I have walked up to the local IGA in Mapleton to buy 2 newspapers today – The Sydney Morning Herald and the Sunday Mail. Bill and I enjoy reading over a morning coffee. While he loves the crosswords and puzzles, I scan the pages of the Spectrum, Escape and read the reviews and articles that interest me.
As a means of farewelling 2019, and welcoming the New Year, I want to share some of the news and headlines that intrigued me. Here goes. Starting with a favourite classic movie, Little Women is a charming story of the March sisters who Alcott bases the family home on Orchard House, in Massachusetts. I am particularly looking forward to viewing this film and watching Jo March play out in her energetic, free thinking, outspoken manner – a writer has been portrayed on screen many times.
From Greta Gerwig the writer and Director of Lady Bird, this film will be wonderfully warm, funny and heart felt. Do you have strong memories of the time you read the book? What are your impressions of the four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy during the American Civil War? Have their been “coming of age” girl stories that you love?
From sisters to women’s body image, another headline in the Sunday Mail reveals, Happy in their Skin. Positive messages are spreading about being confident, wise and accepting the changes in your body. The article is about how young people view their bodies. Women in particular are often faced with airbrushed images and other representations of ‘perfection’ online, and as a result, they often try to reach beauty and body ideals that do not exist in the real world.
As we enter a new decade, how we see our bodies and how we feel about our bodies starts in the mind – let’s be more caring, self affirming and speak with conversations that bring a positive spin on our shapes and sizes. Can we set examples to the younger generations? Is it possible to not over think and be critical of ourselves? As one of the women says, “loving and accepting one’s body is all about the mind and your emotions.”
Next I read about one family’s darkest days with cancer. On page 9 of The Sunday Mail, I learnt about Anne Farley and the BRCAI gene and stage 3 ovarian cancer. At 61 she is and her two daughters are in the fight of their life but want to use their battle to help others. At 31 and 33 years old, the sisters face overwhelming trauma, including chemotherapy in January. From body image to body suffering, I am reminded that our health is something that we must never take for granted.
Following from this sad story, I read about the new generation of Alpha Kids who are born with the iPad and Instagram. They are truly the screen generation but their attention spans and social skills will not necessarily be top notch.
What I took away from this article, is that in the future we need to be flexible and adaptable to cope with these curious young minds. They are incredibly quick thinking and used to receiving information and answers in an instant.
Can we as parents, care givers, grandparents give them a balance and head outdoors? I hope so. My grandchildren are quick to show me their latest Nintendo game of concentration, and fast paced action. Yet over Christmas we did go swimming, organise a scavenger hunt outside, play cricket on the street, find a dead skeleton of a wallaby down in the backyard and go for a walk in the rain.
As always I enjoy reading about parenting tips. Dr Judith Locke makes a good point when she says, ” over scheduled kids who do organised activities don’t have as much free time to use their imagination or learn better social skills.” As a clinical psychologist who presents parenting workshops across Australia, she offers a new book called The Bonsai Child. It provides strategies for modern parenting.
And lastly, from The Sydney Morning Herald, a heart warming story about loss. Gabriel’s family who gazes into the ruins of their family home – fire destroyed everything. Friends have rallied together to begin a crowdfunding campaign. From a tent to a caravan, they are thankful for the community support to rebuild again.
I would like to end with a WOW!
Keep compassion in your community – place, friends, family.
Keep your mind healthy and body strong.
Keep your spirit hopeful and engaged in pursuing noble things.
May 2020 bring peace and perhaps some turmoil but an inner strength to face the unknown and faith in a gracious God. May it bring happy surprises, sweet wisdom and intuitive and unconditional love.