F5 – Refresh

So to say things have been crazy would be an understatement. Hence my absence on this blog. A broken laptop, non-consistent internet connection and a crazy schedule has thrown writing by the wayside.

The last time I wrote I mentioned that my company might be merging with another. This January the merge has been approved. It has been and still is an uncertain and stressful time as I am unsure if I will still have a job after April. For the most part I have been keeping positive but it is not always easy. What a way to start the year and with each new year like most people we all want to do and be better. I have never been a fan of New Years resolutions but this year I am making an exception. Although I am not truly viewing it as resolutions but more as lifestyle changes. Below is my list of changes (and already existing habits) that I intend to implement:

Rediscover my passion for writing (literally as I am typing these words I realise how much I have missed it). I aim to write a minimum of one blog post per month and to start doing things and living a life worth writing about.

Pick up my camera again – I can’t even remember the last time I took photos. If it means taking up a 30 day photo challenge to kick start my hobby then that is what I will do.

Focus on my studies, as in not only the bare minimum but actually setting time aside daily to study for at least an hour. This way I won’t stress when exams come around and I will feel more prepared. Also better grades and who doesn’t want that.

Travelling – since I came back from my 1 year hiatus away from the real world I have not been able to give travelling a second thought. I have decided to no longer put off my desire to go to Italy. My next trip abroad will be Italy no matter what. I want to hit the big 3 (Roma, Venezia and Toscana) and spend the bulk of my trip in Bologna in Emilgia Romanga. I do still want to incorporate smaller trips, weekends away in and around Cape Town. I tend to forget tourists spends thousands of Rands every year just to travel to Cape Town and I am still not taking full advantage of what my home country has to offer.

Jogging – I used to jog regularly but an ankle injury a couple of years ago put an end to that. I started again end of last year, not pushing myself too hard and it has been going well. That is, until my ankle problems popped up again. This time however I am taking action. I went to see my GP, went for x-rays and I am waiting to be referred to a specialist. I will do everything I can in my power to heal myself so that I can take up jogging full time again. In the meantime I will stick to walking, swimming and yoga to keep fit and help me achieve my goals.

Eating well, as in eating as healthy as possible and watching my calorie intake. In theory it is simple, expend more energy than you consume and weight loss will follow. My doctor has recommended that I try banting (high fat, medium protein and low carb diet), but I am not a fan of diets especially ones that are too restrictive. I think most people know what the healthy choices are, it’s just a matter of making these lifestyle choices habits. I also do not believe of depriving myself of anything as that often results in binge eating on the forbidden food.

Find balance – with all of the above floating around on my to do list I want to remember to take time to relax and focus on things that bring me pleasure and that is not goal-oriented.

Be more spiritual – find the time to talk to God, this is something that has dwindled to non-existent in my life. There was a time when I was constantly plagued with doubt about who is up there watching over us. I do however realise that whenever I pray I feel better and this is a feeling that I want to hold on to for as long or often as possible.

Stop-multitasking – I used to think multi-tasking was an essential skill but I have come to realise that spreading myself too thin is not good for me in the long term. Even a simple thing as watching a movie. I find myself watching a movie or a series and being on my phone at the same time. Instead of just relaxing and enjoying some down time, I feel that doing two things at once will somehow save me time. At work it’s the same, I have numerous tabs open and end up taking forever to finish something. I want to focus on the task at hand and do that to the best of my ability. Also to-do lists are underrated.

Zero-clutter – I dislike owning too many things. This is one thing that I am generally good at. The minute I buy myself something new I get rid of or giveaway something old or that I no longer have any use for. Years of moving around honed this skill. The less you own, the less there is to pack and unpack and should I ever decide to pack up again and live overseas there will be less to get rid of or to put into storage.

I have shared some really personal things in this post which I don’t normally do. But this will be the focus of my blog. I find it easier to write about things that have a true meaning for me or things that I struggle with daily. I will talk more about my weight-loss journey as this is my biggest goal for the year.


Why I love to-do lists

To do lists are perfect for a control freak like me. The more in control I feel the less I suffer from anxiety although I do realise that there will always be things that will be out of my control and well sometimes you’ve just got to go with the flow.

However for things that I can control this is where my to do lists come into play. I have lists for everything. The reason for this is that I love the feeling of achievement and accomplishment when I am able to tick something off my list as completed. It does not matter how big or small the task. I put a deadline date next to goal and work towards that. Works every time. It’s interesting to note that one of the first things I told the young girl that I mentor on weekends is to create a list and I must proudly say she is steadily working through her lists and ticking things off as we go along.

I always thought it’s a good idea for a goal oriented person to have lists so that you know exactly what it is you need to do to attain your dreams and hearts desires. That’s just me I guess.

All opinions are my own and no writer (me) was harmed in the process.


Patience is a virtue

To write or not to write – I believe when one has writer’s block the best thing to do is to not write at all. Why force something that should come about naturally, which is why I have been absent in the blogosphere this whole week. It also gave me some time to catch up on my reading and other things. Sometimes dependency to all this technology can get out of hand and the best thing for me is just to distance myself from it.

This has not been a particularly good week for me – lets hope it’s all hormonal – I’m struggling to focus on the present. With all my future plans and goals the day-to-day drudgery of waiting for certain things to materials has left me feeling dejected and demotivated. How will I survive another year in this place? I understand the practicalities of it all: I need to settle my debt, I need to save, I need to start studying. Sometimes it still feels as if I am waiting for my real  life to actually begin and is this possibly causing me to miss out on exciting opportunities? Do we go through life with blinkers on only seeing what we want to see.

I do realise that this coming year will test my ability to be patient to its limit and not only do I hope to pass with flying colours but I also hope that I would have been successful in achieving what I have set out to do.

Life, travel

A 1000 mile journey begins with 1 step

I recently posted this quote on my facebook wall: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

The ‘high’ of my overseas holiday has finally worn off and I am left feeling disatisfied and bored with my life. Granted that I have been feeling like this even before my holiday but now I have a strong desire to do something about it. Before I  just wasn’t sure what changes I needed to make nor did I have courage to realise my dreams. I used to walk around wondering when is my life going to start and with 30 fast appraoching the wondering has to stop and I must take action.

I will chronicle my goals for 2012 (some of which will try to start working on immediately) on my blog and will be sharing any tips I learn along the way with my readers.

1. Complete the 1st year of my BA in literature and languages next year – I will not have a social life and be on a student budget I will be looking for cheap/free things things to do in and around Cape Town.

2. Become debt free.

3. Save R30 000 – this start up amount will allow me to complete my TEFL course to teach english overseas which in turn will allow me to travel the world.

4. Lose 30 kgs – sounds daunting but I want to feel fit and healthy and will be buying a bicycle soon to help me achieve this goal.

5. Give back – I am hoping to become part of a volunteer mentor programme where I will provide guiadance and assistance to a young adult who is leaving a care home and needs help integrating into society.

Surround yourself with words and images that will constantly remind you of your dreams.