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Monday, 13 August 2018

You really need a Plan B

Now is the time that a lot of kids drop out of Uni. Often their parents need to preface this with a long story of how they are deferring while they decide what they do. Usually this actually means they know what they want to do but their parents aren't so comfortable with their choice. "They need a Plan B" meaning a university degree and a different career to the one that they've dropped out of university to pursue. 

But do they?

Can't we have a plan A and if that fails, find another plan A? Do we need to sabotage our plan A with a back up plan that inevitable takes over our path?

Why is it so hard for our parents to say, of the chosen course that has been dropped "They didn't like it. It actually wasn't for them". If you're 18, you have no idea what a career involves. If you can decide one semester in, that it's not really what you thought it would be, it's probably a GOOD sign. You know yourself, you know what interests you and you know this isn't it. 

If you already had a new plan, you're ahead of the game.

Maybe our generation of parents needs to realised the landscape has changed. Our ideas of 'safe' and 'conventional' are obsolete and even unhelpful.

Don't steal their dreams by forcing your ideals onto them. Their Plan A is their path until it isn't.
We could all learn to prioritise our plan A. It's never too late, no matter how lost we got in our 'back up' career.

Linking with #IBOT, #Dreamtteam and #TwinklyTuesday

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Magic of Mistakes


This is a different kind of reflection - the lights reflected on the lens to create this effect. It's a mistake, but it's a beautiful, magical image nonetheless.
Maybe that's how we need to look at life. Things don't go always go to plan, but there's often still a silver lining buried in that cloud. It just takes us a little time to see it properly.

Don't dwell on mistakes, and certainly don't be overwhelmed by them. Eventually, you see them for what they are, and usually, in time, they turn out to be smaller than you think. You may even find you were actually reaching for the stars but couldn't quite see it at the time (see what I did there?)

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Furnace and the Fundamentals

What I'm loving this week is having fun! Due to our proximity to the Enmore, I was able to buy a ticket on the day and head up for a dance. A friend whose Pink concert was cancelled decided that rather than sulk at home, she'd come too.

While I thought I'd stay for an hour of exercise then bail, they were so infectious with their high energy and song choices, that we stayed until the end, and dripping with sweat and big grins plastered on our faces, we giggled all the way home.

If you are no good at discipline to exercise, go dancing. You just can't stop!
If you get a chance to see Furnace and the Fundamentals, go! They're like Hot Dub Time Machine but better music and live.

If you aren't quite loving life this week, blast up the stereo (that makes me sound my full 107 years) and dance. Absolutely lifts my mood and energy.

I'm loving being walking distance to a concert venue, flexibility and the restorative power of music.

What are you loving this week? Linking with #TheFun #PhotoTunes #WWOAT and #RubyTuesdayToo (for the shot with the red light streak and the red costume)

Can you guess what song this was?

Monday, 6 August 2018

Did you ever think your life would come to this?

A friend asked me this over drinks over the weekend. I paused at the question but thought 'I think it's probably better than I thought'. However, had she asked me two years ago, it would have been a very different answer. In fact, a few years ago I tearily posed the very same question to someone else. My day to day was very demanding and I had little time for myself to even exercise for twenty minutes. There were a lot of people needing my time and very little enjoyment in what I did. While I'm still extremely busy, a lot of the pressures have lessened.

When you get to a certain age, there's a lot of hard and crappy obligations - dying and infirm parents, difficult teenage problems, health problems, money problems. Life in general and day to day existence is not a lot of fun.

However, when you wade through the swamp of misery and exhaustion, there is still light on the other side. It's just very hard to see at times.

Last night my Facebook, in it's creepy listening stalk-y way, threw up this article on the midlife dip and the happiness curve. There is a gap in our expectations (perhaps because our expectations were ill conceived in the first place). However, satisfaction in life can and will reappear when you least expect it. Don't bottle up your dissatisfaction, don't feel you need to put on a positive show, because it's all normal. Most importantly, don't discount friends who feel this way. If they seem to have everything going for them, it doesn't mean they can't be struggling.

For me, having had quite a few extraordinarily difficult years, being asked the question made me realise how far I'd come, and more importantly, how much everything had changed. Some good changes, some sad changes however for me, as the traveller in my life, I was faring much better through the rough seas.

That was quite a comfort for me. I'd not been aware of the change, and yet suddenly here I am.

As my friend concluded, we just have to make sure we make the most of the next 20 years!

Linking with #GlobalBlogging #KCACOLS #StayClassyMama #MummyMondays and #Dreamteam. Also off topic for #Lifethisweek as I'm flat out with real life this week!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Pieces of me

1 Day.
733 Kilometres.
2 old friends.
Cocktails, bands, art, rooftops, restaurants and a speakeasy.
A life time of moments separated by time and distance.
Happy and relaxed.
All wrapped up in this reflection.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Countries I have visited...

Even the carparks are cool in Finland!

I've traveled a fair bit, and I've loved pretty much everywhere I've been, however a few standouts for me were:

1. Cambodia. We only went to Siem Reap however not only did we decide it was the coolest city in Asia, but I had a life changing experience. The Landmine Museum and story of Aki Ra had a profound affect on how I viewed my place, and my ability to change things in this world. All the businesses in the city seem to have a community charity built into them - be it restaurant or store, even the circus and concerts helped others. It made me see how businesses should run. I loved everything about it.

2. Finland. We went chasing the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi. While that was not the hugest success, I loved the experience. It was probably our last full family holiday so it meant a lot to me, all these moments with all my children playing together. Everyone loved it. We bonded and laughed as all the activities seemed to please all ages. There was a trippy feeling being in that much snow constantly. All the experiences were new to us all - sleeping in an igloo, riding Husky led sleighs, and so many more wonderful activities.

3. France. I've had so many great times in Paris. I can never understand people that don't like it. The people have always been amazingly nice, and the beauty is beyond compare. The French countryside is gorgeous and the monuments and history are well looked after. Been far too long since I was there but the rest of the world is calling and there is only so much time and money to spend.

4. Hawaii. I know it's not a country but they are different to the rest of the States. Spend some time there and you can't help but be a little changed. The Hawaiian people seem to be community minded and caring towards those in need. Their friendliness and relaxed attitude is contagious. Big Island in particular has amazing beauty and an abundance of wild life. We saw whales, spinner dolphins (spinning over our raft!), turtles galore and even a monk seal just landed on the beach! You didn't need to set out to see them, they'd just turn up!  The night snorkel with the Manta Rays is one of the most AMAZING experiences I've ever had.  The volcano is fascinating - and spare a thought to the damage being done to the locals as a result.

5. Singapore. I have a soft spot for Singapore. I've been going since I was a kid of seven, and I've seen a LOT of changes every visit. I've had so much fun, especially at Grand Prix time - they know how to put on a race! There's art galore, fun festivals, oddities and funky hidden markets. It has something for everyone. You can eat well on any budget, and if you don't adore it, you just aren't doing it properly.

There are many more great countries I've visited but these are the ones that really made an impact on me. There's not a single place I wouldn't return to, but alas it all comes at a cost in both time and money, both of which I don't have enough of and alas the scales tip heavily in favour of countries I have not yet visited...

Where have you been and what were your favourites?

Linking with #WeeklyPostcard

Here's to the weekend...

Kanye always makes me beam

I'm having one of those weeks that seems to throw you around for no reason - nothing bad but lots of little frustrations and drama, and I'm a little exhausted.

So this week I'm loving that I have a girls weekend coming up. I'm even excited about an hour to read my book on the plane almost as much as catching up with old friends.

Until I have some roof top bar photos to share, here are some kooky images from Hot Dub Time Machine the other night. Makes me smile. I had a blast! If you like to dance and it comes to town, make sure you get yourself there

What's making you love life right now?

Monday, 30 July 2018

When FOMO turns bad...

My partner is going to the Tokyo Marathon, which means we have to take the kids out of school, so the holiday has a time restriction on it.

Friends have loved Hiroshima, and the guide book makes it sound enchanting, so I was trying to squeeze that in as well as Kyoto and Hakone. However everything comes at cost, both in time and money. I just don't seem to be able to make it work with enough time in each place. I feel pressured that I'm missing out.

I have decided this morning to ditch it but I feel a loss (of what I may never get to see) and that I'm 'missing out'.  This is ridiculous, as I know it's better to do less well than to feel I've missed out on 3 destinations instead of being content with two.

I have spent literally about 10 hours playing around with flights and trains to make it work, but it's actually just the time that is the problem. In the time I've spent and still not actually booked anything, I could have booked the whole trip, including the hotels.

My FOMO usually works in a very positive way, and I feel I've sucked the marrow out of life, but this time it's made me feel anxious and bad about something that, let's face it; is a major luxury. My husband says 'We'll go back!' but my brain says "What if we don't? What if this is it?" and that's the bit I need to learn to ignore. Sometimes what we get has to be enough, because it's more than what we had before.

Any Japan tips welcome.

Do you have FOMO? Is it the good kind or does it mess you around negatively? Are you good at realistic expectations and reigning yourself in?

Thursday, 26 July 2018

If I could...

If I could...I have started this post a few times. I keep deleting what I write because it's just an excuse. I can. I just have to put more energy into it. I have to dedicate more time and resources. I have to think about what needs to be done. And then do it.

I want to get the Landmine Museum and Relief centre the truck they need to transport the kids, and I can, I just need to dedicate some time to the fund raising.
I want to help kids struggling with anxiety and depression - I see them everywhere - in the playground, neighbourhood kids, anecdotally in the newspaper. And I can, I just need to work out the cause of this avalanche of misery that we've created in the younger generation.
If I could, I'd write more. I can, but I need to be better at time management. Maybe use a dictaphone in the car or something?
If I could, I'd travel more. I need to stop wasting money, I need to make the most of the holidays.

If I could is an excuse. I think that's why I found it so hard to write a post on it. I knew I was kidding myself.

I can. I just need to....

Linking with #MummyMondays #Dreamteam

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

“We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.” ― Zen Saying

I have hit the ground running since school went back, and of course managed to get sick and stressed. These were taken when I had a little more time to enjoy the stillness.

Working on finding the balance again. However, reminding myself it's all temporary.

 In time and with water, everything changes. ― Leonardo da Vinci

Linking with #WordlessWednesday #TravelTuesday#ThruMyLens #OurWorldTuesday #WWOT #WeekendReflection, #MySundayBest and #MySundayPhoto

Monday, 23 July 2018

Perfect gift for women, girls and parents.

I've just discovered the existence of the 4th estate publishing and so quite by accident discovered the very wonderful Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. As I move through her works, I discovered this very little book, a letter to a friend on raising a daughter.

At $8.32, it's roughly the price of a card, and thus a perfect greeting for any woman about to have a baby, or any young girl, or a parent, male or female, raising a girl. In order to make the world better, and fairer, we must all evolve. So perhaps instead of a card, send this with an inscription inside the cover.

The quote I leave you with, is not on specific gender child rearing, but all children, and anyone with teens will recognise the truth in these words:

"You might do all the things I suggest, and she will still turn out to be different from what you hoped, because sometimes life just does its thing. What matters is you try. And always trust your instincts above all else, because you will be guided by your love for your child"

Those of us deep into raising a young adult, know that all you can do is try, and keep trying.

I'm currently working my way through her fiction - it's hard not to be charmed by the authors voice and reason.

Have you read anything delightful lately?

Linking with #MakeMySaturdaySweet

Friday, 20 July 2018

Share my Snaps! Tourist edition

Hunter Valley

I've been offline for awhile now - having relaxed, watched soccer, and squeezed in the school holidays.
With the kids we did a bit of this (Hunter Snowtime)

and a bit of that (Airlie beach).
Hideaway Bay

Plenty of beaches, boats and snorkeling.

White Haven Beach

Under duress we took in a bit of art (at Carriageworks),

renewed our membership at the Powerhouse (please don't move it!)

and even a High tea at the QVB.

See more on Instagram! Gotta Love this Country! What have you been up to?
Linking with #SundayinmyCity (a few Sundays here)