Sunday, September 11, 2011

Moving House

Hello there!

I've now moved my blog to a shiny new house over on Wordpress. You can find Maggies Scribbles at Please come on over and join us - would love to see you there!

M :o)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Like an Alligator Waiting for Lunch

I was once told by a psychic family member to 'watch out for the circles within the circles'.

It's puzzled me for years. I was never able to work out what it meant. By contrast there was another message accompanying it that actually nearly made me crash the car when it was told to me (yes I was driving), so pertinent it was. The second message's veracity was why I gave credence to the 'circles' message, but however hard I tried, I never did get that one.

Life tends to go in cycles, I admit, and while its true that out of one's work, home, emotional and social lives it's rare that you'll get all of them firing on all cylinders at once in terms of positivity, there also seems to be times where at all goes completely to shit at once.

Nothing outward need ever have happened, (but sometimes it does) and something inside perhaps triggered a switch from happy to not happy and bang! Down you go, and the work starts once again to climb out of the mire and regain the good ground.

Its severity can be low or high, but the direction is the same. Its cause can be chemical, emotional, due to the weather, or any number of other crazy sources. And the voice in your head (presumably, hopefully, your own) is saying 'why am I feeling like this, I was perfectly fine' while the body responds to the question in feelings, the internal life equivalent of an interpretive dance.

So we seek the solutions;
Good relations with our nearest and dearest - check
Get checked out at the doctors - check
Return to abandoned spiritual practices - check

And you survey the scene from your lofty new post only to see that its pretty much just the same crappy soup as before, just with a few more ingredients, and you sink down into the mire again, remaining still, eyes just above the mud line like an alligator waiting for signs of lunch.

Then stuff begins to happen.
An opportunity arises and you find a voice to express what you're going through in a safe place. Words put out there, onto paper, screen or in conversation, no longer let the things they emote have power inside your head any more.
A loved one reaches out for help, and because you've trodden that particular part of the path before you can act as a guide for them. And in helping them on their healing journey, you begin to heal yourself.
You get the chance to laugh and to make others laugh, and the laughing continues the healing.

And then the mire starts to fall away, and clarity begins to return. And the weather gets better (Spring! Yay!) and the cycle of positivity turns towards the regaining of equilibrium and things just don't look so bad.

The key things here:
Patience - the last thing you have when you feel down; you're so scared you won't get back out of the pit that panic can set in.
Quiet - when you're down it’s actually a really good place to take some time for stillness. Don't plan anything, just be where you are. You can't dodge around this; you just have to get through it. Try a bit of meditation, tai chi or yoga and know that it will always pass and things will start to seem better.
Tolerance - show yourself a bit of love. Take care of yourself, do things to nurture your spirit body and mind. In the midst of the storm it’s the best that we can do for ourselves.
Hope - probably the most important thing because it allows you to exercise patience, quiet and tolerance with a peaceful heart.

I've probably written this piece as a memo to myself as much as to anyone else; to remember the way back - my personal trail of breadcrumbs. It’s not a solution to clinical depression which is another ballpark altogether, and perhaps one that I will write about in the future. This is about those times that if we don't address them can turn into serious depressive episodes, and I reckon if I go through these kind of down times, then probably others do, too. Thankfully I have learned to manage that ol' black dog and it has been many a year since it came calling at my door.

Maybe this is the circles within the circles, that we're part of a chain of healing and its only by reaching out to the person next to us, to help them make that one step you've made before, and the person on the other side of you does that for you too, that we become part of those circles? Its open to interpretation, and thankfully this one isn't too tortured!

We have in each of us the means of our own health and liberation, we need to believe that always, and we sometimes need to write it down just to remember that fact.

Have a lovely week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How You Made Them Feel

We live in an age where there are unprecedented opportunities available for us to communicate with each other.

No longer restricted to face to face, letters and phones the internet has produced not only new channels and environments in which and through which to communicate but it has also done away with the tyranny of distance so that at any time, anywhere in the world we can speak with anyone we choose.

And yet, it’s still down to us to put the thoughts and then the words together before they get sent out. It’s still down to us to be brave about what we want to say, and accept responsibility for what we say and do.

So the irony of this blog will not go astray when I say that over the past few weeks I've had two of the hardest conversations I can think of in recent times, and all the gadgets and gizmos in the world did not aid one bit in either of them. It’s ironic also because Communications is my game. I'm a comms junkie who happens to work at it one way and another for a living and for leisure, and it's fair given me a slap on the butt about that communication channel we tend to forget first amongst all the new toys - face to face.

It can be scary, eh? Actually being in someone's presence, talking to them and making yourself vulnerable by revealing what's inside your head.

There's no hiding behind a computer alias or even a Facebook status (which can often seem quite faceless, actually). There's no anonymity and no LOL factor to add which might take away any sting (actually, I loathe LOL and have never used it!).

So, both times, I screwed up my courage after literally sleepless nights and disturbed days, and I went along, sat down and said exactly how I felt.

And guess what? The earth didn't shatter and I didn't lose those people. What did happen were deep discussions that can only happen when we take the courage to jump into that area that perhaps everyone is thinking of but no one goes there first. The result was an enhancing, rather than a diminishing of our relationships, and peace of mind restored.

Give it a try. Take 10 or 15 minutes to go and talk with someone rather than sending them an email. I'm a great believer in the saying that 'People won't remember what you did, but they'll remember how you made them feel.’ Grab back that opportunity to make people feel good by talking to them face to face, over a coffee or a beer or just a desk-perching moment.

That's something that we can't get from emails and Facebook status updates, but that quality of communication is something that we dare not lose, because if we do lose it, we lose part of our humanity.

Have a great week!
M :o)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bucket List Quest

Hey y’all, it’s been a while!

Bit of a newsy one this time.

July was very busy with theatre and comedy. Son was working as crew on Avenue Q for the month and so needed the mum/dad taxi service, meanwhile I was gigging every weekend for the OOTS Comedy Galahs around town.

That itself was a wonderful experience. We’d turn up and there would be 19 other comics all ready to go on and do their bit. I don’t know what the comedy scene is like in other cities, but in Adelaide we’re blessed to have a great one. The comics are all friendly and supportive of each other and take a real pleasure in seeing each other succeed with audiences. It fair warmed the cockles of my heart.

Also, one of the greatest pleasures was to see almost all of the female comics there too. We weren’t a token one or two on the bill, neither were we the total lineup which can also be tokenistic if you’re not careful. We were all just part of it, and great fun it was.

I congratulated the producer (and comic/David Tennant lookalike) Mark Trenwith on his great gender mix lineup and like the lovely guy he is he was genuinely dumbfounded. “I just hire people because they’re funny,” he said. Love that guy!

In other news, the Three Stuffed Mums have embarked on a project to compile a book of funny mum stories ‘from the trenches’. We’re asking mums to write in with their story that might not have seemed funny at the time, but you decided to keep it for their 21st, to be included in the Mum Book. The scheme was originated and masterminded by our more business-minded mum Kate, so if you’re interested, log on to and tell us your story.

My exciting news on a more personal level is that Fringe registrations opened this week for the Adelaide Fringe 2012. So, in the interests of crossing another thing off my ‘Bucket List’, I’m embarking at 50 years of age on my first solo Fringe show! It’s called “Sold!” and it will be a mixture of stories, songs and comedy.

Just this week I’ve received from my Musical Director Extraordinaire, Le Monsieur Mike Pitman, the backing tracks and scoring of two of the songs wot I wrote. They sound great, and now all I have to do is rack my singing voice up a notch or three to match the great quality of the arrangements.

The concept of “Sold!” is around those things we get sold on – whether its ideas, things, people. We have to be sold on them in order to justify our investment in them with our time, energy and loyalty. Sometimes we get swindled, but sometimes it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. How do you get ‘Sold!’ on something? Tell me by going to the Facebook page for the show - Just click the badge to the right of this blog entry or search for me on Facebook under ‘Maggie Wood – Sold’. Oh and please click 'Like' on the page if you'd like to be kept up to date with my progress with the show.

And that’s probably me for this epistle. The weekend lies ahead as open as the prairies of Oregon (if they still have prairies there), for R&R and general navel gazing before the work week kicks off again on Monday.

To all of you out there, have a lovely weekend and a great week, and remember to look after each other. We’re all we’ve got!

M :o)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moderation Musings

There’s such a storm just happening now both at home and work. Projects flying around, gigs to prepare for, new directions and opportunities and at the same time paying attention to consolidation of current projects, as well as family, dogs and all that entails.
It seems like there is hardly a moment to think, never mind act and the temptation, even on a Sunday afternoon, is to open up the computer files and start planning and working.
It’s taken me this long to realise that any work done under these conditions won’t be very productive. Without rest, and without paying attention to the important things first – health and family – the head won’t be able to fly as free as it needs to in order to produce the best goods possible.
The head space needs to be calm in order to work well. Balance needs to be maintained for mental and spiritual health, and yet it’s difficult sometimes to defy the feeling of obligation to get on with things. Thus the internal struggle seeps across the weekend, eating up precious free time.
So, for this moment anyway, I’m off to do some of that head clearing.
Have a wonderful week, everyone, and remember to take time for your sanity.
As one of my personal mantras says; everything in moderation, including moderation!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Grow A Pair

Two weeks ago I turned 50.

Now, I know that many people dread that milestone, while others don’t care one way or another. Me? I’m grabbing and running with it. Woo hoo – I get to be an adult whether people like the way I do it or not. You can criticise my technique but you can’t argue with the chronology, buddy!

I get to grow old and I get to do it however I want to. Grumpy or smiley, I can do it with impunity, for now I am a senior citizen. Going by what friends have experienced I’ll soon get those lovely letters from the Government to prove that I’m 50, which cordially invite me to get a titty squash and jobbie assessment to make sure I don’t have breast or bowel cancer. Such fun!

And if I want further proof that I’m a senior citizen I need only walk past the Norwood Senior Citizens club and read the sign out at the front door that tells me that Tuesday and Friday afternoons are for the ‘Over 50s’. (Note – the first time I realised that this may apply to me I shuddered.)

It’s a strange situation; I’d always pictured someone who goes to these clubs to be self-admitting themselves to God’s waiting room. I don’t actually know of anyone over 50 who has time to attend one of their sessions. Everyone I know who has passed their golden jubilee is far too busy either enjoying their increasing freedom as the kids leave home or they’re starting new careers.

Is it a Baby Boomer thing? That we shall never knowingly grow old and doddery like our forbears? Or is it a continuation of the ‘I Want and I Shall Have’ mentality that refuses to give up getting until we’re falling down?

For me, I know it’s the absolute fascination of ‘I’ve got this far and I’m not dead yet!’ feeling, and wondering how much further I can push my abilities and courage.

It’s got a lot to do with courage. I’ve spent a lot of my earlier life being fearful – a reflection of the way I was brought up. But I’ve found those fears to be unfounded so with renewed confidence I grab my 50 returns of the sun and plough off into territory that is new, exciting, and is filled with infinite possibilities.

Happy birthday to me, and to my decision to ‘grow a pair’.

And if I can do it, so can you!

Five ways I know I’m now 50

1. I’ve started to be very selective with how I spend my time and who I spend it with.
2. I like to be home at ‘a decent hour’ and I don’t like being out two nights in a row.
3. I eat weetbix for ‘digestive health’.
4. I am coming to understand the concept of ‘spare wine’.
5. I listen to ABC radio. By choice. And enjoy it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Looks Like a Bomb Hit it!

Hey all!
Holiday Monday here which means its busier than normal day. What with some work this morning, haircutting of son's giant afro, quick catch up with pal and then what may be a long meeting with Adelaide Theatre Guide colleagues, the actually most exciting thing is the formal launch of my new website! I say my 'new' website - it's also my only personal website.
We do have the Three Stuffed Mums website which is and I have to say there are some exciting things shaping up for the Mums in 2012. And now there is my website at which brings together all my skills for hire under the one 'shopfront'.
Have a look and I'd welcome feedback and comments.
Rushing off now to tidy house that looks like a bomb hit it!
Have a great week!