Wednesday, January 24, 2018


The time has come to hand in another paper. I have just over a month to submit, and of course, I presented the paper (the outline of it, in any case) back in November, but with work and just daily life, finding time to research and write can be a challenge.

I wouldn't have it any other way, though.

I have so many goals at the moment, with publishing being just one.

Today, I have a meeting with my management team. I hate these meetings. I know one of the goals of the organisation at the moment is to reduce full time hours. I've seen people around me have their work week reduced by a day, and I'm always wary of the same thing happening to me. The loss of income would be one thing, but not the biggest thing - we're quite comfortable. The time I'm able to be present for the projects I'm managing at the moment is something I do not want to see compromised. At the moment, being able to attend meetings and appointments whenever they happen during the week is very useful. Losing a day (and it would be a regular day), puts at risk me being able to be flexible about these things. With at least one of my projects, this could be devastating. I'm working with a culturally sensitive group, and being able to fit in with their schedule is key to collaboration. Being able to attend clinics is very important for building trust. It's concerning.

I am constantly on the lookout for things I can do if I was to lose days in my work week. I expect this is the same for everyone who works. I need to keep my options open. This is how organisations and businesses lose valuable employees - and I consider myself a very valuable employee to this organisation, certainly I've opened doors to the community that just weren't being targeted in the past. Having some sort of career means having experience, and that means working as much as possible.

It's just how things work.

Monday, January 22, 2018

That is no good reason to lick your brother...

Things I never expected to say to my children.

A lot of parenting is nothing like the modeling we see on TV or in books or at the movies. Actually, that isn't true. I found the movie 'Parenthood' to be pretty spot on. Rosanne is another prime example of real parenting - well, in my case anyway. I was saying to someone the other day that Rosanne pretty much reflects my own parenting style. They laughed and said, 'Oh my god, you're right!'

It's good to have role models.

My parenting style has come under scrutiny and been judged lacking. I know I have failed to live up to my own benchmark, and on occasion I've failed miserably. My relationship with Erik is a great (or rather awful) example of my own parenting failures.

Again, I feel I need to say I was working with what I had. I know there is no excuse for the mistakes I made with him. I also know, I brought to that relationship a disastrous confluence of terrible modelling from my own parents, a brain structure which is associated with increased, unreasonable, levels of anger and impulsivity and highly strained situations (chronic and acute lack of sleep resulting in seizures and hospitalisation).

I also know, I educated myself, I worked damn hard to be a better parent and I am a better parent. I'm actually a damned good parent now. I've learned to work with the challenges and accentuate the positives. It has been hard work, but I have picked myself up time and again, because my kids deserved better and I knew that and I acted on that.

As a result, I have an very open and honest relationship with my kids. Our relationship is based on good communication, humour, and good will. Erik also experienced that, it came late - too late - but nonetheless it came and he saw the change and he acknowledges that change.

I was thinking this morning how proud I am of my boys, Erik and Lukas are growing into fine young men, and I strongly believe Dave and I have a helluva lot to do with that. I know others would like to take credit for that, but the fact that it is both of them is no coincidence. Bryn and Ari are also growing in fine young boys, and no doubt they'll go through rough patches, possibly very rough patches, but they know we'll be there to support them. Sometimes that support will be gentle, and sometimes it will be of the 'get real' variety. Parenting is not all encouragement. Sometimes parenting is, by necessity, a reality call, a reigning in, and a drawing of the line in the sand. That isn't bad parenting, that is responsible parenting.

The fact that Erik knows I will do anything for him, including ordering earrings for his ex-girlfriend's little sister (even though their opinion of me is lower than a snakes belly), is evidence that my parenting of him was not all horrible. The fact that he can be honest with me about his exploits both before and after 'official adulthood' is another example of how he knows he can trust me.

I am Rosanne, and I'm not afraid to tell my kids that one of them telling me that, 'He stole a car from me years ago!' is not a good enough reason to lick his brother. And that the brother doing the licking does not deserved being screamed at for being 'A little shit'.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Mixed Feelings

Since being invited to attend Christmas dinner in mid-December, we've seen a considerably more of Erik. Part of me is very happy about this, but part of me is uncomfortable, and even a little annoyed. It pains me to feel that way, but I guess it's hard to control how one feels.

I found out what it was that Erik told 'them' in order to move in with them. Some of it is true, if taken out of contest - or rather the context was very skewed to minimise his behaviours and overstate my own, but that is not surprising. He also seems to have forgotten the less desirable reasons he moved in with them, he's forgotten things he said to both his father and me about them being financially better off than us.

Some of it is misunderstanding. We had a conversation a couple of days before he took off where I had said if he didn't like the rules in the house then he could find somewhere else to live - I didn't think he would find somewhere else to live, honestly. He had said to me, 'And what if I did move out?' (in hindsight, this makes sense), and I'd replied, 'You would not survive. You'd probably end up dead.' Now, from my end of this conversation, I was saying he wouldn't survive on the streets, but the story he told them was that I had threatened him about moving out. Yeah, so they thought I was like one of those husbands who tells their beaten down wives, 'I'll find you and I'll kill you!'


Some of it was complete fiction. He told them I'd thrown glasses at him. I can't believe he told them that. How could he tell them I'd thrown glasses at him. I would never do that. Never. When he told me this, I wanted to cry. I didn't, but he knew I wanted to because he said he didn't want to make me cry, so of course, I didn't.

I asked him why, if he really believed he wasn't safe at home, he would talk to me about all sorts of things, like how he'd tried pot, and how he'd sneaked a taste of Bailey's from the fridge one Christmas. He wasn't afraid to tell me these things, because he knew I wouldn't lose my shit. He knew he was safe to tell me stuff like this. Most other parents would scream and lecture and ground etc. I took it in my stride and talked to him about my concerns, but in no way was a threatening because I wanted to keep our relationship open and honest.

He, on the other hand, had no problem lying to me about stealing from me, or hurting the kids. He had told those he'd been 'a bit rough' with the kids on occasion, he didn't tell them he'd thrown Ari across his bedroom on at least two occasions I'm aware of. He thought that wasn't dangerous because he threw Ari on his bed. He wouldn't acknowledge that the force it took to throw the little boy across the room could also have made Ari smash his head against the wall.

I'm trying to let this go. I'm trying to just accept that I was a terrible parent to him when he was little, I smacked him and I threatened him because I couldn't deal properly with his behaviour. I apologised for that over and over, but of course, I can't demand forgiveness.

So, yeah, this is a difficult situation. I have worked hard on my parenting and I can honestly say I've learned how to deal with challenging behaviour in a respectful and patient manner. It all came too late for Erik though, the damage was done, and I will always regret that - regret is not a strong enough word for how I feel about it, but it is all I have.

Still, even though he is obviously comfortable enough to come over to the house several times a week now, I find myself feeling resentful. He lies by omission to them about where he is. He persists in his lies about me. There are other behaviours. He is a guest in the house, but he shows up without notice. He stays and stays, sometimes well beyond what is reasonable. Twice now, Dave and/or I have had to send him on his way because he wouldn't take the hint that we had to go to bed, or do other things. Also, every time he comes over now, he wants Dave to drive him to the bus stop or back to those peoples' place, or to the shopping centre. He forgets he's a guest. He can't treat us so reprehensibly (even if he might have been able to treat me that way, he shouldn't have treated his dad that way) and then just act as if he's part of our household while continuing to let those people think he's afraid of us/me. It's just not okay.

So, yes, happy to have him coming over and visiting, but resentful in the wake of him misleading those people and slandering us, and continuing to do so while visiting us because he doesn't want to break his cover.

This parenting thing is hard.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Without Harlem...

Tomorrow is going to be a stinker, and Friday is going to be worse. This means it just wouldn't be fair to bring Harlem out. I have worked him in 32-33 degrees, because we only walk out in the sun for two times two minutes all the way home. But 37-38 degrees is beyond the pale, so he'll be staying home tomorrow and Friday.

I loathe using my cane. The other option would be taking a taxi home, but over two days that would end up costing $60, which is huge.

Before we get a dog at Guide Dogs, we have be competent with a cane for just these situations. I'm competent with a cane, but I loathe using it. It jumps up and stabs me whenever it hits uneven ground - I swear the thing is trying to kill me. I also feel it brings attention to me in a way that is isolating, where as people just love to see Harlem working.

Mostly though, I can't talk to the cane. It won't look back at me with those askance eyes. I definitely use Harlem to get around safely, and more and more, I need him for that purpose as my vision continues to falter. Truth be told, though, he has helped me the most by being a constant companion. Just by being there by my side, he's built my confidence.

Being left at home is hard for him, as well. Not as much during the kids' summer holidays, but still, not easy for him either. He loves Dave and the boys, but he is most closely attached to me. He doesn't even like it if I leave the room for 'too long'.

So, I'm feeling a bit pouty about the next couple of days. It's too bad there isn't an 'over 36, no work' policy like there is for schools.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


It's an ongoing struggle, this being a working wife and mother. On the one hand, yay for working, yay for extra income, and yay for feeling that I'm contributing to my community. On the other hand, FFS, what is with my husband and children being blind to the house becoming a tip piled on top of a bombsite? I have always said that if anything happened to me, they'd get lost in their own detritus. I was, of course, counting on nothing happening to me.

I did not consider the effects of me working and therefore being out of the house for twelve to fourteen hours a day. It is stereotypical, but the guys will - if I give up and leave them to their own devices - let recycling pile up in bags on our kitchen table. They'll use every dish in the house and only wash a sink full each day - wiping down benches and sweeping floors are just a waste of their time because, 'It's only going to get dirty again'. Well, duh!

Clothes, toys, discarded mail, endless piles of empty shopping bags... These meet me every day when I get home.

I find myself getting annoyed and naggy on the weekends. I resent having to clean the toilet and sergeant major them into helping me each weekend. Yet another stereotype of the woman working two jobs. It's disappointing to be taken for granted like that.

So, over the past eight months or so I've come to realise that without direction, they just won't take any kind of initiative. Every morning now, I write a list of what I want done on our whiteboard. They work through the list. I have to put quite detailed instruction or they just won't get it. Like 'clean the bathroom, pay particular attention to the cobwebs above the shower stall, I recommend using the broom to get them down'. It probably sounds condescending, but honestly, that is what it takes to get the job done thoroughly.

We've been doing this since the weekend, so, only a couple of days, but I can already see that if they stick with it, there will be less and less to do each day, and hopefully they'll notice that.

I'm their manager, and what's more, I've totally become my mother who used to leave comprehensive lists for my brother and me each day.

Monday, January 15, 2018


I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to Iceland for Luey, Bryn, Ari, and me at the end of this year or early next year - it might be early next year because I wouldn't want to leave Dave on his own for Christmas. Dave won't be going because he doesn't like the idea of flying, but also because of his mum. He can't just leave the country for a month and leave her on her own, especially over an Aussie summer with the heat we've been experiencing lately.

The reason I'm planning this now though is that I feel the boys will not internalise Iceland as a part of themselves if they don't go during their childhood. Luey is already at an age where going there will be basically the same as going to any foreign country for a visit. I'm hoping though that Bryn and Ari will be able to feel their roots in the country. I have mentioned the trip to Erik, and his first reaction was to say there was no way he could afford to go as he's putting all his money into buying a car. Since then though, he has asked how much tickets might cost and what the exchange rate there is (at the moment it isn't as good as it was when I went in 2014). I still think buying a car will win out, and it probably should as he's going to need a car sooner or later.

He got the jumper my aunty Syta knitted for him. It fits him perfectly and looks great on him. It's very itchy for him, though. I've told him to rub his arms when he puts it on, but I'm only his mum, what do I know. I found myself in the position of ordering earrings for his ex's little sister in the past couple of weeks. One and a half years ago, I wouldn't have even considered doing that for him. I still bear a lot of anger towards that family.

But, yeah, anyway, this is the plan, save, go there for a month, show the boys snow for the first time in their lives. Expose them to the language, the culture, the food, and most importantly their family. Hope they'll want to go back on their own when they get older.

It is very important to me that the boys recognise their heritage, and that they feel it to some extent. Bryn might come to like his name a little more twhen he sees how other people don't think it's weird, and can pronounce it properly. I reckon Ari would have a ball with his cousins - so many of them are closer to his age than any of the other boys.

It will be great for Luey to see just how many redheads there really are in his family - none of them live in Australia.

And it will be great to further cement our existence with the family over there, too. I'm so grateful for even being able to plan doing something like this with the boys. Until recently, it was just a pipe dream.

Friday, January 12, 2018


Almost two weeks into the year. So far, still no unnecessary spending. It's been, not a challenge exactly - but, eye opening. The number of times I've thought, 'Oh that looks good, and it's pretty inexpensive, too.' or 'If I had that I could get rid of...'

I've checked myself each time, but seriously, the impulse is very strong to be on the lookout for something new to buy. It really highlights for me how far my shopping impulse had gotten out of hand.

Meanwhile, my savings have increased, which is what I'd hoped they'd do. It means going out this weekend to get Bryn completely ready to go to high school is easy. I'm looking forward to paying off all the boys fees at the end of the month. I don't have the funds just yet, but then the school offices don't open until the 29th anyway. I'd really like to be in the office on the 29th to pay those fees off. I can't remember if the high school uses Eftpos or if I need to bring cash - it would be a lot of cash to hold in the office, though.

I'm glad the boys don't need uniforms this year - they're glad too, but for different reasons. I know a lot of people think uniforms are cheaper, but really they aren't unless you child only has two other outfits for after school, weekends, and holidays. The truth is most kids have way more clothing than that. On top of regular clothing, parents then have to buy overpriced uniforms. The cost effectiveness of uniforms is a furphy.

The car is being serviced next week, and the money is already set aside for that. So, basically everything we need to pay in January is covered.

This morning I saw one of those 'One Minute' videos. It was titled something like, 'This is why I'm cheap'. It was a financially well of young man explaining why he doesn't by expensive brands etc. even though he has enough money to. He said his first job was fruit picking, and it was back breaking work, and he found he would ask himself if by X would be worth working Y number of hours. Mostly, the answer was no. This habit didn't stop when he started his well paying job after being fired from the back breaking job.

This is a mindset I need to adopt, along with, if I don't have the cash for the item now, I can't afford it.

It feels good to have money in the bank. Looking back a couple or more years on this blog will show just how desperate things were financially, it was very stressful. I never want to be there again.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Let me tell you a story about marriage...

Dave and I have been happily married for 19 years, in November it'll 20 years. Now you're probably wondering why I crossed out the word 'happily'. Don't worry, we're not splitting up. It's just an idiosyncrasy of mine to be plain about the reality of things. I'd say we've been happily married for something like 16 years of the past 19 years because there have been patches that just weren't that happy. We went through a particularly rough patch back in 2003 which lasted at least a year. The rest of the time has been a couple of months here and there. Marriage is very rarely a storybook thing.

But that's not actually what this post is about. It's about how over the years, through the thick and the thin of the marriage, you get to feel like you know each other quite well. You know each other's great attributes and then there are those things which sometimes make you wonder what exactly attracted you to the other person. Sometimes those irritating things are big - like why does he NEVER finish what he starts? It might be the dishes, arranging an appointment, going to the shops, he always starts, gets so far, and then decides he'll take a break and whatever it is just gets left until he is forced to complete it (usually by me). I'm sure my need to do everything yesterday is a big irritant for him. I get an idea in my head and then I have to that thing immediately or I'll die. I'm really sure that is one of the things that drive him nuts.

Then there are the little things...

One of the little irritations Dave causes me is that whenever he changes a toilet role, instead of taking the old cylinder to the bin, he saves it, or stuffs in inside one he's saved previously. He'll continue to stuff these roles until he can no longer fit another roll in and then he just starts all over again. I don't know how many times over the years I've chucked out roles because I could see he was not going to throw them out.

It has grated on me for two decades now.

The other day he says to me, 'You want to hear a useless fact?'

Me: 'Well, you know I'm the collector of useless facts, go ahead.'

Dave: 'Okay, so you know that thing where you can't fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times. Well, I've tried for years, but you can't stuff more than seven toilet rolls inside each other either.'

Suddenly, it all made sense! For twenty years I'd been witnessing a longitudinal study of the limits of stuffing toilet roles inside each other. And, I realised, I'd thwarted that research on many, many occasions over the years - and he hadn't said a thing about it. Here was a whole new facet of Dave's raison d'etre. It was not to irritate me, but to test a theory.

Now I find myself wondering what theory he's testing with the half finished jobs? It might take another couple of decades to hear that outcome. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Do you really think they'd be here if they had a choice?

Another day and yet another segment on some show on TV about the 'This is my country, not theirs' mob. On this occasion, it's in the US, but it could be Australia, or Britain, or any number of European countries. In this specific segment a man is quoted saying that this is his race's culture and that they have put blood, sweat, and tears into the country and the 'others' can't just come and take over.

Well, first there is the obvious argument, that the country wasn't his race's in the first place. They themselves came and took over from the original inhabitants of the land. This is also true for Australia, of course. Secondly, the 'new people' have always been a combination of immigrants from all around the world - as with Australia, going right back to the beginning (the Dutch came here before the English).

But there is a third thing these 'Conserve our culture' warriors just can't see. The new 'invaders' don't WANT to be here. Honestly, if these people could, they'd stay where they were born, where their ancestors were born. They are leaving their own culture and history - which is more often than not, far older than ours.

Would they leave that to come here and be treated like second class citizens? Hell no. They're leaving behind their hard earned houses, their businesses, their jobs and coming here with nothing.

This photo is only used for it's illustration of my discussion here - it doesn't related to the race or culture issues I'm discussing.
I really wish the 'It's our country, not your country' league would ask themselves if they'd leave this country they are so valiantly defending to go and live in a country they weren't welcome in and go there with no guaranteed work or housing or support of any kind.

The truth is the kind of people who are willing to go and live in another country and culture are far more open minded and accepting and they understand that they are relying on their country of destination treating them with respect and welcoming them, and therefore they are willing to reciprocate.

Let's hope the 'You're not welcome here because you're different and you frighten me' part of our population never find themselves in the position of relying on the kindness of a foreign country if
they become homeless.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Slipping away...

It's silly really. It's just anxiety misbehaving again.

Last year was so momentous and towards the end of the year I started bellyaching about 2018 being able to live up to the high benchmark set by all the awesomeness I got to experience in 2017. So far, it's been very quiet.

Last night I was trying to get a little perspective happening. Today is Tuesday the 9th of January. Let me repeat that, if only for my own sake, the NINTH OF JANUARY. We are a whole nine days into the year and I'm stressing over momentum? This is the problem with overthinking and anxiety. I tend to make a bit too much of nothing.

There are two personal projects I was hoping to hear back about in the last week before Christmas and nothing happened. I know I was run off my feet that week and a lot of what I needed to get around to didn't happen. I came back from leave yesterday, and obviously had a bit of catching up to do. Many of my colleagues aren't coming back until next week. So, why would I expect to hear from other people at this point in January. It's just crazy. I need to take a chill pill.

Other than that, as quiet as it has been, the year is off to a good start and that is really all I can ask for right now. A year ago my life really sucked, I was feeling terribly dejected. Last night I dreamt about catching up with someone I hadn't seen in a few years and discussing the events surrounding the withdrawal. I was getting somewhat of a kick up the arse about it. I was being told to just get on with things as they stand now, not to keep hashing over events of the past which have been and gone. At a guess, I would analyse that as my subconscious telling me what I know - looking back will stop me from moving forward.

Momentum comes from movement and movement can't happen if you keep stopping to look back. So, this is me creating my own momentum. Got to go!

Monday, January 08, 2018

Why do we need new phrases when the old were working just fine?

On the train in to work this morning I heard that phrase which really just scrapes its way along every nerve in my body.

'Moving forward...'

Its a business term which has crept into the language of non-business conversion.

The phrase is clunky and awkward - wouldn't 'Going forward' be less harsh in everyday conversation? It also disregards the old 'In future' which is a whole syllable shorter and easier on the tongue.

The question is why has this business phrase has been taken up by people outside of a business environment? Personally, I think people use it to sound smarter - or should I say more knowledgeable? I think people feel they have more authority if they use language outside of every day speak. Just like the use of slang in young communities separate them from the herd (deuce doesn't mean the same thing to my sixteen year old that it means to me, think two, number two... Yeah, you've got it), I think some people think using business jargon or formal language separates them from the crowd. To them it says, 'Hey, look at me, I'm so sophisticated!'.

The thing is, phrases out of context, sound less sophisticated. They sound like a person doesn't really know what the words mean, or how and when to use them. This happens in academia a lot. People use passive, long winded, language in the hopes of sounding more sophisticated. It may be fine when speaking with or writing to other academics - though why people would want to use three words where they could use one is well beyond me. In language that is supposed to reach out to people who are learning or who are not working in the area of research the academic works in, it's just confusing and boring.

If the academic writing is teaching new terms, that's fine, it's part of the education process, but if the academic is just spouting clever words right over the target audience without explanation, well, then they're missing their target - which is just dumb.

Often apprentice academics fall into this category. They desperately want to impress, not only their peers and those whose positions they aspire to, but their friends and everyone else too. They're writing and speaking in an alien language which creates a barrier between them and the person they're talking to. They sound... up themselves.

If they use the language inappropriately, not actually understanding the language they speak - the test is whether or not they can translate their gibberish into plain language that everyone can understand - then they're doubly dumb because it may not be understood by those people who aren't academically trained, but to everyone else, it soon becomes obvious they're really just the little scared man behind the curtain from the Wizard of Oz.

So, this morning when I heard a middle-aged man on the train talking about how 'moving forward' he was going to get back into his gym routine, I didn't know if I wanted to cry or punch him (okay, so maybe I need to take a closer look at my over-reaction there).

Come on people, plain language is great! It doesn't make you sound unsophisticated, it makes you sound approachable. Use it, it'll save you having to explain what you mean all the time, it'll save you time.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The minimalist journey continues...

Minimalism, by its nature, constantly requires reflection and reassessment. There is no real end point until one stops consuming - that is, dies.

Last year I minimised about half of everything we own. As I have spent a couple of months now living with the minimal level achieved, I have come to see where things can be refined further - stuff we're still hanging onto that never sees the light of day. For example, we have a number of photo frames sitting up in a wardrobe shelf. We're not using them, nor are we ever likely to use them. Some of them contain photos which would probably be looked at more if they were in an accessible album.

I have a number of nic-nacs still that sit unappreciated in a couple of boxes in the hall stand. There are star lights in our front window which originally went up for Christmas a couple of years ago, but this year we didn't even turn them on. They will go. Speaking of Christmas decorations, I did minimise the decorations we have during the year, but when I went through them this recent Christmas. I realised there were a number I really don't think I'll ever use again, so I'll be going through them again.

The beautiful egg chair that I lusted after for so long is currently sitting in my bedroom. I'm testing whether or not I miss it, whether or not I'm drawn to sit in it in the bedroom. You know what is coming next, right? If I don't use it by the beginning of April, it is going. It has been in my room for a month now. I've sat in it twice.

I can think of many, many things I'm hanging onto even though I don't use them and don't want them. I am wondering what is the minimum I can be happy with. It will be interesting to see in the context of also not replacing stuff I get rid of because of my self-imposed resolution not to buy things that aren't necessary. The difficult thing is getting Dave to take things off to the op shop. I'm thinking I may have to list some things on the Melbourne giveaway Facebook group.

The minimising continues, watch this space.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Page 1 of 2018

Here we are at the beginning of a shiny new year.

As I've said before, 2017 was a brilliant year for me with getting my first novel published and launched, having a peer reviewed article published, and getting a job - an honest to goodness full time REAL job. Honestly, I can't think of anything more I could have hoped for last year. Everyone in the family was healthy. Everything just ran smoothly and so I begin this new year happier than I've been in a very, very long time.

So, today is the first day of a couple of resolutions for me. I don't particularly like the idea of New Year resolutions, but seeing as I'm resolving to make two changes in my life, I think resolutions are what these are.

Operation LCHF

I'm back to cutting the sugar. I've been planning this for a couple of months now. I could have made the change back in November, but starting at the beginning of the New Year has actually worked very well for me in the past. It makes it easy to track my progress. Starting on a Monday is a bonus!

Cutting the sugar isn't so hard for me, I know all the good stuff I can eat instead and that makes this change comfortable. So, today I've started tracking my macros with the Carb Manager app. This makes seeing exactly how many grams of carbs versus protein or fats I'm ingesting. I have set gram goals for each and so all I have to do is hit those goals. It makes it really simple. I can also enter things like my step count which I'm now tracking on my Apple Watch (more about that later).

Operation No Shop

Day one and so far, so good. Now if I told you I haven't left the house so far, you'd probably just roll your eyes and think, Well, duh, you haven't even left the house! The thing is, I don't do most of my shopping in shops. Most of my shopping happens online. Online shopping has been a terrible, terrible progression for  people like me. I get sucked in by the pictures and the videos and the thrill of having parcels arrive. So not buying anything is really quite a big deal for me.

Meanwhile, becoming aware of how much advertising there really is online is horrifying,. I know, in theory, that there is an awful lot of advertising, but sheesh when you have a shopping addiction and your weakness is online shopping, it's like waving cocaine under the nose of a drug addict. I may have to avoid sources of advertising until I feel stronger.

This brings me to the Apple Watch. In the past few days I've experienced something of a binge of shopping. I've become hyper-aware of the things I would not be allowing myself to buy in 2018 and one of those things was an Apple Watch. I've been planning on getting an Apple Watch for while now. As a person who is always losing her stuff and has come close to losing thousands of dollars worth of technology on two occasions in the past few months, as well as leaving tech at work or at home, where it doesn't belong (though is relatively safe), having the tech strapped to my wrist is very reassuring. With the watch, I can take calls and check my email and calendar without having to take my phone out on public transport, or at meetings away from the office. It really is an investment and I really wasn't prepared to wait a whole year to purchase it. I also bought things like Bluetooth headphones, tempered glass for Bryn and my phone, little things like that.

This exactly what my watch looks like!

Now that the year has begun, I can think of things I hadn't thought of before, but that's just too bad, I guess. I'll just have to live without those little luxuries.

It's going to be an interesting year and I'm hoping that at the end of it, I'll be free of these monkies on my back and won't be tempted by them - well, not so much, anyway.

Good Job!