Fill ‘er up!

Feeling empty today?  I am.  No real reason, just the same old, same old!  I often fill up on unhelpful, non productive things when I feeling blue.  You know what I mean …. salt, fat, sugar, too much social media, too much junk TV etc!  So it got me thinking about what things do I look for that are helpful and kind to my soul?

This is my list of some of those things.

Music is always a soother for my soul.  Especially those YouTube clips from days gone by, often posted on social media by friends.  I always take these as a personal gift.

Flowers are that little piece of sunshine on a gray day.

flowers

Fev, my cat.  She purrs the moment I walk into the room.  Stroking her is the most soothing thing I know.  She comes when I need her ….. and when I don’t!

green eyed fev

Beautiful words, written in verse.  Beautiful words, uplifting through sayings and quotes. Beautiful words, printed simply on canvas or stuck on walls or framed to emphasize.

2014-02-04 08.13.47
My favourite wall in my home!

The ritual of making and drinking tea.  Teapots are some of my favourite things – especially when they are shared with friends.

teapot

Art in all it’s forms.  From Renoir to pictures created by the special kids in my life. The warmth and colour that seeps out of the frame or page or screen truly delights my heart.

50th tree
A gift from BossBoy, for my birthday a few years ago. BossBoy is an artist!

I’m know there are more things that fill my emptiness in a positive way and most of those are to do with people I love and admire – family, friends and sometimes thinking back over sporting moments I have I have shared with Adrian & my Boys.

Your turn now ….. What positive things do you fill your life with, when that empty feeling creeps up on you?

Soul Music!

I’m a feeling person.  Things move me.  I cry … a lot.  When I’m happy and when I’m sad and when I’m really angry and when I see or feel injustice. I love a good drama show on TV.   I laugh … a lot.  I like to play with words and I admire well written humour.  Sometimes, my heavy feelings get the better of me and I forget the things that make me laugh or make me happy.  Sometimes, I need to remind myself of the things that lift me up and twirl me around.  Music moves me more than anything else I know.

music2

We are a musical family and have been for a couple of generations.  Adrian was an incredibly talented pianist, who played all over the country in his younger days in talent shows and competitions.  My mother and her only sister, loved to sing and perform at Church concerts and youth gatherings in their younger days.  Of my generation on my mother’s side, many of my cousins sang and played guitar for church and youth nights and for our own enjoyment.  The next generation, however, have taken it to the next level and have been gigging in bands since they were at school – and still are.  They have taken their music to London and Berlin and continue to work towards fulfilling their dreams.  While some of their music is not my thing, the joy I get from seeing them develop and create is definitely my thing.

Jon Singing
BossBoy
Patdog drums
BabyBoy

Music takes me places.  It transports me to and fro through the years and the memories.  I can be 14 years old going to my very first live concert, the minute that I hear Bennie and the Jets by Elton John.  Or at the local movie theatre at the beach watching Easy Rider when I hear Born To Be Wild!  The Beatles – Hello Goodbye – quickly transports me to a bus trip home from church, where I remember singing that song loudly all the way home!  I must have been about 9 or 10 years old and I thought I was singing out of the window and no none could hear me!  Sorry to all those passengers and thanks to Mum for not stopping me!!  Anything by Nirvana and I’m immediately the mother of an angst ridden 14 year old boy, who only wore black and appeared to not come out of his bedroom for about 3 years.  Sheena Easton takes me to a before kids, holiday in the South Island in New Zealand with Adrian. I could go on and on …..

Too often, I find myself in the grip of sad and heart wrenching songs that trigger memories of my marriage and the subsequent illness and death of my husband.  But as a tribute to him, every year, the Boys and I celebrate music appreciation and a glass or two of Port in his honour.  The music on those nights isn’t sad or morose.  No!  It’s mainly Graceland by Paul Simon or Captain Jack by Billy Joel  or anything by Elton John.

I need to constantly remind myself, that music can lift my soul and should be used for good!  It can make me want to dance, as I was reminded by an old friend the other day.  It helps me to feel alive and keeps me growing.  Many times the background noise of the TV, replaces the sounds of joy and happiness music can bring.  It’s time to switch off the TV and turn up the music.

youve_gotta_dance

It’s time to sing and dance!  It’s time to lift off and twirl!  It’s time to turn those corners up and smile!  It’s time to feed my soul ….. with music!

Anxiety – Not Today!

I have been so good for so long.  I have been stretching myself and pretty much living a full life, with few boundaries caused by my anxiety.  And then it happens –

I wake at 3 am with that dreaded ball of molten liquid sitting in my gut!  I feel that if I don’t move to the bathroom, I may have an accident but my body doesn’t want to be moving.  It wants to be still and hiding in bed.  I think of the diffusion strategies I have been taught and begin the internal self talk.  After a few minutes, I feel the heat subside enough for me to get to the bathroom.  Accident prevented.

I return to bed but I leave the light on and find some music to listen to – anything to distract myself.  Not today …. The questions flow thick and fast.  What are you concerned about?  What could happen?  Why?  Always why?  Of course there is no why, it just is!  My heart rate begins to speed up, so I concentrate on my breath.  It calms enough for me to doze but when I next wake I feel sick in my stomach.  I get up and make a cup of tea but I am angry with myself!

Today is supposed to be a work day and then I have tickets to attend the Rod Stewart Concert tonight.  I did not prepare myself well enough.  I have things to do to help me plan and have control on days like this.  I didn’t complete them all ahead of time.  I didn’t put out my clothes to wear to work but I did make sure that I had a healthy lunch prepared.

The Easter weekend had been a mixture of alone time and contact with people time.  That was good.  I got myself to the football – all by myself on Friday night.  That was good.  I ate, at least, 2 healthy meals during the long weekend.  Not enough?  Probably not!  Exercise – probably not enough!  Fresh air and sunshine – probably not enough!  TV – too much.  Computer – too much.  Junk food – too much!

Now my mind is racing, so I sip my tea and concentrate on my breathing.  I begin to calm down enough to tell myself that all of these things can’t be changed but I can do better from now on.  I go to find my cat.  Stroking Fev soothes me and she begins to purr.  I take her back to bed with me and we snuggle down and I fall asleep at last.

I wake late and I feel hung over but I am still aware of that hot mess in the pit of my stomach.  It remains but doesn’t feel like it is controlling me.  At the moment, anyway.  I stop to decide what I really want to do today and quickly come to the conclusion, that if I want to give myself the best chance of getting to the concert tonight, work will not happen today.  I refuse to allow the guilt that is beginning to rise inside me, to be given any freedom to grow!

Today, must be about kindness to myself.  It must be about rest and recovery – it is not a good day for unreal expectations for myself.  Time to give myself a hug.  Time to eat well and go outside for a bit and do a bit more exercise and nap when I need too.   Allowing the negative feelings space but quickly moving on and listening to the positive messages I have inside me.

And only then, I will have the strength to go, with my friends, to the Concert I was so looking forward too.   I know how to take care of myself!

I will be ready for you, Rod!  Will you be ready for me?

rodstewart-620x400

P.S: Anxiety Girl Cartoon by Natalie Dee

A Day That Made My Heart Sing.

What a gorgeous day I had yesterday!  I slept in.  No work on a Monday is great!

I met up with my girlfriend and we went to see the beautiful Cinderella.  Yes, you heard correctly!  Two plus 55-year-old women, with grown children and no grandchildren, went to see the movie Cinderella.  It was gorgeous and lovely and magical and sigh ….. We were taken on a dreamy journey from the very first “When you wish upon a star” – straight back to our childhood Sunday evenings.  Those Sundays and that song, signaled a family viewing of the wonders of Walt Disney’s Disneyland on TV.

Cinderella had us entranced from the very first scene, as we were transported back to our little girl dreams of finding our own Prince Charming.  Now, I’m not really a sparkle and princess kinda girl but I loved it.  Judging by the sighs coming from the seat beside me – so did my mate.  We had a magical  time of glass slippers and fairy godmothers and “Isn’t that Rose from Downton Abbey?” and “There’s the guy from Game of Thrones!”  It was great!  As was the catch up chat over lunch.

1376405784_Richard-Madden

promo_2

Later that evening, another great friend and her hubby took me to the most stunning church on the top of a hill – yes you guessed right, it was a Catholic church – with the most stunning night-time view, to hear the most stunning music.  It was glorious!

the-church-L-Xceu3O

Old Boys from St Laurence’s played guitars, in a choir of no voices but only strings, that had me entranced for the second time in a day.  Then came a quartet of guitars playing JS Bach, that could only be described as exquisite.  Next, the Community Choir sang with such beauty and spirit, that my friend tells me that we (her & I) will aim to be a part of that group next year ….. and I think I agreed!!!  Lastly, the hour and a half of music ended with the Old Boys Choir!  As the mother of 3 sons, I had completely forgotten how much I love to hear men sing!  It was to die for and the Ave Maria brought tears to my eyes, as it floated back and forth between the divided groups at the front and the group at the back of that gorgeous church.  What a blessing that evening of music was to my heart and spirit – and all for a free will offering that was going to a mission project in Asia.

With my heart overflowing with joy and music and beauty I was transported home where the love and gratefulness continued.  BabyBoy, who has been staying with me for a while, decided to go on a late night Maccas run and we had some of the best fries we had eaten for ages!  Apple pies ….. did I mention apple pies?  Yum!

McDonalds-Apple-PieEnchantment from morning ’til night.  How lucky am I?