Sunday, November 22, 2015

The gift of complexity

Like you, I have seen and heard a bajillion things about ISIS (or whatever we are calling them now), about the attacks in Paris, Mali, Kenya, about the middle east, about the media, media bias, about refugees, about what I should think, what I should care about, who I should support....

It is completely overwhelming.

Each new article posted / emailed / broadcast, each new newsclip both informs and confuses.. infuriates and defeats, offers hope and despair.

Like many of you, I try to read, to make sense, to inform myself, to keep up with trending opinion and breaking news. While trying to live my life, work, parent, buy groceries, do laundry etc.

I was having a gripe session with myself the other day about all this (as one does) when I had a re-frame moment ( a habit I am getting good at!)

I wondered to myself if I could see all this complexity as a gift?

After all there is no chance I have enough time or am smart enough to actually find the "truth" and even if  I did it would still only likely be my truth for 5 minutes before some other information pushed up and caused a reconsideration of it all.

What if I could do what I can to sift through what I can, and be as well informed as I can, and then, instead of feeling overwhelmed, I could just be satisfied?

Even more what if I could see all those articles and posts and opinions as each contributing a pixel to a global image that maybe one day will reveal a picture that is truthful and real?

Then I could leave my rage and my confusion and distress a little and just read / watch / think and know that for as many Governments and groups and people that there are in this beautiful and broken world, there are opinions and stories.

I get to be a pixel in the picture, a line in the story, even without seeing or knowing the whole of it.

So I have decided to see the complexity as a gift.  To be humbly received, examined, used as is useful and at times put away for a while.

SO now to read the 15 articles from my newsfeed this week and see how it goes!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Eye can see clearly now

A long time ago a little boy climbed into a big chair in the Opthalmology Department
at Children's Hospital to get his eyes checked.  His little feet way off the ground.


20/200...only one eye working. 

Yesterday a tall, lanky boy climbed into that same chair which had to be lowered so the Opthalmologist could see into his eyes.


20/50...both eyes working. 

I have said it here before that I am ever SO grateful for the incredible care David has had 
Children's Hospital under Dr. Lyons.  We went through years of patching, surgery and spent hours in that busy waiting room waiting for pupils to dilate.

So it came as quite a shock when Dr. Lyons told us yesterday we have aged out of this program.

I was so surprised I said "You're kicking us out?" to which, in his ever gentle manner, he said "David is graduating".  And so it was over.  We said our thank you's, remembered that small boy together, and were reassured we can return there if we are ever concerned.

I felt a bit adrift.  

I tried to pull myself together and I reflected on why I was feeling so sad.  

realised a few things (all in the space of time it took to walk through the sideways rain and howling wind to the car where I had grossly overpaid for parking never thinking we'd be done so soon)..... I had come to feel safe at this place, a place that has so often cared so well for my children.  I was feeling a little scared to leave.  

I was also feeling scared that it meant my children were not little children anymore - a fact which is visibly obvious, but sometimes it takes a Mama's heart a little time to catch up to reality.  No more children's hospital....GULP.

And last, but certainly not least,  I realised I was going to miss this time with David.  He and I have spent so many hours driving to and from Children's, sitting waiting, sometimes for hours.  When they dilated his pupils we had to wait for them to fully dilate and we developed a tradition of walking through the hospital grounds to the Starbucks where he would have a hot chocolate and I would have a coffee and we would split an Oat Fudge Bar before going back to wait for round two of the appointment.

So as we drove out of Children's after our shortest appointment ever I could have got him to school and me back to work earlier than expected but I decided we needed one last Starbucks moment.  So we found one, he had hot chocolate and I had a coffee.  Sadly no oat fudge bars but banana loaf instead.  We fist bumped and then hugged each other. 

It's been a journey.  An amazing outcome. 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reflection on the Break

Well folks the "Break" is all but over.  

It was good.

Each day I managed to do something that was good for my soul.  A drive by the river, a walk, a cuddle with the puppy, watching the sunset, completing a few projects, checking some things off my Christmas shopping lists, cleaning the floors, driving the kids..... normal everyday stuff.

Normal everyday stuff a busy working Mom often misses out on doing.  

And when I do get to be there at school pick up,  plan and make a lovely week night meal, finish 3 loads of laundry in one day, get through the TO DO list that has been languishing for weeks if not months, greet my Honey at the door at then end of his day.....I often wonder about the choices I have made.

I'm not going to second guess the past.  I think I can say I did the best I could have at the time.  Some things I regret. Many I do not and it's all turned out rather well for us all so far.

But one thing really struck me this week.  

I s l o w e d down.  

I felt my heart, mind and body slow down.  

And it feels really good. 

The anxious buzz of my mind quieted and I slept better.  My achy body stretched and worked in different ways and enjoyed being free of my desk chair.  My heart felt whole and content even when the deeply troubling events of Friday unfolded I felt grounded enough take in what I could, to pray as I watched the images unfold, to talk it through with my family and to consider a response rather than a reaction.

Work begins again tomorrow and although I have had to attend to a few things while I was away I had a good break.  

I am resolved to try and hold the pace to a steady, measured one when I get back.  To be clear and prioritise and to walk away at the end of the days assured I did my best and not fretting about the next day and the next day and the next day.  

Advent is not far off and I hope to enter into it with a ready and reflective heart that has hopefully learned a new, more balanced, peaceful way to be in the world.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


It is so interesting how one word has so many connotations (thank you English language!).

This one....Break....has both positive and negative ones.

And, as is so often the case, as I pondered this I recently experienced both sides of the coin.

I won't belabor the point that the last many months have been tough on many fronts.  But also many good and wonderful moments and people have been scattered about in the messiness and are likely the only reason I/we keep on keeping on.  

But this last couple of weeks. Well, I guess they were the cherry on the top of a much less than satisfying sundae?  A couple of weeks that sought to break even my resolve to keep my chin up and keep getting out of bed.

But just in the nick (yes yes I know) of time I have a break.  

A good kind of break. 

Not a snapping of bones or glass kind or a snapping of my spirit kind but an actual b r e a k from work.

I have taken a week off.  

And I am ever grateful that my fraying rope held on until just this moment.  Amen! 

And now I am doing my level best to embrace the break. 

To embrace being a wife and mom and daughter and giving my peeps some of my time and energy.  I've already made one round of pancakes and (possibly carcinogenic) bacon which the kids and I enjoyed in our warm kitchen on a miserable, cold and rainy morning (sadly Allan is being Teacher-Robot Coach all day).  I have coached my homework averse 16 year old to get a far too long list of assignments and projects going when he'd rather curl up and watch endless YouTube.  I have done laundry and cleaned the kitchen and made lists and plans.  And blogged.

I am conscious that they need me to have this break but I also need to reconnect with myself.  To re calibrate my heart.  It has been to easy to let work and the actions of others define me. To let the many times I miss the mark I set for myself pull me down.  To let the unchecked off TO DO list defeat me. To let the fatigue fueled voices in my head loop on negative and anxious thoughts.


This week I am catching up with me.  Being gentle with me.  Doing things that will bring me back and build me up.  Coffee with a friend, a walk in the rain, cooking meals, planning the holidays, taking photos....and yes....maybe...just maybe...taking a nap or curling up on the couch with a warm puppy and a good book.

A break.  A good break. Yes.