Blog

Of beachworms and psychology

Fraser Island, in Queensland. One of my favouritest spots in the world.

Hubby and I have visited dozens of times, and explored pretty much everywhere, however we’ve never managed to get past Ngkala Rocks, and so have missed out on the view from the northernmost tip of the largest sand island in the world.

Not so on our most recent holiday. There with close friends, we made it past Ngkala Rocks, and kept on driving.

And made it! Photo below as proof!
On the return journey, we stopped to catch some beachworms for bait. Miss12, who’d been snarky all day because she’d wanted to go south to Eli Creek, instead of north to Sandy Cape, was surprised to see the length of the first worm Hubby caught – 80cm, at least.

She and I were sitting in the car, with everyone else outside, when I thought I’d try a psychological trick. 

“I reckon you’d be good at that,” says I. “You’re good at catching lizards – catching beachworms is kinda the same thing.”

Cogs whirred. The arguments poured out ‘they’ll bite me instead of the pipi’ ‘it’s cold’ ‘I don’t want to get my feet wet’ but meanwhile we watched Hubby catching more – all a similar size. The focus of the arguments changed. ‘There’s no point now; there’s not much time left’ ‘I don’t have a pipi’ and then I let loose with the clincher. 

“I’ve only ever caught maybe one or two beachworms in my life. I’m not very good at it. Oh well.”

I know my kid well. There was nothing for it but Miss12 was out of the car and into it. She even let me teach her how to get a pipi out of its shell!

 Close on an hour later, the beachworm hunters returned; Miss12’s face wreathed with smiles.

Clever Mummy, says I. Perfect day indeed.

Have a great week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

A state of being

Hubby asked me this morning if I was still tired. I said yes, and that I’ve been tired for ages – a month, at least.

Tiredness is now my state of being. My default position, as it were.

I guess I can blame lots of things. The new job (still loving it, by the way!), the kids, the commitments I’ve made, the choices – both wise, and stupid, which I make on a day-to-day basis, the housework, the gardening (not that much of *that* happens, anymore!) and many others spring to mind.

But laying blame elsewhere is pointless. It is what it is, my life, and it is what I choose it to be.

I glanced at Facebook last night, while waiting for cherub number 2 to finish brushing her teeth. Caught a post from a friend stating that the Writing Race was on soon, as it was Wednesday.

My heart skipped a beat. The Writing Race! A weekly event that I’ve been involved with for a couple of years – except in 2017, because life and busy and all that jazz.

But last night, I made it. Sure, I was tired, and could have probably done with an earlier bed time, but I chose to write instead, in the company of my writing peers and friends, and a darn good time was had by all and sundry.

And boy howdy, can I fit another hackneyed cliche in here at all?!

It must be that tiredness kicking in again. 

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

So I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now

It’s a prayer. One I try to pray daily, for each person in my family, and I’d like to share it today with you, dear Reader πŸ™‚ 

(And just a quick note, although I’m writing ‘he’, I also mean ‘she’ for any female Readers out there!)

Father God, I pray for my Reader today.

I pray that he might look to You for leading, and guidance.

I pray that he might seek Your will, to walk right in the centre of it, all day long.

I pray that he might rely on Your wisdom, Your understanding, Your strength, Your courage, Your discernment and Your resilience.

I pray that He might recommit himself to you, for the rest of this day, this week, this month, and this year. Help him Lord, to shine Your light into the lives of those around him. And please Lord, surround him with Your angels; keep him safe, if that’s Your will.

Father, I ask that he might draw near to You, even as You have drawn near to him.

Lord, I ask that today, my Reader might be aware of Your presence with him. I pray he might be eager to be in Your presence, he might desire Your company, and that he might be greedy for Your time and Your attention. 

Lord, I pray that he might walk lock-step through the day with you, so that by the end of it when he looks back, he might know himself happy, and blessed, because of who You are, and what You’ve done – for him, and in him, and through him.

Lord, I ask that if the path before him is crooked, please Father, help him to straighten it. If the path before him is crooked, please Father, help him to smooth it. If the path before him is treacherous today, please Lord, enlarge his feet lest he stumble, and harm befall him or others around him. 

Lord, I ask that the decisions before my Reader today might be wise ones, might honour You, and Lord, if it’s Your will, I pray that these decisions might be easy for him to make, and follow through with. 

Lord, I ask that my Reader might be a good wife or husband; a good mother or father, a good daughter or son. Help him to be a good boss for his staff, a good employee of his workplace, a good colleague to his peers and a good friend to all.

Help him to be a good teacher of others today Lord, and a good student of theirs too. Help him to be a good ambassador for You today, and a good steward of the talents and  responsibilities You have entrusted to him.

Father, I pray that You might be with him and bless him today. Bless the work of his hands. Strengthen him to do Your will. Bind him together with his family and all of his loved ones, and draw them all into Your presence today Lord, I pray.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Amused…

Who was it that said ‘pride goeth before a fall’? Not that this is the same, entirely, but I guess it’s similar. No sooner than I published that post about ‘swimming, not sinking’, I was inundated with busy-ness. [Yes, I realise that I spelled that word incorrectly. It was intentional.]

Kinda have to smile, really. I was so excited about life returning to ‘normal’ – and then my parents disappeared overseas, leaving me to house-sit; dozens of Japanese and Chinese students – and teachers – arrived at school; chess tournaments were competed in and children won trophies; Year 6 students Stepped Up for a Middle School experience; two staff accompanied me on a three-day conference; and the list goes on…

all of which meant that I haven’t blogged in three weeks, but it feels more like three years.

Sigh.

On the upside, there’s one week left until school holidays. And I’m spending that week with a couple dozen Year 9 students on camp. Currently writing this on the bus – cramped because I cannot BELIEVE how little leg room there is on this thing! I can understand why my folks were bemoaning their flight-from-England, if this is all the space they had. I’ve been on this bus for less than two hours and already I’m feeling claustrophobic.

So Year 9 camp should be fun – perhaps – and there may even be time to write a little. At least there’s no meals to cook, no house to clean, no cherubs to look after. I hope. Although more than two dozen 13 and 14 year-olds may not be preferable to my own three…

I’ll let you know!

Have a wonderful week, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Being true to yourself

I read an autobiography the other week: FREEDOM FROM FRED by Anna Magdalene Handley. Anna goes to my church; I’ve known her for some time now. She’s an amazing woman, with an incredible life story… but the line that hit me most was this:

 

Deep inside is our truest expression: the more we pretend the more we die.

 

I love, love, LOVE this idea. So much so, I shared it with my 100+ students this morning at school.

Why? Because they’re teenagers, most susceptible (and not succeeding in dealing with) peer pressure.

I have kids who, in my office and in a one-to-one conversation, will be in tears with how they ‘want to change, want to do the right thing, want to focus on their schoolwork and be the kid their Mum/Dad wants them to be’ – and it’s genuine.

Then they walk out, and within five minutes, they’re back with their friends, invisible mask firmly in place, and are being the exact same person that they don’t want to be anymore.

Interestingly, when I was telling them this story this morning, there was silence. You could hear a pin drop. They knew I was talking to them, as individuals, they could identify themselves in my story, and they were being convicted in the talking.

Then I mentioned how, back a millennia or so ago, when I realised that *I* could drop my invisible mask and just be myself, that my friends just accepted me for who I was anyway. And just being myself was SO much easier! I didn’t have to use up all my energy trying to be someone else, trying to remember what I was meant to be like at home, as opposed to at school, or in whatever situations I found myself in. I could just be me.

And how freeing was that!

Being true to yourself. Β Hard sometimes – but worth it.

 

Have a great week, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

Swimming, not sinking

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. I scored my dream job, which started officially mid-January, and have been hard at it since, working long hours and seeing welcome developments in the culture I’m attempting to establish.

I’m loving it. It’s keeping me extremely busy… so busy, I’ve let my writing slide shockingly. Initially, I thought I’d be able to have things sorted by Easter. Nope. Then, I hoped, by the mid-year holidays. Nah – not a chance.

But I can see how unrealistic my initial expectations were, and am no longer bemoaning my lack of time. I’ve laid off the guilt, been kind to myself, and am far happier knowing that I’ll be more comfortable once I’ve seen the full year cycle.

Having said that though, I quite surprised myself last week. Driving home on Thursday, with a remarkable ‘urgent work to complete’ quota of zero, my mind turned again not the long-awaiting WIP, and I realised that there was only housework and cherub-looking after standing between us! It was a lovely moment. 

Acknowledging that the period of sinking-almost-drowning which I’ve been living, is maybe ending. That I’m swimming, and that perhaps my head is managing to stay above water for longer and longer…

I sure am hoping so!

I love how life works in seasons. How there may be seasons of discomfort, of hardship, of pain, but likewise there will also be seasons of joy, of peace, of love.

God is good. I truly believe that.

Have a lovely week, dear Reader!

-KRidwyn

Uniquely Australian

I’m fortunate enough to live on a fairly large block of land, away from suburbia. Pockets of natural bushland dot the region – one of which is right at my front gate.

There was a small area of bushland near the house of my childhood too – and favourite memories include the multiple times I looked for, and sometimes even spotted, the koala among the high foliage of a eucalypt tree.

You always knew they were there because of their distinct smell, uniquely eucalypt and mammal.

Since moving to our current home in July 2006, there have been only two occasions where a koala has taken up residence in one of the eucalyptus trees near our front gate. From memory, they stayed for a few weeks, and then disappeared again – I didn’t much notice.

But a few days ago, leaving for the gym early in the morning, when the wind was still and the pre-dawn around me heightened my senses, I smelled koala again. It wasn’t an overpowering fragrance, but enough to know one was there.

Such instantaneous joy! And wonder, that a smell can evoke such delight! I smiled for hours.

I love that a koala has taken up residence in one of the eucalypt trees outside my front gate.

Now to just catch a glimpse of him (or her) resting up in the branches during the warmth of the day!

Wish me luck πŸ™‚

– KRidwyn

Happiness…

Is seeing your kid smile at how well she performed during last weekend’s Eisteddfod – piano section.

Two x daughters; two x performances each.

That’s four smiles.

(Kinda makes all the nagging and the expense worthwhile.)

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Heavily weighted

So it’s Saturday morning and I’m only now finding the time to write the blogpost I meant to post on Monday just gone πŸ™

It’s been a huge week. Mr8 caught a cold last weekend, so I considered taking parental leave on Monday – but reconsidered when I discovered that the Principal, Head of Senior School and Head of Primary were all going to be away, so I’d be the only Exec member on campus! Cue Hubby taking a day off to be with our son, and my attempting to not let the school burn down in everyone’s absence! But I managed, as did everyone else, and Tuesday dawned without incident.

One of Tuesday’s tasks was to prepare my students for the inaugural ‘Onesie Wednesday’ fundraiser, the following day – and as it was the first of its kind, we made it a secret event, in that only the Middle Schoolers themselves, and their teachers, were aware of it. The day started as usual, but at the beginning of recess, everyone changed into Onesies. Frogs and Tiggers, unicorns and minions, animals and even Pikachu appeared on campus, to the surprise of everyone else and to the delight of those of us ‘in the know’.

Great fun was had by all, then we changed back at Lunchtime and the day continued as usual. Then at 3pm I had car park duty; 3.15pm the first ever session of Chess Academy to start, and 3.30pm was my first Parent-Teacher interview timeslot… my evening finished at gone 8pm.

Needless to say, I was quite happy to not be at the gym at 4.45am Thursday!

Instead, my bestie came around for some much needed sanity time Thursday afternoon, because Friday was not only Athletics Carnival all day at school, but also the beginning of Eisteddfod last night. 

Miss12 performed a Jazz piece on Piano, earning herself a Highly Commended. And this morning she’s performed again, with Miss9 waiting on the sidelines to perform in her two categories this afternoon.

It’s been huge. A heavy load – kinda like how I’m explaining to Miss13 at the moment, to ‘weight’ her right hand when playing Piano, so the melody sings out above the chorded left hand bass notes.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, let me tell you!

Have a great rest-of-the-week, everyone!

– KRidwyn

Archaic words

I was writing a Facebook post a couple of days ago about the thunder I’d heard, and how my watertanks needed replenishing.

Which got me thinking about the verb ‘replenish’. ‘Re’ as a prefix indicates repetition, so ‘plenish’ should mean ‘to fill’, correct?

According to Google, yes. But it’s an ‘archaic’ verb, as in, not in common use any more. Sad, really.

Like the word ‘blare’. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard the verb being used, except in past tense; ‘the driver blared his horn’, or as an adjective ‘the blaring trumpets only increased the pounding in his head’.

I love archaic words. I’d like, if I could, to be part of their reintroduction into common use…

Want to help me?

And have a great day, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn