Liza Rose

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Under Committed, Over Committed or Just Should be Committed

The last few months have seen some ups and downs in the lives of my friends and family. Health scares, financial woes, separations, new relationships and work issues have taken their toll on all of us.

In the past, my response to this kind of situation is to provide support where needed then retreat into a cocoon of bad TV and excessive chocolate bars, leading me into a personal spiral that mirrors that of those around me. This time though, something has changed. Indeed, I have achieved optimization of stress.

Stress has a bad press. Stress should be avoided, prevented, and otherwise shunned so the wisdom goes. However, no allowance is made for the fact that like many things that impact our lives, stress follows a "normal" distribution or "Bell" curve:

Image Credit:

For those not familiar with such things, they are favoured highly by statisticians, which of course makes them suspect in some quarters, but they are in fact very simple pictorial diagrams of "random" events in populations. Random here relates to a lack of relationship between the events. An example might be the time of day that people drop litter. Man A does not drop litter at 2pm just because Man B does, nor vice versa, and Man C drops his litter at 4pm. If the total population of the city were recorded dropping litter, the resulting times would be a normal curve (and a messy street), probably centering around lunch time if observation is anything to go by. In this case, lunch is a factor, but lunch time is random.

The amount of stress you experience compared to the person next to you is also random. You may be experiencing the same event, but the stress you each experience will be an entirely personal and subjective amount. When you plot many events against total population, the result is the "normal" distribution - ok so this is a simplification, there is a lot of complex and possibly useful mathematics that could be inserted here, but that will not add to the interest factor of this blog! However, there are some pretty pictures of bell curves provided below as a demonstration.

Image Credit:

Similarly the effectiveness of our lives does not vary directly with the amount of stress we are subjected to (otherwise we might literally explode or melt!), but instead increases and then decreases again, once again following a normal distribution. Back to my realisation.

When over stressed (and usually over-committed as a result), which is where many of us live and/or have lived at times, we are ineffective, tired, "stressed" in the broader sense and in some cases, depressed, ill or worse. Whenever I have found myself in that situation, I have taken the advice proffered and slowed down, taken time for "me", relaxed, rested, dropped all commitments ... until I have fallen off the other end - the "no stress" zone of the bell curve. And... the result is ...from ineffective to .... ineffective and bored without realising it and just wondering where all the time is going, never getting anything done, resulting in a slow recovery to optimum.

Well this time, I stopped, and took a look at that curve properly. Finally I realised that a bit of stress is good. We all need a drive. So, this time, I dropped some of the more stressful aspects, but added back some alternatives. Not only is stress good and bad for you, but there are different types... there is physical stress, emotional stress, external stress, internal stress, personal stress and work stress. If all of those areas are in balance, and in the centre of their own respective normal distributions then the resulting peak effectiveness is optimised. You can do more in less time, without being overwhelmed. You can balance that elusive work life thing. You can be more spontaneous, by trading off from one stress curve to another and back again.

So, if life feels like a roller coaster, it probably looks like one too!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Writing for picture books

Some time ago, I posted about the poem that my son and I wrote together. I started to recite it two days ago out of curiosity, and found to both my delight and horror, he was word perfect, despite having really heard it only three times when we originally came up with it. He obviously liked it and it must have resonated, but I don't really see it making it into the annals of history as one of the best loved Children's Poems.

It got me to thinking - I know what the publishers are looking for, but what are the kids looking for in a book? I took a tour through his bookshelf, which admittedly I have stocked in the main and found three books by Nick Bland, three by Sandra Boynton, and three Octonauts books by meomi. Generally he has one or two books each by a large number of other authors, none of which are as dogeared and well loved as these nine. Is it that he recognizes the pattern or common elements that run through these books, is it that I read them to him in a more enthusiastic manner or is it that the publishers have a good handle on what is needed?

I have always been a great believer that any children's programming and reading that appeals to adults will provide both a better level of education, and an encouragement to parents to share their child's interest (thus promoting that education as a positive experience). On the other hand I am also a great believer that reading is just fun too and want to instill that of books and reading in my son, a task that is more difficult every day in this age of TV.

Also, what ages like picture books? And when is a picture book not a picture book! Good job I'm taking that course. When I consider the three authors named above, their styles are completely different, their vocabulary equally so, and yet for different reasons, my son loves each one of them.

Still, I am going to take a fresh look at my current project "Ant in My Wellies" (from which this blog gets its name) and am thinking a gutting and rewrite is in order. I want to produce a book that not only a publisher likes, but that becomes a favoured dogeared book by at least one child out there!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Muses and Amusings

Its been a hectic few weeks here at "keyboard headquarters", including exciting hospital visits, planned and unplanned, meltdowns, rows (some mine and some not), fireworks (literally for Canada day, and also something to do with something that no one is sure about, not even the Harbourfront Centre!) and various other life events.

Not least of which is a celebratory milestone - I managed to move my son to his own bed. Coincidentally, a writing group that I belong to, lead by the excellent and remarkable Robin Tuthill posted a particularly relevant daily writing prompt:

"Think about sleep – sleep patterns, sleepless nights, sleeping in the day, sleeping outside, sleeping alone, sleeping with someone, no sleep, sleeping on trips. Now write about sleep"
The exercise is intended to be "immediate" as in you write what ever comes into your head for the next 10 minutes or so....

My response was somewhat prophetic.... I repeat it here for your consideration....

You would think that I was a glutton for punishment. That my sleep deprivation was self inflicted. And you might be right. But let me explain.

Most people who have a baby let it sleep in their room for ...oh I don't know maybe 3 to 6 months. Then there are those of us who allow it to go on longer, until the baby is a toddler and can climb out of their crib. At that point, normally the toddler gets a room of their own. Of course in some cultures this is not the case, and indeed in some parts of the world its not possible, the entire family lives, sleeps and eats in a one room. In my case, it was a one bedroom, but there were physical restrictions, so it continued. My son, at 18 months got to stay in the room. Of course with the side off the cot, he was often to be found tucked up beside me in the morning.

When we moved to a larger place, just to get the extra bedroom, it was too late. He was two and a half with all that entails, and it just didn't seem like the right time to move him.. He does have a bed of his own, and is happy to use it for afternoon naps, but come nightfall, I invariable find him in my bed.

Let me just say at this point that the written authorities on parenting are wrong when it comes to sleep. There is no "60 minute sleep solution", and "cry it out" just wakes him up further and gives me a migraine. My parenting skills may seem strange to you, but the reality is they are just like everyone elses. Part inspiration, part perspiration and 90% flying by the seat of the pants. When I lie awake next to his still form at night, my thoughts range from "he will grown out of this" to "is this inappropriate". He is only a child and should be allowed his childhood, and the innocence that comes with it; however, my knowledge level in this area is too little to be useful but enough to be dangerous - what if he develops some kind of mother complex..., what if he never learns to sleep on his own....

Night after night the same thoughts run through my head, as I cuddle him close and smell his hair. His favorite position is to lie on top of my arm. He has had a growth spurt and so this has changed from lying with his head in the crook of my shoulder. At 2 am my sleep is interrupted when he rotates to cuddle up behind me again.

I worry that I will never get a good nights sleep again since I wake at his every movement, partly in fear that he might roll the wrong way and land head first on the hard wooden floor. He has done this twice so far.

When I start to drift off to sleep the realization comes that it is not him that needs me, but that I have become accustomed to his presence. What will I do when he is ready to be a big boy and sleep on his own. When his feet land in my face again, I think that I will in fact be ok and that perhaps he should move to that other bed sooner rather than later. I return to the fear that it will never happen.

Such thoughts saturate my dreams, arriving at work having forgotten something important because my eyes were closed, glued together, I'm blinded by tiredness. I toss and turn and wake again when a small hand slaps my face.

Last night he turned over and as usual I reached out to soothe him. He pushed my arm away, grunted and rolled off to "his" pillow. The separation gaped, and yet, I rolled the opposite way and dropped off to sleep. Waking I found that I felt refreshed. He didn't stir when I rose to make a coffee.

I think we will be ok.

So. Now he has decided to move. After several nap times in his new bed he has decided that it is more comfortable. Unfortunately, he has decided that mummy should move with him.... lying on the narrow edge of a twin bed for an hour while he settles is not my idea of fun. Of course I wouldn't lie there there if it were not for the fact that he has a large handful of my hair wrapped in his fingers. On the upside, I do manage to escape, and baring a short interval in the middle of the night he sleeps through, with one visit to retrieve me (for five minutes before he resettles) and at the end of the night to cuddle up in the morning.  Now I just lie awake all night wondering if he will fall out of bed! But to have my own bed back is like winning the lottery ...hmmm.... now we just have to tackle that potty! Eeeek!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Which Came First ?

Today I experienced that age old dilemma of "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" Otherwise known as Catch 22, the question provides circular reasoning at its best, about which many authors have written, besides Joseph Heller.

As followers of this blog may know, I am in the throes of (with very distinct air quotes) establishing my platform. Something which appears to be absolutely necessary in this age of social media. In so doing, I ventured onto LinkedIn, as I have previously mentioned. LinkedIn can best be described as the older more stately brother of Facebook, everything Facebook promises to be but isn't and without the familiarity of befriending everyone who has not yet figured out the overly complex and laborious process of privacy settings. As a result, the excellent LinkedIn requires you to effectively know the people you are trying to link to, although you cannot get to know them without first linking. Ah, you say, this is to pull you in and get you to spend money - if you subscribe, you can send "In Messages" to total strangers! I'm not sure I actually want to do that if the total stranger has in fact got their privacy settings arranged to prevent me contacting them normally, just because I have paid, doesn't mean that they suddenly will welcome my advances.

A case in point, I am a new member and my LinkedIn page is therefore not the most detailed nor does it come with a large pack of ravenous readers. I came across a writing group that allows people who wish to develop their writing skills to chat among themselves. However, apparently my profile was insufficient to tempt them, I was mistaken for a bot. I wrote to the moderator, explaining my situation. This had worked successfully with another (excellent) group, but in this case, I was still mistaken for a bot. So, not only do I have no profile, I am also apparently not human - very worrying. In order to prove I am human, I need to have an interesting profile, and in order to have an interesting profile I need to generate interest, not of the bot kind. Hmmmm...dilemma....Catch 22. 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

How to get a work life balance with a two year old

Earlier in the week, I realised that my LO was feeling sadly neglected when he started tapping on my keyboard with great gusto while I was working. I decided to commit the rest of the week to his well being and entertainment, which of course comprised mainly of pretending to be a horse, or pretending he was a doggie, when we were not watching Barney the "insert own word of choice here" dinosaur.

Since my current project is a children's book, why not kill two birds with one stone, thought I. I was thinking of starting my research anyway, so why not include my LO in my endeavours? Ah haaa...evil parent say you, how can you possibly consider experimenting upon your own precious child? Well, before anyone calls child services, I would say it was more that he experimented on me. After listening to his babble during playtime for over an hour and interpreting the noise into words, I found my concentration waning, although I had a much better insight into his current passions, which mainly involves penguins, empty boxes and Thomas the tank engine!

After that I attempted to share with him some of my passion for words and poems, knowing that he has at least had some interest in this area, if only in the form of "The Very Cranky Bear". I suggested a poem based on the statement he had made when he followed me into the bedroom earlier in the day.

The resulting joint effort is titled "My tiny shark" (named for the tiny shark he was carrying at the time), and while I supplied much of the frame work, my LO supplied the punchlines, giving me further insight into just what can make a 2 yr old giggle, and just how much they understand about pushing your buttons. As you will see, he clearly thought that he was being funny (had you been there, you would have seen the look on his face which clearly indicated that not only was it funny, it was also absurd and he knew it!).

Make of it what you will...My Tiny Shark

By LizaRose and LO

I have a tiny shark, his name is shark (repeatedly)

He likes to eat chips in the park

Sometimes he eats pizza in the dark

I love love love my tiny shark

I have a little train, whose name is Henry (actually we don't, and this also took a few attempts, since LO was rooting for shark being the train's name too!)

Who likes to slide with Thomas (on the Little People Garage ramp in case you were wondering)

They ride down together with a great big wheeeeeee ( I was aiming for "ride on the tracks")

Crash on the tracks with lots of glee

Well it certainly wont win any awards, but it was far more rewarding than that, and demonstrates that market research while useful, will not tell you everything you need to know, and it probably won't normally be this much fun! I look forward to my next "research project"!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

How to study at home

..... and perhaps also, how not to!

Last night I complete Module 1 of my writing course with a reassuring pass mark. I figured that if I cant pass the introductory module, then maybe I wouldn't be cut out for this writing life. So...progress.

It has only taken me two weeks which has completely surprised me - I had to double check the date when I started! It was all down to the excellent advice of other people!

What now follows is nothing new, but it IS a confirmation that these oft repeated suggestions really do work:

1. Clear the decks
  • make sure there is nothing pressing that you have to do.
  • if there is something pressing then make a decision - what is more important?
2. Make sure there are no distractions
  • Turn off the TV - studying IS multitasking (as is driving, but thats a blog for another day!)
  • Turn off the radio, or if you have to have it, make sure it is low and music only, not the kind you sing along to!
  • Make sure the kids are well occupied, understand that mummy is "working" or are tucked up safely in bed. This of course depends on the age of your child, your available time for them, when and where you work, how long a commute you have, how many activities they have etc. But you can usually squeeze in a hour after they have gone to bed (or in the case of teenagers an hour while you wait up for them to come home....)
3. Make sure you are comfortable, and in an environment that supports study
  • Not next to a pile of washing up.
  • Not in a room that blinds you with its brightness, but definitely not in a dark room either.
4. Get your self a nice cup of tea/coffee/juice/water and an apple/banana/chocolate bar/biscuit
  • Being hungry is a distraction 
  • Going looking for food is procrastination
5. If you are stuck try one or all of the following
  • Come back to it later.
  • Move past the sticking point and something else may help you understand the earlier point
  • Re-read later when you are fresh, your mind may have had time to process the information
  • Go back to the previous parts and apply them, see if that helps make sense of the gap
  • Look up the key words on Google (check multiple citations to make sure your understanding is correct)
  • Ask a friend or colleague, a chat room (if its an online course), or study leader
6. Write down the key points, to revise over them later - note that not everything is a key point. A key point is one that leads you automatically onto a group of remembered items.

7. Apply your knowledge, practice makes perfect! Use an example that has meaning for you

  • If you are studying medicine apply it to your current partner!
  • If you are studying math, apply it to your bank account (arithmetic), share scheme (imaginary numbers) or the tiles on the wall (geometry)!
  • If you are studying writing, apply it to your own novel
  • If you are studying french language, get a favorite novel and translate it.

8. Apply yourself. Make sure you put your head down and study. It wont happen by itself!

And good luck!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Buzzwords and Jargon

The subject of today’s blog arises from the intersection of various discussions I had today on a selection of different platforms, all of which revolved around language.

The use of extraneous buzzwords, the use of plain English in report writing, the communication of ideas by different media including Twitter are to name but a few.

The office in which I work is currently in the throes of adopting the parent companies culture. Culture change is always difficult, since it involves the introduction of a whole slew of new concepts, management styles and buzzwords; Buzzwords, which we are now in the process of learning and applying in the established way via the company intranet. At the same time today, the UK BBC reported on the internet that the use of excessive buzzwords and jargon makes us less efficient although it can encourage a sense of belonging in a common language, it can also lead to miscommunication and misunderstandings with clients. The suggestion at the end of the article refers the reader to the use of Plain English where ever possible.

This brings me to the second discussion which occurred via Yammer, a similar concept to Linked In but with a closed environment so that individual companies can throw ideas around without giving away their intellectual property. This discussion was also on the use of Plain English and via a number of different topic threads happily explored what exactly is meant by Plain English and indeed Plane English. The result being that there is no such thing, since English is one of the most complicated languages around. Examples abound, through and threw, so and sew and so forth.

Meanwhile my new found “platform” has expanded to include an exploration of the Twitterverse. I have attempted to post profound, or at least new short poems, and have taken some time to look up some of my favourite writers. This latter activity has led to some disappointment. While I was not expecting great literature from every post, I had some expectations, in particular of writers who are known as some of the most eloquent people on the planet. I do realize that not every post will be a heart stopping moment of literary creation, and perhaps I’m a little old fashioned, but is it necessary to swear so much?

I was brought up to believe that there are a very few situations in which swearing is appropriate – banging your thumb with a hammer, when the driver in front cuts across you, when no one else is around, but that the rest of the time, it is mere laziness and lack of knowledge of the vastly expressive language we call English. Is it laziness though or something else. Consider the text I received from a friend “R U OK?” – Is this laziness, or is this someone making sure I’m alright, and taking a few seconds to think about me, out of their very busy schedule. Has language evolved to allow us to be more efficient? Or is it degenerating, and will our next step will be a return to grunting.

Which brings me to evolution not just of language, but of writing, and myself. We have to evolve if we are to survive. Those who deny evolution deny themselves the ability to rise to every day challenges, or to react to the changes around them. If I choose to stay in the past, and not embrace the change in language, and structure, how then can I learn and adapt, create something that is both interesting and readable, something that actually speaks to an audience whose language has evolved when mine has not?

So, since I am obviously very busy and important (to quote Bridget Jones), I will “C U L8er”!.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A promise to keep

Before my father died, I promised him that I would "write an article, that on completion would be submitted to a magazine about (my) mothers hobby". That was almost exactly how he phrased it. While I may have a biased opinion, my mother, while not perhaps artisan level, is quite good at her hobby, although she herself would not agree. We are all our own worst critics of course, but a promise is a promise and he was terribly proud of her work.

The only problem is, how to keep the promise while allowing for my mothers sensitives and maintaining her privacy. So, a technical piece, in a field I know little about, with pictures that provide illustrative examples without compromising privacy. Sounds like an exciting challenge.

The problem is, I put it off (I am an expert at procrastination of course) and while I have taken the photographs, and have a few paragraphs in mind, I have in fact only written two sentences. It is not that I am uninterested in writing the article, I love to learn new subjects. Nor is it that I do not have the time, although for the last two years that had been a suitable excuse. My son now goes to bed at a reasonable time and allows me time to write. 

I think that it is in part because it was in fact my first commission, and that there is no one to hold me accountable. Perhaps its also a form of mourning - if I do not finish the article, I will always hear my fathers voice. However, it has been some time now and I hear my fathers voice whenever I need to explain something carefully to my son. The rest of the time, I hear my mothers voice... but it has made me realise that my father will always be there, I just need to look for him. Which means of course, that I had better get on with his commission, after all, I have a promise to keep!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Humpday Blues....and recovery

There is something about Wednesdays that means that whatever good intentions you had on Sunday night or Monday morning have evaporated by around midday on "hump day".

Is it that the work is wearing you down and your deadlines are looming, or is it the early mornings your child subjects you to when they climb into your bed and tickle your feet that accumulate into an early morning grogginess. Perhaps it is these things, or perhaps its psychosomatic. We need to blame something for the (probably normal in most cases) lack of progress and so... hump day.

Well, no more. This week, managing to push aside my normal distractions of procrastination and navel gazing, I managed not only to achieve my goal of (finally) getting a website up and running, but I also (finally) started my writing course. Now it is Friday and the sense of achievement is high, even if the feedback is lackluster or even non-existent. I am doing this because I want and need to write, and so I have achieved the goal I set myself.

Which brings me nicely to the course. I have started module 1 of the 14 (according to Groupon) or 12 (according to the course site itself) module course. As an introductory module it is interesting and beautifully presented.

My only criticism at this early stage is based around my own reasons for doing the course, rather than any other. The course material appears to be highly geared to those who might hope or expect to make a living from writing and cites J,K.Rowling as an example. Without going into the arguments for and against the writing of J.K.Rowling (I am a fan, but I know that there are those who are not), I think I can safely say that for every J.K.Rowling, there are many others who are published but not making a living at writing, and many more who are writing but unpublished. The range of subjects covered include self publishing, marketing, branding and selling of associated products (think Thomas the Tank Engine toys), and these are all good areas in which to have knowledge, especially if self publishing; however, I am concerned at this early stage that the course may give an overly optimistic slant. On the other hand, it may allow those who are worthy yet unpublished to get a foot in the door, so I will withhold judgement for now. After all, I hope to write and publish myself someday. Given that I have actually worked with published authors, and given that they are still working in non-writing field jobs, I'm not expecting it to be my main source of income for many years if at all!

I will leave you with a request to "Challenge Liza". I have, as I mentioned above, finally managed to get my website up and running:   or

I have set up a challenge - ideas can be submitted by anyone who cares to read my website. You can submit challenges, and once a week, I will pick one and rise to the challenge...

Rules -
1. Challenge request should be for a response of 100 words or less.
2. Most subjects are suitable, however, I will reserve the right to refuse unsuitable topics.
3. Comments on both the challenge and the response will be welcome but will be moderated!

UPDATED 1st June:
A weekly prize of a signed copy of my book to winners. Winners will be listed on the website until they have received their rain check prize!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014


  1. the action of delaying or postponing something

When starting an online self taught self motivated course, the first thing to do, is to remove the obstacles that prevent you from your path. If however, you have an innate fear or distrust of the new, then the biggest obstacle can be the one you put there yourself.

The art of procrastination has been written about many times, Mark Twain's “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well" is one of many versions of the old axiom, Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow. however, Thomas Moore was perhaps prescient in regards to modern psychology when he wrote “What is deferred is not avoided.” Since it seems that the fear of failure is quite often greater than the reality of failing, then psychologically speaking, you are not avoiding a failure, but merely deferring the attempt whereby you might fail.

Consider too Schrodinger's cat is neither dead nor alive until you look in the box. By failing to open the box, you are procrastinating.

However, if you look at it another way, Schrodinger's cat is also a paradox - the cat is neither dead nor alive. When we procrastinate we do not fail, but nor do we succeed, so procrastination equals paradox. The laws of paradox are such that unless we are at a quantum level, both solutions of the paradox cannot exist simultaneously. Therefore by procrastinating we are both avoiding failure, but also failing. When we realise this, we can move forward, putting the fear of failure behind us, since we have already failed by procrastinating, and we are still here to tell the tale.

And so... since I have set up my blog, paid my fees, set up my website (which still is not operating on full thrusters, and thus is relegated to my "followup later pile"), I will stop procrastinating and start my course.... tomorrow....

Monday, 26 May 2014

This webpage is, alas, not available :(

So today, I was hoping to launch my new webpage


But as you will see, this is not (yet) a hyperlink. Alas, it seems that while I have free and clear license to call the webpage my own, the great cloud in the void appears to have misinterpreted my 10 digit telephone number as something less than 8 digits, with the result that my application is 'delayed' until they have resolved the issue. Clearly there were 10 digits in the number, so I think the bot must be seeing double or something. All being well, this issue will be resolved by tomorrow and I can have the grand unveiling...

Last night I cleared the decks so that I can start my online writing course. I am unsure how successful this course will be, since I purchased it on Groupon! My belief with such things is you get out of them what you put in, so if I endeavor to work hard, then it will have some kind of effect. Should the effect be an adverse one, then perhaps those out there who are more aware and educated in such matters would be so good as to shout "No! You are misinformed" every few posts!

Of course I would have started the course tonight, but it was much more fun to go swimming with my two year old who is of the firm opinion that floats should sink and that they are in fact supercharged jack-in-the boxes. I hope that I can siphon a little of his imagination off in my next childrens piece!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

How to organise a blog?

Following the high of yesterdays creative moment, I find I am in a quandary already. Should I continue to focus on a key subject or should I let my creativity flow and post random snippets of brain fluff. The authorities on blogging appear to agree. Jane Friedmans Blogging 101 suggests there is much advantage to having a single topic blog - better organisation, more focus, greater depth, a chance at viral growth. The public will want your brain fluff about as much as they want your pocket fluff!

On the other hand, when the main purpose of blogging is to improve your writing skills then diversity of styles and topics may be more favorable. Until the skills are honed and the subject is refined, then the general wisdom is write about "what you know"; However, what if "what you know" is a little bit about a lot of things, but not a lot about a specific thing? I have always held that I am a specialist in generalism which is an advantage in my particular line of work, but not of particular use when attempting to write a detailed novel! 

That said, some degree of organisation is required. I have followed blogs where the limits of cyber-space restrict the organic growth of a generalised structure (yes it does have some limits if you prefer them, rather than free fall into the unknown chasm that can be the world wide web). One lady had problems when her blogging limits forced her to split the blog into two - a French language version and an English language version. Another limit of cyber-space is translation - there are just some things that dont translate well! 

So decision made.
Option 1: Specialist
Option 2: Generalist
I have never been one to conform and so I went with Option 3 - I will start off as a generalist and morph either by design or by accident into a specialist as and when the time is "write"!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Alley Oop!

This is not a post about Basketball before anyone asks. It was only recently that I realised the term "Alley Oop" was in fact anything to do with that graceful and fast paced sport. Alley Oop was the expression my father used to get himself going in the morning, it was the term my grandfather used to get my grandmother moving, and its the name of a group that a friend of mine started to get us "going". In the first two cases, it was literally to get moving physically, but in the latter case it was to inspire us to do something useful with our lives.

It is fashionable now to own a bucket list, things you want to do before a certain milestone in life, whether its pre-pregnancy, pre-retirement, post-retirement or just "sometime". The only problem is, when you are starting out on a new path, it can sometimes be a little daunting. How do you take the first step towards achieving your life goals? Perhaps you want to go bungee jumping - that might be fairly straight forward, (unless you are afraid of heights!) you pay up, you go. What if you want to learn a new language - what language, what course, self learning, online learning, Rosetta Stone or classroom based? What if you want to write a book?

So you find yourself stalled, incomplete life goals teasing you when you go on facebook and see your old school mates have posted about their trip to Latvia, or see an ex-colleague has just presented a paper at a conference, or you meet your ex-boyfriend on the street and not only is his new girlfriend beautiful, but they just got back from Tanzania, and you never did arrange that trip to Kenya that you argued about and broke up over...

The Alley Oop group was formed in an effort to move us from lethargic wishful thinkers to active participants in our own lives. It worked. This blog is one of my goals... and here I am - online presence established. Shiny and new.... now what to do with the blog design... hmmm.... and what shall I post about next....