Thinking about “TiLTing”

[I'm utilising the morning hours before the kids have done enough jobs to get their computer time (ah, my ol' friend leverage ;) )... if this works, you're gonna get lots of posts!]

Thanks to the wondrous mysteries of my Twitter account, I’ve just been introduced to the wonderful idea of “Things I Love Thursdays” (aka TiLT) by the new-to-me-but-looking-fabulous Mumpty.

Essentially, this is creating a collection of things you love across the week and then sharing it. The concept is similar to gratitude pages, but doesn’t necessarily involve writing a list of three things every night… Less rules & numbers, and more love & play – sounds good to me!

Anyway, I’m considering starting to do this and am wondering if I do it just for myself, or share it here (probably on Fridays, once it’s all collated). Are you interested in eclectic happy cheeriness? Or does the thought of that make you want to run away?! There are no wrong answers.

[In the interest of nearly-full disclosure, I've recently started an e-course by the originator of TiLT, the glorious Gala Darling. Yep, I'm sending myself to Radical Self Love Bible School - which I'm enjoying thoroughly with zero cringing (unlike what my fears suggested). Turns out that gratitude, multiple colours of gel pens and going crazy with stickers (turns out that I LOVE stickers!!) was just what I needed <3 ]

Anyway, do you want to see the things I love (which may include stickers)? Or shall I hoard them for myself?!

Let me know…

 

Warning: results may vary

OR “Oh dear [insert deity of choice], school holidays are here again already?!”

Despite my best intentions, school holidays always throw off my routines.

Despite continuing evidence to the contrary, I insist on persisting in the over-optimistic belief that spending more days at home with my offspring will lead to increased tidiness and creative output.

Despite my awareness of all of the above, I still like to shift my work hours around and sleep in more, even though I know the absence of routine does my head in (at least it’s a refreshed head to be done in?!)

So…

… please accept my apologies in advance for the next two weeks. I will do my utmost to break with my past (yes, you may read that as “really I’m going to continue to sleep in and slack off”). I pinky-promise to continue to post regularly – and you may blow raspberries in my direction if I don’t…

But I am also going to make the most of this opportunity to blow my routines out of the water, get the sleep I need, lie around reading novels, and hang-out with my kids while pretending to help them tidy their rooms (the nagging may be real, however!) I might even tackle the last level of Plants vs Zombies and finish my Minecraft castle ;)

 

Pondering mind, body and wellness

I’ve been reminded recently about how closely connected our minds and bodies are.

I’m not sure how the traditional dualistic approach of (good) mind vs (bad) body came about, but I’ve seen no evidence for its truth in my own life…

Instead it becomes increasingly clear every bug, every Spring (hello, hay fever :( ), and every morning I don’t ‘feel’ like moving, that my mind is most definitely connected to my body, and that my body’s state affects my mind.

When I don’t ‘feel’ well, I don’t think well or ‘do’ well (and sometimes I don’t ‘do’ at all!)

But then when I do feel well, I can do almost anything :)

So, how to promote one’s wellness?

There’s all the usual suspects: leafy greens, exercise, sleep (all those things annoying bright-eyed people tell you to do)…

But if I’m starting from a point of being not well, these are harder to do, which can then become a downward spiral (and why is it so hard to generate an upwards spiral?!)

Time, then, for the ‘unusual’ suspects:

#1 Be kind to yourself

It’s okay to not be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It’s okay to spend the day in bed if that’s what your mind or body crave. It’s okay to phone in sick when you’re sick.

#2 Be gentle with yourself

You are precious – but may also be fragile. That’s okay. You can nurture yourself and coax yourself gently. You don’t have to do bootcamp everyday, unless that’s what you want. There’s no rule that says you have to ‘go hard’ all the time (or, in fact, any time!)

#3 Listen to your body, as well as your mind

Despite their close connections, our minds sometimes get rather grandiose plans about what our bodies can do. If your body says ‘rest’, then rest. You can play hard later… (see #1 and #2) Of course, if your body says ‘play’, then you can rest later ;)

And if you want to eat more leafy greens, do more yoga, eat paleo, inhale multi-vitamins, or whatever – go for it. But remember the unusual suspects, too <3

Self-definition

If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. ~Audre Lorde, American Poet

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. ~Audre Lorde, American Poet

 

Creativity with kids

Now this isn’t going to be one of those posts filled with cutesy photos and  fun ideas to get your little darlings making weird things from paper and spreading glitter through your house. I figure there’s enough of those out there already.

This post is about how you might nurture your own creative life when you have kids to work around (in the interests of full disclosure, I’m starting this while the rest of my family is watching ‘Doctor Who’ in the hopes of finishing the post on the same night I started writing it… We’ll just ignore the dishes and the clean sheets waiting to go on the beds for a wee while longer.)

So, here’s a few random thoughts and ideas that have helped me over the past ten years since my twins were born. Please add your own in the comments – the more the better!

  • It’s okay to say ‘No’, it’s okay to have your own time, it’s okay to tell your kids to butt out of that time once they’re old enough to ignore for a few minutes safely
    • Boundary setting is good parenting – really :)
  • Getting sleep helps a lot – aka afternoon naps are your friend
  • Lower your expectations – aka be kind to yourself.
    • You’re unlikely to be able to write ‘War and Peace’ between feeds, but you might be able to knit a few stitches or jot down a few sentences for a blog post. This is okay.
  • Things will change as your kids grow up – aka school is an awesome invention
    • Babies and pre-schoolers require a lot of time, energy and attention. Actually getting dressed might be all the creativity you can muster in the early years. That’s okay – they will grow up and start school, and then you can start re-claiming your brain (rumour has it that they may even leave home at some distant future point – personally, I’m just holding out for school camp in November.)
    • When they grow up, you should get more regular sleeep, but you may also lose easy access to anything with a screen! Good luck with that…
  • You’re allowed to hoard your resources – aka hide the good stuff
    • Your kids don’t need expensive coloured pencils, paper and art supplies. They can manage with cheaper yarn. If you want them to really enjoy their creating as they get older, you may want to invest in good quality entry level supplies, but it is definitely okay to keep your special creative supplies aside for your special creative work (along with your special creative chocolate stash!) I have fond memories of those occasions when I was allowed to use my Mum and Dad’s coloured pencils and felts. It was extra-special to be allowed to use their special things.
  • Even little things count (see also ‘Lower your expectations’)
    • If all you can squeeze in is a few minutes looking at inspiring images on Pinterest or reading a blog post or journalling or remembering how to breathe without screaming, that’s okay. Little steps are still steps.
  • Results may vary – aka do what works for you
    • Everyone’s life and parenting experiences are going to be different. Heck, everyone’s kids are different! Pick what works for you, and remember that it may not work for others, so don’t waste time being dogmatic when you could be doing something more interesting ;)

Share your ideas and tips in the comments, please <3

Imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. - Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagiantion encircles the world.” Albert Einstein

A verified Einstein quote!

(Those are rarer than hen’s teeth…)

In my view, the most useful knowledge is knowing where and how to look things up ;)