Month: March 2012

Home Dec Sunday

I spent the afternoon on a couple of small sewing projects that I’d been meaning to do for a while but that was right up there with ‘combine health insurance’ in terms of priorities. Something took over me today though and I dug around in my neglected fabric collection and threw together a couple of things. I use plastic supermarket bags as bin liners so I keep all of them – lately in an ugly drawer, so I made a bag holder. You shove them in the top and the bottom is elasticised so you can cram many in and pull out one at a time.

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The fabric is a screen print from Etsy that my sister bought me years ago, and my mother loves to collect bias binding from opshops for me, meaning I’ve usually got matching stuff on hand. The whole thing is so fast to make in that it’s just a square rolled and sewn along one edge, with some elastic in the bottom.

Now that the wind is picking up, the doors at home are slamming all the time so I made myself a pyramid doorstop for the bedroom, with the fabric again sourced from an opshop by my Mum. I love that she’s always finding me treasures!

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I tried to line it all up as well as I could to make it just as nice to look down at.

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It’s so nice to turn around a corner at home and see something pretty out of nowhere! I’m looking forward to Easter so I can get some more done!

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Happy March

So excited am I upon reading The Happiness Project, I decided to start my own. Coming up with twelve areas to improve my happiness and then creating action tasks for each was fun – I limited it to only three or four – except for the first one but not all of it’s daily.

I’ve always felt like I’ve had less energy than most people. Like there was some magic it genetic reason that people seemed able to do more than me, that I should just rest up and resign myself to the fact that I can physically do less than others. It’s only recently that I realised its not true. Interest and habit make up so much of who you are. My mother hates exercises and avoids doing anything physically uncomfortable. As a single parent her mantra has long been “I’m too tired”, and I realised that “too tired” is often code for “it hurts” or ” I’m scared”, “I cant face it” and a myriad of other things that have nothing to do with bing tired, but masquerades as it. In medicine when someone’s emotional pain is expressed through physical, we call it somatization. It seems a lot more than mere pain masquerades as the physical and unconsciously and through habit, I’ve learned my mothers attitudes.

There is no medical reason why I can’t do as much as anyone else. I’d like to have as much energy as everyone else seems to. It requires a change in attitude and a willingness to experience and live with the physically and personally uncomfortable – but if you can do it, then I can too.

March – More Energy.

    Go to bed at 9.30pm
    Get ready for bed after dinner/exercise
    Exercise 4x a week
    Eat well
    Fix outstanding health issues

I’ll rate how I did for the next month and share with you how I went. You might say that I’m not being specific enough, but I know to avoid fat and sugar, and I don’t really care about the type or intensity of exercise, just that I do it and get into the habit of doing it. The rest will follow.

Time Out

I have three days off. This is a momentous occasion for me because I might have laughed at the prospect last year or instantly written an impossible List of Everything That Must Be Done, done none of it due to exhaustion, then felt WORSE at the end of those days.

Since it feels like such a long time since I had a break, I made only one rule, and that’s not to place any expectations on myself. Of course I made a list of everything I want to do, but only on the proviso that it was perfectly okay not to do any of it.

The sun is out, my house is a mess and instead of cleaning I’m clocking up serious couch time. I bought basil and hot cross buns, ate strawberries and walked in the sun earlier. Now I’m on my couch, my dear old Ikea couch that I’ve had for nearly ten years but can’t bear to get rid of it’s it’s so comfortable (I even had it recovered I love it so much), and I’m reading The Happiness Project.

So much of it is resonating, that moment where she realises she doesn’t read any law stuff outside of work, that what she does with her free time is pretty much what I do with my free time – it’s a sense of catharsis I’ve not felt from reading a book in a very long time.

Which naturally brings me back to, what the hell do I do with my life?

Do I become a GP and smell the roses, show up to work and enjoy my stacks of free time? Do I become a physician, do I dedicate my life to this job? And my free time? Do I escape to public health and work for the government? Or do I leave medicine all together? It’s not the washing machine it’s sold to be. I don’t want to be that person that gets their sense of self-worth from their specialty title. I also don’t want to be bored.

I did medicine because I cared about people and wanted to help. The ugly truth for me was that the system doesn’t give you the time to care, only treat, and most of the patients I see suffer from self-inflicted conditions that they have no real interest in rectifying, they just want a tablet. (There are also lovely lovely patients out there who didn’t ask to get sick who I would cure in a heartbeat if I could, but they seem to be increasingly few).

The Happiness Project has really got me thinking about who I am and what I want. Simple-sounding but doing this and filtering out all your external influences – friends, family, media, is hard. I’ll keep you posted.