Moving at the speed of light

I’m quite cheered. This year is FLYING by. I mean, in my mind it should be around March 1st, but apparently it’s nearly the end of April. But, what has cheered me up, is that everyone I talk to is saying the same thing. Time has sped up. Young and old alike are feeling that time is zooming by, so, because of that, I don’t feel so guilty about posting so late on my blog!!!

‘So Jane,’ I hear you say, ‘how is your self-care journey going?’

Self-care is a great concept, but what I’m discovering is that it means saying ‘no’. This is not something I’m all that comfortable doing. No. Such a simple word, but it has big implications. Like saying ‘no’ to a friend when they have assumed you will be available for one of their celebrations. So sure, they didn’t even bother asking you if you were available. What does that say about how I’ve been caring for me? It means I haven’t. I’ve let people’s expectations of me guilt me into saying ‘yes’, when I wanted to say ‘no’. It’s a lot harder, and a lot more simple than I imagined…

And then there is saying ‘yes’. Recently, I went to a pole dancing class. I’m at least 30 years older than a lot of the youngsters in the class. However, when I began the class, I wasn’t quick enough to get a pole at the back of the studio, out of sight in a corner, and was forced to stand centre stage in the room, right next to my 20-something year old male teacher, who is as flexible as a piece of cooked spaghetti. I was mortified! I thought about slinking out, but then I decided to say ‘yes’ to the whole experience, and just get on with it. Turns out, being that close to the teacher means I can see everything he does. I’ve been able to ignore everyone else in the class (cos they are behind me and I can’t see them), and I’ve had a ball. I’m completely useless at it too, but I’m having a blast, instead of feeling embarrassed about being the oldest in the class, and worried by what others think..

So, self-care. Far more confronting than I thought it would be. It will rock your boat, it will make people around you feel upset, and you will feel guilty. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and also the most exciting. As I start putting myself first in my life, my life is starting to look a lot more interesting. It’s not for the faint hearted.

I’m going to finish with a beautiful quote from the poem ‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver.

What indeed? And, as always, I ask myself ‘what would Celine do?’ I’m pretty sure she would go to sewing class every week, would have a great time at pole dancing class and would bounce out of bed every day and take care of her heart. 

And that’s how I intend to continue. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The Art of Liking Yourself

Last post, I mentioned I was going to Perth to do a 2 day sewing workshop with sewing blogger and all round fabulous vintage starlet Gertie Hirsch. I purchased her book ‘Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book’ about a year ago, and had been following her on Instagram ever since. When I heard she was coming to Australia to teach various dressmaking courses, I jumped at the chance before I could give myself time to think it through. My thoughts after I’d paid my deposit were along the lines of… ‘you can’t sew’, ‘who do you think you are?’, ‘you are too old to be doing this,’ blah, blah, blah. Plus, the only course which hadn’t sold out when I went to enrol, was in Western Australia, Perth. It’s bloody half a continent away from little old South Australia, and I don’t like flying!

God I get sick of that voice inside my head, that’s been there for EVER, telling me I’m not good enough, or can’t do stuff, or I’m going to be sitting next to someone on the plane who has the plague. When I got back from Perth, I realised what a fantastic experience I’d had, how well the dress I’d sewn on the course had turned out, and what a privilege it had been to sew with Gertie. Yet, the whole course had been tainted with the background voice in my head banging on and on about not being good enough.

Each year, for the last few years, I’ve set myself a theme for the year. I had The Year of Reading Instructions, The Year of Saying It’s All In The Timing, but next year is going to be The Year of Speaking Well About Myself. That means inside and outside. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’ve often wondered what would happen if you lost your memory, woke up, and decided your life was amazing, and then just got on with it!

I’m going to do my best to see what that looks like…

In the meantime, I’m going to put my new dress on, get out there into the world and start telling myself that I’m okay. Let’s see what happens!