Monday, January 31, 2011

The Book of Love* - Part I

This year I am joining in with somewhere along a winding path to count the number of books I read in a year. I am very excited because I have never counted before, but often wondered. I estimate that last year, I would have read at least 50 books.

My plan is that at the end of every month, I will tell you how many books I have read, as well as maybe a little bit about them. The kinds of books I enjoy reading are crime novels, true crime, biography, autobiography, fiction, non-fiction, really most things. I have an eclectic taste in books - as well as in music - just by the way!

I have raced out of the blocks this month, with 5 books under my belt. Of course I do not believe this pace will be consistent during the year, and I did have a few weeks off at the beginning of the year in which I indulged my passion for reading.

All of the books I have read this year so far, have been borrowed. Some from my mother in law and some from my brother. Recycling books is one of my favourite things to do. At my work we have set up a book swap shelf in our office. Here we bring in books we have read and share them around. This has fueled a lot of my reading last year, and is heaps cheaper than buying new books all the time. It is also more time efficient than going to the library. Why don't you try it?

Here we go...

1. Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult
 sourced at google images

2. Plain Truth - Jodi Picoult
 sourced at google images

Jodi Picoult is a great holiday read, easy, with not too much brain involvement and quite formula, I find. Regardless of this, I find the stories can be compelling at times if I don't think too much.

3. Blindsighted - Karin Slaughter

 sourced at google images

4. White Crosses - Larry Watson
 sourced at google images

5. On Green Dolphin Street - Sebastian Faulks

 sourced at google images

I love mystery novels, and Karin Slaughter is not bad. Some of her stuff can be quite graphic, but I enjoyed the twists and turns in this one.

I'm now off to pick what's next as I finished On Green Dolphin Street yesterday, and have not yet chosen what's next. Read on, I say.

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
*The Book of Love - Peter Gabriel

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All That We Let In*

One of my goals for the year is to connect more with family and friends.

I set myself this goal because over the last few years of this illness, I have been unable to maintain my previous level of socialising and there have been a number of consequences for this:
  • Friends have given up on me because I was unable to maintain my level of involvement in their life. So they have simply gone away (with the requisite unfriending on facebook!)
  • Others have simply not kept in touch, but are happy to catch up when our paths cross
  • Others initially made attempts to keep in touch, but this contact dropped off as time wore on
  • THEN, there are the friends who have been able to accept my illness and it's limitations. This has resulted in ongoing and deepening friendships. 
This time for me has been one of learning who my friends really are. Now I know friendships come in all different shapes and sizes, and that we maintain friendships with different people for different reasons. However, what has become clear to me is I need to spend time with friends who understand I haven't changed as a person, what has changed, is my ability to do certain things.

So what has tended to happen over particularly the last year when things have been quite tough at times, is that my beautiful real friends have continued to contact me regardless of my lack of initiating contact. In spite of the fact that many times I have agreed to do things with them and then cancelled at the last minute. These are my family of choice - the friends who I will love till I die, and the friends who I know I can count on through it all. I hope they believe the same of me!

Friday night I was due to meet a couple friends in the city. One of the girls had to cancel, so it ended up being just the 2 of us. We began the night with some Moet in her apartment in town accompanied by nibbles after which we went out for a yummy dinner, then back to hers for a nightcap.

The great thing about this night - apart from the view -

 of the bay...

 of etihad stadium...

of the convention centre...

was that we picked up where we had left off the last time, and covered a range of topics both serious and not so serious; we laughed until we almost cried; we commiserated with each other, we told fabulous stories and generally talked non stop for hours.

This night reminded me of a number of things that have been missing in my life since this illness. FUN FUN FUN!!!

I was filled with resolve about ensuring I meet my goal this year, and fill my life with friends, laughter and fun. I will make an effort to connect. After all, I am such a believer in community and social connectedness, and I cannot believe I did not think to apply this to myself!

I'm off to make sure I write down on my weekly plan a regular time to connect with the important people.

Today's song title is to one of my favourite songs and the message is that we are better for the people we hav in our life, and I totally agree that without my partner, my friends, my family of choice and my actual family, I would not be the person I am today. I am blessed in my life to know love and to have connections with other people.

 ... And the greatest gift of life is to know love
I don't know where it all begins
And I don't know where it all will end
We're better off for all that we let in
*All That We Let in - Indigo Girls

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life is a Rollercoaster*

A week of ups and downs it has been indeed!

Good things always happen of course, and one of them was this...

Yes a haircut. Nice and short for this hot weather.

The rest of the week was work, a committee meeting, fighting with landlords and real estate agents - YUK.

What a lovely weekend it has been though. We finally got a Christmas present that we had ordered and paid for...

Yes the new baby Weber Q
I must admit, I overdid the dinner just a tad, hence no photos! I will be having another go tonight though to see if I can improve on my efforts. I did wonder last night if I would ever cook on the stove top again!

My lovely quiet Sunday has consisted of lots of reading, blogging and listening to music. BLISS
Life is a Rollercoaster
Just gotta ride it
 *Life is a Rollercoaster - Ronan Keating

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday, Monday*

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, was all I hoped it would be
*Monday, Monday - The Mamas and The Papas

There is definitely something very predictable about Mondays!

For me they mean:
  • meetings (I have three regular ones)
  • new patients
  • catching up on the weekend
  • definitely some music
  • discharge planning for the week
  • resource development
All made complete by
to round out the day.

 Photo By Louise. Sand Sculpting Frankston

I do love my little bit of community at the end of a Monday.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Live Like You're Dying*

I can't believe Sunday is here already. First week back at work is complete, and it has been a little busy and kept me away.

Along with work there were some other nice things that happened.

Spent a few hours Baking with friends, christening a Christmas present.

Yummy Chocolate fudge cake

Olive and Rosemary Bread. Mmmm

These yummies were the result. Along with a lovely time chatting and catching up, many cups of tea and lots of laughs.

I am also undertaking my first e-course, as I have mentioned previously. It has been challenging to keep up with the posts during the first week back, so I am doing some weekend catch up!

I have been spending some time working on my weekly plan. I intend this to enable me to "make my life more liveable." Late last year, I realised this is something that needs addressing. When things get hard, I hibernate. What this means is I miss out on fun. I don't spend nice quality time with my gorgeous partner, and I don't see my friends. All I do is work and exercise, both of which are intended to prevent me from doing exactly what I do!

Someone recently told me 'the more stressful life is the more fun things you should do.' This makes a lot of sense to think about balancing the stress.

So taking the bull by the horns - as they say - and living my word of the year, I am planning, for the first time in my life.

First draft is completed and I am considering changes already. I have included time for meditation and relaxation, me time, us time, study, work, exercising and chores. This should be a great help!

I'll take every moment, I know that I own them
It's all up to you to do whatever you choose
Live like you're dying and never stop trying
It's all you can do, use what's been given to you
*Live like You're Dying - Lenka

Monday, January 10, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want*

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
*You Can't Always Get What You Want - Rolling Stones

Sourced from Google images

I Don't Like Mondays*

Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
Tell me why
I don’t like Mondays
I wanna shoo-oo-woo-woo-woo-oot the whole day down
*I don't like Mondays - Boomtown Rats

It can take a long time to get going on the first day back. 
(Do you ever get dressed for work and then go back to bed?)
Back to work today. The carefree days of holidays are gone, and it's time to really start the year. I have been blessed with a lovely relaxing holiday full of reading, exploring, relaxing, discussions, adventures, friends, family and my most loved one.
I don't hate Mondays at all, but I can find the first day back hard after a few weeks off!

I plan to take it pretty easy today and enjoy the new year at work. I making an intention for it to be a year with enough challenge, but not too much, lots of creativity and innovation in many areas, and fulfillment. Bring it on!
and so onward...

There are new journeys to take...

New discoveries to be made...

and different horizons to explore. 

It's going to be a great year!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can't Stop The Music*

You can't stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Take the heat from flame, try not feeling pain,
though you try in vain it's much easier.
No, you can't stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Change the master plan, take the hope from man
'cause that's easier to do. 
*Can't stop the music - Village People

This is apparently the case in our street as well.

I found this sign on my walk yesterday.
I wonder what the symbolic meaning could be? 
I'll let you know when it becomes clear.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our House*

Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
'Cause of you
* Our House - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

At our house we have been hosting real estate agents and random strangers twice a week for over 4 months now. Yes our house is being sold by the owners. We have been umming and aahing about what is the best decision for us in terms of moving. Should we get out now, should we stay till it sells then find something during the 2 months notice we will be given, will we hold out and see if an investor buys it and wants to re-tenant it, etc, etc?

We have been going back and forth on these things for months now. Yesterday I read this post and the wisdom I gleaned from it was this ...

 When in doubt… choose forward motion. 

I immediately said to tinniegirl, I think it's time, what do you think? She agreed.
We had been keeping an eye on the rental market in the area just to get a feel for what we would have to pay and what was out there. One of our favourites was this one. 

Well yes it is a favourite, but it was for sale and a little out of our league at this stage. (We have determined that when it comes up for sale again we are going to buy it!)

We had however, seen a house a few streets away that was a little smaller than we ideally would like, but we decided to go and have a look as it was open for inspection. Then at about 10.30 last night, we decided that we couldn't really be bothered going and headed to bed. Well sleep was a little evasive in the 30 degree heat, and we continued to talk a little further about the house and decided that if we were going to start seriously looking for a house, we should at least go and have a look for comparison if nothing else.

So we happily trotted off this morning and promptly fell in love with this house.

It hit us between the eyes. It was unexpected and it was definitely love at first look.
Now we have completed and safely hand delivered the application forms etc, and have our fingers and toes firmly crossed.

What a blessing it would be to find and be offered the right house upon our first look. Thank you in advance Universe for making this process easy for us, and if we don't get it, I now know there is something much better out there waiting. Things are really looking up, I hold a sense of hope and a real sense of forward motion now.

How things can change in 24 hours!!!
Or is it because we are making it so?


Friday, January 7, 2011

Honestly (Write me a List)*

My list of intentions for 2011.

1. work towards acceptance of the limitations of my illness
2. organise my life so I can get the most out of it and have more fun
3. decide what to do about work
4. connect more with family and friends
5. get back to my study
6. move house to somewhere that has light and space and trees and birds

It's a small list for now.  might add to it as I go along. If I call it a working document, then I am covered!! I'm joining in with tinniegirl even though my list is tiny compared to her big list, however...

My list for today is nearly complete

1. attend appt
2. drop off bike to be serviced
3. go to medicare to get money
4. buy vitamins
5. pick up bike and ride home
6. meet friends at Abbotsford convent supper market

NOW ... Time for some reading!!!

* Honestly (Write me a List) by Rodney Atkins

"Just think it over,and write me a list"
"So we can figure out what we both deserve"

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Because we need each other
We believe in one another
And I know we're going to uncover
What's sleepin' in our soul
*Acquiesce - Oasis

This is not the word I wanted to use, but an alternative to the actual word. Why? Well I have set myself a challenge to use song lyrics for all my blog titles this year, and I couldn't find anything I liked with my actual word in it, so I turned to my trusty thesaurus and after a bit of searching I found this one.

My actual word for the year is ...

This year I will strive for acceptance
... of my health
... of myself
... of family
... of colleagues
... of limits
... of change
... of difference

This will lead me to 
... peace
... tolerance
... courage
... happiness
... fun
... authenticity in my everyday life
... clarity 
... trust
... patience
... LOVE

ACCEPTANCE ...bring it on!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sing, Sing a song*

I want to try something a little fun this year to inspire me to really get going with this blog. I anticipate that as I return to study, that is what will make up the bulk of what I have to say, but just for the meantime...

 I am a musician and music therapist and I'm studying in the fields of music therapy and community cultural development so I wanted to give my blog more of a musical feel.

Sooo..... Starting today, I will be attempting to use song lyrics as the titles for all my posts. I do not necessarily have to know the songs either, they just have to exist. I may also include songs that I have written that you will not know. Maybe if I feel so inspired I will record them for you who knows.

Is it a little crazy? Yes I think it is, but I want to have fun, so here I go. I feel more creative already!

Feel free to make suggestions for blog titles and I will see what I can do.

I had a lot of trouble deciding on what the title for this post would be!!

*Sing - The Carpenters. (A old favourite of mine)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year*

Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have a vision now and then
Of a world where every neighbour is a friend
Happy New Year
Happy New Year
May we all have our hopes, our will to try
If we don't we might as well lie down and die
You and I
                         *(Lyrics from Happy new Year, Abba)

It has been a quiet year so far, so I have started work on my list for the year. I am starting the year in a new way this year. I have decided to throw aside my usual modus operandi for life, which is let's see what happens and deal with it then.

This year, I am planning. I'm going to make a list of things I would like to achieve this year and plan accordingly.  In order to get me started, my lovely partner has gifted me a very special experience to kick off my year.

I have never done an ecourse before and am very excited about it. I think it will set me up perfectly to get on with my new plan of making plans for the year!

Of course I have yet to make any concrete plans, but they will unfold over the next few weeks, I am sure. It's a new year with new plans, and an exciting new ecourse to kick it off. I'm looking forward to  a great 2011. Hope yours is also.