Refreshing

This topic suggestion, Weekly Photo Challenge: Refreshing, is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

Refreshing Water (image by Daniel Go on Flickr)

In our lives, there are certain areas that sometimes need refreshing. However, far too often, we will find ourselves caught up in the business – or busy-ness – of living, and won’t give time to refresh ourselves. Here’s a few things I sometimes do to refresh different areas of my life. Continue reading “Refreshing”

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Three significant events in my life

Jenny Macklin (left) at the apology for the st...
Image via Wikipedia

A couple of days ago, it was my birthday. I turned 25. So I think it’s an appropriate time for me to reflect and give my thoughts on what I thought were the three most significant events that have occurred during my lifetime. Continue reading “Three significant events in my life”

Don’t try so hard!

I played a round of golf on Monday, as I had a morning off from work. The first couple of holes weren’t great, until I started telling myself not to try so hard.

See, when I tried hard, the extra power would put my technique all off, and my shots would either be really short, or a long way off target. But, when I allowed the club to do the work, shots were straighter. Yes, I lost some distance through the loss of power, but my shots were more consistent, and I was able to shoot some good scores.

How often do we try too hard in areas of our lives, only to have it not go as well as we expected? Don’t try too hard! Allow your body, and the tools you use, to do the work in the way they were intended. Yes, it might not be as big as it could be, but the results will be more consistent.

What in your life have you been trying too hard at?

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Most important thing I did in 2010

I did a lot of important things this year. From becoming a Senior Soldier in the Salvation Army, and starting the application process towards becoming a Salvation Army Officer, getting a job and starting working essentially full time (across three jobs), moving out of home, and probably most importantly of all – getting married.

It was a wonderful day in September, but I would rather talk about my super crazy week at the end of June, where everything fell into place.

The story to this week actually starts back in January 2010, when a week before the school term started, I got an email from one of the schools that I taught at saying that they didn’t have any students for me and my services were no longer required. That made things very difficult – the mental jump from three days to five days work was no where near as hard as the jump from tow days to five days. I started applying for jobs everywhere. I would apply for on average 15 to 20 jobs a week, but wouldn’t get even an interview. I asked my contacts, and got an interview for a job with the Salvation Army, but didn’t end up getting the job. I went for a job at the Uniting Church that I thought was perfect, but didn’t get that one either.

Through all of this, Liesl and I had started looking at houses, as our wedding was fast approaching and we needed to find a place to live. I went to look at this one place that was in a great location, with cheap rent. It wasn’t anything great, but I really liked it, and when I showed photos to Liesl, she liked it too. We did our sums and figured that we would probably be able to afford it, just. So we applied. We handed our application in on Wednesday morning, and Wednesday afternoon I got a call saying we’ve got the place. It happened so quick, and they hadn’t even called any of our contacts.

Then on Thursday, the next day, I got a call from the Uniting Church asking me to come in as the selected applicant for the job I’d applied for had fallen through. So Friday, in the morning we signed for the loan on the Bond, then we signed the lease and got the keys to our house, then in the afternoon I went to a short interview and signed my job contract. Within three days, I went from no house and little hope, to a house and a job. I moved in on Saturday (Liesl wouldn’t move in until after we were married), and then started my job on the Monday. It was really quite incredible.

And apart from getting married, that was the most important thing that happened to me. While it wouldn’t have been an issue, there was a big sense of pride in me in being able to provide for my wife – and working two days a week didn’t do that. So having that job now allowed me to be the provider for my wife, and be comfortable in our new house.

Postaday2011 links

Good things come to those who wait…

… And I’ve waited a long time, so great things are happening to me.

I’m sitting in Soto espresso, a coffee shop in Perth, drinking a coffee that tastes fantastic.
Actually, it would probably taste fantastic if they served me international roast, I’m feeling that good at the moment. Well, maybe not. International Roast is horrible.

Anyway, I’ve had a fantastic week that goes a long way to helping me forget the previous six months. Come back with me on a journey, back to January 2010. I’ve gone on holiday and am just outside Mandurah. I get an e-mail from a school that I taught violin at. It’s a week before term starts, and they inform me that they don’t have any students for me, and I won’t be required to teach in 2010.

Fantastic. Way to ruin a holiday. Knowing that a week out from term I was unlikely to find any work as a violin teacher, I turned my hand to looking for jobs in where I had experience – administration. “Surely, with two years experience as an administrative assistant, I should be able to find an admin job” I thought.

Or so I thought.

Three months in, and not even a glimmer. Not an interview. I eventually asked someone at the salvos if they had a job going, and there was a 0.6 position opening up. I applied, and was chosen for interview. “Fantastic! Finally a chance”
After giving what I thought was a really strong interview, I was really disappointed not to get the job. Like, super disappointed. Since becoming a salvo, I hadn’t missed drinking, but that day I really wanted one. I was strong, somehow, and had a coke instead, but it didn’t help the feeling. And I know a beer wouldn’t have helped either, but sometimes you feel like it can.

So back onto the search, and the jobs kept getting applied to, and I kept not getting interviews. My fiancée and I started to think about getting a house, and after finding one, was about to fill out the application only to discover that we didn’t really have enough to survive. We could make it, but it would be tight.

At this time, I was sending in about 10 applications a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. And still nothing. Until I found this job with the uniting church. It was a fantastic job, doing similar to what I was doing at the council of churches. So I applied, was accepted for interview, and then didn’t get the job. This time, I wasn’t so disappointed. I guess all the rejections had kind of made me expect to not get the job.

Eventually, my fiancée and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and apply for a rental. We found one we loved, and put an application in, not expecting much. How surprised we were to get a phone call later that day, telling us that we got the house!

My good news wasn’t to end there though. God had been with me all the time, and had a plan for my life. Later that day, I got a phone call offering my a job interview for a position at my old church. I accepted, but God had more in line for me, not just a job interview, but a job!

The next day, I got a phone call from the Uniting Church, saying that the person who got the position I applied for earlier didn’t work out, and they were as good as offering me the position pending an interview the next day.
I of course accepted, rescheduling my planned interview time just in case it didn’t work out. I needn’t have worried, after going over the new job description, they offered me the job, and I now start on Monday.

So, in less than a week, I have gone from working two days a week, wondering how and where we were going to live as a married couple, to having a house to rent, and a job which takes me up to full time equivalent! I’m so incredibly happy that I even wrote this long blog post all on my blackberry while sitting under a heater at soto’s getting slightly uncomfortably warm.

And with that done, I think I’ll go, have a bit of a walk along beaufort st, before picking up my fiancée from work (whom I now work close to, three days a week) and start a wonderful weekend moving into our house!

Success

fameI went to see Fame tonight, with a few friends. Despite having heard of some bad reviews, I really enjoyed it. Perhaps having not seen the original meant that I could enjoy this on its merits. There were a couple of parts of the movie that really stuck with me that I wanted to share.

Kevin, a dancer, knows at his audition that he’s going to get a job in a professional ballet company. However, despite working harder than any other dancer, he just doesn’t become the strong dancer that he needed to be. When the dance teacher declines his request for a letter of recommendation, he is distraught. And then, horror of all horrors, she goes on to suggest that he might become a wonderful teacher. *shudder* His life long hopes and dreams crushed, he goes down to the subway to catch a ride home, and comes very close to ending his life.

A bit later, Jenny is giving a speech on stage. I would have loved to find the text, but I can’t find it anywhere on the net yet. But she talks about how Success isn’t measured by fame, or money, but by love, and by waking up every morning and flying out the door because you’re so happy to be doing what you’re doing.

Continue reading “Success”

I saved three lives today

I saved three lives today. What did you do?

That’s right. 3 lives, saved, because of me. I don’t know who I saved. I don’t know what was wrong with them. I don’t even know when they will be saved. But I do know that because of me, three people will be able to live longer. How do I know this? Because today, for the first time, I donated blood.

Continue reading “I saved three lives today”

New Directions

Well, today marks the day that applications for the World Council of Churches Youth Internships close. I actually got mine in Friday night (if I remember correctly), but all the same, now starts the waiting game. I’m not actually sure when I’ll find out about it, and I’m in the odd situation of wanting to plan for next year, but not being able to. I can’t in good mind take on new students with the possibility of me only being able to teach them for a term, however if I get the internship I’ll need a little bit of money for travel expenses. Continue reading “New Directions”

Einstein’s Violin (Pt. 2)

January 6, 2008

Well, today I climbed, after a descent to the “beach” of large rocks at the wind farm. 507 steps, and quite steep as well. A nice bit of exercise for me.
Continued reading Eger’s book. Brought up some more interesting points – one of which I am a fan – the need to consider the audience.
He brings up examples starting with Schoenberg, and moving through to Yoko Ono, of how classical music in the second half of the twentieth century scared audiences away and kept them away. It turned classical music into an elitist genre – only if you can understand this will you enjoy it.
I have studied Schoenberg’s music, and many other modern pieces. As a “musicologist” I can understand this music. I can appreciate the methodology behind it, and the meaning and reasons for it. However, as a listener, I would not choose to listen to it. If there was a choice between a concert of Beethoven or Schoenberg, I know which I would choose.
As a composer, I also understand the necessity to shape my compositions. if I make my music too pleasant to the ear, critics will claim that it’s commercial rubbish – catering for the masses, yet if I make it too complex, there will be no audience, and who really wants to play to a full house of critics?
I think some time studying the scores of John Williams might prove fruitful. While I know he has stolen classical themes in the past, I am also aware that he writes great music for films, which are often quite atonal, yet also pleasing to the ear.

In an unrelated note, it has come up a couple of times today – business. Eger, early on in his career, wasn’t much of a businessman and missed out on cashing in on a lucrative project that he was involved in.
Beethoven despised the business side of music, and a friend encouraged me to consider all sides of music, and stressed not neglecting the business side of my studies. I am planning on taking the second semester of 2008 off from uni, so I might look into taking a business skills course at TAFE or somewhere.