Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hats, juggling and quiet time

I wear a lot of hats.

Not literally.

I juggle many different roles, and I'll wager that you do too.

I've struggled over the years with feeling overwhelmed. Now that I'm feeling strong and healthy, I feel myself slipping into the dangerous zone of trying to "do it all".

I'm fortunate enough to have a husband, two children, and a whole slew of extended family. And a dog. I want my family to have whatever love and support that they need and I can provide. I want my household to run smoothly and for my family to be happy and healthy. I want notes to go back to school on the right day, my nieces and nephews' birthdays to be remembered, and everyone to get to the right after school activity on the right day at the right time.

I want my husband to get enough sex so he doesn't get grumpy!

I work two part time jobs, one as a librarian at a university library and the other running a small business providing private mathematics and music tuition. These are both demanding jobs. I enjoy the intellectual challenge, and I want to do well in both.

I have friends. I have hobbies. I have a blog.

I have a lot on my plate. And whichever metaphor you're partial to, I'm just as likely as the next person to be "stretched too thin" or to "burn the candle at both ends".

Because I want to be awesome. I want an awesome life.

I believe that what I need to do to avoid burnout, is to find my centre.

I need to find the essential part of me that defines who I am and sets my priorities.

I'm calling it my spirit, and this year I'm working on nourishing it. 

Because if I don't, I'm liable to become just another over-stressed person running about like a chicken with its head cut off, not achieving anything of real value. And that's not awesome.

I believe that I'd really benefit from setting the habit of a morning quiet time in order to set the course of each day. To take some time to be still and quiet and decide what is really important today.

I'm just having trouble actually doing it.

I'd love to hear from anyone with advice on how to put this into practice. Is it really just a matter of having the discipline to set the alarm half an hour earlier? Just gritting your teeth and doing it? And how do you fit it in if you have kids to get off to school or work to get to? Is that where the getting up earlier kicks in? It all sounds so virtuous and mildly depressing. Isn't there an easier way???

Let me know.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The one in which I quote Harry Potter

Oh dear.

Apparently I don't blog anymore.

Or update my Facebook status.

Or tweet.

As we say in my house, "Fiona Jones, FAIL!"

For those that don't know, that's a reference to the UK version of Top Gear. The episode in which Jeremy Clarkson keeps failing to qualify for his motorbike license in Vietnam. It's GOLD.

Anyway, my family have quite a lot of funny sayings that we have stolen from various TV shows and movies.

For instance, whenever we're driving in the country and see a cow, either Chris or I will say, "Cow." Then the other will usually reply, "Another cow." Remember Twister?

There's a Harry Potter quote for every occasion. Whenever anyone says, "I'm only joking.", they always continue on to say, "I am Fred."

And I've lost count of the number of times we've needed to say, "Stop, stop, stop. You're going to take someone's eye out!"

How about you? Does your family make use of scriptwriter's talents on a regular basis?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An un-quiet month...

About a month ago, I wrote this post about trying to liven up the month of January by doing something new and exciting every day.

It turns out that I needn't have worried about being bored!

We've had appointments galore; doctor, dentist, hairdresser, dog groomer, vet.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

We've had a couple of typical Aussie summer BBQ's with family and friends.

We've been to see both the soccer and the cricket.

Between the movies, shopping, ice skating, bowling, pool, beach and play dates that the kids have scheduled; and the fact that I'm starting back at work next week; before I know it January is going to be over.

So, yeah, not so boring after all.

And then we'll be back to school-ing!

And I'm starting to feel busy and overwhelmed instead of relaxed and in holiday mode.

So what exactly was I worried about?

And what am I going to do to ensure that I stay sane and healthy over the summer "break"?

If you're an Aussie mum, how are the school holidays treating you? Is January turning out to be a good month?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Reaching Your Goals in 2012

How are those New Year Resolutions going?

Or perhaps you prefer to call them Goals?

I'm focusing on three things for 2012:

My Spiritual Health

My Parenting Skills, Methods and Tools

Making a Positive Difference in the World by Being Loving and Giving

These goals may sound a little bit vague to you, but I know what I mean and I'm taking my time to think through what I really want. The definition of these goals is a work in progress and that's fine with me.

Over the past few days I've come across a few great articles that might help you kick start your New Year:

The Clutterfat Challenge

52 Weeks to Simplify Your Life

12 Questions to Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet

So how about you?

Are you feeling inspired about reaching your goals this year?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What are you reading?

What have you been reading?

I've just finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

It was a Christmas present and I really enjoyed it.

From the author's website:

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

I can't pretend to be particularly knowledgable about the civil rights movement in the United States, but I did find it interesting to explore these issues from a different perspective.

The characters were sympathetic and I found it easy to become emotionally connected to the story. It was a good read.

I'm currently reading Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.

It's one of those classics that I've never read. Having received an iPad for Christmas, I decided to take advantage of the fact that apparently its copyright has expired because it is free to download. I've also grabbed War and Peace, Treasure Island and The Time Machine while I'm at it!

Alana and Josh both received books for Christmas that I'm planning on pilfering once they've finished with them!

I'm particularly looking forward to The Hunger Games trilogy, Shiver, Linger and Forever and The Vampire Diaries - Stefan's Diaries series.

How about you? What are you reading?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Begin with a bang!

I've started the New Year with a bang, and I'm not talking about the fireworks!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This morning I visited a new church. Well the church isn't new, I've just never been there before.

I'm prioritising my spiritual health during 2012, so I'll be trying a few new things in the process.

Do you attend church regularly? Pray or meditate? What works for you when it comes to the spiritual side of life?

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This afternoon we all went to the local public swimming pool. I did half an hour of laps, which seemed particularly hard work today!

This evening I did some prep work for a BBQ we're having at our place tomorrow, marinating steaks and cooking some bits and pieces that I need for some fancy side dishes that I'm making.

And now I'm blogging.

And now I'm tired!

How's the New Year going for you?