I don’t know whether it stems from the fact that I recently turned 40 (any milestone birthday seems to have the effect of making me take stock of my life), or whether it is simply a result of the restlessness and vague, but noticeable, discontent that I have been feeling lately; but I have decided it is time to make some changes in my life. I need to tweak things, to shake things up a little.

I think the problem is that, for way too long, I have been so busy attending to the mundane details of daily life; the needs of my household, the daily grind of laundry, meals, school and work; that I have neglected to attend to those less tangible needs of my own.

So this year I plan to prioritise “me” in my life. I plan to feed the inner me, to take better care of my needs. I am going to shift some of my focus to my spiritual well-being and to doing those things that bring me personal joy.

How do I hope to achieve this? I am making time for the hobbies that nurture the quiet, peaceful inner me, I am listening to music that nourishes my soul, I am reading books that challenge and stretch me and I am spending some time in quiet meditation every day.

Right now, I am starting out with tiny, little baby steps, but I hope that eventually these will grow to be small, but significant and lasting changes in my daily life.

Photo by algo, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

I'm still here....

I haven't been posting much lately - life seems to be sweeping me through each day with such terrifying speed and such astounding "busyness" that I haven't had the time, or to be truthful, the inclination, or energy, to sit down and construct a decent post. I am hoping that this phase will soon pass and that I will settle into some sort of rhythm again.

I have no doubt that as we pass into Autumn I will be more inclined to spend time at the computer. Right now when I have a free moment all I want to do is hop into the pool for a swim or sit on the verandah with a book, trying to catch a cooling breeze.

My sweet blogging buddy, Regina, of Regina's Family Seasons has given me the "Best Blogging Buddies Award". Thanks so much Regina, you're a sweetie pie! I will be passing this award on very soon.

Feeling flabby...

I did a quiz recently to see whether, like Bridget Jones, I am destined to always be a little (sometimes a lot) overweight - the results weren’t at all surprising:

You Are Destined to Struggle With Your Weight

Like most people, you find it a little difficult to stay at at weight you're comfortable with.
If you change a few habits and make food less important, you may find the struggle hardly exists anymore.

I really do want to lose some weight. Now it’s not an enormous amount of weight I'm talking about here, I’m not talking 20 or 30kgs. I would be 100% happy if I could lose 8kgs – that would bring me to a weight that I would be quite happy to stay at for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t be reed thin, but I wouldn’t be fat either. I am realistic enough to know that I will never again fit into the jeans I wore as a teenager and I am comfortable with that!

If I could lose 8kgs my BMI would be comfortably within the normal range. You can measure your BMI on a nifty little gadget I found at this website. Although the BMI scale has limitations (muscle being heavier than fat, for muscular people it is often not accurate), as I am not at all very muscular, for me it is a pretty realistic guage of the state of my plumpness.

You may remember that I went on a diet in July 2007, which I posted about here. As diets go, that was a good one. It was a gluten-free diet and I am really working hard at going off wheat, for a variety of reasons, so this diet makes a lot of sense to me.

The thing I have come to accept though is that I don’t need to simply go on a diet, I need to change my lifestyle. I am inclined to be sedentary by nature, I am really bad when it comes to snacking and I am a comfort eater of note.

So I decided I had to come up with a plan and this is it - in the interests of embarking on a healthier lifestyle, I am committing myself to the following:

I will eat fruit and veggies when I have the urge to nibble.

I am going to stick to only 3 little squares of dark chocolate a day (excuse me while I throw myself on my bed and sob!)

I am going to get back to drinking 2 litres of water a day.

I am going to get on that exercise bike at least 4 times a week.

I am going to exclude wheat from my diet (yay, Cherie!!)

Whether or not I can stick to this remains to be seen, but I am going to try really hard. I will keep you posted on my progress as I go along. Anyone interested in joining me?

I've been tagged!

I was tagged by my dear friend Redness who blogs at "I'm over it"

The rules are:
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. A. Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog
B. Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list
C. Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when you were 25 years old

3. Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.

Okay, so I am choosing to do "C" - 5 things I never pictured being in my future when I was 25 years old:

1. I never thought that I would have to attend my brother's funeral

2. I never pictured that I would take up and enjoy cross-stitching. I love it, it's so relaxing.

3. I never pictured standing next to my husband's bedside in ICU, wondering if he would survive the next 24 hours. Grant has always been very healthy and fit, but it was touch and go for a while there, 3 years ago, when he suffered a Deep Vein Thrombosis

4. I never pictured that there would be a wonderful young lady called Paula in my life - Grant and I were really battling with infertility when I was 25, so although I hoped to have another baby, there was a time when I didn't honestly believe it would happen - boy am I glad I was wrong!!

5. I never imagined blogging and making buddies over the internet - it's been a wonderful revelation to me!

I'd like to tag:

The Band Meme

I was tagged by Mimi of Mimi Writes... for The Band Meme

Here's how it goes. You are about to have your own band's CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. My tagee list is at the bottom of this post. It's fun and requires no thought at all. Go to......
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result as a comment in this post. Also, pass it along in your own journal because it’s more amusing that way.

My results are:

Name of band: Lacey V Murrow Memorial Bridge Band (??!!)
Title of Album: Quite Like Unrequited Love (Now that has a certain ring to it...)

If you feel like doing this, please jump in and do it (and leave a comment so that I can come over and check out your CD cover!)

Blogaholics Anonymous

Linda over at {this and that} has given me this really fun award!'s Blogaholics Anonymous Award!

Yup, I'm a blogaholic!!

This award originated with Melanie over at Livin'with Me! and it is more of a club than an award.

Here are the rules: Please grab the button and proudly display it on your blog. Pass it on to as many people as you want to and feel free to give Livin’ With Me a little linky love.

I'd like to pass this award on to:
and Melli

Friday's Feast

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
My middle name is Donna. I've never liked my first name (Gillian) but I don't think I would change it, it's part of who I am.

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
I don't do high fashion in any shape manner or form and I don't do lace, frills and flounces. I like clothes in plain fabrics, comfortable and easy to wear. So firstly I would never be a fashion designer (LOL) but if by some twist of fate I became one, the fabrics would be cotton, denim etc I would use a lot of blue because that's my favourite colour and I'd use lots of earthy colours; I would design in a very plain and sensible style.

What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Cleaning the loo!

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
Driving/travelling/motor cars. This definitely started with a car accident that Grant, Paula and I were in on 23 September 1995 - the car was a write off and it was a truly terrible experience. 4 months later to the day, on 23 Jan 1996 my brother was killed in a car accident and the 2 events have left me with a real phobia about driving, cars, travelling. I only get in a car because I absolutely have to and I can't wait to get out. I used to have genuine panic attacks when travelling every now and again, but I have more or less got that under control now.

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
I'm sitting at my desk and I can see my computer screen (doh!), my memory stick and my diary - 3 things that I love - how "sad" am I??

The start of a new year

2008 started with a bang, literally - the sound of hundreds of fireworks going off in our neighbourhood heralded in the new year for us. Our poor dogs were completely terrified, which left me less than impressed.

I will be very interested to see what this year holds for us. For some reason that I can't quite fathom, I feel that it is going to be a challenging year.

Rox's plans have changed quite dramatically, instead of going to Durban as planned, she will be taking up a post as a teacher's assistant at Paula's school, starting on Monday. Although she passed her matric exams, she didn't do as well as she (and we) had hoped she would in a couple of subjects, so she will rewrite those subjects in June. She is very excited about the work she will be doing at the school and I think it is going to be a very good experience for her.

Paula starts her new school year next Wednesday; her final year of primary school. In June she will become a teenager - my baby is growing up!

On Sunday I turn 40. As Paula so charmingly reminded me, that's half way to 80!! Maybe that's why I feel it's going to be a challenging year?!