How time flies

on Life, Pregnancy  

It’s been almost a year since my last post here, and my plans to spend more time writing in 2018 haven’t really gone as well as I’d hoped. But at six months pregnant, I feel like I can go a little easy on myself!

When I started telling people that I was expecting (at ten weeks in, being excited and impatient), I heard over and over again that the being pregnant time will just fly. “It’ll be over before you know it!”

At first though, time felt like it was going really slow. One thing that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much in mum blogs is just how much waiting there is in early pregnancy.

Waiting for cycles, symptoms and the right time to pee on a stick.

Waiting for a doctor to confirm that yes, the blood test does confirm that the three home tests you did are correct and you are in fact pregnant.

Waiting for the symptoms you see in movies to appear (I was lucky enough to not deal with any morning sickness or dramatic fainting spells).

Waiting for the first visit with an obstetrician to do a scan, because despite the symptoms and the pee sticks and the blood tests, it’s all still a little surreal.

Waiting for the “safe” time to start telling people (then deciding screw it, and telling them anyway).

Waiting for the “safe” time to really start getting attached, planning for the future, and tucking away the fear that statistically there’s a real chance that all those delicately programmed multiplying cells might not get a chance to manifest into a baby (this is much harder, and why I reasoned I needed people to know and to understand early).

Because my symptoms were luckily mild, ranging from feeling pretty much normal to a mild hangover level nausea and tiredness, my first trimester basically just felt like waiting. Unlike my usual projects, there’s no list of tasks (“what body part should I start on today?”), no way of making things go faster, no minimum viable product, no measures of success that are really within my control. It’s just watching my diet, taking my supplements, and letting my body run on autopilot. It’s weird and scary and exciting, but sometimes frustratingly slow.

Things have course picked up from there, and the bundle of multiplying cells has graduated to a being that makes his or her presence very clear by doing kung fu moves in my belly. I’m sure that once they’re out in the big world and our lives become a blur of sleep deprivation and baby smells, this quiet time of waiting will feel like it really did fly by. But for now it just feels like time is passing as it always has.


At first I was worried about writing about pregnancy (and eventually mum) stuff here on this blog, but what else am I going to write about here? Does anyone still read this blog anymore anyway?


Rollercoaster 2017

on Life  

We made it!

2017 sounded like a rollercoaster year for everyone, and it certainly was for me too. Towards the end of the year when people asked me how I felt it went, I wasn’t quite sure – but now taking a closer look, I actually achieved quite a lot. Here’s a little look at the highlights of my year, mostly in photos.

Exploring

After a few years of big holidays, we’re staying a bit closer to home for a while, with short trips to Manjimup and Dwellingup being our only getaways. These are enjoyable in a different way – more quiet, more walks in nature, more down-time spent reading and painting. On big holidays where I’ve flown a day to arrive at the destination, it’s hard to stop myself over-scheduling in an effort to not waste a single second. It always takes me a day or two to adjust to the calm on our short road trips in Western Australia, but I’m sure that I’m better for it.

Camping was a challenge for me, as I haven’t camped in a tent for over 15 years! But since I’d like to someday be able to do multi-day hikes, this felt like a good start. I didn’t do as much local bush-walking as I’d have liked in 2017 – hoping to do more exploring closer to home this year.

Eating

I indulged a little too much in 2017 – which I’m paying for now, but oh it felt so worth it at the time! Besides the usual special occasion dinners, I found myself doing a lot of brunches. I can see why haters would say brunch is an overrated meal, but I think brunch is an expression of leisure (and therefore, privilege) – it says I have time to linger over a long meal in the middle of the morning, to have someone poach eggs for me and make me coffee better than I can at home. Yes it’s indulgent, but you could say it’s less indulgent than an expensive dinner or a night out drinking. Also I can bring my dog and not look out of place in activewear, which are major plusses in my opinion.

Besides dining out, there was a lot of cooking and eating with friends in our homes, with an ever-increasing standard that, in my humble opinion, could compete with fancy restaurants (and the booze is much cheaper).

Making

The first half of the year I was trying to build a profitable side quest* out of my lettering work, which led to some pretty awesome projects for clients and more workshops than I’ve ever done in a year. Although I ended up taking a break from paying work in favour of more experimentation, I’m pretty proud of all the things I ended up making, for myself as well as for clients. My favourite thing is still my first ever mural, which is the biggest and scariest thing I’ve ever painted!

I also completed 12 months of monthly newsletters and free calendars, revamped my workshop booklets and worksheets, tried out etching and foiling, made a simple font and generally had a great time playing around with things.

* “side quest” is what I’ve decided to call my non-day-job activities, because I’m over the term “side hustle”.

Working

In my review of 2016, I wrote about falling out of love with web design and growing frustrated with the trends and constantly shifting expectations. A big part of this was trying to be everything – UX, UI, front end development, project management, content creation etc etc… being a unicorn is just not sustainable! So towards the end of the year I moved on from agency life to corporate life, to work as a UX/UI designer at Bankwest. It’s very very different, and I’m still getting used to it, but it’s nice to not have to be everything at once.

I’ve also done some volunteering, working as a gallery attendant at Paper Mountain on weekends, and mentoring via AGDA and WebGirls. Hoping to do more speaking and sharing in the coming year!

 

 

 

The year wasn’t all wins and art of course – I’ve had periods of frustration and anxiety, uncertainty and low self-confidence. There were a lot of times where I went through actions without a whole lot of mindfulness, and made poor choices as a result. I made big goals and then changed course; I’m not sure if that’s a good thing yet or not. But it’s a fresh year, and although you shouldn’t wait for a near year to have a fresh beginning, it feels as good a time as any.

How was your year? Wishing you an excellent 2018!

Responsible Tourism with Fundación En Vía

on Make, Travel  

It’s been over a year since this trip to Mexico, but I really wanted to make sure I write about this tour as it was such an amazing experience.

Fundación En Vía isn’t your average day tour around Oaxaca. Run as a non-profit, the tour is one part of a program helping provide interest-free microloans to women living in the many small towns in the region, enabling them to start or improve their own businesses. The women attend business education and English workshops, with the final step before increasing the loan amount being a presentation to a tour group. The cost of the tour goes towards these loans and the running of the organisation and education programs.

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