Mothers’ Day

Bah humbug! Today is Mothers’ Day in Australia. The second Sunday in May. I don’t “do” Mothers’ Day. I have told my only daughter not to worry about gifts, or breakfast in bed and all that jazz, because in my honest opinion it is just a marketing beat up. A bit like the diamond lies in this story[1] that is doing the rounds of Facebook.

Mothers’ Day more than any other day epitomises to me the overreach of marketing and consumerism. Hang on, hang on! On second thoughts there is also Easter (buy more chocolate), Christmas (buy gifts nobody really wants or needs because they might get you something), Fathers’ Day, Halloween, Back to School, Valentine’s Day…. the list goes on.

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I don’t think there is a time in the calendar when we are not bombarded with messages to BUY things for the one(s) we love. But more and more scientific and psychological research shows that STUFF is not how we get happy. We get happy by DOING things for and with people.

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Part of an exhibition at the New York Public Library

I have written before about my quest to spend my disposable income on experiences rather than stuff. See my blog post entitled A consuming interest. https://wordpress.com/post/oldchookenterprises.com/1845

 

However, if we stop buying things our economy will come to grinding halt and we will all be in dire straits. What to do? It’s an issue I don’t know how to answer but I am trying to do my bit by not buying stuff. My year long challenge to not buy anything new comes to a close at the end of June. I have not succeeded, as I have bought some new things but for the most part  I have stuck to my rules of nothing new unless it was a replacement for a broken or worn out thing and essentials.

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I ‘spent’ my Mothers’ Day pottering around, not doing much. My Grandson and I inspected the beetles that live in a nearby tree. I rang my own Mother and chatted with her. I wrote a couple of future blog posts and I answered some emails all before cooking a big pot of tasty soup. All in all, a very nice day.

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I am glad to say no flowers were killed in preparing this post!

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oh dear! Spelling and apostrophe fail!

[1] https://www.facebook.com/todayeyewatched/videos/199952127459890/UzpfSTE2NTgwMTU1Mzc6MTAyMDk2ODYyODI4NjgwMTE/

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PS: I certainly I don’t want to devalue the effort of others in celebrating or valuing their mothers. I think we could celebrate it without all the marketing hype and make it more genuine.

 

PPS (Added after publication) one of my friends told me about this article where the founder of Mothers’ Day try to stop the commercialisation pf the day.  https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Family/mother-started-mothers-day/story?id=47333654

 

Remember to look out the window!

I read that life goes by quickly for adults compared to children because we have fewer new experiences. For children most things they do are brand new. Something they have not experienced before and this makes time go slower. For adults, because we have done most things before we don’t anticipate, we know what’s going to happen and this makes time appear to go more quickly. Ergo, to make time seem slower, adult needs to do more new things.

When I look back over 2017, it certainly was a year of new things and while it seems like the year has whizzed by, when I look back on what I have done I find it hard to remember that if it was this year or last year. I seemed to fit a lot in!

In 2017

I did 6 writing courses 5 face to face and one online

I went to two writers’ festivals

I went to 8 meetings of my writers’ group and about 5 meetings of a screenwriting group in Sydney

I started this blog

2 online courses through Udemy – food photography and inDesign

I did several online modules through the Adobe Education site

Wrote at least 7 short stories plus 35 blog posts, a screenplay and 4 chapters of a novella.

I entered 5 writing competitions and 7 photography competitions.

I won none! But that’s not the goal. The goal is to actually do it. After all you have to be in it to win it!

I went on a short cruise with friends

I went to Canberra with the same group of friends

I hosted 3 (relatively) fancy dinner parties

I went to the Sydney Mardi Gras

I did a general rescue course with the NSW SES

I started running and trained hard over several months and built up to a 15km run which I completed in good time.

I lost 7 kg.

I did a full Tough Mudder (17km and 18 of the 20 obstacles)

I started to de-clutter my house and sold some stuff at the local markets

I haven’t bought anything new since July 1 (well anything that does not fit in my guidelines)

I bought and paid off a new car (I bought it June 30!)

I took over 2000 photos of various subjects.

I bookended the year with two trips to Israel to visit my daughter and her family.

Oh and I worked full time in a demanding job.

I did a lot and I don’t think this is a complete list because I forgot to bring my 2017 diary with me.

It was a good year. I felt content and fulfilled and despite the long list I did not feel “busy”. I have come a long way in my journey to live meaningful life. I have a ways to go.

2018 is shaping up to be a different sort of year. My daughter and grandson will be staying with me in Australia me for a visit. I already have a writer’s course booked in for February and I am going to New York in March.

My goals include

To continue writing

To keep getting better at taking photos

To make a few short documentary style videos

To keep fit

Stay creative

Continue to downscale my material goods by natural attrition and not buying anything new

Continue with this blog. (And learn how to set it out better from my iPad!)

I hope you have some goals. In my opinion, they keep you grounded, give you clues for what to say no to and provide you with some directional signs so you don’t meander around too aimlessly. Although a meander can be good too as it puts new and unexpected things in your path.

Happy New Year! Remember to look out the window – there is always something new to see!