words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

What would YOU like to be paid?

Tell me, if you were a freelance writer, what would you like to be paid for the following job?

(Note: this ad has been copied directly from the website, so any spelling or grammatical errors are that of the advertiser).

Hi all!

This is a bit of and odd one, but I’m hoping to reach someone out there who’s looking to earn a little extra side money as a ghost writer / article writer.

 To be more specific:

 – I will provide the topic, the sub headings and references for you

– You will then use that research and turn it into your own words

– I am looking for articles about 5 pages long (approx 2500 words)

And that’s pretty much it! 

I require your English to be top notch, so native English speakers would probably be more ideal. I would also like each article in about a week.

I mainly focus on health and wellness, so example articles would include detoxing, weight loss etc. But, as I said, I will provide all of the research so you don’t need to know anything about it!

I could outsource this work overseas for much cheaper, but thought I would look local first incase anyone would like to earn a little money from home.

Pay is $___ upon completion of a 2500ish word article.

Scope is there to do as many articles per week as you like

I hope this ad has reached someone looking for a little extra money, and if that’s you – I can’t wait to hear from you!

By the way, this ad is about 250 words.. so 2500 is not that many 🙂

Got a figure in mind? Good. I’ll tell you what you can expect a little later on.

In the meantime, know that this ad is typical of the many that I come across in my freelance writing profession.

Write to the Point CommunicationsOn the surface, working freelance may seem to be the dream job — and in many ways, it is. You can work the hours you choose. You can be flexible regarding which hours you work, meaning you can free yourself up to watch your kids’ sports day, or not be in a tailspin about childcare when your child is sick. You can also choose the kinds of clients and projects you would like to work with.

But that’s often where the dream ends.

As a freelancer, you are responsible for finding your own work. You don’t get paid sick leave, annual leave, carer’s leave or, superannuation. You can often find yourself trying to be everything — project manager, marketer, accountant, web guru and even office manager. (Someone has to take care of the coffee, right?)

However, perhaps the biggest challenge, is the misunderstanding from many, that freelancers (in particular, writers) don’t deserve to be paid what they are worth.

Sure, there are some people out there working as freelancers who really don’t deserve to be paid anything at all for the services they offer. Some ‘freelance writers’ I have come across don’t know the difference between ‘their’, ‘they’re’ and ‘there’. Nor do they even know how to proofread their own advertising!

However, there are many of us (myself included) who are brilliant at what we do, and as such, deserved to be paid an appropriate amount for services rendered.

That may sound conceited, but it’s not meant to be. It simply means I believe in what I do, just as I’m sure many other freelancers do too.

The freelance writer

While people freelance in many different capacities and industries, the path of the freelance writer is the one most vulnerable to exploitation. In particular, is the expectation that we will write for free, in exchange for ‘publicity’ or a token amount of money.

Why is that?

Not many of us expect doctors to provide their services for free. What about plumbers? Imagine the quality of work they would deliver if they knew they were not being paid for it. Do clothing shops offer us free clothing in exchange for us wearing them to promote their brand? Would you ask your mechanic to service your car for nothing, just to give him more experience or ‘exposure’? Of course not.

So why do people think it’s okay to ask (or expect) writers to write for free?

In short, it’s insulting.

Write to the Point CommunicationsWriters are professionals who have consciously decided that working with words is their craft, their niche, their career. Sure, there are many different kinds of writers out there, all with their different specialities. However, the one thing we have in common is that we are professionals, who have invested money and time into our careers.

For example, I am a writer who specialises in writing for the health and wellbeing market. This doesn’t mean that I can’t write other things, or edit or proofread. It just means that I have spent time and money honing my craft in that particular area.

My niche didn’t just ‘happen’. I studied at university for three years and gained my Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Journalism, Communication Studies and Australian Literature. I also hold qualifications in Magazine Writing, Editing and Publishing.

My working career has totaled 19 years. (I took five years off when my two children were born).

During those 19 years, I have worked in a variety of roles and industries, all of them using my writing skills. Prior to going freelance, I worked in a corporate wellness company as a health writer for several years. My work was published overseas and in Australia — both online and in print. I even wrote a great deal of copy for a leading Australian pharmacy. In fact, you’ve probably read some of it. All of that experience means I have developed the following skillset:

  • a knowledge of the health and wellness industry
  • a solid understanding of key health concerns facing the Australian population
  • an understanding of how to write for the health and wellness industry
  • an ability to take complex information and express it in a way that the average person can understand
  • highly developed research skills
  • a knowledge of where to source up-to-date and accurate health information
  • an ability to read scientific studies and interpret the information
  • an understanding of the publishing process
  • brilliant administrative, organisational and time-management skills
  • highly developed event management skills
  • highly developed verbal communication skills; strong negotiation skills
  • an ability to work to deadlines
  • an ability to work autonomously or as part of a team
  • desktop publishing and layout skills
  • highly developed computer skills
  • an ability to learn quickly.

The above list doesn’t even consider the skills I have in terms of spelling, grammar and sentence construction, etc. (i.e. ‘writing’).

Yet, I am still constantly asked and expected to write for free.

Although it isn’t phrased as bluntly as that. It’s more like this: “We would love you to write for us, as you have the exact skills we are looking for. However, we don’t have a budget to pay writers at present, but we would be happy to provide you with publicity, or links to your website in exchange for your writing.

Ummm. No. I don’t need publicity or links to my website.

I want to be paid. I deserve to be paid.

If I was employed with a company, I would be earning a pretty decent wage. I also wouldn’t have to provide my own computer, printer, paper, stationery, lighting or heating. I wouldn’t have to pay for my website or other costs of doing business. I wouldn’t have to spend my time looking for work, preparing quotes and invoices. And my employer would probably pay the fees for any professional organisations I belonged to.

I also wouldn’t have to justify why I am worth being paid.

Don't write for freeWriting for free

I have had a few people ask me why won’t I write for free.

Well, I have in the past. Yet, in every case it was carefully considered and each case had its own reasons. There are still circumstances in which I would write for free (or a reduced rate) — most notably for charitable institutions.

However, every time a writer agrees to write for free, they undermine their own worth, the worth of other writers and devalue the writing industry in general.

Once an editor/publisher receives an article for free, they expect the next person to provide it for nothing. If they have two people who can provide work, one who will do it for next to nothing, and one who wants to be paid what they are worth, who will they choose?

You guessed it — the person who writes for nothing.

Who loses? Well, obviously the writer expecting payment. But do you realise that you will lose out too?

You see, when it comes to writing, you really get what you pay for. If you pay poorly (or not at all), you get poor quality. When editors, publishers and everyone in between consider price before quality, you are going to get very badly written and/or incorrect information.

Anyone who once enjoyed reading satirical articles, amusing tales, in-depth analyses or informative pieces, will have to make do with poorly constructed sentences, misspelled words, and dull writing. Eventually, publications, websites and newspapers lose readers, which means less money to pay writers which means — yep, you guessed it — more trashy writing.

I bet you didn’t think about it like that, did you?

So back to our job ad.

Assume you have my experience, all my skills and know you can do a great job. This is also in your niche area of expertise which you have spent years learning.

Remember, you have to write to the brief, read the research attached, interpret the research and then ‘write it all in your own words’. 2,500 of them. That’s five pages — all correctly spelled, grammatically correct and easy to read. It could take you anywhere from 6-12 hours (remember, you haven’t even seen the brief yet).

What would you expect to be paid?

$1,500?

$1,000?

$500?

$250?

What if I told you, that if you agreed to the job advertised, you could expect to receive the grand total of $20.

Yes, that’s right. $20. Less than 1 cent per word. And if you’re lucky, you might even see that $20 after you submit the article. (Believe it or not, there have been instances where I haven’t received full payment for the work I have completed).

Would you write the article?

Imagine being asked to do that for no payment at all.

Would you be insulted? Feel angry? Feel bemused?

How would you feel, if your boss came to you and renegotiated your hourly rate to below $3 per hour? Would you bother working?

So if you ever need to engage the services of a freelancer (whether a writer, web designer, photographer, or consultant), ask yourself this question:

What would YOU like to be paid if you had to do that job?

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you (and you are willing to pay her), contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

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Is nothing changing?

words by nerissa blogHave you ever wanted something to change?

Have you ever worked towards something, thinking that nothing is happening, your goal is no closer, or your circumstances are no different, despite the hard yards you are putting in?

Let me tell you, changes ARE happening.

The other week, I took my kids to get their hair cut. On the way, my  son spoke up.

“You know what’s weird?” he asked.

“What?”

“Well, your hair is growing all the time, but you can’t really see it growing when you look at it. It’s only when you look at it after some time has gone by that you notice it’s different. That it needs cutting.”

WOW!

Often we get impatient and want to see results now.

Society has conditioned us to expect things straight away. A typical example is the weight-loss industry. How many ‘quick-fixes’ are doing the rounds? (Countless) How many of them work? (None — at least not for the long-term) How many people still buy into them? (Millions).

Why? Because people want an instant result. Even though their head may tell them it won’t work, in their heart they are desperate for it to. They can’t bear the thought of weight-loss taking time.

Similarly, how many people spend money on the lottery every week? (I’m not sure, but I’d guess the number is in the thousands). Why? Because they want to ‘get rich quick’.

The same thing with tax-returns. Some accounting firms now offer ‘instant tax returns’ — some even promising cash within the hour! Why? Because as a society we have forgotten the art of being patient.

Sometimes we can get so caught up with ‘seeing immediate results’, that we miss the other things that may be happening around us.

My beautiful boy, (like millions of other kids) is a living testament that hundreds or even thousands of changes are happening all the time.

As he is about to transition from primary school to high school, I can’t help but think back to when he was a baby. I remember the day he came home from hospital — so tiny and helpless. His legs and arms were long and thin, reminding me of a skinned rabbit. His hands so tiny in mine.

From this...to this

From this…to this

Day after day I would care for him, talk to him, read to him, walk with him, and it seemed as if he gave nothing in return. It seemed like all he did was eat, sleep (although he didn’t do much of that!) and require plenty of nappy changes. But bit by bit, little changes were happening. His hair grew, his eyelashes grew and he needed the next size in clothes. After a few months he rolled over. A few months later he sat up, began to talk and once he was walking our little baby had gone and in his place was a toddler.

Like many parents, I would catch myself thinking that I couldn’t wait for a certain stage to be over — “I can’t wait until he sleeps through the night”. “Won’t it be great when he is out of nappies?” “Imagine when he can get in the car by himself and do up his own seat belt.”

Some of the stages were difficult and some were delightful. However, all of them were necessary in his growth as a boy.

Fast forward almost 12 years and he is now only a centimetre or two off my height. Over the past 12 years, countless changes have occurred. Some of them I noticed along the way yet others have snuck up on me.

These changes may be almost 12 years in the making, but in some ways, they have all happened too quickly. When I take a step back, it’s hard to believe the young man in front of me was the same little bundle I brought home from hospital.

Things in our lives are changing all the time. Yet when we look for changes we never seem to see them. Sometimes all we can see is the difficult stage and we find ourselves wishing for the next stage — “I can’t wait until my business is profitable.” “Won’t it be great when we own our own house?” “I wish I was a size 10 NOW!”

But the difficult stage is necessary, just as the delightful stage is necessary. In every stage there are lessons to learn, foundations to build, and changes to consolidate. Even though we may not be seeing many changes (or the changes we want to see), they are happening regardless.

If you are impatiently waiting for something to change in your life, then keep waiting. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey you are on. Don’t forget to look at everything else that is happening in your life. Everything that is good and even the stuff that’s not so good.

If all you ever do is focus on what is NOT happening, you’ll go through your life miserable and frustrated.

So take a step back and look around you. Take it all in. And when you glance back at the thing you are hoping will change, I’m sure you’ll find that it has.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

 So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

Love letters to my daughter

Love letters to my daughter

Me and my girl – before she left for camp

It never ceases to amaze me how different my two children are.

My son is outgoing, confident and very social. He is confident in his abilities and strengths and is willing to ‘put himself out there’ and ‘have a go’ at anything. He never seems to be nervous of new situations — rather he embraces them as opportunities to learn new things, meet new people and do new things.

My daughter on the other hand is quite the opposite. She is quiet and reserved (until she is very comfortable with you). She approaches new situations tentatively and tends to worry about things. I’m sure this is partly to do with her lack of confidence in her own abilities (she often surprises herself with what she achieves). However, I have also come to realise and accept that part of who she is.

This week my daughter went on school camp. It was a big deal for her. There have been many weeks of worrying, surmising, thinking about ‘what if’. However, the biggest deal for her was being away from home for two nights, and not having me to tuck her in.

While she has had sleepovers at friends’ houses and with grandparents, she recently admitted to me that when it came to going to bed, she always ‘had water in her eyes’ when I wasn’t there to tuck her in.

Love letters for my daughterAs you can imagine, the anticipation of school camp has been a mixture of excitement and trepidation. —excitement for the adventure ahead, but trepidation about going to bed.

Before she left, she asked me to write her some notes.

“I want you to write me one for the first night, one for the second night and one each for the mornings,” she said.

When I asked her why she wanted notes, she answered simply: “Because it will sort of be like you are there”.

So the night before she went on camp, I got busy looking for some notepaper and envelopes. Would you believe it, I couldn’t find anything — and me a writer!

Finally, I found some blank cards and some stickers, so I designed my own cards and matching envelopes.

Love letters to my daughterAnd then I wrote the notes. When I was done, I sealed them, tied them up with ribbon and put them on top of her bag to find in the morning.

When she saw them, her smile was huge.

“Thanks so so so much,” she said. “You are the best mum ever. That is EXACTLY what I wanted.”

Of course, when it was time to get on the bus and leave me behind, there were floods of tears. But I know she took solace in the fact that a little piece of me was going on camp with her.

Last night and this morning, I imagined her reading my love letters to her… and I smiled.

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Give yourself a chance

words by nerissa

Source: VicFit Factory (http://www.vicfitfactory.com/)

If you could do (or have) anything at all, what would it be?

Perhaps you want a new job, a promotion or even a change in your career.

Maybe you really want to travel — see the world and meet new people.

You may even wish to do something daring — like bungee jumping, parachuting or leaving the house without making the bed!

Maybe you are thinking about starting a family, buying a house, selling a house, buying a bigger house?

Perhaps you want to leave a bad relationship or start a new relationship, or deal with something from your past.

Do you have a dream or goal? Or maybe an idea forming in your mind of what your ideal life would be like?

If you do, and you’re not going after it, then what’s stopping you?

The biggest thing that holds people back is FEAR.

What is FEAR?

Fear is a very real feeling. Actually, it is our body’s way of protecting us in the face of life-threatening situations. Fear is a response to a perceived threat — whether it be physical or emotional.

words by nerissaYou may have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is our body’s inbuilt response mechanism, that prompts us to either fight or flee from perceived harm or threat to us.

The key word in both the above paragraphs is the word ‘perceived’. Perceived doesn’t mean ‘actual’. It means that you have interpreted something as threatening to you.

The trouble is most of us are afraid of things that are not really threats at all. More often than not, the situations that we imagine are more frightening than reality. The situations we imagine are also not likely to happen.

We may be frightened of what people think, of being ‘left out’ or ‘not fitting in’. We might be afraid that we will lose friends.

We may fear losing our money.

We may fear failure and the feeling of disappointment.

Perhaps we are scared about being out of our comfort zone, of feeling uncomfortable in new situations.

Maybe (in the case of bungee jumping), we are fearful of losing our life.

We may worry that the price we need to pay to have what we want will be too great.

We may even fear that when reach our goals, it may still not be enough — we may still feel unsatisfied, unhappy and discontent.

But what we are afraid of is not really the negative outcome — we’re afraid that we won’t be able to deal with it. We don’t trust ourselves enough to say “well, whatever happens, I can handle it’.

Fear is a real feeling, but it’s often based on false evidence.

FEAR can be described as  False Evidence Appearing Real

It can also stand for Face  Everything And Rise.

This week, I was encouraged to give myself a chance. To forget about everything that wasn’t happening, or that may not happen, and instead, focus on steps I need to take, regardless of any outcome.

words by nerissaI was encouraged to give myself a chance.

While we are consumed with fear and worry, we cannot possibly be doing all we can to maximise our chances of success. After all, a head full of fears, has no space to dream.

We have two choices. One, we can either Forget Everything And Run

OR

two, we can Face Everything And Rise.

When was the last time you gave yourself a chance?

Really gave yourself a chance?

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Do less and do it well

words by nerissa

Lots of sorting got done today

Once again, it’s school holiday time.

As someone who runs a business from home, this can be a tricky (and sometimes, frustrating) time. In the freelance writing game, it’s very often ‘feast or famine’ — either too much work or not enough. And for the first few years, it’s very tempting to say ‘yes’ to any work that comes your way, until you are well-established in your field.

As luck (or Murphy’s Law) would have it, my busiest times have usually been during school holidays. This has often meant a stressful holiday period, trying to balance meeting deadlines and holiday fun. It is further compounded by the fact that writing for a living isn’t as simple as sitting down for a few hours and ‘getting it done’. Writing often means needing to be in the ‘zone’ — feeling the inspiration and getting the words to flow freely, rather than trying to extricate them one by one. As a health writer, I also need time to research my topic.

As any writer would know, the zone isn’t something you can turn on and off. It’s either there or it’s not. Sure, there are things you can do to help you get in the zone, but with two noisy (and sometimes arguing) children in the background, getting there can be difficult. Even if you manage to find your way there, that magic place where the writing comes easy, can be shattered in an instant with the words “Mum, I’m hungry” or cries of “Stop it! Leave me alone!”

Really? You won’t believe it. Honestly, no sooner had I typed the words above, my eldest comes in and says “Mum, I’m hungry!”….so I’ll be right back……

(insert 37 minutes….)

Right — where was I? Oh that’s right, being interrupted!!

In the past, working during school holidays has meant early mornings, late nights and working across the weekends. By the time school term started up again, I was in need of a holiday myself. But of course, everything else that had been put on the back-burner while I was juggling work and school holiday activities was beckoning.

So these holidays, I decided to do something different. I didn’t take on any work.

words by nerissa

The art of cake decorating

Yes — I said ‘no’.

Instead, I am working intermittently while I can, on things that are not urgent. They are important, but not urgent. They also don’t require me to be ‘in the zone’ so much, which means that I can make the most of snippets of time that becomes available.

Tasks such as updating my website, planning out the remainder of my year, setting goals, learning new things that will have a positive impact upon my business, as well as building relationships with key people.

Quite frankly, it’s been great. I haven’t worked at night, or early in the morning. I spent last weekend attending a personal development workshop, visiting friends and sleeping in. This weekend we are spending time with more friends (celebrating the end of AFL season, to be honest!) and taking the kids to the Melbourne Show.

Instead of fitting school holidays (and the kids) around work, I’m fitting in my work around them. For the past three days, my son has been at a tennis clinic, and my daughter was occupied either watching a movie, playing with her barbies or at my parents’ house — so that’s when I worked.

This morning, the kids sorted out a plethora of books, pens, pencils and other ‘crafty’ activities that have been accumulating throughout the house, so I took myself off to the study to work. This afternoon’s activity was cup-cake making — something we all did doing together.

The great thing about my new approach is that I don’t feel guilt. No guilt about not spending time with the kids when I’m working, and no guilt about not working when I’m with the kids.

words by nerissa

What wonderful creativity

The other positive, is the quality of my work is a lot higher because I’m focusing more on what I want to get done, rather than how I’m going to fit it all in. There is also a lot less frustration, because writing deadlines do not exist for these two weeks. It’s an arrangement that seems to be working, and one that I will endeavour to employ in future school holidays.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the busyness of work and family life. It’s even more easy to be swamped by the juggle that is work and school holidays. One thing I have learnt however, is that sometimes we need to take something out of the picture in order to have more balance, more fun and less stress.

Sometimes we need to do less, so we can do it well.

And on that note, it’s time to enjoy those cupcakes!

Until next time. xx

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

What is heaven like?

smiled todayThis week, a beautiful soul was taken to heaven.

I was proud to call her my friend, even though I had not seen her for some time. I first met Louise when she came to work at our church as a student Youth Worker. I was about 15 or 16.

Back then I took school very seriously. I would spend hours studying, working towards ensuring I would get into my chosen university course. Amid all the study however, I made time for youth group. It was the highlight of my week when I would get together with my closest friends and have some good, honest fun.

Louise always reminded me that there was more to life than study. She showed me that there was always fun to be had, no matter what stresses were present. She showed me there was always something to laugh at, if you looked hard enough.

One of the things I remember most was Louise’s bubbly personality. She was always laughing about something. I can still hear her laugh now. She often had a funny story to tell me — usually about something embarrassing she did, or something funny about herself. She had a way of making others feel better about their world, despite what else was going on. I am grateful to have some great (and funny) memories of Louise.

I lost contact with her for a while (after moving to Melbourne),  but I reconnected with her on Facebook. I am so thankful that I did, because even from a distance, Louise continued to inspire me with her ability to care for and serve others. She still managed to laugh at life, despite an illness that ravaged her body. Louise spent her life giving, and serving, and loving others and was a true example of God’s love.

This week, Louise finally lost her hard-fought battle with cancer.

From the hundreds of messages on her Facebook page, it is obvious that she was a true disciple of Jesus. She touched the lives of thousands of people.

During this week, I have been thinking about Louise a lot. I have also been wondering:

“What is heaven really like?”

Before you read my musings, I would like to clarify that I am not an expert in God, Jesus or heaven. I have no biblical training and I do not know the Bible back to front and inside out. I do love God, read the Bible, and go to church. However, none of those things make me an expert.

These are just thoughts, ideas and imaginings, that have popped into my head this week.

I think heaven is a place where there is no illness or pain. Your body (if indeed you have one?) will move freely. You will love it and be happy with it.

heaven will be beautiful

I’m sure beauty will abound in heaven

When you get to heaven there will be joy. There will be no sadness, envy, pride, competing with others, wishing you had more. There will be no more self-doubt or feeling bad about yourself. There will be no hate or bullying. Instead, people will be smiling, singing, talking, dancing — doing things to add joy to heaven.

There is no judgement, or put-downs or negativity in heaven. And I don’t think that those in heaven can see any of the negative, heart-breaking things that we see here on earth.

In heaven, I don’t think you will ever get tired.

I imagine that all those people who knew each other on earth, are reunited and free to carry on catching up with each other. When my Nan died, I imagined her in her new little house making pikelets and chocolate-peanut biscuits so she could have all her friends over for morning tea. I don’t even know if you get a house in heaven, but that’s what I pictured anyway. And I think that every time one of her friends makes their way to heaven, she puts on the kettle and gets out an extra cup. I’m looking forward to a cup of tea with my Nan.

In heaven, everything is beautiful. There are rainforests and beaches, and bushland and rivers. Waterfalls and ice. I’m not sure of the logistics of how you get around to all of them, but I’m sure God has that side of things sorted out.

In heaven there is peace. I won’t need to multi-task any longer, or follow a routine in order to get things done. There will be no more household chores to do. (Hooray!) Instead, I will be free to just be. Sort of like a holiday at the beach perhaps, but even better because the feeling of contentment will be ever-present, not just there for a while.

I think that in heaven, we get to do the things that make us happy. My Pa loved crosswords. I often think of him sitting in his chair doing the crossword, while Nan brings him a cup of tea and a plate of pikelets, loaded up with jam and butter. I’m quite hopeful there are lots of books and quiet reading rooms.

In heaven there is patience. No one is in a hurry. No one is frustrated or annoyed. Everyone looks out for everyone else and is good and kind.

There is definitely love in heaven. I’m sure it’s such a strong feeling of love that it wraps around you like a warm blanket making you feel warm and fuzzy and protected. I know that the amount of love in heaven is way more than I love my kids. That is kind of hard to get my head around, because that’s an awful lot of love.

There are some things I’m not sure about, however.

Are there cars? How do we get around? Can we fly like angels, or do we suddenly transport ourselves to the place we want to be?

I don’t know if there are houses. I imagine there are, but I’m not really sure.

I don’t think we will get tired in heaven, but I wonder do we need to sleep? And if so where? In hammocks strung between trees? On a cloud, or in a bed?

How big is heaven? It must be enormous to hold so many people. And will everyone know each other? If we don’t all know each other, will we get the opportunity to meet each other? I suppose there is time to meet everyone, because heaven is forever. But that’s still a lot of people to meet.

Does it get dark in heaven like it does on earth? Are there sunrises and sunsets? Nights and days?

I’m very curious about how we get to heaven. Does Jesus come down himself to take us? Angels maybe? Is there a large staircase we need to climb that winds its way through the clouds? A tunnel with a light at the end of it that we sort of float through? Do we get a chance to see everyone we have ever known before we make our journey to be with God? Maybe there is a train or a bus? I just don’t know.

heaven is real

I wonder how we get there

However, amid all my wonderings and imaginings there are a few things I am sure of. A few things that I absolutely, 100% know.

Heaven exists.

God is real.

Jesus lives in heaven.

When I die, I will go to heaven.

I also know that Louise is in heaven right now. Her body is no longer fighting disease or feeling pain. She is there laughing and giggling. She will be chatting with her friends and family who have already passed on. She will be talking with Jesus. Most probably telling Him a funny story.

As we say our final farewells to her today (some at her funeral and some from afar), I do wonder however, if she knows just how much she will be missed.

Will she see the tears that people shed today? 

Or will she just know that the world is a better place because she was part of it … if only for a while.

See you in heaven, dear Louise. xx

  

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

My greatest inspiration

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My two biggest inspirations.

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you work? Why do you exercise? Why do you run a taxi service to your kids in your spare time? Why do you go to church?

Why do you REALLY do these things?

Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you’ve never taken the time to think about it before. Maybe you think you know, but you really don’t. Maybe you don’t even care.

However, if you don’t know the real reason behind the choices you make every day, then what you are doing is not really a choice. It’s either a habit, something you feel you ‘have to’ or ‘should do’, or something you do because everyone else is doing it.

When you know your real reason — your ‘WHY’ for doing the things you do, then the actual performing of these tasks (no matter how unpleasant/boring/time-wasting they may be), has a little more meaning, and therefore a purpose. It becomes easier to ‘roll with life’, because you are no longer just going through the motions, wondering what it’s all for.

Instead, your life becomes more focused, more meaningful and a lot happier. Because all of a sudden, you’re not just ‘going to work to pay the bills’. Instead, you ‘re ‘working so you can take that overseas trip’, or you’re driving the kids around ‘so they have an opportunity to develop friendships’.

See the difference?

The same goes for taking care of your health. Many of us say we ‘need to lose weight’ or ‘want to get fit’. Why?

If you ‘need to lose weight’ because everyone else is on a diet, then that’s not a good reason. If you ‘want to get fit’ because Cross-fit is the new best thing, then that’s not a reason either. Even a doctor telling you that you need to do something about your health is not a reason, unless it is YOUR reason. You have to own your reason. You have to really understand WHY you do the things you do.

I have recently done this with regard to my health. What started out as ‘wanting to lose weight’ has evolved into something more meaningful. I no longer care about my ‘weight’, because I have learnt that weight is only a small measure of the kind of person I am. Sure, I want to be living in a body that can continue to move as I age. I want to feel healthy and vibrant and enjoy life as I get older. I do want to feel good and happy about who I am. And the vainer part of me wants to look good! But my real reason — my WHY for training and eating and changing my life for the better, is not about me anymore.

It’s about the dream I have for my kids.

I don’t want them to bury me before my time or to watch me die from a disease I can prevent. I don’t want them to spend their adulthood caring for me, because I haven’t taken good care of myself. I don’t want them to spend their time taking me to doctors, hospitals and medical appointments, or worrying about my health. I want to know my grandkids and have a quality relationship with them. I want to do things with my family, rather than just watch from the sidelines. I want our time together on this earth to be of the highest quality it can be, doing things that matter and things that make us happy. Making happy memories instead of sad ones.

I want my kids to be happy. I want them to know what makes them happy. I want them to be strong enough in themselves to be who THEY want to be, not what the world tells them they should be. I want them to follow their own dreams and passions, whatever they are, and regardless of what others may say about it.

I want my kids to love and value themselves, and to see value in everyone they meet. I want them to inspire and encourage others to be better people. I want them to bring joy to the lives of others, simply by being themselves. I want them to respect themselves and those around them.

I want them to develop a love for healthy food and exercise, so they can live healthy lives. I don’t want them fighting disease, illness or depression. Instead, I want them to make the most out of life.

don't tell people your dreamsI want my kids to be the best they can be and know it’s okay to aspire to greatness. I want them to be proud of who they are as people and what they contribute to the world. I want them to value their uniqueness and special gifts they have been blessed with, and to use those gifts to help others.

I want them to be resilient enough to rise above negativity and hate, and know that when they experience that, it is not a reflection of them, but rather the person who is being negative and hateful. I want them to be confident in who they are, and to never, ever let others’ negativity get the better of them, or cause them to think negatively of themselves.

I want them to seize opportunities when they come along, without worrying about whether they are ‘good enough’ to follow through. I want them to be confident in themselves and their abilities. I want them to trust themselves, and know that they will always find a solution to a problem.

I realise that is a pretty big dream I have for my kids. But I believe it is a worthy dream.

While it’s true that none of us can control how our kids’ lives turn out, we do have an opportunity to model to them what we value in life.

I’m not saying that I am all of the above — but I am working on being so.

The interesting thing about all of this is that since writing down WHY I am making positive changes in my life, I find myself reflecting on the above while I am doing other seemingly mundane and meaningless things such as cleaning the bathroom, doing the grocery shopping and taking out the rubbish.

Although I am not fully embracing the less appealing tasks involved in raising kids, every now and then I catch myself thinking “Why am I REALLY doing this?” And it causes me to turn my negative feelings about these jobs into more meaningful ones.

Why do you do what you do?

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

Find your bliss

IMG_0001

My daughter made this for me last year.

As I sit here and write this, I am surrounded by a myriad of things.

There are reminders of my children — photos of them when they were younger, their first drawings, paintings they did for Mother’s Days past, handmade coasters and little notes they leave on my desk from time to time.

There are also books. Lots and lots of books on my desk. Some I have read, some are in the ‘to-read’ category. Some of them are related to my work, and some of them are for pleasure. Books give me a lot of pleasure.

I also have calendars, a diary, planners, paper, journals and lots of pens.  I love to plan and be organised. And being an old-fashioned girl, I like to do it the old-fashioned way — using pen and paper.

My favourite coffee cup sits on my desk, next to my hand cream, a candle and my ipod — things that I use on a daily basis.

Also sitting on my desk is my training program for the next 12 weeks, along with the goals I have set myself.

QUESTION: What do they all have in common?

ANSWER: They all make me happy.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

One of my most favourite pictures of my kids, which sits on my desk.

Each day, we have choices to make. Very few of us are free to do whatever we like, whenever we like. We all have responsibilities and things we have to attend to on a daily basis — whether that means going to work to earn our living, raising a family, caring for loved ones, ferrying kids back and forth.

However, there is something that ALL of us can do to bring a little happiness to our days. Even if it is only having a coffee in your favourite cup, or listening to your ipod while you clean toothpaste off every surface in the children’s bathroom.

We all have different things that we love. Things we use, things we do, life choices we make that keep us happy.

We may not always understand why something makes someone else happy, but that’s okay.

For example, I don’t understand what part of bike riding is enjoyable. All I seem to get from it is a very sore backside. However, friends of mine are avid bike riders. They just about live in lycra. It’s their thing, their passion. One of my friends rides “Around the Bay in a Day” every year. That’s 250km in a day ‘for fun’. And he rides his bike from home to the start line, and then home from the finish line. So that’s more like 300km. I don’t get it. I admire him, but I don’t get it.

Just like some people don’t get why I love to lift weights. In some ways I don’t get it either. In my younger days I hated weight training. I would start a program but I would perform it half-heartedly, always having an ‘excuse’ not to do it. As I got older I knew I really should incorporate it into my exercise routine, if I wanted to stay healthy but I kept putting it off. When I was ready to tackle it, I told my trainer that I hated weights and that she would have to make it interesting if I was to stick at it.

IMG_0002

I had to include my son’s art work.

More than two years later, I now lift three times a week (soon to be four – WHOO HOO!) and I love it. In fact, I live for it. I love getting strong. I love feeling my muscles working. I love setting goals and working towards them. I love the place I have to go to in my mind before I lift something heavy. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from lifting something that I thought was too heavy. And the masochist in me loves the sore muscles over the next two days.

(Some of you won’t get it. That’s okay.)

It’s part of my bliss. It’s also something new that I have found that I love.

But it’s not all of my bliss.

There are lots of other things that make me happy, some of which have made me happy for years.

Bliss for me is reading a book while enjoying a good red wine.

It’s a good coffee and some dark chocolate.

It’s planning and making lists and writing with pens and paper.

It’s a day on my own, just for me.

It’s a relaxing massage. Total bliss!

It’s cuddles in the bed with my kids.

It’s a great conversation with a good friend.

It’s sitting at my computer, free to write what I feel like.

My favourite beach.

My favourite beach – Caloundra.

It’s watching the ocean crash on the rocks.

It’s sitting in front of a campfire and laughing with friends.

It’s a warm bath at the end of a busy day.

It’s sitting on the couch, watching a great movie with my husband.

And it’s definitely all the reminders of the two little people in my life.

Bliss can be different things for different people. It’s not our job to judge whether the things that make others happy are good or bad, right or wrong. We just need to accept that sometimes other people do ‘crazy’ things because it makes them happy.

We all have a chance to have bliss in our days, even if it is only for 10 minutes.

The trick is working out what makes you happy, and working it into each day.

Where do you find your bliss?

follow your bliss2

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

7 secrets to weight loss

scales2If you’re reading this, you probably need to lose weight.

This is not a judgement about you, rather a statement based upon obesity statistics in Australia.

You see, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australia has been steadily rising for the past 30 years. The latest statistics from the National Health and Medical Research Council, indicate that around 60 per cent of Australian adults are classified as overweight or obese and more than 25 per cent of these, fall into the obese category.

Did you even know that?

Even more worrying is the obesity rates of our children — our next generation — are increasing too. It is estimated that around one in four children aged 5-17 years, are classified as overweight. Six per cent of these are obese.

However, I believe there is something even sadder than being overweight.

And that is the lengths — at best, ridiculous and at worst, dangerous — that people will do to shed extra kilos.

Now I am no expert in medicine, nutrition, exercise or weight loss. I don’t hold any official qualifications in any of those areas. But there are some secrets surrounding weight loss that you may not know.

Today, I am going to share them with you.

Secret No. 1 — Weight loss is not about weight loss

“What do you mean?” I hear you ask. Just that. Losing weight shouldn’t be about ‘weight loss’. Too many people focus on a number on a scale and think if that number is going down, they have lost weight. Hooray!

But what have they lost? Certainly weight. But is it the kind of weight you want to lose? If we are honest, we want (or need) to lose FAT. But most of us avoid using the word fat, because it has lots of negative connotations. So we use the word ‘weight’. It’s a bit more touchy-feely and less confronting, isn’t it?

But when you focus on losing weight, as opposed to losing fat, then you tend to focus on a number on the scale. A decrease in number on the scale can mean fat loss, but it can also mean fluid loss and muscle loss. This is more so the case, when following a fad diet or a ‘quick-fix’, (more on that later). So change your thinking and focus on ‘fat loss’.

Secret No. 2 — Weight loss is not about the scale

Losing weight (and you know I mean losing fat), should never, ever be about the scale. Sure, your doctor may have recommended you lose 20kg to improve your health. But if you lose 19.7kg have you failed? Will you still be striving, obsessing, doing whatever it takes to lose that extra 300g?

I would argue that if you are fixated on a scale, then yes, you would. Why? Because your focus has been on a number on a scale, rather than the health benefits gained by losing excess fat. Is an extra 300g going to make a HUGE difference to your health? I’m not a physician, but I would hazard a guess and say “no”.

So stop obsessing about the scale and the numbers on it. Instead focus on your health, how you are feeling, how your clothes are fitting and how much more energy you have. These are all much more positive things to think about.

Secret No. 3 — Too much weight is put on a scale (pardon the pun).

When you are on a mission to lose weight, what is your focus? I mean, your main focus? Those darned scales, I bet. You jump on them when you wake up to see how much you weigh. You get on them after breakfast to see how much you ‘gained’. You have a sneaky weigh after going to the toilet. Hooray! You’ve lost half a kilo! You have a final weigh-in before bed to discover, (gasp!) you have gained a kilo since lunchtime! And if you are going to a weight loss meeting, you check your weight all day long and avoid drinking in case it ‘shows on the scales’.

Sound familiar?

How does weighing yourself make you feel? I’ll tell you how you feel. One minute you feel ecstatic, then next concerned, then you are happy again, but that soon turns to feeling overwhelmed, depressed, worthless, angry, frustrated and disgusted with yourself. And then the cycle starts again the next day.

Instead of reveling in and celebrating the fact you are making positive changes for your health in your life, you are instead riding a roller coaster of emotions, all day long. scalesAnd there are usually more downs than ups.

Our personal worth should not be caught up in scales, and nor should the value of making a healthy lifestyle change. Scales don’t congratulate us for drinking more water. They don’t clap when you avoided chocolate all day. They don’t say “well done”, for going for a walk. They certainly don’t reflect all the positive things about you — like what a good mother you are, how kind-hearted you are, what a creative thinker you are, how organised you can be or how your sense of humour makes others feel happy.

So the secret is out — get rid of the scales.

Secret No. 4 — To lose weight, you need to eat…and drink…and move!

“No, no, no!” you say. “You have to cut kilojoules to lose weight!”

Well, yes — and no!

Too many people think that cutting back on their kilojoules, omitting food groups and eating smaller portions is the way to lose weight. Wrong.

It might work in the short-term, but just how long can you avoid bread or potatoes? Are you prepared to eat entrée serves of steamed veggies and rubbery chicken for the rest of your life? Prepared to give up chocolate and ice-cream forever, in the quest of being ‘thin’?

Yes, it’s true you do have to cut back on your kilojoule intake if you want to lose fat. But you shouldn’t be eliminate food groups or reduce your food so much that you barely eat a thing. What this will do (along with leaving you tired, lethargic and cranky) is slow your metabolism down. And when you start eating again (because you will), you will gain anything that you lost and then some — only to start the process over again. Sigh!

Focus on eating whole foods that will nourish you, and get rid of processed foods. And don’t vow to live the rest of your life without the foods you enjoy. Seriously, no fat-free, sugar-free, preservative and chemical-laden food will replace the sensation of eating real chocolate, so eat the chocolate for heaven’s sake, if you really crave it. You’ll be satisfied and less likely to trawl through your pantry munching your way through a multitude of substitutes, only to end up eating the chocolate anyway.

Don’t be afraid of food. Eat it, enjoy it, be creative with it and savour it. Our bodies need REAL food for energy, for nourishment and for enjoyment. Food is your friend if you want to lose fat. And so is water. Don’t be afraid to drink it. After all, it won’t ‘show on the scales’ now you have ditched them!

And don’t forget you need to move. I am not a qualified exercise physiologist or a personal trainer, so won’t be giving advice on exercise. The only thing I will say is our bodies were designed to move. They were not designed to sit in a car, sit at a desk and sit on a couch for the majority of the day.

So seek the advice of a professional as to how to exercise, and then go and do it. The only pre-requisite…you need to enjoy it.

Secret No. 7 — Eating is never about the food

Believe or not, eating is not about food. That’s right. Eating is NOT about food.

Yes, we eat food, but our reasons for eating are purely about our feelings. We eat to celebrate, we eat because we feel hungry, we eat because we feel thirsty, we eat because we are angry, or sad. We eat to mask our loneliness or our boredom. We eat because we feel it’s the ‘right thing to do’ and we don’t want to offend people.

One of the secrets to fat loss is taking the emotion out of the food. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy eating. But instead try to focus on your reason for eating. If you are physically hungry, then eat, ensuring it is something nourishing that will take you closer to your goals. A whole packet of Tim Tams does not fall into this category!

If you want to eat (but aren’t actually hungry), then stop and  identify the real reason you want to eat. If you are bored, find something to do. If you are sad, phone a friend. Doing these things won’t mean you won’t eat . It just means you are more aware (and are consciously choosing whether to eat or not).

Secret No. 6 — Weight loss takes time

You might think you already knew this, but how many ‘quick-fixes’ or fad diets have you done? Be honest! “I’ll just do the shake diet to kick-start my weight loss” or “I’ve got a wedding in three weeks, and I have to fit into my dress. I’ve heard those body wraps give really good results.”

Seriously, get real. No fad, no gimmick and no quick-fix will work. Accept this as fact. Save your money and your sanity and accept that you didn’t gain 15 kilos in 2 weeks, so you’re not going to lose it in that time.

The best thing you can do is accept that it is going to take time to reduce your girth and then put your head down and get on with it.

secret to weight lossSecret No. 6 — Quick-fixes, fad diets and gimmicks don’t work

Now, use a bit of common sense for a minute. If all of these magic pills and potions and shakes and wraps worked, wouldn’t we all be a healthy weight?

Some of those quick-fixes out there are just plain ridiculous. Some are dangerous. For example, I saw a post on Facebook the other day advertising body wraps as a way to lose weight. Firstly, they cost a bomb, secondly they claimed to “go into your pores and attack your fat cells, releasing toxins which you urinate out by drinking lots of water”. Seriously, that doesn’t happen. And there is no medical or scientific evidence to prove it.

But here is the dangerous bit. While ‘wrapping’, you are supposed to drink half your body weight in water. Yes, that’s right — half your body weight. So if you weigh 80kg, then you need to drink 40 litres of water. Firstly, that’s impossible. Secondly, that’s fatal.

Your long-term health is more valuable than fitting into a little black dress, or having a ‘beach-ready body’. If something sounds too good to be true, then it’s not worth the piece of paper it’s written on. Please, please, please say “no” to these fads and gimmicks and put your health first.

Secret No. 7 — Losing weight won’t make you happy

Finally, you need to know that losing weight losing FAT will not make you happy.

“Sure”, you say. “I’ll be happier when I can do my jeans up,” or “I’ll be stoked to be seen on the beach this summer”.

While that may be true, I am willing to bet that if you are not currently happy with your life and happy with whom you are, then having a body like a model will not make you any happier.

Yes, you might slim down and have people stopping you in the street telling you how fabulous you look. But if you don’t already believe that you are fabulous, it won’t mean a thing. You see, the voice in your head that already tells you, you are useless, will be telling you that you’re a fake, that you don’t deserve these comments. And then any results you have achieved will slowly, but surely disappear as you comfort eat your way through a tub of ice-cream and you will still be the same, unhappy person you already were, only you would have gained back all the weight (fat) that you lost.

This is probably the most under-rated secret of them all. I believe you need to love yourself as you are NOW, to be successful in changing your weight.Weight does not dictate your health or your worth

This is probably the hardest thing to do as well, particularly if you have loathed or at the very least, disliked yourself for a while.

If you love yourself, you believe you deserve the best. You believe that you should take care of yourself. You believe you are important. You believe you are unique. You believe you are worth something and can offer something important to the world.

When you really, truly believe all these things, then you will be happy, regardless of what your body is like. No number on the scale, no size tag in your jeans can make you value yourself for the remarkable human being that you are.

 

As we move out of winter and into spring, advertising for weight loss companies will begin in earnest. Distributors will begin spruiking the benefits of their latest, crazy and ridiculous products, “guaranteed to help you lose weight”. Magazines will be filled with menu plans and ‘diets’ that the rich and famous have been on with “remarkable” results. And you will be feeling the pull, the temptation to jump on one of these bandwagons, hoping that it will take you into ‘slim-city’.

My hope in writing this post, is to encourage you (if indeed you need/want to lose fat) to go about it sensibly.

Don’t get caught up in the hype. Don’t invest your time and money in something that won’t work. Don’t get obsessive about your weight. And don’t forget this about being healthy, not thin.

Most importantly, remember you are worth something, no matter what your body shape.

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

 

Head in the sand? Absolutely!

I’m usually not one for avoiding the facts. Sometimes I might put off unpleasant tasks (just take a look at my ironing basket), but most of the time, my attitude is ‘if it needs to be done, just get on and do it’.

However, there is something I have been putting off, and putting off. I’ve been burying my head in the sand and living in denial. I’ve been pushing the thought of it out of my mind over and over again. For now, it is working. But I know that one day all too soon, I won’t be able to deny it anymore.

You see, my oldest is about to finish primary school.

What a difference 6 years makes

What a difference 6 years makes

I know that some of you reading this have been through this in the past couple of years — and you can empathise with me. Thank you.

I know that some of you have children who haven’t even started school yet, so cannot possibly comprehend them being old enough to head off to high school. But think for a moment of your little one starting primary school. It’s a little like that — only worse.

And then there are some of you who are wondering why is it such a big deal.

I too am wondering the same. After all, my son is ready to go off to high school. He is looking forward to new things, making new friends and beginning a new chapter in his life.

So if he is happy, why aren’t I?

Well, I am happy — sort of. I’m happy that he is ready to go, I’m happy that he wants to go. I’m happy that he has the confidence and sense of adventure that enables him to look forward to high school rather than be afraid of it. But that’s where it ends.

Truth be told, I’m not really ready for my boy to grow up.

I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t enjoy absolutely EVERY single primary school activity. I mean, standing out in the driving rain, watching district cross-country is not much fun. Nor is being squashed in a gym for over an hour in 40+ degree heat watching over 100 kids receive basketball medals.

But overall, primary school has been a wonderful experience for both of us.

Events and activities such as the Prep Alphabet Concert, the Grade 1 Fairy Tale Ball, right through to the annual Christmas Concert, provided us with many laughs and fond memories (despite the headaches involved in sorting out costumes!).

Then there was the seemingly endless array of sporting activities — School cross country, District cross country, School athletics, District athletics, District tennis, Inter-school sport, After-school basketball, swimming, skip-a-thons, fun runs, etc. At the time, it seemed a big chunk out of my week to attend all these things. But really, they have come and gone in a blink of an eye and the only reminder is a bunch of ribbons and medals, and some photographs that showed just how little my boy was when he started school.

If the first year of primary school is a series of ‘firsts’, then the last year is a series of ‘lasts’. The last cross country, the last athletics day, the last school production, the last season of basketball.

I’m trying very hard not to think about these events as ‘the last’. For the most part I am succeeding. However, I know that when the school production is done and the last goal has been scored in basketball, a part of me will wish we could do it over again. I am sure there will be a tear in my eye.

As I sit here and write this, we have just under 18 weeks of school left for the year.

head in the sand18 weeks to enjoy.

18 weeks to savour.

18 weeks to pull my head out of the sand … somehow.

In the meantime, perhaps I’ll go and tackle my ironing basket.

 

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

 

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