Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The real world

Well this will be a challenge. On FB this morning, all keen and enthusiastic, I posted that I would "do a bike session, weights and 400 words of my literature review today". Ah, charming, naive optimism....
Since then:
I had to fling off the slouchy study duds, transform myself into a vision of casual competence and zoom into town for some weak coffee and no cake (we ate out last night: I don't need any extra extras today) because I forgot about a work morning tea;
I have had a horrid tummy-ache and just want to lie down with a hot water bottle;
and the Spousal Unit was unable to countenance a picnic by the creek near our house on "his day off", (sing it with me all you mums and wives, how nice one of those be?) instead believing it essential to drive half an hour to a nearby beauty spot for a 'nice lunch' of (admittedly delicious) pizza by the water.
Now it's a quarter to four, I still want to go to bed and the word count is at 50. Chateau LBTEPA is an enthusiasm- and motivation-free zone. Will "Find A Way" be the answer?? Or will Finding a Way today mean just Letting It Go?
More anon, makers-of-no-appreciable-progress-who-for-no-fathomable-reason-still-refuse-to-throw-their-hands-in-the-air-and-say-f#$% it! We must stick together, we hardy few!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Find A Way

How patient you are, my five faithful readers! Even though blogging is on my List O'Joy, this week I was unable to overcome my resistance to it and JFWS. I did buy some new shoes on eb@y though....(slaps self on head for digressing AGAIN)
I'm always impressed by people who devise new years' resolutions and themes and This Is Who I am This Year super-words and uplifting mantras. I have often tried to come up with one, but to no avail. I've waited and waited for inspiration. You have to be patient with these things. And The Phrase has to be just right. Neither too fearsome, strident or exacting, nor too much airy-fairy New Age hippy BS. I'm a cranky, country-raised Australian protestant, I don't do that sh$t.
No excuses? Too harsh (ditto No Fear). I'm all about excuses (and terrified bleating), and then cunningly evading or clambering over them on my way to what I want
JFDI? Language! Also, the Words have to help with stuff like getting me out of bed at stupid o'clock - and telling me to JFDI at that hour would likely elicit the response SFO! (Shan't! F* Off!)
Make it so, number one
? Not being bald, possessed of a Shakespearian baritone nor in charge of a heavily armed space ship, this wouldn't do. I do try to boldly go whenever possible, though. But still. Not quite right.
Cede Nullis? Yield to none is a favourite, and the motto of my football team, who utterly failed to adhere to it this weekend. It looks like another long season. Sigh. But I digress.... it just wasn't right. Nothing seemed to sum up what I'm trying to do.
Then, as I was re-reading my last post, a phrase leapt off the screen and burrowed its way into my noggin.


Perfect! This phrase is like a ladder to see over obstacles and annoyances and a telescope to see my Big Dreams in the distance. It's so handy and easy to use! The Spousal Unit tiresomely sleeps in so I can't go for my ride before church and I'm sailing with Dad after lunch? Find a way! Set up the trainer in the living room and do half the session before and half after! J starts work at 06.00 so I can't run early? Find a way! Run after dinner on a full stomach ergghhh oh well the kms got done. Can't concentrate on writing my lit review? Find a way! Do the bits I can do. Write for 10 minutes. It's an imperative - Find a Way! - and an affirmation of my capability and purpose - I can and I will find a way. You don't have enjoy it or feel motivated either. Just Find a Way.
You're right, it probably isn't the answer to everything, but at the moment it's helping me see past the sick kid and spousal shift work and stubborn extra lard and self criticism and doubt to how cool and filled with happiness life really is.
Hey, I had to tell you about the most awesome Big Dreamer ever! A bloke is celebrating losing his job by selling up everything and travelling the world running 52 marathons - in different countries - in 52 weeks! His race videos are terrific and very funny. Get over to runlikecrazy dot com and cheer him on!
In other news, I'm never letting the Spousal Unit near eb@y again without supervision: he's just bought a boat! Mind you it's probably safer than letting him out fishing on his own - he fell in the river last time. The boat's name is Mad Dog, so J is Captain Mad Dog and Noddie is First Mate Mad Puppy. I'll let you work out my crew name. Bwahahaha.
More anon, tiara-fanciers!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday seven, with extra added Realness

Blogging twice a week is on my List O'Joy but I keep putting it off. It's the same with a lot of things that I enjoy. I don't always put them off by doing Important Things either, like the 3000 words I have due next Thursday, arrgghh. Faffing, shillyshallying, name it, I'll do it. Who knows why? Who cares? The thing that works best for me is to notice the resistance, acknowledge it, then Get the Heck On With It. So here goes
1. I literally threw my resistance to the winds yesterday at the start of my run along the river with Mum *waves* hi Mum! As we started, I said out loud all the I hate this, this is a stupid idea, I'm so bad at this I don't know why I bother thoughts that I run through like a big banner at the start of every single run. And you know what? Once they were out there, they were gone!
2. Yesterday the Spousal Unit had an afternoon off. This is A Big Thing. The store not only had to be built, staffed, stocked and opened, but also Grandly Opened, involving bouncy castles, sausage sizzles, Humphrey Bear and Shannon Noll. The managers have been working insane hours - we have a photo of J by the door so we know it's him when he comes in. But it's all done now, and we can start to find out what normal life is like here. Yesterday afternoon we went down to the river and sat in the dappled shade, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze and the trees and the water. Noddie and J fished and I read my book. J and I toasted each other - this is why we came here. We did it!
3. As promised in my last post, it's time for Extra Added Realness! I would like to do - and, in the context of my Real Life, am prepared to have a red hot go at training for - both the Gold Coast and Melbourne marathons this year. Melbourne is of course the Big Dream. I'll make a decision about GC on the basis of how my long runs are going when the early bird entries close, or if there aren't any (I can't remember), by May 1st. If I'm not confident of at least three 30+km runs then I'll do the half.
4. To my lovely commenter P: I want to do the Run Melbourne half for four reasons. I love the course and don't really care how long it takes me to trudge around; it'll be a chance to catch up with Melbourne friends; it's a celebration of another year passing since my ankle reconstruction; and the medals are really nice.
5. More Realness (ewww): I'm not physically or mentally comfortable with my weight at the moment. I don't like thinking about my weight. It a) doesn't seem in tune with my beliefs about health, eating and body image in this unreal, sexualised, retouched-image-bombarded world of ours and b) is BORING. But there you go. I also like to feel comfortable in my skin rather than bloated, and to fit into my clothes. I like to feel disciplined. I'm not eating intuitively at the moment, I'm eating - and DRINKING - out of habit. I really, really dislike writing down what I eat but I'm going to do it for one week just to get myself eating more consciously. I need to get out of my comfort zone to get back into my comfort zone, if you see what I mean. The link is to my new theme song!
6. Now that the Spousal Unit will be home more often, The Plan Is This: minimum half an hour of cardio - run, bike, swim - four times a week plus a long run plus two lots of weights. No excuses. I Will Find A Way. I'll have to start getting up early again sing it with me people, eewwww but I can suck up those first few minutes of OMGWTFImustbeINSANE because I'm doing this to get what I want. I WANT MORE RACE BLING!
7. My dear friend and partner in Stupid Determination, the splendid Mrs Wombat, has sprained her ankle badly and will be off her feet for quite a few weeks, booo! She's feeling pretty low, poor lambie, so send her some "hang in there" thoughts, will you? We were talking about the movie she was watching from her sickbed, Run Fatboy Run.
Mrs W: I like him, he's not a real athlete, just persistent like us
LBTEPA: We ARE real athletes. And we're bigger, so that makes us MORE real!
Mrs W: True.
More anon, reality-biters!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting real, part one

I'm writing this to put down some things that have been swirling around in the ol' noggin. It's much easier for me to see things clearly if they're in front of me in black and white. This is my study break, though, 'cause I went through my uni notes last week and discovered I have 3000 words due in week 4 - next week! Eek! I need to Smarten Up my study habits quicksticks.
My dear old Tiresome Cheery Friend popped back on the weekend, bless her, to talk me through this wretched cold.
LBTEPA: oh woe, oh woe! My throat hurts and my voice sounds funny; there's gunk when I cough and my joints ache! Oh woe! All Is Lost!
TCF: Hi darl! What's up?
LB: Thank God you're here! I have a cold!
TCF: and you're freaking out because...
LB: I can't exercise! I've tried working out through a cold before and it always goes horribly wrong!
TCF: and this is a problem becuase...?
LB: that's it for my marathons this year! Oh woe!
TCF: petal, just take a deep breath. You're not Wimping Out and Ruining Everything. You're being sensible and managing your health. It's going to be ok.
LB: this must be all my fault somehow
TCF: no no no no my duckling. We were going to try and let that kind of thinking go, yes? This bug is going around! You'll recover quickly becuase you're really healthy and you look after yourself. What's really going on here, LB?
LB: (in a small voice) when my joints ache I'm scared I'm getting chronic fatigue again.
TCF: oh my friend - that is a scary thought! But trust me. This is Just a Cold. It's not a punishment for anything. It's not the end of Big Dreams 2010. You're okay. Everything is going to be okay. What say we take this week to be very kind to ourselves, start our new job and get properly better before we get stuck into the Next Big Plan?
LB: Good plan!
I *heart* my TCF.
- I also *heart* my List O'Joy. Lists are usually about Shoulds, stuff that we include in our lives to get invisible brownie points or ticks on the Worthy Person Scale. I don't need that stuff reinforcing my issues - but I love lists! So I decided on a different approach: what did I want my life to look like, and what would a person with that life do on a regular basis?
My List spans a week now. I do still have daily lists, but they are filled from the L O'J, as well as that other unpredictable stuff that always pops up. It has stuff like clean bathrooms/mop/vacuum - but they're on the list because I like to have a clean house. It has things like exercise, drinking 1.5l water and Alcohol Free Days for the same reason: not because I Should, or as reminders of deficiency, but because I want a strong healthy life.
The joyful sparkly little things like doing my nails and playing the piano (I'm a crap beginner but I have fun) and blogging and knitting have their places on the List. It's too easy to "forget" those things, or put them off or not give yourself permission to "waste time" on them. Their absence makes life such a beige place. I will not have a beige life!
I don't have a set number of things I "have to" complete, either. Life is how it is. The List O'Joy isn't pass or fail. In the frame of my wife/mum/student/employee Reality, it's a colour-by-numbers of the rainbow life I want.
And the other things I've been thinking about? I'm a bit hesitant to write them down here just yet. Maybe I don't want to properly get my head around them? In any case, All Will Be Revealed in my next post. It will have extra added Realness as I Face Up to Things and Knuckle Down. Can you do those things simultaneously? We shall see...
More anon, contortionists!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have on my List - the new kind of List that I use these days to make life full of cool amazingness, the List O' Joy, if you will - of which more later, for reasons which will become apparent - to write in my blog twice a week.
Had I written here this week, the content would have had to be heavily edited by the Anti-Grumpiness Censorship Board. In summary
- I was looking forward to the Run for the Kids very much. I even felt reasonably prepared!
- the Spousal Unit was working such insane hours and was so tired and stressed that it became clear that my swanning off to party in the big smoke from Saturday lunchtime until Sunday night (leaving our over-excited, ahem, cherub in the care of my dear mother, who Has A Life) would not be the Right Thing. Booooooo!
- I made other plans and agreed to do other things
- but I was VERY disappointed.
- Especially when it turned out that J wasn't working on Sunday after all!
- So I mapped out a nice long run to do on my own - see all that nice riverbank? So pretty! - and my kind Mum agreed to mind Noddie.
- but now I've woken up with a chesty cough, a temperature and a dodgy tummy, and ditto for poor little Noddie. No two-hour sweatfest in the sunshine for me today. If the panadol kicks in, maybe a session on The Trainer O' Boringness.
As I posted on FB, LBTEPA has decided to just sit with her feelings about the Run 4 The Kids snafu and just be........just be BLOODY GRUMPY.
Many thanks to my kind, philosophically-minded encouragers - but sometimes you just have to let feelings happen and pass in their own time. I'll cheer up later.
I'll have a good day anyway - I hope you do too!
More anon, acceptors of imperfection!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

When Lists Attack

After my post the other day, one of my lovely commenters commented (as they do) well, JBWS then! So in the pleasantly coinciding interests of pleasing others and doing what I want, here goes.
Today has been a testament to the fact that things do improve if you let them. I woke up a few times last night with horrid horrid dreams involving a perfectly nice high school reunion which turned into a nice walk in the country and ended with one of my classmates - for whom, in waking hours, I have nothing but positive thoughts - being mauled by a lion. Ewww. So then I turned off the alarm because after those horrid lions I couldn't bring myself to think about 5.30. So then I woke up hating myself because I would now never have time to do everything I needed to do today and would let everybody down and was clearly incorrigibly lazy and utterly lacking in character. This is probably WTMI ( you've been warned!!) but bring on menopause, I say. PMS head-messing sucks. And then I walked Noddie to school and realised I was not only wearing my oldest tracksuit pants the horror!... but it gets worse but that they were inside out. So I was a bad mother with no personal standards as well. I think I got away with it though: we were talking about self-limiting beliefs and how they applied to the fact that Gran would be walking her to school every Tuesday from next week when I start my new job. Then I rang my Mum to tell her I couldn't crew for Dad this afternoon (clearly a bad daughter). It turned out that he'd decided not to sail today, (yay!) and also that she too had a long list of Things To Do. Our lists were similar in one key respect: they contained the word "RUN".
It's a short word, run. Three little letters, but just dripping with nuances. It was the thing we each wanted to do most and knew we'd feel good about afterward. It was the thing we'd be most disappointed (and judgemental of ourselves) if we didn't do. And we'd both structured our days so it was the thing we were least likely to get time to do. Without our even noticing, it had become our lowest priority.
So we went for our run right then. It was enjoyable and we were happy and now we're both having A Good Day doing all the Important Stuff.
I hope you are too.
More anon, voyagers!

Sunday, March 07, 2010


stands for Just Bloody Write Something! It's funny, I want to write more and I even think of things to write about, but then any excuse, anything - emptying the dishwasher (yes, we have them here), folding the washing - will stop me. But there's a new kind of magic in LBTEPA-land these days, oh yes there is. It does involve a Plan, of course it does, and list, oh so many lovely lists, of course it does, but it's all about Doing What I Want as well as all the Have To's. These, by definition, do have to be done, of course; they're part of real grownup life, but they - along with my massive talent for faffing about, shillyshallying and lollygagging - have been eating my best life. This is unacceptable. The Plan is This:
....would you believe it? The phone just rang: my Mum's popping over for a cuppa! She's fine and so is the jeep, but the taxi she ran into isn't! This is a job for the good biscuits if ever I saw one.
Later: Mum is 100% fine, just dark about having to pay the excess on the insurance. She passed on an invitation to friend's birthday party too, so I must go and get changed.
More anon!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Light headed

I have printed out this picture and stuck it up in my study
Well blow me down with a feather if ranting about having issues and taking them on with a whip and a chair (whilst fetchingly clad in a tailcoat and topper) hasn't cleared my head beautifully. They haven't gone away, of course, but (at the moment at any rate) I am the Boss Of Them. I feel very light, somehow. I keep thinking of the phrase angels can fly becuase they take themselves lightly. I'm laughing more, and sleeping better too. Mind you, this could be because I've dragged my whingeing backside through the first three weeks of OMG how did I get this unfit I've lost everything I'll never get fit again regular workouts, which Always Suck, and now I'm in that pleasant phase again of feeling stronger and fitter and as though I actually want to exercise becuase it's What I Do. This happens every single time I have a layoff - I always hack out the first three or four weeks, convinced All Is Lost, and I always get to a point where I start to feel good again, and I'm ALWAYS surprised. And then I always think it's funny.
In other news:
OMG OMG OMG I GOT A JOB!! Even though this move is something I am very happy about, and Noddie and J seem to be thriving, I've felt curiously removed, or displaced, if you will. Or even if you won't. I think it's becuase I don't know who anyone is - I didn't Know Everyone where I used to live, but I recognised people from my street or the shops and the school and even had some school mum friends. But here I'm adrift. And with that feeling went a doubting that anything else from the old world was still true - had I ever actually had a job before? What could I actually do? I dutifully looked in the paper each week until I found one that seemed to suit who I used to be. Maybe...maybe.... Luckily I was able to fake confidence for long enough to put together an application that got me an interview for a little part-time job as a counsellor at a TAFE , and flimflam through the interview well enough for them to offer it to me. It may have helped that when when they said so, have you anything you'd like to add? I said please give me this job, I really want it and I think I'd be good at it. I didn't quite hug their knees and beg but it crossed my mind. I start in two weeks.
I tell you what, my ducklings, it is a fine thing that, thanks to the mighty Emma and her book recommendation I always do everything Emma tells me, I have regained my ability to see things (my bottom and thighs) as they really are (PERFECTLY FINE thank you very much), or spending the ENTIRE MORNING trying on ugly and ill-fitting jeans might have done my head in. I was moments away from chucking a massive wobbly in the main street when fortune smiled on me and I found some which do justice to my shapeliness. I bought two pairs. I almost didn't use this picture as it was captioned "finding the perfect jeans for an imperfect body". GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!! and also WTF???? My body IS perfect! It's the only one I have; it's mine; and I love it!! I won't have it called names!
More anon, lovelies