Challenge 4: Activities 21-27

I think I missed a few days after Day 18 (Thursday) when I did three activities (18-20) and learned about the Edamame Threat.

Day 19: I was home with a sick boy, so the thing I had booked to do that day didn’t happen. I had to reschedule.

Day 20: That was Saturday. I can’t remember what I did on Saturday.

Activity 21: Approach someone I met once a few years ago and reintroduce myself.

This was an opportunity activity, because I hadn’t planned to do it, but the chance came up so I went with it. I was at an event and saw someone who I follow on Twitter and who I’d met several years ago, but I wasn’t totally sure it was her. I kept staring at her to try and figure it out, and felt really awkward. Finally she and I were in each other’s vicinity so I took a deep breath and said hi. Turns out it was her and we have a brief chat.

Fearometer: 5/10. I was pretty nervous.
How I felt before doing it: Nervous and that only built up the more I thought about doing it.
How I felt while I was doing it: Awkward at first, but we had common interests so it was fine.
Would I do it again: I have introduced myself to random Twitter people in the street if I’ve interacted with them a bit, so probably. Depends on the person.

Activity 22: Get an outstanding medical check
Won’t go into details here, but in 2013 I was asked to get medical clearance so that I could do something I’d wanted to do. It has taken me this long to make the appointment.

Fearometer: 2/10 I was only slightly worried that maybe there would be some issue that had cropped up that I wasn’t aware of
How I felt before doing it: Just wanted it to be over. Doctor was running late. I had 30 minutes to get through. (Lesson for #fixwhatbugsyou – the doctor will always be late, even if you call to ask whether they are on time and are told they are. Take a book. Write a blog post. Don’t waste time with the trashy waiting room magazines. They will rot your brain.)
How I felt while I was doing it: Fine once it became apparent there wasn’t anything to worry about.

Would I do it again: Yes

Activity 23: Have a Tarot reading
This has been something on my wanna do list for ages, but I never knew how to go about organising this or what to expect. I know a little bit about the Tarot but felt very awkward about having a reading because I’m not an expert and had no idea what I might find out.

On Twitter earlier in the week one of my friends said she had had a reading and that the person doing the readings, Jodi, was giving away 20 free readings (she still is – click the link to get in touch!) to help her make sure what she was doing all worked before she went into business. I felt a bit awkward asking someone I’d never interacted with before if I could be one of her guinea pigs, but she was happy to sign me up and, striking while the iron was hot- before I could chicken out –  I set it up for the next day and we connected over Skype.

It was amazing, and I’ll write a fuller post on this a bit later because it’s inspired an upcoming challenge. The thing that grabbed me was the insight into my situation that Jodi and I read into the cards – she calls it a ‘collaborative reading’ –  and it left me feeling like I was completely on the right track with what I was doing. There are so many things that are coming together about this situation right now, I feel like a little step I took about a month ago has started to build momentum. Ad it also manifested in an unexpected way a couple of days ago, which assures me I am doing the right things and is pushing me to keep going.

Fearometer: 6/10
How I felt before doing it: Nervous about what might come out of the reading. Scared about connecting to someone online I’d never interacted with before.
How I felt while I was doing it: More and more relaxed as time passed. Jodi was very easy to talk to and I was really grateful to have had this opportunity.
Would I do it again: Absolutely

Activity 24: Go to the accountant and get my tax done
Oh the dreaded tax time. I’m not sure what I was worried about. I keep good records and most of the information gets downloaded into the ATO site anyway, so it’s really no big deal. I mainly needed to go to the accountant to get some advice on the disposal of some assets. That sounds serious. It’s not. It ended up being under $50 on a section of the tax form I never knew existed. It’s all done now and I’m expecting my snappy $80 refund any day now.

I’m almost embarrassed to put this in as a year of fear activity.

Activity 25: Ask someone for something they have no obligation to give me or expectation that I might ask for

Fearometer: 4/10. I always get a bit nervous asking this person for something
How I felt before doing it: Nervous

How I felt while I was doing it: A bit more anxious as at first they didn’t know exactly what I was asking so I had to explain myself again
Would I do it again: Probably if my desire for a thing outweighs my nerves

Activity 26: Ask to exchange a product I bought that’s the wrong one
This is a silly thing to be anxious about doing, but I always dread having to go back to a shop and ask to exchange something. It’s not as bad if the product if faulty but if I’ve stuffed up and bought the wrong thing because I didn’t check what I needed first, I feel like a bit of an idiot.
Fearometer: 2/10
How I felt before doing it: Nervous that they would say no, you got it wrong, suck it up buttercup
How I felt while I was doing it: Fine once they said yes
Would I do it again: I guess so.

Activity 27: Secret squirrel!
Activity completed. I am annoyed to have been put into the situation that made this activity happen, but it’s done now.

Photo of the week. Me 10 years ago. Who needs a professional when you have a self-timer and a black velvet sheet to throw over the book case right? Seriously I wish I had had some lovely pregnancy shots done, but it didn’t occur to me at the time, and less than three weeks after this picture, boom, all over.

BW1 huge_retouched




Week in review

So I’m not doing a photo and a post a day, but I still need to keep track of what’s been happening so that I can keep up to date with my 2012 Project Life album and don’t get five months behind like I did in 2011. The main point of me doing that project is so I can remember what all the photos I take are of, and why I took them.
Having said that, one thing I want to do this year is put the camera away sometimes. I think know there have been times when I’ve been so focused on taking the perfect photo of something that I’ve missed out on fully experiencing the moment at the time.
That seems a little ridiculous – if the moment is that fantastic it will live on in my memory without a photo (or at least without the perfect photo, and certainly without 10 or 20 photos), and what point is the photo if I didn’t really experience the event?*
So . . . I need to give myself permission to not capture everything and to not feel guilty about not doing it. I don’t need a picture of every little thing Juniordwarf does, I don’t need to record everything I do. I need to do it.
The photo a day concept is great, and it provides a time capsule of what my life was like over a relatively short time, which I think will be cool to look back on in years to come. But it is incredibly time consuming – even with the simple approach in Project Life – and I don’t want to spend my whole life catching up on recording things, rather than actually doing things.
One of my friends suggested a weekly approach, rather than a daily approach, might work well for this year.
I’m going to give that a go and just do one post with highlights of the week. That doesn’t mean I won’t post at other times during the week on other things, like Project Life or my struggle to beat my demons (because we all know that you love reading that stuff), but for the stuff that caught my eye during the week, I’m going to try and stick to one post.
So, here’s a selection of photos for the week:
(Monday) We went to Russell Falls.
This will make good topic for Sunday Selections on Sunday. (I think Kim is still running it. I haven’t done one of those posts for a while.)
(Tuesday) Juniordwarf made a person out of his salad – cucumber slices for the body and head, carrot sticks for the arms, legs and ears, and lettuce for the hair. He then ate the person piece by piece, from the bottom up, and every time he picked up a piece, he said ‘looking at the person now!’
I lied. There isn’t a photo for this moment.
(Wednesday) I went back to work. I was dreading it because the previous two days had been really hot and I don’t own any hot weather work clothing. Fortunately a cool change came through and I didn’t need it. There was a stunning rainbow over the mountain on my first day back.
(Thursday) The bus got stuck in roadworks at Granton. This is the scene from the window.
(Thursday) Juniordwarf had been asking for a Harry Potter book for ages and he was really expecting to get one for Xmas. I suggested it might be better to get it from the library so he could see if he really wanted it before he went out and bought it. It arrived at the library and he was so excited about it he couldn’t wait until Slabs came back to the car to start reading it. 
Slabs and I started reading it to him but he didn’t want to hear it. When I put him to bed he said he’d read the book to his teddy after I turned out the light. It seems like he tried to do exactly that.
(Thursday) Slabs and Juniordwarf picked me up from the bus stop and we went down to the Esplanade so they could go fishing and we could have dinner outside. It’s a shame the weather wasn’t particularly pleasant (what a change earlier in the week), but still it was a lovely thought from Slabs for us to do something a bit different, and it was a really nice way to spend the rest of the afternoon.
(Today) We went for a drive on a road we’ve never been on before.
* This the point where the camera addict acknowledges that her husband has said this to her on more than one occasion.

P365 – Day 342 – running (Flashback Friday)

I thought I might try out the Flashback Friday concept and see how it works. I first saw the idea on Nicole’s blog a while ago and I think it fits in quite well with the ‘Past-Present-Future’ theme of my blog.
Ok, so today is actually Thursday, not Friday, but this is my blog and I make the rules around here, and if I say I can do Flashback Friday on Thursday, then I can.
Anyway, to kick off what might become a occasional series, today I’m going back to early December 2005 and reproducing an extract from my journal.
For a bit of background, several years ago I weighed 73.4 kg. For someone who is only 151 cm tall, this was somewhat* overweight. It was caused by a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits and many years of very little exercise. After Slabs and I moved to Tasmania in 2005, I made a decision that it was time to do something about my unhealthy lifestyle.
I improved my eating habits, ate a lot less, drank a lot less, and started to exercise. I started off by walking in my lunch breaks at work. This increased to walking in the mornings and, before I knew it, I’d started running.
This was a surprise to me because I’d always hated running and at school had struggled to run the couple of kilometres around the sports fields that had been required of us for phys ed and sports training. But I started off very slowly – one minute running, two minutes walking – and over about four months I built this up to being able to run for 45 minutes. And what was even more surprising was, I sort of liked it.
I felt great, looked pretty good and, for the first time in my life, felt like I was actually getting fit and healthy.
And this is what I wrote at around this time six years ago:

I’ve let myself go a bit this week, but still exercising, so it should be OK. I think ideally I’d like to lose five more kilos and get down to 51. That would be perfect, but I know that this month it’s going to be difficult with work lunches coming up. 

So I will set a goal of 51 kg by 13 February. 

This morning I did a 30 minute run (including ten sprints the length of the oval – what absolute torture, but at least not as boring as jogging around the streets the whole time.) I had plans to do the long walk tomorrow morning and run the first 30 minutes and see how long it took overall. But it is pissing down with rain (our roof is leaking, that’s how heavy it is) and the forecast is for rain all weekend. I can’t see myself getting up at any time to go out in that. No way.

And why, you might ask, have I chosen this particular flashback?
Well, I recently read about one of my friend’s achievements in completing a 10 km fun run recently. I felt really inspired by how well she had done, and thought to myself that six years ago my goal had been to complete a similar fun run.
(I stopped running when I got pregnant because the things the pregnancy hormones did to my body made it too uncomfortable to continue, so while I kept walking I also ate a lot, and I stacked on a lot of weight that I still haven’t managed to lose.)
I started thinking that if my friend can run 10 km, and I got close to it six years ago, why can’t I do it again? I seemed to have no incentive to get healthy again and was only too willing to remain in my lazygirl rut.
Earlier this week I had a bit of a moan about it on Twitter. How am I supposed to find time to do any serious exercise when I have a child, and I work and I try to keep the house clean, and I have so much gardening to do, and my lunch times are filled with doing errands so I don’t have time to even go for a walk, and, and, and  . . .
As usual, my tweeples were sympathetic and helpful, and I began to think that I might actually be able to do this and that just maybe now was the time to start.
The suggestions were simple (there’s only so much you can say in 140 characters), and were things I already knew. For some reason I just needed someone to say them to me, and this time I was ready to hear them. Simple things like making changes to my daily routine to bring in some exercise – something I’ve read and heard a millions times, but have thought it’s all too hard and I have no time and I’ve never made the effort to think about how I actually could do it.
This week it suddenly became a lot clearer, and now I think I can really do it.
The main reasons I want and need to do this are (1) to increase my energy levels so I’m able to keep up with with Juniordwarf, (2) to try and improve my moods and overcome my anxiety issues, because my bad days are starting to become really bad and I’m not coping well, and (3) to fit into the clothes that I bought six years ago and wore for about a month.
Also, much as I try to convince Juniordwarf that I’m 29, I’m not, and I’m getting to the age where my chance of developing ‘lifestyle’ diseases is going to increase if I don’t make changes to my lifestyle now.
I hope that these reasons will outweigh the excuses I have: (1) I can’t find a sports bra that fits (this is a serious problem if you are endowed like Dolly Parton), (2) I don’t actually like running (I didn’t six years ago either, but I grew to like it), and (3) it is going to hurt (it will, but the good feeling is going to outweigh the hurt, and last a lot longer).
Seriously, I know absolutely that making healthy choices makes me feel so much better, but for some reason, it’s easier to stay in my rut and keep doing what I’ve always done.
It doesn’t make any sense when I know how much better I can feel.
Anyway, it’s time.
I did question whether the ‘silly season’ was the right time to start, because there would be lots of excuses not to continue, but I figured that the best time to start is when I’m motivated.  If I put it off, I might just slide back down into that place I go to on the bad days and it might take several more months before I feel able to get started.
So the time is now.
Also, I have deliberately not weighed myself and I’m not going to. My aim is to get healthy, improve my moods and start feeling good about myself. If I can achieve that over time, then I don’t care what the scales say.
For someone who likes tracking progress to the nth degree (like I did in 2005), this is a big change. But I’m trying to cultivate a new attitude that the numbers on the scales are (like age), just numbers, and my measure of success will be things like more energy, better moods and feeling better about myself.
I have no doubts this will be hard – everything I’m doing has been hard, and there have been major setbacks – but it’s important, so I’m doing it.
(And just so you know I wasn’t joking, after I wrote this post I went out for the first time. I’ve started with the same routine that I had back in 2005. Even that nearly killed me, but I know I have to stick with it. I will get used to it and it will start to feel OK. I’ve done it before, so I know it will.)
 * An understatement.