Funky goals

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I’m in a funk. A funky funk funk funk. It’s not a nice place to be but I’m determined not to wallow, as lovely as wallowing sounds.

I’m determined to set myself some goals to get out of this funky funk funk funk. I need out.

Part of my funk is the fact that we’re back in Melbourne (which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong) but it’s being back here and trying to meld my old self with my new self that’s proving a challenge. I’m working out which of my old friendships are still good for me and which are toxic (and boy, are some of them toxic) and I’m trying to consolidate the old with the new. I’m also back working at my old job and dealing with the same issues that were there 4 years ago. Part of me knew that would be the case and I don’t feel like I have a right to complain about that. Which makes it hard when all I want to do right now is WHINGE and WHINE and COMPLAIN and STAMP MY FEET.


Apparently that’s not productive or something. Whatever.

So instead, I’m setting some goals in the hope that focusing on those goals will take my mind off of being tired (I’m calling about the blood tests tomorrow), being frustrated and being in a funky funk funk funk.

  1. Complete my uni assignments this weekend and give myself time to edit and proof and not have to rush during the week.
  2. Get to the gym more (I spent the evening on the couch with The Boy instead. It was good to wallow for a bit) since part of my funk is that I’ve gained weight and feel unfit and fat.
  3. Work on a plan to change jobs or have a different focus to my job by July 2012. That will be just over a year in this job and I can focus on that when I get frustrated. By that time, maybe we’ll have decided to have kids, maybe I’ll be happy there, maybe I’ll forget all about this funk. But for now, having that goal will be good.
  4. Blog more often and write every day. I have to work on this goal as it’s part of my longterm plan but I’m procrastinating for no reason at all. It’s all about habit.
  5. Once uni is over, I’d like to make at least 2 new recipes a week. I have a ton of cookbooks that I should actually USE and they’re all healthy options, which would make us eat better, instead of having toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner.
  6. Oh, and drink more water. That’s on every goal list.
So, 6 goals to focus on at the moment. Some big, some small. The small ones will end up pulling me out more than the big ones but I like having big picture goals. And realising that they’re doable because they are.
Hey Funky funk funk funk? You’re done for, you hear me?
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Staying afloat

I know I’ve been a bit quiet here and it’s ridiculous because I finally have the time to blog and I’m not blogging.

The truth is that I’m struggling to be cheerful at times and I find it hard to blog when I’m, well, slightly depressed. Or rather in a funk.

I’m trying really hard to enjoy my time off and enjoy the sunshine and lovely weather we’ve been having. I mean, doesn’t everyone want to be outside in summer and not in an office? And here I am, with all the time in the world to enjoy the sunshine and I’m bitching about it? RIDICULOUS I say.

But it’s challenging. This is the first time since I was 14 (and 3/4) that I haven’t been working. The minute I could get a job, I did and I didn’t stop. I feel bored and stuck and frustrated. I hate not contributing to the budget at all but I know I’m lucky that The Boy’s salary is enough for us to live on. I feel like I’m losing brain cells on a daily basis and when it comes to conversations, I have very little to contribute. I mean, what did I do during my day? Laundry, grocery shopping, I read a bit. Boring really.

But I need a schedule! I said this the other week. I ignore my own advice (don’t we all do that?)

My schedule is going to include 5 days of gym in some way – heck, I have the time now, no excuses! Even if it’s a home workout on a day like today – it’s pouring outside – I need activity. I also need personal interaction but that’s another story.

I bit the bullet yesterday and signed up for more pilates classes at Peak Pilates which is hardly cheap but worth it since my hip has been feeling better since I started the classes. I didn’t sign up for more personal training though – can’t justify that while I have workout plans. I just need to implement the plans.

People, I need your help. I need pushing here and on twitter (@BelletristNZ). I need you to remind me to be active, to engage my brain and to be thankful. If anyone has any connections in Melbourne, Australia, I also need a job there for the new year. But that’s another story altogether.


Let the sun shine

The last two weeks were tough. I was – let’s not mince words here – depressed. I was lonely and struggling with boring work that would normally be something I’d get an assistant to do. I felt quite hopeless that things would ever change.

I had a few crying/shouting/grumpy jags and was not pleasant to live with. The Boy deserves a medal for putting up with me.

But we talked. And talked. And then talked some more. There may have been some heated discussions – heck, I’m emotional at the best of times, so add some angst and the tears just fall. But I’d like to think that we talked it out and worked out some things.

I also spent the week in Melbourne and despite the stress of wedding planning, it was the best thing for me. I feel so rejuvenated this week. I feel hopeful. There’s a plan in place. Things are not going to change overnight – they never do – but it’s funny, once I have a plan in place, I can deal with things better.

And I came home to a blogging opportunity (unpaid but great experience), a last minute spot in a great writing workshop I was bummed to miss out on, and blue skies and sunshine. It’s still winter but it’s showing signs of spring, and that’s a good thing.

And tonight, we’re out for dinner with friends and tomorrow I’m back at the gym. New week, new outlook.

Grey day

I’m having a grey day today.

It’s Monday.

It’s overcast and windy and rainy. The world is grey outside. Seriously, it looks like all the colour in the world has been sucked out and replaced with shades of grey. And my mood seems to match.

I had a lovely relaxing weekend, doing very little and technically that should have set the scene for a lovely week. But I woke up this morning in a mood and I’m struggling to shake it. So today’s post will be rather random.

I weighed myself this morning after an awesome week of 5 workouts (count them – one, two, three, four, FIVE) but a weekend of eating out. I lost absolutely nothing. Nada. In fact, it seems I may have GAINED half a pound. Which is nothing, I know. But BLEGH. I have my official gym weigh-in at 4pm this afternoon and I really don’t feel like explaining to my trainer that we ate out twice this week and somehow that translates to no loss.

I’m focusing on the fact that my muscles ache and I’m planning my weight training more and more. This is GOOD. Weight means nothing. I know this. You know this. And yet, the mood remains.

I have a ton of work to get through which I ignored all weekend, because I needed a weekend. And now I have to do it. This faces everyone come Monday morning but I’m dreading it.

We’re in for a massive storm today and for the rest of this week, so no wandering to the shops for me. It means that I have to go to the gym to get any exercise in. I’ve been majorly spoiled over the last 12 months – 12 months of spring, summer, spring and then summer again. That’s what happens when you move hemispheres, but now that I’m in wintery weather, my body is not happy. Damn the grey skies!

Apologies for the grey post.

Attacking the Sugar Monster

Now that my mood is on track and I’m not fighting tooth and nail to avoid the big black hole, I’ve got to tackle the no-good terrible eating I’ve started.

Namely, I have to attack the Sugar Monster.
I’ve been eating tons of chocolate and cookies and snacking like you won’t believe. It’s not as though I’m hungry really. It’s just there and I’m bored and annoyed and I eat it. And then I feel like crap for eating it and I stare at my belly in the bathroom mirror and lament and promise that tomorrow will be better.

And then tomorrow comes and I eat chocolate.

So, today is Wednesday. From now (lunchtime), no more chocolate. No more.

Tonight I’m off to a cooking class at a company called Main Course. The class I’m taking is one called “The Modern Vegetarian”. Now neither The Boy nor I are vegetarian, but I figure it’s always good to have a repertoire of good meat-less meals for those who are on the meat-less path. My parents only eat Kosher meat (chicken and red meat) so it means that when I cook for them, it’s usually only fish or veggie. And The Boy doesn’t eat a lot of fish, so it would be good to have some veggie meals on hand.

Also, I love to cook. I love to try new things. And this looks like a good way to indulge this passion AND meet new people. Bonus, right?

I’m so so so excited (I just can’t hide it…). It’s a 2.5 hour class where we make a 3 course meal. They supply the ingredients (I hope they also supply containers to take it home) and we get to cook. Not watch someone else cook. Actually cook ourselves. And I’m hoping that the recipes are delicious AND healthy.

If this goes well, I’m going to sign up for a ton more classes for when I get back from Melbourne. We’re in Melbourne for 2 weeks from March 5 – 20 which will be AWESOME – seeing family, friends, organising wedding stuff. It’ll be a good break I think, even though I’ll be working straight through pretty much. Except for the weekend of my brother’s wedding of course. That would be wrong.

Thank you

Thank you thank you thank you

This is what I love about blogging.

This community. You. Reaching out, making me feel normal and no longer isolated.

Last week was a tough week. This week is shaping up to be better for a number of reasons:

  1. My bookclub group rocked last Thursday. They’re all expats from somewhere – mainly from the UK but not exclusively. So they all know what it’s like to move and need to make friends. I mentioned inviting them over for coffee and cake one day and I think I will. It’ll probably have to be after the Melbourne trip in March but it’s on the cards.
  2. The Boy took the day off on Saturday completely unbidden and we hung out the whole day. It was lovely. To me, this is romantic, strangely enough.
  3. I’ve pushed myself to be more social. I spent the evening with C, a friend of The Boy’s last night and it was fun. I’m making myself a nice dinner tonight. Tomorrow is the cooking class. Thursday is dinner with the in-laws to be. Even when I’d prefer to chill on the couch reading, I’m pushing myself. I know I enjoy it when I’m out and it’s good for me.
  4. I’m still not back running or at the gym but I’m walking a lot more. I walked into the city on Sunday, I walked to the bank and joined a library yesterday and I’ll go for a nice long walk later. Getting air, getting space, getting exercise.

So my mood is up this week. And despite little stresses, that’s where it’s going to stay. When The Boy comes home on Thursday, I’ll be ‘right!

Thanks again for all the virtual love people!

Avoiding the truth

Since my terrible no-good weekend (see the last post), I’ve been hiding from a glaringly obvious truth. I’ve been putting on the game face and being all FINE and GOOD and SUNSHINE as much as possible. Because to do anything else would be admitting it and if I admit it, it’s true and if it’s true, then I have to face it.

Last night I faced it.

The black hole. The sucky annoying black hole.

Let’s face it together, shall we?

It’s been 4 months since I left Canada. Almost four months since I moved here, to a place where I have no friends, no work colleagues. I have The Boy and his family (lovely) and his friends but he’s not a hugely social being so there aren’t a ton of friends to talk about there. And they’re not my friends yet really, except for one or two. I work alone in my rented office and I can go through entire days not talking to anyone (and here I don’t count myself. I talk to myself all.the.time). The other day I was in a store where the salesgirl was Canadian and she commented on my very Canadian pendant. I was so excited to chat to her but eventually I had to leave, as it was getting embarrassing.

My mother called me while I was walking (my mother has a sixth sense) and I started bawling. But still, I couldn’t face it.

I’m lonely. I’m struggling to make friends, to be social, to feel settled. I feel fine when The Boy is around but as soon as he goes off to work, I feel all at sea. The knot in my stomach tightens, the tears well and I have to fight to stay afloat. It’s been worse this week and it’s already getting easier (no crying today as yet) but it’s hard.

And I knew it would be but I don’t think I allowed myself to really  know, you know? My exercise has been awful because while I know it always makes me feel better, I can’t get the energy or motivation to actually do it. Chocolate has been awesome if by awesome I mean I’m eating it everyday.

But hey, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? So here goes: I’m falling into the hole but I’m pulling myself out at the same time. I’ll try not to be all whiny all the time but it’s hard. And I’m doing stuff to get myself out. I have bookclub tonight. I have a cooking class next week when The Boy is away for the whole week (you may need to be there for me next week) and I’m breathing.

That’s a start, right?

Time to inspire

Right-o. I’ve had enough of the mopey me, focusing on the negative aspects of my body. It’s time for reminder post:

Last week, my supposedly flabby arms helped me bench press 50lbs. True, we (and my chest) only managed 10 reps instead of 12, but holy shivers, I’m impressed. That’s the most I’ve ever pressed.

Last week my stocky little legs helped me leg press 130lbs. Which is a bit more than I weigh. I pressed me on that machine. AWESOME.

I spent the day with my cousins on Sunday and we walked 10km over 4 hours in the middle of the day heat and my stocky little legs carried me FINE. My lungs worked perfectly and, despite a little dehydration, I emerged unscathed.

I’m pretty tired and I’m finding myself exhausted come 8:30 at night but I know that once I push through it, I’m fine. It’s a little bit of the depression coming through, I know. And I also know that I’m not a hostage to it.

This week will be a GREAT week. Even if I have to force it to be.

Here, take my hand

I like to think I’m a strong person. I like to think I know what I need and how to get it. I like to think that after everything I’ve been through, I know how to ask for help and how it’s not weak to admit that you need help.

I like to think all these things but in reality, I’m not as smart as I’d like to be. Instead of admitting that I’m not perfect and strong and unaffected by life and events, I hide behind the whole “if I don’t talk about it, it’s not there” façade sometimes.

This is not to say I don’t get affected by life and events and stuff – hell no, I am an emotional person. I cry from sadness, I cry from anger, I cry from frustration. I cry without realizing that I’m emotional and then I have to stop and think “why the heck am I crying?”, which is a little disconcerting when it happens in front of a friend.

When I started telling people I was moving at the end of September, so many people told me how stressful it would be and how I’d need help and I laughed it off. I listened but didn’t really listen to them. I was all “I’ve done this before, I was fine, and I’ll be fine this time too” and look where that got me.

Last week I was convinced that my anxiety and restlessness was because of my sinus medication. While I have no doubt that it contributed, I was wrong. Had I been right, the anxiety would have gone away And what do you know, it didn’t. In fact, the anxiety was joined by a lack of motivation, anti-social behavior and constant exhaustion.

What’s that you say? It sounds like depression? Well, you’d be right. It took me a littlebitlot longer to get there. You, my friend, are smart. Me, not so much all the time.

I had a mini meltdown on Monday (hey, lookit that alliteration!) and had a few tearful conversations with my folks and then with the Boy the next morning. I really clicked on Monday that I was falling into the hole and it scared me. It scared me enough to write a post about it and then, at the last minute, make it private because making it public would make it real and I still wasn’t ready for that.

I’ve done the medication thing before and I had a love-hate relationship with it. Loved the fact that it stopped the tears and overwhelming sadness and lethargy. Hated how difficult it was to get off it and how it made everything so much the same. I needed it at the time but I really don’t want to go back there unless I absolutely have to. But I realized on Monday that I needed something to calm me, something to help me focus and not get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and cannot be done and omg I’m such a failure – you know, that stuff.

On Tuesday we had a power outage which saw us all being sent home at 2:30, so I took the opportunity to suck it up and go to my local healthfood store and ask about something natural. I didn’t want something with side effects or something that would take forever to kick in. I wanted something simple to calm me down a bit, that I could take easily and not worry about. Enter Holy Basil. No, I’d never heard of it before either. But apparently it’s really good for calming you down, with a great side job as an anti-inflammatory and asthma reliever.

I took 1 tablet on Tuesday night and am sticking to 2 a day (as recommended) for the moment. I’m feeling a ton better – more relaxed and focused and definitely not as anxious. And as a FANTASTIC side effect, my asthma feels better too. I know a lot of the natural remedies can be a mixture of psychosomatic and real physical improvements, much like a combination placebo effect, but whatever it is, I am feeling better physically and emotionally and for that, I’m grateful.

Now, if I could only find a pill to make my assistant smarter and actually willing to make my life easier, then life would be perfect. Anyone?

Dark moods and sunshine

All week I’ve been in a weird funk. I don’t know what it is but this week has seemed insanely long. At lunchtime on Monday I was ready to call it quits. Everyday has been full-on with meetings and conference calls and frustrations. We’ve had a bunch of lay-offs at the office so the atmosphere is strange generally.

Today was a weird day. I woke up with a huge headache – almost as though I was hungover but I’d only had one light beer at drinks last night so I knew it wasn’t that. It was bad enough that I was tempted to work from home, until I had a look at my schedule and realised that I had to be in the office – I had a company wide meeting in the morning and then an afternoon jam-packed with meetings I’d called. There was no way I could miss my own meetings. So I grudgingly went into work.

And that was the mood all day. I grudgingly got tea with a colleague who proceeded to bitch about the usual stuff at work, stuff that’s never going to change and honestly, she should either suck it up or move on. I grudgingly attended the company wide meeting where we were bombarded with financials and figures that showed how yes, we did well, but we didn’t make targets. I listened to the usual stuff about employee engagement and actually asked a question in Question Time, but all the time I sat there wishing I hadn’t gone for tea and drunk half a bottle of water before the 90 minute meeting.

All my afternoon meetings went well, but I was in a mood and on the verge of snapping at people. One of my support staff casually told me via email that she is going to be away in August on vacation and while I can begrudge anyone vacation time, I was livid that she hadn’t mentioned it to me when I offered her the project.

I feel like my life is so in transition, that I’m waiting for the next act to start and I’m in limbo. It’s a weird, frustrating feeling. I’m missing my parents, which happened last year as well when they left. I’m surrounded by people going through breakups which is draining. I’m eating crap, not sleeping well and feeling a *little* low and scared I’m going to fall into the hole. I know I’m not because I’m aware of the feelings but it sucks a little.

I know that once this week is over, I’ll force myself to be social, to get out, to sleep in, to relax. And I’ll feel better. I’ll make myself feel better.

Sorry for the rambling downer of a post. I promise next week I’ll be more rainbows and unicorns.