BY Amanda

03/01 Direct Link
What to write? I always find it hardest with a blank slate in front of me. Why write at all?. The answer is not clear cut. Predominantly it’s a response to a feeling rather than to any logical thought process. It’s also a striving for balance. I have a minimum of an 80 hour week between work and study, and so I feel a need to balance that with a vehicle that enables creativity and expression. Hopefully, I’m successful in being creative in my expression although I have no illusions of grandeur. But, while the feeling lasts, I will write.
03/02 Direct Link
It’s on days like this that my creative side struggles to be heard. In the madness of life in a busy Emergency Department, creativity is not paramount. Rather qualities such as logic, quantitative results and administrative efficiency are held in necessary high regard. And yet as I stand at the lift waiting to ascend to the ivory tower where the executive reside I find myself musing on feelings of times long past and memories poignant and sweet. Then the familiar sound that signals the arrival of the lift brings me back to the present and once again creativity leaves me.
03/03 Direct Link
After an unsuccessful encounter with a bunch of very pollinated flowers I ended up wearing scrubs all day, and spent the rest of the day feeling like a prat trying to explain, to what seemed like every single soul I came in contact with, why I was wearing scrubs. But nothing could dampen my enthusiasm today, because starting to tomorrow I have four whole days off in a row. Four days to do whatever I please, oh the luxury. I plan to read, relax, walk along the beach, fish and drink in spectacular views. Aaah, the weekend - what bliss.
03/04 Direct Link
It's amazing how much preparation seems to be required to go away for just four days. Despite my best plans I still find myself with a list as long as my arm of things-to-do before I go. Ironically, tasks that have waited for weeks now become urgent simply because I'm going away, and two things become increasingly apparent. Firstly, they just aren't all going to get done and secondly, my text books will have to come with me. I will still have a considerable amount of free time, but four days with neither work nor study is just not possible.
03/05 Direct Link
The trip was uneventful as we ambled along and passed through quaint little towns. The silence was broken only by my companions need to speak and I found her monologue quite soothing. I muttered the occasional word or asked a question designed to allow her to continue to speak. Then as we rounded the corner we knew we had arrived...

Nestled at the bottom of the foothills and surrounded by either the soft beauty of the hills or the more rugged, but equally beautiful sea is the picturesque little town of Second Valley. It's name does not do it justice.
03/06 Direct Link
A full day! I'm not sure there is anything in the area left unseen. We visited Rapid Bay, the breeding ground of unique sea horses. Cape Jervois, and watched an elusive seal that disappeared each time I got out of the car with my camera and reappeared once I had returned to the car. The markets in Myponga were so quaint. Afternoon tea in Willunga with the best scones and chocolate milkshake I've had in ages. A walk down the main street of Yankalilla, and then dinner at the Normanville Pub. Then a movie at home. A very good day!!
03/07 Direct Link
After the hectic pace yesterday, today was much, much quieter. Just a short trip to the beach, with some exploration of the caves. Listening to the sound of the waves lapping at the shore and receding throught the pebbles is an experience I will not soon forget. There are many beautiful things about this place, and yet to me, this is one of the most poignant. I walked along the beach collecting shells, pebbles, sponges and cuttlefish for my friend. She is housebound most days and wants to recreate a little of the beach in her home. She's so inspiring.
03/08 Direct Link
It's hard to believe its time to go home. It has been a wonderful break. I feel renewed, calm and relaxed. I haven't felt that way in a long time. I refuse to allow my mind to dwell on the "to-do list". There will be time enough. And so, we spend the day in peaceful sightseeing. Amazing galleries, beautiful crafts, the best vanilla slice I've ever eaten!! A birthday party that night for another dear friend and finally home. Home to those I love. Home to my own bed. Its been a great trip and I am well blessed.
03/09 Direct Link
It's amazing how quickly I'm back in the groove of work. My days are pretty full. Working full time and trying to fit in family, church and a degree in my "spare" time isn't easy. It calls for dedication, commitment and mostly just sheer stubbornness. There are sound reasons why I'm taking on my current workload. I need to generate an income way past normal retirnement age and although I'm determined to succeed its damned hard work, and extremely long hours. What I find hardest is there is often criticism from those who don't understand and resent my time constraints.
03/10 Direct Link
It was one of those perfect autumn mornings as I drove into work today. The air felt crisp and clean, the sun was shining in a beautiful clear blue skies with wisps of clouds, and it felt good to be alive. The view as I drive down the hill never fails to lift my spirits and remind me how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country. The feeling has stayed with me throughout the morning. As I look around my office I see photographs of places I've visited and gifts from friends. Yes, I am truly blessed!!!
03/11 Direct Link
I need to learn to be kinder. I sometimes struggle to not look critically at others. I realise that this is actually a flaw in my personality, and I have the greater fault. I am thankful for those who overlook my many short comings. In fact, there is something wonderfully right about those souls who are able to accept us just the way we are and genuinely love us anyway. I have been so lucky to have known more than my fair share of those special people, and they in turn inspire me to be better, kinder and more understanding.
03/12 Direct Link
It's Friday and my spirits soar as I think of two whole days to myself. Well, not entirely to myself - there is still a significant amount of time that needs to be spent in study, family and church commitments. So, time just for me is a rare precious commodity. However, the weekend is upon me and that is cause for celebration. I plan to spend time with my grandchildren, catch up with friends, perhaps relax and watch a movie, accomplish some work and attend church where I have the rare freedom to worship as I please. Aaaah, life is good.
03/13 Direct Link
Grandchildren - there is something very special and wonderful about having grandchildren!! I have heard it said that they take a completely rational parent and turn them into a soft manipulated grandparent. Well, for the record, in my case, its absolutely and undeniable true. I was a strict, consequential, no nonsense parent who prided herself on saying what I meant and meaning what I said. However, all that changes when I see that sweet smile and hear the name grandma. I am completely besotted with them and that is just as it should be. Everyone needs a grandma on their side.
03/14 Direct Link
I've crammed as much as was humanly possible into my two days off and now I feel like I need a weekend to get over the weekend. It's usually like this. I get to Sunday night and think about all the things on my to-do list that I haven't even looked at yet. The the house is certainly not the pristine specimen I was hoping to start the new week with and that extra study that I was planning on just didn't happen. But the important things happened. Time with family and friends, cuddles from grandchildren. A good weekend!!
03/15 Direct Link
I quite like Monday's. The weekend is usually really therapeutic for me, and I'm happy to return to work. Unlike some others who just "go to a job", I am extremely lucky that I work with people that I really respect and like (well most of the time anyway). My job isn't exactly rivetting - admin has never really "flicked my switch". However elements of my job are vitally important, even if they aren't particularly thrilling. I look forward to the time when I qualify as a psychologist, but I'll miss those I work with here.
03/16 Direct Link
While I like Monday's, Tuesday's are quite a different matter . Tuesday's are manic! Tuesdays are consumed with meetings. Because so many staff are in the office many take the opportunity to stop in for a leisurely chat, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I am running about like the proverbial headless chook. At the end of the day I feel drained and totally peopled out. It is wonderful to have an office where I can shut the door and gratefully bask in a solitary moment before the journey home to face the world. 
03/17 Direct Link
How is it that intelligent people, often with multiple degrees seem unable to read a simple set of instructions? You fill out the form, get it approved, take a copy, put it in an envelope and send it to the appropriate person. How hard can that be? I even put instructions, with pictures, on the front of the damn folder. It's easier than painting by numbers for goodness sake. Surely somewhere in the many years that they spent in tertiary institutions they taught them to read and follow simple instructions? Why it is now a major production escapes me!!
03/18 Direct Link

You can get quite an education from the back of toilet doors. I don't mean neanderthalic comments such as " ...... waz ere". At work they have discovered that they have a captive audience and have taken information dissemination to a new level by posting flowcharts of things like CPR procedures and upcoming research projects. Another hospital I worked at provided detailed advice on the most effective way to open one's bowels, adorned with pictures explaining optimum posture etc. I know I’m boring but personally I'd just like to be able to escape and pee in peace.

03/19 Direct Link

It’s the end of the week, and I have certainly earned my money this week. Frantic is an understatement when trying to explain the pace here some days, and this has been almost a week of completely frantic pace. However, it’s a really good feeling at the end of the week to know that I have earned what they pay me. I have a strong work ethic and would hate a job where I could just breeze along. Working in an area with over 50% unemployment also serves to remind me just how lucky I am to have a job.


03/20 Direct Link

People can be really lovely. He looked like such a rough diamond with all his body piercings and tattoo’s but he was so kind and helpful. He spent a good hour trying to help us fix the car and chatting with the children who were beginning to get bored. It just goes to show that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m sure in the right situation he could have been every bit as mean as he looked, but to me he will always be the kind stranger who took time out to help.

03/21 Direct Link

One of the things I love about my church is that important things don’t change. In a world where everything seems to change for changes sake, it is a solid rock of constancy in the middle of a turbulent sea of whimsical fashion. We label change progress, but so often it results in heartache. Society seems to have lost what we now call “old fashioned” values of fidelity, morality and kindness. We are so caught up in our rights that we’ve forgotten that every action has a consequence, and rights and responsibilities are inseparably connected partners.

03/22 Direct Link
Quote for the day... Happiness comes from within.... I have a friend who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We are all praying that she will make it to see her first grandson born in about 3 months time. She has so many reasons to be angry and sad and yet she is one of the most upbeat people I know. Why? Because she has an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focussing on what she doesn't have, she is consumed with what she does have. She allows herself a bady day and then moves on. She is a true heroine.
03/23 Direct Link
Just sittin' and thinkin' tonight. I'm a bit reflective, although not melancholy. The lecture I'm supposed to be absorbing is just bouncing around in the air and certainly not going into my head. I've tried every tactic I can think of but nothing is working tonight. I hear the words and then they seem to float past me on a destination unknown to me. They don't even want to stay for a visit. My thoughts keep wandering to nowhere in particular, I'm just sittin' and thinkin'. It's pleasant if not productive. 
03/24 Direct Link
I'm on a organizing committee for a  convention for single people at church. We are planning on having workshops on the Sunday afternoon and agreed that we would all email details of the challenges that we face relating to being single so that we could assess needs and assign topics. I'm really struggling with this assignment. The more I think about it, the more I realize I'm actually quite happy being single. At least for now. In fact, I'm not sure where I'd fit a partner in to my schedule, and realistically would it be fair to him? 
03/25 Direct Link
The more think about it, the more I realize that things are just as they should be right now. Trying to define challenges with being single has helped me realize that in the last 24 hours. I used to feel really sad that after my marriage ended and I felt like a failure for many years. But now, I'm quite comfortable with who I am with my present circumstances. There is a time and a season for all things and there is peace knowing that I'm where I'm meant to be, doing exactly what I'm meant to be doing.
03/26 Direct Link
I'm also on the organizing committee for a regional youth conference. My task is to organize a service project. There will be about 300 youth, split into eight groups. I will have each group for approximately 90 minutes to present our churches humanitarian aide programme, talk about local needs and involve them in a project to help the community. It sounds great in theory. In practise its proving to be exceptionally difficult. I want to do something that the kids can identify with, and hopefully inspire them to continue looking for those in need. Not such an easy task!
03/27 Direct Link
It's amazing how much I can achieve when the circumstances are right. I retreated to my office today, even though its Saturday, because my grandchildren were going to be at home all day. I love them dearly, but it's not an environment that's conducive to study. I feel mean if I shut myself away, but I have to focus if I am to get through the volume of work required. So, I've sat in my office all day and it has been bliss. I've got through 6 lectures and I actually understand them!!!!! I foresee this as a regular occurrence.
03/28 Direct Link
Oh dear, I got such a shock and didn't handle it well at all. I felt backed into a corner and couldn't think clearly enough to do more than just sit with my head down hoping it would all go away. I got through the event without losing too much dignity until I could gratefully excuse myself. I hate being caught off guard like that. I had hoped never to encounter him again, it was such a shock knowing I certainly would. Still, all thing work out in the end and I will be better much prepared next time.
03/29 Direct Link
As is usually the way, while yesterday seemed quite awful, today things are back in perspective. Deciding not to do anything is sometimes a very smart move and time and time again I've been grateful to have erred on the side of caution. This time was no different. I had a terrible headache yesterday and today I am fuzzy, but other than that I am unscathed. In fact, I am wiser, stronger and better than before. Now my thoughts turn to more pleasant things. There are Easter Egg hunts to organize, exams to prepare for, and special friends to thank.
03/30 Direct Link

It's day 30 and I've just about made it through the whole month. Yay!!! My first month with 100 words. I've become very aware this month of just how much I have to be grateful for. The following on my wall sums it up perfectly -

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you Lord that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you Lord that I can see. There are many who are blind.

More tomorrow...

03/31 Direct Link
Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you Lord, I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden. (I used to be one of them!!) 

Even though the routine of my job is often monotonous. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest. Thank you Lord, for life.

In a world where many are poor, I have so much, and I am very thankful!!