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M.J. Stevens – Author and Creative Spirit

A young woman trying to make sense of the world

Month

January 2017

Happy Australia Day

162569_home_heroAnother year, another Australia Day!

I know a lot of people who follow my blog are actually outside of Australia, so no doubt are curious about what the heck this “day” even is.

Australia Day has a couple of meanings. The first and most important is the traditional meaning. It marks the anniversary of white settlers in Australia in 1788 who founded our nation. Of course, the country was already founded by Australian Aboriginals who have lived across Aus since the dawn of time (or The Dreamtime to be exact – you can look it up if you want! Take a moment to learn a traditional story, they’re so creative!)

In a modern sense, it’s a day where we celebrate diversity, and for me it’s a day where I reflect on my family’s long history in Australia, what it means to be a woman in this nation and how lucky I am to have such great opportunities without so much as a second thought about my safety or other global issues.

It can also be a time of unrest for our nation as some unfortunate individuals take this time to protest their vision of our nation, which can sometimes lead to violence and hate. However, we always try and focus on the best things… like cooking lamb on the barbie!

So whether you are in Aus, or outside, Happy Australia Day, mate.

Why ‘mate’? Because we’re all mates ‘ere. Too right! Catch ya later!

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I didn’t make a NYE resolution to be successful – for good reason.

Ahhh… so it’s the new year. 2016 is gone and we shall never speak of it again. Ever.

Ok, maybe just briefly.

While 2016 was a moderately ok year, to be extremely fair, it was still lacking all the fundamental things that make years a success – in my eyes. This includes writing anything of substance, making money, taking any worthwhile holidays, having clarity, finding love, being yourself, finding love, having more space and time, love, love… LOVE.

So, as I head into 2017 another year single, with no new books published, (a tub of coconut ice-cream in one hand, and a box of tissues in the other) I ask myself this: why do we put so many expectations on ourselves, and is that why years finish, more or less, like poop? Is it because we force ourselves to be someone we aren’t or perhaps see ourselves as unworthy? Probably.

The other day I was chilling on my couch with headphones on, a frequent state for me. And I was thinking about my job and dreaded Monday. I was thinking about the pile of work on my desk, the stress that Monday will bring because Thursday is a public holiday in Australia and so all my deadlines for this week are ridiculously tight, and then about how I’m going to be able to handle it. I even thought, should I start at 7am to help get a jump start on the day? Maybe 7am starts are the way to go all week!

And then it came to me: who cares?

For me, my “professional life” is currently a means to an end. It’s the place I go to exchange my time for funds to live. But then again, it all comes back to that expectation that this year, I will have achieved enough to earn myself a place in society slightly higher than the one I have now. To finally have in my head that career goal, that ultimate path.

That may be a negative thought to the MAX, but for someone who is creative-born, doing things that aren’t making the world a better, brighter, happier and more fruitful place is the same as digging a hole to China. It’s a good way to spend your day doing something, but is anyone really benefiting from this giant yard hole?

The truth is, I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I have absolutely no real idea what I’m doing. And I think we would all be a lot happier if we could just take a breath *inhales and exhales* and admit we are all terrified. We are all simply faking it until we’re making it.

Doesn’t that feel better? I do, knowing not everyone has a plan. We are all just trying to put together pieces of things we like and going, “does that look right?” Like a weird puzzle where pieces change every day.

So my 2017 “resolutions” are things that are more important than being successful. Here they are:

  • Laugh 1000x more than I did last year
  • Remember to publish blogs, and don’t be a slacker (carry over from 2016)
  • Keep up with shaving my legs on time
  • Don’t sit inside too much or burn when I’m outside
  • Change my bedding more frequently
  • Throw out underwear once it has holes (you’d think this would be obvious)
  • Take car maintenance more seriously
  • Tell certain people in my life to F**k off, because they really need to F**k off
  • Attempt Yoga again
  • Take more trips on my own
  • Wear more kooky shirts
  • Purchase said kooky shirts
  • Find happiness, not love

I hope your 2017 is off to a smashing start and you are in full-blown recovery mode from 2016.

Happy Writing x

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