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Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

22-Apr-2017 Out Of Time by Miranda Sawyer

Saturday 22 April 2017 Leave a comment

I still read quite a lot – blogs, online articles, my massive feedly feed of articles. And still a few books, but not as many as I’d like.

I’d hate to think that it’s part of the dumbing down of the world, short attention spans and what not. I am into getting lots of sleep, cooking from scratch, lots of exercise, trying to balance work with play so it is just hard to fit in the time.

Anyway, virtually all of my book-reading is on my phone with the kindle app (I am into reducing devices and don’t “even” have a tablet).

I bought this book Out Of Time by Miranda Sawyer. It was about :

“a very modern look at the midlife crisis – delving into the truth, and lies, of the experience and how to survive it, with thoughtfulness, insight and humour.”

I don’t think I am going through a midlife crisis or anything but am conscious of the constant drip drip drip of time ticking by. Kids getting older, now into late teens and early adulthood, and the gradual ageing of parents ie I am getting older and you just can’t ignore that. Anyway I didn’t really like her style much and didn’t particularly enjoy the book, and very nearly discarded it a few times, although I did persevere and finish it. I found that the following paragraph really did resonate with me :

‘You’re at the life stage you’re at. Accept it. If you have children, then all things have their season, and this is the season for staying in and looking after your children. Acknowledge where you are, accept where you are, move through it and enjoy it. Because the other option is to actively not enjoy your life.’

We do go through life stages and people should just be patient and accept it rather than just fight fight fight all the time. People can do many things but they can’t do everything all at once. If you are always pushing against the grain it makes it a lot harder and a lot less enjoyable. I could go off into a rant about “mindfulness” although there is too much rubbish written about the concept, but in general there is a lot of merit to it all.

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2-Jan-2016 It’s time to stop giving a damn

Saturday 2 January 2016 Leave a comment

Great article as always in the Guardian [link here]:

Drowning in commitments? It’s time to stop giving a damn
The key to beating stress is to care less – and if that means wearing your pyjamas to the corner shop, so be it.

If you’re like me, you’ve been caring too much about too many things for too long. You’re overextended and overburdened by life. Stressed out, anxious, maybe even panic-stricken about your commitments. I was almost 30 years old when I began to realise it was possible to stop caring so much, but I was nearly 40 before I figured out how to make it happen.

Little by little over the next few years, I stopped caring about small things that annoyed me. I unfriended some truly irritating people on Facebook. I refused to suffer through another reading of friends’ plays. And I stopped getting dressed up just to go to the grocery store behind my house (pyjamas are the new black). Little by little, I started feeling better. Less burdened. More peaceful. I hung up on people calling from call centres to sell me things; I said no to a weekend trip with toddlers; I stopped watching season two of True Detective after only one episode. I was becoming my true self, able to focus more on people and things that actually made me happy.

… and more at the article: [link here]

 

23-Apr-2015 Be a light unto yourself

Thursday 23 April 2015 Leave a comment

I read this quote today by Vimala Thakar which I liked, it just jumped off the page at me :

Don’t follow anyone. Be a light unto yourself.

Searching on the internet, it looks like The Buddha said something similar. I am not surprised:

the-buddha-quote-believe-nothing

I try not to follow anyone, ever, and just do my own thing, for better or worse.

Dawn says it makes me painful, not wanting to listen to anyone.

21-Feb-2015 Frozen Berry Recall!

Saturday 21 February 2015 Leave a comment

I was pretty annoyed with the recent recall of frozen berries that had caused Hep A in some people. I had the berries and out of our family it’s mainly me that uses them in my breakfast. I took them back to Woolworths and got my money back. I guess what annoys me is that I suppose I knew that something is fishy about the whole situation – let me explain: fresh raspberries are about $4 for a 100g punnet making it approx $40 per kg. So when someone sells them at $9 per kg then you just know it’s going to be cheap and nasty. Anyway, I have decided not to buy them anymore and the idea of getting cheap raspberries from China, you kinda know you are not buying the good stuff. I will just buy either Australian and/or Organic and wear the extra cost. As it turns out reasonably local (NSW) raspberries about $15 per kg. Maybe I am just annoyed at myself thinking I am getting a great – but we can all remember this : You get what you pay for.

Refer article in the SMH:

Patties Foods maintained samples of the berry products were tested four times using Australian food standards and they have also been working with the FSANZ to keep the public informed of their investigations.

Its chief executive Steven Chaur said there was still no “firm association [of hepatitis A] with our recalled products”.

“Many Chinese food production facilities also supply European and Japanese food markets, and they also have extremely strict hygiene and quality standards,” he said in a press release.

“Despite public misconceptions, many Chinese food production facilities are at least as hygienic as those in Australia and operate to similar regulatory compliance regimes.”

The outbreak has highlighted concerns about country-of-origin labelling on food.

Consumer group Choice has tested 55 packs of frozen mixed fruits and mixed vegetables and found nearly half the labels on the packs had “vague” or “unhelpful” information.

Choice said some of the worst claims included “Packed in New Zealand”, “Packed in Chile from imported and local ingredients” and “Processed in Belgium”.

It also found 12 per cent of its 700 members were not able to understand the meaning of “Made in Australia”.

“These claims offer very little information about a product’s origin and are largely meaningless to consumers,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

“Consumers deserve to know where their food comes from which is why we have launched a petition calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to take action on country of origin labelling.”

Mr Joyce has supported changes to the country-of-origin labelling laws to stop manufacturers from using “sneaky terms” to “earn a premium” on cheaply made products.

Under current laws, the term “made from Australian and imported ingredients” is common, providing no detail on the exact origins of all the ingredients in a product or where it was packaged.

“There is a good way that you can avoid all of this and that is to make sure you eat Australian product,” Mr Joyce said on Wednesday.

“I want to make sure I do everything in my power to say to people your safest food is your domestic food. That is why you pay a premium for Australian product. It is clean, green and healthy.”

Mr Joyce’s spokesman confirmed a white paper on the potential legislation changes is due to go before the cabinet.

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3-Jan-2015 More thoughts on New Year Resolutions

Saturday 3 January 2015 Leave a comment

new year

I read this on someone’s facebook feed (so a tip of the hat to the author Neil Gaiman). The reason for posting here, and not on my recent post of 2015 resolutions, is that I want to wake up and think of this daily. I always want to keep pushing my limits.

I remember telling Dawn back in my teens that I didn’t want to be “middle-aged, middle-class and middle of the road”.

I just need to keep pushing myself and others to push me!

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31-Dec-2014 New Year’s Eve

Wednesday 31 December 2014 Leave a comment

Another New Year’s Eve. I dropped Dawn off at the station as she was working, so we left home at 5.10am. Not a good start but other than a swim with all 3 girls I haven’t done much. I like it like that. I am meeting Dawn as she comes home later tonight and we will go out then.

My resolutions for the coming year ? In general I think I have improved myself over the last few years. But here’s my main aims :

  • Drink more water – I probably don’t drink enough. I don’t drink cordials or sugary fizzy drinks and drink just an average amount of coffee. But sometimes I am more dehydrated than I should be.1
  • Drink less alcohol – as it happens I drink very little alcohol, as in the past year I probably had 20 standard drinks over the whole year spread reasonably across the year (a bit more in the December social season). However I really dislike drinking and I usually feel like crap even after one drink. I would be totally teetotal other than I only drink to fit in at social occasions and should just have the balls to say “no”.
  • Running consistently – When I get back to running, I want to aim at consistency and probably fewer races as I think that a lower level mileage and big races is contributing to me getting injured. Certainly when you can’t run, you would trade all the races in the world to just be able to run injury-free again. The simple pleasures in life!

Anyway here is an article I clipped from last year, which got me thinking most of this year about drinking less. Not that I was ever like this, but I like being hard-core about stuff like this.

Sobering night out highlights the horrors of our lushy lifestyle

Like a great slab of the population of Australia, I got rotten this festive season. I’m talking wobbly in my heels, slurring and gibbering sloshed. And while I thought I was having fun at the time, I wonder in hindsight whether I really was.

I certainly know I wasn’t the morning after, when I was woken by a stranger who had crashed on my couch, asking me to let her out of the locked front door. When I couldn’t find my handbag – which I hoped still held my keys – in any of the usual places, my new friend/couch surfer said I should retrace my steps after coming home. But I couldn’t. It was all a blur.

Eventually the bag was found under a pile of jackets that didn’t belong to me. They were next to several half-empty bottles of wine and a dishevelled display of empty beer cans. It seems I had hosted an after-party to the Christmas bash I had attended. Which was very generous of me, considering I couldn’t instantly recall who the guests were.

Some might laugh hearing this, others simply zone out because it’s the same old thing they hear day after day. The reality is that right now, there are literally thousands of Australians recalling how wasted they were last night, believing their excess to be amusing. But here’s the sad fact: it just isn’t.

I don’t think it’s funny I lost count of how many shots I downed on my recent night out. I don’t think it’s humorous that someone I barely knew slept on my lounge – it was reckless and dangerous to allow it. And I don’t think it’s in any way a laugh that I couldn’t immediately recall getting home.

I’m also sure that in all of the gibber I no doubt spouted there was little that would have been relevant or interesting. And I don’t think for one minute that I would have looked chic with panda eyes, Joker lipstick, red-wine teeth and bird’s-nest hair, looking and smelling like I’d just stepped out of a skip.

I could say I’m too old to act this way, but that’s irrelevant. No one looks good smashed – no one. I don’t care how young, pretty, handsome, affluent or intelligent – all drunks are the same: ugly.

I say this because since my big night, I have been abstaining from drinking – well, OK, limiting myself to safe driving levels of consumption. And oh, what a bloodshot red eye-opener it has been.

Take, for example, a pre-Christmas catch-up with dear friends this week. After struggling to find a park, I had to walk several blocks to the restaurant. It was 7pm and already I saw young girls in dresses too short and heels too high staggering and screeching on the streets. They were surrounded by young men similarly messy, some shirtless. They seemed to be heading out rather than returning from their night out.

And so, after a lovely dinner, I headed back to my car. It was probably 11pm and I swear that in the four or five blocks I had to walk, I witnessed the following: a girl with her dress hitched to her waist urinating in the gutter in front of a group of laughing onlookers; a young man vomiting against a tree; a loud, violent scuffle outside a bar between two blotto men; a couple pashing in full view of outdoor diners, the man’s hand down the clearly inebriated woman’s bra; a middle-aged man with an open pizza box dropping slices as he staggered, before being tripped up by a pesky gutter.

I also saw a woman screaming obscenities at her boyfriend before kicking over a garbage bin and leaving its contents strewn across the road. When I asked the woman if she intended to pick up said rubbish, she told me I could ”f—” myself and called me an ”ugly c—”. Charming.

Then, to top things off, there were three men loitering by my car who, as I approached, asked if I would like to fellate them.

Is this really what a fun night out has become? If so, I’m staying in and staying sober because it not only disgusted me, it left me feeling depressed.

Why? Because I realised that the atrocities of the few blocks I had travelled were being repeated all over Australia; that this is what now constitutes socialising in this country. And it made me despair for the generations to come, because even though drinking to excess was a rite of passage for my generation too, things have deteriorated.

This is not just a case of me being older and believing, vainly, that I wasn’t that bad, statistics show that binge drinking is increasing, especially among young people.

A 2012 report by the Victorian Auditor-General revealed alcohol-related violence and health problems cost the state $4.3 billion each year. It showed that ambulance attendances to alcohol-related incidents had increased by 219 per cent from 2009-10 to 2011-12. What’s more, the increase was 329 per cent for people aged up to 21. Add to this a 93 per cent increase in emergency department presentations (191 per cent for those up to 21) and it’s pretty clear we don’t have a problem with drinking in this country, we have a full-scale epidemic.

It is disturbing to think of just how many Australians suffer the short-term effects of alcohol – hangovers, headaches, nausea, shakiness, vomiting and memory loss – on a regular basis. Then there’s the behavioural problems – falls, assaults, car accidents, unplanned pregnancies, loss of valuables, overspending, time off work, relationship breakdowns. This is before we even get to long-term health concerns, such as addiction, liver and brain damage, and death.

I am grateful that my recent binge made me sober up and realise that while a few drinks with friends is fun, more than that is not.

So, with New Year’s Eve approaching, I plan to have a happy one, which means no hangover the next day, no strangers on my lounge, and no ouchy regret. I wish you and yours the same.

5-Nov-2014 RIP Jackie Fairweather-Gallagher

Wednesday 5 November 2014 Leave a comment
This report was in the news today and also posted on CoolRunning where I first saw it. Also refer her Wikipedia page.

Triathlon community mourns death of Jackie Fairweather

Canberra’s sporting community is in mourning over the death of elite triathlete and marathon runner Jackie Fairweather.

Social media was awash with tributes to the Canberra-based Australian Sports Commission performance manager on Monday night.
Fairweather (nee Gallagher) was a former world champion and Commonwealth Games medallist. She had been married to Australian Olympic archery champion Simon Fairweather since in 2004.

News of her death has rocked Australia’s triathlon community. Numerous tributes were posted on social media from Monday night in which she was described as an Australian sporting legend and a loving person and remembered for her strong contribution to the triathlon community.

I had met Jackie a few times and emailed her quite a bit when I was race director the Six Foot track Marathon. Obviously I didn’t know anything about her depression, and she seemed to me that even though she was an elite athlete, she was really nice and most of our conversations were about her plans to run as part of a large entourage of Canberra runners – she was very much focussed on everything working out for her friends and husband Simon who also ran. It just brings home to me, once again, that outside of a couple you never really know anything that is happening in people’s private lives. It’s all very sad (and she is not at all the first person I have known to have committed suicide).
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