Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deep Purple


One of my hobbies is making ‘tags’ or graphics in Paint Shop Pro. I usually base my projects on a particular idea – perhaps I want to illustrate a Blog, or maybe I just want to post a comment on a social networking site; one of those which says ‘Happy Birthday’, or ‘Have a Great Weekend’.

There is a folder on my hard drive where failed graphics go to die. Let’s face it, they don’t all work out. My successes are more about luck than expertise.

Today I dug up some of those ‘failures’ because I was doing some housekeeping on my computer. I found one in particular that seemed to have real possibilities; one entitled Deep Purple.

Now I have no idea what I was trying to achieve with Deep Purple and this was extremely liberating. It left me free to simply delete what didn’t work and replace it with something that would.

And, of course, there just had to be a lesson in that.

Most of the time when I front up to issues in my life I have preconceived ideas as to the solution. Now I’m no more an expert Life Coach than I am an expert in Paint Shop Pro. So, often, my preconceived ideas will only end up in the ‘failed’ folder.

Perhaps I should just learn to approach things with a more open mind?

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Break the Routine


©Photo by Lyn Murphy

The carpet really needed a good vacuum and there was something sticky spilled down the front of the cupboard. The cleaner in me was itching to get to work, but Pete was packing up the car to go for a drive.

We packed up the little gas stove. We rustled up some food to pack in the Esky (cooler).We threw in some plastic cups and plates, some tea bags and a kettle. We grabbed our cameras and off we went.

Now Pete has been kind of obsessed with aeroplanes since we started work at the local Aero Club, so he is always out for an opportunity to take photos of the same. His intention was to visit an Aerodrome in a country town called Nanango, but, as often seems to be the case on these ‘plane spotting’ trips of ours, unless there is a special function in progress, country aerodromes often turn out to be nothing more than a collection of hangars and a deserted runway.

However, undaunted, we found a lovely little park dotted with relics from the gold-mining days. We set up our stove and made ourselves bacon-and-egg rolls with a cup of tea. And we sat there, eating our lunch; just watching the world go by.

We wandered around and took photos of the old buildings, the well and the horse drawn log trucks – the crude gold mining equipment.

On the way home we played a CD of some of our favourite music – the stuff that doesn’t have a liberal dousing of four-letter words throughout the lyrics. We chatted about things brought to memory by certain songs we heard. We laughed and made silly comments, which made us laugh even more.

I came home and the carpet still needs vacuuming. There is still something sticky on the cupboard door. But so what? I had a really nice day. We did simple, inexpensive things (well apart from the cost of the petrol, but you can’t have everything.) But we had fun. And we remembered why we got together in the first place – because we enjoy each other’s company.

Sometimes we just need to break the routine and enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Diamond Days


©Tube by Patries
‘Some days are Diamonds, some days are stone’ says the opening line of a song by John Denver. A dear friend of mine used that line as the title of a post on a Social Networking site and it just stuck in my mind. Well today is one of those Diamond Days and I just had to borrow the sentiment to write a Blog.

Is today really any different from yesterday, or the day before? Well, no, not really. Sometimes, of course, a Diamond Day is about waking up to realize some great drama is finally behind you. Other times, Diamond Days are all about attitude.

The sun is shining today. The birdies are singing and there is a gentle breeze to waft the fragrance of the honeysuckle flowers. But none of that is what you would call a rare occurrence. It’s just that sometimes I have been so inwardly focussed that I saw only the darkness and the unloveliness of my problems.

The truly amazing thing is that many of my problems are still with me. Issues that weighed me down and filled my heart with sadness yesterday have not just magically disappeared.

Yet today I woke up filled with enthusiasm for life and suddenly the whole world looks so much different. I can’t say with any degree of certainty that I can retain this frame of mind. Somewhere during the course of this Diamond Day something might happen to send me spiralling into the depths of depression. Or, then again, because I realize just how important it is to maintain a positive attitude, I might just find the strength to rise above it, whatever it is.

Why, after all, should I let myself be tossed about like a piece of cork in the tidal wash of life? If I want to experience more Diamond Days like this, then I need to dig in and create an anchor for myself.

There will always be disappointments and heartaches and painful moments in this world of ours. But ‘happiness’ isn’t the absence of these things so much as the ability to deal with them when they come along.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The General Gist


We watched in alarm as the car turned right across oncoming traffic – almost creating a collision with startled drivers coming in the opposite direction.

It occurred to me that the offending driver might remain completely oblivious to the stir he created. He drove up to an intersection, saw a green light and figured that gave him the right-of-way to make his turn onto the ramp leading to the Motorway. It probably never entered his head that there wasn’t a green turn arrow, meaning that traffic in the opposite direction would be stopped to allow his safe passage. He didn’t consider the wisdom of applying the Give Way rule in this situation.

He saw a green light. A green light means “Go”. So he went.

When my son had just started school, I went along a couple of times a week to help the children in his class with their reading. After the first couple of weeks the teacher pulled me aside and mentioned gently that perhaps I was a bit too literal in my attitudes. The important thing, I was told, was to encourage the children to get the general ‘gist’ of what they were reading, and not to expect them to read it back word perfect.

Stunned, I posed a question to the teacher.

‘So a child picks up a bottle labelled Poison – Don’t Drink; it’s okay for them to go with the general gist of that statement then? It’s all to do with Poison and drinking after all.’

The teacher said I was being overly melodramatic and missing the point. But was I really?

Now, let’s face it, we have a world full of people who operate under the assumption that the ‘general gist’ is good enough. The light is green – I can go.
©Lyn Murphy 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011



The message says ‘Due to restructuring, ‘Company Name’ Cleaning Services is no longer able to offer  Bond Cleans, Builders Cleans, Carpet Cleaning or Pest Control. We will now only be offering an Office Cleaning Service and, if you would like a quote for your office, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible’

Yet, day after day, I dial up the message bank to find messages requesting a quote for one or more of the very services excluded by that announcement.

People don’t listen. We are now so used to messages on answering machines and answering services that we just sit through the preamble, waiting for the tone, so that we can leave a message of our own.

Maybe our ‘not listening’ is not restricted to phone messages either? How often, when some one is talking to you, do you find yourself just waiting for them to take a breath so you can jump in and have your say?

If people just listened to the message on the ‘Company Name ‘ Cleaning Service business phone, they would quickly realize that we are not able to provide the service they require. They wouldn’t bother leaving a message requesting a call-back which will turn out to be a waste of time and energy for both parties.

More importantly, however, if I listened more carefully when people speak to me, I might pick up on valuable clues as to how that person is feeling. I might hear the loneliness in their voice. I might hear the pain or the fear. And I might be able to put aside my own agenda for long enough to be a friend.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘You really need to learn to communicate your feelings!’

‘You have to learn not to bottle things up inside!’

But people don’t listen. So we don’t talk because we know they’re not listening. And so it goes.The only thing that develops is the barriers against meaningful communication.

©Lyn Murphy 2011
Note - I don't know the name of the artist who produced the above graphic in it's original form. Please contact me if it is yours and I will give you credit.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



I saw a marvellous quote on a School Billboard as we were driving past and I thought – I must remember that. It would make great subject matter for a Blog.

Of course, when I got home, I discovered that I couldn’t remember the wording of the quote, so I spent ages ‘Googling’ - but to no avail. And then the irony of the situation struck me. The quote I had been chasing was all to do with how wisdom is learning the art of simplicity. Yet there I was getting all frustrated because I couldn’t find the proper wording for the quote, when all I really needed to do was to paraphrase.

Simple really. Yet the simple answer is often the one we most easily overlook.

A problematic situation darkens our door and we launch ourselves into a frantic quest for a solution. Then, when we are about ready to start tearing our hair out in sheer frustration, some one comes along and says ‘Why don’t you just …?’ They offer us the simplest solution imaginable, and yet we know instantly that it is the one that will actually work.

It’s always easy to see how the Jigsaw puzzle fits together when it is completed. It might have looked like such an impossible task when it was all scattered over the table in a multitude of pieces. But no matter how big the puzzle might be, it is still a matter of just fitting the pieces together to form the intended picture.

I found another quote in my travels.
“Wisdom begins at the end” – Daniel Webster.

©Lyn Murphy 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stay Flexible



I used to say I would NEVER want to work at night. I’m a morning person. I would much prefer to get up early, do my work for the day, and then relax at night.

Well, experience has taught me that getting up early in the mornings can have its drawbacks. For example the neighbours aren’t ready to turn in at the same time as I need to go to bed in order to be all bright eyed and bushy tailed for a 4.30am rising. They are still out clattering and banging, and shouting from room to room to each other while I am laying there gritting my teeth and wondering if I will ever get to sleep.

My circumstances changed and now I actually do work at night. Guess what? To my surprise I don’t mind at all. It’s great not having to rush off in the mornings – not having to try to get to sleep early at night. I can potter around and get all my housework done in the mornings, rather than have to come home after several hours of cleaning and attempt to do it then. I can make appointments in the morning, instead of having to specify afternoons.

And I go to bed at night because I’m tired, not because it’s my accepted bedtime. That means I actually sleep rather than tossing and turning the night away.

I used to say I loved the heat. When I told everyone I was moving to Queensland they all asked how I would cope with the weather. I told them, ‘Not a problem. I love the Queensland weather’

Well I certainly prefer the heat to the cold, there is no doubt about that. But it’s one thing to go somewhere hot and steamy on a holiday, and entirely another thing to have to go out and work in those kinds of conditions. The heat and humidity can be totally draining and I often find myself almost wishing for summer to end.

So what is the point that I’m trying to make here? Life has taught me the importance of remaining open minded and flexible in my thinking. I’ve learned that my ideals; my personal preferences and beliefs can change just like everything else in this world of ours. It really doesn’t do to be too dogmatic in my approach to anything.

We never stop learning, about the world around us and even about ourselves.
©Lyn Murphy 2011