Monthly Archives: December 2013

Week 51!

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Well, it’s the evening of the last day in 2013 (and I’m a day late in posting my weekly update, sorry!), so I thought this week’s post would be a quick update of what I’ve been up to. My final post (for “Week 52” which I’ll probably do tomorrow) will be a reflection and review on how I’ve gone with the goals I set myself in the first week of 2013. I’ll also include my goals for 2014 in the next post.

 So, without further ado, here’s this week’s update!

 -Well, the week in passing has been a bit of a blur. I worked for two days, then we were off for Christmas. This year’s Christmas was very different compared to others, as after spending time with my family, Ray and I got to escape on a little holiday for a few days thanks to his parents. So, we got to fly on Christmas night up to Port Macquarie and stay right on the water. I feel very grateful that we got to experience Christmas with such a large extended family (mine and Ray’s included). The couple of days away from home was nice too, and I managed to relax for a while, sit by the water, attempt to fish, meet Ray’s grandmother in Taree and hang around with Ray’s family. Christmas just reminded me that I am so thankful that I have so many people that care about my wellbeing (as well as Ray’s), and are willing to support and encourage us. We’re truly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends. 

-Other than Christmas, I’ve been trying to take it easy (as I’ll be going back to work in a few days). Ray and I got Pokemon X and Y for Christmas, so we’ve been playing these religiously (I got X, and LOVE the fire/psychic fox starter to bits). I also got the newest Zelda game, which has also been getting a run-through. I’ve taken a little break from WoW, mainly because we were travelling, while also being absorbed with our new 3DS games. 

-I’ve also been having a little “break” from wedding planning…just to de-stress and give my mind (and wallet) a little rest. So, once I’ve had my birthday, I’ll get back into the full swing of wedding planning…as we now have less than 120 days to go! 🙂 All is going to plan, and it’s not just tying everything in together to have it all sorted. 

-We managed to see the latest Hobbit movie addition upon our return. It was, of course, very impressive. My recollection of the storyline itself is quite hazy (I don’t think I’ve read the Hobbit in my 20s yet), and now I’m wondering whether I should re-read it before the final movie…..as this movie definitely left us on a cliffhanger. I was quite annoyed Ed Sheeran did the final song in the movie (ugh), but otherwise everything else was incredible. To me, I do prefer the Lord of the Rings…however, I feel the Hobbit tends to have more light-hearted moments, and can be a bit more upbeat. It’s fantastic to see Gandalf’s humour throughout these movies! All of this has inspired me to start reading more Tolkien…and I’m going to read the Simillarion sometime soon, as I’m very eager to be more familiar with the history of Middle Earth.

-Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen many people treating others horribly. These people don’t realise how much their actions hurt others, as they seem to be too selfish or ignorant to consider others. It’s been hard to see this happening, when the people being hurt are those I care about. However, rather than feeling anger towards the perpetrators, I feel pity. I pity that they’re unable to see the hurt they’re causing, or realise how childish they are, and that people view them as being childish and someone to not hold respect for. It’s hard when I’ve seen so many people hurting others over the past few weeks, and knowing that they wouldn’t even care about the damage they’re causing.

-I’m so eager to start sewing! With only two days left of the Christmas break, I haven’t set up any projects yet. But, I’m hoping to do so after my birthday (this Friday, eeeeeeek!) The first thing I’ll need to do is actually set up the patterns/cutting/pinning (my least favourite part), however my lovely fiancé states that this is his favourite part (I’m not sure if I should believe him, or he’s just saying it to help out!). So, we’re aiming to cut out and prepare some projects over the next week or two.

-Lastly, I’m very eager to hear what readers of my “updates” would like me to write about. This blog was originally just going to be for me to keep to the goals I set myself, however when others expressed that they wanted to read the updates, I made it public. I’m willing to try and write different entries (other than the weekly updates), however I want to know what readers would be interested in. Readers: do you have any ideas/suggestions of what you would like me to include on my blog? Feel free to leave a comment below, or (if you’re FB friends with me) feel free to send a message to me. I’d really appreciate it!

So, that’s the last weekly update from me for 2013. I feel proud of myself for posting every week (as per one of my 2013 goals), and definitely keeping up with the goals I set. You’ll hear from me within the next few days with a new and improved 2014 goals post soon. 

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! 🙂

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Week 50!

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Woohoo! 2 days til Christmas…how exciting! Here’s this week’s update:

-Firstly…I seriously can’t wait to have a break over Christmas! I feel that the only real leave I’ve had this year has been sick leave (blah), so I’m really looking forward to having some time to, hopefully, relax and chill out. Myself and Ray have been working out butts off throughout 2013 to ensure that we have stable employment, were able to move and also to save for the wedding, so we’re pretty overdue for some time away and to just have a rest. It’s only a week or so, but I think it will be just the right amount of time for me to recover for the new year.

-Over the past week, I managed to set up the sewing machine and give it a try. I had no issues threading the machine (it was sooo easy!), and successfully set up a few bobbins. After checking the straight stitch and zig-zag stitch settings on some scrap material, I passed the machine over to Ray to finish a few crafty Christmas pressies 🙂 When we settle into the new year, I’m going to take the jump and start a project. Shall see how it goes! 🙂

-I found the following article this week (http://thoughtcatalog.com/ryan-oconnell/2012/12/15-guaranteed-things-that-will-happen-to-you-in-your-20s/) and a few of the points really hit me as a reflection over the past 2 years since graduating from uni and starting “adult life”. I’ll expand below:

“1. Your social circle will narrow. In college, you’ll have lots of acquaintances and party friends but that will dissipate over time. Eventually, you’ll find yourself unable to spark up new friendships simply because you don’t have the time or desire. Now you’ll only make a new friend and let them into your life if you’re absolutely obsessed with them”

YES to the above. I’ve really been struggling making friends of recent. I’m noticing that my friendships with people from high school or uni have drifted apart, and I guess it’s mainly because we’re at different stages of life now and I don’t really know how to connect with them anymore. Yet, at the same time, I’m struggling incredibly with making friends in the workplace or as a professional. I feel incredibly shy, or unable to take “the next step” in being sociable outside of work hours. Plus the blurring of lines between friends and colleagues is something I really am struggling to understand. I do crave having a strong network of friends (particularly of female friends, whom I have several of that are dear to me, but not as many as when I was younger). I really do wish for some close friendships to develop for me soon, which I can become obsessed about (lol)!

 “4. Someone will betray your trust — a friend or a lover — and it will change the way you view people forever.”

With the above, I guess what I’ve realised is that people don’t really care about you. Most people are just doing things out of their own selfish wants and needs, and that a lot of people aren’t really genuine anymore. I definitely cherish those I know who are honest, trustworthy and genuine, as these are rare qualities to have these days. But, of course, I’ll admit that I’m not perfect either and can be selfish. So I’m also going to focus on trying to be a positive/optimistic person towards others.

“11. You’ll meet people who are vultures, who were literally sent to this world just to annoy you, to work half as hard and somehow become more successful. They’re networking leeches. Don’t take their business card! Save yourself!”

Argh yes to this! It’s been a big realisation: knowing that the world can and will be unfair. No matter how hard you (or others around you) work their butts off and try their hardest, if people have “connections” or know “someone high up”, you’ll miss out over that person. I guess from this, I have learned to try and truly appreciate those who value your hard work and dedication.

“14. The Internet will hurt your feelings. You will find out information you wish you never knew and maybe you’ll go so far as to even cry! Imagine that: a machine you spent over a grand on is making you weep. Screw the Internet.”

Ah, yes. The things I’ve learned from the internet. I’ve been doing lots of reading over the past year related to religion, philosophy, theology and the general status of the world. It’s made me really question my beliefs over and over again (and see how screwed up the world can be!) Yet, I’ve seen some amazing stories where, as you’d say, my faith in humanity was restored. I feel more sure of myself and following my gut feelings since I’ve been researching and reading more….of course, there’s still lots of questions to be answered, but I’m on my way to figuring out my purpose and path in life 🙂

And lastly:

“15. You will understand that the biggest battle you fight in your twenties is the one you’re in with yourself. The most important thing you can learn in this decade is how to love yourself. Without that knowledge, your life will always be a little bit terrible. You will always be dating someone who’s a little bit rotten and you’ll always be working a job that sucks. It affects everything so be sure to make yourself a priority.  Work on liking yourself before working on getting someone else to like you.”

I’ve always been someone who goes out of my way to see others happy, or please others. It’s really taken me the past two years to really start working on the above. After a break-up in 2012 (which was way overdue in needing to happen, upon reflection), I focused purely on being happy with myself, and working on figuring out what I truly wanted in life and my confidence for 6 months. After this, I ended up finding my soulmate (and it wasn’t because I needed them to be happy with myself…they complimented my life and brought additional happiness, as I was happy with them!) I feel proud of myself for sticking with my gut and moral convictions in spending time on myself to figure out what I wanted and my belief in self. This is definitely a work in progress, but something I’m thankful for.

So yeah, that article definitely got me thinking and reflecting on my development as an almost-mid-twenties woman. Sorry it’s a bit deeper than usual for content in my blog posts! 🙂

-I’ve been playing WoW this week (as usual), but have been playing as my Draenai hunter to gain some experience in playing a different type of character. I’m really blown away by the depth of the WoW world, and am still contemplating starting to play online. So, if any of my friends do play online, I’d be keen to hear about it and have a good think about it over the Christmas break.

-As I’m getting close to finishing the Mistress of the Empire series by Raymond E. Feist, I’m trying to figure out which books from my “to read” list I’ll start on next. From reading this trilogy, I’m really wanting to continue with books that have very strong female protagonists and historical/historical fiction backgrounds. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

-I’ve noticed that the “week” of each blog title seems to be a bit off with the actual weeks of the year (this post being Week 50, when it probably should be 51) I’m not sure how I ended up one week off, but I guess the post for Week 52 will be a reflection on the year in passing anyway. Oh well!

So, a bit of a long read this week! I seriously cannot wait to spend Christmas with my family (and extended family and in-laws!), who have been such an incredible support group and source of encouragement over the past year. With two nieces and a nephew (which, for two, it’s their first Christmas!), it’s such an exciting time. So, to everyone, I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and are able to share it with those who make a difference in your life: whether it is family, or friends who became family…anyone who has been there for you and you feel truly thankful for. Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year! 🙂

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Week 49!

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Wow, what a week! Here’s what I got up to:

-This week, we found out that Ray has been offered a position at a school for 4 days a week next year. We are absolutely thrilled and are so thankful for the opportunity (particularly when it’s so very hard to obtain a teaching position for any graduates). It’s definitely thanks to those supportive teachers who were looking out for him…they were the ones who knew his worth and how he is an incredible asset for any school to have. I’m so grateful that they have been looking out for Ray! He’s going to be teaching English for two days a week, and working on a learning support program for struggling students for the other two days. It’s such perfect timing to receive this news, as we now know that we’re going to be okay next year, and definitely able to afford our wedding, honeymoon and also start saving! I am so incredibly grateful for the staff and friends who have helped us out and given Ray the opportunities leading up to gaining this position: they’re truly incredible people who have massively helped us out.

-We’ve also had an incredible weekend catching up with both of our families. I received an early Christmas from the mother-in-law and father-in-law: a brand new Elna sewing machine! I am absolutely thrilled and so thankful….now I have the resources to start my sewing projects! So, hopefully I’ll have it set up tonight for a practice sew, and then I’ll be able to start posting sewing projects on here for the new year. I’ll definitely start with something easy, like a circle skirt from the cherry blossom fabric I purchased recently 🙂 Once again, I want to say how wonderful it is to have family (related and in-laws) who are so supportive and willing to help out. I can’t wait to start sewing again!

-Facebook had a “Year in Review” option, so I decided to look and see what my “highlights” were from 2013 so far. These included getting my ukulele, becoming an aunty (twice!), Ray painting my toenails in the Wonder Woman symbols (haha), getting engaged (of course!), becoming permanently employed full-time, booking our honeymoon, Ray and I moving into our house, our engagement photos, some of my motivational pics and announcing Ray obtaining his teaching position for 2014. It’s definitely been an incredible year where I feel I’ve grown so much as a person. I’ll definitely do a New Year post all about it, but I feel so blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given throughout the year.

-On the same note of sewing and the Year in Review above…I am thinking of making an updated “goals” list for 2014. With all of the good luck that’s come our way with work and finances all working out, there’s some things I can aim to work on for next year…such as craft projects and the such.

-Not long til Christmas now! I’ve managed to sort out all of my Christmas shopping, and cannot wait for a little holiday over my week off. I haven’t had a week off in a long time (except for when I was sick…blergh), so I’m really looking forward to the break. We’ve also got NYE and my birthday coming up, but with the wedding coming up and all, I doubt we’ll do much. Though, we’re very keen for a games night on NYE…we shall see!

-I am slowly starting to consider playing WoW online. I am wanting to try it first before I commit to anything…and I’d be wanting to join a server that friends are currently using. I’m finding in my offline game that many of the quests are dungeons that I really can’t do on my own, and I’m really wanting to experience a raid. So…..we’ll see. If enough people start begging me to play online, I might cave in eventually 😛

And that’s about it from the past week in review. There’s lots of things happening in preparation for the new year, while are the same time many things are slowly down completely. So…apologies if there’s not much exciting content in my blogging for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got 3 blog posts to go for the year, so we’ll see what I can fit in 🙂

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Week 48!

 

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Hi everyone!

This will be the fifth-last blog post for the year from me. The only reason I’ve counted is because I’ve realised that I’ve successfully been blogging once a week since the start of the year. As this was one of my goals for the year, it’s a huge accomplishment that I’ve kept to it til the end. Well, in my mind, it is anyway.

So, here’s this week’s update! Just a warning: it’s going to be a pretty full-on update, as I’ve had some interesting experiences this week.

-I had an unpleasant realisation this week, which really brought me down. I can’t disclose too much of it online, but what I can say is I had a really disheartening experience. After working so hard and striving for equal opportunities for individuals, I was hit with a reality check that if someone in power wants something else to happen instead, it will happen. The way that myself and others were treated in the process was quite hurtful, and for quite a few days last week, I felt like the work I did really didn’t matter. People in power, having complete disregard and not even knowing who I was (I was/am nothing in comparison), completely thought it was appropriate to overturn the procedures and plans I’ve worked so hard to maintain. So, rather than having a fair and transparent assessment for all, it feels like because some people have the approval of higher-ups, they can “override” our process. This really hurt. I feel for all individuals who are considered in a fair process; whether this discriminates against them. I just had a bad feeling in my gut for the rest of the week. Sorry I’m being so vague about it all: I guess I was hit with the reality that a lot of the world is still run in an “old-school” way, and that people are constantly being treated unfairly. It’s really disappointing.

-However, after the above experience, I received so much support and encouragement from friends, colleagues and Ray. I think knowing that the people around you value your work and efforts (rather than people in more power) is a more powerful thing to have. And in the end, I do the work I do for the individuals who want to participate in our program: they’re more important to me than pleasing higher-ups or climbing a corporate ladder. So, with the support of the incredible people I get to work/associate with on a daily basis, I’m going to continue to strive with the passion I have for my work.

-This week, Ray and I are extremely thankful for the friends he has at work. He has some teacher-friends who are really looking out for him and making sure he’s receiving opportunities and is “being noticed” (something that can be hard to do if you’re a casual teacher). One staff member in particular has gone out on her way and ensured that Ray is receiving enough casual work. Because of this, we’re not safe for the Christmas holidays and will definitely be able to keep up paying the bills. I cannot express my gratitude enough for this. We’re extremely thankful that, within work that is very politically-orientated and, on occasions is very discouraging, there’s people who are looking out for Ray. And the same applies with my work too. We’re very blessed to be surrounded by some incredible, selfless people. Thank you to all who have helped us out!

-The more I look at Christmas sales of clothing, the more I want to start making my own. I’m finding many stores are changing their sizing of recent. For example, Target seems to have decreased the chest sizes in their clothing…because whenever I’ve tried on my normal size at Target, it fits everywhere except there! The opportunity to make clothes that I want to wear, without a “size tag”, and that fits correctly is becoming more and more appealing to me. I just need to get my machine fixed, and become motivated to cut and pin (though, Ray said he loves doing this part!) Here’s hoping it’s something I can start as a 2014 goal J

-I’m starting to think about 2014 goals, though it’s a big year already with our wedding. I’m really hoping my leg is healed up enough by the new year that I can start focusing seriously on exercise. Maintaining this blog will definitely be a goal…but I’ll have to start thinking of other goals too!

-Wedding plans are going slowly…but steadily. I’ve spent the past week preparing items for our reception and colour-coordinating. I had a realisation over the weekend that it would be epic to have paper cranes around our reception, so I’m looking to buy some origami paper and start making these when I have free time (and then maybe thread them through some fishing wire to hang up as “mobiles”, or something).

And that’s about it for this week! Sorry it’s so vague in places, but it’s for safety and privacy reasons. Thanks for the read! 🙂

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Week 47!

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Another week, another update! Not too many things to mention on here from the past week, so I might do another post later this week: we’ll see!

-Well, it’s officially December, which means not long now til Christmas! Eeeeeek! I have so much Christmas shopping to still do. However, Ray and I set up our first joint Christmas tree yesterday. It was such a thrill for me, and has gotten me into the Christmas spirit 🙂 We’ve inherited Mum and Dad’s old tree (which is cool to have some family history there), and had a blast putting it up. I remember at home we always argued about who got to put the star up, so Ray and I put it up together (perhaps, a tradition for us to keep). 23 days til Christmas means that we have a lot of prep to go, and that we’ll have to find some local areas to look at for Christmas light displays.

-Today marks 145 days to go until I’m a Mrs! YEW! There’s a lot to still organise, though. However, we’re finding that we’re picking up a lot of items we need “here and there”. For example, while we were out buying Christmas decorations, we found napkins for the reception (with one of our colours being red, we found some funky polka dot edged ones, and for good Christmas prices!) It’s refreshing being able to find things for the wedding in random places, rather than going through expensive stockists. This coming weekend, we’re hoping to do an op shop run to find books to decorate the reception. We have to sort out Ray’s suit, then the groomsmen outfits/the rest of the bridesmaid outfits after Christmas, as well as designing our invitations so we can send them out at the end of January.

-I’m now playing WoW on a regular basis (offline), with a level 60 character. I’m still having a blast running around doing random quests (even if they’re way below my level now), and it’s giving me good practice in strategy and being a good game player. It’s good that I’m attached to an easily accessible game on a PC, because with our limited funds, I’ll have to forget about a Wii U for a while. But that’s ok as we have many, many other consoles we can game on…and I have a million Zelda games to finish anyway!

-Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to start my sewing due to a broken sewing machine. With funds being quite tight at the moment, I’ll have to wait a little bit until we can afford to fix the machine. Seeing so many of my favourite stores having sales (and finding none of the items are ones I’d go out of my way to buy), I’m really eager to make my own items that look good and fit properly (and don’t have a size tag to freak me out). I have been reading my sewing books for inspiration, and as soon as I get things started with the machine, I’m going to make a basic circle skirt first.

-I have to admit, this week I’ve been struggling with “body image” a little bit over the past few weeks. My body’s been going through some changes at the minute. I’ve found now I’m eating correctly as a coeliac (so my body’s not having its immune system attacked by gluten monsters), I’ve put on weight. We’ve also been eating very healthily, yet I’m still putting on weight. However, as I’m not exercising as much my leg is healing. However, every time I look at the huge scar on my leg, or see my protruding insulin belly (complete with marks all over my stomach from my insulin pump)…I just feel ashamed. I know these two things are things that aren’t my fault, but it just feels horrible to see how my conditions affect my body. And with the wedding coming up, I’m just feeling frustrated with the lack of progress I’ve made in my body looking “healthier”. However, my health has been going quite well due to not pushing myself to exercise as often as I’d like. It’s a constant balancing act, it seems.

-I got to D&D with my brother, his wife and my adorable nephew over the weekend. It’s incredible seeing how he’s grown, and how he’s developing. It seems like he always likes to be involved with people, as he loves to look around and be with people. He also loves to kick and move around and have a good little chuckle (and try to talk!) It’s just such a beautiful thing: being involved in the life of someone who is related to you and seeing them grow (as well as knowing that he has such amazing parents!) 🙂

-And lastly, I was watching Channel 10’s “The Project” this week, where Kitty Flanagan was presenting a piece on “How to be Happy”. Initially, she was having a go at all of the “self-help” happy books out there, and summed up how to be happy with the three steps below:

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This was just the reminder I needed:

  1. Getting off Facebook, because nothing great really happens there (and it’s not an entirely accurate representation of anyone, as we all tend to only put the “happy” things in our lives on there to make it look better than other people’s lives)
  2. The “get a dog” point more reminded me about spending time with people who don’t judge, who are loyal and who stay around no matter what (and no matter how long it’s been since you last caught up).
  3. And lastly, the ice cream point reminded me not to be too harsh on myself and enjoy thing in life while you can. So, I will have that ice cream for dessert, because it keeps me happy and it’s a “treat”.

Anyway, that’s my update for the week. Thanks for reading 🙂

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