And thats a wrap.

Today marks the end of an era for the Rohde family, we will no longer be paying to send our daughter to High School. We will no longer be paying for every outing, uniform change, involuntary/voluntary school improvement charge.

To say that we have had issue over the years with people in power within the school system would be an understatement. That dreaded call from an all too familiar number stating that our child had upset another, broken a rule or not turned up to school.

My children can be absolute ^&^holes, I am not a rose coloured glasses mother, both daughter and son have chosen difficult roads to the end goal but at the end of the day I believe they have learnt from the mistakes and in some cases they have fought for themselves and others when they have felt slighted or condemned by a broken ideal.

To speak to the youth of today I find myself doing what those generations before have done and starting a conversation with ‘In my day..’ which ofcourse as it did for me made them instantly defend their actions and rue the tirade of ancient history stories they were about to hear.

I have been fortunate to raise strong independent free thinking individuals. They are my greatest achievement. Both have a strong moral compass but an overwhelming desire to enjoy the life they are blessed to have. They have both lived through the death of there brother and processed that loss in different ways, they have each made independent decisions that have brought pain and disharmony but in the end they have lived their own truths and as is the case, learnt from their mistakes.

As parents we are only the guides, yes children learn what they live, so my children have grown up with a strong opinionated parent and one that tried hard to make them step out of every situation and see it from all sides, even when they were bullied or victimized. They have suffered griefs and punishments as all children do and they have formed their own personalities and traits individual to them alone.

I am proud of them both, as any mother would be. But today marks the end of an era, the day that my final child steps away from the school steps and makes decisions and life choices that will ultimately put her where I am today. Closer to 50 and wondering where the years have gone, but moreover remembering so clearly the day I too left school for the final time.

To all those that finish today. Be brave, remember that we have one life, live it, question it, enjoy it…

Smile and Breath deeply

The Problem as I see it… The MORE disease!!

How is it that we always want more?

In our home we want more stuff, with our bodies we want more muscle or need more exercise, in our jobs we want more money, when we find our passion we want to pursue it and spend more time on it.

it’s that MORE disease. It corrodes us, changes us into greedy, needy people that are never truly happy.

No matter what has happened in my life the quest for more will always win, it has made me the person that always wanted the next best thing, the next big job, the next goal.

So I listen to audiobooks and I read when I can around studying social work and I read positive affirmations, my Facebook friends are constantly sharing gratitude and success and I remind myself all the time that there is Want and Need and if I want something I don’t need it !! I question the purpose, I justify the purchase and the two little conscious voices in my mind argue out the spending.

Its like a multiple personality disorder, it is David and Goliath on an individual battle field.

Platitudes are needed… I just want to save the world

I just want to know that I made a difference in 1 persons life and then I can die happy

See in life I want More so that death is justified

OMG, Remember when we did not have phones, so we went to school and came home and did not hear from or really think about what everyone else was doing until we caught up again at school, church or a sporting event. We were genuinely BORED all the time as children, yet we filled our days by making cubby houses in trees and thick bush, riding horses, building mud dams, chasing rabbits and going for long walks to clear our childish minds of the anger and resentment we had for our parents who were watching the AFL on a Saturday afternoon, not the Disney movie. We grumbled at having to do Emu Parades around the yard so Dad could mow, and we hated being asked to feed the chooks because the Rooster always tried to attack us. We resented being sent to get the cow and calf in because the Cow would chase us all the way to the yards. We just wanted to do our own thing, yet we were never sure what that really was because there was never anything to do….So Bored.

To experience that innocent childhood angst again, to be that Bored and that normal, it was uncomplicated and a time when we knew we were loved and safe. Ofcourse our parents did not understand us, how could they possibly understand that we needed more, we wanted more…and there it is WANT. Our friends had new shoes, I want a pair . They had a new handheld Nintendo with Donkey Kong, I wanted one. They had new uniforms for school not second hand. I wanted one.

Do you know what? I wanted all of that because I thought that would help me fit in. It would make me Normal. It would make me like all the other kids.

Yet I was normal, I was lucky. I had a Mum and Dad, Home, Food, Clothes and Bed to sleep in, shoes on my feet and a brain in my head, yet I WANTED more.

How in the world did this happen, how in the world can you change this, how can we reverse the damage.

Stop the WANT, appreciate the HAVE, Experience the NOW. Don’t look BACK. YOU DONT NEED MORE ANYTHING!!

On that note .. I need MORE Coffee …..

Smile and Breath Deep


I am going to turnoff social media and read a paperback book….BUT

Yep, every single morning when I wake up I tell myself to not look at Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, not emails or Messenger or even text messages. Then, I proceed to look at all of these whilst reassuring myself that I will be quick and I have to look because there may be something important to respond to or something that is critical for me to action…Like really, there is NOTHING that needs my undying attention, there is nothing that will not wait a little longer, there is nothing that is life changing or critical.

So I suppose that is Dopamine. That chemical that is released that gives us a high when we read a message or check an inbox, that chemical that makes us feel all warm, fuzzy and loved. A chemical that literally can make it OK to be late for work, make it OK to just look at your message while driving, make it OK to ignore your family at dinner time or make it OK to forget about being present in our own lives… WHY ??? Because that chemical consumes us and makes everything else going on in OTHER peoples lives more exciting and interesting then our own. That chemical is an addiction that is growing more rapidly then ICE did. I wonder if you put a phone and cigarette in front of the average smoker and had a notification come up on the phone screen, would they light the smoke first or quickly check the message..That is the addiction, that is the issue, that is the damn problem…BUT…I still check all the media’s before resuming my morning face-washing, bed making, coffee drinking routine.

This morning I fought the demon, I tried and failed yet again.

Do you want to know something, I turned off all notifications. I do not get notified of any messages or posts or emails, I turned everything off to break the habit, and now I look more feverishly for updates, I check my phone more often, I have turned my phone off numerous times a day and get so panicked that I could miss an IMPORTANT message that I race to start it back up. If I pick up that paperback novel I have had on my chair for months, I am consumed with thoughts of possible instagram posts, online sales and friends living a better life then me… My mind is constantly working overtime, creating a witty post, sharing the things that are changing my life and …I am not living my life. I have not moved from the kitchen counter, my neck is sore, my shoulders are tense. I have constant issues with eye strain, headaches, body aches.

I go to bed and cannot sleep properly anymore.

What is the answer, what is the future going to look like? Because we all have our heads in a phone looking at other people who’s heads are in their phones, will we eventually have to install travelators in the street so that we don’t run into people, we hop on and let it take us to our stop. Will we turn to lives of indoor only living? Are all the Sci Fi movies of the past that seemed so outlandish actually taking us to our futures?

I can see there will be movements of Tech Free Days, turn off and live campaigns, new retreats for those that want to disconnect and Rehabilitation Programs for those that are trying to break the habit.

Good on all the Tech giants who have created this because it certainly is a greater addiction then gaming, it far exceeds Nintendo and honestly, VR is secondary to that need to check our social media. There seems to be nothing that will trump this, nothing that will take us to a safer more addictive medium.

So, as we all sit and ponder the future whilst checking facebook, Ill leave you to read through my other BLOG posts, check me out on Instagram and I’ll catch you on Snapchat, heck if you cant beat em you may as well join em right???

Smile and Breath Deep everyone


Where did that time go

Brutal but important question to ask. My last post was over 18 months ago and in that time I have had yet another change in career direction, change into a new career and found myself lately right back at square one, a mental emotional wreck. So what exactly has gone on, what has happened to put me here. I think after much soul searching, a lot of tears, a lot of quiet time and life contemplation I believe that I am going through pre-empty nest syndrome. My daughter, my last baby is about to finish Year 12, she has turned 18, she drives, she drinks, she is independent but still she lives with me and is for the most part still my little girl that has to appreciate and live as child and parent unit. I know she is leaving to live in the UK for 12 months in December and I am not coping with this at all. Life as I have known it is about to change dramatically. I know with abject certainty that within a few months of her leaving I will be fine again, I will find my new normal and have assimilated into my new “child free” existence, but the unknown aspects are what plague me right now.

So in my manic state, my thoughts are rapid and dark, I go and walk around the shops looking for distractions, just this weekend I went and purchased a full kit of earring making paraphernalia so that I could make my own earrings instead of buying $10 to $25 pairs online. This was a great idea, a way for my mind to focus on something other than my whoas, however once home not only did I have buyers remorse I also had little to no artistic skills, no idea how to manage polymer clay and ended up with sub-par (what I have labeled “eclectic” earrings) none of which are uniform or in any way salable. In hindsight I am still optimistic but should have just bought a few pairs online.

As I mentioned at the beginning I have undertaken a career change, studying into Aged Care and now doing my Diploma of Registered Nursing. I will not say it has been a fantastic transition, that I have finally found my chosen vocation .. blah blah blah, Infact I have found a job that I actually do love, Aged Care is definitely my thing, I love it and it works for me outside of a payed position, it is actually uplifting for my soul, even though we start early or work late into the night, it truly is a privilege to do what I do. The nursing side of things is purely for information and education. Our nurses truly are incredible humans, they are basically on the front line in their jobs, taking the brunt and responsibility for any and all goings on, decisions and disasters. These men and women deserve high praise and while I am studying, I am not convinced it is my end game, it is however very educational and knowledge is power they say…

So why have I decided to put words down again? A friend reminded me today that she enjoyed reading my blog and of late I have wanted to unload my burdens in order to help others on their own journeys. I guess I need to practice what I preach and “live my truth” because lately I have held everything in and I feel I am nearly out of control.So there it is, my return to the arena. I will now get a few hours sleep before starting another shift, but get ready for more insights and changes, loves, losses and uplifting moments. Yep Rachel is back..

Remember Smile and Breath Deep

The trials of Mothers with Daughters

Being a Mum is hard. I know we hear that a lot, but it is true, we worry, fuss, argue and manage the lives of a person that has no idea of the enormity of the job at hand.

I have been criticized by my daughter lately for being too involved in her life and on reflection she is right. Not only am I on the edge of empty nest syndrome, I have no actual life of my own other than work and study and her life is so much more appealing and makes me feel involved and young again.

It is hard to stay quiet when comments are made, it is hard not to question, a look or a smile that is a result of a text or snap.

More over it is hard to watch the mistakes be made, and not interject with advice, as she has told me before, she has to make the mistakes herself to learn. This week has been especially hard as my beautiful girl started out in tears, a boy ofcourse has broken her trust and they are now no longer talking. This boy was very important to her, the one person she could trust and confide in, only to end in lies and pain. I want so badly to fix it, I want to make her world right, but she is her fathers daughter, tough, brutal and unwavering in her decision. Once she makes a decision, she is firm on its delivery.

Lately I have watched the saga that is teenage life, I have had boys turn up and just as quickly leave, I have heard names in hushed conversation and I have asked too many probing questions. I don’t know if I am alone in this, but I want my daughter to be loved, I want her to have someone in her life that she can rely on and know with abject certainty will be there regardless of what life throws at her. I want her to experience that type of relationship, but first I want her to know that she doesn’t need that person, she can be on her own and happy, she can be a success without someone else, she can be amazing without a partner but when she is ready traveling this life with someone is far better than doing it alone.

December 2017 – Home and Benny

Have you ever met a child that is so passionate about something, that they simply blow you away with their knowledge and enthusiasm? I am lucky enough to have a young boy in my life that has this passion with livestock. I have known him from birth and he has always been the animal enthusiast, from kittens, lizards, bugs, chooks, sheep, horses and cattle, not to mention fisherman extraordinaire. Ben is perhaps one of the most learned children at the ripe old age of 9. He took me for a ride on his side by side quad and told me all about the quality of the pasture, the use for the cattle and sheep we looked at and the need for further improvements to become successful breeders. He comes alive with the details of these animals, he knows exactly what he wants. He knows the routines, the future plans and the needs for these animals, and I was in pure awe of this passionate boy.

It made me grateful for all the time I have known him, for his Mum and Dad that I love as though they were blood related and for the opportunity to see him become such a confident and assured boy.

I had a terrific time on the weekend, I had been filled with much anxiety at the thought of returning to Moree, Pally and more over the farm and family home I had driven away from over 18 months ago, with only 1 brief visit in that time, I was very worried about returning, you see it is no longer my home, it was once the place I put my heart and soul into, the home that I decorated, renovated and landscaped to a beautiful oasis. We have had parties and even a wedding on the farm, but now it felt like a stranger to me, there are gaps on the walls where the pictures I took once hung. There are piles of items in dusty corners and there seems to be a lack of love, I feel this desolation very deeply, my home was always a warm and friendly place, it was clean and tidy and stocked with food and drinks. This re-union of soughts left me gutted, I wanted to stay and get it back to its former glory, but to what end ? I honestly thought I would never want to return, I never wanted to go back to those dark days and the feelings they bring to the surface. But my home was not the problem. I can see that now, and it made me want to be back there, back making it the family home again.

So it was a lesson, it was showing me that you should never say never, there is always room for reconciliation and rehabilitation. There is always a chance that you will change your mind, your feelings will change, I was thinking in black and white, I think we all do that when we are in a fragile state, when we are at a low point or when we have reached break point.

It’s OK to change your mind, its OK to admit you were wrong and its OK to start over and do it better the next time, life is about falls and getting back up to go on.

Being a Mum and Moving forward !!!

Am sitting and waiting for my son to arrive at emergency so that I can have his shoulder checked. It’s broken but at this stage we are not sure how badly. A night with mates that turns into a tackle fest and snap…then ofcourse surrounded by experts in the field, they attempt to pop in a definite dislocation…Ummm Wrong! Needless to say I am a typical mother who only wants the best for her boy and is worried sick about the long term prognosis…I mean ofcourse my son is the best mechanic in his field and will be a literal genius in his trade so we simply cannot risk the injury not being seen by the best for the very best outcome…hehehehe

You all may have noticed that I haven’t really been blogging since I sent out the query about what I should study…so the blog silence has actually been a great thing because I have enrolled and been accepted into university …officially a Griffith university student, studying a Bachelor of Social Work. I am aiming to get into Youth work and specifically in our schools. So it’s been a great exciting, scary time for me as I make the mental commitment and now am on my path without fear of failure..I know I can do this and what’s more I really am enjoying the work..although Georgia now says all we do is work or study it’s all for the best!

With the added work load of actual mental work I have managed to also attract to me a lot more work at Woolworths. Lucky for me the wonderful Natasha has taken me onboard in Online and I am now one of the happy, friendly, personal shoppers for online delivery and click and collect. they say that we attract what we hope for and I have literally attracted work 6 days a week and lots of mind expansion in my study. To think that not that long ago I was looking out of my kitchen window and wondering if I was ever going to be able to find a job and whether I would form any type of friendship group in this new town and place I want to call home.

I am so so pleased to have been given the opportunity with Woolworths, you can simply not imagine the amazing people I get to work and joke with and share the journey of their lives. It really is a place of many crazy people….

I have become a part of the Woolworths family and find that I enjoy the time I work, which means it doesn’t feel like I am going to work so much, it is now a 6 day a week position and I couldn’t be happier.

I know that it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life obviously because I really want to do the social working with children, but to come to a new town and know nobody really and then join such a wonderful company has made my transition amazing.

While I have had a lot of ups and downs I find that I am now in the best place possible for mental recovery and inclusion.

And isn’t that the aim, aren’t we all just looking to fit in, aren’t we all just wanting that social group that make us feel accepted and safe? To walk into a store and have a smile received from each staff member, like a club of people that know a secret ..

I am finally home.

We can be fined for J-Walking but bullying causing death is fine….????

In light of one of the biggest campaigns I can remember, the Dollys Dream Foundation has grown in support and love since its inception under the very worst circumstances.

I have had nothing but love and support for Tic, Kate and Meg during a time that is hard enough without the organizational responsibility of a charity to get on its feet.

I have personally been bombarded with questions and in some instances I have had less than positive comments made about this amazing achievement with the anti-bullying campaigning.

Bullying is an epidemic, I have said it before, and now more than ever we are seeing so many more incidents in the media, because the lid has been blown open, it is not an acceptable norm, it is in fact a terrible degrading, leeching disease in the core of us as humans.

Bullying eclipses the generations, no one is free from its touch, it has become a social norm that is no longer questioned, just accepted in a social set. I have talked to generations of family that all suffered varying forms of bullying throughout their life and still to this day we have those that simply cannot leave others alone, it is a simplistic form of tall poppy syndrome in Australia, lets pull down those that have more, want more and could be more because we are lost and shallow ourselves.

It truly is time for accountability. It truly is time for change in our acceptance levels

It truly is time to keep the light on in regards to Bullying in any form and put in place serious laws that will impact those that are at fault. We can get a ticket for speeding in the street under the guise of public safety, but we have no repercussions for an act that is so degrading it can can, will, has caused death. Come on people!!

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