Reading, Writing, Learning, Loving
Well, I still haven’t figured out exactly how I want this blog to look, but I have all these stories I want to tell you all, plus I think better while my fingers are tapping words out. I hope you don’t mind if I work this out on the fly 🙂
What I’m Reading…
All kinds of things as usual.
- Travel pieces for my travel writing unit.
- Shark Net by Robert Drewe. This book is probably not something I would have chosen left to my own devices, but that’s a good thing I believe. I saw Robert Drewe speak and read some of his work at the opening of the Coffs Coast Writers Centre a few weeks ago. I loved his style – personal, dry and humorous – and decided it was time to read one of his books. Shark Net is a memoir of his childhood in 1960s Perth, a city even more isolated than it is now, and the effects on both himself as a boy and the city as a whole when a killer went on a murderous rampage, killing eight random people in all kinds of different ways. I haven’t gotten to the murders yet, but so far I’m enjoying visiting Perth and Australian society 50 years ago – a place so different it could be another world.
- About Sir Nicholas Winton, who passed away this week, aged 105. Just before World War 2, he and his mother set up a refugee program and saved 669 Jewish children. in 1988, the BBC invited him to a show called “That’s Life”, and unbeknownst to him, filled the audience with the now adults whose lives he had saved. Very, very cool.
- About parenting in the digital age with Glennon from Momastery. She keeps her 12 year old boy safe on the internet by taking his phone every night and going through all his texts and other online wanderings. I’m not sure I agree with how she does it, but it sure is useful to be having a conversation about it. The comment section is very interesting, as I am sure you can imagine.
- Our bodies may be made of stardust but our souls are made of stories by Jamie Wallace, one of my favourite bloggers. I loved this beautiful little piece, written on the fly in place of her normal weekend edition.
What are you reading at the moment?
What I’m Writing…
Honesty = Power
If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule. NEVER LIE TO YOURSELF.
– Paulo Coelho.
The thing is though, we do lie to ourselves – all the time. Whenever we create a story around events in our life, whenever we blame other people for our lives and the things that happen to us, whenever we take outside events and other people’s words and actions personally, we are in some way lying to ourselves, or at least telling ourselves only part of the truth. This is the ego’s way of protecting ourselves, we all do it, and it’s a difficult habit to break.
Owning up to the truth is hard. It really is. It’s important though, because if we cannot have an honest relationship with ourselves, then there is no way that we can have an honest relationship with anyone else. We may even find ourselves attracting people who are liars, just so that we can focus on developing honesty in our own life. The more you know yourself, warts and all, the more you develop an honest relationship with those around you.
This is one of the reasons that developing a meditation practice or doing daily journaling is so helpful. There are only so many days you can sit in meditation and hear the same bullshit thoughts, or write the same bullshit words in your journal, before it starts to drive you a little crazy. Either you will quit meditation or journaling (which is what most people do), or one day you won’t be able to stand it anymore, and you’ll say, “Okay! Well tell me then – what is really going on here?”
First up, you probably won’t like the answer. It will sting for a few hours, or even days if it’s a big truth that you’ve been avoiding for a long time. After the sting fades though, there is space. And in that space is clarity, freedom and power. For the first time, you see the situation as it really is and start to take responsibility for your life. You step into the driving seat; now you are deciding where to go and which route to take, you are steering, you are choosing when and how much to brake and accelerate and you are choosing the music. Not your parents, not your siblings, your partner, friends, colleagues or anybody else. You.
This is an excerpt from a chapter that is currently a work in progress.
What are you writing?
What I’m Learning…
My way around online study and my first semester of University.
I really could not have asked for a better start – with the kids away and the morning to myself, I didn’t have to get up ridiculously early, but I was ready to begin by 7am – a very relaxed start for me. My first unit is Storytelling and Genre Writing, focusing on travel writing. So fun :). I did my readings for that subject, checked out all of the assignments for that and my other subject, Media Convergence and Culture, as well as doing the tutorial.and answering questions in the online forum for my media subject. Also – so fun :). The lectures for both subjects weren’t until later on in the week, so I had time to learn my way around the online campus, plan out my semester and begin thinking about my assignments. It’s so different studying at my age (late 30s) than in my teens and twenties – I had no idea about time management when I was young. I swear, University is wasted on youth. Oh, not really, you know I don’t mean it sweet young things, but I just didn’t have the discipline and organisation when I was young that I have now, and I’m willing to bet that you didn’t either.
So, my nerdy, University studying, learning self is satisfied, deeply satisfied this week :).
What are you learning?
What I’m Loving…
Having my cake and eating it too.
The end of the school term tends to form a sort of unholy nexus for me, because it is where motherhood, my work and my community obligations (P&C) intersect. The end of every term has a degree of intensity about it but this term had a special edge because of school reports, a large P&C fundraiser and an end of term sleepover and campout for NAIDOC day (National Aboriginal and Islander Day). To top it all off, when I confided in a friend about a poor result in my son’s report, she responded by criticising my mothering style and my son. Have I mentioned that I don’t take criticism well?
So. I needed a holiday. We needed a holiday. And oh my, the Universe has really turned it on for us. This week has just been golden. The kids began their holiday with a two night sleepover at their Godfather’s farm 10 minutes up the road. It was just going to be one night, but they were having so much fun driving tractors, exploring the farm, lighting the fires and having their bellies filled with all of their favourite food and treats, that they didn’t want to come home. Knowing they were so happy freed me up to just wind down and chill out. I made the happy discovery of Orange is the New Black (OMG how good is it? Now I have three seasons to catch up on 🙂 ). I reinstated my yoga practice which had been sorely neglected of late, cleaned my house, caught up on the washing and started University. By the time the kids came back my equilibrium had been completely restored. We’ve been to the movies – we saw Inside Out, which is just the most beautiful, clever and inspiring children’s film I have seen in a long time.
We also went on a much anticipated bike ride, just me and the kids, along the river at Nambucca Heads. This is the first time both the kids have been old enough to navigate the roadside path, pedestrians and other obstacles in urban riding, and we just had the happiest time. We posed for a photo at the end of the v wall, our halfway point framed by ocean spray, and I thought to myself, these are the best days <3. We finished off the ride with a delicious lunch at Nambucca’s newest eatery, Wharf Street Cafe. Right on the water, delicious food and OMG the macaroons. Our new favourite place to eat.
Today is a rest day, and then tomorrow I am stealing another day for myself and heading up to the Bello Winter Music Festival with a friend. Yippeeeee 🙂 See what I mean? Golden.
What are you loving?