Wise Words: Fail Better

Being a tennis fanatic, I’ve pretty much spent the last month glued to the couch, following the little yellow ball from one side of the screen to the other. It’s been awesome. What I found even more awesome is Stan Wawrinka‘s tattoo:

How incredible is this quote? It doesn’t say ‘win next time’, or ‘you’ll get there eventually’, it simply encourages gradual improvement, which is so much more realistic, I think.

What do you think?

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Resolute: January’s Five

If you’re a regular reader (or have the ability to scroll back a post), you’ll know that this year I turn thirty. You’ll also know that I’ve set myself thirty resolutions for the year, in the aim of making this a year of change and growth. I promised to set myself a few to complete each month, and blog before and after they are achieved.  Seeing as January is almost over, I figure it’s probably time to talk about my Resolutions focus for this month.

This month and the next are a bit different to most other’s because there’s a collection of goals that are really long-term adjustments, rather than quickie challenges. This means, that while I’ll start them this month, I’m not really going to complete them until later in the year, probably not even for a couple years, but this will be the first step.  These one’s will updated regularly, along with the monthly ones, so you can keep me on track. And I mean that—feel free to give me some encouragement, or admonish me when I don’t quite achieve the month’s goals!

So, without further ado, the first five:

DROP THOSE KILOS

For many reasons—because of the PCOS and ME/CFS, because I’m lazy, because I like chocolate—I am the heaviest I’ve ever been. Unfortunately this creates a pretty vicious cycle, because the extra weight flares up my ME/CFS, making it hard to exercise, and then I eat bad because I feel bad…and gain more weight. In the past four years I’ve gone from a size 12-14 to a size 18-20, which has really dented the shaky self-confidence I’d worked hard to build.

I say I’m lazy and that I have eaten badly, but in truth a lot of that was due to frustration over not knowing what was wrong, or how to fix it. Now I know that PCOS girls tend to have to work harder to lose weight, and are much more prone to gaining it, I have a reason. After doing some research, and watching my reaction to different foods I know my triggers. I know what foods make me feel bloated and sluggish, what I eat that tends to make me gain quickly, and what foods make me feel really good. No surprise: the stuff that makes me feel best is fruit and vegetables!

So, this year, all that nasty weight is going to go away, and be replaced with the building blocks of confidence. Sugar, wheat, and gluten are gone, dairy is a sometimes food, and exercise is the new daily staple. Hoepfully, with all this in place, I will be wearing a bikini again at Christmas, and not hiding under shape-wear and baggy tees.

BECOME FINANCIALLY STABLE

When I was younger I was flush with cash, despite receiving pocket money. I got my first job at 12, and have worked ever since, even supporting my family by buying the weekly groceries through a tight patch when I was sixteen. I was strict on myself, allowing myself to blow the first pay-check at a new job, before squirrelling away sixty percent of each pay for a rainy day.

The past two years as I’ve been working to sort out my health I’ve been living predominantly on benefits. The meagre amount received from these benefits was usually barely enough to cover bills, food, and daily living expenses. I’ve had a run of giant medical bills, but I’ve also been stupid with my money at times, spending it willy-nilly, without considering the future.

While I don’t ever want to be one of those people that place great emphasis on money, I do want to go back to the sensible=spending ways of my youth. I want to pay off the debts I owe my parents, lighten the load on my credit card, and develop a positive credit rating, so I can eventually get a loan to buy a house. All those things, however, are secondary to the number one goal: finding a job. To be able to do anything, I have to start making enough money to do more than just scrape by, which means a full-time, nine-to-five, J.O.B. To tell you the truth, I’m secretly really excited about the concept of none-to-five! It’s crazy, I know, but it feels good to have enough energy to get through a week without needing to sleep half of it away—I want to use that energy for something worthwhile.

BE REAL/LET THINGS GO/BE MORE APPRECIATIVE

These next three I’ve grouped together, because they are pretty well connected. You see, I used to be one of those people that was always doing something. Throughout university, I worked an average of thirty-five hours a week and attended full-time classes. When I wasn’t at uni or at work, I was at a gig, or out for coffee, or taking a road trip to the beach. I wasn’t good at sitting still for too long, and I loved being really busy.

Because I’ve been so used to living life at double-pace, having ME/CFS has really been a struggle. My body no longer copes at high speed for very long, and my ability to push past the exhaustion and find a second wind isn’t so great. Not only does this frustrate me, but I’m sure it frustrates others. I’m always late getting to places, it takes me much longer to complete tasks, and I often have to say no to fun outings, so I’m fit to meet my obligations. Then I get angry at myself, and I rant about what I ‘used to’ be able to do and how fast I used to be able to get it done.

This year I’m going to focus on recalibrating—slowing down. I’m going to start doing things earlier, or simply allowing extra time to get them done. I’m going to be realistic, and acknowledge that it now takes me twenty minutes just to get out of bed because I need to wake up my muscles. I’m going to factor into tasks extra half-hour it takes me to get them done. I’m not going to get angry at myself, I’m not going to be frustrated at my body, I’m not going to focus on what was, because that only makes me feel worse.

I am going to appreciate the fact that I’m still fully able bodied. I’m going to revel in the fact that I can get out of bed, instead of sleeping all day like I was doing only months ago. I’m going to be grateful for the things that these changes have given me, and work with the positives instead of against the negatives. Which is what The Thirty is all about—working towards a better me. And hopefully a happy and successful one as well.

Hectic Heidielka

Last week was hectic.

I signed up to do a wedding for a family friend, and, while it was a paid job, I ended up spending close to five hundred dollars of my own money to ensure everything was completed in time. A lot of this excess was based purely on my inability to be tough on people. I didn’t stipulate additional costs for extra requests after the contract was signed—rookie mistake. I let my excitement get the better of me, and offered to hand-make all the linens, so everything would match perfectly from the ceremony to the reception. And because we were struggling to find a caterer willing to do a wedding breakfast at 8:00am, I also offered to cater the wedding, using only two very dodgy barbeques to cook for sixty people.

This all would have been okay if the bride and groom hadn’t decided to make adjustments to almost everything the week before the wedding. Because I hadn’t made any stipulations in the contract about alterations I felt obliged to agree to all their changes. This meant remaking half the linens, altering the catering equipment order, and spending the five nights pre-wedding desperately reorganising everything. Like I said, rookie mistake.

Anyway, that’s what happened last week. The wedding was on Saturday, and we ended up getting through it…just. Sunday morning was my sister-in-law’s baby shower, which I was also organising, meaning Saturday arvo was spent cooking. And Sunday afternoon was a neighbours Bridal shower, so more cooking. To add insult to injury, Friday I managed to sew myself to my sewing machine. Seriously, through my thumb nail and out the other side. With all overworking I woke up on Saturday morning with a migraine and a very upset stomach, and spent most of the weekend feeling like these guys:

What have I done the past few days? Watched tennis. I’ve dubbed this the Week of Recuperation, which is really just an excuse for me to loll around the house in the air-conditioning. My only tasks for the rest of the week are to apply for jobs, and blog. Both of which I plan to do copious amounts of in the next few days.

How was your weekend?

Resolute: The Thirty

New Year’s Card, from Emily McDowell on Etsy.

So I decided that, since I’m thirty this year, I should have thirty New Year’s Resolutions. Why? I don’t know. Probably because I like making lists, like, way too much. Anyway, I came up with thirty, and I’m going to try my hardest to achieve them all. In fact, at the start of every month I’m going to pick certain ones to achieve, and blog about them before and after they are achieved. Basically I’m using Heidielka as a method of shaming myself into accomplishing things, because if I don’t cross them off after saying I would, I’ll feel a bit silly.

Sometime in the next week, I’ll tell you all about the first few. For now, here’s the full list. Some of them are tough and a little scary, some just plain silly, and some (I hope) will make me a better human being.

  1. Make cheese
  2. Be real
  3. Drop those kilos
  4. Learn to ride a bike
  5. Become financially stable
  6. Leave the country for at least a week
  7. Take dance classes
  8. Be adventurous
  9. Remember Shrove Tuesday—PANCAKES!
  10. Try ten new foods
  11. Swear less
  12. Go to the ballet
  13. Sew, knit, crochet
  14. Get that tattoo
  15. Read more books
  16. Take road trips
  17. Be kinder
  18. Cook a whole turkey
  19. Learn to say no, some times
  20. Take horse riding lessons
  21. Let things go
  22. Eat breakfast
  23. Be more aware
  24. Take more photos
  25. Live responsibly
  26. Take a mystery holiday
  27. Buy chickens
  28. Try speed dating
  29. Change someone’s life
  30. Be more appreciative

So that’s my thirty for thirty. What were your resolutions this year?

New Year, New-ish Heidielka

How did you bring in 2014? I spent it eating copious amounts of cheese, delicious moussaka, and eton mess, while cavorting with some of my very favourite girls, and a collection of their men. As always, we laughed and talked far too loudly, made copious inappropriate comments, and all went home with sore bellies from too much food and giggling. It was a wonderful night.

Now, to the elephant in the room. I have awol a long time. Here’s the thing: sometimes life is just enough to keep me away, sometimes I’m actually busy, and sometimes I just can’t face the whole thinking process. I don’t mean to disappear, or skip days/weeks, but sometimes time slips away, and I end up crawling in bed at the end of the day without even the slightest inspiration or desire to turn on my computer. So, from now on, no promises of every day, or even every week. For now, promises simply to blog when the mood strikes, and hopes that the mood will strike regularly and with great fervour. In fact, it’s kind of one of my resolutions.

We’ll talk more about resolutions tomorrow. For now, I want to wish anyone who’s stuck around a very happy, prosperous, and healthy new year. may 2014 be your year to shine. I’m going to make sure it’s mine.