Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 2: Define your Personal Values

Okay I'm going to get straight into this... I have been thinking about this a lot this week... didn't think it would be too hard... but definitely got me thinking about what's important to me.

1. Marriage/Family
I've linked this together because I guess when I'm talking about my marriage I want to include what that has evolved into... and that includes my two beautiful boys.  I'm surprised marriage made in to number one on my list.  Especially since when I was a child/teenager/young adult I NEVER thought I would get married.   Partly because I've never really 'fit in' when I was growing up and was never the girl the boys wanted, but also because I was a bit of a dreamer when I was growing up.  I wanted to be a doctor or a vet or save our forests and endangered species.  Marriage was never something I wanted... although companionship is something I longed for.  However, I met Darren and everything changed.  Building a life with him became my priority.  It's what I wanted.  Now it is everything to me.  Our marriage is far from perfect and we certainly have had our rough patches.  But when it comes down to it, I love Darren, I know he loves me, and we will both do everything we can to keep it strong... 'til death do us part' xoxox  A marriage involves so many values, trust, honesty, commitment, love...  It is something I want my boys to see and value.

2. Love
I tell my boys I love them every day and they tell me they love me.  I often hear:  "I love you Evan".  "I love you too Royce".  So amazing.  I love my family and cherish them, even if we don't always get along.  My boys are so lucky to have three Great-Grandparents who love them dearly.  They may not understand it now, but in the future I hope they truly appreciate how lucky they are.  Friends come under this category too for me.  I don't have a huge amount of friends.  Sometimes we get busy with life and don't see a lot of each other... but they are hugely important in my life and (I hope) they know that if they need me I will be there.

3. Gratitude
Something I think I have learned since meeting Darren and having our family.  I was such a 'the glass is half empty' person when I was younger.  I think I have turned that around... at least for the majority of the time.  I think the love and support Darren has given me and the love I have for my boys has really helped me to develop this.  Scrapbooking has also played a huge role.  It has helped me to take notice of all the lovely little things in our life and showed me what a huge difference they make to our life.  We only have one life... it may not be perfect, but surely there must be some good bits... enjoy them and cherish them.

4. Discovery/learning
This would have been number one for me when I was younger.  It had definitely taken a back seat in my life at the moment, but is still and probably always be in the top 5.  I loved school as a child.  Loved reading and learning.  Especially about science and our natural evironment.  I studied science at uni and then finished my teaching degree just before I had Evan.  I wanted children to grow up with the enthusiasm for learning that I had.  I haven't really done any teaching yet, other than a handful of days relief teaching... I'm not sure I even want to now.  I'm to involved with my boys.  I don't want to teach full time and lose the ethusiasm I have.  I want to give my boys all I can.  My eldest son has been diagnosed with Autism.  He is the most amazing little boy who looks at the world a lot like I did when I was little... with wonderment.  He is re-teaching me at the moment the importance of this value.

5. Passion
I'm surprised this made it to my top 5... but I wanted to express the need to live life and enjoy life... make time to do the things you want to do.  I guess I could have put this under love or learning.  But I could also perhaps broaden this happiness.

Everyone has to have a passion in life.  For my husband it is football and vintage motorcycles.  For me it is scrapbooking and the environment.  Now I'm not going to make out that I am a wonderful environmentalist who doesn't waste, always uses recycle products etc.  I'm not.  But I still love the outdoors.  We live in the most beautiful country (Australia) and I fully appreciate that.  In the future I would love to help injured native wildlife and get more involve in volunteer groups.  Life at the moment is a little too busy, but in the future... 
Scrapbooking is my outlet.  It's my time to make a mess and play with fun things.  It's also a time for me to look back at all the amazing memories... good and bad.  It's me time.  Me and Darren share each others passions too which is nice.  I have my motorcyle licence (something I have wanted to do since I was little).  And he can probably reel of more native plant species than me... he has a much better memory than me.  These things help both of us be happier people which in turn makes for a happier marriage.  Well most of the time... it is a balancing act.  Anyway, I will always try to let my boys (with in reason... safety first) persue their passions. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my boys happy (even if they decide to play cricket... yuck).
Oh... and a bit of passion when it comes to our marriage doesn't go astray either ;-)

6, 7 and 8 - fun/laughter, health and open-mindedness
I just wanted to add what else I would add... and if I was writing this on a different day, these may have made it.  FUN!!!  Yep no explanation needed here.  Laughing so hard that it hurts is something I would never say no to.  Just last night my youngest had me in tears.  I was saying to him while we were shopping that day that he knew too much and has been watching too much telly as he knew all the shops we went into.  Then that night he's sitting on my knee when he looks at my bra strap and asks me if I'm wearing a 'genie bra'.  For those who don't know, they are one of those TV shopping items... you know "but wait there's more!!!".  Boy he made me laugh.
HEALTH.  I'm lucky that my family and I are fairly healthy (although I could lose a few... okay quite a few kilos).  I'm far from the healthiest person.  My sister is a personal trainer and health fanatic.  And this would easily be in the top three on her list.  Me, well I think you can be healthy with out it taking over your life.  I know I could do more excercise and eat better sometimes.  But when I'm talking about health I'm just talking about feeling good.  Mentally and physically.  I feel good after a swim, but I feel just as good after a jump on trampoline or a ride on my scooter with my boys.  I feel good after a cuppa and chat with a good friend.  I make sure my boys get as much good food as possible.  They both love salad will eat it till the cows come home... we eat a lot of salad.  I want them active to.  Sometimes they don't do enough of this, but most of the time they do. 
Open-mindedness - This probably didn't make it to the list because I'm not sure how important it is to me... it's just part of who I am, although a lot of people I know probably wouldn't even realise how open-minded I am.  Don't get me wrong, I certainly have my opinions... and sometimes I think I need to keep them to myself... but I am open to others.  I can usually understand why they think that way.  I don't always agree with people decisions, but in the end it's their decision.  This is my life, and other peoples live are their lives.  I'm also open to new ideas and new challenges.  I'll pretty much give anything a go.

Well that's it.  It's taken a while to get all this down... if your still with me thanks for hanging in there :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

52 weeks to simplify your life

I was catching up on a few blogs this morning when I came accross Home Life Simplified.  Here there is a challenge just started up... 52 weeks to simplify your life. 

Now I don't think my life is particularly complicated, nor do I see myself as a negative person (anymore).  Scrapbooking has been a large part in helping me see the positives in my life and will always play a role in keeping me positive.  This challenge I think will compliment my crafting well and perhaps keep me on track when I am too busy or tired to do any scrapbooking.  It is up to Week 2, so I thought I might do Week 1 today and then in a day or so look at Week 2.  Then I will be up to date :-)

Week #1 Challenge: Create a list of everything that went “right” in 2011

I think 2011 was such a positive year for me and my family.  Darren and I seemed to be on the same page most of the year.  We had a few BIG barneys, but we seem to be able to talk through them better and listen to what the other person is saying a better too.  I think we both agree too that for a marriage to work both of us have to work at it and both of us need to make comprimises and sacrifices for the marriage and our relationship.  Not everyone agrees with me on this one... but Darren does so that's the main thing.  Towards the beginning of the year Darren was not a happy chappy.  He was not happy in his work place and felt he was being taken advantage of.  He would bring it home and it did not make for a happy homelife.  We eventually worked things out (after a massive argument) and he really did make a concious effort not to be unhappy at home, just because he was at work.  I am so proud of him for that, because I know how hard it is to do.  As the year went on his work finally signed him out (mature age apprenticeship) and he seemed to be much more content with work... at least he was being paid for what he was doing and had been doing for pretty much his entire apprenticeship.  This post is becoming rather long so I might just do the rest in point form
  • The two boys enjoyed one day a week in daycare and this made my life just that little bit easier.  It gave me that little bit of time to get things done, relax and catch up on sleep from my late night shifts.
  • Through daycare, kinder, speech and occupational therapy Evan has made AMAZING progress and is now ready to start school.  He is an exceptional little boy and I have completely embraced his diagnosis of Autism... there are so many things about Evan that make him special... Autism is a part of who he is and I certainly wouldn't want to change a thing about him.We finally updated Darrens tired old van to a lovely brand spanking new Holden Colorado.  Darren always says "good things come to those who wait"... drives me insane sometimes when he says this... but his right.  We have both been working hard, watching what we spend and saving when we can since we married... and now we are starting to see "the light at the end of the tunnel"... another one of Darrens favourite sayings.  But it's true... financially we really are getting to where we want to be...
  • Royce is my cheeky little monkey who can make me smile when no one else can :-)  It's so hard to be angry with him (sometimes I have put on my angry mothers face when I'm pissing myself laughing on the inside) and impossible to stay angry with him for long.
  • This last point leads me to probably my final point... otherwise I may be here all day.  Darren and I have been looking at what we want to do 'as a family'.  We both love the outdoors and the simple life and camping is something we both enjoy, although haven't done much of since we've been together.  But seeing some of this beautiful country of ours as a family really has become something we are both excited about... the boys are so excited too!!!  We're even looking at investing in either a camper trailer or campervan.  But for now the good ol' tent will do :-)  This friday will be our first family camping exhibition.  We're heading to Lake Colace, just for a night, for Evan's birthday.  We've already got our next date set too!  Happy, exciting times ahead!!!
Well I better stop now.  But overall, so many things went right in 2011... here's hoping 2012 is just as great :-)