Joy in the little things

Today, my training course meant I got home earlier than usual.

Lucky – the BF needed a shirt for a fancy work dinner (he’d worn a T shirt to work, like all cutting edge tech workers). After a little bit of a internal debate between walking, busing, driving or scooter-ing, I went for scootering.

I packed up library books to return, and three button down shirt options and off I went.

Scooting is great – with good skills, you can watch the traffic and change lanes as taxis inevitably stop every 50m! You can see a truck reversing into a driveway 100m ahead and change lanes to skip past the line of traffic and get back into the lane past him. You can SMELL life, the city, stores even! Someone was making a mean BBQ. You can see people.

I easily got to the BF’s office, and nabbed a park and nipped in. Then I jumped back on to get closer to my two errands: buying another iPhone charging cable and a pair of leggings from Lululemon. Getting another legal park took a few laps, with one way streets and lots of clearways (for vans, station wagons and utes only). Eventually, I found a tiny unsigned spot for bikes – it’s where the monorail pylons used to be. It’s a legacy parking space for motorcycles that the City of Sydney has let continue ūüėÄ

The Apple store was (predictably) packed. I enjoyed the sleek all glass stairs to the second floor, where I found the cable I needed hanging just out of reach. I got a novel out of my handbag and made it an extension of my hand, and flicked the one boxed cable I needed off it’s spindle. Success! (I was disappointed the black clad security guard has missed what was likely the most amusing thing he’d see that hour). I then found a grey clad employee, paid on their nifty phone, got an emailed reciept and popped the cable in my handbag (and wondering… if I’d skipped the first three steps and given jumping/book-arm-go-go-gadgeting hadn’t attracted the security staff, if putting it in my bag would have attracted their glance)

From there, I headed to Lululemon. Recently, I decided I shouldn’t persist with two pairs of cropped leggings I owned. One pair is getting worn thing, and I’m not sure destitute that the world needs to see my knickers nor my bare flesh. The navy pair seldom stayed hitched to hip height. Both were a cotton-y blend, and when running, don’t cut it. Why keep these two things that spark no joy, and often limited utility? To the bin/op shop. Lululemon sells the promise of perky butts and streamlined legs. And they do cool detailing in mesh. Alas, despite a cavalcade of perky ladies and pairs, I decided none offered the trifecta: cute butt, nice legs & mesh. I rejoiced that I hadn’t broken my ‘no new clothes’ pact for a second time this year with Lululemon.

With the evening ahead of me, and late night shopping, I wandered back to my sneaky scoot space via shops. I grabbed a sushi roll, and some warm caramalised cashews. Then I joined the bottleneck getting home.

There is NOTHING better than getting open road in front of you – and either side of you. Despite it being peak hour, and buses and taxis as far as the eye could see, I travelled blocks with open road. In no time, I was home. ¬†Having planned the trip, I used the magic button to open the garage and put my scooter away, before returning our one remote to the car. Then I hung out the washing I’d put on two hours ago when I set out, and I thought, life is pretty darn awesome.

Body Painting class

So my bucket list has me wanting to be body painted.  When the local venue offered a class on body painting, I jumped at the chance.  I didn’t have any idea what would happen – in the end, there were three models, suffering in the large warehouse in winter, and a known artist (of make up and painting bodies) who just said ‘go have fun!’.  Other people come from a make up background.  One woman and two friends were enjoying it as a birthday gift.  Everything was provided, including sugary snacks and some vino.  All in all, a good way to spend a night!

Bodypainting 004

Back of modelesse 1
Back of modelesse 1

 

What a mess we make
What a mess we make
I just cant say no!
I just cant say no!
Male models back made me want blue hair!
Male models back made me want blue hair!
Non chalance of Modeless 2
Non chalance of Modeless 2
The funky decor
The funky decor
The male model, part way through I did his face
The male model, part way through. I did his face
Male model with detailing
Male model with detailing

If you’re looking for quirky one off classes after work or on weekends, try The Workshop, which is in both Melbourne and Sydney.  I subscribe to their weekly email, which is a great way to scan if there’s anything of interest when I’m free.

Cold, snow cold…

Last Friday I felt the niggles of a sore throat, so wisely spent Saturday sleeping. ¬†And a lot of Sunday. ¬†I worked Monday and Tuesday, whilst the man about the house took an unprecedented two days off in a row. ¬†Unlike me, he actually is awake, and upright on his sick days. ¬†My Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday this week have seen me mostly horizontal. ¬†I slept through Wednesday’s except for the two clean! Seriously, save for an hour or two, I went from my ‘night’ sleep til 5.30pm!? ¬†So you can imagine my frustration that on Friday, I’m STILL sick. ¬†Pesky colds I tell you!

One ‘sick’ evening, I spent the better part of the night pinning the lovely AirBnB’s in Paris. ¬†That was fun! They certainly know what small living is – how can they be such a culinary culture with such tiny kitchens though?

Ok, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain – it is COLD out. ¬†How cold you ask? ¬†There’s snow. ¬†In Australia. ¬†In places one wouldn’t really think it’d snow. ¬†See some photos from a friend, but the link is the BEST:

Thanks to Sally Reddy's photography
Thanks to Sally Reddy’s photography

http://www.buzzfeed.com/deannye/snow-day-down-under?bffb&utm_term=4ldqphp#.gf37vjlNmY

The bulk of the snow photos are in the Blue Mountains, where my uncle lives. ¬†My mum typically visits him on school holidays, but left it til ‘snow day’ to try, and of course our roads aren’t made for this, so they closed the highway. ¬†Mum stayed home instead ūüôĀ

I’ve enjoyed some great TV lately, thanks to the BF being involved with a certain TV company’s streaming service. ¬†I’ve enjoyed UnREAL a behind the scenes of a (fake) dating show. ¬†Seriously warped, but enjoyable. ¬†The Fall¬†with the chilling Gillian Anderson from The X Files as a cop in Northern Ireland.

UnREAL via
UnREAL via

I’ve also signed up to Facebook groups in a big way. ¬†I started about 6 months ago with the Facebook group associated with The Non Consumer Advocate. ¬†It is such a chatty and supportive group, I decided to find more groups just this past week, and signed up to an Australian group for the 5:2 fasting I’m attempting (though the shedding of KGs is slow). ¬†I’ve also joined Simple Savers, which I know some of my Aussie readers are already knowledgeable about.

Otherwise, life’s ticking along swimmingly. ¬†I bought my annual amount of shares, which the BF noted hasn’t increased with the six years I’ve been buying once annually. ¬†My salary on the other hand has. ¬†It’s ok, I’m not entirely comfortable with shares and buying/investing, so I like to keep the amount to a quantity I’d be happy to lose (which is in the ballpark of the amount I’d pay for a flight to my favourite international destinations). ¬†It helps me resolve the possibility of ‘losing it all’ though it’s unlikely.

What’s news with you?

Lists are my saviour

So, the last three days have been better. ¬†And I attribute it to my list/check sheet. ¬†Instead of buying a prettier product from a stationary store like Kikki K, I DIY’ed.

Lists are nice!
Lists are nice!

Basically, each morning, I want to exercise, meditate and (ideally) write down my day’s goals. ¬†Then in the evening, I want to floss (and put my mouth-guard in for teeth grinding), take my tablets and apply cream to my head, balm to my cracked heels, write a few things I’m grateful for AND… pray.

I love ticking stuff off, so this is working pretty darn well for me! So even though I deferred this morning’s meditation to get to work earlier, my tick-traction meant as soon I was done with dinner, I sat for 15 minutes trying to visualise a prick of sunlight expand making the person happier and happier. ¬†I was MUCH better at meditation pre-visualisation. ¬†But meditation is a constant learning and improvement exercise.

I started the work routine on Sunday night, and got some stellar photos I’ll subject reader to:

Pretty Sunday walk
Pretty Sunday walk
Looking back
Looking back
Glittery lights on the water
Glittery lights on the water
End of the walk
End of the walk

And last week, it was the BF’s birthday. I completely dropped the ball. I didn’t plan a thing – a gift nor a dinner/experience. So on Friday night, after a day off with a killer headache, I merged his favourite desserts – lemon meringue pie and cheesecake. Can you see my attempt at a piped heart?

Someone had a birthday
Someone had a birthday

It was delicious, but interestingly, I’ve noticed my ‘sweet tooth’ cravings are mainly after lunch or in the afternoon. That’s work time, so this is safe in the fridge at home. ¬†One square of dark mint chocolate is enough! ¬†This realisation means I’m avoiding the fundraiser chocolates more often, and generally keeping my eating pretty healthy. ¬†Weigh in tomorrow, but since our Phuket trip, I’ve dropped 4kg, and while I want to lose more, when the BF put it like that, I was pretty proud of myself!

Hope life’s treating you well too. ¬†Do you like checking things off on a list? Does it keep you on track to achieving your goals?

Limbo at work

I have accepted a new role, a promotion, and I’ve negotiated to start on Monday 13th April.  Initially we talked about 30th March, but with a Phuket holiday over the Easter weekend and into the next week, it made sense to hold off starting until I was ‘there for good’.

So I have three weeks of ad hoc tasks.  I’m back in the office – as in, my own office?!  Weird, given I’ll be paid less than the guy outside my door… but it’s only temporary, and I have to admit, it’s sorta nice :p There’s still the stretched canvas print of the Brooklyn Bridge I brought at a thrift store to brighten the boring walls!

cat limbo

I can’t begin to tell you the change to my mindset and general ‘feel’ about work since moving back.  Sunday night blues were a little more of a ‘nice’ blue.  The 5:30am alarm was less painful – I took it upon myself to take as long as it needed to prep for work (no rushing for the half hourly express).  I then walked to a station two stops further away, as a fitness option.  A nice cool morning too, so I wasn’t all hot and bothered.

I did have to visit the far away office, and collect my boxes (two) and uniforms (three containers – a bag and two milk crates or so worth!).  Safety gears more excessive in space taking that reference paperwork, who’d have thought!  Driving north, I ground myself down, and thought of how OVER IT I am/was/are!?  I mean, being in Hornsby meant questions, hand overs, where am I going now?  I just wanna hide!  It’s not yet ‘signed on the dotted line’ so I’m not prepared to announce my new role widely, lest anything go wrong…

So, I’m spending some time thinking about what made me come to resent the role and the position, so I can plan and prepare for my new role.  I want to be ready to ‘manage the manager’ so I feel good about the job I do, rather than feeling like the boss always wants more, and what I’ve done is never enough…  I suppose that’s a point in and of itself – I need my achievements to be recognised, and not in the breath before asking for something more.  At the core, I want to be trusted to be able to do my job, that I will try my hardest and do my best.  That I’m not a slacker – and if I take a liberty of an hour here or there for personal issues, it will truly be nothing compared to what I do give.  I have really felt like I’ve needed to justify every minute of every day in the past six months, and I still never felt like it was enough.  That sucks…

How do you, my wise readers, deal with the above?  That sense of defeat?  Lack of appreciation?

4 days to go!

The countdown is til I move back to my normal office.  It’s all very uncertain, as I’ve applied for another role (not at my normal office location, this time, south, but with a car as part of the package).  So I’m not sure if this will be a short term stop over or part of a longer ‘settling back in’.  In any case, I’m not regretting turning down the promotion ‘up north’.  I still woke today, dreading the commute.  I still cursed the sweatiness hustling to not miss my train.  And I cursed again as I got home 12 hours since I’d left, knowing I have yet more hours to work to get some time off for a funeral on Friday.

2015 Random 002
Oh I went to the zoo… this is a seal

 

All I can hope is this move in work will mean a more regular return to blogging! Though I note other professional women amongst my readership have slowed down blogging too, which makes me feel foolish to boast having more time!  Thanks for making me feel normal, in my irregular posting, Lucinda, Fiona and Amanda – Dar & Laura you put us all to shame, what IS your secret?

2015 Random 005
Sunday brunch view (Scarborough beach, WA)

 

Outside of work, I spent four days in Perth with the BF last weekend… it was totally last minute (as in, the flight disappeared from being sold online within the time I was looking at it!)  It was an expensive last minutes decision, but critical to my mental health, so I’m glad I did it.  The BF spent the remainder of the week in Perth, so I ‘stayed over’ with my empty nester parents much to their delight.  Of course, they spoilt me, with breakfast (fruit salad, yoghurt and toast) set out for me.  And waking me gently rather than an alarm.  And dropping me at the station, or picking me up from the airport during peak hour.  So I felt like a special someone for a little while, which was just what I needed.

FullSizeRender_2
See, we surfed!

 

I’ve totally forgot to share my embarrassing surfing lesson photos with you – I have to more lessons to look like a pro (and lose 10kg I’ve gained of late!)  Still, it was a fun and exhausting work out.  And the weather was far nice that the picture, but it did turn at the end, and lovely at the start ūüėÄ  A cyclone or two have delayed me from going back the past two weekends.  But I did pilates in the park, and a run, a first in a long time.  My body is screaming, let me assure you!

How are y’all?

Guerilla concrete art

As regular readers would know, I notice things on my walks around inner city Sydney, like this.

In the past few months, there’s been a cluster of concrete art around scaffolding in my local area. ¬†They must have excess, so they cast it into fun shapes. ¬†i noticed some of the ‘older’ ones have been chipped away, perhaps removed by the true property owners? ¬†Who knows… But for you enjoyment:

Red head - I wonder if this invalidated the no parking sign - I know if the arrows get grafittued over, it counts, and you can park freely til the council replaces the sign.
Red head – I wonder if this invalidated the no parking sign – I know if the arrows get grafitted over, it counts, and you can park freely til the council replaces the sign.
White skull, YOLO - similar to the one on the parking sign
White skull, YOLO – similar to the one on the parking sign
As my father calls them: Baklava...
As my father calls them: Baklava…
Guns are common - there's one near my church, been there many years. Should get a snap.
Guns are common – there’s one near my church, been there many years. Should get a snap.
Bigger arms
Bigger arms
This is ubiquitous AUssie (as Lucinda Sans will attest). The goon bag (wine bag)
This is ubiquitous AUssie (as Lucinda Sans will attest). The goon bag (wine bag)
Not a step further. a REAL foil wine bag in the recycling (which, is NOT recycling...)
Not a step further. a REAL foil wine bag in the recycling (which, is NOT recycling…)
Not concrete, but getting creative with the hoarding (which I saw hand painted by a 60yo man)
Not concrete, but getting creative with the hoarding (which I saw hand painted by a 60yo man)

Why so quiet?

Well partly cause I can’t recall my password for approving comments.

And work – man, work. We’ve had big storms in Sydney, and big effort for me and my team to get things back to ‘normal’. And then there’s life. Life is full and complicated.

Today was not a normal day in Sydney. I just want to make it known that I don’t harbour any hate. Every human is what they chose to be, or become, and it’s on them, not on their alliances or faith or anything else. And everyone makes wrong decisions, whether they be little slip ups or holding people hostages in a cafe. I refuse to buy into the speculation or hysteria.

So for something more mundane, a to do list
– wrap jars with maps as future votive holders for my birthday!
– put away the washing (at least the lingering socks!)

Inside the invite

– make my 30th birthday invites

Handmade envelopes
Outside invites

– write Christmas cards (that should probably be bumped higher, but it’s a mess factor and maps are everywhere…!)
– rinse out the dirty take away coffee cups the BF used
– buy foam core cardboard for a certain Christmas gift plan
– drop off two pairs of shoes to have their soles restitched on
– coordinate to drop off my hand blender to a friend
– hang up recently bought fairy lights in the hallway

I’m still reading your blogs, but that password issue is even ruining my commenting simplicity :s Sorry! Promise I read it all!

Dramatism is like consumerism

Yesterday I wrote about how I still feel the twinges of desire to acquire things, but mostly I quash them.  I withstand my desire for the new and shiny things and the promise (lies!) of a perfect life.  I can be an anti consumer, or at the very less a low level consumer

However, one thing I seem to buy hook line and sinker from media is the ‘happy’ myth. ¬†Or more precisely, the soap opera of constantly interesting story lines.

There is no soap opera in going to work every day, and sitting at a desk most of the time getting work done.

Well, there is no soap opera about engineers. ¬†Think about that – doctors, nurses, CSI tech, lawyers, Australiam librarians, politicans – yes to all the above. ¬†Engineers – not so much. ¬†The Australian film “3 Dollars” he’s an engineer who loses his job. ¬†Gloomy.

I seem to wish and want my life to have interest. ¬†To have a good story, at any moment to tell. ¬†That perfect tale to tell when someone asks ‘what’s been happening’ who I saw only a week ago. ¬†Put another way, I seem to want a certain level of drama in my life. ¬†Some complication, some struggle. ¬†Those who know me well enough, are honest enough to tell me, my life IS like a soap opera. ¬†Alas, I think (and hope) that’s perhaps not come across in my blog posts?

But it’s a myth, just like the right clothes will improve your self esteem or the right cupboard will solve your clutter problem. ¬†Both those myths I know the truth about! ¬†But the constant drama, the swings and roundabouts of life, I always want just the right sprinkling. ¬†I do¬†not like to be bored.

That being said, sometimes, I get to the end of the dramatic act, and I think ‘Woowa, why did I want into that scene? Why didn’t I just reject that story line?’

It only just dawned on me the other day when a friend said to me “Life isn’t like a TV show”. ¬†He’s right. ¬†I know advertising isn’t real life. But I need to learn that a scripted life is not real life. ¬†For one, they never show them going to the toliet. ¬†That always used to puzzle me as a child!

First kiss

When I was a teenager, and hormonal, I wrote endlessly about love and all the involved permutations.  But I knew I was young and hormonal and who wants to read the same gaff every teen goes on about?  Now I’m in that perfect spot – neither youthful hormones, nor at the sunset of youth (relatively), nor pregnant lady hormones. I feel like I can write about the heady memories of first kisses without a bias ūüėČ

There is nothing more intoxicating than the anticipation of your very very first kiss.  There’s nothing to compare it to.  From those more experienced at school, the most graphic example Sally gave was ‘it’s like licking a plate’.  I think the visual was captivating enough, irrespective of it’s relevance to the actual act.

When I FINALLY (or so it would seem) had my first kiss at 16, it was at a school dance.  I remember the sore hips from a night of swaying back and forth on the same spot.  I was delighted to be told that ‘it looked like the movies’ when Fran reminisced about my first kiss.  Cause if it looked right to an outsider, I mustn’t be doing anything too wrong, right?

source: www.deviantart.com
source: www.deviantart.com

Alas, this kiss was unexpected, a function of luck.  The best kisses are the ones you’ve imagined in every possible combination in your head.  Every moment, in freeze frame motion.  And that started LONG before I was actually first kissed.  I remember spending my first year in high school speculating ways I could ‘run into’ the neighbour up the street.  It couldn’t have been more frustrating to NEVER have him on my train home – how could us two commuters never find our paths met?  (Mostly cause he went to school for an hour less a day, and my school was twice as far away!)  Nonetheless, almost every day I spent 50c on a roll of lifesavers, so should I see him, I’d have something to offer.  A way to nonchalantly strike up conversation.

After my first kiss, but whilst still in high school, I developed a crush.  With it, I created this alternative reality, this happily ever after.  It all pivoted on that first kiss.  When the time finally came to steal a kiss, it was lack luster.  he smelt… like he’s clothes hadn’t dried properly.  There’s nothing I detest more than that musty smell.  It failed to live up to the hype in my head.  (Interestingly, I was told many years after this that I was ‘the one that got away’.  Since then, he’s happily married, so I think all’s well on that front!)

At university, it took about at least a year to get over the awkwardness that comes from eight years in a girls boarding school and into an environment of 95% guys.  I spent a long time expecting someone to rib me for talking to guys, that I might have an ulterior motive, that I was ‘in lurve’.  I also slowly got out of thinking every interaction needed to be working towards ‘a boyfriend’.  Let’s face it, in boarding school you had to maximise you chances, which were so few and far between.

source: www.imgion.com
source: www.imgion.com

Let it be known that I’ve had more crushes than hot dinners, so it will come as no surprise that this thrill of imagining the first kiss is a well worn path in my sub conscious. I remember developing a firm interest in a friend in one particular class.  I think it’s the only time that the reality far exceeded my imaginings!  All the mystery he’d developed seemed to continue despite our first kiss.  I can only assume I wasn’t as skillful (?) as that ship sailed.  Our romance dissolved and we continued to study together with no malice.  Well not much ūüėČ

First kisses.  There’s so many unknowns.  It’s often the gateway to physical touch.  Will it be breathless and heady?  Will it fall flat to all the hype in your head?  Will it come when you least expect it and leave you floored?  To me, there’s so much mystery in a kiss.  A mystery in why humankind do this – and why we found this ritual so intoxicating.  As my little brother mistook it as a child ‘why are they biting each others’ lips?’.  Well, that’s a very good question… One I just can’t quite answer!