Pondering small and large frustrations

Yesterday I worked at the state election. If you have never worked at an election I highly recommend it and there will be a federal election coming up this year – you can check out the employment page here and register your interest.

In the process of updating my info for the federal election I was surprised to see I have been working at elections for nearly 10 years now. I always enjoy it even though it is a very long day. I got up at 6:20 and I didn’t get home till nearly 10pm. Once the booth closes the staff have to do the counting.

The contrast between this one-off casual job and my regular job is vast. While I truly love what I do at work, there are a lot of frustrations there at the moment and I am pondering a possible departure as a result.

I might be a strange being but for me, I do not tolerate boredom well. In my travels out and about in the world, I see a lot of staff in stores who stand about chatting to each other while customers roam unapproached and unserved. I’ve had to interrupt such conversations as a customer when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I honestly can’t understand it. I guess that is their way of escaping the boredom but for me, my way of escaping it is to DO SHIZNIT. AKA clean, move stock, tidy, mini-stocktake, merchandise, make tickets, do something anything.

As I sat yesterday in my chair at the election, I said to my co-worker – I never sit at my job. Never. In fact some time ago when I discovered other staff would use the stool in my area as a place to rest their bones for a while and browse the internet, I took the stool out into the warehouse and asked the staff there to hide it somewhere it would not be found.

This hiding plan was a success, the stool has never returned, and now nobody uses that computer to waste time and surf the web. It is a good thing too, I was forever having to move that stool out of the way. I don’t know where the warehouse guys put it and I am fine with that.


(I’ve done some editing so I could post this without identifying my workplace, apologies for that. This was an early version, the current version has spaces for 7 days of ticks.)

I recently made some check lists for work as my coworker had suddenly started to forget important things that needed to be done, like the till. She went home and left all the money in there. Another co-worker found it at the end of the day and had to reconcile that till as a surprise to herself.

While I am pretty good at remembering things and have never once left my till money in the register I have found the checklists to be extremely useful. I love ticking things off. I love that anyone can walk in there and see exactly what I did that week and when I did it. I just laminate them and use a whiteboard marker because you can clean that off easily without much effort.

My coworker thought this was a great idea and ticked things off for a couple of days, then forgot the checklists exist. I’m not mad at it because I am loving the checklists for myself but I am worried for her that she’s mentally not present a lot of the time and a bit concerned she might forget the till again..

With The Other Half starting uni this year, his mind was full of stuff, and the very first day he went he forgot to lock the back door. I decided a home checklist was a great idea, and we now have one on the laundry door. It has been handy because he gets up and leaves before I get up, so at one glance I can tell what he has done and what I need to do before I leave.

Most of the time I appear to be serenely floating across the water like a swan but the feet are always madly paddling underneath. Occasionally there is a day where it seems the swan is upside down and all you see is my madly paddling feet, but those days are further apart than they have ever been. I feel confident in what I am doing and 99% of the time am absolutely loving it.

When I think about leaving, I think of the things that challenge me, things that I LOVE doing – and bear in mind I am the only person in the store who enjoys those particular aspects of that job. Everyone else hates those tasks. I would truly miss them and be unlikely to find them in any future role.

There are just some small and large frustrations that make me think maybe it is time to look and see whether there might be another place for me, where my hard work is appreciated and valued. So, I ponder. :)

This post was inspired by another post – Working.

work

Fitness February Wrap Up


This is the last section of path to be completed in Vincentia, it is one of my favourite parts – this used to be asphalt and poorly laid asphalt at that. They have added a carpark here, too.

Fitness February is done and dusted. I have two walks to add – both of these were with family so not my usual speedy pace.

On Monday afternoon we went down to Vincentia and Huskisson for an afternoon walk and we were planning coffee, but we ended up with pizza and gelato instead at The Cheesy Grin. That added 4.5km to the monthly total.

Tuesday I did 30 minutes of Beat Saber after work and managed a perfect score on my favourite song Escape. I also got a bit better at Gangnam Style and totally failed Rasputin. It is a very hard level, so I switched No Fail on, but I still struggled to make it through the song.

Wednesday I took the day off mostly, until my aunt and my cousin’s wife went for a walk around the block with me. That added 1.3 to the total.

Thursday while you may not see any specific sustained exercise, we did four runs to the dump, which was a bit of a workout in itself.

Mon: 4.5km
Wed: 1.3km

Final February Total – 156.78km

My goal for the month was 140km. so I beat that by 16km.

I’m not sure what goal I want to set for March. At the moment I am setting a weekly goal of 20km per week, and we’ll see how that goes. :) I’d like to do two 5kms and one 10km per week if possible, and add in some shorter nightly walks but we’ll see what happens.

exercise

Fitness February Check In – Almost Done

I don’t have a lot of activity to share with you this week. I managed to injure myself on Monday which put me on the sidelines for the next few days.

We did the bush track and while walking there was the usual ship and helicopter landing activity out in the bay which I find quite fascinating and somehow I managed to step wrongly on a rock and fall over. I bruised my foot and pulled some muscles. Because I’d set a low goal for this week, I decided not to tempt fate and risk making this worse by walking on it until it felt better.

I did not get back out on the track until Friday, but I did do some Berry walking on the Thursday, I didn’t bother to count that. At some point during the Friday walk I believe I met my February goal of 140kms, while dodging the event set up for the Husky Triathlon Festival. I ran the first km of this, but took it easy after that.

Saturday I decided to walk near to home so you don’t get a map today. This walk met my 20km goal for the week.

Mon: 05.07
Fri: 11.68
Sat: 03.51

Total – 20.26

February total thus far 150.98

On Friday there was a low flying helicopter, I managed to grab a photo. :)

With only three days left of February to go, I’m not setting any goals for these three days but I will be setting some goals for March. I believe if I did not set goals it would be far too easy to not go walking or running – there are so many things that I could do which are not that, and a lot of things this month have been set aside in order to hit my February goal.

exercise

Fitness February Check in – Halfway There.

A little more than halfway.. there are only 10 days left in February. Unfortunately for me, I am working 5 of those days and three of those days are a long day, not my usual short and sweet 5 hour shift. So those days are probably going to be 2kms max, and knowing this was coming I tried to stretch my walks over the past week.

Monday – I headed out after work for a quick 5km. As I’d had a little argument before leaving work, I was a touch angry which meant I was in the mood to run and push myself hard.

So this was a speedy 5km in lovely but quite windy weather, about 25C (F). I was expecting to experience muscle soreness the next day but I did not, which is a sign to me I can start to push even harder if I want to.

Tuesday – Another quick after work 5km, this one took slightly longer because it was super hot – 39C (f) – and windy. I did a few sprints but mostly walking.

Wednesday – Last week I said it wasn’t realistic for me to expect to do a 10km on a work day and to be fair it probably is not most of the time, unless all the stars align in the correct pattern. Today they did – I got out on time, the weather was perfect with no thunderstorms on the horizon, and by the time I got to the starting point I realised I had enough time to walk a 10km if I wanted to and still get home at a reasonable hour to make dinner.

Strangely this was the quickest 10km I have done yet, coming in at just over an hour and a half and that was even with 5 minutes spent stood still watching helicopters land on a navy boat out in the bay. Hard to get a good photo of it though.

Thursday – I decided to really stretch out my walk today and planned a 15km walk. I did kick off with a quick 1st kilometer. After that I did throw in a few 100m sprints here and there. But somehow my maths was wrong, and when I hit 15kms I was still quite some distance from the car. Just under one and a half kilometers away to be precise.

That last 1.5km I had a very sore left calf and I was worried that this might become a longer term problem but that afternoon I had a pedicure with a massage and that helped to fix it. Just recovery walking tomorrow, though.

It was so beautiful out there, 24C slightly on the cooler side for me but a few sprints warmed me up nicely.

Friday – I did two walks today – one in the morning which was a run/walk, and a second walk in the afternoon which was more a shopping walk but I got in 1.65km in the process by parking further away and walking quite a long way between shops.

The morning walk was a sweaty event as there was not much breeze today and thus I became quite warm. I ran a fair bit of the first two KMs then just kept up a high pace with a few 100m sprints. This was a very good time for a 10km for me, I was very happy with that. Especially as I felt like it was a struggle while doing it, and I thought I was going to take half an hour longer than I had hoped.

The afternoon walk was in Berry heading to a shop that is in the process of closing. It happens to be one of my Aunt’s favourite shops and I got some super specially priced yarns for her as a surprise. She arrives here next week on the Wednesday.

Saturday – we did the bush track and a bit of the path today. I knew anything more than 6km I would hit my goal, but we kept going a bit further as it was so lovely out.

I mean, does it really get any better than this? Spending so much time out walking the bay is my favourite thing. :)

Sunday I took a day off from walking but not a day off from exercise – see this video. This is a far different form of it than I am used to, but essentially this is what is happening in the man cave right now.. :) my arms are like jelly, I can hardly type. It is a virtual reality game called Beat Saber and it is super fun. In fact I believe this is exactly what virtual reality was designed for.

Mon: 05.31
Tue: 05.51
Wed: 10.56
Thu: 16.49
Fri: 11.81
Sat: 07.51
Sun:

This weeks total 57.19 (to Fri)
February total thus far 130.72

To complete my goal I only need one more 10km walk and I will definitely manage that in the next 10 days. I’m going to take my foot off the pedal slightly and focus on shorter faster run/walks, setting a quite low goal for this week of 20km. The Other Half has two weeks holidays now and we want to get some decluttering done around the house so that will be my main focus once I’ve hit that goal. Other than trying to master Gangnam Style in Beat Saber.

exercise

Fitness February Check In

Monday – I had an appointment in Nowra on Monday 4th February so I did a 5km wander around town while I was there. I figure take the chance to get my walk in wherever I can! Though I did get held up by traffic lights more often than I would like, the terrain was different as was the wildlife – I never see ducks on my walks down at the bay.

We did have a plan to go walking after The Other Half got home from work but I wasn’t sure how the weather would be. At least this way I got my 5km in for the day, anything extra is bonus distance. It was pretty warm out there, 31C (87.8F) and super humid, so this first walk was a sweaty adventure.

We did end up getting out for a second walk, and that one was down at Vincentia with a sea breeze, much nicer, zero traffic lights and not so humid. We did some running too. This brings the distance for Monday to 10.78km.

Tuesday – was pretty crazy. There was a large yacht in the bay which distracted me once I spotted it. Maybe I have watched a little too much Below Deck. ;)

I thought I was way off the pace for the first 5km so I pushed really hard and it turned out I was actually spot on with the pace. Not sure why the maths in my head wasn’t working, but I am feeling this workout in my thighs right now.

As I finished the 5km it began to lightly rain. I’m not going to let some rain get in my way, so I kept going. However I decided to just slow down and enjoy the walk, and somehow lost track of my distance. So I ended up doing an extra KM as a surprise.

Wednesday – was a work day and I have to be realistic about this – there is no way I can fit in a 10km on a work day. I actually took this as a rest day as I had done 3 solid days of exercise in a row. But it was the worst I have felt on any day yet! I was so tired. I found myself falling asleep in my recliner while dinner was in the oven and I went to bed early. I am going to make more of an effort and try to work in a 5km on work days but even 1km is better than nothing. At the moment with daylight savings it is do-able, I just have to plan it well.

Thursday – I had a dentist appointment, but right after that I headed out. I did not set any pace goals, I just walked for distance today.

It was very windy and wavy out there so there were a bunch of kite surfers enjoying the conditions. It felt great to be out there walking but I am feeling it in the backs of my lower legs today.

Friday – we got out for a quick 5km after work. I did not even take a photo, we were so focused on getting this 5km done fast as thunder clouds were threatening from a distance.. And fast it was. Mostly 100m sprinting, then 100m walking. I wanted to push myself hard today, do a recovery 10km on Saturday, and then I have 4 days of work in a row so I will need to walk at the usual pace on those days.

When we got home the thunderstorm hit, and wow did it ever hit. The Other Half went out to his car to get his phone just as it kicked off, and he wasn’t able to make it back to the house for some time, he was stuck out by the shed where he watched all the water not go into the rainwater tank – because it is full. Meanwhile I was watching a leak develop in the Delicate Nirvana, which will need sorting before the next storm.

Saturday – The Other Half and I took the bush track to Hyams and back, then a bit of the normal track to make up a 10km.

It was a gorgeous day about 28C (82.4F) with plenty of sea breezes to cool us off.

Sunday – I had to work, so once I was done we did the bush track again to make a 5km. It was 26C (78.8F) and gorgeous out, so while we kicked off with some sprinting runs, after we got to 2.5km we slowed right down and just enjoyed the bush track.

The totals for this week –

Mon: 10.78
Tue: 11.00
Wed: 00.00
Thu: 10.31
Fri: 05:03
Sat: 10:31
Sun: 05.02

Previous week total : 21.08
This week total : 52.45
February Total: 73.53

Overall it has been an excellent week even with my weird one day on one day off work schedule I’m not sure if I really liked it. I’m more of a work all my days in a row and then have time off. Next week I work the first 3 days, so those will be 5km days, the remaining days will be 10km weather permitting on all of those walks, of course. I will walk in rain no problems but not a thunderstorm and we’ve been having a lot of them just lately. The distance goal for next week is 55km.

exercise

February Goals

This year I am getting back on the focused exercise train. Too much work, allowing some undesirable foods to creep back into the diet and not enough walking or running have seen a small weight gain on the scales. Not much, because I am doing something about it before it continues, but enough to make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

I wasn’t really sure what kind of goal to set. I did a few walks in January and generally felt they went ok, but I would like to get back to running again. I also wanted to get some serious distance in across the month BUT I have to be realistic about it.

In general I work 3 days a week at the moment but that could increase without much notice as a surprise to myself, in fact I could be called in to cover at the last minute. Making plans and appointments is a bit difficult for that reason. I just have to be prepared.

What I’d like to do at the end of the month is take my mileage and divide it by 28 and it works out to 5km per day. That means I would have to walk 140km in the month of February. I could do it as 14 10kms, which leaves me free days if I don’t get a chance to walk. Is it doable? Who knows. But I know when I set a goal I like to smash it, so.. we will see. I’ll check in once a week to let you know how I am going. We are now 3 days into Fitness February so here is the first check in.

I kicked off the day before February began – this walk will not count to the February total, but I’m just going to put it here for the record.

On Friday February 1st, I did my first 10km for the year. I divided it up into two 5kms when I tracked it on my Fitbit because I set two different pace goals – 8 minutes per KM for the first half, and 10 minutes per KM for the second half.

Friday was a really good day for it, overcast with cool temperatures of just 22C (71.6F) and not much breeze – it would have been too cold for me if there were one.

For the first 5km I ran 100m out of every 500m, which might have been a bit ambitious but felt ok at the time. The next day I was a bit sore and I had to work plus we had family over for a BBQ so I couldn’t go for a recovery walk on Saturday. But I made up for that on Sunday.

I did not set pace goals for Sunday, I really just wanted to stretch out and try to sort out the muscle soreness. My plan was to walk 45 minutes in one direction, then return back to the car.

It was a gorgeous hot sunny day, about 27C (80.6F) with a strong sea breeze. It turned out I needed a bathroom visit mid-walk and I decided to keep going to my preferred bathroom rather than stop at the most used one at Moona Moona creek, which was absolutely packed. This added an extra 1.5km onto my walk, and some extra time as well. It was ok, I wasn’t in a hurry.

In fact every carpark was packed and I couldn’t get my usual favourite spots, so I will have to keep that in mind for Saturday and Sunday walking this month.

February Total so far – 21.08

exercise

Quick Catch Up

Callala Bay on a 34 degree day, where my cousin’s wife and I chose to do a 7km walk because we could. It was actually lovely, a nice breeze blowing for much of the time. But this is one of just three times I have been anywhere near the beaches since School Holidays started. Too many tourists, too much traffic, way too much litter, and not enough patience within myself.

We’ve been offline for almost 7 days thanks to our internet service provider. It began the Thursday evening before the Australia Day long weekend. We’d gone out for dinner and when we returned home, no internet. Friday, no internet. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, more of the same. Tuesday we put in an application to move to a new provider because we’d had enough. The internet returned finally on Wednesday.

I actually did not mind so much. I had some teevee to catch up on and my Sticky Prints arrived on Friday so I had two collage walls to build. Sticky Prints are amazing – they essentially work like octopus tentacles – you don’t need any adhesive, no hooks or nails or anything at all. The back of the print is like a mass of tiny suction cups.

You simply peel it off the protective sheet it arrives attached to, and place it onto a clean wall. You can peel it straight back off again, or leave it there long term and when you are ready to remove it, you simply peel it off. They will stick to most surfaces – fridges are another popular place to put them, but you really can put them anywhere you like.

One of the collage walls I can show you – the other one has a lot of photos of people including myself, The Other Half, Sephyroth and various family members, so that one will remain private, but I might take some photos of the non-people photos.

This is a memorial wall of our Big Cat and our chickens who are no longer with us. It is a happy-sad. Happy that they were with us and had wonderful treat filled lives, sad they are no longer here.

Speaking of treats, drumstick x messina is now available in supermarkets and is half price (AKA $5 for 4) at Coles this week. I’m about to go try one and then catch up on a LOT of reading your blogs.. ;)

OMG I had the mango and salted coconut.. amazing. Get thee to Coles!! :)

country life, Home

So Much Happening

Half of it I can’t talk about here, and the other half I haven’t had the time or energy to talk about here. So let us go back in time to Christmas Day. After just one year of hosting Christmas, The Other Half and I have this down to a fine art and really do not need to do much food preparation at all, just putting out nibblies, cooking a BBQ with steaks and sausages, and Mother provides the dessert of Pavlova.

Only this year I had gone on a Christmas Shopping expedition to The Treat Factory and found out they were making gelato logs. What a fantastic idea. I ordered one in dark chocolate and salted caramel. It was fabulous and we had leftovers which we have greatly enjoyed on all the hot evenings since.

I did mostly forget to take photos, we were having too good a time really. It was lovely to be still and enjoy each others company. However I knew it was back to work the next morning, so it was a little less relaxing than usual.

I worked on Boxing Day, not a long shift. I gave a Christmas present to a fellow co-worker and they told me it was the only present they had to open on Christmas Morning, which also made me a little sad – but extra happy I went to the effort to get something for them. I remember many years of having nothing to open, which is why I go to an extra effort now to make sure I do have things to open even if I bought them for myself.

I haven’t had a chance to write up the No Spend for both November and December – and not sure there is much point now we’re in a new year other than for the sake of completion. December was a spend month but mostly spending on presents for other people. I did have two things I wanted to buy in the Boxing Day Sales – Bras and Kiehl’s Moisturiser in the super large size.

I’ve worn the same 4 bras to work for 6 months now – these were the same 4 bras I’d been wearing for almost a year already – and while they are still semi-wearable, they were past their use-by date. I figured it would be a good idea to pick some up if they were on special. I’d bookmarked them in my browser. I hoped to buy them on super special on Boxing Day, but none of them moved in price at all, at least not online.

That is a really smart thing on the part of Bras N Things, to have an inhouse brand which you fit customers in and sell them but don’t ever discount, not even on the biggest sale day of the year. I thought maybe they might be on special in store or maybe there might be something else I could try on which was on special, so I suggested to The Other Half that he drop me off at the shops and I would go for a wander. I thought he wouldn’t want to go. Surprise, he did join me! Because it was mid-afternoon, the sales rush was over and we even managed to find a decent park.

There was a shopping incident where I thoroughly spoiled myself with new bras. I tried one on and it was so comfortable I gave it to the sales assistant and said “please can you go and find every bra like this in my size, I will take them all” – she found 7 in my size. Perfect! One for each day of the week, and I got two navy blue polkadot ones which I have officially allocated as work bras.

A few days later another family member needed bras so we went together and they had more in my size back out on the shelves – I bought 5 more because they were so comfortable and even cheaper on sale than they were the first time, because they added “spend $100 get $20 off” on top of the great sale prices and I had two $5 vouchers as well – one of which I gave to my family member..

I had not bought any bras at all since mid 2017 after my big weight loss, so I think I did pretty well. I wish I’d done it sooner because I did not realise how uncomfortable the old ones had become, and I got to a point where the minute I got in the house I would take them off – not anymore, now I am enjoying wearing these all day long, the same way I once did with the old bras.

I got my Kiehls for 15% off. Sometimes it is really handy to have signed up for the mailing list, as I was able to go back through the emails since September and realised 15% off is the best deal they’ve done in those three months. I still have 1/3 of the jar left from my Canberra shopping trip.

This new jar is 3x the size so I should get 9 months out of it at least. I’ve maybe missed two mornings since I bought it and on those missed days I can really tell that I missed applying it. I’m so glad I found this moisturiser and have to send another big thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for making me aware of this brand.

I bought a few things from my TVSN wishlist for crazy discounted prices, including this one I mentioned in my April did not buy post for $9.95 instead of $64.95, what a bargain! The material is so gorgeous. I’m glad they had it left in my size, I was not so lucky with some of the other items I wanted.

In other family news, my cousin and his wife have arrived for a long-ish visit. They are replacing a couple of staff on my parents side of the store, who had two staff members resign leading up to Christmas. Not sure if this will be temporary or long term. I’d not met his wife before but it turns out we are like twinsies and get along super well, plus she loves to walk which is great for me.

In blog news, at this stage I am not sure if and when I will return to regular posting. A few things are up in the air at work right now, and I’m waiting for things to settle before making any big decisions. I’ll try and get in one post a week but I’m just not making any promises because I don’t know my future schedule.

family, Home

Merry Christmas To All

That about sums up how I am feeling today, less than 5 hours after I completed what I have secretly nicknamed “The Santa Obstacle Course 2018”.

When I realised I had finished it, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt like dancing. But I still had two hours more work to do, stocktaking our little area, tidying up because my offsider is a bit of a hurricane at times and also forgets to put things back where they live, cleaning, sorting, fixing.

After that I caught a lift home, made coffee, cleaned some in preparation for tomorrow – we are hosting Christmas – snuck out for a quick take away dinner, had afternoon coffee at the late hour of 7pm, cleaned a little more, and I still have a bit more cleaning to do.

I had no idea it was possible to be this tired. I’m ready for sleep already. It isn’t physically tired, though there is some of that. I’ve been getting my 10000 steps every single work day these past weeks. I’ve actually kicked the chair out of my area because I don’t have time to sit and I don’t have room for the chair.

It is 90% mentally tired and part of it is Aspie tired. You see, usually at any given time in my job, I might have 20-50 items with various names on them, waiting for the customer to pick them up. All of that is mentally catalogued via my Aspie Super Powers, filed away neatly in my brain. When the customer arrives, I ask for the surname, and it takes me mere moments for my mental file system to tell me exactly where that item is.

Over the past 5 weeks, I have had double to triple the amount of items with various names on them. I’ve also had 200 or so extra items with names each week to catalogue. I’m not the only person working there, either. I’ve had to create “maps” of where everything is, so the other folks can find things fast when they need to. That plan seems to have worked really well.

I did get my Christmas Glitter Nails, and promptly forgot to take any photos. Here they are two weeks in. You can’t see the rainbow holographic glitter on the thumbnail but believe me it is there. I’ve been loving these nails, even though they are “mismatched” and somewhat weird to some folks. My nail lady thought I was cuckoo, she is probably right. ;)

I wish you all the compliments of the season and hope you have a lovely Christmas day filled with whatever floats your boat. I’ll try to remember to take some photos to share with you this year. :)

Nail Art, work