Last week of semester, emergency self care and other stories.

Living

This week, woah. It just goes to show that you never know what you’re capable of until you’re put to the test, right? Firstly, can I just say that having the first week of school holidays coincide with the last week of semester at the end of which all your assignments are due, is not ideal. However, there is something in me that responds well to a time squeeze – I may even need it to be really productive. I had two assignments to do – one which was mostly done, and another which I hadn’t started. The reason I hadn’t started it was because I could not for the life of me figure out how to write it. This was a kind of unusual place for me to be in, but there was no way out except through it. I worked around the edges – I had to refer to at least four print media articles and three peer reviewed journal articles in the essay, so I found those and analysed them; but the pressure of not knowing how to approach the essay itself was really getting to me.

Add to this a mercury retrograde which loves preparation and revision (while interfering with my gadgets), and there was no other option but to have faith that it would all become clear when I had enough information to start. And you know, that’s exactly what happened. I literally woke up one morning and knew exactly what the essay question was asking of me, and how I was going to write it. I was a bit peeved that this process left me three days to write a 1500 word essay from scratch –  three school holiday days at that – but hey, who am I to argue with the muse? Anyway, I’m nearly there. I’m so close I can touch it. I wrote most of the essay yesterday and today I just need to edit and reference it…and then I’m done! My first semester complete 🙂

And then my friends, I am going on holidays! I am the kind of person who can’t really get excited until all of the obstacles are out of the way, but boy has this baby been simmering away :). My family will drop me off at Mum’s place tonight, and then we will get up at some ridiculous time tomorrow morning (I inherited my penchant for early risings from my maternal line 🙂 ) and head off into the sunrise. Breakfast at Byron Bay and then onward to the Sunshine Coast.

So you know, this week has asked a lot of me – I have only written about the assignment part, but the majority of this week has been spent with my children. We’ve gone out for breakfast at a beach-side cafe, ridden bikes along the boardwalk, watched performers at a Buskers Festival, gone to music lessons and karate, done the food shopping, gotten hair cuts and made a special friend a birthday breakfast of cinnamon scrolls.

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Breakfast of champions 🙂
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Pancakes with berry compote and ice cream? It must be school holidays 🙂
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Walking along the boardwalk…Mum, stop taking photos of us!
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Nick shopping for seedlings for his garden bed, Alani posing 🙂
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At the Buskers festival, watching the crazy man dance on top of the wheel of steel (the whole thing spun around and around).
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Alani all kitted up in her karate gear, game face on 🙂

By yesterday afternoon, at the end of a mammoth essay writing day, I was both wired and fried. I could feel irritation and resentment building inside of me, like a volcano heating up. Dinner was in the oven, and I had a half an hour window before I needed to serve up. What could I do to unwind?

  1. Delegate: I asked the kids to prep the vegies: top and tail the beans, chop the broccoli into florets and pop the potato chats on to cook.
  2. While they did that, I pulled out one of my favourite yoga sequences for moments like these and spent 20 minutes on the mat.
  3. I had a cider with dinner.
  4. After dinner, showers and kid’s bedtimes, I lit an incense, put on Carla Bruni and snuggled up next to the fire with a cuppa and Thich Nhat Hahn’s How to Love.
  5. Ask for help, yoga, breathing, alcohol, aromatherapy, music, tea and sacred reading – that’s pretty much my pull out all of the stops emergency self care routine. It worked too – by bed time I was completely unwound and relaxed… I didn’t sleep much last night though. I just didn’t feel sleepy, and I wonder if it is that Aries full moon eclipse coming up in a couple of days that’s humming away in the background keeping me awake :).

Even with the lack of sleep, today I am recharged enough to write this blog post, finish my assignments and then pack to go away. That’s the benefit of self care <3.

What is your emergency self-care routine?

Loving

From Eden Riley at edenland:

Do you believe in Mother?

A parable by Útmutató a Léleknek 

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” 

The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.” 

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?” 

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.” 

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.” 

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.” 

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.” 

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.” 

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?” 

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.” 

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.” 

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

Learning

  • It doesn’t matter how many times you read over something you have written, you will still find something that needs to be changed or corrected. The trick is to know when it is good enough.
  • Updating apple devices in the middle of a mercury retrograde may lead to technical issues. But hey, now I not only know that an ipod has a driver, but I know how to update it.
  • Writing an academic essay complete with references, required terms and a correctly laid out bibliography, chicago style (every dot, comma and apostrophe needs to be in the right place or I will mark you down, our teacher informed us) is much more difficult than, say, writing a story or this blog post 🙂 Who would have thought?
  • If I turn up, do the work that I know how to do and that is there to be done, and above all have faith, things tend to work out just fine. Have you found that?

That’s it from me, short and sweet this week – but I know you understand, right? Have a beautiful weekend, look after your lovely self, and I will see you in the ether ❤

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14 comments

  1. You are just entering the holiday, And I am just starting school this week. I guess that’s what happens when one person lives don’t under any other lives “above over”?

    Your idea of relaxing is similar to mine! But I don’t do it often enough. In fact, sometimes I will just interrupt whatever I’m doing on the computer with doing some meditation or sacred reading — for just a short break. Or dance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, that’s how it rolls Georgia – I have a month off before my next semester starts, and you have your whole school year ahead of you!
      I tell you, knowing when to rest is my super power :). I love taking little breaks – they are so restorative, and easy to fit in. Everyone can fit in a 10 minute break.

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  2. Not so short… but very sweet. For me it’s always interesting to understand how others fit their lives around life, if you know what I mean!
    I was particularly impressed with your emergency self care routine, especially the asking for help… one of my learning points is not to let that opportunity run out too far and be on the point of losing it before I consider doing so.
    Also loved Do you believe in Mother? Which also ties in for me your last point for Learning… it’s not the same without faith.
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean Dale – I’m always interested in people’s stories.
      I was impressed that I identified what the matter was before the whole thing blew up…and I was able to get enough perspective to realise it was my problem rather than someone else’s fault. It worked well too!

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  3. Hi Sara! Loved your method of getting through that day. I find that the kids really kick it into gear when they know we need it and “rise up.” Nice image of them doing the veggies while you did yoga. I’ll have to try it 🙂 My recent best self care is physical separation from work…I’m stopping working at home and walking up the hill 1/4 mile each morning to work at the top of camp and later on walking home, leaving myself some time to do house stuff before jetting off to pick up kids. Feels great 🙂 Also, leaving myself a full day off with no paid work allowed. I find myself actually wanting to go to work now. Even found time to draw today…have a wonderful week away my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, isn’t it wonderful when we figure out what we need and give it to ourselves? There can definitely be too much of a good thing when it comes to work…so glad you’re finding the balance and the joy ❤️

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  4. Sara, thanks for the report on how you completed the assignment. I’m sure it’s something your readers, like me, are faced with all the time, though it might not be for school. There’s a piece of writing you are committed to, and it just won’t come, and you fret and try and then wait, and there it is, as good as or better than you hoped for. I’ve found that the work that gives me the most trouble becomes my best. So when I’m having a hard time, as I was all last week, I think, “This one is going to be really good.” One reason why bibliographies, footnotes, etc. are hard for you is that creative people, research has shown, almost always have trouble with details. Hope the rest of your holiday is enjoyable. Autumn beginning here.Leaves falling.

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    • David, it is so lovely to hear from you – I have missed you! I know exactly what you mean – there is a wonderful saying about the inverse relationship between resistance and the reward on the other side, where the greater the resistance to something, the greater the reward for you on the other side :). I have found this to be true, time and time again, so much so that now whenever resistance come up I see it as a signpost for something awesome.
      I can’t figure out if my difficulty with referencing is simply because I learning something new and it is taking time to get my head around it (I am notoriously slow at learning new skills, shhh) or because like you said, I am a creative person who struggles with details :). Perhaps a little from column A and a little from column B!
      Spring is rapidly turning into summer here. I arrived home from a week away yesterday, to find that it was 36 degrees C – I packed the kids up and went straight to the river :).

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  5. It’s been about a month since I put ‘pen to paper’ to respond to the dear Practical Mystic. I read you most weeks – it continues to be an absolute highlight. But I am less and less on the blogging response energy world currently. So I have elected to respect that and a delightfully sporadic correspondence has ensued.

    So a month ago or more, things were busy busy for you. And me too, as we wound our ways towards end of school term and school hols. Wow! School hols: now that is a nice reflection: we had a sensational time, and it probably summed up my emergency self care routine: beach, beer, outdoor living, book. So I take those (and add in some movie/favourite series time if I am near a screen) and that usually brings me back. Although beach living needs to be soaked up because we live many (6)hours drive from the beach. { we went camping on NSW Sth Coast and watched the whales – lovely).

    Thanks for the ‘Do you believe in Mother’ parabale. I have just been reading the Tibetan book of living and dying, so was contemplating the whole reincarnation life after death thing. Nice to add another perspective to it.

    Lucky me I get to read The Practical Mystic twice, once when it comes out, and second time round when I feel the energy for response and reflection.

    Like

    • Dear Kate, you are such a blessing <3.
      I love your emergency self care routine – it sounds absolutely perfect. The South Coast is beautiful – we spent many weeks camping there when I was a kid (around Moruya and Bateman's Bay). Lucky you to time it with the whales!
      I know what you mean about the energy that is required to keep up with the blogging world. I am in the middle of re-negotiating that particular energy expenditure right now, and I have no idea about the result of that particular negotiation! I find it so valuable, but sooo time consuming. Tricky!
      Thank you for spending some of your precious time here xo

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