Sunday, September 8, 2013

Hello blog, welcome me back!

May seems so long ago, but also just a blink.

This career break has been busy but very satisfying.

Biggest achievement since mid-May, I've lost over 10 kilos and am fitter than I have been for 20 years. My knee took about two 2 1/2 months to repair, so I focused on exercise I could manage and following an eating plan. My gym Contours Dulwich Hill have been so supportive and helpful and now I am:

  • Going to the gym 6 days per week
  • Half way through a six week challenge at the gym
  • Running 3-4 times per week. I have last week started the run 10 km app (next step up from my 0-5 k app) and given my break from running began at the 3 km mark and am slowly building up. It was delightful to find this has been quite easy and the knee is holding up beautifully.

I am only part way to my weight and fitness goals but feel very positive and motivated. It's also been nearly 4 months so importantly feels sustainable. I saw an old colleague yesterday who I hadn't seen since about the date of the last post to this blog. She was startled by the change in me (in a good way). The last few kilos has really made a noticeable difference in particular. Mitch has been beautifully supportive and happily eats what I eat, and stays dry on my alcohol free days, when we are together.

Job market has been quiet, I am hoping it may pick up now we are finally past the election (not with the Fed's of course). I had one interview in June but think I interviewed myself out of the position (for good reason) but still found a lot positive and constructive out of the experience. E.g. expect the unexpected with the non-government sector. They can ask you anything! My presentation was fun to deliver, stimulating to prepare and very well received. Phew I haven't lost my skills or enthusiasm during this break. I've put another couple of applications in recently but heard nothing. I've turned this into a positive - planning my holiday with Mitch in late October. My CV is being revisited and refreshed to take with me to a few Agencies post holiday.

Last week I started a new six week course and my first MOOC "how to teach online" coming from a community college in Hawaii. It's going to keep me constructively busy (and has also resulted in me revisiting this blog - yep I had to start a new one for this new course - Other than that I've been doing bits of volunteering within the cat community and also at a family and day care centre in Mt Druitt (note to self, when agreeing to volunteer, do check location) and have been exploring further volunteering options on SEEK volunteer.

Carly's Facebook page and YouTube channel (Carly Calici) also keeps me connected. She has fans ready and waiting for her daily posts and do I know it if we're late.

Next challenge, to pop into this blog more regularly!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May's big achievement

No not a job, but perhaps a more significant personal achievement - I completed the Mother's Day Classic 4 km fun run in honour of my Mother Julie, and friend Carmel.

I was very touched that my dear friend from early childhood, Fiona, came and ran with me (at a much reduced pace for her).

I was slow, but steady, had fun, and felt a great sense of achievement on completion. My time was 34 mins. This from a girl who eight weeks earlier couldn't run for the bus.

 This is not (all) sweat on my front. I tipped the cup of water from the drinks station over myself. It was refreshing!
The only downside is I have hurt my knee. Not through the running but certainly made worse, and not getting a chance to repair, due to the running. Day after the fun run I was at the physio and of course they said stop the running (for now). Who would have thought it, I miss it! Knee still causing problems and still under the care of two young good looking male physiotherapists. I call it over weight middle-age woman suddenly becoming obsessed with exercise syndrome. Still managing a revised gym circuit and walking.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Been a bit quiet on the blogging front

Yes, I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front. Clearly it has not yet become a habit. I hear, and believe, from experience, that it takes at least three weeks to form habits. Phew, great that I am onto week four of my run app.

So here's an update if I can remember my labels:

Job seeking - I've accepted that two months of not thinking about job seeking was enough of a treat and that I must start the process now. I've started a little spreadsheet to manage what jobs interest me - I was confusing myself before I had even put pen to paper (or rather created documents and tapped the keys).

Here are the columns headings in my spreadsheet:
Organisation, title, term, location, ~ salary, full/part time, selection criteria, resume, covering letter (I just put the document name if created for the last three), date close, date submitted, contact, cull/interview advice, comments.

So while I have five possible jobs on my spreadsheet, I have only applied for one so far - a casual/on-call training job for a community organisation providing job seeking skills training. A tad ironic. But suits my desires at this stage. I dont know if I want to use this year with another full-time and full-on job.

There are so many other things to focus on also:


Running app is going really well. I am half way through and running for a number of blocks of 4 mins, to go up to 5 mins next run. A former colleague says, if you believe you will do. So I have signed myself up for a 4 km fun run on Mothers Day morning for breast cancer and in tribute to my Mother Julie and my friend Carmel. I am so touched to have a running buddy come and join me from Melbourne; my lifelong friend and my family's second daughter. Very fitting (except she is very fit, so will have to slow down and pace herself with me).


Our darling little girl continues to be a delight. We had teenage girls come and stay recently. Carly was obsessed with them, and somewhat despondent when they did what teenagers do and went behind closed doors and slept. To help provide comfort spots for these extra bodies I bought a bean bag chair that opens into a lounge. Carly is obsessed with that too. I dont think any guests are going to get a chance now. We both did so love our young visitors though. And I enjoyed rediscovering Sydney through fresh enthusiastic eyes. Good mindset to be in for my upcoming photography 3 x walk course.

Carly snuggles on her 'beany'


My DSLR course is this weekend. Can't wait, just have to buy myself a tripod (might be good to fit in some time to study the manual too). Prepare yourself family and friends to be bombarded with photos. I've only just discovered the video setting. Carly can't seem to move without being videoed.

Professional development

My e-learning design course has just finished. I am so full of ideas and things to follow up.  We have a follow up date next month where we get to apply our learning and start designing a course in Moodle. So got some serious research and story boarding to do in the next month. Yeah might have to begin with a mind map :)

The using social media for learners course finishes next week. I have explored so many new platforms but still just feel I am touching the surface. I jump in and start using the media and then I get distracted by another. I think I need a whole new set of time and personal management skills in this digital age. Now there is a opportunity....

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carly and her harness trial

Even though I am not currently 'working', I am very much following working routines. Week days are for getting up 'early', exercising, studying, getting jobs done and weekends are for relaxing.

So today's post is on Carly.

Carly is very keen to explore the outside world beyond the balcony. She loves to bolt out the unit door and run down the stairs to the glass door that leads out to our landscaped gardens. If she is ever going to get out there, she needs to learn to accept the harness. We're taking the softly and slow approach.

Here's three short videos showing yesterday's harness trial.

You can't make me move! - Carly stages a sit-in

Ok maybe i can be distracted - the sit-in is broken by tempting sounds from outside

It's more fun than the bug - Carly get's frightened by a bug and finds her harness is not so bad after all.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

0-5k in 8 weeks? You're kidding!

Those of you who know me, will know I've never been a fan of exercise, although I have now come to accept it has to be a regular part of my life. I really want to use this time to make friends with exercise, and become healthier and fitter (loosing weight would be useful too but is not the focus).

The last month I have been successfully going to the gym for a 30 minute circuit then 10 mins on the bike. The gym is a 15 min walk away. I read somewhere once that the hardest thing about exercising was "getting dressed and getting there". As I'd managed both of these, I thought, how can I build more exercise into being dressed and on my way there?

The last couple of weeks, I have cycled up to the gym. A handy warm up but not much more. This week I have used the 5km runner app. After warm up you walk 1.5 mins, then run 1 min and repeat. The repeats have gradually built up this week and presumably next week the run portions increase and the walk portions decrease. Not sure, be something to discover. Anyway I zig zag up the side streets following the shady sides and it works well. I have just finished the run app's cool down when I get to the gym then I can launch straight into my circuit (after buying a fresh bottle of water at the bakery downstairs).

The gym does a monthly weigh in and measure. That's due after Easter (bad timing). We'll see....

5K Runner:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Learning how to use my camera

My redundancy gift to myself was a Canon 650D. I LOVE it, but I don't know how to use it off automatic settings and the online tutorials whizz through things so fast.

Much excitement, I've signed myself up for a three evening photography course in April through djb photography school.

Great things:
  • It's for beginners
  • Class size limited to 11
  • I get to rediscover my city
  • It wasn't even expensive
  • Only thing I have to get is a tripod (I'm going to use my gift voucher from my former work).

- Using your camera in manual mode.
- Exposure: F Stops, shutter speed and ISO.
- Manual mode re-cap and review.
- Lens talk, what you need to know.
- White balance.
- Photographic composition.
- Night photography.
- Raw vs jpeg.
- Post production and why it’s important.

Ping pong play or itch - my first YouTube upload

Carly, the ~ one year old rescue cat, arrived one month before my redundancy and it has been a joy being able to spend time with her during the day really getting to know her personality and enjoy her playfulness.

An earlier activity for my social media course was to upload a YouTube clip into Twitter - here is mine, it shows Carly's playfulness beautifully.

Ping pong play or itch?

Carly has her own Facebook page "Carly Calici" where I share something she has done each day. Friends and family think I've gone cat mad and I probably have, but it's been a fun way to share how we are getting to know and love each other.  And the cat community love it - she has almost as many 'likes' as I have 'friends' (most of her followers are not my friends).

(P.S. my task for today in my social media course was to embed a YouTube clip into my blog post. I think it was meant to be in an area of interest; well Carly's an area of interest...)