Life goes on

I came across this post a couple of weeks ago and felt compelled to share it with you. Take the time (about 10 mins) to read the entire post to understand the full extent of the message behind the words. This paragraph caught my eye, and along with my posts on crashing my motorcycle, part 1 & part 2), underpin just why I’m doing what I do whilst I can:

As mentioned, do yourself a favour and read the entire post. It may make you cry, but I believe it’s a fabulous post from someone who’s been able to share his thoughts up until the very end. Derek passed away on May 3rd, 2011.

EDIT 2nd June, 2011 (you’ll need tissues!) : Derek’s wife Airdrie has posted a follow-up post, and I urge you to read it for her reply and to find out more about Derek. I’m not sure we’ve ever had the privilege to get both sides of such a wonderful story – My heart goes out to anyone who has lost their soulmate or someone immeasurably precious.

I am doing my best to live each day deliberately, and with a goal of each day being better than the previous. How am I doing? How are you doing? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Thanks 🙂

Loss of routine

My Water Bottle

As you may know, I took an opportunity to change my working situation (Many of you knew this – if not, you can read my goodbye message). In this former role I worked from home and had a fairly steady routine (even if I had been up until 2am on conference calls, or up for a conference call at 5am), and part of this routine was to drink 1-1.5L of water per day.

There’ve been days recently where I’ve felt ‘flat’ and didn’t have the usual amount of zing that I regularly have. For the most part my routine is now different, granted; but I am eating the same food, going to bed at the same time, and waking at the same time, so something else was missing – I wasn’t drinking enough water!

I am looking forward to what’s ahead both professionally and personally, and am relishing the opportunity to explore the wide world and where I could go next. However, I now need to ensure I drink enough water during the day to keep me on top of things!

Some of the benefits of getting enough water and staying hydrated:

  • Improves mental clarity
  • Improves organ functions (such as the heart, brain, kidneys, muscles and joints)
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves digestion

My recommendation for drinking water each day:

  • If you know you need to get away from the desk at regular intervals, fill up a large glass and refill it when you see it’s empty. This works well when the tap is some distance from your desk 🙂
  • If you don’t need to get up, fill a large water bottle (like mine, pictured) and top up a glass/cup each time it’s empty. I make an effort to empty the bottle by lunchtime.
  • One note: There’s conjecture out there about not drinking before or during mealtimes as the water can dilute your stomach acid and slow digestion. I don’t usually drink during meals anyway but recommend you do what feels natural.

Experience vs. Sense

I read Should We Buy Expensive Wine earlier today and was struck by something that seems so innocent and simple, yet can help us all understand a little more about how we use our brains. Here’s the segment of the post by Jonah Lehrer (highlights by me):


I know there are many who don’t think hard enough about how we use our brains, and once I read this (specifically about experience and sense) it clicked for me as to how we take our senses for granted in how they shape our thoughts. Senses take in the ‘real’ – what is seen, heard, etc from the outside world. The brain needs to firstly process this information, then experience comes into play to help shape what we think – in this case, cost has been shown to alter the ‘perceived’ taste of the wine.

Be careful next time you ask someone for their ‘experience’. You may get more than you bargained for! 🙂

 

Live each day

The world often conspires in ways to being things to your attention, and I feel that acknowledging these things is important to help spread the message. Here follows 3 tweets/blog posts that made me stop and think. Hard. About life, love and those that mean so much to us.

  1. On Monday, I saw a tweet about The Last Post, read the first paragraph and stopped what I was doing to let it soak in. I have read a little more of the blog post in the past 2 days but not digested it all (yet).
  2. Tonight, I saw another tweet from Sara Lucas (aka SassLucas), doing her bit to try and enrich the women & children of the world, and traced the tweet back to it’s owner, a lovely lady called Eden Riley:

    Eden’s blog post (Every Little Thing) is a real, moving story about the passing of her friend Vee’s husband one year ago. After reading the post, I then followed the link to Vee’s story titled Why You Where Here. Equally real, moving and a lovely tribute to one of the most important things in her life. I think both Eden and Vee are awesome, brave and courageous to share their stories.

  3. ADDED 12th May: I could not let this one slip. I saw a tweet from my wonderful friend Francie Jones earlier today which fits right into the theme here of loss and living your life.
    Ben Pobjie recently wrote of his experience with depression (aka the Black Dog) in a post titled Crumple Zone. (Many of you will remember the Black Dog Ride I participated in as a member of Riding4Cause in September 2010). It’s but a small way we can begin to see what it’s like from the inside, from someone who’s been to the brink of suicide. It’s a powerful post that brought tears to my eyes and I offer it here as part of the theme of “living your life”.
  4. Then, as a counterpoint to the above, here’s a blog post that I think sums up the nature of life for everyone I decided to photograph the reactions of my friends and family when I told them my good news – I’m going to be a dad! Please note this is NOT my blog post, but serves as a way of contrasting the loss for one person/family against the pure joy felt by others.

Life is a cycle. Things happen, they happen to everyone at different times, and whilst one person grieves, another celebrates. No matter what happens, you need to continue to live your life. Go out there and live it, love yourself, love your family and friends and don’t sweat the small stuff.

CrackOfArse

This week, I participated in something known as the “CrackOfArse” challenge, set out by Amelia Burton, which is to exercise for 5 days straight between 5:30am-7:30am (The term is an Aussie slang amendment of the ‘Crack Of Dawn’). There was no limit or stipulation on what type of exercise you could do.

Since my departure from full-time work, I’ve felt it important to continue with a routine of waking up and getting stuck into the day and decided to join in. It wasn’t difficult, and it led to me including my boys & wife in some of the exercises!

My #CrackOfArse Week!

Monday: 7.5km run
Tuesday: 2km walk/run around my local park with Mr5! (followed by a session with my wife that included Weighted swiss ball crunches, Dumbbell lunge, The clam, Sumo Squats, Kneeling semi-planks and Saxon side bends, along with some sprint boxing.
Wednesday: 7km cycle
Thursday: 9km walk: Brisk at first, then walked the boys to school, followed by a semi-brisk return.
Friday: 30km cycle into the city with my buddy Jeff Marsh.

I felt wonderful for it, and it helps to stick to the routine – I’ve read a few stories & spoken to people who found it difficult to get out of bed when there was no ‘work’ to do. That won’t be the case with me – I still have too many things I want to do to be lying in bed! If you are on Twitter, I recommend following Amelia and keeping an eye out on the next #CrackOfArse challenge 🙂

Walking lessons

As part of my CrackOfArse challenge I went for a brisk 30 min walk this morning before heading home and picking up the boys (Mr almost-6 and Mr almost-9) to walk them to school. Walking with my boys gives me pleasure because it’s a chance to talk with them instead of talking at them during  normal day.

Today’s lesson was the difference between buying a house and renting a house, and branched out into loaning money and how interest works.

The other observation is that they see things I do not; they spotted things like screws, rubber bands and springs on the ground; flowers in a garden that one of our neighbours used to grow; the shadow from a centipede was larger than the centipede itself; and just how long some streets are!

For me, this morning’s walk I felt connected with the environment; I walked on the side of the street where there was more sun; I smelled wonderful smells coming from flowers, kitchens and rubbish bins; I wondered what the stories were behind the 4 cars that are now home to many spiders and their families, and gazed up into the blue sky on this awesome Sydney Autumn morning.

Get out there for a walk, it’s a skill you already have in your toolbox and you can do it anywhere. Walk with purpose and use your senses to pick up on the things that happen all around you. You’re worth it!

My Muesli

Picture of Nuts!
Nuts!

I’m not a huge fan of pre-packaged muesli products as many include ingredients you just don’t need: preservatives, salt, sugar and miscellaneous other ingredients.

However I am a huge fan of oats and their health benefits (helps lower cholesterol and the risk of atherosclerosis), as well as a fan of nuts such as almonds and walnuts (who, together with oats, are a good source of Glutamic Acid, one of the critical brain neurotransmitters that help aid learning & memory functions). So, I decided to make my own based on what ‘s available to me in the cupboard. Here’s my recipe:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 teaspooons Sunflower kernels
  • 2 teaspoons pepitas
  • 4 teaspoons LSA (ground Linseed, Sunflower & Almond)
Picture of Muesli
My Muesli

Notes

  • I chopped the nuts into smaller pieces so you don’t end up with a mouthful of nuts, but this is completely up to you. I will be refining this recipe over time as more ingredients become available or I feel the need to change.
  • I resisted the urge to include any dried fruit in my muesli, preferring fresh fruit where possible. Today, I ate my muesli with fresh strawberries and low-fat milk 🙂

 

Do you think my muesli is missing anything? If so, tell me by leaving a comment!