Friday, February 25, 2011

Simple Acts of Kindness

Ahh, I will never be a regular blogger. It’s either a million posts in one day, or nothing for three weeks. Oh well.

I am starting my 29 Day Giving Challenge on Saturday, but thought that I may as well try to be a bit more giving today. Warm up my kindness skills. And why not start with the little things?

The drive to work is through peak hour, so as you can imagine, everyone is very aggressive and determined to get where they need to go as quickly as possible. Myself included. And so some poor souls who need to turn out of the little streets onto the main ones are stuck waiting for a very long time. Normally I am a teensy bit too focused on singing, waking up, and trying to get to work quickly as I am often running late etc. etc. (excuses, excuses) to notice these people. So today I decided to break that habit, and let some of those poor people through.

And the most amazing thing happened. All of the people behind me started letting people through as well. Then all of the people who had been let through began to let other people through. This crazy chain reaction spread before my eyes. People were waving to each other and smiling, rather than blasting their horns and swearing. And I started it. That one simple act of kindness spread through the streets of Canberra like wildfire.

And I thought ‘wow, maybe I really can change the world’.

Everything in Perspective

The other day I was driving in my car, and became painfully aware of my stomach. How much of it there was. How I couldn’t feel anything else, couldn’t think of anything else, nothing else mattered other than the fact that my stomach was there. When I didn’t want it to be there.

I began to obsess, my breathing became fast and shallow, I wanted to be anybody but who I was right at that moment. I just wanted to be sane.

But then I recalled the promise I had made to myself last week, to focus on what is important in life. And an extra kilo or two is not one of those important things.

As I was focusing on the positives, I remembered what it was like being in the car 6 years ago. When the feeling of the seatbelt against my hips and ribs was painful. Very very painful. When the seatbelt left me covered in bruises, and I dreaded doing it up because it felt like it was going to break me in half. Break every single bone in my body.

My breathing went back to normal. I started to smile. And thought ‘thank god for my curves’.

Note: I hid this down here so that people are less likely to read it..mainly because I come across like a big bucket-full of crazy... *sigh

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happiness Challenge Part II

Wow, two posts in one day... Sorry guys! Guess I have a lot to say :p

I really liked everyone's responses to the happiness challenge post I did yesterday. They were very insightful, and got me thinking...

Maybe I really do need to take on a happiness challenge.

I wrote that post partly in jest, as I do understand that no one can be happy 100% of the time. But also partly because I do want to make that extra effort to be happy, appreciate what I have and share it around. So why not aim for 100%? The worst that can happen is I don't make it, and I am not making it to 100% right now. So why not?

Writing goals and aspirations on this blog makes me much more inclined to do them (so I would also like to add right now that one day I will be President of the World..and a super-hero called Captain Awesome). So when I woke up this morning cursing my alarm and grumpily throwing myself loudly around despite the fact that Joel was sleeping (I am not considerate until a good 2 hours after I wake up..FACT), I remembered the happiness challenge post. So I stopped focusing on the fact that I was tired, and it was a work day, and I have lots of homework to do, and that I just spilled an entire cup of juice down the front of my shirt.

And instead started focusing on the positives.

I am alive, the sun is shining, I live in a lovely apartment with a wonderful boy and two cuddly cats, I get to have muesli for breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY (love love love it), I get to blog at work, my car has not broken down yet, I am lucky to have the opportunity to go to uni and pursue my dreams (just think, in many other countries people don't get to even go to school), and I have many other clothes to change into (I didn't change though, I smell very strongly of oranges right now).

I wouldn't have done this any other day had I not challenged myself to be happy. It would have taken a good two hours at work (fml, lamebook, damn you autocorrect etc.) and a strong cup of tea to snap me out of it.

But all I had to do was say: happiness challenge, remember? And KABLAMO, instant happiness. And it didn't even come in a glass (I'm joking, I'm joking).

So happiness challenge it is. I will document it on this blog (now I have said it, it has to happen, FACT), to keep me motivated. And remind me of it when I feel a little bit under the weather.

So I am starting off by taking the advice of Kim of 'Fill Your Well' and beginning the 29 Day Giving Challenge (you can read all about it on her amazing blog).

What better way to start a happiness challenge than by make others happy?

Would anybody care to join me on this challenge? That would be so fun, we could swap tips and motivate each other!!

DO IT (look at me, motivating you already)


What to do when you are Karma's bitch

My advice? Don’t ever put yourself in that situation. Live a wholesome life full of flowers and cupcakes and braiding people’s hair. Because Karma is not someone you want to mess with.

How did I manage to get on Karma’s bad side you ask? Here is my sob story, I hope you brought tissues. *disclaimer: I try to be somewhat classy most of the time...but sometimes I am not. Please don’t judge.

It all started when I visited to parents to find my sister and her friends in the kitchen. My sister was in quite a state of excitement (she is always in quite a state of excitement) because of Chlamydia testing.

But wait, there's more! ...

...Chlamydia testing that pays $10 per person!!!

Basically to encourage young people in the ACT to get tested, they are PAYING people to get tested. And there were 6 places doing this in Canberra.

You can imagine I was in quite a state of excitement as well after I heard this. A system kindly designed to encourage young people to get tested for the good of their health? This MUST be taken advantage of!!! We could make $60 by simply peeing in a few cups. Best way to earn money ever?!

No. But still, not bad.

And so take advantage of the system we did. We got to $30 each before my friend (who I had so nicely forced to come with me) said something about not wanting to do anymore because she only wanted $30 worth of bad karma.

And then I said those fateful words (if this was a movie dramatic music would be playing right now and a sign would be pointing at me saying 'Big Mistake'):

‘Karma can suck it’ (or something equally lady-like).

As soon as I said it a feeling of foreboding came over me. I had messed up. And now all I could do was sit and wait for Karma to get revenge. As I would be driving my sister and brother to a concert in Sydney the next day, and not getting home until 5am, I was rather worried that Karma’s revenge would come in the form of me falling asleep at the wheel and leaving mum and dad childless.

That obviously didn’t happen. What did happen was that my sister (see older post) had set her GPS to the unpaved roads option. My car is old. It did not like dramatically crashing through pot holes. It didn’t like it so much that the whole suspension is now ruined. $1500 worth of ruined.

But hey, at least I didn’t kill off half my family. That’s something right?

Long story short, never tell Karma to suck it.

*note: this was written well before my other post. So I am still winning the challenge. Therefore I am still winning at life...only my car isn't. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Did someone say challenge?

The other day, while I was watching a movie with Joel, I decided to dramatically throw myself on the floor and loudly announce that I was sad. Joel ignored me, much to my displeasure. I sighed loudly and raised my voice (in case he had suffered temporary hearing loss). ‘I SAID, I’m SAD!!!’.

He looked at me unsympathetically.

‘No you’re not’

Me: ‘Yes I am. I'm very sad. I’m sad a lot of time. I might even have depression’

Joel (patiently): ‘No you’re not, and no you don’t’

Me (concedes): ‘Well.. I’m not sad... but I’m feeling AVERAGE’ (throws self face-down on the floor again)

Joel (*sighs, realising that he will not get to watch his movie in peace after all): Kaylia, you are the happiest person I know. BUT you can’t feel happy all the time. It’s not natural. Most people spend a lot of their time feeling average *

Me: And why can't I feel happy all the time?! There's no law against it! *glares*

Joel: (ignores me and gets back to movie)

But seriously, why CAN'T I feel happy all the time?! There is nothing stopping me. Why do we let ourselves get pulled down by things that will be unimportant to us in 5 minutes. We spend so much time worrying about things that would oh so much easier if we didn’t worry about them. Or lamenting our current situation rather than throwing caution to the wind and changing it. Or simply being a teensy bit dramatic about..everything. Life isn’t supposed to be as dramatic, and hard, and roller-coastery (yes it is a made up word, and yes it is awesome) as we make it. And if it is? Well then that's just stupid and I plan on changing it.

And so, this is what I have to say to all of the people in my life who have told me that I can’t be happy all the time because it isn’t ‘realistic’:

* Disclaimer: This is a very loose interpretation of what he said. I can’t remember the particulars at all. BUT that was the general gist of it.

Image from:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking risks

I have been thinking lately, about life. And how sometimes it doesn’t turn out how you expect. When I was little I always thought that I would grow up to be a free spirit. I would travel and play piano and never have a fixed abode. Which is odd because I have never been all that much of a free spirit. I used to worry all the time. About everything. So maybe it was more of a projection of who I wanted to be, rather than who I was likely to be? Anyway.

When I got sick, all I wanted was normality. And security. Taking chances, falling in love and making my dreams come true never factored into it. I didn’t want to try new things. Ever. And I stuck to that for quite a few years. It wasn’t until the other day that I realised I am so different to that now.

My sister said something that got me thinking. We were driving to Sydney and following her GPS. Though it was directing me in the opposite direction to the way I know to go, I trust technology much more than my own sense of direction and followed it. After 1 hour of driving down dirt-roads covered in pot holes and weaving in circles, (which will lead to another blog post shortly..dirt roads plus old cars=disaster) rather than the neat straight highway we had come to know and love, I stopped the car and demanded she look on the GPS to see if we were actually headed towards Sydney or if we were going to end up in a country town instead.

She responded by telling me I worry too much, and don’t take enough risks.

And you know what? I realised that I have become someone that takes risks all the time. Almost all of us are. To participate in life to the fullest we need to. We may not be free-spirits travelling where the wind takes us, but if we are following our dreams, even if those dreams may not be exciting to anyone other than ourselves, then we are taking risks.

I may not take risks by driving along dirt-roads without questioning whether or not we are going the right way. (it turns out that the GPS was set to ‘un-paved roads’). I may not run away to join the circus, or audition for movies, or start a jazz band, or drop out of uni to travel the world. Because none of those things are my dreams. They wouldn’t be risks that would pay off, or get me any closer to the life that I want to live.

I took a risk when I fell in love, when I moved out, when I dropped out of my degree to pursue a course that I knew I would either love or hate, when I got married, when I took all of those little chances every single day that may not seem like anything to anyone else, but mean a lot to me.

We are taking risks all the time. Just by getting up in the morning, heading out the door and making the most of what we were given.

Granted, I could take a few more risks. What she said did make me evaluate my life. And look at what I really want. I have a little life list going actually, all of those risks that I was still a little bit afraid of are now in pen in a little journal. And I am ticking them off one by one.

I will share one in the hopes it will inspire me to follow through (flaky is my middle name): To save up and travel all around Europe at the end of the year. And while Joel will be joining me for part of it, one dream of mine that I have always been too scared to make happen is to travel solo. And so travel solo I will. Hopefully....I am an awful saver. Absolutely awful. BUT that’s really just a cop-out, isn’t it. I am physically capable and financially capable of it.

So, in conclusion, let’s all raise a glass to risks. And to ourselves. For being the amazingly little risk-takers that we are.