Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cramps… stop being a girl!

Signs you know you have endometriosis… 

1) Walking 5 minutes to take the child to her school room - feeling fine; 5 minute walk back to the car and you are practically hopping on both feet with the rising pain. 

2) Popping 2 nurofen in the middle of the street (water optional; scotch highly recommended!)  

3) Standing at the coffee bar, pacing on the spot in agony as you patiently wait for the nurofen to finally kick in.

4) Going to the chemist and buying a heat pack and asking them to heat it up for you.

5) Practically feinting & / or vomiting as you await that long 1.5 minute for the microwave.

5) Walking up the street to Sports day with warm, soothing heat pad on your tummy.

6) Lugging about a now cold heat pack in your already overfilled camera bag.

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You see endometriosis cramps aren't like your normal Period Pain. They are crippling. They are vomit inducing. They make you want to claw your insides out. They make you no longer afraid to ask for something extra because the thought of walking around all day feeling as you do now - is not an option; nor is driving 20 mins home to collect your heat pack. Admittedly the nurofen would have kicked in - but by that time, the pains would have been excruciating by then and I likely would have developed a headache from the tension of fighting those pains.

I never ask for help.

I never take days off.

Occasionally I will stop what I'm doing for half hour to get on top of those debilitating pains, but then I usually go forward with life.

And I need heat. Without heat I cannot function. 

Luckily I am usually relatively close to home when I am struck down with the pain, my heat pack(s) on hand for instant relief. Somedays, like today, I can't help if because life goes on and it erupted upon me so suddenly.

Have you ever been caught out without heat? What is your go-to in this situation?

Did you know that a tea towel, a plastic bag, water and a microwave can act as a mini heat pack as well?   

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Cute Tea towel not essential, but it does ease the pain! Wet the tea towel thoroughly and place inside the plastic bag. Fold the bag over a few times and microwave on 30 sec increments - be VERY careful NOT to over nuke it because this can BURN skin quickly as the outside doesn't always feel as hot as it really is. I usually only do 30 seconds to start with and increase slowly as needed. Anyhow just thought I'd share this with you incase you are ever caught out; at a friends place or work place.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Month Ends…

A new month dawns (ok so I'm technically a day early, but I'm out all day tomorrow!) 

Do you ever find that as one month comes to an end, you focus on ALL you didn't accomplish and get bogged down with negative thoughts? I do.

Then something magical happens, I erase the whiteboard. ALL those tasks; gone in a millisecond. No longer there to mock me, in all there un-crossed off glory. A blank slate to write my new goals (which truth be told are basically, the same goals I didn't finish last month - just re-written in pretty new colours) and yet it is all fresh and exciting. A new day and a new month to achieve more. To no longer reflect on the negative but embrace the positivity of the weeks ahead.

Its a humbling feeling to be taken from negative to positive with such force.

I realised I am a very visual person, so at the beginning of each month - I take a blank calendar (I got my calendar from the Organised Housewife - here) and I write a list of everything I need to focus on for the coming month. I have also made a point of writing down expected hours of study available each day / week. 

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Then I re-write the white board. Its messy, but it's how I like it. This month I am returning to a full month overview rather than weekly view as this system didn't work for me in my July planning!
TIP: Store your whiteboard pens upside down and the ink will produce a far richer colour!  

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Then its time to pretty up my work / study diary. Each week I plan where I will be and list under that what I want to achieve. I may have been a little ambitious with the study for this week, but having it all there, makes it easier to stay focussed and less likely to forget something on those days that don't turn out how I expected. Case in point - sports day tomorrow will be 3rd time lucky due to incremental weather over the past 2 months :O 

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As I get older - Im finding that my memory just won't retain information like it used to, which is why I'm finding myself having to write down the most silliest of things.  I am hoping that if I can pick up the pace for the next month - I will be one step closer to easing back come the start of September to 2 days of study.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

FINISHED! of sorts

Finished

After 6 long months - I have finally finished the theory side of my photography course. There is complete and utter joy and happiness to have laid down my pen at last. My head whirls with all this excess knowledge that I know I will have to revise again and again. But it is FINISHED!  

Last week I admit to a mini melt-down amidst fears I would never complete it, the thoughts of the myriad of photos needed for assignments weighting me down. My husband was a legend…. wait for it… airy help to my feelings of unease. He told me I can do it and kept me on the straight and narrow; even after I threw my hands up and said what's the worst that will happen if I don't submit the assignments. He told me to take things one at a time. I walked away wondering how the heck I could manage to take 50 + (awesome) photos in the space of 4 months and have them all submitted.     

With a fresh perspective, I decided I needed something small and very visual to track exactly what was required. I hung my new pink noticeboard and pulled out the sticky notes and on each note - I wrote what I needed to focus on. Still Life - 2x replicated; Motion - 3x Cars; Wedding - 2x failed shots. And the notes go on. As I capture each photo, each note will be placed under a completed sign until I have a bundle.  

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With that out of the way - I then picked up the phone with trembling hands and made some calls to friends and family for photography practice. I am quaking in my boots but am also just a little nervously excited.

After conquering those two fears - I even picked up my iPad and pulled up my copy of Photoshop Elements 6

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I figured it was high time I stopped being so scared of editing photos (the correct way) and start embracing a little change. Surprisingly it wasn't as scary as I thought. 

So now I forge ahead with renewed inspiration and motivation - ready to kick butt on this course and the next 4 months! I can do this!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

{locked} a five sentence fiction

She had arrived at the home late last night, while the night sky was as black as a magicians’ cloak. A small one-bed room in some ways starker than the hospital room she'd called home these many months past. The wooden floors, cold beneath her bare feet squeaked as she walked, an accompaniment to the sounds of crying across the hall. Padding quietly toward the door, her hand hovered nervously over the brass handle. An audible click was heard as the door swung inward, croaking ominously, a blinding vision in white standing stoic, between her and freedom.

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A quick five sentences written late last night to ease myself back into the swing of daily writing again. Poor Miss Dove has been trying to tee up a virtual writing date with me, but each time she's messaged me I've been out and about. I'm supposing its only Karma that I message her last night right as her phone dies. Today I will write alone.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Enlightened

en·light·ened  

/enˈlītnd/
 
Adjective
  1. Having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.
  2. Spiritually aware.

Buddah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past few months have been weighing heavily upon my mind and I've had to reface seeing someone to talk things through. Its strange how we soldier on for so long then after speaking to someone - whether that be your husband, your best friend, your dog or your shrink - suddenly those problems you have been carrying around; no longer seem to heavy. The burden is  eased.

So it was for me. I had become so dragged along by what I thought was life itself that I couldn't see the light. Nor the colours.  

It turns out it wasn't so much life dragging me down, then myself setting personal expectations far too high. 

After much talk and a LOT of diary writing, I've finally found myself enlightened. Or perhaps. Lightened.

The silly little things in life had been pulling me along, dragging me off my path and like the snow globe {above} I felt trapped in a bubble of whirring thoughts. Whirling and swirling so fast I couldn't see past, to make sense. Of the nonsense.    

I know now that if I strive for more balance and less perfection; focus upon the positive rather than the negative - I can be and do so much more. If I let myself stop those fluttering thoughts momentarily I can see clearly. I can see with clarity, all the colours within.  

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The point being - it is likely I need to STOP and STEADY myself more often. Be more accountable for living in the moment rather than just being in the moment. Learning to SLOW those thoughts and know that its perfectly okay if I don't catch them there and then. Life is truly fascinating.

Todays' post bought to you by $500 worth of therapy; numerous cups of caffeine; thousands of words written and a $2.80 Buddah snow globe. I apologise if it makes no sense. These words are speaking perfect ZEN to me.     

Friday, July 12, 2013

Extra points?

Remember that challenge I'm doing to READ Pride & Prejudice, VIEW Lizzie Bennet Diaries and WATCH Pride & Prejudice movie? 

I think we are up to week 6 now and I should be officially HALF way through the viewing schedule and at least 1/3 of the way through the book - yet I  am still floundering somewhere in week 3. I am really struggling to get into the book (I'm sorry but the language is so hard to sink into my brain and its not the type I should be just skim reading either) 

So I did what any good Challenger does. I added another challenge. 

I present… 

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Oh yes I did! I watched the whole thing and quite enjoyed it. 

So do I get Extra Bonus Points for watching this movie too??? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Words. Everywhere I look.

I have a million words swirling through my brain synapses at the present moment. The past three days have been spent hitting the books, knowing that I won't be around to study tomorrow and knowing that I have a tonne of words to be written, to be read, to be shared.

The more I read, the more my thirst evolves and I want to do everything right away. Alas I must bide my time, pace myself lest I burn out, so I have turned to making notes everywhere and marking them off when I can finally get to them.     

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On my desk right now aside from my laptop and a cold cup of coffee is:

2 x A5 sized day-to-day moleskines; the place I record what happened each and every day. A five minute job that has turned into an epic task as I found myself side tracked over the holidays and have managed daily titles only. I foresee a marathon writing date in my very near future.

1 x Subject Notebook with a list of activities to be completed for each course. Today was designated to concentrate fully upon the activities. I am half way through one task (converting 2x 5 min free writes into a short story - though the subjects are two completely different things) 

1x Subject Notebook for my blog posts. Each idea I get, I scrawl it in this book under a separate section then mark it off when I get to it. I am so far behind in blogging as I turned my back on my computer over the break and now have oodles to share and write about. 

1x Diary with only work related jobs to be done as well appointments that KEEP CHANGING. 

1x Tutorial on Creative Writing. The more I read and learn, the more ideas I have buzzing through me. I keep telling myself to SLOW DOWN, take it one step at a time, which means I've been making a lot of extra notes alongside those I need to do for my course assignments. 

In the past two days I have managed to write a full page of things I want to check up on in my novel. Everything from Senses to Syntax. Adverbs to Adjectives. Tone to telling. Pace to Plot. I can't get to that list until I submit the next few assignments. So I need to focus. 

And that has NOTHING on the table behind me. 

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It has my study notes book, my journal, a notebook with new story ideas buzzing to be written. A book of short stories, The Idiots guide to Creative Writing (its actually VERY informative), a writing book as well as several assignments I need to revise and prep and write. 

I love feeling so inspired, but sometimes the ideas in my mind swamp me. They battle one another to be the first to escape and I struggle to keep track of the path at hand. It is moments like these, I wish I had a time changer thing-a-me-bob.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

13 in 13 Challenge… Mid Year Update

Little White Dove
 

6 months into this challenge and I am pleased to report that I have successfully completed 8 or the 13 books in the genre challenge (not including the extra few I added to the Historical Challenge.  

Some of the books have changed from what I had originally intended to read, but for the most part they have remained the same. I have been actually REALLY enjoying the added challenge of extending my reading capacity to include genres I ordinarily wouldn't have looked at. 

So to date - here is my updated list of books finished. 

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I have 5 remaining genres to complete in 6 months which I am happy with. At this stage the only one I have changed my mind on is the Poetry book, I checked out the Banjo complete works and it is HUGE. So I picked up an Australian Poetry book and made a start on it last month, slowly reading poem every few days. I am really struggling with my approach to The Spiritual and Motivational categories - both are books that I want to read, but they are both pretty heavy going. My mind needs to be cleared in order to give them the attention they deserve - so the plan is to read those slowly in small moments of time where I can have complete concentration in order to really comprehend the words.

How are you faring in this challenge?  

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back to Reality

Toward the end of June I began to falter. With the end of term 2 rapidly approaching and everything that needed to be done as well as everything I wanted to do, it was hardly surprising that I only managed a small portion of my goals list.

In hindsight I was burnt out and needing a break after pushing myself to study 3 days a week in order to get the theory side of my photography course completed.

I then made the mistake of mentally preparing myself for the practical side of the course {Insert many profanities and mutterings about needing more time} before I walked away from it all. I stuck my head in the sand like the proverbial emu (does an emu actually do that?) And I pretended if I didn't think about it, it didn't exist.

It wasn't a huge surprise when I was struck down with a head cold over the holidays and the a magical moment presented itself. It could have been because of the good Cold and Flu tablets I was on, but suddenly I found myself relaxed with camera in hand and at a wedding where we were allowed to take photos. As I snapped away I could feel my passion returning and since that weekend, I have had the camera out daily snapping away.

With Term 3 starting today and knowing I have a lot on my plate over the coming weeks, but also knowing that three days of study is NOT conducive to my mind set nor my living quarters - something had to change. My new diary has my days earmarked with the week in advance. I see at a glance which days I can study and those I cannot. 

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It feels good to be in front of the pack BEFORE the term really kicks off. I spent the afternoon yesterday updating dates in my diary, planning meals for the coming week. Working out how many hours I have available to study and accepting there are some days it just won't happen and that is okay too. I even went so far as updating my Goals board to list what I need to do this month. Rather than list everything PER Subject I have broken it down into weeks. Each week I have worked out a tentative hourly limit and worked out how many Tutorials / Assignments and Activities I should be able to complete in that week. 

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I feel so much more organised and less overwhelmed in working my list like this that I have already managed a bonus 4 hours today after finishing my housework early. 

There has been much soul searching over the past few weeks of areas I am lacking in and areas I am overextending. Perhaps this will be an ongoing battle to find the balance in life, but now that I've pinpointed those small things that make me lose grasp of reality.  Which in turn helps my own emotional wellbeing knowing that I can make time if I'm aware of time. It probably doesn't even make sense, but in my head its completely coherent.