Tag: me time

The Happy List #41

Oh, hey! It’s me! It’s been a big week. Action packed! Filled with good things. Much needed. It’s a bit hard to slow down, because I think I’ve been trying to avoid reality (the start of a new school term and my upcoming surgery), but I’m hoping that this long weekend will give me some time to ease back into it without having a total mental breakdown!

So here is my happy list…

My Sydney getaway

Last weekend was GLORIOUS. I was starting to come good from a rough bout with my endometriosis. I was healthy. I was ready! I slept like I hadn’t slept in years (no joke – my fitbit’s sleep tracker proves it). I shopped until I dropped. I saw good friends. Had plenty of laughs with my parents. I ate ridiculously good food. COCKTAILS. OMG. I didn’t have many responsibilities. So yeah, that’s it in a nutshell.

I’d been a frustrated, sad hermit for weeks on end. It was really getting me down. This trip ended that awful feeling for me. I came back more ‘me’.

Hashtag grateful etc.

My new obsession with make-up

I have always been pretty low maintenance (read: crap) when it comes to cosmetics, but realising that my skin is getting older (with the rest of me) and needs more attention, means I’ve had to make more of an effort to age gracefully (I know – I’m positively ancient at 32 haha). It started with the need for better moisturisers, some more face masks and the search for a good primer (yet to find The One), but now it’s blown out into a full on obsession with make up brushes, eye liners, trying to look like I actually have eyebrows, and wanting matte lips.

I took a trip to Sephora in Sydney and it was CRAZY. Hats off to the girls who work there! Gotta love the adrenaline rush, though haha. I ticked everything off my wish list and I have honestly never spent that much on make up in one go before. Ever. I made great use of my birthday money! I splurged on good quality products (nothing crazy but more than your average supermarket find) that I would never have treated myself with before. It felt good. Let’s just say that I earned my black membership card straight off the bat that day…

I’ve been enjoying playing around with my look and the difference is immense. I needed that boost. I love feeling like I’ve put in an effort with my appearance. It sounds shallow, but it makes me feel less frumpy and more ‘on’. A feeling I’ve needed a lot more of these days!

My birthday

I turned 32 a few days ago. I realised that 31 wasn’t as kind to me as I might have hoped. In fact, it was pretty darn shit (sprinkled with a few nice moments). So I’m trying to close that chapter and move forward with an open heart and an optimistic outlook. I don’t mind getting older. I’ve never understood that fear of ageing thing that people have. I feel more comfortable in who I am than I ever have and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for all the flawless skin and super fast metabolism/pre baby bodies in the world! I mean, I’d consider it for a hot second, but I wouldn’t.

I really appreciated the gifts from my family, the messages from all my friends and obviously my trip away. 32. I’ve got this! Right? Check in with me when I turn 33 haha.

The Little Mister

I swear he grew up so much while I was away (for all of 3 days haha). I loved getting home and being able to appreciate him more. It’s that whole thing about needing a break so you can come back better. I’ve really felt that this week.

We took an awesome day trip to the zoo and I liked making his dreams come true – he still thinks public transport is magical and awe inspiring, so you can imagine how he felt about everything else!

He’s still driving me crazy (because he’s 4 and it’s the school holidays), but I don’t feel like I’m ready to skip the country with nothing but my clothes on my back and start a new life anymore 😂😂😂

Which is nice. And I love him so much.

Brunch with a couple of good people

My awesome Tassie mate and her Freo boyf (also known as guy I went to high school with) took time out of their weekend together to come and see me for brunch. It was so nice of them and I had fun. It blows me away that they know each other (I’ve known them completely separately for years), let alone that they’re together now (sorry guys – you’re Blog Official now)! I’ll be counting down until we can hang out together again!

Other stuff that has made me happy:

  • Cuddles on the couch with Mr Unprepared.
  • My renewed obsession with leopard print.
  • The fact that my new manicure saved me from getting a badly bruised or broken finger while I was away. I should probably try harder to not slam car doors on my hands.
  • That time I accidentally stole a fork from a cafe in Dee Why (Sydney), because it fell into my handbag, and then went on a snapchat rampage about my whole new life as a fugitive on the run with it. It really seemed so hilarious at the time. Guess you had to be there 😂 PS. We can never return. Ever… unless it’s to collect the whole set.
  • My latest shopping spree in Kmart. I couldn’t help it, but it felt so good.

So what’s been making you happy this week?

The Book of Kez.

So, I’ve been tagged by the slightly loopy (sorry it’s true), very entertaining (and wonderfully friendly) Pinky Poinker to participate in a post about my reading habits. I really wish she’d tagged me when I was about 7 years old, because I was really in my prime (the word ‘genius’ might have even been thrown around a bit – not quite but almost). I mean, to dob me in when I hardly read anymore is a little mean. Come on, that’s what time machines are for, Pinky. Sheesh. I shall try my best.

Do you snack while you read?

I snack standing up while reading TV Week in the kitchen because it’s the only way I get left alone. I snack while reading my iPhone. Is looking at Pinterest ‘reading’? Because I’m so down with snacking while looking at Pinterest. I mean, reading it. Sigh.

Seriously, though. If you’re talking about books, I don’t really. I like to be completely ‘in’ a book and snacking is a distraction that stops me from being able to hold a book properly. I’m very uncoordinated, you know.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

Look. Look at this. This is the work of a very dangerous tween.

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Oooh. What a rebel with a great sense of irony. Watch out.

I found this in a Paul Jennings book recently. I can’t wait to hand my collection down to the Little Mister.

And no, I don’t tend to write in or mark books these days. Because I don’t read any. But also – vandalism etc. You know.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?

Both. But I do lean towards non-fiction more these days. TV Week is non-fiction, right?

I like ‘true’ stories. I like biographies that make me laugh or inspire me (probably why I love reading blogs). I used to read a lot of true crime, but since I became a parent I’ve become as weak as shit and can’t handle it if it involves children or anything of that nature. Probably a good thing. Means I’m not a psychopath.

Hard copy or ebooks?

Both. There’s kind of nothing like the magic of reading an actual book with actual pages, am I right? Although, I kind of like electronic books because if I go away, I don’t have to pack fifteen books with me (that’s if I have even a hope of getting any reading done). Also, my electronic device becomes its own light. I mean, how clever is that? No keeping Mr Unprepared awake if I’m deep into a story and can’t put it down. No need to balance a torch and a book precariously on my chest while reading in bed when camping (strangely the time I get the most reading done).

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I make up weird rules in my head. Like I have to read until I reach a page where a sentence ends at the bottom. So when I pick it up again, I can just start a fresh page and I know where I am. If it’s a super awesome book, I have to finish a chapter. But then that often turns into a crazy all nighter where the book doesn’t get put down. At all.

What are you currently reading?

Um…I got half a page into Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? …a few months ago? It’s absolutely NOTHING against Mindy’s work. I love her so hard. I know it’s gonna be an awesome book. I just know it! I just haven’t been able to commit. Probably because I stay up too late blogging or reading blogs as it is. I am actually excited to go camping so I can just read at night – no internet to distract me! So that counts as ‘currently’ reading, right? Because I’m part way (well half a page) in?

What is the last book you bought?

The Mindy Kaling one.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

When I was younger, I did attempt to read about 4 books at once. It was because I would get one book, start reading it, get a new book, be too impatient to finish the first one … and so on. What a crazy kid.

Now I stick to one thing at a time. Seriously. I once had a Marie Claire magazine for 8 months and wouldn’t let myself buy a new one until I finished it. Maybe I’m a little obsessive. I probably have massive issues. YEAH. MASSIVE ISSUES OF MARIE CLAIRE I NEVER FINISH.

Do you have a favourite time of day and/or place to read?

You might have gathered that I read at night when I do read. Everything’s quiet. I can hear my thoughts. I can absorb the words.  I like to read in bed. Because, hello. Comfy.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

I devour Jodi Picoult novels. Even the ones I think I won’t like, I GET SO SUCKED IN. She just knows how to create characters and get you thinking really hard about your own morals and values and human nature and the ethics of things. Amazing.

Oh, and also? I would recommend Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess), because I once read that while camping and when there was a funny bit (so like ALL the time) I silent-giggled so hard I shook the camper van. THAT’S how you know when a book is funny (it was also moving and touching and all those weird words that mean you FELT it). Mr Unprepared was not so amused because he was sharing the bed with me. But that’s because he hadn’t read it. He has no idea what he was missing out on.

~

And now I am supposed to tag somebody, so I’m going to be lazy and tag ALL OF YOU. Go on. Do it 🙂

🙂

World Mental Health Day: My promise.

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I have a confession. I am an appointment putter-offer. I find ways to procrastinate when it comes to my health and well-being. I am by no means a martyr (trust me), but I just let time get away from me. I support my husband in making the appointments he needs to and I will always have the Little Mister’s back. I just can’t seem to be as motivated to do it for myself. I don’t say this with any smug pride about putting everyone else first. It really isn’t a great thing. I admire those who remember themselves and make sh*t happen. I know that for my family to function, I need to function!

I often wait too long. Whether it’s for me-time like beauty maintenance or for regular health checks (skin, lady things etc), I always wait until I’ve lost the plot before I make those calls and commit to those times. I always wait until the fatigue, anxiety, resentment or lack of confidence in myself have gotten on top of me. I always seem to wait until I’ve snapped at someone or had a mini meltdown. Because that’s healthy.

Sure, sometimes circumstances might mean that it’s impossible to do these things at the optimum time for my sanity, but I need to try harder, that’s for sure.

Sometimes I get annoyed at Mr Unprepared because he just decides on what he needs to do for himself – socialise, make appointments etc – and then he does them. Not a bloody care in the world! No guilt! I get so jealous. SO JEALOUS. But I need to take his lead more. I need to stop telling myself it’s too hard. I need to stop talking myself out of everything. I need to stop getting so ridiculously guilty about asking someone else to take care of the Little Mister for a few hours here and there. I need to be a bit more honey badger (honey badger don’t give a sh*t) and put myself first when I need it. Before the meltdown. It’s called maintenance and that’s perfectly justifiable and why haven’t I ever thought of it this way before??

Yesterday I took the whole morning to myself. I used a spa voucher from my sister and brother in law to get my nails done. It was glorious. I got to soak my feet in a petal filled tub and everything. There was peaceful music playing. I could talk to the beauty therapist without being interrupted. I could also just sit back and say nothing and soak up the quiet. QUIET. I got to leave the spa with the fingernails (and toe-nails) of a chick who looks like she’s got her sh*t together. Hell, my nails are so hot right now. I could almost be the next Pinterest nail model (if there was such a thing). I am THAT on trend. And while I am not easily sucked into the superficial, there is a bit of a thrill about that. Just a reassurance that I haven’t totally lost touch! Cool stuff doesn’t have to just be for everybody else to enjoy!

I am so glad that even though the voucher still had about six months left on it, I got on with it. I booked it (a big step for me haha). I was so grateful for such a gift. I also got to feel even more guilt free because I didn’t have to pay anything – so basically it was perfect! Awesome! Also, my parents stepped up and took the Little Mister when my brother was feeling ill and couldn’t (although it is always SO appreciated that he’s willing to do that for me)! Thanks, family.

Today is World Mental Health Day. Last night I visited the website and made a mental health promise to myself (they have a really cool Promise Wall which you should really check out and post your own promise too). I had only 140 characters to work with, but basically I called myself out on all of the above. I will look after myself. Maintain instead of fall apart (physically and mentally).

I chatted with Mr Unprepared about my promise last night. He told me that he has my back. Always good to hear.

I am lucky to have the support network and resources in my life that I do. I need to utilise these sometimes.

What promise would you make for yourself and your mental health? Leave a comment!

My favourite (recent) photo of me.

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I love photos. I love taking them and I don’t mind being in them, as long as I look alright-ish. I just think there’s no better way to collect your memories. I love capturing the most candid moments and there’s nothing better than reminiscing over happy times.

I have so many favourite photos, but this is my favourite recent photo of myself. It was taken at the music festival I attended last weekend. My best friend (and the day’s partner in crime) took it. I always feel uncomfortable asking for someone to take a photo of me, because I don’t want to seem vain, but I knew she would understand. I wanted to prove that I had gotten out and done something different from my usual daily life 🙂

For me, this photo represents me as an individual, not just a mummy or a wife. Oh, and I actually put on some lippie and did my hair!!! I actually felt a little bit attractive – something you can’t always feel when you’re dragging a toddler around (I imagine it’s not unlike wrestling a crocodile to watch).

I truly love photographs of myself where I’m with my family or my husband, but when I was looking for a photo to feature today, I realised that they weren’t my favourite pictures of me. They were my favourite photos of my loved ones!

My shirt says, “Count your blessings”. My favourite life motto. It’s something that I really have clung onto the past few weeks – life has been a roller coaster!

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend xx

This post was a part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. 



The importance of me-time.

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Life can get pretty hectic these days (and I’m not just talking about the Christmas silly season). Everything’s a fine balance (where possible). Gotta have quality mum and bub time, every day getting sh*t done (usually with toddler in tow) time, couple time, being with friends and family time, me-time for the husband and me-time for the wife lady (that’s me). I think you can guess which items usually get left off the list (hint: it’s not the mum and bub time one or the getting sh*t done one).

Sometimes achieving this balance can seem easy. The social opportunities come rolling in, things just seem to fit in with our crazy daily schedules, everything just feels right. Other times it’s just go go go. Hitting the daily grind. Add to that a lack of quality sleep and it’s nutso zombie lady time.

For most of us, me-time can be a massive luxury, but every now and then we really need to take a stand and ask for it. I usually see the red flags not long before me-time becomes not just a luxury but a necessity. It can be a slow burn (sometimes even months), but eventually everything catches up with me and there is no denying that I am *this* close to taking a one way trip to Crazy Lady town.

What are my red flags? Insomnia. The kind where you have been so busy that the only time your brain has time to process anything is that moment after you’ve woken up for a middle of the night toilet excursion. I can be awake for hours thinking about the day I just had, current world events, the days ahead. When I haven’t had time to think (or even feel) during a day, this becomes my nightmare because then I start the next day feeling exhausted, unable to think straight and the cycle continues. It can take about a week for this to become a massive problem!

Lack of enthusiasm/energy. I hate this one the most. It makes me feel like a terrible mum and then the guilts just eat me up inside. I usually find a lot of joy in being a very hands on, interactive parent and when I find myself flopped on the couch just staring into space, while the Little Mister plays around me, I know it’s time to do something about it. I’m all for him playing independently (and he is getting really good at it), but sometimes when what feels like a whole day has passed and I realise I didn’t read him a book, take him somewhere or even just sit down with him for a while, soaking up who he is and where he’s at, I start to feel bad. The whole point of me being lucky enough to be a stay at home mum is to be able to be there for him. This is probably my biggest red flag of all. I hate knowing I went through the motions of the day, staying vigilant, feeding him his meals, changing his nappies etc, without actually being there.

Withdrawal from the world. I am usually the first person to jump at any opportunity to head out and do something each day. If there’s some task that involves leaving the house, whether it’s a lovely opportunity to catch up with friends/my mum, an activity for the Little Mister to participate in, or even a trip to the shops, I am all for getting us out of the house at least once a day if we’re able to do so. It’s when I start to feel overwhelmed, like it’s all too much to just drive five minutes down the road, that I have to tell myself that something needs to change.

Getting stuck in my head. These are the days when I start to feel a bit down or a bit anxious. I’ll find social networking (usually such a great support and connection to the adult world) too much to bear. I’ll start worrying about things that I shouldn’t waste my energy on and I’ll generally just be doing a bit too much navel-gazing. Luckily, over the years I have learnt how to recognise this and I don’t let it spill out into my relationships (except the occasional slip up where I have a little bitch to my husband about the silly thing that’s bothering me – that’s usually also a red flag for him to give me some space). I know that the things I am worrying about are just me getting stir crazy and I just need to get out for a bit (by myself). Regain some perspective. It’s important to not let molehills become mountains.

Anyone recognise these red flags????

Often, it can be hard to use opportunities to take some me-time. I will either feel guilty and start ‘doing stuff’, while my husband protests (he knows how much nicer I am to be around when I feel energised and inspired – the same way I feel about him having some space for himself too), or I will feel like I’ll never get an opportunity to just feel some quiet. Sometimes I fill my ‘me’ time with friends (trying too hard to capitalise on free time), and while I have the kinds of friends who make you feel amazing after being with them, I find it doesn’t fill the void in my life where true me-time should have occurred.

I know when people think of ‘me time’ they can have this vision of a selfish lady of leisure being pampered all day in a spa type situation. That can be totally awesome on those (rare) special occasions when you have the time, cash or a gift certificate, but sometimes it’s the little things. Sometimes we can only grab an hour here or there. I find that if I use that hour right, and have the right support (read – care of the Little Mister) during that time, it can make a hell of a difference until that next spare hour.

Recently my husband has been working his butt off. He’s been on a wonderful work roster where he gets to see the Little Mister every single day, but he hasn’t had much time off (last minute extra shifts etc). It’s been almost a month of him working non stop, with me negotiating the silly season, and dealing with a little bout of PMS and we are both exhausted! Yesterday I had to put my hand up and let him know that I felt really selfish, but I was struggling (obviously I recognise he’s not had me-time either for a long time). I was willing to soldier on (just one more day to go until he has time off), but I just had to let him know where I was at.

He was amazing. He took over all the late afternoon/early evening chores, played with the Little Mister (this warmed my heart to hear them hanging out together – just the two of them having a giggle) and ordered me not to lift a finger until the Little Mister was in bed. At first I emptied a few bins around the house and took the rubbish out, before attempting to put some dishes in the dishwasher…but then my husband said, “Get out of here! You need to do NOTHING. Just do something that makes you feel nice. It’s obvious you need this time. I can’t have you feeling mental for another day!”

I’m sure his motivations were partly selfish (hello – who doesn’t want a sane wife to deal with?), but in that hour or so I was able to paint my nails, watch Ellen and read all about Hamish Blake’s wedding to Zoe Foster in Woman’s Day magazine (I’m soooo embarrassing). By the time the Little Mister was out of his bath, I was in his bedroom wanting to give him his night time bottle, despite my husband offering to do that for me.

I felt a little bit more relaxed, but wondered if it had made that much of a difference. Turns out it did. I slept better last night (despite my husband’s erratic snoring habits). I woke up this morning feeling inspired, rather than hit-by-a-bus. My brain actually feels like it has room in it again! A day in with the Little Mister feels like just what the doctor ordered (rather than a prison sentence). Housework feels like an achievable undertaking! I put it down to this: I had been staring at my nails for weeks as they got all raggedy and the remnants of a month agos’ home manicure looked sad and trashy. I felt like crap that I hadn’t been looking after myself. Having bright, red coral nails that are all the same shape as each other, looking kind of festive has made me feel like a woman who’s got her sh*t together. Such a small thing can make a huge difference. Also? My husband was so kind to me that it made me feel happy about our relationship (we’ve come a long way over the years). That’s always something nice to be feeling.

I am still tired, but I am now feeling re-energised and able to take on the next few days before Christmas. I will be reminding my husband how important his me-time is too (he really does need it as he’s very helpful around the house and hands on with the Little Mister when he can be).

I hope that everyone who reads this will be able to find just a little bit more time for themselves (guilt free). Perhaps it’s a good New Year’s resolution? xo

What is your favourite me-time activity?

Mummy’s *big* night out. A mediocre story.

Pic: “Quick, Kez – pick a karaoke song!”

I don’t get out much at night time anymore. Ever since I started teaching the Little Mister how to sleep through the night again, I’ve been reluctant to break his routine and cart him around with us to too many dinners or evening events. Also, the idea of being able to get out in an outfit that doesn’t involve leggings or flat shoes usually seems to remain a fantasy and not much more. So when my friend messaged me last week, alerting me to the fact that she was back in town and wanted to catch up at a local bar, I got a little excited…

Actually, in all honesty it went more like this:

I realised it was an evening thing and my heart sank a little.

I checked my husband’s work roster to see if I could possibly be baby free that night.

I made a check of my bank balance.

I allowed myself to become tentatively excited.

I made a request to my husband that he stay back at home with the bub for a few short hours (while wrestling with my guilt at being one of “those mums” who leaves their families at home just so they can go and socialise).

He said yes.

The day arrived and I questioned myself about whether or not I was too tired to be heading out on a “school night” (every night is a school night these days).

I then wondered whether I even had anything suitable to wear.

I suddenly remembered a(n) LBD that was sitting in my wardrobe waiting to be worn.

I then allowed myself to feel genuine excitement.

Are you tired just reading that???

To my non-parenting (read: smart) friends, this casual couple of hours of drinks event was probably just a blip on the weekday radar, I’m sure. Something to look forward to, but you just got dressed, turned up and Bob’s yer uncle. For me, it was sadly a BIG DEAL. You would think I was headed to an Academy Awards ceremony or something. Or at least the VMAs. I shaved my legs for this, guys. AND I ACCESSORISED. I even…wait for it…I even fired up the ol’ hairdryer and used the ol’ volumiser in my hair. I trialled three pairs of shoes, before deciding on my nude platform HEELS. I wore eyeliner, eye shadow and blush. EVEN LIPSTICK. I PAINTED MY NAILS.

I do not get out much, so when I do? I’m going to make a damn effort, damn it!

Anyway, I got there and I had a great time catching up with old friends. I had TWO glasses of wine. No-one tried to grab them off me. I ate some snack fries without anyone crying about the injustice of it all and trying to steal them. We spoke about adult things (OK by that, I mean I swore a bit and we mentioned things we wouldn’t joke about in front of our mothers). It was great. But it was only to last a couple of hours, before the friend who invited everyone out was to return to her mother’s house for the night.

All was not lost. Luckily I had a partner in crime. We weren’t done yet. We heard there was somewhat of a karaoke night going on at the local Irish pub. We wanted to go there and join in on the fun. We were thinking of going nuts. After all, I was wearing a nice outfit and I knew the Little Mister was at home tucked up in bed sleeping soundly. My husband was probably not so secretly hoping I’d come home late, inebriated and a bit frisky. My friend has no children but works hard and hadn’t let loose in a while. This was so on.

Well, we got to the Irish pub and it was a little bit tame.

“Where are all the young people?” I asked. “I thought Thursday night was big with the young people in this town!”

My partner in crime (since age 6) agreed with me. This wasn’t what we expected.

“Should we just skip the alcohol so we can both still drive home?” we asked each other.

We sidled up to the bar making jokes about how wild we are, when the bartender asked what we would like.

“I’ll have a Coke, please….and my friend will have a…”

“Lemon, lime and bitters, thanks!”

The bartender went about his business and came back with the drinks. It was time to pay.

“We’ll um…pay separately please.”

I broke a $10 note (a big deal to break any notes these days) and my friend found her little change purse and slowly counted out the silver coins in it.

The bartender shook his head and smiled sadly at us.

“Where should we sit? Over in the booth?”

“Oh, we won’t be able to see the karaoke from there. Let’s move closer.”

We sat awkwardly right in front of the stage, under the lights.

“Let’s take a photo of us together and put it on Facebook and make it look like we’re having a wild night!”

I fumbled with my iPhone and we bunched our heads together.

“Wait…just gotta flip the camera view around – it will be easier that way…”

“Smile!”

“Yep, got it! I’m totally ‘checking in’. You should comment on it and say what a crazy time we’re having. Everyone will think we’re totally living it up!”

“Haha yeah! We’re so funny!”

“Let’s do karaoke! Should we look at the list of songs and pick one?” my friend asked.

“Let’s wait until someone bad performs and then we’ll have a go,” I suggested, knowing deep down that we were way too sober and chickensh*t to actually follow through.

No-one was bad. They were hardcore regulars. Every one of them. The dude that sang Hootie and the Blowfish totally had the X-Factor and the guy who hosted the karaoke ad libbed during a Johnny Cash song (the daggy dad dancing was a bonus and we nicknamed him Somebody’s Dad because he just seemed like he could be ANYBODY’S dad).

“Maybe we’ll just listen.”

“Yeah, maybe next time we’ll bring a whole bunch of friends with us and get drunk.”

“Yeah, next time. Next time we’ll be so awesome and have such a big awesome time. Next time!”

Then we left. I climbed into my big, wagon-y, family car and I was home in time to watch Criminal Minds and tuck myself into bed at the usual hour.

I don’t know who I am anymore. But I had a great time 🙂

The End.