Sunday, 13 December 2015

Don't fight the flow, bro.

It is usual that, late in the year, we start to think about setting our intentions for the new year. Some people call them new years' resolutions, but that sounds a bit inflexible. I like the idea of changing the way I approach whatever curve balls life throws at me, rather than doing the same thing every day. Flexible control.

My mate was talking about healthy eating in her blog. As it happens, I have just finished a 6-week challenge with my Crossfit box. We tested a workout at the beginning and retested the workout at the end. I slashed 2 minutes 22 seconds off it. This was me afterwards

Actually not me. I know. We are practically twins. It's actually Annie Thorisdottir, crossfit champ.
I am never one for deprivation, but I did clean up my act. Specifically, I have cut out diet drinks, eaten a whole lot more vegies, eaten less crap generally and started pushing harder in workouts.

It's far easier to eat lots of veg if they are tasty, or configured in an interesting manner. Enter the microplane.

This is the best thing ever, and it makes short work of fennel and red onion to make a really fancy salad. The microplane is not cheap (like $70 bucks) but it is the bomb dot com. Neither is the baby fennel, $2 each at coles. To borrow the parlance from Faux Fuchsia, I mean it's fennel, not gold bullion.

In terms of cost per use, the microplane is a great investment. The veg don't get stuck in there. And we all know that thin food makes us thin.

Physically, I am going for gold. Mentally and spiritually, well, lots of work has been required to keep this on an even keel. I have made no secret of my ambivalence towards Christmas, yet have done my best to embrace the season. However this year has bought a particular set of challenges with it.

I would have thought that, like everything else, the pain of a miscarriage would dissipate with time. Not actually true. The tears that come on quite out of the blue some days have taken me by surprise. Hearing of each new pregnancy in a friend or acquaintance, or seeing a fellow crossfitter with a baby bump will easily precipitate this. I had not expected this to happen, yet there it is. A wise friend told me that this was a particularly hard time of the year for those sorts of feelings. Maybe.

Having finished my PhD, I am now in the market for extra sessions of gainful employment, and these proving hard to come by, for various reasons not appropriate to write here. This, plus the post-goal bottoming out, has been hard too. I have learned, though, that when something is looking too hard to come by, sometimes it is best to back away and change tack. Plan A works better when you have a plan B. I am now making arrangements for plans D and E, and I am feeling good about them.

The extra $$ are very much needed, as home renovation plans are afoot. I know! Exciting and scary! We have engaged the services of an architectural firm to design and project manage the extension. He took us through the concept drawings and 3D render, and it was really exciting to see. Then we talked costs, and bank loans, and that was somewhat less exciting. Unfortunately the design brief "please make us a palatial home at minimal cost" got lost in translation.

So 2016 looks to be a year full of challenges, some of them actually exciting. I was considering my watchword for the year, and I think it will be "patience". The second one will be "flexibility".

To make hay while the sun shines.

To manage, day by day, when things are tough, and get through as best I can.

To not be tired by waiting.


  1. Thanks for today's words of motivation and inpsiration.

    Onwards and upwards for 2016 is my goal.

    SSG xxx

  2. Snap about the Microplane! Have always been annoyed when grating orange or lemon rind that most of it seems to get stuck in the holes in a traditional grater. But this year attended a cooking class in Paris where they used the Microplane and was so impressed. They are truly brilliant - as soon as the class was over went searching for one. The really good kitchenware shops sell them - though department stores (in Paris) sell an imitation one that doesn't work. Would now only buy Microplane - it's actually American I think. I love it!
    So sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Our DIL's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage too and she was devastated and depressed. As she was well into her thirties she was worried that it might mean she couldn't have a child. Also her obst. told her she'd have to give it some time before trying again. But providentially about a year later she was pregnant again and went on in the next few years on produce two beautiful healthy little girls. Our darling grand-daughters.
    I hope something similar will happen for you. Fingers crossed. Good luck too on the job scene. Plans B + are always a good idea. Some of my jobs have come out of the blue when I least expected them. One time I was just walking into my former departmental café to meet a friend when I was stopped by an old colleague and offered a job. Likewise my husband was at the gym some years ago and the guy (a former colleague) on the next exercise bike offered him a consultancy job which led on to other good things. So keep out and about and trying - and keep your spirits up. I'm sure good things will happen with time. Deal with the bad but focus on the good. Once when I was very depressed my son told me I should try to write down 10 good things about the day that had just passed. Even little things like sunshine, or a beautiful flower, or a good television program. It helped. Best wishes, Pammie

  3. I'm sorry for the pain you're experiencing. I had a m/c too, years ago, and I remember the pain acutely. I hope 2016 is a terrific year for you.

  4. I would love to have seen your snazzy salad. I too have a microplane, a present a few years ago, I use it mainly to zest lemon and sometimes to grate ginger. Your microplane looks quite different - shall have to investigate.

    Congratulations on achieving your doctorate. You have done well.

    Hope 2016 is full of love, luck and laughter.

  5. I bought two Microplanes - one for zesting/grating lemon/orange rind, the other (smaller and narrower) for grating spices, eg nutmeg - would probably work well with ginger too. The both work brilliantly. Will look at other sizes next time I'm in Paris - I adore the kitchen shops - bought mine in A.Simon. Also bought "papier guitar" there (funny name but that's what they call it) - each sheet in the pack is a kind of clear plastic (might not actually be plastic, perhaps silicon?) sheet that French chefs often use to roll pastry on or knead dough so that it doesn't stick to the bench. Wonderful also because you can re-use if you wash carefully and thoroughly.
    And Yes, congratulations on the PH.D. Not easy to achieve! One of my cousins just wore a funny hat when awarded hers - the first in my father's family. We're very proud of her - as your family and friends must be of you. Best wishes, Pammie

  6. I have one but don't use it but then I am not in the cooking mood at the mo.

    I really don't know what crossfit truly is and you have confused me more by saying you shaved time off it. I am sure that is a good thing!

  7. A couple of weeks ago made the Christmas pud which requires tablespoons of grated lemon and orange rind. This year it was dead easy with the Microplane. I love it!
    Don't know what crossfit is either. But guessing that boat has long sailed without me. I'm sure shaving time off would be a good thing though. Pammie

  8. Exciting things afoot. At least Christmas is over with and the PhD conquered so onwards and upwards. I do hop your wishes come true this year x