Friday, 13 August 2010

There's always room for...

I have a lot to talk about in this post, so please, bear with me.

It's quite difficult to express what it is I want to say sometimes so if I tend to drone on for a while I promise I will, eventually, come to the point and there -is- a point.

So, you all know about what I'm currently doing (not specifically - specifically I'm typing :P but in a much more -broad- sense). I'm currently starting afresh. Starting anew. It's something I've become quite good at over the past couple of decades. Adapting. Changing. Rolling with the punches.

Now, don't et me wrong, I've not always been "punched". This is a skill I've developed regardless of whether times are "good" or "bad". I like to mix it up, keep it flowing.

I suppose you could say: I refuse to grow up. I -still- don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I truly don't. A butcher, a baker a candlestick maker... all sound good to me... OK, perhaps not "butcher" if I'm being completely honest but I'm open to just about anything and I haven't yet found my niche. The one role that makes me Me.

On this journey of exploration, this journey of chances, I've come to discover some things about myself. Some of them wondrous, some baffling and some of them not so nice but I'm grateful for each and every lesson. No matter how painful or difficult to learn.

Of the things I've discovered I've managed to discern a few more... concrete things about myself. One of those things is that I don't like being an employee. I have very high standards that I set for myself and those around me in a work environment and I don't suffer well any failure to meet those expectations. If you've ever been an employer of mine you will well remember me complaining (often and I'm sorry) about the ineptitude of others. About the injustice I felt was happening when I put so much of myself, my energy, my skills into something and the person beside me/down the hall/in the next department wasn't capable of tying their shoes without direct supervision. One of my favourite-ever bosses (at a financial PR firm) was able to show (teach) me that the way I was perceiving everything wasn't necessarily the way it was. Nor was it healthy. With her and because of her (thank you, Ms C) I'm working on becoming more accepting of the work habits of others. I do regress quite often, however, and I stress myself out unnecessarily but I am learning.

Keeping this and other character "quirks" in mind I've been working on some projects here at home in the hopes that I can, at some point, be self-sufficient and won't have to again trouble a boss with my near-constant complaining.

These endeavours have taken a slight backseat as I rebuild our post-holiday lives. (Man! Living out of suitcases for a month takes it's toll!) There are also some things I am doing around the house that I had neglected while I was at my most recent job. Organisation things, mostly, some cleaning here and there. Nothing major, physically, but there are a few things that I'm working on that involve some major secretarial work.

One of these is the problem we're having with the DVLA (the UK's agency that registers cars, makes sure the tax has been paid on them, etc.) and a person whose name appears to be "Jhon" that used our address to register his car and then proceeded to park illegally, drive through the Congestion Zone and not paying, speeding and a myriad of other "fun" things. Because our address has been used -we- are responsible for the fines, penalties, etc. (In the UK your life isn't tied to a number like the Social Security Number in the US. We have National Insurance Numbers but they are issued when a resident turns 16 and are usually only used for tax and employment purposes. Credit and other liabilities are linked to a physical address.) This all means that I had to compile eleven separate envelopes containing a total of, are you ready for this? 33 charges/infractions. I called the police when we first got wind of what happened and everything's been reported to the DVLA who say they've taken our address off of the system so it's no longer linked to that car but for some reason the letters keep coming. We even received two letters from Metropolitan Police dated after I had reported everything to them. We have to send proof to each of these agencies that it's not us who's responsible, that Jhon does not and has not lived at our address in the 3+ years that we've owned our flat and that they can whistle for the money for their fines.

Yeah. Tons of fun. Tomorrow I head to the post office to send said letters and get tracking numbers for them. We've decided that any more letters that land after we've sent all of these off will be responded to with phone calls and I honestly wish I knew where Jhon actually lives so I could sue him for the cost of printing all of the durned things and posting them!

Another of my little secretarial tasks is hunting for a landscaper/ing company to fix our back garden (yard). We've lived here for over three years and have never used outside our back doors because of the maintenance it's required of us. I would very much like to use this area of our "house" so am finally putting some of MrB's bonus this year towards making it a usable space once more.

I'm also sorting out all of our files (bank records, receipts, mortgage statements, etc) and getting all of that in order. And doing a general organisation of our flat (man, I have a lot of stuff!) to sort of streamline how we live. To make a little space in our lives. To stop leaving things sitting around because there's no space for them to be put away.

My major stumbling block is MrB. He's a pilot, you see (of ships like this). We joke that he's "a pilot. He takes stuff from one place and piles it in another" (Pile it) - Unfortunately, over the years I've absorbed some of this tendency. Here's proof. Our dining room table this morning:

and now, our dining table tonight...

And I promise I didn't Pilot! It's all put away nicely or ready to be taken upstairs and put away (the box and bag of papers on the chair).

I'm not sure as to the exact cause of me becoming a Pilot. I think it's a mix of laziness on my part and a bit of feeling like I'm fighting a losing battle. Either way, it's something I've recognised about myself and I'm going to quash it. (Can't say what will happen to MrB but if he wants to "hire" me to be his full-time housekeeper, I'd gladly consider it! ;) )

While MrB and I were away I picked up some great "bits" to use in my jewelry endeavours and some recipes/ideas/jumping off points for my baking but these have taken a backseat at the moment while I sort through the tornado that is my organisational process and what we brought home from our travels (where am I going to put more stuff?!). There's a suitcase in my kitchen, for goose's sake! Once I get my kitchen and crafting areas back it will be time to continue with my business related plans.

I did pick up some treats for myself that are Vegan and I'm so excited. I can't these (or anything like them) here in the UK...

After this I've also got some knitting and crochet commissions that I have to complete. A lovely blanket in some beautiful, organic cotton that looks a lot like pewter. A scarf/wrap and beret in a soft, blushing baby pink and finally a snuggly, smokey grey neckwarmer.

Another thing I've learned about myself along the way is that I'm a starter. I love to jump head-first into a problem or a project and get my hands/feet/face dirty. This, when it comes to work, is a good thing. I'm not afraid to take the lead. I'm not afraid to get it wrong. I'm not even afraid of complete failure. The ride, the joy comes from the doing, the experience of making, creating, solving, experimenting. Whatever it is that I want to accomplish in that instance I love the doing of it.

When it comes to crochet or knitting, however, this can be a bad thing. A very bad thing. I've started and not finished more projects than I can count. For example: I asked myself "Can I knit socks?" I found this amazing tutorial, bought some gorgeous needles for the task and began experimenting with some inexpensive acrylic yarn. I successfully cast on, knitted the rib of the cuff, I even successfully turned my first heel (I'm SO proud of that fact) and started knitting down the foot. Then I had that project-fatal thought "See? I can do that!" (in this instance "See? I can knit socks!")...

...aaand I stopped knitting that sock. This happens way too often in my yarn-crafting life. So, a new challenge to myself is "can I finish the yarn projects I've started!?" I'll keep you posted on how that goes. (I've already started two more projects but, but in my defence they're for my adorable niece and nephew and they're small. I swear!)

Another part of myself that I've been working on is my diet/eating habits. While we were away I ate a Vegan diet whenever MrB and I ate just the two of us but I didn't want it to be a "thing" with family so when eating around them it was usually what was on offer and/or I'd pick the non-Vegan bits out. Not Vegan, I know, but for me: this is a process. A gradual thing. A fundamental change that I don't want to jump in and out of on a whim.

When MrB and I arrived back in London the full switch was made to a plant-based diet. I can't say that it was Vegan as there were a couple of times I had "trail mix bars" that contain honey but I can honestly say that I switched to a Vegetarian diet that also excluded milk and eggs.

I wasn't quite prepared for this, it seems. I know all of the nutrition aspects and the fundamentals for any diet/eating regime but when I switched I didn't cope well. I was going to bed hungry (I have a hiatus hernia so I can't eat after a certain time before bed) because the nuts I was consuming as my sources of protein (I'm severely allergic and/or intolerant to most standard forms of Vegan-friendly proteins. *sigh*) don't seem to satiate my stomach for as long as meat was always able to. I was hungry for longer between meals but I was scared to just start snacking or eating Little-and-Often because I didn't want to suddenly balloon in weight when the whole goal of this endeavour is to become healthier and I know the pitfalls of constant snacking and it accidentally becoming A-Lot-and -Often or -All-The-Time.

The sudden increase of fibre and lack of "stodge" threw my IBS for a loop as well but I shall spare you the details. Let's just say there was a lot of pain for a few days.

On Thursday I had a business lunch and was feeling particularly wretched. I sat there hoping that once I started eating lunch I would feel better, blaming it on low blood sugar. Then I stopped to think (half way through the meal when I wasn't miraculously feeling better) that I had vanilla soy yoghurt and bran cereal for breakfast only 4 hours before. I wasn't starving. There was enough protein in that meal that I shouldn't have been suffering from low blood sugar... and I wasn't. But, man, was I a wreck.

I feel almost whole today, thankfully, so all is well on my little planet, but I am making no commitments and reviewing my diet carefully.

I've also got to review my thyroid levels again with my endocrinologist. I've been getting some of my old symptoms back and, remembering what I lived through before I started thyroid-replacement therapy, I am determined to get this nipped in the bud. I cannot, will not go through that again. I say this because it's something I'm keeping in mind as I'm dealing with the nutritional aspect of my days, to ensure that I'm aware of any connections/contraindications, etc. between the two.
I think that about sums up what has been going on on my planet for the last few days but I'll be "in touch" again soon as I'm planning (another) Celebration of Love, Life and Happiness party this year (November) so I'll excitedly be telling you all about the process here.

See you soon!

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