Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Long post! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had lovely Christmases. Ours was very quiet with visiting family, perfect really.

Ah it has been so long and I have missed my blog. I have been writing here and there and perhaps I should have just posted it all here as well to keep readers interested. I fear I have become such an infrequent blogger recently that no one is reading anymore. Comments are very rare, so then I think ah well, no one will miss me. But I miss it and you so shall continue blogging regardless! You will be pleased to hear that I am finally getting published again! Not my motherhood book, I have left that to brew for a while. But two short stories will appear in a new book called Expat Journals. I have also co- written an article on gang rape soon to be published in LOOK magazine, which has opened up another world to me, one of slavery and cruelty beyond most people’s wildest imaginings. The sex trade will become my campaign of 2009 I think.
Of course right this minute I should be studying. This always happens. I open my books and read a few pages of my yoga files, that cover everything you can possibly think of that has anything to do with life, as we do and do not know it... the anatomy of the human heart, the soul, dharma versus karma, destiny versus fate, recipes for health, how to love a woman... it is like a sacred manual for succeeding in life and death that I have in my hands. As I read I can’t believe how it is that I have lived for 35 years without thinking about all of this! For ten of them I have even practiced yoga and enjoyed the experience, but still not given it much thought. I always thought of us as human beings who have the chance of a spiritual experience but now I believe we are spiritual beings born with the chance of a human experience. I was always postponing the spiritual experience but now that I see it in reverse and am practicing daily yoga and meditation, I feel very different. I feel like a spiritual being who is constantly trying to improve, and live to the full, life as a human being. And the result is that, mostly, life feels so much easier lately. Things work out, knock backs don’t hurt so much, anger and despair are no longer daily or weekly emotions for me. The river just seems to flow more smoothly somehow.

Because of the changes I feel in my life since following this path, every time I sit down to study I last about five minutes before I get so inspired I want to tell everyone about it! Last time I attempted my homework I ended up writing a poem. Often I go and do yoga or meditate. The thing I really struggle with is staying put and doing my assignments! I will never get my certificate at this rate, though I could argue that I am experiencing it and spreading the word.

Well today I shall give myself only 20 more minutes to blog and then I shall get back to my studies I promise. My plans for 2009 are to get this certificate under my belt so that I am no longer bound by homework and reading course work and can focus more time on writing and reading about all the other things I want to, still all closely related to yoga and mothering of course. Then I will have more time to develop my teaching and begin to work therapeutically with women and children who have suffered trauma.

But, this will probably be in the UK now, rather than here. Yes! In six months or so my blog will have a distinctly colder, windier, wetter feel to it altogether. We are leaving Cambodia. The decision has been made and although I still have half a year to enjoy and so much I want to achieve while I am here, I can no longer think of anything else.

This is where you can help me, my British readers at any rate. I am staying awake worrying about car seats and the tantrums that go with them, twenty layers of clothing (and the tantrums that go with them), the sudden exposure of my very stylish (dresses over skirts over skirts are her latest thing) and confident four year old to peer pressure, fashion, labels, consumerism generally (and the tantrums that go with that!)...

How negative all this sounds. I am also kept awake with exciting plans for creating a lovely room for my children in my father’s house where we are moving for a while, to keep him company and to delay the decision about where on earth we should settle; dreaming about the vegetables we will grow in order to survive while my husband studies and I look after the children. I will teach and write too when I get the chance but still, we have pretty much decided to be broke for a while and enjoy being together as a family. So yes, that is a lot of vegetables we need to grow. I am excited about bringing Kundalini Yoga to the countryside, though town halls and school gyms feel less than ideal after having been so fortunate to teach on wind swept, sun dappled roof tops in Phnom Penh.

Probably what keeps me awake most, having complained about the heat for three years, is the cold! Suddenly I am terrified of moving back to cold, and so often grey England. Having longed for home all this time I am now realising that life in the tropics is so easy as a mother. The kids are always naked, potty training happens with us barely noticing, clothing and shoeing the girls costs practically nothing, and we always get to see the sun. I get sudden panics that the girls will suffer depression from seeing so little sun after having it everyday for most of their lives. How pathetic I sound. I’ll tell you why.

Over the last few weeks Cambodia has been officially cold. 24 degrees in the shade. The water in the pools feels so cold that I hardly take the girls swimming anymore. I am wearing jeans and a jumper as I write, and even Jemima wrapped herself up in my cardigan on the Tuk Tuk on her way to school this morning. 24 degrees! What has happened to me? My friends and family won’t recognise me. This is the same woman who has swam in the coldest Cornwall seas, who for thirty years could not physically pass a lake, river, sea or pool without having to get in, whatever the weather, whatever the season. I stopped short of those Boxing Day or New Years Day plunges, but only because we were never near water. Had it been a family tradition I would have been first in. I was your hearty English lass. James reminds me how utterly unsympathetic I was when he quite literally turned blue on the beach one summer on holiday in Cornwall with my family. I have been spoilt, my character has softened. And if I have, imagine how the girls will react to the cold English seas. Of course by the time we leave here we will have endured the hot season and I will be back to my old sweaty, miserable, moaning self (it will be interesting to see if the yoga and meditation will mean that the heat becomes easier to endure too, I will let you know), so hopefully the cold will seem more enticing by then.

James says the biggest shock for me will be no longer having Sophy around the house to take Bella whenever I want to write or do yoga. He is so right. I am quickly realising that all the things I want to do for myself will have to wait until after bedtime. At the same time I am looking forward to spending more time with Bella while Jemima is at school. Now I tend to work most mornings, so that will be a nice change for a bit. But ah Bella! She is one. I think I will post my chapter on this area of mothering from my book actually, to remind myself as much as to share with you all. Notice my emphasis on tantrums above... Actually Bella is so far stopping short of full tantrums, and still mostly delightful and gentle, but she is just at that stage where she wants to do everything for herself in her way, yet, of course, is not always able. She gets understandably cross with the bicycle that won’t drive through closed doors, or the t-shirt that won’t cooperate with her arms, or the cat for not letting her ride it. And she gets even crosser with me for trying to help. This is another post on its own so I will write it soon. My twenty minutes is up long ago. Bella will be back from her little play group in about half an hour. Oh dear, another studying period gone pear shaped, and all I have to show for it is a very, very, unblogly long ramble. Back soon, if you are up for it.


Anonymous said...

So glad that you're back online, it's been too long!!

Georgie said...

Ah thank you whoever you are! Nice to know someone is reading! x

Ann-Marie Dewhurst said...

Fab to hear from you and how exciting to be planning for your move!!
(Check out my sunrise photos on the blog for some upifting sunshine from the cold place.)
Love xxx

Kasis said...

Great to see you are blogging again. I have missed reading your updates. Blessings, on the new move. I am sure you will miss Cambodia and your lifestyle. I know we did when we moved back home and are now itching to go overseas again. Of course you will love being back home as well. Hope all goes well.

Georgie said...

Anne I love your photos so much!! Ah makes me so excited for coming home thank you! Written at 430 in Cambodia, where the sun is still high and flooding in through our windows, and the sky is turning that amazing yellow orange it does every day just before the huge sun turns into the most amazing flaming red and thinks about setting. One hour more and it will be more or less dark here. Still lovely and cool Cambodia has the best climate imaginable right now! Appreciating it so much and so excited also to return to cold sunny skies like you show on your blog! Yey! And thanks to Kasis for more good wishes! xxx

Caroline said...

Ah, lovely to see you back! And whilst it's been blimming cold here in Blighty this year it's made for some absolutely amazing frost and fog, I've never seen anything like it. I wish I had pictures to show you from up in the Peaks on New Year's Eve.

All the very best for the new year - sounds like 2009 will be very exciting for you!

hana said...

Phew - you're back! Thought we'd lost you there. You were sorely missed over the non-festivities here in Thailand. Made me think you need to get that book published, can't we start a petition!?? Sad you'll be leaving these Eastern shores, you have felt like a far-flung soul sister of expat experience.. And mothering expert with unusually pertinent advice. But don't panic too much, I was a mini expat until the age of 3 and readjusted just fine - straight into a British winter and I remember that first flurry of snow to this day - wot joy! I feel you so much on the sunshine/heat issue though, I haven't dared to properly break the ice on the swimming pool in Bangkok for what seems like an age now. But keep on concentrating on the UK's goodstuff. It's so nice to have/had a bit of both - and Asia aint going anywhere...
Welcome back.

Georgie said...

Wow what a lovely comment! I shall make you my comment of the month! Thank you! And reassuring re going home too :-) Thank you! xxx