Tuesday 30 July 2013

What I learnt from the Bloggers Brunch

The other day I attended my first Bloggers Brunch - hosted by Kids Business. It was a mix of socializing (not my strong point - even looking at the photo below, I'm filled with irrational anxiety), talking with brands and some inspirational speakers.

One of the speakers was Jane Copeland, from Coping with Jane, and in her talk, about changing your life (or making changes in your life), she mentioned an article she'd read that said the older you got, the less likely you were to follow your dream. I thought that was an odd statistic, because, as someone driven by FOMO and Torshlusspanik, I would say out of that fear alone you might be driven to make a change.

I spent 12 years in a job in which I was well paid but not necessarily enjoying very much, growing more miserable by the day - I finally rang my husband in a panic about missing out on time with my son, who would not get that year of maternity leave that I shared with my eldest (when #2 was born). In great generosity, he simply said "Quit. Quit now". I didn't, I waited a little, to coincide with the xmas school holidays, long service & other financial safety nets, and began a new phase.

As I'm now looking to return to work, I'm trying to work out new career paths to fit in with the lifestyle that the other 4 family members have come to enjoy - my partner can go cycling in the mornings, and go to the gym at night, the kids have activities after school and friends over in the holidays, and the evening are for my partner and I, not the housework and other things that get done at 10pm if you've long days in the office. No one needs to miss out on anything.

Of course, I'm aware this all comes at a price, and is a luxury for most. I am still working it out, but I know the outline of what I think will work. My husband is also looking for work at the moment, and I keep trying to steer him away from the lure of money and into what will work for his interest or his lifestyle (and preferably both).

I think the older you get, the more you fear 'this is it, this is all I get' and the more you start to worry that you aren't going to fit it all in, whatever it is.

Of course, maybe that's me. And people like me. I did do a mini poll at the Brunch on this, and she (the one person I asked) also thought it was a strange statistic.

Don't get me wrong - Jane Copeland's speech was very inspirational, as she set out to design a new business and successfully changed her career, wrote a book and basically boarded her ship before it sailed (her reference in her speech, of a recurring dream she had).  It also made me think, that if you put your mind to it, and work out a solid plan, it will come together (or lead you somewhere else).

So each morning, as I swipe my lips with my new Brauer Lip Shimmer, which I covetously nabbed as a freebie at the Brunch, I remind myself that I can make that change happen, if I set to work to make it happen, because who would have thought a week ago, I'd be in love with pink shimmer?*

Martin Luther King, Jr said "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." And with that, I will direct my feet.

As a postscript, I want to say I took a lot from Jane's speech - tidbits of note:

She talked about the loss of identity in motherhood being unexpected.
She said when she started out (her new venture), she didn't have it all figured out, but she felt she should have.
And her best bit of advice? Just start something, and keep going.

I know I may fail and end up back in my old job - but no harm in giving it a shot, right? If I fail, I make a new plan.

*French Rose is the colour - while I asked for Ruby, and love it - the French Rose has taken me quite by surprise. Another example that sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can have surprising results.

Linking up With Some Grace for FYBF

Monday 29 July 2013

First of the Month Fiction - August

I can't believe it's already here - for newbies, rules are here (story in exactly 100 or less than 30 - easy peasy) Write story in comments, then link to blog so we can read what else you write...

Mine again is the 100 words:

It had happened a few times during the last few years - she would leave, be gone for a few months then suddenly, one day arrive home, as if nothing had happened. Nothing would be said, nor even asked about where she had been or who with. Then the rows would start and sooner or later, she would take off again. This time was different though. This time there would be no happy reunion.

Tearfully, the old woman taped the photo of her recently deceased husband to the telegraph pole. A small typed note at the bottom read "Susie, please call mum".

So please join in - next month I'll try to write a happy one (a bit of a challenge for me, for some reason).

Linking up with Jess for IBOT and Talk to us Thursday

Thursday 25 July 2013

Reflection of Facebook

Linking up a short, old post, which pretty much sums up what I've learnt from the internet:

This week on Facebook, I have learnt about the Druze Community - always fascinating to learn something new and realise how little you know. I have picked up an expression from a French band "Be there, Be hot!" and I have also learnt what a box gap is (we don't really need to dwell on this - but I shake my head at the thought, and what's with the women that post these photos??)

So this is a reflective snap shot of Facebook - could be so interesting and informative, occasionally is but usually isn't.

Linking up with The Lounge.

And a reminder that next week is First of the Month Fiction, for those that wish to join in - look for it Tuesday....

Monday 22 July 2013

Jump around

I came to get down
So get out your seats and jump around
Jump around, Jump around, Jump around
Jump up Jump up and get down.

I saw a groupon to this place http://flipout.net.au/  (this is not a sponsored post so no link to the groupon voucher but I mention it as I never pay full price for anything!)

I booked for us then shot an email around with the link, telling people that we were going, and if they booked a voucher, we'd work out a day to go together. What I found interesting, was only one other parent booked a voucher for herself. I don't know if it's reflective of women, or if they didn't realise I would be doing it too (as if I wouldn't! It look UNREAL!), but why do mothers often stand around as onlookers to their child's fun?

I am beside myself in anticipation! I hope they play dodgeball like they do at the Texas one (seen pics on Facebook). I am rather unco-ordinated, so this could be highly amusing.  If dodgeball is involved, it will be a trial of my limited skills (must not squeal like a pig or shriek like a banshee). And thus it makes the list. (and because it looks like SO much fun!)

Torshlusspanik List:
1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)

11. Master a Masterclass (check)

12. Perform a rap song (check - but write up pending)

13. Trampoline adventure

Have you been? Was it fun? Are you slightly jealous? Linking up with Jess for IBOT

Sunday 21 July 2013

Listmania - Favourite names...does anyone like them?

With my second child, my partner said I could name him (or her) but he had right of veto. And veto he did!

I love the following names:
Juha (I first heard it with Juha Kankkunen, the Finnish driver) - Vetoed.
Alesi (a surname of the famous Jean Alesi, but alas mispronounced as Alessi or Al-less-y by Australians I tested it on) - Vetoed
Ole (I sat opposite a Swede on the way to the Olympics who was wearing his name tag, and his first name was Ole - I've since come across many) - Vetoed*
Didier (Didi for short) - Vetoed
Shinji - Vetoed
Kenji (but not Ken) - Vetoed (with a 'you aren't Japanese, you know')

My partner at one point said "Do you hate this child?"

We found middle ground with Max, but I went with the Spanish Maximo (missing it's accent). Of  course.

I need to add, my favourite name of all time can not be separated from the surname - there is a Norwegian Rally rider called Pål Anders Ullevålseter - when ever he's discussed, you HAVE to use the accent and full name. Best name EVER! Watch for the man in lime green in the desert....

Did you get to name your child your favourite name? Do you have a favourite name? Would you all have vetoed me too?

Linking up with Deb for Listmania

*I think Ole is possible the best name ever - sturdy yet fun, reliable yet always there for a good time...

Thursday 18 July 2013

Just for Fun

We went to Luna Park for the first time in about 5 years. As soon as I hit Coney Island, I am immediately flooded with memories from when I was 5. For my fifth birthday I got to go to Luna Park. This was my present, and also instead of a party. I explain this to my kids, who look at me blankly as if I'm speaking a strange language - 'What? With no friends? Just you and your family???'.

My daughter, who is 4, was not allowed to ride any of the rides that I loved as a just turned 5 year old (Modern safety standards differ greatly these days). I love the Turkey Trot, purely because as a little child, too scared of most rides, I thought this was so much fun, and that I was awfully grown up and brave to go on it.

My favourite is the spinning wheel (known in the '70's by a far less PC name), for the joyous memory it evokes - I adored that ride. As a kid we all crammed onto it - big, small, as many people as could fit. Now it's far more orderly, but still the same fun.

I remember getting lost in the mirror maze and crying (seems impossible now, seeing the size of it through adult eyes).

I remember feeling so clever getting myself through the Barrel of Fun.

I also remember my Mum not doing any of the rides - she'd just watch. Our Dad would join in with us. What happened between her generation and ours? What suddenly changed and we decide to join in with our kids (or not miss out on the fun, as I think is actually the thought process behind it)?

Nowadays, my favourite is the giant slides - and as my 4 year old could ride them, we spent much of the day going up those stairs and down the slides.

The heritage cartoons are still on the walls - part of me likes the reminder of how far we have come, part of me is horrified at how racist and sexist we were, and that it was deemed okay to publicly display.

Outside, as the kids waited to be escorted onto the Tango train, I remember the mad scramble as a kid - they'd open the gate and you'd run to find a carriage on whatever ride you wanted to get on. Like a mass musical chairs.

All in all, we had a ball. I love that it hasn't changed so much, that it triggers those strong memories from almost 40 years ago. I'm a little saddened that our kids are so over indulged that these 'treats' are nothing special to them, that everything is taken in their stride. Yet I'm the only one to blame for that.

When were you last at Luna Park? Did you ever go as a child? What do you love about it?

Linking up with some Grace for FYBF

PS This is not a sponsored post, but I did win tickets from Seana Smith - so THANK YOU! It needs to be said, there is no better view in Sydney than aloft the Ferris Wheel...

Monday 15 July 2013

How to Blog and Tweet without getting Sued...a MUST read book for us all!

A few weeks ago, someone (and I didn't note down who, sorry - but please link your post in the comments, as you did a great summary for bloggers) posted about what they learnt from Mark Pearson's session at one of the blogging conferences. It was a great post and inspired me to buy the book, which I have devoured with an unhealthy fascination.

What I learnt most from it, is that there are HUGE risks facing our children, as this social media world is evolving and they are at the forefront of it all. Obviously as bloggers, we are taking on risk, and should be educating ourselves in this area - but what about non bloggers? Just Joe Random twitter user? The kid with a Facebook page and Instagram account? This book is a must read for any parent with children heading down this path. While not aimed at this market, it highlights, in a round about way the issues that are coming to court. (and as I learnt from the book, my ideas are not copyrighted, so feel free to write another book specific to this idea, Mark Pearson).

Images were lifted off social media to use in ad campaigns around the world - the American girl whose image was used on Australian billboards was not able to claim compensation (while her image was made fun of in a far flung country).

People have been sued for their negative Tripadvisor reviews. People don't think twice about writing the most malicious reviews they can, but they should.

We all just heard about the 16 year old twitter user at the Pink concert (criminal charges pending), and the 19 year old currently in jail for what he wrote on his FB page...a joke in poor taste, involving massacres, but a joke nonetheless. What about if the damage is amplified when you go travelling? One harmless joke about Royals could see you jailed once you land in certain countries...Countries quite close to our shores, so not out of the realm of a holiday destination.

What about those careless retweets? Every time you do that, you are actually 'publishing' the words, and can be accountable.

There is so much that the book touches on, and it really got me thinking about the brave new world that our kids are growing into. Who is guiding them on the rules and etiquette if not us, their parents? But what if we don't know ourselves?

I ordered my copy online but I'm sure all book stores would have a copy. I can not recommend this enough. If you are a blogger, there is plenty of good advice - but if you are a parent, I think it starts the conversation on a number of issues that we are only now seeing enter the legal systems of the world. Our little private online world is not so private, or privacy settings all but useless and our images and words can be taken and used against us. It may not necessarily be big brother, but big business is watching.

Linking up with #ArchiveLove