Hello dear friends

On Tuesday night, I went to bed but I was not quite ready yet for sleep, so I put off the inevitable by mulling on the last few days which had passed in a blur of busyness.

Sometimes, late at night, I love to come to bed, cease all activity and lay to rest the thoughts going round and round in my head, by writing them all down before I can sleep. Of course, this is what I did.

My thoughts are often like disobedient children who will not settle down and go to sleep, regardless of how much you berate them. They insist on taking centre stage! It’s a lovely feeling really – like being on a high – but it is just not conducive to falling asleep.

centre stageYou know, part of the problem is that I feel so blessed to be living through this time in my life, that I want to savour all of the happy moments and not let a single one pass me by, so I put off sleep while I taste the delights that my life brings.

I’ve done the hard yards: raised my children, spent time studying, had a career in the Federal Government and now it’s time to reap the rewards of all these labours.

I seem to be finding a quiet joy in the simple things of life: spending time with my grandchildren, discussing cars with Isaac (4);  night phone calls from Alice (12) to discuss her day and then there is the ‘oible-doible’ talk with one year old Madeleine or Violet (7) saying with passion “I love you so so much Grandma!”

The Melbourne Cup: known as "The Race that Stops a Nation."

The Melbourne Cup: known as “The Race that Stops a Nation.” (see more at end)

It brings to mind the trip I had with my daughter-in-law Belinda and the children on Tuesday. We went to Surfer’s Paradise to visit Pat (Belinda’s mother) and spend Melbourne Cup Day** with her as Bel’s father had to work. What fun we had together as those glorious horses paraded on the THREE TV’s on the wall in the Resort’s cafe.

We had the whole place to ourselves! Where WAS everyone? Off to fancy Melbourne Cup affairs all dressed up and leaving us alone to take over the Wyndham Resort Cafe. We could hardly believe it: our own private function! It was so special. Isaac was singing “Waltzing the Builder” instead of “Waltzing Matilda” and I twirled Maddie around the room while I sung “The Lord of the Dance” while both of us laughed as we went.

And even a serious endeavour like studying Shakespeare with Shirley (my 84-year-old friend) on Monday mornings, brings its own levity. Shirley is not pleased when us five women find humour in something that should be taken more seriously. Julius Caesar has just died for heaven’s sake! But, oh how we laughed together until Shirley’s threats silenced us into submission.

“Back to the play girls or else I’ll stop the lesson!” threatened the former English teacher as if we were children!

jsh121018lYou see what I mean about the joy of being retired? And when I’m not running around enjoying myself, I can be found doing the mundane things that everyone has to do, like washing clothes. cooking meals … or shopping for groceries. All things that need attending to and I haven’t even mentioned that dreaded word: ‘HOUSEWORK’ yet either!

Have you noticed how housework never seems to end? There are: beds that don’t make themselves; floors that are dirty the same afternoon after washing them that morning and dust which seems to sneak into your house when you’re not looking.

Now, housework is not a laughing matter and no amount of levity helps with it either. Banish housework perhaps? No. Not a good idea. You see, one needs something mundane to do in between the highs that social activity brings dear friends.

Housework grounds you … gives you space to just be, and if you don’t let it have centre stage (like your thoughts) you’ll find yourself dealing with the work far better.

So, here’s to both: social activities and housework. These two things balance your life. Put them together and they equal the joy of living a full life.  I found some quotes on Happiness yesterday and while they were all good, this one spoke to me about what we should allow to take Centre Stage in our lives:

“Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.  It could be so much worse.”

Yes indeed …

Read more: www.marcandangel.com/2013/11/07/50-happiness-quotes-to-change-the-way-you-think

** Melbourne Cup Day

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 is known to punters around the country and world as the most significant day in Australian horse racing. ‘The race that stops a nation’ is approaching faster than the way Green Moon charged to victory in the 2012 Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse.