Feeling Like Yourself

I had an illuminating conversation with a group of friends the other day. One of the girls described a workshop that she attended,

‘We were sitting around the table and the facilitator said, write down a list of things that you like to do. Next to that, write down a list of things that you’re good at. Now circle the activities which overlap; that’s where the magic happens. And here I was sitting in a room with the most amazing, talented, witty, clever group of women that I knew …..and everyone had blank pages. I wanted to leap out of my seat and grab someone else’s page. I can rattle off at least ten things that they were brilliant at, but I struggled to come up with my own list.’

Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us have lost sight of what we love and what we are good at. Or is it that somewhere along the way, we became far more critical of our output. And when there’s a disconnect between our intention and our work, we become disheartened. We stop writing. We stop drawing. We stop creating.

A ten year old version of myself would proudly declare that she was good at swimming, and that she loved the ocean. That she’s okay at drawing but she’s fantastic at reading. She would be just as quick to tell you that she’s clumsy and that she sucks at dancing. And it would be a fairly objective assessment of myself, without pretence or judgment.

Nowadays, I’m not sure what I’m good at. I’ve stopped doing a lot of the things I love because there are ‘more important things’ to do.  I’ve become good at the things required of me, but I’m not sure if they are what I’m naturally talented at.  This is further compounded when I became a Mother, because having a baby quite literally, rocks your world.  What little energy I have is focused on my family’s needs.  If you want a fancy term for this, there are many articles going around the internet which addresses this ‘Connection Depletion’: i.e. the idea that we become disconnected from who we are once we throw ourselves into being mamas.

“It’s the complete lack of thinking about what we need because we’re too busy juggling what everyone else needs” (see the book Happy Mama by Amy Taylor-Kabbaz which gives some good suggestions for how you can find yourself again).

Over the break, my hubby and I managed to get into the Ocean and go snorkelling. It was a great thing for my soul and for my energy levels. I felt like I could survive quite a few more sleepless nights, because I was refreshed by that one dip in the ocean. And that’s what we’ve got to keep doing. Keep going back to what we love and to make time for it. Sometimes the washing can wait, while you go for a swim.

As we breathe out 2016 and breathe in 2017, I’m going to be more intentional about making time for doing more of the things that I love. I picked charms and glass beads to wear on my bracelet, as a visual reminder to myself to keep going back to the Ocean.  To cultivate my strengths.

We lose ourselves in the things we love, but we find ourselves there too.

Pictured are the flip flop and starfish charms, together with some glass beads which reminds me of an octopus and the ocean (bracelet, charm and beads all from Trollbeads). PS. The pudgy feet you see in the background belongs to my daughter haha.

This post is sponsored by Trollbeads Australia. Each bead is thoughtfully designed and individually crafted by hand. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support the original content on Brunch with Viv.

Talking as Fast as I Can – by Lauren Graham

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If you want to catch up for a coffee with Lauren Graham, this book is for you.  Like probably 99.9% of the readers who picked up this book, I read it because I love Gilmore Girls.  As if the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life wasn’t enough of a good thing, I wanted more.  I wanted to know whether Lauren Graham was anything like Lorelai Gilmore, and spoiler alert: she is.

Lorelai Lauren writes like she talks.  Fast-paced, entertaining, conversational, the book is extremely easy to read (I did it over three nap sessions, and my bubba doesn’t nap for long at all).  The highlights for me were:

– Anecdotes about Lauren starting out as an actress (no, the roles did not just land in her lap, so much went on behind the scenes with a lot of odd jobs, training etc.);

-Her thoughts on being single before she paired up with Peter Krause (it was refreshingly honest and something most of us have thought about at one time or another, without the Hollywood pressure thankfully);

-Her thoughts on writing, including the Kitchen Timer method (which is something that Don Roos passed onto Lauren – it’s a great method to try if you want to develop a writing discipline or just to get writing); and

-Of course, all the inside goss on the filming of Gilmore Girls (both the original series and the new episodes on Netflix).

There you have it.  No, the book is not the next War and Peace (nor does it attempt to be) but it is honest, Lauren wrote it herself (no ghost-writing here), and it does extremely well for a book of its genre.  Perfect to read on the plane, or by the pool on your next island getaway.

Rating: 3.5/5

How Do You Manage to Shower with a Little One?

Having a little one is learning to live again.  You come to rethink things.  And find creative ways of achieving every day tasks.  Like Showering.

Here are some possible options:

  1. Skip the Shower.  Sport the new-mum look.  Not tenable in the long run.
  2. Wait til my hubby comes home.  Bonus is I actually get to have a relaxing shower, BUT the downside is I have to put up with greasy hair the whole day.  Yuck.
  3. Cart bubs into the bathroom with me.  I used to wheel her bassinet / bouncer into the bathroom while I shower.  Not too bad an option, but bubs gets bored quite easily so halfway through she will start screaming.  And my heartfelt rendition of the Lion King sung for the umpteenth time will no longer work its magic.
  4. Wait til bubs is napping, then take the baby monitor into the bathroom with me.  This is a high risk, high returns option.  And my preferred option at the moment.  I can usually count on a decent 1 – 2 hour nap in the morning. So I make a quick dash into the bathroom for a shower once she’s asleep.  Here’s some very scientific back of the envelope wisdom:

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Yep almost without fail, if she does wake – it’s when I’ve shampooed my hair and lathered the soap and just before the rinse off.  She must have an internal compass which lets her know this is the best time to wake up, to see Mum in a funny state.

Anyone else have other more tenable suggestions?