Where The Wild Things Are

I am beyond excited about this film.  As a devotee of the book as a child, I have been reading it to my own son for about the past year.  His imagination is very wild, so the illulstrations sometimes ‘scare’ him, but I just know that once he sees this film, he will understand the innocence of it all.

Bring on October 2009.

(Yes, I’m back!  Wedding and Honeymoon posts will come very soon!)


Say Goodbye to Meat

So on Monday of last week, as we drove home from a swim in my sister-in-law’s pool… my son bursts into uncontrollable fits of sobbing.  It scared me so I pulled over and asked him in a panic “what’s wrong?!?!”

In between sobs and sniffs, he tells me that he doesn’t want to kill animals anymore and that he doesn’t want anyone to eat meat because it’s killing animals.

I was a little taken aback, I had no idea where this had come from.  I asked him, but he was just too upset.  I asked him to tell me why he was so sad and he said, with the most conflicted look on his face “Because I like meat, but I can’t eat it anymore because it’s killing animals!”

I tried to offer the alternative of organic meat – that comes from animals that have a good life on a farm and when they die it “doesn’t hurt” (little bending of the truth…) but he wasn’t having a bar of it.  I reminded him that becoming a vegetarian means no more ham, no more bolognaise, no more lamb cutlets, no more chicken… and he was adamant – he wants to be a vegetarian.

So for this last week I have sat back and just watched whether or not it was a passing melt-down, or whether he’s serious.  And it looks like he has his mother’s genes in that once I make a decision about something, I throw myself at that decision wholeheartedly, and so has my son and being a vegetarian.

On one hand I am proud of him for the empathy and awareness he has for those around him, it’s such a beautiful thing to observe in someone so young and I hope he holds on to that trait for the rest of his life.  On the other hand it now poses a massive challenge for me in making sure that he gets enough iron in his diet and variety such that he can stick with his no-meat diet and not just slip back into eating meat just because he’s bored.

I am also quite comfortable becoming vegetarian myself if required, but Adam most certainly will not do that, so I need to ensure that we all have balance and the other unexpected factor in my son’s decision to become vegetarian, was trying to explain to him that while we all have the power to make personal choices for ourselves, we cannot force our opinions onto others.

Would love to hear advice from anyone that became vegetarian at a young age… or any recipes!!

#051 : Go Skydiving

I’ve wanted to go skydiving since I was about 18.  At that time I dated a guy that was a bit of an adrenalin junkie and so I think very early on I got an appreciation for the high one can get when taking a bit of a risk.

I’ve put it off for no other reason than money, a sense of responsibility to my son and just generally procrastinating.  But I sat in bed last weekend and thought, jeez if I don’t go now the sense of responsibility will only get worse with marriage and more kids…. so it’s kinda now, or never.

So within the space of 48 hours I had researched and chosen which place I was going to do it and booked it for today – Sunday 18th January, 2009.  I drank a little too much yesterday, so despite getting to bed early, the nervous energy coupled with a mild hangover played havoc with my stomach this morning, but after a Gatorade and a shower, we were set to go.

Bizarrely, I was not nervous once we got there, at all.  Just pure excitement running through me.  Even when we got into the tiny little plane, I still didn’t start shaking or sweating or get butterflies.  I thought that if ever I was to be nervous it would be the plane ride because I hate light aircraft.  There was another girl jumping in the same load as me and she was shitting her pants.  She kept staring at me saying, why are you so calm?!  haha.  She screamed the whole way down.  She was the last to jump, but the first on the ground, probably because her tandem partner just wanted her off him!

There were three of us in total jumping, all tandem and I was glad I went second only so that I could see the first guy fall out of the plane – that was awesome.  Getting ready to go, pulling your feet out of the plane and hanging in the door there waiting to go is the only time I was a little scared… but you get no time to even think about it before you’re suddenly spinning around above the earth and coming into freefall (220km per hour!) and lapping up every second of the 40 seconds of plunging towards the earth.  It was in a word, INCREDIBLE.

I could just go again and again and again.  In fact I can’t wait to go again because now that I know what to expect, I think I will be able to appreciate the freefall more – it was just over so fast!

Thanks to Melbourne Skydive Centre for incredible service – it’s a credit to them that I was so calm about the whole experience and enjoyed every moment of it.





Reaping What You Sow

It’s been hard to keep up with my RSS reader over the Christmas break, we spent much of it away from computers and while I had my little fix of Facebook for mobile and caught up on a couple of my favourite blogs via the web browser on my blackberry, the service where I was staying was average at best so it was just all a bit too much effort.

So I was just about to go and “mark all as read” on my RSS reader because I can’t stand that little (1000+) sitting in the tab telling me how slack I have been, when the most recent post on A Buddhist Perspective caught my eye.

Cause and effect is a natural, universal law; as natural as a leaf floating down from a tree, as universal as night following day. Since causality is a natural law, there is no judge or ruling body that determines our consequences. Neither is there blame or anger.

Simply put, we reap what we sow. The seeds we sowed with our past thoughts, speech, and actions determined our lives today. And just as our lives today were caused by those seeds, what we think, say, and do today will shape our future.

I spent much of my holiday giving thought to a situation I find myself in right now that I never ever dreamed I would be.  I’ve questions the causes, the seeds I have sowed – my thoughts, words and actions – over and over and over in my head and also contemplated them with a couple of close friends.  And this passage just reminded me that no matter how crap I feel about it, at least I don’t feel anger or blame – towards myself or anyone else. 

Knowing we too have planted the seeds for hardship and suffering what can we do?

We can look around and decide what we want to continue and what we hope to never see again, and then determine the seeds for both. And we can understand that while we may not be able to change everything we wish; it is the right thing to do. We can then work to plant the good seeds as we create the conditions that enable those seeds to flourish and our bad to lie dormant.

By understanding that everything, even a careless word or unkind look, is subject to causality, we can ensure that all our thoughts and actions arise from the wish to behave virtuously and live compassionately.

And as I continued to read the post, I realised that this is exactly what I was doing this holidays – making some really, excruciatingly tough decisions that kept me awake at night and had me reaching for a box of tissues on more than a handful of occassions – but in doing so I was planting good seeds for the future and trying to look for the virtuous intentions behind the actions of both myself and others.

In 2008 I planted many seeds that delivered me incredible rewards and results.  My 101 Things in 1001 Days has been a positive and driving force in this, as has the therapy I have sought for both myself and my relationship.  Approaching life with an attitude of gratitude has opened my eyes to so many new possibilities and had a positive impact on the expectations I have previously placed on some of my closest relationships.  I’ve found new ways to feel empathy for people that I have struggled to understand for years, in particular my father.

One of the things that really warmed my heart over the new year was to see the number of visits to my blog from people seeking to write their own 101 in 1001, and to the 2nd most visited post on my site after this, those seeking to write a letter of gratitude to someone dear to them.

Here’s to everyone that is sowing positive seeds for 2009.  May you reap what you sow, and then some.

2008 Reflection

This is not actually a reflection on my year that was 2008.  That is all here already, in the posts on this blog.  This is more for the people I cherish who have had a totally different 2008 to me.  Those that have had battles and challenges they never saw coming, and that will leave them remembering 2008 in a completely different light to me.

Because while I was excitedly planning my life with my partner, getting engaged, planning a wedding, starting a whole new career path… some of my nearest and dearest were coping with terrible, life-altering news.

One of my favourite people in the world was told that her chances of conceiving a baby were hampered by all manner of things from only having one viable fallopian tube, general fertility problems, to strange and rare conditions of the uterus that will impinge on her chances of bearing a baby to full term.  Yet she’s never given up, always searching for new options and treatments and ways around these obstacles.  She’s inspirational.

Another one of my more gorgeous friends who has helped me in ways I cannot even measure was diagnosed this year with an aggressive form of arthritis.  Struck down in the prime of her life (she’s only 34) with this crippling condition, the challenges do not stop there… the only thing that will help her to halt the progression of the arthritis is a form of chemotherapy medicine that she has to take once a week, for the rest of her life.  That in turn means that she has also had to deal with the confirmation that she will be unable to bear children of her own.  I literally broke down into fits of sobbing in the car after she told me, because she has been so instrumental in my son’s life and has always said she ‘wants one just like him’.  I am literally still in shock that someone that does so much good in other people’s lives could be dealing with this – it blows my mind.  She is so strong and brave, she amazes me every day.

A new work colleague, within weeks of me starting my new role, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  I’d only known him such a short time when this happened and he instantly struck me as such an incredible individual, but seeing my colleagues crumble when they heard of the news via one of the most incredible letters, read out by our Managing Director – made me realise just how special and amazing this guy really was.  The positivity that exuded from every pore on his body, as he fought through surgeries, chemotherapy and test results – all the while asking to be kept in the loop on work because he was bored – just floored me.  Most people that I have encountered with cancer really turn into themselves, but this man was open, staggeringly positive and maintained a presence within our lives at work, even while dealing with ‘beating the beast’.  There is a good news light at the end of this story though – as he’s been given the all clear and is literally running his way back to optimum health as we speak.

These three are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the story of 2008 for some of the people I cherish.  For all of them, I have said to each that words simply cannot do justice to how much I feel for each of them, or demonstrate how much I would love to take some of their pain away.  Maybe it’s the mother in me, but I just wish I could wrap them all in cotton wool and make it all go away.

The Best Wax In Melbourne

Whether it’s bikini, XX, XXX, leg, underarm, face, whatever… I am about to give you the secret key to the best waxer in Melbourne.  She not only charges about half of what the other top wax specialists in Melbourne do, the way she does it is so painfree that you’ll wonder if she’s given you a local anaesthetic when you weren’t looking!

Her name is Sussanah Rodriguez and she works out of St Kilda.  You can contact the Wonder Waxer (she doesn’t call herself that… I just call her that!) on 0433 364 095.



This is the coolest thing I’ve seen all day.