Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm happy with my life - no, really, I am!

I can't even begin to document the things that have happened since the end of Oct, even though it's only 2 weeks. To save time (and ensure that I get to bed at a reasonable hour) I'm going to select a few random ones to share with you.

There are untold stories of Nathan being unbearably cute and doing new stuff. The most notable change has been that he has suddenly decided that his grandparents are not ogres coming to rip him from my arms. Nope, turns out that grandparents are cool - they push you in the swing, they play playdough with you, they give you sweets. Who knew?! The story that stays with me is from one afternoon when I was lying in bed resting, and Nathan was outside in the garden. He thought I was asleep, but I was secretly watching him through my window.  He was trying to get into his 'new' swing (another long story there) and struggling. Next thing I know, he's not calling for me, or his father. Nope - I hear a rather plaintive "Oupa! Oupa! OUPA! OUUUUPAAAA!! asduoasdbjasdbijad SWING!" I cried (with joy, of course) and promptly rolled out of bed to go and help him.

I recently read a TIME mag article about the fact that almost all parents have a favourite child - some just hide it better than others. Of course, no (sane) parent will admit it. It was a profound article, and I've found myself questioning my every action towards my kids - trying to judge how it's coming across, whether anyone could tell whether or not I have a favourite; whether the kids think I have a favourite, or not.

I know that I am my father's favourite. My siblings know it too. It's no secret in our family. Yet, I guess, because I didn't live with my dad for much of my life, and neither did they (they're a lot older than me), I don't think it affected us in the way that it would otherwise have done. I don't know whether they were ever jealous of me or not. Still, I adored (still do, but it's not cool to say that now) my brothers. I sometimes wonder whether our lack of communication now is simply a product of our individual busy-ness, or of our age differences, or whether it has anything to do with how they perceive me as a result of being our father's favourite. Hmm...

Returning to my kids though, I've found myself consciously trying to ensure that I spend equal time and give equal affection to both of them. It's been harder than I expected - particularly with one of them. (No, I'm not telling... cos I don't have a favourite, remember?!) It's not that I love one less... it's just... well, it is what it is. It's just something I'm going to have to ensure I get right. I don't want either of my kids growing up in the shadow of the other, particularly as far as love and affection from us as parents is concerned.

One of the things I've also been working hard at is letting go of Janel - letting her grow up a bit more. At the primary school meeting we had recently all the parents were reminded that our kids need to be independent to cope at school: they need to be able to tie their own laces, dry & dress themselves after swimming, etc, etc. While we've ticked most boxes, I have to confess that it's just easier to do some of that stuff myself for her - it's quicker, it's more accurate - than let her learn to do it for herself. So I've been working hard at not doing stuff for her. She hasn't enjoyed it all the time - she's like me in that respect (why do something for yourself when you can get someone else to do it for you?! Ja - laziness... I know.) - but I know it's good for her in the long run. Maybe it's a gender thing; maybe it's a parenting the first vs subsequent children thing; maybe it's because I've always been so protective of her, especially given her start in life. I can see that I don't worry about Nathan in the same way. Whatever it is, I'm finding it hard to always let her do things in her own way, in her own time, especially in the mornings when we're running late! But we'll get there. I'm determined.

Then, in other news, Malema is no longer in the ANC. Yup. Can't quite believe it myself. I still find myself waiting to wake up and find it's not true. I am thrilled, naturally, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

On the health front, I'm just recovering from bronchitis.... I've decided that every year I overdo things in Oct, so I've already turned down one of the things I usually get involved in. I won't be doing that next year. That should help! I've already booked our Oct holiday as a proper family holiday with G. We will be RESTING in that holiday. Let's hope it makes a huge difference to my health in Oct/ Nov next year.

Of course, it's Movember.... while I support the cause, I have to say - have you ever seen so many ridiculous looking men?!?!?!?! Sorry guys, but you really do look silly. And who would want to kiss you looking like that?! Thank God my own man has shown sense. (Or maybe he's just too tired to care?!)

Work is work - busy as all hell. But I'm plodding through. I'll get there in the end. Won't bore you with the 'To Do' list. However, I will mention that I've got an AWESOME phone app - Astrid tasks. Loving it. I'm still trying to find the right balance between keeping inbox task lists and Astrid lists, but I'm finding it so useful to have one list that goes everywhere with me. Definitely to be recommended.

Oh yes, and the WCED is doing their thing again... Even after all these years, I continue to be surprised at their lack of proper communication. There have been two incidences this week alone which have caused me to roll my eyes, sigh a lot, and laugh at them (it's either that, or slit my wrists). However, to their credit, their blunders have come as a result of trying to implement good practice. They just didn't think things through properly; they didn't think far enough ahead to forsee the consequences of their decisions. Again, that is very typical. Sigh. Roll eyes. No slitting wrists allowed.

We're into exam season now, which I both love and hate. I hate marking (sucker for punishment, me, then, since I'm a matric marker) with a passion. HATE it. HATE HATE HATE it. This is the part of my job that I would happily leave the profession as a result of. However, I love the change that comes over the staff during this time. Maybe it's just the change in pace, or routines, or maybe it's a defence mechanism to the stress. Whatever it is, I love how the staff joke with each other at this time of year. Everyone gets involved. People have (ironically) more time to just hang out together. Next week it will all change though, as everyone will have some marking to do. Then it'll be back to end-of-year grumpiness. But right now, I'm loving being at work. Loving it. I work with the greatest bunch of people in the world.

Right now, actually, things are good all round. Yes, I'm still feeling a little below par, and Nathan's sick, and Graeme is tired, and Nellie has a permanent "tummy ache", and finances are extremely tight, and my bike was stolen last week... there is lots I could choose to complain about. But you know what? I'm choosing to focus on the things going right:

I'm getting better.
My kids are awesome.
My husband really is the best in the world!!
We've already started the Christmas shopping.
I love my job.
My God loves me and forgives me.
I'm happy with my life!