Monday, 15 September 2014

My creative


Here’s a little overview of my #ShakeCreative month so far. It’s been a bit of a challenge, but definitely a fun one and amazing to see how other Shakers are interpreting the daily prompts. 


You can still join in or follow on facey or Instagram.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up

Today’s #ShakeCreative post was ‘listened’. I listened to my body and did a slow easy 10km (I’m pretty sure, goddam Garmin) whilst I listened to Miley lamenting about her wrecking balls.

It’s two weeks until my next half in Sydney (roadtrip!) and two weeks until end of term. At this point of the term its usually a cold or chest infection that floors me. This time I’m pretty sure its my Crohns. Ulcers are annoying me, my body feels like lead all the time, legs are sore, my stomach is fucked and there are a few weird skin things appearing.

The best thing about Sydney will be Crazy and me hanging with my lovely, big brother, running with Zoey, Kate and Steph and the OpMove team and spending time with friends. 

I know this and my next half wont be breaking any PBs, #fuckIt, at the moment I don’t care if I walk over the Harbour Bridge, the views will be amazing. That will be beautiful. But I said I was doing four half mara’s  this year and thats what I will do. In training I did a very respectable 24km, the elation that followed was a feeling I won’t forget.

So I’ll cruise, meander and shuffle. Letting go of the angst that I should be pushing myself for a decent time, letting go of the guilt of not running more before work in preparation. Letting go of the pressure. 

Letting go will give me more time to enjoy the views. 

Letting go but not giving up.



Thursday, 4 September 2014

Refreshing your creative - The Power of Time Off

I watched this clip on Ted last night ‘The Power of Time Off’ and thought it was definitely worth a share..... and not just because the presenter, Stefan Sagmeister, highlights how beneficial sabbaticals can be.

Which they are.

It would be naive to think that everyone could take a year off every 7 from work or everyday life and go and live in Bali (though, how ace would that be), but sabbaticals could be smaller, adapted to suit your life.

This clip looks at how Stefan Sagmeister's sabbaticals have refreshed his creativity and his business. 

x


Sunday, 24 August 2014

Shake it out

It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine can do.

The first few rays warming the back of your legs through jeans, sunglasses on a little longer, the hope that the clothes horse can be finally put away, the smell of jasmine hanging in the air.

Things feel different. People get a little smilier. A little chattier. A little less shitty. A little more ...... nice!

Except for Crazy, she’s still Scottish, Spring is hot enough for her. But, not for me, I run on solar power and I will happily takes months of nodding sympathetically to an 11 year old lamenting about how hot it is if it means I can get some sun on my skin.

With sunshine comes hope. Shake off the dark, cold days.

Maybe I’m still bullshitting myself, hope shmope. Hope for what? For something. For nothing. Who cares. It just feels good. Time to clean out the dross. Tidy up. Do some crafting. Open windows. Paint stuff (mainly myself). Make stuff. Do stuff. Write stuff. 

Write new stuff. Cool Stuff. Creative Stuff. Shake stuff.

I have this fabulous friend called Zoey, she’s hugely talented and I have a bit of a crush on her and am in awe of all the cool shit she does. Including The Shake, only now she’s asked me to do The Shake with her.

Me. Write for The Shake. #AllTheFreakinAwesome

New seasons. New challenges. New paths. New hope. New adventures.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Fug you

Since December my mind has been in a fug. 

A stupid, fugging roller coaster ride of emotions.

Things feel better and then they are not. I don’t cry for a bit then I can’t stop. I stop eating because I can’t taste then I drown in all the foods. I go on a date and then I never want to ever again. Ever.

I’m more forgetful but more organized. Bills need to be paid, food needs to be bought, meals need to be made. Food passes it’s used by date, spring onions in a sad, flaccid heap at the bottom of the fridge.

Trying to parent on a united front but never feeling more divided. 

Months like an eternity but still only months. 

A cliched playlist.

Fun put to the wayside.

One day the fug will lift, the anger, numbness and disappointment will subside, the hollowness not so deep. A better parent, a happier friend.

Until then, fug you, goddam mother fugger.

Image c/- Pinterest

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Review - Menulog home delivery service

Saturday nights in our house usually consist of a movie and a takeaway. There is quite a bit of discussion on both and we usually agree quickly on the DVD……. which leaves us with pizza most weekends. 

And then there was Menulog.


Crazy and I were asked if we wanted to try Menulog, an online restaurant and delivery service, and write about how you use it and what we thought of it. Some might think of it as selling your soul for a Pad Thai, but it was much more than that…. There were spring rolls, cold rolls plus some delicious rice.

The Menulog site is incredibly easy to use, as simple as putting in your postcode and up pops a veritable smorgasbord of choices. 

Actually, there are over 3,500 choices across Australia, loads of reviews plus an easy rating of the featured restaurants.

A friend who uses Menulog regularly mentioned that he now plays ‘Menulog Russian Roulette’ which was inspiration enough for us. With the handy side bar you can click through the choices you are interested (ie, Thai, burger, vegetarian etc) and up pops a great list of restaurants and their menus.

So this is how we did it:
We went to the Menulog site and entered our postcode.
Up pops a list of list of local restaurants, we could then refined our search to the cuisines we wanted.
Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, getting hungrier and hungrier we chose a local Vietnamese restaurant and then clicked away at the choices. Here we were able to add extra’s to suit our tastes as well.

It was Saturday night, of course I was pinning at the same time

Claim our 20% discount for first delivery, thank you very much.
Decide if we wanted to collect of have it delivered, it was Saturday night and I was already in my trackies so that was easy to choose, home delivery it was!
Check out and pay.
We then received a text confirmation that our order was received and would be on its way shortly, they even gave us an expected delivery time…. Which was accurate, bonus.

Did you know there is even an app to make it even easier to order, nice one.

Crazy, who was feeling a little out of her pizza delivery comfort zone, loved it, and so did I. The food was delicious, delivered quickly, and was easy to order and all in the comfort of my trackies.

Takeaway by candlelight, sitting on the couch watching Dick Van Dyke sing ‘Truly Scrumptious’ was fitting enough.



This was a sponsored post, thank you Menulog for inviting us to try the fabulous and easy online ordering service. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Nothing half-arsed about 21.1

A few days ago I did my fourth half marathon, the beautiful Gold Coast Airport Marathon. My second half mara of a potential four or five for this year.

Not bad, really. I’m pretty happy with that.

Yet, one of the most asked questions I get is “when are you going to do a full?”

Eh?

Just as I am really happy with having one child (thank god those questions have stopped), I’m really happy doing half marathons.

A half, or 21.1km or 13.1miles, is a nice distance for me. Longish training runs without taking up my whole weekend, lots of opportunities to mix up my sessions three to four times a week, to still push myself and so far, no major injuries.

Just as a 5km, 10km, full or even an ultra suits some; I feel this distance is for me.

On my way to the hotel a few days before the race, I started chatting to another Gold Coast visitor who was up for the weekends running festivities. She said she was just doing the 10km.

JUST!

There’s no JUST about it, love. Running doesn’t have to be a pissing competition; who runs the fastest, the furthest, who has made themselves vomit or how many toe nails you have lost.

It should be about what suits you, what brings you joy without having to justify the distance or speed.

For me, a 10km is hell. There’s no room to chill, get into a groove and lip-synch dance your way through. Just hammering it to get well under that 60minute beacon. Runners who focus on a 5 or 10 deserve a massive hat tip.

As does anyone that choses to chase cold mornings over the couch.

Running should be about owning what you do, and for me its all about the F*ck It.

Some people may prefer to call the style zen, some might call it mindfulness moving, but I’ll stick with F*ck It.

F*ck it, I’m going out to run when I don’t feel like it and I’ll keep training for that next half. I’ll train because it helps me sleep. I’ll train because I eat better. I’ll train because its good for my mind, body and self esteem and I think it keeps my Crohn’s in remission.

F*ck It I’ve seen some gorgeous sunrises lately and I’m grateful for those gifts.

To me, running is all about the F*ck It.

It means owning what I do, running my race not someone else’s. Enjoying the distance, enjoying race weekends with my friends, enjoying the scenery, maybe hammering my body less so it can give me more in the long run for those long runs.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to take anything away from anyone else’s training styles or plans, but this is the way I keep moving. F*ck It, I don’t want to do a full marathon, I’m loving what I am doing.

And for me, there’s nothing half-arsed about 21.1km.


Monday, 9 June 2014

10 reasons a girls weekend is better than sex

I’ve just had one of the best weekends in a gazillion years with my amazing group of friends, and as I am siting here wishing the weekend didn’t have to end I thought I would make a list. 

Here are my 10 reasons why this weekend was, or indeed any girls weekend is, better than sex.

1. You’re allowed to laugh. Laugh a lot. The more the better and no one is going to get all pissy about it.

2. Being able to go on and on and on all night is actually enjoyable.

3. You can shop at the same time, and not just in your head.

4. Instagramming pics throughout is totally acceptable. Add a hashtag and that takes it to a whole new level of awesome.

5. If you invite another friend to join you, no one is going to get ridiculously excited about it.

6. You can eat all the food, non-stop, through out. And solid foods too.

7. Wearing flannel PJs is more than OK.

8. There’s no obligation to hang about if you’re done and ready to head to another activity...... like shopping.

9. Granny pants.

10. You are really, really sad when its over and are ready to do it again straight away. Like straight away. 
Can you convince me otherwise? I double dare you.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Rollin’ with m’ homies

Image c/- Zoey Martin 
Last Sunday I ran the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon. 

I’d like to say that I punched those bastard hills right in the face but it was probably more of a gentle slap, maybe even a tickle.

Still I did it. Two years ago I watched from the sidelines in my moon boot, that year it was a broken foot. This year I ran those long, hilly 23km, some of the time there may have even been a smile on my face. I hardly swore, I didn’t cry once and it was a PB.

And it only took me two hours to go from “Fun run my arse, I never want to do that again” to “when can we sign up. Operation Move Road Trip!”

Amazing.

But the best thing from the weekend was hanging with my team. Running is such an individual passion but it is also an amazing team sport. To many of us, this is more than just team mates with matchy, matchy tops. 

The support that we give each other along the way or from the sidelines, online or in real life is amazing. It gets us through those long runs and even longer training sessions. And it's this team support that helps us get through life's shitty bits as well as celebrating the awesomeness.
Image c/- Running Women Australia
At 15km I started texting a friend on the team who was unable to run, knowing she and her family were there at the finish line with the others was a massive boost as I stared at another hill.

Being part of this team means so much more to me than being part of a couple. 


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Apparently, this too will pass

Sunday I went for a run - it was a bit, you know, m’eh, the pace was pretty good but, m’eh.

I’m doing my next half marathon in a few days and my training has been good in some weeks, pretty average in others. I know I can do the 23km, but it’s going to be a slog. 

This race is particularly beautiful and hard at the same time. Gorgeous sea views, bastard rolling hills.

I’m trying to be philosophical. The run a metaphor for my life at the moment, tough with moments of beauty and achievement, but I’m probably just bullshitting myself.

My last half marathon in December was the day after Mr told me he was leaving. I pretty much cried my way through 21km. I was extra pissed because my training was brilliant and the first 10km I was flying then my head just went “fuck you, this sucks” and I shuffled the rest of the way looking for a doona to hide under.

Running has become purely a mental health activity this year, something to keep me going when I don’t want to, four halves booked in to keep me moving. The OpMove Team propping me up and helping me to keep going, the best friends anyone could ask for. 

But every time I feel like I am getting on top of life, start to feel less stabby, a new revelation surrounding the break up comes out. Another this week which highlighted that nearly every reason I was given in December was a lie. 

And I am crushed again. My body wanting that doona. Exhausted from sobbing each night until there is nothing left. Giving all I have to give to Crazy, until she goes to bed, then it’s sleepless nights and an aching heart.

Hopefully there are no more surprises to why I am no longer a Mrs and I can start to heal and get my shit together and run for enjoyment rather than to help me from losing my shit.

Hopefully I can enjoy the views, the amazing team I will be spending the weekend with and the goal that I will be kicking. Hopefully my training for the next one in July will be better.

Hopefully I can remember that I deserve better than this shit.

Another image from Pinterest

Friday, 11 April 2014

Survival tips for the MMSL

That's modern mature single lady, didntcha know, here are just some of my tips.

Flirt
Whether it's with a tradie on Tinder or the guy who just made your skinny, weak latte - a little flirting, smiling, chat is good for the soul.

Use your friends
They said they would be there for you, to call them if you needed anything and they meant it. Don't be a lonely martyr - call them, tell them how you're feeling, catch up.
Get a massage
Take care of yourself, treat yourself, you are probably feeling a little tense and without sounding too crass, someone is feeling you up for an hour, that's a win.

Get it in the calendar
If you have a night free each week - plan - for example, book a friend in every third Thursday. For something, anything, just get some activities in the calendar.

Keep moving
Whether it is a run, yoga or a regular gym session (get a buddy and a regular date) keep moving. You won't feel like it, you'll be tired and feeling low but it will be worth it. Those endorphins are delicious plus you'll feel great and look amazing.

Work towards a goal
A race, a project, a weight. Something that you can focus on and celebrate when you achieve it. 

Try something new
Sailing, paddle boarding, running, crocheting, stand up comedy! Try something new, even if it is to prove to yourself that you are a big, bit special and can do something you never thought you could..... and you are likely to meet new people.

Go out
If you get asked, go. Whether it is a blind date or with a group of friends, do it, you'll feel better and its good practice. Practice? Yep, socialising with new people or person takes practice, even if it is working out who buys the next round.

Watch a Ryan Gosling film
For no reason other than he’s really hot. You can also alternate it with a Ryan Reynolds film. This is a perfect example of when ‘two Ryan’s definitely make a right’.



I’m busy crocheting a cover for my paddle board whilst I wait for Ryan to finish my massage...... but in the meantime, I would love to hear some of your suggestions for the MMSL.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Oh Vlad


I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw you pop up on my Tinder feed. Naturally I am sad for your conscious uncoupling, but secretly I am dancing like a pickled Babushka.

I remember the day long ago when I first saw an image of you, shirtless. I’m pretty sure you were shirtless - your trousers were so high it was like they were supporting that rock hard chest of yours.
Image source
And now - here you are. 

I feel like I have finally found the parallel shirtless Facebook feed I was looking for, so many pictures of you with bears, horses, tigers (!!), blowing shit up.

The high waist, the small features, those tiny eyes, that stern look.
Image source AP
We don’t have any mutual likes which confuses me, I’m surprised ‘Destroy the Joint’ is not one because I heard a rumour that’s what you like to do. 

I’ve just got my fingers crossed that you are not a sexist, homophobic, misogynist  megalomaniac, ring thief ...... am sure you’re not, because that sort of thing would be written in your profile, wouldn’t it?

Perfectly safe to swipe right, right?!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Love me Tinder

The other day someone told me I should now be on Tinder. 

Tinder what now?

Apparently all the singles are on it. But it’s not a dating site. 

Interesting.

It is based on your Facebook information, so using information that is already “public”.

Riiiiight.

So, purely for research purposes, I thought I would have a look and I went man shopping. 

For all the oldies out there or those out of practice, like me, here’s how it works. 

You log into the app each time through Facebook (but apparently, as the little disclosure says, nothing is ever published to Facey, thank god, how embarrassment!!), you choose a few images of yourself, add a bio if you want, then put in your settings. What are you shopping for? Age and location, so for example 38-42 year old men in a 10km radius.

Again, remember kids this is all just research.

And then like magic, men appear on your screen and it will tell you if you have shared Facebook interests and shared friends.

If there is someone you like, you swipe right, if it’s a no, swipe left. 

Now here’s the tricky bit. No one knows which way you have swiped, unless you have both swiped right. If you have, it comes up with a match and you can you can start chatting.

Fancy.

This is what I have learnt.

The first time your phone vibrates and flashes up with ‘its a match!’ you will shit yourself, maybe squeal, throw your phone across the room whilst running as quickly as possible in the opposite direction.

When you see the ex-partner of a friend pop up you will quickly ring that friend in a weird hysterical panic and explain everything whilst forgetting you are on the tram and the passengers are hearing all about your research.

So many guys don’t wear shirts. I have lots of male Facebook friends, but they all have their shirts on in profile pics, so I am still confused where all these naked men come from. Still trying to work out if there is a parallel naked Facebook universe out there.

Tigers. Tigers. Tigers everywhere. I never knew Siegfried and Roy had such wide appeal but apparently having a pic of you with a tiger is the done thing. Is walking around with a giant pussy cat on a leash a euphemism? Who knows, just looks silly.

Fella’s what’s with that little bit of fluff under the bottom lip?! Soul patches, fanny ticklers, douche tags. Call them what you like, unfortunately they are out there in abundance.

The mutual likes are usually pages like Ricky Gervais, Russell Brand and Runners World...... not many guys seem to like The Design Files or Pinterest. More’s the pity if you ask me. 

Unless you are looking for a quick root, you lose interest very quickly - there is only so many shirtless men with douche tags walking a tiger whilst on a jet ski that can keep you interested.

To me, Tinder, feels a very shallow, superficial way of meeting someone. It is completely based on a filtered selfie, a few witty lines and some shared Facebook interests. However, it's like flirting with someone in a bar, you know nothing about them but obviously something about the way they look interests you.

However, for all the single 38 year old women out there, I will take one for the team and I will continue logging on every once in a while to window shop - ha! the things I do for research.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Motivation to reward

Running has been a bit of a struggle this year, my motivation has buggered off some place else. 

Last year I tracked 1,000km and my brain has sort of gone “nice one, you’ve done that running thing now. What’s next? How about sleeping?”.

But I have a plan, a few half marathons booked in, training goals each week that are being modestly and mostly ticked off.

The last three Sunday’s I have done my long slow distance (LSD) of 10km, ready to build up again to 23km and beyond. Each time waking up knackered after not sleeping well, a little mental ping pong before getting out of bed. 

Do you really want to do this? 

Yes, it will be great once I’m out. 

But you’re knackered and this bed is snuggly. 

I have a new mix I want to listen to, it will be good. 

But your hip/ankle/knee/heart is sore. 

It will loosen up. 

And so I go.

Go and spend the next hour singing, bad singing drowning out my over analysing of too much shit. Epiphany's flying back and forth, amazing revelations and plans that seem nuts once I get home and wipe the sweat off. 

My own runligious experiences. 

Rewarding myself, not running to punish for that bagful of Maltesers, rewarding, strengthening, getting leaner, healthier. Physically and mentally stronger.

Doing something I don’t think I want to do but knowing I do. Remembering how good it will feel even when it feels shit. Looking for the motivation to reward.

What’s your run?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Waiting, not anticipating

My airspace is currently filled with a nondescript classical score. The chirpy violins are trying to take me to a happy place, dancing merrily in my ears, aurally enticing me away.

Is it fek. 

Maybe another time and another place, but not today for I’m on hold to CentreLink. Last time I was on hold for over 50minutes. This time, who knows. 

I’ve just come off the back off a half hour interview with one department, and now I am mid concerto awaiting another.

The personal loss and feeling of desertion is one thing. Financial anxiety is a whole other thing. But this is just one of the added bonuses of a separation - the paperwork, the government departments, the total head fuckery, all the waiting on top of the emotional purgatory. 

There’s so many new things to get used to, new routines, an empty lonliness, also a new strength. Filling up the calendar with friends, running and the gym. Pushing myself to keep on moving, keep on doing, keep on laughing, though it just feels like wading through shit half the time.

But, there have been moments when things feel good. Things feel lighter, I feel like things are going ok.

Then I realise that I have just watched Magic Mike (again) and filled my shopping basket with ice cream and root vegetables.

Seems still a little way to go.

Image source c/- Pinterest

Friday, 7 February 2014

Konichiwa Bitches

Things I’ve learnt over the past few weeks:

Breaking up is hard to do.

Breaking up is hard to do is quite an annoying tune when its on repeat in your head every time you reflect that breaking up is indeed hard to do.

A family holiday during breakup is fekking hard work.

Singing Konichiwa Bitches in your head, to tie in with the holiday location and the occasional ‘fuck you’ moment is a nice change to your mental playlist.

Not being able to share the biggest thing that is happening in your life with the person who has been your best friend for so long because they are the cause of it is so tough.

Some times answers are best not known.

You find out very quickly what amazing friends and support you have.

“Well, that was awkward/uncomfortable/fucked up etc etc” will be on repeat...... along with before mentioned tunes.

There is no rule book or how to guide.

It’s shit, but like a lot of things, it will pass and hopefully get better.

Just keep running.
x


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Did unruly pubes lose me a husband?

I read an interesting blog the other day. He (yes, he, there are boy bloggers out there in parenting bloggyland) blogged how his wife getting a pair of glasses suddenly renewed their sex life/relationship/naughty librarian activities.

Nice one. Congrats.

I’ve been wearing specs for years. There’s only so many years those naughty librarian story lines can be stretched out.

Every grown up knows that variety is the spice of life. Keep things interesting. Add a fantasy here. A special massage there. 

But things slip, life happens. Kids happen. Legs a little hairier a little longer than they used to be, bits not so tidy as they once were, a Brazilian purely a dream from a holiday pre-kids. 

He was lovely, the Brazilian guy. Such nice skin.

There are dips in every relationship but I am asking “is contentment confused with complacency”?

After decades together there will be less sex, of course there will be, even if you are Michael Douglas there’s going to be less sex, but there will also be less fireworks, less excitement than when you first started dating. 

More monotony, more family stuff, more just.... m’eh.

But doesn’t something much stronger develop, some crassly refer to it as the ‘comfy slipper’ syndrome.

Not the best way to get yourself laid referring to your partner as a slipper, but there is a beauty in being together on a level deeper than just carnal rooting. 

This is where I will lose any male reading this, I know that, but isn’t there something magical in feeling that you have this mate, hopefully for life, that makes you happy on a deeper level.

Sharing things together, being at ease together, changing together, not having to try too hard. 

Maybe that’s the problem. It’s all too easy? 

Maybe that’s a chick thing. This post isn’t supposed to be about sour grapes but unfortunately being content wasn’t enough for us and maybe that’s where it was confused with complacency. Doing new things, keeping things fresh wasn’t enough. So after 13 and a bit years we are no longer Mr and Mrs.

Perhaps women are actually from Mars and men really are penises.

I don’t know the answers, do you? What's the secret to longevity or do you just take your wins where you can get them?


Tell me all you know.

Ms Sabbatical xx