Friday, 28 September 2012

lights, camera, ACTION

I pledge that all blog posts of next week will focus upon ACTION. Not plans or daydreams. Concrete actions that contribute to improving my life somehow.

Just typing this gives me butterflies in my stomach. I feel really excited.

lifelong habits, not goals

Sometimes it is so hard to know what the right path is. I can't help but feel I need to stop worrying about what the future holds and just settle down into life. I need to put effort into my chosen career and be enthusiastic and passionate about what I do. And it is a great career; I am fascinated by the field and its complexities. However I do wonder about what might have been had I made a different choice, and what my next step will be. I have always looked ahead to the future; sometimes too far ahead. I think this is the perfectionist in me; the belief that there is something for me that is 100% perfect and 100% right.

I wish I gave myself over to my hobbies and interests, particularly at a young age. That was my time to experiment with different ideas but with relatively low risk should I make an error. I wish I had the courage to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in. I wish I wasn't afraid to voice my opinions. I wish what people thought of me didn't dictate my actions. I wish I believed in myself enough to try difficult things and to believe that I would not be mediocre.

So today I need to press the "reset" button. I will not seek out novelty or change for the sake of change. I will commit to my current circumstances, though they may not be 100%, 100% of the time. I will not look forward too far ahead when I can look at this present day and be grateful. I will work hard and go to bed exhausted every night from the effort that I put in to make this life work.

I have sometimes felt that the only hope for me to contribute to this world is to be a good mum to my future children. To make sure my children do not make the mistakes I have made. I need to move on from this view and invest in myself. I just wish I were not full of self-doubt. But I must try.

I will study and really learn the material. Not just for the sake of passing an exam, but for the sake of my professional self.
I will exercise daily. I will eat right. I know what is required and now I just need to put my thoughts into action.
I will take time to connect with people I love. I will maintain friendships. I will be selfless and kind more often.
I will take pride in my home.
I will have a creative outlet in sewing and make some garments that I can be proud of.
I will get a job that is related to my field of study. I will contribute financially to the household.

When I posted my 30 by 30 challenge I listed a bunch of items that I wanted to achieve in the next six months. Things that I could tick off a list. And looking back at this list is seems a little trivial. These goals are a little different. These are not goals as such but habits that I need to form to have a life I can be proud of. While I will work on both lists, achieving my 30 by 30 goals will give me something to gloat about, achieving the ones listed above will bring me the most pride. Wish me luck.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

brown rice and vegetables

Today I put away my wristwatch and I can feel such a shift in my day and my priorities. Too often I look at my watch and scold myself for sleeping in (again) or taking too long sipping my cup of tea or not getting enough housework done. It is calming just to go about my day in a way that feels right. Eating when I am hungry. Standing outside for a few minutes to enjoy the warm breeze between hanging up clothes on the clothes line to dry. Enjoying company rather than focussing on what is on my to-do list. What a luxury. Perhaps it is obvious I am on a one week holiday from my usual life right now. Regardless, I am thinking of how I can incorporate these ideas into my day-to-day life.

I spent 30 minutes (28 minutes more than usual) preparing brown rice and vegetables for lunch. Corn kernels, grilled eggplant, spanish onion, cucumber, parsley and a yummy dressing. Too often it gets to 2pm in the afternoon and I am starving, so I reach for the easiest thing to eat or I go to a local take-away food shop.

Of course, this is easy to do while I don't have the everyday responsibilities and commitments. What I need is the magic recipe for making this (good nutrition, exercise, enjoying the day) happen in the busy-ness of life. How does everyone else do it? I have considered before that I am just plain lazy. Too much time daydreaming or fussing around rather than putting time into activities that are worthwhile for myself or those around me.

In light of the 30 by 30 challenge I posted yesterday, I want to get a start on one of the items: a recipe book of favourites. I need to streamline this process of good nutrition somehow.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

30 by 30

It is so much fun to think of goals that I can achieve during the next six months. Usually when I think of goal-setting I consider way-off, lofty goals that require a massive time and/or monetary investment. Instead I have put pen to paper and created a list that is a mixture of goals that is fun, challenging and necessary. These goals are all achievable by April 2013. I have all the resources to make this happen. Now I just need to get out there and get it done.

Bake a birthday cake for someone I love
Learn to change a lightbulb
Establish a herb garden
Sew a "capsule wardrobe"
Make my own sushi
Paint all the trim in my home
Create a 2012 photo album
Reconnect with my aunt
Spend a whole day at the State Library reading room
Donate blood
Send Christmas cards in the first week of December
Bake a loaf of bread
Be a tourist in my own town for the day
Have a pedicure
See my doctor regarding feeling fatigued
Run a half marathon
Subscribe to a favourite magazine
Find the perfect red lipstick
Read a classic novel
Create a recipe book of my favourites
Try scuba diving again
Decide if I want to be a church-goer
Read an entire weekend newspaper
Spend a day in my pyjamas
Create a budget
Attend a music festival
Buy a basket for my bicycle
Organise my university notes
Knit a scarf

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

back to running

Yesterday I went for a jog for the first time in a long time. There is nothing like pushing yourself and realising exactly how much stamina and form you have lost.

Rewind twelve months ago when I was running five kilometres every Saturday morning. With a couple of shorter distance jogs in between. I was frequently running 10k fun runs - and enjoying them!

Now I am panting and huffing and wheezing after just one kilometre. What a turn around for the worse. I went to the local athletics track yesterday morning and ran for one kilometre (2.5 laps) then walked one lap. Then a bit more running and a bit more walking. Repeat. I jogged a total of two kilometres.

I did enjoy being at the athletics track and think I will return to run there more often. It is so satisfying to know exactly the distance you have jogged, and so comforting to know my water bottle in close reach at the completion of each lap.

Monday, 24 September 2012

either way, you pay

I was speaking with C over the weekend; pondering if I could justify the cost of a gym membership, online fitness and nutrition plan, more hand weights from the sports store, etc. His advice made me think about how I prioritise my health and the excuses that I make.

"Either way you pay. You pay to maintain your fitness, or you pay when you suffer the effects of being unfit. But either way, you pay".

Right now I am considering whether or not to sign up for an online program, Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. Complete fitness plan (including plans for exercising at home or at a local park) and complete nutrition plan plus week shopping lists. The cost is $199 which at first sounded like a good deal but the more I think about it, the more expensive and unnecessary it seems. Perhaps I need to think a little less. 

The reason I am reluctant to sign up is that I am not sure how it will cater toward people who wish to maintain their weight, such as myself. I wish to lose five kilograms at the most, however the promotional website seems to focus on major weight loss. Yet I still feel I would need the support of the  plan and the online forums to maintain some really good habits. The next "round" begins in November so there is still plenty of time to make a decision. There are a few Australian bloggers who have documented their progress with 12WBT so hopefully I can find a blogger in a similar situation to myself and send an email with some questions.

I'd like to think that I could "piece together" my own fitness and nutrition plan. I have a heap of healthy cook books and the internet is littered with exercise plans. But life is so busy and I think right now I need to put all my efforts into the doing.

Proof-reading this post now I can't help but feel the excuses I am making are particularly poor excuses. I can't help but feel I need to sign up for the sake of my health. Either way, you pay.

Sunday, 23 September 2012


It is such a good feeling to be moving again. C and I went to the local pool for a Sunday afternoon swim. It is the start of the Victorian school holidays and there were screaming kids everywhere. Luckily the outdoor 50m pool had just opened for the summer season the day prior so we were able to swim laps in relative peace. I found swimming freestyle to be tough going. It started off well however I found myself later gasping for breath every two strokes. So I opted for the kick board. Still hard work, but in comparison to my poor freestyle stroke, much more enjoyable.

I would be lying if I didn't say the main reason for our trek to the swimming pool was to try out the new water slide. Seriously, so much fun. This thing goes on and on forever and I completely lost my bearings. Well worth while all the same.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

the beginning

The big question... where to begin...

When so much needs to be done, how does one take that very first step? A deliberate step that will bring a sense of calm and happiness. Perhaps those feelings will come later and right now I just need to put my nose to the grindstone and start working.

I want to address mostly my health and fitness. While I may look reasonably healthy to others I worry about what is going on internally. I have high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease. My diet is high in refined sugar and I am dreading my next visit to the dentist. I lack any sort of fitness and want (need) to start moving again. A recent ski weekend was not as much fun as it should have been. This summer I am looking forward to hiking and swimming and a whole bunch of activities. I don't want it to be a struggle.

This weekend I shall clear the (physical) clutter in my house and make room in my mind for new ideas. And maybe I will get this show on the road and go for a jog.

Friday, 21 September 2012

life at present

Present day life is ok. Not particularly bad but not particularly good either. Mediocrity feels a little dull. I am ready to take control of my present and my future. But I can't get past the daydreaming phase to get on with the actual doing. This blog is to become the space where I can indulge myself with 10-15 minutes per day of planning, list making, reflection and gaining inspiration from other bloggers. The rest of the day I will dedicate to activity. Not merely sitting down and taking in the view while life passes me by.

I feel as though I have hit my rock-bottom. Granted, it could be a lot worse. None the less, it must be upwards and onwards from here.

So to daydream for just a moment, here is what my ideal day looks like:
I wake up early and feel refreshed and energised. Following an outdoor jog I sit down with my family to a healthy breakfast of bircher muesli and freshly squeezed juice. The house is tidy and everything I need for the day ahead is at hand. I go to work to do a job I love. Dinner is followed by time on various projects or connecting with my husband. I read a chapter of the book on my bedside table to wind down before bed. I sleep well.

Simple, but good.