Time to Change – Day Seventy-Two

Hey guys,

Once again it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  I’d like to say it’ll get better but I’ve got a big month coming up (without even including Christmas) so we’ll see how we go.

So, the last week I’ve spent working in my own store instead of the one I was training in.  It isn’t open yet (that’s tomorrow!) so we spent a week being trained up on absolutely every faucet of the store and how it’s going to run.  First off, I just want to say how amazing the store is.  I mean, it cost $15 million or something insane like that (I feel like that might be an exaggeration but that’s what I was told) so if it wasn’t amazing, I’m sure there would be plenty of people with plenty to say.  Either way, I love it.  It’s two levels and huge and I really think the customers will be very impressed by it all.  My favourite part of the whole place, though, is something the customers will never see – the back room.  It’s seriously bigger than the whole store (shop floor and back office together) that I used to work in.  We each have our own massive locker (only accessible via our personal passcard), there’s a beanbag room, a huge break room and kitchen with vending machines, a slushy machine, a fridge, two microwaves and a fully stocked breakfast bar (including a toaster and sandwich press).  We also have a PlayStation 4 and a table tennis table we can use.  I can’t stress enough how fantastic it feels to have a company truely care and want to look after their staff like this, especially coming from a company that didn’t even want to give us money for a small store Christmas party.

The training week was interesting.  There were parts I really enjoyed and parts that I probably could have done without.  It was awesome getting to know the (giant) team, and I think I’m doing pretty well with names and faces considering there’s over 90 of them.  It helps we all wear name tags and I’ve added a lot of them on facebook as well.  I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but the company do really well in picking really wonderful trainers for these things.  For most of the week I was in a guy named John’s group (I’d been in one of his trainings previously but I’ll admit, I wasn’t sold on him then.  To be fair though, I didn’t want to even be in that training as it was after a long day at work and on a boring topic).  It turns out he’s awesome.  He’s really funny and supportive and he made the week a lot of fun.

After the week wrapped up, we partied up like we were all 18 and our parents were out of town.  We were given access to what seemed like a limitless supply of alcohol, pizza was delivered and we hung out in our giant back room and got to know each other.  Some people headed to the bean bags and set up a make-over area (I didn’t last there very long as it isn’t my scene), others huddled around the PS4 and versed each other in games of FIFA16.  There were people who set up a table tennis competition.  The main attraction, however, was beer pong.  There’s nothing quite like bringing a crowd together like a drinking game – especially when, after a couple of hours, the store manager agreed to play.  Very amusing to watch!

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Booze and PS4

I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling too good towards the end (I probably shouldn’t have mixed drinks…or even drunk at all given I was already headachy before the party started).  That being said, I hung around for quite awhile, until I knew if I didn’t leave, I’d be on public transport at night.  I know that’s an inevitability sooner or later, but for right now, I’m trying to avoid it.

As I walked out of the building, I walked headlong into the last thing I was expecting – a giant protest marching at a snail’s pace down the street.  I guess this shows just how much I’m not a city chick.  If I was, maybe it wouldn’t have come as such a shock, but I’ve never been this close to a protest ever…not one on this scale, anyway.  I had one storm past my old work through the shopping centre once, but that was a couple of people taking an leisurely stroll compared to this.  It was interesting and I was fascinated by it as I was headed towards the train station.  Then I realized I’d have to cross the road…and that was going to be an issue as the protest was going in both directions as far as the eye could see, and everyone was so tightly packed in that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.  I think quite a few people had the same issue as me – some just decided they’d hang back and watch, and I guess wait until it fizzled out or moved on.  I didn’t have that luxury as I knew I was already cutting it fine trying to get home before nightfall.  Then I saw a guy with a stony look of determination on his face, his eyes pointed squarely across the street, and he marched into the crowd, weeding his way through.  I decided I’d have to do the same.  I don’t think anyone in the protest was too impressed as I forced my way though, but honestly, I don’t care.  As much as I’m okay with people trying to change the world and show the government what they stand for, I’m not going to miss my train because of it.  Especially not when it looked like it could go on for a long time yet.

I was extremely relieved when my feet hit the pavement on the other side of the road.  As I kept walking, I still couldn’t believe how many people were part of the protest.  If I had of known it was happening, I probably would have left the work party earlier and kept walking to try to find the end of it.  Instead, I headed into the train station, glad that having the work party at least meant I’d missed peak hour so I’d get a seat.  I got home right on nightfall, thankful I’d decided to shove through the crowd when I did!

Public transport in general has been going okay for the most part.  I hate that it means I have to get up at 6.30am (my previous job allowed me to get up at 7.30) but I quite enjoy not having to drive as much.  I am going to try to avoid getting on evening peak hour trains though, even if it means kicking back at work for half an hour.  I had one night where we were so jammed in that people from the next stop physically couldn’t get onto the train (and had some rude bitch asking me to move in more when clearly, we were already on top of each other).  It was extremely uncomfortable, made worse because I had terrible balance so need to hold something if I’m standing on the train, but the only thing I could grab was the rails on the roof, but I’m so short that I can barely grip it even at full stretch.  Not good.  Another night, a bunch of dero teens decided to sit on the seats right across from me, play shitty music on their shitty phones and treat it like their lounge room, including standing on the seats.  One of them beat up another kid in front of everyone, then later the same idiot even played “I just had sex” (not sure if that’s the title of the song but it was repeated over and over) and said it’s his favourite song with a smug look on his face like it was because he’d actually been laid…um, 16 year old shithead, that’s unlikely, and everybody on the train knows it.  It doesn’t matter how loudly you play that song, you ain’t fooling anyone.  I felt bad for the older lady sitting near them, who I’m sure was getting even more annoyed at them than me.  I really wish parents taught their kids train etqteique (particularly if you know they’re going to regularly catch it to and from school), as being young is no excuse to act like that.

Apart from work, I’ve had an awesome three-day weekend.  Seriously, it’s been one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time, and I didn’t even hang out with anyone.  Saturday I spent catching up on sleep and I redyed my hair to a brighter colour of red (still not entirely happy with it but it’s getting there).  Sunday I went to the shops to get my work uniform taken in, spent the afternoon relaxing (I started re-reading the Hunger Games) and I also purchased FIFA16 which I’m really enjoying.   It was on sale due to Black Friday and although it isn’t a game I’ve previously had any interest in, it looked really interesting when the boys were playing it at work.  Turns out I really like it, and I think I’m pretty good at it.  Sunday night I decided I was going to take myself to the movies.  This is something I’d previously never had considered – I’ve always been concerned about what people think (the fat chick sitting alone in the movies), but I decided I no longer care.  If they want to think that, that’s fine.  I really wanted to see Mockingjay Part 2 and I didn’t want to wait until my friends were free (if they even wanted to see it at all).  I also decided that I was going to spent an extra $10 and buy tickets for a comfy recliner seat.  Ever since the Hoyts Lux experience I had on my birthday, normal movie seats just don’t cut it for me any more – they’re uncomfortable, especially if the movie is long.  The recliner ticket was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn’t feel too judged (or maybe I just didn’t care enough to notice) and I really liked the movie.  I’ll definitely be doing it again!

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Today I had a busy day.  I headed back to the shops to collect my altered clothing, then I headed to Big W to buy a curling iron (I’d done some research and decided to get a Remington Perfect Curls, as it looked both good and idiotproof).  I got to the register, dug around in my wallet and found a partly-used gift card, went to put $10 on it as I wasn’t sure how much was left but didn’t enter it properly, and it wound up putting the whole lot on it – and it went through!  That was a massive win for the day, as I was nervous spending that much money right now (I wanted curls for tomorrow’s launch so I was just going to suck it up, but it wasn’t the best time to be spending cash).  Seriously, I couldn’t believe I’d gotten that lucky!  After that, I headed to the nail salon to get them redone.  I decided to get matching colours to my lanyard for tomorrow, and they looked really good in the end!  I then headed to the grocery store, then finally home.  A very busy day!

When I got home I cranked up my new curler and put it through it’s paces.  After trying for a week to get my hair straightener to do curls and epically failing, I was a little nervous as to if this would work.  I was extremely impressed with it!  As the reviews had said, it was definitely idiotproof, and it just worked.  There were two curl setting options – bigger, wavier ones or smaller, tighter ones.  As curls tend to drop out of my hair quickly, I decided to try the smaller ones, and within about 45 minutes, I was done and it looked really good.  The next test is to see how long they hold for, but I think it should be okay.  I’m so glad I bought it!

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Remington Perfect Curls 2-in-1 – definitely recommend!

I’m going to wrap it up here as I need to start making dinner (we won’t talk about my shocking diet this week.  Maybe I’ll have some better news next post).  Tomorrow is going to be a super huge day and I’m so excited for it!

Hope y’all had a great weekend too! 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Sixty-Four

First off, I know I’ve been away for awhile.  I could say I was too busy but that’s not really true.  Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write.  It’s not writers block…I had plenty of stuff I could have written on, I just had no motivation to do it.  I wasn’t going to force myself to do it because I know that’s a surefire way to burn myself out all together and I really enjoy blogging generally, so I didn’t want to risk that.  I’ll try and write more this week!

Anyway, it’s been so long since I wrote that I feel like I don’t know where to start.  I left off getting ready for an upcoming wedding of one of my best friend’s sisters.  The wedding was really nice, outside in a Heritage Listed property in it’s fancy gardens.  The only issue I (and most people) had was that where we were sitting was in direct sunlight, so it was kind of uncomfortable squinting to see what was going on.  Oh, and there weren’t enough seats, which is kind of weird.  Both things that the venue would have been in charge of, I’d assume, so they probably should have known better and pre-planned to accomodate it.  The reception was held in the same venue but in a hall.  They used wooden Scrabble pieces to spell out people’s names (which was really cute) and had a little bag of custom lollies with their names and their wedding date on them.  The food was really nice too, though in typical Wedding fashion, was really small.  I had prawns as an entree (three of them), duck for main (one small leg) and creme brule for dessert (this was the biggest meal of the three, and the first time I’d had it.  It was nice).  I was worried the whole day I’d get a headache, as big outings like this generally trigger them (I have no idea why) and I’d forgotten to pack painkillers.  Right on cue at about dinner time, the first symptoms had started.  I think maybe my blood sugar was low, and the champagne wasn’t helping, because once I’d eaten dessert the headache went away pretty quickly.

It was awesome hanging out with two of my best friends, and we all looked so dressed up and mature.  Mature isn’t something we really pride ourselves on when we’re together though, so after dessert we headed off to the closest Pancake Parlour to eat a proper meal.  I love Pancake Parlour.  Sure, everything is full of sugar or fat but it tastes so amazing!  Plus, several of the shops are open 24/7, which has come in handy a couple of times in my life.  It was a great day, all in all, aside from the fact it was held on a Sunday night and I had work the next morning.  Surprisingly, despite going to bed hours later than usual, I pulled up okay.  Win!

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My favourite meal from Pancake Parlour – Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

Speaking of food, my diet once again flew out the window this week.  I started buying lunch again and while I could have found a lot more unhealthy options, the stuff I bought still wasn’t great.  I don’t even know why I started buying lunch, as I’d packed food.  It’s a slippery slope though, and once I started, I wound up doing it every day.  My diet over the weekend hasn’t been much better either.  At least my dinner’s (aside from last night) have all been Lite n Easy ones, so I didn’t go completely crazy.

My diet properly starts again tomorrow, to coincide with my starting work at my real store, after training up for over a month at a different one.  It was sad saying goodbye to everyone there, and they all had such nice things to say to me considering I’d only been there for a short time.  I even got flowers and a cake!  I doubt I’d have gotten that at my old job after five years.

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It’ll be really weird rocking up to a new store and team tomorrow.  I mean, I knew it was coming but I’ve gotten so used to the team at the other store.  I’ve met a handful of people from my real store but given how many staff are going to be working there, I feel like it’s going to take my a long time to meet everyone, and even longer to remember their names.

We aren’t opening officially until Tuesday week, so in the lead up to that we’re doing dress rehearsals and dry runs to get a feel for the store and make sure everything works correctly and flows like it should.  I’m glad they’ve included this (even though I initially laughed at it) because it means I’m not jumping directly from one store to the other and had to try to adjust straight away.  I had a bit of time to work out the differences (and there’s going to be a lot of them) and to settle into the new team.

As it’s in the city, I know my step count is automatically going to be higher than it has been while working in a shopping centre, so I’m just going to make sure I eat healthy and hopefully my diet will get back on track.  In preparation, I bought myself a lunchbox and a big glass water bottle.  While I’m sure the new store will have fridges and a water fountain (hell, they’re even giving us access to a free squishy machine in the back room!), I know if I rely on that stuff, I’ll be tempted to leave my lunch in the fridge and go buy food instead, and I’ll forget to drink water.  If I’m lugging it to and from work, I think I’ll be more inclined to eat it.

All weekend I’ve been rekindling my love for SimCity 4.  I know a lot of people think it’s terrible (and parts of it definitely are) but overall, once you get used to the interface, it’s fun and interesting and full of challenges.  I initially played it when it first came out, but got frustrated with their unreliable servers causing the game to drop out and not save sometimes hours worth of progress, and eventually gave up.  I briefly got back into it when the expansion pack was released but that didn’t last long either.  It had been so long since I played it, I initially struggled to remember where everything was (there are so many menus and buttons) and had to google where to find things.  Eventually though, it all came back to me and I started playing properly again.  The servers seem a lot better now (so it should, the game has been out for two years now!) but online isn’t as fun any more because it doesn’t have many active players.  Luckily that isn’t an imperative part of it so it was still fun.  So much so I lost about twelve hours (probably more) of my weekend to it.  That’s also another reason why I didn’t blog – I knew I should, but I just couldn’t switch off the game.  I found ways to make heaps of money so it was a lot of fun spending it all then trying to juggle the repercussions of it.

The other part of my weekend was spent watching YouTube tutorials on how to use my hair straightener to curl my hair.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to learn forever (as my family friend/hairdresser used to do it to my hair and I’d never managed to replicate it).  I had moderate success with it after watching the tutorials, though I’m still not great at it.  I’ll practice it a bit more as I think I want my hair done nicely for the store’s grand opening.  I’ve got a week and a bit to get it down pat!

I don’t think much else is new.  I’ll definitely update you on how tomorrow (and the rest of the week) goes, both with the new store and my diet! 🙂

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Six

Tonight I’m writing this as a redhead.  And it feels great!  I have a wedding to go to tomorrow and the original plan was that I’d go to a salon with my friend (who’s also coming to the wedding) and we’d get our hair done there.  Time got away from her though so that fell through.  I was a bit bummed as I’ve wanted to get my hair coloured for awhile and I finally had the money to do it.  A few years ago I’d always have my hair coloured (I’d been red, blonde, dark brown and even multicoloured for awhile) but then my friend stopped doing hair colouring (she was the one I’d aways go to because mates rates are the best) and so I stopped.

The wedding seemed like the perfect time to get back into it, so I decided that I’d just buy a box of hair colour instead.  I’ve only ever tried this once before, and although the results were okay in the end, it hurt like buggery when I put it on to the point where I had to wash it off early.  Luckily there weren’t any side affects and it stopped hurting after it washed out, but needless to say, I was a little nervous trying it again.  Although it was kind of a last minute decision, I still took the time to do a bit of research first.  I decided I’d try Revlon as all the reviews seemed good (a lot better than most of the others I’d looked up).  Anyway, I headed off to my local supermarket, feeling nervous but excited as well – I was finally gonna have red hair again!

I get to the isle full of boxes of hair dye.  I scan over them, expecting to see Revlon.  The supermarket app said they had them in store (I checked before I left).  After standing there awkwardly for a good couple of minutes, it became clear that they didn’t stock what I wanted.  Great, I cursed, now what?!  I got my phone out and frantically started googling the brands they did have.  I already knew L’Oreal was out as I’d read really bad things about it…which was annoying because literally half of all their hair dye stock was that brand.  After what felt like an eternity (not helped by the lack-of-reception) I decided I’d try Schwarzkopf as this seemed to have decent reviews too.  The box said for long hair, I’d probably need to use two kits, so I grabbed both and headed home.

I was super worried about the mess I was going to make, so I grabbed a towel and an old shirt and headed into my bathroom.  I reread the instructions several times, paranoid I’d make a mistake.  When it comes to hair (especially on the eve a of a wedding), you don’t want to mess it up.  I slowly worked through the steps, then started mixing the red goop through my hair.  It smelt unbearably awful, and made my eyes water.  Next time, I’ll probably try to set up a work station outside so there’s good ventilation.  I mixed in as much as I could, which turned out to be about one and a half packets.  That was probably accurate as one kit does up to shoulder length, and mine is only about an inch or two longer than that.  I then realized I’d forgotten to buy a shower cap at the shops – D’Oh! – so I decided to try using a plastic bag instead.  It kit of worked, although wasn’t tight enough to hold my hair in place, so I put a towel over that and it seemed to be okay (although I looked ridiculous!).

I was so worried the whole time my head was gonna heat up and start burning like it did last time, but it didn’t happen which was fantastic.  I only had a little tiny stinging sensation and I always get that, even when my friend used to do it.  After half an hour, it was time to wash it out.  I’ll admit, I didn’t read the instructions properly, although it didn’t really matter.  The kit comes with a tube of special conditioner, and if I’d have read that part of the help sheet, I would have known to leave the shower running after I’d finished washing the dye out.  It asked me to towel off my hair, then put the conditioner in it, then rinse it out again.  No harm done though.  I’m glad that was the worst mistake I made, because it means I did pretty well!

As my hair is prone to frizziness, I never use a hairdryer as a rule, as that is a surefire way to dry it out even more.  Because of this, it means I have to wait for it to dry naturally to see the full effect.  It’s almost there, and it’s looking pretty good.  My hair started out fairly dark, so I knew it was never going to turn out bright red like the box.  It’s now sort of a dark red, kind of purple, which is fine.  I’d have liked it brighter but this isn’t a terrible colour.  The main thing is, it appears like I got it pretty well covered and it isn’t patchy.  No wait, the real main thing is, I’m not allergic to it!  If I was, there’d be no wedding for me tomorrow.  Pretty happy considering what a potential disaster it could have been.

Anyway, I’ll rewind a little because I didn’t blog yesterday.  I had my last day of work for the week and had to work til 8pm, yuck.  That’s the latest I’ve worked since my previous job, and I can’t say I’ve missed it.  That being said, the time went pretty fast and I had some lovely customers so I ended Friday the 13th on a high.  I had my cheat meal for the week for dinner as there isn’t a freezer there for Lite N Easy (plus, I didn’t really want to eat that on a 30 minute break anyway), so I bought some greasy, delicious KFC instead.  If I’m gonna have a cheat meal, it may as well be something amazing!  I’d skipped lunch in the hope that all the extra calories wouldn’t be quite so bad…though let’s be honest, I probably ate two days worth in one go.

Today I ate pretty well to make up for it.  Light peanut butter on light wholegrain saladas (yes, they tasted about as interesting as they sound) for breakfast, I skipped lunch because I was out (I’ll go into that in a second), then had an early dinner of Lite N Easy Shepard’s Pie, and a couple of mini custard tarts for dessert.  For the day I only went over my calorie limit by 100, and that was because of the dessert.  Overall, an okay day.  The shepard’s pie was nice too, I’d definitely order that again.  Packed full of veggies so you can see you’re eating healthy food!

Okay, so the reason I skipped lunch was because my mum and grandma came over.  My grandma had surgery about two weeks ago (I mentioned previously she’d been diagnosed with uterine cancer).  She had a hysterectomy and seem to have gotten it all, so that’s all fine.  As I predicted prior to the operation, her memory is very fuzzy around it (she’s in the early stages of dementia and gets confused/forgets things a lot).  One second she’s with it completely, the next she’s repeating a question she’s literally just asked.  Normally, other than being an annoyance, it doesn’t really hurt anyone, but the issue is that about 80% of the time, she forgets she’s even had an operation.  She’s also had some complications so the doctor has put her on a strict diet while she recovers, and she can’t eat a lot of food groups.  Of course, she can’t remember that either, so my mum and uncle have taken turns to look after her.  It’s not easy as in some ways she’s like a naughty three year old, always getting into things or doing things she shouldn’t the second she’s alone.  She doesn’t mean to do it, she just forgets she’s not supposed to.  She needs to constantly be reminded not to lift things, to watch where she’s walking, to slow down.  She’s over the worst of it as it’s been a couple of weeks, but she’s definitely not out of the woods yet.

So they came over to my house this afternoon, and we went to the local display village to show grandma the builder I’m building my house with, and to walk through their display homes.  Mum’s idea, not mine, as firstly, the display homes generally look nothing like what I’ve picked, and secondly, grandma isn’t going to remember any of it anyway.  The first display home (as expected) looked nothing like the house I’ve chosen.  We weren’t even going to go into the second one as it was double storey and massive and even less likely to be like mine.  When we walked in we were pleasantly surprised – the flooring was exactly what I’d chosen (well, the majority anyway – it had laminate timber flooring in the colour I picked, the bathroom tiles were pretty much the same and the carpet was only slightly lighter) and the benchtops and kitchen cabinets were almost the same too.  It was really cool to see my design choices in real life, and even cooler that it was put into their biggest, flashiest display home.  Looks like I picked well!

After that we headed up to the estate where I’m building.  I haven’t been there in ages, but that’s because each time I did, there was always roadworks and traffic and although there were always big machines around, they didn’t seem to be doing very much in terms of progress.  I assumed it was probably going to be the same thing again.  The title date had already been pushed back three times, and I was expecting to see nothing again.  Instead, they’ve done heaps!  There’s actual roads now (albiet unsealed ones) and proper concrete roundabouts and gutters and even some driveways!  The lots weren’t marked out yet (which kind of sucked) but it was still so cool to finally see the estate taking shape, and having a rough idea of where I was going to be living soon.  It’s so exciting that it’s finally processing and soon enough, not everything is going to be in writing or drawings, it’ll be in real life!

Tomorrow I have a wedding to go to.  It’ll be interesting, mostly because I’ve only ever been to two other weddings before in my life and they were quite different from each other.  This is bound to be different again, though I’d expect it’ll be probably closer to the first one I went to.  I’m going with two of my closest friends so it’ll be a bit of fun.

Hope your weekend is just as exciting!

PS thinking of anyone involved directly and indirectly with the Paris terrorist attacks.  Stay strong.  They can hurt people but they can’t break spirits.

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 soh12119004_10153175685076570_739979882010388096_nThe Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Cricket Ground lit up for Paris, as many other landmarks around the globe were too.

“When the city of light goes dark, the rest of the world lights up for them.” #PrayForParis

Revisiting My MySpace Blogs – “I Admit: I Don’t Know” (Posted 2006)

So, like I mentioned briefly last night, I finally got ahold of all my old MySpace blogs.  Some of the stuff I posted is highly embarrassing and I wish someone would have given me a swift kick in the pants for writing it, but other stuff is actually really  nice to look back on.  The one I’m going to share today both resonated and amused me when I read it.  I’ve cut out the irrelevant first half (it was a really long blog!) and just left in the bit that I wanted to address.  This was written towards of year 10, back when I’d only recently turned 16 and was heading into my big final two years of school the following year.  (I decided to leave all the terrible grammar and spelling in to keep in authentic…apparently capital letters weren’t cool back then).

I Admit: I Don’t Know (Posted : 2006-08-02)

the time had to come of coarse. there was no denying that. it’s the time where we have to choose subjects for our final two years of school, and with that, a career path. and i hate it. i was never the kid to think “i’m gonna be a firefighter” or whatever. well, not for more then a few days anyway. and although the thought had crossed my mind once or twice, i never really thought about it, just chucked it on the too hard pile for another day. and now the time has come where there really isn’t any time left for thinking…well, there IS of coarse, but you had to at least have a loose idea. and i sort of do. but i just can’t see myself staying with one job. and that isn’t a good thing. if you jump careers all the time, it’s not going to be a steady income. and i’m not a moron. i know how important that is. damn, just covering the cost of petrol is more then enough reason to just decide on a proffesion and stick with it. and i’ve narrowed it down to two fields – music or computers. i know, big shock huh? lol. not really. music, well, i’d LOVE to be in a band, but i can’t sing, and am only just moving into a sort-of-okay guitarist. i’m not brilliant, but i definately have stepped up quite a bit since i started. gimme two years i think, and then maybe i’ll be ready. but nah, even if i was in a band, that’d be gigging at nights, and it wouldn’t be an income. i know that. so i was thinking maybe a sound technician. or if it was computers, it would either be something to do with the internet like a webmaster/designer, or like a computer programmer. had a “taster” at the local nmit tafe two days ago, and it was on the visual design coarses. that isn’t for me. i know that. but there was a Q-and-A after lunch, and one of the students they got to talk was studying music, and they’ve just brought in a diploma in it, and the guy talking was in the band we saw afterwards. and it made me want to do that, but at the same time think that i’d complete it and then go “nah, i’m over this” and do computers. ohhh i’m so confused. that’s another reason why i was probably crabby. i don’t know. and that’s the extent of it, of all of this i suppose, I DON’T KNOW. i’m only sixteen! twenty-year-olds don’t know what they want half the time. i can’t vote. i can’t drive without someone next to me. i can’t smoke (not that i would). i can’t drink. so why in the hell am i am even thinking about a career path? i’m not saying that i should be treated like a four year old, coz i’m not. i want to be part of the adult world. but at the same time, you can’t expect us to know when we’re sixteen. not properly. well, not me anyway. i just know that i’ll choose something now and in six months time go “what was i thinking?”. and by then it’s too late. urgh i just want someone to tell me what i want. it’s draining and stressful and confusing. but i’m not complaining. well, no more then anyone else.

I really liked this post in particular as I still completely agree with what I wrote, which is unusual considering I’m now well and truely on the other side of the fence.  A majority of the stuff I wrote/complained/whined about back then I now understand better and therefore, don’t really agree with any more, but this post is still so true!

I can’t believe schools expect kids to know what they want to do at such a young age.  As I addressed in the post, kids that age have no legal rights whatsoever, and yet they’re expected to know what they want to do as a career for potentially their whole life?  I mean, I understand that choosing the wrong subjects isn’t the end of a particular career path should you decide later on, but between the ages of 18-21, further education places do check what subjects were taken and the results, and if something wasn’t taken you’d have to jump through some big (often time consuming) hoops.  That’s a lot of pressure to put onto people that young!  Especially when on top of that, the teachers are all crying “Year 11 and 12 are the hardest years of your lives, you have to study, you have to get good grades, you need a good final score or you won’t get into further education and you won’t have a good job!”.  Essentially, if you don’t do well, you’re life is over.  Looking at it from the other side, it’s 100% a dirty, dirty lie.  Let’s not even get into what schools consider “careers” – if it doesn’t have a fancy title or a 4-year coarse behind it, it isn’t one.

I was lucky.  Little did I know when I posted that blog, that halfway through Year 12 I’d get accepted into film school and it would make my end of year results irrelevant.  Little did I know at that time that film school (although fun) would take me absolutely nowhere and I’d be forging a career in telco.  This is exactly what I mean by putting so much pressure on young people though.  In that post, I’m frantically trying to pick a job out of thin air that I know very little about.  I landed on a sound technician (which I’ll bet is generally a super boring job aside from the occasional live-show gigs) or a computer technician (ha, with my maths skills?  I don’t think so).  It wasn’t until partway through year 12 I decided to pursue film, and honestly, even that was on a bit of a whim.

You have to do something.

That’s the mentality of the final years of high school.  As you’re finishing your education, it’s like a rite of passage that you go to uni.  I mean, sure, you can take a gap year if you need some time away from study, but even then the idea of that is you’ll go right back to uni after you’ve had your fun.  Not once did anyone ever say “keep working in retail until you know what you want, it’s okay”.  I wish someone would have though.  Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted my parents money doing a coarse I’ll never use.  Maybe I’d like retail.  Granted, the pay isn’t fantastic, but it’s still a career path.  You can still work your way up like any job.  And if you’ve done retail for awhile and then finally work out what you want to do with your life, what have you wasted?  Only a little bit of time, but chances are if you hadn’t given yourself that, you’d probably be studying something completely different.  What’s a year or two in a shitty job if it means you’ll make the right choice longterm?  This is what schools should be saying.  They won’t though, because I’m sure it makes them look fantastic if they can say “two-thirds of our year level went on to do further studies”.  They’ll never follow up to see how many of those same students wound up working in the field they studied in (or even how many finished the coarse in the first place).

This is where the education system fails people.  It’s all a big competition.  Instead of making it about the students, it’s about the results.  All that means is students are worked too hard to get grades they may never even need, to be brainwashed into thinking they absolutely have to do further studies.  It results in depression, anxiety, kids dropping out of school early or, worse, suicide.  Over what?  A stupid coarse that’s make-or-break over a stupid final mark?

Fuck that shit.

Especially because after 21, that mark becomes absolutely irrelevant.  You’re classified as a mature-aged student and you have free choice of almost any coarse you like.  Let me restate that again for you: kids are literally killing themselves trying to get into a coarse at age 18 they could breeze into at age 21.  All because the schools are acting like it’s the most important thing in the world.

To anyone still in school reading this, please don’t get caught up in all this bullshit.  You’re so young.  Enjoy it.  Don’t let anyone convince you that your final marks are the be-all-and-end-all.  Please don’t think you need to have a life plan now.  Things will change, people will come and go from your life, your attitudes and ideas and mindsets will shift.  You have no idea what lies ahead, and making a life plan before you’re out of teenage-hood is absolutely crazy and a waste of precious time.   Don’t get me wrong, if you have an idea, go for it.  Ultimately, a couple of years spent in retail, or on a coarse that doesn’t help you, is nothing.  Stressing about it all is something though – it’s bad for your health and you’re too young for that.  You’ll have so many reasons to stress later in life, don’t let it get to you now!  Go out, be crazy and take heaps and heaps of photos.  You’ll never be this young and free again!

What are your thoughts?  Did you wind up doing the job you thought you would at age 16?

-JD

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Four

Today I had training in the city.  Training I’d already done twice before.  Despite that, my day went okay.  I woke up extra early to finish cleaning in preparation for the inspection that was happening today while I was at work.  I then got ready and raced out the door to the bus stop.

The morning was a bit crazy, as I’d gone to the normal building we usually have training in, to find nobody there.  After asking another colleague who was already with the trainer where he was, it turns out they were in a different building up the road (the building, it turns out, where I had my original interview for the job all those weeks ago).  I wasn’t the only person who made that mistake…it seems like half group did.  By the time everyone finally found their way to the right address, the session was already 15 minutes behind.  What a mess.

Anyway, we had one of the trainers that I’d had through my induction and he’s really good (and kind of cute) so that was fun, despite the boring topics that I could practically recite in my sleep.  We had a lot of laughs and, best of all, got let out over an hour early.  I love love love getting out early as it means I’m not crammed into a peak hour train, and I get home quicker.  So much win!

I also got confirmation that I’m going to be at my temporary store for another week, which I’m really happy about as the manager there already told me if I was going to be with them, he was changing my roster to 9-5 every day, instead of the obscure late shifts I’d been given.  So happy!  I hate late shifts so this works out fantastically.  Plus, I’ve come to really like the team there so spending another week with them is going to be great.

My food for the day was pretty good.  After all the early morning cleaning, I ran out of time for breakfast so I grabbed a Boost Juice on the way to training.  I accidentally ordered a large one instead of small, but only managed to get through about half (which is why I wanted a small one in the first place!  Whoops).  I had banana bread for morning tea…probably my worst food choice of the day, but I think that makes today a good one.  I could have done a lot worse!  For lunch, I got dragged out to the local food court (I’d bought lunch but I didn’t want to carry it around with me).  I’ll admit, I was extremely tempted to buy fast food.  It all smelt so good!  But my colleague insisted we eat healthy (luckily) so we got yoghurt instead.  I also got a diet coke, but I couldn’t even manage to get through half the bottle.  I really am turning a corner!

During the afternoon, the guy who was supposed to inspect my house (and whom I’d been cleaning for the past three days for) told me that he’d forgotten to bring the spare keys and would I be home to let him in later?  I told him there’s no chance of that so he had to reschedule.  Urgh, seriously?!  You had one job!  Bring the keys!  Very irritating as now I’m gonna have to do a big vacuum and whatnot next Wednesday too.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t mind vacuuming, but trying to get all the hair up is a big job…and by next week it’ll be like I never did it.  Living with a golden retriever basically means you live in a house constantly confetti’d with fur.  Especially if you don’t have time (or patience) to constantly stay on top of it.

After getting home, I was really craving junk again.  Fish and chips in particular.  This has always been one of my absolute favourite meal choices, so it was very hard to shake the craving.  I just tried to force it out of my mind, and decided I’d just make Lite n Easy Crumbed Fish instead.  It’s basically the boring, healthy version of fish and chips, but with a bucketload of veggies on the side.  This was probably one of the worst LnE meals I’ve had, though I guess that’s more because my mind was wanting me to tuck into greasy, salty fish and chips and it got bland fish and veggies instead.  Anything would seem bad when it’s put like that!

As I caught public transport, my step count finished up at over 7500, which is really good for me!  And on top of that, because I had a decent day, my calorie count was under my daily goal limit for the first time in a long while.  Hells yeah!

Today I also – finally – got my old blog posts back from MySpace, written back when I was 15-19, all 75 of them.  I’ve only had a chance to read through a few of them (they send it to you in a basic format so it’s absolutely littered with HTML code so it makes it difficult to decipher), but it bought back so many memories!  So many adventures, long-gone worries and friends I don’t speak to any more.  Also, so many cringeworthy things I told the world about back then.  I’ve got a couple I want to share with you, but that will have to wait.  It’s really late and I have work tomorrow.  Stay tuned though, they’ll be coming!
(Side note, if any of you used to post on MySpace, I’d recommend requesting for them back.  So good to have access to them now that the website doesn’t show them through profiles or support blogging any more!  Embarrassing or not, I hate knowing parts of me are gone.)

How was your day today?

-JD

Puppy Love

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Menagerie.”
Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

As I’ve briefly mentioned in quite a few of my previous posts, I have a Golden Retriever named Daisy.  She’s going to be two on the last day of February.
I bought her in early May of 2013, about a week before my birthday.  Admittedly, I rushed into it a little bit.  When I get an idea into my head, I have a very hard time convincing myself to slow down, wait or not do it.  The fact I have no self-control is also why I’m now having to diet, but that’s been discussed plenty in other posts.
Anyway, my then-best friend decided he wanted a dog.  He isn’t very organised, so I’d often be the one to help him out when he got his latest big idea.  I spent hours looking for options to suit him, and even longer looking through “puppies for sale” ads, my heart melting with every picture that came with them.  Like most of his big ideas, he changed his mind.  As quickly as the idea came, it went.  I should have seen it coming (I guess subconsciously I probably did) but I was annoyed.  All that research for nothing.  I couldn’t get those little furry faces out of my mind.  I’d grown up with dogs, but had moved out of home a year before, and I missed the cuddly company.  I lived in a first-floor apartment, so it wasn’t by choice I didn’t have my own.  It just wasn’t feasible.

The days dragged on and my mind kept going back to those ads I saw.  Finally, I decided I couldn’t ignore them any more.  My lease was coming up and I knew I’d be moving (my housemate had to move out due to changing jobs and I couldn’t afford to live there alone), so I decided if I saw an ad go up, I’d bite the bullet and go for it.  I hadn’t completely made up my mind between a Goldie or a Lab, so I also left that up to fate.

Now that I’d set my mind to getting a puppy, I couldn’t think of anything else.  I was constantly on websites that listed ads, even when I was working.  I was on the shop floor when I stumbled upon an ad that had only gone up a few hours earlier, advertising golden retriever puppies.  This was happening faster than I’d anticipated (it had taken months for mum to find our first dog all those years ago, though looking back, it’s because she’s the opposite of me, and meticulously plans everything) but I also knew that retriever puppies were snapped up extremely quickly.  I called the number on the ad straight away, and was surprised to find out that they were the next suburb over from work.  They were keen to sell the puppies ASAP (I could tell that over the phone) so I agreed to go to the address after work and check out the furbabies.

I told myself that there was no pressure to buy, even if they were keen to sell.  I don’t know why I bothered though.  The second I saw the chubby, fluffy babies, I knew I had to have one.  I specified I wanted a girl (I’d grown up with female dogs so I thought it was safest to stay with what I knew) and they showed me two sisters.  The old man who was there was nice enough, but didn’t seem hugely interested.  I guess his mentality was that if I wasn’t going to buy one, someone else gladly would.  I asked what the differences in personality were between the sisters, and he shrugged and said nothing.  Obviously, I didn’t believe that but maybe he just couldn’t tell them apart.  They looked like the spitting image of each other.  He gave me one to hold while the other toddled around my feet.  The second he put the little girl in my arms, I knew I had to have her.  There was no way I could say goodbye to her.

He wanted me to take her on the spot, but everything had happened so quickly that I told him that wasn’t possible.  I was happy to put a deposit down but I would have to come back on the weekend after I’d bought a bed and collar and lead and food bowl and food for her.  I had none of that.  Once he knew I was serious, he didn’t mind holding onto her for the next five days.  I was grateful for that.  I didn’t know what I’d do if he wasn’t willing to.

The next five days dragged on for so long.  I stocked up on all the dog things I could get my hands on.  I still wasn’t sure of my short-term plan for her.  I lived in an apartment, I worked full time.  Still, I’d make it work.  I had to.  My original temporary plan was to buy a big puppy pen, leave her in it during the day, come home on my lunch break to let her out, put her back in, go back to work for the last few hours, then let her out when I got home.  Not ideal, I knew that even at the time, but I only lived five minutes away from where I worked so as a short-term solution I thought it would work.  I bought the biggest puppy pen I could find so she’d have room to move around in, in preparation for this plan.

The day finally came when I could go and pick her up.  I was so excited.  I bought my friend with me so I had someone to hold her on the car ride home.  When I arrived, the old man greeted me again, letting me inside and leading me to my new furbaby.  He gave me a bag of dog biscuits and a book on puppy rearing.  I handed over almost $1000, then we headed off.  We took her back to my apartment where I’d already covered the floor with blankets in case of accidents.  The puppy toddled around, sniffing.  I wanted to cuddle her and play with her; she wanted to nap.  She’d already had a big adventure, and decided finding a little nook to squeeze into was safest so I wouldn’t be tempted to pick her up again.  Smart dog.

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After I let her rest for awhile, I wanted to show her off.  I took her to my work first.  The car ride must have given her a tummy ache, because the second I bought her into the backroom, she starting making the “I’m gonna be sick” noises, and I got her to the sink just in time.  Poor puppy, it had been a big morning.  Everyone at work fussed her over.  After that, I took her to my parents’ place.  I’d been careful to keep all the pictures off social media as I hadn’t told them yet.  I knew they’d be mad either way, but I thought surprising them might help.

I rocked up on their doorstep, the puppy tucked away safely in my arms.  Mum went to tell me off, but just couldn’t do it.  She was just as enamored with her as I was.  The puppy set off to explore the next new place.  Mum’s dogs didn’t know how to take her.  One of them has always hated dogs so promptly got put outside, while the other watched on from a careful distance.  It had been a long time since she’d been around a puppy, but she’d always been gentle so we knew she’d come around to the visitor.

After the initial shock wore off, mum asked what I planned to do with the puppy while I was still in the apartment.  When I explained my temporarily (less than ideal) solution, she promptly said that wasn’t going to happen, and she’d have to stay here while I was at work.  I was pretty happy with that, even though it was 30 mins away.  At least the puppy would have company all day, and she’d get toilet trained early.  I wasn’t sure how the grumpy dog would like the new housemate, but bad luck to her.

That night, I took her over to my nan’s.  I loved showing her off while she was still little enough to carry.  I knew this phase wouldn’t last long.  The puppy was completely worn out, and promptly fell asleep again.  It was then I managed to get this awesome photo of just how tiny she was.  Her paw was the same size as her stuffed elephants.  Within a couple of months, the same toy was dwarfed by her.

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The first few days were spent going back and forth between my apartment and mum’s place.  The puppy wasn’t eating much, which we were concerned about, but eventually she came around once she began to feel settled at mum’s.  She was so playful, constantly carrying toys around in her mouth (or at least, trying her best to) and she loved treats.

While I worked, mum taught her how to sit (she’d learnt how to by the time she was twelve weeks old!) and was on the way to being toilet trained.  She did have a cheeky habit of peeing on the porch though – to her, outside was outside, and it was hard to fault the logic.

While all this was going on, I was looking for a new place to live.  We finally found a few we liked, and set out to apply for them.  We thought it might be tough to land one with a puppy, but the first one we applied for we got, which was great!  Within a couple of weeks, I’d packed up and moved into the new place, eager to have my puppy with me.

Since then, I haven’t looked back.  While I may have rushed into it, I’m glad I did.  I love the company she offers (especially now I live alone), I love how smart she is, I love that she’s often the reason I get off the couch and exercise.  She rescues me from moths that get into the house and from birds in the backyard (she loves chasing them).  Her favourite place is the local dog park where she gets to meet new friends.  She also loves going back to her first home (my parents’ place).  At some point, I’m going to get her a friend, but not until my house is built.  I’d like to say I won’t rush into the next one, but I can’t make the promise.  At least I’ve thought about it for awhile.  I’m in two minds between getting another retriever, or getting something smaller.  I love Goldies but sometimes it’s tough walking her (she’s really strong and stubborn when she wants to be), but I’m worried if I get something smaller, that Daisy might get carried away playing and hurt her.  Decisions.  I have awhile to think about it, so I have plenty of time to think it through.

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Time to Change – Day Fifty-Three

Before I talk about my day, I just want to say a massive thank you to all the people that take the time to read this blog, comment, like and basically just show their support.  I’ve hit four big milestones all at once: 500 likes, 100 followers, 100 blog posts and 1000 views.  All within the last three days.  I know that doesn’t seem like much compared to other people’s blogs, but keep in mind I only started this three months ago.  I think that’s pretty awesome!  So thanks guys.  Your support means a lot to me!

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Anyway, today went better than yesterday in pretty much every way.  Although I struggled to get out of bed (the struggle seems to get worse every morning!), I managed to get into the car by 8, and thankfully the traffic was pretty good today, unlike yesterday where it was the worst it’s been in a couple of weeks.  I rocked up at 8.45, and despite being rostered to start at that time, I took the time to google ‘is it better to eat an unhealthy breakfast or none at all?’, the verdict being unhealthy trumps none.  So I took another five minutes to grab an apple and cinnamon muffin from the closest coffee shop, then headed into work.  As expected, nobody even noticed I was technically five minutes late (I put this down to the fact that I’m not on their roster so they just trust that I’m rocking up and leaving when I’m supposed to).  The day wasn’t crazy busy like yesterday, so I felt more relaxed and got everything done I needed to, plus I learnt a few things I hadn’t managed to touch on yet.  That always makes me feel like the day was worth it, as I know soon enough I’ll be chucked into the deep end when I start at my “real” store.

I ate healthy at lunch, aside from a Coke Zero.  I’ve only had two soft drinks in the past two weeks, and while I know they’re bad, I think me going almost cold turkey on them is pretty impressive.  Six months ago, I would have Diet Coke at least once a day, sometimes more.  While I never felt addicted, I know when I initially stopped, I began getting migraines a lot more frequently.  I guess I was kind of addicted.  Since starting this diet journey, I’ve cut back a lot and honestly, I don’t miss it much.  I mean, I still love the taste and occasionally I crave them (like today), but mostly drinking water or milk satisfies me and I don’t really think about it.  The only reason I really craved it today was because two people at work got bottles at lunch and I was staring at them while I was on break.  Like I’ve spoken about previously, advertising is a lot more powerful than I realized.  All it takes is for me to see a logo at the wrong time and I really struggle.  I’m definitely getting better at fighting it and breaking habits though.  Every day I’m feeling stronger and fighting it is becoming easier.

As I left work, I was thinking about the advertising thing again.  As I walked through the carpark to my car, I could smell take away.  It smelt exactly like McDonalds (though I’m pretty sure it was actually coming from the Red Rooster nearby) and all I wanted right then and there was McNuggets and fries.  As I’d just been thinking about the whole advertising thing as this happened, I knew exactly why I’d been struggling so much these past few weeks.  I’m sure subconsciously each night after work I was smelling that smell and my brain suddenly wanted nothing more than my favourite junk food.  That alone wouldn’t matter, however the drive home requires me to drive past my usual Maccas pitstop, and it’s extremely difficult for me to control myself.  Tonight though, I did.  Tonight, despite having wicked cravings, I refused to give into them.  I knew breaking the habit required me to overcome this pattern, and I knew it had to start now.  And you know what?  Once I drove past, it quickly left my mind.  Despite knowing that there are Maccas everywhere – including 3kms from my house – once I went past my usual store, I no longer craved it.  It is all about habits, and I am starting to break this one.  I was extremely happy with myself.  Diet, 1, Junk Food, 0 (not counting the Coke at lunch…if it’s an constellation, it’s zero calories?  I know, I know, it’s still terrible for you.  But gimme a break).

Once I got home, I had to decide which Lite n Easy meal I was going to make.  This is a tough choice for someone so indecisive!  I finally landed on the “tortilla stack”, mostly out of curiosity.  I mean, I knew what they were, but this was one of my riskier choices as Mexican food is full of so many things I’m not generally a fan of.  My mind wasn’t put at ease once I’d zapped it microwave and pulled it out.  There were three kinds of beans, and some green vegetables that I didn’t recognise.  The old me probably would have said “nope!” and make spaghetti instead.  The new me said “fuck it, let’s do this” and I didn’t regret it.  It was delicious!  The beans didn’t have much taste (even the chickpeas were okay and I usually detest the yellow devils) and the sauce/salsa was awesome.  Plus, I really felt like I was eating healthy food.  I mean, I know that’s the whole idea behind LnE, but I could see the beans and veggies.  Needless to say, after five meals so far, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the food this program offers.  For microwave food, it’s actually really great, and the variety is second to none.  Living by myself, I’d alternate between about four different dishes and that’s it.  There are only so many options that don’t require a lot of cooking (that results in leftovers for days) or crappy microwave meals.  While I know LnE is slightly more expensive than making dinner at home (okay, a fair bit more), I’m okay with the price knowing it’s healthy, it’s quick, it tastes great and it’s convenient.  And no, I’m not sponsored by them.  I wish I was.  Then I’d get it for free and I’d love that.  No such luck though!

After dinner, I spent a whole hour cleaning the house.  That is a long time for me, but I was in a good headspace tonight so it actually felt kind of good.  I vacuumed, and was amazed (as usual) at the amount of dog hair I got up.  Retrievers sure know how to drop hair!  I also cleaned up the backyard, wiped down the windows, cleaned the benches, put away the dishes and took out the rubbish.  I’m so domesticated!

Ha, not really.  But the house is looking pretty damn good.  I think the inspection should go okay tomorrow.  If it doesn’t, I’m not too concerned.  They can’t do very much…nothing is actually damaged, and given that, I’m sure if they find anything I can fix it up.

I’m in the city tomorrow for training.  My third round of this.  I did a whole day on the topic three weeks ago at induction, a refresh last week and now I have another whole day on it.  I’m all for learning new things, but I think a third day on the same stuff is a little overkill.  Oh well, nothing much I can do about it.  At least I’ll know all the answers!

I probably should wrap it up here.  It’s getting late and I have a few more things I tidy up before I leave tomorrow…and because I’m in the city, I have to leave earlier than usual.  I feel a long day coming on.  At least my step count will be higher thanks to public transport!

Have a great day tomorrow 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Two

Today was my first working day of the week, so I suppose that pretty much sums up how it went.  No, but honestly, it was average.  Since my car playing up on Saturday, I’m paranoid every time I have to drive it.  I mean, I know the occasional stall is hardly worth getting stressed over, but like I discussed previously, I know nothing about cars, so when something goes wrong, my brain goes into meltdown and I panic.  I can feel my car isn’t running like it should, but because I’m the only person who drives it regularly, I’m sure anyone else would think it’s nothing (like my dad).  Plus, on top of that, it seems to be sporadic in when it happens.  Yesterday it ran okay, this morning on the way to work I could feel it threatening to stall and not going into gear properly, on the way home it was fine again.  Very frustrating, mainly because I feel like even if I took it to get looked at, they probably wouldn’t fix it.  Meanwhile I’m expecting it to break down at any moment.

So yeah, that’s how my morning went.  I woke up, rushed around getting ready because they wanted me at work extra early today because there were a lot of changes happening, I ran out of time for breakfast so ate a donut instead (it was my one splurge at the grocery store and I knew I shouldn’t have grabbed it.  At the time I promised myself I’d eat it appropriately and in moderation.  Yeah, right.), got stuck in peak hour traffic (worse than normal) and on top of that, expected the car to crap out at every intersection and round about.

Stress.

Once I got to work, I started to calm down a little.  Everyone was in good moods, I got a free hot chocolate and I started to relax.  The day got a bit better from there.  It was busy and hot in store – as always – and at times I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath between customers, but I didn’t get yelled at and I learnt some stuff I’d previously not even bothered trying, so I think that made the chaos more bearable.

I finished the day slightly earlier than everyone (I have a good roster for the first couple of days of the week!).  We were supposed to have a work meeting that night, and honestly, I wasn’t going to go.  Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re important and in my last job, I think I missed maybe two or three meetings in five years, including when I was casual.  When I was in management, I got really annoyed when people didn’t show up for them.  However, I made a promise to myself as I started this job that I wasn’t going to let it burn me out, I wasn’t going to get taken advantage of, and I wasn’t going to hang around if I wasn’t getting paid.  This fell into the latter.  I don’t mind hanging around without pay occasionally, or if I think it’s going to be very beneficial.  The reasons I had not to go were solid: this isn’t my home store, I wasn’t getting paid (my shift finished at 5:45, the meeting wasn’t due to start until 6 and would most likely run until 7:30, and I live 45 mins away), I could find out all the information I missed tomorrow (although I think I heard a large portion of it this morning anyway), we had a meeting a fortnight ago that I attended without pay, and I’m just a trainee.  I know I’m a very advanced, competent trainee, but I don’t have set targets and I still ask for help a lot.  All this lead me to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth over 3 hours of my time without pay.  That’s what it comes down to…although I may not have had plans, I need to start valuing my downtime more.  I never did at my old job and it consumed me.  And for what?  I was still continuously overlooked for promotions and treated poorly.  I’m not suggesting that will happen again at this job, but I just need to work smarter, instead of burning myself out.  If I was getting paid then I probably would have gone to it, but given my new store is paying me out of their hours, there was no way they’d cover me for a different store’s meeting, even if everyone at that store was getting paid (I’m not sure if they were or not).

I got home earlier than I normally would have, caught up on some of my recorded TV shows and had dinner – Lite n Easy Beef Tortellini.  Once again, a really nice meal, though probably not quite filling enough.  This is the first one I’ve felt that about.  That being said, I’ve been hungry all day.  It’s been one of those days, really.  I ate crap for breakfast, healthy for lunch, snacked on little chocolate bars that were up for grabs at work, then ate dinner and another donut (they’re all gone now, thankfully, so I can’t be tempted by them any more!).  I really didn’t do too well with my healthy eating today, but I’m trying not to let it bother me.  It’s a process, I have to keep reminding myself of that.  Some days are going to be bad and full of weakness, and some are going to be great.  It’s all about breaking habits, and it’s a gradual thing.  Some people might be able to go cold turkey, but I can’t.  As long as slowly, there are more good days replacing bad ones, then it’s working.  I’ll get there.  I just have to really focus on making each day better than the last, and making better choices.

After dinner, I had a long soak in the bath and caught up on everyone’s latest blog posts.  I love reading everyone’s updates and stories.  There’s so many talented people on here!

After I got out, I finally finished washing the rest of the dishes that had piled up, and I cleaned up the mess that had gathered on the dining table, mostly just stuff I’d neglected to put away.  When I sat down afterwards, I realized I was still hungry.  God, how is that even possible?  Still, I knew I needed to snack on something or it’d just get worse.  I decided to have Savoy crackers and lite peanut butter, and that seemed to do the trick (finally!).  I really like this snack, so I think I’m going to try to replace some potentially bad choices with this option in the future.

I’m back at work early tomorrow, but get to leave the same time again, which is awesome.  I’ve got my inspection Thursday, so I have to finish cleaning tomorrow night.  I think I’ve spread it out over the last few days well though, so all that’s left is vacuuming (there was no point doing it earlier than the night before as my dog sheds continuously), cleaning the sliding door window (again, no point doing it earlier as my dog jumps on it with dirty paws when I get home each day) and wiping down the stove and benches.  I also have to tidy up my room and bathroom but that can be done Thursday morning.  Otherwise, my house is pretty neat as it is, thanks to the work I’ve put in.  Like I’ve mentioned previously, I hate cleaning, so for me, this is quite an accomplishment.  Now I just have to try to keep it this neat!

I hope your day was as productive as mine 🙂

-JD

My First Crush

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”
Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?

My first crush happened when I was eleven, on a boy a year and two foot taller than me.  We met on the first day of my-grade-five-his-grade-six year (we were in a composite class).  At first, he just came off as weird, and was one of those guys that everyone got on with, but not many would actually go so far as to call him a friend.

Over the next couple of months we got to know each other better.  He was so funny.  Like, he could turn any situation into something worth laughing about.  He had the class in stitches at least once a day.  He was good to talk to, and would actually listen.  That’s no small fete for a twelve year old.

Throughout the course of the year we kept getting closer, until I was choosing to hang out with him at lunch over my other friends.  People started commenting, saying we were dating – a big, strange concept at that age.  I didn’t really understand it, and I don’t think he did either, but I’m sure if this had of happened a few years later, we would have wound up together.  Instead, we just kept up this awkward I-like-you-you-like-me friendship.

Then suddenly, it was over.  School finished for the year, he went off to high school and we lost contact.  This was about two or three years before MSN and MySpace really took off, and back then none of us had mobile phones.  It was pretty much the end when you went to different schools, unless you called their home phone…and that wasn’t going to happen.

While I wasn’t in love with him, it was still my first taste of heartbreak.  I missed him terribly that summer.  Eventually, I got on with things, as we all do.  I finished primary school and headed off to high school…the same one he went to.  By then, over a year had passed since we’d seen each other, and that’s a long time when you’re young.

About a month or so into my first year at high school, as I was standing around waiting to go into class, he comes up to me out of the blue, a big goofy smile on his face.  “Remember me?” he asks.  I nod and say of course.  We didn’t really have anything to talk about as so much seemed to have changed, and we didn’t try to talk again after that.  Kind of sad how time changes everything, isn’t it?

If I spoke to him today, I’m not sure what I’d say.  I suppose I should ask him if he wanted to get a drink, catch up, see how things went…you know, see if the connection is still there somewhere.  Whether I would actually do that, though, I don’t know.  Some things are best left in the past.

Time to Change – Day Fifty-One

There’s something incredibly gratifying about having Mondays off.  I’ve always thought this, although after having it as one of my permanent days off at my old job, I’d started to take it for granted.  Today was my first Monday off since starting my new job, and I’ve fallen back in love with it again.  I think it’s the fact that you know you’d normally be at work (and everyone else is) and you have a free pass to sleep and watch daytime TV and do anything you want.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike having Saturdays off, but it’s just so…ordinary.  On top of that, the shops are always busier, the parks fuller, your friends busier.

Needless to say, I had a great day.  It wasn’t anything unusual, but I found it so relaxing.  I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, then spent a couple of hours catching up on everyone’s blogs.  I had crackers and vegemite for lunch, and sultanas.  Then I had a long nap, which was made more relaxing knowing I’d normally be at work.  Ahhh, such a great feeling.  After I woke up, I decided to stop procrastinating and do some more cleaning in preparation for the inspection on Thursday.  I did a couple of loads of dishes (I let them get way out of hand, I admit.  Dishes are my least favourite chore and the dishwasher that came with the rental house I’m in is a weird brand and does a shitty job).  I then made dinner – Lite n Easy Lasagne.  Once again, I was interested to know how this would go, as microwave lasagne is normally pretty average.  It turned out okay.  Not as nice as my previous two meals as the lasagne was a little soft and soggy (as expected without any oven baking), however it tasted nice apart from that.  It was also the lowest in calories of the four meals I’ve had thus far, which was a pleasant surprise.

While I was cleaning and eating dinner, I was also catching up on Bones.  I had the first three episodes of season ten waiting to be watched, and it didn’t fail to disappoint.  I’m not going to post spoilers, but to anyone who has seen it, I think you’d feel my pain during episode two.  So emotional!

After I finished dinner, I headed off to the shops for groceries.  I wish I still got enjoyment out of going like I used to when I first moved out.  Now it’s just a chore, made worse now I’m trying to eat well as there are so many delicious, wonderful options there that I have to walk past.  Kudos to me, my self-control was pretty good.  I did get one naughty thing, but as long as I eat it in moderation, I think it’ll be fine.  Six months ago, it was “spot the healthy food” in amongst the junk in my basket, now it’s the opposite, which is a great feeling.  Plus, now that I’ve got my dinners organised, I’m not spending too much money there any more, and I’m there for less time.  That’s great as the less time I’m there, the less tempted I am to stock up on stuff I shouldn’t be eating!

Once I got home, I put the groceries away, did another load of dishes (seriously, they just never end!) and then sat down to watch the Block.  For the Aussie readers out there, Suzi is actually the most annoying person on TV right now, amiright?  I then washed my hair in preparation for work tomorrow and watched the Biggest Loser.  It’s funny, two years ago I was so anti-reality TV shows and now I watch all the main ones.  I guess they’ve just become so popular and mainstream and normal that I let myself get sucked into it.  That being said, these are what I see as “actual reality” shows (as in, while some of it is probably scripted and planned and refilmed, a lot of it isn’t), instead of “unreality” shows such as Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, Real Housewives, Idol etc.  Those shows I will never buy into or watch, as it’s so fake and scripted it bothers me just watching the ads.  I mean, I get why people watch them…they’re easy to get sucked into, and they’re funny, and it’s so completely different from normal life that it’s morbidly interesting.  I just don’t want to support shows like that.

Tomorrow I’m back at work again, but only for four days this week as technically I worked six last week (I say technically because one was a public holiday that I didn’t actually work, but because I got paid, it is treated as such).  I’m so excited, I love four day weeks.  They always go by so fast.  Sure, it means I don’t get my beloved Monday off, but I think I can deal with this arrangement!

Anyway, time for me to call it a night and hope I can sleep okay.  It was really hot today and my room always struggles to cool down after them.  I have a pedestal fan I can use if I need to, but it’s pretty loud and annoying so I avoid it where possible.  I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid it tonight though.  Oh well, it beats sweating half the night!

-JD