From the monthly archives: April 2013
Remember Dolly?

Remember Dolly?

This week I caught the Mini-Fashionista reading a ‘NW’ left at our home by my sister (for me to catch up on my dose of useless knowledge and celebs – thanks sis’).

Anyhoo, the Mini-Fashionista is almost 9 (her words, not mine), and had more than a few questions from reading the mag.

‘Why would anyone want to lose weight fast?’

‘I LOVE this fashion’ – then I noticed it’s the ‘outfit’ on the fail list for being a little too streetwalker.

The questions went on… I tried convincing her to read something else, but she kept going back to her new mag. It all came to an abrupt end when her charming little brothers drew moustaches on everyone in the mag. HILARIOUS! Well, they thought so, the Mini-Fashionista…not so much.

Which lead me to our local supermarket… and to the latest edition of Dolly.

And whoosh, there goes my little girl, straight past barbies and My Little Ponies…

Did you read Dolly? I remember loving the pre-read copies I got from my lovely cousins. It was an insight into a whole new world, where all my enbarassing questions could be answered.

Periods. Boys. Boobs and bras. You name it, Dolly had the answers.

So back to the supermarket and Dolly. I stood there, frozen for more than a few seconds.

Is ‘almost 9’ too young to read Dolly?

Surely she is way too young to think about boys, boobs or periods?

Then I thought back to when I was almost 9, life was starting to get a little confusing. I had lots of questions, and all around me girls were getting interested in boys, boys were starting to behave a little strange (that doesn’t change though does it?) a few girls got their periods. Dolly didn’t make sense of everything, but it made me feel a little more normal, and I learnt about a lot of embarassing stuff (remember Dolly Doctor?).

So I bought the Mini-Fashionista her first ever copy of Dolly.

When I got home I presented it to her and – she LOVED it.

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Flashdance - loving a day off... (photo credit to D.Wills)

Flashdance – loving a day off… (photo credit to D.Wills)

Can you remember what you did on your favourite school holidays?

My favourite holidays were the days spent with my sisters and brother running amok in the bush near our house, fishing for crayfish (yabbies), riding our bikes… off bridges,  building campfires, telling scary stories and scaring each other, and generally doing a lot of fun/naughty stuff together. Without my Mum and Dad, and without going away. On a really big day, we’d take lunch with us, and not come home until the sun was setting. Just.

This morning Flashdance, my groove-tastic 6 year old announced he really wanted to ‘just stay at home and have fun’.

That’s it, no request to go to the zoo, shops, out for lunch, just home, his sisters and his brother.

So we did. Apart from walking Charlie the Wonderdog, we have been hanging out at home, and I am pretty sure the kids have had a fab time.  Flashdance has already declared it the ‘best day ever’ (time is a fluid concept when you are 6 you know).

An unexpected benefit? Big A and I have also had a fab day. No rushing around, no fighting between the kids, no long drive to get somewhere as quick as possible… just us, relaxing at home.

Do you love a stay-cation?

Enjoy xx

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Sometimes we have to do scary stuff!  It's nice to have friends to help...

Sometimes we have to do scary stuff! It’s nice to have friends to help…

The past few weeks have been crazy busy, and a big part of the craziness has been two of my tribe starting at a new school.  Both Flashdance and Captain Jack have coped amazingly well, and we’ve watch with pride as they have made new friends, and settled into their new classes.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how nervous I would be. I had possibly chosen to forget how nervous I get when meeting new people.

I became the new kid, and each time I had a school event, drop off, birthday party, I would get butterflies in my stomach. 

What if I didn’t know anyone?

What if we had nothing in common?

What if I didn’t ‘click’ with anyone?

All of this came to a head when Big A and I were invited to the parents association ball.  Promising to be an amazing night, this black tie event had me quietly petrified. All the ‘what ifs’ came bubbling to the surface, and then some.  By the time the night rolled around, I was having second thoughts about even going.  Then I decided to knuckle down, and, well, basically get over myself.  After all, so far, everyone had been incredibly friendly, and a lovely new-found friend had invited us to join her table.  We couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome.

So, the tall lad and I frocked up (well I frocked up, he chose the B&W route), and off we went. In short, we had a ball.  Brilliant fun, fab food, and spine tingling entertainment (the pipe band – beyond words amazing).  The best part?

The newly minted friends we made. 

At the end of the night, we both jumped into the cab declaring it to be one of the best nights out in a long while.

 I was quietly proud of myself for frocking up and getting on with it.  Next stop, the Mothers Auxiliary fashion parade…

Enjoy xx

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Is it a long way to the top?

Is it a long way to the top?

This morning I got to thinking about the career progression and ambition.

Maybe not the sexiest of topics to all, but on my mind nonetheless.

There’s good reason too…

First the lovely Big A presented me with a copy of 7 Myths about Women and Work by Catherine Fox. Which I loved as it really resonated with me. I devoured it in three days and promptly lent it to a friend, saying ‘you HAVE to read this’.

Then there was the ‘sage’ (tongue planted firmly in cheek) opinion piece from Susan Patton about how to make the most out of your time at University (in this case Princeton) – apparently the main game is to find a rich, smart husband!  Incredibly aggravating, outrageously old-fashioned, but well worth the read as you are highly likely to encounter the same ‘opinion’ in your professional career. Grrrrrr, bloody grrrr.

Next up was Sheryl Sandberg’s tome, Lean In. Enlightening, brilliantly/ brutally honest, and one of the best books I have ever read. Ever. Furiously ambitious, Sheryl Sandberg’s book and opinion pieces have appeared at precisely the right time for me. A time when I am looking around, and wondering where are all the women in leadership?

Which leads me to here, in a coffee shop at lunchtime, pondering the big question of… what next?

You see, I am filled to the brim with ambition. Years ago, it bubbled over as I saw my future as bright and shiny, and I knew that of course I would eventually become a CEO.  Blind, brash ambition? Maybe. In my heart of hearts though, that is what I was aiming for.

So what has changed?

In short, nothing.

If you read this blog a little (or a lot – in which case – thank you!), you’ll know that I have a tribe of kids, and a fab supportive husband (that’d be Big A).

This has not changed/ dampened/ erased my ambition.

Over the years I’ve pursued challenging roles (overseas, interstate, change management, operations), completed two Masters degrees, and taken very little ‘time out’ to give birth to my little tribe. I work full-time and give it my all. I have now reached middle management.

So, my question is now… what is next?

What is it that I need to do to get to the top?

In the mining industry where women are in the minority (like most industries), and the gender pay gap is moving at snails pace this ambition seems even more lofty.

Yet, I am not going to give up. And nor should you if you are reading this and thinking, yes, me too!

My plan of attack so far is to keep speaking up, continuing to seek out and step into challenges, and supporting my colleagues in closing the gap.

What would you do? Have you got any hot tips?

Enjoy xx

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Leading a busy life?

Leading a busy life?

This morning on the way to work, my inner dialogue went something like this…

God, I am so tired. I really need a coffee (this is one of my first thoughts most days, along with I should really go to the gym, or bugger its bin day, I hope Big A has it covered).

I really hope I got the uniforms right today.  Did Flashdance have sport or Captain Jack? Did the Mini Fashionista have violin today? Has she been practising enough (probably not)!  Will need to remember to ask tonight. 

I should be helping Little L with her writing – she’s keen and interested, but we always seem to run out of time.  When did the rest of the tribe learn to write their name?  God my memory is shocking some days! Why did I give her such a long name, I should’ve called the little poppet Anna, or something equally short in nature.  

It’s career planning time for my team and for myself. I really should take the time to do some more thinking about both. What do I want to do next year or in five years time? Does anyone really know what they want to do in five years time?

Life of Pi was such a divine movie. I really should try to get a copy of the book for Captain Jack, who is a sensitive soul and would probably love the tale.  Is he mature enough to understand the themes? Do I understand the themes enough to explain them to him if he gets stuck?

What on earth am I going to do next year when all four kids are at school? Should I hire a nanny? Do they have nannies in Australia? God, what will people think if I get a nanny?

When on earth did this happen? What happened to my old (or should that be youthful) inner dialogue, the one that was always seeking out something new, adventurous, and happy to fly by the seat of your pants. 

Like the time I decided that Sydney would be a fab place to live (that harbour, the shopping, the beaches, so much to do), despite not knowing anyone, or having a job there, or even really knowing anything about the place (apart from the harbour, that there were beaches and some rumours about the shopping). So after about, oh, 30 seconds thought, I applied for a job, gave up my house, packed my car and off I went. And (luckily) I loved it!

Is this what growing up is?  Or have I matured?

Do you still wing it or are you growing up too?

Enjoy xx

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What the hell is the fiscal cliff? Why you should give a toss about polictics...

What the hell is the fiscal cliff? Why you should give a toss about politics…

Ahhh, ignorance is bliss!

Or so it seems for many when watching the daily, if not hourly, happenings in the heady world of politics.

‘Big deal!’ you think, as a bunch of stuffy pollies argue the toss about what to do with your superannuation.

‘So what?’ you ask, when a slightly different, though kind of the same looking group talk about the Gonski review and how it’s vital to change the way the government funds education. Maybe you don’t even have kids, so why should it bother you anyway?

When was the last time you watched Q&A?

Do you care what the hot topic is in Question Time?  Have you watched question time?

Though it frustrates the bejesus out of me, I make an effort, on a regular basis to watch/read/ observe and get involved in this stuff.

Why?

Because this is where society and policy happens. And we are the recipients of this policy.

That’s right, in a few years time when we are all whingeing about how our super was eroded, and why didn’t anyone do anything about it, it will come back to these discussion about policies.

So this is my challenge for you for the week ahead…

Get in the know about the politics and policies that could affect you.  Find out who your local political rep is, find what they stand for, what are their policies. Read the political columns in the paper tomorrow, and try to watch Q&A tonight on ABC. 

The beauty of living in a democratic country is that you can be part of making the decisions that govern our society. That’s pretty important, and whilst it may seem a little dull at times (Question Time has a lot in common with high school in my humble opinion), you should persevere.

In the end, it can be a whole lot more satisfying reading  about the latest drama for the Kardashians.

Enjoy xx

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