July 18, 2016

18/07: Music for Monday...

I've been writing in one form or another for what seems like forever. For pleasure and as part of my job. The joy of the written word has always resonated strongly within me, fostered and encouraged by my beautiful mother, a voracious reader like myself. Fellow readers will understand and appreciate our devotion to the theory that the best kind of insulation you can ever have in your house is a bookcase stacked with books!

But being a typical Pisces girl, I also spend a lot of time in my head thinking and daydreaming. Not to the point of forgetting what I'm doing but let's just say it's probably rather fortunate I can multi-task like a boss! Turning over a few hundred different ideas in my head while I'm doing something else happens quite often.

I used to write little short stories in primary school, graduating to filling red and green covered diaries with my thoughts and girlish fancies all the way through high school. Oh, the angst of those teenage times! Writing took a backseat for a brief period post leaving school. I was consumed with the serious business of applying myself to the pursuit of being young and free and enjoying my independence, along with the responsibilities of my first job. But the words wouldn't be denied and after my first son was born, I began to write again when he slept, emptying my mind and filling page after page of spiral bound exercise books.

I wrote about my hopes and dreams, my worries and my fears; the constant conflict every new mother has about whether she will be enough, combined with the physical and mental impact a baby undoubtedly brings to your life. I drained the ink of countless pens whilst writing it all down the old school way, in long hand. Looking back, the fact I had an outlet to evaluate what I was feeling and put it onto paper helped me immensely, especially during those early years coping with life as a new mother. At the time I don't think I realised how much it really did. I certainly do now, though.

Thinking about writing was the prompt for today's Music for Monday choice and to be honest, there are thousands of songs whose lyrics speak to me, it just depends on my mood! However I was reminded of this little gem today and after listening to it again, I remembered why I love it so much.

This song about daughters is beautiful for so many reasons; not least of which is the reminder that a father and a mother set the example for all little girls to look up to and how special that relationship truly is.

Happy Monday, peeps.

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

John Mayer - Daughters

July 4, 2016

04/07: Music for Monday ...

I've loved music for as long as I can remember. Like forever. I literally cannot function without it taking up some part of my day. There is nothing else on the planet with the ability to get me smiling, moving, coping, thinking (or not-thinking, as the case might be) faster than time with a large thumping dose of aural goodness into my ears.

Music has had my back whenever and wherever I've needed it, on more occasions than I can count. It has tirelessly soothed, inspired, eased, motivated, enhanced and/or distracted. I've powered through countless hours of housework, gardening, dog-walking and driving, not to mention rocking out at concerts, days at the beach, drinking on hot summer nights and intimate moments after dark with music my ever-present partner, loyal to the end. It's the perfect accompaniment for anything and everything and can be all things to all kinds of people. That's the cool thing about it.

Just like eating and sleeping as long as this half-century old heart still pumps blood around my body, for me music will be an essential part of my life, every day. As the very wise Jimi Hendrix once said: "Music is my religion." Amen to that, brother.

Music has provided a soundtrack of virtually every major event in my life right through to plenty of not so major ones. Isn't it amazing how listening to a certain song will take you right back to where you were the first time you heard it? I love how that happens. Music's kind of like a super food for your soul and let's face it, we could all use a bit of self-care there, especially lately. With the world in the current state it is in, we could do worse than to take time out for a bit of internal nourishment.

Regular readers of this blog will know of my Music for Monday posts. Despite my lack of posting of late, I still get asked about them so it was only a matter of time before I brought them back... arm twisting not required at ALL.

So last night I was mentally sifting through possible choices to kick it all off when the answer serendipitously appeared. I was watching the last episode of Californication, after 6 weeks of romping through all 7 very funny seasons showcasing the comedic chops of the equally sexy and talented David Duchovny (seriously, how gorgeous is that man? Motherf*cker! Californication devotees will get the reference, haha!).

The final few minutes of Hank Moody introspection were underscored by one of my favourite songs from Elton John's early years. It was the perfect choice for the way the series ended and even though the song was released in 1972, it sounded just as good now as it did then - the sign of a true classic if ever there was one.

Happy Monday, peeps.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
Til touchdown brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no... I'm rocket man

Elton John - Rocket Man

July 2, 2016

Hello from the Other Side...

Hello... it's me.

Adele references aside, I'm back from a very long and mostly unintentional hiatus from writing. Bless me Father for I have sinned... it's been almost 6 months since I've posted something. No religious offence intended.

But like misplacing your glasses or dropping your phone in the toilet these things sometimes just happen. It's all part of the rich tapestry of life, right? But I spent a long time worrying about my not posting initially. This blog is almost like my 'other' baby, my own personal patch of cyber space if you will, and I'd neglected it to the point that Google Analytics would undoubtedly laugh and raise a smug eyebrow at me if I'd ever bothered to check my now-dwindling stats.

I've desperately missed the process of putting my thoughts out there and sharing them though. I relish the weight of the words as they travel from head to MacBook, the texture and wonder of them as I edit and organise them into some semblance of articulate expression. And then there's the interaction with readers and the genuine thrill of reading my words online (something I still feel, even now. Seriously, it never gets old). Like my bio says, writing is my special place.

But this blog is more than that for me. It's like a diary, almost, which is probably why it's still here despite my non-posting and I why I haven't deleted it. I still have diaries from when I was in high school so I guess I shouldn't be surprised!

The thing I've come to realise during this hiatus is that essentially, I write for myself. It's never been about writing for anyone else. And for me, that's how it should be. So when I get bogged down with life/work/kids or I simply can't find more than 10 minutes to sit and get into the zone I need to be in before anything worth reading comes out, my Mojo gets wise and takes a break.

But miracles do happen occasionally... and today I was home on my own, with no plans or places to be. Oh, the possibilities!

It's taken me a long time since my divorce to adjust to having periods of time solo and for a while I really struggled with that. I used to prowl aimlessly around the house, not knowing what to do with myself; it was like I'd forgotten something yet for the life of me couldn't remember what it was no matter how hard I tried. That sense of imbalance would plague my head all day leaving me feeling exhausted and very on edge. Not a great place to be in.

I've become a lot more adept at dealing with that imbalance in more recent times. As expected, time has worked its magic and helped me adjust to the inevitable changes that divorce brings but combined with some wonderful surprises from the Universe I can honestly say I'm happier now than I've ever been.

So I saw the solitude today as a gift, a time to relax and concentrate on me without interruption, as shallow as that may sound. I personally think everyone needs to do this if or when they can, because the benefits are immense. One thing they don't tell you about being a single parent is that so often it's the guilt that stops you from enjoying these special little moments. You're too busy being worried or anxious or stressed out to recognise the treasure they most definitely are. And you need to see them that way, it's all about embracing the positives where you can. It's a lesson I've learned well over time to the vast benefit of my improved mental state. In my experience, happy parents make for happy kids.

Tomorrow I have a girly day planned with one of my best mates. We're booked in for spa treatments and an afternoon of lunching, talking, laughing and general bliss. To say I'm looking forward to it would be an understatement. I mean, what's not to like? Gotta say the mojo is pretty psyched too... always a good thing to have a relaxed and happy mind to begin with.

All things going well, I'll be back here soon. Cheers to that, peeps.

So going solo... is it your thing or do you hate it? How do you deal with it? What constitutes a miracle in your life? 

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