Category Archives: wisdom

Generally

IMG_9333.JPGI don’t usually like to label myself. I hate being hemmed in by a label. I like to think of myself as “generally” one way with splashes of the opposite thrown in for good measure.  Kind of like the yin and yang symbol you know? I guess it’s the rebel within me that doesn’t like such definitiveness.

I am however, generally some ways as I suspect we all are.  I’m generally an introvert who likes other people and a chat for instance.

And when I read this article on gentle parenting on The Conversation last week I nodded along with it. It’s generally the way I parent and I wish I’d known more about these ways when I first became a parent.  I would have done things differently for sure.

I did though, make the mistake of commenting on the post linking to this article on Facebook thereby opening myself up to criticism and contempt from complete strangers as to my parenting philosophies.  Fun times.

Yesterday I took my boys out for a school holiday treat and we stopped at a local cafe for a treat.  As happens, a nearby toddler had a meltdown. Mr 2 put down his spoon, stood up and said, “I be right back ok?”, index finger akimbo.

Fascinated, Mr 6 and I sat back and watched him.  He walked, with purpose, over to the little girl having her loud, vocal moment and said, “Excuse me, I show you my special dance now, it’s called the ‘chip dance’. You watch!” And he proceeded to do his very special, twirly, stompy dance, singing, “Do the chip dance! Do the chip dance! La la la la.” It’s a dance he usually reserves for his closest family.  It, of course, changed the little girl’s mood instantly.  That he recognised the stress in another child and did something within his power to “fix” the situation made me extremely proud.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a good job of taking care of my family. I get stuck in the cycle of work, chores, school pick up and drop off.  My head feels explosion worthy more than occasionally.

Empathy, kindness, curiosity and creativity are qualities I want my children to have in abundance.  And in this one little scenario my baby bear showed me that, generally, we are on the right track.

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The news

I wake to the news and I’m saddened. I never thought the government of this country could be so heartless.

I watch the news unfold during the day and I’m angered. The lack of empathy, a distinct lack of kindness. It’s rotten.

When I was younger I thought that living an important life was what I was destined for. And that important life would make a difference in a big way.

I turned 39 last week and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I don’t have a big important life. I have a little, quiet life. And my ability to affect change seems minimal.

What I have come to see though is that a quiet life can still be an important life. That small kindness, an open mind and empathy can make a difference. That as a Mama I can instil these important values in my boys. That I can live by example. And that if everyone for in with living a life with a lens of kindness and empathy the news would be very different.

Words are magical

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I’m a reader. I lost my way for a few years but I’ve got my mojo back. I’ve read a lot over the last few months and am reading the book pictured above now. It’s quirky, soulful, funny and full of life. It’s one of those books I feel happy to be part of. I am especially glad because this is what I just read:

“Do you believe in God, Arthur?” I said, eating the last piece of sponge.
“Do I believe in an old man in the clouds with a white beard judging us mortals with a moral code from one to ten? Good Lord no, my sweet Elly, I do not! I would have been cast out from this life years ago with my tatty history. Do I believe in a mystery; the unexplained phenomenon that is life itself? The greater something that illuminates inconsequence in our lives; that gives us something to strive for as well as the humility to brush ourselves down and start all over again? Then yes, I do. It is the source of art, of beauty, of love, and proffers the ultimate goodness to mankind. That to me is God. That to me is life. That is what I believe in.”

Yes. So much yes. That has put in words things I have never been able to myself. Good writers can put words around feelings you didn’t even know you had. Words are magical.

Lessons in parenting: the dealing with setbacks edition

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Last week Bebito and I set about making his gift for his much loved Grandma (my Mum). I asked him what he wanted to make and after some thought he decided upon a necklace. Kellie put me on to this great tutorial on making a clay necklace. I knew it would be perfect.

So we set about making it together…rolling and chatting and chatting and chatting (well he did most of the chatting!) and poking holes. It was fun. The best kind of crafting together fun.

Only, the thing is, that I forgot to account for the difference in temperatures…the tutorial and indeed the clay was listed in Fahrenheit not Celsius!!! I popped the beads in the preheated oven and a few minutes later returned to the kitchen where there was smoke billowing from the oven. And oh boy, the smell!!!!

Let me say, I’m usually quite good in a crisis. I’m clear headed and calm and I leave my freaking out til later. EXCEPT when it comes to fire. I am not good with fire. So I did what any normal person would do and rang my husband. Because of course that was going to fix it! I mainly wanted to check whether it was a good idea to open the oven. I was worried adding extra oxygen to the situation would be ok and not burn the whole house down! My Mr was the rational man he always is and talked me through it. He sometimes must think he’s married to a complete ditz! Anyway, major crisis was averted.

I was however worried how Bebito would react. He has his Mama’s propensity to get a bit upset when things don’t go according to plan. He asked a million questions but actually coped well. He actually thought it funny more than anything, especially when the drama died down.

That night as we reflected on his day together he asked if we would try again. He knew we had more clay and we hasn’t actually achieved what we had set out to. I really didn’t want to! Fire! I made a mistake. One that could have ended terribly. But it didn’t.

Sometimes the teaching moments in parenting are just so obvious and this was one. A mistake shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. You should pick yourself up, try again, learn along the way. I had to set that example. So, we did it again, this time, only better and he made one for me too (his idea!). One that I will proudly wear for the rest of my days as a reminder of how much he is teaching me as much as I am teaching him.

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via JustB

I believe this with all my heart and the minute I saw it I knew it would become a way to guide myself closer to the person I want to be.  Have you seen any wisdom that has just “spoken” to you of late?