Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Bachelor. Box jumps.

I know I said I wasn't gonna post but I just feel the need to debrief/download here.

The Bachelor is coming on telly.

I am angry.

Firstly because it is cutting into Offspring time. Yes I know Offspring *may* have jumped the shark, but it is still holy to me. Nina's outfits are on point this season. There is the hot dude from The Beautiful Lie coming on tonight, with a cameo from HRH Waleed Aly. THEY CAN'T DO THIS.

Mainly because the premise of The Bachelor is just wrong.

Beautiful women who mainly look a certain way. None above a size 10. Most caucasian. All with long hair. Intelligent enough but not enough to be threatening.

All throwing themselves at a guy who, while handsome, seems a little dull. With seemingly no regard for whether they actually are interested in Bachie. There was one lady in NZ bachelor who refused a rose. Respect.

In this day and age, we should be teaching young women that they don't have to throw themselves at a fella, that their desires matter, that they don't have to look a certain way in a frock, that they don't have to go for a guy just because the guy shows an interest. They have to be "cool" with throwing themselves off a plane or the fact he is pashing other girls.

There is so much wrong with it that I literally can't even.

Anyway, with regard to box jumps, they are coming along

We have a coach that says that my attitude towards them is all wrong.
I am making too big a thing of them, and have a learned fear of them. I can jump the height fine (over a stick put on top of the box) , but not on the box.

What I need to do is deal with them with the same confidence that I approach a deadlift. A "yep, I got this" approach. Then they won't be a big deal.

To use a bachelor analogy, I am trying too hard to impress Richie (Richie is the box). I have to be cool, or Richie (the box) won't respect me.

Monday, 25 July 2016

On a go slow.

I love reading all of the blogs on this blogroll, and lots of others besides.

I continue to have lots of thoughts, but none of them compel me to blog in a way that I feel is both true to myself and readable to people, with content that I feel comfortable sharing.

So I will be taking a break for the moment.

From a mental health point of view, it is taking a bit of effort to keep that on track. CrossFit is the thing that is most helpful in this regard. Perhaps I might start a blog focussing on that. Or change the thrust of this blog. I don't know, but I will be around, on social media and on your blogs.

have a great day, and stay warm

C xx

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

My happy place.

It is frigid in Melbourne at the moment. Bone-chilling, squeal and pant when you step outside, frickin freezing.

I have some planned sojourns to warmer climes, Sydney this coming weekend, Bali next month. However, I have a friend who lives in Costa Rica. I want to go to Costa Rica. Officially, they have Zika there, a no-go for anyone wanting to get pregnant, but the real deal there is Chikungunya.

But no, there will be no Costa Rica. Not at the moment anyway.

It's cold and it's dark. A few things are niggling, in my life. The new job has some rather challenging aspects, without going into it too much. While I am not overtly stressed, and I have much to feel grateful for, I am feeling a bit seasonal-affective-disorder-y. A bit "fuck this shit, I'm going to Costa Rica".

It's good to find the happy places in our lives. For me, it is the places we can be ourselves. I have spent a lot of my life feeling uncomfortable, wondering how I was being received, not being comfortable to be myself. I have worked on that, but also surrounded myself with people who I feel comfortable with. Unfortunately that is not always possible.

People who are not me may find this next bit boring, but one of the places I feel free to be myself is the crossfit gym. It is the only place I happily leave bed for, early in the morning, in the cold.

I am surrounded by inspiring people, who share many of the same quirks I have. I can sweat, grunt, swear, fart (heavy lifting, don't judge me) and just push myself, be my best self and be encouraged for that. And afterwards I often go out for excellent coffee (and often an avocado/banana/cacao hipster smoothie) with some of the epic ladies I work out with.

At the moment, it's my happy place. With that at the start of the day, I can manage the cold, the drudgery, the facepalm moments, the discombobulation, and the urges to bugger off to Costa Rica.

Oh yeah- we recently had a competition. I came nearly last. However there was an award for the people who put in the most effort - the "becoming the bull" award (our gym is called Charge as in Charge like a Bull).

I won the lady one!

 Where is your happy place?

Monday, 27 June 2016

My tribe. The shred

There are a lot of things that are changing about me as I get older. I am more confident. I care less about what people think.... generally. I am far less inclined to tolerate things that cause me grief. These are good things.

My take on friendships has changed accordingly.

I used to chase friendships. I would often spend a lot more time and effort pursuing a friendship than the other party, and feel frustrated and resentful afterwards. I questioned my own value. I would constantly fear saying the wrong thing, and if a friend disagreed with me I would feel anxious about losing their friendship, and over-compensate.

When somebody continually says "oh we must catch up", but complains of how very busy they are, and rejects reasonable attempts at making a date, I will state "Ok, I will leave it with you", and quietly walk away. I appreciate things can get busy, but when there are no meaningful interactions, there can be no meaningful relationship. I don't burn the bridge, but walk away from the creek, toward other things.

Similarly, I have learned that good relationships are generally the ones that enrich you. Bring forth your best.

I have friendships that mainly exist via text messages that brighten my day.

I have a bunch of girlfriends that I see every couple of years. They are school friends. I grew up with them and knew them since I was four. Every time I see them, I feel no time as passed. We make very crude jokes, and laugh till we wet ourselves.

I have my tribe at the Crossfit box. I get along well with most people there and have a good chat. There is a small bunch of girls that I sweat with, then go for coffee with, and sometimes we go for dinner. Seeing this bunch has been very important to me recently, with various stressors.

I have a male friend who I met on RSVP back in the day. The romantic chemistry was not there but we became firm friends. We have seen each other through dating and relationship fails.

I feel good with these people. Un-self-conscious. Invigorated. Useful.

I know that, with various changes in circumstances, people will come in and out of my life. I hope that, with each major life event, and the social situation that entails, I will find my tribe.


I have been really looking after my health, going for my "pre-baby body". At the age of >35, all the ducks have to be in line, physically. I have been doing a bit of a "shred" (I hate the word diet). I won't go into detail about what I have been doing, but rest assured, it's been safe. I have a break over the weekends, eat what I like, within reason. It has been boring at times, but it has been working. I have found that a motivator like this, as opposed to say the size of my jeans, has been a powerful one.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Minor acts of aggression.

I have ummed and ahhed about whether to write this post, but here 'tis.

I have started a new job. I have been enjoying it, but have been finding it hard to switch off. I will learn. I will try to stay away from the vino and instead leave all the angst on the rubberised floor at my crossfit box, when I unleash the beast. Which I did this morning.

I had gotten to a place in my career where I felt liked, respected and secure. I had assumed that would continue at this current workplace, but that has been shaken in the last week. I have been feeling decidedly insecure.

Some of that is normal, different workplaces have different pecking orders, different people. It takes a bit of feeling about and testing the waters. A colleague who put me up for the job has been super supportive, and most people have been. It's also weird coming back as a senior, when you were junior to many of the people who are now theoretically your equal in the ranks.

There have been a couple of incidents this week, at the new role, which have rattled me a bit, and I will share with you.
I was just about to deliver a presentation at a meeting, very early on Tuesday morning. I greeted some a couple of my old consultants, male and now very close to retiring. I introduced myself, saying that I was their intern all those years ago.

Old boss #1 looks blank.

Old boss #2 muttered something to him which sounded very much like "oh, you just don't recognise her with her clothes on".

That last comment only sunk in a couple of days after. I gave my presentation like a professional.

A couple of days later, I was at a meeting with a few people whose roles are similar to mine. One of the people there was a person who, in my single days, I had been on a couple of dates with. It went nowhere, amicably.

He started with a long monologue, about how, in this new role, I had to listen much and talk less. We entered some general discussion. I suggested a role for my specialty in assessments. He said that we weren't up to it. I shot him a bit of a filthy look. He said "calm down Cilla" in front of everybody. A couple of minutes later, he said "sorry for insulting you". He then told me how I had to go ahead with some research I was doing, and who I had to involve, et cetera.

Both times, I wondered what I had done, and how I should act differently to make sure I don't feel uncomfortable.

I have come around, somewhat reluctantly, to the fact that I did not deserve to be treated that way. It's not cool.

I wish I could respond, swiftly and professionally, to such instances. Perhaps by asking people if they would like to repeat what they said. However, I would be the one to look out of order, such was the subtlety of the interaction.

I need to not let things get me down, to "chuck it in the fuck-it bucket". However I would like not to be put in the situation where I do feel belittled like this.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

IVF and a new world order.


Some of you will have watched 4 Corners on Aunty last night. It was an "expose" on the "IVF industry".

Something that was of interest to me.

I am nearly a year down the track from my Miscarriage. My assumption was that, given that I got pregnant quickly and without trying too hard, I would get pregnant quickly without trying too hard again.

Unfortunately this was not to be, and I am heading to the doctor tomorrow to follow through on the conception plan b. It's with a bit of a tail between my legs. I feel a bit like I have failed. I had put quite a lot of stock on getting pregnant the old fashioned way. IVF scares me and it has taken some time to get my head around it - the being pumped full of hormones, the ovaries swelling, the freezing of embryos. A potential for long-term effects to myself and my offspring.

I don't like the idea, really. I want a baby but I am scared of having IVF. I am growing a pair and getting thee to a doc, and I will see what they say, and what happens. I am trying, despite my fears, to keep an open mind and my eyes on the positives.

Back to the program. It was one-sided, and focussed on the negatives associated with IVF. It bought in experts who were instrumental in the development of IVF, who now disassociate themselves from current IVF practices, which they feel are corporatised and focussed on profit rather than using the technology in a prudent manner. They featured a head of an IVF company, who was bumbling. The program suggested that IVF practices were predatory towards vulnerable women, continuing with IVF cycles when the chances of success were infinitesimally small.

It featured Gab Kovacs, who is a prominent IVF doctor. He has been on record previously saying that women need to just settle down, not be so picky, and get pregnant earlier. On the program, he said that "embryos are like mud, you throw enough of them and one will stick". He also said that he could not refuse a woman IVF if she wanted it.

Putting the doctor hat on, I object to that analogy of mud being flung at the wall - it's not nearly as simple as that. IVF is medical treatment, and the law states that people cannot demand medical treatment that is futile or unduly burdensome.

Melinda Tankard Reist was also on, and though I don't like the woman, I agreed with some of the points she made.

There are plenty of very desperate women and couples out there - some of this desperation is being taken advantage of.

The only thing that the program will change for me is that I will go in and ask for an honest appraisal of what my chances are, and how they might dwindle with increasing numbers of  cycles. I would also prefer to see a female IVF specialist. Just because. I have had a good chat with my fella about the issues the show raised.

The program gave me some more general pause for thought. It occurred to me that I could have stayed in my previous marriage, and my chances of having a baby would have been much higher. I don't regret leaving, not for one second. I am happy, in retrospect, to have worn that risk.

There is a lot of pressure on women to "settle", with the "tick tock". Yet, for a professional woman, having a baby is done at a financial cost, mainly to the woman, in terms of career and superannuation. Many women are happy to make that compromise, yet increasing numbers are not. They do not necessarily stay in relationships to have babies, just like me.

These women are demonised as being selfish, and are warned about having sad, lonely, unfulfilling lives, but the research states quite the opposite. The real consequence is to society - birth rates are going down. It will lead to demographic consequences, with fewer future taxpayers being born.

Hence, for all Tony Abbott's gaffes, his one about helping women of calibre have babies has some merit. Unless women are encouraged to have children at a time when it is safest for them and baby (ie under 35) without their finances or career being compromised, birth rates will not increase. In this way, we as women have the power.

I want a baby, I really do. So does my partner. It is, by all accounts, a beautiful experience, perhaps made even more beautiful when your eyes are wide open, and the changes are accepted in advance.

It's also freeing that, if it all proves too hard, and it is not to be, I, and we, will be ok.

Sunday, 29 May 2016


I often work on the weekends - writing PhDs, papers, ethics submissions, et cetera. I still do plenty of other things, and get a sleep - in.

This weekend, I actually went into work! Like actual work where my workwear game must be up to scratch, I must be there at 0800, and I must be able to make sentences which make sense. Both days!

It was something a bit different to what I usually do, and it was fun and challenging, but gosh I am tired after it all, and I have had to nap.

Melbourne has been thrust well and truly into winter, with very chilly mornings and a bit of rain. Winter means boots and stockings and socks, and also Masterchef.

We are getting teasers of my beloved Offspring. I do hope it hasn't jumped the shark. I hope that Leo and Nina are still together, but I get the feeling from the ads that this will not be the case. I would love to see Nina getting settled and maybe getting preggers again, and I can't wait to see Zoe.

It has just struck me how invested I am in the show, like I am talking about my friends. I think that was the case for a lot of people.

In addition to having to work, my exercise at the holy church of crossfit has been a bit waylaid by popping my back out last Monday. I have decided to go and do some clinical Pilates. I have exercise goals which I think will be improved by having a good core. Also, it has worked in the past for staving off back pain, from which I suffer on and off.

How was your weekend?
Anything exciting this week?