Category Archives: Life Matters

Busy 2016

Already heading towards the end of the first half of the year. Goodness, I’m not sure where the weeks have gone!

DD is now 10 and she has discovered activities that she loves to do that work with her need for space and her need for downtime. She acknowledges she loves to spend time with her friends and to do fun things, even if it’s only watching a DVD together. The only drawback is that I end up having to help organise these get-togethers. She feels it dreadfully when friends have to pull out of an activity or their parents decide they’re going to do something else after they’d already committed. I have to do a lot of soothing of hurt feelings then.

Cat show coming up. That means the Washing of the Cat will happen tonight.


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Listen with your heart and have courage

I was fascinated by this piece called “Courage to Care” by Sarah Berry.

in her renowned Ted talk on the power of vulnerability, Brene Brown reminds that the origin of the word courage comes from the latin, ‘cor’, meaning heart. When the word entered the english language, she said, its original definition “was to tell the story of who you are with your full heart.”
If courage, as distinct from bravery, is seen in this way, it is about keeping your heart open to others. It is not always coming up with a solution or jumping into action.

I’m not saying I’m courageous. But I can attest to the power of listening with ears, mind and heart. Over the years, I have had many strangers confide in me, speaking about their depression, heartache, worries and anxieties. I didn’t seek out these people; somehow they found me. I may not have anything wise to say, so I often keep my mouth shut while listening, giving them my full attention. What else can I give? And yet, somehow, they seem to have got some comfort by talking to a stranger.

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Life Matters, Uncategorized


Little Gumnut – words of wisdom

I love the blog Little Gumnut and I especially loved her list of “I wish someone had told me”. Oh hon, I wish I’d read your words of wisdom, too!

One particular piece of advice is one I will repeat here:

Working at your relationship is an activity, not something you can afford to be passive about. Passivity leads to the relationship lapsing just as much as unresolved arguments.

I admit that when I was lazy about working on my relationship with DH, letting things slide, not being observant etc. then this wasn’t good. On the other hand, putting in the effort will nearly always produce results. In the last 6 months or so of our marriage, DH and I were getting along famously – it almost felt like when we’d first met. I am so very, very grateful for the love and kindness and fun that we had together.

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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Blogs, Life Matters


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Holidays approaching

Surely there are people who look forward to kids going on holidays? People other than teachers, I should add, given that I used to be a teacher and enjoyed the hols waaaaaaay more than the kids.

OTOH, as a working mum with no hubby to help out with entertainment of The Small Person aka DD, I have to really put on my thinking cap as well as calling in the troops for assistance.

DD is going to have a holiday interstate for a week without her mummy. Can you believe it? She managed OK in the June holidays and this time she will travel on the plane with her uncle, whom she adores. She gets to spend a couple of days with him and his wife plus the much-loved dog (feelings sort of reciprocated) and the chooks (chook poop is reviled). Then she goes to my mum’s place. I will fly there the next week to have a few days with Mum and then bring DD back to Canberra.

OK, one week down. What about the next week? Well, there is a long weekend for the second weekend in the school holidays. I am looking at what’s on at the National Gallery of Australia , National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Australia, and more.

Next bit – Tues. 11 to Fri. 14 October. DD is a people-person. She is extroverted with a hint of shyness, rather like her mama LOL, and really, really needs to spend time with kids. I think I will take her to vacation care. She has been there before, she had lots of fun playing in the playground with the other kids, made new friends, made a heap of craft works, played with a Wii game for the first time ever, and apparently learnt about Angry Birds.

And the last weekend of the holidays. Hmmm. What shall we do? I think I’ll try to arrange a playdate one day, maybe a sleepover. On to the phones and e-mail!

ETA: This planning must be in the air! Go and visit the lovely Little Gumnut blog .

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Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Life Matters


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Work stress and the single parent

Article at

The suicide prevention group R U OK? conducted a survey of 800 people (if you want to know more about that group, go to their website at .The highest risk group for extreme stress at work was middle-age single parents. Oh great, sighs the middle-aged widow here. Just what I didn’t want to know.

But I can see why it is so. No denying it. It is the stress of getting not only oneself up and going in the morning, but also a child (who may or may not be co-operative 🙂 ), the desire to do a great job at the workplace and to contribute to society through one’s work, and the desire to be a really good mum and family member. The stress of being the only person who is keeping track of a child/children’s progress, time commitments, needs and wants. The lack of downtime as an adult to do rewarding leisure activities that do not directly involve a child.

Can I add that it is not helpful for judgmental people to say “Well, you shouldn’t work until your child is old enough to look after herself/himself”? If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage. I would have to go on the waiting list for public housing, which is currently a 2 year wait. I would have to find a place to rent, which would take up a large amount of any welfare benefits I may receive. And DD’s life would be put in turmoil with a change of domicile, school, leisure activities and closeness to family and friends. I’m not going to do that.




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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Jobs, Life Matters, women


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Back online

It was rather odd to be offline for a week and a half. I had a tiny notepad to work on and it was having a few problems and broadband access was horribly expensive, so I cut down on my computing time massively.

DD and I spent quite a bit of time in the hotel pool. She still can’t get the hang of lying on her back, floating. Massive trust and belief problems, I think.

DD just watched an episode of 3rd and Bird, the one where the baby kitten is lost and the birds help the kitten. DD has seen that one before. I wasn’t expecting her reaction this time, though.

She came into my study, tears streaming down her face. “Mummy, I miss our two kitties. I want them back!” These are the two cats that died last year. She hasn’t really mentioned them for months but obviously something about that episode brought them to mind. Poor love, she took a while to calm down. We had a long talk, including me explaining that I couldn’t dig up the cats’ bodies from the garden because their spirits were gone.

I’m feeling a bit blue now. I was OK for a while.

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in cats, grief, Life Matters


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Being a pet owner

Being a pet owner means putting up with the crappy bits as well as the good, heartwarming bits.

Sigh. Our ancient tabby cat seems to have an eye problem. She’s had problems with her eyes at different points over the past few years so I tend to get worried whenever I see something happening. Of course I found out she had a problem this evening after the vet’s had closed so now I have to arrange something tomorrow.

She is a darling cat, full of charm, most attractive with mackerel stripes and a white tummy and a cheery chirp and meow. She doesn’t do a lot nowadays, preferring to move from one warm, sunny spot to another, ignoring birds, and smooching up to any visitors.

So it’s back to juggling dollars to work out how I can afford the vet’s not-inconsiderable fees now that I paid for an entire year on my car’s registration. I really should have done 6 months only. I won’t go on about the March bills but it’s enough to make me shiver.

I’m feeling pretty down at the moment.  I joked to my mum tonight on the phone that this is the universe putting things back to the normal order after having a lovely weekend 9 days ago. I wish I were joking. I guess after nearly 18 months of utter crap, I have changed from being an optimistic person to someone who is bowed over, neck exposed for punishment from a dark universe.  Consequently, my poor logic thinks that a good time is followed by something awful, often out of proportion, and almost begs that extraordinarily good things only come in tiny portions. Awful thinking, wrong thinking, but also completely understandable.

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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in cats, Life Matters


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