Feast or a famine.

Everything seems to be happening at once in my usually stale life! It is enough to make any girls head spin!

After what seemed like months and months of ‘it’s ages away!’ all of a sudden October is here! Which means in two weeks I leave the family nest to live in Sale for four weeks, AND I find out if any hospital is willing to employ me next year. Major EEPS!

I am ridiculously excited about Sale. I have travelled before, but have never had to worry about my next meal or even where I am going to sleep at night. While I do have accommodation sorted for Sale, I do not know how to cook to save myself, so this is going to be a rapid and steep learning curve for missy moo here! I am quite determined to cook my own dinner every night, no takeaway, no microwave meals. I am 23 years old, it is time I learn to fend for myself. Obviously I will have to get to know a washing machine as well. I have used plenty of laundromats so hopefully this one shouldn’t be tooooo bad! It is all good preparation for next year, when I intend to permanently move out.

In the meantime though, now that October has hit, I feel like I have a million things I need to do in the next two weeks, and a million things distracting me from doing any of them! I seem to spend my days sitting around doing nothing but play a very stupid but very addictive game on my iPhone, then talking to people on Facebook way past my bedtime, and therefore getting up late and repeating the cycle! Argh! I have also had a recent social life explosion, and seem to be going out sooo much (to other people’s standards it is probably pretty average!). At least I am dragging myself of to the gym, so that is something, although todays effort was a bit lacklustre due to severe sciatic evilness.

I still have to finish my last assignment, organise all the stuff I need to take with me, not to mention complete a never-ending to do list of stuff, including sending off my application for registration as a nurse. MAJOR ARGHHHHHH!

I suppose I should stop complaining about it and just get on with it, and also remember, that it is not going to get any easier next year when I add full-time work to my schedule! Woo!

Over and out, hombres!

xx

Facebook, why you no interesting?

I am dying of boredom tonight.

I really should get my assignment finished, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation. I am more interested in trying to decide whether or not to get my hair trimmed when I get my fringe cut tomorrow, what to wear to the gig I am going to tomorrow night, and whether or not it is an acceptable time to go to bed even though I am not really tired. Procrastination without purpose, possibly the worst kind out there. Usually I do something like clean out my room or a thousand errands or change my sheets when I am procrastinating; stuff that has a practical purpose and conclusion. But not tonight. Just blah tonight.

Facebook is boring too. Why are you all boring? Become interesting, dammit, and entertain me!

I was going to post a picture of my current general surrondings for your amusement but my phone won’t connect to my computers bluetooth. HGOUEHAGOU. The universe is mocking me tonight.

xx

Summer is coming (and the gym is making lots of money)!

You can tell summer is on its way when EVERY teeny bopper, tween, and stuck up bitchface in the western suburbs hits the gym.

It is so damn crowded at my usual time of about 4pm. I had to resort to the dreaded treadmill to do my cardio because the lone crosstrainer in the womens section (I couldn’t face the mixed gym today) was being used, and the bikes were all taken. The worst part is, these skinny little moles move in packs. They come in pairs or groups of three, mill about doing nothing, sit on the floor and chat, sit on the exercise balls and chat, sit on the bikes not moving a muscle and chat. WHY CAN’T YOU GO TO A CAFE AND CHAT?!

Grrrr.

I guess I will just have to change the time I go. Maybe aim for a pre lunch work out. All I can say is, I hate them all! ALL OF THEM I SAY!

Muhaha.

xx

That old black dog.

This old black dog is hounding me

It waits ’round the corner and hides in the trees

I feel the chill of something blown in on a breeze…

I love Andy Bull‘s song ‘Dog’. It uses the image of a sneaky black dog to describe depression, something I can completely identify with. It has been 10 years since I became acquainted with the dirty D word, so I feel it is kind of fitting to have a little ramble on about it, especially because at the moment, I feel pretty crappy.

When I was in my first year of highschool, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. And not just a Joe Blow cancer (not that any cancers are Joe Blow, really), but a highly aggressive form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that had spread from his bowel to his spine, and that they could only identify when they sent pathology samples to America, because no doctors in Australia had ever seen it before. Dad was given 3 months to live in the March of 2001, he told them to hit him with the hardest treatment they had, and he was in remission in December of the same year. We Egan’s don’t do anything by halves, that’s for sure. We have always had a tendency to be dramatic.

So as you can imagine, for a 12/13-year-old, such a fucking shithouse journey is not the easiest thing to go through. Not only was I starting a new school, not only had I left my friends behind, not only did I feel like a social outcast, but I also had to watch my dad wither away to a skeleton, vomit and cry, lose his hair, get so close to the brink so many times, and somehow also adjust to the demands of secondary education. I snapped. I bullied other students, I didn’t do my work, I failed at least one class, and I spent a good portion of the year on the school counsellors couch. It was a foggy mess of a year, but somewhere in about October as I sat on Vivian’s couch and we looked at each other, the realisation came that I didn’t need to be there anymore. I had made it through to the other side, and probably gained a helluva lot of maturity and perspective along the way. The universe dishes out shit for a reason, so that year wasn’t for nothing.

So I came out of 2001 with a fresh start, applied myself to my studies, and started to enjoy my life at highschool. I thought feelings such as the ones I experienced in 2001, the despair, the loneliness, the apathy, the mind crushing numbness, I thought they were behind me for good. Now I know better. I think once you have depression, it always lurks there in the recesses of your mind. The only way I can describe this is to compare it to fat. When you put on weight, your body generates new fat cells. When you lose weight, the fat cells empty of the fat, but the outer casing of the cell remains. This is why it is so easy to put on weight again. Only liposuction can get rid of that outer casing. I feel it is the same as depression. I feel I now have depression cells. I may spend 98% of the rest of my life happy, but every now and then, those depression cells will fill with the blackness and despair and I will have to crawl my way out again.

And the worst part is trying to explain it to you

And the worst part is knowing there’s nothing to do

Explaining depression to other people, friends and family alike, is quite difficult. In fact, with my family, the subject is not one that has been broached at all, although I am sure my mother at the very least has been aware of it over the years, particularly during my latter high school career. I went through a particularly rough stage when I was about 16 that involved spending endless days sitting listlessly in my bedroom doing absolutely nothing, a brief foray into self harm (I still have the stupid scars on my wrist, including, very faintly now, the word DIE), and at least one intentional suicide attempt. In a way it was almost an unfortunate time to be a teenager suffering depression, in the early 2000’s, as the rise of Emo’s was huge, and so I think a lot of teenagers were not taken seriously. You weren’t depressed, you were emo. Like a gigantic wholesale sweeping under the rug of a problem that society didn’t really want to deal with, and still doesn’t. But back to the point. Aside from realising that I was a gigantic sack of malcontent sitting on my bed, I don’t think my parents clued onto too much during that period. My friends were a little more cluey, and expended a lot of energy forcing me out of the house on numerous occasions. Bless their hearts. That is what true friendship is all about, people!

In 2007, after I had graduated from highschool, I got a tattoo on my lower back, the obligatory tramp stamp. It is an excerpt from a song by My Chemical Romance, who to this day are still my favourite band. The song is called ‘The Sharpest Lives’ and the quote in question goes like this: ‘If it looks like I’m laughing, I’m really just asking to leave.’ Here is a picture of the tattoo:

Please excuse many things, including my butt crack, copious amounts of fat, and the general shitness of the photo. It is super hard to take a photo of your own back. To me, this quote typifies how depression feels to at least me. It screams ‘See this fucking smile, this laughter? It is a LIE! Don’t believe it! I am not really happy, I am just pretending because I don’t know how to tell you how I feel, I am afraid you won’t understand, and I fear your rejection!’ All very dramatic and what not, but that is how it feels to me. Which is probably why I identify with ‘Dog’ so much as well, it is like exactly what I would tell someone if they asked me how it feels to be depressed. I would just send them a link to Andy’s MySpace page and leave it at that.

I try to outsmart him but somehow he knows

Wherever I am, that fucking dog goes

I’ll kill him the next time I swear I won’t fail

I’ll kick in his ribs and rip off his tail

I have personally given up on the idea of ‘killing’ my depression. I have accepted it as a part of me, that will always be one of the facets of my personality. I recognize the signs of when it is creeping back in, and I know what to do to send it slinking off with its tail between its legs. I am proud to say I have never taken medication for my depression. Having said that, I don’t think less of people who do have to take medication for whatever type of mental illness they suffer. Every journey and every person is individual, and you have to do what you have to do to get to the other side without losing it altogether. I guess I never went on medication because as a teenager I relied on my mother to take care of my healthcare, and there was no way I was going to admit to her I needed that sort of help. So by the time I graduated highschool and took over my own healthcare, I had realised that I could beat it off on my own. So that is what I have continued to do, with the bout that caught me after I dropped out of uni and worked full-time, and then last years horrible blur. I will just continue to inflict enough injuries to my black dog to get him to go back into whatever cave he hides in, and then enjoy my life until he cames out again for another round in the boxing rink.

Last year was particularly nasty. I spent the whole year in a funk. I hated living at home, I was fighting with my mum a lot, I couldn’t be bothered with my course, and I just generally didn’t want to play. I was over my friends (sorry guys! I do love you!), and had a brief ‘relationship’ that in hindsight was a stupid stupid idea. I was messed up and in no fit state to date anyone, and I guess used the whole thing as some sort of emotional escape. Mind you, the whole thing falling apart did rouse me out of my apathy a bit, and I got my indignant rage on and felt some good healthy hatred. In about September an opportunity came up to do an exchange to Mexico over the summer for my degree, so I jumped at it. I needed to escape, and I was so glad I did.

Mexico taught me many things. It taught me how to make friends even though it is terrifying. It taught me a degree of independence. It taught me I couldn’t be petulant with people who haven’t known me for a long time (Sorry, Kate!). It taught me that friendship can transcend state and country borders and that you don’t have to see people or even talk to them on the phone to think of them often and fondly (I miss you Ash!). It also brought to my attention a few home truths about myself. Like the fact that the Year of the Fog had manifested some pretty poor habits. Looking at photos of myself in Mexico and LA, I realise how much weight I put on in 2010. My depression and my eating habits are intrinsically linked. I get depressed, I eat. I then get depressed because I ate. Then because I am depressed because I ate, I then eat more. It is a stupid vicious circle that allows me attach all sorts of silly emotional messages and meanings to food. It also allowed me to stack on 10 kilos and realise how close I was to the dreaded triple number on the scale. When I got back from Mexico and saw how close I was to hitting 100kg I knew it was time to stop letting my emotions dictate my eating habits. It was also time to stop putting off my goals to not be a fatty any longer. So I have embarked on a very slow health and fitness journey (A big shout out to Luka, Ann and Victtoria for spurring me on!), and have so far lost almost 5 kilos. I have realised what an awesome part exercise can play in controlling my depression as well. I feel amazing when I exercise, and depressed when I don’t. Pretty simple really.

Anyway, that was a whole lot of ramble, but I guess I almost felt it was time to come clean. Like this weight loss mission, this fitness obsession, the purge of my body, can only work if I purge my mind also, and be honest about how I feel and how it affects me. I don’t know, but maybe it will also strike a chord with other people who feel the same way, and give them a warm fuzzy feeling that they are not alone. And so we shouldn’t be. It is time the stigma of mental illness gets destroyed once and for all, so that people can be honest about their problems and don’t feel like lesser people because they suffer something they never asked for.

I will leave you with Andy Bull’s song, purely because it is awesome, and it was the fact that I felt like listening to it randomly this morning that spurred the writing of this entire post.

And the worst part is thinking it’s something it’s not

Yeah the worst part is thinking it might never stop

Oh if I can pull myself together I’ll try

Oh but I can’t explain the tear that sits in my eye

If I can pull myself together I’ll try

Oh if I can’t pull myself together I’ll die

xx

Pavlova and PMS.

So today was my birthday.

Pretty uneventful as far as birthdays go. A friend was going away this weekend, so I went out with my friends last weekend, for drinks and bowling. It was fun, but I so hate the focus of an event being on me.

Today I went to Maribyrnong Maker’s Market with Mum. We have always wanted to go, and it is only on three Sundays a year, so off we trotted. Nice stuff, but so, I dunno, Yarraville yuppy parents. The clothes were not my style, and the jewellery, while nice, was expensive and kind of boring. The only stuff that caught my eye were homemade soaps that smelt so good I could have eaten them, and old-fashioned toys. All in all, slightly disappointing.

Moving on to lunchtime, and my Great Aunt Zoe came over. She is about 86 years old, very crazy, and puts every birthday person on edge. She is the bearer of gifts, more commonly known as the infamous ‘squishy packages’. She ALWAYS buys you clothes, that are pretty much exclusively ugly, at least four sizes two big, and in us girls case, from Millers. She delivered, right on cue. A boooootiful baby shit brown puffer jacket in a size 40 billion. Thank god she gave me the receipt. I know I sound ungrateful, but as my Nanna said when I told her about it on the phone, Great Aunt Zoe has been giving squishy packages since my Uncle Matt was born 57 years ago, and they have never been any good. I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. She did bring a gigantic store bought pavlova smothered with cream and strawberries, and while it was nowhere in the league of my favorite aunt, Aunty Val’s homemade pavlova with coffee cream and peppermint crisp, it was sufficiently sweet and delicious to force me to scoff down two huge slices. It’s my birthday, alright! I am allowed to be a pig!

So now I am just sitting around writing an assignment. What a way to spend your birthday!

Oh and I would like to send out some special thankyou’s to my old friends, Mother Nature and Father Time. Thankyou Mother Nature for waking me up at 7am with every woman’s favourite time of the month. I just love PMSing like a crazy bitch all day on my birthday. And thankyou Father Time for making that lunch the longest feat of endurance known to mankind. Greatly appreciative of both of your efforts, totally top-notch.

So thank god that is all over for another year. Except Christmas is in the middle. Don’t even get me started…

xx

Decisions.

I was snooping around on The Daily Post contemplating whether or not to participate in post of the day/week, when yesterdays topic caught my eye:

‘How do you decide how to decide?’

 

Unggggg

 

I think this is a ridiculously valid question for today’s society, given the high levels of choice we are presented with on a day-to-day basis. We live in a highly consumeristic society. You have to choose what fillings go in your sandwich; which colour out of about 100 you want that pair of jeans in, after you have decided what cut you prefer; you can choose to change doctors/dentists/degrees/homes/cars/cities in a blink of an eye. Everything is readily available, and we thrive on the joy of instant gratification. But has this actually helped or hindered our decision-making process?

Sarah Wilson wrote this interesting little piece for the Sunday Life supplement magazine that comes with the Sunday Age in Melbourne, and also posted it on her blog. It goes into a little bit of detail about how as a society we are suffering decision fatigue, and are unnecessarily burdening our children with decisions they are not really capable of understanding. I personally don’t remember being asked as a child what I wanted for lunch at school, I just ate whatever was put in my lunchbox, then went and played, whereas I have seen younger cousins being quizzed at every possible moment on what they would like to do. They want to roll in the mud, that’s what.

 

I just want bread, fuckin'!

 

The major problem with decision fatigue is because we can no longer be bothered making new choices, we just stick to the default ones, which may not be in our best interests. Can’t decide between having the caesar salad with or without chicken? Oh fuck it, I will just get a parma instead. The wardrobe is so bursting full of clothing that it takes you at least half an hour to decide what to wear, and when you eventually clean it out you find clothes you thought you sent to the op shop years ago? Get rid of most of it.

Sarah details three ways you can make decision-making in your life easier, and thereby reduce your chance of decision fatigue:

  1. Set up your life to make less decisions.
  2. Do whatever grabs you.
  3. Spend an hour making choices.

By simplifying your life in such a way that leaves you with a tolerable amount of choices (everyone will be different on what is tolerable), you will be less likely to make default choices. Sarah uses the example of how she is currently living out of a suitcase and therefore rotates between three outfits. One dirty, one clean, one being worn. Simple. That wouldn’t work for me unless I was travelling, but I can use her analogy to take a good hard look at my wardrobe. I take FOREVER to decide what to wear every day, simply because I have soooo many clothes. It is completely unneccessary, as I wear the same ones over and over. While I am not quite ready to tackle the wardrobe, I have been cleaning out my space and preparing in general for life as a full-time worker next year, by de-cluttering and thereby limiting my choice of distractions.

Sarah also promotes the idea of doing tasks which appeal to you the most. Instead of sitting there with your to-do-list ho humming over what should have priority, just do all the things first that most appeal to you, or that won’t seem like a chore. This idea may not appeal to some people as it means you could be leaving the most onerous task to last, but it also means that you won’t have any excuses because it is the only thing you have left to do…so just get on with it!

Lastly, Sarah advocates the idea of just sitting down, and getting a whole lot of stuff over and done with in a short space of time. Things like emails, bills, letters, and all those other little annoying things that require our attention and a decision on. Instead of deliberating over them and making a mountain out of a molehill, just make snap decisions, get it over and done with, and move on with life.

By reducing the stress decisions cause in your life, not only are you getting the decision-making over and done with, you are also leaving yourself a lot of free time to do whatever the hell you want with!

 

Chill, like this super awesome sloth.

 

So in my maiden voyage into the art of quick and effective decision-making I made a snap decision (well after about a week) to move out next year. My friend Creepy Krystal had already asked me a few times to be her roommate but I had never really taken the idea too seriously. I always made excuses to myself about saving money, living close to the hospital I want to work at, being able to travel, being reluctant to leave my parents and brother and the very unique family life we live. However. I will be 23 next year. My parents have supported me through five years of tertiary education. They have paid for all my food, the majority of my bills, and for all my living expenses in this last year that I have been unemployed. We are also starting to get cabin fever. I am fighting more with my mum, becoming more intolerant of some of my brothers usually cute but often annoying mannerisms and quirks. Dad is probably the only person I stay constant with, he tends to be like a leveler between us all. The decision to move out also ties in, believe it or not, with my desire to lose weight. My mother is fiercely protective of her kitchen, and as yet I have not had the opportunity (or one could say the permission!) to learn how to cook. As a result I eat my mothers, while excellent, delicious and nutritious, cooking, I also eat her ridiculously oversized portions that are often laden with carb dense foods. I feel moving out with give me the freedom to cook what I want and change to a clean eating lifestyle. But most of all? It is just time. Time for me to become a real adult, to become independent, to make my own home. I can’t wait. 🙂

 

A wee cottage...such a shame I live in the city!

 

Hopefully I will make many more good decisions to come. Like finishing my last assignment, which I decide to do right now!

xx

21 days.

I wish this was my book case...

Hello lovelies!

I don’t want my blog to turn into a daily bitch fest, but I just need to get something off my chest. As a Virgo, I am a naturally organized person. My bedroom is generally clean, I know where everything is, I hand things in on time, and I am always early for anything I need to go to. It’s just part of who I am.

Now, I live with my parents and my brother. My brother is profoundly disabled, and as a result my mother sacrificed her career to be his full time carer, and has remained in that role for 26 years. She also never got her license, and as such, I am her chauffeur and grocery/errands/coffee companion. To compound this situation, my father had an operation last week that will prevent him from working for many weeks and has left him unable to drive in the short term.

I am happy being the driver. Don’t get me wrong. Especially since I stopped working and have very little to do with my time, I relish the opportunity to get out of the house and do things instead of sitting around feeling four walls creep in around me. But. Oh yes there is a but. My organized self would like some warning. Take this morning for instance. I woke up at the ripe old time of 9.30am, and hopped out of bed with the resolution of reading all the material pertaining to my essay, and getting stuck into writing it. Until I got pounced upon by both my mother and father, demanding different things that would require my services: dropping forms at the council offices, taking a gargantuan pile of crap to the op shop, and buying potatos. Because you know, we can’t live without potatos. I was very grumpy. All my well laid plans were wasted.

Is it really too much to ask that they organize their time a little? Decide on a sunday what errands need to be done, what groceries need to be got, and mutually deciding on a day to do it all? Or am I just anal? I hope not!

Okay, rant over. Phew! I really needed to get that one off my chest, I was in a bad mood all day as a result of it and the only thing that restored some good cheer was a good sweaty gym session. Thank heavens for endorphins!

So to lighten the mood, here are three things that made me happy today:

  1. The ridiculously delightful amount of super bright saturating sunshine that smiled down on us all day despite it being late winter. Divine!
  2. Driving alone in my car with the windows down in aforementioned sun, singing along to terribly bad pop songs on the radio at the top of my lungs.
  3. The chivalry of a pretty young gentleman at the gym. If you hold the door for me, you win brownie points. 🙂

Weeee!

And now to my actual post for today. I bet you were all just dying in anticipation, weren’t you? 😉

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell.

According to experts (of whom I tried to find the name of but could not), it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Conversely, if you drink a glass of water every morning for 21 days, you will automatically drink the glass of water on the 22nd day. Similarly, if you fall into a pattern of eating chocolate every evening after dinner, you will continue eating that chocolate every day after the 21st day of consumption.

As part of a wonderful online personal training package shared with me by my equally wonderful physiotherapist friend Ann, habit formation is encouraged and supported. Until now I haven’t really looked at it, but after several weeks of falling back into eating patterns I had spent so long trying to break, getting apathetic about going to the gym and when I am there being lazy about it, as well as sleeping late and just leading a lethargic terrible life, I decided it was time to make a change. It was time to get tough. It was time to kick my own arse into gear!

I have reached a fork in the road...

So over the next few months I have decided to try some ‘habit formation’.

It is not recommended that you try and form too many habits at once. For instance, if you created a list of twenty habits and tried to implement all of them at once over a three week period, you would more than likely abandon most if not all because it would be just too hard to do all at once. So I have decided to attempt to implement three habits a week, for three weeks, so that at the end of a five week period I will have hopefully implemented nine habits. The majority, if not all (I haven’t formulated all as yet) of the habits will be health, fitness, food and lifestyle related. I have been on a health kick with small results so far, but I really want to rev up my efforts so that I see some serious results, and hopefully be able to buy my first bikini EVER this summer!

So for this first week, my habit goals are as follows:

  1. Get up at or before 8 am every morning.
  2. Eat breakfast every day.
  3. Drink at least a liter of water a day.

As you can see, they are not very challenging habits, at least not to the naked eye. For me however, the first one is going to be a major habit to form. Seeing as I do not work, and have one class a fortnight, the majority of the time I have very little to do with my time. As a result, I have been getting up anywhere between 9 and 11 everyday. A trickle on effect of this is that my consumption of breakfast is pretty sporadic, as I often just decide to wait for lunch, and as a result, snack aimlessly throughout the day. So really, habits one and two go hand in hand. Better sleeping patterns will allow me to awake early enough to eat breakfast, and generally get more out of my day. Habit three, water consumption, is more of a rectification goal. I lost my 1 liter water bottle, and ever since have not consumed anywhere near the amount of water I used to. My skin is bitching to me about it constantly. So after I post this, I am heading over to amazon to buy myself a pretty water bottle to inspire me to up my water consumption, and also to reduce my environmental impact by refilling a sturdy bottle rather than buying 1 liter mt franklin bottles that die on me after a few weeks.

So there you have it. My three goals. Which will hopefully, in three weeks time, be three habits that will stick with me for life. Next Tuesday I will have my next three habits ready to report to you all, my oh so massive reader base. 😛

Do you have any habits who wish you could form, or wish you could get rid of?

xx