I think it’s fair to say this month is unlike anything any of us have experienced before. Life as we know it in Australia is grinding to a halt and it’s been pretty easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the months to come. Now more than ever we need to take joy in the simple pleasures in life and this is what’s been making me smile these last few weeks…
The Murrumbidgee River flows right through the centre of Wagga Wagga and for me, its banks have always been a peaceful place. A walking path sits alongside the river and I’ve been trying to get out on it every few days with Paul to stretch my legs, get some fresh air and listen to the birdsong. Other walkers and cyclists have kept a respectable distance, so at this stage it feels like a little outing we can maintain. Although the track is essentially in the middle of the city, you often feel like you’re a million miles from the rest of society and that’s provided me with much needed time to switch off and be present in the moment.
I’m really trying to avoid wasting food at the moment. It’s amazing what you can do with bits of leftovers when you put your mind to it. I had a good three-quarters of a packet of Medjool dates leftover from when I made some granola biscuits a few weeks ago. Not wanting for them to go waste, I started looking for other recipes I could include them in. I stumbled across this recipe for salted caramel coconut bliss balls and was rather chuffed when I had all the ingredients already in the pantry. They took next to no time to make and although the ‘salted caramel’ claim may be a bit of stretch, they were still delicious and quickly disappeared. I’ll definitely be making them again!
I can remember being at high school and reading about how classical music could be used as an aid while studying. I tried it and was hooked, and ever since it’s been my go to when I need to relax , work towards meeting a deadline, or try and sleep on a long-haul flight. You can imagine my joy then when I discovered the ‘Dreamtime’ playlist on the ABC Kids Listen app. I’ve been using it with Paul for daytime naps for a few weeks now and he seems to quite like it. It’s a beautiful mix of instrumental nursery rhymes, well known songs and classical compositions. My favourite tune is ‘Walking on Air’ from the 1980s animated film The Snowman. There’s something about it that stops me in my tracks every time I hear it and I often listen to the playlist in its entirety, even if Paul’s woken up.
What’s been making you smile this month?
Have a wonderful week and look after yourself.