Friday, March 2, 2018

Motherly Advice...Achieving your life goals...

I've always believed in dreaming and goal setting.
Sometimes my dreams seemed so big and ridiculous that I wondered if I was kidding myself to even secretly nurture those dreams.
But being the sort of person I am, I ignored the little voice inside my head that said 'but that's silly...YOU could never do that'...
Just as well. Because that little so and so was completely wrong.
She was wrong when she said I couldn't escape my unhappy relationship and find my true soul mate later in life.
She was wrong when she said I'd never have a home on a suburban acreage with fruit trees and lavender galore.
And she was wrong when she said I couldn't reinvent the way I look and dress at the age of 58.
Little cow. If I'd listened to her, I'd be on my own, family grown, no beautiful daughter, and I certainly wouldn't be living in my fantasy home with my lovely man, and a wardrobe full of pretty dresses and high heeled shoes!
We are sometimes our own worst enemies. We say things in our own heads to ourselves, that we'd NEVER say out loud to someone else.
Here are just a few that I am personally guilty of:
You're too old
You're too fat
You're too inexperienced
Nobody would listen to that
Who'd want to read that?
You're not good enough
There are a million others out there better than you
You get the idea. Shameful really. Nobody else in my life speaks to me that way, so why would I do it? Fortunately I'm savvy to that nasty little voice, and as soon as she starts up, I mentally zip her lip, and find something constructive to do to prove her wrong. I certainly don't sit around wallowing, and let her get a grip on my thinking. That's a path I do not wish to travel, and neither should you.
Look, we can blame our parents, our government, teachers, the medical profession, the hormones in chicken, and the pesticides in vegetables. But at the end of the day, the only person responsible for how you manage your life, is YOU. You have to be kinder to yourself, honestly.
Start finding the things in your life of which you are proud.
Are you a good parent? A good homemaker? A voracious reader? A talented cook?
Can you lead others? Set an example? Comfort your loved ones when they need it? Love your pets? Be the shoulder to cry on?
Are you well educated? Or do you want to be? And if you do, what's stopping you? Don't let that little cow inside your head talk you out of it.
And when I say 'educated', I don't necessarily mean formal education. Some of the wisest, most knowledgeable, sensible, clever folk I know, have just lived and learned. You can do that too. Never before in the history of human existence, has information and education been so readily available.

I dreamed of a stylish home full of French Provincial touches, a gas range, leather lounges, and elegant accessories.
I found my way there over 15 years of gathering furniture, none of which was suitable until we made it over....

I patiently scoured thrift stores over more than a decade, for little bits and pieces. My patience was rewarded often. This lamp was just $10 for the base, and the shade purchased on eBay for $35, suits it well. The silver framed mirror was a find at auction for $100. The already chalk painted and waxed frame, displayed empty a la Francaise, was another lucky find at an antique store for $35. The silver tray, the tureen...thrift store, $5. The greenery from IKEA $10. The chest of drawers was my Mums. I stripped and restored it myself over 30 years ago. That used to be my hobby.
I've now framed a menu from the Musee` d'Orsay with some pretty Parisian touches in the previously empty frame, and hung it on my kitchen wall...

As for my dream of a gas range...well that came true last year after I entered a competition on Instagram and won third she is...

I ignored the voice in my head that said 'don't be won't win'. No I didn't 'win'...not first prize which was a trip to somewhere I've already been, and which I didn't want anyway. I won third prize...exactly what I wanted. Good things come to those who wait.
What has found it's way to you after a lifetime of dreaming?
I also dreamed of a feminine ladies vanity table, loaded with the accoutrements of a woman of the world...

 I dreamed that I would one day let go of my Mummy wardrobe, and morph into someone a tad more elegant...
I 'educated' myself, took a good hard look at the habits of half a lifetime, brutally culled my wardrobe, my hairstyle, and my attitude, and two years later, I am proudly and unashamedly, a completely different person.
I changed my shopping habits and within a short space of time, discovered I had saved enough money to treat myself to a strand of beautiful Baroque pearls. Something I'd wanted for over twenty years. These make me feel very special.

What would make YOU feel special?
We found an acreage in the 'burbs. It was a knock down house on a bare block, bar three Poinciana trees. Nobody wanted it. We saw the potential.
15 years later, we live in a sprawling renovated home, and enjoy 3/4 of an acre of tropical gardens, full of herbs, lavender, and 10 different types of fruit tree. We were patient. We accepted that we had to start with something far less than what we envisaged, and we had to work darn hard for a very long time. For the first six years, every, single, weekend, was spent in the garden. We poured concrete ourselves, we paved, we planted. Things died. Things survived a three year drought, other things did not. We replanted and regrouped. We clung to our dream, even when sometimes the obstacles seemed insurmountable.
Meanwhile houses were built beside our acreage, and the NIMBY's moved in. What's a NIMBY? That's a 'Not In My Back Yard'. They complained that our trees dropped leaves and flowers onto their snow white pavers. Who the heck paves an outdoor area with glossy white pavers?? They complained that the branches and debris sullied their pools. Sigh. You knew the trees were there when you built.
We had to remove one tree....double, triple, quadruple sigh.
The rest we fought to retain....and won.

The first year following the planting of our fruit trees, this was our harvest.
This year, year three, we have harvests like this one below of earlier this week, the fifth such harvest this season...and we have more to come!
I dreamed of being like my Nanna, who I adored and who passed away when I was just 11. She grew things, sewed things, embroidered and baked and preserved.
I'm getting there.
Here's my cumquat harvest of Tuesday...

...turned into Mums Cumquat Marmalade...

I dreamed that like the elegant ladies in the Country Style magazines, I'd be the one baking and making jam, and packaging it in rustic style, with friends and family eagerly anticipating my wares.
And here's my Nannas Depression Era Fruit Cake, packaged just like the $6.95 (for the small), and $22.95 (for the large) ones in the posh deli near us. That deli's got nothing on me, I tell
I didn't listen to the voice saying 'You're just a dag from a big family. Who'd want your stuff?'. I told you. She's a nasty little piece.
Don't you listen to him or her either.
Actively start telling yourself, that your ARE talented, you ARE worthy, you CAN succeed in achieving your goals and dreams. You really. Truly. Can.
Start small. We all do.
Nobody jumps from novice to professional in the snap of a finger. Sometimes it takes weeks, or months or years, or honestly...a lifetime.
You just have to keep at it. Some days it will feel like you've just stood still and done nothing.
Those are the days when you have to step back from your own life and look at it objectively.
Ask yourself these questions...
What has changed for me in the last year?
How can I build on those changes?
What new skills have I learned and how can I continue to improve them?
How do I spend my day, and what changes can I make to start taking tiny steps towards achieving my goals and making my dreams a reality?
I have people tell me often, that they 'don't have time'.
But they have time to watch television, go out drinking, or having coffee.
There's nothing wrong with doing those things. So long as you actively spend time on constructing the life you dream of at some point in your day or week.
Mid morning is my dream making time.
That's when I update my blog, thus fulfilling my goal of being a successful writer. Remember 'success' isn't necessarily defined by dollars. The fact that YOU are here reading my scribbles, is my idea of 'success'.

 It's when I spend 15 minutes, or half an hour or an hour or two, sewing or embroidering, or baking.
It's when I use the internet or my home library to source new ideas for gifts and treats for my loved ones. home made personalised scents...
Lavender scented home deodoriser makes our home welcoming and fresh...

...and I'm always on the lookout for a new idea to road test. These gorgeous canisters with rose embellishments are a new inspiration.

Just last year, in line with one of my goals, I taught myself to paint Swoosh Roses. I've loved these since forever, and now I can embellish things with Roses to my hearts content!
 I think that's my dream fulfilment task for today, actually!
What about you?
What single task can you perform to fulfill a dream today?
Look ahead one year, five years, twenty years, and decide who you want to be.
Don't you pay no mind to the naysayers and negative people in your life, and tell that little sprite in your own head to zip it. Be kind, be nurturing, become the person who CAN support others in achieving their dreams, because you've lived your own.
Learn a new skill every year, change the way you see yourself, and over time, others will see you differently too.
Respect your stage of life, and take teeny baby steps if need be. Don't go at it like a bull at a gate, only to be disappointed because your lifestyle doesn't support those big changes.
One thing. Just one.
Could you make your bed look more lovely? Or perhaps just 'make the bed'?
Could you arrange some greenery from the garden in a pretty vase to give you something special in your home? Or plant some herbs or an ivy at your front door?
Could you wear a dress, instead of track pants?
Could you prepare the meal earlier in the day to give you time to spend with a loved one this evening?
Could you teach yourself one new little skill? How to embroider something, paint something, bake something, write a poem, make a card, sew a button, stitch a hem?
Baby steps.
Confucius is credited with saying...
'The journey of a thousand miles, begins with but a single step'.
What will be your single step today?


  1. A beautiful post Mimi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with others. The subject of this post is particularly pertinent to me at present as I struggle through yet another bought of depression and I feel like I am wading in chest high water every time I try to do something. Reading positive articles like yours encourages me to keep fighting and to be kind to myself. It will get better.

    1. Dear Debbie. I think it's important to share our struggles and our successes. This post was to show that I too, have struggled. But I've overcome those struggles to succeed. I'm only human. If I can do it, so can you. Struggles pass. They really do. Life moves ever forward. Make sure that your tomorrow is better than your yesterdays. Love, Mimi xxx

  2. I think that nasty little piece moved out of your head and into mine. I am in a constant battle to shut that voice up. She is most insistent that my sewing and crafting is worthless rubbish and that no one would want to receive such rubbish.
    We had a goal to live by the sea and to enjoy a quiet life, punctuated with small adventures in our caravan. Achieved and continuing
    I wanted a food forest garden here on our quarter acre block. Not achieved just yet but well on the way to happening. This year I am adding to my preserving skills to make the harvest go even further.
    I have a five year plan to save to purchase and have installed a new kitchen. I dont need big and fancy and will use the footprint of the current kitchen, installed when the house was first built in 1984. I do know what I want and am more than prepared to wait until I can achieve the dream.
    I am currently working on getting Bluey as well as I can. I am looking at natural processes for achieving this. Annabel has me looking into essential oils and their healing properties. Research is educating myself. I love being a lifelong learner.
    Thank you for sharing that you to, have that nasty voice playing in your head. Sometimes I wonder if it is just me. Now I dont feel so silly.

    1. Dear Jane, that little beggar lives in us all. We just have to learn to outweigh her negativity, with positive thinking and positive action. I know that with your background and life experience, that you know this too. You seem to well and truly have the hang of setting goals and achieving them. It is a skill that not everyone has, I've discovered. I'm sad that so many don't see that all we have is today, and it's what we do with our many 'today's, that makes a difference. I agree that supporting your Bluey in achieving good health is your most important goal. Go with it. Do what is needed. Then you can move forward together. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. Well I did something new today, Mimi. I made hot process soap. I think I will stick to cold process soap in the future. LOL! This is a very encouraging post.

    1. Chel, that's interesting! I'd have to ask why? It's something I've thought of doing to. I'll be popping over to the blog to check this out! Mimi xxx

  4. Another inspirational post, everything you speak about rings true to me. I make a lot of craft items and bake and always wonder if other people would appreciate such things, as I think they are lovely but my daughter (23) calls them granny crafts. I cooked Chinese Honey chicken last weekend, I had never cooked it before as I thought it would be too hard but however it was delicious and better than takeaway. Thankyou for your blog. Jo Roberts

    1. Dear Jo...we all doubt ourselves and our ability to produce something that is attractive to others. Especially those outside of our family. Sons and daughters in their teens and twenties seem to think it's their mission to tell us not to do 'granny' frightens them a bit I think. It reminds them that we all grow old. But where there's a granny craft, there's a potential buyer wishing they knew how to produce one! Go for it. And well done you on the new dish. Chinese Honey Chicken is a favourite here. Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Thank you Mimi for your very encouraging as well as thoughtful, questioning and kind words today. Well worth coming back to read again many times. Hugs.

    1. Dear Joy, what a lovely thing to say. Hugs to you too...Mimi xxx

  6. Thankyou dear Mimi for this “food for thought” post and encouragement. It’s a work in progress for me , with love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria...we are ALL a work in progress until the day we are called home...Love, Mimi xxx

  7. I love this post! I have that same little voice in my head and it's mostly about being too old!! Thanks for the encouragement today!

    1. We are never too old Penpen. Life is short, and what is 'old' these days anyway? 40, 50, 90?? You're as old as you feel my lovely. Mimi xxx

  8. What a encouragement you are. I was feeling a little down and out and came across your blog. This was the inspiration I was needing. Thank you so very much. I send my love Beth Masontown Pennsylvania.

    1. Beth, what a true compliment. Thank you so much. I'm glad you found it uplifting when you needed it most. Please visit again. Love, Mimi xx

  9. I have spent the last ten months in taking cancer treatments—chemo, surgeries, and radiation. In fact, today was my last day of radiation. I've learned a lot about spreading the love of Jesus, about praying for others, reaching out to those who will respond to a friendly word or smile. I don't know what God has for me. I don't know exactly what my dreams are now. I don't feel like the same person I was before I found the lump.

    After 7 weeks of making 2 hours a day to get radiation treatments, I now know that I can make the time for things.

    This post is the most thought provoking thing I've read in ages. You have definitely "mothered me" through this even though I'm 52! Thank you! I'll be sharing this in my next Happy Homemaker Monday post on the 5th.

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

    1. Dearest Laura, well done on completing your treatment! I hope you are blessed with good health and a robust and long life now. None of us know what God has in store for us, but sure as anything, it finds us as we move through our Earthly existence. Your experience shows that we can always 'make time'. We just have to make each day count. I'm flattered to have mothered you when you needed it my lovely. And thankyou for the share. Love, Mimi xxx

  10. Wow! Add another accomplishment to your list, your an inspiration to others. I love your blog, I always find something interesting and inspirational here. Loved today's post.

    1. Dear Savannah...well, thankyou my lovely! That is indeed a joy to hear. Love, Mimi xxx

  11. Never give up! These three words would sum up your post plus two more. Work hard!
    I talk with my friends about our dreams and they have all come true enough. Maybe we don't dream I recall talking about what we wanted to be in life with my besties from back in primary school. One wanted to be an interior decorator...what even was that??? This was the late 1960's. My friend now has a soft furnishing and decorating business. Another friend said 'I'm going to be a police woman'...really?..I'd only seen or heard of policemen. She is now a Sergeant in the Police Force. As for me...I wanted to be a secretary, tick.. and then later a business owner in partnership with my husband..tick. Like you we built up our home from scratch and I imagined the furniture, gardens etc. It is so very fulfilling when the dream falls into place bit by bit. My latest vision of a particular style of chair has recently been fulfilled. I went above and beyond for a client at work who needed a lot of nurturing when things were very stressful in her life. When she moved house she rang me and asked me if I would like a chair that she didn't need anymore. I popped around and there is was...the chair I had been wishing for. She insisted on gifting it to me. It was a bit like your oven and cost a similar amount which is why I only dreamed about it. I'm not good at spending that sort of money but sometimes you don't have to. You just have to be willing to help someone in need without any thought of receiving anything in return. More importantly I wanted a lovely family and this is the thing I am most grateful for - three big boys to eat up all the jam, biscuits, meals and desserts and keeping me slaving over a hot stove...ha ha and with a good attitude to life. I love your thoughts on life and living...keep up the good work. We are all worthy of what we dream and work for but that evil twin will try to make you doubt it so keep up the positive vibes.
    Janiebabe xx

  12. Ah Janie...yes, the three wonderful sons are one of my dreams fulfilled as well. Now this chair intrigues me. And how amazing that it found it's way to you through good deeds without expectation of reward. I find this true so often as well. You can see in the pics above, a copper tea kettle. The very thing to sit upon a gas range with a retro feel. Well I looked in vain for one for least one that fitted the constraints of my budget, lol! NO luck. Then similarly, I visited a friend who needs a fair bit of emotional support at the moment, and we dropped in at a local thrift store together. Lo and behold, there was my kettle for just $25, not $200. Patience. Hard work. Selflessness. They all equal a reward if you just bid your time. You could also say it's Karma...what goes around comes around. I truly believe that. Obviously your Karma is good, but then I already knew that. Mimi xxx

  13. Thankyou so much for this very inspiring post. I was up pacing the floor at 1.30 am worrying about some things and then pulling myself up and telling myself how far I've come in the last few years and that I actually have all I need. Your writing today has made me very happy. Thankyou again for sharing your life experience and thoughts, Clare T

    1. Dear Clare, thankyou for those kind words of encouragement. You see, you encourage ME by leaving such an uplifting comment, so for that I thank you. I'm glad you feel my words encourage you too. Mimi xxx

  14. I don't normally comment on your blog (but avidly read!) but this post was just so nice. I really love the encouraging tone and sense of self belief that you have! I am a firm believer in wishing for things and manifesting. I know that I might not have everything straight away but I end up with all the things I need eventually through self belief and hard work. Good work with the blog and your new self realisation - you look fabulous!


    1. What a lovely comment Melissa. Thankyou so much xxx


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