Thursday, 29 December 2011

26 Things You May Not Know About Me (but that may help me find my passion/s)

I thought it might be a good idea to share some things about me that you may not know.  There is a purpose to will provide some insight into who I am but also into the types of things in my life that I have really enjoyed, been good at or struggled with.  Hopefully by thinking about these things I will be a step closer to determining my passion.  So here goes :-))

1. I am 35 years old, but today as I'm writing this and going on 4 hours sleep (thanks to little Miss Em) I feel much older!

2. I have had many jobs in my short working life.  It goes a bit like this:
  • Checkout chick at Woolworths.  I had this job through high school and it was a pretty good way to earn some extra cash while still at school.  I was pretty good at this job...I often won the prize for the fastest scanner ;-)
  • After high school I went to TAFE and studied to be a social trainer (working with people with disabilities), but most of the work available was in group homes and I didn't really see myself working in one.
  • I got a job as a telemarketer for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  This involved phoning random people to sell raffle tickets (yes one of those people!).  Again I did quite well in this; I won the prize for most tickets sold.
  • I decided I needed a new direction so my Mum and I bought a lunch bar /deli together.  I was only about 19 so this was a bit of an eye opener.  Wow, we worked so hard in those 3 years, we didn't end up making any money, in fact I think we lost money.  I hated working with food, but it was kind of cool owning my own business.  I liked the idea of being able to make all the decisions and not having anyone to answer to.
  • When I sold this I thought I could work with my Dad and train to be an auto electrician.  This didn't really work for me as I decided that I really hate getting my hands dirty.
  • Next I started applying for various types of jobs.  I ended up getting a job as a trainee manager for Dick Smith Electronics.  This was okay, but definitely wasn't really challenging enough for me.
  • That's when Mum decided that I had to go to university :-)). Somehow she managed to get me in and I trained to be a teacher.  On completion of my degree I taught in regional Western Australia for 5 years.
  • And finally I've been working at a university as a course coordinator for the past 2 years.
3. When I was a kid my sisters and I were really involved in little athletics.  The one thing that I was really good at was the 1500m walk.  I even managed to win state medals in this and represent WA in Singapore.

4. I have completed a university degree - Bachelor of Education (primary) with first class honours.  My thesis was: A study to identify and define an online learning environment in a primary school context.  I also won the dux of our graduating year.

5. I always felt that I was the ugly duckling and the dumb one out of my sisters.  I don't know where this stemmed from (although I do remember at athletics a girl ranking me as the ugliest out of my sisters) but it stuck with me for a very long time.  I really only overcame these feelings when I graduated from Uni.

6. I really love going out for meals at flashy restaurants.  I would do this at least weekly if Stevie let me and I could afford it.

7. I bought my first house with my sis Shells when I was 18 and it cost the huge sum of $49 500.

8. When we were kids I always made my sisters play various games with me.  I was really good at organising the games and somehow making them play with me.  Some of my favourites included having a bank, library, restaurant and school.  This was never half hearted; I had menus for the restaurant, money and cheque books for the bank, a borrowing system for the library and a classroom with a blackboard for the school.

9. I met my husband playing volleyball.  Later he told me that he used to park his car near mine so that we would have to walk out together and chat; he must have thought I was pretty alright.

11. I love music; I can't be at home and not have music on.  Some of the bands I'm really into at the moment include Florence and the Machine, Adele, Powderfinger and Gotye.

12. As I love music so much and like singing I always wished I could sing.  I always try to convince myself that I don't sound that bad....but I secretly know that it's not great.  Maybe this is something to add to my ‘I wish I could’ list.

13. One of my pet hates; people that won't commit to attending an event, just in case something better comes along.

14. I really like having a good debate.  I enjoy hearing other people's opinions and sharing my own.

15. I love watching trashy TV, much to Stevie's disgust.  Some of the series I'm really into at the moment include The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Grey's Anatomy and United States of Tara.

16. Having a good belly laugh is awesome.  I like people that make me laugh and don't take themselves too seriously.

17. I'm not much in to outdoor activities but Stephen is great at encouraging me to try new things.  The latest venture is kayaking.  I didn't really want to give this a go, but Stephen persisted and I actually get quite a bit of joy from it.

18. One of the things that I really enjoyed as a teacher was thinking about ways that I could engage the kids that I was teaching.  I always tried new ideas, loved writing programs and lesson plans and researching new educational innovations.

19. I don't know how I could survive without technology.  I am on the internet every day and I am still amazed at how so much information is at my fingertips.  

20. Having a pedicure or foot massage is one of the most divine things in the world.

21. I had really bad acne as a teenager.  I tried every treatment under the sun but eventually went on Roaccutane to get rid of this.  This is pretty nasty stuff, but it did the job.  I have some scarring on my face that I think is quite bad.  This has really bugged me for many years, so I've decided to do something about it.  I've started having some treatment through a cosmetic doctor; specifically laser genesis and lime light to try and help with this.  So far I've had 2 treatments and already I've noticed my skin seems clearer, and it's not as red.  

22. Since starting this blog, I've become a bit obsessed.  It's the first thing I think about in the morning as well as the thing I think about as I fall asleep.  I'm really into reading other people’s blogs and learning how it's all meant to work.

23. I've never felt that I was a good writer.  What I've realised is that if I practice I can improve this skill.

24. I would love to write a children's book but because of my fear above never felt this was achievable.

25. When I lived in Karratha I started up a maternity wear business with my sister Shells and a friend.  It was called M&M Maternity.  We didn't do great with this, mainly due to lack of time to fully commit to it.  However there was definitely a market there.  I think it also didn't help that none of us were really that interested in maternity wear.  I think to succeed at something like this you must be quite passionate about the product.

26. I really dislike mornings.  I have terrible morning moods and I don't fully wake up and function properly until morning tea time.

So what can I surmise from all of these things that might help with finding my passion?
  • I really miss thinking about new ideas, lessons and innovations that can engage kids in the classroom;
  • I like technology and researching information;
  • I have tried self-employment before but not with any great success, mainly due to a lack of interest in the service and product;
  • I enjoy writing a blog, listening to music, reading and watching trashy TV;
  • The one thing that I've actually persisted with and done really well at is my teaching degree; and
  • Mornings are not the best time of day for me to be productive.
Well let me ask you, is there anything coming through that rings my passion?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Holidays and Reflection

For those of you who were thinking I had been a bit quiet on the blog posts.....I'm on holidays!  Stevie, Em and I are over in Queensland (Bundaberg specifically) for Christmas and a well deserved break ;-)).  

The plane trip over was not too hard with Em (except of course for the 20 minute tantrum when trying to get her to sleep).  We did also have a slight baggage issue.....where mine and Stevie's suitcases didn't turn up.  They finally arrived the next day at 11am and 4pm.  Not fun being in dirty clothes for that whole time!

Em has been having an absolute blast playing with all of her cousins over here.  I'm sure Christmas day is going to be hectic with Em and her 10 cousins going crazy!

So I've had quite a bit of time to reflect on my progress so far with finding my passion.  I'm relatively happy where I'm at, but as usual I feel I could be doing more.  I think Donna summed me up nicely in her comment where she said, "you take a great deal of pleasure in achieving new goals."

With this in mind I am setting myself a new challenge.  The challenge is still forming in my head, but it's definitely going to be BIG :-)).  Now don't panic, this isn't going to be some whim that I'll give up on in 5 minutes (I know what you're thinking Stevie ;-)).  This challenge I think will align with what I think is a passion of mine.

I'll keep you posted on my thinking as it becomes a bit clearer.  I do know that I'll be needing your input and thoughts, but I'm definitely excited about getting started on this new challenge!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My First Picture

So I’ve been spending some time trying to draw pictures in Paint.  I found a tutorial online and have used that to help draw my first picture :-).  If you want to have a go at drawing a picture in Paint, you can access the tutorials at this link. 

The picture was mainly drawn using the line tool and the oval shape.  I used the eraser quite a bit to remove parts of the picture that overlapped.  I also used the fill tool and airbrush for adding the colour and effects.

I’m actually pretty happy with my first attempt at a picture.  It wasn’t too difficult and it actually turned out much better than what I thought I could do.  I will find some more tutorials to help me draw pictures, so that it gives me a chance to learn the different features in Paint.

I think the hard thing will be to draw my own design!  Anyway check out my picture below and let me know what you think.

Monday, 5 December 2011

What Do You Like To Talk About?

This is the next question that I thought I might tackle.  I think I may need some help with this one…For those of you out there reading that know me, what do you think I talk about the most?  What topic makes my eyes brighten up and changes my behaviour?

Geez this one’s a hard one.  I talk about lots of stuff, probably just because I like talking J.  When I asked Shell Bell what she thought, she said I talk about work a lot.  I don’t think this is particularly because I love my job, but more that I’m just really involved with my job and no matter what job I’ve had I’ve always talked about it.

I know I talk about ideas quite a bit.  What I mean by this, is I’ve always got some bright idea about how to make my life more organised or run more smoothly.  A classic example of this was yesterday.  I was out with my Mum and sis Netts and we were generally just chatting about stuff and the topic got onto cooking.  Now let me tell you this is a real issue in my household.  Both Stevie and I hate to cook and it’s a drama that unfolds every night at about 6:30pm.  So we’ve come up with cooking nights.  Because I work part time I cook 3 nights during the week and Stevie does 1.  Then we always have takeout on Friday night and then it used to be whatever goes on the weekend.  However, this wasn’t really working for us as we were eating too much junk food, so now we take 1 night each on the weekend.

So because I hate thinking about cooking and food I had a brainwave a few months ago and came up with a fortnightly menu.  I had a different recipe for each night that I cooked and rotated through for 2 weeks.  The recipes I picked all had to be relatively easy and cook within about 30min.  This worked pretty good for a while, but then after a couple of months it just dropped by the wayside.

When Netts and Mum quizzed me on this yesterday, I said there were a few reasons why this couldn’t be maintained.  They are as follows; 
  1. I hate following a recipe to cook, it takes too much thinking;
  2. Some of the recipes used unusual ingredients which meant I couldn’t often get them.  Then it was too hard to think of a substitute;
  3. I had to write a shopping list, which isn’t so bad.  But when I follow the list it takes longer in the shop and little Miss Emily doesn’t like to spend too long in the trolley shopping.  So I have a limited window of opportunity before she decides to crack it; and
  4. I got sick of the recipes so I think it would be better to rotate 3-4weekly
So after discussing with Mum and Netts I’ve come up with another brainwave.  I will try the rotating menu again, but this time I will focus on recipes that I just know and that are easy and that I don’t need to follow the recipe.  I will do this 3 weekly to maintain variety.  I may need to write a shopping list, but I don’t think this will be too bad, as if I know the recipes I’m cooking I generally know the ingredients so I should just be able to grab them in the shop.  So far on my menu I have:
  • Spaghetti bolognaise (easy peasy)
  • Lamb rack with steamed vegies
  • BBQ chicken and salad
  • Tuna mornay, rice and vegies
  • Steak and salad
Does anyone out there have an easy recipe that doens't require much thought?  I’ll work on this a bit more when I get back from holidays and let you know how I go!

So as you can see I’m full of grand ideas.  I’m not really sure what else I talk about, so I hand over to you… HELP!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

I Wish I Could.....

I feel like I need to take some action with finding my passion, rather than just answering all these questions.  It’s probably time I started to banish some of my fears and start trying some new things.  I’ll still keep working on my lists but I also want to be trying some things out at the same time.  So I thought it would be good to start a series of blog posts about all the things I wish I could do.  Or maybe a list of all those things I dreamed of doing, even though they’re probably ridiculously impossible. 

So first on the list of I Wish I Could…

I’ve always been amazed at those people who can draw, paint, sculpt and create pieces of artwork.  Now if you’ve ever played Pictionary with me you will know how terribly bad I am at drawing.  What’s even more humorous is I also taught art for 2 years up in Dampier.  The grade 1’s and 2’s thought my artworks were pretty cool thoughJ.

I was walking through Fremantle the other day and there was a man sitting at a CafĂ© with his art pad and water colours painting the harbour.   This just seemed like such a nice thing to be doing on a beautiful sunny day.  I have tried to take an art pad around and do this but have never really persisted.  Maybe because everything I produced was just so simplistic it turned me off.  And I think if I’m not good at something straight away then I generally just give up.

So where does that leave me with wishing I could draw….I think that I can still give this a go, but I’d like to try drawing electronically.  I haven’t got access to any good software so I have been doing a bit of research on how to use Microsoft Paint for drawing.  I’ve started playing around with Paint and having a go with using some of the tools.

What I’ve managed to learn so far…
  • Draw a particular shape using the curved line
  • Use the fill tool to colour
  • Use the selection tool to move things around and delete and
  • Resize and copy.
What I managed to produce is nothing earth shattering, as it was really just a way to practice using Paint, but it’s a start.  I feel like it’s not a totally impossible wish to be able to draw digitally so I will keep working on this and as I produce something will post it here.

What is something that you wish you could do?  Maybe now is the time to challenge yourself to something new!!!

Monday, 28 November 2011

What Puts A Smile On Your Face?

So I’ve started thinking about answering some of the questions in the resources I’ve found.  However, when I compiled a list of all the questions it looks pretty hard.  I don’t really know where to start and I definitely think I will need some help in answering some of the questions.

I’m not going to answer the questions in any particular order, but rather whatever grabs my fancy at the time.  This one seemed a good place to start.  I won’t think too much about my answers, but just list down whatever pops in my head.  I’ll start to analyse my answers at a later time.

What puts a smile on your face?  Is there an event or topic that makes your whole face light up?
  • Being organised and having a plan.  It sounds a bit lame, but I have a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction if I’m organised.
  • Reading a really good book that I can’t put down and then talking about it with someone.
  • Eating crinkle cut hot chips with heavy chicken salt and vinegarJ.  Not sure how this will help me find my passion, but definitely puts a smile on my face!
  • Surprisingly the thing that is really making me happy at the moment and putting a smile on my dial, is writing this blog.  
  • Thinking about different ways to solve a problem.  This could be a problem at work or home.
  • Talking about different ideas and possibilities.  Sharing my ideas (and advice) with other people.
  • Reading about new ideas.
  • Thinking of different ways to make money.
Well these are some of the things that put a smile on my face, I can’t really think of any more at the moment, but I may come back at a later time and add more….

I thought I’d finish off with a few quotes I found about smiling:

“A smile is like tight underwear - it makes your cheeks go up”.  ~Author Unknown

“You're never fully dressed without a smile”.  ~Martin Charnin

“It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown”.  ~Author Unknown

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it”.  ~Andy Rooney

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing”.  ~Mother Teresa


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Is It Possible To Find True Happiness?

How do we find happiness and fulfilment?  What is the purpose of life?  Mmmm quite BIG questions, but according to Stephen he believes the ultimate questions of my blog.  He even sent me a list of quotes relating to these questions.  Many of the quotes talk about finding the happiness within and it’s not a matter of events or circumstances. 

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about happiness and how it links in with exploring my other path.  I would say that they probably go hand in hand.  In the last couple of months I have actually been feeling really happy and well within myself.  I think this change came about from a course I attended at work.  One of the modules talked about Emotional Intelligence and Positive Self Talk.  I realised that I don’t have very positive self-talk.  Since then, I’ve really made a conscious effort to be more positive with my self-talk and in turn I feel happy J. 

I talked with Stephen about this change in thinking and explained that because I feel happier I am thinking more about where I’m at in my life and thus why I want to explore my other path.  Stephen thinks it’s a bit weird that I’ve started this blog, but I’m finding it quite therapeutic.

Now for those of you out there who may also be in search of happiness, fulfilment or whatever it is you want to call it, I’ve found a couple of resources that may help you.

Gretchen Rubin spent time sifting through different studies and theories on happiness.  As a result of this she produced a book titled ‘The Happiness Project’.  To extend this concept further she has also started the 2011 Happiness Challenge.  Each month this year she has picked a theme and then each week she sets a resolution to do with happiness and the theme to try and achieve.  It’s not too late to have a go!

This is a list of 101 ways to help you feel happy.  There are things on the list as simple as “smile”.  Maybe I’ll give some of the things on the list a go….


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

1 More Resource To Help Find Your Passion

I just found a blog post titled: 100 Useful Web Tools to Help You Find Your Passion, Calling or Career.  This looks rather interesting and I will explore some of the resources further.  However, I did notice there was a link to an address by Steve Jobs (Apple).  I found his address quite inspiring and thought you might like to have a read too – You’ve Got To Find What You Love.

5 Resources To Help You Find Your Passion

I have been scouring the internet for some potential resources to help direct me in finding my passion.  This has been quite a task as there is so much out there, as I’m sure you’re all aware with the internet.  However, I have narrowed it down to a few that may be useful.

This website asks 7 questions to help work out what your passion is.  Some of the questions look easier to answer than others, maybe a good place to start!

This blog entry is similar to the abovementioned site.  Annabel discusses the 7 steps to help you work out what your dream could be.  I think it will be best to combine the ideas from both of these websites.

This article looks at finding your passion in a slightly different way.  The author, James Clear, believes that “passions are born out of experiences” and that this is so for work and life in general.  He goes on to mention that if you are not finding your passion in what you’re currently doing then you may need to put yourself out there and maybe try new things and create new experiences. 

This is a 4 minute video by Randy Komisar (virtual CEO and professor) discussing a “portfolio of passions”, rather than just the one passion.  He then goes on to talk about how to match these passions with the opportunities available to you.  This video makes me think that I’ve been looking at finding my passion in a way that could never be achieved.  “What’s in the foreground and how do they sync up with my passions that I have today”, definitely something to ponder further.

I quite like this article.  The author again lists some questions to answer to help discover your passion, but I also like the way that he provides a brief synopsis of his journey and how he answered the questions.  Again I will incorporate these questions in my own list of questions to answer.

Over the coming weeks and blog posts I will explore some of these resources further and begin to answer some of the questions.

This post was written for the cash giveaway by Successful Blogging and RocketFuel who connect brands with bloggers.

Monday, 21 November 2011


Does anyone out there have an inspirational person in their life?  Maybe someone that motivated you to try something different or to change or to follow your dream or maybe just someone you went ‘wow’ to.  I have such a person, and unknowingly to this person, she has inspired me to look for something more.

My person had a complete upheaval of her life.  One minute she was working away at her job in Perth, then the next she relocated all the way to Iceland.  I am still amazed at the complete turn around and dedication that it must have taken to sell up everything, leave family and friends and move to a completely foreign location.  To me, this person is such a positive role model and it really makes me believe that it’s not entirely impossible to find and follow a passion.

I think the next step will be to do some hard work to actually determine what my passion could be…..

But I would also like to know, who inspires you and why?

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I thought that maybe as I will be writing about exploring my other path and will be talking about the key people in my life I should introduce them.  So introducing:

The husband – aka Stephen.  This photo really sums up Stephen – he loves the water.

The daughter – aka Emily.  Emily is now 16months and can do no wrong in Grandma and Grandpa’s eyes (first grandchild).

The dog – aka Buffy.  For Buffy, it’s all about playing and chasing her toys.

The sisters – aka Shell Bell, Manda and Netts.  Probably my best friends!

A bit of a golden oldy, can you tell who is who??

Mum and Dad – aka Grandma and Grandpa.  It’s all about Emily now and if you ask my sis Manda she’ll probably tell you that if Emily is in the room no one else exists ;-))

Mum didn't want me to use her photo, so I found this one instead ;-))

Me - aka Mel and Mum, and trying to find what it is I want out of life.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


So I don’t really know much about blogging (maybe that’s obvious to you so far ;-)).  I thought I should do a bit of research to see what makes a good blog.  As usual with the internet I looked at so many things and got taken to many different blogs and advice.  But I did happen to come across this blog post and thought it somewhat appropriate to my journey, click here.

Annabel discusses 10 ways to get the life you want.  There is also a link to a blog post about finding your dream (or as I like to call it, my passion).  One of the ideas that resonated with me was ‘staying focused’ and that it could take a long time to achieve your goals.  Now I have had a lengthy discussion with Stephen on this very topic.  When I mentioned I wanted to start a blog to write about this journey he spoke to me about perseverance.  And that if I was going to do something like this it takes work and I need to commit to it and will need to persevere with this.  Mmmmm is this my husband trying to burst my bubble….or does he know what I’m like.  I must admit, I do like having a new project and a new idea and I do get bored easily.  But, is this any reason not to try to follow a passion?  Maybe I just haven’t found my passion yet and thus why I am always looking for a new project.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Do you have a passion?

I decided to broach this crossroad subject and feeling with my sisters; surely they would have an opinion.  Now to give you a little bit of background about ‘the sisters’, they’re never short of an opinion or of sharing this.  Now don’t get me wrong…I’m exactly the same J.  Another piece of information about the ‘sisters’ is that we’re not real deep.  When I talked about crossroads, is this it, finding a different path, I kind of got a weird look and was promptly told “geez that’s a bit deep isn’t it”?

When my big sis (Shell Bell) asked me a bit more about my thinking, I mainly spoke about wanting to be doing something I was more passionate about.  I want to be inspired and engaged in what I’m doing.  And not asking too much, I want this in my personal life and my work life.  Her response, “but you love your job”.  I ponder this statement now as I’m writing….At the time I said ‘yes’ I do and thinking about it now I do really like my job.  But is this enough?  We spend so much of our adult life working, why can’t I have passion and be inspired with my work?  When talking on this topic with my husband (Stephen) he is very much of the view that ‘we work to live’, it’s all about what we do outside of work.  But I really love immersing myself into my work; it’s a huge part of my life.  I want to be passionate about my work and be inspired by what I’m doing. 

So my question to you; is anyone out there really passionate about what they’re doing, are you inspired???  I would love to hear about your passion!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Is this it?

Okay so here it is…..I woke up a few weeks ago with this real sense of “is this it”, “should I be doing something more”?  I don’t know why I had this feeling, is it because I turned 35 this year; maybe I’m starting my mid-life crisis early.  Or maybe having a baby has made me re-evaluate where I’m at in my life.  One thing I definitely know is that I feel as if I’m at a crossroad in my life.  I can continue on the current path I’m on, or I can look at exploring another path for myself. 

So….this is what this blog is about.  It’s a way of sharing my journey with you; and I hope you can share with me any advice, thoughts or experiences.  I don’t know where this is going or if I will take the other path, but one thing I do know is that I want to see what else is out there for me.