Digital Life, Hot Topics, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Return To Work With Me!

Last week marked my return to my service provider but I call it work because most days, I am in fact, behind a computer working. Fancy that! I’ve done a bit of work at home and while I am not necessarily in full work mode, I’m constantly thinking about how my workflow can improve and how my social media accounts’ content can engage more customers.  

I have pretty much worked every day since I left school and I have only been off sick, hmmm, let’s see, I can count my sick days on both hands, and I’ve been working ten and a half years now. I also don’t go on holidays for more than a fortnight at a time, even though I had six weeks off to travel the world and three weeks in Tasmania. I have to thank my parents for instilling a good work ethic in me.  

As you can work out from what’s written above, if I am off for an extended period of time, I’m off exploring our wonderful world, probably skiing, watching a family member play hockey or fishing. So, the period of time the I had off was all new to me. I wasn’t away nor was I sick. I was off for two and a half months in total.  

I had talked to one of my medical professionals that I see regularly and they suggested that I make a “return to normality” plan. Then I thought. I came up with an idea of a “return to work” plan, showcasing two of my favourite journaling techniques and a brand I truly believe in. It was simple. I already had all the materials I needed, all I needed was the time to construct the systems of choice.   

Each system has, as with anything, has its pros and cons. One is more of a pretty, showcase one and the other is a functional, complete on-the- fly one. Different types of systems that do the exact same job.  

First, let’s look at the Jenny Gollan Designs DigiBujo system. I am using the app Noteshelf for this, the DigiBujo is a PDF file and you just have to have a PDF annotation app to use it. Jenny has a beautiful selection of fonts and stickers, so I have been able to use stickers from my ‘stash’ to set up the DigiBuJo. Some stickers were just right but needed alterations to make them work the way I want them to. The thing that I particularly like about this system is that it’s unique to your needs etc and is aesthetically pleasing to write and type in. 

How my schedule works in the DigiBuJo.

My other system is a OneNote notebook.  OneNote is a free app by  Microsoft and works on Apple devices as well. I used to OneNote a lot, but I saw this video by Mery from Mom Behind The Computer which showed how to make a planner in OneNote. At that time I was planning to save as much money as possible as I had planned a big (and possibly expensive!) year to make my 30th year Earthside memorable. I will be the first of many people to admit that I have a problem of spending money, especially on stuff I don’t need! I also suppose at that time in my life, this system worked for me and my lifestyle. It is important to remember this was when Coronavirus wasn’t a major issue.  

I also have been watching tutorials with Michele over at One Noteworthy Life to up my OneNote game, where she uses a system based on the original Bullet Journal system by Ryder Carroll.

My schedule in OneNote.

I tend to use my OneNote system a lot more because it’s quick but I wanted to see what would happen if I did it in a DigiBuJo, I had one lying around and so I experimented. I also wanted to show my readers two different methods and techniques. I tend to use the DigiBuJo system when I am not working as much and have the time to sit down and ‘make it pretty’. 

What works for me will not necessarily mean it will work for you and vice versa.   

Whatever system you prefer to use will work, it’s all down to what you find can be tailored best to suit you and your situation. There is no right or wrong, there’s only one thing that matters. YOU!   

Hot Topics, Life Stories, Life+Style, Uncategorized

CORONAVIRUS: NATURE’S WAY OF TELLING US TO SLOW DOWN?

When news of Coronavirus first broke, I was on summer holidays in Forster with my family and I thought nothing of it. I was then planning on making 2020 a memorable year as I turn thirty this spring and at that time, I was plotting ways to document my year. Coronavirus was in China, I was in Australia, so the chances of it happening here were slim.  

I have been learning many new skills during isolation.

February rolled around, at this time each year I assist in the marketing department of my local agricultural show. The first reports of a possible Coronavirus outbreak were just hitting our shores but I was knee-deep in my work, and was oblivious to the reports on the news. I just kept tabs on what was happening, world and to some extent, national news doesn’t interest me, unless it is rural or affecting small communities.  

March comes. The agricultural show goes on despite reports across the virus swirling and picking up pace. I was also planning my annual trip to the Easter Show, I had only paid my membership the week it was cancelled. I was pretty upset; I was in pain and I was mad. The next week, I was a bit more cautious about the virus, it suddenly became ‘real’ to me.I was helping to run the St Patrick’s Day celebration at my service provider, I don’t like crowded spaces at the best of times let alone at a time when a national emergency was unfolding before my eyes. St Patrick’s Day went on, but I went home early to avoid the crowd. On the Wednesday my friend and I went out looking for hand sanitiser and baby wipes because I figured that those items would be the first items to sell out, because they are such an accessible hygiene option. On the Thursday, we’d gone shopping at the local shops because my mother had said that I’d better go get my shopping fix while I could.  

It was a ghost town; it was bare and it was scary. I was so used to it being a bustling hive of activity. To see it like that, it will always stick with me.  

Saturday. The day that my world changed. My mother had a phone call from my service provider to say that they were shutting down until further notice. I thrive on routine, my routine was now in shreds and without warning, I was home all day, every day. Initially, I thought the closure would last 2 weeks, 3 weeks at the most so I didn’t start any home projects. The only things that was the same was my small business and I focused on that, I had time to build it up and improve the quality of content.    

Easter Time!

Easter came and went; I was still at home bored. My mental health was just intact, like scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl, getting out the last of the yummy cake mix, the novelty of staying home was wearing thin. I needed to get back to work or some type of work. I had helped my father outside in the garden when I was very young and loved every minute. I’m no stranger to gardening and shed work. I was getting into the slow life and the work I’m doing now is all about home-made stuff, stuff made with love. Every day I cook, do craft and help my father, all the things I did when I was at my happiest which was when I was younger.  

Now I am wondering whether this Coronavirus lockdown is nature’s way of saying “Hey, chill out!”. At the beginning of this pandemic I didn’t quite grasp the meaning, it was foreign to me and I just couldn’t understand. But as I stayed home for an extended period of time, I started to slow down as I realised that I will be in this position for the foreseeable future and I have to change into the slow life, and then appreciate the value of life in general.  

I watched the world shut down, London’s bustling Piccadilly Circus and Italy’s Venetian canals to Disneyland and the bright lights of New York’s Broadway. All shut down, all sleeping, and the benefits are out of this world. The air is clearer, streets are quieter and people have time to think about what really matters. This Coronavirus pandemic, although it’s very scary, it gives us humans time to slow down and think, what is this challenge teaching humans?  

I truly believe that we will come out of this as better human beings, each and every one of us.   

Hot Topics, Life Stories

A disability does not define a student

A school in Gary, Indiana has given out a Most Annoying Male award. It was awarded to a 11 year old boy on the Autism Spectrum. I find this very disturbing as I have a disability myself and I had trouble at school, as well as identifying another issue.

Where was the Most Annoying Female award? Was there one? Or  was the Most Annoying Male award completely made up, just because they needed to give every student an award  at the end-of-year presentation?

Regardless of the reason, it is very disappointing that the teachers couldn’t see any positives and had to resort to negativity. When I was at school, not everyone got an award and I was lucky to get 10 merit awards in the school year. On Presentation Day, I didn’t get many class awards but got awards for languages and academic achievement. I wasn’t an angel, I didn’t tow the line but I shone in my favourite subject, Languages Other Than English (LOTE) where I studied mainly Italian, but a bit of German and later Indonesian. Not bad for a girl with a speech impediment!

Why couldn’t the teachers at this school in Indiana see the positive things that this child does?  Aren’t we supposed to be teaching our children empathy, compassion and inclusion?  Teachers should be setting the ultimate example for the next generation not doing the complete opposite.   What did this ‘stunt’ teach the students present at the award  ceremony?  Nothing. Nothing except apathy, inconsiderateness and exclusion.  The three things that a child should never, ever learn.

Every child has a right to feel safe and respected at school, as well as the right to an education.  Learning is an essential part of life and you never stop learning.  A student’s disability does not deprive them of these things that non-disabled people can freely access. 

Hot Topics, Life+Style, Uncategorized

Start the New Year with me: Setting goals, simplifying life and enjoying the results!

Over the past few years, my life has been a pattern of setting a goal, working for it, achieving that goal and look towards the next goal.  Last year, all I did was live and breathe goals and didn’t really do anything else besides work to be my best.

“2019 will be different.  It’s time to simplify my life, identify what is weighing my soul down and look at life positively.” I thought because I want to improve my thinking.  I want to break free from the bad and focus on the good. 

Simplifying life just means going back to eating healthy, meditating, yoga and exercising.  It also means carving out time to do something that I’ve always wanted to do – keep a visual you could say yearbook full of photos, artwork, remnants and journaling. I want to document everything I not only achieve but things like events, photographs and items that I want to remember.

Basically, my aim for 2019 is to live life to the absolute full, whilst living simple.  It sounds like hard work, but I look at it this way, the less money I waste, the more money I can spend on stuff that I really want or if I go out, I can buy silly stuff like the traditional showbag at my local show.

In the next instalment of my New Year series, I will show you how I’m staying on top of everything using a journal! 

Hot Topics, Uncategorized

Public Broadcaster Must Stay In Public Hands

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At a recent Liberal meeting, a motion was passed to look into privatizing the national broadcaster, the ABC.  The ABC prides itself on providing a non-biased, independent opinion on news and current affairs and is the leading broadcaster of children’s programmes.

Here in Newcastle, we’ve already felt the brunt of ABC cuts to local programming back in 2014, including the much loved Afternoon programme hosted by Carol Duncan. It’s like “Here we go again” for us if there are more cuts coming, will we lose the remainder of our local programmes and lose the ability to do emergency broadcasting when we have a situation like a bushfire or a flood?

When we had the April 2015 storms, nearly every household radio was set to 1233 ABC Newcastle to find out the latest news on the unfolding situation.  Although we had Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the radio provided the older generation with the vital information plus a friendly voice to keep them company.

The television shows we see across the four ABC stations are quality and substantial, compared to what’s on the commercial television stations.  The thing I like most about the ABC television programming is the shows are majority Australian and focuses on delivering fact-based current affairs such as Four Corners and Australian Story. Play School is another quality show that has entertained children for over fifty years and is a staple of a toddler’s daily routine.

The question is if the government does privatize the ABC, will this change the quality of the programming that is delivered into Australian homes?  We don’t know what the pending privatization will mean but the ABC is Australia’s National Public Broadcaster, so it must remain in public hands!

Hot Topics

Gender Doesn’t Define

In the news this week, the Victorian state government announced a crack-down on “gender definition” in schools across the state.  This generally means any kids franchise such as Thomas The Tank Engine and Peppa Pig will be scrutinised under a new crack-down, something said characters wouldn’t understand.  Here’s my take on it.

As a kid growing up with a disability, I played with toys that I was able to play with unassisted (Except Barbie, Barbie needed to be dressed).  I wore blue and pink,  owned a big, yellow Tonka truck, watched Johnson and Friends and owned a Baby Born.  I loved getting down and dirty in the garden, that was after I came home from shopping!  I saw no difference between me and the other children, I was different because of my Cerebral palsy not because of what I did.  In my opinion, my lifestyle was a great balance of boy stuff and girl stuff, something I have continued into my adult life because I can.

When I heard the news about the Victorian government’s plan, I cringed, “Isn’t anything sacred anymore?” I thought with the biggest eye roll I could muster at 7:35 in the morning.  I believe in gender equality, but not going this far.  There wasn’t a law banning boys from the Barbie aisle at Kmart nor was there ever a public outcry over a little girl picking up a Bob The Builder plush toy.  Kids are their own personalities and we should be embracing that.  If I ask my nephew when he’s older “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and he replies “I want to be a Preschool teacher, Aunty Kait!”, I will just smile and give him a high five or a cuddle and say “That’s great to hear Oliver,  go chase your dreams buddy! “.

I will close this post with a quote from a song from Linkin Park, “In the end, it doesn’t even matter”