Remembering …

In amongst all the chaos with working on final university assessments for the first semester of my masters degree, I realise that today is my mum’s birthday. It would have been her 66th year of life and I am feeling a little melancholy.

This woman gave birth to me, nurtured me, comforted me, nursed me, disciplined me, educated me, and taught me to be who I am today. When she died in 2002 I was going through a difficult time with some serious stress where I worked at the time. I was about 3 days into a period of stress leave when I received a call from my brother to tell me the news. Within the space of about 5 seconds I got some perspective in a big way. I very quickly figured out what was important.

I was honoured to be able to write and deliver her eulogy, remembering her in the way she deserved to be remembered. When she died she was doing something that she had wanted to do. Travel across the world and live her dream. She was strong and brave. She was determined and tenacious. She loved freely. And at the time I remember making a very clear and conscious decision to follow her example and live MY dream. As a direct result of this I began studying my psychology degree.

So, I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without her influence in my life.

This was one of her favourite songs. When she travelled she would play it every time she pulled out of one place to head to the next on her way around Australia. “On the road again” … We played it at her funeral, when we buried her with Dad.

Happy Birthday Mum!


Boom Boom Boom!

I have been having a few difficulties recently dealing with all the “stuff” in my life. I have been doing my masters degree now for almost one semester and have to travel 2 hours each way to get there. This semester that trip is a weekly one, and my days starts before 5 am and ends when I get home at 9:30 pm. The campus I attend is HUGE! It’s large enough that it has its own post code! And as someone who is used to the smaller regional university where everything is within easy reach, even the idea of being on a campus that size is daunting. Until recently I have been thinking that I was coping well. For days a week at work, where sessions can be pretty emotionally intense, one huge day at uni, and weekends free.

I finally figured out that I haven’t been coping as well as I thought I was. I haven’t been taking care of myself. And I mean the basic self care that I have been working on for more than a year. My nutrition has been seriously crappy and training non existent. And I’ve justified it in my head by saying “I’ll just get these assessments done and then get back into it”, or “I’ll focus on a big cook-up during the semester break”. And in the meantime I’m falling to pieces, but numbing it all by eating shit. Old habits much!

I’ve stayed away from posting in here because I needed to get through assessments and focus on them instead of “wasting time” on my blog. It’s funny how we justify this stuff in our heads, cause I KNOW that blogging helps me to process a lot of head stuff. And with everything that has been going on, including all the stuff I went through at the convention, there has been a lot for me to process. It’s shown with a lack of ability to focus on the assessments, which I have been using as justification to not process what is in my head. Again with the old habits!

So, I have been feeling like the universe has been conspiring “against” me with all of the concrete obstacles I have been facing. Others have said the conspiracy has been in my favour and I have been holding onto that almost like a lifeline. Like I have been waiting for the message to become clear so I can say, “Right, THAT is what this is about”

I think I started to get that light glowing in the last week or so. My assessments are starting to come together and after some discussions with a friend and a couple of people at the uni, I have decided that all I need to do is to get out of my own way! My brain kicks into gear and goes nuts, and I end up feeling inadequate, lonely, anxious, lost and a whole lot of other things.

A little while ago I came across a Katy Perry song that I have listened to over and over and have not really heard it before. I mean really HEARD it. At the time a couple of lines stood out to me. Today I had it playing over and over on my ipad. I googled the lyrics and sat there singing it again and again. I then let it play on a loop while I had a shower and got ready for my day (of doing assessments). A good portion of this song speaks to me …

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?
Scream but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you?

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through-ough-ough


I have been feeling like all the doors are closed, and all I need to do is open the one to the perfect road. When it’s time I’ll know. Ignite the light and let it shine.

It’s time to ignite!

Everyone needs a Champion. Are you yours?

This link shows a TED talk that I came across this morning through my email subscription for the TED channel.

It’s from an educator, Rita Pierson, who told it like it is. She said that “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”. That every piece of learning we experienced came because we had a relationship with the person doing the teaching.

For my educator friends out there, I challenge you to become a champion for your students. You CAN make a difference in a child’s life.

And to everyone, particularly those who don’t have someone to be THEIR champion, I challenge YOU to become your own!

Like yourself. How can you do that if you haven’t done it for a long time? Spend some time getting to know yourself. If you don’t like yourself right now, I would hazard a guess that it is simply because YOU DON’T KNOW YOU! You might be surprised at what you discover if you actually spend some time with yourself. And if you don’t know what you like doing, then become a kid again and explore. Try some things out. Jump in puddles. Play on the swings. Sit overlooking a fantastic view and allow yourself to simply BE. Read some books. Go for a walk. Watch some movies that you never thought you might be interested in. Do some research on topics you find inspiring. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something.

And most of all, be KIND to yourself! Follow Rita’s example and build a relationship with the kid inside yourself, even if you don’t think you like who that is.

Trust me when I say that you are WORTH it (even if you don’t realise it).