What's been going on — Farewell 2017

Happy new year! 🎉

I thought this would be a nice time to post a recap. Things have been hectic since August and my little blog has fallen by the wayside. Also, the constant notifications about my CMS needing an update have scared me off logging in. But I'll fix that later. Right now, let me update you.

Here's what's been going on since, like, for ages...

True Grit

our True Grit crew, muddy after the race

Back in October, I ran hobbled the True Grit obstacle course with some dear friends. It was bloody cold down in Donnybrook, WA. Cold, muddy and fun. I was constantly hungry for almost a week after, and my hair smelled of mud since then (who knew hair could absorb smell like that?), but I had a great time and would do it again, but with more knee strengthening and ITB-loosening exercises beforehand.

Corr, fitness

the cat demonstrates what I look like when I attempt a handstand right now

My handstands are abysmal, but out of nowhere I can do short floor L-sits now. ¯\(ツ)/¯ The random core fitness sessions we've been doing must be working the same muscle groups. This is great news, as these L-sits are a step closer to being as cool as Emily (yes, I know it might have been fake in the movie, but I don't care, it's real to me shhhhhh).

I'm back on the ruck. Dropped the weight to 4kg and will stay there until I get a backpack that fits better. I now have two geocaching buddies and am feeling wholesome af.

Towards the end of December, I found myself bouldering more than ninja-ing. Adrenaline Vault in Belmont is very nice.

Inktober 2017

"Afternoon Delight" inktober artwork

I chose a low-effort theme in 2017 to maximise my chances of finishing. I won't lie — it got dicey there towards the end. We went on a couple of trips away, and I was very tempted to slack off. But it's done, all done, and long gone. You can check out the other inks in my instagram profile.

Out and about

sugar skull make-up

I had a bunch of dress-up parties all squished into a short period. If you know me, you know this is unusual, but after three months of life being full of training and goals, I was glad to just focus on little short-term projects with no pressure and no shoulds.

Pris from Blade Runner + Leeloo from Fifth Element

Learned a few make-up techniques (it's just like drawing!), styling and costuming points, and dressmaking tricks. Not enough to consider it "upskilling", but I feel a bit more confident with the tools.

Habits, scheduling and sacrifice

Planning too many things too far in advance caused me a lot of discomfort this year. Desire became obligation, and obligation became burden. No, thanks. I'm reviving my No Plans embargo strategy with a few modifications to make it work with my lifestyle today.

For at least a while, I'm allowing myself to only lock in selected types of activities, like my sports commitments, travel plans, and creative sessions that align with my life goals. Everything else will be left to fate. Spur of the moment. Do it if we're free and up for it. That kind of thing. If it doesn't happen, then hey, it wasn't meant to be.

I find in my 30s, I'm no longer choosing between what I like and dislike. I'm choosing between what I like and what I really, really love. This hit home in May, when I turned down an awesome illustration project with a reputed local photographer to make room for my writing goals. I admit, I look back wistfully, but I'm feeling very good about my writing now, and know I wouldn't be at this point if I hadn't made that sacrifice.

So, while I like things like catching up with friends I've not seen in a while, going to shows and meeting new people, I'll still be letting fate decide because I need room in my life for the things I love, like playing football, bonding with my inner circles, pursuing the things I know I'll regret if I die without trying, and day to day self-care.

Biggest regrets (lessons) for 2017

  • Letting my lack of confidence overshadow the things I can actually do. Forget Dunning-Kruger, forget FAE. Quality is important, but doesn't have to be the issue all the time. Sometimes you just gotta put your head down and get shit done.

  • Not taking more slow time when I needed it. And turning slow, restorative activities into shoulds. "I want to read" became "I should read", which turned it into a chore and I couldn't bear it. Same with gardening and cleaning my typewriter and all sorts of things. Now I'm thinking, whatever, focus on sequestering slow time and let fate and feelings decide how I spend it.

  • My potato phone. Originally, I got it to see what life was like on non-premium hardware. I didn't like the idea that I was tied to my device out of desire and addictive behaviour. My findings? UX friction can certainly help this user develop less tech-tied habits, but so can a healthy mindset and balanced lifestyle. When you need your phone for essential tasks, it's stressful when those tasks are hard to perform. Like summoning an Uber, half-drunk at 2am. We're treading into safety territory here. In 2018, I want technology to ease the friction in my life.

Wishlist for 2018

tapas spread at Pinchos in Leederville, WA

  • Focus on my writing, food and adventure.
  • Get fitter, healthier, less prone to injury, more skilled at my sports.
  • Recycle/upcycle better. Waste less. I'd really like to make something I can wear out of something I can't wear, found at an op shop.
  • Play with new tech and future tech. I don't know if I'll have time for this, but I'm happy to leave it as unplanned desire for now.
  • Take more slow time, and spend it how I feel like spending it. Maybe on games, maybe on tech, who knows! I want the freedom to do that.

Happy new year, everyone. I hope life's been treating you well, and that your 2018 is off to a great start! 🤙