Deep breaths and take 10

It takes a while to stop running. It’s like braking a car on ice, the faster you’ve been travelling the longer it’s going to take you to stop. Me, I’ve been travelling my whole life at 100 miles per hour. I never stop. The last time I took ‘time out’ and went on a holiday was when I was about 10, with the family to a place called Dunk Island off the coast of Australia. I’m nearly 22 and it occurred to me just before I booked my tickets, that I don’t stop.

I’ve always been told to ‘slow down’ by every health professional under the sun, but the older I get the clearer the picture of ‘slowing down’ becomes. I would always take time out for me, perhaps a cup of tea and a good TV show, perhaps a run or a bit of yoga, but life never actually stopped.

By stop I don’t mean take yourself away from it all and do nothing, I mean stop doing what has become the norm.

At 16 I decided I was leaving school to study journalism and I did just that. I spent the first six months of study having fun and letting loose before I met Alex and I calmed down a tad. Second year was more demanding work wise with study and I began to increase my competitiveness with horse riding. Plus travelling each weekend to see Alex meant life was about doing a series of events which I had titled ‘life’.

In my third year I was juggling full time competition on my horse, completing four internships, finishing a degree and a diploma, and seeing Alex on weekends. I finished study and three weeks later was in a job. And I worked but butt off in that job, because I loved it.

But I never stopped.

And it was a terrifying thought at 21 to realise I’d spent my whole life completing a series of events which I would one day call my life.

So here I am, unemployed, sitting on a balcony in Cambodia, and breathing. My speeding car is slowing down on the ice.

It’s not a holiday from life, it’s a change in my life. It’s me finally saying ‘I want to be happy and I don’t want to be running’. Just because I loved my job and I love competitions, it didn’t mean they were good for me. And it didn’t mean they made me happy. And that’s a really hard concept to get my head around sometimes.

When I first arrived here I had this deep feeling of unrest, like I was unable to pause and not plan. I had this unbelievable desire to find security in things like stress. I like to be busy so I do not have to challenge my way of thinking or being.

Now I am starting to just relax and actually enjoy not having a to do list that takes over my life, I can just stop and take life in.

Change is just as good as a break.

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Long weekend here I come!

It is with great pleasure I sit here, enjoying my feijoas and passionfruit that I only paid the prices of peaches for and gluten free toast, having survived my first week of Danielle, my boss, being away.

Short weeks are usually challenging enough, but with Easter right in the middle of Dani’s time off, my to do list got so long I threw it out. But hey, I made it…and with surprising ease. With so much ease, that I’m wondering what earth shatteringly important thing I may have forgotten.

I do think though, I’m far more worn out that I realise. I think I’m just running on pent up adrenalin because I keep doing rather dumb things, like driving my car down my driveway to the fruit and veg store directly across the road from my house. But never the less, I have four whole days of sleeping and relaxing to recover.

I’m pretty sure today was ‘PR person day’… I answered six phone calls and had nearly 20 emails solely from PR people. Now, I usually have no issue with PR people, they’re rather helpful really and I appreciate a timely press release. But this week, and this day, I must say I was struggling by the last one to be a nice person. And I am a nice person.

Thanks to a rather talented intern we had a great story on our FB page today…actually the quality of interns this year (and last too of course) has been very pleasing. I felt like a real adult making boss like decisions. I got to put my important person hat on!

Anyway, it’s a long weekend, there’s sun to be basked in, beaches to sink my toes into, and wine to fill my tummy with. Off to the Bay of Islands (New Zealand) I go.

Gosh I love my country.

Everything, everything is going to be alright, alright

The holiday is over. Work has begun, thankfully more like small kitten cuddles in the morning rather than a racehorse dragging me around a racetrack. I’m waiting for the racehorse moments, but they will bide their time, possibly until I feel comfortable enough to start breathing like a normal person and am yet to respond with “wine” to how I feel.

There a few things I am going to stick with year (I say now…wait till June when I am a stressed out blubbering mess and hugging my wine bottle as the long weekends stop and a holiday is like the start of a sunrise…on the other side of the world). What are these life changes you ask? Well, since moving into my new house (two and a bit months) I haven’t had a messy room once. I have developed an obsession with cleaning things (this doesn’t extend to dishes though…). I have also developed an addiction to ‘The Bachelorette’. I’m yet to decide which one I should be more concerned about.

But here are the things I’m really aiming for.

Early starts: Starting with this morning (my core and shoulders are hating me for it) I’m getting up at 6.30am and doing 20 minutes of yoga/pilates followed by a relaxing hot shower. I must say, it definitely stopped my pounding heart this morning about the day/ year ahead. So, I’m hopeful.

Take it easy: I’m not taking on too much this year. Normally I get bored and start something new on top of everything I’m already doing. I’ve been much better at this over the years and last year was partly out of my control, but this year I am keeping it simple and enjoying the little things like drinking wine in the sunshine, growing my own veggies, watering the garden, seeing the sunrise, enjoying just riding my horse for fun, and putting my best foot forward for my job.

Learn a language: I’ve always wanted to do this. So this year I’m doing it. Slowly and two words a day…but I’m doing it.

Walk more: Last year I seriously missed tramping through the bush. There is no better way I feel, to unwind and get out of my own head, than heading into the bush for a good walk and a swim in a fresh river.

I think that’s enough ‘aiming’ for the year…there are a few other things in the pipelines but you’ll just all have to wait and see what those will be!

Here’s to a great year ahead! And to all those back at work now… just keep dreaming of the beach, you’ll be ok, you’ll be ok.

8.5 months

The word December makes my heart hurt a little. Mainly because the amount of things I have to do before I actually get a break is somewhat nightmareishly daunting, but also because the mountain of work I have to do in that month, and the one before it, makes the holiday seem so far away.

It’s 8.5 weeks to be exact. I know, I’m lucky. I actually get a whole three sweet weeks of pure freedom from my job and my horse(s) and actually any real adult responsibility, as long as I pay my rent… the world keeps turning and I have no plans to be part of it for those three weeks.

Someone asked me the other day what I would be doing with my time off. I didn’t answer for a few seconds due to the shock I was suffering from someone assuming I would doing anything. I am doing something, I’m going to a far away beach. I will not be answering my phone to anyone except the people looking after my horse, or my parents. I will not be wearing shoes. I will not be wearing pants longer than mid thigh. If I even manage to put on a bra rather than a bikini, well be lucky.

Sweet, sweet nothing.

That is what I keep picturing. It’s not long now, not long now. Of course, between now and then, I have something on every weekend except two. I will be doing some form of work for at least two weekends a month, and I’m still working two jobs (thank goodness) I have to move house – I’ve made it as far as getting five boxes. And sell a horse and foal another one.

It’s become so hectic, it’s funny. I find my life funny. It’s probably a good thing or I’d be going insane. Or perhaps I already have. That’s it.

So, so close to the end, yet so, so far away.

But it’s just one step after another.

Heaven forbid I start seeing Christmas decorations in shops though, that word is becoming a swear word until I start my first day of holiday. I love Christmas, but the present shopping, the tinsel, the events there are to report on, the lights, the all of it. So much… NO.

Just breathe I remind myself when I see tinsel. Breathe and do not destroy the shop display, they will probably send you to a psych ward.

Remember the beach… just remember the beach.

Hello past, let’s be friends

Hello reality. Four days of blissful holiday is now behind me and it is time to face what I like to call ‘life’.

Yes, I at times quite enjoy avoiding life, but after a fantastic massage and a whole day of doing sweet bugger all including ordering Indian in from the hotel then finishing the day with a bubble bath, I’d say I’m pretty well equipped to now deal with it.

I managed to survive a night out with my sister and her friends, an ex-boyfriend, all while seeing a old…friend? My past is a bit of a stalker, every element of it loves to chase me around and remind me you can’t ever really run away. I paid for my attempts at dancing the next day when my poor ankles didn’t agree they should have to operate.

So anyway, due to this whole seeing people who ‘I learnt how to punch in case I ever bumped into them again’ and making my peace with the slightly bumpy road that was the time before I got here, I have come to the conclusion: I suck at holding grudges.

I’m rolling with that. I’m not going to try to be someone I’m not. Being a female canis familiaris (dog for those who don’t love google as much as me) 24/7 just doesn’t come naturally to me. Standing up for myself does… there is a difference!

At times you’ve just got to move on. Life happens. Every single step of mine has been for something. I was lying awake at 11.31pm because my brain wouldn’t find that off switch, when I realised just how many things lead me to here. If they had never happened… it scared me to think what and who I would be now without it all.

It is easy to resent and hate things because I don’t have the balls to dig deeper stop to ask why. Fall out with a friend? Fix it. If they’re still not a good person for you, move on and find another. But don’t hate!

It was possibly the strangest feeling of relief when I began to see my ex again – suddenly, the hate melted away and I had all this room to love more people and make time for new friends.

Most of the people in my life thought I was mad. Open up old wounds, tread on unstable ground, no idea where or how it was going to end. But it isn’t everyone elses life… it’s mine. What’s best for me? Working through things that have haunted me and changed the way I see people.

I wanted to get the happy go lucky, forgiving, understanding, kind person I was, back. And I wanted more of it than I had left. You can’t love to your full extent when part of your heart is still caught up hating something! It doesn’t matter how much it hurt, it was time to move on.

In my own way, I have been able to move on because I had a chance, a chance not many people have, to go back into the past and pull apart the things that made it hurt.
When you understand something, it is much easier to forgive that hurt it causes.

Now I am here. Still no idea where I am going, but I know my past wont determine it as much as it used to. I finally got back the pieces of my personality I loved and missed. He’ll be in my life for a long time, because some people aren’t the kind you leave behind. I get that most of my friendships are weird and I know that I get judged for that often. But my boyfriend now knows me, he knows I’m just odd. This is how my life is, and I’m ok with that, and I’m really blessed by that.
Different is good, and knowing what is right for you and going with that, tops it all.

Goodbye to the week that’s been

Ok week. We’re done. I am literally digging my way through paper to get to my desk. My nose hurts from sneezing, I am well over tired because my poor brain has had far too much going on; socially and with work. I have spilt one cup of tea, burnt my tongue on two, pissed off an inspector (high ranked policeman), slept through both alarms this morning, and I desperately need to give my hair, nails, legs, face, and so on some attention before I resemble that of a yeti.

So it’s really not that bad.

Compared to others in the office, my day was a good one.

To be honest, I can’t even really sum up this week other than: I think we all need a wine.

On crappy days / weeks that feel like they’re slowly suffocating you, I find the only thing I can do at the end of them is be thankful I’m still alive, and operating. Enjoy the company of good people, or just the cat. Sometimes, it’s not even the cat, just the horse. Grab a glass and bottle of wine, and do something completely and utterly different and unrelated to daily life.

Or even something I just love doing, like sitting in my bed with a hottie bottle and food.

No place like bed.

All the best for your weekends! 

Tuesday is here with a bang

The great thing about a long weekend is getting to miss Monday. The bad part about a long weekend, is not having Monday.

Mondayitis has now been dumped merrily on Tuesday and my fingers are beginning to protest with the cold and the amount of typing required of them today. It probably doesn’t help that whatever strange virus I have that is making the world spin is most unwelcome but strangely calming as I feel slightly out of it.

While the long weekend was fantastic, I would like another one. Actually, I would have liked the rest of the week to be part of the long weekend. Unlike the council staff, who seem to have copious amounts of time off… or perhaps are only ever away when I need to talk to them, I am back at work, chasing people who are away. Oh, and getting all of yesterday’s work and todays work done, today.

The long weekend was great… other than the fact Alex was sick for most of it and spend the majority of the time complaining and sulking. He managed to get the flu going around my office in the five minutes he was here, I am still yet to get it. In saying that I don’t know if I would prefer it to this weird dizzy thing. Oh yes, and heaven forbid I feed him anything remotely healthy looking, and lemon and honey drinks were apparently slow torture. 

Anyway, today is actually not that bad. I enjoy pottering along, or more working at full speed ahead and then falling into a deep trance like state the moment I reach home. It is somewhat satisfying, and far better than the days my brain takes a non-agreed-upon vacation midday and refuses to function leaving me feeling like I just walked my first marathon.

Never the less, I am having a very good hair day, and my face is slowly coming right after having a major meltdown when I changed to natural makeup. I don’t blame it, I had a minor meltdown when I saw my bank statement.

I’m meant to be saving more money now I have a work car. Then I remembered I have two horses and am eating healthy… and I laughed.

Anyway, I have delicious chocolate tea, curry for lunch, and it’s only 11.14am and I have managed to do a considerable amount of work.

Tuesday, you make a far better Monday.

The wild world

Finally. Away for a weekend. I rose and shone bright and early this morning, out of bed on on the beach dressed in my new singlet and running shorts, baggy jumper and running shoes. Dog lead in hand and dog attached to the other end. I probably only managed a k or two but I ran, at 8.30 in the morning. Running gives me this rush of feeling like I am free, in that moment (the one before my chest starts burning and I think I’m dying) I feel like I could out run a Jamaican. 

This holiday has been much needed, for me and for Alex. During a tough year, the only advice I can possibly offer is to get away at least once every couple of months to a place there is no one else but you and someone you care about. Or just you, just you works too. Escaping for a short period of time is key to not feeling like the world is actually consuming you. 

Staying at Alex’s bosses fathers batch in Whangamata is a nice trip down memory lane. While I’ve never been to this batch, this town holds quite a bit of significance over the years and it feels homely. Though, today was the first time I have ever been on the beach. It was pure peace running on the hard sand early in the morning with storm clouds rolling over the hills, sun breaking through, nobody around and a very happy ginger dog. Needless to say, those storm clouds did not disappoint. It has hailed, rained, poured, thundered, blown a gail and in-between all that little bits of glorious sunshine.

Waiting to hear back whether or not I have a job I am surprisingly calm. Perhaps it is the run, maybe the fact I’ve had acupuncture or maybe I’m putting breathing techniques to good use but I’m happy. My first ever job interview and I don’t feel like I messed up and that alone makes me feel accomplished. I would love the job, an incredible amount, but if I don’t get it, it will go to someone who suits it and I will find something that suits me. That is how life works and I am happy about it. Summer (though, not showing any signs of showing up anytime soon) is just around the corner, I’m nearly 20 and I have my whole life ahead of me.

What an exciting adventure this is going to be.

Take my wallet while you’re at it and eat away

Food. It’s pretty good most of the time. Eating out, usually pretty good too. Now in the spirit of having a bit of a whinge I must begin this with utter passion due to my love of food and the love of getting what I pay for. 

A nice night out. We got all nice and dressed up. Booked a flashy looking restaurant and went on our way. It was pleasant enough, the menu wasn’t extensive but most of the things on it seemed good. The price tag… well that was perhaps one of those ‘we’re on holiday lets splash out’ sort of categories. In we trotted. The waiter was ok. A little bit snobby but I could get over that.

The entree came. It was pretty amazing. Small, but like all good, pricey restaurants amazing enough. Then. The main course. Mine was lovely. $30 was a little steep of the amount of food. But because it was good I got over it.

THEN. The others began to eat… lets just say although mine was the cheapest it was by far the best. One would describe the duck as ‘dry, and in some sort of bong water.’ 

Now I’m all for the expensive restaurant thing. But I expect quality! Not even quantity, just quality. So when you’re served undercooked chips, steak thats cold and duck that tastes like you’ve just pulled it out of the pond… you get a little bit upset. 

THEN. They decided that because we’d had such a good dinner already they’d charge us for something that wasn’t even on the menu. Thanks to my amazing quick adding skills I picked up the over charge. I mean who charges someone for something not even on the menu! 

Of course then as we were running around trying to find somewhere else for desert it decided to rain. 

Eventually we did find somewhere. And it was a reeeeally yummy desert. Chocolate fondant with ice cream and a berry compote. 

Of course I then got home and realized my mascara had run down my face and my hair looked more like a cat had used it as dental floss.

It was a good night….

Just perhaps not the night we were all expecting.

 

Cocktails in the pool

So! Cocktails and a day out by the beach. Oh isn’t it lovely! Away and actually relaxing! What a phenomenon. After a nice long sleep in, wake up get dressed, cruise to the nearest town. Shop at the cute market. Finally buy jandals after a summer bare feet or nice shoes. Nice lunch, cocktail to top it off. Stroll along hand in hand. Oh isn’t it lovely! Game of tennis, actually half decent at it now. Relaxing shower with nice new soaps. Another cocktail! Woohoo!

Hot pool time now 🙂

I live in a wonderful world.