Australian + Scottish + Cypriot + Korean + Chinese = Australia Day

Image One of the things I love about multicultural Australia is the abundance of different cuisines, cultures and customs we have around us. I am Australian. It says so on my birth certificate and passport. But being Australian isn’t something I was born with. Many of you will know and many more won’t know that I am adopted.

At four months old I was brought over to this great country from The Republic of South Korea into the arms of a somewhat controversial coupling (even in 1984) of an Australian mother married to my Chinese father.

Today, we are celebrating this day off with a Cypriot lady married to an Australian man, a Cypriot lady (yes, they are sisters) married to a Scottish man, an Australian couple with an adopted Thai son, me and my Mum and Dad. Our Lebanese neighbours popped by and so did our Irish neighbour and her Lebanese husband.

I like to think of us as doing the United Nations proud.

Yes, there is still racism in this great country of many cultures. Fortunately I’ve not experienced enough to even talk about but I know people who have and I’ve read the stories of people who are. I admire Dr Teo for his courage and wisdom in speaking openly about its existence today. It would be a foolish person to think we had overcome this shameful belief that cultures different to ours deserve to be spat on. And we must acknowledge it exists between all cultures, not just the obvious anglo versus ‘ethnic’ in the Cronulla/Brighton-Le-Sands riots sense.

But I did not start this post with the intention of bringing up racism. Instead, I would like to celebrate the value of having such a diverse society. I count many different ethnicities among my friends, and family.

I like to celebrate our differences and embrace the customs we share.

I wonder how people can be so cruel and make such inaccurate assumptions about that which they know little of. And it saddens me.

So let’s celebrate this great nation and it’s cultural melting pot with a curry pie, minted peas, tzatziki and some lycees.

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Time for old habits to die: paper diary versus electronic

People are surprised when I pull out my Moleskin paper diary. “Don’t you use electronic diary?” they ask in wonderment. Yes, I do for calendar invites and meetings and reminders I need to pop up in front of me. But for organising my task list for the day, and jotting down thoughts, I like paper.

Call me old fashioned (!) but I just like it. And it’s what I am used to. I can allocate time for different pieces of work and map out my day. Although this is rarely stuck to…

However, having been hit with a cold and working from home so as not to infect the office, relying on an e-diary for everything would have come in handy.

I’ve observed others use of both mediums to work out what is best for me.

And I think I may have arrived at a new approach: use e-diary + notebook for jotting down reminders and tasks.

Time to try a new approach on for size and see how it fits.

How do you organise your day?

 

Moleskine

Goodbye to day per page and hello notebook

Please Help Me Find My Mojo to Blog Again!

Looking at the facts it seems I was at my blogging best while living in Melbourne. The move to Melbourne drove me to keep my blog updated with news so my friends and family in Sydney could see what I’ve been up to. But since I have moved back to Sydney my drive to blog has waned somewhat.

Why is this? (I ask myself)

Well, there are a few reasons I can suggest. Firstly, as you know I write a lot about the restaurants and cafes I’ve been to, well, I don’t tend to get out and about to restaurants or cafes as much as I did in Melbourne. Being back in Sydney means that home cooked meals are a luxury that also mean I get to have dinner with loved ones. For me, this will always trump a meal out.

Secondly, travelling time needs to be factored in. And this is one thing I miss a lot lot lot about living in Melbourne – everything was so close and easy to get to. And I rarely had to drive anywhere. In Sydney, not so much. Travelling to and from work is under an hour of train and car so it is not as easy or enjoyable to flit around for a meal out.

So perhaps I need to look at other inspirations for my blog content. I’ve tended to not write about work related content in the past as the purpose for my blog had been to keep in touch with friends and family…and let’s face it, would you really want to hear about my work day?!

What do you want to read about on other people’s blogs?

Perhaps I need to get back into my ’21 days to a better habit’ mind frame again!

 

It’s About What You Don’t Know

This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately. A recent discussion with a loved one revealed this is the question that provokes me to push my boundaries into the unknown where my mind is opened and my thoughts enriched.

And it makes sense. It sounds obvious and is something I’ve inadvertently thought about before but for some reason this question is my inspiration.

We already know what we do know – what out limits are, what we’re good at, what needs to happen. But when I think about what I don’t know my mind floods with ideas and possibilities beyond the structures, processes and boundaries my thoughts would normally lie within.

Of late, having time to devote to nothing but thinking and taking my mind on a journey is a luxury when it should really be a priority. Because this is the time when you hit those ‘big ideas’ or you stumble upon something genius.

And so, I am going to work harder at making sure I give myself time to simply think and find out what I don’t know. And when I find that out I’ll continue to search for the unknown. And that way, I will never stop taking my mind beyond what I already know.

Because I Said So

Last weekend I had an amusing discussion about parenting with some lovely friends who are four weeks away from welcoming a new baby girl into the world. We were talking about discipline and setting boundaries for children; something we’ve all been through and probably witnessed and perhaps even imparted.

The expectant couple are wonderful people who are kind, loving, fair, intelligent, warm, friendly, fun, full of delight – all the things you hope your parents are and then some!

The Mum comes from a Chinese family with an upbringing that sounds as though it was fairly traditional but not in a feet binding way. Dad is Aussie from a larger family who grew up climbing trees and getting into boy mischief.

We were talking about the different ways to teach a child why they should listen to their parents and do what they’re told…no mean feat but one that can be mastered. My parents surely won the battle in a way where I have more respect and love for them than they will ever know.

Two main approaches came up for discussion:

  1. ‘Because I said so’ / ‘Because I’m your mother/father and I said so’
  2. the 5 minute explanation and then subsequent answering of ‘why?’

There are times when a simple explanation of consequences can be painstaking but set the child up to make decisions late in life based on their learnings through childhood.

But, there is also the argument that kids should listen to their elders and do what they say as a matter of respect.  And sometimes a situation warrants a stressed, overwhelmed parent to just want their child to do something because they’ve been asked to and it would make life easier at that moment. Both situations, I feel, have weight.

I feel I had a balanced approach from my parents. They are very fair people who explain why so we have an understanding of a situation.

We (me and the company I was in) tended to agree that a blended approach seemed a good way to do things. There are times when an explanation will help the child’s development and decision making. And there are times when “because I said so” should be enough.

Thinking back to my childhood, if it ever got to a ‘because I said so’ status I know I’d probably pushed the boundaries a little further than I should have!