Browsing Tag

Work Life Balance

Kids, MM, Motherhood

Actually…

18th June 2014

Life around here lately seems to be focused on words.  Which is fine, as I am a bit of a word nerd.  We still have “seriously” featuring heavily in the rotation of daily ranting.  But now, we have a new contender –  “Actually Mummy…..”.  I must hear that at least 50 times a day.  Usually when I am being corrected by one of the four who believe quite firmly that they are indeed correct.  The topic can range from anything to do with cake being good for you because is like fruit, right through to the ‘real’ meaning of words (like doppelganger!). Continue Reading…

Motherhood, Work Life Balance

Just Breathe….

26th May 2014

Some days this is literally my mantra, these two words can just bring me back to a level of reality, and give me a little more clarity.   They also often provide me with a little breathing space (no pun intended!!) to plan my next move – in both family and work situations.

Juggling wifedom, motherhood, friendship, work and just life is just that – a constant juggle.  It is also a battle against time, four independent minds (my tiny little army) the harshness of sleep deprivation, and the real world.  Sometimes, on ‘those’ nights when one of my chickens is sick, or is having a bad dream, or is just unsettled, and it is just me, I wonder, when the nights like this will end.  But then you get really philosophical when discussing that there is no boogie monster (after searching everywhere and sitting on guard for possible ninja boogie men (true story))  and wonder how much ‘longer’ you will be the absolute centre of knowledge and well, everything, for these kids.  Right now, these four kids think I know just about everything, but sometimes Google is required, and that I can in fact fight against trolls, boogie men, ninja boogie men, and have ‘all the moves’ necessary to deploy a tactical take down of a Lego army.  That in itself is a pretty cool accomplishment!  But now, I see the role slightly shifting.

The trio have started Kindy, and their teachers are also a source of influence.  Their teachers are amazing and are truly nurturing and enriching my kids lives.  They also have very interesting questions some times for me – about little bits and pieces of our family life that obviously comes up in conversation at Kindy.  At the moment we have a ‘free kick’ policy.  If one kid kicks/pinches/hits or just hurts one other child (and let me be clear, only MY kids) the child that was hurt gets a free kick.  The hurtee must stand still and cop it sweet.  Generally it is a free kick up the bum.  It is hysterical, and is not hard, it is more about a bit of justice.  It is really difficult some days to stop the picking, and the free kick system has helped our family a lot – not that I am promoting it at all!  So the Kindy teachers got a bit of a giggle about that!  I think it is also quite interesting for them to see three siblings so incredibly different but interconnected in so many ways, go about their day and their ‘jobs’ at Kindy.

Then there is Hayden.  Who is now in grade 2.  I mean seriously, he is 7 already.  He has grown so much, and some days, I get a glimpse of the man that he is going to be.   He has an insight that is beyond his years, and has an understanding of the world that sometimes is scary.  I want to shield him from so much, but the big bad world is out there and I can only inform, soothe and ensure he is prepared for it all.  One of the biggest things with Hayden is that he is emotionally a 7 year old, but intellectually much older.  We have to try and strike the balance there somewhere and guide him safely.  He is struggling with his handwriting, but has improved IMMENSELY in the past term.  So much so that he scored student of the week last week (so proud of his hard work).  He still needs his lullaby from me every night (and if I am working clinically I have to call and sing it on the phone to him – and let me tell you, so many people have heard me sing it at work, and I am a total crap singer, and I could care less!).  He is quite possibly the bestest big brother out there – and second bestest big brother is B. 

Hayden has really taken the big brother role in his stride.  For a long time he thought it was ‘normal’ for people to have three babies at once, and I remember him asking my sister in law when she was pregnant why there was only one baby in there!  He knows the names of all his sisters teddies and dolls, and knows how they take their tea.  He knows the name of their favourite stories and even reads them too them (B included) when he thinks no one is watching.  Brendan also knows all his sisters toys names, and it is so cute to watch them seemingly take on the protective role of their sisters.  Funnily enough, if there is something really scary (like the big arse huntsman that was in their room last year) Caityln is FEARLESS and takes front stage and generally herds the ‘others’ back, and then proceeds to throw things (everything in her reach) at the said spider.  Hilarious.  Boys are prepared for all, BUT that!  Haha!

In an effort to get the kids a little more coordinated, socialised and active, we have put them into dancing.  They are in love with it.  I mean, totally and utterly in love with it.  It brings me such joy to see how happy they are when they are dancing, talking about it, and getting ready for it.  It is like a secret club as parents are not allowed in the studio’s, only the drop off areas.  I get little tid bits of information about what they are doing in there.  Hayden is even tap dancing!!

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So now we have more activities to add into our routine.  It is busy, and I feel like I can now completely understand the “Mum’s Taxi” stickers I see on cars.  I feel some days like I am running them here there and everywhere, and I know it is only going to get worse!  So they swim and they dance.  The swimming class is made up of three – so we had one class for just us!!  Hayden swims and is loving it. They are all becoming much more water wise/aware, and able to swim in a purposeful manner.  In saying all of this, I remember so many times feeling like the worst mother in the world because I had not been able to get my kids to swimming lessons (as *everyone* was taking their kids).  The reality of juggling triplets and an older sibling and getting them *safely* to the pool and home was just not going to happen.  There really is an element of fearlessness in a pack of triplets.  I think pack is a suitable word as they really feed off of each other, and just don’t see the perils of walking in from a car park with one adult and four kids.  All holding hands is just fine, but it takes but one small misstep when crossing or moving into the road that freaks me out!  This, while has not deterred me, has been something always taken into account in anywhere I go.  I have not felt, until now, that they have been aware and old enough to get to things like swimming or dancing and appreciate it, and actually thrive and grow from it!

A true testament to how much time has flown is the mere fact that it is almost JUNE, yep, the halfway point of the year, and another month closer to the trio turning four.  Crazy!  This year has flown by in a blur – weeks seemingly roll into one another with the school holidays being parentheses or intermissions.  Term II, already.  CRAZY!

No matter how busy I am, I know that there will be a time (when I am not sure!!) that I will look back and miss this.  This right now – the four kids full of boundless energy, questions and ‘will you play with me’s?’.  I am feeling pretty special that I am everyone’s best friend, as Caitlyn is quite picky and quite often people are not her best friend for some small Caitlyn-esque reason.  I have four children who singlehandedly are heartstoppingly beautiful and take my breath away when I think about all that they are now, and what is still to come.  Then I look around at the devastation that is my home.  I mean it looks like a giant lego vomit some days.  They pick it all up for sure, but some days, you look around and think – if someone where to drop in now, they would think that we lived in squalor!  But, then my reality sets in – my kids have fun, and my house is a home, not a model – quite like me really, well lived in hah!  I don’t have spotless floors, or a fingerprint free fridge, but I don’t want one either.  Those fingerprints are from a little being trying to (likely) steal fruit, or get a drink.  And it is real.  So I just breathe.  I do want clean floors though, so if anyone has any ideas on how to keep them clean, please pass them on!

I have learned to let some things go.  Not cleanliness or anything like that if that is what you are thinking!  But just the importance of having a constantly neat and tidy home.  It is not going to happen.  I can’t even keep my craft area tidy, so I highly doubt my success there will spread to the household!  I try, I really do.  But there are only so many hours in a day.  Some nights, when the kids finally get to sleep, I sit there wide eyed and likely vacant looking wondering what it is now I am supposed to do.  Then I remember the list – bins, washing, dishes, recharge iPads, find lunchboxes or missing items, finish marking something, work, maybe some craft and make a cup of tea.  A cup of tea that I can drink while it is still HOT.  That cup of tea is the best cup of the day!  And the moment I sit down to do something that is not work related or child related, I fall asleep! 

I know that I will miss the mayhem of these days, and the kids at this age.  I know it.  But I also know that they are still going to need me, it is just going to be in differing ways.  I still get asked how I do it all.  I don’t know is the simple answer.  I do it all because I don’t know any different.  We chose to have kids, and instead of one sibling for Hayden, we got three all at once.  So I don’t know any differently.  I know that it is challenging and mighty expensive buying three of just about everything – but it would be similar for larger families to some extent I am guessing. It is challenging, and it is difficult, and some days I want to cry, and some days I do.  Some days I think I am drooling in the corner after their bed time, because the inevitability is that tomorrow will be the same.  I make lists, I make menu plans, I try to be consistent.  I like routine, and they seem to cope well with it.  I probably put my hand up for a few too many extra jobs with school and Kindy, but I want to be involved as both play important roles in my children’s lives.  I forget to mail cards to friends, or mail them months late, and I sometimes even then mail a belated birthday card instead of the pretty birthday card I made.  I try to juggle everything, but, sometimes I let a ball drop.  I can be crap at returning non-work calls.  Because some days I literally cannot stomach the thought of talking on the phone anymore as I have done it all day.  I crave peace and quiet – but once I get it (rarely!!) I worry that something is wrong.

I suppose my friends are the ones that are not getting as much of my attention – and it is not intentional.  It is just life.  This has been something really difficult for me to accept, and I have been really upset many a time about it.  I have four kids, I work and I am a wife; and they have lives too.  I have to find a balance and right now, I am where I need to be.  I think things are cyclical, and before I know it I will be able to devote a chunk of my time to my beloved friends again.  Just as well they love me!

There is great strength in knowing that you are doing all you can – and that are doing a good job.  For me, looking at how happy my kids and husband are is proof that I am doing a few things right.  It has been tough dealing with Jason working away from home and only being home 5-6 days of every fortnight.  But we have adjusted, and it will continue to be a challenge at times, but I think we are all used to it now.  The days that washing gets forgotten are generally the days that Jason is home as he has messed with my routine! 

So on the days that stretch into hours of tears, or sick kids, just breathe.  Because slowing down, and rethinking things can often make a situation change.  And that right now, is all I can do.  Because before I know it, I will have kids that don’t want to play with me, or don’t want a lullaby before sleep.  Until then, lego vomit is acceptable, and so are fingerprint stained doors and fridges (like how I snuck the doors in there as well!)

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The kids nightlights 🙂 I love them!

 

 

Motherhood, Work Life Balance

My Own Little Army

24th March 2014

Right now I live in a dictatorship.  Yep, in Australia.  A dictatorship run by a little army I created.  Four little beings who without a doubt will be the best things I have ever made in my life, rule my life.  Rule my every day, and my every night.  The world according to the ‘regime’ is seemingly delightful if you are the dictator!  Things like pink milk, an endless supply of bananas and yoghurt, and breakfast items for dinner such as porridge, pancakes or Nutri Grain are the constant demands.

I am constantly outnumbered.  They know how to gang up on you.  They wait all day and lull you into a false sense of security.  Thinking that you have stopped them from snacking after 330pm so they may in fact eat their dinner.  Little did you know they had previously *stolen* food from the pantry to dish out later when they want it before dinner.  That split second you take to get the veggies out of the fridge for dinner – that is when they choose to eat the stolen goods.  And then have the audacity to say that they are ‘starving hungry mum, cannot possibly wait for dinner’.  Hmm.   So I cook dinner, in high hopes that they will in fact eat some of it.  Find myself saying ‘eat your tea’, and ‘sit down at the table’ a lot.  A. LOT.

I hide veggies.  I try to pick ‘kid friendly’ meals.  Here are some dinner time snippets –

“Mum, I am not eating this” – pointing to dinner consisting of spaghetti – “So why don’t you just save yourself time and make me a toastie (toasted sandwich) now?”  Insightful, delightful – tactics of a three and a half year old!

“Mum, I can’t like (note it is not won’t or don’t) this…….please can I have a sandwich/cereal?”

“Mum, I am not hungry anymore”

“Mum, I only wanted a sausage, not all this stuff as well (veggies)”

“Mum, this tastes (fettuccine carbonara) like it has like a lot of vegetables in it, are you sure there are none in it?  I am a detective you know”

Some nights it is really quite difficult to keep a straight face.  Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff from?!

Some nights we have a standoff.  And we won’t let them leave the table until they have eaten their dinner.  Caitlyn actually won one night.  She refused to eat her pumpkin.  An HOUR I sat there with her.  After an hour and 15 minutes I gave in.  Seriously, this kid has spunk and will power.

The Pumpkin Incident!

The Pumpkin Incident!

This is the pictorial evidence of the “pumpkin incident”!

Some days it really does feel like I am in the throes of declaring war.  Or am in fact in the middle of a war zone.  Other days, it feels like I am quite literally being dictated too. This tiny little army has me completely exhausted most days, begging for five minutes reprieve of the constant demands –

“Mum, Mummy, MUUUUMMMYYYYY”!

Or the countless times I say

“______ give ______’s ________(insert item here) back to him/her”

Or

“Keep your hands to yourself”

“Stop hitting/pinching/slapping/kicking your brother/sister”

These are, however, the rocking chair moments.  The bonafide life experiences that will always bring with them the feel of chaos!  I will remember these things in years to come, and like to think that I will recant them to the children ad nauseum – particularly when they have kids!

Right now my little army dictates a lot.  And granted most of these demands are seemingly reasonable – I mean who does not want to have a fairy tea party for dinner every night?  If I took all of the fun out of everything I deserve to be dictated too!  Right now, these kids are full of imagination, mystery and wonder.  Their minds are overflowing with ideas, dreams and possibility.  I love them more than words can type or say, and I know that they love me as quite often they say it, particularly when they have not eaten all of their dinner, or in fact want ice cream for dinner because that is what Knights eat.  Hmm.  Dubious much?

Tomorrow is another day full of possibility – and already, at bed time, I have had “Mum, can we have sausages on bread for tea tomorrow night?”.  Ho hum…

Craft, Kids

April…..Already

8th April 2013

Hella Autumn & Hello April!  Some days I am dumbfounded that we are in the fourth month already.  Hayden has completed term one of school, and the triplets are 2 years and nine months old today!  Time flies…and lately it has been hectic to say the least!  As you can see, my blog has had an overhaul (and looks amazing) – the very talented Kellie Winnell is totally responsible for the gorgeousness 🙂
So, a catch up of sorts….Tuesday night we had the pleasure of food poisoning.  Three hours in, and about 20 sheets later I had one of those ‘never thought I would be doing’ moments where I was forcing vomit down the sinkhole plugs.  You know those idle moments where you actually stop and think about what you are doing?!  Well that was one of them for me!  And I have to say, ten years ago, I would never have thought I would be forcing vomit down a plug hole!  Thankfully all four kids were perfectly fine by morning, leaving just me to recover and wash (and wash and wash…..)
Every day I am realising is just whizzing on by.  I am so thankful for technology!  I am able to capture so many moments every day with my phone.  Yep, my phone gets more of a work out than my ‘real’ camera these days, but I love the shots!  We have had quite a few milestones lately – B had his first hair cut – he looks like a real little boy now (not that he was fake before, he just had the baby curls!)  Here are some before and after shots –

The curly mullet :)

during the hair cut - so well  behaved!

during the hair cut – so well behaved!

Showcasing his new style :P

Showcasing his new style 😛

The girls can wait a little longer to have their first hair cuts – Caitlyn has crazy curls still…and Emma, well her hair is super long and more than halfway down her back now!

Easter was a quiet event this year.  We went to the family egg painting day – Caitlyn took things into her own hands and went just a little crazy with the paint…

Crazy Pants Caitlyn

Crazy Pants Caitlyn

The kids had a ball painting eggs and catching up with family.  Here are some of their creations – Emma has a very big artistic streak and had to be dragged away from the eggs and paint!!

Emma getting artsy!

Emma getting artsy!

Some of the 'creations' :)

Some of the ‘creations’ 🙂

One of Emma's many eggs

One of Emma’s many eggs

Red handed!

Red handed!

I love this pic - B nicked off with a Hot Cross Bun to eat it - alone!

I love this pic – B nicked off with a Hot Cross Bun to eat it – alone!

Hayden getting in on the body painting!

Hayden getting in on the body painting!

The kids wear ‘old’ clothes for reasons you can clearly see!  They had a ball 🙂

Hayden’s school Easter Parade was very cute – this year he really had his listening ears on and actually did do the dance correctly!  His Bonnet was also a big cute –

School Bush Dance ;)

School Bush Dance 😉

Hayden's Easter Bonnet

Hayden’s Easter Bonnet

Paying attention!

Paying attention!

The Easter Bunny’s visit was very well received in our house – thankfully the Easter Bunny did not go crazy with chocolates!  There was four very happy little kids here on Easter Sunday.  Chocolate after breakfast was according to B “very yummy”!

The Easter Bunny has been :)

The Easter Bunny has been 🙂

March seemed to fly buy – and looking through photos we did what we do so often, went to the museum a few times!  The Explore-A-Sauras exhibit ends this week, and we have had about 4 visits now.  The kids just loved it.  Hayden is already wondering what will be the next exhibit!  More strolls through Southbank on Sunday afternoons where it is still a blistering heat – longing for the cooler days!!  One Sunday recently we stumbled across the supposed nocturnal possum –

Yep, it is a possum!

Yep, it is a possum!

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The kids were amazed – we used to get many possums at our previous house but only ever saw them at night.  So Caitlyn was wondering why this possum was ‘awake’ when it wasn’t ‘nigh nigh time!’.  I snapped another cool shot – it is of an Ibis, and whilst they are pests, they are really only around because we leave so much waste!  But here is a cool shot anyways –

Ibis

Ibis

This photo actually has no filter – and is not shot in black and white – it is in colour, its just the angle I snapped it at (how the kids saw it – so from 4″ high!).

Daily routine takes over, as we juggle the kids, work and normal day to day things like groceries!  Some days, there is nothing better than nap time.  The trio really try my patience lately, but I guess I am always going to be outnumbered!  In saying that, they are 2 years and 9 months old today and have developed perfectly, and met every milestone often before they should.  I am pretty darn lucky I know, just some days. wow, I am one tired mumma!

We headed to Australia Zoo last Monday.  We bought annual passes last year when we went with some visiting friends.  So we were not bothered about ‘seeing everything’.  Jase forgot the pram…so we had to hire this –

Choo Choo hire!

Choo Choo hire!

The kids loved them – they were great for getting them around and we had often thought about buying them. I think they are probably too old for them now!  We did however, attract a lot of attention!  Hayden was very brave and handled a few creatures –

Alligator!

Alligator!

We spent a great deal of time meandering around and the kids all had a Pony ride.  Interestingly enough, the kids were absolutely entranced by the snakes – in particular, the Taipan!

Taipan!

Taipan!

Our other big milestone – Hayden’s first wiggly tooth!  He is so very excited 🙂

wiggly wobbly tooth with 'adult' tooth behind!

wiggly wobbly tooth with ‘adult’ tooth behind!

I can’t imagine what Hayden is going to look like with his two front teeth missing!  But am surely going to find out soon enough.

That about covers the last few weeks…busy times!

Craft, Motherhood, Work Life Balance

Create…

2nd January 2013

Happy Wednesday, and happy new year!  2013, a brand new year, with hundreds of days of opportunity 🙂

I rang in the new year at work – someone has to do it right?  Night shift on New Years’s – only a nurse/ambo/police officer/doctor truly ‘gets’ it!  I looked after the most wonderful gentleman – he was critically unwell, but had the most wonderful attitude.  His comment to me at 7am – I made his new year lovely, by acknowledging it to him, smiling, and being so kind.  I love nursing, and I always will, but I forget how much of an impact you can make on one person in 8 hours.  I still think that there is really no other field I could be in – nursing is such a big part of me!

Hello 2013 & farewell 2012!

Hello 2013 & farewell 2012!

So, a very big goodbye to 2012.  2012 was such a big year! It was a very eventful year that is for sure, and I am hopeful, as I guess we all are on New Years day or the day after, that 2013 will bring much joy!  I have given up with new years resolutions, as every year, I feel as though I don’t achieve all of the resolutions or I get sidetracked.  I have instead, thought of one word that I can focus on for the whole year and see how thinking about things a little differently can lead to better outcomes.  There idea about one word was from the Happiness Project – a thoughtful and wonderful Christmas present I received this year.  I have read only the first chapter, but was totally gobsmacked by this –

“As I looked out the blurry bus window, I saw two figures cross the street – a woman about my age trying simultaneously to balance an umbrella, look at her cell phone, and push a stroller carrying a yellow-slicked child.  The sight gave me a jolt of recognition – that’s me.  I thought, there I am.  I have a stroller, a cell phone, an alarm clock, an apartment, a neighbourhood.  Right now, I am riding the same crosstown bus that I take across the park, back and forth.  This is my life – but I never give any thought to it.

“Is this really it?” I found myself wondering, and answering, ‘yep, this is it’.  But though at times I felt dissatisfied, that something was missing, I also never forgot how fortunate I was.  When I woke up in the middle of the night, as I often did, I’d walk from one room to another to gaze at my sleeping husband tangled in the sheets and my daughters surrounded by their stuffed animals, all safe.  I had everything I could possible want – yet I was failing to appreciate it.  Bogged down in petty complaints and passing crises, wearing of struggling with my own nature, I too often failed to comprehend the splendour of what I have” (Gretchen Rubin, 2009, p2).

I was amazed at the similarities and honestly felt that I could have written the very same paragraph!  (except not as well, and using Pram, Mobile etc….)  I was taken aback by how much I likely do take for granted and now fail to appreciate. Every day, well almost every day, seems to be a unique juggling act around the kids, work and chores.  With these ‘tasks’ in the forefront of my mind, I do think I over look the  day to day things, but still things I should be thankful for!  I guess being stupidly busy does take its toll sometimes and the smaller things become less significant as we overlook them.  I often get asked how I fit everything in, and how I manage with not just triplets but a five year old.  Truth is, I don’t know any different!  I think this is why I am seeking for more malleable and achievable goals.  Little steps, to fit in with my already crammed day!

 

On January 31, I completed the Project 365 – I took a photo a day for a whole year!  I am actually really glad I stuck it out, and really impressed with what I see.  There are so many seemingly little things in those months and days that I would have otherwise not recorded remembered or even thought of!  The comparison’s between months in watching the kids grow and develop is amazing!  It is also quite lovely to see the smaller things like little changes to our house and the before and after photos!  This was how December ended up –

Goodbye December!

Goodbye December!

 

So, looking back over December alone, I can see how time poor I am most of the time (no intentional play on words there!!).  I put a great deal of thought into what I want to achieve this year – with all my hats on – mummy, wife, friend, etc.  What I want is to create.  So create is my word.  I want to create opportunities, meaning, organisation, routine and fun!  I know I cannot make more time, but I can create ways to make more of my time.  Focusing immediately on what takes up my time is clear – kids and work.  Can’t get rid of either of those (one is illegal, and second would mean no home!) so I need to make a way to better allow me to best use my time.  I am excellent at To-Do lists and figure that this can play in well.  I have bought a teacher’s diary to map out my teaching and keep the hours under control.  I am fixing in times each day as set times so that I am more bound to my hours as opposed to keeping myself completely open and working over the top.  This is a big step for me.  Emails can wait 24 hours.  The world will not end! Working from home does have its disadvantages, but for me, right now, it is still an excellent option.  I just need to be strict with myself and schedule the time.  Create a timetable that is healthy for me!

 

Create a fitness timetable that is achievable so that I am not disappointed in myself, or think that the treadmill is yet again glaring at me.  Jason & I have 2 scheduled PT sessions a week, both one hour.  I think we will be ramping this up to 3 per week as we are completing the Tough Mudder in August at the Sunshine Coast.  This is a MASSIVE event for us and really highlights the commitment we have put into our health and fitness.  A year ago neither of us would have been able to do a 5 minute jog, let alone an event like this!

 

Creating a balance – comes back to time, but I need to make the time to see the people I love more often!  There are so many people I am missing right now!  It hit me on new year’s eve how little I have seen of many of my friends recently – the silly season seemingly overtook my time as well!  I need to create more opportunities to see my friends!  I have become so entrenched with my routine that I could not see the forest for the trees!  I can change when I do the groceries or any other chore – and that is exactly what I am going to do.  Monthly BBQ’s, picnics or coffee catch ups are in order, and I just need to  schedule the time in so it is not another thing to juggle.  I work best with a routine!!

 

And finally, the other big area, would be creating – craft.  I have decided that this year I am going to complete  Project Life . Created by Becky Higgins, it is a very simplified but gorgeous way to capture and record your day, week and year. Using only the products in the core kit, a pen and your photos.  No searching for the perfect embellishment!  It is just gorgeous!  I have ordered my core kit and am busting for it to arrive.

 

So, 2013, you are going to be good!  You are going to be great!  I will focus on creating, rather than “I will lose 10kgs”, or some random resolution; and will seek out happiness, balance and joy.  Good intentions never last I hear you say?  Well, time will tell, but right now, it’s baby steps.  Change is always difficult when it involves accepting what you have done or not done – change is raw, honest and well, brutal, sometimes.  So, wish me luck, and I will keep you posted 🙂

Happy New Year!