Friday, October 13, 2017

When did that happen?

Internal Dialogue..

When did I become responsible?
When did people start to think I was a good person to keep their secrets?
When did I learn all that I know now?
When did I get so old?
When did I become that girl who people come to for help?
When did I become a mother hen?
When did my parents get so old?
When did those children grow up?
When did the world get so sad and mean and violent and dangerous?
When did that happen?

What was I doing when that was happening?

I'm how old?

Are you sure?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Finding where you fit

I will do my best to keep this short.  It might meander a bit, but trust me it's all important.

I'm turning 34 at the end of this year and I have to say that a big chunk of those 3 and a bit decades were not easy.  I spent a lot of time feeling like I didn't fit in.  I was the broken puzzle piece, the extra fitting in the flat pack and the 11th Tim Tam.  I still really struggle to make friends.  Social situations are difficult for me.  They are exhausting.

It took me a really long time to learn what I was really about, why I was feeling certain things and how I could prevent those yucky feelings.  You can't control everything, but if there are things within my control that will improve my quality of life, it seems silly not to change them.

Today, I want to tell you about three times when I didn't fit.  I'm concentrating on these because they all occurred when a 'chapter' of my life ended and the next one hadn't started yet.  I felt really lost during these times. In retrospect, the 'in between' times were so important in shaping me for the future, preparing me for new chapters and helping me become the awesome person I am now.

1. The end of university.  I had finally finished and it took me a really long time to get a full time, permanent job.  It took 5 years.  Of course, I worked part time, doing contracts and relieving other teachers.  In fact, 4-5 months after I submitted my final assessment, I was thrown into the classroom as a supply teacher.  During that first year after I finished uni, I was really disappointed that I didn't get offered a job.  I had never been without a purpose or a reason to get out of bed.  I had always been at school and I went straight to university.  I spent holidays babysitting, doing housework, planning a wedding and being very busy.  Suddenly, life was not going to plan and I had to figure out what I as going to do.  I considered lots of things and I worried that I would never be a real teacher.  At the end of the first year, I realised that supply teaching was a pretty good gig for the time being and I figured it would eventually lead to a permanent job.  I decided to say "yes" to every opportunity and be the best supply and contract teacher I could be.  I learned sooo much in those 5 years and I earned enough money to survive.
When I was finally offered a full time, permanent job, I was not only more qualified and experienced, but I appreciated it so much more.  I succeeded because of all the things I had learned while in the 'in between' stage of life.

2.  The end of my marriage.  My husband and I had been married for2 and a half years and we had been 'together' for 8 years before that.  I couldn't really remember a time when he wasn't my boyfriend.  Suddenly, I was back at my parents house with only a few boxes of my belongings.  He was living in the house that we shared.  Then, I learned that one of my friends was sleeping with my husband.  My world shattered.  I had put years of my life and all my energy into my marriage and building a life with my husband.  It took a very long time for me to adjust to the idea of being a single lady and it took even longer for me to be happy about it.  Now, I love being single!

3. The end of Dad's life.  I'm still in the midst of adjusting to this new way of life... so bear with me.
When Dad got sick, my life changed.  When, as a family, we decided that I would take time off work and share the caring responsibilities with Mum, my life morphed into something different. I still had some time to myself.  My purpose was to make Dad comfortable.  While I certainly wasn't perfect, I was good at caring for Dad.  Most of my time was spent with Dad or thinking about Dad, or thinking about how I could help Dad.  When he died, I was obviously sad for him and of course I grieved him.  I also grieved the life I had with him.  I realised that my everyday purpose was suddenly gone... again.

The first few months were hard.  I didn't want to get out of bed or leave the house.  I forced myself to do these things, most of the time.  Knowing now, that my time is not filled with "Dad" I am beginning to find other useful things to do with my time.  I'm finding a new 'place' to fit.

I worked out that I have a bit of a knack for words!  I enjoy making cards.  So, I am spending my time, using my talents and the things I enjoy, to encourage others.  I am sending cards to people in my church who are unwell, or struggling.  I don't send one to everyone, because I don't know everyone.  I am simply trying to do something small with what I have, where I am.  I am happy with that for now.

The future holds great mystery and right now, I want to appreciate everything I am learning and look forward to using it to make people smile.


Friday, September 29, 2017

I knew there was something I had to do today

I was lying on the lounge, in my pyjamas, thinking that there was a lot that I needed to do that day.  I only found it mildly disturbing that I couldn't remember any of the things I needed to do.
"I should get off the lounge and get dressed" I was saying to myself when I heard a knock at the door.
I dragged myself off the lounge and staggered to the door as I tried to work out who could be rudely knocking on my door at 9:30am.  The light from outside almost blinded me as the face of my grooming lady also came into view.  It took me a moment to realise who she was.  Gasping, I said, "oh no! I completely forgot you were coming."

I called to Shelly and walked outside to try and find her.  She looked at me quizzically and stalked back into the house.  When she saw my groomer, she started to bolt.  Shelly did a few laps around the house, ducking behind armchairs and diving under tables, all the while chased by me, in my pyjamas. She finally settled in under a wardrobe in our garage, that was surrounded by several large boxes of sheet music and electrical items.  There was no way I was getting to her.  Defeated, I left her alone and rescheduled.

An hour and a half later, I emailed my sister to tell her this story and ended it with ...
Shelly is still under the wardrobe and I am still in my PJ's.

My sister replied with a laughing emoji and "You just made my day."

I hope I just made yours too.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Goal Update

Let's see how I'm going with my goals for this year.

This Year, 2017, I will…

Quit… eating because I’m bored, sad, angry, frustrated or confused.

It's holidays again!  Woo hoo!  I'm doing very well!  :)

Eat…   three balanced meals and two snacks at least 6 days a week. 

I'm doing okay with this one.  It was hard to make good choices and keep track of balanced meals when I got the flu.  It took a little while to get it together after that too.  I'm doing okay. 

Start… exercising for 30 minutes, at least 4 times a week.

I've been doing more incidental exercise and now that I'm on holidays, again, I have started a new walking routine.  Ask me next month!

Visit… family and/or friends once a month.

Totally on track!! Woo Hoo.  Thankfully, the family have been making an effort too.  That helps.  :) 

Accept… that I cannot fix everything. 

Gigantic Tick for me!! Insert Happy Dance!

See…    Melbourne in real life/ Capital Cities.

I know it isn't technically a capital, but my Mum and I are planning a weekend on the Gold Coast in October.  We are going to Sydney to see family at the end of this month and I am planning some fun while we are there.  I am looking at Melbourne and Hobart for next year.  

Learn… at least 12 scripture passages by heart. 

Let's See: Scripture Verses learned so far
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Psalm 23
Psalm 32:7
Colossians 1:11

Psalm 32:8

Philippians 4:19

John 3:30

Working on more...

Therefore, I'm on track! Loving my memorisation app!

Give… to Christian Missions overseas and in Australia (12 times or once a month).

I have been continuing with my regular sponsorship of a day care centre overseas.  I am saving some money to send to an orphanage in Cambodia where my cousin is the director. 

Be…   Quiet

Doing okay.  Need to do more.  Trying to keep my words to a minimum.  Is it working? 

Grow… spiritually by reading my Bible 5-7 times a week and attending church at least 3 times each month.

Being sick and Mum's glittering social life has prevented me from as much church attendance as I wanted.  It took a little more than 12 weeks for me to finish the Everyday with Jesus writing plan I told you about last time.  I purchased a one year devotional called Women of the Bible and I was going to move on to that.  Instead, I decided to leave that until January.  I am sticking with the Everyday with Jesus devotional.  The plan I'm following now is an in depth study of Colossians.  I'm finding it helpful.  I have learned so much through working on this goal.  

Invest… in reaching these goals.

Obviously I'm doing this.. I have realised that some of the goals on this list will be a continuous struggle for me.  These goals are helping me to make better choices and form good habits.  That's good.  I already knew it, but I need to remember, that some goals will require a conscious effort forever.  

Stick with it! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

More Cards and New techniques

I've been experimenting!

I need some more practice....

So, this wasn't really a new technique.  It's just another card I made.  
That baker's twine is such a pain! 

I tried this technique using my small square and small circle punches and it worked okay.
I tried out some shadow stamping using my Stamp Master after watching a 
Catherine Pooler video that you can watch here.  I am loving this
shadow stamping technique and I will definitely be using it more! 
I need heaps more practice on this one!! 
I created this card after watching this Catherine Pooler
video where she created a background using a sentiment stamp.  

That's that for today! :)