Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!


Normally I am not a big fan of this holiday, mainly because creepy things scare the bejesus out of me. I can't even watch anything remotely scary without having nightmares plague my sleeping hours for weeks afterwards. But, as I reasoned when it began to approach, a holiday is a holiday, and since I love holidays I have decided to learn to love this one.

And it wasn't hard. Pumpkin everything, lollies and chocolate in funny shapes, the Monster Mash playing out of most speakers, parties and dress ups? What was there not to love?

Plus this year I downloaded a list of Halloween movies for wimps, so I'll be treating myself to some non-scary fun for the rest of the week (because holidays should ALWAYS be dragged out over seven days at least).

So hopefully you all have a wonderful day/week full of fake skeletons, awesomely tacky decorations and scary(or not!) movies with your loved ones.

And remember: You're never too old to go trick or treating!

p.s. photos taken by my talented friends, not me!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a weekend post :)

I don’t normally do any sort of life update or photo type posts, but these last two weekends were just so wonderful that I had to share. Due to the warm weather and clear sunny days we have been spending every second that we can outdoors soaking it up, which led to some lovely adventures.

The weekends included:
-performing at the Living Green festival
-eating yummy vegan peanut butter cupcakes
-walking around Florida (our annual tulip festival)
-walks around the lake
-reading under trees
-lots and lots and lots of BBQs
-early morning yoga
-birthday parties
-a little too much punch and cider
-a spontaneous trip to the Botanical gardens
-making friends with lizards
-dinner parties
-so many different types of salad
-tree climbing
-meeting lovely new people

...and lots of laughter!

How was your weekend?

Ps. All of the photos taken by my wonderful sister Bree (the girl in the purple dress)

Friday, October 21, 2011

living out your daydreams

Do you ever have those little daydreams in your head? Those little scenes that you play out whenever you’re feeling especially down? Those happy places that you turn to when everything isn’t going exactly as you planned?

 Like most girls who love literature, writing, coffee and romantic destinations, one of my sweet little daydreams is to spend a day in a Parisian cafĂ© reading beautiful books and writing beautiful words, maybe I’ll stop sometimes to simply sip my latte and people watch for a while.

But what I never thought about before is that a lot of my little daydreams occur right at home, in small, pretty Canberra.

 In winter during work hours I often gazed out the window and imagined myself walking around the lake, breathing in the scent of flowery perfume and maybe snapping a few photos here and there. On my days off this year I often pictured myself writing on a park bench in the green, cosy park in the city; rather than sitting in my bed with the electric blanket turned all the way up.

Every winter I have those daydreams, and even every summer. But while these places exist, are in fact only a twenty minute drive away, I have never actually lived them out. Last weekend I spent the entire two days outdoors, both in the garden of my parent’s house, and walking among the flowers at Floriade (the annual tulip festival here in Canberra). And I realised just how relaxing and lovely it is to spend time in the sun with friends and good food.

I also realised that I can do that everyday. And so I have started for walks around the lake with my sister after work; and even though I wore impractical shoes and she wore none, resulting in painful blisters (which, I’ll have to admit, was never part of any daydreams I have ever had) it was beautiful to do something that I had dreamed about during the colder months.

Today I decided to make my daydream about writing outside come true, and so I sit here writing to you on a park bench, surrounded by trees and the smell of summer, writing on my impractical laptop that I have yet to master, and living out my daydreams.

So today I challenge you to think of your daydreams that lie close to home: like sitting outside writing; getting a massage; or eating a family sized block of chocolate while watching chick flicks and not feeling guilty; and to do them. And then I want you to take a look at your bigger daydreams, the ones that may take a little planning, and go ahead and start the preparations. Life is too short not to live in our daydreams, no matter how small or big they are.

Ps. I wrote a travel piece for class that was published here if you haven’t had enough of my narcissistic ramblings yet...

Pps. I didn't take the photos, click on them for links  J

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bittersweet Melancholy

The beginning of spring, as beautiful as it is, comes with a price for me. Because as the flowers bloom and the wind brings sweet perfume dancing around my face, it also carries with it a bittersweet melancholy that settles into my skin.

It never lasts long and quickly goes back to where it came from, to hide in wait for another year; coming back a little heavier than it was the year before.

But it those few weeks I find myself dragging my feet, weighed down with lost friends and summers, memories of places that have never been as magical since. Weighed down with childhood dreams long forgotten and the person that I thought that I would be.

However this isn’t a self-pity blog. The melancholy is bittersweet for a reason. Bittersweet because while I miss them, I have been lucky enough to have these sweet memories than demand my attention for a short-period of time. And so I wallow. And pay them the attention they are craving, because they deserve that much.

And eventually I come to my senses and shake myself awake again with the reminder that there are plenty more bittersweet memories to be made.

And that I’ll have even more bittersweet memories to miss next year.

Which is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pick Your Battles

Until I was eighteen, I had a bad habit of letting people walk all over me. Anyone and everyone. And I would forgive them in a nanosecond if they so much as smiled at me. Once I turned eighteen I decided that this had to change. I was going to be strong. Confident. And I’d be damned if I was going to let anyone push me around.

But unfortunately I quickly swung in the other direction after that. No battle was too small for me to fight, nothing was too unimportant to let go.

It wasn’t until this weekend that I realised that maybe this was just as detrimental as my old childhood attitude had been. Because this weekend I found another battle to fight. It was simple thing, a not-very-big-deal-at-all thing, but I got fired up like usual, ready to make sure that I was not to be wronged.

But for once, rather than getting more and more fired up as time went on, a few hours later I just felt tired. Tired of fighting every single little battle that came my way.

It was time to grow up and wave the white flag. So I did. And while I had to give in to something that I thought completely unfair, I felt a million times better than if I had turned it into a thing. Life is too short to let people use or wrong you, but it’s also too short to fight every battle. It doesn’t make you weak; in fact, sometimes it takes more strength to swallow your pride and let go.

Sometimes you need to give in and move on. You need to save your strength for what is really important, and learn to take life and yourself a little bit less seriously.

Here's to choosing our battles wisely.


Friday, October 7, 2011

remembering to breathe

These past few weeks have been all about remembering to breathe. 

In. Out. In. Out.

Because I need new air. I need to let go of all of the now stale breaths that I collected over winter and let them flow out into the October rain. I need to cherish the new breaths that come in, roll them around my mouth and lungs, and remember the beauty that each new day brings if I am brave enough to appreciate it.

You see, last month I forgot to breathe. I forgot to let go of old wrongs and I gave into melancholy and bittersweet musings. I gave into panic attacks; short shallow breathing; and days spent worrying over the future so strongly that I forgot the present completely.

This month is about breathing deeply. It is about savouring every moment. And it is about focusing on the present, using my breaths to keep me centred.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

the power of listening

Have you ever gone to someone horribly upset and found that everything that they said just made it worse? I certainly have, and I have often found myself in the reverse situation: upsetting someone who had come to me for help.

I was terrified when my loved one went through a breakup last week. Absolutely terrified. Because I have never been in a breakup and I had no way of understanding what she was going through. And so rather than giving out my usual array of advice and condolences, I had no idea what to say to her. Nothing. What could I say?

And so instead, for the first time ever, I shut my mouth and simply listened. I listened to everything that she had to say, the stories that she told ten times not because she had forgotten that she had told them, but because she needed to tell them ten times. I nodded and smiled, hugged her when she needed it, and did not try to understand because I knew that I couldn't.

And I helped. At least, I think/hope I did. More than I usually do.

And it hit me. How eager we all are to put in our two cents, to bring up similar situations that we have been in and pretend that they are the same. Pretend that we have someone amazing insight that the person who is actually living it does not have.

When I am upset, unless I ask for advice, I don’t want. When I am confiding in someone, I don’t want them to start talking about themselves and acting like an expert about my situation. I want them to listen to me. That is it. They don’t need to say anything; they just need to listen in way that shows that they care.

So if your friend comes to confide in you, no matter how big or small their problem is, simply let them. Hug or comfort them if they need it. And let them know that they are loved, and that you will always be there for them.