Friday, April 20, 2018

Don't answer, just think

I sent the husband off to a lecture on Zen & Happiness.

He came back with the instructions:
1. Do some form of exercise
2. Meditate
3. Ponder the question: What is happiness?

And strangely, that question makes one look at life a bit differently. 
Try it.


It is hellishly hot, yesterday reaching a sticky 31.5 degrees.
It was a restless night.
Work is and remains stressful.
Like my mom, I was made to read books, potter around in gardens and study.
I want nothing more.


My director asked me to stay on next year.
And I think I'll do it, if just to eliminate new situations that require new adjustments.

I've been invited for most of the jobs I applied for, but they are all at high schools.
When an interviewer asks what I like most about adolescents, I've noticed that my 'School Holidays' answer doesn't go down well.


This morning, my last bid for freedom before the May holiday starts at noon, I'm asking myself what happiness is in Breda, drinking lovely coffee in a lovely cafe in the sun.


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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Feisty

It's been a month of flu for all of us.
As I write, Son#2 is on Virus#2 (or #3 or #4, not sure anymore), and a 39 degree fever.
No school for him today.
I'm still snot-snotting through my own phletora of flu bugs.

I've taken steps to enrol Son#1 in a Rudolf Steiner school where he'll get the opportunity to mature a lot more before the Dutch school system decides his future.
We need the cooperation of his current school, and I don't like that part of relinquishing influence and control.
Let's just cross fingers and see how it goes.

Last night, the husband and I went to Son#3's musical which was held in the little Protestant church on our street.



A boy sitting next to him said something to make Son#3 cry a bit during the show.
During last week's parent-teacher meeting, I heard that Son#3 is getting bullied a bit.
One of the bullies was the boy sitting next to him.
For all his cleverness, kindness and humour, Son#3 is a very fragile soul.


Luckily we're back to summer time.
Outside my study window, the pear tree is just about to burst into bloom.



Everything grows and renews itself.
Even the munched-down box hedges that were attacked by the horrid European box tree moth plague in the summer.

We've organized a home exchange with someone in the South of France for the last week in April. 
It will be our first break since the summer last year.
Just 4 weeks and we're off.


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Friday, March 9, 2018

When you're weary, feeling small

Son#1 is struggling at school.
When a sky-high IQ, ADHD and performance don't go together, schools drop you like a hot cake.
This past week was ridiculous.
A test every day.
Plus homework.
He did poorly, poor thing.
His (Dalton) school was a poor choice.
The meeting with his teacher was what we expected:
Thou shalt perform, or get sequestered to the lower grades.
In other words: Son#1 will do work far below his level, mixed with kids that don't match his intelligence.
Where do you then dig up hope and stimulation to feel motivated?


The husband and I both work.
We cannot guide him in all his many school projects and tests.
And when you know that 30-60% of highly gifted kids never finish school, you worry.

Meanwhile, I'm so tired that I can't bring myself to do anything.
Laundry shmaundry.
Studies - pah, for idiots.
Just give me sleep, a million bucks and a year in Spain.


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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

African childhood






My brother, my cousin, and I.
In the subtropics, where you grow up in the swimming pool and Santa Clause wears shorts.

Squish over to early middle age where one gets ZERO attention from the opposite sex anymore and one lives in a freezer.
The corners of my mouth are turning down, like I smell something distasteful.
Mmmmmm.

I had to pick sick  Son#3 up from school early.
I fed him oreos while we snoozed on the couch.
Tomorrow the cleaner may or may not show up, 
we just don't know.


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Monday, March 5, 2018

Just soar

We are all busy - too busy if you ask me.
Poor Son#1 went from no homework to writing 5 tests a week, some of them covering a whopping 9 chapters.
Plus homework on top of that.
Just to put it into perspective: he is 12.
How on earth learning is supposed to be fun this way is beyond my scope of comprehension.
It slobbers and gobbles up our lives, having to stay home and study every single weekend.

There is my work, the husband's work, Son#2's homework, music lessons, medical appointments, my studies and an inability to stay upright after 7 p.m.
One can't get much done lying down, so my window of activity is tiny.
Son#2 and I go to bed together every night, until the husband picks him up and carries him to bed. 


I spoke to my mum and we talked about obstacles & how I keep thwarting my own success.
I seem to always trip myself up.

I'm listening, mother dearest.
Shake off the shite.
Love yourself a little.
Don't be afraid.
Just soar.


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Milestones and what have you

Son #2 turned a whopping 10 this past week.
Mr Double Digits.
May it be a good year, Bucky.
He's such a good kid.


Carnival came and went.
I studied a lot and tried to get Son#1 to do the same.
It was semi successful.

The husband goes up and down on the Depression Scale.
My friend Sandra, whom I saw today, does the same.
I think that if you keep disturbing the water with your resistance to life, you'll never have a clear reflection of yourself and your life.
And at the end of the day, we die anyway.
Might as well make the very best of each day, right?

Caring all the time is draining, debilitating and I burn out to a crisp if it continues too long.
I send the husband to his parents.
The kids look after themselves.
I'm taking a shower and it's not even 18h00.
This is how we roll.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

A hard day's night

...and I've been working like a dog.
Sigh.
I spent this week in work hyperdrive, trying to finish everything before next week, a school holiday, arrives.
My first break since August that I won't be working.
11 hours behind a computer today.
Sigh.

Oh to run away and live a simple life with no-one around, arid ground, grasses and succulents, blazing sun and lots of books.
Where did we go wrong???


It's snowing and bitterly cold.
The kids had Carnaval at school.
Son#1 is still ill, poor bunny.
He's lost 5 kg (and there wasn't much flesh on those bones anyway).

Next week Tuesday there will be Carnaval floats driving past our house again, and I'll have to think of some outing so we can escape its madness.
Carnaval is not my thing.
If one is serious-minded/a nerd/boring-but-happy-that-way, having to defend one's anti-frivolous stance is tough. 
I don't 'get' frivolous.
Does that make sense?

For now, just rest.
Son#2, who falls asleep in my bed every night, is snoozing next to me.
He smells nice and I love him.
Louise the cat will come along shortly, sleeping on my feet all night.
She's half dog, I'm sure.



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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Escapism 101

Sunday blues.
I've been running through all my 'how to avoid work tomorrow' -scenarios since midnight.
I catch myself typing words like 'escaping' and 'running away' in Google, hoping to find out what it looks like.
No answers yet.


Sons#2 and #3 are high on energy while Son#1 has swollen glands, a heavy cough and raccoon eyes.
No school tomorrow.
I have no idea how he'll catch up all his school work, considering he doesn't even keep up with regular homework...

We took Things #2 and 3 to the park in Breda to get rid of surplus energy.
Home, tv and a bit of red wine.


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Friday, February 2, 2018

Runrunrunrunrunaway

Son#1 has been ill for 3 days.
This morning we left the house to alleviate his cabin fever, & drove to Dordrecht for nice coffee.


He hangs and sags a lot, coughs his lungs out.
No longer a little boy, he's quickly catching up to my 1,74 m.

It is terribly cold, the bone-gnawing kind and we drove back from Dordt in snowy rain.
I left my piles and piles of exams at work - this will be the first weekend since September that I won't work or prepare. 
I should, but I won't [read: can't].
An oeuf is an oeuf
[enough = enough]


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Monday, January 29, 2018

Culmination-Elimination-Fascination

If there is one thing that my physical rehab taught me, it is that I can let go.
Not should let go.
Can.

Life ain't perfect.
The husband is still smack-bang in his existential crisis (i.e. not perfect).
Our boys are still weird and strangely round pegs in square holes (not perfect), subjected to our imperfect parenting and provision.


The house is crumbling on the one side with a tree growing from the gutter.
The bathroom is well past its sell-by date.
The utterly imperfect cleaner with her soap opera-life imperfected our already imperfect kitchen floor
(one thing I have been unable to let go).

My sleep, body, motivation, pain levels, work attitude, perpetual hope and kindness also suffer.
But it's okidoki, you know.
We are born and we die and inbetween events engulf us over which we have zero control.
We make the best of it.

My perfectly alcohol-free January turned out to be slightly imperfect too.
And I'm okay with that.



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