Enjoy Your Happiness – stop searching for something you already have

After reading books about happiness, and having several ideas of what I thought happiness was, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t some goal we should strive to attain!  Happiness is not about material things, it’s not about some picture we imagine we have to create in order to feel what we are expecting it to be.  Happiness is a feeling, and it is a feeling we can stop and enjoy at any time, it is something we have to allow.  Let me explain.

We are so busy these days trying to fit so much into our lives that we forget to stop and “enjoy” the important things.  We forget to enjoy the cup of coffee with have with friends rushing clock.jpegfor 20mins because that was all we could spare them, we forget to really stop and listen to our spouses’ debrief when we ask them about their day, we forget to listen when we are catching up with friends, instead we are thinking about being heard becasue we have our own issues and concerns with minimal time to deal with them while we have a listening ear, not to mention thinking about what else we have to get through today, trying to remember what engagements we have this week and thinking about all the chores and errands we still have to get through before dinner…  Oh, and what are we going to cook for dinner?!

Are we ever really present with people anymore?

I don’t have children, but I used to work as a sort of nanny so I understand the running around involved in the school pick-ups, shopping, after-school activities, and then there’s the maintenance of the house to fit into the day, not to mention work.  What I wonder about is where is the time to enjoy all the achievements, the precious moments you will never have again, and the togetherness that we will all miss when the family unit or close support network is no longer available to us?

Are we so busy rushing around, trying to organise everything that we’re actually already missing it?

Or does highlighting this just bring us more pressure, as we realise there is yet another aspect of life that we are failing to achieve?  OR can we use this observation to take a step back, re-evaluate and prioritise our daily goals?  Is it possible to make certain moments count, to create quality interactions, to be present in the moment and enjoy it rather than looking at the time and worrying about what else we should be doing, when those other things might be able to wait?

I may have written about this before, but this is something I really struggle with myself.  I try to fit so much into my day, I commit to things I would rather not be doing, all I look be presentforward to on my days off is half an hour on my verandah with a coffee, glass of wine (whatever the beverage is) and some downtime that isn’t occupied by tv where I don’t know where the time has gone.  A moment in the week just to be present and enjoy sitting peacefully, no rushing, no stressing and no planning.  My husband and I are both shift workers, so we don’t get a great deal of time together lately, so I have been trying to maximise the time we do get off together.  When we have a couple of hours together or when I am home alone in the evening for dinner I make two all-in dinners to put into the fridge or freezer to use for leftovers for work, or for those nights when you really can’t be bothered cooking.  It means we don’t eat take away, we can talk while we do it, we use it as an opportunity to plan our week together, and we do what we can to keep the days we have off together free of housework, meal prep and errands if we can help it.  What I really want to do is plan a weekend away with him, but so far we haven’t had enough of an opportunity where our rosters allow for it, so instead we go out to the movies, or to dinner together.

I have been getting into a magazine called Simplify, by the guys that run the facebook page “Becoming Minimalist”.  I read an article yesterday from someone who was diagnosed with cancer and had gone through time-consuming alternative therapies that left no time for social interactions with family and friends, and had ultimately made him re-evaluate his “quality of life”.  This had me thinking about where we place our values, and what I would do in that situation?  I wondered about my life choices.  I work full-time (often overtime), I never say no to people and fill my days off with things for others leaving no time to do the things I need to do, and I feel as though I am only keeping my head above water with the housework and things I would like to do.  Don’t misunderstand my dilemma, I love spending time with friends and catching up, but I am also a homebody and I feel as though I am not allowing enough time for myself to wind down, relax and de-stress.  Consequently, I am stressing in my sleep instead.

So I wonder, why are people so “unhappy”?  I feel as though this might be a topic unable to be thoroughly approached in a blog post, however, it has led me to approach my own ideas and make some of my own realisations.

What is happiness?

A quick google search leads me to definitions along the lines of “a state of emotional well-being”, “encompassing having a good life”.  While this definition is broadly generic and what you gotsubjective, it raises for me an array of new questions.  What is well-being and what do we determine as a “good life”?  Instead, I wonder if we need to set our own happiness guidelines?  My husband and I have often talked about what is important to us in the future, and it’s much the same as most people, financial freedom, travel and the opportunity to go out and do things.  He likes to go fishing, I like to go to the markets, go shopping for fabric and sew, catch up with friends, I guess fitness is important too so that we are able to do these things.  We don’t need to live in a big house by the beach, but that might be happiness for someone else, to wake up to the smell of the ocean every day.

Our long-term happiness goals are split between financial goals (that give us peace of mind rather than material possessions that we want to purchase – we would like to be debt free), time – we would like to have more free time so we are working towards getting into a position where we can both drop back at work and do more together, and slow down.  That last one is mostly directed at me, I rush around too much, and I need to stop filling my days off before they arrive.  While those are our long-term “happiness goals”, we are actually happy as we are, all that other stuff would improve our level of happiness, as we would have less to worry about, but I do wonder if that’s just life’s journey.  If we didn’t have something to achieve what would we do, and how would we know we have progressed?

Happiness is being contented with the moment!

The homeless can be happy, terminally ill people can be happy, and even prisoners can find joy in a moment during their final meal.  Our ability to be happy is not so much about some unrealistic feeling we think we should be experiencing, it’s about finding joy in what we have and not worrying about the future, even if for just one moment.

We can have a plan for the future, but we need to enjoy the journey before we miss it

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The Reality of Headaches

I have suffered from headaches since I was 4 or 5 (those are my earliest memories of having one), since then they have come and gone, sometimes they are manageable, other times what I would consider severe, and they can be regular or they can be further apart.

When I was 5 I would get the occasional one, I recall a period when I was 8 where I got a headache every day for a week, always in my sleep, but I wasn’t too distressed and they resolved.  However, once I turned 18 they got worse.  I was waking up with them, I couldn’t lay on the lounge and watch tv because I would get them, and being in the sun in the glare or in a room with fluoro lighting would also set me off.  At this time I would take panadol and neurofen and head to bed, sometimes for 2-3 days, listening and feeling my head pounding, I felt every pound wishing I was doing anything else but waiting for it to pass.  I found it so debilitating.

I’m not sure how it first came about, but eventually, I found codeine, I would take panadeine forte to take the edge off.  However, at this time I was getting them weekly and eventually, they didn’t help.  I moved to mersyndol which has a calmative, that helped put me to sleep and for a while, I would wake up with no headache, but I soon adapted to that too.  I tried a few different medications supposedly that worked for some people, none of which ever seemed to work for me, the biggest dilemma I found was that I had to take these medications at the first sign.  My headaches seem to come on in my sleep, they get worse and eventually wake me up when they are raging, but at this time those first line options are no longer useful.  I have eventually been able to come back to panadeine extra (which has a lower dose of codeine), I use this when I need to, as a last resort.  I have since also discovered aspirin, which I find quite effective, however, I have now been suffering a headache for two days.  I thought I would wake up and it would have improved, I have taken more panadeine forte and aspirin than I would normally (usually one or two doses fixes it), and I have had to resort to alternatives that I know help.  I have a migraine stick, which is a roll on of peppermint oils, it changes the sensation of the area, makes it cooler, also an ice pack can be helpful for this.  I find a change in position is sometimes necessary, for some reason I have to sit up because laying down only makes it worse.  There are other treatment options besides medication, yogaI find that yoga helps me to prevent them a little, and in the early stages of a headache it can alleviate the pain completely, I have even tried meditation exercises that can help relax my head and relieve some pressure.

Where to now?  I have a referral to see a pain specialist who deals with migraines commonly, I have previously had a chat to him on the ward at work, he wants to try a few medications to prevent them, and worst case there are always botox injections.  I don’t know how I feel about any of these options, but after 16 years of headaches, I’m starting to feel like enough is enough.

Those who don’t get or have never had a migraine just don’t understand exactly what it’s like.  As a nurse I am always assessing the pain of others, we use a pain scale you may have heard of before 1-10 with 10 being the worst pain imaginable…  The flaw with this is an individuals’ perception.  I don’t believe I have ever experienced a true 10/10, since migraines are the worst pain I have ever had, and I can function ok with them (while my hemigrainead pounds worse when I bend over and move my eyes I could still manage if I had to), but at worst I would still probably only rank my pain at a 7.  However, the pain of a migraine, though bad, isn’t the debilitating part, it’s the relentlessness of the heavy pounding and never getting a break for the duration.  At least with an injury, there is usually a position you can get into, with my headaches I have to get into certain positions and avoid other positions to prevent escalating.

The most debilitating part is the effect it has on your quality of life.  When I first started to get headaches that I consider went beyond a “normal” headache – which I would consider curable with a couple of panadol – I would be left to lay in bed from hours to days.  My only reprieve was finding a position that left my head pounding a little lighter, I would lay there and do my best to dry and relax my head, minimise eye strain and drink plenty of water.  Crying is no good either, that just increased the pressure and made my head pound harder.

In my experience migraines not only affect me physically, they affect my work and my downtime.  At work when I go in with a headache, nurses say to me I should just call in sick, but I don’t think they realise how often I get them, and that I would never have any sick leave if I did that, so I try my best to manage them there using the migraine stick and aspirin.  If you haven’t suffered from severe headaches you can’t understand the gravity of what it does to you, it makes you sick, it brings you down, I used to spend so much time in bed in a dark room, that now I try not to let them get in my way.  If I stay in and go to bed it must be bad.  And, now that I get them at work almost weekly I feel as though I need to get serious about seeing the pain specialist, as I am getting them after a busy work week and they are ruining my days off.  Although, I guess it does force me to sit and relax, even if that involves trying to manage the pain as well.

However, the take-home message is that I need to be doing some more regular yoga, and if that doesn’t help maybe a chiro or physio might not be a bad option to try.

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February: Turning Resolutions into Goals

It’s now February.  I was listening to the radio on the way to work today and they were talking about new years’ resolutions and wondering if people still make them these days, they came to the conclusion they must not be that popular anymore because they only had one caller respond.  While I was listening to this I was thinking about myself, as selfish as that sounds.  I was thinking about how I always have something I would like to achieve, even if I don’t share it with the world or with my immediate circle of friends, but I think we all have something we would like to achieve.

This got me to thinking about the resolutions we do make, and I may have mentioned this before but I tend to think they are set unfairly.  We make goals like “I want to lose weight”, “I want to save more money”, “I want a new job” and “I want to be more organised”, but these are not goals, they are outcomes.  What we should be doing is looking at the outcome we want to achieve and making smaller goals that will lead to the result of weight loss, more money in our bank accounts or more time to ourselves, meals prepared for work, whatever it is we hope to achieve.

As part of the same radio segment I was listening to they mentioned how new years’ resolutions were easy kept for January, but by the time we reach February the motivation and inspiration is all gone.  What we need to maintain our goals and dreams worth waiting foris more achievable aims.  Having thought about this I have made a few lifestyle changes, the kinds of changes that once we create habits with are more sustainable, and can continue for longer than the 31 days in January.  I have returned to meal planning, I have prepped food, I have a plan for my husband’s breakfast, and our lunches and dinners, we have made plans to get to the gym and I have recommenced yoga at home (in the hopes of improving my flexibility and strength enough to have the confidence to head back to a class), I have kept a day of my 3 day weekend for social meetings, and a day for me.  I have made a budget, a plan for our year financially, so we haven’t left our goals with unrealistic expectations.  While the road is paved with good intentions, I have so far managed to sustain these changes, but it remains to be a work in progress until these changes become a habit.

The biggest barrier to keeping new years resolutions are schedules, motivation and support.  I find the easiest way to maintain continuity is to make lifestyle changes, make small changes and remain accountable.  Tell friends or family about your goals, this might trigger a conversation about you having similar goals and maybe you can help motivate each other.  For example, I was talking to a friend about my goals this year, to lose the 3 kilos I gained over the Christmas break, make more time for friends, not allow myself to be “too busy” and to be more organised with meals for the week (we are both shift workers).  This lead to her telling me she had similar goals for the year, so we have been sharing our exercise efforts, meal planning ideas (which has been really helpful to both of us as we are trying things we wouldn’t normally have thought of and provided more variety), and we have made a plan to meet up weekly for a catch up, coffee and walk, since we both have Mondays off.

The biggest obstacle is to make smaller changes and make them one at a time.  I have to admit I haven’t done this one change at a time, however, I have reintroduced some old habits that will really help this year, and I have implemented some new ideas to help get us through it.  We want to be more organised around the house, with two shift workers we worry the house will get behind, we will be relying on frozen meals and wasting the food we have bought due to being too time poor.  So we have a routine, we make a plan of what we can do to help each other out.

These days women and men both work, men are capable of helping out around the house, and we can all do a little to lighten the load, supporting each other and enabling the other to achieve their goals.  The last few years we have been doing just that.  My husband wasn’t happy in his job and he wanted a change, so I took on the sole responsibility of providing financially while he went back to uni to re-train, he picked up the housework and I took a step back focusing on work and working a lot of overtime,.  During his second year of uni, I decided I wanted to do a post-graduate study and so we adjusted our routine again.  Now we are both back to working full time, neither of us has any study, so we are re-structuring our regime again.  We do what we need in order to achieve our goals, no matter how big or small they might be.  The main thing to remember is that we should approach them with the same attitude we would at work or with a personal issue, if you are having trouble utilise the people around you, ask for their support, or offer support if you know someone who is struggling or finding something challenging.  Share your struggles and achievements, because you just never know how much you help someone else, either by letting them see they are not alone in their struggles or by seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

what you gotIn answer to the radio host, yes I think we all make new years’ resolutions, I just don’t think we always think of them like that though.  I think we all have goals, we all have something we don’t like about ourselves or our lives, and I don’t think I know a single person who is happy with their life 100%, so happy there is nothing they would change.  While we tend to yearn for the wrong things sometimes, the things we should really be aiming for are family, friends and happiness.  However, happiness comes in all shapes and sizes, and what provides happiness for one person does not do the same for another.  Some people aren’t happy with their bodies, some aren’t happy with their health, home, income, family or job.  But maybe instead of looking at what we aren’t happy with, we could focus on what we appreciate and love.

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Happiness Project: January – Slow down

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I wanted to recommence/continue the “happiness project” I was attempting last year.  Part of this was to improve my accountability I think, set goals that I could chip away at, and hopefully improve the chances of their longevity.  This year I want to do the same, only I’m hoping with fewer distractions I will be able to maintain my consistency.

My new years’ resolutions were primarily to get on top of my time for myself, but I would also like to add a few things, like being more mindful of certain things.  So I have decided the month of January would be about making time for me, even if that’s a little time for reading, sitting on the verandah watching the storm (like I did tonight), going for 20180109_2050111202848350.jpga walk, to the gym (as this helps me organise and spend some time with my thoughts), or whatever I feel like doing at the time.  Additionally, I want to be more present.  I have decided that means I need to implement some strategies around my approach to other people, I want to be more patient, calm and on a personal level I want to be more laid back.  This will mean I have to identify when something is making me feel stressed, anxious or impatient, and implementing strategies to manage and de-escalate before I react.  As easy as it sounds, I don’t think it will be that easy.

I have done a lot of reading around anxiety and happiness in the last 6 months or more.  I read Gretchen’s book “The Happiness Project”, my inspiration for this idea, and the reason I decided to start a diary to track my progress.  I started one last year but it sort of fell away, so this year I want to make regular entries about my plans and progress, a reference for me to look back at.  I was thinking about extending it to writing about my concerns as this seems to help me psychologically, allowing me to deal with things and move forward with a clear and uncluttered headspace.  I also thought this would help to identify triggers and look at how I have dealt with things, enabling me to make plans for following months or even projects if this gets that far.

I have been reading Sarah Wilson’s “First, We Make the Beast Beautiful”.  Although I wouldn’t have thought I suffer from anxiety, after reading a little over half of the book I am looking at some of the experiences she describes and wondering if I don’t have a little in some areas myself.  I find this realisation has enabled me to identify some areas I struggle with, and I am hoping to address them this year.  I find the book interesting, and I am learning quite a lot about human interactions and reactions, something I have been interested in more recently.  I want to be nicer, be less stressed, more patient and relaxed, therefore I have been reading books to provide me with some more insight, the only way I know how to learn about things.  I don’t do as well watching, searching on youtube, I enjoy reading, and learning from the research and others experience.  This is the first step for me in making changes I am yearning for, I need to identify what they are, and realise what could help me manage them.

If I have learned anything, it’s that we can’t change other people.  Well, we can I guess a little, it’s what happens in a defacto relationship or a marriage.  We combine our lifestyles, we share an existence, that requires one or both of us to change, either to the other person’s ideas or to meet in the middle.  For instance, I never ate breakfast for such a long time, I usually have brunch and dinner, however, when I met my (now) husband I decided it was rude to cook him breakfast and not eat with him, I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable.  So I started having breakfast.   I’m sure that was not the main cause, but I ended up gaining 6kgs.  I have since found a way that he can eat his 3 solid meals a day and I have gone back to my usual routine, but I made the effort to change for him, it didn’t work out for me, now he makes his breakfast and me a coffee first thing in the morning, then we have lunch and dinner together.  Additionally, he was against cats, he hated them, said he would never have one and thought they were horrible creatures.  He ended up buying me one, which he grew to love, and recently he decided we needed a cat to keep our original cat company, and now we have 3 new kittens.  I know those examples sound like he’s always changing to what I want to do, but additionally, he is a mad fisherman and I will make the time to pack a picnic, chairs, blankets whatever it takes to go with him because he wants the company.  We work together, we have both compromised and find it works well to combine our routines.

Which leads me to January’s rules:

  • Take at least 20-30mins daily where possible to be present – this will assist with patients
  • While every action has a reaction – reassess, and ask yourself is this important?  What was the intention here?  Take a breath and then respond.
  • Do something kind
  • SLOW DOWN! Stop rushing, take the time, and don’t overbook your time
  • Take time out for a social appointment – aim for once a week.  Anything from a date night/brunch with the partner, to a coffee with a friend
  • Spend less time on social media


These goals might be ambitious for the first month, but I believe some of them are important to others.  I want to spend less time on facebook, on my phone and more time being present with people.  I want to be less cranky, impatient and rushed, so I think engaging in things that make me present are a great idea, being with friends, exercising and reading/sewing is a great way to try to start chipping away at this idea.  ‘/

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New Years’ Resolution #1: Making the Fundamentals Fun!

Although it’s only the first week of the year, here in Australia it’s only the 3rd day of the new year, and I am doing my best so far to make the most of it.  I decided this year was going to mark the beginning of regaining our balance, after three years of my husband studying, two years of my study, saving for weddings, and a house, we are finally in the position we have been working so hard to get in.  Therefore, we have decided we need to find a happy medium between work, home, friends and I know I need to start checking in with myself a little more.

While there are those out there with new goals for saving money, losing weight and improving work life, I want to take a new approach to balancing my time and making some for me.  I decided the best way for me to make a good start is to get organised while I’m on my Christmas holidays, to spend my last two weeks getting into a good routine and getting myself organised.

The first goal for these holidays at home (since we got home from the family holiday), is to get the house in order, while not losing my time for me.  Yesterday my husband and I went around and did a surface blitz around the house, today I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do, clean up the kitchen.  This sounds like an unnecessary project, but I have a horrible pantry OCD issue.  I have been spending years getting my kitchen organised, and every time I feel like I’m making progress, I take a step back, I look around and feel like the pantry still looks untidy.  My husband says I need to forget

about it, cupboards get untidy and I should just close the door and pretend it doesn’t exist.  However, I can’t do this, I get more and more frustrated when I go to cook something and there are five things in my way, I’m knocking things over to something from the back of the pantry, and all I want to do is drop everything and sort it out.  So, today this was my first accomplishment of the year.  I started by trying to move my modular mates (Tupperware – containing staples), and it just went from there, I ended up sorting and rearranging half the kitchen.  I’m happy with it so far, but we’ll see how long it lasts that way.  The next goal is my sewing cupboard and our spare wardrobe that has become a dumping ground for a few things we weren’t sure what to do with when we moved in November.  I am hoping by the end of the holidays to get through the cupboards and with some help sort out and tidy up the garage, that will take care of everything we can in this house, until we can do some renovations and additions later in the year.

With a clean and tidy house, with everything where it should be, I would like to get on top of our routine.  This year we will both have different work rosters which will make it hard to coordinate things like housework and dinners, therefore I plan to get back to the old pattern.  So next week I will begin planning meals; all in meals we can freeze and reheat for when we are on alternate shifts, and meals I can cook when I’m home, even it means putting his aside for another night.  We need breakfast options available for him to have on the go if need be for when he has morning shifts, as I don’t eat breakfast, lunch options which can always be dinner leftovers, and this year I want to start looking at making healthy, sugar-free snacks.  Speaking of dietary options, we are also in the process of cutting back our sugar content for our new sugar-free adventure with Sarah Wilson.  I have been finding it hard to be prepared at the moment, but we have only been doing this for two days, so we are still learning about what we can eat and what we should avoid, while the book recommends not going cold turkey, we have been trying to avoid it where we can, with the exclusion of alcohol at the moment because I’m on holidays but I have been making better choices.

Exercise.  I feel like every other person setting their own goals for the year talking about diet and exercise, but I am feeling good that we have made it back to the gym, and not just for our personal training sessions.  I would like to include some outdoor activities, hiking, running or walking, in addition to yoga for my headspace, so I plan to start some home yoga tomorrow to try and prepare my flexibility and strength for a studio or gym class.  I also have a plan for returning to pole dancing but the term hasn’t restarted yet, but that is on the to-do list.

The most important part of my plan is to make more time for things I enjoy, and to
be in my own headspace, take the time to slow down and relax, something I haven’t been doing for the last few years.  I was talking with a friend today about how we were both planning to try and make an opportunity at least weekly to meet up with friends for social catch-ups, our plan is to be less busy, to go to work, come home, do the house things and catch up with our friends or in my instance read a book, head to yoga or go for a walk and relax.  The most important part.

I feel as though I have been spending at least the last two years rushing around, living on high and constant levels of adrenaline, it’s affecting my sleep, the frequency of my headaches, my level of patience and of course my stress levels.  So as usual, and in accordance with my “self-help” nature I have been taking at least the end of the day for me, to read a book and have a drink on the balcony in the summer breeze, watch a movie with hubby, pet our kitties (pets are meant to be good for our mental health), I’m taking on some breathing exercises at bedtime before I get to sleep, so alleviate the fear or getting to sleep in case I wake up with a migraine.


Take home message:

Make time for fun as well as routine, and don’t lose sight of the important things.  While feeding ourselves and getting in some exercise is high on the importance list at this time of the year, we can prepare and set goals as long as we check in with ourselves from time to time.


The trick, however, is not to do all this while it’s easy like it is right now because I’m on holidays, but to maintain it, and then move it into the work routine.  Make it all business as usual.  They say it takes twenty-one days to form new habits, so I have to make it past the end of my holidays just to make it stick, that will be the hard part.

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Here’s to New Years Resolutions!

It’s that time of the year again where we start to make our new year plans for what we hope to achieve.  More money, lose weight, new jobs or less work are all sounding like familiar new years’ resolutions.  We have had quite a year in 2017, even more if you look at our last two years.  We got married, went on our honeymoon, I have worked overtime every fortnight for at least 18months, we moved into a share house to save money while we were applying for a home loan, we had a lot of issues going back and forth with the lender asking for more and more documentation, and then we bought a house, moved again, my husband finished his second university degree, and now he has secured a new graduation position for this year.

I guess you could say this is my token new years’ resolution post.  But I haven’t made the traditional goals for myself, I have gained weight over Christmas and of course, I plan to get rid of it, but that’s not the goal.  Our new years’ resolutions need to be more than a final product, but rather should be a list of the things we will do to get there.  If we don’t have a defined plan of achievable goals we will always be disappointed in our ability to set ourselves up to fail.

nyeCollectively my husband and I have decided we want to be healthier because we have had quite a bad year, living in share accommodation saw our diets take a back step, and ever since moving house we haven’t been able to get our routine back, now we are planning to rectify some pathology abnormalities and generally improve our intake and fitness.  I have allowed my exercise regime to somewhat fall apart, the only time I get to the gym these days is when we have plans with the personal trainer and I know I need to go so I don’t let someone else down.  For the most part, I guess the goal is to get our routine back, be better prepared and organised enough to manage meals, laundry and life as a shift worker again.

So what are our resolutions for this year?  I like to steer clear of the traditional ones, but this year I have a holistic approach.  We have most of the things we were working towards now, and therefore our goals are changing as we yearn for health and more quality time.  I have broken my resolutions/goals for the coming year into categories;

  • Personal
  • Health
  • Family
  • Work

Personal development for me this year is to have more time in my own headspace.  I have been dealing with intense stress levels for a long period of time, working full time and over time more often than not, studying full time and trying to maintain a routine of sorts.  I have been getting a lot of migraines lately and have been reading a lot about the benefits of meditation, so my plan is to give myself some time to be quiet in my own head, to get to yoga, read a book, do some sewing, anything that’s just for me at least once a week.  I want to get back to working on a 12 month “happiness project”, whereby I can chip away at little things I can change to make the most of my quality time with myself, friends and family, while hopefully being more productive and spend less time doing things that leave me feeling disappointed in all the time I waste on them…  Like facebook, and watching tv, plus I would like to spend more time on my blog, something else that really helps my headspace.  Healthwise, I plan to get back to regular exercise, meaning back to the gym 3 times a week, regular yoga practice (which overlaps with the personal goal but sometimes these things can benefit you in more than one area), and we be awesomeare embarking on a new “diet” of types, planning to cut out as much sugar as we can, eat healthier and a lot of that comes down to me being organised and motivated.  We bought the “I Quit Sugar” cookbooks by Sarah Wilson, so my plan over the coming week is to have a read and get started.  My family goal is for my husband and I is to schedule more time together, to go out for brunch together, or even just cook dinner together, sit out on our patio or balcony and have a cup of tea at the end of the day.  Our rosters are going to clash quite a lot this year so I think this will be the hardest to coordinate but if we plan ahead we should be able to fit a few hours in a few times a week, and we would like to go on a holiday later in the year.  Last of all is work.  Hubby would like me to drop back my hours, but I would only spend the time at home wondering what to do with myself as we don’t have any kids, and the financial gain could help us get ahead.  Instead, I won’t be putting my hand up for so much over time, and using my mornings and evenings to catch up on everything I missed out on while studying for the last 2 years.  I plan to get a subscription to a journal, work on my professional development, and negotiate with my manager about working towards becoming a clinical nurse specialist.

While that all sounds quite long and detailed, I have sacrificed sharing the little goals I plan to utilise to achieve all those resolutions, but the key to maintaining your goals is to make them achievable, don’t try to do it all at once, have a plan and reassess.  If you don’t have an evaluation process how will you know if you are making progress before you get to the end of the year, and if you see progress it will help you to maintain motivation.  I am constantly surprised when I talk to people about weight loss, mention my loss of 40kgs and get that amazed response from them before they ask me how I did it.  I had a lot of trouble prior, but in the end, I had to make achievable changes, and the progress made me see the benefits of my hard work, and motivated me to continue.  Changes are more easily achieved when we chip away at them and take them one step at a time.

To start the year, I have spent the day watching Sex and the City chilling on the lounge with my computer, and finished the evening on the balcony on my blog searching for a summer breeze, while my hubby heads off to the movies to watch the new Star Wars movie.  I plan to make the most of my following week, with 12 days left before I go back to work, I plan to be quite refreshed.  After all, what are the holidays for?

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Finally Back Online

It has been a while since the last time I was able to post.  We have now moved house, finally got an internet connection after about 3-4 weeks, and looking forward to getting a normal routine back.

We have made a few new additions to our family, we already had a cat, but now we have 3 kittens as well, which apparently makes me a crazy cat lady.  But, at least there’s never a dull moment and they can entertain each other.  


This was taken after getting the first 2 kittens, now there is a third. We don’t have any group photos of all 4 just yet.


I am looking forward to getting our routine back, after this last week of anarchy.  Back to meal planning and having a week or so of “business as usual” before we go away for a few days for Christmas.  What I am most looking forward to is getting back after Christmas and having 2 weeks of being in our new home, to do normal things…  Cook dinner, go for a walk, read a book, write or just watch tv if I want to, in addition to hanging out with our friends and catching up with people we haven’t seen in a while.

I am looking forward to what next year brings us, I feel as though next year is now a clean slate, not really knowing what it will bring for us.  My husband is starting a new position in a new career, we will both be nursing on shift work so hopefully, we will still see each other.  We have a few things we would like to do around the house, but mostly we are looking forward to having no study, and no commitments outside of work hours.  This is our year of enjoyment…  Hopefully!

In the meantime we have Christmas.

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