i know this is a bit belated, but i have decided on a few new year's resolutions that i would like to share with you.  i have tried to make them small and doable things that i can keep going throughout the year.  okay! here they are!

1. read fifteen new books
i know this doesn't seem like many for a whole year, but once uni cranks up i find it so hard to make time to read anything but psychology books! particularly as i am getting into my thesis this semester, i know it will be tricky.  but i thought having this goal would give me permission to even just read for ten minutes in bed at night.  here are some of the books i have lined up.  i already finished one - 'tell them to get lost' by brian thacker.  the author travelled around south east asia with a lonely planet from 1974 to see how things had changed - great concept and very interesting stories, but his writing was terribly cheesy.  i just started 'oranges are not the only fruit' by jeanette winterson.

2. try fifteen new recipes
again, doesn't seem like many but i thought it was a good start!  first on the list was chocolate rum slice from my 'afternoon tea' frankie cookbook.

3. save a little bit of money each month
it doesn't have to be a lot! just some!  i just got offered a substantial amount of tutoring work at uni so hopefully that will make this a bit easier (and help with #5!).

4. lose five kilos
what a cliche!  but seriously, what is the new year without a weight/health related goal?  i don't think this quite sums up what i want to do - i'm more interested in eating better and getting stronger and fitter, but i thought this would give me something specific to work towards and feel good about when i get there!  i have joined the uni gym and can walk there from my new house, AND got some fancy-pants gym clothes and a pink backpack in the sales, so i have no excuses!  i have been doing a program they set up for me for the last couple of weeks and it is tough, but i'm enjoying it and hopefully it will start paying off soon.

5. go on a holiday
i think this is so important - what's the point of working all the time if you can't take some time off at least once in a whole year and spend some time letting your soul catch up with your body?  i also promised myself a couple of years ago that i would travel internationally every year, so hopefully this will  include somewhere overseas.

6. write a blog
bam. done. too easy! :P

7. don't sweat the small stuff
i am a bit of a worrier and a bit of a control freak, which sometimes works to my advantage, but often causes a lot of unnecessary stress.  i think it will be important this year to let things go for a couple of reasons. we have moved back into a share house, which always means there will be little things now and then that could become stressful if i let them be.  my thesis supervisor is also a pretty mad fellow, so letting the little things go in that relationship will be important (and a massive achievement!).

8. love the things i already have.
i have talked about this in a previous post.  i find it so easy to get wrapped up in wanting things i don't have and letting this make me unhappy, so i am going to try really hard to appreciate everything i already have. in a beautiful new house with two beautiful people (and a fabulous new couch!) that shouldn't be too hard.

i feel like i'm on the right track at the moment - i am slowly etching away at all of them.  the test will be when i start back working and studying, but i'm hoping that by starting small i can stay motivated.  at the end of the day i want to remember that all of these things will make me happy.

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this rosemary.

is making my new study nook smell amazing. we got a big bunch of it from a friend and i have been scattering it around the house. it is always small lovely things that makes me feel much better when i am worried or sad.

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out with the old and in with the new.

we moved house this week!  from a small brick box to a lovely wooden house.  i feel like i can breathe here.  i can sit outside in the afternoon and look up at these massive eucalyptus trees and breathe.

moving is a rather stressful, but i always enjoy the opportunity for a good cleanse - to get rid of things that have been sitting around gathering dust and serving little purpose for a bit too long. i was very tough on myself this time - i feel like i have enough to juggle at the moment without adding a bunch of crap i don't need to the mix.  i got rid of the bag i bought at harrods in 2007 (i used it until all the corners were shredded!), the hat i wore the first time we went to the races (it faded in the sun) and some of my old frankie magazines (i ended up keeping way more than originally intended though - it was too hard!).

we also sold a few things on gumtree.  i get a bit anxious doing things like that - strangers and talking on the phone and exchanging money all freak me out a bit so it's really not my cup of tea.  but it turned out to be a lovely experience!  it was so nice to see that our things were going from being unused and unloved to new houses with new people who were actually going to use them!  particularly sweet was that we sold my old dresser to a lady who was going to paint it white and put it in her new baby's room.  :)  my brother moved last week as well (we have been very busy!) and he picked up a table and chairs on gumtree from a lovely man who told us that it had belonged to his mother who had just passed away.  he told us he was still going over to her house and watering her plants, which just made me so sad!  the furniture was obviously looked after so well, she had even hand sewn a cover for the table. even though it's a sad one, its nice to have some things that have a story attached.

having said that, i am also over the moon about our new ikea couch!  i have never had a big piece of furniture that i picked out and bought new myself, we have always had hand me downs from family (or found the odd thing on the side of the road!).  i absolutely could not afford this couch, but i knew if we put our sad old one in the new house it would never get replaced, so we just got it anyway.  consumerism at its finest, yes.  but seriously, i love this thing.

everything is gradually finding a place in the new house, although there are books and clothes to still be unpacked.  i think i will feel at home when i can find things in the kitchen!  i have been baking to try and instil in my brain where everything is - will try and post some pictures of my new creations. :)

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it's my way or the hemingway.

i'm quite interested in ernest hemingway.  i find that i have a tendency to become more fascinated by an artist or author rather than their work in itself - a sure sign i am destined to be a psychologist rather than a creative-type!  i have read hemingway's a moveable feast, which tells the story of his live in paris with his first wife hadley, and which i enjoyed immensely.  i also recently finished reading a book about the women in his life, which was a curious way of learning about him.  the book (the hemingway women by bernice kent, if you're interested) told the story of his life through introducing the women in his family, then his girlfriends and wives (of which he had four).

thanks to my feminist mother, i often find myself acutely aware of gender roles in books, the media and my own life, and they could not be more exaggerated or stereotypical in the life of ernest hemingway.  that his friends and wives called him 'papa' hints at the patriarchal and domineering role he seemed to have taken in nearly all of his relationships.  i found it curious then to observe the ways in which his various partners responded to this.  it seemed that all but one (martha, my favourite) simply made room, changed the shape of their lives and their souls and their dreams to make way for this very large, all-consuming (in a metaphorical way, rather than a too much mcdonalds way) man.  what was sad about this was that while they were home, ironing his shirts, he was usually out meeting his next wife.

where i get confused about this whole thing is in the fact that, as a result of the choices he made about his life, his priorities and his relationships, ernest hemingway made enormous contributions to the world of literature.  as far as i can see, he treated a lot of women like crap, left his kids at home with mean nannies while he travelled the world, and was generally a selfish, chauvinist, slightly crazy alcoholic, and yet he will remain revered for his writing, and with good reason.

so this makes me wonder - if you have a gift, something you can foster and develop and share with the world, is it okay to be a bit of a jerk in other areas of your life?  i know this year when i have been in the dark deep depths of trying to understand a new concept or a new person that i felt like i needed to be selfish, to save all my resources for growing and changing and learning new things.  i really don't think i would have gotten through if i hadn't done this, but i always wonder whether that is an excuse i have made because really, it feels great to be someone with Something Important To Do.  in the meantime, what about the hadleys of the world, the ones doing your ironing while you're out being Important?

what do you think?

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seeing my therapist.

they like it when you're trying to be a therapist for you to get your own therapy.  i am the studious type and so i have taken this absurdly expensive and occasionally traumatic journey into self discovery.  i find it quite strange to think about writing about in this format. i've set this up to be anonymous, but i know if you knew me you'd be able to figure out that this is me, and therapy, as you would imagine, is rather personal.  having said that, i have searched for writing about other peoples' therapy and it is noticeably absent.  so i'll talk a bit about it and see how it goes.

i have seen my therapist for about twenty sessions.  she has a lovely office with a cream couch and pictures of birds and books by jung and freud.  she is always neatly dressed in nice, neutral clothes.  she starts every session the exact same way.  she comes out of the office and says my name like she is surprised and delighted to see me.  she says "come in!", waits for me to walk through the door, then shuts it behind me - i used to shut the door but i quickly learned that this is not how things are done.  she holds out her hand and says "take a seat."  we both sit down, then she smiles her therapist smile, exhales and says "so... what's on your mind?"

this is incredibly anxiety provoking.  has anyone ever asked you that?  what IS on your mind? it's a glorious, confusing question.  she's not asking "what do you want to talk about?" or "what is important to talk about?" or "what do you think is appropriate or useful or clever to talk about?"  all of these questions are very easy to answer, because we spend all day talking about what we want to or what we think we should or what will sound clever.  but i find it so hard to speak to what's on my mind - so many times i have started off talking about how hard it is to talk.

she's quite clever, my therapist.  it feels like she is sitting there in her chair across from me and really trying to know me, which is an experience that is hard to describe.  she talks quite a bit, which i think is unusual for a psychoanalytic therapist, but i like it.  i have teachers (who are also therapists) who do this thing where they just stare expectantly at you (and no doubt at their patients) the whole time, trying to provoke you to keep talking, and she does a bit of that, but it's not too much.  she gives me time to think.

i think that's all for now.

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lovely things i already have.

i always read blog entries about things people want.  i thoroughly enjoy them but they evoke in me this deep inner yearning to Buy Things immediately. but then when i realise i don't have the money to Buy Things i get sad.  so i thought, in the spirit of one of my new year's resolutions (#8 love the things i already have) i thought i could start writing about some nice things i can already call my own).

my piglet mug.
my lovely boyfriend bought this mug for me from our grocery store just after we moved to the city.  it has warmed my tummy with yummy tea in good times and bad.  today i am drinking rosella tea that i bought in bali.  it's made of flowers!  two flowers per cup of tea does the trick. :)

these japanese bath things.
everything the japanese make is beautiful.  including bath related products.  i love the simple designs and packaging.  i bought about a million of them when i was there last year, but i am doing that thing where you save things forever because they are too special and then you die with hundreds of pretty candles and soaps and things in your cupboard and you never really lived and are plagued with regret. okay i may have exaggerated.  but we have a tiny dingy bath and i think they are too precious to put in there.  luckily we are moving to a beautiful big house (more on that later i'm sure) with a big white bath so i will have plenty of opportunities for long, japanese flavoured baths.

my 2013 diary.
i bought this from kikki-k about a month ago because i knew i was about to sink into financial dire straits and wanted to grab a lovely diary before it was too late.  questionable logic, yes, but i am very glad for it, because now i can stare at this beautiful thing every day! i was a bit unsure about it because the days run across the pages instead of down, which is weird, but i'm used to it now and am quite the fan.

clinique chubby sticks.
i love chubby sticks because they are rather fun. it's kind of like drawing your lipstick on with a crayon. they come in lovely colours, beautiful packaging and make my lips really soft.  i have 05 chunky cherry for when i am feeling fancy and 04 mega melon for day-to-day wears.

so there you go.  it's really not so bad being me. this has actually decreased my desire to Buy Things quite a bit, and i think i will pay a bit more attention to the things i already have after thinking about them, photographing them and writing about them.  do you ever stop and notice the lovely little things you already have?  i would highly recommend it.

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