Hiatus.

hiatus n.
A gap or interruption in space, time, or continuity; a break.

So basically, this blog and I were on a break (haha, Friends reference). Here’s why:

1. Gratitude got hard.
Finding one thing to be grateful for each day sounds easy on paper. I started it thinking it’d be a good exercise for me, that it’d be a good thing to help keep my spirits up. Truthfully, finding something to be grateful about each day actually made me more stressed. On days when nothing in particular happened, I’d feel as if I was letting someone down by not having a gratitude post. I found myself going from day to day worrying about what I’d write about that night. Maybe I should be thankful for this. Or this. No, I’m not really thankful for that. Nah, that’s too cliche. It became this struggle between being completely honest in my writing or posting for the sake of keeping up appearances. I wasn’t really grateful anymore, so I stopped.

2. Uni got hard.
Hard is an understatement. Try horrendous, terrible, life-draining, THE WORST. This semester felt like a year, to the point where I found myself referring to the first half of the year as “last year”. Let me put this into perspective. Normal people have a 12-week semester. Third year Speech Pathology students have an 18-week semester. We had two weeks between our last class and our exam, during which we had two 90% hurdle assignments AND a portfolio to complete. Yes, it sounds like I’m whinging. And yes, I do understand that I am very VERY lucky to be able to have a tertiary education. BUT. I am NOT going to undermine how completely draining and stressful that semester was. I worked my butt off. And I didn’t have time to write.

3. Life got hard.
In between uni and placements, I found myself tutoring at least 6 hours a week. I have this thing where I can’t say no, especially when it involves helping kids. My students aren’t the high-achieving kind who are in tutoring because they need a little extension. No, my students are the kind who need that extra help to keep up with the class. And I love them to pieces. Which is why I couldn’t say no and found myself working more than I expected. This left me little free time during the week, which was spent either crying about life or in bed watching YouTube videos of babies and cats. On top of work, I was planning my 21st, and that proved to be more annoying and stressful than I’d initially thought. Throw anxiety into the mix and you get a hot mess of a person. My brain was constantly in a jumbled mess.

4. Meeting my personal expectations got hard.
When I actually had time to sit down and write something, all the ideas in my head never translated well onto paper. I’d lost my writing mojo. Every time I couldn’t think of a gratitude post, I’d beat myself up about it. It sucked, because I thought this blog was gonna be my ‘thing’ this year. I had such great and wonderful expectations. In no way was this helping the state of my mental health, so I had to put the metaphorical pen down and just focus on certain things (e.g. uni…ugh) that needed my immediate attention.

Now that I’m back to it, I’ve decided I’m going to try to not put expectations on this. I’ll write as and when I can. And maybe I’ll finally finish my 30 days of gratitude. Who knows?

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 18

Today, I am grateful for Skype.

Dad’s currently in Singapore. I’m kinda jealous. He’s only there for a couple of days to surprise my grandpa (his dad) for his birthday.

Anyway, because he’s in Singapore, we Skyped him tonight. He was over at my grandma’s, which meant that I got to see her too. A while ago, I mentioned on this blog that my maternal grandparents mean A LOT to me. It kills me that I can’t be there to look after my grandma. Skyping her just made my entire day.

The look of awe on her face when she realised she could see me on the computer screen. The beaming smile on her face when she heard me call her “Ah mah!” For the first time in 20 years, she told me I’d put on weight and that she liked how round my face is now. There were moments where she didn’t say a thing. Instead, she sat there with a look of peace and pure joy.

I didn’t realise how much I missed her until tonight. December cannot come any quicker.

Today, I am grateful for Skype.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 17

Today, I am grateful for my Guides.

I’ve been with this Girl Guides unit for almost 3 years now. I only just got my qualifications to be an official Guide leader this year, and was asked to step up in a huge way because our Unit leader has uni commitments.

I was so convinced Guides would be crazy today. I was down 2 leaders and we were doing a cooking activity. Usually, that’s a recipe for disaster. 

However, everything turned out fine. My girls were exceptionally well-behaved and cooperative. There were some crazy moments, but otherwise, they were fantastic. They had fun too, which is always a plus.

It makes me a little bit sad to know that next year won’t be the same with some leaders and girls leaving. My Guides always know how to make me feel better. It might be something they say, something they do, or even just the way they run into Guides with a smile on their face. As crazy as they are sometimes, I love them all.

Today, I am grateful for my Guides.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 16

Ok, so I’ve missed like 3 days.

Today, I am grateful for time.

It’s one of those things I always complain about never having enough of. “I just don’t have the time” or “I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day” are things you will hear me saying on a regular basis. Especially if there are assignments due.

The more I think about it though, if there were extra hours in a day, I’d probably just spend them in bed or procrastinating.

Anyway, it was a long week with many late nights, but I still managed to get what I needed to do done. And I only missed one class! I also managed to take some time to just chill for a bit…oh, and do the ice bucket challenge. In hindsight, I got a lot done this week. 

Today, I am grateful for time.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 15

I keep missing days, sigh.

Today, I am grateful for children.

They say the best things. Thought I’d share some of them here so you can see why they are so special to me.

“This is so hard – I wish my mum was here!”

“I’m a man!” 
One of my Guides said this with absolutely no context AT ALL. Turns out she meant she’s playing a man in a puppet show they were doing.

*After showing my student my Batman ring.*
Him: “Does that make you Batgirl?”
Me: “I guess so.”
Him: “So then I’m Batman. But you can’t tell anyone. I’ll keep your secret if you keep mine. Do you have a Batmobile?
Me: “Nope.”
Him: “Well, I have a grapple hook.”
Sure…you do.

“Is that what money looked like in the olden days?”
– My 9 y.o. student looking at a cash register set I brought to class. The money was literally a black & white version of what money looks like now.

In clinic…
SP: What’s this? *shows picture of sheep*
Boy: Lamb.
SP: Not quite. What’s a big lamb called?
Boy: LAAAAAMB.

Me: I met Batman when I went to Queensland.
Boy: Was he the real one?

Today, I am grateful for children.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 14

Today, I am grateful for focus.

I was so focused today that I managed to pretty much finish an assignment due Monday – yay! I’m so grateful that I was able to sit down and just do the assignment despite the multitude of distractions around me.

This means I can spend most of tonight re-watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and pigging out on ice cream…oh, and doing laundry.

Today, I am grateful for focus.

A tale of two minds

I want to pause the gratitude for a second and write about something else. I am currently in a battle with myself. It’s a bit of a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde situation.

I don’t want to go off the rails and harbour hatred or malice towards anyone. I don’t want to be a bitch. I don’t want bitterness in my heart, I want to handle life’s situations with poise, no matter how tough it might be. I want to take the high road. I want to move on and mean it when I say that I’ve forgiven someone. Even though people tell me I have the right to be angry, I don’t want to be angry. Just because I have the right to do something, doesn’t mean I should do it…right?

But at the same time, I want to go off the rails. There’s something in me that’s saying “screw it”. I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to be good, trying to act with gentleness and poise. I deserve a moment of craziness. I want to let all the bitterness out. There are many things I would like to say to certain people. And let’s face it – after everything I have been through this year, I have the right to be angry. I’ve been left to pick up the pieces and deal with so much poop. I deserve some form of happiness, don’t I? 

I have no idea what to do. Do I have to pick one or can I be a bit of both?