The 100 Day Retrospective!

For those of you who have been paying attention, you would’ve noticed that my 90th day in NZ came and went, with no retrospective. I decided to wait until my 100th day, because that’s a cooler milestone :).

I actually hit two milestones this past week:

1) 100 days in NZ, on the 14th

2) Two years working for Shopify, on the 16th (although technically the 17th, because timezones).

I’m going to talk about both, because both have left / will continue to leave a lasting impression on my life, and because I’m still doing both at the same time, which is awesome. First, the retrospective (I nearly typed ‘restaurant’, for some reason). I think the 2-year review is going to have to be its own post, otherwise this is going to turn into the longest post ever and I don’t want to bore you guys!

What happened in the last 40 days?

The Good:

– Moved into Wellington and got my arrangements arranged in record time! Only needed one night’s extension at the hostel.

– Switched over my LesMills gym membership and found out that it was cheaper than in Auckland. Excellent!

– Got connected into the Wellington startup scene (and nearly ended up with both a room in a flat and a coworking space in the same night– didn’t happen in the end for various reasons though) and met some awesome people.

– Started West Coast Swing dance classes at Feet With Heat – only had one so far, but it’s been really fun

– Kept up my existing fitness classes and activities, plus the addition of bouldering at Ferg’s Kayaks on the waterfront!

– Went to the Tamara Spa (I just had to, with a name like that!) and had a really relaxing facial/massage/pedicure. I also tried threading… which is a different way of shaping your eyebrows. If you have a low pain tolerance, I don’t recommend it!

– Signed up for a biweekly boardgame meetup with locals. Only been to one meetup so far, but it was great! Learned a bunch of new games and met lots of cool people. I missed playing boardgames– a group of friends and I used to play a lot when I was in Ottawa.

– Also signed up for a Dominion tournament (!!!) at the local boardgamers’ convention which is coming up next weekend. Wish me luck!

– Took a train adventure and went out into the suburb of Paraparaumu (about 50 mins by train), to tour the Tuatara Brewery. It turned out to be a very informative and funny tour, led by one of the original founders of the brewery, and we were all served a flight (4 beer tasters) at the end. The 4 were: Lager, APA (American), APA (Aotearoa), and a Belgian Dubbel. I stuck around for lunch afterwards and had a full pint of the Best Bitter, which I liked better than the other 4.

– Reached out to a bunch of friends over email whom I hadn’t heard from in a while. Email’s a tough form of communication to keep going, but getting replies are always high points in my day :).

– Have figured out how to set up a drying rack for clothing. This makes the “Good” list because the first time I tried to set one up, my roommate burst out laughing and came in to help :P.

The Bad:

– I’ve been really cold! I ended up actually getting a cold right after I moved, because of the sudden weather change (and I probably wasn’t eating that great, either). My room is kind of draughty, and I froze a number of nights in a row before I resorted to piling on the blankets and going to bed in a long-sleeved wool pullover. Still working on this.

– I was caught a bit unprepared for the NZ cold in general. Everything I’d heard seemed like the cold weather wouldn’t be THAT bad, but the wind here just cuts through everything and there’s no heating in most houses, so even once you get inside you’re cold for a while. I’ve bought multiple merino midlayers now (which are not cheap) and a pair of really warm slippers. Might need to look into warmer socks as well.

The Ugly:

– Spent a lot of money on clothing… both winter wear (as mentioned above) and replacements for things wearing out. The good news is that I tend to wear clothing until it wears out, but a surprising amount of my clothing is all reaching the end of its lifespan at once. Makes sense, I guess– the last time I bought jeans, I lived in Vanier, Ottawa (which is at least 3 years ago now!), and since I didn’t bring my full wardrobe with me, I’m wearing things more often out here. So if a good chunk of my clothing (especially pants) was bought 2-3 years ago, I’m actually surprised it hasn’t worn out already. I’m trying to buy quality replacements, which is why it costs so much :/.

What’s happening right now?

The Good:

– West Coast Swing dancing, gym-going, rock climbing (with the potential to do some outdoor climbing soon!), and other alternative fitness is keeping me nice and busy outside of work (and they’re scheduled such that I can’t stay late at work too much).

– Sharing a flat is still going smoothly– I have never lived with a girl in a flat before, so it’s a new experience! (For those of you who aren’t familiar with my past living arrangements, I’ve always either lived alone or lived with guys– or in a house with females upstairs with their own bathroom and kitchen, so I don’t really count this). She keeps pretty opposing hours to me, so we actually don’t see each other much during the week.

– Still reading and re-reading a lot of good books — I’ll post up the Fall reading list this week as well.

– Trying my best to get outside when it’s nice out. Last weekend I hiked partway up the greenbelt. I took the road on the way up– and trails on the way down, which turned out to be unexpectedly intense!

– Pushed through some of my inertia, and have started taking a few online “courses” again on CodeSchool. Looking into Udemy for this as well.

– Have generally been getting up earlier, eating better, and slowly cooking more.

– Trying to keep my inbox at a minimum– I am bad at replying to people (I think I’ve mentioned this before– it’s a result of having a job where I write a lot of email), but I’m aiming to keep my inbox below a page, and I’m constantly trying to cut this down.

The Bad:

– I think I’m gonna end up taking the plunge and getting a second suitcase. I’m annoyed with the amount of carryon I inevitably end up with– even if it’s only two pieces, it’s heavy! I really only need one backpack on a plane, and it’s really only for fragile technology things– laptops, headphones, Kindle, camera, and chargers. Although I’ll end up paying more for the second suitcase when I fly back to Canada, it also frees me to get more meaningful things without worrying too much about space or having to ship it– i.e. I bought a glass pint glass from the Tuatara brewery that definitely can’t ship!

– Ate out a lot. I think this is perpetually going to make the list :/. I enjoy the act of eating out, it’s just that it costs money… now that I’m in a proper flat though, I have groceries again, and I’ve been cooking more, so I’m gonna try and reduce the eating out.

– Not taking enough photos! I was wondering the other day why not, and I think it’s inversely proportional to how many photos are currently waiting to be post-processed– the higher that number is, the less chance I have of taking my camera out :P. Need to be better about post-processing within a short time frame. I actually really like post-processing (it’s cathartic), but it does back up easily during the week since I do so much other stuff.

– Not having a great time bouldering :(. It’s too bad, because I was really looking forward to bouldering again, but there are a couple of things which are interfering with my enjoyment of it at the current gym– not enough bouldering space, and too many loose holds :/. I’ve reported loose holds to the staff there multiple times, and each time, there’s a new one (or the old ones aren’t fixed– I’ve reported one hold twice now). For those of you who don’t rock climb, loose holds are really dangerous– you can easily twist your ankle or wrist, and worst case, if you put a lot of your weight on one, you can fall badly off the wall and potentially hit your head or something. It’s one thing if you realize you’re gonna fall, because you can try and fall safely, but if you don’t know you’re about to fall because the equipment’s about to come off, that’s dangerous. Next time I find a loose hold, I may ask for my membership money back…

The Ugly:

– Stress. I’m still not 100% sure where it’s coming from, but stress and anxiety are triggers for all kinds of behaviours with me that I’m noticing more of these days. For example, I was actually doing really well in Auckland for this (despite the stress I was feeling out there), but ever since I came to Wellington, I will wake up with a super clenched jaw. Every time. It makes my teeth and head hurt, and it takes a lot of focus to actually relax it again :(. Might be related to a bunch of stuff going on right now, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact trigger.

What’s going to happen in the next 30 days? (projected)

– Still thinking about a 100 days project. Still not sure what to do. NZ wasn’t a 100 days project, but if it was, I’ve succeeded! 😛

– Catch up on scrapbooking. I’d like to finish this book and polish it up, then get a new book.

– Looking into various cool Wellington activities

– My Dominion tournament (next weekend!!!)

– Start thinking about post-Wellington plans. I’m aiming to leave somewhere between July 1-10th.

– Relax more? 😀


Wow, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever finished a retrospective in one sitting! Enjoy, leave comments/questions if you have any– I’ll get the next post out in the next couple of days, hopefully! If you’re in Canada, I hope you’re enjoying your nice warm weather 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s