Sunday, December 29, 2013

Still Rambling

Still too early damn it

As you can see, there's some improvement. The days of doing bugger-all are beginning to work. But my attention span is still all over the place, so I'm falling back on lazy blogging  with bullet points.
  • Dave made the mistake. He told me he saw a purple lava lamp. I needed it. Yes, this is exactly all what is wrong in society today. I needed it. I had to have it. It went on my credit card. I don't care. I LOVE IT! It's mine...
  • It now sits next to my printer, behind my laptop 
  • It takes a while for the wax to warm up and then it makes lovely shapes in the liquid
  • I gave my beloved a torc wrench for Christmas, he gave me a heart rate and fitness monitor (purple). We are both ecstatic with our gifts. Needless to say, I know it won't be long before every nut and bolt on our bikes will be tightened up...and apparently, I have a [good] fitness level
  • I'm starting to move again. Only after Dave complained of a sore throat and thick head for a week, it occurred to me that perhaps another bug was contributing to my general malaise
  • Work has been a veritable cornucopia of germs, bugs and things to make you go bleugh
  • I must get more anti-bac gel to give my immune system a break. I'm fed up of feeling ill
  • Boy's back in town. It's a lot more strange having him back, than I anticipated. Though I hasten to add, it is good to see him
  • I realised we don't talk much when we're alone together, we just kind of hang out
  • I wonder if he thinks I'm boring and I don't do much. I certainly haven't done much over the break
  • I've been drinking a lot of tea over the break. It makes me feel warm and cosy inside
  • My man bought me a tea pot to match my kitchen and it has a removable metal basket inside for loose tea. You see why I'm so partial to him? It matches my kitchen
  • The Boxing Day sale madness has passed me by. I have not participated in the feeding frenzy that is seasonal bargain hunting. Apart from the purple lava lamp (did I mention it was purple), I've been unmoved to venture into the city
  • When we did amble into the city so I could purchase the lava lamp (purple), I was the only person in a frenzy. However, for the first time in years there were masses of shoppers who were actually carrying bags
  • I feel your confusion
  • In recent years, the city has been busy at this time of year. Gentleman's Walk, the main thoroughfare of the retail heart of Norwich, has been packed. But people were looking, not buying. Their arms were swinging
  • Not so this year. People had bags and bags. This is good news for our local economy. These four festive weeks are when our retailers take 80% of their money
  • Apart from one Amazon purchase to go abroad, once again I shopped local and independent. I was thinking of stretching my definition to John Lewis (which is a co-operative, but a large one), and in the end I didn't need to
  • I did go into a local shop and ask them to get me an electrical item. I was unimpressed when they invited me to go to John Lewis as they could not match their price to order in this bit of kit. I told them it didn't matter. I wanted to give them my money. They declined
  • Today will be the last totally lazy, bone idle day of rest. From tomorrow, I will start increasing my activity levels and start bringing my sleeping patterns back to normal i.e. not going to sleep at 1 am, getting up at 9-10-11 am
  • I am so behind in my personal admin I'm looking at my colon. If it doesn't get done this week, the tax man is going to be demanding my lava lamp
  • Even though I had exactly the Christmas I wanted and needed, I still had The Sad. I miss my dad and I'm homesick. My family back home and I have missed each other communication-wise and in a way I'm relieved. The way I feel right now, I could just hop on a plane and head out there now
  • It's a dangerous feeling. 
It's purple

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jammie Day, Day 1 of Festive Season Time Off

I didn't think I'd make it. I really didn't. It was like crawling across a dessert of broken glass. I'm exhausted. 2013 has been bloody hard work. 

There really isn't a polite way of saying I look as rough as a badger's arse

But I'm here. I am taking a proper, long break over the Festive Season. I don't go back until the 6th of January. I'm aware that there's a pile of work waiting for me when I do get back, but that's fine. I want to start 2014, rested and energised. Well, okay. That's what I want, I know I won't necessarily feel like it. And that's okay. 

I promised myself 2 days of pyjamas. Two days of not leaving the house. Two days of not doing anything I don't want to do. I've got a pile of potential reading that's going to take me at least two weeks. I'm not doing stress over this break. I don't care if it's Christmas. I'm opting out of anything drama-related and woe betide anyone who attempts to bring it to my doorstep. I'm feeling very protective of myself.

More coffee, Dear Gods, please - More coffee!

The blogging habit has slipped somewhat with the extra hours at work and the end of the year exhaustion. I'd very much like to get back to it. It feels like I've lost touch with too many good friends in the blogosphere, especially those who avoid Facebook like the plague. Facebook is the lazy person's way of keeping in touch - which is why I like it so much!

Boy and I have planned a totally decadent Christmas Day. We will go shopping on the 24th, buy up a whole load of ridiculous party munchies and on the 25th, we'll done pjs cook, watch DVDs, play Xbox games. I will be indulging in naughtiness consumption. Now Boy is of legal age, he's dry as Methuselah's grave. Dave is invited to join us, only if he gets into his own jammies. 

So, this is the first day of my festive break and I was wide awake at 6.45. Go figure. I managed to doze until 8 o'clock and then it got too much. I needed coffee. After I publish this, I'll be tackling another workout. If I'm going to be eating my bodyweight in nibbles and treats, I sure as hell need to keep my metabolism going otherwise I'm going to be really pissed off with myself in January.

It'll be okay, honest.

What are your plans? Are you all set for the Season's frivolities?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Drunk and in Charge of a Keyboard

I'm sure this isn't a good idea. One I will regret and perhaps delete when sobriety hits. But since when has that ever stopped me? Never. I'm going to tell you a little about why I'm such a fundamental optimist. Why I feel compelled to help the talented people around (and yes, there are many). This isn't a "OMG, Poor me" post. I've only had a gin and tonic, I'm not quite there enough to let the Self-Pity Gnome in.

I'm a bit of an outsider in my Life. 

During my childhood, I didn't look like my family. I was adopted. I didn't know my racial origins. I was scrawny, short-sighted and had teeth and a smile only a mother could love. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I was socially awkward, unathletic and preferred the company of animals. I liked books, but was rubbish at school. I liked people and had a weird kind of confidence with them, but didn't really connect with anyone for any length of time. All in all, I was a bit of a mess. 

I wanted to be like my brother. He always knew what he wanted to do. I respected that so much. That passion to exclude all other things, to just know what path needed to be trod. That was just so cool.

I though this passion could be found in relationships with the opposite sex. But no, I chose badly; it all went horribly wrong and I've since learnt to love very carefully. It can be a bit of a compromise, but I love as much as I feel safe to, so I'm not hurt by rejection too much.

Writing as my preferred form of communication has been with me since I nicked my father's Brother typewriter at 13. It was only at 33 that I began to learn how to construct a story someone might actually want to read from start to finish. Ten years later, I haven't really written anything apart from my random blogging and a novella.

I have commitment issues.

That's why I'm so utterly inspired by talented people who follow through their passions with actions. I am blessed with friends both online and IRL who are writers, artists, poets, musicians, photographers and entrepreneurs, I just want to help. That's part of the reason why I did the NLP, I thought it would enable me to help people who wanted to do something different.

Simple really.

Too see people who are prepared to walk to the ends of the earth to make their dreams come true, who do that bit more different, that's really something. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Getting Back on Several Horses

A couple of days after I wrote the previous blog post I was flattened by a bug. I ended up in bed for 3 days which then wrecked my back and then the bug headed into my sinuses for another week. Honestly, if I would have been put down if I were a horse. I managed one day off sick and crawled into work regardless. I don't do stiff-upper lip normally, I lean towards the pathetic-and-give-me-sympathy-and-more-tea. But frankly, I'm busy. I was too busy to whinge. So I didn't. 

This week has been the first time I've felt almost human. I'm running on about 85%, which is a relief. I've also agreed that I will be taking a long break over the Festive Period. I am exhausted and desperate for my jammies, Pink Fluffy Dressing Gown and lots of Facebook Statuses about coffee. 

Every year in January, my work packs up and heads to an appropriate auditorium to host their Vision Day. It's a chance to reflect about the previous year and to set goals and the theme for the new year. I end up doing one of my favourite jobs which is researching quotes and information that will go into the various presentations. 

Doing this has put me into a reflective frame of mind. I haven't been this introspective for some time. I've been thinking about all the changes that have happened this year. All of the different facets of my life have moved around, adjusted their positions or just metamorphosed into something I wouldn't have recognised this time last year.

This has been a year of changing relationships. Some have drifted, some have dissolved completely, some have changed shape and solidified into new forms. It's been an interesting process. 

I moved. A highly traumatic, but necessary event. I also took steps to sort out my finances. I've done another 'quick fix', but I've shaved my outgoings and I'm still grappling with my bad spending habits. 

On a similar note, October marked my third anniversary at my place work. Hard to believe I've actually been in the same place for 3 years. It's the longest time I've ever been in one place of employment. My past record is 18 months. I have a very low boredom threshold. The great thing about my role is that it's constantly changing, I get to police my own hours and I get to be myself. Both Insight and myself have managed to come up with a working compromise which means I am contented there and I give them value for money. If you'd have told me 4 years ago I'd be this happy to work within financial services, I'd have laughed at you. 

Who knew eh?

Not me.

This December marks my first anniversary of being nicotine free. It's a year since I stopped. I went cold turkey, with minimal NLP intervention and since stopping I can think of only a few times when I really was tempted and the temptation didn't last very long at all. I'm quite pleased about that. I've not even had a puff. My lungs and bank manager are even more pleased about it. It's nice not waking up to a phlegmic cough and wheezing.

I also started exercising regularly. Or I should say, I made a commitment not to give up exercising. I continue to be determined not to stop working at improving my fitness. Yes, I'd still like to lose a stone (14 lbs to you over the water) but it's more akin to wanting to win the lottery and buying a ticket once every 6 months. I'm more interested in becoming stronger, not thinner. 

I saw a comment on a blog post of the fitness site I follow and it particularly resonated with me. The young woman who commented, was recently getting over a serious illness, her recovery has been over a couple of years (it was that serious). She attributed her recovery to the fact that she was a semi-professional dancer and had to maintain the level of fitness necessary to perform at that physically demanding activity. When she got flattened by her illness (which sounded on par with meningitis) she thinks it would have been so much worse, had she not been that fit. She finished off by saying she needed to get fitter, not to be well, but in order to be ill. 

I want to be more robust, physically. I feel strong emotionally, but rather lacking physically. Exercise is my way of dealing with this. Rather than adopting an exercise plan, I've adopted a commitment. I'm not going to stop getting stronger. I may lapse, need a week off or as recently, 3 weeks off, but I'm returning to program. The lapses are rests and time for recovery, not for giving up.

Can't talk about exercise, without talking about diet. I'm still making my own lunches. I've reduced the amount of processed foods I eat. I've increased my vegetable and fruit intake to the point where I'm eating 9 or 10 a day. My wok is my new best friend. Even if I fry my veggies in butter and add dollops of creme fraiche. I still have a little of what I fancy e.g. a biscuit and a slice of cake today. It's a guilt free indulgence.

2013 hasn't been a kind year, but it's been a year where lots of great things have happened.  I'm hoping 2014 will continue this trend. I'm going to work on being stronger - physically, emotionally and financially (and to blog more regularly). 

How's 2013 been for you? Did you make resolutions? Did you keep them? 

Do you fancy a cheerleader? I'm totally up for cheerleading you, if you've got some goal you'd like to achieve in 2014. I'll encourage you, you encourage me. That's the way it'll work. We can hang out IRL, on blogs or on social media. Let's do it! You could want motivation for exercise, eating healthily or for upping your career game. I don't mind. I'm totally selfish about my motivation for setting up an Inspiration Group. I want to hang out with YES people.  People who want to test their limits and try new shit out. I want to inspire and be inspired. Go on. Let's do it.