political · Uncategorized

My Political Pants

Last Sunday the Australian Federal Minister for Education announced that an
expert group had been formed to work on the implementation of a nation-wide phonics assessment and numeracy check for year 1’s. He asserted this action was part of a plan of getting back to basics in Australian schools. I spent the afternoon reading comments and looking into it more – I was excited to finally have some something from my Facebook feed spark my attention. Even more igniting was a blog I read that night by Cate Speaks –Imperfect activism. She wrote  about the shared despair resulting from the politics of the wider world and the mental exhaustion resulting in a lack of time or energy to devote to activism.  Most importantly she proclaimed that while it may be impossible to do ‘enough,’  even if you only do one thing, ever, that’s still one thing that wouldn’t have been done if you hadn’t done it.

She particularly inspired me with the goal ‘to do your one thing, and then encourage two or three more people to do their one thing too’, in order to make a difference. She plans to do 2 things a week , one that is political or big picture and the other small and local – ‘something that aims to maintain and build the communities I am a part of’.  I’m pretty keen to follow her lead so am adding yet another 2017 blogging goal to me list – the political post.

To recap this year I’ve said I’m going to do – a reading post (WWW Wednesday and When are you reading challenge), an issue post, my regular whatever posts and now a political post. Let’s just not set too many timelines on these! I had a bit of a crazy busy week – daughter back to school, now a big Year 1, son started kindy, I attempted to work clients around various schedules, hubby had shearing and our puppy broke his leg! I was extremely happy to make it to the weekend. I’m now trying to work my way through several tabs open in my internet browser and this is where my first purposeful political post shall begin….

Firstly I am still trying to get my head around Simon Birmingham’s education announcement (mentioned above). My first thought was WHY more assessment? H’s reception teacher last year did reading at least once a week with each student, I’m sure all teachers already know where their kids are at reading-wise. More important than assessment in my opinion is resources to respond to what teacher’s already know. Resources to help the students who are identified as struggling. Anyhow I still need to look into this one further – maybe next weeks post.

Secondly Trump. I don’t know who I would’ve voted for if I was American but I am not 100% against this guy. Then I read this summary of his first week in office…

Thirdly Trump. again. well no actually Russia. A lovely friend joined me on the five hour round trip to pick my puppy up after surgery and we discussed all and everything. She mentioned fears of Trumps relationship with Russia, especially since Russia was seeking to decriminalise domestic violence, what the what?! She wasn’t making it up:

According to CNN ‘The pending legislation would consider an assault — if it’s a first offense that does not seriously injure the person — an administrative, rather than criminal offense. The legislation would also apply to children…Women’s rights groups say domestic violence has an insidious hold on many Russian families and fear that decriminalizing assaults will only encourage more violence… An old Russian expression “If he beats you it means he loves you.”…Official data on domestic violence in Russia is not centrally collected so it’s hard to verify. But the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports that 40% of serious crimes in Russia are committed in the family, 36,000 women are beaten by their husbands daily, and 12,000 women die yearly as a result of domestic violence — one woman every 44 minutes.’

‘Yelena Mizulina, the politician who introduced the legislation believes it will bring domestic violence offences into line with other assault and battery charges, which were decriminalised last year.The change would mean that ‘battery within the family’ as an administrative offence would be punished with a fine, community service or brief prison term.’ (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/01/13/despite-outcry-russia-set-de-criminalise-domestic-violence). It also returns the crime to the realm of “private prosecution”, where the victim is responsible for collecting evidence and bringing a case. Repeat offences would be criminal infractions, but only within a year of the first, giving abusers a pass to beat relatives once a year.’

The Economist reported that Russia is one of three countries in Europe and Central Asia that do not have laws specifically targeting domestic violence. Instead it is treated like other forms of assault, ignoring the fact that spouses and children are more vulnerable than other victims.

Alena Popova, an advocate for laws against domestic violence, is reported to support the new law, believing that more women will come forward if they do not think their partners will be sent to Russia’s harsh prisons. Similarly comments on the Economist article shared

For those still confused [with the] difference between “criminal” and “non-criminal” violations in Russian law
1. While both types of violations are prosecuted by the state, only courts (1 court per 1 mln people, roughly) can do criminal cases. Many smaller offices can process administrative cases. Speed of processing will be much higher after de-criminalizing.
2. Standard of proof is easier for “non-criminal” violations, more domestic abusers will be sentenced after de-criminalizing.
3. Range of punishment is lighter for “non-criminal” cases, but still includes forced community service and short detention ( weeks / months ). Certain types of theft and battery are routinely treated as non criminal.

Another commentator suggested that while the first punishment is administrative there is then an INEVITABLE criminal case for the second offence led by a government prosecutor that cannot be closed by the “consent of the parties”, with maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. Thus giving family members more protection – previously calling the police was useless; police could do nothing; now they can fine the offender, and lock him up for 15 days to think about his behavior, and get into him that the next time he will be on direct way to state prosecutor and 10 years imprisonment with very high chances of case going through.

I think in the end I will have to leave this issue to the Russians (although I did sign an online petition). The most important takeaway message for me is, one woman dying every 44 minutes from domestic violence, ANY woman/child/person dying as a result of domestic violence is unacceptable.

‘Enough’ for one day I think.

 

 

Although FYI

More ideas from Cate’s Blog https://catespeaks.wordpress.com/ (I also like Leaning to Speak Politics https://learningtospeakpolitics.wordpress.com/)

Here is a highly incomplete list of really small, easy things you can do for yourselves and for each other.

  • Donate to a charity on behalf of someone else.  Oxfam Unwrapped will send a friend a card on your behalf, telling them what you donated in their name.  The bag of pig’s manure seems like an appropriate choice right now.  So does the Women’s Rights gift, that trains women in Bangladesh for leadership roles.
  • Bake something delicious and give it to someone.  I feed my colleagues a lot (but not tomorrow, because I’ve spent all evening writing this.  Sorry, my scientists!), but dropping something in to a local homeless shelter, or for the doctors and nurses at your local hospital is a nice touch.  Or you could do this.
  • Write a letter to a politician thanking them for their work on something you appreciate.  Or write a letter or a card to a teacher or friend who has helped you, telling them how much you value them.
  • If hand crafts are your thing, make a quilt or a cape or knit a teddy bear for a sick or traumatised child, or check out one of these campaigns.
  • If you are in a choir or orchestra or other musical group, get a group together and see if there is a local retirement home, or hospital, or detention centre, that might like a short concert.
  • Recommend a book to someone.  Buy it for them, if you can afford it.  Make it something fun and clever and escapist and quietly feminist.  (My recommendations this week are Sherry Thomas’s book A Study in Scarlet Women, which is a really clever gender-swapped Sherlock Holmes; The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman, a fantasy adventure with secret agents, alternate worlds, and stolen books; and anything by Lois McMaster Bujold, but especially Paladin of Souls.)
  • Ring someone who you know is having a rough time right now for a chat.
  • Volunteer for a tree planting day, or at a wildlife shelter.
  • Download Mapswipe, and help Medecins Sans Frontières find people in disaster zones (note that you will need good eyes for this activity)
  • Take a bath, turn off your phone, and have an early night.  Books, music, favourite TV programs, partners and pets might all be part of this arrangement.  It doesn’t have to be tonight.  But give yourself permission to take a night off from the fear.  You can afford one night.  We all can.
faith · Future · life · Uncategorized

This place

Welcome lucky reader, tonight you get three blogs in one or none if this draft doesn’t come together…(came down to two albeit short and simple)

The topic I’ve been working on is based on 50 Things I Want To Do (And Will Do) In My Life — Vincent Carlos

Here’s my own smaller list of 20 things that I want to do (and will do) with my life in the next 20 years.

  1. Become a foster parent
  2. Start a local women’s support group/business
  3. Shop ethically and economically
  4. Create a lovely home environment for my family
  5. More specifically – outdoor patio, bbq, reading area
  6. Get involved in politics
  7. Publish a weekly blog with a community of followers
  8. Reach and maintain my goal weight
  9. Stay married
  10. Support my children through their lives specifically education
  11. Work or volunteer for a charity
  12. Go to Paris
  13. Travel overseas, I’d love to do all the continents
  14. Share my faith
  15. Read on average a book a week
  16. Buy a house
  17. Be a philanthropist
  18. Have a good reputation as a caring open person
  19. Umpire a netball game
  20. Make time for regular play with my children, catch ups with family and friends

Image result for one day... you will be at the place you always wanted to be

Then I saw this photo and quite happily came to the realisation I am exactly where I want to be. Life is good. I get annoyed and tired each day. But I have dreams and they feel completely achievable. I am in love with and thankful for Hubby. My children are my delight. I have a home, a job and financial security. I have been depression free for almost a year. I have a busy social life and still time (although never enough) for reading and relaxing. Seriously I have nothing to complain about. Sorry to be a snob and I know I’m tempting the universe but WOW I want to enjoy it while I’m here.

 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:17

 

What about you, do you have dreams to share? Are you in ‘that’ place, have you been there before or can you see it on the horizon?

 

I pray that ‘he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!’ Ps 20:4

 

ps I’ve blogged before about my dreams collecting dust on the shelf and just wanted to share that I’ve taken action this week on #2 , looking for a partner in crime 🙂

 

Books · Future · Uncategorized

Chapter One

‘You have the power to change stuff’ Daniel Flynn founder and managing director of Thankyou, previously Thankyou Water.

I am passionate about helping people and making a difference, I have a few ideas I’d like to look into further and maybe one day take somewhere. But that day is not here yet.

Daniel Flynn gives some great tips and shares many inspiring stories in this book and I feel a pressure to act now. But I’m already juggling a few plates at the moment – most importantly being a Mum, which leaves little energy for anything else.

Some people may be able to dream big and take action, devoting themselves heart and soul but I don’t think that’s me.

I will support you though, read your book, buy your products. My ideas may be sitting on the shelf for now but I will continue to dust them and stand firm in the knowledge that everything I do now will enrich me for when the time is right.

 

Uncategorized

Which way next (Part 3)

…For the last 2 years I’ve been wanting to change career direction….

I kind of decided in 2014 that my current job wasn’t the best fit for me and started to look into some other options. I started thinking about studying social work. It’s an area I’ve always been interested in but at some stage in my high school ‘working out what I want to do’ days my Mum encouraged me to pursue other areas – (at least that’s how I remember it) I think she believed I needed more real life experience and I thank her for that because as a 17 year old I would have been a very naive social worker student.

But I figure now I’m at least a little bit more world-wise and went to talk to a new friend who is a social worker. She pointed me in the direction of an occupational therapy mental health position in community health being advertised at the time. Awesome idea, different field without having to study- I put in a lot of effort for the application and interview preparation and it was a great experience BUT I didn’t get the job. I was definitely lacking experience despite working with veterans with PTSD. I did get a contact with one of the panel and he has since pointed me in the direction of some great resources but I was rather devastated at the time.

Okay a lot devastated, after a lot of reflection and you know life I decided to take it as a sign a) that I needed to do more short courses/online education etc.   to prove/follow my passion in mental health  b) maybe God was shutting the door for me working in mental health, I’d also applied for jobs in this area straight out of uni with no luck. I spoke with another OT and realised there are different levels of mental health care ie severe/emergency, moderate and given my own mental health issues perhaps helping people with more moderate level mental health concerns would be a better fit. It was great to once again feel there might be a job out there for me in the mental health field.

I started looking at degrees in mental health. And then I got sick again – how could I possibly ever help anyone else experiencing mental health when I can’t deal with it myself? Despite the horrible lows I made it through the other side and while doing a course with a life coach was asked what do I want to do – the answer was counselling, it felt unscripted just straight from the heart so that is the dream I want to follow this year. Hopefully it will lead me to a new job where I can work in a team and combine my passion of engaging people with helping them.

What are your goals for 2016? Or for your career/study? Any advice for studying counselling?

ps Just wanted to say thanks to people who are following, such a good feeling to know my thoughts are being read. Reached 50 likes this week 🙂

 

Uncategorized

I DO want to

I’ve had a serious case of the I DON’T WANT TO’s the last few days….

I don’t want to deal with my kids constant arguing

I don’t want to sit down and play with them so they are actually engaged in an activity instead of driving me mad

I don’t want to exercise

I don’t want to look up recipes in an attempt to get my family eating healthily

I don’t want to do anything so it’s easier just to go to bed. even though no amount of rest is ever enough to help me face the next day.

I was worried about my work day today, worried I wasn’t prepared. I had plenty of time before my first client though and by lunch I’d sent the email and made the call I’d been trying to put off in my head. That felt good.

But then my client after lunch didn’t go great, I felt like a fraud. And I’ve had that feeling before and with all this not wanting to do anything it has me scared.

I came home and slumped, thankfully here I am now writing a post. I’ve scraped myself up from the couch so that’s a promising start

My goals:

I want to play games with my kids

I want to stick to the spring challenge I’ve signed up for at the gym – I want to be accountable about my exercise

I want to find a way that works for me to provide healthy meals for both my family and myself

I want to study to increase my job options and confidence

I want to feel close to and supported by and supportive to my husband

and step by step I CAN achieve these goals, who’s with me?

Uncategorized

Latest Episode of D

(Written in March)

The last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling pretty down, in fact I stopped work, think it was an episode of depression that I needed to get over. Today was a marginally better day but I’m not sure where to go from here. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring – will I keep working on the mammoth amount of jobs around the house (that will always be there), will I participate in satisfactory interactions with my kids, will I work out how to solve the ‘work problem’, will I work out what I want – do i even need to work that out? I’m a bit lost.

 
But today – I saw a GP, left crying because I didn’t really talk to him (I sat through the appointment not wanting to have to describe what was going, just wanting to get out of there), so he had no way of truly knowing how I felt.
But then I took my kids to the park, then I took two tired kids down the street as briefly as possible and I drove home and I ended up feeling that the GP must have felt that I was functioning – of course I have to function I have two kids to look after,and I started feeling I wasn’t failing them, I was still be a good parent because although I felt like I couldn’t function I was – for my kids sake and maybe I was even doing a good job of it. Maybe I was still a good parent, maybe I am still a good person,maybe there’s still hope.

 
And then I came home and checked the pigs, and I put my son to bed, and I played some games with my daughter and I did watch an episode of Grey’s but then I did some housework – not much but more than I’ve felt capable of.

 
And now there’s hope for tomorrow but I’m not entirely sure what I’m hoping for. In a dream world my house would be clean, my kids would behave and then what would I do…probably, maybe organise.

 
In a more realistic world I would make progress on housework, perhaps follow my flylady routine, pay the bills, play with the kids, keep them fed and occupied and alternate this all with a satisfactory downtime activity for me -reading, dvd, interneting – alright then that’s the plan 🙂

 

*Edit This was a good day, it took another month before I was really back on track with more GP visits, an increase in my anti-depressants and sessions with a counsellor but I got there