Monday, January 30, 2012

Sisters are different flowers from the same garden

It has been a while since I've had a moment to sit and reflect. And tonight my thoughts are of my sister.

Growing up we had what I always thought was a bit of a love hate relationship.  Definitely loving to hate each other. Although I have never said it to her, I would have loved nothing other than to give her the world, even then.

We didn't sit for hours sharing our hopes and dreams, or talking about boyfriends or weddings or babies. We did things together because we had to, because we were sisters. And perhaps given the choice we would have had nothing to do with each other. There was always a competitive aspect of our relationship too. Because we did all the same things it was easy to compare ourselves to each other. In my opinion I washed dishes better than she did and she dried them better than I, thus forever holding the "washer" and the "drier" roles. And she hated it! We were both sporty in our younger years, both horse riders and netballers. She was a far better netballer than me, and still plays several times a week. And whilst I hold the record of the most hospital visits after coming off my horse, she holds the record for the amount of times she came off, she is just like a cat though and mostly landed on her feet!

Today, several years on, both in our 30's, both married, both with children, both with careers, both with little at home business I consider the nature of our relationship now and how it has changed.

If I have news, who is the first person I want to tell? My sister. If I want a shopping pal, who is the first person I want to go with? My sister. Need to borrow something, who do I call to borrow it from? My sister. If I want to sit and talk for hours? Yep, my sister is the one I want to talk to. And right now I have something to say to my sister...

Dear Fleabag (never really liked that nickname you know!)

I am pretty sure I am about to tell you some things you have never heard me say, and for having never said it out loud I am sorry.

I think you are pretty special. And yes we don't and won't and shouldn't always see eye to eye, that would be boring right? I am so proud of what you have achieved personally and professionally. You chose a path and have dedicated your years to achieving just what you set your heart on.

You have a wonderful little family unit, and you are an amazing mother. Sharing the parenting in a shift working family is hard work - I know this only too well. It is hard hard work, and it means you don't always get to spend quality adult time with Mr Sister, but your children are benefiting from having you around alot of every day. Master 3 isn't always the easiest to deal with, and you handle it beautifully. Quite frankly I would have sat myself on the time out mat many times by now, but you just roll with it. I know a certain Master 10 who thinks you are a pretty fantastic Aunty, and more than certain that his little sister is going to think just the same.

Your dedication to your work and the committment you have shown with continually pushing yourself and furthering your studies, is something I wished I'd had the same dedication to do. I wish I'd had the same desire to go through uni and educate myself too.

The amount of time you spend playing that crazy knee damaging game perplexes me! Urgh I am way to old for that caper and just a little secret you are catching up ;p but I am glad that you enjoy it so much and I am glad it means you get some you time doing just what you want to do.

I am so very very proud of you for starting your little business and where you have taken it, I have enjoyed watching you craft and watching you grow. It is an absolute pleasure to be able to share that with you.

I need you to know that I am there for you. On a bad day, on a great day. I am there as a shoulder. I am no longer a sister but a best friend. I am the one you can sit for hours on the bed with and talk boy talk to. Any time of day or night, I am here with my hand waiting to take yours.

I have loved watching the little rose bud bloom into a beautiful rose.

I love you always

Your sister

So there I've said it, its out there. My sister makes me proud. Now to hope she's reading this and to be able to say it to her in person followed up with a great big hug.

"Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship." ~ Margaret Mead

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Upon Reflection

Mirror, mirror on the wall
who is the fairest one of all?
YOU are of course.

My mirror is one of the most potentially powerful and destructive things that I use. What my husband or you see in me is not necessarily what I see reflecting back at me.

You may look in the mirror many times each day so it is important to understand the damage you can do to yourself, psychologically and spiritually every time you look at your reflection and criticise something. And I'm a self critisiser. I know the damage I inflict upon myself often.

Don't be a slave to the mirror, make you mirror work for you! In the morning, don't stand in front of it moaning about what you don't have or what you don't like. Yes I want bigger boobs and a flatter stomach too. Apart from the fact that you are showing yourself disrespect, thoughts and words are very powerful and can manifest the very things you are focusing on. Concentrate on feeling approval for yourself in every respect. Find all of your good points and practice smiling and being happy about them. Will yourself to overlook a pimple or a wrinkle and remind yourself that you are a beautiful person. Love all of you.

Start the day positively this way. Not only will you feel better, you will feel motivated to get out there and make it happen. Because YOU deserve it.

With a daughter in the house it is important to me now more than ever that she grows up loving and respecting herself for all of her is beautiful. Inevitably she'll experience peer pressure to be skinnier and taller and wear more makeup, but with a foundation of self respect and love I can only hope she loves herself as much as I do. And only I can be her role model.

Each day I set out to start my day positively. And whilst I may not see what you do in the mirror I am learning to love myself a little more each day.

Go and look at yourself in the mirror right now and fall in love with YOU.

Friday, August 5, 2011

All is good in my world. Finally.

Good things happen. Usually to bad people. But you know what good things happen to good people too. So I’ve had my fair share of “bad things happen to good people” but my time has come for good things.

I have taken time recently to step back and assess. Assess things. Assess life. Assess me. I am by no means a sit back and relax person. I get itchy feet. “Ants in my pants” as they say (hehehehe that makes me giggle just typing that!) I always plan to have a rest, take a break, relax and put my feet up. But it never happens. Why is that? So whilst I haven’t necessarily been sitting back doing nothing I’ve been thinking…

I am a “doer”. I have grown up in a family where work ethic is way way way up the top of the list. I’ve been fortunate and always had a stable job since I was able to work at 15. I work hard. I always have, and have put in long hours with that hard work. I believe the effort I put in is rewarded. Mostly anyway, whether its seen or appreciated, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I know I have done my best. That is a good thing.

I’ve mentioned before the type of person that I am. Kind, caring, loving, loyal… I believe in treating others as they treat me or how I wished they’d treat me. I could now count on about two hands my nearest and dearest friends. I’ve had my share of heartbreaks in the friendship journey. Some see my kind caring nature as something they can use for their own personal gain. This hurts. And I have now shed a few of those types. I have quality friends, I don’t need quantity. And I have to say I have some of the most amazing friends a girl could ever ask for. There when I need them, as I am for them, providing each other with the love, support, friendship and laughs we both need. That is a good thing.

My family is my world. Morning, noon and night they are foremost in my thoughts. I live for their smiles, their laughter, their presence. My husband and my two gorgeous children are why I do what I do. They are the happiest they have been in a long time. As am I. Even with some difficulties going on in the background (well it wouldn’t be my life if there wasn’t a little bit of drama somewhere!) we are all really really happy. That is a good, no great thing!

Many a times I’ve thought “why does the bad stuff happen to me” it seemed to follow me, it didn’t matter what choice I’d make, what path I chose, bad stuff happened. But in my recent time to take a breath, stop and look around, the thoughts have been changed to “you know what, I’ve got it good. Good things are happening to me”.

So tell me, what good things are happening to you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

What are you proud of?

I was brought to tears today. Not intentionally, not maliciously. Today someone told me that they were proud of me.

I revealed a piece of my heart today to some of the loveliest, most supportive friends I have had the pleasure of meeting. Not because I wanted their pity or for them to feel sorry for me. I wasn't seeking anything. I was just sharing an experience. I don't trust easily. I've been broken and mended. But when I do trust I trust whole heartedly. Because that is the kind of person I am.

After letting it out and letting it go, an unprovoked response came back. "Well I am proud of you". I was instantly in tears. Why? As children and adults we seek approval of family, friends and peers. As we know it doesn't always come in the form of words like these, it doesn't mean someone isn't proud of us, we just haven't heard it. And when they came today like that - I think it was because I don't remember having heard them before or for a very long time, and I melted.

Then it got me thinking. What am I proud of?

I could prattle on about the usual things like my kids and husband and their achievements - yes I am very proud of them. I could talk about my family and friends, yes I am proud of them too. Have I told them that I am proud of them? Yes and No. I tell my son all the time I am proud of him. Because I am. Everyone else not as often as I could.

But is that the answer to my question? I don't think it is. That seems too simple an answer to me. So I think the question should be "What am I proud of about ME?"

It is not a question I have actually found easy to answer to be honest. I never can answer those questions that require me to praise myself. I have however come to realise that the opinions of others doesn't make you or break you. It is only the opinion of myself and making myself proud that matters. So on reflection I am proud of the person I am today for all the life experiences I have had, good and bad. I am not tough, but I am strong. I am honest, loyal, caring and loving. Of that I am proud. Finally realising and being proud of myself makes my heart sing.

Thank you to the lovely that told me today. It has brought me a day of happiness, today and everyday onwards. And it was thought provoking.

I leave you with the question "What are you proud of?"


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tears and Happiness

Today is May 29th. It is a sad day. But a day also to celebrate. Today is about tears and happiness.

I'd like to introduce you to someone very special and very important to me. An amazing and inspiring woman. Her name is Jan.

Jan is my mother in law. In fact the best mother in law a girl could ask for. Caring, kind, loving, and giving are all words that come immediately to mind when I think of Jan. Mostly, unselfish. I think daily and often of Jan. She offered me and my son a home when I needed one, no questions asked. She quickly became a Grandma to Riley. She would drop anything to come and help care for him whilst I and my now husband had to work. Not having a drivers license, Jan used public transport to get to our house to do this (about a 3 hour trip with train / bus changes along the way) and then she would stay with us until we had a day off, and then she would head home. Sometimes she would even just do a 6 hour round trip to meet me at the bus stop with Riley and take him home with her.

So why is today sad? Well two years ago today I sat at Jan's beside and held her hand whilst she slept peacefully and didn't wake again. Jan was battling her third round of cancer. She was brave and fought hard, but did not win this time.

As I sat at her beside, it was the first time I'd seen her in weeks. I'd found out we were expecting with Piper and had been really unwell with all day sickness and a cold. Jan with her fragile immune system was at home but not not in a position to have me as a visitor for risk of her becoming more ill. So for weeks there had been several visitors all getting to sit down with her and talk about old times and things for the future. I missed out or so I thought.

In a really sad week, we'd just attended the funeral for one of my Grandmothers when Erik's dad called to say that Jan was struggling and now was the time to come and see her at the hospice. So we travelled the 90 minutes from the wake to visit Jan. This was the last time Riley would see her. We stayed as long as we could and arranged to visit the next night.

So back to sitting by her beside, Jan hadn't been awake since we'd last seen her the night before. I was desperate to talk to her but wanted to do so on my own. Erik left the room for literally two minutes and I grabbed the opportunity whilst I had it. What did I say? Well those few moments I spent telling her how grateful I was for having her in our lives, I thanked her for all that she'd done for me and Riley, I told her that I would make her proud, that I promised to look after Erik and his Dad and that her grandchild would grow up knowing and loving her. But mostly I told her I loved her and wished I'd had more than my six years with her. I asked her to stay. But that was my slightly selfish side coming out.

Erik re-entered the room and sat down. He asked if I was "ok" and did I talk to Jan. I was just telling him yes I had when Jan's grip on my hand loosened and I looked over to her to see her face so peaceful and that she'd stopped breathing. It was sad. Terribly sad. Erik was pleased however that I had had the chance to talk with her and that I was the one holding her hand.

So on to celebrating. Celebrating the life of a wonderfully unselfish lady. Celebrating that she lives on in our gorgeous daughter Piper. There are photos all around the house. We talk of Nanny Jan all the time. There are special gifts that we've given to Piper from Jan.

So like my Mum, Jan too is a part of Perfectly Piper. She would have loved to have been involved too. So here's to making Jan proud through Perfectly Piper, to loving her, to thanking her.

Jan you are loved and missed every day, but I am so glad to have a part of you in my loving husband and an even bigger part of you in your gorgeous grand daughter Piper.