Melissa, Sydney, Australia


I went to see a band last weekend – John Columbus.

I haven’t been to see a band in ages. (I even got asked for ID at the door! The drinking age in Oz in 18!) Anyway, as I found myself looking at clean carpet, in a smoke free venue, with a bunch of very well behaved 18-20 somethings, it made me miss the concerts of my 18-20 something years.

You know, the ones where your shoes stick to the floor from spilled beer, and your clothes and hair stink of cigarette smoke when you get home. I remember seeing going to concerts and being moved to almost front centre by the rest of the crowd’s sheer pushing and shoving. And people being rowdy and loud and certainly not well behaved. Even at the most mellow of concerts I remember the drunks and the memorable stink of being in a bar/club.

Maybe it was just this concert – or have things mellowed? And cleaned up? And become more well-behaved?

Melissa, 35, Sydney

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I’m a bit stubborn about it. It’s probably my competitive nature or being a bit type A. My personality just doesn’t really like to fail. Maybe it’s from being the youngest child or from being the only girl with 2 older brothers… I don’t know. The last thing I committed to was the Oxfam 100km trailwalker – which arguably I wasn’t really ready for and didn’t train enough for. (I entered as substitute 4 weeks before the walk) I’m not a morning person but I did stair training at 6am before work and woke up at 4.30 am on weekends to go for training walks. I feel like it took over my life for 4 weeks, but you couldn’t say I wasn’t committed. I started the walk knowing that I was committed to finishing. It took us 44 hours and 7 minutes over muddy, rocky, hilly trails and I ruined 2 pairs of shoes and just about ruined a 3rd pair in the finish.

I don’t mean that I commit myself to many things – I really pick and choose what I commit to, but once I commit to something I really want to finish.

Oxfam Trailwalker finish

As I’ve been rushing through my facebook updates, going through my linked-in invitations, updating my multiply site and checking out the latest contact photos on flickr, I wonder how I am finding the time to have actual conversations and to get on with the 1st life in the real world. I’m not sure if I feel more connected or more disconnected than ever.

I got caught in a match of email ping-pong at work this morning and decided to do the sensible thing and pick up the phone for an actual conversation. Perhaps I should have been revolutionary and walked up to the person’s desk!

I’m just reading “The Tipping Point” now and I wonder what it would say about getting messages across if it were written in 2007….

I’m sorry to take such a long disappearance from writing – I’m not even sure what the topic is. Between starting a new job and other stuff I’ve been absolutely swamped.

And to top it off I’ve volunteered to join an Oxfam Trailwalker (http://www2.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/Sydney/) team due to a drop-out. I don’t know if any of you have heard of the trailwalker but it’s a 100 km walk (straight) through the Australian bush that needs to be completed in 48 hours. It’s an amazing test of endurance. My toes hurt from the training, and it’s only 3 weeks away. I did 35 km of the track last weekend and that was amazing on its own.

I’m pretty excited but also scared. I’m scared my body won’t hold up, or that my mind won’t hold up or my emotional/stress level won’t hold up. But I’m also looking forward to the challenge.

If any of you feel so inclined to donate, it’s for a great cause.

http://www2.oxfam.org.au/trailwalker/Sydney/team/223

I advise people to take a holiday when they need to – there’s never a good time to take a holiday, so plan it, book it and do it….I advise people to make time for the things that are important…to not let the little things get to them…

but here I am – thinking about planning my holiday, procrastinating and probably not making it on my planned holiday in Sept. I’ve also not made time to write any posts, to tidy my study, to go to training, to read…. and I’ve been letting the little annoying things that people do and say influence my attitude.

So, maybe the best advice for all of us is to follow the good advice we give everyone else!

People who know me well know that I’m not much of a “girly-girl”. I can get up, have a shower, get dressed, eat cereal and be out the door in 30 minutes, sometimes 20 minutes if I oversleep. I only get haircuts that can be combed and will dry on the train and not look too terrible (thank goodness I don’t live in Detroit anymore so I don’t have to worry about walking into work with icicles in my hair!).

Last weekend I had a few girly moments – I found that dress that fit perfectly and wore a dress for the 1st time in months and that pair of pants that was perfect. Maybe it’s just quitting my job and starting a new one in a few weeks but it felt nice to have the occasional girly moment…

Melissa, 35, Sydney

I’m not actually an insomniac per se, but I have been having trouble sleeping lately. For the past 6 months or so, I’ve struggled to sleep more than 5-6 hours per night during the week and have sometimes averaged 3-4 hours. I would lie in bed for hours, exhausted and waiting for the sleep to come. I tried herbal tea, valerian tablets, warm baths, reading before bed…. and none of it seemed to help.

Since I resigned from my job last Friday, I slept 8 hours on Sunday night! I only hope it stays that way with my new job!

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