Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 2 -My Core Values

Part 2 Of Week 2 "52 weeks to Simplify Your Life Challenge".
So in my last post I pondered, worried, procrastinated and generally complicated the process.
Today I sat down and in the space of 3 minutes I have my list.
I know who I am.
I know what I stand for.

I stand for FAMILY.
 It is the reason I wake up in the morning. I am a peaceful person but if you so much as look funny at one of my family I will rip you apart. I will love, guard and protect them until my last breath. I am so blessed to have my children and I do not take that gift for granted. I am beyond blessed to have The Man I Married and although I occasionally forget to say it, I am forever grateful that he chooses to stand by my side. My Mum and Dad, Sister and Brother, and all my extended family are my community, my safe place, my village.

I stand for INTEGRITY.
 This might have a slightly different meaning for others but to me it means that you say what you mean, and mean what you say. It means you live with honesty and loyalty. It is what stops you from spreading or listening to gossip, it is what makes you look me in the eye and speak the truth, even if it is hard to say. It means being willing to have no friends rather than false friends.

I stand for ACCEPTANCE.
 I accept that my personality and lifestyle may not suit you, and I ask that you respect my right to live differently. I ask that you accept my children as the perfectly formed individuals they are, and don't judge them by society standards of normal. We are all equal, we are all here for a purpose, and accepting the diversity of lifestyles, personalities and choices is the first step in creating a truly united world.

I stand for CONTENTMENT.
 If you have read my blog previously you know I am all about watering your own grass rather than looking in envy at your neighbours green lawn. I strive to be content in my home, with what I have. That doesn't mean I don't desire other things, but I am determined to be content with what I have and am right now. When change comes, when opportunities arise I will embrace them, but where I am right now, is exactly where I am supposed to be.

I stand for BALANCE.
 I think it is essential to have balance in life. It can't be all work and no play. I can't surround myself with the same people constantly and never look beyond. My kids need me to be a mother, but they also need me to know and nurture myself as an individual. For every angry frown there needs to be a silly giggle. For every hour of hard work there needs to be an hour of play. And conversely, for every hour of mindless TV there needs to be an hour of dedicated effort. For every flippant silly remark there needs to be moments of truth and real feeling expressed.

I am greedy and have decided I get a sixth core value.

I stand for ENDURANCE.
Life is an endurance event. Marriage is a marathon and it takes endurance and dedication to keep running when you hit the wall. That is not to say it isn't a great thing, but there are hard kilometers to run, and it is endurance that keeps your feet going until you get another surge of buoyant energy.
Parenting is definitely an endurance event. It takes FOREVER! And even though you love your kids so much it actually aches, that doesn't mean there aren't long nights and lonely days, weeks/years of worry and uncontrollable road blocks. Our eldest son has Aspergers and that presents its own challenges. He is an awesome, wonderful young man on the brink of adulthood, but his schooling years have been grim and unkind to both him and me. He has endured ( and I alongside) to be now in his final year of schooling. The end is in sight and new horizons are sparkling with promise. Endurance.

So here I am, with 6 core values and the year 2012. I wonder what it will bring.

Have you ever sat and thought about your own core values? What do you stand for? You might be surprised. Some words I thought for sure would be in the top five didn't make the cut. The word Endurance doesn't sound like much of a value but it sits deeply within my life it could not be ignored.

If you are interested in Joining the "52 weeks to Simplify Your Life" click on the link and visit. You don't have to blog, you don't have to show anyone, but you might discover some wonderful things about yourself, and find a more simple and peaceful life.

Much Love

PS Re endurance in marriage- Staying committed through marriage is one thing, but violence within marriage is entirely different. When I say "hit the wall" I mean it figuratively. If you really hit walls or the floor, if your marriage hurts you, please seek help and safety. xxx

Saturday, January 14, 2012

what do I stand for ???

This week for the 52 Weeks To Simplify Your Life Challenge, I'm supposed to figure out my core values. What I stand for. 
When I first read this challenge I thought "Easy Peasy, I know who I am". But to narrow it down to five or six core values is actually ....Bloody Hard Work. 

Deb has given us a list to start the ball rolling .....

Look at all those words. Some of them are 'no-brainers' to me, but others...

Reliable. Well I like it, but I'm not very good at actually being it. 
I would like to be more disciplined, but I'm hopelessly distractable and ditzy. I have a wicked sense of humour but not everyone gets my jokes.
Do I stand for contentment or adventure ( both depending on the situation and the risk factor)?
Can I stand for being reliable and also self-reliance? 
I know I value friendliness, but I also crave my own space and alone time.
Inventiveness? I am a huge fan of the men who invented electricity, central heating and dishwashers, but do I value it? I wouldn't like to be without it.... 
I'm not vain and can't stand women who preen and polish themselves, but I can value the beauty of the ocean, or a rainforest. Do I value 'beauty' then? Can I add a sub-clause? 
The urge to over-complicate the Simplify Your Life challenge rears its head again. 

Why is this so hard...?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What went right in 2011 ?

I am joining the 52 week Simplify Your Life challenge which is the brainchild and heartwork of Debra Dane from Home Life Simplified.

I am always seeking ways to simplify my life but often end up overcomplicating the process ( does that make sense? It does to me). I love this year long view of creating a more peaceful, simple and authentic life. It took many years to get ourselves this crazy,frantic and screwed up, it makes sense that it is going to take more than a cup of chamomile tea and new filing system to un-crazy, un-frantic and un-screw ourselves.

The challenge for Week 1 (which I'm running late for...of course) is to decide what went right for me in 2011.



What happened? Did it happen. At first mental glance it is just a blur of cooking and lunchboxes, nursing assignments and parenting teenagers who we will kindly refer to as 'strong willed'.

On second glance, if I scrap off some of the melted chocolate and Christmas pudding, some things are starting to shine.  My first instinct is to try and prioritise the listing, and have it read pretty. but this is the start of a year of seeking simplicity so I'm just going to type.....

In 2011 I started this blog. I found an outlet for my need to write and share, and along with that I found new friends. I have written about some stuff which has eaten me up, which is terrifying, but also exhilarating and freeing.

I joined twitter, which is, to me, like a new mothers group on steroids, except you don't have to have a newborn or any born, you aren't judged on your Gucci Baby Bag and there is always someone available for a chat and light entertainment. Some might call it networking, I am more romantic and believe I have found real friends.

I managed to bring all 4 children into the year 2012.  They are all feisty and argumentative, strong willed and stubborn, but they are mine so none of that should come as a surprise. I look at my gorgeous almost-a-man 17 yr old son and cannot believe we have made him. I look at my 7 yr old and can't believe she's not a newborn anymore. My teenage girls are lovely and beautiful in the most terrifying way and I get to sit in the front row watch them blossom.

I passed the years nursing studies, and (if am allowed to brag here) I so far have received distinctions and high distinctions for every subject. That makes me proud. It means my brains did not, against all odds, melt into nothingness during The Toddler Years.

My marriage, our marriage, has made it through another year. In March we will celebrate 19 years of marriage. 2011 was a happy year of marriage. Anyone who has been married for years knows that there are good years and not so good years, peaks and troughs, hills and valleys,  ambrosia and arsenic. The Man I Married is big and gruff with a loud voice and a stern face. It has taken my mother years to realise he is not angry 100% of the time, that is just his normal voice. But through 2011 he again showed me why I love him. He is a good man, and he puts up with all my crazy messiness. 2011 was a good marriage year.

I started going to the gym. AAARRGGGHHHH It hurts and I hate every second that I am on an elliptical trainer, but I love the endorphin high when I've finished. I am taking care of myself and making sure that I am here to write a similar blog post this time next year. I have rediscovered how much I enjoy running, and I can now run 5km without stopping or dying. I'm aiming for 10km in 2012.

I let go of a friendship which has placed me in danger more than once. I decided I'm worth more. And once I did that I discovered that actually, I'm really okay without them. Yes I have one friend less, but I have gained many more, as other people have avoided me due to my time spent with her. Isn't that interesting!!! I miss her and wish it were different, but you can't undo, and un-know things. You can't magic the truth away. It might seem weird to have this on my "Good things" list but this is a step in the right direction, away from toxic people who make me sad. Good Thing.

Yep, 2011 was a good year. I am blessed. I am grateful. I have the people I love with me, we are safe and healthy. We have choices and options. We have a pantry bursting with food and home big enough for an entire other family to come and stay ( and they do!). Life is good. Complicated... but good.

How was your year? What worked for you? Visit the  52 week Simplify Your Life challenge and join in. You don't have to blog or tweet. You don't have to tell anyone you are doing it, just do it for yourself. It's going to be a wonderful year.

Much love,


Monday, January 9, 2012

Reasons I haven't blogged

Yes I know. It's been ages, ages, aaagggggggeeeeessss since I blogged. There are excuses reasons for the break in the conversation.

1. I've been busy with end of year/start of year Christmas and holiday celebrations. We might as well have installed a revolving door at our house. It would have also been helpful to have self changing beds.

2. The computer wasn't playing nicely, so then I switched back to my old computer but I remembered that I'd wiped all my passwords so I had to start over and re-remember everything for everything, from twitter and facebook to my password for Internet banking. Not good.

3. I haven't had anything to say. Well that isn't technically true, I had things to say, boring mundane things about the cleaning and cooking required and how hot it's been, but actually not anything that would make you feel like you hadn't just wasted your time reading it.

4. I had too much to say. You know when you hit a junction in the road and you make your choices and start walking but the decisions and choices are too uncertain or monumental or painful to even think about writing about them. All is fine. All is well. I am ok. I just had choices to make, and I made them.