I have a dream, a song to sing ….

4 March 2012

I have a dream, a song to sing….

When I was in high school our principal loved playing this very famous song, “I have a Dream” written and sung by ABBA, nearly every second Monday morning at assembly.

Whenever he heaved his stereo onto the podium all students heaved an audible and collective sigh of yet another one to come.  The message did not sink in, try as he might, 14 year olds were just not interested in listening to the message and it was just another song we heard ad nauseam.

I didn’t mind the song, it has a good tune and I have played it over the years many times.  In fact, it is one of my favourite CDs in my collections – ABBA Gold – and I play it often.  When I listened to it today I felt inspired, dancing to the music and subsequently it had lead me to this post.

These last few weeks have been very trying.  My nearly 3 year old daughter has been pushing every boundary she could to the utmost, obviously feeding off the stress that I was under.  As a single parent sometimes the pressure will get to me as it would to anyone else.

If you noticed my absence from writing, here’s why…..

I am in the process of signing up with a franchise to start a business changing to a completely new direction in my life, doing something that I have come to love and enjoy – photography.  I am certainly not ecstatic that I’m buying a franchise but I am excited at the prospect of being able to combine photography with an income.  As we all know, franchises are not the optimum way to go but in this case, with a clear head, proper due diligence I believe I am doing the right thing.  I still have some self-doubts but I am also very determined to make it work.  To finance this I was hoping to be able to sell my eBay bookstore which I have been running for the past nearly 7 years and whilst it has elicited tremendous amount of interest no sale has been achieved as yet.  It is well priced so that is not the issue here.   I guess it is a matter of the right person coming along.  That in itself has put more pressure on me.  Why do I have to climb the mountains rather than going the most direct way to get to my destination…? mmm…

Back to… I have a dream

I have dreamt to have a successful business for so many years and have climbed so many mountains to get to this point in my life.  With this I have put myself under pressure and forgot to step back and realise that what I have IS a successful business and that I have been successful in many things I have done over the years.  For so many months my focus has been incredibly strong to move forward and I allowed myself very little ‘me’ time which in turn created stress and in turn was an unhealthy environment for myself and my daughter.

Last night I was invited to my neighbours for a pool & spa party, a very impromptu event.  On my way out I grabbed a bottle of Amarula Liqueur to bring along and trundled over to my neighbours.  We had a great time and best of all… no hang over the next day.  Instead a day feeling more relaxed and happier than I have felt in a very long time.  It is good to just chill out and not think.

My message today is to everyone and in particular to all other single parents… you are doing a great job, keep that in mind and follow your dream but remember to stop from time to time and smell the roses. 🙂

Below are the lyrics to this song if anyone needs some inspiration… wonderful words indeed!

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me through reality
And my destination makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness still another mile
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream

Photocredit: Co-incidence has lead me to this photo and when I read the article I could not agree more with what the little girl wrote and actually resembles mine very closely… “to have a true boyfriend”. 
Please note: I am not promoting this blog in any way it just happened to turn up unexpectedly.  (http://live.regnumchristi.org/2012/02/the-spark-of-a-dream/)

Advertisements

FREEDOM, FAMILY and FUN

26  January 2012

FREEDOM, FAMILY and FUN

Happy Australia Day…. a day to celebrate being Australian.

I wasn’t born in Australia but I have been living here for well over fourteen years.  As soon as I could, I applied to receive my Australian Citizenship.  I am proud to be Australian and very patriotic too.  To me, Australia Day holds a special significance.  It reconfirms my commitment to living here.  Not once in my entire fourteen years have I looked back and wished I was “back home” where I was born.  In fact, quite often throughout the months and years I have had moments where I felt incredibly grateful for what I have here available to me compared to so many others in this world.  There is just one word for it and its called FREEDOM.

What would it be like to keep looking over your shoulders to see if you are followed? 

I used to live in a beautiful country, lots of wild animals and yes, in my early years a lot of freedom.  This freedom changed slowly over the years as politics became more heated between the different races and war erupted, crime took over and a human’s life was worth nothing.

I had the best childhood years.  My parents had a huge house and garden (well huge in the eyes of a 10-year-old kid) and definitely huge in today’s standards.  I don’t remember my life until about age 4 or 5.  I remember we had a tricycle my sister and I shared, it was one of those really sturdy ones and blue.  I would be the one pedalling and my sister stood on the back of it.  One day we took it out onto the roads (unbeknownst to my mother) and went down a hill that was a bit too steep.  My sister became scared and jumped off which left me to tumble front end over, again and again.  The resulting bitumen scrape marks with blood and gore on my nose, forehead, knees and elbows where hard to conceal from my mother, who was needless to say, more than a bit angry at us doing what we should not have done in the first place.  This was quickly replaced by concern about me howling my face off.  (I knew how to make the most of this!).

We also built the most amazing “farms” in the dirt outside the garden.  It was complete with roads and cars and paddocks stocked with plastic animals.  To top it all off, we even managed to catch a few corn crickets (terribly ugly-looking things) which we tried to keep inside the fences.  The plastic fences were usually held in place by soft sand and obviously no match for this big beast.  Once, we managed to find a chameleon in one of the big trees we had in our garden.  We always climbed the trees.  It was pitch black and its two eyes kept moving in opposite directions, hissing at us to stay away.  I was fascinated by this creature and to this day feel a close affinity to a chameleon.  I spend many school holidays on a farm owned by a family friend with very few responsibilities.  As a kid I was really fortunate.  Those were good days….

Fast forward to my adult years.  We grow up and then realise that the long summer months of playing and freedom are gone for good.  Games replace the need to create a living.  Freedom is replaced by having to make choices every single day of your life until one day you wake up and realise that there is more to life than work and money and status.  My wake-up call came the year when I was doing really well in all areas in my life. I was managing a jewellery store for a very large, well-known company.  The shop was doing well, we usually met our targets and life was generally good… until the day the store was held up at gun-point. Freedom was replaced by fear, endless fear and continuously looking over your shoulder.  There is nothing quite like this fear.  Many more unrelated incidences followed that year and a good year turned into a horror year.  The talk of crime was on everyone’s lips, there was no escape.  It was then that the decision was made to migrate to Australia.

What does it mean to be Australian? 

For me, not one Australia Day celebration is the same.  I feel good when I am able to see families and friends gather together with their extended families, usually in a park or on the beach, having a barbecue (BBQ) followed by a game of cricket or other outdoor games.  If you closed your eyes you would be able to feel this energy around you.  The smell of BBQs in the air, the sounds of kids laughing intermingled with adult laughter and the sound of the cricket ball it makes against the bat when it strikes; followed by the hollering and cheering of success.   I love seeing these gatherings because they represent everything that I always long for.  FAMILY.  Huge big families, with lots and lots of kids of all ages, FUN and laughter.  I feel good when I see images on the television that night showing the various celebrations.   Many more people receive their citizenship on this day, a day of CELEBRATION and it is also a day of remembrance for those who have fought in the wars to give us this FREEDOM.  Maybe one day I too will have these very large family gatherings but for now I am just happy to be here and enjoy what I have.

  To me …. THAT is Australia Day  ♥

Parenting after Separation, making the most of family changes

22 January 2012

Parenting after Separation

Making the most of family changes is not that difficult to achieve if you are open to cultivating a positive and flexible approach to family life after separation.  Looking ahead without dwelling too much on what has been helps to approach parenting issues in a realistic and light-hearted way, anticipating and adapting the extra dimensions in your family, seeing them as a challenge rather than as a hassle.

This is not to say that separating can be made to be positive just by will power.  Most go through a really bad time as we come to terms with what we are facing.  However, your children will do better if you are positive and confident with how you approach life in general.

Appreciating one another’s point of view on different standpoints is an important step towards successful co-parenting.

Helpful and unhelpful attitudes

Every parent wants to be a successful one.  We hope that our children will achieve everything we would like to have achieved ourselves.  We try to improve our parenting in all the areas where we feel our own parents got it wrong, and to give our children all those things we value about our own childhood.  We worry quite a lot about the effect our separation will have or is having on our children, and we want to do all that we can to make up for the changes they have to make.  We want to ensure that our children don’t miss out on all that is important.

There’s no doubt that parents separating is usually a sad and disrupting experience for children, but they generally get over it in time, and will certainly do so faster if it is handled well.

If you are able to put aside notions of blame, disappointment, failure, injustice and instead learn to understand how these factors will influence your and your children’s attitudes and behaviour then you are able to take on board a commitment to self-responsibility, personal awareness, patience and the potential for growth.

Language and labels

The last decade has seen a marked change in assumptions about parenting after separation.  It’s not just about ensuring that fathers have an equal right to parent when there is a family break-up.  It would seem that more and more parents are opting for shared parenting on an equal basis.

Therefore, instead of referring to your child’s other parent as “the ex” or  more formally “previous partner”, a more positive approach would be to refer to him/her as “John’s dad” or “Jenny’s mum” or even better, use the other parent’s name in reference rather than avoidance.  We were all given names and by using each other’s names in a kind manner allows our children to observe and reinforce our positive behaviour towards other people.

I read a blog the other day and the heading is “Put your words away” (written by earlbrussel).  It refers to a teachers who taught her children to “put their words away” shortly before crossing the road.  This has struck a chord with me.  If we as adults remember to “put our words away” before saying something negative, then the process of acceptance allows you to focus on what is important right now.

Accepting your ex for who they are allows you to focus on the needs of your children

Taking care of yourself

It is easy to get so caught up in the new parenting role that we neglect our own wants and needs.  We might feel guilty and selfish wanting to take “time out” even while our children are around, thinking we have to be there for them 24/7, play with them or attend to their needs all the time.  This is a trap most of us fall into at one point or another.  Don’t think that self-reflection , and looking after your own interests, is self-indulgence.  Children demand and hold your attention but why not show them and expose them to your world.  Do something that is important to you and share it with them.

Working towards successful co-parenting is a gradual process of attitude change.

♣ Image credit: office.microsoft.com/images/ MP900399506 & MP900409455