Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All grown up...

This time twenty three years ago, I would have been approximately thirteen hours away from becoming a first time mother. It’s my eldest MM’s birthday tomorrow and boy doesn’t time fly.

Twenty three years of hugs and kisses, laughter and tears, good times and bad times. His birth was the beginning of my venture into adulthood and was probably a little earlier than my parents would have liked.

Who am I kidding; having their daughter become a first time mother at the age of 17 would never have been in my parent’s plans.

My father was horrified, my mother more of the same but at least a little more supportive and accepting. My little brother, well in my memories he took my dad’s side and neither he nor my father spoke to me much for the first few months of my pregnancy. It was a long nine months, yet my baby boy entered the world on a stinking hot Adelaide day, the very first day of summer 1988.

Newborn son, along with his daddy and I, all moved into a home unit the day after Christmas that year. It was the beginning of what was to become one big learning curve for all of us. His dad and I lasted for another 3 years together before going our separate ways. At least we remained on good terms and can still share the joy and wonder of our new grandchild.

If motherhood was hard, then single motherhood was exceptionally hard; but we battled through together my boy and I. Toddlers are notoriously difficult, yet teenagers are sent to remind us of what we did to our own parents. Payback’s a bitch and this post here is an indication of just how hard life was for eldest MM and our family through the teenage years.

We’ve come a long way, eldest and I. Good times and bad times. A stepfather and half-brothers have joined the mix, yet there’s no ‘half’ in it, because they’re just brothers through the good and the bad. My boys, they made me who I am today. They gave me the will to fight, to survive and to be somebody. I laugh now that eldest is a daddy himself, because he’s got all of this ahead of him.

My eldest is a better daddy then I could ever have hoped for and he makes me incredibly proud. It makes me realise that the hard times were all worth it. Yes we clashed, we fought, and we disagreed. We still do, although not as much these days. There’s something about the relationship between a mother and her firstborn, I’m always there for him and I know he’ll always be there for me.

For me, there was no greater joy than becoming a mother (okay, except for maybe becoming a nani)

My smiling, happy pants wearing, rebellious, lovable little man is all grown up – and has been for a number of years. Happy Birthday Adam, it’s been one heck of an adventure. Hope you have a fantastic day and I love you.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be careful what you wish for...

You'll have to keep up tonight because there's lots of things I want to talk about and none of them go together, so a bit of a mish mash post coming up. No apologies for that either.

I have my 'happier' pants on tonight. I was a bit of a misery guts last time I was here, but hey that's life for you. My day is always off to a good start when the boss takes the entire 33 strong project team out for a breakfast meeting.

Good food, even better service, this was one hotel manager who knew when he was on a winner, we'll go back - often, because of the impeccable service today.

Thank you Jenn for pointing out one of my many failings - yes I haven't updated my 101 in1001 list recently - it's on my list of things to do this weekend hopefully. Just not enough hours in my days.

Jenn from I am not Superwoman and I trade comments quite regularly these days, we seem to have many synchronicities (one of my favourite words) in our lives. The latest ones being she's just gotten a new kitten and named it Bella, my cat is strangely enough - named Bella.

Jenn also asked a question about my tattoo, which was my gift to myself on my 35th birthday and ironically I was going to post about tattoos this week. The reason being, eldest MM got his first tattoo on Sunday night. His son's name and birthdate on his chest. It made me think of mine, which is a sun on my lower back with my sons names spiralling out from it. Chosen because I'm a sunlover and my boys light up my life. Here it is........

Now the other thing that I wanted to finish this post with, is my gift wish list for Christmas - now before I get the comments about Christmas being over commercialised and not being about gift giving, let me point out that hubby and I don't buy each other gifts. This is purely my 'wish' list. Here goes:

Gift 1 - A chocolate labrador puppy, I've wanted another dog for so long. Probably not fair
though with the number of hours I work and hubby says no more pets for now.

Gift 2 - A holiday to Thailand - not that you haven't heard me say this one before

Gift 3 - My dream car, it has to be a bug and has to be yellow. Not too practical with family and grandson and not very high on 'mechanic' hubby's list of reliable and easy to fix cars.

A writers studio in the backyard which looks like this - which I'm sure would guarantee a best seller or two
Eternal good health and happiness for all my family and friends
There you go, that's my ultimate 'wish' list for Christmas - so what does your list have on it?

When it all comes down to it, I'll settle for peace, happiness and good times with friends and family for my ultimate Christmas wish.

Cheers, Fi

The love of a family is life's greatest blessing

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I want to be good, really I do

Three weeks till we shut down the project for Christmas break - it just can't come quick enough. I really need a holiday.

My side of the family is in Renmark and hubby is working Christmas day so I'm struggling to raise any enthusiasm for Christmas this year.

My in-laws have never really done Christmas at their place, choosing to either come to our place or to one of their boys. My brother-in-law has invited us for Christmas lunch and I appreciate the invite, but no kids there either.

I used to start preparing for Christmas shopping in July every year, not so any more. Teenagers are so much harder to shop for than toddlers and presents cost ten times as much for them. Half of the excitement of Christmas used to be putting up the tree and wrapping presents. I used to buy lots of smaller presents and fill their stockings full of fun things and good stuff to eat.

We also used to drive around the nights before Christmas looking at Christmas lights and the boys would anticipate Christmas morning for weeks. Now it's a day to sleep in for them and it's lost much of it's anticipation and joy for me.

Sure I have my grandson, but this year he's a little bit young to enjoy the day or the lead up to it. Daughter-in-law has lots of nephews on her side, so while I know we'll see them for Christmas, I'm sure much of their day will be spent with her family. I look forward to next year when he'll know what Christmas is about and he'll be excited. I think little kids are what put the fun and excitement into Christmas.

Oh my goodness, I sound like a tragic old scrooge don't I? I'm sure this is just an indication of how much I need a break and some 'me' time so I can re-discover my anticipation of Christmas.
Middle son needs to get his night driving hours up before he can get his license in January so maybe I'll make him drive me around to look at Christmas lights.

I received notification on Friday from the private school that I enrolled youngest in, that at this stage they have no vacancies for 2012 for his year level, so he's now on a waiting list. So maybe I wasn't doing enough positive thinking on this one?

Last night we went to a 40th birthday party for a friend, a friend who is one of the most down to earth and decent human beings I've ever met. He and his family live a very different life than us. It was very much a case of seeing how the other half lives with a brand new mansion in a ritzy suburb, caterers, waiting staff - the full works.

No envy here, because I appreciate the hard work he's put into achieving this lifestyle. Also as gorgeous as his property is, it's not what I would want for myself or my family. I guess it's more the reality of getting older slapping me in the face and making me realise that we all should be chasing our dreams. I'm not doing enough of that at the moment.

Have I depressed you all now with my miserable post - apologies if I have. I momentarily thought about deleting this post as well, but hey this is me, this is my brain dump for today and better out than in. I need to shake it off and get my happy pants back on. I miss my family a lot and I guess all of us feel it when Christmas is coming and our loved ones are some distance away.

Coming back happier because tomorrow is another day.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sweet Dreams

No bad dreams last night - in fact I slept like a baby - exhaustion and several hayfever tablets before bed helped.

Work was a 100% turn around today without the unbearable tension, there's still some work to be done but we're getting there.

I had reason to laugh out loud today. I decided to use the online dream dictionary called Dream Moods - I use it now and again, but it was Jenn who mentioned it in a post and made me want to check to see what my dream about the truck flipping over the other night meant.

This is what I read. “To see a truck in your dream suggests that you are overworked. You are taking on too many tasks and are weighed down by all the responsibilities”

Mmm – that does sound just a little bit like my life.

Here’s the other part of my dream, the bridge, “To dream that you are crossing a bridge signifies an important decision or a critical junction in your life. This decision will prove to be a positive change filled with prosperity and wealth on the horizon. Bridges represent a transitional period in your life where you will be moving on to a new stage.”

Now I’m annoyed that I can’t think of any other dreams to look up, because this was a pretty accurate representation of what's happening in my life at the moment.

Two more things capped off my day nicely; my son reassured me that my worries last night were unecessary. Not sure when you ever stop worrying about your kids - you can actually drive yourself crazy overthinking things. This from me who knows that what will be, will be and worrying about it won't change that.

Oh and the second thing, I got some new diamonds and gold, which is always a reason to smile - I picked up my birthday present from the jewellers tonight. My new ring has been resized (okay so I had to pick it out myself because there's some things that my boys just aren't that good at doing)

I'm extremely thankful that tomorrow is Friday because it's been one hell of a week, hope you've had a good one.

Cheers, Fi

Three quotes today - I couldn't choose

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you.
Dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.
Dreams are only thoughts you didn't have time to think about during the day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some days I struggle

Some days have their challenges and despite my usual positive mindset, I'm struggling to remain on top of things and think happy thoughts today.

I woke this morning from a weird dream in which I was running from an out of control truck that had flipped on a bridge and was coming straight for me. My escape was to hang from the side of the bridge. I woke myself up though so have no idea what the outcome was.

The end result was that I woke up too early and felt like I'd been hit by a truck before I even started my day. Slept stupid so have a crink (is that a word?) in my shoulder blade which runs up my neck. I used to blame the water bed, which is obviously not the reason because I'm still getting it. That's why I'm here now, writing about my weird day, getting it out.

Work was a mess of conflicting emotions and lots of stress today. Our project office team is like a dysfunctional family at the moment and has been off and on for a while now. You know the sort of family who you love dearly but who aggravate the hell out of you with their irrational behaviour.

I approached the boss today about it and said we needed a solution and quick because the way I saw it, our group posed the greatest risk to the project at this stage. Our problem, two very strong minded individuals who work in totally opposing ways but neither of whom is wrong. This in turn is affecting the other 6 of us who tiptoe around when the tension is really bad.

We all recognise the problem but no-one knows how to approach the subject or what to say. Yeah well, I'm not known for keeping my mouth shut so I said something - it was either that or one of us was going to do something drastic because the stress was building on all of us.

The sense of relief and gratitude from all involved was reassuring for me that I hadn't overstepped the mark and that hopefully we can find some resolution. We have several ways of fixing the problem so lets hope we achieve some middle ground as a united team in the next few days.

Then there's always one of my boys making me a little uncomfortable or causing me a moment or two of worry to cap off what has been an exhausting day. On another note, I sent the enrolment forms off yesterday for youngest to attend the private school with fees which will suck up a small fortune if he gets in.

It's now a waiting game and I'm trying to project my positive energy out to the universe for his sake. I'm just finding it a little hard today with everything else clammering for my attention. The letter of recommendation he got from his teacher though is absolutely amazing and makes a mothers heart proud.

A wise person said to me today that we need to remember not to sweat the small stuff. Good advice that I should abide by and here's something that always puts a smile on my face and reminds me what life is all about - a pic of my gorgeous grandson (am I un-fired now Jenn?) He was laughing out loud at my youngest the night of my birthday dinner.

Cheers, Fi

Here's synchronicity for you: I wrote the words of the song 'I am Woman, I am strong, I am Invincible' on a post several days ago and there's a story on the news tomorrow night about the singer of that song Helen Reddy, so I'm hearing that song during nearly every ad break tonight on TV. A message in that for me perhaps?????

Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remind yourself.......

How many sites do you visit where you are told to print it, post it and share it - I'm guessing not many. There's not much you get for free these days.

I found this blog tonight with the most amazing list of 20 things to remind yourself. Each and every one of them made sense to me.

We all need to read this list on a regular basis.

1.   Remind yourself that… you are unique and one of a kind.
2.   Remind yourself that… your presence is a present to the world.
3.   Remind yourself that… your life can be just what you want it to be.
4.   Remind yourself to… take the days just one at a time.
5.   Remind yourself to… count your blessings not your troubles.
6.   Remind yourself that… within you are so many answers.
7.   Remind yourself to… understand, have courage, be strong.
8.   Remind yourself that… you’ll make it through whatever comes along.
9.   Remind yourself that… there are so many dreams waiting to be realized.
10. Remind yourself that… decisions are too important to leave to chance.
11. Remind yourself to… not put limits on yourself.
12. Remind yourself that… nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
13. Remind yourself that… the longer you carry a problem, the heavier it gets.
14. Remind yourself to… live a life of serenity, not regrets.
15. Remind yourself to… do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
16. Remind yourself to… not take yourself too seriously.
17. Remind yourself that… friendship is a wise investment.
18. Remind yourself to… reach for your peak, your goal, your prize.
19. Remind yourself to… take time to wish upon a star.
20. Remind yourself that… it’s never too late.

There was so much more to read but the list speaks for itself and you can go and check out the full post yourself here at Life to

Cheers, Fi

Mum - this quote is for you "The impossible I do straight away, miracles take a little longer"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Smiley faces are where its at....

Ha, look - a rainbow smiley!
When I log on to post, I usually check my stats - I used to get really excited when I got double digits, now it's in the triple digits and I check more out of curiosity.

It always interests me to see what people are reading on my blog or more importantly what they're searching for on google or other search engines.

For some reason I have 2 posts that have been getting 'massive hits' lately, I'm sure that it's not so much because of the subject matter but more because of the search words. The most popular is this post called Sounds of Silence, which is all about a new nani in the house with her grandson and enjoying the silence.

The 'Sounds of Silence' happens to be the second album released by Simon and Garfunkel, so I'm sure lots of people are disappointed by finding my post. I didn't know that I was borrowing such a famous title. What this means is that I can create posts with high SEO without even knowing how I'm doing it, because heaps of people also search for the word 'Silence'.

The second most 'hit' post is I am in awe and I am speechless, which is about my pride in my son when he became a new daddy. I have no idea what it is about this post that makes it so popular but admittedly it's one of my faves. I've noticed both of these posts have smiley face images - maybe that's it? It's not my words but the smiley faces.

My communication page is also getting lots of traffic (no smiley faces there though) - so I'm hoping that's purely because of my brilliance on the page. Do you ever find that the posts that you think are brilliant and that you think you'll get lots of feedback on - you don't.  Then the ones that you write that you don't really like or aren't too sure about, everyone has something to say about. Maybe it's just me.

You'll notice the smiley face in this post, just in case I've discovered the ultimate form of SEO which no-one has blogged about yet. I always get a little irritated when I read about search engine optimisation (that's for all of you newbies to blogging, I was once one too) I absolutely can not and will not write a post with certain words just to get it into search engines.

I clashed, no lets put it that I agreed to disagree with my boss the other day, because I can not and will not write words that aren't sincere or honest. It goes against everything I stand for. Not that he was asking me to write anything dishonest but it was words that didn't match my feelings, hence my refusal.

I was pissed to put it mildly, with a message in regard to communication that had been sent out at work. The person's email was abrupt and full of exclamation marks and was partly due to them not reading earlier communication. I couldn't pretend feelings, like wishing them a nice weekend, just to be the 'better man'. I was polite and cordial in my reply but that's it, no more, no less.

Do you write from the heart and with feeling, or do you sometimes have to write words because it's the expected thing to do. I know I can be abrupt and obnoxious if someone questions my integrity. Lets be honest, I can also be obnoxious and abrupt when someone disagrees with me, that's me -  passionate and totally behind every word I write or say.

No apologies for who I am, but it doesn't always win me friends.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Finding that magic feeling...

No blogging yesterday because I was on Nani duty so that DIL could celebrate her birthday with a few drinks and some time with her friends. You forget how time consuming little people are, especially once your own kids get older.

This little guy is the most mellow, happy baby I have ever come across and yes he's taken a big hold of his nani's heart. He just laughs and smiles and giggles - in between eating and sleeping. I seriously would have had 10 babies if they all had of been like him.

None of my three boys, who admittedly were good babies, were as blissed out as this little fellow. He's starting rolling and moving, so it won't be long till he's really mobile. My favourite time is coming closer, when he starts moving and discovering and talking.

I went to log onto my laptop late this afternoon and shock, horror - no internet connection, despite both boys being on computers or X-Box with internet connection. Tried everything, said lots of swear words, stomped my feet, said more swear words - nothing.

Took it out to the shed for hubby to look at and disrupted his socialising. He did all of the things that son and I had already tried with the same result - nothing. So I sulked a bit more and then read my book instead. I could have got on hubby's computer in the bedroom, but the need wasn't that bad.

Half of my  blogging experience is because I can sit on the lounge and write in front of the TV with my family around me, not shut up in the bedroom on a fixed computer. Then my superhero farewelled his friend who'd he'd been sharing a quiet beer with in the man cave and came inside. Half an hour of him messing with my computer and here I am - back online. Yay!

I can write, design, blog and even figure out how to work most software, but the technical side in terms of hardware - no bloody idea.

I've been doing some serious thinking in terms of what I want to do when the project finishes. Yes, okay possibly a little premature because we still have three years to go, but never to soon to be planning and setting goals.

I'm pretty certain that I would be offered another job somewhere within the company, it's been inferred by one of the managers and I know my knowledge would raise my value to them. By the end of the project though I will have racked up almost 14 years of service with the company and I'm pretty certain that by then it will be time to spread my wings.

In fact that's what I'm aiming for, they would have to offer me a pretty amazing job with some incredible dollars for me to stay. Through my work with this project I'm discovering where my strengths and my talents really are and more importantly what I enjoy doing. Working with the internet and web design, writing and designing communication solutions - this is where my true desire lies.

So I'm going to look at some further study with web design, and possibly a public relations slant and see where that could take me. Current boss who is from a consultancy firm (I have 2 bosses) has already told me that when the project is over he will line me up with all the contacts that I need, because I have the talent and could be earning big dollars.

Money aside, knowing that your talents are appreciated is a big boost when you doubt your own ability occasionally. I sometimes find it amazing that it has taken me forty years (admittedly that's only twenty two years of working life) to find something that I really enjoy and am good at.

How are teenagers expected to know what they want to do with their lives? For that matter, how many people spend half their lives searching for that magic feeling?

Well that's enough of letting my mind and fingers run wild on the keyboard - have a great week all and I hope that you have that magic feeling in your life.

Cheers, Fi

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper ~ Eden Phillpotts

Friday, November 18, 2011

Synchronicity - is it, or not?

Image credit 
I love the idea of synchronicity because to me it proves just how much the world moves in mysterious ways.

Tonight I wasn't going to post, because instead of posting I was meandering my way around the blogosphere doing some reading and visiting.

I found a new blog to read, it was via one of 56 comments left on a blog that I visit regularly.

I was drawn to one - a comment by 'Being Me' and yeah the name resonated for obvious reasons. My whole purpose is about just 'being me' and doing it well. The blog is called 'Finding the Sunny Side Up', which obviously also appealed to my positive thinking side.

Now for the synchronicity - the most current post has a mandala in it (mandalas being my latest discovery), the picture on the header was a South Australian picture - SA being my home state and she has a cat who is the spitting image of my own cat. I wasn't going to comment but I couldn't resist. My comment probably made me sound like a stalker though.

There are so many of the blogs which I visit regularly where I have experienced similar moments of this synchronicity. Common interests, similar lives, shared similarities. I guess it's recognising some of our own traits in another and appreciating them more because of that recognition.

The thing is that synchronicity isn't just about the similarities - it's about discovering something or someone just as you've posted about it yourself or when you're searching for information about something and you find it via an unusual path, not where you would expect to find it.

Earlier this year when I was writing my novel, which in my head I had already entitled 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade' (not sure that the title will remain, but in essence it was the theme of the story).

Anyway, I discovered Cate's 'Show my Face' blog and her Six Word Saturday blog hops and the only blog name that stood out from the roughly 50 blog names was one called the exact same title as my book. It was almost like the kick I needed to finish my novel, the validation that I was on the right path. Strange but true, in my thinking anyway.

So there you go - synchronicity is an amazing thing and I'm sure half of us don't recognise or appreciate the circles of events and happenings and moments which overlap, touch and rebound at all times through our lives.

So why not keep your eyes open and discover the sychronicity of life. I'm certain that it's the little things that matter and which make a difference to our enjoyment of life.

Before I go, I just googled synchronicity and found this gem of an explanation  'Synchronicities are people, places or events that your soul attracts into your life to help you evolve to higher consciousness or to place emphasis on something going on in your life'.

Do you ever feel like some days your mind (or fingers on the keyboard) just run away from you?

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspired by colour

My days seem to be happier - for several months since I gave up smoking I felt like I was living in a fog. Everything and everyone, both at home and at work annoyed me.

It's only been the last few weeks that I've felt like the fog has lifted and the irritability has disappeared. This afternoon I was a little late in leaving work when I made the fortuitous discovery that this morning when I parked my car I left the keys in the ignition.

It was a hot day and there I sat propped up against the building, waiting for rescue by the RAA (Mobile Road Service). I was munching on a packet of chips and sipping on my water chuckling about my 'old age forgetfulness' and posting my idiocy on Facebook via my phone. Despite that, life is indeed pretty good again.

Any of you who hang around this blog now and again will know of my love of bright and colourful things. Today I found the most amazing blog in terms of colour, positivity and spirituality. Here's the link for Sealed with Love if you're interested in having a look. I could spend hours reading and exploring on this site.

I also learnt about mandalas after reading about them on Louise's Dream , Inspire, Create blog, of course then I had to google them to see what they were and discovered this:

The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself--a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

Describing both material and non-material realities, the mandala appears in all aspects of life: the celestial circles we call earth, sun, and moon, as well as conceptual circles of friends, family, and community.

This is a Tibetan sand mandala - don't you love it?
So many fun and interesting things to discover and learn about - all combined with colour and creativity. Just some of my favourite things. Do you know that every day of work for me is now filled with colour and creativity and design and writing. I'm waiting for the bubble to burst, yet I'm praying that it doesn't.

I feel like I fell into this job on the project and because nothing like this has ever been done in my workplace before - I basically get to make up the rules up as I go along. I'm having a wow of a time creating and designing communication solutions and materials, plus writing and reading and learning new things. The bosses seem happy, so I guess I'm doing something right.

Hope you've had a sunshiney day today (okay so that's probably a little over the top and a bit much - but hopefully it's at least made you smile)

Days are always ten times better when you're lucky enough to be doing the things you love and the question for all of you - if you're not doing the things you love - why not?

Cheers, Fi

Note: This picture below is what I found when googling the image 'inspiration' - yes I'm sure in a setting like this I could be extremely inspired.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am woman, hear me roar

As a general rule, I don't like birthdays - in fact I usually have a crap birthday which I think is partly because I have such high expectations when really it's no different than any other day.

Most birthdays I end up crying and I'm not even sure why sometimes. This year I broke the pattern and had a fantastic day with no tears. It must be because I'm now a mature and worldy person. This is the way I see the different phases of my life:

Teens - is about pushing the boundaries, making a few mistakes, having a great time with friends and evading the family as much as possible unless you need to borrow money.

Twenties - is about making more mistakes because you never learnt from earlier mistakes, enjoying being old enough to act like a grown up but still not really acting grown up, partying hard with friends and having brief moments of responsibility.

Thirties - is still about making mistakes but not quite as many, family has become all important and in many cases your friends will now come a poor second, life is about being money and time poor.

Forties - is about your children reaching the horrible 'teen years' and evading you as much as possible, you're resorting to making more mistakes to prove your worthiness, searching for the meaning of life now that babies and toddlers aren't your sole focus, you're being more selfish and having a little bit more 'me' time.

Fifties - is about silently laughing behind your hand as your children are challenged by their children, about spoiling the grandkids and then sending them home for mum and dad to deal with, good times spent with friends and with plenty of 'me' time.

Yep that's life in a nutshell for me - how close is this to your life? Please note: many of these life phases overlap and recur.

My brother, sister-in-law and nephew headed off at lunchtime today, off on their caravanning holiday. It was so nice that they come down and spent several days with us. They called into work on their way out of town and I took them on a tour of my new 'plush' office building. My nephew was a crack up having never been in a lift before.

Four weeks to go till we break up for the Christmas holidays - I'm so looking forward to a four week break, despite the reality that Thailand is well and truly off the agenda for these holidays. I'll keep pushing for hubby's next lot of holidays It's just a small matter of a few dollars to pay for it. Minor issues in the scheme of things.

I had phone calls, emails, facebook comments and text messages coming through from everywhere today. In fact, my mobile phone kept up a pretty continual silent jig backwards and forwards across my desk with all the notifications coming through. They started coming through just after 6 this morning and are still going.

What ever happened before we had social media? I guess we probably sent birthday cards by snail mail, or didn't bother because it was too hard. We might have picked up the phone, or even dropped by to say Happy Birthday in person. Facebook, emails, text messages - we've gained so much and lost some as well.

Me - I just loved the messages and well wishes that I got today. Thanks guys!

Cheers for now, Fi (mature minded 40 year old woman - chuckle chuckle)

Instead of a quote today, here are the first verses of a song called "I am woman here me roar" by Helen Reddy - yeah sing it loud, you know you want to

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beware - old lady ahead..........

It's late, but it's also my last night that I can say that I'm in my thirties. Tomorrow I enter the naughty forties. You may have noticed my two day absence from the blogosphere (and you may not have). Instead I spent valuable time with some of my favourite people.

Brother, sister-in-law and nephew arrived on Saturday morning. SIL and I went on a shopping spree on Saturday afternoon, something we've never really had the opportunity to do and probably spent way too much money. Saturday night was a barbecue with them, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson and several of my favourite people.

Fun, family and friends. It was totally impromptu and spur of the moment, which is very unlike me yet I had an absolutely delightful night. I drank way too much alcohol, in fact baby brother and I had way too many jelly vodkas and both ended up extremely happy. I'm not a real drinker and in almost forty years I've never been 'happy drunk' with my brother.

On Sunday, the SIL and I did a little more shopping and then came home for a little nana nap. Then we headed off to Bingo on Sunday night with the DIL, the SIL, a friend and her mum. To cap off a totally great weekend - I won $200. Yay me! I shared it with the DIL and the SIL so we all went home with more in our pockets.

Work was a total drudge today, not the least off which was that I just wanted sleep and recovery time. This getting old is for the birds. Tonight was a laid back night with takeaway dinner and a few laughs. The brother and family leave tomorrow morning, they're off in their caravan for a holiday on the coast. It' been a lovely visit and a perfect celebration for my birthday.

Here's some thinking material - I read this on a website here about the psychology of turning forty - 'Turning 40 is one of the key psychological milestones in a person’s life when they evaluate who they are and where they want to be going'. Well that definitely makes it sound more enticing.

I'll also catch up on all of my reading and commenting once my guests head off. Some things (or people) just have to take precedence, but you already know that don't you?

Okay it's bed time (everyone else has already crashed for the night) It's time for me to get some beauty sleep - so much more is required once you get as old as me. Have a great week people.

Cheers, Fi

Destiny is not a choice, it is a chance. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. ~ William Jennings Bryan

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven Eleven Eleven

I'm often fascinated by numbers and their meanings, so it stands to reason that today is an interesting day in numerology. Lets face it, I sure know that I won't be around to see the next 11-11-11, which won't happen for another one hundred years (in case you couldn't do the maths yourself).

I'm one of those people who had a date pattern for when I got married. Hubby and I got married one year, one month and one day from the day we met - just because I chose the date and because I could.

If you Google the significance of the number 11, both the day, month and year you'll find enough reading material to keep you going for months and months. There's whole websites dedicated to this number, this date. Some believe it's good luck, and just as many believe the significance bodes for bad things.

Me, I just think that it makes a nice palindrome, an interesting pattern and a fun date.

Here's eleven crazy things that I discovered about the number 11 (the date or the number) because I just know you had to know all about them.
  1. The First World War ended on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
  2. New York terrorist attacks - 11th September. The 1st plane that impacted was Flight 11 with 11 crew on board.
  3. Australian floods occurred on the 11th January 2011
  4. Japan hit by huge earthquake and subsequent tsunami 11th March 2011
  5. Numerologically, 11 is a "master number" in terms of spiritualist beliefs. This means someone born on Nov. 11 tends to be "highly intuitive,"
  6. Canadian one-dollar coin is a hendecagon; an eleven-sided polygon.
  7. Numerous websites say that 11-11-11 is a powerful point representing a day that favors matters of the heart over the mind, a day when friendship, romance, caring, and all good qualities are of utmost importance.
  8. Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the moon
  9. The last total solar eclipse was observed throughout Europe on 11 August 1999 at 11:11 am 
  10. Do you know that a rocket should travel at over eleven kilometers per second to escape the gravity of the earth
  11. The maximum number of Oscar awards for any movie is eleven. This figure was achieved by "Titanic" and "Ben-Hur".
Hope you've had a great week and that the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011 is a good one for you. I believe that every day has the potential to be lucky, or not - it's what we make it.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Are you a helicopter or lawnmower parent?

This week I'm spreading myself around the blogosphere. So in case you wondered - I'm not here today. I'm over at World Mom's Blog talking about helicopter and lawnmower parenting. Yes, you're reading those words correctly.

So what type of parent are you? Why not drop by over there for a visit and say hi.

Cheers, Fi

It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it.~ Robert Brault

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sometimes dreams need to change

Sometimes 'life' gets in the way of our dreams, and sometimes 'life' forms a part of another dream.

We all have dreams in life, some of us go as far as creating goals around our dreams. Once you convert a dream into a goal and have a plan around achieving it then it grows in importance. It goes from being a 'maybe this will happen' to a 'this is going to happen'.

Many of you have heard my dream that I want us (hubby and I) to take our children to Thailand in January - that's my dream, it's not really a goal because financing it is still a little bit of an issue at this stage, so consequently I haven't put a plan around it.

The reality is that while hubby and I have our holiday leave organised by our employers and it coincides at the same time (which never happens) nothing else about this time is right, including that the time is approaching way too rapidly.

Youngest son has declared that he wants to attend a private school next year. This is no sudden decision, he's been talking about this for a long time. Youngest is an 'A' student, who studies hard and who has the most incredible self motivation. Not for the first time he says that he's bored and that he's not learning anything at highschool (this being his first year at highschool)

Private school costs money, lots of it and yet you can't really put a cost on your child's education can you. So my very vague dream of Thailand in January has just got even vaguer, because my child's needs are so much more important.

Consequently, I have the enrolment forms to fill out tonight and lots of hoops to jump through in a very short space of time to try and get my son into this school to start in the New Year.

My one belief in all of this, which is something that I live by; is that everything happens for a reason. It doesn't mean I sit back and wait for things to happen, I do my part to make things happen where I can - but I do in essence throw it out to the universe.

If we are meant to go to Thailand in January then circumstances will eventuate to make it happen. Same with my son, if he's meant to get into this school, despite all of the indications that enrolments are very limited for his year level next year - then he will.

So, do you throw it out there, or do you have another way of dealing with goals and dreams?

Cheers, Fi

A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward achieving it...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's all about perception...

I need stillness for a moment as I bask in my 'spotlight' of specialness and awesomeness.

Brenda is featuring me in her spotlight today on her blog and is making me sound a whole lot better than I really am.

Not that I'm eager to disagree with her at this moment either.

I'm not even sure why she would hem and haw about asking me to be a part of her spotlight. It's amazing how the blogosphere does that and how other people seem so much bigger and more daunting than they probably are in real life.

I need to make a little confession here that I'm a little bit in awe of Brenda as well, please pardon our little mutual admiration club here for a moment. Brenda is after all a bona fide writer as opposed to this wanna-be writer. I guess we all have our amazing parts and I guess it's all about perception.

Perception is something we're dealing with on the project I'm working on at the moment. Perception is a really difficult thing because it doesn't matter what the reality or truth is if someone's perception is at odds with it.

We've got the results from our employee communication survey and the project team is currently thought to be hostile and aloof and a 'secret club'. The reality is - we're working our butts off with not enough time to do everything. Many of us are new to the corporate environment and are still finding our way, yet we're considered hostile and aloof. Try and smile at someone and they drop their heads and look away.

Another comment, we're always having lunches and morning teas and no-one else is invited. The reality is we order lunch in for the workshops that we're currently running because then people can work through lunch breaks to ensure we get the work done. The special monthly lunches - ahhhh well we all pay our own way, it's not company money being used.

It's all about perception though, which is an entirely individual thing. It shows you just how badly communication can go astray and people can get the wrong idea.

So any perception you have that I'm a super positive person and that I'm special and all the other amazing things that Brenda said about me, well that's your perception and far be it for me to try and change your mind.

If you're a regular around here, well thanks for being a part of my counselling team and keeping me sane and if you're new, well welcome and I hope you'll come back sometime.

Cheers, Fi

Anybody who's ever gone through a hard time - any outsider's perception, no matter how much information they're given, they have no idea what the person's life is like. ~ Amy Grant

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If you love something, set it free....

There's a saying 'If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it's yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be"

I guess that sums up our little magpie, he's found his wings and he's flown the nest.

My children will also do that in the not too distant future, now there's a depressing thought. Youngest MM and I agree that as long as our little bird is safe and happy we don't mind. I think we both live in fear that a cat will get him because he's so tame.

There's a whole heap of magpies in the tree in front of our house and every now and again you hear one which sounds like him - I like to think it is, because then he's got a birds eye view of the shed and us, and he's still close by.

Change is difficult - as much as I expouse the virtues of change there's always changes that upset us. My local library is one of those changes. I love the library, in fact I visit every fortnight and sometimes every week. It's my home away from home.

Early last year they bulldozed my local library, which is only five minutes away, to rebuild a new one. Not so bad, because I still had two other libraries in the council area that I could visit. The thing is, the new one opened several months ago and I hate it. I've visited several times in the hope that it would grow on me. It hasn't.

Gone is the cosy, comfy feeling library and in it's place is one that is sterile, new and cold. Open plan with tiled floors and not as many books. I'm sure it's more functional and streamlined but yech. Today I drove a further fifteen minutes to one of the other libraries and was delighted to discover they have refurbished.

Carpeted floors, big comfy lounges and curved new bookcases. Cosy, comfy and homely with lots of new books. Ahhh, all is good in my world again, even if I have to drive further, it's worth it.

Hope you've had a relaxing and restful weekend, I have - two nana naps this weekend and lots of reading. Just what this ol' girl needed, the countdown is on to the dreaded 4...0, maybe that's why I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Nine days people and then life begins LOL.

Have a great week

Cheers, Fi

The two books on my reading pile tonight "Road Testing Happiness" and "When life gives you lemons"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

6WS - Another ordinary day in my life

It's been three weeks since I was here last for Six Word Saturday and I bet you didn't even realise I was gone.

I've always believed that a good movie or book is one which makes you laugh out loud or cry. Well, I'm just finished watching one of my favourite movies of all time (and I've watched it many, many times)

ET has just finished on television, you know the ugly little guy from outerspace which made Steven Spielberg a household name many years ago. Gees I think I was about 8 years old when I first saw ET, which makes me feel really old.

Why is it that the ending of this movie still has the ability to make me cry? Quite simply because we can identify with the emotions felt by the characters in a book or movie. I want to write books like that, ones that grab you and make you care about the characters. To me that's the sign of a good writer.

Our baby magpie flew away this morning which has saddened all of us. After several weeks of not so much as attempting to fly anywhere, he flew onto our next door neighbours roof last night and was there all night. When the neighbour saw him on our shed roof and tried to get him this morning, he up and flew away.

The men in my life are sombre and not discussing it. This little bird has made its mark on all of us and we're all a little bit upset. He had personality this bird and I think my youngest is feeling the loss the most. He'd taken to having the bird in his room of an afternoon when he got home from school. It would sit on his computer keyboard or its perch while he played his X-Box or did his homework.

Thirty four degrees celcius today in Adelaide, summer is finally on its way. Mind you, we have about five days of predicted rain coming, so not so great. Hayfever is fairly extreme at the moment, which makes me feel kinda miserable. Haven't had bad hayfever for years. That was my excuse for a nice little nana nap this afternoon as well.

My work weeks are crazy at the moment with not enough hours in them so its nice to have a weekend with nothing major happening so that I can just rest and relax. I'm six weeks away from our Christmas shutdown and then I will have almost four weeks off. This will be my longest Christmas break since I don't know when.

That's probably all my news for now, a mellowed post with no outspoken opinions, humorous words or annoyed rantings. Just another day in my life. I think I need a little rocket to get me fired up and back on track with 'living' this life of mine and not just coasting along. Having said that, perhaps down time isn't a bad thing occasionally.

Have a great weekend all

Cheers, Fi

Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, it's easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking on the button. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chipping away........

Yesterday I sent out our first communication survey for the project - to 1465 people who have email and internet access.

The aim of the survey being to gain an understanding of what people know about the project, what they want to know (because it's going to affect a lot of people in many different ways) and of course asking what format they want that information in.

The truth is our company sucks pretty badly in the communication stakes, purely my opinion, but I'm not alone with my thoughts. What you don't hear at the coffee machine or in a conversation with a co-worker is not worth knowing and its not necessarily the most accurate form of communication either.

So here's the problem with all of this - they (the wider employee group) whinge about the lack of previous communication across the company, but if they won't help themselves to learn more then what hope do you have? Similar to the fact that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

It's also hard not to take it personally when the comments coming back are that the project team are aloof and hostile. I'm not even sure how you to begin to make 32 individuals more approachable and less aloof when they are on a mammoth project with tight timelines. This whole project business is hard work.

The communication channels are there, we've created all the material yet we're dealing with a culture of secrecy, hidden information and distrust. How do you change an age old culture to get our message across?

I feel like I have a massive big iceberg in front of me, along with what is hidden beneath the surface as well. The only way past this obstacle is with small snippets of communication, building trust and slowly chipping away at the monster we face. It's frustrating, it's challenging, it's my life at the moment.

Me the impatient one, having to go slow and steady. Who would have ever thought?

Cheers, Fi

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Blogoversary to you

I was all excited about the link up to celebrate the first Blogoversary of World Mom’s Blog and then I sat down to write my post.

I was stumped about what I actually wanted to write about. What did I have to say about motherhood and culture?

I wanted to write the perfect post which was full of fun and laughter and was wildly popular amongst our readers.

Then I stopped and thought about my last few days and I wondered who I was kidding, because yesterday in terms of motherhood, I cried a lot.

I don’t have a newborn who won’t sleep, I don’t have a baby who cries all the time, I don’t even have a cranky toddler who runs non stop all day and wears me out. What I do have are moody, opinionated, and sometimes obnoxious teenage sons who often don’t agree with our rules and regulations.

The sixteen year old is testing the boundaries (again), he’s fighting for independence, he’s growing and evolving and some days I want to strangle him. Usually on those days I also want to strangle his father, because this is where the butting heads occurs and the drama really happens.

My boy is becoming a man and is doing battle with the father who thinks he knows best and sometimes doesn’t except that the boy is becoming a man. Give me babies and toddlers any day, they’re so much easier to reason with then grown men and adolescent boys.

So the reality is that this post is not going to be all sweetness and light and happy things, because it’s about the reality of being a mother and not a fairytale.

It’s true that with motherhood, some days are sweetness and light and all good things, but there are just as many difficult days where you cry and hang your head in despair as you fight to raise decent, loving and worthwhile human beings. It doesn’t matter whether they’re babies, toddlers or teenagers – being a mother is no easy task.

When he’s with other adults, my middle son is polite, well mannered and always does the right thing. He’s secured a trade apprenticeship through his own hard work, he has an amazing work ethic and makes me proud of what he’s doing with his life. He also has less admirable traits because he is after all a sixteen year old boy who can be extremely stubborn and pig headed. I'm sure that those traits come from his fathers side of the family as well.

I've also discovered what is probably the most difficult part of motherhood. We've raised our children to be strong and confident and happy in their own skin. We've also encouraged them to stand up for their beliefs and to believe in themselves and their own abilities. It stands to reason then that they will also challenge us and question things because of that confidence.

There you have it, my thoughts on culture and motherhood - I've created monsters, admittedly they're confident and outspoken monsters.

Seriously though, World Moms Blog has helped to bridge the divide of nationality and culture and has brought writer moms together from across the world to share stories about motherhood and to help us all realise that it doesn’t matter what country we come from, what language we speak or even what our cultural beliefs are.

The reality is that every child has exactly the same needs, aside from the basics of food and shelter – they need to be loved, to be treated fairly, to be safe, to be educated, and to be free.

We're all mothers, whether biological or not, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I wouldn’t change a single day of being a mother because for every day that I cry with frustration, I have another hundred days of gut busting joy and pride.

I’m also immensely proud to be a part of the World Moms Blog and hope that you’ll all go and check out some of the other writer moms here and spread some comment love as we celebrate one full year in the blogosphere. Even better, why not write your own post on motherhood and culture and link it up.

Cheers, Fi

A mother is someone who dreams great dreams for you, but then she lets you chase the dreams you have for yourself and loves you just the same ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The pattern of my life

Good day, bad day, good day, bad day. That's the pattern of my life and probably most other working mothers. Yesterday was a bad day, today is a better day.

I must also remind myself that the pattern of my life is also interspersed with colour and movement and love and creativity, no matter how hard it gets.

Everyone in the house is playing nice today and work was bearable as well, so I can't complain too loudly.

The Melbourne Cup was run today, so in true form we had an afternoon tea and drinks at work and all watched the race on television.

This is the premier Australian horse race of the year and the whole of Australia stops to watch the race. Well most workplaces allow you to stop and watch anyway. So even if you're not into horse racing, why wouldn't you take advantage of food and alcohol and an afternoon break.

Every year I pick the winner from roughly 25 horses, yet I've learnt that as soon as I put money on it then it usually finishes near last. So I just go in the $2 sweeps at work and take whatever horse I'm given and I never win. In true form I picked the winner again this year. I think once I commit myself to a bet on the race then I second guess my inner voice and I don't just choose with my gut, so I no longer try.

For some it's the social event of the year and fashion is almost as big as the race itself. Me, I think I missed the fashion gene because I couldn't think of anything worse than spending enough money to buy a small country on some fancy outfit. I'm also not really a fan of horse racing and I don't drink champagne. I'm truly not a girly girl am I?

Please take note, Sunday was a monumental day for me - I extracted my first draft of my novel from the cupboard where I had buried it and I began my first edits. They say you need to put your story away for several weeks and then go back to it with fresh eyes and mind. Well it's been several months and damn it if I don't think it's actually really good.

It's a huge day on World Moms Blog today / tomorrow (depending on where you are in the world), so you need to pop by and check out what they're doing and then tomorrow come back here for my contribution.

Cheers, Fi

Success is following the pattern of life one enjoys most ~ Al Capp