Corporate communications + Public Relations Adelaide


November 2009

The satisfaction of .. stationery

Warning to all readers: this blog is about being a Working Mum. If that topic bores you, please leave now.

I’ve had a week off work. Thus, time to do things I can’t normally do. Very important things, like:

  • walk with my sons INTO their classrooms rather than dropping them off at the school fence and madly driving away
  • saying ‘hello’ to my sons’ teachers (and er, introducing myself in one case)
  • being available to other mothers in the schoolyard. (One screamed out ‘Michelle! Michelle!’ and ran me down on the asphalt, to report that she had one of Sam’s socks at her house and did I want it back? It was a grey sock, with a green grid pattern over it, and skull and cross bones picture on top. Obviously I never wanted to see it again.)

I also had the chance to see my son Able’s pencil case, as he dutifully prepared his desk for the day’s work. The pencil case was a SHREDDED MESS! It looked like something a dinosaur had chewed up and spat out.

“Able,” I said, “Is that your pencil case? How long have you had that?”

He shrugged his shoulders, as any 10 year old will. “Would you like a new one?” I asked. He nodded his head eagerly.

The poor mite! The poor, poor mite with his worn, torn pencil case. Aaaaaaaaaaargh. What’s the use of two working parents if they can’t outfit you with the latest greatest pencil case? [Insert Working Mothers’ Guilt here].

Needless to say, I was at the mall just 15 minutes later. Able now has a brand new, squeaky clean (and very cool black) pencil case.

Adequate stationery is important. So very important. And so is taking the time to explore your child’s school life. Some children are just ‘too cool’ to tell you everything: I’m vowing to poke my nose in more often (and check how that pencil case is going).

It’s a lonely (social) life

I’m still to play with Google Wave …

… but one thing I am hearing from Google Wave newbies, is that they’re ‘lonely’ there.

At least, that’s my interpretation.

I’ve seen tweets and comments like: ‘Why is nobody waving at me?’ ‘I’m here .. now what?’ and ‘Um, I have Google Wave. Anyone want invites? Maybe I can finally make it a fun thing if I have contacts”.

Like any online social or collaboration tool, it doesn’t make sense unless you have your peeps there with you.

It reminds me of when I started out on Twitter. Landed there, set my profile, wrote my first tweet .. and, then what? It took me a while to follow people who tweeted anything meaningful with me. To build up contacts (and understand the context).

But after a few lonely forays, where I felt like I was butting into people’s conversations, Twitter became a lively meeting place for me, full of knowledge-sharing and new (crazy) online friends.

Today, I’m still hearing Twitter newbies complain that they “don’t get it”. I always remind them: you need to stay on; reply to people; interact. It’s not all about posting your own thoughts or links. It must be two-way.

I’m convinced this will happen with Google Wave. When it reaches its critical mass, it will take off. It’s built around interactions – and that’s pretty darn hard when you’ve only got a few mates there. It may be lonely now, but watch and see it evolve.

(Oh, and invite your friends, help them learn with you along the way .. and wave at me!)

Damn my Pessimism!

I’m on holiday.

I wish my brain could be on holiday with me.

I’ve got one week’s leave before beginning a new job. One week – seven days. Nice, right?

Not really. See, in my mind I’ve reduced that count to five days – cause you don’t count the weekend. I already have weekends. And then, I’m a mother with two sons. They’re not on holiday: but they do return from school at 3.30pm each day. And I drop them at school at about 8.30am every morning. So I’m only on holiday from 9am to 3.30pm, for five days.

That’s a smaller window of time. What with lunch, playing around on my social networks, doing the odd bit of housework, trying to exercise, going to the dentist, doing some long overdue gardening and getting lost in online banking … that leaves me precious little time to do Holiday Things.

What are Holiday Things?

Why, that would be: walking on the beach. Reading a novel. Sipping cocktails. Going outlet mall shopping. Having a massage. Going out for a latte. Rolling over in the morning and going back to sleep. Visiting little antique stores or bookshops I’ve never seen before …

How am I supposed to squeeze that in?

My brain leapt to this pessimistic calculation almost immediately on deciding to have a week off. The joy was shaved in two (or five, or ten, or whatever the calculation is).

Why can’t I just let good enough alone? Why can’t a week .. be A Week?

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