Thursday, July 31, 2014

BREATHE



Good morning - whether you landed here by accident or clicked through on purpose - good morning.

Sitting at my desk now, having arrived here after a string of delay techniques. I did my nails, put on a load of washing, made a smoothie... and now I am writing a blog post, instead of sending out job applications.

It has been a while since blogging, which is strange, since now more than ever, I've had the time. I guess it seemed fickle to come on here and write about cake and things when there were more pressing issues at hand. There were a few times when I wished that my blog were anonymous, so that I could come and speak truthfully about what has been going on. But my blog is, what, five years old now? I don't want to leave it to rot away and start again, all so I can blog in secrecy. Nor do I want to share all my deep dark secrets (coz I'm so interesting and I have a lot of those) but I would like to be able to write a little more honestly sometimes. So if that is going to make you cringe, click away!

Yes, still looking for a job. The good news is that, after a scary spell where my phone never rang, I've been pretty busy in the interview department lately. I've had three interviews in the past couple of months. One of those jobs I was offered, started, and left. It was a situation that was all wrong for me. I can feel when something is or isn't quite right. I started this job and it felt like poison to my body... I could physically feel weight bearing down on my chest, like shackles. And as soon as I made the decision to walk away, the weight lifted. But there lies a grey area. Sometimes I do believe you need to push yourself out of your comfort zones and experience scary things, and that's how you grow, and that's how you break down barriers and discover new things. That is a good thing. I recognise in myself that sometimes I am afraid of that "discomfort zone". For example, in 2012 when I started my last job, I was so utterly freaked out by the workload that within a month I was a terrible, anxious, upset mess, and attempted to resign. Luckily for me, my very supportive team talked me out of it and I ended up getting to know a wonderful team and having lots of fun experiences I'd never had before. I could have thrown it all away for being afraid of being imperfect. So, I have to be aware of that tendency in me. But on the other side of the coin... when you know, you know. I knew that this place was not the place for me, and in spite of needing work, I actually saw this as a different kind of challenge: I was being offered a situation that wasn't good enough for me, and it was a repeater of situations I've been in the past. I chose to say "Really? Is this what you're offering me? No thank you. I can do better."  And I have no regrets. I believe I am worth more, and I believe that THAT belief will bring me more.

Moving on. Since then I have had two other interviews for jobs that I was probably not fully qualified to perform, both in marketing. So it's a positive thing that I was offered interviews. Without meaning to sound arrogant, I used to have a pretty good strike rate with interviews, meaning, if I got to interview stage, I usually got the job. It has been a little knock for me to have been to two interviews and not get the job, but it's not a bad thing. I think I am good at interviews. I actually quite enjoy them. As long as you have examples prepared for the standard questions, there is no reason to be nervous. It's just a conversation between you, and someone who mows the lawn on the weekend like everybody else. But these two experiences are telling me two things: one, that I need to step it up a bit, coz I gots me some competition. Two, is that perhaps, now that I have some experience under my belt, I am going for the type of job where the level of responsibility is higher and therefore you can't just get your foot in the door by being well spoken and neatly presented. That again, is a good thing.

Yesterday morning I received a phone call from one of those jobs, telling me I was not successful. I was not expecting to get the job. The interview went reasonably well; some questions I answered well, others I answered exceptionally well when I reenacted the interview on the drive home (but I don't think that counts). To anyone who asked me how the interview went I said, "It went well but I don't think I'll get the job. I didn't get an overwhelming positive feeling". When she told me I didn't get it, I hung up the phone, hung down my head and I cried for about ten seconds. Then I went to cheer myself up with an episode of Mad Men (not the most uplifting choice) and got wobbly lip again, and I said to myself, okay, you can have ONE hour to be upset, and then you get over it, and you be positive. But I didn't need an hour. And I am over it today.

Why. Well, I just happen to be a believer that some things happen for a reason. I happen to believe that something better is coming into formation for me and that all the pieces are already falling into place, even though I can't see it just yet. Somewhere, someone is preparing to leave their job; somewhere, a new opportunity is opening up. So it's okay. They are cliches, but, you know what they say about cliches (they are cliches for a reason): Sometimes one door has to shut for another one to open. I will not look long and regretfully at the closed door, because that is just dumb. I will frolic among the doors and wait for the big, bold, sparkly one covered in flashing lights to open up - dat my door. And sometimes life doesn't go according to your plan, because it has a better plan. So, actually, fantastic!

Some people, some people who are near and dear to me, don't understand my "kookiness" or faith or belief in these types of things. In things happening for a reason, in signs, not coincidences, in getting what you give, in receiving what you ask. It makes me a little sad, only because I love my beliefs because they give me so much joy. THIS is my normal.

So anyway, I started off by saying that I was procrastinating with the job applications. But starting is probably the hardest bit, and then you do it, and then it's done, so off I go.

P.S. Breathe in... breathe out. When something comes easily to you in life, it's meant to be. When something doesn't come easy - let it go. Breathe.

X

Tuesday, June 17, 2014



Just wanted to share this wallpaper that I've recently saved to my desktop. It's pretty, and it's wise. It's pretty wise. It has been a reminder to me to slow down. Losen the grip. Look at things in smaller pieces. Start from the ground up. We can get overwhelmed by looking at the big picture and stunned into inaction. There are too many things, and the path is twisted. The road might be twisty, and the end point might change. That's okay. So long as you're moving. It all starts with a step. And then you take another step. And if you keep taking another little step, eventually you have to arrive at a destination, don't you? Giant leaps are tricky to orchestrate... little steps. Little steps are good. Little steps are fun.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MARSHMALLOW SLICE



Aint she pretty? On Tuesday I was going to visit my good pal, Mel, and her handsome 4-week-old bubba, Duke. We three planned to catch up over tea. My inner Country Women's Association self decided it would be proper for us to have a little slice with our Earl Grey. It was a lot of fun to get stuck back into some old fashioned, sugar + flour, baking. My marshmallow received rave reviews (it's perfectly OK, in fact, preferable, if your rave reviews come from your Mum).

Here is the recipe for your retro enjoyment. x

2 cups Weetbix, crushed (can also use cornflakes)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (s'ok to leave out if the cupboard is bear)
120g butter, melted

Marshmallow

3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon gelatine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pink food colouring
Coconut for sprinkling

1. Combine crushed Weetbix, brown sugar, flour, coconut and walnuts. Add melted butter and mix well.

2. Press mixture into greased slice tin. Bake at 160 Celcius for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Wait until the slice has come out of the oven and cooled for 10 minutes before you prepare the marshmallow. Place caster sugar, water and gelatine into a saucepan and stir constantly on a low heat until the sugar and gelatine have dissolved and mixture is clear (will take a few minutes). Do not boil. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.

4. Stir in vanilla essence and 3-4 drops pink food colouring. Whip mixture using an electric mixture until fluffy and almost set. Be patient; this will take approx 12 minutes.

5. Pour marshmallow over slice and sprinkle with extra coconut. Leave to set for approx. 30 minutes before slicing.

TIP: Wear an apron when beating the gelatine mixture - it will splatter!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NINA AND PATRICK'S HOUSE



Thank goodness Offspring is back. I loved the premiere of Season 5. I was prepared for it to be a bit depressing... but it wasn't. It was sensitive but still Offspring-funny. Things I loved: The baby montage. And that baby.is.so.CUTE. The fact that Patrick was in the episode. Seriously, thanks Offspring. Billie's new business. That Jimmy's taco business is turning into an empire. That Dr. Lawrence is sticking around and is single. The orgasm party. Everything, I loved everything.

Can you guess what I also love? Nina's rustic-industrial decor. It's a perfect mess. And also, look at this snippet courtesy of news.com.au (links courtesy of me).

"[Nina & Patrick's house features] products from The Junk Company, Tarlo & Graham and Guy Matthews Vintage Industrial Furniture.
The beautiful print behind the couch in Nina and Patrick's living room is from Rosetta Santucci and the bedlinen in the series is by Nancy Bird, Kip & Co., Ink and Spindle, Uimi, Harvest Textiles and Spacecraft." 










I really like those window panes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TODAY I WENT TO THE GYM



Today I went to the gym. It was my first trip to the gym in a while. For some reason I decided to align my debut with the only class on the timetable with the name BOOT CAMP. But Indooooor Boot Camp. How hard can that be?

I lasted 15 minutes at Indoor Boot Camp til I casually (casually whilst dying) grabbed my water bottle and lunged out the door. 


Errrrrrrm... at gym classes I have attended in the past that involve lifting things, you get to choose the weight you would like to lift. For example, in Pump classes, I knew that when it came to those triceppy lift things, where you lie on your back and lift the bar - could barely lift my empty water bottle thanks very much. But that was okay, because even lifting that 25g was exercise to my pathetic triceps. But no, this boot camp woman today informed everyone we would be lifting 10kg from the outset... eh scuzy? (Sorrynotsorry to people who do CrossFit, that is A LOT to me.) Errrr so yeah I attended camp for 15 wonderful minutes til I felt dizzy and sick. I pulled on my invisibility cloak and decided that the humiliation of creeping out the door would be less severe than the humiliation of projectiling after 16 minutes of class. 

So then I went over to the loser section and did 20 minutes on the crosstrainer, where nobody can really tell the degree of effort you are actually dispensing.


But whatever, I've done Boot Camp. This will be like that time I did a half marathon. And the time I did the Mud Run. They have been done. They do not need to be done again. Let's just file them under the Bucket List of Torture. Although I must mention that I did actually complete the other two.


The other thing I've just discovered, as a woman who is in between jobs, is this great show on the Extra channel at 9am called Move It or Lose It. See, you don't get to know these things when you have a job. The title is a little bold, I think, because for the past few days it's just been Pilates and yoga. And let's be honest, half of yoga class is napping while the instructor explains the pose in detail because they love their voice, and a fair chunk involves the Cat and Child's Pose. Very strenuous. On Monday I watched Pilates whilst lounging back and drinking my breakfast smoothie. Yesterday, though, I unrolled my yoga mat from hibernation and had my own personal studio session. Actually, I think it was an okay workout - I woke up this morning aware of the presence of abbadabbas. Although... I suppose this is from the lady who retreated after 15 minutes of Boot Camp.


And to think my boyfriend suggested I join CrossFit! He's dreamin'.


Namastai.