Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gratitude journal

Well, the reli'es have returned to whence they came, the presents have all been opened, admired or returned and the angel atop the Christmas tree is starting to show the strains of the last week and is beginning to droop.  It's hard to believe Christmas is over and a new year is soon to begin.

Each new year, TD No. 2 and I do our obligatory list of resolutions for the impending year, only to be opened again the following new year's eve.  I decided to open last year's resolutions early in preparation for the new ones I will assign myself.  My list for 2010 is reminiscent of the usual "must do's" of my life - "Get fit"; "Lose a dress size"; "Compete in the Mother's Day Fun Run"; "Be assertive"; "Spend more time with hubby" etc.  Looking over this list, I'm pretty happy to report I've managed to achieve most of what I set myself for 2010 (Mother's Day Fun Run was NOT one of them!). 

Contemplating 2011, however, I'm going to try something different and instead of writing up a list of what's missing in my life, I'm going to write a list of everything I'm grateful for - in true Oprah style!  I only hope I have enough paper to hold everything I want to write because I am grateful for so much.

Happy new year everyone and may you have lots in your life to be truly grateful for. XXX

Friday, December 10, 2010

My true self

I'm enrolled in next semester already even though I really don't want to think about next semester at the moment.  Because I was still umming and ahhing about how many subjects to take, I enrolled in four so that when I finally made up my mind, I could just drop what I couldn't manage.  Thanks to some great advice, I now feel more comfortable with my decision to only do two subjects next semester - Italian and Romantic and Victorian Literature.  I know within myself that my mental state at the moment will only allow me to do two!  My dream of being a Teacher/Librarian certainly won't happen overnight.  Besides, I don't want to overload on responsibility - I'm having a middle-age meltdown at the moment.

I recently read an article titled 'From adolescence to adulthood - helping your children take the steps to becoming adults'.  One of the key pieces of advice in this article suggests, 'Don't take on their problems'.  This hit a chord with me because I realise this is exactly what I've been doing.  My automatic protectivenss of my children is hard to turn off and I find myself always being one step ahead of them so they don't get hurt.  A hard habit to break after 17 years but I realise this is becoming extremely stressful.  It's hard to let go of my adolescent but I need to let her make mistakes in order for her to learn.  It's like constantly keeping an eye on your toddler in order that they don't fall or bang into something.  They need to fall every now and again and besides, it's very tiring being protective!!!!

I have also been told by a psychologist friend that my recurring dream of the last year and a half about babies, isn't about me being abandoned by my growing children as I had self-analysed.  According to her, Jung would've said it's about me having to be nurtured!!  I'll take that.  My intention to try and master the art of meditation and yoga might be just what the doctor ordered. Or a week on a deserted island might be even better!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Well, I suppose it was inevitable.  Having listened to SH No. 1 coughing so hard I thought he was going to lose a lung over the last four weeks, I now have a heavy head cold.  Is there anything worse than having a foggy head, a runny nose, blocked ears, a nagging cough and an aching body?  As you can probably tell, and as my children and husband will attest to, I don't have the most sympathetic bedside manner!  Although I did nurse my Dad through cancer with absolutely tireless care and love, a cold/cough is rather different and all you can do is try and 'ride it through', as Hubby's doctor told him.  When I get sick, I'm annoyed at my body more than anything else and just want to be left alone to ride it through!

So it is with my flu-ridden body that tomorrow morning I must enrol in my new courses for next semester already.  Should I continue with the three subjects that stressed me out so much last semester?  Or should I stick with doing two, but still feel as if my main duties are in the home rather than anywhere else? Somehow I managed to achieve two Distinctions and a High Distinction last semester, even though I was so stressed I've given myself a mystery skin condition!!! 

Going into 2nd year, I've also had to seriously think about exactly what I want to do with this Degree.  I'm majoring in Writing and Literature but as I've posted before, I often think about teaching and lately every time I set foot in the public library, I leave thinking that's what I should be doing.  This morning I did more research on a Teacher-Librarianship.  The only way for me to achieve this is to complete this degree then complete a Graduate Diploma of Education - but wait, there's more! - THEN do a Masters!!!  If I continue taking my time to finish this degree, hopefully I'll be 50 by the time I become a Teacher-Librarian.

Making the subject selection harder for next semester is the fact that the two literature courses I want to do don't start until about four in the afternoon. Which shouldn't be a problem because, after all, I do have a 15 and 16 year old - seniors, who are more than capable of looking after themselves and their little brother.  I just have ride through that nagging mother's guilt!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ashes to ashes

by dailyinvention/flickr

Is it just me or is t.v. produced solely for sports enthusiasts? During the winter and into spring, it's the football - the announcer's screeching and yelling a constant in the background of my Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.  During the summer, it's the cricket - the drone and dry, banal jokes of the commentator filling the gaps between the occasional 'bonk' of the ball hitting the bat - all day long.  And the weekends are the worst.  Yesterday, I got so sick of listening to SH No. 1 and No. l Son reporting on runs, wickets and overs, I retreated to the spare t.v. downstairs, which doesn't have cable.  There was cricket on chanel Nine, car racing on Seven, golf on Ten, women's football on ABC and an American news programme on SBS.  I watched the American PBS programme which I didn't mind - American politics is SO much more interesting than ours.

I grew up in a family where I was the only girl (apart from mum) amongst Dad and three brothers, so you'd think I would've learned to become involved in it all - but I can't.  It just doesn't interest me at all.  But it's not just sport.  I've come to the realisation that my t.v. needs just don't seem to count.  The kids are all on holidays, so at the moment the background noise during the week consists of I Carly, Drake and Josh and Spongebob.  It's gotten to the stage now that I know when they're watching repeats because although I haven't actually sat down and watched any of these shows, I hear them so constantly, even I know the episodes (and the theme songs) by heart!

On the odd occasion that I do get to watch a Lifestyle programme (Grand Designs, Location, location...), usually when everyone's at work or school, it's inevitable that I'll have to search for the remote which has inadvertantly been left in a place I just wouldn't think to look (the bathroom or the kitchen).

Over the years, I've been an Oprah fan, although recently I've begun to lose interest in many of her topics and the ravings of her self-help "gurus". But I have to admit, I'm kind of  looking forward to seeing her own network. At the moment, I'd pretty much watch anything - as long as it doesn't involve a bat, a ball or a sponge wearing square pants!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Photo by:  D Sharon Pruitt
This morning I started something I've been wanting to do for a while - meditate.  I was up extra early to take TD No. 1 to work and came home to such peaceful surrounds, I thought the time was right.  After familiarising myself with techniques on Google, away I went.

I decided sitting on the deck was the perfect place to proceed.  Not quiet, but peaceful with the sounds of waking birds (and a little traffic, but that's okay).  As I closed my eyes, I began to concentrate on my breathing...

10 seconds in - the cat next door screeched, followed by the dog barking...

11 seconds in - "Now just relax"...

30 seconds in - I begin to smell sea air and am picturing myself cross-legged on the beach, watching the sunrise.

35 seconds in - "Stop frowning and relax"...

40 seconds in - "Oh, hurry up, hurry up - relax and become enlightened"...

This self-talk continued for what seemed like an eternity but was actually only a few seconds and what I was really beginning to notice was my habitual feeling of being rushed.  That any minute now, someone was going to wake and find me - disturb my unskilled meditation practices.  Not just that, but that it was urgent that I get it done, there were things I had to do.  Actually, I didn't have anything to do - I had nothing imperitive that needed my attention - this is just the way I always feel.  Rushed.

After about three minutes or so, I noticed my breathing became slower, my thoughts were fewer and my mind became lighter.  After five minutes, I slowly began to open my eyes, which seemed to be such an effort.  I felt like I'd been asleep.  I felt refreshed.  How hard it was for me to sit still and relax for just five minutes!

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, matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!