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#blogjune Blogging challenges Random thoughts

#BlogJune 2

The diary food I miss most, now I’m cutting down on all non-essential diary (due to chest pains / suspected reflux,) is yoghurt. I was bemoaning this, this morning after church, when the last I was speaking with suggested the dairy-free yoghurt from ALDI. So I picked some up while shopping this afternoon.

And: SOOOOOOO yum!!! Here’s hoping I won’t be woken at 2am feeling like someone’s shoved an invisible spear through my chest (or that voodoo dolls actually *do* exist and someone has one of me) – I’ll let you know how I go!

Here’s wishing you a pain-free day and night too, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

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
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
family anecdotes

Gym buddies…

Hubby started gym first, several years ago now. Initially, it was a ‘lose weight’ thing – but then the endorphins kicked in and he quickly transformed into a gym junkie.

It took a couple of years listening to his convincing and cajoling for me to try it before I joined too… but for me, it was the early-morning kid-free time that I got hooked on. I took time off when redundancy meant uncertainty, July 2019 – but then rejoined several weeks ago when I was blessed with permanent work again.

And now Master almost-12 has joined me. He’s done three sessions now, and is happy to continue. In spite of the 4.45am leaving home time! So that’s pretty impressive.

Not only that, but Miss15 is clamouring to go, and Miss almost-13 is making some noises along a similar vein too. Sigh for the loss of kid-free time… but as they’re quickly getting older, I’m going to enjoy these last few years while I still have them.

So I collected two more membership application forms this morning, and the gym owner mentioned setting aside an hour for just my family on a daily basis! I’m pretty sure he was joking…

Anyway, we’ll see how that all pans out. Have a energetic day yourself, dear Reader 🙂

– KRidwyn

Categories
family anecdotes

Angel at my place

My house is surrounded by trees. I love it! But sometimes it can be a little dangerous. When the tree which is closest to your house dies and then falls over, for example. Which is exactly what happened last week.

Fortunately, we had an angel at my place when it fell. No, we have no human witness to this fact, but I’m convinced of this fact nevertheless. The tree, you see, hit the ground.

As in, just the ground. Not the house, not the large green water tank nor the small one behind it, not the clothes line behind the tanks, not even the garden! There was one angle and one angle only at which this tree could fall and not hit anything – and this angle is EXACTLY where the tree fell.

It hit the ground in the best possible place. And our dogs and birds got to enjoy the show (and weren’t hit either!)

So, THANK YOU Lord for the angel who was at my house… and have an incident-free day yourself, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Scribblings teaching Work Writing

Flash fiction – 4 prompt words

Last term, I started a “Writer’s Group” at my school. Interested students – only girls so far! – meet each morning and practise various activities to improve their writing skills.

One such activity was “write a 100-word flash fiction story which must include random prompt words”. My favourite story used the words: Fate; Find; Potential; Fiendish. Below is what I came up with:

It’s fate, I knew it! Jane thought. I knew I’d find him – the stars aligned perfectly this month!

She stared dreamily out the window, remembering last night. Their eyes had met across the crowded bar. Excusing himself from his friends, he’d moved toward her, his eyes – mesmerising! – locked with hers. Other girls, appraising his potential, tried flirting as he passed; he ignored them. He only had eyes for her! And they had a tete-a-tete tonight!

Ma cherie, he murmured into her neck later that evening. Her eyes closed, she didn’t notice his enlarged canines behind his fiendish smile.

I quite liked writing it! Never written a vampire character before. I’m thinking it’s all the manga I’ve been reading for work this year…

Anyway, here’s wishing you a story-filled day today yourself, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn

 

 

Categories
Random thoughts teaching Work

13/52

Recently, my school held a fundraiser for the families who lost everything in the recent North Queensland floods. And seeing as blue and yellow are the colours of the most popular sports team of the region, the fundraiser was ‘wear blue-and-yellow’ day.

Now, I’m half Malay. I don’t do ‘yellow’ because it makes me look sickly green. So I went and bought blue stuff: some elbow-length satin gloves, a sparkly masquerade-style mask, and to top it off, a blue plastic hat shaped like the top half of a dinosaur head. I was set!

Then I was asked to attend a workshop that day. Sigh.

No gloves. No sparkly masquerade mask. And no dinosaur hat for me.

Double sigh.

Oh well. At least I get to share them on here with you!

Here’s wishing you a fun-filled week yourself, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
my novel-in-progress random scribblings Random thoughts Scribblings teaching Technology Work Writing

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

Categories
Random thoughts teaching Work Writing

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

Categories
Christianity Life momentous events More about me

In which I contemplate how amazed I shouldn’t be

I keep telling people how amazed I am at my quick recovery from the evil back injury I suffered recently.

Monday 25th June, 10am. The last Monday of term. The doctor who was treating me said he thought I’d be immobile for two weeks, and he’d be able to get me back to ‘normal’ (mostly pain-free) mobility by the end of 5-6 weeks.

Shock doesn’t even remotely describe how I felt. But then again, I was also in childbirth-like agony at the time, and my brain cells weren’t firing anywhere near their usual capacity.

I left the doctor’s office and called my boss, relayed the news, emailed my colleagues. Put the diagnosis out on Facebook. Then I received message after message after message, from friends and family near and far, who offered their support – and their prayers.

I was touched. (And in agony. And tears – many, many tears.) But determined to do everything I could to aid the healing process. The doctor had said ‘ice’? I’d be the ice queen! He’d said ‘horizontal’? I wouldn’t move a muscle!

(Admittedly, the phrase ‘off work for the rest of the week’ did *not* mean that – ask my Mum, who watched me plough through marking paper after paper, responding to email after email, proofing and writing report after report, all in a horizontal position either facedown or face up, ten minute interval changes, non-stop, from 5am until 9pm-ish!)

And wouldn’t you know it, but by Friday 2pm I was back at school. On crutches, but vertical. Yes, you’re probably thinking, ‘stupid!’ but I’d missed the kids terribly and wanted to see them before they left on two-and-a-half-weeks holiday, pray with them and for them, and testify to them just how amazingly their prayers for me had worked. That I was vertical, and walking on crutches, and was amazed at my recovery – but SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN!

Because I’d been holding fast to James 5:16. Especially the second part:

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Because I knew what the doctor didn’t – that the God who had made me, and who had let me go through this experience for His own good reasons, was able to heal me as well, for His own good reasons.

And He was doing exactly that! I should not have been able to be mobile – and yet, I was. And now, two weeks later, I should be starting to achieve pain-free mobility – and yet, I have it! Sure, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I’m just happy to be upright and without crutches 🙂

And in conversations with many, many, many others since then, I’ve been telling them how amazing my recovery has been – and then realising, over and over and over again, how amazed I should NOT be by this.

Wow, our God is an incredible God, isn’t He?

I hope you too, dear Reader, are having an AMAZING day today 🙂

And see you next week!

– KRidwyn