#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.

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#5 of 32 Blood donation

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I had a friend tell me that I was being boring for counting blood donation as one of my 32 new things. The person thought that there are more exciting things I could be doing, but what could be more exciting then saving lives.

I have been walking past the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Bendigo for years; I didn’t even know they were there. I arrived early, because I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going. I found the staff at the service to be awesome! Everyone was very friendly, chatty and reassuring.

After the boring but important paperwork was completed, I got to sit in one of the big chairs. It was almost like a theme park ride. The chair lifted and reclined seamlessly, my adrenaline was pumping and I was being given instructions on what to do if I felt unwell during the donation.

I don’t love needles, but who does. I didn’t think it was necessary to watch the needle go into my arm. I could feel it pierce my skin, so I knew it was there. My blood was a little shy to begin with and the slow flow rate set off the alarm on the machine. It didn’t faze me, but the staff were quick to reassure me that everything was ok.

The donation itself took about 10 mins. I would have taken a photo of the process, but the staff set me a challenge of spending 10 mins without my phone. I had to laugh when part way through the donation my phone started to ring. It gave me the opportunity to say: see, I told you I needed my phone 😉

I thought I was very calm about the donation process. I’m not sure whether it was because it was my first time or whether on the exterior I looked like I was freaking out, but the staff kept checking in on me to make sure I was okay. It could also be because the newbie before me had fainted.

The nurse described to me that you never know how your body will react to donating blood for the first time. Your body may think that you are hurt because you are bleeding and its natural reaction might be that you need to rest, so you faint.

Overall I had a fab time donating blood. I got to chat to some really nice people, I tuned out from the world for 10 mins and I had some juice and snacks afterwards. Before I left I schedule my next donation.

A couple of days after the donation I received a phone call seeking feedback on my experience at the blood service. The first thing out of my mouth was: ‘it was awesome, I had fun.’ The caller was a little shocked and said she had never heard blood donation being described as fun before, but it was true. I think the staff made the difference in my experience. They were all up beat, chatty and efficient which passed the time quickly.

I’m really happy that I chose blood donation as one of my new things. I have now set myself a new challenge of donating blood when I can for the rest of my life. It feels good to do something that will help someone else.

Selling stuff online #2 of 32

Recently I sold my first item online. Not new to many people, but this was my first outing.

I was a bit hesitant, but after some major ‘spring cleaning’ I had a lot of stuff I no longer wanted.

In some ways I would describe myself as techno deficient. This is a little different from technophobe in that I’m not afraid of technology. I’m generally not that interested or any good at it. I only got my first smart phone 12 months ago. Up until then I was happy with by Nokia 3210 (there was no internet or camera). Yep that’s right. It’s not that I couldn’t afford a better phone, I was just happy with keeping technology at arm’s length. I’m now at a place where I think I should be embracing technology before I fall so far behind I will never catch up

Anyway, I found setting up an online account for selling to be a little fidley, but I got there. So what did I sell? One of Mr Clips business shirts. Great brand, nearly new, worn twice, excellent condition.

Sold for $22.50 plus postage

It was worth about $60 new, so someone got a good buy.

Would I sell online again? Well, I have tried. Some things sold, others didn’t. I’m not about to start an online business, I’m just happy to off load some things I no longer need.

32 new things

So far my 2013 has been consumed with me finding a job, which is incredibly boring. I have decided to shake things up a little to get my year of discovery back on track. This year, in my 32nd year of life I will do 32 new things.

Let’s kick it off with #1 My blog. This is a first for me. My biggest challenge will be to maintain it for the entire year.

Suggestions for my 32 new things are welcome, although may not be acted on…..