2013 – Crikey

Well, well, well! How about that, eh? It’s the end of 2013 already. It feels like I just warmed the new year with the family down in Melbourne while sitting around a bonfire playing random international instruments in an enthusiastically drunken manner. It was freezing cold, so we were all huddled together like tipsy emperor penguins, swaying and jigging along to our own impromptu jazz session. We had a roaring great night, but the old folk showed what stamina was all about, leaving Juliegirl and I to pick up the pieces the next day. That feels like a fairly adequate summary for the whole year, really. I have felt like I’ve been playing catch-up, half-awake, and rushing from one crisis to the next for the entire year. Despite feeling rushed and exhausted, I think I’ve achieved  enough to feel happy, as I sit down to Christmas Dinner.

January saw me stepping into a new role at work – a position which required me to take a quantum leap in terms of responsibilities and knowledge required. I spent the first few months of the year tied to a computer, desperately trying to make heads or tails of standard business processes. But, like a lot of things in life, I just bite off more than I can chew, and then just chew like fuck.

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So, I kept going, even though I had those nagging doubts that I’d made a terrible and profoundly wrong decision.  Now, well, now I still get stressed and anxious, but I’m starting to get the hang of the job, the demands, and I’m getting recognition from my peers for doing a good job.  I also got my first ever bonus, so I really cant complain about that!  Work took me to some far flung places, and I enjoyed discovering Perth, Darwin, Port Moresby, Tonga, and Fiji.  While those destinations sound glamorous, the reality of Business Trips are a lot less fun.  It’s usually spent in high stress environments, strapped to a laptop, flying by the seat of your pants.  It is demanding, and often a killer for a social life, but I love being busy, and I love my quirky strange job.

I also cant complain about spending time in Bali with one of my besties.  Although it wasn’t long enough, the week of total disconnection with the outside world was sensational.  I spent the entire week on my own schedule, doing my own things, without much care for watches, phones, emails or being any place at any certain time.  If nothing else, it made me realise that I need to do this more often in my life, to avoid a sudden and certain mental and emotional breakdown.

So, I then made a promise to Heidi to make more effort to get away at least four times per year, and get in touch with my inner extrovert and start getting involved in the world.  As it happens, I had managed to get a little tied up in my own head after the conclusion of a rather long term relationship.  I focused on my career, my renovations, my dog, and turned a lot of focus inwards.  I think I needed to do that for a little while, a bit of healthy navel-gazing, but then sometimes it takes a good friend to slap you out of bad habits and get you back into the world again.  I’ve got some very good friends.

I changed my life.  I joined a soccer team.  I joined a new gym.  Two new gyms, actually.  I wrote a bucket list.  I started being myself again.  I managed to find myself included in a Game of Thrones posse, after I completed all the published works by George R R Martin.  Each Monday night, we’d all totter around to a central location, bunker down and watch the latest episode.  It was simple nerd joy, and even though I barely knew some of these folk, I was instantly surrounded by kindred “Throners” and felt at home.

In an effort to keep the promise, I also spent a week in New Zealand with the Mothership, travelling around the countryside visiting various Lord of the Rings filming locations.  It was good to spend time with her, despite both of us coming down with the flu – and coughing, and spluttering all the way from Auckland to Wellington.  It was good fun.  I spent more than I really should have, so it’s back to the grindstone to save up for more time away.

Ever since I joined, the 501st has been such a large part of my life.  I’ve taken a small step away from the limelight this year, and it’s felt quite good.  Despite “stepping away”, I’ve still managed to clock up some impressive troops – trooping in Brisbane and in Perth.  I’ve missed quite a lot of big events as well, so hopefully life will slow down a little next year.  I clashed lightsabers in another Sith vs Jedi display at Dreamworld – once again, playing the role of that sexy Sith Assassin, Asajj Ventress. 

The SVJ team is now such a close unit, that we can trade blows, while telling Yo’Mamma jokes without missing a beat.  I love the humour that we can put into the routine, and I love learning and showing skills.  When we were genuinely confused with paid stunt actors, I think my little heart burst with pride.  

 

The 501st Legion has also allowed me to meet some of my closest friends.  It’s often hard to find real friends, with whom you can be your honest goofy self in front of.  This year, not only did I get to spend time with these people, but I also got to attend the weddings of two lovely couples.  I was Bridesmaid for one of the events and it has to be one of the most special days of my life.  Not only was I surrounded by my chosen family, but I was also able to be a part of such a fun, lovely and romantic day with Qin and Cutter.  The rest of the party were just idle window dressing, or garnish, and the real stars of the show were the happy couple.  I was honoured to be their parsley.

The Richmond Tigers got into the finals this year.  It was an exciting time to be a Tigers girl.  I’ve waited a long time to see a final, and the young team did well to get that far.  Sadly, we were out first round of the finals – and we lost to the team that came ninth… but such is life.  2014 is looking better!

I had another run-in with Skin Cancer this year, but I’ve started being a little more philosophical.  I wear sunscreen every day, and I’ve found an amazing makeup which has SPF 30, without being gluggy and horrific.  So, without meaning to, I’ve become more girly – wearing makeup wherever I go – simply so that I can keep the big “C” at bay.

This year, I tried a few things for the first time – I played Goalie at indoor soccer, I bought a new posh lens for my DSLR and tried proper photography, I completed the Tough Mudder challenge, I patted a cheetah, I did a Balinese Cooking Class, and did a Yoga Class while the sun set over Uluwatu surf beach.  I trooped at a Roller Derby match.  I debuted my Isane Yssard costume at Gold Coast Supanova, and my Dolores Umbridge costume at Brisbane Supanova.  I also tried weightlifting for the first time, and I’ve found that I’m actually quite good at it.

I joined a new gym, and I’ve started to focus on getting body composition results with my training.  I’m being frequently tested, and my diet and training plans are being tweaked to suit my body.  What I am loving, however, is the way that I can adjust all the routines and exercises to suit my own body, my injuries and my limitations.  I am feeling strong, and for the first time in a long while, I’m feeling motivated to keep training, and keep chipping away at my goals.  I’ve dropped from 27% to 23.5% – half way towards my goal.  Small steps, small steps.

And I’m fairly good at chipping away at things.  This year, I also completed the renovations to the house.  I now have a new bathroom!  It was always supposed to be the first thing that I renovated, and as it happens, it turned out to be the last.  It was a long time in the planning, but I love my new shower.  Now, however, I have some big decisions on what to do with the house now that it’s all up to par.  Sell?  Stay?  Rent it out?  I’m glad I have time to deliberate.  Perhaps I’ll work it out next year.

Next year I’m hoping to kick one or two personal goals.  They’re not New Years Resolutions by any means, but some time during 2014 I want to reach 18% body fat composition, I want to travel internationally again, and I also want to tick off one or two more things on my Bucket List.  I’ve also thrown my hat into the ring for another dose of Tough Mudder Lovin’ – and I’m hoping we can get a good team together to help each other through the mud.

There are so many things that I want to do.  So many things that I daydream about doing one day.  I hope “one day” is some time in 2014.

It’ll be made much easier if I finally get that winning lotto ticket!
Hoping you and yours have a wonderful one,
Jac xxx

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