Tuesday, April 29, 2008

oops I did it again

Somehow I missed what has become my weekly posting, this weekend... not that there was a huge amount to be said but here's an update anyway.

On Saturday Hubby and I went to our friends' daughter's birthday party. She turned 1. I don't imagine the little one had too much of an idea as to why her home was being invaded by so many people but she took the extra attention like a true champ. The cake helped, I suppose. I do hope, though, that the poor kid is not left emotionally scarred after seeing her aunty decapitating Tigger with a huge sharp knife as she sliced through the icing figurines to get to the cake. It gave me the heebies... but then I had just been listening in on a conversation two women were having about the haunted houses they had both lived in. Who know there were so many ghosts in Ireland?!
So we - ok, I - gorged on cocktail sausages, sandwiches and crackers with cheese spread, enough to ensure there wouldn't be a need to cook supper later. I think Hubby and the kids were a little peckish by 9pm but I was fine, hehehe! I get to have Saturday nights off as far as cooking is concerned so if they get hungry, well they're all capable of feeding themselves and each other. I should probably mention this latest resolution of mine to them at some point... ah sure, they're all reasonably bright, they'll figure it out at some point.

Sunday morning was glorious. Bright, hot sunshine like we haven't seen in... well so long that I don't honestly remember. We took advantage of this wonderful weather and headed off to the Clay Pigeon Shooting range to bust a few clays. It's something I haven't done in ages but the good news is that I've not completely lost my touch. By this, I mean I hit more than I missed which is always a good thing.
So I haven't been able to move my arms as a result of stiff muscles for the last two days, so what? It was well worth it. Shooting stuff is always a blast.

OK so I've written all this; now for the tricky part... getting it onto the blog without being bust by my boss. Here goes...!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

on a scale of one to ten

I have a new colleague at work. He's a youngster - only just 25 or so - and filled with enthusiasm for life, as young men are.
He recently got himself a new pet. A lizard, called Steve. From his description it sounds like Steve is more of an Iguana than a lizard, but the Irish don't know a whole lot about reptiles on account of they're not native to the place - being cold-blooded and all they tend to not survive here very long in the wild.

I'm finding that Steve the Lizard is a source of much entertainment for me.

A few weeks back I arrived at work to find an email from our boss that was something along the lines of:

Hi Terri,
G is going to be late to work today because his lizard is sick.

Now there's one you don't hear every day...!

Anyway it turns out Steve's diet consists primarily of crickets. Simple, right? Only trouble is, crickets are also not native to Ireland. I don't believe I have ever seen or heard one in the 7 years we've been in this country. So my young colleague has to buy them from the pet shop, by the box.
When I heard this I just started laughing - his bloodshot eyes said it all. The first night, he had the box of crickets in his room, right where Steve lives.
Those of you from warmer climates will know why I found this funny - I remember it was bad enough, living in South Africa, when there was just one cricket somewhere in the house. For their size these are really noisy bugs (and sneaky, too - you could never find the damn thing to shut it up, either!). So there is this young buck with his boxful of crickets all announcing to the world a large how much they like the darkness - he didn't sleep a wink!

Lesson learned, the crickets were promptly moved to a remote area in the shed, or something, where they couldn't disrupt his sleep.

Until last week when his sister brought them in to feed Steve and accidentally dropped the box, scattering crickets everywhere... did I mention how sneaky these things are?
My colleague is learning a whole lot about reptiles and bugs at the moment.

He's a bright lad, though. Not to outsmarted he finally bought a box of noise-less crickets.
Noise-less crickets??? I'm thinking maybe genetic engineering may have found its niche; until he told me that on closer inspection the reason the poor creatures are noiseless is that they have had their wings removed. Am I the only one who finds this cruel? At the same time, though, can you believe that not only are there people in this world whose job it is to catch crickets, but there are also people whose job it is to pull their wings off??!!!

It seems like an awful lot of fuss to keep a pet lizard. I can't help thinking he shoulda got a rabbit or something, rather.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

enlightenment and alien flowers

Because I haven't posted a photograph in a while, here's one I took this morning...
Does anyone else think these look like alien flowers?

I have been reading a book that can best be described as "enlightening"... it has brought into focus all the different things that life and others have been trying to teach me. I get it now. I guess I just needed it put to me in a certain way for the penny to drop. Some people are lucky; they get it without all the emotional fuss and tortuous questioning. They simply get it from what their lives have taught them. Some of us need a little help.
Here's hoping that now I have it, I don't lose it again...

For it's easy to be positive when things are running smoothly. The trick is in not allowing the speed bumps of life to throw us off course. Most of the time, life happens gradually - it's like that whole cooking a frog story [1]. You think everything is fine until one day you realise you're not happy, and that you have been slowly becoming unhappier over time. It doesn't just happen in an instant. Clawing your way back from this can take just as long as it took to get there in the first place.

So what is it that I'm yabbering on about today? Let's just say I hit a speed bump last night, although exactly what it was, I am unable to tell you (not because I don't want to but because I honestly have no idea why I reacted the way I did!)
I am pleased to report, though, that after a few hours of Terri-time today and a little bit of sunshine outside for a change, I am well on my way to regaining that Balance I've been cultivating of late [2].


[1] I forget the details but it's something along the lines of you can't boil a frog by tossing it into hot water because it'll just jump out... instead you put him in cold water and slowly turn up the heat. Horrible metaphor, I know!

[2] I have learned that if you say it enough then it becomes true. Cool trick.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

all work and no play...

Life is all about priorities, don't you think? Well, that's not all that it's about, obviously, but it sort of is because it's the thing that sorts out all the other stuff that life is about.
It's also about balance. We all need balance in our lives. Balance between work and play; between making money and spending it; between looking after others and looking after ourselves.

For a very long time I have felt that my life lacked balance. I never seemed to have enough time or energy left over for myself after doing all the stuff that I felt I should be doing. It may be that I have a rather over-developed sense of duty.

Lately, though, something seems to have twigged in my brain. I've always said that I can't do everything - and it's true. But whereas before I saw it as a personal shortcoming, I have now finally learned to accept that this is true not just of me, but of everyone, which means I am no longer trying so hard to do everything.
Talk about an epiphany!
I don't even want to think about how much energy I have wasted on stressing about not getting everything done.

This is not to say I've thrown my hands up in defeat. Not at all. I have been working seriously long, hard hours the last few weeks (months? dunno - not counting).
But to balance that out, I have also done some serious amounts of NOTHING, and it's been so good for me.
It does, unfortunately, have the side-effect of making me a tad boring. When one does nothing, there is very little to tell people.

"So what have you been up to lately, Terri?"
"Er, nothing much. You know, working, eating, sleeping..."

Not a great conversation-maker.

Well boo hoo. After working as hard as I have been, I deserve to take a nap on a Saturday afternoon. And a Sunday afternoon. And on Saturday and Sunday mornings, if I feel that way inclined.
Knowing that I deserve this rest, that it gives balance to my life, makes it a lot easier to enjoy the time spent doing nothing without stressing about what I should be doing instead.

The best part is, it turns out the rest of the family are perfectly capable of housework, and of feeding themselves and each other and, most importantly, me :-)
All it took was for me to tell them, "Hey guys, I'm working my ass off and I'm exhausted - I need a little help here."
And I got it.
Fancy that.

So I'm still working hard, but I'm resting hard too.
And in working hard, I'm earning a fair bit of extra money in Overtime. To balance that out, I booked a week away on a Greek island for Hubby and I next month. I made it, I can spend it. See how simple it is?

All that's left now is to figure out where to prioritise some regular blog-time and I'll be set!
I miss you guys.