Life is just a patchwork quilt of moments…

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yep peeps…this was the view on my daily walk…bliss

I’ve just come back from holidays and, yet again, I am reminded of the virtues of a little R&R on a regular basis.   We really needed this break, and boy did it deliver.  As I overheard my husband say to a friend…it was spectacular!

And spectacular it was,  we were fortunate to get ideal weather, complete with picture perfect sunshine, clear blue skies overlooking crystal clear beaches with white soft sand.   Our flights landed on time, our hire car was ready for us (albeit a tiny pink car which our bags barely fitted in, which the kids aptly named the Pink Marshmallow),  we had the top floor room at our apartment block with absolutely stunning views out of the balcony.  We spent time on our holiday reading, relaxing and just chilling at home… and then other days at theme parks, going on rides with the kids.   We met friends for meals and watch whales over glasses of wine.  The kids laughed so hard jumping waves on the beach.  It was nothing short of awesome…

Ok Ok… before you roll your eyes and stop reading my blog post… I am going to break this down for you a little bit further and clarify something really really important.   Just because this holiday was awesome,  doesn’t mean it didn’t have some crappy moments.  Infact…let me tell you one story from our first day….

We arrive at the apartment after hours of travel time.  The kids are on hyper drive, they are excited about the holiday and have NOT STOPPED talking for one single moment.  They are up in each others faces and have taken whinging and whining to a whole new level.  We are going up in the lift and there is a major argument about who is going to press the button for our floor.  Yep, a MAJOR argument,  there are tears involved (no, not mine….yet).   We arrive in the apartment and are momentary floored by the view before the kids are at it again,  wanting to go to the pool…to the beach.. we have barely walked in the door.  And I am tired,  I am in a bad mood.   Now my husband is getting cranky with the kids and I just want to scream.   I can feel the frustration boiling through me like lava…and then I blow.  I’m yelling at the kids, I’m stomping around the apartment.  I blame my husband.  There is a sweet release as the frustration flows out, but then I just feel terrible.  We are on holiday.  This is not supposed to happen.

I find myself sitting on the balcony feeling fed up.   I was so looking forward to this holiday and it already feels crap.  Is it going to be like this the whole time?  This isn’t fun. Now I feel like the crappy Mum, who is spoiling everyone’s holiday fun with my bad mood.   When I look at other people holiday photos, they look so relaxed…they are so much better at this than me.  What is wrong with me?

Then I remembered some advice I’d been handing out to my son recently that perhaps I needed to follow myself.   He had come home from school one day and when I asked about his day he said “It was awful.  I had a horrible day.  I was bullied all day, no one likes me and I have no one to play with”.  Obviously I was a little horrified with this news but when he started to explain further, I realised that he had, infact, not been bullied but he had had an argument with a friend which resulted in some nasty name calling.  He found someone else to play with and, actually, had a great afternoon playing soccer.  So we talked about seeing life as a series of “moments”.   Some moments are not good, some are great.   But one single moment doesn’t define a whole day, or a whole week.   Since then,  when he comes home from school, we talk about the bad and the good moments from his day.

So, here I am, sitting on the balcony feeling sorry for myself.  When I remembered my own advice and I think, OK, stop exaggerating.  That was a bad moment. There will probably be more bad moments on this holiday (especially given the time of the month it is and my tendency to ride on a mood swing rollercoaster where everyone has to hang on for their lives…but, maybe more on that another time)… but there was also likely to be lots of great moments too…

Watching the “facebook highlights reels” of other people’s lives,  these are just the moments people want to remember and share.   But generally speaking,  those moments are also surrounded by not so great moments…   like the kids whining so hard my head hurts like it is nails scraping on a blackboard,  before they start skipping along holding hands together (picture snap),  standing in a line at the theme parks for 45min bored and tired,  before the thrill of the ride and laughing so hard my cheeks hurt (picture snap),   long drives in the car with me getting Hangry, snapping at everyone (as my husband will attest,  you don’t want to mess with me and my food) before meeting friends for lunch at a picture perfect location (picture snap)….

Now, I also don’t want to sound like I am spoiling all the good moments by pointing out the bad…. but the thing is,  not only accepting but expecting that good and bad moments are merged together and just because something was great doesn’t mean it was “perfect” …was something I had to practice really hard on my holiday.

In the end, my holiday was a patchwork quilt of all sorts of different moments,  sewn together to make something ultimately awesome. And isn’t that kinda like life as a whole?

When was the last time you compared your warts and all life, with other peoples highlights reel?

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My top ten list to awesomeness…

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OK team…. here it is… after my post last week,  I have scoured my resources on well being, work life balance etc etc and I have netted down that advice into….

MY TOP TEN LIST TO ACHIEVE WORK and LIFE AWESOMENESS

1) SLOW DOWNWhether it be a 40min meditation session with calming oils and mantra’s…or a simple cup of tea in the sunshine.   The experts seem pretty agreed on this one.  Keep your mind calm and reduce the intensity of your day.

2) MOVE DAILY –  Again,  how and to what intensity isn’t really the point…just get moving.  I love the advise that you should make the commitment simply to put your shoes on and go outside.  The rest…is up to the moment.

3) NOURISH YOURSELF –  Lying on the couch, snuggled up with hubby, eating whole packets of biscuits is one of my favourite pass times and I’m not going to stop doing it.  But I know that giving my body as much of the things it needs on a regular basis is going to help it to be at its best…so I need to drink the green smoothie before the biscuits?

4) USE YOUR STRENGTHS  – I had a massive turning point in my career when I did the VIA strengths survey and identified my strengths.  It helped me to focus in on the things I enjoy and put more of them into my life.   You don’t have to do a formal survey though,  just think about the things you love to do and you are good at…then make sure you are doing them, regularly.

5) MAKE TIME FOR LOVE – This is good old advice from Mum.  Spending time on work , with the kids and with friends is great.  But don’t forget to foster the relationship with the person you have chosen to share your life with (or making time to find that person).

6) CREATE BOUNDARIES and stick to them.  What are your non- negotiables?

7) GET ORGANISED –  This had to be on my list.   A clean up on the outside can help you clean up on the inside.  Get those “to do” lists out of your head and onto paper.  Do you have a system? Do you have a schedule, how are you fitting in the most important things?

8) GROW YOUR VILLAGE – As I’ve said before…it takes a village.  Take the time to consider who is in your village? How are you helping them, how can you let them help you?

9) EXPRESS GRATITUDE –  Taking the time each day to reflect on all the wonderful things you are thankful for puts a shiny light of positivity over your every day.

10) HAVE FUN  When did life get so serious?  My childhood was spent laughing until my sides hurt.  I want some of that back please.

It was actually quite hard to keep this list down to 10, there were so many things that I had to cull…but if I had too many more it would have seemed daunting and unachievable.  One thing that I kept adding in and then taking out…was having a vision.  It is not that I don’t think it is important, infact, the opposite…I think is the overarching thing that you are working towards and this is just the top ten list of the things you need to do on a daily/weekly basis to keep you sane as you work towards your vision.

So, to keep me on track I’m going to choose one item from the list each month to focus on…and I will also do a special “setting my vision” session (this may well involve scissors and sticky tape),

Follow my Facebook group for regular updates on how I go with that (I have a sneaky suspicion things may not quite go as smoothly as I have in my head right now)….and if you are not already subscribed, I’d love you to join my wordpress tribe of awesome followers (just click on the follow buttons on my website here) so you can keep track of my status with my weekly blog posts.

First up…. time to SLOW DOWN….wish me luck

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