12 Years A Slave

I watch this movie in horror and disgust and admiration. Horror that anyone calling themselves human could possibly treat another in such a way; disgust at those of ‘my’ race who could do so or stand by; admiration for those brave, mistreated people who survived and those who were brave enough to stand up and say stop.

I cannot leave the volume at one level and so I raise and lower the sounds I hear. I lean close for the words, those of courage and determination.  Down to almost mute in anticipation of the violence. 

I am sickened by the acts that are shown in only this two hour period. If this is the case in this short a time, how disgusting then the years of reality? I cannot bear to think about it, yet I force myself to continue to watch because I know this example is one of many. I know similar action and inaction have happened in my country, my state. 

I watch because I want to feel horrified and disgusted at what people have done. I want to remember it. I want force myself to acknowledge that these atrocities happen still and will keep on while people like me stay silent.

I watch this vitriol and violence against human beings because I am afraid that sometime past, I believe without intent, I have been racist or otherwise treated one less than another, less than myself. If I have, I will not anymore.

I will not stand idly by. I will be aware. I will speak up for injustice. Even if I am afraid. I will.

Universal truths are constant. It is a fact, an undeniable fact that what is true and right, is true and right for all. White and black alike. Mr Bass – 12 Years A Slave.

Hilarity or Insanity?

Question:

What do the following songs have in common?

  • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
  • Can’t Fight the Moonlight – Leanne Rimes
  • Crazy – Seal
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

Answer:

They were all playing in my psychologist’s waiting room while we waited for appointments.

Now at first glance, this doesn’t seem to be anything noteworthy, however, let’s look at the lyrics whilst considering the context and the apparent aims of therapeutic psychology…

But we’re never gonna survive unless

We get a little crazy

No we’re never gonna survive unless

We are a little

Cray cray crazy

Crazy are the people walking through my head

One of them got a gun to shoot the other one

And yet together they were friends at school.

Under a lovers’ sky 

You can try to resist 

Try to hide from my kiss 

But you know 

But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight 

Deep in the dark 

You’ll surrender your heart 

But you know 

But you know that you can’t fight the moonlight 

No you can’t fight it 

No matter what you do 

The night is gonna get to you 

Guess I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all

It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now

And I said I wouldn’t call but I’m a little drunk and I need you now

And I don’t know how I can do without, I just need you now

I just need you now

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating

Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me

Til then I walk alone.

I’m walking down the line

That divides me somewhere in my mind

On the border line

Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines

Of what’s f***ed up and everything’s alright

Check my vital signs

To know I’m still alive and I walk alone.

*************************************************************************************************

I’ve got to tell you that I was definitely in an improved mood after laughing at these songs being played in fairly close succession while I waited! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I couldn’t help but wonder whether anyone was vetting the music selection.

I’ve chosen one of my favourite “Antidepressant Music” songs to share with you here. It’s called “Just Breathe” by Ze Frank. He created it in response to a Facebook follower who asked him to right a song for days when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Ze Frank’s TED Talk is thought provoking and hilarious. You can watch it here.
All the songs mentioned in this post are on a playlist I’ve created here.

In humour,

Eski๐Ÿ›

To Go – Taking the Necessities

These past 3 days I’ve played Admin Assistant to my trainer Aunt on an away trip. We’ve enjoyed ourselves immensely, and while I’ve done a little running around, I’ve thought of sharing my lists and systems that form my external memory drive and help me function at work and home.

I’m sure many others do this and call it something else. I like the term ‘external memory’ because, like most adults, I’ve got a lot happening at any given moment and making some of the extraneous flotsam and jetsam external is really helpful.

This week, a ‘To Go’ box, would be helpful. If we were to travel like this often, I’d make it a permanent thing so we knew what we needed was ready to go. This week’s ‘To Go’ box would include:

  • Whiteboard markers (training rooms don’t always provide them, weirdly).
  • Name labels
  • Pens
  • Lollies
  • Your own name tag – big letters!
  • A runner’s bag – you’ll find that your assistant is running around and needs to carry keys, phone, cards, notes etc. So making sure they have their hands free is important.

At home, we have bags and places to store things so that there’s no chasing around madly at 8.25am on a school morning. (That’s the plan, anyway!)

  • Theo’s bag and shoes go in the cupboard directly inside the front door.
  • My shoes and bag go in the same cupboard so we can grab everything as we dash out the door. (And stuff it in as we come in.)
  • I have baskets in most cupboards – pantry, bathroom etc. that hold groups of items so I only need to grab one basket to do a task, rather than a number of items. Eg. Sponge, scrubber, spray and squeegee to clean bathroom; flour, baking soda etc etc for baking; herbs and spices; measuring cups, spoons, sifter, spatula all in the mixing bowl in the cupboard. The list goes on. It just makes it easier to do that task.
  • I have travelled quite a bit in the past few years, so I have prepacked a toiletries bag with everything I’ll need. Because I’m a cheapskate, I usually only have carry-on luggage, so I have a snap lock bag next to this in the cupboard that contains scissors and tweezers etc that can’t always be taken. This way you don’t have to throw them out at security checks at the airport. ๐Ÿ˜•

Digital technology is also an excellent way of sharing the load and externalising the lists and tasks we deal with. In our family, everyone except the 4 year old, much to his dismay, has an iPad or phone, has a shared Google calendar. All family outings, appointments, work hours, individual coffee dates, school activities and daycare hours are entered there and colour-coded. As things are uploaded and synced to each person’s device, everybody knows what everyone else is up to. This saves one person (often mum) having to update a paper calendar or diary and being the go-to person for every question. For me, it’s freeing being able to say, “What does the calendar say?” in answer to all “Can I…?” questions. The kids can take responsibility for scheduling for the family.

My husband and I share a Google Keep/Note account which we each have accessible on our phones. We share shopping lists, budget items and a “when we can afford this” list. This helps us to know what money is available at any one time and to know what the household needs. This, for me, means I don’t waste time and headspace remembering and perhaps reciting or forgetting milk, bread, soap and ear cleaners. Now, ostensibly, I can use my free brain power for all manner of other things!

I also keep a variety of lists on Google Keep to free up yet more space in my head. I have a list of websites that I’d like to explore – when I’m waiting for an appointment, I can flick to one of those. I have a list of movies or TV shows I’d like to get to. A wishlist of purchases and the links to buy them (whenever I have the money ๐Ÿ˜Š); appointments to make; projects to continue; books to read; packing lists for camps etc; long term commitments etc. I can free my headspace to do the day to day stuff.
At school, (I am a secondary school teacher) I have purchased a different coloured basket, a little bigger than A4 sheet and 10-15cm deep, for each subject and set them on my desk. I have a matching coloured folder for those paper based subjects that need them that stand up alongside the baskets. In each basket I have the term outline for the subject, the text books, assessment sheets – basically anything that I’ve pre-prepared for the term. As I photocopy or grab another book or have a USB with new documents during the week, I can throw it in the basket and know it will be there at the lesson time.

I’m currently working on a way to remember all the ‘need this for everything’ items that I take out and use when back at my desk. I always need my keys, pencil case, ipad and sometimes the laptop. If you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this, or other ways you organise yourself, please comment below.

I’d love to hear more ways to free up brainspace! 
๐Ÿ˜Š Eski!

The Little Red Typewriter

I didn’t have a typewriter moment, but I do remember writing and loving it from a very early age. I can remember writing to please younger brother and sister. I now enjoy helping people with re wording emails etc and writi by creatively to explain and entertain. Thanks for sharing your story. ๐Ÿ™‚

Josephine Moon

Following, is a special memory and story for me, one that makes up the intricate tapestry of my creative self. And Iโ€™m wondering if you have any similar memories like this.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Do you believe that kids often know what theyโ€™re supposed to do in the world from a very young age? In my case, I think I did. I have a very strong memory from when I was around three years of age, the timing of which my mother was able to verify based on where I described we were living at the time.

photo-3On this particular day, my parents took my sister and me out shopping and we ended up in a toy store. I wandered around and was interested in many things, including a plaster of Paris kit, with figurines of Paddington Bear. But then, I saw a little red typewriter. I was struck with an all-encompassingโ€ฆ

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Veritas Serum

Shades of Harry Potter title, I know, but I can honestly say I’ve had nothing more than water and a hot lemon drink this evening to clear my nose.

However, I’m a firm believer in telling the truth, more so as I age (ever so gracefully). So here’s a few things you may or may not know about moi.

1) I am lazy. If you read the About Me page, you will already know this. Especially if the task at hand requires a broom, cloth or cleaning product, I’m NOT your girl. Give me a break – and cliched KitKat please! I can validate this in all many of engaging and entertaining ways, that’s part of the fun of procrastinating, but it comes back to the very simple fact that I just don’t want to. Take the following with the grain (or suitable measurement) of salt that is often required when dealing with children – a number of years ago, Miss 15 told Grandma that she felt a little bit like Cinderella because they were ALWAYS made to do jobs. Now clearly, that’s not true, but it was a wake up call for me. Obviously, if she felt like Cinderella, then I figure as the wicked step mother, right? Wrong. In all the stories I’ve ever read that would only be true if I were far more unattractive and considerably more wealthy! Myth busted, Kid!

2) I always wanted 6 children. Ever since a “Game of Life” one particularly interesting evening in 1992 where I filled my car with more sets of twins than would comfortably fit, 6 has seemed like a suitable number. I thought I’d finished with 3 until God’s plan surprised us with Mr 2 a little while ago. For the past 2 years I’ve had my nephew living with us and this year we are to be blessed with an exchange son from Thailand, but never the long term 6 kids in the house. Short of immaculate conception, I’m not having any more biologically, so I wonder whether there’s any chance of another on one of God’s as-yet-unknown paths in our future? I’d take them all on if I could.

3) I love writing! Words are my weapon of choice – in a good way most of the time. Give my a pen or a keyboard and I’m off. Poetry, phrases, emails (I’m especially good at wording those tricky things, I think), stories and now, hopefully, a blog. I’ve been rejected by two publishers and its a dream to someday be accepted by one. For that to happen, I need to do far more of it.

4) I have medically treated, chronic major depression. No, I don’t look sad most of the time and I have, thankfully, never tried to hurt myself. For over 20 years, I have been misdiagnosed, mistreated and misunderstood by myself, Drs and those closest to me. Until 5 years ago, I had no idea what other people thought because I didn’t tell them. I felt I must surely be some kind of freakish loser to not be able to cope when there was nothing wrong with my life. I’m not. And if you have depression or another mental illness, neither are you. 5 years ago, I started sharing my history and my present. The change and response has been phenomenal. People have been touched and I feel very grateful. I’m sure we will discuss this more later, but for now, BeyondBlue is an excellent place to start for information.

5) I’ve recently started playing a game on my iPad and I think it’s invading my life! For many years I, a geek/nerd by osmosis, have avoided games due to lack of time, interest or skill. I sometimes limber up my button-mashing fingers to take on the family at Smash Bros or Streetfighter or Mortal Kombat, but I often dazzle them with my uncanny ability to win without actually knowing how to play or even who my character is! Recently though, on a foray into Mr 17’s room to escape the heat and reality for a while, I was lured, tricked and led astray into the world of the Kingdoms and Monsters app. I grew plants and repaired houses; I created buildings and upgraded goblin huts; I whizzed together pies and bought extra virtual land at exorbitant prices. And then I downloaded it onto my own iPad. I cannot share any further at this stage as the Veritas Serum must be wearing off………

๐Ÿ˜‰