Broken AND Beaten

I named my blog broken but not beaten. Yet today I am feeling most definitely beaten. After a wonderful weekend away, exhaustion manifested itself as frustration and anger in people around me. It’s days like this that I wonder if trying to live like we did before the stroke, is courageous or simply unrealistic. At what point are all the good times we try to give our kids outweighed by tired parents snapping at them?

How often do we see parents losing their tempers and dragging crying children along as they scream. In today’s society, do we try to do too much with our kids? Do we over complicate life and lose sight of the simple things? Put ourselves under too much pressure trying to be great parents, and in doing so make our kids pay the price? Surely there is a happy medium.

In our new disabled life, I do think we need to accept that life needs to be different. We can still do a lot of things, but maybe at a slower pace. Slowing down is not something I do well – guess its time I learned.

Our weekend away was no mean feat for an able-bodied family. We went 300km north to Sydney for the celebrations of 100 years of the Australian Navy. We arrived at 11:30pm Thursday night. Friday was a 7:00am start on the Harbor to see all the warships. We then had lunch with friends before heading to Manly by ferry for dinner. On Saturday we braved the crowd of millions to stake our claim on the patch of grass from which we would watch the fireworks.  We sat in the hot sun for 7 hours to ensure we had a great view. The fireworks were awesome – Sydney sure knows how to put on a show. Then at 10:30pm we started the 3.5 hour drive home.







So after a few great days, does the tirade at the end leave the kids with fond memories of the weekend, or only memories of the conflict?

Wow, life is most certainly a roller coaster. I started this post feeling completely overwhelmed and sad.

A simple picnic with loved ones, surrounded by native Australian fauna, suddenly makes the world make sense for a moment. Fresh air, the sound of my children laughing and the news of the safe arrival of a friend’s baby, and all seems perfect.

Look for the small blessings that fill your everyday life.  Make a list and I’m sure you will find more than you thought possible. It’s the combination of all these blessings that help us get up in the morning. How sad would it be to go through life focused only on our challenges. Choosing to look for the blessing in my everyday life, has given me the drive to keep moving forward. It has highlighted all the reasons to choose life.

A friend and I decided to embark on the challenge set by Ann Voskamp in her book ‘One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are’. The challenge is to write down 1000 gifts you identify in your everyday lives over an extended period.  Ann says, “The practice is intended to be a way of cultivating a habit, of learning to live praise, to make gratitude and joy your default, to move thanksgiving away from a holiday to a lifestyle.”

I dare you to try it – it works.



9 thoughts on “Broken AND Beaten

  1. Thanks for sharing that Steph…. I struggle with the same issues with living such a busy life and sometimes you get so overwhelmed and get so tired and cranky with the kids……glad it’s not just me that struggles with this….I will definitely take up the challenge. I do try to thank God every day for a different thing…big or small (thank you for the gift of motherhood/thank you for the smell of rain/ thank you for the sunny day today…….ect) but something different, which is a similar goal, but writing it down is a great idea. Xx

  2. After the morning I have had this is just what I needed to hear. You are an inspiration to so many Steph, thank you for the wake up call!!!

  3. I am with Riani !!!!

    You write so beautifully Steph. Really loving your blog, your photos and your perspectives.
    Keep writing my friend. xo

    • My life if full of worrying about regret with regards to my kids and sharing the outside world with them. I have a husband who I love dearly but who has very different ideas on what spending time with the children as a family is as compared to my idea. Therefore, most outings are done without him. When I do bring him along it either works out really great or I end up subjecting the kids to the stress of a dad that has been dragged along…

  4. Great Blog Steph. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. You write beautifully.
    1000 gifts is a great idea. A friend of mine is doing something similar on instagram. If you have time, have a look at her collection at mybackpackfullofsimplehappy.
    I look forward to seeing your collection soon. x

  5. Hello Steph,
    Thank you for your blog and your thoughts,I look forward to reading your thoughts and and know that we are inspired by you.

  6. Steph; as always your ability for reflection and insight into life and family is so appreciated. I love your consideration of slowing down on activity and investing in quality family time; I needed to hear that! Thanks for blogging- it helps us understand your journey but more so we get to sit at your feet and learn from your wisdom and insight. Still can’t wait to read your book;) xxkym

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