Adventures Part 14: Black Cats Crossing Your Path……That’s Good Luck, Right???

June 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, diets, Dilators, EFL, Exercise, health, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, Summer, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Vaginismus)

I see it’s been 3 months since I last gave updates on all my resolutions. There hasn’t really been a lot of progress on them, but seeing as it’s a little over 12 weeks to the big day, I need to kick myself into action on some points! So, this review is for my benefit!  😉

So here we go……..

1: Save some money.

Nothing major on this one – 100 here and there, but that’s it. We’ve a mortgage review in August though, so that should see the savings start!

 2: See new places

It’s been done. 🙂

3: Find a new job

Well….I have to do new things at work for the summer, so it’s kind of a new job within my job! I’ll be training high school teachers from all over Europe as well as training people to be TEFL teachers. I’ve done that bit before, but I’m going to be inspected on it by the Dept. of Ed. This time, which means a lot more work (a.k.a. stress!) Thankfully, it also means a little more money. That links in nicely to resolution number 1 too, so I have to be happy with that! I’ve also been looking into volunteering in September and I have a plan to get started on something more creative too involving writing and photography. Watch this space!

4: Get fit and healthy

According to the scales I’m down 7lbs. I don’t see it myself, but the scales don’t lie, right?!?!!? Wonder Boy’s marathon is in 5 days and that combined with the sunny weather has made me get more active in the evenings. I need a little extra though, so I’m going to check out some classes between now and September.

5: Have sex!

I’m still using the 2nd dilator, but I think I’m going to have to go back to the doctor for help with them. She only works on Mondays though, so getting an appointment before September might be difficult. I’ll have to think of a new title for the blog. How does Adventures of a 30 year old Virgin sound?!?!?!?!

6: Go back to Italy

Probably not going to happen, but it can happen next year!

7: Make travel plans

We’re going to have to wait until September to have more information about this. It’s cutting it close, but it might be ticked off in time!

8: Get a tattoo

This will probably be next year too.

9: Wear a designer dress on my birthday

This one speaks for itself and obviously won’t be ticked off for another 3 months!

That’s how it stands at the moment. As I was out walking today a black cat crossed my path, so I’m taking it as a sign of good luck that things will work out well!  🙂

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Adventures Part 12: Star Gazing

May 14, 2010 at 6:58 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, Dilators, health, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Things to do before you're 30, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , , )

Well, let’s see…..where have I got since the last time???? Not very far!

It was Wonder Boy’s birthday recently, so there were a few nights out, dinners and basically a 3-day party! I gave him a telescope and a star to focus on. He hasn’t had much luck since he got it though because it’s been cloudy and the moon is in the wrong phase! I think we need to get away from the lights and into the black countryside to see anything. I fancy a nice midnight picnic and some star gazing  🙂

As for my project, I’ve gone back to childhood! Having tried many different ways of approaching things (all documented here) and with none of them working, I’ve decided to start a star chart. Yes, you did read that correctly – a star chart! It has 5 categories for each day: healthy eating, extra exercise, sit-ups, dilators and housework. For each one I do I get a star – I draw the star, I don’t actually have the little stickers, don’t worry!!!! Because some things aren’t going to be done everyday anyway, I’ve staggered the reward system. If I get between 25-35, I get to splurge 1 day at the weekend. If I get between 20-25, I get to have a treat and between 15-20 is a lie in on Saturday or Sunday!

So, having completed one week, I’m now looking forward to a treat tomorrow and I don’t feel as if I’m under too much pressure during the week to do everything everyday. I can’t believe I had to go back to this method, but I feel much better about things this week than I did last week, so I guess it’s working!

I’ve also had a go at looking for a new job/getting into a field I’m interested in. I emailed everyone I could find connected to adult learning in this city and it might mean volunteering for a year and studying at night while I stay working where I am, but at the end of it I might be able to break into the area I want to.

Unfortunately I’ve suffered a dilator related injury. I got pissed off not seeing any progress on the 2nd one and tried the 3rd………BIG MISTAKE  😦  Now I’ve had to go back to the 1st one. That’ll teach me to walk before I can run!

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Part 10: Tick, Tick, Tick…….!

April 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, Dilators, EFL, health, Humor, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, sexual dysfunction, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , , , )

Aarrghh!!! I’ve less than half a year to go! OMG  🙂  The clock is ticking and my deadline is fast approaching. I’ve just re-read my list and freaked out. What a difference 6 weeks makes. When I wrote it, It felt as if I’d loads of time to get through everything, but now……..

Wonder Boy and I have been busy travelling again (at least that resolution has been completely ticked and ticked and ticked off the list!) We went to Morocco at the end of last month and had a great time. We did a lot of lazing around. It was Wonder Boy’s first visit to North Africa and I didn’t want to scare him off the place as it’s an area I really like and want to go back to! My plan nearly failed though cos as soon as we got into the taxi from the airport, Wonder Boy nearly had a heart attack! The taxi driver paid no attention to the road, lanes or other cars as he welcomed us to his country 🙂

However, once we’d checked into our hotel, eaten a lovely dinner and walked along the beach, things were looking better! We based ourselves in Agadir and then travelled to Taroudannt and Tiout. We spent the first couple of days going between the beach and the pool. Seeing as Wonder Boy’s training for a marathon he had to find suitable running routes and suitable running times! So those few days were the settling in period. Then we started to venture out into the city. Because most of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960, the architecture of what is now the medina is that terrible 1960’s style that could be anywhere. There are no lovely terracotta walls and tiny streets. I did find the most adorable kitten near the mosque though – it was the highlight of the holiday and I wanted to bring it home J We visited the little museum and found the football stadium. We walked everywhere, so we knew the place pretty well by the end of the trip.

The souk is a fine example of what a market should be though. It’s huge – 7 km² if I remember correctly! Of course we were taken off by a guy who had to bring us to his friends’ spice shop cos “he’s only here today. You are lucky!” We drank our tea, had a chat and bought some spices. Then we raced around the rest of it trying to avoid being sold hens (I mean really-what would we do with hens!!), jackets, teapots, tagines……. It was a bit hassled, but at least you see Moroccans going about their daily business. There are plenty of tourist souks near the modern marina, but they’re over-priced!

When we finally got out of the city we got to see some of the typical images of Morocco! Orange and olive trees, goats up trees, little farms, bizarre villages at the side of the road with massive Coca Cola signs and meat hanging up next to tyres and spare mechanical parts! In Taroudannt we found our lovely terracotta walls and wandered around the souk inspecting the traditional jewellery, teapot, fabric and TV/satellite dish shops! Next we went onto Tiout a little further into the mountains. We checked out the Kasbah where Ali Baba was filmed. A local kid, Hamid, insisted on taking us on a donkey ride to the wadi and he filled Wonder Boy in on all the football scores from the previous night while we were there! It was really pretty there with lots of brightly coloured flowers.

And so now we’re back to a much colder and tagine deprived (although that might be a good thing!)  reality! I think I’ve mentally resigned myself to the fact that I’ll still have the same job by the time my birthday comes around. I’m not even looking for anything else anymore and I’m enjoying work much more as a result. Last week the theme of the book was travel and things to do before you die. I put the following up on the board:

1. travel around the world

2. retire by 55

3. do a parachute jump

4. buy a house somewhere sunny and near a beach

5. write a travel book

My class pointed out to me that if I write a best-selling book, all the rest will fall into place. It got me thinking about how I’ve always had ideas in my head for books. Writing this has helped me start writing ideas down, so maybe I can stay teaching and write a best-seller in my spare time! Then I’ll get rich, travel around the world, buy a house somewhere nice and, of course, retire early!!! I like the way my class thinks! 😀

So, the job will be a non-ticked off item, but, let’s face it, it’s only disguising the real reason why I have resolutions. The most important resolution that needs to be carried through is to have sex. I am FINALLY seeing some progress with using the dilators. I’ve continued to start off using the smallest one for a few minutes before moving onto the second one. But, tomorrow I think I can start off with the second one. I realised the other day that using the smallest one now is pointless! How cool is that?!?!?!?!? I was actually lying there thinking “this is silly, I can’t even feel it!” A few months ago a small finger caused me a lot of discomfort and now I’m discarding small dilators! YAY!!! 😀 I imagine Wonder Boy is mentally counting down the days 😉

I won’t bore you anymore – I know this was a long entry, but then again, I hadn’t written for a while! If you’re still reading it, thanks for sticking with it!

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Part 8: The List!

March 2, 2010 at 7:34 pm (Changing jobs, cholesterol, diets, Dilators, EFL, health, Humor, Making the most of your time, relationships, resolutions, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

It has been pointed out to me that almost 6 months into my year I haven’t actually given you a full list of my resolutions. So, here they are and a few comments on how they’re going!

1: Save some money.

I did put some money in the bank and changed my account so I’m getting a better return. I still need to save more, but for now I can tick that one off the list!

 2: See new places

I can tick that one off too! We’ve been to Barcelona, we’re going to Morocco at the end of the month and I’m sure we’ll plan something for later in the year.

 3: Find a new job

This one isn’t even near to being ticked off. For now I have to be happy that I have a job and one that I like (even if I don’t like the place). There is absolutely nothing else out there at the moment for a person who doesn’t really know what she wants to do!

 4: Get fit and healthy

This one is a work in progress. I’ve started keeping my food diary, started cutting out junk food and I’ve stepped up my exercise programme. I should see an improvement soon, right?!?!?!? However, boxes of chocolates and cold weather make it hard! 🙂

 5: Have sex!

Again, this is another work in progress!!!! I’m doing my dilators regularly and I know there’s a little progress, but I want more! I’m still using the first one, but itching to get onto the second one. I try it every now and then. I tried it today and I got it further in than before, but it hurts…….a lot.

I’m the kind of person who needs to see changes quickly or else I give up! Right now between a health kick, job search and dilators, I’m not seeing enough changes and the idea of giving up is right there. So, this needs a lot more work.

 6: Go back to Italy

This one isn’t a major one and could be done next year too! This is a country that I used to fly backwards and forwards to, where I used to live and work, but I haven’t been there for nearly 7 years. My friends there have all got married and most of them have kids now who I’ve never seen. I’d like to go and visit everyone.

 7: Make travel plans

We’ve discussed and thought about this a lot too. We think we might have a kinda plan, but we’re waiting for confirmation. So, this one is half ticked off!!!

 8: Get a tattoo

I’m waiting until the vaginismus is gone before I get this. I’ve wanted a snake tattoo on my foot since I was about 13. I’ve more-or-less settled on a design. Now all I need is the courage!

 9: Wear a designer dress on my birthday

This one speaks for itself and obviously won’t be ticked off for another 6 months!

 There are the resolutions. Don’t ask me why I stopped at 9 instead of 10 cos I’ve no idea. Looking at them now I can see I’m not doing too badly, but some of the big ones are hard.

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Part 5: And the Next Step is…….??????

February 1, 2010 at 9:04 pm (Changing jobs, Dilators, EFL, Humor, relationships, resolutions, Teaching, TEFL, Things to do before you're 30, Travel, Vaginismus) (, , , , , , , )

So far I’ve been concentrating on what I thought was the hardest resolution-the one I thought would need the most time to achieve. However, I’ve now realised that I only have 8 months to work on 2 other important ones. Resolution 5: Change job and Resolution 6: Make some serious travel plans.

I’ll start with number 5, the job. I’ve been teaching English as a foreign language for nearly 8 years now and I did not expect to be doing it for 8 years. I did the course so I could travel. I had studied Italian and English at university and I wanted to live there for a while. The easiest way to do that was to do a TEFL course. So I did it, found a job and off I went. When I came home, the school where I had done my course were looking for teachers. I was 22 and the money was good, so I took it and 7 years later, here I am……..still in the same place! When I started off a former colleague told me that 10 years is the shelf-life of an EFL teacher. I reckon I’m reaching my best before date a little sooner than that!

It’s not that I don’t like teaching, it’s just it’s not where I saw myself ending up-not that I know where I thought I’d end up either! I suppose it was always going to be teaching of some sort. When I was 5 I taught my brother (who was 3) how to recite and write the alphabet. He could spell before he went to school. He has gone on to become quite successful in his field and has an excellent job. I take some of the credit for that!!!!! I had a brief fling with wanting to be a model and a fashion designer, but that ended when I was about 13 and then it went back to teaching, but I didn’t know what kind. So, I played it safe and did a general degree which could let me get into any type of teaching.

I have tried to change my job.  Two years ago I started doing a course at night on teaching children with special needs. I’ve applied for countless jobs in this area since, but the only joy I have had is a letter saying “you have been unsuccessful this time, but we’ll keep your CV on file.” Yah, thanks! Little things like a mortgage, bills and that horrible “R” word that’s been taking over the economic world haven’t helped things. So, it looks like the best options would be to totally change career. But to do what???? And in the meantime, while I’m figuring it out, bills need to be paid, so giving up work isn’t an option. But, to change career means going back to study, which means not working………. You see where this circular thought pattern is going and, seeing as I analyse everything in this way, you can see how I accidentally ended up staying working in the same place for so long.  And I’m likely to be asking the same questions in another 5 years unless I really stick to the resolution and find something before September. The chances of that happening?!?!?!?!? I’ll let you know! 🙂

So that’s work. Now the travel plans. Wonder Boy and I have a mad notion that we’re going to travel around the world. It’s going to be easy to find someone to live in our house while we’re gone (covering the mortgage and maybe even making some money of course!) We’re going to have enough money saved to be able to travel comfortably through India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and The US (stopping off on some nice Pacific islands along the way) for 12 months. And finally, we’ll be able to walk back into the jobs we left. Can anyone see a flaw in this plan?!?!?! You can??? Please don’t point it out and shatter my fantasy!

Wonder Boy’s job means we can’t go anywhere for another 18 months anyway. (Which brings me back to the work situation-is it worth changing jobs if we’re going to go away? Or should I just leave, re-train, travel and then look for a job? But we’ve been through this thought pattern already!) Anyhow, we’ve been making some short-term travel plans to fill my need to see the world a little. A long look needs to be taken at things soon and a nice little plan made to see us through.

So there are the ramblings for the moment. The dilator update is that they’re still going well. I tried to run before I could walk and use the next size up over the weekend, but OUCH!!! The dancing update is that it’s Monday night and I’m at home typing this………………I don’t need to say any more!

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