Trying Again

Trying Again

So, it’s that time of year again.  Resolution time.  Last year,  I called it “New Year’s Revolutions“, and the year before that I wrote a long and detailed list of the things I wanted to change and achieve in the coming months.  I’m not very good at keeping to my resolutions.  I do try, but usually fail by about, oh, January 5th.  But the whole point of a New Year is being given another chance.  Another chance to try again.  And try I shall.

But I am also going to not limit myself to just trying at New Year’s.  Every day should be a new chance to try again.  I think part of the reason I fail is that I use the whole “New Year” thing as an excuse for not trying for the next 11 months.  But, I say optimistically, with fingers behind my back, I am done with excuses.  I am going to treat every day like New Year’s, which means I can start fresh every morning.  If I fail, I just have to keep going until I succeed.

This is my plan.  I am not good at plans so failure is almost guaranteed but I have now given myself permission to not give up.  And not quit.  I am very good at quitting but I am going to try and not do that too often this year.  There are things I need to achieve and overcome this year (too personal for even over-sharing me to discuss here) and I will not reach any of my goals if I keep giving up.  There are things about myself I need to change and fix if I am to go forward in life.

There are the usual goals about weight loss. Sigh.  How long have I been making that my New Year’s Resolution?  What, 25-30 years now?  I have yo-yoed back and forth between one weight and another for some many decades, I have no idea what my natural body shape and size is any more.  But I have hated my body at whatever size it is, and I need to stop doing that.  My body survived a life-threatening illness and I need to remember that.  I need to remember and acknowledge that it survived against all odds and kept going, no matter what.  So, if nothing else, I should treat this old rust-bucket of a body with some respect.  Sure, it’s a little flabbier and wobblier than I would like, but it’s still there.  I’m still upright and breathing, walkin’ around with all my limbs and digits and brain cells (although that last point is debatable).  So I need to try to be as healthy as I can.  Which doesn’t necessarily mean being as skinny as I can.  It means feeding my body with the right fuels and exercise.  It’s not about fitting into a tighter skirt or being able to get away with short shorts.  It’s about being healthy and fit and strong.  I haven’t been that for a long time and I really need to get my shit together where that is concerned.  My body deserves that, it really does.

I need to think about my career.  I need to seek that which will bring me fulfilment and authenticity and joy.  I don’t know if it is possible to have that in a 9-5 job, but I am going to try and find out.  I like my current job, but I don’t love it.  It doesn’t full me with excitement or happiness or anything even remotely approaching those things.  It pays my bills and gives me a sense of satisfaction some days and I am very grateful for it.  It provided me with security and emotional support when I needed it most.  But it isn’t my dream job and I have to figure out what is.  Because I really don’t know.  And time is running out.  At some point I am going to have to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, what I want to be when I grow up.  Because I truly don’t know yet. Failing that, I need to be ok with having “just a job” and acknowledge that it allows me to do the things I do enjoy in life, outside of work.  We can’t all be Oprah.  Some of us have to have the little boring jobs that keep the world turning.

I need to be less of a hoarder.  I know I say this on a weekly basis, but seriously, I just need to learn to let go of things.  Things are not people.  I can let go of a bunny ornament someone gave me in the fifth grade.  They will not mind if I give it away now.  The world will not collapse and I am not a bad person if the Christmas card I got in 1983 from a classmate ends up in the recycling bin (seriously, I just found that card today and struggled with getting rid of it). I have to learn to hold on to memories, instead of stuff.  But it is hard.

I need to start learning to say No.  I need to be ok with saying No and not feel guilty about it or try and make up for it by doing more than the original request asked for.  I need to learn not explain my No – the No itself should be enough.

I really, really need to learn to like myself a little more.  Or at all.  I don’t know how to do this, and if you have any suggestions, please send ’em on over.  I don’t know how to like what I see in the mirror.  I don’t know how to not lie awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong in the day, all the mistakes I made and how many people I let down.  I need to stop thinking of myself as ugly and useless.  But it’s really hard to break the habit of a lifetime.  And how do you change the way you look to yourself – get new eyeballs?  I need an Instagram filter for my own eyes.

I need to learn to deal with my social anxiety.  Deal with it and accept it and learn coping strategies.  Because I am not going to become a social butterfly overnight.  I don’t even know that I want to.  I just want to be free of the terror that comes with invitations to parties and weddings and shindigs.  I want to be able to accept these invitations happily and easily and not dread their impending hour.  I need to be ok with NOT accepting them too.  I need to not beat myself up about not going to things.  I’m not a terrible person, after all, if I decide that a pub crawl is not my thing or if time spent at a Hen’s Night is enough to make me want to gouge my own spleen out.  But I do need to be better at social stuff.  It is hard every day for me, just interacting with human beings in general, and I need to be able to take that off my stress list.  Again, I don’t know how to do this, but I am going to try and figure it out.

I need to grow up financially.  I need to budget better and spend less on frivolous things.  I need to seriously look at buying a house.  Which will mean buying somewhere that is in a suburb less lovely than the one I currently rent in.  I cannot afford to buy here and I need to accept that.  Or get a better-paying job.  Or marry someone really rich (ha!  kidding!).  I don’t actually know if I can afford to buy anywhere, but I need to look in to it and find out for sure.  I need to sort out my future security and top up my superannuation and prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse on my own.  I need to secure my future.  And I need to have my own place so I can get a cat.  This is more important than anything.

I need to laugh and smile more.  I need to fake it ’til I make it.

I need to go to bed earlier and sleep better.

I need to get up earlier and do more in my day.

I need to ask for a pay rise.

I need to delegate better at work.  I have an assistant – she should be assisting me.
And I have to let her.

I have to stop being scared of men.

I need to stop comparing myself to other women.

I need to hug more and allow myself to be hugged.

I need to swim more and not worry about what I look like in bathers.  I love the beach – why am I not there all the time?

I really do need to learn to use chopsticks.

I have to travel.  At least one destination per year from now on.

I need to stop trying to fix people and their problems.  I can’t help everyone and I should sort my own stuff out first, before I concentrate on other people’s issues.

I need to express my disapproval of racist/sexist/bigoted jokes and comments when in social situations.  Saying nothing is not good enough anymore.

I need to stop procrastinating.  In regards to everything.

I’m going to write more.  Writing is what I love to do and, even if it’s just for me, I need to make time to do it.

I need to breathe more.

I need to practice gratitude.

I need to be kinder to myself.

I am going to try and not feel guilty about having restful days.  I’m not good at relaxing or doing nothing – and I think you sometimes have to give yourself permission to do that so you can rest and recuperate and give your body and mind some breathing space.

I need to be more ecologically friendly and responsible.

I need to see more people and be less hermit-like.  Whether I like it or not to begin with.

I need to just be. And be ok with whatever and whoever I am.  Because I am tired of fighting ME.  And I’m nearly 42.  Enough already 🙂

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Sorry for the long post.  As always, it is more for me than anyone else. I hope you have a lovely New Year’s and that the year ahead is happy, successful, fulfilling and authentic.  I hope you have love and laughter, joy and positive experiences.  Learn lots, love lots and let go.

Happy New Year everyone – see you in 2016 x

Merry Christmas (A Snowman in a Fridge)

Merry Christmas (A Snowman in a Fridge)

Merry Christmas to you all.  I hope that your day is festive and fabulous, joyful and filled with good times, good people and lots of love.  If you’re on your own (and would rather not be), I am sending you hugs and friendship (although, as I said in my previous post, I am rubbish at hugs – I’ll try not to make this awkward for you on Christmas Day).  If you’re on your own (and are delighted to be so), I am wishing you peace and tranquillity, contentment and the freedom to enjoy your day however, and wherever, you see fit.  Christmas comes I all shapes and sizes, after all.

Just a little video link here, for you all.  Warning : it is sappy and sweet and delightful and, if you’re anything like me, it will make you blub.  Bring some tissues.  Then go hug someone and tell them you love them.

A Very Important Lesson

Have a wonderful day.  Be kind to one another x

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Randomness

Randomness

I haven’t done a “Random Facts about Me” post for a while, which is surprising when you think about how random I actually am at any given moment.  These posts are fairly self-indulgent but I am bored and need to write something and, because my house is VERY TIDY for once, I cannot bear to do any crafting and mess it up just in order to write a post.

So, here are some more random morsels of information about me.  Please do not use them to steal my identity or write some sort of unauthorised biography that will shame my family.  They already know I’m a weirdo – they don’t need to see it in writing.  None of them read this, so it’s ok.

  1. I have OCD.  Or, as I like to call it OOCD (Occasional Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).  I do things like counting stuff before I go to bed, doing things in a certain order etc.  My pegs on the washing line have to match – not only match but be colour-coordinated with the item they are hanging.  I should just get all the same coloured pegs so they all match and then I wouldn’t have this problem and laundry wouldn’t take me twice as long as it should.  Sometimes my OOCD is worse than other times.  Stress makes it worse and then it can be difficult for me to leave the house in a timely fashion – it takes time to check locks and power switches, count something over and over etc.  But I don’t do the obsessive hand-washing thing or over-the-top house-cleaning (ha! as if!).  The tags on my bathroom towels have to face inwards – to not do that makes me frantic.  I have to put my shoes on in a certain order (which makes me very grateful that I only have two feet to choose from) and even saying prayers is probably due to compulsion rather than any kind of obligation.  I mean, I’m not even religious but I do have to say a prayer at night.  Otherwise, obviously, the WORLD WILL COLLAPSE AND IT WILL ALL BE MY FAULT!!!  Some days I don’t have issues at all (hence the “occasional”) but it makes its presence known when I am down or emotional or worried about other things.  Hardly anyone knows about this.  But now you do. Keep it to yourself.
  2. I am a bit obsessed with Law and Order : Criminal Intent, and have been, since it started in 2001.  I watch it over and over again when I am needing comfort and de-stressing.  I am slightly in love with Vincent D’Onofrio’s character, Robert Goren.  I have pretty much given up on all other men, except for him.  He’s perfect.  My friends think I am a crazy person, and my male friends do not understand my fascination with this head-tilting, quirky, eccentric detective.  I don’t care. 
  3. I have night terrors.  A lot. I have always had them, since I was a child.  They are called “terrors” for a reason – they are terrifying.  My family grew used to me screaming at night, which gives you some indication of how often I was doing it.  Used to freak my ex-husband out.  Medication helps to some extent, but since coming off my anti-depressants and other sleep-inducing drugs, I am back to doing the nightly screech & wake.  I hate it.  I don’t know why I do it.  I’m sure the neighbours think I’m being murdered or something.  Why can’t I have nice dreams about winning the lottery and marrying certain NYPD  detectives?  It seems very unfair, and something I should have grown out of a long time ago.
  4. I don’t like gold jewellery.  I never wear it.  Even when people give it to me (on the odd occasion), I keep it in its box and don’t wear it.  I only like silver.  I feel bad, but people will insist on giving it to you as though they’re going to convert you to their side.  I don’t like gold.  It looks super tacky to me, does not go with my skin tone and is very expensive.  Let us not forget that I am simple, very pale, and very tight where money is concerned.  Thank you for giving me jewellery though, if you have.  You’ll never see me wearing it though.
  5. I hate abbreviations in text or written message.  Do not “OMG” me.  Do not use “totes” in a sentence or expect me to me say/type  “LOL”.  I will not do it, no matter how much of a hurry I am in.  I am not a thirteen year old girl.
  6. I am a very bad vegetarian.  Sometimes I eat fish.  I feel desperately guilty about this.
  7. I once stole a piece of a castle when I visited the UK, twenty years ago.  It was just a bit of broken brick in a castle ruin, but I still feel like I am days away from being apprehended by Interpol or something.
  8. I sing, a lot.  But NEVER in front of anyone.  I will literally quit my job or jump off a bridge if someone tries to force me to do it.  Same goes with dancing.  I get jiggy with it at home in my PJs, but no one else will ever witness it. 
  9. I am a chronic blusher.  I will turn rosy-cheeked at the slightest provocation.  It tormented me in my high-school years.  I looked like I permanently had a fever.
  10. I have never been drunk.  I don’t see the point in it.
  11. I have never smoked.  I don’t see the point in it.  It is for stupid people and I try very hard not to be stupid, if I can help it.
  12. I am terrified of social situations.  I would rather rip out my own appendix than go to a party.  Fortunately, my body is very much in tune with my brain and emotions, so I can, however unintentionally, make myself physically ill enough to prevent me from going to parties and having to interact with people.  Again, something I should have grown out of.  But it’s a bit late now.
  13. I can’t wear yellow.  It makes me look very ill.  I actually like yellow, but it does not like me.  If I wear it, I look like I have gone into liver failure or have caught some sort of plague.
  14. I have been a bridesmaid three times.  That is enough.  I shan’t do it again.  You can only wear bad dresses so many times.  Plus you always have to dance and I have already explained my aversion to that. Dancing in a bad dress is just an unkind form of punishment, perpetuated by people who are supposed to care about you.
  15. I get violently angry when people spell “lose” with an extra “o”.  It makes me apoplectic.
  16. I like using the word “apoplectic”. 
  17. I have had approximately 20-25 geese during my life.  I love them.  I wish I had some now but I don’t think they would like living in a courtyard with no grass.  And my neighbours would complain.  Even though geese are AWESOME and anyone who thinks otherwise is a crazy person.IMG_1420
  18. My Mum is buying me some plastic bowls for Christmas because I keep breaking my ceramic ones.  I can no longer be trusted with nice things.
  19. I love writing. I don’t claim to be any good at it but I do enjoy it.  I like waffling, basically.  Having a blog is a great outlet for this.  Having people occasionally read it is amazing and humbling.  And somewhat scary.  But it also keeps you honest and evolving and accountable, I suppose.  I’ve stopped worrying about revealing things about myself that may be embarrassing.  At least I’m not lying or making myself out to be something I’m not.  I have wanted to write a book since I was little, but have yet to get started on that.  I don’t know what it would be about.  A goose-loving, messy, slightly crazy grammar nazi who falls in love with an NYPD detective and lives happily ever after in a house with no breakables.  Sounds like a best seller to me, people!
  20. I am terrible at hugs.  I want to be better at them but I am very awkward.  I seem to not be able to coordinate my arms and the rest of my body into one organised movement.  Plus I have tremendous self-image issues so I feel that any physical contact with people will only give them tactile proof that I am hideously repulsive. At the same time, I am desperate for hugs and affection.  Such is the dichotomy of my life. 

21.      “Dichotomy” is another word I like using.

So, that’s pretty much all I can come up with today (thank goodness for that, you say!).  About half way through I lost interest.  I hope you stuck with it though.  Any suggestions for what I can call my best-selling novel will be kindly accepted, as will step-by-step instructions for the perfect hug.  If you know a cure for night terrors and social anxiety, let me know that too – I am all ears/eyes.  Just don’t ask me to dance 🙂

Garden of Delights

Garden of Delights

I have nothing to say today.  My brain is all Christmas-ed out and I am incapable of speech much of the time, let alone actually writing coherently.  So here are some pretty photos of plants.  My succulents (every time I say “my succulents” it sounds like some sort of rude euphemism) are doing very well at the moment, if I do say so myself.  Well, to be honest, they are always doing well – that’s why I have them.  The death rate with succulents, even for a brown thumb like me, is relatively low and they never cease to amaze and delight me with their ever-changing colour and pretty blossoms (which always seems to spring out of nowhere and are just suddenly THERE).

I love the little “babies” that grow from the tiniest dropped leaf.  I can’t throw any part of them away – it makes me feel terrible.  So I have succulents propagating all over the place.  They make me happy.  In the absence of any pets (sigh…sad face), a few cheerful plants around the place gives me something to care for (badly) and talk to (crazily).  Plus it makes me look like I know what I am doing, in terms of gardening, when generally I am a forgetting-to-water things kind of girl.

Hope you are having a bright and happy day 🙂

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Blue Flax Lily

Blue Flax Lily

We are very lucky at my work to be surrounded by native bushland and I often go for a wander in my lunch break to spend some time amongst the trees and wildflowers, birds and lizards (and, most likely, a large population of snakes) that inhabit the blocks around us.  We are also fortunate to have a pretty courtyard garden that has been lovingly brought to life and tended by one of my colleagues.  It has succulents and natives, flowering annuals and larger species such as frangipanis and hippeastrums.

Earlier this year, we had our big international dementia conference, and part of our displays included a gorgeous native sensory garden, which I was lucky enough to work in (a nice way to spend a day at work is in a garden – even if it is inside a convention centre!).  It featured lots of beautiful natives that are particularly fragrant or textured – great for people with dementia to touch, smell and experience safely.

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One of the plants displayed was the Blue Flax Lily – a gorgeous grassy-looking native with AMAZING blue “berries”.  The fruit is a ridiculously bright purple-blue and stands out amongst the more muted, dull browns of the bushland.  We also have a potted example in our courtyard garden (a leftover from the Conference) and I have been out there this morning, taking photos of it, as you do.  I desperately want to try one of the berries – they are absolutely edible and a tasty “bush tucker” treat.  At the moment there are only two or three berries on there and I don’t want to pick them because a.)  that would be a bit mean and b.) knowing me, I won’t like the taste and then they’ll be wasted.

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But, if nothing else, they are so darn pretty to look at.  I look forward to them growing bigger and getting more fruit on them.  Then I won’t have to feel guilty about stealing the berries ha ha, but also because those little flashes of blue are a delight.  Nature is so amazing 🙂

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You can read more about the Blue Flax Lily HERE

Fingerprint Reindeers

Fingerprint Reindeers

Earlier in the week, I was ranting about being unorganised for Christmas and panicking about not having time to get any cards made.  I wanted to have handmade cards but needed a super quick design that I could get done in an evening and make multiples at once.  Solution : these adorable little reindeer cards made with fingerprints.

That’s right – fingerprints.  So easy.  A little messy, yes, and don’t do what I did and use archival ink that doesn’t wash off (brown fingertips – so attractive), but really easy and quick and surprisingly effective.  I’d like to be able to take credit for them, but I nicked the idea from cards I had seen on the internet.  If you search “fingerprint reindeer cards”, you’ll get about a bazillion hits.  There’s lots of different designs and ways of making the deers – just choose the one that appeals to you.

It’s basically just two fingerprints for each reindeer – one for the head and slightly larger one for the body (I used my ring finger and index finger) – and then a few details added with marker pens.  SO SIMPLE.  And freaking adorable.  Each little guy has a different expression or attitude.  I added a scarf here and there as well as a heart over their heads.  I made about 25 of them in under two hours.  And then made another 2o the following evening. Let’s remember that I normally can’t even make one card in two hours normally.  So these little gems are a lifesaver for me and will take some of the stress and panic out of my pre-Christmas chaos.  I’m kinda in love with them.

So, give them a try and have lots of fun making a mess.  I certainly did 🙂

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