Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ducks in a row...1,2,3

I’m starting to line up all of my ducks in a row and with that comes all sorts of interesting people and invitations.

And in case you didn’t know…..To get one's ducks in a row essentially means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.
So it’s a perfect description really, of what I’m hoping to establish long term.
  • I’ve established my profile on LinkedIn – which unbeknownst to me is also obviously a hunting ground for would-be recruiters and salespeople. (It still needs some tweaking, but it’s up there at least)
  • I’m reaching and stretching (the old fear muscles) and submitting a few 'words' here and there. In doing this I'm exploring my many different writing options and choices.
  • I’ve researched some web hosting platforms and providers with the aim of establishing my own website and encountered more salespeople.
  • I signed up for my free trial issue of an SA based business magazine via an Adelaide based networking website. Buyer beware – because I received the phone call from the sales hat wearing person, not because my name is instantly recognisable (I can only wish that my name made people jump that fast) no it’s because of the clout that my employers’ name carries.
  • I’m writing madly, every day. At work (for work), at home (for me). Ideas are tumbling over themselves in my mind. The drive home means I have to resist the urge to write notes as my mind races with thoughts and concepts and plans. I think I need one of those voice recording thingy-ma-bobbies. (now there’s a highly descriptive technical term)
  • I’m commenting on a range of blogs / websites (aside from my favourites) and starting to build relationships with like minded people.
I read these statements on Jeff’s blog today which also reinforced why I’m doing the things that I’m doing.

When you practice something long enough, you become it.

The more you do something, the better you get.
The better you get, the more you become.

So what are you focused on ‘becoming’? What are you doing to help the process?

Cheers, Fi
The belief in a thing makes it happen ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stretching my fear muscles

I have severely under-developed fear muscles and I probably don't stretch them anywhere near as often as I should. The experts warn that regular stretching is recommended to increase flexibility and range of motion.

So it stands to reason that I should stretch my fear muscles more often to ensure that I am re-shaping and defining them. Warming up and regularly stretching will also reduce the risk of injury to my pride and my self esteem. Stretching my fear muscles will also make me stronger and more capable because practice makes perfect.

With that in mind, I bundled up several links to some of my favourite posts and an article that I'd written and sent it zinging out into cyber space for someone to read, critique and decide whether they like me or not. All with the aim to write for another web site, a quite popular one. My fear muscle was stretched tight as I hit the submit button.

It wasn't that I was worried that they might not like my stuff. I was more worried that they actually might like it and then I'd have to write something original and witty on a regular basis. I'd have to perform on cue, when required.

Is that silly or what? Not just fear of rejection but fear of success also.

How often do we risk injuring ourselves because we're too scared to stretch that old fear muscle. We may not have enough belief in our ability to do the job, or worse we're afraid we might have to actually do what we say we can do and prove ourselves.

The best advice must surely be, regular daily stretching and keeping the following things in mind.
  • Warm up first - don't just dive into stretching the fear muscle, slow and steady progress is recommended.
  • Focus on a pain-free stretch - it shouldn't hurt to stretch your fear muscle, it can be scary but never painful.
  • Relax and breathe freely - go with it, relax and feel comfortable about what you're doing
  • Stretch before and after activity - feel the fear and do it anyway
Today I stretched my fear muscle and I submitted some of my writing. I will continue to write and submit to increase my flexibility and build my strength

So what have you done lately that's made you flex your fear muscles?

Cheers, Fi

If you put yourself in a position where you have to stretch outside your comfort zone, then you are forced to expand your consciousness ~ Les Brown

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cuddling chaos

This could be my house (Image credit)
So I had a post in mind to write yesterday and then we received bad news about a friends' death and everything kind of faded into a little puddle of meaningless words.

Now I will share those words with you because it's these little moments of wonderfulness in amongst the drama of life that make me smile and laugh out loud.

My brother and sister-in-law came down from Renmark on Friday night and my house was chaos multiplied by a thousand. We live in an average sized three bedroom house, of course in my next life I'll have the mansion.

We have almost enough room for the four of us, when oldest son still lived at home we were a little cramped, but we're outdoors people so as long as you have sleeping room the rest doesn't really matter.

Friday night under our roof we had hubby and I and the youngest two of our boys. Also had middle son's girlfriend, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew and also my grandson. That's four adults, three teenagers and two children in a three bedroom house. It was a little tight.

Combine that with my nephew not feeling 100% and a midnight bath after he threw up in his bed and we had our own soap opera. You know the ones with lots of people and drama and action.

Saturday I did about 5000 kilometres of driving (well it must have been close because I felt like I drove forever) we had football in the morning for youngest with grandson and the furkid in tow, then home to drop off the dog, hubby and youngest, into the city for glamour photoshoot with oldest son and grandson (my mothers day pressie) then dropped them off across town.

It was then a logistical nightmare to work out all the remaining people in my house and who needed to be where, when and how. Brother and sister-in-law to watch the football in the city, youngest son to be driven to the local football club for presentations, nephew left with the son's girlfriend until I could get back across town to collect him, youngest then to a friends for a sleepover, hubby to be picked up from a mate's place.

Yeah, you get the idea - my weekend was super crazy.

As always the gorgeous boys in my life made me smile through all the chaos. My nephew's golden comments. "Auntie Fi your car has no back doors (it's a two door hatch) so it must be magic" because he was still in the back seat despite no back door. Don't you love the logic of a child's mind?

Then my favourite, we were driving along and it had started raining. I told him that I hate rain and he quickly replied that he loved rain because it makes puddles and he loves jumping in puddles. He's three years old, he reminds me often how quickly you forget the honesty and innocence of the young.

Grandson charmed every single person throughout our three hour photo shoot, he laughed, he giggled, he charmed. He is the most delighfully happy and cheerful baby in the world. The best part of my weekend is when my nephew climbs into my lap and says I love you Auntie Fi or when grandson crawls to my feet and puts his arms up to be picked up, then snuggles in for a cuddle.

All of my gorgeous boys make everything else meaningless, all my stress, all my agro, all my fears - they all fade into nothingness.

Hope you all took time for cuddles and love in amongst the chaos this weekend. To my darling pregnant sister-in-law who I know will be reading this - we love having you, despite the chaos and crazy times and can't wait until we have another one to add to the mix.

Cheers, Fi

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Heaven has another ratbag

In every Australian suburb and in every small country town there's the local corner shop. Ours is only 5 houses away and has been run by the same family for all of the 19 years that I've lived in this house.

Our local shop is run by a little old Lebanese woman who's there before sun up to open the doors and then come the afternoons and evenings, her two sons come in and run the shop and then close up at night.

There's two daughters who also occasionally help out when mum is overseas visiting family or when family events require mum to help out. I'm not sure where the father / husband is, he's never been around.

That shop is open rain, hail or shine, Christmas day, Easter, you name it and that shop is open. Today the shutters remain down and the doors remain closed. Instinctively you imagine the old lady has passed away, she's old, but then she doesn't look any different to the day I moved into the neighbourhood 19 years ago.

I found out from a phone call from my son this morning that the eldest son died last night, heart attack. He's in his 30's (I stand corrected - he was 40) with everything to live for, a wife and two small children and now he's gone. To say I'm shocked is an understatement.

He's been in our lives for 19 years, he's not a close friend but he's a part of our day-to-day life, in so much as you say hi, how's things, how's the family - kind of way.

He's known my boys since the day they were born, he gooed and gaaed over them as babies, and then later wrestled and teased them when we went into the shop. There was joy when he got married and when his boys were born and I'm sure his mother breathed a sigh of relief.

He was truly a larrikin lad, he skirted on the edges of the law, he mixed with somewhat dubious characters, he was rough and tough and not always politically correct in his comments and behaviour. He was a ratbag who encouraged my boys to do 'ratbag' deeds but in a funny kind of way.

He came from good stock though, he loved his mum, he adored his wife and boys and he had a heart of gold and a bag of lollies or chocolates for every child in the neighbourhood. Organising santa to visit on Christmas Eve every year was tradition in our neighbourhood and every child knew that the corner shop was the place to be. He was one of those people who always had a smile and a word for every one.

Last night another ratbag left this earth and for some strange reason that makes me incredibly sad; for his wife, for his beautiful ratbag boys who will grow up without their daddy and even for myself because the corner shop just won't be the same without him.

It's amazing how even the people who are only on the outskirts of your life can leave such a big void when they're gone. Hug your loved ones tight everyone and even share a smile for those who aren't so close because things can change in a heartbeat.

Hugs, Fi

"Tears are words from the heart which can't be spoken"

Comments are flying across Facebook tonight as everyone remembers him and the impact he had on our neighbourhood and the people who knew him. I found this picture of him and his boys which a friend had posted on her wall. This is him doing what he did best, being a dad.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm toasty warm on the inside

Every so often someone does something so thoughtful, so completely unexpected that it totally warms you from the inside out.

Today I arrived at work to discover a pink envelope propped against my computer which had my name on it and the cryptic message Not on your list - A big mistake "Get a friend to help me". Inside I discovered four scrap pieces of paper with different messages.

Message 1: TMM 69. I was over 40 when I first discovered HUBRIS
Message 2: Better  get moving on this one SI 89 (can't believe you haven't done this - a sheltered life)
Message 3: B&S31 Skin Central Brighton 83771300 (monthly specials)
Message 4: F&F 41 Victor Harbor $99

I'm not cryptic in my thinking - at all, in fact I'm kinda thick sometimes when it comes to anything cryptic. In the mornings I get to work at a ridiculously stupid hour, so that I have a traffic free run and then so I can read my emails and have my breakfast before I start my work. The only person who gets there earlier in my area is my boss (although some days I wonder if he even goes home at night)

I knew it wasn't him (he's not a pink envelope type of person) but he had put other work on my desk so I went with my best thought that it must be from his wife. She's recently discovered my blog through Google Plus (which is the only positive thing that I can say about Google Plus at this stage, because I'm not a fan yet)

It was only when I sat down tonight and really read through the messages that I realised what they actually were, they were related to my 101 tasks in 1001 days list on the challenges tab.

Below is message 1 - as in # 69. Learn a new word every week and use it on my blog. The word is HUBRIS which I googled and it means "extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power"

Love it, now I just need to figure out a sentence using this word.

Message 1
Message 2 was #89. Go to the movies on my own. She's even included a movie ticket - go figure. Now I need to choose which movie to see?

Message 2

Message 3 was # 31. Treat myself to a manicure and pedicure. She provided the name and phone number for a salon.

Message 3

Last but not least, message 4 was # 41. Organise 3 overnight getaways with hubby. This is a special deal for a standard spa room for $99 a night at a nearby Country Club.

Message 4

I'm stunned, surprised and absolutely bewildered at how thougtful this gesture is. So to all my bloggy friends, especially those involved in Sarsm's 101 tasks in 1001 days, lets keep the circle going and do a similar thing for someone else. Kind of like the pay it forward theory.

I'm going to come back and tell you about what I do for someone else and also about the four challenges I'm going to cross off of my list very soon. With photos even if you're lucky.

Candy - I'd like to be even half as thoughtful and as creative as you are. Thank you.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everything starts with a thought

So my blog has undergone a little bit of a transformation. It was time, that and there's also the reality that once you start experimenting just a little within Blogger then basically you're committed because its very hard to get back to something which you'd over-customised to start with.

I think it's almost time to move to my own domain and create exactly what I want, I just need the right time to do so. For now, I think I've removed some of the clutter, and streamlined the look - well that was my aim anyway.

I'm putting things in place for future activities, both on this blog and in my life. Then I found this equation on a post which I read tonight which seemed entirely appropriate.

Thought + Belief = Success

I'm sure that some small measure of blood, sweat and tears is needed as well, but as the title of my post says - everything starts with a thought. What are your thoughts saying to you? Are they positive, inspirational and encouraging?

Or are they disbelieving, demeaning and challenging? Do you Believe? In yourself, in your ability, in your dreams?

Sometimes the times we need to be the strongest and believe the hardest are the times when we need it most and we don't know how to think positive, we just can't get there. Last year during some months of immense stress and worry over a family member, I was struggling to cope, to think positively or to even believe it would ever get better.

Because while it's easy to think positively when life is sunshine and roses and everything is just fine and dandy, it's not so when you can't see your way out of a mess and you have limited control over events affecting you or others you care about.

As kooky and as weird as it may sound, I took to saying the words 'I trust that the universe will bring me all that I need and that everything will be as it is meant to be' over and over in my head at night. It was my sleep ribbon every night. It's hard to explain, but I just let myself believe based on all the other times that things had just worked out, despite the odds at the time.

When our children were young we struggled financially, but we always found a way to get by. Hubby would get some extra overtime, one of us would get a cash gift for Christmas, Easter or a birthday, it  would just come in at a much needed moment, or I'd get unexpected hours. We always had a roof over our heads, we always ate, despite me worrying that we might not.

I'm not saying that shitty, horrible, bad things don't happen - I am saying that we have to believe that things will work out and be open to the possibilities. 

Sometimes all you can do is throw it out there and then believe that a solution will be provided. It does work, well for me it has - I've had it happen too many times to not believe.

Try it and then come back and tell me about it, or share a story of when you have done it. Alternatively feel free to tell me that I'm talking out my butt because everyone's also entitled to an opinion. 

Cheers, Fi

Monday, May 21, 2012

Open your mouth and say ahhhhh.....

Today was a day of medico networking, both animal and people medicos. I had a trip to the specialist today for the update on the CT scan which I had on Saturday.        
Now I'm on the waiting list for septal surgery to sort out my breathing problems, okay yeah too much information, septal does sound kinda gross - sorry.

Anyway, surgery should be some time in the next 12 months, only because I refuse to pay the $5000 to have it done now through the private system. I've lived with it 40 years, one more year won't hurt. I think I've also found the one and only organised and structured specialist in the entire universe.

I arrived 10 minutes early for my appointment and didn't even have time to fire up the Kindle before he called me in. I'd even downloaded more books to my Kindle specifically for this purpose. He must have missed the memo that says all doctors are expected to run late, and even more so once you put 'professor' in front of their name (and believe me his waiting room was chockers)

The man was speaking notes into his voice recorder for a letter to my local GP while he was writing up surgery registration papers for me. Definitely impressive to watch in action and no shortage of information supplied to his patient either. The man is a machine, a well organised and oiled machine.

Our puppy also went in this morning for the big snip, the vet has just called to say she's all good and to tell me what time I can pick her up. I've been co-owner of at least three other dogs in my life and never quite cared as much as I do about this little girl. Sad case aren't I? It was like I was leaving one of my children at the hospital this morning, well almost anyway.

The brain is churning in full forward today, plenty of ideas for my next novel(s), business ideas, things I need to do, I need to make some lists to make sure I don't lose half of the ideas swirling around. It's a little chaotic in my head at the moment. Speaking of that, here's a really interesting site I found yesterday. I'm still exploring all of its uses, but it seems perfect for writing purposes (or business)

It's called Evernote (and it's free - so definitely my sort of site) Basically you can clip, save, record notes from any computer, any mobile device and it groups them all in one place for easy reference. As a list maker and an idea gatherer, this is awesome for me. When I learn more about it I will let you know but you can go check it out for yourself if it sounds like your kind of thing.

At the moment I quite often discover websites, blogs and tools during the course of my work day and send the links all home by email so I can look at them out of working hours.  With this program from what I can gather I can save them to a file which I can access from anywhere. I can also send them from my phone.

Technology, doncha love it, I just wish it would slow down long enough for me to catch up. Anyways that's my news for now.

Cheers, Fi

Image Credit

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kicking the bucket list to the side?

I need just a few days, or weeks, or months to catch up on everything I want to get done. I have about 30 minutes to write this post before I'm out the door again and this is the first time I've sat today.

Well except at 7am this morning when I read the paper and had my coffee and chased my grandson around between slurps of caffeine and a page turn of the newspaper.

When hubby finishes work at 3 we're off to the beach to take the dog for a nice play with a friends dog, a long run and a swim. Tomorrow she's off to the vet for the girl's equivalent of the big SNIP, so no socialising or walks on the beach for two weeks. She's going to be miserable, but all for the good.

We're out to dinner for MIL's birthday tonight (how can I be enthusiastic about this one) Don't get me wrong, I don't mind dinner with the in-laws but we did it last weekend for mothers day and I thought we could get away with not doing it again this week.

How do you explain to retired people that having to drive 45 minutes to the other side of town on a Sunday night is a pain in the butt. My boys hate late nights on a Sunday and we go to the same pub every time, which is only 5 minutes from my brother-in-laws (who have NO children) The ironic thing is that the parent in-laws also have to go out of their way to drive to the other side of town as well.

Why can't we do it this end of town for goodness sake. Ahhhh breathe and release. Breathe!

So my final piece of wisdom to share with you is something that I read this morning. The article in the paper this morning says to forget your bucket lists and your things-to-do lists because the reality is that people's biggest regrets before they die are the following;
  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I'd stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier
It's not about selfishness but about taking responsibility for creating the circumstances of a loving life. How's that for some wisdom to take you into the next week. Hope it inspires you like it did me.

Now I'm off to cavort on the beach with my puppy. Have an awesome week.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What would your metaphor be?

I probably like metaphors almost as much as I like quotes. defines a metaphor as a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, like the well known Forrest Gump's 'Life is like a box of chocolates' 
Today's metaphor for my life is a deck of cards, because along with metaphors, I'm also quite partial to signs. Today the signs from the universe were coming thick and fast. I read two separate references today about knowing when to hold them and when to fold and walk away.
One was in Eden's post about addiction to gambling for the Victorian Government and the other was an IT blog about ERP implementations (which is what our project is). So there's a pretty good likelihood that there's no common ground between either of these bloggers, which made the two posts even more meaningful.
That, or the fact that I'm just searching for meaning in silly things. So, is that my life - a deck of cards? Well probably several decks actually and I'm just juggling all of them. Part of me thinks that I should just throw all my cards on the table and walk away and part of me is hanging out for the exhilaration of the 'win' so I keep saying deal me one more hand. 
But how long do you hang out for that feel good moment, because I've been waiting for the win for a long time now.
Then there's also the fear that if I fold and throw in my cards, I run the risk that the next one dealt  would have given me the winning hand.

Arrrgh, how paralysing is fear and responsibility and loyalty?
The reality is that you can't know exactly when to hold them and when to fold them and walk away. I'm not sure how to remove the emotion and make a balanced decision.
So - because it's appropriate, here's the chorus from the Kenny Rogers song 'The Gambler', kinda fitting.
You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done
Now I just have to figure out what the best timing is for throwing in my hand and if I'm brave enough to do it.  
Cheers, Fi

and here's the full song - enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Communication dysfunction

Communication - I saw both sides of it today and it both frustrated me and delighted me.

I currently work on an IT implementation project team and it's like being a part of one big dysfunctional family.

Combine some of the greatest minds from our numerous company's, with some of the best consultants in the business, then throw in a massive workload, tight deadlines, heaps of frustrations and mix it all up with zero ability to communicate effectively.

I'm only the communication lead for the project and the management of the project team is not in my job role, but to say this is a frustrating situation would be an understatement.. If this were my boys failing so badly to communicate with me, then I'd give them a slap around the ear, a kick in the pants and a 'get it together' speech.

So I've had a few tries at the 'get it together ' speeches for the team members who are not happy with the situation and they seem to listen ~ momentarily ~ and then they fall back into old, bad extremely painful habits.

I'm not really in a position to kick the pants of a group of adults acting like children. Although years ago I wrestled my oldest son to the ground and sat on his chest to make him listen to me in one of his more frustrating teen moments. Not sure that's entirely appropriate in this situation, but shit it would make me feel better.

Communication glitches - my entire laptop screen just flashed up a 'Mozilla is not responding' message and the screen went blank for several very long seconds. Luckily, Blogger does regular saves.

So anyway my hour long drive home tonight was me rehashing my day in my head and wondering how the hell we fix this situation and get these grown men and women communicating well or at all. The reality is that our success hinges largely on whether we can achieve what we need to in the set time that we have to do so. We can only do that if we're all communicating well and are on the same page

Now for the other end of the communication stick. We had parent / teacher interviews at my youngest's new school tonight. That's the new school that is now sucking up large quantities of our weekly income.

It was positive, glowing communication. My son is a star and has fit into his new school as if he's always been there. His teachers couldn't say enough good things about him and his achievements both academically and socially. I so needed the positive exchange of words and feedback, it made my day so much better.

...and further communication positivity to end out my day. My eldest son rang tonight to say grandson wanted to say a word or two to me. I laughed and figured I'd humour him, after all 11 month old babies don't say alot. Son told him to say hello to nani and he did plain as day and not once but three times in a row - no mistaking it.

I laughed with delight, out loud, in the middle of the supermarket.

Communication when done well should be able to inform, educate and even sometimes delight. We should communicate for understanding not simply for an opportunity to reply. Now I just need to figure out how to gently inject (slam) that into the brains of one or two stubborn individuals in our project team - or die trying.

Communicate well my friends

Cheers, Fi

Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood ~ Leo Rosten

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yuck - couldn't do it myself.

Okay so here it is - the worst job in the world must be looking up peoples snotty noses for a living.

I'm convinced this must be why specialists of this nature will charge an arm and a leg and ask you to sign over the deed to your house when you visit them.

I had my highly anticipated trip to the ear, nose and throat specialist today, what a joyful way to spend an afternoon.

I paid a weeks salary - well almost - to be told my nose / sinuses are stuffed, will require surgery (and thus will probably require me to sign over ownership of my house to fund it)

It's somewhat reassuring though to understand the reasons for my hideous breathing difficulties and years of sleep disruptions. Also explains why I'm so damn tired alot of the time. Seems my breathing problems could have a lot to do with it.

It also seems my nose has been broken at some stage in this lifetime. I remember a really painful injury as a child which involved me, a swingset and hard ground in-between but I never had medical attention for it. No reflection on you mum, it just didn't seem that bad. Obviously it was.

I now have to have a CT scan this week (not looking forward to that either) and then I have a two month wait till I go back, because the specialist has trips planned to France and then Glascow in June and July. Good to know someone is getting an overseas holiday with some of my hard earned dollars, even if it's not me.

So other than that, what's happening in my world? Mothers Day was delightfully normal (as long as your version of normal is expansive). Dinner with hubby's family and my boys is always challenging but nonetheless the meal was good and I got wonderfully spoilt.

I have so many things on the go at the moment which I'm trying to learn more about and I simply can not find enough hours to do it all in. I'm trying to learn how to use my Kindle as well as understand how the hell Google+ works in correlation with Blogger and all the other things that link up.

Does anyone else have problems with all the identities and how they appear and cross over, or am I the only dumb one at the moment?

That's all coupled with challenges at work, family, dogs, children and all the other hoo-haa, so I apologise sincerely if I have not replied to comments, visited many of you or done much of anything else lately.

Hope everyone one of you had a sensational Mothers Day whether with your own children or with your own mums. I think it's fair to say that my boys drive me absolutely crazy but I wouldn't change them for the world.

Cheers, Fi

Image Credit

Saturday, May 12, 2012

6WS - A few of my favourite things

Books are one of my favourite things in the whole world. The truth is I buy a lot of books, though no where near as many as what I could buy if I had the room. Books take up lots of space. Let me compare my old bookcase and the new bookcase that I'm getting for Mothers Day tomorrow.

This is the old bookcase - double and triple stacked with books

and this is the new one which holds 3500 books and magazines

I've resisted an e-book reader for the longest time, because I'm extremely partial to paper books. There's nothing like paper and ink. But.....I'm willing to be converted and move in to the 21st century. It's on charge at the moment so that I can have it first thing in the morning.

The best thing I can see with this is it appeasing my 'I want it now' tendencies. That's the worst thing in the world when I discover a book I want and I have to wait a zillion years for it to come by post or wait for the steam to stop steaming from hubby's ears because I've spent too mcuch money on paper and ink for the month.

Instantaneous, now. I've found myself buying a lot more e-books recently for this reason, I don't have to wait for them. Then I've printing them off to read them though ~grin~

...... and here is what Mothers Day is really all about, the four most beautiful boys in my life. My MM's  (mere males)
Left to right - oldest. youngest holding my grandson and middlest.

Me and my boys
The youngest two ratbags
To my gorgeous boys, on the off chance that you might read one or two of your mothers words - I love you guys. To my own mother - I love you and hope you have a super day. 

.......and to all mothers everywhere, hope you have the most splendid mothers day ever.

Cheers, Fi

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. 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 here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time management, piece of cake

My job role is changing / upgrading - the changing circumstances of another employee are being seen as an opportunity to shake things up and get some greater structure in the project office.

For me it means greater responsibility, as well as better control and autonomy. That's the theory anyway.

Basically, I'm going to be doing more of what I do best - kicking butt and making sure things get done, as well as relieving some of the pressure on the Project Director.

My boss has a great statement which I love - he says "I love change as long as I'm facilitating it and it's not happening to me"

Kind of an ironic statement for a Change Manager, but I like it. It's so much easier to advise others and to help them through change, than it is to deal with it yourself, at work or at home.

The thing is, these changes for me are the baby steps towards where I want to get to in terms of career experience and also have the added benefit of removing the frustration for me when people are not doing what they are meant to be doing.

I'm simply helping guide and direct results to the desired outcome we need. Yes Jenn, that's the type A personality coming out in me too. I had to Google 'A type' personality just to see what actually came up - yep worth the giggle and then best ignored.

One thing that I've realised though is that while my time management skills at work are exemplary they fail miserably at home.

Consider the choices I have;
  • Washing dishes versus reading the latest e-book
  • Throwing a load of washing in the machine versus reading the gazillions of newsletters I'm subscribed to (well one or two anyway - just seems like gazillions some days and I've now unsubscribed to just as many). 
  • Folding clothes versus writing blog posts which is essential for my own well being and mental health 
  • Cooking dinner versus commenting on blog posts or responding to comments which I've had to cut down on because unfortunately I also have to fit in sleeping somewhere as well.
Of course none of this takes into account the additional time also needed for exercise, walking the dog and spending time with my family.

But wait, the solution is easy. If I live in a pigsty, prepare our dinner in futuristic 'cooked-dinner-in-a-tablet' form and also make my family all wear disposable clothing then think of all the additional time that I could have.

See, this is me thinking outside the box ~ grin ~

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Do you walk the talk?

Image Credit
There are numerous metaphors and comments and words that I could put here, but let me say it in the simplest way that I know how. I am a hypocrite.

I did tell you yesterday that I've been in a FUNK, well I'm also in the middle of having a few A-HA moments which aren't too gentle either.

I work in change management, I coach people regularly on the fact that you have to be the change you want to be and that a person will only accept change when their heart and soul is a part of it.

I spout about the changes I want in my life and while I talk the talk, I don't always walk the talk. In other words while I say and mean things in my heart and my mind, my actions (body) don't always agree.

I procrastinate, I make excuses, I avoid the truth and I lose myself in mindless blather. I read blog posts and e-books about avoidance and life and think 'oh my that's me, that's what I do' and I don't feel so alone because everyone else is also avoiding the truth and they're also not facing down challenges and achieving their goals.

I started this blog coming up almost two years ago (time flies when you're having fun) because I was stuck in a rut and needed to find my way out of a miserable job. I did find my way out, but not enough that I spread my wings and really flew. I just changed one rut for another and spend the rest of my time moaning and groaning about everything and everyone.

I read something yesterday (okay so I do learn some useful things from blog posts and e-books) which stated that those who criticise others are often the ones who are envious that they are not doing the same kind of things. Case in point - our 'new look' company magazine, written by someone new who has absolutely no writing experience or education.

In essence it's new, bright, shiny and visually appealing but there's a few things that are problems in my eyes. The reality is though, she's got the job and she will learn from her mistakes. I don't have the job and I too will learn from her mistakes, but I have no real basis for criticising other than envy. Well I do but it won't achieve anything - Argghhh!

Two fellow blogger friends have or are currently making BIG changes in their lives this year. How brave and inspiring you both are. I need to find that strength within myself. I know it exists, I've seen it once or twice over the years. It's just been a long while though since it really showed its face. My parents and my brother and sister-in-law have also done the big and brave and bold. 

But then, I don't think change even needs to be big and bold, it just needs to be for the better.

Bravery and strength - Come out, come out, where ever you are. I'm almost ready for you.

No more criticising, moaning, procrastinating or any other negative non-productive like behaviour is allowed. I will not only talk the talk, I will walk the talk also. I have a couple of things in mind to focus on. Stick around, I may even share my triumphs in the months to come.

What do you need to change most and what's holding you back?

Cheers, Fi

Saturday, May 5, 2012

6WS - Laugh out loud, because you can

Lately I've been in a bit of a funk... yes I do mean f.u.n.k,  and no I haven't made a typo. So in the spirit of turning my funny back on and kicking the funk to the curb - here's a few things to make you and I giggle out loud. Go on, you know you want to.....

1. When I'm hungry, it means I need to eat now
Grandpa was showing little Johnny around the farm, and when they come to the corral, he explained, "That's a bull and a cow, and he's serving her."

A little later on, they saw horses. The Grandpa said, "That's a stud and a mare, and he's serving her, too."

That night at supper, after everyone was seated and grace was said, Grandma turned to Grandpa and said, "Will you please serve the turkey?"

Little Johnny jumped up and yelled, "If he does, I'm eating a hamburger!


4. Are you smiling yet?


6.  What Happens When You Have...

    1) Nothing to do
    2) A sharp knife
    3) A large lime
    4) A patient cat
    5) Too much tequila
    6) And it's football season?

You Get a Feline Football Player!


 8. 0 to 200 in 6 seconds 

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really pissed.

She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the
driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!"

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke
up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box
gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.

Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought
the box back in the house.

She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Bob has been missing since Friday.




Hope I've made you smile and that you've got your happy on. Have a great weekend.

Cheers, Fi

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. 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 here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My halo is also crooked

Possibly the worst insult you can ever make towards a person is to not to show up to their party on time. So yes that’s me – guilty as charged, I’m late for the start of Brenda’s Skewered Halo blog party.

I’m lucky though, the party goes for 5 days in total, so even though I didn’t make a grand entrance at the beginning, I’m sneaking in the back door now and hoping that’s okay, hopefully there’s also still plenty of cupcakes to go around. Cupcakes Brenda, where on earth is the important stuff like the champagne?
You know when you were in school and someone always had a better lunch, nicer shoes, more friends than you and while you were reasonably happy with what you had, you were still a little bit envious of them.

That’s Brenda and I. She’s a published author and I wouldn’t mind a little bit of that too.  Read more of my post from yesterday about being a writer – because I am ~grin~. So I’m over at her place today smoozing and eating cupcakes and searching for the champagne to celebrate the publication of her latest book. Okay, so she's written a few. I’ve never had a ‘real’ writer friend. Rhetorical question - is a friend, a friend, if you’ve never met them?
I also did the unthinkable in my preparation for this party; I left it too late to purchase her book in time for it to arrive by mail. Not my fault she’s lives a bazillion miles away. So she had to send me a PDF to review. I’m the invited guest who everyone wishes they didn’t have to invite but do so out of courtesy. I’ll purchase another book in payment Brenda, honest. Two and three books even.
The thing is, the book is GOOD, and I read the first 167 pages in one sitting. It engages the reader, makes you feel sympathy for the main character and boy does it make me thankful that I never had a sister. It has all the ingredients which equals good book and successful writer. Why not pop over and join the party to celebrate, you can also get a copy of Skewered Halo or copies of other books she’s written here.

Brenda when I get my first book published I’ll invite you to my party and you can arrive late and unprepared and I’ll love you just for turning up.
.......and thanks for inviting me, even if I am the party guest from hell

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I am a writer - because I write

If life is about learning about yourself and the world around you then today I received a superior education. Today I got smarter.

Firstly - I learnt how to say I'm a writer. I've hinted at it on my blog from time to time, I've wished and I've hoped, I've even written a novel which still sits in my bottom drawer. Well, today I discovered where I've been going wrong. I never believed.

Jeff Goins tells me I have to believe, that I have to call myself a writer and then I have to start acting like one. He's even written an e-book and created a website because he believes that I'm also a writer.

Okay, so he's telling everyone the same thing, but he can't be seen to be showing any bias towards me after all. Doesn't matter that he's never met me, or spoken to me - he obviously just knows.

Really, you just need to go and check out his website and the e-book 'You are a writer' and start believing you're a writer. If you're really clever (like me) and spread the word on your blog, Facebook and /or Twitter and then leave a comment on his blog that you're helping spread the word then you have a chance to win a free copy of the e-book as well.

Enough of tooting Jeff's 'wonderfulness' - see, only a writer can get away with a word like that ~ grin.

My second discovery today - a new word, or two words actually - which are so beautifully descriptive. Apparently a brain fart is slang for a special kind of abnormal brain activity which results in human error while performing a repetitive task. The term is typically employed to indicate a regrettable and poorly thought out choice of action. In other words a brain fart occurs when someone "momentarily loses his sense of logic…and does something 'dumb'."

Yeah, I think I have a brain fart at least once a day.

Third discovery - apparently this year, July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years.

My fourth discovery, even CEO's of major company's use choice descriptive language when describing their employees. In 2009 the American Express CEO was quoted as saying that they don't like "grumpy, poo poo minded people in their team" - love, I'm hearing you on that sentiment. Now I just have to figure out how to work that phrase into our change strategy at work.

My fifth and final discovery today, the quicker you try to write a post to make sure you're doing your bit for spreading the word to win a free copy of an e-book, the more likely that your computer will chuck all kinds of wobblies and brain farts and totally not cooperate. Yep two hours, three restarts and numerous shutdowns of programs to get this post out.

Now that must be the true defiinition of a writer, beating all the odds and writing anyway,. See I am a writer and what's more if you've read this entire post then you're just as educated as I am from my amazing day of discoveries.

Cheers, Fi 

I'm also sharing my 'writerly' brilliance with Erica and her pals today as well, so why not pop by and join the fun