Goals Update – September

To be honest, usually I spend the month editting and drafting my monthly goal update post.  Not this month! So, there’ll be no list of my meals.  And everything feels a bit sketchy!

For new readers, every month, I like to check in with the ‘New years goals‘ I set.  It’s a regular reminder of what I’d like to be doing!

Financial

Save $20k $26k cash by 22 Dec (for when I get a mortgage offset account): stalled
August: $21,140.13
September: $21,020.20 (-$120)

Such a nice looking number, but sadly not on target for my stretch $26k goal.  Thanks to… booking a holiday to Vietnam with the BF!

12 in 2 Adventures savings fund: hahaha what? nope
July: $749.93 (how’d that go down?)
August: $1.72 (-$748,21)
September: $1.73 (+$0.01) Oh for interest!

Grocery spend: improved from August’s HUGE spend

I’m loathed to share figures, as Australia’s costs vs other countries and readers might be misinterpreted.  Let’s just say, it’s a little more than double my ‘usual’ spend when I lived alone.  I’m happy with that.  22% is on meat, 13% on dairy (we eat so much cheese!).  I’m pleased that fruit and vege % spend are up on last month.  I’ve got a piece of fruit a day as a snack (banana or apple), plus frozen berries on my porridge.  Vegies aren’t so simply integrated, yet.

Volunteering hours: alright (poorly remembered though!)

Sat 13th: 4hrs doing church flowers

Health

Cook at home twice a weekAchieved! 

The BF and I have a great ‘menu’ for every week, which helps the ‘I don’t know, what do you want’ conversations.  I’ll get a few more photos together, and then I’ll share it with you.

Sugar: Totally not on my radar

Although, after our housewarming this weekend (I’ll bake a number of treats), I’m pledged to try and join Lucinda Sans in her first mention of the Droptober challenge to eat less sweets.  Here’s the rules she published.

Train for polo – Training to run a half marathon:  inconsistent, but some running

Actually, the summer water polo season is starting, so far I’ve not been to training, due to a cold, then my lift/carpool hurting her toe, and the next week being out of town.

However, on the running front, I did a 9km organised run, and I’ve signed up for the Neon run in October (5km) and the Color Run in February (5km).  This past week, which is technically October, I’ve run twice, though quite short distances, and once the week before.

Cultural

2 films a month: wow, another month with no cinema visits

2 books a monthachieved

I read World War Z (remember I saw the film earlier this year?)  The book was totally different, as commenters warned me.  I enjoyed the book, but it took me a while to get through it.

Then I read Plastic Free, by Beth Terry which I reviewed earlier this week.  I really enjoyed it!

I’m in the middle of Mr Know-it-all by A.J. Jacobs.  I read his book about reading the bible and living it literally, and was reminded of this book of his thanks to Lucinda’s review.

Social

Call/connect with an out of town friend: Did wonderfully

I had a friend from Orange come to town, and we met for a hot chocolate.  Another friend stayed two nights in our guest room when she came to Sydney for a wedding (I’d seen her a few weeks ago in Melbourne!).  A very dear friend in Brisbane has been great at encouraging me via Facebook, so I feel closer there, and another friend who used to live in Sydney and moved to Alice Springs, and then to the UK, we had a great chat on Facebook the other evening.  We couldn’t believe it was three years almost to the day, that I’d visited her in Alice!

Career

Certification: last edits needed, then submit them in October

All my episode reports are written, and long enough.  My external mentor has reviewed them all, and now I need to make some improvements and submit them!  I hope to have them submitted by the end of October.

Sorry there wasn’t any photos… How are your new year’s resolutions progressing?

Running – 12 in 2 list progress

In February this year, I set 12 goals I wanted to achieve in two years, called 12 in 2.  Number 11 was to run a half marathon, which is 21kms.  Naturally, as a non runner, this is a huge stretch of a goal but something I put on the list to as the ultimate challenge.  When I say non-runner, I mean I devised ways to get out of high school cross country, despite being otherwise a capable and fit athlete!  Warm up jogs at boot camp or school sport had me whinging (and panting) the loudest.  However, this past Sunday, I completed the 9km Bridge Run over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, as a stepping stone to the half marathon.

Million dollar real estate with a view to our start!
Million dollar real estate with a view to our start!

The 9km bridge run (5.6 miles) was the last race of the day, starting after the marathon, half marathon and family fun run (4kms) for the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival.  So it was a sunny warm day for the 9am start at Milson’s Point.  I was in group C, which run third/last of the groups, due to us having expected run times of 1hr or over.  The cutout off it 90 minutes <- I was pretty confident I wouldn’t get cut off, but your never know!

I can’t help myself, and took heaps of photos before the start, to share with you:

The view in front of me
The view in front of me
The view to the left
The view to the left
The view behind me - yes, the lady in blue and I talked... I can't help myself!
The view behind me – yes, the lady in blue and I talked… I can’t help myself!

How’d I go?

I set myself a target pace of 9kms per hour, hoping to finish in an hour of starting (I actually started at about 9.23am).  I had Runkeeper going, along with some music.  When I usually ‘run’ I actually do jogs interspersed with walking, and still achieve this 9kmh so I was happy to pace myself to this.

The first kilometer was hard, and I always find the start of a run the worst!  There was also a gentle but continuous incline to get onto the bridge as well.  It was exciting to be on the bridge though! I drive on it twice a day to get to and from work, and here I was, running on it when it was completely devoid of cars.  There was definitely a smug smile through the running pain! I remember I didn’t make the first kilometer without a walking stretch.  Still, Runkeeper kept me up to date every 5 minutes with my pacing, and I think only one interval over the whole run was I behind!

Our course had us do all sorts of strange things to someone accustomed to Sydney roads – we went the ‘wrong way’ down a spiral ramp onto the Cahill expressway, which took us running over the train line at Circular Quay.  If I’d been more about blogging than running, I might have photographed the sparkling harbour, and iconic bridge and Opera House, but by this stage, I was in the thick of the ‘running’ and not so worried about a play by play for my readers!

Where Runkeeper saw me run!
Where Runkeeper saw me run!

Prior to this run, I’d only done a training run at 6km. That run was more than two weeks prior to the Bridge Run, and in the meantime, I’d been through a cold. So, part of me wasn’t entirely confident in how I’d run! I used positive self talk to help – instead of ‘you’ve never run more than 6kms’, I’d say ‘wow, you’ve got 3kms to go, you can easily do that’. It made a big difference!

Oh so bright!
Oh so bright!

According to Runkeeper (I love their stats), I was above 9kms per hour for the first 4kms, which probably helped me stay ahead in pacing for the second ‘half’ of the race. Interestingly, the peaks in the coure are around the 4.5-5km mark and again in the last km! As far as speed, at my fastest I was doing 12.32kmph (I must check where it thinks I ran that fast!), and at the slowest, in my last km, was at 7.77kmph. Overall, I ran at 8.79kmph, for a total distance of 9.63kms (They say the course is ‘about’ 9km). This took me 1 hr and 5 minutes. This puts me right on pace, even though I didn’t meet my 1hr ambitious finish goal. Overall, I’m happy I made it to the end without an injury (even my shin splint like pain was silent), though I did have tight hamstrings before and after.

I never took this photo (photos were banned to keep the flow on the bridge - I actually was running when I snapped this!)
I never took this photo (photos were banned to keep the flow on the bridge – I actually was running when I snapped this!)

At the end of the race, I made my own way home. There was just swarms of people at the finish, so I can’t imagine if the BF had made it in, even trying to find him! Then getting to the train was a little bit of a logistical challenge – I ended up crossing the marathon runners path twice! Thankfully, Sydney smartly provides free public transport for all run participants, so being lazy, I got the train, then a bus (cause just a train involved more walking to get home!). The bf was at home after spending the last 24 hours on a yacht race, and we headed out for burgers. I then thought I was entitled to anything I wanted, being that I burned 710 calories! Alas, I still coped some cheek when a block or two of chocolate ended up in the shopping trolley! (For the record, I’ve not yet had any!)

So, in a rousing finale: anything is possible when you set your mind to it!  Practice makes the world of difference, and having people overtake you is often enough to stumble from walking to jogging again.  Now for a training plan to get me to a half marathon! (My brother’s time was 2hr02minutes for his half – impressive!)

Gratitude (for Sunday)

  • I finished the race, without an injury!
  • A beautiful warm day
  • The BF’s patience in traffic, during run road closures
  • The Newsroom finale (and finding out it’s signed for a new season!)
  • Mac and cheese made by the BF
  • For being somewhat relaxed with the state of the less than perfect house

What ambitious goals have you set yourself?  Have you surprised yourself in what you can achieve?

What am I allergic to?

Well, today was the day I went to the allergy specialist.  I had a long chat with the lovely doctor, recounting my medical roller coaster.  I went equipped with my face cream ingredients, from the co-op bulk section, after my mum reported a mild reaction to the same cream.  This helped narrow down some of the things to test me for, so from memory there was, on the right arm

  • cinnamon extract
  • some artificial cinnamon like thing
  • coconut
  • almond
  • daisy
  • avocado
  • sesame
This was the right arm at the start of the testing – the squares are for the suspect moisturiser

There were more than this, but it was all verbal and I’m bad with memory!

Then for the left arm – which was the more common allergens, like grasses, animals, moulds etc.  Look at how much was going on in that arm!

Left arm fully loaded
Left arm fully loaded

 

The + and – are controls. One is saline – which you’re not to react to. The other is histamine, you’re meant to react to that (if you don’t, it indicated you might have taken an antihistimine in the past 6 days). After you’ve been a human voodoo doll, you have to wait, so for that, I got you a waiting room photo (cause seriously, my arms are not that interesting):

Very nicely outfitted in an otherwise non descript aging building
Very nicely outfitted in an otherwise non descript aging building

Oh, so the guy (nurse?) doing all the pricking gave me photography hints! Using the light and turning my arm so you can see the nice raised bumps. I may or may not have mentioned I might blog about this, but if nothing else, family would be interested to see how I went.

So, the afters:

Right arm
Right arm

Wowa, I was itchy! That was 10 minutes of annoyance, cause of COURSE you can’t scratch!!

So what was the result?  I definitely react to the daisy family (Candula is an ingredient in the face cream, so that’s why I was tested for that) on the right arm – which was number 7.

Left arm close up
Left arm close up

On the left arm, I tended to react to everything, but most notably to a type of grass!  I also reacted to two different moulds, that the body can have – that seriously gave me the heeby geebies!   And I think the big post closest to you is from dust mites – which I was a little surprised by. Not that it’s uncommon, but I’ve never thought that I react to dust.

The top right of the photo, the 1-5 are for cat, dog, bird, horse and then sheep – all of them giving mild reactions.  This is interesting, as I mentioned I didn’t mind reacting to cats (not a family favourite), and I’m drafting a post about dogs/puppies *smirks*.  The technician/nurse suggested we could fudge the photos with histamine to make it LOOK like I was allergic, but when he saw the results, he actually said ‘well fudging the animal reactions won’t be necessary!’.  To be honest, for all I say about not loving animals, I didn’t really want to be allergic to them either!

So what happens next? I got given a patch on my upper left arm with the offending moisturiser to see how I react.  If it gets ‘really bad’ I can take it off, and photograph it.  But otherwise, I’m due back in their rooms on Tuesday morning to see how things went.  And then, I might start on periodic injections, which will help build my immunity to allergens.

Did I ask about gluten? The doctor touched on it, but as I suspected, my reaction two weeks ago would be unlikely to have been caused by it (not surprising, I didn’t eat any!).  I know this allergy specialist is likely to become a more regular part of my schedule, so I’m sure I can nut out the details with him over time.  There’s some great charts, I took a photo of the snippet that most relevant to my current reactions:

Relationships between different allergens (not really explained on this snippet)
Relationships between different allergens (not really explained on this snippet)

So, what are you (formally or informally) allergic to?  How did you come to work it out?

The medical rollercoaster

It’s been an interesting few days, and not just cause I’ve been moving house.  I’ve been medically around the rollercoaster…

Let’s start with Friday night – I headed out with the BF’s colleagues for some dumplings.  His colleague commented that she needed some bleach, and I chuckled.  Never a truer word…

Saturday, at about lunch time (as we signed our lease), I was doubled over with stomach pains…  but still proceed to grab a burger for lunch from a nice cafe.  I skipped the bread roll, as I am starting to think gluten makes me feel super full, and lethargic.  Shame, it was a nice looking bun roll.

The remainder of Saturday afternoon, I felt sluggish and took it easy on the sofa, with a nap (I think).  It sort of frustrated me, as I wanted to get more packing and organising done.  The bf went to the gym, and came back with everything I could want – my fave wine, chocolate, and on my demand, ginger beer and lemonade as some pureed apple to settle the stomach.  Rest assured, my ill feelings stopped me from the wine or the chocolate – true indicators of how bad I felt.  I had a few mouthfuls of stewed apples, as that’s part of the BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce & toast) plan you use with food poisoning/stomach upsets.

Sunday morning, I figured I’d take it easy on breakfast, and had some dried medjool dates and apple puree (again).  I then walked to church to teach Sunday School (I walk every week, the same route).  I got to ‘class’ with drippy nose and eyes, but that’s not actually that unusual for me, as I do have allergies.  So I take my nasal spray and hope for the best.  The best… didn’t come.  Next, my head was all itchy.  Again, not uncommon – I have psoriasis on my scalp, and it can be incredibly dry and itchy.  Only on the second bathroom visit (to blow my nose) did I notice the red welts on my neck… and my red ears.  And red face.

I texted the BF and suggested a pick up – this was probably about 9.30am and I’d told him I’d be done at 10.30am.  He asked if I wanted a coffee, I politely replied ‘no just come asap’.  As I got in the car, I burst into tears – my eyes and nose already had me halfway there, combined with a slightly constricted throat, and welts on the inside of elbows.

Here’s some phone photos (for my worried mum, and now my readers!)

Allergy - just after the meds.  Happy, but scared!
Allergy – just after the meds. Happy, but scared!

We went straight to the hospital… I was in the triage ‘standing’ area with a man with his head split open (thanks to moving house – ominous or what!), and a guy with a sore back (he had a small kid come in with his wife later, so?).  Anyhow, after the lady in the dress gown and a hockey injury, and the head gash guy, I got seen.  They weren’t too worried, and asked me to get registered and then I could have some anti histamine.  They also gave me a steroid too.  The BF was just darling the whole time – seriously, even the nurses and doctors knew he could be counted on.  After the drugs (and some blood work), I was told to wait for an hour.  After an hour, the Dr gave me a letter for my GP and sent me on my way.

After an hour, when the drugs set in.  Sitting the opposite way, but still have that droopy eye!
After an hour, when the drugs set in. Sitting the opposite way, but still have that droopy eye!

To this day (four days on) I have no idea what caused such a severe reaction.  My left eye lid stayed droopy for the rest of the day, and I had a rest and a nap, before back to car packing etc.  I settled for ‘simple’ food – hahaha! McDonald’s fries and Dominos Pizza.  Yes, healthy I was not, but it was what I thought was least threatening.

I’ve seen my GP and I now have an appointment with a allergy specialist in about two weeks time.  I’ll have a prick test, where they see what I react to.  I’m looking forward to discussing allergens, and my recent dislike of gluten, where I used to eat it with gay abandon.

Actually, I’ve drafted a post about gluten just the other week…  I am planning, once the house moving dust has settled, to set a more rigid eating plan, which I will, of course, share the trials and tribulations here.  So, expect to hear more!

Sickly

I am pleased to report that a day in bed did result in the book I have taken WEEKS to finish being ready for review.  The reason it took me so long to read is less about it being uninteresting, it just wasn’t a page turner, even though I learnt a lot.  I was reading The Paradox of Choice: why more is less by Barry Schwartz.

The Paradox of Choice - why more is less, by Barry Schwartz source: www.bookdepository.co.uk
The Paradox of Choice – why more is less, by Barry Schwartz
source: www.bookdepository.co.uk

The lessons I’ll take away from this book are

  • be a satisficer, not a maximiser – don’t always try to find the perfect choice (I might also apply this to my work – near enough is good enough in so many situations, and not to beat myself up when I’m only ‘good enough’!)
  • use routines and limit choice where it suits – don’t endlessly peruse options.  Settle on less
  • don’t compare to others
  • realise that every experience/product is going to be amazing every time – familiarity breeds content.  But I won’t take it’s advice to enjoy the good things in life less, in case I get ‘used’ to them.  That’s just silly in my opinion!

In the style of Carla, of Half Dozen Daily, I’ll share the details of my illness and general life, rather than my usually themed posts.  Since Tuesday last week, I felt the start of a cold in my throat.   Sadly, I almost always have the sneezes, so that’s not a reliable enough indicator of imminent illness.  I suggested that I might take Wednesday off to sleep and fortify myself, and my mother reminded me how many sick days I’ve taken (in my opinion, not that many, but if she thought so, I figured colleagues might too).  So I continued to work last week, including getting the annual ‘flu vaccination on Thursday.  I had a rostered day off on Friday, which saw me up at the normal early hour of 6am to get to the flower markets to do the Pentecost arrangements at church.  I felt less than perfect, but chalked it up to an early start.

I’m pretty sure I got a nap in on Friday before dinner and some cocktails.  Then Saturday I spent a few hours at the coop learning how to be a volunteer (the idea was to draft a costs comparison post between the coop and my local IGA shops to publish on Monday, but alas I didn’t have the stamina on Saturday afternoon).  I was definitely feeling dry in the throat that morning, as I sipped bagged tea that the coop gets for free.  Sunday I woke very worse for wear – you know it’s worse than the usual allergies when the tissue box ends up in the handbag. (Yes, I have transitioned to hankies, but I was at the BF’s on Sat night, so I used what he had).  Anyhow, by Sunday night’s Eurovision party, I was blowing my nose every minute it would seem.  I purchased the pharmacist only Sudafed medicine, and after more than the recommended dose, I saw NO improvement.  Why, oh why, am I immune?

So I took Monday off work, which was a nightmare, as today’s work (Tuesday) needed me to be in three places at once, which isn’t possible.  Alas, the day off meant I saw the doctor, and she prescribed me a nasal spray (for $45!!).  I bought said nasal spray, opened the package, to find I had it already, in date, in my medicine drawer – grrr.  I’ve been seeing a new doctor since I moved into my own place, so that’s why she didn’t know.  I hate that sort of waste – financially, as much as the contents – I’ll never use two nasal sprays up esp when they are for a week’s use max, before taking a break.  The good news is…. it worked! I’m not 100% human – I still have a headache, and a weirdly dry mouth and nose, but it’s so much better than the minute by minute sneezes!

Anyhow, I hope all my readers are well.

Grocery spending summary – April and the last 5 months

This might not be as in depth (as I’d like) but it’s a start to documenting my grocery shopping behaviour for one (and sometimes +1).  My categories have evolved since I started in December 2012, but basically they are moving along nicely now.

My average monthly spend on groceries is about 4% of my monthly take home pay.  The graphics below are in %, but I give each category a $ range, so those who want to work out what I earn won’t find it hard.  Interestingly, as a public servant, it’s also PUBLIC knowledge, or at least accessible by the public, so I’m not as worried as I might/could/should be.

Average monthly grocery spend by category
Average monthly grocery spend by category

Fruit: monthly spend around $15-$20 (I don’t include tinned pineapple or frozen raspberries here).

Vegies: monthly I spend between $20-$50 here, this month it was around $30

Dairy (milk, cheese, eggs, butter): Every time I input cheese prices I’m shocked at the cost.  Monthly spending is usually between $25-$40, with this month at the higher end

Pantry staples (spices, tinned goods, baking supplies, tea): A wide range in monthly spends here – between $10-$40, seen about a $10 drop in the last month.

Breakfast (cereal, frozen raspberries): This category exists cause I think breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day? I’m not really sure why it gets it’s own category, but it does! $15-$25 per month spent here.  While oats are cheaper, I always add berries, so going to corn flakes saves some money, but I eat through more cornflakes

Convenience (ready made foods): This is one area I’d like to see drop!  December was at $54, then $17, then $24 in Feb (who knows what happened then, maybe I was sick).  This month was less than $10, so I’m PLEASED with that.

Snacks (ready made foods, but not meals): monthly spend between $5-$25, this month I’m at about $10.50.  If I baked more of my own, they’d slot in under the ‘pantry’ category

Meat (both butcher meat and heavy packaging sliced meats): I didn’t start to track this til January and it’s a little hazy – I don’t get butcher reciepts.  I spend between $25-$55 here a month, with this month coming in at about $31

House stuff (everything else – cotton buds, light globes etc):  Usually between $10-$20, but in Dec 12 it was at $53!!

Over time, I’d like to see a drop in snacks and convenience food, and a growth in fruit and vegies!  If you’d like to see what I eat, see my monthly wrap up posts where I list every dinner I have in a month, see this page for a link to them all.

April 2013 grocery spend by category
April 2013 grocery spend by category

I’ve also attempted to track my fruit and vegetable consumption, but it’s an VERY inexact science, as many things from the green grocer are just entered a price mark ‘fruit and vegies’.  But nonetheless, in five months, I’ve tracked:

5.11kg of onions

2.49kg of carrots

1.3kg of tomatos (tinnned or otherwise)

3.26kg of pumpkin in the LAST month alone!

3.5kg of cheese

23L of milk

9kg of museli

48 eggs (and I’ve probably missed counting some!)

Interestingly when I was looking for graphics I came across one from a blog I read (but not back when they published the graphics), so I’ve included it for you.  Inspired me to make my own – though I had some trouble in Google Drive.

source: www.evolvingpf.com
source: www.evolvingpf.com

Progress report: Run a half marathon

My planned 7km Bridge Run, as part of Sydney Running FestivalSource: http://www.sydneyrunningfestival.com.au/
My planned 7km Bridge Run, as part of Sydney Running Festival
Source: http://www.sydneyrunningfestival.com.au/

In my 12 in 2 list, I have some pretty ambitious goals – like running a half marathon.  Thankfully the idea of 12 in 2 is to achieve 12 different goals in two years, so the half marathon isn’t something that’s likely to happen soon, but I have to start somewhere, right? (I have an upcoming post about how I plan to get around to all my 12 in the 2 years, complete with a plan for the $).

I’ve always been a walker – I walk when it’s the easiest option.  Given I don’t have a car, that’s all the time!  But upping the ante to running? Well that’s another story!  So I discovered that Runkeeper has programs, so I signed up to a 5km program – that trains you slowly to get to up to running 5km.  Once I master that, I can start on a half marathon program.  I started looking at the half marathon programs, and they already expected I could run 5km, so… makes sense to start smaller!

I started small, but I’ve ‘ramped’ it up of late:

Week of 17 Feb – 1.5km

Week of 24 Deb – 2.4km

Week of 3 Mar – 10.3km

Week of 10 Mar – 13.8km

Week of 17 Mar – 19.7km (includes 100% walking (~4.4km) & run/walk combos)

Running progress - towards a half marathon
Running progress – towards a half marathon

Evidently, the first weeks were pretty lame.  My running partner was out of town for a funeral, so I made that an excuse not to do my workout every second day.  But, now I’ve mastered the Runkeeper ‘reminder’ system, and powered on alone.  Our first ‘team’ run is a 3.2km jog, which marks the 13th workout of 28.   Based on the training schedule I’ll be reading for a race on 19 April! I’ve found a 7km run in Sept which is over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, so I’ll do that – by that time I should easily be able to manage a 7km race.

Let me assure you, it’s not been easy.  My Saturday 3.2km run was HARD WORK (after a few drinks on Friday night).  But I persevered, and I was happy to be finished at 20 min 20 seconds!  It was hard, even though earlier in the week, I ran 3.85km in a set 25 minute run target.  Then on Monday, I was tasked with a 45 min walk/jog, and shocked myself with a number of personal bests – getting a distance of 6.1kms in 50 mins (that’s about 7.32kms/h – I ‘walk’ a bit faster on the treadmill, but that’s ‘easy’ in comparison to real life)!  However, back to a hard day on Wednesday, when I couldn’t for the life of me jog at a snail’s pace for the full 3.2kms outside in the real world – instead, there was a lot of walking (and therefore more kms achieved).  Interestingly, Runkeeper tracks elevation, and there’s some 40m ‘spikes’) so that might explain some of the difficulty.

So, I’m on track to get to 5km, a mini goal to getting to a half marathon.  Thanks to a blog, I feel somewhat accountable.  However,  just yesterday, I started getting twinges of shin splints.  So I’ll ice them, stretch more.  I’ll only do it every second day (and try to cut out incidental walking, esp in the WRONG shoes!).  Or I might just take things a little easier for the time being… tough call.

How do you find reaching your fitness targets?  What ambitious goals have you set yourself?

12 in 2 list

Extra Organised is a blog I used to read, lost and have refound…  As is often the case, other people’s posts inspire my own, and so without further ado, I shall too make a list of 12 goals to achieve in 2 years.  I have linked above to her specific post.  Sadly for me I can’t comment on this blog (or any typepad blogs) which makes me sad, but hopefully the link will alert her to my interest!

1. Dinner at Quay – done in January for my birthday.  They have the menu online so you can all ooo and ahhh

2. Dinner at Aria – next birthday seems like a good idea!

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb – might just happen this month with a Norwegian friend in town.  Otherwise, the BF and parents are getting sick of it being on the gift list so…

Source: http://www.bridgeclimb.com/
Source: http://www.bridgeclimb.com/

4. Go jet skiing

5. Go Zorbing (likely on the Gold Coast) The Gold Coast site shut up shop, so to NZ it might be!

6. Visit Lexi in NZ – if I don’t put this on a list, I know I won’t make it a priority.  And NZ is oh so close to Sydney, I’m not sure why I can’t just DO IT!

7. Do a knife skills course – for cooking of course

8. Learn to surf – I have a friend who seems to be into the idea of doing a camp style adventure!

9. Read the new testament – thought I’d down grade from ‘whole bible’.  I want to ACHIEVE these goals not get down that they are too hard! See my progress

10. Go on a silent retreat – people who know me will wonder.  A friend has done it, so I have an ‘in’

11. Run a half marathon – this is really putting it out there! Anything that’s money based, I seem to have the commitment, but health and fitness, not so much! (Update 1)

12. Plan and prepay my funeral – morbid, but then people call these bucket lists!

To be honest, I struggled with this list.  I feel like I have to have achievable goals.  Things I can actually DO!  Some of my goals aren’t that short term… some are just having stuff (silliness personified!)  And travel destinations (whilst I have one or two) don’t really excite me the way I wish they coulda/shoulda/woulda.  It helps that I’ve been privileged to tick off so many travel based goals I see on other bucket lists – maybe I’ll post of all the bucket style stuff I have already done?

What’s your 12 in 2?

Things I’d like to be…

I’d like to be (inspired by you Dar)

– a zero waste (landfill) home.  But I eat large single serve cookies from the vending machine when I’m hungry.  And buy the half cabbage wrapped in cling wrap (cause a whole cabbage is a whole lot of cabbage for one little lady!)

– sugar free. Ever been hungry and walked into a cafe? It’s SO hard to find a savoury snack!  And then your sweet chili sauce of course also has sugar in it, but I don’t do ‘chili’ really, so I can’t substitute.  This is mainly a weight management strategy (and an exercise avoidance tactic!)

– wheat free. Again, ever been hungry and tried to find something that is neither sugary nor wheat-y?  Potato chips for the win.  Likewise corn chips.  Fruit salad.  But that vending machine just haunted me. (let me be clear, I’m not celiac (heck I can’t spell it!) but I do try to keep my intake low to lessen my psoriasis)

– lactose free. I’m trying to limit lactose for the same reasons as wheat.  And I heard about the plight of cows, always birthing and boy cows dying.  But really, sometimes I am weak in the face of cheese.

– freecycler. If only people would take my stuff! (at least the most recent stuff  – I need a good home for oodles of bubble wrap).  I stopped reading the posts so I could be more of the below:

– anti consumer. But I really wanted a teal throw rug for summer as the winter one is itchy.  And if I waited 10,000 years I may find one in a second hand store, but then I’d need to not work and spend time thumbing through stores and checking ebay and gumtree

– minimalist. No stuff for stuff’s sake.  Alas, I have trinkets from travellers, and whilst i could part with them (no emotional heart strings), I don’t want my home to be TOO sterile!  Concrete floors are more than a good start down that path!

– public transport user. I’m SO reluctant to get a car, cause I know it’d be easier than choosing to walk or to catch a train or a bus.  But that work car often finds itself dropping off or picking up within walking distance of places (home and work namely!)

– debt free.  I only have my mortgage, and pay of any credit card debt weekly.  But still NO debt, wow that’d be awesome!

– make-from-scratch’er/no packaged food.  I can cook, but sometimes laziness comes to stay and she orders packaged garlic bread – complete with the icky plastic baggy!  And a rice cracker is so much easier than making or finding a recipe for a gluten free, sugar free snack!

– recycler.  I am, and I couldn’t be otherwise.  But today my take away coffee cup went in landfill, even though the lid and (clean) cardboard cup could be recycled (if I’d washed them well enough and kept them til I found the bin I needed).  I should have used my ‘keep cup’.

It’s not ‘all that I am’ but ‘all that I’m almost’…