Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harnessing the magic...

Country air has magical qualities in it, but I think it only works on city folk. It makes anything seem possible and everything seem achievable. How simple everything seems when you can take a step back and breathe and just be...

In the country I can live an idealised life for a couple of days and get back to being me. No stress, no pressure, no expectations. How perfect life would be if it was like that all the time. The thing is, it would probably also get kind of routine and boring after a while as well.

The lesson I need to take home with me is in taking some of those elements from my country living and incorporating them back into my city living.

In the country I wake to the sounds of nature, I roll out of bed and make myself a milky coffee and read the paper or a magazine whilst enjoying my coffee. No haste, no rush. I then take my mum and dad's dog for a walk down country roads at a leisurely pace (I miss my own puppy lots)

My adopted puppy is not used to strolls down country roads and puffs and pants a lot, but is entirely enthusiastic about his venture into the great outdoors.

A nice cooked breakfast follows and then I read my emails and do some blog surfing. Then I write, all day if I wish. No interuptions, no requests to help with anything, no washing or house work calling my name, no children wanting assistance with anything. I write, as simple as that.

I can sit in the garden amidst the beautiful flowers and nature and soak up the sights and sounds of spring. (Yes so the rain has held off and while it's cool outside the sun is still shining)

At night, I write some more and read some more. By evening though I'm almost all written out and I'm tired. Country air is tiring, there must be something in it that makes you sleepy. It could also be that my mind is not racing a hundred miles an hour and has time to wind down and relax.

Tomorrow I drive home with infinite wisdom. I know what I have to do, I know what I should do, it's just a matter of doing it. My little circle of female loved ones (mum, sister-in-law and what do you call your sister-in-laws mum, oh she's just mum too) they've all added their words of support and knowing to what I already know (girl power is strong if limited in our testesterone laden family)

My infinite wisdom - look after me, do what's right for me and stop putting up with crap. I could possibly harness and bottle that kind of wisdom, if only I knew how. I need to ensure that I make time to write and relax every day amidst the drama of life, because this is what keeps me balanced.

We all need a little time away from it all, so my advice to all of you - escape to the country if you can, because the air truly is magical and family support does wonders for the soul.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mums can fix anything

As a child when something was making you sad or hurting you, then the first person you ran to was mum, well as a child I did anyway. When you get older and life gets tough, then mum's house is still the best place to go for an understanding ear, a hug and reassurance that life will be fine.

Hence why I drove for almost four hours today to that safe haven called mum's house for a hug and some quiet contemplative time to sort out where I'm going and what I'm doing in my life. I left all the boys home to look after themselves, they're now big enough and ugly enough to do so.

The invitation to come with me was there, hubby included, but I must admit I didn't offer it up with much enthusiasm. My desire to read, write and relax probably wasn't too enticing to them and that's fine with me. I think they know that sometimes mum needs to escape to the country for a restorative weekend.

My aim is to get all the edits finished on my book, enter it into the writing competition for which entries close Tuesday and get the next one started. I also need to get all of my plans written down for what I want and how I'm going to do it.

Sadly, the weather is going to be raining and miserable, so perfectly conducive to staying tucked up inside and writing.

I saw my gorgeous niece briefly this afternoon, can't believe how much she's grown. Just to prove that I'm not a totally reclusive and unsociable person, I plan on spending the afternoon watching the football grand final at my little bro's house tomorrow afternoon whilst slurping on a few vodka jelly shots. There's something about jelly shots and my brothers house that just seem to go together.

So now I'm off to write, write and write some more. Hope you're having a relaxing weekend too.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Catch me I'm falling...

The Universe is throwing everything in it's arsenal at me at the moment. I know the answers, I know what needs to be done, I'm just not sure where the safety net is and I'm not sure where or when to jump. I don't trust myself to get it right.

With that thought in mind, let me first say that I subscribe to a number of newsletters or blogs - so these were the first words of a blog post which was sitting in my in-box tonight.

Let’s start with a premise: what you think becomes your reality. Knowing that, isn’t it uncanny how we have a knack for believing all of the thoughts that run through our heads?And here’s why that’s a bad thing:
  • Repetitive thoughts nourish feelings.
  • Repetitive negative thoughts nourish negative feelings.
  • Negative feelings can morph into unpleasant physical and emotional ailments and unhealthy behaviors.
The full post is here "How to Shift from Victim to Creator"

Can I even begin to describe the headache or the weight sitting on my shoulders due to how angry I was driving home from work tonight. An hour or two with my family and a roast dinner cooked by my hubby and the red haze was beginning to clear.

Then next in my email in-box was an email from my mum about guardian angels and the basis of the message was the following.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support. To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.. Your job is to accept the lesson

See that's an example of the arsenal of things coming my way at the moment, these are but two of them, there's many more. All of these messages are extremely relevant at the moment.

Labour Day weekend this weekend and I'm taking an extra day off work to give me a 4 day weekend. It's time to regroup and relax, finish the edits on my novel and visit with my family Also an opportunity to see my brand newish niece before she's all grown up. So I plan on heading to Renmark this weekend. Time for some heavy duty thinking.

Hope all is well in your world


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunshine makes me happy...

My new baby
My new laptop keyboard is extremely challenging. My nice, shiny new laptop has a numeric keypad on it, so all the buttons are slightly to the left of where they should be so my typing is fairly dyslexic at the moment. There's that funny little concept of change and how painfully disconcerting something that's new can be.

Changing basic patterns of behaviour which you didn't even know had a discernible pattern. It's not only the keyboard being off centre but the delete button is in a different place, the buttons feel different and the software setup is different. Boy am I a creature of habit, or what?

Something as simple as this truly helps me appreciate what we're doing on the project for work and just how uncomfortable we're going to make people feel. A new laptop that's set up differently is small potatoes compared to what's coming for them.

After months of searching, I've finally worked out exactly which course I want to do. Now I just have to figure out a gentle way to break the news to hubby about the cost. It's possibly a little bit close on the heels of a new laptop for me to hit him with this one yet. Thank you internet friends - please keep your mouths shut when talking to hubby.

So a brief update on the life and times in our little neck of the woods. My parents are winging their way back from Europe tonight and will arrive in Adelaide tomorrow amidst the forecasted rain and cold. Today was sunshine and a balmy spring day worthy of tee shirts and shorts. Tomorrow we're back to the cold and the rain.

Sunshine is so much better for energising a person than cold and wet. I'm not sure how people survive in cold, dark and dismal climates.

My boss has four more working days to go and then he jets off to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for a pre new job vacation. Europe, Singapore - don't want to hear about any of it. An overseas trip is on the agenda for next year and that's all there is to it. Hubby can stay home if he doesn't want to come, the boys will come with me - at least 1 or more of them.

So potentially in my near future - I have lots of work and no boss to help with the fallout. Roll on sunshine, I think I'm going to need all the energy I can muster.

Hope you're enjoying some sunshine wherever you are.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

When your computer dies...

My computer died a rapid death, which possibly could have had something to do with that item I inadvertently deleted - turns out it was an essential part of my security set up. The evidence of impending death was that I couldn't connect to anything on the internet, at all.

Such is life, eveything has been slowing down for quite a while, it's old and tired - my laptop that is. That's in part why I haven't been commenting or doing much visiting this week. Tonight I bought my work laptop home to catch up on some reading and visiting.

Everything happens for a reason though, my new computer should be ready by Saturday when our computer guru finishes loading all of my software on to it and setting it up. Hubby is taking possession of my old one and the guru has restored and cleaned up that one as well.

I could have updated the laptop for me but it still struggled due to the software I had on it. I purchased the Adobe CS5 suite but haven't really been able to use it because it takes forever to load up. Hubby only wants it for playing music and checking emails - so all good.

Big changes afoot at work again and I'm not sure that my decisions are the correct ones. I'm second guessing myself alot. I have some more planning to do and some structured goals to complete.

For the record, I also discovered another really interesting book (yes another one) This one is about manifesting and if you believe in that sort of thing then it's extremely interesting. Too many things have happened in my life that I've planned for, envisaged  and then have happened for me not to believe. That might sound like hoodoo, but it is what it is.

Here's the e-book 'Create the Life of Your Dreams in 10 Fun, Easy Steps'
and here's her website
Okay lots of visiting to do and plenty of emails to read. Have a great week

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Planning my happy 'daze'

Today I'm getting serious - my goals are all being fully documented and prioritised - what I want and when I want it by, step-by-step of how I will get there. No more talking about it, or having rough notes about what I want or worse still, having it all in my head. It's now down on paper (well on my computer in a spreadsheet at least)

Here are the facts on goal setting - (there's numerous facts, figures and data out there, but it all says much of the same)
  • 80 percent of people never set goals for themselves
  • Of the 20% of the population that does set goals, roughly 70 percent fail to achieve the goals they have set
  • Of the 20% that do write down goals, only 20% regularly review them
  • 3 percent of the population set goals consistently, and are among the wealthiest people in the country.
With all of this in mind, I've created a combined mix of different ideas, to come up with what works for me to record and monitor my progress. I'm big on templates and spreadsheets and attractive ways of recording information. I'm also big on colour. Colour makes even the most boring things more interesting.

Once I get it all sorted, I'll share. That's all part of it isn't it - sharing and learning from each other. Do any of you have something that works for you that you've discovered or created?

I also found this following list in my web wide travels, a useful reminder of simple ways to be creative and how to nurture that creativity in your day to day life
  • Try to be surprised by something every day.
  • When something strikes a spark of interest, follow it.
  • Recognize that if you do anything well it becomes enjoyable.
  • To keep enjoying something, increase its complexity.
  • Make time for reflection and relaxation – daydream.
  • Look at problems from as many viewpoints as possible.
  • Produce as many unlikely ideas as possible.
  • Capture ideas by writing them down immediately. (Keep a journal by your bed and in your car.)
  • Challenge yourself to do or try new things even if you might fail.
  • Broaden your repertoire of knowledge in new areas that aren’t natural for you.
  • Surround yourself with diverse stimuli – new environments and new people.
The Bold Living Guide: 7 Key Ingredients for a Meaningful Life by Barrie Davenport is available here

We've lost two people this year who were the same age as me, two other friends have also lost cherished ones from their lives. Life is too short to be waiting until tomorrow or the next day to make your dreams a reality.

All of this is part of the process of living a worthwhile life and being a better me - so what are you doing to make your life a better one?

Cheers, Fi

This site is worth checking out  
 Rules for a Happy Life (Tumbler quotes and images)
(Number 76 is my lesson for this week)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Living My Life

This is what I'm working towards ... so what does your life look like 5 years from now?
Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Inner Control Freak

I hate messing up - but then I don't know anyone who doesn't.

Deleting something vital from my internet security program could be considered messing up. As a result, my computer runs and then becomes slower than a slug when something in the background shuts down after about 5 minutes.

I'm hoping the repair that I've done has fixed it, but we'll see soon enough. I'm also thinking it's almost time for a new laptop. A new computer won't fix blonde moments when I delete vital components, but it will remove the need for me to problem solve which results in stuff ups.

I read the following in a newsletter I subscribe to (I'd provide the details if I could remember which newsletter I got the info from) anyway, it seemed quite relevant for me following my agro with the 'men' in my world in my last post.
If you can and should fix it, do so. If you can't or shouldn't, don't. When you feel that control freak inside you rising to the surface, ready to save the day or chew someone out, take a slow deep breath and count to five. Repeat the words - I relinquish control. I'm at peace, I'm calm and all is well
Good advice both for home and for work. My inner control freak is sometimes quite overbearing and out-of-control. It also suffers from selective hearing and possibly causes more damage than good sometimes.

Why as mothers do we feel the need to organise, control and guide our families?

Middle son and his girlfriend have been housesitting for one of his mates' mum this week while they're in Bali. I have deliberately restrained myself from ringing him to check up on him. He hasn't come home for food, despite telling me they probably would. This is me relinquishing control. I just need to do a better job with oldest son though and not get so worked up about him.

Work is busy, busy, busy and I'm still trying to kick this dumb cough. I think I used to cough less as a smoker. Consequently this week I just feel like I'm running a never ending marathon because of the cough disturbing my sleep. I'm looking forward to a full nights sleep with no coughing, surely it can't be too far away.

Hope your week is going well

Cheers, Fi

No quote for this post - my computer is obviously not cured and has slowed to slug speed again, so too hard to find a suitable quote in any short space of time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails...

The boys in my life are driving me crazy. Between my children and my husband, I'm not sure which is annoying me more.  I could bundle them all up and send them out to sea at the moment. No, better still, I could bundle me up and leave them all to their argumentative, selfish, pig headed little selves.

I'm not sure if doing dumb things with little thought for anyone other than yourself and adding in a very small margin for error is a factor of youth and spontaneity or is it just plain stupid. I'm struggling to remember my early adult years and whether I did similar dumb things.

No, probably not, because my dumb moment was having a son at 17 (hmmm that would be the son now in his early adult years), so my early adult years were about being a little bit more responsible and forward thinking.

Middle son and hubby spend most of every day arguing about who is right or wrong - it would be amusing how similar they both are if it wasn't actually painful to be a part of. I'm the sounding board and believe me I'm pretty much over that.

Today they have managed to not yell at each other and spend several hours in the same space. I'm sure someone has swapped them with new and improved models, or they may be coming down with an illness because this is very outside their normal behaviour.

Youngest, well gotta love him - he never causes a moment of grief. I'm sure they must have switched him at birth and given me someone elses pleasant, non boat rocking child.

I read today that karma and the things that happen in our lives is in fact mistakes made in a former life and lessons not learnt. I surmise from that, that my enabling appalling behaviour and tolerating dumb decisions from others is my lesson to learn and that I need to change me so that I don't keep reliving this crap!

Do you enable bad behaviour in others in the way that they treat you and what's the best advice you can offer to remedy this (other than sailing off into the sunset on my own?)

On a positive note, yes because there's always a flip side to shitty moments, the sun shone brightly today, spring has arrived and there's butterflies everywhere. Roll on summer.

Hope you had a sensational weekend and here's to me kicking this dumb cough which is the remnants of a bad case of the flu. See what happens when you give up sugar and eat healthy? Admittedly I'm down a few kilos without any effort whatsoever, so all good.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Did someone mention JFDI?

I finished writing my book in May last year and I'm only finalising the edits on it now. I could put forward all of the excuses of grandbabies being born and project work and life but when you want something really bad, you have to believe in it and just do it.

That boss of mine, who'll only be around for another few weeks, sent me a link today that says it all (provided you don't mind the F word - it's not that bad though honest). Not sure what I'm going to do for inspiration once he disappears.

So anyway now that I'm JFDI (yeah, you have to read that link) I have no more excuses.

I'm writing my morning pages, except for the last two days because I was in bed sick with the flu, or some other nasty little virus that my grandson lovingly shared with me. That's not an excuse by the way, that's just life beating the crap out of me, and me letting it for a day or two.

The funny thing is, despite finishing my first book over a year ago, I haven't started writing anything else. Excuses, excuses - yes, but nothing has inspired me, nothing has jumped up and said write this.

So instead, I've been creating my writer web site and designing business cards and starting to put some ideas around some different ideas for non-fiction e-books and most of all getting some substance behind my goals. In truth I've been more focussed on design than writing for the last 12 months.

Then bam, driving home from work tonight and there they were, my two characters for my next book. In my head like I'd known them forever, and only someone who writes can possibly understand what a crazy moment that is. I resisted the urge to pull over in peak hour traffic and start writing notes.

For now, I just need to let them drift around in my head and start developing personalities and quirks - and then the storyline will come. In life, I'm structured and ordered and somewhat of a perfectionist (yeah you're not surprised are you?) - but my writing has no plan, no pattern and is a free-for-all that just spills out onto the page in higgley piggley fashion.

So in whatever creative venture you follow, are you structured and a planner; or more free for all and able to let it just flow? How does that contrast with you in less creative activities (life, work, parenting etc)

Cheers, Fi

Monday, September 3, 2012

Every baby is beautiful...

Nobody likes to be told their baby is ugly. The reality is that we all want to believe that our baby is beautiful. We wear blinkers and only see the inner beauty in our baby, none of the faults or problems are visible.

I’m not talking about the skin and bones, crying kind of baby. I’m talking about our life’s dream, our personal creation – be it novel, painting, creative work, clothing design; whatever it may be it's that thing that we’ve sweated over and spend endless hours on, something that we’ve put our heart and our soul into.

In other words it’s our ‘baby’, or our creation. I once heard this comparison in reference to a Manager and the ‘wonderful idea’ that he had. He thought it was fantastic idea and none of us knew how to politely tell him that in reality his idea stunk and thus the question was born ‘how do you tell someone their baby is ugly?’

Why am I talking about ugly babies? There’s a reason for it of course. 

See, my baby, my firstborn creation is about 81,000 words long and is currently residing in my bedside drawer (and backed up on my computer and portable hard drive) It’s my first novel, which has been in my head for roughly 25 of my 40 years. My mother and my sister-in-law who both love me have both read some of it and as an extension of that love would probably never tell me my baby was ugly.

Well doh you say, that’s why you write a novel don’t you, for people to read? Mmmm maybe. Half the reason I wrote it was to prove to myself that I could actually do it. So many times, over so many years I’ve started writing a book and then got sidetracked or talked myself out of it.
See I want everyone to love my baby as much as I do, but the reality is my baby might not be as great as I think it is, it may actually be really ugly. 

We all experience moments when we doubt whether we’re seeing our baby as it truly is, and we want to protect it from people who might be cruel and say they don’t really think our baby is all that beautiful. The thing is, ugly ducklings can grow into beautiful birds and ugly babies can be nurtured and groomed into beautiful works of art.

So I plan on pulling my baby out of the bedside drawer and sprucing her up for two reasons – 1) to give to a friend to read and 2) to enter into a writing competition that I’ve discovered. I’ll never, never know, if I don’t at least try. 

So are you hiding your talent for fear someone might say your ‘baby’ is ugly? Be brave, be bold, and bring that baby out on show. After all, nobody ever died from being told their baby was ugly did they?

Cheers, Fi