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!!!