2010 Review

In keeping with tradition, I’ve decided now would be a good time to write my 2010 review. Even though there’s technically still 10 more days left in the year.

I started the year off on anti-depressants for post-partum depression. I really found they helped a LOT without giving me any nasty side effects. I could still feel emotion, but the daily thoughts and struggles that used to make me want to stay in bed were gone. I didn’t stay on them long, but I’m glad I went on them and was lifted out of the fog. I know some people aren’t as lucky to have medication work so well, so quickly for them.

In April I shot 2 weddings, my very first 2, and they both went well. In July I followed that up by shooting my sister’s wedding. I really enjoyed it, and while its still something I’d love to do for a living one day, accumulating photography equipment is an expensive endeavor and this just isn’t the right time.

(side note: I’m going back through ┬ámy blog to help me remember what happened this year and I didn’t even blog in April, June or July!)

My mother-in-law and one of my brother-in-laws spent a few weeks out here mid June to early July and had a great visit. I’m so glad they got to see where we are living, and meet our family and friends here. It was fun to visit Sydney with them and do all the touristy things on the Gold Coast like feed kangaroos and cuddle koalas, etc.

My sister and I mended our relationship after more than 2 years of not speaking. It was definitely a message from above, as about 6 months later, we lost our dad. It was a complete shock and not at all expected. For the 3 of us sisters to be able to support each other through that has been a huge comfort.

So the month of October passed in very much of a blur, and I am glad I made a few posts in that month and talked about the anger, confusion, grief that I was going through. I think its the only way I’ll remember what I felt. The only thing I remember vividly is my sister telling me he was gone and the denial and shock and literally breathlessness I felt in that moment. I remember like it was yesterday. Some days, it might as well have been yesterday.

November I decided to do a 30-day blog challenge in the hopes that it would get me back into blogging. In some respects it has worked, as I’ve written a few blog posts since the challenge. But I still find myself often with nothing to say or write about. For the last few months, well, since dad died really, I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself. I can’t seem to stop thinking that I have been given the short end of the stick, and have a rough lot in life. It’s only been the last couple of days, since I found Lara Casey, that my mind, my attitude and my outlook on life has really started to change.

Throughout the year, I managed to complete my graduate certificate in business, and did so earning 3 distinctions and a high distinction. Now when I am feeling ready to complete my masters degree, I should be able to get into any program I want. But until then, I’m going to take a little bit of a break.

I also switched jobs, after being made redundant when Palm Meadows closed. It was a blessing in disguise for me as I have ended up working at a place where the staff and members are so great to work for and be around. I’m very lucky!

I hope that 2011 is going to be full of positivity, happiness, good thoughts and feelings, and really focusing on enjoying life, rather than moping about everything that is wrong with it. I think as long as I keep finding inspiration, and keep reminding myself that if you want to be surrounded by positive, happy people and things, you have to be positive and happy yourself.

Another Challenge

Do you see what happens when I don’t have a blog challenge to stick to? I go days without posting.

I keep thinking about things to blog about, while I’m nowhere near the computer, and then later on can’t remember what the ideas were. I know, I need to start writing them down, or making a voice message for myself on my phone. My phone has all kinds of tools that would allow me to make a record of my ideas to follow up later.

Speaking of phones, a friend of mine was robbed at gun point in the parking lot of her friend’s apartment complex. They took her phone, and proceeded to post lewd statuses on her facebook page. And it got me thinking, if my phone was stolen, or if I misplaced it and someone else picked it up, what would they be able to tell about me?

First of all, they could get into my facebook page which has my full name, home town and birthday in it. I don’t have my address or any phone numbers listed. I have all my appointments and upcoming events in my iCal. I have family and friends names/phone numbers/addresses/birthdays in there. I have over 400 pictures of my son. Perhaps its not much, but it is probably enough to figure out when I won’t be home (not that they’d necessarily know my address, but perhaps they could find it – they have my name and hometown!), potentially enough (name, address, DOB) to steal my identity. They have my whole life in my iPhone.

Thankfully, all these wastes of space took off my friend was her wallet and phone. She had her car keys in her hand, and they didn’t take or ask for them. While I say “all” they wanted was money and the phone, I’m sure they took much more than that. Her sense of security, her sense of safety. My friend lives by herself, probably in a similar complex to the one in which she was robbed. Not to mention her friend who lives IN that complex. They have taken her sense of safety, also.

We fall all over this technology that keeps us connected at all times. We feel naked or lost when we forget to take our phones with us. I’ll admit to being guilty of actually going home to GET my phone! But are they more trouble than they’re worth?

With facebook you can “check in” to places on your phone and all your friends can see where you are. This is fine, as long as your phone never falls into the wrong hands. All of a sudden, some stranger who may or may not want to harm you, can see everywhere you have been. And Heaven Forbid you’ve created a “check in” for HOME. Now they know where you live, and may or may not have your keys.

I guess the chance of actually being robbed at gunpoint is probably fairly slim. But that is no comfort to my friend. And while we can’t live our lives worried about what MIGHT happen, we also can’t live our lives ignoring the same.

Eat, Pray, Blah, Blah, Blah

About 4 years ago, I remember a radio DJ in Atlanta just gushing about this book that had changed her life, that every woman MUST.READ. It was Eat, Pray, Love.

Yes, it’s taken me 4 years, but I’ve finally started reading it. And I am stuck. In India.

I’m stuck in an Indian Ashram, reading the author’s spiritual journey to enlightenment and godliness. And all I can read is, “blah, blah, blah.”

Here’s an excerpt:

“Simply put, I got pulled through the wormhole of the Absolute, and in that rush I suddenly understood the workings of the universe completely. I left my body, I left the room, I left the planet, I stepped through time and I entered the void. I was inside the void, but I also was the void and I was looking at the void, all at the same time. The void was a place of limitless peace and wisdom. The void was conscious and it was intelligent. The void was God, which means that I was inside God. But not in a gross, physical way – not like I was Liz Gilbert stuck inside a chunk of God’s thigh muscle. I just was part of God. In addition to being God. I was both a tiny piece of the universe and exactly the same size as the universe. Blah, Blah, Blah.”

Ummm. Okaaaaay. (yeah, the blah, blah, blah isn’t in the book). If you haven’t read or heard of the book, the short story is that the author goes through a messy divorce, an even messier break up, and embarks on this soul-searching, God-seeking, 12 month trip, spending 4 months in Italy, India and Indonesia (in Bali – at least, she plans to spend 4 months in Bali but I’ve just read she is only legally allowed to stay 30 days. Something tells me she’ll find a way around that). She eats her way through Italy, prays her way through this Indian Ashram, and I’m assuming is going to love her way through Bali. But not physically, as she’s sworn off sex for the year.

Italy was great, an entertaining read. But I don’t know what it is about India….I really struggled to get through it. Honestly, I speed-read and skimmed a lot of the pages, and often contemplated just packing it in completely. But I made it through, and I’m in Bali. And the reading has picked up significantly.

Perhaps it was reading something so personal that put me off? I can barely define my own relationship with God, let alone buy into someone else’s. Obviously what she found in that Ashram is amazing…for her. But I feel like reading her journey is like inviting a Hare Krishna or a Jehovah Witness into my home (no offense to HKs or JoHos) and asking them to please sit down and for the next 4 hours tell me all about how they came to be practitioners of their religion.

When I just don’t really care.

I’m happy to read about her travels through and interactions in Italy, and I’m happy to read about the ancient medicine man in Bali, but I just don’t want to read about any of this “being in God” stuff.

I guess what I’m saying is, if you want to read this book, I recommend skipping India. The only redeeming quality it has is Richard from Texas.