A mid year check in

Monday, June 26, 2017 Permalink

I didn’t actually do the ‘resolutions’ or word / phrase / soup of the day / year thing this year. I did identify some things I wanted to ‘do’ before my 50th birthday at the end of 2017, but I really couldn’t be ‘arsed’ identifying things that would (as usual) remain un-done when 2018 rolls around.

I’m still – kinda – on a blogging break of sorts, though seem to be now consistently breaking the break on a weekly basis, so figured I’d join Denyse Whelan today who’s suggested we do a half-year stocktake or mid year check-in. Or similar.

I really need to heed THIS meme (#poet #knowit)

I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately. I almost took a second job (and I do need the money) but when I accepted the job I immediately started my list of ‘things I need to buy’. Of course now I’ve decided against accepting the position it means I again need to watch my pennies. I should mention at this point my ‘to-buy’ list wasn’t HUGELY frivolous. Well, it was… but not stuff like designer clothes, or shoes. Rather I had my eye on some artwork. I wanted a new armchair or hanging pod-type chair. I wanted bookshelves and a new coffee table. I wanted to go to a writers’ festival (which I actually am… #moneyschmoney) and ‘need’ a new computer and so forth. But, until I win the Gold Lotto I must remember this:

Cos… I have more than most.

I’m ridiculously addicted to: #VANLIFE stuff

Anyone who knows me knows I struggled with my previous (small-ish but not very small) two bedroom apartment. I’m far happier in my large airy house. Similarly the idea of caravaning is akin to camping for me… ie. I’d rather stick a hot poker in my eye. I am however addicted to the notion of renovating a van / school bus in some boho / hippy style and travelling around in it. Well, mostly at the moment I love looking at pictures of vans that have been renovated and arty shots of fairy lights, comfy cushioned beds and an inordinate number of attractive couples travelling with dogs.

I need to ditch people pleasing

I talked last Thursday about some work stress predominantly resulting from me worrying about being perceived as a big fat failure at work and taking on additional stuff. Similarly I only recently realised that the return of my dieting / bingeing behaviour came about because I felt like I’d failed others… failed to lose as much weight as I should post-surgery and that I’d let people down. Once I reminded myself that I’d done it for me and was quite happy with how I was going it was a weight (#sorrynotsorry) off my shoulders.

And finally on the book blogging front I tend to get very stressed from time to time – about disappointing authors or publishers by not reviewing their books before / around publication, or not wanting to read / review books I haven’t requested and so forth. When I get like that I want to throw my hands in the air and stop altogether. But, I remind myself… I love reading. I love writing. I really don’t have people breathing down my neck about reviews. They’re not something I’m paid to do (although if you can think of a way it could become my job, please tell me!). It’s pressure I put on myself. And I need to back the fuck off.

Ticking boxes on my bucket list

Sure I have only identified 13 of my 101 bucket list (book) items, but I’ve ticked off a couple already, with a trip to New Zealand to see my bestie in December and then the readers’ festival in February. (Incidentally, that item – also on my #5before50 list will get a second tick when I go to a romance writers’ festival in August.) And now I’ve been out on a boat – something I’ve been meaning to do since returning to my seaside locale almost 5yrs ago. A friend turned 40 recently and a group of us celebrated on a sunset boat cruise. It was stunning and I had a wonderful time. Now I need to go whale watching so I can tick another item off my list!

mid year check-in

I’m short-sighted so only need glasses for distance (ie. getting around in everyday life) but I don’t wear them for reading or looking at my phone, so have a habit of looking over the top of them like a disapproving school librarian!

And that’s about it for my mid-year check-in. I possibly should say something about my writing – or lack of it; and my fitness (meh), but all you really know is that I continue to be a work in progress. And that’s okay.

How’s your year going? Anything else I should have updated you on?

34 Comments
  • Alicia-OneMotherHen (@alleychook)
    June 26, 2017

    My fitness, or rather that extra 5-6 kilos I am carrying around, which limit the pants I can wear in my wardrobe, is a work in progress with me too. I really need to start doing something about it and stop putting it off for another day. But, meh…
    Getting myself in a tizzy over trivial shit is my M.O. It is unnecessary pressure I put on myself, when really the world isn’t going to end, although it feels like it’s sitting on my shoulders, constantly!

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      I’m trying to tell myself that recognising I get stressed over the trivial shit is a first step in reducing it, but am not sure that’s working. I’ve been working on my ‘incidental’ exercise now I’ve got my fitbit and almost always reach my 8000 step/day target, so I’m stressing less about exercise, but conscious that I haven’t been to yoga in about 2mths and my fitness isn’t improving really… which I suspect I should care more about.

  • Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    June 26, 2017

    It is certainly okay to be a work in progress! The boat ride looks lovely, and you both look great!

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      Thanks Nise’. I got really sick when I went whale watching in 1993 so haven’t been out since. I’ve been on boats briefly (though not much) but it was good to know that this was such a lovely occasion. I must start saving for the whale watch trip this year! I’ve said each year I’ll go and this will be my 5th year (back) here and I’m still talking about it.

  • Kate W
    June 26, 2017

    I also love the idea of a van… but remind myself of the realities – 1) parking the thing, even when you just want a loaf of bread. 2) if it has a toilet in it, emptying it (yuck) 3) going on holiday and not being able to stand up inside…

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      Ah yes… I tend not to focus on those practicalities. I’d need a good bed with a real mattress for a start. And I’d definitely need a toilet. Perhaps there’s some sort of service that empties them for you. I’m constantly agog at some of the stuff they do to the vans and buses with solar panels and electricity and so forth. I’m assuming for most half of the fun comes from the renovation and I’m really crap at that sort of thing!

  • sizzlesue15
    June 26, 2017

    What a lovely way to celebrate a birthday with a sunset cruise, Debbie. It is sometimes hard to ‘ditch’ the people pleasing as you say I’m the same and can get myself into all sorts of trouble by not saying ‘no’. My year is going to plan and looking forward to ticking off my two big runs before my 60th in August. Have a great week!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      Thanks Sue and my friend’s 40th on the boat was a great idea. I guess I could do something similar but not quite sure how many would travel for an evening event….

      And it’s great your year is going well! x

  • Amy Andrews
    June 26, 2017

    Oooh, so you’re coming to the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Brisbane, Debbie?
    #exciting

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      Ha, yes Amy. You will again have the honour of my company! 😉 (Looking forward to catching up!)

  • Dorothy
    June 26, 2017

    My year has been very ordinary. I had a word for the year, love, mostly about self-love, but I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way. My plan was to have moved up to northern NSW by end of last year, but that didn’t happen and is unlikely to happen this year either, unless I win Tattslotto, which is also unlikely since I never buy a ticket. I’m so tired of life. So tired of being poor, so tired of good things happening only to other people. I feel like all the good things are behind, even if all the horrible things are too.

    • Debbish
      June 26, 2017

      I know the feeling Dorothy though today I’ve written a post for Thursday which includes some things to look forward to. I need to focus more on that’s stuff I guess (the old windscreen vs rear view mirror saying). Though perhaps the really crappy stuff is behind you. I certainly hope so.

      And I keep joking about winning lotto and never buy a ticket either!

  • Denyse Whelan
    June 26, 2017

    I so love that photo!! I also love how much your inner Deb is telling off the old Deb. Go you!! This is so good to read. Loved seeing you post again..and thanks for that!! Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week will be the last link up for a while. My blog post of this week explains the reason.

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Ah yes, scary and exciting times ahead for you Denyse. And thanks for your lovely comment. I think there has been a lot of change in my life in the last year or so and it’s because of a few factors and being confronted by some stuff I’d buried deep.

  • Jo
    June 26, 2017

    I love that pic of you – I think I’ve said that before…haven’t I? As for van lifers…yep I have fantasies around a combination and a free spirit – & forget that I’m far more about my comforts and space. As for whale watching? Doing a whale watching cruise is on my bucket list too!

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Oh, you’ll have to come here and do a whale watch trip and we can both tick it of. The whale watching season starts soon.

      And yes, I’d SO need a toilet and shower in my van cos I don’t ‘do’ public amenities.

  • Kooky Chic
    June 26, 2017

    That

    • Kooky Chic
      June 26, 2017

      That is such a positive photo of you, very cool. Everyone needs to ditch pleasing people but why not turn it around and have them please you instead.

      • Debbish
        June 28, 2017

        Thanks. It was actually the ‘outtake’ as I’d shared a ‘nicer’ one… but that one is probably more ‘me’.

  • budget jan
    June 26, 2017

    You’re doing good! I am so loving your new hair colour. You look amazing.

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Thanks Jan. I feel more like ‘me’ when I’m blonde – which is my natural colour. Though not THIS blonde obviously. Of course I’m probably more grey now though… we’ll see when my regrowth starts appearing. 🙂

  • leannelc
    June 26, 2017

    I hate camping too – third world living is just not my style. I could see myself in one of those big Winnebago type things grandly touring the countryside, but we haven’t won Lotto either (and I’m not sure my husband is too keen on the idea of being cooped up in a small space with me for any length of time!) I think you looked very chic looking over the top of your sunnies – definitely not librarian material (despite the book reviews!)

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Ha, yes… I like the school bus renovations (US-style) cos they’re bigger and include ALL of the amenities… I’ve really never been camping and only stayed in a caravan once (in the early 1980s with a bunch of school friends for a few nights). I think I like the idea cos in all of the pics they’re parked on the edge of cliffs or near a lake, but in reality I suspect there are rules about where you can stop etc…

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    June 27, 2017

    This post made me smile and reflect, Deb. The meme is also something I need to take on board. As for #vanlifers? Yes please! Well, not literally but I am now hooked on the hashtag.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Yes, I suspect I like the idea than the practicalities of it all.

  • Vanessa
    June 27, 2017

    I love the idea of road tripping, which is ironic given that I hate driving on unfamiliar roads. But what the hey, humans are allowed to be contradictory.
    I did a lot of book and other reviewing when I was studying writing and got good grades for it – but I have always been envious of how many reviews you publish. It’s a lot of work you put in! I wouldn’t be sustaining that work load for long without burning out.
    I’ve been in a bit of a miserable place for the past week and while I’d love to not go back to work tomorrow, I’m also hoping routine will help me a bit.

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      I hope you’re on the mend Vanessa and I have to admit sometimes the book blogging does feel a little overwhelming. For me it’s more about self-imposed deadlines and stuff – the number of books I get and sense that I need to read and review them around their publication time.

  • jaykkay
    June 27, 2017

    Deb, don’t be so hard on yourself, look at what you have achieved I’m hearing you re books to read, I have sooo many it just gets overwhelming at times, and especially since I met so many lovely authors at the conference in February I really really want to read their books, at times I feel guilty too, and working in a library where you are seeing new books and authors coming through, the temptation to get more is like an addiction. We all have our vices so don’t feel alone

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      My post tomorrow (Thursday) mentions the February conference as well and how incredibly welcoming everyone was… it’s tempted me to go to another event in August!

  • Jess
    June 27, 2017

    This year I need to stop stressing. Money is driving me crazy. There is never enough and it’s on my thoughts way too often. Sadly thinking about it doesn’t bring any in!!! Mentally this year has been a challenge. I can totally relate to your van life obsession, but that that is mine, but I always day dream and plan stuff. Even if I am never going to follow through.

    • Debbish
      June 28, 2017

      Ah yes… the money thing plagues me as well and much of it is self-inflicted in my case. Upgrading to a larger house once I had a permanent part-time job meant a new mortgage and pressure – something I didn’t need. I don’t regret the purchase of the house obviously but it does mean I need to rethink my finances a lot again. (And I realise I’m more fortunate than most!)

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    June 29, 2017

    Loved this update! So happy you’re back to personal blogging in addition to your fab book reviews.
    What I love most about your personal blogging is your “free to be me” wording:
    “couldn’t be ‘arsed’ identifying things that would (as usual) remain un-done when 2018 rolls around”.
    And
    Money Schmoney
    And
    #poet #knowit
    LOL. Welcome back to the Lovin Life LInky team. xo

    • Debbish
      June 29, 2017

      Awww… thanks Leanne. I’ve missed it and the people!

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