The annoying 0.99!

So most of us have some sort of gadget which tells us how many steps we have done. It has become the latest thing.

I think this is because we all like to see that we have achieved something in our normal but hectic lives, even if it is half the recommended steps for the day!

Some of us are dedicated to achieving our daily goal, even if this means pacing the room or walking in circles, or even walking past home (this is always a difficult decision), just to hear the ‘BEEP’ and to be acknowledged that you have walked that last little bit!

Others just like to wear something these gadgets to feel fit and healthy, for some it was a gift, others a way of life; their phone, their camera, their message tool etc….

The following image shows not quite a 0.99 but rather a little more, however, this did not deter me (or us in the end)! It was still so close, within our grasp, it had to BEEP just one more time!

This happens to me often and it is so frustrating! I find myself walking a loop around the yard, extending the walk or even passing the mysterious neighbors house,  being frustrated as the last few metres seem to take FOREVER to tick over! All for the satisfaction of another ‘BEEP’.

Am I the only one?

This was my watch when my mother, sister and I walked the 30km on the weekend (if you haven’t seen that blog post, have a read, it was an adventure! It is titled, Sane or Insane.

We had to go by my sisters watch, as somehow I managed to press a button which ‘lapped’ my distance measure, putting me about 340m ahead of her watch. Who knows how this happened, it alone was annoying as we had done so well thus far… thankfully we had my sisters watch, otherwise we may as well have given up there and then!

So….. another 16km later, we rounded the corner, after walking for 6 hours and 16 minutes, in St.Lucia Brisbane, and we spot the car……. the way home….. the rescue vehicle……


We had only another 100 metres to walk before we would hear the official ‘BEEP’ and the necessary acknowledgement by the watch, a small machine telling us that we had in fact walked the full 30km.

This is what ensued:

My sister – who cares, come on lets go to the car.

Me.…… my mind in a tizz, the OCD kicking in walks around the bend and says NO I will not!! It would destroy my whole day, almost like the previous 29.9km was nothing if we couldn’t even walk another 100m!

It would be like

  • running a half marathon and stopping just before the finish line and saying, yep I did it, NO YOU DIDN’T…
  • Starting a coffee and not getting to the bottom of the cup of hot liquid gold, a waste!
  • Going into labor and mid way saying – I am finished the baby can do the rest, cannot even imagine this one!
  • Doing a course and it stating you have completed 99.9% and you saying that’s good enough, rather than searching for the one box that you didn’t tick just to get the 100% and a congratulations e-mail!

It just cant happen!!!!!

My mother – I don’t think she cared at that point, she followed us around the bend and later she said, ‘why did we go round the corner? what for?’ and so we explained.

Sooooooo thankfully, the watch beeped and we finished with just over 30km! I could relax then, I knew I would sleep well!

What crazy things do you do when the annoying 0.99 happens to you?

Sane or Insane?

Let me put it into perspective for you. My family is what I would call an active family. Between us we have completed a number of the Queensland triathlon series (QTS), along the south east coast, with either all of us in the series as competitors or with the others cheering us on, but always together.

We have completed a number of Mooloolaba triathlons, Noosa triathlons, full marathons, walks in Spain, 100km bike rides, 100km Blackall cross country races, comrades and half marathons in Las Vegas, I could go on but you get the drift…..

With parents in their sixties I am so proud to say I have finished a number of the above alongside both of them or with one of them! What an achievement!!

However sometimes I wonder if we are sane or insane to be doing such things!

Our latest idea – well you can be the judge of where we fall, sane or insane.

I do believe it was my older sister who sent me a message one day and it read something like this; ‘do you want to walk 60km?’ I thought what, and then why not…

Sooooo here we are on Mother’s Day of all says setting out to do a training walk, just a stroll, mind you a 30km stroll around Brisbane as training.

You may be thinking why would you do something like that, or even, I don’t think I could hold a conversation with my family, let alone walk with them for a training walk for 6 hours. Keep in mind the actual walk in July will take us approximately 12 hours!!

By now you are thinking insane!!!

So it’s Mother’s Day, think about it, what would Mother’s usually be doing? My ideal day would be to sleep in, cook nothing, do nothing and spend it relaxing at home with family..

Instead it’s 5:45am and my sister, my mother and I are strapping the toes, packing our water bladders, first aid kits, applying the sunscreen and are about to head off for a training walk.

The men were ‘on call’ for a spare set of shoes, a water refill or even a ‘pick us up, we are done’ phone call. Mind you they are also looking after the kids!

The walk – start in St. Lucia, along the river and past all the university colleges, a back way round into rowing, along the rover (coronation drive side) all the way along until the story bridge, cross the bridge on the northern side and along to Southbank. Cross back over to the coronation drive side at the go between bridge and back the way we came. SIMPLE ……

On the bright side though, now having finished the 30km it was quite an amazing morning.

It has to be the longest amount of quality time I have spent with my sister and mother since ‘the girls weekend’ in 2016.

We did become slightly hysterical at about the 24km mark, in fits of laughter, snorting water and realising your bladder was filling up and laughing was not helping, but it was quality time and who knows what sparked the mild hysteria. Imagine what we will be like at the end of the 60km!

It started at with a cold breeze and a beautiful morning, well that did not change throughout the walk. It was also amazing at what we encountered. I don’t know about you but have you ever walked around your neighborhood and really looked at what’s around you. Taken the time to enjoy the sights, the beauty and life that surrounds us.

I was amazed at what we saw and some of these things I would never have known existed. Taking the time to enjoy the moment. To be positive, have a ‘green cape’ experience…. this is where my sister would laugh hysterically at me… I will have to explain this analogy to you another day.

Here are some of the moments we  enjoyed! Come along on our 30km journey.

Coffee and toilet stop: 8km

A nice stop along the way, The Regatta hotel. The Regatta brought back some amazing university memories. Such an excellent part of my life!

My sister and I discussed this and we believe it is or was such a great time due to the lack of responsibility!

With two amazing women, near the pedestrian bridge heading along the river.

A rushing down pipe, a hidden waterfall on the walk, an amazing sound to hear walking along  path on the edge of Brisbane CBD.

A random wooden eye matching the Brisbane eye.

How was it placed there or a better question who put it there?

The pathway along the river, surrounded by nature and the mangroves.

Ducks in the city, what a contrast.

If we hadn’t already had coffee we may have been enticed to stop again!

The story bridge in all its glory, what a beautiful day!

The Story Bridge, about to start heading over it and head home… well with another 16km to go!

A hidden coffee shop at the base of the Story bridge, a beautiful stop.

An artwork made from metal car parts, near the Riverlife centre on the edge of the Brisbane river.

Taking part in celebrating how far we had come!

A man taking on the wall. Can you spot the spider?

I spotted the spider in the first image. Man vs spider – who will reach the top first?

The Climbing walls near kangaroo point.

This amazing tree which was so beautiful and shows us that when nature is untouched it will produce beautiful things.

A panoramic view of the city, Brisbane really is a beautiful city!

The Bougainvillea archway along South Bank.

There is always something nifty to do at Southbank, this shows a garden which has been made and is cultivated where you can sample the produce, even pick it for yourself!

A waterfall along the South Bank walkway.

A beautiful art work dedicated to those who owned the land before us.

Amazing art work along the bridge which meets Coronation Drive. A beautiful way to let people express themselves and their talents.

And we made it! Collected by family at the end! 30km done and dusted!

I must say 30km, 6 hours and 19 minutes on Mothers day was the perfect Sunday. I am exhausted and know that tomorrow steps may be an issue, but all in all it was worth it and I spent it with two incredibly amazing and inspirational women!

The idea is about challenging oneself, after all we only live once!

Oh and I think we are both sane and insane all in one!

What does being strong mean?

The word strong is an interesting word. I mean if you really think about it, it can mean so many things. I asked a few people and this is what they said:

“Capable of handling situations on your own” (Female, 70)

“Can lift heavy weights” (Male, 47)

“Strong. Strength in muscles

Strong character : know your mind. Confident ” (Female, 64)

“The ability to carry large amounts of weight. Either physically or mentally?????” (Male, 19)

“Smart, like Einstein” (Female, 12)

“Physically: able to lift and move heavy things

Emotionally: able to control emotions until appropriate times/places, able to tolerate a lot of “bad” things and stay optimistic

Psychologically: similar to emotional…able to think logically and positively despite great adversity

Strong color = bright, vibrant” (Female, 44)

“Double shot of coffee. 👍” (Male, 37)

“Able to withstand pressure-people, things, mental, physical” (Female, 52)

“Strong ….. I’m a strong woman mentally. Running a family at home and at work. You have to be strong minded to do both jobs 👍 kids are a challenge and if I wasn’t mentally strong I wouldn’t cope 🙂” (Female, 47)

“Being able to lift 3kg’s” (Male, 7)

“…being able to push through those times that you feel like everything is working to bring you down. Knowing that others have gone through what you’re going through, and have survived. ” (Female, 52)

It’s hard to imagine what the word strong means to you, your peers and even wider than that. We all have different definitions, depending on our age, our gender and of course what we have endured in ours lives.

Some acknowledge being strong is not just being able to lift things but also being mentally and emotionally strong! What an amazing picture this paints for us!

Take the time to realise how strong you are, how strong your family may be, your kids and realise that their version may be different to yours!

I may not be physically strong, but I know emotionally and mentally I am. Having endured a life of ups and downs, and I mean major ups and downs I think to myself ‘wow, you’re amazing, you are strong!”

I think you all should to! We are all strong and can only get stronger! Develop this inner strength, test yourself, be healthy and remember to take the time to remind yourself you are what you are, and who and where you are, because you are strong.

You dealt with what was handed to you, you accomplished the impossible at times and won! You are strong!

I do, daily! It’s what keeps me going!

‘The three blessings’

Recently I have been working through a course which focuses on Positive Psychology. This is a movement which seems to be making its way through our education system… as a teacher we sometimes sigh at hearing these words and in our heads we simply think, what now, how long will this last…

Well when presented with the course and a small snippet of what it contained it actually sounded like something I could relate to and in fact already find myself doing.

I am  now completing the second module. It has been personally rewarding and I wanted to share with you one of the things that I have had to do and now continue to do that has resonated with me.

So often when we get to work, or get home, or even pick up the kids, but mostly before we go to sleep we always turn over in our minds what happened in the day.  We ask ourselves questions like;

  • What did we not get done?
  • What went wrong?
  • What could we have done better?
  • What does this mean I have to add to my list tomorrow?
  • Was I a good parent? Did i respond badly to a conversation? Did I yell to loud?
  • Why did I argue with my husband? I am not going to be the one to apologize or reach out? I wasn’t wrong….
  • Should I have done this or that..

These questions and the list of them could go on forever, however, I want you to try something new. I do mean actually give it a go. It will be fun! I cannot guarantee it will be easy or give you the desired responses straight away but I will tell you it makes a difference to your day, how you feel and then of course this flows onto your well being the following day.

Before you go to sleep – ask yourself what went well today? Just that…. What went well…

For a week each night write down three things, yes thats all, three things that went well. Do this for a week and see how you feel. Do it with your children, your husband and see what happens. If you don’t feel like writing them down just have the conversation. It can be over dinner, in a movie break or even in the car on the way home. However, it’s best just before bed!

I have been doing this and I must admit when I asked my husband the following evening, in true male fashion he said well my three things would be;

1. I woke up

2. I breathed in

3. I breathed out…

I had to take a breath myself and go no lets think about three things that went well….

We did laugh – which is a good thing and became one of his first things that went well….

Change is not easy in itself, but to change how we think is even harder!

Let me give you a few of my examples:

Three things that went well:

  1. My soda stream has not exploded on me again, phew!
  2. My daughter was amazing in her second debate this week and their team won! Well done to a group of Year 7 girls!
  3. I walked along the beach and watched my two puppies launch themselves through the water and then role in the sand.

It doesn’t have to be something big, small or have meaning to anyone else but yourself. Give it a go and see how it makes you feel, let me know what it does or even share some of your blessings.

“Be Brave, Be Bold, Be all you can be!”

(I dare you)

A trip to Aldi!

I don’t know about any of you but Aldi is dangerous!

I say this with a smile across my face as I imagine the soda stream machine I bought yesterday that now proudly sits on my kitchen counter…… something I didn’t need but as I waked down past the aisle, you all know the aisle I am talking about, where all these amazing ‘nick nacks’ sit piled up, tempting you to find something even though you need nothing, there it was, it caught my eye!

(Retrievded from Google images 2018)
The Soda Stream

They say women through evolution have better peripheral vision as we were the protectors of our family’s while the men were out hunting… well I must say I agree and this is but one example!

Well like a kid in a candy store I looked around excited wishing I had someone to look at and and say ‘whoa how cool is that, I could use it and create so many amazing things…. flavored water’ but there was no one there, so I just jumped with excitement and celebrated in my head…. the 12 year old was off retrieving the items we actually came for!

The choice now was how many bottles will I need. I think well, one in the wash, one being used and oh maybe two more just in case one breaks! I didn’t read the box which tells you it comes with one so now I have 5… who knows what I am going to do with 5!!

I line up at the counter having forgotten my Aldi bag and so am balancing the soda stream, the extra bottles and a few tins of cat food, the item I actually needed, all while thinking of the amazing things I can do! My 12 year old is laughing totally embarrassed at how excited I am about a stupid machine and she says, ‘that puts bubbles in water mum…. I mean come on, how sad are you!’

Well we return home and I immediately start to set up the machine…. as another thing dawns on me, a litre of soda water costs 90c at Aldi, how much will a new gas canister cost me and where on earth do I get them when it runs out… ah well I say… I will deal with that when we get to it.

So reading the instructions we fill the water bottle to the level, put in some flavoring and away we go……

So when I said before I read the instructions, I really only glanced over the pictures and thought this is easy, just hold it up and push the button….. I forgot the part where it shows you need to seal the bottle, like screw it into the machine to prevent what I would call an explosion of bubbles, water and orange flavoring!!!

You can imagine what happened next…. if not…. I encourage you to try!

(retrieved from 2018)
The nuclear water explosion

The orange mess of bubbled and water exploded from the bottle, I squealed, miss C collapsed in laughter while still managing to make awful whining sounds complaining I had wet her…. children are amazing at making two opposite emotions seem to go together…. I was covered, the table, and of course to top off the whole event the dogs who had been keenly watching on bolted through the cat door and with such speed! Such amazing protectors!

While it may not be the best purchase, or really an impulse buy, the laughter and sore bellies we had after we actually stopped to realise what had just happened was worth the soda stream purchase! So be sure to make those impulse buys sometimes, as who knows what could happen! Its all about making memories!

Oh and rest assured this morning when I made my soda water to take to work – I did screw the lid on properly…. I was still  a little apprehensive pressing the go button!

A normal day!

It’s funny how people always comment that teachers have an easy job. We get all the holidays, the weekends and should never complain, well even more recently I feel this needs to be nutted out or explained more.

So many have done this before me and many will after me but eventually people may listen.

Today was just another normal day, let me spell it out for you:

It started by being awake most of the night contemplating the school camps coming up; thinking about the numbers, the plan for the days, the number of kids, cabin groups, activities, teachers going with, bus quotes and much much more….

Its not the only physical fatigue that eventually wins out but the mental. You fall into a fitful sleep for a few hours before the next day begins.

Up and at it from 5am, the dogs are ready to go, they let me know this by leaning up on the bed and waking me with the smell of ‘dog morning breath, you thought ours is bad in the morning……. man……. I cannot explain the smell of a dogs!

It’s raining so no they won’t get a walk and follow you round like crazy! Playing games inside and wrestling. You try to settle them while waking a 12 year old.

This in itself is an experience, you slowly ease the door open, hoping the sleeping child will wake as an angel….. nope today we have the tired and grumpy….. so you step away and hope for the best. That her 5 alarms set 5minutes apart will wake her and after the half hour shower she will again come out as a refreshed and energised angel………. nope………

Feed the dogs, feed the cats, make lunches and have the first fleeting thought of what’s for dinner…… who knows that can come later!

Rush to the car at 7 and head off the only saving grace for the day, your coffee stop on the way to work.

While driving you go through the day, the to do list! What have I got to get through? This doesn’t account for what comes across your desk that you DID NOT plan for! Let me tell you this happens ALL the time!!!

You arrive at work and it starts, you are go go go from one meeting to the next. A parent is waiting for you that you never knew was coming, a quick and cordial chat, but this has now taken the few minutes you have to ensure you are ready for the day.

Off to class you go at a very fast paced walk. On a side note, if you know a teacher, they generally walk fast everywhere!! This is a side effect of our jobs! Sorry!

Morning tea swings by and you shovel what you can in as quick as you can. If you’re lucky you get a toilet break. Off to the next classes, then lunch. This is not how most imagine it, where we all get together and have laughs and chats over a fresh cup of coffee and a hot meal.

Rather a frantic run to the toilet as you didn’t get to go at morning tea and you’re about to wet your pants. The relief is intense! Then we again shovel what we can in, sip some water and head off for the afternoon….

If it’s your lucky day when that final bell rings you have 10 minutes to change and get to after school sport, which you spend coaching a sport you only had a marginal role in choosing, to kids of various ages who are just as tired as you are.

4:30pm rolls around and you realise it’s not over yet, the teacher has to become the mum!

Rush the kids home, change in under a minute, chuck an Aldi $3 pizza, promising yourself you will plan a more healthy meal next time, in the oven, which you made the kids run in for on the way home. Set a timer and off we go to walk the dogs. Yelling behind you as you close the gate, telling the kids to take it out of the oven when the alarm goes off, oh and don’t burn yourself, and turn off the oven……… again a fleeting thought of, hmmm what if they burn down the house, burn themselves……. you don’t have time and know they will be okay. They have done it many times before!

I return home and wash the wet dogs in a split second. This is an event where if someone was watching they surely would think I was mad! I feel like a deamon who has multiple hands and arms, I think the dogs don’t know whether to enjoy the massage or be scared I am going to rage at them if they move knowing I am in a rush.

The neighbours are probably wondering what is going on, this wet dishevelled person washing dogs in the front yard barking orders to the daughter and her friend saying we leave in ten to take them to their debating meet, all the while I am thinking man I have to shower and change as I can’t rurn up to the debate in wet, dog smelling gym gear!!! Or can I?

We make it, with 2 minutes to spare and we rush to the debate, which mind you is back at school again!! Who would have thought…

An hour later, after being an active listener, while in your mind you are again thinking of what you need to do and what is needed when you get home…… anyway …. a great result at the end, they win their debate…… your dinner was a yogurt and a make shift spoon made from the lid – but hey, it’s food! It’s all you could manage!

The drive home is full of high emotions and what a celebration for young girls in Year 7. They certainly were amazing, I wouldn’t have been able to do what they did at their age!

This elation fades as we walk in the door, it’s 8pm and they say, “we have homework”….. a deep sigh……. a very deep sigh….. a deep breath and we all sit at the dining table and work our way through their homework….

Its now 9pm and I haven’t even sat down yet and have to plan for tomorrow, but you know what, I won’t have time. Taking a moment to myself and to take stock of the day, celebrate the great things that have happened is by far more beneficial than trying to be effective after what is another normal day!

Sleep may happen tonight, well I hope so!