Thursday, 21 June 2018

Really Special Things...Pay Attention!

Ok, I don't know what this picture has to do with anything, but it makes me laugh. This is our fur boy, peering suspiciously at the camera, then enhanced with some fangs and devilishness. It makes me laugh anyway, despite being blurred!

Today is the shortest day of the year (in the Antipodes anyway!) and it brings me to one of my obsessions, the weather and the seasons. I love keeping a watch on what is happening out there, in real life. This morning I missed the sunrise as it was raining and instead I dodged the raindrops as I walked to my office. I didn't mind this. It often occurs to me, and not in a maudlin way, that every season I see is one less in my life, but one more than I have previously seen. I wish to make sure I pay more attention and focus towards natural earthly changes, to make the most of the beauty around me. Seasons make me happy, they make me grateful and they certainly inspire me with their colours and changes. They're the real tellers of time.

I often reflect that all the things I say I like, I really spend a lot of time ignoring. I say I love to see rain droplets on plants, or sun rays through the clouds, but then if you were to ask me when was the last time I spent time looking at these things, I might reply that "I can't remember..."

Time to focus on what's really special to me...I hope you focus on what's special to you.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Gratitude Never Hurt Anyone

I am often quick to anger. I am quick to whinge and carry on. I have been rather grumpy and introspective lately and this doesn't impress me much. I am very lucky to have someone who is tolerant and so understanding, and sometimes I don't truly believe I deserve such empathy. But one thing I am, is grateful. I have been such a whiner recently, that I am making every attempt to seek gratitude in as much as I possibly can, to also look out for the positive things that make life fabulous.

Here they are, in no particular order...
a) When my kid allows me to kiss him.
b) Having a good night's sleep.
c) The first coffee of the day.
d) A sunrise seen as I do my first couple of kilometres each day.
e) Frost on rigid grass stalks.
f) Roast chicken and veggies, with gravy.
g) Seeing my parents.
h) Rain through the window and beating on the roof.
i) An inspired blog post.
j) Students having a breakthrough or using fabulous vocabulary.
k) Free time to read without interuptions.
l) When cuttings take and create a whole new plant.
m) Seeing plaits in my student's hair and the creativity of their parents with the styles.
n) Children's art work.
o) A good BBC drama, like Broadchurch.
p) Curry
q) Snuggling on the sofa whilst trying to finish a crossword.
r) Hitting my daily walking total early on in the day.

Now, I am sure there's lots more to be grateful for...but straight away, having outlined a few....I feel perkier already.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, 18 June 2018

Waking Up In Winter

We are a suburban family at the moment, and it's a nice suburb we live in. We have rare cause to go into town, maybe once or twice a month, although our son H goes to school, in town, daily. We have been discussing how, since we rarely go into town, even living in a suburb seems kind of busy to us now. It's funny how perspectives change.

When I was younger, I always lamented how the town I lived in, was a little quiet, compared to the city I was brought up in.

Then I moved to the suburbs, and felt that the quiet town I had lived in as a twenty something seemed too busy, compared with the 'burbs.

Now I am about to move the country, and the suburb I lived in seems too hectic, too full of people and with too many folks who don't hang out their washing, on a line, because they think it messes up the prettiness of their yards.

Now all we want is to be left alone. To be away from people, and cars, and smoke, and shopping gets smaller, but at the same time grows oh so much bigger.

Do you love where you live?

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Time Teaches Me But I'm Not A Willing Student

When we first received the acceptance on the house we wanted to buy, I gave myself a talking to. I said that I would not allow impatience to creep in, and that I'd let things take a natural course.

I'm not very good at this.

My inner impatience wants to move immediately.

It's a mild winter's day as I write, it's quite bright, with occasional droplets of rain. The wind is blowing the few plants we do have in the back courtyard and I am impatient. I am thinking of the one acre we have to look forward to, with the chickens and multiple vegetable gardens, FIVE compost heaps, polytunnel and fruit  cages already doing their magic. They've been lovingly created by the current owners and I have made a commitment that we will continue with this amazing bounty.

And I'm impatient.

But, I'm also very happy. Very lucky to think that, so long as our house sells, this place, by the water, close to a perfect beach, will be our family's home.

Just have to let it the world's own magical time.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

We’ve Had An Offer Accepted!

We’ve had an offer accepted, on a house we both love. More to follow....oh and please keep your fingers crossed that we sell the one we live in!

Deep breath out.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Things Begin To Gather Momentum

I'm feeling pretty chipper today. I found some professional learning online I want to do. The course is for teaching mindfulness to children and I have wanted to do something a little bit more official with this for some time. Nothing came up, until now. So I was thrilled last night when meandering about on the interwebs, to find a course only a couple of hundred kilometres from me.

I don't like to expect things, so I asked my boss if I could have LWOP to go and I would pay for myself. She replied, that as it is in keeping with our school's development plan and she had been planning giving mindfulness session to small groups, not only could I go, but I wouldn't have to take LWOP and I could get a reimbursement for a hotel room. Yippee.

This feels very good. I will find myself a backpackery type place to stay. I like it simple and I am grateful at being able to go, so I won't cost them more than I have to.

This feels like I am really doing something in keeping with my loves, interests and beliefs.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments re my choice to also kick back a little with my working hours...I appreciate the support. I also LOVE to hear how you've all gone about it yourselves. Very inspiring.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Decision

For a long time I have been feeling older and older, in relation to my job. Every year, whether by design or by my own ageing body, I find the job I do harder and harder.

This year, with a very large class and more and more (weirdly asked for) departmental edicts, I have really felt it. I want to be the best I can be at my job and for my little people. I have come to a big decision. I have no loyalty to the government department I work for, they treat us like robots, but I do have loyalty to my kids.

On the whole, the only person this is a big thing for, is me. I've worked since I was 8 years old (my parents had a business and I worked in it as soon as I could butter bread). But now, approaching 50, I feel the time has come to begin the journey to part-time work. So next year I intend to work four days a week. I know it's not a big change, but for me, a person who barely had any maternity leave when I had my baby, it is a big thing. Eventually I will then go down to three days a week.

One of my best friends works the same job as me, three days a week, and he is so happy, so mellow and so glad to have made the switch.

I'm so grateful I have spent a long time learning to live on less, this way, the drop in work and pay shouldn't be a big deal. I have plans for the day I take for myself. At the moment, they're of the vague variety, but they include, but are not limited to, exercise, learning something new, reading, spending time with my Danny, bulk cooking, reconnecting with myself and other self-focused things. I figure that this will reinvigorate me and make me a better teacher.

I can do it and I know this is a great decision.

More anon!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Downside Of Good Choices

It's day three for me today after my hypnosis and start of my low-carb eating.

And I feel like crap.

I woke up in uncontrollable tears as I had been dreaming my mother had died. Even typing this now is making me emotional. I don't think I have woken up in such an emotional state since I was pregnant, 16 years ago, when all my hormones were wildly flinging themselves in a hundred different directions.

I think I am having, what I have discovered to be called, the sugar withdrawals, coupled with flu-like symptoms. I'm a cliche!.

So that's ok, I know it will pass. But right now, I feel like I am all over the place. It's actually a good deterrent from falling off the wagon, as I don't want to go through this again. It is also a positive sign, as it is showing me that good things are beginning to happen.

A reader asked me about my hypnosis. I initially went to assist me with my regular binge eating and over eating. My belief of "Why have one cookie, when you can eat the whole packet? Oh and why not down a couple of litres of ice-cream at afterwards too?" philosophy.

But a wonderful side-effect on the positive side of life, has been the fact that I have slept quickly, thoroughly and restfully in the past three nights. Whilst I wasn't exactly an insomniac, I did find it hard to sleep and stay asleep. I'd wake up worrying about certain students in my class and find it impossible to get back to my golden slumbers. I'd wake up, tired, exhausted and wanting sugary toast and other crappy stuff.

I know it's only three days in, but I am optimistic.

I have also found a lady, an older lady, not some young teen, who runs a great YouTube channel. Go Keto With Casey  Her website is CASEY DURANGO. I feel her to be an excellent role model for the more mature person and am enjoying learning from her.

Anyway, time to go for a walk and keep my standards high!

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A Joint Commitment

Danny and I are a little more cuddly that we wish to be. I don’t mean in the loving sense, cuddling is always good in that regard. I mean in terms of body mass.

So we have recently changed our diet a little to encompass a more ketogenic way of eating. I too, have had some hypnosis, which I might add has had me sleeping better than I have in years. Even getting up on a morning has been so much easier. I’ve upped my walking regimen and am feeling very optimistic for both of us.

It appears that both of us have amazing cheekbones, even for two middle aged people, like us.

So you’ll be hearing a bit more on here about our health journey. There’s nothing like blogging to keep a person focused. At present I’m sat here, after a walk, listening to a Jane Fonda health book on Audible...there’s nothing like books and audiobooks to keep you on track too.

How’s your health these days?

Friday, 11 May 2018

If It Comes, Let It. If It Goes, Let It!

I've always been a big fan of this Buddhist adage, which is just as well, since we are a not go with the beautiful house and land. The seller would not budge an inch on price. As a result, I will watch and wait patiently. We did feel it was rather over-priced for a tiny one-bedroom place and whilst it has the most wonderful appeal, there's not many people who are prepared to have three people live in a one bedroom choice...

Anyway, I wasn't heart broken as if this house was meant to be, it would have come our way. And also, not so secretly, I am relieved we wouldn't need to go through the stress of moving house and so on...

So what frugal things are you up to today?
I am listening to Dracula on the free overdrive library app, gosh that's such a good service. I used to have Audible, which at $16.95 a month is OK, I suppose. But getting real books, eBooks and audio books from the library surpasses spending any cash.

Tomorrow, Danny and I doing a meditation and mindfulness class. It's fun to do things together and the Buddhist Society are well known for their beautiful, comprehensive afternoon teas! Last time, there was so much, I felt so jolly abundant.

I have spent a little cash this week on resources for work, but as they're a tax deduction I think I can stand that. I have felt rather inspired however and have been rather heavily planned for work....

Anyway, coffee calls, Dracula is in my ears and I am ready for a lazy Friday night.

Talk soon!

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Can I Now Become Any More Frugal?

Ok, I am now on an uber mission!

We don't have much progress on our potential house purchase, but we are in "negotiations'. What that says to me is that for my own peace of mind I wish to become more frugal than ever! I am not sure what else to do, or where to begin.

I have cut back all my spending, and really only spend on the essentials, food, petrol and other non-negotiables like insurance, etc.

In fact we have become so frugal, that last week we didn't even go for our weekly food shop and only got the odd one or two items (chicken stock and milk for example) that we needed as the days passed. I don't know why I think I need to push it further. We have plenty of equity in the house we live in, our mortgage would go significantly down, but something just tells me, to hold on to every penny.

Do you have any thoughts on moving house? If we don't do it with this one, we will do it sooner or later. Just to tide you through, here's few more pictures for your viewing pleasure.