words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

Archive for the tag “Books”

Dreams and plans

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaWhen I was a girl, I had a dream. It was a very unrealistic dream, but I dreamt it nevertheless.

There was no way that I could ever achieve it — even if I devoted every minute of my life to it, and all of my money.

Would you like to know what it was?

I dreamed of reading every single book that had ever been written.

A silly dream? I know some of you can’t even imagine finishing one book!

However, I was a young, avid reader. I would read the cereal box if there was nothing else to read. I spent all my pocket money on books and my spare time reading them. Reading them was my favourite thing to do. Once I went on a day-trip with our local church. My mum gave me some money to spend on ‘something special’. I came home with two new books. That wasn’t really what she had in mind. But they were special, weren’t they?

I would often read way past bedtime. Sometimes I stayed up until I had read the whole book from start to finish. (Shh. Don’t tell my mum).

I couldn’t imagine anything lovelier than a life of just reading. Reading. Reading. Reading.

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaHowever, as I got older I realised what an unrealistic dream it was. Once I got to high school and had to read set novels that I absolutely hated, it dawned upon me that to achieve my dream, I’d have to read things I hated. When I discovered that new books were published every day, then I quickly realised that time was running out — I’d never have enough time!

Then there was always that pesky question of whether I would have to read books in a different language.

When it came down to it, the dream was too hard and unrealistic, so I let it die.

Sometimes dreams are unrealistic and the best thing to do is to let them die. A life spent chasing the impossible is not only frustrating, but it is a waste. A waste of time, a waste of energy and a waste of other opportunities that are possible.

But what about those dreams that are possible, yet require a lot of hard work and effort? Should we let them die just because they seem impossible?

Or is there something we can do to increase our chances of success?

I believe there is. It’s called a plan.

Planning is something most of us do anyway. We plan our meals. We plan our weekends. We plan our holidays. Why not plan our success too?

Sometimes dreams can take years to fulfil. Sometimes to achieve the ultimate goal, you need to achieve many goals along the way.

Take becoming a brain surgeon for example. There are 13 years of school to complete, then six years studying an undergrad medical degree. After that, a further six years of specialist training. If a little girl starting school this year aspires to be a brain surgeon, she has 25 years of hard work ahead of her, and wouldn’t be qualified until 2040!

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaShould she give up, simply because it is hard and will take a long time?

Everyone has dreams.

“Wouldn’t it be great if…..”

“One day I’m going to…”

“I wish….”

The trouble is that’s what most of them will ever be — dreams and wishes and a life of regretting that you never achieved what you so dearly wished for.

Unless you have a plan, then the chances of achieving success is slim.

Being successful in your life is a little like taking a road trip. You need to know where you are going, you need to know from where you are starting and you need a map. When taking a road trip, we usually look for the milestones along the way — usually a town, a river or a turnoff. By following the map, we don’t get lost. But if we simply get in the car and drive, then who knows where we will end up?

When you have a map, it’s also easy to overcome any roadblocks. You can easily identify another route that will get you to your end destination.

Fear often stops us from success, but so does the lack of a plan.

Planning takes thought. Planning takes work. Yet planning is often the difference between wishing and succeeding.

Do you have a plan?

If so, then you are a step ahead of the dreamers.

If not, you had best get busy making a plan.

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.

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

How a library broke my heart

No one warned me that a milestone could break my heart. 

By definition, milestones seem to indicate something positive — “an important event”, or “turning point” in one’s life.

Many of us seem to measure our lives in milestones.

First job, first car, first love.

Then you get married and have children. And once you have children there seem to be an endless road of milestones.

The first smile and laugh. The first word. Their first step.

These are some of the things you look for and celebrate. Closely followed by ‘sleeping through the night’, ‘getting rid of nappies’, ‘doing up their own seat belt’ and ‘tying their own shoelaces’.

These milestones involved a ‘happy dance’ for us.

But there have been others that have crept up on me, caught me unawares and tugged at my heart.

Like the first day of school. All of a sudden, they look too little to be out of your care all day long.

Like discussing the dreaded ‘Santa’ question (which we dealt with last month).

And the end of primary school — which is looming before me at the end of this year.

But there has been one milestone that I didn’t expect would break my heart.

The cleaning out of my son’s room.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a good, clean bedroom. And we have cleaned out my son’s room many, many times. But my son is now 11, and entering the pre-teen years. Which meant that many things had to go into storage, simply because he had outgrown them, and we needed the space for other things.

And that meant clearing out a lot of his books.

My son has always been surrounded by books. I read to him the first day he came home from hospital as a baby. I read to him in the morning and in the afternoon. It became a routine which he loved. Snuggled up on the couch, touching pages, repeating words — it was a very special time together.

In the early days of motherhood, when most things would bamboozle me, and I was feeling like a terrible failure, I would take solace in the bookshop. My son would sit or lie in his pram and soak up the atmosphere. We both became calmer versions of ourselves in a place where there were other worlds to discover, new people to meet, new adventures to be had.

By the time we’d bought a book (or a few books), and had a coffee, the world would be a happy place again.

I always wanted to build my own library, rather than borrow from an existing one. So it’s safe to say that we have accumulated many, many books over the years.

As my son grew older, I would ask him to choose several stories. He would excitedly run into his room, search through his books and pull out five or six stories. Some of them would feature every day. But sometimes we would be treated to something different, like the story about “The Little Yellow Digger”, or “The Ocean Star Express”.

Classics like “Guess How Much I Love You”, “Possum Magic” and a variety of “Hairy Maclary” were read over and over. As were books on dinosaurs, dogs and birds.

But this week, they were all moved out and packed away. Sniff sniff.

To be fair, an 11-year old boy really doesn’t have much use for many picture books, particularly now his shelf is bursting with the books most pre-teen boys are reading. And he very rarely picked them up any more.

However I found the whole exercise quite sad.

Sad for the little boy who is gone.

Sad that I will never again, watch my son run down the hallway and emerge triumphantly with a pile of books almost as big as himself.

Sad for the days where a new book and a cappuccino (or bottle in my son’s case) would make the world a better place.

Sad for the warm snuggles and soft pyjamas of our evening reading sessions.

And sad for all the dogs, dinosaurs, possums, birds and other characters that have been shut away for a little while.

As I packed them away, I took the time to remember them and say goodbye — for now. I remember when most of them came to live with us. Some were given as gifts, some bought for the sake of having a new book. All of them had their own special place in my heart.

With each book that went into the box, my heart grew heavier. Finally, it was done.

My husband wanted to move the box into the shed. But I have stored it under my desk, with the excuse that our daughter may want to read some of them.

And while that may be the case, I know deep down, that it was more likely myself who needed to read them and keep them close.

As I survey my son’s bookshelf now, it is a bookshelf of a typical 11-year old boy. Books by Andy Griffiths and Roald Dahl; “The Captain Underpants” series, “Tom Gates”; and “The Famous Five” books now feature in prominent position.

But as I look more closely, I see that some of the childhood favourites are still there, including all the Dr Seuss books, “Mr McGee” stories, and two of my favourites from when I was a little girl — “Harry the Dirty Dog” and “Corduroy”.

Perhaps there is a part of my little boy still living in our house after all.

Post Navigation

Write Way to Health

Promoting happy, healthy living

VitaWarrior

“Success isn’t given, it is earned. On the track, on the field, in the gym. With blood, sweat and the occasional tear.” – Nike

Write ... to the Point

- writing tips and tricks

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

The Eclectic Moose

Occasionally Moose have some interesting ideas; I write them down...

Chocolate Covered Race Medals

Where I race to the chocolate bar

Made by you and I

Cooking -- and photography -- are personalization

NERDSTEAK

Food and Culture Shenanigans

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman

exercise oncology australia

Supporting cancer patients through their journey one step at a time

My Journey to Healthy and Happy

Sharing my journey to being healthy and happy.

shirleyshirle

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Reembody

You Are Stronger Than You Think

The Real Me and Life

Finding me without a uniform.

Hart Helps

explore ways to win the wars waged within the mind

words by nerissa

...observations, thoughts and questions