Thursday, 30 September 2010

He loves me

After yesterday's open heart blog post, I arose this morning feeling post operative and rather sensitive. I was home alone for the most part of the day as Patrick had a 5am start. When he returned this afternoon I was eager to speed up the healing process and asked if he could help me get through this sticking point. He obliged.

I proceeded to explain that while I clearly knew I was having an overreaction to yesterday's bum burner incident, I was struggling to move on. After distilling my cocktail of emotions, I was able to identify the key feeling that started the domino effect. I felt 'forgotten', which in turn took me to the familiar story of being unloved.

While I cannot recall the initial incident that wrote the script, I can certainly remember the many occasions when this reaction played out like a theatrical drama. It would only take the the smallest trigger for me to translate it into 'they don't love me' and from then on it was lights, camera, action - the show was on.

As an adult I know that we all have moments when we say and do things that inadvertently hurt those we love, but that doesn't mean we no longer love them. This leads me to believe that our emotional scripts have been written by the hands of our younger selves LONG before we earned our pen licence. Something happened that we (with all the wisdom of a four year old) translated to mean that we're in some way unlovable, and from that moment on it become our truth.

Patrick was utterly brilliant this afternoon. Knowing that the genesis of my feelings occurred in 1970-something, he was able to create the space that enabled me to explore this freely.

Result? I was able to separate his actions from my recurring 'unlovable' saga and reach a point of peace. To top it all off, he put his arms around me in a reassuring embrace and said things that were for my ears only... and left me in the knowledge that he love me.

Until tomorrow, don't be afraid to ask those you love to help you through a sticking point.

Grace xx

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

He loves me... he loves me not...

You may recognise the shoes in this photo from a previous post titled 'Happy Little Camper' however I can assure you that what I'm about to write is not of my shoe addiction. Instead, I'm going to explore my addiction to feeling unloved in response to mishaps.

Earlier today Patrick and I got caught up in our work and consequently skipped lunch. We were both starving as we were preparing to head out for an appointment, when Patrick raided the fridge in search for some 'fast' food (rare in our household).

He claimed one of my favourite smallgoods produced in the Barossa Valley that we affectionately call a 'bum burner'. This tasty savoury delight is made with natural wood smoke in the authentic German tradition and is in a word, delicious.

I'd be lucky to have had half a dozen bum burners in the last five years, so yesterday I decided to purchase two tasty treats - one for the road trip and one for when we returned home, which did just before midnight last night.

Before I had a chance to ask for a bite, Patrick had eaten the entire thing (it's only about five-bites worth). Thinking that he was playing a joke I said "Come on, I know you wouldn't do that - pass it over here," to which he replied, "I am not joking. I was so hungry I ate it all." Then after a small pause he said, "That was so selfish of me".

It was at that point that a javelin went straight into my heart and I became bombarded by the all too familiar "He doesn't love me" inner dialogue. I was so upset that I instantly felt like drowning myself in a bottle of wine, gorging myself on ten KFC hot wings followed by a cheeseburger, several chocolate bars and three ice creams (one of them would have been a Magnum) all while smoking an entire packet of cigarettes (I still have some from a carton I purchased duty free in Hong Kong in 2007 for such occasions).

As these feelings of rage, rejection and questioning whether being married to Patrick after such an act would be possible, I bit my tongue (metaphorically). I knew something was going on beneath the surface that was causing all these toxic emotions. Feeling like United States of Tara, I kept switching from observer to being in the midst of fury and dejection.

Even now as I type I feel myself switching through opposing emotions. One minute I am a calm, insightful wise woman and the next - a crazed axe murderer (lucky for Pat, we don't have an axe... I wonder if dental floss can do any damage?).

I may not have had such a strong reaction had it been the last apple Patrick took, as we can easily trot to the local shops and buy more... but we are talking about the last BUM BURNER, which we've not had in this particular household since moving here four years ago - nor is it so easy to replace (an 8-hour drive, or $100 return flight to get another one).

Had this not happened today, I may not have been alerted as to how strongly I react when my 'unloved' feelings are triggered. Since starting Project Grace 2010 200 posts ago (yessirree, you read correctly - yesterday marked my 200th post), I found that the number of these episodes have markedly reduced. So much so, that today really took me by surprise.

As soon as the trigger goes off I experience a sequence of feelings starting with sadness and loneliness, followed by rage and fury that rises in my belly. I then have an overwhelming urge to abuse myself with food, alcohol and cigarettes. The yearning is strong, the desire is magnetic.

Is this longing for intoxication born out of the need to numb the pain, say 'f#ck you' to the world or to slowly kill myself? At this stage I don't know, though my guess is that it is probably a combination of all three.

For many years I did not have the strength, will power or self love to resist. Today I did.

I still don't know why I translated Patrick's self-confessed act of selfishness to mean that he doesn't love me, therefore my addiction to feeling unloved in response to mishaps continues to remain a mystery. I will, however, keep a close eye on this addiction over coming months.

In the meantime I'm grateful for the insight I have gained- though there are moments when I'd like to be vengeful and get my hands on another bum burner, tie Patrick to a chair and make him watch me eat it one teeny bite at a time. Ah, the power of imagination - I feel better already.

Until tomorrow, be sure to dig deeper if your reactions are bigger than what you're reacting to.

Grace xx

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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

On The Road Again

We are on the road to Melbourne.

Until tomorrow remember how KISS can save the moment (Keeping It Short & Simple - not the rock band)

Grace xx

Monday, 27 September 2010

Monday Morning in Melrose

Melrose main street

Isn't amazing how a few days in a quaint country town can revive one's spirit and soothe a restless soul?

Since arriving here four days ago, I have gone from an uptight frustrated quasi iPhone user to a chilled out, happy-go-lucky bloggess.

Yes, I'm back... with gusto. Now I have this new technology under my wings, there's no stopping me - not even remote Australian country towns, or French hotels with crappy internet connections for that matter.

There's something empowering about persisting through difficult, upsetting and frustrating situations to reach a level of peace, tranquility and accomplishment. 

Despite wanting to give up on several occasions I kept pushing on, albeit reluctantly. Now I am glad that I did.

Interestingly, the same thing happened yesterday whilst out on a 12.2km (7.58mi) return hike to the summit of Mt. Remarkable. 

Striding alongside two gorgeous gazelles with legs up to their armpits and looking fitter than images of Bruce Lee, I felt completely out of my league. My heart just about leapt out of my mouth as we raced up the fist steep incline and I was ready to pull out. But I didn't. 


I made it to the summit in one piece and returned to base within 3.5hours (2 less than the estimated time and in keeping pace with the gazelles). Though admittedly, I did not return in the same condition I left. I was distracted by a cute bunch of kids and tripped over a rock, landing flat on my boobs. Consequently I have some very sore body parts and bloody battle wounds. Ouch.

Despite all that, I am completely chuffed with myself for enduring and completing such an achievement. While my body may be aching, my soul is soaring.

Until tomorrow, persist through your challenges and rise to the top... even if you do fall over in the process.

Grace xx

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday Sentence

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."
- Sir Edmond Hilary

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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Saturday Quiz No.9

It's been a while since the last Saturday quiz and today we have to keep it simple. I'm still in Melrose with no internet connection other than my iPhone 4.

So without any images today's quiz relates to today's AFL (Australian Rules Football) Grand Final that ended in a draw and requires a rematch next week.

Today's question is: When was the last time this happened?

Bonus questions: Who were the two teams? And what was the final result?

As for the winner of Saturday Quiz No.8's double delight, that would be recent birthday boy Garrie AKA Top Gun Tenor. Gaz guessed correctly and has one a virtual jacuzzi which can be enjoyed in the blink of an eye anywhere anytime.

Until Monday have a grand Sunday.

Grace xx

Friday, 24 September 2010

Keep the wheels turning

Keep the wheels turning

I have absolutely no idea what I am doing right now.

I am laying on my bed in Melrose and am attempting to upload a picture AND post my blog with a new app(lication). Who'd have thought it would have taken me so long to work all this out?

If I'd have known I'm sure I would have ditched this whole idea.

All I can say that it might be possible to teach an old dog new tricks, all you have to do is make sure the wheels keep turning.

Until tomorrow, keep at it even when you're over it.

Grace xx

Thursday, 23 September 2010


Okay so I am in Adelaide without internet connection and relying on my new iPhone 4.

While I've had lots of fun learning and immersing myself into the world of 'aps', I must admit that I am somewhat frustrated that I cannot proceed with my blog the way I have become accustomed to.

Take for example the image. I cannot upload my own photos no matter how many times I've tried. I'm sure there is a way (and would greatly appreciate any tips), however I've gone past the point of inquisition and now I'm just annoyed.

Has the novelty worn off already? Or am I so settled on my ways that I resist change? Perhaps I am a creature of habit after all.

Tomorrow we head up north to the southern Flinders Ranges where the earth is russet and the sky a blazing blue. I endeavour to master this new device so I can delight you with amazing photos. In the meantime, please bear with me as I work this thing out.

Until tomorrow, persist in learning something new for if we are not expanding - we are contracting.

Grace xx

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hello... Is it me you're looking for?

I am so excited

I have FINALLY got an iPhone 4 after patiently waiting for over a fortnight.

I am now in Adelaide getting acquainted with my new toy. I feel like a seven year old on Christmas morning. Thankfully this toy already has a working battery in it.

I am doing this post entirely on my iPhone as my laptop is unable to pick up our neighbour's trusty wifi, so please excuse any wierdness in appearance.

Tomorrow we prepare to head to Melrose in the Southern Flinders Ranges, where I'm certain there'll be many adventures ahead.

Until tomorrow, be sure to try something new even if it takes fifty times longer than normal.

Grace xx

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Sometimes I get so involved with what I'm doing that I barely come up for air, much less breakfast lunch or tea.

My skin becomes pale, the shadows under my eyes grow darker and I couldn't tell you what the weather is like outside.

I have no concept of time and can operate on as little as two hours sleep, night after night.

I become completely absorbed in the task at hand and nothing, or no one, can distract me. I am in a word, a hermit.

While I know this is not exactly healthy, I simply cannot tear myself away. This is where I am at right now and have been like this since Mission Defrostible, which took place three weeks ago.

Tomorrow this will change. I am leaving the confines of my four walls and heading to Adelaide for a week (Patrick is running MTB skills camps in Melrose, in the southern Flinders Ranges).

I have mixed feelings about this. While I'm looking forward to the fresh country air and reconnecting with loved ones, there's a part of me that just wants to continue with my mission to transform my living environment.

I am interested to see how this time away will impact my enthusiasm. Will it arrest the momentum or create a greater desire to finish off the job?

We will see.

Until tomorrow, be wary of spending too much time on your tasks at hand and be sure to come out of your confines to say peek-a-boo.

Grace xx

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Monday, 20 September 2010

What's cookin' good lookin'?

Last week I embarked on a massive cleaning, clearing, sorting, organising, painting, hammering, shifting and redecorating mission.

'One Word Week' was something I came up with to minimise blog time and maximise mission time.

Each day I chose a word that summed up my day, which in itself was challenging.

One Word Week is now over yet my mission is still going - so I'll continue to focus on short blogs.

This is a very exciting time for me. I can feel change stirring in my belly (and no, it wasn't last night's cannellini beans). While the source of my recent busying is a mystery to me, I know that I'm cooking up a storm - though I don't exactly know what (or why).

I am directing this bizarre burst of domestic energy and enthusiasm into altering my environment, despite not having any concrete plans. It's all a bit of a mystery, much like the way I cook. I simply start by chopping vegetables and the dish reveals itself. Perhaps the same will happen with my current domestic mission.

Until tomorrow, just start and see where it leads.

Grace xx

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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Friday, 17 September 2010

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Monday, 13 September 2010

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Begin with the end in mind."
- Stephen Covey

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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday Quiz No.8 - Double Delight

Saturday Quiz No.8 is still up for grabs and we have yet to spot one of the 10 differences in yesterday's challenge.

So today, I'm doing a double delight and putting both quizzes on one page.

So here it is... Saturday Quiz No.8 (reposted) and yesterday's Spot the Difference challenge.

To get the ball rolling, I'll give you Clue 1 - It is Australian slang.

Enjoy the challenge and I look forward to reading your answers in the comments below.

Until Monday, have a glorious Sunday.

Grace xx

ps. A BIG Happy Birthday to Top Gun Tenor and former No.1 commenter Garrie (it's okay Gaz, I know you've been busy settling into your new city). Have a great day and I hope that all of your wishes come true.
Hip hip hooray.

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Friday, 10 September 2010

Spot the Difference

Another mammoth day spring cleaning and I am completely exhausted.

My brain is too tired to come up with words and my eyes are too weary to notice spelling mistakes so I'm taking the easy way out...

I'm playing a game!

It's a time-honoured favourite called 'Spot the Difference'.

At first sight, you might be inclined to think that today's photo is the same as yesterday's, only there's something about it that you can't quite put your finger on it.

(It's a good thing you have 10 digits as that's how many you'll need to put on each of the differences)

I thought this bit of playful fun is quite apt after my bout of frenzied cleaning mania (which is still going I might add - at this rate I'll be cleaning till Christmas). To my eyes our kitchen looks completely different, however to someone who is not so intimate with the space, it just looks a little more sparkly.

Then I realised that this phenomenon doesn't stop at my freshly spruced up kitchen - it happens all the time. What about when you see someone for the first time after they've shaved off their moustache? changed their hairstyle? had cosmetic surgery? or acquired prescription eye wear? You just KNOW that there's something different about them, but you just can't pick it.

Equally, you don't notice when your cupboards start to bulge full of unwanted crap. You just know that you can no longer close your drawers, nor find your favourite serving spoons (which you later discover to be buried under 50kg (110 pounds) of useless utensils that you've never used in your entire adult life).

It's funny how our ability to spot differences is diminished when they're not side by side.

As much as I'd love to continue this conversation, my brain has just said "No more, we did a deal called Spot the Difference and you're about to breach it".

So with that, I bid you good night once more. Enjoy the game (answers in comments below) and I'm sure all this spring cleaning will amount to some incredible epiphany, which I'll be sure to share with you.

Until tomorrow, be observant and learn to spot differences - especially in cupboards, moods, behaviours and breasts.

Grace xx

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Thursday, 9 September 2010

Spring Cleaning

I spent the day elbow deep in boxes, cupboards and containers as I cleaned, sorted, moved, dumped and organised my living space.

My clothes are dirty, nails are soft, fingers look like prunes and kitchen looks like a tornado went through it - and I feel great.

I am right in the midst of spring cleaning and am totally loving it.

I always thought 'spring cleaning' was as passé as chicken à la king and cherry advocaat. I imagined it was something a 1950's housewife would do between baking cookies and waiting for her hair in rollers to dry. I never envisaged myself doing it, much less loving it (sure I clean, but not SPRING clean).

It all happened organically.

After Mission Defrostible I developed a burning desire to reconfigure my cupboards and cull a few items that haven't seen the light of day in five years. However I came down with a cold the following day, and have consequently spent the last week nursing my miserable self.

This uncharacteristic urge to be domestic began to feel like an itch that I couldn't scratch. With each passing day, the metaphorical itch turned into a virtual body rash and I was completely consumed by a yearning to rework my kitchen.

When I roused this morning, I let out a little yelp of delight. I could once again breathe out of both nostrils (woohoo). Within minutes of Patrick departing for work, I got straight into my cupboards and did not stop till he returned ten hours later.

It's now very late. I'm extremely tired and am struggling to string sentences together. There's a very young John Wayne on the TV, which would indicate that we are now in the wee hours of the morning. So goodnight for now, it's off to bed I go.

How does the story end?

Tomorrow I'll let you know.

Until then, allow things to evolve organically and it feels like you're living orgasmically.

Grace xx

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Climax Scene Really Got To Me

Last week I was introduced to Zuiikin' English, a Japanese television series launched in 1992.

This quirky program combines English lessons with tragic, not-quite-aerobic, exercises to repetitive hypnotic synthesised tunes (if you can call them that).

What I found most interesting was the bizarre choice of phrases.

Unlike Coffee Break French lessons that are full of practical questions and statements, Zuiikin' English will have you saying things like,
  • Spare me my life (you'd hope you'd never have to say that)
  • I was robbed by 2 men (too bad if you're robbed by 3 women)
  • How dare you say such a thing to me (useful)
  • Leave me alone (somewhat useful)
  • It's your fault that this happened (very useful)
  • I can't stand the sight of you (most useful)
  • You drive me crazy (imperative)
  • Let's go Dutch (no comment)
  • I have a bad case of diarrhea (oh dear)
  • Hasta la vista, baby (what the?)
The one that completely fascinated me (and had me perplexed as to why I was never taught this in French class) was, "The climax scene really got to me." Yes you read it correctly, the climax scene really got to me. And you know what? IT DID.

Since that fateful day, I have not been able eliminate those words from my vocabulary. You can hear me sing them in the shower, as I prepare meals, during trips to the water closet and when I ready myself for bed. In truth, I have been singing them in almost every waking moment.

I have now reached a point where I am bordering insanity. In such trying times I turn to Kylie Minogue for answers and the words 'I can't get you out of my head' came to me. The solution became clear - I had to get these words out of my head and onto paper (or in this case, my blog).

I trust the healing process has begun and I can get on with my life without climax scenes (or that friggin' song) ever getting to me again.

Until tomorrow, learn to get things out of your head and onto paper (or into a computer) to save yourself from going insane.

Grace xx

ps. I have embedded the infectious video below for those who are daring enough to watch it (email subscribers, click here).

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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Encore what?

It appears that yesterday's post struck a chord with some of you, and for that I am delighted.

I received a number of encouraging responses, which did wonders for my mojo.

Then, unexpectedly, my confidence took a dive after having a head on collision with the following words, "I enjoy all of your posts ... however this is by far the best one yet."

One would think such a comment would set my self esteem soaring, and it did for a while. However the high was short lived. Just as one's body comes crashing down after the sugary rush of a chocolate bar, so too did my confidence after the sugary sweet words of that compliment.

What followed was an evening devoted to creating a follow up post that equalled or bettered the one before. This led to disturbing obsessive behaviours that had me frantically searching for ideas, inspiration, something (anything) that would make an apt encore. I looked everywhere except under my bed (which is full of shoes, so that might have been a good move).

After six hours of such nonsense, I had nothing. It is past midnight and I STILL don't know what to write. Then I remembered the Aero chocolate bar advertisement ,"It's the bubbles of nothing that make it really something." So perhaps that's it. This post is about nothing.

So why did I come up with nothing today, when I really had something yesterday? Why did those words "best one yet" turn me into a fruit loop? Do musicians with No.1 hits go through the same madness?

Talking about No.1 hits, did you know that I wrote a song over two years ago and was told by a music professional that it had all the hallmarks of a No.1 hit? Did you also know that I haven't taken any steps into producing it? That's right - I've done nothing. Perhaps there is a pattern here - hmmmm...

Until tomorrow, I'd be grateful to you if you had any insights for me.

Grace xx

PS. It's just gone 1am here and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is just starting. I can't believe it's still aired on TV - how fantastically retro is that? Oooooh the sexy helicopter pilot just crossed the screen, I once had a crush on him. Yay for Skippy!

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Monday, 6 September 2010

My Dad, my hero

Yesterday we celebrated Father's Day.

I realise how lucky I am that my relationship with my father has prospered over the years, though it was not always that way.

My father and I both share a strong will, which at times had us locking horns - especially during my adolescence.

Distance made our hearts grow fonder when, at the age of 21, I moved to London. During the second year of my stay, Dad came to visit me (pictured above) and we had a great time being tourists together. I found it wonderful to connect with him in a way that was foreign to me and made me feel 'grown up'.

At the end of my two-year sojourn, I left London to live in the South Australian country town of Gawler (between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley) for a further six years before returning to Melbourne aged 29. Being on the cusp of the big 3-0, I thought I was well and truly grown up (haha, how wrong I was). So you could imagine how utterly perplexed I was to find myself behaving like I was 15 again.


I distinctly remember looking into the mirror and asking myself "What are you doing? Why are you being like this?". Somehow I had regressed. What happened between London and returning home?

I figured that being in new surroundings was like a clean slate. There's no history, no triggers and you can create something new - a bit like building a new home. Find a patch of land and start from scratch.

However I had come home to a place that was steeped in history, old patters, triggers and reactions. My teenage behaviour was as shocking to me as walking into a house with original mission brown cupboards and lime green Formica bench tops - it was SO OUTDATED. I needed to renovate and refurbish my relationship with father.

From that moment I got to work. I started peeling off the wallpaper - the facade of what I saw my father to be, and revealed the human being beneath. I saw a little boy who grew up to be a man. I sensed someone who had dreams and disappointments, elation and sadness, courage and fear, loneliness and joy, mistakes and triumphs. Someone not at all too different to me.

We expect so much from our parents and I don't think many of us stop and realise they are just human beings. We are particularly unforgiving of their shortcomings, especially in relation to us, our family and upbringing. We expect them to be faultless, and yet we begrudge anyone else having such unrealistic expectations of us.

So today, post Father's Day, I'd like to make a special tribute to my dad.

Dad, thank you for not being so hard on me as I have been on you. Thank you for forgiving me, loving me and accepting me, despite my many erroneous ways. Thank you for giving me a second, third, fourth and fifth chance (and any more I may have missed). Thank you for enabling our relationship to grow. I am so proud of you, for all your inventions, your creative solutions and all that you have achieved. You are a genius, you are my hero, and I love you.

Until tomorrow, remember that your parents are human beings and we didn't come with an instruction manual.

Grace xx

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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Sunday Sentence

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope."
- Bill Cosby

Today is Father's Day in Australia. Here's wishing all Dads a great day with lots of soaps-on-ropes.

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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Saturday Quiz No.8

And now the moment you've all been waiting for - it's time for Saturday Quiz No. 8 [clap, cheer, roar].

After testing today's quiz on Patrick, he suggested that I give a few clues - so if it's too easy, please send all complaints to him.

The rules remain the same... please answer in the comments section below (if you're reading this on email, then you'll have to visit the blog by clicking on the heading).

And now for last week's quiz results...

leelee needed a few clues, which were provided by Liza and Garrie - the clue being Eliza Doolittle who was the character in My Fair Lady.

Then we had three correct guesses from the lovely Kirajmartin, whom I virtually met via an organisation for women with POF (if you need to refresh your memory what that means, then click here), Kmbspeedy, who is this week's mystery guesser (would love to know more about you) and fellow bloggess Diana Kennedy, who does amazingly creative and inspiring scrap booking.

All three guessed "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain," which is what Eliza Doolittle practised repeatedly in the aforementioned film.

Congratulations to all three of you!

You've each won this week's über deluxe prize, which is a 100% virtual trip on a private yacht through the Greek islands. The trip includes Champagne sunsets after your daily relaxation massages, while your personal on-board chef prepares fresh gourmet meals at your request. This trip can be taken anytime you close your eyes, so waste not a moment longer and enjoy!

Until Monday, have a blissful Sunday.

Grace xx

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Friday, 3 September 2010

Bending over backwards & the art of flexibility

If there's one thing that I've learned this last decade is that it pays to be flexible.

Bending over backwards can be rewarding - it can win you a cocktail in a Fijian limbo competition (pictured right, and yes that is me circa 1998), not to mention give you opportunities in life that you could never have imagined.

Having flexibility means you can alter your course to navigate through life's opportunities, detours and roadblocks - however there's an art to it.

Excessive flexibility could translate into not having enough structure. It could pose as many problems as being too rigid. Questioning the degree of my flexibility, is where I'm at right now.

Have I been too flexible? Is my voyage through life's milestones taking much longer than it should? I will be turning 40 in exactly two months time and I am nowhere near where I thought I'd be at this age. No children, no career that I'm passionate about (though lots of little jobs that I am) and no place that feels like home.

Yet on the flip side, I have had so many amazing life experiences that I would not trade for the world. I have little possessions of value, yet my memory bank is rich with priceless treasures and so too are my photo albums. I am also surrounded by those I love and who love me - hence my heart is equally abundant.

I remember having an epiphany when I saw my grandfather in his aged care facility just a few months before he passed. He had nothing left. No possessions other than his clothes and a few photos, no occupation that he was passionate about and no place that felt like home. He did however, have his family, memories and stories. In the end, experiences and the people in his life accounted for more than things.

While I have no intention of departing this earth anytime soon, I am at a crossroads in terms of where I want to go and what I want to do.

On one hand I am completely intoxicated over the thought of being in Europe every summer to host cycling tours and visiting Asia on the way home. Yet on the other, I am wondering that if I don't have any children (my next option would be to pursue adoption), what will become of my maternal love and who will I tell my stories to? Perhaps you reading this blog will do.

Until tomorrow, be sure to find the balance between over-flexibility and rigidity... then tell me about it.

Grace xx

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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Rock n Roll and the Emergency Oxygen Mantra

There are times in life when I just want to bust loose and let my hair down.

In my former life, that would have meant a big night on the fun juice and murder on the dance floor. However as a borderline teetotaller, letting my hair down means getting out my air guitar and thrashing it out with full constipated facial expressions.

If I were to really break loose, I'd climax by trashing an imaginary hotel room and skidding across a polished floor on my knees (I have indeed mimed outrageous rock concerts with minors, wigs, sans intoxication and with tears of laughter - oh yeah, rock n roll baby).

This desire to burst out into imaginary mayhem usually happens after a spell of feeling constrained. You know - like being a 'good girl' (or boy) by saying the right things, being sensible, highlighting what you 'should' do and defining what you need to do - all the things that mess with your head, kill your spirit and essentially have you feeling dull.

I know, I know, I can almost hear you say "but you've just been to France, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and done a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, PLUS you've got India (and Bali - I haven't told you about that yet) on the horizon - how does dull enter your vocabulary?"

Truth is, dullness creeps in if I let it.

Having been brought up in a culture where pleasing others is a sure way of avoiding guilt, I find that over time I revert back to this way of being. After all, it is my default setting (you might recall I wrote a post about this called 'Why is it so hard to put yourself first?').

My default setting, when activated, has ways of dulling me. It slowly kills off my mojo and dampens my spirit. It turns me into something I don't want to be. I have discovered that overriding my default setting is like someone learning to write with the opposite hand. Each time they go to pick up a pen, they habitually reach for it with their default hand - therefore they must consciously choose the new hand each time.

For those of us instinctively wanting to put others in front of ourselves, we have to remember the in-flight emergency protocol (which is rapidly becoming my mantra). It is essential that we fit the oxygen mask onto ourselves before helping others. Yes, I know I've said this before and I'm saying it again for all that are hardwired to guilt. We have to repeat this over and over and OVER again so we 'get' it.

I know for one thing, I am a much better person all round when I am not dying inside - and I'm sure that those who surround me are also grateful. If not for my joyfulness, enthusiasm and energy, it'd be because they no longer have to put up with my bad imaginary rock concerts.

Until tomorrow, reduce your need to bust loose with the emergency oxygen mantra.

Grace xx

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Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The 4th Grace

Today is my favourite day of the year.

The 1st of September marks the first day of spring here in Australia (though someone forgot to tell the weather gods about that today).

There's something about spring that is promising, despite the weather. The days will become longer, birds will sing and blossoms will spring. Out of all the seasons, spring is the most optimistic and for that I love it.

The first day of spring also marks the birthday of one of my gorgeous and dear friends. I have just finished cooking her a wholesome meal and am taking five (or twenty) to write this piece. So forgive me if it's brief.

As I looked about the place for an image that would grace this day's post, I noticed a painting hanging on the wall. As it turns out the title of the work is 'The Three Graces' which naturally begs the question, who's the fourth? (doesn't it?)

Not having to look further past my reflection in the mirror, the fourth Grace is indeed me. So I whipped off my shirt and after a few attempts at acting naturally nude, we agreed this photo was the more candid (of course it is). Interestingly, the photo was number 333 (half the devil's number - should I be scared?)

Okay, I'm rambling and trying to tie all of this together into a masterpiece - so here goes...

If each of the Graces depicted on the painting represents a season, then the fourth Grace (aka me) would have to be spring. Since starting Project Grace 2010, I have blossomed. I am wearing more colour than ever before (that is, when I'm actually wearing clothes - though the beads do give a good insight into shades of coral that can be found on my threads).

I feel like I'm coming out of a long dark winter. The days ahead are promising and there is a sense of optimism in the air... just like spring.

Until tomorrow, may there be a spring in your step no matter the weather.

Grace xx

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