Every little bit helps

Just because you spend one night on the street, doesn’t mean you know what its like to live like a homeless person.

This is just one of those things that really grinds my gears. I read on a friend’s Facebook recently that that would be leaving the warmth of their bed to sleep at a shelter to make a real impact towards ending youth homelessness. My initial reaction was ‘you are taking up a bed space that could be better used by someone who genuinely needs it?’. Is that too cynical? I’m sure that she will be there to work and be an ear to the needs of others…

This person lives in another country so maybe their context is a little different to my own. I live in a small city, and we have homeless people here, nowhere near the kind of scale that other cities in New Zealand has, nor that of other countries. I also know that I am not in any position to change the issue of homelessness here, but what I can do is try make their lives a little brighter. A few people at my workplace (including myself) signed up to help with a soup kitchen. Our small team are rostered on fortnightly and we make a basic dinner for around 30 people. I’ve also signed myself up for Good Bitches Bake, where I can bake for places like the local Women’s refuge. It’s certainly not a grand gesture like staying at a homeless shelter, but how does that help the homeless?

Imagine the sort of difference you could make if, for example, you took your laptop or sat down with a homeless person to help them with creating a CV; helped them write about their best self so they can gain employment?

I don’t think sleeping in a homeless shelter for one night gives you any real experience in what a homeless person deals with regularly. I will give my friend props though. They want to make a difference and this event she is joining is being offered by the city mission, so it must offer some good, so Kia Kaha.

I’m not in a financial position to do anything much. But I can see little things. Imagine how much money could be donated to charities if we all went without that store bought coffee for one day a week and donated it? or if instead we purchased a couple of extra tins of food to donate? The food banks could be a lot fuller than they are.

These are just some of my thoughts for today. If you are in a position to help, please give kindly to a local charity. Every little bit helps, and soon those little bits will add up to a lot.

xoxo Shaz

January Wrap Up

Goodreads Challenge for 2018 is off to a good start. I know only one of these books is a novel, but they all count! Here is the list of e-books I read in January.

  1. Under the Lights (The Field Party, #2)
  2. The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
  3. I Love You with All My Butt!: An Illustrated Book of Big Thoughts from Little Kids
  4. Saga, Vol. 4 (Saga, #4)

january-2018-readsI Love You with All My Butt would have to be my fave this month. It’s a book that I want on my shelf and I will read to my daughter, so she knows that life isn’t always serious. If there isn’t room in your life for a little fun and laughter, then I’d say you’re doing it wrong.

I read the Infographic Guide to Personal Finances as my husband and I have started our wee family, and are looking to buy our first home. I’d like to say we are in a position to go it alone, but my parents will be contributing towards our deposit and thank God for Kiwisaver (a government retirement scheme) that I signed up to in my second job (like 5+ years ago). Because without it, this conversation might not be happening for another 10 years. Any help I can get, the better, and at least I won’t get weird looks from a book, like ‘You’re 30 and you don’t own your home?’.

I’m really not sure why I have continued reading the Saga series. It’s really quite graphic… and yes, it is a graphic novel! I am aware of that. But the blood, the gory, the off-earth aspect and the explicit. These aren’t really my kind of things I like to read. But OCD sticks it’s ugly head in sometimes, and I want to see the series through to the end, however it ends.

and I MUST READ all Abbi Glines, so I have continued the Field Party series, and read Under the Lights. I quite liked the story. My fave character would have to be Nona, the grandmother. She took in her granddaughter, when her own daughter couldn’t look after her child, not once but twice. She is a top lady.

Well there you have it, my reads for January 2018. What did you read this month? Leave me a link.

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s been 9 months since a little someone changed my world and about 6 months since my last post. I just don’t have the drive to “just write reviews” anymore so SharleneSays will undergo a few changes this year. I need a passion to write and share, and ‘writing reviews that sound like something you’ve read before’ just isn’t as exciting to me as it once was.

So here are my hopes for 2018:

title-blogging-resolutions

 

  • To update my site – I want it to ‘ooze’ how I feel. I want people to know me better when the visit my website.
  • To write one post a week – talk about exceeding my expectations. It might not be about books. It could be about mama life or make-up tips (I don’t wear make-up, so don’t count on this). It could even be the start of a novel. But post I must.
  • To comment on another persons blog every week – I need to connect with other people who think, act, write like me.

  • To read more – As always, this is at the top of my list. 2017 wasn’t a good year for reading, but it was a good year for life. I’ve kept my 2018 Goodreads Challenge to 20. That’s a realistic goal if you compare it to last year. But I plan on smashing it out the box!
  • To be more present – I’m one of two moderators on a Goodreads group called Book Lovin’ Kiwis and I’ve been a little tumbleweedy.

If I can do these few things, stay sane, be an awesome mum and wife, and have fun – then I’ll be happy.

So, these are my resolutions. Have you got any? Share them with me here or leave a link to your resolutions, I would love to chat more.

xoxo Sharlene

My hiatus explained

Enough said? Well, no. So here goes…

I have read a total of 10 books so far this year. This is a new low for me since I got my groove of reading back in 2012-ish, or was it earlier than that? Who cares. The point is, it’s very over halfway through the year and I am not going to reach 100.

Once I got pregnant, I knew that reading would become difficult, so I tried to read more while I thought I had the time. Boy that idea failed. I tried reading on the bus to and from work but morning sickness reared its ugly head and got in the way for 6 months or so. I wore the sea-bands, drank lots of water, ate a little healthier, but reading time eluded me.

Post-birth, I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my baby in the Neonatal unit. She was unexpectedly 6 weeks early. I was expecting early, just not THAT early. It was mostly cuddles with baby, feeding, expressing, watching and waiting for her in between feeds. I could watch her for hours. I would sit in the comfy chair and read a chapter here and there. I managed to finish a book! I thought this was my turning point, and it would only get better from there, but things haven’t really changed.

My little bundle is not so tiny anymore, and while I feel that I have more moments to read, my attention span has shortened. I find myself starting books and never being able to finish them. Since leaving hospital, I have read 1 e-book, and 2 baby books which I haven’t added to GR yet. I started reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone e-book out loud to baby but it expired before Harry made it to Hogwarts. The reading rut has come back.

Life carries on… it turns out reading is not my priority anymore, work isn’t either and I am perfectly okay with that. Although our baby girl had a rough start to life, I wouldn’t change her for the world. She is my priority.

Hey, and if it takes 80 children’s books to complete the GR challenge, well so be it. Every book counts. If I have time to write a review, I will post it. It might seem like tumbleweeds are blowing past, but I will be back in full force in time. Will you stick this out with me? I’m not committing to a number of posts per week, month or year. I will be here when I can. No more, no less.

Just stick with me. Things might just get interesting around here.

xoxo,

Shaz