Hey! Been a while, oops! But really, i am not sorry. I am telling myself that this is my own page and i don’t need to fill a standard or schedule for writing. Just write when i get there, when i feel like it. And it’s been more than a year. Mostly i didn’t write because life got busy. With two young kids, and quite a few health issues.
But here I am. With new year just began and i had a thought to write. Not to tell you what to do, but to share some updates. To give you some ideas maybe. To maybe help you live a better life. Side note: I am no expert and i am learning as i go myself as well.
So recap what’s been happening. I’ve had back pain since my first pregnancy, from third trimester. And after many doctors, osteopath, physios, and even chripractor and massage, there had been no answers. So here’s a lesson. Ask and ask and ask, until you DO get answers. Cause living with pain is not normal. I finally got to a point where last year i was stuck in bed, barely making to toilet with pain so bad it made me cry daily. And yes we prayed, yes we believed, but it needed medical help. So i changed my doctor, yet again, and finally had someone listen to me. After four years of pain, after so much suffering, it was such a relief! She got me very strong painkillers immediately. And sent me to neurosurgeon. Who sent me to MRI scan. Which discoved a disc bulge, big one. So plan was made to put me on a surgery list. Sadly it wasn’t top priority, so i was put on a waiting list. And we were told it would be roughly 6-9 month wait probably. Which is a long time to be on very strong painkillers. But it had to be done.
At the same time as we were waiting, i tried my best to handle life with kids. And household and managing my health. Not easy at all, but i do my best with what i have. After getting the painkillers, i was able to at least get out of bed. But the whole year was fairly challenging, but also learning to give myself grace. I did what i could. But exercise and walking wasn’t part of that. And then, we also learned that my husbands parents wanted to move. About 2,5h away to another small town. And so they put their house on the market and so did my husband’s aunty. Where we were living and renting off her. Long story short, we had to move. Which is fine, cause we can’t afford to buy a house yet (single income family), so we had to rent. But in our previous place, prices are ridiculously high. So we decided to follow them and move as well. Finding a rental through video calls was challenging, but praise God, we found one. And to save money, we all moved the same day and used same company. So on 1st of december we moved to a new town. Then almost week later i got a phone call.
“Hey we’ve had some cancellations, could you come to Sydney and get surgery done in two days?”
And we said yes. I had never had surgery before, have never even broken a bone, so of course i was nervous. But my husband stayed home with kids, and my mother-in-law was kind enough to drive me there, help me with everything i needed. And i missed my kids and hubby so much! But surgery went well, recovery time was painful, but well managed. Hospital food is still not my favourite, but it was done! They cut off 2mm from my disc bulge. And after a few days, i was ready to go home. Driving back was hard and painful, but manageable.
And now, i have oops hurt my back a bit here and there, cause i’m a mum. I am not supposed to lift more than 5kg until after surgeon approves, but the youngest one who still needs lots of cuddles, weighs 15kg. Oops. But i try my best not to. But i am forgetful in the moment when mummy is needed.
BUT! I am off very strong painkillers, and managing most days with just paracetamol and occasionally iburpofen! And after FOUR YEARS of pain and struggle and searching for answers, going from being stuck in bed, to enjoying outdoor walks and doing most household chores again, i praise God for this!
So that was major thing. Moving and unpacking and having surgery within a week or so in december of 2022.
Along the year we have just finished, i have made some changes. And i highly recommend you do the same.
Declutter kids stuff often and donate/sell/bin things. If you don’t like noisy toys, don’t get them! If they don’t play with things, give them to someone who does. Or sell them. Also you can never have enough books in my opinion. Same with clothes. If you don’t wear it, why are you keeping it in your cupboard? I have a general rule that if i don’t wear it within a year, it needs to go. And do this in every area of your home. I know Marie Kondo is popular in some circles and they teach that if it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t keep it. I would more phrase it that if you don’t use it, or need it, why keep it? Also we are minimalists, because too much stuff means we need to take care of that stuff, clean it, have space for storage, and maintain it if it breaks. Less we have, less we need to think about stuff or clean it. Goes for our wardrobe, kids toys, and kitchen things too. For example a lot of people have fancy china. And they keep it in a cupboard. And rarely use it. Why? I personally don’t understand that concept. We have cups, plates and other dishes we use daily, and that’s all we have. If you have fancy china and you always wait for special occasions to use it, what if that never comes? or it happens only once a year? Is it worth the mental space and physical space in your home? The dusting it requires? The storage? All of that takes up space in your home and it’s one extra thing that you need to take care of.
Another concept i have heard is Swedish death cleaning. Think about the fact that one die you are not going to be here. I know it might sound morbid, or that you might think you are young and strong and all that. But what happens when you have an accident and your life is over? I know nobody wants to talk about this, or think about it. But one day you will be gone. Nobody is forever. And all that you own will stay here. The stuff, the clutter, the things. So the idea behind Swedish death cleaning is that you would be considerate of others who need to deal with things after you are gone. So yes it’s a bit morbid to think about your stuff, or death or all that, but thinking what you leave behind, or don’t, is the way to go.
So yes, i highly recommend thinking through your life. See if you really need all these things. And when you get to the next birthday, holiday or event where you think about presents, think if the people really need that. Maybe ask first? Maybe give experiences, or bless them with babysitting, or a date or something more along those lines.
Unsubscribe and unfollow
Another really important thing is what we consume. Most people are on social media, and internet. So have you thought about what you consume? I have.
For example, i listen to music almost daily. And i use spotify. I pay so there wouldn’t be ads, because i don’t want to hear that. I also listen to 99% of christian music. Because i don’t want to hear all the popular songs where often they don’t respect women with their lyrics. Be it calling woman “baby” or talking about “banging” and so forth. So i stopped listening to that, and avoid it where possible.
When i watch Netflix or youtube and something makes me feel uncomfortable, i turn it off. Like i can’t stand horror movies. Too much. Or if some movies go too much into occult, witchcraft and all that, i am saying nope! Not for me. And it helps me feel better to monitor what i am consuming.
And then there’s social media. Unfollow accounts that you don’t care about. Unfriend people whose posts make you feel guilty, jealous, upset, frustrated, or even angry. Or just unfollow them. Also why i don’t look at the news mostly. Because i know they are biased. I know they report the most shocking things to get most views out of it. So why would i add more to my life that is so negative and hard to watch? We almost become numb to the news. You hear another story about tragedy, but it’s so common that you don’t even react anymore. If you hear about murder, car crash, natural disaster, or wars, until it’s close to you, you most likely just shrug and move on. But even if you don’t react, or feel all the feels about how horrible it is, you have still consumed it. And it’s in your brain. And did we really need to hear all that? Instead, find good news. Find the stuff that makes the world a better place. People and organisations blessing each other. People helping their neighbours. Kids rescuing pets. And so forth. Fill your head with the good stuff and surround yourself with good people. The company you keep also affects you so so much.
I have had to stop talking to some people so often, because i didn’t feel good after i hanged out with them. Be it the fact that our worldviews are different, or we parent different or anything else we don’t agree with. Yes i can still be there if i am needed, but i also need to protect my mental health and the influence other people might have on me and my family. Or for example we don’t swear at all. Yes there are outburst of anger like everyone has sometimes lots of feelings, so do we, including kids. But we don’t use swear words in our house. And i don’t tolerate that. Yes i know the world is crazy and sometimes we have to manage that, but i can then limit the exposure and time i spend with people who don’t encourage, build me up or make me feel better.
Organise and plan
If your life feels like a mess, maybe it is? Maybe you need a better system to managing your life? Since i am a stay at home mum, i have the option to plan my days quite well. But what helps me is making a plan. For example, I try doing one big job a day. When we still had plants to take care of, i watered the plants on monday. I vacuumed the house on tuesday. I meal plan on fridays. That way it’s not overwhelming to do and things still get done. Little bits here and there.
Same way, i do a load of laundry every other day with our family of four. But on more messy days, every day. But it works for us and also if you have a husband or partner or whatever, share the chores. You all live there and everyone can help. And start your kids early on to help you too. Our almost 2 year old helps pack up in the evening for example. Four year old makes her bed every morning and empties the dishwasher. Both of them can also help me carry their laundry to washing machine. Older one can even put it in and wants to help me press the buttons. If everyone helps who live in the house, it all goes much much better. If you don’t know where to start, write a list of everything you do daily, weekly, every other week etc. Like trash, laundry, cooking, meal plan, shopping, budget, cleaning jobs etc. And then write names next to the jobs who can do what job. This way you are not overwhelmed and you will get help. More than likely you just need to ask. Until you ask the answer is no. Side note: it takes time for little kids to understand why they need to do it, and it will take some time to get used to doing jobs, so don’t push it too hard, but help them to do it at first and show them how and teach them why it’s important to contribute.
As we look into new year, take something from this and make your life better. Maybe set yourself little goals. Achieavable ones. Like declutter one area of the house a week. This way it’s not too challenging. I hope something here made you think. Made you wanna make changes to live easier, happier and more calm life. And also happy new year. May this year be blessed. And among other things, i hope you know God. I hope you know how loved you are and how valuable. And if you do know God, make sure you make time for Him too! He longs to spend time with you.
Be blessed and see you next time!