Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Finding your lucky shoes

There is a peculiar melancholy that washes over me this time of year. Despite the bright busyness of school end (kids' parties, frantic emails, projects brought home, two birthdays - Tallulah turned 11, Jackson, 13 -  teacher gifts to be bought, signing up for summer camps.) Or maybe because of it...

Tallulah back from her week-long school camp
Back garden after the rain
Jackson's birthday A's top

It's not the melancholy of eating watermelon out of the drizzling rain.

Or the wistful dream of life in a Lilliputian town...

Jackson showing Cy and Tallulah his Mediaeval Castle project

Back garden ...

It's a pensiveness that allows you to doubt your actions and mull endlessly over small interactions. How much time do I spent hashing over real and imagined slights at the schoolgate, strange or seemingly out-of-place words that I have taken personally.

The wonderful Katie of Goodnight Irene, an actress and yoga teacher in Orange County, wrote recently about learning not to take everything seriously and to "grow some big-girl branches."

"two weeks ago i offered a homeless man 5 bucks and he refused, and i immediately went into 17-year old katie mode:

he thinks i’m stupid, ugly, fat, weird, snobbish, bitchy, annoying, a pest, precocious, bold {a favorite of my mother’s}; the typical, insecure, john hughes-unlike soundtrack that plays in my head during these situations.

it’s a very narcissistic way to think, in my opinion. it’s not all about me, and i need to remember this, although my hair was kind of jacked up that day…."

Lately Cy, 8, has been wearing what he calls his  "lucky" pink socks (which he's nicked off Tallulah) together with "lucky" pink sneakers (also nicked off Tallulah)
I asked him this weekend: "Does anyone laugh at you for wearing pink stuff?"
Cy replied: "Of course! But it gets them laughing -  that's good."

Me and Cy, 8, comparing pinks

How do you turn those negative re-plays in your mind into what blogger Katie calls the "tickle-me-Elmo happy" moments.  Do you have a pair of lucky shoes to help you?


  1. My goodness, I'm impressed. Teacher Gifts?

    We're lucky to get a half-eaten steak and cheese pie at school end.

    If there's one thing I've learned, it's not to take myself or even life too seriously.

    Enjoy every day.
    Look forward to the next minute...even if it is taking Year 10 Remedial Art (I teach them the difference between Red and Blue...tricky)

  2. Confidence is funny thing - for me - it's my hair - if that looks great, I can conquer anything ...get me on a bad hair day & I don't even want to leave the house! Luckily those days are few & far between!!


  3. Love love love this post. And I'm so impressed and in love with Cy and his outlook on the pink and people laughing. I need to think more like he does. I'm in my own head too often thinking about what wrong/could be wrong/might be wrong. Need to let go more and just laugh and enjoy. Thanks for a post that made me both smile and think. Xo

  4. WOW... you should be an insanely proud mother. That Cy is incredibly wise.....

  5. I always love all your photos. They were really beautiful and sweet today. Cy is a doll face! Making people laugh and enjoy is a great quality. I adore shoes. Do I have a lucky pair? I have a few that have always guaranteed me a fab time whenever worn. It's the confidence thing. Also like the perfect fitting dress.

  6. Cy sounds so awesome. He must have awesome parents to have that kind of attitude!! Pete likes wearing my tshirts that look like dresses on him when he plays outside with the neighbours. He knows he looks silly but he loves the laughs he gets, the nasty comments from one of the boys don't bother him, I hope he continues to not give a shit about other people's nasty minds. Great post!

  7. Good for Cy! I think you've just underlined one of the major differences between men and women. We obsess and over-think everything, and they just move on swiftly. I now mentally score a line through any petty annoyances and go and wash my hair.

  8. I definitely over-think every situation and obsess over the tiniest of details! Fabulous post as ever...I think Cy has the perfect attitude:)

  9. I didn't before but now I have the perfect antidote for those negative replays. How wise, your little Cy!

  10. Sorry, no pink shoes here. I mean, really; when was the last time you saw a Bear wearing pink shoes? Or any shoes, for that matter?

    I am slowly learning not to over-analyse things Because, so often, it's not about me. I suppose it is a case of letting people be themselves, own their personhood, and do their thing. Even if I think they are a bit weird. And, sometimes I'm weird. But I try not to be man-spirited.

    And the, I suppose, having a "different" sense of humour is helpful.

  11. Sometimes I over think things and I have moments when I think a person thought I was dumb or talked too much when asked a question or that I looked silly with what I had on that day, I just have to stop myself and say whatever and turn the thoughts of caring into not caring. We are who we are and obsessing only makes it worse. We have to learn to let things ride out as they will. But, for the most part I am quite laid back :) xx

  12. 'Grow some big girl branches' I think I may have to adopt that phrase.
    Love Jackson's castle! How creative and clever is that boy; it's beautiful.

  13. Wow,what we can learn from our children!
    I like the "big girl branches".

  14. I'm conscious that I'm too self-conscious...it's a start.

  15. I have an uncanny urge to go shoe shopping now! I know money isn't supposed to buy happiness, but honestly, a really good pair of shoes certainly elevates my mood. ; )

    I love the phrase "big girl branches" too. I am generally fairly irreverent about what other's think about me. My parent's instilled a strange sense {and unwarranted dose} of confidence. Or rather, I always thought it was my parent's doing. Now, though, as I watch Olivia take the world by storm, I think maybe it is innate in some.

    As to the current melancholy, I often find certain seasons of change can indeed cause me pause. It's as if my brain has to work to process it all. I do not seem to go with the flow as I did in my youth. I analyze change. Think about it. Ponder where we are going. Geesh, what a mess. So much for my irreverent attitude.

  16. Thank you for the very nice photos, the sequences and dilemma.

    “How do you turn those negative re-plays in your mind into what blogger Katie calls the "tickle-me-Elmo happy" moments.  Do you have a pair of lucky shoes to help you?”

    I think those thoughts came to Paloma in The Elegance of the Hedgehog and she resolves (“pair of lucky shoes”) to build rather than break, gratitude rather than pout, be useful rather than complain.(I’m writing this from memory since I don’t have a copy of the book).

  17. Pat yourself on the back for having such super kids Jody, they are all talented and cute and as for the melancholic feelings you mention, well when they strike, just remember to smile, breathe and savour them. I love the big girl branches quote....nearly as much as I love 'pulling on my big girl pants'. I don't have lucky shoes but some kind of talisman would be good in life wouldnt it? ps did you find Waterloo Bridge? pps I have just been watching your wine videos...fabulous!

  18. I am trying to write an inspirational message each day, (pre Summer bikini dieting often needs some positive mental attitude) Today's is for you...http://boutiquebootcamp.blogspot.co.uk/

  19. Jody, I actually feel better knowing that you, like all of us, have moments of melancholy. Recently I felt like a friend said something about me to another friend that changed how they treated me, and it bothered me for a little, but then I let it go, reminding myself that you can't really control what people are going to say about you. It's so good to know that some big girl branches have sprouted, although it took long enough-haha! Katie is one of my favorite people and truly insightful.

    xo Mary Jo

  20. oh my gosh....i'm blushing so much it's beyond a red and turning into a blue-green cheek.
    thank you so much for the very kind words.
    i'm really not one to look to for wisdom....{prescription narcotics...maybe?} but wisdom...no.
    i think Cy is our depak oprah.....
    off to buy me some pink socks....
    love to you, you gorgeous woman you!

    1. Our Depak Oprah just ate three siblings' candies. I guess that is all part of the rich tapestry

  21. I know Kids can teachh us soo much!! Great pics!!

  22. What a clever little boy. I wish I could learn to have more of that attitude to life.

  23. although I fuss with worry internally about throw away comments people say, and how people might interpret my behaviour I find it useful to remember that
    a)it's not all about me (that's the hardest one isn't it?)
    b)when you get irritated with your friends or hear something they say which you don't agree with, it doesn't affect your overall view of that person; rather it is just part and parcel of someone who has good points as well as faults. Just as I hope others see me.

  24. I love hearing stories about your kids! I just think they're adorable. I often catch myself running a negative commentary subconsciously. Terrible habit because it's so de-motivating. These days I try to combat that with more positive affirmations.

  25. Sometimes you have to give in to the dark side, live out the fear for 3 seconds, and then move on. That's what I try to do. Doesn't always work, but i tell myself it's ok. Everyone has ups and downs. LOVE your green top/white pants outfit. Adorable!

  26. ha, leave it to the little guys to teach us something about life! Love this story.

    I am SUCH a "replayer" of awkward moments in my head...horrible trait...anyone want to trade? Working on that.

  27. I agree children can sometimes teach us so much!

  28. Cy is so sorted! What an admirable trait in such a young boy. We all get low times. I try and remind myself that life would be boring if it were all sunshine and no showers. I think. Oh well, there's always Gin :-D

  29. Great question! I think I try to find a way to serve someone. Thinking of others is the best distraction.

  30. Great post. I am terrible about always turning inward and overanalyzing something I did. I've had to learn that you can please everyone and not everyone is going to like me. And, I have to be okay with that. Cheers to your son and his reaction about his pink socks. We should all have such an attitude toward life!

  31. What a wise soul Cy is! To be able to take the heat for doing as he wishes and then to care to make people laugh. You taught him well!

  32. Cy is brilliant and seems beyond his years emotionally, and it's great that he is comfortable in his own shoes! Some people never are - try as they might. We ALL share these moments. Resilience, allowing things to roll off your back, .. It's not all about me, are hopefully learned in time .. perhaps something that's wonderful about getting older? ;)

  33. Jody, this is a wonderful post! Words of wisdom from Cy. You must be proud of him. I have my melancholy moments, I do. Talking to my family in those moments always helps. Or maybe it's a wise remark from someone else, maybe someone like Cy, one single remark that hits you in the head and makes you get over whatever it was that was bothering you.

  34. Cy is so correct if you can make somone laugh it also makes you feel great inside also.

  35. Thank you for the linky love Doreen, you're a star!

  36. Love this Jody. Cy seems like a wise boy for his age. My younger son also loves pink and to make people laugh and doesn't care what others think of him. These little guys inspire me when I am feeling like you described. I get that once in a while from a strange comment or something. You sound like a good mom. :)


  37. I've learn in my old age, to just let it all go. Holding onto nonsense doesn't do anyone any good. I also don't let a lot of people close to me so that probably helps me disregard what most think of me.

    Probably the things you worry about...the other person doesn't even remember!

  38. what a sweet response he gave you- and such a positive way to look at it. (he's a keeper :))

    i can become incredibly sensitive, over-analytical, etc. about how others respond (or don't respond), address me, or even look at me (you know- the glares or the 'up and down' looks that other women sometimes give one another?), and to be honest, i have never really thought of it this way... of the fact that it's actually a pretty narcissistic way to think. how right she is. although i know this logically, it can be easy to forget in moments when i feel that the target is directly on me.

    i now have a new way to view these situations... thank you for sharing her post! (and especially, thank you to the charming, cute, and Confident boy with the pink sneakers :))

  39. Pretty pink toes! xo style, she wrote

  40. haha love these!!! I'm busy packing and moving... i'd like to photoshop myself into my new house - fully decorated with all the stuff I've collected on pinterest!


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