Friday, July 15, 2016

Motherly Advice...Nurturing = Contentment...

 
I've been in technological No Mans Land for nigh on a fortnight. No internet, and sometimes no electricity. No, I wasn't camping, or vacationing. I was at home. It just goes to show how much we rely upon these things to sustain us, and reminds me personally, of how much I achieve without them...lol!
 
During this frustrating time, I was reminded that sometimes blogging and thinking about or preparing for blogging, actually occupies more of my day than I imagine. I know that those of you who blog regularly know what I mean.
 
I find myself now, doing a check and balance, and making sure that my love of blogging does not outweigh my love of other things in my life.
 
I've found a contentment in nurturing my home and loved ones during my externally imposed blackout. I'll never master Facebook and Tumblr to the degree I have done so with Blogger, so my limited attempts to stay connected there, were not as engaging as one might expect.
 
So here was my routine whilst banished from Blog World.
 
It's a little like the Christmas list you see that says that you should buy your children something to wear, something to eat, something to love, and so on, and it's a lovely way to structure the day.

Even better, it's easy to remember, because it truly is about nurturing the various parts of your life.

My first task for the day is always to nurture my home. Unloading the dishwasher, putting on a load of laundry, making the beds, dusting and vacuuming...these things are as much a part of my morning as brushing my teeth and getting dressed. I don't feel right until they're done. This might also mean making cleaning products like my Home Made Wool Wash or...


...the Miracle Cleaner that Annabel makes and bottles so beautifully.

 
 Next I find some time to nurture memories of Mum and Nanna buy honouring my heirloom skills. This could mean some hand sewing, mending, sewing clothing or costumes or gifts, embellishing, embroidering, crocheting, knitting, preserving, and baking. These skills are so important in a life full of busy stuff, as they force me to sit still (mostly!), and contemplate what is important to me. They help me create a beautiful home and find new ways to display treasures like the red satin pointe shoes displayed on a home made Cloche Cushion, at the top of my post. They are also vitally important to us as the majority of gifts we give to our friends and family are home generated (and highly anticipated I might add!). This saves us an enormous amount of money, and because we, as a family, all contribute our skills, our repertoire is forever expanding. My husband is in the process of helping me make dinosaur doorstops as Man Gifts for Christmas. They're very cute and I hope to be sharing those soon. My daughter has now added Dreamcatchers to her own repertoire and is becoming a creative soul in her own right, so that's another win. This too, stems from my own nurturing of her skills throughout her life thus far. This is so important, the passing of skills from one generation to the next...how else do we learn?
 
 
 Nurturing relationships and finding ways to make memories is a daily pleasure as well, and no matter what,  I find time in my day to make contact with at least one if not several significant friends or family members to let them know they're in my thoughts. Maintaining that connectivity is easier these days as we have so many means of communication at our fingertips. From Facebook, to texting and emailing, to Instagram and Snapchat, we can never say 'I didn't have time'. For me, though, face to face is always the best, and particularly when it comes to my immediate family. Time with my daughter takes up much of my time as she is the only one still at home, but generating reasons to gather the family together means that we make the time we spend together, matter. Whether it's a sleepover with the grandchildren, a sporting event enjoyed together, or a birthday celebration, there is always a good time to be had and memories to be created and shared. I lost my own Mum when she was just 60 years old, so at the age of 56, I am well aware of creating as many happy memories as humanly possible for my own family.

 
Nurturing self, spirituality, and thoughts is vital too. I have had some tough times in my life, and the one of the things that got me through was my faith, which was sorely tested many times, and yet has been ultimately strengthened by lifes' experiences. The other was an unshakeable belief that 'this too shall pass' or at least 'become manageable'. That applies to marriage troubles, illnesses, the passing of a loved one, financial hardship, the diagnosis of a disability for my son, and the plethora of other human conditions that plague us all. Reading and absorbing the positive in the literature on our planet is an important part of weathering all of that for me. I focus on reading the classics, biographies, inspirational writers, and glossy books with inspiring and beautiful images of the great artists and photographers. I also adore homemaking books, and of course include my favourite blogs in that list! In fact so many of you nurture me, that I sometimes wonder how I'd fare without you! My wee bible is in the mix too, and I've set myself a task to read it like any other book in my bookcase, as if I were reading it for the very first time, to give me a new perspective. Reading from the first page, and working my way through, has indeed shown me things I had not noticed before, much like a well thumbed novel or any other loved tome.
 


 Nurturing the garden is in the mix of course, and whilst this glorious rose is not my own, I certainly hope to have blooms just like this one, come Spring. My citrus trees have been rewarding me with glorious oranges and lemons, and I'm looking forward to the coming Spring and Summer, anticipating Limes, Cumquats, Figs, Avocado, Olives, Mulberries and even Coffee Beans, which I hope to roast, grind and gift to friends and family in time.
 
My roses are an experiment and not one with which I've succeeded in the past, but as with all things, practice (and the internet!) makes perfect, and I've nurtured them this year too. The last fortnight, I've pruned and fertilised and already, new rosy growth is appearing on the bare upright limbs of my twenty or so bushes. I'm so excited to have my very own roses again this year. Maybe I really am becoming my Nanna!
 

 Nurturing our health is final on my list, and includes gentle exercise, and watching our diet, filling our home, pantry and refrigerator with quality produce and delicious items to bring a new pleasure to the tradition of eating together. We eat a very clean diet these days, with only the occasional treat like this gorgeous raspberry bread and butter pudding entering the fray. We are learning to enjoy our fruits 'au naturel', and our salads 'sans dressing'. It's a wonderful thing to enjoy the peppery bite of rocket, the tang and burst of flavour in a fresh blueberry, and the smooth creaminess of a perfectly ripe banana or avocado, without feeling the need to enhance it in some way. A true joy. Meals these days too, are focused on quality protein, few carbs, and lavish amounts of vegetables as we find this suits our lifestyle, and our tums, best. We are too, newly conscious of the need to have a healthy approach to eating, and never more so than now, as we near retirement age, when we have so much in life to yet to enjoy.
 
 
If you nurture each of these areas of your life, adding in of course, any others that you feel important, I hope that you too, can find contentment. Contentment is far more satisfying and far deeper than the 'happiness' to which we all imagine we are entitled these days, a notion which ultimately finds us spending money to achieve 'happiness', and then wondering why we're still not 'happy'.
 
Find ways to nurture your life, and the lives of those around you, and perhaps you too, will find that Nurturing can equal Contentment.
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27 comments:

  1. Such wise words you have written here. If we're not careful, it's easy to squander way too much on the internet and not spend time on the things that really matter to us.

    I have just recently returned to blogging after a 2-year hiatus. It's been dismaying to say the least, to see how much blogging has changed in the time I've been gone (and since I first started in 2006). It seems growing your blog and becoming a professional blogger is the way of things now. I wondered if that is the route I should go, then I realized, I don't want to be a slave to my blog or to the computer. I want to enjoy my life away from the computer as well. Some days (like today), I can be discouraged by the "smallness" of my blog and I feel like I need to try harder. Thankfully, your words of wisdom have reminded me that I want to have time for other things, so it really is okay to remain a hobby blogger. Thank you for the timing of your words.

    Love and hugs,
    Patti @ Embracing Home

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    1. Patti, you are so right. I keep wavering between treating blogging as a profession (which I really don't need to do financially, and don't want to do personally), and treating it is a way of keeping brain lively, fingers busy, and friendships interesting. I think, having had a tiny, enforced break, that I am in the latter category. I tried for one month to manage the social media aspects of a 'professional' blog, and almost had no time for anything else. At an age approaching retirement, I think I owe it to myself and my family, to make them my priority. I don't know how the 'big' bloggers manage it! If nothing else, what do they do with all that stuff they make over, refashion, create, bake, sew, and thrift. I'm at a loss :/ I'll pop on over to visit now that you're back! Love, Mimi xxx

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  2. Mimi, did you have internet or Blogger problems? Yes I know what you mean about blog posts and the time they can take. It is good to weigh it all up now and again and see if it is worth continuing and why.

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    1. Hi Chel. Lovely to see you! It was internet. Telstra said it was our modem and we argued with them for over a week. In the end it was the exchange (which we knew all along). Very frustrating! I weigh up blogging constantly and have decided to just keep doing what I'm doing. Being professional takes up too much time and energy for my liking....lol! Love, Mimi xxx

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  3. What a wonderful and uplifting post, Mimi. So many of the things you speak of resonate with me. Happiness so often can be a shallow word; so often it is illusory. As for contentment, it seems to infer an acceptance, to accept what is before you, grab it with both hands and be thankful. You always bring a smile to my face when I read your thoughts on life. Your lovely blog is always a joy to visit. I must say those ballet slippers in the 'cloche' are just delightful...and...that umbrella...bliss! AND....the four books, every one is a favourite of mine. My bible is a well thumbed book. It is rather akin to a recipe for my life.

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    1. Hello Kim...that's lovely of you to say. Yes contentment is a acceptance of where the ebb and flow of life takes you, isn't it? I'm glad you like my pretty ballet shoes and umbrella. They are rather divine, aren't they. Love, Mimi xxx

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  4. Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you Mimi!

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  5. Beautiful Mimi! Contentment is a wonderful thing. Thank you for mentioning Bluebirds!
    We had a week very similar. But I was content to get on with things at home and nest. It was nice! And today the sun has come out so a lot to do and washing on the line! With love, Annabel.xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel, I know what you mean. Power outages and storms can be wearing, but it's amazing what can still be achieved. The sun is shining here today too, and I'm off to garden amongst the French Lavender. Bliss! Mimi xxx

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  6. Thank you Mimi! Your post certainly puts into perspective what is important in this life. One can certainly quickly become a slave to blogging. It is a great creative outlet, but it can consume way too much time. I do believe sometimes it takes an act such as you have just experienced to bring us to a reality of what truly is the most important matters in our lives. Funny you said you wonder what professional bloggers do with all the "things" they post about. I have wondered the same thing! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Lol Lynn...great minds think alike! I am often now 'content' to see what others are up to as far as constructing, making over and thrifting goes. I'm too tired to do all that myself....hahaha! Mimi xxx

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  7. Dear Mimi, so glad you are back on-line, how I've missed your posts in the short time your internet was out. Elegant, profound, inspirational, and creative as always! Love, Teresa

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    1. Teresa, you are so sweet. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

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  8. Lovely blueprint for a day. Thanks Mimi.

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    1. A blueprint...what a lovely way to look at it Lorax. I'm glad to see you. Mimi xxx

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  9. What a wonderful post about all the necessary and fun things we do every day. That is where I find my greatest joy....taking care of my home, my family and all that that entails. I enjoyed every word here because it is my bliss too!!

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    1. Thankyou AnnMarie. It's nice to find a kindred spirit! Mimi xxx

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  10. Oh my! Why am I not reading your blog daily? You are so wise.

    I took notes on what you wrote. I just about never do that.
    I also added you to my new blogs I read list at the bottom of my page.

    I think I've found a treasure in you and your blog!

    Please drop by and say hello!
    ஐღLauraღஐ
    Harvest Lane Cottage
    ...doing what I can with what I've got where I am
    on a short shoestring budget!
    ~~~~~

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    1. Oh Laura, how lovely that I've inspired you! Yes I will stop by. Love, Mimi xxx

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  11. Love everything I see on this post... the little girl, and her red umbrella, particularly magical... ;) Thank you Mimi!

    cielo

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    1. Cielo, that is high praise indeed coming from you! Thankyou for visiting. Mimi xxx

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  12. My dear wonderful friend, how wise you are! Thank you for sharing your precious wisdom with us...how I would love to sit at your feet as I could learn MUCH from you :)

    Wishing you a most lovely week. Sweet love and tender hugs to you!

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  13. Such a great post! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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  14. Oh wonderful! I too nurture a lot of these things and started getting off of the blog more in the last two years. I still fit it in but, I live! I especially have to take time with my bible each day, that spiritual connection has become more important than ever. Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  15. Thanks for all the inspiration, Mimi. My family is coming home for two weeks so I am taking a much needed break from blogging to spend it with my loved ones. Enjoy your weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  16. Dear Mimi:
    This post is featured on my blog today! Congratulations.

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx