Time continues to pass – but so much has happened

They say time passes faster as you get older. I always thought the concept was rubbish – until time started going faster for me.

Since my last post back in August we have been posted. We are now in Brisbane, living it up in the humidity. I should say struggling in the humidity. Our family are hard to please – in regional Victoria the weeks over 40 degrees was hard, not we aren’t getting that hot, but soaked in sweat when you start thinking about moving from the lounge.

I have been on Long Service Leave since mid last year. Taking a break after a VERY long Army career. I had many grand plans of reading books, exercising at my leisure, meditating, seeking and finding myself. It didn’t happen – in fact life took over and my days were spent like any other stay at home Mum. Doing lots of stuff that wasn’t quite hitting the mark for me personally (clearly my perception in no way judgement of stay at home Mum’s). Big D’s work continued to dominate our lives and really kept me as a single Mum for the whole three years we were there.

Not working did give me the chance to seek out and speak to alternative sources about my growing sense of spirituality. I haven’t cracked that particular nut yet, but hope to gain more opportunities now we are in Brisbane and closer to many people who are further along their spiritual paths than I am. Right now everyone is still at home before going back to school and work. I look forward to that first day where I have a few hours alone!

I have now enrolled to study Counselling. After much soul-searching I have decided to take that path. A number of those ‘alternative’ resources mentioned in the last post lead me to decide on counselling. I struggled to make the decision having been convinced for a long time I would study psychology – but given I will be starting to study part-time (until Little L – now 3YO – gets to school) I could be about 80 by the time I finish of my study and actually start earning!

I think counselling is a good medium for me. I am empathetic and intuitive. I think counselling gives you the room to use those characteristics. Now as I look back on my 22 years in uniform, building relationships, interacting, relating and counselling of staff and peers has always been my strongest area of performance. I am looking forward to it. Although completely aware of the challenges starting studying now when I finished my last degree in 1995! I am sure whenever I attend lectures, I am likely to be the only one with a pen!

My life in terms of health and fitness was great prior to the move. Not so great now. I seem to have put on size again. Grrr – so that journey continues. As it does.


It has been 12 months

Wow, 12 months, nearly to the day since I last posted. I haven’t stopped thinking about it though.

Lots has happened to move me to the next chapter in my life since I last wrote. For starters I am now on Long Service Leave. After 21 years service I am taking advantage of the opportunity Longer Service provides, though not how I ever imagined it. I always planned to do something magnificent, adventurous, life changing with this leave. But life is getting in the way of the magnificence. I am finding that even nearly three months into it, I still haven’t done the simple things I wanted to like sit in a nice spot and read a book!

I didn’t end up doing the training program I spoke about previously, I just had this horrible feeling in my gut that it wasn’t right. Crazy really, but I questioned so much of it, I thought ‘why bother’. So ended up sticking to my circuits at work, boxing weekly and yoga when I can fit it in. All working fine until I started to really just stop thinking about my food choices. So found myself still being pretty fit, but carrying too much weight around the middle. I was getting back to ‘fit and fat’. So I am back working hard on getting my nutrition right, with endless fresh fruit and veg and switching up some training with heavier weights (all with some help).

The best thing in this last 12 months is I have been venturing out in the world of alternative. I have had my first Reiki experience, seen a kinesiologist, consulted with a soul interpreter, completed Reiki 1 and more. I am trying to use as many tools as I can to seek out me from behind the uniform and I hope to be slowly emerging as the real me. Not the ‘Me’ I have always known to now. The me that knows where she is going, confident in the next step and being true to herself.

Please come along for the ride. We are due for posting at the end of the year, still unsure exactly where that will be. So watch as my stress increases waiting for the big bureaucracy to work to get us there and I get life back to normal for all of us.

 


Doing what sits best

An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born. – Unknown


A long absence….

A long absence I know. But I have been thinking constantly about the blog and what I would like to write here. Seriously I could never sleep if I typed all the drafted posts in my head. It is no different to my journal that sits neglected beside my bed. I have always had a journal on the go, at least since sometime in Primary School, but it too is taking on more dust than ink at present.

I am generating lots of thoughts, plans and ideas in my head which range from my daughters upcoming birthday party, my exercise regime, what meals to cook, where to holiday for some respite after this posting, can I take time off before studying next year, what will I study, what if I don’t like it, what if I fail, I need to file better, how can I manage all this paperwork, I need to do those sewing jobs…it is endless. I am tired and feeling overwhelmed by life. Which led me to this blog that should help me get on with life…..it talks about embracing your overwhelm, nice in principle but I am not there yet. You can find the page here.

Things have been really hectic at our place, the winter has not been kind to us with everyone getting sick including a five week stint with a cold for me too. Big D is having a hectic time at work, as am I, although to a much lesser degree. We both have the same project on, but he is seriously feeling it, poor guy has not been in bed before 1.00am in longer than I can remember. For me it means I am less organised with the meals because I am not getting home early enough (due to my work and then picking up the kids). Everything at night is happening later and we are all getting less sleep. Awesome. But we are managing.

Now, through all of the mess in my head I have started two things that I have always wanted to do (I think on a bucket list I wasn’t entirely aware of in my head) – I have started baking bread (although I have still not conquered my fear of yeast!) and getting some personal training with my boxing!

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My first loaf of ‘bucket bread’.

Now I have always enjoyed boxing, I did a little but when I was in basic training. But since all of that time it has mostly been fitness boxing, where all the movements are in the arms and not really looking after your footwork or form. So I have found an ex-title holding boxer locally who is teaching me properly. I have been to see him four times so far and he has already seen lots of improvement. He even commented that he thinks I may have been a heavy weight in a former life! That really warmed my heart – I am sure that is something not everyone would like to hear!!

I have been contemplating what my next move will be fitness wise. With Big D being so busy I have not had much opportunity to get to yoga (dammit) and to the circuits at work, hardly managing the lunch time sessions. I was thinking I could looking to go back to 12WBT, but I am not sure I am ready for that right now. I read a really interesting blog ‘how to lose friends and piss people off’ that talks about doing the 12WBT and kind of developing really unhealthy habits of too little food and too much exercise. I can certainly see where Amber is coming from if you haven’t seen it, check it out. I just can’t see the six exercise sessions a week being sustainable long term. Now don’t get me wrong, I am loving exercise at the moment and would love to train that often, but I am finding it hard to fit it in and to be honest this now 40 year old body is showing some signs of wear!

Now as part of my rapid brain movement I do tend to read bits and pieces online that are interesting . Another great page a I came across the ‘Body Image Movement’. Now this is one brave woman! Taryn has a great story and I love that she has gone out to follow a path that she believes in. Anyway, this is all about accepting you as you are. I love the idea, but haven’t quite got there yet. I bought her e-book and haven’t really progressed at this stage (might just explain why I am seeking out my next  exercise regime?). I have so much admiration for Taryn, I look forward to not being so scared to move to that next stage in life. She has a great smoothly recipe on the page that includes maca and protein powder, spinach and a few more ingredients. So I popped to the health food store to spend $100 (on more than these items!) and I really love her green smoothy. It is more appealing than some others I have see since it has spinach rather than kale or other exotic veges. Plus it is just a blender not a juicer. One issue is how much a scoop of protein powder is – mine doesn’t have a scoop in it or an indication of how much you should have…minor detail.

Speaking of next stage, I think I will finish up this career at the end of the year. Pretty much made the decision, just need to come up with some dates and negotiate some time off with Big D. It is exciting and terrifying.  steve-jobs-quote-0022


An overdue update…plus a comment on last night

Talk about being idle! I have just not managed to put my fingers to the keys to keep the blog up to date.

The last month has been inconsistent to say the least. My exercise has been sporadic and this week especially my eating has been atrocious. I am seriously bingeing for the first time (or maybe it is just I recognise it?). I continue to eat because it is there and nearly challenge myself to finish off whatever it is tempting me. Part of the problem is I haven’t been to work this week with Little L getting sick. When I am not working, my exercise frequency drops off and then I eat more. Of course the awful germs have been kindly shared with me, so I am not too sorry to not be at work. My lungs feel like they will come out my mouth with every cough and to be honest, my work is nothing I am passionate about, so I don’t really miss being there, but I have so much work to do!

20130210-201749My boss is under extreme pressure at the moment and I am feeling significant guilt for not being there to ease the load. This part time gig was always planned to take some of the load off her, but I really haven’t had much opportunity. Although some bits I have managed to take off her plate, there is also lots of stuff I just can’t manage to help out with because all the details are in her head, and I am just not there enough. She doesn’t have time to brief me properly so she just keeps it all to herself. It worries me for her and my other half who is under similar pressures.

So Little L is 22 months now and is only having one sleep when at daycare. He is a mess with one sleep and although he probably could have gone to daycare some of this week, I just know he would be home again next week without some proper rest. So I have been putting him down for two sleeps all week. He is going down easily and not even too bad at night. So it seems to be working. But again, I am feeling guilty, if he is well enough to be in care – then he should be! But then I feel better knowing he is likely to be fully recovered by next Monday to start in care again.

Anyway, with this week off, then school holidays starts, crikey, I don’t feel like I am ever in the office. I will really have to be on my game to get the healthy eating and exercise down for next week for my shift of school holiday care with Little D.

I have been seeing my trainer irregularly and have not been to yoga for about three weeks! 20130403-103639 I am missing the yoga terribly, I am not looking forward to the slow progression back into it. But work for Big D is really out of control (where he comes home late and may be working at home until 1-2am each night) so it is hard to get away to make the class times. He leaves the house any time after 7am so my options for classes really are limited morning and night. It can be frustrating, but I am trying to keep my attitude in check.

Even though my training has really not been what I would like. I am trying to do it without a fixed program (ie no 12WBT for a bit (I was getting bored)). I really want to be driven by my own goals and desires, not by a timeline that has an imperative based on how much money I have spent! I have been looking around to see if there is anything else I can do locally that might give me more satisfaction, including swapping my Personal Trainer. I really want someone who is engaged with me, takes the time to know me and helps me to develop physically, mentally and with my knowledge. I have found a boxing coach locally who I really want to see, boxing is absolutely one of my favourite training options and I would love to do it properly. So I hope I can make some times to get to his classes and maybe use him as my PT?

Without wanting to get caught up in all the Political crap – I just want to say I am saddened by the removal of Julia Gillard last night. Sure, she didn’t get to the top job in the first place in the best way, but she was there post-election in 2010 having negotiated Labour’s way into Government. If Labour think rewarding Rudd for his conniving behaviour is the way to remain in power I think they are kidding themselves (or the Australian voters are as dopey the media portrays us). All this talk from ‘people on the streets’ in the media about how popular he is I think is bollocks, as is the talk about her ‘lying’ about the carbon tax – consider the circumstances of the govt, it wasn’t just her decision. The sooner this current batch of leaders is over the better. Personally I can’t stand listening to Rudd or Abbott.


A belated ANZAC Day post

I started to draft this on ANZAC Day, but never got around to finishing it….

This year I went to Little D’s school and did the ANZAC Day address. It was great to have the opportunity, I wrote my address about what ANZAC Day means to me and how it is important to my family. Frustratingly I got my times mixed up so arrived late and therefore flustered. I was so angry with myself I was cursing the whole the drive there. But it went ok. I got some lovely feedback from some of the other parents, which made me feel better.

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These are my Great-Grandfathers medals with my own. I am so proud of his and although I am very proud of my own, I didn’t have to experience horrors or suffer a poofteenth of what he did to get them. I will never forget that.

I don’t normally wear uniform for ANZAZC Day. My Great-Grandfather was awarded the Military Medal in France in 1916, and when I wear my uniform we are not permitted to wear medals other than your own (there are lots of rules around uniform, this is just one of them). So generally I prefer getting to wear civvies, so I can wear his medals, with mine, with pride. People still look surprised when they see me with them, I am sure it is just because I am female? Or maybe it is being female and that I have Little D and Little L in tow with me? I’m not sure.

For the school address I polished up my Same Browne belt, got the uniform looking good and could wear it without fear of looking ridiculous. Nothing was too tight and in fact – my pants were a little too big. Which is awesome, I am the same or smaller than when I joined up. Little D got to wear her Great-great-Grandfathers medals – she was so careful of them it was lovely to see.

Anzac DayANZAC Day is really special for me. To me it is more significant than Australia Day and something I think we, as a nation (not to mention the Kiwis), can be really proud of. My family has history with the military, obviously my Great Grandfather, my Dad is a Vietnam Veteran, then Big D and I are both currently serving. I am very protective of the day and get frustrated with the media coverage. I think aligning football players with those who have gone of to war is insulting to the ANZAC’s memory and sacrifice, being mates on a footy field and making a tackle to protect the ball, doesn’t equate to putting yourself in front of a Turkish machine gun. But that is just me.

In the past couple of years I have had a few people say ‘Happy ANZAC Day’? To which I respond with ‘WTF’?? Holy crap, where has that come from? It downplays the significance of the day. Sure people don’t go to work, but it isn’t a public ‘holiday’, it is a day of remembrance, commemoration and recognition of sacrifice. Lets not forget what the day is for. As those who started the tradition have passed on, those of us who remain  have an obligation to keep the day true to its intention. To me that is paying your respects to the sacrifice and service of all those who serve, but mostly those who have served and not returned or returned not themselves. As time passes on those numbers are becoming greater and I imagine will continue to do so for some time to come.

As I child I attended many a Dawn Service and I see it as a right of passage for all Australian children. As my career has continued it has become a more personal affair with some of my own friends lost on Service. A number of them have been killed through tragic error or oversight by other nations militaries and it breaks my heart that those responsible for their deaths will never be held accountable. But that is probably a blog for another time.

Even though I am posting this much later than the day I intended:

Lest we forget.


Pigmented skin and a melanoma

Late last year I had a melanoma removed from my back. It was confronting, given that the first notice of it being identified, didn’t give any details (so we assumed the worst). I was fortunate, although it seemed big on the surface it wasn’t very deep. So all I needed was some surgery to have it removed, with the required safety margin (so two surgeries in the end to make sure).

I actually noticed it months before I saw the doctor about it but had forgotten to do anything! I had finished breast feeding and decided to get some new underclothes, so the mirror filled change rooms, normally loathed, potentially saved my life! I had an obvious mole on my back which has always been there, on this occasion it was noticeably bigger and darker than however long ago I took a look at it. When I did see the GP she managed to get me an appointment with the surgeon on the same day, so I was fortunate to get it all resolved pretty quickly.

At three months I have been for another checkup and the dermatologist identified a couple of other spots for removal, which I didn’t argue with. Quite honestly, I am happy to have stuff removed if it takes away any additional worry that a spot might be risky. I went in for the procedure last Wed and had a mole on my temple, a cyst from my neck and another mole from my back removed. It was all pretty simple really. The hospital the surgeon operates from is excellent, I am feeling pretty familiar with it and their processes now I have been in three times and Little D once to have her tonsils removed.

My sister has been scanning photos from the family albums and emailing them around. I think some of them should remain tucked away in a dark cupboard! The 80’s and 90’s were rather unkind to our hair!? Some of the photos are from the early 90’s when, after finishing year 10, I went with my parents to live in Cyprus for a bit over two years. Being my formative years, I was impressionable and it proved to be the experience of a lifetime and shaped my whole existence since that time.

What I noticed was how brown I was and noticed that I am not wearing a hat in any of the photos! I spent a lot of time outdoors when we lived there, taking a part time job as a lifeguard and just hanging around the pool during the long hot summer. It may well have been the catalyst for my sun damaged skin.

In the last five years have really noticed how pigmented my skin has become. Given that I don’t wear makeup day to day (rarely in fact) my spotted skin is out there for all to see and I don’t think any amount of makeup would even up my skin tone on my face anyway! I am not that fussed about it, I do wear hats more now and wear sunscreen everyday. I think my skin is beyond repair, but the good thing is I am ensuring my kids are taking precautions not to have skin like me when they get older.

We are a bit over a week on from my surgery, stitches are removed (except one dissolving one in my back) and I am ready to get back into exercise. But it feels like weeks and I am dreading the first session……send me positive strong thoughts!