Beth's Blog

KIS Lesson 58: Dating

Going to the same events, functions, gatherings and hanging out all night while getting drunk … is not dating.

Dating is getting to know each other.

If you intend on spending the rest of your life together, drunk – by all means – keep “dating” drunk. You will only be getting to know the two drunk versions of each other.

If YOU want something else, stop. Stop going out & getting drunk. See if he reaches out to find you and spend time with you, sober.

Yes? Great – now get to know each other, sober. See if there is something real there.

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KIS Lesson 57: More than a feeling

It is possible to find someone to like, enjoy spending time with, care about and love. That does not mean that they are the best person for us to move in with and build a life with.

Love is not enough.

Mutual respect and equality in the relationship is also not enough.

Being together forever is a very long time. We must also share similar core values, beliefs, ideas about marriage, having children, growing old, working, studying, work-life balance and what that means for our lifestyle and personal growth. Compromise in these areas leads to resentment in the long-term.

KIS Lesson 56: What you get, is what you get ... forever

Lets’ say your bloke’s idea of a great Saturday night is sport on 4 channels until the wee hours of the morning…. Remote control in hand.

If that’s his idea of a great night in the first few months of dating, he will probably still think that’s a great night 10 years on, 20, 30, 40 years on!

Choose to accept it (join him – learn to love sport, too or find something you enjoy that you can do at the same time) and enable him to do what he likes to do most or choose to walk away.

Trying to change someone so they will stop doing something they really, really, really enjoy will only lead to bitterness and resentment in the long run.

KIS Lesson 55: Equal

A strong relationship is built on equality.

You both believe that everything the other person is doing, is equally as important as what you are doing. This gives a foundation for an inter-dependant relationship whereby both are working together to achieve more than either could do individually.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

If the scales are tipped in either direction – ever so slightly – you now have a dependency (real or perceived). The whole is LESS than the sum of the parts, because the parts are not working together to their optimum.

In positive, strong relationships – nobody “holds the power”. They are both equal.

KIS Lesson 54: Being Noticed

Sometimes we find ourselves buying a particular bikini to “get noticed” by a particular guy – or – looking for a special ball gown for the upcoming annual ball to “get noticed” by a special someone – or – we change the colours we wear or the style of clothes we wear … all in the name of capturing the attention of one person.

In reality, the guy who respects you, values you and appreciates you, has already noticed you – just the way you are.

The notion of changing ourselves to attract a guy is ludicrous. All we end up with is a guy who is attracted to a version of you – not you, the true and complete you. It becomes hard work to continue to be this other version and feels like you are wearing a mask or a costume.

When the cracks appear in the relationship and it starts to split, you will find that you don’t recognize the person who you have become. Who are you?

Choosing to grow, develop, change and experiment with clothes, activities, your voice, etc. etc. works out well if you are doing it because you want to. In fact, that is brilliant. Growth and the desire to be better is a powerful force … when done on your terms, when you want, the way you want, because you want to.

KIS Lesson 53: Zing

“Zing” is delightfully explained in the children’s movie “Hotel Transylvania”:

When you meet someone special, you feel a “Zing”. It’s in your heart, in your every thought and in the smile on your face. If it’s not there after the first date, don’t bother with a second.

KIS Lesson 52: Parenting is ...

... teaching our children how to drive their own bus to wherever they want to go.

KIS Lesson 51: Fixing

A message to my children, family and friends...

I’m not here to fix your problems for you.

I am here to help YOU figure out how YOU can fix YOUR problems.

KIS Lesson 50: Flirting

When he’s crazy about you and you are the centre of his thoughts … he does not even notice anyone else. Flirting simply does not happen.

Walk away.

KIS Lesson 49: Judgements and Assumptions

Particularly in our late teens and early twenties…

Frequently when we meet someone new, we begin to explore the staple top 20 questions:

The High School we went to

The suburb we grew up in

What our parents do to earn an income

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KIS Lesson 48: "I need to focus on my studies"


We’re breaking up.

I’m not crazy about you and I’ve no idea why. After all, you’re a decent guy.

I do know that I don’t want this to go any further. I appreciate that you feel strongly for me. However, I don’t want to pretend that I feel more for you than I really do.

So, I’m giving you this lame reason - hoping that things will be ok between us - because we are in the same social circles and I’ll be seeing you almost everyday.

KIS Lesson 47: No

When we are in High School, progress through University and start our career, we are inspired to say “Yes”:

Yes – to every door that opens, because something amazing may be on the other side

Yes – to every invitation, because we may meet a life-changer

Yes – to every new activity, because we may uncover a latent talent

Yes … Yes … Yes… We become conditioned to saying “Yes”.

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Stranded on a desert island

It must have been Year 10, 1992. The hot nights had cooled slightly, giving the crisp mornings and warm days of early Autumn.

On a Tuesday afternoon after school, at our hockey training field, our school’s B Grade Hockey team captain was to be chosen. The core of our team had played together for the previous two years. The first year, we were in Year 8. Year 8’s don’t get made captain. The second year, we had a brilliant player who played representative hockey at Queensland level. She was captain. In our third year, the excellent players were in the A Grade. So, it was us – a group of girls in about the same Grade at school, with about the same skill level.

This year, we had a different coach. This coach was wise to the social machinations of 14 & 15 year old girls and had a different approach to selecting a team captain:

At the end of training we were given a piece of paper, of equal size.

We were asked to write the name of the person we wished to have as our captain. As a 14 year old, I had already learnt the lesson – if you want something, put your hand up & back yourself, first.

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The Title is Gone... because I am a girl.

"You can't lead men. I think the reason you can't lead men, is because you are, well, a girl. And That's not something I can change. So, I don't know how to develop those skills in you because, well, you will still be a girl."


My throat tightened. I tried to maintain a calm exterior as my head filled with incensed anger towards my Engineering and Maintenance Manager. I don't think I spoke another word for the remaining "feedback" session. I don't think I could string any words together: my brain had simply stopped all logic ... it was full of rage.

I took my anger to the only place I could find solitude - underground. Yes, the cool, calm, rhythmic hum of underground longwall coal production. 

On that walk, each time I met an electrician (whom I had spent the last 14 months leading) the words spilt out of my mouth. I tried to find the peace and hold it within, these guys knew me pretty well - they knew something had happened. Every time ... the same response ... a dumbfounded, gaping-mouthed silence followed by words like...

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The Title is not what you thought it would be

I know exactly why I went for it. I wanted to be the first. I wanted to be the first female Electrical Engineering Manager (EEM) in Queensland Underground Coal. It was the highest statutory position you could hold on any mine site for an electrical engineer. It was the top of the mountain.

It was possible. It was achievable. I had an employer who wanted me to have the title. My Manager was extremely supportive. He enrolled me in the training to gain the accredited competencies to hold the statutory position. He had hired me as the 2IC to the existing EEM and it was simply a matter of time.

The existing EEM resigned. This was my chance.

I should have listened to my gut. My instincts are usually right, but I could see the kudos. I could see the professional mileage. I could even feel that sense of achievement that I could reach the top of the Electrical Engineering Mountain. It was within my grasp. Within 4 years of graduating from the Bachelor of Engineering degree, I could have it. My husband had entered underground coal as an electrical apprentice, step by step working his way up the food chain for 20 years and he still hadn’t reached the top of the mountain. I could.

I felt compelled to apply and put my best foot forward because that was why I was working there. My Manager felt I was suitable and had done everything he could to help me achieve the goal I had held for 7 years.

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Titles Disappear

7am Friday morning.

Brrrrring … Brrrring…. My desk phone rings. Staring at the caller ID, I see the words “General Manager” and my instinct is to leave. Fight or Flight.

My brain kicked into a whirlwind of thoughts: I’m not in the office. I’m not there. I’m out in the field. I don’t want to hear this. You’ll have to find me. Wait. I know why they are calling. I know what is about to happen. I don’t want to sit there and hear it, but I’m going to have to go through it, eventually. This is not going to go away. Running from the confrontation will not make it go away.



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KIS Lesson 46: Follow the clues

When children talk, they drop clues about what is important to THEM. For example:

  • “We went into the pen with all the puppies.”
  • “We watched that Al Gore documentary in Geography today.”

The clue could be completely menial and boring – to you. Never overlook it or brush it off. This clue is a GIFT. It signals the communication channel is open and ready to exchange.

Right NOW, you have the opportunity to lay a brick in the foundation of your relationship. Stop everything and talk to them – on THAT topic - as though what they’ve just said is the most fascinating thing you have ever heard and you are absolutely dying to know more.

When we ask questions about something our children have not mentioned, we will likely receive mono-syllabic responses like “Good” “Fine” “Ok”.

Don’t bother. You’re not building your relationship or communicating. It’s an Inquisition.

KIS Lesson 45: Have a real conversation

The fastest way to get to know someone – properly – is by having a “real” conversation instead of superficial chatter.

Firstly, whoever asks the most questions is perceived to be the friendlier, more genuine person.

Secondly, asking Who, What, When and Where questions feels like an Inquisition. It’s uncomfortable. In all likelihood, your subject will find a reason to be somewhere else, quickly.

Having a real conversation stems from asking questions that step below the surface – Why and How.

KIS Lesson 44: Receiving advice

When someone gives you unsolicited advice, always respond out loud with a calm “Thank you for your feedback.”

Scream at them inside your head.

KIS Lesson 43: Giving advice

Only give advice (or “feedback”) when asked. Never, ever, ever give unsolicited opinion.

If you are trying your hardest to bite your tongue and yet feel an overwhelming compulsion to spray your opinion onto someone, try this instead:

Ask questions.

  • How can I help you?
  • How can we solve this?
  • What options to you see that you have?
  • Do you think there may be other options you can not see?
  • What are your thoughts on those options?

KIS Lesson 42: There's a time

There’s a time to be the listener & a time to be the talker. When in doubt, be the listener.

KIS Lesson 41: Stuff

Everybody’s brain is full of “stuff”. Thinking, pondering, wondering, worrying about hundreds of things, all at the same time.

Until telepathic powers are available to all of us, we will never know what people are thinking when we interact with them.

Sometimes we feel that a person is not paying enough attention to our “stuff” or not truly listening to us talking about our “stuff”.

Remember: They have their own “stuff” and perhaps – just perhaps – in this moment - their “stuff” is more important to them than your “stuff”.

KIS Lesson 40: What is love?

Driving in the back blocks of New South Wales, having just been to the funeral of my Mother-in-Law’s husband, a voice from the back seat piped up with:

How do you know you’re in love?

How did you know Beth/Dad was “the one” to marry?

I simplified it to 6 signals:

  1. When something happens in your life – he/she is the first person you want to tell all about it.
  2. When you make plans to go and do something – this is the person you want to share it with.
  3. There is no pain or hurt between you.
  4. The relationship is equal, both perceived and real by both partners.
  5. You lift each other up.
  6. You are always excited to see them or hear their voice - no matter what kind of crappy day you have had. 


KIS Lesson 39: We are Guides

When our children are babies, we require psychic powers to determine what they need, when they need it and what the problem is that needs fixing. Realistically, we are the magic fairies that swoop in to do things for them.

Eventually, young children start to be able to communicate with their body, sounds, then words and finally sentences. This is where we must stop being the swooping helicopter of solutions and begin developing our incredible patience. This young age is the perfect time to start sowing the seeds of self-sufficiency.

When we rush in to do the “difficult” task for them or immediately fix the problem, we are doing the thinking for them. We haven’t just physically swooped in, we have also mentally swooped in. What has our child learnt from the experience?

Have they learnt how to think?

How to come up with ideas?

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KIS Lesson 38: No More Guesswork

“Do you need any help putting the ironing away?”

“IRONING? Help … with the IRONING? Do I need any more help with the IRONING? No, there’s no more to do with the IRONING.”

I’m picking up that my husband does not require help with the ironing. I’m guessing that he thinks I should be doing some other household task (that needs doing, in his mind) instead of writing.

He’s acting a bit put out this afternoon. My response? Stay in the quiet of another room and keep pursuing MY priority.

I no longer waste energy trying to guess what is going on in his head. He is 42 years old, with a working voice box. He can use it. No more guesswork.