The softening

I thought if I called this post “The softening”, it would mostly serve to give me a giggle once in a while if I say it like Aziz Ansari says “the sickening” in his series “Master of None”. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend. He’s a funny funny man, with lots of insights in to the world of being a brown guy in a relatively white world.

“By being softer, you can hear more, learn more, feel more, and love more”
– Rachel Macy Stafford

The 3rd Spring reflection is pretty rich in content. So much meat that I’m not sure I can digest it all in a single post. She begins with this…
I’ve had enough of my hard edges.
I’m tired of straining my voice.

I’m sure I could have written this reflection. I am short-tempered, I am control freak, I am impatient, I am a nitpicker, I am an over-corrector. I choose “diplomacy” over honesty for fear of hurting feelings (which probably adds to my pent-up rage). I choose not to engage in debate… until I’m alone… imagining what I would have said… or possibly even when I’m retelling the story and adding in the witty remarks I had left in my head.

The basic crux of it all is that I have some hard ass edges. Ask my husband. He probably won’t answer. In fact, he probably won’t speak a single ill word of me because he is a heart of a genuinely kind and gracious person. He is much much more than I deserve. I will be honest here though. I have raised my voice to the point of strain. I have sat in Harry Potter’s room under the stairs and wailed. I have had days where I’ve been so overcome with emotion that I have snapped… in half… then in half again. Even in front of my child. So much for being bigger, kinder, stronger, wiser. There are days when how he’s done the dishes just isn’t good enough, or how he does the laundry. It’s just not how I would do it.

So this week, I’m vowing to listen, vowing to hand over the chores and tasks and ask “How would you do it?”. I will vow to be more accepting of quirks and mannerisms, tastes and styles. I vow to stop nitpicking until it bleeds. I will vow to be kinder to my family and to myself, greeting them and me with loving smiles, regardless of what happened yesterday.
Grudge-holding only hurts us all.

Speaking of grudges, I haven’t spoken to one of my siblings properly in almost 2 years. I keep telling myself it’s not a grudge and I don’t think it is, but sometimes I’m really not sure. If you read this and you know me, maybe it’s something you can ask me about. I’m sure I’d appreciate your insight.

 

Mood: pensive
Current sounds: some white noise in the street (sounds like someone has a lot of lawn). Also Hozier’s “Better Love”.

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Adventuring in Twenty Sixteen

2015 presented it’s fair share of challenges and celebrations. I lost 4 relatives in the space of about a month, I had a baby, I went on to be diagnosed with Post Partum Anxiety (which was probably pre-natal, pre-pregnancy anxiety too) and I quit my job.

There are a few things I’m realising as I deal with my psycho reality… everything is important, everything is not important and mindfulness is key. Sounds pretty vague I know but I struggle a lot with my own mental health. As a social worker, I’ve worked with clients who I thought were bad and sometimes I’d put myself on par with them. I lose control and I go to these dark places I don’t want anyone to go to. And it’s weird because sometimes you feel like no one really believes you, and you’re not even sure you believe you because the difference between what you behave and what you display is so huge it could swallow Antarctica.

But alas we’re working on that. Along with attending play groups and library for Miss A, I also attend a mums group with mums who have a reality similar to my own… a little on edge, displays of high functionality, yet falling apart inside, losing control and losing ourselves.

This year, I’m also pretty keen to explore a few more things that will hopefully bring about a more relaxed, less anxious, more positive, less angry, reality of sorts. Something different, something new and yet, something old and familiar, as I seek to rediscover what it is to be mum, wife and Lani.

In 2016 we are…

  • being more committed to churching with our community.
  • being content.
  • learning about positive parenting.
  • learning about positive wife-ing.
  • rediscovering sew crafts.
  • meditating and being spiritually mindful.
  • being more active.
  • eating well: organic wholefood.
  • giving time and volunteering.
  • budgeting better (help me!).
  • being intentional about couple time.
  • loving more intentionally.
  • minimizing rubbish footprint.

I’m sure that list will get bigger but for now that’s what we’ve started with. Hopefully I’ll be better at updating as I go along. I never know who actually reads these things but I do know that for the purpose of reflection, it helps having an audience whether visible or invisible.

Ciao,

L

Reflecting on Connectivity…

I was watching Stand By Me last night. It’s a great movie about 4 pre-teen boys who have a life changing experience as they travel on foot to see a dead body. It delves into their personal stories of pain and anguish. Basically, it’s the end of the holiday before school begins again and after that crazy experience, they part ways. Grown-up Gordie (one of the boys) narrates the story and at the end he says: –

As time went on, we saw less and less of Teddy and Vern, until eventually they became just two more faces in the halls. It happens sometimes. Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.

Connectivity

Web of connections

I’ve been trying to write this post for ages. Not sure why it’s taken so much effort (and starts and stops) but it has.

One of the questions I’ve been asking myself lots lately is, “what connects me to people?” We got a visit from an old friend and mentor a few weeks ago and one of the things he said to us was that in this first year of marriage, it’s important that we keep connected. I’m not sure what that meant. Because I felt like I’d spent the previous half hour talking about all the people we were connecting with. But as a Christian leader, I wonder if I can assume he meant being connected to a Christian community.

That question dwelled with me a few days and I was uncomfortable. Usually I would be uncomfortable with guilt at the fact that I wasn’t connecting to a Christian group, but that certainly wasn’t it. It was an uncomfortable frustration that the presumption might have been that the only valuable connection we can possibly have is with other Christians. That might not have been what he meant at all and I don’t think I’ll be able to tell you unless I ask. But what I can tell you is that our connections with people, both Christian and non-Christian remain intact… well some anyway…

It’s that very thing that has me thinking and contemplating…

I’ve been hanging out with a few old church buddies. Our connection is (or was) the church that we were a part of. We have a few other loves in common but often when we’re together, conversation migrates to church/shop talk and I’m simply not part of that world anymore. So take away that connection and what other connection do I have to those people? I’m not sure. Yesterday, I was watching an episode of “Come Dine With Me”. It’s a funny programme where they put 5 strangers together and make them cook for each other. Each person has a turn at being host and they’re judged by the other dinner guests. At the end of the show, one of the guys was talking about how he’d keep contact with one of the other ladies because he thought she was great.

Perhaps connections are seasonal.
Maybe you hang out with people for a time and purpose and then perhaps it’s over. While you continue to respect that person, there’s no real reason to remain connected. It might perhaps be a stage in life where you journey together until the paths start to shift. I think I’m trying to get my head around this. Partly because I feel grieved that the friends that were once so instrumental in my life – the ones I saw so often – I don’t see so often anymore. We’re less involved in each others lives. But I guess that’s ok right?

Happy Saturday 🙂
L