Monday 1 August 2016

Happy International Childfree day 2016

Today is August 1st.

I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by.
 It's the third week of term two of university as well, and I have mere weeks left before exams and then months off before Graduation!
I feel like I'm on a roller coaster right now.

This week's blog is all about being Childfree because today--
August 1st is International Childfree Day.
One day each year internationally recognised to celebrate Childfree and Childless couples.

Who are the childfree and childless?
You probably know a few of them yourself - that young couple who live down the road, newly married or they just moved in together and they don't have children yet.

They may have a fur child or pet ... or maybe it's just the two of them living there.

Maybe they are like Dan and I living with other adults in a flatting situation.

Maybe they own the home they moved into.

The reason for no children in the home could vary, it's always personal and not to be asked about outright.

Childfree and Childless couples look a little different - 
There's circumstantial childlessness where one or both in the couple cannot have a child for biological reasons, maybe infertility. Maybe they have been dealing with multiple miscarriages and don't want to talk about it. Maybe they have a medical condition that would be passed on and they don't want that to happen. Maybe they just don't want to pass on any medical conditions from within their family...

Or they chose not to have a child - this is childfreedom and it looks a little different than that I described above... Maybe they can't afford to have a child. Or perhaps their career, life style or finances dictate that they shouldn't have a child. They may have huge student loan or personal loan debt that they want to pay off before moving into a new owned home or travel or other endeavors.

But what about Regret?Regret is the biggest BINGO I've been given time and time again. Like I will one day be an old lady next to Daniel in a rest home and who will come visit us? Where will our children be - oh without children who will take care of us? My response has been for years - Oh but having a child does not mean they will be there for you when you're old. Once they're an adult and leave home you can't expect them to come back and do everything for you.

There have been multiple articles about this here and here is a blogger who talks about it more.

Elsewhere -
In some cultures there is an obligation on children to care for their elderly parents, and for us this is no different. Of course I wish my parents good health and all those things - of course I want to help make sure they are looked after... and at the same time for my own future I am trying to put things in place now - creating a Will, putting aside money for Retirement funds (I happen to use KiwiSaver in New Zealand) with voluntary payments being paid into there as well as whatever I'd earn from working. (I'm currently a student so not working, hence putting in voluntary payments).
Daniel is doing the same thing.

No-one can expect a handout just because they are old. For years now there have been talks about the Retirement funds drying up. So yeah, when we get to retire we won't get much at all.

Until next week,
xo Lisa.

Blog posts from my blog about our Childfree life:
Three years ago Daniel and I both wrote posts about being Childfree in New Zealand.
His can be found here.
Update in 2015 here.

Monday 25 July 2016

Just some things I'm really proud of...

This week I have been thinking about the things I'm proud of and I came to the conclusion that I don't just have one thing, so here's my round up of things I'm proud of...

In no particular order -

1. Proposing to Daniel my darling fiance and husband to be. And reaching our 5 year anniversary is another thing I'm proud of too! It's the longest relationship either of us have had and we have both grown a lot in the past 5 years. I'm really proud of what Dan has achieved with work, travel (for work and with me) and just being together.

The ring is engraved and says "Will you marry me?"
He said Yes!

Here we are with our flatmate Loren - photographed by Gareth from Duo Photography -

2. Making a future for myself and sticking with study, even through the tough times, illness and failures. Everything has helped build me up to be the woman I am today. 
In under six months I'll be all done with study and exams... And in less than a year I'll be walking across the stage at Graduation!

3. My nails - just having long nails and going to see my nail lady Serenity every month - has filled me with pride. I used to be a chronic nail biter from anxiety.  


4. Furthering my skills through online courses and courses from the university - just creating a better future for myself. To be doing what I love and learning lots every chance I get is amazing.
Recently I completed a few courses over the break from uni with Shaw Academy for Blogging and Content Marketing; learning how to be a Celebrity Fashion Stylist and Event Planning courses through Skill Success.
These cheaply found courses online have helped me to develop skills I didn't know I had to make me a more employable person. I've decided that Fashion Styling isn't for me, but the skills I've gained in learning how to tape shoes and such skills I've learned from these courses may be beneficial in future.

5. Working through my Anxiety and Depression and finding an awesome counsellor and doctor who helped me work through and learn techniques to help me control my panic attacks and keep calmer in exams. I must be doing a great job of it because I sat two exams recently without fear and without having any panicky feelings. So I'm really proud of myself for pushing through the tough times and persevering! I'm also really thankful and grateful for Daniel sticking by me throughout all these times, the good and the bad.

6. Having friends, family and flatmates who are there for me when I need them, and when they need me. They know who they are.

Until next week,
xo, Lisa.

Monday 18 July 2016

Learning and Educational opportunities.

This year is my final year at university and as I get ever closer to graduation and my final two papers being done. I realise that Education, and learning for that matter, is an every day occurrence both in and out of the classroom.

For me learning is about gaining knowledge and is a skill that many possess but not many actually take advantage of. For me I am always on the lookout for skills and try and learn new skills through courses and online classes. I enjoy being in the classroom but I also enjoy working through things at my own pace.

I have been taking some online classes recently in Event Planning, learning skills to be a Fashion Stylist, and furthering my skills as a Blogger, Photographer and individual.
I hope to be able to apply the skills learned to my life now and in the future as an educator and teacher for ESOL students. I find vouchers online from sites such as GrabOne for educational opportunities which I take on. I've also done a 140 hour ESL teaching certificate through them too.

One of the difficulties I face is in organisation of actually getting work done when I work from home. Because I often find other jobs to complete before I allow myself to really get into study and get the course work done. When I'm on campus and working in a lecture theatre I'm more organised because I can attend at the lecture and tutorial times which are pre-set by the university. When I'm working from home I have to really work to schedule these work and study times or I can easily stay distracted all day or just not work on the things I'm meant to be doing.

Today for example instead of studying for my online courses I vacuumed the house and made dinner and extra food. I tidied up. I did a bunch of cleaning that needed to be done.

And I didn't get my work done for study.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that some days just getting out of bed and breathing is a big achievement for the day.

I hope to report back with the good news of completing assignments for my courses and that I've been awarded the certificates soon...

Until next week,
xo, Lisa.

Monday 11 July 2016

Our Bedroom a super quick Room Tour in Photos

Photo special this week - Our bedroom... and how I have changed up the decor since we moved in. 
December 2015 to now - 

When we had just moved in.
 I don't know why the wall looks like it's two tones - in person it is all the same white. 

Bedside table - only on my side of the bed ... 
it has changed decor a lot over time from tissues and a power box to candles, Sheepy, flowers, a Heart print from Princess and the Pen, and a Heart lamp (from Typo), and much, much more.

Polaroids, and a novel...

The Polaroids then got changed up to be strung along a light set. 

My dressing table too has changed over time too.

This candle is so right - All you need is Love.

Until next week, 

xo, Lisa.

Monday 4 July 2016

Special Post PSA: Foot and Toe Pain OH NO Morton's Neuroma

I have a Morton's Neuroma and that's a swollen nerve. Yes it is painful. No I won't need an operation yet. No I don't want the injection therapy for it.

Since April 28th* I've been battling sore feet.
More specifically it feels like there's a marble or stone in my shoe.
Wearing sneakers hasn't helped.
Nor has buddy taping the offending toes.
Having a pad attached to the sole of my foot hasn't helped either.
And sleeping with it raised on a pillow is often uncomfortable until I can find a good place to lie down and relax properly.

So I saw my GP who sent me for an Ultrasound, after that it came back as a Probable Morton's Neuroma, so she suggested I go to a local Podiatrist for further treatment.

We started off with taping padding under the foot across the Metatarsal pad area to try and unload the area where the Neuroma is. This is meant to remove some of the pressure build up so it will reduce the pressure on the nerve. I kept this on for a week, and when I went back to my Podiatrist I had said it didn't really help, the pain was still there and it was frustrating because I couldn't get it wet. This week I also learned how hard it is to keep a limb (or in this case, foot) completely water-resistant in order to keep the padding on. Let's just say that taping three layers of shopping bags over the foot, is 1. Slippery and 2. very, very uncomfortable.  I ensured safety by showering when someone was home in case I did fall. And with the door closed but not locked in case of needing assistance.

Week 2 appointment changed to make a padded the area of the Metatarsal pad with the Neuroma area having a "cut out" in that zone. And the insertion of padding in my shoe in the form of a foam orthotic. This was a bit better, but still painful to walk. When I had just the padding on my foot (eg in socks) I could walk without pain, like I could tell I had a neuroma but it wasn't aching. When I went out wearing the orthotic with the underfoot padding my foot became achy.

Week 3 appointment - this week we removed the padding off the foot, and moved to a foam insert in the shoes. I had two sets made one for the sneakers and one for my ugg boots.

Now it's been a couple of weeks with these and my foot is feeling good. I still have sore feet when walking barefoot (so I try and only do that when I'm going from the shower - to bedroom to get dressed).

Gap toes, with the V sign on the right foot - characteristic of Morton's Neuroma. 

Below are some photos of the various padding stages - 

Initial Buddy taped toes with a strapping across the metatarsal pad which helped with pain.

Buddy taped toes with soft soled slippers.

Waterproofing foot for shower. Two notes: this is slippery and dangerous. 
IF ever need to do again get a "cast cover" from pharmacy near hospital.

Week 1 taping with padding across the whole metatarsal area.

Week 1 padding after a lot of wear.

Week 2 padding across whole metatarsal with the 'neuroma area' cut out of the padding.

Week 3: last Podiatrist appointment waiting for the in-shoe orthotic things to be made. 

I don't have a photo of the inserts for my shoes, they're made of foam and fit into my sneakers and ugg boots. 

*The pain has probably been there a lot longer, but that's the date I really noticed the pain in my foot and then went to my General Practitioner for it. She diagnosed a possible Morton's Neuroma and advised to Buddy Tape the offending toes. She also ordered an Ultrasound which came back with 'probable Morton's Neuroma'.