Thursday, October 31, 2019

hallow queen

For someone who has often claimed not to be a big fan of Halloween ... we've had some good ones!

I've been pretty grinchy about it tbh ....

... and then I've taken it all back.

I've hosted, and learned to love it.

And even when I've not managed to blog about it, it's still happened.

I might even be able to call myself a bit of a Hallow Queen by now...?

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

first rule of CrossFit*


I thought this was funny before I started CrossFit. Now it's hilarious.

I have two friends who've been at it for about a year. About the same amount of time my ankle was either incapacitating me in pain, or recovering from the surgery intended to heal it.

When I was laid up in my recovery room (or 'on my nice holiday' as the same two friends like to call it), they would come and hang out and 'entertain me' by flexing their muscles and talking about the WOD and so-and-so at the gym and how much they could snatch and a bunch of other incomprehensible things. 

I was so not interested.

Part of it was my disbelief at how useless I was, had been for a long time, when it came to exercise and getting in shape.
My ankle had been a factor, a large one, but to be honest I stopped exercising a long time before that. I was just really not into breaking a sweat, or feeling uncomfortable.
Part of my boredom was envy - they were looking great and their passion for it was palatable.
Shame and envy, not a good combo for the existential dread.

Some months after I was walking again, the end of July to be exact, I felt a shift. I was feeling so out of shape and suddenly filled with the need to MOVE, to flex and stretch and test my new foot and DO SOMETHING already. 
But I was still in a lot of pain, and really apprehensive about what I could do and how radically unfit I felt.

One afternoon on the side of the hockey field I spoke to a school mum friend, we were talking about swimming, yoga - low impact ways I could get back into exercise. Then I came home to cook supper for one of my now lean and ripped friends ... two bottles of wine later and I'd committed to going to a CrossFit class with her the next morning.

The existentials were nothing on the dread I felt waking up that morning, hungover and scared.

I dressed with major anxiety and drove myself there deciding to just not think about it, and ready to HATE everybody and everything.

I did hate everybody, and I really nearly cried, but it turns out I wasn't as unfit as I thought I was, and my ankle handled fine.

I woke that night, and tried to get up for some reason. I couldn't move.
I carefully lowered myself back into bed, flinching in pain, and then I smiled. This felt good.

Boy, I drank the Kool Aid fast after that.

Obvs I had to start with new sneakers ... and then I was away.

It's been 3 months. My ankle pain has reduced by about 85%. I feel great. I need to workout. I'm firming, I'm losing some weight. I like to sweat. I'm getting fit.

So yeah, now I am a CrossFitter. Good lord this is a weird old life.

*always talk about CrossFit

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


You think I'm referring to my long absence here hey?
Let's just not mention that and move on...

It seems I am finished work for the year.
I know right?
But it seems that I am.

This week I'm wrapping up my last contract for the year, with nary a sign in sight of more work and not one project lapping at my heels. This is a first in nearly 8 years and amazingly, I'm so okay with it.
I feel like I've reached the end of a piece of string, only to find it led to quite a nice place.

The last two years have been particularly full on work-wise. Everything-wise actually.
Months and weeks have run into each other in a blur of clients and events and kids and school and house and friends and pets and horrible tragedy and travel and family and wild fun and late nights and achingly boring adulting and mind-numbing stress and worry and tears and hysterical laughter and boundless joy and ... jeez, I'm tired.

But a moment has appeared, a break in the clouds - maybe the eye of the storm - in which this one enormous aspect of my life has stilled, and I feel a pause. It's deeply energising.

Can I call it a sabbatical? I asked a friend-colleague.
Sure, she said, but the thing with a sabbatical is you need to do something special with it - study, write, travel - set yourself a big goal you'd never have time or resources to achieve when you're working.


How bout a sabbatical in which the goal is to be a more present parent. To support my big girl through end of year exams, my little through her current existential crises about getting older. How bout I be a more patient partner, a more engaged home-maker, a less haphazard Christmas gift-shopper, a more attentive daughter/aunt/friend.
How bout a sabbatical where I have more time to do the things which spark joy - work out more, organise my home office/studio, clear out the trenches of a big house and family, beautify my space, write my blog and frankly all of the things in the paragraph above.
How bout I find the time and head-space to create again - to make things with my hands which still and lighten my heart.
I feel like these are big goals of mine, special things to be able to do, things I don't have the time and resources to achieve when I'm working.
I feel like these are enough.

And as if the universe heard me, this week has been an onslaught of school plays and associated lifting and snack-bearing, of bake sale and school oral prep and personal admin and an afternoon lost to chasing a snake around our garden and trying to arrange its capture (and it's only Wednesday!).

But because this is all I've been doing, all I've been having to do - because there's been no additional email tyranny and meeting plans and calls with clients and deadlines and necessity to focus elsewhere - I've been flowing with it.
It feels like this is more than enough.

I know Murphy is probably listening and some huge and un-refusable job could be lurking around the corner, that would be okay too, but I'm hoping that the wolves remain at bay for a little longer. I'm hoping to have more time to just do this.
I love my work-work, but I love my life-work more, and I'd really like to spend a sabbatical building on that.