Passions

A couple of thoughts for the day…

You know, sometimes those annoying motivational and spiritual quotes strike a chord! Which I guess is what they are meant to do….

Anyway, two have really resonated with me this week, and I thought I would share them just in case they hit the right note with you too.

Ok, here they are….

Life does not need to be perfect to be wonderful

and

Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens

I read the first quote on a blog by an American woman whose son suffered a brain injury rendering him incapacitated and something happened to her husband that made him go blind! I can’t remember the blog, but if I come across it again I will share it.

I also learnt something today. This morning I spoke at a morning tea at my children’s school about the path we have gone down in discovering our Max’s dyslexia and dyscalculia and the journey that this is taking us on. It reinforced to me that so many people are just desperate for help and advice about their children, and dyslexia in particular. Australia is so far behind the rest of the world in this space. Autism and Asperger’s are the condition’s that everyone knows about and gets the funding, and I feel that is to the detriment of dyslexia and other related learning disabilities (that’s just my opinion, so if you disagree, that’s fine, but I don’t really want to hear about it ba ha ha ha ha).

Anyway, that is my gem for today.

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I DIY’d…

I have DIY’d my arse off lately! As per usual I have a few half-done projects, such as…
Kitchen splashback
Talking of half-done projects, my kitchen has been half renovated for many years, and I don’t have a splashback. I wanna splashback!! I want something a bit different, and not too expensive. Everyone one has glass nowadays, so I don’t want glass. I wanted a really groovy and ‘out there’ tile, but my husband won’t let me. So what I have come up with is wall paper. I have done a test with several wall papers on some mdf that I have varnished.
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^^^ These are my sample papers. My fave is the one on the left.

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^^^ I have it sitting behind the stove to test the durability.

I used a spray varnish, but when I do it for real I will use a roll on varnish to get a thick glossy look. The spray wasn’t thick enough.

My benchtops at the moment are laminate, but I want to use Ardex Feather Finish to do a hardy concrete render on the bench top.  Check out a tutorial about it here.
Blanket

This is my second half finished crocheted blanket! This one will be about 25 cm of grey, with a fluoro stripe, then grey, then stripe, then grey… I think you get the idea. Like it so far??
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Vegetable garden
I have saved the best until last! I have a half done orchard with various attempts at a veggie patch each year (are you sensing a theme here?). I have about 10-12 sad fruit trees, 3 chooks, a pile of wood, and my most recent attempt at a veggie patch was garden beds in special plastic ‘bags’. I really wanted a real veggie patch, so I have sorted and moved a huge pile of timber that was also in my orchard that my husband has had sitting there for years. It was a from a friend’s old car port that they took down with hubby’s intention of us using it for god knows what.

ARch & chook

^^^ I always have to include a picture of this boy with his chook…

I moved all the wood.

I sorted all the wood.

I picked out the good pieces for edging the garden beds. I also found a few good pieces to make a table top for a potting table.

I got brackets, screws and my husband’s handy dandy electric drill, AND I MADE 4 VEGGIE PATCH GARDEN BEDS!! And made the table top.  Woo hoo! Very empowering.

 

veggie patch part done veggei patch 1

 

^^^ Can you see my table top at the back leaning against the fence?  I just need legs for it now…

I only had enough soil to fill one of them, so the rest can wait until next weekend, because I tell you, I ache.

Every. Single. Muscle. Aches.

So I am going to try and bribe my boys to give me a massage while I look through my gardening books and plan all the vegetables I will grow.

Did I mention that I ache?

Give a little…

I’m sure we all give a bit of money to charity here and there.  It could be giving money to the tin rattlers at traffic light, selling raffle tickets for charity, or sponsoring someone raising money for cancer research.

But it isn’t often that you get to see the actual results of your donation.

Well, this week I did, and it made me cry (as per usual).

I have been going through a spate of donating lately (I will list the causes at the end of this blog in case you want to give a little too!), so have sponsored a few friends, clients and family members in their various pursuits to raise money for medical research in lots of different areas. $10 here and $20 there.  And I hope that in my lifetime I see some sort of result for everyone’s time and effort.

A few weeks ago, maybe even a couple of months ago, I noticed something on Facebook about a New Zealand Dad, Robbie Ritchie, who had a life threatening condition in his brain with an 80% chance of having a brain haemorrhage. He needed an operation that could only be done at the International Neuroscience Institute in Germany.  The more I read about this family and their need to raise $200,000 to be able to go to Germany, pay for the operations and remain there for several weeks, I just felt that I had to do something.

So I donated my $20 and kept an eye on their story. I learned of all their fundraising efforts in New Zealand, their angst at leaving their little boys back home whilst they went to Germany and their nervousness on the eve of the operation.  I felt nervous for them too.

Well yesterday Robbie had his surgery, and he came through it all ok.  I breathed a sigh of relief for this family that I don’t know and never will know.

It was so rewarding to be able to see the result of the money I donated, even though it was a drop in the ocean of the $156,000 that they raised.

I will still continue to donate money to people who are committing their time and effort to raise money for a cause they have been touched by, but I will also keep an eye out for those causes that will have an immediate effect. There is nothing better!

Robbie Ritchie’s Story

https://www.facebook.com/RobbieNeedsHisBrainFixed?ref=ts&fref=ts

https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/robbieneedshisbrainfixed

http://fixrobbiesbrain.wordpress.com/

 

Other causes I have donated to lately…support them where you can…

 

http://relay.cancercouncil.com.au/2013/wagga_wagga_relay_for_life_67/Elders-Wagga-Wagga

Sponsor my sister Jane Whitlock and niece Ellie Taylor in Relay for Life…

 

http://register.gongride.org.au/2013-Sydney-to-Gong-Bike-Ride/natalie11479

Sponsor my colleague Natalie as she is riding to raise money for MS research…

 

http://ml14.endcancer.org.au/site/TR/Events/Melbourne2014?px=1036130&pg=personal&fr_id=1090

Sponsor my client Michele as she raises money to end Women’s cancers…

 

I am also part of a group of girls who get together every 6 weeks or so.  We each take $20 for the kitty (and a bottle of wine for the fun)…and when we get enough money together we donate money or vouchers anonymously to local causes.  If you are located on the Mornington Peninsula and want in on this one, let me know!

A few pics from our Sunday jaunt last weekend…

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Hurrah for the weekend…

What a week! The company I work for is merging with another company, with the leaders from the second company coming in to run our company (a takeover of sorts – if that makes sense at all). A part of this is that I have been in a strategy planning meeting for the last 2 days with managers from each organisation planning a way forward. Going down this path has raised so many thoughts and questions, particularly since I don’t know if I will have a role in this new entity. And then begs the question, do I even want a role in this new entity?

I have been going on this journey for the last couple of months, and it has created so many situations and interesting (& bizarre) scenarios that I would love to blog about, but just can’t until things at work are formalised and finalised. But in six weeks’ time, look out for my rants and insights about the world of merging companies and the effect on the people involved!

So what am I doing in the meantime whilst I am in limbo?

Pondering priorities – what is really important in this one life that we get?
Feeling grateful – for my good health and the health of the people who I love.
Looking at all my options – is this an opportunity to following my passions, or make a change that provides better balance? Are there other options available that I haven’t considered?
Deep breathing – whenever I start to freak out at the instability of it all, I take deep breaths!! Many of them.
Enjoying time with family and friends!

Monday starts a new week and who knows what it will bring. Until then it is the WEEKEND! Woo hoo….Enjoy…..

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^^^a bit of sunshine joy^^^

Passions…

In my last blog I prattled on about how great I felt that I had found my children’s passions. And I still do feel pretty good about that.

But what about our passion as adults?

I was talking with a girl friend who wants to make some sort of change in her life (& income earning ability).  I asked her what her passion was, and she didn’t know.

Many of us don’t know what our passion is, but I think that deep down we all have passions. This is over and above the passion that we have for our family of course.

I have many passions.  I have core passions that are always there. These are writing, photography, and creative pursuits. Then I have fluctuating passions that come and depending upon which stage of my life I am in.  At the moment, I am passionate about researching dyslexia and dyscalculia and promoting research and knowledge in the areas that can effect and help us in our pursuit of ensuring Max will have the same educational and career opportunities as anyone else.

But lately, I have been led to explore my passions further.  At a time of increasing and inevitable instability with my job as we go through a merger, I am exploring my passions further and trying to identify income earning opportunities with them.

I was inspired that other night talking with a talented artist friend (check out her blog here).  Several years ago, when our kids were little, she said “I want to illustrate books”.  Though she was already a skilled artist and qualified art teacher, she went and did an Illustration course through TAFE that took several years.  And guess what? She is now illustrating books as a career. This is her job, and she is busy with it, and she is loving it!

She followed her passion.

So, coming back to working out what your passion is.  Do you have a passion?  Is it something you do full time, when you have time, or you just dream about doing?

If you have trouble working out what your passion is, ask yourself this question….if you had a day to yourself with no other commitments and heaps of energy, what would you choose to do with your day?

I picture myself in a space of my own, working on editing photos, writing articles, blogs or whatever, with a painting I am working on sitting on an easel, and perhaps working on education projects for teachers shaped around dyslexia and dyscalculia where I can use my current career based skills, knowledge and abilities and huge HECS investment.

What about you?  What would you do with a day to yourself? Would you cook, write, visit friends, do charity work, take a meal to a sick friend or neighbour, play on the computer, renovate your house, work in the garden, plan family activities, spend time with your animals, do crosswords and sudoku puzzles, read books about science, research medical break throughs….what would you do?

When you really answer this question, you are on the path to finding your passion…

 

Oh, as a side note, I am now a mother of a 14 year old…scary!!

And yes Mum, I checked my spelling.  If there are errors, consider them to be typos. x