Am I the only one without an end plan?

Starting a patisserie course has sparked many questions from the gallery.  Everyone wants to know what I am going to do when I finish my course.  Most people are not satisfied with my response when I say that I don’t know.

Questions like ‘You must have some idea?’ or ‘Why are you doing it then?’ have been thrown my way.

I am beginning to wonder whether most people have an end plan.  Do most people plan their lives, get jobs, and enrol in courses knowing exactly where they are headed?  Am I in the minority by not having an end plan?

My reluctance to plan out my life has brought me to this year, my year of discovery. It is likely that my go with the flow attitude will mean that at the end of my year, I may still not have an end plan and maybe I never will.

My lack of planning is intentional.  I want to leave myself open to experience everything that life has to offer and take advantage of opportunities that come my way.  I’m not sitting on the couch all day receiving an unemployment benefit, I’m keeping busy.

I work 4 days a week. I do yoga, boxing and running. I have one midweek class and an all day Saturday class.  I’m also trying to finish my agents representative course, keep up to date on social media and trying stay in touch with friends and family.  I’m also in the process of looking for a new job, because my current job is not challenging enough and I’m bored.  Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything and nothing.

It’s possible that I will work in the hospitality industry when I finish my course, but then again I might run away and join the circus.  Anything is possible.

I guess when I think about it, my end plan is to survive and to get to the end of my life having lived the best possible life I could.

 

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#7 of 32 It’s Yoga time!!

Yoga is something I thought would be good for me.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that relaxing is not part of my usual routine.  I realised recently, that if I am at a loose end and have nothing to do, I can be a real grumpy pants. So maybe I should learn to relax.

For years yoga had been recommended to me to assist with back and neck tension. I have many friends who love yoga and for about 6 years I avoided going to a class.   I always avoided yoga because I thought that it’s just not my thing.  I don’t know how I came to this conclusion because I knew nothing about it. So I added it to my list of new things for 2013.

I should probably mention that part of my reluctance in going to yoga was my perceived lack of flexibility.  Once upon a time (more than 10 years ago), I did a fitness test.  The results showed that my level of flexibility was so poor it did not even appear on the scale for females, my flexibility was considered to be very poor for a male. My flexibility was probably never helped by my defiance against having to stretch.

With age and my level of activity increasing, stretching in the last few years has become no longer a choice, but a necessity.

With the help of social media, I sourced some local yoga classes.  I ended up in a class where a friend is the instructor.  She gave me an easy out, telling me to come along and try it and if I didn’t like it, she wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t come back.  I took another friend with me for moral support, but in reality I would have gone on my own, but I thought she would enjoy it.

It wasn’t what I had expected, it was so much more. I really enjoyed it. The lights were dimmed and the room and was warm.  I started off a little shaky. It was so quiet, my breathing was all over the place and I struggled to balance.  I wanted to laugh out loud at myself, I had to calm down and relax.

By the end of the class I had felt a release.  The tension and stress of the day had gone.  I was relaxed and feeling sleepy.  The next day I didn’t feel like myself, the tension through my shoulders and jaw wasn’t there.  It was a strange feeling.

I have since been to a second class. I’m getting a lot out of the class and seeing improvement in myself, but I still have a long way to go to get the most out of yoga.  It takes me a while to get into the class, to get centred, to calm my breathing and to focus.  It’s hard to switch off my mind and forget the million things I need to do. I think yoga is good for me, so I’m going to continue trying.

#6 of 32 the romance novel

On a normal day, I am far too restless to sit quietly and let the world pass me by.  But when I am in the mood, I really like to read. When I get absorbed into a good story, I cannot be disturbed; this is when I feel truly relaxed.

I do not read literary masterpieces. I find it hard to get my lips around the language and I like to speed read. Even when I’m relaxing, I need to get the book over and done with quickly.

This time in order to achieve another new thing, I decided to leave my comfort zone and leapt into the imaginary romance world of a Mills and Boon novel. I read The Captain and the Wallflower. I didn’t search for hours looking for a gripping synopsis that I could not pass by, but instead made my decision based on cost. The Captain and the Wallflower was the cheapest book in the romance genre I could find.

I would not describe myself as a romantic. I don’t need a man to take care of me, I would not describe myself as a damsel in need of rescuing or have ever dreamt of being swept off my feet by a handsome prince (although I do have my very own prince). I’m more comfortable with action in my life and on the page.

What I enjoyed about the book is that it was an easy read.  I read it in an evening.  There was a story, some romance and a few steamy scenes, but nothing in the league of 50 shades. I became sucked into the book.  The more I read, the more I wanted the lead characters to fall in love.  This made me frustrated. Of course they would fall in love and live happily ever after.

So it’s done.  I read a Mills and Boon romance novel.  I didn’t find it painful to read and I have no grand plans to read another, but I discovered that maybe I am a little bit of a softy at heart.

Creating a sweet life

This year my career journey has been a rollercoaster and has included thoughts of real estate, volunteering abroad, horticulture and property development. Only to end up back at the original idea I had more than 15 years ago.  My latest thought is to be a Pastry Chef.

I have always loved food. I love to eat and I love to cook, particularly sweet things.  I have been inspired during my life by the amazing women in my family who could captivate a room with their cooking ability.

My Nonna was a whiz in the kitchen. I experienced wonderful home grown, homemade Italian food.  We didn’t really do dessert; some biscotti, crostoli, zeppole and cannoli that was about it, but that was enough. I have inherited from my nonna the art of being quick in life and in the kitchen.  I’m always in a hurry to get things done so I can move on to the next task. I can still hear her sometimes in her own creative English language Quicka! Quicka!

My Australian grandma was the queen of sponge cakes, powder puffs and potent trifles, a treasure of the local Country Women’s Association.  She passed over 20 years ago, but people still speak of her glorious cakes and desserts today.  I still recall her afternoon teas and suppers with a smile.  The development of my sweet tooth started at her house.

And then there is my mum, she is perfection in the kitchen.  Everything has to be made precisely and cooked and presented beautifully.  Everything is made with love and care.  I wish I had some of her patience.

Recently I wrote about An interview that could change my life.  I heard back and I was accepted.  I start my Hospitality Patisserie Course next week. I have enrolled fulltime, but I’m trying to be a little smart about it and have enquired about part time, so I can work a bit more on the side. Living on love will not pay the bills or any upcoming travel adventures.

It’s a little scary how things can happen so quickly. I think I am on the right track with Patisserie. Although I haven’t decided whether this is something I am doing to feed my passions or whether I will make a career out of it one day. I have been asked by many people what I will do when I finish the course, I honestly don’t know and I’m okay with that.

Life is an adventure and I’m just rolling with it.

What is the smart thing to do

To recap my adventure so far: I left my career as an Environmental Health Officer (health inspector) because it was no longer enough. I had changed, the industry had changed, but in reality I never really enjoyed what I did for more than 8 hours a day 5 days a week. 2013 is about discovering myself and what I want to be when I grow up, if I ever grow up.

I’m currently passing the time working casually as an inbound customer service agent. People call me and I give them general information. It’s boring. What I have come to realise about myself is that I like to be entertained. I like to be busy, I like action and I like diversity and change. Everything that my current job is not, so I went looking for some action.

I found a temporary position advertised for an Environmental Health Officer. The position was for only a week and I thought maybe that’s what I needed to put some excitement back into my work life. Clearly absence makes the heart grow fonder, because there was a time when I was sure I was never going back.

Once I enquired about the position, things happened quickly and within no time I had advised my current employer not to roster me for a week and I was back inspecting.

The first half day was pretty tough. I could not believe I had gone back to a career I didn’t like, particularly after it had taken so much strength to leave. Had I sold myself out? What would become of my adult gap year? I was a little angry with myself.

Once I relaxed, I soon realised that I was enjoying myself. It was one week out of my life. I hadn’t changed my mind about a new career path. It was just nice to be back in a job where I knew what I was doing and I felt I was using my skills. Time flew. The job I was doing was easy and why wouldn’t it be easy, I had done it for nearly 10 years. Best of all at the end of the week, I could hand the files back and drive off into the sunset.

So back to the customer service job I went. When I was first offered the job, I thought it would be great for my adult gap year because it was casual and it would give me some money and I would have the time to follow my passions. But now I am working fulltime hours in a job that I don’t enjoy, I am being paid not much more than minimum wage and I have very little time to dedicate to my journey.

I find myself being drawn towards contract Environmental Health Officer positions. It’s not something I really want to do, but I’m wondering whether it is the smart thing to do. Being a specialist role, the money would be good and I could work half the amount of time I am now, allowing me to up skill in other areas to transition to a new career.

My week returning to Environmental Health has made me realise that I don’t have a desire to work in the field again permanently. However I could do it on a short term basis if I have too.