BY Amanda

02/01 Direct Link
I had plans to write every single day without fail this month, then, I got distracted and "life happened", and I'm playing catch up again. At least it's just a few days. I'm sure we all do it from time to time. One of the challenges for me is that this is set to US time and Australia is about 12 hours ahead, so unless I write late at night I'm always writing for yesterday. That's okay if I'm writing a theme, but if it's just recording my day it can get confusing. Anyway - welcome February - bring me nice days!
02/02 Direct Link
I've really faced some demons lately and I'm proud of myself. I don't often give myself credit for things I do well. My mother's voice in my head still compels me to focus on improvements rather than achievements. She's been gone now for over 40 years and yet I still feel her influence almost daily. That should stand as a sobering caution to parents - careful what you teach your children - it's lasting!

Anyway, I feel stronger than I have in a very long time. I've taken back ownership of my life and my feelings and that is really, really positive!
02/03 Direct Link
I love words. Who would have thought that a grouping of lines on a page, and audible sounds would have such an impact on our lives. Words can build us up or tear us down, they can inspire or cause the recipient deep pain and despondency. Lyrical words that eloquently describe a scene can transport me to another world, dimension or place. They can make me laugh or cry, or sometimes both. They can bring deep happiness and joy, or sadness and regret. Once spoken they can never be retrieved. For good or bad they are eternal and everlasting.
02/04 Direct Link
I've had that familiar tickle in the back of my throat for a few days that tends to indicate a lurgy is lurking.  Last night the fever of 39 and body aches that kept me awake most of the night confirmed the diagnosis. Today, the recurrent bronchitis and chest infection were confirmed, and I have started the all too familiar regime of antibiotics, pain killers, steroids and ventolin. It will pass in a couple of weeks, it always does, but in the meantime I feel like crap, and am longingly thinking of the blissful escape that sleep brings.
02/05 Direct Link
Despite sounding like a love sick seal and looking like no one would want to be associated with me, I've had a really good day. I have claimed by study back. It managed to somehow morph from being "my" study to "the" study to "the room I study in". The result was that a number of items that couldn't find a home anywhere else had managed to take up residence and it was time to firmly evict them and all other intruders, human and material! Now, at days end, I am exhausted, but very content with a good days work.
02/06 Direct Link
I allowed myself to play hookie from church today. I lead the music and dissolving into a fit of coughing every time I moved or opened my mouth was not very socially acceptable, so I stayed home. I had a lovely day pottering around. My study is now personalised, with the little nick nacks that make it uniquely mine. The hallway finally has the family photographs hung (that's only taken 18 months to get around to) and all is finally in order. At least, it's in order for the next few days until life gets in the way again... 
02/07 Direct Link
Now I understand why you did my job so efficiently. Mostly it's because there's about half the tasks that have not been completed. They might not have needed to be, I'm happy to concede that, but it would have been nicer if you had just been up front about it rather than waiting for me to discover things along the way. Did you think I wouldn't find out? Am I that unapproachable, or are you just insecure? Who knows. I can only be responsible for my actions and the things I'm aware of. This was a two way street.
02/08 Direct Link
I had a relapse today. I have coughed so hard just lately that I feel battered and bruised. Sore ribs, sore head, sore back - even sore feet. This is ridiculous! I can either sleep sitting bolt upright on 4 pillows or not sleep would be more accurate, or lie awake trying in vain to breathe through the congestion on my chest if I lie down. I've alternated between the two for days and today I've had enough. Tomorrow I will recommence the positive attitude, but today I am indulging in a completely unproductive  "I feel sorry for me" day.
02/09 Direct Link
I wrote something really eloquent, in fact it was a masterpiece... but it will never be recorded because the website timed out and it was lost...

Now, try as I might - nothing will come into my head to replace it. It is lost forever and for today, at least, any semblence of creativity that I might have had. No longer do I feel eloquent. I am left feeling speechless and uninteresting once again. And so on that note... I'm afraid today's entry is significantly substandard. Sorry....

and that is now all I have to say... 96.. 97... 98...99... 100!
02/10 Direct Link
Friends and family. Is there anything more important? I have been blessed with more than my fair share of good friends. Not just the kind of people that you can smile and get along with, but real friends. The kind that sit with you when you are sad and get up to mischief with you when you are happy. I'm very blessed. As for my family - well, for all the challenges that inevitably go with parenthood, I wouldn't swap my boys for anything in the world. They are awesome men and I'm proud and honoured to be their mum.
02/11 Direct Link
My world lights up when he rings the doorbell. We have a weekly ritual. Dad picks him and he rings the bell, I sneak around the corner and play "Whose there?" He giggles as I open the door. He's snuggled in dad's arms until he gets in the house. Then there is the big smile and just one word - grandma. My heart melts as he gives me a big hug and kiss (and then wipes his mouth on his arm). Then we go and visit the fish, looking for the little ones that eat the algae and hide in crevices.
02/12 Direct Link
It seems to me that the price we are willing to pay for our reputations has dropped significantly in the last few years. There was a question posted on Facebook recently that queried how honest people thought they should be and I was saddened and shocked by the responses. Should our honesty be dependent on another's actions? If another makes a mistake does that absolve me? The general concensus to both questions appeared to be yes. In contrast I would argue absolutely not! My reputation and integrity are worth much, much more than any monetary gain.
02/13 Direct Link
I heard the story today of a friend who was going to a steak house for dinner. As he approached he was aware firstly of the amazing smells of succulent food, but he then noticed a steer tethered to a post. He wondered whether the bull knew that it had allowed itself to be tethered so close to something that was life threatenting. I wonder if the same sometimes applies to us and whether we become so complacent, so desensitized by violence, poverty and standards set by the media that we fail to question and make a stand?
02/14 Direct Link

When I was married (and foolishly naive about the security of my relationship) I used to think that Valentine's day was an overrated commercial venture. Now that I have been single for many years I see things a little differently. Perhaps it's because my divorce became final on this day and for many years I grieved and felt betrayed, but I see the sadness in the eyes of those who have recently become separated as they see others celebrate what they don't have and my heart goes out to them. As for me, I now celebrate my freedom.

02/15 Direct Link
My patience has been sorely tested today by a thoroughly lovely but somewhat slow intern. To be honest, I feel a little ashamed. The poor man is harmless enough. He's endearing really and trying his best. And yet, if I have to explain one more time I think I shall explode. I'm pretty clear when I communicate, but that isn't working and I'm finding myself stopping just short of being so blunt that it's rude. There is a fine line between the two and I'm fearful that I'm about to cross it. In the meantime, my head literally hurts now!
02/16 Direct Link
It turns out that my head hurting was an indicator that a migraine was on the way, not as a result of my misunderstood intern, and for that I am sorry.  The migraine has triggered some facial neuralgia and I'm managing about 30 minutes up every couple of hours. It's a testament to my dedication to 100 words that I'm spending this 30 minutes at the computer writing todays entry. On the bright side, the other 30 minute sessions have been taken up making bread and cleaning out cupboards.It's not been too unpleasant a day really.
02/17 Direct Link
I've spent today in a blur of pain and the blurry realty brought about by continual pain killers. The day has passed in a haze. My face feels as if it is twice it's normal size and I've been beaten up. My bronchitis is still going well and so I wake up with coughing fits that make my eyes water and hold my head to try and stop the pain and the feeling of an industrial drill breaking concrete somewhere in my skull. Not a terribly eloquent entry today, but I feel like crap and therefore can be excused!
02/18 Direct Link
My grandchildren are here tonight. It's lovely to have them around. I keep having to reassure our 2 year old that I'm fine every time I have a coughing fit. He pats my knee, head tilted to one side and in broken 2 year old language asks "Grandma - you ok? It's cute, but as I cough almost continually, our 7 year-old has begun reassuring him on my behalf. They're seriously cute! I try to make pancakes or french toast with them on the weekends. They love to help out and anything with syrup on it gets the thumbs up. 
02/19 Direct Link
It's Saturday and headache or no headache I'm going out to enjoy myself! A trip to the beach, some window shopping on the way and then a video with friends seems like the perfect low-key way to enjoy a Saturday. I'm making the most of my time off as school starts again very soon and things will take on a much more serious note from hereon in. Six subjects this year means that I need to be very focussed and it will seriously hamper my social life. But, at the end of next year, I will have a degree!!!
02/20 Direct Link

I'm very grateful that I can play the radio on my computer at work. I am tucked away in an office and it feels quite isolating some times. This is a particularly busy time of the year and so I spend a lot of my time in my office doing paperwork. It's been quite nice to be able to just have the radio on in the background and I haven't felt so cut off from everyone. That means that I haven't wasted time popping out for chats and I've accomplished a great deal as a result. A good day!

02/21 Direct Link
I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the slap dash way in which my job has been done and the continual mistakes I'm finding. I now have to go through all of theleave for the past 2 years to bring it back up to date! With nearly 80 medical staff, that's a huge task and could take about a week of closeted time. As I don't have the luxury of concentrating solely on this it could take considerably longer.A little less time trying to impress, and a little more time doing the job would have made all the difference.  
02/22 Direct Link
I hate planning days! I know I'm on a roll of whinging and I apologize, but I still hate planning days. The meetings go for over 5 hours and I get to minute the entire time. Everyone else can get up and have a stretch, wander out and grab a drink, or something to eat, and I get to sit there for the entire 5 hours glued to my computer, and will spend at least another 5 hours formulating my cryptic notes into understandable formal minutes. I can't wait to finally get my degree and stop being a pleb!
02/23 Direct Link
Ok, so this is my hat trick of complaining and then I promise I'll find something positive to write about. Today I was told that after this semester I will no longer get study leave. It's only 4 hours a week, but it's a huge help, and this is quite a blow. It will also mean that in future when I travel interstate to go to residential school I will either have to take annual leave or work up the extra time before I go. That's an additional burden I was hoping to avoid. Oh well, tomorrow will be better!
02/24 Direct Link
My prediction has come true and  today has been much better! I've reconciled myself to worrying about next semester, next semester.  Advanced stressing isn't smart! I've accomplished heaps today, managed to get a lunch break and leave on time and I've been studying to the background music of a live band jamming in my family room. When he was little I used to love him having his friends around so I knew what he was up to, now, his friends think of me as a second mum and they're really great guys and the band is awesome! 
02/25 Direct Link
I need to get more done when I have study leave - other things keep getting in the way. Today for example, I left work just after midday intent on coming home and studying, but then there was the fishtank to clean, washing to organize and my neighbours mother misjudged the time and spent a wonderful couple of hours with me until they returned home. All lovely and necessary things to do, but, it didn't accomplish the study I had planned to do. I won't have this time after this semester - I really need to focus and be more disciplined!
02/26 Direct Link
It was an awesome day; the morning with my grandson, the afternoon at the African Festival, the evening listening to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra play in an amazing outdoor concert which culminated with the 1812 Overture set to fireworks. I'd never listened to the entire overture before and it's very different to the couple of minutes that I'm familiar with. I was awestruck. In a way I wish they hadn't introduced the fireworks at the end because for me, it detracted from the music. But the crowd seemed to love it. What privileges I've had today! Life is very good.
02/27 Direct Link
Yesterday was my last "fling" before semester starts properly again. Today was a time for quiet reflection, attending church, and healthy soul searching. I'm not who I would like to be, there are some changes I need to make. With some negative experiences at work I've become concerned with fitting in, building bridges and not rocking the boat. They are all very necessary, but in the process I've lost some of me and I've dropped some of my standards and values. It's time to make a stand, reinstate some core values and take the consequences if they occur.
02/28 Direct Link

Each time a month comes to an end I marvel that it is over, and this one's no different. I seem to blink these days and another week, month, year flies past. I've noticed other things with the changing years - I'm becoming more self-assured, more comfortable, and surprisingly more reclusive. I still like people and I really enjoy getting out and doing things, but I'm no longer driven by my need to be around people, or at least not to the same degree. It's a strange but very good feeling. It indicates growth, strength, self reliance and I'm pleased.