In the words of another…

…as to why I have not written a blog post recently, and a much needed re-prompt to myself. I have mentioned in the past that I am a bit of a fan of Annabel Langbein, and earlier this year there was an article about her in the NZ Women’s Weekly. It resonated strongly, and I wanted to share some of that with you, it has only taken me five months – says it all really!

There were so many points she made, that made me go, yes, yes exactly, it is not just me. Of course I cannot copy them all here. The four highlights from the article for me, and words we can all heed are:

  • There have been many nights where she found herself still working at 3 am and thought, “What on earth am I doing?
  • “I am lucky that I am blessed with a lot of energy, but doesn’t mean I should work 16 hours a day.” 
  • “When I first had children I thought I had to be superwoman and keep going – I thought if I got off the bus for even a short time, my life would be over”
  • “Now I know that being flat-out busy shouldn’t be the rhythm of your life. I like to take analogies from nature… plants don’t flower all year round. You don’t have to be on G for Go all the time”

It has been a little crazy busy on the work front for me of late, part time work with more life balance.. humph! I have lots of energy and have worked to the silly time in the morning mentioned above more than once recently. Anyway this is my reminder to get back in balance. If you needed one, hope this helps you.

slow down north melbourne


Always leave work on time

How I imagined my life would be after finishing ‘the big job’ and how it is now are not in full synchronicity. I think this is why quite a lot of ‘always leave the office on time’ resonated with me. I was really good in how I went about what I did with my time the first month, perhaps even most of the second month after concluding work. However there has been some reversion to ‘type’ – I did 12 hours in one day in my casual job last week, into the small hours of the night. What was good though is that I recognised it straight away. This Saturday just passed I was the me of old, lethargic and perhaps even a touch stroppy, and I called it out immediately. It felt just like when I had my big job – who is getting the best of me? So number 4 below is the proverbial nail on the head for me. Time to summon back that girl who went wild making jam and other crazy antics earlier in the year, before the reversion to type reasserts itself in an ongoing fashion. All encouragement welcome!

Any tips from those who have had successfully traversed this path?

north melbourne inspiration

The power of change

SET YOURSELF FREE, and the rest will follow.

I originally titled this post, “Why am I deaf to myself?” but a period of time has lapsed between starting and finishing this post. However let us return to the start.

Five months ago I wrote that change was coming, that I had got myself to the point of action. Well how wrong was I? And that horoscope quote came back to nip me on the bum – damn it. I turned down what was an incredible opportunity for a next job – I had achieved the almost impossible which was an academic role after being out of academia for a dozen years. Why did I slam the door in my own face? I was kicking myself a month later and could not see the answer as to why I had done that.

It is more than this role that I was deaf to though. I say to myself time after time that I am putting too much of myself into work and not enough into living. And yet I let it happen again, and again. Well I have finally cracked it – somewhat inelegantly. With no notice I took two weeks of work off at the end of November – precipitated by I do not know exactly what, other than I was in a complete funk, and the thought of being at work was more than I could bear. Perhaps the trigger was that I had been at work in Sydney, and then Torquay and the thought of heading physically back in to the office was just too much.

And do you know what I did at the end of those two weeks? I resigned! I finish up at the end of this month. And I feel free. For the first time in a very long time I do not know what is next, and do you know what, that pleases me more than anything.  I have managed to exit the treadmill. I have created possibility and it feels powerful. Time for reinvention, realignment, or who knows what, and I am excited.

Would love to hear if you have done something similar, or want to do something similar…


Change will be coming…

…to me that is, not this blog. It has been brewing for quite some time. And then you reach the point of action – take action or do nothing. What has galvanised me? A host of things of which some are possible future posts as I take the actual steps.

And how will I adhere to my overwhelming desire for change, knowing that change is not the easiest of things to fully go through with? I am going to endeavour to hang on to two things. On our last day in Fiji for breakfast just two days ago we were sat on table number 13 – 13 is my lucky number, I was born on a Friday the 13th! – and I took it as a symbol, a sign, a prompt from the universe (though of course one could also take it a sheer coincidence, but where it the joy in that!). And while I do not believe in horoscopes as we were waiting for pick up from the hotel to take us to the airport I read mine in the local newspaper. I have been thinking about what needs to change for a while, this is not holiday random thought, and it simply resonated with me, in particular the last line, “Make choices now or life will choose for you later”. This is about me taking back the reins of life and giving direction, not being led or simply wandering without thought.

horoscope scorpio

Stating the obvious

What did I learn on Friday…that I need some child, other half, and work free time on a regular basis. And also think that time should be during the week. Now I do not mean every week (though that might be nice…). It just hit home that I need to escape work and family and just be me, something that rarely makes it to the top of the ‘to do’ list. Probably have known this for a while but perhaps afraid to admit it aloud. Though have said a version of this before – the whole life is too crazy, rant of a working mum springs to mind. Friday was in hindsight a needed reinforcement. Life has got too crazy again, and an action plan is in the making.

In the interim here is evidence from Friday. I was heading home after an appointment to continue work rather than head to back to the office. Instead I actively waylaid myself at the shops, wandering here and there, stopped and ate a late lunch, and it was all fun! The photo does not clearly show it, but the black at the back is two items not one, a pair of trousers and a black jumper. If you are going to confess – have to ‘fess it all up!

How do you find me time amongst the madness of work and motherhood?

North Melbourne

New Year’s Resolutions in February

north melbourne 2016So am I super late in setting some goals for 2016, failed before I have even begun some might say? Perhaps I was ecstatic when I realised that the 1st of February this year was a Monday – a proverbial sign from a higher power – how can you not start something on a Monday when it is coupled with the first of a month (or is that just me?!). Or maybe a deeper pondering on what the start of a year means, particularly one that seems to have kicked into high gear already, with the first sixth of the year almost behind us all. In truth a combination of all of these things.

Resolutions, goals, is there a difference? Sometimes we like to reframe the word or words we use for a particular purpose. At first I thought this was a weakness of human nature but I have come around in my thinking – after all language is powerful. As a person I do like to take time to pause and reflect on what went before and what I would like going forward. Sometimes it is the roll over of a year that gets me to think about this, occasionally it is a birthday of a particular number, sometimes it is an event that triggers the thinking. However I have never been one to make resolutions as such, because for me the word has a sense of finality about it, whereas I tend to come from the camp that life can change with a single phone call (it has for me), so I am more of a goals or plans person, as those two words speak more to opportunity with leeway for change for me.

This year I was so excited about the 1st of February being a Monday. Why? Because I put together a list of things that I would like to achieve this year, with the specific idea that I would road test them for the month of January, and refresh the list once I had tried them out in January – ideas and actuality not always being the same thing.

And I came up with another idea that I am super excited about – I think some of my best thinking ever. Can you remember back to school or uni, when sitting a test, an exam, or writing an essay and getting a mark of 80% or more was like WOW, success; it was never about getting 100%, never about perfection. So for me this year if I achieve 80% of what I set out to do – that is a winner, that is what I am looking for, not perfection, but a sense of progress and achievement. Where along the way did we suddenly set ourselves targets in life that were doomed to failure from the get go, where even a small deviation is seen as failure?

I am not even disappointed with myself for not getting this off the ground for the 1st Feb, after all there are 11 months of the year after Jan, so I can ‘stuff’ up two months and still be in with a 80% chance.  I like that.  The whole year is still ahead of me.

What about you, do you make plans for the year?  Like my approach?  I would love to hear. 

Photo courtesy of

Live the life you have always imagined

At the start of last year I shared the source of some of my inspiration – who said TV was all bad!  And continued to share quotes as the year progressed until about this time last year. Must mean I am now an uninspired soul!  Not entirely true, as I do call on more than one source for inspiration, and wanted to share with you another, the rather wonderful Annabel Langbein.

Probably two Christmases ago my mother-out-of-law gave me The Free Range Cook, a cook book by Annabel Langbein.  For some reason I went and purchased the associated TV series to watch and it is just amazing.  It is that really down to earth kiwi approach – great food, great friends, on the edge of the great outdoors.  I just wanted to step into that picture.  I highly recommend watching it almost simply for the enjoyment of delightful television.  Looking back now I am sure watching that series may have had a little bit of influence in our thinking to make that adventurous step and put a foot hold on a big change of life here.

I have always been a bit of a foodie, and do believe one of the true pleasures in life is yummy food enjoyed with others.  But with a busy life that has been squeezed out.  One of the joys has been that it has helped entice me back to playing in the kitchen – check out my Chocolate & Cranberry slice below, and here for the recipe.  At the same time as those TV ads became my mantra, I spied another Annabel Langbein cookbook, a summer edition with the subtitle a free range life – how could I resist?!   There is an awesome and easy pizza recipe in it that I highly recommend.

So to finish, I thought I would share with the you the last quote which is,

“Live the life you have always imagined because life is for living”

It is a timely reminder.  I have been making conscious changes to some aspects in mine, getting some wins, but also need to make some more adjustments.  While we may often feel that everything is beyond our control, that is frequently not as true as we let ourselves believe.  We often forget that much more is within our own control.  At the end of the day the most powerful person who can affect a change in our own life is ourselves. I am trying to get out there and life the life I imagine, I hope you are too.