Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Era

First up, a happy new year to you all.

I'm sitting here writing with a clear head, clear skin, clear eyes and the knowledge that the last of the ice cream cassata is in my tummy not be sitting in the freezer whispering "Eat me, eat me!".

After years of hating New Year's Eve, I think last night's events will go down as the near perfect New Year events. Surrounded by friends in the back yard at Blarney and Barney's, only two half glasses of champagne were imbibed - great conversation, a nana nap at about ten p.m. on the couch (a few of us took turns for kips on the couch - we're all getting old), my favourite cat to pat, and home, sober by one a.m. - it was all just right.  There's no more guilt about not going out, dancing and getting mindlessly drunk, there's no more angst about staying home alone. It was great to be around good people, some good food and of course, nice pussy cats.

So now, it's 2011. Now what? 2010 was a big year, what's 2011 going to bring?

Well, the first thing I'm coming to terms with is my between-jobs status. I finished up at Tin Can, String and Whistle on the 22nd of December and drove to Adelaide the following day. Now I'm home with all this time on my hands. The priority after the second week of January will be to look for a new job, but until then, I have a heap of stuff to do. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that work won't start until hopefully early February and that January is mine to do as I please.

But what to do in January?

I have a whole month to start to rejuvenate my life.

The first thing I've decided on, I need a plan - how to structure my time in this time off. I could spend the month sleeping away, but what would be the point of that? So this month is going to be called 'Reclaim Pandora Month." A time to constructively get my life back in some semblance of order.

First up - we need a few rules and a few minor things help facilitate this.

I have a new calendar, a packet of sticky stars and a new paper shredder.

The rules of January are as follows:

Sticking to all of the rules gets me a star on my calendar. The more stars the better.

Rule One:

An hour  of each day must be spent in the following activities: Reading, writing, gymming/exercising,cleaning/rearranging the flat and as of Tuesday, looking for work and those associated activities. That takes up five hours a day - there will be plenty more to do, but this has to be done.

Reading is one of my great pleasures and I haven't done enough of it. One of my numerous resolutions is to not buy any books until I've read a few more of the unread ones in my shelves, of which there are many. I may also have a book cull soon just to tidy a few things up. As I haven't done enough reading in the last few months, this is a good chance to catch up.

Writing for an hour a day is a no brainer. Whether it's blogging, working on the travel website I do for beer money or starting on that novel or articles for The Age I've been meaning to write - writing an hour a day is a necessity.

My flat needs a complete de-crap. I want to be able to walk into my spare room and not get scared. If I spend an hour a day turfing things out, cleaning, hoovering and the like the place will be immaculate by mid January. I'm not naturally tidy and this will be a chore, but it has to be done. I need to make room for new things in my life.

Starting to look for a job as of next week is also a necessity, but it's not critical at the moment. I'm okay for money for a few months, but I'd rather have a job by February so that I can upgrade my car and save the most of my package. An hour a day means I'm putting in the necessary leg work to find work, but not getting too engrossed in journey of job hunting - which is a bit of a downer at the best of times. To look for work all day, everyday, especially as I have money and time, is just stupid.

I've also got some contingencies in place for this month. I've set out on facebook that my plank is up and I'm happy to read cards, massage, play with feet and do all the hobby jobs I do for money. A few clients a week will pay for the food on my table and petrol. I'm really lucky I have these skills. I'm also arranging contras where I can. I've already talking Pinochet into a massage for a personal training session - not bad, eh!

Exercising for an hour a day also isn't hard. This can be an hour in the gym, or going to get the post in the city, taking in a yoga class, going for a swim. Just something that gets me out of the house and moving about.

Rule Two:

January's daily calories: 1600 per day. (Plus or minus 200 calories)

The big thing for January, the one thing that I need to get in order is my weight. This is my project for 2011. It's a project, and it needs to be managed as such. Done with care, determination and a sense of humour.
As regular readers will be aware, I've struggled with my weight all of my life. It's been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember, taking away much of my self-respect and self-esteem for many years. It's only been in the last three years that I've got something of a handle on what all of this is about. I also have some semblance of self love now - it's a pity to took so long to find. It makes this jouney somewhat more pleasant - believe me.

I know that when my head is in the right space, I can achieve amazing things. Losing weight, as anybody who has tackled this will tell you, is 99% mental. Yes, diet and exercise are incredibly important, but if your head isn't right, nothing's going to happen - you just end up sabotaging yourself - which is what I've been doing for the last long while. Saying this, the sabotage this year meant only being two kilograms heavier than I was at the same time last year - but now, I want to reduce.

Recently, I lost a friend over this issue - well, this was the catalyst that set of the events. This friend went into a two hour diatribe about what I was doing wrong and how seeing me in the state I was was disturbing. It continued the following morning with what were described as "helpful" emails. I snapped and acted out inappropriately, for which I have apologised but this friend has not found the forbearance to forgive me as yet. Such is the power of this topic. Handled incorrectly, you can lose friends over it.

Losing weight is such a deeply personal experience. It's different for everybody. What can work for one person doesn't always suit others. As an example, Atkins doesn't suit me or my lifestyle - I like my exercise too much and I go stir crazy without carbs - but I'm pleased it works for others. I find Weight Watchers expensive and rather one size fits all- just my experience of it as I know it works for thousands.Just not eating is never an option. It's all a matter of balance.

I have a great plan and program that has worked brilliantly in the past which is what I'll be focussing on this year. It comes with it is a fantastic support network, some of whom have become friends. Without the support from the crew from the Biggest Loser Club, I'd be sunk. It also lets me talk weight loss with people who want to talk about weight loss and diets and all of that stuff.

That's another universal truth. Talking about dieting full time is very, very boring if you don't have to do it yourself. The girls from the BLC are my rocks and I'm so glad we're on the journey together.

Losing weight to me is a pure consistency, keeping excellent records and allowing for life to occur in the mean time. It means that the occassional glass of wine or cone of ice cream can happen. It means that you can go out for dinner once in a while. It also means hitting the gym, doing the miles, doing the reps and making sure it's happening regularly. It also means when you fall of the wagon, which will happen, you get back on it immediately. It's as easy as that. It's all in being consistent.

This month lets me get back into the swing of things.

I'm not going to bore you with it any more.

Finally, my resoluions for this year - new job and weight loss aside.

I resolve to go somewhere I've never been once a month - and that doesn't mean overseas - it can just be a new suburb of Melbourne or to a restaurant I've never frequented.
To get at least two articles or stories in print by the end of the year
To have a decent house deposit ready to buy an off the plan apartment by December.
To replace my aging Toyota Echo with a new-to-me Mazda 2 (or maybe new shape Fiesta... ) by June.

And under the proviso that my knee gets better - to start running again. I miss it terribly.

It seems I'm planning a big year for myself.

Wishing you a wonderful 2011. Hope you're as excited as me.



The Plastic Mancunian said...

Cripes Pandora,

Sounds like a massive plan there. I too need to sort myself out a bit - perhaps I should something similar.

Good luck.




Pandora Behr said...

It's strange what you can achieve when you have time and few commitments. Lets hope the plan works. Thanks for that PM.

Kath Lockett said...

Your plans are very inspiring and I have no doubt at all that you'll achieve them. 2011 is going to be THE year for us all I reckon....