Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Power of Yet

One of the sure facts of life is that we don't always get what we want, when we want it. This can lead to anger, frustration, anxiety and disappointment. Those feelings then lead to other feelings which ends up creating a domino effect in our lives. If we believe we can't succeed at something, then our negativity can prevent us from ever succeeding. This can then flow onto every task we try and do and that's not good at all. Nobody wants to feel like they are a failure at everything. So, how do we change this mindset?

The beginning of this past school year I thought about how I would handle a challenging class that had caused their previous teacher so much grief. They were a class who had frequent meltdowns and in-fighting. I did a little research and came upon the mindblowing concept of The Power of Yet. That simple three letter word 'yet' could literally change your life around. I decided to introduce it to my class from the get-go of the school year.
What blew my mind away was how quickly the children embraced it!
The meltdowns, in-fighting and all those tantrums from the previous years have been rare events this school year. Now while my teaching assistant and I might like to take the credit, it is not us but instead the power of that little word 'yet' that has brought such a radical change in the group. To this day, towards the end of the school year, they will still say things like "I can't do long division ... YET!" and they will stress the 'yet.'
I have found that because of the 'power of yet' working so well with my class, I have begun using it with myself, and this has helped me to cope with disappointments and relationships and frustrations. You get the picture.
We seldom get what we want when we want it. And when we do we take it for granted. When we have to wait a little, we tend to value it a lot more.
The 'Power of Yet' is definitely not just  a growth mindset for children. It works with us as well.
In April over Easter, I was supposed to be traveling to Portugal to buy a farm. Instead the pandemic arrived. Norway was put on lockdown as was the rest of Europe (except maybe Sweden, but that's a whole other story!) Initially, I was disappointed and the disappointment lasted for half a day until the 'power of yet' kicked in. I thought to myself, I can't go yet, but I will eventually get there to buy that farm. So what can I do in the meantime? I can research. I can make videos of my research. I can save more money to put into the farm I buy.
This is the Power of YET.
YET gives you more time to get everything in place. YET gives you time to develop those skills, do more research and be better prepared. YET is hope. It gives you a positive, optimistic outlook on life.
I wish I had discovered the 'power of yet' sooner.
But then again, maybe some of us have that power built into our psyche but because we didn't know it was there, we never fully harnessed it.
I have always been a glass half-full kind of person. I joked that it was because my blood type was B Positive. But with the power of YET I've found that I can achieve so much more.
Things don't have to happen immediately and that's okay. Everything in the universe has a time and a season. Sometimes it's just not the right time or season. Sometimes, you need to get more skills, do more research, fix broken relationships, be a little patient, for the time and season to be right. If it doesn't happen straight away, or you can't do it immediately- it just means that you can't do it YET. Sometimes you might have to use critical thinking skills to find other solutions. A little 'out the box' thinking. But if you don't give-up and harness the power of YET, the answers will come to you.
Embrace the Power of YET!
Cindy Vine is a teacher and author currently living and working in Norway. Her most recent goal is to buy a farm in Portugal. You can follow her Journey to buying a farm in Portugal on Youtube by clicking this link. Cindy is the author of many novels, including Defective, Hush Baby and The Freedom Club. All her books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats. Many of her books are also available in different languages. Find out more at http://cindyvine.com

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What it's like to walk in fresh snow

All my life I used to think how pretty snow looked in the distance on top of the mountains.  My first experience of snow was when I lived in New Zealand.  We were fresh off the boat, so to speak, had only been in New Zealand a few weeks and decided to drive down to the Lake Taupo region to look at the snow capped Mount Ruapehu.  We were excited.  We were actually going to touch snow for the very first time.
Well...
We did not realise that you had to wear proper clothes for the snow.  So to say we were under-equipped, is a gross understatement.  My youngest daughter had a beanie and wellington boots.  My son had a beanie and a jacket.  My eldest daughter and myself didn't have anything suitable for snow.  We found out the hard way, that snow is cold and wet and not powdery dry stuff.  Jeans and sneakers are not proper snow gear.  After standing around in the snow without gloves in icy cold wind for about five minutes, my youngest started crying and wanted to go home.  So we trudged through the snow to the restaurant, had a hot chocolate, and drove the 4 hours back to our home in Pukekohe.  That was our first snow experience.  We subsequently went to Queenstown in winter wearing the correct clothing and it was a much better experience.
As a family we experienced snow in South Korea, and again when we lived in China.
But I guess as an empty-nester I have experienced the most snow - when I lived in Ukraine and now that I live in Norway.
While I love sitting next to the window watching snow gently float down to earth outside, I am not a snow fan.  I reckon it's genetic.  Although my DNA test does have me as 10% Norwegian and Swedish.  Many of my friends around the world who have not yet encountered snow as I have, often ask what it's like to walk in snow.  Well let me explain it like this.  Walking on fresh snow is like a combination of walking on bubble wrap and thick sand.  With each step the fresh snow cracks and pops as if you are stepping on bubble wrap.  But then the effort of walking on snow is the same as the effort of walking in thick sand.  I do enjoy walking on fresh snow though.  Old icy snow is a different story!
Cindy Vine is a South African author and teacher currently living and working in Norway.  She is the author of Not Telling, Hush Baby and The Freedom Club - all available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback formats.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

After battling chronic back pain for the last couple of weeks I finally went to the doctor.  The truth is, I've actually been getting bouts of back pain for the last few years, but I just pushed it aside and got on with my life.  Sometimes it was worse than other times and I couldn't move at all.  This time, I had pushed some heavy tables at school, felt my back go, and put that down as to the cause.
The fact is, pushing those tables only exasperated the problem I didn't know I had.
I knew my back was weakening and actually felt as if I was losing some of my mobility.  But I just put that down as being somehow related to the Tram Flap reconstruction surgery I had had in 2004 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, where they used my stomach muscle to create a new breast.
I had never thought that it might actually be a disease of sorts.  That had never crossed my mind.
My doctor asked lots of questions, poked and prodded my back, twisted me around and then declared that I had a classic case of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and booked me in for an MRI to see how far it has progressed.
It turns out that various ailments I had been suffering from the last few years were all related to my lower spine.  But, myself and previous doctors had always treated them in isolation and never connected them together.  When you put them together, then you have a classic case of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.  My advice to you, is if you are reading this and have been getting some or all of these symptoms, go and see a doctor right away and get checked for Spinal Stenosis.
These are the symptoms I have had the last few years;
1. Chronic lower back pain where I feel like I have been cut in half and not put back properly.
2. Burning pain in lower back.
3. Chronic hip pain.
4. Cramps in the calf muscles.
5. Finding it hard to walk properly and sometimes limping.
6. Completely imobilised thinking my sciatic nerve is pinched.
7. Pain and stiffness across my upper back, sometimes even my neck. Muscles go into spasm and tense up.
8. Numbness and loss of feeling in my feet.
9. Pain in feet when walking.
10.  Unsteady on feet, struggling to get balance especially when climbing stairs, stepping onto escalators and stepping over objects.
11.  Struggle to control bladder.
12. Difficulty getting up out of a chair, sometimes walking a few steps with your back bent before you can straighten it.
13.  Unable to stand for any length of time when washing dishes or hanging up washing, as your back starts hurting so badly you have to sit down.
14.  Not able to walk long distances without stopping somewhere and sitting down as your back hurts so much.
15. Needing to lean on a supermarket trolley when shopping, as your back starts to hurt if you walk around carrying a basket.
I have found, that my back hurts less when I wear a backpack as that makes me lean forward when I walk.
All these symptoms I thought was just a product of ageing, and I guess in a way it is as you tend to get this when you are over 50.
As I discover treatments and strategies to ease the back pain, I'll share them with you.
Cindy Vine is the author of Not Telling, The Case of Billy B, Defective, CU@8, Hush Baby and The Freedom Club.  All her books are available in both paperback and ebook format on Amazon.com.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Musings from a Train

For someone who enjoys writing, it never ceases to amaze me how little I do of it.  To be sure, I spend all of my work week writing but that doesn't count as it isn't fun. It's work.  As I walk to work in the mornings, I often write blog posts in my head.  The problem is, is that is where they stay.  Buried somewhere in my head, shelved for another day, another time.  A time that never seems to come and that is sad.
This morning I am on a train to Oslo to go and pick up my passport from the Japanese Embassy.  It is almost holiday time again and I realised with horror I might add, that the last time I updated my blog was the last time I was on holiday.  Each time I update my blog I promise to keep up and update it weekly.  Then work happens, new TV series happen and I get so distracted writing doesn't happen.
I have to be better.
I have to be more disciplined.
This train journey is good for me.  It's giving me time to refocus.  I sit here in a crowded train, everybody in their own bubble, and I'm desperately trying to dig into my subconscious to retireve those good blog ideas.  Alas, they are buried in a trash heap of half-baked thoughts and plans for the future.  They are as good as lost.  Sad but true.  At the time some of those ideas seemed brilliant.
I know I am waffling on.  I guess that's what happenes when you start your day with a 2 hour train journey just to collect a passport from an embassy.
Amazing how may people travel through to Oslo for work each day.  Who would have thought.  Standing room is even full.  Thank goodness the train was relatively empty when I boarded.
Death is on my mind quite a lot lately as people I know are dying.  There's so much I still want to do, I am so afraid my time will come and I won't have done it.  Like the rest of this blog post.
As a train rushes by stopping briefly at the odd station, so our life rushes by.  Before we know it we are at the end of our journey, our final destination.  Sobering thoughts on a train trip.
Next stop is Oslo Central Station.  My stop.
Cindy Vine is the author of The Freedom Club, Hush Baby, Not Telling and Defective.  All her books are available on Amazon in both ebook and paperback format.