Time to reboot

If you’ve read this blog before you know I’m not a fan of the M word. You know the one – we use it to describe the day that falls between Sunday and Tuesday and generally we preface it with the words “I hate” or “fucking” or “oh please no not again”. If you’re me, you use all three in quick succession…

This morning – yes it’s Monday – was no different. I overslept (despite going to bed relatively early), there were no coffee pods, I couldn’t find my car keys so The Offspring nearly missed the bus, I burned my breakfast, and dropped the heater on my shin. And yes, it hurt. A lot. Read more Time to reboot

Finding my voice

When your teenagers look you up and down, screw their eyes up and wonder out loud if you have actually been out of the clothes you are wearing at any time in the past five days, you know you’re in trouble.

“Of course I’ve been out of them,” I protested as we pulled up to the local coffee shop (they needed lunch for school, I needed coffee and I can not overemphasize just how much I needed it), “I just happen to have got back in them.”

“You might want to try something else,” Miss 14 suggested, staying I would like to add out of arm’s reach, “or at least lose the hi-viz vest. Or the bright pink yoga pants. Washing your hair might be good too.”

In my defense, I had just got back from a one hour walk with my friend Kate – and this on only three hours sleep. That said, I may have slept in the sweatshirt I was wearing but only because I was so tired and cold when I fell into bed that I couldn’t be bothered pulling it over my head.  And I will concede my hair did need washing. But everyone has days now and then when they just can’t get out of their own way, right?

Read more Finding my voice

Suck it up, buttercup

There is a concept in Buddhism called ‘poison into medicine’ which is sort of every cloud has a silver lining on steroids. In very simple terms, the things we find the most difficult – or poisonous – often give us the most good in the end. Often because we realise we’ve ended up somewhere better than we had hoped for or have learned something vital we wouldn’t have learned any other way. It’s a great concept – is sometimes annoying. Especially when the medicine is delivered via a poison you are determined to rid yourself of.  My poison this morning is a sociology paper that has me wanting to jump off the nearest cliff. The medicine (dammit) is that it has finally got me back behind my keyboard and writing after a long drought. Had to be sociology right? Read more Suck it up, buttercup

The 4 Rs for getting a good night’s sleep

It’s official: my life is weird. At 4am this morning  a Tonkinese woke me by inserting all of his claws in my ankles. While I have no science to back this, my guess is your average Tonkinese has around five million claws. In response to my squealed string of expletives – another Tonkinese put his paws over my mouth, claws out. See previous comment about the number of claws these critters have. The rest of The Moggie Mob glared at me for waking them up while The Man of The House (TMoTH) simply snored through the entire episode.

I spent what was left of the night listening to TMoTH snoring and thinking about sleep.  Or rather the lack of it – which seems to be an ongoing issue on my side of the bed these days.

Back when I was 20, I could snooze an entire day away, get up for dinner, and still get eight solid hours of sleep that night.  At 47, if I get hit by a nap attack – I take it,  in case it doesn’t call again for a day or two. A glance at my Facebook and Twitter streams tells me I’m not the only one.
Read more The 4 Rs for getting a good night’s sleep

My two cents on … highschool haircuts

Recently Stuff ran a story on yet another student being in trouble for having a hair style that did not comply with the Principal’s interpretation of the school rules. New Zealand seems to have been having a run of issues around high school uniforms  – or more important the interpretation of the rules around uniforms.

Most high schools – and more and more primary schools –  in New Zealand have a uniform and supporting uniform policy. As a parent of three, I have mixed feelings about uniforms. In my experience the positives they offer are sadly outweighed by the problems they cause. The expense they are supposed to save parents from is negated by the costs of the damned things, the evening out of social status simply doesn’t happen (take one look at any group of uniforms and you’ll know as much about their economic situation as if they were in mufti, trust me), and ask any parent who has had to race around on a Monday morning trying to fix an unexpected tear, lost button, or wayward hem how much easier they make life. But I digress –  today’s subject is hair.

Read more My two cents on … highschool haircuts

The power of poetry: Kim Rosen

There is, in poetry, a power to touch and transform our lives; a power so subtle it is almost magic.  Author, spiritual teacher and, yes, poet, Kim Rosen spoke to me about how  she uses the art form to help others transform their own lives.
“That’s wonderful,” Kim laughed upon hearing how much I enjoyed her recently released Saved by a Poem: The Transformative Power of Words (Hay House, 2009).  In fact by page two I was in tears and have been on the prowl for poems on a daily basis ever since.  “I love hearing how the book has touched people. It is so rewarding.

Armed with a B.A. from the prestigious Yale University and an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, Kim has successfully led trainings, workshops and retreats the world over  for more than  25 years. Combining her devotion to poetry with her background as a spiritual teacher and therapist, she also gives “Poetry Concerts”, often working with other poets, teachers, and musicians like cellist Jami Sieber.
“I became a teacher of consciousness, an explorer of realms of spirituality and psychology – but none of these wisdoms I’d been immersed in could touch the place where I was broken beyond repair.  You know: take four teaspoons of Rumi and call me in the morning.”

Read more The power of poetry: Kim Rosen

Five Shades of Feline

A few weeks ago we received the sad news a Buddhist friend of ours had been involved in a car accident that morning and had not survived her injuries. Sandra had a special place in our hearts as she had helped us adopt our black slobradog, Fitzy – and when he passed away a few years back, I think she was as sad as we were.

In the aftermath of the news of Sandra’s passing, we dedicated our morning and evening gongyo (Buddhist prayers) to her on a daily basis – and like all of her friends, simply tried to deal with the shock of her loss.

Then Sandra gave us a gift by allowing us to do something for her. Sandra had three cats: Rosie (a 10-year-old Burmese) and Tonkinese Brothers  – Ollie and Monet.  When Sandra had driven toward Auckland that fateful day, all three had been left at home, doing whatever cats do when they are left alone on a sunny spring Sunday morning.   They needed rehoming – fast.

Read more Five Shades of Feline

Get It Together …

Well girls and boys, here we are – exactly one week from starting my little Get It Together experiment. Fittingly it’s another dreary Wednesday and you may (or may not) be surprised to learn that I am still in my yoga pants and have yet to brush my hair. In my defense, I have a ton of housework to do today and housework, I’m sad to say, does not go well with heels and lipstick.  Okay? Okay.

So a week ago, I looked in the mirror and decided I really needed to get my act together before my advancing slobdom (it’s a word – I just invented it) took over my life completely. Little did I know that it would resonate with so many people and I have been overwhelmed by the response to my somewhat neurotic musings over the past week. It has also been … suggested … I might like to take this slightly wider. That perhaps I have the voice needed to engage a particular conversation that needs to be had.

Angsty Ange is sitting in a corner and sucking her thumb at the mere thought of this – let’s call it a project for now shall we? – and to be honest, I’m not sure yet she’s not right. However, I have spent the last 22 years of my life trying to teach the three most important human beings in my life – The Offspring –  to stand up for what they believe in, to be honest with themselves and those around them, to be as brave as they can be when needed, and whenever possible to help others. So I find myself, yoga pants and all, having to decide whether or not I am going to ask those three human beings to do as I dictate or as I do. Read more Get It Together …

Get It Together: Day 4

Yes okay technically it’s day *frantic counting of fingers* six – but we’re all friends here right? So if I tell you I simply had an extended Day 3 to allow everyone (including me) some breathing space, we’ll all be good with that right? Good – moving right along.

Today was an odd day – it didn’t seem to matter what I did – the last thing I was doing was getting it together (and how long before I’m going to have to change the name of this blog I wonder?).  No matter how hard I tried today, Angsty Ange seemed to have the upper hand. Ever had days like that? Where you can’t get out of your own way? God, please tell me it’s not just me or I may be forced to hunt out my pink yoga pants and huddle in a corner.

So what happened? Read more Get It Together: Day 4