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BY Amanda

02/01 Direct Link
My desk calendar tells me "one of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody" - Mother Theresa.

I love quotes. They say so much in just a few words.This is so true. I hope that there is no one I meet who goes away feeling that they are nobody to anybody. We are all special in our own way, and helping people to appreciate their uniqueness and embrace it rather than be ashamed they don't fit into the norm is a wonderful skill to acquire. I don't think I have it yet, but I'd like to get it.
02/02 Direct Link
I've never been a teary person, I don't have much time to indulge in tears, but towards the end of semester they seem to come whether I welcome them or not. It's as if my eyes spring an unbidden leak. I cry at the most stupid things, adverts on the telly, songs, beautiful scenes. It's as if my emotions decide they will no longer be denied and have a mind of their own. They settle and the trick is to not put myself in situations where people can misunderstand. It will pass, this will all pass and life will continue.
02/03 Direct Link
There has been a major stuff up and they can't find the police reports. That means his case is shot. Can anything more go wrong? I doubt it! There is a reason for all of this. I don't know what it is, but I feel it in my bones. There's a reason why things are working out the way they are. Just because I don't understand what it is doesn't mean thisis a random process, it isn't. It simply means I don't understand. But then, there's lots I don't understand. Faith, the really powerful kind, is believing without requiring outcomes.
02/04 Direct Link
I didn't get the mark I needed on my research report and I'm devestated. It sounds silly but the pressure to get the marks for honours is huge. Each assignment is of paramount importance. During semester the world virtually stops for me. Nothing else exists but study. I surface for a few weeks during break and become human again, before submerging myself once again. It's so much more of a challenge than I had dreamed when I first took this on. Would I have had the courage had I known? I doubt it. Perhaps it's better not to know. 
02/05 Direct Link
I don't know enough. I wish there was an easier way to put this but there isn't. I keep kidding myself that I'm smart enough to do this, but I'm not. Sheer bloody mindedness and refusal to quit has kept me going until now, but I'm tired beyond description. I went for a drive yesterday to resettle my head and then came back and studied for the rest of the day. Today I thought I was doing ok till someone hugged me and then came the floods of tears. I'll keep going, I always do, but man, it's so hard! 
02/06 Direct Link
I've become philosophical, which is healthier than distressed. It's called resignation. Do I know it all? Absolutely not. Do I know enough? Well, honestly, it depends on the questions. I have no way of determining the outcome now, but what I can say is that I've given it my very all and done my very best. That just has to be enough. It may not be good enough for the marks that I need, but it is all I have and I can't give any more than that. What will be, will be. There's absolutely nothing more I can do.
02/07 Direct Link
I did it! I'm completely exhausted and can hardly string a sentence together, but I did it. I even had some fun with it in the end. Each semester gets a little harder to finish. Each exam is a little more exhausting. I would not have believed how tough this was, in fact, it's redefined "tough" for me. But, I did it. If I wasn't so exhausted I'd be euphoric. I used to come home and put all the study for that semester away so that it was pristine for the start of the new term, but not happening tonight.
02/08 Direct Link
What a luxury it is to have time. Time to sit, to think, to clean up, to read a book, to watch a television programme, to go to a movie, chat with a friend, and best of all, to do absolutely nothing! I have a long list of things I want to accomplish before school goes back and at the top of my list is a couple of days luxuriating in doing absolutely nothing. I'm sure I'll soon be feeling that it's time again to accomplish, but I doubt it will be for a few days yet.
02/09 Direct Link
While stopping to take a breath I inevitably focus on things that couldn't get my attention before. There's a clerical review at work that needs some preparation, as well as a couple of hundred other things I've put off. At home I notice the marks on the paint work, the cupboard that needs cleaning out, and that recipe that looks so sumptuous I just have to find time to try it out. There's a trip to Melbourne to plan, books to buy for the upcoming semester, a basket full of ironing and a pile of books to read.
02/10 Direct Link
I've set myself just a couple of tasks to complete each night. That way I get lots of relaxing time as well as feeling like I've accomplished something. It's working well. The aquarium is now clean and the fish appear to be suitably grateful. The fridge is now cleaned out and looks a little more like food should reside there. My bedroom is tidied and all the clothes put away and I've managed to get to the bottom of what felt like a never ending pile of ironing. I've watched a movie, read a book and slept in. Love holidays!!!!!
02/11 Direct Link
I'd planned to do heaps today but, I got up and didn't feel like doing anything at all, so that's exactly what I did. Pretty much nothing, all day long! I mooched around the house, went out to lunch, did a little shopping for dinner tomorrow and had a massage. Then to finish off my day, I went to dinner at a friend's house. It is not a day I will repeat too often, but in the words of Eliza Dolittle, it was luverly! And, apart from going to church, I may just repeat the performance tomorrow!
02/12 Direct Link
I had another sleep in this morning. I could get used to this. Unfortunately, my back would prefer me to be a little more active, so I won't be doing it too often. After a leisurely morning playing with my grandchildren, I attended church and then came home and cooked a succulent Thai dinner. It's been about 6 months since I had larp and it's one of my favourite dishes. It's lovely to be able to cook without worrying about how quickly I can get it done, eaten and washed up. I love the leisurely pace of semester break!
02/13 Direct Link
I am on countdown to my holiday and I'm getting excited now. The days are strangely polar. On the one hand there is much to do and they are flying past, on the other, I find moments in the day when the weekend just can't come quick enough. It's been quite some time since I had a holiday and I'm looking forward to my long weekend. The reality of the break is finally starting to sink in and I didn't realise how much I was looking forward to the break. Yay - I'm going on holiday, I'm going on holiday!!
02/14 Direct Link
Today is Valentines Day, and for most people it is a day when their thoughts turn to romance. For me, it is a day when my thoughts turn to freedom and then to the blessings I'm so lucky to have. Today is the anniversary of my divorce. It might seem really macabre to celebrate your divorce, but, for me, it is a testament to the fact that things can change for the better. It brings to the fore memories of helping hands when I needed them most, a shoulder to cry on and the healing that only comes with time.
02/15 Direct Link
It is strange how things only seem to need to be done urgently when I'm planning to go away. The rest of the week I don't care if my room is a bit messy, but suddenly it has to be perfect, because I'm going away. The same goes for things at work. Tasks that have been perfectly okay to leave for weeks suddenly take on an urgency, simply because I'm not going to be here for a whole extra day. I'm not sure about the psychology behind this but it is a very useful tool for getting things in order.
02/16 Direct Link
We've finally arrived. After a very long night and an even longer day, it is now 2am and we are in our hotel room. Melbourne is full of life and my senses go into overdrive. Even at this time in the morning, there are buskers singing, late night revellers chatting and life all around me. It is a very different environment to Adelaide, which feels like it's sleepy cousin. Adelaide is beautiful and charming, and I love living there. But Melbourne feels full of life, laughter and excitement. I'm sure it's not always this way, but it is tonight.
02/17 Direct Link
Oh my goodness - what an incredibly awesome day! I looked out from the tallest building in the southern hemisphere today. The view was spectacular. I'm not very comfortable with heights and so it was also a bit brave of me. I'm proud of myself. Every now and again the panic set in, but I did well. Then tonight we saw Il Divo live at the Myer Music Bowl. It was perfect! Music has the ability to transform my mood and soothe my soul.This music was enchanting, the harmonies brought tears to my eyes and it was a wonderful performance.
02/18 Direct Link
Everywhere I go this weekend a song follows me. It's called "When you believe" and it is from the movie the Prince of Egypt. I'm beginning to feel as if there is a message for me. I know that might sound weird, but it's not exactly on the Top 10 list and I've heard 4 different performers sing it and I've heard it about 6 times in the last 2 days. Whether it is coincidence or not, it has me thinking about the everyday miracles that we take for granted and the strength we have but don't acknowledge. 
02/19 Direct Link
Gosh I'm glad we got back in touch again! I need you in my life, even if our encounters are only brief. You still teach me to look up, and I need that. You are one of the few people who I can say "I'm a bit fragile" to and you know those words mean I've been doing it really tough. I appreciate that so much. I finally got to meet your partner and frankly, I think he's awesome. 

On our last day in Melbourne, we sat in beautiful parklands watching the world go by. Another completely awesome day.
02/20 Direct Link
The weekend just flew by and it was all too quick. I could have happily spent another week away. Instead it was life as normal again today. That's ok. It's time to take stock again. Next week is the start of semester again and I need to get myself organised. There's never enough time to do everything on the "to-do" list, so I'll prioritise again. Tonight the windows won. It's a job that rarely takes priority over assignments or family, so it was lovely to get around to them. Tomorrow it will be time to take out the books.
02/21 Direct Link
My desk calendar's quote for today says "Life is politics. It has nothing to do with holding or seeking elective office. Life is politics at its very root, literally, because the word is derived from the Greek word for citizenship. Since there can be no true citizenship in the absence of participation, politics means being part of the world around you. Carolyn Warner". It made me think about how I interact with the world around me. Put another way, do I consider myself to be my brother's keeper? After some soul searching I could improve but am ok with me.
02/22 Direct Link
I spoke to my lecturer today about the research report that will be engraved upon my memory for a very, very long time. The student evaluations came out today and the poor man got hammered. That's really unfair because short of doing the work for us, he couldn't have done much more to help. He can't tell me my exam results but tried hard to reassure me that I didn't have anything to worry about. Do I dare hope I got the distinction I need? I really want to but won't breathe comfortably until I see the mark for myself.
02/23 Direct Link

Results come out tomorrow. Actually at one minute past midnight tonight. To suggest that I am a little apprehensive is somthing close to the understatement of the century! My future career is kind of hanging in the balance right now and despite all the assurances I won't settle until I know for sure. I'll try to be nonchalant, in fact, it would a huge test of self control to go to bed as normal and look the results up tomorrow. After all, they won't change whether I stay up tonight or look tomorrow. It is time to get a grip!

02/24 Direct Link
There was a glitch in the computer system and they didn't send out my results until after midday today. But, I got the marks I needed! I'm so relieved. In fact, I'm euphoric!!! I'd talked myself into accepting whatever marks I got by the end of last night and even went to bed as normal, but when I woke up at 1am my resolve melted. Unfortunately, the exercise was futile and the resuls weren't there! Serves me right. I feel as if I could take on the world today. I've worked so hard and feel so humbled and blessed. Yes!!!
02/25 Direct Link
A visit with a friend, then off to Miss Three and Master Two, then a wonderful night listening to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Symphony under the Stars is awesome. I had no idea that the 1812 Overture went for 12 minutes. It's rare that anyone plays the whole thing. I loved it! In fact, for me, the fireworks at the end actually spoilt it. Perhaps it is because I understand the effort that goes into being a musician of that calibre, but I think it's really unfair that the fireworks get the glory at the end of the performance.
02/26 Direct Link
I felt a bit of a fraud accepting congratulations for my uni marks today. I certainly worked hard, but, I know without any doubt that they were only achieved after much prayer and the support of family and friends. This wasn't a solo effort by any means. I'm humbled to be able to continue on a path that I am certain I am meant to take. It is exceptionally hard work and I get more tired than I can ever remember being, but there is a wonderful reassurance that what I am doing is right. That's very precious to me.
02/27 Direct Link

My body protests as I rise at 6am to get the housework done so that I don't take time out from study tonight. The comfortable familiarity of the routine is tempered by a tiredness due to the shortness of the break between study years. As always, there was considerably more to do than time to accomplish it and the list will remain (and grow) until next semester break or something becomes urgent and I can't stand to leave it any longer. In fact, most things these days only get to the action stage when they're urgent. Eh - that's life!

02/28 Direct Link
Helen Keller said "I can see, and that is why I can be so happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made word, not a man-made world."

Is happiness a choice? With the caveat of severe mental illness, I think so. The question for me is not if happiness is a choice, but do people have the tools they need to choose to be happy?  I suspect not. But where there is knowledge there is hope. Life may not be easy but there's power in knowledge.
02/29 Direct Link
I have this comical picture in my head that makes me smile. Every 4th year February has an additional day. It seems, in my mind, as if the world is slightly in deficit every year and once every 4 years February manages to help it catch up. I can mentally see the rest of the days urging the 29th to catch up, like a latecomer running for a bus, and a triumphant cheer as it finally arrives. Perhaps it's something to do with the name "Leap year"? The vision loses something in translation, but brings a smile to my face.