Thursday, 27 April 2006

Why I Am Having an Affair

I got your attention, didn't I? Sorry to disappoint any voyeurs out there but the love affair in question is perfectly acceptable from a moral standpoint. I'd like to share a thought with you ... in case it may be of help to YOU somehow.

"The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is that the successful person does what the unsuccessful person does not want to do."

About 4½ years ago, I began losing weight. I lost a whopping 61.5kg (135 pounds) in 10 months.

Why the extreme makeover? Some of it was related to health issues and some of it was related to personal vanity, but the main reason was that one of my kids was going overseas and had to supply a photograph of our family (fractured as it was) for the host-family portfolio. Said child didn’t want the world to know that the mum in the family here in Australia was fat. I wasn’t allowed to be in the picture.

Losing weight was hard work. In the process, I changed my whole life style: what I ate, where I lived, and, for a while, with whom I lived. I got myself a new job and moved 400km away from Townsville and gave myself up to some ‘me’ time.

Sounds drastic and self-centred, huh? Want to know something? It was worth it! I not only lost weight, I got out from under the rock I befriended when my ex-husband left me in 1992, gained back my self-esteem, recognized my self-worth, made new friends, improved relations with my children and met my current husband.

In the years since that move and initial weight loss, family life has taken over once more. I’ve also learned that I need to consciously keep up the momentum of efforts to stay in good shape both physically and mentally and that there are times when I must use a helping hand to do it.

With this in mind, this week I finally joined a gym. For years, my dietician has been telling me about the benefits of doing regular exercise but I have resisted using a gym because I thought my love of walking was enough. The truth is that walking wasn’t enough for me. I found that I was relying on my regular work routine and somewhat sporadic ballroom dancing classes to fill in the blanks of regular exercise. I was slipping back into old ways of thinking that improvement would simply ‘happen’ by itself.

It’s my opinion that things worth doing are worth doing well and worth making time for. The gym membership is a current motivator to exercise. Since I stopped fulltime work in February, I’ve gained back a few kilos. It’s time to make a conscious effort to get in there and train! The best part about all of this is that …

Exercise Is Good... For Your Brain!

Studies have shown that exercise can do wonders for your body. It helps build up your bones and lowers your cholesterol. Even a peaceful walk for 20 minutes every night may improve your chances of avoiding diseases from cancer to strokes and heart attacks. Now scientists have added keeping your mind in shape as you age to all of the other benefits. Exercise helps you to have a better memory and problem solving skills after 50. I’m getting in early. LOL.

Scientists have found that the three key areas of the brain adversely affected by aging show the greatest benefit when a person stays physically fit.

Your brain contains two types of "matter": gray matter is the thin layer of neurons and support cells that are critically involved in learning and memory; white matter is the insulating myelin sheath containing the nerve fibres that transmit signals throughout the brain. More or less like an electrical cord, organic wires wrapped in insulation to carry the electricity from the one place to another.

After age 30, these tissues shrink. Apparently, the fitter the body, the less shrinkage there is in the areas that control memory and other "thinking" tasks.

In a nutshell, while it helps me looking good, the idea that I’m still going to be able to cognitively think as I age is even better! This affair with gym is one I have to have so that when Paul asks me in our conversations ‘why bring logic into this?’, my response to that will be ‘Because I can!’ and, hopefully as I age, ‘Because I still can!’

November 2001

March 2003

Wedding 6th August 2005
(now all I gotta do is work out the hair)

Oh and for those who managed to get to the end of this blog ... I'm having a love affair not only with my husband, but with me and my life in general. Loving myself has made me able to love other people with whom I come in contact be loved the way they want to be loved.

Happiness & laughter always,


Tuesday, 25 April 2006

I love birthdays! I'm not at all bashful in letting the world know that I celebrated mine on Sunday, 23rd April. Life is a gift to be celebrated.

The traditional celebration in our family is to have 'birthday breakfast'. It started way back in 1993 and consists of the whole shebang for a party done at 6am so that everyone can get on with their daily obligations without the birthday person missing out: chips, cherrios, lollies, icecream, creaming soda and birthday cake. It has its advantage that the indigestion that one is in for for the rest of the day doesn't effect the good night sleep one has at the end of the day.

This year birthday breakfast didn't happen. My kids had to work early in the day so they opted for Kashmiri roast lamb which they put together on Sunday night. Paul baked a choc-orange marble cake. Everything was all delightful. We all had a great evening.

Next Monday is the Labour Day holiday here, so I am going to celebrate all over again with friends. Any excuse for a party

Thank you to all the people who sent me e-cards or sent messages. I appreciated them. My next B-I-G birthday bash is on the Easter weekend in 2011. Over the next few months, I'm putting together the 5 year plan and setting goals for what I hope to achieve before then. Stay tuned.

Happiness & laughter always,


Sunday, 23 April 2006

Zoom, Zoom

Don't you just love it? Say hello to my new Mazda3 Maxx Sport. Isn't she a cutie?

I recently found a better use for my current vehicle, fondly known as Felicity's Terrific Car because of her FTC number plate. A six year old Daewoo Nubira, FTC's is still in great shape (albeit slightly rearranged from the original configuration by family learner drivers) and she has only 95,000km on the clock. FTC's going to spend her remaining days with the family's Crown Princess. Zoom, zoom, zoom!

Happiness & laughter always,


Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Easter with Parents

Last weekend it was a kid weekend and this weekend it was a parent weekend. Meet two of the nicest people I have ever known! We went to visit Paul's parents for the Easter weekend. They live about 600km south of Brisbane in a gorgeous settlement on the mid north coast of NSW . Paul and I headed off on Thursday and stayed until Monday. Whilst there, we ate and walked and talked and ate and talked and walked some more. It was very relaxing and very educational. After dinner on Friday, a group of four sat around the table and yarned about teenage and sibling life in Sydney in the 1940s and 50s. How I wish that I had had a tape recorder! Three cheers for parents and elderly aunts and uncles! Hip, hip hurray!

Meanwhile, another working week has begun for Paul. I've missed the start of the school term today. No teaching again for me for a while. Instead, I headed out early to spend time with my off-spring. The last get-together two weeks ago we went to a Japanese restaurant. This time it was to the Coffee Club for breakfast with one and then, several hours later, with another for lunch. Mothering time is precious when they have all grown up and live full and interesting lives of their own.

Mini holidays abound! For a peek at the B-I-G holiday that Paul and I are taking in the European Summer, check out the 'Blissful Travels' page.

Happiness and laughter always,


Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Sunday, 9 April 2006

Sunshine & Family

Yesterday was simply magic!

During the week, I found a menu for a picnic put together by Nigella Lawson, so yesterday morning Paul and I hit the kitchen and cooked up a storm: pork, chicken, greek salad, pea and parmisan cheese fritattas, a choc-hazelnut cake and patty cakes. Complemented with crispy bread rolls, ginger beer and creaming soda, we were ready for a feast!

The magic was more than good food. The day started out at 11C but it progressed to a glorious 30C so the magnificent Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens (where we were married last August) were a must. The company of Miranda, David and Sammi was also awesome. It's always great to catch up with what's happening with them.

Then last night Paul and I went to the cinema with friends. We saw The Inside Man . I was thoroughly entertained. I'm not going to tell you the plot, but will say that the theme of Nazi holocaust and associated looting of Jews' possessions by soldiers and Swiss banks figured prominently. Supper at the 'Pig n Whistle' finished off a wonderful day.

My advice, dear reader, is to take a day out of your routine and get away from it all. The change really is as good as a mini holiday.

Happiness and laughter always,


Monday, 3 April 2006

A New Week Begins

It's Monday morning again. Paul has left for work, Gypsy Cat is snoozing quietly on a bed somewhere and the house is quiet. This won't last! How do I know? Experience.

While it seemed that I spent a long time last week getting these webpages up and running and working on my cross stitch projects, these were only the tip-of-the-iceburg kinds of activities. I also enjoyed lunch with my kids on Tuesday, a concert at the Conservatorium on Wednesday evening, dinner with Paul on Friday evening, some housework, some tutoring, some gardening, some shopping, some time with a friend and some time on the phone to siblings. All in all, it was a good week.

The question I ask is this: should I be measuring time and toting up the activities I am doing to make sure that I am using it well? Of course that question leads to others: What is time? What does 'using it well' actually mean? and Can I continue with the theme 'I am 28 next birthday' simply because I have been using the argument that time does not exist therefore the age I choose to be is an abitrary number?

According to the Wikipedia, time has long been a major subject of philosophy, art, poetry and science. There are widely divergent views about its meaning, hence it is difficult to provide an uncontroversial definition of time. While there is little dispute regarding the units of time, scholars disagree on whether time can be measured or is itself part of the measuring system.

For now, 'the use of time' question will remain unanswered. Time management and choice are part of the possible answer if I choose to explore it, but right now I'm choosing to simply go with the flow of life and thus allowing priorities to float to the surface rather than setting myself a weekly "must do" agenda.

As to the idea of 28 next birthday, the Oxford English Dictionary defines time as 'the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future, regarded as a whole.' Another standard dictionary definition is 'a nonspatial linear continuum wherein events occur in an apparently irreversible order.'

I guess 'irreversible order' might have an effect on my age. Ah well, nice try Bliss! Think of 23rd April as a day of celebration, kiddo, not a number.

Happiness and laughter always,