COFFEE CATCH UP TIME
Take a seat and grab a tea or coffee and one of my virtual scones with jam and cream. So how are you? No, how are you really?! So often we automatically say “Good thanks, how are you?”, but are we really good? Why don’t we answer that question more honestly?
If you were to ask me ‘how are you?’, and I were to answer honestly, I’d say that I’m well but I’ve felt a little sad lately. I really miss my Dad and I worry a lot about my Mum. I can feel a bit lonely at times too. I think I miss the social interactions I used to have with work colleagues when I was living the corporate life. I probably don’t see enough of my friends either. Having said that though, I need my social times spaced out these days. I’ve also been feeling a little restless and desperately in need of a nature recharge and change of scenery, and I still have a restless/uncertain feeling around how I should best be spending my time in order to make the most of the days I have left on this earth and in order to leave a half decent legacy for when I’m gone. I’m finding my 50’s such reflective and deep thinking years. I even wrote about The 50’s deep shift back in October 2020. As you’ll see when you read on, I’ll soon be getting some nature recharge time and a change of scenery for a bit so that will be very helpful.
So there you go, that’s my honest answer to the question “how are you?” In real life I might say all that to someone I know well but I probably wouldn’t to someone I didn’t. I may touch on one or two elements of it if the topic of conversation went that way but otherwise not. I’d stick to the usual “good thanks and how are you?” Why do we do this? Well I think we just don’t want to dump our problems or burdens on others, and often when the question “how are you?” is asked, it’s asked as a protocol not really with genuine interest and readiness to accept and listen to an honest reply. It’s a bit sad don’t you think? I’m going to make a conscious effort to ask “how are you?” with the most sincerest and genuine interest to my friends and with a readiness for honest responses and a willingness to listen and care.
I’d love for you to tell me honestly in the comments of this post “How are you?”
I don’t know about you but I need regular breaks from watching pandemic related stories on the news. It’s been over a year now and the toll on mental health around the world is extremely worrying. Of course I know that we’ve been very lucky here in Australia compared to the situation in Europe, the UK and the USA. Even so, the trauma of what we see, the worry of what could be, the keeping up our attention to social distancing, hand washing and avoiding risky activities, takes a toll. Of course, I haven’t forgotten the enormous toll on airlines, business owners and the tourism sector. Vaccinations are soon to start rolling out here in Australia. This gives me the hope that I need (that things will soon improve) and hopefully it does to you too.
School holidays are over and so it’s now time for us to have a little holiday away. That’s one of the good things about mid-life: your kids are grown and you no longer have to take your holidays during school holidays. Outside school holidays is cheaper and less crowded and that pleases me muchly!
As you’ll have read above, I’m feeling restless and in need of a nature recharge and change of scenery so read on to see what is coming up! By the way, you could have a read of my 7 Signs you need a relaxing holiday post to see if you’re in need of a holiday too!
For a long time now I have been craving some time at the beach. I find beach holidays so relaxing and restorative. My post 8 Benefits of a beach holiday will explain why I feel so good after a beach holiday.
We were booked for a holiday at Kingscliff in late March/early April last year but had to cancel it when we went into Lockdown 1.0. Kingscliff of course, is in New South Wales (a different state to where I live in Queensland) and during lockdown 1.0 we weren’t allowed to even leave our suburb unless for work.
Since then we’ve managed a few day trips and a 3 night winter getaway, as follows:
- We went for a drive one day to Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious and Samford , written about in this post – A half day trip & another birthday.
- We went for a drive to Bribie Island – pics in my Taking Stock – June 2020 post.
- We managed a 3 night winter getaway to a gorgeous cottage on a vineyard at Ballandean (near Stanthorpe). I’ve yet to post about that trip but I did post about the places we visited on the way there in this post – Southern Downs and Granite Belt: Warwick.
- We visited our daughter on the Gold Coast one day (you can see pics in my Taking Stock – September 2020 post).
- and more recently we had a day trip to Mount Tamborine.
But still no beach holiday …. until now! Later this week we’re heading off for six nights at Burleigh Heads. We’re not yet game to book a holiday in another state so we’re sticking to Queensland. We also chose the Gold Coast so we can hopefully spend a bit of time with our daughter who is living and working down there. Burleigh Heads is a favourite Gold Coast location. I love it there, and we’ve been many times before. It also was where my parents took us for January school holidays every year for many years so it holds many fond memories for me.
You can see snippets of previous Burleigh holidays – here and here and one holiday in Burleigh we took a day trip over the border to NSW to the Margaret Olley Art Centre, located on the beautiful Tweed River, which I highly recommend you visit if you haven’t before. There’s a lovely cafe there with an outstanding outlook (see pic in the post) so you can really make a day of it.
Last week Christine from Booming On – Midlife without the crisis published a post ‘Burleigh Heads: a foodie’s paradise‘ which couldn’t have been more timely! I look forward to trying out some of her suggestions!
So folks, no blog posts for a little while as I take some time out to mindfully enjoy some time away. However, I will still be posting to Instagram which will also feed through to my Facebook page.
And of course, I can’t complete a post without a quote and this one by Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed perfect, because life is precious and for living, hence my craving for a nature inspired change of scenery by the beach!
Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink in the wild air. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
So tell me in the comments, how are you?
Ciao for now,
Hi Min! Lovely reading your catch-up post as I drink my Monday morning coffee. I’m lucky to live by the beach so I know you will enjoy getting away. I saw Christine’s post so have that on my list for Hubby and I to try. I’m planning a long weekend break for my husband’s birthday in May. Life has been busy for me with my son getting married and minding my grandsons but I also plan to have a weekly day trip with my husband so you’ve given me some ideas. Enjoy your holiday and let’s organise a catchup in Brisbane perhaps with some other blogging friends when you get back. #lifethisweek
Hi Sue, thank you. You are very lucky to live by the beach. I would love to have beach walks as part of my daily routine and to have access to a beach at any time. You sure have been busy. Very exciting about your son getting married. I hope the day went well! That trip away in May will be wonderful! Yes a catch up is long overdue. I haven’t seen anyone from the blogging world in a very, very long time. xo
Oh I am HOPING we can grab a holiday away next week. Not liking our chances being in a 5 day lockdown here in Victoria at present.
I am one for the ‘I am well thanks.’ I never really like talking about myself. Only on rare occasions will I tell others my details.
Hi Jody – I’m thinking of you all in Victoria! Fingers crossed the 5 day lockdown ends Wednesday night as planned. Time will tell! If you don’t get your holiday next week then hopefully soon after! Fingers crossed for you! xo
I definitely haven’t seen my friends often enough! It’s hard to find time in our very different schedules and random sicknesses. Enjoy the break!
Thanks Ness! There’s nothing like catch ups with girlfriends. Women are like therapy for each other. I appreciate my friends more than ever as I get older and my wisdom grows! I hope you get some catch ups with your friends soon too. xo
Good for you on the break! Enjoy. I too am contemplating a break to write more fiction. I’m bursting with stories but a little time poor….Enjoy and look forward to the Insta tales!
Lydia that’s so exciting that you’re bursting with stories! Carve out some time and get those stories out of your head! I would love to write fiction but the stories haven’t come to me as yet. I think one day they … or it … might! xo
Hi Min, The beach looks beautiful. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and come back feeling refreshed and happy. I’m lucky to have close friends since elementary school and high school. We live in different cities and with the current lockdown, we use the phone to stay in touch. When we chat, we’re honest about how we are doing. #lifethisweek
Hi Natalie, thank you! I’m really looking forward to the time away. Lots to do here at home before I can go – there always is! I’m glad to hear you’re in regular touch with your friends and that you’re honest with each other about how you’re doing. It’s so important to lean on and support each other. xo
Hi Min! I think a lot of us reading this post can identify with not being able to have the social life we used to just last year. My anxiety about the lack of social life comes and goes. I am pretty extroverted, so I feel lonely at times too. I am grateful for this blogging community and the interactions we have. I found my 50s were deep-thinking years too. And it continues in my 60s! Have a wonderful holiday! Love the Emerson quote.
Hi Laurie – that’s so true and I don’t know why I didn’t mention that in my post (covid affecting social lives). It’s affected my mother a lot. Many of her social activities are no longer and so she has less social interaction and more time alone at home, and she really needs those social outings particularly now that she lives alone! I’m introverted (not extroverted) yet I still need connections and interactions with friends – just interspersed with quality alone time to recharge. The blogging community has done so much to save my sanity I think but that has dwindled significantly here in Australia. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who has found this decade (and the next) deep-thinking years! Enjoy your week and take care. xo
I am dreaming of a vacation away but can’t yet bring myself to book anything yet. This is our first year of not being able to vacation when we want (in the off season) as my middle son began attending high school. After years of homeschooling and not having to worry about school schedules it’s rather weird to have to take that into consideration now. None of us are big on crowds and so I’ve had to readjust my ideas for vacations and find places that are more off the beaten path.
Hi Joanne – I’m guessing you’re in the US somewhere? I really hope you can get a vacation soon! I’m with you on crowds … I don’t like them at all! I actually find that places a bit more off the beaten track (or path) often turn out to be true little gems and provide thoroughly enjoyable holidays/vacations! xo
I enjoyed reading this so much. I’m going to check out. your links to the other posts. The pandemic definitely put a damper on things, though I had to keep working through it, which honestly probably kept me from becoming too discouraged though it has been draining in it’s own right. We did manage to get a few trips in locally which has been nice and needed. I joined in for the first time to the link party and I can’t wait to join more.
Thanks so much Kirstin. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading my words. The pandemic sure has put a damper on many things hasn’t it? I’m glad you managed a few local trips. A change of scenery really helps to lift our spirits!
From the mid 1980s, when Dad first retired until Mum got sick around 2005, they made their way to the Gold Coast for around 6 weeks in July/August. They had lots of Sydney friends who had moved up so plenty of social interaction. Later in the time they chose Burleigh Heads and loved the proximity for Dad to walk and get to the surf and Mum especially loved all the shops and places for coffee. I joined them one year. It was a great place.
I so hope the weather behaves.
I am well. I am going well and very grateful to be so. Last year, after turning 70 I had a lot of physical things that I had to get fixed, and made better and I did. Taking charge even though I did not relish more convalescence was my way to manage myself. I have just returned from my GP and both of us are delighted with my progress. Been a long time getting well…but glad to be so.
Thank you so much for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week, the optional prompt is
8/51 Explore. 22 Feb. I hope to see you there and I wish you well for the week ahead. Denyse. #lifethisweek #linkup #Mondays https://www.denysewhelan.com.au
Burleigh was lovely Denyse – despite a bit of bad weather. Actually the cloud cover and milder temperatures quite agreed with me! We had a couple of days of blue skies and the heat was shocking! I loved my walks on the beach and miss them so much now I’m home again. I would’ve liked longer away but pleased I got the time I did. I’m glad you’re well. You’ve sure had a lot to contend with over recent years, but your courage and resiliance is very inspiring and you should be so proud of yourself. So glad all is well with you right now! xo
It’s so true Min, we rarely answer honestly when someone asks that question but I often find the asker doesn’t really want to know either. If it’s someone close or someone who’s worried about us they’ll usually ask in a different way.
I’m with you – up and down. Obviously I’ve been worried about my mum, and then I’m still navigating that whole… should I be looking for a proper job vs something to pay the bills vs something fulfilling vs something creative (etc) quandary.
But I feel as if I’ve been talking about that for years and years. Maybe I’ll never work it out, I’ll just live bits of each by default?
I agree Deb, that often the asker really doesn’t want to hear the truth. It’s a bit sad that so many ask the question ‘how are you’ without truly meaning it. It’s just become a habit of greeting kinda thing. Up and down – yep that’s me too. Though we have some differences there is also much about us that is very much alike!
Hi Min – I hope you enjoy your time away and your re-charge. I think sometimes when times are a bit strained, we compare our lives to what we had (and it’s often the highlight reel of what we had) and they seem even tougher. I don’t look at pandemic news – it doesn’t serve any purpose at all (other than to depress me). I live every day with an appreciation of being covid free here in WA and being able to do all my usual stuff with no real restrictions. Working life was definitely more social, but it was also more stressful, more political, and more “fake” than the life I have now.
So in answer to your question – I’m really good – I have my ups and downs (damn hot flashes are driving me crazy!) but I’m immensely grateful for the life I have now and I wouldn’t go back to the busy work treadmill ever again.
Hi Leanne – I’m so happy you’re in a good place now and feeling grateful for the life you have. You’re right that we can look back and only see the highlight reels. I remember very clearly the not so great parts – particularly of my last corporate position so I’m very grateful to not have to endure that rubbish anymore too.