words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

Archive for the tag “memories”

Is nothing changing?

words by nerissa blogHave you ever wanted something to change?

Have you ever worked towards something, thinking that nothing is happening, your goal is no closer, or your circumstances are no different, despite the hard yards you are putting in?

Let me tell you, changes ARE happening.

The other week, I took my kids to get their hair cut. On the way, my  son spoke up.

“You know what’s weird?” he asked.

“What?”

“Well, your hair is growing all the time, but you can’t really see it growing when you look at it. It’s only when you look at it after some time has gone by that you notice it’s different. That it needs cutting.”

WOW!

Often we get impatient and want to see results now.

Society has conditioned us to expect things straight away. A typical example is the weight-loss industry. How many ‘quick-fixes’ are doing the rounds? (Countless) How many of them work? (None — at least not for the long-term) How many people still buy into them? (Millions).

Why? Because people want an instant result. Even though their head may tell them it won’t work, in their heart they are desperate for it to. They can’t bear the thought of weight-loss taking time.

Similarly, how many people spend money on the lottery every week? (I’m not sure, but I’d guess the number is in the thousands). Why? Because they want to ‘get rich quick’.

The same thing with tax-returns. Some accounting firms now offer ‘instant tax returns’ — some even promising cash within the hour! Why? Because as a society we have forgotten the art of being patient.

Sometimes we can get so caught up with ‘seeing immediate results’, that we miss the other things that may be happening around us.

My beautiful boy, (like millions of other kids) is a living testament that hundreds or even thousands of changes are happening all the time.

As he is about to transition from primary school to high school, I can’t help but think back to when he was a baby. I remember the day he came home from hospital — so tiny and helpless. His legs and arms were long and thin, reminding me of a skinned rabbit. His hands so tiny in mine.

From this...to this

From this…to this

Day after day I would care for him, talk to him, read to him, walk with him, and it seemed as if he gave nothing in return. It seemed like all he did was eat, sleep (although he didn’t do much of that!) and require plenty of nappy changes. But bit by bit, little changes were happening. His hair grew, his eyelashes grew and he needed the next size in clothes. After a few months he rolled over. A few months later he sat up, began to talk and once he was walking our little baby had gone and in his place was a toddler.

Like many parents, I would catch myself thinking that I couldn’t wait for a certain stage to be over — “I can’t wait until he sleeps through the night”. “Won’t it be great when he is out of nappies?” “Imagine when he can get in the car by himself and do up his own seat belt.”

Some of the stages were difficult and some were delightful. However, all of them were necessary in his growth as a boy.

Fast forward almost 12 years and he is now only a centimetre or two off my height. Over the past 12 years, countless changes have occurred. Some of them I noticed along the way yet others have snuck up on me.

These changes may be almost 12 years in the making, but in some ways, they have all happened too quickly. When I take a step back, it’s hard to believe the young man in front of me was the same little bundle I brought home from hospital.

Things in our lives are changing all the time. Yet when we look for changes we never seem to see them. Sometimes all we can see is the difficult stage and we find ourselves wishing for the next stage — “I can’t wait until my business is profitable.” “Won’t it be great when we own our own house?” “I wish I was a size 10 NOW!”

But the difficult stage is necessary, just as the delightful stage is necessary. In every stage there are lessons to learn, foundations to build, and changes to consolidate. Even though we may not be seeing many changes (or the changes we want to see), they are happening regardless.

If you are impatiently waiting for something to change in your life, then keep waiting. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey you are on. Don’t forget to look at everything else that is happening in your life. Everything that is good and even the stuff that’s not so good.

If all you ever do is focus on what is NOT happening, you’ll go through your life miserable and frustrated.

So take a step back and look around you. Take it all in. And when you glance back at the thing you are hoping will change, I’m sure you’ll find that it has.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

 So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

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Find your bliss

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My daughter made this for me last year.

As I sit here and write this, I am surrounded by a myriad of things.

There are reminders of my children — photos of them when they were younger, their first drawings, paintings they did for Mother’s Days past, handmade coasters and little notes they leave on my desk from time to time.

There are also books. Lots and lots of books on my desk. Some I have read, some are in the ‘to-read’ category. Some of them are related to my work, and some of them are for pleasure. Books give me a lot of pleasure.

I also have calendars, a diary, planners, paper, journals and lots of pens.  I love to plan and be organised. And being an old-fashioned girl, I like to do it the old-fashioned way — using pen and paper.

My favourite coffee cup sits on my desk, next to my hand cream, a candle and my ipod — things that I use on a daily basis.

Also sitting on my desk is my training program for the next 12 weeks, along with the goals I have set myself.

QUESTION: What do they all have in common?

ANSWER: They all make me happy.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

Each day, we have choices to make. Very few of us are free to do whatever we like, whenever we like. We all have responsibilities and things we have to attend to on a daily basis — whether that means going to work to earn our living, raising a family, caring for loved ones, ferrying kids back and forth.

However, there is something that ALL of us can do to bring a little happiness to our days. Even if it is only having a coffee in your favourite cup, or listening to your ipod while you clean toothpaste off every surface in the children’s bathroom.

We all have different things that we love. Things we use, things we do, life choices we make that keep us happy.

We may not always understand why something makes someone else happy, but that’s okay.

For example, I don’t understand what part of bike riding is enjoyable. All I seem to get from it is a very sore backside. However, friends of mine are avid bike riders. They just about live in lycra. It’s their thing, their passion. One of my friends rides “Around the Bay in a Day” every year. That’s 250km in a day ‘for fun’. And he rides his bike from home to the start line, and then home from the finish line. So that’s more like 300km. I don’t get it. I admire him, but I don’t get it.

Just like some people don’t get why I love to lift weights. In some ways I don’t get it either. In my younger days I hated weight training. I would start a program but I would perform it half-heartedly, always having an ‘excuse’ not to do it. As I got older I knew I really should incorporate it into my exercise routine, if I wanted to stay healthy but I kept putting it off. When I was ready to tackle it, I told my trainer that I hated weights and that she would have to make it interesting if I was to stick at it.

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I had to include my son’s art work.

More than two years later, I now lift three times a week (soon to be four – WHOO HOO!) and I love it. In fact, I live for it. I love getting strong. I love feeling my muscles working. I love setting goals and working towards them. I love the place I have to go to in my mind before I lift something heavy. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from lifting something that I thought was too heavy. And the masochist in me loves the sore muscles over the next two days.

(Some of you won’t get it. That’s okay.)

It’s part of my bliss. It’s also something new that I have found that I love.

But it’s not all of my bliss.

There are lots of other things that make me happy, some of which have made me happy for years.

Bliss for me is reading a book while enjoying a good red wine.

It’s a good coffee and some dark chocolate.

It’s planning and making lists and writing with pens and paper.

It’s a day on my own, just for me.

It’s a relaxing massage. Total bliss!

It’s cuddles in the bed with my kids.

It’s a great conversation with a good friend.

It’s sitting at my computer, free to write what I feel like.

My favourite beach.

My favourite beach – Caloundra.

It’s watching the ocean crash on the rocks.

It’s sitting in front of a campfire and laughing with friends.

It’s a warm bath at the end of a busy day.

It’s sitting on the couch, watching a great movie with my husband.

And it’s definitely all the reminders of the two little people in my life.

Bliss can be different things for different people. It’s not our job to judge whether the things that make others happy are good or bad, right or wrong. We just need to accept that sometimes other people do ‘crazy’ things because it makes them happy.

We all have a chance to have bliss in our days, even if it is only for 10 minutes.

The trick is working out what makes you happy, and working it into each day.

Where do you find your bliss?

follow your bliss2

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

The perfect home

children are making memores

These renovation shows have a lot to answer for.

While they are promoted as ‘family entertainment’, my experience is that they are more a form of frustration and torture.

Let’s make it clear — I’m not talking about the process of knocking down walls, decisions on tiles, or colour schemes, or what size couch to put in the living room. To me, that seems to be the easy bit!

I’m not even referring to the unrealistic deadlines, building mishaps and backstabbing that goes on.

Oh no. I’m referring to the finished product. These beautifully finished, furnished homes that are fit for the pages of a magazine. And how that causes many of us to feel, when we compare our house to theirs.

Sure it’s nice to see how they have decorated their lounge room. I mean, it’s a novel idea, limiting the décor to an expensive couch, enormous rug and some designer drapes. Oh, and don’t forget the ‘quirky’ finishing touches when it comes to lighting and wall art. But where is the wine-stained carpet patch?

As for the colour co-ordinated, neat-as-a-pin furnished kids rooms with plenty of storage and a neatly made bed, go right ahead and rub that in our faces. What happened to the lego-covered floor that you have to navigate through in the middle of the night? And where are the dirty socks?

SERIOUSLY!?

Who has a home like that?

I don’t know about you, but my experience of the ‘average Australian family home’ is a far cry from what is flashed on our TV screens each night.

Looking at my lounge room right now, we have an assortment of items that would never grace the pages of a home decorating magazine. Along with the usual suspects (couches, book cases, TV, etc.), we have a mismatched bean-bag that no longer fits in my son’s bedroom. It is bright red, while the rest of the colour scheme is green and cream. Then there is my daughter’s music stand, a large box of Barbies, with a plethora of plastic arms and legs sticking out of it that resemble an echidna (like a hedgehog for you non-Australian readers). Beside the Barbie box is a range of Barbie cars, a dollhouse, and a princess castle. Underneath one of the couches is a large collection of lego that really needs to be stored in my son’s room. We also have a guitar shoved in the corner that no one plays anymore. Various DVDs ranging from (yep, you guessed it) Barbie and Disney Princess movies, through to Wreck it Ralph and Top Gear, are strewn across the couch. The crowning glory is a little grey-that-used-to-be-pink rabbit, with no ears and no stuffing left, called “Flippy”, who is propped up next to the DVDs.

That’s just my lounge room. Don’t even ask me about my daughter’s bedroom. The bookcase and bedside table is covered in trinkets and things that have ‘special meaning’. To my eyes, old lolly wrappers and torn bits of paper are really fit for the bin. But what would I know? In all honesty, a mini-skip is pretty much required for her room.

Some days I live in fear of people ‘dropping in’ and needing to use the bathroom. Who knows if the kids have flushed the toilet or not. Not to mention the toothpaste that is smeared all around the bathroom sink and sometimes on the floor.

Sigh!

I could spend all day picking up, putting away and cleaning my house. Just to keep it looking presentable. But in as little as 30 minutes, the two little whirlwinds who are my children can have it looking like a tip again. Sometimes I think, “What’s the point?”.

Some days it can be quite depressing.

While the idea of renovating and starting with a ‘blank canvas’ (like they do on TV) sounds exciting and glamorous, we don’t really have the time, money or energy to commit to that. No doubt that blank canvas will be filled with basketballs, tennis racquets, an abundance of art and craft supplies, and more Barbies, before too long anyway.

Last week, I was feeling particularly disheartened by the seemingly endless mess and untidiness. So I made a cup of coffee, and indulged in a fantasy. I imagined the house as I wanted it. Everything in its place, no mess, no huge amount of ironing needing to be done. Just neat and tidy and perfect.

I imagined walking from room to room, admiring the very perfectness of it all.

But something was missing.

My children weren’t there.

That’s when I realised that the ‘perfect home’ that I was after probably wouldn’t happen until they had left home — and taken all their mess and chaos with them. That made me feel sad.

And then another realisation — that while they are the source of untidiness and mess (and sometimes frustration), they are two of the most important accessories to my home.

All of a sudden, I didn’t really want the neat and tidy house if it meant they weren’t there. The perfectly ordered house that I was walking through in my imagination was just that — an empty, orderly house. Not a home. There was no laughter, no cuddles, no pens and paper littered across the dining table. There were no little people bringing me drawings and letters that they had written. They were gone.

It dawned on me then, that perhaps I already have the perfect home. Sure, there are crumbs on, around and under the table after most meals, and it seems like I am never up-to-date with the ironing. School bags are dumped in the family room and wet towels are not always hung up.

However, what we have created here is a home where people live and love and create, and chill out. My children have their own space (be it messy) where they feel safe and accepted and are allowed to be kids. They have their toys and games and electronic devices. They have two parents who love them and who provide for all their needs. They have a place where they can create memories. Most importantly, they don’t care what our house looks like.

So for a while at least, I will try to remember that a home is more important than the perfect-looking house. While dirty tissues under the bed are slightly annoying at times, it is not really worth getting upset about.

Our house will never feature on the pages of a magazine but I hope that it exhibits signs of life, that it can be a safe-haven for our family and a place where people can come, and feel at ease.

Just phone first, so I can make sure the toilet is clean!

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