I’ve had a rough couple of weeks at work lately. Things have been happening that are beyond my control and I’m left feeling like I am hanging from a trapeze wire by my fingertips. This sense of helplessness makes me go a bit inwards and lose my sense of self. The world becomes narrow and grey and I find it hard to focus.
To keep connected to the world, I have to keep doing all the things that feel good and right. I need to keep going to dance class and laughing with my friends. I have to keep going to the gym, no matter how grim I feel on first wakening. I have to eat healthy. I am an emotional eater aka when I feel crap = I will eat that whole pack of cookies and wash it down with half a bottle of wine. Then I feel even worse.
I have to go to work everyday, smile and behave like everything is fine and dandy!
But most of all I need to hug my dog George . He’s a therapy dog. I’ve written about him in previous posts here and here and also here. We have volunteered at aged care homes; childcare centers; schools and universities. George has worked with Psychologists to help children overcome their fear of dogs. He is a lovely, gentle and beautiful dog. He absolutely knows when things are not right with me and he will just quietly snuggle up with me and make sure I am ok.
Are the best. There is a lot of research on animals and their positive impact on people. I read an article last week about a prison in Indiana having inmates look after shelter cats. This was hands down the best thing I read all week and helped pulled me out of my funk. If nothing else, look at the pics – those cats!! If prison is to be rehabilitative as well as punitive, having programs whereby inmates can participate in something that connects them back to the world, that is a good thing.
Tell me what you think – yoga, pilates or comment if you have a better idea!
Y’all know I’m into being really active. I run, swim, dance, hike and walk George (my therapy dog). And I’m all for “feelin’ the pain” (actually no, I’m not, but you know that thing – “no pain/no gain” 😛 ) But this is a whole other level of pain! Dislike!
It’s worse in the mornings and it truly is a comical sight watching me try to put my socks on so I can get my joggers on. Luckily, there’s (usually) only George and my cat Blossom around to snigger at my sad attempts at foot sockage.
Seriously, I can’t actually bend first thing in the morning without excruciating lower back pain, so putting on socks has become no small feat (hahahaha feat/feet). I usually put my foot up on my knee and try to lasso the sock over my toes!
Oh and to add injury to insult – here’s a pic of me at my last running event – The Perth Women’s Classic 10k fun run. I literally face planted on the finish line! Cut my chin open, but got free champagne and I still recorded a good time! (check the blood on my nice white event t-shirt! much ouch!)
Research on back pain
I’ve done a bunch of research and discovered the following useful (useless?) facts:
My doctor prescribed anti-inflammatories and said “arthritis, it’s your age, get used to it” (rude!!)
Google told me I need a new mattress, preferably firm/medium (there’s actually a research study on it and it’s a thing y’all)
Google also told me to do back stretches when I first wake up (didn’t help)
Then Google told me my sleeping position sucks and I need to sleep with a pillow between my legs and sleep on my side (y’ha, I do that – helps a little bit, but not enough to get my socks on!!)
My PT at the gym told me to give up running! (not gonna happen)
My girlfriends tell me to take up yoga or pilates. Trouble is they are all devotees of one or the other, so I’m kinda stuck.
Need your help to make a decision – there’s a poll at the top of this post, so vote your fave stretchy exercise and help me make a decision. Not to bias the poll, but I’m thinking of doing a Yoga Challenge (don’t see the point in just plain ole go to the community hall and getting my stretch on).
I was chatting with a friend over messenger and we were talking blogs, she asked for the link to mine and that’s when I realised that oh my gosh, I have not written a post since last year!!
Lurve (aka loss thereof) update:
So definitely time to update y’all on what I’ve been up to and how life is chugging along. Firstly, that relationship? Yeah, nah. It’s gone. This time I ended it and maybe sometime I will tell you why. Suffice to say it was the best decision for me and I am in a really good place emotionally now that it is done and dusted!
Dating – online and offline
I have ventured into the world of online dating. It’s been an interesting journey so far. There was the teacher who criticised my clothing, my face (I know right? he said I look vague – pfft), he ridiculed my job (well the one I used to have)… so that was a definite “no!” He then messaged to ask me why not and for me to list out exactly where he went wrong. Nope, that’s not my job Mister, if you have no insight into yourself and how you relate to people, I’m not about to start teaching you. Then there was the guy who looked quite nice judging by his photo and he seemed pleasant in written correspondence. When I turned up for coffee, I walked right by this very old fellow, I glanced his way and thought ‘no that is not date-guy’ then I sat down. The guy then came over, asked my name and then asked why I had walked on by. I said “because I did not recognise you”. I swear his photo was at least 15 years out of date.
Then the man who lied about his age. He dropped 5 years off and then “confessed” when we met. He said if he’d put his true age I would likely have not responded (true that) and he is interested in younger women as women his age are “boring” and yeah, that was a nope too. Now I know women can also be deceitful on these sites, my stories are my experiences as that’s all I’ve got to go by.
Health and fitness – my favourite topic 🙂 Running, Swimming and Dancing
Healthwise all is good. I am still running and have joined a #ParkRun group, we go out for a 5km run every Saturday morning and I am loving it! I usually run alone, so having a group of people to run with is a lovely change. There is often cake at the finish line (not sure that is a good idea!) and usually a few of us go for coffee/brekkie after the run.
And I am swimming a couple of times per week at the local pool – 30 laps of the 50 mtr. I’m not super fast, but I persist! I find it relaxing and meditative and a good all over body workout without any stress on the joints. Makes a nice counterpoint to the running.
I am also taking dance classes twice per week. Pub jive – I still astound myself that I am not too bad at dancing. Jive is new to me so I’m starting from the beginning, I’m heading into week 4 of a 6 week course. I’ve got all the basics and now the teacher is adding in new steps to form a routine. I also found out my teacher’s birthday is on the same day as mine which made me smile. Oh and in my first class he hauled me into the centre, asked my name and announced it to the group and I was first up as an example, luckily I managed to recall the steps and not stomp on him!
The other thing I have started is a creative writing course. I enjoy writing, I have spare time on my hands (ya know, that whole unemployed thing) and I like to have some structure around what I am writing. I am working towards a Capstone unit whereby I will write a short story and I would eventually like to write a novel. I have a story idea and I have thoughts around character development. Feedback I am getting so far is really positive – so I will tell you more in my next update, which will not be as far down the track as this one is from the last.
A lot of people tell me that running is not good for you, either at all or when you are an older runner (aka me!!). And you know what? That is not true. Most recent research shows that you can continue running right into your twilight years and in fact, it’s possible to take up running in your 40s, 50s or 60s – even for those who consider themselves “non-runners”*
Last Sunday I was out playing Supa Golf with a bunch of friends, it was hella good fun and a little bit of incidental exercise walking around the 9 hole course. The game is played with big colourful golf balls and a selection of four clubs – including my favorite “big boy” and I am surprisingly ok at the game.
Afterwards we had lunch and I got to talking with this guy I’d not met before and he started talking about running and that he managed to run a couple of times per week (which is actually really good compared to most folk). But then he said the usual “..I don’t have time to run/exercise more than that…” and so I called him on it. You know, we all have the same 24 hours in each and every day and we all choose what we do with those hours, so to say you don’t have time to exercise then I will call you on that! Unless you work 12 hour shifts, have a bunch of young children or health/injury issues to contend with, then you DO have time to exercise!!
we all have time 🙂
WRITING & CATS…
On Saturday I spent the day at a Master’s class on writing – just looking for some tips on being consistent, time management (hey I have a busy life too!!) and tools for increasing/improving my writing for this blog and my e-Book on health and fitness that I’m working on.
And a shout out to Catherine who ran the class who gave us some really cool tips that I’ve already put in place in terms of productivity enhancement. Sometimes in a super busy life you can only “write in the cracks” so when you have those “cracks” in time then you need to make the most of them. So if you want some tools to help you manage your day/productivity (and find that elusive time to exercise!!) then check out some of these tools:
Use an internet blocker so that you don’t get distracted by Facebook; cat videos; emails; more cat videos – a good one is Freedom
My cat Bloss doing her thing!! 🙂 🙂
Use a time management tool – Pomodoro is excellent and can be used with just a timer and a couple of useful tips from the Pomodoro website or a time management app, there are some good ones for IOS and for Android.
LURVE LIFE – because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and you know, romance!!
Now where would we be without an update on all things love?!? Ok… following on from my last post, yes I am seeing someone and yes it is good (so far, there’s always a so far involved in my love life) and he has got me dancing – well taking dancing lessons!! For those who have read my earlier blog posts, you’d know that dancing and I are not usually best buddies. But strangely and to my own eternal surprise I am doing quite well, I am remembering the steps (mostly), have not stomped on anyone’s toes (yet) and I haven’t fallen over my own feet!! And I can practice with my boyfriend/lover/man-person and practising really helps. Another cool surprise is that I usually feel quite happy after a dance class, must be those endorphins – the same ones you get after other forms of exercise!!
*(please note, when beginning any new exercise regimen, always check with your GP or health care provider first)
If you’ve read my earlier posts y’all would know that I’ve been single for a while – but I’m happy to let you know that I’ve met someone!! Yay!!
Yep, that’s right, there’s a new man in my life and we shall call him Nick (mostly because that is his actual name 😛 ). He’s gorgeous, smart, funny and genuinely nice (and I mean nice in the best sense of the word). All of which I equally really like about him … Right, so where was I? Yep, new guy, dating, all good. Oh and I’m pretty sure he likes me too, that’s important in this whole dating thing. Much kissing, holding hands, going out and doing stuff like tea drinking, food eating, dancing (not my strong suit at all!) and 10 pin bowling!!! (I equally suck at bowling – more on that in another post)… Nick loves dancing – me not so much. Except, you know, champagne – loud music then dancing stuff happens!!
We’ve been out dancing twice so far, but not the serious proper stuff (which is something Nick is also actually good at, whereas I am more your uncoordinated, fall over your own feet type of dancer). And as y’all know, I’m a runner not a dancer. I may be graceful* on the running track, but not so much on the dance floor…
(*if by graceful, you mean sweaty, red in the face and panting – then I’ve got that nailed!!)
…but s’ok, I managed to channel my inner Elaine from Seinfeld, so i pretty much smashed it – I am aiming to impress! 😛