Saturday, January 31, 2015

When does Summer end?

Does summer end when you return to your 'routines'? or does it end when it's too cold to walk bare foot in the garden? Does summer end when you no longer have lovely long evenings of daylight and dusk? or does it end when you stop drinking white wine and start with the red?

When does summer end for you?

Me - it's not over just because I went back to work this week. It's just that I have to fit all my summer lov'in into the few hours I get to be outdoors. I love being barefoot and bra free.

This weekend, after catching up on the holiday washing and packing things away, I'm enjoying my garden;
  • Harvesting - Luffa, baby eggplants, beans, bananas, spinach, rhubarb, cherry tomatoes, & basil galore!
  • Planting - comfrey, parsley, beans, snow peas, sugar peas, leeks, and beetroot seedlings
  • Cooking - Luffa & tomato ratatouille with quinoa, and cheesy balls with fresh garden herbs, pesto and banana & cinamon icecream
  • Pruning - Bougainvilleas, jasmine, and the hedges
I am reflecting also on my key words, after I read this great post about focus and challenges.  Bec often inspires me with her reflections, and here she brought to my attention a book I might chase down. Brendon Burchard's The Charge. Bec noted this about the book, which is what I'm thinking about this weekend....
Brendon goes on to talk about the distinction between goals (focused on the destination or the desire to tick something off a to-do list) and challenges (which stimulate drive and engagement in the process, and stretches you to grow), and how extrinsic motivators rarely result in any lasting sense of achievement.
 Today I'm being challenged by the difference between ticking things off the list, facing the challenges and dealing with the fears that stop me from achieving things, and what motivates me.... I can set myself lots of things to do kind of goals, but I will usually leave the tuff stuff off the list. I know what those things are - calling a friend in need when I'd prefer to hang out with the butterflies in my garden..... or doing my tax work - but I delay those things..... the challenge for me is to face the fear - overcome that challenge. I will be a better person for it. And I don't have to have 100 ticks on my list of 100 things to do.

So today... I will reflect more on my keys words and what my challenges are.

Meanwhile - I'd like to report that I have read 3 more Japanese authors this past month, and will be doing my Japanese Literature Challenge post soon.

Photos: from Cowra NSW 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tour Down Under Updates

 The weather's beautiful, the city is alive with the joy of cycling. 

This years Tour down Under s started with a fund raising event for Bowel Cancer. 
The Undies Run. 
My partner's mum died of Bowel Cancer, so some of the family did the 1.7km fun run for Mum. 
(we are not pictured here - these are total strangers! as if I'd post a photo of me in my undies....)

 One of the most exciting things for me this year is the introduction of the pro cycling 
Women's Tour 
Its a world recognised pro cycling event for women
unlike the men's 6 days of cycling, the women's tour is just 4 days, with both circuits and road stages

 It's such an exciting sport to watch from the fence 
I love to watch their tactics and their form
their focus is just intense
 and some of the women's outfits (kits) are just lovely.

Today was stage 2 of the men's race
I rode with some friends up to the finish line in Stirling
it was a 75km ride for me up one of Adelaide's most reknown hills
'the corkscrew'
(the road is aptly named!)

Once I got to the top, I enjoyed watching the sprint leg at Mylor,
then relocating to watch the final two laps of the the men's race.

Currently we have an Aussie in the lead....
And Cadel is in the top 10!

This is a holiday with a definite sporting flavour.

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's almost here!

Its Tour Down Under time - that's a cycling 6 day cycling race - it's part of the international cycling circuit, and it's the first race in the years program. There's alot of hype about this years race - as Adelaide has gained international credibility for running a world class event, and it's Cadel's last year in Pro Racing - our very own Tour de France winner (2011).

Now, this blog is usually a passive, peaceful place to visit - as I ponder life, simplicity, mindfulness - but alas, for this one week - I'm about to get lost in the frivolities of sport.

I am also on holidays this week, and will be traveling to Adelaide to participate in Race events and spectator activities.One of these events is a major cycling event I've been training for over the past 4 months. I'll be doing the 151km journey that follows the race route on Friday 23rd Jan.I'm also doing the fundraiser for Bowel Cancer called 'the Undies Run' - a short run in my Undies for charity.  (probably wont post photos).

However, it's also my hope, that while I'm out of my usual routine, I will get time to be restful, simple and mindful.

It is also my intention to finalise my reading for the Japanese literature Challenge No 8! This is due to finish at the end of the month - and I've got a couple books left unfinished on my Kindle. It's time to conquer those!

Watch this space - I hope to report on my reading, pondering and touring activities here soon.

Friday, January 2, 2015

6 important words for 2015

Simplicity, Mindfulness, Application, Learning, Local and Social - these are words I would like to be conscious of this year. If you look at the acronym, it's only SMALLStuff..... but I'm sure it can be BIG too!

I don't profess to understand the full meaning of these at this stage, but here's my current definition for these words in my life.
  • Simplicity - For me simplicity is not actually the opposite of complexity (cos its probably quite complex in itself), but it's about making ethical and moral choices to keep daily life simple or free from ties to unethical over use. I don't believe  it demands a vow of poverty or a life of rural homesteading, but that it is an ethic of self-conscious material moderation. As one author states, 'Mastering the fine art of simple living involves discovering the difference between personal trappings and personal traps. In this sense, simplicity is ultimately a state of mind, a well-ordered inner harmony among the material, sensual, and ideal, rather than a particular standard of living'. I this it's about sufficiency - and knowing what is my sufficiency threshold.
  • Mindfulness -  This is about a state of awareness, and for me I want to be aware of the choices I make, the way I relate to the world around me, and the way I can impact the world around me. Being mindful is about being conscious of the present, past and the future. One author talks about mindfulness as having a heightened state of concern and due diligence in decision making and also it can mean having a clear state of awareness of the subtler processes of ones own mind - about being self reflective. One definition I would like to investigate is that mindfulness is a state of awareness consisting of unhurried, non judgemental attention to one thing at a time. 
  • Application - this reminds me that I have to action some of these great ideals - appplication means applying my pinciples, applying my learning, and evidence the actions - its an accountability issue for me - or to quote a multinational "Just do it!"...
  • Learning - Important for me is the commitment to keep learning on these issues and others. Not being enrolled in formal training (at the moment), I need to make the personal commitment to pursue my learning opportunities.
  • Local - living local, buying local, supporting local - this is for me about building community, participating in community and caring for the local community.
  • Social - this word is here to remind me that simplicity and mindfulness are not about being isolated. I personally need to be reminded to make time for my social life, and to work on finding connectedness with like minded people. It is way too easy for me to bury myself in my solitary spaces. Building my social networks is something that I want to be actively committed to.
 This post was inspired by a recent post by Cityhippyfarmgirl who asked what what our hopes, plans and words are for 2015. Her word is connected, but I couldn't stick to one. How about you? what are your words for 2015?