Stupidity Explained

So, last night I posted incredibly briefly. I was not a happy camper, and I was in a heaping amount of pain, thanks to my newly rearranged big toe.

Check out Beanforest‘s other badges, many are both clever and hilarious.

See, I actually had a reasonably good day yesterday. Woke up early, felt refreshed, no headache for the first time in three weeks. I accomplished a stack of little things, and even managed to save a few dollars. Then, just as I was heading to write my blog post and enjoy a bit of winding down time, disaster struck.

My room is small. It’s not really big enough for my queen-sized bed, and certainly not spacious enough to also fin a giant bookshelf and a chest a draws, but I don’t tend to think or live inside the box. The problem with this is it gives me a very narrow walkway to squeeze through whenever I want to get into bed, or rifle through my draws. I’ve adapted though, by performing a sort of ‘step-over’ more right at the corner of the bed. Which totally worked…until last night.

Last night, you see, I was wearing a pair of really comfy, wide-leg, beach pants. I love these pants with all my heart, but they often cause me to become attached to random objects. I’ve caught the pant leg on draws, doors, chairs, and, on the odd occasion, my own foot. Last night was a foot-catching episode. As I went to perform my regular corner step-over, my right toe caught in the left leg of my pants. Scrambling to prevent myself from clocking my head on the window sill, I grabbed at the bed, falling with on leg either side of the bed corner. And my right toe still very attached to my left pant leg, but not so  attached to itself.

Voilà! One broken big toe, which is still incredibly sore tonight. The bruising is still slowly coming out, and I can’t put any pressure on it, so I’ve been hobbling around all day on the side of my foot. Unfortunately there’s not much can be done with broken toes, so it’s strapped and elevated for now, and I just have to wait out the healing process. On the upside, it forced me to require a new pair of shoes that would accommodate the strapping and swelling, so it hasn’t all been tears and tantrums.

Hope your week has started better than mine!


Infographic: Gluten Free

As someone who is currently trying desperately to be gluten free, and also has a large group of gluten free friends, I hate that going out for dinner often means either limiting yourself to about twenty percent of the menu. I also hate being that annoying customer who makes a million alterations to a dish, because I know that chefs put a great deal of time and effort into creating menus to show off the produce they use, and their kitchen’s skills.

I know it’s my choice to be gluten free, and I should just deal with it and order something off the menu that I can eat as is, but that sucks. Usually that means a steak and vegetables, possibly without any sauce, as a lot of restaurant sauces contain gluten. For a number of my friends who also happen to be vegetarian, or lactose intolerant, or allergic to nuts, it limits their choices even more. For one gent I know, it means he has to call ahead whenever he goes out to confirm there is actually something on the menu he can possibly eat—he’s gluten, fructose, sucrose, lactose, and acid intolerant (intense, right?). So, this infographic makes me happy, because it’s all about encouraging restaurants to adjust to a gluten free-friendly menu. Kind of want to print a stack and do a secret letterbox drop around toowoomba. Seriously, this town is not allergen/dietary requirement-friendly.

Found at Eateria.


Resolute: February’s Five

Made by moi, using this vector.

Made by moi, using this vector.

Time for February’s Resolutions! Now, of course, I’m still kicking on with January’s (and have been doing mighty fine on them the past few days, if I do say so myself), but I also have to get cracking with a few more so I can get this list sorted by year’s end. Now, just because it’s my birthday month, doesn’t mean I’m going to be taking it easy on myself. In fact, I think this month’s are some of the hardest, especially in terms of maintaining long-term.

So, here’s February:

Way back, sometime in our late teens, Wabi and I both decided we were going to get a tattoo one day. Not too be cool—we’ve never really been the hippest cats (as evidenced by this sentence). I can’t speak for Wabi, but for me tattoos are a really unique piece of artwork that displays something about you as a person. They are also permanent, so unlike your hair colour or clothing style, they can’t just be changed, leaving an etched memory of you forever (or until you decide to remove it, I guess).

Because there is such permanence, a tattoo was never going to be something I just jumped into, especially when I was well aware how inconsistent and scattered I am. While I’ve been wanting a tattoo for a very long time, I wanted to wait until I was one hundred percent convicted about what I wanted the tattoo to be, and I think I’m finally at that point. I still have to sort out an artist, and get a design done, but I know what I want my tattoo to mean, and what I want it to say about me. And, I figure, what’s a big birthday for if not doing something a little crazy, right?

This one’s a little airy, but something I really want to achieve. I think, these days, because we live so much of our lives at a hectic pace, and spend so much time in virtual reality, we have lost a level of awareness of both ourselves and our surroundings. I know I’m nowhere near as aware of things going on in my local area as I would have been when I was a kid. Which is troubling, because I should be more aware now than I was then. I also know that I’ve been caught off-guard by people’s reaction to me, or by my reaction to them a lot more. I used to be very adept at picking up on other’s emotions, and reading their needs. I know this has been altered a lot by less interaction with people, but it’s also because while I’ve been ill, I’ve been much more self-involved.

No more blinders this year, though. I don’t want to be one of those people that is constantly surprised by other’s actions and reactions. I want to know my community, and work to make it better and more interesting. And I also want to continue to learn about myself, and become aware of my bodies likes and dislikes, so I can keep moving forwards instead of stumbling backwards.

This one’s a fun one, but also one I’m implementing as a bit of emotional exercise. I’m an anxious bunny. I stress so much that I’ve clenched and ground my teeth to within inches of their lives. My ultimate stress relieve is water, especially the beach. Ideally, I’d love to be living at the coast where I could decompress with a walk on the beach at the end of the day, but that’s not really an option right now. Cooking is the next best option when it comes to calming down, but it doesn’t sit well with the need to drop some weight, because I end up “tasting” everything.

Enter crafting, alternative go-to stress relief. I don’t love all crafts, but sewing, knitting, and crocheting take me to a happy place. I love coming up with an idea, and turning it into an actual something. I love that a pretty piece of fabric can miraculously become a cute skirt. And the whole process has this bizarre pacifying effect on my jitters, that leaves me feeling accomplished and ready to take on the world. Added bonus: I get cute clothes and soft furnishing to keep for myself or lavish on friends.

This is another one of those “taking better care of myself” things. You see, I suck at mornings. Everything is so much sorer, stiffer, and hurtier of a morning, which makes me super slow. This makes either super rushed, super late, or super hungry because I end up skipping breakfast to get everything else sorted. The problem with this is it screws with my head, leaving me feeling faint and fuzzy. It’s also really bad for weight loss to skip meals, especially breakfast.

So, this month I’m going to try my darnedest to eat brekkie every day. Whether it’s a full-out feast, or just a quickie smoothie, the aim is to ensure there is something in my belly within an hour of waking. I’m hoping that starting strong in the mornings will help me work my way through the day eating responsibly, and looking after myself better.

Okay, to start with, I’m not a mean person. I swear. But, like most girls, I do have a bitchy sass-mouth in me. She’s a nasty piece of work, who loves to use words to cuss out her foe, and is always much worse at a particular time of the month. I don’t like her. I want her to go away. So I’m working on not letting her come out to play as much. I guess this kind of sits with last month’s goal of letting things go as well, because a lot of the bitchiness is pure anger or jealousy at people that have wronged me. Whatever the reason, it’s a trait I find really ugly, and one I definitely want to reduce.

So, less name-calling, more forgiveness, and a good helping of humility for me. I’m also going to have to work on controlling my temper, and staying calm. Most importantly, I gotta, gotta try a little tenderness!

So that’s February. Wish me luck!

The Good Side of Chronic Illness 1.0

You know what? Having chronic illness sucks. Having two or more chronic illnesses sucks even more. But, as cliché as it is to say this, there is always a silver lining—no matter how small—to something that changes your life so drastically. In fact, there’s often several.

I’ve written, and will probably continue to write, the odd post bemoaning my lot in life when it comes to health. It gets me down and frustrates me, so sometimes I vent. Tonight though, I thought I’d talk about a few of the good things that have come of these wretched health dramas. So, here’s a few of the things that aren’t so bad about being chronically ill.

Sometimes I Sound Really Smart
Without studying medicine, I’ve become a veritable expert in the field of specific prescription medications. I can tell you what hormones affect which areas of the body, and how the body responds to specific increases/decreases in insulin, thyroid function, and immune system function. If you ask, I can also rattle off a list of substitutes (and recipes) for special diets like wheat/gluten free, Lactose free, sugar free, and super-food-rich. I’m a one-stop shop for information on both traditional and natural medicine…within limits of course—I’m not going to be lecturing on brain surgery any time soon.

I Have an Genuine Excuse for Being a Picky Eater…but I Don’t Dramatise

Briiliance by Rachael Smith.

Brilliance by Rachael Smith.

I’ve worked in the hospitality industry for many years. I’ve made coffees, waited on tables, and catered for events, and there’s always that one customer that drives you crazy with their order. There’s the half-strength-caramel-shot-soy-mocha-latte-no-foam who also orders cake with a side of ice cream, but icing sugar, because “I’m watching my dairy and calorie intake”. Or the white-bread-crusts-off-no-butter-mayo-chicken-sandwich dude who’ll complain if he finds a crumb of crust left on it. Oh, and the bride who wants four mains options because she doesn’t know if she’s going to feel like fish, chicken, beef, or lamb at her wedding…but she only wants to pay for three. Seriously, these are real customers.
Because I’ve dealt with picky eaters, and because I love food (a little too much), I try not to mess with stuff too much when I go out to eat. I pick something that looks appetising, order it, and eat it. If I don’t like it, it was my bad choice. Now, though, there’s some things my body just won’t accept, and others that it only likes in certain amounts, or on certain days. I have a diva digestive system. So, if I go out for breakfast I’ll ask for gluten free bread, if I’m feeling over-dairied, I’ll have soy milk, or I’ll order the salad without red-onion, to avoid the inevitable headache. I won’t, however, make a big deal of it, or recreate a whole dish just to get what I want. And I certainly won’t complain about the extra cost. As much as it sucks, food speciality items are more expensive, you just have to suck it up.

I Appreciate Little Wins
We humans like to complain. We like to assume the world is against us, that others are inherently bad, and that life is out to get us. We don’t do this all the time, but it seems to be our more common way of thinking. We very easily look at the negative instead of the positive, especially when it comes to our bodies. How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought “Ugh! My arse looks huge” or “why did I have to have a pimple today“, as if tomorrow would have been any better a day to have Mt Vesuvius on your nose.
I’m just as bad as everyone else. I hate that I now have adult acne and struggle even more with my weight thanks to the PCOS. I get frustrated when silly things don’t work out as expected. But one of the things you learn very quickly when your whole body aches to some extent every day, is that those molehills are just that—molehills, not mountains. The negatives still bother me, but I try to focus so much more on the positives. I get excited over having enough energy to spend a whole day out and still being able to cook dinner, or being able to get to sleep within three hours of going to bed, or simply not waking up with a headache. These things are so much more important to my day than whether or not my cheek is covered in pimples, or my arms are looking especially flabby, because they make my day easier and happierSometimes this even means I can brighten someone else’s day in return, which I’d say is a pretty big win.

There you have it: three pretty great things that come from chronic illness. It’s hardly an exhaustive list, but maybe I’ll keep the rest up my sleeve and make this a regular feature.

Anyone else out there with chronic illness want to help with my list?

Mamm it Up, Ladies.

October is Breast Cancer month. Which is the perfect time to remind all your lady friends (and yourself) to check your breasts and get a mammogram. Regular mammograms are one of the best ways to detect breast cancer, and should be something we call encourage our sisters, mothers, girfriends, wives, and daughters to do. But it can be a bit of a weird conversation  to have…unless, like my friends, every discussion involves regular breast and butt talk.

For those of you not quite as Bogan-mouthed as my friends and me, I reckon give mamming a go. I’m totally going to be out there mamming it up for the rest of the month. Pictures shortly.

Ps. Guys with moobs, totally get my respect for doing this too!

Hold my Hand.

I’m going to start doing real and intelligent posts again soon, I promise. I’m just a bit hectic at the moment with a bunch of random commitments. Like committing to help with uni assignments, bake for school fundraisers, and repair clothing. None are large tasks, but all require a pretty decent time commitment, and leave me feeling pretty wiped.

I’m also feeling a little lost at the moment, and am trying to figure out where I want to take both myself and Heidielka from here. As I start to feel better I tend to have less time to spend/waste trolling the internet for cool stuff, and writing long odes to things I love. Which is probably a good thing for you, as I do tend to ramble. The thing is, while I’m getting busier, and doing more each day, I don’t actually feel like I’m moving forward. I feel kind of like this guy:

Except, instead of needing a hand to hold while driving, I need one simply to get through life. It all seems a little too hard and a lot too scary after being somewhat stationary for the past eighteen months. I don’t know what to tell future employees when asked what I’ve been up to the last two years, I don’t know how to best interpret how many hours I am capable of each week, and I’m not sure I can cope with the pressure of being the new kid on the block.

Five years ago none of this would have bothered me. I’m not saying I was super confident, but I knew I could bluff my way through an interview, push through thirty-and-forty-hour weeks, and fake it ’til I made it with any task thrown at me. I knew how to do life rather than letting it do me. These days, with a combination of being almost thirty, trying to keep a handle on the ME/CFS and PCOS, and being out of practice when it comes to anything other than working a cash register, I’m scared. I’m scared of failing and of looking like a failure. I’m petrified of being incapable of doing things that used to come so easy. And I don’t remember how to act confident in myself and my abilities when inside I feel useless and confused.

This year was supposed to be about building my self-confidence and learning to love who I am no matter what. Sadly, in the euphoria of a brand new year it’s very easy to commit to things you may not really be able to achieve. I’m not really sure where to go from here, or which piece of my current craptastic life-pile I should start with. It’s all just a bit too hard, and I want someone to hold my hand.

NIIA Week: I Choose to Honour Small Moments

This week, for the most part, has been full of posts that are somewhat depressing. From me whining about my less-than-perfect days, to providing a realistic look into my mind, as a sufferer of chronic illness. So, I wanted to make sure today’s post was a little bit more uplifting. Not just because I’ve been such a Debbie Downer all week, but also because having an invisible illness doesn’t mean life sucks. In fact, I actually have my ME/CFS and PCOS to thank for a lot of the good things that have come my way over the last little while.

Had I not been in the throes of ME/CFS, and feeling completely miserable at the beginning of last year, I would probably have taken a dodgy job in fashion sales just to get some cash. Then I would have got lazy, and put my dreams to the side because it’s easier to work in a job you hate for lots of money, than to do something you love for no money at all. Instead, I tried my hand at my own business, and started waking up my creative muscles which, in turn, woke up my passion and heart.

Had I been well I would have stayed in Brisbane, even though I was sick of living in the city, and was missing the company of friends who had moved home again. I would be bugging Kaos, my one friend left in Brisbane, and spending most of my weekends driving back and forward to Toowoomba to visit family, friends, and my dog. Instead, I moved back home where I feel safe and loved, I reconnected with Wabi, Helva, and Miss Vodka, and I get sweet doggy kisses from Bonnie every single day.

Yes, many days the bad outweighs the good, the pain drowns out the joy, and the endless bills and stress make it hard to find the positives in this situation. But then a coffee outing with mum, or a lively “good morning” from Bonnie, or simply the look on a harried sales-assistant’s face, will remind me it’s not all so bad. So that’s what I’m going to focus on.

I could choose to focus on the nasty negatives, and all the hours I spend being sore or tired. But why would I want to channel my remaining energy into making myself feel worse. That’s what I’m going to choose to channel my energy towards the good. The small moments that bring a leap of joy. The ones that leave me with a wistful smile or a giggle of mirth. I’m going to relish the dinner parties with friends, the chance to bake the most delicious chocolate cake, and the time to perfect my double-crochets.

To hell with mulling over the morose, and wishing I’ d been dealt a better hand. I choose to honour small moments of joy, and push myself towards my amazing, re-imagined future.

NIAA Week - I choose to honour

What do you choose?