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Archive for May, 2010

I have the monkey off my back… for now anyway!

One of my fears as I finished up my Long Service Leave, was that I would simply go back to my old habits. It still concerns me a fair bit, but I have to say, this past week and in particular yesterday morning, has given me a bit more confidence.

Overall it was a solid first week… very productive! I feel as if I am back into the swing of things, if not completely on top of everything on the agenda at the moment. I got to the end of the week fairly unscathed and having really enjoyed catching up with my young charges and colleagues once again!

The highlight of my week has, by far, been the anticipation and then the meeting of the blogging group of which I am a part. Thanks to Judi… a seasoned gatherer of people, we met and talked about all things blogging – where we are up to, any concerns or questions we have, feedback to each other and a sharing of what we are each enjoying the most about the process. By the sounds of the interest in the group who met, coffee every couple of months may become a regular occurrence!

I really enjoyed catching up with where those who could make it are up to…

“Threads in the Needle”… completed the much-anticipated quilt… photos will be posted shortly.

“Social Graces”… inspiring a number of us to read, think and share concerns.

“Early Retirees”… celebrating retirement in style while prompting people to consider things that really matter.

“Beach Blogger”… inspiring people to set goals and stick to them – no matter how cold it gets!

Leslie David… loving his relatively new-found hobby and the medium for sharing his experiences.

William Kostakis… enjoying promoting his novel Loathing Lola. Thanks for bringing some copies along, I’m looking forward to having a read and very pleased I have a signed copy that shares our “in-joke.”

Eric Stanley… his “Be Happy Be Rich” blog has now been created and he’s preparing for his book launch on Wednesday 23rd June at Berkelouw’s Bookstore, Leichhardt. All are welcome!

Helen McNab… using her newfound freedom to write her book and develop her blog.

Thanks to a suggestion by Helen, I’d like to open up this post to anyone who came to the gathering or to anyone who couldn’t make it, but who would like to have, join in a post-coffee discussion about the most important things we have learnt about blogging to date.

I’ll kick off with one of my ideas, but am looking forward to us creating a list of ideas from this now quite skilled group of bloggers… Thanks to William and a lot of hard work on our part!!!

USEFUL BLOGGING TIPS:

  • I created a twitter account called “LouiseSerenity” connected to this blog, then “followed” the NSW Writer’s Centre… about a month later they started following me! (Needless to say, their tweets will be more useful to me than mine to them 🙂 )

Click on “Add a Comment” if you would like to add to this discussion…

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Scars remind us where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we’re going.

David Rossi’s Character

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What lies behind us and lies before us are tiny matters compared to what’s within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I can hear my fridge humming!

No, I’m not going mad. I am nearing the end of my time of Long Service Leave and I’m marvelling at the slower pace my life has settled into. I have moved so slow and experienced so much peace and quiet that I can literally hear my fridge hum almost all the time… and it ISN’T annoying me!

I’m really happy with what I have and haven’t done.  Somehow I feel that, despite doing not much at all during the past seven weeks, I have achieved more than I could have possibly hoped! I am not one to sit around watching TV too often, although I’m addicted to my Thursday night ritual of Masterchef, Glee, Law and Order: SVU followed lastly by Medium, and maybe the odd Midday movie on Channel Seven! In “taking stock” of what I have done, it would look something like this…

  • I completed a couple of writing courses (the meditation and writing course is tomorrow).
  • I developed my personal blog and started a work-based blog.
  • Did a complete makeover on my garden with my mum.
  • Had a massage from Sr Tess at the Bethany Healing Centre… always a wonderfully unique experience that I will no doubt share with you in a later post.
  • Cooked a number of mains and desserts, including a Oreo Cheesecake which used 450g of Oreo biscuits… yuuuuummmmm!
  • Caught up with many friends, some of which I haven’t seen for many years… and cooked some more.
  • Went to the Easter Show for the first time at Homebush.
  • Walked with my mum on many days in my favourite park.
  • Read Leo Babauta’s ‘The Power of Less’ and started my first habit!
  • Started Covey’s ‘Seven Habits’ Book.
  • Went away down south for a week.
  • Watched a sunset.
  • Did heaps of wedding planning and spent quality time with my man.
  • Gurneyed a fifth of my backyard… don’t ask!
  • Got my bathroom partially renovated.
  • and how could I forget… waking up at 2am to make a cup of tea for Michael because I dreamt he had asked for one. Man was I mad when I realised I was sleep walking!

This list is pretty amazing to look back at… I can say in all honesty that I have no regrets… there is nothing I would have liked to do and didn’t, and I did nothing that I thought was a waste of time!

In summary… time well spent!!!

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The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

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Abbey GroundsLiving in the present… is, for me, a major feat!

All major World Religions, most self-help programs and logic would suggest that living in the present is the best way to enjoy life and is one of the sources of inner peace. Unfortunately, the author of this blog about serenity is about the furthest from achieving this feat as anyone I know.

I, like most people, find it very easy to sit in a meeting and stress about what work I could and should be doing if it were not for this compulsory meeting. I find it easy to eat breakfast in such a way as to not really remember having eaten it at all… if I even bother to do so in the first place! I know I am not alone in this and it gives me some comfort knowing this is one of the struggles of modern life, and that most of those of us who are aware of the struggle wish it wasn’t the case.

The part of ‘not being present’ that I hate the most is when I talk to others and am not really aware of them as people beyond the role that they can fulfil for me or for my work. Unfortunately, when I am particularly busy this is not only the colleagues I work with, but the many friends and family I meet and often explain away my lack of interest in them as me being “in a really busy patch right now.” At what point did my life get so busy that I worry that talking to my mum on the phone might take up too much of my precious time?

I know there are no simple answers. I am however, reading and attempting to put into practice some practical strategies from a book called ‘The Power of Less‘ by Leo Babauta (2009, New York, Hyperion). Simplicity for me is something I have always attempted to do in terms of my lifestyle and in what I own and buy, but I am discovering just how much of my life is more complex than needed. If you too have a interest in simplicity as a concept or even in just streamlining a bit of complexity in your life, I can highly recommend ‘The Power of Less’ as a book with practical strategies that might help.

Is it helping me, you might ask? Well, I had Kellogg’s Advantage for breakfast this morning if that helps!

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Hopefulness does not preclude discouragement, disillusion, frustration; it does preclude bitterness and cynicism.

Hopefulness does not mean that we do not fall; but it does mean that we get up and walk on.

Andrew Greeley (b.1928)

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