Saturday, December 20, 2008

OH all right.

I haven't blogged much. But neither have you. Any of you. But I am interested to hear everyone's excuses. Means you've been getting on with life away from the computer, and I like that. I used to blog more when babyG slept more, or when she was asleep on my lap. She's too feisty for that these days. A kick of the Clarks sandals, and she's off the lap and running, anywhere, it doesn't matter to her. Although at the beach, she prefers to run north/to the left, as you face the ocean on the east coast.

We have been tent-shopping, to supplement our nylon housing in time for Christmas. We think we will camp at the beach, and make day trips to visit the relatives. So, we have my old favourite orange and grey dome tent, plus a bigger blue and beige (and ugly) dome tent with a "sleepout" vestibule. And a campsite booked in a tent park, tucked into a corner of the bush, away from the beach side. Keeping track of babyG will be a huge task, but hopefully everyone will enjoy themselves. Just have to work out what Christmas decorations to put up on our tents. Tinsel looks awful in the Australian bush. Solar LED lights, maybe?

I have shopped for those who I needed to shop for (thank you, Oxfam Unwrapped), and have the traditional gifts for the close rels - Dad's diary (2 Days to a Page, thank you); Mum's Calendar, a few music books and a new guitar strap for No.3, clothes and a funky red chair for No.2, and, um, I forget what for No.1. Gosh, I'll have to look for that before I go. Anyway, some new thongs for P, and some cute little bits and pieces for babyG, and a polycarbonate plastic water bottle for R, because he needed one. I think that's it. A short list, nothing extravagant, keeps Christmas from becoming "the festival of stuff".

This is a boring post, even for me. What can I say? I am in the middle of doing dishes, planning packing a bit, worried about the travel a bit, a little bit not looking forward to visiting with family because they usually end up being upset with my free-flow style of parenting (they prefer my sister's by-the-clock style, and like to tell me about it). But my brother will be there, and he likes me, no matter what I do or where I go. We don't trade in judgement. We were partners in dam-building and exploring the paddocks as children, and some things don't change.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Slack again

Nobody blogs anymore. Facebook has taken over the universe. I like the news feed - I can see what all of my 5 friends have been up to, on one handy page. Technology and laziness live together quite happily.

Have been painting. Everything. All at once. There is a curfew on painting, though. Have to stop by 4pm, or the paint I have just put on the walls, wants to slide back off in the night. Have had the last two days off, to do XC, and visit with family and some of my 5 friends.

Have loaned No.3 to my sister for a couple of days. Quite unplanned - he is existing with one pair of undies, some jeans, running shorts with inners, a T-shirt and a jumper. Probably quite happy with that - takes the effort out of getting dressed for the day. They will do domestic bits and pieces today, and he will have the fun of being "the only child" for a couple of days, with his indulgent aunty running the show.

Missed my long run this morning. Woke up, considered whether to go out to the forest, and looked at babyG's sleeping face, with her little lips pushed forward in mock-feeding sucking patterns. I let her sleep. And No.1 too, who was going to ride her mountain bike with me. So we are lazy today, after tearing around the equestrian park yesterday at XC. No.2 has a science project to finish and write up, but he is pretending it's not happening, so it's not happening.

Working tomorrow for a few hours. Totally impractical office location these days - just about impossible for two people and a baby to work together.

I'm tired. Might go and rest somewhere, while babyG naps. Will find some photos and add them later.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Girls Only

BabyG is sleeping, with the older kids also crashed out around her, so no-one has noticed that it's 6.40pm and I haven't started dinner. Been surfing the web, just cosying up this afternoon after XC.

But the real topic of this post is shopping. Took babyG and No.1 out last night, to get some gear for No.1. Problem is, she wears her hair short. This week, almost every day, she has been mistaken for a boy. It isn't bothering her in particular, except to cause her to wonder if she should, in fact, be looking more like a girl in some situations. I am more amazed at the effrontery of the people who are bold enough to comment.

Anyway, we found some lovely stuff for her. Not a small feat, as both of us can walk through the shopping complex and not see much that either of us would ever wear (running gear aside, of course). We found a black silk square-cut camisole top in CR, a beautiful knife-pleat black and brown chiffon skirt with ribbon tie (that will do very nicely for her formal), a plain white peasant blouse with a sporty look to it, a few singlets, a red hood/scarf, and new underwear. We had a great time, babyG was very indulgent to her Bissy, in spite of her headcold, and we spent about 4 hours together. The best bit, was walking to the car, when No. 1 was humming to herself "I feel pretty...". Aah, food for the mummy's soul. Will have to post photos of No.1 modelling her best threads.

Today I ran local XC, and had a resurgence of my old quandry - I don't like to race. Now, the day didn't start very well. BabyG is unwell, and I was tired. Still, we rallied, and went looking for inspirations on how to babyproof our living room. I felt dreadful, but decided to challenge my self by running XC anyway. Went along, to see the mummy who had been relegated to 2nd place when I ran a few weeks ago (my first XC of the season, while she has been happily winning prior to that), line up alongside me at the back. She took off at the start, and I didn't think about her again until I drew past her after maybe a k or so, as I ran through the pack. She proceeded to struggle along at my right shoulder, making that "hanging on" grunting sound that people make when they run hard. After a k of that, I decided to let her go past me, as having her chuffing away on my shoulder was spoiling my enjoyment of the run, and I was just wishing she would go away and let me run in peace. She didn't really make much ground after that, and finished maybe 5 sec in front of me, and didn't bother to turn and acknowledge me, although I shook hands with the man who finished next to me.

Therein lies my problem. I like to run XC, and I love to run in company with others. But I hate running with people who have made it their mission to beat me. I run, and push myself up the short hills, and try to get the fastest time out of myself, but I want to enjoy it, too. I have run with people, even people I didn't know, and we have helped each other hang on at different times in a run. This is different, there is nothing mutual in it - she sees it as her against me. I was happier to let her go in front, get the victory she was working so hard for, and be left alone to run without the constant reminder of why she was battling along at my shoulder. I suppose I can only hope she or I get a lot fitter, and then I will be free to run without being a part of her struggle. We run for different reasons, that's all.

BTW, dinner is cooking, and baby is awake :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008


Yeah, yeah, I know. Where are the pictures, where are the interesting anecdotes (as if there ever were any)??? This has been a period of routine mummying. Nice, cosy family times.

I am still commuting to Syd to train my replacement. She is struggling to get the concepts of what we do, but working harder than I have ever seen someone work to learn a job. I want her to learn to do it all, and well, for her own sense of mastery. But the best learning is, in my experience, what you direct yourself to learn. Is she doing that while-ever she has me to appeal to, to solve a problem or explain something? At the same time, it is hard to learn to do something, when you don't even know what it is you need to do. So we slog on.

BabyG is crawling, but still backwards at this stage. Pulling up to her knees on people and furniture. Plopped her on the floor in an open space at Borders this evening, so I'd have time to browse a section of books before she made it to the shelves herself. Worked this time, but my time is limited. *sigh* I do love a good afternoon at the bookstore.

Observed the now-archaic ritual of Long Jump with No. 1 yesterday, and introduced babyG to the ritual at the time. Feels almost like 3 generations of women when we do things together. No.1 amazes me with her athleticism. How she can just walk onto a field, warm herself up a bit, and then jump 5m, or run 100m in 13s, after a year of not doing athletics at all, and a few more since she has trained at the disciplines. I would really like to see her as her fit, fast self, doing a 400m. 55, 56s I would think. Glad she doesn't define herself by her running, though. As a discipline to perform, I think running is exhilarating, and I think she does, too. Chasing titles, victories, is meaningless. But to exceed what you thought you could do, by effort of mind and body, is wonderful.

No.2 continues to challenge me. He wants me to set his limits, clinging to childish irresponsibility, so he can feel free to indulge in whatever misuse of time he can "get away with". I want him to set his own limits, as I am stretched in my current roles. He also knows that, and is using it to his advantage. *cue flop into exhausted heap* So this weekend I got them all to do yardwork for an hour, together, to see what they could accomplish. No. 1 enjoyed the task, has the maturity to reflect on the value of work. No. 2 only showed glimmers of the same, with a fair amount of the kind of plaintive attitude we had when our parents made us work on things as kids. TBC...

No. 3 is grooving along. Main source of complaint is the volume of his guitar practice. Yes, darling, it does sound like Jimi Hendrix / Neil Young, but it's TOO LOUD!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Out of steam.

Today I started training my replacement. Think she will turn out OK. Big knowledge gap, but she's clever, interested, industrious, and I told her I look forward to sitting with her in a year and chatting away while she works, with a cup of tea in my hand. That will be nice. Mark the date down. BabyG put in a splendiferous day in her portacot at work. Exhausted after a number of early starts and late finishes - we were up snacking on peaches (mashed for her) at 11 last night, and on the train to Sydney a few hours later.

But at the same time, I am going to have to be one clever mum when I stop working, to make the dollars cover our basic needs. What to cut out, from an already not splashy budget, will take some thinking about. I have lived like that before, and know it isn't much fun, but it seems like the right choice for me. I have worked hard while babyG was little, and she came along everywhere I went, day in and out, and we got seven months work out of the arrangement. It's time for her now. Moments like this, I really notice I'm on my own. I like my life, but it has no failsafe, no outlet, no-one to jump up and down and lament to. What works, and what doesn't work, is all my doing, and all my fault, as it happens.

This all sounds so negative. I am just - out of steam - for the moment. Angry, not at anyone, just at my situation. Not feeling empowered, or emancipated, or hopeful. Just stupid.

TBC. Meanwhile, better not be looking for me at fun runs for a bit. Who knows, though? Might all turn around next week, and have options again.


Thursday, May 8, 2008


-married. Have been working on divorce stuff for the ex, who is convinced he cannot live without a certain lady in his life, who keeps after him to get a divorce. So I have written affidavits, done forms and read websites all afternoon on my day off. Good grief.

Also did some more house stuff, like sorting out baby clothes as babyG outgrows them. Some for the box of things we save for the future, and some for the Sallys, for other babies to wear before they are out of style. Beautiful day outside. Should've done a run, but sat over the computer too long, and then it was too cold to be bothered. Thank goodness I've given up the idea of running fast, or the guilt would be overwhelming. I think I am only a quasi-runner these days. Certainly not an athlete.

Ooh, but speaking of running, babyG and I did the State 10km Road on Sat. Disgustingly early start to the day, and I didn't have babysitting lined up, so:
A. We were running very late - about 4 mins before gun time. Thank you thank you so much to Uncle Dave, who got my number for me, and left it where I could get it, just in time to duck under the bunting and line up at the back, and
B. Ran the race with babyG in the stroller. She may be the only baby who has ever done a State Championship in a stroller.
But on the plus side, only lined up with the idea of going under 50min. Ran 47-low, quite easily, with stroller, despite tummy trouble through the whole race, due to early start, I think. So, I thought that was a great morning out. Missed my running friends, but they had more important things to get done with their feet on Saturday, and babyG and I were proud of them, and thought of them often during the day.

Um, what else is new. Have tried making various vegetable concoctions for babyG, but she remains a fruitarian, apart from a few spoonfuls begrudgingly taken on, to humour me. Not crawling yet, but doing the odd grub-crawl backwards, and pivoting to get stuff. Happy times. The older children are charging along with life. No. 2 deserves special mention, for his continuing care of babyG. He has the baby whispering thing down pat, and she knows it too. Their nose-on-nose cuddles are something to behold, until she grabs his nose and tries to rip it off his face. Done with love, of course.

Work tomorrow. Will see what awaits us. BabyG will be doing the reports herself, soon, and I can lie in the cot and throw the toys around, and swing in the swing with my feet in the air.

Happy days.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy 18th B-Day, Jac!

BabyG thanks Papa Luigi for his handmade wooden rattle. It's the goods!

Gotta be a quick typist here. On contraband computer time, as usual. I think they're trying to keep me low, making me use the Linux computer. But I find ways around them. Har-har!

BACK ON TRACK with the blog. Jac is 18 today. I think she's confused by the idea that she should stop being a confused teenager, and be an adult now. Baby, if you know when you don't have the answers, you are already on the way to finding them. We are all a bit lost sometimes. Like, I couldn't think of ways to help you observe a right-of-passage on your birthday, because I just didn't have any creative and meaningful ideas. Suppose I could have greeted you this morning with an electoral enrolment kit. Woo. You don't drink, and neither do I, so we can't observe that ritual. Perhaps today I should have skipped work, and you school, and we should have done that parkour run through the city. Don't know how babyG would have liked being strapped to my back for that. So, in the end, we have done mudcake, Chinese food, end-of-month summaries for me, and homework for you. Ha! We've found it - your path to adulthood, is doing what you are meant to be doing. Oh.
Really, though - so proud of you, No. 1. Happy Birthday.

Took some days off work a couple of weeks ago, and ran every day. Such a luxury. Ran Novice XC on Sat, 17.01 for the 4km. Nearly 2 mins slower than my best of 15.11 for the course, but I did the first 2km in 8.16, and my goal for the run was to break 18min, so - tick! Haven't run since Sun this week, as I have been getting back from work too late. Neither babyG nor I need the aggravation. So the 10km Road may be slow this Sat, but I'll just enjoy the run.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mushy Mushy

Life has been pretty much filled with practical concerns these past weeks. Carting babyG everywhere perched on my right hip, including all day at work, is taking the last bit of youth from this old body. Of course she's worth it, and there aren't any alternatives presenting themselves (my job has been advertised, but I don't think anyone wants it!), so on with the games. It makes everything very physical, though. I don't have to calculate pace/km, or when to pick up the pace to the finish. The nature of this kind of effort, is just to keep going, keep doing what has to be done.

I find, though, when I'm slogging away, doing the doings of a mother of 4, my mind wanders far from what my hands are working at. Kind of a material / abstract juxtaposition of mummy-ness. So, I'm sitting on the floor feeding babyG her first few tastes of food, enjoying the moment with her, but at the same time, a part of my mind is wandering out the door and into many parallel universes where the whats and whys of what I'm doing right now with babyG, are being played out. Not food issues, but me, sitting on a grey carpet floor in Australia with babyG in a little green chair, on a Sunday afternoon (I think. Daylight saving always messes things up). Who is she, who will she be? What am I in all of that? What does the mix of her brothers and sister add? Her grandparents, who don't know her, and her surrogate grandparents, who adore her? Her "zia" at work, her family of thousands at St Elsewhere, all putting their own little piece into her life. It's a privileged life, to be so rich in people, from so many different countries, backgrounds, ages and beliefs. I hope she lives long and well, and grows to be a wise and loving woman.

On the silly side, I've had to consider options for moderating computer use, to enrich the lives of the rest of our mob. Plans for that are still evolving, but the discussions led to an idea that I found funny, but the kids were unsure about. I explained to No. 1, that I really prefer a more ascetic lifestyle than we currently pursue collectively. Less time online, more time in the books, more time in the garden or the bush, walking instead of using the car, etc. Just my own preferences. I pointed out to her that if I were a more domineering person, I could have forced a lot more of my ideas on my children, restricted their choices and options, so they were left with no option but do to things the way I like to do them. (Of course as parents, we all do this more than we think, but I'm talking about things that teenagers generally expect to be autonomous and self-regulating in, like TV, internet, use of leisure time).

Anyway, I came up with a game, where we each get to be the "cult leader" for a week. During each person's week, we all have to conform to their lifestyle, and the choices they make for us. Like, No. 2 might have us all scripting in Second Life, eating pizza, and neglecting our homework if it pleases us. The cult leader will have to accept responsibilty for the welfare of the rest of the family while following his/her example - the leader may have to modify their own activities, to ensure the family/household continues to function. Like, No. 2 may have to set the example of doing the laundry from start to finish, so that task is taken up by the other members of the family.
I enjoyed playing out the scenarios for each kid's week in my head. Kind of strangely, though, the kids weren't so interested. I think it's their childish selfishness, mixed with self-knowledge. They know some of what they do is not advisable or sustainable on a wider scale. They would prefer to keep the balance as it is, while they are getting away with doing what they like, because someone else is doing what they should be doing, or helping them do it, some of the time.

Lucky buggers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Is No. 1 happy? Mm-hmm. Although she was not re-examined by "The Terminator", which she feels slightly lessens her triumph, she has the Ps.

Sorry blog-readers - babyG is waiting for me to finish blogging before I even had a chance to log in.

This is not really a post, just an update. Have been working, gardening, reading, mothering, running (thanks to Paul for help chopping up my old shoes, I am loose on the roads again in something other than sandals). Things I have not been doing, include mopping floors, painting the walls I prepped over a month ago, cooking (the oven blew up last week, to join the grill and 2/4 hotplates in not functioning), mowing the lawn (hmm, just never quite get to it), and blogging.

Joined Facebook this week, for the sole purpose of seeing/hearing news of friend's baby girl (so pretty!). The concept of the facebook, the networks, the swapping of permissions, the ridiculous updates that get posted while I am trying to work out how to get it to save my educational institution, are all ringing slightly strangely in my head. Perhaps I am less of a visual person than I thought - I would rather read what you thought about something, than see pictures of it. Children are the exception, of course. I'm sure I will need to revisit this assertion in the future - there are of course times when you have to see to understand, but for everyday, it will do. For me, the Blog is 1000 times better than the Facebook.

The kiddies continue to grow, and learn all sorts of nifty stuff. I am interested in the concept of discipline at the moment. Not spanking, or the threat of, but the development of self-discipline in kids, and their ability to override impulse. Why some kids are self-regulating in things they do, to a much greater extent, and at a younger age, than others. What does the framework of their values really look like to them, and how did they get it? Don't think I can have these Qs answered, but I am thinking ab. them nonetheless.

OK, must go wash No. 4 - her nightly ritual of indulgence - she is the only family member who gets to luxuriate in a bath, due to water constraints, even if her bath is the handbasin :-).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Knivago onyacomputa?

I have to line up to be allowed to use one of the Windows computers these days. Because games and browsing are so much more important than blogging. Well they can pay me back by minding babyG while I quickly put a bit on this blog.

Seems like I have done much watching of running, and v. little running myself. Did a bit of backwards running last week, barefoot on grass, as my heel was too sore to accommodate a shoe. Felt good, didn't stir things up as much as a "traditional" forward run would have. Might have to become a way of life. Maybe one can adapt - bit like the upside down glasses experiments.

Watched the Striders 10k at North Head, and then the 6FT. Spent the time in excellent company with Kit, Bek and babyC, so it was a nice time (and I wish now I'd had the energy to take a pic of the babies together :-(.
It is hard to watch running, when not running, though. I don't think that changes, unless one becomes a mad-keen kayaker, or something.

Managing work OK. Could chuck the whole thing in for 20c. Will have to explore the VPN possibilities. I am too exhausted to keep going. The kiddies continue to do well, but I still do the mummy thing of picking up where they are slack, which leaves very little time for what I need to get through. No. 1 is needing time, having to contemplate what she is doing, where she is headed, and what she wants to do along the way. Day off tomorrow, to do a few things. And while feeding babyG, I have been reading my way through a great book by Sally Sara called "Gogo Mama". A must-read for anyone who doubts the worth of foreign aid projects. How different, and how tough life can be in some countries. Purely by accident of birth - in other respects, these women could be me, and I them.

Sorry this is such a disjointed post. It just is, OK? Maybe I should have called it "Fragments".

As usual, more piccies. Of babyG's first visit with my side of the family :-)

PS. Went for a 4km run this evening while Jac played touch. Ran forwards (!) in my sports sandals, including two laps of the velodrome, anticlockwise - good for the joints in the heel that is worst, mobilising effect. Still good today, but Jac's Achilles is playing up. Genetics.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Catch up time

Now babyG, just hold this apple for me...

Gotta be quick here. Things to do. Kiddies are good. Work is putting pressure on me to step out of the mummy role, and back into the office manager role. Kind of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing for them, as far as the baby is concerned. The older children already don't exist to them, and with a little more effort, neither will babyG. To their enormous credit, they have been wonderful to work for. But I no longer fit the neat job description I carved for myself with the last few years of work. I need to renegotiate what I can and cannot do for them, that's all.

Haven't been getting much running in. Haglund's is quite as bad as ever on the right heel, takes a few days of recovery from even the simplest of runs to even contemplate running on it again, always running with a limp now. Oh well. Will toddle on. Managed to hold challenges in sprinting from Jac off until she was about, um, 11, I think it was. Grete will be past me in half that, I think.

Tired and grumpy today. Fortunately only babyG and me here, so no-one is noticing. Except ppl reading the blog, of course :-).

Catch you later.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


A solid week. Getting better, ran 3km this afternoon with babyG, easy enough, Achilles survivable at that pace. Still doing the antibiotics for another week. May go up and run along the flat several times while everyone else gets to run up in the hills on the trail tomorrow.

No. 1 is off all weekend playing Touch again. Apparently they are playing pretty well, and she is trying my revolutionary new method of hydration, called drinking some water. Works a treat, she says. After all this time...

But the really big news is... we went out and bought a Food Processor. Never had such a smick appliance. Pushed baby food through a sieve for all the others. Not this time, baby. Heh-heh. We think we are so cool, we've rearranged the whole kitchen to allow room for the new appliance. And getting stuff like this when your kids are old enough to enjoy learning to use it is, as the ads say, priceless. We made hommous, shredded up some salad stuff. Feels like a cafe up at Bangalow, at our house tonight. And I am playing No. 2's music "I Ka Barra" by Habib Koite and Bamada. I love my kids. How unique and beautiful they all are. Wouldn't be anyone else for quids. Times like this make up for all the hard times and days.

Still have so much to do on the house. Not enough time at home - working hard to keep us going. One day at a time. Older kids' dad is happy and doing well, enjoying girlfriend and the USA, so good times there.

Oop, baby is awake. Playtime for mummies is over. Back again. No. 2 had a go at feeding No. 4. 2QT!

Better go. Masses of housework calling, louder than No. 2's music. CU.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bit of Everything

Who is running our lives? NSW Touch Association? They didn't consult us when they did their competition timetable, obviously. Any mother could tell you you don't need a 2-day Touch carnival, 2 hours drive away, in the first week of school. Der! F3, am., unfed 3 month old baby, 3 teenage girls and one 10 yo boy along for the ride. And did I mention it was wet? :-) Fined up, the girls played *ahem* a bit below their best, mostly due to a complete lack of training.

Then back into the school week. Kids have been outstanding in their approach to school. Jac has done a prepared essay assessment for HSC Art last Fri, No. 2 is flying along with his work, and very proud of himself. No. 3 is hanging in there - needs more attention and organisation to get his caboose moving, but has been very good.

No. 4 is also good. New party tricks to show off every day. Rolling around on the floor, eating bits of grass, squealing like the girl she is :-).

I have been grieving over what I think is the end of my time as a fast runner. My Achilles / Haglunds is as bad as ever. I could just about cry when I watch people doing 200s, 300s, 400s, and know that I can't join them. My all-time favourite distance to race is 800m, and I might never be able to race it again. Still two legs, two arms, healthy happy bubbies - not so bad, life. Might still be able to do distance, although probably not off-trail - too rough for the tendon. But nothing will be the same fun as running fast.

This is a boring post. Have been sick all weekend - first time in over a year that I've had anything wrong - not even a cold. Getting better now. Will post some pictures, to brighten up the blog.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Post No. 4

Welcome to my world.

Kids and I are working on the house. We've made a couple of lists - one is in a column called "Tidying", where we are aiming to reduce clutter, culminating in "Knicknack Day", when everything that isn't put away, gets thrown away. The other column is called "Improvements", and includes all those projects we think about one day doing - we are making a timetable to get them done.

That's the thing about being on your own with kids - they respond when things like time and money are tight, and work as a team more, so they can still make choices and try to achieve what they want. They seem to understand that resources are limited, so they will have to be more resourceful themselves. Proud of them.

We house-hunted today. Fun! We are not exactly serious house-hunters, and one of the properties we looked at today - waterfront, wrap-around verandahs, beautifully finished, sunny gardens with fruit trees and herbs in raised beds - was definitely out of our reach. But we looked, and the kids dreamed their dreams - who would have the loft bedroom, when they would go kayaking from out the back door, etc. Doesn't matter that it's not reality. They came home determined to do a bit more with what they have.

Their dad phoned them in the evening. He's happily ensconced with his girlfriend in the USA, and I am glad he's happy. Looking at the houses today, though, I reflected that I would have worked all day and all night, to achieve the same result with our modest home, over the years that we were together. What was missing, was a partner who was as committed, and who liked challenges and trying to change things for the better, as me.

This is not intended to be a criticism; just a reflection on why marriage did not take me where I wanted to go. Not just renovation projects, obviously, but sharing common goals, a sense of who we wanted to be and what we wanted to achieve with our lives, and most importantly, being brave enough to take the first step, and make a start. I want to teach my kids what it means to plan to do something, and work towards it, and have the knowledge that they have done what they set out to do. I want them to develop their sense of morality, and be brave enough to hold true to what they believe to be the right thing to do, throughout their lives. If they do that, they can go to sleep each night, knowing they are doing the best they can.

If I can teach them that, I will be a happy mummy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Post No. 3

She-it! Another week has gone past. What did I do this week? Grete and I worked, um, 31 hrs, I only got a couple of runs done - Mon 6k (7min ks for first 3k, 5'36" ks for second 3k) ; Fri - same course, with No. 2, and baby in stroller, in the light misting rain - 45' - just toddled along with my boy, with a smile on my face. Sat - 100m track in 16.something, just rolling it out, as quadriceps m. are worth keeping intact; 400m track 78s (in a heat with the little kids :) ; 4 x 100m relay. So much fun to go and play with my friends again.

The older 3 kids' daddy is about to leave for 4mo in the USA again. He's happy to be going, to see his girlfriend and all that. So I will be going it alone again, with the 4 chilluns. (*cue "I Will Survive" music*). The tricky bit, is to achieve a quality of life, with a quantity of stuff to get through. If I have to do everything concerning the kids in the short term, it's OK if some things don't get done so well. In the longer term, with HSCs (No. 1), major improvements in homework and lifestyle needed (No. 2), and emotional nurturing while Dad is away (No. 3), it not only has to be done, but has to be the very best I can possibly do for them, because in my head I will be satisfied with nothing less. This is going to take some major planning, to get the level of co-operation I will need from each of them.

No. 1 will be OK. She has a good understanding of my role, and what my responsibilities are, and assists to the best of her ability. Her own life will come together, with only a little bit more self-discipline, and a bit more self-challenging along the way. That's what teenagers do, and I'm sure she will do it well for herself.

No. 2 needs work. In all senses of the word. Baby, I love you, but you are growing up. Time to be a bit more comfortable with grown up stuff, like a workload, and goals, and things to be proud of in yourself. You will need all of them , to survive soon. Kisses on your still-smooth face.

No. 3. Needs to be a baby for a bit longer, and be cuddled, and spoilt with love and affection. Needs to immerse himself in some tricky, process-related tasks, making things that take a couple of days to complete. Something to occupy his mind, solving the problems he encounters along the way. Getting the idea of being competent.

And I will keep the raft that we are all on, afloat. In my low times, I know that I will wish there was someone who could keep watch on the raft for me, when I am too tired or overwhelmed to do it myself. But there isn't. I do the parenting thing then, like an endurance run - just keep picking up one foot after the other. It's then that I think about the privileged life I have here. Not the life I would have if I had been born in Bangladesh, or so many other places. So, I am OK. Lonely sometimes, when I see so many other happy families, and people who have someone who makes it their main aim to be their partner. But OK. Who knows, maybe one day I will have that, too.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Post No. 2

I think this blogging is going to have to be a weekly thing, because while I can easily browse through the blogs of folks I know during the week, doing 25+ hours a week working with baby, plus a 3hr commute every day, plus doing a run every day if there's time and baby is willing, plus keeping up with 3 older kids and house, leaves very little mental capacity for blogging. Plus I am webmistress for someone else's blog, who doesn't have a computer to post on. You get the picture.

No worldly reflections to post this week. Did a few timed runs this week, but other than that, didn't have much time to train. 3k TT on track on Tues pm 13'22" - moderate effort. 2.5min to grapple back to form in that one. Followed that 5mins later with an 800m run with old training partner, who must have been falling over his feet to run slow enough to keep me company - 3'22" - easy effort. One minute to get back to PB shape. Today did 1500m on track - 6.16 - moderate effort, 1min 10 to get back into shape. I had to laugh at myself - went through 300m in 72s - can do 400m repeats in that normally. Never mind. But it was FUN. And I haven't had enough time to run, to flare up my achilles much, so I could enjoy it that much more, through not being in pain.

Is this boring? Sorry. Just going back over it in my mind. I never intended this blog to be one of my greatest literary efforts.

OK, going to do a bit of housework. Majorly overdue. Place is like a tip. Too many people, one crowded house.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Post No 1.

This is not a running blog. I like reading other people's running blogs, but the running is not so high on my list of things to focus on in my life, that it will get more than a line or two in a tiny diary, to keep track of things.

Can this be a blog about life? Because then if you know me, you will know more than you want to know about my life, and those of the other people around me. What if they don't want to be blogged about in my blog?

Do I need to blog about life? What purpose does that serve? Perhaps blogging is more about what you want to say - a forum for issues that are being moved around in headspace, trying to find a fit. If that's the case, then I have my post for the day.

It's about responsibility for self.

Not about picking up your stuff, making sure you eat properly and taking your library books back. It's about working out what you want to do, what you should be doing, and then making sure it happens, to the best of your ability, and with respect for the people around you.

It's not about working out what you want other people to do for you, and then complaining when they don't agree with you, and don't want to do it for you.

Today someone in my circle, who perhaps would like to think of themselves as being the person to whom I owe my first allegiance, did not like what I did with my morning. He did not approve of where and with whom I spent my morning, and he did not approve of my not letting him know what I was doing.

Who does he think I am? His property/servant/professional fool? He may no longer want to be friends with someone, but I am free to choose for myself, decide for myself whether I want to give them my time. He has trouble accepting that I am independent of him in this regard, and that he has no right to restrict who I see. Deep down I am sure he knows this, but the interactions he had with the friend he no longer likes to see, are not things he likes to think about. He does not like to consider that the friend took steps to preserve herself as best she knew how, given who she was at the time. He does not like to consider how his own actions led to some of the choices she made. Perhaps her wanting to see me today was even about her still questioning herself over those choices. I am fine with her. What's done is done, and if it helps her heal, I will give her my time and my friendship. I can do no less and keep in good conscience with myself. I could wish that the things that happened between them, did not happen at all, but they did, and both of them need to accept their own responsibility for their actions. Move on from narrow-minded blame. Be brave enough to dig deep into your own soul, and look at what you've done along the way in your life. It helps you to keep humble, and to have empathy. We all have some shit in our lives. If you are brave enough, you can still use it in mudbricks, and build something out of it.

Wonder if I have enough mudbricks to build an extension on the house?