Cyber personalities

I read an interesting social commentary in the Sunday paper yesterday (see… I am sticking to my resolution of reading the paper in the weekends!). It was about our online identities – the growing trend of social networking sites. The discussion mainly focussed on how we are losing our privacy as a result of these sites and it’s true.

They featured an interview with a woman who found out that she was dumped by her boyfriend when his Facebook status changed to ‘Not in a relationship’. Holy hell. What an a-hole. That’s worse that breaking up with someone via text. (In the old days, did people used to break up with each over via fax?) Not only was he gutless, but ALL her friends (and by that I mean workmates, friends of friends, people that used to be workmates, ex-boyfriends etc etc) found at the same time that she did. Ouch.

The article talked about kids who measure their worth by the number of MySpace friends that they have. What the hell? I added Tommy Lee as my friend. Does that elevate my status in the world?

I suppose when it comes to having an online identity I’m right up there. I blog, I Facebook and now I Twitter. Between the three, I have no secrets. If you read this blog daily, you probably know more about me than you know about most of your friends.  If you follow me on Twitter you know what I ate for desert last night. If you’re my friend on Facebook you’ve seen photos of me at primary school and at every party I’ve been to in the last year. I’ve always been very blase about it all. I’m not a private person and I love an audience.

But what if that were to change? It’s worth thinking about.

Red letter day

A friend recently introduced me to the concept of Red Letter Days – days when really fantastic stuff happens. I’m having one today. His RLD’s have a catch. When he has one, someone close to him has the opposite. I have chosen not to believe in that part of the concept.

So today… the reason I’m so late with the blogging is because I’ve spent the entire morning playing with my new iPhone. So far it rocks! I’m pretty damn excited. I’m not really a gadget person, but this is one cool gadget.

I have the iPhone to partially thank for the second brilliant thing that happened this morning. Usually when I get a call from a number that I don’t recognise, I ignore it and figure they can leave a message. Because I just got a new phone and didn’t have any numbers loaded, when I got an incoming call at 8am I figured it was probably someone I know, so I answered it. It turned out to be my favourite radio station, calling to tell me that I’ve won a $500 voucher to this fantastic shop up the road! I’m going to buy a lamp for our lounge. I can’t believe it!

All of that, plus it’s Friday!

I’m happy to be alive.

Just good. For nothing.

Today is a good day for no particular reason. For the last few I’ve been feeling sort of lost and restless over nothing that I can put my finger on. Not so today. Today I’m feeling upbeat. It’s still over nothing in particular, but it’s a good thing.

I’m loving the fact that it’s Thursday already. Having Monday off should be a weekly occurrence. I hate the idea of working Saturday, but it’d be great to work an extra hour or so each morning and then have a three day weekend. But then the gym would have to go so that’s not feasible.

March is now considered a summer month here. The weather is still fantastic, although the days are getting shorter. The sun was rising as I drove to work at 7:30 this morning. Weird. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that it would come up while I was on my way to the gym at 5:30am. But you’ve gotta have the bad in order to appreciate the good.

I had my first blood test today to monitor these new drugs. I feel good about the fact that I’m making progress, even if it’s slow. I even managed to watch her load the needle up and prep my arm. Not that long ago that would have caused me to regurgitate my breakfast on the nurses’s shoes.

So that’s it. I’m happy and I’m going to make the most of it.

Life is good, even when you’re barren.

Impatience and stuff

Lately I seem to be losing my patience a bit. I’m not sure what’s causing it and it’s a bit of an issue considering the fact that I never really had much to begin with.

I’m losing it with things that really shouldn’t bother me too much. I seem to get (inwardly) pissed with people that moan about things. With people that aren’t happy with some aspect of their life but do nothing to make it any better. With people that aren’t sensitive to the feelings of others. With this incredibly annoying guy at work that just stands beside you saying nothing when you are on the phone or talking to someone, until you ask him what he wants. (What I want is to punch him in the head.) With my husband when he tries to make me paint with a roller. With the cats when they don’t understand plain english. You know, that kind of stuff.

I suspect it must have something to do with the fact that not everything in my life is going to plan and that I’m punishing myself as a result. When I don’t have complete control over things I sabotage the things that I do have control over. I binge eat. Easter is the perfect time to do that. You feel like you can justify it.

I used to think that it was a great thing that I recognised when I’m feeling this way. I used to congratulate myself for being so in tune with myself. What a load of bullshit. How useful is that if you still choose to do nothing about it?

So if I look at the bigger picture I realise that the things that I am frustrated about are not things that I can change right now. That’s a bitch. I tell myself frequently not to stress about things over which I have no control. It’s easier said than done though. It’s like telling someone not to think about an elephant.

So I need a strategy to deal with this stuff. I would say that I needed a project, only that’s a joke. When the hell am I going to fit that in? So it’s going to have to be less tangible. Perhaps I need a global strategy. Isn’t everything global these days? Actually, perhaps I should become carbon neutral.

Now there’s an idea.

Paint and chocolate

Easter was glorious. I don’t remember such a fantastic Easter since my childhood when we used to go down to Palmerson North to stay with my nan. Mum and dad would pack the three of us and the cat into the back of the car when dad got home from work on Thursday night and we’d start the 8 hour drive. We’d stop for dinner after a couple of hours and then mum would set up our beds in the back of the car. Mary and Dave would sleep in the boot (which may sound like some perverse form of child abuse, but it was ok -it was a station wagon) and I’d sleep on the back seat. The cat would roam. We’d stop on the Desert Road and put him on a leash so he could go to the bathroom. He would then spend the rest of the trip howling out the window. I loved those trips.

Dad would do Easter egg hunts for us. I’d eat all mine as I found them. Mary would make hers last over the whole holiday. Dave would save his until next Easter by which stage they had all spoiled. He did it every year, and every year we’d laugh at him and he’d cry.

This Easter was a so especially good because it came so early in the year. It’s still summer. It’s still daylight savings. And the weather behaved. Boy, did it behave. We had an absolute blinder. Shaun and I spent the majority of the holiday painting the outside of the house. When we bought it, only three of the four walls had been painted. The ones you could see. The north facing wall (the most important in this hemisphere) was hard to get to and clearly hadn’t been painted in quite some time. We set up a complicated system of ladders and planks and got stuck in. I spent more time than is healthy sniffing paint. I can’t help it. Like how I can’t help sniffing petrol when I fill up the car. I have some kind of inbuilt sniffing mechanism. Oh wait, everyone does. I guess I just abuse the ability.

Speaking of innappropriate behaviour, what’s with the guy who’s worried about getting too much pussy? He’s searched the same thing every day now for the past 5! Buddy, get over it. I told you already – there’s no such thing as too much.

So after painting the outside of the house we were on a roll and spent yesterday painting the inside. There were marks on some of the walls that have been bugging me since we moved in. They will bug me no more. Even if I hadn’t painted over them, I am now so severely brain damaged as a result of paint sniffing that I could no longer see them. We did discover that I am not particularly skilled with a roller. I just don’t seem to be able to get the paint to go on evenly. And on the occasions where I do get it on well, I then go over it one too many times and it peels off again. So I did the cutting in and Shaun did the rolling.  But not before I threw a tantrum.

So Easter is over and I’m suffering withdrawal. Not from paint, but from chocolate. I suspect that I ate my bodyweight worth over the last 4 days. As a result, I will be able to eat even more next year as my bodyweight has increased significantly.

But hell, for those of us that are non-religious, Easter is all about the chocolate.

Being your own best friend

A quick aside: To the person who found my blog by Googling “How much pussy is too much?”… there’s no such thing.

The other day I heard someone talking about the power of being your own best friend and it fascinated me. It sounds like a bit of a cheesy cliche and on the surface I suppose it is. But if you think about it for a minute, it goes a bit deeper than that.

I don’t mean best friend in the “Hey me, wanna hang out with me for a while?” way, or the hippy-self-love kinda way. I mean it in the cut-yourself-a-break kinda way. It’s not something we do all that often.

I can relate this to my own life the most easily when I think about eating. When I have a lapse in vigilance and binge for a couple of days (and when I say binge, I mean eat a hot cross bun and an easter egg in the same day. Oh, imagine!) I go through this incredibly harsh self-berating routine in my head. I tell myself that I’ve got no self-control. That I’ve gone and done it again. That I’m going to have to work out harder tomorrow. A whole lot of ridiculous crap. If one of my friends told me they’d eaten a whole pack of easter eggs, I say “Hilarious! Good on you. It’s got to be done occasionally, that’s what life’s about.”

Double standards, huh?

I never look at my friends and think “Wow, he has clearly put on about half a kilo and it’s really showing around his chin”. I never tell them that they are lazy for sleeping in and missing the gym. I never expect them to work until midnight or keep the garden immaculate even if it means doing it in the rain. So why the hell do I expect that of myself?

Cutting ourselves a break is one of the hardest things to do.

But it’s probably one of the most important.

So I’m off to eat chocolate. Happy Easter all… I’m back next Tuesday.

Changing the way we think

Last night I went to a seminar about hormonal balance and the things that we can do in order to help ourselves, mostly with regard to our diet. Although I knew a lot of it already, I was astounded by some of the simple things that we do on a daily basis to sabotage our bodies. And I’m not just talking about people that have diagnosed hormonal imbalances like I do. The thing that was most interesting was that I learned the science behind the diet that my nutritionist has put me on. And it all makes so much sense.

She spoke a lot about the role of our liver and the fact that we spend so much time poisoning it with toxins that it doesn’t have time to break down the natural toxins that our body creates (like bad estrogen) so they are recycled back into our blood. For all the poisoning of myself that I’ve done over the years, I’m actually quite good these days. Caffeine and alcohol are the biggest contributing factors (groan) but that’s no surprise. I’m off them both anyway while I’m on treatment. The doctor didn’t suggest that cutting them out completely was required, just that every day is too much.

My current poison is artificial sweeteners, so that’s where I’m going to make my change. When I started seeing the nutritionist she warned me that my biggest issue was the imbalance of insulin in my body. Insulin inhibits the creation of progesterone, which our bodies need for healthy reproduction (and a million other beneficial things). The high level of sugars in my diet (from simple carbohydrates and wine as much as refined sugars) were playing havoc with my insulin, so it was hardly a surprise that I’d screwed my hormones up. Most people (and I was one of them) use artificial sweeteners in the place of sugars these days. Sugar-free is the new non-fat. What they don’t realise is that those sweeteners latch themselves onto the receptors in our bodies that we use to utilise hormones. So they act as a block and the hormones are wasted.

The things that we learned were so simple that it blew my mind. What shocked me was the fact that no one had told us this stuff before. How on earth are people supposed to know this sort of thing? Lives could be significantly changed. It just takes a considered diet and a bit of information.

Aside from the stuff about toxins, the second most important thing that I learned was the effect that stress has on our bodies and our hormones. If we are under stress, our adrenal glands make adrenaline (and cortisols) and while they are busy doing that, they don’t have the time to make progesterone. So we lose out again. She spoke of the value of traditional Chinese medicine, specifically acupuncture, for keeping stress under control.

And breathing. We are in such a hurry these days that we simply forget to breathe. I mean really breathe. Deeply, right into your stomach. It’s pretty fundamental for maintaining a healthy body…

Think about it.

Pins and needles

I used to be pretty sceptical of alternative therapies. I am a firm believer in the wonders of western medicine and it’s fair to say that I was pretty closed minded on the subject. I don’t even go to yoga. I just get bored.

So you can imagine the surprise of everyone that knows me when I told them that I was going to an acupuncturist. People kept waiting for me to laugh.

I was motivated by two unrelated friends who are both undergoing fertility treatment and are seeing an acupuncturist. When I quizzed them, it turned out that they are both going to the same one. And they both love her. Aside from my aversion to needles (which I am rapidly overcoming) I figured I had nothing to lose. Even if it has no effect on my fertility, there are no negative side effects.

I did some research and it would appear that there is quite a solid scientific foundation underlying the concept of acupuncture. It has been discovered that our bodies contain bioelectric circuits and that those circuits can become interrupted, causing ill health, imbalance or pain. Acupuncture attempts to fix these imbalances by stimulating points on the body along those circuits.

So along I went. I wasn’t nervous really, more just curious. I had to put on a robe and lay down on my back on a massage table. The acupuncturist then proceeded to stick tiny needles into my ear, scalp and foot. The very thought of that would have caused me to faint only a few years ago. The needles are so fine that you only feel the slightest prick when they go in and then you don’t feel them at all.

So I lay there relaxing for an hour with needles poking out of me. I answered questions about my ‘western medical history’ and explained what I was trying to achieve. Along the way I picked up tips. Like how I should chew my food until it’s liquid before swallowing in order to get the full benefit of an enzyme in my mouth. And how excess dairy can contribute to cysts.

By the end of the hour I felt like I was floating. Some people feel euphoric. I’m not sure I was quite to that extreme, but I certainly felt at peace with myself. I had always believed that my life was slightly unbalanced in that I don’t have a spiritual outlet. I now know that to be untrue.

As a result of yesterdays session I have a new realisation of what it means to be spiritual. It doesn’t have to be about religion or meditation or yoga or special breathing or any of that stuff. It can just be about talking. And we all know I’m good at that. It’s about being at peace with yourself, being kind to yourself, being aware of yourself and understanding your position with relation to the world around you. So with that in mind I realise that I am a very spiritual person after all. It was nice to realise.

I left the session feeling relaxed and quite tired. As the day wore on the tiredness increased until I pretty much fell into bed at 10pm and crashed hard. Unfortunately I woke up today feeling pretty tired as well. I dragged my feet through step class. The part of my brain that plays tricks is telling me it’s because I’m pregnant.

But that would be too good to be true.

Low point

I’m feeling pretty down today. I just bumped my head in the toilet and cried. That’s generally a sign for me that I’m not coping all that well. And this time I don’t think I can blame it on hormones. Well, not completely.

It started over the weekend. My sister was staying, which I love. After a few typically rocky years, we are now incredibly close and I enjoy her company. This weekend though, we were both grumpy and edgy and it made me a bit miserable. It’s got a lot to do with the whole trying to get pregnant thing. I am sure that I am subconsciously jealous about the fact that she is further down the track than I am, which probably contributes, but she just wasn’t on top of her game either and it was bugging me – probably unfairly. I feel a bit sad about it.

But that’s not really what this is about I don’t think. I’m feeling worried about my brother. He goes through stages of going into hiding when things get bad for him. He kinda goes underground and I’ve sensed that happening for a while now. And it would seem that I’ve been right. Something is up with him and he isn’t talking to me about it. That feels bad, but what feels worse is that he isn’t talking to anyone about it. That worries me sick.

We go through this with him every few years, for different reasons. Every time it happens I end up confronting him on it and he opens up to the family and then feels great and wonders why he didn’t do it sooner. I wonder why the hell he doesn’t learn from that. But when someone is fragile it’s not the best time to berate them.

Unfortunately for me, I’m not in a position to offer much support at the moment. I need all my emotional strength for myself. But I’m finding it impossible to put aside my concern for him and to concentrate on me. When you love someone you just want to fix them I guess.

I wish I knew what to fix.

Punching like a girl

This morning is one of those mornings where everything seems like more of an effort than usual. Friday mornings are often a bit rough as I have a hard training session on Thursday nights. But today was worse than usual. I was punching like a girl!

I have been sleeping really badly of late. I’ve been waking up remember my dreams. Last night I dreamt that I lived on a lake (I would just float on the surface) and my best friend was a duck. The duck was such a good friend that it would do my drycleaning for me, which was lucky, as I wore 10 different ties each day. Interesting…

Shaun has also been sleeping badly. He says that’s not the case, but the fact that he sat up in bed the night before last, lined me up and elbowed me full force in the kidney implies that not all is well. It could be worse. A few years back he headbutted me in the nose.

It may have something to do with the changing season. It’s too hot with the duvet on but not warm enough with it off. So the bad sleep, in conjunction with my general lethargy is making for very long days. I think I need a couple of days off the exercise in order to recharge.

Yeah right.