Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hello from Renmark

Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours. Swedish proverb

Hello from Renmark, haven’t been able to log on sooner because mum is having trouble with her new internet connection and is not sure how to alter the security levels to allow access to her wireless internet. I am at my brothers today looking after my nephew so I’ve taken the opportunity to jump online while he is sleeping.

We took him to the local pool this morning and he was absolutely tuckered out by the time we came home at lunchtime. Today it is 40C in Renmark and the forecast for tomorrow is expected to be 44C. Damn hot is all I can say. Thank goodness for air-conditioned cars and houses.

We arrived up here mid afternoon on Monday and the weather has been fantastic. The only problem with our holiday is that Renmark is currently experiencing an over abundance of mosquitoes. Locals are saying they have never seen them this bad ever. If you go outside you get eaten alive from the minute you wake up, to the minute you go to bed.

Shops are selling out of bug repellant and medicated cream. It’s because of the massive rainfall that the region has experienced this year. The river is really high again and they’re also on alert for flooding in the next month or so because of the massive floods in Queensland and the resultant water flowing down the Murray River.

Mum and dad’s new house is an absolute dream; I could live there and be eternally happy. The house is gorgeous and is set on an acre of botanic-like gardens. Beautiful lawn areas, palm trees and tons of pretty flowers and shrubs. If it wasn’t for the mosquitoes, I would spend my whole time sitting in the backyard enjoying the scenery.

The MM’s hooked the trailer up to the ride-on lawnmower yesterday and spent the morning clearing all the rotten oranges from the orchard and doing a general clean up for my dad. They got $20 each for their efforts so they were rapt. They were having fun and didn’t consider it work at all.

Hubby had his shed warming party back in Adelaide yesterday and christened the new ‘Taj Mahal’, sounds like it was a messy night for all who attended. We’re off to the Riverland’s street party tomorrow night to celebrate New Years Eve. They are having it on the banks of the river and will have wake boarding, skiing and board riding demonstrations on the river as well as live bands and DJ’s. Should be fun, but will definitely be a scorcher.

I am planning on heading back to Adelaide on Sunday but that will be largely dependent on the weather. It was originally expected to be 39C which is way to hot to drive for 4 hours, with 5 of us in the car. Amended forecast is now saying 31C, which is a little more bearable but we will see. Alternatively we may not head back until Monday.

I then have another week of holidays before I have to go back to work which will be nice.
Well that’s probably all my news for now, will check in again before we head back on Sunday if I get the chance. If not, have an awesome New Years Eve and seeya all in 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pheww, it's over....

Happiness is being at peace, being with loved ones, being comfortable…but most of all, it’s having those loved ones. Johnny Cash

Another Christmas bites the dust. I had a lovely day with friends and family but I'm glad it's all over for another year, there is just something so tiring about Christmas (and of course it has nothing to do with tearing about to visit everyone or eating mammoth amounts of food)

Christmas morning we started off with unwrapping presents at home, eldest son and his fiance joined us as well which was nice. Kids were all rapt with their presents. Then off to the local pub for Christmas drinks with friends. From there we ventured down to my brother-in-laws house for Christmas lunch with my husband's family. It was hot so the kids took advantage of the addition of the new below ground pool. (I am not envious, much)

Late afternoon and from there we dropped 15 year old MM at a friends place for a party and then headed off to visit friends. Drinks, relaxation and good company is how we ended Christmas Day. Well that's not entirely true. We headed home at about 10 and hubby (with quite a few Christmas drinks under his belt) decided to educate youngest MM on how to cut and bend pipes in the 'Taj Mahal' in the back yard - hubby's almost completed new shed for those who've missed earlier posts.

Was beside myself with laughter at the look on hubby's face when the copper pipe they were bending actually split and began gushing water all through the shed. So Christmas night ended with youngest MM and I watching hubby drag out the oxy and fix the pipe so that we had water to the house. Maybe next time he'll listen to us when we tell him that he should have left the job until today.

I'm all packed and ready to head up the river with the kids tomorrow, am so looking forward to seeing my side of the family. The news today has forecast a temperature of 43c for New Years Eve in Renmark. It's gonna be a scorcher and here I've been whingeing about how summer was never going to arrive, well bang now it's going to arrive with avengeance.

At this stage eldest MM's fiancee may still be joining us for the trip, but I'll see when I pick them up tomorrow. I told her that it wouldn't make much difference if she has her tests and scans this week or the next week, so fingers crossed she'll come with us.

Well, hope you all had an enjoyable and fun Christmas. Hopefully I will check in through the week from Renmark.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A better day

If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. Stephen R. Covey

What a miserable sod I sounded last time I wrote, I was just horribly disappointed about the job and wasn't feeling that flash either, but today is another day and I am feeling 100% better. I am doing 'mother duty' at the moment and waiting for 15 year old MM (mere male) to come home, he's due home by midnight, so 10 minutes to go. He's been working flat out, 5 days a week since school got out 5 weeks ago, so today was his last working day before his Christmas break.

Can I do my little dance and say thank you for my first comment on my blog. I know that my family and friends check in now and again - but it's different when a fellow writer makes a comment. Gees I sound tragic don't I, but let me repay the favour and ask you to go on over and check out Tim's blog anyway.

Well MM has just checked in by text message (don't you just love modern technology) and he is now staying at his mates place. Of course I rang him and asked why he'd left it till the last minute to let me know. The next thing I know he's telling me what an awesome Chrissy present he's bought me tonight, this of course was to justify the last minute notice. It's his first Christmas of having his own 'earned' dollars to buy presents, so he's quite excited and obviously was trying to sidestep the issue of not letting me know sooner that he was staying at his friend's house.

Back to yesterday's distress about whether I would have a job when I returned to work in January, my boss rang me again this morning following a meeting with the Managing Director and stated unequivocally that I would have a job when I return, the project will go ahead and we will have plenty to do. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride with this project at the moment.

This is of course a huge weight off my shoulders and while I would love to have nothing better to do than spend my days churning out books, the 38 hour week is still required for the moment to pay the bills.

13 year old MM has just come and done a little jig to remind me it's now Christmas Eve (10 minutes into) much to my amusement. I miss the excitement and joy of having toddlers who get excited by Christmas and Santa. I now have a houseful of teenagers and it's just not quite the same, so the jig made me laugh.

Well that's all my news for now. Cheers for now, Fi

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One of those days

Fortify yourself with a flock of friends! There is always at least one who will understand, inspire, and give you the lift you may need at the time. George M. Adams

What a horrible day, spent all week looking forward to catching up with old work mates for Chrissy drinks and then ended up with a migraine and slept the afternoon away instead. Consequently it is now after 11pm and I am wide awake. Still have a bit of a headache but am not tired at all. Erggh!

Had a phone call from my boss this morning and a decision on the project is now not expected until June next year, so not sure how long I will have a job for when I return to work in January. I may be looking for a new job, who knows. I guess a change is as good as a holiday as the saying goes.

Then my third crappy piece of news today - yes it was the day for it, eldest sons girlfriend (future mother-to-be of my grandchild) is now not coming away with us for the break. She has her 12 week scans and blood tests next week and has decided to spend the week with her mum instead of going away. Was very disappointed about this, but what can you do?

On the good news front, I am just shy of 10,000 words on my book, so I have been getting a lot of writing done this week which is pleasing. The way things are going, I may have a lot more time to write soon. As far as the work situation goes there's not much I can do about it, so I plan to just enjoy my break and make the most of the time off. Will worry about the future in January when I return. Probably easier said than done.

Have an appointment with the doc in the morning to get some more 'miracle' migraine drugs, they're like wafers actually and work a treat. He gave me 2 samples about 6 months ago to try and they're amazing. Have had 2 migraines in the last week though which I can put down to the state of my back and neck which are still not back to 100% after my graceful slide down mum and dad's front yard the other week.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day, ciao for now. Fi

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Keeping busy

Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children. Rosaleen Dickson

Mission completed - all of my Christmas shopping is done and the presents are all wrapped, what a beautiful feeling. I so enjoy selecting special things for my family at Christmas. Hubby and I don't buy each other anything, we usually just purchase whatever it is that we want as a gift to ourselves.

I have been enjoying my holidays, getting the things done that I need to - shopping and cleaning the house, but at least I can do it at a leisurely pace and not my usual frantic pace prior to Christmas.

I've been writing a lot in the last week and have also got the framework around my newsletter website established. Still some work to be done yet and then I will share the details with you.

Attended a 2 year old birthday party on Sunday for a friends' little girl. Who would expect that 6 days out from Christmas we would be sitting around a heater and all dressed in jeans and jumpers - absolutely ludicrous weather patterns at the moment. Christmas Day is looking a little bit more promising with temperatures expected to reach 31C.

I'm hoping like anything that it is warm and sunny next week when we head up to Renmark. I'm looking forward to catching up with brother and sister-in-law and also seeing mum and dad's new house. It'll be just the boys (and eldest son's girlfriend) and I going up, as hubby has to work. A week of family, relaxation and sunshine is something I'm joyfully anticipating.

At least this year there will be none of the garbage that I had to contend with over the last Christmas break with my former job. Hubby, the kids and I headed up to Renmark last year and I had phone call after phone call from employees saying they hadn't been paid. Not my fault, I might point out, but I was the only contact number that anyone had.

The mistake was made by the Corporate office and I ended up cutting short our trip to come back to Adelaide to fix it. I hadn't taken my work computer access codes to Renmark, after all it was Christmas and I didn't think for a second I would need them. The end result was that I had to contact the Payroll Manager from the Corporate office and interrupt her Christmas break to get the problem fixed. I was appalled that some of our employees had not been paid prior to Christmas when I had ensured everything my end was finalised. In short, thankfully this Christmas it is not my concern - new job and all.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow - I'm catching up with the crew from my old place of employment for Chrissy drinks which should be enjoyable. The people and the camaraderie are in fact the things I miss the most, well in truth they're the only things I miss.

Well that's all my news for now, Fi

Thursday, December 16, 2010

When I grow up....

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

I have decided that when I grow up, I want to sit on the Board of Directors for a national company. Imagine getting paid ludicrous amounts of money to fly around the country, get treated like royalty, attend a measly eleven meetings a year and all you have to do is give your opinion. I can so do that, where do I sign up?

Pardon my sarcasm, I'm feeling slightly disgruntled with the decision making process or slowness of it, not to mention bored out of my brain with doing very little each day whilst waiting for a decision. Luckily tomorrow is my last day and then 3 weeks of absolute bliss. Can't wait.

Admittedly today did give me time to create a new newsletter template and I am extremely happy with the result. So what if I'm beginning the January newsletter for the project in December. At least it's keeping me busy.

Was discussing the cleaners with a work colleague today and I commented that I felt extremely sorry for one of the cleaners. She is well advanced in years and looks to be in constant pain, yet is one of the happiest, cheeriest people I know. Every morning she gives me a cheerful hello. My thoughts were on the fact that she probably should retire, not that I voiced them.

I was absolutely shocked to hear that this poor woman has a husband who is a quadriplegic and she gets up at 2am every morning to help him with his exercises and get him ready before leaving to start work cleaning our building at 6am. She doesn't drive, so catches the bus at an ungodly hour for a mere 3 hours work a day.

The extra money she earns doesn't affect her pension and allows her to buy the few extras they need. Last year she saved up to buy her husband an electric wheelchair, she's now saving for a lounge suite. In future, when I moan and groan and feel hard done by, I will remember this story and realise how lucky I am.

I'm sure there are many people out there doing it tough, especially at this time of the year which saddens me and makes me especially grateful for my family and my life.

Ciao for now, Fi

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is coming - ready or not

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale

Okay I've finally given into the inevitable - Christmas is rapidly approaching. I put the tree and decorations up on Sunday. I wasn't really in the Christmas mood prior to this, but I'm getting there.

Yesterday was my first day of moving about all day without any back pain - yahoo. I did have a whopper of a migraine last night though. This is undoubtedly due to my dodgy back given that I haven't had one for months and months, thanks to my delightful chiro.

Spent another day at work looking busy and doing absolutely zip, the days seem to take forever at the moment. I have added an extra week to my Christmas break and will start my Christmas holidays this Friday. Can't undergo another week of doing nothing. I have no idea what January will bring though.

One bonus of having very little to do at work and having a need to look busy, I've got over 4000 words done on my book. Awesome start. Words on a computer screen look inocuous enough, so no questions are asked, not that my boss gives a hoot at the moment, but other Managers would. Next year when I complain about the ludricous hours I am working and the workload, you can remind me about being bored and having nothing to do.

Hubby has serviced my car today, so now it's all ready for my trip to Renmark - which is less than 2 weeks away. He made a point of saving the smallish bucket of oil that was left after the oil change. He wanted to point out that I should be checking the oil more regularly. It has always been my standard argument that I married a mechanic for a reason and that this is his job. He responded that I drive it, I should check the oil. My response to this was that he wears his work shirts but I wash and iron them, did he want the job instead. His mate doubled over laughing at that one and said that I had a valid point.

Hubby avoids the iron like the plague. He's been known to wear a jumper rather than iron a shirt himself. I have no idea what he is going to do when I am away for 8 days, his employer only supplies 5 work shirts at any one time. He suggests he'll just put it in the dryer to 'iron' it, gotta love him. Don't get me wrong, he could rival any world class chef with his cooking ability and when it comes to repairs, building or 'boy' jobs then he is first class. He'll even wash and hang a load of clothes but he refuses to touch the iron.

Well my belly is starting to voice protests about lack of sustenance so I had better go and fill it.

Ciao for now, Fi

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On my soapbox

Trust the dreams for hidden in them is the gate to eternity. Kahlil Gibran

Another night of bliss is upon me, MM's are all out for the night and I am stationed in front of my laptop. We are now 11 days into Summer, not that you would know it, becuse it's cold and raining. I'm beginning to wonder if summer is ever going to arrive. Half of Australia is under water at the moment. Well that's probably a slight exaggeration, but a large number of towns on the East coast are flooded due to large and unprecedented rainfall.

You will be very proud of me, I took my own advice today and kept my mouth shut, despite the urge to loudly and clearly voice my displeasure. Hubby had a guy around on Wednesday to fit a roller door to the 'Taj Mahal' in our backyard. The 'moron' contractor forgot the tracks for the door. So while the roller door was fitted, it could not be used. Okay fair enough we all forget things, so I can cut the guy some slack.

He said he would be back at 8am this morning. Youngest MM (much to his disgust) dragged his butt out of bed at 7.30am this morning to greet the guy as hubby was at work. I even took pity on MM and dragged myself out of my nice warm bed shortly after he got up. At 10am with no sign of the 'moron' (and no courtesy call to explain his lack of appearance) I went shopping.

Hubby rang the guy at 2pm and received an explanation that he had got held up and would be there at 3. I for one was not happy with this shoddy behaviour, but not for me to comment, hubby was annoyed enough. At 4.30 hubby rang the 'moron' again and was told he was half an hour away. I was meant to be dropping hubby and a mate off at their work show at 6.

This guy finally showed up at 5.15. Sorry, but to me this is totally unacceptable. I was expecting a young lad, my apologies for stereotyping, but I figured it's usually the younger ones who lack the decorum and good manners to simply pick up a phone and explain their delay. Bugger me if this guy wasn't a day under 50 (and that's being generous). I bit my tongue, in fact I walked away because I was all set to explain exactly what good manners and reliability was to this twit.

The guy packed up and left at 6.30, yes the door works fine and looks very good also, but we were half an hour late dropping hubby off at his work show. Anyone who knows my hubby will know that he is also not afraid to voice his opinion, however not a word was said to this 'delinquent' for his unreliability. I guess once you've already paid the cash and are reliant on the job being completed you don't want to risk upsetting the apple cart, but geesh! Never again will I stereotype the 'younger' generation.

While I'm on my soapbox, I discovered something else tonight which I am at odds to understand. Why the hell can't you get a 10 cent refund on milk cartons? In Adelaide you get 10 cents for every can and soft drink bottle that you take to a recycling depot, this is also possible on iced coffee cartons and fruit juice cartons. So why not on milk cartons? My family goes through 12-15 litres of milk a week (yes I should own a cow) Think how much money I could make on recycling milk cartons.

Okay, I've voiced enough of my opinions for tonight. I'm off to make the most of the peace and quiet and write some more of the 'Great Australian' novel, well my current work in progress at least.

Ciao for now, Fi

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just one of the 'little people'

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman

Well I'm beginning to feel like a yo-yo, latest word on the street today was that the Project will go to the Board this month for a decision. I'm sure this will change again between now and the 20th. Gotta love decisive action, surely they get paid enough money to make a decision and then stick to it. One minute it's this month and the next minute it's not. Ergh, don't worry about the little people who are waiting on a decision.

I am feeling close to normal again, back has settled down after another trip to the chiro today. Coccyx is still extremely tender, but is now bearable. I think if I hadn't have been having regular visits to the chiro previously then I would have been in a lot more trouble.

My 'baby' MM is graduating from primary school tonight, how the time flies. They've gone to the Woodcroft Tavern for dinner and then the presentations start at 7.30, so I'll be armed with a camera in the crowd to embarass him silly. Truly I wouldn't dream of it, embarassing him that is, but will still have the camera though. Apparently parents are meant to get up and dance with their children, I will be begging off this one. Not sure that my back is quite that forgiving as yet.

Oprah is on TV being interviewed by Barbara Walters, I swear some people have nothing better to do than worry about what other people are doing. Being famous would have to be the biggest drag in the world - not that the money would be a hardship, but who needs the grief that goes with it.

I think the all expenses paid trip to Australia for 300+ Oprah fans is an absolutely awesome idea, now that would be fun. I love that she spreads her money around to the 'little' people, because lets face it's the 'little' people who have helped her get where she is today. Unlike other superstars who spend their money on useless rubbish like drugs and alcohol. But perhaps I won't get on that bandwagon.

Time to get myself organised, catchya later. Fi

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Televisions are hazardous!

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way. Edward DeBono

I had the day off work on Monday to help mum and dad with their move to Renmark and am suffering for it. I was carrying a television that mum and dad had given me out to my car, before the removalists arrived and ended up flat on my back after a nasty slide on the white rocks in their front yard. Felt like an absolute idiot, but saved the TV.

Consequently I then had to have a sickie yesterday and spent my day flat on my back on the lounge. I have done some serious damage to my coccyx and feel like I have a knife up my butt, not a pleasant description, but that's how it is. I have also strained my neck, upper back and shoulder, however this was somewhat alleviated by a mercy dash to the chiro on Monday night. Luckily I have an awesome chiro who fitted me in.

Went back to work today and am seriously feeling it tonight. The good news is that mum and dad got off to Renmark on Monday afternoon, after some ups and downs. Firstly they have so much stuff (read that as rubbish) that they ended up having to organise another truck. They were meant to be on the road by 12, but the second truck didn't arrive until 1. I ended up booting them out the door at 2.30 and told them I would finish up at the house, would clean all the floors and then lock up.

Do you know how much fun it is to sweep and mop miles of tiled floors when you're in agony? The things you do for family. The other hiccup came in the way of a phone call at about 12 saying that settlement hadn't gone through on their house. You can imagine my dad, absolutely freaking out, said they'd have to stay put, until I reminded him that the first truck was already on the way and they were committed. Not good levels of stress for someone with a heart condition though.

Numerous phone calls and stress later, it turned out that the buyers of mum and dad's house had used a 'quality' banking institution and someone had forgotten to process all of the paperwork. Consequently mum and dad couldn't get the keys for their new place till the Tuesday when settlement finally went through and so they instructed the real estate people that the same thing happen for the people moving into their house.

Mum and dad were fortunate enough that they could stay at my brothers place Monday night, but the family coming from Queensland ended up having to stay in a hotel. They were not happy, but shit happens and it was their stupid bank. Turns out this is a 'very' common occurrence, see I knew there was a reason why I didn't want to move.

Well got the bad news today that the Board probably won't make a decision until the February board meeting, which means the project won't get under way until at least April. Not sure what they're going to do with me. I have about 2 days worth of work and then I'm twiddling my thumbs. It's okay for John and David who have oodles of annual leave, but I only have about 8 days worth of annual leave left, because I had 2 weeks off in May when we went to Bali and I have booked 2 weeks off over Christmas.

Not really sure what is going to happen, they'll either advance me some leave (not likely) give me some shitty jobs to do in the meantime, or worst case scenario they'll put me off. I think with almost 10 years of service and a good track record that I may escape the worst case, but not looking forward to shitty jobs in other departments.

Time will tell I guess, I just wish Christmas would hurry up, then I can spend a blissful week in Renmark doing nothing but relaxing, swimming, reading and writing - my 4 favourite past times.
Well, that's about all my news for now.

Ciao for now, Fi

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Love is sweet

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. Nicholas Sparks

I love weddings! A special friend got married yesterday and I felt honoured that my hubby and I were invited to share their special day. After 17 years of marriage, I think I've become slightly jaded. Yesterday reminded me of the joy and hope that you feel on your wedding day. This was a beautiful wedding, tastefully done and still maintained the essence of who these people are.

I liked that things weren't necessarily the 'traditional' expectation, but were in keeping with the joy and fun that this pair inspire in all of their friends. They made the wedding their own; it was not just an over the top extravagance for those who attended. It was instead, a special, unique and inspiring day.

The 'tomboy' bride surprised many of us, her dress was spectacular and suited her perfectly.

What is it about babies and weddings that spurns such strong emotions? I'm a sap, I love the emotion of babies and weddings. All the hope and joy they inspire. It's all about new beginnings, dreams, hopes, wishes.

Well the real slow down has started at work. Looks like I might be getting a longer than expected Christmas break, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I haven't had more than a two week break (at a time) in probably 10 years, so the prospect of 3 or 4 weeks is quite enticing. Probably won't know for sure until next week.

Mum and Dad pack up tomorrow and move to Renmark, I'm sad but happy for them. I've planned to go and help them clean the house tomorrow morning, as the removalists are loading up. They have to be out of the house by lunchtime, so we should have a busy morning.

Do you know that I have lived in the same house for 17 years? Yet, the first 22 years of my life, I lived in more than 10 houses. I am really starting to get itchy feet and would love to move, it's not going to happen, but it's nice to dream. My children had something that I never had, they were born and lived in the same house for their entire childhood, attended the same schools.

I attended 6 different schools through the course of my childhood and again it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed the variety and moving around, or is that just the years dimming my memories?

That was the one thing I envied about the wedding we attended, of the 5 bridesmaids that made up the bridal party, only one of them had known the bride less than 10 years. She has very close friends and has kept them through the years. Moving around meant that I lost contact with a lot of my friends over the years, I still chat to some of them on occasion, but they are not 'in' my life any longer.

Ciao for now, Fi

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Patience is a virtue

Life is all about timing…the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable…attainable. Have the patience, wait it out. It’s all about timing. Stacey Charter

Yeah I chose the quote for a specific reason - if you read my last post then you'll know what I'm talking about- they still haven't made a decision. urgh! Frustrates the hell out of me. I'm beginning to wonder if they will ever make a decision, what is it about company board members? These ones don't even appear to have their facts straight about company history and they're the ones we're relying on to approve the project.

If the project doesn't go ahead then I am out of a job and they will make me redundant, unless they offer me some cruddy alternative which I will be obliged to take. The other alternative is that they will only give part approval for the project and then we will cut it down, lessening costs and minimising risks - which means we implement something that won't meet expectations and will be seen as a half-assed effort. Can't win

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining as such - I enjoy my job but the challenges and new experiences have obviously come to a grinding halt until we get approval. I want more, I need more. I've got 3 weeks left till Christmas break and bugger all to do. Do you think I could get away with writing my book during work time to fill in the time. The days go really slow when you have nothing to do.

It's my 'baby's' 22nd birthday today, boy how the years fly by. They're all growing up so quickly. At times it makes me sad and nostalgic, remembering them as babies and toddlers. Now they have their own lives and their friends.

That's all for now, Cheers

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taj Mahal in my backyard

Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more, and all good things will be yours. Swedish proverb

Yes, the grandest shed in the world is in my back yard. Hubby has finished the front of the shed and the side door has gone in. All that remains is the roller door to be put in and the floor to be concreted. It has been a massive work in progress and I for one will be extremely happy when it is complete.

Well we're nearing as it is. The boss flies to Sydney on Monday afternoon for the preliminary meeting with the sub committee for the Board with all the proposal information for the project. Hopefully if they approve then it should only be a formality for full Board approval in December.

I've said it several times already, but I wish they would just get on with it and make a decision so that we can get started. I'm not the most patient person in the world and I hate sitting around waiting for decisions to be made.

Well it's only 29 days till Christmas, I'm looking forward to the break and warmer weather. I'm starting to wonder whether summer is ever going to arrive. We're only four days off the first day of summer and we're still wearing pants and jumpers. We had a couple of warmish days (mid thirties) last week but that's it. It has been a very cool lead up to summer.

Bought youngest MM a suit today, well dress pants, shirt and vest. My baby is graduating from primary school on the 9th December. He looks so cute (I can't help it, mothers perogative) but I will have to exchange it for a smaller size. It was international sizing and I had no idea what size I needed. He was going to come with me but the 'Taj Mahal' was calling and he had to stay and help.

Helped my oldest MM do his gardens yesterday for landlords inspection. Mother-to-be of my future grandchild is having a very hard time with morning sickness (all day sicknesss) and my heart goes out to her. Wish there was something I could do to make her feel better.

Well that's all my news for now.

Cheers, Fi

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mining accidents

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time. ~ Winston Churchill

I was just flicking through my emails and checking on a couple of blogs and wasn't going to write in my blog, I was going to work on my book instead. But...the urge was too great. Had to tell you about a story I read in the newspaper this morning which I viewed in a total different way to the storyteller.

The story was about a young man who was involved in the recent blasts at the coal mines in New Zealand. He got blown out of his truck under ground and then managed to pick himself up off the ground and walk several miles out. Not only walking out dazed and bruised but phoning management from a mine phone on the way to explain the situation. He then also stopped to drag a fellow workmate to his feet and help him to safety as well.

This guy was reported to have posted on Facebook that he was sick of being so accident prone, in reference to a serious car accident several weeks earlier which had resulted in 30 stitches in his head and then the mine explosion. He views these accidents as being accident prone.

Me, I view it as this guy is meant to be on this earth for a reason. Two life threatening incidents in as many months, wake up mate and start living because you have some serious protection around you. Twenty nine other miners are still trapped and while we have cheered over the successful rescues of miners in Beaconsfield, Tasmania and then in Chile, this is rapidly becoming an unlikely possibility due to the toxic gases which are supposed to have caused the mine explosion in the first place.

Whatdya think, does this guy have a reason for being on this earth?

Cheers, Fi

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Law of Attraction

Whatever is going on in your mind is what you are attracting - The Secret

Never was a truer quote made and this is precisely what I wrote about on my goal setting page. Our thoughts are so powerful and in turn our thoughts determine our reality - I really believe this. What remains though is the task for rewiring our thoughts to be the good that we want in our lives, not the bad that may have been, or that we fear may become.

It's ironic, because I think of the project that I am working on at work and as part of an ERP implementation, there is a great focus placed on the 'as is' and the 'to be'. What the business currently does and what the strategic plan is for the future, what they want to be able to do. This can be transferred into life - we need to think more about the 'to be' - the what we want to be rather than the 'as is', which is what we have currently.

I finished reading 'Eat, Pray, Love" this afternoon and was glad that I bought it. Elizabeth Gilbert discovered herself, something I believe we all should have an opportunity to do. I especially enjoyed the section when she was in Bali, having recently spent time there myself and being readily able to identify with the 'sights and sounds'.

I think it is about time that I considered some affirmations for myself. I know in the past that the things that I have seriously believed in for myself have become reality, so I have full faith in the Law of Attraction and the 'Dream it, Believe it, Do it' scenario. I think that I sometimes slow myself down with negativity, I just need to believe and then throw it out there so than it can be.

I also need to be more disciplined so that I write more and stop trawling other blogs - do you know how many truly awful blogs there are out there. No that's probably not fair, there are some truly amazing blogs out there, I just find two things infuriating - one, the links are either broken or the blog no longer exists and two, you find a truly well written and inspiring blog and then find that it hasn't been updated for a year or two.

It boggles the brain to think of all of the blogs which are floating unloved and untouched out there in the blogosphere. Will the internet ever get too full?

Well with that final piece of deep thinking, I'll be off

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthdays Suck

Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese. Billie Burke

I don't know why I put so much importance on my birthday, after all it is just another day. My birthday was on Monday and I should have stayed in bed - I woke up in a foul mood (hubby helped with that) He woke me up at 5am to tell me to roll over and stop snoring because he couldn't hear the morning news on the TV before he got up to get ready for work.

Ergh, then I stayed awake for an hour and dozed off again. Slept through my alarm and the day went downhill from there. Was running late for work, dropped the cup cakes that I'd made for work and then got caught in a traffic jam because of an accident.

I just felt totally out of sorts all day. Luckily hubby had realised the error of his ways and when I got home from work, the house was spotless and he'd bought all of the ingredients for a special birthday dinner. Next year though, I think I'll stay in bed for the day.

Well it seems that every person I know is moving to Renmark. My brother and his family moved up there last Christmas, mum and dad bought a house up there last week and move in December and then I found out one of best friends is moving up there in April. With the mass exodus out of Adelaide, hubby has unequivocally stated we're not moving to Renmark - party pooper!

I'm going to be in this house for the next 50 years, especially now that we have the 'Taj Mahal' in the form of a shed. Not that I would move up there with a 'grandbaby' on the way. I guess I'm just going to be having lots of holidays in Renmark. I'm taking the boys up for a week after Christmas, hubby is staying home because he is working. He gets 5 weeks off in February though.

Well now that I am only 51 weeks off the big 40, I had better pull my finger out in terms of my writing. I've always promised myself that I should have my book written before I turn 40, so I'm running out of time.

That's all for now, cheers

Sunday, November 7, 2010

True Friends

"Many people will walk in and out of you life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."

I went to a hens party last night, yes it's been a while since I last attended one. The bride-to-be had a huge number of friends from every stage of her life at her party and it got me to thinking about the value of a true friend.

We go through many stages of our lives, and I know there are many people that I number amongst my friends, who vary in levels of importance dependent on the stage of my life that they come into it. Some I see regularly, some not so often and some not at all. Yet as the quote says above, they have all left footprints in my heart and have been important to me at some stage.

Yet, I look at the bride-to-be and I believe she has kept every friend through the different stages of her life. From school friends, to work friends, to social friends - we were all there. I guess moving a lot through my childhood contributed to friends coming and going within my life, yet never lessens their value to me.

So what is a true friend? A true friend is someone:

  • who knows everything about you, but loves you anyway
  • who is there for you to celebrate the good times and support you through the bad times
  • who doesn't judge
  • who would never deliberately hurt you
  • who is supportive of your goals and dreams
  • who you can trust
  • who doesn't take advantage of you

That about sums up the list of vital qualities and I find myself questioning a friend who is being so badly treated by a 'supposed' friend - it makes my blood boil and I have to fight the urge to attack the guilty party. I restrain myself with the knowledge that her closer friends share my dismay and are supporting her. In other words - they're being true friends.

Are you a true friend?

Cheers for now

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I'm gonna be a grandma!

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will. Jawaharal Nehru

How do you know when you're getting old? When your son tells you you're going to be a grandma. Oh my god, I feel too young to be a grandma. Once I get over the shock I will be ecstatic, at the moment though I'm still trying to process the idea.

Now I understand what I put my parents through, admittedly at least he's 22 and not 17. It's karma isn't it - what goes around, comes around. If that's true then my son will thoroughly enjoy the trials of parenthood. Seriously though, I am rapt for them and they're happy if not shocked.

They've been together 2 years and his girlfriend is an absolute dream - I couldn't have picked a better potential daughter-in-law if I tried. We get on well and I absolutely adore her, she's so good for him. It's something I've always feared though, because I have all boys, I've often worried about my grandchildren and what would happen if their mothers were awful and I didn't get on with them. I think it's different when you have girls. Silly thoughts I know and something that I didn't think I would have to worry about for a few years yet.

I am excited though and want to tell everyone. WOW

Cheers for now

Friday, October 29, 2010

A day in the life.....

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit. ~Elbert Hubbard

Today I'm having one of those days when I feel like I should be doing more to realise my dreams, I should be putting more effort into my writing and my long term goals. It's hard though when sometimes I'm not sure what it is I really want.

My new job has settled into an easy and steady pattern. Gone are the days of stress and anguish, which is refreshing and has been a long time coming. Now we just play a waiting game as we wait for the Board to give final approval for the project, that's not to say we are sitting around with nothing to do. At the moment we are studiously dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

I am fighting a never ending battle with maintaining all project documentation and version control. Not too bad with only 3 of us directly linked with the project at the moment. God knows how I do it once we have 60 - 70 people in the project team. I just want us to get started.

We have a very small window for the implementation partners to finalise the Statement of Work and all the timelines and costings for the project so that we make the November Board meeting, otherwise we don't get another chance until February. It's frustrating when it's not us holding up the process.

We have monthly meetings with our 6 separate Business Councils who all represent different Business Units within our company and I am getting a marvellous opportunity to meet a wide spectrum of people. All people with diverse personalities who are fascinating to sit back and watch. It's intriguing to imagine how all of these people are going to work on top of each other over the 3 year life of the project and not have the urge to strangle each other.

This project will be the best research for a best selling novel that I could ever experience. Don't they say that the best way to discover the true nature of people is to throw them together and impose some form of stress. Well if someone else hasn't said it, I just have.

The girls from my old work sound like they have had a bad week at work according to the chattering on Facebook which is distressing for me. I guess it just makes me realise how lucky I was to get out when I did. I'll catch up with them on Sunday at a jewellery party and get the lowdown. At least they no longer have to tolerate 'Clayton'.

On the subject of Facebook, how's this for a coincidence? 3 weeks ago I read the book 'The Accidental Billionaire', I had no idea what it was about until I picked it up at the library - I was just scouting through business books etc. Next week the movie 'The Social Network' is opening at the cinemas - a movie about Mark Zuckerberg - the creator of Facebook and ironically the same story as the book I read only a couple of weeks ago, how's that for irony.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mission accomplished!

We must be the change we want to see. Mahatma Gandhi

Mission accomplished! My project for my Business Management was completed at 5pm today, as promised. I have to print the additional pieces off tomorrow and assemble it in a presentation folder and its ready to go. So procrastination shot down once again. Its amazing how you avoid and avoid and then when you force yourself to do something - the relief is immense.

I have written all my goals up in my goals notebook and my action plans for the next week. As the thought goes ' baby steps' will get me there, as long as I keep moving and occasionally all my work leads to a giant step forward.

I also have plans to work on an idea I have for a website called 'Dream it, Believe it, Do it'. My basic philosophy in life and all about goal setting. Lots to do and all about finding some sort of balance.

Short entry tonight, cheers for now

Saturday, October 23, 2010


"You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want" Margaret Young

Why is that we do other things to avoid doing the things that we know we have to do? The definition of this 'disorder' is procrastination which refers to the counterproductive deferment of actions or tasks to a later time. We all suffer from this problem from time to time and the reason I write this is because I know that I should be finalising my project for my Management course and I am writing this blog instead.

I have been reading my books on goal setting and journalling over the last week. I went and bought myself a nice pink notebook today to track my goals and my progress (pink becuase I live in house full of mere males who wouldn't dream of touching anything pink!) One thing that I have discovered from reading these books is that I need to stop beating myself up about the regularity of my writing in my journal and I guess this blog as well.

My blog and my journal are for my benefit and should be written in when I feel comfortable not because of what is expected. I write in my journal when it is a private reflection that I am after, my blog when it's more generalised, but when I feel like doing it. They're both tools for discovering more about me and who I want to be. Letting go of the belief that 'I should be writing every day' is quite liberating.

Okay enough procrastinating for today. I will write in my new 'goals' notebook and one of those goals will be to complete my Management project by this time tomorrow night. It's not due until the 11th of November and majority of it is complete, so I'm not truly procrastinating. It just weighs on your mind when you know it should be finished so that you can focus on the next things that you should be doing.

Cheers for now

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Road Ahead

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there" – Lewis Carroll

I am starting to map out my next 3 years in terms of goals and career progression. If the project gets board approval, we're looking at possibly 3 - 4 years. I have that time to not only soak up every piece of information I can on the project, but also that time to add to my education so that I am in the right position to take the next step up the ladder.

This project has helped provide clarity and has also confirmed what I already knew deep down. Communications is where I want to go and not Human Resources. I loved my former job but there were parts of it that I really disliked and was not comfortable with. The communications aspect and this leading into change management was the angle that I enjoyed and is definitely where my strengths and passion lie.

So having said that, I am following through on advice that I gathered from a women's networking forum the other day and investigating my next education goal. The other thing I learnt from our speaker the other day, which I know is going to be my greatest struggle, is learning to shut my mouth and just listen and absorb. Far too often I open my mouth, not that bad things or stupid things come out, but I just need to listen.

I will finalise my Diploma of Business and Certificate 4 in Project Management by the 3rd December in terms of final assessments and then in the new year I plan on starting a Certificate 4 in Communications and Media. I've done some extensive research on the type of job roles I want to aim for and the qualifications required. I considered a degree, however the cost is prohibitive when a lot of what is covered I have already covered with my Arts degree and my Management course.

As a result of the Women's Networking Forum I am a part of, my company is also offering the option of mentoring, which is something I'm thinking I should take advantage of. Why does this fill me with trepidation and discomfort? Obviously because it will force me to step outside of my comfort zone, huh and I've never had to do that before. Stepping outside the box is the only way forward, followed by planning and more planning, followed by simply doing it and not just talking about it.

Cheers for now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Karma Bug

~ Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant will result in happiness. If we act nonvirtuously, suffering results. ~ Sakyong Mipham

The kids have been burning up our internet allowance with the XBox, so my computer is as slow as a slug today and will be for another 4 days, until the next month's allowance kicks in. Hubby has tried to ring our provider and raise our allowance only to continually be put on hold and even when they promise to return phone calls, it's to no avail. We have also considered moving to the provider that we have our mobile phones with - only they don't have the plan we want, in our area - not enough lines apparently.

I read of another example today ( that good things do come to those that deserve them and it got me thinking about the whole karma thing. An old boss of mine always used the term 'swings and roundabouts' which in essence meant what goes around, comes around. I used to love this saying, because I believe it's true. If you do good in the world then eventually the good will come back to you. Same said with doing bad, it comes back to bite and usually twice as hard.

I've just finished reading a book by Tom Bay, called 'Look Within or Do Without - 13 Qualities Winners all Share'. I found it easy to read and understand and it has lots of exercises for journalling. He lists four qualities he believes are integral to self-esteem; living consciously, responsibly, purposefully and with integrity. I believe these are also qualities of people worth having in your inner circle. He states:
1) People who live consciously are mindful of how their actions affect other people. e.g these disciplined people don't drink and drive.
2) People who live responsibly are accountable for their own behaviour. e.g they strive to do their personal best and could never seel shoddy merchandise.
3) People who live purposefully believe in giving 100%. e.g they are committed to excellence in whatever they do.
4) People with integrity stand behind their words and actions. e.g they follow through decisively on their promises.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dream Big

Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines. Brian Tracy

I must be getting old, lately I've been thinking of all the things that I want to achieve, see and do. My working life has powered ahead in the last three years, but I want so much more. I feel like I left my start so late in life. It frustrates me when my 15 year old MM messes around at school and wags classes, get it done while you're young I tell him.

I went back to school at 23 years old to complete year 12, all because I was too busy socialising in my teen years. I went to university at 30 which was when my children started school and then I took six years to complete my degree part time. Working and children took up the rest of my time. Now I find myself six weeks away from 39 years of age and I am annoyed that I took so long to get to this stage in my career.

I have been reading a lot of self improvement books lately, not that I don't read a lot of them normally, but I've been really absorbing what they say and considering where I want to be and what I want to do with my life. Yes, I've left my career run later than some but it's like a quote I read recently "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today" In essence, no use worrying about what I should or could have done, but get on and do it now. Better late than never as the saying goes. So what do I want to do, where do I want to be, most importantly who do I want to be?

I've pulled my journal out of hiding as well, I haven't written in it since we went to Bali in May. I need to be writing my goals and dreams down again and tracking my progress. Things have been a little crazy since we got back from Bali, what with all the carry on and stress at work. I'm not making excuses, co's I know I'm to blame. I guess that life goals are a bit like a project, you've got to have contingency plans for when life gets off track, because it's a given that there is never going to be a perfect time to achieve our goals - if I wait for a perfect time then I will never do anything.

Very deep and philosophical tonight aren't I? As you can tell, I've been doing some serious thinking. Now I just have to create a plan for how I'm going to do all these things that I want to achieve, and ensure that I have a contingency plan as back up. Wish me luck


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


~ Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging ~ Joseph Campbell

Yeah, I've been bad - haven't written as much as what I wanted to. The project is crazy, crazy. We are meant to be back in the office this week, well sort of. Tuesday we were back at the consultants, today I had my last day of my Business Management course and then tonight we're in Brisbane. Friday we will be back in the consultants office in Adelaide.

Bliss tonight is dinner on the pier, then sitting curled up alone on a lounge in my nice, plush hotel room on the 12th floor with no 'home duties' to do. I can put what I want on the TV, no-one is wrestling on the floor while I am trying to watch something on TV because the MM's are all home in Adelaide taking care of themselves.

I could get used to this new working life, lots of variety and new experiences. I know that makes me sound like such a dag, most people take this sort of working life for granted, but while it's new for me I can take pleasure in it. The boss is blase about the Qantas Club, me I've never been in there. I've travelled enough but not with the 'business' benefits, so that was a new experience for me.

I've now completed my Business Management Diploma and a Certifcate 4 in Project Management all barring the final projects for assessment. Qualifications that I couldn't hope to have got in my last position. Mind you, I think I've learnt more in the last 5 weeks about Project Management than I could ever hope to learn from a textbook. Life experience craps all over classroom teaching.

Good thing I wasn't really interested in watching TV, the choices on Brisbane channels on a Wednesday night are appalling. Well, I think I'll make myself a cuppa and relax on my balcony with a cigarette and enjoy the view.

Cheers for now

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hard work never hurt anyone?

I shall be open to the sacred knowledge of ages and the universe shall send me all that I need. Anon

It's been over a week since I wrote, I know. I didn't realise how exhausting this week would be. Our first week working from the consultants offices meant I was coming home from work absolutely shagged. I was leaving home at 7am and then getting home at 6.30pm, 10 hours of which was spent on my laptop furiously pumping out the necessary work that needs to be done to achieve our deadline of the 17th.

Consequently, by the time I was getting home at night, having dinner (thank god for a hubby who can cook and enjoys doing so) and chucking a load of washing through the washing machine, I had zero energy reserves left. When normally I would sit on my computer at night and write or at least read whatever book I am currently reading, this week I just sat in a sleepy daze in front of the televsision.

I can't remember ever being so totally exhausted. The good news is that we look set to make the deadline for finalisation of the Statement of Work for the project and all of the necessary backing documentation. Mind you, had we not forced ourselves on the consultant firm then it would probably have been a different story. I can't fathom how a company who oversees multi million dollar projects can be so disorganised and all over the place.

Don't get me wrong, their knowledge is awesome, but there seems to be too many bosses making the decisions and not enough people doing the 'grunt' work, and lets face it, a successful project needs both, decision - makers and people to dig in and get busy. I know we're doing a lot of the work that they should be doing, but however it comes about, we're working to a strict deadline and the work needs to be done.

After this week I have a better appreciation when the guys tell me that I will get used to working 'mobile' and I also have a better understanding of the sheer magnitude of this project. We haven't even got through the research phase yet and got final sign off, now I see why it will take 3-5 years and a massive team to achieve the end result, not to mention millions of dollars.

Some of the work is incredibly mundane and boring (what job doesn't have this aspect?) but so much of it is new and exciting. There are so many things for me to learn, I'm like a sponge soaking up the knowledge and the atmosphere. Enjoying myself immensely, it's refreshing to look forward to going to work again.

Cheers for now

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Living a Gungho life

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.- Eddie Robinson

The days go so much quicker when you're busy, the project is starting to gather speed, even though we're only in the early stages. I had my Management course yesterday and learnt about the principles of Gungho Leadership. This principle made sense to me. In simple terms there are three elements
  • 'The Spirit of the Squirrel' is giving people an understanding of why their job is important and knowing how their work contributes to the goal.
  • 'Way of the Beaver' means they're in control of achieving. Managers ensure that their people understand the goal and have the ability to do the job and then steps back and allows them to be in control of achieving.
  • 'Gift of the Goose' is about cheering each other on. It should be TRUE encouragement - that is timely, reponsive, unconditional and enthusiastic. It's about cheering the progress, not just the result.

This was my understanding of the concept anyway, I liked it.

We're moving to a new working environment for the next two weeks, our project team is moving into the consultancy firm for the next two weeks - I believe this move is in essence to 'put a rocket behind them' and ensure they're earning the money they're being paid. Adds an extra half hour morning and night to my travel time, but the work experience will be a good learning curve.

Looks like I might also be off to Brisbane in a couple of weeks for meetings and workshops, can't say my job is boring or mundane any more. Definitely makes my days more interesting. I've also started writing again, the ideas seem to be flowing with the reduction of stress from my former job.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boss from hell!

The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation. Comer Cotrell

It finally happened, the boss from hell resigned today (former boss anyway) It's only now that a fellow colleague and I are no longer there, that they realise that it was in fact us that did all of the work and not the 'boss' who was a professional at subterfuge and manipulation.

Strangely enough, I owe her the hugest debt. Were it not for her and her misguided ways then I would not have been made redundant and would not be in my new job which I am loving. Is it petty of me to now feel some measure of satisfaction that they're struggling without us there. Probably not, and lets face it, she caused me 10 months of absolutely torture, to the extent that I was glad to finally leave.

Now that I have got that out of my system, my new job has at last picked up speed and I am firmly finding my feet. I am learning new things on a daily basis, I have plenty of things to now keep me busy and once again I feel like I am making a worthwhile contribution and am earning the money they pay me. I'm back to enjoying what I do and like going to work.

Oldest MM seems to have also got his act together and has finally got himself a housemate to share the financial burden, another weight off my mind. Middle MM is still causing a small amount of unrest - how do you deal with a 15 year old who simply does not want to be at school. His social life is the be all and end all, to the detriment of everything important, including school and his family.

Youngest MM is a dream as always; he cooks, cleans, does exceptionally well at school, does his homework and has a healthy social life without it being all-consuming. He's 13 and I'm waiting for the terrible 14's to hit (this is the age that both older MM's suddenly turned into monsters)

So at this very moment I'm experiencing a small measure of bliss, work is good, children are as good as can be expected and hubby, well he's probably in the same category as the kids. He has his moments, but with me finishing work later, I think he is coming to the realisation of just how much I actually do around the house and is pulling his weight a bit more.

They've got the Ben Cousins drug special on TV, probably should make my MM's sit down and watch just what drugs can do to a person and how it can mess up lives. Kids these days seem to think they're invincible, no different to when I was a teenager, it just seems that things these days are more full on. Things that are bigger and scarier then when I was a kid.

Feeling my age at the moment and realising a better appreciation of what I put my own parents through.

Cheers for now, Fi

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spring bliss

Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer. Marcia Wieder

I love Spring, yes and while it's not literally Spring in Adelaide yet (it's still 9 days off) it still feels like it's on its way. Today the sun is shining and there is a hint of Spring in the air. After days and weeks of wintery weather with strong winds and rain, I look forward to the coming sunny days and spring breezes.

Sounds kind of corny I know, but there is something about Spring that energises me, and makes me feel positive and happy. Admittedly a new stress free job and tangible challenges ahead are probably contributing factors to my positive thoughts and a feeling of lightness.

I've been trawling the internet again and reading lots of outstanding blogs and sadly some very ordinary and badly written blogs. I appreciate the concept of freedom of speech and a persons' right to write about whatever they want but some people just don't 'get it' and those are the blogs that are a blatant marketing venture and badly done at that. The blogs I return to on a regular basis are the ones that are entertaining to read or where I can identify with the writer's thoughts and comments.

Life is meant to be a learning experience and I am constantly searching for knowledge and ways to enjoy a better work/life balance - I have always repeated the idiom that we work to live, we certainly don't live to work. Reality is that many of us get stuck in a rut and are unsure or fearful of how to dig our way out of this rut. I've seen evidence of this at my old job, of those people who have been made redundant and have been forcibly kicked out of their rut, I now see happier more fulfiiled individuals who say that redundancy was the best thing that ever happened to them.

It is tragic that a life changing event such as redundancy, which is traumatic not only for the individual but also for their family, is what causes us to stretch our wings and try new and different things. I've been exploring the concepts of the 'Laws of Attraction' and positive thinking (something that has always interested me) and I will talk about it more in coming blogs.

My advice to everyone, don't wait for a life changing event to get out of your rut, try something new or different and begin living your life again right now.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Instant Wealth

Your destiny is forged in the fires of your determination - Christopher Howard

I have just started reading Chris Howard's 'Instant Wealth - Wake up Rich'. It's turning out to be a very easy to read book, with a wealth of information. Very much based on similar books by Napolean Hill and Steve Covey. I love reading these sorts of books. Lets be honest I love reading anything that is well written, be it fiction or non-fiction.

What is a Doppelganger, they are talking about it on 'How I met your Mother', not my most favourite show. Here you go, straight from Wikipedia, a doppelganger is - In fiction folklore, and popular culture, a doppelgänger is a tangible double of a living person that typically represents evil. In the vernacular, the word doppelgänger has come to refer (as in German) to any double or look-alike of a person. You learn something new every day.

I attended my first project meeting today, one of six divisional groups that have been formed for the project. I can see myself sitting in a lot of these meetings over the months to come. I'm sure they will definitely improve as I start to understand more of what the project involves. At the moment so much of what they're talking about is double dutch to me, completely like they're talking a different language. I'm learning IT-speak at a rapid rate though.

Our company currently has in excess of 130 business sites - much larger than I thought. I am currently in the process of putting together a 'mud map' so to speak of where they all are situated across Australia and New Zealand. The logistics of putting together training plans for this many sites is rather daunting.

Cheers for now

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement - Brian Tracy

I'm running late tonight, should be going to bed and getting as much beauty sleep as I possibly can. I needed to write first though, it's essential to keeping my brain cells alive at the moment.

My new job has just as many challenges as my old one - only the challenges are polar opposites. The old job was 100 miles an hour, juggling everyone and everything and never having enough hours in the day to do everything that needed to be done. The new job, I'm creating things to do, just to keep my self busy, it seems almost criminal that I am getting paid to do what I am doing at the moment.

Realistically my boss has been interstate for the first two days that I have been in the office. I had completed everything on the list of things he wanted done before lunchtime today. This afternoon I sat there and completed my project proposal for my Business Management course. Yes its still work related and perfectly acceptable to be doing it at work, but I was fighting feelings of guilt whilst doing it.

I've been told that project work starts of slow in the early stages but the hours and workload pick up speed quickly, so I guess I should be relishing the stress free atmosphere at the moment. Its hard and is doing my head in with not constantly being on the go. I guess I've forgotten how to relax and kick back and enjoy life.

Loving the name for my former boss, the girls have started calling her Lara Bingle, as in 'where the bloody hell are you' ad that was on TV years ago advertising Australia in the UK. She hasn't been at work for over 2 weeks now, sick again. I believe she has had almost 100 sick days in less than the year since she started. I know people get genuinely sick, but her behaviour is totally ridiculous, unprofessional and certainly not an acceptable level of commitment from a senior level HR Manager.

Makes me appreciate the blissful life that I am now leading and I am greatful to be out of the place. Miss the people though, that's the hardest part

Cheers for now,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rest Time

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.Henry David Thoreau

This has been my most blissful week in probably 12 months. Three days of training at work and then two days of annual leave (Managers of the project I am going to be working on were at a conference this week)

Went up to Mannum (hour and a half drive away and right on the banks of the Murray River) Hubby, the boys and I, for three days with two other couples and their kids. A friend was celebrating her 30th birthday - boy does that make me feel really old and also very glad that my children are now old enough that they're basically self sufficient. You really forget what it is like to have babies and toddlers around. It was fun though because both of my boys are absolutely awesome with little kids, for all of their tough talk and macho ways, babies and little kids bring out the real them.

I did absolutely nothing, rested, relaxed and read my book. It's hard work not doing anything. I'm so used to going a hundred miles an hour at work and then weekends are a blur of activity and trying to fit everything in.

I thought about taking my computer and getting in some quality writing time, but decided that I was simply going to kick back and relax. It was difficult because I was in such a mellow mood, I was really in the mood to write.

The weather was a bit miserable. but what can you expect in the middle of winter. It was cold but only rained a bit yesterday morning - the weather was very conducive to sitting around a fire bucket and chatting with friends. Then snuggling up in a nice warm and cosy cabin at night. Ahh, it's a hard life but someone has to do it.

First actual day of my new job tomorrow, I'll be in the office - no more training, so I am a little apprehensive but looking forward to the challenges that are coming.

Wish me luck

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good or Bad?

If you don't have a plan, you won't have a life - African saying

I read a post on Lori's blog and it basically reiterated everything that I feel about blogging. Way to go Lori - it's the first blog I've ever felt inspired to comment on (and I have read alot of them). I have done a huge amount of trawling through blogs especially over the last month, to get a feel for what worked for me and what I didn't like and consequently what I wanted to avoid on my blog.

I know blogs are quite personal in their nature and people can write whatever they like - but if you want people to gain value from what you write then as Lori commented you've got to be honest and open. Make it easy to read. I don't want you to lie to me, I also don't want every second word to be a link to another website - I'm there to read you.

Don't promise me that you're going to write regularly and then not write for six months and then that entry is an apology for not writing. If you're not going to write regularly, thats fine, but don't continually say you will and then apologise for not doing it.

It must be the voyeur in me but I love reading about how people deal with day-to-day life, be it writing, working, families, self-improvement. I really don't want to read about people whining about their dismal lives and everyone / thing being against them. Mind you, I will be interested if life has handed you some challenges and you're sharing ways you've found to get through the tough times.

My pet hates in other blogs, which will turn me away every time - massive amounts of advertising, so much so that there are only a few paragraphs to read. Plus a blog which requires me to sign up or link to another website before I get any information. Blech - simply not interested!

Do you agree?


Monday, August 9, 2010

Comfort Zone

Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life - Confucious

Day 1 at the new job and I won't forget it in a hurry. Half way through the day and some poor kid lost control of her car and hit the end of the building that we were having training in, slid along the guardrail, took out two fences and then got airborne and ended up into the construction site behind the main building.

She walked away with barely a mark on her, the car is totally stuffed but she's alright. There was definitely someone watching over this kid, because she missed the main electrical box for the company and a stobie pole by only feet. For those non South Australians, a stobie pole is a massively ugly concrete incased power pole that only South Australians are lucky enough to have in their state.

I found it very disconcerting today being in a building where I didn't know who was in charge of things or where things were. Especially in the case of an accident, where we were the first people in contact with this person. I calmed her down, sat her in a chair and got all of her details - after sending someone for help.

I'm used to working in HR and knowing the site and the people who take care of things. I didn't even know the pincode for the gates or what time they lock the gates at the end of the day. Because I'm in training, I won't do my official induction until next week.

Training was interesting - the concepts of Project Management are quite daunting when you consider the size of the project that I am going to be working on. It's all a massive learning curve and is quite unsettling when you step out of your comfort zone.

Cheers for now

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What they see

An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. - Orlando A. Battista

It is amazing how much our children see or understand, without us realising. My 13 year old MM was discussing my upcoming new job (I start tomorrow) and made the comment that I seem happier and not as agitated. I only finished up my job on Friday and already he can distinguish the difference in my behaviour. My lesson here - never believe that our children don't see and understand what we are doing and feeling.

I am still finding it hard to let go of work though, even though it is no longer my concern or my responsibility. I find my mind drifting to things I want to check or follow up on and then I remember that I don't need to. How do CEO's and high level Managers walk away from companies that they've been running for years, where work is a part of their everyday thought processes and routine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Great Escape

"Nothing in life just happens. You have to have the stamina to meet the obstacles and overcome them. " ~ Golda Meir

Last day of work yesterday and two conflicting emotions - elation that I have finally escaped and sadness that I am leaving behind nine years of memories and good friends. I feel as though a great weight has lifted off my shoulders.

I am nervous about the new job, change is never easy, but I think sometimes we need to be pushed into making the change. I haven't been happy there for a long time but I guess sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, so it's hard to take that step.

I feel a bit aimless, as I'm really not sure what I am going to be doing in the new job. The project is all in the very early stages and a lot of organising needs to be done. I guess that's my strength though, organising people and communicating the changes. It's just hard when you've followed a routine for four years and you know what is expected and what needs to be done and then going into something brand new.

Wish me luck

Friday, July 30, 2010

New Challenges

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

New job starts on Monday 9th, discussions went well today. I am looking very forward to the challenges ahead and learning new things. Emotions are running very high at work at the moment, a lot of good people were made redundant yesterday. So many people have touched my heart with their comments and support, it really makes you realise how appreciated you are.
Of course my department is the one that deals with all of this. Quite ironic really that I was the one talking with people, following their notification, and I was in the same boat as them.

I have the added benefit that I have something lined up and I knew a long time in advance that mine was coming and was quite happy about it, but my heart goes out to those with families and mortgages and the prospect of job hunting. There's nothing nice about redundancies - it breaks my heart when you are affecting peoples lives. It's the ultra crappy part of HR.

Really not in the mood for writing more tonight, cheers for now

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Success is living up to your potential. That's all. Wake up with a smile and go after life...Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it.- Joe Kapp

Well I got what I wanted, my position is redundant as of the 6th July. This cloud does have a silver lining though, I am in discussions with the former General Manager who has offered me a role with him. The new role will combine my current skills with the addition of corporate communications and training. Effectively I lose the icky parts of my current role and gain the ones I want more experience in.

Even better is that it's with a Manager who I work very well with and have an immense amount of respect for. All of this is subject to a meeting with him on Friday and discussions regarding remuneration, I already have an indication from him that this will go well. It also means I will stay with the same parent company, but in the corporate division and I will keep all of my entitlements. Fingers crossed this all goes well.

Cheers for now

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mens Sheds

Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential. - Liane Cardes

Today, my house resembles a building site. MM's are in the process of building a bigger and better shed - what is it about men and their sheds? So as I write, I have in the background a symphony of concrete mixer and voices yelling to be heard over the painful noise it makes. Gone is the blissful peace and quiet of last night.

Big holes (for the posts to go in) now dot the landscape of my backyard, they're big enough to bury a horse in and of course there is no better time to dig holes than in the middle of winter when Adelaide has experienced one of its wettest months in years. Yes we need the rain, but I certainly don't need the mud that it generates.

I simply can not get excited about this shed, much to the dismay of my three MM's. I am told it will be bigger than the one we already have, so big in fact that they are building it over the one that is already there (and I thought that one was too big)

Of course when building such a mammoth structure, it is necessary for all of MM's male friends to drop by with several cold beers to oversee the proceedings and make intelligent recommendations. At this stage I take refuge in the house, bar all the doors and pretend I am not home.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My idea of bliss

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt

I know I'm getting old when my idea of of a good night is sitting curled up on the lounge on a Saturday night and revelling in the peace and quiet. It's 10.30 and everyone in the house is asleep. Hubby has just come off night shift, so has gone to sleep on the lounge. Both boys are in bed and asleep, even socialite 15 year old MM is in bed asleep and not out with his mates.

I can put what I want on the TV, crank up the heater, slurp on my hot chocolate and write to my hearts content with no interruptions, no distractions - ah true bliss!

I have been giving serious thought to my career options and what I want to do. I know I should be expanding on my current job qualifications and getting a 'piece of paper' which says that I can do the job. But I'm torn between getting formal qualifications for what I have current experience in or expanding on my qualifications in English and Creative Writing and doing some graduate studies in communications or similar, with the aim of getting into corporate communications and the like. This would mean a whole new career direction and taking a step down the financial ladder that I've successfully climbed in the last four years.

Not to mention convincing hubby that more money spent on studying is worthwhile. Decisions, decisions, I'm hoping they will make me redundant at work next week, I've put my hand up to go with the next round of redundancies coming through the company. Then I might just sit home and write the Great Australian novel.

Cheers for now

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Failing our kids

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence - Eddie Robinson

Am I the only parent who is constantly frustrated by the education system?

I have a 15 year old MM (mere male) who is not doing well at school, not through lack of intelligence but through sheer boredom. He's a hands-on kid, who wants to be building things, fixing things, creating things. Written handouts and essays bore him silly and they fail miserably to garner his enthusiam for the learning process. Sadly he is not alone amongst teenagers, if what my friends tell me is anything to go on.

Don't get me wrong - maths and english are crucial subjects, but why aren't we catering for those kids who aren't necessarily academically minded by teaching them how to survive in the real world and giving them real life skills. Basing maths on budgeting and managing their money, understanding how maths links to investment and taxation. These are real life correlations that kids can understand. I can honestly say that in the twenty five years since I left school that I have never once used pythagoras' theorem or logorithms and I know that I never will.

Why aren't we teaching our kids how to fill in forms, read newspapers, explore current events and communicate effectively. I am an avid reader and I love writing, but lets teach our kids how what they are learning links to adult life. Lets give them relevant skills. English is my passion, but I can honestly say that discussing Shakesperean plays is not a critical part of my everyday adult life.

Having said all this, I don't envy the role of teachers. I truly believe teachers have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. But why isn't the education system supporting them and giving them the ability to teach our children the things that they can carry into real life. Surely if children could understand the relevance of what they're learning and how it links to life, they would engage in the learning process and then behaviour and truancy problems would be lessened.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stuck in a rut

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else - James M. Barrie

I've come to the realisation that it's time for a change. The job I've had for four years is not the job it used to be. I now experience days when I dread going to work. What has changed the job of my dreams to the job of my nightmares? I guess a new boss will do it every time.
I've been with the same company for 9 years and the thought of delving out into the 'real' world again is quite daunting, no make that terrifying. The reality is that just because I have been doing the job for four years, doesn't necessarily count for much if I don't have a piece of paper that says I can do the job.

So it's time to spread my wings and search for new challenges. It's really a kick in the pants, a wake up call if you like, that I should be doing more of what I love and that's writing. So I will endeavour to write regularly on this blog and document my journey into the big blue yonder.

Cheers for now