Saturday, December 8, 2012

Committing Myself... To a Week of Micro Workouts

I have been struggling a bit lately. I don't think I have fully attempted to explain my issues at any point - you probably don't need that shit. (Although there is a bit if you are keen on that kind of stuff in Why Change? and Honesty Honestly.) Essentially, I suffer from anxiety and change is incredibly unsettling for me. I completed my engineering degree a few weeks ago and this coming week is grad week.

Up until all of this change I had been working out pretty consistently. Which in itself is a pretty big thing for me - I mean I've always done fitness 2-4 times a week but I haven't done dedicated work-outs and gym work outs and sprinting and stuff individually before now. The whole fitness movement bothers me, the attitude of the people in it, the winner-loser nature of it, the fact that you can never ever be good enough.. ever. That stuff is incredibly unhelpful for me.

Unfortunately being stressed under the change pressure ensures I have a sensation of paralysis. Forcing myself into anything becomes really hard. At the moment it can take me over an hour to convince myself to leave my room, or that I need to make my bed, or that I should read that book over there for fun, or that I really need to leave to get to that appointment on time. So forcing myself to do fitness activities, which is honestly even more stressful for me, can take half a day of working myself up to it.

I've also lost my gym buddy to the dark side. I can't handle being around her anymore. She has got the whole 'gym is the future' (that is to say gym is the only thing worthy in life) attitude going on. When we are together anything I say she replies with nothing and everything she says has something to do with her gym buddies. We've been away from school a few weeks (the big gap between the end of classes and the graduation) and in that time she went ahead and found new gym membership which I couldn't get because I was only in our hometown for 2 weeks. Which just emphasised that fitness was more important than our relationship. Not even, that doing fitness in a very narrow minded way was more important than our relationship. She's my best friend and has been since early high school - but I think I understand how couples divorce after being married for many years.

I think I've summarised why fitness is hard for me. Now I am going to summarise what I am going to do about it. I can't handle going to the gym anymore - that dear friend is one of those people who gets to be bosom buddies with everybody and I just can't take it. So I just need to find little things to keep myself from doing nothing all week. I know that such a small amount of work will probably still mean I'm going backwards from where I was but if it prevents me from doing 110% nothing all week it has achieved its purpose.

So I want to follow this little micro workout plan for each day of the week.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'll do additional abs in the form of:

For 10 minutes, starting on the minute complete:
10 sit-ups
15 crunches
20 bicycles 

Then on Tuesday,Thursday and Saturday I'll also do this Legs Workout.

Then the current plan is to do this every other day and run on the other days... but I am allowing myself to say I might skip cardio completely on some days because if I am not willing to go outside I am not going to force myself for this week and I physically can't do jumping based cardio for 6 days in a row - my shins don't love me enough.

So yes, this is my big plan. I've put it up here to commit to it. If anybody is looking at them and liking the pretty pictures - and you don't recognise them as being Pinterest specials... Might I suggest you check it out. I have a couple of exercise boards on my Pinterest here but feel free to just stroll the main 'Health & Fitness' category.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Things I love about... Solo Road Trips

Yep, had to get down to the nitty gritty eventually. Truly hard hitting issues like enjoying road trips. By myself. Because I am cool like that. Seriously though, if you've never tried it. Try it. Road trip alone. Not like a 10 day across the continent (you have to work up to that sort of thing) just like a good 8 to 20 hrs. A nice overnighter.
(Yes I was alone and driving when I took this - judge if you wish)

My road tripping experience - well I wouldn't call it 'extensive' - I would say is a bit above average. In the last month I have travelled about 5,000 km on Australian highways and visited all 4 East coast capital cities (Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane). This isn't normal for me or anything. However when you are from QLD but live in Canberra the 1 and a half day drive (well 2 drives really one of these in both directions) starts to get to be an annual ritual. I've taken all the highways, I've even taken the 'what on earth is inland of the Newell Highway' route in the year of the floods - oops. My advice? Don't take that one - its got dirt and shit... you don't need to be out there alone.

Each time I do it, it gets quicker, not that I speed more than I used to (well I'd like to think I don't) just because time flies when you're having fun. And I am having fun. Nothing beats it, for these reasons:

1. Nothing else you are 'supposed to be doing'. Few times in my life do I feel as unfettered as when I am driving distance. At that point there is nowhere else I am supposed to be, nothing I am supposed to be doing. Driving from point A to point B IS the objective. It means whatever else you are doing - that optional extras... I mean you probably aren't reading books. (Only probably because hey, audiobooks?) However driving isn't all consuming so whatever you are thinking or listening to etc... it doesn't have to be work related because you are already doing the only work you need to do.

2. Work at your own pace. Going solo may sound pretty dull. Nobody to talk to. Nothing but the changing colours of the concrete on the road and new place name signs (both of which probably belong in a second set of 3 about things I love about road trip scenery). However, you stop when you need to, you eat when you need to, you listen to whatever you want and as loud as you want. Perhaps you want to get to Newcastle or Taree or Moree or wherever. You go to where you want and you stop.

3. Sing at the top of your lungs. I love CDs. It depresses me really that CDs and short playlists have gone out of fashion. I am a 'listen to music to sing' person most of the time. (I usually become a 'listen to music to listen' person about 5 hrs into a road trip at which point I start radio surfing - Triple J can be picked up in a lot of places.) I like having 10-100 songs of which I know or wish to know the words to. I mean I like having 50000 songs or whatever, but I prefer it when my music is reoccurring and consistently familiar when singing along at the top of my lungs. I am country and pop most of the time - so a disk of glee soundtrack and a few disks of contemporary country and I'm all set.

Friday, November 30, 2012

22... the end of age.

Punch-line ruiner: I don't think 22 is old... just not a number that matters.

It was my birthday on Wednesday... it's possible I've mentioned that before. Oh well, this is my blog and I reserve the right to repeat myself as often as I want.

I turned 22 on Wednesday (see repeating myself). The brushed over older sister of 21 or the more infamous 21+1 (because everybody has to start lying sometime). It's a matter of perspective. However no matter what you call it 22 is the beginning of adult monotony. Where social position is no longer judged by age but by place in life.

To be clear, this happens before 22... it really starts to kick in about 18-19... however both 18 and 21 are pinnacle birthdays. 21 has more tradition. 18 is perhaps more applicable in Australian society. There is an element of 'if you haven't reached this point you aren't as old as you think' to the birthdays. Twenty-one in particular is the 'big send off' - that last ditch effort by the family to embarass you in front of all of your other family and probably several friends who have only every known the full grown you. Not that I had a 21st... but I've been to several.

22 is not a pinnacle birthday.22 is a nothing birthday. Nothing differenciates you at 22 from 23,24,25,26... until you hit thirty (and then you are OLD apparently - though my sister thinks I am old as it is). No. Age doesn't really have a purpose any longer. It is merely a guide line. That is - I am more likely to expect them to be 'married with school-aged kids' if they are in their 30s...  I'd like to similarly hope that is not the case when talking to somebody who seems early 20s.

Instead I think of life from now on in different 'ages'. Not unique, you probably think in these too and they are probably in some woman's magazine somewhere. However mine are as follows.

  1. Singles. Woo! I am officially in the 'baby' category of adulthood. Here lies the majority of singles although under circumstances singles will come to reside in a couple of the other categories... and somewhere past the 30 barrier singles may move to the 'Spinster' category. Singles may be your heavier partier types, they may just be you unattached friends. These people don't have partners, kids, or much to say on either topic. Consequently they hang out with mostly singles and perhaps a few 'Couples'.
  2. Couples. The next stage of life these people have partners, in some level of 'its kind of a new thing' through 'to be married next week'. These ones may still be hanging with the singles friends or have moved friendship circles to associate with their partners friends. Couples is a level that may be visited by singles... and then they may be 'age demoted' back to singleness. You know how it is...
  3. Young Marrieds. These are usually your 1-5 years of marriage types. However this is a time based category - just like any of the others here. Young married have no kids. These ones don't hang a lot with singles any more... they've moved into this stage of life with many of their friends usually or simply they have started to distance themselves because married life is hard.
  4. Married with Babies. Awww... Are they so CUTE! This the centre of attention couples with teeny tinies. The least likely to socialise their lives now revolve around their new child.
  5. Married with Kids. At least one of your kids has reached school age now. So rather than having that 'wrapped up in the home' characteristic to your family you are now back into community. Community with other marrieds with kids. This is the 'soccer mum' time of life.
  6. Spinsters. This is a side-liner category - which I don't easily fit into the other categories. This is those who never marry but have moved past being able to associate with singles because all their old friends are into the married categories. This also includes divorced person without kids and in certain circumstances married who choose not to have kids.
  7. Married with Teens. Obviously the next level up from married with kids. They are more independent and STILL you have no time to yourself. Instead of 'soccer mum' you are now 'taxi driver'.
  8. Empty Nesters. These are your people whose kids have all moved out of home (or should have all moved out of home). They can be a bit weird at first but eventually they get the hang of their empty nest and really begin to enjoy themselves.
  9. Golden Oldies. The properly old people. These love their grandkids to bits, pass the time as 'gray nomads' and just generally are enjoying the twilight years of their life (and probably don't know that 'Twilight' is a movie). I'd divide this category into a few - but that is really depressing and just feels wrong so we'll keep it on the bright side of old age.
And finally just to celebrate my birthday in a bouncier way. Taylor Swift's '22'.

Monday, November 26, 2012

$200 Santa Wish List Tag

Apparently leave from work makes me want to do tag posts or something... Which I wouldn't usually consider myself enough of a blogger to get on board for. I read this one on Sam Schuerman's blog this time. It struck me not just as a bit of fun, but also pretty useful. One of those people blessed with an end of the year birthday (its tomorrow in case you're wondering) I always find that thinking of good things that I actually want pretty hard - which means I just get a lot of nothings from my mum (chief gift giver of course). Seriously if I have a child with a birthday in December we will start a family tradition of celebrating half birthdays.

The premise here is pretty simple. With a budget of $200 what would I ideally like for Christmas?

1. Illamasqua Blush in Morale. $28 each. I love Illamasqua blushes, and I love Illamasqua itself for the price lowering they did earlier this year. I have bought this in the past... and very sadly smashed/spilled it... and that thing cost me $42 dollars! (Sadly it must be noted that the closest Myers that stocks Illamasqua is Brisbane City - which costs $15-20 by train :( there goes the saving)
Running Total: $28

2. Illumasqua Blush Duo in Hussy/Lover. $39. I have test the Hussy blush before and really liked it. So why not get two together.
Running Total: $67

2. Kylie Minogue Sexy Darling Perfume 50mL. $25. At least that was the price I saw at the local chemist and not on any visible special. Seems right Darling (the original) 75mL cost me $29 dollars at Big W. This is a nice scent. I am a real perfume person and I could make a list purely of perfumes that are currently on my 'to-get' list - in fact I probably will in the future. (Largely because I wouldn't mind a consolidated list for myself.)
Running Total: $92

3. Taylor Swift's Red. Her latest album - though this is more a last minute 'I want this for my birthday' sort of thing. It has a song '22' - perfect for a 22 birthday. $21.99 from Sanity
Running Total: $114

4. Toby Keith's Hope On The Rocks. Country is currently 2 for $40 at Sanity (although I'm showing full scale prices for the purposes of this list). I am a long term Toby Keith fan - seriously I could sing all the words to If a Man Answers, Should've Been a Cowboy and Dream Walkin' when most of my classmates were in the 'boy bands are awesome' mindset. The best bit? What I've seen from this album is some old school Toby Keith. Just want I've been needing. $21.99
Running Total: $136

5. Piano For Leisure Series 1 Grade 3. Not actually a new book for me. This is my old piano book. Yes, I really did do 15 or so years of piano and achieve the not so lofty heights of grade three FOR LEISURE. Its been several years and I'd like to get back into it. However I've lost my music book and when I went to replace it they only had my Grade 4 book. Yes I had moved beyond my grade 3 book however it has all the songs in it I used to be competent to play. I'd like to be able to play them again. On ebay I can find this for $34 including delivery.
Running Total: $170

6. Wool Socks. I'd like to get these early seeing as I am not at home for christmas. However a good pair of thermal socks before my holiday to Europe for Christmas itself wouldn't go astray. Long ones are prefered - and any of the earlier items (though hopefully not all of them) can be substituted for socks.$14.00.
Running Total: $184

7. Garnier Roll-On Deodorant. I don't know about everybody else but deodorant is a stock standard for Christmas at my house. So I may as well think through my choose what kind I would like. Garnier seem to work best for me. $4.72 according to the Woolworths website.
Running Total: $189

8. Colgate Travel Essentials Pack. In keeping with the 'hopefully gifted to me before my holiday' theme of the socks (although the socks are also useful for work) I figure I might as well but some hand tooth care on my list. I love the Colgate Travel kits - they are just what you need. They are also $7.41 on the mighty, mighty Woolworths website.
Running Total: $197.

I think I did a pretty good job of this list. I managed to get everything I need and could think to want in it. I do of course also have my eye on a camera as a christmas gift to myself (I do bad things to cameras and my poor darling's zoom no longer shuts correct so it is definitely on its last legs.). This pretty much sums up what I'd like for my birthday/Christmas. If I get any of it I'll be a happy girl :) but I'm not that fussed. I'll probably just end up buying them myself throughout the year.

The $150 Make Up Collection

I suppose this is a 'tag' post or sorts. Or perhaps just a 'challenge' being that there is no tagging of people at the end of it. Regardless I copied it off Project Swatch who did it in response to a Temptalia post. There is probably going to be a fair bit of make-up on my blog in the next week or so... I am bored. So it is either blog about it or be COMPLETELY unproductive... (I'm probably going to be a bit of both).

Now before I get into this I am going to re-iterate that I am Australian. That should ease the minds of anybody reading this thinking 'What the hell is she doing paying those kind of prices?'. Similarly I would never buy a lot of these things at these prices - in Australia purchasing drugstore make-up becomes an artform - Priceline sales are the bomb!

Garnier BB Cream Oil-Free (the one for Combination/Oily skin) in Light - $10.99
Except for the slight disagreement with the messiness asssociated with the packaging this stuff is amazing. (Not shown because apparently it is going to make me hunt for it tomorrow morning :/)
Rimmel Stay-Matte Pressed Powder - $12.95
Colour irrelevant.
Australis Blush in Baby Doll - $9.95
The only blush I've ever come close to finishing.
Covergirl Simply Ageless Concealer in Light - $17.95
I know its an anti age concealer and I'm oily - I suck at concealer and its the only one I seem to be able to get the hang of...

Australis Eye Shadow Primer - $12.95
This is the best eye primer I've ever tried for me eye primer is a necessity - even under things like supposed 'bases'.
Loreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Hour Glass Beige - $19.95
Honestly my favourite one is Sahara Treasure but like so much of everything it is limited addition - I bought it from a bargin bin for $7 and there is no replacing it directly.
Maybelline Colour Eye Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze - $11.95
Classics Eyeshadow Quad in Smokey Eyes Brown - $5.29
A Woolworths special. Obviously not top of the line but reasonable, and cheap and readily accessible to boot which is how I ended up with it in the first instance.
Essense Brow Designer in Blonde - $2.95
Essense Maximum Definition Volume Mascara - $5.50
I haven't managed to get the hang of mascara, or something... I do it wrong - repeatedly. This is the first mascara I've used and managed to think 'this is what I was hoping for' with. High praise indeed.
Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Waterproof Eye Definer in Noir - $6.25

Nivea Lip Care Balm Hydro Care - $3.75
Here I'm really going to go on a limb with a current but limited addition product so it has a not limited addition alternative.
Face of Australia Sheer Lip Crayons - $14.95
I love Sundae. It is my go to. Even despite the fact mine is a bit sick - it got a bit over heated.
In the absense of that... I'd have to buy the 'bandwagon' bullet and admit to a deep affection for my...
Revlon ColorBurst™ Lip Butter in Sugar Plum OR Pink Truffle - $21.95
Allow me some whimsy it would totally depend on the my mood that day they are my favourite lip products.

Australis 3 in 1 Wipes - $4.95

TOTAL - $147.33

Next I'd probably look into buying some tools, a blush brush, eye shadow brushes. Why are there no tools in the initial buy? Because I managed well enough before I got them... and a lot of my favourite tools are gifts with purchase (an Almay set from about 12 months ago) and limited addition - Sportsgirl had a great duel ended eye-shadow brush at one point which I have multiple of. Either that... or very expensive.

Final thought... if that is $150 dollars.... shit. I have far too many dollars invested in my make-up collection.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Freedom To-Do List

I was talking with one of my friends the other day about the prospect of 3 weeks off. Well, to be honest it is a conversation I've had with many of my friends. Always the same thing though, "When I go home I am not going to know what to do with myself."  However this particular friend was quick off the mark with his solution. It wasn't a difficult proposition. It was at all directed or specific. It was simply "Make a list of things you want to do. And do them."

Yes I know, not exactly a revolutionary concept. List writers have been writing lists for as long as they have been competent to write. Even I have written my share of to-do lists. However a 'middle man' list - something between a 'must get this done' list and a 'before I die in an ideal world' list - I have never thought to bother with.

Now I think I'm going to bother with it. I have 2 weeks at home - my family home. My hometown is every bit as dull and uneventful as yours probably is. So I figure why not have some things I want to do in that time?

1. Read Pride and Prejudice. I always read on my breaks. I don't often read novels that would be welcomely discussed in polite company... then again people discuss 50 Shades of Grey so why the hell not? Pride and Prejudice is the next book to justify my romance fiction reading tendencies. The other week I read Jane Eyre for the first time.

2. Read Starship Troopers. This is the last 'read' list item I promise. I have a friend who recommended this to me. Over a year ago. He is one of my uni friends so after this year we'll likely never cross paths again - so I figure I should probably read it now. Or I'll never do it.

3. Climb Mt Tibrogargan. For anybody that doesn't not it - it isn't much of a mountain - not by international standards or anything. It is, however, a pretty good 2-3 hrs up hill mountain. I've never made it to the top before - because it has some free style rock climbing going on about halfway up. But I want to try it again.

4. Re-learn my piano songs. I used to play piano. I don't have a lot of talent for it, or patience, but I did used to play and do lessons. Consequently I did used to have a number of songs I could play by heart. I can't do that anymore. I wouldn't mind getting the old keyboard out, it's around here somewhere, and relearning some of them.

5. Do a Santa Fun Run. This one sounds really specific, and really random. It is actually just do a fun run. However, I've googled it and could find 1 fun run in SE QLD in the next 2 weeks. A Santa Fun Run on Sunday Morning. Clause for a Cause - so many puns. Literally - you dress up as Santa. And run. I want in.

6. Different Make-up Every Day. Have you seen my make-up collection? Probably not... It is shamefully large. I am a horrible hoarder. Now however, when I don't have any work to look respectable for, is the perfect time to try it out and use all the bits that I don't often use. No repeat looks (there can be repeat products - I only own about 4 mascaras).

7. Exercise. A non-specific one. I just have to exercise on a daily basis. My best friend, who conveniently has the same two weeks off is hardcore fitness/health at the moment so this one won't be hard. I wouldn't mind losing a kg or two before my Europe holiday - because guarentee I put it back on then - that's life.

8. Go to the beach. I don't usually live as close to the coast as I am at the moment. Should definitely make the most of this (and my new swimmers) and make an effort to go for a swim in the sun.

9. Sew my rows in my quilt.  I am not much of a quilter. However I have a work in progress that I work on when I come home. At the moment it is all squares. Next up - sew the rows!

10. Catch up with friends. I haven't lived at home in 5 years. So along with that I don't have all the friends I once did around this town, but I still have a couple. Time to make the effort and catch up with them. Go for coffee, play some Singstar, bake some cookies... Just do something to see them. So that I don't end up with no friends. It is good practice for keeping up with my uni friends post university as well.

Not the most exciting of lists I know, but you know what? That's because it is realistic. However there still looks like a fair bit of empty time in it. I will have to investigate uses for that time... There may be some up dates / additions to the list in the future.

Friday, November 2, 2012

3 Things... That Make me Glad It is Exam Week

You probably haven't started to see the pattern yet. (I'm not sure two posts in a theme are precisely what you would call a 'pattern'.) However I have decided to make a post... whatever you call it when multiple posts follow the same structure... a series/theme? These are my 'Three things' posts - you can see the first of its kind here.

It is one thing to decide to make the posts follow the same structure but what does that really thing? After all it isn't an entirely unique concept to make lists of 3 items - which is a lot of what these posts are. These posts are my positivity posts. I have to say positive things. Being positive or optimistic is not a strength for me so I figure I need some practice.

Today's post is 3 reasons why I am glad it is study/exam week. Exams is a stressful time and it becomes very easy to lose sight of why or how that could ever be a good thing. This post is bigger than simply this blog and is about getting my head back into gear before I start a long night of thesis and a long week of exam study. Proving to myself (and maybe you too) that exams is good for you.

1. The End of Work. Now this has got to be the biggest benefit to an exam week. It is only a week or two and then you know what? It is done. Better, you probably have at least 2 or 3 weeks off afterwards. In the case of summer that is going to be more like 2 or 3 months. Your brain gets to relax, take a breather, and generally enjoy the fact that for the next little while your most challenging study is likely to be 'in work hours only' if you have a job or 'because I want to know this' if you have the luxury of holidays. 

2. Guilt-free romance novels. This one is more specific to me, not everybody would think in terms of romance novels as a reward to yourself. I read a lot of romance novels, some days I will, almost without thinking, rip through 3 or 4 of them. I'm still known to do that during the academic semester but nothing is more awesome than not having to feel bad for reading them. If at any point in the last month I have read a romance novel that has meant getting behind on my school work or on my thesis. I want exams to be done so I can read a couple and not feel in the slightest bit guilty for doing so.

3. Proof I've Learnt Something. Now I don't know about you but sometimes I sit in class thinking that nothing is sinking in. Exams are a great solution for that. They are challenging, and yet you and generally 80-90% of the course manage to pass them. If that isn't proof you've learnt something I don't know what else could be. I like sitting down in an exam I've been stressing about for 2 or 3 days and looking at the paper and having that 'I can totally do that question' moment. Sometimes against the odds, but I always come out of a course with something. What do you know - university has a purpose.

Bonus: It means my degree is over! This has got to be the best part about getting through this latest exam period. At the end of it I will be done, really done. Anybody can survive 3 exams and a thesis for the sake of having an engineering qualification in its completeness to their name. There is one hell of a party to be had a week or so from now. 

Come join my optimism bandwagon? What are three things that makes you glad that it this week (exam week if that is where you are in your studies like me)?