Saturday, 9 April 2016

Do what you love

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my Top 5 priorities. Today, I spent an entire day doing what I love to do - and it felt fantastic!

Mr S and I took his parents to the Hunter Valley to see the son/brother(-in-law). We started with a visit to a little Handmade Market which sold a few of the items I'm planning to make. Good to check out the competition, hey ;-)
Look how lovely Mum & Dad walking hand-in-hand over the market.
Over at the Brother & Sister-in-Law place, we meet Kevin Bacon - he is such a friendly pig who lives with the chooks.
Kevin raced to the fence to get a pat and made a fair bit of noise when we stopped patting him. 
The chooks were looking for some food - typical.
Meldoy enjoyed some cuddles and I enjoyed the soft kisses. Is there anything better than feeling the affection of an animal?!
This is the chook/pig pen.
The horses live right next to the pig/chooks - what a beautiful setup!
Mr S's brother quit work as a Tradie to start this B&B in the Hunter Valley. They're slowly setting up their estate and have lots of ideas to grow and improve their business. So far they have been very successful and it's great to see how opportunistic they are. I'm looking forward to spend a few days over there and get some ideas what to do with my future.

But for now, we enjoyed some drinks at the estate, followed by a beautiful lunch at a local brewery and a drive back to the parents place.

Today, I did what I love: just being with people I love, taking pleasure in lots of animal cuddles and indulging in some good food & wine. All that while the sun was shining and it was neither hot nor cold. All in all it was a perfect day! How did you spent your Saturday?

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Evaluating my time and comitments

Today I had a meeting with a career counsellor. Why? Because when I took on my first FiFo (= Fly in Fly out) job in 2009, it was only supposed to be for 18 months. Nearly 7 years later and I'm still doing this kind of work. We have grown accustomed to the work routine but it's been hard. Being far away from home, working 12 hour days for weeks at the time is tough. It's tough for me but it's also tough on Mr S - living a lonly life without his wife for over 6 months of the year. So after I was told my contract is not getting re-newed I was shocked at first but then thought to myself, maybe now I can do something I like and be home more often. I did kind of like the job but working for 12 hours a day is tiring. And I never could get continuity at home. I always calculated how long it will take for fruit and vegetables to fruit, so I needed to plant them while at home and ensure I'm back home when they fruit otherwise they would be wasted. There is many more examples but I want to concentrate on the future, not the past.

Mr S and I discussed and decided that I would get away from FiFo to improve our life and our relationship. So what to do? I went onto Seek to try and find a job and nothing really grabbed me. I worked in Oil & Gas all my life and now we live in a rural area with lots of agriculture around us, so I can't and don't really want to continue with the same sort of career. I decided to go and see a career counsellor to assist me with examining what I'm passionate about but also what I'm trained in and how I can build on that. Yes, in general I knew the outcome. However, as I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything at the moment, it's good to discuss those sorts of things with a person who doesn't actually know me. Once I saw what he saw in me, I remembered what I do enjoy and like doing. 

I started with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (–Briggs_Type_Indicator) which is one of the best known personality tests. I'm an ISTJ (Introversion Sensing Thinking Judging) Typ, which means I'm quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. I'm practical, matter-of-fact and responsible. I decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. I take pleasure in making everything orderly and organised -  my work, my home, my life. I value tradition and loyalty. I received a lot of information about this personality type - most of it didn't come as a surprise but reading how I feel black on white is kind of strange. The next thing was the O.S.I (= Occupational Search Inventory) Test by Dr Robert Pryor. It uses preferences in workmtasks, work environments, leisure activities, occupations and work skills to determing your profile which you then can research further via ANZSCO codes as well as the Federal Goverment website Unsurprising to me, my top 3 scores where in Nature and Science (which was a tie for 1st), Organising and Technological. Then you can look at potential careers and we narrowed it down to 3 areas I'm interested in: 1. Management, 2. Agriculture, 3. Science/Engineering. I have to say it was a relief to see that I still like doing what I studyied and learnt. My next step is to research some of the options with assistance of the above mentioned wegpages. I already have a fair idea where this will lead me but especially the Joboutlook webpage will show me job prospects, current vacancies, income ect. 
What does this have to do with evaluating my time and commitments? Well, most of us - including myself work for a living, not because they really want to. In my case I still have a mortage to pay off and ensure Mr S and my life is comfortable and we can enjoy the things we want to do. So I have t work. But - and this is a big but... Who says you can't enjoy what you're doing? I used to enjoy my work and I want to enjoy it again. I will be working for another 15-20 years and I want to enjoy it. I want to do something I like doing and I'm good at. Even if I have payed the house off, I still would like to continue working part-time to continue to put money into my Super. So what do I enjoy doing? Well I enjoy doing crafts and hiking and gardening and spend time with my animals (see yesterday's post about my Top 5 Priorities). So can I make money with that? The short answer is no. I like doing craft but I just started, I make mistakes and it takes me a long time to do something, so no, I couldn't make money with that. there's no money in hiking and also I like gardening I can't imagine having to do other people's gardens fr the next 15-20 years. I love to spend time with my animals but not necessarily with somebody elses. So basically my hobbies are hobbies and that's it. That doesn't mean I can't make any money with them. For example I could do small easy crafts for people or I could look after peoples dogs on the caravan parks while they spend a day doing something where they can't take their dog. And I'm happy to help somebody with some lawn mowing and weeding or mulching but I don't think my body would do this for the next 15 years. So yes, I certainly can make additional money with it but I cannot pay of our mortage.

So I decided to research the career paths suitable for me and decide on something I'd like to persue. Whatever this is, it needs to give me the satisfaction I need from a job to fulfill me. I also need to make sure that this jobs gives me the time and opportunity to do the things I love doing. I need to have time for my Top 5 Priorities. Knowing that I will be able to design my day in a way that enables me to work, take care of my home and family and gives me time to do craft, gardening and spend time with my animals. This will NOT happen automatically - I need to make this happen. I need to plan tasks and evaluate them - do they need to be done, could they be done less regulary, could Mr S help with these tasks ect. For example I used to spend all day Saturday washing: towels, colours, whites and sometimes linen - that nearly is an entire day of washing, hanging the washig up, taking it down again, folding it and putting it away. Instead I could turn on a machine in the morning when I go to work (as Mr S is at home, otherwise I would get it to start in a way hat it;s finished by the time I get up). I then could fold and put items away when I come home and it wouldn't eat into my weekend anymore. Another thing I observed is how other people clean. When I clean, I normally dust and either sweep or vacuum the house. Followed by a weekly deep clean. I have never mastered to 'just' clean the bathroom or 'just' mop the kitchen. I always do everything or nothing. If I would deep clean a room a day, I just would need to do the vacuuming and mopping weekly and everything else would be already done.
There's a lot to learn for me. I need to evaluate my time and comitments - both privately and in my working life, so I will have plenty of time to actually live and do the things I enjoy. I'm looking forward to learn new skills and improve my time management so my weekends/days off are decluttered and free of must dos and full of want tos. Tke the time and evaluate your time and comitments - maybe there is some room for improvement?


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Establishing my Top 5 Priorities

As you know, I'm currently going through a lot of changes. I feel very overwhelmed and most of the time I'm not sure if I should be happy or cry. It's not an easy time. I just returned from work and am struggling with loosing all of my beloved pets, my job and life as I knew and loved it. So I need to start over again and find my way to happiness. But to establish who I want to become, I need to figure out who and what is important to me. Therefore I decided to establish my top 5 priorities and ensure that I spend time with/on them.

1. My family and friends 

My marriage is the first thing I have to work on. Mr S and I have been married since November 2015 but we have been together since 2000. Due to my FiFo job and our age gap which sets us in different stages and probably different values, we recently encountered a fair few problems. We need to talk abut this openly and get back to the couple who we once were. We've started to share our best and worst experience of the day each night before we g to sleep. This shows each other what the other person valued and disliked which sometimes is quite surprising.

Also my family lives overseas, I regulary communicate with them via social media, email and telephone. But I need to make sure I spend quality time with them - especially with my Grandparents wh don't have (or want) a computer. I need to communicate with them openly and let them participate on our life. I'm planning to send my Grandparents a letter a month together with some pictures, so they know what we're p to.

I don't have many friends. Actually I think I should become a little bit more social. Maybe this trip will help me to do this. My house used to be filled with people and now I don't even know anyone I could invite for a cuppa. But I want to be selective. I don't want or need people in my life who will make me feel bad or whose friendship is 'work'. They don't have to share my values but they have to accpet mine and I will accept theirs. I'm hoping to have a nice BBQ with some peple at a caravan park soon.
2. My animals

Unfortunately I lost all of my animals. But as they have been such an important part of my life, I know that one day I will get another dog and chooks and I want to make sure I spend time with them - no matter what!
3. Alone Time

It might sound strange but I miss being alone. Yes, I'm alone at work but I cannot do what I like doing, so that's not the same. I like being by myself and just do what I feel like doing, listen to music I like listening to and just think about things. I discussed this with Mr S and I told him that I want an entire day to myself each week. That might mean he goes somewhere for the day while I stay at the caravan or vice a versa. 
4. Nature

Nature has always made me happy! A stroll through the forest, a sunray on the lake or mist evaporating over a field - so calming and so beautiful! I will spend more time in nature, going for walks, sitting outstide and read/knit and just be. This should get me grounded because no matter how I will feel, the sun will always set and rise again - the circle will always continue and I want to be part of it.
5. Health & Hobbies

This one was actually a hard one to think about. But I guess without my health the rest of my life wouldn't be much, so really that should be a priority. I have been overweight for a fair few years now and I'm sick of it! I blamed work, lack of time and our constant eating out for me not loosing weight, so  now I'm starting again and this time I will succeed! I eat healthier and less and I excercise 6 days a week. I will report on progress. But I'm hoping to wear my wedding dress again in a year's time and to actaully have to get it taken in. So here's to healthy living - part of my journey to the new happy me.
I combined health and hobbies as healthy eating includes cooking, baking, growing food and exercising. All these things are my hobbies and I want to make sure I spend a decent amount of time on my hobbies which I haven't done so far. By including my health & hobbies in my top 5, I ensure I don't 'forget' the thing I like doing the most.
I'm curious to see what priorities other people have. If you like, post a comment with your Top 5. I look forward to hear from you!


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Declutter before Organising

My German heritage makes me an efficient and organised person. If you look at my desk at work and how I deal with the work load, you can clearly see that: My desk is always clear, I never have more than 20 emails in my Inbox despite receiving about 150 a day and my time management is envied by many. 

So why am I not like that at home? Don't get me wrong, my home is always tidy and not cluttered except when I'm in the middle of something. When I cook or preserve the kitchen looks like being hit by a bomb but the cleaning and tidying is always part of the fun for me - I don't mind at all and I don't procrastinate, I just get it done. Visible clutter is not an issue for me at all. But it's the little things which trip me. 

I'm not organised in terms on where I keep my information - I haven't even got an address book in any way, shape or form. I pile paperwork with the intention to sort it and then panic when it's tax time and I can't find all the documents I need or I've forgotten to pay a bill as it's hidden somewhere in the pile. 

Photos are another nightmare for me. Digital file keeping and decluttering is a whole different story but I'm talking about actual pictures - before everybody had digital cameras. My Mum lovingly put together albums from when I was born to when I left home. unfortunately due to the age and the climatic conditions, the glue which kept the photos in their spot is non-existent and everytime I touch the album the pictures fall out. I really need to sit down and look at each album and categorise the photos. I've been wanting to di this for years. But what do I do? I just shift the pics back into the album and try not to touch it. 

Why can't I get my paperwork organised? I did well with the wardrobe.... Thinking about how I cleared out my wardrobe and re-organised it makes me happy - it was hard but the end result felt absolutely amazing. So what was different??? 
I cleared out my wardrobe and then re-organised it. That's the difference! The order in which I undertook the project. how can I organise all my paperwork, photos, fabric and various other bits and pieces when I don't declutter first?!

So before we jump into trying to organise our paperworks or our homes or our lifes, we need to declutter. We need to get rid of unwanted or unused items. Only once we have items we want and need, we can start sorting them and organising them. 

I just started doing this. I've started with my box of sewing supplies and fabric which I packed to take with us. Everytime I see a fabric store, I buy more fabric fr more projects. Enough! This is what I have, so this is what I use first. I will think about some nice projects for my patterns. 
All sewing items are organised and I will complete these projects before I buy any new ones.
I did the same for my yarns. I sorted them all and wrote a project list:
So that's my craft sorted. Moving on to finances. For now I put a small notebook into my handbag. Tracking was always difficult for me. I try to keep all receipts but then there were some items which didn't have one and I forgotten about. So for now a notebook will do but when the new financial year starts in a few months, I will get myself a small tax year diary and started writing everything down, rather than hoping I will find my receipts and remember what else I bought.

I hope to be able to create a system while we're travelling which I have gotten used to by the time we get home and then I can implement it at home. I heard it takes 3 weeks for a new routine to settle, so I want to do this for the next months and hopefully I'm set.

What needs decluttering at your place?

Friday, 1 April 2016

This is me!

Hello and welcome to my Blog!

After months years of mis-managing my life, today is a new start. A new start to a new life - a happy life and a simple life. Come and join me on my journey and share my triumphs and falls - as I'm sure there will be many of each of them.

So who am I? I'm a nearly 40 year young woman in a mid-life crisis (that's at least how it feels like to me) leaving my career and my previous lifestyle behind to start all over to become a healthier, happier and simpler me. Mr S, my husband, will tag along on the journey, also he doesn't know that yet. As most of you will agree, sometimes you need to force the good things onto men.

How are we going to start? Well, our journey will be an actual journey for a while as we had decided a while ago to travel around Australia in our caravan. We commenced a few months back and after some big blows in my life, such as loosing ALL of my beloved pets as well as my job, I'm ready to leave the old me behind and travel being simply myself. Who exactly that is, you and I will find out.

Today I'm heading to Newcastle. I had my last day of my FiFo (Fly in Fly out) work on Thursday and after 4 weeks of working straight am looking forward to see my husband again. We're going to stay for a while at Mr S. parent's place to discuss our future and develop a plan on how we're going to progress.

So come along to our journey - both on the road and in our heart and soul.