Routine

Well another silly season is behind us and now people are starting to return to the regular routines of their lives.

For me I’m finding it just a little bit exciting— the thought of returning to my usual activities is quite refreshing.

I love Christmas time and all the hype that goes with it.  Setting up the tree and decorating it.  Thinking and planning  food that is a little more special than the everyday; deciding what presents to get along with the anticipation of receiving one or two myself.  Almost routine, but with so many different Christmas parties to attend, life is hardly the usual run-of-the-mill.

So I embrace it all. Listening to carols and being really indulgent with naughty treats  is so much fun.   Then there is the planning for Christmas day.  I’ve done with catering for twenty-five or more and feeling utterly exhausted when they finally go home.    So this year we decided on a picnic again and invited my family to go with us. We selected a family-friendly beach, packed the food and enjoyed a lovely meal.  The water was warm for paddling and we played a bit with the frisbee and wandered along the shore.  The sun shone, there was a breeze and it was simply lovely.

Returning home, there wasn’t much to unpack so relaxation continued to be the order of the day.

New Year — well I’ve decided I’m past caring too much about seeing the old one out, so we had a quiet evening with a lovely cheese platter and a bottle of French champagne.

There — all done and dusted for another year.  Now back to the routine of living again.  It is nice to have a break from routine, which makes it all the better when you come back to it.  Perhaps I’m getting old?

So now to pack away the decorations, take out the tree and clean up the cards for another year.  And then to dust off the diary that I’ve neglected over the last couple of weeks.

I find the anticipation of the coming year exciting.  What excites you about the new year?

Happy New Year xxx

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Grounding

Its a beautiful sunny day in Geelong   Ross mentioned that he hadn’t been grounding for a while, so we decided to drive down to Eastern Beach and walk / wade in the water there.

A bit more about Grounding – according to http://www.groundology.com/au/about-grounding – “Grounding, or earthing, refers to connecting electrically with the Earth. A growing body of research is finding numerous health benefits as a result of the physical body being grounded.”

Call it whatever you like, it’s a very relaxing pastime. Although not a team sport, it is rather nice to do with someone else as I did today. The only requirement is to be barefoot, and to walk on earth, sand, and grass or in water.

On the positive side, there is nothing really to do other than walk along the beach or wade in the shallow water, so you are relaxing. It is also giving you fresh air and sunshine so a way of getting your Vitamin D quota on board. When there are small waves, as there were today, it can be quite mesmerising, so I tend to be off in another world.

I find it almost meditative, just allowing myself to be in the moment, not to think about the troubles that may await at home — dishes, ironing, cooking, dusting and vacuuming, not to mention family squabbles and the ever-present thoughts of loss.

There were other people about — lots of cars – it was difficult to find a park. There was a group playing soccer on the sand, people waling prams, walking dogs or just out for a stroll along the promenade. There were a couple of dogs enjoying a walk in the shallows too.

It really brought out the child in me, remembering how I often walked in the water at the beach near where I grew up. I’d look for treasures, carefully collecting small pieces of driftwood, seaweed and shells.

Today I picked up a shell, and by the time I got back to the car I had a stack of them tucked up in the front of my t-shirt – note to self – next time I need a bag to collect things.

I found a pretty sea urchin shell, seemingly intact but without occupants thank goodness – just a discarded home. Surprisingly there wasn’t much rubbish – I can recall seeing lots there on other visits, so it was pleasing to see. I also found a child’s small colourful rubber ball.

Going for a walk, whether it be along the beach or around the streets, contemplating Kelly’s death was something I found soothing in the early days. As the years have passed, I don’t have the need as much, but she is frequently part of my thoughts as I go on my daily walks.

Now I don’t really know what I will do with the shells, but. I’m looking forward to collecting more another day.

p.s:  Not such a sunny day today as when I wrote this post, but still a lovely one anyway.

 

Self-Care

As we move closer towards Christmas, it seems that we get busier.  Along with this comes multiple stressors — attending various social functions; decorating the house and tree; planning the gifts; preparing food and so on.  I’m sure that many of you could add another stress factor or two into the mix.
In past years I’ve had work commitments plus hosted christmas lunch.  Not that I ever had to do it all on my own, other family members shared the meal preparations, which has been great.  But there is always the worry that perhaps there won’t be enough food — the reality is that usually there is too much food, and we are stuck with all these leftovers despite sending food home with people!
Then there is the stress of money — or lack of.  Despite attempting to spread the load cost-wise for food, someone always seems to end up with a larger share.  Add to that the cost of buying presents then that can mean serious financial hardship.
In my early married life, I can remember sitting up till the wee hours on Christmas morning finishing off the gifts I’d made to save money.  There is a certain satisfaction in that, but it can also mean lots of stress.
Or the time we as a family made the decision that we weren’t going to buy presents for everybody, just for the children.  Then when we arrived with our share of the food, we discovered that not all of those attending had got this memo, and we were embarrassed because we didn’t have presents for everyone.  In hindsight that should have been our cue to turn around and go home, but unfortunately you cannot predict the future, so we stayed, had a great day until it all came unstuck because of too much alcohol.  But I prefer to remember the good parts of the day, because focusing on the unpleasant can lead to more stress.
So with all the stress surrounding us at this time of the year, what do we do to relieve it?
I  walk every day for a minimum of twenty minutes, which I find quite relaxing and rather therapeutic.  Then I use my essential oils, I diffuse them around the house, inhale them directly when I find myself getting uptight.  I also use them in a relaxing bath – Lavender plus  some Epsom salts, dim the lights, play some relaxing music and just lie there for twenty minutes or so.  It can really make such a difference in that it relaxes and sets you up for a great nights sleep.
Getting a good sleep is so important, especially at such a busy time.  After a good seven or eight hours you can achieve so much more, be calmer and can plan a lot better.
This year I’m making a point to take more care of myself, so I don’t get too stressed like past years.  Sometimes I just go and sit quietly, pick up my crochet and do a few rounds before getting back to my lists.  Deep breathing works well too.
So what will you do to de-stress this week?