Tag Archives: ideas

What was old is new again.

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Does anyone else love Op shopping? I love the searching. I love the bargains. I love giving something a new home. I do always wonder what purpose it served before it ended up at Vinnies though…

Did it sit in someone’s cupboard gathering dust? Did it have pride of place in someone’s pool room? Was it passed down through generations of a family? Was it made in another country? Did it survive a house fire? Was it just being a paperweight? What was its purpose?

Over the last 10 months or so I have often wondered what my purpose was. What am I supposed to do with my life? What is my next step? Where should I work? Who should I be? Am I a teacher? Should I study? Am I just the unemployed pyjama wearing Jess that has popped up so regularly (I do love my pjs but there is definitely more to me than that!)?

Recently I started working in a new job, a job in a cafe. I haven’t worked in hospitality since I was a uni and it was a really hard decision to start looking for work there. I ummed and ahhed about it for several months because I felt like I was talking a step backwards in my life. I felt like I would be a beautiful handmade statue being a doorstop, serving little purpose.

It was hard for me to put childcare behind me (at least for now) and go back in an industry I didn’t have the same passion for. But this job has turned out to be exactly what I need at the moment – giving me a new purpose. Just like turning an old fence into a brand new picture frame or a table getting a new lick of paint and looking snazzy again.

I always saw hospitality as a means to an end, it was the job I had to get me through uni the first time. I guess it still serves that purpose for me as I am currently studying again but it means more to me this time. It has brought stability back into my life after a long time of feeling like I was drowning. Stability in my finances, in my routine, in my happiness. I am feeling less anxious, I am feeling less overwhelmed and I’m excited to go to work again (which is nice after well over a year of not!).

So for any other How I Met Your Mother fans, it’s not like Barney says…new is not always better!

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Scars and all.

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Personally, I am a fan of the Facebook ‘On This Day’ feature. Looking through each days’ memories is normally one of the first things I do in the morning, I really enjoy being reminded of things that happened 2 or 3 or even 9 years ago (side note: I cannot believe I have had Facebook for 9 years!). I just love the nostalgia of seeing a photo of something fun I did with a friend or reading a conversation that has zero context and makes no sense to me years on or re-reading the cringe worthy updates from back then.

The past is important, I’ve said it before – we shouldn’t forget it. A couple of days ago I had a memory pop up on Facebook about attending my graduation ceremony 3 years ago! I remember feeling so accomplished and so excited to be starting (actually having already started) work in a job I had dreamed about.

On that day 3 years ago I didn’t know the skills I would learn, the friends I would make, the hurts I would have or the scars I would gain from that job. 3 years on, life has changed and I spent most of the day working – in a restaurant – getting prune hands from doing dishes, spilling some sort of sauce on my shoe and being at the start of another journey.

Not really where I thought I would be 3 years on from the day of my graduation! A special day where I got to get my hair done, wear a nice dress and doff my cap at some old guy I had never seen before! But, that is something I am slowly coming to terms with, I may not be where I thought I was heading but that doesn’t mean it’s not where I am supposed be going. Who knows where I’ll end up? But I am trying to enjoy the journey that is getting me there!

The adventure of life is like a train trip – bit of a cliche, I know! But as we travel along, we pick up passengers and their baggage. We collect a range of different experiences and we learn different lessons from them all. Some of them leave their bags behind or create some damage to how well we function. There are some that depart without us even really noticing but there are others that cover us in graffiti and really make a mess in our carriages.

I know that I am lucky to not have many scratched up windows from my trip so far. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have scars, they’re just not ones that you can see. It also doesn’t mean that if you don’t have scabby, pussy wounds to show off that you aren’t going through something that hurts! We all need to show empathy and patience because we don’t know what someone else is going through.

A person who looks all put together, always smiling, never seeming to have anything going wrong might be covering up some real pain. Their scars might be much more than skin deep, but heart deep. Their family might be in a crisis, they might be dealing with the loss of a friend or a relationship breakup. They may be sleep deprived from working 3 jobs or scared because they don’t feel safe at home. You just don’t know!

Each one of us has our own scars, inside or the outside, and we all have stuff to deal with. Why not use it to help someone else? We might be able to understand because we have scars from our own similar experiences. We know the way not to handle that situation and we have some strategies that helped us to get through it.

So, on this day in 2017 – look back on all the passengers that have jumped on to your train, leaving a mark and think of how you can embrace them and help others with what you have gone through.

What to do when your dreams don’t come true…

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So a week or so ago I wrote about following your dreams and how you should just listen to your heart and give it a go. It seemed so simple and straightforward. I was feeling excited about going after my dreams and studying my Masters in Child Play Therapy. I thought that was going to be my purpose for the year and it would open doors that I could only hope for. I was excited. I was pursuing what I thought was my dream.

And then…a couple of days ago I received an email to say I had not been accepted into the Masters course. I was devastated. I truly thought that this was the ‘thing’ I was supposed to be doing with my life. But it wasn’t going happen, at least not the way I had planned. I felt lost. I felt heartbroken.

What am I supposed to do this year then? How will I ‘change the world’? Why didn’t my dream become reality? What is my purpose? So many questions! So many emotions! For about 2 days after finding out, I felt truly broken. I was convinced that this was going to be the next step in my life, there were a lot of future dreams tied into this happening.

But then an Early Childhood job popped up and I realised I might have been using studying to avoid committing fully back into childcare. After being hurt (not physically) doing something I love so much, I’ve been avoiding it a little. I’ve been looking for alternatives – all of which have been linked to children in some way – and trying to not let my heart be broken again. But it’s in my blood (thanks Mum!), I can’t avoid it!

When you take that leap of faith and follow your dreams, there is definitely the chance of it not coming to fruition. But you know what? I would never have known what I wanted if I hadn’t tried. Sure, I am really sad because it had felt right and seemed to be such an obvious path to choose. There are other ways to study play therapy if that is really what my dream is.

All I know is that I have to keep following my heart, which means it occasionally might get broken. I won’t know exactly which way my life goes if I don’t try – if I stay where I am, I’ll be safe but I will miss out on a lot of opportunities, some of which might be life-changing.

There is no greater gift you give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born, and how you become most truly alive – Oprah

Follow your dreams, even if you have to make a detour to find out exactly what they are! It will all be worthwhile when you find what you were called to do.

 

Dream vs. reality

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The start of a new year always inspires me and motivates me, gets me thinking about all the possibilities to come. It’s weird how I can be so completely exhausted and drained from the year before, but somehow the new year rejuvenates me. Anyone else feel the same?

This year of all years my possibilities are endless. Not being tied down to a job at the moment allows me look into a lot of different options; studying, opening my own business of some kind, trying new things and having the time to be certain that the choices I make are the right ones for my future. The future that God has in store for me.

I have been having lots or conversations with different people who all ask the same question…so what are you going to do this year? And it gets me to thinking of all the dreams I have. The dreams I have career-wise, the dreams I have that are entrenched in Early Childhood and the dreams I have personally.

My dreams change from day to day but it can be a struggle when I sit down and really think about something I want to happen. How can this dream become a reality? What can I do to make it happen? Am I too poor to start my own business? Am I too shy to talk with people I don’t know? Am I too young to make a change? Will I fail?

Whatever your insecurities are, don’t let them stop you from pursuing your dreams. Sure, some of them won’t happen but you will never know until you give it a go! I mean, when I was younger I wanted to have musical stairs in my house. You know the ones that look like a piano and make a sound when you step on them? Let’s be honest, this is probably not going to happen – I’ve moved on a little since I was 10 – but I should never give up hope! Because you just never know, one day I might be playing Chopsticks on my front steps!

I think being practical is a really good idea when trying to pursue your dreams. If you really, really want to fly you probably aren’t going to be able to grow feathers. That’s not to say you won’t fly, you might just need to look into alternatives for flight. Don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t happen the way you expected. I think the key is to not give up, to try other avenues and ask others for help.

So from today I am going to start writing down all my dreams (not the one I always have while I’m asleep where my teeth fall out), writing down all the things I wish to accomplish in my life so that when an opportunity presents itself for me to open my own childcare centre or become an early childhood & family consultant in play or be a Mum or paint for a living or create dolls house furniture or get married or whatever it is God has planned. I’ll be ready and I’ll be prepared.

Don’t give up on your dreams! Make them into your own reality!

Inspired.

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As I sit here at my desk being on hold with Centrelink for 17 minutes so far, I have been checking out Pinterest, one of my favourite time killers. I have discovered so so many activities and ideas that I just cannot wait to try out this year in my brand new role as an Early Childhood Teacher.

I have also stumbled across quite a few amazing other blogs and websites that get me all excited and are completely devoted to Early Childhood ideas. There are mostly art ones below as that is where my passion lies and my Internet searches usually end up, but there are so many out there to tickle whatever fancy you have!

One is wordplayhouse which is a beautifully designed website that focuses on natural resources and creativity. It has AMAZING outdoor art ideas.

This next on Mumtrusted.com is a cool collection of ideas organised into categories. This website has been painstakingly organised into pins of all areas including age groups, topics and what not. Very handy!

Let The Children Play is an awesome blog full of ideas for every single area and then some! I highly recommend checking out the ‘Popular Posts’ and ‘Blog Love’ tabs. Just. So. Many. Ideas!

The Imagination Tree is one that I follow on Facebook as well. It is constantly posting experiences and activities that let children’s imagination run free. Which is lucky because of the name 😉

Lastly I stumbled upon this page of Fun at Home in my Inter-web travels. It has a pre made list of some amazing blogs. There are just so many out there!! How exciting that there are so many people out there, passionate for children and creating the most imaginative learning experiences!! Really gets me excited!

Well I hope for those of you out there who share my excitement, you will find some inspiration amongst these many online pages.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Pinterest is a friend. Check it out!

Jess xx

Teaching ideas

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So today I thought I might start a collection of resources that will be great for when I am a teacher and maybe even for others…I guess we’ll see 🙂

So this first one is a really cool and easy paint recipe. All you need is 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water and food colouring.

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This next one is probably more of a holiday activity (that I am tempted to try myself :)) but you could totally incorporate it into a lesson somehow! Just colour a pattern onto sandpaper with Crayola crayons and iron it onto a shirt, or canvas bag or whatever your heart desires! Simple and fun!

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I got this one (and most of the others off Pinterest) Now I love bubbles so this one is as fun for me as I imagine it would be for kids. You need an empty plastic water bottle, rubber bands, an old sock, dishwashing detergent and food colouring. So you cut the end off the bottle and put the sock on, securing it with a rubber band. In a bowl or shallow container mix the detergent with some water and dip the sock end into the container. Then you put whatever colours you would like onto the sock and blow through the top of the bottle. This is what you get, so cool!!

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This one not only looks awesome but is a great science project. Just split the ends of a rose, or other flower, and dip into different containers with food colouring in each one. The petals absorb the colours. Seriously, so cool!

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This particular one is pretty self explanatory. It’s a poem to help with subtraction. I wish I had seen this before I went out on one of my uni placements, it would have helped a bunch of kids who struggled to grasp regrouping while subtracting.

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Now this one is something that I found for hanging in your house but I thought it would be an awesome activity to look at colours and nature and all sorts of things! You could do so much, imagination is the only limit 🙂

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This one is really cute and could be used for a gift or turned into anything that interests the child. All you need is some feet and some paint 🙂

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Finally, this particular one is something that I had to make for a uni assignment, it’s a WebQuest aimed at year 2/3 children based on exploring clay. If you like it feel free to use it! I would love for you to let me know what you think of it and how the kids respond to it.

http://jessicarankins.wix.com/whatisclay

There will be heaps more teaching resources to come!! If you are looking for inspiration I highly recommend checking out Pinterest as there are so many great ideas on there, I constantly waste hours just looking!