Ten things I should do more of this year



It’s 1 January.  A new year.  Time to start thinking about goals for 2013.
Every year I write a list of 10 things I want to achieve.  I usually hit about six of them, which I’m happy with. They’ve ranged from running marathons (tick, tick) to starting this blog (tick).  They’re usually goals that take me a bit of time to achieve but if I get there, I’m as happy as a chocolate addict in a Lindt store.
I’ve written that list (not ready to share yet) but I also started thinking about ten things I should do more of this year.  Stuff I do now and again but not regularly.  Every day little things to make my life easier.  Better.  A little less stressful.  Not New Years Resolutions, just little game changers.  Here’s what I’m thinking … 
1. Cook.  
I’m a bit of a throw things together or reheat something in the microwave sort of girl.  It’s a time thing, but also I’m not a natural cook.  You’ll never see me on Master Chef.  Or even Ready, Steady, Cook.  When I do take the time to cook something healthy and tasty, I feel great.  I may even throw a dinner party or two.  Okay, let’s not get carried away. 
2. Floss.
3. Call my Mum.  
I phone my Mum once a week to let her know I’m alive, catch up on family news (oh, Nanna made crumbed chops?) and give her updates on what’s been happening in my world.  She reads it all on Facebook, but it’s nice to chat and explain some of my friend’s inappropriate comments.  I love my Mum and I only recently realised how much it means to her to have me call – just to know I’m okay.  And happy.
4. Leave work on time.  
I love my job so I don’t mind working long hours, but sometimes you just need to log off, leave it behind and go and have a life.  I need to do that more often.  It makes me a better person.
5. Declutter.  
It’s true, I collect stuff.  Not like those weirdos on World’s Worst Hoarders with 8 years of old newspapers, but yes, I have more stuff than I need.  When I do get time to declutter and throw shit out, it sets me free.  I need to do that more often.  Or you may just see me on TV one day.
6. Drink green tea.
7. Stop bringing home Who magazines I will never read.  
I threw out 18 Who magazines today.  Three were from 2010.  See point 5 re clutter and TV stardom.
8. Ask for what I want.  
I’m been blessed in that whatever I need the Universe usually provides.  Sometimes, however, you have to ask for what you want.  At work.  From friends.  In relationships.  Time for me to put my hand up.
9. Stop making assumptions.  
Making up imaginary scenarios in my head about why someone (usually a boy) hasn’t texted, called or asked me out is a waste of time.  No more of this stupid girly behavior, please.
10. Read.  
Actual books.  Not just Facebook and Twitter feeds. 
If I can do just a few of these things I’m hoping my life will be a little less stressful and I’ll feel a little bit more ‘together’.  If not, hey, I’m doing the best  I can each day.  Plus, there’s always my other Top Ten list … Climb a Mountain, anyone?


It’s New Years Eve.   2012 will be over soon.   I should be going out to celebrate another amazing year, right?

I’m a big believer in celebrating all the awesome events and things in your life – especially birthdays and Christmas, but with New Years Eve, I’m just bleugh.  I can’t be bothered.

Is that bad?

The majority of my friends have headed off interstate or overseas – the rest of them are planning quiet nights.  Some are even doing nothing.

Doing nothing on New Years Eve?  Whoah.  

I thought about that too – it’s been a big year and I’ve not had a quiet night in ages, so I was bang up for staying home, watching a movie, maybe calling an equally lame friend -  just hanging out.   Maybe even open a bottle of champagne to toast 2013. 


Drinking by yourself is sad.  Wrong. Especially on New Years Eve.  Unless you’re Tom Hanks in Castaway. 

I don’t want a massive party night, but I don’t want to sit home alone and feel sorry for myself either.  Happy New Year Nigel No Friends.

So I’m dragging my ass out for a casual dinner with Super Girl.  We haven’t booked anywhere so we could end up at Hungry Jacks (not the worst place in the world, I do love their veggie burgers) or a dodgy kebab shop.   We’re just doing it at the start of the night, not the end.

Then we’re off to see an art house movie.   You can tell it’s art house as it was really easy to buy tickets for tonight (hello sold out Les Miserables) and they let your drink alcohol all the way through it.  They even sell fancy fair trade dark chocolate at the candy bar.  No choc tops here.

The movie will end around 11.15pm so we’ll have 45 minutes to wander the streets and check out all the bored people who are either drunk and waiting for a random pash, or sober and counting down til Midnight so they can go home.   I’m somewhere between the two.

I hope your New Years Eve is a little more thrilling than mine and that 2012 has been a great year for you.  Mine was pretty amazing – but I’m excited about 2013 too.  I may just kick it off with a random pash. 

Or some of that fancy dark chocolate.


I wish I was as amazing in real life 

I want to be as amazing in real life as I am on holidays.

I’ve had this week off work and I have to say, I’ve been pretty amazing.  I’ve done stuff that, in my real life (eg; not on holidays), I would never have had the time, energy or enthusiasm for.  Let me list some of the stuff I’ve done, so you too can be impressed.  You may even be a bit jealous if you’ve not ticked off things on your list like I have. 

SuperGirl and I borrowed her Dad’s ute.  I won’t deny it, we looked hot. What (straight) man doesn’t love two chicks in a ute?   We headed off to Ikea on a mission – to find ways to declutter our lives.  What a magical wonderland that place is!  I haven’t been there for years for fear of going against the arrows and getting arrested, but now I want to visit every week and see what those little munchkins in blue shirts have in store for me.   I bought a flat pack bookcase and we hauled it up two flights of stairs to my bedroom.  Usually I’d never have the energy to carry my handbag up those stairs, but on holidays, I’m strong.  I’m a machine. 

Armed with an Alan key and a cordless drill, I created carpentry symphony with 8 pieces of wood, 8 x long screws and 32 of those weird wooden toggle things.   I now have a beautiful bookcase which I’m proud to say, I put together all by myself. All alone, like Bridget Jones, all by myself.  No one to help me.  Seriously, what do I really need a man for?   Perhaps to point out there was no need for the power tool and I was just showing off.

After I rearranged my room, threw away boxes of stuff I don’t need, packed four bags of stuff to take to the Salvos, changed my sheets and fixed my broken bed (it’s been that way for six months, clearly no one has been in it to notice), I called my Mum.  We talked for more than 40 minutes.  Really talked – not just going through the motions of how’s Nanna, ooh, the weather’s a bit hot, what’s my crazy sister been up to?  I wasn’t doing anything else at the same time (eg; googling or reheating something for dinner).  I was totally focussed on everything she was saying.  It was nice.  Yes, World’s Best Daughter. 

The sun was still out so I put on my gym gear (which was washed and folded and not sitting on the floor like it usually is) and went out in the fresh air for a walk.  I listened to music on my new ipod (which I had uploaded  yesterday), checked out hipster houses in my neighbourhood and got some exercise.   I took my time.  It was a beautiful day and I soaked it up.  Heaven. 

As if that wasn’t enough to make me feel self righteous I then cooked salmon steaks in a mustard and chive sauce, and stirfried fresh vegetables with Thai basil.  I actually chopped and sautéed real food, using herbs, a frying pan and hotplates.  Imagine that.  No beep beep beep, your frozen fish and frozen vegies are ready for dinner scenario for me.   I cooked an awesome meal and it tasted fantastic. I actually enjoyed the process and even washed the dishes – as opposed to leaving them for three days until GFM or I run out of glasses.  I am a Domestic Goddess.

I got lots of sleep.  I read books and trashy mags.  My cat got quality time.  I called friends I’ve not spoken to for months and we talked for hours.  Hours.  I had time to daydream.  

In my normal crazy, busy, intense life – which I love – doing any of these things would be pretty good.  But to nail ALL of them in a few days is a miracle.  I stepped over the line of being a Just get through today and we’ll deal with everything else Tomorrow person, to someone who is organised, in control and has her shit together.  It’s like I’m a proper grown up and just got my pen licence.  No more pencils for me. 

I’m back at work tomorrow so this Utopia will soon be a distant memory. But I’m holding onto the thought that with a bit of work (okay a lot of work and planning) I can continue to be amazing ... with exercise, a tidy house, fresh food and all my relationships in tact.  If not, there’s always my next holiday ...  and a bag of frozen veggies in the freezer to keep me going.  


We're friends, yeah?

I just deleted seven “friends” from Facebook. Okay, let’s be honest, they’re not real friends. If they were, we’d be hanging out together. Or at least swapping e-Christmas cards.

For clarity, let’s put them into the following categories: 

  • Men I’ve slept with but no longer talk to (2)
  • Partners of friends who are annoying or negative (2)
  • A former work colleague I haven’t spoken to in two years (1)
  • My old personal trainer (1)
  • A random I ‘facebooked’ but have no idea why (1)

Most of us go through this culling process at some point.   You might notice you have ‘too many friends’ (whatever number we deem that to be) or that there are people sitting idly on your profile doing nothing.   You’re not sure if they’re even on Facebook anymore.  If they are, do they only log on to stalk you and check out your updates, or are their lives so boring they have nothing to put on their own page?  Either way, you decide that these are not the people you want in your cyber world.

The last time I did a FB cull I was outed in the office for deleting a guy I worked with.   At the time, I had a rule that if I worked with you but we didn’t hang out socially, then we wouldn’t be Facebook friends.  I really don’t want my workmates to see what I get up to on weekends – how are you meant to pass off a hangover as gastro if your work colleagues see photos of you doing vodka shots on a Sunday night and dob you into the boss?

I was surprised he even noticed that I’d deleted him.   He had over 400 friends and given I’d never written on his wall, nor he on mine, I didn’t think he’d really care if I dropped off his list.  I’m more popular than I thought. 

There was a mini intervention (partly in jest) with other people in the office.  “Tan, why did you delete Daily Male?”  “How come you’re friends with Tyles but not him?”  “Is it because you think he’s a cockhead?” (well yes, that’s part of it, if you must know).   It felt like I was back in primary school and I’d chosen Deanna over Michelle to take to Pizza Hut and the movies for my 13th birthday.   (Deanna had a pool, there was no contest).

Why do people take the Facebook delete so personally?  It’s not like it equates to anything in the real world.  You’d never call up a mate and tell them they were ‘unfriended’ because they bored you with mundane chit chat (I just had the best cheese sandwich ever) or you were sick of them showing you photos of their baby three times a day.   But on Facebook we can – and do - do that. 

God forbid, you’d ring up a random you haven’t um, seen, in three years to find out what he’s been up to.  Oh, the hot tradie got married, did he? The Balinese honeymoon looks great.  They’re having a baby together?  Lovely.  With a bit of Facebook stalking it’s amazing what you can find out about your um, previous relationships. 

Maybe that’s why people get upset when you delete them.  You’re not only telling them you don’t want them in your cyber life anymore and that you’re not interested in what goes in in their world, you're also taking away their opportunity to sticky beak into your life.  To see how much fun you're having. How amazing your life is.  Without them.

I debated deleting this small group. They’re not bad people. I just didn’t need to see the smiley face of my ex personal trainer anymore.  How will my current trainer Dani feel when she sees I’ve been cheating on her? 

Sure, I’ll miss the whingey whiney status updates of a former work colleague who hates almost every person he comes into contact with, especially the homeless. “Hey stinky old lady, don’t sit next to me, you smell like vomit. Catch another train home.”  What a Saint. 

I’ve always surrounded myself with positive people so I want my Facebook friends to be the same.  Ones that make you feel good, support your dreams and actually care about what’s happening in your life – good and bad. It’s a two way street and I hope I’m that sort of good friend too.  If I’m not, feel free to unfriend me.  I promise I won’t take it personally. 




Fruit Market Turf Wars 

I went back to my favourite Greek fruit and veg market today.  I’ve not been there in years, even though they have amazing produce which is cheap and lasts much longer than the stuff you buy from the supermarket.  They also have a bakery, continental store, butcher and fresh fish place.   Every time I go there I get inspired to eat better, cook healthy meals or entertain.  It’s foodie heaven, even for a non cook like me.

So why do I not go to this place every week to stock up on fresh food?

My ex Heroin has dibs on the place.  (His nickname is Heroin, not because he was a rancid junkie, but because that’s what being with him was like – on or getting off Heroin.  Or so I imagine.) 

When we were together, Heroin and I would go to the Greek market every weekend, picking out what we’d make for dinner that night (he’d cook something new or special), fill the fridge with salads, fruit and anything else we needed.  Then we’d grab a coffee and spend time hanging out, like so many couples do.  It was our weekend ritual.  It made me feel loved and confirmed that I had the great relationship I always wanted.

After a while he turned into a critical, self obsessed shithead and our relationship dissolved.  Actually it was more like someone took to it with a blunt chainsaw, but you get the idea.  We broke up.

I moved to the other side of town and found my own places to shop.  Mainly supermarkets and the occasional organic place, but they were more expensive and I missed the Greek market’s fresh produce.  I wanted to go back, but it was too close to where my ex lived.  I signed up for my Woolies loyalty card. 

One day, on my way from the airport (sporting a tan after a trip to Darwin), I popped in to the market to grab some fruit in an attempt to cleanse my bad holiday eating.  It was a Thursday so I knew it would be quiet, and  I could run in, grab some bananas and strawberries and be on my way.  

As I walked around the corner to the back of the warehouse, I spotted him.  Heroin.  I went to turn around and sneak out, but he saw me, waved and started walking over to where I was standing, awkwardly.   Could I throw myself into the giant crate of sweet potatoes before he got to me?  Apparently not.

I put on my best fake smile. Tossed my hair. Hoped I looked hot.  Surely the tan would help?  He’s with a girl.   She looks familiar.   Oh yes, she’s the one I saw him with two weeks after we broke up, sharing a giggle on the way back to his car after a drunken lunch.  They’re still together?  Poor thing.

Heroin started talking to me, asking how I was and telling me about his new job.  I wasn’t really listening as I noticed his little pixie girlfriend waving her hands around as they shared a story about whatever or whatever.  Something shiny was almost poking me in the face.  Holy shit, they got engaged?!

Yes, yes, how exciting, he says, we’re getting married next year, can’t wait, so happy .... he dribbled on at me while all around little Greek women were squeezing the life out of avocados. Kill me.

I never went back to the Greek market after that.  I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her all smug with her engagement ring – now also a wedding ring – and him all perky and in love holding her hand and choosing rockmelon like we used to.  Sour grapes?  Sure.  I’ll have a kilo.

So today, on a health kick and sick of paying way too much for gourmet lettuce and mushrooms, I ventured back to the Greek market, ready for action.  I was in my gym gear, wearing a cap and big sunnies, so he’d barely recognise me anyway, but I raced through there like an Amazing Race contestant, filing up my green bag with fresh veggie goodness like there was no tomorrow.   Then off for some fish, bread from the Asian bakery and $14 worth of fancy Parmesan.  (Fancy as in not in a tin).

As I climbed into my car, with my shopping bag of joy, thinking of the teriyaki fish stir fry I’d be whipping up, I saw a grey Jeep like Heroin’s drive past me in the carpark.  My heart skipped a beat.  Was it him?  I don’t know and I didn’t stick around to find out. I'm not sure I even care.  I’m back at my favourite grocers and on a mission to eat better in 2013.  Heroin and his pixie wife can jam it.   When we run into each other, I’ll be ready.

Ready to do a runner out the back door so I don’t have to see him, but ready nonetheless.