I’m baaack!

Exactly one month ago my life was in perfect order. I was living in the relatively quiet part of a certain mildly disreputable Sydney suburb. I got up with an alarm clock every morning, put on a pair on sensible flat shoes (for running around the wards), a decent skirt and a top which wouldn’t raise eyebrows in the hospital. I would spend 1 hour on the train catching up on Twitter, Facebook and medical news on my iPad, the next several hours – diligently performing my duties as a medical student and pre-intern. One hour on the train writing a new blog post or commenting on some new nutrition rubbish in the mainstream media while foaming at the mouth. Gym, dinner, bed, rinse, repeat. And I thought I was so alternative. Ha!

This December saw this orderly (albeit quite boring) life turned upside down. I now wake up to the sound of kookaburras outside my window. I draw back the huge french windows to open up the lounge room to a little courtyard. If it’s not raining I grab a towel and walk down to the beach. The local beach is open for dogs and they run a riot looking quite delirious with happiness. Doggy cocaine. I walk on the sand and then over a little wooden staircase to get to the next bay where dogs are not allowed but children look just as delirious. I’m a sucker for punishment and spend about 20 minutes getting pummeled by the surf. I walk back to the house wrapped in a towel.

Spending 3 weeks with no workable internet saw me go through several stages of withdrawal: 1.frustration, 2.despair, 3.indifference, 4. what internet? it’s beautiful outside! My daughter loves every minute of being here. We went to the markets, picked strawberries, walked through the rainforest, explored local shops, learned a piano duet and went at least 7 days without eating out (that must be a record).

Funny thing: this month I spent less time thinking/talking/writing about Primal and Paleo lifestyle but I feel like I have really lived it. And it feels amazing. My Mum used to say that being close to nature made her soul rest. I was a nerdy stay-at-home teenager who bitterly resented my parents’ attempts to drag me out of the house on a weekend for skiing, camping or other nature-related activity of dubious value. I made a mental note yesterday to call my Mum and tell her that I now know what she was talking about all these years ago.

I am looking forward to starting work on January 15 and yes, I’m very aware that my life will be turned around again. But nothing can take away from the fact that I can now go for a bike ride before work, my daughter can go bodyboarding after school and my partner and I can have a stroll on the beach after dinner.

Lifestyle is so much more than just what you put in your mouth. If you eat Primal you might still be caught in the suburban trap just like I was. Getting rid of processed food-like substances is just the beginning.

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15 thoughts on “I’m baaack!

  1. I know just getting out away from cars and houses and being surrounded by trees does me wonders. I’m glad you could find a moment of peace out in nature…I love reading your blog, good luck and God bless!

  2. Quite a few points I can relate to here, particularly in regards to withdrawals and breaking habits. It’s amazing how much more one can enjoy life once they break the vicious circle of routine that threatens to consume them.

    So glad that you and the others are enjoying life up on the coast! Sounds like it is something that really does suit you. I should probably ask you that again after a month or two, but you honestly do seem a lot happier and relaxed, and it shows in your writing.

    Hope you all had a lovely Xmas break and I wish you an awesome 2012! 🙂

  3. Sounds lovely! Glad to see you back and looking forward to new stuff, but the recharging is necessary, helps to refuel the mind and body, so glad you were able to take advantage of it. 🙂

  4. We seem to be living opposite lives… After living in the terrible ghetto (I’m being accurate, not facetious) surrounding my medical school for the first 2 years of med school and remaining there for another 2 years of my PhD, I opted to move out to the countryside and suffer the commute but with the opportunity to enjoy what free-time I had in ways I enjoy. I’ve loved having open space, my horses, and and outdoorsy people around me, but as I finally bid adieu to research and return to medical school I’m planning to move back to an urban setting. I’ve learned my lesson, and won’t be moving into an area where I’m effectively marooned in an apartment with no safe outdoors space or activities, but I won’t have morning nature walks and vast open space on my doorstep anymore either.

    Your setting sounds fabulous- I hope to have something equivalent one day!

    • Going back to medical school you’ll probably need to recharge more than ever. I found it was so easy to get caught up in the excitement and busy-ness of studying that I felt like I didn’t need a break. It was so tempting to spend my spare time just resting at home. Don’t fall into the same trap (I’m sure you know this already). There are a few specialties out there that don’t go easily with the primal lifestyle: I won’t be picking surgery as much as I like it. I know you are thinking of family medicine, and I think it’s a perfect combination of practicing and enjoying life at the same time.

  5. “Funny thing: this month I spent less time thinking/talking/writing about Primal and Paleo lifestyle but I feel like I have really lived it.”

    This really hit home for me and articulated something I’ve been feeling for some time, but haven’t been able to put into words. I spend so much time at the computer, writing and reading and talking and posting and trying to participate in this digital-primal movement that I sometimes feel totally disconnected from what I’m actually trying to DO. It’s been an uncomfortable feeling, but I couldn’t figure out why. I think you just solved the riddle for me! You’ve inspired me to do a little more primal LIVING and a little less primal digitizing. (Sounds trite, but it’s true.) So thank you.

    • It doesn’t sound trite at all, Liz! I was also so caught up in Paleo news, blogs, journal articles that I forgot what it was about in the first place. I’m so happy that this post was as relevant to you as it was to me. I’ve now created some time limits around social media, emailing and blogging, this way I’ll not be tempted to be on/off the Internet my whole day. I will also attempt to limit digital devices while I’m out. It will be tough not to get my phone out while having a coffee in a cafe but I think it will be good for my head. Looking forward to hearing about some primal living from you. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year x

  6. Glad to have you back!

    It’s awesome that you are finding your feet in your new town. Whilst I might not have a beach lapping at my front door, you saw how conducive Christchurch was to a paleo life that extends beyond how you eat. With everything that has happened here this year, you can never lose sight of just how much the environment you live in counts toward your overall feelings of well-being. No amount of healthy eating and high-intensity exercise will compensate for being ground down by a rat-race every day.

    I look forward to hearing more of your adventures there!

    • Thanks Jamie. I actually think I can trace back the feeling of dissatisfaction with my lifestyle to my Christchurch visit. It really hit me for the first time what I was missing out on. I have to admit that it is daunting to think of earthquakes as part of your every day life but, minus the seismic activity, you are a lucky man.

  7. Welcome back! I’m so glad that you’re finding your new life to be so exhilarating and refreshing! I totally hear you on the grind of every day life… it’s so insidious that it can be so difficult to realise how much it’s dragging you down. I’m really delighted for you that you’ve found an alternative that’s working for you! I hope you and your daughter are enjoying a fantastic holiday season, and that 2012 brings you lots more wonder and delight… and good eating. >D

  8. good post and very relevant to myself, i experienced this earlier in 2011 when on a camping weekend away from the modern utilities.

    as an entirely different aside the mention of kookaburras brings to mind an old childhood rhyme which went like this
    “kookaburra sits on the electric wire
    jumping up and down because its bum’s on fire
    fly kookaburra, fly kookaburra
    gay your life must be”
    (am sure we changed the rhyme to bums on fire but cannot remember what it was before)
    so as well as being primally enlightening this has brought back a weird childhhood memory!!

  9. I discovered your blog today, thanks to Emily Deans. I have been reading your posts backwards – newest to oldest – and this is the very best so far (I do love them all though).

    Growing up in Southern California, and living two miles from the beach, from my earliest childhood to my time in the Army was spent at the beach. I now believe that all that vitamin D and cold water is why we were all so healthy and happy (delirious is fitting). Unfortunately, life got in the way and the beach became a once in awhile thing – I have no one to blame other than myself.

    I now live a block and a half from the beach and have pushed “life” back where it belongs and spend more time enjoying the sun in my face, the sand between my toes and the refreshing cold water.

    Cheers,

    Chuck

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