This Christmas holiday break has not felt like a break at all!!! I, in my greatness of wisdom decided to do a study period consisting of two subjects smack bang in the middle of a BLOODY HOLIDAY!!!! Seriously who studies at this time of year???? Not only have I been stressed out to my eyeballs studying, sadly my Father-in-law passed away just before Christmas. I tell you now, it’s very hard to concentrate when you are faced with all of this going on.
I want to be strong, I want to excel like some freaky Wonder women (does she even exist??) I want to be a mum to my son and a wife to my husband who just lost his dad and I want to be happy and have my sanity to remain intact. But let me inform you all, I’m losing it, I’m not strong at the moment and I’ll never be a freaky wonder women and my Son and husband deserve a mum and wife who’s sanity is in tact.
Today I went for coffee but I ordered a chi latte instead (gosh they’re nice) and before you know it I’m offloading all my crap to the girl who works at Gloria Jeans. I was explaining how next study period I will drop a subject so that I can recover my sanity. She said “no way! get it all over and done with as soon as you can” I said “NO!! noooooo waaaaay” I then commenced to give her a monologue of Tamarphilosophy of why one must not try to get things over and done with.
I was on a roll I expressed with passion that “it’s not worth it, what’s the point of getting there quickly when you haven’t enjoyed the journey. getting a degree doesn’t define who I am. For goodness sake I’m 39 and it took me this long to finally begin to study. what’s the rush??? I value my happiness. What kind of mum can I be to my child who has a disability if I’m stressed out bawling my eyes out every day??? It’s the tortoise that got there first!! Slow and steady wins the race. Being healthy isn’t just physical but mental too. This society puts too much pressure for people to rush. Everyone’s rushing and not taking the time to just enjoy their life. I am not that person, I need holidays, I need my heart to be restful, I need to go a slower pace, I need to enjoy the journey and that’s what I intend to do”
So!!! that’s me, just offloading my crap to the girl at Gloria Jeans!!!!!
Today I lost my Iphone and unbelievably when I realised it was missing and not at Gloria Jeans where I last saw it, I burst into tears. If it was somebody else this had happened to I would have thought “that’s a bit of an extreme reaction”. However it was ME crying over a piece of plastic, metal or whatever it’s made of???
Why did I have this reaction? Perhaps it’s because of all the things I’ve got stored on my iphone? It carries so much information that is personal like my Facebook and Instagram among other things. It has, at the moment well over 1000 photo’s that are important to me. It also serves the practical purpose of my watch and an alarm clock.
When I called my husband (from my home land line phone) I was in serious tears. Can you really believe it??? Tears, I was sobbing!! Bless Jason he then said “come on lets pray right now” and it had a nice calming effect on me.
Afterwards as I was sitting on my lounge I was pondering about the call on my life, you know things like; what would God have me do now that I’m pulling back from worship leading, what are my true passions and what would I like to do with my future? You wouldn’t believe it, big chunky tears rolling down my face. You would think I’d had enough of crying for one day!!!!
Tonight I got a much reliving call from a nice old lady who had found my iphone. Phew!!! Glad that’s over!!
Today I am car-less as my Husband needed the car to attend a training day for his work. My Son’s Grandma took him to school so it’s like a have an almighty free day today. My plan was to take a big walk around the lake which is just down the hill from my place and enjoy a nice rewarding coffee at the funky cafe I recently found.
I woke this morning to a very chilly and windy day and thought I may need to come up with another plan for the day. I decided instead of a big adventure walk that I’ll take a 15min dash down to the local shopping center. I armed myself with my book, took myself to Gloria Jeans and had a lovely morning reading and doing coffee.
I have no shame, yes!!! I am a fair weather adventurer and that’s okay. Well to be kind to myself I had to walk in the freezing cold for 15mins TWICE!!!!
Most days I cope extremely well with VCFS, but there are some days I don’t cope at all. Our family lives with VCFS everyday and it’s something that we never asked for. I do not feel sorry for myself nor do I ask for pity. Pity only enables one to stay trapped in a quagmire of unbelief and only cripples all from moving forward.
When I was first informed of our Son’s diagnoses of VCFS I was devastated. Grief came as I had to come to terms that my Son had a syndrome and what did that mean?? I cried every day for three weeks and I lamented for my little boy who we love very much. After the three weeks I stopped crying and decided that I needed to start being an advocate for my Son and so I did.
My first step was to reach out and find other parents who were facing the same thing as us. that’s where I made contact with VCFS 22q11 Foundation and spoke with Melinda the then president of the foundation. Stepping out and meeting other’s in the same situation is very empowering because you find that you are not alone.
Most of my coping comes from knowing Jesus and that I can put my faith in him. This is especially beneficial when things become really tough and I haven’t got a clue what to do next. I believe a lot of the strategies that have come through was a result of prayer with my wonderful supportive church community.
The other things that help me cope is going to all my coffee support groups. unfortunately most of my VCFS community don’t live close by (but there is facebook) so I just join local groups. Even though VCFS isn’t their issue we still battle the same issues, such as grief and always feeling like your on public display just to name a few things.
I Also found taking my journal to a local cafe weekly such a regenerating and refreshing experience. I get to diffuse and off load all my stuff onto the pages of my journal and it feels good!! I also get to meet many people while I’m there and that too gives me happy feelings.
My attitude towards VCFS is another way in which I cope day-to-day. I find that embracing it helps as I can’t do a thing to change it. I cannot make it better so I see it as a door to a whole different world. This world is not bad and has given me much joy as I meet other children who have various disabilities and they are all beautiful.
I find it interesting that something could be bothering you in such a way that you don’t recognise it’s such a burden until it’s gone. At the beginning of term this year my cafe journaling was interrupted by an unexpected situation that I would never have predicted ever!!!
I ended up having coffee with a guy that i’d met through one of my coffee support group’s. He seemed okay at first until it went a bit weird and creepy. He gave me a look that suggested that we both had different reason’s for sharing a coffee and I did not like it. At that moment, I realised that I could not come here again at this time on this day because it was clear that he’d become a hanger-on that I couldn’t shake away. You know, like nits!!!!
To cut a creepy saga short this guy had been crack-en onto all the mum’s and all the girls who worked at the cafe. In one incidence he called me when he knew my husband wasn’t home. My husband called him a stalker, Kim (my pastor) called him a fishermen like he was throwing out a line to all us girls and John the train driver (who occasionally joins us for coffee) called him a sleaze. These are all very strong statements coming from the men who had encountered him.
A couple of weeks ago I confronted this man. It was necessary in order to reclaim what I’d been enjoying doing ever since I sorted mum’s ashes out a year and a half ago. At first I was avoiding the time frame but a friend convinced me of the wrongness of that because it was my thing to do. So then I was having my husband accompany me on those particular morning’s and typically, Mr Creepy man was a no-show.
The day I confronted him was the very day that my husband wasn’t with me. Wow what a coincidence !!…NOT!!! I told him that I wasn’t going to have coffee with him that day. I said that I would be happy to have coffee with the group or if my husband was with me but not if it was just him and me. I then told him that when he rang me that both my husband and I felt very uncomfortable because it was in the time frame when he knew my husband was not at home. I then said it made me question his intentions. He looked devastated like I broke up with him so I walked away and found a seat and reclaimed my cafe journaling!!
I’ve now had a few weeks of freedom and it’s incredible how this situation was weighing me down. Since the confrontation I’ve once again been able to say to people who if they want to join me I’m here on this day. I now freely have been writing out all my stuff that then effects how I blog. Incidentally my blogging suffered as a result of this fiasco and I struggled to keep up with my weekly bogging challenge. I had been suffering from a bit of stress lately and it’s amazing how this time gives me the recharge I need to get up and cope with a child who has additional needs.
I’m not one who likes a confrontation but sometimes it’s necessary. You have to have good boundaries and then protect them or otherwise you can lose your freedom. I’m glad I’ve had this experience because it has only made me stronger and wiser. As for Mr Creepy, he’s not my responsibility and he needs to face his own issues without me being a prop in his fantasy.
At last, I got a chance to walk down to one of my favorite cafe’s from my front door. It took be about 15mins with a short stop to chat with a friendly neighbor. When I arrived, the cafe was really busy with no seats so I sat next to a stranger on the comfy lounge seat and had yet another lovely chat with some random stranger. Once they had left I pulled out my journal and marked the day with some pleasant writing.
It was a nice change to be able to leave the car at home and not struggle for a car space in this busy holiday time. Walking is very relaxing and I’ve always enjoyed doing so. I love the slow pace and I don’t find it too tiring at all, although I had to remind myself in Kmart “Tamar you can’t buy that, your walking home”.
So I look forward to the year ahead and can’t wait to continue doing my regular cafe journaling. I now have options, do I walk or do I drive?? either way both are better!!!
Today was a scramble, I slept in. When my alarm went off instead of pressing snooze I turned it off because it annoyed me. I was having a lovely dream, watching my Son enjoying his new school activities. Next thing I know, i’v opened my eyes and the clock says 9:30am!!!!
Immediately I flung myself out of bed, rushed around and got ready to Take Zachy to preschool. We were an hour late making me behind schedule for my cafe journaling appointment. Being late is not such a drama, but at this time of year it’s a scramble to get a car space at the shopping center. When I arrived the car park was just starting to get that cramped, busy car park rage potential feeling. When one enters such moments it’s best to remain calm and just take it easy.
I took my advice and remained calm, got over the disappointment of being late due to my arrogant’s towards the alarm. I was polite and let other motorist’s get there first (well they were actually there first). I found myself stuck behind one motorist who was waiting for somebody to vacate their car park. Instead of going around I just waited and to my pleasant surprise anther somebody came along and kindly vacated their spot so I could just glide in nicely and better still it was in a very convenient location!!!
Now here comes the next scramble, the one for a seat at Gloria Jeans. The place was packed and I ask myself “Am I going to get a seat?” I nearly lost a bit of my calmness at this point as the people in front of me were fussing about. “oh my gosh will you just pull your finger out Love???” However I decided that it was best to have a good attitude and just have faith that God will provide a seat.
Good news, I got a seat and it was a nice cozy seat too. I used this moment to reflect upon our current home situation. We need to look for a new place and the rental market is very competitive at the moment. You go to look at one property and there is 40 people all lined up. I’m telling ya now, it’s a scramble and I’m stressed out. This is a time when I need to tell myself to just trust in Gods provision. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s my only hope in a scrambling scary world.
Today I did my cafe journaling and these are my tools. Very simple and not much to it really.
I am often amazed at the people I meet while I’m out journaling. Today it was the lovely Nikky, we took photo’s of ourselves as I have now entered the iphone family.
Today I did something slightly different as I took a book to read with me as well. I think I’m starting to feel at home and it was lovely to just sit there and read. I’m thinking that when it’s time to go back to school, one of my strategies will be to study at a busy cafe at a busy shopping center. I’v noticed my concentration abilities appear to thrive in this environment. This has been an encouraging day.
For a year now I’ve been taking my journal to two different cafe’s and journaling. This has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience. I drop my Son of at pre-school take myself to the designated cafe armed with vintage style apparatus; a pen and vintage style dashboard; a diary with paper with lines. I then begin to write down my thoughts with the ease that it’s not going on facebook for the world (or just my friends) to see.
It all started the day I organised for my Mum’s ashes to be placed in the Crematorium. Once I’d had that moment, which by the way was special, I took myself to Gloria Jeans for a caramel cappuccino. While I was there I pulled out my $2 journal and began to write. I wrote and I continued to write to this day, I wrote all my angst and painful stuff concerning the passing of my mum. this was so liberating and continues to be. I always look forward to it each week and I have become a known regular to both cafe’s.
To be honest I’d be a regular regardless of my journaling ways because to do love a sit down chino time, but the pleasure of journaling in that context is brilliant. It’s something that I’d recommend for all to have a try. Go on just give it ago and tell me how good it feels to partake. It makes me wonder should I start a movement??????