Category Archives: Blatherings

The times, they are a’changin…

2017 is not going to go down as a great year.

It feels like I’ve been put through the wringer and have been thoroughly beaten to a pulp. It all started with the director of the unit I work in deciding that we were all going to move to hot-desking in around April. I loathe hot-desking and think it’s a fantastic way to demotivate staff and make people really unhappy.

Then I started to feel like I was wasting my time even turning up to work because I could see all the interesting projects being passed onto other people while I was doing all the boring drudge work.

I was feeling seriously under-valued and very put-upon and I totally lost the plot. In May I walked out of work and didn’t go back for a week and a half. The idea of actually going to work made me so anxious I thought I might throw up. I got myself a mental health plan and took myself off to see a therapist to help me work myself out.

I’ve never suffered from anxiety before and I had no clue how crippling and debilitating it can be. I know now and my adventures into it weren’t that serious.

It all came to head one Saturday morning when I was out for a ride. Riding is usually my stress relief but this one was just awful. I couldn’t correctly judge how close the cars were to me and my brain kept telling me they were too close and were going to hit me. I spent the whole ride totally freaked out. I made an appointment to see my GP and finally decided for the first time in my life to go on anti-depressants. The chemical balance in my brain was so obviously out of whack that it needed some help to get back to normal.

Even though I’ve suffered from depression my whole life, I’ve always resisted anti-depressants. There’s such a huge stigma to mental health and the medication that goes with it. It’s hard to get past. However I can definitely say that going on them was the best thing I could’ve done. They really helped me. I went from being constantly angry and upset 95% of the time to feeling relatively normal. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me.

And then the restructure hit.

There’s never a nice way to do a restructure. People are going to lose their jobs and that’s the reality. But it seems that every time I’ve been through one here (this is my fifth one) it’s always been handled terribly. It feels like senior management have totally lost touch with the average Joes who do all the work so there was no acknowledgement of the work that’s being done. There also doesn’t seem to be any reason for this particular restructure to have been as slash-and-burn as it has been. And the timing is absolutely atrocious. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to do it. But whatever… it’s done.

Long story short, I’ve been made redundant.

After 17 years at RMIT, I’m being shown the door. A nice redundancy package is heading my way (hopefully) and I’ll wander off, never to have to sit in this freaken office ever again! I haven’t received my “official” letter as yet but maybe that’ll appear in tomorrow’s meeting. That and my paperwork that will tell me how much they’re going to pay me to leave quietly. 😛

To be honest, it’s the best possible outcome for me. The likelihood of me getting a job in the restructure I really wanted was always going to be slim. I accepted that when I didn’t apply for any of the jobs I probably would’ve been a shoo-in for. Still, I have to admit it’s not nice to be told your skills aren’t required and that essentially you’re not good enough to be kept around. I’m sad too because RMIT has been part of my working life for such a long time now. Realistically though, I don’t think I would’ve stayed that much longer anyway, especially if I was feeling that my skills were going to waste.

But screw ’em! I don’t have to be the person they think I am. I will miss my lovely MacBook Pro though.

On the upside…

I have been offered a place in the Graduate Diploma of Journalism at RMIT. It’s an official unofficial offer at the moment but I should get my official offer tomorrow. I am hugely, hugely excited. I wanted to do journalism when I was in year 12 but was directed away from it. So now I’m finally getting to do something that I really want to.

I may not end up as a journalist but it will get me much closer along the way to doing what I want to do – if I ever actually work that out! Once I’ve completed the grad dip I’m going to have a fairly unusual skill set so hopefully that will work in my favour. We shall see. Exciting times ahead!

After everything that has happened this year, I’d really like 2018 to be a year with no major life-changing decisions. That’d be nice after a year of being swamped by them.

The progress of time

So, this time three years ago, I was lying in a hospital bed with a badly broken arm and in an astronomical amount of pain.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot today because today was Amy’s Gran Fondo and I rode it. Yes, my time was slower than last year and I’m absolutely exhausted but I still feel like I achieved something. Today was a much, much better day than the one I was going through all that time ago.

My life was profoundly changed by that accident. I’ve accepted the fact that I will always be angry with the woman who hit me. I can’t change how I feel but hopefully I can move further away from that moment that has been one of two defining moments in my life in the past three years. I guess finally finding acceptance with my anger is a starting point.

I’ve had such issues with my body but I’m trying so hard to change how I think about my body for Juno’s sake because I don’t want her to suffer with the same issues that I have. It’s definitely not perfect and there is so much I would change about it but I should be thinking about how amazing it is. I went though a traumatic experience whilst pregnant, carried a baby, had major abdominal surgery in the form of a c-section and went through 18 months of physical therapy once I could after Juno was born. I need to acknowledge the fact I can pretty much do everything I did before is a pretty amazing accomplishment.

Yay me?

2016 in 40 questions

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Attempted to ride up Mt Hotham. It did not go well.

2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Eh. Who needs them?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope. I correctly guessed that my boss was pregnant about four weeks before she told anyone though. LOL

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Any overseas trips are most definitely a few years into the future.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
More time? But I know that’s not going to happen with a toddler.

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
30 March. I went back to work after 13 months on maternity leave and had to relearn how to use PC. (Seriously!!)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Returning to work. Unfortunately for me, I returned just as two major software systems were about to be replaced so I had to learn a huge amount of new stuff. One of them had me doubting my ability to learn new software quickly – a skill I’ve always had – but it turns out everyone was and still is struggling with it. Still, it was really nice to use my brain in a way that had nothing to do with managing a baby/toddler.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting my spending under control. We’ve both dropped to four days a week so there’s definitely less money around. I must do better! Especially if I want to get a custom-made bike for my 50th birthday.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’ve had a lot of problems with my back this year. I think it’s stemming from issues with my Cesarean scar which hasn’t healed as well as I had hoped it would. I have adhesion and on the left side, they’re catching on one of my oblique muscles, which in turn seems to be throwing my back out. I’m seeing a specialist myotherapist in the hope she can break down the scarring which should free everything up and hopefully reduce my pain.

Really hoping the myotherapy works otherwise I could be in for surgery. Bleugh.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
All the cute outfits for Juno!! She’s so much better dressed then I am.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Richard. He has put up with a lot this year and he still loves me. Pretty amazing I think.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The Australian voting public. We’re idiots. What are we? Idiots!!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Juno, Juno, Juno! I don’t seem to be able to resist all the things for her. I would’ve said bike shoes but nope, not a single cycling company seems to want my (currently non-existant) money.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Finally getting to do Amy’s Gran Fondo after not being able to to for three years. They reversed the direction this time and I found the last 30kms down the Great Ocean Road a pretty hard slog but it was also really rewarding as well.

I can be so hard on myself (especially lately as the weight has crept back on) but I have to remember that I had a baby. 20 months ago I had a baby. My body did this amazing thing and I should love it for that, not get all critical on how I look. I think my problem is that pre-baby I did so much riding and exercising in general but now I’m restricted in what I can do. I should be thinking how great it is that I am back on the bike and doing some relatively hard rides.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Eh…

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? it’s a little more complex then that these days.
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. Sigh.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer – most definitely poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
More fun stuff with Juno. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing enough stuff with her to stimulate her development and mind. But then again, she’s such a happy, laid-back child, I guess she’s doing okay so I must be doing something right.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Doubting myself as a parent. I put this last year too but it’s still true. I shouldn’t be doubting myself so much. Juno is an awesome little kid and I’m doing my best I can. That should be enough.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family. Juno was rather disinterested in her presents but we’re enjoying the fact that she’s still young enough to not understand what xmas is and start demanding things. Next year will be different and I’m guessing we’ll have to get a xmas tree.

21. What was your favorite month of 2016?
I’m going whoa! it’s December already?! When did that happen?

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?
Yes 🙂

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Game of Thrones. So looking forward to seeing how it ends.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. Hate is a pretty wasteful so why put any energy towards it?

26. What was the best book you read?
All the Terry Pratchett books I’m currently re-reading. Can you miss someone you never met? Because I certainly miss him. I miss the excitement of a new book coming out, buying it as soon as possible for my kindle and then again in book form so I can read with all the footnotes. Sigh.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Still listening to the same stuff I always have. But I haven’t really had the time this year.

28. What did you want and get?
I didn’t really want anything. Well, that’s not true, I wanted the pain in my arm to stop and that’s kinda happened. I guess I’ll just have to see what happens with it in 2017.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Doctor Strange was a visual feast for the eyes. Story might’ve been paper-thin but I quite enjoyed it. Did chuckle at how Doctor Strange would suddenly drop into an English accent on the odd occasion.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year was a real treat. I got taken to Brae and we stayed there overnight in their five star accommodation. It was very swanky and we had a Juno-free night thanks to my mum.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a little more confidence in my parenting skills. And worrying a good deal less about what other people thought of said skills. Juno is my baby therefore I know her best and I know what’s right for her.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Comfortable is a word that springs to mind.

34. What kept you sane?
Bike, bike, bike! Riding worked about 95% of the time. I’m a better person because of it.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh…

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The American presidential election. It was like a car crash, I couldn’t look away and then we got the worst result possible.

37. Who did you miss?
Me? Is that an answer? It feels like I’ve spent of a lot of this year figuring out who I’m supposed to be now. Still working on it.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I’m saying Juno again because she’s changed so much this year. Every developmental jump has changed her.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016
Toddlers are amazing little people. I love Juno’s lack of self-consciousness. If she wants to dance, she will. Everything is interesting to her and being with her is a reassessment in how to see the world.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I can never think of anything for this. Also, toddler brain!!

Two words

Chronic pain.

Not happy words. But that’s where I am right now with my shoulder. I’ve been to the surgeon and there’s nothing structurally wrong with my shoulder – it’s actually healed really well. I have a little bursitis but that’s about it.

I know that I was told repeatedly at the hospital that my arm would never be the same once it healed but I didn’t expect it to be like this either. I thought it might ache a bit in the cold and be weak initially but with some work it’d return to fairly close approximation of how it was before the accident. That’s so not what has happened. Nearly two years later and it still hurts. We’re not talking eight or nine on the pain scale, or even a five. We’re talking a one or two but it’s my constant companion. I have times where it doesn’t hurt at all which is nice but they are few and far between.

I guess I wasn’t helped by the fact that the accident happened at the worst possible time. Pregnancy and broken limbs definitely don’t go together. Especially broken limbs that need rehab to recover. I did do mild rehab while I was pregnant but in the end it was too much. I felt so physically overloaded by the end of my pregnancy that the idea of doing anything for arm felt like it was just too much. Guess I’m kinda paying for it now.

I think I’ve worked pretty hard with my physical therapy and I guess it’s worked because I have pretty good mobility. However, mobility doesn’t mean pain-free. I don’t want to be in pain for the rest of my life. (If my grandma is anything to go by, I’m going to be around for a while yet – she’s 98!!)

So now we’re into where to go from here? How do I learn to manage my pain?

I know chronic pain is caused by the brain’s plasticity. Provoke it into a pain response for long enough and your brain rewires itself into that being the default. Any movement, any position that your brain decides is wrong leads to a strong pain response. What fun! The pain can come on at totally random times and it can tip up into the high end of the scale. If you’ve ever noticed me with my eyes shut taking a few deep breaths, it because my shoulder is giving me a hard time at that moment.

I’m about to find out if I can rewire my brain back to how it was before. I figure that if it can wire itself into this position, it must be possible to undo it. The trick will be working out how. I’m starting with acupuncture and have an appointment with my GP in a week to see if there’s something I can take to suppress the pain in the short-term. The logic behind medication is to simply give my brain a break in the hope it’ll get the picture to quit it with pain messages. Also thinking some therapy wouldn’t go astray. Talking to someone about how to manage my pain is probably a good idea.

It’s been so long since the accident. I was undoubtedly naive in the thought that it would simply get better and go back to how is was but I didn’t expect it would be like this either.

Road to recovery

It feels like it’s been an eternity since my accident but sometimes it feels like hardly any time has passed at all. Life has been a bit busy I guess…

I’m not where I thought I would be. I think I had some idea that my shoulder would just get better and everything would go back to how it was before. I don’t know why I thought this when all the medical people I saw told me it’d never be 100% again. Still, the problem isn’t with my arm per say, it’s with my shoulder. Technically my shoulder wasn’t actually injured but it’s what has been completely and utterly screwed up.

I have reasonable mobility – no frozen shoulder for me – but it’s not great. When most people lift their arm above their head, their shoulder will stay down and stable. Mine doesn’t do this. When I lift my arm above my head (ignoring the fact that I can’t lift it the whole way), my shoulder rolls forwards and up. When I’m standing, you can see that I hold my shoulder more awkwardly than the other. It rolls forward but I can’t stop myself from doing it.

I’ve been doing clinical pilates twice a week since about June last year. It has helped. I am getting stronger but I know my arm is still so weak in comparison to what it used to be like. It’s so frustrating and so sloooooooooow. My shoulder can make some pretty terrible noises too. I often hear it grinding away and other times it makes a pretty horrible crunching sound. My physio has assured me that the crunchy noises are fixable as it’s just the joint playing up but it can still be pretty alarming.

The real concern is that I still have pain where the break is/was. It’s not constant but according to my physio I shouldn’t be experiencing any pain at all in that area. It could mean that I have bone spurs or calcification. So it looks like I need to see an oesteo surgeon. I, at least, need a scan to see if there’s anything going on with the break. The idea of tiny bits of bone floating around in my arm is more than a little disconcerting.

I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much. At least my arm works. I can pick Juno up and carrying her around. It is hard though. She gets heavy for me pretty quickly and I have to either sit down or put her down. I wanted to use our carrier a lot but I can’t because it puts too much pressure on my shoulder. But soon we should be able to start putting Juno in it using the back carry (Juno back pack!!) so hopefully that’ll be easier for me.

I guess all I can do is keep moving forward. I feel I’m doing all I can to recover. It’ll take however long it’ll take.

2015 in 40 questions

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
Had a baby.

2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Eh. Who needs them?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me? I’m pretty close to me. 😛

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Any overseas trips are most definitely a few years into the future.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
100% ownership of my own body. Some days I’m so touched out it’s ridiculous. I never knew that was a thing until I had a baby. It’s most definitely a thing.

7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
26 April, 5:14pm. The moment I went from never having kids to having a daughter.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
On a very personal level… Riding up not one but two mountains! I didn’t think I’d be able to make it up the summit of Donna Buang but I did. A month later, I did it again; this time it was Fall’s Creek.

I had so many doubts about whether or not I’d be able to reach the summit of Donna. I was six months post-baby and it was definitely ambitious. But I did it. It was really hard but I did it. I didn’t feel the sense of accomplishment until later but I guess it shows that having a baby doesn’t have to mean never doing the things you want to do. And it doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you did pre-baby.

I had a friend give me some good advice on the day. He said If you picture yourself failing, you will. Picture yourself at the summit. I think that’s pretty good advice for life in general.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I dunno. If I hadn’t got myself some help with the breastfeeding I think that would’ve been. Sometimes I can’t believe we’re still going now when at the beginning I was struggling so much. It got down to a day-by-day decision as to whether or not to continue. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to stop, that I’d decided to give up and switch to formula. But I didn’t. We’re at eight months now and still going strong. Down to three feeds a day but Juno starts and ends her day being breastfed.

Uh… that didn’t answer the question at all did it? Okay… my biggest failure was not being able to stop myself buying so many cute things for Juno. I mean really, how many t-shirts, oneies, skirts, dresses and pants does she need?!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got a cold in late February. Once I got it, I couldn’t get rid of it. I had it for the last two and half months of my pregnancy. It sucked. Juno and I both got colds when she was about seven weeks old. I was miserable, she was her normal happy self. Breastfeeding became a bit of an issue though.

Then there’s the elephant in the room… I knew there was a really good chance I would get post-natal depression. And I did. Breastfeeding was toe-curlingly painful and I was really struggling with everything. It all came to a head one day when Juno was around four weeks old. I just couldn’t get out of bed. I would look at Juno and wish that she wasn’t there. I couldn’t care for her. I just lay there.

Later that day I called a specialist psychologist who I had a referral for and got myself some help. Being able to recognise what was happening to me probably saved me. It’s something that we don’t like to talk about because the perception of motherhood is all love, cuddles and joy. And that’s such a fallacy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Bike trailer for Juno. Haven’t used it yet but I’m hanging out to do so. We also bought an absolutely amazing vintage Polish Art poster.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Hillary, my physiotherapist. She has been a huge, huge part of my post-baby recovery. She has helped me in so many ways and is kind, compassionate and has amazing hands.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
The bastard who stole two of our bikes. My commuter got taken and Richard lost his single speed. Whoever it was came prepared with bolt-cutters to cut through the lock.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Juno. I have spent so much money on cute little outfits for her. Also once I got back into it, I’ve spent a lot of money on new cycling kit. More than I meant to. Oops.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I want to say Juno’s birth but by the time it came around I was so over being pregnant that I just wanted her out. And when it came to take her home I was still in shock over the birth and the abruptness of her arrival. It seems that I’m too tired these days to get really excited about anything.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Eh…

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Let me put it this way – the highs are high but the low are really freaken low.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner! But I am no longer growing a whole human being inside me.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Sleep!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Doubting myself as a parent. This parenting gig is freaken hard work without constantly doubting yourself. All I can do is my best and what I think is best for Juno.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With Richard’s family. Juno had more fun with the wrapping paper than she did with her presents but that’s to be expected.

21. What was your favorite month of 2015?
To be honest, it’s all been one big blur. No month in particular really stands out.

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Yes 🙂

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Daredevil. It was so good. The casting was pretty much spot on (except for the actor who plays Foggy – just don’t buy him as the character). And surprisingly enough Supergirl. It’s nice to have a show that’s not all dark and depressing. Kara has her angsty moments but it’s nice to have something that’s about finding the light.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. Hate is a pretty wasteful so why put any energy towards it?

26. What was the best book you read?
The Shepherd’s Crown. Terry Pratchett’s last ever novel. *sniff* The day I found out he’d died, I just cried and cried. But he certainly had one big surprise in store with this book. It’s such a great read and a very fitting end for the Discworld series. (Now to hope that it gets left alone and that a greedy publisher doesn’t try to cash in on it by getting someone else to write books.)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Still listening to the same stuff I always have. But I haven’t really had the time this year.

28. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby. And thankfully that’s exactly what I got.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I didn’t really make it to the cinema that much this year but like everyone else, my fav was definitely the new Star Wars movie. Sure it had flaws but it captured the spirit of the original films. Plus, kick-arse female protagonist!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was meant to be taken out for lunch but I had a cold so that got cancelled. Still managed to have a nice day at home with Richard and Juno.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a little more confidence in my parenting skills. And worrying a good deal less about what other people thought of said skills. Juno is my baby therefore I know her best and I know what’s right for her.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Who knows?! I don’t have one. I’m a first-time mum. I’m allowed to not have one.

34. What kept you sane?
So, towards the end of the July I had a truly shit day. I felt like I was the worst mum on the planet and I simply wasn’t coping. I decided I had to go for a ride the next day come hell or high water. The forecast wasn’t great – it was cold, windy and rain was expected. But I still went for a ride. I got on my bike and just went. I’d been riding for about 10 minutes when I started to cry. I’d forgotten how awesome being out on my bike was. Yes, I’d missed it intensely but I’d forgotten what it felt like. My relief and happiness was so intense, there was no other way to express it except cry.

You can tell when I haven’t been riding enough. My ability to cope plummets, everything becomes too hard. But get me out on the bike for a few hours and I’m so much better.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh…

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Thought it was pretty shit how the government announced they were cutting their meager paid parental scheme on mother’s day. Calling women double dippers was pretty low too. And they wonder why women don’t like them…

37. Who did you miss?
My friend Helen who moved with her family to New York.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Well, that’s pretty obvious. Miss J of course!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015
There is joy in everything if you chose to see it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I can never think of anything for this. Also, baby brain!!

Keeping with my tradition (but with bonus Juno pic spam)

I know I always put this up but this year it seems to have extra meaning and I get a bit teary towards the end (gee, I wonder why). Much love to those I hold dear, both near and far.

And because it’s all about Juno…

2014 in 40 questions

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Got pregnant! Well, I could’ve been pregnant before but not known about it. It stuck this time.

Also moved into a house that I’m co-owner of.

2. Did you keep your new year resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Eh. Who needs them?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My team lead had a gorgeous baby girl in September.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Sigh. And it’s going to be awhile before I get to go anywhere overseas.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Less stress? Hah! As if that’s going to happen once the baby is born.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
September 17 – the day I got hit by a car riding to work. I couldn’t tell you what day I discovered I was pregnant (late July I think or maybe very early August) but I can tell you roughly what time I had my accident – somewhere between 8 – 8.30am.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Walking up a flight of stairs at the hospital so I could go home after being there for four days. I was so weak, in so much pain but so freaken determined to go home that I did it. My knee had only started working properly the day before and I probably should’ve stayed in the hospital for longer but I couldn’t hack it any more.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Blaming myself for the accident because I felt strongly that I could’ve/should’ve done more to avoid it. Which is stupid because the car driver ran a red light.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
See question seven.

Oh… I think I got a cold early in the year. Can’t really remember.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My girly, pinky-red Allegro step-thru. Having it means I can still ride a bike because it forces me to slow down and ride at a level I can actually sustain. Also means I’m way more up-right. One of my xmas presents was a cherry-wood basket for the rear rack so I don’t have to worry about carrying a backpack.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The two guys who sat on the road at my side while I was lying there after my accident. One faced towards me so I could see his face and quietly talked to me while the other sat behind me and let me hold his hand and squeeze the bejesus out of it when I needed it – especially when the ambos had to splint my arm to get me off the road.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
It’s a tie between Tony Abbot for all his appalling sexist behaviour (yes, I’m so much better off because he got the carbon tax repealed), Scott Morrison for disgusting behaviour towards asylum seekers and refugees and Chris Pyne who I just want to punch in the face every time he opens his mouth. Oh… and there’s his higher education reforms which I’m hoping never get through.

And then there’s always smokin’ Joe Hockey too and his endless gaffes and idiotic statements that would be funny if it wasn’t our federal treasurer saying them.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Erm… not so sure this year. I know I’ve bought a fair bit of cycling gear when I don’t really need it. But Rapha finally introduced their women’s city riding range and it was too nice to not buy something…

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Well, I pretty excited when I discovered I was pregnant. I had some trouble getting down the stairs whilst clutching the test in my hand because my legs didn’t want to work.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Hhmm… none?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? probably about the same.
ii. thinner or fatter? Well, I’m definitely bigger around the middle at the moment but that would be because I’m growing a whole new human being!
iii. richer or poorer? about the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Loads more riding! Now that I can’t, I really miss it. I hate the fact that my bikes are sitting there waiting for me and I can’t just jump on them and go for a ride. It’s been a slow recovery from the broken arm which means it’s been a long time between rides.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Broken my arm? Does that count? It was something that was done to me so maybe not.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home. We had two friends come over for lunch. Lunch was so yummy.

21. What was your favorite month of 2014?
To be honest, this year has kinda all blurred together. It’s a been a year of ups and downs.

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Can’t do that if you already are 😉

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
Vikings. We used to watch it and Game of Thrones to see which would be more violent and/or bloody. I think it ended up being a tie.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope. Hate is a pretty wasteful so why put any energy towards it?

26. What was the best book you read?
The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer. I just finished reading it and it was really good. I found it to be really thoughtful and she put forth some really interesting ideas whilst challenging the idea that asking for help means that you’re weak and incapable of taking care of yourself – which patently isn’t true.

It was also far more personal than I thought it would be and I felt like I learnt a lot about her that I didn’t know.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
There wasn’t one.

28. What did you want and get?
Pregnant! LOL

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Guardians of the Galaxy. It was really good fun and dancing baby Groot was the most adorable thing I’ve seen all year.

However, we’re off to see Birdman on NYE and I hear it’s very good.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Is it terrible that i can’t remember what I did on my birthday? It was on a Monday so I know I wasn’t at work. Richard took me to Ezard for dinner on the Saturday night before which was lovely. I turned 42.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
We were told in April that we’d be moving into our house in May. Then it was “another month” every time we asked for six months. I was getting pretty anxious when it got to November and we still hadn’t heard anything – I really didn’t want to contemplate having to move after I’d had the baby.

Then Richard got a phone call saying everything was finally sorted out and that we’d be able to settle on the house and move in. It was incredibly frustrating though.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I spent $400 on a pair of grown-up heels. (Now I’m worried that they won’t fit me – apparently your feet can increase a size whilst pregnant and not return to their original size once you’ve given birth!)

34. What kept you sane?
Having a stable home life. Having a place were you feel secure and happy makes all the difference in the world.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Meh…

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The changes to higher education got me quite angry and I was very relieved when they got voted down. But apparently they’re going to persist with them which is depressing.

37. Who did you miss?
I’ve really missed my co-worker Julia who moved to a new job in July. Sigh.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Is it terrible that I can’t think of anyone who really stands out?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014
That you can never say never. Only a few years ago I was swearing black and blue that I’d never get married and that I’d definitely never have kids. Uh huh… right.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I can never think of anything for this one.

Because it’s that time of year again…

I know, I know. I put the same song up every year but it’s most definitely my kind of xmas song. And hey, I’m starting my own tradition!!

Much love to those I hold dear, both near and far. Be good to each other 🙂

A question of fitness

I kinda had an huh moment a few weeks ago. I was out on a ride with friends. My friend H (one of the many Hs I know!) and I were paired up and both of us whinging out how unfit we are.

Which seems kinda weird when we’d just ridden 50kms.

Yup, we’d just knocked over a 50km ride at a not too shabby pace and we were both whinging out how unfit we were. That’s weird. But I’m guessing that there are plenty of people our age would struggle to ride 10kms, let alone 50. Hell, there are plenty of people out there who’d be out of breath after a short stroll.

I guess it’s a case of what “fit” means to the individual. My definition of fitness is probably quite different from the average person’s.

For me being fit means that I can smash out 28 minute boulie laps a couple of times a week. Right now I’m struggle to get under 31 minutes – which means I’ve slowed down a lot. (However, I must say that boulie lap times are hugely influenced by strength as well as fitness. I feel very weak on the bike at the moment.) That says to me that I’m unfit and I need to work a good deal harder if I want to returning to my former ways.

Returning to the gym seemed like such a good idea but I seem to be suffering from perpetually heavy legs. Getting on the bike is really hard work. It feels like it’s taking a huge amount of effort to get going. I’m pretty much okay once I’m rolling but ack… the effort to get there kinda sucks. On the flip side, it is nice to feel some muscle firmness in my shoulders and chest. The rest of me might suck but at least that bit is sorting itself out.

Anyhoo… fitness. How you define it. What it actually means to a person.

Uh… yeah.