Countdown: 7 Days Until Moving Day

I have struggled to keep up with my blog this year, between uni, moving house, working overtime and now moving again.  But, things should settle soon, we are moving for the last time for as long as I can put it off, we finally bought our first house.

As you can imagine after all the suffering, stress and running around we are finally moving in next week.  So this week has been a week of acquiring boxes, packing boxes and looking around the house wondering what else I can pack, and make lists about what needs to be taken, what days to pack certain things that need to wait until closer to the day.  Moving can be hard enough, but I also have to work this week, we have a family commitment on the weekend 2hrs away from where we live, and somehow we have to finish the process while maintaining business as usual.  So, as usual, I have had to make myself a plan.

Looking at this logically I have 7 days until moving day.  In that time I have to work, movingspend one day on travel, finish packing, take as many loads of boxes across as I can to the new house to lighten the load on moving day.  I like to be as organised as I can be, so I have made a meal plan for the week, a plan of attack for packing, and a plan for our ongoing “business as usual” week.

Day 1 of 7: (today)
Day off (no work)
Organise phone, internet and foxtel
Pack kitchen supplies that won’t be needed

Day 2 of 7: (Wednesday)
Work 7am – 3:30pm
Final inspection before settlement
Meal plan – Indian chicken curry
Continue packing boxes/go for a walk

Day 3 of 7: (Thursday)
Work 7am – 3:30pm
Settlement (YAY)
Collect keys
Take a load of boxes to new house, unpack them
Pack more boxes
Meal plan – Mexican (burritos)

Day 4 of 7: (Friday)
Work 7am – 3:30pm
Personal training session
Take a load of boxes
Meal plan – leftovers

Day 5 of 7 (Saturday)
Day off (no work)
Take load of boxes on way to family commitment

Day 6 of 7 (Sunday)
Day off (no work)
Take van full of boxes to lighten the load
Unpack as able
Meal plan – leftovers

Day 7 of 7 (Monday)
Day off (no work)
Lunch with friend
Take a load over
Prepare all furniture and boxes – organise them into one place in preparation for moving day on Tuesday
Call energy company and arrange power
Call insurance company and ensure all details are correct for moving day

I think the thing I have struggled with the most throughout this whole experience has been looking around the house for what we have left, knowing that some of it we can’t mov housepack yet because we still need it, and feeling like we haven’t made any progress.  I have been out shopping looking for storage solutions to better organise my new pantry, I will be making posts on our progress as we move in.  I like to have things organised, and I plan to share our ideas and strategies, in organising our kitchen, planning our meals once we get settled since my husband and I are on a diet to help lower cholesterol (something I struggle with in the aim to keep meals interesting).  We have plans for some things we want to fix around the house; we need to get a covering over the back patio, we are getting air conditioning installed, a dishwasher installed, I am super excited to get my sewing room organised, start a veggie patch, attempt a verticle herb garden, and a personal cookbook sorted for my thermomix and Tupperware pressure cooker recipes.

Keep an eye out as I plan to get more organised into next year, I want to post more recipes, meal planning tips, and general household organising as I create my new routine.  My husband is starting a new job after finishing uni, we will both be working shift work, and most probably not be on the same shifts, so I need to have meals planned, be organised enough to stay on top of the laundry, cleaning and keep some time to do some things for myself that I haven’t been able to do for two years since I commenced my post-graduate studies that I just finished this year.  I have a knack for managing to get myself into commitments that leave me stressed, time poor and without time to relax and do things for myself.  My husband and I have decided that next year is going to be our year, to do some things for us, after having a very hard 3 years while we both studied, while we saved to get married, and then saved to buy a house.  I know we all make new years resolutions, but mine are highly achievable and revolve around getting back to things that bring me happiness; reading, working on my blog, sewing, playing the piano keyboard, and I have the garden project to work towards.  We also want to make ourselves a home and spend some quality time together and with our friends and family.  Moving house is a tiny step in the great picture, but it is a process and we want the day to run as smoothly as we can.

Updates to follow.

What has worked for you in the process of moving?  I have labelled my boxes and I’m trying to get everything organised, that’s the best we can do at the moment I think.

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What I Am Learning About Happiness!

After reading the happiness project I am trying to find ways I can improve my life and bring in happiness.  What it takes to begin with, is the realisation that we don’t need to find what the next adventure is to be happy.  No matter what we do, the next thing we think will make us happy is not the achievement of happiness we are looking for.

Happiness CAN be found on a holiday, but why is that?  I consider holiday happiness to be circumstantial, we are happy while on holidays because we are doing things we enjoy, we have no stresses of work, no concerns about “business as usual” issues like meal planning, budgeting and fitting in our daily duties and housework.  A holiday provides us with a break from all of that, personally, the idea of a holiday doesn’t excite me like it does for other people.  If I have a holiday planned I like to take extra leave from my job so I can prepare to go, and have some down time when I get home to catch up on all the things I left behind, and the extra work I created while being away (such as the onslaught of washing we created).  Others think happiness is not working.

Others think happiness is not working.  Retiring or dropping back at work, but what happinesswould you really do with your time, if you get there so early?  Some people are happy to be homemakers, they keep themselves busy, take a trip every now and then.  Some like to create themselves a routine of activities, while others have a dream of retiring to travel, something that costs money you may not have if you retire early and live a long life.  Personally, all the things I enjoy can be expensive, and for a lot of the time I don’t know what to do with my spare time, and I love my job.  I like to know I have something I need to do in the morning, I need a reason to get out of bed, I question what am I doing with my life and I need to feel I am achieving something.  Reflecting on this idea is what has made me realise happiness isn’t something we achieve by working less, or retiring to a life of travel, or even having children (while children can bring people joy – our mental health and state of mind can have a positive or a negative impact on children).  We need to find our happiness in business-as-usual existence.

We need to spend some time thinking about what we enjoy.  What do we like to do?  Why don’t we have time to do it?  And what can we do to make time, and actually be present and realise when we are happy.

Since reflecting on these things I have come to a few conclusions about myself.

  1. I find happiness in achievements.  This can be something as simple as finishing a crochet project I set for myself, I always feels disappointed when I make something for someone and have to give it away, because it is the product of all that time and effort I put into it.
  2. I like to read.  I have always loved reading since I was a child, I used to read fiction, but since I started nursing I have realised I like to learn about things.  I read biographies, books on neuroplasticity, and my husband thinks I like self-help books, but I read non-fiction books about things that interest me.  I guess then my opinions are based on my own knowledge, not just something I saw on Facebook.
  3. I like writing…  I know I’m not very good about it, I don’t get amazing grades at uni, my husband read my first essay when I started this post graduate course and he told me my writing was bad, and he has no idea how I got my degree.  But with the blog I guess I like to share, and I think we all have the capacity to influence each other, to encourage and to realise we share similar struggles.  I like sitting in the sun with my laptop, I like sharing things that inspire me, and funnily enough, my husband recently told me he thought I should write a recipe book to help people make nutritious, all-in meals that are easy to prepare.
  4. Which leads me to cooking.  I like to make food that tastes good, that’s easy to prepare and is comforting to sit down to at the end of the day.  I like trying new things and planning ahead for the week.  I also like the satisfaction of seeing others enjoy the food I’ve prepared.
  5. I enjoy exercise, although I am not always motivated to do this, I always appreciate it once I get in and get started.  I guess it’s the endorphins we get from exercise, but I believe it helps our mental health too.  I love yoga, but I have been slack lately, and getting started is my downfall.
  6. Sadly, no one I know understands this, but I love to learn.  Like I mentioned about in number 2, I actually enjoy studying.  My course stresses me out because of the time restraints and me working full time (most of the time fitting in some overtime), but I really enjoy the achievement of learning something new, of getting a decent mark (despite my poor writing) and the act of writing I guess you could say.
  7. Socialising.  As much as I like to be a home body, sitting on the couch with my laptop and a cosy blanket, like anyone I need socialising.  I like to catch up with friends, go out for brunch, and be in the company of other people.  For this reason, I enjoy nursing.  On my first prac I couldn’t believe I could get paid to talk to people all day, I realise that isn’t all I get to do, but I love that I can talk to people all day.  There are days where I have personality clashes, where I might be in a bad mood and don’t’ feel like talking and maintaining the customer service level of interaction that is expected, but I meet some really lovely people, and the gratitude we get some patients who appreciate every little thing you do for them, that someone else might take for granted.

I won’t bore you any further (if in fact, you read through all of that), but I challenge sunhappinessanyone who thinks they are looking for happiness to have a think about what makes you happy.  There are things we do every day that we do because we enjoy it, we don’t have to rely on others to provide our happiness, we don’t need a holiday, or a bigger house, or more stuff.  What we might need is just to get outside in the sunshine, to meet a friend for coffee or attempt one of the things on your list that you would describe as enjoyment.  Plan to do at least one of these things each day, even something as small as having a moment to read, meditate, and take the time to acknowledge that you are enjoying something, feel what it’s like to be happy, and stop looking forward at what you think will make you happy.  Because, that chase will never come to an end.

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We’ve Moved! Beginning Chronicles of 1 Marriage and 2 Bachelors

My husband and I have moved house now.  We have settled in relatively well I guess you could say.  We finally got the internet back on, which has been novel not to rely on using our phones as wifi hotspots when they barely have a reception as it is.  The move has not gone without its hiccups, we almost didn’t fit some of the furniture into the house, we filled the storage space we were given, but it’s all in and we are all co-existing just fine.

I finally have a few days off in a row and I decided to do something for me.  I’ve been so tired moving and working, after just having had a chest infection that seems to have taken me at least two weeks to get over I thought it was time to do something I haven’t had the chance to do in months.  So today I am burning a candle, I finished the edge of a crochet rug I have been working on for over a year now, (I haven’t touched it since last winter), and this afternoon I am heading for a run, we’re having homemade pie for dinner tonight and I am hoping in the next few days to finish off a cot quilt I started months ago.  As much as that sounds all very busy, they are all things I like to do, things that I find beneficial for my mental health and it gets me away from a screen.  Who knows there might even be time later on if I wanted to read a book, after my 13hr sleep last night I feel full of energy for a change, not dragging myself through the motions.

Our existence in the house is far from perfect, although it has been good with everyone pitching in for meals, I have definitely cooked less than I usually would, but the house isn’t as clean and tidy as I would like it.  Living with my husband and two bachelors, we have some work cut out for us.  My husband and I like to live in a cosy, warm and tidy environment, but since I have been working and unpacking for the last two weeks I haven’t had the opportunity to get some things done, my husband has been great however, staying on top of the washing that was piling up (we only wash for ourselves), and staying on top of the bathroom and the dishes.  I need to find the time for a full house clean up.

Most of all I am looking forward to getting creative again, I have a baby shower coming up for twins and I want to make some patchwork quilts for them.  I would have liked to crochet a rug each but I just don’t have the time with only 2 weeks up my sleeve I don’t think even I could manage to pull that off.  Keeping in mind the uni semester recommences soon and I have to decide if I’m going to continue or differ for 6 months.  I have plans to catch up with my piano keyboard, sewing machine and curl up with some books, that’s all I”ve been dreaming about since the semester finished.  I will post an update with my progress with the quilt and home cooked pie tonight if I remember.

I wasn’t sure how I would cope in a house of boys, I have never lived in a share house and so far I must say things aren’t going too badly.  The only real issue at this stage is the hot water system, as it isn’t keeping up with demand, something we are working on fixing.  In the meantime, I have been planning things with the gym to shower there, and friends have offered when we have been stuck, as it’s winter here I really can’t do a cool shower, maybe summer would be ok.  We all have different routines which means we aren’t all in each others hair all the time, my husband and I are shift workers so that always changes, hte other guys – one works Monday – Friday day work, and the other only works a few nights a week but stays up quite late and sleeps through the day.  Meaning we try to be quiet down that end of the house, but also a good reason to go out for the day.  For the most part I think we all pitch in together, we do the things we can see need to be done, and above all we all get along which I think is just as important.  The house would make an interesting tv show I think, not that I condone reality tv!

 

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Home is Who You Are – A Museum of Me

Moving house is a massive ordeal.  I have been packing now for two days, I have about 40+ boxes between my hallway, spare room, and pantry, yet I still feel as though I’ve barely made any progress.  I still have a lot of things sitting around on the surface that I can see, making me feel as though there is still a long way to go.  As usual, my lists have followed.  Why is it that we only focus on what we see on the surface?

You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, or so my husband reminds me.  It’s ok to display your contents on the outside, it’s ok not to display a picture perfect image of what you want people to think you are.  I have posted before about posting on social media of a life we wish to display to others, but I am someone who wears everything on my sleeve, who is very much “what you see is what you get.”  I would like to say I’m down to earth, open and too honest sometimes, not in a rude way, but I don’t consider anything off limits when I’m around family and friends.  I would like to think I don’t display an image of what I want people to think I am, I am exactly as you see.  A dag, I don’t have a trendy bone in my body, but I am friendly, caring and considerate.  What is wrong with that?

I often get annoyed at how people treat social media as a place to be someone they want others to think they are, a place to identify with what they want to be, where they aren’t displaying who they really are.  I used to share everything, ups and downs, asked for facebookadvice etc but I came to the conclusion that people are incredibly judgemental.  As the years have gone on (I have matured), and various personal circumstances with friends and family I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need anyone else’s approval, I just need to have my own happiness (something else I learned from doing the happiness resolution).  I used to try to please other people, to do what I thought was expected, but I have come to realise that I can make my own happiness.  On social media I share things I think others would be interested in, I keep my life for real interactions, and I actually “catch up” with my friends since they can’t read what I am doing on facebook.  We don’t rely on others to approve of what we are doing, to be impressed with us because they will like us for who we are regardless of what we have achieved, however they may share our achievements with us.

My home at the moment resembles me perfectly, although I am not comfortable with the mess, who is?  I am living with my belongings on the outside, as much as I live with my feelings and thoughts on the outside.  I am in the process of a transition, and that is obvious both by talking to me and by visiting me in my home.  I am about to commence night shift so this event of disarray isn’t about to go away anytime soon, but I will get through it.

Moving house is a massive inconvenience, it produces an opportunity to look at who you are as you uncover all of your history, you see where you have come from if you’re like me and hold onto things for nostalgic reasons.  It relies on you handling everything you own, deciding how much you need it, and parting with the things you have decided no longer have a place in your home.  But, how do you decide what you really need to survive with?  My husband and I are about to move into a shared house so that we can either save or build a house (we will find out soon), but part of this process means we have to put everything we don’t need into storage.  As we are sorting through our belongings I am starting to realise how much clutter we have, things we associate with that we store and never use, but that we know is there.  I have boxes and boxes in the hallway of books, we have either read and won’t read again, or what we have never read, I also have many boxes of Tupperware I have packed up thinking I won’t need to live with.  Leaving the questions, what do we really need, and why did we think we needed these things?  The simple answer is that we buy these things because we think they will provide happiness, out of convenience or enjoyment.

 

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Acquaintances, Friend or Foe?

The best way to discover who you can really rely on is by experiencing adversity.  I have a friend in hospital at the moment currently recovering from surgery, we’ve been in to visit, had an awesome time laughing and sharing stories, and just generally chatting like there’s nothing wrong.  And it’s true, there is nothing wrong, we have a pretty decent relationship between the lot of us, but tonight I noticed how good it was to just be able to debrief about whatever we want, to talk about anything and know you won’t be judged.

Recently we’ve been looking at the relationships around us, there are people we know who judge us, people who always criticise us, and those who we know are always there for us, really there for us not just because they say it.  Not that we are experiencing adversity but we recently realised we needed some assistance and a friend put his hand friendshi[up without hesitation.  Someone who is easy going doesn’t judge anyone and who accepts you as you are…  It made me realise we need more people like this around us, a positive influence, people who we can hang out with and who will take as for who we are rather than what we feel they expect us to be.  This got me to wondering, “who sets those expectations?”  Do we set our expectations?  Do we see someone else who appears to be successful and feel like we need to measure up to them.?

We have friends and acquaintances who are self-involved, who make us fee like we are an occasional convenience, who make us feel inadequate, who appear to judge us (as I mentioned), who find all of the negatives rather than supporting us, and then there are the ones who are just happy to be in our company.  They are the ones we should be seeking out and spending out time with, but why is it we spend so much time trying to prove ourselves to the ones who see or make us feel all our faults?  Why can’t we just allow ourselves to be happy?

In light of this new revelation, I have decided to resume my happiness resolution, as I have bought new books this week, once I finish this university semester, and focus on the things that make us comfortable, happy or at least content…  Hanging out with friends who are our adopted extended family, reading a book, catch up on some sewing and just be present for a moment rather than rushing around.

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Sadly, My Current Bucket List is to Attend to Hobbies

Just a quick post.  I am planning to drop uni for a semester, and I can’t wait.  With me working full time (most of the time over time), it takes over my life, I don’t have time to do anything else, the house falls behind, I don’t see anyone and I miss out on winding down.

My husband and I had a rule of no study after dinner, that was meant to enable us to spend time together in the evenings because our time together is limited as it is, however this semester although I tried to stick to this I have failed in the last few weeks.  My grades aren’t as good as they were last year, which makes me think it’s time for a break, either I need to drop back to 1 subject at uni or I need to drop back at work, since the latter isn’t an option it’s time to take a break from studying.  I’m hoping this will let me get back to having some down time.  I miss writing here, and I miss reading, sewing, playing my keyboard, getting to yoga and the gym more than once a week.  I miss having time to keep the house tidy and clean, cook and plan dinners ahead of time.  I just don’t have time to live at the moment, it’s either work or study, nothing happening in between.

We all need some time to do what we want, so I have decided to make a 2017 personal bucket list.  I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I want to do, something to help keep me motivated while I finish these last two assessments.  I want to get back my happiness resolution.  In 2.5 weeks I will be finished and back into the swing of things.  Trying to balance a life, study and sustaining this happiness resolution doesn’t seem to be working, so that’s what I will be dedicating the next 6 months to.  Especially since we are looking at moving into an undesirable situation.  Time to focus inward, now that I’ve realised I just can’t do it all!

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Analysing My Bucket List

While my husband and I are weighing up what we want out of our future, I feel as though we are missing the present.  I feel my life is made up of computer screens and work, while I try desperately to catch up on my household obligations.

We both have higher aspirations for work, while we work in the same field we want to be in different places, but he wants to go to more critical areas of nursing, whereas I like the education role a little more, but don’t want to lose working on the floor.  Having said that, we also want to buy a house, my husband wants a boat we want to be able to travel, and can’t decide if we want children or if we’re getting too old, given all of our other aspirations.  Which leads me to our newest conversation, to decide what we really want.  Our bucket list!

My bucket list has always been so simple and family oriented.  I was happy to get a house, have a family and go on the annual holiday even just a few hours drive from home.  That’s all I need, I like to have a comfortable, cosy environment which is why I want a house of our own so we can create that environment, and family to enjoy the space with while being able to go on holidays to take a break and experience new things.   My husband on the other hand just wants to go fishing and have overseas holidays, which is still rather conservative I thought, in comparison to what his bucket list could include.

So together we have to figure out what our bucket list has in store for us.  There are some things you just can’t plan for, which is hard for me as for some reason I am alway trying to stay 3 steps ahead of where we’re at.  I feel I have lost so much time, I had a late start bucketlistto my career, I had a failed marriage and here I am feeling as though I should be further into what I thought my plans were.  But life can’t be planned.  However, I could never be the kind of person who just floats through life letting it happen to me, I believe you have to make something of it, you have to make it your own.  Much the way we can all live in a house, but it’s the people, the atmosphere and the decor that you bring into it that makes you feel comfortable and enjoyable.  You have to put your own spin on it!  Unfortunately I guess I’m one of those YOLO people (you only live once), but not in the way that I want to do silly things, just that I don’t want to miss out on things I would like to do, and at the same time I am happy to work for them, but I realise at 32 years old I need to be actively working towards them now.  I guess some might think it’s a mid-life crisis event, but I like to think that I’m being proactive, and aware of planning for our future.  My husband just thinks I have control issues and what will be will be, and that I should worry more about the present, and take more time to enjoy my spare time.

Aside from the materialistic goals, there are other things I would like to do, a kind of personal bucket list of mine, that I think we should all have.  Hopes and dreams and just things we would like to do for ourselves.

  • I really enjoy writing, and I think it’s the reason I went back to uni, so I would like to publish something someday, which I do realise is so much easier these days with Amazon Kindle and e-readers being an easier approach.  I don’t know that I have the skills for writing, my husband is always editing my uni assessments but claims I’m getting better.
  • I would like to do more creative hobbies, like getting back into my patchwork, learning to play the piano properly rather than trying to teach myself, I also think if I had scheduled lessons I would practice more.
  • I would like to get outside more, enjoy the sunshine, and just spend less time inside.  Which is achievable I sometimes take my laptop out and get some study done in the sunshine, but it’s not as enjoyable as maybe taking a whole day off once a week to just be outdoors, especially when I work inside and spend most of my spare time inside
  • I would like to be more creative in the kitchen.  I don’t cook for fun anymore, just to create.  Since I have so many gadgets in the kitchen I think it’s a shame I don’t use them to their capacity
  • I want to be more accountable

I guess a lot of these things remain from my resolution/happiness project, but they are also things that I can’t do overnight.  They are things I would enjoy, that I want to bucketlist?achieve, but they are also ongoing activities.  I have so many creative projects for my patchwork, but I need to physically plan time to sit and work on them.

In addition to those things I would also like to share some experiences with my husband, we were thinking of taking a hot air balloon ride for our anniversary, and I would like to take a few small trips in our own country, to see things before we consider going overseas.  I think too many people spend money travelling overseas that they miss on the beauty and nature in their own backyards.  I’m not against going overseas, but I think we shouldn’t miss out on what we have at home as well.

My biggest problem is I guess I’m not really sure about what I want, but I know no matter what it is I will always yearn for something new.  But, I think that’s what you have to do to maintain hope and goals.  Maybe I have too much of a “what is the meaning of life” syndrome!

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