Out the window…

Holidays! A time of refreshing and renewal. A break from routine (and yeh, I needed *that* one like a kick in the head) and a needed period of not-regular-activity so that time with family and friends can happen.

Some routines should never be broken though. Eating and sleeping, hygiene, etc, these must all be maintained at some kind of a minimal standard. I think pretty much everyone would agree with me there. Sure, the work – school routines can go ‘out the window’ for holidays, but I wonder what other ‘important stuff’ we let slip without meaning to, or even realising.

I remember when I was a girl, reading ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. The four daughters decided to take a break from their routines for a week, and see what would happen. Laziness, slothfulness, uncleanliness, and arguments resulted. By the end of the week, all four were keen to get back into their normal routine.

But the lesson wasn’t over. Day 1 of routine again, and the discovery was made that their pet bird had died. No food or water for a week had killed it. Tragedy had resulted because some things had been let go, which should never have been.

Relationships fall into this category. Does that mean that relationships are just routines? Like the apostle Paul I rush to say, “Perish the thought!” But that doesn’t mean that we can’t, out of necessity and convenience, consider them routines for the sake of this example. Because when these get neglected, tragedy strikes. They die.

So. These holidays, I have resolved to relax the ‘work’ standards and improve the ‘relationship’ ones. Let’s see how well I do…

And have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

NaNo sentiment

I caught a tweet yesterday morning:

And although I laughed at it, appreciating Stephen’s wit in revealing truth, there was definitely an element of wistful longing in there, too. That I can’t join in the NaNo fun; that November is always just so gosh-darn-ludicrous that even finding 15 minutes to write per day is tricky, and happens far less often than I’m happy with.

So, via Twitter (on the rare occasions I get to scroll through my feed during November) I watch my writer friends all participate, and I sigh and think, “If only…”

But I wonder if I *would*, if I actually were given the time and the headspace to do it.

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short, is a month-long writing challenge, to write a novel – 50,000 words – in the month of November. 30 days. 1,666 (ish) words per day.

Can’t do that in 15 minutes. The title stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’ because it was started by some San Francisco Bay writers in July of 1999, who set out to each write a 50,000 word novel by August 1st. They did it, then decided to invite others to join them. 19 years later, and it’s now an international event – which I can’t join.

Not yet, at least. Not with my current level of organisational ability.

I wonder if next year, it would be an impossibility too? Because that’d be cool: to join them in their 20th year of NaNo-ing!

Should I, do you think? Would you? Something to ponder, anyway…

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Perseverance…

So I posted last Monday about how happy I was to get back into by morning routine. I was determined to follow it, to regain the momentum I had lost. And the routine went well – for three days.

By the fourth day, I had allowed doubts to creep in. Not about my routine as a whole – I still fully believed it worthwhile – but the reason behind it.

You see, the main reason I get up so early and head to the gym is because it’s something I do for ME. It’s quiet, no-one’s around (meaning no questions or expectations) and in the stillness I can focus on God, read His word, and pray for my loved ones uninterrupted. And get 15 minutes to write! Then home by 6am, pumped and ready to face whatever the day will bring.

But the thought that my relationship with God is just another item I ‘tick off my list’ on a daily basis rattled me. Is that really all my relationship with God had come to? “That’s not a relationship! That’s just routine!” The accusation flummoxed me, and – as I so often do – I tried to counter it in my own strength.

“Of course it’s a relationship, not just an item in my routine,” I thought – and to prove myself right, I let the routine slip and tried to maintain the relationship without the structure, in amidst the myriad of ‘things’ which accost my day on a minute-by-minute basis.

I failed. My relationship with my Creator faded – and I tried still harder, because now it seemed as though the Enemy was correct and really, the routine *was* the only thing holding my relationship with God together… and I failed still more. My week ended up pretty much a write-off.

And yet, the minutes and hours passed and another week has just begun. God is still there. I am also, still here. And I can start over.

With His help, this time! Taking my questions to God, and hearing His perspective on the matter.

– Jesus, after all, got up early to spend time with God.

– *Something* has to be put first every day. Why should it *not* be God?

– It’s not bad to have God as the first person I interact with each day. It might be ‘routine’ but it’s a helpful one!

And that’s the way God designed life to be, anyway. Skills are hard won initially, but eventually become automatic. I’d love it if I automatically turned to God for everything, not just the first moments of my day! Maybe this is a first step, though.

So. Just some thoughts this Monday morning. Here’s praying you may have a wonderful week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

What will you do?

Squeezing the marrow out of life (well, sucking it, actually) is an idea I was pondering the other day. Life happens. It passes so quickly… although for some, I guess, they’d believe it passes slowly. My viewpoint is different.

So, my question: how to squeeze everything out of life that I could possibly want to?

I recall once reading an interview with Susan Sarandon, who said, “The trick to life is to be awake in it.”

This is the @KRidwyn version of that same idea: ‘You have five minutes. How will you fill them?’

Live life in five minute intervals. What will I do in the next five minutes? If I only have five minutes left to live, how will I spend my time?

Most people, I guess, would *not* say ‘just waiting around’. No – the short time frame forces us to consider options. ‘Many’ get narrowed to ‘several’, depending on location, probably, and available resources. These ‘several’ are then discriminated between, depending on… hmmm. Likeability?

Because I’m thinking, that that’s what it all boils down to.

What do I *like* doing?

Hugging my kids, my husband. Writing? Reading?

And that, dear Reader, is time up!

Have a great week!

— KRidwyn

PS Five minute intervals. What will you fill them with?

On sleep…

So I’ve been a self-diagnosed insomniac for years now. And I’ve kinda always prided myself on what I’ve been able to accomplish on minimal unconscious time.

But I’m coming to the realisation that these days I can do less and less.

And that saddens me.

Time was, I could go to bed at 2am, get up at 4am, do a 16 hour day, or an 18 hour day, or perhaps even more… and do it all again the following day.

No more though.

I’ve always been an early riser. At the moment, I’m up at around the 4 – 4.15am mark. And I love that. I love my morning routine, and I never want to give it up.

But it’s meaning that I can’t stay up too late at night. And that’s the bit I don’t like. I crave the ‘me’ time I get, after the cherubs are in bed for the night. Perhaps I’m just being a little too selfish? Wanting ‘me’ time prior to 6am, and again in the evenings?

I’ve been told I’m a pragmatic person. Realistic. Maybe I am; I don’t see it myself. And I certainly don’t want to acknowledge it in this particular set of circumstances! I want to have my awake time and keep my patience (and my sanity) too 🙁

I guess that’s my arrogance talking though, yeh? And that’s a little embarrassing.

So I’m going to stop typing now. And try this week to (as a wise friend once suggested) be ‘rhythmic in my rest’. Feel free to join me in a ‘seeking sleep’ quest this week 🙂 or not, too 🙂

Either way, have a great week, dear Reader!
— KRidwyn

It’s fast running out…

My middle child graduates from Primary School in a few weeks. I’m not ready for this to happen.

She’s ten. Young for her grade; she was bright enough to be accelerated a couple of years ago, and she’s been blossoming ever since. And I’m immensely proud of her for that.

But I’m also aware of the potential problems. She’s small (and cute! Mummy bias here) and possibly more naive than her peers. And yet, mature, for all that. She continually surprises me, with her reactions to events and the considered approach she takes to life. She’s an amazing kid.

And she’s graduating Primary School. Entering the big bad world of High School. Although not really. She’s entering the Middle School which I’m Head of, so it’s not too bad. And it never will be, as long as I have something to do with it! I’m looking forward to having her in my school, even though it means I personally will have more offspring in secondary than I’ll have in primary school, and I’m not particularly comfortable with what that says about my age! But I’ll need to suck it up, I guess. Cos I can’t stop it, no matter what I do.

Sigh. Carry on, one day at a time. Realise that there’s a milestone here to be celebrated… one that’ll never happen again.

Enjoy, and remember. Be like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who “treasured these things in her heart”.

Amen, LORD.

And have a memorable week yourself, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Weekend-ing away

I like my bed. My bedroom, my ensuite, my kitchen, my laundry, my lounge room, my garden. I miss them when I’m away.

Having said that though, I like not having to cook, and clean. I like the time away from ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ responsibilities, and the gratitude that I feel towards my home comforts when I’ve been away for long enough.

Take these past couple of months, for instance. I spent a week in Sydney/Canberra, on camp with my Year 7 and 8 cohorts. I returned late Friday night, spent Saturday washing and packing, then left very early Sunday morning for another week away, this time with family and friends camping on Fraser Island.

This last weekend was another work-related one: Friday afternoon through to Sunday evening down in Brisbane with six Middle Schoolers who were invited to the State finals from our regional Opti-MINDS challenge. Fast forward a few weekends and I’ll be away again, with Hubby this time, down the Gold Coast.

I enjoy my time away.

But I really, really, REALLY like my own bed. I think I mentioned that?

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

On re-reading

I’m re-reading my all-time-favourite novel again at the moment: THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas. I’m not entirely sure why I love it so much, just that I do. And each time I read it, I find more and more to love.

Take, for example, this segment:

“The two friends sat down to dinner; but as they were eating, Albert could not refrain from pointing out the marked difference between the respective merits of Signor Pastrini’s cook and the one employed by the Count of Monte Cristo; and indeed, honesty obliged Franz to confess, despite the reservations he still seemed to have on the subject of the count, that the comparison was not to the advantage of Signor Pastrini’s chef.” (p. 401)

and this, four pages later:

“The two friends did not presume to repay the count for the luncheon he had given them: it would have been poor jest to offer him, in exchange for his excellent table, the very mediocre fare that made up Signor Pastrini’s table d’hote. They said as much openly and he accepted their excuses with evident appreciation of their thoughtfulness.” (p. 405)

What gorgeous writing! Wouldn’t you agree? That first sentence, in particular, is 73 words long!!!

And have a fantastic, literary week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn