Thursday, March 26, 2015

Guest Post :: Rainbow Choc Chip Life :: By Amy

I'm thrilled to be bringing you this Guest Post today.  Because this chic is ace.  I've only met her a handful of times but she is besties of a bestie of mine so I hear lots of good stuff about her.  And she's one of those people that once you've met you're like "We must get together again soon"  and they're like, "Yeah we really should."  But then you think "Oh they're just saying that to be polite" so you add, "No REALLY, we should get together again soon!" And then they back away from you slowly with that look in their eye that says "Okay crazy-lady, you're starting to freak me out."

Amy used to have a lovely little blog called One Missing Button which you can still check out here

On her about page she quotes Dr Howard Thurman in saying:
 "Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.  Because what that world needs is people who can come alive."  
And then Amy adds,
"I don't know if the world needs another blog.  I'm guessing not.  But I'm here anyway."

And I don't know if Amy knows this but her about page had a massive influence on me having the confidence to publish this blog.  Her words were a real inspiration.

Because as a beginner blogger it it so easy to become overwhelmed with thoughts of "What could I possibly add?"  There are so many blogs out there.  Gazillions.  And plenty of them are really good.  And some of them are really, really, super good.  And it's impossible sometimes to think that I can possibly have anything to say that hasn't already been said, probably in a better or more interesting or more creative way than I could ever say it.

And if I listened to these self doubts I wouldn't be here.  And in the scheme of things that matters naught.  If this little blog and my little voice wasn't here when you woke up tomorrow the world would continue to turn.

This blog is not going to set the world on fire.  But it does give me a certain spark.  And in that way, that small way it matters.  It matters quite a lot.  Maybe not to anybody else.  But to me.

So thanks Amy, for helping my find my voice and the courage to put it out there!

Amy wants to describe herself as having a very spicy, exotic and much talked about life.  Only that's not the truth.  Not for right now anyway.  For right now Amy is a full time Mum of three.  Her kids are about to all be at school and that's a massive transition period, a time for trying to work out what you want to do and to some degree who the hell you are anymore.  Or maybe that's just me?

In any case Amy is an all round gorgeous girl whose voice I am happy to showcase here anytime.

I'm hoping you'll here a lot more from her.

Guest Post : Rainbow Choc Chip Life : By Amy

A few things recently have made me realise that subconsciously I am constantly striving to reach that place in my life where there is nothing weighing me down, stressing me out, or making me sad. 

Striving for peace, happiness and constant calm (with or without accompanying making of daisy chains and kumbaya-singing).  

A lot of it is wishing there was not a constant barrage of sadness from the News every night. 

I yearn for that point in time when there are no more beheadings on You Tube (or off), when there are no more refugees fleeing for their lives and then facing rejection on our shores, when women are no longer killed by those who claim to love them, when finally there are no more stories to hear of harrowing childhoods that should have been wondrous and free.  

In my life I am still waiting for when there will be no more lives uprooted by that hideous cancer, no more kids left without their mum or dad at too young an age, no marriages falling apart, no financial strain.  

And on a mundane level, I am always trying to get to that elusive place where my lists are all ticked off (and let me assure you my lists are copious, it’s like I have a weird kind of list diarrhoea).  

That place where there is nothing left undone:  when I have finally switched health insurance providers, got the car problems sorted, replanted the veggie patch, cleaned the inside of my bin, bought the kids’ get the picture. 

But I have decided I don’t actually want to aim for that any more, because life will never be that neat and easily wrapped up. Finished. Completed.  (Until it really IS and I am certainly not ready for that!).  

Being part of society means there will always be things to do, contributions to make to our communities local and broader.  And as much as I wish for days with no agenda, do I really want a life free from things that need to be done?  

It would be a bit sad and lacking in excitement.  Kind of bland boring vanilla I guess.  

My life will never be perfect in that way and as much as I would also love a world with no conflict and disasters and sickness, these things will always be in our world.   

It doesn’t mean we should give up hope and stopping fighting the many injustices around us, but maybe we also need to accept that there will always be awful things that happen in both the world and our lives personally.  

It is why striving for happiness all the time doesn’t work  - because life isn’t just about being happy.  It is so much more.  Life IS an imperfect journey full of twists and turns and set backs.  We are meant to experience anger and frustration and grief and sadness as well as elation and joy and love.  Surely this is what makes our experience of life deep, many layered and pretty damn exceptional?  

What that means for me I don’t know. 

Clearly I’m not going to go looking for things that make me sad or angry but I think I do need to accept that these emotions are sometimes inevitable. 

Today I had a bit of an emotional gut-punch and I sat there having a cry in the bedroom feeling overwhelmed by my husband just having left for 3 months overseas (the life of a mum, having to hide in the bedroom for a cry.  It’s almost as bad as the behind the pantry door chocolate gobbling!).  

I was so frustrated at myself for being upset.  And then I thought, stop being shocked and angry about being sad woman!  Sadness is sometimes just a part of life and no one is immune to that.  I need to stop trying to make everything in my life lead to happiness all the time and then be surprised when something undermines all that.  

These emotions aren’t to be escaped from. I need to let them come, observe them, and then let them go.  

It’s okay to feel helpless and outraged about what happens in the world, and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by my never ending to do list, and it’s okay to feel gutted by hearing the cancer’s back in someone’s life.  

These things, as much as we wish they wouldn’t happen, do happen and in a way help us feel and live more deeply and fully somehow.  

So perhaps it’s a shift in focus I need.  Instead of the quest for personal happiness which seems a little self-indulgent and egocentric (yes I do have some issues with that book!), it needs to be a quest for a positive outlook, a recognition of the small daily blessings in our life and more value on our connections to others and the community.  

Maybe that outlook will help me accept the harder stuff in life and not feel like all is lost when suddenly not everything is easy and rosy.

Life will at times be hard.  Sometimes the grief is so deep and so raw, sometimes the anger and frustration so all-consuming.  

And other times life is so good I feel like joy is bubbling over within me and I can’t contain it.  What I am trying to get better at, is accepting that ALL of it is an expected part of life.  

I would much rather live a life with the tear-inducing lows if it means I can also reach those heady heights when I feel that everything is worth a try.  

So next time I am crying behind my cupboard door I’ll remember I don’t want to be vanilla anyway.  
I want to be freaking rainbow-choc-chip!   Even if it does come with an occasional side of snotty tear-streaked face. 

Seeking happiness can be a real trap, don't you think?

I mean life is just not meant to be happiness all the time, right?

Us humans are such nutty creatures and that full spectrum of emotion is a part of the package.

I dunno.  Part of me wants to get all Buddhist and be like, "I'm striving for equanimity".

But Amy paints a pretty enticing picture of the rainbow chic chip life.

Yeah, I think I'm up for a bit of that.

Are you vanilla or rainbow chic chip?


  1. I'm vanilla... but I am partial to a bit of a garnish. Makes me feel fancy without challenging my core vanilla self, you know? Great post, thanks for introducing us to Amy, Kate!

    1. Haha! Vanilla with sprinkles. Love that. Isn't Amy lovely? I hope she'll be popping in here lots more in the future. x

  2. Oh what lovely words you write Miss Kate, thank you so much. Very generous and kind of you. Yes I totally agree writing a blog matters so much to the writer irrespective of who is or is not reading it. It makes you take time out to reflect and contemplate and get some creativity down on paper. I really miss the spark writing my blog gave me. It made me take note of what was happening in my day, every day. I was so much more in tune and looking for things to absorb, appreciate and write about later. I need to get back to a creative outlet clearly! Thanks again and keep writing!!!