Saturday, 28 March 2015

On losing one's shit, and pulling it back together.

Thankyou, friends, for your lovely comments on my last post. One big hurdle over. Now to write the thesis...

I didn't know how to write this post, or even whether to write it. We are not at our best bloggy selves when we feel very over it. Yet today I have managed to find a some inner peace and some perspective.

Friends, it has been a bit of a trying week here. Please click away if you don't like swearing. Though I suspect if you found swearing very objectionable, you would have stopped reading this blog long ago.

There have been a lot of sighs, and a lot of "I just literally can't even..."

It started last Sunday with the lofty goal of a 15.5km run, the annual Run for the Kids. I wanted to have one last crack at this event, having done it a few times.

Unfortunately, at 6.5km, just as I was getting into it, I sustained this. (I gracefully went A over T just before the Bolte Bridge). I rolled my ankle and grazed my knee.

And the ankle looked like this a couple of days later

And the week at work was spent hobbling around, muttering under my breath "ow....fuck" every time there was an uneven surface.

One only realises how fast they go when they are forced to slow down. And I have not taken well to it, with the demands of work being the same, if not a little more this week.

And one only realises the equilibrating effects of exercise when exercise is restricted. Still, I did a yoga and a crossfit session, with modifications.

Those two little lines on the ovulation piddle stick did not translate into two little lines on the pregnancy piddle stick this week. With the ball not having been shot through the hoop (so to speak), the later week brought with it the usual ugly hormotionality (thankyou SSG for that turn of phrase).

Friday was my mum's 60th birthday. I organised the celebrations, the cake. The only thing I could not do was find a "0" candle, hence she blew a "6" candle out. Oh, to be 6 again...

The night was wrapping up. Though we were sitting across the table from each other, my sister sent me a text. Essentially it was along the lines of "hi this was very unexpected but I am 9 weeks pregnant".

I practiced my usual social conditioning of smiling, saying "congratulations, that is wonderful, how exciting". On the inside, I was crumpling. A little like this.

And a few minutes later, as my sister's boyfriend was bragging about his super powerful sperm, my brother looked at me and said "are you ok?".

At that point I excused myself. I calmly walked out of the restaurant. Once safely out on the street I burst into tears, and hailed a cab.

I remembered that episode on Offspring where Nina tells Billie she got accidentally pregnant. Billie falls to bits. At the time I thought Billie could've been a bit more supportive.

Now I get it. I hear you Billie.

I was in a big hot mess, friends. I threw myself onto my bed and howled. Yes, this was despite it being my mum's birthday, and with my auntie and uncle staying. My fella held the fort, and fortunately they didn't really notice (my auntie has a bit of the dementia).

My brother and his girlfriend, bless them, drove from the other side of town to see that I was ok, at 11pm. We had a chat. His girlfriend said "you did well. I would've been throwing shit if I were you". I repeat, bless them.

The next morning, I felt better. I called my sister to congratulate her again, and tell her what a wonderful mum she will be.

She had chosen to let mum know of the impending grandparenthood through her birthday card, with instructions to "not smother her". Mum hadn't read it. So I let her know that morning. Mum looked surprised, then pulled a face. A month or so ago, my sister had told my mum not to expect any grandchildren out of her.

We spent that day taking my mum, Auntie and Uncle around. We smiled and nodded as auntie repeated the same four or five things 60 times.

They left at 4 in the afternoon. We both let out a huge sigh, and reflected.

My sister and I love each other, but we are chalk and cheese. She does not like people getting too close. The text across the table thing is the way she rolls.

I do think she will make a great mum. Her partner has two boys, she is wonderful with them. Yet she works casually as a waitress, and he scrapes by on a couple of jobs. They live about 100 kilometres away. I think she prefers that distance. I don't really know how much she will want us, her mother and sister, around.

I worry about the situation for them, and don't like to think of my sister walking around a restaurant with a heavy tummy.

However, we grew up on far less, and with only one parent. We survived.

Today, I came to really understand that the whole rigour with which I approach the other areas in my life does not really apply in this situation. These things do not progress in an orderly queue, and that is ok. I had known this intellectually, but now really get it.

Somebody once said that the ease with which a couple get pregnant is inversely proportional to how much they are prepared for it. I get that, too.

Sometimes, in difficult times, we force ourselves to remember our blessings.

I remembered my blessings today, not in a forced way, in a natural way, with faith that things will work out as they are meant to. Balance has been restored, at least for now.

And in the spirit of gratitude, I sent my brother and his girlfriend this text

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


(The PhD completion seminar post-mortem)

I was nervous today. More nervous than I had been in a while. Probably not as nervous as say before my Physicians exam but still plenty nervous.

Instead of staying at home last night, fretting, I went to a trivia night with Nicole and some other crackerjack ladies. I drank a bit more wine that we ought to have, and our team won! It was a hoot of a night!

I went into work about 90 minutes before my presentation was due to start, and was greeted with this placed on my desk

I performed some final tweaks to the presentation, and sat around waiting, reading The Age on my mobile to pass the time. I saw this passage and got outraged, killing a few nervous minutes waiting

[I mean really!?!? Firstly most murders are committed by somebody known to the victim. Secondly, why why oh why is the onus put on women to change their behaviour?!?!?]

Seriously my heart really breaks for that family. How unimaginably horrific. I have no adequate words. I hope the man gets caught, and soon.

The room started to fill to capacity. Plenty of bums on seats. I started the presentation, a little bit wobbly. Just after I started, a Professor known for tearing strips off PhD candidates swaggered in, and took the seat directly in front of the lectern. Internally I said a big "oh fuck" and then just got on with it. Shortly after, my old friend/ colleague came in - a lovely surprise given that she had said that she was not able to make it. I started to hit my stride.

When I finished, lots of questions came from the floor. Numerous questions from the Prof sitting front and centre, quite challenging ones. More from another Ass.Prof (on my confirmation committee), who is also known for his hard hitting questioning.

I had spent quite a bit of time worrying about questions from these characters. Whether they would tear me a new one.

They gave it a red hot go, but I dealt with it. Actually toward the end of the questioning I felt quite exhilarated, thinking "bring it on, bitchezzz".

Then it finished. People came and gave me a pat on the back. Including the two ass whoopin' profs.

Now I am back in my office. It takes a while to come down from these things and I don't know if I will get much work done today.

It just shows you though, how the anticipation of something is often worse than the actuality.

And now I feel only like napping.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I call bullshit.

I have been a bit quiet on the blog post front of late. I have been doing lots, and enjoying my downtime from work which is very frenetic at the moment. My PhD completion seminar is coming up on Thursday, so that is on my mind.

I am much more wont to document on my inner world rather than what I do - many on my blogroll have a very compelling way of talking about their everyday tasks, making them sing and shine.

I am a bit loath to document too much of my inner world at the moment, because I fear it will get a bit boring. Also I think my inner self is getting Tourette's.

Normally I am quite a tolerant person, and I go with the flow. I am good at chillin'. At the moment, there is a very narrow threshold between relaxed and unhinged ("I need to slam my face into some chocolate and a vat of wine" / muttering curse words under my breath / sentence non-completion / sighing). This is my manifestation of stress, I think.

When I get stressed, lots of things are bullshit. The number of bullshit things is higher than usual at the moment.

Here is a list, including (but not limited to):

  • The row of zits around my jaw and neck, kind of like a sore pimply necklace (inexplicably my face has cleared up).
  • The weather. Melbourne had gotten the Autumn memo, switching on Mar 1 to cool nights and crisp days. However, the next few days are going to be muggy and stormy. I have some important engagements coming up and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WEAR FOR THEM!
  • That person in the office who is passive aggressive and bone-idle. Every office has one. I am suffering paroxysms of rage.
  • The very up in the air nature of some parts of my job.
  • The fear of getting torn a new one at my presentation (it's just a fear rather than actuality, but still...)
  • Joe Hockey on Q and A last night. 
  • Having my work helper go off sick and having to do a whole bunch of stuff all on my own.
  • Those knots in my back and butt that my foam roller massager just can't undo.
  • Jumping rope at crossfit. It makes me very self-conscious.
  • Going to the dentist. It was a dentist I hadn't seen before and I found him a bit creepy. Be gone, creepy dentist.

Bullshit, I tell you.

Gratitude always offsets an attack of Bullshit fever. There have been good things, including (but not limited to):
  • On a whim I signed up for a beginner's Yoga course. The first class was fab. I felt very virtuous and serene.
  • I had a paper accepted for an oral presentation at an international conference.
  • I am due to meet up with a bloggy friend and some other crackerjack ladies at a trivia night (I bloody love trivia nights)
  • Lena Dunham's book "Not that kind of girl". She is the bomb dot com.
  • Doing a pull up at cross-fit (ok it was assisted by a large rubber band and I only pulled up to eye level but still....)
What do you call bullshit on at the moment?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

My favourite words at the moment

As it says on my sidebar, I like big wordy thingies.

For your reading pleasure, I thought I might share a few with you. Some of them are quite relevant at present.

Intransigence: Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising

Pernicious: causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful

Apropos: with reference to; concerning.

Surfeit: an overabundant supply : excess

Insouciant: carefree

Soporific: sleep inducing or sleepy

Mendacious:  given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth 

Circuitous: Having a circular or winding course, not the most direct route, not being forthright or direct in language or action

There are lots more, but I shan't bore you.

What is your favourite word? Perhaps put it in a sentence.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Lessons learned in thirty-six years.

I turned thirty six on Sunday. Thank you all for your kind wishes. It means a lot.
The event gave me pause to reflect on what I have learned in 36 years on this planet.
Though my oldest friend came to dinner and gave me a card which said "People who think they know everything are annoying to those of us who do", I suspect I have more learning curves to face.

Here is a hotch-potch of them. They might seem a bit trite, but they are real to me.
(and when I say you, I mean me)

  1. Seconds never taste as good as firsts.
  2. If you love it, buy it. If you are not sure, wait a while. If you are still thinking about it, buy it.
  3. Buying clothes in a size down is not an effective weight loss regimen.
  4. Trust your gut. If your gut tells you to run, then fucking run.
  5. Embrace every opportunity and take nothing for granted.
  6. Sometimes, if it is too darn hard, it is just not meant to be.
  7. It doesn't matter whether you care about what people think of you. People generally aren't thinking of you.
  8. Guilt is a wasteful emotion.
  9. Worrying never helps. Expecting the worst of every situation does not cushion the blow of the worst happening. You cannot always prevent disappointment, nor should you try.
  10. This too shall pass. The good, and the bad.
  11. 98% of people are decent. 2% are arseholes.
  12. You are not indispensable. Except to those who love you.
  13. There are pros and cons to everything in life. A good thing might also be a hard thing.
  14. When angry or upset, better to bite your tongue and walk away than say something you might regret later.
  15. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything. Smile and nod. (Except when somebody you hate is on the telly, then go nuts swearing at the telly).
  16. Exercise for vigour, for endorphins, for a challenge, but not to cancel out calories; that will take the enjoyment out of it. 
  17. Never submit to the urge to pike on exercise; 9 times out of 10 you can't be arsed, 10 times out of 10 you will feel better for it.
  18. If you are going to spend money, spend it on experiences rather than things.
  19. Pay attention to the way people make you feel. Use this as a guide to how much time you spend with them.
  20. Be interested in others and ask as many questions as you can get away with.
  21. People don't generally change.
  22. The true measure of being comfortable with a person is whether you can fart unashamedly in front of them.
  23. Learn to accept a compliment as graciously as you might give one.
  24. Rejoice in what your body can do. The way it looks will change.
  25. Make the best of what you have.
  26. Tell your loved ones that you love them, often.
  27. Fine feathers make the bird.
  28. When the shit hits the fan, it is probably not your fault.
  29. Friendships and relationships are two way streets, there needs to be mutual effort. If there is not, things need to be reconsidered.
  30. Be real true to yourself, it is exhausting to be any other way, and you will be found out eventually.
  31. If you want to sleep, sleep. 
  32. If you want to cry, cry. 
  33. If you are hungry, eat. 
  34. Quickly find the appropriate place to attend to the above three when the urge arises.
  35. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Don't give up if you cock up.
  36. Buy the good wine.
What about you? Anything to teach us? Spill.