Thursday, August 30, 2012

Opportunity doesn't always knock...

So the other 'oh shit' moment was confirmed today - my boss resigned. Obviously I knew it was coming because his official contract was finished and he'd discussed some of his plans with me.

It's one of those things, even though you know it's coming, you don't really think about it until it slaps you in the face and you realise just how much work there is to do - and basically you're it.

The thing is, the two of us have always been on the same page with our belief that life is too short and that you have to seize every opportunity with two hands, despite the fact that it might scare the absolute beejeezus out of you.

You have to do things even if they scare you stupid. You know - feel the fear and do it anyway. It may go absolutely belly up, but better to have done it and learnt from it, than to not do it and spend the rest of your life wondering and regretting not doing it.

My boss is only 16 days older than me and he always says the things that happen for him are only 16 days away for me, including illnesses, shitty days and happy days. I think I'll pass on any of the BIG life changes that he's contemplating, but when opportunity comes my way in 16 days I'll be sure and have the welcome mat out and the door ajar so that I don't miss it.

Sometimes we all need a shake up, a chance to stir up the status quo and create our own 'scary' moments so that we don't get stuck in ruts and following the same routines and patterns every day.

So, if you could make a 'scary' moment happen, what would you do?

My scary moment, I would quit my job tomorrow and take up writing full time. I would also do so while travelling around the world. Probably better in my mind than in reality.

Cheers, Fi

Monday, August 27, 2012

Life-is-a-changing...ready or not

Do I lack courage, or am I brave for doing what feels right? I don't know, but either way I've taken down the feed to Linked In because while I have nothing to hide and nothing that I don't want out there, I've decided that my work colleagues don't need it in their faces either.

It also made me feel too uncomfortable and that defeats the purpose of writing what's in my heart if it causes me angst.

Sure, my work colleagues can search for words I've written (they're freely available with a google search) but then it's their choice to see it, it's not just there in their faces. I link to FB which is for my family and close friends and Twitter which is blogging friends and Google+ just because I can (it's also my least favourite)

The thing is, I write because that's who I am. I also laugh and love and hurt and cry and rage - just with some tempering when writing about it on my blog. My morning pages are filling that void and enabling me to let it all flow with no restrictions.

Today was one of those days that could result in many words spewed across the page, but I'll be concise here. You know one of those kind of days when a major announcement is made at work about a resignation and then everyone walks around in shock with blank looks on their faces.

The fallout of this completely unexpected announcement was people making private calls left, right and centre, and in every corner of the building whispered conversations were occurring as many tried to process the information and what it meant for them.

That was my day - our Group Managing Director resigned today. What that means for all of us, our company and the future is largely up in the air. We all know this heralds big changes for the Corporate Office, and not changes that aren't largely overdue. Poo-ee to the changes we're trying to implement with the project, this is so much bigger and makes what we're trying to do even more difficult.

There was other news today which I can't share as yet but which only served to cap off a day of BIG 'oh shit' moments.

Lets sum this all up in one equation - lots of critical work happening on the project + unsettled people and potentially unsettling changes + change of project sponsor mid project and massively tight deadlines. Equations like this make most people feel a little (or a lot) ill.

Everything happens for a reason though - right?

Cheers, Fi

Friday, August 24, 2012

Where the Magic Happens . . .

With the instant publishing capabilities of Social Media, have you ever written something or uploaded something and then thought OMG why did I do that - because now everyone can see it.

I just had one of those moments (it seemed to last forever) as I used a feed reader to link my blog to my social media accounts. It's been linked to Facebook for a while, I can take comfort from that though because only my close friends and family members are linked to that account.

 When it's linked to your professional account on Linkedin, it gets a little bit scarier.

The thing is, in this day and age it doesn't matter where you are online be it Google+, Twitter, You Tube, Facebook etc etc (because I'm not going to list the thousand others). If you've commented, posted or uploaded content then you exist in the cyberworld somewhere, somehow and a relatively simple Google search will track you down.

My children don't understand this concept, heck I don't understand how far reaching it is sometimes. They don't know how careful they need to be when they put it out there for everyone to see. It's a pretty safe bet though that in this day and age that if you're applying for a job then many recruiters will do an online search to check you out.

So the hilarious photos of you skinny dipping as a youngster, or the online argument with a family member, or worse still the online bagging of a boss or workplace are there for everyone to see.

I'll resist the urge to revoke my blog posts for now. After all, it's all about stepping outside of my comfort zone, putting my words out there to be judged. That's what a writer does. Fortunately, there's no naked pictures in this post, no harsh words towards a family member or bagging of a workplace or employer - it's a harmless post after all.'s out there.

So how many of you have had second thoughts about something you've put up for the world to see, be it photos or words. Have you taken it down or left it there?

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where there's a will...there's a way

Today was day 1 of morning pages completed. It wasn't actually the writing that was the hard bit because writing three pages of long hand stream of consciousness thinking was a piece of cake. The hardest part was determining how and where to do it.

My home at that hour of the morning has too many distractions, I get up at 5.45am and the family follows in staggered fashion through till 6.30. Our house sounds something similar to a symphony orchestra of alarm clocks in the morning as we all quietly (me), moan and complain (boys) and generally loud (hubby) drag ourselves out of bed.

Work in the morning is also out of the question, because despite the fact that I get to work an hour before my starting time, it's not practical for writing undisrupted. I get there earlier because then I dodge the hideous morning rush hour traffic and then I have my breakfast and read my emails and favourite blog posts.

So while all of that would be conducive to me writing my pages, my boss - god bless his little a-type personality - often has something for me to do or a question to be answered. Sometimes I wonder whether he sleeps in the building because he's there at the crack of dawn and leaves after sundown.

So the perfect solution - I sat in my car in the car park and wrote. No disruptions from the family and I still miss the crazy traffic, plus working mode hasn't begun until I enter the building.

It's entirely true that if you want something bad enough you can make it happen. So in answer to my question in yesterday's post "how bad do I want it" - my answer - real bad!

What do you want really bad?

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making life way!

There's nothing I like better than discovering a new blog whose owner is a writer and who is someone who reaches for the impossible in life. It's worth discovering someone who walks the talk and makes life happen, rather than sitting around and letting life happen around them.

My boss obviously knows me too well because he sent me the link to this blog called Blog of Impossible Things and specifically the link for this post "An unexpected ass kicking" which was an engaging story but then I discovered the following words in another post called "How bad do you want to it"
How To Know If You Just Kinda Want It:
You might say you want it, but you just kinda want it. You can tell because
  • When it’s time to cheat, you give in.
  • When it stops being easy, you give up.
  • As soon as things get uncomfortable, you go searching for something easier
Have you ever felt like that, have you dreamt of what you want in your life, or what you want your life to look like - but you don't start because it's just not quite the right time.

You have all the best reasons - work is too busy to start [insert your dream here] this week, your kids have sporting activities so you can't do the gym visits this week, you need to do a little bit more research and learn some more, or perhaps you want to find a new job but you need to do get through this months bill cycle, or ironically you're too busy at work to look for another job at the moment.

Boy have I been there so many times.

It was this post that slapped me between the eyes and made me sit up and take notice. See, I started reading The Artists Way this week (following a recommendation from another blogger). The blurb on the front page is 'finding the spiritual path to higher creativity'. My kind of blurb!

The message in this book by Julia Cameron is that one of the best ways to enrich your creativity is to write three pages of free writing every morning. Stream of consciousness writing. There's a 12 week program to follow, with activities and it's not just for writers, it's for anyone looking to enrich their lives.

I've read the section for the first week and of course I plan on doing the activites - especially the free writing, but I haven't started yet. I'm waiting for - heck who knows what I'm waiting for. The perfect day, the perfect notebook to write in, the right pen.

The thing is I'm not a procrastinator in general - when it comes to getting things done, I'm top of the class, out there in front and annoying the hell out of everyone who isn't keeping up. But, when it comes to my writing I get a little fearful, oh shit, I get a lot fearful. But the reality is - How bad do I really want it?

If you write, or believe in making things happen, or you just want more in your life, then you have  to go and check out this blog.

'Nuff said, the 12200 re-tweets of that particular 'ass kicking' post are possibly an indication of the popularity of the blog.

So it seems I have a three pages of words to write tomorrow morning (amazingly I bought two new noteooks on the weekend specifically for this purpose)

Hope you're making life happen this week.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Addictive personalities and hedgehogs

Do you have an addictive personality? I'm pretty sure I do, in fact I'm pretty sure most of us do at some stage in our lives. Some of us can control it, some of us can't. My latest addiction luckily does not threaten to control or destroy my life and I've proven that I can control it when I need or want to.

Previously though I was a smoker for many years and gave up - I've been nicotine free for 12 months and two weeks now. I recently gave up sugar and that was hard - but I'm now 18 days sugar free.

The big addictions like alcohol, gambling and even more criminally based addictions are the ones which have the power to control and destroy lives. The definition of an addiction "is a physical or psychological dependence on a substance or behavior. It's the inability to stop an activity that is threatening your health, lifestyle, livelihood, or relationships"

For a while there I also had an unbalanced need to constantly be on my computer - blogging, reading blogs, commenting, Facebook, Twitter. I've cut all of that back to maintain more of a balance but I do still have one addiction - luckily it's fairly harmless and manageable.

So I admit it, I'm a book addict. Hubby used to moan about the sheer number of books I would bring home and how they overflowed the bookcase and took up valuable space in the house. Then he bought me a Kindle for Mothers Day.

Amazon is a very dangerous tool for a book lover who owns a Kindle, it does have the added bonus that he can't see the number of books that I purchase now, he can only see the gift card balances applied to my Amazon account which show on our credit card statement. But books for .99 cents and $2.99 are a booklovers dream.

The downside - I go on Amazon to check out an author or a book that I've seen recommended somewhere and bam I buy another 2 or 3 books.No waiting for delivery, no having to visit the shop. Click a button and it's done.

At least this addiction will broaden my knowledge, educate me more and entertain all at the same time. Not to say that I won't discover more addictions during this lifetime.

So do you have an addiction, is it manageable or controlling your life? Do you even want to change it or are you happy as it is?

Cheers, Fi share for this week - because first it made me say 'oohhhhh' at how cute and then it made me laugh at the last line. My mum finds the most amazing stuff about 'life'

Fable of the Hedgehog

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.

The Hedgehogs, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

The moral of the story is: 
Just learn to live with the pricks in your life!
 Go on - laugh - you know you want to!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just a mum...

My mum sent me this story below in an email yesterday - I hadn't seen it before so I had to share.

A woman, renewing her driver's license, was asked by the woman at Registry to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

'What I mean is, ' explained the woman at Registry,
'Do you have a job or are you just a ...?'

'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman. 'I'm a Mum.'

'We don't list 'Mum' as an occupation, 'Housewife' covers it,' said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself
In the same situation...
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, 'Official Interrogator' or 'City Registrar...'

'What is your occupation?' she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out. 'I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.'

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in mid-air and looked up as though she had not heard right....

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, In bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest, 'just what you do in your field?'

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply,
'I have a continuing program of research,(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
And already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?)
And I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers
And the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
Testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more
More distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mum.'

What a glorious career! 

How true is this? 

Cheers, Fi 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Multi-tasking Dreamweaver

I had one of those weekends where I felt like I got plenty of things done, I haven't had one of those in quite a while. There's 3 more games of football left for youngest so then I get my Saturdays back, which will be nice.

When you pile all the house cleaning, the washing (sadly I feel like I wash enough clothes to clothe a small nation) and the food shopping into a weekend there's not many hours left to do the things I want to do.

I did all of that, plus attended son's football match, got all of our tax returns finished finally and also submitted them to the tax office. In addition, I did some rock solid work on setting up my writer website - a freelance writing career is in my future, because I believe it.

I also made time to have dinner with the girls on Saturday to celebrate a birthday - it was a night of amazing curries cooked by the hostess with the mostest and more shared laughter than I've had in the longest of times. We took partners as well, luckily they get on well and keep each other amused.

Here's an amazing fact, all 6 of us girls smoked when we worked together and in the last 12 months all but one of us has given up smoking. The one who hasn't is the baby of the group so I guess she's got a few years to go yet before she hits the forty mark, well the thirty mark even and that's when she realises she's too old for smoking. It does happen chickie, eventually.

It's now day 13 of no sugar and I'm still going strong. I wouldn't say that I've lost any weight according to the scales, but my clothes are definitely looser, I don't feel bloated and I feel happier, more balanced. Which is to say that I felt grumpy, not so good, unhappy and unbalanced for those first few hellish days.

Every now and again you find a blog that just calls out to you and has everything you've been searching for. I found it tonight, if you've ever believed or dreamed that for a small moment that you could travel and make a living from blog writing well then you'll appreciate how envious I am that this guy is living my dream.

This quote from an interview he gave says it all for me "I make a full time living from my blog. It’s the sole source of my income. I won’t give an exact number but I make just over six figures per year with my job. I make most of my money through my ebooks as well as my sponsorships. They account for roughly 50% of my income. The rest comes from a mix of affiliate sales, consulting work, and adsense sales."

See it is possible - you just have to believe, but all in good time - I am mother first, wife second and for now I'm taking all the necessary steps to get to where I need to be. They were my choices and some things take precedence.

Hope your taking steps to make your dreams a reality too.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bobby pins, shoes and dollar coins

Finally two words, headache free - for almost a full whole day now. Pause for a little party dance here. My head still feels a little thick, not sure how else to describe it.

Onward and upward from here, surely.

It's nearly bedtime so quick words tonight. I do however have some great websites to share with you. They're worth a look if you get a chance. The only down side is that they ask you to sign in so that you can read the articles..

The bobby pin article indicated below was forwarded to those of us in the Women in Leadership Group by our HR Manager. I did my usual Google trick though and found the actual website. There appears to be some really good articles and as an added bonus when you sign in to the site you get a free eBook with 52 Tips on being organised.

Bonus, I could pass on the e-book about being organised to any one of the mere males in my world ~ grin ~

If you do decide to sign in, I'd love to hear your thoughts. The home page is here Women's Village and if you sign in then you can view this article Why confidence is like a bobby pin.

Okay one more quick share before I toddle off to bed. I posted this last year after it was shared with me and here it is again this year (unfortunately this is only in South Australia and New South Wales at this stage, I'm not sure if this exists anywhere else, but there may be similar things)

In short, the Butterfly Movement between July 24 & August 31, 2012 are collecting gently worn and new shoes which will then be provided to people in need in Tanzania and Australia who are disadvantaged because they do not own shoes.

What a fantastic idea - and why wouldn't you contribute? Spread the word people, lets make a difference and change a life. Visit the Butterfly Movement website for more information.

That's me done for tonight, have a super week and thank you to everyone for their supportive words and suggestions in getting through my sugar withdrawals this week. There really is light at the end of the tunnel.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeling more sour than sweet

I know what I need to do, I know what I want to do and still here I stay not doing anything and feeling miserable about it. The wind is blowing furiously outside at the moment and that kind of fits my mood as well.

I'm frustrated by circumstances and people in equal measure. I want to stand in the middle of the street and scream at the top of my lungs. Possibly won't be too appealing for my neighbours though, given that it's 9.45pm.

A popular song contains the words "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run" I'm just not sure how to figure out which one I should be doing. I'm resisting the urge to run though.

I'll be quite honest, my head is all over the place at the moment. If I didn't believe how bad sugar was for you before my attempts to give it away, I do now. I'm still going strong with no sugar whatsoever but boy is my body giving me hell. The headaches have been there for over a week, in varying levels of annoyance.

I'm taking baby steps this week, although giving up sugar is more of an elephant step, or is it more that I feel like I've been run over by an elephant, a bloody big one)

I bought a set of bathroom scales today, because having got through the first week of no sugar, I am determined to lose weight. Today I also drank only one cup of coffee, admittedly though I had two cups of tea. This is quite monumental as a previous drinker of 6+ cups of coffee a day.

Okay that's all my words for today, I'm exhausted in both body and soul. I need to regroup and re-sweeten my thinking, because my thoughts are fairly sour at the moment.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Climbing my own mountain

Who said being healthy was good for you? It's totally exhausting is what it is. Quitting smoking was hard, quitting sugar is almost just as hard.

Day 1 and 2 of sugar free living were not too bad and I figured I had it in the bag - bit of a headache which coincided with a migraine that started the morning of Day 1 but nothing major.

Day 3 woke up feeling okay, quite happy with the absence of hunger pangs during the day which usually has me eating nasty little snacks to keep me going. Appetite has decreased majorly, this giving up sugar is a piece of cake.

Then Friday afternoon, the end of day 3 and oh boy. The headache from hell descended on me. Driving home from work and I felt decidely crap, nauseous, dizzy - yech. I planted myself on the lounge because I felt so bad and dozed on and off on the lounge for about 4 hours with a headache that no painkiller could touch. Not like a migraine either.

Day 4 and today day 5 and the headache has been there but not as bad, it's definitely improved somewhat. Coffee intake has halved from 6-8 cups down to 3-4  which is possibly half the reason for the headaches. Energy levels are pretty low but I'm starting to come out the other side of feeling so yech!

Not one smidge of sugar has passed these lips since Wednesday morning. I did almost give in Friday night but only to get rid of the horrid headache. Quitting the sugar has been fine, it honestly hasn't bothered me, it's being aware of what has sugar in it and dealing with the headaches which has been bothersome.

The dwindling appetite and healthier eating will certainly have it's benefits, in fact I'm quite amazed by how much my appetite has balanced out. Who would have thought.

For example, just in case you've never given sugar much thought. One of my favourite things to eat was lime cheesecake flavoured yoghurt  - I mistakenly believed because it was yoghurt that it was healthy. For a small single serve I discovered it has 25.6grams of sugar per serving. Now if you consider the following fact:

Total sugars are shown in grams per serving, listed in the Nutrition Facts on the back of packets.  4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon.

That means each 'healthy' tub of yoghurt I was having (at least one a day) was 6 teaspoons of sugar. That's a whole lot of sugar in something that I thought was healthy. I'm not a big sugar eater normally, in that I don't usually eat cake or lollies but even the 'innocent' things have sugar so is it any wonder that my body is a little bit stressed at the moment.

Well that's all my words for the moment, my next post should hopefully be sugar free, both my post content and my body because I'm totally over writing about how it's messing my body up and I'm sure you're over hearing about it..

Before I go, does anyone have any clues on de-toxing and how to help your body repair quicker? I'd love any tips that anyone has to share.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ready for battle

So my body is one step ahead of me and was ready for going sugar free this morning because I woke up with a migraine. Consequently I went back to bed and slept for most of the morning. It's so easy not to drink coffee with loads of sugar when you're sleeping.

Today hasn't been too bad though, I have a dull headache - I can blame that fully on the migraine and not even blame the lack of sugar. It works for me. I've had a couple of coffees with a sugar replacement - Stevia is  totally natural, from a plant and better than the fake alternatives. Totally acceptable apparently.

Okay so fake sugar in any shape or form tastes like crap, but this stuff is bearable. You didn't honestly think I could go cold turkey as in totally cold turkey did you? I'm reading the backs of packets and packaging to see how much sugar is in things.

Scary little figures those ones, even bread has oodles of sugar, go figure.

I'm making smarter choices and being aware, that's the first step. I'm sure tomorrow will be harder when I'm back at work and I'm not feeling so sub-standard. I have prepared for it though. I've swapped my coffee choice to a smoother flavoured brand (read that as more expensive) but it's more bearable without sugar and I went out and got some chai tea to try as well.

Sugar goes first and then we'll move onto the caffeine removal, one step at a time. Removing coffee is also more of a warm weather option for me.

I've stocked up on nuts and healthier snack options, also more vegies and not as much fruit. I've purchased the e-book 'I quit sugar' by Sarah Wilson and I've done some more research. There's heaps of different books and things to read out there if you've considered going sugar free yourself.

Well that's my progress so far, we'll see how we go over the next few days.

By the way I'm over on World Moms Blog today, talking about whether we might be guilty of breeding 'Useless Teenagers'. WMB has a bright brand new look and boy do we look HOT - so make sure you drop by and say hi.

Cheers from a sugar free Fi (say that quickly several times)