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?