What TV taught me and why I’m like this now

Just read this article from Huffington Post called 10 Movies This Child of the 80s Wants Her Kids to Learn From  and I LOVED IT! I’m not looking down the barrel of 40 like the author of the article, but I am definitely a child of the 80s. I am also the only child of two very over-protective parents, so if I wasn’t running around outside with a ragtag group of neighbourhood kids for safety, the parental unit preferred that I be indoors situated firmly in front of the box, watching whatever TV show or movie was appropriate for me at the time.

I loved that the article mentioned The Goonies, The Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club, three of my favourite movies of all time, because I took so much away from each of them. When you’re not allowed out a lot, you live in the make-believe world on the screen, and THANK GOD there was usually something great to watch. Television and movies now are still great, but TV now is a little bit harrowing for me. It takes a lot of emotion to sit through Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Do we need debriefing sessions every time we finish an episode?

Breakfast Club School

Outside the building they used to film The Breakfast Club at.

Anyway, I digress. I am a child of the 80s (and 90s), and like Allison Tate, I have very strong emotional connections to TV and film from that time. I’m so connected to them, that I think they’ve actually shaped my world view of how life was supposed to be and I am constantly being reminded that nope, life doesn’t always work like that. I don’t have kids of my own, but I’ve learned a lot from 80s pop culture! For example:

THE GOONIES

Everyone loves The Goonies because they were all different, they were such great friends, had that mad adventure together – without adult supervision – and did something great for Astoria (hahaha). The Goonies taught me that having an adventurous spirit was a cool thing coz cool stuff came out of it, and you got to have fun with your closest buddies. It also taught me that you need to have close buddies, otherwise you don’t get to do cool things. Real life equivalent was every time I went overseas looking for adventure.

FRIENDS

By far and away my favourite all-time TV show, although set in the 90s, I was still a kid when it debuted here so I’m counting it. Like The Goonies, Friends taught me that your friends are your family, so be tight with them. It also made me appreciate – and someday try to replicate – the mismatched dining chairs look. Friends also made me see that having mates from all walks of life was a good thing, coz there’s so much comedy gold to be found in differences of opinion, like in the episode when Ross was getting really annoyed at everyone for humouring Phoebe’s belief that a missing cat was the reincarnation of her mother. Real life equivalent is that none of my longtime friends work in the same industry as me, so when we all get together to bitch about work, we all sympathise with the generic “tough day, huh?”, but don’t know the exact ins and outs of each other’s jobs. That was a bad example. But now one of my friends actually lives in New York, so maybe she’s the real live equivalent to a Friends character now?

THE BREAKFAST CLUB

High school was sooooooooooooo not fun for me, but even the guys from The Breakfast Club made detention look like it was worth it. I never had any life-affirming moments like they did in this movie when I was in high school, or maybe I did but I was too far up my own ass in self-pity and teen angst to recognise it. The Breakfast Club made me see that someone recognises cliques, and how being in one makes you a supreme a-hole, and how sometimes, for a brief time, you don’t have to be the label people put on you and you can just be friends with whoever you want to be friends with. I don’t have a real live equivalent for this movie, but I still love it because it was well written and is one of my favourite movies. Oh, wait, I do have a real life equivalent, because today I am a basket case.

You know sometimes you wish life were like the movies or like the lives of people on TV? I kind of half believed it would be! And now here I am staring down the barrel of not 40 but maaaaaaan, what a rude awakening I’m getting! :P

 

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My ovaries exploded

I’m not a die-hard fan of Bruno Mars. I’m not “in the red zone”, so to speak. And I’m not even pregnant. But this, ohhh lord, this clip!

See, some people need a sugar hit in the afternoon, but this is my sugar this afternoon. Check the expression on this kid’s face! Well done to Ellen for not cracking up laughing during his little performance!

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Living all the days of your life

Maybe it’s because I’m a hundred thousand years old, maybe it’s because I’m sick of wasting time, maybe it’s because I keep looking for more and searching for more, but I’ve started actively looking for ways to improve my overall life. I’m more conscious of the time I spend procrastinating (which is a LOT, thanks Buzzfeed), because I don’t want to be wasting my time doing useless things. At the same time though, I don’t want to busy myself with simply being busy for the sake of it, and I’m more aware of quality downtime too.  I’ve also taken a good hard look at the exercise I do (or don’t do) and the food that I eat (I use the term “food” loosely), and I’m acutely aware of the fact that while I don’t feel the effects of my complete lack of pride in my fitness and health, I will soon, if I keep this up.

So when I wrote about SzeWing Yip’s services as a life coach at Intuitive CoachingI was interested in more than just promoting her business properly. I was looking for some kind of divine intervention.

AN OBJECTIVE PROFESSIONAL

I’d always been open to seeking the advice of an objective professional regarding how I should get my ass into gear and do stuff, but I always thought somewhere in the back of my mind that their services were only really reserved for people who had gone through a major life change or were seriously lost and floundering. Was I floundering? Are my wheels spinning? I suppose so, but what I got out of my time with SzeWing was … totally worth the time.

SzeWing operates her business from the Life & Balance Centre in Glebe, a cute little hub of like-minded practitioners who use the space to offer health and wellbeing services. SweWing herself is very bubbly and outgoing, has a lot to say, and has a lot of ideas about things she wants to do and what she wants to develop.  It’s very clear she’s passionate about her work as a life coach.  I’ve read somewhere (in a lot of articles of late, actually) that when a person is passionate about something it will show in their work, and this is SzeWing to a tee. She’s a dancer and a teacher and it’s obvious she’s a people person.

COACHING INTUITIVELY

I didn’t know what to expect when I went to meet SzeWing for the first time. She was dressed smartly (not like a banker) but casually (not like a uni student). Perhaps because I already pre-associated this to her, I was already assuming her to be the picture of someone who has her shit together. She looks it. She looks healthy (also in no small part to her dancing). I guess this is what you want in a person who’s made their career into helping others. Coz if they don’t look like they can help themselves …

A majority of Intuitive Coaching’s client base are in their 30s-50s, mainly women. Most of them are well-educated, upwardly mobile, professional.  Most of them are looking for “something more”. Ironically, SzeWing says a lot of her close female friends are in this age bracket to. Instantly, I’m impressed by this – to me, it shows that SzeWing is “of the people”: she can relate to anyone of any age.

During our session, we discussed my career (actually, she asked me about my career.  Actually, she asked me, “Tell me about you”, and then I launched into my career).  Without giving all the ins and outs of what I told her, I was basically just dumping all my niggling thoughts and doubts that had been swirling around in my brain into the session.  I really thought that SzeWing would turn around and say, “yes, you should follow your passion”, but she didn’t.  She told me that what I do now will help in the bigger picture of how my career will unfold. She used a mix of straight out pragmatic coaching techniques and even some Angel cards to communicate this to me.  I found this comforting, somehow.

PERCEPTION

One of the most poignant pieces of advice SzeWing gave was about perception. Because most of the session was about my career, she said my perception of my role needed to change, so I could be objective and look at the skills  I was gaining in the role, rather than thinking of my role as an all-encompassing career. I liked that. It made me see that there was a time for everything, and it helped me organise, albeit in my head, what I needed to focus on right now and when to know that I’d had my fill.

She also said during my angel reading that I need to give myself time to step away and think, perhaps take a holiday, or meditate, or do something. I am thinking she is talking about re-grouping or taking some time each day.  Not sure I can take the break I would really love to have right now (seriously wondering if I can convince my fiancee to sell all our stuff, pack it all in and chill on a beach in Bahia, Brazil for 6 months!), but since this session I’ve been acutely aware of how much time I take daily to clear my mind, get some exercise in and shake it off. As a result, I’ve taken steps to try to be more active. I’ve looked at jogging as a form of exercise and I’ve become better at even just stepping away from my desk at work. SzeWing was spot on though – meditation and clearing your mind is fast becoming an important part of my daily routine.

YOUR LIFE’S DIRECTION

The most striking piece of advice SzeWing gave, and which has pretty much remained embedded in my mind since my session, was about the difference between direction and goals, and how thinking of your life as a whole in terms of the direction you want to go in, rather than thinking of the goals you have to hit, you’ll be much better placed mentally and spiritually to be happy about the path your life is on. Going by goals may stop you from going further, and can limit you from other opportunities and experiences around you. Goals should be thought of as milestones, each milestone in line with your life’s direction. Your direction is a wider path than goals, so you can think of taking steps to keep you on your direction, rather than focussing on the steps as if they weren’t part of a bigger plan.  If someone had told me that after uni …

I felt really uplifted after my mini-session with SzeWing, particularly when she said everything I was doing career-wise was all joined together and it would all fall into place.  I felt more hopeful about my situation.

JUST KEEP GOING

Maybe because I’m more attuned to it right now but I’ve been picking up a lot of these helpful notes of late. I read something online regarding the phrase, “Just keep going”, when you’re feeling helpless or fading. Perhaps that person also got that from “Finding Nemo” (just keep swimming). But I think it ties in with SzeWing’s point above about direction. Just keep going in the direction of your life’s path. Just keep going …

Maybe it’s also because I’m in the middle of reading The Happiness Project that I am totally open to everything SzeWing has told me.  I find this complements my own exploration of personal wellbeing and happiness.

I’m still on that path, still striving daily to live a full life, but I’m glad that I can finally recognise that this is a much better way to live than only focussing on one area of life.  There are a lot of things I need to do and want to do, but now just remind myself about my life’s direction, and whether the choices that I’m making are in line with my direction. Which may or may not lead to the fridge door.

 

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I was lost …

Reading through my notes from a play I reviewed but knew nothing about prior to watching it. In a moment of panic, I wrote, “I don’t have a damn clue what this play is about really, and I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes”.

Turns out, as my notes show, I ended up really liking the bloody thing.

My brain power … sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s dead.

Some of my reviews are here, just an FYI.

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The longest Thursday ever in the history of long Thursdays …

Coz everyone needs a little Tina and Jimmy to brighten up their week. I miss 30 Rock (even though I can watch the whole series at home at any given time) and I don’t get to watch full eps of Jimmy Fallon (due to you know, geography and such).

A day without laughter is a day wasted.

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Now I have to live in the real world again ….

Finally caught up with the rest of the world and finished Breaking Bad!  The fella and I have been staying up till 2am glued to each season.  I am an emotional wreck.  It’s been about a week now since we watched the last episode of Season 5 but I still think about the characters like it was real life. I’ve done nothing but look up interviews with the cast or anything related to the show.

I can’t get this out of my head:

I got teary when I saw this!

I should be working but instead I’m imagining where Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman are. Waaaaaaaaaah, live in the real world, dammit!

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Maths

Conversation between me and my 15 year cousin yesterday:

Me: Come on, quick!
Him: I have homework
Me: I’ll help you. What is it?
Him: Maths
*Pause*
Me: Oh can’t help you

So it was me and his 9 year old sister who cleaned up the purple glitter we spilled all over her bedroom floor (another story, another time).

On the up side, I did get a homemade bracelet out of the visit. And I learnt my limit. Everything on his workbook page looked like code. Maths …

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The Happiest Sushi People in St Leonards

800px-Western_Sushi

Today I went to get sushi from the little sushi shop (or hut, more like), near the Platform 9 and 3/4 tunnel near St Leonards station.  There are 4 people who operate the shop:

1. Head chef (I think). Fatherly figure. Wears glasses, always ready with a smile

2. Main lady behind counter. Quick, business-like, cheerful. Always ready with a smile

3. BBQ beef guy, who mans the BBQ beef station near the front window of the shop. Also wears glasses. Not so quick with the smiles but that’s probably because he’s so busy with this cooking and grilling and bbq’ing.

3. Other lady behind counter. Maaaaaan, this woman is cheery. Always, always, always ready with a smile. She is never NOT smiling.

I walk in dazed. I’ve spent the past 5 hours staring at my computer screen in the office, amending copy for things like bluetooth bracelets and discounted accommodation in Noosa. All I can think of is the unread emails in my inbox, the un-crossed-out items on my to-do list, and the end of the day. I could’ve been standing next to a giraffe, and I wouldn’t have noticed.

Cheery woman, all happy, pops up out of nowhere. No, not really. She popped into my line of vision. She had probably been standing there all arvo, it was the lunchtime rush after all.

Her: Hello hello!
Me, deadpan: Hey there.
Her: What can I get you today?

I’m scanning the sushi display and although I could smash a couple of salmon sushi thingys today, especially with the mayo on them I like, my eyes travel over the head of Cheery Lady and up to the board behind the counter. There’s ramen and udon and bibimbap and other dishes. The ramen looks tasty. I’m intrigued.

Me, to Cheery Lady: I think I’ll have the ramen with chicken?

All of a sudden, Main Lady and Head Chef appear at Cheery Lady’s side.  They look concerned.

Main Lady: Are you sure ramen?
Me: Ummm, yeh?
Cheery Lady: You don’t like spice, you say before. Ramen is spicy!
Me: Like, how spicy?
Main Lady: No, too spicy. What about udon?
Me: Ummm … ok

I feel a little defeated. I can’t believe I’m being denied my choice by food, no less! Spice, man! Spice is what gives variety to life, spice is great, there were 5 spicy women in Spice Girls who peppered my experience of the late 90s. What’s a bit of spice gonna do? Also, the image on the board looks  a m a z i n g ! 

Then, like a knight in a chef’s outfit, Head Chef says, What if I make the ramen less spicy?

I’m back on board. Main Lady nods wisely, Cheery Lady’s head nodding is much more enthusiastic.  I’m all for it. Load me up, I say bravely. I’m smiling as widely as Cheery Lady now.

My day’s looking brighter. I didn’t sit for 5 bloody hours only to have my lunchtime choice vetoed! Oh no, sir! The universe saw I wanted ramen, and the universe is delivering. The Universe, capital “U”, and all!

In less that 10 minutes, my ramen and noodles with chicken is delivered to me in a takeaway bowl so I can return, triumphant, back to the office to eat slurp soup and noodles at my desk like the hero I am, clearing my inbox whilst simultaneously dying on the inside.

Head Chef hands the bowl over like a proud chef handing over a meal he partially modified to appease a non-balls customer.  He says, If it’s still too spicy for you, just add a bit of hot water to it. 

I am so touched by this culinary gesture, that I thank you, thank you so much profusely to everyone in there, including the BBQ guy, who had nothing to do with my meal. Head Chef gives me a little chuckle and a wave.  Main Lady gives me an Enjoy! before I head out the door. One last look, and Cheery Lady is smiling and nodding intensely in my direction, as if to say, you’llloveityou’llloveityou’llloveityou’llloveit! 

Back at the office, I plop down in my seat and peel off the plastic lid. Steam rises from the bowl like a magical expectation. The soup is somewhat red in colour. Dear god, that’s the spice, right? The noodles are loopy and fat and sloppy. The chicken are logs of kastu joy. I’m ready.

The first slurp tells me, yep, I’m cool with this. Not spicy. The second slurp does the same. The third and the fourth, still nothing. I can’t believe this, I’m doing it! I’m really doing it!

I eagerly hack into my noodles. Yum yum yum, everything is all good. There’s a satisfying feeling in the pit of my belly that comes with hoovering down carbs, and it’s happening again with these noodles. I am in my happy place. I’m like Po from Kung Fu Panda when he’s eating. I’m smiling all over.

Then the spice hits me. Not all at once, but it had been building for a while. I try to deny it by slurping down more soup, more noodles, even charging in on the chicken which I had planned to eat halfway through my bowl, but the spice is still there, and it’s not going anywhere. Head Chef told me, f it’s still too spicy for you, just add a bit of hot water to it, but I’m already re-stamping my ass into my seat, and the kitchen is like, over there, so I don’t want to get up for the hot water.  I’m going to have to deal with the spice like a grown-up. I’m eating slower now, carefully, so as not to keel over from extreme spiciness.

Ten easy email replies, two medium-ish tasks and 45 minutes later, the bowl of ramen noodles is sitting half eaten to the side of my computer screen. The chicken pieces are gone, they are the only bits not affected by the spice invasion. I should’ve heeded Head Chef’s warning after all.

Later that afternoon, I head out the door to the 7Eleven to grab a Dare Iced Coffee and promise myself to get the udon noodles or the salmon sushi on Monday.

The staff warned me. At least they were nice enough to do that. I’ll go back just for their cheeriness!

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Going to the chapel and I’m going to go broke …

Have possibly booked date for wedding reception.

I guess that’s the beginning, really, of all the wedding bru-ha-ha that follows?  Ironic, coz I got engaged MID LAST YEAR but my bretrothed and I have been sitting on our merry little asses trying to deny the impending financial nightmare that comes with celebrating a commitment to have and to hold as long as we both shall live.

I do NOT want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on this wedding. But it can’t be helped, it seems, because every time I make an enquiry about booking something or other, and I stick the word “wedding”, in the sentence, the price goes up by A THOUSAND PERCENT.

Here’s what I’m finding whilst organising the supposed happiest day of my life:

  • Pictures of wedding dresses on wedding dress models online or in those wedding magazines are HORRIFIC. All shiny and weird, like a car. Pictures of brides on their wedding day, regardless of style (or price) of dress? Beautiful. Can’t they make catalogues of actual women on their wedding day wearing their dresses?
  • The wedding dresses I have liked are very expensive. Unless this dress also transforms into an automobile post party, I don’t like these prices at all :(
  • I’ve seen fake cakes people can buy for just their wedding photos. Fake cakes?!?!?!
  • Some venues charge extra for little things like, ohhh I dunno, a knife to cut the wedding cake with. And AV systems. Waaaaaaah!

The happiest day will be when it’s all paid for. Paid FOR, not paid off.

Whilst I am loving being engaged and looking forward to being married, I am not loving this planning the wedding part. In fact, I am going on record as saying I am not going to Bridezilla my wedding. I’m going to Bridepoohpooh it!

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The difference between intelligence and wisdom

I don’t know how I found this article, but I did. I went from my Facebook newsfeed, to something to do with Joe Rogan, to something to do with him supporting gay marriage, to this article called The Danger of Telling Poor Kids that College is the Key to Social Mobility.  Although it’s written by an American-based educator (Andrew Simmons) about American teens nearing their high school graduation, this kind of hit home to me, an Australian who is definitely NOT a teenager.

What Simmons is basically saying in the article is that kids from low socio-economic communities shouldn’t always be told that college mainly allows you the chance to get good jobs and earn good money.  They should also look at higher education as a means of “intellectual exploration”, a chance to be immersed in creative new ways of thinking, grand ideas and innovation.

What I got out of this article is that college (or university, or higher education, or any form of continuing education) should be looked at as “an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power”,  regardless of whether you’re a rich kid born with a silver spoon in your mouth or a poor kid whose mother works numerous jobs to make ends meet.

Why does this article interest me so much?  Because I’m conscious of the fact that I am not a university student anymore, and that my days of further study have to be weighed up against issues like time and money. During my uni days it was so much easier to take higher education for granted.  But now that I am back into studying and learning and wanting to know more about the world, I realise what a privilege it was when I could study full time, without the pressures of work and time and career, and know that all I needed was an open mind and a willingness to learn.

I loved that you were allowed to be an idealistic uni student, because that’s what higher education should be about. It’s supposed to take people out of their comfort zones and show them the best way to be and think and create, and not just churn out worker bees.

I also wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth so I am even more grateful of the fact that I was offered that chance to study and learn. Everyone, regardless of how much money they come from, should be exposed to thought-provoking ideas and ground-breaking studies.  And the article is right in saying these innovators shouldn’t be from just one facet of society.  You can’t build a society if it only represents one group of people, and if only the privileged are given the tools to do that, then that just shuts off the rest of the people who can make a valuable contribution to the world but were not given the means to explore and experiment.

I’m not a uni student anymore but I definitely see the value in learning and growing, and I appreciate those people who can make me see things from another perspective.

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