Project 44 – The Struggle

Regular readers will remember I embraced a mid life crisis late last year and decided to whip myself into a frenzy of self improvement for my 44th year on this planet. In one frantic 12 month period I was finally going to tick off some of my long standing to do/wish list items in my Project 44 challenge.

Well I’m two-and-a-half months into this madness and I think we can safely say I’m at the “what the hell was I thinking” stage. The calendar laughs in my face as yet another day departs into the black hole of the time/space continuum. One less day to devote to the seven tasks I identified as necessary to ensure my long term happiness in middle age. SEVEN challenges. Just one of the items from this lengthy list would have been enough to keep the average mortal busy for the year. But in my usual state of over-confidence I decide to do EVERYTHING I’ve been putting off or dreaming about for decades. Dear Lord I even finished with “Right, that’s the starting list, more to be added as I go along.” What was I drinking at the time?

So how is it going? Glad you asked. There have been baby steps of progress made along the way. Yet the impatient voice of discontent echoes in my brain “you’ve not done enough, you are running out of time”.

Road blocks loom suddenly out of the darkness leaving me to consider whether I have the strength to move them, the energy to climb them or the time to divert my path around them. I remind myself to focus, there’s still nine and a half months left – long enough to grow a baby with a bit of time on the side – break the gigantic down into manageable bite sized chunks – do a little bit every day. Sneak moments of activity when the children are otherwise occupied. Give up the television which eats away at the spare moments of a busy day.

Still the list sits there inscribed into the world wide web. Given my absolute stubborn determination to not FAIL I plough on.

Starting with the positive.

Start a blog/get readers. The blog is the shining light in this quagmire of desperation. There’s a slow but steady growth and it provides enjoyment, new friends and a chance to hone my writing skills.

Moving on to the “got potential”.

Write a novel. There are 9,000 words still sitting there, looking at me, asking what happens next? Frankly I don’t know, nor do I particularly care. So I’ve decided to multi-task (’cause I’m very good at that, work with your strengths people), how about a book – Shambolic Living – Essays on Modern Family Life? So often I hit the “publish” button and think “I could have done that better”. This way I can rework, expand, research some of the ideas I play with on the blog and create a paper version of the mad ramblings of my mind.

Then there is the almost done.

Get organised – sort through the myriad of boxes that remain unpacked from the last move.  When I wrote that you imagined a few odd boxes needing to be sorted didn’t you? Well no, the study was piled almost to the roof and you couldn’t walk into the room. The double garage was also chock-a-block. We have made a mammoth effort on this challenge. The study has been emptied, painted, shelves put up, filing cabinet built, trestle table put up. The garage has been cleaned out. The only problem is now the accumulated clutter of various stages of our lives is strewn up the hallway and into the lounge room. Just a couple more days of sorting and discarding and a trip to IKEA in Sydney to buy a bookcase and we might have this one beaten. There will even be a blog post in it.

Working on.

Entering five competitions a day. Apparently that’s what those people do who earn a living from entering competitions. Well I haven’t made it to five a day but I’m consistently entering stuff and just waiting for the phone call to say “congratulations you’ve won $50,000”.


Finish Shambles Manor/Go On Awesome Holidays. Waiting for the winning phone call before we can progress any further.

Then there’s gone to hell in a hand basket.

Lose 15 kilos. I signed up for the one million kilo challenge, but given I’d been feeling unwell since before Christmas I decided to go to the doctor. Various tests were conducted and the only negative result was a bit low in vitamin B. So having exhausted the possibility of medical “get out of this” card I resigned myself to starting to diet and exercise.

Then last weekend I developed chest pains. Mr Shambles (trying to calm me down) said my colour was still good and I could walk around so I wasn’t having a heart attack. In my head I was wondering how he had suddenly acquired a medical degree and was silently shouting MY heart attack might be different to YOUR heart attack.  However,  our entire life was spread eagled on the front lawn (we were in the middle of getting organised challenge above) there wasn’t time to argue, so we directed the children to pack it all away as we drove off to hospital.

ECG, blood tests, chest x-rays, urine samples, CT scan, 12 hours later, we finally had a result. It was not the suspected clot on the lung, just a little bit of fluid. Not enough to drain and no medication required I headed home. I googled fluid on the lung and needed a stiff drink. Worse still Nana Shambles googled fluid on the lung and now she’s in a panic too. YES MUM I AM GOING TO THE DOCTOR NEXT WEEK. Discovered my colleagues dog has fluid on the lung and he got tablets. Why didn’t I get tablets? Are you starting to work out where Princess Child gets her drama queen tendencies?

So basically I feel crap and am consuming even more comfort food than normal to drown my misery. Can you tell this losing weight challenge is my least favourite? How quickly can you lose 15 kilos when you start? Can I leave this one until the last quarter of my year? Right going to think about this one another day when I don’t have a DODGY LUNG.

So there’s where I stand with Project 44. Looking forward to getting to the point where I can at least say ONE thing is completed.


17 thoughts on “Project 44 – The Struggle

  1. Great blog 🙂 The fact that you are actually managing to “tread water” (fast?!) and stay ‘above’ all of this, is an accomplishment in itself! You never know, one of those Competitions may pay off one day:) Hope you feel better soon!

  2. You’ve reminded me that I must write my 50 by 50 bucket list – it’s been 9 months since I entered my 40s. I’m wasting time.

  3. janine – let the 15 kilos goal go! you don’t need it. or just morph it into “be healthy – eat healthy food and walk a bit”. really that’s more important. isn’t fluid on the lung called pneumonia? your health is important, because without it, you can’t work toward your goals. i’m sorry you had to go through the frightening trip to the hospital and all the tests, but glad you have a diagnosis. if you read the book “willpower”, it says that when you are in a stressful or demanding situation, your brain needs more glucose, so don’t try to diet when you are making other changes. really. check it out! best wishes for your health and congratulations on your otherwise pretty successful progress!

  4. Jeanie I’m with Noreen, let that 15kg goal go, and go with a ‘lifestyle’ change of healthier living. Trust me you can do all the fad ‘diets’ in this world and yep you will lose that 15kg, but then in six months maybe less it will be inching its way back to the hips/bum and tum. So go forth have bloody chocolate cake when you want it, just remember take the dog for a walk before or after. You’ll find after a while everything else will fall into place and Project 44 will go zooming along! 🙂

  5. Hi Janine, so glad it wasn’t a clot on the lung, don’t worry about all the other things on the list (except blogging as we all enjoy your writing so much) go with the flow…your health is to important. As Noreen said eat healthy food and walk a bit, take care of yourself.


    PS: Thanks for the shout out for my blog in the comments section of your post on eating out,
    I appreciate it.

  6. You sound like you’re making good progress on the right things for now and I totally agree about the weight loss thing. Go for the healthy living approach and see what happens, absolutely. And do eat comfort food while you’re getting better, absolutely!

    Janine, I was having an over 40 moment (forget about ‘senior’) last night when I was responding to being tagged to complete Mrs Sparkly’s Ten Commandments – I meant to tag you and somehow failed to. Consider yourself tagged! (If you’re feeling lost just view the latest post on my blog)

    Take care!

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