Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Am currently in hard slog mode. Hence the dearth of posts here for the past week or so.

Global financial woes aside, my own financial situation has been nothing short of a revelation in terms of how well one can get by on almost "nothing" really! I bought the first groceries in almost two weeks today and we were down to an empty fridge pretty much, so was more or less forced to by very hungry teenagers.

Me? I could live on damper (an old fashioned type of bread made of flour, salt and water or milk and baked under hot coals on an open fire), til the cows come home if I have too - well, sans the charcoal anyway!

I found some work as a cleaner in a motel this week. It's a start. It is hard, hot, thirsty and very physical heavy labour. The rest of the girls in the team all seem to do the job reasonably cheerfully and efficiently. Some have been at it for over 20 years! Which I find simply extraordinary. It's routine work and rhythmic but the standard is way beyond average in this particular motel I have to say. This place is CLEAN and how? I am pretty impressed really as I've stayed in a goodly share of motels and hotels over the course of my life and some have been less than enthusiastic in keeping them the way I'd prefer. This one is a real gem among the rocks.

This morning, I had to get down on my hands and knees in the bathrooms and literally scrub the tiled floors with a scrubbing brush and heavy duty disinfectant. The level of cleanliness detail in this motel is second to none and I'm actually quite pleased to be working in a place that has so much pride and puts so much determination to be "The Best" into their work.

Whilst the job isn't going to help my financial situation in a big way in the foreseeable future, if the other irons I have in other various fires don't brand, then I guess I will have to be a motel cleaner for as long as it takes until I find the work I am MEANT to do. My knees may object to that statement in time, but they'll just have to put up and shut up until something "nice-to-knees" comes along.

Hard work doesn't necessarily phase me, I can work hard; what does phase me is paying bills and right now, any pay is good pay if it keeps us sheltered and fed.

Life is tougher for others right now and I'm doing okay. The trick to any time in life when the slog seems to be just all uphill is to turn around and enjoy the view. We can concentrate on the hard yakka, one grunting step up the mountain at a time, or we can stop, turn, savour the sunset on a spreading vista and smile knowing that the journey is going to be totally worth it in the end.

Cleaning motels is not my final occupation. Where cleaning motels leads me may yet be my final occupation... or not! It all depends on the turn of the wheel: the turn on the head of a pin.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A quiver full of words looking for a bow.

It's down to the wire financially here. But it's okay *she mutters gritting her teeth and smiling*.

Work and the art of finding it is proving to be The Challenge of 2008! I want to work, I aspire to work. I can work really, really hard when necessary. I don't mind being busy at all, in fact, I'm better organised and efficient if I'm busy.

I finally know what my inner bean WANTS to do and I'm determined to try and satisfy her wishes. She wants to write! I don't mean big long novels or books. She wants to write articles about stuff, about ideas and what she's learned along life's meandering school corridors. Michelle's inner bean knows instinctively and emphatically that she wants to write existential, informative and thought-provoking articles such as the ones you read on the last page of magazines and in the opinion columns of tabloid newspapers.

Paying the bills on a dream though is less than practical. In my case, it's currently extremely impractical, what with my 16 year old daughters Presentation Ball within the fortnight and various bills screaming for my fiscal attention.

It's at times like these the twin prongs of Faith and Purpose have to merge into coherent Action. I'm printing off resumes left, right and centre and dropping in on businesses with envelopes stuffed with Letters of Introduction and a plea for work of any description. I'm even offering to volunteer if they can't afford me right now! Counter-intuitive I know, but I figure if they SEE me working, they'll figure out I'm worth paying for the privilege.

I'm hitching a ride on absolute and total trust right now that this current phase - which is so not really me at heart - of "Putting Myself Out There", will achieve the financial stability I need to keep a roof over my kids heads.

Life does not come to you when you're down and out and looking for a helping hand. You have to look at Life and ask "Okay, so what do I do with this little bit of excrement you've just handed me?". One can either choose to sit down and sulk or one can stride with purpose along the path, looking for a convenient rubbish bin in which to dump said excrement and move on. I am choosing the latter.

If anyone, who needs a writer or a typist, is reading this, then please ping me! My quiver is full of words and is available for hire, you might be the bow that helps me shoot the target.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dick be a dragon too

The fabulous Dick Richards who first inspired me through his work with "Genius", has re-entered the blogsophere with a new blog entitled "Riding on Dragons".

Over the past couple of years or so, the dragon theme has been a particularly strong one in my on-going journey of growth. My dear friend "Martin" is identified by his lovely wife as "Drache", which means 'dragon' in german. I actually call him "bat" for other reasons, but the concept behind him being 'dragon'ish' is quite true. He presents possibilities and opens up the imagination to explore alternative pathways to potential answers.

Dick wrote some time ago in his old blog "Come gather round" on his ideas about this new version of Dragon Lore.

I, myself, wrote about riding allegorical dragons through knowing people of great talent, wonder and possibility in the early days of this blog. :)

Dragons ARE real you know! Just like Santa Claus is real to those that wish to believe. If you drown out your cynicism and grown-up mature realism for just one moment and allow yourself to believe in the magic of dragons, you'll be amazed at where you'll end up! Dragons are sent to inspire, teach, exhort, train, lead from behind and engage your imagination in the absolute wonders of The Possible.

When everything appears impossible, close your eyes, open your heart, say a prayer of thanks for the breath in your body and let imagination come to you. If you see the Dragon that brings it... Say thanks for that too! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Deep down, everyone's a Ferengi"

Last weeks events...well... the last few weeks I guess...regarding the large financial "losses" sustained by various countries are finally beginning to bite into the collective psyche of ordinary people.

Apparently, it's not just big business corporations going berserk over really bad financial management, it's about you and me and how we saved, managed, used and borrowed money this past few years! It's how we invested, where we chose to invest, on what terms we were given loans and how well we paid those loans back, that we're finally being confronted with.

A very subtle finger is being pointed at ordinary people. Somehow this is all our fault!

Patronising platitudes from government leaders won't alleviate the scary possibility that we got too greedy this past decade.

I don't think we'll go under as such like the years of the Great Depression, but I do think a very conservative financial mind-set will settle into the hearts and minds of the next few generations about how and when and where and with whom the paper we trade value for is managed.

Printing extra money is so unbelievably stupid! That's the sort of reactive thinking and actions kids do in Monopoly games gone wrong!

I am currently very money orientated myself. Since separating from my marriage, financial freedom is becoming more and more an important value and maybe even a quiet passion within. I want and desire to be financially sustainable both as a woman on my own and as a mum to my two teenagers. I want very much to be able to share financial resources with those people and causes I value and I aim to achieve the goal of financial autonomy with that vision in mind. It becomes a high-wire act of balancing both the ideal of philanthropy and acquisitive greed. I need to be careful to not value money for its own sake but to value what it will do in the lives of those that come after me, spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Money isn't so much the goal as the pressure it takes off in being able to do good in the world!

Most of us in the North like our "stuff". We seem to strongly identify with our place in the world in terms of the physical ephemera we surround ourselves with. Clothes, housing, food, tools, art and technology all become items that support our version of ourselves more than anything else. We aspire to living "simpler" but it's not working for us right now because we don't really know HOW to live simply anymore. Things, stuff, clutter, toys and artifacts are our spiritual dimension now. We can no less do without them than our ancient ancestors could imagine being without their gods! They're so intrinsically entwined into our sense of place and identity as individuals that to take it all away suddenly and unequivocally will perhaps send many of us mad with the confusion over who we are!

Perhaps this current global lesson in financial silliness will show the next few generations the real value of trading value for value. Perhaps new generations of wise fiscal managers will begin to understand that the fruit trees and tomato plants grown in back yards around the world, the produce of which is traded with neighbours in kind for reciprocated goods and services is worth more than greenback ink on strange paper. Maybe the value we identify in our stuff will transfer into how we can best use that stuff to make life better for everyone in our neighbourhood.

Life isn't money! Money isn't life! The Primary Rule of Acquisition is always: Live simply so that others might simply live.

Of course, the Ferengi would dispute that I suppose!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

that ache to belong to the task

So many write about it. So many teach and inspire others to seek and find it. So many want it; yearning for the pull of it; breathing in and out with the hope of achieving it.

Dave calls it "The Sweet Spot"

Steve calls it "Living consciously"

Dick calls it "Genius"

Jonathan would probably call it "The creative life"

Most of us want it. Some of us only aspire to a dim feeling it might be possible. Some of us are driven to achieve it at all costs. Some of us are philosophical about it. Some of us are deeply spiritual about it. Some of us actually find it.

It can't be bought, sold, hired, or even given away. This "It" is intangible, elusive, mutable and ephemeral. It can be sought but never clutched. Once its found it is as if the sky opens to new wonders you could never have envisaged and you find yourself in territory so alien as to be morphed yourself into someone your nearest and dearest barely recognise. The people who find their personal "It" become...well... they glow! They literally beam with joy and spirit. Their bodies burst with health, vitality, Life, joi d'vivre. They have a presence and a innate sense of personal power that captivates and charms. They're wonderful to be around but they don't...they never...milk that for their own purposes at all, they're completely self Less in their expression because they're fulfilled at the basest core of their being and they don't need any ego trips to keep topping it up.

"It" is THE THING YOU were uniquely wired for and/or put on this earth to DO.

Some call it "Purpose".

In me, the pursuit of it causes all manner of deep and hidden urgency. I get moments when I feel the pull but cannot remotely even put my finger on what it is that is pulling me. That is so frustrating. I WANT to do what I'm meant to do. I want to engage fully with whatever it is that is my passion, my inner drive, my fulfillment as a human being. I want to be of service through the manifestation of my particular soup of talents, skills and expertise. I want to engage in the task where time stops and that thing becomes play and fun and its sort of 'easy' (but not unchallenging) and where it is simply regenerative to the soul...not only my own soul but everyone else's too.

I have no freaking idea what my "It" is! I want to know. I want to find out. I want to find it, embrace it, let it rest on me like the downy bodies of butterflies. I want to experience what it's like to be ENGAGED with my life's work. Work that uplifts and inspires and mends and builds. I want to be fully conversant with the world in fruitful and blissful reciprocation of what I have to offer and what I get back in return for what I offer. I want to fully develop that which makes me of service to others.

Looking for my personal "It" is akin to sitting in a very dark theatre, trying to watch a movie shot in the dark! It's like watching Apocalypse Now with the sound turned off and the lighting turned way down to almost black. You glimpse things but nothing makes sense. You know its an important story but you can't make head or tail of who or how things are meshing together. Finding ones "It" is inconceivably annoying sometimes.

There are all these steps you can do I suppose to try and nail down the Thing you were meant to do. Boxes you can tick, spiritual exercises you can try, personal development tapes you can listen to. Labels you can name your innate gift. There is all that stuff you can do to attempt to find it.

For the most part, people just like the process of trying to find it I guess. That pull, that sense of being MORE than just a conglomerate of atoms and cells with limbs is a strong one. We'd like to think of ourselves as being gods of our niche where no one else can match us for brilliance and omnipotence. We are all suitably narcissistic enough to want that kind of rush to the head.

Perhaps I grow too cynical these days. Perhaps I've had enough of reading PD stuff that serves no other purpose than to make me FEEL like I'm doing okay in trying to be "better" as a person. Trying isn't doing. Doing is forgetting about trying and is merely practical application using what is currently at hand. Trying is frantically looking for anything other than whats at hand. Trying is merely an excuse to not do. Doing is mostly scary. Trying makes you look courageous but its usually just a bit of pimped up ride really.

My passion is?

I have no freaking idea!

My skills I could probably list but I don't seriously believe in any of them you know. I doubt my skills. They don't make me really happy as such, they're just stuff that I learned how to do over the years and I rarely if ever feel I can do them well.

My talents are what?

I have no real clear indication other than those that fall under the skills list. I could perhaps list them but I don't actually believe they're that useful to myself or anyone. They just happen to be a very, very few things I know I can do slightly above average to my peers. Even then, I doubt them seriously as being markers to finding my "Thing I'm Meant to Do". I may even perhaps have talents I don't even recognise or realise - hardly useful those then!

So - this palpably, stupidly annoying feeling of being pulled towards the Thing...the something I want/need/can do tugs at my spiritual shirt tails and I turn but it's gone and as much as I look for it... it continues to elude me. It's like a call coming from no discernible direction - a kind of shadowy echo of something calling me from the soupy mists in a land called "Purpose".

What the hell am I here to do? I ache to belong to the job that is right for me. And I suspect if I ever find it, it will be a job that takes me outside of my ego-centric self and puts me into alien territory where I become someone else other than the person I think I should be. Someone better, someone bolder, someone kinder and more loving than I am right now. I have something to do in the world but the synergy between what it is and what I am is not yet simpatico.

Damned frustrating that!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blog post 350

I'm not really sure if this is a milestone in the blogging world anymore. People writing 350 blog posts over the course of a couple of years isn't probably that much of a big deal these days. I'm sure it was great cause for celebration in the earlier days of blogging, when it was still such a new and interesting form of communication.

But what does one say at Blog Post 350?

Oh I'm sure I could say quite a bunch about the mundane vicissitudes of my current life! :) But I'll spare you the whinge *wink*

In fact, today, I shall spare everyone the meandering musings of my muddled mind! Well... I sort of will...

Thus, Blog Post 350 will pass into oblivion as being nothing more than a route marker on the journey; a simple signpost for how far we've come on this particular road of words and ideas.

My only beef is that the distance to the destination is obscured! And some of you will complain that its not the destination that matters but the road one travels to get there. *smile* Yeah but what is the point of travelling if you don't have 'Somewhere' to get to? Even going back to the beginning can be 'Somewhere'!

I don't know where I'm going... I only know that I am. Life is like being lost at a cross-roads of infinite choices every single day. I'd like to know my destination but it's annoyingly ill-defined and uncertain. Perhaps I'm just meant to enjoy the scenery on the way, but even the Nullarbor Plains become boring once the initial Wow factor has dissipated - along with most of the trees!

The destination I'm looking for is not my Nirvana or Heaven on Earth - it's merely 'Somewhere' where I can put up my feet for a bit, enjoy the local cuisine and customs for awhile before moving on to the next stage of my journey and lessons. I'm tired and weary and in need of a sense of Place - even if its just for a few nights, metaphorically speaking.

Blog Post 350. I got this far...I'll keep travelling to see how much further I can go.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I recovered

My wee rant on Friday saw me blubbering like a fool as per usual over another mini-crisis in my life.

I've thought about my job and I'll muddle through as best as I can, but am hoping to negotiate some modifications with the boss tomorrow if possible. I'm philosophical about it now.

I had some lovely gestures made towards me this weekend - not related to the said blog rant - which validated and uplifted me very much. I'm grateful to these people and then some :)

Daylight Saving started here in Victoria today. We turned our clocks forward. Right now my body is telling me its "only" 2200 hours but the clock here is telling me its actually 2300 hours, meaning of course that I'd best get some sleep before trying to make my body get up effectively an hour earlier than its used to! We live in constant hope of success on that one! Not! hahaha

Also went walking down by the river today in the glorious sunshine :) That is always good for reviving the soul and putting a smile on my face. They may not be overly energetic walks as such and they're probably not strictly exercise in the aerobic sense of the word, but the meditative calm they bring my mind, body and soul is just about as effective. I DO feel much more grounded and centred when I've taken my head for a walk as close to nature as possible. The reason I say "my head" is because for some reason this past few months, I've had a natural resistance to taking the ipod along. Occasionally I do but its actually rare. I seem to currently prefer the conversations inside my head. I muse, meditate, pray and imagine and in many ways its proved to be a healing process for me. I heartily recommend you try it. Simple walking, in nature, alone, with just your thoughts and a Higher Power (or Imaginary Best Friend *wink*).

Sunburnt now of course! *sigh* Even at this early stage of spring and I been made sun-kissed pink on my arms and chest already! One must never underestimate the Aussie sunshine it seems!

I suspect this week will be a turning point yet again in this crazy, topsy-turvy year I am living. At least I can't complain this year has been dull anyway! *wry smile*

Friday, October 03, 2008

I seem to be on some kind of roller coaster...

and I'd dearly like to get off now please!

My job is on the line I think. I have to consider if I want to continue it this weekend which really puts the pressure on, given I have a uni assignment to complete before Monday and a bunch of Centrelink forms to complete as well this weekend.

You'd think that working in a cafe would be a snap yeah? Easy peasy right? ANYone could do that sort of "menial" work! etc etc etc

Apparently not me!

I've worked in the food industry a long time, but mostly in one particular style of food industry, basic take-away. Having been self-employed in partnership with my once-husband for 18 years, you would think I'd have some skills yeah?

I feel about as bright as a waning moon though.

I am DUMB when it comes to working in a cafe! I freak out under the pressure of having people to serve like NOW...I hate having people wait in the queue banked up six deep at the counter all wanting to be served. I get my timings on heating their food all wrong and the chips are cold and the coffee is shite! I get the money wrong; I make stupid mistakes constantly because I simply cannot retain what happened five minutes ago in my brain!

Oh...Ask me some trivial thing like who starred in the movie "Some Like it Hot" and I'll tell you that...but to tell you if a customer wanted a cafe latte or a muggaccino ordered five minutes ago and I have consult my notebook!

Dumb as dog shit I tell you *sigh*

The cafe isn't really "that" busy right now either. I've been warned that it will be freakingly busy by Christmas. I'm supposed to be going through training for a Hospitality Certificate III where some clever person "observes" me working and takes notes etc periodically. I got to pieces if someone is looking over my shoulder. The dumber I feel, the dumber I behave.

It's possibly one of the more stupid things I've said in this blog - and there'd be plenty of those - but right now? I feel as if I am being "punished". But, then, I've always felt guilty for everything that happens anyway, even if it wasn't my fault!

Still... to "fail" at being a coffee waitress seems just so.... I don't know? It just sucks and I don't know what I'm good for other than washing clothes and driving my kids to their social lives!


Sorry for the rant... I just feel like an utter failure tonight. I guess I'll feel better in the morning.