An Experimental Life

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Back from the void

So, for all three people who have ever looked at this blog, I suppose you're wondering where I've been. Well, nowhere, really - just... uh... busy? For 14 months...

My commitment to this blog has never been especially great, but I have been meaning to get back to it. Not so much for posting art journal scans, as it's been ages since I journalled in any form, although that's another thing I want to start doing more of again. But as usual, life continues to vary from relatively busy to absolutely flat-out hectic, so many things just get pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities. However, since I'm going overseas for 9 months or so (leaving in August) I thought it would be good for me to get back into regular blogging habits so I can keep it up while I'm away.

It seems rather pointless to try and fill in what's been going on in the last year and a bit but here, in no particular order and of varying significance, are some things that happened in 2006 or the first part of 2007:

1. I started working full-time as of last August.

Before that I was 3 days a week, but the extra money and responsibility of being the only full-time employee for the small business I work for has been great. I'm more tired than I was, but ironically I actually seem to fit more into my weeks. Since my free days are rarer I think I make the most of them more than what I used to.

2. I went to Queensland to sing with the National Youth Choir of Australia.

This was my fourth season with the choir - every year is different and it keeps getting better and better! Tony Funk from Canada flew out to be our conductor, which was a truly awesome experience. Not only is he a brilliant choral director, singer and musician, but he was so much fun to work with. And as usual I loved the opportunity to sing with like-minded choir geeks like myself and catch up with all the really good friends I've made through the choir.

3. Concordis, the choir I sing with in Melbourne, was the Victorian Winner and a National Finalist in the inaugural ABC Choir of the Year competition.

For this, we went to Sydney at the end of September for the final and came second! Sure, it would have been nice to win, but I don't think anyone was especially upset. We gave what felt like the best performance I ever remember us giving (and I've been there since we started 9 years ago!) We walked off stage just buzzing with how good it felt. Every little thing that could have gone wrong in performance didn't. No botched entries, ugly vowels, forgotten words... everyone was so focused and 'in the zone', it was great! I'm so proud to be part of this group.

4. I started dancing.

Yep, me - dance. Can't picture it? No, neither could I before I started. When Amy was out here from America she started doing ballroom and latin at a local studio and invited me along one evening for the free beginner class. I was so sure I wasn't going to enjoy it, being the not-exactly-graceful 2-left-footed person that I am, but I went along anyway so I could at least say I'd given it a go. I believe I was hooked after about half an hour! Who would have thought? So I've kept it up, going to classes twice a week and staying for the social on a Friday, moving through the intermediate classes, and on to the New Vogue dances. I still don't have grace and poise and elegance and balance and all those things that good dancers have, but I have so much fun, and I know I am so much fitter. Plus, I know that at least I'm a better dancer than some people who come for the social every week but have just picked up the dances as they go along... (accidentally typed 'picked up the dancers' a second ago, which is something completely different, although that happens sometimes too!)

5. I started following the Weight Watchers points system.

I have been conscious of needing to do something about my weight and my health for many, many years. But I think I'd talked myself into complacency, reaching a point where I just believed I was destined to be the size I was forever. To be honest, apart from setting a half-hearted goal at the beginning of every year to eat better and exercise more, I think I had stopped trying. It's quite depressing to think about actually. But in January this year, prompted by a good friend, I finally started taking control of my health. I haven't actually joined WW and I'm not going to meetings, but Mum and I are counting points together, and I have the support of close friends and family. What's most surprising, I think, is that I'm not finding it especially difficult. Nowhere near as hard as what I'd expected. I still have too many social situations where I don't choose healthier options, but I don't beat myself up about it, and I quickly get back to points counting and eating well and exercising. Both of those mean progress! I didn't know what I weighed when I began because I didn't have any scales at home, but about a month in I weighed-in at the doctor (and yes, I wanted to die when I saw the number). But about 5 weeks later when I bought a pair of scales, I was 5.8kg lighter! I'm not weighing myself every week because I don't want it to become all about the number - once every few weeks will do me. But I would estimate that with the first month's weight loss included, I've probably lost about 10kg already! I am ecstatic when I think about it like that, even though I know I have a long way to go. Baby steps...

6. I was on TV - twice!

Albeit brief appearances, and both of them associated with choir (and both of them pre-WW weight - it was quite mortifying to watch). One was a program made about the 'Choir of the Year' competition which aired in the Sunday Arts spot on ABC last year - they filmed some of our last rehearsal before the competition, interviewed a couple of people, and included footage from the national final. But even though we didn't win we were the 'spotlight' choir they chose to focus on for the program. The second appearance was on the Spicks & Specks Christmas special, where Concordis were invited to take part in one of the games, singing unknown texts (the best and worst of 2006) to the tune of well-known Christmas music i.e. Donald Rumsfeld's 'Unknown Knowns' quote to the tune of Jingle Bells, and the commentary from the World Cup Soccer Australia v Italy match to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus. It was a hoot! And our dressing room was across the corridor from Dame Edna's! What a way to end an amazing year for the choir.

7. We had more rabbit babies... and then more again.

Mum's really getting into this rabbit breeding thing. The first litter was an accident, but the others have been planned. We never wanted to go down this path though, so it's a bit frustrating that Mum wants to keep going. We're about to give away the last of the third litter, and yes, it's always sad to see them go because they're so adorable at this age (coming up for 6 weeks). But I could quite easily do without breeding anymore for quite a while.

So there you have it. My life to date. I was aiming for ten things, but it seemed to be hard to think of that many things that weren't already associated with what I've already mentioned. Anyway, I hope to have more to say in the coming months and beyond, when I'm overseas.

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