Taking Stock – November 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017 Permalink

You might not have noticed, but I’ve cut back on my blogging. A little. I suspect it’s a ‘that time of year’ thing but I’m considering my priorities and wanting to make sure I spend time on stuff I enjoy (and – in wanky-speak – stuff consistent with my values). Unsurprisingly I’m overthinking everything so decided it’s time for a taking stock post to share the load.

Hosting – a group make-up lesson. I’ve not had my makeup done since I was last a bridesmaid in 1996. And I’ve not really worn makeup since the late 1990s but part of my #5before50 bucket list involved getting my makeup and some pictures done. I’m conscious it sounds like a vain thing to do, but I felt I needed the reminder I don’t always HAVE TO look old and frumpy. Sadly I’m not sure the photo thing will ever happen, but… some friends and I booked a local makeup artist (who also makes her own products) to come and give us a lesson. And it was excellent. The biggest surprise for me was the difference a well-drawn eyebrow can make!

taking stock november 2017

Hating – my hair. Still. And yes, I know it’s also vain and is the epitome of #firstworldproblems

Exercising – barely at all, though (re)started pilates this week. I had an assessment and instructional one-on-one session a few weeks ago and this week I’ve started in small group classes. It’s not cheap but I might increase it to twice weekly down the track. There aren’t a lot of local options but the class I’m going to is in my mum’s hometown (where I now work) so I’m doing that on nights I stay at her place.

Enjoying – being back at full-time work. Well, I’m not sure enjoying is the right word but I’m actually not hating it, which is a surprise. I’d forgotten how quickly the working week (and then weekend) flies by. So time in general is rushing past. I’ve been back for seven weeks now and though I’m still settling in it’s already offering me more of the challenge I’ve been looking for.

It’s still taken a little bit of adjustment of course. On the days I stay at my own place I forget I need to factor in the travel time to work, and my hours are less flexible than they used to be. I sometimes wake and am not sure if I’m at my place or my mother’s; and I’m still leaving stuff I need at the place I’m not at – earrings, clothes, lunch, my iPad.

Planning – my overseas holiday. Well, thinking about planning it. I’m thinking I’ll limit the trip to a month cos I know I get testy if I’m away from home for too long. I’ll pretty much spend 2-3 weeks in Italy (including one in Tuscany at the writing retreat) and I’m thinking I should go to England (at some point in my life). I’ve no desire to see London but keen to potter around little villages and drink in country pubs (as seen on Escape to the Country, Ballykissangel and other BBC productions). A friend who lived there for over a decade suggested the Cotswolds is where I need to go, so I’ll look at a week or so there. Somewhere.

Pondering – on the point of it all. Interestingly until the last week or so I found working full-time made me more efficient at getting other stuff done. I know people find that’s often the case – the busier they are, the more productive they are (in their limited free time).

My resilience has been tested though… by internet issues at home and that (aforementioned) thinking about my priorities and how I really do want to spend my time. I’ve got no answers about that yet, but that’s okay…

Any suggestions re England and the Cotswolds? Anything interesting happening in your part of the world?

The Lovin’ Life team includes:

41 Comments
  • Lydia C. Lee
    November 16, 2017

    Don’t dismiss London – give it 2 days and I’ll draw up an AWESOME itinery for you. I went in 1996 and was very non plused, never wanted to go back – went again in April and had the BEST time. SO much fun….don’t go to England and not go. It’s got so much to offer….

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      Yes, I think I’d have to give it a day or two. Same with Rome (etc). I’m not a great tourist though… In Rome I’m thinking I’ll join an organised day / half day trip or two so someone else has to arrange transport, entry and tickets etc…

    • Amy Andrews
      November 16, 2017

      I’d like to second this re London – its my favourite city in the world to visit, Deb!
      I’d also second Bath and Cornwall but I’d also recommend Brighton. Also make sure you see Stone Henge. You can actually organise early morning private tours through English Heritage that takes you behind the ropes and gives you an opportunity to walk amongst the stones – best money I ever spent! We’d already been multiple times but getting up close and personal was truly magical. We went in Decmeber and there was snow everywhere and it was so quiet. There were only 4 other people on the tour with us 4 so very intimate.

      • Debbish
        November 17, 2017

        Oh Brighton Amy…. it’s featured in so many novels I’ve read… must check a map and see where everything is! (Yes, that’s how ignorant I am!)

  • Jo
    November 16, 2017

    It’s funny, but checking into our B&B in Burford came up on my time hop this morning – 2 years ago today. I’m entirely in love with the Cotswolds. We did a few days in Burford, and then a week around Chalford near Cirencester. That’s where I set Wish You Were Here. I’m with Lydia re London. It’s expensive, exhausting & absolutely worth it.

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      I saw something on Instagram or Pinterest recently and it was the epitome of the sort of place I wanted to visit. I can’t remember where it was exactly but it was in the Cotswolds so I decided it was a sign!

  • seizetheday20
    November 16, 2017

    We are currently in planning mode for our 2019 trip to England, Ireland and Italy. We’ve just booked our week in a Tuscan villa (sooooo excited!), and will plan the rest of the trip around that week. We will be visiting London, the Costwolds, Cornwall and everything in between, then planning a 8 days in Ireland, before flying over to Venice and working our way to Tuscany. I’m so excited to hear you’re (thinking about) planning a trip too Deb – you’ll love it!! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      You’ll probably be organised before I will Lyndall so perhaps I’ll just ‘cheat’ off you! 🙂

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    November 16, 2017

    The group make up class sounds like so much fun. Glad that full time work is agreeing with you.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      It’s certainly making the time fly by which is good. I do miss having more balance and time to get stuff done though as I feel as if I’m constantly playing catch-up. (Which I guess is why I’m wondering if I want to continue blogging…)

  • Jo Castro
    November 16, 2017

    I loved your taking stock post. A glimpse into other people’s lives is steadying as we often find we are not that much different in our thoughts and desires. The Cotswolds, yes definitely. The epitome of pretty. But don’t go during the school summer holidays as it will be crowded. Bath is a beautiful city – Roman Baths, history, as a writer you’ll love it. I come from the West Country so North Devon, I think is gorgeous. It’s more rugged and less crowded than the south – try Croyde, Woolacombe, Ilfracombe, Hartland and surrounds and then drive on down to Cornwall. Out of season the wibbly wobbly windy road is lovely. And then you’re into Doc Marten country – ooh yeah!

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      The writing retreat is mid-late September Jo so guess my travel will be a week or two either side of that. I need to think a bit more about what I’m doing so I can organise flights etc though.

  • Melissa Walker Horn
    November 16, 2017

    It’s never wanky to put the things you WANT to do first. I had a bit of a chuckle at the brow thing. That is literally me every time someone else does my makeup, I’m like wwooooowwww. Can’t wait to see how this trip pans out! Everyone in this linky today is giving me the travel bug. Haha.

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      Emily, the makeup artist, asked what we wanted to focus on (as a group when we got to the eyes, lips etc) and I was like… “Not the brows. Pffff…” A friend of mine has had some sort of temporary tattoo done and I’m contemplating it now. Mine are thin from over-plucking in the 1990s (usually when drinking before going out!) and I think the outsides are thin because of my thyroid issues… I didn’t even get them waxed for the first 4yrs after moving here! So they’ve never been a priority.

  • leannelc
    November 16, 2017

    I do love a taking stock post Deb – and yours are always so interesting (probably because they are kind of warts and all so to speak!) I also really liked your makeup session (plus the one Leanne’s stepdaughter had) I’m feeling like I could do with a bit of a boost in that direction too. I’m also slowing down blogging mojo-wise and I’m planning on writing less next year for a while to see if I want to keep going or if it’s time to move on to something different. Sometimes it seems a bit pointless, other times I love it – a weird kind of mix really.

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      I sweat a lot Leanne so don’t actually wear makeup but wish I did / could. I can’t even wear moisturiser during the day. But… I like the idea of being able to wear it sometimes and worry that I’m still stuck back in the 1980s and using my first Boots No.7 kit (bought cos Princess Diana used it!).

      And yes, I know what you mean about the pointless thing. I took it out (cos my post got too long) but I’d initially included in there a comment from my mum which hit home. I told her I’d been talking (in a private FB group) about the fact I was thinking of having a break and she asked why I needed to tell people / readers. Why not just stop or have a break or slow down. It was a bit of a reminder that I’m really the only one who sees it as a commitment I have to keep.

  • Vanessa
    November 16, 2017

    I always get more done when I work full time. Though I still want a smaller commute!! Glad to hear you’re getting more of the challenge you wanted.

    • Debbish
      November 16, 2017

      Yes Vanessa, I’m loving that element. I’m still getting used to the commitment etc but think some of the stuff I’m unsure about will ease over time.

  • kathymarris
    November 16, 2017

    Your eyebrows look amazing. I can’t believe you never wear makeup. I wear it anytime I go out in public (maybe because I’m a little vain!) Planning an overseas holiday is such an exciting time. I have only been to London and on a road trip up to Yorkshire years ago, so I’m not much help with the UK. #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      My face / head sweats a lot Kathy so it’s almost impossible for me to wear anything on my face. But I did find – in winter – if I was staying in airconditioning I could wear some BB cream or something so I’ve ordered some foundation, concealer and the like and see how it goes!

      And I must admit, the idea of planning my holiday feels a little tiresome. I recall decades ago pouring through travel books when I planned to travel in the past but now (we have the internet at our fingertips) it feels a little overwhelming!

  • Retiring not Shy!
    November 16, 2017

    Now listen here Deb, self care is not vanity, how about seeing it as self love instead. How you look impacts how you feel and is actually very important.

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      Ah yes, but I think in my little mind there’s self care – buying face moisturiser and nourishing your skin and body – and then there’s the public side of it and I think that’s what feels vain to me. Having said that I’m a bit weird about vanity. I still recall my father saying something (when I was little) about looking in mirrors being vain and so it’s probably made me more paranoid than most people!

  • Denyse
    November 16, 2017

    Loved reading this & good on you with your challenges! I have sensed via your updates that full-time work is suiting you. What a bugger of a time though when you had no internet. Shows how much we depend on it..i cant bear an hour off line!! Now, about your hair… hating it isnt working maybe finding someone who can style it & in a way you can care for it & like it! Just my 2c of psychology (not with a degree!) advice.
    I am glad you are doing some blogging! I would miss it!
    Denyse xx

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      I recently tried a different hairdresser Denyse, but not sure they really did any different and I felt more confident with my old hairdresser so will probably beg her forgiveness (for my disloyalty) and return there.

      And yes I am enjoying work. There are still some teething problems and (at the moment) I’m quite tired but mentally far happier.

      • Denyse Whelan
        November 22, 2017

        Yay for work and we have all made hairdresser mistakes…LOL. Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 45/52. Next week’s prompt: Best Birthday Ever.

        • Debbish
          November 22, 2017

          Hopefully it’ll be my next one. I’ve finally booked something!

  • sizzlesue15
    November 16, 2017

    Loved this Debbie but I always enjoy your posts. If I had lived nearby I would have loved to have attended the makeup demo. Oh yes you must visit the English and Irish villages so gorgeous and of course I’m pretty biased about Italy – being married to an Italian. Life seems to be going well for you and stop saying horrible things about your hair and such – I looked at a photo of you the other day and you look great.

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      It’s funny as I had a ‘hair’ conversation with a friend the other day… about the fact we can look in the mirror and be horrified by our hair but others really don’t notice unless it’s exceptionally different.

      Oh and I will definitely need to pick your brain about Italy then Sue!

  • Emma
    November 16, 2017

    I love make-up sessions and things like that, though I hardly ever then follow their advice. For England, I’m with others on London and I imagine you’ll fly in there anyway? It’s not England though which might sound a bit odd but I would say the same of most capital cities. The Cotswolds are lovely and cover three counties (I think). I like the Oxfordshire wolds. You could also head further north to Lincolnshire or Yorkshire, both of which are gorgeous but you might spend your whole week travelling then. Have a good week x

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      Given my interest in little villages Emma a friend has suggested I skip England and go to Ireland instead. (Or Scotland.)

      I guess I need to start making some decisions so I can at least start looking for decently priced flights (as that’s a huge expense from here of course).

  • Jess
    November 16, 2017

    Yes I agree with not dismissing London. I LOVED it! And never ever expected to. It’s a cool place!

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      Perhaps I need to do the same as I’m doing with Rome. Commit to a day or two and book myself onto a half-day tour or something so someone forces me to go and see stuff (and organises it for me).

  • writeofthemiddle
    November 16, 2017

    I’m glad you’re enjoying being back at full time work (well not hating it!!) and finding it more of a challenge which is what you wanted. Eyebrows make such a difference to a face I am finding…gotta agree there! Your O/S trip is going to be amazing. I just saw a heap of photos of the Cotswalds posted by Leigh Vanderhorst who was just over there. It looks gorgeous. I’d love to go there myself! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      November 17, 2017

      Must check Leigh’s feed, though that might have been where I saw some pics recently. I obviously followed a Cotswolds place on FB as pics now keep popping up in my feed!

      And yes re the eyebrows. I know there’s been a lot of talk about them in recent years (and the memes about not recognising their importance years ago), but I’ve not really paid any attention. Mine are unimpressive and uneven but they’ve not worried me. It wasn’t until everyone reacted to the change in them (which I can’t really see) at the makeup lesson that I considered the impact they can have.

  • unclutteryouruniverse
    November 17, 2017

    I think it’s fantastic that you are making yourself the priority and doing things that you want to.

    • Debbish
      November 18, 2017

      I think I’ve been able to do that for a while Jenni, but have just had quite strict (weird) rules about what I see as being essential vs frivolous. (And they keep changing!) 🙂

  • middleagedmamaoz
    November 19, 2017

    I loved England, even if all I saw on our whistle-stop visit was London, Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plains and Bath. Would love to go back and do more exploring of the countryside I drool over on Escape to the Country and all the travel shows. And what do you hate about your hair? I’m curious!

    • Debbish
      November 19, 2017

      I’m hating the colour Janet. Since I went back from brown to blonde I’ve struggled to get it natural looking. I don’t want it too blonde / fake, but it tends to naturally turn golden or it looks dull and dirty. And the length… I was going to grow it but I got a bit sweaty the other day and was reminded of the fact my hair gets wet and sits limply on my head. (Which is why I keep going VERY short !)

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    November 20, 2017

    How exciting to be planning an overseas holiday!

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