Life Work


Today I feel alive. Today I feel renewed. Today, I feel as though I *may* actually be able to say “I am back” with some semblance of confidence! “I am back” to being ‘me’ again. “I am back” in the world of normal people who eat and breathe and sleep and who talk, laugh, and interact with one another, both IRL and online.

It feels like ages. It feels as though I’m just beginning to emerge again. It feels as though I’ve been in a state of ‘exist and survive’ for the last several weeks – where to eat, to sleep – even to breathe – has had to happen on autopilot because I’ve been just *that* darn busy! I can honestly say that I’ve been at my limits – and that’s pretty far, because if you know me, you know that I’m a pretty intense kinda person, a ‘burn the candles at both ends’ kinda gal. I’d prefer to ‘squeeze everything I can’ out of life, because I don’t believe in reincarnation and I know that I’ll be 39 in just a few months, and life don’t go backwards! 🙂

Yes, life’s been busy this last little while. But I can honestly pray, like I heard that the Israelites do, “Thank you, God, for sustaining me to reach this season…” because I know that without His protection, without His seeing me through, I wouldn’t have made it through to today without the measure of sanity that I still have. Which is, surprisingly, quite a bit, considering.

So. It’s 6.34am and I’m off to charge into my day. It promises to be full of laughter and happiness, so I’m keen to get started.

Have a great day yourselves, dear readers!!!



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Sleeping in

Hubby likes to sleep in. Fair enough – he has an extremely intense job, and he needs his recovery time.

I’m an early bird. I’ve never really enjoyed staying in bed when I could be up and doing stuff. (I go to bed late too, but that’s probably an insomnia thing…) I’m always up and about by 6. Often by 5.30 – and regularly, much earlier.

Our kids seem  to follow my ‘early rising’ habits, which Hubby doesn’t particularly appreciate. But it was funny, the conversation the other morning.

Hubby: “You slept in until after 6.30 this morning, [Miss 8]. Well done!”

Miss 8: “Yes, I’m learning. I like sleeping in! I try to sleep in until 7 o’clock on weekdays, but Mummy won’t let me!”

(It was at this point that I choked on my toast. I laughed, hard, for a long time. We have to leave for school before 7.30 if we’re going to get there on time – and getting them ready by 7.30 only happens when they all are out of bed by 6am.)

It was really a very very very funny moment!

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A poem

A child is screaming.

Slowly, her awareness surfaces. Slowly, as if emerging after being released from a pit of quicksand.
Her body feels too heavy to move.
Awake now, she debates the child’s need. Deciding that the cries are too insistent to subside with the passage of time, she rises, following the well worn path to the child’s room.
“Mummy, I nilk!” Is the immediate demand upon his door being opened.
She pushes aside thoughts of retaliatory remarks and leads the child by the hand through the dark, sleepy house. In the kitchen, milk is poured, quaffed, and a little mouth wiped clean. A little hand in her hand leads the way back to the child’s room.
All is dark. The muted whirr of dishes being cleaned by machine again fills the house.
Abed, the child snuggles soft toys. The door closes. Peace descends as she heads back to her pillow.
The house is sleepy. She waits, patiently, for sleep to reclaim her, too. Waits. Waits…

A child screams, loudly.

Her day begins.

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Where I’ve been

Okay, so I’ve been absent from this blog for what feels like months, but is only, in fact, 10 days. It’s now Monday 2 April, and it’s officially the ‘first day’ of school holidays. But while Miss 7 might sleep in this morning, Hubby will still have to drive in to work, and I’m in front of the screen already, getting work done while it’s quiet and still. Our work continues while schools have their break – and there’s always work to be done.

Last week was incredibly intense for me. Not only was I teaching a pretty full-on Prep class Monday through Thursday, I was also keeping the marketing of my clients ticking along. On Monday, for example, St Paul’s had a branding photo event with the brilliant photographer Greg Parsons. At the same time, the School Captain and Primary Head of School from Caloundra Christian College were being interviewed by Steve Dunster of Radio Rhema, to promote the Bike-a-thon that they ran on Friday, to raise money for the charity Reach-an-Orphan.

Tuesday and Wednesday was ‘quickly-interview-sources-and-take-photos-in-between-classes’ days, in preparation for the news story deadlines that always come around far too quickly. Thursday was ‘book the bus half-backs’ that I’ll be creating the skin designs for this week. And Friday was ‘finish the stories and submit by midday, then collapse’. And in between I was updating Facebook accounts – with photos of Firey’s visits and Cross Country carnivals – twitter accounts, and websites. Oh. And teaching Prep.

Man! No wonder I’m tired! Conclusion: I need a holiday.

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The calm before the storm…

Today is the *last* day of the working week. Ha! I can’t recall when the last weekend that I didn’t work. Months ago? Years, more like.  I think, prior to conceiving the idea for – back when Mr 3 was 9 weeks old – I had some weekends where I wasn’t in front of the computer screen. I would have been busy with young children though. Is that just work of a different kind? Anyway, straying off topic here…

I love my job. Which is why I don’t keep regular hours. I often send emails between the hours of 9pm and midnight, or will blog in the early hours of the morning (I’m currently writing this at 3.54am) because that’s when it’s quiet and I can get stuff done. And if a kid wakes me in the middle of the night, as Mr 3 did just an hour or so ago, I’ll generally just stay up and work. And that’s okay with me. Truly. Being self-employed, if I don’t put in the hours and get the work done, I’ll lose my client’s respect – and then their business. Which is not good. So I work, and am happy to do so.

When it gets tricky though, is managing when I’m offered relief teaching. Since teaching means good money, and we need that, I only pass up these opportunities when I’m ill, or one of my children is. So missing a good 8 working hours out of a day while I teach means that I inevitably have to catch up that time elsewhere. And that’s where my organisation, of necessity, goes into overdrive.

Take next week, for example. I’ll be the St Paul’s Prep C teacher Monday through Thursday. I’ve also organised a branding photo event next Monday for the school – so the brilliant Greg Parsons will be shooting some additions to the St Paul’s library of branding photos. And normally I would assist in this event – but I can’t, because I’ll be in the classroom. I’ll also be in the classroom on Tuesday when I would normally be updating websites, on Wednesday during my Skype appointment with Hervey Bay, and on Thursday when I’d be interviewing sources for my weekly news stories that I submit on Fridays. See my problem? I need to re-schedule all my marketing activities for non-school hours… and not forget my mum / wife duties too (swimming lessons, shopping, cooking, washing clothes, helping with homework etc etc etc).

Sometimes life can be tricky to sort out. Lucky I’ve got this weekend to prepare it all! (Oh – and I apologise in advance. I doubt very much that I’ll be posting anything over the next several days!)

CC Image courtesy CC Chapman at


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Innocent pleasures

There was a time, a week or so ago, when it stopped raining long enough for the kids and I to venture outside. We have a pretty tiny house, so having a large backyard is wonderful. Especially when it’s dry enough to enjoy it!

Being weary (as is my seemingly permanent state) I decided on this day to pull out the hammock dear Hubby bought me for a not-so-distant birthday. So I hung it up and jumped in, ready to laze – and then Miss 4 piped up with a “Jump on the trampoline with me, Mummy!”

I had just gotten comfortable, so said ‘no’ (Yes, I know. Yet one more example of how much of a #badmummy I am…!) but suggested that she place a ball on the trampoline and jump with that. Unfortunately though, she must have inherited some of my laziness (or is catching it via osmosis? You be the judge!) so rather than get off the trampoline to fetch the ball, she decided to use one of her boots as a jumping companion instead. And added one of her brother’s boots for good measure.

‘Twas very cute. See for yourself! (And yes, I know. The orientation’s wrong. D’Oh!)

[flickr video=6997116357 secret=1209f5a162 w=320 h=240]

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Silly me.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’d know that a week or so ago, I swapped my kids rooms around – Mr 2 is now in the girls’ old room, and vice versa. This was because his room was slightly larger (and therefore more suited to a two-child room), plus the fact that this bedroom shares a wall with the main bedroom meant that his rolling into the wall would wake us both up.

Silly me. Now we get to listen to Misses 7 and 4 talking at 5am. Which I guess is okay. But what I didn’t particularly find okay last night (or should that be ‘this morning’) was the fact that one of them had knocked their alarm clock, and set it to go off at 12.54am. Which, being directly behind my pillow, woke me up. And it was loud enough to keep me from ignoring it, and returning to my dream – but not loud enough to wake up anyone else.

Very annoying. Silly me. Perhaps I should change them back? Either that, or earn another $100K per year, so I can afford to build an extension.

Anyone got a spare $100K they no longer want? LOL

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Night-time visions

I can’t remember when my insomnia first started. I think my earliest memories of it were when I was a teenager. Back in high school, I got into the habit of staying up very late at night, reading. Then I would get up at 6 the  next morning, as I always have.

Source: via Ceridwyn on Pinterest

At Uni, the poor sleeping habits continued. And then in my second year of Uni, I joined a cult. (Didn’t know that that’s what it was at the time, though!) Time in the cult was time spent awake. At meetings, at church services, at coffee, at meeting with people, at conferences, and at Bible”studies”. When I’d been there a few months, I was asked to join their leadership. Which meant even more hours awake – for the rest of my time in the cult, I would average around four hours of sleep each night.
Maybe, that’s when I got hooked on the adrenaline rush that accompanied my lack-of-sleep. That’s when I decided that I could accomplish so much more, if I didn’t have to spend 7 -8 hours sleeping each night. I liked knowing that I had more control over my body, than my body had over me.
I liked that I could do more, because I was awake. I like that I had time and space to myself at night when others were asleep and the world was quiet.
And then I left the cult. But I didn’t leave behind me the feeling of superiority I had gained by doing so much more when others were asleep. I carried that into my life after Uni,  and into my married life, and into my life at work. Then, seven years  ago, kids came along. I entered a whole new world of sleepless nights and being woken at strange times and odd hours.
My insomniac habits, which had been gradually decreasing, return full force.. It has continued to this date.. Now, self-employed, and studying my Masters online, I find that this lifestyle – being awake at night when everyone else is asleep – is the only one that I can use to effectively get through all of the tasks that I have set myself. And really, I’m okay with that. I love my life.

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I love waking up. It’s something that happens very rarely, maybe once or twice a year. Okay, maybe three. Or four. But not more than half-a-dozen, I’m sure of it.
Right now you’re thinking “This chic is crazy”. And yes, I probably am a little, but not over this. So I guess I’d better explain myself.
I rarely ‘wake up’ because I’m always being ‘woken up’. Yes, there is a distinction. No, I never understood the distinction until I became a parent.
I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOVE waking up. The sensation of realising that you’re awake, and that you’ve slept, and that now that you’re awake you can tell that you’ve achieved this state of wakefulness all by yourself, and that you don’t have to immediately rush out of bed to attend a child, a pet, or other miscellaneous disturbance, but that you have the leisure to lie there for a minute, or two, or three, (or even maybe to go back to sleep again!) with noone demanding your time, your attention, your energy… Yes, I love waking up.
I have never owned an alarm clock. I have always been a ‘morning person’. I have always woken at 6, or before if I was anxious about anything. Those days are gone now. A pity, in a way, but I’d NEVER give up my kids just to get a few hours more sleep. The benefits far outweigh, and all that sort of stuff.
Take my mornings, now.
Most of them, say around 17 or 18 out of 20, I wake up when the door to my bedroom opens. It’s generally around 5.45am, and the house is dark and quiet. Mr 2 walks quietly past Hubby and around to my side of the bed. He then stands there with his hand on my shoulder or arm, until I put an arm around him. Or he climbs up next to me and lies down. He doesn’t make a sound. He’ll stay quiet, not moving. He won’t fall asleep. He’s just happy being hugged. And he stays with me ’til I take him out of the room.
My daughters never did that. Sure, they came in on the odd occasion, or they tried to, but it was always a ‘middle of the night’ thing, not a ‘I’ve woken up now and I know it’s morning but instead of playing with my toys in my room (which is what he used to do) I want to give you a hug until you’re ready to get up and play with me’.
I love that about my mornings. I know it’s a phase, and he’ll grow out of it quicker than I want him too, but right at the moment, his early morning cuddle trumps even ‘my waking up’.
And I love that.

Photo: Mr 2. Taken by the exceptional Greg Parsons.

Random thoughts

Feeling the lack of deadlines…

So it’s coming up to 10am, Monday morning, and I’ve been up for five hours. (Well, if you don’t count when I got up to Master 2 around 2am. But I went back to sleep again after that.) But in that time, I don’t feel as though I’ve accomplished too much. Sure, I’ve done housework, kid’s stuff, and the like, but in comparison to my life over the last month or so, I feel at a complete loss. It’s as though I’ve done pretty much nothing, just fuff around, do a bit of net-surfing, play a bit more on google+ …  no real work to speak of at all!

I’m feeling the lack of dealines, and I’m just too exhausted due to the last month to set any for myself. But I’m too much of a non-stop adrenalin junkie to let myself relax enough to feel as though ‘that’s okay’. Aarrgh.

Or maybe it’s just that huge mountain of filing-left-to-do that’s making me particularly uninspired…