Back on track

Three months ago, I joined a gym. Three months ago, I went to the gym. Three days ago, I went again.

Here are some reasons I didn’t go in between:

  • Too tired after work
  • My lower back hasn’t been strong enough
  • I wasn’t wearing the right socks
  • I didn’t have a padlock for the lockers
  • I couldn’t find parking
  • Have to do something more pressing, so don’t have time
  • I just ate cake
  • Dana (my cat) needs me

All terrible excuses. I know this. I knew this at the time of each excuse.

But, I went again. And my husband persuaded me to go on some walking tracks with him in the National park (I have to get fit so we can climb a mountain in Tasmania in October).

Three weeks ago, the weather was miserable, which made me miserable, and for the first couple of kilometres all I could think about was how cold it was. But I ended up enjoying it and being happy that I struggled less than I thought I would.

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Today the weather was lovely, and the walk was a much easier one.

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P1000679I’ve already noticed the difference in my mood and body that recent progress has been a good thing. I’m optimistic.

 

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The end of the tunnel

I’m studying, so of course I have time to write a quick post. Yesterday my boss gave me the day off work to work on my assignments, and I got one completely done. Two half assignments left and 9 days to go. I’m feeling motivated, and keep reminding myself of the things I will reward myself with when I’m done. The list gets longer every day:

  • Bake – donuts, croissants, bread, gluten free apple crumble
  • Research getting a cat
  • Research things to do in Tasmania (for a holiday around our anniversary)
  • Craft – cards and knitting
  • Catch up with friends who I don’t get to see very often and live a little further away
  • Clean and sort my study area
  • Get a hair cut
  • Research the next course – I wonder if I will be able to learn my lesson not to leave the last quarter of the course content to the last two weeks of the year. Leave me alone instant gratification monkey.

Pinterest

I really like Pinterest. I feel like every time I talk to someone about it, I’m trying to convert them. I also know to warn people when I talk about it because it is highly addictive. Don’t join unless you have a lot of spare time (or don’t mind using all of your spare time on this) and have a big download limit!

If you’ve not heard of Pinterest, it’s a website (or app) where you “pin” things that are ‘interesting’ (P+interest=Pinterest). It’s a place where you can collect ideas and inspiration (e.g. hobbies, diy, inspirational quotes, images, fitness and health ideas, etc). You can check out my boards here. There is also a link on the right (the red ‘P’).

Plenty of people pin things and never look at them again. Not me. I quite enjoy going back over my pins (and sorting them) and attempting the ideas in them. I’m thinking of sharing them with you here. There are plenty of sites where people share or collate Pinterest ‘fails’. That may sometimes be me. Not always. But I love Pinterest because it suits my personality. I thrive on having a project (especially if it’s not compulsory). And I have thousands of hobbies, so there is always something to try, even if I’m not in the mood for certain hobbies.

Here is the pin I’m working on at the moment (click on the picture to go to the website, though I’m only using the image – I looked briefly at the site and I don’t think my squats go that low):

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I’m on day 2. I don’t do exercise. I’m proud of myself if I take a client for a half hour slow stroll. I’ve been for one run since August (which is when I cancelled my gym membership).  So, maybe if I’m just focusing on one thing, I may have success. And I also realised that day 1 (50 squats) would literally take a minute. So the “I don’t have time” excuse won’t work. This is the first ‘health/fitness’ pin I’ve decided to actually have a go at, so let’s see how I go.

Anybody else addicted to Pinterest? What are your current projects?

Mystery Mushroom

P1000379This little guy popped up amongst my parsley and I only just noticed it. Maybe I should water my plants more often.

So here are some fun facts:

  • called leucocoprimnus birnbaumii, or “spirit umbrellas”
  • commonly found in pot plants or glass houses, and probably come in the potting mix
  • not poisonous, but don’t eat it
  • more common in summer and warm environments
  • they are not known to harm plants
  • there is no getting rid of it, unless you change all of the soil
  • fun to look at; maybe you’ll find one in your garden
  • they may grow into this and put out spores:

Leucocoprinus young and old

Resources:

http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/feb2002.html

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/leucocoprinus_birnbaumii.html

Not planned, but needed

I love being home when it’s raining. I think more clearly and take more time for things. P1000288

P1000289I had planned to use this weekend to push ahead in my studies. I’ve been feeling a little anxious about the course deadline, whilst looking at how many subjects I have left. I thought with handing in two assignments last week and passing both without any trouble that I would maintain momentum and use this weekend well.

It didn’t quite work out that way. But I don’t think I’m disappointed with how it’s turned out.

I’ve had a lot on the last few weeks and have been exhausted all week. It’s been good to take time out to recover.

So instead of working, I’ve been trying to be a good little housewife, doing the cleaning and washing while Jeh is actually studying, spending time with my parents, quality time with Jeh, reading, and catching up on my bible in a year (I slipped behind after I so heroically caught up over January), procrastibaking (though I’ve shared it with my parents, neighbour and will take the rest to church), and catching up with my neighbour (even though we’ve only been able to hang out a couple of times, we get along so easily). All worth it. I even had a soak in the bath on Friday afternoon.

So while I feel a bit bad about not going to our church weekend away, I do think this was wise. Especially considering how many boxes I was ticking of burn-out symptoms not that long ago. I want to be useful this year, particularly getting back on track with keeping up with relationships.

How do you recover after busy, stressful periods?

How does your garden grow?

I am no gardener. I killed about three basil plants last year. Mum gave me a couple of plants for my birthday that are hard to kill. One is dead. The other was brought to the edge of its life.

Things are turning around, though. Mum gave me some parsley seeds and they produced a plant that has been handy at dinner time; a friend at work gave me a tip to really boost it. The latest basil plant has been thriving, and has featured in dinner the last two nights. The mint is growing wild.

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My next challenge is to get the lavender shoots from mum yesterday to grow into a flowering plant.

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All of this is turning my thumb a little green. I’m beginning to imagine having a backyard with a whole garden. And chickens.

My future dream garden:

  • Roses
  • Lavender
  • Violas
  • Orange blossoms
  • Pansies
  • Geraniums (all of these edible flowers feature in the cookbook I’ve been using lately)
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Chilli
  • Lemon
  • Fig
  • Mango
  • Passionfruit

What’s in your garden?

Observe

It’s not easy to stop and observe when life is so busy and stressful. But I’ve been encouraged lately to do just that, in two ways. One, to help me not to overreact to situations, is to observe that something has happened, acknowledge it, and try to put it in perspective, rather than blow it out of proportion. The other way, which feeds the first, is to just have a moment and observe what is going on around you, even during a stressful day.

Not that today was stressful, but I had a few minutes where I and a couple of clients were waiting for the van to pick us up. We were sitting in rather a pretty area, so it was nice to just chill a bit. Taking photos probably ruins the moment a bit, but I couldn’t help myself.

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