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Taking Stock : October

I have been meaning to do a “Taking Stock” list for ages.  Pip Lincolne posts them on her lovely blog Meet Me at Mike’s and they always inspire me to do the same.  But I have yet to do it.  So here goes…..

Cooking : Curries – I am trying to make a decent one.  I have a delightful library volunteer (she’s Indian) who brings me equally delightful meals and I am pretty sure she uses some kind of witchcraft on them because they are SO GOOD.

Drinking : Yorkshire Tea.  I always drink tea but am finding I need an extra strong brew these days, so Yorkshire Tea it is.  That, or I dunk two regular teabags in my cup. And then walk away, forget about it, and come back to a cup of tea that is so strong the spoon stands up in it.

Listening to: Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John Seriously – two of my fave artists combined?  Hello!?  Awesomeness. Have you never been mellow, indeed.

Reading: The Little Paris Bookshop  It’s a lovely story about a floating bookshop in Paris and the owner who “possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers”.

Next read: Haven’t made my mid up yet, because I have SO MANY books to read at home.  But I think I will tackle The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.

Making: Lots of collages.  Which, in turn, means I am making lots of mess.

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Wanting: An electric drill.  It is time I made the commitment to proper DIY projects and got myself some power tools.  It will probably end in disaster, let’s face it.

Looking: For old drawers.  Of the furniture / storage variety.  I don’t mean knickers.  I want to make some groovy storage / shelving thingies from them.  Have a look at some of the ideas HERE

Deciding: On what to do with my life.  This is a recurring theme for me.  But I feel very anxious about it all.  I am thinking about going to a career counsellor.  I can’t work out if they are a load of nonsense or actually quite a good idea.

Wishing: For world peace, obviously.  But also a Lotto win, a flatter stomach, reliable hair and comfortable (yet fabulous) shoes.  Mostly the Lotto win – I really need that.

Enjoying: Strawberries.  We’re in the midst of a bit of strawberry scare at the moment in Australia (some fool has been putting needles in them as some sort of disgruntled-ex-employee protest) but I have been bravely soldiering on and enjoying these luscious little bites of sweetness.  They are so tasty right now.  I could eat a whole punnet in one sitting.

Waiting: For Spring to really kick in.  We’ve had some lovely sunny days, but they’ve been interspersed with very rainy, cold, miserable, ugh kind of days that make me ache and want to hide under a blanket.

Loving: A new discovery, The Rustic Gallery  Full of lovely old and not-so-old STUFF.  Rusty yumminess – everything from furniture to homewares, garden pieces, hardware, tools etc.  Beautifully set out, really well organised and very reasonably priced.  There are treasures around every corner.  You must visit!

Considering: Joining a gym.  It’s a ridiculously scary idea for me.  My physio wants me to start strengthening up and is encouraging me to go to the gym to work on this.  It is freaking me out.  I am not a gym person.  If I could work out in the dark, with no one else around, I would be ok.

Buying: DIY stuff.  Spray paint and house paint and staple guns (!) and all manner of handyman-esque items.  Injury is imminent.

Watching: That should read “binge-watching”.  Because I am overdosing on episodes of Lee Mack’s hilarious sitcom Not Going Out.  I admit to loving him just a little bit.  I have several years of the show to catch up on so it’s nightly viewing for me at the moment.  I’m also watching Jamie Ray Vintage on Youtube.  Her videos make me want to paint and upcycle everything in sight.

Cringing: At my thighs.  Sigh.  I don’t know how they happened.  And also at Donald Trump.  I don’t know how he happened either.

Needing: A hug.  I am not a touchy-feely person and everyone who knows me knows I am not a hugger, so when I say I need a hug, things must be getting tricky.

Smelling: The last remnants of my favourite perfume from Somethin Special.  It’s called Butt Naked.  Which is a horrible name that I am embarrassed to tell people about, but it smells like heaven on a stick.  I must order some more directly.

Wearing: Trousers and jeans.  Ugh, I hate them.  But I have put on weight and none of my skirts fit right now so I have to wear pants.  Many of them with elastic waists.  Which make me cry and want to hide in a cave somewhere.

Worrying: About the future.  A LOT.  Everything seems so unstable and scary, both personally and around the world in general.  I don’t remember there being a time like this, where nothing makes sense and everything seems crazy and upsetting.  The wrong people are in power and it frightens me.  We seem to be evolving backwards.

Knowing: I need a haircut.  Every day I have the same conversation with myself about booking an appointment, but do I do anything about it?  No.  I do not.  I am starting to look like a bedraggled yeti.

Thinking: Way too much.  How do you switch your brain off?  I am attending a Mindfulness workshop next week to see if I can learn to be more “in the moment” and all that stuff.  Most of my health issues are connected to my inability to relax, both physically and mentally so I have to try and do something about it.  Fingers crossed! (and then uncrossed…and relaxed…) 🙂

Sorting: Lots of sorting!  I have just gone through three ENORMOUS boxes of paperwork and shredded/sorted/filed it.  It’s a job I had been meaning to do for YEARS.  Like, why did I have receipts from car repairs I had done 15 years ago?  Why???  I am culling books and clothes and STUFF as well.  Just trying to get in some sort of order.

Getting: Into meditation and mindfulness.  I am trying so hard to calm my mind and stop being so anxious, panicky and sad (usually all at the same time).  I have bought a new little CD player, so I can do some guided meditation at night before bed and I am trying really hard to stay mindful and BREATHE during the day.  It’s not easy.  But at least I am trying.

Coveting: Phil Collins tickets.  I tried to book tickets (the crappiest, cheapest seats I could get) and they had all sold out within minutes.  The next class of tickets was too rich for my blood so I had to bow out.  So sad. *cries*

Disliking: The way people behave on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.  Who are these people who like to troll and abuse folks they don’t even know?

Feeling: Tired.  Tired.  Tired.  And middle-aged.  That one crept up on me…

Admiring: My dear friend for packing up her unsatisfying life and moving on to bigger and better things in a faraway location where she will know no one and have to fend for herself in an isolated location.  She is so much braver than me.  But I will miss her 😦

Snacking: Way too much.  I recently made these three-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies and it wasn’t so much snacking as a cram-them-all-in-my-gob-at-once kinda scenario. They. Are. Delicious.

Giggling: At the antics of my temporary lodger, Ella the guinea pig.  She’s my niece’s little piggy and she’s adorable.  I am looking after her while her “people” are away.  She never stops eating.  I believe we are kindred spirits.

 

So, that’s my October.  What are your plans?  Are you looking forward to Spring cleaning, Halloween and the start of Christmas shopping?  Or is October just another month to you – one that flies by like the rest of them?  Whatever you are doing, I hope your month is creative and happy.

Thanks for dropping in x

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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