I’m Sorry Hedy (or My Self-Care Retreat)

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I’m sorry Hedy, I spent this week’s blog-writing time attending an indulgent, but desperately-needed self-care retreat.  As part of my Shining Year goal setting for 2016, I was “forced” to plan a retreat where I took time to look after myself, do things that made me happy and celebrate my own awesomeness.  I chose to book my retreat in Newcastle where I could visit my extended family for a slightly long weekend, so, I’m afraid there won’t be a blog post this week.

 

I’m sorry Hedy, I spent this week’s blog-writing time relaxing with a touch of engineering research.  As I have often complained to you, my Brisbane apartment is missing a key luxury ingredient for anyone with a touch of stress and/or pain in their life: a bathtub. Very fortunately, my Aunt and Uncle have quite a sizeable bathtub, positioned in the centre of an expansive bathroom.  Bathing in this type of environment makes you feel like you’re Cleopatra, except you’re enjoying epsom salts instead of donkey’s milk.  I also took this quiet time to get some reading in.  I’m currently reading a book borrowed from a mech eng mate, “Seduced by Logic”, the stories of Emile du Chatelet and Mary Somerville, who are described as two of the most glamorous and influential women of mathematics.  This book is so me!  On Saturday morning, my cousin and I went down to the Foreshore, which has a grassy park area overlooking the harbour leading to the port.  From this vantage point, one can see a myriad of ships and tug boats sailing past.  It is also an excellent place for some morning yoga and meditation in an industrial but natural setting.  I’m now zen AF, so, I’m afraid there won’t be a blog post this week.

 

I’m sorry Hedy, I spent this week’s blog-writing time celebrating Chinese New Year.  My Aunt and Uncle hosted a delicious family dinner on Friday night, with a spectacular array of our favourite foods.  There were leecee bao, lucky red scratch-its and wise (and cheeky) monkeys to celebrate this year’s Chinese zodiac.  You can find out your horoscope for the year, here.  On Saturday evening, my Aunt and Uncle were performing in a Tai Chi exhibition at Newcastle’s Lantern Walk and we all came to Honeysuckle to watch them in action and give tai chi a try.  We also had the chance to see some Taiwanese dancers, lion dancers and kung fu masters.  As you know, I am physically incapable of resisting a chance to dress up in a costume, so my cousin and I had no choice but to dress up in authentic Chinese dress and pose for some pictures.  We capped off the celebrations at a not particularly Asian restaurant, The Squire’s Maiden, where I enjoyed the Jack of Spades porter and a massive skewer of pork belly!  I am still recovering from this meal, so, I’m afraid there won’t be a blog post this week.

 

I’m sorry Hedy, I spent this week’s blog-writing time influencing the future generation of professional women.  My second cousin is six and we are BFFs.  We facetime regularly and send each other messages filled with our favourite emoji.  But this weekend, we got to hang out in real life.  We had two sleepovers, watched my favourite Disney princess movies, ate lots of sometimes food and treated her stuffed animals at the hospital under the dining room table.  I’m concerned that we might lose her to medicine rather than engineering… but at least its STEMish!  I’ve been too busy being a kid, so, I’m afraid there won’t be a blog post this week.

 

I’m sorry Hedy, I spent this week’s blog-writing time celebrating the once alternative but now quite mainstream anti-couple holiday, Galentines Day.  My cousin and my cousin-in-law are like big sisters to me.  I was very lucky that my first proper single Valentines Day in a very long time was spent with these lovely ladies distracting me from the cupid’s arrow missing from my chest.  We drank freak shakes at The Depot (my favourite Newcastle cafe, were I tend to do a lot of writing), got some matching henna at the markets, did nail art with Jamberrys (meltable vinyl nail wraps, mech engineeresses out there you should check out this design), made intention dolls* for our words of the year and gossiped over caffeinated beverages.  I’m still on the high of sisterly love and sugar, so, I’m afraid there won’t be a blog post this week.  

 

Actually, Hedy, I’m not sorry.  I have returned from Newcastle refreshed, happy and painkiller free.  I needed this and I’m glad I was selfish enough to do it.  I hope that our readers will understand.  And if they feel as if they need to treat (or retreat) themselves too, I hope that they take the brave step to do so.  Our job isn’t only to be awesome engineers (although we are).  It is to be happy too.  And happiness, like safety, is everyone’s responsibility.  And with that, I wish you Happy New Year and/or Galentines Day!

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Me being selfish and happy

*To make an intention doll you write your word of the year on a piece of fabric or paper, then scrunch it up to make the head of your doll.  Then you cover your head with another piece of fabric, making a sort of ghost shape.  You cut slits for the underarms and legs and then, while thinking about your intention, wrap until the doll becomes a doll.  I understand this idea comes from members of the Simmons family with the method from my Aunt, Empress Wu.

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