I’ve been thinking.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. This is 2018. It’s the year to get shit done.

I’ve been thinking about why life gets so uncomfortable and why we stay in situations we hate without remembering that our time here is limited.

When we’re on our deathbed, what will we regret? 

Unfulfilled dreams. Not loving enough. Not communicating what we really felt. 

As someone who has spent most of her life in a existential turmoil, I feel like this is the answer to solve those crises. 

Live your truth. Make it happen. Only you can take the steps forward to achieve your peace. 

Seek and you shall find. 

I’ve been thinking.

The meaning of Life. 

So many people I know are in their 30’s and are single. Many of them, hitting their late 30’s and really starting the feel the push of making the decision to chose their career or to be overwhelmed with a rush to find that special someone and settle down. Buy a house in the ‘burbs and have children. 

The other day, a friend who has just recently separated from his partner of 7 years, called me to ask if he could borrow my stand up paddle board. Before he asked that though, he asked if he could ask me a question. Instead of asking to borrow the SUP, he asked ‘Sally, what is the meaning of life?’ 

My immediate response was to say ‘It just is.’

The more I think about this question, the more I feel like maybe I finally got the answer right. 

I’ve spent a lifetime in an existential crisis. What is the meaning of it all? How long do I have? Am I doing it right? 

You know what I realised?  The fact that we exist is the meaning of it all. 

It’s like that zen moment in the end of the Dark Crystal after the gelfling replaces the crystal chard and the mystics and the skekzis become one. Suddenly, they stop fighting and calm descends over them all. 

We don’t need to search. We don’t need to fight. We don’t need to stress. We just need to be. The world will keep turning. Even if there is an all out nuclear war, the world will keep turning. 

It just is. 

The meaning of Life. 

Learning to photo. 

Port Noarlunga Oct 2017-1-17My life has been a series of misfortunes and luck.

When I was a kid, ideas of my future career scrambled around combining the illustrious career of working in the Levi’s factory that was once located in my hometown, with a sideline in hairdressing.

As I got older and realised every little girl wanted to be a hairdresser, I moved in to the idea of marine biologist or artist. Of course being the 90’s, all of the adults that surrounded me told me that to be a marine biologist I’d have to work hard and move interstate, making the idea sound impossible. All the adults told me that artists only make money once their dead. Even photographers and graphic designers don’t make money.

And so on I meandered, through a BA where I didn’t do particularly well but I did enough to pass, through to a graduate diploma in visual arts which I foolishly sidelined for a stupid, horrible relationship (young love, hey?). During these times, I had been fortunate enough to have been given fabulous jobs in youth work, disability, and cleaning. These people who gave me these positions obviously saw something in me that I didn’t know I possessed. I felt awkward and weird and lost.

I felt like I was constantly waiting for something big. I was destined. If only I knew what it was.

And so fast forward ten years. Skip over a nursing degree, and 8 years in a permanent position. A grad dip and a casual position. And now a masters. All the while falling in an out of photography, art and deejaying, but feeling like a fraud. I was interesting hearing Zan Rowe talking the other day about how no matter how well we have done for ourselves, we’ll always feel like an imposter.

Throughout my life, two things have been constant: my need to have more than one job at once, and the opportunity to make and create.

I’ve always tried to fake it till I made it, remembering that even Jackson Pollock felt like a fraud. I’ve never been particularly confident, but then I’ve never particularly dedicated my heart and soul to any endeavour. I had a blog that could have been so much more. I curated and ran life drawing groups and painted. I deejayed and photographed all whilst feeling extreme lightening bolts of self doubt. Jack of all trades. Master of none.

And so now, I’m starting to get it. I’ve made my plans and I’ve chosen a future, kinda. Having kids has certainly help me realise what’s important, and I want to be a good role model for them.

It’s now the time that stop winging it and improve my skill set.

I like to google. I google everything. I’ve got a lot of questions and thanks to the internet I now have most of the answers.

So one late night, around the time that I hit burnout with my job, I googled online photography courses.

I found The Photography Institute and immediately enrolled. It’s taken a little while to get into the swing of things, with getting married and having two kidlets all in the space of three years. The beauty of this course is that I can take my time. They allow me that privilege and now I’m on a roll.

I’m learning so much. With each unit that I read, I find answers that google couldn’t give me. My passion is evolving and I honestly love it. It’s making me excited for the future and giving me focus.

I’m feeling like less of a fraud.

The Photography Insitute is where you can find out more.
PS This is not a sponsored post.

Learning to photo. 

Minus shift work. 

Today is Friday. Friday in the world of maternity leave is not a great deal different to most other days with one exception. 

I know that tomorrow, I’ll wake up, roll over & see all the faces in the family I’ve made. 

That I’ve created. 

Lately, it occurred to me that even if I live to be 100, that’s only 38,900 days on this planet. It’s just not enough. That realisation has really spurred me to reassess my priorities and goals. 
My future hopes are: 
•Focus on family. Give them my undistracted time, love & attention. 
•Remember that happiness from things is only temporary and stop spending money on things that will soon become clutter. 
•Work my garden. Help it grow. 
•Save the monies. Get debt free. Buy a house so that when I’m old, I’ll be debt free, won’t have to pay rent & have an investment for my kids. 
I’m far from perfect. These are simple goals. 
I want to stop wanting more things. I think that’s the key. 
I’m generally happy with the things I have here & now. I don’t need more clutter. 
This is it. 

Minus shift work. 

Brassica in Spring. 

I’ve been learning about my garden. 

I’ve been interested in gardening since I can remember, but can’t say I’ve been particularly good at it. I’d take an interest. Then loose an interest. Plants would thrive. Plants would die. 

I didn’t understand why the plants would die, or that it is common practice to have to plant more seeds during specific months. I didn’t understand much about fertiliser or my worm farm. 

Slowly but surely, I’m gaining the knowledge of how it all works. 

And here’s the thing. 

Every morning I wander around my tiny yard that still somehow spaciously houses my tiny, urban farm and it brings me joy. 

Joy to see my tiny seeds sprout. 

Joy to pick the fruits of my labour and understand how they will nourish me & my family. 

Joy to feel the warmth of the sun and the cool of the rain and take a deeper understanding of just exactly the purpose of it all is. 

Joy to feel the dirt beneath my feet. 

Joy to watch the wonder in my babies eyes as they see the plants emerge. 

Everyone should find their tiny garden. 

Brassica in Spring. 

Learning the art of crochet with Bright Red Cherries. 

I’m on mat leave with at least 20 other women at the moment. That seems like a lot, until you realise that I work with about 350 people- most of them women. 

We have a good crew. Mostly creative, lateral thinkers so it’s no surprise that so many of us were keen to learn crochet whilst nursing our babies, making them beanies and booties. This winter’s been a bit cold here in Adelaide. 

I’d seen instagram posts for Bright Red Cherries and thought I’d contact them to see if they were interested in teaching a couple of classes to me and my friends. We had a venue sorted, so Cherry was keen to come to our baby friendly space and teach us the basics. 

Many of us had had a go at crochet before, copying videos on YouTube- but you know what? That stuff doesn’t stick. I can copy it perfectly and come away with no idea how to do it again without having to rewatch the video. 

Cherry’s instructions were clear and simple. I came away confident that I could read a pattern and understand the basics. 

Cherry and her mum are such lovely people. They’re patient and easy to understand, so even amongst the chaos of crying, breastfeeding, nappy changing and coffee drinking, this old craft of crochet was handed from two women to 20 others like a gift to bring joy for the future. 

I’ve already made beanies for upcoming birthdays. 

Cherry runs regular classes at E for Ethel in North Adelaide. 

Learning the art of crochet with Bright Red Cherries. 

Little Merchants

I’m sitting here with my 3 month old baby on my lap, trying to type as she wriggles. My two year old is asleep on the couch and somewhere in amongst the current calm that has bestowed this house, I have decided that now would be a good time to write or make some art. A lack of canvas has lead me to type away my incessant creativity, as my right forearm is getting gummed and little arms flail around.

The Friday just gone was a good post day. I met the delivery man twice that day. He was a funny man, perhaps in his 50’s. He cracked jokes and gave the parcels to my two year old and made her feel very important. It was quite  sweet of him to have a chat. Being on maternity leave can be a bit lonesome. Having a brief interaction where you don’t have to repeat yourself and who talks at the appropriate times is quite a relief.

One thing I do happen to do a bit of whilst on maternity leave, or so it appears, is online shop. My latest purchase has come from the lovely Kate of Little Merchants. I met Kate quite a few years ago now,  and she has always struck me as a pure soul with a lot of love to give. She’s the sort of girl who simultaneously has her feet on the ground and her head  in the clouds. We haven’t exactly kept in touch, but the state of cyber space allows me to vaguely keep track of those of whom I would have likely otherwise lost track of, and Kate is one of those people.

Kate has been a wanderer, that’s for sure. I met her here in Adelaide, and from here she spent some time near Perth and then moved to Brisbane and is now in Far North Queensland. She has an adorable little girl and becoming a mother has clearly been a huge inspiration for starting her online business, Little Merchants.

Little Merchants is an online store that specialises in selling baskets and baby changing baskets. What makes these baskets special, is they are each unique and individual, woven with elephant grass by women in Ghana. Buying a basket from Little Merchants gives back to small communities in Ghana, whilst looking beautiful on my arm at the local farmers market. The baskets, with their natural dyes and materials are eco-friendly and sustainable, which is a huge thing for me and is thankfully becoming more and more the norm.

I chose this one, as turquoise is my favourite colour, whilst pink is my two year olds. It’s sturdy, bright and incredibly well made. I could feel the love that Kate has for Little Merchants throughout the whole purchase in the stylish branding and the simplicity of the packaging.

The Little Merchants Instagram & Facebook feed is awash with images that simultaneously celebrate nature and motherhood.

You can find the website at www.littlemerchants.com.au

Little Merchants