Life is change and 2019

Everyone is busy signing up to their Resolutions, but how they are achieved is sometimes beyond us. This is because everything changes.

For those of us who freak out about change, coping is really quite simple.

It’s taken me roughly four decades to work this out, but change is cyclical and there will always be something constant… something that doesn’t change.

If I focus on ensuring I’m organised for the things that don’t change, then I’m halfway to coping with the overall change.

Getting finances sorted is a worthwhile Resolution. This one underpins much of what can be achieved and what cannot.

  • How finances work is a very easy example. Bills don’t arrive randomly. Utilities are usually billed every quarter, even though the food budget may change a little depending on season (although that can be brought to order easily too with some know how).

So, the idea is to work out how much the utilities cost for a year (if this amount cannot be calculated, I multiply the bill I do have four times to give me a rough cost) and then save towards that amount every three months.

So randomness is brought to its knees and now there’s more control in our hands. Change is curtailed and more manageable.

And there’s always the trick of getting your finances as well as the rest of life into a routine that takes some of the unpredictability out of life.

An old suggestion but a good one.

What change are you focusing on managing into the New Year?

As 2018 wraps up.

It’s the end of the year. December already. How did that happen?

Well, this year, I’ve started the Blog and climbed a part of my own personal Everest.

This has involved several events.

I’ve been lucky enough to have changed positions within the Charity I work for, have some training coming up for another casual position I’ve picked up (I work part time at my primary job) and I even have an idea of what I’d like to achieve in 2019.

Presents have been wrapped and are underneath the Christmas tree. And this weekend my Christmas gift to myself is the neatest and best presented house in the neighborhood.

Life is good.

Are you organised for the Christmas season?

What’s your gift to yourself this Christmas?

Meaning of Christmas

Once a year, during the Silly Season, all my cousins descend upon a little house near Leichhardt.

We discuss topics of conversation that would make our respective Aunt and Uncle’s ears burn.
We bond, in ways that elude us outside this event, and we share all sorts of family memories, and tales.
Christmas, to me, is about these events. It’s about family and good company and good food.
Pork is a tradition, as are salads and soft drink. Although as the younger ones mature, we’re steadily adilyky turning to good wines and beer.
When Nanna passed away, it was decided that we had to remember that the extended family was important. Us cousins, being the next generation, were in a position, where we could take the lead.
And so we have.
It’s small. One event each year. But it’s big too. It keeps us all in contact and keeps the good memories rolling.
May you all enjoy family, in whatever way you can. And understand that, to those of you without cousins like mine, there are plenty of Churches and Charities that form temporary families, on Christmas Day.

Budgets and food.

Recently, while hunting down recipes that were nutritious and budget friendly, I searched many different websites.

Much advice was given on growing one’s own herbs and vegetables, mixed in with different recipes.

Two comments I’d like to make to those of us who believe that food can be healthy and affordable are these…

When growing your own, an easy way to choose what to plant, is choose anything that works well in salad. Salad vegetables are always better fresh.

Then my second comment is to grow what goes well with eggs. This means, with the humble and yes, cheap egg in the fridge, a quick, easy and healthy meal can be whipped up with anything growing in the garden.

A side salad, also from that same garden, would make this little meal complete.

A new leaf

“I hate you!” I slammed the door shut in my Mother’s face.

She continued to knock. “Cynthia, I’m sorry.” I could hear the tears in her voice. She always cried at times like this, so I was immune to it. I didn’t want her to get her own way.

I put on the dowdy black dress that I had worn to my Grandfather’s funeral, finding heels to match and a black scarf should I need to hide my tears from my relatives.

Footsteps disappeared down the hallway and I knew that my Mother had left me.

After a few minutes, I strode in what I thought was a confident manner, out of my bedroom, down the hallway, and into the kitchen. My Mother was finding her keys in her handbag.

“Are you ready now Cynthia?” she asked in a voice that hid so much hurt.

I flounced out of the kitchen door and into the sunlight, deciding to not say a word to her.

In silence, my Mother drove me to the cemetery. Other cars, many of which I recognised as belonging to various Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, crowded into the car park when we arrived.

There was a gathering in the little church in amongst the gravestones. My Nanna’s coffin sat in the middle, surrounded by flowers. The orchids in the flower arrangements reminded me of my Grandfather who had grown them in the greenhouse, and I felt my resolve not to cry start to break down. Being the eldest Grandchild, it was soon my turn to lead my Cousins in our bit of the service.

I held it together, but only just.
We all stumbled out of the dark church and back into the beautiful sunlit day. The sound of quiet weeping filled my ears as I followed the coffin.

At the graveside, as the coffin started to descend, I burst into tears. All the grief I had held onto melted as my beloved Nanna departed from view.

My Mother was standing nearby, watching me.

I walked over to her and put my arm around her shoulders. I realised that I loved her despite our fights, and I was determined to make sure I never said those nasty words to her from now on.

21st birthday parties

Today, marked a milestone in my cousin’s life. She turned 21.

And so all the relatives descended upon her parent’s home to celebrate.

In all reality, it was just another excuse for family to meet and catch up. It was a good excuse. I’m not taking away from it’s importance. But at every chance, my Mother’s siblings love to socialise with each other.

It was also a monumental event in other ways too. The Mothers and soon to be Mothers, in the next generation, had a chance to compare notes and share the intimate knowledge that only Motherhood can give you, with each other and the other uninitiated cousins amongst us.

It’s times like these, I’m proud to be an Auntie.

Embrace the next generation. They are a precious legacy.

Nanowrimo

Just to keep you updated, I’m participating in Nanowrimo, sort of.

My aim is to complete the initial draft of a book I’m working on.

At the moment it looks like it will become a Chapter Book for young ish children. The title at the moment, is The Festival, and it is all about a boy who steals and a man whose profession is lost. It is about how they change each other’s lives, and perhaps, learn from one from the other.

At the Illustrator’s is another book I’ve already written, called “Bartholemew.” This book, is aimed at young children, who may need pictures to enjoy as well as a story line. This book too, is about teaching values, and the importance of believing in oneself.

I’ll continue to update you as I go along.

Hello again.

In case you’re wondering, I still consider myself to be a Real Writer. This is even though it may appear as though I’ve disappeared.

But it’s all good.

Recently, my job at work changed, and all my spare time hss been devoured with learning as much as possible as quickly as possible.

My hope is to add more content soon.

Watch this space!

R. I. P Milo

This is a poem i wrote when my Granddad passed away. I’m sharing it with you today as a tribute to another death close to my heart.

Yesterday, my beloved dog, Milo, passed away, while i was at work.

R. I. P. love of my life. And thank you for gracing my life for the eleven years you were a part of it.

No one has known love until they’ve been loved by a dog.

I thought I was alone today

Looking into the blue,

Then I noticed a change

As the breeze gently blew

I looked around and felt something

I didn’t know what I sought

But realised then that I was wrong

As to me came a thought

It came to me gently as I stood there

It beckoned me to take note

And as I saw the clouds above

To me came new hope

Not quite a memory

Stirred in my mind

A glimpse of better times

That I thought I had left behind

Then I heard a voice

Gently in the breeze

“I am here with you forever

Now just let me stay please

I will stand by your side

And watch while you sleep

I will be there now

Even as for me you weep

And if you ever want a yarn

Or just to let me know

Light a candle and I’ll be there

And I’ll stay until you let me go.

Look for me beyond the clouds

Seek me in the sky

Search for me past the rainbow

And as the rain passes by

I will meet you there one day

I will wait until you see

That past where the night meets the sun

I am where I am meant to be.”

I wrote this the day after Grandad died…so on 21 October 2010.

Fractured Faith writing challenge

A receipt for a banana, rice and a coffee.

Tonight. It was tonight. Tonight when i had the in laws over for dinner.

What to cook?

My sister was a fussy eater and they were really her in laws, not mine. Her little villa was too small to host the larger family we were meeting with. So i had invited everyone to my place.

And with a baby on the way, she had left me to do all the planning and catering.

My sister hated fruit, but i really thought the best desserts all used fruit in them. How to compromise?

These thoughts were running through my head as i stood in the large supermarket, staring at the endless shelves, trying to dream something up.

Suddenly i had it!

I had the compromise!

With more confidence than i felt, i strode to the aisle containing rice, and grabbed a bag. Then i marched to the fresh produce part of the store and picked up a solitary banana.

I’d make rice pudding and put a single banana into the recipe to keep both of us happy.

After paying for it, i stood outside the supermarket for a little bit.

My brother in law, my sister’s husband, rang to say he’d be late in picking me up.

I wandered back into the store.

I needed a coffee!