Dec 3, 2020

In Which I Cancel My Gym Membership.

I didn't expect myself to be as emotional as I was but it was what it was.

After almost eight years, I ended things with my gym.  For all the usual excuses and reasons.  Variations on the theme of basically not being there enough in recent months:
- the mum / work / life balancing act has only increased in complexity despite my naive thinking that it would all get easier once I had a toilet trained child who slept through the night having survived the back to back illness years of long daycare.  
- my days at work increased two years ago and with that, the luxury of that second week day off over which to spread all my life admin and housekeeping duties disappeared - so it was goodbye to those languid Tuesday and Thursday mornings spent at the gym before stopping off for a coffee on the way home.
- outside of that one day off, I really had no other block of time within which I could take myself off for a workout and still make it in time for school and activity pick up.

The practical solution was, obviously, to cancel my membership.  I've adapted the way I exercise to my new routine (and dodgy body parts), taking up various activities I can do from the comfort of home or in the great outdoors.

But I hadn't up until now because I just couldn't.

We've had quite a journey, my gym membership and I.  

I first joined up as a new mum coming to terms with her perfect but unpredictable new baby and her less than perfect post partum body.  The 24/7, multi location nature of the gym I joined enabled me to squeeze in some 'me time' in those early months in the intense, bewildering world bubble of a first time mother and her child.  As time went on and I re-entered the real world, the gym was a stop on the way home from work or the first commitment of the day if said sleeping child showed signs of both being able to sleep beyond sunrise and be content in the company of caregivers who were not me.  Those were rare mornings, for the record.

And so the years have passed.  Somehow, up until now, there was always time to get to the gym once or twice a week.  The solitude, no nonsense decor (and fellow gym patrons) and plentiful equipment were all I needed to get there and get the job done.  

It's been as much a mental journey as a physical one.  Through life's ups and downs, the gym and going to it was a constant and reassuring presence.  I've learned persistence, patience and the power of just showing up.  I've gone beyond having goals relating to numbers. Numbers relating to weight lost, weight lifted, speeds run on a treadmill or calories burned on an elliptical. 

My goals now is quite simple.  Each opportunity to exercise is a gift and no two days' exercise are ever the same.  It's a privilege to be able to wake up each morning, get out of bed and move.  It isn't always fast, strong and graceful but I can and both my mind and body allow me to.  I marvel at what I can do and how that affects how I feel and think.  

Considering I wrote the essay above, is it any wonder I might have nearly teared up when I surrendered my membership this week?

Fear not, dear reader.  This is the world of SSG so of course the door closing on a gym membership lead to the door opening on a new fitness passion.  iFit on my new treadmill.

Who knew you could travel the world from the comfort of your loungeroom treadmill?  Who knew that the experience could be even more fun, educational and immersive than using similar programs on those fancy hotel treadmills.  I've been running in Salzburg, Austria one day, around lakes in Hawaii the next and also New Jersey the day after.  I've walked the cobblestones of Brasov, Romania and climbed historic (and steep) flights of wooden stairs in Sighisoara, Romania.  And I've not tripped even once.  Or found myself stranded because of the pandemic.  My current goal is to complete the 12 Days of Christmas series which will take my ears and eyes to the best of the world's holiday celebrations while my lungs and legs do their best to keep up with the super fit trainers who manage to deliver so much information while running tempo.

Dec 1, 2020

A Sentence (or Two) A Day: November 2020.

Time's just hurtling by, isn't it?  This has definitely been one of those years where that's been a positive.    November has had its moments for me.  

Ranging from the very good to the very ordinary - they've all been memorable and character-building if nothing else.   

  1. My first takeaway coffee of  November was sipped under the first Christmas decorations strung up at my local Westfield.
  2. Just your average Monday where your afternoon routine gets put on pause for 5 minutes so that a film crew can finish their work at a house you drive past every school day.
  3. 'Women marry their glass ceiling'.  Caitlin Moran - 'More Than A Woman'.  My current Audible book.  It's equal parts laugh out loud, painfully relatable and vigorously thought-provoking.  11/10.
  4. That swim this morning was everything!!!!  Watching the US Election unfold?  Anxiety provoking.
  5. Yes, it did rain all day today (again) but I did get to walk outdoors during the fine breaks.
  6. Another day dominated by the rain.  Appreciating how it's made me slow down a bit.  To walk instead of run.
  7. At the park enjoying the sun and participating in a seminar via Zoom.

  8. History has been made. 

    The time to heal, unite and innovate is NOW.
  9. I got my tree pose back.  Just with the left leg but it's back and I hope to get my right leg tree back shortly too.
  10. Thank you, toll relief!!!!!!!  However, what Toll Relief giveth, the Click Frenzy Sales just taketh away...

  11. Lest we forget.
  12. I listened to Caitlin Moran's take on discovering yoga in 'More Than A Woman' on the way to work today.  It was splendid.  That concept of yoga allowing adults to be childlike again in their breathing, posture and movement.  The cathartic release of joints in both a physical and emotional sense.  How it is possible to get 'high' from ridding your body of tension and pain as opposed to filling your body with drugs like alcohol.  
  13. Mandatory training for work ticked off. 

    With days to spare.  Giving myself bonus points for managing to join the skype seminar for the visual component of training AND the dial-in component for the audio / interactive component.  
  14. Whiling away the day at home in front of the fan.  Going for a stroll at 6pm in shorts and a T-shirt.  Summer is definitely just around the corner.
  15. I went to a Westfield on a Sunday, spent several hours there and DID NOT lose my mind.  My daily commitment to deep breathing and mindfulness is definitely paying dividends.
  16. The focused mind of a monk or the scattered mind of a monkey? 

    Jay Shetty's 'Think Like A Monk' is my Audible audio of the week and I look forward to having Jay help me rework the way I think about and deal with life.
  17. Tray baked roast chicken for dinner tonight.  Minimal effort for maximal taste.  What's not to like?
  18. The Year 2 Strings Concert made me smile on the inside.

      It was a labour of love for everyone involved and the music brightened me up as I watched the live stream from my desk at work.
  19. I've just entered my first bookings for 2021 into my new week per view desk diary.  Yay, yay, yay - 2020 you are pretty much D-O-N-E!!!
  20. Ups, downs and everything in between.  Glad to be ending the working week on a (sleep deprived) high note.  Also looking forward to a bit of a sleep in tomorrow.
  21. It's been one week since my Visa card got blocked because of attempted fraud and I'm managing.  Poorly.  It's all those recurring, auto deductions that are doing me in.  I just want that new card already so I can get back to my life of effortless auto pay.....
  22. That was a very pleasing clear out.  The family room has been ruthlessly purged of all that no longer sparks joy.  Feeling very smug as I gaze at all that space and all those visible floor boards.. and hopeful that it will stay that way.
  23. I love it when a plan comes together. 

    School holiday care for the entire summer break for the days I'm needed at work (of which there are many) is locked in.
  24. Why, random car owner. 

    Why did you choose half of my driveway??  When there's a perfectly good car park 30m ahead of me and a nice spot RIGHT BEHIND where you are.  Cost me $50 to get a taxi in the rain to do school drop off and the commute to work because of you.
  25. And then my laptop died. It's only Tuesday....
  26. It's 'A Very, Very Small Number Of Days Until Term Ends Day'... so I knuckled down and ordered most of our gifts for the teachers and educators at school today. 

    Which means I only have the chocolates still to go.  For those, I would GLADLY visit the shops in person.
  27. Just my breath and I tonight on the yoga mat and it was deeply healing.
  28. Grateful that there were no blackouts through today's heat.
  29. Just completed my last Sunday morning trip to a Westfield for 2020.  The crowds are already there like most of 2020 never happened....  The rest of my gift shopping this year is going to take place from home via the internet.
  30. I've returned to the treadmill in fine form this month.  It's these iFit workouts. 

    They make the time fly as I do my virtual trail runs (no risk of tripping on a stray branch), discover the famous churches of Romania on a walk and participate in a Halloween 5K in Utah.

Nov 29, 2020

How About This Heat, Sydney?

I'm going to say it because I doubt there's a soul in Sydney today who hasn't said it as well.

How.  About.  This.  Heat.  It's energy-sapping and almost soul-destroying in its ability to make everything too much effort.  And it's been relentless in pursuit of all creatures great and small.  Sun  up or sundown, the heat has been with us this entire weekend.  

My inaugural Maccas Iced Latte mostly eased the pain of attempting to shop at a Westfield for gifts on a hot Sunday morning less than a month out from Christmas.

Staff were impossibly kind and accommodating wherever we shopped today.  While there was diligence about hand sanitising, social distancing and safe numbers in store at any given moment, there was also great patience and genuine helpfulness.

This heat-stressed mum just wants to say a huge thank you from the comfort of my cool and airy home for all the care you took earlier today in helping us get presents sorted for the teachers and educators at school.

In-store purchases completed, it was time to head home to make the most of Click and Collect, Shopback and FlyBuys redemptions.  I've finally made a solid start on the toy component of this year's Christmas gifts.

It already feels like a Christmas worlds apart from the one we enjoyed when I packed away the decorations earlier this year.  We will not be home to Perth For Christmas and neither will family be here to celebrate with us.

Each box I opened this weekend was filled with memories as well as the evidence that our tree is not one that follows a tight theme of colour and design.  

Tree decorations made my Master SSG at various stages of his childhood that seemed never ending at the time but now feel like only seconds of my the nearly eight years as a mother.  

Decorations from places I travelled to with relative abandon and ease.  Again,  a practice that is so far removed from my world today that I wonder if I'll ever again venture overseas with my bought from home foreign SIM, very particular range of creature comforts from home (psyllium husk and tea bags in their own zip lock bags, anyone?) and those epic highly detailed itineraries and accompanying print outs from Google Maps.

Bits and pieces from the supermarket and department stores.  Baubles I bought from Target the day I bumped into a friend who was similarly as last-minute fatigued as I was.  Beading from Daiso I bought that last time I ventured into the city in the last weeks of being heavily pregnant.  I remember it all with fondness.

I've decided, like many of you, that this will be a Christmas to celebrate what I do have rather than what the year 'took away'.  There will be new ways of doing things which may become new traditions.  

It will all work out.  Just so long as it's not 40C at 9am on Christmas Day.  That would be #so2020.

Nov 22, 2020

Consciously Un-stressing.

It's just under 4 weeks until I'm off on annual leave and I'm consciously un-stressing in anticipation.  Going for the fuss-free option wherever possible.  Leaving things off my 'to-do' list if they are neither necessary or contributing in a positive way to the un-stressing process.  

Just breathing.  Just being.  Just seeing. 

It's all sunshine and jacarandas above me

and orderly processions of ducks up ahead of me.

My feet are ready for the summer days ahead when I'll be in no hurry to be in any particular place at all.

I'm testing out snacks for the adventures we will have in the city and beyond.

I'm getting back into the knack of catching public transport because the first rule of the annual leave staycation is to leave the car parked at home as much as possible.

I've taken a one thing at a time approach to getting ready for the new year at work so that I won't feel overwhelmed and underprepared when I resurface at the coalface some time in 2021.  'Resurface', 'sometime in 2021' ... just typing those words make my shoulders drop a few centimetres.

A new supply of yellow index cards and card holders arrived this week.  Within a day of my putting the order through online at Officeworks.

Summer holiday care has been booked and recorded in my desk diary and phone.  I'm feeling very fortunate that we're covered by two programmes that Master SSG is familiar with and that his friends will be attending both with him.  Summer Holidays are one of those challenges of school parent life that leave you feeling like you deserve gold medal once you've managed to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

I couldn't write about consciously un-stressing without mentioning a Recipe Tin Eats recipe, could I?  Nagi's Gravy Baked Chicken is a multi-category winner.  It's easy, delicious and involves only one baking tray.  I thinned out the gravy with a little water at the end.  I have a feeling that this will be my roast chicken dish for Christmas lunch...

Are you a matter of weeks from annual leave for Christmas and New Years yourself?  Is consciously un-stressing part of your preparation too?

Nov 16, 2020

Less Than Forty Days Out....

It's beginning to look a lot like summer / Christmas / birthdays / New Years.

To be honest, I was a little frightened that the holiday season glimmer that I usually see this time of the year filtered through would be a no show but fortunately this hasn't come to pass.  I'm a creature of habit.  A determined creature of habit.  A tin of Danish butter cookies from Woolies to herald the beginning of my Christmas planning creature of habit.

Once the sticky tape has been removed (no mean feat in itself!!) and the first 'curly' biscuit has been eaten, it's all systems go for what will be a month and a bit of back to back weekends of celebrations and frenzied gift shopping.

While the feelings will the same as always, the celebrations themselves will be a little different this year.  It won't be a huge family lunch on Christmas Day and Master SSG's birthday will not be a frenzy of energy and party food at a play centre.
I've shamelessly become a mum who outsources that which she sucks at doing herself this year.  The cake pops  for the celebration at school will be expertly made for me.  They're characters from the infamous Among Us game, in case you were wondering.  I've been told by a reliable source, (the Birthday Boy)that the image above is of an Imposter with its Mini.

I'm good at goodie bags, at least, so I'll be making those myself.

We've got ... 39(!!) or so days until Christmas so I'm not panicking, I'm pacing myself.  Don't want to peak too early....

I've started a new crochet project (a bento shopping bag) and rediscovered a favourite picture book with Master SSG.

And I've started growing microherbs.  Actually, that's a lie, I just opened the parcel from Micropod, set up the trays as directed and filled the base with water about 5 days ago.

And woke up to this a few days later.

And this yesterday.  My crops of herbs should be ready for the table by the end of the week.  Also, featured in the photo?  My latest restock of the best breakfast tea from T2 - Morning Sunshine.  It literally is the light of my mornings.  Plenty here to cover me through the busy and fun-filled weeks ahead.

How are you feeling less than forty days out from Christmas Day?


Related Posts with Thumbnails