my head hurts. Dropped the kids off with mum first thing to get to the school’s uniform shop, then went and changed my paint brush at the art store. Went back to mum’s and booked our flights for our winter holiday (only to realise tonight that I booked the second flight on the wrong day – hence the headache). $360 user error. Previously I would have really beat myself up about a stupid mistake and not been able to let it go. But (and Kottke just wrote about this!) I gotta let it go. (Breathe. Be kind to yourself. Be kind like you would be kind to a friend if they made this error!) in the evening, I went to see the new Mr Rogers movie with my brother. 7/10.
drove back home – stopped halfway to meet up with sister & her boyf for a play & lunch. Decided to start a 20-day challenge with my sketchbook so I can jumpstart the habit again. I feel like I’ve had creative block for weeks? Or just been so, so tired? Where do I buy some energy around here?
invasion day. I slept in. J made pancakes and the kids started watching flubber for the fourth time. Then J took one kid for a scooting adventure and I took the other kid for a play in the ocean. fish and chips and playground for dinner. Back at the ranch – after trying several classes on Skillshare and finding them rather dull, I stumbled onto one before sleep last night that I found very inspiring. I was so happy to paint again today, creative block be-gone!
bad sleep again – other kid having nightmares. J took the kids to the beach and I went back to sleep. Had J’s parents over for dinner. I’m enjoying the book “Less” by Greer but have dropped my other daily self-care items temporarily (meditation, yoga, drawing) because I’m so tired.
was awake for half of last night while one kid vomited every hour between 12am–4am. Slow day to start but then did lots of housework. in the evening, headed down the coast for a mini-getaway.
quiet morning at home, watched the second half of “mulan” with the kids. had a neighbour and her kids over for a little play date. Felt frustrated about some stuff at home and was relieved to have a theatre date with my parents in the evening. The play was entertaining – it was about a woman who wanted to be the perfect housewife, 1950s style, but how her fantasy had so many problems, really.
another prep kids play date at our house this morning – different people could come this time, so that was nice. in the afternoon, went for a play & swim at my-sister-and-her-boyf’s place. That was also super nice.
arranged to meet up with a friend and her kids about halfway between our houses, at a play centre full of jumping castles. it was not as successful as the previous play centre outing. we were home by 1pm then went to visit my brother for a big afternoon play. i talked to him about stress for a while but didn’t get any new ideas - might talk to him again about it, seeing as it’s his area. Did a couple of “smiling mind” meditations and will do yoga now. :/
we went to a children’s museum today, then to a playground. At home I tried painting with the kids but it didn’t feel very relaxed or mindful or fun. idk. I feel low-level stressed. J got home very early and then I was able to step back and have more inner-calm. But then I tried a “clear your mind” exercise via Skillshare and it made everything worse - I had to write down all the worries/tasks on my mind and they just kept coming and coming. gah. It’s 10pm and I’m going to meditate and do yoga. O where you at my zen?
really bad sleep for a mixture of reasons. Really slow start to the day. I didn’t want to do anything. We’d set aside the day to clean out our “junk room.” The one with all the stuff we’ve been meaning to give away, or store more permanently, or make decisions about. J did loads of work and I did very little. alas. // scary hail storm in the afternoon. huge hail stones damaged both our cars. // then we went to dine out with another family, but our kids were ratbags (probs from lack of sleep too). I have definitely learned that the quality of my sleep is directly related to the quality of my life. Need to work on sleep.
saturday! My day off. Went to the art shop to pick up the cutting mat, and I still had money left on my gift voucher (from my brother) so I also chose a brush pen, pencil extenders and a synthetic squirrel mop brush. but I think I chose the wrong brush; coming home and comparing it to my favourite round brushes, it looks too big (mop brush sizing is different). went to a cafe for lunch & journalling then swapped a bag of books at the library for some fresh ones. we had a picnic dinner in the backyard. Oh also I blu-tacked some beautiful illustrations and photos on my desk wall, so my view is very happy now.
I had a handful of parents and children over for a play date, bringing together people who will be in the same Prep class this year. That worked out nicely. Then my sister’s boyf helped me take the kids to the public pool party thing again. Then dinner with my folks and J and I watched a movie (michael clayton – mouldy oldie) when the kids were in bed. Haven’t done that for agggggessss.
Went to a play centre this morning because the kids have been desperate to run about, and it was great! I had so much time to myself! I did some journalling and a breathing exercise and read a book and a magazine! But it took about an hour, late in the afternoon, to find both kids and tell them it was time to go and to tell them again and again and again and at the end of this very repetitive hour, one kid went one way and one kid wouldn’t move and I was standing there yelling. It sucked. I thought I was doing so well with calmness. It was like I un-did all the good stuff. :(
Still terrible air. Took kids to a messy play activity where they had heaps of fun, then we went to visit my aunt who lives in that area. I was stressed in my sleep last night from the heat and recycled air and no outside walks for a while. Kids were tired today too, almost crying at points. I’ve been working on being more & more mindful of using my laptop/internet as a pacifier, as junk-food for the brain, and it’s finally paying off: the kids went to bed and instead of settling into vague browsing/reading/watching/etc, I thought: I have the evening to myself now, I’m going to do some yoga. Namaste.
hazardous air quality. Apparently our city has the worst air in the world today. Not even kidding. We went to a kids art activity thing then to my mum’s house to have sandwiches and homemade lemonade. Then home for a movie because heck, it’s as hot as get out and we can’t use the air con and we can’t play outside. We are all hot 🥵 nonthinking blobs with irritated airways.
Air quality bad again today. Took the kids to a little live show at the library. It was a bit complicated and didn’t deeply hold their attention, but we saw other people we know there and that’s a nice community feeling. It was 33℃. We invited friends over for a play. We tried to keep the kids inside with lots of fruit and nibbles but they really wanted to play outside, so we filled up the paddle pool and they had a splash. By the time we came in, after an hour, my throat and sinuses weren’t feeling great (and that’s when I looked up the air quality). I wanted to go for a walk when it was the witching hour (kids ratty) but… can’t. I then envisioned future gyms that are underground, with fake sunlight and forests and walking tracks. I think I feel a level of “eco anxiety” and have been listening to the “relaxing massage” Spotify playlist for an hour. Now I’m going to meditate.
French festival with two friends. Lovely day but long days in the sun always give me a headache?
it’s funny how starting something on its smallest level can build up. I’d been trying to “have a walk outdoors” all 2019 and there were so many days where I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it, but after a while it became a bit easier, a bit easier, until it was something I enjoyed doing, and today (a year later!) I walked an hour to go to an art shop. I actually downloaded the “Couch to 5k” app and tried day 1 of that, too. The art shop was not very exciting and didn’t stock the products I wanted to buy (a cutting mat and Holbein Acryla Gouache). Pretty good day though.
got some new shoes for the kids, then went to a pool party event at a public pool, with my brother and the kidlets. It was fun until I lost one kid. I felt like a major dolt telling a lifeguard that I needed help. The next lifeguard that I went past (hurriedly, while freaking out, not knowing where to look because it’s a huge centre) waved at me and was holding my kid. W h e w . She is a little daredevil too and loves going in deep water! If we go to a busy event like that again, I’m putting a swim jacket on her. We all went to my parents’ house for dinner and I escaped for half an hour to pick up a million books from the library and finish a Radiolab episode. After the kids went to bed I watched the third-last “Good Place” and so far (in their finale) I am really disappointed they aren’t covering systemic oppression, privilege, generational disadvantage etc.
took the kids to get a hairy, then went to visit my sister and her boyf. Had some lunch and a play in their pool. We had a truly great time. When the ratio of adults to children is 3:2, things are so easy! By the time we got home, J was home too. He made delicious quesadillas. And here I am, writing a log instead of tackling the more challenging tasks that I *say* I want to achieve. Meandering on the internet is life-wasting. I had a good offline ethic and I’ve gradually lost it. I’ve put Screen Time restrictions back on from 10pm-12pm daily to build the habit again.
visited a friend I haven’t seen for ages. Our kids played together, we talked. It was relaxing and happy-making. I thought it would get easier to see friends as the kids grew up, but it’s been harder — she has appointments and part-time work and more relevant friends and a million school-related commitments. I got home and soon after, I felt a low level of stress and started getting frustrated with the kids (who were just being kids). I really pondered why. I don’t want to be that person. I really want to work on it this year. Was it from having the pleasure of seeing an adult friend and then not having that pleasure anymore? Was it because it was 2PM and I hadn’t crossed anything off my todo list yet and I couldn’t get anything done because the kids were asking incessant questions? Too little coffee, not enough coffee, the wrong foods? Was it our small house, our cluttered rooms? I don’t know. From repeatedly reflecting on it, I calmed down, sort of, and chipped away at some tasks. Then when J came home I went for a long walk while listening to a Radiolab episode on the US’s imminent war. I felt both better and worse.
the smoke is mostly gone. (until next time.) J had the day off, so we all went to a wave pool, which was nice. Then went to my parent’s house, which we usually do on Tuesdays. The kids watched half a movie (holidays!) and I finished my book, I think it was recommended by ~jkottke – "Arbitrary Stupid Goal." I liked the title and concept more than the book. now I have to decide what to read next; I’ve got so many books on my list, I don’t know where to start. I’ve reserved some at the library so I’ll peruse them when they come in and see what happens. After finishing the book, I went to the library to pick up a bunch of kids’ books that I’d reserved. I like walking to the library.
went to a pretend village with the kids and my sister, where they can ride around on their bikes/scooters and stop at traffic lights and all that. didn’t realise when leaving the house that the air quality was awful. we decided to stay the two hours but I felt bad - checked the EPA website later and it said the air was hazardous and we shouldn’t have been outside. returned home and watched a movie. one of my kids was coughing this evening. hope the smoke has blown over by tomorrow.
bad sleep -> not a great mood-day. not terrible but, you know. finding it hard to stay offline due to the fires. we know 3 families in the path of the fires and 2 of those families have left their homes. saw photos of animals walking around with burned bodies. all i can hope is that everyone votes for a different political party the next time there's an election.
it's weird to be home again. took the car to the car wash to get the smelly seats cleaned but that didn't truly solve the problem, so we stomped on the car and pulled it apart into bits and put half of it in the recycling bin (the other half will have to go in next week).
on the way home from holidaying, went to a beach to see some friends. the kids vomited in the car just before we got there. fun! then we went to the farm to visit the in-laws. then home again, home again, jiggity jig. then my brother came over to babysit and we had mexican food and watched "knives out." 8/10.
lovely breakfast with my sister in a french café that was terribly not-french. i would never have imagined how much joy i'd get from buying little art supplies and activity books for the kids. went to the newsagent, bought a thank-you card for my parents, some wrapping paper for claire's present, little paint brushes and a "learning to read" book with fun exercises. then we went to my sister's boyfriend's parents house to play in the hot spa and have a late lunch. tomorrow, it's back to suburban life for us.
hippy new year! the kids slept in which was magnificent. had a lazy morning, pancakes, big family play at the beach, and a fish and chips picnic lunch. somehow (magically) did morning pages for the third time in a week and my head feels soooo much better for it. even had some ideas for my "sketchbook project" book. then i fell asleep. my sister arrived, we all went to the carnival. (we are never buying a full serve of fairy floss for the kids again.) lovely day. and i signed up for a trial of skillshare and have bookmarked so many videos :)
chairlift. beautiful view. when i'm older i'll buy one house by the sea and one up high on the mountain. you really need both. went shopping for claire's birthday and chose big sparkly blue raindrop earrings, some gorgeous cards by artist claire ishino, and a little pastel zip bag with pictures of classic ice creams (gaytime, buffalo bill, rainbow paddle pop). i hope she likes them. today is the last day of 2019. my theme for 2020 is "creative." i've had that theme before but i'd like it again. also i love my new colourful clothes. peace out!
adventure park. it was beautiful. did not kill anyone.