Update Week


What I’m Doing – Exercising

There has been a significant addition to my living space. You might remember how it was before – my living space.

I recently got the all clear from the lung specialist to get back into exercise and while I have a elliptical here already, I did not want to start with that. It has been a year since I have done any significant exercise and jumping onto the elliptical right away would be the best way to get myself injured. So I borrowed this treadmill from my parents – it was gathering dust at their place anyway.

I started out easy but within a relatively short time I was walking 5kms a day and I felt like I had to limit myself to that, because I could easily have walked for hours of an evening while watching tv..

This past week, I cranked up the pace a little and it went like this – Sunday 5km – Monday 6km – Tuesday 7km -Wednesday 8km – Thursday 9km – Friday 10km. Over the space of 6 days I walked 45km. By Friday I had a super awesome blister on my right ankle so I took the weekend off from walking, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

What I’m Thinking – Positives

River posted some thoughts yesterday which got me thinking.

I try to write positive letters or emails to companies and people fairly regularly and I wonder if maybe this is something which could work as a linkup, maybe once a month or so. I’ll ruminate some more on this and probably launch something in January. It would be a monthly link up thing, I think.

I think it would be something amazing to start a movement of positive feedback. We all are quick to complain when things are wrong, but how many of us send a note to the companies that make products we trust, use daily, and rely on?

The Inlinkz thing I use for the Shoe Sundays is pretty simple to use, and I can leave them open forever, so maybe I’ll do one and see if people want to link up with their positive company feedback, and whether or not they get a response as well.

What I’m Considering – Checking In

I try to visit the blogs I read and leave comments as often as I can however you may have noticed a drop off in my comments lately – first of all, check your spam bin because I might be in there – here’s how to check your spam bin on WordPress, scroll down to please note – and second of all, I was commented out by the end of November.

I’m planning a January visiting blogs spree, and I’m going to try leaving a comment as well as leaving an actual note if possible, via an email address or contact form. This is harder than you might suspect. The amount of people blogging without an email address or contact me form is way higher than it should be. :(

If you are wanting to know how to put your email address out in the open without attracting significant spam, try writing it like this – snoskred {at} gmail {dot} com <-- that one will reach me, by the way.

What I’m Obsessed With – Moonbase Inc


The Other Half was trying to talk me out of playing Candy Crush Saga, which I had only recently tried out and I got stuck on this one level, I can’t beat it no matter what I do. It is *infuriating* which is not what a game should be, in my opinion. :( And it keeps telling me to buy boosts so I can win the level and I flat out refuse to do that.

So he showed me this neat little Moonbase Inc game, which is completely free, you can play on your Android tablet or phone. I have it on both. :) It is that awesome. I would actually pay for this game.

About Snoskred, exercise, Gaming, General Chit-chat, power of positive thought

I can see there from here..

A few weeks ago, I had to go to an appointment about 40km away. This was the first time I’d been out by myself on the roads driving a decent distance in a while.

3 separate times, I saw vehicles in front of me cross to the wrong side of the road, while they were busy doing something.. I could see they were texting or reading something on their mobile phone.

And my car horn is like the horn from a clown car. Nobody takes my beeps seriously. In fact I don’t even think they hear them, it never seems like anyone does. I asked the other half to install me a more serious horn, because these people need a wake up, when they are doing this. If there were cars coming the other way, they could kill someone, even themselves!

There was a time recently, after watching one too many episodes of Crash Investigation Unit, that I found myself sitting in the car, at the end of the driveway, unable to leave the driveway because if I went X way, then Y could happen, and if I went A way, then B could happen. No way seemed safe, and my mind was screaming at me.. don’t go anywhere, put the car away, it is too dangerous on the roads.

And then rational me said err, no, lets’s get going, I have to live life. I need to buy stuff, like chocolate and icecream. I can’t become a hermit and just order my groceries on the internet and never leave home again. But I could see there from where I was. And part of me wanted to do exactly that – become a hermit, stay home where it is safe..

I mean, I could easily do that, Coles and Woolies home deliver here now. But if I let those fears take over, then there will be no end to it. What will be, will be. If I get taken out by an unlicensed idiot driving while texting, I’ll be pissed, sure. And I’ll haunt that person foreverz, because seriously your text couldn’t wait, you couldn’t pull over?

fears, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, power of positive thought

Maintaining A Positive Attitude While Chronically Ill

Please welcome Sandy from Fighting Fatigue to the blog –

As someone who has suffered from chronic illness for almost 20 years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to maintain a positive attitude while sick. But in order to survive, and because my illnesses are “chronic”, never going away, I have had to learn how to deal, adjust and cope despite multiple health problems.

I have been sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Interstitial Cystitis for most of my adult life. Being afflicted with just one of these illnesses can be disabling, but put all three together and life can be pretty miserable at times. I have had to give up my career due to my illnesses, but I refuse to let that stop me. Even though I am sick, I do not use that as an excuse to give up on life. I may not be able to do the things I once did, with the same energy and focus, but I am still alive and each day is a gift and I’m grateful to be alive.

I have seen too many people who are sick just give up and not try. I know that being chronically ill takes a toll on a person’s body physically and emotionally. But there are ways to keep from getting depressed and from living in the “pity party” mode 24 hours a day. I don’t want this to sound as though I think I’m better than anyone else who is chronically ill because I’m not. It has taken years of my own pity parties, depression, and mastering coping skills to get to where I am today. I still have times where I think “Why me? Why can’t I go and work like everyone else?” but I only allow myself a five-minute pity party and then I move on.

Here are some coping skills that I have learned over the years to help deal with being chronically ill and in chronic pain:

Keep a journal and write in it daily what you are grateful for. I call this my “gratitude journal”. Even though I might wake up and not be able to do anything other than wash my hair, I record that I am grateful that I was able to do that small task. It helps through the difficult times and it makes you realize that even though things may be bad, there are still positive spins you can put on each situation.

When you feel like complaining, smile! A lot of people are usually amazed when they find out how many health problems I have because I try not to let it show. When I am very miserable I am not able to be out in public, but I never feel good – ever. But I always try to keep a smile on my face because smiling just makes everything seem better.

Read positive, uplifting books. I have found this to be especially helpful. When I start to feel a little down or depressed, I will go to my small library and choose a book that has inspirational sayings or quotes and I will read those until I feel better.

Instead of becoming a victim of “poor me”, become a victor and learn from your experiences, grow and help others. I have used my struggles with chronic illness as a positive in my life by starting my Fighting Fatigue website and my Fighting Fatigue Forum to offer support and resources for others suffering from chronic illness. When we first become ill with a chronic illness, we feel as though we are alone. It’s important to have people to talk to who can share what you are going through.

– Never give up hope! One thing that keeps me going is believing that there will be a cure found for the chronic illnesses I suffer from. I always have hope and when you have hope everything looks brighter.

Sandy Robinson is 38, Female, live in the Northeast, married with a 6-year-old beautiful son. Sandy started the Fighting Fatigue website to help raise awareness and offer support to others for the chronic illnesses I Sandy personally suffers from: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Interstitial Cystitis.

Sandy also runs the Fighting Fatigue Forum and Message Boards for chronic illness sufferers to support each other about what they are going through.

Thanks for a fantastic post Sandy. All of us can benefit from the coping skills you mention. Please check out her website and message boards and if you know anyone suffering a chronic illness be sure to point them in that direction.
And remember, you can get out of your niche tooall bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.

Get Out Of Your Niche, power of positive thought

Making Progress – Accentuate The Positive

All of the communities near where I live have their own progress associations. I was recently talking to someone from the local progress association and I was amazed to find out the real story behind a local road which used to be a dirt road but was closed for about a year while it was made into an asphalt road. It has completely changed the way I view this road.

We drove down the dirt road when we first arrived in the area. It was kind of spooky. A huge amount of dust would be kicked up by any passing cars even though it had recently rained. In some places the water had eroded the road making it a bit dangerous because people had to drive on the opposite side of the road on blind corners. When we got back to my parents place the car was absolutely filthy.

The progress association had been trying to get the road fixed for 10 years. This road was the only way for several towns to access the main highway if the other road became flooded. One year right before an election, one of the candidates made an election promise to have the road “sealed” (changed from dirt to asphalt) if they were voted in. The election happened, they were voted in and just two weeks later the president of the progress association was on their doorstep reminding them of the promise they had made.

Some time passed before work finally began. The road was completely closed to through traffic and we looked forward to it opening even though we weren’t residents here.

The new road opened in early 2007. I believe they got one of the best pieces of road I know of anywhere in New South Wales. It is my favourite road. It is smooth and beautiful to drive on. Here’s a picture of it from Google Earth. I’ve put little pink lines around it so you can see which road it is.


What an accomplishment – what a thing to get ticked off the to do list! 11kms of road, costing just over 4 million dollars. I didn’t know about all the hard work and effort that had gone into getting the road before I went to the meeting. Now I am just amazed by it every time I drive down that road. I’m only a recent newcomer to the town but I feel so proud of them – and I can’t imagine how happy they must feel about it after working so hard for so long..

Some places in this country, progress associations are the exact opposite of their name. They try to stop anything they don’t personally approve of. I am so thrilled to be living in a place where the progress association is all about progress. I have joined the local association myself. Last month I attended the first Progress Association meeting and met some wonderful people. I intend to get involved in the excellent work they are doing.

Each little step they take, every bit of progress they make is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But as this road proves, when you work together amazing things are possible.

life lessons, power of positive thought

Thoughts On Making Positive Changes – Can You Do It?

Over the last month I have made one big positive change in my life, and I have a few thoughts on the process of making change which might be useful to you. Have you ever heard of the conscious competence learning matrix? Basically it is 4 stages which you have to go through in order to learn a new skill. The four stages are –

Unconscious Incompetence

You don’t know anything about this new skill – You may know others have this skill but you may think it won’t work for you, you may think you don’t you need it, you may think you’re not capable of learning it it – you need someone to point out how this skill can benefit you before you are willing to consider learning the new skill

Conscious Incompetence

You are now aware of this skill – You are aware that you do not yet posess this skill – You realise that this skill can be useful to you – you make a commitment to learn how to perform this new skill.

Conscious Competence

You are now able to perform this skill without assistance from others but it requires concentration and thought – You are able to demonstrate this skill to others – You now have to commit to practising this skill over and over in order to become unconsciously competent in this skill.

Unconscious Competence.

You have practised this skill so often it enters the unconscious – This skill is now second nature to you – You can now perform this skill while thinking about something else and without concentration – You can now teach this skill to others – Over time you may become less able to teach this skill because you will find it difficult to explain how to do it.

The Four Stages –

Think it’s a load of psychobabble?

Think again. Can you drive a car? Sew? Knit? Type? Paint? Draw? Play a musical instrument? Ride a bike? You have been performing the four stages of learning all your life. You may not have known the name of it until reading this post, but if you take a moment to consider you’ll agree the four stages is exactly how you have been learning to do things.

The exact same process happens when you want to make a positive change in your life. You decide that you want to – lose weight, drink more water, be more positive, get organised, exercise more, play the piano, change a habit, learn any new skill, it could be anything. You think making this change will benefit you. So you make a commitment to change.

The most difficult part is the “practice” – the actual making the change. Unless you *make* yourself practice you will never make the change. Here’s some tips to make it a little easier for you.

This Is Also Known As –

Setting a goal. Sort of. Sometimes a goal requires a lot more work across a lot of different areas, so for the purpose of this post I’m talking more about forming good habits, routines and making *one* positive change at a time.

Pick One Change And Go With It –

Choose the most urgent thing you want to change and focus on changing that. Do not sabotage yourself by trying to change several things at once. You’ll do a lot better if you focus on one at a time. (I made this mistake – on top of the water change I wanted to get more organised. One had to give way – so now I will focus on the organise change I need to make)

Embrace The Need For Change –

You’ve got to want it bad! You have to be passionate about it, long for it, LUST after it! If you don’t want this change, you will find ways to undermine your own efforts. It is sometimes a good idea to write the benefits of making the change down and putting it somewhere you’ll see it often, to remind yourself why you want to make this effort.

Make Success Simple –

If the change is drinking water, carry a bottle with you. If the change is get organised, take time to put systems in place that you can follow. If it’s exercise more, hire a treadmill or exercise bike, whatever floats your boat. Identify how you can make this change easy and simple and then do that first, before you try to begin making the change.

Watch Out For Thwarters –

Friends, family, loved ones can be your worst enemy when it comes to making a change. They like you the way you are. They may not want you to change. They may fear you will leave them behind, not need them anymore. If they can’t get on board, they need to get out of your way – and you may need to push them out of your path.

If you explain to them you want to make this change, you need to make it, and you’re going to make it so you would appreciate their support, and they do not wish to give you the support you’re asking for? That’s a bad sign right there.

I’m not saying cut them out of your life completely, but perhaps it is a good idea to take some time out for yourself to focus on the change you’re making. Do not let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone argue with you about it either. You may find it best to – close your ears – smile – nod – ignore – when they try to talk you out of it – and some people will regardless of how much they claim to care for you and want the best for you. Be prepared. Don’t be surprised when it happens.

Look For Supporters –

If you can find people who want to make the same change or even a different positive change from the one you want to make you can support each other. There is nothing like surrounding yourself with people in the progress of positive change. There may be a support group for what you’re looking to do – if not in real life, on the internet. Be wary though, sometimes support can = thwart!

When You Want To Quit –

Keep going. Usually during the first or second week, you’ll have some second thoughts. You’ll think about giving up. You want to quit. Push through it. Don’t allow yourself to give up on your change. You decided to make the change for good reasons and whatever inconveniences you may be experiencing will seem like nothing in a couple of weeks once you get to the unconscious competent stage.

Chart Your Progress –

If the change is something like drink more water, make a simple chart where you can tick off each cup you drink. If it is exercise more, make a chart where you can tick off every half hour of exercise. Whatever your change, try to find a way you can tick boxes for yourself – and always use a tick (positive), never a cross (negative)!

Remind Yourself –

I once had to change my name. I was working in a call centre, and when you answer the phone if you have a longer name there is a better chance the person listening will catch your name if it has more syllables. EG – “This is Ben” will tend to get people saying “Who is it?” whereas”This is Benjamin” you get a lot less “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” which cuts down on your call time. So I wrote my full 3 syllable name on post it notes and stuck it all over my desk. Anywhere I would be looking when I answered a call merited a post it note.

A skill you quickly pick up in a call centre is the ability to listen to what is going on around you as well as on the phone. I heard people discuss my “lack of memory” “That poor girl can’t even remember her own name!” “Doesn’t she know who she is?” – it got so annoying to me that I sent out an email explaining why I had my name all over my desk. Guess what happened next? All kinds of post it notes began to appear all over the office.. I started a trend!

So, write yourself little notes about the change you’re making. Put them in every room you spend time in, where you’re going to see them. On the fridge, on the TV, on the back of the toilet door, on your bathroom mirror, on your bedside cabinet, on your computer monitor.

Reward Yourself.

If you practice, there will come a day when you do this thing without even thinking about it. That day came for me a few days ago, when I noticed I had gone through a 1.5 litre bottle of water during my day without once *thinking* about it. It will happen if you have practiced, so make a plan of how you are going to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put in.

When The Day Comes –

Celebrate it, you did it! :) Then pick the next thing you want to work on and get started. You’re on a roll, so keep it going. ;)

Don’t Stop Now –

If your choice was to lose weight – most people who made the choice to lose weight put it back on eventually – that is because they get *out* of the good habits they made in their life. When you make a decision to lose weight that is a *lifestyle* change and you have to be committed to it for LIFE. As soon as you stop practicing the good habits you will find the weight creeping back on.

If You Do Stop –

Just as you can get back on the bike and remember how to ride it without having to learn from scratch, you can do the same with any of these changes you committed to making. So simply get back on the bike and start pedaling towards your original goal again.

What Change Did I Make?

In case you didn’t know, I challenged myself after reading this article 9 Great Reasons to Drink Water, and How to Form the Water Habit to begin drinking more water. I used to drink Coca Cola – one can a day – and fruit juice or coffee. I wasn’t getting enough liquids and water retention was a huge issue for me.

Week One –

Visits to the bathroom were more frequent than usual in this week. I was expecting this – the article had mentioned it. It wasn’t too bad but there was one day I felt like quitting the whole thing because I was back and forth too often. Push through that urge to quit. Just keep going!

Two Weeks Into Making This Change –

I noticed a big difference with respect to water retention. The backs of my hands went all wrinkly. The puffiness went away. My body could now rely on me to get enough water during the day and it wasn’t holding to any nugget of water it could get just in case it didn’t get more. Visits to the bathroom were now less frequent than *originally* – I was so glad I didn’t quit!

Sometime In The Third Week –

The unconscious competence kicked in. I was keeping a bottle of water on my desk and suddenly I did not have to remind myself to pour a glass and drink it – and I’d filled in a whole day’s worth of ticks to my chart without once noticing I was doing it. I got some scales at the start of the third week because I thought I’d been losing weight and found I was 10kg lighter than the last time I weighed myself, but that had been over a year ago so I couldn’t be sure it was due to the water. Clothes that fit well three weeks before were suddenly a bit roomy, so I think at least some of the loss was due to it.

I have been so busy drinking water that some mornings I found I wasn’t having my coffee until lunch time – which gave me headaches. This week I focused on making sure I have that morning coffee in the morning. Yes, I am a caffeine addict but during this challenge I’ve cut back to 2 cups a day rather than my usual 4 cups. Wow, what a difference!

Four Weeks Into Making This Change –

I’ve lost 3kg (6.6 pounds) over the course of one week, without making any changes to eating or exercise – in fact I’ve been eating 2 pieces of Lindt chocolate each day, something I normally do not do! Now I’m reasonably confident a large part of the weight loss was due to the water drinking. I can see a noticeable change in the mirror. I’ve been working on getting the hands less wrinkly but it will take time for the skin to shrink back after losing the puffiness.

Was It Worth It?

Absolutely. I am feeling a lot better for it. Now I’m all about the next change, which is getting more organised. Over the next week I’ll be putting systems in place to help me do that. I wanted to do it at the same time as the water change but I found two changes at once was too much for me.

Did you find this article helpful?

Let me know in the comments section. :) Let me know if it inspires you to make your own change, too! ;)

how to guides, life lessons, moving forward, power of positive thought

The power of positive thought.

In various discussions around the interweb lately, I’ve realized that I’m a pretty lucky person. Fairly early on in my life, I have learnt some life lessons which have been useful in helping me get to the place I am now. Many of these lessons are going to stick with me and I can build on them as time goes by.

One lesson I learnt by working in call centres is the power of positive thought. Outbound telemarketing is not an easy job. You have to be able to get yourself into a mental place where you can handle people saying no to you constantly. Rejection on such a massive scale can really get you down. You need inner resources which most people do not have and find difficult to get.

Most important of all, you need to be able to put the past behind you and move on. Not past from years ago, past from the last call you made. When you were told “no” and you hang up the phone, you need to be able to say “The next one will be a yes”. Otherwise you won’t be able to make that call. And when you get a “Yes” you need to celebrate that and build on it. In an average 5 hour outbound calling shift, we would average 20 calls per hour, and only ONE of those would be a yes. That means 19 people said no. If you took it personally it could mess with your head in a major way.

So one of the tools I used constantly were Dream Cards by Leon Nacson. I didn’t use them in the way intended by the author, though. Each day at the start of a shift, I would shuffle the cards, close my eyes and pick one from the middle of the pack. That card would be stuck to my computer screen. The cards contain positive messages and I found that by having the card there, I would find myself reading the card – which is essentially *thinking* the card. Here’s a picture of the cards, so you can see the kinds of positive messages they contain. You’ll need to click the thumbnail for a larger image. :)


And I found that each day, whatever card I seemed to pick out was exactly what I needed to think that day. I don’t know whether that is destiny or just pure luck. For example – I would pull out “I am free from agitation and tension. Nothing can provoke me.” on a day when the people I spoke to would be trying their best to wind me up. I had that card on my desk on the day a customer told me that wind power was bad for the environment because “it takes the wind out of the air”.

These cards got me through some really hard times. I am so grateful for that. I recommend you get your own set but if you can’t find them or can’t afford it, you can just write down a positive thought and put it on your desk.

When I left call centre work I got out of the habit of using these cards, but a couple of months ago I put them back on my desk and each day I shuffle them and pick one, which sits at the bottom of my computer screen. Next to a piece of paper that has sat on my desktop for many months now – sometimes taking the high road is no fun at all.

We often do not realize we are sabotaging ourselves. The “tapes” in our head play constant negative thoughts. Until you stop to listen to what tape you are playing, you cannot begin to make changes and play a more positive tape.

For more on the power of positive thinking, you may want to read this article – Mind your thoughts.

I also use I Can Do It cards by Louise Hay.

call centre, life lessons, moving forward, negative thought, power of positive thought, taking the high road