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Blogging Challenge – Day Three : Favourite Quote

30-day-blogging-challenge[1]

My favourite quote has been, for a long time, this one from A. A. Milne (as Christopher Robin, spoken to Winnie the Pooh) :

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It just resonates with me.  I guess it’s something I would like someone to say to me.  I actually made this quote into a wedding card for my ex-husband but I never gave it to him.  It didn’t feel right at the time.  Probably should have paid attention to that little feeling at the time, in hindsight!  I almost use this quote as a gauge for how I feel about someone – if they’re worthy of these words, they’re a keeper.

What’s your favourite quote?  Do you have any words you live by or feel particularly strongly about?

Thank you for dropping by x

What I’m Worth

What I’m Worth

I don’t follow many blogs or online forums.  I don’t have the time and I’m not one for sitting and reading a computer screen for hours on end (unless it’s Pinterest…and that’s another story altogether!).  But one blog I do follow regularly, actually subscribe to, is Marc and Angel Hack Life : Practical Tips for Practical Living.  I’ve mentioned them before and, indeed, they are worth a mention.  I find their words and topics to be very comforting, spookily accurate and, quite often, exactly what I need at the time I’m reading them.  Today’s post is no exception.

I’ve been struggling a little bit this last week or so. Just feeling sad and a tad lonely.  My divorce still hasn’t come through and I guess the wait is starting to weigh on me a little.  I’m not sure how I am going to react when it does come through, but I’m pretty certain I won’t be shouting gleefully or jumping for joy.  It’s an odd feeling, having to say goodbye to something (and someone) that you know is no good for you, but that you still care about or, at least, think about often.  I’ve been beating myself up this week – going over and over everything I may have done wrong.  I’ve been re-living moments I could have approached differently or ways in which I could have changed to adapt better to the situation I found myself in.  I started blaming myself for being me.  All over again.  When I thought I had stopped those thoughts and self-defeating doubts.

Then, this morning, I read Marc and Angel’s post : 20 Things to Remember When Rejection Hurts

I won’t re-write the entire post – you should check it out for yourself! – but, basically, it tells us how we should value ourselves and believe in our own worth, even when someone else does not.  Their opinions and feelings are exactly that – theirs.  You have no control over them or their thoughts.  Marc and Angel write :

“…. you don’t need anyone’s constant affection or approval in order to be good enough in this world.  When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you.  It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs.  So you don’t have to internalize any of it!  Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you – it’s something inherent.  You exist, and therefore you matter.  You’re allowed to be yourself.  You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings.  You’re allowed to assert your needs.  You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is more than enough.  And you’re allowed to let go of anyone in your life who makes you feel otherwise…”

It’s exactly what I needed today, before I started wallowing any deeper in self-pity and bad self-esteem.  One point in particular really hit home for me :

# 3  Life and God both have greater plans for you that don’t involve
crying at night or believing that you’re broken.

I’m going to try and remember that one, especially late at night when I am feeling sad and alone and doubting everything I am doing or wanting to do.

I hope you believe in yourself today and always x

Trash and Treasure

Trash and Treasure

A quick post about my weekend’s finds.  It will be a quick post because I am a bit disgusted about my recent lack of self control where my spending is concerned.
If I type fast, maybe it won’t seem so bad to me….(actually, who am I kidding?  I can never do short posts when I want to…this one will be no different).

On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  “I just need a couple of things…” I said dismissively, knowing full well I am incapable of actually controlling myself where shopping is concerned. Now, normally this isn’t such a bad thing because I generally buy 2nd hand items from op-shops etc.  I don’t buy “new” things very often and even when I do I rarely pay full price.  However, having visited my brother the night before and seeing some lovely household items his equally lovely partner had bought for the house, I was immediately overcome with waves of decorator envy and NEEDED to buy similar items for my house.  As you do.

So, we headed to The Reject Shop, the kind of store that is dangerous for me because I go in to buy wrapping paper and come out with three clocks shaped like frogs, a packet of weird sweets with unpronounceable names and a self-cleaning kitty litter tray.  When I don’t own a cat.  There’s just stuff in there you never knew you needed.  It’s dangerous, as I said.  So I don’t go in there very much unless I have a strict plan and stick to it.

On this particular day I walked out with a large cork-lidded jar with a stag head on it and some white shabby-chic-looking photos frames.  So not too ridiculous I suppose.

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Then we went to Typo, another shop that I have trouble controlling myself in.  They have so much stuff in there that I NEED.  I NEED more notebooks! (I don’t, I have about 48 currently).  I NEED stickers that look like french patisserie! (I don’t – I should be on a diet and food-shaped stickers will not help the situation).  I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  (Erm, I really DO want one of those…I have no idea why.  I’m vegetarian and find hunting abhorrent.  But I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  I do!).  In the end I walked out with a wooden ampersand for my book shelf and a white ceramic fox pen holder.  Both were heavily reduced in price so I didn’t break the bank, but guilt was already starting to set in.

On Sunday morning, very early, I went to a swap meet with my good friends MD and FK.  Ah, swap meets!  The smell of dewey grass trampled on by eager bargain hunters!  Nothing is more enticing to those of us with a taste for the quirky, the trashy and the downright odd.  There is always the hope that you will find something AMAZING that you’ve been hunting for for years.  That somewhere out there is a stall that has that pink/white/blue/polka-dotted pig/duck/skateboard you’ve been looking for all your life (or at least since last Tuesday when you saw it in a magazine and knew you NEEDED to have one).

We were looking for plants and pots and cute stuff and handy stuff and storage stuff.  So, stuff, basically.  MD and FK bought practically an entire nursery of plants (the car on the way home looked like a travelling botanic exhibit) as well as some garden pots, terrariums and interesting containers for succulents.  I picked up (after a bit of fruitless searching when I thought I wasn’t going to find anything at all…) a rather funky granny trolley…

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…which then came in handy for carrying other purchases (it was a bargain at only $6.00! – very sturdy and new and roomy) and will be good for fetching my groceries in…

…I also bought a delightful little succulent that had the prettiest of pastel colours on its leaves (love the yellow and pink tinges) and deserves an equally pretty pot when I find one…

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…I found this little wooden shelf/stool which I am going to paint white and distress (maybe add a vintage image to it) and either put plants or use in my craft room as storage.  I picked up the little book too which is actually a notebook (erm…what was I saying about notebooks?) with nice brown, kraft paper pages…only $2.50 for the two items….

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…I bought this pretty cup and saucer for $5.00, not knowing MD had been eyeing it off too.  It’s a vintage design but I don’t know how old it is.  Probably not very!  Doesn’t matter to me, it’s sweet and my favourite colour.  If I don’t use it for tea, it will be a nice container for a succulent.

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We stayed at the swap meet for about three hours then decided we couldn’t carry any more and had to leave.  Across the road was a “garage sale” sign so we made a bit of a detour…several plants and more pots later for FK and MD, we headed off again.  A few miles up the road we came across a sign that said “Vintage Garage Sale”.  Well, a screeching of brakes and a quick turn into another street, we found ourselves at a lovely little garage sale, indeed selling vintage pieces (china, furniture and other items) at very reasonable prices.  I got a few pieces (couldn’t help myself…why stop now?) starting with this sweet little Wade Heath trinket dish.  It’s in good condition – no chips or staining.  I considered using it as a pot for a wee little succulent, but I’m not sure yet…

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…I loved this bowl, even though it is clearly not vintage.  I liked the colours and the shape.  Very pretty and only $5.00…

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…this Meakin strainer dish was so pretty and the colours were very bright and un-faded.  There is a bit of staining in one corner, but is in otherwise great condition, and at only $5.00, was a no-brainer for me.  I love Meakin dinnerware and the flowers on this piece were just so pretty…

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So, a good morning indeed.  But then, after also getting some fruit and veg on the way home, from the markets, and also buying some DVDs to watch later in the week (whoops), my purse is decidedly lighter than I would like it to be and buyer’s remorse has definitely set in.  I am aware of the fact that I am not only binge-eating at the moment, but have also taken on a tendency to binge-spend, even if by other people’s standards it isn’t worth worrying about.  I keep saying I am not procrastinating about getting my divorce paperwork in, but I probably am.  By spending money on other things, I can somehow, deep in my sub-conscious, “forget” to submit the papers and pay for the divorce application, not to mention filling a huge emotional void.  I’m kidding myself if I think otherwise.  But really, isn’t buying vintage china, A LOT more satisfying than paying for a divorce???  I’m not going to put my divorce papers up on the wall, for all to see my failures, but I will happily display that Meakin dish and serve tea in that sweet little cup and saucer.  Now, if I could just save up for that stag head…

Have a happy week everyone.  Hope you find some treasure (or at least avoid any trash!) 🙂

First World Problems

First World Problems

Today I took a day off work and went in to the city to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to obtain an official marriage certificate (the one they give you at the actual wedding is not worth the paper it’s printed on apparently) so that we can apply for a divorce in a couple of weeks (when it will be twelve months since we separated).  Feeling kinda down about the whole thing, I trudged through the city in the rain, wanting to tell everybody I passed how life had done me wrong.  How I was suffering.  How everything just sucks and basically a whole lot of boohooing was going on in my head.  I actually DID boo-hoo at work yesterday – just felt really sad and that stuff is getting finalised and DONE. That I’m going to be a divorced forty year old.  Waaaah.

Then I spotted a homeless guy, sheltering in a stairwell, his belongings around him.  He looked so cold and miserable.  I often see him as I drive through the city on my way to work.  I feel bad for him but can’t help him usually as I’m in my car – I can’t just bung a load of coins out the window at him as I whizz past.  But today I had no excuse.  As I walked past him, I tried to ignore the feeling of wanting to help.  I told myself I didn’t have any cash on me (I didn’t) and that I had to get to the registry office.
I told myself I was too shy/timid/uncomfortable/busy to approach him.

But then I stopped.

I turned around and I headed to a coffee shop about a block away from the man .I ordered a hot chocolate and headed back .
My conversation with myself had changed from “You can’t do this” to “You have to do this”.
I couldn’t pass him by, not one day longer.

I offered him the hot chocolate, thinking he would be grateful and pleased.  He simply said “Oh I don’t drink coffee…”  I told him it was hot chocolate (I had purposely not bought coffee as I know some people don’t like it) and said “I just thought you could do with a warm drink – you look so cold…” To which he replied “I am cold”.  I wanted him to take the drink.  I wanted him to smile and say thank you and “That’s so nice of you!” but there was none of that.
He almost begrudgingly took the drink and I think I heard a mumbled “thanks”, although maybe I just wanted to hear one.

So what am I getting at?  For a while I was a little miffed and felt kinda stupid for even bothering to buy the drink.  I felt that my kind deed had gone unappreciated.
I was embarrassed and flustered. I’d walked quite a way to get him that hot chocolate.

But then I stopped.

That man sleeps on the street.  He has no home, no family, no car, no money.  He doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from.  He has been rejected by society, maybe his family, and can’t rely on friends to give him a bed to sleep in.  He has way bigger issues than I do.  And I’m the one who’s uncomfortable?  Geez, talk about first world problems!  I buy him a drink and I think that’s going to solve all his problems?  What about tomorrow?  Or the next day?

I had to remind myself that his reality is different to mine.  I was trying to stamp him with the same social etiquette and manners that I live by.  Me in my cosy home with my nice job, my loving family and my loyal friends.  Me with a full belly and clean clothes, a roof over my head and a feeling of safety and security in my little world.

Maybe I’m not quite up to the whole Good Samaritan act yet.  I wanted to be.  I wanted to do this good deed and not expect approval or gratitude in return.  But we live in a world where we all want reward for the things we do.  We want to be noticed and acknowledged.  I, for one, am sorry I gave in to that need today and didn’t allow kindness to be its own reward.

Next time I will do better.  Next time I will buy a sandwich – but I will ask first, and not be offended if they don’t want to accept my offer.

At the end of the day, I did a good thing and I guess that is better than standing by or walking past and doing nothing.
A good deed, even a slightly unsuccessful one, has to count for something, I hope so, anyway.

Hope you are all safe and warm today x

Cats and Kittens (should mind their own mittens!)

Cats and Kittens (should mind their own mittens!)

 I am trying to be good and keep truly negative things out of this blog (mostly for you, but also for me so I don’t look back in years to come and cringe) and I am trying to be mature and let go of things and move on and not be so whiny.  But then stuff happens and it is hard not to creep slowly over to the dark side and want to vent a little.  So, to do that without being too negative or depressing, I shall tell you my sad tale in the form of a thinly-disguised fable so that names don’t need to be mentioned (I’ve never done that here anyway) and I can try at least to be entertaining whilst cathartically venting my spleen.  So, here goes, the sad and magical tale of…

A Girl, Her Cat and the Faraway Journey

So, there was once this girl (ok, middle-aged woman) who lived with a much younger cat.  She loved the cat very much, despite his immaturity and strange habits, and tried to make a happy and warm home for him, hoping he would always come home to her and only ever groom himself by her fireside, ignoring all other offers from catnip-proffering floozies, whoops, I mean felines.

As time went on, the girl felt that the cat wasn’t happy.  He was staying out late in the neighbourhood, hanging out with other cats and indulging in far too much milk for the girl’s liking.  She thought the fault was hers – maybe she wasn’t pretty enough or fun to be around.  Maybe she was sick too often or too tired to stay out late and she didn’t fit in with the other cats, who seemed course and ill-mannered.  She tried for a long time to change into something she was not, and, in the end, she knew she would never be what the cat wanted. 

So they decided to live apart.  As the months passed, it was obvious the cat had moved on entirely and did not need the girl.  The girl was very sad but tried to be ok and live her life, alone but secure in her own little house with her own things and no one else’s litter tray to clean up.  She tried to stay out of the cat’s life, hoping they would one day at least be friends and care about each other enough to be kind and thoughtful towards one another.

Soon she found out that the cat had moved in with a particular ginger kitten whom the girl had always been suspicious of.  It hurt the girl but she tried to be mature and let it go, tried not to think about it.  She waited for the cat to tell her about the kitten, but he didn’t, preferring instead to let the grapevine that ran through the town do the work for him.  The same thing occurred when the cat and kitten decided to travel to Europe together – the cat did not tell the girl, did not think it was any of her business and did not see why he should care if it upset her.  The girl was minding her own business, reading news updates on her own social me(ow)dia page when up popped a charming photo of the cat and the kitten, having a feline-fabulous time in Paris.  The cat’s mother, whom the girl had always been fond of, had posted the picture, for all to see.  The girl was very sad and hurt and also, just a little bit ticked off.  It was one thing for the cat to be thoughtless and uncaring, but the girl was a little bit disappointed in the cat’s mother. The girl wondered, if she would ever be free from hurt and if she should actually have gotten herself a dog in the first place.

*     *     *    *    *     *     *

OK, so not the best story in the world but hopefully it will have a happy ending eventually (a charming, handsome prince would be nice but I am not holding my breath).  The girl needs to get her head together and stop being a drip, torturing herself and living in the past with a cat who doesn’t actually care about her, and possibly never did (that’s the hard part for the girl to digest).

I have been pretty upset the last few days but last night, after seeing the picture, I got angry and then, started laughing. Because if you don’t laugh, you start to cry, and I have done enough of that already.  Besides, there are cookies to eat, craft books to read and endless cups of tea, all of which will help fill an emotional void, as well as good friends, family members and workmates.  I’m lucky that I have all of those things (and people) and I try to remember that.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last few years without them.
It possibly would have required dangerous amounts of cake and possibly anything with salted caramel.  And cheese.  Lots of cheese.

Hope you are having a happy day and not needing any emotional support at all.  But, if you are feeling a bit down and need a cyber hug, I am sending lots your way and hoping tomorrow will be brighter and less sucky.  I’m emailing you an extra-fudgey brownie right now – did you get it?

🙂

x

Keep your friends close…

Keep your friends close…

The old saying of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” may well ring true for a lot of people, but I prefer to shorten it to “keep your friends close”, or, better yet, just “keep your friends”.  Over the course of the last year, whilst dealing with the whole marriage break-up “thing” (it’s moved down a notch from being a “drama” or “nightmare” to just a plain old “thing”) I have never felt more sure of the friendships I have.  It was one of the things that kept me together when all I felt like doing was falling apart.  And I did feel like falling apart – oh Lord did I ever! I felt like hunting down a Medusa, getting her to look at me so I would turn to stone, and then crumbling into a million dusty pieces.  I felt like there was not enough glue or safety pins in the world to keep me in one piece.  But I didn’t fall apart (well, maybe a little bit – I think that’s allowed and probably healthy) and I didn’t crumble, though there was a fair amount of near-crumbling, lots of ugly tears (the snotty, don’t-look-at-me kind) and a fair bit of self indulgent wallowing.  I mean, you’ve read this blog, you know what I am talking about.  I still have the odd moment of over-dramatic despair and sadness.
And then it goes away.

And you know why it goes away?  Because I am loved and liked and coddled and supported and listened to and cherished and comforted and taken under wings and looked after by special people in my life.  I am so very blessed in that I have so many people around me that care about me.  From my bosses to my Mum, from my school-friends to my work-mates, I am so lucky to have wonderful, nurturing, supportive people around me.  I’ve never felt really alone, even when I was at my lowest point.  There was always that little voice in the back of my head that kept saying “You are loved and you will be alright”.  And that voice has gotten stronger over the years as I realise that I can can make it on my own and I can manage and survive and do what needs to be done by myself, because I am never really by myself.  And I am so grateful for that.  I’m as grateful for the looking-after-me friends as I am the kick-me-up-the-bum friends who tell me to get my act together and stop moping around.  I admit maybe the latter kind of friend is sometimes less welcome that the former, but they all, in their own way, keep me together and make me a better person.

I admit I am not a sociable person.  I could easily be a hermit who only surfaces, blinking and grumpy, into the light every now and then to stock up on groceries and make sure the world is still turning.  I could do that so easily.  But then I would miss out on being part of my friends and families’ lives.  And I would hate that.  Over the last year or two I have been guilty of having my head up my own arse (for want of a better, more polite expression) and have perhaps been a little bit less attentive and supportive of people I care about. Truthfully, because I was hurting so much myself and couldn’t see past my own problems and dramas and couldn’t bear to add another layer of unhappiness.  But as I am coming through the fog of emotional upheaval, it is time to start being there again for everyone else and get back to being a good friend or family member to the people I care about.  In some ways, to be honest, that is a little bit daunting.  I’ve been able to hide away in my own problems, use them as a shield to keep other “stuff” away.  I know people kept things from me, wanting to protect me in my “fragile” state and not wanting to burden me with anything else that I would have to deal with.  But it is time to put on the proverbial big girl’s panties now and hitch my wagon back on life’s little road train (God, where am I getting these sayings from???) and deal with stuff, whether it be my problem or someone else’s.
Because I want to keep my friends close.  And my enemies?  Well, I am lucky enough to say I don’t have many of those, and don’t intend on collecting any more if I can help it. Life’s too short and time too precious.

I spent some time today with my lovely friend CW who has been a tremendous support to me over the last few years – through my illness and work worries and, more recently, the dreaded marital strife.  She is an amazing person, and someone with whom I feel comfortable discussing life and some of the more esoteric subjects like karma, one’s purpose and place in the world and whether or not cake is a suitable food to have for breakfast.  I have cried in front of her (well, let’s face it, I have cried in front of pretty much everyone – that’s just a given) and poured my heart out and told her my fears and worries.  I don’t know if she knows that she is very important to me, even though we don’t see each other very often or if she is aware that she is a calming presence in my life and someone I admire and look up to.  Because I know, with her, I can be me.  I don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything else.  She understands me, or, at least, doesn’t judge me.  And that is such a blessing.
So to her, I say, with much love and gratitude, Thank you.

Hope you are all sharing your weekend with friends and family or planning to do so soon.  Life is short and time goes by so quickly.  Remember to spend that time with people you love and people who make the world, your world, a better place to be yourself in.

🙂

Tunnelling towards something is better than trying to punch someone in the face…

Tunnelling towards something is better than trying to punch someone in the face…

I found out today (on Facebook – the bringer of all news, good, bad, true and speculative) that hubby (I still haven’t figured out what I’m supposed to refer to him as, so he’s still hubby for now until we’re actually divorced.  Then I will have to get used to saying “My ex”) is possibly going to have his girlfriend move in.  In to what was OUR home.  Less than 9 months after we separated.  Which seems very quick to me but maybe that’s how it goes.  For someone like me, who procrastinates and can’t make decisions, it just seems a little fast.  I still haven’t bought myself a proper couch, let alone moved someone else in with me.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised or upset by this. I have moved on and gotten my life together.  I’m doing ok and paying my bills, working and nesting and building a home for myself on my own, knowing I might be alone forever now.  And, on and off, I’ve been ok with that.  I haven’t been harbouring any secret dreams about us getting back together, of him coming to me and begging for my forgiveness.  I haven’t.  I dream about him all the time, but they’re always horrible dreams of him leaving me all over again and being nasty and me trying to win his attention or affection.  So even my subconscious is saying “He’s a jerk”.

But it still hurts.  I think it hurts even more knowing who the girl in question is and knowing that my hunch about them being involved even while we were still together was correct.  It’s a bit of a smack in the face (with a wet fish – a big, slimy, stinky fish).  I don’t want it to be, and I wish I could just go “Oh well..” and get past it, but right now it stings.  Because I couldn’t make him happy and I don’t matter.  It’s the not mattering that hurts the most, the not being important in even the smallest way.  I’m “stuff-you-scrape-off-the-bottom-of-your-shoe” insignificant.  And maybe that’s the way it is supposed to be when you break up with someone.  But it makes me keep thinking I must be a terrible person to not matter to someone who once cared for me.

But I’m ok.  I’m just venting.  It’s late and I’m tired and probably won’t sleep while I digest this new info and try to figure out its place in the world.  I might not even post this because I keep telling myself I shouldn’t be putting this kind of morose stuff on here.  People don’t read my blog in order to hear me whinging about my broken heart.  I should be upbeat and fun!  Crafty and creative!  Inspirational and motivational!  Funny and self-deprecating!  But then I would be lying.  At least for tonight when I am a little bit hormonal and am allowing myself a little bit of wallowing and sadness.  I’m getting better at not wallowing.  I’m an expert wallower.  Have been for years. I could wallow for Australia.  If wallowing was an Olympic sport, my shelves would be littered with gold medals and pictures of me standing on those little podium thingies with a bunch of flowers, wearing an unattractive track-suit and waving at crowds of people as they cheer at my amazing wallowing finesse).  But that’s not good enough for me any more.  Instead of digging myself a big, dark hole to climb in, I’m trying to take a different direction and maybe tunnel a little first, see where it takes me.  If there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and there usually is, I will go towards it and emerge at the other end, a little bit tired and grubby, blinking a lot and probably coughing and wheezing, but at least back out in the light.  And hopefully not wearing a track-suit.  They make me look a little hippy.

I hope I can be important to someone again.  But for now, I have to try and be that person for myself. 

Thank you for listening  x

 

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