Wednesday 29 April 2015

Don't let anyone dull your shine

Grace's quote from last Friday spoke to me with a message I really needed to hear, and sums up my feelings nicely, in it's simplicity. "If someone rains on your parade, poke them in the eye with your umbrella." Don't let their negativity or lack of support tarnish your head space.

If your dreams are too big for those around you, it doesn't mean there's a problem with the dream. Just prove them wrong.

If they aren't in your corner, cheering for you, be your own hypeman. As Oprah once said "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

No matter what, don't dull your shine for anyone else.

Monday 27 April 2015

Happiness and First of the Month Fiction

As you know, I tend to never be pleased with my 'happy' stories, and am always much more comfortable writing about my broken, bitter people with tales of woe. I was beginning to wonder what that said about me, until I read this in Paul Theroux's Hotel Honolulu: "it takes only a modest talent to write about misery - and misery is a more congenial subject than happiness." As he was having a slight jibe at Stephen King, I'm more than happy to accept that as a compliment.

Anyhoo, on with the fiction....

For newcomers, you have to write a story in exactly 100 words or less than 30 words. You put the story in the comments and link your blog, so we can see your shining talent in it's full glory...

Mine is of the 100:

The line inched forward. Someone hissed spiteful comments at the fast moving line for foreigners. Children fought. Parents yelled, exasperated. The line inched forward. 

"Don't touch that! It's dirty"

"Mum, he pushed me."

“Will you move up?!”

"So we only have one counter but they have three?"

“Not there, you have to stand with us”


The line inched forward.

They were tired. Some were hungry. All were growing irritable.

The line inched forward.


Finally, before the official, she answered the questions patiently.

She gave him a smile as he handed back her passport.

She was one step closer to home.

Sunday 26 April 2015

One new thing...

I have the Torschlusspanik list, which I've been very remiss with, of late. For awhile, I was very good at setting myself challenges to try new things. Torschlusspanik is the fear, usually as one gets older, that time is running out and important opportunities are slipping away. Here is the list as it stands:

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)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)

17. Astonish Myself
I really must direct myself back into it. Or at least set myself a few new challenges.

In Hawaii, I crossed off a number of things I wanted to see - the big one, seeing lava fall into the ocean was not possible, but I did see a seal on the beach, a turtle on the beach (and a million in the water), whales (I'd never seen one before! - and I even saw the fluke and a fin) so there were a lot of bucket list experiences in one trip.

Seeing the Northern Lights is my next just to convince the family that they'd love it....

Linking for #WeeklyWrapUp and #ThingsIKnow

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.

I think a lot about time - in fact, I've written a number of posts about the passing of time, the importance of time and the need for more time - which I will in part regurgitate here. Some of you will recognise the title (the Benjamin Franklin quote, as I repeat it often). It's such an important lesson, and needs to be repeated often.

We were on holidays, and moved every two to three days. Instead of making the trip seem harried, it seemed to stretch time. Even a two night stay seemed like an eternity, and the previous destination seemed a lifetime ago. It would be lovely if we could control the fluidity of time. Make the hard times fly by, and the precious moments stretch out to savour. Alas, I'm not sure how it all works, but I know we have no control over time.

We do have control over what we do with our time. Many years ago I wrote a post asking Santa to give me the one thing I needed, more time:

1. Time to see all the wonders of the world, the lava fall into the ocean in Hawaii, the Pyramids, Antarctica in all it's glory, the craziness of Vegas, the animals of the Galapagos Islands and everything else I've yet to lay eyes on.

2. Time to understand all the marvels of science. I was never very interested in science at school, and now as I realise how little I know, I find I'm the one asking the questions at the Observatory, or pausing in fascination at the Powerhouse. I'd like to truly know it all, not to show off but because every new fact is such an intriguing joy of discovery.

3. Time to enjoy with my friends. We rush from social event  to social event, and it becomes tiring - the looming dinner impinges on the leisurely lunch. The pressure to see people takes away from the pleasure of actually seeing them. I want to fit everyone in more frequently, and being able to enjoy it at the time.

4. Time with my children. They are getting busier, so our time together when the outside world isn't breaking in is getting less and less. I want time to engage and play with them, without thinking about the washing or the next place we have to be or the other people I need to be talking to. I just want to enjoy being with them, and the people they're becoming.

5. Time to get stuff done, and done well. I am falling apart in the multitasking dept, and I feel like the mouse in the spinning wheel, getting nowhere. I am racing through a 'to do' list but nothing seems to get done. I want time to get it all done and feel organised in the process.

All that still stands true for me, but realistically, I won't get more time. I don't even know how much time I have left. So it is up to me to make better use of my time. Triage my life and make time. If you have found yourself waiting out time in a job or situation that makes you unhappy, it's time to move on. If you have big dreams, it's time to get started. Meatloaf said it best (bet you never thought you'd read that sentence?!) "If you're only killing time, it will kill you right back". No more of the "I'll just wait until...." It's more now or never.

The most precious resource we have is time, so it's time to make it count. "Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life." (Norton Juster, Phantom Tollbooth)

PS I did get to Hawaii, but the lava wasn't falling into the ocean. However I saw many other amazing things so can't complain!

Monday 20 April 2015

This is how it goes.

Before I went away, I went to see Jeffrey Tambor in what was disappointingly a big ad that we paid to endure, so I won't talk more about that (note to organisers, if you are going to do that, make it free).

However, he mentioned that once he was really ill on stage, and that in order to get through the show, he had to let something go. The thing that he let go of, was the feeling of "do they like me?". He just didn't have the energy to worry about that. He got to see the footage of the performance later, and remarked that while he had expected it to be terrible, he was really, really good in it. He elaborated that the great actors don't worry about that. They turn up and exude "This is it. This is how it goes. Join up, or not."

In life, we do the same. We often spoil our own experiences by worrying too much about how what we say and do is perceived. We worry about how we look to others.

The challenge for today is to see if you can drop that. Turn up at work or the school gates, and say "This is it. This is how it goes." See whether people do indeed join up regardless.

More importantly, see if you notice a better personal experience.

Linking up for #MummyMondays