What I’m reading (version 22.07.2015)

Books

Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte – a fascinating look at Western society (especially American) and our cultures of time. It includes some interesting and useful tips, and thinking points.

Dressing your truth by Carol Tuttle – a guide to dressing that works from the inside out, rather than by your colouring and shape. You start by identifying your dominant energy type and work out from there; with the permission to be true to yourself rather than conforming to anyone else’s ideas of what your energy ‘should’ be – you ‘own’ your own energy πŸ™‚ . I’ve found this remarkably freeing. It’s taken a few weeks for this to sink in fully, but I’m now at a place where I can see the usefulness, sense and practical application. In case you’re wondering, I’m a Type 2. The link will take you to her free introductory course, which includes a copy of the book. If you’re not into e-courses, you can buy the book on its own from the usual places. At some point I intend to sign up for her paid course and learn more – it really has been that useful and revealing for me.

The big leap by Gay Hendricks – an interesting method for identifying your blocks and freeing your potential. I can see myself re-reading this a few times to let things sink in and take effect.

Currently reading Home by Francis Pryor (from Time Team), which is an engaging and fascinating read about British prehistory.

Blogs

Lucky Bitch (discovered via Hiya Tootsie) – a blog about money and giving yourself permission to make it. Aimed at women entrepreneurs. I check in regularly to keep kicking my butt along πŸ˜‰

Mama Said – honest parenting. Really, really honest parenting. This blog is written by a friend of mine who has had a full-on ride with her young kids. If you’ve felt as a parent like you’re the only one, have a read (as long as you can cope with raw honesty and swearing). I especially like her posts I am grateful… and Lessons from children.

Druid Life – I love this blog (as you may have guessed from all the re-blogging!) I find Nimue Brown’s posts thought-provoking and often quite healing (if not always comfortable).

Manga and Comics

Dengeki Daisy – I’m almost up toΒ the final volume (which has just been published) of this manga, which revolves around an unlikely romance and an even more unlikely computing conspiracy. I’m curious to see how it finishes, but I really don’t want it to end…

Blastosaurus – I was helped to discover this comic by its author, Richard Fairgray, at a stand at Armageddon Expo last weekend. This is a fabulous story about a mutant triceratops detective, and the complications of time-travel and ray guns. I bought volume 1; now I want them all πŸ™‚

My new favouritest web comic is Breaking Cat News – it is beautifully drawn, gently funny, and very, very cat.

* * *

Now… what are you reading? Any recommendations?!

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Quotidian life

Sometimes the demands of life get in the way of having a life.

I’m feeling a bit grumpy about that tonight: working, cooking dinner, ordering school stationery, preparing to order school uniforms, clearing emails, trying to get my kids to actually go to bed… it’s all necessary, but there’s plenty of other things I’d rather be doing! (Like writing blog posts, for example…)

Anyway, that’s enough of my grumbling and grumpiness.

I think I’ll go dance a bit and see if my ruffled feathers settle down…

(And thanks for putting up with this brief and honest post πŸ˜‰ )

 

Things I Love Thursday (on a Friday) 5.12.14

❀ time to journal

❀ seeing the finish line of a project or three

❀ talking with other creative people and finding out what they’re up to

❀ the internet – such an amazing source of information and community

❀ Wellington’s waterfront

❀ watching my kids grow up

❀ school camp!

❀ space to breathe and be

❀ my Druid Animal oracle deck (despite its uncanny usefulness πŸ˜‰ )

❀ my new journal for the Documented Life Project 2015 (and my new pens – I treated myself)

Photo4641

The wonders of school camp

My twin boys headed off for school camp today.

They’re away for four nights.

The house is strangely peaceful

(almost eerily calm).

I can feel myself starting to relax and unfurl and release tension I didn’t even know I was holding.

I’ve been holding it so tight that it’s almost painful to release.

Four nights and five days isn’t very long.

Β But a lot can still happen in that time.

I will be intrigued to see how we all change and grow over this almost-week.

 

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 πŸ˜‰

 

Creativity with kids

Now this isn’t going to be one of those posts filled with cutesy photos andΒ  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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 πŸ˜‰

Share your ideas and tips in the comments, please ❀

Savour the ‘Ordinary’

Some good advice:

William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

The poem continues:

You will have to constantly contend
with the pressure for ever more,
and ever bigger,
that culture seeks to impose
on your children
and you.
It takes courage and discipline
to go slow,
live simply,
and see clearly.
But the rewards are great.
What ordinary thing can you do together today?