I’m having some sort of quarter life crisis… or not even that, I’m just at a crossroads in terms of the direction I want to take in my life. The confusion has been underlying for some time but has been slowly gathering steam.
This Sunday I came down with a crippling bout of gastro (sorry for the TMI) that I’m still suffering from, so I’ve been off work and all this down time has given me more time to think. I’ve also had a written assessment due for one subject (that I LOVE) and a practical assessment due tonight for a subject that I enjoy, but that induces considerable anxiety (I had a severe anxiety attack prior to class last week, and bailed).
Despite loving the first subject my assignment is now late (10% mark deduction already) and I simply cannot seem to gather the motivation to complete it. The stupid part is that it’s short, nearly finished and relatively easy – I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot, but somehow can’t stop myself. I know being sick (and exhausted from being up constantly for the past two nights) is part of the reason I’m ignoring it, but if I’m honest it’s deeper than that.
If I don’t do this practical assessment tonight – assuming my gastro stops long enough – I will fail the subject. As I need to complete it in order to progress to the next set of subjects, and as I’m going along at a snail’s pace (this is my 6th or 7th year of studying, thanks to changing my major after the first year, being able to do only 2 subjects per semester when the full time load is 5-6 subjects, and the curriculum changing twice since I started), I can’t afford to fail. Despite knowing this, I’m dragging my feet in the mud and feel frozen in place like a kangaroo stuck in the headlights.
So my question to myself is… do I still want to do this? I love nutrition and health, some of my lecturers inspire me, and my dreams of my future include working in nutrition health promotion (particularly in Indigenous communities). I can’t think of another thing I’d rather do, besides writing novels, and that’s a bit of a pipe dream.
At the same time, I really do not dedicate any time to home-study, I get scared in the practical classes (mostly due to my lack of preparation – my own fault!), and I really cannot summon the energy to focus on this thing. I feel that there is so much else going on in my life that there’s nothing left for this. On top of that, despite my pretty good grades, I really don’t feel my degree so far has adequately prepared / educated me.
Back in the “keep going” camp is the fact that I’ve spent so long – and wracked up such a big bill – plugging away at this, it would be a huge waste if I were to throw it away. Of course, I’d be lying if I denied that pride is on the line too – I don’t want to tell friends and family that I’ve dropped out. And, although I like my job, I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life and I don’t have the qualifications or experience to do anything else.
So really… I have no choice, if I want my future to look different to my present… but I can’t seem to make that cold hard fact turn into action of any sort.
Complicating the matter is the ‘everything else’ in my life. My husband recently quit the job that we thought would be the dream job, at least money-wise. It’s his business so I won’t splash it about the internet, but the stress levels and culture of the place made him feel he couldn’t continue. For me, that means that I am back to being the breadwinner (on a very modest wage), and that our dreams of parenthood have been put back indefinitely. Hubby is looking for a new job, but in the meantime it’s ‘hello’ to a boatload of stress about money – there is nowhere near enough to pay mortgage, loans, bills and the basic necessities.
My job is particularly busy at the moment, so between that and trying to emotionally support my hubby when I get home, I just don’t have to energy to do much when I get home besides shower, eat dinner and watch tv or read a book. I’m kind of avoiding anything that adds stress or effort to my life, and that includes study… but doing that, in a roundabout way, actually adds stress. My house is a mess and that kind of reflects my inner turmoil at the moment (what a self-indulgent and whiny sentence that it!).
I think the final thing that is bothering me is that my Mum managed to put herself through full time uni after her divorce, while raising three kids on a shoestring budget and juggling part time work. She did brilliantly (graduated with distinction) and has done extremely well for herself since graduating. My sister has also completed her undergraduate degree, and despite living like a “poor student” and even doing a semester overseas, is now doing her Honours year and is currently overseas attending a conference that she’s passionately excited about. If they can do it, what the hell is wrong with me? I’m incredibly proud of both of them but wonder if the hard working gene skipped me?
So… after boring everyone with a ‘mental dump’, I still have no more clarity.
I am scared stiff about hubby getting a job, about money, about making a fool of myself in this prac exam (and not having ready access to a toilet!!!), about what direction our future is going to take… and rather than that fear galvanising me, or me showing any strength of character, I’m doing nothing and crawling under a metaphorical rock.
At least I got that off my chest…
Well, ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has moved south (unfortunately for the residents of NSW, it has moved further down the east coast of Australia) and I figured I should give some sort of update. My family has been very lucky but the news and the stories of colleagues are heartbreaking, coming so soon after the devastating floods of 2011. My personal update: despite living less than 200m to the bay, and opposite a tidal creek that runs the length of my street (behind the row of houses opposite ours), we have escaped major damage again. The gale force winds were ferocious and lasted days, the rain pelted down without relief for what felt like forever (in reality about 4 days) and we lost power overnight, but that was the extent of it. We were worried about the huge palm trees in our front yard (their removal has skyrocketed up the priority list!) as they are very close to the house, and about a big lemon myrtle in the backyard. In the end though, it was our neighbours huge (15m-20m high, 10m wide at a guess) bamboo “forest” that went over, narrowly missing our fence. Our yard is covered in debris – those palms might be standing, but there aren’t many fronds still attached! – and our veggie garden is destroyed, but one look at the news tells me just how fortunate we are. People have lost their homes and all their possessions, some people have lost their lives – it’s tragic. It’s also surreal, because it somehow feels much less “real” than last time round. Maybe because it was over relatively quickly… or because a smaller number of areas in Brisbane were affected. Last time round my work was closed, I helped a friend clean out her decimated home and yard (they fared better this time), my mum stayed with us as she was isolated with no power… but this time I feel one step removed somehow. I hope I haven’t become desensitized? Mum’s house was flooded again, my stepfather was flooded in (his home is semi rural and accessed by a very low bridge that floods every time) and a colleague, who lives in the inner city, had the bottom of her house completely flooded. The trials of Brisbanites generally pale in comparison however to those up north – Gladstone, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Harvey Bay, etc. For some astounding figures, see this article: http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/rainfall-records-swamped-amid-oswald-onslaught-20130129-2dill.html Gladstone collected more rain over 4 days than in 2010 and 2011 as a whole! My thoughts are with those who are still trying to deal with the cleanup xoxo
It’s been a little while since my last post.
A brief catch up:
I was eating pretty well and doing yoga every day or every other day. I had some delicious salads (photos to come) and a couple of fantastic smoothies (almond milk, oats, mango, home “grown” honey) but I still struggled on the alcohol front.
While I definitely had days “off” I had just as many “on”, and in retrospect my excuses – hubby is drinking, it’s a hot day, we’re celebrating, I’m stressed, I deserve it – seem pretty lame.
My hubby got really, really sick and I took some time off to care for him. Apart from one slip up – pizza – I made us both light, healthy meals. Exercise went out the window but I had more booze-free days than not. When he recovered from the worst of it he made two spectacular meals… I’ll post the recipes later.
My hubby continues to get better but isn’t completely well yet. I’ve swapped my workday lunch (on days I don’t bring it from home) from Subway to soup and a wholegrain roll and I’m loving it. So far I’ve had Moroccan chickpea, sweet potato, lentil, broccoli and potato – I’m very fortunate to have a staff cafe that makes healthy and cheap ($3) food.
I still haven’t gotten back into exercise and I want to fix that asap. I seem to be drinking about 50% of the week, sometimes more, and I want to reduce that.
My gastro intestinal issue hasn’t gone away and I had my first Naturopathic session last night. It wasn’t quite what I expected (more on that later – I want to finish this post before I get to work!) but I’m happy with the outcome – high strength pre and pro biotics and some digestive herbs. The cost was huge ($275!) but I’m trying to tell myself it was an investment in my health.
We’ve just bought a new car (technically the bank has!) and I’m sooo looking forward to going camping again!
Got to run,
I’m feeling tired and down in the dumps so apologies if this is grouchy…
Breakfast – Apple smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 large green apple)
Lunch – Subway, same as yesterday but with cheese instead of avocado.
Dinner -We had this really late, one of the reasons I’m so tired (had to stay up and wait for my food to go down). It was a really delicious salad with all the usual culprits – spinach, rocket, cucumber, capsicum, walnuts, feta, olives, red onion and a home made dressing – and was made by my lovely husband. I should mention that we buy reduced fat feta from the deli…
Last night I also tried tempeh for the first time – how have I managed to be meat free for 16 years without trying it?! I’m happy to report that I loved it and will have it regularly from now on! I cooked it in a little oil and soy sauce and it was nutty, creamy and delicious!
Snacks - mixed nuts, a cup of Earl Grey, sultanas, olives, 5 dolmades (rice and spices wrapped in vine and soaked in olive oil and vinegar… yum).
Exercise – 35 min yoga practice that I found really challenging. It was very much “yang” yoga – lots of sun salutations plus boat poses, chair poses, etc. I hadn’t realised how weak my core or thighs were / are! This was Day 1 of a 10 Day Challenge on Ekhart Yoga so hopefully I see some improvement. I also did about 15 min of “yin” yoga to cool me down and open my hips.
Alcohol - here comes the reason for my grouchy mood. I had 3 glasses of red wine (the last of that open bottle) and I’m really disappointed in myself. I had no booze from Boxing Day to NYE and have now had it every day for 3 days. I told myself I “deserved” it after my yoga practice, but that’s bollocks – my body deserved a nice nourishing cup of herbal tea, or a massage, or any other option that was healthful!
Having wine plus a late night (only 11ish but I get up at 5.40) means I’m tired and headachy today and much more likely to buy a coffee today… it’s an unhealthy cycle, particularly for my adrenals!
Oh well… I normally wouldn’t think twice about having 3 glasses of wine, so I need to keep things in perspective. My eating was pretty healthy, I exercised, and I didn’t buy coffee so it was otherwise a good day. I know this but am still ticked off at myself. Hopefully my mood improves!
Today is a new day!
A happy new year to all!
I enjoyed a sleep in (til 9am!) and a thoroughly lazy morning. I cleaned the last remnants of Christmas wrapping supplies off our dining table and settled in for a nice long session of surfing the net… catching up on Pinterest, blogs, news and Facebook. I really didn’t feel like eating and instead drank 3 leisurely cups of Earl Grey.
I caught up on 4 episodes of Criminal Intent (a guilty pleasure – I told myself it was just to “clear the Foxtel Planner” but I know better) and so had crime and misdeeds and Saffron Burrow’s beauty playing in the background as I fluffed about. It was wonderful!
Eventually hubby woke, I felt obliged to share the telly (but not give up my dining table – laptop enclave) and I made some breakfast.
Breakfast - mango smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 whole Bowen mango, 1 tsp honey). It was absolutely delicious – one of my favourite smoothies so far. I don’t normally use honey but my friend’s dad is a beekeeper and it was a (scrumptious) gift.
Lunch - hubby had a craving for fish n chips so we negotiated… fish n potato scallops (they use the flat, pre-made kind, not the tasty homemade kind that are bigger and more oily). I had two cod and two scallops… oops! I seem incapable of resisting hot potato chips and will hoover the whole lot, so I’m glad I prevented that!
I spent the late afternoon / evening designing our 2013 calendar using Photo Box and am really happy with the result! Hopefully all the personalised birthday reminders (you can add a photo of the person on their birthday date) will help me be organised with cards / pressies / well wishes this year.
Dinner - nothing. We were still full from our late lunch.
Snacks – sultanas, a couple of olives, a jolly from a Xmas gift jar.
Alcohol – 1 glass of red wine (we had an open bottle left over from NYE). Pro: I stopped at one glass, something I wouldn’t normally do. Con: I had alcohol on a non-occasion night!
Exercise – a 30 min seated hip opening sequence from Ekhart Yoga. I felt so de-stressed afterwards I went straight to bed and was out like a light! This was a major win as I’ve been battling with low level insomnia lately.
My New Year’s Eve was pretty low key… I worked and then came home and had drinks with my lovely hubby. We don’t usually go out on NYE and prefer to stay home and have a quiet one.
I felt ok about having some celebratory wines as it’s the midweek / no occasion drinking that I want to cut out.
The last day of the year gave us a beautiful sunset… it turned the back of our (mid-reno) house a beautiful, burnished hue.
Food / Drinks:
Breakfast – Soy cappuccino and a single serve Greek yoghurt with toasted muesli on top
Snacks – A few small handfuls of cashews, almonds and walnuts
Lunch – Subway (6 inch Italian herbs and cheese sub with avocado, all the salads with extra jalapenos and pickles, and honey mustard sauce)
Drinks – A bottle of red wine
Dinner – A hash up pasta (using random leftover pasta, broken spaghetti, etc) with zucchini, whole peppercorns, onion, garlic, feta and cream. The dairy made it quite heavy in saturated fats, and the pasta made it a carb fest, but hubby had wanted to order pizza and this was a better, cheaper option.
Happy New Year!
Today is the last day of the year and I’m feeling introspective. Once I get home from work I would like to dedicate some time to reflecting on our year (in two words: character forming!) and to map out my hopes and goals for 2013.
In the meantime, here are the nuts and bolts of yesterday:
Breakfast - We went to see The Hobbit and I had a soy cappuccino and shared popcorn with my hubby. Not exactly the breakfast of champions!
Lunch - I was feeling bloated and salty after the popcorn, so just had a tin of Sirena tuna with chilli.
Dinner – I felt unwell for most of the afternoon / evening. A combination of resting, a massage from hubby, some buscopan and a magnesium tablet finally did the trick and I made a very late, pretty basic salad. Rocket, spinach, cucumber, habanero, capsicum, walnuts, red onion, olives and feta with olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice.
Since having digestive / GI system problems (I haven’t blogged about these yet) I’ve noticed more and more the impact that coffee has on me, and it’s not great… if only I didn’t love the taste, smell and ritual!
ETA: for some reason my phone app isn’t working… this languished in my drafts from 6.30am until I got home… frustrating!