for me. I love that they are keen to do things but then I get cranky because we are more busy. I’m hard to please like that.) So time became scarcer. This didn’t stop me from believing I could still do ALL THE THINGS!

I like to make most of our food from scratch. I like to grow veggies. I like to look after my chooks. I don’t like to clean but understand it’s a necessity. I like to be with my kids and husband. I like to be by myself. I like to see my friends. I like to read books. I like to stay on top of life as best I can. I like to feel in control. So I wrote lists. So many lists that my husband had a mini intervention about the amount of lists hung upon the kitchen walls (four lists plus a calendar isn’t too many lists if you ask me.) I kept doing things even when my body & brain were tired. I got resentful when everyone else was relaxing while I was still doing ALL THE THINGS I felt were important. And it’s hard when the things you think are important, like making food from scratch, aren’t important to others so then everyone starts to wonder why you’re doing it if your tired & cranky when they’d be just as happy with biscuits from a packet or baked beans in toast for dinner. I’m doing it because I care & I feel it’s important family! Plus, I like to make stuff. But it’s stud kind of thing that keeps me buzzing around instead of stopping.

Slowly it’s dawned on me that I’ve forgotten how to rest. Properly rest. I watch tv with a book (or my phone) in hand. I find it hard to delegate. When I get into bed I mindless scroll news sights on my phone or google things that pop into my head or watch episode after episode of Carpool Karaoke. That last one is actually quite restful. And hilarious. I even take cookbooks to bed with notebooks so I can make meal plans or take note of future meals I want to make. Even when I think I’m resting I’m still doing stuff. There is very little just being in my days. And up until now that way of living has served me very well. But I think I need to change things up a little because when you start getting mad at the habits, routines & stories you’ve created yourself something has to give.

In 2020 I’m going to re-teach myself to rest. I’m going to learn how to relax & let go of the never ending lists that form in my head. I’m going to stop filling every moment of my days with ALL THE THINGS. I’m going to learn how to be less twitchy. You know what I mean right? Twitchy is that feeling you get when you mindlessly reach for your phone even though you’re already doing something. I’m going to stop that. I’m going to try to single task instead of multitask. My phone will not distract me when I should be getting ready to sleep. I’m going to learn to listen to my body & my mind when they are saying “I’m tired. Let’s stop for a minute, this stuff can wait.” Im going to go to work on Mondays feeling refreshed because I’ve actually stopped. I’m also going to be realistic, I know all of this won’t happen at once. I know it’s going to take time to unlearn all these habits I’ve created for myself. And I’m going to give myself grace. There will always be times when there is actually a whole heap of stuff that NEEDS to be done & I will get it done, like I always do. And there will be times when I WANT to do ALL THE THINGS. But I want my head to realise that it doesn’t need to always be busy, that it’s ok to stop, to rest. So let’s see what happens. Let’s see if I can make the coming year a year of rest.