So it’s New Years Eve, and everyone is on the resolution band wagon, right? And we all want a new version of ourselves, right? This year I’m going to become fitter, richer, happier, healthier, or insert any other adjective of our perceived perfect life here….Yeah right…???
So rewind 2 years, and I was a busy working professional in a well paying job that I liked (most of the time, anyway), although it also came with its fair share of stress. I went to the gym regularly (well, I tried to at least) and I thought I was pretty healthy (lets not consider the boozy nights out or those couple of cookies I snuck mid afternoon to keep me going through my hectic job). Back then my biggest fear was becoming a mother for so many reasons – one of which was because I was afraid of what this tiny being would do to my body. I’d be so busy, exhausted and over-run by dirty laundry that I’d never have time to work out again, right??
What does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas has always been a special celebration to me, but growing up in the southern hemisphere – it was quite a different celebration to the traditional white Christmas, the smell of pine, strands of lights decoratively strung everywhere and hot treats such as spiced drinks. But I think as is true in many places around the world, Christmas to me has always been about celebrating with the people that are special to me, carefully chosen and wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree and food, lots of good food. In fact, it’s a lot about the food. Having spent a lot of time overseas, I haven’t always been in Australia for Christmas. That meant spending the special day away from family and friends, away from the hot weather that led to cold seafood and salad feasts and relief at the beach or in the pool that had become the norm for me on Christmas. In fact, for six out of the last twelve years I’ve been away from “home” for Christmas. I longed to be back with family and friends, celebrating with the many traditions that had come to mean Christmas for me. But when living overseas it can be tiring, time-consuming, expensive and stressful to travel home for Christmas. So I spent a lot of time thinking about what made Christmas special to me, and what really captures the essence of Christmas celebrations.
So what is that makes Christmas special to me….
Back in April, I met up with a friend that I’ve known for a long time. She also has a young child, and was going through a lot of the same ups and downs that I was, of being a first time mother. She asked me a pretty simple, but quite important question:
“What do you do for you?”
At first I thought – well, I go to work, I spend time with my family – I don’t have time for anything else. I had returned to work when my son was 4 months old, leaving him at home with my husband, and it had been a chaotic few months since then to say the least. Between starting a new busy job, getting up in the night to my son, expressing milk so he could have bottles during the day, my relentless commute and then trying to spend time with son and relieve my husband – I was pretty spent. Continue reading
This past weekend I was in Phuket for my husband to compete in a half Iron Man race. While he’s always been interested in sports, over the past few years he has began to take part in more endurance events. It was about a year ago that he came home from a boys day out, talking about a Half Iron Man event that the other guys were competing in and said ‘I wish I could do that’. He loves to tell the story that I then proceeded to ‘sign him up’ for the event the following morning while he was still asleep. OK, so I put his name on the waitlist – which eventually cleared and he competed in his first half iron man event in Busselton, Western Australia, finishing in a time he was very happy with and prompting his passion to compete in more triathlon events. Normally he’s the one challenging me to take on athletic pursuits – such as 100 mile bike rides, or mountain bike races. I guess I was just giving him a little help!