September 10th, 2007


How to be happy

How to be happy, according to Stephen Fry, who recently turned 50, hence all the TV programmes on BBC4 over the weekend...

"Don't feel sorry for yourself."

It may be true that life isn't fair, that you had missed chances, or that things should have been different. But self pity robs you of all other emotions and energy, so that in the end all that is left is self pity.

This really struck a note with me. I know that I am sometimes liable to feel a bit sorry for myself, and it really is not an attractive emotion. All you can really do is move forward with what you have - either the physical, or emotional or financial resources.

71-80 of my favourite things

71. Running 5k in less than 30 minutes
72. Laughing so hard that I start crying!
73. Putting clean bedclothes on the bed
74. Getting all the laundry done
75. Getting all the ironing done
76. Coming home and seeing the lights on, knowing that someone is there to welcome me home
77. Sending a friend a handwritten letter
78. Getting a massage from mr.ncot
79. Riding my bike to work
80. When the painkillers finally kick in and I can sleep

The Halfway Mark

Today marks exactly halfway through the year. This means it has been time for me to stop and assess how my goals for the year have been going (as I note it has been for mhchipmunk as well). So I thought I'd ask you all how you are going. What has 2007 brought for you so far? What changes would you like to make? If you have any goals how are they progressing?

Okay, so mid September cannot really be said to be halfway through the year, but I really wanted to write this homework. This last week has given me a space to pause and reflect. Mostly because I have been stuck in my bed, but also because I have physically had to stop working. It has given me some distance to reflect on work and life in 2007.

Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the year:
- Actively learn to manage my stress levels
- Manage my life style
- Actively increase fitness & Health
- Take good care of myself
- Reward myself
- Cultivate Relationships

I find it interesting that I didn't have a work related goal on the list, but that in fact this year so far has been mostly about meeting work goals. For example, I got a permanent contract, have a promotion in the pending and successfully completed the first stage of the Poland project. The time spent in meeting these work goals has to some extent prevented me from working on my personal goals. Funny how these things happen. Although looking back I think that my successes at work this year have built me a strong foundation at CS.

Stress levels: I don't think I have actively reduced my stress levels, but I think that I am more aware of my stress now and realise that a lot of it is self generated. Next Step? Make conscious decisions that support me, ie leaving work early

Manage Life style: I'm still going to bed too late, I find that I have a burst of energy later at night. Need to work on winding down sooner. However, I have been getting up early consistently - mostly 6am. Alcohol? Hmm, still drinking too much, in the sense that I use a glass of red wine as a necessary tool for me to unwind. Next Steps? Try to make bedtime earlier and work hard on cutting down on alcohol - i.e. not drinking at home during the week.

Fitness and health: Re-reading my journal, I realise that since May I have been writing that I will lose weight and get fit. And it just hasn't happened. I blame my workalcoholism. I know what I need to do - drink more water, less tea, eat better, count calories, exercise. Next Steps: aim for baby steps, but build more yoga, swimming and then running, gym into week. I need to consciously make time for this, because this helps me balance my life and keep the stress in control.

Take good care of myself: Managed to achieve nothing on this list :-( However, I did get back to the gynae, have now found a new fertility specialist, had my operation. Next Steps: Find an acupuncturist

Reward myself: Have done okay here, am spending more time getting regular treatments. I need to learn that I can take more time for myself, just to do nothing!

Cultivate Relationships: Doing okay on this goal - have been slowly getting in contact with more friends. I realise that when I am feeling stressed, I don't feel like being in contact with people, family or friends. This is an important warning sign for me. Need to spend more time with friends in Zurich this autumn - Kat, Al, Allison, Polly - they have been neglected this summer

Overall result? Doing okay... room for improvement ... but looking forward to the challenges of the autumn!


Grateful for my friends!

Yesterday and Saturday I felt particularly blessed by my friends.

1. Had a long chat on Skype on Saturday with G. Uncle, Godfather and very cool dude! He's also recuperating, so we compared health and our nursing staff! I'm thinking of G&S particularly since yesterday was 3 years since my cousin Michael died.

2. Friend and mentor J took me to Sprüngli for hot chocolate (divine!) and gossip. We managed to make the drink last 2 hours and mostly talked hair ;-) Actually that's not quite true, but I love the way that our conversations move easily from "girl" topics to business, to finance, to learning, to pwg and back to hair and boys again !!

3. Bestest mate Sal rang. Actually I have 2 bestest mates - Sal and Mags - and we have long since been called the Macbeth witches by Amit, Sal's hubbie. I count them as family (their emails go into the family folder!) But anyway, Sal is my inspiration in life. Small in height, blond, HUGE smile, big personality! She is a paediatrician in London, meets all of life's challenges head on and is never daunted. We had a great chat. We did the London Marathon together in 2001 and she is now preparing for the South Africa Comrades marathon (56 miles) in June next year. Mad woman. Myself and Amit will be her coach / Logistics / medical team!

4. Got an email from a new friend A. checking up on me, trying to fix a date for drinks or dinner when I'm feeling more human!

LJ Book

I found this great website recently which takes your livejournal and turns it into a (very large!) PDF document. It's great for creating a physical backup. It captures images, links, comments, but unfortunately not the user pics. You can create 2 copies and then it asks for a donation, circa 8 euros, which I think is cheap at the price! Click on the image to visit the website.


Turns your journal into a PDF Book.

LJBook (gads_ljbook)