Love in Hindsight III

In Post 1 and Post 2 of this series I looked back on my time as a pre-parent teacher and then as a parent in the present day.

While teaching and parenting are hugely important aspects of my life, they don’t define who I am.

It is interesting to note (to me at least) when I started blogging what information I added to my gravatar. ‘Mum’, ‘wife’, ‘sister’ and other titles were provided. But who am I?

Over the past two years I have seen myself on a course of discovery, trying to locate me and my passion. I won’t bore you with the long list of endeavours and ideas that floated through my mind.

Since the middle of last year I had thought about starting a blog but knew very little about what it entailed. On January 1 this year I decided that there was only one way to find out and that was to just do it (to borrow the famous Nike slogan). I could blog from home and it wouldn’t take me away from my young family. Yes! It was the perfect solution and it would be great. By choosing the theme and focus of my blog I would also be able to remind myself that there is love in the everyday moments of life with littlies.

Aiming high, which is always what I seem to do, I set out to write a post a day. Mum would probably say, ‘biting off more than you can chew.’ Yes, Mum, you’re right-as always (tongue in cheek).

Starting Free Little Words was the best thing I have done just for myself for a very long time. It is also the most time-consuming undertaking I have attempted in a very long time.

I don’t know about anyone else reading this but blogging, over the course of a week, has me sitting at my laptop or catching up on the reader on my phone for approximately 16 hours. That’s an ENTIRE DAY! Now, I don’t mean to shout at anyone but that’s a shedload of time.

Any new ‘thing’ that we choose to do generally takes time to learn and grow accustomed to. While I’m all for learning, there is a limit to the amount of ‘me’ I’m able to invest.

The one thing I am truly grateful for and would have given my left arm to rediscover was that I love writing. As the people closest to me would testify, I can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles. I have a tendency to be a jabber jaws though and my mouth moves faster than my brain can handle. I trip over my words and get tongue tied, particularly when I’m nervous or anxious.

So writing is the ticket for me. Being able to think then write and order my words and erase when needed, is just plain awesome. Add to that, my experience with children and the love of rhyme and rhythm and I feel a natural affinity towards picture books.

So blogging has led to more writing but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything. My manuscripts and ideas lay languishing on the bench at the end of every day, crying out for more words to join the fray.

So it has come down to this – my last post here on Free Little Words. I didn’t want it to sound so final even though it does.

There’s two young boys, who won’t be little forever, wishing that their mum would be slightly more present when she’s present. I owe them that much. Then when the lights are out and those eyelashes flutter as they dream sweet dreams, the words can spring forth to the begging blank page.

I leave you now with just one promise.

My journey on WP is not complete. I will be back; I’m just not sure when that might be. When I do, I hope you’ll welcome me back.

This mum/wife/sister loves to write.

♥ Kelly

 

Image from: here.

Blogtrotter July Tour

blogtrotterThere are more people blogging on WP than there are countries in the world to visit. Where do you choose to go first? Do you rely on pot luck, the ‘stumbled upon’ approach or a fool proof system that ensures you only see what interests you?

Armed only with a keen desire to find some great bloggers, I’ve set out to bring together some of my all-time favourites with new and inspiring content.

I’d like you all to meet Stuart Perkins. Unfortunately he was unable to be here but luckily I’ve spent some time over at his blog recently and can give you a bit of a rundown.

You’ve heard of the Dog Whisperer and here in Australia we have a Horse Whisperer too.

Stuart is the Bus Whisperer. He’s from Arlington and writes about the everyday moments and turns them into humorous stories (true). If you choose to drop by, some recent posts include Carol’s rendezvous with a black snake and George’s attempt at bringing a new girl into the fray.

Story Shucker is where you’ll find Stuart and I reckon he’s got a good thing going. Starting only last month, he has seen 257 people follow his blog already and over 4000 hits (if you’re a stats lover).

Now, Brian, the Jogging Dad, would probably rather jog the 4 miles Stuart travels than catch a bus. He’d be all sweaty by the time he got to work and would probably be crossing his legs as he’s not fond of relieving himself on the run. I suggest you don’t ask him what fartlek means and if he is not running away from his parenting duties he performs epic fails by his own admission.

Brian thinks when he runs whereas I’d rather just think about running and hope it has the same effect. He’s funny as and even has a t-shirt with joggingdad.com printed on it. He thinks it’s tasteful but you can make up your own mind. Keep your eyes peeled around Sydney Harbour in case you run into him. Jogging Dad’s been around the blog block for a while and I’ve been running with him in spirit for quite some time now. He’d probably die of shock if he knew I planned to do the City to Bay 12k run in September.

Only today, I found Kahn’s Wise Words. Sharon and Bud Kahn offer a daily quote, saying or inspirational thought. I’d love to have a desk to put one of the those desk calendars on. Being a relief (temp/substitute) teacher means I don’t have a desk to call my own. I can now have it on my laptop screen though, and may use it to inspire me for future posts if my muse goes missing.

When it’s peace I seek and a moment to pause, I drop in to see Laurie at Laurie’s Notes. Since the beginning of this year Laurie has enabled me to seek refuge at her blog and remember to breathe. She employs beautiful images and gentle words to offer comfort, affirmation and healing to her visitors. After reading one of her posts I always feel a sense of calm and that the inner hustle of my thoughts have quietened. It only takes a few moments as Laurie’s notes are always short but profound in their message.

I created the Blogtrotter logo to represent the journey that writers take as they venture around WordPress, knowing that there are no far corners, just endless opportunities and limitless creativity to be found. If you’d like to use the logo on your blog, feel free.

Love your work.

Kelly

Squatter or Blogtrotter?

Get out of your own blog much?

Does that stifled feeling leave you dreaming of taking off in search of sensational content from exotic locations, poems from the most gifted souls, meaningful musings from passionate writers and some of the funniest bloggers you’ll find on this planet?

blogtrotter wordpress challenge best blogs awesome increase views

They’re all right here waiting for you to come over.

Please accept this invitation to become a blogtrotter and the opportunity for unique expeditions will surround you.

6 months have passed since Free little Words began it’s journey here on WordPress. In the beginning, I planned to post every single day. At times, this was difficult and I definitely lost sleep over what I wanted to write. After the 5 month mark, came a wall. The realisation that publishing a post just to honour the commitment I made to myself became glaringly obvious. Quality was not the main focus anymore and it became increasingly difficult to keep up with the reader, comments and housekeeping.

Daily prompts passed by without a glimpse, serial ‘liking’ happened more often than not and time constraints stopped me from responding in kind to awards. The most difficult part was making time to discover new blogs, particularly the blogs of those people who had found mine. Some are following Free Little Words, others have commented but return visits haven’t eventuated. Added to this was the determination to have my first manuscript out the door which was accomplished.

So, now a change of scenery is being demanded. There are awesome blogs just waiting to be delved into. Becoming a blogtrotter and uncovering some awesome new blogs is a priority. I feel the need to be inspired: to find the funny, unique, positive, thoughtful and thought provoking blogs that will stretch an atrophied mind, allow it to be drenched in sunlight and be open to accepting new challenges.

There are other reading challenges on WordPress but most come with a set of rules and while conforming to a certain way of doing things is normally right up my alley, I want to fly by the seat of my pants this time round and do exactly as I please. No rules. Oh boy!

As a result there won’t be much going on within these walls for the next few weeks. Unearthing at least one new blog a day is going to be the main focus. When a blog is worth a shout out you’ll be the first to know. Featuring some old bloggerellies with the new is part of the overall plan. By highlighting your blog, the aim is to connect you with new followers.

The WordPress Blogtrotter badge is yours to do with as you wish. No strings. No fine print.

Continue to write as you always have. There may be many ‘someones’ about to discover you through your next post.

Love your work!

Kelly.

Love in Overdrive

driving mum madLove’s driving me crazy.

There’s nothing like a confined space and two small people with loud voices both competing to be heard.

My favourite driving experiences are:

The School RunShort and sweet. Hmm, short yes, sweet no. Those few short minutes can feel like sheer torture. Is the bickering and banter their way of saying, ‘I’ll miss you or I’ve missed you?’ Whatever the case may be it’s enough to drive anyone batty.

The Trip to the Grandparents: similar to the School Run just longer in length. There’s also the added anticipation of arriving. The excitement builds to a crescendo just as we pull in the driveway. My eardrums feel as if they might explode and the grandparents think that a tornado is about to hit the house. It is obvious to all concerned that I have little/no control over my terrors.

The Big Day Out Drive: setting out at shortly after the sparrow’s have sung their morning tune and arriving home close to dinner time denotes a Big Day Out. Wherever we may be headed we have a packed lunch, picnic rug, esky and bag (filled to the brim with spare clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc). The expected, ‘Are we there yet’s?’ start when we’re approximately half way there. It’s been smooth sailing the whole way if we don’t have to stop for petrol or the toilet en route.

The Great Escape: we’ve prepared for this for weeks but nothing can prepare us for the journey ahead. The car is crammed with half the contents of our house. The tailgate on the wagon will only just close. There’s pillows between the kids on the seat. It’s like we’ve tried to build the Great Wall between them so they can’t touch or see each other. The kids have got numerous things to keep them occupied. A game of ‘Eye Spy’ starts before we hit the freeway. If we’re lucky they’ll nod off (syncronised is heaven) for a while shortly after, ‘Are we there yet-i-tis?’ has commenced.

The Solo Cruise: doesn’t happen too often but when it does, Oh Boy! A chance to listen to adult tunes at any volume you please. Window up or down, whatever takes you fancy. And that annoying noise coming from the back of the car? It’s completely gone!

Mum’s taxi will be off again in the morning with the boys I love on board.

How do you cope with the calamity of children in cars for the quick trip or the long haul?

Footnote: After originally publishing this post in February, I decided to revisit it today as it was one of the first ‘pieces’ I wrote that exceeded several lines in length and had some substance. It is also the basis for the idea of my first picture book manuscript. My self-imposed deadline of June 30 is looming. I think my set of wheels needs a car detailer.

Image from: here.

I Love You When I’m Hanging Out The Washing

Pegs used to make I Love YouIt seems like washing day rolls around all too quickly but hanging out your clean clothes reminds me of how much I love you. They are also a reminder of how much you’ve grown and what you’ve been up to (and in to). Even though you’ll make them dirty again soon, I love you.

 

Footnote: This was my second post on my blog. I think the whole thing fitted in the reader without having to click on it. I created this photo when my intention was to have ‘I Love You’ in every post. These early posts were written as if I was speaking to my kids. Somewhere along the line my voice started speaking to my fellow bloggers about my boys instead. I think I also got a little bored of the ‘dear diary’ style of writing I was doing. The photo for this took longer than the post, from memory.

Love Goes On

Love the life you live.

There are those that may feel, on some days, positive life quotes should go kiss their patootie. Maybe you’d like to drop kick it out the nearest window. Grind it to a pulp with your fists?

This one is all glittery so maybe give it a chance?!

Are you good at living life to the fullest? Can you change your perspective based on thought alone? Or does it take action?

When I feel like life’s giving me the middle finger because shitty things are happening around me, I just go looking for hope in the form of love.

I have to; need to, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to drag myself out of the funk.

I don’t do stress very well. I don’t wear it; able to shrug it off like a coat. It consumes me from the core all the way to the surface.

Over the past 5 months I have read many of these ‘love’ related quotes, sayings, affirmations. I’ve stared at hearts and scrolled through 1000’s of images. And it works.

I may not have gained 10,000 followers in my first week of blogging or been asked to write a feature article on love. But I am still a winner. I got the reward I sought.

Love.

There is more love in my heart than ever before. I am a better mum, wife, friend and, most importantly, a better me.

So if you’re feeling like crap and you’d like to believe that you can feel better than you do right now read the quote above. Heck, read it 100 times. While you’re reading it your brain will be busy processing that. It’ll give you some time off from the other thoughts and help serve as a reminder to love your life.

We all know we only get one. Would you wish the way you feel about your life on someone else? If not, why would you want it that way for yourself?

After all, life goes on.

Live or love life?

Image from: here.

Crazy Little Thing Called ♥

Love is a little crazy.

There’s a touch of weird lurking here so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Is it just me or has there been a steady stream of bloggers heading for the hills of their own minds?

There’s a little bit of crazy talk going on around these parts and I’m sure I’m not the first one to pick up on it. I’m not that fast on the uptake.

I think I’ve already arrived at this point once before. Last time it was more like a ‘what the frigging heck am I doing?’ It’s changed now to a ‘I know what I need to do.’

Through the RCC I mentioned a self-imposed deadline to send off my first manuscript by June 30. That in itself proves I’m crazy. But not being one to back down without a fight I will stick to it. Only problem is, I haven’t even finished it yet. After that, I want to sit on it for a bit and revise/edit yada yada. Now please don’t hound me in the comments section for belittling the editing process or writers in general. A picture book is normally under 500 words. No biggie. Every word just has the weight of the world on it as there are so few of them.

Anyhoo. I wanted to take up a little blog space to thank some people. Don’t worry, it’ll probably only take as long as it would for you to say, ‘well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’

I’m not going to name drop. You guys all know who you are. My followers. No, not the 325 of you. The 10 or so true followers that have read almost EVERYTHING I have written.

Poetry and poems.

Whinges and whining.

Troubles and tantrums.

Humour and heart warmers.

10 words or 1000. You’re here every day.

I caught up on my reader today for the first time in over a week. Boy it was a relief and I felt great. On top of the reader for 0.4 seconds until one of you posts something I must read. Not because you expect me to; because I need to. I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in 3 months and my manuscript hasn’t seen one ounce of love in 5 weeks. As for my completely understanding, wonderful husband, well, he needs some extra loving.

This is not a ‘goodbye’,’ see you soon’ or ‘not sure when/if I’ll be back’ post. I’m not totally off my rocker.

This is a lull in the halls of love. I’m giving you guys a break. Your reader will be a little lighter and a slightly easier to manage without me taking up space. Actually, cancel that. I’ll be taking up space with stuff that’s already taken up space before. Not a fan of reblogs to be honest but it beats the looney bin which is where I’m worried I’ll be headed if I don’t find a new lease on love.

Oh and don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy. I’m relying on you lot for my daily dose of laughter. I need uplifting quotes and heartfelt poems. Update me with where you’re up to with all your goals and help me choose my next actual book to read. I’ll also be commenting my behind off so no need to be concerned for my mental health. I’m going to be a blogtrotter!

Finally, I would like to take my crazy brain with me having you know:

what I’ve sought

what I’ve learned

what I’ve shared

what I’ve gained

what I’ve pondered

what I’ve found…..

…..is LOVE!

And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kelly