Belated Easter

They say that Easter is the only time it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket. Nope. Not true.
If I did that, in MY house, by the time I got to the basket there probably wouldn’t even be one left for me. πŸ˜›

This is not because my children are selfish. Or because they don’t care about their mom. (In fact, my daughter will tell me it is because she cares, and is trying to help me lose weight πŸ˜› )
It is simply because, well, they love chocolate.
And they know their mom – if it’s left lying around, it’s for us – if mom wanted it for herself, she would have hidden it πŸ˜›

Something was missing for me this Easter. By the time Sunday lunch rolled around, I felt a bit restless, trying to determine what it could be. (We celebrate Easter on Easter Sunday – the chocolate overload dished out in the morning, and a delicious roast dinner at lunchtime.)
I put the ‘missing part’ down to the fact that by the time Sunday rolled around I was utterly exhausted, after the events of the last few weeks, both emotional and physical. Pain didn’t help – I’d helped move my mothers care home and lifting boxes, carrying things etc. isn’t quite a great thing to be doing when you suffer from old back injuries.
Plus there was the fact that I had kicked my baby toe so hard, I broke it – but that just makes me laugh. I am a strange one, indeed!

It was only when my daughter came to me in the late afternoon, and made a comment, that I realised what had been missing!

Every Easter Sunday, for the past 20 years, I have woken up early in the morning, to write out clues and hide them with Easter eggs…. sending my children to hunt for their next dose of chocolate. As they have got older, I was able to have even more fun with it, because I could make the clues a bit more difficult. On Saturday afternoon, knowing how truly tired their mom was, both kids had approached me at different times, saying that they were really too old for it, and it wasn’t necessary. And so I didn’t give it another thought.

And then my daughter commented on Sunday afternoon, ”I actually missed the clues this morning – it wasn’t the same.”
And in that moment, I knew that my heart had missed doing it…. that that was the ‘missing part’ for me. Something so small, and seemingly insignificant. That actually had a great impact on all of us – because when I asked my son later if he had missed it too, he smiled and said that even though he knows he is an adult and too old for ‘his mom to be doing stuff like that’, it was weird to get all his share of the Easter eggs at once.

Things change with every year that rolls by. The pandemic brought VAST changes in just a year, that none of us saw coming. If you’re a believer, then you know that God never changes.

But I also realised something else that doesn’t change : the little things really DO make a difference! We need to keep doing them!

Here’s hoping you all had a really great Easter! ❀

Spaghetti

routine

Life as a single mom, when the kids have their own schedules etc., means that a lot of the time, my life IS routine based. The above has some truth to it, in that there is definitely less of ‘my’ life and more of ‘dependent’s’ routines. A lot of my time has been based on scheduling what I need to do, around what they need to do and where they need to be.

Our intense lock down in my country, due to the current pandemic, changed a lot of that for the most part. But it also introduced ‘new routine’, that still meant that I had to make adjustments to my ‘living’. Tomorrow another new routine will begin, as my daughter is to return to school for a ten day cycle – and not the normal school hours as these have been adjusted.

But I think that the part about routine that this picture sort of misses is that some routines actually equal a good life. Without some of the routines that I perform, there would actually be ‘less life in me’. Roughly the first hour of my day is usually spent checking my thoughts, my attitude, my heart. It is usually spent in moments of gratitude, and reading through some inspiration. It is an important part of my day, and a routine that I am not prepared to change. For without it (and there have been days where I have been rushed and not taken the time to fully explore the above) I have had some of my worst days – frustrating and slightly miserable.

I really liked the following quote though, and I’ll explain why in a bit :

quotes-about-good-routine

I realised that for me, the key to it all is to let the routine not become routine. When I am grateful for the same three things every day for two weeks, without truly thinking about it and finding other things to be grateful for, then my gratitude has ‘lost its meaning’ – for me anyway. And that too could quickly lead to ‘less life in me’.

(And as a side note – see the different interpretations for that one picture/statement, at the beginning of this blog post? I’ve ‘read it’ differently twice in just this blog post alone – and I am sure if I read it in context with what was before and after, it would have another interpretation entirely. That’s some food for thought in there πŸ˜‰ )

In my late twenties, I read a book by Bill and Pam Farrel. I don’t know what happened to my copy of it, and it’s one I would actually love to read again. I DO remember that it was quite funny – and oh, so true! πŸ˜‰
It was called Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti.
(It’s clearly a good book, since there was a reprint in 2017 πŸ˜‰ )

The thought behind it was that men’s minds are like waffles – and they deal with one thing at a time – almost like boxing everything. Us women? We’re a bit more complicated πŸ˜› We just unpack everything, as such πŸ˜› Our minds are more like spaghetti – flowing from one thought into the next – we can go from thinking about mascara, and end up talking about scrambled eggs on toast in literally 5 minutes – and it’s our thought processes that take us there. What does mascara have to do with eggs? No idea! But we’re women πŸ˜‰

So why am I telling you this?

This blog post came from this : I was reading a post that reminded me that it’s okay to not keep focusing on ‘the outcome’. I’ve had two days where I have been running myself ragged – a vet trip, and a doctor’s visit (everyone is fine πŸ˜‰ ) and the usual household stuff…. and I haven’t got to doing the things I felt I needed to do…. things that would have good outcomes (I hope! πŸ˜› ) and are quite necessary. And I’ve been so focused on not seeing the results I felt I should be and not accomplishing what I felt was important – looking for tangible outcomes and feeling like a failure because there weren’t any. All I could see was two days of ‘wasted time’.
And in that blog post was a reference to faith – ”faith is detachment from outcome and a confident belief in the source of outcome” – to quote it directly.

(And although my ‘interpretation’ is possibly not quite what the intention was behind the post, it made me think all these things – above, and my further explanation below, ha ha ha!)

Then I got to thinking about faith. What it truly means to me. And how I have no choice but to live in it. And I got to wondering when last I was grateful for that – the fact that I have it. And how maybe these days weren’t wasted, because they meant a lot of driving time, and waiting time, where there was little else to do other than sit and reflect. It was time spent with my Source… not wasted then, right?Β 

And then I thought of sauce! And remembered that I had forgotten to buy the one my son requested from the store earlier today when I was there. That made me think of my ‘pre-pandemic’ normal routine of popping in at ‘my store’ daily, and how that has changed. Which introduced the ‘routine’ side of things, spurred on my by a picture message image, which is the first image I shared here.

Talk about spaghetti! My goodness, it’s sort of exciting to think where my mind will go next – although the rumbling in my tummy is a bit of a giveaway πŸ˜‰

I’ll end with this : in our lives, we all have routines and schedules, and we make choices and decisions hoping for positive outcomes. There’s a saying that says : Life happens while we’re busy making other plans. And so sometimes our routines and schedules gets disrupted, and we don’t get the positive outcomes we were hoping for. But perhaps we shouldn’t lose heart. Perhaps in that disruption we had the greatest opportunity of all which always leads to the best of outcomes- to feed our souls and practice our faith, and just be with our source.Β 
May you all always find time for that! ❀

Routinely Singing

I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine the other day and she was laughing with me about certain behaviours I have! It was regarding our current strict lock down, and she sort of stopped me midway through our chat, laughing at me and saying, ”I can’t believe you still have those routines in place.” I laughed too, because some of it is just so silly and unnecessary based on the current circumstances. And yet I can’t help it.

One of the things that was taught to me when I was a teen, working as a volunteer with children, was that childrenΒ need routine. That it helps them to understand what is expected of them, teaches them to respect boundaries and can actually make them feel safe and secure.

I am a fully grown adult, and yet there are so many childlike qualities that I still believe are important to have – things that are actually still quite important to me. I often get teased that I am not spontaneous enough – please don’t get me wrong, IΒ can be spontaneous. But I seem to lean more towards ‘how things fit into the life I lead. How will it affect my children? How does it affect my time? What will the effect of it be on my responsibilities?’

Super boring, right there, right? Same as boring, but I have a special cape for it πŸ˜›

But… you see… some of my routines tend to reduce my stress, either immediately, or they’re in place to try and reduce stressful situations that may come at a later stage. I’ll explain it like this : Before lock down, the routine in my house because of school was to get up at 5am on weekdays. Weekends, I would ‘sleep in’ till about 6:30am – because I usually used to have my daughter at dancing by 9am.
Our world has come to a standstill with lock down.
Most mornings now, I allow myself to sleep in till 6am.
And this was the very thing that my friend was laughing about.
”Why don’t you stay in bed and let yourself go back to sleep, silly Meg. There’s nothing else happening πŸ˜› ”

Why don’t I? Because if I break that routine, and sleep later, or go back to sleep after waking, then if and when things return back to normal hours, it will add to my stress : it will be difficult to fall back into the pattern of such very early mornings. I may even oversleep one day.
I know myself, so I need to keep working on reducing my stress, and that’s just one small way.

So many other things regarding my routines, stress management and productivity have fallen to the wayside – but due to factors I cannot control. And so I have accepted those ‘breaks in routine’ and have had to let go of them in the sense of not allowing them to make me feel bad, or unproductive, or stressed out. An example of this is that we only have one fully functional, working computer in the house – I need it, my son needs it for university, and my daughter now needs it for school. We can control the compromise regarding who gets to use it when, but if it means I have an afternoon where I have been unable to work on the computer, I don’t allow myself to feel that I have been unproductive.

Initially, this was not my attitude and it had started getting to me in many ways – all the little things that were affecting my routine.

And then I remembered one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned over the last few years,Β 

”Can you control this? Is there anything you can do to change this? If your answer is no, then let.it.go.”

It wasn’t easy. I amΒ not a control freak by any means – and when it comes to my house, I definitely don’t have any form of OCD πŸ˜› It’s chaos… mostly organised chaos… but still chaos.

But IΒ have always been a fixer, and I like ‘to know’. I also went through the stages of taking responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me, and allowing sadness and guilt to weigh me down.

Now? I’m just frozen. πŸ˜› (as in singing the Frozen song… ‘let it go, let it go’.… πŸ˜‰

I still have my weak moments… but I’m hellbent on continuing to sing… and I will keep giving myself stern lectures because I am still me, I am still productive and calm, and a fairly good person πŸ˜‰

This is tough on everyone – – – – –Β  but please give yourself a hug. Because you cannot control it. Just keep doing the best you can ❀