Category Archives: Update

The reason I haven’t been writing? I felt a little bit violated.

Hey guys!

So, I’ve taken a break a bit longer than expected from writing on the blog. It’s for many reasons including my hubby being unemployed (which meant I had no spare money whatsoever to buy pretty new clothes or even go op shopping). That being said, hubby is now permanently employed and starting out on a new career track this year, which is very exciting! But back to things – there is a main reason why I’ve taken a step back from blogging.

I learned late last year that regularly whatever I wrote on the blog about certain things somehow ended up being told to my old boss (I’m in a new role now). Sure – it is a public blog, so I should be prepared for others to find out what I write about. But the factor that others were actively telling my boss what I was writing to report about how I was feeling at work (even though I didn’t specify my work or anything in particular)? That made me really uncomfortable, and really made me feel so uninspired to keep writing. I felt like my “safe space” of sorts had been violated, and I was no longer comfortable being honest about sharing some of the main aspects of my life on here anymore.

As a result, I’m now really unsure of the direction I’ll take on here. I’m wanting to start showing more of “my voice” on here – more opinion pieces and the such. But the risk that a similar situation could happen down the track has made me more nervous about writing. However, I know that I have some amazing supportive friends in the workplace who are encouraging me to keep writing and being myself – no one should stop me from doing what I love and writing. But yeah, as a result of what happened late last year, I’ve been a bit nervous about opening up. That being said, this year is full of opportunity, support and so many achievements for me. I know it’s going to be a great year and I want to share it with you.

Anyway, I really felt that I owed you all a little explanation as to why I’ve been a bit quiet. I sincerely hope I can get my blogging “voice” back soon, as I’ve been feeling so sad about not being able to keep up with something I’ve been doing for years and loving.

Fingers crossed I’ll report back here soon, with lots of confidence and with no hesitation in writing about whatever the hell I want 🙂

tumblr_no266z7UOF1rnsok6o1_540

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

2015 in Review

Hello readers!

As part of the goals I set myself each year, I like to report back in my last post of each year to see how I’ve progressed and what I could have done better over the year. As I am aiming to start 2016 with a more focused approach to the blog, as well as writing more of a variety of content, the way I approach these goals for next year will be changing. However, here’s what I learned from 2015 in line with the goals I set:

-I have learned that health is a priority. This year, I’ve started to discover that my health is starting to stop me from doing things that I used to be able to with no problems. Any ideas I previously had about doing extended travel are pretty much impossible now due to my health, so I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I will have to do shorter overseas trips than I normally would hope to do. I also cannot really drink alcohol anymore (or as much as I could when I was younger) due to how much it mucks up my health in the days after. My levels of tiredness and fatigue have really increased, meaning I struggle to stay up late and attend social events. I’ve seen more specialists than ever this year, and after trying out an insulin pump sensor (where the doctors could not figure out why, even though I was taking all the right steps, my blood sugar levels still weren’t as good as they should be), my doctors have started me on Metformin. They hope that taking this will help my blood sugar levels stabilise, and help in dropping my insulin levels. I’ve always been afraid of needing to be on more medication than needed, but for a chronic immune disease I have to be accepting that this may be the case. My health has come in the way of a lot of things this year, but I have been reminded this year that I am still a strong, capable person and should be thankful for the health I do have.

-I have learned that it’s good to be flexible with plans for the future. I went into 2015 with no idea of what I wanted to happen with my career, plans for saving up for a house, my husband’s job and much more this year. Most of 2015 was pretty rough for hubby and I in relation to these: hubby made the decision to leave his career of teaching due to the lack of permanency and more (which I won’t go too much into on here), so he is currently trying to find a new job for 2016. His goal is to find something that allows him to pursue his passion for writing – whether it be part of the job, or outside of the job (ie. it’s a job where he doesn’t take the work home, and he has time to work on hobbies at home). It’s been quite a journey seeing his focus change over the year, but after what’s happened this year I can completely understand and support his decision. As a result, we’ll hopefully be closer to our goals of saving up for a house (something we’d never be able to do if he stayed in teaching). At the same time, I’ve spent the year trying to figure out where I wanted to be going career-wise, and have ended the year starting a one year secondment with a fantastic, supportive, positive team. This role will help me cross-skill and give me a chance to see what other opportunities are available, and it’s the perfect place for me to be for 2016. I’m really proud that I’ve taken the step to think outside the box and be more flexible in where I could be going for the future – stepping out of a permanent role for a year to try something new is quite a big change for me. However, I feel that it’s really going to help be establish myself career-wise and figure out the direction I’d like to take for the future.

-I have learned that being healthy is more important that trying to reach weight loss goals. After all the health issues I’ve had through the year, I managed to put on about 2 kilos this year. This was pretty tough for me, however in hindsight I really did have a lot on my plate in the year health-wise which would make weight loss and visual progress impossible. Looking at progress photos from where I started my journey in 2014, however, there’s still a massive difference thanks to muscle and toning. Nevertheless, I really struggled this year with the expectations of the gym to follow their meal plans and programs against what my doctors and health needed from me, as well as not seeing much physical changes in my body from exercise. The realisation that I need to get my health sorted before I can try and actively pursue weight loss was absolutely vital for me this year. Due to finances and needing to afford new medications for 2016, I have stepped back from following the gym’s meal plan program. Instead, I will be going into the new year making my own meal plan to follow: a hybrid of the plan I was on at the gym, filled with the required amounts of food and nutrients my doctors and dieticians have recommended, and taking lots of inspiration from Japanese bento lunches. My hubby and I are aiming to make ourselves more bento styled lunches and eating more organically (more grains, meat, fruit and veg and less processed things) in the new year. I also need to start not drinking soft drink anymore – something which has crept up again on me towards the end of this year. So, in focusing on getting my diabetes blood sugar levels in control, hopefully having less insulin as a result and following my own meal plan, I hope to get my health in order so that I’ll then start seeing some progress at the gym.

-I learned that keeping up the things that you’re passionate about is vital (and that exploring new interests is also vital). This year, I feel that I’ve let my hobbies go to waste – I haven’t actively given myself enough time for the things I enjoy. I’ve only really given myself two sewing projects (one where I only need to hem the dress before I can report on it on the blog), but I just haven’t been inspired enough to finish it off. My resin jewellery adventures went on the backburner once Summer ended last year, while I also barely managed to read any of the books I had in mind for my Goodreads 2015 challenge. This year has been rather serious in nature as a result, focused on sorting out finances, health and jobs. I feel I would have gotten through this year much easier if I had given myself more time to pursue my creative outlets. As we get closer to 2015, I now have my Shamisen – something I intend to share with you as my musical outlet. Hubby and I are also aiming to revamp our sewing area, so it is much more accessible and easy to use (I think one of the main things which makes sewing uninspiring for me is how messy our sewing area is!) And once financial plans are sorted, I’m hoping to get back into resin jewellery and maybe complete a workshop to bring myself up to speed. I really hope I can get these hobbies back on track, as I’d love to share them with you.

-I have learned the value of studying a course relevant to my employment and one that is very versatile for the future. I spent the first half of the year trying to figure out whether I wanted to get back to study: the course I was completing last year came to a halt when it was cancelled and all the distance classes on offer disappeared as a result. With my Asian Studies course no longer available, I decided to re-evaluate what I wanted to study. I have a love of learning, and I can see myself studying so many different areas in the future. However, I never really pursued academia related to my career – this year, I decided to branch out and make this happen. In starting a postgraduate business degree, I felt quite nervous: I was from a humanities background, and unsure as to whether I could be as concise and factual as a business degree required. However, my first subject was a fantastic introduction for me, and I can see just how relevant and useful this is going to be for me. I received a distinction for this subject (in fact, I was two marks off a High Distinction), and considering I completed this subject in my own time around full-time work, I’m suite proud of the result. I am hoping in the new year to try and do two subjects a session with the support of work, which would mean that I could potentially finish my Masters degree with a double major by the end of 2017 – years in advance of when I would complete it if I did it all in my own time. Studying a degree directly related to my career (which could also help me branch out into other areas if I decided to do so in the future) has been such a confidence booster for me this year.

– I have learned that I need to stop writing about certain parts of my life on the blog just to “have content” each week. As a result of this, I’ve made a conscious decision to stop talking about my job/work on the blog. Work is work. Last year, I felt that even though it was something I could provide an update on for the blog, it shifted my focus from using the blog as my creative outlet. Also, as I’m trying to differentiate myself from my professional/career through this website, I don’t see as much value in providing updates. I’m starting 2016 in a fantastically positive and supportive space for my career, which likely means I will have more energy and enthusiasm to working on some of my goals surrounding hobbies and outside-of-work pursuits.

Overall, I think that for 2016 I will continue most of the goals I had listed for 2015, but rather put them as overall goals. I think giving a year limit for the goals makes them unrealistic and makes the blog too rigid in the content I’d like to share. So, these goals will be more of a reference point for me to keep in mind when sharing ideas on here for next year onwards, but I’ll also focus on just writing and sharing more on here, and not being afraid of stepping outside the box of my usual content.

I look forward to sharing 2016 with you! Happy New Year 🙂

Friday the 13th, and why Facebook makes me silent in times of world crisis (Week 46 Update, 2015)

download

We all know of the vast number of tragedies that struck the world over the weekend beginning with Friday the 13th of November. Take one look at your Facebook feed, and it’s flooded with profile pictures in a colour-swatch of the French flag. Add several posts from those wanting to raise awareness to other less-reported tragedies, and contrast with posts that can be politely be described as complete racism towards our great multicultural society.

Well, that’s what my Facebook feed looked like, anyway. It still looks like this, actually. After attempting to watch a play-through of the new Fallout 4 game that same weekend, I had to stop about 20 minutes in as it was way too…realistic in comparison to what’s been happening and the hatred I was reading on my newsfeed. The thought that there are nuclear weapons that could wipe out the entire world instantly, in the hands of power-hungry nations where it could only take one person to decide their detonation…it was scary. I had to step away from watching a video game trailer of what was meant to be fiction due to how much it duplicated what out potential future could be like in comparison to the events over the weekend.

I spent the whole weekend trying to decide if I’d write anything on Facebook about any of the events from that weekend, including the natural disasters. Facebook kept prodding at me to change my profile picture to colours of patriotic support…but in changing my picture, would that help save the lives of those who lost theirs over the weekend? Would it stop terrorism? Would it help those already suffering from acts of terrorism?

Well, I ended up doing nothing.

It’s so funny: Facebook was initially created as a network to connect college students: a dating website of sorts, to share as much of ourselves as we like. Yet, the more it encourages us to share our opinions on world events, the less I want to share.

I saw people with whom I attended high-school writing ridiculously thoughtless, uneducated, racial comments which honestly made me quite disappointed. But why should I be? It’s their place to express their opinion, and they have as much of a right to share their opinion, even if I disagree with it. If I don’t like what they’re writing, I could simply remove them from my Facebook, right?

At the same time, I have some very differing opinions on topics that could easily cause that same level of disappointment in friends and family through Facebook – related to religion and culture in particular. Yet, I feel it’s still something that’s not appropriate for me to discuss over Facebook. I’d prefer to either keep it to myself, share it with those I trust and love, or write about it in a space I openly call my own, such as this blog.

So, that weekend really influenced me yet again in my decision to share less on Facebook. Instead, I hope to focus on the good things through my blog here. I want to write about things that inspire, that help people to be creative and that assist with people looking for the little things in life that make them happy. I hope to follow J.R.R Tolkien’s perspective, and continue to promote the good in the world. I look forward to sharing the happiness I find in my life with you!

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Mrs Ginger Fox Visits Ikea for the First Time Ever (Week 45 Update, 2015)

Last week’s update (apologies for the delay) is based around my very first trip to Ikea. Seriously, I can’t believe that I’ve managed to avoid Ikea until now…I must have been living under a rock, or was a very poor uni student (or both). But anyway, it may have been a good thing that I avoided it for so long, as Ikea has now given me a massive list of ideas and products to investigate. Anyway, here are my overall thoughts on surviving Ikea as a complete noob to the Swedish mega-store:

-Ikea is big. BIIIIIIIIIG. And it feels like so much more of an adventure with the mapped-out trail of the store. Hubby and I hadn’t figured out the quick escapes, and ended up walking through the entire store to exit as we missed the sneak-out exit in the food court after lunch. Oops. Oh well, there was much adventure and gallivanting as a result! So, if you’re low on your daily step count for your Fitbit device, Ikea is a great place to go. by browsing and walking through the place pretty much twice, I almost racked up my whole daily step goal.

-Thank goodness we were there to mainly purchase things for other people! I spent the whole walking trip around the store needing to convince myself about not getting a filigree-detail vintage style mirror. Unless you have a game-plan, this store is deadly.

3f28c5b6-de9c-4226-8a87-88c40e373d52

Oh mirror, stop tempting me so.

-It’s definitely a great place to gain inspiration for redecorating or revamping worn-out rooms. However, it is a challenging place to go when you’re renting. There’re so many cool shelving systems and cupboards that can be mounted onto walls, and mega walk-in wardrobes…but unfortunately, due to rental laws we’d be unable to put them into our current place.

One day, I'll have a walk-in-wardrobe. But today is not that day.

One day, I’ll have a walk-in-wardrobe. But today is not that day.

-There appears to be two types of affordability for items at Ikea. There are items which are bargains and affordable, or items that are overpriced. There are a couple of things that hubby and I were looking at, until we realised we could get pretty much the exact same thing at a discount warehouse, but for even cheaper. However, Ikea does have lots of strengths in the storage solutions they offer, as well as the quality of the storage furniture.

-Food was a bit hit and miss. As a coeliac, the meatballs were definitely not gluten free, so I couldn’t try the main item everyone raves about on the menu. In fact, hubby did try them and was a) not impressed and b) felt very sick for hours after. I’m pretty confident we wouldn’t write home about the food, and will probably shop on a full stomach next time (a convenient way to also try and avoid grumpy-husband-when-hungry-and-surrounded-by-too-many-shoppers syndrome).

Pretty lights and windows. And pre-grumpy shopping husband, haha.

Pretty lights and windows. And pre-grumpy shopping husband, haha.

-Speaking of the above, like many major mega-outlets, you’re going to have to deal with many, many shoppers being there who don’t understand how to be polite and not strike up a conversation with a group of trolleys in the middle of a busy t-intersection walkway. It’s a grumpy shopper’s nightmare (aka, my hubby). So…if you or your significant other is a grumpy shopper, plan ahead and give yourself extra time, or try to go at a non-busy time (aka not the weekend).

Overall, if you know what you’re going to purchase at Ikea and have a small game plan, Ikea is wonderful. If you have a budget to stick to, it can be a nightmare. However, it appears to be relatively easy to compromise between the two. I now have many ideas about getting a more organised sewing space set up, and hubby and I have some good ideas for making a more solid gaming area. Plus, we now have our mega-cute house terrarium structures to start developing our inside-herb garden. Anyway, Ikea is something everyone should experience at least once, in my view, while I may find myself venturing back there in the not-too-distant future.

Our cute little herb garden glass-house :)

Our cute little herb garden glass-house 🙂

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 44 Update, 2015

tumblr_nx50cmjPCr1qfahgfo1_500

So, as I mentioned last week, I’m keeping these weekly updates short and only with progress reports on selected areas. Over the past week I’ve had some pretty good progress health and exercise wise, so here’s my update!

I have been so focused on channelling any negative feelings and frustrations I have into exercise. Over the past few weeks, a combination of both feeling unwell and feeling crap emotionally led to me to barely getting to the gym. However, my gym coach reminded me how helpful the gym is to me: I have a chance to let off some steam and to put all my energy into exercising, whilst always feeling so positive and refocused afterwards. So, based on the advice of my coach, I set out to meet some exercise goals last week. I’m pleased to report that I stuck by every single one, and even exceeded one of my goals: I managed to get to the gym 4 times a week, do over 10,000 steps 5 days in a row and walk every day in my lunch break at work! Even though I had a very busy week, and had days where I really wanted to stay at home and watch Netflix, once I got to the gym and completed a workout I didn’t regret my decision. I managed to even get an extra surprise, as through the week’s solid efforts I managed to somehow lose 1.2 kilos in the process.

So, in light of the above, I’m yet again reminded about how powerful exercise is for having a healthy mind and for relieving stress. Even if I do a small walk, and complete a pretty dismal workout at the gym, the effect it has on my ability to stay positive and cope throughout the week is incredible. I’m definitely aiming to keep this up, and just monitor how exercise helps me maintain a positive attitude and lifestyle.

That’s my main update for this week. I have some exciting things happening related to Dungeons and Dragons, streaming on Twitch.tv and my music, but you’ll have to wait to find out over the coming weeks. Thanks for reading 🙂

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 43 Update, 2015: time for a break

tumblr_nubzdi6Tyo1tptqkno1_540

Hello readers!

Well, my blog is looking a little sad and worn at the edges. I’ve found over the past 6 months especially that the direction of my blog has been one I’m not proud of. Writing content has become more of a chore than a hobby, and my content each week is pretty much the same.

So, I’m going to be taking a little hiatus to figure out the direction I want this blog to be going in. I will keep writing an update each week in the meantime; however it will be very brief and not too crammed with information. This will be to help me refocus, and to not just be writing “for the sake of writing”.

Thank you to those who had stuck by me and read through each weekly update – I’ve really appreciated your support. In fact, it is one of the main reasons I want to figure out the direction of the blog: so that you’re getting the very best content I can deliver, as well as more inspiration and positivity.

I’ll see you on the other side – thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing the new direction of the blog!

Mrs Ginger Fox

tumblr_nur7bp8Btr1rnsok6o1_540 (1)

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 42 Update, 2015

tumblr_nuql2beZab1rnsok6o1_540

Ahh Week 42 of the year: the week of the meaning of life (you’ll get it if you’re a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan. If not…go watch the movie, or read the book). Well, it’s not really the week of the meaning of life per se, but it’s been quite a busy week! Here’s what I’ve been up to (with a warning: nothing too exciting has happened this week, but it’s important for me to stick to giving a weekly rundown):

-Well, I’ve managed to maintain progress with the gym this week. That’s pretty much all I was wanting this week, given how much was out of my control health-wise in the process. My gym really reminded me that making sure my health is stabilised is more important than seeing progress: once my diabetes starts behaving itself, I’ll start to see more progress. Fixing my health takes priority, always.

-I have spent most of last week (up until this Monday) with the Continual Glucose Monitoring device attached to me, which has resulted in almost 6 days of 24 hours of recorded blood glucose levels. I’m in the process of sending a batch of reports to my doctors which I downloaded from my pump (yep, the pump can connect to the computer via a transmitter device USB dongle), which will hopefully help figure out the best insulin levels for me to help stabilise my crazy blood glucose readings of late. It’s been pretty interesting seeing how my levels change over 24 hours – overnight, my levels dramatically drop after midnight. I had some false readings recorded on the sensor – over the weekend, the sensor tried to convince my pump I was having some hypos, whilst my normal blood tester showed otherwise! The representatives from the insulin pump company have provided information to me about prices and how to purchase supplies for the sensor…however, at around $400 a month, it’s pretty much impossible at the moment. After seeing just how much the sensor can capture, which will massively help my doctors sort things out for me, I’m so hopeful that the government will help subsidise the costs of insulin pump sensors. It makes so much sense – it would literally help save lives of so many Type 1 Diabetics who pass away due to undetected low blood glucose levels at night, and it’s helping Type 1 Diabetics like myself to improve our blood glucose control – helping us have longer, healthier lives and less risk of long term complications from diabetes.

-With my major essay out of the way, I have one reflective report, and two weeks of discussion posts left until my subject is done for this session. It’s been a bit of a relief that the workload for the subject has been very manageable, especially around my health troubles of late. Anyway, the good feeling I have about the subject will be validated (or not) in the next week or so – once I receive the result of my assignment weighted 45% of my final grade.

That’s all I have to share for this week, for now. Thanks for reading 🙂

tumblr_nwe2rmzdiR1rnsok6o1_540

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

 

Week 41 Update, 2015

tumblr_nlw09zu1Gd1sm41mbo1_540

Hello! Yes, another late post – sorry! I’ve had a crazy-stressful week, with some unexpected medical stuff and a major assignment due in. Now that most of this is out of the way, I’ve finally got time to sit down and write an update…so, here we go:

-I guess I have to be honest – I’m still not doing fantastic about the run of bad luck we’ve had lately, and am finding it pretty hard to talk about it general (except on here, I guess). What’s been hardest for me is seeing how upset my hubby is, and it’s going to be hard to change that until he is able to figure out what he’ll be doing work-wise next year. The feeling of helplessness about the situation is weighing us down, especially when he clearly deserves to be happily and permanently employed in whatever field he decides to follow. I’m still finding myself getting upset every couple of days about how unfair and disappointing it’s been, and that we don’t know what is ahead next for him/us. This could place so much of our future on hold, which we were so ready to start going after next year. We’re trying to find happiness in the simple things, but it’s so difficult to remain positive when careers are a massive part of life, and it’s so uncertain for us at the moment. That being said, we are fortunate to both have steady wages for the rest of the year, so we should be thankful. It’s just a very emotionally exhausting time at the moment. That being said, the love we have for each other is stronger than ever, even through all of this, and we’re so lucky to have each other’s support as we deal with this rough patch in hubby’s work situation. This is making us so strong, and we’re thankful that, no matter what happens, we have each other.

-In light of our dampened spirits, I made it a priority to get outside and exercise last week. I managed to get to Curves three times a week, and have a decent lunch break walk for all my working days last week. I’ve maintained my progress, which is a miracle based on all the stress I’m currently feeling. Exercising really helps me to take my mind off things, or even get it out of my system (even for an hour or two). Now my studies are almost at an end for the year, I’m hoping to resume my normal exercise regime of four times a week, and finally start back at my yoga.

-Earlier this week, I got an unexpected surprise. My diabetes specialists have wanted to put me on a Continual Glucose Monitoring device (CGM) so they can see my blood glucose levels over a 24-hour period. The CGM device is inserted under my skin (like my pump) on the opposite side of my stomach to where my pump is located. The CGM then constantly checks my blood sugars and sends it directly to my pump, where it is graphed and insulin levels adjusted (so, rather than just relying on my blood glucose checks I use my fingers for, we’re getting a crystal-clear view of my sugars for 24 hours over six consecutive days). I am very lucky that I received this device free of charge to try thanks to the efforts of my doctors and the pump company Medtronic. I have always been scared to try out a CGM, as even though it has massive benefits, I was so worried about having something else attached to me. Something else to worry about, and which would make me stick out. Plus, another needle/insertion to not get freaked out about. Anyway, after inserting the CGM with the Medtronic representative, I was really surprised – it was much easier than inserting my insulin pump site! So, I’m glad I finally got over my worries about it – yeah, it means I have more devices on my body, but as hubby says, I’ve “gained more cyborg parts”. Haha.

So far, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster. I have to pretty much check my levels every hour or so (with preference especially for overnight…goodbye sleep!) for 24 hours as the device calibrates. For the first 12 hours, the device was inaccurately recording I was having hypos, so I was on a mission of monitoring my levels closely. Overnight, the device had an error due to loss of signal, which seemed to result from me accidently bumping the device in my sleep. However, this morning it seems to be monitoring my levels with no issues. It will take some getting used to (and I’m so tired), but I can definitely see the benefits of having a CGM.

However, if I wanted access to this device on a more permanent basis (and for diabetics during pregnancy, it is advised that they wear a CGM for their entire first trimester), it would currently cost $250 a month: something hubby and I could not afford. However, it was discussed on the television show Q&A last night that the government is currently assessing whether this could change to be more affordable in the next budget. However, on the show, Type 1 Diabetes (the auto-immune disease I have) got confused with Type 2 Diabetes, and as a result many audience members and watchers were incorrectly asking why funding should be allowed for a condition caused by obesity and poor diet choices. I’m glad I wasn’t watching, as I would have been infuriated – it’s ridiculous how the media yet again misinterprets Type 1 Diabetes to the general public. Anyway, enough on that – when hubby and I want to have kids, this is something we definitely want to have access to, so as to ensure I have a successful pregnancy and healthy children in the future – it’s pretty much vital. I hope the government can look past the misconceptions of diabetes as a whole and see the benefit and ease of mind this device will bring to so many sufferers like myself.

-As I write this paragraph, I am about to review my final draft of my major assignment for my business class. This case study on social enterprise is worth 45% of my final grade. While I’m surprised about how well I’ve been going so far (I’ll admit – I’m only a few marks off a High Distinction average at the moment), the weighting of this assignment is enough to make me worried. Luckily, I haven’t gone *too* far over the word limit, but have the issue of making sure I haven’t used too many references  (something TurnItIn wasn’t happy about for my last assignment). Anyway, with this class the lecturer discussed the weighting of components of our class work last week, and I was surprised at how in-class participation and discussion was not graded. However, the lecturer assured that while it didn’t have its own grade, it would be considered when giving out final grades. I’ve tried really hard to contribute in class (even though I’m nervous about it most of the time), as well as put in the time each week to contribute to the online discussion boards. So, it’s great to hear that all of the work will *hopefully* pay off. I’m eager to see the timetables for next semester (starting in February) to figure out which subject to do next: currently, I’m tossing up whether I’ll get my compulsory introductory accounting class out of the way, or if I’ll undertake the core class I’m most excited about, which focuses on organisational behaviour. We’ll see once the timetable comes out next month.

-In light of all the stressful situations hubby and I have had to experience over the past few weeks, we’ve started putting more effort into our hobbies – particularly relating to gaming. I have helped hubby set up his podcast (add link) related to his Dungeons and Dragons setting, and we’ve started back with streaming on my channel, doing a casual play-through of Skyrim. Seeing how much happiness and energy these give us after all the bad luck lately has reminded us that it’s important to give yourself time to do the things you enjoy. It’s pretty much commonsense, but we really needed that reminder.

That’s all that’s been happening – or has been decent enough to report on for this week. Thanks for reading!

tumblr_nw1qa2JTNA1rnsok6o1_540

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 40 Update, 2015

tumblr_nv5mpvIAcQ1rnsok6o1_540

Hello from the other side of the long weekend! Apologies – this week’s post was delayed as I decided to give myself some time to relax and splurge on Netflix instead. I’m still working on getting myself into better spirits, and am glad I took some time off to refocus on my goals for the rest of the year. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-In all honesty, I’ve spent the past week or two really coming to terms with hubby’s job situation: knowing that there’s no security, and also that he’ll be spending the next few months figuring out the direction he wants to go to. Two things are clear: we/he need him to be in a more secure role with permanency before we can make our plans for the future a reality. But the second thing is that we want him to be happy in the career path he’s chosen. We’ve spent lots of time talking about all the possible options and outcomes, and it’s now up to fate and what opportunities make themselves available over the next few months. I will yet again reiterate how disappointed I am with the education system and its lack of loyalty and support for good teachers. Teaching is becoming a career so different to what it was decades ago: it’s no longer a secure career, has unrealistic work expectations as well as lack of support and opportunities for good staff. They’re no longer giving jobs to people because they’re good at it – it’s either for the highest bidder, or because of “who you know”. It’s been so disheartening realising this, especially after having a parent successfully be a teacher decades ago – seeing the clear change in the system is so sad. I’m sick of seeing my husband be treated so badly in the system, and really hope the perfect opportunity comes up which will make him happy and show that he is valued in the career force. Because we’re just about fed up with our career situations – some good news is badly needed to help us get out of this slump.

-In light of the above, I’ve been trying to keep myself active. Alas, hayfever, recurring pain in my ribs and stomach and a group assignment for university meant that I couldn’t keep up my normal pace. In returning to the gym this week, I discovered that even with my lack of progress, my weight has kept itself stable. Hopefully, I have recovered enough to get back to my reasonable rate of exercise and walking, as I really feel it helps me lift my spirits.

-This week, I’ve become quite aware (and ashamed) of how competitive I can be towards certain situations in life – especially in comparing myself to other women. Perhaps it’s the society I’ve been raised in, or the influence of others, but I’ve been struggling this week with a little voice in my head that’s comparing myself to other women of my age (related to career, weight loss and similar) and feeling a pang of jealously or a want to view them as competition. It’s made me feel pretty ashamed: I should instead be more supportive of others and their journey! Ultimately, my biggest competitor is (and should be) myself: no one else has the same journey or circumstances, therefore it’s unfair to compare myself to others. As a lover of the pinup/retro fashion scene, too often have I witnessed the snarkyness resulting from women making themselves opponents, rather than supporters. I’m hoping that I can be more mature and focus on helping others and encouraging others – celebrating their success, rather than being jealous.

That’s really all I’ve been up to. I haven’t been very productive activity-wise, but have had a lot on my mind that’s required some time to process over the past week. I hope that once my major assignment is complete next week for my Business subject, I’ll have some time to write some extra posts. I did promise my sewing post reviewing the costume I made a few months ago, and I have a Lipsense review in progress. Here’s hoping I’ll have them ready to post soon. Anyway, as always, thanks for reading 🙂

tumblr_nvm6jqxoaq1rprhpmo1_540

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.

Week 39 Update, 2015!

tumblr_noeo0a3m371tq2ksdo1_540

Well, what a week!. So much has happened, and the past week feels like one of the most emotionally exhausting weeks I’ve had all year. So unfortunately, this update may not be in the best of spirits. I’m feeling much better now, but here’s what happened:

– Last week, we received unexpected news about hubby’s job situation. He was short-listed and interviewed for a permanent role that seemed to be set-up for him, and he didn’t get it. After weeks of being told good and hopeful things about the role, our dreams were crushed on the first day of the school holidays (plus I received some bad family news on the same day – all is relatively ok in relation to this though, but it was a nightmare of a day). We have so many questions about why it didn’t work out. But overall, I’m so angry at the school/education system. Schools system: I’m done. I’m done with trying to figure out why you don’t go out of your way to employ amazing, talented, dedicated teachers permanently – instead, stringing them along on false hopes and temporary contracts and getting rid of them at your own whim with minimal to no notice. These people have a family to support, and futures on hold because they don’t know whether they’ll have work the next term or not. I don’t get it. My hubby is now faced with the decision of whether he continues to try and pursue this school, or if he looks elsewhere or in a completely different career field. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to witness and be a part of; seeing someone you love, who is so damn talented and passionate about something, but is being held back from opportunities due to the shitty circumstances of employment and the economy.

What’s been especially hard over the past week is realising that we’re both not happy with where we are currently in our careers. He doesn’t have permanency and is struggling with not knowing whether he has work to continue into each term, while I no longer feel challenged or valued and without future opportunities where I am. We just feel like we’re at a dead end in our working lives, and it really sucks.

-After last week, I spent the majority of the weekend trying to recuperate and put myself in a better mindset. Through this, I realised something – change is in the air. I have had this overwhelming sense over the past few days that if I want things to change for the better in some parts of my life, I have to be the one to make the change. So, I’m going to stop being so scared of change and moving forward/on and start taking the plunge in a big part of my life that is really impacting on my happiness as it currently is. I have this great belief that once I make this change, my overall mindset and mood will improve, and I’ll be able to start tackling some of my other goals.. Anyway, I hope that over the next few weeks, I’ll have some great news to report.

-During last week’s bad news, I became sick yet again. Hayfever hit me like a tonne of bricks, and knocked me off my feet from last Tuesday until this weekend. I had to spend all of Thursday in bed (I even couldn’t make my evening class), as the energy had been completely drained from me. As a result, I only got to the gym once last week, and have felt completely sluggish and flat. However, I needed to listen to my body and let myself recover, otherwise (as per tradition), I would have become sicker, for longer. Having a rough week and being sick at the same time is a crappy combination.

-One positive aspect of being unwell is that I actually had time to watch Netflix – I felt too unwell to play video/computer games. So…I *may* have discovered Downton Abbey, and I *may* have become slightly hooked. Unfortunately, I realistically don’t have time to watch as much television as I like, however I have been procrastinating like a boss and churning through seasons of the show (I’ve almost finished Season 2).

That’s about all I’ve been up to after quite a rough week. I hope that I can start working on writing more for the blog – it’s great having such an outlet where I’m aiming to reflect more positively on life. Thanks for reading 🙂

tumblr_njkgcbhqBr1sm41mbo1_540

This post was polished by Page & Parchment.