Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weapons of mass distraction

Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.
Chinese Proverb

The holidays have finally arrived, (albeit an extremely short one - one week) and I'm so looking forward to sitting back and relaxing.  So much so, that until this morning, I haven't turned my computer on since my last lecture - Wednesday last week.  Nope, not since then have I seen a single email or post on Facebook or Twitter and I've got to say, that break alone has been truely cathartic.  It got me thinking about the hold social media has on our lives, particularly those of our teens and young adults.

Being the parent of three teenagers, it worries me that they seem to be constantly distracted by Facebooking, Twittering, Instagramming, IMing, texting and other web-based communication technologies.  It doesn't worry me that they're involved in global communication, it worries me that these forms of communication are continual and can only be turned off not by choice, but by force.  It worries me they can't spend time by themselves without getting bored.  I'm speaking generally, of course, in my experience as a mother and student - it still surprises me how often I see my fellow students in lectures, presumably typing notes but actually messaging on Facebook.

So, I've had to take my children in hand.  I'm taking them away from it all for a couple of days and you should've heard them when I told them it was conditional - there'll be no WiFi.  Instead, there will be swimming, fishing, board games and...gasp...face to face communication.  I'm hoping the down time will make them see the benefits of switching off every now and again.

Nature beckons.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Have a breather

Dost thou love life?
Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

I've gate-crashed my son and hubby's boys weekend.  Having had another stressful week with assignments and family, I made a spontaneous decision to join them on a weekend up the Coast.  They don't mind - at least they made out like they didn't!

I haven't intruded on their precious bonding time too much - they've still managed to watch the all important footy game, while I was lucky enough to go out for drinks with a girlfriend last night.  Now that's something I haven't done in quite some time.  And we even got hit on to boot - which also hasn't happened in I don't know how long!  Yes, they were a tad under the weather and we were the only girls left in the bar.  Actually, if truth be known, they were quite annoying and were impeding on my precious bonding time with my BFF and I thanked God I wasn't single!

We've been fishing, walking, swimming and just generally enjoying a gorgeous weekend.  And I haven't once thought about assignments.  Well, maybe once over breakfast but I was actually thinking about the fact that I haven't been thinking about assignments.

Every now and again you have to be spontaneous - life is to be lived and when an opportunity presents itself, grab it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Crazy Town

'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure'
Marianne Williamson

Yes, people, I'm still alive and well in the bloggerverse. 

The truth is, for the last couple of weeks I feel as if I've been living in Crazy Town.  The lull of the first few weeks of semester 2 was brutally broken by the sudden crash of assessments and presentations and I feel as if I've only just survived the whirl of it all.  I can't help but feel that somehow I brought it all on myself.  Was I not prepared enough?  After all, this is my 3rd year of being a uni student, you'd think I'd be used to the workload by now.  I am doing three subjects this semester but I did last semester as well.  So, what can I do differently?

The answer is - nothing.  I find, in my wise old age, that life tends to throw everything at you at once.  I have one daughter who's just started in her first year at uni; another one in her last year at high school; and a son who has just started year 8 - all stressful situations which require support from 'Mum'.  On top of all this, I've had a few health issues in the last couple of months as well.  No, I'm not finding excuses, I'm saying that life doesn't stop when you decide to take on something big in your life.  The trick, therefore, is to try and find balance. 

I've been working on my readings, presentations and assessments pretty solidly as well as managing the day to day running of a busy family.  We're only human and we can only do so much.  And I'm telling you this as well as myself - don't be too hard on yourselves if it all becomes too much - and use your support system.  I have a great support system at uni (consisting of both mature age students as well as regular straight out of school students) and what I've learned is we all go through times when it's hard to find motivation and times of self-doubt.  At uni, we're never alone (however, if you do  feel as if you are alone, please contact me).  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and climb that mountain - it doesn't matter how fast you climb it, just keep going. 

Having said that, it's time for me to start another assessment due on Friday.  I've got my mountaineering boots on, my alpenstock in my hand, my head down and I'm going to keep climbing, right out of Crazy Town!

Oh, and by the way, another handy piece of advice...utilise your university library for the absolute peace and quiet it offers when trying to study or finish assignments.  For me, distractions like washing waiting to be done, dishes waiting to be cleaned, door to door salesmen and phone calls are non-existent in the library (as long as you turn off your mobile phones!).  Happy climbing!

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!