Send you little messages of love like this:
I’ve been absent without leave from the blogosphere, which means that I’ve been busy. And when I say busy, I mean sleep-deprived busy. As has Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits.
Which is why we were stunned, dazed and confused when our schedules combined within a 2.5 mile radius in London on Monday. We were in the same place at the same time. In the 10 years we’ve lived south of the border, this is unheard of.
I quickly booked a hotel for us in Kensington for Sunday night – this meant that we could get up slowly on Sunday and head through to the big smoke for the day. We could shop, we could enjoy a glass of wine or two, and then we could shop. Between us we bought three pairs of shoes, two for me one for him. This is a normal and healthy ratio for a female:male shoe-off. Although, I haven’t seen my new shoes since then. Hmm, I may be the victim of a hostage situation – he may actually be holding me to the ‘one pair in, one pair out rule’. I don’t remember that discussion over late night gin in a tin.
We did all that and more and headed off our separate ways on Monday morning. My conference was less than a 30 minute tube ride away, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was a 15 minute drive away so I left for work later than I do every day I’m in the office – a brilliant start to a Monday I find. He finished filming 30 minutes earlier than I did and came to collect me so that we could drive home together. My own windswept and interesting chauffeur – all I had to do was keep a steady supply of coffee and chewing gum flowing on the journey home.
I’m still in a state of shock, and no matter what this week has since thrown at me, I remain well and truly inside my happy bubble.
Thus, our once in a decade day will be remembered as happily as eating warm apple strudel in the restaurant at the top of Grossglockner.
A rather unexpected day in fact – with highs and lows.
a) Mission Dinner Jacket or Die (MDJoD) is complete
b) I had time for a manicure in my lunch hour
c) I successfully completed Day 17 of the Plank Challenge – all 120 painful seconds
d) I didn’t lose my temper at work when I was totally and utterly justified in doing so
a) I was soaked to the skin on the walk home by passing cars after successful completion of MDJoD
b) I’m going to have to come up with a damage limitation strategy for (d) above
On the bizarre front, here’s a photo of some sparkly (borderline stripper shoes) that Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits mum sent me to cheer me up.
I don’t understand boys. I don’t get their thought processes. When I need to buy something new to wear for work I’m filled with excitement at the challenge ahead – the drive to find the perfect outfit at a particular budget. It’s like The Krypton Factor, only better.
But Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits entire day has been ruined by the prospect of having to wear a dinner jacket for a job next week. The Fight | Flight | Freeze instincts have kicked in – 2 hours into ‘the dinner jacket episode’ we’ve already had the fight and flight instincts in abundance. My job is to make this easy for him, although I’ll never get him to enjoy it.
I love shopping – I may have mentioned this once or twice already – especially when my little parcels of loveliness arrive at work like perfectly wrapped boxes of hope. So, although I’m already on OBB (operation bikini bod) and the 30 day plank challenge (15 days in we’re at the 90 second mark), I have chosen to accept another mission – MDJoD (Mission Dinner Jacket or Die).
We’ve already agreed that his 25 year old suit may not be up to the job, nor his Matrix inspired leather blazer. So we need to find a suitable alternative. Guess what I’ve been doing whilst he’s been taking out considerable aggression in the gym. I’ve found some good online options with next day delivery to boot. I’m now wishing that I could go too – I have a lovely little tuxedo jacket just dying to be worn again. I’ll never understand why this isn’t fun.
By the time I’ve kitted him out, he’ll look this this:
Or possibly more like this:
What’s that I hear, a martini? Shaken, not stirred – you got it.
That’s not a title for a Girl Band vs Boy Band hair-off, but the sum of my weekend.
Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits actually had the weekend off – this is virtually unheard of. And very very welcome. We were knackered for want of a better word. And so we started Saturday off slowly, watched an episode or two of The Good Wife, he went off and worked out, I did a spot of Winter Olympics watching, then we settled down early and watched a documentary before bingeing on a few more episodes of the afore mentioned The Good Wife. All in all, my kind of Saturday.
Today has been much more productive which is a good thing, otherwise I would have achieved nada/zero/zilch all weekend. And you only need so much rest if truth be told. Sunday didn’t start well, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits got called early for a job which meant that he had to leave immediately – he was in the process of fighting his way into winter waterproof layers when he was called again saying that the job had gone away. Hooray! That meant he could come back to bed for another slow start – and that’s not a euphemism for anything else!
Breakfast and coffee quaffing was partaken with, you guessed it, another episode of The Good Wife before we were ready to face the grad master plan for today. I had a number of things I needed to achieve – a lower body workout, a cardio session, day 9 of the planking challenge (a 60 second muscle-quivering grit your teeth and bear it exercise), and a rather large pile of ironing. It was the worst kind of ironing – formal shirts and trousers, ruffled blouses – eeeeuurgh. With Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits around to help pile on the weights for squats and calf raises, it was a tough but fun workout. I warmed up with the plank, so I really feel as though I’ve worked off those late night Rich Tea biscuits today.
So here I am post-workout, desperately in need of a shower and with only one more item on my list of things to achieve today – call my parents to see how they’re doing. Well that, and decide whether it’s feasible to attempt the 30 day plank challenge and the 30 day squat challenge in quick succession or even simultaneously. Operation Bikini Bod is in full swing – that bikini bod will be mine, or I’ll die trying.
We’re just so hard on ourselves – all of the time. We’re not good enough, not thin enough, not clever enough, not creative enough.
We are so busy trying to be better than we are that we forget to just stop and think. We forget to be thankful for everything that we have and everything that we are, however we got there.
I’ve been lucky enough to have many female role models in my life – they’ve taught me that it’s ok to be different, it’s ok to fail, it’s ok to be imperfect. They’ve also taught me that it’s ok to follow your heart wherever it takes you, however hard that road may be, because you won’t rest easy unless you do.
I’m lucky, I’ve met and been loved by many inspirational women. My job is to ensure that I can pass along some of that wisdom to the young women I work with. They aren’t ready to hear it yet, they’re just starting out on their own paths, but in a decade or so I’ll hope that they remember me as fondly as I remember those who have picked me up when I’ve been down, those who’ve made me laugh through my tears, and those who have shown me that you can be successful and still have a soul.
Even though I’ve lost some of them along the way, these women are always with me. They still make me smile.
So, Tammy, although it is hard to be a woman, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
In my ongoing Operation Bikini Bod (aka OBB) motivated state, I’m upping the workouts again. This is doubly insane because I am somewhat of a medical anomaly – in 4 weeks of abstinence (yes, including alcohol – there’s only been one serious slip), calorie controlling, exercise and green tea quaffing I have shed an amazing 1 lb of body weight. You heard me – 1 lb.
Lesser people would weep in frustration, I however can pinch less than I could do on Christmas Day so I know what I’m doing is working. I weigh myself no more than once a month for this reason alone – our digital scales lie – well maybe they don’t lie, but they certainly don’t tell the whole truth. And that truth is I’m getting leaner, and building muscle. With 13 lbs still to shed, at my current weight loss rate of 1 lb per month, I’ve got a year to go. Go me! My goal is April so I require some additional motivation. I came home after a long day out on the road when I was too tired to workout and tried on my bikini (the middle ‘B’ in OBB) and asked Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits to take photos of me in unflattering light from the front, the side and the back. I can almost live with the front and side views, but as I already knew, the rear view needs more work. Damn my pear shaped genetics. And more work means squats, lots and lots of buttock-lifting squats. It’s not known as the king of exercises for nothing.
Today’s workout needs a whole lot of help from Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits, however, he’s off filming in the middle of nowhere with just an outside broadcast crew for company, so I have alternate instructions. Do the exercises I can do alone, but do more, and do a pyramid. This had me concerned and so it should – I can’t do squats on my own – but unfortunately, I can do lunges. And so I find myself gearing up for a 5 set marathon:
Set 1 – low weight
Set 2 – raise weight
Set 3 – heaviest weight
Set 4 – same weight as set 2
Set 5 – same weight as set 1
When you write it down it doesn’t look a lot, but when you add in the other exercises and the 45 min spin session afterwards, I may need some medical attention. Or at the very least, some gas and air.
I’m doing this for me – exercise allows me to clear my mind, it keeps me healthier and my clothes fit me better. It’s so easy not to do it – I didn’t do much of anything for 15 years, which is why it’s so hard to take 15 years of bad-living off. But it’s never too late to right the wrongs of your youth. I want to make the most of my life, and I need this body to do it, I just want to look good whilst I’m doing it.
Well, it is, isn’t it? It’s a month of reflecting on the past and being excited about what lies ahead. It’s the time when our clothes feel a bit tighter and our skin looks a heck of a lot grayer due to epic over-indulgences.
It’s also time to embrace winter and all of its layering opportunities. This week alone I’ve rocked an artic explorer look , an ice-skating princess ensemble, and tried out being a russian spy for the day. All good fun.
January, aka the month of good intentions – of being good to our bodies and our minds. I started well, but failed on wine-down Wednesday. It turned yesterday a very long day indeed. This first full week back in the office has been long – we were all knackered by mid week (hence the afore-mentioned wine-down) as everyone is used to working in small, concentrated bursts. I’ve had to lure people into meetings with the promise of biscuits. But it’s now Friday and the energy levels are rising appropriately, we can smell the weekend coming, and it smells of duvet.
I’m in the midst of hatching a grand master plan for 2014, and that’s what I love most about January – I make the first in a series of plans. Compulsive list-making session imminent.
Getting my hair cut used to be an absolute ordeal, but finding a hairdresser you trust is one of life’s great pleasures. Especially one you can enjoy a glass of wine with.
Over the years I’ve had my fair share of hairtastrophes, namely:
- when a hairdresser cut into my ear rather my hair (ears bleed more than you think they would)
- when a hairdresser gives you chemical burns and your fringe falls out
- when you ask for an inch off and they give you a pixie crop
- when a perm took so long I had to leave the salon with my hair dripping wet and still toxic to make the ferry home from university
Thus, when I find a hairdresser who makes me look great and feel fabulous, who’s had me in tears of laughter and who I trust enough to say, “do what you want” – that’s someone I’ll share a glass of wine with. Lately this has been mid appointment, although she waits until all the chemicals have been washed out and the cutting is complete before quaffing along with me.
One of life’s guilty pleasures – you bet. But I leave with a smile and a swagger (minus the bobble hat) looking my best.
Last week ended reasonably calmly after all – I even managed to fit in three consecutive workouts – an absolute first. Although it did mean I felt every one of my 41 years by Friday night. How I miss the energy of my misspent youth!
Yesterday I finally managed to go to my long awaited hair appointment where my lovely hairdresser transformed me as always into an improved version of me – if somewhat neater than usual – and with some flame red attitude. Less librarian, more Florence and The Machine.
I’ve returned the inappropriately youthful clothing and have a lovely pair of boots on order instead – what can I say, you can never have too many pairs of boots – especially ones you could walk a few miles in.
I’m also looking forward to a visit from my parents who are south of the border from Wednesday through Saturday. Our family is scattered around quite a bit so it’s lovely to spend time together however infrequent it is. Let’s hope I can keep up with them – they could put an Olympic Athlete to shame at times.
And so I’m entering into next week full of my usual optimism and devil may care attitude. Wonder if I’ll make it to 10am Monday with that optimism intact?