Saturday, January 31, 2009

There is a little old lady inside me, trying to break out!

This week I found a white hair on my forearm!

It is her again, the old woman I will be one day, struggling to break through to the surface. I know she is in there, she makes an assault now and then. 

I have no issue with aging, in fact I embrace every age I am and look forward to those I have  yet to reach. I find people older than I inspiring (I also find those younger than I inspiring - and those my age!) I don't run around trying products that fight the signs of aging - whatever that means - I just look after this 45 year old body with the presumption it is about half-way through its life and needs to stay healthy and strong for the second half.

I have good genes when it comes to aging - my family history contains many octa- and nona-generains. Although my father passed away in 2003 aged 74, his poor health was all due to lifestyle issues (smoking, drinking, poor diet, sedentary life and no medical care!). On the other hand, his older sister enjoyed her 81st birthday last year and is a bundle of energy in mind, body and spirit! And their cousins are alive - one as fit as a Mallee bull, the other Strong in health and body, but struck down by dementia in her late 80s :(. My mother is alive, aged 74 and all her older siblings are too - aged up to the 80s. But my prognosis is good for another 40 odd years or more!

So I don't want to look like a 20yo or even a 30yo: I want to look like a healthy, active 40 something. I might have MS and a few other health issues I cannot control, but I can still do my best to prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other illness caused by poor lifestyle. It is more important what you put on the inside of your body than what you slather on the outside (with the exception of sunscreen!).

My older goddess within can stay inside for a while longer. She can keep sending through her grey hairs and her creases in my skin, the aches and pains in my feet and the other signs our body is changing. On the outside, I still colour my hair, but a lighter colour now, in recognition of the changes she makes. I put water into my body and I seal it in with regular moisturising and I do my best to keep the damaging sun of my face. I might wear more comfortable shoes, but I still paint my toenails outrageous colours!!!

I hope I am aging disgracefully - I try very hard to!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting it all together

Okay, so like most people, the new year motivates me to have a good clean out and make organising improvements.

This year, my focus seems to be electronic and I thought I would share some tools that I currently swear by:

iGoogle - I began using this as my home page a few months ago and am loving it. It is free and you can add gadgets that suit what you want from your page. I have a Facebook gadget, a bookmark box, the weather, news updates, my Google Reader and Google news alerts, a Mark Twain quote of the day, an Oprah update gadget, the weather radar and my Remember The Milk box (see below).

Google Chrome - I am still in trial mode with this, but have made the change because I was having more and more crashes with Internet Explorer. It doesn't work with Robo Form (see below) which has me grumpy, so we will see how it goes. And I cannot work out why I can't have my Google toolbar on a Google product! I miss my auto fill!!

Remember The Milk - not the first task manager/to do list I have tried, but I like that this one can have gadgets on the places you do stuff and can sync with my PDA. It is easy to use and free for the basic model.

Robo Form - I have been using this for ages now, after a friend shared her "Robocop" secret! It looks after all my logins and passwords, which drive me mad! I love it, love it! A toolbar on your web browser - unless you are using Google Chrome - and it can sync with your PDA, which means you can still access the data if your computer is elsewhere.

Carbonite Back Up - You MUST get this!!! It backs up all your stuff, all the time, online and automatically! You can sleep at night. 

Good Sync - Only just got this, normally I use the Windows sync tool, but so far this looks like a good option. Remember The Milk wanted this to run Milk Sync.

Media Monkey - for when iTunes is driving me batty, this gives me full control over where my music is. 

Media Master - because my music files are not all in my laptop, this online site lets me upload ALL of my music and then I can just listen online!!

Pedometer - hah, just in case you thought I spend ALL my time on the keyboard, I got myself a pedometer and am racking up at least my 10 000 steps a day, often up to 15 000 and on Sunday (when Melissa and I were in the City) 24 000!!!!!!!

TiVo - what can I say? I have waited patiently for several years for this to arrive in Australia. Now I watch the TV shows I want, when I want and I lurve it! One less barrier to walking the dog :)

Will I be more organised? At least I FEEL more organised right now :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


Today my chiropractor (Hi Shady!) asked me about my passions. As a Facebook friend, he sees I am extremely passionate about breastfeeding, for example, and asked how I became so passionate.

I have no idea! This is just how I have always been!

Maybe I am just obsessive? I always seem to get into anything I do 110%. I used to think everyone was like that, but I have met enough lukewarm beings in life to suspect some have never had a passionate obsession with anything :)

I was certainly not the easiest teenager to live with - or teach at school! However, I always got on really well with my english or social studies teachers and those adults who worked out I wasn't arguing with them, just putting my thoughts across. One of my kids had a teacher who just didn't gel with him for much the same reason!

An old friend said to me a few years ago that I had mellowed into a nice person - high praise from someone who battled alongside me through those teen years and beyond when I often could not see the forest for the trees and knew everything was either black or white. But a few decades of licking my wounds taught me better ways to communicate my passions: a skill my equally passionate father never learned.

So - yes, I am passionate about most aspects of life, but this is NOTHING compared to the old, less-mellow me!

I reckon twenty-odd years in NMAA/ABA has done the trick. You cannot be dogmatic or fanatical and function in this organisation, it is impossible. So you learn better ways to share your passion and that crosses over into the rest of life. 

I expect I will be the nutty old woman in the nursing home one day, getting her knickers in a knot about something. I look forward to the fun ahead!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009


I actually set some goals at the beginning of 2008 - and stuck with them!

I know, how amazing?

I am not even setting new ones for 2009, I am sticking with the ones I am working on.

So, how am I going?

Goal: Become a better photographer.
- learn how to use my new camera
- follow online tutorials
- learn how to use Photoshop
- take photos most days

Well, I did work on these. I bought a Dummies guide to my camera and read it. I started - and maintained for 3 months - the 365 project. I experimented with Photoshop, although it still bamboozles me! The online tutorials were a bit hit and miss, either too basic or too complex!

Goal: Enjoy more yoga
- Enrol in local yoga class
- Make time to practice regularly
- Use my existing resources

Good progress here! I finally stated classes in second term and have done TWO per week most weeks for the rest of the year! Some weeks I only managed one class, but I have stuck with it! I practice a bit at home with the Wii Fit anddo conciously make time for meditation most days. And I dusted off the yoga mat and also got myself a yoga bolster!

Goal: Be as healthy as I can
- Eat less, move more
- Eat fruit, drink water
- Respect my body
- Stretch often
- Practice yoga
- Walk instead of driving
- Be hydrated

Despite the unwanted apearance of a) a goitre in my thyroid, b) a spondylothesis in my spine and c) tendonitis in my shoulder, my health hasn'tbeen too bad this year! I have walked a lot more, not only because of the addition of a puppy to the household :) I park the car further away and walk and I conciously choose to walk when I could drive, especially when running errands at work. I am eating more fruit and working on the water thing more. Yoga is happening. Respect has come into play by working with my back and other joints to prevent pain and injury: I have been seeing a chiropractor and this has made a great difference. I am no longer a person who lifts or carries - I own various trolley bags!!!!

I am raring to go in 2009 and look forward to reporting back thi time next year!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Facebook, nipples and puritans

I love Facebook. I am addicted to it. I have connected with old friends, kept in touch with current friends and made new friends. My profile tells me I have 518 friends on Facebook.

The downside is that facebook, like most other wonders of the internet, is American-based and the America was settled by puritans several hundred years ago and sadly, they still have loud voices.

The latest fiasco in the world of lactavism is Facebook removing photos, and in some cases banning members, because photos in their albums are obscene. Now, I abhor pornography as much as the next person, however it is drawing a very long bow to suggest that photos of a mother and baby breastfeeding are in that league.

Not all photos of breastfeeding are being taken down. Just those deemed to breach the rule about bare breasts: ie you can see nipple and/or areola. Or where the child is "too old" or where siblings are sharing feed time. Or that someone just doesn't like :( Many of the removed images can be viewed freely at this site and you will agree most are just snapshots of daily life in a household where babies are breastfed 8 times or more a day for the two years or longer recommended by the World Health Organization!

Male nipples are fine, at any point from cradle to grave and female ones unremarkable until puberty. After that, any sight is associated by some as being sexual, even when in the unremarkable act of feeding a human child. Mammary glands, some call them: mammary as in mammal, as in feeds its young its own milk. mmm .....

So action is being taken all over the globe to protect breastfeeding once again. Ironically, some of the images being removed include promotional educational materials produced by government and other health authorities to normalise breastfeeding! While breastfeeding in public is now recognised widely as being a mother/baby's right, secured in law, a photo taken in a public place may be deemed unsuitable for inclusion on a public web site!

Those puritans have a lot to answer for. They left England because they felt persecuted for their beliefs and it seems they have wreaked revenge ever since. While bans on dancing, playing music and other forms of art have long gone, puritanical views on the human body linger. Witches are no longer trailled by the ducking stool in thelocal pond, yet mothers are harangued for going about one of natures most fundamental acts.

Beam me up, Scotty!