Maseratis and keeling over

My problem: unless I am under enormous pressure and have Satan breathing down my neck, I am the laziest and most unmotivated chick you’ll ever meet in your life. And this is just it – my life is too damn comfortable. It’s just too easy for me to bob along, have everything come easy, live the good life and just enjoy doing cool stuff with my husband and son. Don’t get me wrong – I am so happy it’s just… …STUPID. It’s really quite ridiculous. Then again, joy is my default setting, I get it from my dad I think (the guy is  unbearably cheerful) and it just seems to be my nature to look on the bright side of life. Now, that’s not a bad thing. I’m just saying.

So I wake up every morning feeling happiness and gratitude, and how could I not? I’m truly blessed. No, I haven’t bought a Maserati yet (a GranCabrio in midnight blue, per favore), nor do I own a holiday home on Waihi Beach (YET!) but that’s just a matter of time and until then I have everything I could ever possibly need or want as things stand. But what I have discovered is this: as wonderful as it is to be emotionally fulfilled and have these two (B and Monkey) along with living where we live, blessed with amazing friends and family and have the life that we do, I need something else to fire me up. Hence I have hit a point where I feel incredibly restless and a little flat. I need a focus, goals… ….what I need is PRESSURE! I want to achieve. It’s one thing to strive to be a good person (and for the large part I believe I am), to be kind and empathetic and so on, but I think we all to some extent want to do well beyond our personal qualities whether it be having expert knowledge in some field or coming home each day knowing we really made a difference somehow. Just be able to say: “I did that”!

Before I met B I spent some years as a single mother in this insanely expensive city that is Londinium, so I know what I can be and achieve when I’m under tremendous amounts of pressure and stress to make things work. I know that I am a BADASS when I have to be.

There it is! When I HAVE to be.

So, the time has come to set some goals and targets and form a plan for the near future. B and I have been together for four years and a few months (and yes, we still celebrate every month – we just celebrated 51 months – cheesy, eh) and so we are ready for the next stage. These first few years were building stones and we’re currently cruising on a comfortable plateau having last year bought a home and this year got hitched.

My goal: in two years from now make a nice little income from making jewellery (I will in three month’s time be able to call myself a silversmith, and after that a Diploma course awaits and progressing on to more precious metals and stones) and the rest of the time focus on writing. That should nicely bring me back into an existence where I once again feel productive, that I’m achieving and that I’m doing something really worthwhile. That and getting super fit! I think at 41 I’m still at a stage where I am probably able to achieve something pretty awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I like ME, but I’m curious to see if I could go a little drastic and tickle the fitness fanatic in me (if that fanatic exists – perhaps I’ll just discover that I just LIKE exercise but won’t LOVE massive amounts of it). I don’t intend to turn bodybuilder or aim for no body fat or be a size zero or anything stupid like that, but just see what I might be able to do within reasonable limits. After a summer spent celebrating, my first two runs this week felt like death. Actually, they were not as bad as I thought it’d be but death nonetheless. I know it won’t take long though and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to run, say, 5k without keeling over. We’ll see. It’s a start.

Our goal: we’ve set up a budget, which was pretty scary as it showed not only how much we could (and should!) save without forsaking random trips, holidays, nice clothes and several date nights every month, it also showed how we fritter money away like it’s confetti. So a bit more focus and if we just hold back a LITTLE – honestly, there are no big changes required, just a few small adjustments – we should with good margin be able to buy a decent holiday home in Sweden within five years should we choose to. I’m more keen on NZ, but no need to decide. Who knows what, when or even if – all we know is that if we just keep to this little plan, the ‘how’ isn’t going to be an issue.

For now, I will continue to appreciate a lovely Plan B job that I do enjoy and that the people I work for are lovely so there is – as I said before – no reason for me to complain, I simply don’t have anything to complain about, but I just need stuff to happen! I’m no good at this cruising phase we find ourselves in. What to be careful about also is how fired up I get starting things off – I’m so awesome at that bit! What career would allow me to do that? Be the proverbial firestarter? Anyway, it’s applying the plan, follow it and stick at it I suck at. Feeling very, very determined so time will tell… It usually does.


Punches and duels

All is fair in love and war, it’s been said, so when B and I now both have Jawbone fitness bracelets I’m pulling no punches. Along with tracking steps, heart rate, calories burned and sleep, the app also comes with ‘duels’ – basically you connect with friends or whoever who also has the Jawbone fitness tracker and challenge each other to beat each others’ step count over a set period of time.

To be fair, I was already at advantage as I walk Monkey to school and then home again via my own route to work, so without trying I already clock up a fair proportion of my daily target of 10,000 steps compared with B who just gets in the car. No wonder B hopped around the bed for a good ten minutes the other night – naked, I might add, which was ever so delicious to watch – to get a few more steps added to his score. But I’ve been an absolute con artist. Due to a hangover on Monday (due to another fun weekend – I mean, when was I last NOT hungover on a Monday?) I didn’t walk (let alone RUN) much beyond from home to Kew Bridge and then the back the same distance at the end of the day, so by Tuesday we were pretty much head to head and I was leading the duel by a fraction.

Not having that!

B got ready to head to the gym last night and I put in an Oscar winning performance intended to make him believe he would surpass me by FAR by pretending I was just going to stay on the couch and watch TV. As he was getting ready to leave, I even walked around with the TV remote in my hand to further cement his misguided belief he might beat me. As soon as he was out the door, I got on the treadmill and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed his horrified reaction when he smugly went to check the app tracking us both to see how much he’d beaten me by only to discover he was done for.

Yep, I’m an evil genius.

This morning I walked Monkey to school, then despite rain and wind whipping the shit out of me I kept on marching all the way to Richmond (utter waste of make-up, it has to be said) to make sure I kept ahead of him. This afternoon I got on the treadmill as soon as I got in to get another 35 minutes of running on to my step-count and even sent poor B a photo of my sweaty boobs to goad him further. What can I say, I’m a very bad girl. Wore my Hooters top and everything to make it even worse for him.

So now that he’s on his way home, he is 12,000 steps behind (which roughly equates to an hour long run), I’ve poured myself a glass of wine and he has no way of catching my round ASS! Yeah!



That Moment and Pounding Hearts

Yesterday evening I discovered another immediate benefit to quitting smoking. Oh, I know, not like it’s rocket science that giving up the filthy habit will bring plentiful rewards, but even so it’s lovely when you notice them. The first happened within days: how taking a deep breath was so much easier and how clear my airways felt. And the second was, as I mentioned, yesterday: I ran a loop of 5k without having to stop and walk. Nor did my lungs hurt by the time I got home. I didn’t even have that metallic taste in my mouth. Says it all, really.

It’s happened before, that I’ve run both faster and further than I expected to, only to find that the next run my chin would scrape along the floor after half a mile, so this afternoon after taking Bertie the Labradoodle out for a long, brisk walk, I headed out for a run and not in any way did I expect to be able to chug around the same 5k loop again without keeling over. But I did! Yippieeeee! My lungs are feeling happy and I feel ecstatic that I’m doing something good for this tired, old body for a change, because over the 19-odd months B and I have been together I sure haven’t been. That’s not B’s fault – if anything, he’s been keeping up the gym, pump classes and running all along – and I can sure as hell give Axl Rose a run for his money all on my own, but there we are.

It felt so good, and finally I was in that moment I have missed so much and occasionally thought of inbetween pouring large glasses of wine and lighting another cigarette to go with them – the feeling of my heart pounding in my chest, my feet hitting the ground rhythmically thump-thump-thump, how good it feels to breathe hard, and best of all feeling strong and determined, knowing my body is feeling good and healthy and can go on for a good while yet. It’s glorious and I’m so happy now that I’m there again (or getting there, rather – let’s face it, I’m not running 10k just yet but just give me a few more weeks, OK?).

It’s been a busy day and the rest of the week is looking fairly crammed too. Over the past few weeks I’ve not written much as far as Alice goes, I’m still getting it all figured out in my mind following the editor’s feedback – as it stands, I just need to find that point to start from again. Not that I’m rewriting the whole thing, but slicing into it is harder than it seems and I’ve been stalling a little. Oh well, you can’t force these things, and I know I’m nearly at that stage again where it’ll all come spilling out again.