Monday, 11 July 2011


I haven't been here for a little while.  My heads been in a bit of a funk.  I have been tempted to visit when I have felt down but I've avoided the temptation to blurt it all out on here.  This is my happy place or it is supposed to be but does that make it honest?  Is everyone happy all the time?  I know the answer to that but if that is the case why do we pretend so much?  Wouldn't life be better for everyone if we didn't?

I don't mean we should all walk around being miserable - not by a long shot.  I do truly believe there is so much in the world to be positive about, but sometimes when things become too much I feel so alone and even though logic tells me otherwise all I see is a world of happy, bubbly people and I wonder what is wrong with me.  I'm discovering through my writing that I am actually pretty normal, or that is the conclusion I am coming to, whatever normal might be.  Maybe I just think I am normal, because it is my definition.

I can't see how it could be normal to be up, bubbly and enthusiastic every second of every day.  Maybe in a fantasy world but even then I don't think so.  Wouldn't we just stagnate?  Isn't a little bit of questioning and discontent necessary to bring about change or at least appreciation for everything life has handed us?  I am asking lots of questions today but that is how my mind works.  The answers come slowly, although sometimes not at all, but I think the secret to our happiness is in the questions that we ask and the answers that we seek.  How else can we hope to understand ourselves?  I have been asking many, many, many questions, maybe even too many over the last week or so but I am happy to say I have also discovered some answers.

I used to ask why and expect something outside of myself to answer.  Often I didn't even want an answer it was more a complaint, a why me, without any effort in discovering the answer on my part required.  That didn't get me far.  Neither has a lot of my practises but I am really trying to change that so I can change funk to spunk and I can move ahead either in a new direction or follow the same path with new purpose and resolve.

There are many different paths to choose,

This one was at Rainbow Beach in QLD
This one on Fraser Island
This one at a beach on the Sunshine Coast

But ultimately it will be my decision which direction I choose to head and mine alone and that is something I am going to embrace.  Fear may be natural and to a certain extent necessary but it should never be crippling. 

Life is for living, not just existing!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Lifestyle thoughts

"You've got nothing to lose."  What exactly does that mean?  I find that anytime people tell me or anyone else that, the truth is the complete opposite.  Where is this coming from?  I don't normally rant on here.  I have a job interview on Thursday and I am nervous.  Strangely, when I didn't think I would even get to interview stage, I wasn't too fussed.  That feeling changed drastically when I received the phone call telling me I had won an interview.  Yes, won, that is how I felt. 

It would seem that I don't have time to fit a job into my schedule and possibly I don't but I have always been amazed at what can be achieved when a sufficient dose of desire is added to the mix.  Yes, I will continue to home school my children, and yes I will continue to write every day, and yes I will even attempt to find time to sleep in there somewhere.  The job is only part time so I should be fine.  If not, I will find a way to make it so.

Back to my original question, what is "You've got nothing to lose," supposed to mean?  How is it supposed to offer comfort?  Of course, I have something to lose, otherwise I wouldn't be concerned about the outcome.  I have the dream of the ideal lifestyle for my family to lose and  I have a little bit of me to lose too. 

I don't tend to spend much time on things that don't mean something to me.  If I did, I would have lost one of the most precious commodoties of modern day living - time.  I know some people claim they have too much time on their hands but not many.  I like to be busy.  I like to have just that little bit more to do than I have time to achieve, maybe I am a touch insane, but I like to feel I have something to get on with.  Don't think that means that I live a frantic life, quite the opposite. 

Some of the things on my to do list are:
  • plan next terms home schooling, especially the science which I have barely looked at,
  • write up the end of term reports that I like to put together for both the kids and my benefit
  • read the countless books scattered around my house and on my 'books I want to read' list, 
  • take a photographic journey of my local beaches,
  • write a collection of personal essays,
  • attend a drawing class,
  • draw,
  • explore the National Parks and kayak the many waterways that make up the area I live in
  • and, catch up with friends that I haven't seen for way too long.

This list is far from exhausted; in fact it is only the beginning.  I have left off the things I have to do, food shopping, washing, vacuuming blah, blah, blah.  Domestic goddess I am not!  I am more a do what has to be done goddess.  I have friends that love housework, or if they don't love it, they still dedicate what seems like most of their waking hours to it, that is not me, nor will it ever be. 

I forgot to mention doing the books for the business, it's end of financial year time.  That could go on either list since I really don't mind doing them. I could even go so far as to say I quite enjoy the process.  That's just me.  I like a bit of this and a bit of that.  Full time accounts - nah,  reading books all day, every day - nah (in my head that seems heavenly but I know in reality ... NAH), exploring nature non stop - nah. To me it is about finding a way to do a bit of everything I love, not one thing to the exclusion of all others.  Trying to be a stay at home wife and mum and nothing else taught me that.  I am not a nice person when I feel bored and obligated, but I did have a spotless house.

For me, life should be busy, but it doesn't have to be all the hustle and bustle that people talk about.  Why can't part of the busyness be finding time to lie in the sun and read a good book or whatever relaxing pastime takes your fancy without guilt or the need to justify.  I believe it should be a combination of everything - family, friends, work, hobbies, playtime and time to just enjoy the wonder that is the world around us. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

It's all about balance

It's grey and cold here today. The sun has decided to go back into hiding.  Many people hate this weather but I don't mind it at all.  For me it is great reading and writing weather.  On a clear, sunny day there is a level of guilt associated with spending time hidden away in my bedroom writing when I should be out enjoying the day.  Days like today, no-one would question my choice of activity.  I do compromise as much as I can and take my book outside however, I am not one of those people who can write outside.  I can write in my journal but I can not do any form of serious writing.  Maybe this is just because it's what I tell myself but regardless of the reason ...
 it is what it is.

Also, should I be writing when I am out and about or is it more beneficial for me to be observing my surroundings.  I spend a lot of time locked away on my own and whilst, (yes whilst) I enjoy that, I am aware that I need to find some balance.  Last night, I asked my husband if he minds coming home to find me in the bedroom, not waiting anxiously for his arrival in my sexiest lingerie, but writing away, our bed hidden under books and paper, his bedside table littered with coffee cups.  He is a smart boy; he answered no.  Next I asked if he minded that every evening, having dealt with dinner, I vanish again into the bedroom leaving him to his own devices until bedtime.  Again he answered no.  That's a relief. 

I have what could be easily described as an addictive personality.  It could also be described as a selfish personality.  I have suppressed my urge to write a book for more years than I care to admit to and now that I have begun in earnest I really don't want anything to stand in my way.  To me, this feels unfair to my family, since I have always put them first and I wanted to ensure that there was no resentment building up just below the surface of my domestic bliss.  At this stage it is no.

This entire conversation with my husband was had at 11pm while we were lying in bed which was probably a tad unfair.   His alarm goes off at 4.45am and he probably just wanted to go to sleep.  It's true, maybe other things crossed his mind, but I doubt any of those things were -  I hope we get to lie here and just talk all night.

Anyhow, this is where the whole balance thing comes up again.  I am still trying to find a happy balance between all the things I love, but I feel I am getting there slowly, if for no other reason than I am aware of the need to do so.  To combat my me time I am going to make a concerted effort to spend time with my hubby and to ensure that when I do, my focus is not back in the bedroom.  Actually, I am sure he wouldn't mind if that is where my focus drifted as long as my thoughts had nothing to do with my book.  He would probably put up with that though.  We have had 25 years to get used to each others foibles. If I changed too much now he might start to worry.

I know I will start to worry if I keep writing here and not in the bedroom though so that is it for today.  Balance, balance, balance!  That is my new mantra.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

No more taking things for granted

I was going to put up some photos of my animals but that is not going to happen today.  Today is a relatively short post prompted by a comment I received on my photos about how beautiful where I live is.  I do know I am lucky to have such beautiful areas around me but I often take these things for granted.  It is a terrible admission but one I am honest enough to make.  Why do we take our blessings for granted?  Or even worse, forget or not notice that they are there at all?

I have lived in my house for the past 19 years.  This is the longest I have ever lived anywhere and for whatever reason I get restless.  I don't really know why since I can't imagine actually living anywhere else.  We have built our home here both literally and figuratively.  Our house itself is small, not nearly big enough for the amount of people that share our roof on a regular basis, but somehow it works.  How could I have ever doubted my place here? 

It is funny, okay sad, how blind I have become to what is around me.  On the way home from our Queensland holiday I was flicking through a tourist book that covered from Sydney to Cairns when  I came across a beautiful picture.  It was so beautiful that I proceeded to show it to my husband who happened to be driving down the expressway at the time.  (I never claimed to be overly intelligent)  Why am I telling you this?  Because, it turned out that the photo that had so strongly caught my attention was taken only a 15 minute drive from where I live. 

What's my point?  I think it is time to truly be a tourist in my own area and my own city.  When we go on holidays we expect to see beautiful things and to have great new experiences, why not everytime we step out our front door?  From now on when I go out I am going to try and remember to use my tourist eyes.  No doubt there will be an overwhelming amount of new photos appearing on here soon.

Anyhow, I have to go and get ready for my nephew's birthday celebration this afternoon.  I wonder what great things I will notice on the way?

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The beauty of life

I drove 13 hours for a beachside holiday.  It rained the entire time and the beaches were closed.  At home the beaches were open and the sun was shining.  I am not saying I didn't have a great holiday, I did and so did the rest of the family but...

                                               this is only 15 minutes from my home.

              As is this.  Actually, this is only 5 minutes away. 

What is my point?  My point is simple really - how often do we go in search of things that are right under our noses, not just beautiful scenery but happiness, purpose and meaning?  Maybe, just maybe, these things too are always right there in front of us if only we choose to notice.

These were taken one from the backyard, the other from the front.  Proof to me that the world really is beautiful.  On the days when that can be hard to believe a little attitude, okay sometimes a big attitude change can make a huge difference.  Our perception of life is our choice.  At any moment we can choose what we wish to focus on.  Why not focus on the good?

I'm focusing on how excited I am that I have discovered how to put photos up.  Next lot will be all my animals.  If you are not a cat lover you may wish to abandon this site immediately because you will be inundated - I have four cats. 

But for now it is time for me to go and do some actual work.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Another day

The writing blog

Well, I have discovered something important over the last two days.  Dinner doesn't get cooked if I am in my room writing.  I am sure my family is glad I have made this realisation.  It's not that I plan on this happening, it just seems to.  I go into my room around 4pm to work and next thing you know it's 7 and my kids are wondering what's for dinner.  Nothing always pops into my head, but I haven't disregarded my responsibilities to that stage yet.  Now I see why I should write in the morning.  Although, I really can't see that happening.  I have faith that I will find the balance I am seeking.  If not I have faith that my family will nag me until I do. 

Speaking of family, Lani is struggling with the flu.  It is horrible to see your kids sick.  The logic is definitely floored in some way but I would much rather it be me than her.  I hope she feels better really soon and that it doesn't go right through the household again.  Anyhow I have a lot of home schooling work to do, for some reason curriculums just don't design themselves, so I am going to go and prove to myself that I can be a responsible, functioning adult and do what I am supposed to be doing.

If anyone has any tips on how to squeeze some more hours out of the day I would love to hear them. Please share. I did find one way - I didn't come on here for a couple of days. That helped but I missed it so I am back.  I wish I could find a way to miss housework and cooking.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The blog you have when you are not having a blog

The no time blog

I am about to run out the door to go and pick up my daughter from dancing, so being on here is the last thing I should be doing, but, oh well.  My addictive nature is taking over.  Adrian and the kids laugh at my blogging.  Any time I am on the computer now they assume I am blogging away.  They seem to forget that I spent hours on the computer before I discovered Blogger.  I must admit that now instead of doing the planning for next terms Science, Geography and History I am reading blogs but I am sure I will find the balance soon.  Isn't balance what life is all about?  I'd like to think I will get it right but just as I find a semblance of balance I introduce something new and it all falls apart, the balance bit that is. 

Oh well, I am also a firm believer that life is all about experiences so the adding new things dilemma is really just living.  That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. 

There is no writing blog today, except to say I continue to write each day.  My routine is a little out of whack because I have my son home bored; he did actually break his arm at the elbow on Saturday night.  He is in plaster from his shoulder to his wrist and because it is his right arm his choices of entertainment have suddenly become very limited.  Even reading is hard for him!

I am not used to having bored children around because I am proud to say I have managed to raise two kids who are very good at amusing themselves.  I have so far escaped, except on very rare occasions, the "I'm bored" cry, so I think I must have done something right in their upbringing.  Either that or they know that should they complain about boredom I will always find them some housework to do.

Anyhow, having just given myself a wrap for being a good parent I had better not be late to pick up my daughter from ballet so that is it for today.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A bit of this and a bit of that

The writing bit

I had a really strange experience today.  Well it wasn't strange so much as I found it a tad scary.  I realised just how easy it is to program ourselves without consciousness.  About now, I should explain.  I have mentioned that I tend to write in my bedroom because I consider it to be my sanctuary and I thought that was all there was too it.  Now, I am beginning to wonder. I am aware that I still go to my bedroom to write on the rare occasions when I am the only one home.  This tendency doesn't really make a lot of sense since the lounge room or the office would be much more comfortable, but I don't really think too much of it.  Habit - that's all.

What I discovered this morning changed my thinking.  I was the only one home so I thought why not stay in the lounge room to write.  There was no need to expect interuptions so all was well.  I grabbed my book, my pen, my cuppa and expected everything to just flow.  How wrong I was.  Firstly, the kids came home, friends in tow.  That ended up okay because they headed straight out on to the deck leaving me well enough alone. All should have been fine.  Pen in hand, book open, yesterday's writing looking at me, yep, pen in hand, book open, yesterday's writing looking at me, and, and ... nothing.  Nothing came.  What's going on? Write!  Just put words on paper and go from there.  Slowly I managed to squeeze out some words but after half a page of agonizing effort I scribbled out the lot.

When I write in first draft mode I do scratch out the wrong word or two, maybe even a sentence when it doesn't sound right or if I feel it is taking me in the wrong direction but rarely will I erase entire sections.  That comes later, in edit mode.  Not today, it just wasn't happening.  Then a little voice whispered in my head, "Go to the bedroom." I listened.  What did I have to lose? 

I'll tell you what I lost.  I lost my frustrations.  Seven rapidly written pages later I felt fine, only stopping because Adrian got home from work.  I was even willing him to unpack his ute slowly so I could keep writing.  Why the change?

I can't be sure, but at this stage, until something happens to change my thinking, I believe it is because I have told myself that I write in the bedroom.  There is no other real explanation.  It isn't that it was any quieter in my room.  I was still very much aware that I had a house full of teenages boys so nothing apart from my location had changed. My coffee had gone cold too, but that was it. 

When I was telling Adrian what had happened, hot fresh coffee in hand, I began to wonder what else I had programmed myself to believe.  I am curious to see what I discover.  Hopefully one of the things will be that my body really doesn't want me to replace cigarettes with food.  Tomorrow will mark the end of our seventh smoke free week.  YEAH for us.  Adrian and I are doing the "We are non-smokers" thing together. I guess that has been another example of subtle programming since I have managed to go from a pack-a-day-plus smoker to nothing just by telling myself I am a non smoker.  I decided not to think that I was quitting, just that I didn't smoke and it's working - no patches, no nothing.

Until I actually wrote that I had never really thought about that either.  How oblivious am I to my own thinking????  Wow! I have always believed in the power of the subconscious mind but probably more academically than anything else.  I can see how it works but I haven't focused for long periods on utilising its potential, well not consciously anyhow, says the non-smoking, bedroom writer.  That is going to change.  I wonder if trying to make it happen works the same.  I guess there is only one way to find out.  So here goes. I drink lots of water rather than eating junky food and I feel great.  It is the natural thing to do and I listen to my body.

The feeling great bit shouldn't be hard at all.  My body is continuously showing me how much it hates my post smoking diet, so are the scales, but until now I have felt powerless to do anything about it.  That is all about to change.  I am healthy and I can write in any room in my house if I so desire! 

The blogging bit

I have just been wondering if it is easy to upload photos.  Hopefully, I will find out in the next day or two. 

That's it for now.  It's getting late and I really need to ring my poor husband.  He is down at the hospital, sitting in casualty with my son waiting for an x-ray.  Dan came off his longboard tonight and even though he assures us he is fine, he can't bend or straighten his arm.  They are both having a great time.  Three hours and they haven't been looked at yet.  It is Saturday night though so none of us are surprised.  I know I will have 2 not so happy men in my house at some stage tonight especially if it turns out he is fine.  You'd think that will make them happy but somehow I don't think so.  I know it will make me happy, but then I am here blogging away.  Since Adrian left I having been reading my book in front of the heater while finishing the Black Russian (Vodka, Kahlua and Coke) I had made for Adrian.  Oh well, I am looking after his liver health.  As weird as it sounds, I actually feel strange being at home and I kind of wish I was down there.  I am not used to not being the one down at the hospital.  If I was down there I would probably feel different, but maybe not. I think it is a Mum thing, but that may be a gross generalisation.

Anyhow, time to go drink some water and ring Adrian.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blog overload

My blogging life

Wow, talk about blog overload.  I spent yesterday afternoon reading various blogs and now I am scared.  In my mistaken naivety I thought that I would just come on here, blog away, and by some mysterious power I would find people and they would find me.  Now that I have read all about what I am supposed to do I am feeling totally overwhelmed. 

I will happily make my page pretty at some stage.  I like doing that sort of stuff and it is a great distraction from whatever I am supposed to be doing on the computer, like planning next term for my kids schooling, or writing up what they have been doing, but I didn't realise the importance of doing so.  I am in the "so no idea" category that I didn't realise people ran blogs as, or for, businesses.  Don't get me wrong, I did know that people have blogs on their business websites but I never really connected things.  Oh well, I am sure I will get there.  I am still having trouble finding my own blog on here though, let alone anyone elses.  In time I am sure I will work it out.  Until then I have decided to just have some fun.  I admit I was incredibly excited to receive my first comment - a welcome.  Yes I am such a dag but hey I promised to be honest.

Anyhow, dorkiness revealed let's move on.  I can see the addictiveness of blogging, I returned to my computer several times in the early evening yesterday, when I should have been in the kitchen cooking dinner, because I thought of things I wanted to ask.  Also an idea would hit me and I wanted to try it out.  Yes I am a tad impulsive.  In the end I was left with a question, why do people start blogs? I am really curious to find out. I hope eventually people let me know.

The way I see it, they are time consuming, a lot of effort and potentially totally addictive.  For people like me dangerous to say the least.  I already have limited sleep time.  At some stage I really must say stop, enough is enough, but obviously that isn't today.

My writing life

When I started this, all of yesterday, I decided it was going to be predominantly about my writing experience, so here goes.  I have learnt a valuable lesson, unfortunately it took a while.  Do not write at night in the bedroom.  Just about every writing book I have read tells me that I shouldn't write at night because for whatever reason the writing is not as good.  I may well discover that is true but I haven't had much chance to explore the idea as yet.  I am not what you would call a morning person unless you are referring to the hours between say 1am and 5am, then I really am a morning person.  My body, or is it my mind, has made the strange decision that I don't need sleep, well not until about 4.30am, which really doesn't work in my household.  My husband's alarm has often gone off by then and I really should be up by 7am at least to get my day started. 

Here is what really happens.  I go to bed, my mind wanders, I am fascinated by the journeys it takes me on and I follow it, I watch my husband sleep, and I love my life.  Around 5ish I am getting tired but I am still partially ready to get up.  By 7 I just want to sleep the day away.  With this wet weather we have been having it is even more tempting.  Here is my dilemma - I home school my 2 children and I believe part of that is setting some sort of example.  Teenagers don't need any encouragement to sleep all day.  So, I drag my sorry butt out of bed and begin my day.  By this time it is probably more around 8.30am. 

Now writing teachers, as I mentioned, tell me I am supposed to write now.  Well, here's the facts.  The only functioning I seem to be able to do is to wake my daughter up, switch the kettle on, make a cuppa and say good morning to my son.  He is on a good phase of getting up on his own at the moment.  Even the cuppa has been known to stretch my capacities on occasions.  How you might ask. Well let's just say I have tried to make a coffee without the coffee and sugar?  I hope there is someone out there who has done the same.

Anyhow, to sit down and write now seems near on impossible most of the time.  The muscles in my hands haven't even began communicating with my brain and for some reason I like to write longhand now.  I do get excited when I look up at the clock and see it is before midday and I am writing though.  It's a real case of yeah I did it but I don't think it is what the teachers meant some how.  Maybe I will discover that all my writing is *#@$ as a result, and that would bother me, really it would but the thing is I still love to write.  Writing fills so many roles in my life.  It cousels me more often than not.  It helps me to understand myself and often it gives me a good stern talking to when I need it.  By looking into things I gain clarity.  The only clarity I find in the morning is that my body needs sleep!!!

Am I awake every night - well no.  Some nights exhaustion takes over and I sleep.  It's probably about a 50/50, 60/40 split.  Anyhow, that is me and I am used to it and I love the solitude of being awake when the house is asleep.  There is no demands at night, no phone ringing, no kids wanting anything, just me.  I think that is probably why I don't sleep, I like the me time.  In a busy house, filled with several teenage children that aren't my own more often than not, there is not a lot of quiet.  I am not complaining though.  I love teenagers.  They keep my young.  They also age me but like most things in life you have to take the good with the bad - don't you?

Anyhow, I started this with giving myself some advice that I know I will not take, but that is besides the point.  I did hear, I just didn't listen. I tried to tell myself not to write at night in the bedroom.  The reason I think this is sound advice is because my book, the one I am writing, and the other two that compete for space in my head, take up a huge chunk of my thinking time.  To encourage them to the surface while I am in my bedroom, sitting on my bed leading up to sleep time is inviting sleeplessness but I doubt I will change.  I do resist the urge to turn the light back on and just write a little bit more, well most of the time anyway, so that is an improvement.  I am so lucky my husband is a heavy sleeper.

It is getting on to a time when I feel I can go and look at what I was writing last night and continue the thread.  I hope so anyway.  Maybe there is a right and wrong way to do things and I understand self discipline is a good thing but what about individuality.  Surely that has to rate somewhere!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Off and running

Well, it is hard to believe this is my second blog page.  My first blog lasted the time it took me to have a bath.  I began a blog on observations of life in the suburbs because it is what I do, or so I thought.  When it came to it though it wasn't real or true, it was fabricated.  Falsity and the life we portray is actually what my attempt at a first book is about so I didn't want to start my blogging life pretending.  I do often look at what is going on around me and write about it but not for publication.  I generally write for clarification.  It is how I make sense of myself and the world around me. 

The world of blogging is totally new to me.  My complete knowledge of blogging can be summed up in 3 words, Julie & Julia. That's it - a movie.  Why am I doing this?  I am not really sure.  Maybe it is my way of seeing my words in print.  That is probably partially true, I admit it. Isn't every creative person a little conceited like that, but is more than that.  I am hoping to reach others with the same passions, frustrations and fears.

I looked at a couple of blogs and one asked a question, "What advice do you wish you had received before you started blogging?"  The common answer was to write about what you are passionate about, what interests you.  That is what brought about the change in my blog.  I am interested in observing life but what I think about all the time is writing.  This was the a-ha moment I had in the bath.  I want to write, actually I do write - daily, but at this stage for no-one but myself.  One day I would like that to change, but until that magical day comes I will write, write and write a bit more for myself.

I keep a diary for my day to day thoughts, but I thought it would be fun/scary to keep a diary of my writing life.  I am fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive husband who panders to my writing dream.  Otherwise I wouldn't have the time to work on my book, home school my two teenage children, write my journal and blog.  Maybe he shouldn't encourage me quite so much.  He might live a much more settled life if he didn't, although I doubt it.  Writing feels like it is in my blood.  I can't escape it; believe me I have tried.  When people ask me what I am going to do with myself when I finish home schooling I usually tell them I will get an office job, which no doubt I will but what I want to do, the dream that never goes away is, I will write.  Why can't I be like normal people and just want a job with regular hours and a regular pay check.  I guess it's because that is not me.  I am sure I am not the only one that feels this way.  Obviously every published author feels or has felt this way but I am sure there are many other people who tap away at keyboards or scribble in notebook after notebook that share my passion for words.  I hope so or I truly am as insane as I sometimes feel.