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

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

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

A little apprehensive…

What feels like aeons ago now, but was only decades (ha!) I played violin in an orchestra. The South-West Regional Youth Orchestra, as a matter of fact, which changed its name during my time there to the Brisbane Regional Youth Orchestra. I was a member for the majority of my teenage life, and made friends there who not only came to my wedding but with whom I’ve kept in contact for the many years since.

Which brings me up to recent days – in which I received an invitation. To join their massed orchestra, with all their other alumni, for their 35th anniversary celebration concert.

Aiieeeee!

I’d love to go, to play… but I haven’t played (truly ‘played’, as in, played well, with technical proficiency) for well over a decade now… and I’ve never been to a reunion in my life!

Hence the apprehension.

It’s this Sunday.

By my next blog post, it’ll be all over.

Wish me luck!

– KRidwyn

on habits…

I’ve been talking to my Middle School students quite a lot about habits recently. How often they’re unintentional, a routine formed over time, often because we ‘accidentally’ make a decision to suit us in the circumstances we find ourselves in, and then the next time that situation occurs, our mind/body combo decides ‘let’s repeat the decision, because it didn’t kill us last time!’ or something.

However, if we unintentionally form habits that we see in others and would prefer to NOT have ourselves, then we have a problem. English poet and literary critic John Dryden is said to have coined the phrase: ‘We first make our habits, then our habits make us.’

What habits am I forming at the moment? Are they intentional or unintentional? Because whatever habits I allow myself to form (couch potato in front of the TV; Hubby and my kids’ worst critic; lazy housekeeper; workaholic) that’s the person I will become.

The takeaway? Be INTENTIONAL! I once read somewhere that “the trick to life is to be awake in it” and this is so true. So often I let life pass by because I’m focusing on something, which I deem ‘more important’ at that moment in time.
It is always my decision, and mine decision alone, to deem that ‘something else’ of more importance. And that decision automatically meant that other things were, of necessity, of less importance to me during that moment, that time, that season.
And that decision then reflects my values. So my question is: are these values, ones that I truly want to be holding? And having others witness my holding?
And what exactly do I hold dear, anyway?
So it seems I’ve taken a bit of a tangent, but the thoughts are swirling around up there and this is probably as logically coherent as I’m going to get, this time of the morning.
Here’s to an ‘intentional’ day – and, indeed, week – for the both of us, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Moving right along…

So now the musical’s over, I’ve been head down and getting stuck into the work I’d been (of necessity, mind you!) neglecting. Housework, gardening – oh, and my students’ assignment drafts too, don’t forget! I’ve also had enough head-space to actually ponder the commencement of writing again, would you believe? And I also found 15 minutes in there somewhere, last week, to FlowState… although what came out was embarrassingly pitiful and barely worth keeping, but writing is writing and a skill practiced is a skill improving, I always say. (Well, okay. I made that saying up just now. But it sounds significantly better with the word ‘always’ in it, don’t you think?)

What’s FlowState? You ask. Well, it’s a horrific tool which forces you to write by threatening to remove all your words.

Originally, you could set the timer for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. I preferred that. But with an update a year or so ago, they removed that functionality, leaving users with only a 15 minute option.

And the idea behind it is that you WRITE for 15 minutes. No hesitating, just writing. Adding word after word to the screen. Or else!

If you hesitate for longer than 5 seconds (from memory; I *think* it’s five but I’m too scared to check it and see) the words fade on the screen and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

You’re forced, you see; to write, and write non-stop, until the timer finishes, and the work is saved.

And believe me, you do NOT want to stop at 14 minutes and 55 seconds! I did that before, and lost literally hundreds of words. Yes, I cried. And yes, I also stopped using the app, my own solitary protest, for several months. But returned though, because it’s perfect to get the writing mojo happening (rather than the thinking mojo!) and the threat of losing work is enough to keep the fingers tapping keys 🙂

Anyway, so that’s what I’ve been doing.

That, and dreaming about publishing. If only Book 7 of my Justine Browning series would write itself!

 

Have a great week, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

in which I contemplate the joy that is Beerwah Writers’ Group

Back before I was working full time, I joined my local writers’ group. It was fantastic, the fortnightly face-to-face interaction with people who shared my passion for word-smithing.

But the constraints of my current day job meant that I haven’t been able to attend a meeting since January of 2017 – and even though some meetings fell on school holidays, at no point was there a meeting I could attend, due to family commitments, being away, or meeting cancellations.

That is, until the meeting just gone. Friday 13th. I walked in, surprising many people, and it was as if I’d never left. It was fantastic!

I love that idea – that I could be part of a supportive group of writers who, in spite of my 18 month absence, are just as continually supportive of me and my writing as ever before 🙂

I look forward to the next time a meeting aligns with a school holiday – because such a wonderful group of people are a joy to be with.

Here’s wishing a close support network for you too this week, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #19

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #19.

Have I mentioned it’s been COLD???

(And regular Readers of this blog may remember that I absolutely HATE cold, with a capital EVERYTHING)

so these are the blessings I’m counting today:

my fireplace 🙂

and:

my electric blanket 😀 😀 😀

Stay warm, everybody! And be blessed today!

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #18

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #18.

It’s a busy time of term (of semester, actually) at work – I’ve noticed I’m pulling more hours just to get things done, and the amount of time I’m spending staring at my laptop screen is just sad.

I’ve also noticed I’m wearing my glasses more and more. I can complete work faster if I’m wearing them, so they’re on my eyes while I’m at my desk, more often than not.

And I’m starting to realise just how much I’m relying on them. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s probably just an ‘inevitable’ thing, instead. But no, it’s just that today I was thinking: I’m glad I have them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to put something on my eyes to assist me in doing the things I need (or want!) to do. So many? Don’t. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at exactly how many people there are in this world, who need assistance just to be able to see, but who can’t get that assistance for a variety of reasons.

So that’s what I want to thank my God for today. For the sense of sight. And even though it may not be what it once was, for the blessing I have of owning a pair of glasses which assist me to still read, and write, and… well, everything.

They’re pretty cool 🙂

Here’s wishing you a blessing-full day as well, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn