December Diary: 2021 Day 21

Well, today has been interesting. I’ve been having terrible trouble with my sinus resulting in the most terrible headaches.

About 4 weeks I had a CAT scan and the doctor found some issues on the left side of my head behind my ear. So, today I’ve just seen a specialist and I need surgery. I was really hoping for an outcome today, but I didn’t expect that.

I’ve been on antibiotics since the scan, and apparently I need to stay on them until the surgery, which could be months away. Prebiotics, probiotics…. Yep, that’s me for awhile.

Sorry, hope I’m not over-sharing. This is a creative blog. But the reality is when I’m suffering from severe headaches I’m not actually doing much making.

But I am thinking and planning for creative endeavours 2022. I’ve got something exciting In the works. And, I just can’t wait! Every time I think about it I start to smile. So, good. Isn’t that good? Good to have something that brings hope and joy. I know it will be a ‘shit”’ load of work, but totally believe it will be well worth it.

Didn’t have a picture for today, so here is a pic of our cat.

That’s it for today – Catch you next time xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 20

Did some crafting today. Mainly finishing a hand made journal for my daughter. I sewed together a journal for myself and thought it would be a good present, so made her a more refined version. Click here to read a post on this process. But today I finally had time to finish it.

It was just a lot of cutting and glueing, which I find stress relieving. I also wrapped some presents in plain brown wrapping paper, and put just a small amount of decorations on our tree.

We bought a living tree. A little pine that will grow over time, but at the moment he’s just a little fella. Yes, he’s a boy and I’ve named him Ralph. It’s a good name for a Christmas tree.

I could only put light-weight decorations on him, some home made felt ones and a few other bits and bobs. But Yeah. Ralph the tree. I’m hoping that next year he’ll be able to hold a few more.

That’s it for today. Catch you next time xxx

December Diary: 2021 Day 19

It’s time! Christmas shopping! And, it starts with coffee.

I’m so tired after yesterday’ moving house mission, but I want to get as much of this done as I can today, so, taking you along for the ride. If you want to read my yesterday adventure click here.

I don’t shop for many people. And, I try to shop sustainably. Don’t always get it 100% right but every year I get a lot better. I also make and recycle where I can… Trade Aid is an amazing shop, and I’m always purchasing items from there when I can. The picture above on the right is their Christmas decorations.

There are a lot of people around, wearing masks and scanning in, which has become second nature. It’s strange that this is the second Christmas with restrictions and COVID but we are so lucky in Aotearoa New Zealand compared to many countries. I’m very grateful.

How I shop is a bit different from some people. I look at everything then write down what I like and go to the next shop and continue this process until I’ve got a long list of options. Then sit down somewhere quiet and go through it all circling the items I want to purchase.

It takes more time, but I’m more considered this way.

Anyway, that’s me for today. I hope you are all well.

Catch you tomorrow. xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 18

We were on the road today. We left Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland early, with a trailer to pick up all the furniture left from our old house. During COVID lockdown we were not allowed to travel, so this is the first big day trip. So I thought I’d blog my day.

We stopped for breakfast at this cute rural cafe, and enjoyed their food and Christmas decorations.

It was so nice driving through the country side, we haven’t been through here since August, just so nice to see the green spaces of the Waikato region.

When we arrived the real work began. It was a major sort through and some strategic planning on how to pack the trailer as we had several drop off points. Some friends are taking some furniture, some is going to a secondhand shop and the rest to storage.

The morning moved along quite quickly once we figured out how everything had to be packed. It was strange being in the house that we had lived in with our family for so long with new owners. But such is life. We have moved on and I’m so happy the new people love the place.

We stopped off on our way back through Kirikiriroa Hamilton to a favourite ice cream shop ‘Duck Island’ love their flavours. I had pavlova and vanilla. Then hit the road again. Had to get the rest of the stuff to storage.

Huge day, feeling so tired. But, so satisfied that this job is done and dusted. Now back home at our apartment for a well deserved glass of wine.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 16

It was the last day of work, pretty hectic but managed to finish all the odds and ends by the end of the day. And now the break.

It’s so odd having a break, in some ways, because I wish for it all year long and when I get here I often don’t know what to do. I know rest, relax and all that but it’s a tall order when life has been so stressful. How to stop. How does one stop? I have no idea. I just make plans to fill the spaces up.

However, I am going to try to take more time out. Without my phone, laptop, camera… just away from things and distractions. I really need to clear my head. More than ever.

I wonder what 2022 will bring. I want to be hopeful, but the last 2 years have been so strange I don’t know what to think. It’s late and I am rambling after a long day. I am positive, I am hopeful.

Yesterday’s photo was the city view looking back from the harbour, todays is the same idea but from a different position and much later.

Just a short note today

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 13-15

Yep I’ve missed a couple of days blogging, but you get that. It has been so crazy at work finishing up for the year. I suddenly realised I had so many small things to round up before I could sign off for the holidays that my days and nights have been packed.

But such is life.

Tomorrow – will hopefully be my last day. I’m extremely fortunate to be able to take time off work, I know so many people can’t, so even though I’m busy and tired I am full of gratitude.

Coming to the end of a year is always a good time to reflect, and I think more than ever I have some big aspects of my life to reflect on. I know a lot of people are saying things like this more than ever and I wonder if COVID 19 have affected us in a different type of way than say just socially or financially – but also philosophically. I feel like I’m asking bigger or deeper questions of myself than I have before. Not just reflecting on my year – but reflecting on my values.

I made a short YouTube clip on this which you can watch here. But it really is saying the same thing in a different way, trying to formulate a new way of thinking about how and why I make some of the decisions I do – and if those decisions are still serving me.

Anyway that is all I have today. I will write again tomorrow. The photo below is of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. We went for an evening walk after dinner and this is our view. How grateful am I.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day Twelve – A City Apartment

I can hear music filtering through the wet traffic,
and, smell something cooking from the restaurant across the road. 
The sky is silver-bright. 
A couple walk past, laughing, sharing something between them. The city is vibrant, full, exploding, imploding. 

A bus pushes past with breaks that squeak. 

The air is muggy, the breeze pushes past my legs as I sit here writing on the laptop beside the french doors ajar to the noise, to the city, to the rain, to the exploding and imploding.
I think the music is a Christmas tune, I can't quite make it out but familiarity sits behind it. I close my eyes for a moment, sinking into the chair, sinking into the city vibe, allowing the exploding, imploding to wash over me. Swirl around. I abandon myself to it all - its abundance. 

A car alarm sounds, it is on another street so there is a softness to its rhythm. A city apartment. Above a street where I feel full, alive, clear to what it next.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day Eleven – The Visitor

It’s been an interesting day – a Saturday. We headed out early to our favourite beach in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, I’ve blogged about this beach so many times, and I never get tired of it. But this time we came from across the city as we have moved away from the area.

If you haven’t been reading, we moved last Saturday – it’s been a week, so it was different re-visiting a place, this beach, that use to be a 5 min drive down the road. It’s not like we will be strangers to this beach, we will visit a lot, but as visitors and not as locals.

I wonder where the boundary between being a local and a visitor change? I live in the same city, but if there was traffic, my ‘visit’, the round trip, could take over 3 hours, possibly 4.

My new ‘locals’ are all new, the ‘local’ food market, the ‘local’ chemist, the ‘local’ book shop, they all need to be visited for the first time, and then a relationship with myself and these new spaces need to be formed.

A Beautiful Saturday Morning

As I walked along Cornwallis beach, it felt different. It also felt the same, maybe I was different, I had already left, my attunement for ‘local’ was somewhere else.

During the last week in our new neighbourhood I have been on many walks. Trying to familiarise myself with the ins and outs, the street corners, the curiosities or this new ‘local’ environment. So coming back to Cornwallis was like a breath in of the familiar, I didn’t need to look around, or try to decipher new information, I relaxed in having been there many times before, there was something inherently peaceful about ‘sameness’. But I also felt that my relationship with the place was changed. I will now always be a visitor.

But a happy visitor – so that is something.

Let me know in the comments below your experience of shifting or travel, I find thinking about spaces/places a very interesting topic.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 10. Who would I be?

Who would I be if I didn’t give a f*ck!?

I was just listening to a podcast about this, about not being afraid to be ourselves: linked here. About making choices for us rather than what we think others expect of us, or what we are taught that society expects from us – especially as a woman. Or, maybe we make choices because we believe only certain things are possible for our lives. I guess the process for what we believe as possible is not one decision, but a mash-up of decisions and beliefs. It’s complex.

What would we choose, what decisions would we make if we truely, as in REALLY, followed our inner most dreams. If we believed anything was possible.

Who would I be if I didn’t give a f*ck!?

Usually my decisions are framed around money, known abilities and expectations… I don’t make honest decisions I make filtered decisions. And I bet, 100% I’m not alone.

But, how do I step out of these filters, how do I take the big leap? I don’t have the answers, I just have questions. And the more I think about this the more questions I have.

mm things that make me go mmm.

Wow. Heavy thoughts for a Friday. But such is life. I accept today, my thoughts, frustrations, joyous moments, everything.

Also I got a new sweet ink today:

Ink by: Auckland tattoo Studio

This ink has a very special meaning to it – but I won’t tell that story here. However, it is good to do things for ourselves that have huge meaning – and don’t really mean anything else to anyone else. For us alone.

Lots of thoughts and reflections floating around today. Hope you are all well.

Catch you tomorrow xx

December Diary: 2021 Day 8 & 9 (zoom survival)

Yep yesterday’s diary entree did not happen. But that is life, and on we go.

I’m writing this in the middle of the day, between zoom calls and work stuff. I need to get my head out of work for 30mins. I have just spent 3.5 hours on zoom and I’m completely knackered. It is a very draining mode of experiencing life.

I have a work routine, where I put my phone alarm on every 20mins, it reminds me to breathe, get up, swing or shake my arms around, audibly sigh, drink some water and start again. But during a zoom call it is more difficult to do this, occasionally I turn my screen off and just spend 2 mins going through some somatic practices – a series of movements that bring me back into the present. I have found this most useful over lockdown.

Pic of the day: something pretty to look at…

Before lockdown I use to put my alarm on for 45 mins as I found this was very productive. It allowed me to focus on one task at a time, as I can easily fall into the trap of trying to be everywhere at once and get nothing done, or at least nothing done to a good standard. But putting my alarm on somehow allows me to turn off the mental chatter and just focus. However, lockdown has made my attention span, or concentration ability less able – as in I can’t seem to focus as long. But 20mins does it. And in between those 20 minutes the somatic practices only take 2 – 5mins and then I’m away again, back to the task, or onto another task depending on my day, or on my ability to concentrate.

I would highly recommend looking at somatic practices – here is a link that maybe helpful.

But Zoom calls – much more difficult especially if they are long, and you are expected to have your screen ‘on’. I would suggest that at least every 30 mins or 1 hour you take a 5 min break. If you are leading a zoom call make this part of zoom protocol. I have been to 3 hour sessions where breaks have not been part of the agenda and I think this is crazy. We wouldn’t expect this is the real world so why on zoom?

But the best thing is to find what works for you when working online or from home – or even at the office. Have little routines that keep you sane, that keep you present and mostly so at least you get some enjoyment from your day. You can use all sorts of things from candles or air spray for aromatherapy moments, paper and pens to take notes on for haptivity/touch and connectedness, water and fresh fruit or vegetables for snacks or lunch to keep your body in tune, sitting outside or even better going for walks. Do what you have to do to get by, to bring little moments of presence into the day.

That’s my advice and I know you all probably have a lot you could share with me – so please do so in the comments.

Catch you tomorrow.