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‘What path are you on right now?’

That’s the text on my phone’s Lock Screen. (I said I’d write about this, a couple of weeks ago…)

It’s probably weird, I know.

But I leave that saying there as a reminder to me of the path I choose to walk, every minute of my life. The decisions I choose to make, which in return make me into the person I am choosing to be.

I feel as though I’m not explaining myself too well. Sorry. I’ll start again.

Hi. My name’s Ceridwyn, and I’m an addict.

Wha? Huh? What kind of a blog *is* this??!

Okay, so the word ‘addict’ has some pretty negative connotations, I know. I’m not addicted to drugs, if that’s what you were thinking.

But I have struggled with addictions in the past. Gambling was my worst, but as the years pass, the pull to play BlackJack diminishes. It probably helps that I don’t live anywhere near a casino, and that I’m just so gosh-darn-busy 99% of the time 🙂

But having that kind of addictive personality has meant that I’m aware of addictions when they pop up. Recently I noticed my over-partiality to playing the 2048 app on my phone; I was playing it to the detriment of doing other things; things I *should* have been doing. Solution: delete the app. Now it’s only on my iPad, which I use less regularly. Addiction circumvented. The path I realised I was heading down, was one I didn’t want to be on. So I changed my path, and was happier for being able to exercise some self-control.

The way I see things, there’s always a couple of paths before me, and my choice to take one or the other of these paths, will eventuate in either a ‘better’ version of me, the person I’d like to become, or a ‘worse’ version of me – one I’d prefer not to be.

So when I pick up my phone, I ask myself, ‘what’s the reason?’ “What path am I on right now? Am I about to go and do something needed on this phone, or am I really just bored and wanting to distract myself with Facebook or twitter? Is there a better choice I could be making – to go and play with my kids, do some of that housework I hate doing, or that job I’ve been putting off for simply ages?”

The ‘paths’ image also makes me think of the pathways in my brain. Dendrites firing, making pathways stronger. The more I’m on Facebook instead of drafting my latest manuscript, the stronger the ‘Facebook’ pathway and the weaker the ‘writing’ pathway becomes.

Am I stronger than that? Am I the master of my habits, or are my habits the master of me?

Just a few thoughts to leave you with today…

I hope it’s a fantastic one for you!

— KRidwyn

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#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges random scribblings Scribblings Writing

W is for ‘wavelet’

I was writing a short story one day a year or so ago, and I needed the word for one of those small waves that washes into shore. You know, the ones that squealing toddlers get lifted over, that little children run backwards from, that bring the flotsam and jetsam of an uncaring world to deposit on the beach?

“Wave” was too big. Too much power for what I wanted. So I made up ‘wavelet’. Or so I thought…

Wasn’t I surprised to find it in my dictionary, the following day!

Wavelet. Noun. A small wave, a ripple.

Exactly what I had wanted! Don’t you just love the English language?

I do.

Have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

PS If you’re interested in the story I was writing, sorry. It was about a woman’s murder at the hands of her drunk ex. It was a pretty intense story. Far too ‘dark’ for this blog. *shrugs shoulders*

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#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges More about me random scribblings Random thoughts Scribblings Writing

U is for ‘unknown’

Jan 1, 2016, saw me decide I needed to ‘practise’ my writing. I realised that I’d never get anywhere if I just started a story, get stuck, get frustrated, start another story, and repeat the same process.

Mentally, I compared this to my chess game. Okay in the opening, wobbly in the middle, and pretty woeful at the ending. I decided practise was in order. Practise of ‘end-game’ stuff; then recourse to the middle, and finish at the beginning.

“Smiling nervously at each, they started walking into an uncertain future.”

So: I worked out the final sentence (above) and worked backwards. Ended up with a 1500 word short Sci-Fi story about two teenagers crash-landing their spaceship onto an unknown planet.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I related this story to the members at Beerwah Writers Group. Inspired, they used my final sentence, and produced their own stories. I joined them, and ended up with a 500 word story about a Greek God who’d been cast out from Mount Olympus. Prophemius, I called him. God of the Future… except his powers were stripped from him, meaning he couldn’t see the future anymore.

I wrestle, regularly, with the fact I can’t see the future. I want to know what will happen before it does, so I can prepare for it. Part of my control-freak-ishness, probably. (Yeh, I know. Not a word.)

But I always come back to the fact that it’s good I don’t know. I’m glad, deep down, that I’m in the same boat as everyone else. That the future – for all of us – is an unknown. I like that. We’re all on the same playing field, as it were.

And there’s so much freedom in that!

Have a lovely day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

 

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K is for ‘kitten’

I’ve always preferred cats to dogs – or so I thought, until falling in love with my first dog when Hubby and I, newlyweds, visited a German Shepherd breeder.

I fell, hard. We bought one, and drove him home, naming him ‘Smudge’ just before he decided to vomit on my lap. (Lucky the towel he was wrapped in caught the majority of it!) At home, we introduced him to our Ragdoll kitten, ‘Rascal’, and there we were – married just a few short months, and a ‘family’ of four already!

The years passed, and pets came and went. After Rascal though, there were just dogs. Even now, we have Aksel (another German Shepherd) and Rocky (Australian Cattle Dog, and the best snake-killer you’ve ever seen…) but no cats.

And I’ve decided I miss them. So once the renovations are completed, we’ll be getting another one. I must admit – I’m looking forward to that day more than I realised!

So let’s hear it for the kitten 🙂

And have a great day, dear Reader!

— KRidwyn

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#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Christianity

A is for ‘always’

So today is April 1st. For many, the day of prankster jokes and general mayhem. For some, the beginning of the April A to Z challenge.

I didn’t officially sign up this year. 2017 has been a hectic, whirlwind few months so far. But today also marks my first ‘real’ day of holidays since my new job started, so here I am, prepared – this morning, at least! – to return to blogging, and to take a second stab at this A to Z challenge which I managed to successfully conquer last year.

And here goes. Day 1 of 26, ‘Word of the Day’.

A – is for ‘Always’

An overused, cliched word. Important in concept, although an impotent tool when thrown at an opponent, in a bid to win the upper hand.

The defeatist, overwhelming, ‘stinky thinking’ a psych nurse once warned me about.

And yet…

also the promise God makes, that He is with us ALWAYS – to the very end of the age – in the very last recorded words of Jesus, before his ascension (Matthew, chapter 28, verse 20, if you’re interested).

So who am I to demonise a word if it’s good enough for my Lord to use?

ALWAYS. A word able to carry the weight of all Christendom’s hopes. Use it sparingly; it’s pretty powerful.

And see you Monday for ‘B’!

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One week in…

I posted late last year about my new job for 2017. Well, I’ve been in it a week now. And what an INCREDIBLE week it’s been!

You see, the position I’ve just started, Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College, is the position I held nine years ago. I absolutely loved it; of all my teaching jobs over the years, it was my absolute favourite. I resigned from it at the end of 2007 because I was heavily pregnant with she-who-is-now-Miss8. Yes, I *could* have just taken maternity leave, and resumed work after a period of time, but I didn’t know how many more children Hubby and I would have (he-who-is-now-Mr7 arrived just 14 months later) and I felt it wouldn’t be fair on either the school or the Middle School students, to have an on-again-off-again Head of School. Not with 11 to 14 year olds. At that time of life, they need stability, not more uncertainty and inconsistency!

So I resigned, had Miss8, and later Mr7, and started my Masters. Ran a business. Taught contracts. Raised kids. Finished my Masters, closed my business. Scored permanent part-time work.

And then I saw the position advertised. *My* position!

Went for it.

Got it.

And am LOVING it!!!

Plus, now that the child-bearing thing is done and dusted for me, this position is what I’m planning on being in for a very, very long time. I’m smiling broadly about that one. Feel free to smile along with me!

And have a great week, dear reader 😀

-KRidwyn

 

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family anecdotes Random thoughts Reading

On New Year’s resolutions…

I posted a few weeks back about one of my 2016 resolutions: to read through the Bible throughout the course of the year.

Well, I did that 😀

 

I must admit, it’s been a few years *cough decades* since I’ve actually kept a New Year’s resolution, so I shan’t be brave and recount my 2017 resolutions here for you now.

I’m just going to share one of my favourite images with you all: fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Every New Year’s Eve, I wake up the kids at 11.50pm and we watch Sydney’s fireworks on TV. We love it. I love the hope that comes with the new year, the thoughts of the journey ahead with all its innumerable possibilities. The world is our oyster, and all that jazz.

Here’s hoping that the resolutions you make are ones you can keep too, dear reader!

And Happy New Year 😀

KRidwyn

CC image courtesy miquitos on Flickr

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Where I’ve been…

So my last post on this blog was over a month ago. It feels like longer.

I’d posted just prior to a weekend away with Hubby on Moreton Island. I was hoping it would be fantastic; it was. The snorkelling; the dolphin feeding; the quad-biking; the all-you-can-eat buffet meals; the amazing weather and luxurious accomodation; the 3.23am evacuation due to another hotel resident setting off a fire alarm because he attempted to cook food inside his kettle… it was all memorable.

And that marked the beginning of November.

November is the worst month of the year for music teachers, did you know? It’s end of the school year here in Australia, which means the usual end-of-year marking / reporting chaos. Add to that, the same end-of-year ‘let’s showcase what your children have learned to play on their instruments’ performance chaos, and – of course – all of the instrumental marking / reporting deadlines to co-ordinate. Don’t forget, there’s a class of graduating students who – naturally – get their own set of dedicated performances to prepare for etc. And then, just for fun and because It’s November and because the music teacher doesn’t have enough to do, let’s add in a Christmas carols event or several.

And then we all sit back and watch the poor music teacher’s head explode.

Because that’s – generally speaking – what happens.

Hence my taking a month hiatus from this blog. But this year, there was another reason as well; and this other reason meant that instead of just the month off, I needed an extra two weeks on top of that: I changed jobs.

Yay!

Yes, I am no longer the Music co-ordinator at St. Paul’s Lutheran Primary School. Instead, I have returned to the world of Prep to Year 12 education, with the role of Head of Middle School at Caloundra Christian College.

And boy! Am I stoked about that!

(Just in case you hadn’t picked up on that, from the excessive use of exclamation points in this blog post… sorry about that, by the way…)

Anyway, I’m back blogging again. Yes, the plan is to blog weekly, every Monday morning, my time.

And who knows, but that perhaps I shan’t need the month’s blog hiatus next November?!

See you next week!

KRidwyn

PS And have yourselves a very merry Christmas too! 😀

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Christianity family anecdotes Life More about me Random thoughts Writing

When stuff goes pear-shaped

I remember one of my godfathers once asked me to choose a present for myself. I was about 8, and we were in the local newsagent.

I looked for a long time, finally bringing him the thickest compendium of Garfield comics I could find, which he bought without hesitation. Afterward, he questioned my choice. “I was only able to choose one gift,” I explained, “so I wanted to make sure that the gift I chose would last me a long time.”

That’s me. I’m a thinker; a planner. I’m the person who always has to know what is going to happen, WAY ahead of schedule, so I can plan for it. That photo next to ‘control freak’ in the dictionary? That’s me.

Well, it used to be, anyway. I’m learning to relax a lot more. God working in me and all that, maybe?

Case in point: this blog.

Last week. No blog post.

Whoops! Monday morning came; Monday morning went; all 24 hours worth of Monday disappeared… and no new words appeared here.

And it was completely human error. Mine.

Thees last couple of weeks have been busy ones, you know? As in, three-cherubs-underfoot-EVERY-SINGLE-DAY-and-no-time-to-stop-and-think-and-realise-exactly-what-day-it-is-today kind of busy.

Hence Tuesday evening, when I went to watch the Monday TV show I’d taped the night before, I realised that I’d been a day behind. No TV show taped. And also, no blog post published. It wasn’t even written! It hadn’t even been thought about!!!

Cue panicked screaming, running around the house, arms flailing, et cetera – for a whole 20 seconds.

And then I thought, ‘You know what? These things happen. It’ll be okay.’

Decibel levels reduced to within nationally appropriate safety standards, my arms stopped flailing, my heartbeat slowed again, my mind ceased racing, and the cherubs whose presence had caused the upset to routine in the first place, chalked the episode up to yet-another-example-of-Mummy-being-crazy, sighed, and returned to watching old episodes of Pokemon I’d recorded for them. (Yes. Record their programs, not mine. Go figure.)

Stuff had gone pear-shaped, and little ol’ control-freak me was going to… be okay with that.

I’d realised that no amount of panicked screaming and arm-flailing was going to change the situation. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” seems appropriate to quote here, but actually, it was a tweet that same day that hit the nail on the head for me, instead.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 4.06.24 PM

So often I allow stuff over which I have no control, to trip me up. Do you do the same? But although the idea of ‘stumbling over something that lies behind us’, is ludicrous… how often do we do it?

If we can’t change the past, then let it lie. Don’t dwell on it; forget about it inasmuch as it is able to be forgotten (obviously, consequences will out and all that).

But, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t want to be the person on her deathbed at the end of her life, saying ‘I regret spending all that time worrying’. Especially when it’s worry over things I can’t do anything at all about.

[Aside: It may be trite, but I believe that worry is simply an unsaid prayer.]

So my advice, when stuff goes pear-shaped? Do something about it, if you can. And if not, then don’t sweat it. In the long run, it’ll probably be small stuff anyway.

Well, that’s my take on it. Your thoughts?

And have a great week, dear reader!

-KRidwyn

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family anecdotes More about me my novel-in-progress Random thoughts Writing

What makes an effort worthwhile?

Last Saturday was a fairly momentous day for me.

IMG_1907I finished the first draft of my third book. And then I went and performed on my harp in public – for the first time.

But although both of those were momentous for me, their impact on others is negligible.

I typed ‘THE END’ on JUSTINE BROWNING AND THE YETI SOLUTION at 5.17pm, then packed up my three cherubs and we headed off to an evening performance with the Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club, which we’re all part of. Miss11, Miss8 and I play violin; Mr7 and I play recorder; and I also play harp. Different instruments for different songs, I hasten to add, hopefully before images of Dick Van Dyke in MARY POPPINS are stuck in your head… whoops… sorry!

Anywho, I’ve been learning harp for just over five months now. I’m a music teacher, and I’ve been playing instruments for three and a half decades, but harp is BY FAR the most difficult I’ve ever learned. Saturday’s was my first performance, and as scary as it was? It’s been and gone and the others will all be easier.

Likewise, my book. The first time I typed THE END, on May 10 2015, it was exhilarating. Typing it for a second time on May 10 of this year was just as brilliant, if not more exciting because I’d proven to myself that last year’s book wasn’t just a fluke. Typing it for the third time, two days ago, made me realise, ‘Hey, I can do this. This is a thing, now.’ And that’s an incredibly fantabulous realisation to make!!! Especially seeing as I can see how my writing is improving substantially with each and every book. It may not be getting ‘easier’ but it’s certainly getting ‘better’ 🙂

Although, (and I’m thinking about Saturday again now) for each of these two events, I also stepped back from myself and said, ‘So what?’

I played my harp piece as background music during a celebratory meal – the group that had booked us to play for them, were marking 30 years existence. So people were eating and drinking, talking and laughing – and maybe a handful were watching; listening; paying attention. Not that I was playing for their attention… but the thought hit me: ‘few care’. And no more than a couple would have given any thought to the efforts I had gone to, to learn the harp and play the song for their enjoyment.

Likewise, my stories. I’d like to think they’ll be published one day. [Please Lord, before my 45th birthday!] but even if they are, only a mere handful of readers may possibly think about the effort that I put into creating the book.

And that’s okay. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that this is the way life is, and even if I wanted to change this, it’ll never happen.

No, my point is: what is it that makes these efforts of mine – any effort, by anybody, really – worthwhile?

Was I playing solely for my listeners’ enjoyment? Do I write solely for my future possible readers?

In part, yes. But to be downright honest about this – only a little part.

So what makes my efforts worthwhile? My own feelings about what I’ve accomplished. My own emotions about what my future could look like.

And if that’s not motivation enough, I don’t know what is 🙂

Have a great week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn