Tag Archives: Time

waxing nostalgic

Everyone is cute when they’re little. There’s something about being so young and full of life that lends itself to genuinely adorable impressions. No fears yet, no social constraints. You just let your imagination roam free as you learn and explore the world around you each day.

The memories of this stage fade over time, but occasionally you can recapture them looking at old photos of yourself from this time. This is what I have been doing – looking over old photos and remembering that magical time. I didn’t have the idyllic childhood, but it wasn’t terrible either. It had its upsets, but somehow despite the absence and occasional reappearance of my father, it remains magical to me.

I grew up in 3 different houses in the same suburb, all within walking distance from the beach.  Naturally, we spent a lot of our time there. We used to walk along the bushland (a very narrow strip of it that exists there), and to me it was one huge fairy dell. All the adults around me joined in with my belief that if we walked quietly and carefully, we could hear the fairies talking, singing and dancing. I genuinely believed this for many years, and even now I can’t help but wonder as I wind my way through.

I also have memories of playing in the backyard of the house we moved to after my parents divorce, as my mum weeded and pruned her stresses away. I was constantly exploring the trees and climbing up one, until I could sit on the brick fence and imagine the lives of the neighbours living around us. I really miss this feeling of wonder at everything – I was genuinely curious about how other people lived, and everything was coated in a veneer of magic and mystery.

Now all I have are these old pictures to remind me of this feeling (and of course how I was once cute). On days like this, I like to curl up with my teddy bear and Billy Joel’s “These are the Times to Remember”  (the song I graduated high school to, which is perfect for nostalgia) as I reminisce about flying on the swings at my kindergarten playground or planting trees at a local park with my sister’s Girl Guides unit (pictured below).planting treesThis photo is actually kind of an important one – it was very soon after my dad left us, and as my mum tells me, was kind of the first activity the my sister, her and I did as our own little family unit.

Although it’s not very healthy to dwell on the past and forget to live (as Dumbledore wisely advised Harry), at times it is necessary to pause and remember where you’ve been, and how far you’ve come in life.

 

 

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completing Kikki K’s happiness journal

I bought this journal in February and have been slowly working on it since then. The advice at the beginning is to progress slowly – doing maybe one chapter a month (there are 12). Since I started late, I haven’t exactly been following that guide, and instead did 2 tabs in the first month, half of one in the second and then had a massive gap until yesterday. I’m still in the third tab, but I’m nearly there.

The first section was devoted to gratitude, and involved finding things that you are grateful for and thinking up ways to express that gratitude. I had a plan for doing this, but only managed to get through one of my expressions of gratitude (a typed letter to a friend). I had another one planned, but I’m not sure if I’m still grateful for that. So I guess I should move onto the next one – baking a thankyou cake for my mum. Perhaps I can do this for Mothers’ Day next month.

The next section was about taking control. It involved planning my week and identifying what activities I’m doing that are no longer giving me pleasure or use, and I can cut out. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m throwing all housework out the window. But I planned an ideal week which made time for it, along with uni, work and exercise, but still left me with some down time (which is incredibly important to me. Without it I get a little overtired and emotional). For the first couple of weeks, I did try to follow this guide. But then my work roster started to get stuffed around a bit (the problems of having a different schedule each week) and I joined the committee of one of the clubs at uni, and that began to consume a lot of my time. So something had to suffer, and unfortunately, it was uni. I cannot function without enough chill time, which is what most people would have compromised in this situation, so my already scant uni timetable became a lot smaller.

Section 3 is about doing an attitude audit – the powers of optimism vs pessimism, and reducing the amount of things you worry about. The theme actually reminds me a bit of the serenity prayer –

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

By focusing on what worries you, the journal then asks you whether that will bother you in a months time or a year. And also, if you can do something about it. If you can, do it. If you can’t, why should you worry about it? Que sera, sera. And then reminds you, once again, how your attitude affects the outcome of events.

This chapter is one I really should pay attention to. I have a tendency to go into things with a negative outlook, and feel like I am doomed to fail (a phrase I have actually used several times in the last year). So, naturally, when it came to an example of an event where a pessimistic outlook had altered the course of things, I was rife with stories.

And so I really do want to try to change my attitude. So this month, my goal is to really put that into practise.



a selection of more recent pages

Another thing I love about completing this journal, aside from the self-discovery and exploration it provides, is the chance to decorate it. It’s kind of become a bit like a scrapbook of motivational quotes, inspiring photos and helpful tips for a few things I struggle with. I think this is perhaps where most of the time I spend working on it goes. In the picture above, the two pages on the right are ones I completed over the last 2 days, whereas the ones on the left are just a part of the happiness journal (the top left being the cover).

So basically, I get to participate in one of my hobbies at the same time as working on myself.