For the last six months, since we made the life-changing move from the city to the country (well, regional city at least), I’ve blogged a lot – a lot for me, more than I have in the entire three years I’ve been doing it. Actually I’m not sure where that three years has gone some days. The last two weeks I’ve blogged twice, both with a brief list of what the garden has been providing, nothing particularly interesting or time consuming. It’s not that I have writer’s block or nothing I want to blog about, it’s just that I’ve had lots of other cool things going on. It’s been nice to do those things and put this on hold, I think I’ll blog less from now on (narff77 that will make you happy, good luck getting through the rest of you RSS feed). I’ll still bore you with my harvest and monthly garden updates, I’ll still write about great books but as my reading has slowed that will no longer be weekly, and I’ll still write random posts when I feel inspired or cranky (like this one), other than that, I’ll do cool stuff in my rest of my time.
That cool stuff lately has included……
1. Starting a Masters in Educational Studies and feeling inspired and a bit frustrated (at the system) and like I’d like to see change happen on many fronts in education. Reading the academic papers, researched based with real evidence and not filled with buzz-word vagueness that you get from departmental program materials has been wonderful. Teachers should be given time to do this instead of the crap those at the top of the education system deem worthy of our precious time which are generally meaningless, lacking in evidence-based effectiveness and tossed aside whenever the next fad or change of government comes along. The waste of time, energy, resources and professional capacity is staggering!! See… that’s passion right there, I wonder if I can do something worthwhile with that? Anyway, I love studying and I excited but also apprehensive about this new, challenging course.
2. I’ve rediscovered my childhood through my kids…. well a bit of it anyway. I’ve been waiting nearly five years for this to start. Introducing my kids to the stories, books, games, shows and so on that I loved. As I don’t remember much of anything before age five, I really needed to wait til my children got to that point before the nostalgia really kicked in. This week Miss Four (who is five next month, gulp) and I listened to Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree on audio book. Instead of the tv coming on after kinder, we would get snacks and a blanket and curl up on the couch together for half an hour to listen to the next installment of the story. I had wanted to start with the first book – The Enchanted Woods – or the Second – The Magic of the Faraway Tree – but it was the third book that was available so we went with it. Miss Four was still engrossed and has been talking about the characters ever since – she particularly likes Whatshisname. Now I will have to find copies of all the books and the Wishing Chair books as well. She has been ready for longer chapter books for a while, but I haven’t gone there because it’s hard to read just to one child and Miss Two doesn’t have the concentration to last through a chapter of anything. Soon enough I’ll be pulling out my much loved Roald Dahl books and I can’t wait. We’ve also been watching some classic cartoons on youtube. Things like Superted, Mickey Mouse (and Minnie of course, a favourite of the girls’), Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Smurfs (hard to find episodes on Youtube) etc. Still on the list is Danger Mouse, Roger Ramjet, Inspector Gadget, Cities of Gold, Bananaman, Garfield…. okay a few. But then again I did grow up in the Saturday morning cartoon era. It was Six’s Super Saturday Show with host Glen Ridge for me having grown up in Western Victoria with only two stations, 6 and ABC.
3. I discovered a new blog all about buying nothing new for a year (2013) and decluttering and that sort of thing. It’s great, highly readable and quite motivating. It also helps that I have a few things in common with Mama Fearce – both teachers, both with small child(ren), both looking for ways to escape consumerism and buy more conscientiously or ethically etc. The motivating part of this has so far seen me nude up my email inbox a surprisingly cathartic process – though I did delete an important email from uni. I put blocks of loads of crap that was filling my inbox, deleted literally 1000s of old emails and created two folders, one for archive emails – those I need to keep for whatever reason – and one for this to-read or to-do which will then get deleted or archived depending. The trick to it seems to be regularly clearing it out so it doesn’t ever get overwhelming and setting aside a little ‘me time’ to read the emails I’ve filed.
The second big move is on the decluttering front. I’m by no means a hoarder, I never have been, but I’ve still accumulated too much stuff. I’ve had piles I want to get rid of in the spare room for months gathering dust and things that I’ve held onto for whatever reason that need to be reconsidered. So I’ve listed a bunch of things of freecycle (I hope they go, but if not most are op-shop worthy and a few will get tossed) and I’ve listed all my maternity clothes on ebay. I’ve pretty much decided against more children and if that changes I’ll purchase second hand maternity clothes when I need them. I only had one small space bag full after two pregnancies – which I thought was pretty good in the first place – but it still worked out to be about over 20 items which I listed in group lots to sell. I’ve put the minimum amount on them plus postage so theywill sell, but it would be a bonus to get something decent to put towards the winter-proofing-the-house fund (more on the later). This move also got Mr Good considering his hoarding ways (way worse than mine) and has listed ten (of the probably 10,000!) Star Wars collector cards he has carted from house to house since university days. This is a stunning and surprising turn of events, hopefully he has success selling them and will continue on with the rest of the boxed up, dust gathering collection. The decluttering will continue with baby clothes, toys, my clothes etc.
The next bit of motivation came in a post about leveling up or life hacking. Not something I had heard of before and definitely something I will be investigating further, but the premise is to find ways of simplifying your life or changing something you do so you add to life without adding to responsibilities or burdens. Her examples were listening to audio books in the car on the way to work to use that wasted time more productively and enjoyably – something I wish I had thought of last year, now I drive so rarely and for such short distances it would take me six months to get through something. She also started to do the dishes nightly with the husband so they could reconnect AND have a clean kitchen to wake up to. I mentioned this to Mr Good and he thought ‘Yeah we should do that’. I was mighty excited – clean kitchen has been part of my duties since I stopped working and I was great until about Christmas, then it started getting on top of me. I think doing it together will be good for getting the work done with less effort on my part and less time in total and also for Mr Good and I to actually have a conversation. There’s lot of other cool info and links on the site (most of the links I haven’t followed yet, you can only do so much) so do go and check it out.
4. Visitors, I’ve had lots, I love visitors. Lots of cups of tea, chats about kids/kinder/my old school workplace – not regretting moving on from there right now. My mum bought a tin of chocolate chip biscuits, yum! I babysat two of my friends kids one evening so she could enjoy a function (which she was MCing) without bouncing a baby on her hip. Neither of us have family in town, so for now we will be that for each other! Love that connection. We also squeezed in a local foodie night – yummy local produce platter and great music, though a freezing night – followed by a hot chocolate and (second) dessert at a restaurant I’ve been eyeing off.
5. A crafty night with a fellow blogger who moved to ‘The Rat’ recently and some of her friends. It gave me time to pick up my much neglected crochet and it was fun! I was late due to the whole scrubbing kids clean after feeding them a nutritious meal part of my life, but that is neither here nor there. There was great 90s music playing and interesting conversation (much of which I followed vaguely, drop spindles? tv shows based on Sherlock Holmes? tumblr?) I was a little lost in the detail at times, but hey I’m usually the last one to discover such things…. or miss them altogether. At those times I just smile and nod, smile and nod…. and hook a bit more.
Well that’s some of my cool non-blogging stuff, what’s happening in your ‘real life’? New blog discovery? Random bit of inspiration, motivation…. procrastination (it’s a fine line! I’m looking at you Pinterest!)