80 Days!

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Busy with work and not much to share but I’ve hit 80 days of Belle’s 100 Day Challenge today…….

(sorry for the delay in this post, just had to go and shoo a bird out of the back yard – the cats are out at the moment – the photo above should be captioned, “But why can’t we chase the bird?”)

……. Actually, I take that back, I do have something to share.  Work isn’t just busy, it’s Insane, yep, with a capital “I”.  I should feel like I’m drowning but I don’t, I feel calm.  I’m still not getting much done, so perhaps I’m not calm, perhaps I’ve gone into shock!  LOL.  In all reality though, it has to be down to not drinking, I’m also sleeping through the night and in these circumstances that’s just about unheard of for me.  Normally I’d either by laying awake worrying or at my laptop at 3 am trying to wade through it all. Something’s definitely changed.

I’ve also started the ground work for “the chat” with Crazy Cat Boy.  You know, the one where you gently break that this 100 day thing is probably going to become a 365 day thing.  Don’t want to scare him too badly all at once, I’ve got another 20 days to soften the eventual decision delivery.  😉

Have a happy and healthy day all!

 

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Temptations & Marketing Tricks

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Photo by Joonas kääriäinen on Pexels.com

Well, yesterday was 50 days, I’m officially half way through Belles 100 Day Challenge.

If you’d asked me yesterday morning on my cold and frosty walk I would have told you that I was contemplating making 100 days 365 days as my next “challenge”.  Then I totted off to the big smoke for an early dinner… it was a long weekend here in wine country so you leave early to avoid the banked up traffic.  This meant that I had time to kill before dinner with a friend before a cultured night at the Australian Ballet.  So I took a casual stroll around Southbank, past all the lovely restaurants with their French champagnes nestled in the window, lights glinting off polished flutes, adverts for elegant high teas, all accompanied with complimentary bubbles – the urge began to grow!    As a marketer I know all the tricks but these images were really pressing my buttons.  Surely I’m smarter than that? Mmm, I’m not so sure as my brain began it’s cycle of justification…

Perhaps 50 days is enough, that’s reason to celebrate right?  Oh damn, I drove in didn’t I?  Hmm, perhaps just one crisp, dry sparkling would be ok with dinner.  No one would ever know.  Well, not true, I’d know and be buggered if I’ll give up 50 days to start again!  Nope, I’ll just have to white knuckle it through to 100 days and celebrate with a good bottle.

Sigh, that’s not healthy thinking is it?  Really? No one is going to tell me different?  Doh!  Fine, I’ll soldier on with my big girl panties on.

I broke the news to my friend who I don’t see often and her response was “Wow, there is no way I could do that, I don’t think I could stop.”  She left it there and didn’t inquire as to why I was doing the challenge or how I felt from it, so I didn’t probe any further either.  If she asks I’ll come clean and say I wasn’t happy where I thought my current drinking patterns were taking me, but until then I’ll keep quiet.

In the end I had a Pepsi with dinner, enjoyed the ballet then drove home in my nice warm car instead of leaving it inconveniently and expensively parked in the CBD and catching the train home in the rain.  Sober has its undeniable advantages!

PS: In case you are wondering why I didn’t question my friend, we are getting reacquainted after a number of years of not spending any time together… school friendship that didn’t survive new lives, jobs and cities.

Cats Are Great Weight Blankets

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Over the past few weeks it’s started to get cold out here in wine country (great living choice when you are a bit of a lush right?), that combined with the lurgy I had the other week means that I’ve taken to doubling up a king size blanket and putting that over me at night.

Now I’d heard the theory that a weighted blanket can help you sleep better.  And after a couple of weeks,I’m kind of inclined to believe it’s true when combined with laying off the booze.  I’m sleeping better than I have in ages.  Mind you, I also gave up worry, that’s probably helping a bit as well, and I’ve taken some steps to fix the major issue that was keeping me up (more on that in another post, all I’ll say is not spending your days hungover makes you more proactive!)

Last night I didn’t use the doubled blanket, I used a cat instead.  It was cold and the girl cat decided that my chest needed to be stood on while she dribbled on my chin – restful right?  LOL.   Anyway as I drifted off to sleep with her deep purring vibrating through my body and a light stream of cat drool dripping of my chin I thought that life is pretty good, I’ve got nothing to complain about, and that she was doing a great job keeping me warm.

So, my advice is don’t waste your cash on a commercial weight blanket, get a cat and save the “pay rise” you’ve given yourself by quitting booze, your life will be better for it.

PS: If you are wondering, I’m now on day 28 of Belles 100 Day Challenge

 

Pity Party & Sabotage

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I’m now on day 8 of Belles 100 Day Challenge. I feel amazing but it’s not been all plain sailing.

Friday* nights are hard for me without booze.  Crazy Cat Boy and I traditionally kick off the shoes and zone out with a bottle (who’m I kidding – two bottles), watch crap TV and chat.  The first bottle is gone before dinner giving us a nice buzz and the right air of irresponsibility to crack on with the second, regardless of what Saturday is supposed to look like.

Last Friday I sulked, watered the garden and generally mooched around the house doing random tasks before slinking off to watch TV in a separate room all by myself and have a bit of a pity party… you see Saturday was my birthday and all week CCB had been making references to nice bottles of champagne with me correcting him about my “challenge”.  I think this is the first birthday I’ve done completely sober. I felt sorry for myself but I made it through.

I know CCB loves me but he’s also very good at subconsciously trying to sabotage me.  Saturday he pulled out the verjuice to cook dinner with but then went to the shop and came back with a bottle of white to cook with instead.  Now this was no ordinary we’ll chuck it in the slow cooked lamb wine, it was very nice, local drop that we quite enjoy.  The recipe only calls for 1/2 a cup and once he’d put it back in the fridge (that’s right, he bought a COLD  bottle to “cook” with!  Yeah right.) I deliberately hid it in the very back of the fridge (it’s on the bottom shelf if you are looking for it  😉  ) so it would be out of my line of sight.  That does help me, often if I cant see something I’ll forget it’s there.  I know he was disappointed that I didn’t crack and have a glass, but I’m feeling so much better for it.

I know that I can do this 100 days but I’m sure there’ll be a few more pity parties along the way.

 

*I’m telling myself only 11 more Fridays to go, counting them down helps right???!!

Challenge Accepted!

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One of my fav TV characters of all times is Barney Stinson from HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother), his catch cry of “Challenge Accepted” always makes me smile, usually because it was attached to something that was never meant to be a challenge.

Well for the next 100 days “Challenge Accepted”* is going to be my catch cry as I take on Belles 100 Day Challenge – no booze until August 1st this year.

Crazy Cat Boy is concerned that this means “no drinking on your birthday” and I’m ok with that.  The next three months possibly could be make or break with me and what I do in my professional life for the next eight years that I plan on being full time.  I need all the focus and energy that I can muster up to make these next moves, and wine needs to be off the table to get me there.  I’ll check in with my progress regularly and I know I can get there, as of today it’s a 97 day challenge as I’ve already done 3 sober days.

What will be the challenge you accept?

*Ironically Barney usually uttered those words in a bar, beer in hand!

Apparently I’m Irrelevant…

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I was informed very politely and diplomatically, but apparently at the ripe old age of 47 with close to 20 years’ experience in my field I’ve become irrelevant.  Nice hey?

All because I don’t have one skill set – data analysis… I don’t have it because my organisation doesn’t do it, pure and simple.

So, who told me this?  A recruitment consultant.  Yep, I finally got off my arse and did something about the fact that I’m becoming unhappy to go along with my increasing frustration at work.

Apparently, I don’t fit in a box, something that I’m kind of proud of truth be told.  10 years ago you had to be a marketing generalist here in Australia but over the last 5 years that has shifted and specialisation, especially in the data and analytics field has become the norm.  Apparently I’d be the “outsider” if they put me in a room with other candidates.

This is one guys opinion, I hold another entirely.  Opportunity abounds in my city, hell, the world should be my oyster.  Now I need to implement some different strategies to land myself that new job…

  • Demonstrate my understanding of data driven ROI’s
  • Undertake training
  • Learn the actual skill set in my existing role, hard to do but achievable
  • Find an agency that doesn’t want to put me in a box

I knew moving on after 10 years wouldn’t be easy and my age could possibly be against me as well.  In fact the words “decade” and “ten” were used extensively in my meeting with this guy, and not by me.

Hell, I’ll tell you how age paranoid I was shall I?  I decided that I needed to hide my old, white, veiny legs, so in the lead up to the face to face meeting I began putting that gradual build up leg tan on.  It smells horrible and here’s the kicker where you learn from my experience, still won’t cover those blue veins ladies and gentlemen!  LOL

I also had the worst haircut of my life the day before to seem “on trend”, not to mention the new clothes.

I’ll keep you updated on how a washed up middle aged crazy cat lady goes in her search to write a new chapter!

I’ve given up!

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Worry that is. You might remember when I gave up guilt?  Man, what a relief that was!  Now I’m going cold turkey on worry.

I made this decision yesterday and I feel a million times lighter.

It’s not that I don’t care, I do, I always will, but the emotion of worry? That I’ll pass on thanks very much.

Given than I’m an Olympic standard worrier, what’s brought this on? I hear you ask.  Well, it’s a couple of things…

First, a few weeks ago (keep it quiet, I’ve only told you fab internet peeps) I had my first anxiety attack in nearly twenty years.  It came out of nowhere and I think might have been linked to a very bad drinking session I’d had the week prior (yep, booze, the gift that keeps on giving).  It’d been so long that it took me a bit to work out what was happening and get myself under control – I was out in public with someone I don’t know that well. Given that I tend to pass out that could have been somewhat, um, er, “dramatic” and I much prefer a lower key presence!

Secondly, I’m in the middle of major projects with missed deadlines zooming past me and work piling up, so after a sleepless night I got up early, opened my email and my chest immediately tightened up.  Hmm, I was pretty sure at that point that something had to give, and I’d prefer it wasn’t me!

I’ve taken my body’s cues and listened; not only did I decide to give up worrying but I impulsively sent my resume off to several recruitment agencies.

I feel so much lighter and happier and amazingly I’ve been so much more productive.  I think I’ve achieved more in the last two days than I have in weeks.

I’ve told Crazy Cat Boy that I’d given up worrying, and he laughed and then looked startled when he realised I was serious.  It’ll be an uphill battle, but I think I can win this one, time will tell, but I don’t plan on worrying about it … well, not a lot, baby steps!  LOL

 

In case you are wondering, I’ve pretty much not been drinking since that day.  I’ll have one or two with friends over dinner, but that’s it from now on.

I’m Surrounded

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I’m surrounded by booze at every turn!  It’s wine o clock Facebook tells me, emails show up from frequent flyer loyalty programs offering me award winning reds, updates from sober blogs come in from Twitter, colleagues telling me to relax with a glass after a stressful day.  I don’t event have to leave my desk to be bombarded by triggers telling me to have a drink!

When did our society become so obsessed with alcohol… hmm is it society, or just me obsessing?  Perhaps that’s a mirror better not looked in LOL!

Anyway, that’s my whinge (whine??!) for the day.  Have a healthy, happy day wherever you are.

Disappear?

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Ever get the urge to run away, disappear and start over again?

It sneaks up on  me from time to time. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy enough with my life but occasionally my tiny mind prompts me to just run away.  That little voice whispers “It wasn’t supposed to be like this, it was supposed to be glamorous and fun, not normal and dull.  Let’s just jump on a plane and go, tell no one.”

I fantasise about being the exotic mysterious person swanning about NYC or Europe freelancing in whatever it is I’m doing in this made up life, never being pinned down to reality and responsibility.

I even think about how I’d let the people I care about know that I was still alive without giving my whereabouts* away .  I don’t let the mundane issues of having a husband, cats, friends, bank accounts and earning actual money get in the way of these plans; glamorous people just have stuff come to them and they get invited to interesting exclusive events every night of the week right???  😉

I generally shut that little voice up with something expensive or with booze.  Neither of these are a great option, I get that.  I do know that I can spice up my life, but I also wonder how stopping off at a new shopping centre or trying a new way home from work became an exciting thing to do, I’m sure I’m not that person.

So is it just me that wonders how life got dull and normal that has this urge to run or do we all suffer from slight delusions of interestingness occasionally?

*Super Sammie, you ever get an unsigned post card from Guggenheim, I’ve gone rouge, tell the others I’m fine!

Where Will Your Road Lead?

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where my road is leading me and I’ve decided that I won’t get old without a fight.  I won’t let my road lead to nowhere.

I’m watching people that were passionate and impulsive and full of energy let their lives slip away and I don’t want to go that way.

Please understand I’m not talking about aging, that happens and quite frankly I’m debating the whole botox issue* with myself at the moment. Crazy Cat Boy has taken to calling me “Angry Bird” and having just seen myself on screen, I’m inclined to agree with him.  It’s that gradual loss of a sense that anything is possible and doing interesting things with life that scares me.

So even though I’m in the second half of my life I’ve decided that I wont get old without a fight, I won’t give up on seeking out new opportunities and I sure as hell won’t allow taking a different way home from the shops to become an exciting thing in my world.  I’ve been as guilty of this as the next person, life gets busy and somehow we forget to live it along the way as the days and then months slip by.

I want to have an answer that is more than “oh, you know, just busy” when someone asks me what I’ve been doing.

I wont be scared, I refuse!  I’m issuing the challenge to anyone who wants to play along – What will you be able to say when someone asks “What have you been up to?”?

Where will your road lead you?


*There is a post coming on this.