Friday, December 30, 2011

Yay for the New Year!

This time last year I wrote this post telling you how I feel about New Year's.

I think I did a pretty good job of explaining myself, so I'm directing you there instead of saying it all again.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I love new beginnings!

I'm going to use today and tomorrow to think about what I really want from 2012.

How about you? Are you a fan of the New Year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I need a bit of a lift. I'll be honest, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts.

So I'm doing something that I know usually works for me, which is focusing on the positive.

Please go visit Kate says stuff to join in with Thankful Thursday.

Today I'm having trouble looking at the big picture. I'm having trouble finding something profound to say.

But I do have much to be thankful for.

So today I'm thankful for the little things...

I received a Christmas card from a dear friend that I haven't seen in years today. How lovely that she included some photos of her daughter that I have never met. And how wonderful that I will be able to see her in person next year when my family travels to London!

I guess that's not such a little thing after all! That's what I love about taking the time to be thankful. Once you start counting them, blessings multiply!

I have an appointment to have my hair cut and coloured tonight. Isn't it lovely to sit back in the hairdresser's chair and be pampered? I especially love it when they wash your hair and give your head a massage. Bliss!

I have books to read! How delightful to be able to have a little lie down with a good book!

How about you? How are you feeling today? Maybe a little thankfulness would brighten it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Have you survived Christmas?

Just a quick post to say that I hope you've not only survived, but have thrived through Christmas.
I've had a very tiring couple of days.

Tiring, but good.

I've been blessed with time spent with family, special foods, and wonderful presents.

A highlight for me was receiving my new iPad. This is my first attempt at posting from it and it seems to be working ok so far.

A lowlight was dropping a bottle on my foot and breaking my toe. I haven't exactly had time to get it x-rayed or have a doctor look at it, but it's black and blue and swollen and it hurts; so the combined wisdom of myself and family members says it's broken.

I think I need a little lie down now.

How are you guys holding up? Any especially fabulous presents? Any Christmas injuries?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas cards...To send or not to send?

I didn't send Christmas cards this year.

Not even Christmas emails.

Here are my reasons:

  • Feeling too "bah humbug".
  • Didn't have time.
  • It's environmentally friendly.
  • It seems to be going out of fashion because I'm receiving less cards these days.
Yeah, I know, those reasons really suck.

Really, I just didn't think I could see the point.

What do Christmas cards mean to me? To me, it's about making a list of all your family and friends and then acknowledging them with a message of  love at Christmas time. And now that I've written that and see it in black and white in front of me, it sounds like a very good idea indeed.

However, the card itself isn't important. Too often Christmas cards are either overpriced and overblown, or cheap and tacky. Though I'll read the cards that I receive and will display them while the Christmas tree is up, I'll usually throw them in the recycling bin once the New Year is here. Harsh? Maybe. But I don't have room in my life to keep every card I've ever received.

Also, the time of year isn't really important. Does that sound sacrilegious? I don't mean that Christmas isn't a special time of year, I just mean that any day is a good day to send family and friends a message of love.

So now I'm going to send off an email of thanks to the girlfriends of mine that sent me Christmas cards, letting them know that I appreciated them and that I'm thinking of them.

And then I'm going to make a plan for making sure that the people I love know that I love them, even though  I didn't send them a Christmas card.

How about you? Are you a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas cards? Do you send photos of your kids and letters describing their achievements?

Or perhaps you don't celebrate Christmas and have some different traditions at this time of year?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Giving Thanks

There's nothing like an attack of the "bah humbugs" for making me feel spiritually bereft.

This year I have struggled a little to shake off the stress that comes with being a busy mother at Christmas time to discover the underlying joy of the season.

Someone once told me that are lives are like cars that need to keep all four wheels on the road. In our case, our wheels are our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. We have to make sure that we are looking after all four wheels in order to stay roadworthy.

Luckily over the past few years I've become quite adept at reading the signs that something is not quite right in my life. I'm better at keeping an eye on the gauges on my dashboard, if you like. So it's good that I'm aware that my spiritual health needs a bit of attention.

So today I'm stopping to give thanks every few minutes. Thanks for all the blessings in my life.

Sometimes, with all the bills to pay, it's easy to forget how rich I am. Today I'm taking the time to remind myself that I have more than I need. I have been blessed with abundance.

How are you going keeping all four wheels safely on the road of life?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Doors, windows and jobs.

Have you ever heard the saying "God doesn't close a door without opening a window"?

Of course you have. It's one of the most overused cliches out there.

Right behind "everything happens for a reason".

And these cliches are probably very annoying to people who are going through a hard time. 

If you have an eye for the ridiculous, then click here and see what the Bloggess has to say about it.

And while it's fun to be all sarcastic and ironic and cool, this is where I'm going to reveal my Pollyanna tendencies to you all.

Sometimes when it seems that things are going to hell in a handbasket, it is just plain hell.

But I believe that often when things don't seem to be going quite right, another opportunity presents itself which turns out to be just as good, if not better, than your original plans.

This week I had a job interview. For a two year full time contract at the library I've been working at casually this year.

Those of you that have been following this blog for a while know that I have spent all year looking for permanent library work, desperately trying to launch my career.

Prior to completing my Masters in Librarianship, I thought long and hard about my goals and dreams when it came to work. I knew that I wanted to choose something that I'd find stimulating and challenging for the long term.

So, if you've read this far, you probably know what's coming.

I didn't get the job.

But I did get a call from the library manager offering me an extended period of three days a week work during the first half of 2012.

Which actually suits me better.

Of course I'm still actively looking for permanent, rather than casual, work. But three days a week is much more manageable for me right now with Josh still in primary school. And the fact that we are having an overseas holiday in the middle of next year means that it's nice to not be committed to work and needing to ask for leave.

 So what do you think about the old cliche? Do you believe in the concept of doors and windows?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh how pinteresting!

Today I'm linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple for "Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays". (Even though it's not actually Wednesday anymore - oops!)

If you haven't tried Pinterest, but you love to waste time looking at stuff on the internet, then you really should head there right now and sign up.

Or head over to The Vintage Apple and read Michelle's post and you'll get the drift pretty quickly and see if you think it's something that you'd like to play with.

Confession time: I suck at Pinterest.

I'm really good at trolling through everyone else's "pins" and "liking" them and "repinning" them. I'm great at wasting eons of time. What I'm not so good at is sourcing great images to pin and share with others. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel like I contribute much to the experience.

I think I've figured out why I'm not so good at it. It's because I don't really have a goal for my Pinteresting. I don't really know why I'm there.

But guess what?!? I've had a brilliant idea!

I could use Pinterest as a virtual vision board. I could pin pictures that represent things that I want to manifest in my life! Please forgive me if I'm far, far behind and eleventy-billion people have already thought of this, but it's a new idea for me.

And I've thought of it at just the right time, seeing as it's almost the New Year and the perfect time for setting new goals and having visions!

So stay tuned for my Pinterest pinboards to explode with awesomeness!

In the meantime, head on over to The Vintage Apple and check out what everyone else is pinning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas traditions

Last week I posted about feeling un-festive.

But today, I discovered this post by a very good blogging friend of mine, Dillypoo. In which Dillypoo explains that she is a reformed Christmas tragic who now focuses on love for family and friends over Christmas, rather than presents and decorations.

Can I get an AMEN?!?

Dillypoo also linked to this post by another fabulous blogger, Liz. Liz has instituted some special traditions in her house, following the lead of St Nicholas, the real Santa Claus.

Liz ensures that her children give as well as receiving on Christmas Day. And she has limited the gifts that they receive by using this catchy little rhyme:

Something you want,
Something you need,
Something you wear,
Something you read.

I think that this is a pretty good idea. And I'm quite taken with the idea of bring the whole Santa thing back to its origins of giving to the poor.

I think that I may be trying something new next Christmas.

How about you? What Christmas traditions do you follow? How do you deal with Santa and the huge amount of gifts that children get/want/expect these days?

I'd love your feedback.

Monday, December 12, 2011

An ode to virtual friends

Look at that! I've managed to attract a couple of new followers! 

(I've hardly posted lately, and I can't imagine what has drawn you here, but I think it may be foolish for me to mention that.)

Welcome friends!

(Every now and then I get an email from Twitter letting me know that I have a new follower, and I'm similarly stymied trying to imagine what on earth I have tweeted that makes me appealing.)

Oh dear, none of this is coming out right!

It's just that I haven't been particularly active in the social media world of late. I haven't felt very dynamic or engaged.

What's your favourite social media forum?

Mine would have to be Facebook, for good or for bad, whatever that says about me. I usually check it first thing each morning to see what all my friends and family have been up to and what they've got to say for themselves, and I check in again several times each day if I'm not working. I love it when my news feed is full of photos and links. I like to "like" posts and to share things that I enjoy.

I like a lot of blogger's pages, which means that I always get links to their latest posts on my news feed. I also like local and national news pages, which means I often see the headlines via Facebook before the news bulletin airs. I've also discovered inspirational pages, local businesses and online magazines.

I enjoy the fact that I catch up with friends and family much more regularly than I would if I relied on seeing them face to face.

Some people seem to think that it's a bit tragic to enjoy Facebook and be on it too often. 

They think that it means that you don't have much of a real life.

What do you think? Sometimes I feel a bit sheepish about my Facebook "addiction".

But when it comes down to it, I love my virtual friends!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feeling Un-Festive

I'm desperately needing an infusion of Christmas Spirit.

And while I wouldn't say no to alcohol, when I say Christmas Spirit I'm not talking about a few margaritas followed by a bottle of wine.

I'm talking about that warm, fuzzy, good-will-towards-men feeling that I should be getting about now.

Confession time.
  • My Christmas tree is not up yet and I don't even care.
  • I bought myself a very expensive present today, and I don't even feel excited about it. Just kind of sick about the amount of money that I spent.
On the positive side of things, I have a job interview next week. And I've applied for two other jobs that I'm waiting to hear about. So although I think that the timing leaves a little bit to be desired, I'm trying to focus on making the best possible case for myself. And fingers crossed, I might have some regular library work next year.

I've also been reminded a lot lately about how very blessed I am.

Christmas or no Christmas, as long as I have my husband and children, I have everything I need

Lately I been feeling my heart bursting with love and pride every time I look at my family, or even think about them. I may even have been shedding a few happy tears

So friends, how are you all feeling about the fast approaching Christmas season? Are you bursting with joy? Struggling a little? Have you got an advice for me to help me start to feel festive?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Interesting Thing for January

So, how's December treating you?

We're all busy, busy, busy - right?

When you've got kids, the end of the school year brings with it a whole raft of special activities.

Josh had his gymnastics display. I had photography fail.

This is Josh mid leap during his pirate themed tumbling display. He did awesome flips of all kinds, and this is the best that I can do. FAIL.

Alana had her school presentation assembly.

Alana is the one on the left. Here she is with her besties posing with her certificates.

I've always thought that it is especially bad timing that in Australia, the school year ends just before Christmas. 

I'm not sure what the end of the school year is like in other countries, but I imagine that there are recitals and prize-givings and the like, just as we have here. But who needs to be dealing with all these extra events at the same time as they are preparing for Christmas?

It means that December is particularly stressful.

And that January is a wasteland.

Don't get me wrong, I love summer holidays as much as the next person. It's just that January feels particularly empty coming straight after December.

The kids don't have school, and their after school activities are on hiatus for the holidays.

So I've decided on a plan.

I'm going to try to do one interesting thing each day of January and blog about it.

Great plan, right?

If you'd like to make any suggestions for family friendly and budget ideas for me then leave me a comment.

Get creative!