Saturday, November 20, 2010

double chocolate

In the wake of my mid-life rant and as November draws rapidly to a close, here is another black and white photo: the remnants of double chocolate muffin mixture; gooey and delicious, waiting to be licked.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

on poppies and purpose

I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. I’m 43 years old and I am going through what can only be described as overwhelming feelings of quiet desperation as I look back on years and years of self-doubt and self-flagellation. Outwardly I have a great life – a loving husband, two incredibly beautiful and talented daughters, a supportive family, a comfortable home, financial stability, a small but close group of loyal friends, good health and a range of skills and abilities that mean I ‘can do anything’! And I can. I know in my heart I have the intellect, the physical abilities, the creativity, the courage and the stamina to do anything I set out to do.

And yet, I feel like someone who has spectacularly underachieved – someone who has ‘so much potential’ yet so little self-belief. Not that I want to go around ‘blowing my own trumpet’ or ‘getting too big for my boots’ or achieving celebrity status (now that would be pushing it) – I just want to feel I am making a difference in the world – that I am putting my wealth of God-given talent to good use – that I am fulfilling my purpose. I am tired of thinking small - I want to 'think big' – to stop apologising and to embrace everything that I am, even the parts that I wish I could change but I know that in order to find peace I must accept – simply because they are me.

Perhaps it has something to do with ‘tall poppy syndrome’ – rather than standing out from the crowd and achieving greatness, I would rather downplay my talents to avoid being in the spotlight. I was taught that modesty and humility were values to strive for but I think I’ve turned them into a habit of perpetual self-effacement. I have always abhorred being singled out in class as an example of someone who ‘can do it’…right back to my primary school days when I got full marks for my tests, and sailed through the end of year exams, to yesterday when my yoga teacher asked me to demonstrate a pose which required a certain degree of flexibility and strength (perhaps the 10 years of practice helped). I would rather curl up in a ball! I so dread being thought of as someone who thinks she is superior, all I want is acceptance and connection – a shared struggle, a common battle is what forms friendships and builds bridges.

So with this fear comes a tendency to do the bare minimum, to achieve less, to blend in with the masses simply so that I can feel like I belong. But more and more I feel a growing, gnawing, agonising sense that I am shrinking, day by day – that soon I will be completely invisible. Perhaps this is part of the 40-plus stay-at-home-Mom-syndrome – all of a sudden one’s circle of influence diminishes to the immediate family and every waking moment is devoted to ensuring that they are happy, healthy and well fed – a role I wouldn’t change for anything but at which I feel I spectacularly fail on a daily basis (try getting a 5 year old sugar junkie to eat her greens)!!

Or perhaps there is more to it.
Perhaps this gnawing agony is a call to Do Something.
Do Anything.
Just Do it Well.
See it Through to Completion.
Stop being Afraid of your Own Amazing Self.
Because when you’re 43 and you planning on living to 100, there is still plenty of time to Change the World.
Or at least your Part of it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is a bit of a 'visual chinese whisper' follow up from Justine's Reflections post: On Saturday I attended a yoga workshop in Piha which is a small unspoilt beach town on Auckland's west coast. The west coast of New Zealand's north island is famous for its black ironsand beaches. I love walking along the beach at low tide watching the reflected clouds in the glassy wet ironsand.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hand picked

Yesterday afternoon Talya picked a bunch of white daisies which were growing in the fields next to her riding school. I thought they'd made a good black and white November shot!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

sunday creative: aspiration

Aspiration seems to be a recurring theme right now. Rachel posted this great quote on Saturday, and then the Sunday Creative prompt for the week is 'aspiration'. I thought I'd take part with this picture I took yesterday morning... at about 7am we heard the distinctive sound of gas blasting hot air into a great big balloon. We looked outside into the beautiful blue sky and saw this:
(a brief deviation from b&w november!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

work in progress

This is my second entry in Justine's black & white november: my husband is in the the process of restoring a red 1965 Ford Mustang convertible and I took a few photos of it yesterday afternoon, looking not very pretty at all! But I can guarantee that in a few months time it will be back in mint condition. Mustangs are his passion and it amazes me how much joy he derives from spending the weekend underneath this car! It always reminds me of the importance of finding and pursuing one's passions - a sure-fire route to happiness :-)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November 2010

Wow - November! Where did October go? The last couple of weeks have been busy and I was fighting off some sort of virus until I finally resorted to antibiotics which worked almost instantaneously(coincidence?)!

Anyhow, I have lots of plans for November - I'd been planning a big spring clean in preparation for the new year and then I happened to read my horoscope on She Said, She Said - by Sheilaa. (Go and read yours). I don't normally follow my horoscope but when I read this I sat up and paid attention!

ARIES (March 21 – April 20) The recent full moon in your birth sign heralds the official beginning of a once in a lifetime, major transformational shift that will permanently alter the way you think, feel and act about–everything. Get out in front of this unstoppable force by sorting through and emptying out your emotional storage unit. What to do with the old stuff and relationships that no longer reflect who you’re becoming? Make room for your new energy and perspective by setting the old out on the curb to be picked up for recycling.
(italics are mine)

Once in a lifetime, transformational shift, unstoppable force?? This is exactly what I need to start off 2011 on the right note.

So my intention for November is to:
Clear Out (mentally, physically, emotionally), to Lighten Up and Let Go so that I can Make Space for that Unstoppable Force
Because how could I possible let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass me by??

My other project for November is to take part in
Justine Gordon's Black & White November. And here is my first entry(from my archives) - taken in July 06 when Anika was 9 months old. One day she was playing in her bedroom and I grabbed the camera, selected the b&w setting and clicked away. This is one of my favourites.
Where did she get those eyelashes?