Time for a bit of bloggy housekeeping and an award catchup.
It’s truly amazing to me that even during a blogging absence, blogging friends remember and reward. I have some fabulous readers and blogging mates and I am truly thankful.
During April and May, I received two awards from ramblingsfromamum who blogs at Ramblings From A Mum. Jen is a fellow Aussie and a very talented, multifaceted writer. Poetry, Haiku and flash fiction are all on offer at her blog. Jen has also just started a joint blog, words… from here to there, comprising thought provoking poetry and visual delights in the form of photography.
Firstly, Rambly (or mumsy) as she is fondly known, bestowed upon me the Best Moment Award.
Rambly writes that the purpose is for:
Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.
- Repost the award and award description
- Give an acceptance speech
- Pass the award on, and notify the nominees.
Not sure about a speech, but it is a real honour to be thought worthy of this award. Living in the moment and being bold takes continual practice and every day that includes these two things is an achievement. Thank you, Rambly, you really are a model recipient for this award.
If that wasn’t enough, Rambly also included me as part of her WordPress Family Award. The concept of the WordPress family is a good one and the notion that there are people “out there” who actually take the time to care about you and your life and positively impact on your blogging experience fills me with more than a little warmth. Which is needed right about now, given that Winter has arrived. Once again, thanks Rambly, the feeling is mutual.
- Display the award logo on your blog.
- Link back to the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 10 (or more) others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
- Let your 10 (or more) Family members know you have awarded them.
Also in May, dearanonymousfriend (DAF) nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. DAF blogs at dearanonymousfriend regaling us with stories about her role as a grandmother and her local community. DAF radiates a serenity that only the truly wise can muster. If your soul needs uplifting, make your way to DAF’s blog. My biggest thrill though came from DAF’s comment that I was her blogging hero. A simple thank you just doesn’t seem enough, but DAF, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that comment. We all do what we do mostly out of pleasure and to receive that sort of feedback is mind blowing, truly.
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements
Now to fulfil the rules. Seven things about me:
- I have long hair again for the first time in about a decade and a half and I’m loving it. I just don’t know whether to keep it or sheer it.
- I am once again a university student and am finding the experience incredibly stimulating and rewarding. Blogging has really helped with my academic writing.
- I love spending time with my teenage boys. They teach me something every day. We had a classic Wayne’s World moment today in the car singing along to and shaking our heads in time with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
- My favourite colour of roses is yellow.
- I love helping people and being asked to help.
- My idea of heaven is an overseas family holiday.
- I want to be a female version of Richard Glover. Richard is a writer who pens satirical commentary about everyday life. Richard blogs here .
I would like to acknowledge my WordPress Family and bestow upon them the WordPress Family Award. You all contribute to my WordPress environment and I appreciate our interactions:
Elkement from The Theory And Practice of Combining Just Anything
Bronwyn from The Speeding Turtle Gets Fit
Carrie Ruben blogging at The Write Transition
Hugh Cutler from Hugh Cutler
BTG55 from Musings Of An Old Fart
Tess from How the Cookie Crumbles
Rambly from Ramblingsfromamum
DAF from Dearanonymousfriend
Lisa from Life With The Top Down.
As for the remaining awards, I nominate you, my fellow bloggers who are also my readers. I appreciate all of your comments, feedback and the time you take to read my blog. There is an amazing blogging community out there.
A few honourable mentions from my recent A to Z Blogging April Challenge experience:
Bob’s Wife - creative glimpses into life in the Philipines
Tropical Territory – snapshots of life in the Northern Territory
Ellen M Gregg – Ellen describes herself as is a writer, Reiki master teacher and nutritional vegan. She has an amazing amount of energy and a wide variety of interests. Her blog is worth a visit.
Michael J Cahill who blogs at Nouveau Scarecrow – Michael signed up just before the Challenge started and came through with flying colours with some magic posts and beautiful writing.
Thank you for your work and your comments during the course of the Challenge. I hope life has returned to some semblance of blogging normal for you all.
Please feel free to pay these faward.
We have all heard of the angry middle aged men stereotype. Hollywood has even recognised the concept with a movie, which spawned a sequel.
To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to it up to this point. Sure, I have come across the odd old curmudgeon in the past, but that was usually in the professional space and usually they were really old, I mean, like seventy-five or something to my then twenty-five or thirty. I figured by that age you earned the right to be a little bit cranky having honed the ability to spot a fool and respond accordingly. I hadn’t thought until now what a younger version of an old curmudgeon might look like and how these curmudgeonly skills are actually acquired. Clearly, by the time you have earned the right to get away with being angry you have been through middle age anger training school and have obtained a Bachelor of Bullshit Spotting in the University of Life. And I’m OK with that.
Lately though, my life has been full of angry middle aged men, both on and off the professional field. Pure coincidence, some Godly test or this because of my own middle aged station in life?
Let me be clear about the type of anger I am talking about. It’s not an overt type of anger, there is no name calling, physical violence, smashing of china, just a seething resentment and mounting frustration. Guys, let me tell you it is apparent to most of the world. It’s in your tone, your general attitude and your demeanor no matter how well you think you have it hidden. And what’s more and this is the biggy, it is usually directed at those who have NOTHING to do with the source of your anger. Or maybe the connection is that these men are angry at the world and we fellow Homo sapiens, being part of the world, are entitled to see the consequences in all its glory.
Typically, men tend to think they can handle their mental and physical health issues on their own. And its great that you have the whole macho thing going on, but spare a thought for those of us who have to come within your orbit.
Which is why someone needs to invent an App for Angry Men, similar to the concept of Angry Birds. I am reliably informed by Geek In Training that Angry Birds is based on a bunch of birds going after the pigs that stole their eggs. Do these fine feathered creatures sit around seething in frustration and resentment, snapping at each other. No! They catapult themselves into the air and go after those piggy thieves, crash tackling their way through structures and generally dissipating a whole lot of negative energy, even if they don’t get their eggs back.
The App would feature an angry man character having lost his cheese. He would be catapulted into the air by a non-angry female to take the long journey to find his cheese, flying over a convertible, his grown children, younger men in their primes and a bevy of buxom beauties. When he finally finds his cheese, he will have to smash through a few structures to get to it, but the more arduous the journey, the healthier and riper his cheese will be.
In all seriousness, there is no shame in taking a little time out in middle age in working the issues through. It is a period where many men, and women for that matter, feel a loss of control. The fact is a lot of things at this stage of life, inevitably change and if you try and resist, then someone will definitely move your cheese whilst you are busy pouring all of your energy into that resistance. Rail against the world if you must, but channel that energy into something benign, like a punching bag. A true punching bag in no way resembles a human being. We are more curvy and generally more witty.
I hope all my friends in the blogosphere are doing well and enjoying the various seasons, summer for you Northerners and winter for us Southerners. I have been reading your posts and ruminating, but just had to get this one off my chest.
Angry men to the left of me, frustrated men to the right… stuck in the middle with you.
You know that feeling you get when your sweet cousin Myrtle, the one that talks all the time, finally departs your place? That feeling of immediate relief but with a sense that something is now missing?
Well, that’s exactly how I feel now that the Challenge is over. When I put the last full stop on my Z post, I felt nothing but relief. Now, a few days later I’m missing the structure and the creative impetus the Challenge provided. I have seen that some of my fellow participants have jumped right back in feet first to partake in a challenge involving a post a day in May. There is much to be admired about such blogging stamina. Good luck to all the intrepid bloggers who have decided to take that plunge.
Having participated in last year’s Challenge I knew what I had to do to maximise the time I had to visit other bloggers participating in the Challenge. Of course, I did none of them, not because I wasn’t prepared to, but in the end that experience felt too clinical. There’s a real buzz and energy that is generated from watching the posts of that day’s letter go up one by one. A veritable post string linked by the letter of the day, the desire to create and achieve punctuated only by differences in time zones. So to all my fellow WordPress uses who were involved in the Challenge thanks for the motivation and the inspiration.
I went through a few incantations of my Challenge theme before deciding on permissions and even explored some possibilities with my poor hapless family members. Needless to say, they would have liked to give me permission to stop turning every family gathering into a research focus group and just get dinner on the table. And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the letter Z. What started as 26 posts to fulfill a blogging challenge ended up as an online journal chronicling my own personal growth story over the last 18 months. This is the first time I have ever written any of this down and whatever else the posts might be or end up being, they have served as an affirmation of sorts.
During the course of the Challenge, I met many great bloggers from all over the sphere writing in various niches. Some were experienced bloggers partaking in their second or third Challenges, other were new to blogging. Some were not participating in the Challenge at all and still managed to stumble on my blog. All of them enriched my Challenge experience. Thank you to everyone who visited, commented, liked or read – permission granted to come by any time you like and continue to raise that curtain.
The Challenge also had another dimension this year and that was my role as Arlee Bird’s Challenge Ambassador. It is no hardship to spread Challenge goodwill as I have a strong belief in its premise and benefits. I did notice on my travels that a few bloggers threw in the Challenge towel after the first week or so, thinking that as they had missed one post there was no point in continuing. The Challenge is about creating and achieving and whilst there is a schedule it is not so inflexible that you can’t make up a post or two or three. It’s such a shame to drop out after only missing one or two posts. Please don’t be discouraged, just keep writing and posting, posting and writing.
Finally a big thank you to Arlee Bird, the other Challenge hosts and my fellow Challenge Ambassadors for imparting your knowledge and creating a sense of camaraderie around the event. It remains a terrific concept and vehicle and I’ll be back for another round.
Do you ever sit and watch young children who have just learned to toddle? They are a study in energy and zeal. Determined to exercise their new found freedom, they approach their mobility with gusto and wonder (or probably more appropriately wander if you have ever tried to keep a toddler under control whilst carrying a baby).
One of the merits of growing up is the loss of some of our naivety. However the loss tends to come at a price and that is a tempering of our enthusiasm. You’re probably thinking that this is because as adults the number of first times we experience drops dramatically and too often we travel down the “been there, done that” road. I don’t buy this. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so too is zeal in the eye of the enthusiast.
We humans can rationalise just about anything and any situation. Justification for just about any decision is usually only a stones throw away. If you really don’t want to go somewhere or do something it’s relatively easy to rationalize that decision – it’s too cold, too hot, to dry, too wet, too far, too noisy, too crowded, too fast, too slow, too long too short, too expensive, too difficult, too easy, too… We all have to do things we would rather not. But dragging our backsides and chins on the ground only adds undue weight and resistance to the exercise and is self-defeating. By doing so we are limitng our potential to be wowed and limiting the payback we can receive from the experience – whether that’s learning something new, meeting someone new or experiencing a new sensation.
Trying to teach this concept to a child is one of the hardest things to do. Teaching it to an adult is nigh impossible.
But the old adage of “you get out what you put in” is so true.
Life is like landing a plane. It’s all in the approach. Approach something with a sense of wonder, commitment and energy and chances are you will end up with something more than you started and not just a headache or a big bill. If something is worth my time, it’s worth my zeal.
I’m that adult toddler, approaching my new found freedom with wonder and gusto.
Thank you for sharing some or all of the journey by allowing me to chronicle it in my A to Z Challenge 2013 posts. For all of you who took the time to comment or like my posts, I truly appreciate your zeal. You have helped me reflect just how far I have come. And I needed to do that.
Today I give myself permission to be zealous and not blog tomorrow.
This is my penultimate post for the Challenge. And because it is the penultimate post I have decided to throw a permissions party and combine whimsy, weirdness, originality, curiosity and all the self-acceptance I can muster in this one post. Please note that normal introspective transmission will resume for tomorrow’s final Challenge post.
I, for one have never yodeled in Yiddish, but if I did, I know what I would call the musical, Leaderhozen On the Roof
Why yodeling? It is a much friendlier blog option than yelling or yelping and if I did either of those, I would be riddled with guilt. And we all know what mixing guilt and Yiddish can do. Just think George Costanza’s mother and Seinfeld.
Yiddish is a such a rich language and has brought us some extremely useful sounding words and expressions which have found their way into our daily vernacular. It also seems to me that Yiddish is such an economical language, designating one consonant rich word to a concept that would take a whole sentence to articulate in English. It’s one of those languages that you can throw your whole face into.
Here are some of my favorites including some words that I have always used and only just discovered originate from Yiddish:
- bupkes – said to be related to the Polish word for “beans” but it really means “goat droppings” or “horse droppings.” It is used to connote the concept of nothing, disappointment or a small amount. “There are some days when I spent a lot of time thinking of a blogging concept and came up with bubkes”
- chutzpah – courage, brazenness, nerve, courage or confidence. ”He who hath participated in the A to Z Challenge has Chutzpah”
- glitch – a minor problem or error. “Your modem crashing out during the A to Z Challenge is more than just a glitch”
- klutz – literally means “a block of wood,” so it’s often used for a dense, clumsy or awkward person. ”
- nosh – to nibble; a light snack. ”You will have more time for noshing once you have finished the A to Z Challenge”
- nu – a versatile word to get someone’s attention and can mean “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”. “Nu, dude”
- oy vey – exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. “There are 26 posts to write in the A to Z Challenge – oy vey!”
- shlep – to drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. ”In the lead up to the A to Z Challenge, I shleped around my notebook and pen in case a wild bout of inspiration hit me”
- shlemiel - clumsy, inept person. “Laverne and Shirley both used ”shlemiel” in the opening credits of their show”
- schlock – cheap. “I write schlocky poetry for fun but I restrained myself during the A to Z Challenge”
- shmaltzy – excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease. “Schmaltzy movies are best watched with close friends, so you can out-shcmaltz one another”
- shmooze – chat, make small talk, trying to impress.”The A to Z Challenge is a great vehicle for schmoozing with other bloggers”
- schmuck – often used as an insulting word for a self-made fool, but you shouldn’t use it in polite company at all, since it refers to male anatomy. Now there’s something I didn’t know. “I am sure I have made a schmuck of myself with this post”
- spiel - a set sales pitch. From the German word for play. “All of the A to Z Challenge convenors have a great spiel for why you should be involved in the Challenge”
- shtick – something you’re known for doing, an entertainer’s routine, an actor’s bit, stage business, routine. “My schtick for the A to Z Challenge was to give myself permission to be who I was meant to be”
“To have missed providing an example sentence for this word the first time around makes me a klutz or a schlemiel or both!”
Definitions prepared with assistance from dailwritingtips.com.
How many of these words do you use and never knew were Yiddish? Do you have any other Yiddish favourites? Have you worn leaderhozen before?
Today I give myself permission to yodel in Yiddish becuase I’ve never tried it before and it’s the second last day of the Challenge.
A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune of having lunch with a friend who also blogs. She has chosen the dark side for her blogging platform, but I won’t hold that against her. We got to talking about the Challenge and she threw it down, right there in the middle of the bistro where we had decided to dine. The gauntlet. She bet me that I couldn’t come up with a real X word to write about noting that words like eXcited or eXternal were ruled out. My friend blogs at Annals from a Citrus Grove In the Suburbs, and has chosen Australian icons for her Challenge theme. Today she blogged about XXXX Beer (pronounced fourex beer) and I can’t help thinking that the gauntlet has found its way to the right place. Anyway, I tend to have a thing for picking up gauntlets and I just couldn’t let this one go.
That’s the back story to why I’m being xenial today. Like all good hosts and in keeping with the theme for today’s post I wish to make you comfortable and to feel welcome. So here’s a cup of coffee for you to enjoy and an ottomon or three for you to put your feet up.
Let me show you the fun welcome mats I found during my research for this post.
My house is certainly ecstatic judging by these standards and isn’t it always nice to peg expectations up front?
I think my favorite though is knock, knock because it’s such a classic and classically simple and I’m totally bummed that I didn’t think of it first.
But getting back to being xenial, I have spent the weekend getting the spare room ready to host a friend from interstate next week for a couple of nights. We will be going to a much awaited concert on Friday night and shooting the breeze and just spending time together.
And as a final tidbit, I will leave you with this little gem that you always wanted to know, but just wasn’t aware of until now – the Hotel Xenial can be found in Biratnagar, Nepal and has been rated as the best choice in Biratnager by Tripadvisor. If you’re in the area, drop by, if only to take a photo of the name.
Time to go and fluff up the welcome mat.
Today I give myself permission to be Xenial.
What’s life without whimsy?
What indeed, Sheldon.
Those silly little things that make you chuckle, that lift your spirits, that you do for no reason other than to put a smile on your face, that’s whimsy.
Not so long ago a friend and I visited Wombeyan Caves. I blogged about it just before the Challenge started. After we came out of the caves, my friend spotted a slippery slide and went for it. Never mind that she was a middle-aged woman, the pure joy on her face as she went down was incredibly uplifting. That’s whimsy.
Walking through a pile of Autumn leaves, throwing them in the air, having a leaf fight. That’s whimsy.
Crawling into a bed of freshly laundered sheets. That’s whimsy.
Sitting in the garden with the warm sun on your back, reading. That’s whimsy.
Sneaking out of the office to briefly feel wind on your face. That’s whimsy.
Cracking up at silly jokes and sayings. That’s whimsy.
Listening to the whole top 100 countdown of karaoke songs. That’s whimsy.
Engaging in the following conversation with my teen son is whimsy
Me: the bed man is coming to deliver the mattress today. You’ll have to let him in and pay him the delivery fee
Me: It means you’ll need to hear the doorbell and open the door
Me: You will let him in won’t you and not miss it?
Him: Nerf (At last the sign of a neuron firing)
Me: Ok, I’ve spoken to the mattress man and he’s coming between 11.30am and 2.30pm. Please make sure you are in the room closest to the door from about 11am
Him: I get it, Mum
Text from him at midday: It’s arrived, it’s in, he’s paid, all good
Text from me: Thank you my child. I have taught you well. You can go back to your day now, normal transmission can resume.
Text from him (1): Mum, don’t be weird.
Text from him (2): That’s my job.
Which leads us to another great W permission, to be weird. I practice it daily. I’d worry greatly if my children didn’t think I was weird, it’s my job and frankly my privilege to be so. We laugh at all our
wierdness uniqueness. Every family has their own brand. Which leads us to the final W word of the day. Wonderful.
God said let there be whimsy and there was and it was wonderful.
Today I give myself permission to be whimsical and just a little weird.