Moments of time

My new job has meant that I have more time for my gorgeous Mr and little BGs. I can spend time with them in the morning, rather than skulking at the back of the house to get ready for work, drop the kids off to school and pick them up after work. I am home at a more reasonable hour and rather than do a mad rush in helping Mr BG get dinner ready, I can linger for a moment, and have a conversation about serious things like what’s happening on Doctor Who before doing a mad rush in getting dinner ready.

What has happened is that there is less time for this blog. My thinking time on the train has dried up, and when I am at home I am occupied with the usual things like getting tea on the table, listening to reading, trying to keep on top of the washing, and maintaining a modicum of hygiene in the kitchen and bathroom.

I have also found that working full-time in a new job that is challenging and different (after being in the same place of work for the past 10) takes a lot out of me. I find waking up in the middle of the night, pondering over things I need to do and ought to have done, mulling over lists of tasks to do and generally worrying. My headspace is full enough without my blog, and all the energy I would have expended on writing is channeled into emails, phone calls and attending meetings.

Hence my lack of blogging. The only reason why I am able to write this is it’s Sunday afternoon, the washing machine is chugging away through the first of many loads of washing and everyone else is watching TV. It’s a brief moment of time for myself where I can sip a cup of tea and bash away at the keyboard.

I am hoping for more moments of time, to finish draft posts  and to keep on finding things to say!

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Step by Step

It’s been a while since I’ve written, which is not the same as posting, as a few of my recent posts have been drafts that have been given a bit of a spit and polish.

It’s not because I’ve run out of things to say, but because I am finding it hard to find the time to put my thoughts into words. Part of this post was written at a local indoor play centre while the kids ran amok. It’s not the most inspiring of places, but it was better than trying to sit down at the PC and try to write with two children going stir crazy at home. And when I am at home, there are people competing for PC time and time with mum, and the usual domestic stuff that happens over the weekend.

I guess this is what happens when you get a new job and have to discover a new routine!

I now have a full-time job, based in Ballarat, and it’s close enough to home that I can walk. My commute of over 90 minutes involving car, and two train trips each way has been reduced to a 7 Minute walk, 5 if I really hurry. I can even go home at lunchtime!

My evenings are now spent helping Mr BG with dinner, listening to Miss BG read- pretty much the same as before, but it’s a lot more leisurely, everyone is less tired and generally happier. I have lost my plotting/reading/dreaming time, but I have gained more time with my family and that is good.

It has been scary starting a new job after 10 years and I will admit it has not been easy. It’s a job that entails more technical aspects than what I am used to, it’s in a sector in which I have never worked and the organisation is spread across 6 sites and three states. I am WAY out of my comfort zone, and there has been many a night over the last couple of weeks that I have woken up, my mind reeling with stuff.

I am also terrified of stuffing up and failing, and sometimes this fear can be quite paralyzing. I just have to remember

  • they employed me, so they clearly saw something
  • I just have to take a step and then another step and then another…
  • I have some great work colleagues that I can call if I need to

Some of the successes/highlights over the last 4 weeks

  • I faced a fear of stuffing up an update to an application
  • I went up to Sydney to meet my boss and my staff member
  • I have an office with a view and I have my name on the door!

 

Dizzy

Dizzy, I’m so dizzy my head is spinning
Like a whirlpool it never ends

My break from stuff online was brief but productive. I read a couple of books, hung out with the kids and was there for  Mr BG and and my sisters in law after Max passed away. It was hard to stay away from online land and while I wish it had been longer, there is a great deal of my life and connections with people that occur online.

There was a weekend trip to Melbourne which included a visit to the Melbourne Museum to look at some dinosaurs,

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Dinosaurs! #melbourne #museum

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ride the roller coaster at Luna Park and see a dead horse,

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Trip to Melbourne #melbourne #museum #pharlap

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and the Vic Market to look at the longest queue for… donuts.

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Queue for donuts at Victoria Market #melbourne

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Max’s wake was also attended in Melbourne, which was a fitting way for people who knew him well from work and his life to get together, charge their glasses and toast his life.

Even after a week’s leave from work, I don’t feel particularly rested, in fact at times it felt my head was still spinning when I hit the pillow at the end of the day. And with it being Dry July, it was not alcohol-induced :(. It was just the whirlwind of life and trying to cope with things.

Kate mentioned in her recent post about her sabbatical in which to write her thesis that while you can take a sabbatical from work you can’t take a sabbatical from your life. Yep, life goes on, despite all the slings and arrows which are fired at you. People have to be fed, clothes washed, appointments made and attended, and hot water systems have to be repaired (the timing of no hot water coincided with the morning temperature of -4.3 degrees). Yes, there were days when all I wanted to do was curl up into a little ball under the covers and stay in bed. However I came across this mantra on another blog which has kept me going…

And that is what I will continue to do with this blog, keep on going and not giving up.

xo

#Blogjune 2013- unplugged, embedded, and over!

Blogjune is a challenge in the truest sense, and there is always a sense of relief when it ends. At the end though, I am always grateful as my RSS feed (thank you Feedly) expands with new blogs to read!

As a librarian who blogs, I don’t always blog about libraries, and I am always amazed at how people will maintain the momentum of publishing  great posts related to libraries.  Hoi’s library quiz, asking questions about librarianship was a great example, as was Peta’s A-Z of library terminology. Michelle’s Connecting Librarian’s reflective posts are always an inspiration. The concept of the embedded librarian was discussed with applications in information literacy provoked a great deal of interest.

Looking at the real world and discussing its applications to libraries is always inspiring. Ellen’s series on signage and its library applications and Janice’s posts on GovHack certainly made me reflect about the need to seek ideas from outside the library sphere.

People’s experience with MOOCs and online learning and the ANZm23things posts prove that we are still passionate about extending ourselves and enhancing our professional and geek skills.

While this is a challenge which is librarian driven, I really love the personal posts about people’s interests and their families. Seeing people’s families and pets (cue the emergency pet blog post), Tony and Penny’s learning to crochet, and people’s travel and shopping experiences are great to read. Fiona’s musical challenge is always a highlight of blogjune for me, and seeing and hearing about where people live is always a pleasure.

The inevitable book collection posts saw people show off their cookbook collections and show off their book collection, one book at a time :).

There were lots of posts on the craft of writing and wondering about what to write when your ideas dry up. The solution to keep on writing regardless and you will not only write your way out of a slump, but generate a blog post was done with gusto :).

One post which struck a chord with me was Con’s first post on being unplugged. It’s definitely something I have to do more often, if only for my eyes which get a wee bit strained looking at a screen. I feel significantly calmer if I haven’t been in front of a screen all day as well.

I loved reading everyone’s posts and looking at people’s image posts on Tumblr. I did find it tricky to comment sometimes (grrr with captcha and other blogger hoops), but I find the interaction of commenting fosters collegiality. I thank everyone that took the time to leave comments on my posts :).

I was thankful for other people’s post to inspire me and memes certainly helped. I was also able to finish off several drafts in my folder- most of the book reviews were for #AWW2013, so my posts had a double purpose for being published.

The last week was hard for a myriad of reasons. I wasn’t so much losing my desire, but I was operating out of my comfort zone. I was staying at my parents and blogging from my tablet or my phone. A close family member also passed away and much of the blogging energy was diverted.

The strange thing was, blogging had become a habit and and I needed it. It helped me escape from the week that was quite tumultuous. I have always found reading to be a refuge and reading people’s posts was a part of that refuge.

So thank you for reading, and thank you for blogjune.

Clockwork

There are times when life goes smoothly and like clockwork. Just like a clock, there are cogs and springs, all of which should work in tandem.  A lot of time and organisation goes into a clockwork life- lunches and school clothes are done the night before, work clothes are left in the bathroom, all school notes are signed and packed. Food is left in the fridge for dinner, and after dinner, dishes are done, and the kitchen is left ready for the next day. Children are constantly reminded to keep their rooms tidy and to pick up after themselves, and I am reminded by Mr BG to do the same :).

There are times though when the clock loses a spring or life simply throws you a spanner. In order to keep life ticking on you have to make a few adjustments.

An illness of a close family member has meant Mr BG has had to leave for Melbourne for a couple of days. That means priorities are shuffled around, lists are made of things to do and people to contact, and arrangements are made to look after little BGs and the cat.

It’s at times such as this that you realise that much of that intricate machinery that is your life is meaningless if you don’t have the big things that matter- family, health and love.

Freezing with a chance of sun

Yesterday Con shared via Twitter a post on 5 Ways you can be happy now without changing a thing

A lot of it was simple advice, letting go of past grievances, and being grateful for what you have in your life.

Kalgrl  shared her  reasons why she was grateful yesterday

Today I am grateful for

  • two children who delight in a frosty morning and turn a walk to school into a journey of discovery

frosty kids

  • the bright sunshine in which to walk back home

welcome home

  • a friendly conversation with the butcher
  • a good relationship with my dentist who can fit me in on Monday for a tooth to be capped.
  • Mr BG who always provides honest advice.

The suggestion which really struck home was choose to be exactly who you are and where you are at this very moment. The moment I read it, I felt my mindset shift. I felt by accepting what I have, I could change anything. It was a good moment to have 🙂

What’s in my name

Fiona and Tony have both discussed their names- and I had an interesting time contemplating my name and its variations over the years.

My first name comes from my mother’s youngest sister. There is a 13 year age gap between the two sisters and they are quite close, as my grandmother was quite unwell after giving birth (it was baby no 6 and there was another one after my aunt) and my mum looked after her baby sister. Mum had always said she would call me Stephanie. As it happens, I get along famously with my auntie Stephanie, who lives in Enniskillen with her husband Gerald and nearby to my granny Kitty.

I get Steph a lot from my friends and my work colleagues. I do prefer to be on a Stephanie basis with my dentist and my doctor though, both of whom are incredibly nice. It was a real shock when the first doctor I saw in Ballarat called me Steph- it was a sense of familiarity which was a bit disconcerting. I did forgive him somewhat as he confirmed in the same breath that I was pregnant :).

My middle name is Moya after my dad’s youngest sister- it’s a variation on the Irish name for Mary. When I hear my name in full from my parents I just know I’m in trouble, even at the age of 42. Having names from both sides of the family has been good, but I chose first names for the children which were their own rather than being named after a relative.

My maiden surname, McGlinchey is a mouthful, and for many it’s a hard one to say, and for nearly everyone, it’s impossible to spell. The only place where I haven’t had to spell it out is in Ireland :). The name is Irish, even with the Mc, with its origins from Donegal. It’s the name I use in online interactions and at work, as all my qualifications were earned in that name, and it is one I regard as my professional name. It is a pain to spell, but it’s distinctive and it’s a part of me I am reluctant to relinquish.

However, when Miss BG was born in 2007, in a fit of hormones I decided to change my name to my married name. So on my bills, on my drivers licence, and at the kid’s school I am Stephanie Cummings. No one calls me Mrs Cummings though- I am strictly first name terms  with all and sundry!

I’m also known as Mr BG’s wife, and Master BG and Miss BG’s mum. And I’m sure the cat knows me as the ‘big human who gets up early to let me out and feeds me breakfast’.

I have lots of names, but they’re all a part of me.