Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 In summary

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Achievements/Highlights:

  • London Marathon
  • Getting money for project
  • Going to first music festival, and seeing lots of live music
  • Salsa dancing in Alburquerque, San Francisco
  • Getting 15 patients through study
  • Moving in on own
  • Riding to work for first time
  • Finding love after swearing off it
  • meeting his family and friends
  • trying new exercises: stand up paddleboarding, burlesque

Lowlights:

  • speed dating and other dating fails
  • getting hurt, emotional rollercoaster, reliving pain – eg with man with kids, getting divorced, hearing about ex’s pregnancy
  • getting spinal nerve injury
  • gaining weight/losing fitness

what worked for me this year:

  • having a time-limited goal (eg marathon) with a plan
  • going easy on myself
  • just doing it despite desire for perfection, tendency to procrastinate, “it’s all too hard”
  • learning to manage negative emotions on own
  • having a “special friend”… 😉
  • focussing on what I could control
  • when in doubt, shutting up
  • learning who to trust to help me
  • being mindful of surroundings, emotions
  • asking for help
  • exercising in company/instructor
  • focussing on what will make me healthier (physically/mentally)

what did not work for me this year

  • lack of preparation (eg shopping for food)
  • too much alcohol
  • focussing on what I don’t have
  • setting non-achievable or nebulous goals
  • procrastinating
  • shooting mouth off esp in heat of moment
  • wanting people to change
  • comparing myself/my lot to other people’s
  • worrying

Goals for 2013

  • planning meals and shopping for food weekly
  • mastering 2 new recipes per month
  • no/minimal alcohol during week
  • R4TK – train with personal trainer
  • after R4TK – ?crossfit,
  • 1 pilates per week
  • 1 swim per week/fortnight
  • getting 120 participants for trial (ie doing most of recruitment
  • doing something creative – artwork/dance – 1 per week/fortnight

 

 

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2012 – a man-retrospective. Part 1.

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*Results not typical.

**Warning – kiss and tell. Have to walk the boundaries between TMI and being cryptic.

So I have gotten out there. Got dating.

I don’t really believe there is a “good time” to start dating again. You can be totally unready after years, or raring to go after a month. I was more toward the latter. I had felt starved of a lot of things (attention, affection, nookie) for such a long time that I was like a kid in a candy store. A puppy let out of a laundry, all excited and doing happy laps.

I cannot learn by cliches. I must learn by doing. Then the truisms start to make sense. And truly, I have learned a lot, in the thick of things, “on the job”.

2012 has been a big year. A lot of blokes churned through (that sounds bad, does it not?) Any bloke I dated more than once, I learned something from.

Let me begin my odyssey..

NYE 2012 – I was at a gawd-awful ball. A couple of my friends had gone off with blokes. Me and my only other friend there went off to the pub across the road. I spotted a cute dark skinned fellow. I could not hear a word he said. We had a pash. Then about 3 minutes after that, he vomited all over the table. Nice. I left after that. I only sent a very terse reply to his text message the next day.

 

January – The BBG (big bald guy). He got in contact with me on RSVP, and took ages to send a message after I had replied in the affirmative. First date was a dinner, after which he planted one on me. We went back to my car – more of the same. He was quite nice, we talked well, but I called “friends” after a few dates. There was no spark. Also he sweated on my new sheets. That is a red-cardable offence 😉

We remained friends. A few times, there were clumsy tussles after a bit too much alcohol and/or me feeling vulnerable and there was “talk” about moving things further but  it never came to anything. It looked good on paper but neither of us had our hearts in it.

Late Jan/Early Feb – Around Australia day was my famous three-date weekend.

Bachelor #1 – A Singaporean fellow. We had brekky, got on like a house on fire. We went on another couple of dates. There was no spark, and I felt bad. But I liked him, I really did. So I said “I would really like to be friends” and meant it. And we did. We still yap every week. A few weeks after we went out, he met a woman who is now his fiancee. Things turned out well, and I may be his groomslady(?!)

Bachelor #2 – Lawyer. Photo – TDH (Tall, dark, handsome). Pre-date conversation was brief. We met in the city for coffee. His photo had been about 10 years old – there were 10 extra kilos, there was 50% less hair. {I must say here – I love a bald guy. 2 words – Bruce Willis. Indeed, there is little more sexy than a man who can say “if the hair is going, it is going on my terms” and swagger about like a boss with his chrome dome. Buzzcuts – ditto]

I felt a bit bad for being angry about the false advertising, but soon stopped feeling bad when he showed me his personality. What. A. Douchebag!!

Bachelor #3 = OMG. The anthropologist. Tall, ruggedly handsome, sensitive, intelligent. More about him here.

Feb(fail) – The adolescent artist. A few years older than me, reasonably handsome, very keen, but a few issues. – 1. my eyes glazed over whenever he talked for more than five minutes, I couldn’t  2. Whenever we went out, he had always lost his wallet/had it stolen/lost his keycard 3. Everything bad that had befallen him was everybody else’s fault and that SHITS me and 4. Bedroom. Mattress. Floor…..errrrrrr…… too old for that….me AND him.

March – The environmentalist. Very fit, very earthy, built a carbon neutral house with his bare hands. Drove a carbon-neutral car. Blind in one eye from an altercation with an occy strap incurred while rigging up a car with sporting equipment for multi stage adventure races. We finally had a phone conversation and he told me about the evils of coffee “I KNOW WHAT’S IN THAT STUFF”. I politely rebutted. Nobody disses coffee in front of me. I did not expect to hear from him again. However he called a couple of days later, asking me out, saying he was impressed with my rebuttal of his anti-coffee arguments. We went on a few dates. He was very complimentary of me. He would sit and stare at me admiringly (which freaked me out no end). He wanted to show me his 7-star energy efficient house. He wanted to take me driving in his brother’s fuel guzzling convertible in the dandenongs – I declined on the basis that I get carsick (hey, it is the truth). It all just missed the mark, for me. Again – all good on paper, but was not going to go anywhere.

I started to get a bit sick of the dating game and considered hanging up the boots for a while. Then I got a contact, the widowed man with kids. Against my better judgement I replied in the affirmative. We dated, hit it off, and it was all looking quite hunky dory…. then…..this.

 

It’s been and gone again.

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And a merry Christmas to everybody.

It has been a big’un. A busy week up to the big day. Adventures aplenty.

The fella has bought himself a stand up paddleboard, and, on Sunday, we played nicely and took turns at the beach before the heat came up.

I actually managed to stand up this time – kneel, set one foot, then the other, tighten core, then up. I managed a few circuits before the water got a bit choppy and I came off.

That night, a walk along the beach to St Kilda and back. I didn’t know that part of town. So lovely on a warm night.

I managed to bake my first pavlova, and what a beast it was. 2 little pavs, stacked into a monster layered with cream, raspberries, strawberries and chocolate flake. AND I made some scalloped potatoes with lots of cheese, onion and bacon. Yummm. These I took to our family gathering on Christmas eve.

Despite a bit of killjoy before the time (my sister sending around her usual message about not being able to afford presents this year, some disagreement about venues etc) we had a lovely time. It was made lovely by the fact that we had some extras (both me and my sister have a fella this year, whoda thunk it). We had a barbie. There were a few little hounds to join us, one of them a scottie dog very keen on playing soccer. Many laughs were had when the ball went into the Maribyrnong river and my brother went in after it!

Today, Christmas with last year’s crew. The fella really enjoyed it. Though the alcohol hit me harder this year; a big nap was taken after lunch. I was unrouseable, but not snoring or dribbling so I was left till I woke up. It was happy and relaxed and stress-free.

We are now sitting on the couch, the fella is asleep, and I am gently reflecting on my year. These reflections will follow. (Threat and promise)

I hope you all have had a lovely and safe Christmas.

 

I am the messy bits.

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I’m back.

I have been kind of microblogging on Facebook, but it is strangely unsatisfying. It is the blogging equivalent of white flour, with all the white and distilled stuff out there, without all of the husky, messy brown bits.

And I miss the messy bits. I AM the messy bits. Nothing important I have ever learned has been without making mistakes, or without a lot of thought.

And I miss my friends out there in the cloud, with their gentle encouragement. Just to know somebody was reading was a great solace to me. This is why we do it, no?

But it’s been, what, three months or so? A busy, whirlwind 3 months. No excuse, I know. But I will summarise what has been happening here…

1. Luff (or Love or Lurrrrve)

Just the moment I thought it was all a bit of a faff, I had given it a rest, along comes somebody. Somebody lovely, who thinks of me and shows it. Who is a big hunk of spunk. Who I can cook dinner with, shop with and run with (he runs slow to keep up with me). We can do lots of stuff or do nothing (we tend more towards the doing stuff). We have met each other’s friends and families. I went to Christchurch NZ just last weekend to meet his family and he introduced me proudly as his girlfriend. We have made plans for the future.

It has passed the honeymoon phase. Fears, insecurities, vagaries and frustrations have come out and reared their less attractive heads. So, indeed, have a few farts. But we have dealt with them with understanding and good humour.

As lovely as it is, I still find part of myself standing outside it, wondering how I got this lucky. Wondering whether I am worthy of it. Fearing it will be taken away from me at any minute without explanation. All this is diminishing over time, and with a lot of therapy. With that little sense of my own worth growing, and the skill of enjoying the moment. What will be, will be, and worrying won’t change it, but will do my head in. I do understand where all the insecurity comes from, so I can best deal with it.

2. Career wins.

I lovingly and painstakingly wrote  a grant application to the NHMRC for my project. Ideas need money, and this was the way to get it. The only problem is that these large grants are hard to come by, with only about 1 in 5 applications being awarded. This is among all comers, so even bigshots miss out and have to fire staff. My grant was refined and submitted by my prof.

Well, long story short, we got the grant – $600K worth, thankyou very much. I had very humble congratulations from some of these bigshots. My prof had given credit where it was due. My grant helps quite a number of people in work for the next year or two. Plus buys a few sachets of optifast and a few blood tests and xrays.

It has been a big boon to my confidence. Doing a PhD is fraught with “I am not good enough”, “what if it doesn’t work out” etc etc. This is normal. But the $$$  keep me hanging in there. They help make me proud to do what I am doing. Even though very little of it comes to me.

3. Career plans

On that last note, I am earning a bit less than my colleagues practicing full time. Don’t get me wrong, I do ok. However, when I was on my bike to work because my car broke down, I was thinking “how the fucking hell am I going to make this fucking PhD work for ME?” What niche do I sit in? How can I make things cushy? I have worked hard, I am now not ashamed to be reaping the rewards, or thinking about how I can reap them.

4. Body.

That old chestnut. I have lost the plot, a bit. The romance, wining and dining has not helped (it is lovely, though). But plans are falling in place. Christmas is a difficult time of year, but I am coming around to the simple things – exercise more days a week than you don’t, eat well and consciously most of the time, and drink alcohol fewer days than you abstain.

I have done a few things. I have started pilates again, and the back/butt pain with running is improving, to the point where I did my first fun run since the marathon (farrrk it was a struggle). I have entered the fella and myself in run for the kids. I have tried a few new things – stand up paddleboarding and burlesque to name a few. I have rode to work a few times. Just a matter of putting them into habit.

The theme of the new year (last year’s was courage) is wellness – in body and mind. I have had a bit of back pain, a bit more reflux et cetera, and these are amenable to lifestyle measures. I would also like to get off some of my pills – the antidepressants, the antacids. I need a bit of a plan for that.

5. News.

The ex hubby’s girlfriend is pregnant. That was fraught, hearing that. A bit of “the bugger, he has had it a lot easier than me, it’s all fallen into his lap” thoughts. It might not be the reality. The grief of the whole thing has been a little exacerbated. Of course it has. And I can go on and on about it but I won’t.

Except to say, they are going to Antarctica on holiday, on their babymoon. Hmmmm.

No good can come from comparing my lot to his. I know that.

6. Christmas.

You know, for the first time in a number of years, I am actually looking forward to it? I can listen to carols without cringing? Cool, huh?

7. Lessons.

Fall down 7 times, get up 8. This has been the best little saying. I have made so many little stuff ups that I am experts in either rectifying or moving the hell on.

8. Travels…

Christchurch – tick. CUBA – upcoming….then who knows?

Bye for now 😀