Suggestions on how to deal with being a Twinless Twins while pregnant.

Living day by day with the fact that you will never see a loved one in person for the rest of your life because they have died changes you as a person. If you are lucky enough to remember dreams they appear, I feel you are blessed and there is a good chance the energy of your loved one is not far.
Your life ends up in 2 parts, before they passed and after they passed. When you lose someone close to you, especially a close family member its hard to put into words how you get by, day by day. But you do. One way to describe grief are in waves, just like the ocean. Some days are calm, some are stormy, and some are an intense hurricane. The build up to Anniversaries and birthdays are triggers of extra waves of grief and after a while you adjust the sails to cope. In this blog I’ll briefly suggest ways that I used to “adjust the sails”
Nearly 3 years ago, my twin sister died unexpected. Out of the blue.
Her name is Tara.
I had my regrets, not seeing her enough as I lived interstate, not creating enough “moments”, leaving a week early from my holidays because of a silly reason, my dog was digging up the rose garden so I had a knee jerk reaction and booked a flight home early and took her with me, not realising it would be the last time I see Tara alive. However the main regret was, that any of my children, the entire next generation of our family will have never met this remarkable and beautiful soul.
They will see photos, they will hear stories, they will watch treasured videos of Tara- but they would have never have met her and felt her energy or one of her signature bear hugs. That thought brings me to tears every time.
I’m currently 6 months pregnant with my son, and its not just the hormones that are giving me another “wave” of grief.
My sister had cerebral palsy ( CP) and epilepsy that meant she needed a full time carer to assist her day by day. My mother was her main carer and did a terrific job for over 30 years. When I was baby sitting some children last night, I helped them get dressed, and had flash backs of helping my sister get dressed. As I chopped up their food, just like we did for Tara I had flash backs of this also. My sister chewed her food very loud, and these kids did the same. Last night, as I held the youngest and sang a lullaby softly for her to go to sleep, I recalled when I would sing to my sister when we were really young. As I put Miss 2 to bed and sang the same song that my father would sing my sister every night before going to bed, I smiled. I’ll be doing this with my own child soon. That warmed my heart.
I realised at that moment so many extra times I’m going to think about my sister after my son is born. It wouldn’t only be every time I heard a song from Pink or Missy Higgins, ( or the other 10 her so songs that remind me of her) it wouldn’t be whenever I saw a purple butterfly, Elmo, get my nails done her favourite colour purple or whenever I see her name tattooed on my wrist, attend a yoga class or when I look at her art either on my walls or my fridge. On top of all of those moments of reflection, I also have a son to remind me of the simple life.
My sister had a intellectual disability so enjoyed Elmo, art, singing, dancing and spent hours flicking through magazines and sometimes picking out random ( or not so random) images and had them cut out and turned into cards. I’m sure I’m going to spend many hours doing similar things with my child, the power of play and how kids learn and refine their fine motor skills from painting, cutting, and interacting with others. I look forward to embracing Tara’s love of creating art with the assistance of my child.
I read this post on Face book yesterday that explains a lot.
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You ill be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to be” Author Unknown.
I’m part of a beautiful community called “Twinless Twins” who are a group of people who are very supportive and are the only ones that truly know what its like to loose a twin sister or brother. I’m so glad I found them via Face book just after my twin passed. There are millions out there living as a twin less twin and if we can share our positive experiences to give hope that yes you will get through this, you will survive, you will adapt to a new normal. My blogging time has been worthwhile.
While being hit with the intensity of loosing your twin I’m really proud of myself for the coping mechanisms that I used throughout it, that I’ll blog about in the future. Dedication workouts, music therapy, self improvement, deciding to be as proactive as possible to realise what your “heart desires” and passions are and go for it, to say Yes rather than No more, to acknowledge how quickly life passes us by and if you truly want to do something create it, no matter what. To take risks, work hard, and most of all create beautiful memories with family and friends. Instead of spending nights at home watching re runs of sensationalised bullshit, feed your mind with positive, informative visions and information that makes you the best person you can be.
If situations arise that are unexpected, embrace them and be appreciative that they have appeared- see everything as a gift not a hinder.
Seranna’s tips to grief the most positive ways possible.
Self care. Have regular massages and see a Dr to have regular check ups. You are worthy. Regular exercise assisted in keeping me focused, mainly because while I was exercising I dedicated it to my twin. It was my way of taking time to reflect, admire and grieve. You would regularly see me listening to her funeral music while running on the treadmill, sometimes with tears streaming down my face. Might work for you.
Jump on that wave of grief and ride it. Don’t push it aside and deal with it 20 years later. Talk about your loved one. Spend time looking at photos that trigger happy memories. Reflect and recall their names. If you get upset, it will happen- It will happen less over time.
Sing and Dance. Either in your car, at a nightclub or in your own home. Celebrate their life and their achievements. Remember how they made you feel.
Don’t be afraid to cry. Release and be kind to everyone around you, especially to those reaching out to you.
Plant a tree, buy a memorial seat or plaque in special place of reflection. Tara has one in a Botanical Garden in her honour, do some gardening, train for a challenge you have never tried before ( I rode 300km over 3 days as a non cyclist) but be careful you don’t burn out.
Finally, something that worked for me. Blog. Write. It’s very therapeutic to get your thoughts down on paper and story telling is such a remarkable tool both personally and professionally. It may help going through similar situations and that is something special.
Every ones journey is different and my grief journey is going to get a lot more interesting with this new chapter presenting itself!
I hope these suggestions are helpful and you can forward this blog to someone who might benefit from hearing about this.

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Bittersweet Boxing Day

As Boxing Day 2015 starts, I drive to the supermarket at 7.30am aiming to beat any of the “Boxing Day” rush and I have succeeded in that department! I beat the rush, got my all bran cereal, coffee and fresh peaches while hardly a soul in site. brilliant, I have a feeling it’s the beginning of a good day!

Then I head home and turn on the news, I didn’t turn on the TV yesterday on purpose, trying to not do that very much. Australia has woken to the horrific news that yesterday on Christmas Day 2015, about 50 houses have been lost in Victoria, in a tourist area along the beautiful Great Ocean Road here in Australia. Why did I turn on the TV, the news is getting more and more depressing.
On Christmas Day over 300 firefighters, 17 aircraft battled the blaze and apparently it’s still not under control, today on Boxing Day, lets hope the rain puts all of the fires out so we don’t loose any more homes. At this stage there are no reports of loss of life, however the odds that there will be people found in cars, swimming pools or in homes is very likely. Only a matter of time.

Yet again, many people spent the day using their skills to assist other people in their community and surrounding communities and attempting to save their belongings. Right now, many people will be dealing with the emotional toll of losing homes, animals belongings and then there is the clean up and trying to rebuild lives. Not to forget, huge amounts have land has been burnt to the ground and even though there is rain, strong winds are making it difficult for firefighters
Some lifetimes of belonging will be up in smoke, burnt to the count, yet it’s the memories that thousands of families that have spent countless holidays by the sea that is most heartbreaking, because memories are the real priceless things in life.
This is a harsh reminder how many of us collect so many “things” and “stuff” and focus on working.. Even working more than they are required to: spending time away from their families and impressing many people that we don’t even truly care about.

As I watch an episode of the Simpsons, you know the one where Springfield is sold a monorail by the capitalist and instead of investing in the towns basics such as roads, rubbish and social infrastructure it’s been ripped off by the people trying to make a quick buck, and it’s mixed with all of the Boxing Day Sales advertisements trying to get us to continue consuming.. I let out a big sigh and I’m quiet embarrassed about the world we live in.

Yet at the same time, I’ve started writing blogs and aim to turn this hobby into another stream of income, not to buy more consumables: I’m looking for an extra stream of income that can assist in me continuing to travel the world, even a few weeks a year. I will take my holidays, and if it all goes well.. Will be having a lot more holidays. Holidays are memory makers.. That’s why I adore them.

Yes, I’m being a bit of a hypocrite, I did just buy my very first brand new car only last week…. But it’s a very average hatch back, 5 star safety rating, more fuel efficient, and did I tell you how big my boot is! It will fit in the pram and I’ll be able to change the nappies of my child in the boot, and that’s with the pram in the boot! Jokes aside, it was for the safety of my son.. And I only own one car…not 5!

Sometimes I get depressed that I don’t own any houses or land, I choose to travel the world instead, and eat yummy food surrounded by good company: there isn’t a better feeling!

Actually, to be completely blunt, something that pumps me up is supporting strong women succeed. Today is the Australian launch of the movie, SUFFRAGETTE about the start of the Feminist movement in the UK, about the women who lobbied for women to have the right to vote. Even when some of their sisters thought they were mad, thought they would fail, thought it was not worth the effort.

It’s always worth the effort, even for the life experience, for the lessons learnt you learn along the way and the people you meet who may become lifelong friends or only in your life for a small amount of time. It all counts. So I’m determined to Get off the couch, turn off the idiot box and be allot more productive, for my soul and not for anyone else! ( except my son, nothing else is number 1)

Stay safe in these holiday seasons, your family and friends want you around, want you near and want you to be present. Blessed be!

Photo courtesy of GA 2015.

 

Christmas Food for the tiny tummies!

It’s Christmas Eve and I had a office champagne breakfast this morning, a BBQ on the balcony and for a moment I forgot I was a sleeved women and I ate my entire piece of bread, beautifully cooked runny egg from the BBQ and lightly cooked bacon. No champagne, no mushrooms or tomato- just 3 small pieces of food together with only a strategically timed half a cup of organge juice 20 minutes before consuming the tucker.

Only sleevers will know why I had to drink that cup of orange juice nearly half an hour before and they will only know what happened next after I ate that toast n egg, even 1 year after surgery. Yup, for only about the 3rd time in 12 months- it came back up again, about 5 minutes after. Or maybe it was the fact I’m really over eggs, no matter how they are cooked!

Just a few more slow chews, and only another 5 minutes or so of eating bite size meal slowly and it would had been all good!

Sometimes we still have moments of weakness and just have that extra spoonful or mouthful  of food a little too quick and it’s crossed the line!

The optimist I am, I’m actually really grateful that this happening today, it’s a great reminder for tomorrow when I go over to some friends house for Christmas lunch- your never going to be the same, don’t you forget it! Your tiny tummy has its on limits! Respect that!

As much as my hunger has actually come back in full force about 20 weeks ago, before that I enjoyed 7 months of no hunger. My pregnancy kick started my hunger again- and I’ll forgive my son for that!

Everyone is different, but my body is very good at giving me a warning system when I’m eating- I start to hick up. Some people start to sneeze, whatever your internal about to eat too much warning system is- Listen to it!  Okay, back to feeling hungry, either it’s in your head or its come back… All I can say, enjoy it while it’s not there!  No physical hungry was a blessing, the second best parts of having a gastric sleeve, apart from having a tiny tummy.

That’s right- no physical hunger feelings, after my gastric sleeve other than the odd head hunger that was only my mind playing tricks on me, generally when I was bored and old habits where entering mind. You know the ones, when you can’t find anything interesting on the TV, you are too tired to study, your home alone and about 8pm at night and you walk over to the refrigerator and you open up the door and… You stare at the fridge wondering what you felt like to eat.

Any sleever will be aware of the typical products in the fridge when you open it up, especially in the first year of being sleeved.     A dozen of eggs,  Many bottles of pre made bottles of protein shake, one in particular half drank because you were too full to finish it and only drank half of it, many tiny yogurts, maybe a sneaky chocolate custard just to be naughty, portions of cheese to snack on, tins of tuna, bags of nuts n sultanas to nibble on throughout the day and did I say chicken? Oh my, am I still scared from my obsession of eating protein and the scary amount of chicken breast, grilled that I consumed after I started eating solids. In teeny tiny nibble bits.

I must say, in August about 8.5 months after I was sleeved and I started craving steak.. I really enjoyed my tiny piece of steak after not eating any red meat for over 6 months. To ensure I’m getting in enough iron in my pregnancy I must admit to drinking more than average amount of Milo as it would assist in my sugar cravings!

As a pregnant sleeved women, I’ve had to pay particular attention to my diet and water intake. My day normally goes like this:

Wake up. Pee.

Have a glass of orange juice and my vitamins.

Pee

Half hour later have either a piece of toast, a crumpet, or piece of fruit.

Pee again.

Make a protein shake or smoothie to sip on for about an hour, including driving to work.

Get to work, pee again.

Order a small cup of coffee. Pee.

Then try to fit in a glass of water before needing to wait about 20-30 minutes before I try to eat morning tea, like a cup of soup, yogurt, or some chicken or egg.

Pee again.

Then morning drinking of various fluids, getting full from water so I’ve been having a hard time consuming enough food.

For lunch if I’m lazy or not prepared enough I go across to the deli and buy a wrap with only a couple of ingredients ( such as egg n lettuce,  ham & cheese, chicken beetroot & carrot) since I’ll only eat 1/4 to 1/2 of it anyway!  I’m going out of my way to introduce whole,eat bread back into my diet after not eating it for over 6 months, I might not appreciate carbs but my growing baby boy deserves the effort!)

More of the drinking of water, peeing, then snacking on nuts, fruit and having bites of my left over lunch and tins of tuna.

Wow, I’m actually chuckling… Gosh, I only WISH that was my daily food diary was that realistic!

Maybe 2-3 days out of 5 my days actually look remotely like that. Depending on my level of organisation, amount of 1-2 hour meetings and have hard core my sugar cravings are.

This very moment I’m snacking on Apricot Delights.. Those square of apricot covered in way too much sugar! Better than eating on all of those tiny pieces of Caburys Favourite Cholcates in my fridge or the Maccas self serve ice creams still in my freezer for an “emergency” … Pregnancy sugar cravings are intense, embrace Milo- it’s good for Iron intake, I keep saying to myself.

I also forgot to write, with passion about my 1 store bought coffee a day that I just have to consume each and every morning before 9am! God dam it, that fills me up too! Don’t even ask me about the ramifications of having a LARGE coffee! Puts my eating plans right put the window.

So what has been happening if I don’t consume enough fuel for my rapidly expanding body? Since being pregnant I have had a lot more light dizzy spells, fatigue and too the point of my hands shaking as much blood sugar level drops way too low, normally if I’ve been stuck in a unventilated office for more than a hour with only a glass or water if I’m lucky.

Last week, I was in a meeting representing a client and it was over an hour, and before my morning coffee, and I got to the stage of ‘whoa I’m going downhill fast, give me some sugar!” that I had to casually lean into my hand bag and pull out some snacks of dried fruit to nibble on as I could feel my blood sugar dropping. Probably, bloody unprofessional but at that stage I didn’t care.

For the un sleeved people reading this blog, or people who are considering having a gastric sleeve operation I highly recommend it, if you have dealt with any psychological aspects around over eating. The toughest parts that not only affected me but my friends around me was, not eating 3 meals a day anymore, eating very slowly, so it made the other people I ate with very uncomfortable as maybe it got the, questioning why where they always shoving food into their mouth so quickly, and the adjustment of not being able to drink with your food. The amount of events and social outings I took for granted, where we drank some wine or champagne while eating either fried chicken, fried seafood, fried wedges or any other pub food after work on a Friday. How did I overcome this? I strategically timed everything and shared my food while at the same time buying only entree’ sizes, or my favourite was buying half a dozen of oysters.     ( full of protein but stay away from any with creamy textures)

So this Christmas, I’d recommend time your water intake, have a glass of champagne about half hour before you plan to eat, have a glass in front of you to at least feel like you are fitting in, chew all your food, enjoy the fresh seafood, if you are lucky enough to have some, remember quality not quantity into your tiny tummy and if you must have a “taste” of the Christmas Pudding/ cake,  have some custard..  But don’t get caught out like I did a few weeks back… having a little plate of cake n custard and even after having hick ups, continuing then …. Well you know what happens when you overeat. Slowly, slowly!

Enjoy your holiday season, be aware of your restrictions, but don’t let them really get in the way.. everything in moderation, stay away from the fried food and listen to your body.

I’m not an expert on this, just a women blogging about my experience of being a newly sleeved person now pregnant and attempting to enjoy my 2nd Christmas, even though no champagne or oysters will be on the cards!

Happy Holidays and drive safe!

 

 

 

The game changer. What will it take you to take action, for yourself?

In July this year, a significant situation happened in my life. I’m not going into details about the situation but it was a game changer. It shook me and it was time for me to wake up and take action. No excuses.

It was a week before my birthday ( let’s say I’ve hit my mid 30s) and I’d put a lot of trust into another person and was totally and utterly let down. Disappointed. Disempowered. Shattered. So what did I do? I said, ” Stuff this, I’m not waiting for no one!”  Dust myself off and got to work.

Id always wanted to live closer to my parents, so I wanted to work on my mindset. The idea of obtaining a big enough deposit for a house, simply overwhelmed me. I was on a basic wage, had high outgoings and felt helpless. I needed to change my mindset. Seriously look at my outgoings and make some big decisions. I looked online at houses, I day dreamed and I set some short, medium and long term goals. I wrote them down. Then I wondered how the hell was I going to achieve it.

As silly as it sounds, I took my destiny into my own hands.

In July 2015, I started researching my options.

I started thinking, about my hearts desire, again.

A few months before my twin sisters unexpected death nearly 3 years ago I was introduced to Dr Wayne Dyer, and I listened to so many of his motivational talks, Mastering the Art of Manifesting. It got me thinking about my ideal life.  I constantly thought about living in remote Tasmania, on a big block of land, with solar power, water tanks and mini farm. Couple of kids, working from home and traveling the world regularly. I recall when I was 20 years or so that I was asked what was my ideal place, a similar vision appeared.

Then my twin died, about 6 weeks later and I was so grateful of all of the teachings of Dr Wayne Dyer. Especially regarding energy and how it never dies. This gave me so much comfort after my twin passed. Then I went through the most horrible grieving process that no one should have to go through, yet it’s one of the most proudest this I’ve achieved- getting though the other side without slipping into any drugs or alcohol or having a complete melt down.

Two years later this nigling feeling is still here.  That feeling of empowerment. That feeling that, there is a bloody huge world out there and there are so many people that don’t reach their full potential for so many reasons. Lots not think so close minded. There is a big wide world out there!

The potential of feeling amazing, inside and out

The potential  of concurring their FEARS. Using these fears to improve your life and not let it hinder anymore.

There fear of failure.

Failing as a parent.

Failing in their job.

Failing in there relationship.

Failing in feeling good about their life.

One thing I’ve learnt in the past 2 years is the power of someone believing in you. It is HUGE!

When we surround ourselves with people who are positive, happy and successful – it’s contagious. However, when you have people around you that are negative and don’t believe in you- it can break you.  I normally have a big mouth, but I decided I needed to keep my goals to myself, for the time been.

If you have too, keep things to yourself. I hardly told anyone about my weight loss surgery because I did a risk assessment and didn’t want to increase the chance of people telling me I was being ridiculous, extreme and I would fail. So I just didn’t tell too many people. I only told my parents , my parented and about 3 friends.

I wanted my actions, my changing body to do the talking not a Facebook post telling the world what I was doing. As they say, actions speak louder than word. Just like my growing belly! I’ve reached 6 months pregnant now and that’s when I publically said, oh yes I’m working, studying doing my thing.. AND growing a human at the same time!

Starting this blog was a huge step for me, and part of facing my fears. Having an opinion and putting it down on “a piece of paper” is actually quiet difficult for me as I’m very very open minded and I’m very aware there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

I’Ve always been outspoken but about political social justice issues, however for the last few years I’ve been putting that extra time aside to stop trying to change the world, but improve myself and a bit of self care goes a long way!

Starting this blog was part of my studies and the universe is lining up. I’ve now found a entire community of positive go getters who are taking a leap of faith for their own happiness and I have decided to be calm yet cautious and listen to the universe as it provides me with everything I need to succeed. In 2016 and beyond! The world is huge, embrace it and get your brand out there!

If you want to know about the secret. Join me!

 

 

Are holidays a priority, if not why not?

I’ve had such a very blessed life, of course I’ve created it myself but I’ve had a bloody good run.

I had a bit of a slow start with the want to travel as I bought a property at 18 and was locked into a mortgage for a few years and didn’t value travel as I now know it. I was driven my material possessions then lost the lot in a bitter divorce and some unsavoury life choices in my early 20s. But that’s what life is all about isn’t it. Living and learning.

When I was 2o, I went on my first overseas trip to New Zealand, that really showed how much I loved my comfort zone! Beautiful landscapes but how boring on the cultural front! I had a pretty bad flu and the most active thing I did in that week was hire some bicycles and rode to the cemetery to learn some history about the local area. The other thing I really enjoyed was watching the local TV. They really embraced their indigenous culture, so much better than in Oz, well this was back in 1999. We have improved but back then I was pretty impressed with how many indigenous people was on the telly in New Zealand, compared to Australia.

Yes, my travel partner and I was pretty conservative at the time! Luckily many of us evolve and some lucky people branch out and say YES to international travel.

After returning from New Zealand, I didn’t travel internationally for a few years. However, I still adore jumping on a plane, regularly darting around my own country. Travel within Australia is brutally expensive. Especially living remote in the Northern Territory, the upside of that it’s cheaper to visit Asia than Tasmania.

I assume what contributes to this is our small population. It doesn’t help in the economics of our travel industry, and making travel a priority. Yet, I was always darting around the capital cities as much as I could visiting family, friends and having time out as much as I could.

Then in about 2009 I went to India for a month and adored it! I was terrible in learning the language, looking back quiet disrespectful not learning many sentences at all, relying on my English speaking friends to translate. The culture shock us huge, and it opened up my life to a world of international travel.

I was hooked! The next year I went to on a plane again. I had the opportunity to go overseas in for a World AIDS conference in Austria and my world opened up! Whenever I travel, I try to experience the real life of the country. I hardly stay in hotels, and network heavily to have contacts in the country I’m visiting. I wanted the authentic experience and sit down with families at their dinner table.

Then I went to America for a month and fell in love with San Fransisco. I attended a film festival and travelled with a awesome group of people and met the most amazing activists. I fell in love with the rainbows, the drug law reform, ( I stayed with many if the original activists) the history, The dog friendly public transport and supermarkets and the overall vibe of the place… Take me back to San Fransisco!

Since then, I’ve been to Vanuatu, Singapore, Philippines and Bali. Some places you just need to visit when you live in Darwin. So close to our Asian neighbours.. Why wouldn’t you go and explore, even for a long weekend!

I have another trip booked to Bali in early February.. This unborn child of mine will definitely need a decent sized passport if I get my way! 2 overseas trips and visiting at least 3 states of Australia while he is in my womb. Great start I reckon!

Not to mention a multiple times I’ve travelled to Tasmania from Darwin, each year I’ve lived here. The most breathtaking scenery  you could see in Australia. It’s where my parents live and of course I live as far away as possible in tropical paradise because I can’t stand the cold. Rather my body dislikes the cold. My bones ache, my back plays up, I get stiff and sore..don’t mention the hay fever!

Im at a time in my life that I’m regretting not purchasing property and panicking about my future. I’m such a hippy deep inside, so owning a big block of land living as sustainable as possible.

So what is the dream? Living in the middle of nowhere, not needing to commute to work back and forth every day, just networking constantly online, assisting people to improve their lives and traveling around the world would be ideal with my child.. Yeah, of course it is you say. But that’s the goal, and you know what.. I’m going to be working towards that. Without saying too much, too soon.. I’m happy with what I’m doing in the background to create this before I’m 38.

Wouldn’t it be a wonderful life to remind people about the magick of travel. The importance of creating memories. The important of work life balance and to take your holidays and move outside of your comfort zone. Because afterwards, you can look back at your life and have either no or a limited amount of regrets.

If you have any positive stories of traveling, mixing business with motherhood and creating success and most importantly happiness.. Feel free to contact me on Instagram Ms_Sanna_Darwin

 

 

Shiny new things! Bring on the Dopamine.

Isn’t it fascinating how consuming makes us feel, bouncy and in a pretty good mood. Even just for the short term and how can we have these feelings without spending the cash?

You’ve probably known about dopamine before, and its effects on the brain. The feel good chemistry…. Linked to sex, a new relationship, lust, love, a new hair cut, presents or simply a new set of freshly painted nails!

So it’s really the “shiny new stuff” that gives us the high, not so much the actual consuming. The handing over of the credit card, handing over the cold hard cash or signing the loan documents- it’s rather the new stuff physically in your hand that gives you the feel good vibes!

This week, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a brand new car. I’ve been consuming quiet a lot over the last few months since according to my “My Pregnancy” App on my iPhone, today I was technically 6 months pregnant and I’ve been preparing for babies arrival since the moment I knew I had conceived.

Prams, cot & cot sheets, clothes, baby bouncers, baby wipes, some nappies.. Yes many hours of scrolling on the iPhone on Gumtree searching for bargains!

So today, I was in a pretty good mood. I was thinking, “oh yeah, I’ve got this”. Wearing my new purchased blue and green yoga outfit, my purple fancy thongs ( shoes not gstrings!) I drove down our brand new main street in our small city, with storm clouds covering the sky that was quiet delightful in the December heat. As I park the car, I look around and the Christmas tree was up, it was spitting rain, my brand new- only-driven-100km-matching- my-outfit-blue car was pretty awesome and I was about to attend my first 11am Yoga class in a month or so.

I missed Monday’s Yoga class as I was purchasing my new car on Monday so after my inspiring Yoga post last weekend I flopped- yet had a pretty good excuse!

Anyway, for a moment I was feeling pretty awesome with my life. It was still quiet early in the morning so my “afternoon bubba belly had not popped out” so I’m looking pretty awesome for being 6 months pregnant, driving my new car and being all healthy n chilled attending a yoga class- I thought- gosh my life looks pretty awesome from the outside right now, but why is that? Or is that just me? Maybe I’m still a little high on life after picking up this new car and taking my first phone call from my dad asking what I’d like for Christmas.  Yes, I was rather impressed to take the call from my car Bluetooth- yes such a cool novelty for me after driving a 10 year old Ford!

Or maybe I felt so good after that awkward moment when I arrived 1.5 hours early for my yoga class that same morning and I then ran across the road to the coffee shop and turned up soaked from the rain and ordered a Latte and yummy fruit salad. While I was  waiting for my coffee, I reckon a bloke was chatting me up! I could just tell in his eyes. That made me laugh so much. It’s been a while! First he thought I’d gone for a run. ” No, I just turned up early for a yoga class and got drenched in the rain” This look does not include any type of sweat or glowing from running! I ran across the road, does that count?

Secondly, he asked what I was doing over “Chrissy” and I explained I was staying here, but normally went to Tassie, that quickly moved to the subject of the weather and how it was incredibly hot “Down South” in Adelaide and Melbourne. A bloke had apparently died from working outside, just like this tradie. Tough gig!

Thirdly, he noticed I was pretty scattered after I kept sitting there for about 30 seconds after receiving my coffee, then clearl noticed I didn’t need to wait any longer. “Did you have a big night on the town last night?” Umm, no. I recall restraining myself from going to lay on my bed just before 8pm as I knew I’d have trouble sleeping later in the night. Talk about buggered on a Friday night! I bit my tongue and didn’t tell him that it was a good chance of being “baby brain” since I was actually 6 months pregnant. But he wouldn’t had noticed that I was pregnant due to me sitting at the same table and hiding my bubba tummy.

This was just the new me, vague, questionable and many times throughout the day wondering… “What the hell am I meant to be doing right now?” apparently you don’t get your pre baby brain back for a while either. Oh joy, this is going to be fun.

So between the highs of buying a brand new car, getting maybe chatted up for the first time in a while, reaching the 6 month pregnant milestone and actually succeeding in attending my first Yoga class in months- some silly thing within me was pretty proud of myself.

Purhaps with the pending full moon this was another mood enhancing day that I should just be grateful that I had, after a few days of some pretty serious down moments that I blamed on the hormones and the mixture of the stress of making some pretty big financial decisions in my book.

Yeah for the magical moments and brain chemistry of feel good vibes that consuming and reaching your goals can give you.

I guess it’s our outlook on life that really impacts on our moods. If you get up every morning going out of your way to look at all of the negatives in life you are going to be pretty miserable in life. Depends how well you know yourself- if you know that a good massage, try to the hair dressers for a spruce up, a class at the gym to get the endorphins flowing, or some lunch with a good mate to have a yarn.. You could help yourself in bouncing back from a low or stressful couple of days.

The Christmas period can be quiet stressful, you can choose to allow it to consume you or pace yourself and don’t feel bad if you need to say no to someone or something. Please try to do a self check in and if you notice your mood changing, do what I subconsciously do.

First look up at the moon and check where it is in the cycle. ( The moon really does rattle me!)

Think about what’s happening in your life and don’t be too hard on yourself. Write it down if it helps. Write down at least 3 things you are grateful for and then do something for yourself, or someone else. Depends what motivates you into a good mood- everyone reacts differently. If this doesn’t work, reach out to a family member, friend or a professional.

Did I say my colour matching Buggaboo pram fits perfectly in my car boot.  Yeah, I’m so on my way to appearing I’ve got this new life as mummy sorted! 😉

 

Gratitude, Yoga and happiness.. Can you have it all?

You all know the drill, being a 20-30 something female that juggles a full time job maybe a bit of study, and balancing family commitments. ( In my case a pending pregnancy)

You also could be regularly wondering about an improved way to live. After living with ongoing anxiety over the best way of dealing with “life” I’m actively looking at all options, are you?

I don’t mean a 12 week health challenge to lose 5-10kg, joining a cult, purchasing a few exercise DVDs for home, buying a juicer, I mean embracing a new way to live that gives me not only a healthier physical body but also giving myself the best chance to have more clarity in my life and setting time aside to have some “me time” even if it was only an hour a week, to boost my mind & spirit.

Yoga is a ancient mind-body system of wellbeing which originated in India. What I really adore about the Yoga community it’s oh so positive, it focuses on gratitude, happiness, empowerment and on a daily basis a reminder that you have the power to change (just about) anything you don’t enjoy in life and as the wise Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is the highest form of health”

I believe I’m half way there, my core beliefs are very similar to the Yoga community and I’ve attended the odd Yoga and Pilates class but never taken it to the next level and taken regular, positive action to improve my mental clarity. Pilates is based on strengthening the core, but I’m looking for something deeper, that I believe a regular Yoga class can assist.

Honestly, the thing that has been off putting is, I was about 100kg, a very bad back and I felt the odd yoga class didn’t really do much- it hurt, I felt awkward and I was pretty intimidated by all of the fit women around me. Now after I’ve sorted out my physical body, it’s now time to focus on the inside. We must all remember, “Allow yourself to be a beginner, no one sip tarts to be a beginner.” I wish I started a year ago, imagine if I had continued with weekly classes over the past 12 months while I lost my weight. I could be a remarkable women of Zen, calm and peaceful.

So I’ve purchased my own yoga mat, some of the world’s most comfortable leggings and I’m committing to 2-3 yoga classes a week- I even purchased a 8 week pass and I have a feeling that my physical and mental state will improve by attending these classes with the delightful yoga teacher, Miss Devine Star.

It’s time for new beginnings, new mindset, new focus, new start, new intentions that will result in new results.

I really liked a photo I saw on a Yoga community Facebook post while researching this topic, it said: Yoga is a everyday practice to be your best self. It’s my new mantra.

Yoga.

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As a 30 something female that is juggling a full time job, study, community service and a pending pregnancy I have ironically been frantically researching about a better way to live. After living with a ongoing slight anxiety over dealing with “life” I’m actively looking at all options.

I don’t mean a 12 week health challenge to loose 5-10kg, buying a few exercise DVDs for home, buying a juicer, I mean a completely new way to live that gives me not only a healthier physical body but also giving myself the best chance to have more clarity in my life and setting time aside to have some “me time” even if it was only an hour a week.

Yoga is a ancient mind- body system of well being which originated in India. What I really adore about the Yoga community it’s oh so positive, it focuses on gratitude, happiness, empowerment and a kind daily basis reminder that you have the power to change ( just about) anything you don’t enjoy in life and as the wise Dalai Lama says, “Happiness is the highest form of health”

I believe I’m half way there already, my core beliefs are very similar to the men and women in the Yoga community and I’ve attended the odd Yoga and Pilates class but never taken it to the next level and taken regular, positive action to improve my mental clarity. Pilates is based on strengthening the core, but I’m looking for something deeper.
I’ve never opened myself to create a regular relationship with a Yoga teacher.

Honestly, the thing that has been off putting is, I was about 100kg, with a very bad back and the odd yoga class didn’t really “do”much- it hurt, I felt awkward, I was pretty intimidated by all of the fit women around me and most of all I didn’t fully commit to regular classes.

Now after I’ve sorted out the physical side and lost 30kg, so my back isn’t so painful carrying around all of that extra weigh, it’s now time to focus on the inside. We must all remember, “Allow yourself to be a beginner, no one sip tarts to be a beginner.” I wish I started a year ago, imagine if I had continued with weekly classes over the past 12 months while I lost my weight. I could be a remarkable women of Zen, calm and peacefullness. So when is the 2nd best time to start? Now.

So I’ve purchased my own yoga matt, some of the worlds most comfortable leggings and I’m committing to 2-3 yoga classes a week- I even purchased a 8 week pass and I have a feeling that my physical and mental state will improve by attending these classes with the delightful yoga teacher, Miss Devine Star. No more Sunday classes, it’s time to ramp it up to a more regular time slot!

It’s time for new beginnings, new mindset, new focus, new start, new intentions that will result in new results.

I really liked a photo I saw on a Yoga community Facebook post while researching this topic, Yoga is a everyday practice to be your best self.

Ho, Ho, Ho

Today I spent the afternoon taking photos for a charity event that was the typical “Santa Run” that still happens in some rural or small towns and gosh it gave me some beautiful moments that filled my heart of joy.

The first hour, I had 2 mini humans joins us on the bus and we were talking about what direction the bus was turning, left or right. I showed them the typical hand gestures of L is for left and your other hand is right. They added a very adorable, “and when you put them together it’s a diamond”. I looked down at my own hands and I’m wearing a fair good collection of diamonds on my fingers so I laughed and agreed with them. I think I taught these random 4 and 5 year olds something pretty awesome and that moment made me pretty clucky, maybe I’ll be ok at this parenting thing.

We stopped at many corners of the roads and handed out bags of goodies, drinks, toys, and bottles of cold water to kids in simple plastic bags. They appeared to adore the experience.

There is one moment that made me laugh the most. A little girl who was no more than 5 years old, must had just finished playing in the pool with her other little humans, wearing a full piece swimmers with cute frills and poker dots. She grabbed her plastic bag filled with things and grabbed out the packet of chips and squealed with delight. “Chips! Mum, I have chips!!” Then was repeated it many times, with so much delight.

Now, out of all of 100’s of kids I saw today, that image kept replaying in my head. Only a few hours later, like now I’ve figured out why that little girls squeals of delight is trapped in my head.

My twin had a intelectual disability and she adored Christmas, especially Santa and she would count down for Christmas Day from basically October. She also was a big fan of a packet of chips. In fact at her funeral, we all had a can of Coke, drank it out of a straw like she did and ate a small packet of chips in her honour. Isn’t it funny how your subconscious works, what triggers grief or infact simply a nice memory of a beloved one.

Christmas always triggers grief attacks for me, it’s so bitter sweet. I’m such an atheist however it was always a pleasure to spend Christmas Day with my sister. I’m so grateful I spent her last Christmas morning with her. Yes, it’s all about Santa, Christmas carols, unwrapping multiple Christmas presents, buying lots of little presents for her knowing the unwrapping of the presents was the most joyful part for my twin who was stuck in the mindset of a young child.

I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, I dislike the fakeness of it all, the pressures it puts on families, the debt people get in while keeping up with the Jones or just trying to buy their child and family members a present. I dislike the expectations it creates, or when you spend extra money on someone and they give you a crap present.

The reality really is spending the majority of time with family you don’t really see most of the year, place silly hats on your head and some stressed person cooks everything and everyone else stuffs their guts of food, but doesnt finish the food, endding up in a food coma and everyone wants to sleep all afternoon.

But I do try to enjoy that magic in the air and try to enjoy aspects of it like my sister did.

For the first time this year,  I experienced that for a moment or so.. It felt nice.

 

Aim for Balance, Oh the anxiety!

Just putting it out there, I’m absolutely petrified at all of the future decisions I’ll need to make as a new mother. Apparently, this is normal.

One aspect that is weighing heavily on my mind is when to return to work after having a baby. I used to get anxiety leaving my dog at home by itself let alone a human that I created!

On top of that, I have extra anxiety about the experiences I learnt about today after researching for facts on pregnancy and gastric sleeve operations.  I don’t like to admit I have some rose coloured glasses on when I think about the “best case senario” of bringing a new life into the world.

Placing my rose coloured glasses on, I’d have a non complicated and no longer than 8 hour natural birth, I’ll look as amazing as Kate Middleton did the next day after giving birth, then when bub comes to my breast, milk will magically appear as its meant to and breast feeding is a breeze, my pack of 20 cloth nappies with funky colours will be easy to use and WON’T leak out poo, down the bubs leg, my baby won’t get nappy rash,  he won’t have any birth defects, won’t need any minor operations within the first 12 months of birth, I won’t get any post natal depression or anxiety, all of the beautiful organic products I’ll be using on their sensitive skin won’t have any reactions, no colic, and My son will generally be a happy, easy going, chilled out baby. Look, if I get 50% of that to come true, I’ll be stoked!

Today after researching about pregnancy and having a gastric sleeve, I find out a few statements. I wouldn’t call them “facts” yet but “experiences” of many other mothers going through similar situations as me.

Having gastric sleeve was linked to higher chance of needing a C section.  My heart sank, I really want to at least give it a good shot having a natural birth.

Many women who have a gastric sleeve didn’t breastfeed, as milk simply didn’t appear. My heart is heavy.

Higher rates of early delivery and smaller babies.  Well as long as he doesn’t come too early. Will cross my fingers to give birth more than 37 weeks, the last 4 weeks are pretty powerful and it would be handy for many financial reasons to come as close to my due date as possible! ( is that bad to say?)

Completely not sleeve related but, the decisions around being a working mother. Honestly,  I have currently have 2 jobs and study: wouldn’t go to the extreme of saying I’m a workaholic, but I’m sure not afraid of putting in the hours. ( I really like holidays, clothes, travel and good food!)

Oh my goodness, I’m frantically looking at all of my options: Do I aim to start a online business and pray that I become one of the TINY percentage of actual successful entrepreneurs on the World Wide Web. Do I continue ‘working for the man’ in a job that  I really do adore but will you ever really ‘get ahead’ in life without taking some decent financial risks.

Baby brain. I’m one of those people that REALLY like sleep and have fuzzy brain till 10am at the best of times if I don’t get a solid 8 hour sleep, let alone needing to get up every 4 hours ( best case scenario) to feed bub and then actually get back to sleep at a decent hour. How on earth will I be a good employee with practically baby fuzzy not enough sleep brain?

Most of all, will I bond, adore and be a terrific mother to my son. Will I surround him with positive role models around him?  Yes, I’m nearly 35 and have wanted this for over a decade- but that doesn’t mean you will be good at it.

Will my girlfriends that don’t have kids, still want to hang out with me?  It’s natural for your circle of friends to change when you become a first time mum, but sure is scary!

Reaching expectations, your own and everyone around you. Am I just setting myself up to fail in a really big way? Or will it be as joyful as my rose coloured glasses appear it to be. I’m sure the joys will outweigh the hard times.

I’m only half way through my pregnancy  and especially in the afternoons: I feel like a huge whale! Will I loose all the baby weight, especially if I can’t breastfeed due to no milk arriving. Will my lower back continue to not be very sore so I’ll have no troubles lifting up and carrying the baby? ( I have quiet bad disk degeneration in my lower back that gave me allot of grief whe I was 35kg heavier)

How will I look after the baby if I injure my lower back?  Oh my goodness, I need to ensure I have a great support system around me.

Ok, now that my heart rate has increased after thinking about all of these senarios, that are completely out of my control ( or are they?) now that I’ve decided to follow my hearts desire and bear a child. I think I’ll just finish nibbling on this cake that I couldn’t fit in at the Christmas party that I attended this evening ( that I snuck out of at 7.45 stating I needed a nap, not far from the truth!) and just feel grateful for all that I do have.  An above award job that I quiet enjoy, access to education, air con, a car that runs, house with lovely pets, great friends and family around me. Oh, the gratitude!

Ahhhhh.. That a calm sigh, as my heart rate decreases as I take gratitude for everything that is good in my life.

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