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.

Advertisements

One Month In…

I’m staying at home today. Very unusual on my day off as I usually run around ‘doing stuff’. But some friends asked me to look after their seven baby ferrets for the day, and it’s going to be 40C (bloody hot), so here I am with a free day. Well, as free as you can be while looking after little baby animals, who seem to do nothing but eat and poo. And I’ve been peed on by one of them, and am onto my second outfit of the day!

But I digress. So, with a day off, I was determined to let myself do some fun, creative activities. This includes writing (hello blog), and I’ve even done some sewing. A lot more unpicking than sewing, but that’s par for the course when you are learning. Reading back on my last post, I’ve realised how hard I’m finding it to let myself do fun and creative things. It’s such an intrenched habit of mine to do everything else like dishes, washing, cleaning, etc. instead of just sitting down at my desk and writing, or sewing, or working on my miniature projects. And I’m not saying I don’t want to do all the chores that you have to do to keep your life ticking along. What I’m saying is I have plenty of time to fit in fun things around all the chores, but I’m really, really bad at letting myself do it.

How do we give ourselves permission to do what we love? I never thought it would be so hard!!

I’m going to look for some solutions and report back soon. And any suggestions would be very welcome.

In the meantime, I need to go and cuddle my four fur babies. They are not impressed with the newcomers (even if I am).

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

 

Give Your Socks A Holiday!

IMG_0712“The socks and tights stored in your drawer are essentially on holiday.’ Such is the wisdom I am finding in a book my friend put me onto. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. At first, I thought she was mad, but within a few chapters of her book, my muse and I had rearranged our lounge and I was eyeballing my sock drawer, with a promise to the socks that I would Youtube this lady and learn how to fold them with more respect (so they can have a holiday in their drawer).

And I do find myself talking to my clothes.

For many years, I had the sort of shape that meant I could never have a wardrobe I could be excited about. Big boobs. That’s all you need to know. At times I was a tiny 17kgs lighter than I am now, but even back then, I couldn’t get clothes to fit me, or clothes that made me feel good about myself. If you are outside of the circle, in any way, shape or form, society lets you know it. It’s a constant reminder that ‘YOU DO NOT FIT IN’ (literally). I spent years hating myself, what I looked like and wishing I could be different

All that changed last year, when, after returning to nursing, my budget went to hell in a hand basket. Our government seems to be hellbent on casualising the nursing workforce. Essentially this makes you into a day labourer, and your shift can be cancelled an hour before you are due to turn up to work. You can’t plan for anything, and if it happens enough, you can’t pay for anything. So, enter the local Salvation Army op shop. There, I found a world that meant for $10 or so, I could start to be bold, find things from other decades which fitted me!!! And, I began to build up my confidence, which had been worn down to nothing over the decades.

Nowadays, it can take me an hour to get dressed, as I examine my lovely friends who now hang in my wardrobe. Bright coats from the 70s, groovy jackets from the 80s and all manner of lovely items which make me feel attractive and happy again. For the first time in my life I don’t want to lose weight. I’m happy where I am, and I LOVE my clothes.

To the point that I am prepared to give my socks the holiday they deserve. So, no matter how you feel about yourself, try to find something that makes you feel good. For me it was a 1970s dress made in London, that I purchased for $12. And I have never looked back, and I have never felt better about myself.

It can take a long time to accept yourself for who you are, and what you look like. But when you do, it is absolutely fabulous!!!!

Lost and Found

A while back, someone asked me what was on my ‘bucket list.’ I replied ‘nothing, there’s nothing I feel inspired to do.’ When I thought about it afterwards, it made me realise I’m feeling a bit lost, with no dreams on my horizon. What’s a girl to do? Panic, pour herself a martini, seek enlightenment? I’ve tried all of that, and really, it just leads to a sore head on all fronts. Thankfully, along with Celine Dion, there are some wise women amongst us, to show us the way.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the fabulous author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, and she runs an amazing Facebook Page, filled with wonderful words and tips for living a more creative and satisfying life. I highly recommend checking her out. Shortly after my realisation that life wasn’t quite on track, one of her posts really caught my eye. Here’s the condensed version, which I’ll quote from her:

“Long ago, a wise woman — much advanced in years — gave me a wonderful piece of advice. She said that every thoughtful woman, every ten years, should take some time to be alone with herself, in order to reexamine the direction of her own life, and to decide if any alterations need to be made.

Ask yourself if the moment has come to check in with yourself. Make sure that your values, dreams, goals, and companions are still appropriate — not for the person you once were, not even for the person you THOUGHT you would someday be…but for the woman you have actually become. Ask that woman what she really wants.”

I ask you, how many of us actually do this in our lives? I know I haven’t. But, I think that time has come, so in a couple of weeks, I’m going away by myself for a few days to have a think about life. A few things might need to be overhauled, some dreams might need to be put in place, and I’m hoping to find a spark to ignite myself with again. So, as Elizabeth Gilbert always says ONWARDS!