Thursday, September 25, 2014

standing for something

today is the first afternoon of the standing desk.
Our work challenge for spring is a 70 day challenge
where we are in teams of four from across New Zealand.
Each day we have a challenge to met,
actually it might be each week I haven't read the rules yet
(or ever as rule reading or complying is not my forte).
In our team of four we have to walk 10,000 steps each day,
and some other stuff like drink green tea instead of coffee,
so that doesn't count for me cause I ain't no coffee drinker.
I nabbed the left over raisable desk so I can stand or sit or squat for that matter,
if I so choose.
The blokes in the office moved it in for me,
while I mucked up the cords between my phone and my computer.
I've been standing at my standing desk for two hours now,
I googled tips for my transition from sitting eight hours to halving that.
Turns out that hopped, boxing stances and rocking are all key to a successful transition.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Just last weekend, New Zealand had its triennial election.
Landslide blah blah, lots of rehashing blah blah blah.
But this election I was asked to stand for my party Act.
I usually avoid any public politicing but
this year it was time I stepped up and wore my colours on my front gate.
Turns out in my electorate there was nothing happening.
Mine is a safe National (conservative) seat and it appeared that the Labour candidate was high enough on the list that she would be returned to Parliament too.
(Labour's vote was the lowest in 90 years so she wasn't and now she has to get another job,
probably with the teacher's union).
But what about me?
Well it was time I stood up for what I believe to be right.
(totally subjective this rightness thing)
Since nothing much was happening in my electorate is posted this on the old Facebook:
Hey peoples, just a wee testimony of why I support Act and even stood for Act in my electorate and in the List. I believe in freedom, I believe in freedom of religion, speech, all sorts of freedom. I want that for myself and for you. I believe I can make choices for myself, govern myself - I don't have any friends who are idiots so you must be able to govern and make choices for yourself too. For those of you who are Mormon, my political beliefs are entirely enmeshed with my religious beliefs. I know that God has given us the right to choose for ourselves and that is what Act is advocating for. Now for a wee political spectrum lesson.....when we talk about left and right politics what we are talking about is the degree of control that party would exert over you and your life. On the left is total control, middle lots of control but not all, and the right is none. At the moment National sits in the centre, and all other parties are to the left, of the larger parties the Greens are the furtherest left, Labour is left of centre and Act is out there on its own to the right, not all the way but enough along that you get to live your life free of the tyranny of Govt. Now I understand that freedom and making choices for yourself is scary, as I get older I find myself getting a little more conservative/centrist on SOME issues but I support Act because even though some of their policies seem harsh, it's more that they are like ripping a sticking plaster off very fast. We have been lulled into a false sense of security. Look at the whole NSA thing, any government that doesn't believe the people should govern themselves is going to get in bed with spy agencies - that stuff would have been going on under Labour too (you earn UN positions by being good to those in power). So please vote wisely, not for quick fix, promises that probably won't happen (after all, no matter which party you are with, it's still a democracy in the House) but vote because you believe in the ideals and hope for freedom.
I am troubled by how media hijacks elections,
as much as my wee party was misquoted, misconstrued, miseverythinged,
I was also pretty horrified at the circus that particular people and their parties made this election into.
Even though in the end my campaigning efforts were limited
to putting up hoardings and delivering brochures,
I knew I was doing the right thing by standing for what I believe in.
Which is more than most people do.
This did not happen, but Act still wins at the end of the day
because David Seymour was elected in Epsom and he is pretty stellar.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm on speed

It feels like the world is turning at a rate of knots,

probably nots, depending on your age.
Is aging related to an increased rotation of the earth?

Or is high drama responsible for me the world spin?
In the past eight weeks
we've had domestic abuse,
pneumonia (finally learnt to spell it),
hospital stays,
delirium (thought that went the way of swooning),
poor behaviour,
police and detention,
restructuring and letting go,
lawyers and doctors,
storms and thunder and lightings,
new cars and over tight bras,
anaphylaxis and itching,
help from family and odd places,
a lack of help from places you'd expect more from,
and some of that has been on repeat cycle.

Which reminds me,
we need a new washing machine.

Some of the problems were straight forward but
others were a riddle.
What is not old but is elderly,
independent but needs people,
loving but prickly,
forgetful and concise?

My mother.

Eight weeks ago now she called me
while I was in Wellington at the MIA* conference.
Slightly busy and a very long way away.
Her very small voice whimpered and whispered that
she didn't want to be at her house anymore.

As I scratched and itched hives,
 realising this was a little unusual and urgent,
I called my Homeboy Husband who was conveniently
at work only a few streets away.
He popped over and took Mags home to ours.

She had shrunk in her timidity.
She ended up staying at ours for a month.
A month in which she got a nasty flu we had
and turned it into dramatic, hospital required pueumonia.

Before catching a ride in an ambulance,
Mags had scared us with delirium and pretty much a cationic state.
Seriously the morning of the ambulance call,
she looked like one of those Peruvian mummies.
She was seriously dehydrated and breathing high in her chest.
She has no memory of almost a month of illness and recovery.

She sure as heck has no memory of seven hours in A&E.

A&E is my new happy place.
It's somewhere I can relax cause someone else is taking care of things.
I quite enjoyed those seven hours,
I ended up very relaxed and quite happy.
There's a great deal of stress for our whole family.

Each of us has had something extra ordinary going on.
Then there's the communal craziness.
my lil'sister Pippapotomos came to visit from Brisbane.
She stripped wallpaper and slept in
then helped organise lawyers visits and Power of Attorneys for Mags,
which contrary to her believe can only be invoked when she is well away with the fairies.
My mother is not old but she is.
You can tell she is old because she is so stubborn about her now
and afraid of her future.
I remind myself that so many people go through this.
Sometimes I have to really remind myself of this.

* Meat Industry Association, not missing people.

Monday, June 30, 2014

We have the visa

and I still have hives.
I think I would miss them if they went away.
I think not, too.
I've come to the conclusion that
regardless of the physical 'why' I have hives,
I need to focus on the spiritual reason I have hives.
Sorry, had to stop and scratch my elbow just then
(at least it wasn't the bottom of my feet,
those suckers are killing me but
I have discovered that if you wear sneakers and
tie them quite tight the pressure stops the itching.
I'm thinking of wearing a skin tight PVC suit to work).
By spiritual reason,
I mean that I think I have these red lumps
because I need, need, need to change my life.
They are stress and diet induced.
So that means the diet has to change,
already was but now I need to be serious about it,
and the stress has to change.
Even though I have a career
and I have moved up the career ladder,
increasing my income and status,
at the grand age of 15,523 days old
I realise that a career is a pretty empty thing.
That won't stop me from finding interesting jobs to do,
it's just that I will be doing them
for different reasons.
I marvel at these hyper, super people who get profiled in glossy magazines
about their indy start up business which just sold for a gazillion bucks
to some rape and pillage style corporate.
Plus they have a perfect house they renovated,
subtle lighting on their lucky find kauri polished floors,
sink into white couches next to the concertina style doors 
leading to the expansive deck and
have golden children named Poppy and Henry,
who play six sports and piano each and
like to cook dinner each night as a family activity
because the hyper, super glossy indy start up person 'makes time' to be there.
And then you realise that they had to sell their business cause
they were mortgaged to the hilt,
worked every waking hour (except for dinner time and prep) and
got hives from being super stressed,
but they kept the beach house.
Whoops don't know where that came from.
May have been from my darker side or
the side which is in need of a deeper bath at home.
Either way I'm ahead of the game,
I've not got a mortgage anymore,
nor have I sold my indy business to a faceless corporate
(I just work for one).
I think I'd rather be the best person I can be
than the best employee,
or business owner.
Maybe a glossy magazine spread would be quite nice.
I would have to have that post-hives
so that may be a long way off.
P.S. My Homeboy got a two year work visa, which takes a lot of pressure off us.... at least until we apply for Residency.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

what's important

is something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

Facing the very real possibility
that my Homeboy Husband may not get a visa to stay here
and would have to return to Tonga......
without me,
has meant I've been examining very closely what is truly important to me.
This also maybe my mid life crisis..... being over 40 now.
This beach in Tonga is where my Homeboy and I sat making promises
to each other when we first met.
And to where he would return to.
I know!
Us city dwelling, 9 to 5 wage slaves are like WTF?
Why isn't he there now?
Let me tell you,
as beautiful and tropical,
sunny drenched and blissed out you may think the islands are,
they are still a small island surrounded by ocean
with no way off unless you can get a visa to somewhere else.
A prison without walls.
We do want to return there but we want to do so on our own terms,
ready to build a good life there.
Not because a visa was not given.
So our stress levels are up, up, up!
This brings learning to be married to a whole new level.
I am pleased to report we pull together for the most part,
rather than pull apart.
However a week and a half ago
I started breaking out in urticaria
(that's not a term 'in urticaria" by the way)
you'd know it as hives.
I have hives for no apparent reason.
I wake up and within 20 minutes I have hives
all over my legs,
sometimes on my arms
and sometimes on my tummy and bottom*
So pretty!
The hives themselves aren't very itchy,
but itchy enough.
They are ug-ugly.
It doesn't matter if I wake up at 4am or 10am,
I get hives.
I have a rosy glow of a rash all the time,
though most people think I've had a touch of the sun,
my skin and nerve endings tingle non-stop,
I'm a little bit puffy
and food is like lead to me.
Now that I've been keeping a food diary,
there is no particular food that brings them on more than others.
I am probably allergic a heap of things
but nothing singularly obvious.
I've vacuumed our mattresses and pillows,
washed bedding,
checked washing powders,
checked house cleaning products,
and many more things.
Idiopathic will be the answer to my blood tests.
Non-specific urticaria will be the diagnosis.
I know this because my very thorough doctor warned me this is likely to be the case.
What to do? What to do?
This is where my "what is truly important to me" quest
has risen in my complicated and muddled head.
I'm sick because there is something wrong.
As I believe that mind and body are well linked
I need to check my mental and emotional health to understand my physical health.
And to stop the periodic, overwhelming need to scratch.
Or bite my nails down so I can only rub.
I first visited an after hour clinic
(within  hours though, but not any cheaper)
because my regular doctor was overwhelmed with the measles outbreak in Hamilton.
So no appointment for me there,
they recommended I see anyone I could.
So I did and in the process was exposed to measles
(thank you public health system, always perpetuating yourself)
I was well checked out and sent home with a script for prednisone.
My medical mother explained that prednisone is a heavy hitter
and will suppress the reaction well.
But what she didn't tell me is the side effects,
which read like a horror story of everything you don't want.
Mind you the doctor didn't tell me either.
Yes, the prednisone worked.
But the hives are tougher,
they are still here and
I will not be taking prednisone ever again.
My regular doctor was much more helpful.
Upshot of what ever it is happening in my body is
doctors don't know,
could be one or a million things,
but likely it's stress,
a sad diet,
lack of exercise,
poor diet,
and so on.
What to do? What to do?
Well right now,
I'm going to wear gloves so I can only rub these suckers.
This morning I decided that we need to eat better,
so clean eating for us,
I ordered a meat pack from Green Meadows Beef
cause I quite like knowing my grass fed beef
has been grown on Taranaki coastal paddocks
that I can visit anytime I want
(plus they are twitter buddies of mine).
We will only eat food we have made ourselves.
I'm going to organise a cleaning lady
so there is one less thing to stress me out.
I'm going to get my hair cut and get my legs waxed
cause I can't shave them cause *spoiler alert* hives bleed when shaved.
I'm going to go home and hug my husband
and pray for the best outcome there can possibly be.
And I am going to remind myself to trust in the Lord.
And to not be mad with Him when things don't go our way.
And be ok with the big fat warning sign these hives are.
And figure out how to look after myself
so one day I will be able to shave my legs again.
*I've not acctually seen the hives on my bottom myself.  Homeboy reckons they are there but I think he may be confusing my cellulite with hives.

Monday, June 9, 2014

romance novels and chick lit

I love to read.
Since I got married
my reading time has been reduced considerably.
This was fine for awhile but
now we have entered into the comfortable stage of our marriage
I feel the need, the need to read.
But what to do?
I would normally read non-fiction,
mainly historical or economics books,
a bit of social science,
maybe some juicy, complicated non-violent crime
but lighter reading is in order.
Now this sounds very dill-brained of me,
but I'm sure my loving friends will know of my dill-brained moments,
but I sort of didn't realise that chick lit sat solidly in the romance section. 
I'm not actually sure what I thought I was reading all these years.
Not that it's a serious issue
as chick lit is hardly a genre that takes it's self seriously.
I think I was just attracted to the bright colours and funky fonts
so often found in the cover art of chick lit.
Yes I do judge books by their covers.
But now a new issue has arisen for me.
I like to lie in bed at the end of my day
reading a chapter or two or eight before
relaxing in a mind blanked sleep
(non-fiction is not always conducive to this).
But my new issue is that I'm lying in bed,
next to my Homeboy husband,
who will be playing on the iPad,
and I feel disloyal reading about the rocky romances of others',
often twee, imaginary ones at that.
Ones where vain and silly dramas arise and are resolved in 300  to 400 pages*.
Real life ain't like that.
So I find that my reading escape pod is failing to launch,
as my real life problems are certainly not resolved in anywhere near
the time it takes to read those pages or
in the imaginary timeline of the characters.
Plus when the romance side of these novels rears it's floaty, dreamy head
I feel disloyal to my real life Homeboy husband,
who only does romance when directly instructed
(though he does plenty of meaningful, really important things for me,
like understanding my phobia about touching rubbish bins
and taking the rubbish out without a word from me and
he puts my heel cream on my feet and
tucks them into bright pink and red fluffy socks so neatly.
Practical romance is more our style).
I feel disloyal because it's encouraging a fantasy of variations of Mr Darcy.
Yes the most famous of all Asperger's persons in the whole world.
Who knew that dark and moody, rude and surly,
was the olden day equivalent of an inability to read faces and social environments
and when dressed a cravat and muslin shirt would be the hottest thing ever.
Gosh make him a vampire and it's all over rover.
(not actually into fantasy novels so am assuming dark, brooding, marginally verbal,
quirky vampires are the norm based on my limited watching of True Blood).
Plus, as is often the theme in chick lit,
women who think they can change a man
have to be the most deluded lot of them all.
Ok that was a side note.
Anyhoo,  romance novels, chick lit
have lost their attractiveness to me now as they are too
vapid and vain to distract me from my real life woes and to create an idea of what I may be missing out on .

I'll take a cosy night on my couch with my Homeboy
half watching kung fu movies while I distract myself with cross stitch and iPad facebook
than any of the feet of clay romantic heros in a book.
I shall have to resort reading to free market theory and studies of neural pathways.
P.S. When I was high school I had a history teacher named Mrs Smith.  I remember her saying she was not hugely impressed with being a stay at home mum (before she came back teaching, which as good as she was, was not her choice of an ideal career).  I remember her saying that she would hide in the loo from her toddler children just so she could have a read of what ever she could get her hands on.  I am that kind of reader. It's a neglected need.
* I googled "how many pages has an average chick lit novel" and google came back with an average of 250 words per page with a total of about 65,000 to 80,000 words, which should be about 300 to 400 pages with a 2.5 cm margin (in case you are wondering).