Don’t worry about the things you can’t change.

I was told this back in 2006, when I was in year 11. I was 17 which felt old because by the December of that year I would be 18, which meant adulthood. Responsibility and having to lead your life came with adulthood. I was afraid to be pushed right into it as though I was to become an instant adult.

How can someone be an adult when they are still at school? Amongst other things. Two years later it was 2008 I was approaching 20 and still felt the same. The worries that I had then have completely changed. I know now, there is no such thing as instant anything – especially adulthood…maybe that’s why you’re still working on it by the time you turn 60 and get the label “senior”.

Plus I am no longer caught up in other people’s lives in the same way I was back then, I can see the difference between being worried about others and seeing what they are going through and simply being there for them.

Right now though at midnight on a Wednesday night or Thursday morning, whichever way you look at it. I’m worried or concerned or something a rather.

It’s about something I can’t change or do something about but desperately want to. I hate not having the power to help those I love whether friends or family.

In this case it’s a friend. Who might even read this post…maybe it’s a way to reach out to this person without me really thinking – that, that is what I’m doing.

My point is I know when thinking about this more realistically and clearly that I have to relax, take my mind off it so that I can sleep…

I know I can’t change the situation. The whole point of not worrying about the things you can’t change is to see that unless you actually have the power to change something that it’s not going to change and you have to accept it so you can live your life.

Like me getting my driver’s licence. As much as friends and family have been bugging me to do something about it they can’t actually get it for me.

I am in fact doing something about it, I’ve had a few things get in the way but now is the time.

Today I had a driving lesson and I’m telling you – scary as anything, I was so nervous that I had to sit for an hour before before the lesson so that I could calm myself down. I haven’t driven for a year which I know is bad but it was because I was sick last year and needed to focus on getting better…anyhoo…it was raining for most of the day and i thought – oh great, rain on my first driving lesson in a year…great.

By the time my instructor got to my house, it had stopped raining…as soon as I got into his car, things were clicking like never before. I was finally using the steering wheel properly because I was actually taught how and got to the stage where head checks felt normal.

I think this time it will actually happen. Especially because I’m doing something about it. A change I have control of – when it’s something you know you do something about, you don’t worry because there is no need to. You have the power.

The power is gone and then you worry.

The logical thing to do is not to worry because if you can’t do anything about it then you need to let it run it’s course so the change happens.

Eyes are now drooping…this right here is one of the reasons why I write.

No lesson of the day – it’s in the title.

Sleep tight to all if you haven’t quite made it there…signing off…

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GLUTEN-FREE VEGEMITE!!

I actually cried after having a bite of a rice cracker with GF Vegemite. Then after the cry I’m pretty sure I screamed and then sang.

I couldn’t believe how great it tasted and how wonderful it felt to eat something that was such a huge part of my life.

It’s not just the Vegemite though.

There are other things that are making me reminiscence and other things that I miss deeply.

There are dates coming up that are allowing me to think like this and with this I will make this post short.

Moments like I had with the GF Vegemite are pretty awesome. It also allows you to see that sadder parts of life are there and sometimes you have to give in to them and that’s ok.

Just as long as after-wards you enjoy the GF Vegemite.

Happy eating and enjoying life – taking it for what it is. 🙂

A change in head space goes a long way!!

So some people might say that what I do before I study or during a day of study as procrastination. But honestly even if you say you’re going to have a study day, it’s not healthy to only study with a few small breaks for food, drinks and toilet breaks. Sometimes you need to occupy your mind and do other things to get your home work done or simply just to be productive. Today I had one of those days. A day of study to catch up on study that I missed during Easter. I needed the time to have a break, plus I got a cold so then I needed time to rest…but I probably would have prolonged study anyway… but that’s not the point…

                                        

This is my point – a few weeks ago I decided to do my homework sitting at this table, natural light coming through the window, a cup of tea, my books set up in a way which allows for multi-tasking and somehow my least favourite subject became somewhat relaxing… and I was able to get my work done more efficiently than when I was in my room.

Previous to sitting at this table, I was stuck in my room at my desk – not doing a thing.

The change in where I was sitting – changed the way I worked… It was so great!

Today I did a very similar thing. I moved to my living room where there are more living room tables than necessary…and worked with a bit of sound in the background and once again got more done than if I had stayed in my room.

It wasn’t though just my relocation. It was also because study wasn’t my complete focus. Sure I had a lot to get through, but I couldn’t just sit and do it all day. I started my day with a bit of breakfast while sending off my ensemble notes to my Drama ensemble groups… started work on another Drama assignment…made lunch…ate it…tried going back to home work…went to the supermarket…wrapped my cousin’s birthday present…did a load of washing…made dinner…called a friend…went back to study…finished another assignment for my Tibet subject – while watching Betwitched…emailed my Auntie…ate some Easter eggs and probably did other things that I haven’t mentioned…and now here I am…

A very productive day!

Plus I didn’t feel weigh-downed by being in my room doing homework. In fact I felt as though I had a very good day, not too eventful but having gotten a lot done – it was a very good day.

The move to another spot in the house, to leave the house a couple of times or sometimes to do something enjoyable like calling a friend or even watching T.V is ok on a study day if it means you still get things done. Studying – and especially these days shouldn’t and isn’t about being in your room and sitting at your desk.

You don’t have to have a typical clear desk, a quiet room and small breaks to get things done…

Sometimes even having a long break – to get away can really help and if you’re not enjoying some portion of the day, then really isn’t any point because trust me, miserable people don’t do homework!

Miserable people sit around and think about why they are miserable or sit around eating chocolate and watching movies – I’m all for the chocolate and movies, the best combination really… but if you have a lot of things to do – then it’s not really appropriate…

If you’re like me though and can’t stand silence while you work, a bit of music or even a bit of background T.V is well not just ok, but great…

If silence is more distracting than useful then make the change to have a bit of noise.

If your dull room and dull desk doesn’t suit the space in which you study then move somewhere else and sit somewhere else.

If being inside is driving you insane then go for a walk – trust me getting fresh air and listening to your own thoughts instead another person’s inside a textbook on a topic that you know nothing about – helps!!

If you need something to eat – don’t eat it by your lap-top or notebook. Stop. Eat. Return to study.

If you have shopping or washing to do – then do it because otherwise the thought of you having not doing it will take over your mind more than the theories on teaching and education or whatever it is you might be studying…

If you would much rather call your friend then read another flipping article on another flipping subject matter on another flipping topic about something! Then do it – you’ll have a laugh and get back to the article afterwards. Laughing is a great thing for the soul – it lifts you up like nothing else can and so can talking to a friend…

If chocolate is necessary get some and eat it.

The trick is to find the balance with doing the things you need and want to do that isn’t study to then allow you to study when you’ve finished doing those other things.

Besides I got four assignments done today – in amongst all the other things… some people including myself may call me a “freak” but hey – obviously the way I do my homework… works!!

Now come Sunday I have one thing to work on… plus a monologue to continue to rehearse as Monday is when I get to say my arts, thous, doths and thees – but I will feel in on that – next week! 🙂

Signing off – to next time!

Lesson of the day:

Take your time and recognise how important head space really is cos it will help in what you need to do to be happy with your day.

Dear Mum:

Ok It’s roughly a month to mother’s day but I was inspired today after a phone call I had with my mother – she has given me everything now all I need to do and so does she is to let go a little so we can our lives a little bit more separately from each other, it’s not say we won’t spend time together… but anyway here it is… now when it comes to mother’s day, I may not have much to say… but I’m sure I’ll think of something:

Dear Mum:

The love that I have for you is a given for you are my mother. It is unconditional, cannot be touched or taken away, I will never feel this love for others as it is unique and therefore forever and always.  My love for you will always hold strong even when we fall or see tough times, no matter how much we argue, are angry at each other or even when we laugh in each other’s company. A love between mother and child or child and mother is like no other – even if that is a cliché it is true.  The point of this message though is not to say that I love you, because we know that we love each other – even if we don’t say it.

It’s to say that I admire you. I admire you for raising Tom and I as a single parent. I admire you for being a midwife and lactation consultant and working your butt off for years – and still managing to do so. I admire you for your strength as a person and mother.

I admire you for not succumbing to outside pressure to be a different person to who you are; including the “uniform” which you wear all the time – it shows perfect effortless style and comfort, even if it’s not me… you are still who you are.

You have shown me what it is to be yourself, to be a working mother, to be caring and loving, to be wacky, crazy, and quirky all in one package and for showing me the ropes of life. I know what I know from you; your warmth, your honesty, zest for life and all your life lessons – some of which are learnt from what not to do but at least you have taught me that making mistakes is ok.

We have so many laughs together, I love spending time with you – which I know most people don’t understand, but that’s ok because I would prefer that then to have it any other way…

Thanks for being there for me; I don’t say it enough…

Love Ems xoxoxxoxoxoxoxo

Lessons learnt by my mother:

  • Don’t put your eggs in one basket
  • Things always find a way of working out
  • To always do right by others. If you say you’ll be committed to something, then stick with it.
  • You can’t sit around and be miserable for ever, sometimes if you go for a walk, things will start to look better.

Just a short, quick post – as this came to mind today…

Safeway, Movies, a Wonderful Friend and the Perfect Easter!

As Good Friday rolled round, my bags were packed and I was ready to go.  There was no exact plan in my trip to Kyneton to visit my friend Mia except that I knew that I had decided to get the 10:35am bus to Sunbury which would lead me to a train arriving at Kyneton station at 12:30pm…

It felt great… to get up and leave. Leave my home work, my cat (being looked after by house-mates), any potential dishes or laundry behind and go see a friend!

The first stop was the station to buy my ticket – which I happened to do so nearly two hours before my bus left – oops, but better than being late…

As I had time to spare, a trip to the coffee shop was quite appropriate. A cafe latte and flourless lemon and poppy-seed cake – ordered, I was pretty happy in being early… a leisurely wait for my bus meant that I had enjoyed my early start and didn’t feel rushed! It was great.

My bus arrived at 10am giving passengers plenty of time to board it and as I had a magazine and Harry Potter 4 –  I didn’t mind at all…

Before we knew it, we were already in Sunbury – most of us passengers got of the bus and headed straight for the train, we were wrongly directed for platform 2, luckily though we quickly realised this mistake and headed back to the right platform where our train was already waiting… back to the world of Harry Potter and a chapter later, the train had left…

It was such a quick journey that before I knew it I was greeted by the lovely Mia… we stopped by in the town of Kyneton for a bit of baby present shopping as a friend of hers was having twins – yikes…!! Hard decisions were made, but as I have since been told that the soon to be mother loved the present – I think the right ones were made…

We then headed towards her house via IGA – where we bought some much-needed lunch supplies…and some other things for later. Once we arrived to her place, there was many things to decide – like what to watch on T.V or what movie to pick for that night… ahh well life is tough when you have the weekend off…

After lots of chats, T.V watching and consuming of lunch and many hours later – it was now time for dinner… GF pasta with bacon and chicken and a cream sauce… which meant that we both sinned…oops…next year I’ll be good and eat fish… but then again some people say it’s more of a catholic thing and techniquely I’m anglican…so it should be all good right…

Yes so back to the weekend…

We decided on watching Easy A as our dinner movie…which I must say surprised me as it was really funny and I loved Olive’s parents. They were played by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson – couldn’t you imagine them being your parents?!?! I mean – they were just brilliant… quirky, honest, fun…allowing their children to make mistakes etc and in their own way…or however way you want to describe it… was just great to watch. 🙂 Also the outfits that Olive wore when she was dressing as a “slut” was just so creative. ah… good film.

After Easy A, Save the Last Dance was on – another good film…with the dancing, the love, the ballet meets hip hop, how the girl had to live without her mother, etc – all caught up in one cool story…great film…

Saturday had slowly crept up and I woke with a sore throat…which I thought I could ‘nip in the bud’ or however the saying goes…

That didn’t quite happen…although I did try…

Our friend Jenna who had come home to visit her family from living in Canada came round after lunch and another trip into town – except this time to Safeway… where I picked up some lemsip, honey and a few other bits and pieces…

and we chatted and chatted and chatted… after not seeing another good friend for a really long time it was hard not to chat as we did… the afternoon soon turned into the evening… Jenna went home and Mia and I decided to pick up some Pizza… she got Honey Chicken and I got Greek Souvalki (as in the toppings were ingredients you would find in a souvlaki)…

More movies and some episodes of Sex and the City it was shortly time for bed…

Sunday rolled round… and it was time for me to check the train timetable… except neither of us wanted me to leave…

so instead an extra day…

This day was filled – with you guessed it – movies…plus a trip to Woodend – to have a look at the shops and just to have a drive… then another trip to Safeway cos we needed dinner – an indian beef curry with rice…

but before all this cooking an

EASTER EGG HUNT… we had about 20 – so I hid ten and Mia hid ten and we had fun hiding and finding and teasing each other while we did it and don’t forget the old ‘hot and cold trick’ – except I added sizziling and boiling just to spice things up…

Lots more chatting, TV watching, curry eating and now chocolate egg consuming – with a bit if not a lot of laughter later and before you knew it was time for bed…

A sleep later, the checking of the timetable… packing my bag, showering and getting dressed… it was time for me to say goodbye to Mia and Kyneton…

It was early Monday arvo – really cold as it had just rained… my throat wasn’t quite yet better and I was back on another train…this time though it took a lot quicker as there was no waiting time for the bus back to Melbourne…by 3:30/4 I was back at home, pumpkin soup in microwave and a bit more tv watching  to be had…just to finish off my Easter…

This morning I woke – to rain and cold, a walk to a neighbouring suburb and home for homemade chicken noodle soup to sooth my sore throat and reflect on what a great break this has been… tomorrow I will be back to the grind of study…

at least there will be plenty of chocolate to keep me company!

Signing off as I slowly start winding down for the night – prehaps maybe with some Harry Potter…

sorry no lesson of the day… unless you want to know the goodness of friends and movies – I think I’ve said all that and trust me even if with this cold I have now… it’s still safe to say that life right now can’t get any better… 🙂

 

Sweetie, Ma’am or the Lady

“Here Sweetie, this is a pamphlet explaining the works on St Kilda Road”

“How can I help you Ma’am?”

“Let the lady walk past, *insert name of child here.*”

Back in the day I was always called the little girl, even when I was 12 going on 13, 13 going 14, etc. I think though by the time I reached 16 this had stopped…

But over the last couple of years I’ve been getting used to people calling me Ma’am, I honestly didn’t think that, that would happen in my 20s especially considering I’ve always been told that I have a baby face… let’s just have a look at some  photos to see if getting older has changed my face or if it’s the hair or both?:

2007 –   2008 –   2009 –

2010 –  2011 – Before World’s Greatest Shave

2011 – After Hair was Shaved        2011- Hair grown a bit –

2012 – ………………………………. But maybe it’s not the face, it could just my change in confidence and personal growth that has come things I’ve experienced and gone through…

I’m not sure. But it’s still very strange to be of someone of my age and to be called Ma’am. Ma’am sounds like I’m the queen or old…

I mean I do get teased for being lady-like and ‘proper’ by some people…but still it’s strange. Ma’am is for women who curtsey, drink tea and eat cucumber sandwiches… I am not sure if I’m a Ma’am.

Sweetie though, sweetie has gotten old… sweetie was something I didn’t mind being called when I was 16… sweetie definitely is something you call a toddler or a child and maybe a teenager but not someone who is 23 – I’m young but NOT that young… sorry…

Although the Lady thing – unless it was “Hey! Lady” is different… that makes me feel like an adult… I know it’s sounds silly in some ways… but I’ll give you an example:

The other day I was walking home and went past a family – a mother and her five yes count them five girls – I assumed they were all hers, the youngest was a baby and the eldest was a teenager (or maybe someone about to enter into the teenage years…hard to tell but you get the point) and of course a family of that size takes up a lot of room on the footpath, I wasn’t upset or anything nor was I in a rush to get home…

But you know the polite thing to do is to step aside – which they did… the mother though had to tell her children to move aside so that “the lady could get past” – I have been called a lady in this way before – but I contemplated and reflected over the situation – it seems to be that I do that with everything… and decided that the woman could see that I was an adult – I looked old enough to be called an adult. I know that most women don’t get too excited about the feeling of looking old, but after so many years minus the last few or so of so many people thinking that I was at least two and sometimes even four years younger than I was, it’s nice to know that, that woman thought that I looked old enough to be called a lady.

Just not so old enough to be called Ma’am.

Lesson of the day:

Growing up is so hard, once you get there though accept it and feel great about it, otherwise the people around you may never consider you an adult – and that can sometimes be tougher.

Signing off as there is one more day before Good Friday if I don’t write before Sunday then

HAPPY EASTER!!

Reflections of the year gone by

This time last year I was faced with my first Easter of being a Coeliac… because last Easter was when I got diagnosed. I remember in the rush of last-minute shopping before the shops were shut. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat a decent meal again. It was such a huge shock.

I know that it could have been far worse, but at the time it felt like everything was falling down around me.I couldn’t enjoy Hot Cross Buns, Lindt Bunnies or Fish n Chips on Good Friday – three Easter essentials, felt really big…and I was at my grandparents farm, with a grandmother (retired doctor) who didn’t believe that Coeliac Disease was real and a mother who didn’t know to what extent not being able to eat Gluten meant… they were all trying to be supportive but didn’t know how, which is ok and I am not upset at them – but they were people who I turn to and who I was with and I couldn’t really do that.

Irraitableness had set in big time – which I think I mentioned in a post “living life the coeliac way” (or something along the ways) but most of all it was about facing not being able to eat anything I wanted.

For quite a few months after I was still processing how and it meant to be a Coeliac I attended Coeliac society meetings, I put in a lot of research, etc on what it meant and still to this day I am making new food discoveries.

The only difference now is that it’s finally become an exciting thing as opposed to a sad thing. By this I mean before I was sad of what I couldn’t eat, now I’m happy of what I can. Plus I have an excuse to buy cookbooks, go to the healh-food for ‘weird’ ingredients and have a cupboard dedicated to flour.

Let me show you some of these discoveries… please note I’m not at all a food photographer and that it’s not me trying to take great or even good photos it’s just about the content…

– The flour that I now keep… plus some other GF things, GF plain, GF self-raising, Xanthum Gum, GF Baking Powder, Polenta, GF Yeast, Dried Apricots, GF Corn Flour, Lupin Flour, Almond Meal, Quinoa, Quinoa Flakes, Rice Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Corn Crumbs, Rice Crumbs, Soy Flour, White Chia Seeds, Caster Sugar, Brown Rice Flour and possibly a couple of things that I have forgotten… Plus there are still more flours on my to purchase list.

Gluten-Free cooking and baking isn’t just as simple as substituting flour, there are some recipes that I have found that will use five flours just for one, I know that I don’t have to cook like this and there are ways to keep to keep it simple and usually that’s what I do… but when I have one those moments where I have to try a new recipe it’s nice to have these flours on hand…

      

These are all the cook-books that have guided me… 4 Ingredients – was a great starting point, it let me see that I wasn’t limited, the bible has given me more variety in my diet, Sue Shepherd is amazing…haven’t made anything from her book though and Indulge says it all – info on flour and recipes that you can truly indulge in… from this I made the Choc-Berry Buckwheat Pancakes – yum, yum, yum and soooooo easy to make.

The Emma Smoothie:

– Yes it’s purple – well at least this one…

Base ingredients – Greek Yoghurt (sometimes you have to check for Gluten), Milk and Fruit. I then add things like Chia seeds (An old house-mate now friend told me about this one), Honey, Golden Syrup – Maple if you have it and so prefer, Cinnamon, Chocolate, Almond Meal, nut meg would be great… pretty much anything… favourite fruits for an Emma Smoothie – mixed berry or mango… It’s so simple but so delicious and incredibly filling!

The BEST GF bread that I have found is from a cafe on my street – it actually folds, is fluffy, looks like break, isn’t like a brick, tastes amazing, etc… here is one of my sandwiches:

– Seed bread with Spinach, Egg, Olive Oil and Feta – sounds a little boring, but honestly tastes really great – and it’s the first time that I decided not to toast it… I can tell you that picking up a normal “boring” sandwich for the first time in a year felt absolutely incredible that I actually felt like my life had changed.

Some of my friends sometimes say to me when they talk about what they have for lunch “Oh just a boring sandwich” my response is “Oh if life were that simple” and I used to be one of those people who winged about having a sandwhich…and now am thrilled at the opportunity – mainly because this bread costs $7 a loaf and I don’t want to spend that much a week…so bread or at least this bread – is a treat… ha…bread as a treat…

Other favourites include – mozzarella on olive bread and strawberry jam on pumpkin bread – cos the pumpkin bread tastes like scones!! 🙂

Thoughts on packet mixes… you have to buy them cos otherwise there are just some things you miss out on like cinnamon donuts… which I crave ALL the time… here is the GF version (yes from a packet):

– It’s pretty easy once you get to the frying bit – but seriously these don’t taste (from memory) any different to the normal cinnamon donuts and next time I’m adding jam!

Treats from here and there:

– Macaroons from the Lindt Cafe – one on the left I can’t have, one on right – the Champagne one I can – yum. Macaroons though at a cafe at uni – I can have and all the flavours…

– Most of my food is now organic, not really by choice, but it’s much more affordable now and I’m getting really into it- this is as you can read from the label Organic Lemonade which was purchased from Hooked a healthy seafood place or fish n chips whichever – which is so far the only place I have found does GF fish n chips and even their burgers are GF too – it’s ALL great and doesn’t make you feel as though you clogged up with grease.

– I started drinking coffee last year when my Aunt and Uncle were here visiting from DC – cos of their love of coffee shops and ordering quickly especially on the road… I stopped asking if the Hot Chocs or the Chai Lattes were GF (I know I shouldnt…blah) and decided that coffee was easier…next to this beautiful Cafe Latte is a Cranberry and Hazelnut Meringue (I think it was Hazelnut…some nut anyway) – with something else inside which makes it cake like without being a cake…truly delicious… This cafe also has GF bread which means that most of their meals I can eat as long as I ask for the GF option… I love when this happens because I feel somewhat normal again.

Ah yes McDonald’s – It is on a rare occasion that I go there especially now, but when I do I either get the ice-cream or the hash-browns… there are other things I’m pretty sure I can eat, but as I’m there for a treat and not a meal – it’s not really that critical that I make sure I bring my own bread just so I can eat their cheeseburgers again. Now I know that this lid full of ice-cream looks somewhat dismal…it really isn’t because it’s great to be able to have a small pig-out…besides the cheeky raspberry lemonade that is hiding made it really worth the while.

Even those forced to be incredibly healthy in some respects need ice-cream from McDonald’s or Maccas as we say here in OZ…

There are so many moments when I crave bread, pasta, pizza, donuts and all of those yummy gluten laden foods and days when I want to cry because I can’t eat them…or am frustrated at a restaurant, etc…

But after a year of being diagnosed I think I’m doing pretty well and I have to say that I’m pretty fortunate to live in a suburb that has a bunch of cafes that caters for someone with intolerance, allergies and coeliacs…plus as it’s become more “mainstream” – supermarkets are now stocking things like Xanthum Gum and Quinoa which makes life easier and more affordable so I can buy shoes… 😀

Because really that’s all we need is a good pair of shoes or 20…

Nah but seriously the fact that I can eat bread that folds even if it’s occasionally is pretty damn good!

Lesson of the day or year I should day:

We are all capable of jumping over hurdles and breaking down walls. We are all strong enough to live with what we are faced with. We are all wise enough to call upon friends and family and we are all brave enough to be happy in discovering new things.

Crying isn’t a sign of weakness and neither is hope, it’s knowing that when you have hope you are incredibly strong.

Signing off because I really need to get something eat even it’s 11:00pm – because after talking about all this food I’ve become hungry – here’s to getting the most out what you can eat!!