The reason why my husband does the shopping

I’m not sure what my problem is with boys who work in supermarkets. Some of you may remember this post about an encounter last year.

Years ago, I embarrassed myself, my husband and a poor unsuspecting Woolies boy. You see, my husband said to me, just as we walked passed the fresh fruit and veggie section, “Would you like some peaches?” And I threw over my shoulder, saucily with a wink, “I like your peaches.” Only to discover that without waiting for a reply, my husband had taken off for the peaches in question, leaving the actual recipient of my innuendo red faced and stunned.

Yes, that’s right. My husband had somehow been replaced in that milli second by a sixteen year old Woolies boy.

Upon realising this, I dissolved into loud, nose-snorting laughter, which reddened the boy’s face even more, as he stuttered about for something to say.

I put an end to his misery and moved my trolley to another aisle. I had regained my composure by aisle four but lost it again when my husband finally caught up with me and I told him what had happened. Now both of us couldn’t stop laughing. The Woolies boy had apparently taken an early tea break because we saw neither hide nor hair of him for the rest of our shop.

We still laugh about it whenever we are in the ‘peach’ section 🙂

And just the other day, I did it again.

I was trying to squeeze past two trolleys and a Woolies boy standing on a big ladder on wheels. One of the trolleys was manned by a small girl as her mother deliberated over which brand of pickles to buy. I didn’t want to run the girl over, so I said, quite loudly I guess, “Excuse me, darling.” Now, not only did the little girl turn around but so did the boy standing on the trolley, and yes, he reddened as I hastily assured him he was not who I was speaking to.

Once again, overcome by laughter, my daughter and I quickly exited to the silence that now filled aisle number seven.

I really just should not be allowed in supermarkets.

And now you know why my husband does all the shopping. It’s just better that way.

 

Life is cheap

How much would you pay if your child was stolen and a ransom demanded? A million dollars? Two? For most of us, the amount is limitless. I, for one, would beg, borrow and steal to raise however much I needed to have my child restored to a normal life. A free life.

But how about your grandchild, your niece, your best friend’s child? Would you pay to see them free from the hands of a kidnapper? We can’t put a price on a loved one, can we? We can’t put a price on a life.

In Thailand, life is cheap in many ways, and it’s something I’m actually thankful for.

You see, it costs Destiny Rescue, on average, just $1500 to rescue a child.

To rescue a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter. To give them life.

I’m glad the cost of a life in Thailand is cheap.

And you know how much it is to keep that child fed, educated, loved, cared for, per year?

Just $540.

Did you read that? Five hundred and forty dollars.

A romantic weekend get-away conservatively costs $500 on accommodation alone.

A day at a theme park for a family of four is roughly $320, factor in petrol and food, you would get right up close to a $500 spend for the day.

A twelve month foxtel package – average, not the platinum level, for a family is $541.

Am I saying we shouldn’t do these things? No. I’m just saying our priorities are screwy.

Seems to me that life is cheap but we’re still not prepared to pay it.

Won’t you consider sponsoring a Destiny Rescue child or giving a one off donation in order to see a child rescued from the hands of up to 20 abusers each night in a brothel?

Here’s the link for a one off donation.

Here’s the link to sponsor a child.

I’m just asking you to think about it. That’s all. What happens from there is up to you.

Who are the poor?

Years ago, we were part of a group that decided to cook a sausage sizzle in the park on a Friday night and feed whoever might be in need.

It was an amazing experience and I learnt so many things, about myself and the world around me.

One thing has always stuck with me. I remember one of the other guys in the group expressing his consternation at what one of the people at the park had said. I can’t remember all the details but it ended with the man saying that we should be feeding them ‘because WE are the poor!”

I must admit, it surprised me too. A sense of entitlement that they should be helped was not something I expected, naively, I guess.

And it’s in contrast to my experience of the poor in Thailand.

The people I met in Thailand, who had far, far less than those people in the park on a Friday night, do not consider themselves poor. And, I suspect, would be quite insulted if it were implied.

We all have a different idea of what poor looks like, depending on our upbringing and what we get used to. And I think we all know, ‘poor’ here in our western societies is markedly different to a large percentage of the world.

And you know what struck me?

The people in the park are poor because they see themselves that way; victims, controlled by society and circumstance. They have a poor mentality that the people I met in Thailand don’t even entertain.

So, yes, they are right, they are the poor.

And the people I met in Thailand are the rich.

Winds of change

I have a love/hate relationship with the wind, which I can directly attribute to my childhood.

As a chronic asthmatic, I spent more than the average amount of time indoors, while my brother and sister played outside. Growing up in Tasmania, and on a big piece of the bush, playing outside was what we loved to do. But for me, the cold Tasmania weather, particularly the icy winds that would blow, was not very friendly to my little lungs. I can still hear plain as day my mother saying “No, you can’t go outside today, you’ll get wheezy.” And the others would don coats and gumboots and eagerly venture outside while I had to find something ‘quiet’ to do inside. To be fair to my mum, it often meant I was included in the weekly baking of bread and other yummy things, so don’t feel too sorry for me 🙂

But I still have a wariness about the wind, and about going out in it. I have been left with the feeling that the wind is not ‘safe’. Now that my asthma is not a problem, I am certainly free to enjoy the outdoors as much as I like. So, when it’s windy, I am torn between going outside because I can, and loving the feeling of the wind, and staying inside because that feels more familiar.

As it was a particularly windy day yesterday, it got me thinking about the winds of change. I love the expression ‘winds of change’ even though I really don’t know where it came from. I love change, but I’m reluctant about wind. It reminds me that to have change, we need the wind in life.

In the natural, wind can blow rain away, it can blow away dust and clear the horizon. It can carry the scent of blossoms and spring. It can also blow roofs off, pick things up and cause damage. It can blow leaves and sticks into our freshly cleaned pool. It can blow sand in our eyes and blow our hats off. It can snatch the breath from our mouth and make us gasp. And it can make us stretch out our arms and run, invigorated.

Wind can be contrary. It is untamed and uncontrollable.

The winds of change can bring joy and sorrow, heartache and triumph.

For me personally, the winds of change are beginning to blow. And I’m feeling the first breeze on my cheek with anxious anticipation.

Will I stay inside and try to ignore it till it’s gone, or will I venture outside and embrace its freshness?

What do you do when the winds of change begin to blow?

Are you living in appreciation or fear of loss?

Well, my husband and I survived our time apart – just. He has come back with some gems from all that time of reflection and contemplation, and although I haven’t checked, I’m sure he won’t mind me sharing one of them here 🙂

If you read this blog often, you’ll know that while I don’t always achieve it, I strive to live in a spirit of thankfulness. And true thankfulness and gratitude was a major theme for my husband last week, which has made me do a check on myself and see if my level of thankfulness is where it should be. It isn’t of course, so it’s been a great reminder.

I came across a quote today that said:

Fearing to lose what you have is not the same as appreciation. You have to take a step beyond that. ~ Terri Guillemets

It’s interesting isn’t it? We all fear losing people and things. We sometimes fear losing them so much that we grip them rather tightly and become so full of that fear of their loss that we choke out any thankfulness for the person or possession.

It’s easy to get them mixed up and equate our fear of loss with our level of appreciation and gratitude. But, as the quote says, there needs to be a step beyond that.

So how do we know if it’s fear of losing something or true appreciation?

I think the answer is in our response to the thought of it being lost. I think if we can let something or someone go and still be thankful that we had it or them, then we have been truly living in appreciation and gratitude.

Part of living immersed in a spirit of thankfulness is recognising we don’t deserve it. When we live in fear of losing something or someone, I wonder if it’s because deep down, we think it’s our right to have that thing or that person in our life.

If we can hold people and things loosely, with no sense of entitlement; if we can just dwell in that sense of appreciation and thankfulness; if we can simply allow the ebb and flow of life to give and take, as it does, maybe we will find that our spirits soar to the heavens in an unending stream of gratitude for the beauty, and the loss, that is allowed to colour our lives.

Maybe we will be released from the grip of fear and live inside the sweet peace that comes from a thankful heart.

 

The sound of silence

As you would know if you read my last post (if not, here it is), hubby is away on a spiritual retreat. The thing I didn’t mention was that there is no internet and no phone range. No contact, in other words.

It’s so quiet. Not when the kids are here, of course, but in all the other parts of the day, it’s really, really quiet.

Before he left, we talked about the fact that since we met, over twenty-two years ago, we have never had five days with no contact at all. Although we started dating back in the dark ages, where we didn’t have facebook or mobile phones, we still managed to speak or see each other every couple of days, if not, every day (I’m sure my parent’s phone bill from back then would testify to that fact!). And now that we work together aka in the same room within reach of each other, and although we had our week away each last year, we are very rarely apart for long and certainly, if we are, there is sure to be a phone call or two and a text or seven.

So, I can hear you all cry that it is healthy to spend time apart, and you’re right. To a degree. Our relationship is our relationship. While for others, time apart is what keeps them together, for us time apart is weird, foreign and strange.

People keep saying it’s good and good for us, and I appreciate the sentiment. And in some ways it is good. But I don’t like it. Not at all. We are quick to judge, aren’t we? Quick to decide what is best for other people’s lives. Quick to superimpose our feelings, our perception and personalities onto others. Especially where relationships are concerned. Like I said, our relationship is just that – ours. And what is good for us might not be good for you and vice versa.

I don’t think it means that we are not able to be our own people, as some have suggested. For us, well, for me at least, seeing as he’s not here to confer with, I am more ‘me’ when he’s around. I am the best version of myself because of him.

Does it mean there aren’t times I want to wring his neck and he mine? Nope. Are there times I long for solitude, for time on my own? Yep. Does he drive me to the edge of frustration and back again? Absolutely. Is he the person I want the most for every single situation I ever face? Definitely. Is he the first one I want to tell when something funny happens? Totally.

Does it feel like someone cut off my arm this week with him not around? Yes. Yes. Yes.

And before this descends into the most ridiculous love-sick mushy post,  I’ll stop.

I miss him, that’s all.

Blowing away the cobwebs

This week, my husband is off to spend some time in spiritual retreat. It’s also one of those rare weeks where we don’t have a publication to produce, and therefore pretty quiet on that front, so I have decided that in between getting the kids to and from school, packing lunches, washing uniforms and all the other routine activities, I would schedule in some ‘fun’ time for myself.

If you read this post, you will understand why I have decided to make one of those activities painting. I was given an extra nudge by a friend who hinted at maybe having a canvas from me for a very belated birthday present. So, she will get her wish (if it turns out okay!) and I now have a great reason to lose myself in the wonderful therapy that is contained in my paints.

paints

 

My easel is an old artwork desk that is a leftover from my father’s printing business, I think, and I have used it for years. It has been in two pieces in our garage, and, as you can imagine, was literally covered in dust and cobwebs and abandoned wasps nets.

I set to, cleaning it up, hammering in some nails that were loose, shooing away the daddy long legs and sweeping away their webs. As I did, I felt a cleaning going on inside too.

I was not only physically preparing for the creative in me to have expression, but metaphorically too. I could feel that little muse waking up, stretching her arms out and blinking as the sunlight streamed through the newly cleaned window. Something in me was stirring as I ran through colour combinations in my head, felt the plump tubes of paint in my hand and retrieved blank canvasses from deep within the wardrobe.

After getting it all organised, I stood back and sighed with satisfaction and relief; anticipation coursing through me.

I can’t wait.

The only problem I can see is forgetting to go pick up the kids after school. Oh and cook tea. And wash uniforms. And pack lunches.

Mmmm, maybe I’ll go on the retreat next time! And I’ll be taking my paints and canvasses with me 😉