1000 posts: So much to say, so little time!

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This is my 1000th post!

It has taken me a seven years to get here. It has become part of my day-to-day life. I don’t write all that often now but love to read other bloggers’ adventures and do the Photo Challenge most weeks.

On 8 May I will be leading (as a volunteer) a University of the Third Age class of eight people (seniors) in Blogging for Beginners. I hope to be able to share in eight hours (two hours a week for four weeks) what I have found out over the past seven years.

I have done my homework on the technical side but the actual writing side of things is not so straightforward. I have meandered over a wide range of topics over that time. I guess my blog is really about my  life, thoughts, ideas etc. I have got more into including photos in the past year or so. I love doing that but wonder if I am a bit lazy with the writing!

I would really value any ideas or tips you have for new bloggers that I can pass on to those in my group. Thanks in anticipation 🙂

Two great things about writing fiction

In my current studies I am learning about writing fiction and really enjoying it. I am currently working on a 2,500 word assignment. I have the ideas in my head and some words on paper. On reflecting about this new interest, I found two really positive benefits:

1. I can use my own life experience and feelings and infuse them into the characters in my story. I can control the outcomes of these characters and explore avenues/roads I would have liked to travel. Also I can channel any sorts of emotional experiences into my story.

2. I have something to think about. If I can’t sleep, I can play around in my mind with the characters or the plot instead of thinking about worries or problems. If I find myself at a loss for something to do, I can expand my ideas or even come up with a new angle.

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Up close and personal

 

Many local “baby boomers” are taking part in a new four-year study on healthy ageing. I recently received a letter in the post inviting me to take part and I happily agreed to participate.

The State Government is contributing $1 million to the Busselton Population Medical Research Foundation Inc to conduct the study. The Foundation is working in conjunction with researchers from The University of Western Australia, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Lions Eye Institute and Ear Science Institute of Australia.

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I had to fast from midnight and arrive at the facility at 7.30am this morning. The process started with a range of blood tests, including one for my DNA. Afterwards they provided me with toast and Vegemite for breakfast, then on with lots more tests.

I was there for three hours in total and there wasn’t a minute where I wasn’t being tested for one thing or another.

The study hopes to include about 4,000 people. There are around 7,000 “baby boomers” living locally but not everyone wants to take part in research. From my point of view, it was a great opportunity to get a comprehensive medical check-up for free!
Researchers are investigating factors related to:

  • Obesity, nutrition and physical activity
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Stroke and disability
  • Dementia and mental disease
  • Respiratory and sleep health
  • Physical function
  • Spinal pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss

Media references from the original press release in 2009.

Jennie Hui (Busselton Population Medical Research Foundation)  (+61 4) 11 233 458
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 5563  /  (+61 4) 32 637 716

My love/hate relationship with studying

In the second half of last year I did a unit of study titled Production, Editing and Design. At the conclusion of the unit (I passed comfortably) I stated to many friends and family that I am NOT going to do any more studying. I admit that the editing part really did my head in. Also my tutor was not very helpful. The feedback she provided was inadequate – she would just say ‘that is wrong’ but not give me any clues about HOW it was wrong!

I thought I could edit pretty well but I discovered it is very difficult. One thing I still haven’t mastered is the use of dashes and hyphens.

Do you know that there are:

  • en dashes (the width of the letter n)
  • em dashes (the width of the letter m)
  • double en dashes
  • double em dashes
  • em/en dashes with spaces

Keep in mind that hyphens are another class again! Do you get the picture?

So … I have one more unit to complete to achieve my Graduate Certificate. I was scheduled to do Communication Practices in the second half of this year. I rang the uni to check its scheduling and they asked if I would like to substitute that unit and do a different one this semester. So … I put in an application and it was approved yesterday. I start studying again in two weeks time. I wonder if I will regret this decision!

This unit will be different as it is a creative writing unit (Authorship and Publication) and hopefully there will be a different tutor!

The Third Age

How does one gracefully move from one stage of life to the next? Transitions can be hard work!

I never really bought into the capitalist idea of working extremely hard to gain a lot of money so that I could keep working hard to gain more money and possessions.

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I worked primarily to:

  • provide a home for me and my three sons
  • pay the mortgage, the utility bills and food and clothing
  • meet some good outcomes for the unemployed and disadvantaged members of society
  • try to make a positive difference through the work I did each day.

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Now I am no longer in the workplace I wonder how I can make a contribution. Sometimes I “go with the flow” but at other times I feel an urgency to do something useful or to make good use of my time and this stage of my life.

I am exploring being more creative; I am studying; I get some contract work from time to time; I joined a few not-for-profit community groups; but I still have time and energy on my hands. I even have a vegetable garden now but it doesn’t take much looking after.

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My extended family aren’t in need of my support and both of my parents have passed away. I can enjoy learning new things such as calligraphy, taking videos and photos, sewing … and I will do those things.

I don’t think western society makes the most of the resources of our ageing baby-boomers. Many people my age are still working or busy with their families. Some are happy to follow their hobbies or to travel the world.

Roses 004We gain useful skills and knowledge in life and work and then we fade into the sunset without finding adequate use of our experience. It seems such a waste of resources. I only wish I could come up with an idea to capture these resources (mine and those of many other semi-retired people) and use them to the good of our society.

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Any ideas are welcome on where to from here?

It is so easy to avoid doing stuff :-)

English: This is a picture of hands sifting th...

English: This is a picture of hands sifting through potting soil in a garden bed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My plan for today was to have breakfast, shower, make the beds and do my final assignment.

My ACTUAL day went more like this:

  • breakfast
  • do some washing (oops, I think it is still in the machine!)
  • make the bed
  • have a shower
  • scan some documents for Tom
  • put some straw in my new, above ground, garden bed
  • transplant pot-plants to the front garden
  • clean all pots
  • make coffee for two
  • a little bit more work in the garden
  • offered to change some light-globes that need changing – Tom said I should do my assignment!
  • decide to work on final assignment but then decide to check and update previous assignment
  • actually work on the final assignment for a while – made some progress
  • finished reading my current Mary Higgins Clark novel
  • relax and watch TV
  • get dinner
  • water the plants in the front garden from this morning’s effort
  • relax and watch more TV
  • finally, I am writing this blog

So tomorrow, I will finish my final assignment!

Ever have days like that?

cheers

Lorraine

I hate and love learning

Unique POV 001I am under pressure at the moment to complete five tasks for the second assignment in my unit of study – Production, Editing and Design. I have gone past the point of ‘this is really interesting’ to now feeling ‘am I going to live through this process?’

I received my results this morning from the first assignment and I passed moderately well – a big relief. I didn’t say I did well – but I was happy enough with the outcome.

This is a very technical unit and it is pushing me beyond my limits, however, today I learned so much – that I never would have otherwise. Why does it have to be so painful in the process?

The main part of the assignment is due on 21 October. I hope to send it off this Friday to lessen the torture. The rest is due on 4 November. We are going away for a couple of days after that to celebrate/recover my sanity.

If you have any study tips or suggestions for surviving the pressure, I would love to hear them.

cheers

Lorraine