CLICK HERE to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well!
*Trigger Warning: This post contains some sad pictures and topics on sickness and death.
JC’s siblings who died too young. Last month, I marvelled over the births of five tiny parrotlet lives. Unfortunately, only one of them survived. After asking around I discovered that this is a common scenario for birds, especially if it’s the parents’ first clutch. “Live and learn” is harsh in the bird kingdom!
We gave them temporary names on the fly, and the sole survivor was JC (named after a friend who shares the same birthday). It was a blessing to watch her grow bigger at an astonishing speed, and she was starting to look a lot like her mother. The others were Archibald (named after its father, Archer), Sacha (it had red eyes, and shared the same birthday with another friend), Pepper (named after its mother, Piper) and the first one died before we could name it. Archibald died in my hands, which was very sad. I was stroking his tiny head to comfort him, and he laid it down to rest forever.
JC did not make it in the end. I woke up in tears when I found her stiff body. She died with her eyes open 🙁 I actually wanted to rewrite the whole section above, but decided to leave it in for contrast. ‘Remembering’, after all, is a collection of transient thoughts that shifts with every moment. It’s a stark reminder that life is both precious and fragile. Every and any beautiful moment is worthy of celebration.
In Memory of Archer & Piper’s First Clutch:
Enjoying a headrub.
for my sickly parrotlets. Sorry if I’ve been talking too much about my birds, but it’s been a pretty eventful few months for them. I tried to prevent them from bearing children at such a young age, but nature does as it wills. As a result, their tiny bodies seem to be over-taxed, on top of some negative viral or environmental effects. Piper has been all fluffy and sleepy, although Archer looks to be on the mend (fingers crossed).
I’ve been handfeeding the baby and parents about four times a day, and it’s surprisingly tiring! It takes me 1.5 hours each time, as I need to prepare the formula, boil water to keep the food warm, pump it drop by drop into their tiny mouths, then wash up after. My hands have become sore as a result, and I even had difficulty drawing formula up a 1ml syringe. It also triggered some minor flares, but I count myself fortunate to be able to rest whenever I need to. This made me a tad depressed, as I wondered how I was going to manage a real human kid in future, if ever.
Once again, I decided to leave what I had written intact, in memory of the caring process. Archer died a day after J.C., and it was a huge loss for us. He was one of our favourites, full of curiosity, sass and a good bite! When I think of him, this silly chant plays in my head, “Archer-cher-cher-cher-cher”. He loved to say that, on top of ‘good boy’ and ‘naughty boy’. He also loved to imitate all sorts of sounds, from the squeak of the sponge against dishes, to the creaky spritz of a spray bottle. His nickname was ‘Blue Monster’, because he could be quite the brat! We will miss him a lot.
Meanwhile, Piper is still under intensive care, and we got her a heat lamp under the vet’s advice. It seems to be helping a little, on top of the extra probiotics and medications, although her beak is becoming warped for unknown reasons. Hang in there, sweet Piper.
Archer, still caring for his little lady up until he died.
my partner’s father who was in town. Okay technically this happened last month, but he’s still here for a few days in May so that counts? 🙂 He visits for a couple weeks twice a year, and seems to be blending into local life pretty well! I hate having people live with us for an extended period of time as I value my solitude and privacy, but I’d say that he’s an exception! He’s more like a friend who’s easy to get along with and doesn’t judge, so I feel comfortable having him around. The banter has been fun, and I’m happy for my partner to have family here, plus someone to watch the rugby with because I just don’t get it 😉
my days, not planning them. I have a pack of Art Oracle cards that’s pretty neat! I was opening one every morning for a period of time for some fun and insight. There are three short quotes on the cards from various artists, one for work, life and inspiration. I like this particular line from Charles and Ray Eames, “Design your days – don’t plan them”.
That got me thinking as to how I write todo lists for myself every day (actually, these don’t really help me, but I just like playing around with the colours, stickers and washi tape in my bullet journal 😉 ). Back in design school and when I was working in advertising, I learned that design isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about how you put elements together (on a screen, in my case), to impact the viewer in a desired manner. It’s about creating an experience, with a positive feeling as the goal most of the time.
This is also how I interpret this quote; I’d like to try and make my days less of a to-do list and instead, design my tasks around how I want it to make me feel. For example, if I want to feel peaceful today, how can I organise my todo list such that it generates this emotion? What activities or non-activities can I schedule in to help me achieve this aim? Is there anything I need to strike out, in order to maintain peace?
that I can make a living from my writing one day. p.s. I decided to use this prompt to answer Claire’s question on my Twitter Q&A, too! (She runs a great blog over at: painpalsblog.wordpress.com)
Sheryl – how do you manage to support so many other bloggers, whilst writing a fantastic and dealing with your own illness??
— Claire(PainPalsBlog) (@ClaireSaul1) April 21, 2018
I haven’t done much pure coding for the past few years, although I still take on web development jobs sometimes. I have been focussing all my energy working on my blog as if it were a full-time job. Part of this is because I genuinely enjoy doing it, so it doesn’t feel like a chore at all. Another reason is that I hope to establish myself as a writer and blogger as the years go by, and make it my full-time career with a sustainable income. I believe that such a career isn’t only better for my physical and mental health, but it’s also more meaningful and satisfying. I’m definitely not going to rest until I’m able to bring some bacon home as well, as the saying goes 🙂
Thank you for reading, and I hope to read your responses for May’s prompts too! Click here to submit your own entry, and to read about what others are up to as well! If you don’t have a blog but wish to participate, you can publish your post on Medium for free. Or drop me a message and I might be able to publish it on my blog.
Sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out on the latest posts and monthly proompts! You will also receive an e-book full of uplifting messages, quotes and illustrations, as a token of appreciation!