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momentous events Random thoughts

5/52 On clutter…

This Facebook meme made me laugh the other day, so I shared it so my friends and family could laugh too. “Wouldn’t it be funny / cool / amazing to cross things off my own To Do list!” I thought to myself. “Very cheeky… but how freeing!”

And then I scrolled on, and life continued.

My thoughts kept returning to that idea though. Of how cool it would be to have that freedom.

And then yesterday, making space on a bookshelf by working out what books I’d probably never read again and deciding to donate them, it hit me.

Why not? Why shouldn’t I do that?

Most items on my To Do list are just ones that I wrote there anyway! So will the world end if I remove them without doing them? Or am I, in fact, just decluttering my life of self-imposed obligations, expectations and deadlines?

I’m a fan of the TV series Space Invaders.

In it, de-cluttering guru Peter Walsh calls ‘cluttter’ anything which gets between what my life looks like now, and what I want my life to look like (a bad paraphrase, but that’s how full my mind is right now).

Now those books I’d collected, with the idea of reading them or re-reading them at some point – the hard, physical objects collecting dust on my shelf – were clutter.

But who’s to say that clutter is just physical? Can’t mental items – thoughts, expectations and obligations which sit there, collecting dust on the shelves of my brain – be just as much ‘clutter’ as physical clutter?

So: “Crossing things off my to do list. I didn’t do them. I just don’t want them on my list any more…” I’m giving myself permission to do this. Those self-imposed expectations of ‘I want to do THIS by THIS DATE’? I’m deciding that – for me at least – it’s okay to let these things go. Maybe if they’re not helping me, they’re hurting me? I’m certainly feeling more free, just even thinking about it!

May you have a ‘freeing’ week yourself, dear Reader 🙂

[And if you’d like someone else’s permission to free yourself of self-imposed obligations and expectations, here it is: have mine!]

See you Sunday 🙂

  • KRidwyn

 

Categories
Life Random thoughts teaching

4/52 On happiness

I’ve decided that I need to slow down; be aware of where I am and what I am doing.

You see, the other week I was told I’d be teaching a Year 7 Art class this semester. To be exact, it was to co-teach with the Art teacher… but my first reaction was to panic.

So I’ve reflected quite a bit since then, coming to grips with ‘why do I feel this way’…and I’ve realised that it’s my ‘busy-busy-busy’ mindset that I’ve developed over 49 years that’s caused it. The way. I figure: if I “cram as much as possible into life” then certain things are more valuable, time-wise, than others. In other words, I’m “too busy” to sit and draw. Or sit and paint. Or sit, even. (Even when watching TV with Hubby, I’m back to crotcheting, seeing as I now no longer have books to cover.)

I’m not sure I particularly like this about myself. If I’m rushing through life, am I even enjoying it? Hubby said once that I made roadrunner look slow. Which was funny… but in hindsight, also an indictment?

So I’ve started trying, intentionally, to be observant of my ‘moments’. Which brings me to my beetle, and my puppy.

You see, I had my beautiful bug serviced the week just gone. And it was discovered that the back pair of tyres was 7 years old. The front pair, however, was 22!

So on Tuesday just gone, I drove it back up to Cooroy to drop it off, and then collected it Thursday evening with 5 brand new tyres. And on the drive home, my 12 month old kelpie, Kiya, sat beside me.

And life was good. Driving my beautiful bug, kelpie by my side, happy and healthy and at the beginning of a long weekend (happy Australia Day, for those of you who celebrate it!) was such a pleasure! And all the more so, realising that I was ‘awake’ in that moment and knowing it for the joy that it was.

Sigh. May I be cognizant of many more… and I wish the same for you too, dear Reader!

Have a wonderful week 🙂

Categories
Random thoughts Reading Writing

2/52 Home again and being introspective

I both love and loathe writing. Like the nursery-rhyme girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: when [it] is good, it is very, very good; but when [it] is bad, it is horrid.

I was pretty excited last March though, to be so near the end of my Justine Browning journey I was ‘querying’ agents, and ‘in the trenches’. Then a hiccup regarding word counts hit – at the same time as I received a huge pile of English drafts to read and return to my high-school English classes. Enter my first overwhelming encounter with my darlings’ use of ChatGPT, and the world of AI writing.

And I lost it. All motivation. All hope of ever ‘making it’ as a published author. Because seriously, what even will the publishing industry LOOK like in ten years, with AI now here, and here to stay?

Admittedly, life also got a heap busier with my Mum deciding to separate from my Dad, but there you have it – the series of inciting incidents which brought my 2023 writing journey to a screaming halt.

But this year, I’m determined to look on the bright side. Intentionally. And I couldn’t help but laugh when “Goodwill Librarian” posted this, this week:

 

And that was all it took to shake me from my self-imposed writing paralysis. Because I could see clearly how words are important! I should know – these past school holidays I’ve read more books than I’ve read in simply AGES! Other people’s words – their viewpoint on this incredible thing we call life – has been important to me. And who’s to say that my words might indeed be important to others?

Hence this return to my poor neglected blog. To eke out some words and fling them into the ether, with nought but the hope that someone, someday, may stumble across them and read. Maybe even comment!

And even if none do, the externalisation of my thoughts into text is good for me. Straighten out my own understanding of my personal world view, as it were. And ‘there’s a spider in your bra’ is certainly so disparate a response to ‘undress me with your words’ to what I could ever conceive, that it’s good for me to realise and understand this!

I hope you smiled like I did at that meme. And have a great week, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Life More about me Random thoughts teaching

On ‘schooling’

So my two school-aged kids are at the same school again, for the first time since June 2021. It’s Brisbane School of Distance Education, and they’ve completed the first week of Term 4.

And so far, it seems to be going well! Miss15 started last term, so it wasn’t ‘all new’ for her, but my taller-than-me-now Master14 has been at it for a week… and he seems to be tracking okay 🙂

Such a relief. This parenting gig is harder than it first looks… and wow but that pregnancy bit does NOT look comfortable!

I’m always second-guessing myself. Should I “let” Miss18 have a gap semester or a gap year – or just figure it out for herself? Will the benefits of Distance Education outweigh the issues for the other two, or have I just made yet another foolish decision? Will they be able to support Master14 with his autism, more effectively than at a regular school? After all – that’s why I’ve moved him…?

And when on earth does it all get easier?

Still. BSDE schooling *seems* to be going okay, at this moment in time, so here’s hoping that this will continue… Wish me all the best, dear Reader!

Til we meet again 🙂

  • KRidwyn
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Random thoughts

Grateful beyond measure!

I very rarely drive my husband’s Camry. Something to do with writing off his last one. In my defence, no-one’d ever told me that you don’t keep on driving when in a hailstorm! But it is what it is, so I don’t drive it much.

The other week was an exception though. It was my father-in-law’s birthday lunch, my husband was working for the day, and I needed to transport myself with my three cherubs and my Mum to the party. And so we swapped cars; Ian took the Hilux and I used his Camry.

And of course, that was the cue.

Not really how I expected the trip to go. Praise God for the angels that must have been pushing the car along, to get to the Bruce Highway off-ramp and safe!

Two hours later, we made it to the party.

Note to self: stop driving Ian’s car!

Have an accident-free month yourself, dear Reader 🙂

  • KRidwyn

 

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Life my novel-in-progress Random thoughts Work

Off and running…

So how’s your 2023 shaping up, dear Reader? Mine has been a whirlwind! Although it feels a tiny bit more relaxed, incrementally a little less hectic, than last year.

I’ve added some ‘physical health awareness’ time into my routine this year, and having one child fewer at school has given me a LOT more head-space, for which I’m grateful! And I’ve filled it (but of course) with other things… I’ve paid the Term 1 school fees, closed (and opened) a couple of bank accounts, sold then collected some budgies, had a vegetarian best friend stay for a week, processed a lot of books and kept on top of my ordering, and also done some gardening in there – as evidenced by my aching and stiff lower back as I type.

Oh, and add into the the time spent night driving with my eldest; an extra church activity or two, and more writing this year than any other year I can remember to date… and 2023 is looking good so far!

And the fact I wrote in my last blog post that I’d be querying by mid-March is still front-and-centre of my ‘not just important but urgent’ mental list. Truth be told, it might actually BE the whole list. I’m on track for that still. Kinda…

Speaking of which, I should probably get going now. There’s editing to do. I’ll leave you with this inspirational new(ish) writing from Veronica Roth, shall I?

See you next time!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Random thoughts

My Stihl Chainsaw

I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about my chainsaw before, but I was looking at it just now (I’m out gardening aka clearing scrub) and realised it’s probably the tool I love best.

Apart from my phone, of course, which I’m blogging on as I sit here looking at my chainsaw.

Because it’s just so incredibly handy (the Stihl chainsaw, that is. Not the phone – although that is too!) And easy to use. And lightweight. And no matter how roughly I treat it (oil? What oil?) it still works.

I love it!

Here’s hoping you have a love-ful day as well, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Life Random thoughts

Eye sight

Eye sight: mine’s deteriorating. Rapidly. I’m quite sad about it actually; I’d thought I was different from everyone else and my body wouldn’t succumb to this ageing process. Guess I was wrong.

You’d think failing eyesight would be my cue to get a move-along with this whole ‘finishing my novel’ bit, wouldn’t you. Huh. Again, something to regret.

It’s a bit of a maudlin one this morning, I’m afraid, dear Reader. Sorry about that. Here’s hoping you retain your eyesight for much, much longer!

Have a vision-filled day,

KRidwyn

Categories
Life More about me Random thoughts

Shoe size

I don’t own many shoes; I’m just not the type. (Sorry, those of you who are!) So when Hubby convinced me to join his gym several years ago, I splurged on a second pair of sports shoes, to use there. Fast forward to a few weeks back, when I looked at them and realised I should probably replace them.

So I did. Unfortunately though, the shop I went to (and didn’t have time to get to another) didn’t have any size 8 1/2 left – so I bought size 9 and decided to just deal with it. They weren’t too large anyway, I discovered, after wearing them to the gym a few times.

The following week though, school returned. And as per usual, I wore my size 8 1/2, non-gym sports shoes, on the day staff wear sport uniform.

By 3pm, I noticed not only did my shoes feel tight, my feet were really rather sore! Perhaps I’d been wrong all along, and am actually size 9 instead of 8 1/2?

So it was off shoe-shopping again yesterday. And I’ve concluded I really don’t like the current trend of sports shoes. Where have the colours gone from a few years back? Buying plain white or plain black sloes makes me feel like a school kid again. Sigh.

Have a pain-free day today yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
Random thoughts teaching

Leaping

This came across my Facebook feed the other day:

And when I finished laughing (gotta love those subliminal messages!) I wondered why – from a writer’s point of view – I found it so funny.

I’ve decided it’s because of the leap needed on the part of the reader. The story is headed in one direction (they make each other laugh; they have a good time) but then leaps to a completely different one (I’m in jail) and it’s the juxtaposition of these two ideas that is startling and therefore humorous. We get a clue it may happen (one was a police officer) but the brain does’t immediately think ‘going to be arrested and therefore need bail money’ and so when it happens, it’s a surprise but not an out-of-the-blue one.

Which made me think of my story from a few weeks’ back… again, boy meets girl and mesmerises her with his eyes – but then ends up being a vampire (I tried channelling Twilight with the ‘mesmerising’ bit). And I wonder if this ‘leaping’ idea is why Janet Reid liked my ‘Stillborn story’ where the reader is led in one direction, but then reader understanding is needed to follow the story to the conclusion?

Anyway, just a few random thoughts this morning. Have a leap-full day yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn