Let them be?

When do you know when something has come to an end? A career, a friendship or any relationship for that matter, or the place you call home?

Our future and career choice is something we are generally asked to think about and work out in our late teens as we move towards the last two years of high school. If we do this, then we will be able to map out the next ten, twenty or more years of our lives! Some university degrees can take between five and eight years to complete, possibly longer. So, at what point do we look at the career path we’ve been treading and know that it’s come to an end?

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes, from the ones we have in childhood, to the friends we met at University, the ones that developed from a chance meeting, or the people you meet through others! As I said, all shapes and sizes. But of the people you have known for years, how do you know when they stop being a friend and become someone you used to know?

I have had so many places I call home in the concrete sense, that I now feel that home for me anyway is more the country, or two countries actually. I was born in England, grew up in Australia, now forty-odd years later I’m back in England. So both those countries feel like home, but physically I am living in one at a time. Do I stop calling one a home because I live in another? Maybe.

I believe that life is just a whole load of beginnings and endings and sometimes the endings can be abrupt and very sad, other times they can be a breath of fresh air and something to celebrate. I’m very much a do it because it feels right person and don’t really know the answer to these questions to suit other people, however I do feel for me, that the answer lies in my heart. The thing is to follow those hunches or feelings, believing whole-heartedly that it is the right way to move. Trying to stop your inner critic from shouting too loudly can be the challenge!

Everyone has their own opinion, and of course they are all right, for themselves. So this theory might work for me, but I don’t expect everyone to agree. I know there are things in my life that are coming to an end, but the prospect of what I am about to start is quiet exciting! Maybe the answer to my questions is to just let things be, and the endings and beginnings will just come about in their own sweet time!

Posted in Beginnings, Endings, Moving, Careers, Friendships, Relationships, Believing in yourself, Career path, Changes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tantalizing Tastebuds and Memories.

I have always loved writing, for as long as I can remember. All this week I have had a constant need to write. Sometimes it’s just gibberish, then there are times when I read back what has been written and I’m amazed, thinking, whoa where did that come from! Today however as I sit down to write all I can think about are the three TV shows I watched this morning! All three were about food, and if you know me well enough you would probably be rolling your eyes by now and thinking, well of course! One of the shows was set in Malaysia, the second was mainly in Tasmania and the third was in England.

All three programs had me reminiscing about my visits to these places and the food that I enjoyed, which I remember fondly to this day. In Malaysia it was the Char kway teow, Nasi goreng, Roti canai and the Chinese food at the Pink Tablecloth. In Tasmania, I remember the seafood, cheese and fried dim sims at Port Arthur. Lastly England, well there is some wonderful food in this beautiful country, but as a child my one memory, which still inspires a child like wonder is the lolly (or sweets) round at Burton Markets. For an eleven year old they were eye poppingly, mouth wateringly wonderful.

While all three places remind me of the foods I enjoyed while there, I also can’t help but think of the people who shared these times with me. The people and the food added together make for very happy recollections, and as I reminisce my smile widens and my heart feels lighter

While thinking about food memories I suddenly have pictures of my school lunches, the good and the not so good! However no matter how bad the lunches may have seemed back then, I can’t help but laugh now.

In Australia we always brought our lunch to school or had a lunch order. So on the very hot days my cheese and jam, tomato and cheese or salad sandwich needed an ice pack inside my lunch box, keeping it relatively fresh. Unfortunately I didn’t always have anything frozen in my lunch box, which reminds me of the cheese and jam sandwich on the 35-degree day!! I also have a memory of me aged six, and one of my male classmates sharing his biscuits with me, giving me a kiss on the cheek as he ran off to play with his friend!

I wonder what the children today would be eating for lunch, will they have an icepack in their lunchbox on the hot days, and does their school have lunch orders? With our ever health conscious ways, I wonder how lunch orders have changed? Finally, will the lunches children eat now at school bring back good memories, especially when they are adults thinking about what to take to work for lunch themselves?

I am very grateful for the many cuisines I have eaten over the years. Sometimes the different foods I have tasted are because of my travels or a TV show I watched or food my parents or friends cooked. No matter what, I feel they have made me the very curious cook and adventurous eater that I am.

I wish you all memories that bring huge smiles and light hearts.

Posted in Food and memories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How’s, Why’s and What’s – a short fictional story.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend who was about to finish up with a retailer she’d been working  for for over 10 years. A larger company had bought the store where she had been employed and her position was now non-existent. So, she was bemoaning the end of one job and trying to work out what to do next. During the conversation my friend looked at me and smiled, frowned, or laughed while she spoke; I kept glancing out the window, all the while wondering what was so great about my life and other questions starting with how, why and what.

I didn’t express this, that would probably be considered rude and also it would make her uncertainty seem less in a way, maybe. I really don’t know, but it did seem that telling her wouldn’t solve anything for either of us.

This morning when I woke up I couldn’t decide what to do about breakfast, nothing in my kitchen looked very appealing. So I left the house and strolled along the streets, until I found something that was appealing, a small café with bad lighting! I ordered and took my breakfast to a table as far away from other people as I could. Still, a tall, bearded man came and sat at the table next to mine. He seemed to want to talk to someone and it appeared that someone was going to be me.

As man sat at the table next to me he started tipping sugar into his coffee, smiling to himself. While stirring his coffee however he opened up with, “so this is a happy coincidence!” I was a little bemused, I’d never met this man before, but he was talking like he was happy to meet up with me again, funny thing is, I was intrigued, so asked “how so?” The man looked at me and said, “well you’re eating breakfast and I’m eating breakfast and we’re sitting next to each other, do you want any more sugar I got too many?” I must have looked confused because he continued, “I’m happy to have the chance to sit next to someone who I can talk to while eating my breakfast”. “Oh”, I replied. “So, do you need any more sugar?” he asked. I shook my head.

Once the man had finished stirring his coffee and taken a long gulp, he looked at me again and said, “I was out on my usual morning walk and it started raining, so figured I’d come on in. The food’s okay, you know Gloria’s across the road is probably more to my liking.”

“So why didn’t you go there?” I asked. He smiled, “I don’t know, my legs just took me here. It’s a nice day don’t you think?” I looked out the window at the drizzling rain on the pavement and the grey clouds above and answered, “it’s raining.” He laughed, “yes, but it won’t last, it never does and you know, the sun continues to shine above those clouds, that you can be certain of. There are a lot of things in life to be certain of, like the sun shining, the moon rising, and even if you can’t see either, you know they are there. It’s like communication.”

I was a bit surprised by the last sentence and wondered out loud how the sun and moon were like communication. He laughed and replied that he didn’t mean that they were like it, just that they were always there, even if you couldn’t see them.

“You see”, he continued, “we are all surrounded by people at times during our days, whether they are family, friends, acquaintances or strangers”. We decide how we communicate with them and we decide how that communication will take place. Will we smile, wave, turn our bodies away from theirs; will we say one word, two or more? Sometimes the less we express verbally, the more we are actually revealing.” This was something I’d not given much thought to before.

Of course I knew about using non-verbal communication like body language, I’d just never dwelled on the idea that one outweighs the other during interactions. I smiled at the tomatoes on my plate, and also felt slightly guilty. I thought of my friend and the changes she is going through. Even though I’d sat with her, I wasn’t fully focusing on her. I was there in body, but I’m sure if I were able to look at myself during our connections from another table, I would see someone whose body language said that I was not wholly present. So ultimately I was more than likely communicating my actual thoughts or feelings, just not in words!

The man next to me interrupted my silent reverie by saying, “you know, just by looking down or away, you are communicating however in your smile I know you are listening. I looked directly into the man’s eyes and smiled. “Thank you and you are right, it is a happy coincidence that you have sat next to me.” He smiled back and continued to eat his sausages.

We ordered another coffee each and sat talking about the day and what we both liked to do. He was a painter and had just finished the inside of a very large house. He felt he needed a few days off before starting the next house. I hadn’t really given my day much thought past breakfast. The man laughed and said between sips of his coffee, “that is a nice thought”. I didn’t follow him, and said so. To which he replied, “you have the whole day to do whatever you choose, if I were you I’d look to enjoy myself, therefore choose anything that brings me joy!” I nodded and affirmed, “that makes sense, I do have the whole day and as it’s such a nice day, I will begin with a walk around my favourite park.” He gave a throaty laugh and answered “well, what are you waiting for, enjoy your day”. And with that he stood up, gave a nod of his head and walked away.

I left the café with a spring in my step and inspired by the day ahead. As I walked towards my favourite park I made more of an effort to walk with my chin up and smiling at people who looked my way. The why’s, how’s and what’s really didn’t matter so much, just the question, what now!

Posted in Changes, communication, listening, body language, expression, people, Considerate, Respecting each other | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Music Is To Me…

Let me start by saying I always have music in my head. I wake everyday with a song or tune doing the rounds in my mind, and this continues as the day progresses. I’m not sure why this is, in a way I’m okay with it as the music (song or tune) is taking place of the many thoughts that could be vying for attention! Also as I move through the day, sitting on the bus or train, walking, in a café, standing waiting for the bus or train, I hear rhythms, beats and sometimes the beginning of a tune in the sounds around me. I’ve never really explored this, maybe I could have done or still could, but it has just always been normal to me.

This morning I posted something on Facebook, which was related to music. It had something to do with the music that a parent could play to help soothe their child to sleep. It wasn’t until tonight that I went through the list, and listened to the songs that the author of the article had chosen. Most of them I knew, and some I didn’t, until now. When I had finished listening to the songs I started to think about the role music has played in my life. After going through all the music I have on iTunes, I realised that the songs and tunes have been what helped keep me sane and certainly lightened some of those dark clouds as I moved through life. They hold some very powerful and wonderful memories, including lots of love and laughter. They help me call to mind the places I have lived and amazing people I have met.

While some people have reached for alcohol, or some other drug to keep them going, I have always reached for music. And my love of so many genres is partly down to my parents’ taste and what they played, the influence of friends and the radio or music television shows like Sounds and Countdown as I grew up. Also as I have grown my curiosity has taken me along the path of sounds that are new to me, some I like, some I dropped like a red hot poker.

So anyway, after much thinking I decided to put a short list of songs together that possibly begin to sum me up, that have either lifted me or carried me forward, or just inspire me to dance around the kitchen as I cook! Anyone might look at my list and groan or wonder why on earth I would listen to some of these songs, but this is a collection that can only be likened to a drop in the ocean, and of course completely personal. These are songs I can still play over and over at any given time and stir many memories.

  1. It’s Now or Never – Elvis
  2. Mississippi – Pussycat
  3. As Long As You Follow – Fleetwood Mac
  4. You’re The Best Thing – Style Council
  5. Patience – Guns N Roses
  6. Cello Suite #1 In G… – Bach
  7. Throw Your Arms Around Me – Hunters & Collectors
  8. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  9. Superstar – Jamelia
  10. My Life – The Beatles
  11. I Can Hear Music – The Beach Boys
  12. Into The Groove – Madonna
  13. Beautiful Stranger – Madonna
  14. My Love is Your Love – Whitney Houston
  15. Feeling Good – Nina Simone
  16. Listen To The Man – George Ezra

Finally the best way I can describe the effect music continues to have on me is written in a poem I found on Pinterest –

Music speaks what cannot be expressed

Soothes the mind and gives it rest.

Heals the heart and makes it whole

Flows from heaven to the soul.

Author unknown.

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/376543218815059733/

 

 

Posted in Growing up, Music, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

House Of Cards.

In 2015 I moved from familiar surroundings, employment, people, country etc. to a place which was semi-familiar, but also very new. I had figured out the area I would live and the job I would go into before I even arrived. I had it all worked out. I decided years ago on my career and how I’d like to move forward with further study, and left it at that!

So, now seven months later the work I started upon arrival has ended, I have tried another place of employment (same field of work), only to walk away from that and to top it off, I am feeling complete ambiguity towards the career path I felt so strongly about!

To add to these feelings of uncertainty towards my work and career choices, I feel so very much that my decision to move to this country was a big mistake. Every step taken since arriving has felt a mistake. Until today that is!

Today while having coffee and millionaire shortbread with a very good friend, she described this whole cacophony in a way that made sense, in turn helping me to understand how I can move onward and upward. I now look at this not so welcome disruption as the crumbling of my house of cards! This may not sound particularly inspiring; but actually although I didn’t at first feel uplifted, I did feel strengthened and so many thoughts began buzzing around in my head.

I have been told many times that I am resilient and positive, always looking at the light or bright side of any situation or person. In all honesty I believe this is to be true. Whenever I see an apparent impossibility, I will explore any positive features or qualities and work from there. While walking home from my friend’s house I remembered that whenever I am faced with anything unsettling, I also tend to look outside the square.

So, what now? Do I mope about; despairing about how my life feels it is crumbling around me? Or, do I pick up my Hermione Granger wand and declare it all as an open door to new possibilities, maybe a new career, and new relationships? Well, I’m sure you can tell which option I have chosen.

There are so many areas I can explore to give myself the best possible outcomes. Being honest about what I really would like to do for work, what sort of life I want for myself as well as understanding that I am a deserving and worthy person. This will not be a one-day fixer upper, but being honest with myself may be a good step forward, and kind of exciting! I may have skills, knowledge and experiences that have led me to choose one type of career, however there are so many other talents and skills accumulated along the way. In fact I believe that everyone has many buried or unrecognised skills and talents, that if we wrote down everything we do in our paid and unpaid work times, we could start two whole new career paths!

So now as I begin re-building my house of cards I am believing in myself, knowing that the strength is there and fortunately, family and friends who are very good listeners and offering honest suggestions.

Posted in Believing in yourself, Career path, Changes, Moving, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Talking the Talk.

I have heard children called many things, a wonder, a necessity, a commodity, the future and occasionally a treasure. I like the words wonder and treasure, but ultimately I see children as another person, smaller than me yes, but a person just the same. I therefore regard children the same as I would an adult, and this includes the way I talk to them.

Recently I witnessed children being spoken to in a way that I would not even contemplate. The adults in question were also talking in a way that degraded the children in front of their peers. Standing above a child and yelling, telling them to respect the adult, and to listen when the adult is talking, was both appalling and confusing to me.

Watching this behaviour made me wonder; how can a child learn to respect others’ if they are themselves not respected? How can anyone learn to listen if they are not given the opportunity to be heard themselves?

When children are learning new skills and being told to “hurry up” or “you’re too slow”, what else are they learning? When an adult is learning a new skill, do you see another person standing over them and yelling to hurry up?

Children are growing up to become the best adults they possibly can and the teachers of the coming generations. Don’t we owe it to today’s children, to show them that they deserve to be heard, listened to, respected and treated, as we would like to be treated? For a young person to know how to listen to others, be considerate and respectful, they need to have experienced these themselves. As we model these behaviours, children will begin to witness first hand that we value them as much as our adult friends, and they are and always will be an important element in our society.

Posted in behaviour, Considerate, Respecting each other, Talking to children, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A ‘Good’ Teacher

As a teacher working with children in the early years I have always strived to be what I thought was a good teacher. However I’ve begun to wonder what exactly a ‘good’ teacher is. Is it listening to the children, answering the myriad of questions and showing them my full and unbiased attention? Is it offering child led experiences, while always extending and scaffolding their learning through challenges? Is it working in partnership with families, other teachers, the community.  What about trying to be a good role model, keeping in mind that every chid is individual in their learning approach as well as independent in their character and personality.  I’m sure there are more and the list could be endless.

While I continued to wonder I thought and realised that a teacher is a human being who has a passion, as do so many others in  the many professions in this world.  As a teacher we are responsible for the development of minds and bodies in anything from 20 to 30 and maybe more young people.

I know that every school may have a different idea of what constitutes a good teacher. I learnt to be a teacher in Australia and am now understanding that in England, early learning is something different.  All these ideas have been running free around my head while I try and decide how I can be good or better still great as a teacher!

So, as I’ve said I’ve wondered what a good teacher is and have come down to this, a good teacher is, in my opinion, simply a person who is genuine, honest and finds enjoyment in the work that they do. I see teaching as a collaboration with the children, their families and being open to ways sometimes unchartered, in giving children the knowledge and experience to move onward and upward. Of course there is the curriculum to follow, however I also believe that learning should always be fun, with loads of aha moments; giving a child the confidence to move on to the next challenge.

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