STATE OF COMMITMENT

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Ferocious Honesty. Wholehearted Truth. Plucky Candour. This is where my values belong and have for some time, sometimes getting suffocated by my own need to be a pillar of kindness, selflessness, and ever pleasing for the benefit of others. It does me no good you know, this habit of being everything for everyone, nor does it do anyone else any good. Despite being in a profession that is built on the premise of kindness, selflessness, and the best outcomes for others, that premise is nothing but an old whisper of the past – one in which nurses lived in, walked the halls til their feet bled, and were married to their vocation of selfless caring. Certain things had their place in that time, not so in this age where nurses are both men and women, mothers and fathers, and clinical specialists in their own fields with mountainous responsibilities to match. I guess that old whisper has always had a place in my mind – until now.

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For years I have been committed to everything and everyone but myself, myself has always been an afterthought and deep down I knew I would not be able to sustain it forever. At some point I was going to have to be self-caring, selfish, and put my needs first. I knew this because I say these same words to friends and colleagues who are in the same position, only not being courageous to take in on myself and stand firm in my own needs. That time is over, or will be soon as I take step by step in moulding my own life, my own career. This year I have embarked on so many things that threaten to take me out if I don’t heed my own words: research, a 2 year honours diploma, my certificate 4 in fitness, a new business centred around our long-term plan to move and work abroad, and for this my health has suffered with the lacking sleep and lacking time for my own physical fitness.

This year I have taken some steps to move away from things happening to me and into a place where things happen for me. Big difference. This move requires simple but somehow difficult steps. I’m still doing it no matter how hard the steps are. I was bold enough to ask my boss for one set day off each week so I could be mother to my two girls and be there one weekday day per week to do all those mummy chores – and I love those mummy things I really do, they will no longer be there for me to do much longer as my girls grow. I was worried that this was too big a request and that I would be denied, how wrong I was. I was granted this request with the complete understanding that I needed. I added to this my desire to work no more than 64 hours a fortnight unless I expressed the desire to on the odd occasion, or if it was dire to my workplace that I work up. That too has been put in place. I have a wonderful boss and whilst I trust and know that she looks out for her staffs’ best interests, I have a history of not feeling worthy enough – something I am really working on. It isn’t just my work life I have been working on – my physical health I have been too.

When I moved to the Sunshine Coast I had cancer, thyroid issues, chronic and severe allergy, serious and debilitating anxiety, complications from the cyst in my brain, and that was just the start of it. I was recommended by my GP a supplement I had shipped in from New Zealand that really made a big difference and I was able to stop all my prescribed medications, I gave up smoking, and lost a stack of weight. I was doing so well…until a fall at work and a slip on rocks at the beach left me with 2 fractures in my lower spine, nerve damage, and pain that is present even today. That really halted my training schedule and the weight began piling back on. Add to that a few trips to Europe and no desire to abstain from the local delicacies, a ton of self loathing about this, and I am far from where I was before. I am over the self loathing now, knowing that life happens to all of us and knowing that each day I have been doing my best just to stay afloat and keep moving forward. That said, I have also put in place changes to keep moving forward and climb the steep hill back to the fitness and wellbeing level I was at before – looming early menopause or not.

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When beginning back with my fitness journey (ughhhh – hate that word now but cant think of another), I had to be realistic in the fact that I am typical Obliger personality – no matter how much I practise not being that. So in order to get into the habit of self commitment, I have to work with it instead of against it. So I have done the following:

· Enlisted hubby to prepare healthy vegetarian meals using our fabbo cookbook

· Encouraged the kids to start thinking of all the vegetarian foods they can eat for good health and energy – and pack/choose themselves

· Earlier to bed for a good sleep – still working on this

· Monday morning walks at 530am followed by an ocean swim (ok paddle), with a friend who is also an obliger personality – and sticking to this routine no matter how I feel (I can always walk a little slower and not as far if I feel shite), and I have successfully kept this routine even if my friend doesn’t come

· Catching myself in moments of stress and taking a few deep breaths

· Actively trying to let go of the hurts others have inflicted on both me and my loved ones – still working on this

· Beginning a fitness challenge lasting 12 weeks with my beautiful inlaws from across the ditch in NZ…to make it a bit fun

I know I have a way to go before I am back where I was and in a forward motion again, but I am feeling confident in my state of commitment to myself.

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ARE YOU ALL IN?

I don’t know about you but I am totally into podcasts and those awesome little videos on you tube designed to give you a motivational boost or help you see something from a different perspective. I used to think of these methods of learning as totally outrageous in that it felt like you weren’t connected to the people delivering it, but I look back now and realise that mostly I felt un-tech-saavy and far too distracted for such pursuits. I soon came to learn however that these tools just had a different look but had the potential to help me move through different situations in life with new and fresh perspective. I began with podcasts from people who lived on the coast but were well known further afield, but after a year or so I found their messages to lack a certain ‘realness’ that had been there in their early days, leaving me feeling disappointed. I realised though that it was my needs that were changing, so I began to listen to podcasts like Rebelology, Straight & Curly, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin and watching You Tube clips from people like Prince Ea, Alexi Panos, and Preston Smiles, and it has got me thinking about whose dreams I’m chasing.

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Alexi Panos did a fantastic (and very short so its nice and bite-sized) video on commitment, and the difference between having a really good idea and the actuality of actually committing to it. The point she made was that often we get stuck in the planning phase, analysing the processes, the what ifs, the weaving of the safety net in case it all goes wrong and you fall on your face. We get so stuck in this phase though that we completely miss all the opportunities that are in front of us because we are frozen by the things that scare and challenge us. Brene Brown has also made an entire career out of the research of people who are ‘in the arena’ as opposed to judging from the sidelines.

I must admit that for quite some time now my life has cascaded into this Grand Canyon of beautiful chaos, which has meant that I am painting about 5 or more different pictures with no focus on any one potential masterpiece. That is to say that my attention is split in too many different directions and instead of being all in, I’m all in tangles, and I must say I don’t like it one little bit. My mojo is far more Chill 101 than it is Hyperzone 4000!. I’m proud to say that I have been letting go of alot of distractions that no longer serve me or the people I am trying to help because I don’t have a passion for it, but there are lots of areas I can improve upon.

You cannot be ‘all in’ for something if you are splitting your attention 5 ways, you have to get to a point where you choose – and thats exactly where I am headed. It helps to have a clear plan. Particularly when your clear plan is to move overseas away from everything familiar, so here it goes, this is my commit-list.

Complete my Certificate 4 in Fitness
Complete my Diploma in Nursing Specialisation
Develop my website for our 2 year overseas adventure for 2019
Grow my Health Program business

The great thing about the items in my commit-list is that they all culminate in the creation of what I am truly passionate about – health plans that put the planning back in the clients hands…empowering self choice and decision making. Its my “top pot” – my one big thing that I am ALL IN on. You see the difference between a great idea and the outcome of that idea is ACTION.

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Masculine Husbands

Shit is getting real today and no apologies.

I work. I have kids. I study. I train. (Okay these days I sometimes train). I have a busy-ass life.

I have a husband. He works. He has kids. He studies. He trains. (Wait, no he doesn’t, the man is naturally fit – insert eye roll).

So who does the work at home? We all do!

I clean. I cook. I garden. I tend to the kids. I discipline. I love.

Hubby cleans. Hubby cooks. Hubby gardens. Hubby tends to the kids. Hubby disciplines. Hubby loves.

I’m certain by now you are thinking what the fuck is she on about!!! To be totally honest my husband does do a bit more than me at home, mostly because he is the one that is there in sociable hours and I am not. He works less than me so gets in and does what needs to be done. So why is it that people in 2016 still throw about the terms “emasculated” “unfulfilled” “not a real man”? To be honest it baffles and angers me just as much as the terms “a womans place is in the kitchen” “women should put their careers on hold” “women should act ladylike”.

I’m going to share my take on what my husband is.

My husband is manly because:

***He can soothe the tears of our children
***He can chase the fears from their dreams
***He can calm even the scariest storm on their faces
***He can make them food that nourishes their bodies
***He can clean up after spilt milk and spilt tears
***He can make our girls feel like the princesses they are
***He can make math homework exciting and fun

He can do all this and still make me feel like nothing can hurt me when he is around. He cooked for me when I could only throw up (preganacy), soothed my fears when the words cancer and brain surgery were bandied around like a play thing, held me when my sobs had no end, encouraged me when my dreams felt too far away, stood firm for me when others tried to tear me down. I love him for this and so much more.

What’s so emasculate about that?

PLAIN FACTS

Sometimes I wonder why the hell I continue to keep my blog, particularly when it appears that my thoughts rarely make it past the ever greying matter I call my brain and onto the computer screen. There you have it folks, sums up what shitloads of bloggers and vloggers think but never say, least of all to their audience. Then again as the greying matter turns silver I lack the ability to apply a filter and since that probably isn’t going to change any time soon I guess you will either love this new take or find your way to some love, light and mung beans.

I had a temporary thought of catching you all up with some purple-shaded, meditative-sounding, flower-encrusted story of how life sometimes sucks but nice things do happen to good people but I don’t want to. Simple. So instead here are the plain facts.

Life has handed hubby and I some low blows, some that we thought would keep us down for good and some that still make us doubt our own resolve. If you have been here before you know it already but if you haven’t let me spell it out for you simply. LOTS OF SHIT. The details aren’t really that important, we all have it but some of it gets stuck on your shoes and follows you around.

We don’t make friends with all this crap but we do say hi and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t set up house in our backyard. In fact, we have been hinting at the crap in our lives that maybe it’s time we saw other people and by geez I think it might have gotten the message. Finally, some great things have happened in our lives. We do believe in some of that love, light and mung beans, more than a little faith, and lots of hard work. I don’t exactly know what happened, maybe the balance turned, but we have had a week to outstand all weeks.

Firstly, hubby got a full month of work after what was an eternity of nothing much, he was scheduled for surgery to fix his sinuses, the tax office decided to give me a tidy sum back, and my husband is getting surgery to fix his wrist using a very forward thinking method in the next month.
All I have to say is thanks for the great shit that happens when you least expect it.

Chat soon – I have a rant on my mind and I’m not afraid to use it!

LETTING GO

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I know this might seem like a no-brainier to some, but just recently it occurred to me that my children are in fact NOT my children. Imagine going sixteen (and nine for the youngest) years thinking that the tiny baby you carried inside your tummy for nine months, the baby you have nurtured now for all those years, really was yours only to have one of those knowing moments when you truly realised that they were in fact NOT your children after all. I know, OUCH right? But there it is, something I have known all along, something I take into account when I make decisions about my child, but something I didn’t really feel deep down in my core until recently. Is this revelation because I now have a child in grade 11 and a child in grade 4? That’s interesting – you could be right…

When we went to Europe late last year we took our children with us, 2 daughters aged 15 and 8. My beautiful 15 year old was pretty independant but still her mothers daughter in the sense that we were unbelievably close and I honestly couldnt really fathom her ever leaving home, along with the fact that so much of what I thought played a role in what decisions she made. I feel like a lioness protecting her cub after almost losing her the year before last when she collapsed in the shower and her heart and breathing stopped. My beautiful 8 year old was both shy and very hard work with her having a myraid of challenges we have lived with over the years…both my girls experience OCD, but Mackenzie also has auditory and sensory processing challenges too which have filled our days with meltdowns and 2hr long mealtimes and bedtimes and to be frankly honest I was more than a little scared of what would happen taking her into overcrowded, touristy places with unfamiliar spaces and food and cultures. What happened next really shocked both my husband and I.

Let me tell you what we saw with our almost 16 year old Lauren. Not to be misunderstood because my daughter is exceptionally more mature and forward thinking than many of her peers and I am immensely proud of how she is progressing (no she isnt perfect by any means and still has her moments of being a pain in my arse – she was never meant to be perfect), however my daughter became even more individual in her own right in Europe. She began thinking way bigger than I had ever instilled and showed a passion for experiencing life in a big way, much bigger than I could have ever imagined for myself at that age. It was as though everything became possible and nothing (not even her mother) could stop her. I have realised through this that when our children reach this time in their lives where they are starting to rebel against our ideas and wishes, and we become frustrated parents of teenagers who long for a weekend off, this is our weaning time to move through what could be a very embarrassing case of seperation anxiety and empty nest syndrome that occurs if they suddenly break free from the nest. I can only imagine the heartbreak I caused my mother by leaving suddenly at the age of 16 to go live and work out on my own – honestly I’m surprised she is still talking to me.

Im still struggling a bit with this new found individuality Lauren has found and riding the rollercoaster of emotions we are both experiencing is what I would call ‘interesting’. (Now Lauren if you are reading this, it by no stretch means I am going to suddenly change my mind about not letting you go to a house party filled with alcohol and no supervising parents – non negotiable). My husband and I have begun to talk about the possibility of Lauren going on ‘dates’ with boys, but we are undecided as to whether we are okay with her getting into a serious teenage relationship when we know she really wants to travel and experience so much in her early years, not to mention the decade of university education she is about to embark on in the very near future. I do know that she is happy at this point to wait until marraige to have sex and is in no hurry to get married and have children so we have breathed a sigh of relief on that front. I guess the jury is still out.

What I am proud of is that this new level of kick-A independence has seen her crave to work and earn her own money, she is dedicated to her studies and is working really hard at that and achieving what she wants, and is taking charge in the changes she wants in her life. I am proud – if not a little sad – that my baby is not my baby…she is an individual in her own right.

Now let me tell you about my little Indigo baby Mackenzie. Mackenzie has been a delightful handful since the day she was born and although I wouldnt change it for the world, I would be lying if I didnt say it has been an exhausting and frustrating ride for all of us – including Lauren as she has had to make adjustments and show great patience with our littlest one. Her sensory processing disorder has meant that textures, touch and experiences are a constant onslaught to her system and her only task each day is to fumble through the best she can. Sometimes a hug from mummy is just not enough, sometimes there is no solution to her troubles but to let her vent and cry, and sometimes she just wants to be like all the other kids. Her auditory processing disorder means that people misinterperet her brains inability to decipher and seperate and process all the input, for insolence and misbehaviour and distraction. She has been called naughty by teachers and family and friends, but when you try to explain it they think that she has trouble hearing so they speak louder which then sets off her sensory issues. Despite this Mackenzie is an amazingly bright, cheery girl who just wants everyone to be happy, and who never wants to disappoint anyone. You can imagine that a 6+ week trip to Europe would have been a struggle for this little one and although it was, something quite extraordinary and unexpected happened during that time. Instead of going into a permanent meltdown as any parent of an SPD kid would expect, she did the opposite! Although we had a few meltdowns and struggles, Mackenzie began talking to people, even in other languages. She climbed a volcano, jumped off a boat and swam to a hot spring, climed the top of the Eiffel Tower, ate strange foods, rode the underground, revelled in the cold temperatures in Switzerland, coped with 10 flights…and began to break the emotional safety straps she had built between her and us.

Now back at home Mackenzie is doing acrobatics, classical ballet, coping with her homework, eating new foods with only a little resistance, speaking up, making new friends, standing up for herself, carrying her school bag and……walking herself into school on her own with us just watching. She is excited about being able to do things for herself now rather than shying away from it and relying on us to be her safety net. Its amazing to see her growing up even though I long for my baby girl who ‘needed me’, but she still will occasionally ask to hop into bed with mummy and have hugs so I can deal with that. I am proud – if not a little sad – that my baby is not my baby…she is an individual in her own right.

I feel good that I have raised individual angels, and although I can feel the shift in the relationship I have with my girls, I know that this is how it is meant to be and that we are not growing apart but are growing – as mother, as daughter, as sisters. This is how it should be – they are not mine, they are just my responsibility to love, nurture and guide.

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THE SPANISH IMPOSITION

The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On The – hearts of all the long distance bus drivers!

Okay so this really wasn’t the highlight of our trip that we thought it would be – in fact it was kind of horrific really. In my head I had envisaged this whole awakened feeling of joy seeing the places that people visit on the Camino de Santiago…really got to stop building expectations before the actual event I think. We caught a high speed train from Montparnasse to Irun on the border of France and Spain, and from there we caught a taxi (after much difficulty trying to find one) to the hotel in San Sebastian. Now if we had just stayed in the hotel we would have been absolutely fine because it was super comfortable, beautiful breakfasts, wonderful attentive service…but we decided to explore San Sebastian instead.

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San Sebastian is a beautiful backdrop of old buildings and cobble-type streets, mixed with churches, hillsides, beaches and old boating docks. Its very picturesque and worthy of the postcards you by at the touristy stops along the way.

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Along the beaches is like a concrete walkway that was under the higher walkway kind of like a tunnel, that had archways along the front – bit hard to explain really. Although the day started out as rainy and miserable, it became quite sunny and warm and it wouldn’t be strange to think it was a bit like Melbourne weather. We enjoyed a lovely walk along the beach and thought it might be nice to go for a swim seeing all the English folk enjoying the water so we went to the waters edge and enjoyed the moment of frostbite as our toes felt the icy waves coming in. No I don’t think we will swim thankyou…

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We did love the idea of tapas they have there and after seeing the beautiful church there, we went off in search of a lovely tapas bar to eat at – the spreads put on were beautiful and the social vibes were funky. Sadly though we did not get to enjoy this with most of it being all local seafood and cured meats, so we opted for a lovely little restaurant or two for our meals in San Sebastian. Did I mention that breakfast often was sweets here? The girls thought this was completely awesome! I was craving my raw spinach and vegetables.

After two nights we boarded the bus for Santiago de Compostela. That is when our real nightmare began. The trip we had thought was going to be a nine hour bus trip and we were well planned for that with snacks, water, and activities. It wasn’t til about four hours in that we realised that there may be no stops for meals, and we also found out that it was going to be a twelve hour trip. We tried to ask if we could duck out to a vending machine at one of the stops whilst they loaded up the suitcases but the bus driver stood in the walkway with hands in our face saying no very loudly and rudely. Despite us trying to explain (in Spanish we had translated by a friend) that we had no food for our children because the ticket did not state there would be no stops, the bus drivers still refused to let us off to get food for our kids. It was at this stage that I lost the plot and began crying…the feeling as a mother of not being able to provide food for your child when they are already distressed is a terribly helpless feeling and although it is definitely not the same, I now have a renewed empathy for mothers struggling to feed their children in refugee camps and third world countries. Finally an Aussie (at one of the stops and not even on our bus), saw our distressed and told us to get off now and the bus will come back for us. I cried with sheer relief, and let me tell you I could have kissed the ground when we finally arrived in Santiago.

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The accommodation in Santiago was basic, but modern, comfortable, and the service was exceptional. We visited the church and enjoyed the energy of all the pilgrims that had arrived to end their long journey. We met lots of Aussies that had just finished it and they gave tips for our teenager who now wants to do the Camino – that would be the only reason for returning to Spain at this point. The church was beautiful and I wondered for just a moment how a simple building could bring up so many emotions for me when I realised it wasn’t the grandeur of the building, but the grandeur of the millions of tears and prayers that had taken place over many years in this place.

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We left Spain much to our excitement and flew to Switzerland – by far my favourite place so far for its beauty….but as always thats for another time…

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Have you got a horror story from one of your holidays? Share with me your story.

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

“Leaving On A Jet Plane” – I bet you are singing that song now aren’t you? You’re welcome! Lots to catch up on and lots happening so read through and find out what our next adventure is!!!

Tolkien has a few pretty great quotes that resonate with me but one that currently stands out with me is “not all who wander are lost“. I have been somewhat lost over the past few months (about 5 to be pedantic, since I last wrote), and I have felt every second of it, my soul longing to write but unable to drag the words needed to the surface and out onto the keyboard. You may remember that I had resigned from aged care nursing and jumped ever so boldly back into acute nursing in the hospital system, and it was from that point that my writing took a bit of a vacation. Despite me feeling a little lost at the time, I know now that it was merely a case of me wandering from writing, and writing wandering from me – nothing is ever truly lost.

My wandering from everything I knew previously has taken me on such an adventure that seems almost too amazing to be real. Lets be honest though, it’s not all been sweet dreams, some of it has been really tough. As a family we have faced some difficult decisions. My husband and I went through a really rocky time and had some time apart so to speak (although in the same house we slept in separate rooms to get some space and clarity). Mostly it was related to unresolved issues with family members that has been simmering and bubbling for quite some time, but the time each doing our own thing allowed us the space to grow individually and allowed my husband to find the man he is without trying to be everything for everyone else. I do believe everyone deserves the right to be heard and not shot down for having feelings. He had finally found his voice, and although it was great for him to finally stand his own ground, I certain there were a few shocked people at the receiving end. Now our relationship is far stronger than ever and I love my husband even more for having his own voice. He has even decided to do a reiki course!

My new job has been fantastic and I’ve really grown there both personally and professionally, the transition has been far less scary than I had thought and I have now begun my Renal Nursing Training and loving it. I never thought that renal nursing could teach me so much about every other area of nursing! I’ve also faced and over come some bullying – one of my biggest emotional issues over the past little while too which has empowered me to continue breaking through and facing those yucky emotional hurdles that rear their ugly little heads in our lives. I’ve really been looking after my own emotional and spiritual wellbeing so my physical wellbeing has taken a backseat due to sheer overwhelm, but I do believe that if you don’t deal with the internal stuff, the external stuff suffers. I’m taking one step at a time.

The two girls are doing pretty well despite the few challenges we’ve had with them. Miss Teen Rebel is a champion at managing her cardiac stuff , and Little Miss Macca has started the program to help with her CAPD. We are enjoying living near the beach after moving into a house just one street away. We do have a bit of exciting news though.

In a mere 26 days, the Pluck family are off on a European Vay-Cay!!! Hubby has retired (still works one day a week as allowed), and we are taking the opportunity to travel and make memories whilst we have the time and hubby’s health is still okay. We only have today, no one is guaranteed a tomorrow so live now.

So stay tuned for our European travel blogs…lots of interesting stuff. Videos. Photos. Wellness. And my attempt at homeschooling two very different kids whilst we are away!

Tell me…where are you in the world and if you could go anywhere where would it be and why?

QUE SERA

Wouldn’t life be easy if we could just say ‘fuck it’, and do shit anyway? After all, doesn’t the greatest happenings in life occur when we throw caution to the wind, give fear the bird, and step courageously into the infinite possibilities that are before us? What can you see when you look at the could haves, the could bes, and the could dos in life, if only you had grappled and taken hold of the mere 30 seconds of guts it takes to say ‘fuck it’?

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I guess I’m asking these questions mostly of myself recently for so many reasons. Like so many of us women heading over to the latter side of their 30’s, we are for the first time really able to define exactly who we are and what we want out of life (although in saying that I can remember back in my 20’s thinking I had all it all figured out too so I might be eating my own words in my next decade here!). One thing I do know is that since becoming a mother, my life is not just about me anymore but about the two beautiful daughters I have been honoured with and as such this means that I must be that guiding light for them to follow. Woah! Big job, big shoes – size 11 in fact!
Asking these questions of myself has prompted me to get jiggy with the realities of life, and has made me challenge every belief, every value, and every action I have taken and will take in the future. I’m cool with that though because “if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you” – and deep down we all really want life to change and be exciting (could you imagine watching the same episode of a show over and over again? Think that song at the start of the movie Groundhog Day…annoying right?).

So I am learning a lot about Que Sera, and learning a lot about saying what will be, will be. I am learning the value of being guided by creating life rather than being fearful of it, including learning from situations that previously have all but paralysed me emotionally resulting in some significant collateral damage that could have been avoided with using a different tact. Understand that I don’t regret even one of my decisions along the way because they were right for me at those times in those situations.

Que Sera is not about frivolity for me though, I won’t be doing a vegas trip, joining a commune, or jumping out of a plane with no parachute. Que Sera for me has come with a healthy dose of self reflection. Talk about mirror mirror – but that’s for another time. How about some self disclosure of exactly how I have been practising the art of Que Sera lately.

!!!TURNING MY ENTIRE LIFE UPSIDE-FREAKING-DOWN!!!

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NO HOUSE! –YET…

For the past four years since moving to the Sunshine Coast we have lived in a 2.5 bedroom unit. Sounds alright except it wasn’t until after we had moved in that we found out that in fact it was designed mostly for over 50’s – wonder if the other younger families also didn’t realise that until it was too late! We accepted however that the situation was right for us for a short time and made the most of it, next you know four years has flown by and our kids are outgrowing such a small place. So we put in our notice and put all our belongings into storage whilst we house sat for 4 weeks for a friend and colleague of mine (again that whole adventure is for another time), on over 9 acres of beautiful land.

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That part of the adventure is up now and we are winging it in a holiday unit 20 seconds walk from Sunshine Coasts Moololaba Beach – tough life huh – but we are now without a permanent home until the right one is presented to us.

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Admittedly it has taught us how to live without excessive amounts of ‘stuff’, and the girls and us have coped quite well.

I QUIT MY JOB! – AND GOT ANOTHER…

After 4 years in aged care nursing I knew that my time was up when I felt like crying every shift, which was insane because I loved what I did, worked for an amazing company, achieved great things, and had beautiful colleagues and clients. However the masses of government budget cuts and policy changes meant we were doing more work in an already stretched day and it took its toll on myself and my family…and when my then 7 year old daughter said mummy we miss you because you are always working (even at home), I knew that it was time to leave and go back into acute nursing. Im loving it really and was blessed to get a position in an amazing hospital – I am supported, appreciated, cherished, and encouraged to pursue my dreams. Im happy and loving the challenges.

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I’M WRITING A BOOK! – NO REALLY I AM…

I haven’t always wanted to be a nurse. When I was young I wanted to be an author, and I was so good at writing that I got to go to specialist camps and won awards at school…then life happened. I am back on track with it though and am now in the process of writing a book…a nursing book along the lines of 50 shades of poop (kidding). I have had this vision for this book for nurses for quite some time and was given a voucher from my beautiful husband and children, for a 1 on 1 session with an author coach Alex Mitchell. I have had it (it was more enlightening and wonderful than I had expected), and am so excited for what comes next – stay tuned!

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So now I am getting what I look for (read E2 and you will understand), and I am determined to see my life fulfilling, real and raw, connected, and worthy of a legacy I want to leave my children. I can guarantee it wont be all bunny rabbits and chocolate fondue but I do know this to be true –

‘LIFE IS SIMPLY A SERIES OF EXPERIENCES DESIGNED TO BE LESSONS FOR OUR GREATER GOOD’ – Tammy Pluck

UGLY

Recently there has been a movement by a beautiful woman Allison Grant from Alli&Co and her tribe and its called #banishthebully – a movement to call people out on their shit when they are being a tossed to another person. I do love the concept of this movement and support this movement fully, we should all be able to have our opinions and make our own choices in life without the lynch mob suiting up and drawing their swords – I know this because when I made the informed choice to no longer vaccinate my children after almost losing my firstborn to the side effects, and when I decided that right at this moment I was not a subscriber to chemotherapy for my own health journey, I was launched upon with seething hate from people that I thought loved and cared about our little family….but I digress…back to the ugly side of life. The thing is though its important when banning the bully, to not become the bully yourself – you can stand up against the behaviour without making attacking comments about the bully. So I’m standing here saying I too will #banishthebully – keep that in mind when you read the rest of my exposé of the ugly side of life…

Sure. People show you their lives in highlight reels with the occasion gasp factor and a few bad moments scattered in there to make it seem like they are just the folks next door. People are much slower to show the ugly side to their lives however, in fear that they will be judged, ripped apart, made a mockery of on social media. Can’t blame them really – I mean have you seen the shit fights that occur when someone says they don’t vaccinate their child or don’t agree with chemotherapy in their own health journey? Not only does it not end well but it can often leave even the most emotionally robust people questioning their worth on earth.

So in the essence of over sharing, vulnerability, and a shitload of ‘me too’ – here is the gag reel of ugly moments in life that I’m sure lots of people are leaving out of their Insta-Twit-Face status updates. Brace yourselves! Get a bucket! Don’t pee laughing! Grab a tissue!

I DON’T HAVE ALL MY SHIT TOGETHER – Despite popular belief, everyday I have feelings of inadequacies. Am I a good enough mother. Am I a good enough wife. Am I a good enough daughter. Am I a good enough friend. Am I a good enough nurse. Plain and simple, despite my mostly positive outlook, I constantly have to drag my sorry butt away from the ‘I’m not enough’ party. The constant arguments in my own head about this is enough to light up a Jerry Springer show stage. To be frank (although my names Tammy) we all have these insecurities – you’re not alone.
I’M AN IMPERFECT MOTHER – I try to behave like a responsible parent most of the time but sometimes that baby gets thrown out with the bath water (pfft…not literally silly!). Although I try to parent ethically, lovingly, conscientiously, I haven’t always made decisions that have resulted well – in fact once I let my child speak her mind to her older sister on facebook which was probably not the best decision….I probably old have guided her to have a strong voice to stand up for herself in a different manner but I don’t regret anything because I was doing the best I knew at the time. On another occasion I showed exemplary parental, maternal instinct (insert sarcastic undertones here) when I was sitting on the floor reading my baby girl when I looked at the book thinking “wow that is a lifelike spider” – cue screaming (from me), jumping higher than an Olympic pole vaulter, and me on one side with baby sitting next to (non poisonous) spider, as it dawned on me it was a real spider. Yes. I admit it. I am a dreadful mother.

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I AM NOT A HEALTH NUT 24/7 – Once upon a time I was over 30kgs heavier, smoked, had cervical cancer, rrv/bfv induced arthritis, thyroid disorder, cyst on my brain, pre diabetes, exemplary nurse!!!!! Then I hit a wall when I got to the point where I was struggling to walk from the lounge to the bathroom from the escalating vertigo I’d been experiencing for years and I made a massive change. Shed a stack of weight, got cancer free, stopped smoking, mostly sorted the thyroid crap, etc etc. All of a sudden people thought I was just perfect…especially after we decided to become vegetarian. Let me tell you folks…although I like to make the best nutrition decisions for myself and my family – I’m not perfect (in fact the last couple of months have been shocking!!!). I have been known to eat hot chips, I allowed some ‘naughty’ food back into my house….hell I even scoffed a bunch of chocolate – and not the guilt free stuff I normally make at home. We have had a shitty few months and we sometimes make emotional decisions about our food. We just won’t stay in this state of processed sugar bliss.

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SHIT HAPPENS TO US TOO – Currently as we speak we have had car engines explode, cancer, accidents, times we have had to ask my parents for financial help, worried if we will have enough money to pay the bills, had my teenage daughter have her heart and breathing stop for 2 mins after a collapse in the shower, mysterious medical crap going on with hubby and no clue why, people disrespect us, people judge and hate on our decisions for our family, family dramas….need I say more? We all have this in our lives…life happens even when you’re sending good into the world.

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PLAIN OLD SHAKE YOUR HEAD YOU TOO MOMENTS – You know life brings us so many things that challenge us but not everyone talks about it because either it is still considered taboo, or it’s just plain embarrassing….it’s okay though I’m a nurse – over sharing is just what we do at the dinner table! Anyone can see I haven’t gained my pre baby body back and to be honest I know that part of the reason is because no amount of exercise and nutrition can fix some things, so unless I decide to do that there will be some aspects of my body I have to simply love as they are. For example:
I love the torn fibres in the muscle on my belly that looks and feels much like a run in a stocking ladder – because that belly carried a few beautiful babies…two of which were able to come into the world – the others back into Gods arms.
I love my bladder, my bowel, and my pelvis – they may be a little friendly with gravity these days but my bladder sure does let me know when I’ve had too much time on the trampoline, to many laughs, or when it’s time to do the front door key shuffle….bless that bladder and that 1 hr labour and birth – who said a fast baby wouldn’t be fun!
I love my non-existent libido…because apparently sleep gives me even more joy lol…all I need to say is that birthing a 9’10” baby head to toe in under 3 mins with no drugs is no walk in the park. On the upside my husband agrees with the joy of sleep too…we’re both completely buggered!
I love my cervix….pap smears are never the same after your cervix has been chopped to bits by constant biopsies for 2 years…but she served her purpose and recovered from cancer.

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So as you can see – its not all highlights in life – we are all real, and raw, and as flawed as the next person in our own perfect way. Lets celebrate the ugly life brings as well as the great. After all, you would never know su shine without a little rain x

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THE BLUR – Finding yourself. Again.

I think we all at one time in our lives, sometimes more than one, go through the process of trying to ‘find ourselves’. Heck there are even so many movies dedicated to the topic they should have their own genre! Who can forget such titles as ‘How Stella Fot Her Groove Back’ and ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, not to mention the upcoming movie ‘Finding Dory’. I’m currently in this process. Again.

I began a few weeks of emergency holiday leave on Thursday after reaching a point in my life where I felt used, abused, and and unimportant. In my professional life as a nurse I give 110 percent to what I do and after a while you begin to notice that you are being stretched to a point that leaves you unable to inject your known level of passion into your role. Sure you can do the tasks, but since when is it fulfilling to just exsist doing the actions with less of the soul. So after a very emotional and hard working few weeks I was spent, it was some time coming with no repose, and I have taken these few weeks for my own personal wellbeing. My daily job now is to find myself, and to take back my passion for nursing…I want to lead a life of passion and purpose – I think deep down we all do.

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I want to highlight at this point tht over the next few weeks I will refer to a quote from the book ‘Everything That Remains’ by The Minimalists. Firstly, it’s a great book that is helping me to sort through the real and perceived clutter in my life, but secondly – well just because its my blog and I can.

‘…attempting to find something meaningful in the blur’

‘The Blur’. A very apt description of us trying to find meaning or find ourselves for that matter, amongst the blur of our cluttered and busy lifestyles. A blur. Like what you see out the window of a fast moving train as you whoosh though what you can only imagine is breathtaking scenery, only you are unable to really fully focus on any one point through the blur. It’s also not unlike seeing endless things in your periphery as a blur, but as in life you are so focused on the end game and miss the entire journey along the way.

The take away however is that meaning can be found in everything, you might just want to slow down long enough for the blur to regain focus and clarity.

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