Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Special Blog Award

Many years ago, getting to know other bloggers was just what people did. They commented on posts, spoke through posts to each other, and told their families the stories as if those people they only read about were real, actual people.

Then social media exploded in our faces, and changed all of those things. We didn't interact with people the same way, we stopped writing blog posts to each other, we started hanging out and scrolling through social media every day, every hour.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Hello 2020

hello Monday is about changing the Monday-blahs to Monday-yays by embracing the positive, and sharing goals, thoughts and plans for the week ahead.

hello first Monday of the New Year. 

Waiting for some new software to download, so decided to take unexpected action and write.

hello school holidays. 

Only 3 weeks left before the start of the new school year. I'm sure now that routines are starting to return we'll find our normal again.

hello FORWARD. 

If you're on my newsletter list, I shared my word for 2020 before Christmas. If not, my word is FORWARD.

Cultivate wasn't very good for me, because I let the busyness of the juggle get in the way, instead of focusing on each individual action.

FORWARD feels like just the reminder that every little action adds up to the end goal that I need right now.

hello GoodReads. 

I've had an account on GoodReads for a long time, but look at it maybe once a year, and never really understood how to use it.

But on a quiet afternoon in that lull week between Christmas and New Year I followed a link, and spent some time poking around, adding books from my 2019 finished list, updating books I'd marked as "want to read" years ago, and creating lists for 2020.

And I discovered that Kindle and AudioBooks auto-sync, so no more forgetting what I've read by not writing it down (although I'm still writing, because I like to see the list in my bullet journal)

hello work. 

It still sounds so weird to say "I work" out loud. While the kids have got 3 weeks until school starts, I've got 2 weeks until I head to work, and my volunteer roles kick in again.

hello goals. 

I've done a lot of work figuring out how to do goals over the last couple of years - make them habits, make them have purpose, "projectify" them.

But it wasn't until I read a post from Jennifer Wilson at Simple Scrapper over the weekend that something clicked and I realised I could do all that, and make my goals quantifiable, and still meet my goals.

I spent a good couple of hours after that, figuring out which areas were important, making the goals big enough that they seemed slightly out of reach, but not overwhelming, and that they touched on the things that are important to me right now.

Now, I'm excited for the next step.

hello Monday, a new start every week.


Monday, 7 October 2019

5 reasons introverts are great at conferences

I was lucky enough to head to a conference in September for my volunteer role at the high school.

A group of like-minded people who can talk this stuff all the time?

Sign me up right now!

My little introvert heart was bursting from excitement.

(When I wasn't completely freaking out about beingawayfromhomeandwhowasIsharingaroomwith)

The freakout almost won the day, when I seriously considered backing out at the last minute, but Friday morning came, I hopped on the train, and made my way into the city to attend the conference.

What is an introvert?

Google says an introvert is "a shy reticent person", but that isn't the whole truth.

While introverts can be shy (I spent many years of my childhood being labelled "shy"), what they really like is solitary time to rest and recharge. Large groups of people and having to always be on, can drain an introvert emotionally.

Introverts replenish their energy to tackle the world from being on their own.

If introverts enjoy quiet time alone, how exactly can a conference be good for them?

I was surprised when I figured this out for myself, so maybe it will excite you, too.

There's no small talk in sight.

Conferences are generally related to an area that you're interested in. Whether it's a blogging conference, or a volunteer conference, there's generally a reason everyone is there.

So introverts don't have to explain what they do to anyone, everyone who is there gets it!

Sure, there's a little bit of background chat about who you are as a person, but everyone is ready to dig into the meat of what your do and share ideas.

There's lots of learning and thinking

Introverts are deep thinkers, it's part of what makes them introverts. And learning about new things goes hand in hand with thinking (although sometimes that can be following the squirrel!)

Spending time at a conference that is aimed at an introvert's current passion is an excuse to deep dive into learning new things.

I bought 5 books while I was away at conference (although I have yet to read one of them) so that I could dive deeper into the things the speakers were teaching in my own time.

There's lots of sharing of ideas

When everyone is on the same page, it is much easier to share ideas. Being able to share the thing that lights you up with someone who gets it is inspiring for introverts.

While shyness can mean that people don't like speaking up, introversion often means people don't like speaking shallowly.

"How's the weather" discussions bore introverts, but diving into the meat of an idea and sharing learnings excites an introvert!

Doing the thing can ease the anxiety

Many introverts struggle with social anxiety. Big groups of people are scary!

But actually doing the thing can help ease that anxiety, and while doing it doesn't totally take away the anxiety of a huge group of unknown people, it can help ease it, because you're actually doing it!

There's opportunity to develop friendships

When people have come together for the same purpose, it's easy to spot a kindred spirit (or say hi to someone in the elevator who is wearing the same conference lanyard as you) and if the moment is right, spend time getting to better know those people.

And if you're really lucky, you'll come home with some new friends on your Facebook list, and a confident spring in your step.

Are you an introvert? How do you approach conferences?

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Why you need to set goals for Christmas now

Inside - with just 12 weeks to Christmas, it's time to start making some goals.

It's no secret I love Christmas.
School is finished, work winds down, the streets get quiet, watching everyone open gifts is exciting, cooking tonnes of food is fun, eating the food and talking to friends is a great way to relax.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

5 reasons you don't write even when you want to

I woke with a start, and turned towards the clock on the other side of the bed.


The rolling gentle snoring started, and my brain went into overdrive, wide awake now the noise was ramping up from the other side of the bed.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

3 tips for eradicating the pesky mean girl in your head

Inside - If you've got a constant mean-girl voice in your head, gaslighting your every attempt to be better, then these tips will help you learn to notice her, and overcome. This article previously appeared in my newsletter.

When I upgraded my computer at the start of the month, I also moved my office from the lounge room, where I've been tucked into a corner for 12 years, to my craft room, which used to be Chloe's bedroom. I'm straddling two work spaces, with piles of stuff everywhere, including my desk, which is making it impossible to get any work done.

Today, when I got home from school banking, I was all ready to get stuck into my to-do list. I'd worked out a clear Monday path over the weekend, and I knew I needed to get stuck in because I've got book week costumes to do after school.

But one look at my desk, and I knew I had to take some time to tidy up. Which meant sorting piles of papers on the shelves so I had a place to get this stuff off my desk.

As I sorted through these piles, I heard a little voice whispering in my ear "why didn't you finish that class?"

"What are you going to do with those notes?"

"what a waste of paper printing all that stuff out was."

"God, don't you ever finish anything?"

Do you hear that voice sometimes?

Mean-Cate is a bitch. She has got gaslighting down to a fine art!

But real-Cate has been working hard over the last few months to not let that voice overwhelm her.

Maybe these tips can help you next time your mean-girl voice gets in your ear.

1 - reflect on how far you've come.

Some of the papers I found are from 2007. I looked at them briefly, and made a quick decision about what to do with them (most ended in the recycling.)

If your mean-girl voice is berating you for something you didn't do, reflect on how things have changed in your life since that time. Does the thing still interest you? Will you take action on the thing moving forward? Get rid of it if it doesn't serve you any more, without guilt!

2 - sit with your feelings.

One of the greatest lessons I have learnt this year is to be aware of my feelings, but not let them overwhelm me.

That can be difficult sometimes, especially if the emotion that is coming up is anger, but walking away and allowing the feeling to exist without it exploding on everyone else (or overwhelming me into inertia) is a sign that you're starting to pay attention to the feelings.

3 - take the next step.

Now you've looked back on how far you've come, you've felt the feelings, it's time to move forward.

Release the emotion, have a dance party, sing, and go back to the task you were working on and take the next step.

And that's it. That's how I'm not letting Mean-Cate overwhelm me.
How do you overcome the mean-girl voice inside?


Monday, 5 August 2019

Hello Monday

 inside - hello Monday is part goal setting, part accountability, all story-of-right-now.

hello new computer. After months of struggling with my 8 year old computer, it was finally crunch time to retire it. But it means getting used to a new keyboard (so many location changes!), moving all my files from the old computer (so many photos!), and deciding if I can live with Windows 10 (insert eye roll here!)

Friday, 26 July 2019

10 amazing recipes to use lemon curd

The dough was ready to roll into balls.

The oven was hot and waiting for the baking trays.

All that was left was finding the lemon curd in the cupboard, and we'd soon be munching on lemon curd jam drops for afternoon tea.
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