My Week in Links #21

Looking at ambiguity and humanity in cinema.

Learning how to make some simple, yet beautiful flowers with watercolours.

Figuring out the maths on if I’d prefer to have invisibility or flight.

Watching a classic movie and being completely wrong about an actor’s heritage. (“He doesn’t look Russian at all!”)

Being disappointed that I’m not Nicki Minaj.

Trying to figure out what week is it?

Falling in love with modern quilting and finding my local chapter.

Winning an argument about the KJV.

Discovering a new chocolate … but guessing the brand wrong.

Hearing a new-to-me band’s old hit and new song.

Discussing politics and cycles and history repeating.

Comparing Australian politics and opting out of compulsory voting.

Calculating the possibility that Australia can one day join the EU.

And just straight up partying.

 

Phase one complete

I now have beginning watercolour, drawing and ceramics classes under my belt, and enough time to breathe again. Of course, I started a band about a month ago, so there were a few weeks of extra crazy overlap, but things are settling back down now.

I’m looking forward to spending time pursuing creative projects – I bought some quilting magazines, and one has a pattern for a laundry bag that I think will be much nicer than the mesh hamper I currently use, and I want to work on my bedside lamp so that it better matches my room, and I need to work on my embroidery for the wall hanging I’ve started.

Elisa showed me how to use the sewing machine, and it’s much less scary now that I’ve spent a little time playing around. I still don’t go fast, because I find it hard to get straight seams, but that will just take practice.

I know Elisa wants to paint my room, and I have vague plans of wallpapering the closet doors, but I don’t even know if it’s possible, much less the cost, ease, or time commitment.

I also want to spend time reading. It’s something that makes my life immeasurably richer and more enjoyable. I took half a dozen on our trip to the family cabin on the Idaho/Wyoming border, and when I only finished one (and started two others), I had anxiety about mortality only allowing me a limited time to read and listen to music and appreciate art. I have a firm policy of rejecting all forms of guilt, but this took me a few days to process, once I noticed it.

I’m now 60% of the way through Gone With the Wind, and I won’t try to simultaneously read the other three books on my nightstand. They can wait, and I can wait.

I also need to meditate on my word, and write down some actions to help me invite clarity into my life, and how I plan to achieve them. I still have a whole day left in March, that’s plenty of time to decide some of those, right? Of course. It’ll all be fine. Especially now that I have the time to remember to breathe. Wish me luck!

Catching my breath

It’s 8:51pm and the kids are asleep, their parents out, and I’m sitting in bed, enjoying the quiet.

I have spent much of today here, reading Gone with the Wind and enjoying its world settling over me, my quilt encompassing me with its warmth and colour, the sparkle of the fairy lights around my window gently lighting my room.

I really like my room. I almost have it clean and tidy, there are just a few things that need to be set free or returned to their rightful place. I have a couple of paint pots on the floor, from putting up swatches. (I like the duskier grey). 

I finally finished putting up the hearts we decorated in preparation for Valentine’s Day – only three weeks late – and they look so happy, hanging in my window. Their colours perfectly match both the cheerful spring mood and the quilt Elisa made for me.

She also made two Shams for me, to match, and my room feels a lot more like a sanctuary now. It definitely inspired me to make decisions about things that have been cluttering up the floor by my door and bed, and tidy up my craft things into a basket or onto a shelf. 

I think the lampshade is my next project, along with a quilted wall hanging with my “word of the year” embroidered on it.

The vision board I made for the February prompt now hangs in my closet, above the shelves, and I see it each morning as I get dressed, and remember that I want to fill my life with clarity. Having beautiful, welcoming objects in my room has definitely helped me clarify what I no longer need or desire in here, and helped me be sure to keep all my belongings in places they should be, so that my thinking doesn’t follow my room in being cluttered.

I don’t always like the work of sticking to routines, and tidying, and clearing things away, but I definitely like the feel of those results. As someone who finds too much order to be restrictive and hamper my creativity, it’s surprising to me that I prefer a minimalist, tidy room – but I’m willing to run with it, and see where it takes me :)

Playtime/wartime

The kids have ideas in their heads that are so powerful, so all-consuming, that they forget that other people also have desires or needs. They don’t try to listen and understand, or even to convince or cajole. They just start acting.

And then, of course, the sibling who’s affected by this action suddenly feels imperilled, and lashes out (with sounds or body), and play time becomes war. Like, for serious war, not ponies v. fairies.

Usually, a “hey, hey, hey, use your words” works to remind them that they at least have to use the forms of discussion when trying to get their way. Sometimes, they recognise the need for something different, and run out to tell an adult, and we remind them to “go and work it out together”. Either way, balance is often restored within minutes, with one sibling relenting or managing to persuade. (Very occasionally, they’ll be sent to take a break until they can think rationally, and speak calmly).

It would just be nice if they were able to recognise that themselves, rather than having an outside influence each time. Sometimes childcare seems like micromanaging emotions rather than guiding in a general trajectory.

➵ Why You Should Write Yourself a Letter Tonight

In the practice called free writing, you can use any object as your own personal Rorschach test for entering a stream of associations. Simply write the first thing that comes to your mind as you look at the object in front of you and then keep going without stopping, rereading, or crossing out.

I need to get back to my writing practice, it really makes a difference in my days.

➵ Why is everyone so busy?

The problem, then, is less how much time people have than how they see it. Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Monday • Learning and Growing Edition

Throughout conference, I felt a gentle pull towards being more humble, and because it hasn’t been a smackdown about my pride, I have let myself be more open this week. I have noticed myself being more teachable, and therefore noticing more connections and messages. Something I really want to keep up.


We had a good week, and I was afraid it was an anomaly, and now I can’t tell if that was a self-fulfilling prophesy. (I’m not over it). (But it’s been easier to be patient, lately, and trust that the future holds what is best for me).


I have too many ideas for a Halloween costume, and I don’t love any of them.


Apparently, “cons” is short for “considerations”. That makes sense.


New pyjamas are on the way! After the hole on my derrière grew to a 6-inch diameter, I thought it was probably time to buy a new set. Old Navy came to the rescue with navy pants sporting pink birds, and a pink t-shirt.

➵ Richard Wiseman – Be lucky, it’s an easy skill to learn

“[R]esearch has shown that anxiety disrupts people’s ability to notice the unexpected”

“My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”