7:30am is my new sleep in time!?!?

7:30am on a Saturday morning and I am awake? I never would have thought that I would wake up at this time without an alarm clock on a weekday let alone a Saturday. During the week I have to leave the house before 6am to get to work on time. My alarm is set at 4:45am and I’m usually up by about 5:20. There are still some normal me things that I do of a morning.

I know that my body clock has changed… but it still seems odd to me. During the school holidays slowly and slowly I was able to sleep in later. But these days as it gets closer to 9pm you’ll see me nodding off. My latest night on the school holidays would have been 11pm. Not very late by my standards…

It’s interesting how my job as changed my lifestyle and what I would consider quite dramatically. I sometimes dream back to last year and the years before. The days that I was part of the education system as a student. I had days off that I could claim as “study days”.  I felt my life to be very busy. I have only been a part of the working world for what? two months? And yet I am already noticing the dramatic shift.

I remember back to when I finished high-school and was moving on to uni. I had this feeling, as though I was in a grieving period where I was at a loss. I decided to take a year off. To this day I would say that, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, during that year I wasn’t really transitioning. I didn’t have that “phase” as some might say. I was almost in limbo. I was missing school and did not know what was to come of me.

At the start of this year I worked in a factory. That taught me not to get a job in a factory. In the middle of year I travelled with my mother. That taught me to see the world, just maybe not with my mother… although surprisingly enough I would go overseas with her again. But that’s another story for another time. By the end of the year I was working at a general store. I loved that job. It taught me more about the confidence I had inside that there was there all along but that I had never believed existed. Once that year was over however, I was ready for my course to begin.

I started uni and in some ways it felt as though I was back at school again. The change was not that different. I was still missing school but for different reasons. I was missing my friends not school itself. It felt good to be in a place where I worked out a good routine, a good way to study and to enjoy my placements at schools. I can’t believe I am already reflecting back upon my uni life. It’s too soon.

It feels too soon for a lot of new changes. But I guess in working in before and after school I get to experience another year “off” so to speak. Everyday I am learning new things. About me, the children, the school and the parents. I am certainly seeing myself grow as a person. I have this kind of confidence that similarly to my job at the general store was always there but I never believed existed. 

Learning from life and our experiences is great. If it means waking up earlier to do so. Then I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m working, not everyone is these days. If life were as simple as putting all the pieces of the puzzle exactly where they were meant to go. We would all be bored. That would be sad.

I’m happy that I haven’t had things happen in my life just as they “should” be because I have learnt so much. I believe to be a much stronger person because of it.

Awake at 7:30am on a Saturday? I shouldn’t really complain and question it. I will choose to enjoy it. Enjoy listening to the birds outside my window. Enjoy relaxing in bed. Enjoy the fact that I’m awake earlier enough to go down to a gluten-free cafe and buy their amazing gf bread. Plus I have still had a two hour sleep in. So I think I’m doing pretty well. 🙂

Signing off – I need to get up, feed the cat and get me some (gf) bread!!

My new job!!

I started a new job on Monday! I work in before and after school which means that every day Monday to Friday I get to go to one school and provide care for children aged 5-12 in both the morning and afternoon. The split shift is a hard adjustment. The job itself is wonderful.

The morning starts with setting up the kitchen with breakfast for the children, wiping down the tables and discussing the days activities with my co-ordinator.

As the children arrive with their parents what they do varies. Some decide to go straight into playing a game, doing arts and crafts or their homework. The kids I work with are diligent with their schoolwork, polite and very fun to be around.

As they settle into the morning some ask for milo, cereal or toast. While others have already had their breakfast. There are only a few kids who come in the mornings with the most being about 10.

One of the kids insists I don’t give her enough milo. I laugh to myself as I used to be a lover of milo and would enjoy much more than she gets given. This is one of the great things about working with children. When you realise how similar you are or once were.

The afternoons are a much busier affair. We can have 20+ children. I know as a teacher that, that is normal. However, it’s very different in this job. Although there are activties planned it can be quite unstructured.

We do ball games, arts and crafts, colouring competitions, cooking, etc. It can be very busy!

The kids are all different too as some don’t really want to participate. As someone who experienced going to both before and after school care I can really appreciate where they’re coming from. They want to be at home.

With a bit of encouragement to have them join in there is a fine line between wanting them to participate and be a part of the group and not pushing them in doing something they don’t want to do.

In drips and drabs the children leave until eventually there is no one left and it’s time to go home. As the assistant I’m not always there for this depending on ratios and on a Friday it’s a most common occurance… which is good because by then I’m ready to go home early.

So far everyday I’ve been thinking to myself “am I seriously getting paid for this?” “I’m having too much fun!”

I think that’s a sign that I pretty much love my new job.

Teaching is still on the cards but for now I’m pretty happy!!

Siging off – I need a nap! 😉

My battle with gluten free breakfast!

So today I decided to make myself Quinoa Porridge! It took about half an hour to make which for breakfast is a bit of a drainer, so when I sat down and ate it, I thought to myself: “this better taste good!”

Guess what – it did! It tasted bloody brilliantly in fact. A little sweet so I’ve learnt for next time to add less golden syrup… but a part from that it was warm, crunchy (for the chopped almonds) and incredibly filling!

The afternoon has come and I can still feel a happy stomach and a sigh of relief!

My batttle with gluten free breakfast actually feels like it’s getting easier!

Back in the day before I knew of my Coeliac Disease, breakfast was simple. A couple pieces of toast, fruit and a cup of tea or if I had a bit more time – then I’d treat myself to eggs on toast, maybe even with a bit of bacon.

In the past year or so I’ve been learning what it’s like to live on a gluten free diet and breakfast as been the hardest meal to conquer. I’ve tried everything! From packaged rice porridge, fruit and yoghurt and of course gf cereal. Toast was set aside as gf bread is expensive and it’s hard to find a good loaf out there that isn’t like a brick.  Nothing has seemed to fill me up and I’m usually hungry about an hour after eating! It’s been frustrating as anything plus not exaclty that healthy either. Snacking is NOT a good alternative, that’s for sure.

It’s nice to finally be feeling like I can start the day like most normal people do – with a good breakfast! Since eating the Quinoa Porridge, I have felt fuller and have gained more energy. It put me in the mood to have a productive day. Instead of feeling sluggish and ‘starving’.

Being a coeliac has it’s moments and it’s definetly a learning curve on how to be a better cook in giving myself a healthy, delicious and filling diet. One that I can ensure will give me the most nutritients and thus allowing me to be the best that I can be.  When I discover new recipes like the porridge I made today I am faced with mixed feelings. Somewhere between triumph and feeling excluded. Triumph because I can eat something and enjoy it and exluded because I’m not a part of the ‘normal’ world anymore.

I know that these days being on gluten free diet is easier than it was ten or even five years ago but it doesn’t take away the ‘sucky’ feeling I have when I have to go food shopping, go to a restaurant, a friend’s house, a party or can’t be bothered and want take-way. There isn’t really an easy way out and today with my porridge I’m ok with that but maybe tomorrow things won’t be so easy.

I know I have to stick to the diet for my health and stay positive which I do with all my determination. But all I’m saying is – sometimes I wish I didn’t have to. Sometimes I wish I could walk across the road and buy some fish and chips and finish off the meal with an ice-cream in a cone – now that would be a real treat!!

In the meantime: here’s to brekky! You don’t know how amazing it is until you can longer find a simple way to enjoy it.

Signing off so I can more fun learning how to be a better gluten free cook! 🙂

 

 

 

 

To be yourself

Lately I’ve been caught up in so much of what is going on in other people’s lives, but what for? I’m me and that’s ok. I should just be who I am and the best that I can be…

I should not feel sad or anxious about not having something that another person may have just because I feel like I should have those things. If those things are not here right now than that doesn’t matter maybe they’ll come and maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow and maybe they’ll come in a few years time…

I’m reading this book called “down to earth” … ( http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670075928/down-earth)

It’s very inspiring…

One of things that I have just read is

“Stop living according to the expectations of others and focus on building a life that is unique to you”

The book is centred around the idea of simple living. Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I have gone from thinking all I will rely on is the gluten-free substitutes but cook how I used to e.g spag bol (Spaghetti Bolognese) but with G-F pasta, flourless chocolate cake…etc, then I decided to branch out and try new recipes and before you knew it I had a cupboard full of different ingredients…

I started to think if living gluten-free meant 20 ingredients that used to only take 4 or 5 that, that was a bit insane… I have the gluten-free 4 ingredients cookbook… but most of those recipes are good but a bit too basic…I still want to be able to eat delicious food just not spend so much money…

The great thing about this book is it gives you so many ideas on how to live your life fully but simply and not only that but it gives you a guide for each stage in your life in decades so 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and retirement.  It emphasizes on how if you’re not already living the life you want then it’s never too late to start. (The writer of this book is in her 60s and looks back on her life when she takes the plunge into the concept of simple living…)

It’s true to say that I’m very much a homebody and have always been very happy with that. I want to do things like travel – through my own country and the world…

I want to continue my education (on my own terms…), I want to learn another language, etc,etc

Let’s face it I want love and babies…

And tea and cake

and cats and dogs

and I want to be happy in a place that I call home… I want that home to be filled with photos of friends and family

places I’ve been…

I want my own veggie patch, herb garden… to have lots of flowers

I want to give back to the world so that not all my sentences start with “I want” like they have been…

and acceptance lots of acceptance…

but I think the place to begin is in myself otherwise I don’t think all those things will happen…

If I accept that I am who I am and that no body and I mean no body can take that away from me then I think I will be a better person… along the way I will learn from others of course but I can’t let influence take over and create someone I’m not because that will crush me before my time and no one wants that…

I’ve had a huge lesson of the day:

Be happy with who you are and who you will be!

Signing off because my feet feel frozen!!!

(15 days till Darwin, 15 days to 30 degree weather that’s celsius btw…)

Just like scrambled eggs!!

If you’re eyes feel like they are so low they could be touching your chin and they are falling closed to the point that no matter how much you try to keep them open they won’t…then you have gone past tired directly to exhausted… I probably should right now be asleep in bed…but instead I have an insane determination is stay up and write a blog post. After my week though in particular today I feel as though there is a need to do something to not just unwind but to get away from the lecture room and the study desk. To unwind in a place where I feel immediately relaxed – even if this is related to uni, it’s not a prescribed assignment, it’s something that I have chosen to do myself!

The week started well with my Drama Monday – a fun lesson, followed by a fun movie…

Tuesday turned into a day of being completely frustrated at once again being placed at a school so far out of my way that there would almost be no point in the travel time to get there. I went absolutely completely mad and was so outraged that when I called mum to debrief that I couldn’t calm down, I was crying then yelling then crying again. I’m not normally one to lose it like that but after the stress of last year I was hoping for a smoother run so I didn’t have to wait till almost the end of the year to do my teaching rounds. It was too late in the day to do anything about it – so I did the classic thing – to sleep on it…

Wednesday came:

I had this great subject called The Cultural Studies of Tibet and our lecturer for that was this great guy – who was completely stuck in the stone ages as far as lecturing goes – no use of technology, but he was so enthusiastic and passionate about what he was talking about that it was a nice change to not have to watch slide after slide about the subject matter. During the tute he didn’t really have much to expand on, because it was week one… but instead talked about why he doesn’t use technology…

In normal circumstances this would really bug me – but he was talking about it in context to education and us as learners which relates to the course I’m in so I thought even though I didn’t agree with his theory it was good to hear another perspective. He felt as though technology was there as a distractor, that it wasn’t valuable, most people were always plugged into something and therefore he didn’t like to use it. His argument also covered how if you have slides of a Powerpoint or a recorded lecture then that means that student don’t show up to the lectures – which he thought was valuable. I could understand why he prefered not to use it…

As an educator though – the use of technology especially as we are in the 21st century is a vital part of the classroom… kids nowadays and even when I was still at school are so in tune with technology that teachers need to use to and even allow their students to use their iPhones/ipads/MacBooks or whatever it is they are plugged into – for the purpose of learning as this is how it should be… the old saying goes – pick your battles… sure if a student was txting in class, listening to music while people were talking – all the classic disruptive things that kids can do with our gadgets – then that would have to be stopped, etc…

Although I discovered last year on my teaching rounds at a school that was very focused on the use of technology that if students are using these gadgets for their appropriate uses in the classroom, then it’s ok;  if this includes listening to a song for a performance they have to do as part of their assessment then that should be encouraged – teachers know when their students are doing work and when kids are slacking off, they can usually tell the difference… but not only that if they’re not doing the work it could be because they are disengaged then maybe it’s something about how we are teaching and creating an engaged classroom… it’s tough though because what do you do when you’re in a maths class and the students have no interest at all because in the year after they’re not continuing with maths…???

The Tibet tute had come to a close and it was now time to meet some old friends – a couple who I hadn’t seen in two years. It was fantastic being greeted by old faces and catching up on two years of life… after they went to class… it was time for me to complete my day…travelling home via the uni bookshop and getting a new concession card…. I made a call to the people who sort out our schools… they gave me another number…

I waited until I got home-made the call and then within an hour all the frustrations of the day before had been relieved as a new school was found and it is close to where I live. I was so grateful to the person over the phone – that the same amount of energy I had used being angry and upset the day before had been used in thanking her for sorting it out and so efficiently!!

Now here’s to Thursday…and those scrambled eggs!

We were meant to be at uni this morning at the bright and cheerful time of 8:00am for our first lecture of the day and nothing was organised to the point where we were still in the lecture room 20 mins after the lecture was meant to end and only 10 mins of the lecture was about 4th year and what it would entail – the rest was pointless information that most of us didn’t even need to know…plus they had people in this lecture that were from another course – why?

There was no improvement by the time of the tute – people were even sitting on the floor, fellow students had cleverly worked out that our class size meant that seats would be limiting so had gone straight there even though this lecturer had told us to take our times…

We were told to go to the later tute… we were told to go to Monday’s class… we were told to stay on Thursday…

The afternoon came and our afternoon lecture was GREAT! A massive discussion on the 21st century, what events that have occurred to influence this century, changes in technology, globalisation – so many things that I could have easily talked about for the rest of the day…

Afternoon tute: yikes… organising groups at uni was actually more complicated and more disorganised than organising groups in a year 11 Drama class… with hlf an hr left of the class to go we were still working on it… even though the unit guide had clearly stated what to do – completely laughable really… at least my lecturer has the personality of her frizzy red hair and the enthusiasm which goes with most great teachers which made up for it… I had spoken to her earlier about joining her tute group and knew that her day had been a muddle too and she had just been as scrambled as the rest of us!

Who wants eggs?!?!

Lesson of the day:

Don’t let a little bit of disorganisation and frustration lead you to think that, that is how everyday will end up being…sometimes it takes time, sometimes a lot of time and sometimes a small amount of time… generally speaking it’s nobody’s fault when stuff like this happens because we are all part of the picture we have to be patient because usually good things come to those with patience. I could have easily caught a later train and had been relieved that they hadn’t covered anything important. Things get sorted and sometimes waiting only means that the experience is far more rewarding than you ever thought it would be… like last year – I didn’t get a school until the year was nearly over, but then I got a fantastic school and a  7 week block which meant that the experience was more than I would’ve dreamt off…

A challenge is put in place, not to be a challenge but to be something to over-come, get through and know that you can do it if you put your mind to it.

Sleep also is 100% important… it makes our minds clearer and ready to tackle the day!

Signing off… as I’m nodding off and allowing my eyes to finally close…

Have a great weekend!!