Tag Archives: meaningful

Share Your World Week 10 and a Napping Day

10 Mar 16
Megan
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Hi All,

Before I get into Share Your World for this week I wanted to share an interesting day that’s coming up soon. Now, there seems to be some confusion about which day it actually is but sometime in the next week it’s National Napping Day. I’m unclear about whether this is an American day or some other country but I’ve seen it advertised as being either tomorrow (11 March) or Monday (14 March). (Update: National Napping Day is 14 March)

I recently found out from Casper, mattress makers from the US, about National Napping day and they had this interesting infographic to share:

Casper_napping101_LRG

I don’t normally share things from specific companies but I thought this was a simple description about the benefits of napping, something a lot of us with chronic illness do. The fact that Casper contacted me had no direct influence on my desire to share information about this day and I’m not endorsing the company’s products (in fact I’ve never seen them), I’m just utilising the effort they’ve already used creating this infographic. This is not a sponsored post in any way.

Now on with the post…

Share Your World – Week 10

What would you ask for if a genie granted you three wishes?

First of all, I’d wish to be free from the chronic pain and fatigue that I live with. Without that I’d be able to do most of the things I currently want to do but can’t.

Secondly I’d wish for my family and friends to be in a position that they feel comfortable spending time on things most important to them. This would mean more time for meaningful catch ups for all of us.

Finally, I’d wish the Genie free (as long as (s)he seemed to be a good Genie like in Aladdin).

What experiences are most meaningful to you?

At this point in time the mosts meaningful experiences to me are the small ones when I get to do something meaningful with someone I love. Meeting the newest addition to our family (our closest friends just had their second child who we got to meet last night at just 3 days old) was amazing. Watching the thunder and lightning from under our new pergola with E during the week. Having a deep and meaningful conversation with E, or my mum, or one of my closest friends.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be a mum!

Apart from that I went through phases of wanting to be a music star (performing in musicals), a vet, and a zoo keeper.

Complete this sentence:  The best day of my life was…. 

This is a hard one, as there are quite a few to choose from and obviously my life isn’t over so there is likely to be many more amazing days to come…

I’d have to say that one of the best days of my life so far was the day I married E.

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It was such an amazing and relaxed day filled with the love and support of our family and friends. I spent time planning and creating each aspect of the day so that it aligned with our values. A beautiful ceremony in E’s Amma and Uppa’s backyard with flowers from friend’s properties followed by a picnic lunch in a local park with baskets and blankets and glasses used on the day as favours for the guests. All the decorations I made myself and the cakes were made by me, Amma and one of my friends. Tea and coffee was served in Royal Vale sets owned by Amma and E’s mum.

Even over 4 years later, people who attended are still commenting on how much they enjoyed the day!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

In the last week I’m grateful for improving health that has allowed me to participate in several social outings and run a workshop for one of my projects. I’m grateful for E allowing me to broach the topic of family planning again and being honest about his feelings, helping me understand why we’ve been struggling to talk about this up until now.

This week I’m looking forward to celebrating my mother-in-laws birthday and continuing to work towards my goals of improved health.


Week 8 No Buy Challenge: swaps and give aways

26 Jan 16
Megan
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We’re quickly approaching the half way point in our 20 Week No Buy Challenge and so far there haven’t been too many difficult decisions I’ve needed to make.

Over the last week in fact, I’ve given away a lot more items then we’ve had come into the house which feels great. On the weekend Rach (who’s doing this challenge with me) brought over a top she no longer needed/wanted. It fits with my colour scheme (greens and pinks) and is made of cotton so we traded. In exchange for the top I gave her some material to use in her conversion of one of her dresses to a skirt.

On the same day I also had one of my other friends over and let her go through the big bag of clothes I had taken out of my wardrobe over the last few months. Most of the clothes were things I’d either not worn in over 12 months or I’d gotten something that does the same job (little black dress for example) but fit better with my wardrobe guidelines (the new little black dress is cotton and has pockets). From this process, Janelle (my friend), received a few short sleeved shirts for work and a couple of dresses and a beautiful leather bag with matching belt. She described it as:

“shopping without actually spending money”

E has mentioned that he thinks I’m getting a bit obsessive with the decluttering but I don’t see it that way. Yes, the process seems to have some level of inbuilt momentum… the more I do it, the more I want to reduce… but I’m not thinking about it 24/7 like I tend to do when I get obsessed with a topic.

I’ve seen so many great benefits from reducing the amount of stuff I own. I have always struggled with keeping the house clean and often became overwhelmed by tasks that need doing but lately that’s started to change. Now that most things have a home, and one that isn’t stuffed so full it’s difficult to fit everything in, it’s generally very easy for me to put things away as soon as they’ve been used. This means keeping the house clean is much easier. I find that my stress levels are much lower now that there are generally clear shelves and counter tops. I know what I own and I’m not tempted as often by impulse purchases.

Have you been on a decluttering journey? What benefits have you found?

Have you ever swapped items with friends instead of buying new?

Week 7 No Buy Challenge: Celebrations, side effects and PEM

19 Jan 16
Megan
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Another successful week for the No Buy Challenge. I’ve been so busy dealing with health related activities and issues that I haven’t had a chance to do any shopping at all. 🙂

There were a few things I was tempted by, but I managed to either find alternatives or get past the temptation.

On Sunday we spent the afternoon down at the beach. We went for a swim, I floated in the water, and then went to a friends birthday/promotion party in the surf club. It was a wonderful afternoon, but as you’d expect it was way too much for me in one day. I’m still dealing with PEM (Post Exertional Malaise) today and it’ll probably take another day or two at least to get back to my ‘normal’.

Warning: The rest of this post may be TMI (Too much information) for those who know me closely, read on at your own discretion….

Set up for a day on the couch... Water and tea, tablet and headphones, tv controller...

Set up for a day on the couch… Water and tea, tablet and headphones, tv controller…

As I mentioned last week I’ve been trialling Cymbalta (only at 10 mg a day) at the recommendation of my Pelvic Pain Specialist. It’s now been just over a week since I started it and I’ve been struggling with quite a few side effects even though I’m on such a low dose!

Of the common side effects I’ve been dealing with dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, low energy, and nausea (to the point of feeling like throwing up).

In addition to that:

  • I’ve felt like there are little electric shocks going all the way through my body and causing me to be very light headed and shaky.
  • High levels of pain down the inside of my limbs (especially my left leg).
  • Painful, tingly breasts with milky discharge from both. This is listed as a RARE side effect on WebMD but it came as a big surprise to me.

I’ve got an appointment with my GP on Thursday to get the results to the blood tests taken last week and will be asking his opinion. At this point I’m going to give the drug at least another week but I’m not sure if it’s worth continuing long term with this drug, it has reduced the general aching but there are so many other pains and side effects that I’m not sure it’s worth it.

Have you had any strange or rare side effects from any medications you’ve tried?

How long do you give drugs before you decide if they’re working or not?

Week 6 No Buy Challenge: A New Year

12 Jan 16
Megan
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Over the last week I’ve done well with the No Buy Challenge and haven’t spent any money (on myself – my husband and I bought a few things together for the house but that is outside of my challenge as I’m doing this as an individual challenge).

There were a few times when I felt the urge to go shopping (especially for junk food when my energy levels were very low) but I managed to avoid that.

How?

I found other things to focus my time on.

I did more decluttering and now have a pile of things I want to give away. I’ve put together a few presents for people I know I will be needing presents for in the next few months and I’ve asked a friend over to go through the rest of the stuff before I donate it to charity.

I played games with my husband… we’re playing through the Lord of the Rings card game at the moment.

I napped… My energy levels have been very low, especially over the weekend, so I’ve spent a lot of time napping.

I worked… I had a meeting during the week and worked on the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book. I also went for a walk with my mum to check out one of the sites for the Biodiversity trails I’m developing.

I read and wrote… I spent time reading blog posts each day as well as writing my own posts.

I meditated… I have an app on my phone that has a lot of guided meditations. One of the things I’m doing in my aim to balance this year is to do at least 2 guided meditations a day… one on waking and one at bed time… most days I’m also doing one mid-day as well. Each is between 3 – 13 minutes long.

These activities were not only to distract me from buying but (probably more importantly) distracting me from the pain I live with on a daily basis. For the last 3 months my pain levels have been slightly higher than average so it has been important for me to find ways to distract myself from it.

What do you do to distract yourself? – from pain, from impulse shopping, from anything…

Week 4 & 5 No Buy Update: Revising the rules…

05 Jan 16
Megan
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5 comments

It’s been 2 weeks since my last update for the No Buy Challenge.

During that time we’ve had lots of time with family and friends celebrating Christmas and the New Year. This kept purchasing to a minimum but there were Boxing Day Sales (and Closing Down Sales) in a few places that we checked out.

At one of these sales I picked up a new washing basket (ours was falling to pieces) and a wicker basket for my bike… Although I haven’t used my normal bike in a while because of my health, we’re planning to get me an electric bike in the next few months and the basket will allow me to carry around the things I need without getting hot and sticky with a bag on my back. (It’s also something i’ve always wanted – a nice wicker basket on my bike).

2015-12-28 12.52.00 2015-12-28 12.52.04

It slips off easily to be carried when you reach your destination. The only reason I got it now (before the bike) is the shop was closing down and it was over 50% off.

So, as you’ve probably guessed by now the basket (and the new bike to come soon) were not on my original exemption list but have been on my to purchase list for a few years now.

Just to reiterate (for myself, as well as for you), my rules were:

Things I will not be buying:
  • Clothing – exceptions will be made if something I have only one of (e.g. leggings) completely die. Otherwise, make do with what I have.
  • Shoes and accessories (this should be easy, I haven’t bought anything new in this category for quite a while and have only just received a new pair of earrings from my husband as an anniversary gift).
  • Junk food (this will be a struggle for me, although not often I do find when I’m feeling at my worse I do tend to grab some apricot slices or chocolate).
  • Eating out or takeaway alone. I will still eat out with family and friends but try to make each outing meaningful and when I’m eating alone I will make my own food or eat leftovers from home.
  • Other Non-essentials – toys, games, fancy new gadgets… (I’m sure I’ll be tempted by some things but can’t think of them right now, so that’s what this category is meant to be covering).
Things I will still be buying:
  • Necessities – groceries, house related bills, etc.
  • Gifts for others – my focus will be on making sure gifts fit with Elena’s 5H Code of Holiday Giving. Where possible I will make gifts at home, if this isn’t possible I will aim for gifts to be at least 2 of the following – Handmade, Healthy, Helpful and from Here (local) – and will focus on experiences.
  • Experiences and events that fit with my values.
  • Work related expenses.
  • Things that have been on my to-buy list for over a year (especially if they come up on special)*
    • New electric bike and relevant equipment (basket, bell, bike lock, etc)
    • Winter hat (not wool) – struggling to find one that suits me and I’m not allergic to so if I find one I’ll get it.

*Newly added to cover the few things I’ve forgotten.

How have you been going with the challenge if you’re participating? Do you keep a to-buy list?

Balance #OneWord2016

04 Jan 16
Megan
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Last year I chose one word to guide me through the year… Enough.

I’ve recently found out from The Bloggess that there is a #oneword2016 Challenge and seeing I was already planning to choose a single word, I’ve decided to participate. The one word you choose is meant to be something that will help you focus on your main goal for the year.

Enough did that for me last year. There were many times when I felt I needed to do more or buy more items. Most of these times I remembered my word and felt better about only doing what I could or reducing the items I had rather than adding to them.

This year, I want to keep up the focus on the benefits I’ve received from Enough but focus more strongly on being able to increase (or at least better BALANCE) my activities.

I’m going to continue focusing on moving towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life with a strong focus on finding ways to BALANCE my needs and wants. I’ll continue to try and single-task, try to get a good BALANCE of health, work, and social activities, and relaxation into my day/week.

If you haven’t worked it out yet, my word for 2016 is BALANCE.

I haven’t planned out the whole year but I have a lot that I want/need to achieve in the next 6 months so I’m focusing on that and trying to break it down into monthly and weekly activities…

In the next 6 months I need to:

  • Complete my current consulting jobs for different local Council’s here in SA:
    • Biodiversity Trails – due end of January
    • Environment Action Plan 2016-2019 – due April/May
  • Complete my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment – due by end of May
  • Publish Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Picture Book – we’re so close but it seems to take so long to get it all together!

On top of these tasks, I have several appointments as part of the ongoing management of my health and I want to have regular time with family and friends and build up my casual work a bit as well.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on so it’s going to be an effort to find ways to balance everything and continue to pace.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you an update on how I’ve been going with the No Buy Challenge the last few weeks. Let’s just say now that I’ve realised there were a few things that should have been on the exceptions list that I forgot, so I’ll be updating that tomorrow.

Do you have one word that’s going to guide you through 2016?

Week 3 No Buy Review: Christmas is coming

22 Dec 15
Megan
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10 comments

In regards to my health, I’ve struggled a lot again this last week thanks to the continued changes in weather. Pain and fatigue have been constant and the few days I’ve been a little better (and some of the bad days) have been busy thanks to appointments/social events. Given all of this it hasn’t been too difficult to stick with the no buy challenge but I was tempted by a couple of dresses that appeared on the Facebook page of my favourite vintage shop…

2015-12-16 07.04.132015-12-17 07.00.24

Why was I tempted by these dresses?

Earlier this year, as part of my decluttering I decided to give away any clothes that were no longer comfortable for me to wear. I’m still working on this but I did donate my ‘Christmas dress’ (the dress I’ve worn for Christmas for the last 4 years) because the zip was just not comfortable for me any more.

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Having a nap during Christmas 2013…

I loved that dress, it looked great and even had pockets, but I had got to the point that every time I wore it the zip felt like it was cutting my back open so it went… At least I know it went to a wonderful lady who will get great use out of it.

Now that Christmas is coming closer I realised I didn’t have my Christmas dress. The dresses from Push Pin look amazing and, apart from colour, they look like they fit my new guidelines for purchases (when the No Buy Challenge ends – I’ll explain these in a different post later).

How did I avoid the temptation?

Well, as I’ve already stated my health hasn’t been the best so even if I had been tempted enough I didn’t really have the energy or strength to head into the shop and try them on.

I also decided that my Christmas dress doesn’t have to be red…

One of my favourite dresses that I already own is a beautiful teal green colour that could be dressed up Christmassy.

The top of the dress...

The top of the dress…

During an interview earlier this year...

During an interview earlier this year…

The photos don’t really show me the colour properly…

I still have my Christmas earrings and wear the same Christmas hat (see photos above) each year at Christmas Eve dinner with the in-laws.

Do you have a specific outfit you wear for Christmas?

If you’ve joined in the challenge, how are you going?

A social weekend – Week 2 No Buy Review

15 Dec 15
Megan
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Another week has past and the No Buy challenge is going well. You can check out Rach’s week in review here.

Thanks to my energy being so low the majority of my week was spent at home either listening to audio books or reading. During the week, my only outings were dinner with my husband’s parents and an acupuncture appointment.

From Friday to Sunday were pretty full of social activities (at least for me). Even though my energy was still very low and pain higher than ‘normal’, I try and make an effort to have at least one or two social outings a week (usually visiting my mum and one other event).

I had visitors at our house on Friday. Morning tea with one of my friends who I enjoy spending time with but don’t get to see often enough. Lunch with my dad and his girlfriend. Generally I aim for only one catch up in a day but occasionally life gets in the way (it happened twice this weekend).

Saturday we went to a friends place for a bbq dinner. Again this was someone I hadn’t seen in a long time and it was great to catch up with everyone there. We stayed a few hours and then went home so I could rest.

Sunday we again had friends over for morning tea and then went to a friends house for lunch and a swim (they have a pool).

Over all, it was a very VERY busy weekend for me but every now and then I feel it’s important to go with the flow and deal with the effects afterwards.

This close to Christmas there are usually a few Christmas get togethers. This year there aren’t as many but I still want to spend time with family and friends.

In the next week we’re going to the movies (tickets pre-bought by my husband before the challenge started), I have an exercise physio appointment and I get to pick up my new glasses.

How was your week? How are you feeling in the lead up to the Christmas Crazy period?

ps sorry no pictures this week…

Week 1 No Buy Review… Hot and Foggy

08 Dec 15
Megan
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It’s been a week since Rach and I started our 20 Week no buy challenge and I may have already gone against my lists….

Let’s have a quick overview of the last week.

The weather here has been very hot and variable. Because of these weather changes my health has also been all over the place with the brain fog, fatigue and pain all higher than my normal levels. I’ve also been feeling mentally vulnerable at the moment due to a whole range of things happening around us so I’ve been very emotional.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t had some good times over the last week. On Friday night our local Council hosted one of their Moonlight Markets in the local park. My husband and I went along. We had dinner together and I bought a pair of earrings…

Now I’m still tossing up whether these earrings will be for me or a gift for someone else, but I feel that I’ve broken one of my ‘will not buy’ items…

They came packed nicely (see below) so at the moment they’re sitting under our christmas tree. They’ll either be a present for someone else or I’ll open them for christmas.

2015-12-08 12.38.23

There were several times when, thanks to my emotional vulnerability, I was tempted to buy junk food or have lunch out by myself during the week but I didn’t!

Most of the week was spent resting, although I did manage a bit of work and also had a few appointments and social activities.

On the weekend (when the weather was at it’s worst) my husband and I went to the local shops to buy a lego set that we’d been looking at for a while that was cheaper than we’d seen it before. While in the shops we found the last book in the Obernewtyn series, a series that I have been reading for many years. Because I already owned all the other books we bought this one as well and I’ve spent a lot of time since then reading (started the series from the beginning again because it’s been 4 years since the last book came out).

Other than those two purchases (the book and the earrings) I believe I’ve stuck to my guidelines pretty well…

  • We went and watched a friend playing ice hockey on Sunday morning. A nice way to spend such a hot morning!
  • We had takeaway for dinner last night after a workshop I was running. This fits with my guidelines as it was a shared meal with my husband.
  • We’ve done grocery shopping and purchased fresh local cherries, apricots and handpicked beans.
  • I’ve purchased a set of stainless steel straws that I’ve been looking at for a long time. I often need to use straws but feel guilty about the waste they cause. Having a stainless steel straw in my bag at all times will mean I can say no to the plastic ones.
My zero waste eating out kit that lives in my handbag consists of a spoon, chopsticks, straw and napkin.

My zero waste eating out kit that lives in my handbag consists of a spoon, chopsticks, straw and napkin.

So there have been both positives and negatives this week. Let’s see how I fair in the next few weeks leading up to Christmas!

Check out how Rach did in the first week in her post here.

Have you been joining us on this challenge? If so, how have you been going?

A 20 Week No Buy Challenge

01 Dec 15
Megan
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Wow, I can’t believe it’s December already! I’m so happy that I managed to make it through the last month of daily posts for National Blog Posting Month. It was a struggle but I made it thanks to being able to schedule a few posts in advance each week to cover days that I would be busy or my energy was too low.

Now that NaBloPoMo is over for 2015, I’m going to cut back a bit on my posting and aim for 2 – 3 posts a week.

My friend Rach, from Around the World with Rachael, has invited me to join her in a 20 Week No Buy Challenge starting today, December 1. She will also be posting about this today so I’ll let her share her rules and reasons for participating in this challenge.

My reasons for participating in this 20 week challenge is not only to support Rachael as she does it but to continue my journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life now that the A-Z Guide has been completed.

I have previously stated on social media that I was going to attempt a full year of ‘No Buy’ in relation to clothing, however I didn’t succeed in that. When my leggings died a few months ago I held off but did end up buying a new pair of leggings, a top and a dress. I did make sure I removed at least one item (sometimes up to 3) from my wardrobe for each new thing I brought in.

I’m happy with my wardrobe as it is at the moment, so not buying clothes and jewellery should be easy for me; especially for 20 weeks. Given that, I’m expanding my rules (or modifying them) slightly from what Rachael is going to focus on (clothing, shoes, accessories).

Megan’s 20 Week No Buy Challenge Rules

Things I will not be buying:
  • Clothing – exceptions will be made if something I have only one of (e.g. leggings) completely die. Otherwise, make do with what I have.
  • Shoes and accessories (this should be easy, I haven’t bought anything new in this category for quite a while and have only just received a new pair of earrings from my husband as an anniversary gift).
  • Junk food (this will be a struggle for me, although not often I do find when I’m feeling at my worse I do tend to grab some apricot slices or chocolate).
  • Eating out or takeaway alone. I will still eat out with family and friends but try to make each outing meaningful and when I’m eating alone I will make my own food or eat leftovers from home.
  • Other Non-essentials – toys, games, fancy new gadgets… (I’m sure I’ll be tempted by some things but can’t think of them right now, so that’s what this category is meant to be covering).
Things I will still be buying:
  • Necessities – groceries, house related bills, etc.
  • Gifts for others – my focus will be on making sure gifts fit with Elena’s 5H Code of Holiday Giving. Where possible I will make gifts at home, if this isn’t possible I will aim for gifts to be at least 2 of the following – Handmade, Healthy, Helpful and from Here (local) – and will focus on experiences.
  • Experiences and events that fit with my values.
  • Work related expenses.

Rachael is planning to post a weekly update, so I will too. In her posts Rachael will be sharing an outfit from her own wardrobe (given her focus is on fashion related shopping). I might do the same thing to show you how my (almost) minimal wardrobe works for me.

The photos will be simple shots taken on my phone so won’t be the best quality but will share what I have in my wardrobe.

I’ll start with what I’m wearing today…

 

Maxi dress - crash day

It’s a crash day for me today with pain and fatigue quite high so I’m wearing my maxi dress (maternity dress from Target a few years ago). I may add a jumper later on if it cools down any more than it is right now.

So, what can you expect from me over the next few months?

I’m cutting back my posts from daily to something more sustainable (2-3 posts a week). One of those weekly posts will be (for the next 20 weeks at least) an update on how I’m going with our #nobuychallenge. The other posts will be either health or lifestyle related posts that I hope will continue to provide support and inspiration for you, my readers.

You can join in with our challenge by commenting on our posts (or writing your own) letting us all know about what you’re doing. Modify the rules to suit yourself. If you do share your challenge on social media, let’s use the hashtag #nobuychallenge so we can find posts easily.