For love or money

Posted August 25th, 2008 by Penny Wise

We've been making quite a few positive changes since we got back from Australia - and it's all thanks to Matt Lippey! While hanging out with the Lippeys on the Sunshine Coast I couldn't help but notice that Sam, Jacqui and Tristan have to be the most cuddled children I have ever seen. It was lovely to see and I mentioned to Matt how lucky the kids are to have so much time spent with them. Matt just shrugged in his typical laid-back way and said 'Most people these days are just too busy being busy'. Never a truer word spoken and it occurred to me straight away (much to my horror) that I was one of those people. Until I went to Australia my whole life was one big rush. I always had to be somewhere, everything always had to be done today and of course there were never enough hours in the day. But Matt's words really struck a chord - most of the time I was just too busy being busy. What was it I was so busy doing anyway? How many of the places I went did I really have to go to? How many of the things I was trying to squeeze in every day did I really have to do?

I decided from that point on that I was going to stop being busy for busy's sake and start letting things go. I stopped making impossible 'to do' lists that I could never complete and just started going with the flow. Every day I started asking myself 'do you really have to do this today or can it wait?' and nine times out of 10 I found that it really didn't matter. I started noticing the difference straight away. I could go for almost a fortnight without filling my car with petrol. I wasn't always in town so we didn't go to Mr Patel's as often. Dinner was served earlier, the kids got their homework done earlier and 'cuddle time' was longer in the evenings. We all talked together more and even had time to play cards before bed. I started making time to go for a run, rather than worrying about the pile of ironing that nobody else could see in the cupboard and my iPod started getting used for the first time in more than two years. Instead of spending hours after school on the phone or computer, I didn't ring people or email them unless I had to and you know what? It felt blooming great! Rather rebellious actually.

Noel and I soon came to the realisation that in our attempt to spend more time with the family, we were actually robbing ourselves of countless precious hours together. The two of us have been heavily involved with the local rugby club for six years - Noel as a coach and me as team manager and club registrar. We took on the positions because we believed we would be a fun way to spend more time together - how wrong could we have been! Much as it has been rewarding in many ways, it has cost us a huge amount in time and money. I estimate I would lose at least a week's wages every year from sorting out disputes alone and for five months of the year Noel loses commission two days a week while taking time out to plan training sessions and coach his team. Now don't get me wrong, it's not about the money, we've always really enjoyed it - until recently, when we realised just how many hours it takes away from our children while we plan, organise and get everything together. We're talking hundreds of hours spent in meetings, on the phone and on the computer, while our kids are in another room or somewhere else. So much for bringing the family together, instead it's done the complete opposite! So as of yesterday, we have both resigned and it feels GOOD. Already everyone is saying 'you can't do that? Who else is going to do it?' We don't know but it's not our problem any more, yay! Nobody's indispensable after all. That decision alone will give us more weekends with the kids, more time together in the evenings twice a week, as Noel no longer has to work late into the night on training days to catch up and no more monthly meetings. From now on. family comes first. No more 'busy being busy'. Thanks Matt!

Things have been pretty quiet this past week, although I did go along to the podiatrist to try and sort out what was going on with my leg. I have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to it - I can't think of any worse job in the world than fiddling about with other peoples' feet! However, this guy came highly recommended so I figured he was worth a try. I'm so glad I went! Apart from being extremely good looking for someone with such a yukky job, he really knew his stuff. We still don't know if the bone is fractured but I have damaged some ligament-with-a-long-name in my foot and that's causing my leg to overcompensate. When I entered the room I was limping like Long John Silver but by the time he strapped me up I was back to normal. Best of all, I was allowed to run again! At least for a while; I have to see how it goes for a few more days but all seems to be well. The best $75 I've spent in a long time! So far I've lost around three kilos in my Biggest Loser Challenge and am having fun being part of the 'SS Weightwatchers' on the Forum. Who needs a personal trainer when you've got each other!

I was talking to Fiona the other day and suddenly realised that Liam has now been wheat-free for exactly a year. Boy, has he come on in leaps and bounds! He's happy and healthy and has barely had a day sick since being off the wheat; his whole immune system seems so much stronger. If you haven't seen it already, I have to tell you about something rather special that Fiona and little Jacqui have made! Fiona's wheat-free sponges are legendary and I've always intended to get the recipe from her but have never got around to it. I'm delighted to say I've finally got it, but the two of them went to a lot of effort to send it to me - they made me a video! It's hilarious (in the nicest possible way of course) and Jacqui is VERY helpful. Baking a cake has never been so much fun! Here is the first part of the video.">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

Here is the second part of the video.">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344">

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