Thursday, November 25, 2010

Un-fulfilling Prophecy

Well. Shame. It would seem that my darker side has taken hold and my fears have been realised. It has been some time since my last post. I seem to have let my life unravel in the last few months. I could interpret my lack of posting as laziness but thinking about it now, I realise it is more about survival. When my Control-O-Meter reaches 80% out of control, it sends me into survival mode. As well as becoming unbearable gloomy and grumpy, I become uncreative, addicted, self-loathing, fatter, scruffier, and unforgiving (of myself). When you think about it, sounds more like self-destruction than survival!

I won't bore you with the details of my steady decline but for the sake of honesty, it involves a mish-mash of lack of exercise, the terrible-twos, viruses, the AFL finals, seasonal triggered memories of grief, the end of my structured church community, a restrained but right financial advisor, a kindergarten AGM, and hmmmm what else.... a lack of chocolate maybe.

I'm probably not in as bad a place as I sound. In fact, the fact that I am blogging today indicates perhaps I'm already turning or about to turn a corner. I'll let you know what's there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast for Fuss-Pots

My FP daughter has french toast for breakfast pretty much every day. I don't mind as I figure eggs and high fibre bread are a good start to the day. But I have discovered an alternative which has been a huge hit. Drop Scones. I have no idea what makes these different to pikelets, but drop scones they are. My recipe is from the now much recently quoted on blogs Nursing Mothers Association of Australia "Recipes for busy mothers".


1/2 cup wholemeal flour
4 tablespoons powdered milk
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon golden syrup, sugar or honey
1 egg


Heat frypan and grease lightly. Mix all ingredients together. Drop tablespoonfuls on to greased frypan, cook until mixture bubbles, then turn to other side until brown.

This morning I added some psyllium husk for a little bit of extra help for my literally anally retentive girl. We usually top with jam, honey or even vegemite. Guarantees full tummies in out house!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Hazardous Parent




It’s over 5 years now since I conceived my first child. Since then, my world has changed unbelievably from what it was before. I have changed. The way I think has changed. Who I am in the world and how I am treated has changed. When you become pregnant, and even before for those women who take a while to get pregnant, you are suddenly a dumping ground for everybody else’s regrets, memories, insecurities, failures and successes. I realise even as I type that this sounds very negative. I love being a mum. I love the intensity and the heights and depths to which it sends you. But I wasn’t prepared for the ‘information onslaught’. I didn't know just how dumb I supposedly now was. I wasn’t prepared for the dos and don’ts and the associated pressures that came with trying to do it all the 'right way'.

I didn’t know much about babies and all that. I don’t think many women do. We don’t live in villages and crowded extended family homes in Australia, generally. Women don’t really get to observe and learn from their elders; a product of our modern, nuclear family model of society blah blah heard it all before. It’s true though. There is a gaping hole in the modern women's impressive set of competencies. When she enters baby land for the first time, she expects the smell of Johnson’s baby powder and booties and she laughs nervously at the mention of dirty nappies and sleep deprivation. She pretty much knows it's going to be tough but she figures she'll work it out as she goes. When the baby is born, she is excited to discover that google contains ALL the answers and that mother’s groups are not so bad (as long as her child is the best).

Anyway, the irony is that our well meaning society (the welfare, health prevention, maternal and child health sectors, the internet, and even supermarkets) is so concerned for the undervalued, overworked mum and the poor children of these mums, that is has decided to help. By telling us stuff. And more stuff. For example...

  • do not eat brie or drink wine when you are pregnant
  • keep exercising when you are pregnant and don’t get too fat
  • get plenty of rest
  • breastfeed at all cost
  • don't breastfeed too long
  • have a caesar
  • have a natural(!) birth
  • don't forget to do pelvic floor exercises
  • don’t let your kids watch too much tv
  • feed your kids wholesome, organic food
  • train your child to sleep
  • use/don’t use controlled crying
  • take your child to swimming classes
  • put your child on the waiting list
  • put your child on another waiting list

I tell you, all mothers reading this could add 10 more things to the list I’m sure. It has gotten to the stage where I won’t read parenting magazines or even the local council newsletter. I have to keep my eyes straight ahead as I walk from the toy library past the children's services offices and their towering, tottering walls of brochures, advertising and information sheets. I break into a sweat when I have to review a new or updated kindergarten or family day care policy. It would seem that someone has decided that the most educated generation of women has no common sense! It would seem we are a hazard to our own children!

It’s like they think we don’t know what we are doing!!!! Just SHUT UP and give me some time to think! Please.

You know what I think the government and local councils should spend their billions on? I want someone who can come over, have a cup of tea, play fairies with the girls/ batman with the boys, and just listen to me complain, question, celebrate, without any fear of judgement. If they were nice enough to me, I’d even take their advice.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Bad-breathed pit-bulls

Even though I love change, I hate making decisions.

I don't mind the little ones, like which chocolate to choose from the box. Even the medium sized ones aren't bad, like where to go for a holiday. But at the moment I have a number of really BIG decisions to make and I am starting to feel paralysed. Well, maybe not quite paralysed, but certainly stuck. I (we) have some decisions to make about our future which are what I would call proactive decisions.

I’ve had to make many reactive decisions in my life, but not many proactive ones. When I was 17 I had to decide if I was going to move away from my country town to go to Melbourne for uni. That was a huge one. But even that had a level of reactivity; I was finishing high school. I had to decide to do something. All of my career changes have also been fairly reactive. I hated my first job. I wasn’t very good at my second job. It was easy each time to look ahead to something brighter. Moving from a sensational location in inner city Melbourne to the suburbs was an easy, reactive decision, because people we loved wanted us to start an exciting new home-based neighborhood church with them – something my husband and I had always dreamed of doing.

At the moment there is not a great deal of impetus for change. Things are going well, and while our little community is evolving into something else, and maybe even finishing, we don’t have to leave our current home. My job is stable and I enjoy it. Travel to work is easy and family and friends are close enough. But I’ve made the proactive decision to have a more challenging career at some stage in the future. So I have applied to do a Masters course next year. Which means I have to choose between cutting down on days at work or increasing the number of days my 2.5 year old will have in care next year.

I also feel an incredibly strong need to decide where our future lives will be centered for the next 10-20+ years. Where will we call home? Where will our kids go to school? As I’ve mentioned before, it’s much harder than I thought it would/should be to cut the ties from the Aussie social/emotional dream of house ownership. It seems to be hard-wired into me. So do we stay where we are and rent, with our sense of security laying vulnerable in the landlords' hands? Or do we buy somewhere else and, like the settlers of old’n days in search of the Promised Land, forge new ground and call it Home?

I really feel like it is important to face these decisions head on, but they have shape-shifted into drooling, growling, bad-breathed pit-bulls. I reckon if I can take them on and win, I will have passed some kind of initiation test into true adulthood. True personhood even. Made in the image of God or some such thing. Decision making is a greatly creative endeavor when you think about it - it shows the world that we exist and it shows the world who we really are.

Even though I love change, I hate making decisions. And I’m still stuck.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Toilet Paper Road

Since becoming a mother I have developed a philosophy. It's deep. Basically it goes something like this... "It's wasteful and my own Mum wouldn't have let me do it, but if you think about it, it's worth the 50c it cost for the 55 minutes of fun it provided."

Monday, August 23, 2010

At My House...

At My House... I successfully processed 6 loads of washing over yesterday and today. I actually got to the bottom of the washing baskets. Is there anything more satisfying?

Conundrum

At the start and the end of every day I am disappointed. I’m disappointed that I ate too many biscuits, too many toasted cheese sandwiches, too many kids left over toasted cheese sandwiches and too much pasta. I’m disappointed that that bulge around my hips and waist is still keeping me company. I am currently the heaviest I have ever been (maybe even during pregnancy!) and I am not enjoying it. I recently went to the gym for 12 months. This was a real achievement for me as I had never even set foot in one before, literally. I really enjoyed it, I developed muscles and I felt good. It helped my physical and mental health beyond measure. But I stopped going a couple of months ago.

Put all those pieces together and the answer seems obvious. I’m an idiot. What is going on??? Why is it soooo hard to do the “right thing”? Am I lazy? Do I harbor some deep rooted need to sabotage myself and fail? Am I such a self-sacrificing mother that I put everyone else first and myself last? (not likely).

I suspect I am not alone in this battle which is why I’m airing my vulnerabilities and failings on this blog. Maybe my ponderings may help someone else, and maybe someone might have some suggestions for me. Although I warn you, I am NOT good at taking advice!

Monday, August 16, 2010

At My House...

At my house today my 4 year old was trying to work out how we could keep the chooks out of the garden and she declared we could make a scarecrow! So, inspired yet again by Emma at Frog, Goose and Bear we made one. And she is a gem! So friendly looking she wouldn't scare a fly.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Then and Now

In my teens and twenties I wrote poetry. Not prolifically but it was always significant and powerful as an experience. My father died when I was in year 11 and I moved away from Mum to Melbourne to study after year 12. Writing was a major form of release and processing of this turmoil as well as the normal angst of this age.  This is one of my earliest poem, so it's a bit rough and cheesy, but it still says something about who I was at 16, and therefore who I am now.


THE BOOK OF LIFE
[1988]

First words are tentative.
They are chosen carefully; they set the style.
First lines are precious
They hold an innocence of the predetermined script.
The next few paragraphs are dangerous.
Lack of thought and preparation can cause unforgettable damage.

The opening chapter introduces.
It explores, accepts and develops the character.
The second chapter questions.
It rebels, experiences, learns, hates, loves, believes, disbelieves.
The third chapter breaks out.
It expands, understands, identifies.


The questions are asked.
Whose fault was it?
The temptation to look ahead two pages is unfulfilled.
First pages are re-read.
To find an explanation for the riddle
To predict the mysterious conclusion.

A momentary answer is reached.

The story continues to progress.
If only the pages would slow down and wait until it is all cleared up.
Suspense is built,
New experience fills the lines
Detail is drawn, colour added.

The teasing blurb gives clues
But who really knows how the end will be.
Others that have read more
Offer hints and warnings
Rarely remembered
After the plot gathers momentum.

It is only when enlightening comes
That the give aways are recalled.
Satisfaction or disappointment of achievement causes purpose or despair.
Now is the time some look to other editions
Or determine to finish.
Decisions are made.

There are now more pages behind than before.
Some finish before all is resolved.
A lack of comprehension
Results are unappreciated.
Some understand completely
And can see the pieces falling together.

The last page dreaded or welcomed
It must always come.
The never-ending story does not exist.
Perhaps a sequel, or another edition.
The prologue is carved into cold marble
Detached from the story.

As I stand poised with another page in my ink free fingers
I want to examine every word
Search every meaning.
I want to do it right
Because I know one thing.
This is one book that can’t be re-read.

Wordless Wednesday























Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 02, 2010

At my house...

Guess who got sucked in to having a look in the crappy crap shop??



















Head over to Buttons by Lou Lou to check out what is happening in other people's house today.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gross Generationalisations

Apparently as a middle class Gen-X girl-lady, I have been sold a lie. I was told I could do whatever I wanted. As a young women living in a post-sexist society I could have it all. Our female teachers were all over us like a rash; a generation of women who fought to change the status quo heaped their victory spoils on to us young girls with our fluro socks and ra-ra skirts. Here you go, they shouted. You don't have to stay at home while your husband goes off to work and has all the fun. In fact, you must not! You must go to uni and climb the ladder and break through that glass ceiling. Do it for us! Show us that our battles were all worth while. You are just as good as them. You must compete.

But sadly the numbers just don't add up. Nobody really thought it through properly. To slum it round Europe, to get the 6 year degree, and to climb the ladder, you just can't even think about babies. To even contemplate marriage before you are 30 is considered weird and unhealthy. Mind you some of the more organised ones planned it all out to the month and made sure they were in just the right place at just the right time. These are the ones who also book their child into long day care the day after they are born, so that they can return to work 3 months after their vagina or abdomen is ripped/cut to shreds. And then of course if you were like me, at 17 years of age you chose a uni course that you thought might please the watching wise women folk. After a few years of stress and confusion you realise it was the wrong decision and so you go back to uni and start all over in the attempt to do something that you might actually enjoy (because you should). So by the time you are not even a quarter of the way up the ladder you suddenly realise that you have to have a baby and it has to happen now. 

Many of us are now in a weird place that we weren't really expecting. Recent results from a long term study by Melbourne Uni which has been following a cohort of people who would have finished Year 12 in about 1990, have found that "90 per cent of (the) men who had gained tertiary qualifications were working full-time in 2009 compared with only 38.4 per cent of women with tertiary qualifications. Women with tertiary qualifications were the most likely of any group (including women with no tertiary qualifications) to be not in the workforce". But what are your options? Pretty much no one regrets anything. I'm yet to meet a mum who truly wishes she wasn't one (we all have our daydreams mind you). I also haven't met a women who wishes she didn't go to uni and just got cracking on the baby making at 20. Many are almost truly happy and contented at home with the kids. But in the back of their mind lurks the post graduate degree half finished, or the promotion promised if they returned from maternity leave. Many of them have an obscene HECS debt that the government rubs in their faces once a year in a meaningless letter. Many of us work part-time and our work days are our "day off", much to the chagrin of our mothers. Many of us will go through a year or two or ten of utter lostness and emptiness, loving our children yet not knowing who on earth we are anymore.

What I'm suspecting is that what emerges on the other side of this weird and confusing place is what we have actually been waiting for. I really do think that for the Gen-X girl-lady, married, single, mother, childless, the best is yet to come.

Monday, July 26, 2010

At my house...

Who says you have to get out of your pajamas to have races down the driveway?


Friday, July 23, 2010

Snap

I can't stand boasting parents, but I really do just have to share the brilliance of my 4 year old. She woke at 4am again this morning and she happily stayed in bed until 6:30. She listened to stories on CD, played with my iPhone and drew...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of my mind

In my attempts to change the world I am sometimes a little bit over zealous in my ‘yes’ saying. Only sometimes though. I’m never quick to ‘yes’ when it comes to parties or camping or babysitting or marathons. But if it’s something that puts me in a position of authority/power/influence then I can’t help myself.

At the end of last year I nominated myself to be the Quality Assurance Coordinator on the Kinder Committee before my 4 year old had even had a single day of Kindergarten. And now I also find myself as the session rep for playgroup even though what I actually wanted to do was quit the group. Now I’m having sleepless nights because my little brain ticks over and worries about the details of pulling it all off without making a complete dick of myself.

I’m a huge believer in sustainability of sanity and lifestyle balance. I absolutely must have time in my life to stop and smell the roses (or at least, watch Masterchef) or I turn into a nut case. And yet I have dreams and abilities that I want to use and wow the world with. How do I do ambitious and mellow at the same time? It’s not a simple matter of trying to overcome laziness. Nor is it a matter of just getting more organized. It’s probably more about perspective. I think being able to step outside of myself more and be a little less emotional and internal about things is the key. At the risk of sounding weird, I find if I kind of move myself slightly out of my body, I feel like a slightly different person. It almost feels like when you lift your eyes from focusing on the computer screen to look up and out the window or at something on the far wall. As I lift myself slightly away from my knotted gut, my busy brain, my tight chest, I rediscover my capacity to cope. I remember I do have a few spare hours a term for the brief processing of playgroup fees and that in fact playgroup is a fantastic way of connecting with new people and helping others connect. I remember that I’m not alone on the kinder committee and that it’s actually fun and satisfying to be able to contribute to the life of such a terrific community organisation.

Now if only someone would teach my simpleton cat to let itself in and out of the house I might actually get some sleep.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thinking Big

I was having a pre-bedtime cuddle with my 4 year old daughter last night and she must have heard me use a word that she liked the sound of. I heard her repeat the word in a whisper a couple of times, presumably to practice it or relish the feel of it in her mouth. And then she was silent for a good 10 seconds. She looked up at me with a smile and said, "Mum, I have talking in my brain!" I was halfway to diagnosing a schizoid personality disorder when I realised that she was talking about thinking.

There is so much about this moment that I love! It makes me wonder at the incredible development of the human brain. Before we have adequate language skills I suppose we "think" without words. Is there a defining moment when we make the shift from not really thinking to some other kind of thinking to verbal thinking? Was this moment for my daughter something completely new for her? What I love the most is that she showed the capacity to think about thinking. It's a type of metacognition and for me it was a little nugget of gold. My little girl is growing up. With that kind of wondrous change in my life do I really need any other?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

 

Performance Review



I love my girls. They amaze me, amuse me, excite me and challenge me. But I honestly don't love much about being a mum. There have been many days when I have wondered how I will get through another day of the constant demands and the lack of personal time and quiet. I feel the burden of making good decisions and being strong in my discipline setting and facilitating healthy habit development of the girls. As a mum you just can't escape the awful truth that you are imperfect and that you can't create perfect kids. It's somewhat of a disappointment and an exhausting realisation.

The other thing about being a mum is that it's your job and yet it's not. You do actually work harder than any other job, emotionally, and physically, at least in my experience. You don't get paid much. You don't get to hang out with adults, at least not coherent non-sleep deprived ones anyway. You usually don't get a lunch break and in many ways you don't even get to clock-off. It just keeps on going. And you don't get a performance review, so you don't really know how you are going and where you are going. No one points out your strengths and no one helps you identify and address your weaknesses (except your own mum if you are so "lucky").

I have enjoyed the last few days of motherhood more than any others that I can remember over the last 5 years. It's not very clear why. It could be that the girls are aligning developmentally so that they can actually enjoy playing together, without me. It could be due to the fact that I have changed my work days so now I am not working on Mondays. But what I suspect it might be due to is blogging. Reading other mothers' blogs and thinking and writing my own is a bit like having a chat in the tearoom. Suddenly I not only feel more connected with the outside world, but my work as a mum has been granted some level of objectivity. Mums that blog are opening themselves up to an informal performance review. If you can see your role as mum more like a job then I think it helps you to hang on to yourself as yourself - a woman with skills and talents, dreams and ambitions, loves and hates. Knowing that what you write might be read by someone else in your "profession" allows a healthy self-consciousness and self-analysis that can lift you out of the isolation of home duties. It seems to be working for me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

At My House

At my house today we will be taking it very easy. My 4 year old woke at 2:45am and couldn't get back to sleep. This happens every now and then. She listened to a favourite CD... twice. She got into bed with me and booted Dad into her bed. She got up and watched Hooray for Huckle... twice. Finally, the cat vomitted on her when she tried to get her off her lap and the hysterics began... at about 6:30am. I dragged her into my bed and lay with her until she fell asleep. She still is now at 10am!

This would be fine enough but I could not fall asleep myself last night. Was awake still at 12.30 and must have fallen asleep before 1am. It seems I am having some form of midlife crisis. Plagued by questions that buzzed in my head all night... where will we live and bring up the kids? Who will we do it with? Why will we do it? How will we do it? Small questions to be dealing with at midnight on a Sunday!

Anyway, it is a beautiful sunny day and I don't feel like I had 3 hours sleep, yet. I have decided we will make lamingtons today. That was a much easier decision to make than all the others.

UPDATE
Lots of fun and mess made making chocolate and strawberry jelly lamingtons. Followed by "the best tea party ever!"

Thursday, July 08, 2010

TV Rules

If you can't find the self-discipline to floss your teeth regularly, meditate, or keep the herbs and spices in the right order, it pretty much only affects you. But when it comes to parenting, if you "can't be bothered" with something you are messing with someone's future capacity to function successfully in society. Let me illustrate.

Humans require food. Without food we die. So a good parent who does not want their child to expire desires their child to eat. So a parent with a child who refuses to eat what is supposed to be the "best" food, at the "best" time sitting at the "best" place would understand the temptation to let their child stuff their mouth whilst under the trance of the (whisper) television. If you don't have a child such as this, you will be appalled at this point and will probably never come back to my blog, except to show your other perfect friends what bad parents actually look like.

Anyway, I decided that maybe it was time to crack down on this practice. I was having flash-forwards to images of my grossly obese girls at 24/22 years of age watching whatever the equivalent is of Twilight in 2030 on the couch with a plate of rice cakes, cheese sticks and Tic Tocs. Not to mention how sick I was of crumbs on the floor. So I reintroduced the rule of no food in the lounge room which, as I explained to my 4 year old, I had forgotten about... "silly Mummy!", I said with a forced laugh.


It's working out great. Now they get exercise too as they run back and forth from the kitchen table to have a bite and then run back to the TV. Genius parenting.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Bright Spark

Ok. This is post number four. Things are looking pretty good so far. Probably helped by the fact that I have absolutely nothing to do at work at the moment.

I think it might be good to bring a little light into this self-indulgent, serious blog. So I will attempt to include some self-congratulatory posts celebrating some of the changes that I do make. This will remind me that all is not lost and maybe even provide others with some helpful ideas.

So today's Bright Spark is about rice.



Well it's about more than that. My four year old is a VERY fussy eater. She slept at her cousin's house on Saturday night and I found myself excited about cooking dinner because I wasn't having to think about what she might actually eat. It was quite a confronting realisation that I have let her dictate meal times (among other things) in our house. So I decided that once a week I would cook something that did not meet her exacting standards. She doesn't have to eat it, but it will be put in front of her with no alternative.

Anyway, last week I cooked rice - something she would not normally touch. I jammed it into some shape cutters and guess what - she ate a whole gingerbread man of rice! Ahh the joy that rose in my chest....

PS I have now also tried it with couscous - looked great! But they still didn't eat it. Oh well one out of two is not bad.

Boring



We have a savings account that was once enough for a house deposit. As the house price balloon has floated upward and out of sight, we are left standing gazing longingly into the sky, with nothing to do but spend our savings to ease the pain. Every month for the last two years I reckon we have had to dip in to that sacred account in order to maintain our "extravagant" lifestyle. Today I have created a new budget for the new financial year. I'm going to try and actually keep a weekly record of expenses to try and keep our spending under control.

As much as I love a bit of a project, doing the right thing with money is not a strength of mine. Being a true blue middle class Gen X-er I haven't had to fight for a whole lot to date. It was easy enough to get into Uni and not hard to get my first, second, third, or fourth job. So reining in my spending feels inhibiting and boring and not at all fun. I've even tried hard to find an iPhone App that will magically make saving money as easy and fun as Paper Toss. I guess I just need some good old fashion values. Now where did I put those....???

I could have a lolly-jar style guess the number of times I have created a budget and then failed to stick to it competition. Lots of people could enter and none might even win. It has been many, many times. But maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time the reality of the sinking dream of home ownership as I approach 40 may be enough to motivate me. Maybe it needs to be something else.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I want to change the world

I have a theory that we are all born with a desire to change the world. We are made with a little black box that is embedded deep somewhere, protected from the world. Its job is to propel us to invent, create, make. It is the magic seed that progresses the human race. It is the source of radical advocacy, social justice, education for the poor, gender and race equality. It can be credited with world records, award-winning novels and films, and the contents of the world's best and worst art galleries. Sadly it can also be thanked for mass murder, domestic violence and slashed train seats.

I was going to be a lawyer and fight the good fight. I was going to write a novel. I was also going to change the culture of schools in the northern suburbs to ensure that all kids learned to speak and read. I was going to introduce the teens of Kew to Jesus and turn their priorities up side down. I was going to listen to and comfort and heal the depressed. I was going to be an awesome mum who understood her own limitations and those of her children but loved them regardless.

At some point in everyone's life the little black box is exposed. Someone finds it. And what they do with it pretty much determines what it is used for into the future of the bearer's life. Is it scorned and shamed? Is it tarted up and worshipped? Is it held and honored? It might be found at 6 months, 12 years, 23 or 38 years. It might be buried on discovery or removed or deactivated. It might remain dormant and then rediscovered at a more conducive time. Perhaps it can even just tick away over a lifetime, melding with the tick of the heartbeat and pulse.

Without it a human is either boring, mean, or dead.

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him." Viktor Frankl
 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Here I go again

I entered Blogland a few years ago and failed in my attempts to remain there. In fact my life has a drawer that is full of things I have attempted to achieve or even begin but have not. Let me confess a sample of them to you: a blog for/about my first child, reflective journals, mentoring, pelvic floor exercises, recipe scrap books, photo albums, a patchwork quilt, keeping up with old friends, the gym, a vegetable garden, cognitive behavioural therapy, a savings account for first born, birthday letters to my nephew, and of course, weight loss.

I have recently become critically aware of these failings and often feel somewhat overwhelmed by them. I have heard myself say to people that I have no capacity for change anymore. I told my husband that if he was ever going to meet his neighbours and do great things in other people's lives then he probably already would have. How depressing am I? Once upon a time I was a passionate speech pathologist/ youth worker/ counsellor, excited about the potential to bring about change in people's lives. I was once a poet who always had one eye and part of my brain and life immersed in a novel.

Last week I came upon a friend's blog. I fell in love with it. I have been thinking about it a lot since and have been wondering why I like it so much. It is a beautifully written and presented treasure trove of things to do with kids, easy family recipes, photos and thoughts. So far this week the girls have had pink, purple and blue bathtimes, and we have eaten the best roast lemon chicken I have ever tasted. Tomorrow I am going to try and find glycerine in the supermarket to make home made bubble mixture. And she links to countless other blogs of similar such domestic geniuses. But this is not what got my heart a-beating. These home-hints are all things that you can access from all sides of the planet within an instant on any search engine. I'll tell you what I think has most inspired me about it. This blog captures someone's capacity to express who they are. This woman is creative, fun, loving, smart etc etc. But she has three kids and a busy husband and over time has felt herself slip away. Her blog is bringing her back.

And so I too want to start a blog. But even as I thought those words, a voice is telling me - yeah right. Put it straight into that drawer of failures. I fight back. I am going to blog about my attempts at change, to see if maybe there is still some capacity for it in my exhausting, full, beautiful, imperfect life. I call it Loose Change. It will be a place for me to share and explore my relationship with change. I'm going to hold myself to it very loosely because I don't think I can handle yet another failure. The irony would be too much.