Monday, 30 June 2014

30. What's coming next?

Well I've enjoyed this daily blogging thing so much, I feel I ought to return Sammi's favour and do a list of prompts for July. Join in if you like! Writing a little bit every day has reminded me how much I enjoy doing it. But it's not a pressure of a thing you have to do. So blog some days...or not at all! But if you do, I'd love to read what you have to say. Let me know in the comments if you're joining in!

So. Bec's List of Good Stuff in July. That's BLOGS in July to you. How bout that? :D

  1. The year is half over! What big things happened in the first half of this year for you?
  2. This month at a glance
  3. A favourite song
  4. Three life tips
  5. Who was your favourite band/singer as a teenager? (no matter how embarrassing!)
  6. What makes you feel good?
  7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
  8. A favourite movie quote
  9. What do you wish you could do (if money and time and ability were no object)?
  10. Where would you like to go that you've never been, and why?
  11. What did you do in the last three hours?
  12. An image you love
  13. Your family
  14. How do you want to feel?
  15. If you could spend an hour talking with anyone alive today, who would it be and why?
  16. A perfect day would look like...
  17. What makes you laugh?
  18. What are you afraid of?
  19. What's your morning routine?
  20. Thoughts on exercise
  21. What makes you feel creative?
  22. Thoughts on body image
  23. What's your first memory?
  24. Best TV show to binge watch
  25. A favourite movie from your childhood
  26. Review a book you've read recently
  27. What do you believe?
  28. Where is your favourite place?
  29. Photo journal of your day
  30. The perfect meal
  31. What's next?

Sunday, 29 June 2014



Thank you if you read my blatherings. It often surprises me when someone quietly whispers, "I read your blog the other day..." like it's a secret shame. Maybe it is! But I like learning that people read what I write. In fact the only thing that kept me writing it a few years ago was learning that a dear friend from my last church was checking my blog every day in the hope that I'd written something, and I felt I couldn't disappoint her! It's nice that someone wants to get to know you better and know what you think.

Now, there is this thought that reading someone's blog (or Facebook wall or Twitter feed) is stalking them. I really hate that term. It would be stalking if you broke into my house to read my private journal, or stood outside my window, gazing in over my shoulder as I wrote, or followed me as I walked down the I'm creeping myself out. Don't do any of that.

But reading my blog (or Facebook wall or Twitter feed) - I put this stuff out there cos I don't mind people knowing it. So read on! Comment if the fancy takes you! Or stay "lurking" (as a term that's only a shade off "stalking" but I don't mind lurkers).

Because after all, remember my blog's 'mission statement':

Here's to another 1000.

29. The best vacation ever!

I think it was my trip to France and the UK in 2008. It was the first major trip overseas I had taken on my own, where I could stay where I wanted and do what I wanted (I have travelled a lot in my life, but it's usually with family).

Even though I was so exhausted when I arrived in Paris I forgot how to speak French and couldn't order a coffee (yeah, I know), once I recovered from jet lag, my little hidey hole at La Villa Paris was perfect. Exploring the city, meeting up with old friends, seeing incredible things like Saint Chappelle...I loved it.

Visiting Fontainebleau and staying with friends there was wonderful, because it was out of the city and I got to do things like shop at local food markets and be all Frenchy French.

I got to visit Oxford and go to cool places inside colleges, and I got to spend good time with this wonderful friend...

...who made me a birthday cake covered in strawberries and clotted cream.

I visited Belfast to catch up with more friends there, and we went to see Bjork in concert, which was an incredible, bewildering and wonderful occasion.

Sure, there were times when I was sad, lonely, tired, homesick. But it was three weeks of exploring and being comfortable with my own company and seeing beautiful things. It was a truly wonderful holiday.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

28. A world without colour

Well it would be pretty boring, wouldn't it? Colour is fun!

There was a time when I was anti colour. There's still a lot of black in my wardrobe, but when I was at uni it was pretty much all black. When we started uni, a friend of mine said "we don't want to end up being those clicheed theatre students who are always in black", but that's what we ended up as.

On my 21st I decided I wanted to buck my self imposed trend and wear something bright, but it turned out the only costume that fit me at the costume hire place was black. Black taffeta, with black lace and black beading. Black.

Still, it was a pretty great dress.

I think my black clothes started off as an effort to be kind of cool, and then it became serviceable, and then it became a way to hide lumps and bumps (which, let's face it, weren't at all hidden). Then I decided that colour was good. And I didn't mind being seen. So I started wearing more colour.

Also makeup. This isn't a newsflash, but when you put colour on your face it can transform you. Normally I don't bother much with it unless I'm dressing up, but I'm starting to see the value in at least putting colour on my lips - I look in the mirror and surprise myself that I don't look like a half-baked zombie. Mum recently bought me a bright grape coloured lipstick and every time I've worn it people comment on how good it looks.

The colour surrounding you every day is pretty important; I agree that it influences mood. At work we have bright teal feature walls in each office, which are pretty positive. I'm also still thinking of painting my room a deep, jewel-tone colour and even though it probably won't happen for ages (at least, probably not until warmer weather for faster drying times), I like having the paint chips up on my wall.

And natural colour is amazing. Some days, if I am looking at a particularly blue body of water, or a blazing azure sky, or vivid green hills, it feels like my soul is getting a drink.

Then there's this sort of thing:

At the SEA Aquarium in Sentosa. I could have watched these guys all day.

Don't you feel sorry for those fish that live so deep in the ocean that it's black all the time and they are just drab and they never see anything like this? Actually, do fish even see colour? Hmm.

Colour is good.

Friday, 27 June 2014

27. My favourite blogs

I tend to read blogs on Feedly, and have them organised into groups like 'people I know', 'people I sort of know', 'people I don't know' - it's a very complex categorisation, as you can tell.

There are a bunch I subscribe to but these are the ones I will always read if something is posted:

People I know are at the top of my list, so I always read them first, and they're mostly personal blogs, sharing life, thoughts, hobbies, that sort of thing.

Sammi Betbeder - Stuff by Sammi
Karen Beilharz - /karen/
Georgina Barratt-See - To live
Georgia Poulos - Transforming Gee
Ali Payne - Something this foggy day
Rachel and Seumas Macdonald - Macdonalds in Mongolia

I don't read many fashion blogs, but my fave is Frocks and Frou Frou - I like Lili's style and what she has to say. She's body positive without banging on about it all the time.

My favourite design blog is Design Milk - they always have interesting things to look at.

My two favourite idle stuffs blogs are 22 words for random quirkiness, and The Mary Sue for more pop culture type quirkiness.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

26. Share a favourite recipe

A chocolate cake by my Mama Grace (my mum's mum - yes, both my grandmothers were called mama...a little confusing). This is my go-to chocolate cake. It's not fancy. Often I don't even bother to ice it, mainly because it is so good warm, straight out of the oven.

Also it's in her handwriting. Something wonderful about that.

I probably did eat cake that she made for me, but Mama Grace died when I wasn't yet three. She was a talented seamstress and a soft-hearted person by all accounts. I think we would have had a grand time together. Though apparently we did; mum tells of coming to pick me up from her house and finding us lying on the kitchen floor with pillows, singing together. I really wish I had known her as an adult. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

25. If I could time travel I would...

...go way forward. I want to see what happens. I want to live on the Starship Enterprise and not have money and say things like "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot." and have it appear and have a holodeck and...

Oh. I just realised I reinterpreted the question to be "if I could be in a TV show". Still. I want to see what nifty gadgets and things are invented.

But I do quite like dystopian futuristic fiction and it all looks pretty bleak as far as people can imagine it (eg, The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, iRobot, Minority Report...Actually maybe it's just Margaret Atwood and Philip K. Dick with the problem). I hope it's not quite as dark as all that. Maybe it'll be more like space cowboys and Firefly. Which is still pretty dark. Damnit.

Kaylee's still pretty optimistic, though.

The many moods of Bec - or, new clothes!

Well, because I know as soon as I say I've received a parcel of new eShakti dresses there will be a chorus of "Pic?" from certain tweeters, I went on a pre-emptive strike and snapped some pics - the dresses are right out of the box so they're a bit crumpled!

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a model (plus sized or otherwise) because a) I can't help making faces all the time, b) I don't know how to stand, c) I seem to have no neck (Tyra might have advice on that) and d) I don't actually want to be a model.

Also I seem to be looking over to one side a lot. There really wasn't anything very interesting on that fencepost.

Anyway, here are my new dresses, which arrived this morning, courtesy of dear Dave who sent them on from the US for me. And here am I, looking spontaneous and totally natural as I lean casually against an archway in my garden.

The last one was a bit of a gamble - I wanted to try a light, bright colour but wasn't sure it was really my thing (it's radiant orchid, Pantone's colour of the year). I like the style of the dress but I might dye it darker. Must remember, I need to stick to darker, vibrant colours. Also ones that don't clash with my hair (though to be fair, my hair wasn't this colour at the time I ordered the dress).

So then we move on to the skirt I got from Holy Clothing that really does match my hair! I needed a skirt for an upcoming bellydance performance (my first one!) and I've been coveting the HC skirts for a while (the hip scarf isn't part of it). It's so swishy. I love it.

And to end with, something I made myself! I finally finished my jumper - Tall Latte by Doris Chan, in Bendigo Woollen Mills Stellar yarn. It's snuggly, and very 'me'.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

24. Fess up! Tell us something no one knows

Like Georgia, I found it hard to think of something about me that no one knows! (I guess technically the prompt doesn't say it has to be about me, but I assume that's what it meant.)


Well it's not very exciting. But I quite like to eat snacks in bed at night. And every time I do, I think about this sketch from Sesame Street.

I've decided it's one of the perks of sleeping alone.

Monday, 23 June 2014

23. A review of...

The Big Tree House cafe in Rydalmere!

I'm pretty chuffed to find a pleasant, decent cafe just near work. We have a couple of food shops just round the corner, but it's aimed at the tradie market and not anywhere you want to hang around in (quick takeaway, zero atmosphere). The other day Ella mentioned the cafe down the road (a couple of minutes' drive away) - I hadn't been there since last year. Turns out in April this year they reopened as the Big Tree House cafe and it's great! Ella and I have decided to institute Big Tree House Thursdays, where whoever wants to will go there for lunch and get out of the office for half an hour.

I had to get some writing done for work today, and I always find it easier to write a first draft in a cafe. Always. I guess it's the ambient noise, the fact that someone brings food to you, and I'm not distracted by my computer. Also I hate fluorescent lights of all offices; they are so destructive to creativity. So I headed off to the cafe.

I settled in with my notepad by the large window and had a most delicious (and pretty) Campos mocha. For lunch I had a Big Tree House burger, which had pineapple and beetroot and bacon on it and was too big to eat with my hands. Also fat chips - I love fat chips.

I have some friends who are extremely anti-food-served-on-boards but I don't mind it (and hey guess what, Guy? They serve cold drinks in Mason jars! :D ) Then I had a short black and a delicious Brasserie Bread chocolate caramel tart.

I had been the only customer when I arrived, but there was a steady stream of people in and out. It never felt overcrowded though, and the staff were always perfectly pleasant. It's right in the middle of a strip of houses, next to one other shop, so I hope they get enough business. It is near a school though, so they might get a lot of before and after school business. I hope they do well. I have optimistically started a frequent coffee card.

Also, I got a decent first draft of my project written. It was a very productive hour!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

22. Blog about a recent photo you took

The family awkwardly carry her casket from the funeral parlour to the waiting van while us four cousins continue to sing. We leave the artificial chill of that room we had sat in for days, while giant floral arrangements had multiplied around her and strangers had wandered in and out to pay their respects.

The heat of the Malaysian morning is dense and unrelenting. We walk slowly behind the van, still singing, our voices growing hoarse, sweat beading on our faces. Around the ramshackle buildings, along the potholed road, up the hill and left just a little to an empty tiled verandah. The pastor says more words, but he's only really repeating himself now and I don't hear them.

Silent funeral attendants in polo shirts hand each of us a rose, gathered from the many arrangements back in the parlour. When the pastor finally prays and is silent, we all stand, approach the coffin and lay our flowers together.

With barely a pause, when the last flower is laid, the attendants wheel the coffin into a small room, onto a conveyor belt and into the furnace. We go back to the parlour to get our things and the floral arrangements are already mostly gone, the chairs pushed aside, the room getting ready for the next family to sit in while they wait to lay their own flowers down.


Just checking out the redesign of Chris Gillebeau's site, and was most captivated by his philosophy.

I really like it.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

21. Photo journal today

20. Who would you switch lives for a day with and why?

JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman or Robin Hobb, in the middle of a good writing burst. Because I want to know how it feels to be an established writer, with a good body of work behind me, living comfortably off my writing and delighting in the characters and worlds I've created (I don't doubt it is hard a lot of the time though - which is why I specified it had to be on a good writing day!).

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The problem with being a multi passionate that your brain never switches off. There are always things you could be doing, things you want to try, things you are inspired by. Most of the time I can keep that mental noise in check by doing a little bit of something most days.

The point when it becomes a problem is when you are sick and rendered immobile, like I was today. Your pounding head means you can't do anything, and in fact is probably a signal from your body telling you that you shouldn't do anything. And yet you have a full day where you don't have to be working at your paid job, when you could be sewing, or taking photographs of your products to put online, or publicising your upcoming market, or doing some massage study, or...or...or...

Just. Stop.

And I did just stop, you'll be pleased to know. I climbed onto the couch under my doona, in a patch of sun, and slept from about 10am to 5:30pm with brief awake period for lunch. But it's hard not to feel like I've lost a day somewhere. Which is ridiculous because, well, I was sick.

For most people their not-at-work time is precious, but for those of us who have a really small cache of energy to draw on, it becomes even more precious. Rest is super important, or else I won't be able to do anything, but I still need to squeeze in all those other things. Well I don't need to. But the creative stuff is important to me and I need to make space for it, especially if one day I want to move my work life in that direction. So much of what I'm doing now is laying groundwork (like learning how to sell things online well, and like studying to get my Cert IV in massage, and like building up the Spire Market) and yet it doesn't really fit. Does that mean I shouldn't be doing it?

I guess the thing is to remember I'm not on a timetable. I don't have to achieve anything by any particular time. I have to fulfil my responsibilities, but the rest can go slowly, and that's okay.

19. Three social media tips

Turns out Sammi and I think the same way about a lot of things, including this - she said what I was going to say!

Hm. So for what they're worth, here are three other social media tips.

It's a conversation...
When Twitter first started getting popular, I remember an acquaintance getting cross that people were having exchanges on Twitter rather than just posting their 140 character pronouncements and leaving it at that. And when some people join Twitter they feel a bit bemused, saying, "well, when does it get interesting?" Well if you're only interested in the 140 character pronouncement-type posts, then I guess it all depends on who you follow. But I find it gets much more interesting when you start interacting with people, whether friends or people you don't know. public...
Well, duh. Otherwise you'd just write stuff down in a journal, wouldn't you? Even if your privacy settings are high, you're posting something online because you want other people to see it and interact with it. So a) don't get upset when people have an opinion, b) think about whether it's something you want everyone to see, and c) especially as regards photos, once it's out there, it's potentially out there forever, even if you delete it (people can take screenshots).

...with humans
So the key thing, having said all that, is it's important to remember that on social media you're engaging with real people (well, except for spambots). Even trolls are people, sad to say. Social media does free you up to say a lot of things you might not say face to face, but at the same time, not everything is worth saying. I don't mean that everything you post should be worthy and deep (which you will know if you are my Facebook friend or Twitter follower!), just that sometimes it's good to take a second or two before you hit enter. You might avoid needlessly hurting or humiliating someone (or embarrassing yourself!).

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

18. What superpower would you like and why?

It's hard to pick just one. I was going to cheat and choose a power like the one Rogue from X Men has. She absorbs others' powers when she touches them. But that would only work if you lived in a world where other people had powers too. And isn't that a bit like wishing for more wishes with your wish from the genie?

So if I was the only one with powers, I think I'd like something like super speed, like Dash from the Incredibles. Imagine having all that energy! 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

17. give your blog a mission statement

My aim with this blog has always been to be real. I think about my struggles with depression, for example, and I've always wanted to be open and clear about what it's like to live with depression because it might help someone else in the same situation.

Writing this blog is sometimes also cathartic and helps me work out what I think about things. So often I will start off ranting about something and by the time I've finished the post I've gained some much-needed perspective, often leading me back to thinking about how God would want me to behave in a situation.

I try not to write about other people (without their permission anyway) - for example, I don't really talk about relationships or things like that. I don't want to upset other people unnecessarily or reveal things about them that they may not want the world (well, you) to know. I mean, I talk about my own situation (eg, singleness) but this isn't a place for dissecting others.

Having said that, I'm usually a bit of an over-sharer anyway so you'll always know how I feel about things. As my great aunty Bab once said, "I've worn my heart on my sleeve all my life, I'm too old to stop now!"

So what will my mission statement be?

To provoke thought, to share life, to be real.

That sounds like it should be superimposed on a photo of a field of daisies in the sunshine or something.

I think I prefer GA Bab's words. It's not exactly a mission statement, but I think it sums me up better.

Monday, 16 June 2014

16. Where are you today?

Today I was at work at Rydalmere, popped out to Officeworks and grabbed a coffee in Dundas with my colleague Ella (doesn't Dundas sound like it's out in the middle of nowhere? It's just the next suburb from my office), and now I am at home with my lovely mum who has cooked a roast dinner! It's so good to have her home!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

15. a time I doubted God existed

I don't think I've ever truly doubted God existed. I have, however, lived very much as though I didn't care whether he existed or not.

I was chatting to Sam C, who is in first year uni, at church tonight about my uni days. I guess you could say that was the time of my life that I went off the rails, though by most (non-Christian) peoples' standards it's probably pretty tame (though I look back on some of it now and can't believe some of the stuff I got up to).

But no matter what I did or didn't do, the point was that although I believed God was there, I just didn't care. I didn't blame him for the things that had happened in my life up until that point (family breakdown, the death of a loved one, and some other stuff) I just didn't want to put any effort into the relationship. Basically, I just didn't want to think about him. So with every decision I made and every day that passed, I moved further and further away from him, and for a while I was quite content to live as though he wasn't there, even though deep down I knew he was.

Then, seemingly all at once, I finished uni, the relationship I was in broke down, my living situation (which hadn't been great) got worse, and after not too long I just fell apart. My great life of bohemian independence and adulthood was shown to be the cardboard cutout that it was.

And I just knew what was missing. I could feel the giant gap in my heart that only a relationship with God could fill. Even though I was ashamed and didn't want to admit that the answer had been there all along, I meekly went to church alone one Sunday and started the long journey back to Jesus. Well, not long in one sense - of course Jesus accepts you immediately when you turn back to him - but long in that taking my rebellious heart and changing it to be more like Jesus...well that's a work that won't be finished until he comes again!

Tonight, in his sermon, Dave said something that really resonated, especially after my conversation with Sam: "Don't get sucked into the lie that life is more fun without Jesus." I know that to be true (even if I still sometimes try to pretend ignoring him is okay). I rejoice every day that I know I will be face to face with Jesus someday and I will be welcomed in to be with him, not cast out and made to suffer God's wrath. That's a better choice than any fleeting pleasure this world can bring.

14. Make a scrapbook page

Oops I missed yesterday - I was at Supanova with Karen all day, and had kind of planned to make a scrapbook page while I sat there but...didn't. I crocheted instead; that is much more portable than having to take all the bits and pieces I would have needed to scrapbook.

When did 'scrapbook' become a verb?

Well I will show you some pages from an actual scrapbook that I made when I was in high school. No washi tape. No embellishments. Just stuff I liked, stuck into a contact-covered exercise book with glue.

It makes me laugh actually, to see the things I covered in this particular book. Topics included: friends; stuff from a school ski trip to Thredbo; tags from clothes I liked, including my Levis and Hypercolor t shirt (SO trendy); several pages on the Commitments, Andrew Strong's visit to Australia and our Commitments cover band (so it was a cover band of a cover band - we were so meta before that was a thing):

An intriguing page titled "guess who owns the body part" - no it wasn't smutty, it was just before digital photography when you had to get photos developed and so often you'd get random photos of someone's thumb or leg or something completely out of focus, but you couldn't delete them. And you had to pay however much per print just for the privilege of seeing that you sucked as a photographer. So I stuck them in my scrapbook instead. Hurrah the digital age!

Ooh, the Concert for Life at Centennial Park feat. Crowded House, Rat Cat, Yothu Yindi, Diesel, Jenny Morris, Def FX and INXS before Michael Hutchence died (that was a really good concert); a bunch of Far Side Comics; coverage of the Prince concert I went to (one of the first big stadium concerts I went to); stuff our school jazz band played at (the Little Big Band); Strictly Ballroom; and a bunch of pages on Jesus Christ Superstar, the arena spectacular with John Farnham as JC and Jon Stevens as Judas. That was seriously an excellent show, I don't care what that review said.

Ah, memories.

Friday, 13 June 2014

13. Are you superstitious?

I have a black cat, so clearly not.

It's funny, when I was a kid you'd play those games when walking down a footpath of avoiding cracks - "step on a crack, break your mother's back" - but I never actually thought if I stepped on a crack something would happen to my mum.

When I was a teenager, I read an interview about a band I liked, and it noted that the lead singer was very superstitious. Apparently whenever an ambulance went past, he compulsively had to touch a button on his clothing. I found that intriguing. Why on earth would you need to touch a button?

Well I didn't have the internet then, so I couldn't look it up. Now I can! Here you go, a long standing mystery in my mind is finally solved:
One of the most long-lasting of such superstitions is the belief that if you see an ambulance or a hearse, you must touch a button on your clothing immediately or you will be the next person getting a free ride in said vehicle. This superstition was first seen in Victorian times, and one variant was that you needed to grab and hold the button until you saw a bird fly by to be truly protected. (Source )
How odd.

Another superstition around death for Chinese people is apparently white moths symbolising the soul of the departed person (is that just a Chinese thing? I don't know). My grandmother (Mama) was apparently very upset when my grandfather (Yeh Yeh) was laid out after he died, because she saw a white moth and thought it was him (she was quite superstitious). Oddly enough, at the funeral parlour when I arrived for her wake, I noticed a moth fluttering around the ceiling and I thought it was was appropriate! (but I didn't think it was her, just so we're clear!)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

12. Share an art journal page

So I don't actually keep an art journal. I'd like to, but it's just one of those things I don't get around to doing, despite all the stamps, washi tape and Copics I am hoarding...for what, I don't know, but occasionally I get a creative burst and need to colour! (for example, I bought one of these French colouring-in books at Finders Keepers and all I've managed to do so far is one face. Disappointingly the paper, although thick, isn't designed for use with markers and the colour bled through. But the colouring part was fun.)

But I have stuff stuck on my walls. So here is my wall-sized art journal page :)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

11. Guest post

So tonight's guest blogger is none other than Sammi herself (she who set the topics for this month of blogging) - and I'm the guest blogger on her site too!

One of Sammi's dolls for sale at her sister's cafe, The Dragonfly Lounge, in Orange

Sammi makes sweet dolls, and sells amazing Copic markers, and we run the Spire Market together. So she's got quite a bit of creativity running through her veins! Here are Sammi's top 10 tips to living a creative life.
  1. Be bold - Don't be afraid to make mistakes... that's how we sometimes get the best ideas. Mistakes are opportunities :) ...the best way to learn and grow.
  2. As Alice would say, "Curious and Curiouser!" Explore the world around you. Imagine you are seeing the world through a child's eyes... sometimes as we grow up we lose the Creativity that comes naturally to others.
  3. Allow yourself time to play... experiment :)
  4. Keep a notebook where you can record ideas when they come. If you keep it next to your bed you can get those thoughts that sometimes keep you awake and this might help with that.
  5. Look after yourself. Get sleep and eat well (they say exercise is good too).
  6. Read LOTS of different things!
  7. Schedule some quiet time for yourself into your day.
  8. Spend time with other creatives ... it's always good to be inspired by others and share thoughts and creations with like minded people.
  9. Take risks ... embrace the mess.
  10. Be yourself - as Dr Seuss wrote, "You are you and that is true, there's no one in the world who is you-er than you". Don't compare yourself to others; we are all unique and no two people are the same.
Thanks Sammi!

(By the way, Sammi and our friend Virginia are running some crafty workshops throughout the day at the next Spire Market on 28 June. If you want to make some gorgeous cards or learn how to colour with Copics like Sammi does (the image below is just one example), make sure you come along!)

10. Review your goals

Well this is timely.

I've been working through Danielle LaPorte's The Desire Map ("a guide to creating goals with soul") on and off for the last few weeks. It's one of those tools I need to be a bit flexible with; taking the good stuff and maybe sidestepping the stuff I don't necessarily agree with - more in a worldview sense (but then taking what works for you and leaving the rest seems to be the way LaPorte operates a bit herself). In my case, I need to keep comparing her philosophies to how God tells me to live in the Bible and sometimes the two don't quite match up.

The whole desire mapping idea is that so often the goals we set ourselves are external goals (want to run 5ks, want to make a million dollars, want to write a novel by the end of the year, etc) but the thing behind those goals is a desire to feel a certain way. Because we don't identify this so often, if we attain the goal we've set we're disappointed when it doesn't necessarily make us feel the way we'd hoped. Or we don't reach the goal and then feel that we're failures.

So LaPorte says why not turn it on its head? Ask how you want to feel and make decisions aimed at getting you there. She says, "knowing how you want to feel is the most powerful form of clarity you can have."

I really struggle with clarity of purpose, actually. I've never known what I want to go for, what I want to do specifically, because there are so many things I could do (I know I'm very lucky in that regard). I've ended up doing some great things, but also some not-so-great things because I've just floundered around quite a lot. Aiming for feeling different is a much better motivator for me, as far as I can tell. It opens up many more possibilities.

Well unfortunately for this post I haven't yet gone through the whole desire mapping process so I can't report to you on my goals from that perspective. I will soon. But to be clear, I'm not exploring this with a view to indulging every whim and feeling that I have, that's not what it's about. I profoundly disagree with the popular worldview that you have to "be true to yourself", because so often that means being selfish and hurting other people. At the same time, I don't believe you should repress yourself to fulfill other peoples' expectations.

As I said at the beginning, all this is calibrated by asking "who does God want me to be?" Heading towards that is my ultimate goal.

Monday, 9 June 2014

9. Write a letter to someone

Dear Rebecca

This is a letter for when you are feeling a bit crap.

It's okay. Sometimes feeling crap happens. You know that. You also know that often it's not based on reality, it's just your mind playing tricks on you. Though sometimes it is based in reality. Still, it will pass.

Sometimes you will want to do many more things than your body will allow. Don't be frustrated, just do the things you can manage. The other stuff will wait, or it won't. Either way, it doesn't matter. Don't be overwhelmed by time rushing on and feeling like the world is passing you by; you're still moving, just a bit slower for a time.

Don't worry about doing. Just be still. Know that you are loved, by God, by your family, by many people. That's what matters, not what you do.

Sometimes you'll feel sad, and it will be for many reasons but it will also feel like it's for no reason. Don't panic. Just take a deep breath. Feel sad and let it pass, like water through your fingers. You are not loved any less for feeling sad.

Just remember
that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! 
(Romans 8:38-39) 

BLG: Monday (a public holiday)

127. Waking up at the time I had planned to, getting up, having breakfast, then lying down and falling back asleep again for two hours...and that being okay.

128. Being woken up by a text inviting me out to coffee and lunch.

129. The fat, vibrant rainbow arcing across the sky as I drove towards Cronulla.

130. Driving in the rain and being able to talk about anything and everything with Kel.

131. Feeling like my sewing skills are getting back on track after a lapse, and the satisfaction of making something pretty.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

8. A typical week

Hm. The topic was actually "Share a photo every day for a typical week", which probably means I should have been collecting photos of my typical week over the past seven days. Well I'll just have to describe it instead. It's a good thing to do, taking stock, because in my mind all it feels like I do is go to work and sleep, but I know that's not true.

I start the week at SU NSW in Rydalmere. I complain a lot about the commute, because really that's the worst part of the day. My office is great and the people in it are lovely. I mean, look at them.

Then the evening is usually free, which I need for getting myself together for the rest of the week. I'll usually be sewing while watching things on my computer, or crocheting while watching TV with mum.

Tuesday is a busy day in the office, because it's when most people are in - many of the staff are out and about as part of their jobs, or work at home part of the week. So Tuesday is the agreed upon day when we all try and be in the office together. We catch up, have lunch together (which is usually raucous), read the Bible and pray.

In the evening is growth group. A bunch of us from church meet at the Betbeders' in Bexley to have dinner, study the Bible and pray together.

Tuesday is a busy, tiring day because it is full of conversation and lots of people time, but there is a lot of richness in there too. And opening the Bible with people is always good.

Wednesday is a work at home day! This is great after a busy Tuesday, because I don't have to drive anywhere and I can just be comfy in my trackies. Then in the evening it's bellydancing in Kingsgrove with Jessica and a bunch of fun women. It's been really fun this year, and I enjoy exercising this way (we have a performance coming up soon; I'm enjoying learning the choreography but I know I'll be nervous on the day!).

Back to the office on Thursdays. It's usually a lot quieter, and I don't have anything regularly scheduled in the evenings. I've started scheduling in massage practice sessions on Thursday nights, because I need to get my logbook hours up, but that's okay because it happens at home.

I think I can only really manage two things every week. I much prefer spontaneous things (if I have the energy) over something that takes up a night every week. I don't know why. I guess a full diary stresses me out and if you commit to something that runs over a term or whatever, your diary is already full before you've even had time to think about it.

My second work at home day! And usually it's an unplanned evening, often involving sewing.

Saturdays often get full, but it's rarely with the same thing. I do relish a blank Saturday. It might have gardening in it, or a trip to Bunnings/Spotlight/Ikea (depends what project I'm working on!), or a meal out or... Next week is Supanova. The following week is the Spire Market. I like it being varied.

Almost always a guaranteed sleep in and pottering around morning while mum is at church. Lunch together. Then I go to church - if I'm on music I'll go early for rehearsal.

So that's a typical week for me!