Sunday, October 20, 2019

Reflections - National Dyslexia Month (Australia)

Many of you know I love my garden. A place of contentment, and a place for me to reflect. 
I spend alot of time in the outdoors, and a lot of time at work.... 

Especially in spring, now, I enjoy the new life, new flowers, and new animal life in the garden. 
Here, my newly established passionfruit is showing me it's intentions... 

This was a recent harvest which then converted to a variety of meals during the week. 
I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I grow my own food. 

This month is national Dyslexia Awareness Month. I didn't know there was such a month until recently when I read blog post. I was moved by the authors story to reflect on my own story. I have Dyslexia, which wasn't really diagnosed until I was in my 3rd year of Uni, and sitting in a child psychology lecture and recognised many of the symptoms in myself. I did go for a formal diagnosis, which resulted in this -  "it's clear you have learning difficulties, but you've clearly found lots of skills and tools to manage well at Uni, so keep doing what you're doing".

So I kept doing what I was doing... almost 25 year laters I have multiple degrees and multiple master degrees and an executive career. It seems like I developed strengths that helped me in my career, despite the difficulties I have reading and recalling facts & figures.

as an example of how dyslexia impacts on my life - in my business, we spend alot of time on teleconferences these days - this involves dialing into (often) 12 digit phone numbers, followed by a 6 digit ID code, then (often) a 8-12 PIN no.... By the time Ii actually get dialled in, my heart is racing with nerves, and my anxiety takes minutes to settle. This pattern is repeated when logging into banking sites.... numbers are so important in daily life. 

Recently I was talking with a friend about how hard I find reading for pleasure, and how I'm trying to set aside time to practice reading for pleasure. I read on a kindle, and I set reading goals by percentage - ie, dont stop until you've read another 10%.. but it's hard work to do that. I'm easily distracted, I'm not engaged, and I feel like I'm running a marathon.. My girlfriend said - just stop it. If it's not pleasure, dont do it.

She's right! it's not enjoyable. Except for a few genres and authors I've found I can engage with, I just dont have fun reading.

[warning - this is disturbing] I have another friend who says she doesn't get why people blog book reviews. SHe's a prolific reader, and says what she thinks and feels about the books she read are her experiences. However - I do like book reviews. They help me learn about the world, without having the run the marathon of actually reading the book.

Thank god for Podcasts! I love podcasts. I love listening to information. . Any recommendations for new podcasts are always welcomed in my life!

For Dyslexia Awareness Month, I ask you to reflect on reading in your life.  Enjoy it if it's your thing, or move on if it's not! Podcasts are the new world of books...


Jeanie said...

I love this post, Tamara. It's so thoughtful and has much to think about. Fortunately, I have never had issues with reading and transposition of letters and words. But I have and always have had a terrible time with numbers. Balancing checkbooks was my biggest nightmare. For years I worked as a bookkeeper and I was terrified every day that I would be found out, that I had to do the sums over and over to get them right. There is a highway junction near me that is 69 and 96, and they are east and west so there are signs with four versions of those two numbers and more than once I have taken the wrong direction because I couldn't process that fast.

Here's my take on reading for pleasure. If it gives you pleasure, do it. If it doesn't find out why (reading the wrong authors? reading what you think you SHOULD instead of what you want?) and if you can fix it, do. Reading shouldn't be a chore. Goals are one thing, but slogging through is another if you aren't into the book. And like you, I enjoy reviews. I know not everyone will like what I do or vice versa and I'm OK with that, but it does introduce me to new titles.

Carola Bartz said...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Tamara. I remember back in first grade when I learned how to write and I had such difficulties with some words. It was hard for me - but now I am a very good speller (at least in my native language, not in English!). Just like Jeanie I am much more challenged by numbers and they can actually let me break out in a sweat.

Reading? I have always loved reading, since I was able to do it (which came much easier than writing). I simply enjoy it, it's the best way for me to disappear in another world and forget about mine for a while. I also love it when I learn something while reading. But reading is for enjoyment. If I don't enjoy a book, I stop reading it. I finally have given myself the permission that I don't have to finish a book if I don't like it. Time has become too precious to waste it with books I don't enjoy or engage with. I find reviews interesting even though I often realize I often don't fancy books others rave about. But that's another story.

Tamara said...

Since posting this, ive been a bit braver in my work circles. Ive shared with some, but only those i know and trust, the difficulties dyslexia brings me. Ypu know ive been so appreciative of the support ive received. Thanks ladies for your sharing too. Its much more common that we know, because its so unsafe to share... openness might change workplaces.

Laura Quaglia (Fun With This and That) said...

Pictures are great your post is interesting
Hope your week is great