Some weeks are a little more challenging than others – have you noticed that my friends? Of course you have, silly me :). Some weeks are like medicine and some are like wine, and that’s just the way it is on Earth School. So, if last week was like wine, then this week was definitely of the medicine variety. The medicine that the Universe doses me up with most frequently is that of the go with the flow, even when it hurts variety. And I am so much better at it after all my medicine, that I can now see what is going on while it is happening: okaayy, this one of those times where you want me to surrender to what is happening and let go of any ideas that I may have had about the whole thing. Rigghhht. That doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoy the experience, but rather, I have learned to turn the dial up on curiosity and interest and down on fear and resentment, because I have learned that things are more fun and tend to work out better when the Universe is driving.
I can actually pinpoint the moment where my week went awry – about 5 minutes after I pressed publish on last week’s post. I was sitting there, dare I say a little smugly, basking in the glow of a productive and happy week and looking forward to a whole day alone, studying and working, when the phone rang. It was my mother, wanting to know where I was. I had gotten the days mixed up. For some reason, I had swapped the days around in my head, making the day with my mum the Thursday and my study/work day on Wednesday. I had even booked the car in to get new tyres on the Thursday in the knowledge that mum would be able to drop me off and pick me up. Now, this triple Taurus girl is not at her best when plans change suddenly. I try hard, but really, a sudden 180 degree turn in events does not become me. My mother will tell you that as a child, I had to have a week’s notice of any plan changes or I would melt down. No, I am not on the spectrum, and yes, as I’ve gotten older and worked on my flexibility, my adjustment time has decreased markedly. Still, as I was on the phone to my mother, I could feel my internal gears grinding and crunching, and my inner resistance flaring up. That decided it – I’ll be there in half an hour, I told her. That’s how you get flexible – by stretching yourself. That’s how it works on the yoga mat, and that’s how it works in the world too.
So, we had a gorgeous day together, my lovely mama and me. We went kayaking up the gorgeous Nambucca River (I wish I had photos to show you – next time), where the water was so clear we could see the sandy bottom and the schools of bream and garfish. We saw jewel-like azure blue kingfishers, flashing from branch to water and back again, and we parked our crafts on a sandy river elbow and went swimming in the slightly salty crystal water when we got too hot. A family friend who I have known all my life came to visit from hours away, and we talked and ate and drank numerous cuppas. It was a good day, and well worth the effort.
The next two days my daughter was sick (with the flu that I now have), so I had to work and study around her. On the Friday when I work in kindergarten, I was able to call on our beautiful friend Harry, another lifelong friend, and he looked after her until the Bear could come home from work to take over. What, I wondered aloud to my son as we drove off, do parents do when their children are sick and they don’t have someone devoted to supporting them as I do? I had rescheduled our much needed appointment for new tyres for this day as well, which meant I needed to call on another friend to meet me at the tyre place, which is located way out of town in the industrial area, drop me off at work and then meet me after work to take me back to pick up the car. Fortunately Mimi, our family friend who was staying with Mum, was more than happy to help me out. As I strapped myself into her car, she said how happy she was that she could be useful, to be of service. That is something that motherhood has taught me – that asking for help not only helps you, but it helps your helper as well. People want to help, but don’t always know the best way, and asking shows them how.
The next day, Saturday, the Bear and our daughter went off to a local market to buy some plants and some new chickens. We have four chickens, but they are getting old, and the Bear has built a brand new chicken pen for this very moment. I thought I would catch up on some work and study while they were gone, but I ended up spending most of the day swapping one computer over to another, which is like a digital house move. You know you are moving to better premises, but the process of clearing everything out, packing it up, moving it and setting up your new house is frustrating and time consuming. Anyway, it was done.
I woke up early on Sunday morning and did the copywriting work that I thought I was going to do the day before. That was lucky, because at 7:30 the kids came over to tell me that the roof had sprung a mysterious leak and dripped directly onto our modem, filling it with water and killing it. I had been working offline so hadn’t noticed that the Internet had stopped working. I mean, come on, it hadn’t even been raining. What were the odds? We had two choices – order a modem on a plan from our provider, and wait 5 days for it to arrive, or get in the car and drive to our nearest Telstra shop and buy one off the shelf. Five days without internet is not really an option for us as I study and work from home, so in the car we got. The buying bit was fine – hooking it up was a nightmare, and after three phone calls to our phone company who kept saying it was fine from their end, but not from ours, it took about 36 hours for everything to come online again :/. Anyway, it was done.
My final challenge for the week was Halloween. My kids had been silent on the subject and I had naively hoped that this year I could get away without participating in it. And then, My lovely new Canadian neighbour messaged me and says that she wants to organise a little community trick or treat run so that she can introduce her children to the fun of Halloween – can I have a little treat for them and would my daughter like to come along? Sigh. No really, I don’t think you heard me. SIGH. I get it from her perspective, I really do. One of my favourite people in this world is my American friend Shana, and when she lived close by me, she also wanted to recreate Halloween for her children, so I have been prepped. I am sure that if I lived overseas in a non-Christian country for instance, I would still want to bring Christmas along with me, have a feast and invite people around, even if it wasn’t the tradition in that country. But from my perspective, it makes me crazy that we in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate these co-opted seasonal festivals with no knowledge of their history, and at the wrong time of year! So Halloween is an Autumn harvest festival with day of the dead overtones – and it’s Spring here. Easter is a Spring festival celebrated in our Autumn, and really, Christmas is a mid-winter festival held in the middle of our summer. It does my head in, and don’t even start me on the Christian co-opting of pagan festivals ffs. I feel that I am forced culturally to participate in meaningless celebrations that seem to do nothing but force feed kids lollies and chocolate, and if I let it, it makes me mad as hell and resentful as well. However. It’s not about me. Another thing I have learned from motherhood. So, I do the whole Easter egg hunt/Easter bunny thing, I do Santa Claus and if I can’t avoid it, I do Halloween, because my desire to let my children experience life separate from my own prejudices is stronger than those prejudices. I wish my need to understand and have everything make sense was less, but I just can’t help the way I am – these upside down festivals make me crazy. And hey, I can tell you that my kids had a great time trick or treating and came home with enough lollies to feed a small army:
So friends, how do you feel about upside down festivals? What medicine does the Universe dose you up with the most? What has parenthood taught you? Has your week been medicine or wine?