Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A noxious little white substance?

Tomorrow I plan to quit cold turkey and the reality is that I will probably be a grumpy ol' cow by this time tomorrow night. My lucky, lucky family will just have to live with me.

So what am I giving up? That noxious little white substance called - Sugar.

I watched a story on one of our news shows tonight and I've considered this for quite a while but the facts are scarier than I realised. I'm astounded and amazed by how bad it apparently is for you. Do you know that sugar supposedly affects the brain in much the same way as cocaine does - or so the research says.

I gave up smoking 356 days ago. Those first few weeks were some of the longest weeks of my life. How hubby and I didn't kill each other I'll never know because he gave up 2 days after me. In place of nicotine though, I tripled my intake of caffeine and sugar.

So coupled with giving up smoking and increasing my sugar intake, I've put on one or two (read that as lots) of kilos. I'm as heavy as I was following the birth of my boys. I can't really call it baby fat when the youngest is now 15 can I?

So tomorrow is D-Day, out with all sugar. The list is kind of daunting when you read what has sugar in it (and understand how many of these things I eat and thought were reasonably healthy) Things like bananas and watermelon and fruit juice - I eat or drink all three of these things every single day, yet they are extremely high in sugar, and the bad kind - fructose.

I possibly have 5 - 6 cups of coffee with at least one heaped spoon of sugar each cup a day, then a hot chocolate before bed. A muesli bar (full of sugar) a day as well. So seemingly healthy but not really healthy at all. Processed foods are another big trap, as are sauces and dressings.

I discussed what I'm doing with youngest son and recommended he should do it as well. No extra kilos for him to lose but a large consumption of sugary food and a strong family history of diabetes on his fathers side of the family. So our whole family diet is about to change.

They are going to simply love me - not! I'll take it kind of gently with them ~ big grin. I won't bore you all stupid with my entire journey but will keep you all up-to-date on progress or any subsequent near murders that I engage in.

My one saving grace is that I don't eat chocolate or lollies and too much sweet stuff actually makes me feel sick. They just showed the clips from tomorrow's news show and they have a story about the bad things which go into the milk you drink. I think I'll avoid watching that one. One thing at a time and ignorance is sometimes bliss.

So, have you made any big changes to the family eating habits, or just your own eating habits for that matter?

I may not eat chocolate, but my weakness - I just swallowed my last mouthful of hot chocolate for what should be a while. Wish me luck

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The week that was...

 ...it was a busy, crazy, well orchestrated week and thankfully it's now all over and done with.

Yesterday was also busy and today was all about house cleaning, food shopping and clothes washing. When is a weekend ever just a weekend for me? Tonight I sit and finally have time to scan through some emails and some blog posts and throw a few words of my own on the page.

Apologies if I've been a little neglectful of any emails or comments that you've sent or made. This week coming a number of our project team including the Project Director and Project Manager are all in Queensland - what that means for me, is peace and quiet and a few days to catch my breath and get back on top of things.

Last night I had a dream which I've only now had a chance to read the meaning of, I couldn't resist sharing the meaning because as far as these things go, this one had me recognising the irony of the meaning.

I dreamt that my boss (the Project Director) had bought me a handcrafted aquarium and because I know you're dying to know the meaning of that dream, here it is "You may feel that your life is going nowhere or that you feel it is going in circles. Alternatively, the aquarium may indicate that you need to calm down and set some time for yourself to relax and unwind"  

Either, or - both dreams kind of fit me at the moment.

Now, how do you know when one of your babies is growing up - when that said son and his girlfriend come home with a new queensize bed to put in his room, in our house. Yes he asked first and yes she stays here several nights every week, but this kinda makes it a little more real. This is probably also one of the dumbest sentences I've ever written.

I'm a new age thinking mum who wears old lady pants sometimes - I can't help it. The reality is in this day and age, if you think they're not doing it you're kidding yourself and if you think preventing it in your own home will prevent it happening, then you're also kidding yourself. Safer under your own roof is our belief.

I had my grandson on Friday night and my hubby who tells his mates that he's only a step grandpa continues to amuse me with his delight in this 'step grandson' of his. The reality is my hubby's actions speak way louder than his words. Who is it who pulls said child out of cot after he's been put to bed and is a little whingey, to then sit cuddled up on the lounge to eat chocolate icecream? Certainly not me.

Who also plays peek-a-boo at 5am in the morning when grandson (who has a cold and wasn't feeling too well) comes into bed with us and Nani is trying to get him back to sleep. Cold little hands slapping 'grandpa' as he tries to sleep and also as he tries to pull 'grandpas' tattoos off is enough to warm my nani's heart for a long time to come, especially the amusement and 'don't worry' comments which accompany these activities.

Step grandpa my butt. Blood relations don't matter a hoot, it's the love behind the actions which count. Blood doesn't necessarily make you a caring relative either.

I think this 'step grandpa' will have an adoring little shadow in the months to come. Our little man is so close to walking as well, which will be cute to see. Little man toddling around after grandpa. I can't wait.

Hope you've all had a relaxing week

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tomorrow sometimes never comes...

I haven't turned my personal computer on for three days and I've barely commented or read any posts in that time. The last two nights I've come home from work and simply sat and read my kindle, I've been too exhausted to do anything else.

Before work and during lunch breaks I've been too busy to read posts - I feel like the world has been spinning and I've missed out on what's been happening with everyone.

Today was even worse because our Project Administrator was absent with a sick child and I believe I must have walked at least a thousand miles today over three floors of the building.

I arrived at work early this morning and the lifts weren't working (our building is less than 12 months old, yet this occurs quite regularly) I took the stairs up two levels to start my morning.

My next challenge - our wireless connections were down. Our whole system which we're presenting this week is being presented on laptop computers in training rooms with wireless connectivity, so this wasn't what I needed to hear first thing this morning.

My first task was locating additional cabling to ensure server connection to laptops. Luckily the wireless came good in a short space of time.

Today, every single creative bone in my body has turned to mush. Sloppy uninspiring mush.

Tonight I read Louise's post called 'Moments of quiet make a difference' and she's talking about missing her meditation sessions in the morning. Her words spoke to me because I know I'm not getting enough moments of quiet in my life and there's so many things which I plan to do tomorrow.

As I wrote in the comments on her post, eventually tomorrow will no longer come. I need to start making time to do those things today, not tomorrow. Something eventually has to give, because again as Louise says 'you can't get back time'.

So that said, I'm going to take my creative-less bones off to bed, because for now - tomorrow is another day and my body needs some much needed rest.

If you had no constraints (money, time etc) what is the one small thing you would make a part of your every day routine because it helps you be a better you?

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Building my own mountain

It's 5.30 on a Sunday evening and the first time I've sat still for more than 2 minutes all weekend. It's so bad that I had to blow the cobwebs off my laptop because it seems like so long since I opened it.

Aren't you supposed to get more time to yourself when your children get older - I'm sure I had that misguided thought. Work has also been stupidly crazy in the lead up to a big project milestone next week. Lots of stress and short tempers at work.

Friday night I had dinner with some girlfriends which was an awesome catch up. Good food and gossip. We don't do it nearly often enough but when we do it's quality time and it's like we've had no time in between if you get what I mean.

Saturday was football with youngest and then shopping followed by preparation of dinner for ten. My baby turns 15 today, so we did family and friends for dinner last night. By the time I fell into bed at midnight my feet could barely move.

Today I sat momentarily to read the paper and then as is the case with my weekends - everyone wants something done, needs to be picked up or driven somewhere or simply wants me to help them with something. Arrrgggh, am I allowed to sing 'what about me?'

No, I probably don't need to put you through the torture of me singing. I'm also trying to avoid the Mount Vesuvius of clothes that is in the centre of my lounge room floor waiting to be folded. Winter and mud and rain and boys, I feel like all I do is wash clothes and fold them. I'm sure there was less work when they were little.

For starters, their clothes were smaller, I could fit more in the washing machine and on the clothes line. Clothes that I bought were also much more wash and wear than some of the stuff they wear these days. In the good ol' days they had one bath/shower a day and one change of clothes, at most possibly two changes.

These days, shower in the morning, then they get dirty working, playing sport, fixing cars, so another shower, another change of clothes, fresh towel because the other one is still wet from the morning. My life is one endless round of washing and folding. Teenage boys, gees, move out and do your own housework.

Work promises to be super busy this week, our milestone week with up to 90 people a day viewing our new system for the project. Feeding all of them as well as organising and coordinating that process this week and I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I'm sure my presence in the blogosphere will be limited this week, I have plenty of your post reading to catch up on as well. So until I resurface again, have a great week everybody.

As I finish writing this post, I watch the statistics flash across the television screen based on the shootings in Colorado on Friday night at the Batman movie. In the last 12 months, 464 people have died from gunfire across four countries combined (which includes Australia) In that same time, 9486 people have died from gunfire in the US.

To me, this is a no-brainer and I applaud our own country's tough gun laws. Makes me proud to be an Aussie, we may not get some things right but the tough stance taken by our Government is heartening. Tragic shootings such as these are preventable and my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Setting the wheels in motion

Sometimes, just taking action, any action is enough to make you feel better. Getting out there and making things happening, making a stand - is so much better than sitting back and letting it all happen around you or letting it annoy the crap out of you.

I set the wheels in motion the other day, took my first baby steps. It scared the bejeezus out of me to step out of my comfort zone - but I did it. Alas, no telling you more until I have something more to tell.

People like me annoy me. I'm not being deliberately mysterious - there are reasons which will become clearer eventually.

Let's just say that I'm finalising my fve year plan, I think I finally have a handle on what I want, when I want it by and know most of the baby steps I need to accomplish it. Everything I'm doing is in line with the baby steps I need to take.

The hardest part - believing in myself and my abilities and then actually following through and doing something about it. Trying can sometimes mean the tiniest action. It can also be the scariest action, but you have to start somewhere. Start small. Physically actionable steps. Do-able realistic baby steps today. Right now. . 
  • What small steps have you taken in the last few months / weeks? (Big or small, because the “small” stuff sometimes is more important than our biggest achievements!)
  • What is the biggest thing on your list (only in terms of importance) that you are working towards?
  • What motivates you the most?
Cheers, Fi

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My oversized wish list

I'm not a patient person, in fact I hate having to wait for anything. My very clever hubby and children bought me the best gift in the world for Mothers Day because it removes any need for patience - or so I thought.

I read extensively, anything and everything. It calms, relaxes and balances me. I also love learning and I go a little stir crazy if I don't read regularly. With my amazing Mothers Day Kindle (e-book reader for anyone not in the know yet).

I can read about a recommended book online and then hook into Amazon and having it spinning through Whispernet and within my grasp within a matter of seconds.

No waiting for a bookstore to open (and aren't they getting few and far between) and no having to wait for the book to arrive by snail mail from half way around the world.

Modern technology - how I worship and love thee.

To think how archaic my thinking was only mere months ago when I thought that e-books would never take off. Eating my words, whilst I'll always be a convert for paper and the smell and feel of a paper book, the ease and instant gratification that e-books provide will win out most times.

I'm sure our parents thought television would never take off either ....mmmhhmmmm

I now have 6 books sitting on my wishlist on Amazon, the reason for this being that because I initially downloaded so many e-books, I was losing track of what I had and hadn't read. So now I'm back to having to be patient and pace my downloads and consequently there's a wishlist back log which is growing quicker than I can read.

My Kindle holds 3000 books, so I can continue on for a little while.

One more thing which I read today - an article in the Sunday Mail (I've searched everywhere so that I could try and share with you but to no avail) In essence, the article is called 'Time on your side', it's about never being to old to start a new career, take a risk or pursue happiness.

See, the signs are everywhere I turn in words, pictures, articles, people - the thing is, I'm listening, I'm planning, I'm getting ready - are you?

Have a great week everybody

Cheers, Fi

6WS - Beware the negativity bug, it's contagious

Have you ever read something for one reason or another and found a snippet of amazing, yet unexpected wisdom contained within its depths?

Quite simply - People with bad attitudes are just as contagious as the flu....

That said, try these tips for avoiding the flu which I modified for the next time you find yourself dealing with someone who's suffering from the 'negativity bug' whether they're angry, depressed, or otherwise just oozing negativity;

1. Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are negative. When you are feeling negative, keep your distance from others to help protect them from getting negative too.
2. Stay home when you are negative
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are negative. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your ears and eyes
Cover your ears and eyes when someone else is being negative to prevent yourself picking up the 'bug'. Or alternatively walk away from the person or situation.
4. Keep your thoughts clear
Purge the negative thoughts from your mind and do everything that you can to reinforce your thoughts with positive replacements.
5. Avoid associating with other people suffering from 'negativity'
Negativity is often spread when a person says something that is contaminated with negativity and then the bug spreads from person to person. Don’t engage in negative chatter
6. Practice other good healthy habits
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Keep your emotional balance by tuning in to your body. Deepen your breathing, and notice any sensations that arise within you. Eliminate the negative sensations by replacing with 'feel good' ones.

Hope your staying happy and healthy and away from the 'Negativity Bug'

Cheers, Fi

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, it's easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feeel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speak up - I wasn't listening

I found this statement on a website tonight - I could have written these words.

Have you ever spent hours trying to sleep but for some reason, your mind is going on hyper drive? Have you ever lied down on your bed looking at the ceiling, eyes wide open, and your entire day is flashing right before your very eyes? Have you ever done something and just repeatedly played it in your head for countless hours thinking of how it could’ve been better?

Yes, yes and yes - so much of this has been my life in the last few months. Too much noise and commotion and no clear direction of what I want and what I need to do.

I've been reading a lot recently about developing your intuition and trusting in yourself and your abilities. When I don't second guess, my intuition is really strong and true. All to often though, the noise and questioning myself gets in the way.

My latest intuitive flash, which I actually trusted.

Last night my son and I were having a conversation by text message, this is common for us and we often keep in touch this way. I was busy doing things and missed his final response, so by the time I discovered it , it was too late and I figured he'd have gone to bed.

At 5.30am this morning I sent the response back to him - another quirk of our relationship, we both get up at this time and when he was going through some tough times and not sleeping that well, I would text him in the morning to ensure he was awake and up for work.

This morning my flash of insight was that I should text the response at the time I used to check in with him. Fortuitous because while his alarm had woken him, he'd actually gone back to sleep. My text and then phone call because he didn't respond actually meant he still made it to work on time.

These sort of good timing occurences happen quite regularly for me - when I listen that is and when I'm not second guessing myself or letting fear and worry drive my thoughts. I read recently that we have up to 60,000 different thoughts a day, I just have to figure out what's worthwhile and what's general thinking.

If this sort of thing interests you then it's worth paying a visit to Angela's website Powered by Intuition. I've read 2 of her e-books now and I'm slowly starting to learn how to trust my thoughts and instincts and also determine what is just noise and what is worth paying attention to.

Do you trust your 'gut feelings' or do you second guess and talk yourself out of things.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Living a classified life

Some days are those kinda days when you just want to say 'Can you stop the world spinning just for a minute, I want to get off'

The last few weeks I've felt that if I don't keep my feet moving then it's going to be much like stopping on a moving treadmill and I'm going face plant the ground. There seems to be so many things going on and so much to keep track of that I'm exhausted.

My last month has seemed a bit like the classifieds section in the newspaper - births, deaths (no marriages at least) and plenty of craziness in and around it all. When I write it like that, it's a little bit wierd and the more I think about it the odder it sounds..

Two baby girls have come into the world in the last month. Friends of ours had a baby girl on the 19th June - 34 weeks and 3 days into the pregnancy. Yesterday my brother and sister-in-law had a baby girl exactly the same number of days into the pregnancy. Both mums had problems prior to these pregnancies. These were hard fought for pregnancies.

In addition, two people we know left this earth within the last month, not close to us but their loss has impacted big on loved ones. Both of them were male, both aged 40 years old, both had two young children and both were sudden deaths of men much too young to die.

Life can sometimes be so bizarre that it's hard not to be a little stunned by the events and happenings and the tragic or amazing circumstances which surround us each and every day.
I'm a little bit of a believer, okay I'm a lot of a believer in fate and synchronicity, but boy it's kinda exhausting as well.

On top of all that, I'm not even sure how to explain my job at the moment - only to say that the craziness fills in the gaps within my classified section life. How do you explain being a part of what resembles an unscripted movie where the characters and roles keep changing and no-one really knows what their role in the movie is.

We have plenty of divas, quite a few villains and a whole lot of action and drama. We're aiming for a box office hit and yet some days I worry that we're making the movie 'Titanic'. It's just really hard to play your part when the script keeps changing.

If I keep saying it often enough then soon I'll start believing it - I'm in charge of my destiny and only I can rewrite my script, I need to be aiming for best selling status and not just the settling for the classifieds section of life. Although I will admit the births section is a lot of feel happy moments.

Cheers, Fi

Saturday, July 7, 2012

6WS - Our newest little ray of sunshine

In the early hours of this morning a little ray of sunshine arrived in our family. The first girl born on either side of our families for 34 years - with 7 boys ahead of her.

So excited was she by the celebrations she knew were awaiting her that she got a little bit excited and arrived 6 weeks early. Her mummy got a special flight to Adelaide from the Riverland because of this overeager little bundle of joy wanting out sooner than the doctors had planned.

Her Auntie Fi did a little party dance because while the family have to be away from home, she gets to visit the newest addition before half of the family in the Riverland get to meet her.

She's not shouting her glee from the rooftops too much though because it would have been better for bubby to stay put and be born at home so that her over excited big brother could meet his 'sistah' and so that they could all be together as a family.

We're all exceptionally happy that she arrived safe and well and that everyone is doing fine. This little princess was a long, hard fought for, bundle of joy and I'm beyond happy for my brother, my sister-in-law and their little man who's now a proud big brother.

You guys rock and I'm reserving the top spot on the list for babysitting duties

Love yas, Fi xxx

I'm linking up with Cate who gives us all a place to visit and connect. Want to play along with Six Word Saturday, it's easy? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feeel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I did a bad, bad thing...

Last night I contributed a weeks wages to the South Australian Police Force - well almost a weeks worth. To say I'm annoyed would be an understatement, let's say pissed off instead.

Perfectly charming police officer - not - pulled me over on my long trek home from work last night with the words "Do you know why we've pulled you over" - I honestly didn't and said so. As a rule I don't speed, I don't drive like a reckless idiot - so I had no idea why he was pulling me over.

He asked me the same question again, like I had stupid flashing on my forehead and needed him to spell it out. I hate arrogant police officers (not that this annoying habit is limited to police officers) His next words "You ran a stop sign" nearly made me spit. I was barely able to resist the urge to say "Bullshit", but I think he got my point that I wasn't happy with his reason.

He then re-thought his words and came up with "You failed to come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign" which is a little different to "You ran a stop sign". I did in actual fact give way to any oncoming traffic (there was none) at what I thought was a give way sign and not a stop sign. But that's semantics and he informed me that he would have to write me a ticket.


His lecture on why I should drive more carefully and how it's their job to ensure the public don't cause accidents was a little over the top. My frustration was growing with every word and I told him so. I have a perfectly clean and free driving record with no mark against it for the last 20 years, I told him that his little computer would have shown him that when he checked my license.

He told me that they couldn't be shown to be favouring anyone. Oh doh, I wasn't asking you to, you moron, I accept the fact that I had stuffed up, but spare me the lecture on dangerous and reckless driving. Like I'm a public menace for gods sake.

I drove off with my nice fat little fine in my hand - all $433 dollars of it and the loss of 3 demerit points from my license.

I did drive home with my old lady pants on after that and I came to a full and complete stop at every stop sign, red light and even give way sign on my way home.

I hate messing up and I hate it costing me money even more. What have you messed up lately?

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Still testing the waters

How is it possible to get to forty years of age and still not be certain what you really want to do? Quite easily I guess and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Here's the thing, I spent the first 13 years of my life with my head stuck between the pages of a book, the next four years were spent dreaming up ways to irritate and frustrate my parents - well not really, I was too busy pushing the boundaries and limits of the teenage life but it still had the same result of irritating and frustrating them. So yes karma bites hard and my boys are living proof.

From the ages of 17 -25 I was mum - with first, second and third sons arriving in timely manner - the karma bringers as it were. After number three arrived I started bemoaning the fact that due to my rebellious years I hadn't finished school and I had little education to speak of.

So I took myself back to school to get my matric (high school certificate for non Adelaideans) A part-time job for me was essential with a growing family, so university then took me six years part time to complete. It's more of a challenge when you do it with three children, a husband, a part time job and a mortgage. I should have done it when I was young, single and free. We live and learn.

From the factory floor of my part time job, I catapulted into Human Resources because I had a uni degree, a big mouth, an opinion and some semblance of intelligence. From there I went onto organising the boss and then to a project where I eventually fell into a communications role. All within the same group of companies.

I'm still not sure that I've found my true direction. Writing has always been a strong driver and has coloured every subject and job I've tackled but I've always had a strong leaning towards design as well, so now in my forty first year (gees that's old) I'm still not one hundred percent which direction I need to go or even want to go.

I do know that it will eventually be working for myself (I may be sixty before that happens but it will happen), and it will be at my own pace and earning what I'm really worth. But for now I'm testing the water in a number of large puddles to see which one suits me best. Oh and if I can travel in amongst all that well then I'll be the happiest person on the planet.

Too many choices, too many directions to take and I'm way too impatient. So, have you always known what you wanted to do or are you still dipping your toes in the pond of life as well.

Cheers, Fi