Weekly Inspiration #24

In my mind, I’m calling this week the iceberg week – you know, the type of week that you know is going to be huge, but then when you’re in it, you realise that what you thought was huge was only the tip of the iceberg – everything is bigger than what I thought it was going to be.

This week, I was put in charge of the school magazine, which has been puttering along for the last couple of terms, with the children writing articles and so on. Of course, I don’t mind – this kind of work is right up my alley – so I spend Monday figuring out how I’m going to do it, finding a template for it and writing lists of things that need to be finished. I spend hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday interviewing children about all their favourite things and what they’ve enjoyed about their year, searching through thousands of photos and typing up their stories and poems. I also spend these days trying to fight off a rising feeling of overwhelm about how much needs to be done 🙂

I work every day this week except one – Thursday – which I have put aside to do my Christmas shopping. Which I haven’t started yet. I have a list all written out though, and I begin the day with a similar kind of feeling that the rest of the week has held: a feeling of hopefulness and gladness that I get to do fun things, with an undercurrent of OMG there is so much to do and so little time to do it in! It’s an hour plus drive to the nearest large town where all the presents live – I leave at 7:15am and get back home at 5:30pm – with everything I wanted. It was one of those blessed days where every shop had what I wanted at the right price, complete with friendly service and helpful people. Joy 🙂

I arrive home exhausted, to find that the Bear has dinner bubbling away on the stove and a cold cider waiting in the fridge. He spoils it a little by telling me that I always worry too much about Christmas, and if he did it, it would still get done, but with a minimum of fuss (or effort, or presents, or food). I restrain an overwhelming urge to jump on top of him and pummel him, and instead drink my cider 🙂

I’m taking a little time out to write this – because folks, we know that the show must go on. Plus, it’s good for my mental health to write 🙂 Let us begin, shall we?

Best Short Read

Dear Parent, About That Kid...

This excerpt is from an article written by Amy Murray, a director for early childhood education in Canada and blogger from miss night’s marbles. This is a beautiful, heartfelt open letter to parents who are worried about THAT child who has behavioural issues – and also to the parent of THAT child. It is very much worth clicking over to read the article in its entirety, but here is an excerpt:

Dear Parent:

I know. You’re worried. Every day, your child comes home with a story about THAT kid. The one who is always hitting shoving pinching scratching maybe even biting other children. The one who always has to hold my hand in the hallway. The one who has a special spot at the carpet, and sometimes sits on a chair rather than the floor. The one who had to leave the block centre because blocks are not for throwing. The one who climbed over the playground fence right exactly as I was telling her to stop. The one who poured his neighbour’s milk onto the floor in a fit of anger. On purpose. While I was watching.  And then, when I asked him to clean it up, emptied the ENTIRE paper towel dispenser. On purpose. While I was watching. The one who dropped the REAL ACTUAL F-word in gym class.

I know, and I am worried, too.

You see, I worry all the time. About ALL of them. I worry about your child’s pencil grip, and another child’s letter sounds, and that little tiny one’s shyness, and that other one’s chronically empty lunchbox. I worry that Gavin’s coat is not warm enough, and that Talitha’s dad yells at her for printing the letter B backwards. Most of my car rides and showers are consumed with the worrying…read the rest of the article here.

Best Book

the wife drought

The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

I loved this book. You will too. The end.

🙂

Seriously, if you are a parent in a modern industrialised country like Australia, the US or Britain, then this book is a must read. Annabel explains to us that we have been viewing the domestic sphere and the work sphere as two separate areas (because they are if you’re a man). If you want to really understand what’s going on in the world of work, then you must look at both spheres side by side, because if you’re a woman, the domestic influences your work and your work influences your domestic life, so much. Men? Not so much. Well researched, easy to read, fascinating and educational and not at all a man hating rant, because men are as trapped as women in their gender roles set for us by our society. Perfect!

‘I need a wife’

It’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women.

Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.

But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?

The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb’s inimitable style, it’s full of candid and funny stories from the author’s work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife’ in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.

Crabb’s call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that’s long overdue.

Best Watch Listen 🙂

OMG Paolo Nutini. Be still my beating heart 😉 Yes, he does appear to be smoking a cigarette, but I don’t care, and neither will you :). This is a single from this year’s album, Caustic Love. It’s awesome.

 

Best Words

This is so important, my friends. These days I only do things that correspond with my core values and purpose…anything else just feels wrong. You know?

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That’s all from me this week my friends – the finish line is near (school ends next Wednesday here for the summer) and I’m looking forward to so many things – catching up on blogs, reading novels, writing, bike riding with the kids, swimming, going to the movies, an early morning beachy Summer Solstice, visiting my brother and his family on the Gold Coast, Christmas (of course) and maybe even a New Years Eve party…what are you looking forward to?

19 comments

  1. I love all the smiley faces in this post as I can tell you had a good week this week! How cool that you’re in charge of a children’s magazine! I can totally relate to it since I’m currently in charge of a youth blog for work and there’s a lot of work involved. But when you like what you’re doing and you believe in it, it makes the feelings of panic a bit easier to handle I think.
    Love the post by miss night’s marbles. I generally wait until I finish reading a post before clicking on any external links but the excerpt was too good and I had to finish the whole thing.
    I’m looking forward to the weekend and also Christmas! Though I no longer get such long breaks as I would if I were still in school, I’m still going to enjoy the long weekend I get. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lillian – ah, you can read me by the smiley faces :). Yes, it has been a good week, just amped. I do love my work and I love media and graphic design too, so all good. I’ll be really relieved when each child is holding a copy of their magazine in their hands though!
      And miss night’s marbles – glad you enjoyed it. It was something really special I thought. Have a beautiful weekend Lillian (I really enjoyed your last post, you sound well. Are you?)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning Sara. I feel like the calm antartic sea with icebergs (busy responsibilities) heavily packed in and around. The still depths giving me an all pervading calm, occasional ripple for sure. But calm, sweet, calm. Thanks for sharing and prompting my self ‘ah-ha’ moment. This is not always my reality to my ‘todo tobe mustdo mustbe’ list. I think I am slowly seeing beyond the list – and getting it done anyway! And morning asana and must-do after lunch yoga nidra helping. Really enjoyed Miss Night’s Marbles Dear Parent: a lovely connection to compassionate perspective in a challenging reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hullo Kate, lovely to check in with you this way :). I love your analogy of being the ocean that contains the icebergs – love it I tell you! My practices have disappeared over the past week – no meditation, no asanas…so wired I couldn’t sit still. Not good. Today though, I went to my 5 weekly meditation class, and boy, am I on track again now. Now, I am the ocean, not the iceberg :). I’m glad you enjoyed the open letter – I thought it was very effective as well. Enjoy your weekend Kate.

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      • Phew! Lucky for the deep ocean – on Monday dutifully headed into Town for xmas shopping (1hr drive – you know the prep and large list this often entails!) I was trying to channel your successful xmas shop day, however got into town, looked around the car, and in an incredibly “holy hell” moment, couldn’t find wallet (handbag found later neatly sitting on bench at home awaiting deparuture – 4yo distractions succeeded in this moment). So a hour of playground time (had 4yo in tow) and breath breath breath resulted in enjoy-meant and release. Today on the other hand – thank god for fantastic yoga start to day (5:30 – 7:30 weekly class). Not so much calm found as we again hit town with too little time, too many jobs and kids in tow (rabies vaccination needles just topping off a anzt filled experience). Glass of wine in hand now. Really valuing the anchor of yoga every day (in all its forms) practice. Enjoy summer break, its only a day or two away. Yippee!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Kate! You roll just like me 🙂 last day today, I’ve finished work, the kids are on holidays, and I’m breathing…and contemplating my next yoga commitment…breathe on sister 🙂

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  3. I must say, it seems funny to be getting ready for summer break and Christmas at the same time. I am looking forward to some nice get-togethers with family and to dog-sitting for a sweet old golden retriever while her family goes away. I hope we don’t have any huge, heavy snows during the days I have to walk her.

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    • Do you mean that in other parts of the world Christmas occurs at a time other than summer? 😉 your Christmas sounds very peaceful – much like I hope mine will be: family, friends, food and love! Have a beautiful week David, lovely to check in with you this way xo

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  4. How many times have I said “I need a wife!”? Countless. The G.O. does what he can (but he works on a construction site usually 6 days) and demands as little as possible but stuff still has to be taken care of. And I’m the one with a day job with a desk, computer and landline! Then there’s the second shift at home, which I don’t kid myself, with no children we’ve got it easy, but still. I love Annabel Crabb, so I’ll look this one up.
    Which morphs nicely into end of year and festive season prep… you did well to accomplish your day out in the day… I did 75% of our Christmas shopping online and it was still time consuming but it’s a lovely feeling to be on the ticked-that-off side of it.
    What am I looking forward to? Three weeks of sleeping with the verandah door open – no trains, no aircon; the beach; laying on the verandah futon reading an ambitious pile of books.
    Feel free to call in if you see the ute in the yard 🙂

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  5. I can totally relate to that feeling of OMG, how will I get it all done — it can overwhelm. I think your Best Words help to settle that feeling a bit by prioritizing what matters most. It must be somewhat of a relief to know you’ve got your summer break / holidays coming up. We’ll have quiet time here at the end of the month as well, and that repose is so greatly needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m straining towards the holidays like a kid running to the pool on a hot day :). Yes…there came a point in my life where I constantly felt overwhelmed and resentful too. So I just stripped everything back and just left the things that really are important to me – and left the rest. A good practice I think…and one that needs revisiting from time to time. Have a good weekend Elysha xo

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  6. December is always a busy month, we have to do so many things and we feel like meeting so many new friends…the imminent new years is the harbinger of excitement and expectations. It well reflect in your days work and plan…when we are excited and inspired we manage to do much more than we think we can. The eternal debate of how to manage the home and the office, who has to do and how…it is all about how we think and how we feel about things around us…gratitude is the new attitude.

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      • It is celebration times, it is time to meet and share things …we want to do so many things but so little time and by the time we start doing we are there in the new year…and one more year starts..back to routine and life goes on…little time to reflect back…cherish those good times passed by…

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  7. I’ve read that short read and its very moving. I can also relate to needing a wife… several years ago. I was working on a boat, about 11 hours a day at the time, with a day or less off per week for about 3 1/2 months, during tourist high season. It was difficult to get to the post office when they were open. And it was not fun to grocery shop or take care of domestic chores when i was so tired. There were many days the the guys i worked with, and I joked about needing a wife. Have a great summer vacation. We’re about to start a 2 week Christmas break at the end of this week.

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    • You enjoy your vacation, I’m sure it’s much needed!
      Yes, we all need a wife, for sure 🙂 they are very handy – and it’s amazing how having one helps you get ahead in your career, and how difficult it is without one.
      Thanks for popping by, always lovely to chat with you xo

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