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.

Disappointment and the art of sulking

 

SULKING: mope, brood, pout, be sullen, have a long face, be in a bad mood, be put out, be out of sorts, be out of humour, be grumpy, be despondent, be moody, be resentful, pine, harbour a grudge, eat one’s heart out, moon about/around.

I’ve been working away on my miniature dollhouse this last week, trying to get it finished. It’s been two years of everything going wrong, that could go wrong with this project. A bit like sewing a dress where none of the seams match. Discovering that you’ve missed a stitch half way through a nearly completed piece of crochet, or going on a diet with your Muse, only to discover he’s magically lost 4kgs and you’ve lost nothing.

So after a LOT of sweat (in a heatwave), and fear (soldering irons), I got the lighting system together in my dollhouse. Racing around to the front of the house, I gazed eagerly in at my 12 volt lighting system, plugged it in and…. nothing. NOTHING!!!! In a project that has been nothing short of a nightmare, this was the final straw. I could feel myself plummeting into the blackhole of despair.

And yes, I am fully aware that this is quite a pathetic problem, given the state of the world. But, it made me realise how futile it is to say to someone, ‘snap out of it’. I couldn’t. I needed a full 24 hour period of sulking before I could even look at the stupid thing without wanting to throw it on a flaming bonfire.

I think sulking is a highly underrated spiritual practice. Really. I look back on my life and realise now that if I had sulked more when my boyfriends dumped me, sulked more when I got fired or didn’t get the job I wanted, and really sulked about my parents not coming to my wedding (see previous post), then I would have gotten over stuff a lot better. Sulking implies a self righteous indignation that’s quite empowering. Much better than feeling sad and depressed.

So, I’ve ordered some more fuses for the stupid power board on the dollhouse, and if it doesn’t work then I may just take an axe to it for firewood, and sulk about how much money I wasted on such a stupid project. But I’m not going to feel like a victim.

I’m going to use sulking as a stepping stone to feeling better about life’s disappointments, and I encourage you to do the same. It’s highly underrated!

Saying Goodbye…

“Everyone on earth should believe that they have something to give the world which cannot otherwise be given.”

Nicole Cody, Cauldrons and Cupcakes Blog

img_1104

Sometimes I think I’ve got life sorted, as much as possible. Then you get thrown a curve ball. Mine came recently when I received the news that a friend had taken his own life. I won’t go into the details, but it shocked me to the core. I had no idea he was feeling that way. And so, I began that well documented journey through the stages of grief – denial (no, it can’t be true), anger (you arsehole!!), bargaining, depression (could I end up feeling like him?) and acceptance. Bloody hell, you can read about these things all you want, but when it happens, nothing prepares you.

I don’t want to write about suicide as such. Everyone has their own view on it, and I need to respect that. What I want to share is the fact that when someone dies, they leave a gap that absolutely no one else can fill. My friend took up a space in my heart that no one else can ever claim. And when I went for a walk the first day after I heard the news, I could actually feel that my world had diminished because he’s no longer in it. It’s so easy to think we don’t count, or don’t make a difference. Especially if you are comparing yourself to everyone else. Yet, I know with my friends, it’s the fact they exist that is important. Not what they do, or how much money they have.

I got left a note. It was hard to read. It was also hard for others to let me discuss it with them. You know, sometimes you’ve just got to jump in with people, listen to their story and give them a hug. Let them cry. It passes, but sadness on that level needs to be acknowledged.

Death always brings up the big questions too. Is there life after death? What do I really, really believe? And why the hell did I eat three chocolate bars in a row when I was feeling sad?

I also know that my friend would be looking down going ‘goodness sakes Jane, get a grip’. I’d like to say to him, goodbye my friend. I hope you are travelling better now.

And on that note, it may well be time for a cup of tea and a Celine Dion song or two…

 

Advice To My Younger Self

IMG_0917

Lots of people seem to write these letters to their younger selves, but frankly, I think a lot of them are quite unrealistic. It’s hard to think about writing to a self that existed before spell check, the internet, Instagram or selfies (or even before fucking texting). It was a different life, but even so, the basics seem to remain the same. So, this is what I would say to myself, if I was looking back 25 years (I would be 27).

Get a fucking grip. You are hot and the world is your oyster.

Unfortunately, you often can’t see that this is the truth when you are young…

So, maybe I would say this. The road ahead is long (if you are lucky). The years ahead may be difficult, but the best may be yet to come. Never forget, you are important. You count as much as anyone else on this planet. God gets to experience the world through your eyes, and no one exists on the planet like you. That makes you very special, so you cannot, for one moment, doubt your importance.

That’s probably all I would say. And yeah, have some great sex along the way, and drink the wine you like, and as many martinis as you fancy. But balance it out with Dandelion Coffee. Wear tight clothes while you can. Travel lots. Don’t worry about being married. Revel in yourself. The journey goes really fast.

Lots of love,

Me

img_1104