Friday, November 10, 2023

2023 - Roller Coasters And Rambling Wrap Ups

IMAGE: PINTEREST.COM | 2016 - Roller Coasters And Rambling Wrap Ups
Ahem. Hi. Remember me? 

Yeah - once upon a time I did a little rambling in the pages below but then I forgot to keep up the rambling cos I felt like I had nothing worthy to say and I got all serious and 'adulty' and too busy to be creative. Yeah - that.

The meme to the left is pretty much the only reasonable explanation I have for being decidedly absent from The Mother Load this year.  What the hell happened to 2023? Did I fall asleep in May and forget to set my alarm for July? Did I pass out from the cold in June and come to in October? I have a vague recollection of a teen starting and completing her first year of high school and another sailing through second grade but admittedly it's all a bit of a blur...?

Yes, admittedly, in 2022 there were the usual music exams and solo performances with both girls participating equally this year which of course added to the household tension, preparation and anticipation.  There were school plays, sports days, coffee mornings, and milestone birthdays but I'll need to refer to the photographic evidence for those details as they are all a blur having passed me by at the speed of light. 

There was the traditional array of personal ups and downs in our lives this year but the scales were fairly well-balanced so it was all about our interpretation of whether the glass was half empty or half full. As it turns out, it was mostly half full - phew. On the upside, along came our beloved new furry family member Teddy the Labradoodle who is totally awesome and super-loved and who keeps us on our toes stealing more socks and hair elastics than I thought we actually owned. Although he came along in 2022 it could well have been 2006 given how quickly he's already become part of the furniture (furniture with a few teeth marks, I might add).  There have been new jobs, new opportunities, new friendships and new worries, but we're all still here, still healthy and the fresh beginnings that are 2024 is merely days away.

Seems that the older I get, the quicker time is moving and I don't like it - not one little bit. Why is that? Is the first part of life a bit like a steep, slow climb to the top of a roller coaster followed in the second half by the speedy, uncontrollable white-knuckled descent which, despite all preparations to hold on tight you're never quite prepared for? Truth be told, I think I'm in my descent. I don't mean that in a sombre here-comes-death way, but something about my life, its pace and the circumstances I find myself in recent years makes me feel like I've already reached the tip of the coaster and the wind has started to whistle in my ears as we head rapidly downwards. (I hate roller coasters by the way.)

With that in mind, is there any way we can perhaps hit the brakes on this roller coaster for a little necessary maintenance? Say - maybe that's what family holidays are all about? Maybe they're just a temporary halt to whichever roller coaster direction you're on where time is allowed to stand still for a bit while you re-group and adjust your safety belt? Maybe? Anyway, just a thought.

And yep, it seems my rambling is back.....😏

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Closing One Door, Opening Another....

You know those times when you feel like one of your kids just needs to be cradled through life more than usual for a bit? I feel like I'm doing that currently with my littlest gem as she seems to be in the process of figuring out and accepting who she is and her place in this big, wide world. And I don't mean in a Dr Phil kinda way, but more where she's stretching her little legs and arms out to see how far she can push her unique personality, her creativity, her ability to manage friendships in a tough girl-eat-girl world and how to cope with whatever challenges a healthy eight year old may face (and apparently there are quite a few!) It's a nice time - a time where she needs her Mum to be by her side; to massage her confusion and mixed up thoughts into something that make sense to her and feels right. 

I noticed in recent months that my littlest person was becoming more and more difficult to manage on a day to day basis. Homework time, shower time, and bedtime were always met with a mental collapse of some sort where the gentle negotiation no longer worked and she was getting frustrated and angry a lot of the time. It wasn't her. Her playful, light-heartedness had flattened and she was in constant battle with either her family or herself where she was either beating me up for something or another, or giving herself a dressing down. And that's no good - I can take her beating (as I know it equates to frustration, fear, exhaustion or simply the onset of the sniffles) but nothing good comes from a kid who turns their vitriol on themselves. As it turns out, discovered through simply stopping, listening and allowing her to speak in her own time, she was needing the pace to slow down, the expectations to ease and for life to feel a little bit more like fun. And to my surprise, most of all she was asking for a fresh start where she could test out her eight year old self on new people.  Go figure. Yup - my mind was blown. A lot of kids shy away from change - she was running towards it.

So, after much deliberation and allowing enough time for correct decisions to be made without haste, she's moving schools. She's leaving the pace of the private school where she and her sister have always been, and she's making a fresh start in a new environment where learning is done differently and the pace is largely set by the child. She's driven this move throughout the entire process and has remained steadfast in her choice, eagerly anticipating being the 'new girl' in a new environment.  It's a little scary as a parent to have that much trust in a child and putting them largely in charge of their own life decisions, but how do they learn courage and about potential consequences (both good and bad) if we don't take a safe leap with them? Truth be told, I've bitten my nails down to the core but me and change? We're not a great match - I have a lot to learn from my eight year old it seems.

I figure that if your child has something to say, is crying out to you about elements of their life that they can't cope with, it's our job to listen, to acknowledge and to try and fix things where possible, even if there's an element of calculated risk involved.  So changes are afoot! And I already have my little gem back - not surprisingly, she's lighter, happier, calmer and fun again, now that she's been heard and understood. Only time will tell if our decision has been correct but if she can be brave enough to try something new and a little unknown, then so can I, right? Nothing ventured, nothing gained is my life lesson this year.