Sunday, 19 February 2017

Another one bites the dust

So I went for a job a couple of weeks ago. I bought a new dress for it and everything.

I did not get the job. I was crushed. I was given reasons, they did not relate to my ability, they wanted to keep existing staff on.

In applying for the job, I was wanting to a. work close to home and b. help along my career. I had reservations about whether I would feel comfortable or included within that role, or whether I have the same ethos as other staff members.

Mostly, being knocked back was a blow to the ego. 

Perhaps the more difficult thing was this occurring on the background of significant frustration related to my infertility. On spec the two things aren't related but to me, it's the feeling of not kicking goals.

However, I have felt the work-love - other boss types have come forward to offer me more work, and support for what I want to achieve in my career.

I think I will achieve more in my work if I feel happy, embraced and encouraged, rather than on guard in a dog-eat-dog, closed shop environment.

Onward and upward, though. Plenty to look forward to, plenty to do, and plenty of love.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Goals Update: Broken New Year's Resolutions. Stuff I am into.

So you know how I wrote a set of goals for the new year a month or so ago. Some work related, some travel related, some fitness related. I wanted to update you on them.

The "only travel locally" goal: broken.

I've been thinking about Israel and Jordan for ages now. It is high time I went, and travel is life for me. I have not yet found out about changes to my work (see below) but I have booked it, and soon (mid-late March). I am going with G Adventures. I needed a trip to look forward to. It's on like Donkey Kong, people. IVF after that.

Details of trip here.

Regarding the fitness things, they are going great guns. I have commissioned one of my coaches at crossfit to do some 1:1 sessions to help me to achieve my fitness goals. I can now do 2 double unders in a row.

Regarding the box jump, I have got my hands onto a Swamp Box, my mate Emma was giving hers away for free. This is essentially a large high density foam box the size of the wooden one, so I can jump without fear of my shins.

Regarding the career things.... I have been a bit quiet on this blog because there has been a bit of pushing and wheeling. I went for an interview last week (see my outfit on instagram - it was on point). I find out tomorrow or Tuesday whether I got it. I am nervous. When I get nervous I get heartburn or stomach upset. I have it now :(

There were a few other interviewees. The interview itself was very short, and we were led in and out of the interview room so we didn't come face to face with other interviewees. Is that a thing? All very cloak and dagger.

Another job in a different department has come up in the same place, which I have also gone for. I hope to get both, so I can consolidate close to home. It's good not to have to drive around.

Research wise, I am finishing what I started, but also being invited onto other projects as a co-Investigator. This will hopefully yield papers but without as much grunt.

Last Friday, I made a trip into the city. It was a couple of weeks after the horror of the people killed by a murderous driver. I was bracing myself for it to be really sad and sombre. Instead, I ran into a street party of sorts.... buskers making money for the victim's families. It was a real party atmosphere. The blokes looked like metal heads but were playing flamenco tunes while head-banging. People were smiling and dancing. I became overwhelmingly proud of my city.

I went into the Mothership (David Jones). I looked at the cosmetics. I found some things I liked, which I will share here:

Niche Perfumes, like this one (Akkad, by Lubin). I like to smell a bit spicy, expensive and different to others. All mainstream perfumes smell roughly the same to me. I have run out of Black Afghan by Nasomatto and am now on the hunt for a new signature scent.

My good mate SSG has got me rather hooked on cosmetics. I am after a nice go to eye palette, as, like her, I am not terribly fond of L'Oreal le palette nude. I also would like to have some peachy/pinky shades.

I already have cult products Nars Orgasm blush, Nars Laguna Bronzer, and Chanel Fantasme eyeshadow/sparkles. I cannot go past Lancome Virtuose mascara - no other mascara is nearly as good on my eyes.

I need to put a lid on the spending..... maybe that needs to be another goal.

I am starting to get into home cooking again, having got into a bit of a rut - SSG, being the oracle of good things, has put me onto Recipe Tin Eats, which has some super easy, super tasty food.

Do you have a go to fragrance, mascara, or tasty dish? Share here.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Passive aggressive Facebook status updates.

I often see facebook statuses with just a sad face, or an oblique reference to people being upset, and I feel annoyed and sorry for the person in equal measure. Facebook is a place for funny memes, not for coded cries for help....although upon consideration, it's good that somebody might feel compelled to reach out and ask if the person is ok.

Today, I posted an epic passive-aggressive FB status update:


It did not even go halfway to explaining the way I felt today, yet I felt it appropriate. I find contrived platitudes about gratitude and positive attitude (rhyme!) annoying too. Anger and frustration are a part of life. It is confronting to people when they are expressed.

I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to get my work situation sorted before I start on the IVF. I feel like my job seeking prospects might be limited in the future. This has caused a lot of angst, largely because part of the job thing is out of my control. There are wheels within wheels there.

Also, I have found my lack of substantive work quite erosive to my self worth. The good feedback goes nowhere and I begin to doubt myself, and resent the processes.

The situation with my mum has weighed on my mind, too. We would all like the calm guidance and support of our mother when we embark on our own motherhood, but I have come to the conclusion that this will not be the way for me, and I have to find a way for that to be ok.

These thoughts seem quite coherent, to me anyway, but they have bubbled under a lot of general feeling shitty lately. It's good to have them surface, and I can take a deep breath in and while breathing out I can say "fuckit". I can't wait for the ducks to line up before I do the IVF. There is never a good time. I just have to press on. The other shit will be what it is, and I have to deal with it as it comes up.

Fitness goals:

1. I did a pullup with only an orange resistance band (pullup arms getting stronger, I can feel an unassisted pullup coming soon)
2. I did a set of 3 of these with 40 kg on the bar

I did not look as smooth as that guy, but my grunt was on point. Grunts are good. They fix things.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Goals update. Harnessing the hive brain.

Happy new year, folks! It has been a while.

I have been back at work since returning from Bali. My "office" is not one that closes over any festive season! The ground was hit, running, and I have continued to run at decent pace since.

Health and fitness wise, I have been doing well. I got to all 6 crossfit sessions last week, and I am feeling suitably strong. My diet has also shaped up considerably to support this badass training.

I saw my sister and niece and enjoyed it. I saw my mum and managed it semi-graciously.

The main sticking point is my work. As I mentioned, I was gunning to consolidate at one workplace. I have been doing a locum position at this workplace and the feedback has been good. Another 6-month locum position has come up for application, to replace somebody off on sabbatical. Unfortunately, in order to take this job, I would essentially need to resign from my permanent work.

I am not prepared to do that because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Also, this is now the 3rd lot of locuming I have done for this work place, and I am starting to tire of being used as a stop gap rather than becoming a valued member of the team. The good work ethic I have shown has come to nothing, hence I feel there is no incentive. It's a bit depressing.

My approach was, if they press me, was to say that I would love to work for them, but it would involve me having to resign current positions for a temporary role. And leaving it there.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016 Top Nine. Goals.

Firstly, I hope youse had a good exmas. Judging by the blogs, it looked marvellous. Even if it wasn't hunky dory, congrats, you survived. Also, George Michael and Carrie....bloody hell...

I had considered 2016 a bit of a fail, and recent blog post have been a bit on the bleh woe is me side. 

Today, I did the #2016topnine whatsy on Instagram.

I had a couple of comments on this pic above. One was saying that it was a very accomplished year. The other said it was the best top nine they'd seen.

Those kind comments really snapped back things into perspective for me. This top 9 shows a few good things that have come out of the year.

I got my PhD printed up and the degree conferred (left 3 squares)

I tried my best at my sport and this got recognised (right middle)

I spent some time in some very great tropical places (Bali, Thailand (top middle), Bali again (top right)

I take pleasure in the small cool things (bottom right)

I have made friends with my thick (powerful) thighs (bottom middle)

And I continue to be delightfully inappropriate and disgraceful on a regular basis (middle).

I have not squeezed a baby out, nor do I have one in the oven. That has been farking hard. Motherhood is, in some ways, revered and getting pregnant is an accomplishment. A feeling of failure and some dread about the processes has been present for much of the latter part of the year. However, there have been wins. I am a bigger (weight wise about the same size, but you know what I mean) person compared with this time last year.

I had been looking on 2017 as a bit problematic. For various reasons (job application, impending IVF) it's been a bit hard to plan things, hence I found it hard to look forward to things. This led to a need to take the grind one day at a time. Still, I do well with some goals, and the end of the year is a good time to consider them. In setting these goals, I have taken some inspiration from this article.

Aims for 2017 and beyond. They are "SMART" goals mostly.


  • The novelty of working in 3 different workplaces is wearing off, and the work details are also getting tiring. I have been successful in shedding some roles that have not worked for me, and in their place I have temporary roles. I have asked for some changes in my current positions but things have not fallen into place. What I would like is to consolidate my work into 1-2 different places. To do this, I may need to be more assertive with certain people, as, in retrospect, I have missed out on things for not being this way.
  • Research wise, I need to finish what I started. I have one or two more PhD proceeds papers to get published. I need to grit my teeth and finish this research project I started, even though it is not going well at the moment. I have a few other side projects that I am collaborating on. Now is probably not the time to take on anything "big", research wise.
  • aim to start IVF between March and May, at a time when I have relatively less going on. Commit to doing that first cycle and seeing where I am after that.  
  • Overseas travel is a huge thing for me, but for various reasons it's hard to plan grand adventures. I think that now is a good time to explore Australia, as I have been neglectful of this. To go on weekend trips with friends and my partner. I have never been to Wilson's Prom, or Broome, or the Barossa.
  • I have a local conference in mind.
  • It's been hard this year, particularly in the latter part. I need to keep things light and polite with them. Regular but superficial contact. Keep the boundaries firm. Step back when it gets too much. 
  • My partner has been working hard and I have been disinclined to bother him with things, and as a result I have withdrawn into myself a bit. We both need to talk with each other more. This is sound advice for most couples but it is true for us. 
  • Depending on where I am with IVF, I would like to master the following
    • Box jump, 20"
    • Pull up, unsupported (even just one)
    • Rope climb (I actually managed to shimmy up a rope about 10 cm today, woooohoo)
    • Double-unders (maybe 5 in a row)
    • >100kg deadlift, 45kg clean and jerk, back squat loaded with body weight on barbell (either by increasing lift weight or decreasing body weight, or a combination)
    • 5km run in under 33 minutes (that's fast for me, my best ever time was 31:30
  • Continuing to exercise at least 3-4 times per week - if I get pregnant I can still train but the goals will need to go on hold! It is gold for my mental health.
  • don't do the flopping on the couch in the evening with the bottle of wine thing, or at least minimise this.
  • Eat vegetables with lunch and dinner.
  • Eat small amounts of healthy food regularly to avoid getting hangry and wanting sugary snacks. Hanger is a big problem for me, and it makes me ill tempered.

Anyway I think that will do for now.

Do you have any goals you want to share?

Thursday, 15 December 2016

All over the shop. Mindfulness is Key.

A list of miscellanea, for posterity:

  • Melbourne weather is finally coming good.
  • I've PB'd my back squat. 70kg. Yass.
  • I am off to the mandatory counselling / nursing training for IVF on Monday. Nothing starting till next year but still...onward.
  • Every couple of years or so, my mum has a bout of depression. She went MIA for a few hours one evening last week after sending out an email to a coworker who was concerned and called the police (who were in touch with me). She ended up texting to say she was ok. Harrowing.
  • I went to NZ to see my partner's family over the last weekend. Great to see Christchurch rebuilding. Not so great to get text messages from mum airing grievances to us, and offering unsolicited advice, which kind of made the weekend hard. I've offered concrete help but set some boundaries.
  • I've been doing quite a bit of extra work, which has been fun but exhausting. One of my interventions today I estimate will have saved $100K but more importantly made a punter happy. Winning.
  • I have a job interview in Feb. It's good but that timing makes it hard to plan my year.
  • Christmas songs make me want to run out of the shops screaming. My partner suggested, as a strategy, replacing all the lyrics to xmas songs with swear words and singing them in my head, so as not to teach little children bad ways. However the fact that Johnny Farnham is releasing an exmas record makes me happy. 
  • My partner has been promoted in his job, to Professor. Exciting. 
  • I have had my first PhD paper accepted into a decent journal, contingent on a few minor changes.  
  • I have to meet with one of my bosses tomorrow to discuss the progress of my research project. It is not going well, due to factors that I can't avoid. Still, I hate having to do it, but discussing strategies to move forward may make me feel better.
  • Off to Bali for Xmas, leaving on Tuesday. Running away? Yes. But I am mindful that I am doing that and mindfulness is key.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

If not fear, then what?

A marginally more hopeful but equally philosophical post tonight, before bed.

I've been at a low ebb, emotionally. Not so low that I can't do what I need to, not so low that I don't enjoy crossfit, but low nonetheless. I was wondering when the infertility induced low might end, when a clear answer about how to go forward apropos to IVF or not might appear. I was wondering when I might be able to regard each circumstance with which I am faced neutrally, rather than mentally trying the future child/childfree cloak on.

It's hard when you are feeling bogged down to know what the actual problem is.

Essentially it is just a matter of being afraid that bad stuff would happen, and that I would not be able to cope with it. In the past, FYI, bad stuff has happened and I have dealt with it and moved forward.

As it has before, the barbell bought me clarity. We were doing clean and jerks tonight at Crossfit.

If you care to watch the video (or not), you will see it is a technical movement that requires a swift, strong initial pull.

As the bar got heavier, I would start pulling the bar off the ground then hesitate.

I did not get my C&J past prior best is 43.5kg from about 5 months back, and I really wanted to crack 45kg today.

These complex movements do not work without a. loads of practice and foresight and b. an attitude of "I got this". It is quite natural to be scared when approaching a heavy bar, as there is a risk of injury with improper movement. However, hesitation does not help.

I could do with this attitude towards my box jumps. And also more generally in life.

I wondered what I would be able to do without being so consumed by fear?

My buzzword for 2016 was patience - I've certainly needed that! Perhaps my word for next year will be fearless.

PS - Yesterday, I approached my 2RM back squats yesterday with a little fear and a lot of confidence, the right ratio, and did the biggest squat I'd ever done - 65kg x 2.