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Thursday, 14 July 2011

Winter Beauty In A Park

So very tired tonight. I have just finished a long haul of weeks of work and my children are on school holidays from tomorrow. Yeah sleep in due. Have given them the word about not waking me up. A few blogs ago I talked about taking photos, a photo challenge. So I am just taking a moment to post one of my winter shots taken in a local park around the corner from where I live.

My favourite time of day is late afternoon when the shadows lengthen and the soft angled light brings the grass to life.

There is an enjoying of life at midlife. Family relationships seems richer, life slows a little to find meaningfulness if we look to notice it.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Hearts Reach From The Past

Just this morning I chatted on facebook with a face and voice from my past. It brought tears to my eyes. I spent six and half years looking after malnourished children, amongst other things, in the Philippines. Every now and again I get a new request from facebook to be a friend of a young person who reminds me how I helped them as malnourished children. Or I knew them and their parents and they send their love to me.

It is so special.

'That life' seems so far behind me but in my hearts longings I would love to go back there and hug the people and children I left behind 20 years ago. Some of us have lives like that, segmented where we have chosen to leave something behind to start something new. In midlife it can seem that many bridges have been crossed, never to be returned over again. The fragments can be painful but it won't always be that way.

Heaven will be a wonderful place where crossed bridges and broken pieces of our past will be healed. Where all the pieces will fit back in harmony, where as friends and brother and sisters in Christ we will all worship side by side with such intense joy and unity.

Thank-you Casey you have warmed my heart today.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Wrong Lens

I met a friend in church this morning who like me feels its hard to depart much from the mid line at this stage of life. Her discussion echoed my daily emotions. You think you might like to study a paper at university or find something thrilling to do to impress, or just follow a new interest but where is there the time to do it!

She has 5 children and we share the sense of loneliness there is at being at home churning over chores and missing relational experiences with burgeoning or teenage children. Children who need you less and less except to open your wallet or give them permission.

But as she commented we find it so difficult in our generation to be happy with our domestic role in comparison to our Mothers or Grandmothers. They didn't delight in their domesticity but they weren't given many other options so had lower expectations of their station and reveled in it. They enjoyed their home baking days and high teas and gossip sessions in the drawing room with their women friends.

I think I should start a midlife morning tea movement!

Our expectations are so high, the scope of opportunities so broad that we feel the need for two lives to do everything we'd like to do.

So the word contentment came to the surface again. It has been tumbling over and over in my thoughts in recent weeks. Can we be content without lessening our expectations?

Two things are coming to my realization. Only peace with God quietens a discontent heart and realigns our expectations to things that are more worthy of a life lived well.
Discontent is fast fed by advertising and trips to stores and comparing our situations with others.

My final word on this is about perfection. Perfection is such a disappointing dance partner, it waltzes the first lap with us and then changes partners for something more perfect on the second. When we view everything in life with a need for perfection, we will always be disappointed and discontent. We need to see beauty in the 'rough around the edges life' that we live and true wealth in our relationships with others.

I'm glad for the challenge to change the lens for myself,


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Widened Horizons

I am missing blogging, so here I am again. Have a new follower (such a strange thought to have followers!) Am a little further down the bathroom reno research path. Thanks to some helpful advice from a plumber friend we now have a bathroom stripped to the floorboards and have stopped at this. Now I am researching architects to draw up concept plans to redesign our house layout and flow. The bathroom is in the wrong place and we need an extra bedroom. So we have turned a few corners. So far a painless process!

My oldest daughter has had her 10th birthday and has entered the age of cool skateboard kid with the shoes, skinny jeans and cap to fit the image. For me it was owning a original pair of green kaki army pants and nap sack at that age, followed closely with falling in love with horses. So we are not that far apart across the ages.

Last night we went to our first Auckland Zoological society meeting together. We heard a European zoologist speak about olfacation and the olfactory bulb in the NZ Kakapo. 'K' commented that she really enjoyed being there but because of the speakers accent and rather expanded vocabulary, all she understood was thank-you for coming. She would like to be a zoologist at age 10, so we are pursuing this interest wherever we can. On Sunday we go on a 'free to member's behind the scene look at the new building development going on at Auckland Zoo.  

Life continues to be a mess and a muddle for me but never boring. I never thought at 50 I would be sitting in lecture rooms with Auckland Zoo staff and other conservationists but then my father never thought he would be joining riding clubs at the same age and sitting beside me explaining society meeting procedures either.

Parenthood is an exploritive journey of many directions and stages. Our children widen our horizons and allow us to enter into aspects of life, adventure, interests with them as they get older that we never would have chosen for ourselves.

That is kind of cool.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

To Blog or not to Blog

This is the question? This journey into the modern world has been just over a week long for me. Should I continue? Maybe some of you have some thoughts about that?

Does anyone have some advice about bathroom reno's. How it went well or wrong for you. Is using a complete package company a financial rip off or is it worth the money spent? Please write a comment as I'd love to know. We need to decide in the next week how we approach this.

Right I'm off to scream around the house and clear up a weeks mess, after 2 soccer practices, scores of homework, washing and beds, find the kitchen bench and make a cake to take up to school for a shared lunch. Pop in on Mum and give her meds, and walk the dog. However I did spend 15 minutes on my face this morning and am wearing my $8 second hand top from savemart and I feel a million dollars.

Cheerio, Carolyn

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Keeping up Appearances

Well I did the hot chocolate at the garden center this afternoon before I picked up the kids from school. It was 'lick'alicious. Then I briefly enjoyed the visual feast of interior decor items on my way to the door without buying anything. I must score a brownie point for that one.

A friend and I were talking about keeping up appearances today. Finding and taking the time to put on a little makeup to brighten the face and keep our husbands noticing us. So we don't just fade into the wallpaper. I think a lot of the time we just can't be bothered when it's not a work requirement. But have you noticed how confident you feel when you've finished and stride out the door with the eye shadow and a striking lipstick on.

Womanly confidence is worth bottling, especially for those days when life seems dull. Its a good pick me up. No the preschooler won't notice but your husband will. Valuing ourselves somehow helps others value us too.

So gather up all those pieces of your make-up kit, no matter how old and desperate they look, or how far flung they are! Re-instate them in your handbag. Find a space in your morning even if its after you've left the house to make a striking difference to the way you look and feel. Often the only thing that needs to be airbrushed is our confidence.