walk together

A friend of mine shared an infographic on Instagram a while ago. It illustrated the difference between fixed and growth mindsets with regards to race issues. Instead of just thinking that you don’t know what to do, or that you won’t make a difference, or that you simply don’t have time to get involved (all fixed mindset thinking), it encourages people to seek new information, learn about how to help, and have the courage to take part in something that has far-reaching implications (growth mindset).

It’s easy to think that a singular person cannot have much impact on greater issues, but if every person thought that, nothing would happen, nothing would change, and nothing would improve.

As someone who attended their first protest last month — for Black Lives Matter — it really reinforced this notion of “yes, I’m just one person, but together we can be a force to be reckoned with”. It was incredible to stand amongst so many others, all assembled for the same reason.

And yet, the realist in me keeps wondering what will be the true outcome of this — will there be lasting change, or will people just settle back into “normal life”, and grumble about other things?

The same friend who posted the infographic has also been sharing resources for how to support the cause further, how to support indigenous Australians, and how to just be a better human. I’ll admit it’s a lot to keep up with, and I haven’t read everything she shared, but every step in the right direction — no matter how small — equates to progress, and it’s further than I’d gone before.

clear vision

Today I got my first pair of prescription glasses. Apparently I am a little bit short-sighted.

Well, I’ve kind of known for a while, but I’ve just been avoiding seeing an optometrist. No real reason why — just that I was once told to put off getting glasses for as long as possible because once you get them, you kind of rely on them, and your vision will slowly get worse and worse, and you will be more and more dependent on glasses. (The friend who said this to me doesn’t really like having to wear glasses, and was probably being a little bit dramatic, but these things stick with me!)

Anyway, it wasn’t that I had that much trouble with seeing that it affected my life to any significant degree. I just started noticing that it was a bit harder to read street signs and see things far away.

This was last year.

I’ve been pretty good at putting this off.

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what now?

I’ve been avoiding this, but I think it is inevitable that I would write a post about the current pandemic situation. Almost every blogger I follow who is actively posting on a regular basis seems to have written about it or at least mentioned it in passing. And even some who have been inactive for a while have re-emerged to write about it. (Perhaps for something to do during lockdown? Perhaps to help process it all?)

Anyway, I’d been avoiding writing anything about it because there’s so much material circulating. People keep sharing articles and videos and whatnot on social media, and it’s rare to enter into a conversation with someone without the pandemic also entering the conversation.

But I suppose that’s just how it is. I don’t resent that people are talking about it so much. I only lament that it is, indeed, happening.

I think it’s incredible that things can change so quickly. At least, they seem to have changed very quickly. At the end of February, I went interstate to meet my then barely four-week old niece, and to spend time with family. At that time, the virus (and news of it) was spreading, but life was more or less “normal”. I was away from home for three weeks, and the situation evolved so much over that time that I felt like I was returning to a completely new world.

I don’t want to add much more to this because I feel like there’s not much more to say on the matter that hasn’t already been said. I suppose I really only wanted to write about this in order to mark this point in history on my blog, separating pre- and post-pandemic times.

measure and manage

Ahh, here we are again, at the tail end of another year.

As tempting as it is to look ahead, keep going, and ignore everything that’s happened these last twelve months, there’s a voice in my head that’s piped up with “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”, so I guess we’ll look back before we turn and keep going.

Of course, I do this constantly anyway. “Ruminate” is probably in my top 100 favourite words. (That’s just a rough estimate because I don’t think it would make the cut for top 10, and even top 50 could be a bit tricky to figure out. Besides, there are a lot of words out there, and a lot that I like.)

Another wise saying that I’ve been mulling over recently is the one that goes something along the lines of “stupidity is trying to achieve a different result by repeating the same process” (I know that’s very much paraphrased and reworded, but I can’t be bothered looking up the original. Well, ok, I will, but only so that I can credit the original genius who came up with it…) Continue reading

grief

Listless wandering,

An exhausted sleeplessness,

Heartache and sorrow

(I would’ve written more to give this some context, but never got around to it. Maybe next week. For now, just take it as it is – a sequence of words.)

a literary numbers lessons

Time to rewind to the end of July. This is the post I would have written last week had I had the time.

On the last Saturday of July, I went to my first book club meeting. It makes it sound incredibly formal to call it a “meeting” but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to call it. It was actually very casual: we (a group of about nine people plus dog) sat around a big table eating pizza while chatting about the club’s book of the month.

I’d wanted to find and join book clubs before, but since I’m not a very fast reader, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and would end up skipping a lot of meetings, or just giving up. The other reason I never joined one was because I was worried about getting “stuck” reading book club selections, and never having time for the books I really wanted to read.

Yet it’s always such a joy to meet other bookish people, and to have other readers to talk to about bookish things. Literary past-times tend to slip out of people’s lives once they leave school, so it’s been hard to find other bookish people (with similar tastes). Continue reading