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How more technology means less technology

28 Aug

A couple of days ago I got my first android smartphone. It’s low end, but I love it! I have had my piece of crap cellphone for several years – it’s so crap it even freezes when I text. And that’s all I do – text, use the alarm, and receive calls. I didn’t even make calls because it was too pricey. Not anymore. I scorn gadgetry… but now I am rather chuffed with my smartphone.

Here’s why I think it’s good for me and my son:

I spent too much time on the computer. I know this, yet I feel helpless to resist. As a single Mum, the computer is often my only contact with the “outside world”. When you live alone with a toddler who goes to sleep about 7pm every night, it can get pretty lonely. And even throughout the day I find myself checking emails a lot, even when he’s awake, because frankly, his conversational skills aren’t up to much. No matter how much you love someone it can be exhausting being with them all the time. And a 17 month old is very demanding of attention!

I feel pretty guilty about this. I feel guilty because my son deserves my attention and he is learning that the computer is pretty important to me. I feel guilty because sometimes I sit him on my lap and let him watch Sesame St songs on one half of the screen while I do things on the other half. I never wanted to plonk him in front of a screen. I feel guilty because it does stave off my boredom, and if I didn’t have that, I’d probably think of more creative things to do that would be better for the both of us.

So here’s how my new phone helps with all that. I have synced my Gmail and Facebook accounts to my phone. This means that I get a bleep every time I get an email, as well as texts. I don’t even have to read the emails, but I can see who it’s from and what it’s about, and decide to ignore it or check it, without going back and forward to the computer. Yesterday I was having a conversation with my friend on Facebook and I decided to take the baby for a walk. I didn’t have to stop the conversation, I just took it with me! My son was perfectly happy walking along without my talking to him all the time – in fact I think he’d prefer if I left him to it! Both our needs were met.

My computer time has been drastically reduced. It’s much easier and more discreet to check my phone than to check my computer. And I’m not replacing computer screen time with phone screen time, I’m just not having as much screen time full stop. I find it easier to completely forget about it all until my phone bleeps, and even then I am able to ignore emails more than I would if I was on the computer.

And of course it has other cool features.

So that is my story of how my smartphone has helped with the thing I feel most guilty about – time on the computer.

Moving house again

24 Aug

I can’t quite believe I’m shifting house again, when I only moved here 3 months ago. The truth is, it sucks living by myself. I know some people don’t mind it, and some people love it. I’m not one of them. I am much too social to live by myself. I don’t even need to be talking to someone all the time – I just like to have someone else around. Two of my close friends are also single mothers (one with a toddler two weeks older than my son, and one with a 6 month old baby) and we have decided to get a huge house together.

I am really looking forward to it. I know having flatmates can have problems, but I prefer it to living alone. (I know I don’t technically live alone, but my toddler goes to sleep at 7pm every night and it gets a bit lonely. He’s also not much help with housework…) We already look after each other’s children when needed, and it would be a lot easier to help out with childcare when we all live together. Even if it’s just popping out to the supermarket for half an hour once the babies are in bed. It doesn’t seem so much of an imposition on each other if we are at home anyway. Not to mention splitting the bills, much cheaper rent, and sharing the housework and cooking. And the children will have each other to play with. They’ll each have their own mothers’ devoted attention as well as pseudo-siblings. Best of both worlds, really!

We have been offered a 6 bedroom house which also has a study I can use for my business. It’s a really cool house; it will be by far the biggest place I’ve ever lived in! It’s also in the same suburb as our other best friend and her fiance and daughter.

In fact, I’m so excited about it that I’m not even dreading the shifting too much. I’m not attached to my flat, and having shifted so recently I know it can be done in a day with a few willing hands.

 

 

Times

7 Jul

You know that feeling when you think you’re really busy? And then you get busier, and you look back and think you had leisure time then, but you really don’t now. And then you get busier again?

I totally feel like this

That’s where I am at the moment. I thought I had a fairly busy life pre-baby, although I also had plenty of time for chilling out. Then I had a baby, and mothering him takes up a lot of time! Then I started a business which involves a lot of sewing, website administration, and marketing. Then I started a part time swim teaching job. Then I started working on a book (I’m really, actually working on a book.). Then I got a part time nannying job. In August, I’m going to start studying organic horticulture. And I’m a single mother which means I have to do all the housework and all the errands, and I don’t have any childcare so I take my son everywhere or work while he’s sleeping (with one exception – my brother looks after him for a couple of hours a week while I teach swimming.). I’m also applying to be a foster parent.

Heck!

So you can understand why I have been a little absent on the blog lately. I’ve been working really hard on my book with the aim of finishing it by the time I start studying.

I have also been really slack with eating raw food. When going through a heartbreaking separation and adjusting to life as a working single parent to a busy toddler, it is easy to revert to the style of eating that I have done for 24 years, rather than the way I was eating for a couple of months. I know it’s better for me. I know that once I get into a routine it won’t be too much harder.But did I mention I’m a little busy? It’s also a lot more expensive to eat raw – for me, anyway, as I ate a lot of nuts and things when I was mostly raw, but I didn’t eat much expensive processed food when I eat mostly cooked. So anyway, excuses excuses. I’m taking the baby on a trip to visit my Mum in a couple of weeks; it’ll be the school holidays so I won’t be teaching or nannying. It’ll be my last break for quite a while, and I plan to make the most of it! She is planning for us to be at least 80% raw while I’m there so I’m hoping I will get into healthier habits and continue them when we get back.

Some encouragement to keep doing ‘this’

27 Jun

I wrote the title of this post and then thought “What is ‘this’?”

‘This’ can alternately be described as ‘turning into the kind of hippy my teenage self would be horrified at’, and ‘becoming a responsible citizen’. It seems that nowadays, being a responsible adult means paying your bills and keeping the wheels of the industrial cog turning. That’s not enough. It never was, but particularly not anymore. So for me, ‘this’ is learning how to live a good life. ‘This’ is following the green dream, and turning it into the norm.

Sometimes it’s really hard. I’d like things to be a bit simpler sometimes. But let’s forget all the difficulties for the moment. The important thing, when it comes down to it, is that this is all important stuff. And in many ways, it’s really exciting and challenging too! (Challenging is usually a positive word in my vocabulary.)

Today I started reading this cool little e-book: Ten ways to Chillax and Have Fun as you Live Your Green Dreams. I recommend checking it out. I think the title is pretty self explanatory, so enough from me.

The Story of Ten Ways to Chillax and Have Fun As You Live Your Green Dreams from Happy Writers on Vimeo.

I finally found something housework is good for

20 Jun

I mean, other than a clean and tidy house.

Procrastination works wonders for creativity. I am always really keen to do crafts when I have housework I ought to be doing! This is what I did tonight when I was procrastinating the dishes.

The photo has crappy shadows, but you get the idea. A cute display in red, cream and navy, using embroidery hoops, fabric, buttons, a flower and an old key.

 

Some colour in my bedroom.