Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's goals

So, New Year, new changes, all that.
Although my ones are old changes - or at least old intentions. Just a new commitment to them.

My overarching goal for this year is: Simplify.

I know this is a bit of a catch phrase at the moment. Or at least it is on the blogs I've been reading.

But I'm a good public health trained girl & I know that goals must be SMART. And "simplify" doesn't quite cut it.

So I'm working on micro-goals. Bit by bit. 15 minutes at a time. And making myself publically accoutable (at least, to the 3 people I know drop by here occasionally - hello & that means you)! These are things that I know I can do because I've been doing them in little bits for a while. I've already decided not to study externally next year (full-time work is enough, thank-you), have come a long way in decluttering "stuff" (despite what my mother may say) and have started to learn how to meditate. So it's really just working at integration. Sounds simple.

Gretchen at the Happiness Project has put out a 2010 Happiness Challenge, which for me ties in with Simplify. Her suggested focus for January is Energy.

So, for January: my micro-goal is...

Lights out at 10:30 on a school night.

I need at least 7.5 hours sleep a night, preferably more. The nights I get it I can get out of bed, get moving & stand in the shower wondering what the day will hold, rather than internally moaning. I enjoy work more. I get less frustrated and cranky. I get more done. And I'm overall a much nicer person to be around, including for myself.

In order to do this, I will:
Do my teeth, take out my contacts & wash my face after dinner.
In theory this should mean I'm ready for bed when I need to be.

I'm toying with the idea of setting an alarm to remind me. Hmm. Perhaps an automatic shut-down for my computer may be better.

I'll be tracking my success using my trusty gold stars (yes, there's a reason I work with kids, people!).

Update: weekly.

Is that specific, measurable, attainable, relevant & time-bound enough?

I think so. Sounds simple, right?

But the fact that setting it out here is giving me palpitations means it's going to be a challenge...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tiny lives

Today was the second time this year that I've had to certify someone deceased.

A tiny body, lying in her mother's arms.
It was expected, but nonetheless...
She went well. We could provide that comfort.
Her parents wrapped her and she spent the day surrounded by a big, subdued family.
After they left her with us, I went to say goodbye - and, as always happens, farewelled all the others again at the same time.

For the first time that I've been doing this, I didn't need to call my mother. (Tomorrow, perhaps).

Audrey reminded me of the bounty of life instead.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What can I say, when the worst is happening to a close friend?
Not much.
It won't change anything.

I can listen.
Which won't change anything.

I'm praying for you.
Not for the obvious, although if that happens, I'll be sending up gratitude.
But for peace.
For you all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pre-night shift planning

Get up early - tick.
Go for walk - tick.
Do something useful - tick.
Have a beer - tick.
Have a good meal - tick.
Clean up room - tick.
Brush teeth - tick.
Turn on airconditioner - tick.
Turn off mobile - tick.
Get earplugs - tick.
Actually go to bed at 2pm -

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New engine

I've been contemplating one for years. Sleek steel or cherry red. With accessories. The growl of the motor bringing interested glances. The expense had been putting me off but I was quietly working to justify it to myself. Today, I finally jumped in, but I went vintage instead.

I bought myself a mixmaster.

A Sunbeam mixer, 2 beater, creamy glass bowls, shiny black controller etched with the settings. It's older than my mother's, I'm sure. Perhaps has already passed through two generations. But it goes, and goes well.

Today, I made banana cake, adding my baking to a wealth that has gone before. Stephanie's recipe (naturally), new silicone muffin tray. Perfection.

And wholeheartedly licked the beaters.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Another decision to make. One that may define my life for several years.

Next year's jobs are in the air. Having just extended, do I stay or do I go?

More & more I feel it's not about the work. Up here, the job's great, the town's great, the lifestyle's great, the weather's great. I've got a fun network and feel healthier than in a long time. Down there, are friends & family. The ones who are important will stay in touch.

So comes down to a mythical possibility, one which is feeling more important than the mere issue of where I work. One which must be the basis of decision making but which is completely unpredictable.

And so I ache.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm thinking that getting a new housemate that I am more than a teensy bit attracted to may not be the best decision.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I've just become entranced by yet another website. However, this one is mightily impressive.

Microfinance is the process whereby an individual or group receive a small loan in order to start a business. In many countries, only a few dollars can buy a sewing machine, a breeding pair of pigs or seeds for the farm. This process has been shown to assist in lifting people out of poverty and is much more effective than handouts. In particular, women tend to run businesses in local communities and put the profits back into education, nutrition and health care for themselves and their children.

I have seen this in action. In the Philippines, I stayed with a family who sold fish at the market and used microcredit to purchase stock. In India, we had chai with a woman whose loan had bought a pair of goats, and the kids were running around beneath our feet. In Zambia, I bought sarongs from a woman whose market stall was set up with a micro-loan.

And now I have just found a site that lets those of us in positions of affluence lend to those who are not. It's a loan - so the money will be repaid (and is, in 98.5% 0f cases). And in the meantime, it'll be put to work well.

You can choose to whom you lend. You can search by region or type of project. And you will be making a big difference.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Can you help?

LinkA new friend's mother passed away due to cancer last year. Well timed around Mother's Day, we are doing Relay for Life to raise money for the Cancer Council. Please think about making a donation here to support our team and research into cancer prevention and treatment.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Simple pleasures

A sleep in.
Fresh brewed Earl Grey tea.
Hot cross buns with melting butter.
A floral plate.
Last week's sudoku.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Again, I am led to consider the difference between a good death and a bad death. Today's was a good one.

A little girl, trapped in her own body for over a year.
Up and about yesterday.
Her dad here all weekend.
Her mum here today.
Softly and quietly. Quickly.
Surrounded by love.

We all sewed butterfly crystals on to her dress. We said goodbye.
Rest in peace.