15 April 2012

Something's Gotta Give...(and Other Post-Easter Realisations)

Life has been as little busy of late. Actually, to be honest, life has been physically and emotionally exhausting of late. I feel like I've been running from one thing to the other, going at full speed all day and half the night. 

And on top of that my head has been swirling with all kinds of questions about relationships, family, step-parenting, beliefs, creativity, purpose, life, death...you know, just the small stuff. So amongst all of this, something had to give. And much to my sadness that something has been my online time. (But much to my happiness that something hasn't been my daily exercise, seems I've finally formed a healthy habit there!). 

Anyway, here's some things that have been on my mind over the past week or so: 

- I'm a big fan of outsourcing when it comes to housework. One of the blessed perks of being a corporate supported expat in Asia is the easy avaialability of outside help to vacuum, iron and change the bed linen (three tasks I loathe). Like a lot of Aussies, when we first moved to Hong Kong we resisted getting a 'helper' for a long time, but we caved, and haven't looked back. Currently our part time helper (who is 9 shades of awesome) is back home in the Philippines and I miss her terribly. It's such a surreal thing though, one day I'll write a post about the whole maid phenomenon... 

- Being busy isn't all bad. It can give you a sense of accomplishment and focus your mind absolutely. It can make you feel all super organised and grown up.  

- Doing housework isn't all bad. I get a strange kick out of mopping, washing the clothes and doing the dishes. Everything else though - meh! Also, the never ending bit - meh! (See also this). 

- A good meal can make most things better. Ditto for sunshine, happy dogs and a nice cup of tea. 

- Roast lamb, peas and mint are a heavenly trifecta. 

- It's a bit sad when kids grow out of things. There was no Easter egg hunt in our house this year.

- Speaking of kids, I am the worst daughter! It was my Mum's birthday last week and I haven't even sent her a card yet. So, once again, happy birthday Mum - something very special will be on it's way to you soon...

- We have no real Easter traditions, which is also a bit sad. Do you have any secular ones we could steal? Suitable for teens-to-be? And fussy husbands? 

- Having this song stuck in your head all week is not necessarily a bad thing. 

- Annie Proulx is a lyrical genius. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get round to reading The Shipping News. 

- Life is lonely, sometimes. It's also often a little bit messy. But most of all, life is pretty darn good, and I'm grateful for that.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter, and - if you're in the middle of them, like a lot of Australians are - I do hope you're enjoying the school holidays!


  1. First... beautiful eggs!! They look like origami paper patterned eggs.

    I understand life shifts. Family dynamics seem to change so quickly when children grow and careers shift. A solid family rhythm is suddenly no longer there and the matriarch is left to organize a new rhythm, sometimes after a lot of trial and error. Nothing makes me more melancholy than these shifts. I have the exact same feeling that's expressed in the link. I still often picture myself as an early 20s girl, floundering her way through things, when in reality I'm in my mid 30s and responsible for a household and 2 small children.

    You sound as though you have found a key to get through this. Focusing on the positive of the little and big things.

    As for teenagers and Easter, I remember that my family started doing an activity together rather than the usual egg hunt. We'd have brunch then go to a movie or museum or road trip to explore the countryside.

    I didn't comment on one of your other thoughtful posts and feel a strange internet guilt for that. I hope my rambling in this comment has made up for it.

    1. Thanks so much Jeannine, it's so nice to know that a) someone is reading my muddled ramblings and (even more so) that b) someone can actually relate to them! I think in truth we are all probably just floundering our way through things. Most of the time that works out okay, but sometimes things (I like your use of the term 'shifts') throw us into a contemplative/melancholic mood.

      And thanks for the Easter tradition pointers - liking the idea of a big brunch and then an outing!

  2. Those eggs are gorgeous ;~D

    I feel the same when life shifts and children grow up and the little traditions seem to fall by the wayside and being in a different country you can feel a little disjointed but yes the key is to focus on the positive and to maybe start some new traditions.

    1. Thanks for your comment Monique - I think you've really hit on something here, something that I hadn't considered. The dislocation of being an expat can be so liberating (and so full of adventures!), sometimes I forget that it also makes me feel a bit untethered, yes, like you say - disjointed. I guess that's why I've suddenly become a bit obsessed with creating traditions over the past few years!

  3. It seems like April has been quite the busy and reflective month for a lot of us! I'm happy to hear you've found some time for yourself (and a regular exercise regime… can you share your secret? I'm in dire need!) in amongst all the craziness. It sounds like you've been focusing on the postive and I agree with you that being busy isn't all bad.

    Life can be pretty darn good!

    1. There is definitely something in the bloggy air this April, I've seen quite a few unusually personal or contemplative posts about the place! I've always been a big believer on focussing on the positives, big and tiny - I really think it makes for a happy life. It means that yesterday may have sucked a little, but today the sun is shining and the dogs are happy and the coffee is strong!

      As for my exercise habit, a few thing spring to mind - find something you 'enjoy' (as much as is possible); do it FIRST THING in the morning; and keep at it until you start to see changes in your body/strength, seeing my less-flabby arms and my more-toned legs is the best motivator for me to keep at it! Oh and not having a 9 to 5 job also helps, a lot!

    2. Finding something you enjoy is definitely the key to my successful exercise habit too. Now that I'm back in Australia I'm trying to get back into my regular morning jog/walk routine which I always enjoyed, and it helps clear my foggy thoughts. :)

  4. I noticed you were not around IG as much lately. I also try to focus on the positives, once you start doing this, it really is easy to continue, and now when major things go wrong, it really is not such a big deal. I am so much happier overall, and less stressed.

    I always get more done when I am busy and when I have a deadline, like if people are coming to stay.

    I look forward to your post on the maid phenomenon. I am exactly as you wrote, it is still quite weird. But I finally have someone who comes in once a week, and cleans and helps with what ever needs doing. And tonight, for the first time, I have left all of todays dishes for her to do tomorrow......it feels awful and wonderful, all at the same time. We are thinking of asking her in twice a week now, as we are loving it, now we have tried it- hubsand gets all his ironing done, I get more time with the kids/more sewing time, and the apartment is cleaner than I would ever make it.

    The eggs are gorgeous too, did you make them?

  5. I've been going through some boring/frustrating stuff recently too ... With a bit of "WTF am I doing over here?" added in too. But colour keeps me happy, so I put some pics on my blog to cheer myself up! http://alifelessdigital.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/i-heard-a-bus-shelter-singing/


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