Posted in Happiness, Health and fitness, Women's issues, Writers, Writing tips

Gifting myself time to write

Today is my birthday.

To celebrate I’ve made time to post on my blog. I love writing. On this special day, this is my treat. Write on!

I started the day with another favourite thing – boot camp (thanks for the Happy Birthday sing-a-long girls for myself and Kym, as we share the same date). Then I made Mahli’s day by going for a quick run with her before breaky and opening my laptop.

I have a wonderful boss who gave me today off to go out to lunch with my Mum and sister. I appreciate that, particularly since most birthdays I do work. A relaxing lunch later and a spot of writing right now – bliss.

Another year, another bit older but I’m feeling okay about that. It’s funny how the angst of our teens, twenties and thirties begins to disappear sometime between a fortieth and fiftieth birthday. I remember being not as in control. I worried about my body shape, what I ate, what I wore, how I exercised, whether people liked me, if I would succeed at anything and other stuff that I sweated.

I’ve been talking to other girlfriends and we all seem more content after our fiftieth. Even if our world isn’t perfect the imperfections just don’t seem to bother us as much. Perhaps we grow from them. My examples are:

I used to analyse unkind things people say in a negative way and want revenge

Now I don’t take it personally, because everyone has their own story and their own reasons for acting the way they do.  If someone is mean I just wonder what sad thing happened to make them be like that.

I thought it was important to have a big circle of friends.

Now I’m happy to have a smaller circle of compassionate, caring, encouraging, thoughtful, kind-hearted, funny, articulate, clever, awesome, like-minded friends, both old and new. I’ve re-established old relationships from my childhood and I didn’t think I needed to go back in time but I’m glad I did. I never thought I’d say it, but I love reminiscing. Maybe I am getting old.

I used to be to self-contained and I didn’t listen enough

Now I pay attention and care about sharing ideas, plans, thoughts and supporting others who need it. It’s much more fulfilling than being selfish.

I used treat myself unkindly by overeating and berating myself

Now I enjoy being both fit and health by using moderation as a motto. The less I diet (I don’t now) and stress about my body shape, the more comfortable I become in my own skin. I think we all need to be kinder to ourselves. We’re all built and wired differently. Embrace our differences. It would be absolutely boring if we were all the same.

I used to think I was better at having male friends

The older I get, the more I’m enjoying my female friendships and the great support they can be. I love women who encourage each other instead of competing with each other. There’s no greater shoulder to cry on or laugh with.

I used to think women with muscles didn’t look feminine

My perception has definitely changed. Real muscles from exercising and lifting weights (not synthetic) are beautiful. Strong women have empowerment. Experience our CrossFit Regionals one year and you’ll see women with muscle who are fabulously feminine.  Just like my Hammer Fit class at Wise Force Gym where we range from 20 year olds to 60 year olds and have all sorts of body shapes and sizes. With kicking, boxing and boot camp training we are all feeling firmer and fitter and having fun. We’ve dubbed it the 3 Fs.

I used to think superannuation wasn’t important

Now it needs to grow to sustain a long life. Now I actively keep track of it and you should too.

I used to think time went so slow and that I was invincible

Now time moves quickly and my mortality and those I love is inevitable eventually. I’ve lost some beautiful souls over the years. You never forget them or that we’ll all one day join them. (Enough of that, it’s my birthday).

I used to panic about some things I thought I couldn’t do

I proved myself wrong by driving from Newcastle to Sydney Airport alone in a manual car (I hadn’t driven one for years) with only Siri for company. I negotiated the crawling traffic of the tunnels and persistent phone calls from my son who was waiting at the airport. Go me!

I used to wonder what the fuss about menopause was

I say this whilst having a hot flush. I’m hoping it’s over soon, but I know I’m not getting it as bad as other women and have to be grateful for that.

I used to be called ‘Smiley’

I didn’t understand then what a great compliment that name was, especially when that smile sometimes hid stuff I was going through. You know what? Now I love that I can smile a lot. Plenty of people can’t (due to hardship, depression, grief and bad health) so I’ve got to count myself as very lucky indeed. If you’re not smiling today let me share my smile with you. (I used to not like my smile due to protruding teeth and I hated the night brace I used to have to wear. So thanks Mum for insisting I persevere with that).

Share your smile today. Here's mine.
Share your smile today. Here’s mine.

I used to think I would one day be a writer

Now I know – I always was and always am.

Happy Birthday to me.

Posted in Animals and conservation, Family life

Happy Birthday to my two best friends

Two of my best friends share birthdays today. Sadly, one of them is no longer with us. My dear dog, Boss would have turned ten today. She nearly made it and we could have tried for that benchmark, but it would have been cruel.

Nearly 10-year-old Boss.
Nearly 10-year-old Boss.

It’s weird without her. I wake up most days and look down beside the bed where she used to lay. I come from home from work and am greeted by Mahli and it always hits me that Boss isn’t there to lick my legs and wag her tail.

I have to tell you, Boss, whatever dimension you’re in, that you brought me great joy and comfort. Your unconditional love and loyalty, you’re happiness at the minor things (bones, visits, water, pats), the way you cared for Mahli, the way you’d follow me around the house, the delight you gave Blake and all the tiny things that made you the wonderful dog you were – I appreciate. I’m greatful I shared your full life, and though we have Mahli, you know there will never be another dog like you.

Happy 10th Birthday Boss.

And to my other best friend, Sue Ashby. I wish, on this very special 50th Birthday all the joy and happiness you deserve. I want you to look after yourself and spend more ME time. Your boys are old enough now for you to take a bit of your time back. They really won’t mind because they know you how important it is for you to be happy, healthy and chilled. You’ve had a tough year and things can only get better from here. I wish for you wonderful times of boundless joyfulness and things that make YOU blissful.

Chris, Leanne, Bevil, Me, John and Sue, sharing a fun night out in Tallebudgera.
Chris, Leanne, Bevil, Me, John and Sue, sharing a fun night out in Tallebudgera.

Happy 50th Birthday Sue.