Thursday, February 28, 2008


I don't think I will ever underestimate the influence people have in your life. Sometimes it comes from expected places and sometimes it can really come out of the blue so much it leaves you speechless.

Today has been such an incredible day. It started with another morning of the Breakfast Show with Frank and despite being tired and both a little flat - a kind of easy comfortable feeling of 2 friends who just enjoy doing a "job" together. The whole going for coffee thing has become a ritual in the mornings that is different each and every day of the week despite the fact that we go to the same place every morning. McDonalds Colac and a chat with Maree who probably makes the best Coffee and Hot Chocolate in town. She's such a lovely lady, and always greets you with a smile and a personal chat. That's service.

I have also been attending the job network mornings which aside from being a pain in the ass time wise, has actually resulted in some new associations that have been pleasant and helpful and supportive as well. It even resulted in a new presenter for the Radio Station in Ray who not only turned out to be a pretty damn fine radio guy but also someone who makes me laugh as well.

And a routine job like collecting the mail today had me in tears when I received the most gorgeous card from Jewls as a part of Tammy's Cyber Crop Challenge at Scrap Pile. The card I had already admired in the gallery, but to open an envelope and find it sitting in my hands was something else. And then I opened it and read the sentiments inside. I am so touched by your compassion and your friendship. And I forgot to mention the absolutely beautiful handwriting! Your support and encouragement means so much, and the gift of your card has truly touched me a great deal. Thank you Jewls. I will never forget this and the card will remain a treasured gift.

Two things sealed this day as one to remember. One was a Reflexology session with Frank that has me frightened but inspired. I am sad to think the wall has been reinforced so much that it was impenetrable, and I felt the resistance of myself even as the process took place. As much as I tried to relax - there was the wall in all it's glory "protecting" me and I've never wished so much for a sledge hammer in all my life..... But I suppose I am inspired in a way that I know this has to be a turning point to acknowledge and actually do something about changing the cycle that continues in my life. The other thing was a phone call that was sad and heart wrenching. And as much as I feel the pain, I know there is nothing I can do to change a thing. I need to just "Be" and allow the future to unfold without trying to take control of the steering wheel. It's funny, but I think I am grateful to let it go......

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another challenge

I managed to put the final touches on another Scrap Pile Cyber Crop Challenge tonight. Leah's challenge was to be inspired by an advertisement. So here is the advertisement...

and here is my layout.....

How Proud????

It's not that I am biased. Truly it's not. But how lucky am I to have this beautiful child as mine? I can hardly believe she is in year 12 this year. I am so proud of the involvement she has had over the past couple of years with the local FreeZa group. And now this year to be selected as a member of the local Youth Council plus Year Level Captain at her school. I believe so much in community involvement and putting something back into the Community and what better way at this age to be involved in something so worthwhile as the Youth Council.

Today was the induction of the new members and so of course, camera in hand, I was there to cheer her on and watch her take yet another step in life. And you asked me if I was proud of you? Are you kidding me? You fill me up with pride girl. Every single day, you fill me up with pride.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Scrapbooking & motivation

There hasn't been much of either of these lately. Although I see some possibilities opening up now to get me in both of those spaces. I think depending on the events of this week, there could be some major changes to my daily routines that will see me take a little more time for me. That can't be a bad thing. With any luck if I'm in a better place for me, I might even be in a better place for everyone around me as well.

This week I have had the opportunity to look closely at some of the things I do when I am under pressure. I've known that I do them for a very long time, but I've never looked at them in a way that would allow me to actually do anything about it before. I hate that when I get stressed I shut down. In an emergency (or a disaster) you can always rely on me to act first and then stress later. I mean I've always been a fix it now and stand there complain about it later kind of person. I think it comes from years of trying to not be like my mother who does the opposite. Stands there and complains about the situation for an hour and at the end of it all you still have to fix the problem. I just figure you might as well forget the bitching and get the job done. But when it comes to situations where my own personal life is in crisis, I just shut down, which is pretty stupid since the usual outcome is that I'm lying awake at night stressing about the things I haven't done instead of actually taking some action to do something about them. And I just don't get why I take so many steps to look after everyone else (often at expense to me in some way - and I don't just mean monitary) and then don't look after myself as well as I do others. To a relatively intelligent individual like myself - it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense and yet I do it over and over.

I know it's a pretty common thing, especially with women - well no make that mothers even more specifically - where we put ourselves last on the list of things to take care of. I know that over the past almost 17 years, despite the fact that I have had 3 live in partners, I've essentially been a single mother and that in itself makes it difficult to put yourself first. But that doesn't or shouldn't make it an impossible task to look after yourself. And I can't help but think that in another couple of years it's pretty likely that I will ONLY have myself to worry about. So you would think it makes some sense to get your head around looking after yourself BEFORE that time.

Anyway enough of the critique of the mirror for now.... Scrap Pile had a Cyber Crop on Friday night and my challenge was to scrap a layout of something you love or loved, preferrably a hobby, collection or interest you had or have - banned subjects were Scrapbooking and Family.... just to make it difficult for all the scrapbookers. Yeah I know, I can be mean like that sometimes. So of course my example had to be about dog showing... I mean apart from Lakeisha, what the hell have I done with the past 30 years of my life except that????? I suppose the one thing I can be grateful for is that if I do NOTHING else with my life except those two things - I can at least die happy knowing I did both EXCEPTIONALLY well...... Here is the layout entitled "Winners Are Grinners".

And I also managed to complete a card for Tammy's challenge. The challenge was to create a card using Black, White and one other colour. We then have to send the card to someone on the Scrap Pile site by Friday. Well the hard part is done and the recipient is selected.

This was my last CC as a part of the Design Team there. My stint ends at the end of this month. I think I've been a part of that team for so long I was starting to feel a bit like part of the furniture, but I think it's a great thing to change once in a while, get new blood, new ideas and a fresh approach. I have been so grateful to both Mel and Justine for the fantastic support they have given me not just through Scrap Pile but also the friendship and encouragement personally. And creatively I think this past 9 months has been invaluable. Some of my most favourite layouts have come from the Design Team kits sent out each month. Some of them have been challenging but the fact that I was able to create something that I was really happy with in the end only gave me more confidence to keep on creating. Not to mention that the site itself is just the most wonderful community of ladies you could find anywhere on the internet and I hope that it always stays that way. Although it's a bit sad in some ways not to be on the Design Team - at least now I get to compete for some of the great prizes! LOL

Hopefully there is another layout or so itching to be created today. I could use some creative therapy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Saying Goodbye

As I recall, some time ago I wrote about sometimes viewing my life as though it were an outer body experience. Today was one of those days. It was like being a passive observer of someone else going through the motions.

Right now as I sit here at the computer with music blaring so loud in my ears I can't hear another thing above it.... it's like today is some surreal movie that plays in my mind. I can't bring myself to think about it in real life terms because the tears start again and I am not sure I have any more to cry.

Today was Shanes last day working in Colac. We caught up and talked, mostly we talked as we have always talked - about what was happening at the radio station, what my plans were, how to deal with problems etc etc. All of a sudden it hit me that this was likely the last time ever I was going to have him there as my sounding board and the realism was just too much. As much as I've prepared for this day - no amount of preparation can make you ready for reality. In the past 2 weeks it has hit home so much just to what extent having his support and advice has really meant to me. Knowing that someone was there to listen and actually give a rats ass about the concerns I had has just been so important. And while I have NEVER taken that for granted for a second, and always acknowledged, how important it was, I don't think even I realised until today just HOW important that has been and how much I have come to rely on him being there. You've been my rock for over a year. Just what the hell I'm going to do without you, right now is one of life's mysteries. I have valued your opinions and your advice and your support. Right now I feel so completely hollow.

How the hell do you say goodbye..... Well I don't know. But for the record - you are incredible. And in spite of everything that has happened, all I can do is pray that you follow your heart and be happy. Wherever that may take you - I just hope that you pursue your dreams.

And if the day wasn't bad enough - I'm just feeling so low about the whole radio station deal. After working my ass off for the past year, today I felt as though almost everything I had done had been so undermined that I would gladly walk away tomorrow. No matter what happens from here, I am proud of the incredible things we have achieved in the past year. It all comes back to that "we are all different" thing. I am the last person to say anyone else is wrong. We all have different opinions. I have no regrets about the decisions I've made and the progress that has been recorded. We have a marketable product that is actually picking up new sponsors and radio presenters - for the very FIRST time today, a potential advertiser PHONED ME to ask about advertising..... they are coming to us rather than us asking them....... that in itself is an achievement. So to have my efforts undermined by others today was a bit of a slap in the face. Frankly I think the runs are on the board so to speak. But hey - what the hell would I know about radio??????????

I hope the neighbours weren't planning on an early night.... I feel like a long night of very loud music is on the cards.....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Facts Of Life

I've long been aware that people can be difficult to comprehend sometimes. I guess I feel like I've just had more than my fair share of difficult in the past couple of weeks. I've run the gauntlet of advice right down to people telling me how I should behave, when I should be "over it", and even defining the whole relationship for me. And as much as I understand that some of the advice was coming from well meaning people who could only see the devastated side of me, no-one but he and I really know exactly all the details involved and so some of the judgement and criticism that was dealt out ended up being very painful instead of healing.

That said, I don't understand how someone can be truly commited to making their marriage work when they continue to fall into the arms of another after the decision has been made. It was almost as painful listening to the comments such as "I know I'm probably doing the wrong thing but...." - "I know I'm an idiot.... but" and as much as I would have liked to spend his last couple of weeks in town as his friend, it seems the line in the sand was a little blurry and to save my own sanity I had to call a halt.

Picture if you will, 17 year old "boy" meets 27 year old woman (already been married, had a child - not to the husband but to one of the other 40 men she had slept with) they get married - boys parents refuse to go to wedding. Boy is a father at 19. Ongoing joke through 30 years of marriage is get them young and train them the way you want them. Woman trains boy very well. Woman is now 60, grossly overweight, no front teeth, diabetic, dyslexic, doesn't drive, often doesn't shower for days, hasn't worked in years, despite being at home ALL day keeps house like a pigsty (and I don't mean just untidy - I mean floor looks like it hasn't been swept in a year, cutlery/empty drink bottles/paper/clothing/dirt/ all just covering the floor, you have to wash a cup to offer someone a coffee, filthy benches, crap everywhere, not a chair to sit on without having to move a whole pile of stuff first). Woman has an affair 10 years ago with husband's best friend.... Husband comes home from work and often has to cook dinner finding her still in bed where he left her that morning. Husband almost dies in a car accident and greeting after not knowing for 4 hours what the outcome was is "You must have been speeding..." There's no hug, there's no "Are You OK" - there's just blame. There is no effort to encourage the things in which his passion lies or to fulfill his needs. There is only selfishness for herself and what affects her. Despite all this he chooses to stay because he says he realises, after 4 hour talk and admitting to affair with me, that he loves her, to which I say is his loss but in fairness I did in the end force him to make a decision he wasn't ready to make because I pulled the pin and said I wasn't waiting any more. He says there have only been 2 women he's ever had relationships with in his lifetime, she and I, and also says at one point that he's not even sure what love is. I can imagine - life without perspective must leave you with a very biased opinion on just about everything. Here is the best bit from "my" perspective. She says to me "Give it up Maree. It's never going to happen between you and he. I've invested 33 years in this man and he's not leaving. I need him here. I have the measure of the man, I know what makes him tick, I have him right where I want him, and he's not going anywhere". Ummmm is this a husband/partner we are talking about or a superannuation policy????? And the most amusing comment that was relayed to me from him later was that she had said she was actually astounded he had thought seriously about leaving her, No One had ever left her before, she had always been the one who left them...... Well how inconsiderate of him..... good grief!

A jolt is only going to change things for a matter of months or weeks, and the fact that he can't stay away from me is going to prove interesting when he's living in another city and has no choice. Whatever the outcome for him, I need to move on to other priorities in my life that have surfaced and as much as it is a time when I know I'm going to need support, I don't need it from him if it's going to be interlaced with confusion and a very unhealthy relationship (his - not mine). And the more I think about how a year down the track he's going to be exactly where he was when I first met him, the more it makes me angry and disappointed all at once that some people just don't see the forest for the trees.

Do I regret the past year? Not for a second. This relationship has raised the bar in terms of my expectations. I don't want to settle for the sort of crap I've put up with in past relationships. I see how wonderful it is to have someone who makes you feel confident and special about yourself, who encourages your hobbies and interests instead of making you feel like they are a waste of time, who is articulate and interesting, who makes you laugh and makes you feel like you are loved and desired, and above all who treats you like you are the most special person on the face of the planet. And damn it - the sex was sensational as well.... Regret it no, miss it - like all hell, but absolutely no regrets at all.

If there were to be any regrets, it's that along the path of this journey I have seen a rotation of friends. While I appear to have lost one or two, I have also gained others. I guess it's true what they say - friends do come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. True friendship is such a special thing to be cherished. True friendship comes without judgement or criticism. True friendship offers support but doesn't necessarily have to offer solutions. And nothing comes between true friends. The one particularly eye opening event probably only confirmed what I had been feeling for a very long time anyway. When someone you consider is your friend, and for whom you have done a great deal, starts to go out of their way to be more concerned for everyone but you and can't be happy for your success at anything without trying to tarnish it, then it's probably not such a bad thing to let them go. Likewise the friend for whom you have been there through troubled times who chooses to dump on you because suddenly you are happy and they are not..... I'm so over being the dumping ground. I can't be anything but the person I am. If you don't like it then just don't associate with me - don't stick around and expect me to conform to who YOU think I should be. It's that simple.

Every one of us changes throughout our lifetime, we evolve as our lives evolve. And it's ever more clear to me how important it is to understand that everyone has such different perspective on just about every aspect of life. We all have a right to believe what in we have come to know about life, but we should never expect that everyone else will see it exactly in the way we do. It doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it different. And if nothing else - we are all very different.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Life Goes On.....

I've been trying to make some changes to this blog half the day but it seems blogger is being just a tad pesky and unco-operative.

The week has been an interesting one. I think quote of the week should be awarded to "None are so blind as those who will not see". But then I guess there have been times when despite the fact that the blatently obvious has been sitting in front of my nose, I've stood on tippee toes to peek over the top of it as well. So one can hardly criticise others for doing the same now, can one? So the sayings go - time does 2 things.... it heals and it reveals. I place my faith heavily in fate. Things always seem to work out for the best in the end. One way or the other.

Last night I had a great night out with a girlfriend, dinner, a few drinks, a few laughs, a few shared experiences, and a conclusion that unless we were in the market for toy boys for both of us, we were probably wasting our time. LOL It was nice to get out of the house and actually have some company though. I think we may have to do it a bit more often in the coming weeks. Frankly we could both use it.

Here and there I did manage to get some scrapbooking done this week for my Design Team committments at Scrap Pile..

The first one entitled "A Dog and His Girl". Picture of Bundy and Lakeisha taken at our last dog show in May 2007, the grand day Hogan took out Best in Show.

The second one is entitled "Friends Don't". The background paper is a black & white "paintable" and although I don't mind the way it came up - I can't see me getting hooked on them. I think I know why I failed finger painting at Kinder.....

And finally one last one from this morning.... "2 Things", and a photo I took yesterday.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Food for thought.

One of the threads on our little Scrapping Village - Scrap Pile - is Word for the Year. Tammy asked us to pick a word that would inspire us through 2008. Initially I did ask for the whole dictionary. I mean if 2008 starts out like this what hope is there.... But then I am reminded by a very dear friend that it should be all downhill from here.... Yeah well that's what someone told me LAST January as well... You never know I guess. Surely at SOME point SOMETHING good has to happen???? Maybe??????

Anyway after a bit of thought on how I have been especially over the past couple of months, I started thinking about what I didn't like about how I have been and I would have to say that mostly it's been my lack of focus that has frustrated me. Usually I can focus on things and follow through until I've finished the task, but for the past few months in particular I have been feeling as though I just never seem to get anything done but always seem to be running around in some way or other. So Focus has become the word to focus on.... Plus we had to add a quotation to our signature using the word and I thought under the circumstances this was pretty appropriate : "Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear".

I did get a few things done today, not the least of which was fix up these stupid images that keep disappearing on me. I also added my latest LO's and even cleaned up a bit of my desk. Oh and housework... lets not forget the housework......

Saturday, February 02, 2008

New Cereal Offenders Promo

Oh sometimes I just LOVE working in radio so much..... And it's when moments like this come together that make it rewarding. I created this promo from Friday morning's program. I am still laughing over it and I just love it......

Cereal Offenders Promo

Hope you get a laugh out of it. I went into work and put it together this afternoon. Thanks of course go to Mike for helping me with the fine tuning of the program to rid the actual "on air" part of the noise that was recorded across it.

Oh god I hope I never have to leave this job!

200 Posts Old

Is that Blogger for old age????... LOL. Yes folks this is grand post number 200. And I'm sitting here feeling just a little let down that I don't have any profound news to post....

I've had the strangest week this week. As much as I've felt the hurt, I've also felt at times a whole bunch better than I anticipated I would. I'm not sure what it is even though - as I do - I've tried to analyse it. At times I think I am a little clearer on some things and then other times I feel more confused than ever. I had lunch with Shane on Thursday. I'm not sure what he felt he needed to tell me, but it was fascinating conversation. Including how ashamed he was of how it all had ended etc etc etc. But then some things just didn't make a whole bunch of sense and ended up sounding more like what he thought I would want to hear rather than the reality of where we were at. But the one thing that did amuse me was that he actually laughed at things I had to say (that I should add were intended to be laughed at!) four times in the last 20 minutes. And on that fourth occasion I turned to him and asked how many times he had laughed in the past week - and the response was - "4 times and all in the past half an hour......" Yeah... well.

As much as it was difficult I did force myself back into the radio station this week. There were some very painful moments there I can tell you. Too many memories. Too many reminders. But thankfully there were also a whole bunch of loving people who's continuous (and very bloody obvious) impromptu visits left me not only with a smile on my face, but also a tear in my eye, not for what I've lost, but for the knowledge that I am loved in so many ways by so many people. Reminded of your worth to the people in your everyday life, you just can't help but respond in a positive way, and I don't know honestly where I would be without their love and their support. And with the new interest in the radio station over recent weeks, new additions such as Mike who has walked through the door (with all his computer knowledge and sense of humour) no doubt with a firm push from fate.... and the chance of at least 2 new presenters who may come bearing large gifts of music files.... Things actually look promising again.

I did the Breakfast show with Julie & Frank for Thursday and Friday mornings. Jules is such a treasure with a big big heart, and Frank is just the greatest guy who inspires me and makes me think about life and myself with very open and honest eyes. I am so grateful to have these two in my life, especially at the moment. But then isn't that when friendship is really put to the test - when you need it.

An incident in the wee hours of Friday morning after not being able to sleep and going downstairs to make a cup of tea and coming back up to the computer resulted in possibly the best Promo for the Breakfast Show that we've come up with so far since it's inception. As I sat in the darkness pre 4:00 a.m. and scrolled through messages - out of the corner of my eye I caught movement and low and behold there was a HUGE huntsman spider which had crawled out from under the keyboard to rest there not more than 2cm from my right hand.... As you may be aware from reading this blog - I am arachnaphobic..... so the events that followed I am sure will be fairly easy to figure out. But as I relayed the story to Frank later that morning on the show - his response was "He was probably trying to check his WEB mail"..... I haven't laughed so much in a very long while. Mike and I played around a bit with the segment, I've added a woman's scream sound effect and a bit of Skyhooks "Horror Movie". I just need to add some voiceover and it will be done. I'll upload it and place a link here next week so you can hear it. I'm loving it! Actually it's inspired me to go back through some of the programs and see if I can't do the same with some other "memorable moments".

The only other excitement in my life is the knowledge that I now have a rather large snake residing beneath my house. I know I'm craving some new experiences in my life right at the moment, but that really wasn't quite what I had in mind. Mum and I cleaned up the back verandah, moving everything away from the house for a clear view of what is out there, but the confrontation isn't something I'm particularly looking forward to and of course it's a particular worry in regard to the dogs.

So anyway there I am Blogger Age 200. And just to prove that some things never change - my philosophy is still the same. In the very first blog I wrote : "God knows if anyone out there will actually read this. But if you are, and I make you feel even remotely human for a moment.... then this can't be a bad thing............ can it?????????????"

Well all I can say is if you aren't feeling normal by now - I want to know YOUR story, it must be bad!