WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 3

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Righto. Here is the last 10 goals for 2020…be sure to check out the last 2 posts from today for the rest of whats gone on in 2019, and what we are aiming for this year and why. I would also love to hear your goals for 2020 – comment below in the comments section or share your own blog post of your goals for this year.

 

11.  This year I really want to explore, understand, and challenge my beliefs. Sometimes we continue to believe something because that is what has always been true for us. Sometimes, this is a detriment to us and we can become stuck in old beliefs that no longer serve us and prevent us from truly engaging in the world around us. That’s not to say your beliefs are not valid, I’m just highlighting that sometimes we need to take a step back and look at why we believe something to ensure our reasons are just and our own.

12.  I would like to work on a legacy journal for each of my children, something that really refines what I want to leave behind of myself for them to take into the future and be able to reflect upon. A very dear friend of mine does this for those with or without terminal diagnosis and I truly believe that exploring these concepts from a place of love and not fear is a good idea. None of us know the day or the hour of our death and you only get to do it once – why not make it a positive experience for your loved ones through preparation. If you want to see what she does you can find her over at http://www.spiritualcare.com.au and I think what it is called is “Dignity Therapy”.

13.  I would like to begin to explore the area around where we live, I mean really close to where we live. To do this my thought is to go for a walk at least once a week, after all England is known for the right to basically roam free and their are incredible walks through peoples land that is signposted with the sign “public footpath”. You just need to stick to the worn path and respect that owners land, including ensuring gates are closed to prevent the livestock from wandering out.

14.  I would like to begin working on my planned e-book about the process of becoming an expat nurse, because when I came over there were so many unanswered questions and so many struggles that really were unnecessary given the right information. So much more preparation could have occurred prior to us leaving Australia had this information been available.

15.  People who know me well and of course my long term followers here know how much I love writing, but I also love sharing knowledge that can make life easier for others. That being said it is my goal this year to develop resources for nurses surrounding shift planners, check lists, and other printable documents that can help in a nurses day to day life, and will also likely include tutorials for getting through university and information on how to develop your essay.

16. This year it is time to step up into a Ward Sister role, my plan was to be in this role already by now but life on the ward has meant this has not happened as planned and agreed upon when I accepted the post. So this next few weeks will be dedicated to planning for my interview and ensuring all of my training is up to date. The process will be shared over on http://www.intrepidnurse.com and @anintrepidnurse on instagram.

17. Travel is one of the reasons we decided on coming here (of course developing our relationship with our family here is in the forefront) is our focus this year. So we have begun to plan our trips away already – we want to see more of Europe this year than we did last year. We leave for Malta within the next week so stay tuned over on the Intrepid Nurse instagram page for updates, but we also have Switzerland planned for Christmas. Apart from that we want to do a lot of little weekend trips away with Mackenzie (Lauren has her own adventures planned).

18. I want to write more to my family and friends back home, after all it is one of the most joyful things to receive a window free letter in the post. Out of everyone, my sister in law Suzie has been incredible with her hand written letters to me and I really look forward to and cherish them. When we were living on the coast we would spend time pouring out our hearts over a coffee or tea (or beer back in the day), and discussed the hard topics in life. Our conversations were always so rewarding and I miss her terribly. Now she does this through running letters she adds to until its long enough to send. Although I have also, I want to do it more – it helps us stay connected.

19. Embrace a more hygge lifestyle – hygge is basically the word used for an overall mood or ambience of coziness, comfort, and contentment. Based in Danish culture, we have already commenced this plan by laying out our loungeroom to be more open, less cluttered, and we are working on having plenty of soft cushions and blankets for the cooler months. I want to get the lighting right in our home to enourage more reading, enjoy playing records more whilst disconnecting from the digital world, and embracing each others company.

20.  Lastly but certainly not least, I want to experience the world around me more without the filter of preconceived ideas or expectations. I want to stop and smell, hear, and take in the sights of each place – these senses are all so important for building lasting memory. I want to experience things as new rather than knowing everything there is to know about something, somewhere, or someone, with no expectations either way. Then follow this up with being mindful of any attachment I place on being a certain way with life. I feel like setting expectations beforehand on how you will experience something takes away from the “newness” of that experience.

 

Well that is all for now, my fingers feel as though they will bleed at any moment from all the typing I have done this morning, but it has been entirely worth it. I apologise for my absence but welcome back and welcome to a brand new sparkly 2020.

WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 2

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Well hello there!!!

 

Hasn’t that been a rapid start to 2020, almost like the last 2 months have up and vanished into thin air! Since I have just recapped in the previous post “on with the show”…

I should let you in on a little secret, although all of those close in my life know this fact already this and I’m sure occasionally roll their eyes in despair when I make reference in everyday life. My family however are converted and join in now even without my help. The secret is that Miranda Hart is one of my favourite comedians, particularly her show Miranda.  I have long been wanting to do a list of goals for the year after listening to Gretchin Rubins Happier Podcast (she does this every year), and I wanted to choose a word to focus on, which is something I have done for quite some time now. Recently the last few years have proved to be very challenging and I have been distracted by life, not writing as much as I would like. Hopefully this will be the new beginning of a beautiful year of writing and sharing. So this years word for the year is…

REFINE

By “refine” I mean to improve my life by removing the impurities so to speak, to make it better that what it was. By this I intend to clarify my life by removing that which isn’t important to me and my family life – from my online interactions and viewing habits, to relationships, to thought patterns, to my physical environment. I’m not sure how on board my family are with this but they are mostly of similar mindset surrounding these concepts.

20 Goals for 2020

  1.  See Miranda Hart live. Okay so I didn’t actually make this as one of my goals for this year originally, only because I did not actually think it was possible being that her show was finished. What I didn’t know was that 2019 was the 10 year anniversary of the show airing for the first time and Miranda had a sneaky plan up her sleeve to do a 10 year anniversary show live at the Palladium in London. I saw the call for people to ballot for the tickets with only two tickets available per person, and it was only a draw – you weren’t guaranteed. All three of us adults put in the ballot and Kevin won two of the tickets – we didn’t know right away because it went to his junk mail folder – but I managed to get the evening off work and Lauren and I went. It was the most magical night of my life to be honest. We both cried and I will never forget it – we got to see the entire Miranda cast, McFly, Ronan Keating, Heather Small, the and the cast performances by a major choir and Mamma Mia. If you can, definitely go watch the show online – I am not sure where you can see it outside of the UK but I am sure you can find it in google. Side note: this actually happened in 2019 but I am sure it still counts).
  2. As a family we want to develop clear family traditions that will carry on throughout the generations that come after my husband and I. A significant area of importance in this is surrounding food and cooking and its history in our families. My mum has always been and still is an incredible cook so I want to teach my children how to make the best roast potatoes and jam drops just as my mum made them when I was a child. My husbands mother was an incredible cook also, and I want my girls to learn how to make her chocolate self saucing pudding – although I don’t actually have the recipe, I will have to do some digging. Lastly, my husbands brother Andrew was a chef before he passed away and we have some of his recipes that we want to learn this year.
  3. Independently I would like to increase my reading, something I used to love growing up and in my 20’s, it is something that has fallen by the wayside most recently amongst the busyness of everyday life. I truly believe in reading being the best way to change both your vocabulary and your thinking, but it also broadens your perspective. My goal this year is to read one new book a month, and on my list so far is: The art of doing nothing, Miranda Hart – Is it just me?, Brene Browns Rising strong, The Alchemist, and Feel the fear and do it anyway. What are your favourite reads?
  4. I really want to purge my data online – its abysmal  but my current unread emails stands at 3, 384, not something I am proud of but something I intend to resolve. This purging will require me to unsubscribe, unfollow, delete, and even block some of the sources of data that are infringing on the life I want to lead. This will have to of course encompass texts, email and social media together. Question – does anyone actually still find benefit in linkedin? Its these type of platforms I am considering deleting all together to be honest. The idea behind the need to purge my data is to “REFINE whats going in, so you can DEFINE whats coming out”. 
  5. I am making a commitment to dating my husband again, unfortunately for many this becomes less of a priority when you are living your day to day particularly when you are a shift working family – your “dates” are reduced to hellos in the hallway and it certainly doesn’t make for a connected relationship in the long term. This has always been important to us because with one child already almost out the door by the end of this year when she moves back to Australia, we have only a short number of years left with children at home. So many couples forget to focus on their spouse and marriage that when they are empty-nesters – they have nothing to talk about. We began this last week by going to see the movie Emma (also starring Miranda Hart – as delightful as a sweet muffin).
  6. We are going to join an orienteering club as a family when the weather is warmer (Okay I have decided this but not sure if my husband and children are aware – Kevin if you’re reading this thinking what the hey? I honestly was going to tell you, but hey – we get to show off our keen navigational skills, see the countryside, and meet new people!)
  7. Its time to get real with my you tube account and begin making my own videos. This is something I had intended to do when we first arrived but despite how confident I seem, it scares the jeebs out of me and I am truly not sure where to start. The videos will be mostly travel related – any hints on where to begin?
  8. I have an idea to explore all the services that the NHS has to offer the community by trying out some of them – there is a big focus on healthy lifestyles so I was thinking of doing the couch to 5k which is available as a podcast. Its good to get to know your employer and doing this will both help me but also help me understand what is on offer for my patients – I will not however be lining up for a colonoscopy – I am not that committed.
  9. This year I want to have a more positive impact on the environment, so when the warmer weather kicks in we plan on taking a bag to pick up rubbish on our walks – every little bit helps. It has shocked me just how much litter is on the roadsides and bushes here in England – quite sad really because it is such a beautiful country. Along side this we are trying to buy veges from the farmer with no packaging, waste less food by planning our meals, eat more vege meals, and use our beeswax wraps and reusable water bottles everywhere we go.
  10. Set aside individual time with each of my children, because I really want to nurture the relationship I have with each of them – they are only at home for such a short time and already with them getting older the relationship dynamics are changing rapidly. Investing in this now will bring a greater connection when they leave home and build their own lives. If you have any ideas on creative ways to do this I am all ears.

 

Okay so the list is long so I will leave it here and finish the last 10 in the next post. Feel free to share your goals for your year in the comments blow or over at the facebook pages Tailored Living Project or Intrepid Nurse.

WELCOME TO 2020 – Part 1

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Well hello there!!!

 

Hasn’t that been a rapid start to 2020, almost like the last 2 months have up and vanished into thin air! Now on some days off I thought it best to take some time to recap – or as Miranda Hart says “previously in my life”…

19 GEMS FROM 2019

  1. In January we found the perfect house for us to rent in Kent, England and moved in. Although with only two bedrooms it presented as much smaller than our 3 bedroom with study home back in Australia, it came with the benefits of being in a nice area, within walking distance to Mackenzie’s new school and public transport. The inclusion of a parking space at our front door was also one of the highlights, and lets be honest, the crowded-with-parked-cars look of the street made us feel a little like we were still on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
  2. I commenced my OSCE training to make me proficient and prepared enough to sit the OSCE test, which is the test to be registered as a Registered Nurse in the UK. It was a tedious training course but completely necessary since you only get two very expensive shots at the exam.
  3. Kevin started a his first job in England only to find out on his first day that the company had lost the tender and he would likely have to find another job. In a situation where we are earning horrifically less than in Australia and our expenses are more, it was a massive blow and made us all a little nervous.
  4. After a short time off, Kevin landed his current job and was soon made permanent after working on a zero hour contract for a little while. He is still there and enjoying it, although he has been encouraged so to speak to take up his previous position – more money and sweet hours, but may involve a lot of time at a computer.
  5. We experienced our first falling of snow! Kevin, Lauren and I had previously experienced at least a little snowfall, but Mackenzie hadn’t and this was far more than I had ever seen. To be honest I was like a small child, excited and bouncing – the kids were almost as excited as me and Kevin just found the whole thing amusing.
  6. In February Lauren received a promotion at work in her retail job after only being there for a couple of months, and she was blossoming in her new career she had chosen whilst in England.
  7. We began in March having bbqs at the beach again, although they are somewhat different here in comparison to back home. Here it is a foil tray with charcoal beads inside and a thin steel wire rack on top, since they are one use only you never have to worry about cleaning but they come with a lot of smoke and I cringe at the waste.
  8. Lauren experienced heart break with her and her long time boyfriend deciding that their goals and dreams for life did not align and parting ways, I have never seen her more heartbroken before and it tore me apart to be honest. She did however take it all in her stride and see that it was for the best – I’m still a little jaded because I adore his mum – but we still adore her and her family and remain in contact.
  9. In June we experienced heart break and deep sadness for two reasons – firstly we lost Kevins dad on fathers day just as we arrived at a beautiful park to celebrate with a picnic, but also due to the emotional attack we received by a family member back in Australia that absolutely broke my husband and I. Unrelated, we decided not to go back for the funeral because of the enormous cost, and because we had said our goodbyes to him before we left knowing it would likely be the last time.
  10. I sat my OSCE test and although I thought I had failed and spent hours sobbing my little heart out, I had actually passed and was granted my nursing PIN to practise in England.
  11. In June we welcomed my beautiful friend Sandi with her mum and daughter to stay with us and explore England. Sandi had come over for my birthday the next month and arrived early enough to enjoy England, and her mum would be staying at our house with her daughter whilst we gallivanted around Paris for a week.
  12. In July I met my cherished friend Lyn in Paris for my 40th birthday with Sandi and my daughter Lauren, for a week of bliss. We enjoyed the usual sightseeing monuments and art exhibitions, along with eating loads of delicious food devoid of any guilt, and spent time with these incredible women in my life connecting on a deeper level.
  13. Lauren goes against all my motherly input and meets a boy on tinder – although he has been such a wonderful part of her life and certainly the type of partnership she needs in life. Someone to challenge her and her stubborn ways, they balance each other out and Jack has become a beautiful part of our lives.
  14. We went and explored Brighton for a couple of nights with my niece Tarryn and our daughter Mackenzie, such an incredible place to visit and so vibrant – we even had a fellow Aussie serve us afternoon tea! Then we explored Wales with our other niece Mia staying the first night in the most incredible place near the mountains, then the second night in an absolute dive complete with dirty knickers under the bed that Kevin so joyfully walked past and got caught on his foot…insert vomit here!
  15. In September we welcomed my cousins daughter Hayley (who is more like a niece to me) from Australia for a visit. It was so incredible having her here and spending time together – after growing up together their whole lives, her and Lauren are an absolutely hoot together! It was like having a little piece of home here with us.
  16. We did two trips to visit friends for different reasons but both worthwhile and memorable. The first was Mackenzie and I on our first solo flight together to Edinburgh Scotland to visit with our best friends Kath and her daughter Caiti. Although it was to fairwell one of their family members, there were many silver linings and we made such beautiful memories with the girls. The second was to one of Mackenzies friends in Ireland – she had made a friend who was in Australia temporarily and we were invited to visit when we moved to the UK. The trip was incredible and we really enjoyed getting to know them more and exploring Ireland.
  17. In November we welcomed one of my best friends daughter Raquel to stay with us a few weeks. Raquels mum and dad and I  met in hospital when the girls were born – they were born only 43 minutes apart and share the same birthday, and have been friends since birth. We managed a last minute weekend away with her and visited the Netherlands, Bruges Christmas Markets, and France – all by boat and car in only 2 days!!!
  18. In December we had the pleasure of hosting Laurens best friend Amr from Australia for a short time, honestly he is like the son I never had and we all enjoyed his company.
  19. We experience the craziness of our first new years eve in London – my goodness it is a dogs breakfast – totally insane. However it was nice to stay overnight in the city with Kevin and Mackenzie and explore a little. The NY Day Parade was the highlight of it all and went for the longest time.

Friendships and Families

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Yes. This post is my rabbit hole. Please jump in with me and catch up on whats happened since my last post in December 2017. Besides that I will try and add some really good travel photos along the way from our spontaneous trip to New Zealand on New Years Eve.

I felt like Alice in Wonderland, falling for what seemed like an eternity into a dark and unknown place that I was uncertain I could return from. After all, real life isn’t a matter of clicking your sparkly red stilettos’ and finding yourself back in the familiar and warm embrace of whatever security blanket you have that keeps you from sinking. Real life is more like being trapped under the house, hiding behind the big curtain pretending to all powerful, or being caught up in some wild wind – riding nowhere with your face all gnarled up. Only some of the time mind you, but still.

 

I know we all find ourselves in these states of being from time to time, and mostly we get out of them ourselves with the people around us none the wiser. Often this is because we either keep our positivity mask on hoping it can all be magically transformed into some kind of blessing, or we stuff it down with our favourite Krispy Kreme so we can get on with being the ideal mother, wife, and best friend – because putting others first is commendable right? Wrong. Giving yourself the oxygen first puts you into a better position to be who you really are, and that is best for everyone.

 

Late last year I realised that all the sludge I had been trying to “get over” and “move on” from caught up with me after a very close relative took his own life. I was perplexed as to why I was so emotionally ruined by this event long after it happened, it certainly wasn’t a new event for me – I had lost a lot of loved ones to suicide and I have years of experience in death and dying from my previous role in palliative care. It was right for me to be very sad because he was a very important and loved part of our family, but this sadness was much deeper.

NEW BRIGHTON & FAMILY FUN

I enlisted the help of a beautiful woman Emma Barbato (I’ve spoken about her before when she ran “Emazon”), and she helped me pick apart what was really going on. You see, this was just the straw, the catalyst to give me a reason to pull out and deal with all the primal trauma in my life. Along with some significant issues around abuse in my early years, I found that my biggest issue was that death I could do, but rejection I couldn’t. I had built up in my mind that rejection meant I wasn’t good enough – no matter how much of a troll the other person had been to me, somehow their poor behaviour was my fault. What a revelation it was for it to finally click in my head that I had to be enough for myself, set my boundaries, and stop making other peoples behaviour my problem.

Now that I have a somewhat solid grasp on what is the right thing to do for my life, I have been able to look after myself better. I started by making some changes to what I wanted my current and future relationships with friends and family to look like, and how they should function to ensure that it was mutually enriching. These changes did not come easy, and have been some of the most difficult decisions to make.

CHRISTCHURCH CITY CENTRE & BOTANICAL GARDENS

  1. I began protecting my boundaries in my friendships. This meant that one friendship in particular had to be ceased, and was by far one of the worst experiences I’ve had in this process. Sometimes trying to separate a relationship (even with people you’ve been closest too, but had to for the well-being of everyone), can go horribly wrong. Still, I don’t regret for a second the amazing times and memories I hold dear of the better days of our friendship.
  2. Village gatherings because my goal was that I wanted to be part of something greater that just my beautiful little family, I wanted my family to be part of a bigger village so we could all be there to support each other. If you don’t have a ‘village’, who will share your stories and your memories when the children go out and build their own ‘village’? Our Sunday dinners are mostly regular and everyone brings something, other special occasions are also a time where whoever would like to sit at our table are welcome and we’ve been known to have a houseful.
  3. I began asking for what I need without guilt. This one was tougher that had thought it would be but it had to be done. I am allergic to chemicals,  strong washing detergents, perfumes and strong deodorants, and occasionally I end up with a horrible migraine, along with a sinus and chest infection from them. I can manage this issue at work, but my home should be the place I can take a break from it all in. So we have made our house a perfume/chemical free home. It has meant some missed visits and a few disgruntled friends – but after clearly explaining that you wouldn’t rub peanut butter or seafood over someone with allergies to them because it would intentionally cause harm – they began to see my point.
  4. We have begun to really nurture our friendships and relationships with each other by being present. There are a few things we have endeavoured to do to help this:
    1. Putting away our devices when we are in company with others, sure take a photo here and there when necessary, but if someone must have a social media fix make it mutual and short (5 mins), don’t sit there scrolling whilst someone is trying to spend time with you – it send the message that you would rather be somewhere else.
    2. Try to appreciate different viewpoints and values without judgement or the need to be right. This is a tough one because we view the world through our own biases and values, and its really easy to judge the actions of another. I am certainly far from immune from this and I’ve been actively trying to pull myself up and hold myself accountable for it.
    3. Treat people the way that THEY want to be treated, that is something that shows others that you really know them and care about their needs. Obviously don’t throw yourself to the wolves to do it, there is a big difference to doing this and being a doormat, but be mindful of what is important to the people you care about.
    4. I’ve been working on trying to focus on and grow the relationships I have, particularly the ones in which both parties care about the future of the relationship. This doesn’t mean you ditch the ones that suck your energy (you know the ones – you try to spend time together but they are always cancelling for something better, unconcerned that you have made them a priority at that time), you just pace yourself so you don’t get sucked into that vortex.

HANMER SPRINGS & FOREST

 

My husband and I have since been focusing our efforts also on our plan to move to England at the end of this year. So far I have been offered a job in the NHS Trust that I wanted, with the financial support that took some of the stress out of it, and the timing I wanted. Obviously I have accepted it, and I commence work mid December. For our family, our goal is to chase our dreams of travelling the rest of Europe, and striving for our own personal growth by drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge the world has to offer.

No matter where you are in life, or what your life is filled with – always remember the importance of a village.

 

N.B. If you wish to follow the travel side of our life more in depth, please head to http://www.intrepidnurse.com – this will soon be brimming with travel gems, however my loyal followers here will still get our travel stuff peppered in to this blog.

THE RAPAKI TRACK

 

#30PHOTOSIN30DAYS

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Today marks the beginning of my spring spruce up my blog, get a spring back into my blogging sphere, spritz up the life in my blog.

If you want to do this too just upload a photo to your page – no words needed. Like the saying goes “a pictures worth a thousand words”.

Link your blog below so I can keep up with your 30 days.

A HIDDEN GEM NEAR BRISVEGAS

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***** PHOTOS TO BE UPLOADED WHEN MY INTERNET BEHAVES***

Imagine closing your eyes for just a moment and as you take your first bite of the food on your plate you are transported thousands of kilometres away to Greece, or Italy, or Spain…..

Today was such a day. We live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and we headed off this morning to Brisbane to deliver a training session for my Certificate 4 in Fitness. It was a great morning, although by the time we had finished training and chatting the day away it was well after 1pm and the natives were getting restless. It would have been easy to pick up something less than ideal at a take away store or service station but we all knew we would hate the dismal choice of vegetarian food and regret how it made us feel afterwards.

Instead we headed for Mt Gravatt Westfield Shopping Centre and headed to the food court outside. There were choices beyond belief – Italian, thai, burgers, mexican, the list goes on, but if we were paying for lunch out we wanted something fresh and delicious to make it worthwhile. Miss 16 went looking at menus whilst we did the same and she came scurrying back to tell us about a funky looking mediterranean restaurant serving some pretty delightful morsels.

We were greeted with impeccable service immediately and shown to a great table that backed on to the new fountain area in the outdoor food court area. The décor made us feel like we were far from suburbia and the energy was classy and relaxed (despite us being donned in workout gear), and no one could feel out of place. Our drink orders were taken and filled promptly, but we didn’t feel pressured to order quickly and make rash decisions.

The menu was spectacular and well-priced, with plenty of choices for all dietary requirements. The tapas menu was extensive and quite well thought out we felt. Our mouths were watering before the food was even chosen and served. We ordered 6 tapas items which for $45 we found well priced, and the serves were quite reasonable in size. We ordered Arancini Balls, Haloumi, and Breads with Dips and each were made with unique flavours leaving us wanting to just have more of the same. For mains Kevin and I shared a delicious salad with buffalo mozzarella, a chicken and salad (yes rare for us as we have been vegetarian for 3 years now, but decided to have this today – lovely meal but meat won’t become a staple in our house for the foreseeable future…content for another blogpost). Mackenzie had a pasta dish that left her very quiet and very content, and after a taste I understand why – it resembled much of the delicious pasta we had in Italy. Lauren had a pasta and scallop risotto that had a similar effect on her, she is quite the seafood lover and although I would love to try it, I am horribly allergic. The wine I had was a delicious Rose from France and worth every cent! So delicious was everything I recommend the food without hesitation!

The owners both work front of house and we found out that the chef is well trained in his art, and that this is definitely not his first rodeo – definitely evident in the food. The owner even took the time to sit by us and get to know us, telling us about the restaurants origins and the vision they had for it. I like when you get to know who you are supporting and it’s even better when they take the time to get to know their customers, something I feel is missing in so many venues now and definitely play a role in where we choose to spend our money.

Not once did we ever feel rushed the whole time we were there, which is a particularly European and Mediterranean way of eating and serving others. If you ask me these beautiful people have all aspects very very right and we will definitely go back again not just for the service and food, but for the sensational and artistic desserts we didn’t have room for (and for the really interesting dessert cocktails more appropriate when we don’t have kids with us). If you are ever down that way, definitely pop in and see them, or make a special trip – you won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a favourite place to eat that is just like you are overseas? Please tell me about it, I would love to hear.

ARE YOU ALL IN?

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I don’t know about you but I am totally into podcasts and those awesome little videos on you tube designed to give you a motivational boost or help you see something from a different perspective. I used to think of these methods of learning as totally outrageous in that it felt like you weren’t connected to the people delivering it, but I look back now and realise that mostly I felt un-tech-saavy and far too distracted for such pursuits. I soon came to learn however that these tools just had a different look but had the potential to help me move through different situations in life with new and fresh perspective. I began with podcasts from people who lived on the coast but were well known further afield, but after a year or so I found their messages to lack a certain ‘realness’ that had been there in their early days, leaving me feeling disappointed. I realised though that it was my needs that were changing, so I began to listen to podcasts like Rebelology, Straight & Curly, and Happier with Gretchen Rubin and watching You Tube clips from people like Prince Ea, Alexi Panos, and Preston Smiles, and it has got me thinking about whose dreams I’m chasing.

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Alexi Panos did a fantastic (and very short so its nice and bite-sized) video on commitment, and the difference between having a really good idea and the actuality of actually committing to it. The point she made was that often we get stuck in the planning phase, analysing the processes, the what ifs, the weaving of the safety net in case it all goes wrong and you fall on your face. We get so stuck in this phase though that we completely miss all the opportunities that are in front of us because we are frozen by the things that scare and challenge us. Brene Brown has also made an entire career out of the research of people who are ‘in the arena’ as opposed to judging from the sidelines.

I must admit that for quite some time now my life has cascaded into this Grand Canyon of beautiful chaos, which has meant that I am painting about 5 or more different pictures with no focus on any one potential masterpiece. That is to say that my attention is split in too many different directions and instead of being all in, I’m all in tangles, and I must say I don’t like it one little bit. My mojo is far more Chill 101 than it is Hyperzone 4000!. I’m proud to say that I have been letting go of alot of distractions that no longer serve me or the people I am trying to help because I don’t have a passion for it, but there are lots of areas I can improve upon.

You cannot be ‘all in’ for something if you are splitting your attention 5 ways, you have to get to a point where you choose – and thats exactly where I am headed. It helps to have a clear plan. Particularly when your clear plan is to move overseas away from everything familiar, so here it goes, this is my commit-list.

Complete my Certificate 4 in Fitness
Complete my Diploma in Nursing Specialisation
Develop my website for our 2 year overseas adventure for 2019
Grow my Health Program business

The great thing about the items in my commit-list is that they all culminate in the creation of what I am truly passionate about – health plans that put the planning back in the clients hands…empowering self choice and decision making. Its my “top pot” – my one big thing that I am ALL IN on. You see the difference between a great idea and the outcome of that idea is ACTION.

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IMPERFECT PARENT

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I approach school holidays each time with grandiose expectations of being a super balanced mamma by ensuring I get time off, and devote all that time off to super-mumming with baking, teaching those important life skills (don’t ask, I still haven’t figured out exactly what those are), and generally doing things that make me more like all those “normal” mums out there so my children can grow up well adjusted and without too many psychological scars needing therapy later on. Then every school holidays I fall flat on my arse because I haven’t lived up to these expectations. Instead I end up with no holidays per say, spend my time doing chores, running the kids to the stuff they want to do without me because they didn’t realised I had a day off, and of course like many other Nurse mums (as in the medical kind not the breast feeding kind – that horse bolted after 9 months of all-day-sickness) I spend some of that time catching up on sleep that ran away and hid on those work days I needed it most.

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Lets be real though, although many of us feel we have some standard to live up to, most if it is either in our own heads, or is laid out by someone who really has no weight in your life. Either way it’s pretty fucked up and serves no purpose whatsoever. The only thing that comes out of paying attention to it is a whole lot of self loathing, self reprimand, and disappointment. Life isn’t meant to be evenly balanced, and postcard perfect. It’s messy, late, painful and so much more that comes with the good. So I’m beginning to be more understanding of myself and accept that I am still enough, even when the picture in my head doesn’t match up. A good point to make is also that I am a complex being with complex needs and desires in my life, and they don’t all revolve around my children.

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I love my kids dearly and both my daughters know that, on the other hand I am an individual with goals and dreams and aspirations and they understand that too. They have a deep respect that I choose to get p every day and dedicate a significant amount of care and emotion and time to my patients. My kids have seen me in action and they tell me often that they live and respect me for what I do in my work day, and although I do it because I love it, the honest truth is that because I work hard at what I do it allows us to have some amazing experiences with our girls that a tight budget wouldn’t fit.

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So these holidays we haven’t done heaps with only having a few consecutive days off, but I’ve packed in plenty I think. So the first week of the holidays we decided we would do some stuff close to home (aka no further than Brisbane since we live on the Sunshine Coast). One one day I took the girls in to Brisbane to enjoy The Science Centre (yes we are science nerds in our family), and found that for a small amount more we could also go into the Interactive Dinosaur display. If course that was after spending well over an hour looking for a parking lot with spaces – no one told me “Out of the Box” was on and all I wanted was someone to get “Out of the Carpark” before I became manic.

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We chose the Sciencentre first and the kids love it every time we go. My mum joined us for a girls day out and also loved it, getting in and exploring the experiments with us. Mackenzies favourite thing is the “Speed Challenge” where she has to try and beat the speed of a super fast sprinter. Lauren’s favourite I’m sure is the “Illusion Room” where the room appears normal but is sloped and makes you appear to be growing into a giant. My favourite one is the “Giant Table and Chairs” that let you experience what life must be like for a toddler. Of course everyone loves the “Human Head for Dinner” that makes your head look like its the main course, of course it’s just an optical illusion but a really cool one at that. At the moment they have a theme going about weights and measures so if you are a home schooler or have children learning weights and measures at school, then it’s a great place to o see it in action.

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It’s a great place where kids can really be kids without anyone rousing on the for exploring their environment in a very hands on way. My little sensory kiddo coped pretty well too being able to touch everything, run around, and explore – although we did have the issue of noisy experiments at which time we just had one of us cover her ears. I do find though at the end of these sensory filled days she kind of has a melt down at the end of the day, but we deal with them in our own ways. Afterwards, we went into the museum and went into the dinosaur exhibit and wow how cool is this place! Life size moving dinosaurs so plate with interactive components to learn interesting facts.

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We decided to surprise the kids with something fun and frivolous too for the holidays, so took them to Gold Class! Going during the day is great because its way cheaper than at night with the same experience. Really who cares…it’s dark in the cinema anyway. We saw The BFG and loved every minute of it, although I think I might need to read the book again because I don’t remember parts of it (dont worry no spoilers here). The kids also loved it so I’m really glad hubby and I took them, and because they sat n front and he and I sat together it was almost like a date!

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I managed to get three days in a row so we headed to Harvey Bay and dropped our pooch at her second home – my friends house – before heading to our resort. We stayed at Oceans Resort and Spa overlooking Urangan Pier area, and enjoyed beds made and dishes done by the staff, massive spa bath, beautiful organic toiletries, and heated pool.

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It was great to have a BBQ with our friends on the first night and we enjoyed a day of sleeping in, breakfast at the restaurant, and zipping down the waterfront on an electric bicycle – such fun!!! Coming back to work after a pamper morning of massage, facial and foot treatment was really tough…shouldn’t nurses get a pamper every week???? In all honesty though it was a wildly relaxing few days that we enjoyed tremendously.

What have you been up toon our holidays? We are looking forward to our next big holiday though of Hawaii – Oahu and Maui. If you’ve had some great experiences in Hawaii please share so we can create our own awesome experience when we go.

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