I got by this week with a little help from my friends. And family.
Thank goodness for them.
This is the most regularly recurring theme in my life: I often find myself tackling huge projects with little or no assistance, and getting sad, frustrated and overwhelmed, thinking thoughts like why do I end up doing everything on my own or why does nobody help me?
That was me on Tuesday. The Bear was working right up until Christmas. I had bought all the presents, wrapped them all, made edible and drinkable presents, created the yearly family calendar, dressed the tree, organised where and how Christmas was going to be – and now I was trying to clean the house and make everything look nice. On my own. And I was so done, so over it. My darling children fed off my despair and turned into rascals, culminating in a baby powder incident in the bathroom after I had cleaned it.
So I packed everyone up and we went to Mum’s :). Where I was saved, thank Goddess. They had already cleaned their house :). We were fed, loved and put to bed. And then in the morning, there was breakfast and wisdom:
“Darling, your competence makes everything look so easy – people don’t think you need help.”
(I don’t need help, I want help, my mind whispers. Woah. Even when I’m exhausted my mind is still insisting that I can do it all.)
“You were born like that, you really were:”
“Look mum, nappy!” Pointing to my nappy. “Where’s your nappy?”
“I don’t wear a nappy, darling.”
Look of shock. Then: “I don’t wear nappy either!”
“But I don’t wet the bed, my love.”
Glare. “Neither do I.”
And I didn’t.
My mother is a little concerned: her otherwise bright two year old doesn’t speak. Then she comes across me in my bedroom with the door shut, practicing saying my words in full sentences. I like to speak properly :).
There isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s just the way I am. If I do something, I like to do it well. It’s not competitive, it’s competence.
“Darling, you need to learn facilitation – the art of including people in what you are doing and utilising their core competencies. You are so competent that you don’t leave any room for people to help.”
With a light-bulb flash of understanding, I realise that I have almost no skills in bringing people along. For me, it’s a matter of does it need to be done, can I do it and does it fit in with my core values. Tick, tick, tick. Right then, let’s get on with it. I am bewildered and then frustrated beyond belief when I realise that other people don’t have the same thought process. People lack confidence, they want an invitation, they need encouragement, to be nurtured and empowered – like children, except they’re not cute. Which drives me completely mental, so I just do it myself. Ha!
Guess what I’m studying next year? Facilitation.
And hey, after that Christmas was just lovely. I went to a friend’s house for Christmas Eve dinner, which was beautiful, and everything Christmas should be. Christmas Day was perfect; we went to my parent’s house, feasted, talked and laughed. Awesome presents too, by the way (job well done).
How was your Christmas?
Best Short Read
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
This article is one of the most well written, true and just downright beautiful things I have read in quite a while:
Should is how others want us to show up in the world — how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do. It’s the vast array of expectations that others layer upon us. When we choose Should the journey is smooth, the risk is small.
Must is different—there aren’t options and we don’t have a choice.
Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. It’s our instincts, our cravings and longings, the things and places and ideas we burn for, the intuition that swells up from somewhere deep inside of us. Must is what happens when we stop conforming to other people’s ideals and start connecting to our own. Because when we choose Must, we are no longer looking for inspiration out there. Instead, we are listening to our calling from within, from some luminous, mysterious place.
…read the rest of the article here
Best Christmas Drink
Now, I don’t know what happened to me this year, but I came across this recipe for a chocolate cointreau drink at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and for some reason, I made it. And then, OMG, I drank it. It is the best thing I think I have ever drank 🙂 I put some in small bottles and took them to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve. We poured it over ice, clinked our glasses and sipped. She stared at me in a shocked silence. I grinned back at her.
“I cannot believe that drink . It’s amazing. How did you make it?”
125g good quality chocolate
1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
1 x 375g of evaporated milk
1 x 300mL of pure cream
Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave.
Pour a small quantity of Cointreau into a large bowl, then gradually whisk in melted chocolate, the evaporated milk, the condensed milk, the cream, and then the rest of the Cointreau
Pour the divine chocolate orange cream through a sieve into sterilised bottles, store in the fridge and drink over ice.
Oh. My. Goddess.
Best Heroic Moment
Now people. I know that many of my readers are city folk, and I know that many of you harbour fantasies about country life: you know, rolling hills, verdant beauty, no neighbours, space, quiet nights, starry skies. Yes, yes – all of those are true. But what you don’t include in your fantasies are all the unwanted animals – the snakes, the flies, the goannas, and the rats:
Last night, I was home alone. It was a friend’s birthday, but I was feeling unwell, so the Bear had taken the children and left me at home. A heavy shower of rain came over, and the gutter over my herb garden was blocked and overflowing. Standing on the edge of the garden on tip toes, I plunged my hand into the gutter to pull out what I thought would be leaves, and pulled my hand out quickly. It wasn’t leaves. What was it? After a few seconds, a scaly tail floated to the surface. Oh no. A dead rat is blocking the drainpipe, and nobody else is home. I can’t pretend I didn’t see it – if I leave it in there it will poison the water – so that nasty thing has to get out. I look around for a likely implement – I pick up a trowel and then a gutter scoop. No good. And then I remember the over-sized BBQ tongs. Gingerly, I pincer it out and fling it quickly away from me into the garden. The water stops spilling over into the garden and flows peaceably into the down pipe once more. I, on the other hand am feeling quite traumatised :).
Yes. You know this one. I know it too. Beauty. It’s good to be reminded.
Those who don’t feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don’t drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don’t want to change,
Let them sleep.
This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
If you want to improve your mind that way,
I’ve given up on my brain.
I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.
If you’re not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
– Rumi, as rendered by Coleman Barks
The Bear sent this to me the other day 🙂
And that’s it for me this week: have a beautiful week – and I’ll see you here next year (omg 🙂 )
Instagram – I am new here; why don’t you show me around 🙂