I have been questioning if my study path is the right one, finances are tight so should I give it all in and get a job to have a better money flow going in the short term? Or keep plugging away at the long term goal, with a decent wage on offer in 3-4 years? The kids were frustrated at not being able to get what they wanted, when they wanted and I was getting bogged down by it all. My mind was not comprehending what I needed to be doing and I fell way behind and lost motivation. I am still not 100% sure I am on the right track, however I am going with the long term plan at this stage. I explained to the kids why I am doing the study and what that will mean financially for us and I think they understand (as much as a 9 and 10 year old can understand). Hopefully they will give a bit more of a hand to help us get through the next few years.
I have been looking at zero-waste and what they could mean for my household. I can see so much potential to help me save money and give the kids a good role-model in environmental matters. Add in healthy and local food options and I am finding I am going more down the zero-waste path than I thought I would. I recycle far more than I have previously with the recycle bin full every fortnight for collection, and the rubbish bin is lucky to have 2 'inside bins' worth of garbage a week. I am focusing mainly on cutting down my plastic use, specifically single-use plastic like zip lock bags, fresh fruit and veg bags, rubbish bags, shopping bags... you get the idea! The kids and I made some fruit and veg bags for us to use when we go to the local farmers market, by cutting the arms off 2 small tshirts and sewing the bottom closed - this made a bag with built in handles-, as well as using the legs of a pair of shorts - where the hem at the bottom was used to run a ribbon through making a drawstring bag. I am also using these in the fridge as they are cotton, are breathable and can be washed. So far we have had no problems using the bags at the market and the stall holders are happy for us to use the cotton bags and not the plastic ones. My youngest loves using his 'batman' bag to put the apples in and gets lots of comments as he walks around with it. I am thinking I will get my daughter to help make a few more cotton bags as back ups as she is very keen to use the sewing machine.
Having a few dramas with my boys father, however I do not feel that will ever change. I guess I am having to relearn how to manage the outbursts as I had hoped with the separation that was done with.
I am using a program through the uni called 'Headstrong' which is giving me assistance in keeping my mental health in check, well not really in check, but helping me work through simple issues in my head. I have found it very helpful. Mindfulness is very important, as is not giving my thoughts permission to take over. I have done a few exercises that make a lot of sense. I must say though, that the biggest thing from this program was looking at what my values and goals are. I don't think I had ever sat down and really thought about my values, what is important to me and writing them down. Was a bit eye and mind opening.
I have set up an ancestor shrine/altar for Samhain, which will stay up until Imbolc. I am enjoying lighting a candle and some incense for my beloved ancestors and letting them know they are welcome here. I smile every time I see my grand parents photos, and my beloved dog Andy's collar. Also on this altar is a house protection bottle my daughter and I have put together during April, with star anise, salt, garlic, rosemary, lavender, cinnamon, quartz, amethyst and lots of positive thoughts and words.
Hope everyone had a positive and blessed April.