Everybody needs a wingwoman

Every morning (well, almost) this week I’ve been getting up and heading straight to my art desk to do a pretty well-known writing exercise called “morning pages”. I was reminded about morning pages when I re-read Craft For The Soul by Pip Lincolne last weekend. 

The idea of the exercise is that you get up and before the day gets going, you write three pages, longhand. Three pages of whatever comes to mind, it’s not for publication, it’s not a productivity tool, or a to-do list, you just write. This can seem very strange but usually something interesting comes from it. 

For me that’s been reflections on the view from 48. You can check out my last blog post for more on that. In a nutshell, I’m turning 48 in about 42 days (I haven’t had coffee yet so my mathematical abilities are even shakier than they usually are) and that has made me think about how I got from there to here, what’s helped, what matters, stuff like that there. 

One morning this week, instead of writing, I drew a picture of my earliest memory, and shared it on Instagram and Facebook. It was me, wrapped in a towel, warming myself up in front of the Vulcan heater, after a bath. I wasn’t happy with the squareness of my towel ensconced shoulders, so I drew myself again. 

Little me. Damp hair. I like her.

In my morning pages this week, I’ve noticed that I’m circling around some of the anchoring issues in my life – adoption, rejection, acceptance, encouragement and self confidence. I’m still ruminating on those topics, so I won’t go into detail here, yet. I was talking with someone on Facebook a few weeks ago, and that late night conversation has really got me thinking about what I can be doing to light the path for others, based on my own experiences. Thanks Nat! 

In that spirit, on Wednesday I decided to declare #wingwomanwednesday on Twitter and Instagram. 

Clearly my peeps aren’t that active on Twitter, but they ARE on Instagram. 

Soon enough, there was a lovefest in progress, with people giving virtual high fives to women they appreciate here, there and everywhere. It was SO RAD! 

As people saw themselves tagged, they replied, and joined the party, sending more love out to more of their gal pals. 

LIFE GOALS!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Did hundreds of people get on board? No. 

Does that matter at all? Hell no. (World domination takes time!)

If only one person had seen my post and tagged one girlfriend, a girlfriend who might have been having a super shit day or feeling a tad lonely or was just having a mundane Wednesday afternoon, and she saw herself tagged as someone’s wingwoman, and felt appreciated and loved, then DROP THE MIC! 


I believe that encouraging acts like these are utterly essential in life. 

Utterly. Essential. 

I certainly would not be who I am without them. 

The view from 48 – it’s a long, winding path lit by torches of encouragement that kept me going, and continue to do so. 

When I ponder the most powerful force in my life, it has to be encouragement. 

I think I’ll make one small change to this hashtag for next week, it’s got to be #wingwomenwednesday because it takes a village, right ladies? 

Thank you so much to those who got into the spirit of my first foray into mass encouragement. Your words of affection and love for each other buoyed me up this week. 

And remember, you don’t have to wait until Wednesday to encourage someone! 

With love, 



Taking Stock in Spring – the September issue

Did you know that the super cheery, crafty, all around ace face Pip Lincolne is a taker of stock? I don’t mean she pinches things, five-finger-discount style, no sirree Bob! Pip is totes upstanding and I’d venture has only ever pinched sweet, chubby babies on the cheeks, and even then, I bet they weren’t random babies in prams, but family babies, sweet babies of friends… pinched in a loving I’m your ace pal Auntie Pip way… anyway, I digress.

Pip does this great thing called Taking Stock and it’s a super helpful exercise if your brain is a bit clogged, or just to see what comes up as you go through her list of helpful prompts. Here’s Pip’s September list, and it’s a beauty. She’s doing lots of ace stuff lately – such a clever clogs lady.

I’ll pop a copy of the list at the bottom of the post, so you can join in too if you like. Feel free to post your own Pip inspired Taking Stock post on a blog you might have, or your Facebook wall, or even in the comments here if you like.

If you use Pip’s list, remember to give her a shout-out, credit where credit is due, it’s easy and nice to do!



So without further ado, here’s my spring stock take, the September issue:

Making : plans for a new online project, it’s a bit daunting, but it’s also exciting.
Cooking : I think I’m going to keep cooking frittatas – I celebrated #FrittataFriday last week, and it was delicious, and it lasted me until today too – super tasty bargain! And I’m baking every Sunday, rockin’ the #sundaybakingsunday hashtag on Instagram, and loving that people are joining in. Yay for baking type people!
Drinking : instant coffee – woe is me! This is because my beloved Nespresso machine has broken down and I can’t afford to fix it.
Reading: blogs, SEEK, and lots of fun and interesting things on Facebook. Haven’t cracked open a book in a while.
Wanting: cheese. And some clarity on the job hunt – I’m just not getting any offers and it is kind of a mystery and a bummer.
Looking: out windows, as I sit in cafes or the library and enjoy free wi-fi. Spring is so beautiful isn’t it?
Playing: the new U2 album, I’m so happy to hear new stuff from them, I think they are a super talented bunch of fellas.
Deciding: which bills to pay first, there isn’t enough money coming in to pay everyone.
Wishing: that $1,200 would fall out of the sky so I could pay those pesky bills. A girl can dream can’t she?
Enjoying: Sunshine, spring, dappled light, blogging, the library. So many things.
Waiting: to see if I can get the project I’d like to start out of my head and into the world, and if anyone wants to be part of it.
Liking: this BabyMac post and the concept of rocking Eden’s world during #fucktober – please consider taking part!
Wondering: just how much mail Eden will get, knowing that the blogging community is awesome and she’s sure to be inundated.
Loving: longer days, kindness, optimism.
Pondering: encouraging bloggers, how to find a job, what’s around the corner.
Considering: writing about hard, very personal topics, like depression and oncoming trains.
Watching: Project Runway: Under The Gunn, The Block, and two very moving episodes of Australian Story about adoption. 
Hoping: that people will talk about their experiences of adoption more as a result of those episodes of Australian Story.
Marvelling: at the fact that I went into the garden yesterday and got the crazy prolific jasmine under control. Who even am I?
Needing: a job, an income, an opportunity, someone to give me a chance.
Smelling: jasmine wafting through the house.
Wearing: my new 17Sundays skirt, which I love. #teamstripes
Following: I’m not much of a follower, other than on social media, where I follow LOTS of great people and blogs.
Noticing: that sunshine makes me happy.
Knowing: that I will find my place in the workforce again. It is just taking longer than I expected.
Thinking: about adoption, how it impacts people for their whole lives, and how the ripples never end.
Admiring: people with get-up-and-go, people forging their own path, people who see the world as a place for adventures.
Sorting: it’s still on to the to-do list, but I’ve got to sort out my budget for the next few months.
Buying: not much at all. Today I bought a coffee, and I really shouldn’t have. But I did, because, coffee.
Getting: buoyed by encouraging words, friends online, positivity.
Bookmarking: the ProBlogger website, I’d like to download some more #pbevent sessions while I can.
Disliking: the political climate of #TeamAustralia, racism, casting people you don’t understand as ‘other’ and therefore suspect.
Opening: the pantry and the fridge, creating meals from things on hand. So satisfying.
Giggling: at the memory of mucking around with bloggy friends at #pbevent – we laughed SO HARD while taking silly photos.
Feeling: happy, good! There may be some challenges, but they don’t overwhelm the fact that I have so much to be thankful for.
Snacking: on crackers and cheese, while I still can! There’s about half a thumb of the block left. Mmmm, cheese.
Coveting: Cheese, cash, a YES – knowing that I will be okay anyway, and that the YES is coming. It is, isn’t it?
Wishing: I could stop thinking about cheese. Is there a support group for that?
Helping: I try and spread positivity and encouragement, I think that helps.
Hearing: The hum of conversation and people’s daily activity – such good sounds.

So that’s the state of play in my world.

Life is GOOD. Not without a few challenges, but there’s no hall pass for dealing with reality is there? Well maybe there is (for a time) if you’re a squillionaire, but we all still lay down at the end of the day, alone with our thoughts, and we all look at ourselves in the mirror everyday. I can honestly say I like the girl I see looking back at me. She’s a glass-half-full person, she’s smart and kind and funny and resourceful, and she is now going to stop referring to herself in the third person.

So, here’s a blank list for you to fill in if you want to. It’s a great exercise! It might surprise you…

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

Cheers for now,

Annette x

Be a life long learner – three thoughts

Hello there,

Just a few unfinished thoughts to share today, not brand new ones, but some that have definitely been more frequent this year as I’ve learned a new skill or seven (or seventy billion) in becoming a blogger. It is amazing how learning to write a blog has bled out into every area of my life and offered me opportunities to think things through from a new perspective, to remember old lessons, or to try to put myself in someone else’s shoes more.

Thought 1:  It is COOL to be a beginner, it’s okay not to know, to stuff up, to need to ask questions, to feel a bit wobbly about things. It’s okay. Here’s something that might rock your world – think about someone you admire, the business guru, that amazing fashion designer, that great blogger, that scientist, doctor, super organised mum, Australia’s best footballer – can you see them in your mind…. right, that person, who excels at something that perhaps makes you feel a bit small and not-at-all ‘in their league’ and perhaps even a tad jealous, that very person in your mind, Steve Jobs, for instance, once had NO IDEA how to build a computer, or run a company, or become a global icon. He was just a guy who had an idea. Or think about Oprah Winfrey – same deal, different industry, she was just a little girl who grew up in poverty, who became a TV reporter with a name people couldn’t pronounce.

There’s no person who has ever walked the face of the earth who hasn’t been a beginner, a novice, a newbie. Not one! Isn’t that encouraging? Well, it makes me feel a lot better!

Thought 2:  New things can be scary. That’s okay – don’t let that fear stop you from doing something that could turn into a massive passion in your life.

Learning requires a great deal of kindness towards yourself, the humility to ask, yet again, and a good whack of confidence. I think that confidence gets built up by being around other learners, and by having encouraging people who may be a bit further down the road around you – whether that’s blogging, athletics, parenting, global dominance of social media, or crochet, everyone starts out as a beginner. Everyone needs to be willing to learn.

When I was starting this blog, even before I got to that part – in the very beginning, when I was thinking of a name, and trying to understand how to get the blog from an idea in my head to a web presence, I don’t mind telling you, I cried a LOT of hot, angry tears of frustration. I was SO frustrated with myself, then I got frustrated at being frustrated, when I thought I’d conquered a lot of my tendencies towards being stupidly demanding of myself. It wasn’t pretty. I nearly gave up, before I’d even begun. True story.

The only reason you’re reading this blog is because people ENCOURAGED me to keep going, told me that I could do it, and learn new things, and eventually become proficient at them and create something that people would enjoy.

Thank you to those people. Thank you so much. Thank you for still encouraging me when I wobble.

Which leads me neatly to Thought 3:  We all need encouragement. Every human being needs to be looked in the eye and told, you can. I believe in you. The aloof/confident girl you envy, she needs it. That ‘cool’ mum you see at school, she needs it. The guy at your coffee shop, he needs it. And I know I do.

It may be unfamiliar to verbalise our good thoughts about other people, but it really isn’t hard to encourage someone.

I think the key is to just be genuine and don’t make a big song and dance about it initially. Do they look great? Just tell them.


Let me break that down so you’re in no doubt – say you’re at work, and one of your colleagues looks really good one Tuesday, or has just given a killer presentation that you really got something from, when you pass her desk, or see him getting a coffee, just say, hey, you look great today or that presentation was so helpful to me. Just that, you don’t have to gild the lily, just be sincere and smile at them. Job done!

Really, it’s as simple as this – USE YOUR WORDS.

Use them for good, to build others up, and to build yourself up. The more you use them in this way, the more ease you’ll have at being someone who sees good in others, and tells them. You might even turn into a stranger on the street compliment giver. That stuff is FUN!

No photos today, no catchy title or six point action plan, just these thoughts – beginning is common to all of us, learning new things can be scary, everyone needs encouragement.

How can I encourage you today?

What are you learning that’s scaring you?

Jump in and comment, let’s talk this stuff out. Maybe someone else who reads this blog will know exactly what you need to know, because they’ve been there. Let’s find out!


Annette xx


How an empty mayonnaise jar brought me undone….

Isn’t it funny how on a bad day, seemingly small things can send you into a tailspin?

When I used my last egg and scraped the last mayo out of the jar this week, the abyss opened up, and I was a mess.

Is my cupboard bare? No, it isn’t. There’s good stuff in there. Stuff I can easily turn into simple, tasty meals. But on Thursday, there were no more eggs, there was no more mayo – and I knew I did not have enough money to buy both, and wouldn’t have, for at least two weeks. I’m unemployed at the moment, so money is tight.

It is a confronting thing to realise you can’t afford basic things, items which Toby from The West Wing (god I love that show) calls ‘the everyday things, the 99 cent things’. The things we take for granted, like eggs, and mayonnaise.

As the last shell went in the bin, I cracked too.

People sometimes say that there’s no kindness left in the world, or that it is hard to come by. Some days that seems true, some of us just don’t have our eyes open to see it, but I can tell you, Thursday was not a kindness-free-day for me.

In my increasing agitation, I took to the keyboard, to vent about feeling sad, stuck and vulnerable. Not a public broadcast, a conversation in a group of people I felt pretty sure I could trust. The group I chose was the one I’ve been spending the most time in lately, my Pipsters. From here in Melbourne, and in far-flung places from Spain to England to America, these awesome ladies, my homies, my Pipsters PICKED ME UP with the tap, tap, tapping on their keyboards, and created a safe space where I could talk about feeling humiliated by my lack, and frightened of not getting through the next fortnight.

They encouraged me, empathised with me and didn’t gloss over what I was saying, which is so important when someone is having a shit day. Let the person in Shitsville say it is shitful. It is. Don’t rush to “the sun’ll come out tomorrow”. We all know it will.

What the temporary residents of Shitsville need, what I needed, was listening ears and compassionate hearts.

Boy was I in the right place. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

There were so many tears, and as I sat at my desk, talking in real time with people, feeling the support and solidarity, reading about how other people have been in my shoes, I was being broken open, my emotional pressure valve hissing and spluttering out the worries of the week.

It may sound utterly bizarre to you (it does to me) but blogging is bringing battered old passions to the surface, it is causing me to be more open, authentic and vulnerable, with the people I am creating an online community with, and with myself…. it is strange, and sometimes painful, but it feels exhilarating too. Being fully alive isn’t about feeling only good things. Neither is blogging!

After I’d been chatting with the Pipsters for a while, I felt a bit better, then a lot better, and so, so tired. All that crying takes it out of you. I woke up the next day feeling completely different. Nothing had changed, but I was no longer weighed down with worry. I was buoyed by people sharing ads for jobs they’d seen and thought I’d rock at, there were links to sites that might help, people shared mayo recipes requiring only two ingredients, people encouraged me, people SAW ME, unvarnished and broken, and not one person turned away, or blithely told me to ‘get a job’ or that what I was feeling was invalid. That’s priceless stuff. Human stuff. That’s community.

Today I can write this from a totally different mindset than the one I was stuck in two days ago. Today’s tears are of gratitude. I am not ashamed of my tears. They are softening me, inside and out.

This week I learned a new lesson about what I’d term humiliation – a feeling I despise with all my being.  Maybe what I know as humiliation – a deeply painful, confronting and devastating state of mind and soul, holds within it a chance to be more authentic with people, more vulnerable and ready to say, I need help. Try saying that, even in your mind, I need help. It’s not easy is it?

And yet, we all need it. I need help. You need it. Your sister, your dad, the guy on the bus, the shiny people on magazine covers, who we’re supposed to worship and believe ‘have it all’, the crafters, the ‘successful’ folks we admire and maybe envy a touch,  even them – we all need help every now and then. Maybe not every day, maybe not to buy eggs or mayonnaise, but sooner or later, Mayonnaise-Gate happens to all of us.

How GRATEFUL I am that when I was ready to say, even just from the ‘safety’ of my computer, that I needed help, that people were there to listen and to encourage me. That was the help I needed most on Thursday afternoon. Help to be honest, help to be vulnerable and let my emotions out.

Can I exist only in the virtual world? No I can’t. I need my flesh and blood friends too, I need to trust them when the chips are down (or gone!), as I do in the good times. I am undone by friends who demonstrate their love in ways that resonate.

Some cheer my efforts at blogging on, or remind me that Don’t Stop Believin is my ultimate theme song.

Some friends do this with their words, their care, their support and encouragement, their precious time.

Some do it with groceries, or a supermarket voucher.

Some  give me money that I know they could have used to buy their own eggs and mayonnaise.

I have friends that take the time to read and comment on my fledgling blog, or come over with pizza.

The yet-unmet-friends who spoke life into my situation this week, wow, thank you.

The pal who asked me how I was on Instagram, and I decided to tell her the truth, which resulted in us having a great chat, she’s sending help. I’ve never met her.

One yet-unmet-friend from Blog With Pip, who sent me a message on Friday asking me where I live, is dropping off help this afternoon.

A lovely friend took me to dinner, paid for my meal, and a second glass of wine, and helped me out, again.

The friend I met in a West Elm store, who I’m enjoying getting to know, said she’ll buy me a coffee next week.

There’s no hierarchy involved. The friends who offer practical support aren’t ‘better’ than the friends who offer a listening ear and words of encouragement. They know that, I certainly know it. We all play our part.

Sometimes we buy the eggs, sometimes we listen and send virtual hugs.

What I’ve learned this week is that kindness isn’t at all like mayonnaise – it doesn’t run out when the jar is empty.

In fact, sometimes that empty jar is a portal to an outpouring of kindness that lays you flat with gratitude.

That’s why I’m not about to stop believin’. Even when mayonnaise makes me cry.

mayo jar




Annette xx