Life lately: climate change, sustainability, weightlifting & money

Life lately: climate change, sustainability, weightlifting & money

I wrote a post at the start of the year all about my 2019 goals and plans. I’m still plugging away at them and feeling good generally about how this year is panning out so far, but in the past few weeks some other ideas keep jumping out at me as things I want to do or at least think more about. I’m not going to write out a whole new list but I have decided to write through some of those things here, given that this site is basically my very public, very scattered diary.

Firstly, I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change – and by thinking a lot I really meaning feeling very guilty. Guilt is an emotion I struggle with. But while I think I should definitely ease up on the guilt generally, I can’t say that my renewed desire to be more environmentally conscious is a bad thing. I have written a little on here about the bigger issues regarding climate change but haven’t delved much into my personal efforts to be more sustainable. I don’t believe it’s realistic for me to give up the things I truly love in order to ease up on my carbon-footprint (though all the terrifying articles would disagree) but I do want to be more proactive in changing the wasteful or high-impact areas of my life that I only continue with out of convenience. I have been making an effort to be more responsible when I travel, which I’m sure I’ll write about in the future, including offsetting all of my flights. For the rest of the year, I want to think about how much plastic we use at home – especially in the bathroom, where, as I realised recently, almost all of the products we use come in plastic bottles – and be more mindful of my financial carbon footprint. I also want to read more about climate change, so that my knowledge and opinions come from more than Twitter and my brief foray into climate science during my studies.

Money is another area I want to address for the rest of 2019. I am generally financially literate and am a complete hoarder when it comes to saving, but I want to get smart with money. I’m talking about understanding my pension, upping my contributions, making investments, increasing my credit score and doing it all in an environmentally friendly way (more on that in a future blog). Personal finance can feel like a minefield, but one of the main reasons I took my job was because I knew that getting a solid grounding in finance and investment would serve me personally for the rest of my life. After a year in the industry, including working toward an official qualification, I feel ready to take the plunge and do more than just whack some in a savings account and spend the rest.

I have also started exercising again, after a two-year break from fitness following five years of rowing (three of which involved training 10-12 times per week). I am generally active and cycle everywhere, but I know that I am still just coasting on the strong core and base fitness levels I built during the rowing years. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se, but it won’t last forever and being capable and strong is one of the things I am most grateful for. It seems wasteful and a huge shame to squander that because I can’t be bothered to get into a routine. Don’t get me wrong, I only started feeling this way recently, and I was totally chilled about taking it slow after a prolonged period of intense sport. By the time I quit rowing I absolutely hated exercising and raising my heart rate was essentially causing me to have a stress response. I was completely burned out and it was bad news bears. But two years later, I have been feeling a real itch to get active again, an urge I want to lean into. To that end, I’ve started weightlifting again and it has been so great! It’s always hard starting again with something you used to be really good at (I mean, my deadlift PB is 102.5kg! WHAT) but I’m just taking it slow and getting back into it at a relaxed pace. One of the joys of exercising just for personal health and strength is that you can take a more chilled approached; my team training was carefully planned by a physiologist and strength coach and I couldn’t move my training around depending on my mood, which is totally different to now. Doing it all of my own volition, I can do what I want, when I want and it is awesome. Currently, I want to get back to lifting very heavy items and it is going well.

So that’s the stuff taking up my brain at the moment. Admittedly, I am not very good at just being, and find the thought of life going on in exactly the same way for longer than a few months a bit confronting. There’s just so much stuff to do and learn about! I don’t want to get sucked into always thinking about ways to ‘improve’ but it is cool to feel like you’re getting your shit together and figuring things out. These are also all new things so we’ll see where I am at by the end of the year or if I’ve already moved on to even newer things (which is very likely because I am always restless. At least I nailed it when naming my blog).

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