Monthly Archives: November 2014

Awesome stress-busting resolutions.

I’m fed up with making excuses. Tired of being tired. Frustrated by the fact that I’m one of those people who is “full of potential”…. unrealised potential. It’s high time to shake things up! And because I’m far too impatient to wait for January to arrive, I’m setting myself some end-of-year resolutions instead.

These resolutions will put me on a pathway towards positivity faster than a genetically-modified speeding rabbit, bred with a panther, and strapped to turbines. What does this look like? See for yourself…

Tonight is a turning point. It’s not a fancy date in the calendar, granted. But it is important to me. Tonight I am chatting with the inspirational Rebecca Campbell. In time, I’m hoping she’ll be my soul-mentor. I know that this conversation is going to kickstart some good things. Someday soon I’m going to get back to my roots – my spiritual ones.  I have lost my mojo, but now it’s time to send out the search party.

Here is a list of my awesome end-of year-resolutions. 

Writing projects

I have two of these. The first, to get my brilliant book ‘Terri’s Favourite Things’ published (ahem, self-promotion is so cool. PS. If you want a copy and happen to be an international publishing house, just drop me a line!)

My book 'Terri's Favourite Things' (Illustrations, Valentina Cavallini)
1st page of my book ‘Terri’s Favourite Things’ (Illustrations, Valentina Cavallini – Designs, Sam Armstrong)

The second is to grow this thing. This blog thing that you are reading right now and undoubtedly loving. Don’t deny it. Instead, SHARE IT. Tell your friends. Subscribe. Give me some cyber loving, people!

Soul project

This is my meditation/affirmations/soul section. This is where I need Rebecca’s professional guidance and advice. Stay tuned; following our call I will share her pearls wisdom, and set myself a project accordingly.

Physical Health project

It’s oh-so-simple. I must exercise for 4 hours a week. This might sound easy. But it isn’t. I am a mother of two. I have meals to cook, children to raise, a house to clean, rah rah rah. Fitting in some Pilates and cycling and running and weights isn’t going to be easy. This is the toughest of my list so far. But I’m going give it a darn good shot.

Part of my health project includes a gut-health component. Researchers are starting to find links between the billions of gut micro biome inside us and our overall health. Said to influence everything from our inflammatory responses, right through to our mental health, these teeny tiny microscopic gut thingees seem more powerful than I would have ever imagined. So I’m going to try something like the Supercharged Foods diet to “heal my gut” and, by default (I hope), ease my anxiety.

 

Wife project

Stay tuned! I’m going to publish my Merry Marriage project very soon (just in time for Xmas)

Mental health project

All of the above is a mental health project of sorts.  These tasks are not about me as a mother; they are about ME and what makes ME tick. Selfish? Maybe. But about time I get a little into myself again. Turns out I’m a much happier person to be around when I am happy on the inside, and that benefits all of my family.

 I am estimating these tasks will require 10-12 solid hours of investment. That’s a tiny 1/14th of my week. Surely, even sleep-deprived, cranky old me can manage to find that much time to myself?! 

So why wait until January? Come up with a list of your own awesome end-of-year resolutions and share them with me. Let’s end 2014 the way we wished it had begun.

To my friends, whose children went to hospital.

Sometimes, I think I own stress. The entire thing. Sometimes I forget that other people know stress, too. And sometimes, they know it far more intimately than I do.

By unhappy coincidence, two of my closest friends were in the emergency department with their children a few weeks ago. The boys had very different symptoms, but had one thing in common. They were very, very sick.

And their mums were very, very scared.

This is my letter to them.
Brave baby Fletcher, recovering at home from his ordeal.
Brave baby Fletcher, recovering at home from his ordeal.

To my pals,

CL You are a mother of three. You were born for this job; I know so few like you, who just ‘crack on’ and raise your boys. Complaints are few and far between for you. You are my first point of call when I need advice because you seem instinctively to know what to do.

KK, we began our motherhood journey together, and have continued it with our second children being born only months apart. Our children are like chalk and cheese, but we are like sisters.

Both of you, my darling friends, experienced a terror like no other, when your children were hospitalised a fortnight ago.

CL – your curly-haired, energy-fuelled, dynamo of a 3 year old was mistakenly sent home by doctors, when you knew…you KNEW…he was not OK. I said already that motherhood comes naturally to you. Thank the heavens you trusted your instincts and rushed him to emergency anyway.

You left your precious son in the hands of surgeons as they drilled into his skull. When they prized your baby from your arms, I bet your heart snapped in two. I bet your brain clouded over, your throat constricted, and your blood pumped so loud it deafened you. 

And KK, just days after your newborn’s arrival – when you should have been at your hormone-fuelled happiest – you found yourself in the middle of a nightmare, as someone so impossibly small was fitted with a cannula. And then another. And then some more. It could not have seemed real.

 For both of you, the agony must have been indescribable. A base level pain; soul-crippling torture.

As parents we practice the art of  sacrifice on a daily basis, giving up on our own desires for the sake of our children who we love more than ourselves.

The sacrifices we make may seem tough. But what is worse than sacrifice is loss.

And as you both stood in front of a monstrously deep precipice that threatened to engulf you, the sound of your prayers filled the sky.

Please, dear God, let him be ok.

Let ME bear this burden. Let ME suffer this pain.

You bargained with all the Gods. You called out to whoever was up there, listening to you. You begged with every fibre of your being. Give me back my healthy child.

And they listened.

Both your boys are on the mend, and finally you can breathe. But never too deeply. You will always watch a little bit too closely from now on; always hold on a bit too tightly.

I want you to know that as your tears made pools on your children’s hospital pillows that I admired you.

As they put needles in the arms of your children, drew blood, operated, pricked and poked, I admired you.

When you felt like even your bones would crumble from grief and shock, I admired you.

You always left enough in the tank to give love to your child. How you managed this is beyond me. 

No one can imagine the heartache of watching your child suffer and not knowing what would happen to them. But we can all imagine your profound relief that, in the end, your boys were ok. After their weeks in hospital, they will continue to BE ok.

You must lay aside your guilt that they will resent you for what they have just been through, and accept that if they remember any of this at all, they will remember only that you were there for them. Always, always, that you are there for them.

Children are a double-edged sword. They awaken a new dimension of love when they come into our lives. They deliver a joy that can not be explained with words. I liken them to being a sixth sense. How can you describe taste, for those who can not taste? Or sight, to those who can not see? Well, it is the same when a child enters your world. Indescribable. 

And if our babies are taken away – or we fear that they will be – the grief is inhuman. Barbaric. Destructive.

This is the cross we must carry for the gift of our sons and daughters. This constant fear that something might happen to them. It’s a million times worse to think of your own child being sick than yourself.

You wore this cross upon your shoulders and made it through. You know how lucky you are that they’re safe.  

You are my heroes.

Much love
Xxx

Unknown

Is losing your mojo a by-product of parenthood?

My Mojo went AWOL back in 2011. It was some time in February, when I was living in London and started feeling a bit crook. I had been to the doctor complaining of severe abdominal cramps, but she told me it was probably nothing to worry about and sent me on my way.

My “nothing to worry about” was, in fact, a tiny human growing fast inside my tummy. (And here I was, thinking it was some kind of weird reaction to the malaria tablets I’d been taking throughout my recent holiday in Africa!)

Pre-holy-shit-we-are-having-a-baby” news, I had a lot of spark. I had spirit. Spunk*. Gumption.

The days when I had my mojo.
The days when I had my mojo.

I was at my thinnest and felt incredible. I had just found a career that I knew I really wanted to pursue (and was finally feeling courageous enough to throw the towel in on the advertising game to follow my dream).

I had great hair.

See? Great hair.
See? Great hair.

The countless hours I had devoted to thinking positively and changing my mentality had led to the universe handing me one giant goodie-bag to enjoy. And boy, was I digging in.

My life was still unfolding;  the future was a great mystery. I could be anything (anything!) I wanted to be. The only stress lay in choosing just what that might be exactly.

Now, my life’s greatest mystery is whether I will ever see the bottom of my laundry basket again.

But I digress.

The baby news shook things up for me as it invariably does, and threw me off my trajectory. The universe, in her infinite wisdom, had just granted me my heart’s deepest wish… Just a bit too early is all!

Having a child was a blessing. But I did not expect, nearly four years later, that I would:

  • Blow dry my hair on a bi-annual basis
  • Rate a night at home watching QI repeats over meeting new people at a bar
  • Have replaced visualisation and affirmation boards with “House rules” posters on the walls for my three year old
  • Have completely reversed the benefits of my positive affirmations
  • Gained 8kg
  • Become fearful of going on holiday (my favourite thing, like, ever!)  because of the organisation required for two small kids
  • Given up all hope of ever having a promising career

The twinkle in my eye has gone. I wouldn’t dream of Dancing in the Dark any more (although I do occasionally still dream of Bruce). I no longer watch Hollywood films and think “that could be me one day“. I now look at those things and think “that could have been me, once upon a time“.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a whole heap of joy in my life; but it is predominantly reserved for other people.

For my daughter who can somersault.

For my baby son who can giggle.

For my husband who has done incredibly well with his start up business.

For my friend, whose career is soaring.

But me? Well, I’m not really joyous about me anymore. I’m perfectly happy enjoying my beautiful family, but I have nothing else going on that’s mine.

I don’t know – is this just what motherhood is? Is this the blessing and the curse?

I admire mums who still play sport, or meditate, or blow dry their hair on a daily basis. I admire them, but I wonder “where do they get the time?”

I know that I have to make time for myself but I truly don’t know where to borrow it from. From cleaning the kitchen? Folding the aforementioned laundry? Cooking? These are all chores, but necessary ones when it comes to maintaining a household.

Like I said, I’m happy with my lot in life and consider myself truly lucky to have two beautifully healthy children and a mighty fine man in my life. I also have my own health to be grateful for.

But I miss my spark. I miss my “something special”. And I wonder – will I ever get it back? Is this hiatus permanent? Or shall I just accept, over a big glass of wine, that I’ve had my day. That all the sparkle has rubbed off me. That I’m a little worn in places. A little homely. But that it’s ok?

Or should I be investing in myself at a time when I feel like I only have time for others? Should I be putting deposits into The Royal Bank of Me, so that sooner or later it starts paying dividends?

Is it even possible, post-parenthood, to ever be yourself again – the way you were when you were independent and free?

What do you think?

*Spunk, in the Australian sense, means spirit, x-factor, cuteness, etc. All British readers, get your mind out of the gutter! :)