Monday Morning Gratitude List…

Many years ago when I was first getting clean it was suggested to me that I might make a “Gratitude List” for times I was feeling somewhat negative about things in general. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with that thought in my mind again. So I suppose it might be meaningful to do so again.

  • I’m MOST grateful for having friends. I mean REAL friends, not the fictional Social Media “friends”; friends who exist in real life, have physicality. I don’t have a lot of friends, I prefer solid, deep friendships to the casual. My friends provide emotional support, love, entertainment and a solid grounding to life. They’re priceless, they are the real wealth and richness in my life.
  • I’m grateful for my family. Although clearly as dysfunctional as the best of them, they’re still there for me in the hardest of times, and despite my foibles have learned to take me as I am. My parents have managed to provide me with a solid idea about the profoundness of ethics and values, and that people MATTER. They provided me with a good education and taught me the VALUE of education and knowledge.
  • I AM grateful for living in Australia. Despite my many misgivings about where our country is headed as against many other countries I do believe we still have a chance here to not repeat many of the mistakes that I see other countries making.
  • I’m grateful for my good physical health. I believe having good health is so often taken for granted and it’s only when you know people for whom it can’t be taken for granted and see the devastating impact on their lives that it occurs to you how easy it is to lose it.
  • I’m grateful for a solid education that taught me the value of continually learning.
  • I’m grateful that there are so many people still out there who are willing to stand up and advocate for the weak, disenfranchised and maligned within our world and remind us that there is not justice for all, that there is still much to be done to achieve a better world.
  • I’m grateful for the artists in the world showing us wonderful new ways to see the world around us.
  • I’m grateful for my cats. They keep me sane when no-one else can.

I’m sure there’s more, yet that’s as much as I can see today.

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The Dead Marshes…

I can’t say it was a great weekend of activity, although I did help a friend out with something that’s been holding her back from getting a lot of work done. It’s good to know you can help friends and receive the simple joy and satisfaction that comes with that and the recognise the appreciation and thanks.

Outside of doing that, the rest of the weekend has been spent examining and reorganising my plans for the coming few months. Financially things are just limping along, but it’s not the money so much as the disintegration of the faith in myself and my skill set that’s more concerning now. I know rationally I have a huge range of skills. However at the moment they’re not being used to their full potential. I can see this, but have been feeling at a loss about how to kick start the process again. The vain hope of getting a job again that will use these is solidifying into a figurative concrete wall, grey, uninteresting and unattractive.

Coupled with that is a major lack of motivation for anything, it’s debilitating. It’s not accompanied by the profound Depression that I was feeling 18 months ago, but somehow this is more insidious. The subtleness of it is what’s most concerning. So today I’m spending time regrouping myself mentally and strategising a fresh path for the next 3 to 6 months.

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The Maelstrom…

It seems I’m in a holding pattern, slowly spiralling inwards but not really reaching a destination, i.e. a goal. Financially I’ve slowed the sinking, but the lifeboat is still leaking slowly, with the threat of a major leak constantly a threat. Purposiveness is disintegrating slowly too which is as concerning if not more. I’m steeling myself for a cathartic jolt which I hope is looming.

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Intermittant Communication and Connectivity…

Well I’ve been offline nearly a month now while changing over to the NBN. I won’t say it has been the smoothest of processes by a long shot. It’s been punctuated by me chasing my provider for updates of an install that has been both ignored by NBN for two weeks before even filing an order, then several cancelled (i.e. unaccepted) install dates that in turn my provider has omitted to advise me on after providing me with install dates that in turn clearly never got accepted. As is usual in utilities and services provided (and I use that term loosely) in this country, communication is extremely poor and customer satisfaction lacking a great deal of the time. As this service was from the outset defined as a business install, and having been for the most part crippled for a month by this change, I do wonder what other small businesses experiences have been. My install is “due” to take place today sometime this morning. I wait to see if such actually manifests.

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How Good is it to be Australian…

This last six weeks has been extremely challenging, from an emotional, psychological and financial perspectives. All in all I’m fairly exhausted and feel like I’ve run out of steam and yet keep rolling along being pulled by a tow rope that’s taking me nowhere I want to go. Unemployment has finally taken it’s forgone conclusion as far as a financial toll goes, placing me at the edge of being homeless soon, drowning in debt with no way to pay any of them and a fairly crap outlook about the foreseeable short to medium term future.

There’s no doubt that the middle-class in this country is under financial siege, both from government and business. State & Federal Governments in this country seem more concerned about staying elected next election than attempting to address almost ANY serious issue confront the citizens in this country. They continue to ride the waves of terrorism, anti-multiculturalism and maintain their technological stupidity with stoic shortsightedness. Politicians are presented with housing costs outstripping a significant proportion of this nation’s citizens, overburdening of our major cities infrastructure, a rapidly dropping AAA credit rating, the collapse of this country’s capacity to trade on a global scale, a continually rising cost of power in the country.

And once again all they can do is argue like the most misbehaved of school children left out in the schoolyard too long, calling each other names, and throwing rocks at each other. Not only that, but in their complete ignorance of the deterioration of the majority of this country’s citizens lifestyle seem to continue pushing ideas that fly in the face of long-term solutions. I can only hope that as election time looms, the electorate demonstrates that it’s had enough of self-serving parasites that have no other solutions than to take more & more from those that already have little and hand it off to those that have the most.

I’m not proud to be and Australian at this stage if the only way we can treat Australians (of all cultural backgrounds) is with contempt and disdain.

Yes this sounds depressing, that’s because it IS depressing for me. It’s depressing for many people just struggling to maintain some semblance of what they believed this country stood for and offered it’s citizens. We do need to accept some responsibility for where we are, we let them sell us down the river by not standing up more each time they give up one of our freedoms in exchange for nothing of use to the country’s populace. But now it’s time to make them accountable for their greed, lack of empathy and integrity. We need to send them a message.

I for one will lobby our local members, put them to task to state their allegiances, force them to make public statements about their ethical positions and hold them accountable for the decisions made my the party they belong to, and a “leader” who doesn’t stand by his or her own beliefs. What’s the point of a party having a leader when clearly the leaders do not lead; the parties dictate to the leader, not support them. What’s the point of parties that can’t agree on something obviously needed by the people of this country purely because they feel that they must “win” points against the opposing party. This country isn’t governed by it’s citizens for it’s citizens, it’s hijacked by a minority that has not a clue, nor cares, what’s being played out on the streets of this nation and can only take from it’s citizens without a thought to serving the country. It’s hijacked by businesses that care not for this country as most of them are no longer owned by citizens of this country. They care only for the “mighty dollar”, the majority of which seem to continually flow out of this country.

There’s a need for a complete flush of the sewers of our political system, new blood with ideas and vision, and a desire to take this country into the future for all it’s people, not just a privileged few.

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2017 is Out of the Blocks…

Well so far I’m managing to stay positive and trying to do my best to use my time productively. Sleep is still an issue, not so much getting sleep, just a matter of when. But I’ve stopped worrying about the when and just make sure I’m getting enough and not too much. Then I just make the time awake as productive as I can towards achieving my goals for the next few months.

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A Personal 2016 Summary…

If I was to sum up the year that’s pretty much now past, I’d have to say it’s not been the best of years for me. That said, it’s certainly not been the worst of years, it would have had to be a total train wreck for me to think that of it. There have been the usual mix of positive and negatives, highs and lows.

Amongst the highs would be knowing that my friends definitely care about me. All my friends have been very supportive of my situation even though it’s been to a large degree of my choice by leaving work. They have easily recognised the Psychological issues involved and not one of them has devalued me in any manner. It’s been fantastic to feel that support. I’ve clearly chosen my friends wisely. Hopefully they all feel the same.

Also travelling to NZ for both pleasure and business was absolutely awe-inspiring and definitely life enhancing. Even though in many ways we (Australians thinking about New Zealanders) think we are similar, for the most part I think these days we’re not! Geography is our most common factor. New Zealand as a community seems to be moving forward both economically and socially moving forward, whereas Australia seems only to be running backwards at a great rate. Our Politicians and most of the businesses in this country are hell bent on turning our country into a “Mini US” that seems to believe it’s citizens are an inconvenience at best and disposable at worst.

I’ve also managing to hold onto the house for at least another year. That’s been another positive milestone for me this year and a very pleasant surprise considering the economic pressure. It seems that originally buying at a price that took into account six to twelve months possible unemployment was a very sensible move.

As I said before, it’s not been all roses and chocolate. I suppose, although there are times I wonder talking to others, that no regular income this year again has been the most difficult and challenging part of the year for me. There’s no doubt that having no regular income in Australia (yes first world problem) is an unpleasant thing to stay the least. It certainly clarifies the mind with regard to Social Justice in this country: there’s very little! I know in many other countries it could be much worse but then that doesn’t justify it. Again in some other countries it is much better. Australians as a whole need to take a long hard look at what they want their future communities to be like because at this stage the outlook is extremely black.

However that said, I’m seeing the year out on a high and I believe that 2017 will be a better year for me to reflect on when its 31st of December rolls around.

To all my friends:

Thank you for your wonderful care and friendship, I hope I am always able to respond in kind.


May you all have a Happy New Year.

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Monochrome No More…

I’ve at least got the glimmerings of hope that the New Year may not be as hard as this outgoing year has been. There’s not necessarily anything earth shattering that’s happened over the last week to make me feel this way that I can pinpoint. Christmas was uneventful, but not unpleasant, and that’s about the best I hope for Christmas. Not being a Christian, it’s a day that only has meaning by the fact it’s the one day of the year I’m guaranteed to spend time with my family at my home.

There’s no immediate signs of any work of a regular sort at the moment, it’s certainly the worst time of year to hope for that sort of change. However surprisingly there are a few jobs that I can and should realistically apply for and shall. There’s not much point in saying anymore on either of those at this stage since the last 12 months has really been a bit of a “non event” as far as such expectations go. If something more than a “thanks but no thanks” eventuates, I’ll be willing to say more on that aspect of my life. What’s more of interest immediately to me is the new found enthusiasm I seem to have found for life and facing the days.

I’ve always stated that “I’m not a Coder’s Arsehole” which is really my way of saying that I’ve not considered myself interested in Programming. The reality was that while I didn’t start a B. Comp. to learn to code, initially I did find it interesting and at least for the first few units managed HD’s. But as life’s pressures mounted and I found myself working a full time week and balancing full-time university my interest in Programming drastically evaporated. I was really far more interested in other aspects of I.T. and didn’t really anticipate working in that area of Computing. Programming had not really been in my skill set prior to University, and it seemed to me that those that were great at code already knew how to code before they hit University. That said, Fifteen years later, I find myself with a renewed interest in Programming not sullied by the Lack Lustre opinion of what a Degree (or two) is worth in the real world now.

A couple of seemingly unrelated and small conversations and some unexpected circumstances have caused me to re-evaluate my attitude and my “willingness” to apply myself to programming. It’s just possible that I might be able to generate some income by raising my skill set back up in this area. I have the time, oodles of time at the moment.

There’s pressure for work, but NOT really any pressure to do programming just to get an assignment done. I’m exploring it in the way I’ve explored anything that’s interested my in the past, and usually that means with great gusto! It’s probably more a surprise to myself than anyone else that I am actually enjoying re-teaching myself to code. Admittedly, technically at the moment I wouldn’t call it true programming as I’m starting with HTML 5 & CSS(3). However I’ve drafted out a rough plan of seeing how I got with this for a month and if the interest is maintained and my skill level grows in the manner I’m used to seeing when I apply myself to something with my natural enthusiasm for new knowledge, I shall try my hand at Programming for Apple OS & iOS and also revisit “C” Programming and Programming in C+(+). I have no great desire to throw myself into C# again, but it’s not impossible.

It seems to me a good counterbalance to the Photography and may pull me in a bit of money creating Websites or maintaining them.So through no great effort on my part it seems that 2017 may be brighter and more colourful than I was imagining a week ago.

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30 Days and Counting…

Well I can barely credit it being December now. It’s not so long ago I was still getting organised for my NZ South Island trip! There’s been quite a bit happen over the year I guess, but unfortunately it looks like I’m seeing the year out with out any supplementary work to assist me. I’ve stopped worrying about that for the moment as my experience has been that there’s rarely much work around between now & February. So rather than worrying about lack of income for the next two months I’m simply going to focus wholly and solely on new avenues for the Photography business. I’ve been chatting with some friends tossing ideas around and otherwise mentally preparing for round three which hopefully will see a better next year.

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Between Worlds…

Lost in time & space day, basically embraced Morpheus.

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