MYOB

[6th June, 2017]

Okay, wait. Just give me a minute, read on and it will all (hopefully) become clear.

“What other people think of you is none of your business” – various, or unknown

I had never heard of this philosophy until I needed psychology and psychiatry to fix my mind, or before I got into self improvement-type thoughts and ideas to do my part. Before the last 4 years, what other people thought of me was a major part of my daily life. Anxiety about who thought what about me, insecurity about how others saw me, fretting over any less than perfect social interaction, losing sleep over a joke at my expense, nightmares about potentially horrific social scenarios; I could go on. But I’ve tried hard to put these things in the past with helpful sentiments like the one above. It doesn’t always work, but it works a lot better than it did before I ever tried it! Now I try to mind my own business when it comes to my life, and just do my own thing.

It doesn’t always work out that you can afford to ignore other people’s thoughts about you. This last week I’ve been dealing with a not-so-hot probation review, a first  ever for me. It seems like it doubles as a first warning so its been pretty hard to process that one without losing sleep and getting pretty ruffled in my mind! More about that later. In the meantime its a challenge to work out what is my business to attend to, and what I can let pass through my brain and somehow spit out without it doing too much damage on the way through. And isn’t this the central dilemma of this philosophy? Applying it 100% would lead to big problems, but knowing what degree to apply it to a situation is not a science; its definitely an art!

So…any ideas? I’m still thinking.

For now, I’m going to go and do the things that I know I can do, and do well, which today is bird watching and photography. And isn’t this a clincher for bird of the day? It’s slightly out of focus here due to how WordPress handles cropping photos, sorry.

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Superb Fairy Wren, male at least 4 to 5 years of age

Something to enjoy, to feel good about, to distract from unpleasantness in life: that’s birding to me. Never mind that for about half of the 3 hour walk it was showering rain. Doesn’t matter that my socks and shoes got thoroughly wet and I squelched all the way back to the car park. Don’t worry that my legs got chafed and my feet got sore. Can’t help it that the long distance photos were all blurry and foggy from the rain and mist.

It was a day out of the house, where I had to get dressed, and eat meals, and talk to other humans; lovely humans who wanted to talk about our common interests and nothing else. Where all I had to do was mind my own business and attend to my own interests and needs. Somewhat selfishly I suppose, but in a therapeutic way. I saw 41 different types of birds myself in 3 hours, which has to come close to being a personal record. I walked for hours in picturesque surroundings which were beautiful, even through rain. And captured photos like the one above, like this one here. Photos that soothe my mind, pictures to look back on maybe, to publish somewhere possibly. And it made the day a good day. Today was a good day. Better than any day since that review. This is a good thing. So for now, I’m good. The rest will come back in time, and I’ll deal with it then, but for now I’m minding my own business.

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Red-browed finch

Birdlife outings

This is a quick tour through what Birdlife Australia Melbourne branch outings look like to me. I love that there are organised bird watching outings, just like I love my Wheel Women outings; because it’s just harder on your own. You don’t know what locations to go to, where to find the best birds when you get there, and you just don’t have the local knowledge of what birds are around and where they might be. But Birdlife just isn’t the family that Wheel Women is. I know a few people to say hello to and have a chat with as we walk around together for a few hours. But I don’t really have a relationship with any of them outside of our bird watching outings. Still, its a very friendly, helpful group of people who are just dead keen of improving other’s skills at finding birds, helping us to learn their behaviour and hopefully finding new and different birds every outing. This is my photo journal of everything but the birds  (almost) from an outing to Woodlands Historic Park on 27th May 2017.

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First off, the car park meet up – yep they’re all ours

 

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Getting the briefing for how the day is going to run, what to look out for, who is leading and who is tailing, and the famous sign up sheet

 

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Hold up on the bridge as someone spots something…what, what, what have you got?? we call from the rear

 

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It’s REALLY time that I got binoculars! The camera does pretty well, but I think binoculars would adjust quicker and let more light in

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A bit more scattered along the track as we wander back for lunch

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Bring on lunch!!! It’s almost a stampede once 12.30 hits the second hand!!

 

And here is a quick snapshot of some of the birds that we saw. It wasn’t a tremendous day out, although that last bird was a first for me, the Fan-tailed Cuckoo. We got to see some beautiful Flame (above) and Scarlet Robins but at a long distance so there’s not a lot to show for it. Better photos next time!

Downer

When  you suffer with anxiety or depression in any of their various forms, it doesn’t take much to get you down. In fact it takes a lot to keep you up!

I find this with a million stupid little things that turn a perfectly good day into a gloomy do! Usually its something that I’ve done that I’m annoyed at myself for, and I just can’t let myself off the hook about it. My husband can just cruise through these things and flick them off, just like water off a ducks back, as the cliche goes; it also helps that he doesn’t seem to make dumb errors in the first place! We have a joke that he’s always right…and it’s nearly always true! But I find myself berating myself over and over inside my head, mentally abusing myself for being so idiotic, self flagellating for my mistakes and lack of memory, or of thought, or of judgement. That just can’t make for a happy day.

I spent a lot of time with a psychologist when I first got sick and one of the main points of therapy involved reframing my thoughts, and interrupting a snowballing chain of thoughts. Reframing means to look at a situation and how you usually react, and try to consciously change your reaction to it so that you put yourself through less stress and hurt, and therefore are more well mentally. Interrupting a snowballing thought process means recognising when you’re starting down a line of negative thinking that is escalating to the dramatic and trying to stop it early, while its something that can be dealt with, before you’re almost to the point of a panic attack. I spent a lot of time working on this, and when you consciously and deliberately look at your thoughts, you do recognise a lot earlier where you can intervene and save yourself a lot of drama! Having said that, it does take a lot of energy to do this at the beginning. It gets to take a little less effort as you get more used to it, and you have less of these thoughts because of dealing with them in a better way. Eventually its more of a habit, but as soon as you think to yourself that you do it automatically and don’t need to put so much effort in, it can creep back in.

It is almost indispensable to have another person around who understands the work that you are trying to do with your head, and who can remind you what to do when you’re working yourself (unintentionally) into a bit of a tizzy! Someone who can remind you to breathe, that the drastic thoughts you’re having are just that: drastic thoughts; and of the techniques that you’ve learnt. I say it all the time but I have the utmost admiration for people on their own dealing with their beast. Kudos, and I don’t know how you do it!

Today started out as a great day. I had a good ride with my Wheel Women. We rode from Docklands to the pink lake in Westgate Park and back, and I had a superb raspberry jam donut (apparently it’s a “bombolini” according to this bakery) to top it off! I also had one of those San Pellegrino chinotto flavoured sodas in lieu of my usual Coke; that was not a highlight! Tastes like medicine!

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I was planning on doing a bit of extra riding today. I had planned to ride from Hawthorn velodrome to the start point of the Wheel Women ride, and then ride back there after the finish of the ride to add in some extra ks, but a little glitch with snoozing the alarm prevented me! Sometimes that would be enough to get me down, but I smiled through that mix up. I mean, just the fact that I wanted to do extra ks is a pretty good indicator that I’m sitting well up on the scale of blue.

I got to the start almost on time, and marvelled with everyone else at how stunningly beautiful Docklands and the water looked in the unexpected sunshine and after the rain. I really expected to get a bit wet with rain today after 2 days of LOTS of rain, but we lucked out. It was beautiful through the whole ride, and we agreed we could just keep riding and riding on a day like this where it was cool so we wouldn’t overheat, dry so we didn’t get cold with wet, not windy…perfect! Shame about me not getting up on time to do the extra riding; it would have been the ideal day for it. Oh well, let’s enjoy the ride I’ve got going on right now, instead of worrying about what I’ve missed. And there is some great re-framing and preventing of snowballing thoughts! And so the ride was just lovely!

And then, the error. The trigger.

Stupidly (it’s always stupidly by the way) I put my phone on the roof of my car.

I know!

Always a first. And last. Then some other first. Or another first if I just haven’t learnt my lesson. And so on.

3 blocks down the road from my car park, I went to put my phone in the holder and an adrenaline shot went right through my gut! I instantly KNEW what I’d done! On the bonus side, I’d been creeping along slowly since leaving the car park, hadn’t cracked 40kmph, maybe not even 30kmph…maybe it was still on the roof?!?

No!

Dulp!!

So back I go to re trace my wheels. I couldn’t get there fast enough; itching at every red light and pedestrian crossing until I got back to where I had been parked. There was a ute there now, so I got out and checked under it for my phone, once, twice etc. Then I carefully drove even slower where I’d driven already, retracing, scanning the street and gutters, wishing, hoping and more.

And back around again, and a third time! Nothing!! ARGH!!

And that’s how it starts. The adrenaline shot depletes a bit of your good mood, the persistent bad results of looking and not finding get you down more, knowing this is all your stupid fault hacks away at your confidence and suddenly you’re berating yourself and the day is not the same day it was before. It’s plummeting down through the levels of good into mediocre and before you know it, it’s not a good day anymore.

Although lately, I’ve been well, and more resilient. I knew this about myself, but this incident proved it without doubt.

I was SO bummed out over this stupid accident which should never have happened in the first place! How could I have been so thick as to put my phone on the roof?? I knew it was a bad idea, and I did it anyway. Who does that?? Typical! I make a rule, and I break my own rule, and of COURSE this is what happens! It’s okay to put the keys on the roof, because you can’t leave without them. But your phone? Idiot!

This is how my thinking goes, left to its own devices. Berating, accusing, bullying, incredulous of myself, throwing insults.

This is where the challenge lies. Putting my psychologist’s knowledge into practice in this moment and not letting the snowballing of negative thoughts get off to a head start. Re-framing the thoughts: instead of calling myself an idiot and stupid and dumb, realise that accidents happen (even if it’s often and always to me!) and this was just that, an accident, and give yourself a break!

So, having proved that my phone cannot be found and doesn’t seem to be anywhere that it should be, I head home. On the way I think of half a dozen reasons why having my phone right now would be so good: to find out the best route home, to take a photo of the city shining in the sun, to pop a starter note for this blog into my notes section, to check my calendar for what else I’m meant to be doing today, to use the Optus app to put my phone plan on hold, to call my hubby and let him know about my phone!! It really is my right hand and its going to be a bit painful without it. Stupid, stup…no, we agreed: not stupid; unfortunate. Accidental. Breathe.

But then, halfway through sliding down the blue scale into the depths, I slowed up and stopped. I stopped. That hasn’t really happened before. And it wasn’t like I put a heap of work into it, into stopping my thoughts. But my head is just in a better place lately, and this didn’t seem to be as big of a deal as similar events have been before, where I could wrap myself in guilt and grief for a whole day. Now I was stopped somewhere around the “okay” mark, still realising the inconvenience and bother I’d caused myself, but not fatalistic like many times before. What is this new feeling? Is this being well? Could it be?

I got home and flicked a message off to hubby about being out of phone contact. Then got out one of my comforters and I was pleasantly surprised that before long I was smiling and feeling quite serene about the whole thing! What is this? It was still annoying etc but it didn’t feel like it was taking up my whole world with distraught stress but like it was just one part of the picture. I like this feeling!

I believe that this is how you know you’re well. You can recover from events that happen, instead of collapsing into various levels of despair and misery. I’m not sure how this state came about, but I feel like the chemicals in my brain are finally aligned and things are just easier. It’s very exciting!! To say the least.

As to what happened with my phone? Hubby told me all the things I could do and so I went through Google’s ‘find my phone’ function online (just search for it) and I used that to lock my phone, to put a message on the lock screen to say please return my phone and to give the number to call, and to track my phone. I have to say that was the most satisfying and frustrating part, watching someone driving my phone along. It travelled the Bass Hwy towards Phillip Island via the koala park, and then stopping at the Nobbies, and I was unable to do a single thing about it!! But it was awesome to be able to watch them in the first place. I made a full report to the police and they were very helpful. But then my husband got a phone call from the person who picked it up: turns out they were a coach driver who found the phone in Docklands super close to where I’d driven past, and they planned to bring it back the next day! How kind and honest! So all’s well that ends well in the end. My husband biked from his work into the city in his lunchtime to pick up the phone, and everything is as it should be once again.

Lessons to be learned:

  1. Do NOT put your mobile phone on the roof of your car in any circumstances!
  2. Do leave your GPS function on so that you can track your phone if you ever lose it, it was accurate down to 6 metres at one point
  3. Do be aware of Google’s find your phone functions
  4. Ideally always have your screen locked, but know that you can lock it remotely in an emergency
  5. One day, after so much pain, stress, medication, therapy and time, you will be well again. Believe.

Canberra Day 86

[Tuesday 6th December, 2016]

A disappointingly slow and unfilled day for a day in the last 2 weeks of Canberra! But some days are just like that and you just have to run with it. It was a rainy day all day and since hubby only has to ride 2km and wears his regular clothes to work, I had to drive him to and from work today. I don’t mean that I “have to” in a bad way, I’m more than happy to have a reason to get up, and to get up early and saving his clothes from getting splattered is as good a reason as any.

Since I was already out of the house I stayed out to avoid going straight back to bed! The early morning fuzz takes a while to burn off so it’s best to keep busy until same clarity emerges. So I had breakfast in Lonsdale Street, a street of excellent eateries literally 3 blocks up the road from our apartment which is very reminiscent of the Melbourne dining scene. We’ve had several really great experiences there, and this morning continued that without a doubt. I chose Elk and Pea and the decor alone was to die for, birds and street art inside and an eclectic mix of bits and pieces. And service!! Service is so hard to come by these days! People just grunt at you or ignore you or frown, etc. It’s lovely to find someone who smiles, says good morning, genuinely asks how you are going, explains the menu, gives you the specials and options, takes your drink order and comes back to take your food order in a timely manner. You may or may not know that I’m a Trip Advisor reviewer, somewhat passive aggressively, so I try to give every good restaurant the credit they deserve…and so on. Sometimes the food doesn’t even come into it. But in this case it did, because it was delicious! It was a variation on baked eggs except with corn chips, guacamole, sour cream, chorizo and the usual salsa. Yum!!

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One of the elk at Elk and Pea

Then some shopping on Lonsdale Street at the uber flashy op shop, literally better brands than I have in my wardrobe! The window dressing and display in the store could be in many upper level clothes stores. And a browse around the excellent baby shop. I love a good baby shop with unique brands and interesting options; there aren’t that many around.

Also today I had a job offer! Quite out of the blue, but still flattering. It was from a pharmacist in America that I’ve connected with through Facebook, who currently works with a cosmetics company and it was an opportunity to be the first representative in Australia. It’s not quite my cup of tea, but if any of you readers are interested I believe they are still looking for someone; let me know.

A few minor bits and pieces of jobs involving texts, phone calls, house stuff, letters blah blah and then we ate out for dinner at Hopscotch. Yes twice in one day but its our last little while so we’ll treat ourselves. Besides it was a beautiful evening to sit outside and eat a nice pub meal: parma and chips! Delicious! One more day done.

Canberra Day 67

[Thursday November 17th]

Today I’m heading back to Jerrabomberra Mountain bushland reserve on the outskirts of Queanbeyan to do some birdwatching. I went there back in October with a limited amount of time and loved the wildflowers and orchids, so time to go back. Sadly the purple orchids had finished and vanished without a trace, but the tiger pattern orchids were fun to practice close up photography on. Google Maps on my phone shows you can drive to the summit, but that’s a sad lie…actually you have to walk, and its rather a long way actually! But I can do this these days, just should have brought a drink bottle! It’s the first warm day today and I’m feeling it…also I’m burning, cos stupid thought it would stay overcast and only sunscreened her face and shoulders. Anyway, what can I say? I did it, even though the last bit up to the top I really wanted to turn back and was doing 50 metre stretches at a time before resting in the shade for another minute or 5, but I came to see the lookout and couldn’t go back without it. The grade of the walk up to the lookout was actually really easy, until the 200 metres of stairs at the top to the lookout – ouch! But it was beautiful and it was worth it and there was a bubbler tap at the top. I got 2 birds I’ve never seen before so that was awesome; also a Wedge tailed Eagle in the distance! And I saw a fox in the middle of the day. I was glad to finally get back in my car at the end and crank up the AC for the drive home. It took me 3 hours to get up the hill what with stopping for birds all the time, and spending a fair while photographing orchids, but 50 minutes to come down! I wasn’t exactly running, but I was pretty keen on lunch and a drink at this point. And some cool air. So onwards home for a sleep of course to recover from that fun.

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And it was fun. I love the thrill of the chase with birds, recognising calls, tracking down the location of the bird from its call, trying for that awesome shot, using photography skills to compensate for light and awkward positions and distance and whatever other hurdles are in the way. Then sitting at home uploading my photos to my computer and checking out what I got! It’s a bit like a mystery lolly bag. Today while I was out I recorded 22 species of birds that I could recognise by their call or by sight. That’s a solid number. But by the time I’d been through all of the photos, I was up to 32! Some that I looked up in my bird guide, some that I posted on a Facebook group and someone helped me out, and some that I just couldn’t see well enough with my eyes at the time. A lot of birders use binoculars and identify birds on the spot. Because I like to take photos, I use my camera as binoculars which isn’t bad, but they aren’t as responsive and it’s harder to really see something at high zoom. So a lot of times I don’t know what I’m seeing at the time; I check once I’m home. It’s like a nice surprise waiting for me later, to prolong the enjoyable experience. This time there were loads of things I hadn’t been able to see but my camera had captured: birds high in trees above my head, birds in foliage, tiny birds zipping about that my camera was able to freeze for me to see later. And I got 2 lifers and a wedge tailed eagle!! That’s pretty cool. It’s a great hobby for me. Once you have a lifer, its yours and no one can take it away. I mention this often as a positive of things: that no one can take it away. The reason I think this is such a good attribute is that depression tries to take away everything from you. Tell you that you have nothing, strip away your abilities and tell you that you’re useless, convince you that you have nothing to offer. But it can’t take away the facts. The birds that I’ve seen, photographed, enjoyed? They are facts, especially the photographs, proof that I’ve gotten out, I’ve done things, I’ve pushed myself even when depression says I haven’t tried, that I’ve seen wonderful things, been to lovely places and I have the evidence that I can look at, see, that’s real and true and shows it’s a wonderful world despite what depression tries to tell me. That’s why I love bird watching, love photography, love getting outdoors to beautiful places. It makes me happy, and what’s more it reminds me of being happy when I’m not so happy. That’s a powerful thing!

So I got up from my nap and was thinking about tea when hubby came home and wanted to go for a ride. Well, I’ve got the time, it’s a lovely night, it’s daylight savings, what will I do? I’ve been wanting to ride around Lake Ginninderra for quite a while now, and so I decided, you know what? I’m going to do it now! Let’s do it! So I got dressed, put my bike and my stuff in the car and headed for Belconnen. I knew from researching it previously that it is 7km around. So I checked out a few off shoots as well and ended up doing nearly 14km somehow! And it was bliss. Can I describe how lovely it is to be riding around the lake at dusk with the beautiful light, the birds all squawking and feeding, the alternate warm and cool air and the breeze in your face, the world is your oyster, and knowing that this is your second exercise of the day, and you’re killing it? Oh it was so beautiful, other than the bugs, and once again I got about 20 species of birds before my phone died. I would definitely do it again, maybe a couple of laps or checking out other off shoots. I’d love to go back for a picnic too, there are little piers and seperate little beaches and playgrounds and lots of groups of people out enjoying the evening, which was truly beautiful. I felt so empowered riding around on my own, on my own adventure off my own bat, for the second time in the day, and just on top of the world! How great is that?! And so the dusk gently closed in until it was dark and I got back in the car and headed for home.

 

Canberra Day 66

[Wednesday November 16th]

After such a great, but late, night last night I had a bit of a slow start but in a good way. Not because I was feeling depressed, but just because I took my tablets late and am still a bit bombed out. I was excited for this morning. Music at midday with the Royal Military College Duntroon band was on at Canberra Theatre Centre (or so I thought) so that got me out of the house and on my bike at 10.40am for an 11am start. Unfortunately when I put it in my diary I put November instead of December so that was a big let down, and now what to do next? I think I might have gone home and sulked but the Canberra Museum and Gallery happened to be right across the square so…why not? It’s been on my list, here I am right in front with my bike locked up and nothing else on my ticket, so here we go. And actually I’m really glad that I went.

It’s a really interesting place, as museums always are. This one is about the size of 3 exhibition rooms at the Melbourne museum but they pack the content in. The first exhibition was Canberra stories, lots of old tales from the foundation, the war, the building of the city, and all kinds of bits and pieces. Then the UNESCO documents exhibition: famous documents of all kinds, like the Mabo case and diaries, war documents, environmental and historical documents of all kinds! Lots indecipherable to me in the old fashioned joined writing, but fascinating just to see documents so old and to think that back then absolutely everything was written by hand! Then an Australian record in the Guiness book of records for the largest collection of Doctor Who memorabilia! I’ve never watched the show so it was all a bit lost on me, but the amount of stuff the guy had collected was impressive by itself: DVDs, books, Tshirts, posters, mugs…the list goes on! And finally a delightful collection of Sydney Nolan paintings. I’ve never really paid them much attention before, but that guy had the best sense of humour in his paintings! They were all Kelly era paintings but so much comical cheekiness comes across, like the police whose diary page says he had to hide out in a wombat hole, but is actually shown diving into it head first with legs way up in the air and totally visible! If I had one of Sydney Nolan’s paintings in my house I believe it would make me smile every day! Of course if I could afford one of his paintings…

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A terrible photo of a great painting…might have to go back for a better one!

The afternoon was a bunch of jobs: trying to find out where our mail is going goes it ain’t coming here, it’s not in Melbourne, it’s not going to our last address, and I don’t believe they’ve received anymore at the office here. Australia Post! Then insurance forms for my next monthly payment, some blogging (not that you’d believe it with how behind I am!), a load of dishes, a load of washing, having a look at some new bird photos and that was all she wrote. I’m pleased with today. I’m glad I got out, even if it was a false start. I still made something of the day and I can be proud of that. Something to remember when I’m feeling like I do nothing and am no one. I found one more thing that makes me smile and that is worth a thousand other things in this world, in my world. 

I’m sort of feeling like I’m crawling out from under a rock in some ways, like I’ve been checked out of life for a while with my head in my own problems and not seeing anything else. But just now I caught my husband’s eye over dinner at our tiny 2 person table and realised that while eating on the couch is easy in our place it just isn’t the same as sitting across from my love and having a conversation. I need to pick myself up out of my own dribble and pay attention before life passes by! 

Canberra Day 65

[Tuesday November 15th]

Today was actually a bit of a mopey day. A bit self indulgent, a bit self pitying, a bit low, a bit depressed (as if that’s a thing that you can have a little of!), a bit trapped inside the house (self induced, maybe a bit self punishing) and trapped inside my head with only my own thoughts bouncing around…if that doesn’t get you down nothing does! Now I remember why I keep myself busy every day with my tourist attractions, with getting out of the house. Sitting around thinking about possibilities and what ifs and goodness only knows what other junk that’s coming out of my consciousness all day long isn’t the way to improve your mood that’s for sure! Bizarro scenarios, stressing about whatever awful terrible or just weird dream I had last night – they have really been acting up lately! – and I don’t know, just “having a gloomy do” in general about life and love and the future and whatever else.

Aaaahhhh! It’s a hard mood to shift when all of that sets in. Feeling unproductive and useless and so on. I mean I did one load of washing today. I backed up my photos. I ironed 3 shirts in the morning. That was about the sum total of my day. Ironing is always a pretty big feat! Not that I don’t like ironing, but I don’t, but it makes me hot and then I sweat and then my face prickles and I get irritated and vow never to do anything to increase my body heat ever again! I retire to the corner mopping my brow, drinking cold drinks, and letting my temperature regulate to a normal level. And give evil stares to the rest of the ironing for defeating me. But I just can’t stand that prickling heat and sweating! The onset of summer again is filling me with trepidation…I don’t know how it will go. I’m a bit nervous, a bit “we’ll see”, a bit hoping it’ll be a cool summer. I don’t want to stop getting out and about, obviously it isn’t good for me, so I guess I’ll do the air conditioned attractions once it gets hot. I did go back in the afternoon and get the rest done, somehow. It helped that there was a nice breeze coming in the balcony door to soothe some of my heat woes.

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That’s our apartment on the second floor – it’s pretty nice

SO! I know I have to learn to filter what applies to me and what applies to not-mes. But it’s hard to see the line. It’s that disconnect between what we have and what we think we should have, and etc, that causes so much heartache. But it is a bit hard to bear at times that the things I want are currently out of reach: a job, my old income, the chance to buy our own home. And the things that I might want in the future, or didn’t want before I got sick but the passing of time and age has brought to my attention. Etc. We could spend a lot of time here, and I did today. But we were invited out to dinner and that broke the trend, thankfully. Having to put on my party face to go out got me somewhat into a better frame of mind. As it turned out I didn’t really need it because I was amongst friends and family and we had a lovely time, especially with 2 unknown visiting guests, one of whom was a really good friend of ours in the town where we lived for the first 4 years of our married life. What an awesome catch up that was! And so that broke the evil spell, and Cinderella went on to be more productive for the rest of the week!