Dealing with Advice

Most people I know would rather give advice than receive it. In fact, I’d say most people in the world would rather give advice. Given this, it’s a sure bet that on any given day, unsolicited or not, someone is going to give you the benefit of their wisdom (or perceived wisdom). And it’s not always welcome.

There are times when we want to tell our adviser just where they can jam their advice. My mum frequently advises me which career-path I should take, despite me frequently reminding her that I’m on the author-career-path and enjoying my stroll along it just fine. Today an elderly friend advised me that my children are spoiled, despite them being well behaved, polite and happy children.

So, all this said, let me give you some advice on dealing with advice:

1)Remember most advice is coming from a good place. They’re telling you this because they want to help you out.

2)Try to remain polite. With number 1 in mind, giving your (unwanted) adviser a whack (or a sarcastic comment or eye-roll) will only hurt their feelings and make things difficult between you.

3)If it really bothers you, it’s OK to be clear that you disagree with them or that you don’t need their advice but remain polite. I go with, ‘I know what you’re saying but…’ (‘I know what you’re saying but I’m focused on writing at the moment’ or ‘I know what your saying but I think I have a good balance of discipline with in my children’).

4)Or you could…

smile and wave

Remember, just because someone gives you advice, doesn’t mean you have to take it.

5)If you really don’t want advice on an issue, don’t share you problem with someone who is compelled to try and fix it. We all have those friends who feel that it’s their job to fix the world. Instead, chat with a friend who’s more of a listener than a fixer.

So there’s my advice. Take it or leave it.

Everyone has an opinion

Lone tree growing in lake

It Takes Determination

I’ve finished the first draft of my WIP (in less than three months too! Go me) and while I let it rest I’m tackling a couple of sewing projects. I’m travelling to Vanuatu in September and thought it might be nice to have a couple of new summer dresses and as I have the time, why not sew them myself?

Here’s why. Because I lack almost all the necessary personality traits to be a good seamstress. I am not patient. I am not coordinated. I do not have a good eye for detail. Spacial-awareness is not high on my list of skills. In addition, there are any number of shops where I could just go and buy a dress. K-mart, Target, Big W. All near-by and all fairly cheap. Sewing is not cheap. Maybe it was when my grandmothers sewed but it’s not now. The cost of the material alone is enough to buy a dress (two or three at the places mentioned above).

What I do have, though, is determination. Buckets of it. In fact I would say that determination is one of my best qualities. No one has ever said I’m a natural at anything. In fact someone once told me that not even day-to-day life comes naturally to me. But I’m determined. And I believe, really believe, that determination, not talent, is what wins the day.

Everyday you’ll meet someone more talented than you but without that determination to keep going, to do what needs doing, to learn and try and fail and try again, they won’t succeed. You will though. Because while talent will give you a good start, it’s determination that get’s you over the finishing line.

Everyone has an opinion

The Balancing Act

We all have different pulls on our time. For me, I have two children (aged 4 and 6), a husband (although he’s pretty self-sufficient it’s nice to actually spend time with him), a writing career that I’m trying to get started, family, friends, neighbours, chores, pets, hobbies, a ‘to-read’ pile. You might have all these and more. The fact is, we all need to balance our lives otherwise we end up overwhelmed and under-satisfied.

Continue reading

When In Doubt…

Have you heard that saying, “When in doubt, chuck it out.”? I think it’s applied to food. As in that chicken that’s a day past it’s use by date but it looks OK and you haven’t got anything else to cook for dinner but there’s definitely some doubt as to whether you’ll give the entire family food poisoning or not.

The bit that catches me though, is the ‘when in doubt’ part. Because when aren’t I in doubt. And when I watch my sons, who are now 6 (almost 7 Mum) and 4 (almost 5 and a big boy Mum), they’re often dealing with doubts too. So doubt seems to be a normal part of life. Continue reading

Chickens Are Like Babies…

Want a weird observation?

Take a small (about 1kg), whole, chicken.

Wash, pat dry, and remove skin. Snip off ends of wings at the joint.

Coat with seasoning mix (I used Tandaco Southern Chicken – if you want to know).

Pick up chicken underneath the wings. Notice how the little arms flop over your hands and the legs sort of hang loose.

Isn’t it disturbingly like holding a new born baby?!

It is! Yikes! It’s creepy, creepy, creepy!

What are you meant to do with an observation like that? Why have an observation like that?

Let’s play a game…try and write the nude chicken/new born baby analogy into a scene/piece of flash fiction. I would LOVE to see what you can all do!

PS I’m not really into dinner tonight, just so you know.