When Change is not on the Agenda

It can be extremely painful to realise that change is not on the agenda. You can have been holding out for days, months, even years, with the promise of change repeatedly told to you. Yet, change does not always prove to be what is on the agenda.

It was a vivid dream, that finally made what was kept hidden be put clearly to the front of her mind. There was little if any room for anything but seeing clearly what the dream revealed. All the hope that had been held on to was actually to flower as false hope. All the promises of effort and change were just words and going to remain just words.

It can and is extremely painful to realise that change is not on the agenda. Years invested, were years to be never recovered. Dreams and plans held on to and hoped for, were never going to eventuate. The expectations and the anticipations were all simply just that; expectations, and not actual real life occurrences. The pain and heartache of what was actually on the agenda cut deep.

Where once upon a time there was complete emotional trust, now there was a sense of defensiveness needed. Where once upon a time, words could be deemed to be coated in truth and reliability, now they seemed to be just simply that: words. It was hard to have trust, to have respect, to anticipate feeling loved and cherished ever again, because change truly was not at all present and on the agenda.

People often don't realise until it is too late what they have lost. They can claim to be blindsided. They can protest innocence. They can claim to be completely in the dark about the fraction that entered into their relationship, all the while the reality of their actions, and the consequences of their actions, are looking them squarely and finally fully in the face. When necessary change was continually withheld from being on the agenda, the reality of the resulting consequences finally come literally home to roost.

Perhaps it is primary human nature to protest our innocence. We desire to retain some cloaking of self deception because to face up to ourselves, and our words and actions, is ultimately sometimes too unpleasant to be confronted by. It suits to cast about for blame. It suits to cast about for reasons to justify our own lack of true commitment. It suits to never admit that change was not on our personal agenda, at the expense of what the relationship could have been.

Change involves a commitment to address habits. Change involves conscious thought and conscious behaviour. When it comes to breaking free from habits, particularly addictive or compulsive habits, it takes more than just a verbal promise to set the new in place. Time always reveals what is at the heart of any intention. Time always reveals the truth of words that were spoken. Time leaves a permanent and definitive record of whether change was ever really on the agenda.

For those experiencing the fallout of a lack of true change to revive and restore a relationship, the pain and heartache is real. The underlying devastation may be cloaked for a while in continued busyness, simply because the reality is so terribly and utterly painful. To have invested time in hope, to have invested time in patience, to have been willing to have just that bit more expectation and anticipation than was really perhaps deserved from the first and second significant signs of dysfunction creeping in, it all wounds terribly and extremely deeply. Change sometimes is just not on the agenda to ensure a relationship is saved, and the resulting wounded are deeply, extremely deeply, wounded and left to try and pick up some semblance of the pieces.

Behind Closed Doors

You just don't know what goes on behind closed doors. Too often we think we know exactly what is the nature of the relationships of those around us. We are surprised to find that what appeared to be a good solid relationship in fact was one that was dysfunctional, and even abuse riddled. We simply don't know what goes on behind closed doors any more.

In this day and age when everything is becoming more and more digitalized and more electronically dependent, it can be even harder to really know what those around us are experiencing. We have lost the great sense of face to face community that we once experienced before the Internet age. Loneliness has crept in to relationships that once upon a time would have never have been thought to have been those riddled with loneliness. Dysfunction can be kept hidden and even dressed up to look like anything but what it actually is, because the smoke and mirrors of that able to be shared online enables it to be kept in seemingly good check.

A wife can become an Internet widow, as night after night, her spouse indulges in lengths of time facing a computer or cellphone screen. In the silence of the home, the greatest of marital tragedies can actually quietly be unfolding to the point of no return, and noone outside the immediate relationship will consider anything amiss.

No one likes to be treated as if they are taken for granted, and unfortunately competing with an electronic screen is becoming more and more common place in today's society. More and more people are waking up to the harsh reality of finding that their spouse actually has an addiction, an addiction that others may not pick up on so quickly, because it is one that from the outside looking on, may seem fairly harmless in nature.

Yet it is anything but harmless. Instead, the addiction to screentime, to be logged in to at least one electronic device as often as possible, is eating away at the core of what keeps actual relationships healthy and safe. The ability to communicate well and engage in quality time, face to face with each other, is being put in great jeopardy, because the online world is deemed more enticing. The addiction to be logged in, switched on, and engaged in screen time has become powerful and sadly, very compulsive for many.

It has become normal to see people constantly with their cellphone always in hand. The addiction to being logged in can seem to not be an addiction at all, until closer inspection is carried out. In reality, on closer inspection, it becomes very clear that the compulsion to be online has a stronghold and it is in fact steadily eating away at many of the close relationships people would choose to have.

We just don't know what is truly going on behind the closed doors of those we are neighbouring and who are part of our extended families. The window of opportunity to escape as often as possible via the Internet has sadly created for many a doorway for relationship dysfunction to creep in. It is a window more often than not opened quietly and often seemingly innocently at the start.

In a time when Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help us project a desired and orchestrated image before the masses, we have got far more deceptive about hiding what really goes on behind closed doors. The perfectly put together composition of domestic life may in fact not hold as much bliss or peace as is really being experienced.

Behind the scenes, small children may be being bathed while a parent sits alongside, scrolling repeatedly on a screen, endeavouring to keep up with what is the latest news and weather report. Children are seeing and learning firsthand from a tender young age, that what is electronic and able to be held in the hand is far more engaging and more deserving of attention than any other toy.

We are creating generations upon generations of people who are less people focused, and less able to really engage in face to face communication that is healthy and conducive to real relationship. It has become the norm to send texts rather than handwritten love notes. It has become the norm to stay home and watch a movie on Netflix, rather than actually plan a budget-friendly date out with a loved one. It has become the norm to keep the electronic enthroned in a position of significance in our homes and in our relationships.

The nice guy who is always polite can actually prove to be the most addicted of addicts. He can arrive home from work and after dinner be solely focused yet again on logging on. Be it the cricket score, the weather report, from one online site to then another, the journey through the chain of online indulgence can be quickly pursued, until not just minutes but hours of time have been indulged in within the abyss of the Internet.

Just because it is not actual pornography, does not mean it is worth looking at or engaging in repeatedly for huge lengths of time, at the expense of actual face to face relational time with our loved ones. Anything that draws us away, at the expense of real connection and real relationship with those we claim to love and want to spend time with, is not material we should be repeatedly choosing to have before our eyes, before our minds and to which we are committing quantities of time to. What occurs behind closed doors for hours on end, has sadly for many become totally directed by that found through the doorway of the world of electronics and the quick swipe of a finger keen to be always connected to that online.

It has pretty much become socially acceptable to attend family and social functions and have someone sitting logged in and switched in to the wider world of the Web. We have accepted this as the new normal and simply put it down to being part and parcel of being in the Internet Age. Yet, much has often been sacrificed, even if it is not acknowledged until it is in fact too late.

Like all addictions, the addiction and compulsion to be logged on to an electronic device affects the brain's executive functions. Like anyone engaged in any form of compulsive behaviour, those addicted become unaware and desensitised to the reality that their behaviour is causing problems for themselves and others. They develop an immunity to just how harmful their behaviour is to relationships, to fulfilling promised commitments and other real life centred obligations. They can become so disengaged to what is occurring around them, they progressively lose the ability to keep track of time. Memory function can be affected. The desire for instant gratification and for things to be done at the speed of the pressing of a button becomes deemed their desired new norm. Life and its pace can become seemingly less inviting and less engaging, because it does not allegedly compete well with the world and timing offered and experienced via the electronic keyhole.

It is not just the younger generation that have an unhealthy appetite for all things offered via the world of the electronic. It is also being indulged in by those in the retirement years of life. It has become far too easy to plug in and log out from real life, no matter what stage of life we are in. We have become less concerned about what happens behind our closed doors, and more interested in what we can follow and link into, via the windows that our keyboards offer us.

We just don't know what is really going on behind seemingly peaceful closed doors. It is worth surely some considerable serious consideration for each of us to face straight on what it is we are choosing to put our hand to and are prepared to put significant amounts of time in to. If there is a level of electronic engagement occurring that is proving to upset others, surely it is wise to take heed and weigh it up most carefully against what is truly worthy of the use of our time and energy and resources!

What is it that we are prepared to allow into the relationships we engage in with others? Is it healthy? It is safe? Is it wise and actually constructive in nature? Just what is it we are upholding and allowing to be deemed okay and acceptable when interacting with each others? Is it conducive to building and keeping relationships healthy and our own sense of self worth in healthy balance?

It is surely worth some sincere personal reflection and auditing to determine just where we wish to see current, potential and already quietly shattering relationships heading, if the desire to be logged on and linked into electronics is at a level that others are questioning whether it is in fact healthy. The choice to switch on or switch off is a simple one. Being logged in or logged off, is a choice that requires greater discernment and greater self control, being exercised by many.

What is occurring already behind closed doors can be changed in an instant, but the one with the addiction needs to acknowledge it firstly, for any real breakthrough to occur. It takes considerable careful steps to break the habits of addiction and not to fall back into them. Help often needs to be sought at a professional level, when breaking free from any and all forms of addiction. Asking for help is a good sign, not one to be ashamed of at all. May those who need to face up to the path they are on, be prepared to take stock, before those they continually left widowed by their behaviour join the rank of others who also chose to move on for good.

To Fail Or Not To Fail

Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, you fail. For years I have fought this inner sense of failure, all stemming at the root of it from a comment my father once made about me when I was a teenager. This inner sense of failure, of not being good enough, not being able to measure up no matter what you do or say, is incredibly binding once it latches on and takes seed.

You can do all that you can, go all out to try & achieve, go all out and work hours that others would think were humanly impossible or practical, and yet the sense of failure can still lurk or even literally manifest itself as actual failure and act as a heavy leaded milestone you just cannot shake off.

Words have incredible power. They truly do give life or death. They can tear down or build up. They have the power to bless and the power to curse. As a parent now myself, I am committed to never placing such a curse over my own children as was unwittingly and insensitively placed over me.

It can seem at the time to the speaker that the words spoken don't seem to bear much, but they can actually bite really hard and deep into the soul of the person hearing them. I myself know firsthand how much hurt can become attached to a flippant comment made by a parent or figure of authority and how, even many years later, it can resound in the inner ear of the mind when a situation triggers it being remembered.

Today I was busily working away at the computer working on the next video in a series I wanted to upload on the Household Logistics Channel. I had the video already to be exported to be uploaded and BAM! Things failed. The external hard drive that all the various individual video and photography clips were stored on, as well as the actual completed video itself, all in an instant became locked away and unable to be accessed and retrieved. FAILURE.

The hard drive which I had placed my complete trust in had failed me. No matter what I tried to do, or what my IT professional husband tried to do, the hard drive was not going to work and the outcome was systematic and total failure to launch. FAILURE.

Literally hours and hours of time, energy and resources are tied up in something that by all accounts has failed. Sometimes it truly seems that no matter what you do, you fail.

And so I have to wait. I have to wait to see if the hard drive will in fact allow for the files to be recovered from it, when it is seen by a recovery specialist on Monday. If not, I have lost literally a week's worth of work. I am currently gutted and frustrated beyond frustrated, because there is simply nothing I personally can do to rectify the situation. Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, you really do fail.

Everyone fails at some point. For those of us who constantly seem to have repetitive experiences that reinforce our inner sense of failure, failure however little it might seem to others, has an extra harsh dimension to it. When you have heard yourself deemed a failure, as someone who is not going to amount to much, by an authority figure or figure of significance in your life, the ability to always bounce back from yet another failure may not always kick in as fast or as well as it would perhaps for someone else.

Some people do not have to battle an inner battle about a sense of failure like others do. They can let a failure wash off their back quite easily, compared to others of us who have scars and wounds related to failure already in existence.

Dealing with failure takes skill and inner strength. That inner strength has to be nurtured and it is best nurtured in our children when they are young. As parents we have a responsibility to be our child's best and first advocate. We have a responsibility to strengthen their inner selves, to build the foundation and platforms for their inner soul to bounce from when life hits them hard and fast. It takes thought and time to encourage our children, and it is time and effort worth investing in.

And so I wait and face as best I can Failure, this current sense of failure, head on.

I have to wait until early next week to hear the news about this latest current failure I am dealing with. I am trying not to spiral downward with the sense that yet again, this is something I tried to do and yet it was destined to fail, because reality and rationality say that there really is no such thing as a curse lurking over my external hard drive.

Still, I would like to go back in time if I could, and I would tell my teenage self that life is challenging, but no one, (not even I) will not amount to very little. I would like to tell that young person that somehow you will have the strength to pull yourself up time and time again, and you will ride out your failures, even if it takes a little longer sometimes than other people may take.

We ourselves can speak light into our dark places, and we can succeed even when we fail, because we can choose to step up once again, even when we feel yet again letdown and failure lurks yet again all too familiarly at our door. We can each succeed at journeying through our failure, no matter what anyone else may say, and we can journey through it well.

Food Pantry Organization

The first of a two part series of videos about Food Pantry Organization is now uploaded over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel. Check out the 10 great tips for organizing & managing a food pantry that serves your household fabulously!

Motorhomes & Beachfronts

We have become more & more interested in looking at the option of buying a motorhome and taking a road trip through New Zealand as a family. Taking the children on a road trip to literally see their homeland, and all the various significant historical and geographical places we could so easily just read about, seems like such a wonderful and special memory-making thing to do. Why not actually go and see and explore the actual sights and get a greater sense of what they are like!

Last Friday we went as a family to the Motorhome Caravan & Leisure Show that was being held over the weekend at Mystery Creek, just out of Hamilton. We felt that attending the show, with all the various exhibits and displays, would really help us with our decision-making, and what an informative and interesting show it was! We would highly recommend going to such an Expo, if you are at any point considering doing a road trip or buying a motorhome, trailer or caravan. It really was marvellous to see all the variety of on-road options, plus the range of items that were for sale to assist with on-the-road and camping life.

I have put together a video over at the Household Logistics Youtube Channel, which shares a number of the highlights from the day we spent looking at everything. There was such alot to see, and it truly was an informative event to go along to.

We also made a brief trip out on Sunday in the late afternoon to Sunset Beach which is a beautiful West Coast Beach in the Northern Waikato Region. This afternoon outing is also shared a little in the vlog.

You can check out the vlog via the following link: Household Logistics: Motorhomes & Beachfronts. Feel free to subscribe to the Channel, so you can keep up to date with what is posted over there. If you enjoy the video about the Motorhome Show please give it a thumbs up also!

Outdoor Garden Makeover..... What Should We Do???

Anyone else having to catch up on their garden now it is Spring in the Southern Hemisphere??? Are you also starting to think about how you can set up your outdoor living areas to be more conducive to having family time outdoors with summer barbeques, etc? 

Today's big focus in our garden has been working towards clearing and tidying up this area of north-west garden, as it had been very overgrown. It will look much prettier and tidier soon we are hoping. 

More crop producing garden? An outdoor entertainment space? A play area for the children with a pop-up swimming pool for the summer? Some decisions are going to have to be made.

Mmmm, I wonder if we could possibly get a greenhouse in here as well as more fruit trees?? Then again, the children would probably be keen to have this area become a big play area, with perhaps a trampoline......

What would you choose and recommend to put in this area of garden or have it used for over the coming summer months and beyond? 

Would you choose to convert it into more garden for fruit and vegetable growing? 
Would you make it an entertainment area perhaps with pavers or a deck? 
Would you make it a private play area with a pop-up pool that can be replaced with another child-friendly playgym or the like for the colder months?

Please feel free to share your suggestions via comments. I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions.

Desk Drawer Organization