Good morning from Monday, the start of a week off. So I can start my day with blogging rather than end it that way. 

OK, confession. Yesterday wasn't a complete success for abstaining from anything internet or device related. 

Firstly, it's rugby and I live in New Zealand and while getting up at 4am to watch the game (a) against my goal for better sleep (b) a very bad idea as when I take that much interest the team I'm interested in tend to loose. I consider myself and interested bad luck charm. So I don't need to explain anymore there. Once checked the iPad went back into the drawer. 

I then had a flurry of early activity, washing, cleaning, sorting, gardening, it was all go. I delivered breakfast in bed to the man and kept going. 

We headed out for healthy lunch and shopping for our upcoming trip and all was lovely in the day, the sun was out, the washing was on the line. 

Ah yes, we watched TV in the evening, mistake all round really as we argued over what to watch, then a friend turned up when I was cooking dinner and the man was watching TV, he kindly swapped roles, so I could chat and he cooked, we went back to the TV, but there was a problem with the streaming, so it all got a messed up. One good thing, a bad (OK very bad) habit I have is that I will be  using the phone/iPad while watching TV. It may be Pintrest or photos, and yes it will be Facebook. I know I shouldn't I know it's bad. So at least last night the phone and iPad where safely out of power and on the shelf. 

Next week back to a game in the evening (but there will still be the rugby - it is the final after all). 

Since last week and re-reading this book I moved onto her second book on the same theme. While again, I skipped the parenting stuff and skim read sections, I don't particularly agree with her on many things or what she chooses to focus on, but what I do relate to and I think the main take home message of 'Be Gretchen'. I am meant to Be Katie and that is a good start. 

A little aside but re-reading isn't something I do often, I read the first book back in 2011 and I am curious as to why I seem to be coming back to it but I am also conscious of a very different me that it is reading it. Curious. 

There was more commentary on the 'stuff' in life and while I don't have hoards of clothes, why am I keeping the ones I don't wear. So into the box they go. We then both marched on the spare room and more sorting means the charity shops will receive some more wondrous donations next week. 

Her chapter on January centred on 'time' and the resolution of 'control the cubicle in my pocked'. This did resonate, as a crazy list maker, with an inbox that gives me chest pain and a seemingly never end of jobs that I set myself I was interested in how she tackle this area.  There wasn't any groundbreaking never heard it before ideas, but it does help to know you aren't the only one struggling with these things. She also has a device/internet 'thing' and does talk about her habits in this area. She mentions the 'device sabbath' ideas of switching off for a day. I did love the chap that doesn't even read non-fiction as part of it. 

If you are interested in finding out more about these books and your own happiness project check out her website -  Gretchen Rubin 

Next up for me is final planning stage for our last minute trip to Queenstown, yes a week off and some time away to see the mountains and breathe the South Island air. 


I'm not saying two days of turning off has moved me towards completing those nagging jobs that weigh me down, but maybe. So yes, another Sunday switched off, I spent most of the day gardening (actually more jobs that I hadn't been tackling).  Here I back again on a Monday night, with achy arms and legs thanks to the gardening. 

This week was birthday week and I didn't do well on my self care goals, such as sleeping, walking and drinking water but I did have a great birthday and I have wrapped up two projects, in fact I do believe I am over achieving on one of them.

While I have burrowed away a lot this year, I have read and read. Our UK trip was a pure book fest but I have kept on knocking them back. I track my reading on this site and sign up to the annual reading challenge and have reached my goal and am still going. Yay, a champion reader. My switched off day this week, I re-read this book, practically finishing it in the day, well skipping the chapter on parenting and skim reading big sections, (and that is with the gardening as well, I'm still not quite getting the lesson but it's coming). 

My 41 walks project that I started on my 41st birthday has taken a while but yes indeedy we are done. It wasn't the walking so much, it may have been the blogging, but actually, let's be honest, maybe it was the lack of walking. I want to tidy up the list a bit and add some more photos but there you have it. Only 3 years. Let's just say I haven't come up with a birthday project this year (yet). 

Walk 41

[The below post was written way way back it seems, but I had intended it to be the post that wrapped up this little series. I haven't changed it at all and as I face my birthday in 2015 I do find myself wondering quite a lot]

Back at my birthday October 2014. So while this series took a little while to finish, this is the way to wrap this series up has to be here. This walk. That has so many memories. From Hahei beach to Cathedral Cove. My first birthday in New Zealand was spent here. I stood happy with the place to ourselves as the sun set, dusk came and we realised we'd better move it to get back before dark. We kayaked back the next day as my birthday treat. Coolest thing. We visited in the summer and had to share the beach, but we swam and snorkelled. We brought friends on the walk and then we brought my mum. It has been a place that my mum has always wanted to visit and when the hopes of her getting to NZ under her own steam (or funding) faded the realisation that some things just had to be done grew. We got her to Oz for the christening of her goddaughters son, then those amazing friends brought her to New Zealand. There was no question we'd come here. She came and went by boat. One of the best days ever, swimming with my mum in the sea at Cathedral Cove. 
So birthday 2014, back to the Coromadel in the van. Camping joy, swimming in the sea very early at Hahei, then ignoring the weather forecast (but packing for it anyway - it turned out sunny) we walked again. 
I stood with the happy memories that make me smile and cry at the same time. Wondering how many more times will I walk here. Watching life around me, when we don't know what will come from left field. Can we know how long we can keep walking. That pleasure of mine, that I take for granted but have tried to capture here. In what was meant as a year long project to celebrate my 41st birthday has seen me dawdle along till 2015. Now 43, but still walking. 

The van happy in it's spot at the wondrous Hahei campsite

Just thinking and paddling at Cathedral Cove

Now time to rest
The feet that I am so grateful for, that and the legs that keep going. Thank you for being able to walk

The first and last site of the beach at Cathedral Cove

Joining in

Joining in the mindful colour craze

So along came the second Switch Off Sunday. Last week was a good week by my standards and I wondered what had contributed to the feeling. I had to add the switched off Sunday to the list so I was determined to give it a go. Maybe there is something in this malarkey.

Waking early then going back to sleep to 11am did help, and I must have needed that sleep. It got very complicated when the man and I had to meet later. I had to phone him while he was at work and I became quite focused. So I can use the land line, that's OK. Oh, the number is in my phone. Oh. I can call the hospital direct, feeling chuffed with this plan, all I had to do was find the number for the hospital. Oh how that phone holds my life in it's little processing centre.

We made contact and we made our rendezvous. I did have to put a watch on so I would meet him on time, but there. We did it.

While strolling around I happened across this book in Kikki K  so there is a cute book and stationary, excellent. The book contains inspiration and a 30 day challenge, let's just warm up to that one shall we. I will skip the part that I also brought the Christmas Planner notebook.

A little book of offline inspiration

The evening was tougher this week, I wanted to browse, play and loose myself. I wrote letters and yes, more people will be getting birthday cards in a timely manner. We talked over dinner and then played a word game, realising our brains were complete fuzz and this really was a good idea.

Monday morning, first thing, we reached for those pesky devices, but still another switched off day and another blog post on the Monday. Is it the developing habits or the irony that is making me smile?

Walk 40 - Cornwall

Cape Cornwall

Round The Island at St Ives

Exploring around Cape Cornwall



Barbara Hepworth Garden, St Ives

Searching the country lanes

Finding Stone Circles

At last

My new and improved vision board. After the cleanse.

I thought it was all over and I was back on the road, then it all got a lot lot worse. So starting again and with all this good intention washing over me the time has come to pay attention to some advice that has been trying to get to me in many ways. The universe has been patiently waiting for me to pay attention. 

Finally the advice about switching off for one day a week has reached action point. Really switching off. So we did. It wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting, but one day does not a habit make. So to introduce some irony to the whole situation I thought I would capture my experience of this switching off by blogging. 

Sunday is the off day, Monday is the blogging day. 

The decision was made on the Saturday, no thoughtful planning, just reading it again in a book I thought, now is the time. 

If I'm honest I my life is being sucked into a really stupid game on my phone. I know it saps my time, but I have reasons (so much better than excuses don't you think). 'It's my down time'…."It allows me to switch off from work'…..'hell, it's my reward for working so hard'. I could go on. And don't even get me started on Pintrest. 

Yes I 'watch' TV and scroll the net for that most useful piece of interest, or play that game, or of a very important quiz on Facebook. I am addicted and it really is time for an intervention. 

There are clues everywhere. I finally listened. 

I was worried how it would all go and there were a couple of morning twinges when I wondered about what I was missing, had some event happened that I would only find out if I checked Facebook. We still had a very lazy morning, but I read a magazine. Yes, another confession, those magazines sit there, until they need to be recycled. So yes, I read it. Now there has been work in this area, as a few months ago there would have been a whole pile in a lovely basket, but now there are two. So progress is made. I will read, and then dispose of in the most appropriate fashion. 

This change came from this book - be warned!

I even did the word search, wow, a sense of achievement, from completion of something. How very exciting for a Sunday morning. It was obviously all too much as when Devonport was suggested as the coffee destination of the day, I went crazy and suggested we take the  ferry. Indeed a mini adventure was born. 

Of course I wanted to take photos, but no phone. What if we lost each other, well we didn't. I could't check the weather - ah, the sun is out, but what time is the ferry back, well what do you know there it is. I did want to take a photo of the coffee, but I did roll my eyes at myself at this point. 

Dinner was the oddest. No TV. It was all very interesting. We talked a bit about really random stuff, I think I noticed the food a bit more, but I'm not convinced as yet. 

Now, we kind of broke the rules a bit here - the in-laws wanted to Skype. Bit difficult to say no to that  one. It was a shame it turned into the longest Skype call ever, but I kept the faith. I sat on the step enjoying the evening, twitching and struggling to just sit. I cleaned up, I wrote things down, I planned my work week, I wrote letters. Oh dear me, there are people that will be getting snail mail in a few days time thanks to this little exercise. One dear friend may even get her birthday card on time. But boy do I struggle with just sitting. 

Monday morning we scrambled for those devices, with silly smirks, but we did it, and here I am blogging about it. 


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