Monday, February 28, 2011

Face the fear and the sky is the limit!

Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it. - Lt. John B. Putnam Jr

Mission accomplished – I successfully got my blog networked with my Facebook page and my posts are now going directly to Facebook as well. That’s all well and good, until I had a moment (several agonising moments actually) of fear. See it’s one thing to write a blog and send it out into the world for people to read who don’t know you. It’s an entirely different thing when you put it out there for those who know you.

I seriously considered pulling it down, did I really want those who know and love me to read how I really felt. The thing is, I learnt something very important yesterday, to want to be a writer is simple – you can spout about it as much as you want. To actually put yourself out there is the challenge, whether it be blog, book, poetry, opinions, whatever.

Because once you put it out there, you open yourself up to rejection and judgement. Which in essence is what being a writer is all about. I felt somewhat better and my fear had abated marginally by last night, 49 new page views on my blog and positive comments on Facebook, so maybe they were just being nice, but at least they were reading it and had commented.

I write for two reasons, because it’s a part of who I am but also because I hope that I can make a difference. We all face challenges in life and sometimes reading how someone else coped with a similar challenge makes battling through things that little bit easier – we don’t feel so alone.

I’ve been blogging since July last year and have been getting braver the longer I am here. One person who has helped me through the challenging first few months is Louise – she comments regularly and makes me feel like what I have to say is relevant. In fact, I think she makes everyone who reads her blog feel relevant.

So I’ve achieved my first step of getting it out there with this blog, next step is finishing my book and sending that out into the world. I’ve reached just over 42,000 words so progress is slow but steady. Who would have ever thought I would get this far, but I’m facing my fears and persevering, no matter how hard it seems at times.

I read somewhere recently that while it takes talent to be a writer you can develop a large part of it, what can’t be learnt is that it also takes determination, drive and the will to succeed. When you get knocked down by rejection you have to be able to get back up again and keep battling on. When you would rather be doing anything but writing, you have to put your butt in the chair, persevere and keep writing.

I image that this is the same for any challenge, be it sport, art, music, family – Life! You just have to keep going, no matter what the obstacles are and no matter how unlikely achieving the goal is – we have to keep chipping away and giving it our best effort.

For all of you who are yet to step outside your comfort zone, why not give something new a go (no matter what it is) because once you face the fear – the sky is the limit.

To all of you reading this post who have stepped outside your comfort zones and pushed yourselves just that little bit further – here’s to us achieving amazing things.

I would love to hear from anyone who has faced the fear and done it anyway.

Famous people who refused to give up – here are just a few that I found here

Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was "too stupid to learn anything." Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked
Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked
Albert Einstein: Most of us take Einstein's name as synonymous with genius, but he didn't always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but most people would agree that he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics
Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was "unfit for tv."
Stephen King: The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history, with King now having hundreds of books published the distinction of being one of the best-selling authors of all time

And there’s heaps more ......

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Technologically challenged!

Technology is ruled by two types of people: those who manage what they do not understand, and those who understand what they do not manage. Mike Trout

Today was a day of discovery. A day of discovering just how technologically challenged I really am. That said if you're reading this blog post from my Facebook page then I obviously got something right and it only took me several hours to figure it out. I feel like I'm about 105 years old and have never sat in front of a computer before today.

My mission was to discover how to link my blog to my Facebook page, which should have been easy (and probably is if you know what the hell you are doing) I was ready to throw the laptop across the room after an hour. I work on computers everyday, I have some idea of how they work, I've even created my blog pages, but Networked blogs and Facebook just do my head in.

I've also been experimenting with widgets and gadgets - what is the difference anyway because I still haven't figured it out?

My real problem through all of this is that I suffer from a common ailment that many of us suffer from called 'perfectionism'. I don't want things going up on my Facebook page or on my blog until they're correct and working properly. There's no easy way of checking if it all functions properly until it's out there, well not that I've discovered yet anyway - and then if it's not right it takes me ages to figure out how to a) fix it or b) remove it. By then everyone has discovered the truth, that I am technologically challenged.

My children are technologically advanced and it is definitely not in their gene pool, I think children just live it and breathe it these days and leave us 'oldies' for dust. My children still program the DVD and the T Box and the multitude of technology that fills my house. What do I do when they leave home, pay them to come and hook things up for me.

Hubby is Mr Fix-it and can build or fix anything but even he gets frustrated with the 'new machinery' on occasion. Well I guess I'm off to look at more widgets and gadgets and to build up the courage to publish this post to my blog and see if I managed to network it to Facebook.

If my blog or Facebook pages get a bit wonky - be gentle with me, I have big learner plates on my back at the moment.

One more thing before I run away. I've created a new page on my 'In my words' tab (Blogger is easier to negotiate) which talks about anxiety, this page was inspired by a blog I read on a regular basis which is written by someone who is struggling with anxiety at the moment. I've been there and lived that nightmare and thought it was worth getting my experiences down on paper, er.. make that computer screen. The page can be accessed by clicking here.

Cheers for now, Fi

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shame on you!

Blame is a senseless action. You are the master of your own destiny, you can achieve whatever you desire and the only force that stands in your way is your own fear. So utilise your power to decide and do it!

Yesterday I heard a radio news report regarding contamination of the underground water in the area near where I work. I missed the evening news so was completely surprised to get up this morning and realise that the company I work for is on the front page of the newspaper and is named as the company responsible for this contamination.

In 2009 the land that the manufacturing part of our company sits on was sold to a developer to allow for an extension to the local shopping complex. All of the buildings were demolished and a reasonable amount of excavation and clearing work was carried out by the developer. The corporate office still sits on a part of this land and is fenced off from the excavation work. A move to a newly built office is scheduled for August this year, at which time the remaining buildings will be demolished by the developer.

At this stage I will not comment on our company's involvement in this situation because I have no knowledge of the facts of what has occurred or who is responsible. I say let's stop the finger pointing and find the quickest and safest way to fix the problem.

What I am horrified by is that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have known about the contamination since August 2009 when demolition began and they have not seen fit to warn homeowners in the area until yesterday.

Don't homeowners have a right to know? Surely something could have been done back then to limit any damage, rather than letting it sit for almost 2 years and allowing further excavation work to be carried out. There are 30 known active underground bores in this area, which provide water to residential homes and are used for vegetable gardens. Water that is now potentially contaminated.

I can understand the EPA not wanting to cause a panic, but I am actively against bureacracy which limits information being provided to those homeowners potentially affected. There are also a number of allegations being made against the EPA saying they have deliberately released the information on the second day of a massive news week, following the huge earthquake in New Zealand, in an attempt to minimise the furor which will erupt over this.

I strongly believe that knowledge is power. Everyone deserves the right to be informed of things that affect them and their families in a timely fashion, not almost two years after the problem is discovered. This includes our company which as far as I know, had no knowledge of the problem until the information was released yesterday.

Environmental Protection Authority - Shame on you!

Please note: The opinions contained in this post are purely my own thoughts and have no relation to the company I work for. Any factual mistakes are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Memories are Forever

Memories are a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~The Wonder Years

Memories are amazing things and they drift back to you when you least expect them. So many things can trigger their return - items, places, sounds, smells, the words of a song can release them from their hiding place and bring them back into your heart.

My youngest MM was doing a school project the other day and asked for details of his childhood – first words, foods, holidays etc. I am amazed by how much vanishes from your mind until you have to actually focus on recalling the details. Heaven help me in another ten to twenty years time.

I have always been a hoarder of physical memories, so off I went to unearth my keepsake box which contains a lifetime of memories.

What a treasure trove I discovered – so many things that I’d forgotten I had. I found photos and diaries of each child’s major milestones, as well as hospital birth tags, locks of hair from first haircuts, a plaster cast from middle MM’s broken wrist, oldest MM’s first pair of glasses, birthday cards, childcare and school records and so much more.

Hubby would argue that my box of ‘valuables’ is merely taking up space in the cupboard, but as I sat there the other night going through this box with my youngest MM, I was besieged by memories. My son was amazed by some of the things that I had kept, truth be known even I was amazed by what I had kept.

My foraging reawakened long forgotten memories and provided some quality time with my youngest as I shared stories behind some of the items in that box.

Ever the modern and practical child, he told me that I should be transferring all of the photos and items to digital format so that if we ever suffer through floods or fires, then we will still have the memories (he has recently witnessed a lot of Mother Nature’s fury on Australians through the media)

I understand his thoughts but I am still left wondering how I capture the plaster cast, or locks of hair in their true form through digital format. Some things you just have to be able to touch and smell.

Regardless of their form, our memories are forever in our hearts and are special reminders of what we were and how far we’ve come.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Regaining control - the steps to take

‘It isn't your mistakes that make you a failure. It’s not learning from them.’

Have you ever stopped to wonder why? Why is it that our children continue to do things that drive us crazy? Why do our partners do irritating things that at times make us want to scream? Why do people you work with seem to make it their life’s work to be obnoxious?

In essence, why is it that people continue to make the same mistakes over and over again by repeating bad behaviour? Are they really doing it just to make our lives miserable – you’ll find in most cases, probably not.

Are they making the same mistakes over and over, or are we the ones making the same mistakes by reacting in the same way each time it happens? I seem to come up against the same irritations in my life on a re-occurring basis and it frustrates the hell out of me.

In truth, these irritations have been happening for so long that I know they’re not going to change. Individuals have to want to change the problem and if they don’t see it as the same irritation that I do then it’s inevitable that they will never change.

What this means is that it’s me that has to change, ergh! – this being the hardest feat of all. It’s much easier to assume that another person should change their behaviour rather than looking within and adapting our own behaviour, especially when I don’t believe that my behaviour needs to change.

I’m not talking about simple things like wet towels on the bedroom carpet or dirty dishes on the desk in the bedroom, while these are annoying problems and raise stress levels they’re not ‘biggies’. I’m talking about things that really do matter, well things that matter to me and which I find important.

Instead of getting irritated, annoyed and stressed beyond belief, I need to find a way to either accept the problem, ignore the problem or not let it have control over me any more. This is me regaining control of the situation and not letting it control me.

This is a fantastic theory and I know it’s what I should do, or in fact need to do. But, how do I go about not letting it get to me. These options came from the Help Guide – Stress Management.

Below are some that I think will work for me, but there are heaps more on the website that may suit others.

Reframe problems - Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favourite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.
Look at the big picture - Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.
Adjust your standards - Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”
Focus on the positive - When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.
Don’t try to control the uncontrollable - Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behaviour of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
Look for the upside - As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.
Share your feelings - Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.
Learn to forgive - Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

I plan on giving some of these options a go to see if I can lessen the frustrating moments (people) in my life – and before you tell me that I should be removing stressful people from my life – I can’t, they’re family and despite their irritating and thoughtless behaviour I do love them.
I live in a houseful of males, so frustration and irritation are regular visitors to our house.

How about you? What (or who) frustrates you beyond belief?

Note: I wote this post earlier today and then came home to see the devastation of the earthquake in Christchurch on television - so maybe I don't have that much to stress about when compared with this tragedy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Changing Times

You must speak to be heard, but sometimes you have to be silent to be appreciated.~ Author Unknown ~

You know what I miss most now that my children are teenagers - I miss those cute little bits of wisdom that they come out with that always make you laugh. I heard one of those little bits of wisdom at the shops today and I had to restrain myself from laughing out loud.

Young father was helping two toddlers out of the car (both probably around 3 or 4 years of age and both boys which took me back to when my boys were that age) Young child with all the wisdom that a toddler can possess said to his dad 'Dad you know that you have to say yes because mum is the boss and she's bigger than you' I have no idea what dad was meant to be saying yes to but it lightened my heart and made me yearn for when my children were younger.

My boys are all teenagers or young adults now and I enjoy that I can have adult conversations with them about meaningful things but I do miss those little cute comments that they used to always come out with, some times they astound you with their brilliance and other times amuse you with their candid chat.

I spent the week after Christmas with my family in Renmark and had the joy of looking after my 2 year old nephew while my brother and sister-in-law both worked. I love the hugs and the total joy that he views the world with. He absolutely idolises the ground that his cousins walk on and seeing my 'macho' boys taking the time to play with him and look after him was a joy.

My brother and sister-in-law came down last weekend for 2 nights and my nephew was asleep when they arrived late on the Friday night so they put him straight into bed. Imagine my joy the next morning when I walked into his room because I could hear him chatting away and he leapt into my arms when he realised where he was.

There is nothing more special then seeing a child's face light up when they see you. My nephew is a four hour drive away now and I miss watching him grow up and discover new things. I love babies and toddlers and would have had a tribe if hubby hadn't put his foot down and said 4 boys between us was enough. We have a son each and then two sons together, a case of his, mine and ours. Now I just have to borrow other people's and wait for my grandchildren to arrive.

We should all cherish our children when they are young because they grow up so quickly and you can never replace those awesome moments. My grandson is 19 weeks off being born and I simply can't wait to be a nana because then I get to experience all those wonderful moments again.

Children keep us young whether their our own or borrowed - so here's to being 'forever young'.

Cheers, Fi

Friday, February 18, 2011

Attempting to keep the faith

Boredom is like a pitiless zooming in on the epidermis of time. Every instant is dilated and magnified like the pores of the face. ~ Charlotte Whitton

What do you do when you’re stuck in a moral dilemma?

What is my moral dilemma, going to work and getting paid to do very little. The whole situation is depressing beyond belief and goes against everything I believe in. I am not, and have never been, a person who likes standing still or slacking off.

How is it possible to go from flat out 10 – 12 hour days and huge amounts of stress in my former job (at the subsidiary company) to an hour of daily tasks stretched out into a 7.5 hour day where the only stress is trying not to go to sleep at my desk? It has gone from one bizarre extreme to the other.

I write about living life and not simply existing and at the moment I am forced to exist in a job that does not excite or motivate me in any way, shape or form. There’s now talk that the project won’t get approval till at least the end of March – if at all. The timeline just keeps moving further and further out.

I am 5 months away from 10 years service with the company I work for and receiving my Long Service Leave entitlement (the equivalent of 13 weeks pay). The problem is that I am slowly going crazy with boredom and having to spend every day looking busy.

My boss is aware that I have very little to do and is in much the same situation. If and it’s a big if, the project gets approval then the amount of knowledge I can gain from the process will be huge and will expand my professional standing threefold. It will also guarantee me employment for the next four years. However, I feel like my skills are wasting away and I am stagnating from the lack of momentum at the moment.

Today I have updated my resume, yet I know that I would be silly to make any rash decisions because if the project doesn’t get approval and my position is made redundant then I would be entitled to a considerable sum of money. (So while money isn’t everything, it would definitely make our lives a heck of a lot easier)

I am currently exploring freelance writing options and I’m also keeping busy with my novel that I am writing. I have also been investigating study options to keep the grey matter from freezing due to lack of use. May as well take advantage of the down time to increase my skills and be ready to either move on to greener pastures or hit the ground running when the project gets approval.

That said, it is still very difficult to remain positive and upbeat when circumstances are somewhat beyond my control. That’s life in a nutshell though isn’t it, where sometimes we don’t have control over outside influences and we must make the best of the situation that we are in.

At the moment it is raining and has been raining non-stop all day - non bad for the middle of summer. The weather report indicates that today's rainfall in Adelaide will be the highest rainfall in February for almost 40 years. Some parts of South Australia have experienced the equivalent of the Australian Capital, Victoria and South Australia's combined yearly rainfall in a 24 hour period.

All of Australia's weather patterns have gone absolutely crazy in the last month or two, with flooding and cyclones across the whole country - it's summer for crying out loud. We've experienced years and years of drought and water restrictions and now we're being inundated from one end of the country to the other. Is there no happy medium?

Well hubby is at a work show tonight so a perfect opportunity to get some quality writing time in. Cheers for now, Fi.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog?

A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list - Unknown

Have you ever stopped to wonder why people read blogs or even write them? Are we all just simply voyeurs peering into other people’s lives? Or can blogs be viewed in the same category as television and books, as a way to educate, entertain and amuse us?

I am drawn to blogs written by people with similar tastes and situations as my own because I like reading how they deal with things resembling my own experiences. I like to read witty and entertaining posts, sometimes they’ll amuse me, sometimes they'll make me laugh or cry and sometimes they’ll teach me new things – but they always hold my attention.

I write on my own blog as a way of expressing myself - from my anger and worries to my joy and happiness. It's my creative outlet and keeps my mind active and stimulated. It is never written for anyone but me and if others like reading what I have to say, then that's a bonus

My 'blogs to avoid' list contains blogs that don’t fit with my beliefs and interests and I steer clear of blogs with huge amounts of advertising or over the top links in the post because this detracts from the main reason I am there – to read what you have to say.

I dislike being told in every second paragraph that I need to buy something or subscribe to something. I also personally avoid blogs with black backgrounds because I find them exceedingly difficult to read and I generally won’t re-visit a blog that hasn’t been updated in the last month or two.

Double brownie points to the three people on my 'blogs I read' list who post every single day - each day they provide interesting posts and I applaud their efforts.

Hey, my blog likes and dislikes are mine and mine alone and I am sure there are just as many people who love blogs like the ones I avoid – it’s truly about personal choice, as much as the decision on what clothes you wear or the books you read. Let’s face it, there’s a massive amount of choice out there and if you’re not getting it right then people will move on to something different and if you're getting it right then they'll keep coming back if they can connect with what you have to say.

So I guess, in a nutshell, I read blogs to learn new things and be entertained as well as taking a peek inside others lives similar to my own or in some cases vastly different to my own. I write because writing is a part of me and my blog is just one more way of expressing myself.

What about you – why do you read blogs or why do you have your own blog? What keeps you going back to some blogs and avoiding others?

Cheers, Fi

Monday, February 14, 2011

My 'Bucket List'

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

Several posts ago I mentioned the Dumb Little Man post 39 Ways to Live and not Merely Exist, so I've altered it to suit my needs and compiled my list of forty things to do before I turn 40. It'll be interesting to see how many I can achieve on my 'bucket list' this year. Some of them are quite generalised, but some are quite specific.

1. Take a yoga class
2. Finish writing my novel and then start a new one
3. Use my treadmill, 3 times a week for at least 15 minutes
4. Learn how to use Adobe Indesign
5. Create a regular e-newsletter
6. Write on my blog regularly
7. Tell my best friend what he means to me
8. Take my children overseas
9. Learn how to meditate
10. Learn a new word every week and use it on my blog
11. Take up volunteering work
12. Face my fears
13. Write about my experiences
14. Really listen to what my children are saying
15. Make a new friend
16. Learn new skills to make my ‘dream’ job a reality
17. Write a travel blog
18. Live in the moment
19. Laugh out loud regularly
20. Stop worrying about tomorrow
21. Constantly improve myself - expand my mind with all sorts of ‘useless’ information
22. Listen more than I speak
23. Practice random acts of kindness regularly
24. Take a different route to work.
25. Travel and explore new places
26. Don’t judge people on appearance alone
27. Love my job or change it
28. Go back to learning to speak Italian
29. Join a writing group
30. Learn about getting my novel publish
31. Find an agent
32. Finish renovating the house
33. Enjoy my children (and my grandchild when he arrives)
34. Don’t feel guilty about having ‘me’ time
35. Spend an hour every week doing something just for me
36. Experiment and discover new recipes
37. Realise that I deserve to be happy
38. Love the ones I’m with
39. Learn a craft
40. Kick up my heels and love my life

I turn 40 in November, so there are a number of things that I want to achieve to ensure that I am living and not simply existing. I achieved number 7 today - I sent him the link to my blog post from yesterday.

What about you - do you have a 'bucket list' of things to achieve?

Today is Valentine's Day and I'm not big on the commercialism that surrounds the day. Why not show your love in a new and inventive way and keep in mind that it's not just today but every day you should be showing your love in small and unique ways because after all it's about living and not merely existing. Live for today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Grass is Greener

No matter how much I protest, I am totally responsible for everything that happens to me in my life.~ Author Unknown ~

Do you have a special friend in your life who has been there through the good times and the bad times, who with just a few words can make everything seem okay. I've had a number of these friends but the most special one of all is a former work colleague.

We supported each other during a very hard and stressful twelve months in our former place of employment. It's only now that we're not working together any longer that I realise how much I relied on him and how much he helped me get through the most stressful year of my working life. I love him like a brother and miss him every day.

We still speak every week and email regularly, but it's not the same and is the one thing I miss most about my former job. He and his family came to our BBQ this weekend and it was so good to catch up. So many of our friends are still in this workplace and suffering under the rapidly deteriorating management. How does a place deteriorate so quickly in such a short space of time?

I know my present job is quiet and I complain about being bored, but the absence of unbelievable stress and bullshit that I endured for so long is amazing. You truly can't appreciate how bad a place is until you walk away. My position being made redundant was the best thing that could have happened. I was fortunate because I was in Human Resources and I nominated myself to go over other people when they were cutting heads, I was that desperate to get out.

It worked out in my favour because I was offered another position in the Corporate office with my former boss and away from the nazi management of the subsidiary company.

How many people go to horrendous jobs every day and suffer through emotional turmoil and stress because they need the money. Surely all the money in the world can't account for tolerating appalling management and conditions. This place is definitely on a downward slide and I am glad to be free.

A former employee summed it up beautifully by saying 'The birds sing a little more sweetly and the sky appears more blue the day that place is in your rear view mirror!! Life is too short. Get out all of you!! Save yourselves!!'

We spend so many of our waking hours in paid employment that we should be doing something worthwhile and enjoyable. I didn't realise how bad I was until I left and friends and my children all commented on the fact that I was happy again. I never realised the stress I was carrying until I walked away.

Do me one favour today and make a step towards doing a job that you enjoy, whether it's training to give you the additional skills to make a change or taking a chance on a new opportunity. Money pays the bills but it doesn't make you happy on the inside and it certainly doesn't make your life worthwhile.

Also take the opportunity to give your best friend a hug and a kiss and say thank you for being there for you.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Facebook - Beware!

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I am very annoyed with the fact that I got caught out, on Facebook that is. I innocently opened a post on my wall from my son and silly me participated in the stupid quiz that popped up. It took me quite a while to realise that every answer was in fact posting on all my friends walls, 25 posts in total before I realised and cancelled out of the quiz.

I'm not a huge user of Facebook, but I've found it handy to keep track of friends and family who live some distance away and also to ensure my children are not up to mischief. In other words I'm a little naive when it comes to new things on the site. I immediately posted a warning so that none of my friends were caught out and then I followed up with an apology for posting crap on their walls, even though I had no control over it.

I couldn't remove the posts or delete the quiz, it kept failing, which frustrated me even more. Who are the rotten little sods who write this crap, surely they could be using their brain cells to actually create something memorable and useful, not filling up walls with absolute rubbish. Well lesson learned, I will be more circumspect about things I open or view in the future.

Today was a much more productive day at work which was at least something, and I mean productive in terms of actual paid work. The good thing is that we're working at a different business site at the moment, so at least there's new people and new things to discover, which is interesting.

My family arrives from Renmark tomorrow for the weekend so I'm looking forward to catching up with them. Hubby's birthday is also tomorrow so we will be having friends over for a barbecue on Saturday night. We're christening hubby's new shed, celebrating his birthday and making the most of him being on holidays and not having to work weekends at the moment. Any excuse for a party in his eyes.

My backyard has been transformed back to its former beauty. I don't think it has been as clean and as organised for probably 12 months. I love it when my hubby is on holidays - so much gets done. Next on my list is a new bedroom suite, I just have to get him down to the furniture place to agree with my choice.

Well that's my news for now. Hope you all have a super weekend.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Like attracts Like

Like attracts like. Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.~ Brian Adams

I started writing this post this morning sitting at my desk at work. Once again I have very little to do and it’s driving me crazy. I went through this process before Christmas and while the first four weeks back at work resulted in things to do, I am now back to twiddling my thumbs – I guess I will get more of my book written today.

Maybe my conscious mind is so focussed on being a writer that I am creating these circumstances (as in like attracts like in the quote) and I am hereby giving myself time to write - now there's a thought!!!

Back to the work subject - the project is due to go back before the Board of Directors on the 28th February for approval and until then we are still in holding pattern. It seems wrong to be getting paid to sit around and wait for them to make a decision.

At the moment I spend 45 minutes each morning and night driving to and from work to sit and do – diddly squat. I know some people would enjoy this prospect but I am going out of my mind with boredom. I’m used to racing around and having 101 things to do.

Who knows how long this can keep up for; surely it’s not good business sense for me to be doing nothing and getting paid to do it. My greatest task today will be going out to organise lunch for the conference meeting that the other two team members are sitting in on today.

In some ways it would almost be better if they made me redundant, then I would get a nice big pay out and at least have an opportunity to find something where my brain isn’t shrivelling from lack of use. I know they’re keeping me on because I have the skills necessary for this project, if and when it gets approved, but I’ve been here since August last year and we’re still waiting on Board approval.

How hard is it to say yes or no? Instead we’re met with ‘go away and bring us more information’ Personally I think we’ve provided them too much information, our third party consultants can’t believe the hoops we have to jump through for the Board and they say they’ve never come up against this with other customers. But hey, they’ll hang in there for the duration because if we do get approval, it’s a $36M project.

Is it any wonder that big businesses across the world can’t get their act together when they spend 6 months making a decision? Yet, when it comes to the important stuff they make hasty, snap decisions which drastically affect others.

Well that’s my whinge for today, I’m now going to take a nice leisurely drive out to the shops to organise some lunch and then come back and spend the afternoon writing my book. Does that make me a paid writer? Ha-ha. I’ve almost reached the half way stage and am creeping up on 31,000 words.

I guess if, no I'll say when I get my book published, I can dedicate it to the company for paying me while I wrote my book.

I found a poem that I wrote ages ago while searching through my files in need of something to do today. Happy reading.

Essence of Baby

it starts with a sigh on a heart beat
a whisper in the wind
telling all the world
of the joy which you behold

breathe deeply, inhale the baby essence
expands a heart with love

nestled in my arms
innocence and purity, eyes that fill with glee
tiny fingers grasp, warm and soft and sweet
powdery-soft cheek nestled against my own

breathe deeply, inhale the baby essence,
calms a mother’s soul

chubby little legs, churn with candid joy
gurgling; giggling; chuckling.
ribbons of love entwine
spiralling out, seeking, touching

breathe deeply; inhale the baby essence,
soothes a savage beast

laughter bubbles merrily along
the river of tears they flow, of
cherished memories good and bad
through shimmering hands of time

breathe deeply; inhale the baby essence,
which makes a life complete

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The mystery of 'male bonding'

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.~ Moliere ~

There can only be one word for it and that's 'male bonding' which is still somewhat of a mystery to me. Hubby and the MM's have spent the day re-installing the shelving in the new shed and are slowly emptying the back verandah of all the clutter. Yes I am beginning to see what was once a nice back verandah restored to its former glory again. Believe me when I say that these photos are an 'improvement' on what it was like.

The process of building the shelves and moving twenty years of accumulated junk back into the shed is a massive task and is accompanied by much yelling and disagreeing. This is the process that astounds me. Why males have to yell and disagree on the placement of clutter is baffling to me. I spent the morning in the house cleaning and trying to ignore the raised voices coming from the backyard.

This was no easy task, because I find yelling and raised voices
disconcerting and unsettling. I understand it is a 'boy' thing and
while they may be yelling at each other and the MM's are fighting over who does what, it is in fact a form of male bonding and togetherness. They all sit back at the end of the day and rejoice in the mighty task they have accomplished, with no hard feelings and lots of mateship.

I have a more structured and relaxed way of doing things so I stayed out of the way.

I was extremely annoyed with myself this afternoon because having scoured the house from top to bottom (an extremely thankless task I might add) I was planning on sitting down this afternoon to write some more only be to besieged by a migraine. Frustrated beyond belief because my vision goes all spotty, much like looking into the sun and then I get a raging headache and I can't think straight. Ergh!

Consequently, two hours was spent napping on the lounge this afternoon which is vital time lost but was unfortunately a necessity. All symptoms have been relieved by my 'nanna nap' now I just have a nagging headache to contend with, which will mean limited time writing tonight. Not happy!

Well that's all my words for now, at least I have a clean house and a back verandah which is slowly being restored to useable space again which is at least some progress for today.

Cheers for now, Fi

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wake up and Live Life

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." Zig Ziglar

I found an interesting website today called Dumb Little Man, not the most inspiring title for a website but it had some good articles on it. The one that caught my eye and really got me thinking was one entitled 39 Ways to Live and not Merely Exist.

How many of us go through life merely existing and not actually living our lives to the fullest. Why is it that people only decide to do something daring or new when they look death in the face? You hear of so many stories where people have had a near death experience and then decide that they should be doing something different with their lives instead of simply existing.

We're all guilty of getting stuck in the 9 to 5 rut of work, home, work, home and we forget to enjoy the simple things in life that add richness and fullness to our lives. In reality there is no way of escaping the boring and mundane but necessary parts of life. What we can do is take joy and pleasure from little things every day.

We all should be living every day as if it is our last. We should be living our dreams and doing amazing things. That's not to say we can all throw our jobs and mortgages to the wind and forget our responsibilities, but we all should be making each day special and worthwhile.

I like some of the things that are on the list of 39 Ways to Live, sure some of them aren't for me and they may not be for you either. But why not make up your own list of special things to remind yourself that life is for living.

I especially like the try something new every week and also be in the moment. I am going to write a list of 46 new things that I need to experience and then do one a week for the rest of the year. I am also going to try being more in the moment and not worrying about tomorrow or next week (especially in regard to my eldest MM) I waste so much time and energy worrying about what might happen when I could be in the moment and give my full attention to what I am actually doing.

For too many years I said that I would write my book. What I also did though was let life be my excuse for not doing it. If it wasn't the kids, then it was work or study. Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge my children for a second, they are my world. In fact what I was doing was putting it off for another day when I wasn't so tired, or too busy or too unmotivated. My friend called procrastination is a dangerous being. But what if there is no tomorrow, then I would never write the book that has been my ultimate dream since forever.

So for today why not go out and do what you've always wanted to do or at least put the wheels in motion to begin it. Also don't forget to stop and smell the roses along the way. Don't wait till tomorrow or the next day, or when the kids leave home, or when you've paid off the house or when blah blah blah - you get the idea.

Make a difference to your life and live it to the fullest, don't just let yourself exist!

Cheers for now, Fi

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No lives lost - truly a miracle

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. ~ Omar Bradley ~

Cyclone Yasi hit Northern Queensland last night with all the expected fury that had been predicted. The whole place looks like a war zone, houses and even whole towns have been totally destroyed. Yasi has been compared to Hurricane Katrina in terms of size, wind ratings and damage - in other words massive!

The only fortunate thing that Aussies had on their side was the time to prepare. Those who suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina had little warning or time to prepare. Queensland had two days and boy did the Queensland people get their act together. Disaster plans were established, entire hospitals were evacuated and patients relocated. Extra flights were put on to enable people to get out of the danger zone. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated to evacuation centres.

The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh stepped up to the helm following the Queensland floods and she's done it again for this cyclone. I know she has an amazing team working with her, but what they accomplished is unbelievable, there was absolutely no loss of life due to the military precision like planning and the fact that they provided readily available and continuous communication to enable people to prepare themselves. Awesome effort!!!!

This is the biggest cyclone in Australian history and the devastation is beyond comprehension. The truth is that buildings can be rebuilt and towns can be restored to their former glory but no one can restore life. I am glad beyond belief that no more Queenslanders had to suffer the loss of loved ones because of Mother Nature's fury - too many lives were lost in the floods only weeks ago.

Cheers for now,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lots to talk about

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand. Gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives and into the lives of all those around you.~ Eileen Caddy ~

Even with the best of intentions I can't help myself. I read through my must read blog list and I was not planning on posting tonight - when I should be writing. But lets face it, blogging is addictive.

Several things on my mind tonight, firstly in line with my quote. I am grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. My children, my husband and my friends and family. To my new blogging friends thank you for your kind thoughts regarding my eldest MM who is sending me grey before the age of 40.

My thoughts are with all Aussies in Queensland tonight. In the last two weeks they have endured horrendous floods, loss of lives and homes. Now they are battening down the hatches for what has been described as a catostrophic cyclone, the scale of which has not been seen in Australia previously. Mass evacuations are occurring in North Queensland with the cyclone due to hit tomorrow night and into Thursday. This cyclone is predicted to be 500km wide and is packing winds of up to 250km with a centre of 30km wide. I don't have a lot of knowledge of cyclones but the media reports are definitely alarming.

Third thing I had to mention (I read somewhere that a good blogger sticks to one topic per post - oh well, anyone who knows me knows that I always have a lot to say so I will never succeed at always sticking to one topic in a post)

I had an online astrology post done the other day. I usually read my stars in the newspaper each day and have always been a little take it or leave it. Most of them are very generalised. This one though was quite astounding in its accuracy. Firstly it was free (always a plus in my eyes) secondly it was very lengthy (another plus) and thirdly how the heck can you give me that sort of info from my time and date of birth and the letters in my name.

I'm only going to post one paragraph to give you an example so I don't put you all to sleep, after all you're not really that interested in what was said about me.

"I realized that something had happened to you around the year 1988 when you were 17 or 18 years old that created the stumbling blocks that you encountered later in your life and you still suffer the consequences today. Rest assured that these blockages are not irreversible, you'll be able to get rid of them."

So this paragraph threw me because guess what year my eldest MM was born, the one who still causes me so much grief today. Amazing stuff, not that I want to get rid of him, I just need to get rid off the stress from his actions. Just in case you're interested in checking it out for your self - here's Jenna's site.

Let me make one point though, there are just as many internet sites showing rave reviews from her clients as there are internet sites saying she's a fraud. I have no intention of paying the fee for the additional reading from her. I was satisfied with what she provided - some of it was generalised but some of it was so spot on that I doubt how anyone could say its fraudulent.

I'll leave the decision with you - a free reading is good and entertaining, which is how I view astrology should be. Because lets face it, life is what we make of it and should never be based on what one individual dictates should happen or not happen. I believe that what happens tomorrow or the next day is not written in stone, it's what we make of it.

Having dabbled with physic readings in my younger years (I had two friends who were pyschic), I can truly say that even knowing about events that were predicted didn't change anything. They still happened, it was how you dealt with things that made the difference. I also learnt that knowing what was going to happen was not a fun prospect. I now live with the belief that the world can throw what it likes at me, I will get through it and I don't need to know about it prior to it happening. Knowing can turn a person into a blithering nervous wreck waiting for things to happen and usually they're never as bad as what you imagine (overactive imagination problem again)

Having said that, I am probably coming across as slightly hypocritical because I quoted the paragraph from an astrology reading I had done despite saying about not wanting to know the future. I was simply amused by the accuracy. It will not make me want to get a paid for reading nor will it change what I do today or tomorrow.

One last thing before I go, I received a free copy tonight of Mrs Tuesday's Departure from Suzanne Anderson after commenting on her blog the other day. I have just downloaded it via a Kindle application - lots more to learn about this process. Suzanne has self published her book as an e-book and the reviews sound good, it's available from Amazon and being a wanna-be writer I'm all for promoting other writers. Will let you know what I think of it.

Well I think I've exhausted all of my topics for tonight - I'm sure you'll let me know if I my posts have too much information overload.

Lets all be grateful for the wonderful things we have in our lives.

Cheers, Fi