Buvette Masthead

Monday Moment: Always something

Emma Grey

Okay, I’ve started this several times and don’t know which topic to pick, because there’s so much going on this week…

I could write about the meltdown my teenager had on the weekend about upcoming exams (which reminds me why I never took specialist maths or chemistry). Or about my advice on the necessity of proper breaks while studying/working (but what would Mum know, right?)

I could talk about the way her best friend and her sister pounded on the door on Saturday night with a block of chocolate to cheer her up, offering precious support in direct reverse of the support she dished them in bucket-loads this time last year over a much more serious challenge (leukaemia).

I could tell the story of having handed them my credit card—instructing them to take her somewhere and not bring her home until she’d relaxed (thinking ‘ice cream’, not ‘Prada’)—and how I trust them implicitly to do the right thing. It was trust confirmed when they arrived home without spending a cent after driving around listening to tunes in the car… smiles all around.

Or maybe I’d write about how my only (and favourite, nonetheless) auntie was rushed to hospital suddenly with a heart problem yesterday ahead of probable surgery today, or about my dear friend’s father’s serious illness, or another friend’s sudden loss of her father-in-law last week or another friend’s father’s hospitalisation over something else… and about us being the ‘sandwich generation’ and not necessarily wanting to be this grown up, just yet.

I could write about my four-year-old’s tantrum over the Ninja Turtles HQ toy in Target on Sunday, which resulted in him not only screaming Target down, but almost pulling my track-pants off trying to drag me back to the toy section, only for us to do battle with the pay parking meter and have him screaming beside me while I was trying to hear the instructions of the parking-help guy over the loud speaker with a queue of twenty or more behind us…

Or maybe I could branch into a topic about work. That thing we squeeze in around all of the life and death stuff, and how much of it there is, both here and interstate…

Or I could tell you about the fact that my teen novel was rejected by its third publisher last week.

Or about the message I had from a teenager I don’t know saying she thought it was the best book she’d ever read, which turned that situation around in an instant…

Or about sacking the tutor, and finding a brilliant one, or worrying if I offended the un-subscriber, or about my emails to the school principal re the same-sex marriage booklet, or how a dear schoolfriend has offered to bake brownies and post them interstate to cheer up my daughter mid-exams…

I could go on (and on), but what I really want to say is this:

On Saturday, I spent five hours—five blissful hours—at a yoga retreat. (And just in the nick of time, I hear you say…)

The retreat had been gifted to me late last year by the lovely PJ, from Simplicity Retreats, after I wrote an article about feeling worn down late last year. I’m not feeling down any more, but the retreat couldn’t have come at a better time—although, really, any week would be fabulous, wouldn’t it?

Even when we say ‘no’ and take time out and do all the right things to make our lives easier, life comes at us. Living can be full-on, even when nothing too bad is happening. If it’s not us, it’s someone dear to us. If it’s not them, it’s someone dear to them.

All around us, all the time, swirl ‘all the things’ we can’t control. All the worries. All the steps up to the next level of what we’re good at. All the times we mess up. All the times we succeed but it’s exhausting.

I do have a point but, as Julia Roberts said in ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ – am I going to get to it?

Sunlight on the deck. Herbal tea. Sweet potato and walnut soup in the sun with new people. Long, carefree, guided meditations. Phone off.

No netball scores. No ‘I hate chemistry’ texts. No ‘can you bring the paper please?’

No anything for a few hours, except ME.

I felt like a new woman.

I urge you to take some time out.

ps. About half an hour after the retreat, I took my sixteen-year-old out for driving practice and it was all undone in five minutes… but that’s another story! 😉

Take a break! It’s BRILLIANT!


Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author