A freak accident. A life lost. Another halted.

I have typed and re-typed this post. I don’t know how to start. I don’t know how to continue. I keep tearing up at regular intervals.

Image Source: Cricket Australia
Image Source: Cricket Australia

I didn’t know Phillip Hughes personally. But as a cricket-lover, I knew him. I watched on TV like the rest of us cricket-lovers when he made his debut as a 20 year old and slammed two consecutive centuries in that series. I watched him make a century later on his one-day debut. And like most of us, on Tuesday this week, I saw him collapse face-first after being hit by a delivery on his neck in a freak accident.

An accident that ended his life.

While I never knew Phil Hughes the man, he was undoubtedly loved by his friends and other cricketers. Never before have I seen such outpouring of support, grief and tears. His team mates have been around the whole time he was in hospital. People like me had been checking the news online for any updates every hour. And then finally, late Thursday afternoon, the news we all dreaded came through. An entire nation — cricket-lovers and non-cricket-lovers — have all been left stunned.

My heart goes out to his family and his friends. My heart also goes out to Sean Abbott. The bowler who bowled that delivery. It’s not his fault by any means and I’m sure if Hughes could have spoken, he’d reassure Sean of the same. It was an accident. A horrible one. A rare one.

One that has seen one life lost and possibly, another halted.

I love the game of cricket. But sometimes, it can be cruel. It has possibly traumatised one young player. And taken the life of another. Unfortunately, the game has lost a player who had the potential to make it as one of the greats.

Phil Hughes, yours was a life tragically cut short. We didn’t get to see the genius you were. We didn’t get to see you possibly captain Australia one day. But what about you? Did you have dreams? Dreams to captain Australia? Dreams to get married perhaps? Or have children? Dreams to spend Christmases and birthdays with your family and your friends?

It’s a reminder how short life can be. How a sport we enjoy can be dangerous. How quickly a life can be taken away.

And all we are left with is a question: Why?

Image Source: Cricket Australia
Image Source: Cricket Australia

Rest in peace Hughesy. You were a fighter, a terrific one.

Until next time,

Chores galore {includes giveaway}

This post is brought to you by Finish Australia

medium_8573365941

One of the things I dislike about being an adult is doing my chores. And by that I mean, cleaning my whole unit on my own. {Well, with the help from housemates who are good like Z and my current housemate}. Honestly, being an adult and having your own place comes with a lot of responsibility. In India, most houses have at least a maid to clean the house. Some have full time maids who cook, do the laundry and the dishes {we certainly didn’t have that luxury!}. Of course, for those who migrate overseas, that luxury is no longer there. Here I suppose I could only afford ‘help’ if I were earning big bucks. Which I’m not. So it all boils down to me. I thought I’d share with you some of my least favourite chores.

Vacuuming: I loathe vacuuming. I only have a two bedroom unit, and it’s not all that much I have to vacuum. But if you combine two cats that shed and one human that sheds {read: me}, there is a lot of hair. While on the one hand, my carpet doesn’t show all the hair thanks to its light blue colour, on the other hand, deep down, I know how much hair there is! And trust me, the vacuum cleaner does too.

Washing the dishes: This comes a close second in the list of chores I dislike. While my dishes certainly don’t pile up as much as when Z lived with me, we still go through a fair few dishes. And every time I see the dishes stacked and waiting to be done, I can’t help but avoid it. I do have a dishwasher and have used it occasionally in the past. But honestly, it doesn’t seem to clean the dishes too well. I guess I could use a dishwasher cleaner and see if that makes a difference. Again. But there’s a part of me that cannot be bothered. I figured that having to rinse the dishes by hand and use a bit of detergent prior to putting it into the dishwasher makes no sense and I might as well wash them manually. People I know think I’m nuts because dishwashers also save you water but I need to see my dishes sparkle before I consider converting full time.

Wiping the shower: I have no issues cleaning the bathroom but getting rid of the soap scum from the glass shower is a pain in my backside. Or arms to be more specific. I have this whole elaborate system after years because turns out that’s the only thing that works. Basically, I have to scrub the soap scum off, then spray and scrub some more, then splash water, then wipe down and then spray a glass cleaner for it to sparkle. Suffice to say, I tend to stop at ‘splash water’ more often than not and maybe do the whole routine every three months!

Making the bed: Do you love the smell of clean sheets? Do you love getting into a bed that’s been freshly changed? I do! Except, I wish someone would make that bed for me rather than me having to do it! I am always confused which end goes where and I end up struggling with my queen size sheets. Add to that, sometimes I’ll have two curious cats thinking it’s a game and attacking the said sheets. Yeah, not a fun task at all!

Hanging out the laundry: While I’m fine to put all my clothes in the washing machine and turn it on, to actually hang them out to dry and later put them back in my closet is a tedious job. Sure, I just have to walk a few metres into the balcony to do so but you know, it’s still a chore. I think it’d be great if there was a system which hung the clothes out for you and put it back neatly into your closet. Someday perhaps.

So there you go. These are probably my least favourite chores. Thankfully I don’t have a backyard or else mowing the lawn would definitely be up there!

Now, for the next bit: I have a giveaway for you guys. You get to win Finish dish washing tablets. To enter, I would like you to leave a comment with the answer to this question:

What is your least favourite chore?

Giveaway details:

  • To be eligible, you must leave a comment answering the above question.
  • This giveaway is open only to residents of Australia
  • Giveaway ends on 7th December 2014 at 1700 hours AEDST
  • Winners will be picked randomly via picking a name out of a hat or a randomiser I can find online.

So what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and enter!

***Linking with Grace for FYBF***

photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

Eliminate Violence Against Women #WhiteRibbonDay

Domestic Violence Stats
Image Source: Daily Life

Take an oath today and swear to stand up against violence against women. Every year on this day, we in Australia hold White Ribbon Day as a way to stop violence against women. It is also the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. As you can see in the statistics presented above, here in Australia, 1 woman is killed almost every week by her current or former partner in Australia.

Violence against women is not always visible. It doesn’t always have to be physical. Psychological abuse is not uncommon and just as dangerous if not more. Through psychological abuse, a woman’s confidence is shot bit by bit. She is called names and told she will never find anyone else who loves her so much. Every aspect of her life begins to get controlled by the perpetrator. She loses friends, contacts, financial independence and sometimes even the ability to make decisions about her clothes and activities. And thus, it becomes harder for her to leave.

Time and again women are blamed for violence against them. They are blamed for ‘provoking’ their partner. Or they are blamed for not leaving them soon enough. The fact is, it is hard to leave a violent situation. It is even harder when children are involved. Most women will attempt to leave but do not always succeed immediately.

The only way to stop violence against women is to educate men. Change starts at the grass roots level. And men need to stand up to those men who are perpetrators of violence. Men need to educate their mates to not put down their girlfriends, wives, or other women around them. Men need to stand up for women when they see them being abused. Men need to teach other men.

I know there are good men out there. There are several.

Hopefully, with the help of these men and a number of women, we can become a society that eventually puts an end to this violence.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

Mangoes

origin_3636496204

With the warmer weather down here, in addition to the beach, there is one thing I look forward every year: Mangoes. I absolutely love mangoes. It takes me back to my childhood days when my maternal grandfather spoilt me by buying me mangoes every summer and cutting them up into perfect little cubes. Not a holiday went by without mangoes. He would dutifully go and buy some from the market and make sure they were fresh and juicy. Ever since then, mangoes have been one of my favourite fruits.

In the last few years, I have also taken to making mango lassi at home. Best. Thing. Ever. I reckon my mango lassi is far better than the ones you get at restaurants here. Yes, I’m bragging. No, I’m not lying. The difference is I don’t put ice or water in mine. In the past week, I’ve been fortunate that my local fruit and veg store has started having mangoes on special. Resulting in us having a few glasses of mango lassi for dessert.

Mangoes remind me of summer. Of times less stressful. Of laid back days and the freedom of childhood.

And of course, they taste bloody good!

Do you have any fruit or dish that takes you back in time?

Do share!

***Linking with Alicia for Open Slather***

photo credit: Kirti Poddar via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

There is some scary stuff out there

medium_6756753669

I recently was directed to a blog post that scared the crap out of me. Sarah Wilson apparently believes that self-hatred is the real cause of autoimmune disease. In her post, she does not use any scientific evidence to back up her claim, which let’s face it, is unlikely to have any randomised controlled trials anyway. She refers to a TED talk by someone who in her own words is a “healer to the stars”. I don’t know about you but that is not someone you can use as a credible scientist in my opinion. What was even scarier were some of the comments on her post that were almost bordering on reverence for Sarah.

Now I don’t know Sarah Wilson.  I do know she is the person behind I Quit Sugar — where she apparently also recommends not eating fruit or dried fruit. Once again, I’m not sure how much scientific research went into her program but there are people out there who swear by her. Me, I like my fruit. And I’ll eat a couple of serves a day.

I’m pretty sure Sarah Wilson is a nice person but bloggers like her worry me. They make claims on their blogs based on their spiritual and new-age beliefs and proclaim it like the gospel truth. Unfortunately, they also have a huge following who then take on those claims. The fact of the matter is that Sarah Wilson and these bloggers are NOT scientists or doctors or psychologists or mental health professionals or nutritionists themselves. Unless they are trained in any of these areas {and by that, I mean have a degree}, they are not in a position to make any of these claims. Because the fact of the matter is that all human beings are different. Just because Sarah apparently dealt with her anxiety using ‘self-love’ {whatever that may be!}, it’s not going to work for every other person with an anxiety disorder. Rather, evidence-based interventions like CBT, ACT or even medication are likely to help majority of the population suffering from anxiety. Why? Because research proves it. As for autoimmune or genetic disorders, trust me, self-love ain’t going to ‘cure’ it. Carly and Nat both had some great posts on that.

So to all the readers out there, I beg you, do not take things like this as gospel. And as for the bloggers, you have a huge responsibility here. You cannot make claims about things without backing it up. And if you do, you need to put a disclaimer stating it is your opinion. I am a trained psychologist and while I blog a lot about mental health, not once would I offer advice. I am clear to state what are my experiences and clear to state what therapies are evidence-based. And there is no way I would ‘counsel’ people via my blog because this is not my work here. It is unethical.

As health professionals, most of us need to abide by ethics.

I wonder whether it’s time for wellness coaches, life coaches and maybe even bloggers to be bound by a code of ethics!

Do you think bloggers have a responsibility in how they provide information to their readers?

Do share! 

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

 

Working Weekends

I’m not sure if you know but I work some Saturdays. This is a second job in addition to my 5 days during the week. Yes, it’s a psychology job. Yes, I enjoy it. Yes, it’s flexible. Yes, it’s not every Saturday. And yet, I sometimes wish I had longer weekends.

I know I make it sound like I don’t have a choice and in a way, I suppose I don’t. I like my second job. And I need the money.

I really wish though I had two days to relax, to hike, to visit the beach and well, to complete chores like grocery shopping and cleaning the house. Every now and then when I do have the two days off, it’s incredible. Sure, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do {especially if I haven’t organised a camping trip!} In an ideal world, I’d wake up early on the weekend, go for a walk, buy a coffee and the paper, come back home and read, then shower and head out for the day. The house would miraculously clean itself, of course.

medium_417772946

I love my work. I love both my jobs. But sometimes, I wonder, is it really worth working weekends?

Should I perhaps cut down a day from my full time job and work Tuesdays to Saturdays instead? But then, with me not working every Saturday, that income isn’t guaranteed.

I guess for now, these are just questions floating in my head. Until I find definitive answers, and I guess, a definitive income, I am just going to have to continue to suck it up and deal with just one day off most of the year.

Do you get a short weekend like me?

How do you cope?

Do share!

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!