My 2019…

I enjoy not celebrating Christmas.  Not getting caught up in the hustle of it all allows me to have a bit of clear head space to think about the upcoming year.

I don’t do goals, but there are things I would like to keep plugging away at in 2019…

Run + exercise more

I ran close to 300 miles in 2018.  I mentioned previously that I’d like to hit 400 this year.  I’d love to add something else into the mix, but that may be a bit ambitious. I enjoy yoga, but haven’t be able to keep consistency with it. My husband and eldest are doing strength training in our garage, that may be another option I’d like to explore.

Read more books

I have such a huge pile of books that I’m desperate to read.  And it gets me down that I haven’t read nearly enough in the past few years.  The right kind of books (re)inspire me and end up getting me off my butt to tackle things on my list in a new way.

This year I’m committed to getting more away from social media and work, to read and invest in myself.  I’ve given so much to my work (MoT) and my family over the past few years that I’ve forgotten about myself and my needs.

I signed up to GoodReads last year, you can follow me there to see what I read.

Be more social in real life

There are people I keep meaning to hang out with, but never get around to.  Having young kids doesn’t help, but I feel like that’s a bit of an excuse at times too.  In 2019 I want to physically meetup with people.  I’m a reluctant traveller (because of kids) atm, so I will be keeping this local in 2019.  If you want to hang out near/in Brighton sometime, then let me know.

Create better boundaries around work

MoT has taken up so much of my headspace over the past few years.  Even when I’m not working, my head is in work.  It’s been a big struggle of mine.  I love MoT, but I need to switch off more.  It’s almost a case of rediscovering myself.

I’ve made good progress in the past year or so, but there is still much room for improvement.

Researching Unschooling

For years I’ve been itching to properly research and do something in the unschooling space.  I’ve started and stopped numerous times, trying to find clarity about what I actually want to do around it. I’ve found it frustrating for myself that I haven’t done more.

I’ll cut myself some slack though…I know I’ve been busy. 🙂

At this moment I feel happy with the habits I’ve been developing recently about writing and researching about unschooling at unschool.me.  In 2019 I feel this will continue.

Less Social Media, More Writing for Me

I have two websites (this one and unschool.me) that have my commitment to post content on these first, before any social media type places.

I’ve created a ‘timeline’ on each of these websites to post small updates in addition to longer blog items.

I’m also creating pages for taking notes on various things as they come up.  Sometimes this means things are not quite complete when published.  But that doesn’t bother me, ultimately these websites are for me, yet I hope they will be useful to others.  I feel it is a better solution to use websites (WordPress) as a way to write stuff down, than forever trying to find the right note taking tool that I know I’ll never fully commit to.

Generally, whilst I appreciate social media, I’m disillusioned that it has become such a dominant thing in my life.  I’m not closing any accounts down, more a case of being more conscious of where I spend my time.

I find researching, writing and reading is time better spent than on social media.  And I definitely feel more positive about and within myself when doing these things.

Simplify and Minimise

I’ve been a fan on minimalism for a while and as a family we’ve been working towards ‘minimalism’ for too long!  Having ‘new’ kids just doesn’t help the cause!  I’m not sure we’ll ever get there when our kids are young, but we keep trying.

I don’t think it is something that is ever ‘done’, but I hope that we can get to a state where I feel happy with it this year.  I think this year is about clearing out all the paperwork and old tech that we have.

I’ve been quite good at bagging things up to giveaway, but so bad at actually taking it somewhere to be given away to.  It means there are piles around the house of stuff for weeks/months on end :}

These People

I’m not much of a talker, but if I start a podcast I’ll be looking to use TransistorFM.

Why? Because it is built by honest people who care. People who try to build good things.  People who know that money is needed to make things happen, but it is not their primary motivation.

We need good people doing these good things.  People who explore. Who take risks. And who have this drive to be and do something special in their own little part of the universe.

You may think that these people are having a grand time building up these products and businesses that seem so fabulous on the outside.  But really, just like me, they are human. And often lonely, because business building is hard and it’s hard to find people to talk about it.

These people are imperfect in so many ways, but aren’t we all.

These people have show up, day in day out, most of the time.  When they don’t show up, they probably need a hug.

These people strive to make the best decision possible.  It is a punch in the gut if something in their business goes wrong.

These people put their best face on so that you have the best experience possible.

These people care and hopefully make good things too!

And wouldn’t the world be a better place if businesses were run by people that honestly care?

These people can change your world. Perhaps not THE world. But they can change yours.

There are people like Justin everywhere.  I am one of them too.  Infact, anyone with a dream of doing something different is one of them, whatever part of the story line you are on.

My biggest sadness is that these stories come out after we’ve been through a tough time.  It was brave of Justin to share his.  Kudos to him, as I haven’t been brave enough to share my struggles.

 

Running Goals

I’ve been running for about 5 years now.  Though I didn’t really run when I was pregnant with my last two.  I’m super proud of myself for making it a habit of mine.

In 2016 I ran just over 300 miles.

In 2017, I’m not sure exactly, but not that much due to being pregnant.

In 2018, I ran 289 miles.  Not far off 2016, which I guess is alright considering I had just had a baby and csection.  2018 was the year that I started running with the a double buggy (sometimes). It’s also the year (towards the end) that I started running using barefoot running shoes – that’s been interesting and good.  I don’t think I can go back to normal running shoes now.

I guess 2018 was also the year I got labelled to a reckless mother for running ‘near massive waves’.

I hope in 2019 to run 400 miles.  Fingers crossed.

I’m off for a run now!

Life before a career

A nice post on doing what is (ethically) right first rather than doing what is good for your ‘career’.

We’re pretty good, most of us, at operating decently in our personal lives – stopping at red lights, not stealing the neighbour’s chooks, beating up puppies (or anyone most of the time). In our personal lives we’re pretty conscious. But our working lives are different.

Our working selves look away, tolerate injustice, further the interests of the mega-ruthless and undermine both common good and common decency to a degree that would make us ashamed were it not for a single concept. Professionalism.

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/opinion/you-dont-have-a-career-you-have-a-life-20151021-gkej6v.html

Goodbye Evernote

I’ve tried on and off over the years to get into Evernote as a way to be organised and keep notes on all the things.  It’s never worked.  Whilst much of the functionality is useful, I’ve found the UI hard to work with.

So as part of my decluttering of online stuff, today I deleted the last of my notes (that I cared about).  I did try to delete my account, but I can’t actually figure out how.  And how funny it is that the help pages related to closing account can’t (currently) be found.

I transferred a small amount of the links and notes I had to a Trello board. TBH much of my life is now in Trello (and a few other things).

2018 was about decluttering, all the things.

End of the year is always great for reflection.  I’m finding a bit of time for myself to do some  tidying up of my things.

Of course, tidying up is never really done.  Not when you unschool 5 kids, have a business to run and a heart set on doing new things.

Piper is now 1, a total beam of joy in my life.  It’s always hard to adjust to having a new child around.  Our life is full of re-adaptions, constantly.  Having kids just seems to slap you in the face and give you no choice with so many things.

2018 for me was about clearing things down and sometimes out, emotionally, online, work wise, family and friendships wise with the hope of bringing clarity to myself and my life.  As a result, I feel much clearer within myself how to approach 2019.

It still doesn’t mean I know exactly what I plan to do.  Whilst I believe in having a pathway, or a vision.  Having specific plans just don’t work for me.

One thing I do know is that 2019 is about transition for me.  I’m excited (and hope) to finally being able to put some more serious focus with my unschooling efforts and would really like that to make good progressive steps in 2019.  It’s been on my ‘heart-list’ of things to do for over 5 years and it’s been hard for me mentally/emotionally not to find the time to spend on it.

With regards to this website.  I’ve always tried to keep it as my professional/career type website, a reflection of who I am with my work hat on.  Decluttering means this website is about all things personal to Rosie. My unschooling is personal. My family is personal. My ideas are personal. My work is personal.  And this is where I will be sharing all of it going forward.

I hope many of you will find what I publish useful, but to be frank, this website is more for me than anyone else.  It has started to and will become my second brain.  I’ll explain more on that later.

“How to Grow Old” by Bertrand Russell

Such nice words in this article of ‘How to grow old‘.

The book Portraits from Memory and Other Essays is now in my shopping cart.

In spite of the title, this article will really be on how not to grow old, which, at my time of life, is a much more important subject. My first advice would be to choose your ancestors carefully. Although both my parents died young, I have done well in this respect as regards my other ancestors. My maternal grandfather, it is true, was cut off in the flower of his youth at the age of sixty-seven, but my other three grandparents all lived to be over eighty. Of remoter ancestors I can only discover one who did not live to a great age, and he died of a disease which is now rare, namely, having his head cut off. A great-grandmother of mine, who was a friend of Gibbon, lived to the age of ninety-two, and to her last day remained a terror to all her descendants. My maternal grandmother, after having nine children who survived, one who died in infancy, and many miscarriages, as soon as she became a widow devoted herself to women’s higher education. She was one of the founders of Girton College, and worked hard at opening the medical profession to women. She used to tell of how she met in Italy an elderly gentleman who was looking very sad. She asked him why he was so melancholy and he said that he had just parted from his two grandchildren. ‘Good gracious,’ she exclaimed, ‘I have seventy-two grandchildren, and if I were sad each time I parted from one of them, I should have a miserable existence!’ ‘Madre snaturale!,’ he replied. But speaking as one of the seventy-two, I prefer her recipe. After the age of eighty she found she had some difficulty in getting to sleep, so she habitually spent the hours from midnight to 3 a.m. in reading popular science. I do not believe that she ever had time to notice that she was growing old. This, I think, is the proper recipe for remaining young. If you have wide and keen interests and activities in which you can still be effective, you will have no reason to think about the merely statistical fact of the number of years you have already lived, still less of the probable shortness of your future.

As regards health, I have nothing useful to say as I have little experience of illness. I eat and drink whatever I like, and sleep when I cannot keep awake. I never do anything whatever on the ground that it is good for health, though in actual fact the things I like doing are mostly wholesome.

Psychologically there are two dangers to be guarded against in old age. One of these is undue absorption in the past. It does not do to live in memories, in regrets for the good old days, or in sadness about friends who are dead. One’s thoughts must be directed to the future, and to things about which there is something to be done. This is not always easy; one’s own past is a gradually increasing weight. It is easy to think to oneself that one’s emotions used to be more vivid than they are, and one’s mind more keen. If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it is forgotten it will probably not be true.

The other thing to be avoided is clinging to youth in the hope of sucking vigour from its vitality. When your children are grown up they want to live their own lives, and if you continue to be as interested in them as you were when they were young, you are likely to become a burden to them, unless they are unusually callous. I do not mean that one should be without interest in them, but one’s interest should be contemplative and, if possible, philanthropic, but not unduly emotional. Animals become indifferent to their young as soon as their young can look after themselves, but human beings, owing to the length of infancy, find this difficult.

I think that a successful old age is easiest for those who have strong impersonal interests involving appropriate activities. It is in this sphere that long experience is really fruitful, and it is in this sphere that the wisdom born of experience can be exercised without being oppressive. It is no use telling grownup children not to make mistakes, both because they will not believe you, and because mistakes are an essential part of education. But if you are one of those who are incapable of impersonal interests, you may find that your life will be empty unless you concern yourself with your children and grandchildren. In that case you must realise that while you can still render them material services, such as making them an allowance or knitting them jumpers, you must not expect that they will enjoy your company.

Some old people are oppressed by the fear of death. In the young there there is a justification for this feeling. Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer. But in an old man who has known human joys and sorrows, and has achieved whatever work it was in him to do, the fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble. The best way to overcome it -so at least it seems to me- is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.

Ethics in tech, again

This is emotional and tragic. (Stillbirth trigger warning).

There is something inherently wrong if the biggest tech companies won’t or refuse to invest in building ethical tech.

We’ve forgotten about the humanity. We’ve forgotten that all this tech is for people.  And that people are complex beings who are not always trigger happy.

We focus on the numbers. The stats. The money.

We use these numbers as an excuse to not invest. To not care. To forget about the humanity of the people we are all building things for.

We build things for the stats. Not people.

We put our hands up and claim the inability to change.

But we can all be that change, if you want to. It starts with you.

You who uses and relies on the tech.

You who builds the tech.

You who invests in the tech.

Express the injustices. Let the tech companies know. Spend your energy as and where gives you the hope to make a difference.

And remember you are still human even with the tech behind you. We do have the choice to turn away, there’s a whole world (remember it?) of no tech that is pretty exciting too!

 

Podcast as a tool for gaining exposure and brand awareness

I found this article interesting.  In a time when companies are so obsessed with stats and direct links, it feels that people lose their way in what is valuable from a marketing perspective.

It’s really not a surprise that podcast advertising doesn’t lead to direct sign ups, but over time it can be a great way to build your brand.  And podcasting isn’t the only thing that applies to this.

Tim’s first thought was that we’d never sponsor podcasts again (and no wonder; it cost us almost $1.3k for each trial signup!)

But then he noticed something. While attending conferences and networking with people, many of them told him that they’d heard about Ahrefs in podcasts.

Sometimes an existing user would mention that they were happy to hear about us on their favorite show; sometimes a random person (not even in marketing) would remember us from an old podcast mention. Even if they didn’t convert at the time, they thought that Ahrefs was kind of cool—and this brand recognition stayed in the back of their mind.

That’s when it all clicked.

We were going about it all wrong—rather than being a tool for lead generation, podcast advertising is a tool for gaining exposure and brand awareness.

Source: https://ahrefs.com/blog/podcast-advertising/