Wednesday, 18 November 2015

General life update

As it's been a while since I've updated about anything in general other than Hadrian's Wall - which, let's face it, is pretty fab in itself without me thrown into the mix - I thought I would take the opportunity during my short lunch break today to post the few bits and pieces that have been happening around these parts outside of that.

So, what's been keeping me busy (and "busy")?

Work, mostly. After a bit of an uncertain start, where I wasn't sure I wanted to stick around, I have found my feet and I'm feeling much more confident. Admittedly, it's not the most challenging position, but it's steady income, reasonably busy, I like the business, and I am actually doing well. Compared to the last job - where I cried, had the memory retention of a goldfish, and was generally more miserable than I cared to admit - this is fantastic. And it's showing in my performance. I CAN do this work and do it well, and it feels good to be in a place where I can prove my skills to both myself and my employers.

The only bad thing then, if I'm really honest, are the work hours. The office is open 9:00-5:30, but I'm generally in by 8:00. This is purely because if I catch the 08:11 train, there will be nowhere to park. It's a small lot with free parking all day and it fills up quickly. Parking in town is expensive and the hassle of driving to and from the city simply isn't worth the wear and tear on the car or the time it would take. It makes for a long day, but I'd really rather this option than stressing about finding a parking space later in the morning. I can adjust accordingly during holiday times.

For the month of November, I have temporarily deleted my FB account. This hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I have done it before, several years ago, in a New Year experiment that lasted three times longer than I had intended. Anyhow, this particular reason is because I'm (ostensibly) doing Nanowrimo again. Last year, I was interrupted by my sudden daily commute to London Hell, and my attempt was aborted. I started again this year, and have once again fallen by the wayside as has my motivation. I think it's because I'm starting fresh and it's just not working for me. I'm forcing it, and that's a recipe for disaster. I think the best route is to simply pick up where I left off last year, although that's not exactly the intention of Nanowrimo, or at least never used to be. It appears that over the years, people have played fast and loose with the rules/guidelines and pretty much anything goes these days. I suppose the focus is on the concerted writing effort you put into things, not necessarily what it is that you're writing.

My cousin and I went to visit another cousin and her family near Bristol over the weekend. It was a good visit, as it always is, and we talked and talked and talked. I was feeling a bit rough yesterday morning, though, as I ate too much junk and drank too much wine. I generally don't drink wine at all - I don't like it much - and the combination of drink, sugary treats, and a mediocre pub breakfast the next morning (lots of sodium-laced food - sausages, etc.) just made me feel kinda rubbish. Ick.

I've started visiting a Chinese doctor for acupuncture and have also arranged an appointment with a naturopath in a couple of weeks. She'll be doing a food intolerance test during the intake which is what I want, as health-wise I'm not feeling my best.

The Chinese doctor isn't cheap (but not as expensive as others, I'm learning) and I know that to make a difference I have to be consistent, but I also have to watch my pennies. According to the Chinese doctor (after some initial miscommunication) is that I'm 'damp.'

I had to Google it too!

What I've determined - in layman's terms, at least - is that my spleen and kidneys are not working as they should, hence my bloating/swelling, sluggish circulation, wacky hormones, etc. There's way more to it, but essentially reducing the amount of dairy and sugar I eat should help.

And this segues me into this: I Quit Sugar, an 8-week program to completely remove sugar from your diet, detox, and reset yourself. I have decided that this is something that I need to do, so have bought two of the books and am going to spend some time over the next several weeks figuring out what I need to buy to get started. It's not quite Paleo, but does incorporate whole, fresh foods like Paleo does, so it's a good process. It's not going to be easy, I know that much, but I need to do something to make myself feel better. And I'm an all or nothing person. I have to cut out everything or it's just not going to work, as cutting out bits at a time just makes it easier to put bits at a time back in.

The program cuts out sugar entirely for the first 4 weeks of the program and then allows a bit of sweetener to come back in. It's quite drastic, but I'm feeling the need and all these appointments and thoughts have come together quite nicely to point me in this direction, so I need to go with that and take the time to clear out the junk and toxins that have been building up over a lifetime of crappy eating.

As long as I'm organized and get in a base of ingredients, I think I'll be fine. I have to start sourcing items, but Amazon is generally good for most things and I've been putting things on my wish list as I come across them.

I ordered some boots from Amazon the other week - some (cheap) knee high waterproof ones that I thought would replace my 10+-year old Clarke's rain shoes. They arrived yesterday and are going straight back. The photo on the order page shows them as black and it even describes them as black, but what I got was some kind of weird brown. Not even a nice one. Plus the quality is rubbish. So I have £25 coming back to me, so that's something.

My mother has been on the phone several times wondering if I (and my sister) would want to become a joint tenant in her house with her. I am not entirely against this, but prior to this idea materialising, we thought she was moving over here to live/retire. I have no idea what's happened to that idea now (and I have asked). After speaking with her initially, I emailed her to say that I'd talked to my sister and that she's not interested in this idea, at least not right now. I said that I was interested, but needed more information with respect to financial and tax obligations, etc., so I could make a fully formed decision.

That was almost a month ago and I've heard nothing about it since, but had a phone call on Sunday in which she told me we're not allowed to go to the Continent (after the Paris attacks).

She makes my head hurt.

Anyway, I'm off to London for the weekend to see my friend. I haven't seen her since I escaped left, so I'm really looking forward to catching up. Not sure about the weather as we've got tail ends of storms of all kinds all week and it's been, as my cousin says, "blowing a hooley" out there all week so far. Fingers crossed for a little sunshine!


Jane said...

Is there anywhere near where you work that you could go to for a tea and a bit of a read for that hour before you start working? Sorry to hear that you are dealing with some health issues - looks like you're being very proactive! I love the term "damp"!! Though not the symptoms obviously :{ I had a quick look at the Quit Sugar program. I've thought often of giving up sugar. I've fallen back into bad habits too - I KNOW it's addictive and it seems once I get started I can't stop. (maple butter tarts with walnuts sitting out on my kitchen counter saying EAT ME EAT ME!! And I do! Sigh... I hope the weather holds for your weekend get together. I'm debating going for a hike but the wind is SOOOO strong today. Can't decide...

The Asian Pear said...

I'm not doing Nanowrimo this year. I wish I did. It's difficult. A lot of time/motivation needs to be invested!

The no sugar sounds interesting. Can you please do an update at the end? I'm trying new methods to help kickstart my metabolism.

Have fun in London! (I LOVE LONDON!)

Northern Living Allowance said...

HI Jane - I have tried stopping at my favourite Costa in the morning to sit for a bit, but I find I just can't do it (unsure why, but I find it difficult to fully relax in public places).

As for the health issues, the signs have been there for almost two years, I've just been ignoring them or focussing on the wrong, so this is all coming up nicely really. It's going to be really difficult, but I think I need to start sooner rather than later, which means no Christmas treats either, but it feels like the right thing to do so I'm going with it. My cousin is most definitely not on board, however, so that's going to be a huge obstacle, but I'm hoping that as I go along, she might see the benefits and join in to a point.

Decided not to go to London this weekend after all, so can do a bit of reading and research into what I need (along with other things I need to do). Hope you can get out and hike this weekend for a bit!xx

Hi Pear! - I've registered for Nano, but have done nothing for the past two weeks. I'm going to try this weekend - but cheat a bit and go back to what I started on during last year's attempt to see if that takes me anywhere instead, as this year's attempt is going nowhere.

I'd be happy to do an update on the Sugar Project. Your comment actually prompted me to think about weekly updates, so that I can monitor my progress and stay accountable.

Have a great weekend! xx