Categories
Reading

21/52 On being ahead of schedule

I’ve been a fan of the annual “Goodreads reading challenge” for years. Anything which pits me against me is good. Pitting me against others? Not so interested. But an app which challenges me to read, and keeps me accountable? Totally a fan. The fact that others can see where I’m up to is just added incentive.

And as a contol freak (and probably unrepentant over-achiever) I have to be ahead. It helps to be ready for any eventuality, yes? And finishing MURTAGH by Christopher Paolini yesterday keeps me on the ‘six books ahead of schedule’ margin which is my comfort zone. After all, there’s the mountain of marking assessment which I’ll be buried under for the next few weeks, to consider! Plus: it was a really good book… much much MUCH darker than anything I’ve read for simply ages, but so well written, it was hard to put down 🙂

Anyway, this is something I’m proud of this week. What makes you happy, dear Reader?

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Life Review

7/52 On transparency

Today’s the 18th of February. In less than a month, we’ll be heading to the poll booths to get ourselves the next four years’ worth of local politicians.

So the other week, I thought I’d look into who’s running. In my region, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, both our Mayor and our Deputy Mayor (who was also my divisional councillor, just for interest) have decided to not run again… meaning I’ll have two newbies in these roles.

I headed off to Google to find out who’s been nominated. My first hit seemed to be the go: three mayoral candidates with a bit of a blurb on each. Impressive… until I realised that according to sunshinecoastnews.com, there’s six candidates for mayor, not three!  Jason O’Pray; Wayne Parcell; Ashley Robinson, Michael Burgess, Rosanna Natoli, and Min Swan (apparently listed in the order they appear on the Electoral Commission of Queensland website). I guess the original article made sense when I re-looked at the title “meet the latest candidates”… I’m guessing they’d already had an initial article with the other three hopefuls.

And in my own division, there’s three choices: Kristy Taylor-Rose; Jenny Broderick; and Stan Nowrocki.

Trying to find informaion on each of these nine people though, proved problematic. Surely there’d be a news article where each candidate was linked to their own page, which detailed (or even just outlined!) who they were and what they stood for? But nope.

So I tried Facebook. Nothing. Even a request to the Sunshine Coast Council’s offical Facebook page only produced this:

Hmm. So off to the ECQ website. Several clicks later, I can see that no, the list order must have changed since the 13th of February, when sunshinecoastnews.com published its article. No matter. There’s still 6 mayoral candidates, and 3 candidates for divisional councillor. Links to their websites though? Nope.

So I’ve decided that I’ll do it. I have my own website, yes? And an interest in getting this information out so people can actually be informed about who it is they might vote for? Well, here it is. For my division, as least. And they’re in alphabetical order (I’m a librarian, remember!)

Sunshine Coast Division One Councillor candidates:

Jenny Broderick

Stan Nowrocki (LinkedIn was the closest site I could find)

Kristy Taylor-Rose (again, no dedicated website; this one’s a news article and this is LinkedIn)

 

Sunshine Coast Mayoral Candidates:

Michael Burgess

Rosanna Natoli

Jason O’Pray

Wayne Parcell (this site takes a while to load…)

Ashley Robinson

Min Swan

Something I noticed about the mayoral candidates: numbers of them say they’re interested in transparency. So I’m guessing that when they inherit the Facebook page, the policy of ‘giving residents the information they’d like’ will change? Hmmm.

Enjoy, dear Reader! And feel free to share / comment etc as you see fit…

  • KRidwyn

 

Categories
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
momentous events Reading teaching

New Year, new start

Welcome back, dear Reader!

Last year was a ‘photo’ post each week, which challenged me to improve my photography skills. Which worked… to some extent. In fact, I even considered challenging myself further and committing to a years’ worth of “selfie” posts (because those ones are like, a zillion times worse than actual photos. Well, for those of us who remember a time before the internet was even invented. Am I right?)

But no. Perhaps next year. But I’ll still attempt to include a photo with each post this year. Let’s see how we go with that, huh?

But today’s post is still about challenges. Specifically, the Goodreads challenge I set myself last year. 3 books per week. That’s 156 books in the year. Which seems a lot.

And I made it!!! So proud of me 🙂

Admittedly, numbers of those were the picture books which I ended up reading to my classes after being made redundant mid-year and being blessed enough to get Teacher Librarian work in July. But still 🙂

So. Goodreads challenge this year. 208 again – because I can! and it’s only 4 per week. right? – but the aim this year is to have only one picture book per month. Perhaps two. But no more than 24 of those 156 will be picture books. Because, well, why not? 🙂

How about you, dear Reader? Are you planning on reading books this year? How many? And if you’re also on Goodreads, want to connect?

Oh! And I almost forgot. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

– KRidwyn

Categories
momentous events More about me teaching

28/52

A new semester starts today.

For 4 out of the 5 in my household, today marks the start at a new school too.

Exciting times!

(Feel free to guess the kidlets’ schools from their uniforms…) And have a ‘new’ week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
Work

On chocolate and other seasonal treats

Hubby and I were talking about weight the other day. He’d been bemoaning his weight increase since having to cut back his gym sessions a few months back, on account of his arthritic hip diagnosis. But when I mentioned that I, too, had a little extra on my waistline I wouldn’t mind losing, he said, “Well, don’t eat so much chocolate then.”

Oh, to be felled by a simple phrase! Less chocolate? The world would cease to spin!

Once the initial shock passed though, and the world recommenced turning, the truth became clear. How can I honestly expect my gym sessions to assist my waistline reduction plan, when I supplement my diet with sugary treats every time I’m offered them?

And, at this time of year, it’s easier than ever to consume that sugary goodness. Every second Christmas gift from students or colleagues is chocolate. Or cupcakes. Or rocky road. Not to mention the Christmassy food that other staff open, and share with everyone. Great for exercising willpower… not!

But that, I guess, is what it all comes down to. Willpower means effort. Means intentional decision-making, not just reacting to the situation without a pre-planned “if this, then that” course of action.

If offered chocolate, say, “Thanks, but no.”

If given chocolate as a gift, thank the gift-giver, then open AND SHARE.

Limit sugary intake.

Maintain exercise routines as much as possible.

And most importantly: rethink waistline expectations. Perhaps that waistline measurement goal is more realistic for end-of-January, not end-of-December.

And seeing as today’s the 17th of December, perhaps releasing myself from my too-hard-not-going-to-make-it goal would be best for my own mental health…

Would you agree, dear Reader?

KRidwyn

Categories
Life places to visit teaching Work

[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

Categories
Life teaching Work

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

Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity family anecdotes

Sipping from the saucer #17

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 #17.

Here on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, it’s suddenly become winter. It’s as if the temperature lever has suddenly been pulled down, because the temperature has dropped 10 degrees overnight – at least!

So as I drove home yesterday, I was thinking ahead to all the washing I’d need to do, to get three sets of jumpers (the heavy woollen school ones) and three sets of sports tracksuits, ready for wear this week.

Imagine my surprise, on arriving at home, to realise that Miss10 had washed and dried a full load on Saturday and another full load on Sunday, and that there was nothing left for me to do!

What an incredible blessing she is!

I trust that you, too, can have a blessed day yourself, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity

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