Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


Project Optimism – It’s all in the planning

Today is Monday – the day we write a post for Project Optimism.

The problem I had today is that I am not really sure what to write about. You see, I am already operating at a pretty high level of muscle clenching, wee inducing, over excitement due to our impending getaway.

I have spent the morning searching for cheap thermal underwear for the kids, on the basis that Paris in March is going to be a wee bit chilly and no matter how hysterically hyperactive they are going to be, at some point the cold may just overwhelm the heat caused by the wriggling.

I have planned the journey – warning triangle and breakdown cover for the car, European sat nav for my sanity, entertainment and drinks for the kids, tranquiliser for Mr G (seriously, can you imagine a normally twitchy, tense, grouchy passenger and then put him in a car on the wrong side of the road. With right hand drive! I must be mad.)

Wrist bands and ID badges are here for the kids – I am debating whether tattoo’ing my mobile number to their wrists is over protective  . . . (paranoid mother alert)

I am prepared. Which is to say, now that I think I am ready I can start worrying about everything. Because, while I love to visit new places, getting there always makes me nervous. Ensuring we have all the paperwork, knowing where the kids are at all times – it’s this sort of thing that makes my stomach churn. Once we are there, all will be fine – until the day before we leave anyway.

So what to be optimistic about?

I am optimistic that it won’t rain all week – just half of it.

I am optimistic that I can drive on the wrong side of the road without too many tense moments or heated discussions about how I should have indicated before pulling out.

I am optimistic that I have not forgotten anything.

As for the rest of it – that’s all down to good planning!


What are you all optimistic about this week?




Project Optimism – A Glimmer of Hope

For Project Optimism this lovely Monday morning, I thought I would touch briefly on how there is invariably a glimmer of hope to be found in every situation, whether it be big or small.

I have mentioned before that I do like Mondays but I have to admit I was not looking forward to today. My weekend had had a number of components to it that had just zapped my expectations of a happy day, starting with the normal Saturday morning screeching and wailing that is my 6 year old being told that she has to tidy her room.

‘But WHY?’ she wails.

‘I don’t mind the mess.’ she cries.

He did it!’ she accuses her 3 year old brother (there may be some truth in that, but it’s not the entire story at all).

‘Why won’t anyone help me.’ she demands.

‘It’s not fair.’

Yes – at 6 we have reached that well known childhood phrase. It’s not fair. Teenagerdoom lurks ahead. (no, that is not a spelling mistake!)

We have tried reasoning, arguing, impassioned sobbing (both her and me). I have attached star charts to fridges, offered pocket money as an incentive, threatened to bin everything on the floor.

On Sunday I ‘helped’ tidy her room and in doing so made a pile of yet more broken toys.

‘Why don’t you look after your things?’ I demand.

She shrugs.

And yes, once again I feel like a total failure as a parent because I have tried bribery and everything else known to parents all over and still my child refuses to clean her room and shows no appreciation for the many things she has.

(I don’t think my child is any more spoilt than the average kid in the UK, but perhaps all of our children these days just have too much!)

She doesn’t understand the time it takes to earn the money to buy the frippery in her room that she so casually stands on, snaps, kicks under the bed or uses as a doorstop.

Is 6 too young to learn this?

I don’t think so. I just am not sure how to go about instilling it.

So – I banned use of my iPad, my phone, daddy’s PS, the TV. All screens were off in this house.

Sunday was a day of play. With actual physical toys. (NO, this does not count as child abuse.)

I issued a new decree in the land of Mummy Rules! And it was thus –

You shall earn your gaming time by doing something good every day that shows you value and care for your things. There shall be no screen until your bedroom is tidy every day.

Yep – I didn’t really expect her to listen either. Or Mr G, or myself for that matter. Because let’s face it – throwing them at a screen is an easy babysitter for us too.

On top of this I have been having some down time about family/friends. I mentioned it briefly here. So I went to bed last night feeling quite tired of it all. Flat.

Which is not like me.

This morning I woke up ready to attack the day, starting with the morning screech and shout to get the kids moving, dressed, fed and ready for school. (Good god, I sound like an awful mother. Perhaps I should give up now.)

I went into my daughter’s room to wake her up.

But she was not in bed.

No – she was tidying her room.


Then, whilst I was in the shower, she dressed herself, brushed her teeth and attempted to brush her hair.

Whilst I was dressing Mini Monster 2, she went and voluntarily  washed her face. Voluntarily!

We ate breakfast, early.

And then Mini Monster 1 turned to me and said ‘Did I do something good now mummy?’

“Yes darling, very good this morning.” I smiled.

“And did you notice I tidied up Mini Monster 2’s toy box too.” she questioned.

“Yes honey,” I lied. Mental note, must go check the box.

“And have I earned some time on the iPad now mummy?”

Yes – it is bribery. Yes – it is materialistic. Yes – it is a computer game.

But I have found a carrot and stick that works and I’m keeping it.

So – the point to this is that just when you think it is time to give up, to stop trying, a glimmer of hope will appear! Just a calm start to the day can make all the difference.

Now – you might think that that is all there is to say.

But no – I have yet to tell you where the optimism comes in.

And this is it – despite all evidence to the contrary, despite knowing that my child has the attention span of a gnat . . .

I am optimistic that this particular carrot will last for at least two whole days before that room is a tip again.

This is all about optimism as part of Project Optimism. Find out more here.


I love Mondays – Project Optimism

I love Mondays.

Really, I do.

It is possible that I have a touch of OCD, but I really like order. As a child, my books were categorised. An estate agent once remarked that my laundry cupboard was the tidiest he had ever seen. After Mini Monster 1 was born and I felt totally out of control, with a tiny baby running the house to her own clock, visitors popping in and out, piles of laundry growing like mysterious beasts in the corner, I tidied out my kitchen cupboards.

Yes, you read that right. I locked myself in the kitchen for a full four hours and emptied, washed and re-ordered my condiments. Glasses were placed according to size and type, tins stacked facing forwards so I could read the label.

The thing is, order helps me to feel in control.

I don’t mind surprises, but I do like to know what is going to happen next. Timetables are nice things to have. I planned every detail of my wedding and barely allowed my mother or Mr G a look in (seriously, it was mentioned in his speech).

So, back to my point.

I love Mondays.

Monday morning is the start of a fresh week. The house is tidy, the washing done over the weekend. There are no waiting chores. Mini Monsters go to their respective schools, the house is clutter free. I hate clutter, it makes me grumpy.

Everything is ready for a week of possibility. This could be the week I clear my workload. This could be the week I finish some coursework or discover a wonderful new job opportunity.

A Monday is a beginning and I like beginnings.

Beginnings are tidy, there hasn’t yet been time to go wrong, be distracted. Beginnings are the very start of something new and exciting, they can grow into great ideas, wonderful chances.

Mondays are the day we often use to tackle something different. Maybe we will give up smoking, start a diet, begin an exercise routine to better ourselves. Perhaps on a Monday we start school, enter new employment, go out to a new club and meet new friends. 

Which means a Monday is a day of optimism. A day of anticipation, expectation.

I am a naturally optimistic person – a glass half full kind of girl. I don’t like to dwell on negative possibilities, I believe in waiting to see what will happen and generally I believe things work out for the best. Or at least, for a reason.

(Is this a belief in fate? Do optimism and fate go hand in hand? I think I have an idea for next weeks post – what do you think?)

Why am I writing this?

So – this is a post about Mondays, but also a post about optimism. I wanted to put this together and join in a brilliant and inspirational new idea that began with Anka, Anita and WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion called Project Optimism.

The rules for this were fairly simple – one of them was to link to their starting post – here. I managed that.

Another was to post on Mondays. Erm – I love Mondays, did I mention that. But, today is Tuesday. Because I was just so busy being all optimistic and starting new things yesterday I didn’t get round to starting this one. So I hope they will forgive me for joining in a day out of sync – and forgive me again over and over as no doubt I will be appallingly bad at hitting that particular rule spot on.

However, I am optimistic that I will be able to post often, if not on Mondays.

So – if you would like to join in this wonderful idea and start your week with a happy kick, pop on over to the ladies blogs above, check out those rules and join in.

(Oh – and did I mention that if you join in you get one of the cutest little pictures of a monkey optimistically catching a two ton elephant. Which may be partly why I joined in, but shhh, don’t tell them.)