Grateful for.

It has been a tough year for me but here are some things that have been pretty great.

1. I found two sort of new hobbies: writing and photography, and they have given me things to think about and care about outside of work that distract me from missing my family and stop me from watching tv all evening.

2. Europe. Guys, I got to go to Italy and Austria and Germany because of my maths. I made new friends, ate delicious food, saw beautiful things and generally enjoyed the good things in life.

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3. Public speaking. It might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for but I enjoy the challenge/adrenalin of performance and I guess presenting maths is the direction that’s going to take in me for a while.

4. My husband. I find it hard to write about him, and our relationship, on here because it feels awfully personal and he’s more private about the internet than I am. Suffice to say he has made me laugh and comforted me when I was miserable and we have grown closer together in our separation from everyone else.

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5. Living near the beach. There’s not a lot to be said about this. It’s just pretty great.

6. Friends and family. I’ve really appreciated all the visits we’ve had from outernet friends and family this year. But also, internet friends, you’ve been exactly who I needed and I’m so happy that we met.

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And nope, the pictures from Europe are not even near running out so expect posts with unrelated pictures tacked onto the end all through next year too.

Happy New Year, guys 🙂

 

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New Years Resolution

If you read this post you might have thought, along with myself, that a good goal for the new year would be to get fit again. I wrote a whole blog post about it. And it’s definitely a good goal. But the more I thought about it the more I realised the reason I wanted to get fit was not that I wanted to be fit in and of itself – it was that I wanted to not be stressed anymore. I would love to be fit but I care more about not being stressed and I was choosing fitness because I knew it would help in that department.

So my goal is: become less stressed.

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I’m aware of the fact that getting rid of stress is a difficult goal and I also know that this is a tough one to judge. Will I know, at the end of the year, whether I’ve succeeded in being less stressed? I think so, although it won’t quite as easy to determine as last year’s goal of “Write A Book”.

But even if it’s difficult, and even if it’s open ended, it’s really important for me. Every time I’ve seen a doctor in the last 3 years (or so) they’ve sent me home with the message: “It’s probably just stress.” As if that’s meant to be some sort of consolation. I tick nearly all the boxes on the “Symptoms of Stress” lists and, trust me, it’s no fun.

I’ll be posting throughout the year about the ways I’m going about this and whether I think I’m succeeding or not.

Do you have any NY resolutions?

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(The aim is to get from the first picture to the second picture. Also, I just like posting pictures of Adelaide.)

I’ve been away

I went to Sydney for a maths conference.
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And then to Brisbane for a wedding.
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I returned to Perth and then headed off to Adelaide for Christmas almost immediately.
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It’s been pretty crazy in my head lately. There’s been so much going on, so many things to do, places to be and people to see. All of it was great but also tiring and today we returned home to 40C, a car with a coolant leak and an air conditioner that is out of action. The photos make the present a little easier and I’m hoping for some relaxation on the horizon.

I’ll be back in a few days with NY resolutions, something I am newly keen on.

self discipline and running

Today I went for a run for the first time in a long time. I’m terribly unfit. People I went to school with wouldn’t even believe me because when I used to say I was unfit back then what I really meant was that I hadn’t been running for two weeks. Now I’m the least fit that I’ve been in my entire life except for the period after they cut my knee open to stick it back together. But today I went for a run.

And there’s something in those first few strides, wearing comfortable shoes and with my hair tied back, that feels like coming home. I know this is just because I used to go jogging a lot, and it wouldn’t feel that way for everyone, but I find it comforting. It’s comforting that even though running is hard, and by the end of the run my body hurt, I’ve trained myself to do it with some amount of joy.

It makes me wonder what else in the future, regardless of how hard it seems now, will feel like coming home when I return to it. It gives me hope and a renewed sense of determination.

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post NaNoWriMo reflections

Starting out without a plot was probably (certainly) a bad decision.

I’m not convinced I’ll ever do it (NaNoWriMo) again.

It showed me how much time I have available in my day. I don’t want to always spend that time on writing but now, for instance, I know that I really do have time to exercise.

I do not have high hopes for the story but I haven’t brought myself to read it all the way through so we’ll see.

On the (rare) days I knew where my plot was going I could write quite quickly.  So that’s an incentive to plot out my next novel in a lot more detail than I did with the last one.

Working on one project so incessantly gave me a huge ton of ideas and inspiration to work on other projects.

So overall, I’m glad that I did it. It taught me a lot about writing and I now have a book that will, at the very least, entertain a few friends.

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This picture is from Castello Aragonese in Ischia. I have no idea if that was originally meant to be a heart but I liked it.