Monthly Review October

Monthly review – accepting defeat and moving on

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. _ William James

A very late monthly review from me but while it is late, I never question the importance of doing the review. In October, as it has been for the last few months my achievement has been great in three of the four habits I am trying to establish. For the second half of this year I haven’t been able to fully meet the commitment that I set for myself for volunteering. There are two key reasons for this:

  • For the second half of the year I was looking for the perfect volunteering option – one that ticked all the boxes. It hindsight I can now see this was a mistake and prevented me from taking action.
  • With what I already had/have scheduled for Oct, Nov and Dec and what I know my workload is going to be, adding another commitment of a number of hours a week is not what I need right now.

So as I wrote this review, I accepted defeat on the volunteering habit and have let it go until next year when I will re-examine it again and see what I want to do with it. I don’t love this outcome at all and I am disappointed with my effort but to try and push forward for the next three months is not a better option for me at this time. By acknowledging that I cannot do it and letting it go, it frees up the mental space and emotional energy it was taking up for me. As the quote states above:

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.

William James

There really is a heavy weight to uncompleted tasks that can drag you down and affect your focus, emotions and energy. This doesn’t mean I give up on every task that is uncompleted but it does mean that when something has been hanging around for months uncompleted I have to questions my commitment to it and the necessity it has in my life.

Do you have an uncompleted task that is weighing you down?

Read for a minimum of 15 minutes per day

The rock : looking into Australia's 'heart of darkness' from the edge of its wild frontier / Aaron Smith

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

October performance – During October I completed two books:

The Space Between the Stars: On Love, Loss and the Magical Power of Nature to Heal / Indira Naidoo

Indira Naidoo tragically lost her sister to suicide at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Her book documents how she found healing after her death. There is such great sadness in her loss and while there are many sad moments in the book, it really is an uplifting book. Naidoo turned to nature to help her heal. She found her own special tree and sought out a number of urban guides to help her explore the nature around her and how it can heal us during life’s darker chapters, whether nursing a broken heart or an anxious mind.

As long as you can see the stars, you can never truly be lost.

Indira Naidoo

You can find The Space Between the Stars: On Love, Loss and the Magical Power of Nature to Heal / Indira Naidoo here.

The rock : looking into Australia’s ‘heart of darkness’ from the edge of its wild frontier / Aaron Smith

This book was a huge eye-opener for me. I chose it to help me with my quest to learn more about our First Nations Peoples. It is written by a white person so I could be criticised for taking on this perspective but Aaron Smith is brutally honest about the role he plays and the role that the white population plays in modern Australia and the impact we are having on First Nations Peoples.

Smith lived on Thursday Island and was the last editor of Australia’s most northerly newspaper, the Torres News, a small independent regional tabloid that, until it folded in late 2019. The Torres News was the voice of a predominantly Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal readership for 63 years across some of the most remote and little understood communities in Australia.

If you are offended by swearing, then you won’t make it past the first few pages. Even I was taken aback by the introduction but once you read on, you see why it was necessary. I learnt a great deal from this book and here are some of my key takeaways:

  • I was very ignorant of just how different the cultures, heritage and customs of the First Nations Peoples of the Torres Strait Islands are to mainland Australia.
  • The Torres Strait Islands are already experiencing significant consequences of climate change.
  • For much of the last century, the Queensland Government controlled the lives of most Aboriginal people. This process began under the Aboriginal Protection and the Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 and continued into the 1970s – less than one generation ago. Wages and savings that Aboriginal people earned were held by the Government in ‘trust funds’ and this money was spent on general Government expenditure including hospitals and roads used by the mainstream population. These Stolen Wages were also used to pay for the running costs of reserves and missions where Aboriginal people were forced to live. Aboriginal people have been attempting to receive their unpaid wages and savings since they were stolen as late as the 1980s. These Stolen Wages pushed poverty and health problems onto several generations of Aboriginal people – which continue today. {Source and more info here}.
  • There is significant government mismanagement and bureaucracy in the Torres Straits.

So I guess I have been ‘blinded by the white,’ wrapped up in my own douchebaggery of being born and raised on the privileged side of the racial divide, something I think nearly all of white Australia suffers from.

Aaron Smith

You can find The rock : looking into Australia’s ‘heart of darkness’ from the edge of its wild frontier / Aaron Smith here.

Invest one hour a week learning about our First Nations Peoples

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 are 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

October performance – The book reviewed above obviously helping me learn more about our First Nations Peoples and I also watched/listened/read to these:

Volunteer on a weekly basis

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

October performance – I did a couple of hours locally in October but that was it. With my workload and family commitments in Nov + Dec I am going to accept defeat on this one and let it go. I am disappointed that I couldn’t do better with this habit. I am hopeful that the volunteer opportunity I had the induction for but was delayed indefinitely will come to fruition next year and I can do that.

Spend one hour a week planning and visiting new attractions

seven sisters festival

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

October performance – Highlights for October were:

  • Seven Sisters Festival – I spent a whole day there and it was such a great experience.
  • 10km at Melbourne Marathon – while I have run the full and half marathon before at Melbourne Marathon Festival, running the 10km with my daughter as she ran her first fun run is one that will stand out for me always – loved it so much.

You can find my previous monthly reviews for 2022 here.

How was your October?

Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means at no extra cost to you, making purchases through them helps support this site. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.