When life gives you…

Perspective is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

On Friday night, a fellow fibre artist and friend of mine opened a sale album on Facebook. Now I normally try not to be comparative (that way lies misery!) BUT she had 65+ items in this folder and sold MOST of them in 4 hours.

She made HUNDREDS of dollars.

Now lemme give you some background info to be fair:

She is an established personality in spinning/fibre circles.

She’s good – VERY GOOD – at what she does. I would never try to diminish her success – she spins beautifully, dyes amazing stuff, and there is EVERY reason why she is so successful.

And we have a different product and a different niche: She dyes commercial roving with commercial dyes, and I dye locally farmed ethical fleeces with plant-based/organic/fair trade dyes. And I add the spiritual side as well.

And I’m comparatively new to the market.

But despite all this I felt INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED AND DISHEARTENED.

How can she sell all that in 4 hours, and I don’t even sell one item a week?! I pour my heart and soul into my art: I BELIEVE IN IT. I spin sometimes ’til my eyes hurt at night, lovingly tending each skein to completion, and severely underprice myself (often only paying myself $1 an hour and often end up giving lots of stuff away!). And for what?! Is it worth it?! Maybe I should just give it away and find ‘real job’.

I felt flattened. I felt heart broken.

So I went to a movie with my friend Lou, and we grabbed a hot chocolate afterwards, and we got to talking about our grandparents. My German Oma immigrated to Australia in the 50’s. She had no English, was DESPERATLEY poor, and lived in a converted asbestos chook shed with 7 children. My Opa worked on the Warragamba Dam Project and was away for weeks on end, and my Oma supplemented their income by growing tomatoes to sell and milking the family cow.

Perspective.

This isn’t a PROBLEM. It’s annoying. But it’s not a PROBLEM.

So this morning I picked some daffs before Jerry the Goat ate them, and Tara and I baked a Banana and Raspberry Loaf. We ate it warm from the oven. And the washing machine broke down (Grr. But I bet Oma didn’t have a washing machine; broken or otherwise. And she had SEVEN KIDS), so I made plans to go the laundromat until payday. And the vacuum cleaner broke, and I laughed at the irony and took the broken piece out.

Perspective.

It’s not about being mindlessly, irrationally, ridiculously optimistic. It’s just recognizing what is an actual HARDSHIP, and what is a TEMPORARY INCONVENIENCE.

We have everything we need. I’m lucky to be able to do what I’m passionate about, and if I follow my passion, I cant lose. Success will come. And, you know what? The vacuum cleaner works better without that piece anyway 🙂

Living your life can be an act of rebellion.

Here’s my big lesson this week: Living life for yourself can be a HUGE act of rebellion.

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In modern day society, hubby and I don’t live a conventional life. We don’t have a huge mortgage. He works, I stay home with the girls, and work my home businesses. We don’t have credit cards – we try to spend only the money we actually have.

Sure, I could go back to full time teaching now. We could buy a new car on credit, take out a mortgage to buy a new McMansion in the suburbs and “have it all’. I could eat dairy and meat. That would make a lot of people around us much more comfortable.

But I value what I do for my family by being at home much more than society could pay me for working full time. My girls wont remember a shiny new marble benchtop, or a new car. But they will remember walking home from school hand-in-hand with Mummy, and having hot pikelets for afternoon tea, and climbing their swingset until its time to run over and hug dad as he pulls into the driveway.

And-every-day

My husband loves his job. I love mine. We do ok. We’re ok with not having a lot of stuff, because we have SO SO MUCH to be grateful for.

But this week, I’ve been challenged: Do I have the courage to be what I am, and to do what I do, even if it makes some of the people I love uncomfortable?

I read this article by Julia over at SacredFamiliar and it resonated with me a lot.

I spent ALOT of my teens and 20s doing what I thought was ‘best’. I had the voices of my parents in the back of my head at all times, and I always did what I thought would make them happiest. I never made a decision without mentally consulting everyone I knew to check if they’d be ok with it.

But actually, it’s not my responsibility to make everyone else comfortable and happy.

What if I had the courage to live my truth? With no apologies. And no explanations.

What if I called myself a witch.

What if I said, “I choose not to work fulltime.”

What if I said, “I don’t want a big new house.”

What if I said, “I actually don’t support the dairy farmers’.

These statements are all potential time-bombs. They all have the potential to be misunderstood. To be criticized. To make people – including the people I love – VERY uncomfortable.

But here they are. In writing, for all to see. My truth. Here’s me having the courage to speak it. Here’s me being FUCKING BRAVE. My act of rebellion.

Here’s me living my life for ME, not for what others will think.

Because – hand on heart – “This is what’s important.”


 

 

Another Day in Melbourne

I took a strange journey to get here, where I am now. Not in the physical sense – although it was a day’s travel, but in the mental and almost spiritual.
At my previous job I was, in my mind at least, on a path to career progression. I was given a lot of opportunities (ones I felt I earned) and it seemed that things were going well. A good job with a career path – I knew it would not be forever, in my mind I had always known that if I really wanted to reach heights in my industry I would have to at least try a different work environment and were I was that meant moving (relocating). I was surrounded by family and friends, with interests outside of work and a huge network to call on.
Then it happened.
I am not sure if I didn’t try hard enough, or if I didn’t impress the right people or even if it had nothing to do with me at all, but I missed out on a promotion.
I had been working that position in an “acting” role for nearly 12 months – getting some good results and making positive changes. Even winning an award – which I attribute to the changes I had made.
That really set me back, and with a new baby on the way I had to make a choice about my life and my family.
Now I’m not going to get into the whole debate over who should or should not provide for the family – hell if things were different and I needed to I would stay at home with the kids. However, our situation was that I need to be the one providing at this stage and my wife supports that and I support her. As far as I am concerned we are both working full time – I just get a pay cheque for mine!
So I needed to decide if I was going to stay in the position I had (my substantive role) and wait around for another opportunity with no guarantee or look for something else.
I will admit that I was pissed off – I was angry (and so was my wife) and I did really start looking for alternatives.
An opportunity came up, 800 kms away, in a different state far away from any family or friends, with no support network in a very different (although similar) work environment.
I applied for it. Thinking if nothing more this was a chance to get my resume into order and hopefully practice some interview techniques.
Not only did I get an interview (phone followed up by in person) I landed the job a few short weeks before my second child was born.
The decision to take this job came not from the anger and disappointment I had felt but from several moments of serendipity.
Call it fate or whatever but ever since saying yes and exposing myself and my family to this big upheaval the choice has been vindicated in more ways than I can recount.
Today was filled with such moments.
We had learnt about a kids event at Art Play that was on today, it’s a short train ride to the City so off we went, all four of us for a day out.
It was a little rainy as we came into Flinders Street station and we stopped for coffee and some morning tea. Then crossing the road to Federation Square we sat and drank and ate while a street performer (from Circus Oz) did a 30 minute show – brilliant, funny and I even partook with some assistant work holding his unicycle.

After the show (we deposited some $’s into his hat because he truly was worth it) we turned to head down to Art Play and walked into the Greek Festival. We also found a Fine Design Market full of wonderful hand and locally made items. Deciding that we had come to see Art Play but wanting to come back, we moved on.
At Art Play my 3 year old played on the equipment while the baby was fed. We met a Chilean family who are over here for 6 years while the husband studies his Masters and Phd (on a scholarship). That put our lives into perspective – our move while a long way was nothing compared to coming to another country with a new language with three children (one born here) and no easy way to get to family. 

After all this play and looking at wonderful things we headed off for some lunch and a rest, and it was here that I realised that all we did that morning was within a few hundred meters of Flinders Station – a mere 30 minutes from our front door.
We planned one event, a trip to Art Play and instead saw, experienced and took part in so much more.
This day is typical of any day out in Melbourne.
We took a trip to Warrandyte last week (when my parents where visiting) and found not only some great shops, a kids play ground, access to the Yarra River and walks but a community theater group with a play that started that night. With grandparental babysitting we got to go and met some theater people – we plan on joining or at least trying to attend more shows into the future.
I took a big risk, and I won’t lie there have been moments that we have regretted it, the fear, the isolation, the unknown has contributed to us doubting our choice. We put ourselves out there and asked the universe to give us a break, a break we felt we earned and one that we worked for (and still do).
A friend once told me, “put our good vibes and you shall have them come back at you” – all I can say is that whatever happens and whatever the future holds this choice this step we took has been for the better and can only get better.
Looking to the future.

Rumours…

The Rumour of my death has been over rated… I survived the 4 days of Canula and even the next weeks 3 days of horrible-ness (you don’t want to know!! Trust me). I did however upset my lovely as she has never seen me sick – I don’t usually get ill but in this case when I did I really did… I think the 3 days off last week where the first in… well the first with this company and I have work here for 3 years… I canna remember being sick (well having time off work) This century… I might have… Any hoo!

Thanks Jeff for the thoughts and well wishes, I hope all your shit gets sorted and keep your chin up and shove the nasties off a tall building!

‘Cause It’s Friday and I’m in LOVE!!! ah Cure pop who ever needs anything more then that? Who? No one I tells you no one!

Well Scalzi week is well and truly over and I finished “The Last Colony” and “The Androids Dream” – TLC was brilliant and really made me wish I had spent the extra money and got the hardback of “Zoe’s Tale” when I was at Galaxy… but alas the funds are not there for such spendings… weddings cost too much (do I really need to wear a suit? Can’t a pair of Speedo’s cut it??). TAD was very different and reminded me of Asimov’s detective stories which I loved and might have to source out of the shelves of no return and re read… I am off to Canberra tomorrow for work I am doing a Trade Show set up Thursday work through to Sunday then home… I am spending Sunday night at my friends place in Canberra so I will get to do some socialising which will be nice I have yet to see there new place and am looking forward to seeing my good friend again – it has been too long. So that was going somewhere… oh yes I might be able to take some time to read an Asimov book as I will be without my lovely for the weekend I will have nothing else to do…

Whoa Genius has just gone from U2 to Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb… Talk about Canberra memories… I live in the Nation’s capital for three years… 18-21 drink drugs party music sex and baseball… oh and I did attend some sort of learning place for a period of that time… I have so many mixed memories from that time and sitting in a dark room with Pink Floyd on a candle’s flickering light highlighting the posters on the walls and celling of a 3x4m cell… I had long hair (for a time) I was sad lonely happy surrounded and I was at the best place in my life to that point. I found people like me and others that delighted and repulsed. Some I lived with some I slept with some I passed in the night like a ghost. I remember we dressed up as the crow (Brandon Lee) and a bouncer wouldn’t let us cross the road to his side… I frozen in winter and I melted in summer I found bars I followed bands and even one night was a mic stand after the other one broke… Kneeling in front of a lead singer who was screaming out his lungs and strumming his guitar… I got a few free drinks from that gig alone…

Now we moved on to Guns and Roses… talk about screaming… hahahaha Music has always brought me back from the edge of darkness and loud drums, powerful guitar and rough vocals always are the best for me…

I’ll sign off before this trip down memory lane makes me remember the bad times too… ❤ to you all.

Secondment

I am going on secondment… to my old job – but in a higher grade position! weird but true. I’ll be back at the Visitors Centre for the next 2 and a bit months being all managerial and even being able to pay bills and stuff – WoW that is the ultimate level of Power at Local Government… hehehe

But seriously it’ll be more money and right now that would be handy what with Weddings and such like although I am very grateful that our parents are helping out with a LARGE amount of that… (wipes brow)

For some reason today I have Pink Floyd on iTune (I upgraded to v8 and have started Genius – so far not overly impressed) I am slipping back into the world of Pink and I have the reoccurring memories of Uni days in Canberra. Some good some bad… Speaking of which I am going to a training session in Queanbeyan in November (a Friday) I even get to stay in a Motel the night before and then I am staying (they don’t know this yet so keep it quite) with friends in Canberra for the weekend and come back Sunday night… the joys of Government work – they don’t make you get up a 4 am to go to training…

Anyway this is more of a keeping you all up to date Blog not about anything too exciting… Chat later.

Lunch

I am at work today… like every other day 🙂 not that I am complaining – I thought to myself the other day was I working only to have bragging rights to complain about it?!?!?! Sometimes I worry that I do things only to have the opportunity to complain about it. I don’t trust me on that – I do things A) because I canna say NO B) I really worry about money and having not enough C) I don’t actually dislike working… Anyhoo this was not what I was writing about.

I nearly feel asleep at work today in the small lunch room we have here (more like a coffee cubicle!). I went in and made my sandwiches, got the paper and read and ate, taking my time to have a relax when I felt my eyes drop, and my breathing get shallow, and I thought “Crap I am about to fall asleep!!” So I got up and went back out to work early just so I would not sleep.

We talked about that for a bit and I remembered I had seen somewhere people having power naps at work and I thought would that be something useful to me? So I wiki’d it and it might be a useful tool especially as I am a little busy atm.

  • Caffeine nap
    A caffeine nap
    is a cat-nap that was preceded by the intake of a caffeinated beverage such as coffee, tea, or an energy drink. A caffeine pill can be used as well.
    To be most effective you must take the source of energy quickly and be able to fall asleep within minutes afterwards. Otherwise the energy source will begin to work and will prevent you from falling asleep. With this in mind, the energy pills will get absorbed slower than the energy drink and might be the best choice.
    Once asleep the energy source will begin to enter your system and will wake you up in the normal time frame of a cat-nap (20-30 minutes). Once woke you will have the energy from the nap and a boost from the energy source as well.

This interests me the most – hehehehe Caffeine and sleep in the same step!!! Occurs I would then need to find a place to sleep at work…

In the mean time I am using the time old system of burning the candle at both ends whilst in taking large quantities of caffeinated beverages. Of course this has the side effect of making me a grumpy bum – but in the interest of the capitalist lifestyle we live in – I AM A GOD!!!

Thank you good night…