Walk through Sunday moments with me

We wake up in the middle of a cloud that has descended into the valley. Mist all around and above and below. Breakfast is out at a beautiful restaurant. Big wooden benches and a heavy-set table with views out to rain and green paddocks. 

The baby sleeps while we linger on the porch enjoying food, coffee and conversation. The air is gently filling our lungs with clean, cool breaths.

Back at home we move around the house like little dolls. One on the couch, two in the kitchen, one in the study, one on the rug. Then change positions. One sleeping lightly, one in the sun room, one kneading dough, one stoking the fire. Pizzas tonight. 

The rain clears and lets the sun steam the land and bake the verandah. Bees float around happily among the lavender buds and ants scale the little stems. It’s humid outside and puddles reflect the blue sky like mirrors.

There are so many quiet little places in a house. Spots content to stay empty and keep watch over those who wander past. The dough is rising in a warm nook. Mist is rising out of the warm hills. 

The sun is dipping down below the clouds and spilling golden light into the house. I can hear the rustle of dinner preparations. The pizzas will be ready soon. Hot coals wash waves of heat over us and scorch the pizzas in seconds. We huddle together for the last meal of the day.

The sun shines one more broad spotlight through the thick clouds lighting up a crease in the valley. The day draws to a close with a moonless sky.

We drive home along wet roads with highbeams on and yawns permeating the quiet spots in conversation. I click through photos in bed. The fan, jittering side to side, blows air gently over my bare legs as I type this last sentence and begin the upload of pictures for you to walk through below.

Hope you’ve enjoyed glimpses some Sunday moments with me.

Photo journaling kinda saved my life

Warning: mushy, emotion-filled stuff to follow.

When my first serious relationship ended I didn’t cope very well. I think most people have a story like this. I found it hard to sleep, I rarely ate, I moped and stared out into nothingness and cried that gross kind of cry where all the snot gets your nose stuffy and there’s just goo all over your face and tissues don’t really seem to help.

I’m sure while this was going on I was terrible to live with. I was a real Debbie Downer. At the time though, I was quite unaware of most things because I was deeply buried in my own thoughts and feelings. This intense self-reflection started to really eat away at me. Too much time spent in your own mind can be unhelpful to say the least. And continuing to travel through life with your eyes closed in grief, your lungs restricted by sobbing and your tummy empty from a gut-wrenching fear of the future… well, I try not to think too much about where I would have headed. 

This all sounds overly dramatic but to me at the time things seemed insurmountable and my motivation to get up every day was beginning to wane. That is until I started my photo journal. 

I decided at some point that enough was enough. I needed something to give me a good shake. I remember thinking how I might be able to wake myself up from the break-up haze. My conclusion: take a photo of myself every day and write a reflection to go with it. Part of me wanted to document the pain and part of me wanted to dig myself out of it. And, for me, doing a project like this meant the difference between barely surviving and really thriving. 

This first photo journal lasted 77 days. I didn’t have a goal in mind for how long I’d keep going and that was a good thing. Goals can be helpful but sometimes they can also put more pressure on when you don’t need it.

Later, I started another photo journal that I hoped to keep for 365 days. I was inspired by a Project 365 photo-sharing group. This time it was more light-hearted and I lasted 137 days. Pretty respectable if you ask me! 

Photos capture so much. I found that if I took the time to grab a photo at some point in the day it would jog my memory later that night when I wanted to write about the day or my thinking behind the photo. I also found a simple structure (photo, bible verse, thought) helped the first time around when my brain felt like mush. Although, I was kind to myself if I just needed to ‘wing it’ some days.

I would really recommend photo journaling as something to try. Whether it be for creativity, motivation, documentation or processing. It’s a great alternative to a written journal and one that will continue to teach you every time you wince through a revisit. Gotta love that weird place called Memory Lane!

Day 18 of my first photo journal

The current view | 5 minutes aboard my weird brain train #1

Are things really as bad as I think? Maybe. I farewelled 2016 and yawned into a new year. It seems the thing to do this week is say “good riddance 2016, you can just bugger off thank you very much”. And I’m in full support of such a statement.

BUT

2016 was the year my beautiful daughter was born. It was also the year I miraculously found a short-term contract job after being suddenly unemployed at the beginning of my pregnancy. 2016 was also the year that my husband’s private practice really settled and became a much more reliable source of income for our little family. Last year was the year I made my first dress from a pattern (my bubba’s dedication gown). It was also the year my husband and I enriched and strengthened our relationship to a point I couldn’t have imagined. I feel like all this is just the tip of the iceberg. It also isn’t counting all the beautiful moments I was honoured to see in the lives of my friends and family.

BUT

I couldn’t help think that I was glad to see the back of 2016. What’s that about? Don’t get me wrong, all those great things happened but so did a bunch of bad things – really bad. I can somehow feel bummed even despite all the good that has happened.

It’s a bit like my current view… Right now we’re on our first little holiday since having the bub. She’s 6 months old. ¬†We’re staying in a gorgeous little resort in a sleepy little coastal town. I’m sitting in a comfy chair eating a hot breakfast and drinking a nice coffee. I’ve got my husband next to me reading the paper and my bubba asleep peacefully in her pram. I can see the river right outside the window (a la the pic up top) and there was more rain overnight so everything looks so green. There’s a beautiful breeze.

BUT

The Mr has a terrible virus that makes him cough and need to sleep a lot. We’d planned to take the bub swimming but it’s raining and a bit too cold. Family we’d planned to spend time with have ended up working more than they thought or sick themselves.

Is it as bad as I think? Honestly, no. And 2016 will always have a special place in my life. It was pretty rough going but the sun seemed to shine the whole way through. Even as we felt the boat about to capsize. The current view always seems to be a fight between good and bad but isn’t that what it’s all about? To take life by the balls means to grab both right? The good and the bad! So to 2016 I say “I hate you, then I love you”. And here’s to 2017 and the love/hate relationship I will reflect on next New Year’s. May the good ball be the big one!

Crow’s feet

At 31 I am one of those people who never seem to age. I look surprisingly similar and almost certainly as awkward as I did when I was 12. I’ve always taken this for granted.

This year I became a mum and last week I took a photo of myself, aforementioned bebe and the Mr all happily smooshed together with big smiles all round. The photo is super cute – it’s a given now we have a little one – but something seemed a little strange when I first saw the family snap. I’ve changed.

It sounds tres dramatic but, for the first time, I really felt like I looked different… specifically, I looked older. On each side of my face are brand new spindly crow’s feet. They sprout proudly outwards towards my temples with not so much as a “may we sit here please?”. If they were the new kids in school, I’m sure I would have shown healthy hesitation if they came my way looking for a spot to eat their lunch.

I mean, since when did my face look so worn? So tired and wrinkly and mum-ish? Apparently since NOW. I’m not sure how they got there exactly. Well, I could take a guess… night feeds, car crying episodes, peer pressure and information-overload-induced panic…

But seriously. I really have changed. Those toothpickish toes are scratching away at my youth. I don’t know how I feel about that. I keep smiling in the mirror so I can see them again. I hope they don’t get the wrong idea. I feel sad, not happy. Should I feel happy? Happy that I have great reasons for the crows to land on my head? Well, I’m sick of hearing “should” at the moment so I’m going with “I can feel sad about this.”

Now, where is that moisturiser?

Growing up – looking back and looking forward

In the 30 short years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve gone through so much change within myself and in the world around me. I was talking to a friend recently and she admitted that something I’d said to her in highschool still weighs on her mind sometimes. Now, highschool for us was over a decade ago so that’s a long time to keep a memory. But the awful thing was that she’d remembered it because I’d said something terribly hurtful. When she told me this I was absolutely horrified. I wished I could go back and steal the words from my 14 year old mouth!

I had said something completely ingnorant and judgmental and the worst part was I couldn’t even remember saying it. Bad things tend to stick with you and I was alarmed that I didn’t think anything of it at the time and simply must have filed that moment away under “there’s nothing wrong with that comment”. Now sitting face to face with this lovely human being I was struck by how different I really am now and how thankful I am that I’m no longer that narrow-minded teenager.

It’s not like I was the naughtiest, nastiest girl on the planet but I have come to understand just how changed you really become as you grow and learn more about life and those who share it with you. Looking back can be difficult but I truly believe the pain is worth it if you can see the ways in which your heart and mind have blossomed over the years.

This is all really great and I’m thankful for all the ways in which I’ve become a better person. But the sad reality is that you never seem to arrive when it comes to growing up. Yes your heart and mind burst into a big blousy bloom in super slow mo over the years but that doesn’t mean every petal is untarnished and perfect.

Having this moment of bittersweet (but mostly bitter) reflection with my friend reminded me that I still sport flaws and that will always be the story. I’m sure in another ten years I’ll remember with a grimace something I said or did at this time in my life.

Basically what I’m saying is that I am thankful for growing up but it’s definitely a journey of hills and valleys. I think the main thing is honing your sense of self-awareness. Another big asset is being open to gaining insight. To admit you’ve done something wrong is hard but today I’m thankful that I have enough awareness and insight to see my flaws for what they are and work on becoming a better person because of them.

What are your thoughts?

-Heidi x