Flat batteries, dropped expectations and other lessons.

Living

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” – David G. Allen

Our batteries went flat this week, literally and metaphorically. First to go down was my son – he was sick all weekend, and had to stay at home from school on Monday. As an aside, I work all day Monday, so I had to call a supportive friend to come down and hang out with him while I worked, and then, because I had promised my daughter to take her to her first karate lesson that afternoon and because the Bear was away that night for work, this same friend stayed on with my son…and made dinner for us. I am well aware of how lucky I am to have this kind of support, and I wonder how other families cope.

Anyway, the next day was my day off, and on my spunky weekly planner, six beautiful hours were blocked out for study. From what I could see when I was setting up my plan early Monday morning, the whole week looked pretty clear – no appointments on four different days unlike last week. A straight run, I thought. The Bear messaged me early Tuesday morning and said that the aliens must have visited overnight, because every single battery on the farm was flat, including that of the battery charging pack. Okaaay, I thought. Weird.

And then my daughter complained of a pain in her her belly and, unusually for her, refused to go to school. I felt frustration rising…what the hell? How am I supposed to study with my seven year old at home? Sigh. Anyway, I eventually got over myself, tucked her up with a hot water bottle next to the fire and I even got a bit of work done – when the phone rang. It was my son, asking to come home from school because he felt sick again. Okay, fine. I give up. My daughter’s sore tummy later turned out not to be a tummy bug, but sore muscles and a flat battery from karate the night before!

The next day, Wednesday, I had a blog scheduled to be published in the early morning. The first draft was written, I just needed to edit it and give it a polish. I opened the computer, looked at the post and all I saw were words. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what words needed to be moved, what words needed to be re-written and which words needed to go. My brain felt like a clump of cotton wool. I sat there for 10 minutes or so, trying to figure it out, then closed the computer down. My batteries had gone flat too.

On my weekly plan, there were four good study hours between work on that morning and soccer training in the afternoon – but I knew that my cotton wool brain had nothing to give that day. Hey – I may be stubborn and resistant, but I can read the writing on the wall. I had to recharge my brain. So, I made a big pot of chai, sat it on top of the warm fireplace next to my big comfy armchair, and watched Orange is the New Black for a couple of hours. In the last hour before the kids came home from school, I did an hour’s yin yoga practice with a hot water bottle and a blanket. So. Good. My brain still wasn’t working, but I just went about my business and tried not to worry about my intellectual faculties deserting me. That night I had the best sleep I have had in years – maybe since before I had children, more than a decade ago.

I woke up feeling fantastic. And my brain came back. And I caught up. And the rest of the week went along mostly (sort of) as planned.

So, out of interest, do you want to know about the post that I had wanted to publish on Wednesday but couldn’t? It was called Learning to Drop Expectations. Ha! Apparently I had to have a few more lessons on that subject before I could send it out into the world! Just so you know, everything I write here is a message to myself. I am not claiming to have transcended anything. I am so much a work in progress it is not even funny. Okay, maybe it is a little bit funny. 🙂

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Loving

There’s a quote by Tom Hiddleston: “We all have two lives. The second life starts when we realize that we only have one.”

Yes :). I knew you’d like it. Plus, when you go over and read that article, check out her 25 Badass ways to say No free download poster on the right hand column of her blog. For those of you who need some help in this department, it is GOLD.

  • Dear Future Generations: Sorry by Prince Ea. Hey, have you guys seen this? My son showed it to me last night. I had seen bits of it before, but not the whole thing. It’s very powerful and brutiful (brutal and beautiful mashed together), as Glennon from Momastery would say.
  • Last night was an Aquarian full moon, a blue moon no less (as in it was the second of two full moons this month), and augmented by Venus moving into retrograde. Firstly, I have noticed that Venus retrograde always has a hefty impact on me (think relationship break ups, pregnancies, births and the like) because my chart is so heavily influenced by Venus : I have four personal planets in Venus ruled signs. Yah, so. I came across this beautiful full moon ritual by Nicole Cody from Cupcakes and Cauldrons and did a little ritual myself last night. Releasing the old and bringing in the new. This kind of ritual is a lovely way to focus your energy on connecting to the cycles and rhythms of the Earth as well as tuning into your inner self and listening to those quiet words of wisdom bubbling up from within.

Learning

  • This week I have been learning about genre, re-presentation (representation looks different when it’s separated like that doesn’t it?) and stereotypes in media studies. We’ve been learning how genres change and evolve to suit audience’s expectations, and how people are creating new genres to suit themselves. The example used in class was the combination of country and hip hop to make hick hop. OMG it’s even worse than you can imagine, but it’s out there, servicing a niche audience and making them very happy. We also talked how media re-presents a story, making it look like a window onto the world to suit the agenda of its producers and the views of its target demographic. We also learned about stereotypes, and how they are formed around a grain of truth, applied to an entire group of people, and then used to retrospectively explain their situation.
  • We are learning about narrative non-fiction and what characterises good writing. Narrative non-fiction presents factual information in a narrative to make an exciting story. I was happy to hear that the type of writing I enjoy doing actually has a name :). My lecturer describes good writing in the following way:

Good writing is characterised by well-made sentences and informative paragraphs joined by logical transitions. It also features developed characters, accurate dialogue and sharply evoked atmosphere. Above all, it should memorably reveal something we had not known or seen before, or something we had not seen in the way that the writer presented it.

The opposite of such writing is banality (stating the obvious in lazy prose) or the passionless tone of a dutiful list of facts that fails to convince us that any of these facts are worth knowing.

  • How to break large projects down into small sections to give yourself the feeling of being productive and moving forward. In this article, Be More Productive: The 15 minute routine Anthony Trollope used to write 40+ books, James Clear describes Anthony Trollope’s writing routine as writing in 15 minute increments for three hours per day. He required of his writing that he produce 250 words every 15 minutes:

However, instead of measuring his progress based on the completion of chapters or books, Trollope measured his progress in 15-minute increments. This approach allowed him to enjoy feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment very quickly while continuing to work on the large task of writing a book.

This is a big deal for two reasons:

  1. Small measures of progress help to maintain momentum over the long-run, which means you’re more likely to finish large tasks.

  2. The faster you complete a productive task, the more quickly your day develops an attitude of productivity and effectiveness.

Cool, huh? Obviously it works for other projects, not just writing.

So, that’s it from me this week. It’s early Sunday morning where I am. The sky has just erupted into a spectacular sunrise inferno, filling me with the hope and wonder of a new day. It’s pancake Sunday today, a weekly ritual in our house. I have bags of sugar and a tree full of lemons, ready to be made into bottles of lemon cordial, jars of lemon butter and (hopefully) my first ever lemon meringue pie. I am also looking forward to lunch down at our local, and some time stretched out on my mat.

What are your plans this weekend?

'Guidance' by Ting Yuen
‘Guidance’ by Ting Yuen

27 comments

  1. I love “I am so much a work in progress it’s not even funny”. Me too. Flat batteries and energies is a force to be reckoned with and I reckon you did exactly what I would do, though I wish I had recognised that way to handle it about three or four decades ago!! It was a little amusing that your daughter’s tummy upset was sore muscles. Not because I didn’t feel for her, but because her interpretation of that horrible sore muscle feeling is apt in my experience; it can make a person feel sick. I hope you have an energised week! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, mistaking sore tummy muscles for a tummy ache was funny alright. When I was watching her do karate I thought that she was going to be sore the next day…but I didn’t realise she’d never had sore tummy muscles before (even doing dance, gymnastics and yoga!). He worked them hard!
      Knowing when to rest is my super power 🙂
      Happy Sunday Ardys xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘My intellectual faculties deserting me…’ Love this description, and know it well as I had the same thing happen the other day. It’s frustrating and leaves me feeling empty…glad you were able to nip it in the bud. OITNB and some yin yoga sound like the perfect rx. Happy Sunday, Sara!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Sara!

    I hope batteries are back into action now 🙂 .I have read only two articles on your blog till now and they have been a fascinating read. Thanks. I see that you are interested in Astrology too. I reckon that you practice/refer Tropical Astrology since you described full Moon in Aquarius. As per the Sidereal system, it occurred in Capricorn. You might already be aware of an error committed by Ptolemy many centuries ago, which has misguided most Tropical astrologers up until now. If you are interested you might see description of this problem on Barbara’s page : http://www.barbarapijan.com/bpa/Practice_Issues/Differences_western_Jyotisha.htm

    Thanks and have a nice day…it’s also Sunday morning here in India 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you liked. I have not come across any such defence so far, perhaps because I was not looking for it. I have been exploring Vedic Astrology for more than a decade now. Please let me know if you come to learn about anything which suggests that zero point in Aries is static. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Flat Batteries, personal, practical and actual…I too have been learning to notice them, see the possibilities in amongst the perceived problems…and…enjoying the recharge (trusting and knowing that the tasks will get completed in good-less-stress-time). Thanks for the reminder via your sharing. Wasn’t the Full Moon beautiful! We had a special sighting across the Victorian Alps as we drove across Mt Hotham to visit my parents – snowy white moon lit landscapes = sacred space… The whole family got out in the cold and danced a icy jig, then pjs and sleep in the car for the kids and music-sweet-music of our own choosing in the car for us driving adults. So special.

    Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2015 20:44:10 +0000 To: yangoorainthevalley@hotmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your full moon story! I can just imagine the lot of you, dancing there on the snow ❄️ Also, parent’s music choice – gold :). Glad you enjoyed the link to cauldrons and cupcakes – I love Nicole’s blog, she’s a very special person.

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  6. Friday morning we kicked off the weekend early by bringing a new furry critter into our home. We lost our much beloved furry pet of 3 years this past week, and now have a little new one named Gilbert. These are guinea pigs. My son tried to talk me into getting my own (in which case I would have had to name him Sullivan), but I held my ground at bringing home just one. Sorry to hear about all your flat batteries. With the energies lately, I’m seeing a lot of people releasing a lot of very old, unwanted and unneeded energy. Stripping it away to let the higher vibrations shine through. Have a great Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t you just love it when the Universe delivers yet more teachings right into your home 🙂 that is meant to nudge us into noticing.. Love the dropped expectations Sara.. and hope your children are well recovered now. And bouncing back with new batteries fully charged :-D..

    On a note about the batteries!.. some times our house as runs on battery drains.. I am sure its a solar flare or something. one time even the car battery was flat too 🙂

    Many thanks for all your shares… And I love Prince Ea’s Poetry … and follow his video updates..

    My plans for the weekend! well Saturday yesterday I spent all day painting garden furniture.. And today I am recovering! 🙂

    Have a good week, and I hope the Universe creates double the hours of study time to make up for the lesson 🙂
    Hugs.. Sue ❤

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  8. Weird how all the batteries went at once at the Bear’s workplace. Very weird, I think!
    In ourselves, and otherwise, it’s good to recognise low or flat battery symptoms and not keep flogging the starter motor and entire vehicle… Fuzzy brain is one of these, and the cure is I think to do exactly the opposite of what we think we Should, just as you did 🙂 Late the week before I too did just that, took a day out and applied myself to several things that lingered on my to-do list creating a block and draining energy. I felt so much better. Then last week the G.O. came down with a stomach bug, amazingly stayed home and felt better for it. Wonders will never cease 😉
    So much of what you write each week makes so much sense to me and connects another dot… this week it’s second life and narrative non-fiction… aha.
    Retrospectively, seeing as the oven is once again functional, I baked biscuits and cooked dinners. Food and sleep is the fuel of our weeks. But we also had time out in the sun and caught up with friends who have a pair of dingoes, and two puppies… toooooo cuuuuute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so interesting isn’t it, the opposite of what we think we should when we’re tired should not be rest. Rest is the natural thing we should do. To ignore and override the body’s needs time and again is so harmful. It will literally kill us in the end.
      You’re right, it was weird. And…the Bear has been ill with an ear infection all weekend. Another one who never listens to his body :/.
      It was so liberating to discover that the type of writing I enjoy doing is narrative non- fiction. I was so pleased I could stop trying to write fiction! I may want to write fiction in the future, but for now, it’s not what I want to do, and that is fine!
      Have a good week Dale xo

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  9. Omg. It would take me ForEvEr to put out a post this length – with its treasures. (One amazing friend there, btw.) So we get to audit the class for free, eh? =) Keep passing it on.

    “passionless tone of a dutiful list of facts that fails to CONVINCE us that any of these facts are WORTH knowing.”

    Two posts right there. 😉

    Xx
    D.

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    • Yes…’friend’ doesn’t quite encapsulate what this particular person means to our family. I have known him for 30 years, and he was my confidante when I was a teenager and hating on my parents…and now he’s the godfather to my children and my support person. He is one of the main reasons I can write and study as well as do the other things I need and want to do.
      As for the time it takes me…about 4-6 hours, spread out over two early mornings is what it takes me to do these posts. That’s just to put it together, and then you know, there’s all the reading and commenting that goes with it., 🙂 I love it of course, but each week I wonder if this will be the week that something inside of me says, ‘no more!’

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