Pros, cons, failure

Growing up is a weird thing; it just sort of happens without really thinking about it. I mean sure, most of the time I’m thinking to myself ‘I am definitely not adult enough to deal with this’, but then there are moments where I suddenly realise I am an adult, and I’m actually doing it just fine. How can I tell I’m adulting well? Firstly, I am incredibly particular about wine, babies no longer scare me (I’m still highly skeptical I should ever actually be allowed to bring one up), I am capable of looking after multiple small people at once, I know life does not stop and start with marriage, relationships, or even having children…but those things are cool too, I’ve come to appreciate money…by that I mean the fact that I turn up to a place each day and do stuff and they then give me money so I can live, I am learning how to think about and navigate the idea of a mortgage, a house, where I want to live… and I have learnt just how fragile life is, and I appreciate that fact. Oh and I’ve also come to learn and accept shit happens to all of us.

I don’t feel grown up, but to honest I don’t know if anyone ever feels ‘grown up’, I think it’s more a feeling of comfortable experience that leads you to have a little more faith each year that in most situations you will, regardless of how you may feel at the time, be ok. I was going to put ‘survive’, but there’s really no guarantee of that.

My little cat had his vaccinations today. In order to get him into the cat cage I coxed him with food first into a small space. He then quickly realised something was not right and quickly escaped. I came back five minutes later to see he had given into his desire for food (animal like its owner) and I swiftly blocked the cat door with various washing baskets. He then escaped from the other door as I tried to enter with the cat cage and my attempts at a human barricade failed miserably. I then spent 10 minutes chasing him up and down the house until he finally gave in to his desire for pats and I captured him once and for all. His poor defeated meows were heart breaking as I loaded him into the car for mum to take him with her to the clinic (she’s a vet nurse). Admittedly the only time I’ve ever put him in a cage prior was to move him from one place to another…so right now he’s sitting in a cage at the clinic thinking this is his new home and he’s been transported to some kind of jail for a crime in which he does not know. I will sweep in and rescue him and he shall love me forever…and hopefully forget all about this mornings antics.

I have two weeks until my psychology exam. I have finally accepted there is no possible way for me to learn everything I need to learn. So, I’ve decided I will simply learn five chapters REALLY well so ace that part of the exam. I’d love to say this is a strategy well thought through, however it’s really a last ditch effort not to fail this whole thing.

But I can always try again.

Really what I’m telling myself is it is not the end of the world, I have wasted $700 in worse ways, it will be fine, I have wine, and if I have to try again I’ll just try again. Simple, right?

Adulting at its finest right there.

What I’m coming to learn this year is to just chill out. That might seem strange to those in my life who understand I operate at a million miles an hour and every single weekend in June is booked…however, I am learning to stop putting on the pressure, stop trying to overachieve, to move a million miles an hour. Just take one step, as it comes. For me, there are often many steps that come all at once…so if I apply that statement to my life it looks like madness.

But on the days I feel frustrated I’m not going anywhere fast enough, I just remind myself how much I wanted this; to have a warm home close to family, to have my own cat, to have a job that keeps me busy and earns me money but doesn’t give me nightmares, so I have time to study and enjoy that study. This is what I wanted when I sat in that little home in France and pictured life. It just didn’t happen how I expected it to. But this is really lovely.

It’s raining. I love rain. I love studying when it’s raining. Soon I’ll have a gym with a spa and I can provide myself with motivation for the gym with that. It’s winter, it’s snuggly weather, it’s raining, I’m studying something I love, I have a cat, I have plans for a house, I want to live in the country, I have a good job. It’s all about perspective…

Because when I got on here I was going to complain how stressed and didn’t want to study, how my head hurts because I have a headache because it’s always so damn cold, how it’s raining so I don’t want to go outside or to the gym, and I have no money for my dream home or my dream travel.

It’s really easy to get stuck feeling like it’s falling apart or like something else would be better. Of course it would, because it always looks great when you’re not living it. You can’t have all the pros without the cons and you rarely see the cons when it’s not your life.

I’m wearing my favourite sweater today, it’s raining, and I’m going to go home and snuggle my cat and study with a hot cup of tea. I might even take an Instagram shot of it all so people think my life is amazeballs.

Sorry, this blog had potentially a little too much sarcasm in it.

 

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The to do list is almost over

Tomorrow I shall clean my desk and my computer files. I may avoid using spray and wipe on the computer files, they never seem to like that much. Then again, it might solve all my problems…it deserves a good spray and wiping after its determination to destroy my sanity this year with its technological malfunctions.

The end is near.

I have organised the rubbish, I have packed two weeks worth of my gluten free snacks and go to foods for holiday, I have my suitcase out and already starting to fill, I’ve bought most of my Christmas presents, I even did the dishes.

Now it’s just the final parts of saying goodbye to this year (and cleaning the rest of the house, but that never seems to really stop needing to be done). I have to clean out the tack room and organise it all in my shed at home, start cleaning the float ready for sale, and have my car serviced…also ready for sale.

And Pip has to get to his new home all safe and sound and ready for a new life.

Next year, is going to be different. Perhaps I have lulled myself into a false sense of security…but I feel like I might actually hit the ground running for once.

Last year I was still suffering the effects of study, having had very few actual breaks and going straight into full time work, then losing granddad, buying a new horse, having my other horse have a baby horse, moving house… and so on.

I am in a house where I feel secure and stable, I have narrowed down my hobbies, and made way for friends.

Speaking of friends, I have two both getting married next year…I’m maid of honour (I think the proper title is chief bridesmaid as I am yet to be married) for both. I am very pleased and excited about this don’t get me wrong…

But I think I will a) be very prepared for when I do get married and b) might actually consider just going to a trip to the court house.

Just kidding…kinda.

I thought with two friends getting married I’d be all jealous like but I’m really not, I am excited though. But I think it’s actually installing a healthy wariness of weddings…but hey…I’ll make a great maid of honour…I’m great at organising and great at creating lists and great at budgeting!

Anyway…

Christmas is just around the corner. I still need to find a present for my brother and my boy friend. I need to finish cleaning the house. Move my horse stuff. And I’m done. I can officially switch off from life. That’s a pretty cool feeling…

I have finally made it (almost) through 2014 alive, step after painfully slow, heavy step, I’m here.

2015 feels like it’s going to be full of excitement, a bit of stress, and a whole change of tune in how I view life.

It’s going to be about fun. It’s going to be about doing well at my career, about drinking wine with friends, riding Ivy for the hell of riding, getting Mardy used to life because I can, going on trips around the Waikato to find great walks, heading into the bush as much as possible, and hopefully taking up water skiing.

This year was far too serious, it had to be at times, but I just think it’s time for a change…

If you don’t like something. Change it.

Adios!

Sigh.

So life has been kind of crazy. By crazy I mean like my cat after it was locked outside all night with a small baby bunny. Yes, he’s been on a murdering spree and keeps bringing in baby rabbits. I’m just glad he lives with Alex, not me, and I don’t have to clean up the baby bunny fur. I went to church the other day, which was lovely, and they said something about storms and getting through them. Yep, well, I’ve been in this hurricane like environment for quite some time now, I feel as though I am drowning in a pool of bills and failure and I am currently yelling but because there is so much wind no one can hear me.

That’s actually a very good metaphor for my life right now. Metaphor? Not sure, but I did pass school English I promise.

I have adopted this constant state of ‘piss me off and I will be picturing myself strangling you’. You know that feeling when you kind of just want to lie my head slowly on my desk and then remain there for…ever. That feeling. All the time.

But I have a fantastic bed. Which perhaps makes things worse because it would be so nice to be in it right now, forever, and never have to leave, but still have the ability to leave if I so desired. The weather has also been awful. By awful I mean constant wind, and rain, and more rain, and dark clouds making it feel like we’re about to start a horror movie. It’s November, it’s meant to be close to summer! The month where we all stop looking like characters off Twilight (without the sparkles) and look more like the total babes off Jordie Shore. (I’m kidding about the last part)

I shouldn’t be complaining, shortly we’ll all end up in a drought and as a result I will be complaining there is no rain and no grass and no food for the horse and it’s hot.

It’s 12.22pm and I have not yet had lunch, all I’ve eaten is a smoothie and a handful of nuts. I should probably eat.

Yes, food. That’s what I’m going to do now, fooooood.

4am, you make me happy.

In light of getting my blood test results back, I have decided it is time to get some of my life back. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, almost too good, you know when you can’t sleep because you’re just not tired enough? Yeah, well that kept happening.

As I lay awake one night, at around 12am, knowing I wasn’t getting enough sleep, but fighting with my body over the need for it, I made the decision I wasn’t getting enough physical exercise to balance the desk sitting I do each day.

It was time to do something. I started running which was a fantastic way to clear my head, but having average ankles it is something I have to limit, that, and I just can’t eat enough to maintain my current weight. I know, that is not a problem many people have, but I really don’t like losing weight when I don’t need to, I’m healthy how I am and I want to stay this way.

My solution? The gym. I thought, I will build back some of my muscle, get rid of that ‘floppy’ tummy look before summer, and get some strength back into my shoulders and back. It was a brilliant plan, until I received $600 worth of bills and nearly cried looking at my bank account, before the bills went out.
Horses are great like that.

So, I came up with another plan. Get another job!

For a moment I questioned my sanity, and ability to cope, but to put it quite frankly, I’m tired of bubble wrapping myself because of a health condition I now have under control.

I have managed to figure out how to balance my life (most of the time) with friends, family, hobbies, boyfriend, work. I’m feeling fantastic. My diet is top notch. And my blood test results were a miracle.
Oh yeah, and I’m running out of money.

This job entails getting up at 4am, mucking out horse stalls, brushing, washing, and doing general chores around the barn. I start my normal job at 8-8.30am.

At first I thought, BUT MY SLEEP?! Then I thought about it, I spend roughly two hours an evening watching a couple of TV shows, or seeing a friend. By simply rearranging my week, I can use that time to sleep and see people on the days I’m not working… improving my over all sleeping patterns.

It means I’m tired enough each night to actually sleep. It de-stresses me from journalism because I don’t have the time to stress or worry or over think every story, it wears me out in a way that means I’m not able to procrastinate with myself… but I still have all the energy I need to go about my daily life happily.

Roughly, it is 7-10 hours a week. Bringing my work week to around 50-55 hours in total.

But the best part, is it’s varied. I’m working out, and getting paid for it, I get to be around horses early in the morning…and because I’m not riding them I get to give them the occasional cuddle, and I’m sleeping better. PLUS I can stop stressing about my finances.

My mother and father think I’m mad. My boyfriend took some serious convincing, and my sister stared at me with a ‘you’re going to do what?!’ look. But I think most people are coming around to the idea.

This is what has to happen to make this work:

Monday: sleep in till 6.30am, get up and go for a short 10 min run. Shower, get ready, go to work. Catch up with my sister, ride my horse, get to bed and sleep by 8.30pm.

Tuesday & Wednesday: rise and shine at 4am, work one job, come home, get to the main job. Come home, ride my own horse one of these days, on the other relax and cuddle the pregnant horse. Sleep by 8pm.

Thursday: rise and shine again at 4am and so on. Go out or see a friend or just do whatever I want after riding my horse. Sleep by 10pm

Friday: rise at 6.30am, go for a short run, get to work. Then the world is mine and I shall do as I please! (unless I work on Sat) Also, I need to ride my horse.

Saturday: work one per month with the horses, catch up on my insiders guide column during the summer months. Visit my family, have a wine with girl friends, see my boyfriend. Cuddle my own horses.

Sunday: compete once a month with Pip, relax on all the others, or snowboard during winter. This is my day to do with as I see fit. But no working. No working is allowed on Sundays (for my sanity).

After two days so far, I’m feeling quite good…though my tummy muscles are actually seeking their revenge whenever I breathe. Who knew mucking out stalls actually worked EVERY part of your stomach?

But I think it’s a fantastic idea.

I may have to cut back the hours when my thyroid has one of its spastic fits, but I’m hoping the exercise will help to reduce those even further.

I am actually really looking forward to the next part of life.

Though, as me in a month how I’m liking the early mornings… and my response might be closer to a grumble than an enthused essay!

Tomorrow will be pants day

These past few weeks have taken their toll. I’d like to say my mental state is still intact, and it might be, sorta, but the fact I struggled with even the ‘get out of bed’ part of the day… it’s definitely questionable. 

Having seen an old friend, which has been fantastic but certainly induced plenty of emotional baggage being dragged back up from it’s long lost hole it slipped into in the baggage claim area, having my horse be a normal animal and do exactly what it shouldn’t be doing, and a rather stressful two weeks with the boss being away… I have forgiven myself for not being able to put on pants today. 

Wow, that was a long sentence. I’d break it up but my editing days are done. Two weeks of preparing for the boss to go away, and two of her being away, no more. Not a single word more. I actually lost the ability to even type the last two days of the week. 

So after an entire day of chatting to my mother on the phone, lying in bed, talking and hanging out with Alex, not putting on makeup – I did make it to the couch – I am feeling much more capable of facing the world. 

It’s another week. There’s more news, there is more things to do, still a horse to ride. Life goes on. Though I’d love to go into hiding, I wont. 

That’s just life… 

And tomorrow, I’ll put on pants. 

 

 

Up, up, away!

I’m at that point in my life. The one where I’ve ticked all the boxes, and now my little ‘life’ list is blank. Most of my friends are either still studying, or have been working long enough to be flitting off around the world.

I’m in that stage. See, the thing about doing things at my own pace, is it is kind of out of step with everyone else. So, not many people around me get what that stage feels like. I’m like Dory on finding Nemo. I’m lost, forgetful and this weird kind of chirpy that other people don’t like. 

But let me hash it out; Study, tick. Pass study, tick. Find a good partner, tick. Have a few good friends, tick. Have a social life, tick. Get a new horse, tick. Get a good job, tick. I’ve ticked myself right into uncertainty. I know I know, I whine so much about wanting all these things. Now I’ve got them, I’m just not quite sure what to strive for. Goals, huh, funny things. What exactly do you set goals for when you’ve just achieved all your ‘I need to complete these by the age of 25’ list, five years early. 

Be better at that I’m doing? People look at me funny when I say that. I mean it though, that is my goal, to be a really good journalist and to get even better at my job. I don’t think you can ever be too good, or have reached ‘best’. You can always do better, and strive to improve. The thing is that goal is my only one. 

Just to be better at everything I do.

Doesn’t really sound like a ‘I want to save the world, end starvation, be a millionaire, and so on’ goal.

I want to be a better horse rider, I want to make my horse a better horse, I want to be better in my job, I want to be a better friend and girlfriend.

Better. Consistently up. 

This is an odd stage of life, one I had never considered. I want more goals, of bigger things. But at the same time, I don’t think there is anything wrong with focusing on the blessings I have right now, and improving on them. Perhaps I am not as ambitious as I once thought, or perhaps I am just focused?

Up, up and away.   

I’m a journalist now

Like any job, Friday is always the best day (unless you have to work Saturday, then that just sucks). A break is within your reach and you can nearly taste that sweet, sweet two days of doing whatever the hell you want. 

I’m slowly getting used to the early mornings and have discovered this thing called going to bed early. It’s amazing, you get home, have a shower, get into bed, put your head on the pillow, and you fall into dream land. If you’re me, that dream land is probably a bit wacky and slightly freaky. None-the-less, it is sleep. I’ve never been an early night person, so my partner was quite astounded that I was in bed and ready to go to sleep at 9.30 pm. Admittedly I had been working since 8.20 am and had only stopped at 7.30 pm. Not all in the office, but there is this weird thing that happens to my brain when it has to think for that period of time. It just sort of stops. Abandons me mid thought and my eyes start to close. I think something might be wrong with me. 

Someone asked me last night: “what’s it like to work at a newspaper?” I replied “tiring, stressful, and full on.” On reflection though that wasn’t the complete truth. It’s tiring, stressful, full on, rewarding, exciting, and you have the opportunity to learn about new things every day. You never get the same thing each day, but you still have routine. I get free stuff like event tickets, I have the opportunity to do odd sports, and the list goes on. 

It is early days. And I probably complain more than I do express my gratitude. But I do love my job, or at least I do on Fridays. When we get the final product of all our hard work, when you know the paper is doing well and it’s only going to get better, that makes the whole week worth it. And when I get emails from interview subjects telling me what a great job I did and good luck with my career. That makes me day. 

I’m a journalist, and I love that.

 

Oh, you’re on your way

Flicking through old Facebook photos it mades me smile with nostalgia. Three years of study has gone by so fast! From the last hellish months before I left home, to living in the hostel that first year, I can still smell the left over sent of alcohol, perfume, cleaning products, shampoo, that make-up we used because it was dirt cheap, and the way the various houses we went to felt. Looking back now, I now realise how other people older than us must have looked at our antics and thought oh-my-gosh. But we were having fun, and that was all that mattered. 

Often I sit and I think back to my past selfs thoughts and I marvel at how bazaar things become and how different they feel when you get here. I can not get over the late nights and the liquids we consumed and the people we met. I was on fire. Socialising went to new levels that year. And we took it all in our strides. From photos of people at the start who wound up being far different from what they were in that photo. It is a sudden second of time, frozen there. My thoughts and feelings, the whole situation just captured. Or at least, how I now interoperate those moments. 

When I began tech, I had just ended a very bad relationship with a very bad breakup. Now, finishing I am in the best relationship I could ask for with an incredibly well matched guy. I drunk, most weekends in first year, now, to be honest I just enjoy the odd whiskey or wine on a hot summers day. Or, admittedly when things just go badly, really badly. That first year, it was something you make movies about. It is a pity just how limited my memory is of it. I think sometimes, when you’re having the best time, you don’t bother to remember. Because right in that moment, nothing else factors into the equation. 

Realistically, I can look back on many moments in my life and think wow, I was the victim of something or that was bad or drag it around with me. But if I am being completely honest, at the time I never felt like a victim and I’m not going to now. Life just happens and it hurts, man does it kick you in the guts like a pissed off horse. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. The sooner you accept life, and rise above the problems, the sooner you start thinking like a conquerer not a victim of it. 

So, on that rather heavy note, I’m going to end this blog with a little photo timeline. Enjoy. 

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Home is where the couch is

I have moved five times in the past three years. By next year, that figure will climb to six times in just over three years. When I first moved out of home all I could think about was how many times I could move and how many houses I could explore. I learnt quickly that I’m not the kind of person who deals well with being unsettled. Throughout all the moving there has been only one time where my couch/bed has not been with me. I first used it as a bed after mum got sick of it being a couch that became a bed. It was hard and it was too short and to be honest, it was really quite a terrible bed. But I loved it. At one point I turned it back into a couch and had a single bed, but it still stayed in my room. When I moved to the hostel it couldn’t come with me, but the moment I was in my own house, it was my bed again. Then, this year I got a new bed and it became a wonderful couch once again. 

I have had it since I was 10. 

To me now, that couch is home. Wherever that is, I know that is my little sanctuary. It is very scary though, going out into a very unknown world. Saying goodbye to old people, hello to new. Things just keep moving and you either jump on in and keep running or you get very quickly left behind. 

I have just gotten back from a five day holiday. I am severely sunburnt, even my feet didn’t escape the wrath of the sun. I have since discovered that it is not only possibly for the insides of your ears to be burnt, but the them to peal also. It’s like dandruff, in your ears. This isn’t nice. The leg tan was totally worth it though. 

But, after the five day holiday with Granddad, who while looking great he is certainly not the lively man he was on the oyster farm I remember. And that is hard. It is hard knowing things, and people, don’t last forever. While I loved every moment up there, it is bitter bitter sweet. 

So, I am moving and starting a new job in three days. My life is about to completely change. I would like to say I’m toughing it out and nothing fazes me but to tell you the truth, I am an emotional wreck. Hence the lack of blogging. 

Somedays, I really do not have words to describe how I’m feeling. 

Terrified might be a good start. 

Jack of all trades

I am fast learning it is good to be good at everything, or at least as many things as humanly possible. Wandering around the supermarket today (Pak n Save is renovating) and I saw a sign ‘baristas in training’. “Oh yeah” I thought, “cool”.

While standing in the veggie isle, somewhere between the tomato’s and the cabbage I realised what I had just witnessed. Baristas in training, in a supermarket. I stopped for a moment, the guy with a lazy eye behind nearly collected me with his overly large shopping cart. “Wait, why on earth would there be baristas in training, in a supermarket?” I thought to myself. 

They were in fact putting in a little coffee section, right at the start. Perhaps for frazzled mothers who need coffee to move around the supermarket a little quicker with those painfully oblivious children who think it is ok to stand in the middle of the isle. Or maybe it is for the just painfully carefree people who think everyone has all day to do their shopping, proceeding down the isle at a wander, right-in-the-middle-of-it. It could possibly be for those coffee addicts who can’t manage a trip around the supermarket without one? 

For the life of me, I can not figure out who would be able to juggle coffee, a handbag, a trolley, while grabbing groceries and avoiding frustrating shoppers. I want to meet those people because they are supermen, and women – super people. 

It made me stop and think, once again. Does that mean anyone who works at Pak n Save will have to also be a barista? 

Jobs are not simple anymore. The more you know about things that don’t appear to have any relevance, the more likely you are to get the job it seems. So, while I have nightmares about spilt coffee on the supermarket floor and trolley crashes and small children running rampant, I may also consider doing late night or very early morning shopping. I mean, if there is coffee, why not?