Life

I like to find image quotes online that capture how I am feeling. I came across this one this evening. I often feel like this – some days more than others!

I have this vague feeling that I missed out on getting the rule book handed out at birth :-). At least today I can accept that is just how I am and not fret about it too much.

life

Advertisements

Self worth or Ego?

I was at a meeting the other day and I went along with the attitude of wanting to get involved. I was taken aback by the chair of the meeting – he couldn’t seem to notice I was there. I have grappled with this and wondered whether I was having an issue with my ego (wanting to be noticed etc) and I felt quite annoyed.

I offered to take on a significant and time-consuming role for the group (setting up and administering a new Facebook Group) but I still felt invisible to our group leader. I found the image below and it was a good reminder to me that my ability doesn’t depend on someone else being able to see it.

Self Worth

I am not making it up …

about ageI recently had my sixtieth birthday and that means I have done a range of things in those six decades. Sometimes I surprise people when I mention some of those things. I guess we all travel our own journeys and we can never be sure where they will take us. A list of some of my adventures follows:

  • I left home in country Victoria at 17 years old to live in Melbourne and I was a bit into the hippie culture at the time
  • I met my first husband in Melbourne and we married when I was 18
  • My three sons were born in my twenties
  • I lived and worked in several remote communities with high Indigenous populations within Australia including Numbulwar in the Northern Territory, Fitzroy Crossing, Derby, Geraldton and Esperance in Western Australia
  • I was the Newman correspondent for the North West Telegraph when I was living in the Pilbara
  • I didn’t complete high school but went on to gain university entrance as an adult and have since achieved separate qualifications in management and professional writing
  • Twice divorced meant some time as a single mother of my three sons
  • I started studying theology at one stage but didn’t see it through plus I was a Church Warden, Synod representative and Pastoral Assistant in the Anglican Church
  • I was a Shire Councillor and Deputy Shire President with the East Pilbara Shire and ran as a candidate for the State Government in 1993
  • During my time working for the government I spent time in Education and Training, Culture and the Arts, Communities and Disability Services
  • I am really interested in computers and social media and love WordPress 🙂

What I find interesting is the diversity of some of my activities but I guess there is some consistency in the overall story. There are a few adventures held back – I don’t want to give everything away!

Optimism … easier said than done?

This time last week I wrote about a couple of people I spoke with during the day. Both were facing major issues – one was dealing with sickness in the family and the other had serious business problems.

Today I caught up with the business person again and ventured to ask her if she had any success in fixing a major piece of machinery. Last week she said it could not be fixed and she would miss out on the busy holiday season. Today she was much brighter as she told me the problem was resolved. She said she had a couple of really tough days worrying about going broke.

I was really pleased to hear the good news. It is so easy to get overwhelmed when things don’t go the way we expect.

optimism

The flow state

I am reading (still) Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and published by Harper Perennial – first published in 1990. It is one of those books where I keep going “Aha!” as I discover the writer has put my jumbled thoughts into eloquent words that seem quite profound. It is not often I find a book that answers so many questions for me.

I could not do it credit by trying to explain his findings but I would really encourage you to read it. One of the things that appeals to me is that it not pop psychology but seems to have some real research behind it.

To quote a New York Times Book Review, “Flow is important … The way to happiness lies not in mindless hedonism, but in mindful challenge.”

Visual for being in the flowI spoke to a friend on the phone yesterday (we haven’t caught up in many months) and I recommended this book to her. She was amazed at the coincidence as she was just about to put in an online order for the very same book – how is that for synchronicity?

Being ‘in the flow’

I recently discovered an interesting book titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It was first published in 1990 by Harper and Row.

Here is a description of the book I copied from Amazon.com (where I purchased the book).

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

I am finding it easy to read and a refreshing change from much of the (wonderful) literature about mindfulness. Sometimes words like mindfulness become so over used that they lose their sense of meaning. The writer talks about giving our attention to whatever is before us.

Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, I feel comfortable in recommending it to readers interested in experiencing more flow in their day-to-day lives.003 (Copy)

It sounds like I was paid to review this book, but I promise I haven’t! It was just a link in an article I was reading online and before I knew what I was doing, I ordered a kindle edition as well as a hard copy 🙂

Hobbies and Interests

18 February 2014 006 (Copy)In 2010 I ceased working full-time and moved to the South West to enjoy the wonderful experience of not having to set the alarm and get up and go to work. Funnily enough, I still wake up early most days even though I don’t set the alarm.

I have been grappling with what best to do with my time now. I have tried a range of things, including self-employment, volunteer work, gardening, blogging and recently I joined a creative writing group.

Through most of my life I have gone along with what others are doing. I think being the youngest of five children means I am used to fitting it with the majority.

It is only now that I realise that I haven’t taken much time to pursue leisure activities that are truly my OWN interests.

Put simply, I don’t know what I want! I am working on it though and have taken some steps in that direction.

My reason for this blog today is to remind people (younger people) to make time to have some interests outside of work so that when it comes to retiring, you can look forward to spending more time doing what you love. Cultivate your interests during your working life so that it provides another avenue for finding satisfaction and fulfillment at that later stage.

Well, that’s my take on it :-). What do others think?

Seeking a simple life …

When  it comes to what is important in life, I think the less complicated we make it, the better.

Family, friends and good neighbours contribute to many of the simple joys we experience.

Sunshine and access to nature are important too.

No games of pretense to confuse our relationships with those around us – be who you really are!

Maximise your strengths and curb your weaknesses where you can.

We all have something positive to offer in every situation – it may be just to listen …

simplicity

Fifty something …

MondayI want to point out to the world that people over 50 have a lot to offer. I want to point this out to all age groups but especially to people who are past 50 or thereabouts.

I get tired of hearing people talk about retirement. Retirement belongs to the previous generations – our parents and their parents (if they lived long enough). I am not suggesting that we keep working at a job we hate or find too difficult. I am saying that we need to pause and reflect on this phase of our lives. You may need to keep working at your job due to financial pressures but is there the capacity to reduce your hours?

Consider the following:

• Is there so much more you would like to be doing with your time?

• Do you have interests that you would like to pursue now but don’t have the time?

• This period of our lives (say 45 – 80ish) is likely to be very different than it was for our parents who were born before World War II

• If you are anticipating using your time to catching up on years of reading, and are happy to do that, then that is fine. Read no further!

• Maybe you want to spend more time with your grandchildren or are artistic and enjoy you leisure time in these pursuits and find them to be gratifying.

• Do you get up each morning and wonder what is the point of getting up as you did yesterday what you will do again today and the day after?

• Do you get irritable because the world seems to be run by young people – eg doctors, the media, some politicians that don’t look old enough to vote?

• Does your brain still function the way it used to, or is it even better now that you have abandoned a lot of the crap that came from working full-time and the office politics?

• Are you unsure of how to dress – you don’t want to be masquerading as a young person? How do you see yourself?

• Are you able to graciously profess your views without getting defensive when younger people see your views as obsolete?

• Consider how you plan to spend the next 20-30 years? Do you want to sit around getting old and immobile? If you are still actively involved in sport, then good for you!

• Is there a way we can collectively find a valuable place in society that breaks the common stereotypes of the over fifties?

• Does social media provide us with an avenue to express ourselves and perhaps help others at the same time?

• How would you feel about using some of your skills or developing new skills to assist the community to improve health, education and environmental outcomes?

• How would you feel about gaining your community’s respect and gratitude for the use of these skills?

• Would you be prepared to work for a nominal amount that Not For Profits could afford?

• Can you see the difference between this idea and the tremendous work that thousands of volunteers already do each day in Australia (and other parts of the world)?

• Can you make sense of all of the above and are excited about contributing ideas on how we can change this concept into reality?

If you would like to get more involved with me on this project you can email me on reoh@iinet.net.au

Thanks for reading 🙂