Scrambled Brain

My brain is being challenged on a daily basis, by all my senses. Sound, a song is usually the first one that sends me down memory lane, a noise like a lawnmower on an overcast day. Tidbits of a conversation overheard, but not intentionally, giving me food for thought and a way to argue the pros and cons in my head. Sight, read a tweet, see school kids getting caught in the rain, and running, laughing and giggling, looking at half an ocean being rained on and the other half calm and settled. Touch, feeling rain on my skin, the varying temperature changes as they occur, the kiss from my kids as they head off to another day at school. Taste, my morning coffee and how it immediately relaxes me and stimulates me, a child’s first attempt at cooking dinner for the family, taste of water – ocean and fresh lakes rivers. Smell, cut grass always the quickest trip for me to and down memory lane, forest and bush when gentle rain is falling, baking, hanging fresh washing.

My brain scrambles to process and then categorise these assaults to my already full mind. I cannot sort these quick enough. Where do I store the overflow, I need to get to my laptop and start flowing them to the visual form and as time goes on probably the more reliable.

Why am I thinking so much, is it because I have more disagreements in my head than I used to. Am I more informed due to social media and my participating in it, rather than observing it. Do I agree with everything, and can I be impartial. I don’t think I can, I am of the minority: Female, non-white and reside in my non birth country.

My culture says that at a certain time (usually during change of life) we become “wiser” and therefore teachers with the ability to use all our life learning’s and pass these onto our children. The passing on of knowledge is easier when your children live with you, but I don’t limit my “wisdom” to my immediate family, I have a wider audience with their friends, and their team mates, my friends children and have found that I can help, not necessarily change a mind, but definitely allow them to see another way through their uncertainty. (I use the term wisdom loosely, because I don’t consider myself wise at all, I have made mistakes and I am still receiving life lessons.)

I feel blessed to say that my brain is mine, and we are free to think, and at times overthink, issues and sensory cues in our own space, with the freedom that every person should enjoy and not be persecuted or ashamed of it.

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The age old question – Commercialisation of Women in Sport

Having a healthy interest in womens sport because, I am a woman, I have 2 daughters, we all participate at various levels of netball; a thread I have been following “Society needs more commercialisation of women in sport” certainly caught my attention.

My reply to the thread: “Agree, but the visuals of women in sport is trivialised and denegrated by societal perceptions of the female body.”

And was reminded that my comment was a comment that could be true not just in sport but across the board. And I had to agree with this. I also realise, that I too fell into the trap that a womans physical attributes and looks are the only commercial value that we have. And hence my dilemma.

Am I becoming a product of that societal perception? I hope not. One saviour to my dilemma would have to be high profile netballer and business woman, utilising her keen love and participation in her chosen sport Laura Geitz. With her success in her sport, in Australia she also manages a heavy workload, conducting coaching clinics Queensland wide, managing her clothing line, making appearances in local and national media, promoting healthy lifestyles choice in mining, Breast Cancer awareness and so much more. Balancing and juggling all this with her fully loaded playing, travelling and training schedule and enjoying her first year of marriage, seems a lot, but ever the professional Laura seems to outwardly manage this in her stride. I am sure she has her moments, we all do. There are many other examples that could be used: eg Serena and Venus Williams V Federer, Nadal: Sheryl Swoopes V Michael Jordan, Lydia Koh/Carrie Webb V Tiger Woods (current ranking)

Can we as women in sports make the step change and provide the increase of commercial value of sports women. We are paid less than men in sports at a parallel level, we are typically offered less for endorsements of sporting goods, (I don’t know of any females that are paid the same for endorsements that the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant NBA stars and/or Troy Aikmen Tom Brady, Peyton Manning NFL equivalents enjoy). NBA stars are flown to their destinations and/or have private jets, major hotel accommodation. WNBL players, usually have to bus to their venues or fly economy to their destinations. Only the very lucky would be offered endorsements with the big labels, and would not be on the same commercial value as their male counterparts.

Female officials are typically utilised in mens sports for the fundraising/benefit type games. Recently during the NBA All Star event, a female umpire whistled the game, she was the first ever female to officiate at this level. The IRB Sevens tournament, which is played worldwide, has female touch judges but have not seen one officiate the Grand Final at these events. The probability that these games have a high dollar value attached to the game seems to be a motivating factor, and highly contested by males for the top job in a male dominated sport. In comparison, netball has its first ANZ Championship male coach, males have officiated in many top level games for a number of years now, and have been accepted in these roles.

Step Change already in a female sport, has commercialisation of womensport increased females participation and ownership in sports or decreased the exposure of females in sport? Are we in charge of womens sport at the boardroom level to the point that we control and regulate how the sport is played, marketed and endorsed? or are we the female component of any given sport.

How do we increase commercialisation? Do we teach our daughters to succeed in sport and business, and start grooming our future leaders. This would be the long term fix, and the work that we do today would set the foundation stones and start to pave the way for a smoother transition for our daughters. I feel that equality is required, and women can work hard to achieve….BUT if we operate and achieve on a par with our male counterparts given the same opportunities and start to win the cream jobs, then our daughters will have the learnings to move womens sport to the same level commercially, as mens sports.

We certainly need to increase commercialisation, but we have to know exactly where we are now, nation by nation, then globally to effect the changes that we desire. For me it is a very basic equality, not pro rata or sliding scale based on males earnings.

Hard get, possibly but I think chipping away at the foundations will give us the cracks that we need to start rebuilding in the positive.

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Coolangatta Christmas

http://wp.me/P424Ie-s

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Daily Prompt: Unknown Caller (CENTURY POST)

You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go!

Oh no there’s that “unknown caller” on my phone again!!! I look at it and think nope, not answering, it will be someone that is trying to sell me something AGAIN!!! So I let it go to the answer machine, and as expected it’s a hang up, no message left, no nothing except the beep beep of call disconnected. Then without fail, immediately another call, “unknown caller”, okay maybe it’s not someone who is trying to sell me something…..as I pick it up…

“hello” the distant pause, as I wait for the other end to answer, “hello” I say, then the caller answers “hello ma”am, in a distinctly Indian or Pakistani accent….oh great here we go again….”yes how can I help you” I say in a very sarcastic voice, “ma’am we are here to let you know how you can save money”. “Yeap, I have heard this before, what are you trying to sell” not bothering to hide my disdain, because I have just been proven right and wrong in two phone calls. The wrong phone call is the one I am on now……dammit.

“I am here to help save you money on your phone bill ma’am, would you like to”
“No, I don’t want to save money”
“But everyone wants to save money”
“Not me, and I am really not interested in what you have to say, also I would like to know your X number, and I will be calling my phone provider to clarify that you do indeed work for them as you say you do, so ring me back in 5 mins and I will be happy to talk with you, AFTER I have clarified”.

“Ma’am, I am truly here to help you save money and if you just hear me out, you will be happy with the savings you will make if you…”
“What is your X number, if you don’t give it to me, then we don’t have anything more to talk about”, in a very agitated tone by this time….
“Ma’am I can help”
“Okay, I am hanging up now, I am not interested, and make sure you take this number off your lists because I am just not interested, thank you, good bye”.

Most of my unknown callers are sellers, and the fact that I only have a few numbers stored in my home phone, and I don’t give that number to many people so every now and then, I think maybe someone is wanting to leave me an inheritance or something, from a long lost relative that I didn’t know, I should answer that….and each time it is the same…phone sales and I really shouldn’t let my imagination get away from me, but I do…and then my agitation comes forward real quick when I answer, but hey I will always be the optimist…

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Daily Prompt: Freaky Friday

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be, and why? If that seems too easy, try this one: who would you like to have spend a day as you and what do you hope they’d learn from the experience?

I am Storm from X-Men.  I am Storm for a day…and a busy day I will have…..I will bring rain to barren countries, the countries that have not seen rain for years, to bring the animals back to where they were originally from.  I would bring ice back to the polar regions so the polar bears can maintain their lives in the manner that they are accustomed to.  I am Storm for a day, life’s liquid to the displaced, so they may live again, with hope, so that they can store their water in their wells, so that their rivers may flow, so that the highlands where the water originates is full, and will provide in abundance all those that are down river from them.

Rain to cleanse the rivers that have been polluted by human ignorance, and restore a way of life that was simpler, and food plentiful for animals and humans.  Lightning will charge the water with nitrogen and plants will grow at an alarming rate, enabling crops to start and start strong.

In doing so, I will restart the worlds seasonal changes, that will maintain rain to the barren areas, and ice to the polar regions.  The barren areas will be the providers of food for the world, where once they were dying of starvation by the second.  The polar regions will reset and provide more fish stocks than the world can ever demand, where fish will be in abundance, that it would be possible to feed a family daily off the rocks around any shoreline or any lake or river.

I am Storm, if only I were, just for a day……

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Daily Prompt: Million Dollar Question

Why Do You Blog?

Not so difficult for me to answer, because from as long back as I can remember, I have always had appreciation for all forms of writing.  Whether it is a classic, poetry, fiction, non fiction, technical or a play, it is easy for me to pick it up and read.  After reading I think to myself, “could I  have written something that is just as good”.  I may have been able to write  “Black Beauty” better or “MacBeth” better, well probably not MacBeth, but these weren’t written in my time.  So I continue reading and think to myself I need to start writing, using my imagination and twisting real life events, real life emotions and mould them together somehow.

My other reading passion is indigenous poetry and short stories.  I find a lot of pain, joy and emotion in these writings, and I feel as if they are writing from real life events, and allows me to read between the lines of some of the political sales pitches that we hear often, and keeps me in touch especially as I feel that some peoples histories are being rewritten, without those indigenous peoples knowing.

I am now blogging because it is a public forum that will help me with my inner hesitation to let everyone comment good, bad or otherwise, and blogging provides me with a way that I can manage the criticism in my own time.  The flipside of the feedback, is it allows me to brainstorm my ideas as I am writing, and put them to the side to pick up on at a later time.

Recently I made a decision to clear up more of my time, as I have always been involved or over-involved in my childrens lives, so decided that I would resign from a sporting club that I had been heavily involved with.  It was a big decision for me, but it was a bombshell for the rest of the committee.

I have managed to gain so much time of the physical nature and my creative nature no longer has to share any space in my mind with the things that were important to others, but not to me.

So a quick reality check is that I blog because I now can, and it is an enabler to free my time for my family and me.

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Daily Prompt: The Satisfaction of a List

 Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness — go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

Put that on the list of things to do, where is my list, dammit have to make another list and try to remember what was on the other one.  That’s my problem need a list of places that I safely put my list to find again.

However, yes I do have a lists, and my children have found the joys of making a list:

  • packing for sleep overs
  • packing for sporting events because we are leaving at 5am and you won’t have time in the morning  to try to organise yourselves
  • what you would like to have at your birthday party, oh and the invitation list limited to X attendees, and I guess a wish list of presents, you can give that to Dad hehe..
  • a list of universities in the world you would like to attend and why
  • a list of what you would like to be when you grow up (that has dwindled and changed from a hairdresser, teacher, beautician for one, to a professional athlete and marine biologist and an architect or designer for the other) wow what a left turn that has been.

But the one list that I tend to always ask the kids to brain storm, is this:

  • make a list of all the things you have achieved at school, sports and with friends that you set out to achieve and they do not need to be big, can be small achievements, but think of them, give me 10 of your best minimum for the week, if you can do more then for sure add them, brainstorm darlin’s together, your sister may have one that you didn’t realise was a list item.
  • and I would like a list of things that you are going to do next week

The similar list that I have asked my friend to write down without limitation of number, that I want him to have when he rings me next week, to tell me what he has achieved, no bucket list, but I want him to understand the meaningful things in his life, and I will prompt him to add to his list the things that I know he has achieved, as a child when we were growing up, and into his teens and anything that I can remember up til now.  That list is my list and starts with;

  • best friend
  • awesome wife
  • beautiful children

The list is growing as I remember, and it is handy on the kitchen bench for me, no putting this list away, it is also a quick reminder of my list of achievements, life and meaningful achievements.

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Daily Prompt: S/he Said

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it

What are you thinking my friend? I was thinking how I don’t want to be working for the rest of my life only to have nothing to show for it…..but you do have a reason for doing it, the kids and your wife…yes I know, but I want us to be okay when I can no longer work, so that when the time comes and one of us is not around anymore, we don’t have to rely on family and handouts from the government, I want the money that I earn now to keep us in a nice lifestyle, not a hand to mouth lifestyle like my parents when the time comes.  They had so much when I was growing up, but then my dad died, in a old peoples home, I don’t want that for us…I want us to be in our home, surrounded by our kids and grand kids….

Wow, a quick phone call resulted in a deep and meaningful discussion.

You see, he is such a hardworker, just like his dad, he provides for the family, just like his dad, so many ways he follows his dads life to a tee, he remembers the times of fun as a boy, growing up at a different time, when friends didn’t want anything else from you except to ride your brand new bike, or play with your brand new bow and arrow set.  When kids playing didn’t mean that you had to send a security team out with them to keep them safe from the weirdos that lurk in plain sight.  Is this a reflection of a males insecurities that lurk there constantly just waiting for someone to ask that question.

Do men think that their lot in life is only to provide an existence for those he has chosen to be with and created.  No, no, no, you can have all that and more…it need not be the weight that you have to bear, share the load with your wife she needs you to.  She wants to share all the joys and has to be part of the downs, that is what makes a marriage a partnership.  It allows her into your whole life and not just the part that you want her to see.  She wants to know what you are thinking when you go off into your own world.  Your fathers cross need not be the cross that you bear as well, it may have been normal then, but remember his times were different, progress was not as fast as it is now and times move on. 

Have you told your wife? have you asked her what she want’s for you both, did she say what you thought she would say, just because it is what you wanted to hear? Does she have ideas that can help ease the burden that you feel? Remember she worked all her life too, and still has that brain in her head, she will have ideas, she has her mummy network, she can go to seminars on making your money work for you…let her in, let her take some of the weight, she will thrive on being part of your shared futures.

I didn’t realise that you were feeling that way, we have been friends since school, I knew your mum and dad since ever, I know all your brothers and sisters.  I came to your nan’s and gramp’s funerals, your mum and dad’s funeral.  I know we don’t talk to each other as often as we used to, and you know what, we are going to change that.  I used to love sitting in the backyard on the grass, and just talking about what we were would be when we grew up, mostly we have achieved our dreams, we are married with beautiful children, and we are still best friends, even though we are separated by 3000 kilometres and oceans.

Ring me tomorrow and tell me that you have spoken to your beautiful wife.  Be well my friend and we will talk sooner than later.

Make a list…..I need to talk to you about that, but that is another day.

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Daily Prompt: Charitable

You’ve inherited $5 million, with instructions that you must give it all away — but you can choose any organizations you like to be the beneficiaries.

Charity begins in the home and I have $5 million dollars to give to organizations that I have a passion for.  How do I choose the organization, how do I know that I would change the life of a person or persons and also benefit even more people in the long run, what an intriguing prospect.

There are so many organizations in the world, who receive so much already that to find the few that would benefit and be able to re-invest back to society, that it becomes a perpetual cycle, a norm instead of the exception, now that is tough.

Firstly, my passion is sport, therefore I would have a charity set up, that has the ability to promote sporting achievement at all levels, for those who cannot afford to pay for the simple registration fees, and to support those smaller clubs by provision of uniforms, equipment, mentoring from elite sportspeople, the people that most kids love.  To provide professional services to clubs on business management and community sponsorship guidance, so that the clubs are able to self finance and self sustain in the community that they are based in.

My second passion is education.  In what is seen as failing educational systems, I would love to build or provide an organisation that is innovative in the way they teach and enable the pupils to want to learn, to feed the learning beast within them.  I would love for these schools to be community based, in the low to middle socio economic communities, and have these communities provide the infrastructure to support the schools, and again self sustain not only the community they are in, but the school itself.  A school that would be fully free of fees as all education should be, where the teachers want to go to school to teach, and where the sporting interests of the children are catered for, and not the ego of the educational system.

I truly believe that sport and education are the two streams to provide to children, it opens their minds through activity and prepares the child to learn.  Some life lessons are shared in school and can be taught in sport, the disappointment of losing a game, race or event and the ability to manage that disappointment get up and to get going again, to strive for better, to help those who are down and to share in the overwhelming feeling of winning, the race, game or event or achieving that B pass in a subject, because they have only known a D pass.

My donations would be placed into these 2 areas, in the country that I live in, and be a living and self sustaining work that has the potential to earn its own way past the start that the $5 million dollars has enabled.

I guess it is rather selfish of me, but I am so passionate about these 2 areas, and hope that someone will have the same visions that I do to “make this happen”.

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Daily Prompt: Decisions, Decisions

How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

hmmmmm, I’m not sure…just kidding.

For me, decisions are really in categories:

Family

Now these decisions can be covered in the other two categories as well.  But generally will cover the kids, what they need as opposed to what they want.  A lot of reasoning is used for the childrens needs and want’s, and typically with them taking part in the decision making process.  For a negative decision (and I have had to make a few), I tend to use examples like, you need to experience disappointment, and ask them for alternatives to what they originally asked for.

Do we buy or do we rent a house, is purely a financial decision, and will be revisited at another time.

Financial

At some times it’s a juggle, sometimes robbing Peter to pay Paul…or merely doing without for the time being. Education is always a yes, holidays is always a yes and a family decision, with everyone’s wishes discussed.

Whim and a prayer

This I use for those spur of the moment and spontaneous moments. Would you like to come to dinner? Would you like to try kitesurfing, honey I’ve brought a kitesurf, a surfboard…oh great.
Also, for those moments when I am time poor and have been asked to volunteer time that I don’t have…

But most of all I have choose to reason through potentially 95% of my decisions….and not always by myself, I find that children being so innocent, can make a lot of sense of any theoretical scenario that I give them, and they can make that decision almost immediately and back it up with their type of reasoning.

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