August was a bit of a blergh month. Nothing major, but I was sick and certain things just felt like they fell off the rails a bit – I stopped meditating, stopped tracking my budget/expenditure and hardly did any exercise. But I guess sometimes you need these kinds of down periods of time to really notice and appreciate what a positive impact certain activities actually have on your physical and mental well-being. But in the true spirit of Head & Heart – “a monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.” – here is August’s instalment…
What I’ve been doing
- Being sick… again. Colds (and then secondary sinus infections) bought home from daycare are really not much fun.
- I went to Adelaide for the YWCA Adelaide She Leads Conference – which was great! I took away some great ideas for our Canberra event.
I’ve re-started taking photos at 8.36pm. This is a project I started back in September 2009 (inspired by Buster Benson). I’ve started and stopped a few times (with a long break between April 2014 and August 2015), but so far I’ve taken 797 photos (37% of days since starting). I love the unfiltered ordinariness that this project captures and it’s role as a kind of digital time-capsule of my life. The photos are generally very boring – I’m most often involved in some kind of domestic pursuit (packing lunch boxes, ironing, trying to get my kid to sleep) or working at that time. But as boring as they seem at the time, I still find it fascinating to look back at what’s changed (and what hasn’t). Buster’s project is a public one, but after doing it for a while I’ve decided that my 8.36pm photos are primarily for me (my future me), and so most photos are just posted to Flickr privately.
I’m grateful for
- Mum coming to visit us in Canberra. Not only am I grateful for having an extra set of hands to help with the toddler-wrangling, but I’m super grateful for the time E gets to spend with her Grandma. I have such fond memories of spending time as a child with my own grandmother and I’m sure E is collecting some great memories too. It’s 3 years this month since my Grandma passed away, so perhaps that’s making me particularly reflective. E would have made her laugh so much!
I’ve been thinking about
- Writing (and in particular, blogging) as a method to discover your own opinions and beliefs about a certain topic.
- My diet – and how it is impacting on my physical and mental health, and wondering what I can do (diet-wise) to improve my immunity and potentially reduce the frequency of colds.
- Turning 35. It was my birthday this month and it got me thinking about what I want the next 35 years of my life to look like.
I’m excited for
- The new intake of the YWCA Canberra She Leads Diploma starting next month. I’m excited about meeting and working with a group of women as they develop their leadership capability and I’m excited about redeveloping some of the course content to make it a stand-out leadership course.
I’ve been reading
Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher. I really like James’ podcast and his writing (email newsletter, blogging) but thought this book was just okay. Much of the content was already familiar to me from reading and listening to him in other forums, and I thought the book could have done with a tight edit. But I’m happy to buy James’ work as some small compensation for the value I’m got from his free material.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I figured that I couldn’t possibly run women’s leadership programs without having read probably the most influential book on women and work in the last 5 years (in my defence, I have watched her TEDWomen talk multiple times so was across the core themes). I enjoyed the book, but found this critique – ‘Feminism’s Tipping Point: Who Wins From Leaning In‘ – particularly thought-provoking.
Sandberg has penned not so much a new ‘Feminine Mystique’ as an updated’Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’. Where other feminists focus on articulating the amount of free or underpaid labor that women do, Sandberg places a priceless value on labor itself and encourages more of it, whether paid, unpaid, or poorly paid. ~ Kate Losse
I’ve been listening to/watching
- The I Don’t Know How She Does It podcast. Great interviews with Jane Kennedy, Annabel Crabb, Jessica Rowe, Justine Clarke and Carolyn Creswell.
- Podcast recording of Heather Reid’s Landmark Women talk at NMA.
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