Saturday, February 26, 2011

the limbo of helplessness

I doubt there is a person in NZ, or a NZ'er abroad for that matter, that hasn't been personally affected in some small, or big, way by the Christchurch earthquakes.
I wonder though, does everyone feel a sense of helplessness, or are we largely just getting on with life, not really fully understanding - or wanting to -  the impact of it all? and is it in fact 'right' to go into mourning for this when there is so much life to be lived to the full right here in our own existences.
Do I, as a matter of respect, curtail some of my plans, or do I continue to live as I did yesterday and planned to tomorrow?  Do I stay glued to the TV, keeping up with the news but also somehow compulsively drawn to the devastation, or just try to put it at the back of my mind and simply get on with the every day?

How can I actually help? Logging on to websites, listening to the updates,  doesn't really cut it.  Does giving money, even small amounts really make a difference?

The organisations I work for,  both in the not-for-profit sector, both contributing directly to the welfare and (largely mental) health of families in Canterbury have given me some direction, i've contributed to some funds, made some phone calls, but is it enough...?

I do what I am able with the resources I have....and choose to be glad and thankful for my life here in my little town and all the blessings that go with it...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


a few days ago i was complaining about being bored.  Later,  it occurred to me that it wasn't so much boredom, as an over abundance of stuff that is all about other people and nothing that was actually nurturing my own soul.  (let's not count reading books and doing crosswords and other home based stuff in here....although the Shelfari bookshelf down there suggests i spend a fair amount of time doing both!).

Now, don't get me wrong, I love doing things for and with other people, and especially with friends and family.  but what i want is something that's MINE, all mine and won't require me to meet a deadline, supervise a child, clean up someone or something...isn't being done with an ulterior motive (i should do this, it's good for the brain/heart/fitness)...isn't the thing squeezed into the 11 pm and I can't sleep spot....something creative, that encompasses all I love...maybe with new people...maybe in the evening...maybe something I might even have to get a little dressed up for...

something to fill my heart with joy! that's what i needed!

Well sounds like a tall order, right?  And, I thought I was pretty smart, so I simply can't believe it has taken me SO LONG to get back into my boogie shoes.
not the girls night out, leaping about to Dancing Queen kind of shoes (although I love that too....) but real, energetic, dance your socks off couple dancing...
I tried Zumba, it was good but not quite there.  I did Jazz, much the same.  The last partner-y type lessons I took were Irish ceili dancing (a kind of square dancing i guess) which I also just loved and were a great laugh although I don't think I had much natural talent in spite of my heritage!
Before that it was probably (dark recesses!)  lambada...oh those really WERE the days!
ANYWAY, if you saw my FB profile you'll know, I went back!  This time to Ceroc and I have to say it was brilliant...awesome teachers, great music and I think I did ok for a beginner (no one seemed to be limping after dancing with me...).It was run by addiction dance - just to give 'em a plug!.
I knew I was in the right place when the first two songs played were Usher - More, and Cry to Me from Dirty Dancing.
Tonight I hosted a freestyle party in the lounge - me and the children, some Black Eyed Peas...Jennifer Lopez (! (!
Can't wait for next time....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

love languages

I went to a work conference on Friday and we talked of the Love Languages.  I work with preschoolers so it's really relevant. (for those who aren't familiar:  A lot of parents and carers aren't that comfortable, or even confident with using touch with their kids, and mainly music is the perfect forum to introduce this.  The programme is popping up all over the world so it's working!

I had a thought...well actually I've had it before...
What if we speak more than one language - that is, perhaps the way we GIVE love is not necessarily the way we want to receive it?  For example, my daughter's primary love language, as in how she like to receive love, and feel validated etc, is through quality time and gift giving.  But in giving love, she tends to go with Words of Affirmation, and to a lesser degree, gift giving.  My son is less complex (perhaps that's a boy thing), it's touch first and gifts second.
Me? Well  I'm definitely not that good at the words, except with the children, and tend to gravitate towards quality time and gifts....I certainly think spending time with people is the best way to affirm them (show love?), and I do spend a lot of time thinking about the gifts I give.  But as far as getting gifts - well it's nice, but i'm as happy with the $2 shop thing as the fancy stuff, and grand gestures don't really do a lot for me.  A well timed txt, a phone call, a drop by visit, these I love receiving.
It takes a huge amount of trust for me to really get into the 'touch' stuff (although I may appear a very touchy feely kind of person) - but give it to me and I'll really love you for it. And it's kind of like chocolate, the more I eat the more I want!  Similarly, I really appreciate acts of service but am better at giving that receiving!

Anyone need a hug?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

hang on a minute!!!!

how can it be that despite being the busiest i've ever been (how is THAT even possible when i thought the same through last year....) - 3 jobs, two kids at school, the paper, mainly music, drama lessons, zumba, biking, playdates for kids, homegroup for the grownups, childcare for friends, girls nights, family nights, the community centre (hurrah passed that on today), learning new skills, redecorating...blah blah blah...and i still feel like....well like there's something missing?
and don't be thinking this is about the faith crisis's just that I'm, well, I'm kind of bored. life is awesome, i couldn't ask for more, SHOULDn't ask for more, and yet I am. There's been one or two sparks of excitement for me of late and I realise I want MORE! How to articulate that? Don't know...don't want to really, but I have this feeling like I'm on the cusp of something exciting - it's just, barely, out of reach, out of sight, but I know it's there. Kind of like wanting some adventure or risk - and yet I am not a risk taker (any more!), barely into adventure in fact...
The wise friends advice varies satisfied with what you have - to, set a goal! - to, visualise your new future! Hmmm, not sure which of those fits best!
So, out has come the journal - you know the place where one can write all the stuff that doesn't belong in the public forum of the internet. Hard questions, harder answers.
The internet, while I'm on the subject...what a strange place it brings us to. False intimacy, forced intimacy, projected intimacy with 'virtual' strangers - our close friends seem, somehow further away, or at least at a safe distance, and our new friends, or distant 'friends' become the ones who know the minutiae of our lives. A parallel existence, not altogether comfortable and yet we slip in and out of it more easily that the homes of the people we know best.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

lawn bowls

I sat in church this morning, looked around (a lot), mind wandered (a lot) and I wondered (quite a lot)...why am I here?
My motivation was that the new Vicar was preaching - I wanted to meet him since I kind of work for him now. It was just the Dancing Queen and I, since the little engineer had a better offer with his best mate at the Baptist church.
A couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary - instead of sharing 'the love' i felt just a wave of sadness - think it rather unlikely i will get to do the same, and whilst this is not something i dwell on i still have moments of 'sad' about it.
There was the usual talk about seeking Gods forgiveness for our wrongs - really? I I really truly think I need forgiveness? Jury is still out on that but I suspect my view on God is changing and shifting.
So, I posted on Facebook - as you'll know if you found this blog through there...and got an interesting response, comparing going to church with attending any other club.
it was a good analogy in some ways, although apart from the most devout of lawn bowls players, I suspect few people would get the comparison of religion (if i can dare call Christianity that) and a bowling club.
But, it got me thinking. What shape is God for me? I think perhaps not the form I have always just accepted - or gone along with. I'm not convinced that God (in the way we give him human characteristics to understand him) actually gives much of a damn about our day to day lives. I suspect He is rather indifferent in fact - i am almost nervous of writing this! - with far bigger fish to fry (or is that far less on his mind) that the trivia that fills most of our lives.
So, where to from here? Well it's a big question for me. I work in Ministry, paid ministry, which has at it's core the fundamentals of Christian belief - Jesus, sin, heaven and if I start to move away from those beliefs, can I in all honesty keep working for an organisation that is founded on them?
I doubt God cares either way - but would my boss?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

stuff it

Lots of conversations to be had at my place recently about 'stuff'. the stuff that lives in cupboards for just in case i need it...or that will come in handy....the stuff that accumulates in the wardrobes of children - every sticker/birthday invitation/christmas cracker prize/macdonalds toy since 2005....the condiments in the pantry bought for a special occasion...the clothes bought on sale and never worn...the trademe bargains of the year....the 3 dozen towels in the airing cupboard...oldt ehcnology, new technology, non-technology.
I have a theory - you knew I would! - that OFTEN we surround ourselves with stuff because we have 'stuff' that we haven't worked through on the inside.....stuff it! we think, i deserve this thing, it will make me happy. i have lots of stuff, let's look at this stuff and move it around and then i'll have a bit of room for some more stuff....Until we reach a position of, eek! i have so much STUFF i don't know where to start to get rid of i'll just stuff this new thing in here with this other stuff...
for those that have visited my house, you'll know that i am most definitely a less is more person. and yet even i constantly have a box on the go for excess stuff. few weeks would go by that i'm not delivering clothes to an opshop, or poking something else in the rubbish bin, or listing another piece of something on trademe.
So, due to popular demand, here's my tools for dealing with stuff....
1. start thinking about the big stuff...what's going on for you? do you feel overwhelmed by your stuff? is it head stuff, heart stuff, or things that clutter your house (I bet there's a bit of each in there)
2. decide on one thing, one room, one issue and start there. eg stuff going on for you about how you feel about the way you look? then start with your wardrobe - or if that's too scary, your makeup bag. or, if you often stress about what you eat, start with the pantry. if you nag your kids heaps about cleaning up their own messes, start with their room.
3. be organised. get banana boxes from the supermarket. these are better than bags because as you're putting things in them you can still see it (I'm not that mean, there's always room to change you mind with this system). get 4 boxes. put labels on them:
a. chuck b. give away c. mend/repair d. might come in handy one day but doesn't need to live in this particular space - hereon called the mcih box
4. set time aside for this. allow 2 hours for first cull. ideally when there's noone else around so you're not being influenced by kids or significant others in your decisions. they'll get their say at a later date.
5. pick your startpoint (see above). put the boxes out and get going. go with first instinct and don't dither (time for that later). when the space is sorted it will look awesome and you'll probably have bulging boxes.
6. take the boxes to another location (so you're not tempted to put everything back straight away). now is the time to have another (quick) look over. get rid of the chuck box into the bin straight away. put the give away box aside to sort through for appropriate recipients. look at the mend and repair - how long have those things been broken? 6 months or more? will repair actually make the thing serviceable? is it going to cost anything - in $$ - to achieve this? would in fact, it be better to chuck?
finally the mcih long have you been mcihing this? more than 6 months? could you buy this thing at a future date if you REALLY needed it? could it be recycled into something else? or be mcih for someone else? would it in fact, be better to chuck?
7. Put the broken/repair box and the mcih box lids on. and put those boxes far far away from your living spaces - perhaps the garage? add to them as required but do not look at them otherwise for at least 3 months. i bet you forget about them. i bet the kids don't ask for the broken thing. i bet not one thing comes in handy.... when those boxes are full...chuck em....
i do this about twice a year. it now takes me less than a day to do the whole house. the benenfits are huge....
- less stuff to move
- less stuff to clean
- less stuff to nag the kids about cleaning up
- spend way less money as i don't want more stuff anymore
- more headspace to deal with the important stuff
as if by osmosis my children get the stuff idea...they are both happy to take part in a stuff-it session.
I made $400 on trademe last month, selling my stuff
i have so much more energy for the stuff that matters....