Paying it forward at Christmas time

I had my early Christmas with the kids on Saturday night, as they will be at their dad’s for ‘real’ Christmas. So now that it’s over I decided I may as well start packing up all the red, green & gold and start getting ready to pack for moving.

To help with the moving process I’ve been selling off items that I don’t really need, and things I just can’t be bothered moving. So, when I came across a post in a local “freecycle” group asking for Christmas decorations I figured I didn’t really need to take all my decorations with me to the new place. A new place will need new Xmas stuff, right?

I inboxed the person for their address and then packed up almost every Christmassy item I had. This included the decorations and lights off the tree, my tablecloth and runner, and other Santa laden paraphernalia, along with some boxes of chocolate biscuits, crackers and nuts etc (hamper type stuff) and delivered it all to a very grateful family.

The family with 4 children had recently moved into emergency accommodation in order to be close to their surgeon. One of the children had been in hospital for the past 3 months and recently received a special type of stomach surgery. As if that isn’t enough, the family who had been living out of town prior to their hospital stay, came home to a ransacked house. Hence the emergency accommodation and the need for basically everything.

The mother told me they are hoping to move into a proper rental soon and start over, but in the meantime they had to stay there. The children were excited to get the big bag of Christmas things, but I wish I had more to offer them.

The first Christmas

This year will be the first time the Ex and I won’t be under the same roof for Christmas with the kids. Even when we had separated, the Ex had stayed for Christmas.

We decided to alternate who has the kids for Christmas from now on. I told the Ex he could have the first one. So the kids will be at his Christmas Eve, and then I have to take the kids to my mum’s for Chrissy lunch.

Lunch will be..interesting, as the Ex is coming and M may also be there. However, the Ex has said he may not come now because he “will want to punch M in the face”. For no reason other than the fact I am with him now, despite being separated from the Ex for 2 years. He doesn’t know M at all, and refuses to meet him but seems to have no problem in making negative comments about M to the kids, and telling the kids to keep everything he says “a secret”..

I’m planning on having ‘my’ Christmas with the kids this weekend, ie. Tomorrow, but I still haven’t finished my shopping yet. I am SO unorganised.

In my defence though, there has been a lot going on in my life right now so it’s not surprising. Last weekend M and I had ‘his’ Christmas with Lil’ C. It was good to see that it’s not just my kids who are intent on consuming copious amounts of candy at any sneaky cost lol.

It was really lovely to be able to be a part of M and Lil’ C’s Christmas, and I’m excited and grateful that M will be a part of our ‘first’ Christmas.

Going ‘All In’

Life isn’t about avoiding risks; it’s about making calculations & going all in with the things you love.

Risk and happiness go hand in hand. We take risks in pursuit of something that will satisfy us in some way; whether it be putting another dollar in the pokies machine to try and win big, presenting a new idea to your boss in hopes to further your career, or trying to blow up your frenemy’s mailbox without getting busted. All of these risks we take, we do it to make ourselves happy. Or at least, because we believe that it’s what will make us happy.

Admittedly, there have been many times I have taken a risk in order to secure some form of happiness for myself – but then things didn’t quite go as I had hoped or believed they would. I’m sure you can relate. Well, I am now entering a new stage of my life. One that comes with possibly the biggest risks I’ve ever taken in my life, this mostly being because my children are involved, so there is a lot at stake. My new partner, who I fell in love with so quickly (despite believing that I was determined to remain single for the rest of my life), my children and myself have made a huge decision to move to a new town and start a new life together. New town, new house (which is huge – yay!), new school (which is small – yay!), new friends (well, I’ll have to work on that..heh). I’ll be closer to my BFF, not too far from my parents, and M will be closer to his daughter, Lil’ C (who I have yet to write about, but Lil’ C is a 3 1/2 yo darling with a healthy dose of sass about her). I’ll be able to walk the kids to school, continue studying, and if I decide to return to work there are far more options for me.

But the risks, there are plenty. Aside from the obvious financial, social, emotional and psychological risks, there is also the Ex to deal with. I’m certain things will get worse before they get better on that point. I’m uncertain what will happen with M and I, considering how fast we are doing all of these big things, but we’re not going to find out if we don’t take the chance we’ve been given. As the awful and overused acronym claims – You only live once.

What have you taken a risk on lately?

It’s the small things

Sometimes life can move so fast that we forget to take time to notice and appreciate the small things that make us happy. I’ve had a bumpy ride over the last 9 years, and some of you may recall that almost 2 years ago I left my fiance, the father of my 4 children. Well, solo parenting brought on a whole new set of challenges in itself, as you can imagine, and at times it has been difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Why have I done this to myself? Have I done the right thing? Am I still being a good parent? Will my existence solely gravitate around piles of washing and school runs?

With this line of thought I’ve often forgotten to take a step back, a long look at where I am, and just give myself a pat on the back. I’m here, the kids are here, we’re all alive. Well done.

For the first year of my solo life I steered well clear of male species. I had an utter disliking for the lot of them. I didn’t need them. I didn’t want them. I’m a boss mumma and I can do this shit on my own. And I did. And I ran myself into the fucking ground.

Last year I made a New Years resolution that I was determined to keep. It was about focusing on doing what makes me happy. Seems simple enough, right? Only when it’s been ingrained in you to always put other people’s happiness before your own, it can be a challenge. I’m not a selfish person (don’t laugh now), so making a conscious decision to be what have generally not been before didn’t come naturally.

I decided to start with things that didn’t affect others in anyway, like my health and fitness. Mental health was a top priority here, and also one of the main reasons for this resolution in the first place. Having suffered from social anxiety most of my life, I decided to tackle that first as it impedes on many things that I could be doing. I’ve attempted to “get help” several times before, but when you’re scared of talking to people..well, it’s pretty difficult to tell them what’s up. I went and saw a new Doctor, a lovely young lady. She had a calming, comforting nature, so when I saw her about another issue I managed to blurt out at the end that I wanted help with my anxiety. That was when I laced up my hiking boots and started climbing back up that metaphorical hill. I was on my way.

With the help of my new Doctor I started getting my anxiety in check. I’m still not “there” where I would like to be, but I have come a long way. My physical fitness improved as I had joined Roller Derby at the start of the year (which is a great sport, support your local roller derby team, ladies!), and I exercised regularly at home. I was beginning to feel like me again. I picked up another unit in my Bachelor of Arts (which I’ve been studying from home), and also began a Diploma of Web Development, because combining subjects I enjoy with potential careers will hopefully lead to a job I enjoy.

As my health and social skills improved I realised that there’s only so much one can do on their own to make themselves happy. I was lonely. [nawww..] I had started talking to friends more, but what I craved was regular adult conversation, interaction, attention and yes, affection. A whole person that actually wants to make me happy. I decided to be open to the possibility, and over the course of a few months I had met some really nice people. Things got a little complicated at one stage, but I can safely say that I have met someone (M) who genuinely makes me happy, and makes me feel like I am enough.

Last night I experienced a small (but huge) win with my son T, and this I can surely attribute to the presence of M. Since about the age of 3, T has had an aversion to certain foods. Or, you could say he just had a very short list of food he will eat, and there were conditions that had to be met in order for these food items to be considered fit for eating. It mostly consisted of single/separated food items that didn’t touch each other, and NO sauce/dressing etc. EVER. God forbid you put sauce on his food.. Over the years we’ve made small gains but it’s still extremely hard to get T to eat properly, even harder to get him to try something new.

Last night while the kids were eating their ‘regular’ type of dinner, M was making wraps  (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, baby spinach, chicken etc.) for himself and I. Well T saw this and asked if he could have one. This isn’t strange in itself, as T often asks for things but once they are in front of him he will refuse to even try it, even if he has picked every single ingredient that went into it. What was different about this was when we sat down to eat, T sat down and ate too – he ate whole salad wrap. Every single piece of new food. Even when it started to fall out and he could properly see what it was, he still ate it. I am so proud of him, and so happy. I think that with a second adult in the house now, especially a male, is going to have a good impact on T, as well as the other kids.

And just quietly, myself too..

6 months

Six months. Half of 52 weeks, whatever that is.

That’s how long it has been since my last post, and 5 days shy of a whole year since I started blogging again. I’m not doing a very good job, am I?

But just because I haven’t been blogging, it does not mean that I have disappeared from the blogosphere altogether. I am still in regular contact with several of my old school blogger friends, and if you look very very closely you’ll see I am still hanging around the Digital Parents blogging community.

I feel like a bit of a shitty blogger. Aside from the obvious lack of posts, I have also been very absent on other blogs. How are you all? I will have have to do a massive catch up. And clearly some life updates will be required on my behalf. Hopefully they will come. Maybe I will get back into the swing of things. My “free therapy” and venting, my documenting and sharing.. maybe I’ll see you around :)