Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Core Values - My Story


We harvested our first three cauliflowers
yesterday. One has already been gifted.




FOR the best part of my life I lived by other's values, the values of institutions and values learned by friends and associates.  I never stopped to think if these values were my core values.  Admittedly, I had plenty of moments of blinding clarity but always promptly dismissed these moments as nonsense or heresy, dusted myself down and kept running hard up other people's mountains.


Unshrinking a wool jumper that 'somebody' accidentally put
into the dryer on a rainy day.  We are soaking in cool water with one
cup of hair conditioner. We will then rinse, stretch gently and
dry it in the shade.  Fingers crossed.


As life became incrementally more dissatisfying the more I found myself spending, eating, searching for answers, spending, eating, becoming depressed, eating, spending, trying new things, spending eating, becoming deeply anxious, spending eating ....did I mention spending and eating?  The net result was I became deeply sad (expertly covered by a cheery smile), deeply in consumer debt (covered up by a semblance of "livin' the dream") and obese (nothing could cover that one up!). Of course there was a myriad of other psychological, social and physical types of dis-ease that incrementally manifested over a life time of living a life utterly disconnected from my true core values.


Savoury mince on toast. The savoury
mince was in the freezer pre-prepared
so it was just a matter of reheating
and serving on toast.  Yum.


Quite a while back now (about 7 years) I stumbled over this article HERE.  It took a while, but eventually I  figured out what my core values were.  The result really surprised me.  After a life time of chasing the almighty dollar (unsuccessfully), chasing happiness, chasing religious knowledge, chasing friendships, chasing career (tried 4 different careers), chasing being influential, chasing lifestyles that others had and being utterly emotionally exhausted - this article turned a small light on for me.


Home made yoghurt.


I would have thought my core values would have included things like, power, influence, charisma, knowledge, leadership etc....all the things I used around a boardroom table or in an aspiring church leadership role.  However, the following are my 5 core values....so very different from what I was chasing.

  1. Peacefulness
  2. Having Enough
  3. Kindness
  4. Home
  5. Creativity

These core values had sat ignored, even disdained, for decades while I chased the opposite type of life.  No wonder I was failing, sad, anxious and empty.....my life was a sum of falsehoods fueled by smug consumerism and ego.


The $50 freezer that just goes and goes.
The blackboard door adds a little fun.


Suffice to say that today I am certainly no paragon of virtue....ha! - the scars (even open wounds), remaining responsibilities and edifices of my former life are still being deconstructed, healed, new thoughts are being born, new actions are slowly replacing old ones and although the transformation is certain, some days I get to thinking if I have not just wasted a goodly portion of my life ?!  But I guess a final 30 years of incrementally building a new life is not to be sneezed at.




I guess this is why I write here at Mr Home Maker.  If even one person is encouraged to examine their life and make incremental, sustainable and (even better) regenerative changes - then my imperfect ramblings have been worthwhile.


Take care folks and stay nice.

Mr HM

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Masks We Wear

Organising the pantry



As lovely as our recent little holiday to the Blue Mountains was, we did see hoards of tourists pouring in on the weekend - this reminded me of the far-reaching arms or consumerism.


A cheap and easy meal.
Throw in all your mismatched pasta,
a little left over bacon, a spring onion,
a tomato, a little cream maybe.


Whilst sitting in a quiet little un-trendy coffee shop sipping my very first dandelion latte (who knew they were so tasty?!) I was reading an article about the different masks we wear.  It got me thinking about consumerism and the masks we wear due to it.  We put the happy, engaged, productive worker mask on so we can keep our job so we can meet our self-inflicted expenses and repayments. We don the cheery spouse mask to ensure our marriages and relationships stay together whilst in reality consumer-driven money worries can be white-anting the relationship. We tie on  the mask of the in-control parent ensuring that our offspring are bought all the necessary things required for children in the modern world  - $400K worth by the time they are 18 I hear. We have several masks or faces for all the unimportant people in our lives and we even have masks we wear so we do not have to face ourselves sometimes. One of the most obvious masks is the party mask...mixing with folk that we really do not give a toss about, pretending to be interested in their lives, the bad BBQ and the nasty alchohol being swigged by the gallon.


Capsicum and eggplant on their way now.
They sulked for a week after transplanting but have perked up now.


One of the most insidious masks we put on is the 'success' mask. Success it seems can only be proven by having the latest model XYZ300 in the driveway, living in Stuffedshirtia Heights, sending all the children to Grymbles Ladies College, shopping at 'The Village', eating out regularly at the Ritz, taking holidays "abroad" and having several gold and platinum plastics in the wallet. At some point we awake from the sirens voice of consumerism as we incrementally realise that success is not of these things, nor are the purchases thereof a way to measure success. It is then that we bravely decide to remove the mask of success. We reach behind our heads to find the strings of the mask  only to realise they are missing.....never mind, instead we use a finger to find the edge of the mask so we can lift it off our face and to our horror realise that the mask has stuck to our face.  We search frantically around the edge of the mask furtively trying to find a place to lift it off from. We panic as we realise that the mask has fused itself to our faces in full and the skin had grown across the edges. In sheer desperation we tear at our faces and scratch through the skin till we find an edge of the mask and we pull....hard.  We scream in pain and fear as the mask rips off our face tearing away the fusions and lesions that have insidiously made this consumerist mask of success become who we are.  We bleed. We know we are disfigured. We also know of a surety that we are free.


Vinegar 'Mother'


Be careful of masks folks - they can destroy our lives and rot away our core values without us even noticing.

Take care and stay nice folks.

Mr HM




Saturday, 20 August 2016

Holiday Pics # 3 (That's A Wrap Folks)

I have a weakness for pioneer buildings - especially the real-deal ones like this.


Here are the last of the holiday photos folks - enjoy.


I will return in the summer when this corridor of wisteria is in bloom

Camellias.....

....and more

Mountain views

See the rainbow across the valley?

Sleet and fine hail despite the blue skies

The local CWA doing a roaring trade.

Beautiful cliffs and clouds

Snowdrops blooming everywhere

Citrus trees loaded with fruit everywhere

Jonquils  - love em.....but not the smell

Tthe back of the cottage taken from the terraced gardens

Daffodils in bloom everywhere.
(Do you love the 1990's sprinkler?)

The little dining nook in the cottage.

The front of the cottage

Big old trees everywhere in the mountains


That's it for holiday photos folks.  Back home tomorrow - yay!  (I do love home)

Take care and stay nice folks.

Mr HM



















Friday, 19 August 2016

...More About Our Little Holiday

The little cottage on the grounds of the old convent. Looks 1920's
to me and decorated in uncluttered country style.


Just thought I would post a couple more pictures of our little holiday up in the Blue Mountains NSW.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Some of the beautiful camellias
in bloom all over the mountains

Some of the beautiful magnolias in
bloom all over the mountains


The little ceramic breakfast table out of the front door of the cottage

Stone pathways around the cottage and a glimpse of the gardens

....up the garden path.

A little spot to sit and take in the 270 degree mountain views

Ferns hug the pathway next to the cottage

Cute little shelves over the kitchen bench

I was quite taken by this old
antique medicine cupboard hanging
in the cottage dinette


More pictures on their way soon too.



Take care folks and stay nice.


Mr HM.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Little Holiday



We stopped on a drive and pretended we owned this beautiful
property with the cliffs in the distance 


THE better half and I are on a little holiday up in the Blue Mountains in NSW Australia.  We have left the family to tend to the house with the instructions of "No parties and no ice statues (!)" and "Remember to collect the eggs"....so all should be well - ha!

A beautiful little cafe in Katoomba.
The dandelion latte was delicious

Waterfall near Leura - a very
spiritual place, instantly calming


Both of us agreed that despite having a grueling financial plan over the next 18 months we still need to take some budget holidays from time to time and blow away the cobwebs.  This holiday, whilst seeming to be 'fancy' has actually been done well and truly on the cheap.  We have relished drives deep into gorges, enjoyed open farm land, happily have drunk in the cuteness of villages and towns in the area, visited antique stores (have only spend $29 thus far...phew), shared a serve of Devonshire tea and scones, picked up some of my favourite inch-liquorice from the antique candy store ($3) and have rented out a little cottage on the grounds of an old convent - gorgeous.


A stunning view.....

So quiet....

So unspoiled....


Unwinding much.


Take care folks and stay nice.


Mr (and Mrs) HM

An old butter churn for sale
at an antique store. Sadly I did not have
a spare $400 (!)

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Answers Are Within

The self-watering veggie gardens expanding
one box at a time.


Rapunzel, as it turns out, did not need a handsome prince to save her.  All she needed was her hair. Seriously, she could have figured that out all by herself without any help from princey-wincey-boy.

The same is true of us: our seemingly insurmountably problems or situations are all answerable from within. We are rarely rescued by others (supported and encouraged, yes - but rescued, no) and the answer to whatever is happening at the time slowly unveils itself from within.


The pantry being reorganised shelf by shelf


We are somehow wired (schooled? socialised?) to believe in the manifestation of rescuers and saviours requiring no input from ourselves - it is kind of romantic I guess.  The Lotto sings this song but to a different tune as does the lure of a $100K education bill (....think how much you will earn once you are a qualified 'Bazookiatrician' and you will be rescued from money drudgery! - Meh.) The saviour mentality appears in many forms and guises, mostly all invented by consumerism and money-grabbing institutions.


Someone has to do the weeding on the driveway!


Folks - the answers and solutions lie within us. Time to lean in and mine them out.  The physical outworking of these answers are in our homes, backyards, our ability to do simple math, personal inquisitiveness, refection, determination, networking and persistence. The answers to our spending habits (for instance) are often found in the very feelings we so often try to medicate and the unreleased creativity seething within us. Only looking within can honestly and effectively release these things.


The cauliflowers galloping along
real fast now.


The most precious and powerful things we possess are our core values - not the life rules that others enforce on us, but rather those deep beliefs we have about life, self and others.  If our core values are understood and used as a foundation for life, then we are of all people most content.  However if we are climbing someone else's mountain, then we are of all people most miserable...stuck in a stone tower with our unused core values coiled up uselessly on the floor in a lifeless plait while we peer wistfully out the window of life awaiting a rescuer.


The beautiful aroma of citrus blooms


We are going to explore the topic of core values soon at Mr Home Maker - so stay tuned.

Make a decision to have a beautiful Sunday evening folks.

Take care and stay nice.


Mr HM


Hennifer has spied a juicy bug

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