Love in Hindsight III

In Post 1 and Post 2 of this series I looked back on my time as a pre-parent teacher and then as a parent in the present day.

While teaching and parenting are hugely important aspects of my life, they don’t define who I am.

It is interesting to note (to me at least) when I started blogging what information I added to my gravatar. ‘Mum’, ‘wife’, ‘sister’ and other titles were provided. But who am I?

Over the past two years I have seen myself on a course of discovery, trying to locate me and my passion. I won’t bore you with the long list of endeavours and ideas that floated through my mind.

Since the middle of last year I had thought about starting a blog but knew very little about what it entailed. On January 1 this year I decided that there was only one way to find out and that was to just do it (to borrow the famous Nike slogan). I could blog from home and it wouldn’t take me away from my young family. Yes! It was the perfect solution and it would be great. By choosing the theme and focus of my blog I would also be able to remind myself that there is love in the everyday moments of life with littlies.

Aiming high, which is always what I seem to do, I set out to write a post a day. Mum would probably say, ‘biting off more than you can chew.’ Yes, Mum, you’re right-as always (tongue in cheek).

Starting Free Little Words was the best thing I have done just for myself for a very long time. It is also the most time-consuming undertaking I have attempted in a very long time.

I don’t know about anyone else reading this but blogging, over the course of a week, has me sitting at my laptop or catching up on the reader on my phone for approximately 16 hours. That’s an ENTIRE DAY! Now, I don’t mean to shout at anyone but that’s a shedload of time.

Any new ‘thing’ that we choose to do generally takes time to learn and grow accustomed to. While I’m all for learning, there is a limit to the amount of ‘me’ I’m able to invest.

The one thing I am truly grateful for and would have given my left arm to rediscover was that I love writing. As the people closest to me would testify, I can talk underwater with a mouth full of marbles. I have a tendency to be a jabber jaws though and my mouth moves faster than my brain can handle. I trip over my words and get tongue tied, particularly when I’m nervous or anxious.

So writing is the ticket for me. Being able to think then write and order my words and erase when needed, is just plain awesome. Add to that, my experience with children and the love of rhyme and rhythm and I feel a natural affinity towards picture books.

So blogging has led to more writing but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything. My manuscripts and ideas lay languishing on the bench at the end of every day, crying out for more words to join the fray.

So it has come down to this – my last post here on Free Little Words. I didn’t want it to sound so final even though it does.

There’s two young boys, who won’t be little forever, wishing that their mum would be slightly more present when she’s present. I owe them that much. Then when the lights are out and those eyelashes flutter as they dream sweet dreams, the words can spring forth to the begging blank page.

I leave you now with just one promise.

My journey on WP is not complete. I will be back; I’m just not sure when that might be. When I do, I hope you’ll welcome me back.

This mum/wife/sister loves to write.

♥ Kelly

 

Image from: here.

Blogtrotter July Tour

blogtrotterThere are more people blogging on WP than there are countries in the world to visit. Where do you choose to go first? Do you rely on pot luck, the ‘stumbled upon’ approach or a fool proof system that ensures you only see what interests you?

Armed only with a keen desire to find some great bloggers, I’ve set out to bring together some of my all-time favourites with new and inspiring content.

I’d like you all to meet Stuart Perkins. Unfortunately he was unable to be here but luckily I’ve spent some time over at his blog recently and can give you a bit of a rundown.

You’ve heard of the Dog Whisperer and here in Australia we have a Horse Whisperer too.

Stuart is the Bus Whisperer. He’s from Arlington and writes about the everyday moments and turns them into humorous stories (true). If you choose to drop by, some recent posts include Carol’s rendezvous with a black snake and George’s attempt at bringing a new girl into the fray.

Story Shucker is where you’ll find Stuart and I reckon he’s got a good thing going. Starting only last month, he has seen 257 people follow his blog already and over 4000 hits (if you’re a stats lover).

Now, Brian, the Jogging Dad, would probably rather jog the 4 miles Stuart travels than catch a bus. He’d be all sweaty by the time he got to work and would probably be crossing his legs as he’s not fond of relieving himself on the run. I suggest you don’t ask him what fartlek means and if he is not running away from his parenting duties he performs epic fails by his own admission.

Brian thinks when he runs whereas I’d rather just think about running and hope it has the same effect. He’s funny as and even has a t-shirt with joggingdad.com printed on it. He thinks it’s tasteful but you can make up your own mind. Keep your eyes peeled around Sydney Harbour in case you run into him. Jogging Dad’s been around the blog block for a while and I’ve been running with him in spirit for quite some time now. He’d probably die of shock if he knew I planned to do the City to Bay 12k run in September.

Only today, I found Kahn’s Wise Words. Sharon and Bud Kahn offer a daily quote, saying or inspirational thought. I’d love to have a desk to put one of the those desk calendars on. Being a relief (temp/substitute) teacher means I don’t have a desk to call my own. I can now have it on my laptop screen though, and may use it to inspire me for future posts if my muse goes missing.

When it’s peace I seek and a moment to pause, I drop in to see Laurie at Laurie’s Notes. Since the beginning of this year Laurie has enabled me to seek refuge at her blog and remember to breathe. She employs beautiful images and gentle words to offer comfort, affirmation and healing to her visitors. After reading one of her posts I always feel a sense of calm and that the inner hustle of my thoughts have quietened. It only takes a few moments as Laurie’s notes are always short but profound in their message.

I created the Blogtrotter logo to represent the journey that writers take as they venture around WordPress, knowing that there are no far corners, just endless opportunities and limitless creativity to be found. If you’d like to use the logo on your blog, feel free.

Love your work.

Kelly

Love on a Deadline

When faced with a deadline in life, love or work what is your natural response?

Do you face up to it ready for a fight or do you shy away and go into flight mode?

After self-imposing a deadline on myself recently it has helped me to learn what kind of writer I am.

July 1 has arrived and for all in the southern hemisphere will be over in a couple of short hours. This was my deadline. The manuscript I wrote was supposed to have been placed safely into a depository we, in Australia, call a post box. It hasn’t left the building.

I struck a couple of hurdles today. Procrastination and Dissatisfaction.

While I believe I can deal with dissatisfaction to an extent, I cannot deal with procrastination.

There was a part of my story that I had been unhappy with from its conception. Until today I had no ideas that were even adequate.

My deadline it seems had worked its magic and forced me to think. Think hard and solve the issue.

So dissatisfaction has been taken care of but I have that lingering sense that procrastination had me putting off what could have been achieved last week and enabled me to post it TODAY.

My little four page picture book manuscript will leave my hands tomorrow but I am left with that feeling that procrastination will visit again and I need to be more prepared to deal with it. Putting kids and the family, the paid variety of work, blogging and feeding the goldfish first may need to change.

And just as an aside who decided that procrastinate should have the prefix pro? Who supports or is in favour of crastination? I love words and language but really? I am tempted to submit to Oxford that procrastination be changed to anticrastination.

Am I being too hard on myself missing my deadline by one day? Please share any tips you have for power-punching deadlines and assisting with anticrastination.

I need all the help I can get.

 

 

And can someone please make sure the goldfish are fed.

Image from: here.

A Passion for Love

Love your passion

What’s your passion? What’s life without it?

Whether your passion is for your job, a hobby, helping others or personal growth, our passion for fulfilment should be the driving force behind what we do.

I recently found my passion. I don’t know why it took me so long to find it when it was right under my nose for some 20 years. I think I originally located it almost 10 years ago but for whatever reason it fell by the wayside. Now, apparently, I’m not the same person I was a decade ago. Every cell in my body has since been replaced but the embers of that same fire have been reignited.

Perhaps it wasn’t the ‘right time’ then. Every fibre of my being tells me it is the right time now and nothing nor no one will tell me it’s not. If there are naysayers in my path, I will listen to their words and move on without a backwards glance. My dreams will become possible with passion.

That passion in my heart will allow me to accomplish great things.

Image from: here.

I Would Do Anything For Love….

……but I won’t do that.

How do you go about asking for a favour from someone?

I find it extremely difficult and I don’t know if that’s because I don’t do it often so have had very little experience in doing so or because I would rather be the ‘doer’ of the favour. I enjoy doing things for others. It’s probably selfish if you think about it. I get a kick out of the feeling from having helped that person. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the teacher in me or that part of me that makes a good teacher. Giving is receiving.meatloaf

So in honour of I promise I made recently I’m going to attempt to make this as brief as possible.

Clear and concise.

Short and succinct.

Alright, enough with the babble!

I need to ask a favour *gulp.

Some of the Freequent flyers here know that I’ve been working on a top secret page-turner.

I have completed the manuscript for my picture book. Being a picture book it has less than 500 words and, as yet, has no pictures. It is being sent to the publisher on Monday who will take care of all the big details such as finding the illustrator, publication timeline, marketing, etc.

So what would I like you to do for this so-called favour, I hear you ask?

I would love for you to read it and comment as you see fit. The only other thing I ask is that you are completely and ruthlessly honest with me.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, writer or lover of reading. Even if you are none of those. You’ve read children’s books or had them read to you. You all bring valuable experience to the table.

In return I will owe you one because, for me, a favour should always be returned in some form or another. What form that takes is completely up to you.

Please remember, though, I won’t do that.

I’d love your help. If you’re willing, please email me and I will forward a copy to you then I’ll chew my nails to the quick.

 Kelly

Crazy Little Thing Called ♥

Love is a little crazy.

There’s a touch of weird lurking here so don’t say you weren’t warned.

Is it just me or has there been a steady stream of bloggers heading for the hills of their own minds?

There’s a little bit of crazy talk going on around these parts and I’m sure I’m not the first one to pick up on it. I’m not that fast on the uptake.

I think I’ve already arrived at this point once before. Last time it was more like a ‘what the frigging heck am I doing?’ It’s changed now to a ‘I know what I need to do.’

Through the RCC I mentioned a self-imposed deadline to send off my first manuscript by June 30. That in itself proves I’m crazy. But not being one to back down without a fight I will stick to it. Only problem is, I haven’t even finished it yet. After that, I want to sit on it for a bit and revise/edit yada yada. Now please don’t hound me in the comments section for belittling the editing process or writers in general. A picture book is normally under 500 words. No biggie. Every word just has the weight of the world on it as there are so few of them.

Anyhoo. I wanted to take up a little blog space to thank some people. Don’t worry, it’ll probably only take as long as it would for you to say, ‘well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.’

I’m not going to name drop. You guys all know who you are. My followers. No, not the 325 of you. The 10 or so true followers that have read almost EVERYTHING I have written.

Poetry and poems.

Whinges and whining.

Troubles and tantrums.

Humour and heart warmers.

10 words or 1000. You’re here every day.

I caught up on my reader today for the first time in over a week. Boy it was a relief and I felt great. On top of the reader for 0.4 seconds until one of you posts something I must read. Not because you expect me to; because I need to. I haven’t read a ‘real’ book in 3 months and my manuscript hasn’t seen one ounce of love in 5 weeks. As for my completely understanding, wonderful husband, well, he needs some extra loving.

This is not a ‘goodbye’,’ see you soon’ or ‘not sure when/if I’ll be back’ post. I’m not totally off my rocker.

This is a lull in the halls of love. I’m giving you guys a break. Your reader will be a little lighter and a slightly easier to manage without me taking up space. Actually, cancel that. I’ll be taking up space with stuff that’s already taken up space before. Not a fan of reblogs to be honest but it beats the looney bin which is where I’m worried I’ll be headed if I don’t find a new lease on love.

Oh and don’t think you’ll be getting off that easy. I’m relying on you lot for my daily dose of laughter. I need uplifting quotes and heartfelt poems. Update me with where you’re up to with all your goals and help me choose my next actual book to read. I’ll also be commenting my behind off so no need to be concerned for my mental health. I’m going to be a blogtrotter!

Finally, I would like to take my crazy brain with me having you know:

what I’ve sought

what I’ve learned

what I’ve shared

what I’ve gained

what I’ve pondered

what I’ve found…..

…..is LOVE!

And for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kelly

In The Habit of Love

Love is a habit.

‘We first make our habits and then our habits make us.’

This saying has been one that has retained its place in my memory for many years.

I can’t tell you why. Possibly because I’m in the habit of remembering quotes and phrases that may possibly come in handy sometime.

Habits can be food for the soul. Bad habits can eat away at the very essence of one’s core.

Daily life is driven by habits.

Some of mine keep me on the straight and narrow.

List making is a skill I acquired probably in my Uni days to keep up with assignment due dates, lecture times and extra curricular activities. This habit rolled over into my teaching career where a ‘to do’ list was essential.  I still make lists; can’t function without them. There is something completely satisfying about checking items off a list. Before bed, I empty my head of the next day’s duties. Each morning I face the ‘pigs might fly’ scenario. I’ll be darned if those squealing pink trotters will grow wings while I’m on a mission. Every item will be checked off before I’ll allow my head to hit the pillow. Only exhaustion will stop me every once in awhile.

habit

There’s one thing that is never on my itemised and ordered agenda.

Love.

The day I need to include a reminder to love is the day I’ll stop making checklists then those pigs better fly on stealth mode.

Old habits are hard to break.

Are new ones easier to make?

Watching the kids I see habits forming. They watch me too.

The blanket that needs to be smoothed and perfectly placed. Toast cut into four triangles. Patterns and routines. Rinse and repeat.

After all we are creatures of habit hoping to create a sense of order and control in an otherwise chaotic existence.

A new habit for me is writing.

I love it. It’s cathartic, rewarding, addictive.

The only part of the habit that is cause for concern is the capacity of my brain. Words become prompts for my tireless brain. Titles vie for attention in my hemispheres. Stories jump around in my grey matter begging to be let out. Some flit in and out in a moment-vanishing like fog, leaving me grasping at tendrils, willing the idea to be front-and-centre once more.

There will never be enough time to share the millions of ideas that float in and around me. The ones I carry, those that I forget and others that are left in the wasteland hoping to someday see the light of day.

To fulfil my habit is not only the desire to write but to read. To immerse myself in all the stories from all parts of the globe. To share, start conversations and relish in the great ones.

Perhaps a new habit is required.

I’ll need some time to create it.

Sometime soon would be perfect.

The new habit I’ll love.