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just life n times

I may as well fess up

I think I have a periodic fear of this blog.
I often think on reading the news that such and such would make a good post and then I lose my nerve and decide that it’s too self indulgent and write it but not post.
Then I look at other blogs and change my mind back again.

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Not a bad welcome home

Out tonight’s window

20130720-201450.jpg

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What a difference a few inches makes

Reviving a friends blog for his musings while overseas has jogged my memory that I too have a blog, sorely neglected.

Some of you will no doubt be pleased to know that I have still been writing. In fact more than before. See this from an entry on “day One” written when I bought an iPad mini. It is the case of “what a difference a few inches makes”

“This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I might be getting closer to that dream “writer” image of myself that I’ve coveted for years. Images of me sitting perfectly poised and serene with a laptop in a quiet dimly lit cafe, intently people watching one minute and steadfastly focused on the great Australian essay the next flood my dream self. Of course I could never fix on whether I wanted to live in an austere environment, as a hermit or as a collector of “inspiration” in the form of stuff.

But the romantic image of sitting in a coffee shop remained”

And 3 weeks in now I can attest to that. I am indeed writing more. Both longer pieces that I can leave and come back to, or more incidental notes from reading/listening to audiobooks that I’m doing more of too. I’ve written a well meaning but angry email to Amnesty International while lying in bed. I play “Hey Day” (think FarmVille but better and less annoying) while drinking wine waiting for transport, I read “designing 2050″ over a piccolo latte.

Yes I could do all of those things on the iPad and I did do more than I ever did with the laptop. But the simple fact is I didn’t do it unless it was required. I would look up my calendar when I needed to, only getting out iBooks when I knew I was going to sit there a while, like an hour or so and when I had enough desk or table to look vaguely together and typing felt strangely stressful. Even though the iPad is small and is useful and was a good size and compromise, the iPad mini feels very automatic and very one handed friendly. Like its size was built for me

Before this turns into a “Brought to you by…” post let me tell you that I’m loving the fact I can just do mini things in my mini pad and carry a smaller bag into which the iPad’s smaller frame can fit without planning the bag pack.

I’m centralising my writing too. Although I do carry pen and pad which also still fit with ease in said bag, I don’t feel bereft. I’m writing more because it does feel worth it to get the mini out for “one line” which invariably turns to three. I’m writing emails though I’m still behind on my social catch ups. I’m processing my head better which I’ve had to do more of lately, and hopefully doing s o with less of a burden.

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Tuesday/Wednesday tiny; Maybe not such a dork these days

Tried to post this yesterday, but only just discovered it didn’t go

Maybe this insecurity is born out of being teased at school I’m not sure but I always get a jolt of pleasure when I notice strangers reading the same books as I’ve read, listening to music that I’m even unlikely to bring out at a dinner party or playing a game on iPad/iPhone that I’m embarrassed to admit that I love (to the extent that I usually reserve it for the bathroom).

While family and friends are generally a different matter; with strangers I’ve tended to hide my taste or lack of it in such things, considering myself somewhere between a renaissance woman, an old soul or just plain dorky.

So when in the last week or so I’ve noticed separate women, roughly matching my demographic reading a book I’m also reading, listening to music that I recognised as in my “might be dorky” collection and playing a game on an iPad ( and she looked like she was further ahead on it than me)I smiled broadly. Maybe I’m not so much of a dork these days

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Feeling funk-y

An email to a legal eagle friend of mine regarding dinner tonight. Yes it’s another self indulgent no real detail post but its a good piece of writing and this is my blog after all!

subject: due disclaimers

Hi Mr Eagle

I’m sort of in the mood to write this rather than text. Perhaps in the writing I will in and of myself feel better. But I thought that i had better give you the option to back out of tonight.

It’s not health related at all but a whole lot of very minor and not so minor things are leaving me feeling flat and very humph as well as frustrated, from the personal to the beauracratic (” are you sure Nicol is REALLY your last name?”), from noise to pedestrian, from being too invisible, to too visible at the same time, from the individual to the collective, from wanting to be thanked for my generosity more in some cases to wanting to be anonymously kind in others, from wanting some people to ask me for help, to wanting others to quit taking advantage of me, from wanting to be out in the beautiful weather to wanting to curl up in a ball in the dark, from wanting stodgy rich food while simultaneously being a health nut.

It’s just one of those days and no it isn’t tired. I’m well rested and feeling ok considering. It’s just a funk and seeing you would no doubt help. But if the idea of me lamenting the dichotomous absurdities and frustrations of life is unappealing or even not saying anything on the topic I will understand, :-) Consider thyself warned and all disclaimers being now duly tendered in this case, in the matter of “Should “Mr Eagle and Joanna dine tonight?”, speak now or forever hold your piece :-)

love,
Joanna

Ps I do feel better having written this :-)
PPS Maybe I should stop reading books on finding happiness!

By the way, he said yes to dinner! How lucky am I?

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What will

I was reading a series of blog postsfrom Beth on a 10 week read along she did of the Willpower Experiement. I haven’t read the book ( though it is on my wish list now). It seems like the book was written for me. It’s not that I always fail to follow through but personally driven, personally focused committments over multiple days is hard for me.

For example it was time for me to do my annual GTD tweaking. This time however, having fallen off the wagon almost entirely so think of it more as a decluttering detoxing rebuild of a very ill GTD system.

So this weekend officeworks and I became well acquainted and I have a beautiful office space; complete this time with a working tickler and reference filing thanks to a working filing cabinet which I have resisted to greater or lesser degrees in previous rollouts. One of my main rationalisations being that being computer savvy, I would of course scan every bill and other documument into a perfectly ordered system of virtual filing with full and consistent backup and redundancy!

Ha! And we now return you to your regularly scheduled program: reality. So I’ve started with the filing system and with my somewhat consistent efforts to purge the office here, my “girl den” as I’ve taken to calling it, is looking good, even a tad sparse.

It is now a beautiful space. It is clean and crisp. I even got a spontaneous “oh wow” from a visitor after it was done for the day. I was and am proud. I haven’t done the mind sweep David Allen suggests you start with because I have learnt that while it is neccessary to do that step and thoroughly I can get bogged down in it and not get beyond a project list that looks and feels unwieldy and unforgiving.

So today I tried sorting the bedside shelves which is where I want to store my shoes- in pairs ideally, fancy that and atop which I house my equally disorganised jewellery case. That was today’s project and it was an excavation in itself as we’ll as a high exposure to dust! But yes I got there.

So in one way, yes I did good. I continued decluttering and took on another bite sized activity while maintaining the clean and clear surfaces.

So the other side of my pride and going back to my original musings about willpower I havent really continued on with the project I started on only yesterday. Although what I did do today was great, I’m a little angry that I didn’t have the staying power to even do a two day project. I get excited when I finish a set of post-it notes rather than lose or de-sticky them through carelessness because right now it seems so unlike me to follow through or finish anything!

Leaning back and trying to be self-kind now, there are two things that stand out from the blog posts.

  • Choose one thing at first to develop will power for: decluttering, going to bed early, writing, drinking water and do a little bit each day. I guess this is among other things the idea that neither Rome nor our willpower were built in a day.
  • The second was a tip with I think very broad application; about time. Quoting the author of the blog now:

    “Studies show that most people, like Sonnet and I, “wrongly predict we will have much more free time in the future than we do today” (p. 94). What’s helping me is to find a way to get ever-closer to my goal of a decluttered house, even though I’m busy. For me, this means one clutter spot (sometimes a very small one!) per weekday. Even on extra-busy days, I can usually do that. And if I do miss a day, I just make sure I’m extra-motivated to pick up where I left off the next day.”.

So for me, being as realistic as I can about the time and resource available, I’m going to try and sort my intray for an hour into the right context lists and remember to whiten my teeth tomorrow night.

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But something I did like

Was Meg Wolfe‘s The Minimalist Woman and the follow up The Minimalist Woman’s Guide to Having it All. Buying the latter especially in light of the whole minimalism philosophy and my own, did indeed feel a little counter intuitive! But both books were each useful.

I seem to be on a gentle quest of self-development. I dare not speak too loudly of it as experience has taught me that if I start striving after self-development, I crash and burn.

So mini steps (micro rolls) are working for me.

  • I’m getting a little better at boundaries. Long long way to go here, but I’m not turning myself inside out to fit other’s schedules or more likely lack of them.
  • I’ve bought yoghurt, nuts and protein drinks and am eating them as snacks. This increase in fibre and protein has had an impact, some of it a little inconvenient.
  • I’m using things up before I toss them.
  • So far I’d decided I’m going to use up my other perfumes before I replace my favourite one.
  • Despite the stack, I’m trying to read a book or two to the end before starting a new one.
  • every time I leave this room I try and toss a piece of rubbish.

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Friday fashion: the first question

Recently, I volunteered to be part of a media or research project on disability and fashion. The co-ordination was done by a Dr Jill Bamforth a social research academic from Melbourne with an eye for fashion and an awareness that there must be challenges finding clothes that work on any number of levels for people with disabilities. She was also aware that there would be an unmet market that wasn’t necessarily being served currently.

After at least two brief phone calls that had technically or timing issues in which we established among other things, that; I didn’t like centre-back zips, can’t wear pantyhose, but can do thigh highs but don’t like the limited range (even now when there is a decent range in pantyhose as there has been recently in Australia). She then sent me 11 insightful questions, inviting me to answer without the pressure to answer them all. After that was an equally insightful hour-long phone call.

As with most well-written surveys on topics you have at least a passing interest in, the process of thinking that went into the preparation of my answers was fascinating.

Here was the first Q and A

1. You say (as others do) that it is important to dress in a professional way in order to be taken seriously at work. What does this kind of dressing entail – a suit/make up/ heels/hair cuts and colour, for instance?

How long have you got…. It involves all of those things above and balancing them out for an overall effect, based not only on the event you are planning for and the impact you want to make (same for everyone I guess) but how physically you are feeling (energy) and what parts of your body are working and what sort of movement you are anticipating — transfers etc.

For example I have two pairs of very different work shoes, that from the top(the way most people will see my feet) look very similar. This is deliberate. However, if I wear the higher heels (which are more comfy on my footplate) and my foot goes into spasm, my ankle gets twisted and it becomes a painful and visual distraction tht can last hours.

In addition as a wheelchair user I am viewed as sitting even when I’m moving which changes the parts of my outfits and body that are visually apparent.My breasts and my shins are more visible than my waist or whether I’m a pear or apple. So traditional fashion advice or mannequins are only so useful.

Also the wheelchair in one way is a fashion accessory and frames me so I dress to either not clash with it, or to complement it. Trying to igbnore it has not worked in the past. Keep in mind though that you want to be distinguishable from the chair at all times.

In the more traditional version of your question, yes all these things you mention contribute. I always tend to up dress because I get judged already on the fact I sit. I don’t wear a tracksuit at all except in bed. I always wear foundation. It might be vanity but the logic is to come over as a grown up, let alone a professional. I’m in my 30’s.

She was interested in the wheelchair as accessory bit, which I might go into on another occasion.

 

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to say thanks


Lest we forget

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Confession — iTunes

I’ve got a nasty habit of downloading movies and TV shows that either aren’t good for me, or I’ve seen them before, or even worse I already own them – in hard or soft copy. That was the case with Julie and Julia last night, which I had already rented and enjoyed and now own.

 

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