Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be bold


The Sydney Opera House

With the Christmas/New Year celebrations over, I've begun 2014 the way I do every year - by motivating myself to make some changes.  Hopefully, this is the year I can make it happen.  Not that I want to make enormous changes - just the usual:  to lose weight and get healthy and to make goals towards a fulfilling career with purpose. 

The way I usually motivate myself is through others and I came across a book I read in 2009, which motivated me to finally come out of my 'analysis paralysis' of twenty years and start an undergraduate degree.  The name of the book is The me myth by motivational speaker, Andrew Griffiths.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who's feeling a bit stuck and looking for new direction and purpose in life, by looking outwards instead of inwards - something we're all guilty of in this day and age.  Some of the chapters which really resonate with me are, 'When did you stop having fun?'; 'Which emotion is driving you?' and 'The great wall of you'.  After re-reading it, I've been motivated to start that next chapter in my life, after graduation. 

Although Griffiths rightly suggests the greatest lessons in life are actually learnt by living life rather than immersing ourselves in self-development books, I recently stumbled across another great Australian motivational speaker, Craig Harper and I'm keen to read his new book, Stop f*cking around!

We all need motivating occasionally and both Griffiths and Harper have inspired me to start putting into motion my goals for 2014; they may just inspire you to be bold and build the life you've always wanted.   
 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Still kicking

Okay, I know I've been slack - I don't even know how long it's been since my last post.  I'm too embarrassed to find out.  Anyway...if anyone cares, I'm still here; still furiously studying.  But the good news is I'm down to my last two subjects and should be finished in 10 weeks!  Yes, I can hardly believe it myself...but it's not over yet.

I have always thought that when I got to the end of this degree, a light would stream down upon me from the heavens; all doors would open to me and basically I would have the confidence and the wherewithal to do whatever I desired.  Well, as I've recently figured out, there are two things wrong with that little fantasy.  Number 1, confidence doesn't come from just getting good grades.  I'm pretty sure it comes from within, not from without.  Number 2, in order to get exactly what you desire, you have to know exactly what you desire.  And at this point in my mature life, I still haven't the faintest idea what I desire.

My greatest desire has always been to get a university education; to don that cap and gown and wave my hard-earned degree at all the people who didn't think I could do it.  Now I'm 99% into fulfilling that desire, I don't know what's next.  I don't have that same feeling of just knowing that's what I really want to do. 

I suppose I'll just concentrate on these last two subjects, take a deep breath and hope another life-fulfilling desire pops up its beautiful head.   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book worm



With the heat hitting an all time high here in Oz, I've got the excuse of lolling about in the air conditioning, which gives me lots of time to read.  No, not the classics I said I would, but books I don't have to analyse, critique or review.  It feels so good to be able to read a book for the pure pleasure of it.

First up was J K Rowling's adult fiction, The Casual Vacancy - I like a community novel and this one I couldn't put down.  Now I'm on to Dawn French's, A Tiny Bit Marvellous - it's okay so far but doesn't exactly have me snatching every spare moment I can just to keep reading it.  I've  ordered some more from the library (Fred and Edie by Jill Dawson; The Harp in the South by Ruth Park), so it'll be a summer spent whiling away the time with my nose in a book.  I'm reminded of my teenage years when I was deemed 'unsociable' by my family due to my preference for the company of the characters of Virginia Andrews, Sidney Sheldon or Jackie Collins.   My extreme isolation from the rest of the family resulted in Dad hiding my books one weekend because he said I would 'go blind' from reading too much!! 

Anyway, my recent reading activity has re-sparked my deep-seated desire to become a Librarian.  I can still remember going to the local Council library with Mum when I was little and watching the Librarian with her trolley of books; stamping them with the return date and searching through the catalogue cards.  From memory it was a pretty dark and dreary library but for the rows and rows of books on offer and I remember that feeling of just knowing that's what I wanted to do.  I also remember when the kids were little, I think I was more excited than they were at the prospect of our weekly visit to the local library; coming home with an arm-full of picture books and instantly sorting through them to find the one I'd read to them first.

So it seems that this magical 'purpose' I've been searching for and angsting over most of my life, may have been known to me all along.  Could I finally have a goal?  I mean, look at my blog page - it's covered in books.  How could I have missed it?!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I must be boring

Photograph:  Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images
Semester two is officially over - u-huh, oh yeah - (just imagine me doing a happy dance)!  At last, now that I'm no longer doing summer semester, I can do all those things I've been fantasising about for the last three months. 

Let's see...there's that enormous list of books I kind of said I'd re-read.  And now I'm no longer on Facebook, I suppose I could take the opportunity to ring some friends and have a get-together.  I should write out all 20 of my Christmas cards...  Hmmmm...what else?  Well, I'll have more time to work on the bod and go to the gym, I guess.  And I could go and visit my Nana more often...  Oh yeah, and the windows all need a good cleaning.  OMG - what on earth am I going to do for the next three months?!!!

I remember when I was little and would often whine, "I'm bored", my Mum would reply, "then you must be boring."  Well,  I guess I'm boring because I can't think of anything much that adequately fill the next 126 days.  Eeeeek!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I love you but please leave!

I love my children, I really do.  But God knows, after almost nineteen years of being a mum my patience is worn thin.  I've taught them everything I know; I've loved them to within an inch of my life; I've supported them in every way I know how and I've gently nudged them towards independence.  So what do you do if they're not interested in leaving the nest?

SH No. 1 and I have a five year plan.  The plan is that in five years, both girls will have finished uni and have a job, while No. 1 son will have finished high school.  When this glorious day happens, we plan to move into an inner-city apartment by the river.  A two bedroom apartment.  With only enough room for the two of us (plus No. 1 son until he too has a job and flys the coop).  But as the time gets closer and closer, I'm beginning to realise it may not be quite so simple. 

My already 'adult' child is far from independant and I often find myself wishing university in Australia was the same as college in America where, externally, you tearfully wave them goodbye while internally, you're grinning at the prospect of them becoming independent human beings - job done.  As it is at the moment, I find myself thinking I haven't done such a great job because my five year plan looks like becoming a ten year plan, in which case, I'll be leaving before they do.

Maybe my gentle nudging will have to become one big push - off the lounge and into the wide, wide world.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What, you're not on Facebook?

This is what a a friend said (well, texted) to me when I told her I was no longer doing the Facebook thing.  I've deactivated my Facebook account after many weeks of internal conflict and I've got to say, it feels quite liberating.  I'm not dissing social media in the least, I just don't think it's quite my thing and much prefer real, live 'face to face' (or voice to voice!) contact.   And besides, how many times have you texted or put something on Facebook that has been taken totally out of context?  This has happened to me often over the past couple of years. 

I recently sent a friend from uni a text (a simple "ok", mind you) only to have her tell me she thought I was angry with her because I didn't put a smiley face at the end of my message!  A family member also took offence at what I meant to be a witty message but which she construed to be an insenstive one, again, because I didn't properly identify it as such with the cursory smiley face or appropriate emoticon.  I then found myself apologising for an innocent comment that had been taken the wrong way.  That's the thing with all this texting and posting and even sometimes, emailing - there's no tone!  Just the other day, I made an innocent comment via email to the uni administrator, which she in turn took as me somehow slighting her job (I didn't!) and sent me an email, which I then construed as her being curt and defensive!  With one phone call, all was cleared up and the misunderstanding was sorted.

 And now with Facebook and all the media attention over bullying - 12 year olds hanging themselves because of faceless, nasty comments - my own immediate circle has become divided over comments that have been made via this 'social' medium.  Some things should just remain private and most issues can be cleared up with a simple phone call.

I think I've posted before that sometimes I think I'd feel quite at home living an Amish lifestyle.  (Well, maybe not completely Amish - do they have telephones?).  In the weeks I've lived without Facebook or Twitter, I've spoken to more friends by telephone and have even had dinner with a friend I haven't 'spoken' to in at least a year. 

From now on, the only self-promotion I'll be doing is via this blog - through which, I might add, I've made some valued 'friends' who I've 'spoken' to either via Skype or in the flesh when I travelled to another country - so I'm not saying social media is all bad.  It's just not the same as speaking to someone 'face to face'. 

Now, where's my horse and buggy?!
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I regret to inform you...

My Fellow Mature-aged Bloggers,

How should I say this?  Well, let me see...you know how a couple of posts ago, I told you I was going to take a summer semester course in Intensive Beginners Italian?  Well, I regret to inform you that...I'm so tired and I just don't think I can do it!!!  Despite my lecturer telling me it's a great course; you'll learn a lot; you'll get another 10 credit points out of the way - I'm...just...so...tired!  It's partly the 'Intensive' that's putting me off - I just don't think I can do anything too 'intense' at my age.  And I seriously think I need to give my mental self a break and concentrate on my physical self. 

I just read this morning that a recent study reveals 2 out of 3 Australians are overweight or obese.  2 out of 3!  I just know I'm one of them.  Sitting in front of this laptop; researching, reading and writing essays has taken its toll on my short, broad frame.  I'm not obese but I am fat and I really, really feel the need to work on my bod over the summer.  I owe it to my kids; I owe it to my fellow Aussies; and more importantly, I owe it to myself.

I've done well this semester; I've proven myself intellectually capable.  I deserve a break.  So apart from (stupidly and publicly) committing to re-reading all those 'classics' over the summer, the only remotely 'intense' activity that will be taking place in the gym...hopefully.

Forgive me?

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, dreams...no matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!