Well I am well and truly late off of the block this month putting together my “What I Found ” post for July so I thought I would do a two for one at this stage and include some lovely things I found in August and who knows I might just find myself slightly ahead.
Now if your wondering why I’m telling you what I found in July and August ? Well its a way of tricking myself into paying more attention to what I might be learning along the way. So I’m taking notice of what I’m doing and enjoying and finding because that has a way of telling us things too.
“When we begin to see the ordinary as worthy of a closer look, everything changes” Shannan Martin
And who doesn’t love a good find.
So let’s just get to the big one straight up – – –
I found a job
I’ll fill you in real quick.
At the start of this year I knew in that way you just know things that there were going to be some changes. Exactly what that looked like I didn’t know but I had this idea that it might involve me getting a job. Early 2016 things “felt” different even before they were. It “felt” like Ken was now home even while he was still flying back and forward to Western Australia for work and me – – – I had this odd feeling of being at a bit of a loose end, like I was just marking time – weirdly unsettling for a homebody like me – normally so totally content pottering around fixing up my house, writing, DIYing etc. The job search had begun but despite many a job application there were no employers falling over each other trying to get to me. Deafening silence in fact. Very encouraging and confidence boosting.
Its a strange feeling when you sense a change but nothing has really changed. Like living in limbo – – – applying for all types of jobs, waiting, scared stiff I might actually get one and have to start living this different life. I’ve never done the real life working mum gig before and I wasn’t at all convinced I had what it takes.The thought of change – particularly if its out of my nice cozy area of “expertise” — well it has a way of truly rattling me. Anyone else?
Any hoo we hit crisis point in June and as it goes it often takes a good crisis to get me moving. So with a fire freshly lit under me, I went at it with a bit more gusto and in the space of a few weeks I had two jobs on offer. Still scared, still wondering if I could really do this but in with both feet.
Sometimes we are waiting for all our questions to be answered before we move forward but really we just need to move. What we need for the journey doesn’t turn up until we are on our way, until we get started.
I wrote this Women Connect post about the starting.
On Leaning into the Curve ~ 20th July, 2016
Today I start a new job. Its officially only a part time job but I have to turn up there on time, five days a week for six – eight hours in presentable clothes, with my hair done and probably some make up on. I haven’t had to do that for a very long time. I’ve had the luxury of staying home with my kids —- probably for longer than I should have.
Its exciting because new things bring new possibilities but to tell you the truth – I’m freaking out just a little bit.
I’m concerned about a few things.
- that I might I hate it
- that I might not be able to keep up
- that my house will look like a tip after a week
- that my life will be a blur of work at work and work at home and not much else
- that I’ll miss out on time and activities with the kids
- that I’ll shrivel up for lack of time to do the things that make me come alive on the inside
Now I know that there are those that thrive on routine and being super organised and running a tight ship and right about now I wish I was one of them. See I thrive on making things look nice and stringing words together and lots of quiet and wafting around planting things in my garden and taking photos and doing projects and I’ve got used to generally having a whole lot of unscheduled time. Can you see why I’m a bit worried?
Talk is cheap until your in at the deep end.
Change, weather its welcome or unwelcome or a weird combination of both brings challenges and uncertainty and moments of sheer panic and all sorts of adjustments and working things out all over again.
But heres what I know.
That this is the right thing for right now.
That this is what the grace of God is for – to help us do what we are scared we can’t do. To help us do what we haven’t a chance of doing on our own.
Grace to negotiate the curve, when your leaned way over and your ear feels awfully close to the ground. Thats where the grace is – between your soft side and the ground.
I’m counting on it.
Grace like an oil that makes a new wheel thats sticking a bit (or an old one! ) begin to turn and move with ease. Like an ointment that softens and heals – you can feel it doing you good. A buffer between us and the sharp edges of a new season. Its room to breath when air seems short.
While I’m yet to find out how this new season will play out what I can encourage you and myself with is, whatever the season you are currently in, whatever the curve your negotiating – lean into it, He’s got you, your not hurtling out of control, your in the process of getting somewhere new. God is there with you and there is plentiful grace.
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28 Amplified
So no more driving the kids to school in my nightie and now that I’m more than a month in here’s what I’ve found:
It didn’t take a week – the house looked like a tip about three days in – – – – but we’ve bounced back – — – sort of.
You know that old saying about the less time you have the more you get done. Well its kinda true. I still seem to be getting the basics done even with far less time to do it. I’ve just started doing a couple of things each night when I get home in addition to the normal round of feeding and lunch packing and uniform washing. I clean one thing, fold one basket of clothes, hang out one load of washing, write one paragraph. The iPhone time is just set permanently to twenty minutes. Ethan and Olivia are now doing a couple of chores of there own – which is nothing short of miraculous in itself.
It’s not pristine, its not all done, it never was.
We haven’t starved – turns out there is a Woolworths supermarket about three feet up the street from my work and in the direction that I walk. Small mercies that make a whole world of difference.
And it seems I’ve turned into one of those mums. You know the ones that use slow cookers and actually think about what there having for dinner before the clock hits five. I read on one of my favourite blogs a year or more ago “If I have an onion sautéing by 9 am, good things are bound to happen!” Life in Grace. Now that was a dialect I just didn’t comprehend at the time. A cup of coffee by 9am yes. An onion sautéing – ah no. Well things have a way of changing and in the last month I had said onion on the go at 7am. Here’s proof.
This all got put into the slow cooker with stock, Italian soup mix, pasta sauce and a few other random ingredients. Slow cookers are magical things. You can throw just about anything in them and it tastes good by the end of the day. I wont start with handing out recipes because I tend to just use whatever I have on hand but there are some amazing soup and slow cooker recipes right here on Edie’s blog. I’ve tried a few. You won’t be sorry. She is known as the soup whisperer for a reason. And these two posts of hers are a great read if you need a bit of inspiration in the kitchen.
Five Ways To Bring The Magic Back To Your Kitchen
My Best Trick For Getting Dinner On The Table
I don’t hate it – in fact this job feels like it was kinda made for me. I’m sitting down (ha), I work on my own but there are people around, I’m learning something new and interesting, its a supportive and friendly work place, I’m helping people – LOVE DOING THAT – I’m all good. The only down side is getting my head around a very complex computer system, remembering all the details and making sure I’m ticking all the boxes but I’m up for the challenge.
Yes it’s tiring – I’m sure you know all about it. The everyday push to be up and organised and have the kids to school on time and me to work on time is a challenge and exhausting but all in all we are not too much worse for wear. I know that my tiredness has me sitting down enjoying things with the kids a little more than I once did so there is an upside there.
I haven’t shrivelled up for lack of time to do things I love – theres less time for it and in shorter spurts but I’m appreciating the little pockets of time that I do have to write, take photos, do projects etc. And what I hadn’t thought about before I started was this lovely thing called a lunch break where I can sit on my own and read or write or go for a walk undisturbed without the pressure of thinking I should be doing something else. Heaven
So if I have learnt anything I think its that seasons change and if we give ourselves half a chance we go on and change with them and the changes often suit us better than we ever imagine they will. Amazing
So to a few other finds
In the Op Shop
Another travel book for the handsome sum of $1 which of course is not so much about the places this lady travelled but about the personal journey she was on.
Without Reservation, The Travels of An Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach starts with this.
There are years that ask questions and years that answer” Zora Neale Hurston
It was a lesson I hoped to learn in the months ahead: how to stop rushing from place to place always looking ahead to the next thing while the moment in front of me slipped away unnoticed.
Need I say more except that I was very happy to join in on the journey. In each destination Alice writes herself a postcard and posts it home to herself. The postcards become a kind of travel memoir, preserving and recapturing the feelings of certain moments during the trip, a missal of the moment rather than a remembered observation of a past event.
You can read a review and find a copy here.
In My Garage
This stack of chippy old plates. But not just any old chippy plates – they are Wedgwood “Queens Plain” – part of the set we received as a wedding present. Yes the “good set” that we used everyday for everyday use because I’m not one to put things away to gather dust when they could be gracing my dinner table. And when you use things the way we do they chip, Wedgwood and all. We still use the huge soup bowls which somehow survived our rough treatment but most of the dinner plates and smaller bowls were relegated to the garage. I couldn’t throw them out though, I knew I’d want them at some stage for some reason. So after reading this post I’m thinking they need a little Kintsugi love.
Not sure it will be at all easy because of the decorative edges and the obvious curve but I’ll let you know how it goes.
In amongst my sons reptile paraphernalia
This light cage was doing nothing useful and looked to me like it needed a plant in it.
So take one light cage, add fibre from palm in the front yard, potting mix and a sweet little slightly worse for wear “FlapJack” succulent that needed a new home. Took about fifteen minutes.
Hasn’t died yet – most succulents don’t which is why I love them so much. Any little projects happening at your place??
In my Inbox
This post that caught me heart soul and spirit. about “receiving your life”. Not summer here in Aus but applies the same to any season of life. Too good.
How to Receive Your Own Summer Life, by Marian Vischer
and this one
Hospitality and the Secret Power of Weakness by Micha Boyett
On my phone
My new favourite IG feed. The Jungalow. It’s colourful, vintagy, mismatched, with oodles of green leafy things and just enough white space to make me want to move into some of these spaces. Heres a few of my favourite images.
Oh those green subway tiles !!! Find The Jungalow on Instagram here and the blog here
In my back yard
A few pot plants that the chooks haven’t eaten and that are loving the spot I have put them in. Sometimes its a bit of trial and error and moving things around to find just the right spot light and shade wise to suit a particular plant. These ones are all smiles.
And remember this fence paling planter I made. Well everything I put in for ever so long died a quick death. I tried numerous places and plants and everywhere was either too hot (or too shady) or who knows but I think it finally likes its current position because I found that the last lot of tiny cuttings I put in there are actually growing. Yay!!
So that’s my finds for July and August. Found anything interesting your way? Would love to here.
Linking up with Inspire Me Monday Link Party, Celebrate Your Story and Works For Me Wednesday
12 thoughts on “What I Found In July (and August)”
Beautiful I know I’m not related to you but I’m proud of you like a sister xx
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Ahh Hilary – you’ll make my cry. No not related but sisters just the same. xx
Love reading your blogs… But what is your job? Lol… I’m glad your coping…we all knew you would… You’re amazing! Xx
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Oh thanks Jen – very sweet of you to say that xx Glad you enjoyed the read – I’m working in an inbound call centre connecting older Australians to subsidised aged care services. Nothing glamorous but really love it. Were gonna talk soon my friend xx
I loved reading this, Tracey. Your adventures make me smile. Glad your day job is working out.
And I just love your succulents. (Funny, I just created a board on Pinterest for pretty succulents). Oh, but I have to ask: what’s a “chook”?
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Hi Gleniece – yes I love a succulent – such a variety and so hardy, they seem to grow under any conditions – – – – except for attacks from the “chickens”. That is too funny – I didn’t realise “chooks” wouldn’t translate across the ocean. So “chook” is another word here for chicken and as said my three darling chickens love to escape there enclosure and eat any pot plant in sight so I have had to make a higher fence. Am off to read your post thats just arrived in my inbox xx
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Hello dear Tracey! I loved hearing about your new job! So exciting! And that quote about just moving– not waiting until all the questions were answered… very timely. God is working on me to trust Him– not worry about the how’s and when’s and why’s… I hold tightly to things I don’t want to give up, not realizing that if I would release my grip, He is ready and waiting to replace it with something better. ♥ Thank you for sharing a bit of wisdom and what your world looks like this summer (err…spring for Aus? Gosh I need Southern Hemisphere lessons…haha) xo
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Hi my friend – yes we are just heading on into spring here but the cold isn’t quite finished with us yet. Every now and then theres a warm breeze that keeps me hopeful of balmy warm springs days coming soon. Heather, I think we all struggle with holding on to what we know and are comfortable with and to what we think is the right way – but He has a way of getting to our hearts doesn’t He, of bringing us His way. Oh I take my time sometimes !!! Forever grateful how patient He is. Big love your way today and thanks for your lovely words as always xx I’ve been pondering much on your last two blog posts but I’ll head over to your blog to chat there.
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God is so good! Here’s to your Spring and our Fall (my two favorite seasons!) And yes I’m slow to move sometimes too- I think waaaay to much, but it’s good to ponder on God’s promises and how His timing is always right. ♥
Absolutely !! To new seasons xx
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Great finds and congrats on the job! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, have a great weekend!
Hi Sandra – thank you!!