Category Archives: Just Wondering

Not in Europe anymore, Toto

So, apparently I’m suffering from what they like to call ‘post-vacation blues’,or what I prefer to call a ‘Holiday Hangover’. Now before you all start rolling your eyes, shaking your heads and muttering ‘you poor thing, gallivanting around Europe for two months must have been hard. Here, have a lie down and take the rest of the week off’, hear me out. It’s a real thing.

Traveling overseas for any length of time is an amazing and truly rewarding experience. You forget about work; leave (most of) your cares behind and soak up every experience you possibly can. It’s life changing, it’s wonderful, it’s….hold on a sec, I think I’m losing sight of my point here.

Basically, traveling is about as different from my job and real life as I can get. Does that make sense? I lived out of a suitcase, slept in a different city nearly every night and experienced different cultures/languages/environments on a daily basis.

But that’s totally what I expected from our holiday, so it’s cool.

Continue reading Not in Europe anymore, Toto

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30 Things to do Before 30: Re-Visited

I can’t believe it is that time of year again, but my birthday is just around the corner! So to commiserate celebrate, I thought I should look back at my 30 Things to Do before 30 list and start freaking out see what else I need to cross off in the next year, eep!

  1. Accept more Invites – Say Yes! – Am totes doing this, but it’s a constant goal.
  2. Take a Visual Merchandising Job/Course
  3. Attend a Cupcake Decorating Lesson
  4. Learn to Play the Drums………Not looking too promising so far, is it?!
  5. Be Able to Walk in Heels – I don’t wear heels often, but I’m certainly not at clumsy as I used to be, so am happy to cross this one off!
  6. Eat a Crossiant in France
  7. Complete 3x Cross-Stitches – Oh geez, I still haven’t finished one yet!
  8. Get a Radical Haircut
  9. Attend a Photography Class – Check out my Melbourne Photography Walk post
  10. Learn a New Dance – I totally learnt some Bollywood moves……..in public……..there’s a video somewhere to prove it!
  11. Get my Full Licence
  12. Learn how to Change Tyre/Oil
  13. See a Favourite Band/Artist Live – Living in Melbourne, I have had the joy of seeing many of my favourites, which has been amazing.
  14. Take a Swift for a Test Drive
  15. See More of the World
  16. Buy a One-Way Ticket Overseas
  17. Take my nieces out for the Day
  18. Get Body Art
  19. Host a Dinner Party
  20. Spend the Night in a 5-Star Hotel with all the Trimmings
  21. Make an Extravagant Purchase – Forget one, I have now made a few! #humblebrag
  22. Have a Girlie Weekend with Friends
  23. Take a Spa Day
  24. Treat Mum and Bruce out for Dinner – should be able to cross this one off soon!
  25. Get a (healthy) tan
  26. Write a Short Story
  27. Have a Scrap Page/Idea Published
  28. Own at least 5x Dresses, and Actually Wear Them! – I am now wearing dresses to work more often than pants, yay.
  29. Go up the Chairlift with my Snowboard
  30. Pick 1x Recipe Book and Cook all the Cupcakes in it – Oh crapbags!

So I only have one year left and 19 things to cross of my list! Excuse me while I go and breathe rapidly into a paper bag!! Oh well, I guess there’s no denying that this next year of my life is going to have to be interesting and full! And hey, if I don’t cross absolutely everything off, I’m actually totally fine with that. So long as I give everything a good crack I think I will be satisfied. And let’s be honest, if not, it can just go on my 50 Things to do before 50 List. Just kidding, that’s totally not even a thing. Yet.

The Joys of Kicking Stress’ Butt

So recently I wrote about what I planned to do to reduce the stress in my life. It’s funny how things work out because after I wrote that post, my life seemed to quieten down on its own accord. Way to go, life!

The month of March is a distant blur that got crazy-busy again halfway through – swings and roundabouts people!

Now we’re a week into April, I thought it would be nice to re-visit that post and let you guys know how my de-stress suggestions are working, because let’s be honest, I am totes using them now!

So I went ahead and bought a proper Essential Oil and a cheap oil burner, and am so glad I did! I got ‘Air’ from the Perfect Potion ‘Five Elements’ range. It’s light, breezy and woody smelling and really makes me feel like I’m on holiday in a log cabin somewhere in the middle of nowhere (but not in the creepy ‘psycho-killer in the bushes’ kind of way). It’s made up of a blend of Lemon, Lavender and Eucalyptus oils, so it’s not only relaxing, but refreshing and uplifting too! I want to feel calm, but I don’t want to be sleepy, so this blend is perfect for me.

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Inviting, no?

Clearly I haven’t been spending 1-2 hours per week on my blog, and I also haven’t really got ‘Pamper Saturday’ going either. In fact I haven’t pampered myself at all, unless you count shoving a bunch of chocolate down my throat on a weekly basis! To counteract that though, I have started eating healthier by ensuring I include fruit and/or salad with all my meals, and adding gogi berries, chia seeds and greek yoghurt to my breakfast cereal. It’s so good, I’ve even taken it to work for lunch a few times.

I have really focussed on making and sticking to a ‘To Do’ list at work though. This past week I have really needed it! At the start of each day, I clear out my inbox and make note of all the emails that need urgent attention. I add them, along with anything else to my To Do list and slowly but surely cross things off. If something urgent comes up, I just add it to my list. I also made sure to check emails less often and have slowly gotten into the habit of not replying right away unless it’s super urgent. One of my biggest weaknesses at work is not being able to say ‘no’, and feeling like everything anyone sends me needs to be dealt with asap. People totally just take advantage of that, you guys! So I have really made an effort to finish what I am doing, or simply just wait a while before responding or actioning a non-urgent request from someone in the office. It has totally reduced my stress levels, and makes me feel in control of my day, so is definitely worth it.

List has been blurred for its own protection.
List has been blurred for its own protection.

Also, I no longer freak out if I don’t get everything done – there are only so many hours in the day, and I don’t get paid for overtime, so if there’s anything left on my list, I just transfer it to the next days list – easy.

I still can be a major stress-head at times, but these little tips and tricks are working to reduce that, which makes me feel a tonne better!

 

I Want to Break Free……..From Stress

Full Disclosure: I’m about to Real Talk your faces right now, so be prepared!

Lately my world has been crazy. It’s been busy, it’s been full, it’s been ‘what-the-hell-am-I-doing, and-how-did-I-get-this-job?’ frustrating. I’ve been stressed, I’ve been anxious, I’ve been grinding my teeth something wicked, I’ve been coping.

I use the word coping, because some days I feel like that’s all that it is. I’m coping, I’m managing to get through each day, I’m just keeping afloat but know that the next wave could be the one that sends me under.

Of course, I am talking about work here. Since the year started, my workload has increased exponentially. I have never been so busy. Some days I leave with a full list of jobs to do the next day, only knowing it will have grown by the time I get to work in the morning. Other days, by some miracle, I feel on top of it all and have crossed everything off my to do list. These days, I feel a sense of calm and confidence and that all is right with the world. These days are few and far between but they certainly help!

And to be honest, it’s not just work. I can deal with that. My problem is my brain. It just doesn’t stop. I’m constantly thinking, constantly planning, constantly doing something. I find it hard to relax and get stressed easily. Although to be fair, I am only now realising that it is stress that I feel and not some other emotion taking over me. I feel guilty if I’m not doing. For example, I love to read, but often feel like I should be cleaning, cooking, writing my blog or doing something ‘productive’. It’s hard for me to shake the feeling that I should be doing something else instead.

So, I have decided to take action and control of this negative energy that builds up inside me. I’m going to tell myself that it is okay for me to take time out, it’s okay to sit and do literally nothing for an hour, if that’s what I feel like doing. Because IT IS okay. Really. In fact, I think we all should make sure to take some time out of every day for ourselves, to do something that makes us, as an individual, happy. So that’s what I plan on doing.

I’ve put together a list of things that will not only help me de-stress, but also ensure that I am doing things for myself that I want to do, without feeling guilty.

1. Bring back “Pamper Saturday!” Quite a few months ago now, I went through a phase where every Saturday morning I would pamper myself. I’m talking face masks, eye treatments and polishing my nails. It was a great start to the day/weekend, and made me feel good and relaxed. I’m not quite sure when or why that stopped, but I’m going to get it going again.

Nothing beats an at-home mani! Except for a professional one.
Nothing beats an at-home mani! Except for a professional one.

2. Essential Oils. I’ve been looking into essential oils lately, and plan on picking out a relaxing fragrance for those times where I can feel my anxiety creep up and my jaw clench – this always leads to teeth grinding, which I often don’t even realise I am doing! The only way to break this bad habit is to replace it with a new habit by learning to relax myself instead, so this is where I am hoping a relaxing essential oil will help.

3. Set aside 1-2 hours a week to work on my blog. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but you have to start somewhere right? I feel like if I have a dedicated time to really focus on my writing, it will not only make me and my blog better, but will also ensure that I keep this up, because I do really want to.

4. Stick to my To Do list at work! I need to take time out at the start of every working day, jot down my priorities for that day and one-by-one cross them off the list. This is a really simple but effective way of keeping track of all the little things, while also improving time management and is something I really need to work on. As each new task crops up, I’ll add it to the list depending on its priority, ensuring I don’t get bogged down but that each job eventually gets done.

This is what happens when you don't prioritise - lunch at my desk :(
This is what happens when you don’t prioritise – lunch at my desk 😦

5. I have a really bad habit of feeling like I have to respond to every new email as it comes into my inbox, which is super distracting and makes it really hard to focus on one task at a time. My plan for this week is to only check my work emails every half-hour and then deal with the urgent ones first. I currently have all my emails colour-categorised and flagged so I can keep track of everything and the current status of each job, but I still feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them! I think checking less often will resolve this a bit for me.

What do you guys do to relax? How do you manage your workloads? And, essential oils are still cool, right?

Stranger Danger?

Humans are funny creatures.  We co-exist in our own family units, only interacting with those we love, those we work with, and those we have to.  There is the odd human (and i use the term “odd” lightly – because they are rare, not because they are weird) who goes beyond that, making conversation with strangers on a daily basis.  But for the most part, we keep to ourselves, don’t we?

I am a shy person by nature – it takes me a while to warm to people, and I often don’t speak unless spoken to. I hardly ask questions and I get nervous easily. I find lifts awkward.  Everyone looks at the floor, walls or level buttons, but not at each other.  And if someone is brave enough to break the silence, it’s like, wow, what just happened?!  No-one knows where to look or if they should respond.

The same sitch can be found at any given public transport stop, or on public transport itself.  I have been known in my time to wear headphones even when I’m not listening to any music, just so randos won’t talk to me.  Is that bad?  I don’t have a problem talking to new people, but it’s just awkward, isn’t it?  And I’m not really sure why that is.  Am I scared they might want a full-blown convo?  Or is it because they might be a serial killer in disguise?  Either way, I find it suspicious.

Like today, I was enjoying my lunch on a park bench by the river.  There are about four or five large benches with a decent space between each one.  The bench closest to mine was available, but the rest were taken up.  Two guys were approaching, one from each direction.  One was going to get the spare bench, and the other – chairless.  So he asked if he could share my bench.  Fine by me, but how weird is that?!  We each sat and ate our lunch in silence, until he stood up to get a napkin from his pocket and sat back down on his empty sushi tray.  We laughed and I checked to make sure his caboose was clean, and when he left he made a joke about how hard it was to go back to work after sitting in the sun, and that he hoped the rest of my day goes well.  If i were a braver gal, i may have talked to him some more, but you never know the other persons deal, do u?  I like to sit quietly and eat my food without being disturbed, where others talk loudly the entire time, filling in any empty space with their conversation.  Each to their own, but how do we break free of this feeling that all strangers need to be kept as such? 

Really, they’re just people we havent met yet.