Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happiness equals neglected blog?

There's an interesting trend I'm noticing amongst some of my blogging friends. They're in a really, really happy place right now - and they're hardly blogging at all. That's funny, because the same thing is happening right here. Hmm, a correlation.... but is there causation or merely coincidence?

I've had periods in the past where I didn't blog much - or at all - but that was because I was completely and utterly miserable and: a) didn't want to bore everyone with my dramas; b) didn't feel like talking about it anyway; c) felt even worse when I read how marvellous everyone else's life was (yes, I know that's largely bullshit, but still....when you're down, your ability to be rational kind of diminishes).

Anyways... this is a whole new thing for me. Yes, I'm a little busy and that can make it tricky to fit in blogging, but it's more than that. Life is good and I just don't feel a strong urge to blog. Maybe it's something to do with this:

Pinterest is full of brilliance. 

It's true that writing often does help me work through thoughts and feelings that I can't quite unravel in my mind. Putting the words on paper has generated many aha! moments for me. Perhaps I'm just less angsty, anxious and uncertain these days?

Don't get me wrong, I still have plenty of "stuff" to deal with, both in my head and in life in general. After all, it's not like life ever lets you rule a line and write "And she lived happily ever after. The End." But, cranky-pants moments aside, I'm feeling very gruntled, as Bike Boy would say - that's the opposite of DISgruntled, you know. ;o)

How did I get here? I've spent the better part of this year changing some of my old thought patterns and challenging my perceptions. Happiness is largely a choice, and being grateful is a huge part of the not-so-secret formula. Life may not be perfect, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the good things I have.

I've made an effort to pause and be grateful most days. Some days, I really don't feel like it and it can be quite difficult to think of things to be grateful for...but if I take a minute or two, I always think of something. It might be as simple as a beautiful, sunny morning, or a blooming plant in the garden. Or it may be a person who loves me in spite of the fact that my cranky pants are belted on so tightly they seem to be permanently attached. It could just be realising that I'm quite fortunate compared to many others - I have a home, food and family, things that I usually take for granted, but which many don't have.

It seems to have worked, because the low-level anxiety that's been resident in my head for quite a few years now has vanished. I sleep well, I'm getting things done at home and at work and I have a billion ideas for projects I want to try. My Pinterest boards are growing at an alarming rate. I'm enjoying my exercise and I'm pretty much winging it a lot of the time; kind of "Hmm, what do I feel like doing today?" Food isn't really any sort of drama. I eat what I like, indulge if I feel like it, and stop when I've had enough. I do stick roughly to sane parameters most days (some protein, plenty of veggies, good fats, a little starch, mostly unprocessed know the deal), but if I veer off-track with the odd meal or occasional day, I don't worry about it at all.

My life isn't perfect. My shoulder is still giving me grief, but instead of whinging about it, or sitting on the couch sulking because I can't lift 20kg dumbbells overhead, I'm just doing my rehab, taking it easy at the gym and seeing my osteopath regularly. I have a bung elbow, arthritis in a couple of fingers, painful fibromas sprouting in my hands and feet, and a wonky pelvis that's never, ever going to be straight and which makes my back ache quite badly. My nosebleeds annoy the crap out of me some days, as does the need to consult umpteen specialists several times a year. But I can't change any of those things. And after all, they're not fatal; they're not even preventing me from living my life, although I may have to modify the way I do things at times. Plenty of people have much worse problems.

My drive to work makes me crazy, but I'm sucking it up because you know, it's a pretty good job, all things considered. I show up, do some stuff with words and numbers, they pay me money and give me heaps of leave - what's not to like? And I have my sights firmly set on retirement in three years, two months and seventy-three days. We have ridiculous household bills, irritating offspring, appliances that break down at the most inopportune times, and the hundred-and-one other irritations that everybody deals with. So what? I don't fly off the handle at any of that any more. Unless someone stacks the dishwasher the wrong way - yes, I reserve my temper tantrums for the important stuff. ;o) Instead, I take a breath and ask myself: Is this a big deal? Usually, the answer is a firm NO. So I shrug and move on. Do not pass the bottle of wine, do not collect chocolate biscuits from the pantry...

Yep. Happiness.... I still have plenty to say (just ask my Mum - all those school reports saying "talks too much in class" sum me up), but I'm not sure that it's suitable blog fodder. I haven't done a photo post in ages, as I've not been out with my camera for weeks, because either the weather is vile, or I'm flat-out doing other stuff. I haven't even shared many recipes, because I'm not really being terribly creative in the kitchen, what with this low-FODMAPs thing and all. Thank goodness that's close to being resolved.

So I'm not sure what you'll get here over the coming weeks and months. I'm thinking of combining my blogs once more - maintaining two separate sites is a bit of a PITA. I started Fitbodies Food way back when Blogger didn't offer such fancy things as pages, and a separate site was the only way to keep all my recipes in one place. I may just move the whole kaboodle to Wordpress, but that's kind of a big job. Rejigging my domain hosting, setting up redirects, importing existing content...all that stuff gives me a headache. Yes, I've done it before, but: ugh. I'd rather be out in the garage, finishing that vintage cabinet I'm working on, or ridding the front yard of all the weeds. Actually, pretty much anything is preferable, short of a trip to the dentist.

So I haven't quit blogging, I just have to figure out my direction. Which could take a while ...Meanwhile, here's a cake I baked for Bike Boy's birthday last weekend:

Magnificent flourless chocolate cake, recipe courtesy of
Go make it, it's truly awesome. It's also gluten-free and low-FODMAPs. Mine did take quite a lot longer to cook than the recipe said, but that's probably due to my dodgy oven. Use a skewer to test and don't worry if it's a bit gooey in the centre - it's supposed to be. Also: Instant coffee? No such thing in this house - but a shot of espresso substituted very nicely, thanks.

Now I'm off to enjoy a sunny Saturday. The weeds await!




Sara said...

Maybe getting the FODMAPS out of your system has helped too? These food sensitivities can deliver low-level anxiety and just a general feeling of irritation. With the blog, mine is acting now more as an archive of stuff I want to remember for later (e.g. recipes) or that I think is particularly cool (like the 23 and me). I might write more sciency articles, but it's a lot of work for my small readership - not that you aren't all important, but I felt I was putting in more than I was getting back, plus the comment spam and fake hits from spambots annoys me. So glad to hear you are feeling fab. ;)

Kek said...

Yes, the thought had occurred to me that food intolerances might play a part. I know when I've been really anxious and/or depressed, my attention to what I eat has seriously diminished and there was a lot of wheat, ice cream and other stuff being consumed that would have caused me problems.

Apart from the effect that feeling physically ill has on your mood, there's the whole brain-gut connection thing to consider too. Interesting stuff. :)

I don't get many hits from spambots - maybe because I don't allow anonymous comments? I don't really know...

Liz N said...

Great blog Kekky. I'm actually itching to get back into it. I have quite a few stories I'd like to share.
Your FODMAPS discoveries are really interesting. Would like to pick your brains about that sometime xx

Kek said...

Pick away, Liz. It's very interesting stuff - and I suspect that science has way more to be discovered yet about how different foods affect different people. I just roll my eyes at the Paleo, low carb, clean eating and other diet proponents who are so one-eyed that they can't seem to grasp that the same approach won't work for everyone.

I'm sure I have lots still to blog about, I just seem to have gotten out of the habit. Maybe I'll just write about whatever comes to mind and see what happens. :) I'm looking forward to your new direction, anyway. Hurry up!

Debstar said...

It's the opposite for me Kek, I like to write about the things that make me happy. I've had some pretty awful health issues over the past 16 months that I don't think I could ever blog about because it just depresses me. That is why my blogging has been so patchy over the past year. That, plus I'm lazy.
I must thank you putting up a link on FB to that blog by the lady who continues to go the gym even after having cancer and being in a car accident. So inspirational. It gave me the giddy up to get off my (large) bum and get back into exercising again. And then I got the flu. I'll get back into it soon.....very soon.

Debbish said...

I hear ya! Am trying to decide where I want to go with my blogging at the moment. Am thinking of taking a break on Diet Schmiet. Fortunately our Dairy Farmers series finishes tomorrow and I have only one more commitment and then... who knows!?

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