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What! It’s Friday

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Can hardly believe it’s Friday again. My husband’s parting words this morning as he was running out the door were “we going out tonight”. That’s when I realized it was the end of the week and date night. My life is sweeping by too quickly.

I know how to retard the flow. It means taking moments of time through the day to slow the heck down and be conscious of what is happening all around me. I need to appreciate each moment and take time to breath.

Sounds good, sounds easy, sounds like something I can do. And I can. But perhaps tomorrow because I have a list too long that I want to finish by the end of today.

 

Ax

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My crazy mind

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Organized or chaotic. Where do you fall on the scale?

I start organized and slide to the bottom of chaotic. I’m not an organized person. I wish I was. Sometimes I drive myself crazy with my jumbled antics, but no matter how much I try and get organized and form some sort of structure I just don’t stick to it. I have every intention to do so. I buy diaries, cork boards, journals, blackboards, post-it-stickers, notebooks, flip cards and write out my aspirations, goals, plots lines, character arcs, publishing schedule, marketing schedule, menu, shopping list—it’s endless. Then the inevitable happens, I don’t look at it, I lose it, I change my mind, I get better ideas, find another focus. So I start again. I write it all out again with enthusiasm and incentive to stick with it. Then the inevitable, I start to slide again.

But I don’t beat myself up about it. It kind of works just fine with my writing, thank god. It’s typical for me to change a lot of story mid way through, so it doesn’t matter much that I never got around to plotting the second half of the story. I was once 50,000 words into a novel before I had an epiphany about my story, which found me rewinding to the beginning and starting all over again, same characters, but plot and setting morphed into something entirely different (I’m still working on that one by the way).

My family are used to my mental mess. They step around me, roll their eyes, breathe a sign and get on with their own lives.

One day perhaps I will find the order that may make my live smoother, or maybe I won’t. Either way I will just keep on living and laughing and rebounding off constantly shifting ideas.

Ax


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Running on empty

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Don’t do it. I have and it doesn’t work. Just lately, I’ve been burning the candles at both ends. My oldest is soon heading over east to partake in the junior road tour (that’s cycling if you didn’t get it) and I’ve been helping him with his training most nights of the week.

My other two are busy running their social lives and extra curricula activities which involves mum doing all the ferrying. Some days I’m driving from one event to the other successively.

Then there’s my husband deserting me on business trips at the most inappropriate moments and leaving me with a list of things that need doing.

And of course there’s my precious writing, which these days is being squashed around everything else. I’m even squeezing words down on back of receipts because I left the house unorganized and my notebook isn’t in my bag.

My kids won’t let me forget lunches and dinners, but the house cleaning is out the window, until I get complaints that no one can find any clean clothes to wear.

I’m now at the point of sitting up in bed with the computer on my lap my fingers tapping away as I slide sides and fall asleep.

It all sounds like first world problems I know. But it’s not the way to run your life. Time for a shake up and a schedule. I need to prioritize, get tough and get some sleep. Or…go on a holiday and leave everyone behind.

Ax

The hidden you inside

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I was on the phone to my sister the other night. It was her birthday and of course I’d rung to wish her a happy birthday. I made the usual remark of getting older and she told me she wasn’t afraid of aging. In fact she found she was moving into the best years of her life.

My sister’s journey hasn’t been easy. Her marriage was tough and at times looked like it would fail, with alcoholism and attempted sucide being part of the mix. She has three boys, one with severe physical disabilities and one with severe learning disabilities.

Rather than fall in a heap she picked herself up and kept going. These days she has an MA in management and business, runs her own business on the side and also happens to be a Reiki master. A couple of years ago she started on a journey of self-discovery. She found herself a great group of women following the same calling and a great teacher.

It’s no wonder she is enjoying where age has found her. But the thing that surprised me was her saying that she now felt a powerful woman. When things were going really bad for her all those years ago—at one point her middle child was in hospital having life threatening surgery, her husband threaten suicide, her eldest was failing school and getting into trouble and she was trying to run a business—I thought she was a powerful woman. She held the family together and kept going.

My sister alone organized all the specialist appointments, ran her children to all their sporting events, held conferences with all the teachers, organized her staff and ran the business and stood beside her husband through the most difficult years of his life. She never took drugs, alcohol or medication to get her through. She verged on a nervous break down at times, but she still kept going.

So how could she not think she was powerful back then? She was the strongest woman I knew.

I believe the answer can be found at the foot of all the lies we tell ourselves thinking it’s the truth. At some point in childhood many people stop seeing their potential and see only what falsities they’re told. My sister hasn’t developed into this amazing person through age. She was always this amazing person, she just didn’t see it.

My greatest wish is that everyone would see their true selves. Would realize that they hold the greatest potential right now in their lives, not some time in the future when the bad has passed. Everything you need is inside already. It’s not that the people doing better in life are better people, it’s just that they have a greater belief in themselves.

Life is not always easy, and that’s okay. But if you belief in you then life will be a whole lot better.

Its time to give all those judgements a shake up and see them for what they are, hollow voices that mean nothing.

Ax

 

Strolling the streets of Paris

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I’m taking a cruise through the Montmartre district of Paris, known for its bohemian life style and artist’s market.

I’m not physically there, simply reliving the footsteps I took years ago. My husband and I stayed in the 7th arrondissement of Paris known as the heart of Paris and thought of as a quintessentially Parisian neighborhood. It was a short hop to Champ de Mars and the Effiel Tower and a not too arduous hike across river to the Arc de Triomphe and all the fabulous eateries that line the des Champs-Elysées.

Why am I strolling down memory lane? I’ve decided my new novel will be set in Paris. More specifically the wonderful district of Montmartre surrounded by an air of laissez-faire.

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Our kids slid down smooth cement slops next to the steps of the Basilica. We attended a service, descended into the crypt, peeked over a fence and watched a group of retired men having a garden game of pétanque, had our portrait drawn at the artists market, and watched a commercial shoot.

I’m filled with fond memories and can’t wait to share my experiences of the magical region in my release due out in May.

Ax

 

Just do it!

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I was always a passionate reader. Before I had children I would spend all weekend in bed reading and only leave the bedroom to get something to eat or walk the dogs when their whining for attention became too annoying to ignore.

It took time for the idea of becoming an author to develop. When it did I shouted it down with all sorts of self doubt, believing I could never do it, I would never be good enough etc.—you know the drill I’m sure. When I told my husband he simply said, ‘great idea, why not’. Why not? Easy for him to say, I thought, because he’s never been held back by that stupid, annoying critic hiding in the brain that appears whenever I try to do something that challenges me.

I listened to that critic for years because I foolishly thought it knew what it was talking about. Then one day I couldn’t listen any more. My years were advancing not rewinding. I couldn’t bare to reach the end and think, geez I wish I did that. Sure there will be some of those moments, but I couldn’t let my passion be one of them.

For me it wasn’t about affirmations in front of the mirror designed to tell myself I was worthy, I could succeed. I simply couldn’t allow myself to live under the cloud of that critic any more. I couldn’t deny myself.

So I started typing and I started reading about the craft. I went to workshops and I met other authors. I joined a local writing group and chatted with like minded people. Before I knew it I finished my first book.

I did it. I finished something I thought I could never do. I proved to that stupid inner critic that it was wrong. The best part of all was that I loved it. Every minute of it.

Life is too short to waste it on doing things that zaps you dry. Sure not every day will be easy or worth remembering, but don’t let those off days transform into the story of your life.

I’m not where I want to be. Not yet, but I took a giant leap in that direction. I feel empowered and inspired. I know I will keep going.

I hope you do to.

Ax

 

You’re never too old to live young

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Don’t you just wish sometimes you didn’t have to grow up? Don’t you just wish sometimes you could throw away the shackles of respectability and responsibility and do the things you did when you were young?

My children have yet to develop the habit of picking up after themselves—it’s a work in progress, taking many many years to complete. I often think how freeing it would be to not care where my clothes landed only to find them in my cupboard the next day, or have a tantrum in the supermarket, or spit out food I don’t like.

Wouldn’t it be deliciously freeing to act badly. I’m not talking about illegal or hurtful, just mad and silly and embarrassing like running naked in the rain, sleeping under the stars with nothing but a pillow and your lover by your side, diving into glacial waters in the middle of snow capped mountains, making love with a handsome stranger on an over sized bed in a Viennese hotel with the sun streaming in through floor-to-ceiling windows, jumping from a bridge with elastic tied around your legs. I think you get the picture. By the way, some of these things I’ve done, some I haven’t.

When did life slow down for me. When did I forget to live instead of exist. Maybe I should surprise my husband with a short holiday somewhere exotic, just the two of us. Then I could surprise him even more by insisting we spend our day naked in the spa.

I think these things as I pick my children up from school, when I get home and wash out lunchboxes, and help with homework and prepare dinner.

Perhaps, maybe perhaps I should just take the risk. You’re never too old to live young.

Ax