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 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'!  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?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dumb and dumber

The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
B.B. King

I don't know about you but the longer I stay at university, the dumber I feel and it's given me great insight into the fact that I can't know everything because there's so much to know.  And this is the great testament to the saying 'lifelong learning'.

However, having said that, what I have learned, I'm keen to put to the test.  I've decided that over the summer, apart from taking a beginner's Italian course, I'm going to re-read all those literature greats that I just didn't 'get' the first time around - as well as those that I thought I got, just to see if I did, if fact, get them.

So, here's my summer re-reading list:

Mrs Dalloway - I started reading this many, many, many years ago and when I say 'started', I mean just that.  It's very rare that I don't actually finish reading anything, no matter how bad.  I just didn't understand the first thing about Modernism or stream of consciousness.  Now I am aware of those literary techniuqes, but that doesn't mean I'll enjoy it!

All seven of Jane Austen's novels...yeah, right!  Maybe just Pride and Prejudice - I've always been a huge fan and always will but I've only re-read Emma - gasp, horror! I identified myself in class yesterday as being a 'huge fan' and was then asked to quote the first line of Pride and Prejudice...really?  Apparently MOST Jane Austen fans are familiar with the first line and its irony...embarrassing!  But I have been to her house in Chawton, if that accounts for anything?

Madame Bovary - I first read this about five years ago and remember wishing I'd read it in my teens.  I want to re-read it to see if those feelings are warranted.

My brilliant career - I read this when I first entered my foray into university and I loved, loved, loved it.  It's Australian for one thing and I've since become a 'fan' of Miles Franklin.

Bossypants - Okay, it's not a classic but I've never actually read this one and after reading the others, I might be looking for something hilariously funny.

So that little list should keep me busy over the summer.  There will be no book reviews, by the way, but I will let you know if my opinions about them have changed due to my higher learning!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I must be mad

I don't have any words of wisdom this week.  The semester is nearing an end and I find myself completely unmotivated to complete the last three assignments.  They're all well spaced out and that may be the reason I'm not my usual stressed-to-the-max self - it feels as if I have all the time in the world, not just three weeks.

That may be the reason why I've (stupidly?) enrolled to do a course over the summer - Italian for Beginners, an intensive four week course worth 10 credit points. 

'Four weeks'?  I said to myself, 'easy'!

 Well I guess I'll see how easy it is after a week of 9am-2pm days learning a completely new language.  It's those damn 10 credit points that got me - that would only leave me six subjects to finish next year, three a semester! 

I have always wanted to learn Italian.  In fact, I started a beginners course in Italian last year but had to drop it.  I found it too hard to learn while doing two other subjects.  At least over the summer I won't have to worry about fitting it in around other subjects, I suppose.

Yeah, it'll be fine.

Oh God, what have I done...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life's a beach

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
Helen Keller

Well, escaping for a few days, sans technology, worked wonders.  Teenage Daughter had no money for credit, so the phone was out of the question; there was no internet access (well there was but I told them there wasn't!); and the TV didn't go on until 7pm at which time we were all so tired, we were in bed by 8.30.  So for three days it was absolute bliss with nothing but the sun, the surf and ourselves for company -until we returned home and TD fled straight into her room, onto Twitter and I haven't seen her since!

It was good while it lasted and it was just the break I needed before having to return to uni yesterday, where I arrived over an hour early for my first class (I was so keen and motivated), only to find five minutes before class started the lecture had actually been cancelled.  That didn't worry me too much - only that I was hoping to get some results for an assignment I handed in before the break. 

After bumping into another mature-aged student who also didn't get the early morning email about the cancellation of said class, we decided to have coffee and began to chat about what we were going to do once our degrees are finished - a popular topic not only amongst my peers but with everyone I come into contact with.  Family and friends are forever asking what I'll do when, after seven more subjects
(S-E-V-E-N!!!), I will have a degree.  My friend and I decided we just don't know and it's okay that we just don't know.  We're still figuring it all out and a decision will be made somewhere along the way - we're sure.

For now, this whole university/discovering myself thing is still a big adventure and I'm just enjoying the ride.  YeeHa!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weapons of mass distraction

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

The holidays have finally arrived, (albeit an extremely short one - one week) and I'm so looking forward to sitting back and relaxing.  So much so, that until this morning, I haven't turned my computer on since my last lecture - Wednesday last week.  Nope, not since then have I seen a single email or post on Facebook or Twitter and I've got to say, that break alone has been truely cathartic.  It got me thinking about the hold social media has on our lives, particularly those of our teens and young adults.

Being the parent of three teenagers, it worries me that they seem to be constantly distracted by Facebooking, Twittering, Instagramming, IMing, texting and other web-based communication technologies.  It doesn't worry me that they're involved in global communication, it worries me that these forms of communication are continual and can only be turned off not by choice, but by force.  It worries me they can't spend time by themselves without getting bored.  I'm speaking generally, of course, in my experience as a mother and student - it still surprises me how often I see my fellow students in lectures, presumably typing notes but actually messaging on Facebook.

So, I've had to take my children in hand.  I'm taking them away from it all for a couple of days and you should've heard them when I told them it was conditional - there'll be no WiFi.  Instead, there will be swimming, fishing, board games and...gasp...face to face communication.  I'm hoping the down time will make them see the benefits of switching off every now and again.

Nature beckons.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Have a breather

Dost thou love life?
Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

I've gate-crashed my son and hubby's boys weekend.  Having had another stressful week with assignments and family, I made a spontaneous decision to join them on a weekend up the Coast.  They don't mind - at least they made out like they didn't!

I haven't intruded on their precious bonding time too much - they've still managed to watch the all important footy game, while I was lucky enough to go out for drinks with a girlfriend last night.  Now that's something I haven't done in quite some time.  And we even got hit on to boot - which also hasn't happened in I don't know how long!  Yes, they were a tad under the weather and we were the only girls left in the bar.  Actually, if truth be known, they were quite annoying and were impeding on my precious bonding time with my BFF and I thanked God I wasn't single!

We've been fishing, walking, swimming and just generally enjoying a gorgeous weekend.  And I haven't once thought about assignments.  Well, maybe once over breakfast but I was actually thinking about the fact that I haven't been thinking about assignments.

Every now and again you have to be spontaneous - life is to be lived and when an opportunity presents itself, grab it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Crazy Town

'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure'
Marianne Williamson

Yes, people, I'm still alive and well in the bloggerverse. 

The truth is, for the last couple of weeks I feel as if I've been living in Crazy Town.  The lull of the first few weeks of semester 2 was brutally broken by the sudden crash of assessments and presentations and I feel as if I've only just survived the whirl of it all.  I can't help but feel that somehow I brought it all on myself.  Was I not prepared enough?  After all, this is my 3rd year of being a uni student, you'd think I'd be used to the workload by now.  I am doing three subjects this semester but I did last semester as well.  So, what can I do differently?

The answer is - nothing.  I find, in my wise old age, that life tends to throw everything at you at once.  I have one daughter who's just started in her first year at uni; another one in her last year at high school; and a son who has just started year 8 - all stressful situations which require support from 'Mum'.  On top of all this, I've had a few health issues in the last couple of months as well.  No, I'm not finding excuses, I'm saying that life doesn't stop when you decide to take on something big in your life.  The trick, therefore, is to try and find balance. 

I've been working on my readings, presentations and assessments pretty solidly as well as managing the day to day running of a busy family.  We're only human and we can only do so much.  And I'm telling you this as well as myself - don't be too hard on yourselves if it all becomes too much - and use your support system.  I have a great support system at uni (consisting of both mature age students as well as regular straight out of school students) and what I've learned is we all go through times when it's hard to find motivation and times of self-doubt.  At uni, we're never alone (however, if you do  feel as if you are alone, please contact me).  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and climb that mountain - it doesn't matter how fast you climb it, just keep going. 

Having said that, it's time for me to start another assessment due on Friday.  I've got my mountaineering boots on, my alpenstock in my hand, my head down and I'm going to keep climbing, right out of Crazy Town!

Oh, and by the way, another handy piece of advice...utilise your university library for the absolute peace and quiet it offers when trying to study or finish assignments.  For me, distractions like washing waiting to be done, dishes waiting to be cleaned, door to door salesmen and phone calls are non-existent in the library (as long as you turn off your mobile phones!).  Happy climbing!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The bitch is back

Yes, I'm back.  I've been in hibernation for the last couple of months - didn't really have much to say.  I actually deleted my blog altogether which was rather scarey for a while there.  But I figured, I've been keeping a record of 'my life as a mature age student' for  so long, I have to continue.  At least until I've graduated and I'm no longer a student.  Wonder what I'll be then?

Anyway, update, update, update...Uni is going extremely well and I'm now a member of an honours society, 'being in the top 15% of my peers' at university!  Five years ago, if you'd have told me this I never would've believed you.  I didn't think it was possible for me to even get into uni, let alone do so well.  I've now made peace with the fact that I try hard and receive the results I strive so hard for.  Although, there's still that little voice inside me at the beginning of each semester telling me this could be the semester it all starts to go downhill.

Nevertheless, it's time for me to start thinking about my life post-uni.  Should I consider doing post-grad?  Should I look for work?  If so, in what field?  I do rather like the idea of being a lecturer/tutor at a university but I can't even contemplate a PhD at the moment.

For the time being I think I'll concentrate on the journey rather than the destination.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The good life

Yay, mid-semester break and a chance to take a breather for a week.  I was so close to chucking it all in about two weeks ago.  However, amid tears and tantrums there was SH No. 1, egging me on and encouraging me I could do it.  After two weeks of incessant reading, researching and finishing three 2,ooo word essays, I've come out the other end, jubulant and so proud of myself for not throwing in the towel and a little exhausted after the adrenalin wore off.

Apart from having two novels to read before I go back, I can enjoy my family and catch up on the dreaded housework.  Today after doing all the floors (sadly, I get such enjoyment from seeing the floorboards all shiny and clean!), hubby and I went for a bike ride and found a groovy coffee shop where we sat and had an iced coffee with a double shot and talked without interruption for about an hour about the kids.  The double shot gave us the energy we needed to zip home where we had lunch followed by a nap.  Feeling re-energized, my 16 year old daughter and I took the dog for a walk in the park where we were followed by four skateboarding, wolf-whistling youths, all calling out for 'beautiful's number (ah, sweet youth - I remember those days!). After coming home and washing the dog, I enjoyed a delicious vegetarian curry prepared by, yep, possibly the best husband in the world - supportive and an excellant cook (although he doesn't clean, but I can forgive him thatl).

As my husband and I acknowledged while we were quietly sipping our iced coffee earlier that day, we're going to be great retirees. Case in point, I'm up at 2.45am watching re-runs of  'Everybody loves Raymond'... and my knees are killing me!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool

It's 3.00pm.  It 's almost the end of an absolutely beautiful weekend, which I've once again missed - sitting at my laptop, frantically trying to spew out another assignement and I've only JUST realised it's April Fool's day!  I feel quite sad that I've managed to miss another whole day, not having any idea of what's going on around me.  Last weekend was equally as beautiful and I was equally as absent from my surroundings in my efforts to finish a literature essay. 

Yep, it's the end of term.  However, learning from previous mistakes, rather than throwing my laptop out the window in frustration (not literally, just really, really wanting to) and dropping a subject or withdrawing from the course altogether out of pure irritation, I've stuck with it.  That doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing. 

On Thursday, I finished a 2,000 word literature assignment which was due on Friday; at the moment, I'm trying to finish a 2,000 word essay on media law for Thursday and at some stage I will have to complete a draft for an Australian history essay due also on Thursday.  Now, anyone who has been following my blog will probably know I'm a little highly strung, so to have all this to do and to still be able to write about it is a huge feat for me.  I don't know how I sound but I feel rather overwhelmed but determined to to do my utmost. 

Unlike previous years where I've managed to complete all the course readings and allow myself two weeks for essays, this time round, I'm behind in most of the readings and am stuggling to keep my head above water.  But I have a new outlook - I think I had an anxiety attack last week and felt as if I couldn't breath.  That was an eye opener for me and I've come to the conclusion that if I try my best and don't do as well as I usually do, so be it.  As a friend recently told me (Nicki from Diaries fo a neurotoc non-trad) after my meltdown over Summer semester exams (for which, by the way, I received a Distinction and a High Distinction!), 'acknowledge your worry, wrap it up and send it out into the universe' -  or words to that effect.  Anyway, it's my new motto - yes, I'm extremely busy; yes, I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed but it's almost Easter and I get a week's break and next term, all this stress will be forgotten as I make way for some new ones!

Think I'll take the dog for a walk and enjoy what's left of April Fool's day.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The week that was
After my near nervous breakdown last week, I have finally come back to my senses.  I refuse to quit uni just because I've had a stressful week and I realise there are more important things to be worrying about.

My last exam on Friday night went better than the one on Wednesday - I still think I could've done better but because it was a literature subject I felt a lot more at ease.  And the thing that got me through was thinking about my family waiting at home for me.  Yes, I whinge about the work they seem to create for me sometimes but I've realised it's me creating work for me!  I'm so grateful they are all healthy and happy and I know I have their support even though at times it's hard to see! 

I need to take a step back and think about what's more important - a clean house or my sanity?  It's time for me to stop being a control freak and to let a few things go.  SH No. 1 and I have decided to join Friday night Yoga Club at our local hall and to indulge in regular 2 monthly massages to try and ease the stress of our busy lives.  Today we spent the first Sunday in I don't know how long, lounging around in our pj's, reading the paper and doing nothing - I already feel re-charged after my week from hell.

Summer semester is no more - time to begin Semester 1, 2012!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What should I do?

This is how I feel!

I'm 99.9% sure I failed my Gender exam last night.  I spent the whole day before studying and the whole day of the exam trying to be calm and not worry.  However, as is usual of my uni life over the last 3 years, there's always something that gets thrown at me just when I have something important to do and it invariably involves my family. 

While waiting for my exam to start I thought I'd check my emails and to my absolute shock and horror, I received a destressing email from No. 1 son's high school teacher, expressing his disappointment in my son.  I won't go into the details but when I read the words 'arrogant' and 'disrespectful', the first thing I thought was, he must be thinking of another boy!  Yes, he can be tardy and slack but two things my son is not are arrogant and disrespectful.  After alerting SH No. 1 and organising a meeting with said teacher, I rang home to make sure they'd all arrived safe and sound from school. Of course, my son knew about the email, the teacher had told him, and knowing I had an exam about to start he didn't want to mention it either.  However, he soon broke into tears and he's just as perplexed as we are.

Anyway, needless to say, I didn't enter the exam in the right frame of mind, which froze the minute I was handed the paper and instead of writing 2000 words, I eventually wrote 1000 words of the biggest load of dribble I think the tutor has ever had the misfortune to read.  I'm embarrassed and what's worse is that I have another one tomorrow!  I'm finding it harder and harder to be there for my family and keep up with uni.  My family always takes precedent and the worries that come with having three children are exhausting!  I'm essentially doing 5 subjects at the moment and my reasons for doing a degree are becoming more and more muddy and unclear.  I feel as if I'm wasting time and money but what sort of an example would I be to my children if I quit? 

This morning after having another argument with AD No. 1, trying to find my son's lost sports shorts, screaming at TD No. 2 to clean the bathroom, trying to prepare for today's class and tomorrow's exam, I now have knots in my stomach.  I've been crying all morning wondering what the hell I'm doing all this for.  Not good preparation for my other exam tomorrow night!  I've been thinking about just packing it all in and going back to work.  Like the mouse on the wheel, I feel as if I'm getting nowhere.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Well, you'll all be pleased to know I didn't pull any eyes out of sockets or hair out of scalps.  Instead I've been panicking about starting back at uni tomorrow.  I can't believe it. While I've been slaving away with summer semester, it does feel as if I haven't really left but I'm so nervous about walking back into that lecture hall. 

I feel as I did two and a half years ago when I did it for the very first time.  I'm filled with all the usual self-doubt - what if I can't find the room?  What if I get there and I'm not on the roll?  What if I don't understand the subject?  It's Desktop Publishing and I'm scaring myself stiff with imagining stupid things like not knowing how to turn the computer on; not understanding the terminology and yes, being the oldest in the class (that's a given - I usually am!).  But more importantly, what am I going to wear?  And far from being my usually organised self, I only today got my diary and lecture pad, having spent the last week frantically trying to finish another assignment for my summer class.

As I'm writing this I'm being looked at by the Dalai Lama, sitting above my laptop.  Underneath his picture I've written four of the basic 'rules' of Buddhism - Do what is good; Avoid what is evil (does that include wanting to rip into my daughters like a crazy cat?); Practice so that the mind is clear; and Karma.  At the moment, clearing my mind seems to be the only thing to do - breeaaaath...

Aaahhh... that's good.  Now it's back to this bloody assignment.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mean girls

You know, sometimes I absolutely love having daughters.  Growing up in a household with three brothers, I yearned for a sister and swore I would have two little girls when I had babies.  As it turned out I did have two little girls, 21 months apart and it was heaven (well not all the time but most of the time).  Now that they're older, sometimes I feel so connected to them - like they're my best friends in the whole wide world.  And other times...I feel as if I could pull their hair out and scratch out their eyes, they're so mean to me!! Obviously when I'm feeling like that I walk away and count to ten, as my dear, sweet Nana used to tell me.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I have a horn and I'm not afraid to use it

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a honker.  While I consider myself to be a very considerate driver, if you break the rules and cause harm to everyone else, I'll give you a honk!

The school drop off is the worst.  Parking on the very corner of the street, blocking all other traffic because you can't be bothered parking further away and your kid might get wet, entitles me to give you a honk.  Get him/her an umbrella!

Walking in the middle of the road because you don't want to get your tootsies wet on the footpath, warrants a honk - yes, lady, you're right, I am a bitch, so watch out.  It's been raining for three days solid, wear some boots! 

Sitting in the school two minute zone for TEN minutes, waiting for your kid who isn't there, stopping all other incoming traffic, justifies a honk - what, you think you're more important than everyone else?  Do the block.

Yes, I'm honkers and as long as people continue to be inconsiderate on the roads, I will continue to be.  HONK, HONK!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Having scrubbed the house from top to bottom this morning, I am absolutely exhausted and utterly over being a 'domestic goddess'.  My hands smell of bleach and any thoughts I had earlier about getting it all done and then sitting in front of my books have gone out the window - my motivation is zero. 

I've been doing house work for almost twenty years and I don't want to do it any more!  I'm the only one home during the day, so it feels as if it's my 'job' but I really want to hand in my resignation.   The house is an all-consuming, devouring monster ready to chew me up and spit me out every other day of the week.  I got a housekeeper once about six years ago when I was working part-time and she lasted about a month - the guilt got me in the end.  I couldn't stand the thought of someone else cleaning my house when I knew I was perfectly capable of doing it myself.

What's the answer?  I wish I knew.  My little game of tough love hasn't really sunk in as yet.  I've removed and replaced the light bulbs so many times, I've realised I'm the only one suffering for that!  I've got a big box full of dvds, umbrellas, a dirty towel, an ipod charger and hair bands sitting in my walk-in robe and no-one's really missed them as yet.  I did have success with a pair of shoes I found sitting on the lounge for a couple of days.  After the owner spent the whole morning walking up and down the house screaming that she couldn't find her shoes, she went out in an old pair.  I casually put them in her room where they belong and that's where they've stayed ever since.

What's really scary is that this is what my life has become - thinking of new ways to teach everyone to pick up and moaning about having to do the bloody housework!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All's well

Don't worry, I'm not going to regale you with my never-ending parenting wisdom (and lack thereof!) - God, how utterly boring I've been! 

My summer semester is almost over and now the kids are back at school (oops, there they are again - sorry folks!), I have the whole day to myself to catch up on reading, writing and posting.  I have enjoyed my Gender, History and Culture course immensly and have just handed in my first assignment.  It's been great to have my first real taste of exactly what feminism means and to look back over the history of the women in my family.  Our next assignment will be a photography portfolio in which we, hopefully, gain a better understanding of our own identity through the domestic habitus of family!

My Narrative Fiction course is equally as interesting but as usual, my main cause of angst - I think it's because I'm majoring in Literary Studies, I want to make sure I do my absolute best.  I did really well in my last assignment - I thought I'd do a lot worse seeing as it was due over the crazy Christmas period and I owe SH No. 1 a full body massage due to a bet we made re results.  It's nice to know he has confidence in me, even though I'm usually less sure of myself. 

Semester one starts at the end of Feb. and I can't wait to get back on campus.  It hasn't been too bad working externally but I really miss having contact with and bouncing ideas off other students and tutors.  And this will be my first semester ever without a literature subject.  I must say, I am looking forward to having a break from analysing a thousand and one books!  It will give me a chance to try my hand in other areas - Desktop Publishing, Media Law and Feature Writing.  No doubt these will provide me with the challenge I need to keep going - I'll be graduating at the end of NEXT YEAR!  Finally, I can say 'next year' and it feels GOOOOOOD!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Great expectations

Today my eldest is 18 - an adult!  Instead of being known as TD No. 1, she'll now be AD No. 1!  She can now drive (technically she's been able to do this since she was 17 but still won't get her licence!), vote, drink (legally!) and get herself to work!!  She's also just been accepted into university.  It's hard to believe I have a child who is an adult and it's occured to me, we both have some learning to do.

When I was 18, I was living out of home and had been working full-time for three years already.  AD No. 1 has just left school and started working more than five hours a week and I've been preparing her for the fact that I will no longer be driving her there and back.  How times have changed and I accept that.  I think I've said before how SH No. 1 and I were parented in totally different ways - I was made to be independant from a very early age, whereas my husband didn't leave home until we got married (he was 25).  His parents still feel they have to see us every week and are constantly wanting to do things for us.  Whereas my Mum leaves us to our own devices and we are under no obligation to contsantly be in touch.  We all know we tend to parent the way we were parented and this is where it becomes difficult when we've both been brought up in completely different ways.   And it has been the subject of many a heated debate!

Having to find that happy medium where our adult children know we are always here for them but also trying to instill in them the fact that our job as a parent is to teach them how to look after themselves.  It's a tough one! 

I do feel guilty when I refuse to do things for her - if , as an adult, they want to do whatever they want, whenever they want, they can't then expect me to be their maid and their driver!  I think it all comes down to self-esteem - to be confident enough to know we're doing it all for the right reasons and hopefully they'll thank us for it later!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tough love

Ali's got nothin' on me
In accordance with my self-regulated rules of the Year of Caz and having spent eighteen years trying to get my children to pick up and clean up after themselves, it's time the gloves came out - time to enforce some pretty simple Rules of the House:

1.  You leave it lying around - it's gone

2.  You refuse to clean up after your pet - you suffer the consequences

3.  You leave the lights on all day and all night - you'll be in the dark

So far this morning I have collected 1 shoe, 3 bottles of nail varnish, a necklace, a bracelet, 4 dvd's, the light bulb in their bathroom and the light bulb in their lounge room!!  The kitty litter that's been uncleaned for I-don't-know-how-many-days, regardless of I-don't-know-how-many-times-I've-asked, has been relocated into the bedroom of the yes-I-will-do-it-later owner along with the empty cat food container that was left sitting on the windowsill!! Oh, and by the way, if you're old enough to have sex, drive, drink and're old enough to get yourself to and from work!!! 

A bit harsh?  I don't care!!  I'm just wondering how long it's going to take these 2 teens and 1 adult of mine to clean up their act.  

Yep, things are going to change around here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's all about me

Waking up the other morning after returning from our glorious Christmas by the beach, I declared, 'I hate it here' - which in woman speak means, 'I'm not happy'.  True to male form, when I explained the house just represents being a slave to it and everyone in it, SH No. 1 said, 'Well, that's what life is all about'.  Not the answer I was looking for but it certainly got me motivated to start doing something about it by myself.

So, as 2012 starts, I have decided it's enough waiting around for everyone else - I'm going to start doing what I want, when I want.  From now on my life is going to revolve around getting my study finished and getting my body fit.  I've returned to the gym regularly and have been extremely disciplined with the reading etc for my summer courses.  And I'm not going to stay home and study anymore.  The other day, I drove to the river, found a big shady tree and read for 3 wonderful hours, with nothing but the birds, some boats and the sunshine for company! Catching a ferry to the State Library is also on my list of places to study.

I'm going to start looking after myself more, which means a nightly ritual of cleansing and moisturising instead of plopping into bed exhausted; and being bothered to dress up and wear makeup.  These are things I've neglected of late because I couldn't see the point - who'd look at me anyway?!  But I've realised it's not about doing these things for other people - it's about doing them for me!  I will draw the line at wearing makeup to the gym though!  Everyone will just have to put up with me looking like death warmed up.

In the long term, I have this (wild, crazy?) dream of one day volunteering in an orphanage in Nepal.  Why Nepal, I'm not sure - probably because it's the furtherest place I can think of but once I've finished my degree, I want to devote myself to children who are less fortunate, so a teaching degree might be next.

No, mine is not a hard life and I'm so grateful for everything I have, but it was beginning to be a ho-hum one.  So that's it - 2012 is going to be all about me, me, me - The year of Caz.

Happy new year, everyone!  May you all continue to have health, happiness and love in your lives. XX

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!!!