How do your comments portray you?

If all of your social media comments were compiled and published in a book, would you be comfortable with what you have said?

 

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Social media has become an integral aspect of our lives but are we diminishing social etiquette and common decency along with its growth?  Has there been a culture shift plus the layer of protection of sitting behind a screen that has created a bravado that you can essentially say anything you want without any forethought to what, where and how the words will land?

It is apparent that we are living in the age of advanced technology in many aspects, particularly the way in which we interact with one another and whether there is a differentiation between our ‘real life’ and how we live via social media.  People appear less concerned about how their comments will be received – is this because communication is primarily occurring through messaging and people are no longer seeing the reaction of the information they are conveying?  Is the human element removed to an extent because of this?  Would we say the same thing if we were faced with the person?

We are the very first generation that has been exposed to social media and it has been a steep learning curve. With all things new, there are no clear boundaries and society is left in limbo trying to create them on the fly.  We haven’t been taught how to use social media because this form of interaction is greater and far more complex than has ever existed before. However of note, these problems have always existed, they are merely amplified on a global platform that lacks any form of control.  Suddenly, virtually everyone is reachable from those in your real world to celebrities and public figures and even John Smith living many kilometres away and someone you may never cross paths with in real life.

Issues such as bullying, stalking, infidelity, terrorism, racism, sexism and virtually any ‘ism’ have always existed within real life yet the internet has pushed all of these issues into a realm beyond any boundaries and everything is now being played out on a global stage and one which has the capacity to draw everyone in and everyone seems to feel comfortable weighing in on each topic without holding back.  Topics such as religion and politics are no longer considered off limits.  Previous taboo subjects that are no longer…

 

So again, if all of your social media comments were compiled and published in a book, would you be comfortable with what you have said and essentially how you are portrayed based on your words only?  Let’s be more specific.  Have you weighed in on any of the trending topics of 2015 such as Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner, the Kardashian’s, the Essendon AFL drug saga, one of the many Australian Prime Ministers taking seat, or the gun debate in the US or even Donald Trump?  No doubt your head is swirling with your opinions on one or any of the above – that is expected… but if any of your opinions are judgemental and you have voiced it, did you think about the negative footprint you have left behind that could land upon the soul of the person you make the judgement about?  And just because everyone is sharing their negative opinion it doesn’t lessen your responsibility for your words.  Yet you may very well stand by your comments – and again, it is your call… but we need to remind ourselves that our world is what we have created and that includes the human interactions.

There have been countless times where I have read the comments on a Facebook post and just shook my head at what I was reading – what was posted for the world to read… grown adults throwing insult after insulting and engaging in a cyber fight because of differing opinions.  People getting angry and allowing the escalation of a disagreement turn into name calling and abusive tirades.  Our online world seeps out into our real life – are you comfortable with this perception you have created?

I am far from perfect and have had many judgmental thoughts but before I voice many of them (and admittedly I have typed a comment and deleted it many times over), I remember that I too live in a glass house and I have no idea of the personal struggles that exist within the hearts of others.  I also imagine the reaction of the person who I am talking about standing before me and hearing the comment – including the most famous of people – they read things too.

 

It’s all a working progress of where my feet fit into the world… even in the world of social media but I am working to live by my motto of positivity and as such I am conscious of the words I share.  I truly believe in the power of words and I would rather believe that leaving a positive comment may be the difference in someone’s day – or on the flip side – I don’t wish to be the reason someone is having a bad one…

Here’s to making the effort to share words of positivity and painting the world in colours of peace, happiness and harmony…

 

~ F.P

 

 

 

Why Maternity Leave is not like a Gap Year

Coming into my seventh month of maternity leave, I have likened my new role to a high intense career change where the training is completely on the job. The skills I have acquired or expanded upon should take pride of place on my resume to be rolled out in future.
For those of you I have lost already, you may have been under the impression that being a stay at home parent is like a gap year from work, likened to a holiday. You may think the time you get to be away from your full time job will allow you to take on all of the many hobbies you have wanted to try.  You may have all of these day trips and lunch catch ups planned.  Your list of anticipated accomplishments on your maternity leave is probably long.  I smile at you and my heart warms at the thought you still get sleep ins and can leave the house with only one bag – because eight months ago I was you.

Instead of maternity leave being like a gap year, it is unequivocally my new, life long, high intense job.

My new job involves early starts, late nights and immediate on call. However there may also be down times of afternoon rests to use at your leisure  (read: more appropriately to get to house chores).

I have acquired a number of useful life skills such as:
– Negotiator
– Policy maker
– Problem solver
– Finder of all things that get lost on an hourly basis (this may also include my sanity for a moment)
– Unqualified Nurse
– Educator
– Cleaner
– Personal Assistant
– Chef / Nutritionist
– Physical therapist
– Entertainer
– Fashion stylist
– O H & S officer; and
– Proficient in another language of baby babble

All the while, I carry out my job with the following personal attributes:

  • Being Alert and Attentive at all times
  • Calm
  • Capable
  • Careful
  • Cooperative within the two part executive team (with my husband)
  • Dedicated
  • Dependable
  • Energetic
  • Flexible
  • Innovative
  • Motivated
  • Optimistic
  • Organized
  • Patient
  • Practical
  • Productive
  • Realistic
  • Reliable
  • Resourceful
  • Responsible
  • Versatile

There is no union to plead my case when conditions change and no OH & S committee to assess and make recommendations when I almost break myself and the furniture dodging toys.  There aren’t any awards for employee of the month or end of year bonuses.
There aren’t any sick days, rest days / mental health days or holiday leave or running late showing up. For those days there are cold and flu tablets, tea and coffee and coffee and how about a soup bowl size coffee.

The rewards in this job are simple.

The smiles and the giggles.

The cuddles and the playtime.

Watching her play because she has learned how.

Watching her eat – because she has learned how to chew.

Watching her interact with others.

Watching her learn to crawl and how proud she is of herself!

Watching her stand!

 

Like every job we take on, our attitude may be the determining factor in how manageable a stressful task may pan out.  Just like a bad mood or attitude can rub off on a colleague, so too can it affect the mood of your baby or any task you are attempting to complete making everything seem virtually impossible.  And in those tough moments, it is helpful to remember that nothing bad lasts forever and sometimes it’s about focusing on five minutes at a time…

 

~ F.P

And a Happy New Year to you!

New Years Day is the perfect moment to take a long and anticipated breath.  One of the great joys of life is taking a break from our routines and having some space to think and reset our practices.

As we all take a collective sigh that the Christmas chaos has now passed and the count down to welcome in a new year has now concluded, we can now actually start our focus upon the new years resolutions we may have created.

Our common resolutions range from becoming fitter, healthier, living more holistically, working less, make more money, travel more… the list continues.  As life moves in cycles, our priorities change.  The new year resolutions you made last year may not be as important as this year.  Additionally, twelve months is a long time and life can change in a moment, altering the course of everything you were initially working towards.  This is plainly and simply life.

The new year break gives us the possibility to step back and assess what is not working in our world with fresh, optimistic eyes… however, it is easy to romanticism what life should look like verses the reality of what life is and what is realistically achievable.

January 1 provides a day of optimism about life and with it, we often try to pack a great deal of new practices into our already busy and time challenging life.  For whatever reason, it has now become more realistic to make some life changes than it was days before.  I am not immune to the crazy, infectious optimism that is the concept of new year, new intentions.  Quite honestly, it is my favourite time of the year!

I often hear successful people speak of the ability to have it all – just not all at once.  This is a quote I hold to be true and this year it has been the foundation upon which my resolutions have been created.

This year instead of setting the intentions of what I will do more of, I am taking life back to basics – a lifestyle I have been working towards for the entire duration of 2015.

I have decided that I want 2016 to be about quality and ultimately living life basically.

I have decided that this year will be about positive living and to create a sustainable lifestyle of health, quality and living as authentically as possible ~ and I acknowledge that throughout the next twelve months what this looks like may differ from month to month and I will be awake to life to acknowledge and make necessary adjustments.  There will be absolute ownership of all choices and therefore no room to hold regrets. With these intentions, I have recognised that stripping away the unnecessary, it will enable me to rediscover what about me is my authentic self and I am diving into this challenge with great excitement and enthusiasm.

 

Whether you choose to create new year resolutions or not, remember that everyday is about the choice to live your life on your terms. Whilst you may be sitting around feeling unhappy and unable to change your circumstances, ask yourself if that is an absolutely accurate description of your circumstances… because the only thing that can never be retrieved once lost is time…and in honor of all those who no longer have the gift of time, I have chosen to embrace and utilize every moment I am gifted with…

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Here’s to 2016 your way!

~ F.P