Remembering lost moments


Yesterday was a friend’s birthday and so Facebook was filled with posts wishing her a happy birthday. Except she’s not around to read those posts anymore. She passed away in February this year – a cruel loss thanks to cancer, a loss I think about every day.

She was an intensely private person and, as per her wishes, her husband deleted her Facebook page not long after her funeral because the last thing she wanted was an ever-present memorial online. That doesn’t mean that we think of her any less but it does mean that grieving is different. Which meant that, as I opened up Facebook yesterday, I wondered if the day would pass unseen or whether we would be ‘allowed’ to celebrate. I was thrilled to see a few posts pop up and so I joined the fray, carefully, vaguely. But it made me feel as if I was remembering her properly.

And then I start to remember all the lost moments, the moments when I thought I’d have all the time in the world to do something, to say something, to tell someone how much they mean to me. All those times when I made a decision to do something else, something that was the right decision at the time but something that I would give anything to redo now, in light of what I know.

I know now that a healthy bank balance is good but memories made with friends are better.

I know now that friendships change as our needs change and forcing them to stay static does nobody any good.

I know now that I value the inconsequential moments most – the laughs over a cup of tea, the texts that pop up when you need them most, the regular catch-ups you take for granted.

I think about my dear friend every day as I sit on the tram and pass by where she used to live, where we used to go for brunch, where she spent her last days. I remember fragments of conversations and some things make me laugh and others make me tear up.

As much as these moments and memories hurt sometimes, I cherish them. They’re a link to the past, a link to her.

 

I should be (so) committed …


I had to laugh tonight. 

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and feeling grotty. I briefly entertained the idea of calling in sick before I remembered that I had a meeting this afternoon that I was running and tons to get done for it beforehand. Calling in sick was out of the question. And I had a personal training session after work that my trainer had specifically changed to suit my schedule. I couldn’t exactly cancel on him (again).

So I packed my gym clothes, my lunch, some snacks and rugged up in scarf and coat to head out to the tram stop. I somehow left the house in sneakers and forgot to pack my proper work shoes so I told everyone that it was totally intentional. Yeah, that’s it. Totally intentional to wear sneakers at work all day.

But onwards. I worked through lunch getting material ready for my meeting and dosed myself up on cold and flu meds (sidenote: I totally typed ‘cold and fun meds’ just then and I reckon they should change the name. Or not. Maybe not.) to get through the day. I knew though that what I was feeling (strike that, what I AM feeling) was a head cold and I really had no excuse for not going to the gym. 

Knowing that I’m all about looking the part (it fools my brain into thinking I work out more than I actually do), I changed into my gym gear at the office and trudged to the tram stop. On the way, I ran into a colleague who takes the same tram so we chatted the whole way. Which brings to what made me laugh.

She kept telling me that I was so committed to be working out straight from work and being so healthy and strong etc etc. Maybe three years ago that would have been true – you remember, when I actually went to the gym more than once a fortnight, when I had strength and could do regular pushups? – but now? Now I’m a wuss. Yes, I go to the gym and yes, I go to Pilates (sometimes) and yes, I try get my 10,000 steps every day, but I’m hardly a gym junkie.

But, as they say, it’s all about perception. And to her, I’m committed. Which made me feel good, actually. Not so good that I’d get up to fit a workout in tomorrow or anything, but good nonetheless. 

Being thrifty AKA use it or lose it


In March, The Boy quit his job and walked out into the great unknown – in other words, he started his own business. It’s been a wild 3 and a bit months and while we’re not swimming in money as yet, he’s doing brilliantly and, more importantly, he’s really happy again. The last year or so of his old job really wore him down and it’s nice to have him back, as it were.

And while he is bringing in money, we’re still at the stage where everything that comes in from the business goes straight back into the business to buy equipment and whatnot. All this means that we’re living on my AMAZING FANTASTIC publishing salary. If you know anything about publishing, it’s all about the love of the industry etc etc – a long-winded way of saying none of us are going to be millionaires anytime soon!

It’s very easy to get comfortable when you’re on two salaries but it’s a bit of a rude shock to move onto one salary, even when you’re expecting it. We’ve been really lucky in a few ways though:

  1. I’m a saver and we have a good stash o’ cash to cushion us. Obviously, we don’t want to use it all but it’s good to have it there
  2. We have family around us to support us if the going gets tough. I know that if I were to mention to my mother that we were down to rice and beans for dinner, she’d be over in an instant with meals for the freezer and offers of grocery shopping. Not everyone has that support available.
  3. It’s just the two of us – we’re kidless so far (which is not great in some ways) which means that we can keep our expenses down fairly easily without suffering. 
  4. We have absolutely no debt – car loan is paid off (as of this month – huzzah!) and we only spend what we can afford on the credit cards.

This is all great but there’s so much more we can do to make things easier on ourselves. This week, I’m setting myself a massive challenge – to cook from the pantry. That means no extraneous grocery shopping for random things that we may need one day or for recipes I suddenly get a craving for. We have so much food in our pantry that we’re not going to starve. Case in point today – I wanted to make something in the slowcooker that called for a can of chopped tomatoes. Normally this is a doddle since we ALWAYS have cans of tomatoes in the pantry. Except today we don’t. Any other day, I would have walked to the grocery store and bought a couple of cans, plus some fruit and then some snacks and maybe some veggies in case we don’t have enough in the freezer. And voila, there’s $40 gone. Repeat that every day or so and suddenly you have a packed pantry and a sad bank account.

So instead of buying more tomatoes, I added them to the list for next week and made something else instead using ingredients we already have. And I’ll keep doing that all week at least to see if I can make a dent in the pantry stocks at all. 

Somethings tells me this MAY take longer than a week though. Anyone else find themselves in the same boat and want to try the #cookfromthepantry challenge?

Comfortable ruts


A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend of ours lost her battle with leukaemia. She was 27. A beautiful, kind, caring soul who I am missing dreadfully already.

The funeral was on the Thursday, with a memorial on the Friday and, by the end of the week, I was drained of all energy and emotion.

Until the next moment when I remember what had happened and I cried again. It was a lot like that all week. And I’m let it just be because I needed to feel – need to feel – and let myself remember the good times (which make me laugh and then cry) and remember the tough times (which make me sad that she went through it and then glad that she’s not suffering anymore).

And the thing I keep coming back to is that ultimate cliché – life is too short.

And it is. It’s too short to be stuck in a rut, or in a comfort zone, depending on what you call it. Because they’re both the same thing in the end.

It’s hard to make changes. It’s terrifying actually. The Boy has just resigned from his safe job to go out on his own, which is terrifying in many ways, but I’m so proud of him for doing it. Yes, there will be tough times and I will learn to be industrious with tuna, rice and beans but it’s better than living life with regrets and in fear of change.

I told a friend during the week and her response surprised me. She called me naïve and went on about how we have commitments and responsibilities and yes, life is short but we’re adults now and we can’t just chuck it in.

And she’s right. I’m not that naïve to think that we can just chuck it all in and go travel or give our money away to charity and live in a shack on the beach. But at the same time, I think sometimes we need to close our eyes and take a leap, because thinking too long and hard about it can mean we end up doing nothing at all.

I’m not making a resolution or setting a challenge because I know myself and those tend to get forgotten very quickly. All I’m doing is trying to be aware, to challenge my preconceptions, to push a little harder, try something new and maybe learn something about myself and my limits. Because my rut is no longer comfortable.

Needling myself


This week I’ve been sticking myself with needles in the hope of teaching my body to do what it’s supposed to do fertility-wise. For someone who normally dreads blood tests and needles in general, this whole process has forced me to get a helluva lot more comfortable with needles!

Saturday night was the first night of my self-administered injections and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’d practiced at the nurse’s office on a plastic pin cushion but I figured that it wasn’t a true representation – a) it isn’t skin and b) it isn’t MY skin. So while it LOOKED easy, I was slightly queasy with anticipation. The Boy had also practiced but considering that he turns white at the thought of getting a blood test (thanks to one terrible experience as a kid I think), I didn’t want him in charge of any needles. I value my life thank you very much.

9:30 came around and it was TIME. I locked in the metered dose, attached the needle to the epipen-type contraption and it was GO. 

And then it was over. Seriously, 15 seconds after sticking the tiny, thin needle in and pressing down, it was over. 

What a frigging let-down.

(What’s more of a let-down is the fact that the first 6 days of shots didn’t get my body working at all but that’s another post altogether.)

This got me thinking about how many other things in my life I catastrophise and get myself into a state about when, in reality, it’s really not a big deal. It’s so easy to build something up in your mind to such a point that it is no longer a stepping stone through to something greater, but rather a wall without any toe-holds to climb over. 

If nothing else, this process is teaching me that I can get through more than I think I can. That, inevitably, it is my MIND that needs to be needled into realising that everything can be dealt with and nothing is the enemy. Not even a needle or 10. 

“It’s been a long time, been a long time yeah yeah”


Over the years, I’ve shifted away from this little blog because I decided that I didn’t like the narrow focus I’d constructed for myself. I was all about the FITNESS and the FOOD and the DIET and once I got engaged and started moving around the world again, I didn’t know how to blog about other stuff. So I abandoned this space and moved on to other blogs that died slow, sad deaths too. 

I lost the ability to be honest and true in my writing. I started writing for everyone else, for an audience, but, if I’m being honest (which is the whole point of this post), I never started blogging for everyone else. I started blogging for myself. 

Where am I now? 2014. Married, living in Melbourne, Australia, trying to get pregnant, starting a new job shortly just as my husband is planning on starting his own business. There’s a lot on my plate and I need my own space, so here we are. I doubt I even have any readers anymore, but if anyone finds me here, welcome to my little corner of the world. I can’t promise coherent posts or a coherent message. You’re not going to get sponsored reviews and posts coming out of the wazoo. There’ll be some worky work stuff, some meal planning, some how-the-hell-are-we-going-to-live-on-one-salary stuff, some damn-I-hate-fertility-treatment stuff. But one thing I can promise you is that it’s going to be HONEST and REAL. 

Here’s a coffee and a comfy chair – welcome.

Dealing with the motivation drop


It’s inevitable.

You know the moment I’m talking about – when, despite doing well for however long on your eating well and being active goal, you lose any motivation. You get rebellion in its place. Instead of choosing the apple for a snack, you brazenly pick up a chocolate bar a the checkout, knowing that you don’t really need or want it but darn it, you deserve it. You go out for dinner and you deserve to order the massive pasta dish, or chips on the side, or dessert. You’ve been working hard, you deserve it.

And so begins the back slide (no, not backside, although that grows too). You wake up after a big night of eating out and you’re still stuffed, but instead of listening to your body, you keep eating. And who wants to work out on a stuffed belly? Not you, so you take a day off. After all, you deserve it.

Soon enough, you misplace your gym card and your hand weights in front of the TV are gathering dust. Your treat meals go back to being your regular meals and any pretext of deserving it goes out the window.

This usually happens for me after a month because I start seeing scale results quickly as I drop water weight, then start ignoring the scale and focussing on my clothes, which fit so much better. I feel great! So obviously, I lose motivation.

Wha?

Yeah, that makes no sense to me either. Surely when I’m doing well I should be hella motivated? You’d think but alas not. This is the time I have to fight to stay on track, to convince myself that I deserve better than junk food and sitting on the couch, that my body deserves to be active and fed well. Last week was not a good week eating-wise (other than the fact I ate lots of yummy food) and I ended up sitting more than moving, but it’s okay. This week will be better because I’m not letting the motivation drop Have any more of my energy.

I’m trying to focus on following through more this year and actually doing all the things I think of. Like making more friends and going out more. Like exercising more and writing more. Focusing my efforts instead of surfing the web or flicking channels while propped up on the couch. Television can wait. My health can't.

How are you going with your goals so far?