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

[This post is a cheat]

Well – kinda.

It’s still me writing, at my desk, putting words onto the little white rectangle on the computer screen in front of me.

But it’s not Monday morning, the 17th of September, 9am.

It’s last week (well, it will be last week, by the time you read this – and I know that this sentence isn’t grammatically correct from when I write this, but it’ll make sense when you read this later… I hope!) and yes, there *is* indeed a very valid reason for this cheating post, which I’ve written and scheduled ahead of time.

I’m in Canberra right now. Or Sydney. Or en route to one of those places. At this point in the planning of the event (because it hasn’t happened yet) I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.

But Hubby is at home with Miss10 and Master9 and my mum, keeping the house fire burning (although maybe not, because the weather’s starting to warm up nicely and it might be too hot by the time this post is published, to need a nightly fire) because Miss13 and I are with sixty-nine other 12- and 13-year olds, enjoying (ha! hopefully ‘surviving’, at least) a week-long camp to our nation’s capital and other ‘worthwhile to visit for educational purposes’ places.

Hence the need to post ahead of time. I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at 9am on Monday 17th September, but I *do* know that multiple kids will be there. All with pre-teen and early-teen needs, which is to say MULTITUDES!

Sigh. I’m tired now, even just thinking about it. And I haven’t even started packing yet.

So. That’s what my week’s going to be like. How about you?

– 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

And… it’s all over :)

until 2020, anyway! The CCC musical, Conundrum, was an absolute blast… and now the adrenaline is wearing off, I’m realising I’m the most exhausted I’ve ever felt in my life. And my back is SORE!

But it was worth it to see the smiles on the kids faces. And I learned heaps too 🙂

And check out these beauties!!!

Very blessed.

See you next week… I’ll have managed some sleep by then!

God bless,

– KRidwyn

in which I get pragmatic…

I’m directing a musical at the moment. Performance dates Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th August. That’s pretty close! And it’s a pretty huge undertaking – over half the student population of my school is involved, in one way or another.

So because everything’s ramping up and I’m getting even less time to blog than I usually would, I’m going to make this post short and just say, YAY! We’re alive and have the chance for happiness, both for ourselves and to bring happiness to those we interact with every day 🙂

Here’s praying you have a wonderful week, dear Reader – a blessed week, a happy one!
– 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 #20

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 #20.

Yesterday was a huge day. I left home soon after 4am for my stupid-o’clock-gym-session which I absolutely adore and wouldn’t miss for the world, and didn’t get home from work til almost 10pm. That’s a lot of hours, if you don’t mind my saying!

So today between classes, I headed down to the chapel at my school to finish taking down, and packing away, the display that I’d created for last night’s event. I’d already done some, earlier in the day, but had needed to stop at about halfway through, for meetings and classes and the like. So I was planning to finish up quickly, because I had limited amount of time before my lunchtime playground duty.

Imagine my surprise to find it had all been done for me! What an incredible blessing, because it saved me what felt like (in my exhausted state, that is!) a HUGE amount of time! The facilities manager had organised for it all to be done. He’s a fantastic bloke 🙂

So that was my blessing for today. How about you, dear Reader? What were you blessed by 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

Sipping from the saucer #7

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 #7… and it’s another work-related one.

As Head of Middle School, I decided this year to institute a new policy for my students: mobile phone collection during the school day. So I collect the mobile phones from the kids in my care – students in Years 7, 8 and 9 (11 to 14 year olds) – at the beginning of the school day, and then they collect them again at 3pm, prior to leaving the campus. It’s been working REALLY well, and the instances of cyberbullying between the hours of 8 and 3 have dropped to zero. (Surprise, surprise!)

But that’s not the point of my story. Instead, the story starts when I was on a deadline, to purchase the hardcover mobile phone storage case, so that I could use it to keep the kids’ phones safe. (There’s a HUGE amount of $$ that the school will be liable for, should any harm come to a kid’s phone while it’s in my care!) So I’d done the research, and decided to purchase a sturdy, the-best-that-money-can-buy storage case, from the Jaycar outlet that was closest to the school.

The trouble was, to make the case ready for phone usage, I needed to purchase it on the Friday, so I could have it over the weekend and cut out all the little holes so students could insert their phones securely, first thing Monday morning. But other commitments after school on Friday afternoon meant that I needed to duck out during the day to buy it.

Which wouldn’t have been a problem… but I have a fairly heavy teaching load on a Friday, with very little time between classes in which to shop.

So I found a spare 45 minutes. Not a huge amount of time, but enough – perhaps – if the traffic was light, and if I could find an easy park (I’d never been there before, and I’ve already mentioned how awful I am with parking at locations where I’ve never been before,) and if the service at the store was great, and if they had in stock the exact case which I needed to purchase. And if, after all that, the traffic was light on the way back to school, so I could get back in time to teach my next class.

Yeah. That was a lot of ‘if’s. And yet…

Who said God isn’t good? It all happened! And with 3 minutes to spare!!!

A blessing indeed. In fact, so much blessing that I was left sipping from the saucer 🙂

Have a great day, dear Reader!
– KRidwyn

Turn around twice…

The other evening I looked across my dining table at my Miss10 and noticed her elbows were resting as wide apart as my own. It startled me; the revelation that she wasn’t a ‘little kid’ anymore.

I shook my head, and said, “Do you know, it wasn’t that long ago when you [Miss10] were on a booster seat; you [Master9] were in a high chair; and you [Miss VERY MUCH 13, JUDGING BY THE ATTITUDE] were seated on a normal chair, with your chin just past the height of the table.”

The cherubs looked at me quizzically. “What’s a booster seat?” asked Miss10.

I sighed. Those memories, all seemingly so recent in my own mind, I had assumed were all-pervasive in my children’s too, but no. I shook my head again, then answered.

But in the back of my mind, the realisation that they were growing up, far more quickly than I had given them credit for, petrified me. My own Dad has always said, “Turn around twice and they’ll be grown” and I’d laughed and nodded indulgently. But suddenly I understood.

You get busy, life happens, and then suddenly, when you stop and notice, they’re grown and their elbows on the dining table are the same distance apart as your own. And you were so busy ‘doing’ the journey that you didn’t realise that the journey WAS happening! And yes, by ‘you’ I definitely mean ‘me’.

So I’ve decided that, like I tell my students all the time, to ‘wake up to yourself’ – I need to do this. I need to ‘wake up’ and take notice that, while all this life is happening, it REALLY IS HAPPENING and I would do well to pay attention and enjoy it while I have the opportunity!

How about you, dear Reader? Had any startling revelations lately?

And have a great week!
–KRidwyn