Resolute: March Recap

Resolute - Mar recap image

March has disappeared in a blur, and April is already well advanced. I can’t believe how fast this year is going! In fact, I spent a whole lot of March bemoaning how fast life is going in general, and wishing it would slow down a bit so I can catch up.

March wasn’t all about generalised wonderings, though. I also managed to tick off both of my March resolutions at the start of the month and squeeze in part of an extra one, all while still working on all the others. Go me!

So here’s where it’s at:

Remember Shrove Tuesday
Okay, so technically I forgot Shrove Tuesday, but I don’t think we should get hung up on technicalities. I ended up making brunch pancakes the following morning, which I decided still counted, because it was still Tuesday on the other side of the world. I’m more of a crepe fan, so these babies were a more of ‘pancrepe’.

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They were especially delicious with the fresh blueberries in them, and natural yoghurt and maple syrup I covered them in. Definitely a make-again dish. My bad photography doesn’t do them justice.

Take More Photos
Speaking of photos, my other March resolution was to get snap happy. Totally aced this one. My phone’s camera folder is jam packed with shots of everything from my lunch at a local cafe:

Lunch at Vintage Latte, in Toowoomba. May have found a new fave cafe.

Lunch at Vintage Latte, in Toowoomba. May have found a new fave cafe.

to snaps of a friend’s wedding:

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And, of course, way too many photos of the most handsome nephew in the world:

I mean, how cute is this?!

I mean, how cute is this?!

It’s amazing how easy it is to take photos of babies—they’re so beautiful, even an amateur like me can amazing shots. I think perhaps this has moved from a resolution to an addiction.

Try Ten New Foods
This wasn’t even a March resolution, I just had a moment of insane braveness. We went out for lunch, and my uncle ordered brains. Now, I’m all about trying new things, but offal is one of those things that honestly makes my stomach churn and my head spin. Yech! Or so I thought.

Sitting next to my uncle, I had a pretty good view of the crumbed lamb’s grey matter, smothered in rich gravy. Suddenly they didn’t seem so bad, and the gravy certainly look amazing. Then I surprised myself…I asked if I could try some.

Guess what? Turns out I don’t mind brains. I mean, I’ll probably never order them myself, and I certainly wouldn’t cook them. But, if they were put in front of me, I now know I could not just eat them, but actually enjoy them.

So hurrah for trying new things! One down, ten to go.

The Other Stuff
As the year goes by there is going to be a lot of updating of past ongoing resolutions, so I figure there’s really only need to update on the ones I’m actually succeeding with at the moment.

Financially, I’m not really any more stable, and I may not be in the near future. However, I have made a decision that will hopefully guarantee me a happy mix of financial stability and job satisfaction. Watch this space for more info in the coming days.

I’m also making in-roads on the whole not sweating small things/being kinder/being more thankful. Things aren’t all rainbows and lollipops, but I’m making the best of them, and trying to acknowledge the parts those around me play in making things better. I’m lucky. I may not have millions of dollars, or look like a movie star, but I do have great friends and family who make me laugh and provide plenty of good moments.

Speaking of good, one thing I’ve totally got down is the eating a good breakfast resolution. Hurrah for success! And also for my egg-poaching skills—I’d totally rock a Master Chef poaching skills challenge.

Stay tuned tomorrow for April’s Resolutions!

 

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:

GET THAT TATTOO
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?

BE MORE AWARE
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.

SEW, KNIT, CROCHET
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.

EAT BEAKFAST
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.

BE KINDER
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!

Resolute: January Recap

Hey hey! If you’re an Aussie you’re brain is finishing that with “it’s Saturday!”. It is, isn’t it?

Anyway…it’s February! Yay, right? It should be, it’s my birthday month. But I actually hate February, because it’s, quite literally, EVERYONE ELSE’S Birthday in my family as well. Okay…that’s a bit of a stretch. I do, however, know someone on every day in February, except for the thirteenth. Anyone on that date wanna become my friend, so I can bingo it? So, basically, February is Buy All the Presents month. Which I would totally love (because I really do love buying people stuff), except for the whole not having money thing.

Which is a great segue into my update on January’s resolutions, seeing as one of them is all about having monies. Let’s begin there shall we?

I swiped this from the gorgeous Kristy, at Southern In-Law. I promise to do better next time.

BECOME FINANCIALLY STABLE
Hmm. This one didn’t go so well. Apart from going over budget on the wedding from hell (story for another time), I also managed to sew myself to my sewing machine, which required immediate medical attention. Bills, bills, bills! Aaaannnd no luck with finding a job. Sad face.

on the upside, I have reigned in my frivolous spending, and cut down dramatically on the amount I waste on fuel/excess phone usage/junk food, so it hasn’t been a total loss. And I have been applying for lots of jobs, I just haven’t found the right one yet. No matter, onwards and upwards, right?

DROP THOSE KILOS
Just because I’ve been spending less on junk, doesn’t really mean I’ve been eating better. I’m still snacking way too much, and not exercising nearly enough. Big fail on the whole chubba-be-gone front. But February has 28 days—the exact amount of time it’s supposed to take to break a habit. Going to nail it goal this month.

BE REAL/LET THINGS GO/BE MORE APPRECIATIVE
Oooh. These ones were fun. I totally got real this month, and stopped overcommitting. Mainly because I spent most of the month completely broke, but also because I was being an Eeyore and dwelling on things big-time. Ergo, did not do so well at the whole letting-things-go challenge. In fact, I would probably say I failed miserably at this one. I’ll try harder this month, I promise.

I totally deserve a gold star for being appreciative this month, though. I’m pretty sure there was a week in there where I said thank you at least a hundred times a day. But I’ve also been trying to find the positives in things more, and focusing on the good I have in my life as opposed to the bad.

So, I’ve had a few wins and a few losses so far. I definitely need to step up my game, but, given the craziness that has ensued this month, I’m pretty proud of myself. February, I’m going to be continuing with all these resolutions and adding another five to the list. Stay tuned for that post in a couple of days. Until then, Happy February!

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.