Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Office Space

Here are 10 things that I notice about working in an office (how many are familiar to you?)

1. The inability to change a toilet roll is not exclusive to the men in my household (and what's with putting the new roll on top of the empty one? Replace the roll, dammit!)

2. The dishwasher always needs emptying when you're the only one left in the office.

3. The personal touches. I love how for some people it's their kids, others their dog, sometimes it's a vacation snap or a funny little calendar. It's nice to bring a little of yourself to work.

4. Sound travels. All kinds of sounds. That's all I'm sayin'.

5. The phone will ring and ring and ring...until the moment you pick it up.

6. Some people appear to do nothing much except walk around all day.

7. The weather outside is always a bit of a surprise.

8. It would be very easy to get fat(ter) in an office. Morning teas, afternoon teas, lunches, farewells, celebrations, etc...

9. Air conditioning dries you out.

10. Each decision requires a meeting. Then another meeting to talk about that meeting. Then, more meetings, and finally, a meeting to discuss why you haven't progressed from the first meeting...

**I would like to categorically state that the content in this post is in no way a reflection of my current worksite (well, except a couple...), which is full of wonderful people. Rather, these observations have come from a combination of my building, visits to other workplaces and anecdotal statements from friends and family.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anywhere but here

The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

I know this, but it doesn't stop me wanting to leave here, go somewhere. Anywhere. Anywhere but here.

When we were in holidays, it was always in my mind: I could move up here (Queensland), open a theme park maybe (Legoland of course- don't you reckon Australia needs a Legoland?).
Of course, the far north coast of NSW was even better. I fell in love (again) with the green rolling hills, little macadamia farms, views forever...if I had a million bucks, I'd move there now, somewhere between Mullumbimby and Bellingen.

Of course, I do this every time I travel. You've probably noticed. I'm pretty sure I mentioned it in my last post.

But what's worse is that I do it when I'm here too.
A couple of days ago, I came across an awesome job opportunity with Apple. A job that I'm actually qualified for and would love to do. Reading the job description, it actually seemed like on that I'd have a good chance of getting.
The problem? It's based in Melbourne.

Now I'd love to live and work in Melbourne, so it was very tempting to dash off an application. But of course once I talked to Oliver, I realized I couldn't do it. He was horrified at the prospect of moving, going a new school. Leaving our friends and family behind.

So shelved that idea. Because as much as I'd love it, at the moment I need to consider Oliver's best interests. Not because I'm some martyr that lives for her child (although I guess I do), but because he's had enough upheaval in his life. And, I must admit, I'd miss my family and friends too.
So I'll stay put. Moving may might stay a retirement dream.

But where does that leave me? How do I keep myself satisfied and happy?

I don't know why I have this urge for change. Perhaps it's my new, post-Sam attitude. Or maybe it's because I didn't do all those travel, party animal, career-advancing things in my 20s (I only regret that a little bit- I'm very happy to have had my time with Sam). Perhaps it's even my sagittariun 'wanderer' tendencies. Who knows?

But...I'm staying put for now. I've told Anthony that he's got until I'm 45 until I pack it all in and move somewhere. Perhaps that will be some land in the ACT region where I can grow my berries and enjoy the views, or maybe I'll go further. I not know yet. I hope I'll be able to stifle some of these urges until then...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Heebie-Jeebies

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

While we were on our holidays, like every good visitor to far north NSW/Queensland, we visited the theme parks. Movie World and Sea World were quite fun for all of us (with Sea World being our favourite), but Wet n' Wild proved to be most challenging.

As you may know, Wet n' Wild is a water park. Full of water slides. Big, long, fast, scary water slides.
And it just so happens that I'm terrified fairly nervous when it comes to those big, wet, winding beasts.
I don't know where it comes from, but I do know I've been scared of water slides my whole life. I guess you could call it a phobia.

Some of you may be wondering why I'd put myself through a whole day in this hell. Luckily there are other things to keep me interested. I love water, and there is a wave pool, a very cool kiddy water play area, and a cool 'river' where you just jump on an inner tube and float around and around. This is my idea of fun. And, I do like watching my family having fun on the slides too.

'Cause they do like them. Anthony loves water slides (though he will only go in the water if it's really, really hot outside); Sam loved them too (he had a fabulous time at our local - much lamer - water park with his school only a couple of days before he died); and Oliver is beginning what will probably be a lifelong love of them too (although, he does prefer the lower, smaller, slower ones at this point). Luckily for him there was a small slide at the caravan park we stayed in, and he had lots of fun on that.

This slide was also the origin of my downfall.
Because I went on it. Quite a number of times. And came to the conclusion that it was actually quite fun.

So when we got to Wet n' Wild, I naturally thought that I had been magically cured of my phobia. After all, I've successfully conquered my spider squeamishness and my up-high upsets (well, sort of - you probably won't catch me skydiving any time soon). This new 'can do, live for the moment' attitude I've manufactured over the past couple of years has certainly been a factor in these turnarounds, and I was all set to attribute my new water slide loving persona to it too.

How silly I was. I guess I should have seen it coming, but I was caught up in the excitement. People everywhere, warm sun (but freezing water!) and an excited family...
When we got to Wet n' Wild, we tried to take Oliver onto a fairly tame (I guess) slide first up. Pretty much a replica of the big yellow slides you get in the sideshow, except wet. We picked up our mats and were halfway up the stairs when Oliver baulked. We tried talking him into it, but he got upset, so we turned around and went back down.
Then we went for a walk and found the 'boat slide'; where everyone sits in the same rubber boat to go down. Once again, we got halfway up the stairs and Oli decided it wasn't for him (though he cleverly disguised it as needing to go to the toilet).

By this time, Anthony was a little frustrated, but declined to go off on his own, so we walked around a bit, floated down the river, went in the wave pool and had some lunch. Oli had a bit of a play in the kiddy park and then they finally decided they would go on a slide.

They chose what is probably the tamest and slowest slide at Wet n' Wild - a long, windy (but not too steep) slide set on a hill. I decided I would watch them go down.
Of course, Oliver loved it (Anthony found it a bit slow and lame), and it looked OK to me too; little kids and old ladies regularly popped off the end looking quite happy. So when Oliver decided to go on it again, I thought I would join him.

Well, I got all the way to the top of the hill, all the way to the front of the (30 minute wait) line.

Then I froze.

I saw the water gushing down, the steep(ish) drop at the beginning, and I couldn't do it. I even had a bit of a panic attack: quickened pulse, shallow breathing, nausea, even tears - though I managed to swallow them until I had successfully (yet sheepishly) made my way past the grannies and toddlers waiting to hurtle their way down.

I regret that I didn't just do it anyway, I really do. Because I didn't show Oliver that day that it's good to be scared but that you can have a go anyway. And deep down, I know I would have liked it too. But I didn't. Because I was scared.

Perhaps one day I'll be able to do it. But this time I didn't. Fear is a funny thing, isn't it?

What are you scared of?


Sorry if you see lots of weird stuff going on here, I'm just messing around with the look and feel. Let me know if there's anything you find especially crappy! (or awesome!)
Bear with me folks, won't you? (well, you have so far, so I'm inclined to think you'll put up with much more silliness!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Travel Diet

You don't realize just how little there is in the way of healthy travel food options until you undertake a journey. The greasy spoon by the side of the freeway is not a happy place for carb-conscious dieters, that's for sure!

For me, holidays are always good activity-wise, as I (we) tend to do lots of walking and other fun stuff like bike riding, rowing boats and swimming.
But the food is a problem. In the past, when I've been on holidays I've used it as an excuse to eat a heap of 'relaxed' food- whether it's my aunt's amazing cooking when in Melbourne, lots of restaurant meals, extra cheese & bikkies or chips, or the ubiquitous lolly snakes for 'in the car'.

Well, because I've been doing quite well over the last couple of weeks (2 kilos down, but more importantly feeling healthy and in control), I wasn't going to let myself go crazy with the snacks.
And I did quite well on the way down, sticking to fruit and nuts and completely avoiding the chips and lollies.
The stops were a little harder, but I found it was ok if I thought about it- chicken salad wraps seem to be available in many places, and I could even get some yoghurt at McDonalds. Not the best options, but definitely better than what I would have had before.

It's nearly impossible for me to be completely carb free during these stops, but I'd been easing off on that a bit anyway. It's not so bad- Today at Coolangatta I had a lovely dish of chilli prawns with Fettucine and it filled me up for hours (and it was delicious!)

I think if you're organized, and willing to have the same thing more than once, you could do ok. Of course there will be moments when I will give in and go with the flow, but at the moment I'm confident I'll manage that. I'll let you know how I go.


After almost two full days of driving, we're firmly ensconced in our trailer compound in a Tweed Heads caravan park. It's quite lovely, despite it's proximity to the highway and it's position under the flightpath (you get used to the noise pretty quick).
It was quote a nice trip, despite the length, and it's nice here too.
They've predicted rain for almost the whole week, but I think it will be ok. As Oliver says, "I'm gonna get wet anyway!"
More soon.