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My fist mission for happiness was tackling my addiction to sugar and the three year old inside of me that just doesn’t want to go to bed.

Sugar

Sugar and I are best friends. Actually, scratch that. Sugar and I are in a codependent abusive relationship. The main culprit is the sugar I have in my tea and coffee. I drink a motherload of tea during the day (a minimum of 5cups) and always treat myself to a cup of coffee. I have a teaspoon of sugar (when I say teaspoon I actually mean a teaspoon and a bit) in every cup.

Now 6 teaspoons is the exact amount recommended as a daily intake for American women. A few things to note about this:

1) I am not American
2) this is the MINIMUM amount of sugar I consume in a day, not including the candy (I will come to this in a bit) or sugars in fruit, wine, peanut butter etc
3) I’m pretty sure this is a limit rather than a ‘you need to have at least…’
4) that amount of sugar is not ideal

The second major culprit is candy/confectionary/lollies/sweets (just eliminate depending on our country of origin). I got the feeling that I was thoughtlessly eating a bundle of lollies without even pausing for thought. Turns out I was right.

If I was hungry I reached for chocolate. If I was sleepy I reached for chocolate. If I was blogging I reached for chocolate. I could go on, but essentially I was just grabbing chocolate whenever I walked past the cupboard regardless of if I actually wanted it or not.

So, what happened?

It killed me not having sugar in my hot drinks. I just prefer the taste of tea when it is sweetened. And as for coffee – if it is good I love it without sugar, if it is bad sugar covered up a multitude of sins. So my Happiness a project means I no longer go to two coffee shops within walking distance of work because their coffee is utter rubbish.

The candy was a little easier. I packed away all the Christmas treats and only had a 80% proof block of dark chocolate in the pantry. So if I felt like candy I first asked if I was thirsty/hungry/lonely/sleepy/bored and if the answer was no to all of them, I had a bit of dark chocolate. It completely broke cycle for me and meant I was only eating it if I consciously wanted it.

I thought that this was going to be the part of my project that I just stuck with for the minimum amount of time – particularly because of the heartache of non-sweetened tea. But… It has done AMAZING things for my skin. Seriously. My skin has completely changed for the better and is clearer than ever. I am going to continue with the no sugar buzz for another month or so to see if the skin is a fluke.

Newly perfect skin? A completely unintended happiness boost.

I was casually wandering through* the GDT European wildlife photographer of the year photos, when I found this beauty by Cristobal Serrano. It was the ‘Underwater world’ winner so you know it is a good image, but it really got me into a metaphorical line of thinking.

For my generation there are a hell of a lot of options out there, the certainties which have previously been set in stone are far more fluid for us. Which country will you live in? The world is your oyster. Husband and kids? Nope, not if you don’t want to. Predetermined corporate ladder? It is what you make it.

Which is why I love Serrano’s picture so much. All the options are there, but it is never as easy or straight forward as you think. Sometimes you will see the exact thing you want, and will just have to swim your heart out to get it. You could just get lazy, and get the fish of least resistance. There will always be the lucky ones, who find their perfect dinner right off. And there is always the chance you will get the answer that you never anticipated.

 

xx

 

*By wandering through, I mean looking at on the internet on a Saturday night – its party central around here.

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This is a section of the Berlin Wall which has been transported to London and is currently sitting outside the Imperial War Museum. Such a fitting piece of art for this particular segment of history.

In the last six months I have somehow ended up living this message.

I have changed jobs, changed countries, started a blog and in a couple of months time I will be starting my own business. Not always easy, but it sure does make life interesting.

Join me?

Time Magazine

I recently read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Its the story of how Amy, a Chinese tiger mum, raised her two super-children. The book has a bit of a bad reputation in the States, because it was thought that her methods were cruel. I don’t judge – read and draw your own conclusions.

Besides being a good read (seriously, read it) what this book really drove home to me was the importance of standing by your convictions. There is no one right way for anything.

Just like Amy the Tiger Mum had rules such as no sleepovers and no TV when it comes to raising children, this runawaykiwi has her own rules when it comes to work. Now, obviously these are job rules that I follow when I can – don’t turn down a job in a recession and all that. But for better or worse here they are:

– Don’t let a job become your life, unless it can fulfil your creative and social needs as well as your financial

– Its ok & important to feel excited to go to work each day, if not all the time then at least occasionally

– You have to work somewhere where you see a future

– Never work somewhere with questionable morals

Take a moment and think of your own list. It may not be for work or children, but we all have unbreakable rules & it is important to recognise.