Listen To Your Heart.

The last 5 months have been very tough for me.  There has been much interstate travel (which I am getting better at), changes in my work status, more ill-health than is manageable, injury and of course the necessary move of my *MIL out of her home of 30 years, into a Nursing Home and the subsequent declining of her health and finally her death.

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The last time I saw my MIL. Such a happy pic!

Pleasingly, to me, I have not fallen into an immediate heap, as has been the normal pattern of behaviour for me – especially when things stop!  I have, however, felt the desire for a servant in my home; the yearning for a beautiful garden to lift my flagging spirit; the urge to eat everything custard (but not banana custard, Mum) for every meal; and for friends and family to magically appear when I want company and disappear when I don’t!

I spoke to my Psychologist, yesterday, about how I was feeling guilty because I have not yet cried at the death of my much-loved MIL.  I simply feel relief, tinged with just a little anger!

I feel relief because I no longer have to worry that she is being cared for properly.  I feel relief that she is no longer in pain.  I feel relief that I no longer have to put on my crisis mask and manage all the stuff …. I feel relief that I no longer need to feel helpless to make MIL happy and fulfilled with her life.  I feel relief at no longer feeling responsible when myself or my boys didn’t contact her as much as we should.  She was so easily made happy with a phone chat.

And angry …. because MIL is gone to be with God and I am still here wading through the mire that is my life.  I’m angry at  cancer because it took my husband and left me to do all the necessary stuff for his Mum.  F u cancer!  I feel angry because there is one less person who really knew Adrian, that I can talk too.

But I have not fallen in a heap, so that’s good – right?

My Psychologist simply said that  it was now time to take care of myself for a little while.  To be kind to my inner person as I had been doing to my MIL.  To find those things that nurture my spirit and soothe my body and mind.

So I visited Madders Brothers Patisserie and bought a red velvet delight topped with a macaron – that surely soothed my body!

Red velvet

On returning home, I lit my Verona candle from Glasshouse Fragrances.

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Later I got my Mindfulness Colouring Book and did some therapeutic colouring in.

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And then there is always this ……

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Fev is the softest, smoochiest, purriest, heart soother I have!!

I also, read blogs that inspire me – check any featured on my list of Blogs to Read (on the right of my page).  I, also have been known to be nourished by words and quotes. So here are a few of my favourite ones –

smile tickle more beautiful cry because

listen

What do you do to nurture yourself?

*MIL = mother-in-law

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Mandy’s G20 Spa Update: Conclusion.

The G20 in Brisbane is over.  Vlad left early!  Barack wowed the Uni Students!  Tones … well Tones was just Tones!  Most of the road closures will be slowly getting back to normal but the weekend was anything but normal!  We had days of this –

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It was ridiculously hot which meant any Spa activities that needed me to leave the house and the air conditioning, were well and truly forgotten!  It was actually too hot to walk the 100 metres to our Community pool, remove the cover, swim, replace the cover, then walk the 100 metres back to the house!  So, the weekend of pampering and relaxation of myself changed quite a lot.

I was amazed to notice that the minute I announced the fact of having a pampering weekend and gave myself permission to have a relaxing weekend – I became revitalized and energetic.  Ploughing into those tasks that have previously been beyond me.  Tasks like tackling Mt Washmore!  Like organising my wardrobe and packing away my Winter woollens.  I washed and packed away winter bedding. Of course, because of the weather, it was a nightmare to hang out the washing but it did dry in a heartbeat!

You know, I never did slather, smooth, pluck or exfoliate anything but I really don’t mind.  My mind was fed and nourished with the beauty of music and words.  And I achieved many satisfying outcomes within my home.  No, my home is not picture perfect nor sparkling from top to bottom.  But it is a more serene and organised place in which to feel calm and motivated.  I wanted to give myself a hug and I did!  And it felt good!

Here are some photos of other things that made me feel relaxed, calm and motivated on the G20 weekend.

A Kookaburra and a Peewee dropped in for a well needed drink.
A Kookaburra and a Peewee dropped in for a well needed drink.
The All Blacks had a narrow win against Scotland.
The All Blacks had a narrow win against Scotland.
Mettwurst, cheese & crackers for lunch.
Mettwurst, cheese & crackers for lunch.
Mango season is well and truly here.
Mango season is well and truly here.
My bedroom minus Mt Washmore!
My bedroom minus Mt Washmore!

I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful I feel with all those clothes having been sorted, folded and packed away.  Yes, there is ironing to be done but next weekend I will receive a whirlwind visit from my New Zealand nephew and seeing as he is my Sister’s son – I’m hoping that her love of ironing has been passed down the generation!  I am not holding my breath, though!

The other soul nourishment from my G20 Spa Weekend, came from Glennon Doyle Melton and her wonderfully down to earth blog,  Momastery. Her blog and her book, Carry On Warrior are continued sources of encouragement and laughter in my daily life.  I would love you to discover for yourself her inspirational words.  Here are a couple of snippets to whet your appetite.

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You are not a mess

So, what do you find nourishing and uplifting?  Maybe you will be surprised to discover that relaxation and pampering can come from the most unexpected places e.g my conquering of Mt Washmore!

Mandy’s G20 Spa Update:1

Hmm, it hasn’t quite gone as I expected, but it began well, waking up early and hanging the first load of washing before 7am!  Next, while eating a healthy breakfast, I logged on to see what wonderful offerings had arrived in my inbox and sure enough my tribe had not failed me.

The first offering was a link sent to me by someone who knows my heart well.  It was a link to a blog by Ashley Hackshaw.  It so nurtured my soul this morning that I am hoping Ashley aka Lil Blue Boo doesn’t mind me sharing it here?

http://www.lilblueboo.com/2014/08/why-i-told-my-husband-he-could-walk-away.html

I especially loved the quote she shared from Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tues with Morrie quote

Next I had a laugh provided by Jimmy Fallon & Channing Tatum via this little gem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rhwc5_iWkA

It was about time that I realised that this was happening today on TV and well you know me and sport!!

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So instead of pampering body, I decided to pamper my home by attacking Mt Washmore, while watching the cricket!  So the doona’s were popped into the washing machine and I began sorting and folding until my table looked like this …

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Those are piles, people! Folded and sorted piles, people!  I’m so proud of me.

Just the queen sized doona to hang out and then I’m ready for some slathering and soaking.  As I was hanging out the doona, I wrenched my grumpy shoulder and MAN DOES IT HURT!!!! So the rest of the day is being spent with a wheat pack and these …

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It is 34 degrees here and I have a heat pack on my shoulder!!  I guess it will open the pores on my neck – if that was what I wanted to deep cleanse.  So I have ended Day 1 of Mandy’s G20 Spa by eating hot, fresh croissants with butter and strawberry jam.  And I am happy and have achieved stuff  and am looking forward to Day 2 of Mandy’s G20 Spa.

Until then.

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Getting my G20 on.

I don’t know if anybody outside of Brisbane realises but we are hosting  the G20 Summit this weekend and for a relaxed holiday city like us, the security is crazy!  Obama’s secret service detail requested that a roundabout outside the University of Queensland, be demolished so that the President’s motorcade would not have to slow down when transporting him!  Request denied!

US decoy helicopters.
US decoy helicopters.

Tomorrow has been declared a G20 public holiday in Brisbane, making a lovely long weekend.  With the extra day break and the predicted temperatures of 38-42 degrees celsius, most of Brisbane has made their way to the beautiful Sunshine or Gold Coast to enjoy the beach.

Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland
Beautiful Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland

But not me!

What to do on this momentous occasion?  Well, I could wander into the City Precinct and go people watching. Don’t really want to get frisk searched or mixed up with the many protest groups already there.  I could go shopping.  Many of the Shopping Centres are closed.  I could do housework and fold clothes from Mt Washmore – actually I just might do some of that.  I’ve been wracking my brain for what to do.  It is just this kind of weekend, when most of my friends are away, that I can fall into a deep depression and crawl under the covers and not come out (obviously with the air conditioner on).  So I decided I needed a plan – thank you Pinterest!

Mandy’s Stay at Home Pampering Weekend is about to be planned.  My mind, body and soul are going to be nurtured and loved and spoilt and hugged …….. by ME!!  I am going to rest, relax, drink plenty of water & G & T’s! I am going to slather and lather and scrub and smooth!  I am going to pray and think and read and write! I am going to move and swim and listen to music and dance in my kitchen!  And I may even plan my food for the next few weeks and I will definitely be sneaking in a few “get ready for Christmas” activities!

Watch this space for G20 Spa updates!

Christmas crockery has made it's way into my cupboards!  Oops!!
Christmas crockery has made it’s way into my cupboards! Oops!!

What will you be doing this G20 weekend – wherever you are in the world?