Friday, 24 May 2013

You shouldn't blog angry... or sad.. or maybe you should..

Picture unrelated to my topic but I think it's genius and very green.. so here it is.

"I am in too bad a place tonight to blog"

It did cross my mind for about 30 seconds... and then I thought maybe it's better to blog it out. My GP told me to blog more.. well, she said I should write down my feelings in a diary... but this is the only place I write down anything meaningful so it seems only natural to use this space.

Anyway.. I'm angry.. and sad.. and feeling pretty crap.

Today at work someone snuck into the back room and stole my very lovely leather bag and my manager's very expensive, brand new watch that she had only received a few weeks ago from her parents as a graduation present. I was the only one in the store and had to spend quite a lot of time at the counter serving customers so couldn't be circulating around the shop. I have no idea who it would have been out of all the customers I had today... I said hello to everyone who walked in and not one of them made me think "hmm.. dodgy.. keep an eye on them". They were all perfectly lovely looking..

That's what makes me so cross.. I want to trust people.. I always cringe when I hear people say "you can't trust anybody".. "Yes you CAN! People are inherently good!" is what I say (in my mind) in reply... But maybe I can't..

I am an optimist by nature.. I look for the good in people.. But this kind of crap makes me question why I believe this. Why would someone walk into a charity shop and steal the shop assistant's belongings? Maybe they don't have much money.. maybe they need money to feed their children or a drug habit... Maybe they're just JERKS!?


It's been an emotional day.. Before this all happened I made a spur of the moment decision to make a doctors appointment. My favourite doctor has started working five doors down from the shop where I work and only works on Fridays. I called, expecting that there would be no appointments available but there was one at 2pm so without thinking, I said "yep, I'll take it". I made arrangements to take a late lunch break and prepared myself to be brutally honest with her.

It was only half an hour before the appointment that I realised we'd been robbed so I was already very fragile so when I sat down in the doctor's office all my emotions started bubbling out and I was a mess.

I told her that I have been feeling really crappy and have been out of control binge eating every day. That I am terrified that if I don't do something soon I will end up putting on 20kg before the year is out. That I have 3 kids (one of whom is a foster child with lots of issues we need to work through with her daily), I work full time and I am supporting my husband through uni and I am so so stressed.. I also said that I have been holding it together for a long time and to the outside onlooker, I look like I am doing ok..

But the bingeing never happens when anyone is looking.. It's secret. It happens in the car and at work.. where we sell blocks of chocolate.. that damn delicious fair trade chocolate.. No one needs to see the wrappers. I don't need to be embarrassed. But I know what I do.. and it makes me feel disgusting.

The wonderful doctor sat with me for longer than my allocated time slot and asked me what I do that is just for me... regularly.. When I couldn't answer her question she asked me what I wanted to do for myself regularly.. I couldn't answer that either... it all just feels like a big effort. In the end I was able to identify that I have a gym membership that I'm not using so I might look up a class.. Not aerobics or anything too full on just yet.. something a little more gentle and enjoyable like yoga and book it in regularly. I also said I'd like to go walking more often. And do more intentional craft.. not just "oh I have 10 minutes before bed, let's make half a granny square".

When I said that I really want to avoid anything that feels like a diet she said "good.. diet's don't work anyway. Let's look at what is nourishing for you". She referred me for blood tests and has begun the process of setting up a mental health plan so I can get some subsidised psychology sessions.

I have called and left a message for the psychologist. I'm pretty scared actually.

But also relieved.  The truth is out now..

I have a binge eating disorder and I need to own that. 

Here are a couple of nice things that I have come home to tonight.. Our weekly veggie box was at the door when I arrived home.. so bright and fresh. Certainly a brighter spot in a crappy day.

John and the girls went out and bought me some supplies to get me through the night (they are all out tonight) and set them up on the bench like this.. I'll try not to eat it all in half an hour... And look at that lovely lovely brooch... John found it in Northcote today.. If you know anyone that has lost an Emily Green brooch in Northcote let them know it decided to pop in to my place to make me feel better this afternoon.. if they want it back.. umm.. well.. let's let the brooch choose where it wants to be.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Giving and sharing and welfare...

I love the idea of sharing. It's so so important to me to cultivate a sense of reciprocity in my life and in the lives of my kids. Also in our community.

Since beginning my social work career quite a few years ago I've been irritated by the welfare culture that exists within large community and not for profit organisations... you know what I mean....  "Poor" folks lining up for a food voucher or a bundle of poor quality canned or packaged  goods to keep them going through the week. Now, don't get me wrong.. I value the contribution of those who run and work for big welfare organisations.. really I do.. and they are necessary. Many families wouldn't get by from week to week without a food voucher. I get that.

I guess what has frustrated me for a long time is the massive power imbalance that is created when a well meaning, well dressed, middle class social worker (like me) sits behind a desk and makes decisions about the lives of the "poor" or "less fortunate" acting as a gate keeper between the "greedy" poor and the food bank or book of  supermarket vouchers (stamped NOT TO BE USED TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL OR CIGARETTES).

It's just never felt right to me.

I feel that community is the answer.. family to be more specific. When we are able to view our community (even the ones who are SO different to us) like family we are less likely to be selfish with our belongings, money and our selves. We are more likely to want to share what we have and try to make sure our friends have what they need... and in turn.. they make sure we have what we need.

Sounds pretty simple. But I'm sure you know as well as I do that it's not.

When we choose to hang out with those who don't really fit in to society we take ourselves in to uncharted territory and expose ourselves to the ups and downs of real relationships. Sometimes it's great.. other times it's just shitty and hard.

I am part of a special Salvos community in inner city Melbourne. One of our main aims is to act as a pseudo "family" to those who don't fit in. I have been thinking a lot recently about how we can encourage generosity between all the members of out community... no matter how much money we all have and have taken inspiration from some friends of mine- the Urban Seed mob in Norlane- and created a Share Cupboard where people can bring food or other goods to contribute and they can take what they need.

I worked up these signs today..

What are your thoughts on this? How do you connect with your community? What's your community like? Where do you see generosity in your life?

Let me know in the comments..


Sunday, 19 May 2013

Little changes make all the difference

This week I have tweaked my routine a little bit.. and I mean a really little bit- I have still been very busy and pretty stressed out juggling sick kids and not being able to find enough reliable child care for the little fella. But there have been a few great things big and small and I am determined to focus on those good things and be grateful for them. 

One little change I've made is that I have made time thrice (yes.. I'm using the word thrice!) this week to go for a walk. Once around the streets of Footscray where I noticed this beautiful rose. Set on the background of dark gloomy clouds I actually thought about a comparison my friend Mayra made the other day between roses in Footscray and our beautiful, messy, wonderful, awful community. There is so much beauty in the midst of chaos and at times, ugliness. The other two walks were at a local park and down at Point Lonsdale. Both gorgeous places to walk.

On Tuesday I took time to stop and marvel at the amazing tropical fish at the aquarium at the Royal Children's Hospital. We noticed that all the fishies barrack for the Tigers. I pass this tank most weeks but rarely stop and enjoy it. It's such a lovely addition to the hospital.

On Wednesday and Thursday nights I made time to crochet. An activity that gives me so much. Relaxation, mental stimulation, creative thoughts, connection with others. This orange square has been posted off to Pip Lincolne to sew together with squares from others to make a blanket for the little boy in Ipswich who lost his hands after being thrown a "golf ball" that was actually a small home made bomb. So awful. :(

I also taught myself how to make these great (and very quick) hexagons using a pattern also created by Pip Lincolne. I think I'll make them into a cushion. I am very inspired by Pip and her hard, yet joyfully creative and generous work. Big virtual hugs and kisses to you Pip! 

I decided to work half a day from home on Thursday this week. It was lovely to dag around in my big fat tracky pants and slippers and still be productive and hang out with the wee man. 

Mum picked the little guy up on Thursday night. He stayed with her on Friday and had a delightful time playing on the beach and being spoilt. After work on Friday I picked up the biggest girl and we stayed the night at mum's so we could get up early and walk on the beach. Here's a picture of A being a conservationist and saving turtles and seals by collecting old fishing line from the pier and disposing of it properly. 

Here's me enjoying being freezing on the pier. I love the cooler weather so much.

We didn't spend the whole day down at the beach as A needed to be back for a show she had tickets for. John took the whole gang and I had the house to myself for the afternoon so I could meet with Mayra and we could do some work on our exciting new venture! A vintage Etsy shop! 

We have been scouring opp shops for treasures and we have quite the stash now. We are at the photographing stage and we plan to launch in 2-3 weeks. Stay tuned for more info soon!! 

I don't have a photo of anything from my night last night but the highlight of my week was going out for delicious dosa, coffee and cheesecake with Mezz and chatting away the evening. It's something that we haven't done for such a long time- life has kind of got in the way, but we definitely intend to go on more Ash and Mezz dates! We see each other several times a week but it always involves kids, spouses and other community friends so going out just the two of us was a very uncommon treat. Thanks Mezz, it was totally lovely and life giving xxxoo..

This morning I had a bit of a lie in and enjoyed an impromptu concert from these sweeties.

And then we spent the day doing a long overdue "spring" (autumn) clean of our bedroom and the back craft room/study.  I can't tell you how much better I feel for doing this job. My favourite place in the house is now the cupboard in the craft room. 

Here's the organised cupboard. This space has been a constant stress with boxes, paper, tangled wool and scraps of fabric.. now it is the epitome of loveliness.. and the children have to ask to go in there! Lol.

And my creative space.. Ahhhhhh....

Isn't it amazing how cleaning and organising a space can make you feel physically better? Do you have any spaces you need to organise? Have you recently de-cluttered?? Why not share your tips below?


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day

It's been a very long time between posts. To say that life has been busy would be an understatement. As my last post (5 months ago... where did the time go?) suggested, I have been working like a trooper to support the family while John studies and just about everything else has been put on the back burner..

I really have neglected a lot of things that make me feel good and "together"... classic overworked mother syndrome.. and now I am feeling stressed, tired, over-stuffed (all my clothes are too tight), and uninspired creatively. I really feel that this needs to change so I thought re-kindling this old blog of mine might help me to identify and begin to address these things. I've been inspired by my sisters (in-law) Mezz of "Mezz Makes Stuff" and Taz of "Butter and Buntings", to use this space to document my creative endeavours and also chat about the good, the bad, the irritating and joyful stuff that life throws our way.

I promise it wont be too gloomy but I really need to figure out how to put myself somewhere among my top few priorities as I fear if I don't I'll end up right back where I was 10 years ago (118kg). Food has always been my comfort in times of stress and I often don't realise I am stressed until I have spent a few days.. weeks... months bingeing on stuff that is really bad for me. I am not anti-fat.. I love curves.. I just feel awful right now and I know what it feels like to be fit and to put good food into my body at most meals and I know I want to feel that again.

I need to get my health back in the spotlight but I don't want to be all crazy and obsessive about it. I want to eat like a normal person without it being the main focus of my life.

On that note... let's talk about today!

Today has been a gorgeous Mother's Day.. My two belly babes and my foster babe have made me feel very special and spoilt me with a lovely breakfast and a handful of carefully selected presents. They know me very well. I stayed in bed while they scurried around preparing things. I ate a delicious 2 course breakfast of cheesy leek toasties and eggs and tomato salsa on toast and sipped espresso out of my new Marimekko mug that the girls chose for me (I get a new one each special occasion).

I am at my Nan's now where we have had a delightful lunch and spent quality time hanging out, drinking tea and ducking outside for the occasional kick of the footy.

It's been idyllic.

I might leave it there today and show you a few photos of my lovely morning... I'll have a think about my next post and try to be positive and proactive rather than whiny.

If you read this.. please do leave a comment!


Excuse the poor quality picture but I wanted to share the lovely "mum" cakes that my darling foster daughter baked me. So lovely..

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