Posted in Health, Life

Riding the Corona Roller-coaster

Let me just start by saying, I did NOT want to get on this ride. When Coronavirus, aka Covid-19, hit NZ shores and the Prime Minister announced we would be going into Lockdown – I was nervous. Kids home from school, husband and I working from home, no shops, cafes or takeaways – “Hell No,” I cried!

Covid Levels

But reluctantly, along with my fellow 5 million, we boarded the roller-coaster, strapped ourselves in and braced ourselves for the unexpected, unprecedented times ahead.

And it was scary … children who missed their friends, parents who had to work and teach their children at the same time, teachers trying to navigate online teaching whilst also looking after their own children, essential workers who worried about their exposure, people losing their jobs, people losing their loved ones and not being able to see them or farewell them properly, people trying to fathom the reality of zero income but staff who still needed to be paid – it was exhausting, sickening and we all just wanted the ride to end.

Nurse Marie

But as with life, this Corona roller-coaster was a different experience for everyone, and as much as I resisted, complained and felt like my world was upside-down after awhile I got used to it. And dare I say, actually enjoyed some of it.

I started to see some of the thrills of this ride and the freedoms it had presented to me. I started to enjoy my slow mornings and revel in my afternoon walks. We spent more time together as a family and enjoyed our time at home. The dog was in absolute heaven!

Toshi

So, now that we are allowed out again, I am yet again surprised by my feelings. I thought I would be absolutely ecstatic. But I’m not. I didn’t race to the shops or cafes and am even a bit apprehensive about getting back ‘into routine’ of school runs and working in the office again. Apparently this is quite common … a number of my friends who have always described themselves as extroverts are now reconsidering their personalities, asking themselves if they really are that extroverted as they found that they have actually enjoyed this period of isolation.

I read an article recently talking about this readjustment after a period of change. It likened the experience to those who were away in Antarctica and their feelings of unease when returning home. Because the fact is … we adapt and we change and we may just find that the person we are post-Covid is not exactly the same as our pre-Covid selves. And that’s ok, and entirely normal … apparently.

So, if you’re like me, my advice is as follows:

  1. Take it slow. Ease yourself back into life and don’t be hard on yourself if you take awhile to adjust to the return of ‘busy’.
  2. Be kind. This ride has been different for everyone. There will be people who are really hurting and that have been bruised and battered by this experience. There will be people whose mental health is in bad shape and then there will be the people who have enjoyed this ‘breathing space’ and may not want to socialise like they did before (at least for awhile).

Good luck with the journey ahead …. let’s hope we don’t have to jump on that coaster again anytime soon!

This is dedicated to the brilliant healthcare workers, such as my friend above, who have worked tirelessly to get NZ through this pandemic – Thank you so much x

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Happiness, Life

Do what makes your heart sing

Today I took my children to see a light show telling the story of Matariki and the beginning of the Maori New Year.

Today we had coffee with friends.

Today we got caught in the rain.

Today we took refuge at home on the couch.

Today I am writing; today my heart sings.

Do whatever it takes to make your heart sing and surround yourself with those who allow you to do so.

 

Posted in Social Media, Writing

COS (Content Overload Syndrome)

The last few weeks I have read two books (old-school style, written on paper – just how I like them) and a million-gazillion Facebook posts. Not to mention school newsletters, netball notices, soccer notices, Civil Defence notices, the local paper and stories to my children.

books

I’ve also been networking like a ninja – attending face-to-face meet-ups and joining not one, not two, but three new networking groups on Facebook.

And to be honest … my brain is fried! Way too much content in and not enough out. Now, I’m like that over-stimulated baby that won’t sleep (hence writing this at 11pm).

And the worst part is that it’s totally my own doing. Nobody forced me to digest so much content in a short amount of time. I did it to myself.

And the even worst part is that I’ve realised how much we all rely on staying “connected” but are losing real connections.

This afternoon our WiFi was down for a couple of hours – OMG!! Everybody was freaking out like it was the ‘end of the world as we know it.’ The kids were panicked.

“You Tube doesn’t work, Netflix is down and even my tablet won’t go!” they hollered.

I wasn’t much better myself … “What if there’s a really important email  I need to see? How do I check my bank accounts? Do I have to watch normal TV?!”

Lame. Extremely lame.

There is just so MUCH content out there now.

Every man and his dog has a blog and now there are so many outlets for people to express their opinion (no matter how ugly or un-educated they may be).

And so I’ve had a bit of a revelation … I’m pretty much over it. I’m going to wean myself of consuming so much content (particularly the on-line variety). I’m also going to re-address what content I put out, which will involve a bit of soul-searching to figure out exactly what and for whom I will be writing.

The truth is, I actually love writing these rambles. It’s so therapeutic to type away and release what’s been plaguing my mind. It provides me with some clarity and I love the fact that some of you out there enjoy reading it too (just be careful you don’t get COS, LOL!!)

The other truth is that when I started my freelance writing business I was worried that writing for a living might suck the enjoyment right out of it. And in some ways this is right. So, I need to concentrate on exactly what sort of writing I love and follow that path.

I am determined to plunge myself into the areas I’m passionate about and not take second best or settle for run-of-the-mill.

So there you have it … my random thoughts spewed onto the page for your pleasure.

If this post strikes you as a bit strange compared to normal, blame it on the full moon!

moon and girl

If anyone else out there is a fellow COS sufferer my thoughts are with you and I would suggest you log off social media (not soon – NOW).

Also, well done to all of you that are following your passions – I salute you.

Well, before I ramble on all night I better try to get this overstimulated brain to log off.

Keep smiling,

Kat : 🙂

P.S. Although I just made up the term COS, I do know that content overload or information overload is a topic that has been written about a lot in recent times. 

Posted in Life

A Better Me

Gidday 2017. How the heck are ya?

I was wondering what you might have in store for me this year and then I heard you chuckle and tell me I had to figure that one out for myself. Fair enough, I guess.

So, as always at this time of the year I did a stock-take of my life and tried to imagine what it would look like one year from now (cue Baywatch model in red bikini swimming in an ocean of hundred-dollar bills).

220px-cjparker

Then I stopped daydreaming and realised I already have the basic blueprint nailed … awesome family, great friends, enjoyable work etc. In other words, the external stuff is pretty great and I’m grateful for it … it’s the internal workings that could do with some improvement.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a pretty happy go-lucky type and it takes a lot to get me down, but I’m far from perfect. I have days I just can’t be bothered. I have days where I feel like that hamster on the wheel and I wonder what the point of it all is and days where I feel like I’m wasting my time on this earth and could be doing so much more.

I know this is normal and we can’t be happy all the time … but this year I’m striving to get those percentages up. I’m striving to be more compassionate, more patient, kinder (especially to myself) and grateful.

I’m going to be kinder to my body and try to get it moving more often and fill it with more nourishing food.

I’m going to be kinder to my soul and fill it with inspiring thoughts, nature’s beauty and children’s laughter.

And I’m going to be more understanding of those around me and remind myself that they probably weren’t put in my path just to piss me off, but they probably have a lesson to teach me.

So take a good look everyone because this is the me to be. The same ol’ girl, just a bit more ‘Zenified’ (if that’s not a word, it should be 🙂 )

balance

Happy 2017 everyone and thanks for reading.

 

 

Posted in Katz Quotes

So, IT happened.

It actually happened a couple of months ago, but I was shy about broadcasting it to the world.

It’s not a major actually. In fact I’m lucky it happened to me. Not everyone can say the same.

Some people celebrate when it happens, some people don’t. I decided to leave the country … but only for a couple of weeks.

Yes, I turned 40!! (but don’t tell anyone).

Posted in Happiness, Life

Is Productivity Killing Passion?

We’re so bloody productive these days aren’t we? And if we’re not … we feel guilty and like we should be doing SO MUCH MORE.

I sometimes fear that we are becoming a bit machine-like. We are so BUSY doing, doing, doing … we forget to stop for a minute and take stock.

A typical day for most women my age goes something like this: Wake up, get kids sorted for school, squeeze in breakfast for ourselves (maybe, maybe not), get kids to school, go to work or get home and start work, clean house, buy groceries, fit in some exercise (maybe, maybe not) collect children, ferry them off to after school activities, do homework, organise dinner, dishes, bath, stories, kids in bed … find wine, slump on couch and crawl to bed … oh and talk to partner (maybe, maybe not).

Ok, I’m exhausted just writing that … so how does it feel living like this every day?

Sure, we may feel pleased we achieved so much in day. We may feel relieved that we managed to tick most of the boxes off our to-do-lists … But do we feel inspired? Do we feel excited? Do we feel passionate? Do we feel appreciated?

If we’re lucky we have a job that truly inspires us and fills us with joy and we have abundant energy allowing us to work, raise children, do the domestic duties, cherish our partner and find time to relax … how many of you are saying “I wish” right now?

Is this even possible? Can we HAVE IT ALL, AT THE SAME TIME and still be HAPPY?

Or are we just setting the bar far too high and expecting that we can maintain this superwoman status without flinching?

I think it’s great that women can achieve so much and the opportunities we have available to us these days … but are we being too hard on ourselves? Are we expecting too much and what are we compromising by doing so?

Sometimes I feel like we are so hell-bent on being productive and ‘successful’ that we are running the risk of becoming machine-like and losing our human connections and de-valuing that which makes us human in the first place.

You’ll notice in the above description of a typical day you don’t find the following: a long walk along the beach, sitting for two hours with a cuppa and chatting to a friend, ringing someone overseas and re-connecting with them, reading a book or going out to dinner with a loved one.

Why is this? Is it because these things are now seen as taking too much time? A guilty pleasure? Or something that just needs to wait until you have some spare time?

Is time so scarce now that we can’t use it to connect with people, pursue our passions or just slow down and relax?

Oh sorry I did forget one thing from the list … scroll through Facebook feed, like a couple of posts and maybe comment (if there’s time!)

And if we are living like this, what impact is it having on our children? Are we consistently portraying the message that we just don’t have time? Will they value friendships, nature, passions etc, if they never see us pursuing them and investing our valuable time into them?

Even the school system seems to emphasise more machine-like, productive assets than human values. For example, whilst I think my children’s school offers many opportunities and has got some good systems in place – I wonder if the school values could be a bit more human?

As they stand, the school values are Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Resourcefulness. These are all great attributes but they seem quite ‘Sergeant Majorish’ to me and I’m sure you could programme a robot to possess these same responses.

What about human values like empathy, compassion, kindness and individuality? Are these not important enough anymore?

I know that being resilient is important in order to survive life with its harsh edges, but what about the values that add meaning to life?

Are we passing these by in order to be productive?

And are we teaching our children that emotion is a weakness and that ‘being tough’ is the only way to navigate through life’s obstacles?

I personally would love to see some awards handed out to our children who are kind to others and act in a compassionate, empathic way.

I realise this post has a lot more questions than answers and some of us are so far down the ‘life is too busy’ rabbit hole that it is hard to navigate a way back.

However, I think it’s important to take the time to think about these things once in a while and to take stock of your own life.

Sometimes we need to ask ourselves whether we feel we are truly living an authentic life. One which makes us feel inspired and alive inside.

And if the answer is no … perhaps we can just allow ourselves a snippet of that golden resource called time to have a think about what changes can be made in our own lives to bring back the passion.

Good luck and keep smiling,

Kat

 

 

Posted in Happiness

Colour-less Rainbows

Her life feels like a tunnel with no light at the end
A colour-less rainbow with no pot of gold to attend

Worn down, energy depleted
Dreaming of a different destination – if only she could meet it

Struggling through the debris of her life’s reality
Nothing for her to do but hope for what her life could really be

Hoping the stars will align
Her fight will return
The struggle will ease
Lady Luck will take her turn


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7577311@N06/471517080″>Hooded stranger</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>