About Me

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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Whoops! I've deleted a lot of comments......

Unfortunately I've been receiving lots of SPAM comments because I loosened the privacy restrictions.

As I was deleting 50 of them today, I accidentally deleted a whole lot of the comments I loved from actual people!

Does anyone know how I might be able to retrieve them?

Sorry!  Especially to you Vicki Paulus - your two new comments were deleted before I even got to read them properly.......

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

#43 Camera Club Competition - Strength & Circles (Round Objects)

My entries for this month's competition were very last minute and contrived of photos I already had, with a little tweaking.  Let's see what you think!


The King of the Jungle - at Adelaide Zoo

A Fireman's Uniform at St Paul's in NYC - September 11

Sacsayhuaman just outside Cuzco, Peru - Those Inca were very strong!
Bali Bombing Memorial at Coogee Beach, Sydney, NSW

A decoration from Julie's house!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#42 Annie Isobel Gall (Magill)

Dear Nan,

If we were lucky enough to still have you with us, today would have been your 100th birthday!  You looked forward to this day over my entire lifetime with you as you anticipated receiving your letter from the Queen.  How I wish you were here to share it with us.

Not a day goes by where I don't think about you.  I will always love you and I miss you more than I can try to explain with words.

This is my little tribute to the amazing lady that you were to me.  Happy 100th birthday Nan.  I was so blessed to have you as my grandmother and even more blessed to have shared the first 34 years of my life with you.

Your adoring granddaughter,

Nana's Parents - Edward Margaret Magill on their Wedding Day

Nana as a baby with older sister Mary

 A letter from Edward to Nana in 1940
He signs "E. Magill" just as Nana always signed her letters to us "A. I. Gall."

 Edward Magill

Margaret Magill
Nana's 4 children including my Mum on the left

A letter from Nana to my Aunty accompanying the letters from her father.  She burnt many of her letters, cards and photos before she died.  I think that's what she is mentioning here.  Such a shame.  I'd love to have been able to read those now.


Nana and I on her 90th Birthday - A rare photo where she isn't telling us to get away with the camera!

Friday, January 24, 2014

#41 True Love

It's not often we get to witness true love.  On the weekend I had not only the privilege of attending the engagement party for my beautiful friends Tam & Ryan, but I also had the privilege of capturing some of the precious moments at their party. 

Congratulations once again Tamara & Ryan!  Wishing you all the fabulous love in the world! xoxoxo

I hope my friends don't mind me sharing these photos.  Enjoy.

Beautiful work friends - Selena & Gabrielle

Flowers from Tam's Nan's garden

Happy, Happy.  Jase & Jode (and Liddy!)

The Happy Couple with Nan

The blushing Bride-to-Be with Amanda


Team Jodie

Gab & Shell

The work crew!

Glamorous, Renee, Tam & Lid


 Photo with the boss, Adrian.


Alicia & Tam

He popped the question!  #luckiestmanalive #luckygirl #tiffany

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

#40 A Hole In My Genes, Chapter 1: The Diagnosis

Well, here is a bit more of a taste of my book.  This is draft 6 - there's still some work to do.  Would love to hear your thoughts.  You'll notice a note to my Nan in italics.  This happens throughout the book.  Jodie x
Chapter 1

The Diagnosis

I had an awesome day at work playing the X-Box with an eight-year-old patient, trying to distract him.  I laughed out loud when he said, “You know the more you keep trying to trick me into talking to you, the more I’m going to beat you?” 

I loved my job.

The Children’s Cancer hospital where I worked never had any phone reception. It drove me particularly crazy this day during Easter 2010, as I’d been waiting for a call back from my doctor to give me the results from the biopsy on my breast lump.  He’d promised to rush the results through before the public holidays, in two days time.  I’d booked a flight home to visit my family for the long weekend.  When I booked the flight, life was different.   

I expected my results to be unremarkable.  I’d had breast lumps before that turned out to be nothing, just cysts or fatty tissue.  I called for them, because that’s what you do when you have a test.  Just a formality.  Ticking a box. 

Never one to rest on my laurels, I had to rush that day from the hospital to my private practice.  While crossing the busy road in front of the ambulance station, I came back into range and my phone beeped telling me I had a message.  I called the message bank as I walked to my car thinking I could tick off another ‘to-do’ list item on my way to work.  Nothing could’ve prepared me for the voice-mail I heard.

“Hi Jodie, it’s Dr Bullock.  I’ve scheduled an appointment for you to come in tomorrow morning to talk about your results.  See you at 11am.” 

With eyes and mouth wide open, I could hear my heart that now felt like it was in a tightening vice.  I walked towards my car as if sinking in quicksand.  What did that mean?  Do I have cancer?  Fucking fuck.  I have cancer.  I am going to die.  Who the frick leaves a message like that?  I called the clinic.  Answering machine.  Oh God.  Please do not be on holidays already.  Do not shit me.  My head felt heavy as my peripheral vision blurred, leaving only a small tunnel of focus.  I needed answers.  Frantic, I called my husband.  I wanted to throw up. 


“Baby, I can’t breathe.  I have cancer.  There’s a message on my phone!”

“What?  What did they say?” Dave joined me at the panic station.

“They’re not fucking answering the phone.  Dr Bullock said I have to go in at 11am tomorrow to discuss my results and I can’t get a hold of them, it goes straight to the answering machine!  What the hell?  I’m supposed to fly home tomorrow...  Where are they?  Oh my God, what are we going to do?” 

“You just try to stay calm.  I’ll call the clinic and I will call you back.  Okay?”  Dave took charge of the situation, as I was left reeling in the vastness of the hospital car-park.  It had only been eight years earlier that Dave had his own cancer diagnosis, from the same doctor.

They’d be expecting me at private practice.  Dave told me he would take care of it.  He’ll take care of it.  I have cancer.  I have breast cancer.  But breast cancer doesn’t happen to young women.  My doctor told me that.  Liar.  No family history.  I’m too young.  Breast cancer doesn’t happen to me.  I’m supposed to help other people with cancer.  Who’s going to help me?

I called Rachel the receptionist at my private practice, who knew I’d had the scans.

“Hi Rach, it’s me.”  I started crying.  “I can’t come to work.  I think I have cancer.”

“Oh honey!  Don’t you worry about a thing.  You take care of you and I’ll deal with everything else.  We’re thinking of you.”  What else could she say?  Relief.  One less thing to worry about.  As if I could sit with someone else and listen to their problems right now.  


Nan, it’s amazing to me as I think about those moment that felt like hours, how my body replays the physical symptoms perfectly, as if it’s happening again. 


As I sat in the car-park waiting for Dave to call, I thought about Nicole, Siandra and a young woman I’d met on my psycho-oncology placement five years earlier.  People who gave me the privilege of inviting me into the end of their lives.  People who taught me about living.

Dave’s phone call snapped me back to the present.  “Okay, Dr Bullock is with another patient but he’s going to call you as soon as he’s finished.  They promised.”

The fear of every person I’d ever worked with who’d received the news I was about to engulfed me.  Now I truly understood them.  Why did it take this to do it?  I’m going to die. 

My chest strangled my breath as I wondered who would love me if I didn’t have any breasts?  What if the cancer has spread everywhere?  Am I going to die?  What if it comes back?  I shook and my head spun as nausea wreaked havoc in my stomach.  So surreal.  Unbelievable.  At that moment, I couldn’t comprehend a thing.

 On autopilot, I drove home in peak hour traffic to where Dave and I waited for that phone call together.  It came at 5.35pm.

 “It’s Dr Bullock.  You have a ductal carcinoma.”  He sounded so distant and clinical. 

“Is that...?”

“Yes, that’s cancer.  It means the cancer is in the milk duct.  They’re very common.  Go on your holiday.  We’ll schedule you to see a surgeon when you get back.  A few days won’t make a difference.”

I didn’t believe him.

“How do you know that?  How do you know it’s not everywhere throughout my body?” I asked head in hand, wondering what on Earth was happening to my life.

“It doesn’t work that way,” Dr Bullock explained.  “These things move slowly.”

 One hand shielded my eyes from the world.  I couldn’t take in any more information, not even seeing what was in front of me.  Dave maintained a safe distance standing in the kitchen but as I hung up the phone, joined me in silence on the couch.

“We’ll get through this together,” he offered.  Promised.  Vowed.  He held my hand so tight I thought it might break.  Like my heart.

Dave hugged me and we cried together.  He brought me a cup of tea and some tissues.  I felt closer to him than ever when he picked up the phone to call my parents. 

“Hi Elaine, listen, the test results weren’t what we’d hoped for.” 

Numb and detached, I mumbled to myself, “They didn’t even know there was a test.”  I never wanted my parents to worry about me if they didn’t have to. 

What a long night.  I lay still, barely breathing, awake, staring into the blackness asking myself how we knew the cancer wasn’t already throughout my entire body.  What if waiting a single day could make all the difference?  Was I going to die?  Had I somehow done this to myself?  Sleep did not come to me the day I was told I had breast cancer.

I wondered how many nights I would have left in this bed.  In this room.  This house.  This building.  This city.  How long would I live?  My life wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I’d worked so hard for a career in psychology that had really only just started.  I’d waited so long for my husband, the love of my life.  I’d only just thought about becoming a mum for fuck’s sake.  What if I never slept again?  Dave lay still but wasn’t snoring so I couldn’t really tell if he was sleeping.  It always annoyed me that he could fall asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.  But tonight part of me wanted him to sleep so that I could stop worrying about keeping him awake. 

I gently started to feel the lump on my breast.  I wanted it to be my friend.  We had to get through this together and I didn’t want it doing anything rash like spreading around my body and killing me.  Would Dave be there with me at the end?  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I had the love of my life.  I ate well and exercised and never smoked. 

But now I had cancer.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

#39 Reply to Rocky

On Sunday, my friend Rocky posted a letter to me on his blog Tales of the Rock.  You can read
Rocky Hatley's post to me about his experience with the movie August: Osange County starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

Here is my reply:

Dear Rocky,

I saw August: Osange County on New Year's Day.  Ever since seeing the preview a couple of weeks earlier, I'd been anticipating the film's release.  I'm always drawn to 'human' stories and this one looked like it offered it all up. 

I can't recall it being described as hilarious and it certainly didn't find it hilarious.  It's interesting as an Australian to hear your description of the kind of discrimination that occurs at times between the different states in the US. 

This film didn't sit well with me though, despite an exceptional performance by Julia Roberts.  It does deal with extremely dark themes, as you pointed out.

The main point that stood out for me from the movie was that certain personality traits are inherent, despite all of our best efforts to change them, or live our life in spite of them, they endure.  As Julia Roberts discovered she had remained completely unaware she even possessed many of her mother's qualities until it was so poignantly pointed out by her own daughter.

It made me think about the concept of change and the potential for change and the nurture versus nature debate.

In my job and in my life, I believe that people can change and that film really challenged that for me.

Can't wait to review another movie with you!

We can be the Blog World's David and Margaret - Google that...

Warm wishes,


If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

#38 Dear Busby Marou - an open letter

Dear Busby Marou (or may I call you Tom and Jeremy? because after last night, I feel like I've known you my whole life),

It has been a long time since I have been so moved by live music.  Out with my friends at The Loft, we joined another 150 or so people in that wonderful intimate space for what felt like the best house party of my life with 150 of my closest friends.

I confess, this was my real introduction to your music and I can honestly say, EVERY song spoke to me.  Don't be mistaken, I'm 41 years old and I have seen a lot of awesome live music, but never had anything like the experience I had last night.

Biding My Time, Water Logged ......Every one of your songs.... and I have to say, two massive highlights were Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and My Island Home (gave me chills) .... and when your manager singing Ice Ice Baby - BRILLIANT - that's when I felt like I was with family.

Great job guys.  Good luck on the rest of your tour.  Can't wait to see you next time.

Thank you.  Now I've gotta go shopping in the iTunes store....

Love your new fan,


#37 Bad Dreams

My nephews had a sleep over Friday night, after we'd spent the evening at the carnival that is in town for Summer.  The boys are six and eight and are the loves of my life.

Sadly, the little one has been having nightmares after watching a movie where a random single foot hopped around on its own, causing trouble and doing things like sticking its big toe in a lady's nose.  Hmmmm.

Poor little dude can't sleep or do anything on his own because he's sure he can hear the foot coming for him!  Needless to say, no-one has been sleeping in his house.  Friday night was my turn.

When it first started, we drew pictures of the foot and told happy endings to the foot story.  That didn't work.

Then we took the foot pictures and burnt them in the fireplace.  Adios foot!  That didn't work.

We strung up a dream catcher...... that didn't work either.

I concocted a special 'good dream mist' made up of water and lavender oil in a spray bottle and sprayed his room before bed-time.  Nope, that didn't work either.

The 'no sleep' situation has turned into a battle of the wills with his parents.

When bed time rolled around on Friday night at the very late hour of 10.30pm, we read a bed-time story called "When I'm Scared" and he immediately rolled over and went to sleep.  Magic.

At 2am though, he came in and asked if we could all get up now.  Um, no we can't.  But I've had a bad dream.....

At least this time it wasn't about a foot.....

Before long the eight year old joined us, soon to be followed by the dog.  Why not?  At least I only have to deal with it for one night.

Do you have any novel ideas for helping kids get over their fears/nightmares?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

#36 Bills, Bills and More Bills

Quite frankly, I'm not sure how any of us can afford to live.... unless of course you're really rich .... and hey, if you're really rich and you're reading this, how'd you like to invest in a brilliant up-and-coming author's book project????

I think bills would be much more manageable if they were easily spread out over the year (or if they didn't even exist!).  But why is it, that immediately following that credit-card-abusing Christmas period, all the 'big' bills start coming in.

Going to the mailbox after work is one of my favourite parts of the day.  Usually.  It's a moment filled with such hope, isn't it?  Oooohhh what might be in the mail today?  I wonder if someone has sent me a letter or a postcard from somewhere amazing......  I'm not sure why I expect any 'pleasant' mail as that occurs only rarely these days thanks to Facebook and email..... anyway, still the mailbox represents hope to me.

Today I got home and found only one envelope there.  From Vic Roads.   Could it be my licence renewal?  No.  That's ages away.  Uh oh.  It could only be one thing.  My car registration.  A bill for $605!

That seems extraordinarily expensive to me, when you consider car repayments, insurance, services, petrol, tyres, blah, blah, blah, the luxury of having a car comes at quite a price.

With other bills all due at the same time, looks like I won't be retiring for a while yet.  The sooner I can write that best-seller, the better!

Friday, January 10, 2014

#36 The Skin I'm In

This is an article I submitted to an online Magazine - Girl Body Pride that unfortunately closed its doors before they could publish it.  So instead, I'll post it here.

The Skin I’m In
I have a vivid memory as a six-year-old sitting on the floor in Miss Christie’s classroom listening intently as she read the class a story.  I glanced down at my knees as I sat cross-legged on the mat and stared in disgust at how ‘fat’ they appeared.  Embarrassed, I adjusted my dress to cover them. 
At 13, my mother dictated my hairstyles.  I had the shortest hair and no breasts.  People often mistook me for a boy which broke my heart.  Who would ever love me if I looked like a boy? 

Objectively, I never had to worry about weight, but irrespective I spent the majority of my life loathing my body.   I resented the cellulite and stretch marks on my thighs despite them being barely visible to the naked eye.  I was mortified at having no breasts and then overnight having DD cups that could never go braless.  My skin was not tanned enough.  Not clear enough.  I hated that my thighs touched and I had a pot belly. 
Long, baggy t-shirts covered my swimwear as I checked and double-checked no-one could see more of me than I wanted them to.  It made enjoyment and pleasure impossible.  Too many worries and irrational thoughts.  Negative self-talk.
Then one day, at 37 and newly separated from my husband, a doctor told me I had breast cancer.  Everything changed.  I found myself yet again with short hair, bald in fact, and without breasts.  The scars of my childhood re-opened and matched perfectly with the fresh scars on my chest. 
But you see breast cancer became a blessing.  It ignited a love affair with my body.  No longer a cross to bear, my body became my biggest ally.  I marvelled at its ability to take the constant poisoning of chemotherapy.  Yes, my body became tired for a while, but it was also strong and resilient, bouncing back after every cycle of treatment, recovering and able to take more.  My body showed up for the fight and it won.  The relationship with my cellulite and my pot belly changed.  I embraced them for the first time, as a part of me. 
Red, thick lines cross my chest and stomach.  Battle scars remind me daily of my body’s tenacity and fortitude.  I have learned that there is much more to me than my hair, breasts and thighs.  I now know that my body is my most amazing possession.  I no longer cover it up with baggy clothes to hide my bumps and imperfections.  Instead, I worship it.
I nourish my cells with nutritious food without depriving myself of the pleasure of treats.  I run and run because I can, because although I am not the fittest person, I am healthy and I want to express that health. 
I am free now of the criticisms my mind once made about my body, in their place, a union. 
How I wish I could bottle that and share it with everyone...  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

#35 The Battle of the Bulge

It is so true that in general, weight loss all comes down to what we put in our mouth. 

Exercise all you like, but if you are then going to reward yourself for your work-out with as much junk food as you like, chances are you won't make the gains you're hoping for.

Over the course of chemotherapy, I put on 10 kilos.  Initially, the side-effects of the steroids I took made me gain weight, as well as increasing my appetite.  As you might have gathered, I'm very good at self-compassion and self-reward.  If I had to go through chemotherapy and cancer, I was going to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

After one cycle of chemotherapy, I finished work at 4pm and craved some form of fat.  I called into the local fish and chip shop on the way home and bought four potato cakes.  If you don't know what this is, it's a thick slice of potato dipped in batter and deep fried.  It is disgusting..... disgustingly good!

Let's just say, I ate like that a lot.  And it didn't stop when chemo did.  Three years later I was still treating and rewarding myself with food and other luxuries.

I don't want to paint the wrong picture, I mean, it's not like anyone else would have looked at me and thought much of the weight gain.  I was fairly underweight beforehand which helped.  But, I felt uncomfortable.  My clothes didn't fit well and my fat clothes became my skinny clothes.

Then one day towards the end of last year, my friend Em suggested we do the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation program.  It was the best thing I've ever done.  It combines an eating plan with an exercise plan.  With a sprained ankle and some surgery in the middle of the program, I didn't actually do much exercise.  I did however, follow the calorie controlled eating plan.

The food was all delicious and different to what I'd normally cook.  It interested me and more importantly, it satisfied me.  I learnt a lot about controlling my calorie intake for the day and I lost 5kg over the 12 weeks.  It was perfect for me.  Just the right amount, proving to myself that at 41, I could still change my body.

It astounded me the number of empty calories I'd been putting in my mouth.  Two chocolates here, some Teddy Bear biscuits there, a piece of hedgehog because I'd had a difficult afternoon, a bag of lollies because I felt tired.

Sadly, the program ended and Christmas arrived.  I've fallen off the wagon BIG TIME and have put a couple of kilos back on.  It's not the end of the world, but it has taught me that for me it's all or nothing.  My lack of self-control doesn't allow me to have just one chocolate.

I want to re-create my good eating habits, so I'm starting today and I'm going to give you a weekly update to keep myself honest.

I'll let you know how I'm doing, where I struggle and whether or not I can figure out any foolproof ways to win the battle.

Feel free to share your tips here!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

#33 The Curse of Social Media

Lately, I've been driving past a man, who used to be a boy who went to my primary school.  I'm pretty sure his name is Wayne.

Wayne wasn't like all the other kids.  He was very quiet and shy and didn't have many friends.  He was also a little over weight and wore less fashionable clothes.  Wayne was a couple of years older than me.

My main memory of Wayne was on the last day of school - his last day of Grade 6.  The teachers were handing out icy poles and Wayne refused to take one.  Mr Reiners said, "It's just frozen water Wayne, you can have one." but still he refused.  Instead, he ran laps around the oval.  He'd been losing weight.

Wayne had already figured out that High School would eat him alive, so he tried his hardest to reduce the reasons the other kids would have to pick on him for.

I didn't see him again after that day, until recently - a thousand years later.  He clearly survived High School and is still walking regularly.  Maybe that means he doesn't drive a car.  I wonder if he works.  His clothes are still a little out of date.  I hope he has some friends.

We didn't even get a telephone in our house until I was at high school.  Even then, it was in the kitchen, with a short cord.  Mum and Dad could hear every word and phone calls were only allowed between certain times.  If we hadn't arranged to see friends on the weekend or school holidays, we literally had no contact with them.

Kids these days are in contact 24/7.  It's scary to consider.  Through Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Kick and who knows what else, they know what one another are doing ALL THE TIME.  They are acutely aware when they are excluded from a party or other weekend activity.  If someone wants to be mean, they have so many options for how to go about it. 

Photos are taken without permission and shared relentlessly.  They don't understand the permanence of what they're doing or the potential risks they face when they are deciding who they can trust.  Some of them are literally becoming distributors of pornography.  Can you even imagine?

In a way I am relieved for Wayne.  At least he had a reprieve, in the safety of his own home once the horrors of his school day ended.

Some kids today don't have anywhere to go that is safe from those who taunt them.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#34 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Have you ever seen Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid? 

It's a Steve Martin film that came out in 1982, shot in black and white and made with snippets from a heap of old films starring people like Humphrey Bogart, Carey Grant and Ingrid Bergman.  It is so very clever.

Anyway, Steve Martin's character goes crazy anytime someone says "cleaning woman" because his father ran off with the cleaning woman, leaving his mother to die with a broken heart.

Today I got my own "cleaning woman" and it reminded me of this film. 

Pre-cancer I was a cleaner, more organised person.  I washed my car every weekend and nothing was ever out of place.

Post-cancer, I can't think of a worse way to spend my precious life than cleaning.  It's such a thankless task.  Hours are spent cleaning and for a brief few moments, that sense of reward sinks in..... until someone moves and it's dirty again.

Can I afford a cleaning woman on a single person's salary with a big mortgage?  Probably not.

Can I afford NOT to have a cleaning woman?  I don't think so!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

#31 Striking The Perfect Balance

One of my goals for this year is to publish a weekly article promoting good mental health, in a local publication.  This is an example of what I'd like to produce.

I'd love to know your thoughts, as well as some ideas about the types of articles that would interest you.

Striking the Perfect Balance

Just like any stable and reliable structure, good mental health requires a solid foundation.  The keys to a secure foundation are balance and consistency.

We all love a good catch-phrase and “Work-Life Balance” is up there with the best of them.  It’s often spoken about, but what does it really mean and how well do any of us truly ‘live’ it?

To simplify matters, we can break most of our tasks in life into four categories: 

Achievement Activities:  Anything that we do that is goal focussed and provides us with a sense of accomplishment at its completion.  Our ‘have to’ tasks tend to fit into this category as well.  E.g. work; household chores; errands; study etc.

Pleasant Activities:  All of the things we do that we enjoy and that make us feel good.  This category includes all of our leisure and pleasure activities.  For example: reading; watching a movie; travel; having a massage; gardening; drawing, etc.

Social Activities:  Whenever we spend meaningful time connecting with others, we are being social.  This can include face-to-face contact, but also telephone, Skype, email, social networking.  E.g. coffee with a friend; dinner parties; BBQ; visiting friends or family etc.

Physical Activities:  Any activity that requires us to move our body.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that we ‘move’ at least 30 minutes every day, at least five days per week.  It doesn’t even have to be consecutive e.g. you could do ten minutes of physical exercise, three times per day.  For example: gym; walking; running; cycling; taking the stairs; swimming etc.

What you’ve probably already noticed is that many things that we do fit into more than one of the above categories.  How great is that?! 

Walking with a friend on the beach is a physical activity, a pleasant activity AND a social activity.  It might even be an achievement.

Gardening can be an achievement, physical and pleasant.

The key is to make sure you are participating in enough activities in ALL of the categories on a regular basis.  Many of us are very good at completing ‘Achievement’ type tasks but we struggle to find time to fit in exercise or time to catch up with our friends as often as we’d like.  I’ve noticed that many of us don’t even remember what we love to do.

When an imbalance occurs and we’re doing too much of one thing and not enough of others, we increase our risk of stress.  If that continues for a long enough period of time, the risk of developing other mental health issues increases.

I challenge you to think about your own life balance.  It’s not rocket science.  If you are feeling tired or stressed, low or anxious, it’s time to make some changes. 

If we are not feeling our best, we need to do more of the things that make us feel better.

Are you doing enough of the things that make you feel good? 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

#30 Surf To Surf baby!

It's no secret that I love to run.  Whether I'm fit and uninjured is always another story. 

I wrote in an earlier post "And Running Will Set You Free" about my goal to run a marathon that was shot down in flames when I got sick. 

My knees tell me these days that a marathon might be out of the question, but a half-marathon, one day.... who knows.

Every January we have the annual Surf to Surf Fun Run event.  There are 3km run/walk, 6km run/walk or a 10km run.  I've ticked off the 3km run and 6km walk and tomorrow am preparing for the 6km run.  I'm slow, but as me and my running buddy Jodes discovered, we can run up hills.  Thank goodness because it is one HILLY course.

I won't be alone, there'll be me and Jodes of course, plus my team mates from work - check us out in the The Standard article - and about 2000 other people.

Another item to tick off the bucket list.  Next year we'll aim for the 10km.  Should be a walk in the park!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

#29 Mil Gracias

I don't know what it is about 2014, but since the clock struck 12am on January 1st, I have been oozing with gratitude.  It's really cool.  Just like I have this new-found ability to appreciate, well, everything.

Tonight, for example, tired from staring at a computer all day (yet grateful for my job!), I wanted to go home and lie on my couch and watch TV.  Instead, I was grateful to have a wonderful friend come and take me and Alby (the dog), for a long walk.  I felt thankful for the fresh air and the beach and wonderful walking tracks that we have.

She then suggested we knock up some dinner, so while she went to buy some fresh fish, I raided my fridge and found the perfect ingredients for Mediterranean roast vegetables.  Perfect.  Thankful for the healthy and fresh food in my refrigerator and company for dinner.

You know that new song by Pharrell - Happy - it's from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack - well, I challenge you NOT to be grateful for that song once you hear it.  I'm still singing it in my head.

My friend has gone home and now I'm sitting in absolute contentment, writing on my blog, full of gratitude for the avenue with which to share my thoughts.  Grateful for the company of my little dog.  Looking forward to the last day of the working week and excited to be going to the movies tomorrow night with another fabulous friend.

Do yourself a favour and ask yourself, what are you grateful for today?

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