Thursday, September 3, 2009

MailTo Encoder | Encode your email address to prevent spam

I found this the other day and just wanted to share it with anyone who has published their e-mail addy on a website for business purposes and who now receives copious e-mails about penis size and ways to increase sexual ability ....... and, who gets as aggravated by that spam as I do.

MailTo Encoder | Encode your email address to prevent spam

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Everything was going along fairly swimmingly until I ate lunch last Tuesday.  Now, I have racked my brain as to what in particular set it all off about that lunch and I have settled upon the poppy seeds in the muffin - sort of like The Princess and the Pea stuff. 

What occurred was that a bolt of lightening - or what I think that would feel like - struck me in tooth 14 of my mouth.  I know all about tooth numbers nowadays which amuses me to no small extent, having had them bandied about over my head when a dentist and endodontrist were discussing my fate with their respective assistants.

Having had issues with this tooth for a while which issues usually settled down after about 15 minutes, I soothed it all with my tongue and got on with the business at hand which was probably my inbox which is where I spend most of my working day.

No settling down occurred though - not a smidgeon.  I barely slept that night despite the largest quantity of painkillers I had ever consumed and it was worse by Wednesday by which time I could barely talk let alone eat. 

My husband, having been observing the proceedings from the night before, had taken to bringing soup home for lunch and supper - it was literally all I could get into my mouth because chewing was THAT painful and had also made an emergency appointment with a dentist for Thursday.  He had to FIND a dentist because of the move we have just made on top of it all and that dentist had to be willing to see me as a matter of urgency and be contracted in to our health insurance scheme.

By Thursday, I was crying involuntarily, making putting makeup on night on impossible but I managed to dry up just before my dentist's appointment which was set for 12h30 and which I had gotten into a state of utter anticipation for, being sure that they would do something about my pain.

Sadly, he merely took an x-ray, prescribed an antibiotic and some stronger painkillers and told me I needed to see an endodontrist.  It is the first time I have sat in a pharmacy and actually wept because I had to wait for drugs - I am deadly serious about this too.  We got home, emergency endodontrist appointment was made for the next day and I took my doses and then I think I went to hell.

My mouth felt as if it literally exploded.  The pain was so severe I think I actually passed out from it because all I remember about the rest of Thursday is lying on my bed flipping my pillow because I kept drenching it with all my weeping and then waking up, basically pain free at about midnight.

The endodontrist did the usual root canal procedure on Friday and I now continue with my antibiotics, never having needed another painkiller after the first one on Thursday on our return from the dentist and pharmacy.

What you are probably wondering, does any of this have to do with a blog about transitioning.  I'll tell you .....

I have known about that tooth being in trouble for a good 3 years now and, I have done NOTHING about it because I was THAT scared of root canal.  Result, more pain than any root canal could have ever caused me and a whole lot of rushing aruond and pill taking and haphazard medical provider choosing instead of a nice planned affair.  Total coroboration of my mantra of getting as much knowledge as you can about what you need to do so that you can transition gracefully and so that fear doesn't paralyse you.

I keep saying it but herewitth then the proof that it would appear I don't always listen to my own advice andso,  I got an incredibly rude reminder last week - I won't forget again.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wonga: How the Net Should Kill the Finance Industry

 Having worked in banks for 18 years of my adult life, I know all about some of the nasty that goes on behind the scenes. What with the whole financial crisis doomsday scenario and with that aforementioned experience knowledge in hand, I am lately all about wanting "bad bankers" to be taken down and about new ways for the public to bank being found. 

I accordingly found this article pretty interesting and I really hope this idea takes off in some other spots around the world - we surely need it .......

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Room Rules: What’s Reasonable?

Room Rules: What's reasonable?

Excellent question that and it reminds me of the transition I have been making from being the Mother of a child to the Mother of a teen.  Good Heavens, my daughter KNOWS how to create a mess and she knows how to do it in short shrift.  Now, this has not changed but her willingness to do something about it afterward has.

It is as if she uses her mess to get my attention and then show me that she won't do what I say no matter what the punishment.

My older family members such as her grandmother and grandaunt tell me it's normal for teens and that I am being unreasonable but I seem to remember the both of them pulling their hair out when my cousins and I were growing up too.  I also seem to remember that I understood that a plate under my bed for three days was DISGUSTING!

Every single day with my child brings new lessons as to patience, tolerance and understanding of different - all great life skills - she must be a soul mate.  I cannot think of a bigger transition than the one she is dragging me through and yes, on this count I must admit to being dragged :)


I am rather snobbish about education because I am rather snobbish about who I spend time with - my husband calls me an elitist - chuckles.  It's just that I genuinely believe that time is my most precious resource and I accordingly wish to use it wisely.  I have found that the better educated folk are, the more interesting and informative they are and hence, the more time I am willing to invest in them.

That probably sounds incredibly selfish but hell, if we can't be selfish about how we spend our short time on this planet, if we cannot choose with whom, then what is the point of it all?

On that note, I have striven to be fairly well educated myself - forfend the thought of being a hypocrite after all - :) and am also particularly angst-ridden about ensuring that my daughter gets the best education I can provide for her. 

This got a bit difficult when I changed countries as I obviously had no idea how things worked in the new place.  Enter a Google search and the discovery of what I consider to be an absolutely invaluable resource in this splendid website

If you find yourself wondering how to go about deciding on education institutions, I sincerely suggest that you try this site - I have been using it since I got here, still get newsletters and couldn't be happier with the direction I have been steered in - in all my glorious snobbishness!


I used to be an aerobics fiend .... and a squash fiend ..... and a field hockey fiend - really I think I was just fiendish. It was all about being buff and able to keep up and o, ok, it was also about being competitive. I have always had a thing about doing something until I can beat most other people at it and that includes just being generally speedy or fit.

I used to do 2 to 3 aerobics, step or spin classes in a row and might fling in a nice lunchtime squash match with some hockey practise twice a week and a match on Saturdays - and that was just when I was being my normal self. High stress days meant even more time committed to pounding myself into shape literally and figuratively - I think exercise was my very first addiction - before shopping and then men and then drugs ..... (note work was NEVER an addiction - chuckles)

Then I had my daughter and despite all of my naysaying, she really DID change my world and my me. I simply DID NOT have the sort of time I used to have and my then husband was simply not able (nor I suspect willing) to babysit and fill in when I wanted to indulge my exercise and sport fanaticism. Course he was perfectly ready to indulge his own in front of any given tv but that is fodder for another blog methinks!

Slowly but surely I gave my "indulgences" up until an hour of gym after work every night was all I could manage. Needless to say I became more and more resentful and this resentment eventually led to my suing said husband for divorce mid 2000, just after my father died. What does that have to do with exercise and being a warrior you no doubt shriek? Well, I reply, the combination of high stress and a smashed body eventually led to my both spraining my left ankle and tearing all my ligaments in my right knee in the same year. Being in the state I was in, I NEEDED my outlet and so never waited quite long enough for anything to heal which meant that lots of scar tissue was built up firstly and secondly, that I got DAMN scared of playing squash or hockey, doing kick boxing or step and even of your basic spin class because I kept popping either my knee or ankle out again. The whole financial disaster that divorce is also eradicated any ability to fund a monthly gym membership or membership to anything else mind you My addiction had been curtailed whether I liked it or not.

I spent the next few years growing wider and more unpleasant (in my honest opinion and everyone else's too though they were all probably too scared to tell me so - :) ) and kept trying new things. First I tried running - winter rains in Cape Town made that sort of difficult for about three months of any given year not to mention security concerns. Then I tried running with a friend in Summer (to keep me on track and target) and strength exercise during the inclement times in Winter. The friend bailed fairly regularly because I kept breaking into wild sprints to beat her - chuckles and I could never find a happy medium when I strength trained - I either over or underdid it every single time and I didn't have a DVD player or a VCR for one of the programs one can buy - what to do ..... what to do ....

I then began working from home and bought a treadmill just around the time my aunt also passed on her fairly delapidated yet trusty stationary bike - I began alternating those whilst watching Dr Phil at lunchtime and filled some Coke bottles with sand as my makeshift weights whilst subscribing to's exercise walking newsletters. Not a shabby program but certainly not delivering the results I wanted most likely because I wasn't that persistent and often stopped in horror during Dr. Phil - chuckles

I then emigrated last year and my new husband purchased a Wii as my combination arrival/wedding/birthday present - he got off bloody cheap come to think of it - should have demanded a flock of sheep or something - I am African after all!! LOL

Anyways, the Wii, o the WII!! I HEART my Wii I swear. I heart it so much my heart beats and pounds lumpy custard about it. When I got the Wii Fit and My Fitness Coach for Xmas, that did it. I have subsequently had many many many epiphanies and have also lost some 15 pounds in the last 6 months - going strong still too.

Thusly then my beloved home gym consisting of my Wii, Wii Fit, My Fitness Coach, a yoga ball and a set of 3lb weights. The source of my salvation from my ever encroaching fat. You don't need the Yoga ball or the weights because both the Wii Fit and My Fitness Coach have programs designed for no equipment but I keep adding to my little gym collection every now and again and those were my first additions.

Wii Fit has a little bit of everything and keeps a nice record of your weight and what you are doing exercise wise for you not to mention being pretty good as a startoff tool. I absolutely adore My Fitness Coach though. You can set the length of your workout, the frequency, the area you want to focus on and et voila - you have your own coach - seriously! There are little health tips throughout and if you can't follow this program and stay motivated you were not meant to exercise. There are little fitness tests every 14 exercise sessions during which body fat measurements are taken and fitness levels so that the program can be adjusted. You are also constantly asked to rate difficulty so that adjustments can be made on that basis as well.

I reckon I am quite a jockette albeit a broken one and I tell you, this thing works. I feel a whole lot better about me, I am in control and finally, FINALLY, I have found a way to re-establish balance in my "physical life sector" - what more could ANY warrior Wii or otherwise, ask for?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Your Self Esteem is Up to YOU

 In order to transition successfully and at will, one has to have self confidence in one's ability to be whatever the new thing is that one is changing to be otherwise the fear might hold one back forever.  Self confidence depends on self esteem and so this article is pretty wonderful in that the directions given as to how to take control of one's own levels of self esteem are so easy to understand and accordingly follow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Family Caregiving: Working Things Out At Work

 I came across this wonderful article about how to transition into being the caregiver for your parents as you all age which of course moved me enough to write about it seeing as I like to write about change and preparing for it.

In the June of 2000, my father died after he had been diagnosed with lung cancer some two weeks earlier - it was shocking as you can no doubt imagine and it was also an epiphany for me.  Life really, truly, seriously, is short.  I learnt the hard way that there isn't time to dwell on the past and thereby not catch hold of the present properly nevermind not plan for the future properly.

Nowadays, with my mother at 63, I just don't get as annoyed as I used to.  I make the time for her when she wants to talk to me no matter what it's about and I do the same for the other ageing relatives that I adore.  I do it for everyone that I love actually because age isn't the only thing that causes people to be taken away from me or from anyone and I want to appreciate them.

I want them to know how grateful I am to have had the momenst with them that I have had.  I want them to know how much they have affected me and impacted upon my life and most of all, I want them to know how much I love them.  What shows love more than giving away your time?

  Should my mother or anyone else in my life ever need me to take care of them as they age, I will do it, I will be proud to do it because it will be a sign of respect and it will be me loving them, as best I can.  To be able to do that, I need to plan - just in case - though I know not one relative who would surrender their independance very easily.  Hence my impressedness with the article - it details very nicely just how to do such planning.

Family Caregiving: Working Things Out At Work

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Friday, August 14, 2009

*Being Your Best

 Seeing as this blog is all about transitioning, I thought this article was fairly insightful with regards to what stops us from making the transitions that life really is all about.  I need add nothing because it's THAT good ....

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I have read and watched a good few things about manifesting and thus far, the jury is out as to whether I think it's just another hocus pocus or whether I think it works.

I think that mainly, I do believe that we are totally in control of our life experiences in that we control our response to them, our perception of them so to speak. With this in mind then, I do believe that we can control that response and accordingly our appreciation of the world and what is happening in it around us.

It makes sense that if you work toward a goal you will manifest it because you will be taking the steps in the direction that you need to be going. On that basis then, I don't believe that one can just sit about sending out some sort of force into the universe and making things happen in that way and I think that that is the part of the story that doesn't sit well with me.

Actions speak louder than words but thoughts lead to words and words to action - I think that that is the true basis of manifestation. On that note then, herewith a very good article directing you to watch how you speak ......

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


LOL - OK,not really but still, when you first start living according to a budget having been spending like a drunken sailor before that it's worse than any celery and carrot stick diet and I'm sure anyone else who has been compelled to do either type of diet, ie, a food or a money one, will corroborate that for me.

If you have financial goals though and remember those can be all about spending your money on a certain special thing, the very best way to hit them is with a good budget.

The husband and I have had a small war about budgeting because our priorities are obviously different and we have managed to compromise with the help of wonderful YNAB which I'd recommend to anyone who wants something but really hates the idea of haivng to save for it. It works a charm - we never feel deprived and it's incredibly easy to use.

We've transitioned into excellent savers from being the wild hedonists of 2008 and I'm telling you, anything that helpful for a transitioning has to be worth a look.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Yesterday we FINALLY completed our move out of our old apartment having been making that same move for the last month. We have tended to hate going back there because it basically meant cleaning horrible things like the oven and the fridge (so that we can get as much of our depsit back as possible of course) but I must say, it was sort of bittersweet yesterday.

The apartment was our second home in the US but we stayed there a lot longer than we did in the first apartment we occupied so it was much more of a home. My daughter completed her first year of US school there, we bought all our furniture while living there, we got married whilst in this apartment, I got my permission to work there and we got our green cards there. That's A LOT of stuff, BIG stuff, that happened in this place.

Of course we were also constantly driven insane by the interminable renovations which meant that our water was switched off for at least a day once weekly, the noise and dust almost never ended, we were sans pool and exercise room for 4 months even though our massive rent incorporated the use of those facilities blah blah blah.

Still, as we left yesterday, I felt a slight touch of a lump in the throat and a warm feeling in my eyes because there is a sentimental connection. I know why we moved, we wanted a better school for my daughter, we wanted more space, we wanted a garden and we wanted a better neighbourhood - we got it all AND amazingly, for a cheaper rent. The pros are there and we have, in effect, hit every single one of our goals and priorities for a home with our move ..... still, a touch of sadness.

This is the usual measure of change and moving on. This touch of regret, of sorrow about the state of life that you are leaving behind, the people, the things, the walls, the smells with the intentional self-reminding of WHY you are doing that.

Change, transitioning, it is that much easier if you know where you are going and why you are going there, if you have planned for the change and the transition. The great thing is that if you get the mindset right it even works for unplanned changes and transitionings and that is a life skill bar none.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Inside Story on Stress and Worry

 I am most enamoured with Guy Finley and his writings and this post validates that faith in so many different ways.

In order to transition, there must be a sense of the ability to simply change one's mindset from the old to the new but therein lies the true issue with change - the idea of it being simple because very few things are as simple as they seem and change is truly a shining example of that.  All I have to do is remember the various complainings I have uttered in my life and the plethora of "well why don't you JUST do this, that or the other" 's that I have received in response and the many "buts" I have then countered  with to show the complexity of the mindset or set of circumstances creating the pain, to see how my own life experience as proof of that mantra.

But then I consider this writing and it seems to me that it isn't that hard at all.  What may well be hard is giving up the need for drama as he explains and I suspect that it is also hard to admit, even to onesself, that one has been wasting a lot of time and energy on a thing that was easily fixed - it tends to make one feel foolish and inadequate - and I speak from experience.

Guy Finley explains in every single writing of his precisely how we keep ourselves rooted in any given spot and once you know the description of what is keeping you in whichever rut you are in, you can usually then work out how to either change or disable it so that you can move on to where you really want to be.

Once you've done this once or twice, practised it, it begins to get easier and eventually you have to wonder why you enjoyed being miserable so regularly in the first place at all and happily, I again speak from experience :)

Friday, August 7, 2009


We've been moving for the past month and are paying double rental (GASP AND HORRORS!! simply because we had to ensure that we had THREE utility bills for proof of residence in order to transfer my incredibly reluctant teen into the new school district. Moving is stressful at the best of times but the financial pressure has been no fun either. We discovered that we had to acquire transcripts and something called a withdrawal form from the old school ourselves (despite an exchange of information permission slip) and so had to wait for same school to re-open at the beginning of August before we could begin the actual process of getting this show on the road.

So finally we manage to snaffle an appointment at the old school as of yesterday and I must admit, despite the 30 or so mile travel need, it was efficiently handled to say the least. Filled with excitement at the prospect of actually getting this sorted for once and for all, we proceeded directly to the district office, copies of everything except recent x-rays of our internal organs in hand, only to be told that my dear teen's vaccinations were not up to date enough for her to go to school - SIGHS!!!!!

In South Africa, we have our vaccinations done when we are babies, we have a clinic card until we are 6 and basically, all is complete by then. Just to enter the States last year was a bit of a medical disaster with said teen having to have SEVEN vaccinations (which she had already had of course) administered all at once, so that the Embassy appointed doctor would approve us as being clear and non-infecting healthwise for us to do our emigration. My rant about how unnecessary I found all of that is best left to another blog, suffice it to say that I regard it as a money-making scheme of the highest degree. The teen got very very very sick just before we left South Africa though, no doubt, because of being injected with all sorts of rubbish to make her "healthy".

Bearing all of that in mind, I am sure you can imagine how utterly offended I was that she was "not up to date" with vaccinations and that this is apparently good enough reason for her to not be allowed to attend school despite the attendance at school apparently being legally obligatory.

Needless to say, she was vaccinated again today and having had some time to calm down (it usually works with me) I believe that the silver lining is that she had a medical examination and any worried mommy moments I might have been having about her health have been attended to as all is in good working order. Still, doctor's appointment, more needles stuck into my child and all this, to get her into school. I'm a touch troubled by the system ....... has Pharma gotten to the government in this regard too? Can it really be that the state of California, which has no clue about worm infestations, truly knows more about vaccinations and the necessity of them than South Africa does? Somehow, I just don't know ............

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to Get 300 Hours of Education a Year

 I'm absolutely of the belief that life is about learning constantly.  Whether we realise it or not, every single day brings new lessons.  Of course, learning is also about taking in whatever new information is necessary to enable you to pursue whichever goal you happen to be after at the time as I discussed in this earlier post of mine.

Life is incredibly busy though and having never attended formal college or university but having always obtained whatever qualification I was striving for at the time whilst working at the same time not to mention running my household and raising my daughter, I wholly appreciate any ideas with regards to planning to accomodate such studying.

Enter this very interesting post from Karyn Greenstreet the other day.  I think it's an absolutely solid idea and I am applying it in my own world - I'm already a little more clued up! :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pay Attention

 My vision of myself as being an adaptable sort led me to naming this blog as I have.  Over the years, I have indeed, as I am sure we all have, transitioned through many life phases and sets of circumsrtances.  Truth be told, I happen to believe that that is the entire point.

To transition successfully, however, one has to be able to focus on precisely where one is so that the leap to the new space is executed correctly else one might well find oneself falling, perhaps fairly hard and far.  Now, a fall isn't the end of any given world and it is true that when I was younger, I tended to quite enjoy the sensation of weightlessness and utter terror that accompany one.  Still, as one ages, one realises that one takes damage with each and every fall and one learns that it is better not to do it that often and accordingly begins planning one's jumps a little better.

 So what does it take to plan for a jumping or a change?  It takes knowledge of the circumstances and position one is jumping from and the exact same knowledge (or the very best one can do in that regard as one sometimes hops into an unknown spot) for the new circumstance and position.

Once I established the above principle, I spent a few years really trying to research all options intensively before I did anything and I found myself lurking about in one batch of life circumstances trying to plan for the next batch, for far far far too long.

This splendid post "Pay Attention" from the greatly enjoyed blog Lateral Action explains what I discovered to be the solution.  It is about both planning and paying attention.  A little bit of both goes ALL the way if you are trying to make changes.  If you are truly focusing on what you are doing, the foreknowledge I used to seek so desperately is no longer quite as vital. 

I am now brave enough to take more chances, to try new things, to be a little different and that is precisely what a Transitionist should be.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Transitioning into the "new consciousness" - am I ready?

I have a lot of "peculiar" friends, most probably because I am somewhat "odd" myself. One of them Facebooked this link to us (we being the "nutters" who love this sort of thing). I was moved as I invariably must be in order for me to blog about something and so then to my musings.

So what is it that moved me? Well, I love the fact that there are other people thinking about this. I love the fact that I am not insane. I love the validation. I love the quest that has been undertaken. I love any general search for knowledge. I love the number of fellow humans undertaking the same quest/journey. Last but not least, I tend to always love anything beyond the mundane - almost seek it desperately. Perhaps I think that if I contemplate "unearthly" things, I consequently become less boring?

It must be said that I have probably investigated all of the things mentioned in the clip ranging from Wicca, to Catholicism to Satanism - all in search of The Answer - it is the human constant I think or maybe that is just what I tell myself as a consolation for what has oftentimes felt just that little bit too driven. We all feel anxious (or I think we all do - maybe it's just me again) if we don't know what is going to happen next or what the given answer to anything is and so we seek "meaning" because "meaning", gives us control. What, we wonder, can be the point of it all? Am I,we wonder, doing the right thing? Is there, we wonder, anything we can do to improve this experience and hence the result? (Note that I continue to use the we thereby making myself safe in the crowd).

I have a favourite story about this which I tell when I am trying to show my own fallibility. I remember being in grade 4 and our then science teacher explaining the universe to us. She explained how it was ever expanding and about how we - humankind, didn't know where it's boundaries or beginning were - I literally got dizzy right there in class. I remember going home and sitting on our toilet for the rest of the afternoon because I felt sick and I was waiting for something to happen. When my parents got home and enquired what the issue was (they actually needed the bathroom which I had taken occupation of) I told them that I was thinking about infinty and that it was making me want to vomit.

My mother, ever practical, laughed and went off to make supper. My father, ever proud if I showed any sign of intelligence, begged me to come out of there and discuss things with him which I of course did. We spoke until bedtime. I attended a convent then and had literally fallen in love with God, wanting to be a nun from just about the first week I began attending. That night, I fell out of love with God, with Father Christmas, with the Easter Bunny, all my STUFF - all my "meanings" and foundations and points of reference. As my father explained, we cannot truly keep an open mind, an infinite mind, and believe wholeheartedly in these other things because to do so creates conflict. You cannot peg yourself to any given shore if you wish to explore an ocean .....

I wonder if he knew the damage he was doing. I wonder if he understood what it is to not be able to believe, to be suspicious of everything but to long, yearn for the explanation - for something to cling to, for something real and solid and not as tenuous and ephemeral and basically disinterested in me as infinity or just plain old being faithful sounds and indeed feels.

It is that very lack of belief that has led me to quest as I have for The Answers and I have looked under just about every stone, in every place of faith and religion and in every place where there is an absence of those things. I have not found any one answer just many clues which seem to all be pieces of a puzzle.

I cannot bring myself to say, for example, that anyone is flat out wrong about things like some of the religious denominations do. I simply don't believe that I have that right as a fellow human being. I also tend to think perception is the master of belief and how can I judge any such given belief if I am not angled to it in precisely the same fashion as those who believe in it? The saying goes that we need to walk a mile in someone's shoes before we judge them after all.

I think we often judge out of fear - fear of the nausea I experienced as a child when my mental walls were removed. Is it perhaps true that we are not that much better than sheep? That we, as apparently superior human beings require mental herding, self imposed mental fences, to feel secure?

It felt to me as if this moviemaker is on the same quest and that he is pictorially depicting it - I love that!! He is a kindred spirit!!! Perhaps his movie will end up being a map that one such as I could follow. A veritable GPS to The Answer.

I must confess to having long been suspicious about this Secret business. Why do people carry on about it so? I would rather hear a fundamental truth than hear about some apparent secret everyone has been carrying about with them. Secrets make me nervous - why is something so "important" a secret at all? Answers make me feel secure ..... knowledge and the pursuit thereof make me feel secure .... Knowing that there are folk apparently keeping important knowledge a secret seems to irk me somehow.

Consciousness .... living life on purpose ...... feeling in control from within and not needing something without to drive one - so many life coaching concepts in there it's almost amsuing. How did we get to a place where we needed to be coached to live? To believe in consciousness, one must believe in soul or some inner energy source other than the physical brain which is really a whole lot of chemistry within some meat. Is soul, therefore, religious or has the concept just been claimed? Does anyone have the translator for soul speak so that I can consult with my own and thereby make sure that we are on the right path? This is The Answer I am seeking but I remain slightly unsure as to whether this soul or faith or consciousness of mine is the compass I think it is but find I must trust in it anyway or never take a step forward in any direction at all.

Every single culture I have thus far encountered speaks of "the new way", of an end and a beginning of a change of some sort. This reminds me of the discovery of the "New Worlds" when our ancestors were travelling to new countries they had merely heard mention of. They showed incredible bravery and self directed motivation to leave everything they knew, get onto ships and sail to places which they had the barest minimum of knowledge about. I suggest that the transition that lies ahead for all of us, is of a similar nature but that the journey lies within and not without though it will require the same strengths to leave what we believe to be true behind in order to move into what we merely suspect might be real.

It will also require the same strengths once we have transitioned successfully to rebuild and maintain and improve upon,just as in the past and I suspect that not everyone will make it. I suspect too that preparation and perspiration are the way to go. Acquisition of knowledge, perhaps a guide or two and definitely a lot of adaptibility of spirit - survival instincts one and all in actuality, will be prerequisites. Then still, loads of opposition like stormy seas, learning to get along with others as with the peoples discovered, adapting to the new surroundings, difficulty, hardship, never easy but then nothing worthwhile ever is.

On that basis then, let us revert to my original question. Am I ready to transition into the new consciousness? Am I working to be ready? Do I have the strength of character required? Have I mastered enough knowledge to thrive? Will I be left behind? Have I found any of "My Answers" ........ ?

Monday, June 29, 2009


I must say that I find myself very moved by Mark McGuinness lately. This post about motivation during recession got me thinking about things and I do adore anyone who can get me thinking - which is a rather expansive thing to say if you think about it but that's fodder for another post .....

I tend to agree with what he says about the four fields of influence but find it fairly difficult to keep them all in focus all the time - I always did struggle with balance. Accordingly, motivation for me has always been whichever way I can find a balance and a sense of getting something done. When I am balanced and thusly satisfied, I am creative.

Of course there is also the issue of having so many things to keep balanced in one's head that one forgets some of them. This has necessitated a constant litany of repetition for me - this perpetual mental drone list of things I am reminding myself about and then (hopefully) ticking off. The mental noise got so loud that my creativity was eventually stifled by that too, well, my productive creativity anyway. I became incredibly good at creating mental lists and organisational skills with regards to them which is an artform to be sure (anyone with a bad memory will tell you so) but which is incredibly energy draining and for which artform one can never find reward really because all that there is to show for it's creative outpouring is that vague sense of unease when you aren't 100% positive that you got everything done that you should have.

A new way had to be found because my brain became cluttered and just like the mantra about the need to declutter your physical space so that you can think, so too the mantra which is applicable to decluttering your brain and creativity.

"The Way" (my own version of "The Secret" - :)) was identification of the areas from which my intentions sprung or my "influence zones" to quote Mark McGuiness again, and then writing those down - soul searching stuff I must say. Once that was written down, I split my zones into the fields of focus or what I like to call my "life areas" (lots of goal achievement stuff having been read - :) again) such as work, home, relationships, health etc etc and then turned each field into a number of points on a list each point being something that I thought was out of sync or capable of improvement (improving is after all a form of creativity) in that particular are of life interest for me.

I then turned each list into a sort of neverending to-do tasklist which I colour coded and put into Outlook (my most adored organiser EVER) I keep "The List" handy and amend it and add to it as new thoughts and imbalances cross my mind. The point is though, that the TICKING off on the list has become the motivator ie, today, I ticked off 5 things that I knew I had to do to succeed and keep balance and the knowledge that SOMETHING has been achieved then IS the thing that constantly keeps me motivated.

It's a bit like an Gratitude Journal except I call it my Success Journal. What works better than knowing that something is working to cause one to want to keep on working on it? What could be a better motivator? There is nothing that moves me more than knowing progress is being made and if I have no place to keep track of said progress, how do I move or motivate myself? Where do I derive that knowledge?

I truly believe that this is what has kept me sane during my emigration, during this horrendous recession, during my jobhunt, during my new marriage (yes, I even have a task list for that), during my transition to being a "domestic technician". After all, I think we all really just want to do the very best that we can at whatever we are doing and knowing that we have the tools to achieve that, is motivational. It's a lifestyle. There is that saying: " It's not the circumstances but the man which makes the difference". Applied to this topic, the ability to self motivate, to create the tools you individually need to do so, is a vital life skill for success during any times, good or bad.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I was most inspired by this Mark McGuinness post I read recently

There are so many readables about how patience and persistence are much more reliable than luck and logically and mentally, I get that. Do I, however, want to stick to the same goals for 20 years like the protagonist in the Shawshank Redemption? He had external circumstances driving him. I imagine that if I was unjustly imprisoned or starving or desperate in some other fashion based on an outward circumstance, beyond my control, to a certain extent, I might be able to find a much wider stubborn streak than I usually do now but the fact is, I am not thusly faced.

My husband and I discuss this all the tine. He wins arguments because he outlasts me he says. I say he wins them because his goal is to win whilst mine is to have the debate and be heard. We have different goals in other words and different motivators and mine being the easier one, requires less stubborn effort than his does.

That then brings me to my next thought on the subject, should we celebrate one track mindedness? Society seems to celebrate the idea of being a specialist, of dedicating decades to one line of study or career until you are the best or damn near close to it. I question that ….. Is it truly such a laudable thing to be so stubborn that you are unable to change perspective according to circumstance and/or character development If one is such a stubborn soul, does it not make change, even change for the better, a whole lot more difficult than it might be for someone a whole lot more malleable of spirit such as a me?

Now, it is true that I can be convinced to do crazy things because I try and keep an open mind – the very antithesis of being stubborn but would a better idea not then be to acquire as much knowledge about a given topic as possible AND to keep one’s mind open for any further input and last but not least, then be able to adapt accordingly?

Some would call this flying by the seat of one’s pants but it is still flying and if I was stubbornly clinging to my belief that humans couldn’t, I wouldn’t even be able to do it and I certainly get to fly in a whole lot more directions than I could if I believed that I had just one migrationary path to follow. In other words, I tend to think of stubbornness as being noble only sometimes and I find it very difficult to distinguish when those occasions arise.

I am absolutely sure that being stubborn and one track minded was magnificent in the Shawshank Redemption for example but I am not so sure that I admired it in say an Ahab or a Scrooge or a Hitler or an Amin.. On consideration, perhaps it’s their goals I didn’t admire which means then that it isn’t HOW one pursues things that that the collective we really care about, but WHAT they are pursuing – the end justifying the means and all that.

I have personally never been able to find a solid foundation in head, heart or spirit for that adage and I think I feel the same about stubbornness though I do adore a success and admire anyone who finds it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I proudly, o SO proudly, purchased my refurbished and most beloved Dell laptop three years ago and have, like a benevolent and beaming mommy, been through battery, charger and memory chip (due to overheating of the battery because of the charger) crises and survived them one and all. I have not only survived with my Dellie in fact, my adoration has increased over the years. Imagine my horror therefore, when it began it's flagging and gasping a weak ago. I pressed my fingertips to it's fevered battery location, it ran a temp, I placed my ear to it's innards, it hummed just a little too loudly. All in all, Dellie was indicating that he/she was once again ailing (we call vehicles and boats she - what do we call PC's?). I begged, I pleaded, I scolded, I nagged ......for a week ..... my pleas fell on the selectively deaf ears of my husband and Dellie hung more and more and for longer and longer and the reboots became more and more frequent.

Finally, in a moment of pique on Thursday last, I hovered anxiously yet slightly irkedly over him/her as he/she sluggishly rebooted FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME and drank a glass of water to soothe my tortured soul (one would not want to eat and put weight on ON TOP of one's angst about the failing Dellie). As the internet connection FINALLY came "alive" and I flung myself into my chair to send some mail, I actually, despite YEARS of care, knocked my glass of water onto the keyboard and Dellie DIED - and I mean INSTANTLY! I phoned my bored engineer husband, I googled wildly on his laptop, I dug through all of our books -I desperately sought advice on how to resurrect.

Turn it upside down and fan it was the main line I discovered and that is precisely what I did. Dellie lay in state on the dining room table,upon the best and fluffiest towel in the house, being fanned gently like an Egyptian pharaoh for the 48 hours all sources had indicated was obligatory if even the slightest hope of resuscitation was to be held. Of course, I fretted over the dearth of work being done and the amount of e-mail that was probably building up but I knew that I had to do whatever it took to bring dear Dellie back to life.

It all worked!! Dellie was reborn, just as slow, just as hot and, just as overworked and hangy as ever. I sighed, I clutched myself and eventually, after an absolutely ENORMOUS nag, prevailed upon my husband to dig out his old desktop (old as in not as speed of light fast as his current one) and put it together for me. My teen wailed and wept of course as she had been in possession of it before and it had been removed until her disgusting grades improved -which hasn't happened as yet of course hence the availability.

We set it up, we plugged it all in, I began to move things onto my removable hard drive and became deeply concerned about transferring my e-mails which were in excess of 3 gigs of data which the transfer wizard couldn't handle. We finally bought some special transferral software and received the activation code on Monday morning whereupon I rushed to complete the transfer. I finalised it all by moving my Foxmarks and Outlook settings over and lo and behold, a new child was born.

What can I say? Years of unfaltering loyalty, of devotion, of doing WHATEVER it took to keep Dellie alive and now, I have speed, no hanging, so much productivity that I literally blaze a trail of light as I work. What I wondered, possessed me to cling so fiercly to that laptop that had been slowing speedy me down to slug pace? I suspect it has been about the known and fear of the unknown - the usual reason to be clingy.

The lesson or moral of the story? Blind loyalty is always .... Always..... ALWAYS stupid because it prevents one from even trying out the new often. I am downloading e-mails in a tenth of the time. I am able to run 20 apps at once. I can sit on more than one website at a time and last but not least, I have 250 gigs to play with instead of 40 with a buggy removable hard drive extension. I sincerely hope I've learnt my lesson and won't be so hopelessly devoted next time!

Last but not least, the disgustingly graded teen sits with the paint dryingly slow Dellie - a fit punishment to be sure!