…. is it me you’re looking for?
(Thanks Lionel Richie for the blog title today).
It feels as if I have been away for eons but it has only been a week or so since my last post.
As I write this, I have a day off work and I am meant to be working on my research project however I have been checking out some blogs, responding to emails and listening to a CD that I picked up from a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. When I say CD, it is actually a 4-CD set called “These Were Our Songs – A Festival of Folk” and I paid $2 for it. Not bad value as I am spending so much time reminiscing. Of course it isn’t helping my studies too much as the reminiscing keeps pulling my thoughts away from my research topic.
As I ramble, I am going to intersperse these songs throughout my blog post. Here is the first one that took me right back to when I was a young teen (on the good side of 15) and living in Blacktown, New South Wales. It’s a Saturday morning and mum has put on a record to do the housework along to.
So where was I? Oh that’s right. I’m meant to be working on my research paper…..
I’m a little behind on it as I’m still coming home from work most days absolutely shattered. I love my job, I truly do but it is mentally (and sometimes) physically exhausting. I am finding being an Activities Leader for a day respite centre extremely rewarding. I must say that I love working with the aged and those with disabilities and they bring such joy to my day.
My post today may be a little disjointed as many ideas for blog posts come to me through the week and I jot notes down or make mental notes to remember to write about them. I must admit that the physical notes are generally the best way for me to remember things though. 😳
Last Saturday was ANZAC Day here in Australia. My family went to our Dawn service at 4.25am and then to our later march and commemoration at 11.15am. This year the Teen marched with her school. We haven’t bought her a new formal school uniform just yet so had to pull out her one from last year. She’s grown a couple of inches since she last wore it but she made do and she looked gorgeous as usual. She chose to wear her grandfather’s dog tags from WWII and I took the badges from my brother’s hat and wore them pinned to my top. It was our small way of honouring their memory. My cousin visited my grandfather’s final resting place and placed a poppy on his plaque and posted the photo to Facebook. That was special to me also.
There has been a lot of media coverage about ANZAC Day this year as it is the 100th anniversary of the landing of allied troops at the Gallipoli Peninsula. I have read much on social media about the media hype and some of what I read has made me sad and angry. Some of what has been said is totally justified as corporations are seeking to commercialise the day however the media push has only managed to engender the belief that war is glorious whereas the reality could not be further from the truth. Yes. There were courageous men who carried out acts of valour. Yes, many died. Yes, Australians proved themselves. But war is not glorious.
When we say “Lest We Forget” we mean that we will not forget the men who have served our country or the pointlessness of battles fought.
Now that I’ve pontificated upon this point, I’ll move on to another song.
Here’s another one that took me back. I am about 10 or 11 and picking out tunes on the piano from my grandmother’s sheet music (kept inside the piano stool). I loved this song and used to sing it a lot.
On Sunday, I realised that Ancestry.com had free WWI records available and took the opportunity to research an ancestor of the Garden Gnome’s who had died on the Gallipoli Peninsula. I found the war diary of his regiment and spent the day transcribing it. Whilst I didn’t find any mention of him in the diary, I found some amazing information written by an officer. He wrote without book learning and the writing was raw and real. I’m so pleased I took the time to read and transcribe these words.
Whilst I was doing this, the Teen had hold of my camera and snapped off close to 200 photos. She took a lot of me but they are all awful. She did take one of me that I really like though.
See my battle scars? I had a fall the other day whilst walking across the car park at work. I knew there was a step down off the pavement but my brain registered it a moment too late. After the workmate I was walking with stopped laughing, he helped me up. I also skinned the heels of my palms and my knees. lol
Now when my clients talk to me about having falls, I can assure them it has nothing to do with age!
The bandaid covers a tear in my nail (ouch) and you can’t see it but my middle fingernail is heavily bruised after being smashed between a block of frozen cheese and my kitchen bench! Some mothers do ‘ave ’em.
Here’s another song to share. This one is for you Mum. It took me back to a day long ago when I heard it.
In closing, I wish to talk about gratitude and thankfulness. I read an article the other day that listed the 5 basic skills to a happy life. They are:
- Live in the moment
- Gratitude and thanks
- Aspire to meaningful goals
- Give of yourself
- Empathise with others
Anyone who has followed me for a while knows that gratitude is a huge part of what I believe and how I attempt to live my life. I have tried to also take this into my workplace. I find myself thanking the women (and men) that I work with on a daily basis. I don’t make a conscious decision to thank these people. It just comes out in conversation. It is as natural as breathing for me. However I noticed that whenever I thank a particular colleague (who has been wonderful in helping me settle into my role) she laughs at me. I asked her the other day why she laughed each time I thanked her. She replied “Because you’re thanking me for doing my job”.
I replied that it is because she is doing her job that I am thankful.
It has caused me to ponder just why we find it difficult to accept sincere thanks?
Anyone care to enlighten me with possible reasons?