I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

GeoNerds On The Loose

Some years ago I learned about geocaching - which is basically a nerdy "sport" which means,"finding stuff via GPS," and I thought it would make a great family activity. At the time I did a bit of research into it and what was involved, but the website itself was so confusing that I dismissed the idea as too nerdy for us (which, given our nerd factor is pretty high, is saying something.) Some new friends recently came into our lives, and mentioned in passing that they are into geocaching...and so, the emzee family got sucked right into that world along with them.

Yes, geocaching. *sigh* It all seemed like so much fun! And healthy! And something smart people would do! Like a real life treasure hunt! Yippee! Let's all run into the woods with GPS in hand!

Beware of Muggles! (Yep. Non-cachers who are around the places where you are looking are referred to as Muggles. It's just that cool of a sport. Sorry, "sport.")

We've now done it 3-4 times and the good news is, it actually can be a lot of fun. It certainly meets my aims of having some family time spent together outdoors, giving us something all ages can have an interest in, and helping us discover bits of Melbourne we've never seen before. From an exercise point of view it's also good as it gets all of us moving around and being active rather than being weekend couch sloths (although we still manage a bit of that...come on now, people. I'm fabulous but not entirely virtuous.) 

Of course there is one small part of our new found nerd activity which I can't stand. You see, in all my enthusiam for a new activity which combined fun, fitness and nerdiness...I'd forgotten just how competetive and goal-oriented I am. This of course means that if we go looking for a cache and can't find it...well, I'm none too impressed. In fact it irritates the HELL out of me if we can't find what we're looking for, and especially if the logs say someone has found it the day before, or if several previous logs say it's an, "easy find." Sure, yeah, easy for YOU, you clever geo-nerd shmucks.

Even more irritating about not finding something is the parental need to be all up-beat and pretend like I don't care that we haven't found it and that it's about winning. What utter bullshit that is. It's TOTALLY about the finding of stuff, for cripes' sake it's not called "geolooking!" I find myself saying all the cliches of, "It's all about getting there, not about the reward," and "We can come back and give it another go another time," and, "Let's just keeping looking a little longer, maybe we missed it," and "Come on, kiddos,this is meant to be FUN!" You get the idea. I hate the idea of finishing an afternoon of searching having not found something (oh, the crushing disappointment!) and so I have been known to gee everyone up into finding "just one more before it gets dark," in the vain hope that the next one will practically have a sign on it which says, "I'M RIGHT HERE!!!"

Geocaching. It's meant to be a fun, family, nerdy, recreational activity - not a competetive, irritating, testing my parenting skills sort of thing. Shit. I think I missed the memo on that one.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kindness or Complacency

The last 9 months or so have been pretty crappy for me. Various dramas with family, health, business and life have conspired to give me some very challenging months. Throughout all of it, I've managed to maintain my weight by maintaining my fitness -which means I've been eating pretty terribly, but exercising plenty - so the end result is that I've maintained the status quo on the scales. While I'm none too proud of the almost daily Slurpee-and-meat-pie habit, I am immensely proud that I've kept things in balance enough that I'm not sitting here all these months later crying into my giant jar of Nutella.

The last few weeks, I've not been exercising as much as I'd like to be - still gym going as usual but not getting in any of my usual additional activities.  I haven't beat myself up about it too much because frankly, I'm not in such a happy place and on some mornings, I've just needed the sleep more than I needed the 30 minutes of cardio.  On quite a few occassions I've made the choice to just be kind to myself and have that lie in. In part it's because it has been such a rough few months, and in part because I am by far harsher on myself than anyone else is and (along with my word of the year) I'm working on celebrating my wins rather than berating myself for my losses. I've chosen kindness, and I'd venture to say that I'm at least a little bit better off for it.

Here's the question though - at what point (if any) does being kind to oneself actually morph into letting oneself become complacent? Suppose I let myself have that lie in a couple of times a week. I'm tired, I'm stressed, life is hard, I deserve it, yadda yadda. But then - that's a couple of times a week when I'm not getting any exercise and I'm not doing myself any favours on the health front. Instead of being kind to myself, I'm letting that kindness be an excuse for not getting enough exercise. Or not eating better (I'm so stressed, I will totally feel better if I eat that chocolate...). You get the idea. You can use "being kind to yourself" as a justification for almost any behaviour, can't you? Buying a new pair of shoes more often than you can afford, drinking a few extra bottles, delaying the "boring but important" paperwork on your desk. Whatever. It's just so easy to say, "I deserve this," isn't it?

Hmmm. I'm pretty certain I've not reached that stage (and that I'm thinking about it implies I probably never will...) but it's an interesting idea. Modern life being what it is, we're often told we should pamper ourselves, not work so hard, let the house be messy, whatever... but I'm not entirely convinced that we are not in fact, on some level anyway, killing ourselves with all that kindness.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Story Of Beautiful Tropical Helluatu

I was going to write a really long whingy post about our experiences on our recent vacation, but I decided that there was no point in dredging it all up again. Besides, I had a mighty good time doing that on Trip Advisor, so at the very least I got it all out of my system. Plus, DH and I are immensely loved and blessed to have even been able to go on that vacation in the first place, and I am nothing if not grateful for the experience. First, because it meant that DH and I did in fact get the opportunity to do nothing for several days - which as you will recall was the whole point of the exercise. We really did spend days and days doing very little. The suitcase we packed with just our books and reading materials was something like 8 kilos in weight and we managed to get through all of it with no trouble (I finished 3 novels in a single day.)  The second reason I'm grateful is because it's given me some wonderful stories to share with friends, a trip I'm not likely to forget anytime soon, and yet another experience which I can look back on and laugh about. Life is about experiences - both good and bad - and this trip was absolutely an experience. It wasn't all bad, it really wasn't...and I've come away with two vital life lessons. One, never travel without anti-bacterial wipes. Two, just because you have run away from home, it does not mean that where you go it will be all rainbows and running water.

Above all, I love that my life is one colourful, entertaining story. Okay, yeah, so the pontoon sank, DH got sick, the taps fell off the sinks, the humidity was horrid, and the food was pretty average...but imagine what a boring blog entry it might have been if it was in fact all rainbows and running water?!

I might have to run away from home more often just because it makes for a good story.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I love to travel.

I love everything about it. Getting new clothes, buying lollies at the last minute, picking up $35 worth of trashy magazines at the airport, not sleeping well the night before, filling in the little green departure cards (why are they always green?)...I just love everything about travel. Even airplane food with it's cute compartments and itty bitty sachets of salt.

What I love most about travel - is coming home to my own bed and especially my own shower.

Never was this more true than after a week of being stuck on a tropical island which has no running water for 3 days.

Oh, yes. There is a reason why I now lovingly refer to it as "our week in Helluatu."

Not the vacation I dreamed about...but definitely the vacation worth blogging about.

More soon.