Sunday, June 26, 2016

Whoever said that money doesn't make you happy, clearly never had to balance a budget!

Honestly figuring out how to earn a living sucks doesn't it?
Sometimes I think that I don't want to be a grownup anymore, 
it's not nearly as much fun as it was supposed to be.
But then luckily there is a weekend at the end of each week.

A chance to catch up on the 101 chores that need doing
and to catch up on sleep and plan for the weekend ahead.

I spent the weekend cleaning and tidying the house,
doing all the washing and putting clean sheets on the beds.
I baked cookies and made lasagna for dinner.
I cleaned the stove and did all the dishes. 

I entertained a very cute little boy while his mama was busy
and we made pizza for dinner and pancakes for breakfast.
I sewed up the hole under one of the panda's arms
and I sewed the binding down on a quilt.
I hung a few pictures on the wall and did the grocery shopping.

I went for a couple of walks in the fresh air
and I had a drink with a friend.
I started a scrap quilt for a little boy made from his dad's army uniforms.
All in all a productive weekend.
It was just what I needed really. Simple tasks that I could achieve
rather than stressing about the things that I cannot change right now.

The nice thing about Monday's is that its a fresh start.
Each week is a chance to make a difference,
to make good choices,
to make plans and to follow through with them.

Being a grown-up might not be a load of fun,
but luckily its more a process than a checklist of achievements.

This week I'm going to keep on working at being a grown up.
#icandohardthings #thistoowillpass 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

That awkward moment when someone asks you to tell more about yourself, and you're like... oh God, who am I?

I'm in the process of figuring out my employment situation.
I've been contracting now for a few months
but I'm looking at my options. 

It's the old scenario that the pain has to get bad enough for you to 
actually take the leap and change something.

For me, I would rather earn a smaller amount of regular money,
and occasional larger amounts. It's easier to budget that way.
And frankly, contracting is really just a collection of small amounts
that turn up on an irregular basis. 

Applying for jobs is so tricky.
You read the application and think, hmmm I can do all of that,
so you send off your application and it turns out
that about 25 other people also could do that
or do it better.

One of the things about life experience
(aka getting old)
is that you can kinda figure out what you are good at and what you aren't.

So for example, I know that I am good at ideas,
and I am good at getting stuck into a project and getting it done
(preferably by myself).

I am good at listening to people and getting them to talk.

I'm pretty horrible at things like filing
and emptying rubbish bins and taking the coffee cups back to the kitchen.
I'm not so great at data entry (just because it's boring as hell,
not because I can't do it)
and working in a place where everyone is grumpy and stressed
doesn't really work for me either.

Finding the right job and being a good, present mum
is a pretty difficult balancing act. I'm not sure how that is all going to pan out.
But I do know that something good will eventually come up,
that I will find a job with a good amount of hours,
that I can fully engage in and feel like I'm contributing to the greater good.

Watch this space!
cause I am watching it too :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Let your tears come, let them water your soul....

I guess everyone has heard about what happened in Orlando this week.
I can't actually bear to read all the details.
I can't bear to think about those people who went out to have fun
and never came back.

I can't bear to think of all of their friends and lovers, 
their family and associates
who never got to say good bye.
Who woke up in the morning and found out that their friend was gone.
There were no second chances.

Those people are going to walk around for the rest of their lives
missing someone who should be here.
The pain never goes away, friends are irreplaceable,
the pain just becomes part of who you are.

You learn to live with it.
You learn to carry on. At first it hurts so bad,
you can't believe your body keeps functioning,
but after a while you learn to adjust.

Until you remember.

I hope we never forget the precious lives that were lost in Orlando.
They were lost because of hate,
it was not an accident, it was a deliberate act of malice.
A hate crime fuelled by homophobia.

I cannot make it better for them,
I cannot bring them back.
I cannot physically put our arms around them
or cook them a dinner or bake them a cake.

 All I can do, here at the bottom of the globe,
is to continue teach my children that love is love,
that loving unconditionally is the only important thing
and that hate will never change anything.

I don't think there is anything else I can do.
The whole thing is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I've been thinking a lot about working with others,
maybe because I share a place at the Exchange, where there
is an atmosphere of collaboration and encouragement.

One of the thing about being in business is that 
you are constantly looking for someone else to sell your product to,
work with, promote your service or what ever your business is.

Imagine a marketplace where instead of competition,
we had collaboration.
Where we could support and encourage each other
and not feel threatened that we are going to take work off each other.

Imagine a marketplace where the needs of the customer
was paramount and finding a good fit for their requirements.

I've been in business for a long time really.
And even though for 22 years I was in an industry where the competition
was high. I never felt threatened by another company.
Because I firmly believe that there is enough work for all of us.

This year I have been really lucky to be part of a 
business networking group. 
I have been in quite a few networking groups over the years
but the group at BNI Strive are by far the best bunch of folk to share life with.

I think that even if you are in exactly the same business as your neighbour,
you all have a different reason for doing it,
your passion and drive and your abilities are different,
your personality and your back grounds are different.

This is what makes your business unique to your neighbours.

This is one of the reasons why I'm enjoying BNI,
because we are not in competition,
but working together to help each other grow better businesses.
The motto for BNI is "Givers Gain".

Now if we can just take that philosophy through to the rest of our lives!!

(This post is a collaboration between my son Reuben and I,
he took these awesome photos and allowed me to use them
if I buy him breakfast tomorrow at BNI)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Remembering {24 years}

On this day 24 years ago I married David.
We have been separated for 15 months now and both moved on
in new directions in our lives.
David has a lovely girlfriend and I have a lovely warm house,
a job that I love and good friends.

Today my Timehop app was filled with photos of us
because it is our wedding anniversary.
When I saw them, I initially felt punched in the gut,
it made me sad because I did like being married to David. 

I like the security of being married,
the feeling of having a back stop so you don't have to second guess yourself,
I like having someone to look after,
someone to show your love to every day in one hundred
little practical ways.

I loved cheering him on from the side line,
I loved that he achieved great things, like the way he decided to take up cycling
and then did it with such passion and ability.

Or the time he decided to learn painting,
and then turned out to be amazingly good at it.
I liked having someone that I was ridiculously proud of.

Even though it didn't work out in the end,
I don't feel like we failed.
We were a good team, we have four great kids,
we ran an excellent business. We worked well together.

Until we didn't. 
But that is ok too, because it turns out the rest of your life is a really long time,
my story isn't finished yet.

Monday, May 30, 2016

pros and cons of being single....

There are some really nice things about being single.
Sometimes you get a weekend off parenting.
Then you can do all the grown up things you always want to.

Or you can just eat baked beans on toast for breakfast
and lie on the sofa in your pjs and watch rubbish tv.
You can sing to yourself in the car.
You can pee without someone shouting for you.

But there are some rubbish things too.
There is no one to snuggle up to in bed on cold nights.
No one to back you up when the kids are being feral.
There is no one to run to the supermarket for snacks.

There is no one to see or care when it all gets too much
and you just have to let the tears leak out of your eyes.
There is no one who has your back or checks up to make sure
your day is going ok.

Being single is ok I guess.
But I hope I don't have to be single forever.
I'd like to think one day there would be a man
who was proud to call me his.

In the meantime I'll carry on figuring out how to do life by myself.
And maybe buy some flannelette sheets to keep me warm
on cold nights!

Monday, May 23, 2016

People with great passion can make the impossible happen....

I've written a few times about the Exchange where I work.
It's a lovely space, half cafe and half shared workspace.
I absolutely love working here and the people that share our space.
It feels like a privilege to be part of a place
where people are working do hard at their dreams
rather than financial gain.

Aliesha is the chef at the Exchange.
Aliesha has an amazing attitude which shines through everything she does.
She keeps an eye on every single detail of what happens at the cafe.
She flits about the cafe, checking up on people
and filling their water glasses.

Aliesha works harder than any person I know.
She can make something out of nothing.
I ate a salad once that consisted of cabbage, carrot and seeds
and it was the nicest thing I've eaten in forever.

There is something so different about seeing someone 
who is genuinely passionate about their work.
It flavours their attitude to everything that they do.
And it inspires you to be the best that you can as well.

You can't really stagger into work after morning school drop off
and roll your eyes at starting work for the day
when Aliesha has been there since before the day begun
and greets you with a smile and the smell of fresh baking.
People with passion inject enthusiasm into your day.

Aliesha, keep doing what you are doing so well.
We love you (and your food) xoxox