Being present is something I struggle with. My inner world is like the Narnia to my England. I spend a lot of time in my head. This is part of my personality yes, but it is not always particularly healthy. With my relationships with others and in becoming a parent – being present is vital. All hail to my abstract reality because here is my wandering attention to the physical one. Last night I read this article: ‘Daily Rhythm at Home and it’s Lifelong Relevance‘.  I am encouraged to continue to pursue being present.

Rather than highlighting where I am not being present (hola, look at my life). Where I am already being present?

In breastfeeding Claire. I literally cannot do anything else. No that’s not quite true. I can play on my phone, there’s a whole external inner reality in the internet. But many times I cannot play on my phone and I certainly can no longer watch anything while I feed her or she doesn’t feed. I found this one of the hardest things in having a baby. I like to be busy and to get things done even if it is relevant to collating ideas etc. but I had to stop. I don’t always do this terribly well, but it is an enforced stop where I can – if I’m in a reasonable place use it to be present to what is going on. My life is richer for it.

Behind the camera. Oddly I am more present when I have a camera lens to my face – when I’m shooting a wedding. Perhaps it is the necessity to be finely tuned in to what is going on, to be attentive to the moments so as not to miss them. It teaches me to be observant and to be there in the moment.

I will keep looking out for places I am most present so as to continue to cultivate this stillness. There is joy hiding.

Baby Enneagram One Life Personality Photography

Recognising the characteristics of a Enneagram One, we don’t celebrate small achievements well. The inner critic is ‘strong with this one’. And so here is a small celebration of some things I’ve done recently that I have spent a long time not doing and a long time wanting to do.

1. Meet my neighbour

We moved to this house back in February. After living on a main road with almost never seeing our neighbours we are now in a court. A court off a court. You can’t get much more ‘communal’ than that. Not that it’s a very communal street at all. I had every intention of going to meet at least one of my neighbours and it never happened. You know when you leave these things a few months, you’re no longer ‘new’ and it just gets more and more awkward (in my head). About a month ago those neighbours moved out. The house has been empty since then. Yesterday I met Mark. He is my neighbour. He was pulling down the fence/fixing the pailings between our two houses. He came to the door to ask if it was fine to walk across our property. He and his wife (whom I have not met) are fairly similar in age to us. When I was heading out to get groceries I had another brief chat to him. They own the place and they are renovating. I have met my neighbour.

2. Composting

Another little thing. We live in an area where you get three bins: recycling, rubbish and green-waste/composting. We have major issues with our rubbish as in this region you get a half size bin and it is emptied once every two weeks. This is a great theory and works to reduce waste until you have a baby and nappies OR you go on holidays and forget to put your bin up. I am currently using our greenwaste bin to store excess (humbug). Regardless, our lovely rental came with it’s own, rather robust compost bin which I haven’t been using. When I first moved in I put some scraps in a bucket and erm, I am embarrassed to say that the bucket is still under the sink (I don’t want to know about it). But as of this week I have been using a small open top container on the bench and when it fills up I take it out. I am composting.

3. Journalling

As mentioned in my previous post, I have started journalling again, after a much too long hiatus. This also means I am spending somewhat regular time reading my bible and praying and reflecting a bit more on life. Something I used to do regularly and something I find I need to do, to main some kind of inner clarity.

4. Cooking

I am a lazy cook. I can cook okay, but we eat a lot of pasta. Pasta sauce often just from the jar. I have had a long standing goal to plan some meals and so consequently eat better, spend less. Yesterday I did just that. I roughly planned some meals. Went shopping. Sadly the local fruit and veg shop isn’t open Mondays – which I’d forgotten. But best of all: I didn’t get bogged down in a system (which is what always thwarts me… wanting to instigate some kind of comprehensive database so I can plug in the meal I want to cook and spit out a shopping list – which is still terribly appealing and I do have a marvelous app that will do so, it just need a lot of work to get it functional). Last night I made gnocchi  from scratch. And I have some other different food planned for the rest of the week. Nothing too daunting, just different. Geoff does probably most of the cooking, but I’d like to learn to cook better: some simple, tasty, healthy meals – variety. Two of my sisters are great at this and the other one is a pastry chef/librarian-in-training (I don’t even want to pretend to compete!).

I find that routine is truly helpful for instigating stuff in my life. With a baby now on a routine (and boy does she have a freakish inner clock) I am set up with regular blocks of time and if I intentionally do certain things in those blocks of time, things get done.

Enneagram One Experiments House Life Sustainable

Post Facebook Lent.
oddly, now that I am ‘back to normal’ I have finally found a wee bit of headspace to think.
it is remarkable when you rediscover that ability. To think.

I did need the space. Lent. However the time was so full of other ‘must dos’ and now that is over and finally I can shuffle things around things to where they can be re-evaluated.
So I am shuffling. Somewhat slowly. Shuffling and re-evalutating.

Perhaps words will resurface to the top again?

Did I mention I got an iPad (1) for my birthday, it’s uber fun. Perhaps it is not helping me find space directly, but it is new and fun. Did I mention that it is fun? It’s really the most fun present I’ve ever received.

And the Enneagram email was a beast the other day:

As a One, you are part of the Frustration-Based Group. Ones are frustrated that the world is not more sensible and orderly. The antidote for your frustration is acceptance of reality. (Understanding the Enneagram, 318)

Blogging Enneagram One Life

Life has beautiful ebbs and flows. Right now it is raining and to appease my insatiable appetite for the slightly odd. I am wearing a shortish blue dress with brown knee high socks, a brown cardy, the marvelous red heart (a bit like this one), the favourite beret and have a whopping great big cup of tea. It feels nice.

Life feels nice. It feels nice when there is this ebb between the mass of busy. It feels nice when summer appears in Autumn to apologise for it’s absence. It feels nice taking one of my old youth group girls to lunch and discovering shared loves of oppshops and nerdiness. It feels nice to make the kitchen area interesting with a cabinet of old cameras. It feels nice to be throwing a party for my 25th and to be going to the opera with the twin this week to celebrate the same.

I like little things. It’s scary when you recognise how much of these are a privilege. My one’ness often gets in the way of enjoying such things, it sits whistling in the back corner holding a balloon that says ‘right the wrong’, waving little flag that says ‘guilt’. But for now today I’ll drink my cup of tea, wear my peculiar clothes and design my birthday invite.

I am off facebook for lent.

What are your little things?

Image Source: ‘Island” by Naked Pastor, was a bit peeved it sold before I could get to it. A print would be lovely.

Enneagram One Life Op Shop Personality