*written over the end of February and the beginning of March.
I’ve read and listened to a lot of good things these past few months. Great essays, thought provoking books, this poem during a Conversations podcast – which literally made me stop walking and gasp. It’s been a great way to find a precious pause in a time that is increasingly hectic and full, what with the start of school and changing workloads and general life things like looking for houses and all the joy that comes with that. I know for many of us the after effects of the shit storm that was 2020 are lingering, and for some they never rescinded. So, at the risk of sounding wanky, I hope you all find the time and space for a pause and deep breath.
Cooking: I’ve been trialling a few recipes from More Plants, Less Waste which I’ve been enjoying but I can’t say Steve has been. He’s not adverse to eating plants, but he isn’t too keen on totally vegan eats on a regular basis. I’ve also made a few pots of red lentil dhal for our freezer and for friends who are in the early postpartum period. I’m still firmly on the bandwagon of take food, not presents when going to visit new babies. And if you want to level up, do a few chores for them while you’re there.
Drinking: Literally – water. I have noticed I’m really not drinking enough and am upping my game. In general, lots of sparkling water with fresh lime after my friend Claire was amazing and passed on her old soda stream to us. It makes water feel a little bit fancy and we all love it. Also cider or sparkling wine is sounding pretty ace about now. And of course tea and coffee, but you know that I’m a caffeine addict, don’t you?
Reading: In an effort to break the reading slump that hit me last year I not-so-accidentally swung the other way and started trying to read all the books. Which kind of took me back to university days and removed the joy from reading. So one book at a time it is – or actually three if I’m honest. Currently I’m working my way through Pandora Sykes’ essays How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right? as well as Pachinko and Girl, Woman, Other. All are great and I highly recommend them. Pandora’s Work to Get Happy essay in particular hit home. She explores how in a time of 24/7 connection our relationship to our work and careers has evolved from something we “do” to something we “are”, and that in turn she thinks this has led to a reduction in learning how to do things purely for pleasure. Instead we have to monetise it, display it on social media and be a “success”. Factor in how our society is geared towards women’s work also including the mental – and often physical – load within the house and no wonder we’re all burnt out and exhausted. #ouch.
“Too often a woman’s work is discussed in isolation – can she go part-time? Can she get flexi-time? – but a woman doesn’t have a child on her own. I find myself parroting the same line constantly: it takes two people to make a baby. And yet men’s flexible working requests are declined at twice the rate of women’s… culturally it is still unacceptable for a man to absent himself from work for the sake of his family. Even if he wants to. Even if he earns less. Even if it makes sense for their family.”
What can I say? This quote hit close to home and I found myself angrily and emphatically nodding my head at the book while eating lunch in the office.
Wanting: The beach! A few days away with the family-filled with beach mornings and hikes to waterfalls in the afternoon and the smell of fish and chips wafting around. And on a more practical note, I need new joggers before I’m literally walking barefoot. And a larger fridge that can accommodate the food a family of four actually eats. And right now a second cup of tea sounds good. It seems I have a lot of wants at the moment.
Looking: At a lot of Jman’s drawings. Since starting prep he often comes home with drawings for me that feature flowers, “because you love gardening mummy” and attempts at writing his name. I’m also glancing at my to-do list in my diary that I’m ignoring for a bit so I can tap away here.
Playing: Venetia La Manna’s new podcast All the Small Things. I loved her old podcast Talking Tastebuds, and this new one is shaping up to be just as good.
Enjoying: The quiet hour or so at night when Steve and I can hang out, watch something or just have a chat. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do this, as T was prone to waking multiple times between dinner and when we went to bed. However, I recently night weaned her, which to be honest was a rough few weeks / months of holding and comforting her multiple times a night while she cried – raged to be completely honest. She was pissed. Since then she’s started sleeping through the night and we’re all much better for the extra rest. We do still bed share, sometimes with both kids, which raises eyebrows from quite a few people but I prefer to meet my kids where they need me to be. And right now that’s with cuddles and comfort at night.
Waiting: For autumn. Brisbane, I love you but sometimes the eight months of summer weather we have each year becomes tiresome.
Liking: The quiet afternoon hour or so when I grab Jman from school after I finish work at the office and we go on a little adventure together. Some times it’s to a park he chooses, or to the library for a new book and a play. And some times we head back home and have a quiet afternoon together before walking to grab T from daycare. It’s nice to have some time when it’s just us and we can talk about dinosaurs and school adventures and whatever else he wants to.
Loving: Teaching prenatal yoga. I’m back teaching a weekly class here in Brisbane and it’s so nice. As much as I love vinyasa and hatha, there’s something so special about providing mothers-to-be with a bit of self care.
Buying: A weekly farm box from Lot 81 Micro Farm. I can’t remember how I first stumbled across this local-to-us micro farm but we visited last year once lockdown restrictions lifted here in Brisbane and have been fans of it since.
Watching: The Watch, which to be honest I don’t really love. It’s just too different from the Pratchett I know and love. Also the latest season of Shameless, which I do love. And I have a huge number of movies bookmarked to watch one night when Steve and I can stay awake past 10pm.
Marvelling: At T’s explosion in her language. There are multiple new words every day and it’s gorgeous. And loud.
Wearing: A lot of things. My wardrobe is being properly raided and dresses are being pulled out regularly. There was a long period there when I reached for comfort, but these days I want colour and fun, which means accessories, some high heels, and a few purchases from Depop (because fast fashion sucks etc etc and I don’t have a lot of luck in op shops).
Thinking: How nice it is to see people move their attention back to the blogosphere. So many of my old faves have switched their attention from IG and picked up where they left off, and I love hanging out in this space.
Here are some great ones I’ve been reaching for lately:
Meet Me at Mike’s
Treading My Own Path
Realising: just how easily we overlook the awesome, super dooper high five things we have done.
A few weeks ago I found my old (physical) portfolio from my days as a newspaper journo, and realised just much of a cracker that job was. I hope I knew that on some level at the time, but after a while it transformed into the daily grind of meeting deadlines and and the people I got to chat with – including two former Prime Ministers as well as politicians at all levels of government, profiles with people like Dr Karl and tennis player Ash Barty, court reporting, interviews with authors like Melina Marchetta. Just fantastic.
In this same vein I also got lost in our travel photos for quite a while there. We’ve had so many adventures.
Bookmarking: This YouTube channel for book recommendations and dreamy videos, and this one for great food ideas – and in my crazier moments it’s also why I believe I could really start up a farm. But then I remember I work multiple jobs before even factoring in family life and Steve’s hectic work load, and then I step back and enjoy pottering amongst my pots plants.
Feeling: Hopeful for the future but also anger at the ongoing gender divide and expectations placed on women and proud of the kids and how they’re thriving this year and anxious about climate change and the ongoing effects of the pandemic and then understanding why I generally just feel tired. There’s a lot going on in my head.
Snacking: Medjool dates with almond butter and a piece of dark chocolate. Sneaky Easter eggs. A fresh orange from our farm box. And more chocolate.
Now over to you. How have the past few months treated you?