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And again…

It’s been two years since I regained access to this blog, and I still remember that OMG feeling clearly, the day I could publish on my own website again.

Well, I had the opposite feeling just the other day. That sickening ‘dread’ that makes your stomach sink because it feels like you’ve swallowed a massive boulder that’s weighing you down, but you have no idea how because your throat’s constricted tighter than… well, let’s not go there… and your brain is spinning with ‘how on Earth did this even happen’ thoughts. Yup, that was me.

Still is, truth be told.

Because I discovered that my ‘Note’ containing all my login details for every website I’ve used for the past three years,

Had.

Disappeared.

Note, as in on the ‘Notes’ App on my iPhone 6S.

The one that keeps ALL the thoughts which overflow out through my fingers and into a space which I thought was whatever-the-opposite-of-vulnerable is.

Yup.

Gone.

And obviously I must have accidentally ‘deleted’ it over a month ago, because it wasn’t in the deleted notes folder either.

I cried. I argued with my phone (not that that helped). I pleaded with God.

But nope. It was gone.

Sigh.

Lesson learned, maybe? Just start using Evernote like I always promised that I would, even though I find its interface extremely user-unfriendly and even though I absolutely HATE the idea of storing my personal thoughts in the cloud.

Oh well.

Better that, that to have lost three YEARS worth of login details, yes?

Whoops.

Here’s hoping your week this week is a good one, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

On priorities… And distractions :-)

I’d like to think that I am a pretty focused person. That I can concentrate easily, and work quickly and efficiently to get tasks done. I pride myself on being organised, able to complete challenges, and meet deadlines, having put in a maximum amount of effort toward the job at hand.

And I’m sure that compared to some, I am rather organised and focused. To others however, I am aware that I fall far short of the mark.

And I think it comes down to priorities.

You see, although I do have priorities, as I wrote last week that I haven’t been great at planning for them. They have been wishes in my head, goals for me to try to make, without concrete plans to follow to achieve them. And without concrete plans, distractions easily get in the way.

Fear can also breed. Because I am often afraid that I won’t actually achieve what I have sent out to achieve. I’ll be a failure. A failure in my own eyes, and – even worse – in the eyes of others. I guess this concerns me, because I hate the idea that others could laugh at me, or think less of me, because of my lack of significant achievement.

So I keep my goals close to my chest, don’t speak them out, so that I can’t be accountable. That way, if I fail, I only have myself to blame.

Failing in public is far too much pressure for me.

I’m not entirely convinced of the wisdom of this, however. Being accountable to others – like setting myself a Goodreads challenge of 156 books read in 2018, for example – is a motivator in and of itself, I’m thinking. So perhaps I should view fear as simply a tool to be harnessed, a strategem which can assist me in achieving the goal I’ve set myself? Turn the idea around; make it work in my favour?!

And then: distractions. They make life so much more interesting, don’t you think? The shiny new idea that tries to take you away from the focus that you have. That’s so much more fun to follow than gritting your teeth when the work is so dry and repetitive, when it’s drudgery to persist in doing the hard yards and remaining dedicated to the job you have set out to achieve. In my mind, I equate distractions like Frodo trying to get to the Mount of Doom, but stopping off to ride a pink fluffy unicorn because that ring he was carrying just got too heavy and too demanding.

And distractions are easy to blame as well. An out! Yippee!

But I choose today to not let the distractions get to me. To remain focused on the goal I have set myself. To plan it out, as much as I’m able, so that things don’t get too overwhelming, and so I can succeed in what I’m planning to achieve.

How about you, dear Reader? Are you, like me, easily distracted? And is this a problem for you?

And, as always, have a great week yourself, dear Reader!

On resolutions – late ones…

So it’s February. And probably rather too late to be thinking about resolutions for the ‘New Year’… but then again, ‘better late than never’; ‘it’s never too late to make a change to your life’ and ‘while there’s life, there’s hope’ so I’m going to write about resolutions made in February anyway. And besides, if you only ever wait until January 1st to resolve to make changes to your life, that’s LOTS of days per year where you’re deciding to *not* change!

But I digress. I want to write about the quote: “Failing to plan means you’re planning to fail.” Supposedly Benjamin Franklin said that, one of America’s Founding Fathers and probably all-around wise guy. I’d heard it before, and always thought it was pretty cool. I liked the way the second half of the saying reverses the first half, and it still made sense.

But at the end of last year, when I failed so abysmally at both my Goodreads challenge and my reading through the Bible in a year, I started to look at the saying more closely.

I get the first half. That’s pretty simple. The fact that you fail to plan. As in: you forget to plan; you’re too lazy; you’re too busy maybe; or you don’t feel it’s worth while.

I get all that. And, truth be told, I’m in that boat myself quite a bit. I tell myself that ‘it’s because I’m too busy’ and ‘I’ll get to it later’ and ‘that’s okay, I can wing it – I’m good enough to do that.’

But in re-reading Franklin’s quote, it’s the second half which convicts me. I really had to stop and ponder that half, and realise that, for these two challenges at least, that was me last year.

You see, if I chose to ‘not plan’ HOW to meet my goals, I was actually CHOOSING to fail in my attempt towards that goal.

Mind equals blown!

If you know anything about me, you know that I love completing challenges. I hate to fail!

So when the saying states outright that my actions, in not planning, have meant I have actually chosen to fail; that I have intentionally failed, and that whenever I do this (don’t plan) then I am deciding that at a foreseeable time in the future, I will fail a challenge that I have set for myself? That makes me stop, sit up, and pay attention.

Because to me, that’s a ridiculous waste of time! Why even set myself a challenge, if I’m deliberately going to undermine my own efforts? That’s just dumb!

I need to plan my work, if I’m going to be successful.

So that’s one of my two resolutions this year. The other is still a bit too intimate, a bit too precious, for me to share. But this one? The fact I’m determined to do more planning this year? That I want to share with you all today, dear reader. And why? So you can hold me accountable, of course!

How about you, dear reader? Do you have any resolutions for the future?

And have a great week!

– KRidwyn

Small things…

They say that a person should laugh 100 times a day for good mental health. Or is it 100 hugs per day? I can’t remember now, and I don’t want to stop typing and google it, because I don’t know about you but for me, researching is laden with distractions! I start by looking for one piece of information… half an hour later, I then remember that I hadn’t started searching for it yet!

[And see what just happened there? Distracted myself again! Not sure I’m liking what that says about my ability to concentrate…]

But getting back to mental health, I know it’s important to laugh. They have those laughter clinics even, don’t they – made famous through that Robin Williams movie Patch Adams, the doctor who treated his patients with laughter therapy and well as medical knowledge 🙂

I’ve also heard that children laugh 100 times more than adults. It’s understandable I guess, given the responsibilities most adults have. But it’s sad that we’ve gotten away from the heartfelt joy so many of us had as children.

I know I enjoy my day more when I’m laughing. So really, I need to find the little moments each day which make my life joyful. And celebrate them!

Case in point: my car windows.

You see, my car has been dirty for months. Well maybe not quite that long, but it certainly feels that way.

Hubby generally washes it for me, but we’ve both been too pre-occupied recently, I guess.

So while driving over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking, ‘I really should wash my car – at least the front and back windscreens, maybe even the side windows, to make it easier – not to mention safer! – to drive.’

Likewise with the current ‘holiday’ routine, I also haven’t made it to my favourite spot, (where I write every morning,) for probably four weeks or so.

So I made it there this morning. Down the end of my street, where I sit in my car looking out at the view, and reflect on the wonder that is God’s creation, and the incomprehensibility which is God‘s love for me.

But this morning on my arrival, I burst out laughing: the view was still there, but I couldn’t see it for the filth!

It’s small things that amuse small minds, they say. But I’m okay with your labelling me as having a ‘small mind’. I want to be joyful, to laugh at myself and with others, and to enjoy my life.

After all, it’s not just about existing, about the number of things we can accumulate. It’s about enjoying the journey, enjoying the time with each other, and with whatever it is we choose to do with our time each day.

Personally, I believe that God designed me for a purpose. At this moment in time, he has me working as the Head of Middle School. It’s a huge responsibility, creating a culture for the ‘middle years’; potentially shaping the lives of those who attend, both students and staff too.

But I love it, and I try to do the best I can for them, and for God, who placed me there in the first place.

It makes me laugh, to think that I was there 10 years ago, in that exact position in that exact school, and I’m back there again, continuing the work! God smiles at that too, I think.

So, today’s resolution? To enjoy life. To enjoy God and my relationship with Him. To laugh more 🙂

[And perhaps, to edit next week’s blogpost more thoroughly, so it doesn’t get published as a mish-mash of ideas, like this one seems to be. Ha!]

How about you today, dear reader? Will you be laughing along with me today?

And even if you can’t, I wish you a wonderful day today!

KRidwyn

Getting older…

My eldest child became a teenager on the weekend. My second eldest had reached double digits 5 days earlier. Hubby had turned 46 the day before that.

Yup. Third week of January. Birthday week.

The difference, this year, was that for the first time ever, Hubby and I have more children in double digits than in single.

That made us feel old.

Then, just two days ago, when Miss12 became Miss13? Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe it.

How can I be a mother of a teenager? Seriously? Am I old enough? Responsible enough? Where’s the training manual for this section of my parenting life?!!

We spent the day together, doing things that would make memories for the two of us. She’s an awesome kid. So gentle, so caring. Love her to bits.

Not entirely appreciating though, how her milestone forces me to attain one as well.

Never mind. It was bound to happen eventually, I guess.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Better late than never

I have a weak left ankle. I’m not entirely sure why, but if I’ve ever hurt an ankle, it’s always been the left one.

Last Wednesday was no exception.

I’d been digging out a sapling in my front yard, and – surprise surprise – it had left a hole when I’d finished.

Silly me decided to fill in the hole ‘later’, after I’d delivered the sapling to the fire pit.

Whoops. Rapidly rethought that plan immediately I’d felt the agony and heard the sickening ‘crunch’ as I fell.

But of course, by then it was too late.

The upshot was: at the ripe old age of 43, I found myself on crutches for the very first time. And boy! Did I ever learn some lessons about the difficulties inherent in not having two working feet!

Everything got problematic. And I realised that for any similarly-hobbling Middle School kids I have, trying to negotiate a three-storey building, carrying books, pencil cases and devices, hats, water bottles and so on – it must be REALLY HARD!!!

So I’ll be changing some things at my school this year, as much as I can, to make it easier.

And I’m kicking myself (not literally; my ankle is still too idiotically painful for that) that it’s taken me until now to realise the problem.

Better late than never though, I guess.

Have a great week, dear Reader!

KRidwyn

NBD

I blogged in December about my 2017 Goodreads challenge: that I’d set myself a goal of 156 books, or 3 books a week.

And I mentioned how far behind I’d fallen, and was determined to read pretty much non-stop until I’d completed the challenge.

But then I went to Rainbow Beach for 10 days – and a second holiday for 4 days after that.

So the upshot of my resolution was: 77 books read in 2017.

Plus, I read the Bible daily, with the aim of reading whichever version I’ve chosen, in its entirety, by December 31. But somehow I’d miscalculated the number of chapters I’d need to read each day, and so by the end of the year, had only read to the end of the book of Acts. Whoops…

So if I add the 44 Biblical books I’d read to the 77 non-Biblical ones, that makes 121 for the year. Plus there were several I’d finished which weren’t able to be recorded because they weren’t on Goodreads. Still not quite the full 156… but then again, maybe it’s not that important to always win, is it? In the grander scheme of things, it’s really No Big Deal.

My 2018 challenge will remain unchanged though. Three books a week; that’s do-able, isn’t it?

We’ll see…

And have a great week, dear Reader!

KRidwyn

Blogging 12 Days Xmas – Day 12

So I’m continuing my annual #12daysxmas blogging challenge this year, and my theme for 2017 is ‘gratitude’. Each day for 12 days, I’m explaining one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. Today’s month? December 🙂

In December, I took a metaphorical whip to myself (anyone else thinking about BRAVE NEW WORLD after that thought?) and sat down to write.

JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE MEDDLING MERMAN had been sitting. It was getting so’s I could feel the baleful stares it was throwing in my direction, and before it developed even more of a personality, got up, chased me down and beat me bloody, I figured I’d better take it to task, fill in the plot holes I’d found, and get the last half of it, finished.

So I did!

And it was the best feeling in the world 🙂

How about you, dear Reader? What did you manage to complete in December?

And have a great day!

KRidwyn

Blogging 12 days Xmas – Day 11

So I’m continuing my annual #12daysxmas blogging challenge this year, and my theme for 2017 is ‘gratitude’. Each day for 12 days, I’m explaining one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. Today’s month? November 🙂

November surpassed my expectations.

Again, this ‘gratitude’ story relates to my girls. Miss12 started Year 7, the first year of middle school, this year. Last year’s academic year, although not a bad one, had not been brilliant either. In fact, as academic years go, it was quite unremarkable. Miss9’s year, also, hadn’t been what I had wanted it to be. You see, my middle child is extremely academic; she takes after me in this regard, I think! (Yes, lol)

However, for reasons out of my control, although we had applied to have her accelerated in school, nothing had ever happened.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, and the enrolment interview for her new school. I had been cheeky, and written on her enrolment form that I had wanted her to enter Year 5. I knew that this would cause discussion, because she only had her Year 3 report card to show.

Imagine my surprise and delight then, within seconds of the interview starting, to hear the principal say, “I can see what you are wanting to do, and I agree completely. There is no way that your daughter should have just finished Year 3. Looking at her marks, she should definitely be in Year 5 next year.”

And so it was, she skipped Year 4 and started in Year 5 at the beginning of 2017. Fast forward to November.

At the High School Awards Night, Miss12 received a ‘High Achievement Award’. This means that she wasn’t the Dux of the cohort, but was either the second or third top student, academically. From someone who’d achieved only middling to good results in Primary School, this was an incredible achievement!

The following week was the Primary School Awards Night. And not only did Miss9 graduate from Year 5, but she also received the ‘High Achievement Award’ for her cohort. So not only had she skipped a grade, but she was among the top three students in the grade that she had moved to! She also received the position of Primary School Prefect for 2018.

What an achievement!

I trust that you too, dear Reader, had a stunning November!

And have a wonderful day 🙂

KRidwyn

Blogging 12 days Xmas – Day 10

So I’m continuing my annual #12daysxmas blogging challenge this year, and my theme for 2017 is ‘gratitude’. Each day for 12 days, I’m explaining one thing that occurred in each month, that I’m grateful for. Today’s month? October 🙂

As I look back on October, I’m grateful for some self-discovery. I hurt myself at the gym, you see, the upshot of which meant I was walking around with dark graze on my left cheekbone for almost two weeks.

In case you hadn’t realised, I’m rather self-conscious. And in the past, an accident resulting in facial disfigurement would have resulted in self-imposed seclusion until I had healed.

But that was impossible this time. So I grinned, and I bore it, and then I grinned some more because it was funny.

And the more I laughed at the utter ridiculousness of the situation, the less nervous I felt about others seeing me, and the more I could see the funny side of the situation.

And relating the story of how I was injured – the ridiculousness of what I had done to myself – while joining in with their laughter at my own expense – made me realise that the embarrassment was survivable. In fact, by laughing at myself, with and in front of others, I was actually setting the example to them (most of them my Middle School students) that it’s okay to laugh at yourself; that such embarrassing accidents are actually survivable. And that, I would hazard, is probably a pretty good example to set to a teenager.

And the graze healed, and the story faded, leaving the memory of what I made of the situation- and how I could (and will!) do the same again should a similar circumstance arise.

How about you, dear Reader? What was memorable for you in October?

And have a wonderful day!

KRidwyn