Warning: Life is not ‘Set in Stone’.

In June 2018 I will have lived in the capital city of Australia called Canberra for two years. I had grown up in Canberra since a five month old baby. Had completed school in Canberra, gotten married and had four of my five children. Back in 1997 we moved to Sydney followed with more relocations  which eventually had me living in Brisbane for 8 years. Canberra was a city I visited to spend time with my family.

Due to my visits to Canberra being fairly brief I never got a chance to see all the various suburbs to take much notice of all the changes that had happened in over 20 years.

20 Years is a long time!

The changes that I have noticed living back here in Canberra continue to amaze me.

The area I grew up in Canberra is called Belconnen. In Belconnen there is a shopping mall which I frequently walked through as I was heading to work as a young person brave enough to wear high heels every day!

I caught the bus from the suburb I grew up heading to the Belconnen Bus Interchange. The interchange looked like a big tunnel that was built high above the roads. I would walk that tunnel back and forth each day particularly when I worked in data entry as the office was at the other end of where the shopping mall was situated.

The tunnel was looking very old and worn over the years until it was eventually removed and the bus interchange had a major make over. It doesn’t look anything like it used too.

Then there are the suburbs that have grown dramatically filled with houses left, right and centre. Developers building and expanding the suburbs over the years  catering for the population growth.

Growth equals change.

Updates happen every day. Old buildings are pulled down and erected new. Roads are widened, highways are built. Even the playgrounds my kids enjoyed have been modernised. Speaking about modernised it was fairly recently that I was having an afternoon at Lake Burley Griffin. What surprised me was the public toilet!!! I felt as though I was walking into a space ship. It was so modern that you waved your hand over buttons to get things to turn on. As you walked in music started playing! I don’t know if there are other toilets like this around Canberra however a great example of how far things have come.

These changes we see around us are only a reflection of how much our lives change over time, nothing is ever ‘set in stone’.

Our children grow up and begin exploring the world creating their own families. We are constantly facing change and having to adapt to them.

The minute you settle thinking life couldn’t possibly change the smooth sailing lasts only a moment until something turns up to rock the boat!

Amidst these changes we must adapt to our new situations. Much the same way as the areas we live in are updated to adapt to the population growth or to being modernised, we will find ourselves having to change the way we have previously done things.

The person I was twenty years ago is not the same person I am today. A lot has changed. My circumstances have changed COMPLETELY.

When I was younger I didn’t give much thought to my decision making. I went with the flow, whatever felt right at the time. 20 years on I take my time and give a lot more thought to my decisions as experience has taught me that I’m best not to make decisions based solely on feelings. A good feeling doesn’t guarantee a good decision!

As a young person I ignored the facts and lived by my feelings. I have learnt to put my feelings aside and take a good hard look at the facts before I jump into anything too seriously. Feelings change however ‘facts’ don’t change.

My decision making process has evolved due to life lessons which have been my teacher. This is just one example of a personal change or rather a growth area of mine.

As life changes from moment to moment we need to change the way we do things. After all the various changes I have had over the years if I were to continue making decisions based on feelings as I did when I was younger I would find myself repeating the same mistakes.

As you get older you no longer have the energy to make the same mistakes. Mistakes are costly and we all make them. It is apart of the learning process of growing up.

We become smarter and wiser!

Much like old structures which over time start falling apart requiring a make over we too need a make over. If we think we can keep doing things the same way and never change or grow we will find ourselves stuck. You cant move forward when you are stuck.

There comes a time when you have to accept the facts!

If I were to continue living in the past remembering what it was like being a mum to five children wishing I was still there I would never move forward. The facts are that my children are no longer young. Four of them are adults. They don’t need me the same way they used to my level of care has changed. I’m here as a support whenever they need me!

BE encouraged, life will always be changing and you will find yourself needing to adapt and grow. Growth is good! Its healthy! Don’t stay stuck in the past as there is always something new and wonderful to look forward in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sifting through ‘muddled messes’…

By nature I am a person that likes things tidy and organised. Complete messes just mess with me. It throws off my mood and general sense of enjoyment. Having had four children under the age of four decades ago I spent morning to night dealing with messes. It was mostly all the practical stuff. Messes spread from room to room while mealtimes consisted of cute little faces wearing food as fast as it was being eaten.  Having mess is unavoidable.  Cleaning up the messes involved some organisation and staging. It seems to work better when we prioritise messes from extremely urgent to ‘this mess can wait’, especially when you are multitasking between young children with different ages requiring different levels of attention.

To let the day go with the flow would not have been as effective. Those types of days happen occasionally, however forward thinking or planning ahead can remove unnecessary stress and save time.

As a young mum in those days I had to be fairly fast with decisions and good at organising. It is no easy job to be a mum of four under four. At various stages I was also pregnant while looking after toddlers. So not only was I dealing with messes I was dealing with pregnancy and everything that came along with that. Naps were necessary and general care of myself was highly crucial. With pregnancy come the sensitive emotions riding alongside your hormones. No matter my emotional state I had to consider what the practical needs of the day were and stick to completing them. There were no options of staying in bed feeling overwhelmed with emotion as young children needed me to take care of them. We all know that young children don’t give you a day off.

No matter what season we find ourselves in there are messes to clean up in life.

Where there are people there will be mess.

In the same way that messes are unavoidable in daily living within a household, emotional mess can build up on the inside too!

Given the past three months or so of my recent journey I have been faced with plenty of mess. If it isn’t my own emotions swinging from one tree to another the challenge of my circumstances can sort of pile up on top of each other and leave me feeling overwhelmed. It is challenging to sift through messy emotions and messy circumstances all at the same time. Unlike Tarzan who loves swinging between trees I can’t say that it is really a skill that I have.

Until you find yourself in a situation such as a 27 year marriage breakdown it is difficult to comprehend all the various aspects one must deal with. There are the concerns you can’t help but feel for your children who are also struggling to deal with the situation somehow. There are the endless questions that pop into your mind which keep you up at night or hold you captive during the day.

In this particular season my four children who were under four decades ago are now adults. I only have my 9 year old with me. In some ways my adult children are now faced with sifting through their own emotional backlog of hurt and pain. I can’t do it for them no matter how desperately I wish I could take it all away and put a big smile on their cute little faces.

As I sift through these muddled messes I consider which areas are the most important right now. The minute I try and deal with everything at once I get extremely overwhelmed. It is essential for myself and my youngest that I do some forward planning and consider which areas are of most importance. While the needs are enormous practically and emotionally I have been learning to pace myself daily in order to accomplish some form of problem solving.

The problem solving is now on my shoulders!

I take my hat off to all the single mums out there who are in the same boat.

When questions or overwhelming emotions start cluttering my mind  I can only resort to looking at the situation by pure facts. It is the facts of this situation that speak clearer to me than my emotions can. Emotions can lead me astray. When I put those messy emotions aside for a moment I remind myself about the reality of what has taken place. Some of those realities or facts tell me that there is nothing I could have done to change anything. There are some messes in life that are out of my hands to clean up or fix. They are messes someone else has chosen to create and therefore it is out of my control.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog I am the sort of person who needs organisation, I can’t handle too much mess. Being in this current circumstance has been challenging as there has been plenty of mess to sift through. Trying to make sense of the mess is impossible. Trying to clean up all of the mess is also impossible. It simply is not in my power to do so.

The position that I can take in this muddled mess is one of prioritising, recognising the facts that can’t be changed and constantly reminding myself that I have no control over other people’s choices or decisions. I do have the power right now to move forward with little steps. To not expect that I can somehow problem solve everything in a day.

That no matter what has happened to me or my kids it is crucial to not let any further mess into my hurting heart. Having boundaries was never really a strength of mine when I was younger and perhaps that has caused me more grief than I can imagine. Having had such little value for myself opened the door to letting other people take control, almost like being tossed around at sea with no anchor of my own.

Whether you find yourself in a muddled mess or feel as though you are being tossed around out at sea I hope that what I have written reminds you to take a look at the facts. Don’t let emotions be your leader. Don’t give all your control to someone else, set boundaries and keep an anchor handy for those moments when you need to stop being tossed around out at sea.

An anchor can be your friends or your family. As a Christian a great anchor is the bible, church and prayer. All of these things are good for keeping you from being tossed around, feeling helpless in your circumstances.

Most of all no matter the mess,

you matter ♥