A Real Job.

by Lori Dwyer on March 16, 2014 · 8 comments

I’ve got a real, big-girl job for the first time in about six years. It’s only two days a week; and it doesn’t sound like a big deal…  but it feels like it is. I’ve been lucky enough to make some money from blogging… but I’m not sure it really counts as a job.

I started work last week. For reasons of confidentiality, it’s not something I’ll write about much. I will say that’s it working with teenagers in a medical setting, but providing entertainment and distraction for them. I’m employed by an organisation I used to work for years ago, before I had my kids. It’s something I love to do and I’m passionate about and I’m feeling pretty blessed to have gotten the job I did. It all sort of fell into pace. I needed something to get me out of the rut I’ve been in, and I think this is perfect.

But it feels weird. It feels strange to leave my kids for such big chunks of time. The Most Amazing Man has been pretty damn awesome about it. He takes care of the kidlets, and they love being with him. The guilt remains though. It’s not mortally heavy… it will pass, I think; get that little bit easier every time I don’t pick them up from school or tuck them into bed myself.

Going back to work feels like being in a different world. One that’s outside my own head. A world that encompasses a bigger perspective than the one I see in front of me all the time.

And it feels like there is some pressure off. I lost a bit of my passion for writing, for blogging, because it felt like a necessity- I had to write, to make money. And now I don’t, not so much. The pressure to take on sponsored posts won’t be as great. So I write what I like, when I like. I know there’s been a bit of a glut of sponsored content lately, and there’s a few more posts coming up that I’ve already committed to doing. I’m sorry about that. I can fairly confidently say that there won’t be nearly as many after the next couple of weeks. 

Anyway. The good news is.. I’m in a happy place right now. Things feel exciting again. I’ve rediscovered that passion for living that I’ve been missing the last six months or so.

Things are good right now. I’m just basking in the warm, happy glow of it all.


100 Days.

by Lori Dwyer on March 11, 2014 · 2 comments

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang.


I’ve been asked to write a post to raise awareness about gambling. About how many people it affects when it becomes a problem. About how difficult it can be to ask for help…

There’s such a stigma that surrounds problem gambling. The same kind of uneasy, shameful silence that stops people from speaking out about other addictions and mental health problems. I guess a big part of it is that feeling that it’s your own stupid fault; that if you were a better person you’d be able to resist temptations and have more control over your own mind.

I really don’t understand people who think like that. When you strip us all down, everyone has something. Whether it’s alcohol or cigarettes or drugs or fast food. Whether it’s periods of anxiety or depression, or generally hating the world. How is it possible to have no faults, no abject personality traits that you have no control over?

When I was very little, my parents owned a TAB- a gambling agency. It was just one part of the multi-faceted business they ran in Paradise. A TAB, fishing tackle, and video hire store, all rolled into one tiny shop on the main street of the town. I spent a lot of time there as a child.

I didn’t get it, until I was older. It was only in retrospect that I understood the handful of men who seemed to be in the TAB every week for hours. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and heard my mum talking about watching people gamble away a week’s wage in a few short, hopeful hours, that I realised how very sad a place it was.

I’ve stayed away from gambling, successfully, for my entire life so far. Maybe because of that early exposure. Maybe just due to being lucky. I have such an addictive personality… I know what it’s like to feel control over something slowly slipping away. Wanting to stop, but not being able to, the promise of a potential reward being far too sweet and far too needed to resist.

Addiction- any addiction- it’s a difficult thing. I know a handful of people who have no addictive tendencies, and I envy them. I comfort myself by thinking that surely they’re all screwed up in other ways instead.

Anyway. The point of this post is to simply raise awareness of gambling and the problem it can be, not only for the person who is gambling but also their family and the people they love. Gambling is like any other activity – it’s best enjoyed when you’re in control of it, not when it’s in control of you.

Less than 10% of people with gambling problems ask for help, mainly because of the shame and stigma attached. Like any stigma- the only way to break it is to talk about it.


The Fight For The Real You 100 Day Challenge encourages people to talk about and take control of their gambling- whether that means stopping altogether is up to you. The fightforyou.com.au website also features 24/7 help advice and support. It doesn’t even have to be forever- just 100 days.

But if habits form in 28 days… then 100 days could be enough to break one.

Free, confidential help and information is available for gamblers and their families, 24/7 through Gambler’s Helpline 1800 858 858 or Gambling Help online.



by Lori Dwyer on March 10, 2014 · 5 comments

Parents are domestic wizards in the eyes of our children. We understand how complicated things work. We fix broken toys, tape together the ripped pages of books. We heal bruised skin with kisses. 

After years spent working as a clown before I had my kidlets, I was more magical than the average mum. I could make things appear and disappear. I could pull colours from the air and drop them onto the empty pages of a book, produce handkerchiefs from behind my son’s ear. I would allow him to hold my special magic wand, only to have it bend or break in his hands.

For a little while, my son believed I was magic. I never performed magic ‘tricks’ for him– there were no tricks here. I was magical, and I made these things happen.

I knew, logically, that his suspension of disbelief would not continue forever. Watching your children figure out the world is not always rainbows and lollipops, it’s sad. It hurts, when you wish you could keep them in a bubble; keep them innocent and tiny and sweet forever.

My son came home from school one day with a totally new perspective on everything. He had discovered the secret to one of my illusions and suddenly realised that it was all tricks. Not real magic at all.

The magic book I had, one I’d entertained him with many times before, was not quite as amazing as I’d made it out to be. You expect your children to learn all kinds of things at school. The secret to your magic tricks isn’t one of them.

One of his friends had a book, he said, the same as my book, and showed the class how it worked. A simple deception. A sleight of hand. An illusion, ruined and distorted. It made me feel a little bit like a liar. 

It’s not a big deal at all, in the scheme of things… children learn little truths all the time while we’re not watching. But it felt like a loss. A tiny loss. I find myself using the word ‘lost’ as a synonym for ‘growing up’ so often these days. 

To compensate for this piece of the real world thrown at us so unexpectedly, I confess my trickery and let my boy in to what I’ve been keeping from him. I spend the next few days showing him how silk handkerchiefs disappear and how wands break in half. How to make things appear in velvet bags, how to multiply what you have in your hands. I watch him wonder at this skill I have, at the things I can teach him.

The magic isn’t gone. Just shared.