January review 2022

Monthly review – something I should have done a long time ago

January review 2022

January review time already! Quick recap in case you missed what my goal is for 2022 – it is to Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences. January really did get off to a cracking start for me in terms of progressing towards my goal, however, as I share my progress with each habit I am focusing on below, I am aware that January is definitely an easier month for a number of the habits I have chosen to establish.

My focus for this review is on the habit of taking an hour a week to learn more about our First Nations Peoples. I would have spent at least 10 hours on this during January. It has been a real awakening to me and I do admit to being ashamed that it has taken me so long to start working on this. I have known I have had massive gaps in my knowledge of the suffering and injustices endured by the First Nations Peoples but did not act upon it. I hope the resources I share below encourages others to start their journey earlier than I did:

First Australians Documentary Series – this is freely available on SBS on Demand and was such an excellent starting point for my learning. There are seven episodes and each one has a specific focus. I highly recommend watching from start to finish but I did choose one episode for the younger kids to watch which was episode three and it focused on the first Australians of Victoria at the time Wurundjeri clan and their leader Simon Wonga. The absolute bravery, tenacity and determination shown by the First Nations People to just survive their unjust treatment was amazing.

The Indigenous population of Victoria was estimated to be at least 11,500 before the founding of Melbourne in 1835.

Less than 30 years later frontier violence and the introduction of European diseases had decimated the population and only about 2000 Aboriginal people survived.

Source – National Museum of Australia

All non-indigenous people living on the land of the Wurundjeri should watch this episode to learn how the First Nations people were treated at Coranderrk.

Historical insights into Racism in Australia with Aboriginal Elder Colin Jones – Indigenous Health MedTalk Podcast – this podcast is the audio from a lecture presented by Elder Colin Jones at a Cultural Immersion for GP registrars at Bunya Mountains. Jones has a wonderful presentation style that is engaging, impactful and full of knowledge accrued from both lived experience and his extensive formal education.

8 Things To Know About Jan 26 By Taneshia Atkinson via @clothingthegaps Instagram page – this is a must-read for all.

Frontier War Stories – Michael Organ – Australia’s founding figures – Michael Organ is a former Australian politician, archivist and local historian. He discusses three key figures Lieutenant James Cook, Admiral (First Governor) Arthur Phillip and Major General (Fifth Governor) Lachlan Macquarie and why understandably, Aboriginal people do not celebrate them.

Now on to my progress review for the habits I have set to help me achieve my goal for 2022.

Read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day

Almost Everything – Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There is so much to learn from both fiction and non fiction books. I have a huge list of books that I have wanted to read for some time, so this year to help expand my knowledge I am committing to read more. My target for the year is to read 25 books.

Quote to connect to – “Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

January performance – This habit is going exceedingly well but I am conscious that January is an easier month as the kids are on school holidays and I was working at a reduced rate. But I am really loving reading so I am going to really work to give it the priority it deserves.

In January I have finished reading the following:

  • Devotion by Hannah Kent – I know I will be in the minority with my thoughts on this one but I didn’t love it. Kent is certainly a talented writer and it is beautifully written. I need to point out that I am not a lover of historical fiction and was reading it as our latest book club read and would not have chosen to read it otherwise. At the same time I was reading this, I was also watching the documentary series First Australians (see above) and there was such a disconnect for me between the Old Lutherans settling in South Australia and the devastating impact this was having on the original owners of the land.
  • Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab – I read most of this in Decemeber and finished it in January. You can read my full review here. It is an easy to read book that has exercises/questions for you to answer at the end of each chapter. It had positive impact on me and I often ask myself “what would Nedra say/do?”. If you struggle with boundary setting I would highly recommend reading it.
  • Almost Everything – Notes on Hope by Anne Lamott – another very easy to read book and it was perfectly timed for me as COVID took over January. You can read my full review here. It touches on topics of addiction, poor behaviour, the climate crisis, the political crisis and how hard family relationships can be. But in amongst all that, it shares beautiful and exquisite moments of humans and nature at its best and this does indeed give you hope that life is or can be wonderful. If you are feeling a bit down about everything, give this book a read. Lamott is funny, honest and compassionate.

Invest one hour a week learning about our First Nations Peoples

January review 2022 - healing ceremony

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Reconciliation NSW recommends learning and understanding more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ histories, Cultures, Languages, technology and land management techniques as educating yourself is the first step in the journey towards reconciliation. My knowledge and understanding is severely lacking and I want to change this.

Quote to connect to – “Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do.” – Bruce Lee

January performance – This has been a truly eye-opening experience for me and if I am honest I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to start learning more about our First Nations Peoples.

One hour is not a lot and I have learnt so much and can highly recommend this exercise. See above for more about what I have watching and listening to. As well as the online learning listed above, Phil, the younger kids and I went to a healing ceremony on Jan 26 which was a really moving experience. The generosity of empathy shown by Wurundjeri Elder, Aunty Diane Kerr for those of us in attendance was beautiful and I felt privileged to be there.

Volunteer on a weekly basis

January review 2022 - volunteering

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – Volunteering is an activity where you can be of service to others and learn so much from the experience. It has been some time since I have volunteered outside of schools etc and I want to get back into it for 2022.

Quote to connect to – “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

January performance – I will find a regular volunteer role but don’t plan to do that until towards the end of February at the earliest so I have time to settle in my other habits above and settle the kids back into school.

I have however signed up to be a volunteer for the independent candidate for the Federal seat of Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan and have spent a number of hours on this so over the last two weeks.

Spend one hour a week planning and visiting new attractions

Connection to goal – Cultivate routines to expand my knowledge and experiences – There are so many great attractions and experiences in Melbourne both free and paid and when the kids were younger we used to visit them frequently. Since the kids have stopped wanting to do this, I have stopped going too. But there is no reason why I cannot go on my own or with Phil or with friends!

While I have allocated one hour per week, this can be averaged out across the month as my overall aim is to visit two new (to me) attractions per month.

Quote to connect to – “Fill your life with experiences. Not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” Unknown

January performance – This went super well for January and as with the reading I am conscious that January was an easier month. The kids have fewer planned sporting activities, as does Phil so it will get a little more challenging when we are full-on back into everything.

January has given me a great taste for it though and reinforced how fun it is to get out and do different things. This month I did the following:

  • Snorkelling with the kids – the younger two kids and I took a boat ride from Queenscliff and jumped off the boat to snorkel at two spots one of which including swimming with seals!
  • NGV visit – walked in the pink pool po[nder], saw the Bark Ladies and Chanel exhibitions with girlfriends.
  • Treetops course – Phil and the younger kids went out to Treetops Adventures in Belgrave and had an abosultely fantastic time. It was such a great feeling to do something that scared and challenged me.
  • Old Melbourne Gaol – the younger two kids and I undertook the Cluedo experience where you tour the goal and try to solve a mysterious murder (we did solve it correctly!).

Have you set your goal for the year? If so, how are you going with it?

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