Big Things for 2020

Ok, I know this blog might seem a little strange given that I write a list of 100 goals each year and I have already posted about them, but over the last couple of weeks… maybe even months I have been thinking a lot more about the bigger picture. I guess these are the things that have shaped the items that I put on my list… but because they have been turning over and over and over again in my mind, I thought it might be helpful for me to write it out…

I feel like there is a lot of pressure from life to have things sorted, to get your life mapped out and run the race. Ideally, the path is clear and direct and you run towards it with minimal distractions and obstacles… but that is not how life works. People always tell you that the world used to be a simpler place, but I am not sure that is true either. Life is challenging… that is the real ‘simple’ truth… things don’t always go to plan, things aren’t always what you deem to be fair and people (including myself) fall short of my expectations constantly. But as I get older, and hopefully wiser, I am starting to understand the wisdom of life lessons told to me in years gone by. Things which at the time I received hopefully graciously, but decided that for whatever reason didn’t apply to me.

I have spent a lot of my life trying to be everything to everyone, and in the process forgotten who I actually am and by default what is important to me. Over the last couple of years, I have experienced what my counsellors have labelled ‘trauma’, physical and psychological… and while that sounds awful and it was… it’s made me stronger, more resilient and thankfully more aware of what I actually want in my life and on the flip side, what I don’t. It has provided me with time and experiences that have made me question everything and helped me work out who I am… which I guess has led me to this…

I am long term thinker, which can be, and has been both a blessing and a curse. I am a planner, I like to know what is going to happen and when, but I also like the option of being spontaneous even if I never take it. I feel things deeper than I ever have before and because I also like to fix things, I feel like it is my responsibility to do that… fix it all… I want my life to matter, and I want to make a difference, but I think this looks different in 2020 than it did even 2 years ago. I want to be part of the solution of big problems, but I am learning I can’t take on more than I am capable of. I need to push myself and stretch myself, but I also need to be kind to myself… so in light of all that, I have decided that this year I want to focus on just 3 things intentionally… I am sure there will be other things that come up across the year, but as I sit here today these are the big issues on my heart that I want to make deliberate steps to improve across the year…

Authentic Community

I want to build on the friendships I have and make sure that my relationships are intentional and honest. That if I choose to withhold parts of my life… I want to know why and reassess… I am a pretty open book at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean I am always a good friend. I want to break bread with people, share my life with people, raise my son in community and in turn support and strengthen those around me. I want to be reliable… which let me be clear isn’t always available, but intentional and deliberate. I don’t want to be afraid of my weaknesses in a social setting, because I want to be part of a community that takes me as I am… growing and changing, but flawed… just like everyone else.

Reducing my footprint

This is something that has been on my heart for a long long time… I want to be less of a consumer and more of a partner. I want to learn to appreciate what I have and not constantly be sucked into the ‘more more more’ pull of the world. I want to do right by the earth and leave it in a better place than I found it, not continue to mindlessly contribute to its demise. But I want to do this right… in baby steps… one change at a time. I also want to reduce my footprint in my social and work settings… and while it might sound it this isn’t in direct opposition to my first goal of authentic community… rather it’s about how I approach things, people, groups and task. I often go into to things all guns blazing… full or preconceived ideas, expectations and demands… and to be honest, while most of it comes from a good place, because I am passionate, it’s not a helpful approach… I want to tread softly, to listen first… light steps mean smaller footprints… and perhaps more effective communication.

Slowing Down

Life is short and fast… and unless I chose to pull out of the busy lane, it will stay this way. I want to enjoy my life, not just continue to push to the next task… I like to have things to do, but I want to also be able to stop and enjoy those things… not just cross it off my list. This last one should work really well with other two tasks above, I hope… because community and reducing my footprint takes time, they force me to stop and try new things… I want to simplify my world so that I can contribute to it better and in a more meaningful way. I want to be able to take in the moment… not just spend my life trying to capture a few manufactured perfect ones all ready for social media.

So that’s my three things… not small, and probably hard to measure, but I am hopeful about what my life might look like if I get this right. or even if I just improve a little. I am also choosing these three because they are positive… and they look at big problems and give me a way to help with what I have… I want to be hopefully in 2020, not stressed and tired and sad that the world is falling apart and I am missing all the good bits. I know it’s a lot… but I think it is achievable… and even though I hadn’t really articulated these ideas in my mind when I wrote my 2020 list, there are already a lot of things on the list that will help me work through my big things… for example last month I used my shampoo bar for the first time which I am not only very excited about because it’s one less plastic bottle… but it was no. 93 on my list… simple, sweet and helpful… once I have used it for a while I will let you know what it’s like… but even if it doesn’t work, or I forget to write… it’s a little step in the direction I want to be moving.

New Year… New List…

Happy New Year Everyone!

This New Years has felt a little bitter sweet, it is always such a nice feeling to start fresh and to reset, and this time we not only get to start a fresh year but a brand new decade… the possibilities are endless… but at the very same time there are some pretty terrifying things happening in Australia, we have been traveling around New Zealand for the last couple of weeks and all the news from home seems to be it’s hot and it’s on fire and right now that seem to be impossible to stop and so it feels hard to celebrate when others are sheltering on the beach and don’t know what they will have to return to as they start 2020. It’s hard to imagine what they must be going through. As we flew home last night the plane flew through some smoke from the fires and the cabin began to smell of smoke, it was a pretty sobering reminder of what we were returning to. Dave, Isaac and I are lucky to live in an area that is pretty safe from these types of fires, but my heart feels heavy and powerless to help those who aren’t. So I guess my hope is that the fires will cease and that there will be some Happy New Years even if they are a little delayed. That there would be good soaking rain and that our land would start to heal… that would be a Happy New Year.

To be totally honest it feels a little selfish to sit here and write this blog about all the things that I am going to/hoping to do this year when there is so much going on, but the reality is there is always things like this going on… I am only feeling it more because it is in my backyard… and I will be mad at myself if I don’t do it… and despite all that is going on, 2020 feels hopeful… I feel good about what’s to come, I am optimistic about the future, 2019 was full of adjusting to a new stage in life, new jobs, new routines and new expectations… this year there should be less of that, which hopefully leaves more space for well used time, growth and learning… and because I am still a sucker for a list here are our 2020 lists… Emma’s List no. 12 and Isaac’s List no. 3…

You probably know the drill by now… but just in case… you can get up to speed on all the previous lists here: 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019), and just like all the previous lists there is much of the same in 2020’s offerings. Some tasks to help me work on myself, physically, spiritually and mentally, some things just because they are fun, some challenges, and some good old family time. Isaac’s list is much the same… although his is more fun and developmental milestones so that I remember to document them. I feel like I am finally starting to find some balance in documenting and just enjoying and also making space to write about other things as they happen, but hopefully I will continue to improve with that this year too… although really (and again probably selfishly) this is just here for me, but if you like it great. And if you see anything on the lists below we can do together let me know.

Alright, enough rambling… here are the lists:

My List

  1. Make a family plan
  2. Find a better work life balance
  3. Get my steps average up to 10000 per day.
  4. Have a child free night
  5. Find another way to reduce my impact on the planet
  6. Do two fun runs
  7. Read 9 books
  8. Go to a Finders Keepers Market
  9. Find and try 3 new parks
  10. Go camping
  11. Get my VIT locked down
  12. Go to bed earlier Sunday – Thursday
  13. Blog 15 times at least
  14. At least 6 date days
  15. Volunteer at Parkrun
  16. Call / Update our grandparents regularly
  17. Walk Dex regularly
  18. Bake some meringues
  19. Take a picture everyday
  20. Meet 3 new babies
  21. Fish and chips on the beach at the beginning and at the end of the year
  22. Go through and sort Isaac’s clothes
  23. Get a massage
  24. Sort out Kinder for Isaac
  25. Exercise as least twice a week
  26. Go on a family bike ride
  27. Take some family photos
  28. Swim at the beach
  29. Meet the newest member of our family
  30. Be a Parkrun tourist
  31. Winter beach getaway
  32. Play a board or card game
  33. Make a banoffee pie
  34. Do a puzzle
  35. Make photo book
  36. Do some colouring
  37. Cross 2 things of the list every month
  38. Use Isaac’s highlight book and my gratitude diary
  39. See some fireworks
  40. Read to Isaac everyday
  41. Drink at least 1 glass of plain water everyday
  42. Play some badminton
  43. Brunch date alone
  44. Brunch date with Dave
  45. Brunch date with Isaac
  46. Floss more often
  47. Get a housework timing guide… print it out and stick to it
  48. Use the hiking backpack at least 3 times
  49. No games on my phone for 3months
  50. No Facebook or Instagram after 10:30pm on weeknights
  51. Make some cookies with Isaac
  52. Go to at least one of Dave’s school concerts
  53. Do the 10min clean most days
  54. Remember the bags
  55. Complete that 30 day exercise challenge
  56. Swim some laps
  57. Have a perfect month with my activity rings
  58. Do a weekly plan
  59. Get some better coffee tables
  60. Entertain more guests
  61. Finish the scrapbooks
  62. Keep scanning in photos
  63. Reduce the amount of take-out meals we have
  64. Go to a carols by candlelight in the park
  65. Have a no spend day once a month
  66. Earn at least 6 of the monthly activity challenge awards on my watch
  67. Do my devotions at least 3 times a week
  68. Have dinner with our siblings
  69. Make a dip
  70. Make a pav
  71. Make some ice cream
  72. Use some herbs from our garden
  73. Go some place I’ve never been to in Victoria
  74. Go to the NGV
  75. Use my sewing machine
  76. FaceTime our NZ family
  77. Use my bees wax wraps
  78. Buy an item of clothing I wouldn’t usually buy and wear it
  79. Do Parkrun with 5 different people
  80. Paint a picture
  81. Listen to a new artist
  82. Picnic in the park
  83. Stand barefoot on grass and sand
  84. Keep the house tidy
  85. Meat free meal at least once a week
  86. Keep my car free of rubbish
  87. Do an exercise class
  88. Do a trail walk/hike
  89. Make banana bread from scratch
  90. Have a meal with the parentals… all of them… separately
  91. Toast some marshmallows
  92. Edit and finalise Isaac’s logs and maybe publish them
  93. Try one of those shampoo bars
  94. See a new Disney Movie
  95. Keep my phone time under control
  96. Spend more time outside
  97. Keep an indoor plant alive
  98. Use my standing desk more often
  99. Keep my phone clean of excess apps that just waste my time.
  100. Break the next barrier

Isaac’s List

  1. Go 10 pin bowling
  2. Swim at the beach
  3. Visit all 3 Zoos
  4. Check out the traffic park in Lilydale
  5. Go to the movies
  6. Ride my balance bike
  7. Pat a new animal
  8. Ride my scooter
  9. See some fireworks
  10. Swim in Pa’s pool
  11. Go on a train
  12. Draw a picture
  13. Jump… with both feet leaving the ground
  14. Try a new instrument
  15. Dress myself… almost all by myself
  16. Learn to use the toilet
  17. Do a puzzle all by myself
  18. Go on an adventure with Dad
  19. Go on an adventure with Mum
  20. Try one of those cool parks that have water play
  21. Kick a footy
  22. Learn to take a photo
  23. Swap to a big bed
  24. BBQ with Dad
  25. Say goodbye to my ‘num nums’ (dummies)

And there they are… two brand new lists of goodness… here we come 2020

Unplugged for the Week

The week before week I turned off my social media accounts, just for the week… no posting and no scrolling just for 7 days… and to be honest when I popped it on the list at no.55, I thought it would be a breeze…. And then when I made the decision that now was the time, it suddenly felt much more challenging, but I was not expecting it to be as challenging as it has been. So to pass the time and to put some words to my feelings I decided to start writing this blog on day two… and because I love any excuse to do them, I thought I could format it as a captains log to help me through… all because day one was much harder than I expected.

Captains Log – Day 1

Date: Sunday 20.10.19
Today’s forecast: Partly cloudy. Maximum of 16
Sunrise: 6:29am Sunset: 7:42pm

Fun fact about my life that I have never noticed… checking social media is one of the first things I do in the morning… before I get out of bed, before I have breakfast… before I do anything else… but not this morning… I did check my TimeHop because even though that’s linked to my social media platforms it’s just my life… so I don’t think it counts… Not checking it actually threw my morning off… and I very quickly started to realise how much I pick up my phone and habitually check my social media accounts… it’s a lot! In fact thanks to my screen time app I can tell you I picked up my phone 157 times… and while I didn’t open my social media (because I had deleted the apps) I can assure that I went to… maybe 100 of those times. I am not sure why the need to check it is so strong… I don’t post that much, but I do love to scroll… even as I went to bed tonight I felt the need to almost check 1 more time… let’s hope it’s just withdrawal and that it will get easier.

Captains Log – Day 2

Date: Monday 21.10.19
Today’s forecast: Warmer with decreasing clouds. Maximum of 22
Sunrise: 6:28am Sunset: 7:43pm

I am 100% sure that no one has even noticed my absence on Social media… because that’s they way it works right… you get so consumed by what is there, you rarely notice what is missing… and I know that in reality I am probably missing nothing, other than getting jealous of the highlight reels of everyone else’s lives… but I just want to know… I really really want to know… but I have stayed strong… I have not checked… I can get through this… I can break this habit… I can be in control

Captains Log – Day 3

Date: Tuesday 22.10.19
Today’s forecast: Increasing sunshine. Maximum of 20
Sunrise: 6:26am Sunset: 7:44pm

Good news, this morning I thought about social media, but didn’t try to open it before I remembered, this is what they call progress… in fact I got through most of the day without too much hassle… I was reminded that I missed some things when I got to school and someone told me about something they had posted and then again at lunch when I was told I had been invited to an event… but I wasn’t super phased by it, in fact it wasn’t until I got home that I started to miss it again… I took some photos that I probably would have posted, some new material for my highlight reel:

  • I hit a new mum milestone, I carried Isaac’s trike down to child care so he could ride it home… it was a LONG walk home, but it was a fun milestone moment that I usually would have posted.
  • We used our new oven for the first time and cooked and epic roast dinner… definitely post worthy and the one that made me think the most…
  • I finished writing a blog and it was ready to post… but I didn’t want to post it and not see what happened…

I realised that for a lot of this the validation that I get from comments and likes probably means more to me than I realised. Before this week, I think I had considered myself immune to this for some reason… I just thought I was that in to it… I mean I have no current plans of social media domination, but… it turns out I am just as vulnerable to needing to be liked online as the next person… I think this is going to be good for me… even if it just makes me more aware.

I also can’t decided if strava counts as social media… I have still been using it because it isn’t something that pops into my mind when I think about social media… but it is social and you do get ‘kudos’ for exercising from those who follow you… it’s not quite the same, but it’s probably not far off… but I am not ready to forego my exercise stats.

Captains Log – Day 4

Date: Wednesday 23.10.19
Today’s forecast: Sunny. Maximum of 27
Sunrise: 6:25am Sunset: 7:45pm

Ok… just as a side note… you may already know this, but I have learnt that each day the sunrise just gets earlier by a minute… and two at maximum and the sunset gets later by the same… I mean it makes sense… but I had just never noticed it before…

Captains Log – Day 5

Date: Thursday 24.10.19
Today’s forecast: Sunny. Maximum of 34
Sunrise: 6:24am Sunset: 7:46pm

There are photos of Isaac and I on Facebook… we went to a party… I know they are there but I can’t see them… I have to wait… I can wait… but I know they are there.

Captains Log – Day 7

Date: Saturday 26.10.19
Today’s forecast: Windy with showers. Maximum of 16
Sunrise: 6:21am Sunset: 7:48pm

Good news, I’ve almost made it, the end of my 7 days is in sight… and the even better news is that the last few days have come and gone without too much longing… so much so that I didn’t even bother to write a log to distract myself.

To be honest though I am not sure if it got easier because I was learning to live without it or because I had made it half way so I knew I wouldn’t have to wait much longer.

Doing this just for my list has been good for me. I’ve always envied those who live social media free, I think in many ways it’s quite liberating. I have started to pick my phone up less… but only a little… and I would like to think I have been a bit more present in my own life… I have however missed a few things, nothing life and death, but there have been events and messages that I have missed… I have also felt less connected… I think being able to see people’s lives in little snapshots gives you a false sense of community and insight. You feel like you know how someone is going and what is happening in their lives without having to actually communicate with them… which is wonderful for lazy friendships, but not so great if that’s what you’ve been relying on… it’s made me realise that I need to reach out and not just like things on Facebook… and that while, if I’m really honest, my bad social habits will probably return as soon I a re-download the apps… I am hoping that I might be a little bit more aware of what I am actually using it for… and if my connections are more than just 0’s and 1s.

This has been a much greater challenge than I anticipated, but I am glad I have done it… now I just have to work out what to do with my new insight so that it’s helpful and not a waste.

Yes! I am Running,

This time two weeks ago I was enjoy the post run high after running (ish… there was some walking) my third half marathon… and it was emotional. I cried at the start line and I cried a lot at the finish and I have realised that this event had been holding so much emotion within it that I wasn’t expecting.

I am sure I am not the only one that feels like this year is really busy, busier than years gone by, and I don’t know if the world is just spinning faster, or if it’s just what happens when you try to balance work and mum life… but it has been a full year. The last couple of months, in particular, have pushed me past busy into stressed and tired and overwhelmed. I have been working more, Isaac is busier in himself… being 2 is hard and busy… there is so much playing to be done between naps. Dave have also been busy with School and our weekends have been packed with things, albeit fun things, but things all the same. There hasn’t been a lot of downtime. We have also rearranged out living spaces at home to move the TV out of the way and be more deliberate about not watching it, but I am not sure if this has helped with the downtime or made it less relaxing. Anyway… the point of all of this has been that I have been feeling overwhelmed, really overwhelmed and probably since the beginning of term 3 in July, I feel like I have been racing out of control from one event to the next, living by my calendar and just hoping for the best in between. It’s not a super fun way to live… in fact in kinda takes the joy out of all of the events because the next one is already bubbling away in the back of your brain.  

While my life was slowly spinning out of control, I had also been attempting to train for this half marathon… and while I probably took it more seriously than I have previously, making sure that at the very least I did all the long runs and something else, I forgot how hard it was to include training when life was simpler (I know it didn’t feel simple at the time, but I know with hindsight it was). Adding a dependent child in, really stops you from just going for a 2-hour run spontaneously… you have to plan this stuff… especially because Dave needs to do the same run as well. There was a lot to do and not a heap of time… but it’s done and I made it and the relief is very very real.  

I have been talking about doing this half marathon for almost 2 years, using it as a delay tactic to avoid talking about having more kids… because you can’t run a half marathon and be pregnant… (although according to one lady’s race bib I saw while running… ‘Baby on Track’ that’s not entirely true… apparently you can). Anyway, I realised as I stood at the start line that this was the last event in my mind… this was where I had been heading… I also started to panic, overwhelmed by the fact that I was about to run 21.1km and I wasn’t sure how well I would make it… I knew I would most likely make it, but I didn’t know how well, or what that would look like. I was also overwhelmed by the crowd, so many people all ready to achieve this together, people of all shapes and sizes, for all different reasons, running together. I think that part of me was also overwhelmed because I didn’t have a plan for what was to come next… That after this, I was done with events and things, even if it was only for a little bit.  

As I started to run I remembered a song I had listened to on previous fun runs and dug it out of my music collection and pushed play on ‘Home’ by CityAlight… these are the lyrics:  

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home 

Jesus lead me day by day
Fix my eyes upon Your face
Guide my feet, Lord, as I run
Hold me Saviour in Your love 

Jesus keep me free from sin
Help me fight the war within
Shield me now from fear and doubt
Break these chains that weigh me down
Oh we sing together now 

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home 

Jesus You have run the race
Perfect love and perfect faith
We are weary, You are strong
In Your grace we carry on
Oh we sing together now 

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home  

It became my prayer for the first 3km… a very literal prayer from eternal words… that Jesus would guide my physical feet as I ran the Melbourne Half Marathon.  

I realised as I ran how much of the last three years I had hidden in this event, delay, disappointment, fear, and expectation. That somehow if I could get through those 21kms, I could forgive my body for not carrying and birthing Isaac or Josh the way I thought it should have. That if I could just get through those 21km I could prove to myself that I am strong, that I am capable, that I can still do hard things. That if I could just get through those 21km, then maybe I could finally let myself hope and trust myself enough to see a brighter future.  

As I crossed the line, I felt like a weight and been lifted off my shoulders, I fully relaxed for the first time in a long time and it wasn’t just a physical relax because my muscles couldn’t do anymore, but an emotional and mental relaxation. I felt lighter and hopeful but also just so so relieved. Relieved that I had made it, relieved that it wasn’t awful, and relieved that my body hadn’t let me down again… that I was stronger than I believed.  

21.1km is a long way… and it takes a long time, even longer when you run at my pace… but it also gives you a lot of time to reflect and think if you want it and finishing it is empowering.    

2019 List Update… Autumn Edition

Ok round 2… List update here we go… strap in…

March

Once we hit March, our listing adventures slowed down a little, but we still crossed off 4 things… I splurged with a brunch alone and blogged at my old favourite cafe which was no. 68… but I already blogged about that here, and while I thought I might get a few more weeks to do more blogging brunches, I was mistaken as in March I also returned to school to do some relief teaching, no. 7 which was an end to my bonus child free days (completed: 15/03).

When looking up things to pop on my list this year I came across a recommendation for the dragon’s eggs in Kallista so I added it to the list and on a sunny weekend Dave, Isaac and I went for a trek through the bush to find them. It turned out to be quite a trek too as we took a wrong turn very early on and what should have been a 300m walk ended up being a 7km loop, but it was an adventure and we did find the nests… to be honest, they were actually quite hard to find and a little underwhelming after 7km… but we found them and that is all no. 46 on the list required (completed: 16/03).

Our last March list activity was no. 81, have a picnic (completed: 15/03). With daylight savings coming to an end, we decided to make the most of the light, the warmth and the oval across the road and have a fish and chip picnic… judging by our faces in the list picture… it was a success!

April

April was also a mildly successful listing month… we crossed off another 4 things… No. 9, my 50th parkrun, which you can read about here. We also crossed off our third zoo for the year venturing out to Werribee open range zoo, which was super fun and crossed no. 4 off the list (completed: 11/04). I have always had a love hate relationship with the zoo… I had bad date there as a teenager and until now when I have thought about going to the zoo it has always come with a uuuuggghhhh feeling… but going to the zoo with kids is totally different. We took Isaac to the zoo for the first time last year and he loved it and the older he gets the more he loves it. It’s nice to be able to watch him take the lead and decide what he wants to see, plus now that Dave and I are members… and we have been to all three all the trips from this point on are free… and a good day out. Welcome back to my life zoo trips.

This month we also started our brief, but enjoyable love affair with Hello Fresh! I love things that are all ready to go, and I love not having to decide what to eat… so Hello Fresh was a winner for us… but eventually we got sick of it… and it’s pretty expensive, but I now that we’ve tried it, we can keep it in the back of our minds as a back up for whenever we need it again, thanks no. 94 (completed: 08/04)

In April I also went to my only footy match for the year (no. 26, completed: 22/04)… Hawks v Geelong for Easter Monday, I always forget how much I enjoy going to the footy… but I can’t tell if it’s just catching up with my Aunite Barb because we spend a lot of the game just chatting.

May

In May I managed to cross another 4 things off the list… consistency seems to be the flavour of the list this year. I finally volunteered at park run… no.44, which you can read about here, and I took myself out for a cup of tea at Robinsons bookstore at the Glen and it was lovely. While I was there I read… although I read on my kindle which felt a little bit like a slap in the face for a bookstore, but what can you do… I am a messing person and I didn’t want to get food or tea on a book. I love bookstores… but I love bookstores with cafes even more… no. 79 done and dusted (completed: 08/05)

I don’t think it’s a surprise that I am a hard core trekie…. ok, maybe not hard core, hard core, but I do love star trek. Since finishing Next Gen last year I have watched all of Star Trek Enterprise and all of Star Trek Voyager, leaving me with Deep Space Nine and the original series, both of which I have now also finished… I told you, I love it! But all no. 29 asked for was deep space nine (completed: 09/05) so it’s done and some! I do now have a fairly large Star Trek shaped hole in my life, so if you know of a good series I should commit to, let me know.

May also gave me the single greatest renovation to our house… completing no. 86 (completed 12/05) we got a bath and it is great… I mean sure it’s mostly for Isaac and he also loves it… but I don’t think he appreciates it like I do… I also love the bath caddy we got for it… bath reading, or Netflixing with a drink… brilliant, sure my Diet Coke isn’t as fancy as the wine in the picture on the box, but it’s still pretty great.

Ok… so that was autumn… time for another break in writing… hopefully it’s not too long before I write up winter…

Bookclub Confessions

Ok… so at the very beginning of the year I posted about joining a book club… I read January’s book and loved it and then they announced Feb’s book and I was underwhelmed… that combined with the fact that I couldn’t source the book in hard copy (I had decided that if I was going to go all in and either purchasing the book or borrowing it from the library), meant that I decided to go rouge…. I decided to pick my own book… a book that I had been given for Christmas… a book that was much much longer than February’s book suggestion… and unsurprisingly it all went down hill from there… my little detour became a longer detour and while I have read a couple of books since then… I am not up to book 8 like I would have been if I had stuck with it.. instead I have just started book 6… I gave up my book club…

But, good news… I’m back… to the same book club, I decided that the motivation of a month and someone choosing the book for me was too hard to pass… so I’ve now smashed out August’s book and because it was still in August when I started writing this I decided to launch into July’s book forgetting that September would bring a new book, so… I am running out of time for that, but the point is I am reading again and it is good and so far the books have been great.  Maybe I should have given the Feb book a chance and then I wouldn’t be in this mess, maybe I shouldn’t have judged the book by it’s cover and blurb… but that’s in the past…  here we are now and I am back to reading… and back in the book club.

Watch this space.

It’s time for a List update… Part 1.

It’s not often that I find myself sitting in a cafe alone twice in the one week, but when you have a free hour and the baby is hanging out with Daddy, you seize the moment with all that you have… when I told Dave I had a bonus hour his response was go and write a blog somewhere, so that’s what I am doing…

That was 4 months ago… and then life happened… as it always does, but it’s time to get back on the blogging horse and do a massive list update. I find these hard to write despite having the content already… its hard to write them in a way that keeps things interesting… but I will do my best… are you ready?

Its the beginning of August which means we are now well over half way through 2019 and seeing as this blog is taking me forever to write I have decided that I am going to release it in parts… because some blog is better than none… So… 2019’s list… well so far in 2019 I have crossed 34 things off the list… just over a third… but I’ve only blogged about 3, so here are the rest…

January

January was a good month for the list… we crossed of 7 things:

My bestie was home for Christmas and so we walked, no. 50 (completed: 08/01), and I went to the movies with her to see Mary Poppins Returns, no. 96 (completed: 02/01).

We purchased a standing desk for our home office, and while I am still working out the best system to get the right balance of standing and sitting, I can now ‘work on my feet’ as requested by no. 88 (completed 07/01), and I love it. It helps break up my tasks and it gives me a reason to move a little more while I work. Although apparently I still don’t move very much even when I am standing… sometimes I can stand for an hour to work, but it’s not enough movement for my watch to register that I have stood… we’ll add this to the list of things I am working on.

I am proud to say that I have finally finished the bible plan I started two years ago… to read the bible in a year… it may have taken me well over 2 years, but it’s done and no. 65 (completed 24/01) is crossed off. It’s also the first time I have read through the entire bible front to back… I am glad that the pressure of the plan is gone, but also that I have read the whole bible… it’s a good book.

On a fun afternoon with Pheebs, Isaac and I made our own play doh.. although Isaac wasn’t as impressed as Pheebs and I were, but that was no. 27 (completed 25/01),

At the end of January, as Isaac started to try some longer days at childcare I went back to the pool and swam some laps, no. 30 (completed 29/01). This was seriously good, I am going to try and do some more of this in 2019… there is something very calming about the quiet of the water and the regularity of the laps… it’s good for the soul… and the body.

The other January list item was my baby brother’s wedding… but I already blogged about that here.

February

Feb was another good month for listing… in fact it was just as good as January because we crossed off another 7 things…

I’m not sure if its the same need for me to know things that brought about my interest in brids… but I have also taken to looking at things and thinking… I could do that… or I can fix that… so here enters no. 80 learn a new skill (completed 03/02), I am becoming a sewing wizz… well that may be an overstatement, but I am getting better at it.  In Feb I learnt how to do a ladder stitch which I used to fix the lining of my hand bag which had given way after some misuse on my behalf.  Since then I have repaired the same bag twice more, fixed a soft toy of Isaac’s and managed to preserve Josh in the Curious George plush that we brought and that held him just before we said goodbye. I had been umming and ahhing about getting this professionally done, and even though it took a long time, I am now glad I waited and that I was able to do it myself.

In the same vain as no. 80, no. 08 ‘Use my sewing machine’ (completed 10/02) is also crossed off… although rather than repair works this was mostly to help me also cross of no. 12 ‘Finish Isaac’s Quiet book’ off the list too (completed 28/02). Isaac’s quiet book has been a labour of love… it’s taken me a lot longer than I thought it would, but it has already had a lot of use… it’s basically a felt book full of felt activities that don’t make any noise, but in theory keep him occupied and quiet at church… or other places that require children to keep it down for any length of time… although it doesn’t keep him as quiet as I would have hoped… we’ll work on that bit.

Isaac started finally started his swimming lessons this year and I got my first chance to hop in the pool with him on the 21st which meant we were able to cross no. 53 off the list. In fact it’s been a big month for my mum list items… we also crossed off no. 33 ‘Be ok with Isaac going to childcare’ too… I am not sure if I will ever be totally comfortable… but I think ok is an accurate description right now.

The last item I was able to cross of the list in Feb was no. 100… ‘Listen to at least one audiobook’ (completed 27/02). Before having Isaac to listen to a lot of audiobooks… but I have found this much harder to do sharing my car with little ears as my book choices aren’t always baby friendly… but this one, ‘Stronger than the Struggle’by Havilah Cunnington was… I am hoping to find some more… or maybe when he is a bit older we can pick them together… but to be honest I am probably going to stick with my usually super safe ‘Stuff You Should Know’ podcast for now (which by the way is a ripper… you should totally listen to it too).

Ok… so that’s the first two months of the year… and it’s taken me months to finish this far… so I think it would be a good idea to take a break here and post it… so that you can catch up… while I attempt to start writing the next update… hopefully that one will take less time… but we will see.