Author Archives: the cheddar diaries


The Cheese Has Moved Again – I’m Heading in a New Direction!

Time to revitalise and publicly share my blog!  Since commencing this blogging journey, I’ve experienced some great highs in my life, particularly after my epiphany of what needed to change in my life. Some of the highs have been:

  • My first (I hope of many) overseas trip in 2011 with my husband, where we visited the USA, the UK and Italy.
  • Watching my children moving into adulthood and becoming independent.
  • Meeting new friends that have common interests.
  • Establishing my home-based craft business.
  • Watching & supporting my husband establish his photography business.
  • Turning 50 and celebrating with some of best friends.

These new experiences have enhanced my life and I am now ready to move forward again.

It’s time to use the skills I have learnt over the years to build an even brighter future – for my family and for those around me.  I’m excited!

ipad images - trip 124

ipad images - trip 594

Visiting a couple of the famous landmarks in the USA


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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Diary Entries


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Reality & Reflection

I haven’t posted on my blog for so long and it is about time that I did.

I actually have 2 blogs – this one and another that I was devoting to craft and hobbies. 

But the time has come for consolidation – I will work that out soon.

For today I am choosing to reflect on how I was feeling when I started this blog and how I feel now.  Lots and lots of self reflection and more management over my emotions and actions make me feel that I have become a better person.

The reality is that yes I am only human and sometimes old patterns of behaviour jump up and bite me.  As far as my work goes, I think I have become a better manager of my team; I am able to delegate and focus more on my ‘big rocks’ but still maintain a well-rounded team. 

I can now take elements of how I felt 2 years ago and put it into my work practice and coach others to become more accountable and self-aware.  It feels good.

This led me to think to myself – I wonder if this is how Lance Armstrong is feeling now? Probably not, but surely he had to come to the realisation that his life was out of control, he couldn’t keep controlling the situations and all the lies and deceit would come to the fore.  Yep – the cheese has definitely moved for Lance!

Normally I would be very cycnical about hearing another sportsperson, policitian or famous person pouring out their hearts (woe is me syndrome) but I am genuinely feeling sorry for the 1000s of people who have been let down by this famous person.  I hope they believe this public humiliation is a form of retribution and will add a page in their life’s history books.

I know that it has just made me more aware that it is not just the mighty who fall and this could happen to any one of us. 

It might sound corny – but Honesty is the Best Policy!!




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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Diary Entries


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Biting Off New Bits of The Cheese.

Rediscovering one’s self is all very well but action speaks louder than words as the old saying goes.

I now had to put my new found leadership skills into action for the good of the team and most importantly to re-establish my credentials. For someone like me who is more of a big picture thinker rather than a details person, I had to change the way I led my team as the CHEESE HAD MOVED! I was guided by the agreement that had been put in place and even though all parties involved were responsible for keeping the agreement on track, I wanted to ensure that it it was followed. I didn’t want this coming back to bite me.

To cut a very long story short, after approximately 12 weeks of working with this new agreement in place, relationships were mended, work was on track and goals were met. I felt a great sense of achievement, pride and validation in myself as a leader that all this had come together in a relatively short period of time.

I felt like my life was back on track and was about to take a new turn as I was embarking on an overseas trip for 9 weeks with my husband.  More time to reflect on what is important to me and to experience something completely new.

I had worked really hard to get to the point where I felt I could now take leave from work and that the relationships I had mended would still be in tact when I returned.

The only way I could continue to move forward was to focus on these points:

  • my personal life with my family and close friends is the most important thing to me and I must continue to nurture those relationships
  • life is too short for regrets – take a chance when it is offered to you
  • it doesn’t matter how the job gets done – as long as it gets done!  Not everyone works in the same way so a paradigm shift is OK and we shouldn’t be threatened by it
  • experiencing something new in life can only be a positive thing – even if it doesn’t turn out as you had hoped you can still learn something from the journey.

The next few months were looking up and I was excited!

inspiration typed

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Diary Entries


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The Day I Found The Cheese!

I finally realised that new cheese was awaiting me!

 Yes epiphany was the word I used to describe what I had experienced.

Maybe it was just me being conscious of my thoughts and understanding the future actions that I needed to take.  Regardless of what it was, I felt myself awaken.

This was a time of great upheaval in my life – not that I hadn’t experienced upheaval before, just in different forms.  Prior to my mediation sessions with my work colleagues, I started to question whether I could go back to my current work place.  I mentioned to my husband that if I could work at home I would.  I started doing some internet research about work at home mums.  This is when I came across a website by Gayla Baer, who had published her story of how she changed her life’s direction by purchasing the book “ProBlogger..Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income” by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. This hit home, so much so that I immediately ordered the book – maybe this was going to be a new direction for me. Of course it was going to take a couple of weeks to arrive so I kept searching for some enlightenment.

I don’t know how but appearing to me out of the blue was a very insightful website called The Personal Excellence Blog, written by a remarkable young woman, Celestine Chua. I started reading as many of her articles and posts as I could, looking for answers to my abundance of questions.  I was blown away by how knowledgeable and intuitive this young woman was and I knew this was what I was searching for.  Celes had an answer to every question that I had been asking myself!!

 I felt like a sponge taking in as much as I could – a lot of it I had heard before, but now was a time in my life that I needed to soak it all up.  Was this the law of attraction working for me?  Firstly I found Gayla, then Celes and all of a sudden I started to feel like a born-again leader!  I needed to make my thoughts work for me and not against me; I needed to prove to myself and to my colleagues that I could be in control of my situation  and that I was ready to work with them to improve our work environment.

 I was now prepared for my next mediation session and had the confidence to face the next step.  I shared my new-found positivity with my support person.  We both realised that this process was teaching us some new skills.  Now to put things into action for my future………..Yay I had finally found new cheese!

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Diary Entries



Reality TV – I don’t believe it is bad for you.  Sure as adults we need to monitor the amount of TV our children watch and not be reliant upon it ourselves as the only form of entertainment.  However I would like to give you ten justifiable reasons why Reality TV is actually therapeutic for the working woman.

 1.        This is the easiest type of television to watch.

 Reality TV is easy for the brain to compute.  You don’t need to concentrate deeply on the plot, on the dialogue or on the participants to understand the basis of the show.

 2.        It is like “chicken soup for the soul”.

When you have had a busy or hard day, watching Reality TV can be a relaxing pastime.  The best way to watch it is in your PJs with comfy slippers on, your feet up and with a relaxing drink (hot or cold).

 3.        It will boost your self esteem.

Watching reality TV gives you permission to validate to yourself that the skills you have learnt and used in your daily life, be it career or home, are a wonderful contribution to the universe.  You are a lot more talented than some of the contestants on these shows!

 4.        Learn new skills.

Some reality TV shows concentrate on business management skills.  Not only can you compare your leadership qualities to those in a successful situation or task, you can also learn some new tactics.  Also these shows and their contestants quite often demonstrate a great example of what NOT to do in the business world. 

 5.        Reality TV provides you with new “watercooler” conversation.

We all know that office gossip gets you into hot water!  So why not discuss the latest happenings on your favourite Reality TV show around the water cooler?  You will be amazed what TV shows you and your co-workers have in common!!

 6.        If you fall asleep you won’t miss anything!

There’s nothing worse than watching a movie, falling asleep during the viewing and missing the most crucial part of the plot, or the ending!  With Reality TV you won’t have this problem; if you fall asleep while watching, which means you are in a relaxed state, you can always catch up during the next episode.  Most of these programs continually repeat the most “exciting” parts of the show.

 7.        Reality TV can create an addiction that won’t harm you.

This is one addiction that I believe won’t harm you, unless you can’t tear yourself away from the TV set!  My tip is to make sure you are only really addicted to a couple of different programs and watch them on a regular basis.  Watching any more than that will mean the addiction is overtaking your life and time will start to be wasted.

 8.        You can learn to improve your image and / or style!

There are quite a few Reality TV shows that can educate women (and men) how to dress to suit their shape, choose appropriate fashion styles and generally improve their appearance.  It is encouraging to see real women & men going through this process on TV to give you the confidence to change your image.

 9.        Learn new catch phrases.

Whilst I don’t recommend using such phrases as “You’re Fired” and “The Tribe has Spoken”, maybe something like “I’m Sorry To Tell You, But You’ve Been Eliminated From the Race” or “Will You Accept This Rose?” will be easier on your colleagues!  Keep up with what the latest trend is in catch phrases and use them to lighten the mood at work.

 10.    Reality TV assists you to manage change.

 Reality TV gives you the opportunity to manage change in your life in a positive way!  You can see that trying something new has worked for other people in all walks of life and you may take up a new challenge.  It may entice you to travel to another country, lose weight, change your appearance or even pursue a new career.


For some readers this list will be nonsense, but for others it will resonate soundly!!  By sharing my views with you I hope you can learn to relax in front of the TV and manage some justifiable reality viewing!!  You may have some comments regarding this list and more points to share – I’d love to hear from you.



Image: Ambro /



Posted by on April 14, 2011 in What Inspires Me


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My Mediation Journey – going through the cheese grater!!

The time had come for me to face my co-workers for the first time since my melt-down.  Now to set the scene for you:  I hadn’t been at work for six weeks, I hadn’t spoken to anyone from my workplace for six weeks, and I live in a small regional city where gossip gets spread around quickly!  And I was still feeling in a depressive state thinking I didn’t want to go back to work.

Mediation is not a necessarily short process; it is quite complex and is completely confidential.  So I can’t elaborate on any specific details in this diary.  However I want to share my feelings, my doubts, my outcomes and the enlightenment that I discovered.

Normally I have the confidence in my ability to handle this type of situation as a professional, but I was a bit scared that my emotions may take over.  I think you would agree with me that the truth hurts but I believe if you are a true professional you know how to identify and admit to your faults.  But if you are in a state of depression it can be hard to focus on how to take critical feedback in whatever form it is delivered.  Luckily I could take a support person to the mediation with me who was not allowed to participate in the mediation but could help me throughout the day with moral support.

The mediator laid out the ground rules for the session and we all had to indicate that we were coming together in good faith to repair our relationship.  We had to sign a confidentiality agreement.  I wondered how confidential this was really going to be but had to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Each person had already met individually with the mediator at a previous session to give their version of events.  Now as individuals we had to relay that to the group and briefly describe what we believed had led us to this point in time.  We had to talk about the way in which we (as individuals) felt the three of us could move forward, work again cohesively and trust and support in each other.

I had prepared a long “speech” of what situations and events brought me to this point.  I also made a list of what I thought my co-workers would say about my leadership performance and what they may want improved.  I was feeling that I had pretty much nailed what the issues might be. I had prepared myself as emotionally as possible.

I was quite composed when listening to my co-workers’ perception of my personality, my job role, my actions and of course what led to me yelling at them.  I was also very calm when I had to present my list of things that I wanted addressed.  But then I had to explain the sequence of events that I felt led to my outburst – it was important for them to understand my mind and my feelings.  That was the catalyst  – this part of the session turned out to be an emotional experience and I couldn’t help but let out the tears.

Now as a leader in my profession I hate the fact that when I get over emotional it turns to tears.  I have read that men think women turn on the tears in order to get what they want; that’s not my style.  I have always been a crier – my Mother used to always say to me “Wednesday’s child is full of woe”!  I don’t think that helped my emotional state in any way!!

However I managed to keep the tears at bay for the remainder of the day.  But you know I said I had felt uncertain about the whole process?  At the end of the day I still felt this way.  My support person was a wonderful anchor point for me but the mediation process hadn’t finished yet.  The group would have to meet again to put an agreement together – all we had accomplished on the first day was a list of items that needed to be put into our agreement. I was worried this could take a few more sessions and all this time I couldn’t go back to work until it was reached.

After a gruelling 8 hours the end of the first day finally arrived.  Thank goodness that was over but how would I relax and sleep tonight?  How would I get through any more of these days?  My mind was still overflowing with negativity.  I was sure that it was impossible for me to ever go back to my old job.

I went home and let out the barrage of emotions I was feeling – luckily my husband is an extremely supportive person!  I re-hashed the day’s happenings to him and around and around in my head. I figured after this gruelling day I needed to chill out and focus on other things.  I had been participating in a couple of blogs and surveys during my time off and they offered me a diversion.

Then the most amazing thing happened – my brain kicked into gear and I think I actually had an epiphany!!  I needed to become more PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE.  I needed to embrace what was happening to me and make things work for ME! 

At last I could move forward……2011 would now actually improve.


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Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Diary Entries



Melted cheese? No – Melt Down!!



I didn’t need my doctor to give me the bad news.  I knew I was officially having a melt down!  I had no control over it, I didn’t want this to happen to me, I wanted life to stay the same….but the cheese had moved.

I certainly felt like my work-life balance had disintegrated before my eyes and I didn’t care if I never went back to work again.  But there was so much that I was responsible for in my professional life.  Talk about a stressful situation.

I decided to put all work stuff out of my mind during the weeks ahead.  I concentrated on some hobbies at home, made the most of Christmas and mentally prepared myself for the next step to come that would help resolve the work trauma.  I got my house in order before I tackled my career.

The boss wanted me to attend formal mediation sessions with the other people who were involved.  Yay – finally a road that would hopefully lead to recovery and one that would definitely pave the way for me to get my feelings out there in a rational way.  Well I hope all would be rational!

I figured that I needed to do some real preparation for the mediation sessions.  I wanted to be on top of my game.  I wanted a positive outcome.  But I couldn’t get rid of the negative feelings.  These were people I had strong relationships with and whom I had known for more than 10 years.   But it was time to not take things personally – this was business.

I went to my first mediation session to give my view of the events that led to my melt down.  I hadn’t been involved in anything this intense before.  However I had a really bad vibe from the woman who was the mediator and immediately felt that I wasn’t going to get anything out of this process.

Then my brain suddenly clicked into gear………what was I thinking – I had to keep my job, I had to repair these working relationships and I had to feel better about myself.

So was I going to get caught in the mousetrap or would I be able to find the new cheese in my life?

Time would tell.


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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Diary Entries