3 things that make me happy {Pet edition}

The almighty regency Dot. She’s fitting in nicely.

Australians have great pets, yes?

Disobedient pet, yes – but very, very, very cute.

(Taken after assembly last week. He received a student of the week award with qualities that make him special such as “his good sense of humour”, his persistence and his gabby get along skills. Go boy!)

F-E-A-R

I had never, ever realised how in the grips of fear I lived until I started skating.

It turns out that fear holds me in the palm of its hand and soothes me with its tender words.

I am scared to fall, to bruise, to break. I am scared of putting one foot over the other to do cross overs. I am scared of going slower than my peers who have been skating for a longer time than I have. I am scared of going fast and getting another tummy bruise. I am scared of stopping. OF STOPPING. Of stopping near walls. I am scared of walls. I am scared of losing my teeth in a nasty fall.

I am scared that I am letting my parents down by skating. I am scared that my son thinks I am bat-poop crazy for undertaking such a scary sport. I am scared that people won’t like me. I am scared that I will never make it out of level one. I am scared of making it into level two.

Do you get the feeling that I am scared?

I take this fear and then I let myself run with it. I don’t do most of those things because of what might happen. So then I open up a whole new can of worms. I could break my wrist by not stopping before hitting the wall.

I let fear control me. I let fear hold me back.

In theory, I would just release my fear, let go and embrace what I want to achieve. You know that gorgeous quote by Ambrose Redmoon:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

I like that one. To me that is what courage truly is. I am trying to be courageous, I truly am. I am going to training. I am being a nincompoop. I am trying to get my head together. It is more important for me to work outside of my comfy middle class preconceptions than to be afraid. So I am there. The slow, slow, slow one, that the coaches reassure with “just trying will help” or “we all started off this way”. I take my role of personal cheer leader seriously and genuinely compliment the others on their good work. This sport is hard on your psyche, encouragement is good.

I am learning that I hate being the last to do something. HATE IT. That I then feel my monster lurch out of my tummy and all I can think of is “I’m too slow. I want to stop. I can’t do this. Why am I here.” These thoughts spiral and all I can do is not cry at how I am letting myself down. I don’t want to be this way, so I try to dig deeper and the monster within laughs at me. Taunts me. Tells me that I’m stupid for even having started this. This is not a cute furry monster that you want sleeping on the end of your bed, this is a monster with sharp teeth and darkness looking out of its eyes.

This monster has lived within me since I was tiny. Any time I have done anything physical it’s come out to play. Anything not physical. Anything new, really. I did ballet when I was 6 – for three weeks. I couldn’t cope with the falling and not being the best immediately, so I left. I don’t want to do that again. I can still remember my monster, though.

Some people carry their monsters on their sleeves in the form of physical disabilities or scars or whatever. Others look perfectly fine, but there is a monster that appears sometimes. We all have to overcome our monsters, or do we? I think we have a choice. I have a choice.

It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t feel like I’m pushing a rock up a giant mountain. I don’t think I have struggled this much with something that I want to do, ever. Or at least, not since that assignment the other week. This is the thing, though. I love this sport. I mean, I LOVE it. I love skating. I love the companionship. I love that wearing short things si perfectly acceptable. I love that it is so women focussed. I love the spectacle and the panache. I love the sweat. So I will keep going. I will do this. I will get better.

So there’s this quote, that I understand all too well and love to bits:

Here’s to rocking it out at training this week, yeah? Yeah 🙂

Coincidentally, this was written (but posted after) a friend’s post with almost the same feelings. Derby truly is a learning curve. I won’t be writing any more about my skating (mis)adventures on here. I have another blog for that http://derbydiaries.wordpress.com so I can remember how terrible I was when I become fabulous.

In a few years time, of course. 29 hours on skates in the last 14 years. All of that in the past 6 weeks. It’s ok to not be perfect.

Aspirations

When I was 5 I announced that when I grew up, I wanted to be a lawyer.

At 10 I argued with my teacher that I was going to be a lawyer.

At 19 I actually did some law…. and despised it.

At 28 I want to work flexible hours and pick my son up from school – how much life has changed!!!!

So I’ve been waiting keenly for the sonly one to announce what he has wanted to be.

At 5 he wanted to be an olympicser, a book-library person and an archer in the olympics

At 6 – a games designer

at 7 – to fly planes in the air force.

With the first two, I smiled and nodded. With the third, I looked at him and mentally went “click”. Of all his aims so far, this one is the best fit, it’s the first one I could actually see him doing. It just fits him. So… we’ll see how long this one sticks around, maybe 8 will bring a new idea! Secretly, I had always hoped to have a child declare that they were going to do the most outlandish thing, like be a tightrope walker or be a tour guide in outer Mongolia or whatever. I think we’d deal with that, as parents, really well. But the military??? Oi Vey….

In other news, it is Sunday. Day of rest and sunshine. The boy is jumping on the trampoline with the spouse, there is a toilet being renovated (the dust! Oh my, the dust!), skating in the afternoon and preparing for the week at large. Weekends, in this lifetime, simply are not long enough. Happy Sunday, all!

New project alert (aka return of the phojo mojo)

(An almost workshop photo… I decided it was too homageish to the

beautiful Deb Schwedhelm and Sheye Rosemeyer)

 

It’s been a while. Since taking up skating, my interest in photography has waned slightly… It coincided with my 365 concluding and realising that I didn’t need (nor want) to pick up the camera every day.

I was so mistaken.

I’ve been editting photos and realised that I’m really enjoying my perspective at the moment. I like playing with pink and tones and blacks and whites. Homage to Sheye? Of course. Taking that in a different direction for me? Totally. (Thanks for your encouragement, Sheye!)

So in the spirit of moving forward and brave new steps to the future, I would like to officially announce my new project:

Darkness and Light – 365 days of shadows

aka, photographing shadows and embracing them. I’m going to be uploading to Flickr when I have the opportunity and am aiming to share here once a month or so.

Will the photos be perfect? Um…. do you really need to ask that??? I’m hoping to un-photography-school myself slightly. I got heavily influenced at the library yesterday, flicking through Max Dupain’s work (I have always loved his work….) and by Elliot Erwitt’s work (which I had never seen previously). I loved their harsh black and whites and their half smiles in their work….

 

So all in all, I’m okay. Experiencing a return to form, as it may be. Perhaps I feel better rested. Perhaps I needed to feel that spark… Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps…. 🙂

Honouring Life

Life is precious/art/a gift.

Life is fleeting/slow/boring.

Life is so many things and all things.

Including short. Brief. Intimate. Overintheblinkofaneye.

Grief, on the other hand, moves in strange ways. It moves over and under and lurks in unexpected places. In the sun with the birds chirping, it doesn’t feel like grief. It feels like living. Then you move into the shadows and darkness, whilst the sun is still up in the sky and every thing becomes topsy turvy.

One year on. So, very, very missed.

Life. Death. Over. Under. Black. White. It somehow doesn’t seem right that the line between life and death is so concrete. I refuse to believe that it is, in fact. I think when I hear the rainbow lorikeets chattering next door, the laughter of your best friend, the click of the shutter, that in that moment you are there and everywhere.

Dad Day

It’s after 10:30am and I am awake.

I haven’t yet left my bed – I don’t need to. The father of my son has again spoiled me by bringing me a coffee in bed, a long glass of water and morning kisses. I love this man.

I am listening to one of my favourite albums – The Dandy Warhols “Come Down” and feeling…. feeling.

Father’s day is so mixed up in my family. Families are never really easy, though. I am the fourth child on one side of the family and the first on the other. Working out the murky colours of half sibling-ship and my place in the family is an ongoing work in progress. Come December, the little family and I will head to the city of the siblings so the boy can experience cousins. And Aunts. And an Uncle. And family on a large scale. We are all genuinely looking forward to the circus!

So… celebrating families, parenthood, daughterhood, dads, grandfathers and all today.

Thank-you for all of what you do, boys. The boy is lucky to have you (and so am I!).