Sunday, 28 May 2017

What happened to the impromptu cuppa?

I've been doing a bit on my own recently. Coffee-ing. Eating. Doing things. Like on Saturday, I saw the Van Gogh exhibition. It was ok. Very crowded. Not my favourite work of his. But glad I got to see it.

I am quite comfortable in solitude, and enjoy it sometimes, but it gets a bit lonely.

My intellectual crush, Alain de Botton, stated recently on social media that loneliness was a common part of the human condition. We text rather than have live face on face time. Often these text discussions peter out. The response to "how are you doing?" is rarely truthful in a text conversation. I have gotten out of the habit of being able to talk on the phone - I am as guilty of text volleys as the next person.

I am finding myself craving an impromptu cuppa and heart to heart with a person. I didn't even know I was craving it, I worked it out. I managed to catch up with a friend yesterday, a day after the need was identified. It was great, and much needed. I felt so much better. I am lucky that I have a friend I can call upon to do this.

So often we are planning catch ups weeks in advance, our lives being as over-scheduled as they are, but sometimes company is needed in the here and now (or soon), I am finding.

Therapeutic chats out of the way, I have also been doing some therapeutic buying.

Here are some things I have dropped some cash on:

1. Witchery Fine fold over knit
I have not been a fan of the off-the shoulder thing, as it makes me look wider than I actually am. However this top works if I sit it on my shoulders or a bit skew-whiff (looks a bit Parisian, too).


2. Nars All Day Luminous Weightless foundation
I have been on the hunt for a new foundation. I didn't know until recently that stores like Mecca or Myer will give you a generous sample to try at home.
I had been tossing up between Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra wear and this one. I found the Lancome too heavily fragranced. The positive of the Lancome though is that it has an SPF. The Nars stays on really well, and is less inclined to turn into an oil slick come 1pm.

3. Lipstick Queen Sinner (matte) in Hot Rose





I had been out and about in Northland (or Norflands as it is known to the Locals). I idly went into Mecca (bad idea as more often than not I end up dropping cash there). I tried this lippy on, with no intention of buying it. I loved myself sick in it, and put it down as a therapeutic purchase. My Mac Rebel signature lippy look is getting a bit stale and things needed shaking up anyway. It's not very feminist, but a pop of bright lipstick makes me feel good.

Only thing is that it comes off really easily, like on a few sips of liquid. To this end, I bought myself a universal (clear) lip liner from Sephora ($14).

Anyone ever tried a clear lip liner?

Does anyone else lament the decline of the impromptu cuppa and chinwag?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Oh Masterchef, come ON! Writing without judgement.

I am watching Masterchef. It has become ridiculous. Getting amateur chefs to make sugar balloons to suspend an icecream (sorry, semifreddo) in thin air. I may sound churlish here but I really don't see the point.

Oh who am I kidding. I would be all over the chocolatey, Icecreamy goodness.

Speaking of which, I had a life-changingly good chocolate gelato at Zero Gradi with a mate last night.

I've been a bit dead on the blog recently. I know. It's all very same-old.

I have just heard of a GP colleague who has won a major literary award, one that launches careers. And I think "good on her". And I think that it is time that I start writing again. Just writing, without worrying that I am not bringing the everyday to life as well as my mates SSG and FF.

Writing without judgement. Maybe some doodling (drawing) without judgement?

My life is the same. Work. A bit of Research. All the crossfit. Nothing particularly interesting. I guess that this is the reason why I have stopped writing.

Nobody will want to hear that I got THREE PBs THE WEEK BEFORE LAST!!
(50kg bench, 45kg CNJ, 32.5kg snatch). My Double-Unders have gone AWOL. I can jump on a 20 inch sinking foam box but I still get scared, my pull-up is edging closer and closer. I can latch my feet and arms around a hanging rope and shimmy up a little bit but not that far. I have a bruise on my inner thigh from attempting this.

Also edging closer is the IVF. Late next month. Next cycle I start getting shot up with hormones like a dodgy dairy cow. I am worried about the effects on my mood - my luteal phase sends me cray cray at the best of times, I worry what the hormonal peaks and troughs will do to my brain. The IVF therapists seem to play this down. There are plenty of other things that are vexing about the process - the attrition of the gametes/conceptus, the waiting, the driving, the ultrasounds. Et Cetera.

Still, I'm strapped in. For one round, anyway.

The embryo will be tested for genetic abnormalities, and frozen awaiting the results. So while the cells are on ice, I am going away. We are heading to Bali (Canggu, it has a Crossfit box) and then I am turning around and going off to Arizona for an update in Cardiology for generalists. Nice surrounds, near the Grand Canyon, I get to fly at the pointy end of the plane, and I don't have to get my juniors to explain all the new fangled tests and interventions to me. A distraction. Then back in to get the winning blastocysts shot in, and fingers crossed one of the winners happily and firmly and healthily and properly embeds itself in my endometrium. But that's another round of uncertainty. I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

It's frustrating, not being able to plan things. Still, I have a good knack for making the best of the uncertain situation, don't you agree? Bali! Arizona! Yeah!

I have let go of a few things that are a bit stressful. Taken a step back from people who have that effect on me. Put some work things into perspective and adopted a "que sera, sera" approach. There are stressors that remain, apart from the IVF.

One of my entourage (sounds much better than "my psychiatrist") pointed out that A. I might be lacking a little bit in the close supports department and B. I am also pretty shit at asking for help. It's true that generally I am more comfortable in the caring role than the one being cared for, but now and in the future, I have to see my way to mobilising those supports I do have. I have some gorgeous friends who live close. One of my friends suggested a "safe word" to send out the distress signal. We were eating gelato so we thought that "gelato" might be a good safe word.

I also need to moderate my social media use (I have already unfollowed a few mummies). I need to read good books and see good movies. Nice, funny ones. Not "Bridget Jones' Baby". That shit set me off, big time. Cried all over my dinner.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A hundred reasons to smile, a few reasons to be sad.

I had a lovely time on my holiday. Those of you who follow me on instagram and effbee will be abreast of it. If you come visit me, I will happily show you photos over a good cup of coffee. I enjoy looking through them.

Visiting the area gave me a sense of why the Mid-East is in the position it is now.

It's been nearly a month since I returned. Gosh. I am at the point where I am thinking about the next holiday.

I've been headfirst into work, earning the cash, dealing with the things. The holiday seems to have broken the cycle of stress that I had before. This is a good thing.

Easter was a nice opportunity for a 4-day break. We saw Urzila Carlson, the comedian. She is one of the funniest comics I have ever seen, with a warm persona. I recommend.

Easter Saturday, I went to see my ex-husband. I was very anxious as I had not seen him in a while. I was irrationally scared that he might want to pick some bones regarding the past. He looked genuninely happy to see me, and I was happy to see him. However, seeing him was confronting. He was quite bad. He had difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing. A PEG tube had been inserted and he had lost weight. It is distressing to think about, that, very soon, he won't be here. I had some bouts of sad after seeing him; it is just horrible.

I am still crossfitting like a boss. I have taken some initiative with my diet, and joined an online program with a fellow by the name of Jordan Lark. He gives you a program and you tell him on facebook what you've eaten and how you are going, and he replies. Accountability is key; I know very well what to do but it helps to be accountable. My problem is that much of the time I like food and wine more than I dislike my belly pooch/ I am two days in. I have not capitulated yet, I have been eating vegetables like a badass and I have been proactive with the food prep. I had thought I was eating well but now I am really eating well I realise how often we eat out, have wine, et cetera. On this I am allowed one dinner per week to eat what I like. Bloody hell I am looking forward to it.

I have been in the process of getting my shit in order, as far as I can, before I go into IVF. There are some things that I have to accept. Like that I will have to be proactive in seeking support during what will undoubtedly be a trying time. There are people, like my family, who I won't be able to ask for help. I will need to find my tribe, and know what help to request. Asking for help 101.

I have to find those hundred reasons to smile, those multiple small pleasures. Eating and drinking fancy food has made up most of my pleasure, and I need to diversify. I have been getting into actual paper books, and I have been reading this. Only problem with paper books as that they can't be read in the dark, like an iphone or ipad on night mode. I have a book for daytime and a book for night time. I need to plan little things to look forward to, activities with my partner and friends. Lots of little things.






Monday, 13 March 2017

Offsky.

I am off to Israel and Jordan today. I am very pumped. Excitement has only kicked in over the last couple of days.

I am looking forward to learning about Jesus, the Jews, Jerusalem, the Arabs and eating the food. I might even do some crossfit over there (they are mad for crossfit in Israel).

I will have fun. I am travelling on an organised tour and I will be careful. I will post plenty of pics to instagram +/- facebook.

Take care, all of you.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

A timely reminder.

My first post as an actual 38 year old. It might be a swearier post than usual #sorrynotsorry

The festival of 38 began last weekend, with an impromptu trip into the city for some shopping and some lunch/bevvies at Arbory (if you are in Melbourne, it's a great place to hang on a pleasant day). Wednesday was my actual birthday. I started my new job on that day, then went into town to see The Book of Mormon. If you can, go see it. If you are easily offended, don't see it. It's hilarious, like one of the funnies things I have ever seen.

Thursday, I went to meet with a senior colleague, then went to Highpoint to do some self-gifting before my round.

I was looking at the pretties in Mimco when I felt a text message go off. It was from my ex-husband.

A few of you will know my story- I had been with a fella for 13 years, married for about 6. We grew apart, and the split could be summarised as "good people, married too young, not good together anymore". Our divorce 5 and a bit years ago was reasonably amicable; we were probably more considerate of each other in our divorce than in the latter part of our marriage. He re-partnered soon after our separation, and they have a 3.5 year old.

I had not heard from him in about 3 years. This was not because of any particular animosity; from my end, I always wished them well and thought they were good together. I knew her peripherally before our split. There was just no particular reason to contact him, nor him me. I had often thought about him, like when I go to my sister's house (my ex lives on the Mornington Peninsula also), or when I did or saw something I knew he would like. Any trace of bitterness had passed some time ago. I never trash talked him. There was no reason to.

So when I got his text, I thought "holy fuck, somebody has died".

I rang him up straight away. I was a bit taken aback to hear that his speech was slurred. My first thought was "has he been day-drinking?". My second thought was "holy shit he has a brain tumour, just like his dad" (his dad was diagnosed with a nasty brain tumour just before we got married, and died about 6 months after).

He dropped the bomb - "I've got motor neurone disease"

My stomach lurched. I rushed out of Mimco and said "Shit, Ian! I am so sorry!" I was lost for words, other than the swear ones.

I know what a fucking awful disease that is, so I didn't ask any questions along the lines of "how long do you have". I told him that I had always wanted the best for them and that I was really sorry for them as a family.

I asked after his mum. He told me that she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

I said "well, that's awful, that can just go and get fucked!". Ian laughed.

I asked if I could do anything. Whether I could go and see him. He agreed. I don't know if he will think better of it later but I would like to see him. Bring him some nice beers, before he loses the ability to swallow.

I just wanted to go there and give he and his wife a big hug. I told him as much.

After I rang off, I mindlessly bought the thing I had been looking at in Mimco. I staggered out into my car to go to my round. I felt so sad for him and his family. I took 2 wrong turns to work, and could not bring my a-game once there.

I have paused somewhat for thought over the last few days. How lucky we are to have our health. How stupid it is to worry about a few skin blemishes or extra kilograms. While doing a particularly tough crossfit workout yesterday, I went to a dark place, and pondered just how unfair it is that he should get this disease. I took it out on my snatches and burpees. My grunt/roar at the end of the workout let some of this out.

I have taken mindful pleasure in the little things. The sun on my back, breeze in my face. Watching my dog playing. Enjoying how good food tastes. Why does it take something like this horrible disease to bring us back to this?

I am trying to get my head around it, but I probably will not be able to. All I can do is live as best I can - this has been a bit of a wake-up call to do just this.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A bit brighter. On the eve of my 38th birthday.

It was a bit of a shit fortnight, really, but stuff has begun to sort itself out.

People have been forthcoming with other workplaces, and general support of my career. This is good. I am grateful. I am feeling like missing out on that job was for the best.

With the stressors of the past few months, my mood has been a bit wobbly. I know the difference between feeling stressed out and feeling depressed/anxious, and I have recognised the early signs that the former might be turning into the latter. Therapies are afoot and this makes me feel good.

My first proceeds from my PhD have finally hit the press, and that feels pretty awesome.

I am doing the Crossfit open. The first of the five workouts was yesterday.

Workout 17.1
For time:
10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
Women use 10kg dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK
Time cap: 20 minutes

That sucked hard and I completed 219 of the 225 reps in the 20 minute time cap. I am sore today.

Looking back on my birthday post from last year, I am definitely stronger than then. It is great to feel stronger as I get older, it may not always be the way so I am enjoying the feeling.

I will be strong enough to carry a backpack as I travel around Israel and Jordan. 

Tomorrow, the fella is taking me out to see The Book of Mormon. Exciting times.

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:

Shitmotherfuckerfuckshitcunt.

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?