Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Motherly Advice....stop giving away your Power...

 
YOU. Yes. you. You have enormous power.
 
You knew that, right?
 
It's not a bank balance, or the number of cards or paper notes or coins in your wallet.
 
It's the power within you, to create the life you desire, money or not.
 
Hard work and industry are a formidable power.
 
We all have the potential to work hard and be industrious.
 
Do you know the biblical tale of Samson and Delilah?
 
 
Samson was a Nazirite. He took a vow of abstinence from cutting his hair, amongst other things. Whilst he had long tresses, he had enormous physical strength. But once he revealed to Delilah that his long hair was the source of his fearless vigour, leading her to cut his hair whilst he slept, and betraying him to his enemies, he was powerless. Poor Samson.
 
We too, have our 'hair of Samson'.
 
It's our ability to create the life we desire, sometimes with money, alas. It's a modern necessity.
 
But we have huge, huge, HUGE potential to do much with our own hands. That's our 'hair'. Our power.
 
So WHY do we insist on 'cutting our hair' a la Samson and Delilah, by giving that power away?
 
We do, you know.
 
Every single time we interact with someone other than ourselves to get something done, we are giving away our power.
 
Buy takeaway? Yep, a bit of your power gone.
 
Nail salon, hairdresser, gym membership? Power relinquished.
 
Ready made meals from supermarket? Bye-bye power.
 
Have car 'detailed' at expensive Carwash? See ya.
 
Pay someone to bake celebration cakes...yep...power gone walkabout.
 
Buy gifts at the last minute? Ta-ta power.
 
Expecting The Government, The School, The Authorities...to do everything that's needed for a comfortable life, a healthy, educated child, a parent at peace in their latter years. Big mega power...just given away with narry a thought.
 
Pretty soon, you've sacrificed so many Powers, that like Samson without his hair, you are captured, blinded and enslaved, and you don't even realise it.
 
You do realise that this belies the modern day myth of the Superwoman, don't you?
 
Supposedly she can Have It All.
 
Supposedly she can work outside of the home, in the home, raise well balanced humans and lavish attention upon pets, and keep her relationships with partner, friends and family alive and kicking.
 
But this has meant, that in the process, she has given so. many. powers. away.
 
The power to create, to nurture self, to be at peace.
 
Those are mighty, mighty powers to be giving away, good people.
 
Those are the powers that lead to a gentle and contented life.
 
STOP
 
I want to tell you something really, really important.
 
Here it is....
 
The Real Superwoman, KEEPS as many powers as she can.
 
She doesn't give them away willy-nilly. She doesn't leave herself and her family exposed by letting her hair be shorn (also known as becoming a slave to money).
 
She understands that Life is a journey of learning, self discovery, and ultimately, peace and contentment.
 
PEACE AND CONTENTMENT
 
When people talk about paying off the mortgage, they're not really talking about a financial transaction.
 
They're talking about having Peace and Contentment in their frazzled existence.
 
They're talking about finding TIME to do what they really want to do.
 
They don't realise that they could be doing that now, or at least very soon, if they only looked at life differently.
 
They don't realise that they're giving away the one thing they can never get back.
 
TIME.
 
I heard this week on the radio, that 50 years ago, it cost four times your annual income, to buy a house. Now they said, it costs ten times your annual income. That may well be so.
 
But hang on....
 
The house my Mother purchased in 1974 for $12,000, was a two bedroom high set, with a tiny combined bathroom and toilet, an eat in kitchen, a long living room, and a small sleepout, which was another small entry room, most often turned into another bedroom back then. There was no 'laundry', the washing machine sat on a concrete slab under the house. No dryer. We hung our washing on the rotary clothes hoist. No lock up garage, we didn't have a car. We used public transport.
 
My Mother and seven children lived in that house. Happily. We were happy. Really happy. We had a big back yard with fruit trees and a macadamia nut tree, tomatoes, herbs, flowers to cut and give as gifts. Our clothes were clean, we were disciplined well and in a timely fashion, we were expected to contribute and work together.
 
Here's what it did NOT have:
 
Four bedrooms, a study, a gourmet kitchen, a media/TV room, a double lock up garage (presumably housing two newish, probably European cars), 2-3 bathrooms, a swimming pool, a professionally landscaped garden with water features and statues, a paved driveway, a dog kennel and a double storey play castle with cubby house and sandpit.
 
THAT is why houses cost ten times the annual salary.
 
THAT is why we have Mortgage Stress.
 
Nobody wants to start (or finish) small any more.
 
It's a whole new insanity.
 
Giving away your power for a house, for a car, to fit in, to be admired, to be slimmer, healthier, a better person.
 
It has to stop.
 
 
Make your own breakfast parfaits, with home made yoghurt, home baked toasted muesli, and home grown strawberries.

 
Impress people with your beautiful handcrafted gifts. This is a microwave brownie, wrapped in foil squares made for Easter Eggs. You can also do this with home made fudge.

 
Make your own fabulous burgers. I use a tiny meat pattie, sometimes bacon, and lots and lots of vegetables on mine. Utterly delicious and quite famous in our social circle. You too can be 'famous' for your burgers. But not while you're giving that power away to McDonalds, Burger King, Grill'd, or any one of a million other burger specialty stores. Since when was a burger a 'specialty' item?

 
Fill your refrigerator and pantry with home made goodies. I give away a tiny bit of power by purchasing gluten free buns (I just cannot master these but I keep trying) and cheese slices, as well as prepacked fruit tubs for my daughter to take to University. That gives her the power to make and take her own lunch for a small sacrifice, over relinquishing more power to buy it.

 
Make your own simple salads, like my coleslaw. Just shredded cabbage, carrot and cheese. No mayo necessary.

 
Plan ahead and make your own gifts. These water bottles cost me about $13 including the chocolates with which they are filled. They look like a $40 gift.

 
Likewise these dolls. Five dolls from a panel purchased for $5 at Spotlight our local haberdashery.

 
We make our own Iced Tea Syrup. Others make their own Ginger Beer. Find a way to enjoy your favourite tipple by home brewing.

 
Create your own family heirlooms, and display them so they can be appreciated. These silver serving spoons were my Grandmothers. She didn't leave me Handbags and Shoes. She left me memories and well loved kitchenware. She gave me her TIME to skill me for a better life for myself.
 
 
Now I do that for my own granddaughters.

 
Bake your own treats. Fill your families tummy with preservative free, and free up some power in the process.

 
Grow something. That indeed is a power that leads to Peace and Contentment.

 
Teach your children and your grandchildren some life skills. My granddaughter spent an hour cutting up leeks with a plastic knife a little while back. She had a ball.

 
Master the replication of things you love to eat so that your life feels abundant. We love Ricotta cheese. We used to buy it until we realised how easy it is to make. Now we made some whenever we like for mere cents.

 
This bed cost us $50. My daughter loves it. Don't give away your power to buy furniture to impress other people.

 
The Wrap is a new food insanity. Who gives away $10-$15 for someone to wrap a couple of things...not even $1 worth of ingredients, into what is essentially a dry crepe???
 
Make your own filled wrap.
 
It's much yummier.

 
Find new skills to enable you to gift generously. Sewing, painting, mosaic, knitting, crochet, card making, papier mache', cooking, baking, cake decorating, and so on and so forth. They can all be a giftable skill. Learn just one new skill every year. In twenty years, you'll practically be self sufficient in the gift creation area. One of my favourites is my French inspired trimmed pillow cases. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these too.

 
Cake decorating....a power given away if ever there was one. I made this cake for my daughters 18th birthday. She wanted a VW campervan. I didn't know how to do that. But I worked it out. It wasn't perfect, but to her, it was perfection. Does that make sense? I have lots of cake decorating posts. Just enter the words cake decorating into the search box to your left!

 
Hotcakes anyone?

 
Café style treats? You don't have to buy those either. Why is everyone paying $10 for a cuppa and a slice of something. What the absolute heck???
 
Stop. Giving. Away. Your. Power.
 
We CAN be Superwomen, or Supermen.
 
Just not in the way we've been brainwashed to believe.
 
Start being mindful about where you relinquish your powers.
 
You Are Powerful.
 
You'd better believe it.
 
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50 comments:

  1. Very powerful post, Mimi, thank you xx Fiona

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  2. Atta girl Mimi. Give us more of this kind of post.

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    1. Yes...somebody has to say it, right? Mimi xxx

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  4. Loved this. Great post Mimi. Love Lisa xo

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  5. SPOT ON. So typical of the times we live in. Want, want, chase the dollar, bigger, better! BE CONTENT!!!

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    1. Contentment is an underrated state of being, don't you think? Less want, more contentment with the status quo would be productive :) Mimi xxx

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  6. Thanks Mimi I feel there will light bulb moments going off all over after this powerful post thank you so much for reinforcing what I was saying to friends the other day👍😙 cheers Bevo

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    1. I hope so Bevo. We are losing so much in the way of skills of all kinds. So sad. Mimi xxx

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  7. First thing I read with my morning coffee. What a powerful way to start the day! Thanks for this ♥

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    1. I'm pleased to have kick started your day today...xxx

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  8. Oh yes Mimi. True power, marching to the beat of your own drum. Yes. 💕
    We all need more of this in our lives.
    After a busy day , I came home and made wraps for dinner, sooo satisfying.
    Alexis xx

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    1. Yay to making your own wraps Alexis. More of THAT I say. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

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  9. A morning of inspiration, thank you for the boost.

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  10. Well said, well said! What a timely and much needed word when life tries so hard to not only strip us of our power, but then also our motivation!

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    1. Truth Nana Jan! We need to wrestle that power back BIG time! Mimi xxx

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  11. Great post Mimi. In just one or two generations so many have strayed from the values that give one power. We need to "take back" the power and live with the contentment of wanting what we have, not always having what we want. You prove one can have a beautiful life using what we have. Anne

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    1. You've encapsulated the spirit of my post in three sentences Anne. Yes! Exactly. Mimi xxx

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  12. Your list of things you DIDN'T have in your house growing up was eye opening. It made those things seem kind of silly, like playing house when you are a child. My latest project is making my own pillowcases from white muslin and then embroidering them. I get to have exactly what I want instead of having to buy what someone else is offering. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. It IS like playing house. Peoples homes are like the Barbie mansion I had as a child. Not like a real 'home'. Full of carefully crafted misty portraits and anally arranged bits and bobs. I love a nice home as much as the next person, but I want my home to be REAL. I love the sound of your muslin pillowcases. They sound divine. Thankyou for stopping by and leaving me such a lovely comment. Mimi xxx

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  13. Beautiful perspective! I feel so inspired to keep learning skills and working to create a beautiful life! As my husband's career progresses, we watch his coworkers move to a "better" part of town (also further away from work) into bigger/newer houses. We are perfectly content in our "starter" home, and after 13 years of work, we are in love with the home and gardens we've made. There is a lot of power in being content, you are right!

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    1. Leigh, this is what I see over and over. People buying a bigger house or a newer car to say 'Look! Aren't we successful!'. There are other ways to measure success. We've just been brainwashed to think that the acquiring of an enormous debt, is one of them. Grrr to that! You stay put Leigh. You're one smart cookie! Mimi xxx

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  14. Thank you for the inspiring and encouraging post, Mimi!

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    1. You are very welcome chipmunk. I'm glad you found it to be encouraging. Mimi xxx

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  15. So absolutely true. A great post.
    Vanessa

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    1. It is the truth Vanessa, isn't it. Mimi xxx

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  16. This post really hit home for me, Mimi. We got into the habit of giving away our power when we were busy working professionals. But now I am a stay at home mum I am learning to take the power back one step at a time. Your blog has been invaluable to show me the way. Big hugs, Sonya

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    1. Dear Sonya, don't feel too bad. We've all done it. We do it when its necessary. But it's certainly not 'necessary' every, single day. You'll be amazed at how many powers you'll have as a work at home Mum. No turning back now! Love, Mimi xxx

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  17. Mimi, I feel you could be writing directly to me, thankyou for this powerful post. It is really motivating to me. I don't have a printer but if I did, I'd print it out and stick it on my desk. If you ever decided to write a book perhaps titled 'Mimi's Memoirs - AKA how to live fearlessly' -I'd love to buy it! Thanks again, Clare T
    P.S. Last night I successfully made your baked beans receipe which was very well received here -an achievement for me as I really was scared of legumes.

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    1. Clare, I'm so proud to have got you across the line with legumes...lol. And, I have to say, what a fab title for a book. I'm stashing that one away :) Mimi xxx

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  18. Mimi I have just read this after coming in from detailing our 4WD. No way was I going to pay someone to do what took me an hour of my time. Yes it is a bit of an effort as I wasnt just giving the car a quick clean, but it is so nice to know I did that.
    I have never understood why people buy coffee when they can make it so easily. Every now and again I will have a purchased coffee as a treat so I do give the power away occasionally. I also love to bake and have such yummy treats of my own at home that sitting in a cafe and paying for something not as nice as my own is silly. You're famous for your burgers and so is Bluey. When the children were little and having a party they always asked for Bluey Burgers and Bluey Fried Chicken. I told a friend recently that I would make them a cake as their Birthday present. She asked if I could make her my vanilla slice. Too easy.
    I agree with this post whole heartedly.

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    1. Jane, detailing the cars! That's a huge one! I have friends who spend $75 a week, getting their car 'detailed'. Honestly, detailing was something we used to do to get a car ready to sell. Not an ongoing thing. I suppose when you spend that much on the car to start with, there's something to be said for maintaining it, and that part I wholeheartedly agree with. But really, we're only talking washing, drying, vacuuming and wiping over the dashboard. It's not truly 'detailing' in the old school way, is it. And at $75 a pop? I'd be washing, vacuuming and DIY-ing as much as possible. Yes, coffee, now that's another odd one. I don't even like bought coffee that much. I rarely drink it anyway. But for some, you'd think it was nectar of the gods...lol! I like that Bluey is famous for his burgers and chicken. They're such a family staple, and what kid doesn't want Pops burgers over the ones from the Golden Arches? Vanilla slice for a birthday gift sounds heavenly too. I love it. Mimi xxx

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  19. I love your "motherly advice" posts so much :-) I do have to say though that here in UK, there are parts of the country where a tiny 2 bed house with a minuscule bathroom, scullery kitchen and no utility space will easily cost ten times a decent income... And if you're an average young person starting out in London, forget about ever owning your own place.

    But in parts of the country there are still ways to get to where you want to be, with hard work and patience. We started off 15 years ago, having left our previous marriages with nothing in financial terms, and a child each. The first place we bought was a tiny flat, no outside space. Some improvements made and some equity built enabled us to move to a 600 sq feet bungalow with a little garden. 8 years later, after completely overhauling the place, we could finally move to where we wanted to be - 1000 sq ft Georgian cottage in the countryside, with what's for this country a large garden. Still only have one bathroom, and the washing machine lives in the kitchen, though.

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    1. Allegra, I take your point. And such is the case here too. If you're prepared to move out a little further, and start small, housing 'affordability' is within everyones reach. Sadly, again, we are brainwashed into thinking inner city is hip and happening, and woe betide us as a twenty something if we go against the grain. Your story is exactly the progression our young people should be aiming for. Start modest, move from there. Not start with a mansion and have a mental breakdown working to pay for it, when you should be enjoying yourself. It makes no sense. Thankyou so much for sharing your experience. Love, Mimi xxx

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  20. I too, grew up in a small two bedroom house. When my husband and I moved to our current location, we were fortunate enough to build a four bedroom home - the bedrooms are quite small and no ensuite bathrooms. By today's standards, our home is very much on the small size. It's hard to image houses becoming any larger than the McMansions being built now.

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    1. Pam, it's a new crazy, isn't it? I've met people with 'gourmet kitchens' who barely boil an egg in there. Why, why, why? I predict there will be a trend towards downsizing in the next two generations. Somewhere along the way, someone has to say 'enough'. I know my daughter wants a so-called 'tiny house' to start with. I'm happy to support her decision. Mimi xxx

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  21. I have to agree with everyone's glowing praises, Mimi. I love your "Motherly Advice" posts the best!!

    xx JEn in NS

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    1. Thankyou Jen. How is baby? Mimi xxx

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  22. Love these posts Mimi, they just keep inspiring and strengthening my resolve. You have a lovely way with words. I do feel that we are losing the basic concept of living. So many are now working just to live through necessity. I really feel for those who are living where they are simply priced out of the housing market. For them it really is an impossible dream. Having said that though, it is still possible in some areas especially regional to start out small and own your home. I guess that's what you're talking about. I remember living in caravan for three years in order to save for our first block of land. It saved us so much money. It suited us at the time, both working full time and no family. It was possible. I read an article recently where a young man decided to live in a caravan on a friend's acreage. He decided that he only wanted to work a couple of days per week and do what he wanted with the rest of his time. He had enough money for all that he needed. He volunteered at a charity regularly. He is a good example of living the life you want to live. It wouldn't suit everyone, but it was what he wanted to do and I really admire him for it. There are so many other possibilities out there such as units, granny flats, even just to downsize while you save for a deposit on a smaller house. Why do what everyone else is doing? Home is where and what you make it.

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    1. Del, that is it exactly. Working just to maintain life. And paying through the nose for the illusion of enjoying it. It's so sad. I love that you had the tenacity to live in a caravan to save for your first home. I bet that made all the difference. As for that young man, well, it's easy to see how he'd attract criticism. Anything different always does. But good on him, for knowing himself and his needs and wants. Love it. And yes...home is where and what you make it. I've always thought so too. Mimi xxx

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    1. I'll take that as a stamp of approval Lana ;-) Mimi xxx

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  24. Fantastic post Mimi. It spoke right to my heart. It is actually frightening how normal it is to give away one's power; and certainly expected. I certainly felt some pressure when I decided to do a small, simple family party at home for my son's birthday. It was unusual in my friends' circles, where professional cakes, venue hire, lash presents and a million and one invitees are the norm. I think I need to come back and read this post, thank you for being a light! Love, Bridge

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    1. Bridge, I know...the whole party thing is just out of control. DJ's, jumping castles, light shows, fireworks. What??? How about a cake, a game of pass the parcel and a treasure hunt. The kids have a ball, and nobody has mortgaged their home and their soul for a party. Stay unusual Bridge. They'll look back and feel silly when you've paid off the mortgage and they're on the fourth European car and second marriage. I've seen it. Love, Mimi xxx

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  25. Love the kombi van cake. Memories made right there...priceless.
    Love Janiebabe

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    1. I know Jane. Perfect imperfection, right? Mimi xxx

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