I’ve Admitted Defeat

 

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Well, at least on the kale front. I’m just going to say it. I don’t like kale, I can’t stand quinoa and I think my green smoothie days are over. However, I’m still loving my fruit smoothies so all is not lost with my Magic Bullet. I also had to admit defeat this week on squashing my creativity into a rigid daily timetable of set amount of words at a set time each day.

At the beginning of the year I set myself quite a few ‘goals’. I’ve realised that my life can’t be that rigid. I do know some people can organise themselves into powerhouses of amazing achievements, but I’m not one of them. Instead, I’m sitting down for an hour each day and just writing for the fun of it. No word count, no deadlines, no pressure. Otherwise, writing becomes like having to drink a kale smoothie every morning vs. eating what you feel like at breakfast. There’s something so depressing about ‘should’. I’m not saying discipline isn’t important (hello weekly yoga class and daily french lessons on Duolingo), but at the end of the day, I’m not sure following some weird idea of what life ‘should be’ is a recipe for success.

So, onwards! With less kale, a few more laughs and less pressure to achieve.

Lost and Found Part 2

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In the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking at my life, trying to figure out where I want to head now I’m in my 50s, why I am chubby, and why I wear the same jewellery and clothes all the time. It was not as scary as I thought it would be, to admit I’m in a rut, and I want to do something about it. I think the hardest part of making any change is taking that first look in the mirror, and admitting to yourself that you’re not where you want to be.

It’s going to take me a while to figure out where I want to go now in life. My advice is take it really slowly, if you too are in the same boat. You have to feel your way into the new, and if you rush head long into it, you’ll probably end up going arse over tit. No one wants to see that version of you.

So, the first thing I did was weigh myself (ugh!), start a food diary and cut back on the crap (yes, that does include meat pies for lunch and entire tins of condensed milk). Next, I went to my hairdresser, and for the first time in twenty years, came out with a fringe and a bit of a new look, which I’m liking. After all, it’s only hair and it will grow, but at least now I look different from my lost self. Then I took out all my jewellery, and had a really good look at things I’ve owned for years, but simply haven’t been wearing. I’ve got no idea why I’ve let my jewellery languish the way I have, but after polishing off some gorgeous earrings I’d forgotten I owned, I was out the door feeling excited about broadening my horizons.

Lastly, I’m going through my clothes tomorrow. Anything that I feel bad in, when I try it on, is going to charity (or the ferret bedding box). I’m not waiting to get thinner either. I just want to feel good about my clothes, rather than wearing things because they fit and don’t need to be ironed.

Then I’m off on my four day retreat by myself. I hope I don’t end up mooching around feeling lonely, but if I do, then that’s okay too. Since taking these steps, I feel like a small crack has opened up in my world, letting slivers of the new in. It’s really exciting. Nearly as exciting as trying to tame the cowlick I’d forgotten I have, in my fringe each morning.

My advice if you are feeling stuck, is start making little changes every day. Wear those earrings you’d forgotten you own, try a new drink in a new bar when you go out, and don’t be scared to take small steps in a new direction. It’s exciting. Like a journey without a real road map. Who know where you’ll end up!!

The Fabulous Fifties?

photo 1-31It’s been absolutely ages since I last posted here. ‘Jane,’ I hear you asking, ‘what have you been up too? We’ve missed you?’ Well, I turned 50, had a fabulous party, then promptly came down with some mutant virus doing the rounds of Adelaide and was sick for three weeks. After that, I had my parents in town, my besties came to visit, and I embarked on assembling my birthday gift from my muse. A miniature dollhouse apartment block.

Make no mistake, this has been harder than putting together anything EVA from IKEA. Bloody hell, nothing fitted, everything broke, and there were times I could have put it out on the kerb for kindling. But, with a bit of persistence, a few martinis, some help from the hubby (muse), and my sister’s drill, it’s nearly assembled… Let me show you what I mean.

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From this… (yes, that is a ferret in the photo) to this!

About a month after my birthday, this arrived in the post too… Now, I’m just going to say it as I see it. When you turn 50, as a woman, you are staring down the barrel of a few things, which are quite confronting. Menopause, being considered an old chook by society, the realisation that you will never be a super model, and ads on TV saying if companies employ someone 50 and over, they will be given $10,000 because apparently we are now unemployable old chooks. Not to mention aging parents looking to you to solve all their problems. Great. photo-212

 

And I’m not even going to talk about those ‘light bladder leakage ads’. Jesus. So, given all that, wouldn’t you think the Government could be a bit more sensitive to 50 year olds? I mean come on, no one wants to get a kit, where they have to poke around in their own poo with a brush (then store it in the fridge) as a present. Yes, we have to be careful about cancer, but, seriously it’s so traumatizing turning 50 anyway, most people I know have thrown these kits out. You know what would have worked for the masses? Sending out a bottle of gin or wine, if you actually do the test and mail it back. Easy.

So that’s my update on turning 50. On the plus side, I’m not so worried about waxing my legs anymore, and I can blame my grumpy days on menopause. So, no recipes today, just a recipe for dealing with turning 50. Take that poo test, but also look around you, decide what it is you love to do and bloody well do it. Because you don’t need to put everyone else first anymore. You’re officially a middle-aged chook, and that gives you the right to enjoy your life without giving a flying toss what others think of you. Enjoy. x

It’s the end of an era

photo-121Well, it’s a day I never thought would come when I was in my twenties, thirties, or let’s be honest, even my forties. I’m fifty years old tomorrow.

FIFTY. THAT’S SO FUCKING OLD.

How the hell did that happen? In most Western cultures, turning fifty is meant to be accompanied by a few achievements – a happy marriage, a house nearly paid off, maybe a couple of kids, and a career which is reaching it’s peak. Hmm, I’ve missed a few of the boxes along the way. Apart from the husband (found at forty), I’m not going to be able to invite you to gather around my camp fire, to listen to the wisdom of how I achieved all that women my age seem to be meant to have.

So, on the eve of a rather scary transition from one age to another, I hear you saying ‘Jane, share some of your wisdom with us! Tell us a secret we can’t know. You are an old chook now. There must be something.’

Okay, lean in. I’m about to share a secret which may change the landscape of your life.

How do you get entry into the grooviest bars in town, be on first name basis with the head cocktail waiter and/or owner, to the point they even know your favourite drink, and may let you in when the bar is full. No mean feat at any age.  Here’s the secret. Gather around while I whisper it to you.

Turn up when the bar first opens. Yes, this may mean you are there just after 5pm. Yes, it may be five hours before you normally go out. There will be no one else in the bar. You can chat to the bored staff, let them mix you a drink which they invented and want to try out on you, then gush over it because it will probably be friggin delicious, and et voila, they remember you forever! Not that hard.

The other piece of wisdom I have to impart is this. Many people don’t get to celebrate getting older. I see it all the time when I nurse at the hospital. I really can see the benefit of enjoying each day, enjoying the journey and being thankful that you are still here to celebrate it. You can’t stop the march of time, but you can bloody well make sure you know the best bartenders in town to help you pave the way to old age.

CHEERS! x