I went for a swim this morning. Swimming is pretty much about my favourite thing in the world to do. It clears my head like nothing else and enables me to really think through issues and problems that have been building up. Running enables this to a lesser degree but the best for me is swimming. There’s something about being surrounded by water. Today was no exception. I’ve found myself a nice quiet pool with just 5 x 25m lanes of which 2 or 3 are generally being used for squad training. There were 2 lanes available for public lap swimming today and there were only 2 of us swimming so I had a lane to myself which was simply perfect. Sometimes life can just be so hectic that we just keep moving without really thinking about what we’re doing or where we are going. It’s good every now and then to slow down and take stock. Swimming enables me to do this while also getting in a really good workout. And I’ve come up with a bunch of thoughts about my goals, wishes, hopes, dreams, whatever you want to call them over the coming months so I’m getting them down here before they all disappear again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about firstly whether I want to continue blogging at all and if so, where I should go with it. The thing is, I’m not a writer, nor am I an expert on any of the issues that I am passionate about. There are so many people that say the things I want to say so much better than I do. I’m okay with that. We all have our strengths and I have realised that I am never going to be able to create some kind of popular, highly read or whatever blog. The original concept of this blog was that my life, thoughts and decisions are often led by my values which are well encompassed with the descriptors of vegan, feminist and atheist. These 3 things, though most especially the first 2, are certainly as important to me as when I started. So anyway, what I’m thinking along those lines is that I will do a bit of linking to and recommending of some of those people who are saying this stuff better than me. And continue to read and learn as there is still just so much of that for me to do.
The other thing is, while I consider myself a runner, a swimmer, a vegan, a feminist, a mother, an accountant, etc, etc and have never and likely will never consider myself a writer, I do enjoy writing. I’ve almost always had some kind of diary or space to get my thoughts down and when I haven’t I believe this has ultimately been to my detriment. So I will continue blogging. I’m happy if people do read what I write but not that many people do and that’s ok. If somebody reads what I write and gets something out of it then that’s awesome, but at the end of the day I’m getting something out of doing the writing so regardless it is a beneficial thing and while it is I will continue.
My writing will probably be mostly about my fitness plans and goals although I guess that could change tomorrow too…….
My boy is 10 years old, so this aspect of my life is still a pretty important one. My goals here are fairly simple though maintaining them on a day to day basis still remains a constant challenge. I just want to continue to facilitate his growth into a decent, healthy, thoughtful and happy adult. I’m pretty proud of who he is right now and think I’m on the right track here as best as one can be.
This is where I have some very specific goals and plans. I have been exercising regularly for several years now and between reading different books and sharing others’ experiences my routine keeps getting tweaked. Also, I have been seeing a physio about my foot which I was unable to run on for a while and it looks like that is likely to be pretty okay from here on, enabling me to get stuck back into running again. So my plan for this is:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday – weighted squats and lunges followed by a run. The run will begin at the 3k run/walk I am doing at the moment and build back up to 10k which will either be a full run or a 10k run/walk when I run 4 refugees in October
Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday – upper body weights, 4 sets of one exercise for each of biceps, triceps, shoulder, chest and back followed by 10 minutes cardio which will be either exercise bike, or some jumping, skipping type exercises
Saturdays, like today, I will swim as the pool opens at 6:30 so I can get in a good 1 hour swim and still have time to do whatever else for the rest of the day
You might notice that there are no rest days in the above program. This is because I don’t personally do well with scheduled rest days. I will get up and then just get shitty because I want to work out. That seems counterproductive. What I tend to do instead is that when I wake up feeling as though I should rest and not work out, that’s exactly what I do. I have noticed this generally happens about every 7-10 days which really works out close enough to one rest day per week for me. No doubt this will continue to be modified but I want and need to build my running back up, I want to continue to get stronger and I want and love to swim so this just seems like a perfect fit all around.
I’m not strictly doing the #killsugar thing in the sense of not having any refined sugar at all any more. It was good to have done it for (over) a month, but in the long run I am not convinced that strict rules about things like this are necessarily beneficial. We’re all different I guess but I tend to work better on the general concept of constant improvement and continuously trying to make the best choices and every now and then eating some junk is okay as long as you don’t go overboard. To that end I plan to keep looking into, finding and trying out lots of new recipes for good healthy foods and just generally filling my day with so many of those kinds of foods that there is no real desire for anything less nutritious. I intend to continue not having any soft drink which aside from a handful of individual times I have done for well over a year now anyway. I also prefer not to have easy junky food at home though now I have my partner living here this is not always in my hands. I do find that I don’t get the urge or cravings for lots of junk like I used to though, so maybe that will be okay regardless. If it becomes an issue I will re-evaluate. For instance, last night after work I had a small piece of chocolate. There was more there but I was satisfied and that seems like a pretty positive thing all around.
Of course I will always be vegan. That’s just a no-brainer.
Ok, this one is a little trickier but I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole concept of utilising what you are good at towards the best goals for your life and the world around. While I admire so many activists and people much more involved in causes than I, so much of it is just not me or something that I am good at. The thing is, what I am good at is money, finance and accounting. And while I admire people who can completely walk away from much of the mainstream, capitalist world and live in their cars, etc to survive I can’t see myself doing anything like that. For starters I have a child to support, but even without that I’m not sure that would be something I would seriously contemplate. Again, there are so many people who do these things better than me, so my short term goals here are to make enough money to support my family and so that we can move to an area where we can rely more on public transport than a car and to send my son to the (public) school that I think would be ideal for him and would continue the parenting philosophy and priorities I have for him at home. I also like to be able to afford to give some to the causes that matter and the people that are better at doing these things better than I am.
I know that within the next 12 months at the latest I need to leave where I am working now for many reasons. For starters, just from a pure career progression perspective, there is not a lot further for me to go there. There isn’t a position for another qualified accountant and I couldn’t and really don’t want to move into the position of my direct superior even if he were to be planning to move on, which he isn’t. However, there are things I can get out of being there for the next 6-8 months and being (much more) involved in another year end process. Ideally I would move on around February/March next year.
Which brings me to the other reason to move and that is that it is in many ways a toxic environment and on that basis getting out sooner rather than later will be good. However, I do at this point think that what I can benefit from seeing it out until early next year will be worth it. I will just have to prioritise setting myself up to be somewhat immune to the toxicity as I have felt it affecting me lately.
I think I’ve covered most of this above, but it all comes down to the whole concept of figuring out where your skills and ability to best contribute lie. In the long run, when my son is older and not so dependent on my time, I want to volunteer for refugee and similar organisations and help people to navigate our government departments, budget and otherwise plan financially. That seems to me to be a need that I would be well placed to meet. In the short term, I’ll continue to help the ARSC fundraise with my running, donate where I can and to start joining the Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights in their weekly defence of the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne. I will also continue to attend relevant rallies and increase in my letters to our members of parliament because, yes, I am as pissed off as all decent Australians about the latest attack on asylum seekers by both major parties.