Jul 31, 2009

A Day in the Life - trying too Hard

Some days I feel like two different persons.

The sane rational one in the office and dysfunctional in the home.
It's on days when I am so tired from work and would like nothing more but to shower and sleep right away.

Child3 and child2 have been arguing and fighting - so the judge (mom) has to preside. Imagine you are dying for some peace and quiet, both the boys insist on having their say first - at the same time. I can't think straight for all the noise and I just stare at the both of them. I let them go at it for about 15 min. Then asked 'are you both done' , they said 'yes'. I said 'good, that's settled', left them open-mouthed and went to take a shower.

The second matter, Child2 hasn't apologised to his older sister - that's a backlog, have to address it today. I thought I can't put it off or he'll think I forgot about it and he'll forget about it too. I take him aside to talk. After a while, he says he's thinking about it. I decide to leave it, that is more than I expected, I will bug him tomorrow when I'm clearer. But then, he turns around and asks me about the earlier situation, 'what about it' I ask, He asks me, 'aren't you going to do anything'. I ask 'why, did you do something wrong' , he says 'well I did snatch the toy from him'.
And I think .. Wow! I didn't have to say anything at all and there it was - the unblemished truth!

So, I don't have to try too hard all the time, enlightenment, understanding emerges somehow, TIME is all he needed (he was moved by my lack of response).
But then we know, the formula is rarely the same each time.

The oldest thankfully was out like a light ..too tired - thank God for small mercies, ...I could hit the sack, duties done!


http://groups.google.com/group/mothers-always

"Live in the along"

I've discovered lots of interesting writers and thinkers in the past few days through the various sites, some amazing, thoughtful, few eye-openers and plenty of sad. Whatever it is about, expressing ourselves and sharing helps us and helps others too.
Over the last day, I've quoted this poet twice, one for the words as poem and the other for it's context. The poem is by an American, the last 4 lines reminds us to live life ..

From Gwendolyn Brooks 1917 (last 4 lines) -
"And remember:
live not for Battles Won.
Live not for The-End-of-the-Song,
Live in the along."

Teach our children well.
http://groups.google.com/group/mothers-always

Jul 29, 2009

Middle Child ?

How does one get through a closed door? How long does one keep knocking?
How do you get him to try when he says he can't.? He's 12.

Sometimes I think it is hopeless, I want to give up and just let him wallow in negativity and find his own way out. Just shakes his head, 'cannot'... 'give up'... 'no use' .. 'nothing can help me'.

When did he start to get this way? Only a major episode (like an earthquake) I believe can move this child and shake his thoughts up. He just refuses to hear. If a stranger counseled him how long would it last..

??? please any words of advise .

...like this...

"If I had to summarize their* message ..- it is that we are all stuck together in the moment of history, and the most appropriate response to each other is compassion and a sharing of laughter. After all we don't really have a clue as to what is going on here, if anything, and most likely we aren't really in charge of very much of it anyway, and in the end the joke seems to be on all of us. Knowing that, we can relax a little and dispense with any blame. So far, as human beings, our greatest gifts, aside from the ability to make good painkillers, are our feelings of love and sense of humor."

in short... live life, don't dwell too much on it about it !

Quote from Wes 'Scoop' Nisker (2001)- 'The Essential Crazy Wisdom' .. it's a real crazy read.. as books go..

*['their' refer to the sages, scientists, fools, early philosophers, genius., wise men, presidents...]

Jul 28, 2009

My Child


Be my child,
be happy.
Be at peace,
be spontaneous.
Be bold,
try it,
speak,
take a chance.
See with eyes,
hear with ears
ever clear.
Be open to wonders
around us.
Open minds,
trusting hearts,
always dear.
Believe in you.
Say yes
I can!
Be merry.
Always mine.

- HA (2009)

I'm human

speaking of re-booting.... there are times when I would like a total re-format and be someone else.

Jul 27, 2009

Timeout - do a mental Re-boot regularly.



Creating a quiet time requires energy. We all need to do a mental reboot periodically to clean out.. housekeep.. to enable ourselves to move forward daily... (not soul searching, that's another story for another time).

A year or so ago, we had a biz client who literally occupied us day and night.. day was the actual stressful work, night was about recovering from client outbursts and getting it together for the next day...literally daily and so it went on for 2 years. My colleague would say as we were leaving to go home .. 'I just want to sit '. There were 3 of us in this team and we understood. We just wanted to be able to be still.. feel the quiet; do and think nothing.
Cos of the daily load, I decided I needed to 'sit' more frequently, usually it was monthly or less often.

During this time, I missed the kids alot cos they were in bed by the time I got home. The weekends was the time I spent most with them. It was terrible trying to 'make up' and also it was a different sort of stress coping with 3 kids of varying schoolwork and temperaments (spending time with them can be timeout too unless it's homework).
The 'quiet time' to recoup I assigned myself weekly, was after work on a Thurs or Fri. I realised after a while it wasn't working.

To be able to get the essential ( calm, a peace, a sense of well-being.. .) out of the 'quiet time' you cannot be totally tired out. You need a bit of energy to just 'sit' ..a conscious effort to clear a space..put away , clean up baggage, be positive. It can take 8min or 20min it's about the quality of the time.

I survived the account I'm glad to say with sanity and job in tack.

Timeout was on Sat mornings. It turned out better for me and also for the kids (cos I'm told 'mummy didn't freak out as much') .

Of course it also helped to have whining sessions with your best buddies on and off!

..like this...

Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that. ~Golda Meir

Are We What Our Mothers Ate?

An interesting bit of information, not so useful for us now but it could be for your children. Are We What Our Mothers Ate?

Shared via AddThis

Jul 26, 2009

The Choice to Make

Bringing up kids to be confident is hard work. I talked about my middle child earlier. Inspite of his constant pessimism and attempts to push me away, I keep telling him I love him anyway because I just do. He comes around eventually when it sinks in but also forgets soon enough. .. I just have to keep knocking at his door.

This brings to mind the line - ‘We do not have to love. We choose to love’. .. .this is a good place to share where it came from.
I spent the morning hunting for the book, there were many good examples in there, I recall about relationships and how to love. In dealing with kids, we need to consciously think and act positively to the child’s advantage in any given situation (especially in the bad) and build on the circumstance for their growth rather than react. Evaluate, look for the positive.. let the child learn...

Stephen R Covey’s book (7 Habits of Highly Effective Families) puts it very simply that the difference between us and the animals is that, we are capable of placing a ‘pause’ between stimulus and response. We are capable of pro-active behaviour because we have 4 gifts to use during the ‘pause’ to help our response to another human being; these being self-awareness, conscience, imagination, and independent will.

The quote is by the writer M Scott Peck who said
“The desire to love is not itself love….Love is an act of will …. Namely an intention and action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love. No matter how much we may think we are loving, if we are in fact not loving, it is because we have chosen not to love and therefore not love despite our good intentions. On the other hand, whenever we do actually exert ourselves in the cause of spiritual growth, it is because we have chosen to do so. The choice to love has been made.”

Keep at it!

Jul 25, 2009

Interesting Books

I love books. From fiction to romance to inspirational (even marketing).
The inspirational authors I've read over the years and sometime re-read include
Victoria Moran's - Creating a Charmed Life
Henri Nouwen..- numerous books both inspirational and spiritual uplifting...
Robet J Wicks - Living a Gentle Passionate Life
Wanda Nash - At Ease with Stress
A J Russel - God Calling - a special book that was recommended to me by a close friend. Sometimes you just need an answer now and that's when this book comes in handy.

Looking at the various books that I have, tells me that I have been searching for a while (and still searching)for answers and encouragement for myself and my kids.

Words move and show us how lives can change for the better, paint hope and encourage us to move on with our lives whether it's with or without change. It colours our thoughts in future planning and expectations, all with the desire to improve living.

Jul 23, 2009

Mom Power


This morning I happened upon this group on Yahoo, it's called Mom Power, under messages there are different outpourings of questions, feelings and emotions about single motherhood and about other-half issues.

There was one in particular that encouraged women to hold on to their husbands in spite of problems.

I am not arguing for or against.. there never is a right or wrong answer, ......I'm still understanding me.

But why is it that if there are really ways for a better existence for all concerned (happy, peaceful, confident), why do we strive to hold on to the old. For all our wise words to our children, we can't make that choice.

We certainly are women, rational yet irrational, uncertainty, dependency, guilt.. I understand it, truly I do .. I'd love to ... delete it (all that stuff that gets in the way).. but it's probably this strange unique mix of female elements that gives us the power to be mothers.

Be strong.

Jul 21, 2009

Being mom

Being a mother is not easy. The added pressures of being a working mum make it tougher.
I have exam fever and homework fever too along with them.

If there's no supportive dad in the picture, what's tougher than tougher?

I should be thankful the kids are spaced apart by a few years, you can then concentrate on a different child for his sake at his most stressed time (PSLE, CAs, etc).
Don't believe it if anyone tells you- the older one can help with the youngest one .. doesn't happen.

Being mom means:

- being the gatekeeper
- being their conscience
- being their friend
- being their tutor
- being their counselor
- being their maid
- being the party planner (official balloon blower)
- being their nurse
- being a nag (if that's what it takes, frequency pays off)
- being happy with them even if you aren't
- being the 'whine' recipient
- being strong (even when you don't feel it)
- being their playmate (even when your feet ache)
- being their PC repairman (til they know more than you)
- being the reason for their peace
- and when life calls for it, being their champion

... there's more

It's ALL worth it when they love you back... in heaps !

Jul 20, 2009

Solar Eclipse

Wed 22 Jul 09 the sighting of the longest Solar Eclipse for the 21st century. It will happen here around 9am.
Certainly a day for milestones.

My Mother in my Life




I grew up in an era where children were left much to themselves except of course if you weren't bringing back a report card that was full of red marks. The good old days of handwritten report cards blue = good, red = bad. And of course found our own entertainment - no gameboys or home pc.

There was my father of course he was ok as far as fathers were then. I was a girl, I didn't expect much from him but he didn't expect any less from me than he expected of my brother.

My mother was typical in many ways but not as well informed as I wish she had been for my sake then. I believe she has been more influential in my life in many small ways that mattered right up to my Uni years even. When I say little things, I mean little things like hair conditioner and casual clothes and hair accessories and hair style... no I don't mean expensive stuff, just the basics. Because of the lack of them, I was always self conscious around the other teenagers, my shorts were outdated, my hair was never allowed to be free and if they were tied up, it was in ribbons. Besides, it was sort of untamed(cos no conditioner).

Trying to fit in was terrible, I couldn't, I was uncomfortable. Which meant that I grew without really having tried to be me. Somehow I was always trying to be someone else that ... should have been this and should that. Enough of the self-psych and whining.. I did eventually do that on my own terms, to who cares what anybody thinks.

I don't blame her for the ignorance, that was just the way of life and her path and that was life.
But I learn from her 'mistakes'.
She sacrificed for me by giving up work. Those days nannies could not be trusted. My folks came home one day to discover my brother and me, on our own, no food, no nanny (not that my bro and I were complaining, we knew not what we missed).
My mum is very much an introverted person, so that didn't help. She closed herself in, in a way. And when that happened, her life reduced her circle of friends. The consequences - less extrovert activity, less external social networking, less movement and one ages faster and falls sick more often. She does not dare go out on her own any longer.

When I am with her now, that's what I remember. Her sacrifice. She could be a different person if she had not.
So...
Anything you do or say will have an effect on your child, no matter how insignificant.

Taking note of the people (living and gone) around us, we should try to keep active in mind and body as long as we can. Retire yes (if you can), but not in mind and body!

Jul 18, 2009

Breathe

In her book 'Creating a Charmed Life' by Victoria Moran, there is much wise wisdom if we but consider the various steps. One of the chapters that struck me was 'Breathe'. Don't we do that as a normal part of life?

Ah.. but therein lies a path to well-being. By taking a deliberate conscious control of the act of breathing in different situations or even as a start to the day we get our minds in the right mode to steady ourselves.

This is more than just meditation. Unfortunately I forget more often than I remember in my eagerness to get on with living and yet living would be so much easier with starting on the right breath. Sometimes we need to re-learn new ways to live well.

It's like a prayer in a way, give it up to HIM, before we begin anything.

Two steps are always better than one, one for the physical and one for the soul.

Jul 15, 2009

Emotions, right or wrong.




Children and emotions? Each child is different in how he deals with them and age is really not a factor.

I can tell when they are upset but seldom do they let it all out. It's easy enough to rationalise it for them when it is about 'normal' child behaviour.

But what happens if it's anger, when you yourself can't rationalise it because you know they are justified. How do you teach not to hate but be forgiving. Forgetting comes easy for kids but so is remembering.

The right thing to say and the honest thing to say are sometimes not one and the same. I can calm them with words, a hug and hope but it's not enough, I don't think even the child is convinced. If it comes from the deepest part of your heart, they know it and if it's not they sense it.

With the older child I think she is able to discern the wrong and the right in the discussion of it, but with the younger kids I don't want to go there yet. It's easier to teach the positive than the negative but still it is something that must be discussed when they are older. Not being totally convinced only leaves it behind in their memory as unfinished business that's temporarily shelved. Like all residues, (remnant of bad memories) it will need fixing or clearing but at the right time.

Jul 14, 2009

Middle Child ?

To whoever came up with middle child syndrome, why could you not give us the cure too?

Why is the middle child so different? It's not the nurture part so it's got to be the nature part. The oldest and youngest overshadow him vocally and he suppresses his expressions all the more. The more I try to bring him out, the more he resists. I have to try to catch him on his own time when that window opens. Oh but ... the time?

The youngest engages him often but it's for more overt things like gaming instructions and who's who in Pokemon land.

And when that window opens, it is for a very short while, when he is ready it's hard for him to get the words out. Why?
Use helping words, examples ... how to see what's in his head?

Friends

I have friends on 2 planes. The soul and the skin.

The soul, who know a lot more than even our parents or siblings are aware. We rant, complain, whine , we can laugh and cry on each's shoulder. And we keep each other's secrets.

The skin, our personal lives are mostly personal, no heady stuff except about our kids, school, our work lives, colleagues we 'can't stand' and our interests. We poke fun at each other, no hard feelings and when we laugh, we laugh and laugh. It feels very good.

It's like we want to be away from it all and just be us.

It's not superficial, it's just not more than we want to handle. leave the serious stuff to real life.


Thank God for all of them
The friend of my adversity I shall always cherish most.
I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom
of my dark hours than those who are so ready
to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity
.
-Ulysses S Grant

Jul 13, 2009

Create some heaven NOW.

I wrote these down as I sorted through chaos and somehow the words connect .. by these authors and spokesman:

Courage is sometimes frail as hope is frail: a fragile shoot between two stones that grows brave toward the sun though warmth and brightness fail, striving and faith the only strength it knows. -Frances Rodman.

Sometimes it's easy to advise someone else to have courage. But when it comes to ourselves, it's tough. Fear of the unknown. Mostly it's easier to keep hoping. Hoping for change, hoping for better days that will stay that way. And therein lies the constant worry that makes me tired.
Hope, deceitful as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of life along an agreeable road.
-
La Rochefoucauld, unfortunately not agreeable to everyone.


And...
Worry is a form of fear, and all forms of fear produce fatigue. A man who has learned not to feel fear will find the fatigue of daily life enormously diminished - Bertrand Arthur William Russell
So true.

Aristotle said 'No one loves the man whom he fears.' Definitely

My last entry by Friedrich Nietzsche
Everyone who has ever built anywhere a "new heaven" first found the power thereto in his own hell.

Time for change.
My friends help with strength to move.
Right thing to do. Will it come out right?

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. - Alexander Graham Bell

I hope that is how it works out.

Why didn't we hear the words before ?

This is life, it's always in hindsight we see..

Beautiful words ...

There's a place in your heart And I know that it is love
And this place could be much Brighter than tomorrow.
And if you really try You'll find there's no need to cry
In this place you'll feel There's no hurt or sorrow.
There are ways to get there
If you care enough for the living
Make a little space, make a better place.

Heal the world Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for You and for me.

If you want to know why
There's a love that cannot lie
Love is strong It only cares for joyful giving.
If we try we shall see In this bliss we cannot feel Fear or dread
We stop existing and start living
Then it feels that always Love's enough for us growing
Make a better world, make a better world.

And the dream we would conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace
Then why do we keep strangling life
Wound this earth, crucify it's soul
Though it's plain to see, this world is heavenly Be God's glow.
We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we'll cry happy tears
See the nations turn Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.

- MJ 'Heal The World'

Jul 10, 2009

Life

It's Friday. Sometimes I envy the singles and the kid-less.

What do they do with all that time?

Kids have cca, eca, homework and tution homework and extra work.. unlike yesteryears where our parents were least involved in these activities and life moved on automatically, today a maths problem sum can hold up the rest of the load without us.

Have you seen a P5/P6 problem sum? Amazing waters are being charted by us.

I look forward to the weekend. !

Loyalty?

Loyalties Misplaced

I am glad
I made friends.
Where I stood,
that was not meant to be.
But I am glad
I changed that to be
else you would not be my friends.

I am not sad
to have left,
a place so suppressed.
A collar must be stiff ,
a short chair made tall,
air so musty,
no substance,
a second home, I did call.

Now I know
what I did not see
what I did not do.
See through the curtain of charade
stiff and starched,
give it a stab,
watch it crack
At the start
nothing was there,
But an empty shell.

Now I see.
Now I feel.
Now I think.
I am free.

I laugh out loud
Now I am who I am

Should have walked away sooner
Caught in a spell
made by a
shell.

- (written Dec 2006)
The moral of the story - don't offer your loyalty to anyone til they have earned it.

The Brighter side of Life

When life throw's you a curve, don't panic. It means your life is not boring.
Stay cool don't get excited. When you get to my life, that would only represent a single drop of rain.
But if life keeps you on that curve, then panic !

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