Ten things

This is a ‘clear the writer’s block’ kind of post – one where I sit down and just write out the first ten things that come to my mind. Inspired by Kelly in the City, I’m also using it as a kind of catch-up as I’ve had a lot going on as of late. It feels like old-fashioned blogging, back before the images became the main thing, and I am here for it. Think of it like a little trip into my 3am brain, when I occasionally wake up and then spend a hour just thinking but in a manner that’s far more frantic than one would strictly want at 3am. Enjoy!

1. I have tentatively booked a couple of trips that require flying. One of them will even require passports! Who knows what the pandemic will bring but New Zealand travel restrictions are in the process of opening right up and we needed something to look forward to. Fingers crossed no further bad news or developments, we will be heading to Queenstown in July and Fiji in October!

2. You’ll note America is not in that list. This was a hard, hard decision. My best friend is getting married in the States in June, and when the New Zealand travel restrictions started lifting it suddenly raised the possibility that we could actually go. Hayden and I talked about it for hours on end, but came to the conclusion that the length of the flights to get us there is just too long for us to feel safe. A three hour flight is one thing but a >12 hour flight is another calculation altogether, and right now it doesn’t work for us. I know we’ve made the best call we could in these circumstances but I’m still pretty glum about it.

3. Speaking of risk calculations…Amelie brought a cold home from school this week and we’re all just coming out the other side of it now. We did the right thing and have all tested ourselves a couple of times but I was pretty sure it was just a cold…unlike our Schrodinger’s Covid situation of a few weeks ago, this felt like a cold and nothing else. I would know: being immunocompromised I am used to getting multiple colds a year and this bring me to my point – all the people who say Covid is ‘just a cold’; first of all, it’s really not, but second of all, even ‘just colds’ are not good! Being unwell is not fun at all. I have so much hope that we don’t just slide blindly back into a world where we think it’s okay to power on when we are sick. Honestly, I hope we all continue to be thoughtful and mask up in crowded places, treat even mild illness with caution and rest, and just stay home when we’re unwell, and I really do hope that goes on indefinitely.

4. Yoga with Adriene’s Gentle Yoga is the best re-introduction to moving one’s body. All this sickness has not done wonders for my fitness. I feel gross, quite frankly, even though I know trying to throw myself back into it too soon is a recipe for disaster. Today was the first day since Tuesday I felt able to do anything, so I eased myself back into exercise by doing this Gentle Yoga session by the pool in the sunshine. It was glorious.

5. I’m soon going to need to shake myself out of my exercise rut. In summer, I like to do Melissa Wood Health or Yoga with Adriene every morning, and to also run, swim and play tennis a few times a week. Swimming season is over, tennis is drawing to a close, and while I keep the other activities going during winter I feel like I’m going to need something else. Maybe I need to formalise swimming and start scheduling in lane swimming at the heated pool where Amelie has her swimming lessons?

6. I miss the city. In particular, I miss going for a run by stepping out of my front door – here I have to drive somewhere to go for a run because the gravel road does a real number on my ageing joints. I miss fancy gyms and workout classes, never mind that I wouldn’t be comfortable going to a gym currently, and even in Auckland fancy stuff doesn’t really exist (I’m looking back to NYC, with its Equinox and its SoulCycle and PureBarre and its eucalyptus-scented towels as my ideal). I miss incidental exercise – in the city I walked or rode my bike virtually everywhere and my body and mind were all the better for it. And I miss the people – I have made some wonderful friends up here but the people on my wavelength are few and far between. I don’t know what the solution is, or even if there is one really, and I’m trying not to rush myself mentally to a ‘fix’ but just let myself accept it for what it is right now, and keep looking for opportunities to ‘have it all’.

7. Because I actually do want it all. ‘Having it all’ is a denigrated phrase these days, and with good reason, but I think that actually that is what I do want? And that I’m only really happy when that’s what I’m working towards? The pandemic, the move, the job changes, Amelie starting school and getting older, and non-intuitively, the way she has actually needed me more as a result (time-wise and psychologically) – since that happened, all of that and more blunted that drive in me temporarily, but it was temporary. I feel like I’m coming out of it now and feeling more myself again, and who I am is highly ambitious, at least in part. Just like we are learning to accept the drive of people who don’t ‘want it all’, so I feel I can now accept and own my own drive. I have long joked about myself “always happy, never content” and like all good self-deprecating jokes, it’s funny because it’s true, and it’s not a bad thing! Being never content means always striving to make things better. It’s a position of hope, and optimism.

8. Work is going fantastically. Since we got into the year proper (in New Zealand this happens in March; January and February are summer and in the business world, we all pretend to be working but generally speaking most people are pretty ineffective and it takes until March for everyone to be back up to full speed) I have leaned way in while working my 20-25 hours a week, and I am loving it. Hayden and I own and run a business consultancy and I am so excited about our plans for the next couple of years and the results we’re getting for our clients. We recently brought forward our hiring plans and pivoted slightly to allow us to really go all in on growing the business, and so far, so very good. I only work part time but I make every one of those hours count and it feels great. Working to build something gives me so much satisfaction.

9. Wouldn’t it be great to literally build something? For ages now I’ve wanted a project home – to buy something run-down and sad, but with great potential, and turn it into something amazing. I’m not very practical but I’ve got a good eye for design, and working behind a computer all day, I love the idea of getting hands on and physically doing something. Another of my strengths is that I know how to hire help and realistically, this would probably be more useful in this instance. Anyway! It’s a bit of a dream – houses are so overpriced all throughout New Zealand that it’s really not a good idea – but recently that dream has pivoted slightly and now I want to buy a block of under-utilised land and work with an amazing architect to design and develop some amazing townhouses. I love a good townhouse and we have very few good examples in this country, despite them being a great potential solution to our housing crisis and such a practical design. And they can be so beautiful! Land’s really overpriced too so for now, 🤷‍♀️, but one day I’ll make it to Grand Designs.

10. I had the most serendipitous moment the other week. I walked into Kikki.K to get a new notebook and decided to buy a box of birthday cards as well – I like to keep a stash of thank you cards and birthday cards in my house so I’m always prepared. Anyway, Kikki.K is not cheap but it just so happened I had walked into its spring sale where I could get 10 gift accoutrements for just $10! I now have the most beautiful collection of cards and wrapping paper. It’ll keep me going all year and it was only $10! Honestly, it made my day then and it’s making it all over again remembering it. It’s the little things.

What are your little things? Or what’s going on in your 3am brain? Would love to hear!

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