Ideas that go poof in the night and other ramblings – I hope that caught your interest and you’ll stick around and have a read.
It’s Wednesday at the time of typing this and I’ve just eaten a lazy toasted ham, cheese and tomato (and lots of cracked pepper) sandwich for lunch. On the floor beside me is my dog Ava softly snoring away. In the family room (locked in there so I can type a post without having to check what they are getting into) are Axel and Amaya (my 5 month old kittens). I have a heat pack on my neck as I have awful pain and can barely turn my head. I think it’s time to search for a new pillow. I can hear the sound of my dryer working away in the laundry. Wednesday is laundry day, as is Saturday and Sunday and sometimes other days!
Today is the first day that I have been in this house alone (sans pets) in several months. It feels weird! The Tennis Player’s workplace is easing back to normality with everyone doing 2 days per week in the office and the rest of the week working from home (different days of course). It’s the week for working in the city for Twin 1. Next week he will work from home and then repeat. Twin 2 is at work as usual. My journalist daughter is working on the Gold Coast this week (commuting daily from here) but she flies home to Cairns on Friday (tomorrow) morning. Her time here is over. I’ve barely seen her while she’s been here but I am sad and I’m going to miss her.
I realised I needed to get a post ready for tomorrow but I don’t have enough time or motivation to edit photographs so I can publish the next Perth post or even a Victorian one (I still haven’t finished posting about our Great Ocean Road adventure in December 2018). So, instead I decided to do a rambly post and bring you up to speed on things around here. Well maybe not everything, but most things and possibly with too much overshare!
I’ve been appreciating the garden quite a bit lately. Mainly because my Camellia’s are flowering and they look so beautiful! I could stare at them for hours! Here’s a few snaps I’ve taken of the Camellia’s and more around here.
Secret Midlife Women’s Business
(Men might like to skip this bit!)
So I finally went to the doctor and rolled out my scroll of issues to discuss – all textbook symptoms of perimenopause/menopause. Of course I get most of the long list of possible symptoms whereas most might only get a few! Bless me fertility God’s but it’s been about six months since my last period which is great but why all this other cra* now? Please do not come back but please give me a break! When it comes to the female reproductive system and all – I’ve had a pretty rough trot. I was a young girl when it started – around 10 or 11 and the monthlies were always very, very painful. Mum would have to pick me up from school each month if it happened to fall on a school day. I’d be writhing in agony in the sick bay. Things progressively got worse as I got older and these latter years have been really quite awful. I’ll spare you the details. Anyway – TA DA – I’m trialling HRT patches. It’s only been a few weeks. There’s been some undesirable effects in these early days but I’m not gonna judge and discard too early. We will see how it goes. If I ‘do’ stick with it, the plan is to gradually wean off within 5 years.
My Mind – going back to old habits
I’ve noticed that my mind is making up stories that are probably not true and worrying too much about what people might think of me, and I’m thinking negatively about myself. This might be due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation, or lack of holidays & getaways, or the curse of social media and the ‘comparison trap’, or the stuff I talked about in the paragraph before this one. Most likely though, it is a mix of them all.
Many of the bloggers I met when I first started blogging have gone on to make successful careers – fashion, beauty products, stationary products, written books, corporate careers etc. Of course, there’s also a lot of them that have disappeared and no longer blog. However, I zero in on the fact that these women have formed their own circles, don’t keep in any contact with me, rarely and probably never comment or like anything I post, and in my mind that is because I have stagnated and not made anything of myself and so they don’t think much of me. Therefore, I too start to not think much of me. However, I must remember that most of these women are anywhere up to 30 years younger than I am and are at a different stage of life. There are women who, at 56 as I am now, want a busy professional life or business¹, but I don’t. I need peace and a slower pace of life nowadays. I’d like to have a purpose though – and that is where I struggle.
I was selling beautiful skin care products that I believed in and still use but it didn’t quite work out as I planned and I am not a salesperson. I was going to open an Etsy Shop and sell some of my crochet items – pot plant holders and more but I talked myself out of it. What if I get inundated with orders (haha wishful thinking) and there is only me and I’ll be stuck sitting crocheting all day every day? What about the peri-menopausal arthritis I get in my hands and fingers? Would all this crocheting aggravate it? My mind again. What ifs? I did this too when I was going to be a photographer. Having to please other people and do photographs that they wanted took the joy out of photography for me. I enjoy nature and natural light photography and basically taking photographs of scenes that I find pleasing and want to capture. I realised I didn’t want to work as a photographer for others and in the process I lost the passion for photography at all – even though I could’ve pursued it in another way – creating a gallery of works for purchase. Then with fostering kittens – I hit a snag when I adopted two. It’s changed the dynamics in the home and we need to adjust. Will I foster again? I plan to but we will see.
So then starts the negative self talk. You never follow through! You self sabotage! You’re hopeless! You do this all the time! What do you even want to do anyway? The truth is … I don’t know? I jump from one interest to another.
So what is this about? I should know better. Who am I? What am I meant to be doing? Why can’t I work it out and feel settled? I wish I could find the answers.
My latest interest
My latest interest is painting with watercolours. I’m doing a short online series of classes with Natalie Martin – ‘Welcome to Watercolour’. Natalie is an artist and graphic designer based on the Surf Coast, Victoria and I love her style of art. Here’s a couple of practice pieces I’ve done as part of her classes (as well as the one at the top of this post). They’re a bit rough and ready but with time I’ll hopefully improve. Next I will paint by observation – which means to go outside and get some pretty plant cutting to bring inside and paint. Watch this space!
I need a holiday
I need to get out of this house. I am a homebody and I love being home but I’ve been home way too much lately. Lockdown has made it so! However, with the easing of restrictions I’ve met up with a friend (who I hadn’t seen for around 10 years) a few times. I met up with another friend who I hadn’t seen since December last year too which was great!
We had that 1/2 day road trip to Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious and Samford which was lovely.
I’ve been to Mum’s and Bunnings and visited my sisters a couple of times.
But I need to really get away – a holiday – even if for a few days but preferably longer. I need to be immersed in nature and away from my daily routine. I need to be uplifted and pulled out of my own head.
I wrote this post – 7 Signs you need a relaxing holiday back in February and soon after booked a holiday to Kingscliff. Our planned holiday to Kingscliff though, had to be cancelled as lockdown took hold. So I’ve still been nowhere since Cairns in September 2019.
Hopefully, something can happen to fix this situation before too long!
Ideas that go poof in the night!
Image by Comfreak from Pixabay
At night as I lie in bed not being able to go to sleep because of this crazy overactive mind of mine, I come up with some really incredible ideas. I think of blog post ideas, little ‘business’ ideas (not big business), things I should do, great solutions to problems, and more! I know I should have pen and paper by the bed to record them but silly me says to myself – “Oh of course I’ll remember that!!” – and of course I rarely ever do and that fabulous idea is lost floating in that place where all my thoughts, ideas, and things I am meant to remember go, in the hope that it will blow back into my brain one day and have it’s time in the light once and for all.
It’s afternoon tea time now. Time to reheat the heat pack and for a cuppa and snuggles with the pussycats!
Do you find pretty gardens uplifting? Have a mind that can make up stories and be mean to you? What kind of pillow would you recommend to me? Please remind me to put a pad and pen on my bedside table – please and thank you!
Ciao for now,
¹ I do realise that some women have no choice but to work and I know I am lucky to be in a position to not have to (though I still am – just not officially or in an earning capacity way). It does come with significant financial sacrifice though, but I keep in mind that I worked full-time for many, many years – before kids and as a Mum of three kids and those were hard days, so I feel I deserve this time now when a slower pace is needed and better for my health at all levels.
Thank you for your camellia photos, Min and also, your current thoughts. It’s useful but also confronting being so honest with yourself and with others. But, the clarity, confidence and purpose it gives you! Worth the discomfort.
Thanks SSG. Glad you enjoyed the Camellia shots! xoxo
Hi Min, You have beautiful camellia flowers. I love pretty gardens and go to one public garden near where I live frequently. I hope your neck pain goes away soon. I use a Tempur pillow. I find that staying active during the day helps me sleep well at night. #lovinlifelinky
Thanks Natalie – I love it when the Camellia’s flower. It took a long time for them to start to thrive but they’re doing good now. Thanks for the name of the ‘Tempur’ pillow. I’ll look it up! xo
Hi Min, I hope you find your way out of the hole you are in, but yes put a pen and paper next to your bed, and then hasten slowly on those ideas. Happy to talk if you need a sounding board x
Thanks Jan – I think I’ve been in a bit of a hole for years to be honest. Dabbling in this n that but not settling on any one thing. We are what we are though I guess and perhaps it is leading me somewhere. Who knows? Pen and paper now beside the bed! xo
Hi Min – thanks for the reminder to hang out my washing (your dryer comment made me remember the load that was finished in my washing machine!) It was interesting reading your thoughts and I’m sorry you see this stage of life as being a bit unproductive. I sometimes wander down that path, but realize that it’s because I’m trying to justify my lifestyle to what I think others expect of me. When I stop and look at it rationally, I see that I love the freedom of not being in a 9-5 job, we’re not rolling in money, but we’re not poor either, I don’t need a “career” to define me, and after 50+ years, it’s time to kick back a bit and enjoy this one beautiful life we’ve been given. I check in with my husband to see if he’s okay with me being a lady of leisure (because I actually care about his opinion) and he’s fine with it – so I am too.
Enjoy this glorious window of time where you can bask in the quiet, do what you want, and remember you’re living a life that many women envy (although most won’t admit it!) xx
Hi Leanne – no problems re the reminder. BTW I usually hang out my washing on the line but since it was a load of mostly undies & socks I took the lazy option so I could get this post written. This stage of life is still very puzzling to me. I can’t settle. I need purpose and I need to feel productive but productive in what … I’m still trying to work it out. Also, just between you and me, I think these bloody patches are making me a bit more um ‘hormonal’ then I should be. I will be phoning the doctors on Monday (she doesn’t work today). Though I can’t feel settled or find my purpose … I very much DO love the freedom from being locked into a 9-5 corporate job with daily commutes. I did that for decades and to be honest, I just couldn’t do it anymore. You’re right in what you said – I do feel like I need to justify to others what I do each day. There’s one particular sister-in-law that says to me every time I see her – “so what do you do each day?” – in a very puzzled way which makes me feel like she thinks I’m lazing about doing nothing. Often people ask me if I’m ‘retired’ and up until recently I’ve said no but nowadays it’s just easier to say yes. I guess it’s different for me – the hubby still works and I still have two kidults living at home so I don’t fit the usual ‘retired couple’ scenario and maybe I’m just a little afraid to enter that phase of life just yet. I don’t know. All I know is that I feel like I’m searching for my thing and it sure is taking a while to find it. You are right though – I need to try and enjoy this time more. xo
Okay, firstly, put a notepad & pen beside your bed now. Have you done that? Now read what Leanne said in her comments. As an aside, I hear you – all of this – in regards to my blogging, in regards to my writing. There’s an annoying voice in my brain telling me that I’m not doing anything properly, that I’m almost there but will never quite get there. I try and distract it, but it creeps in. I’m going through the whole hot flush thing as well & that’s getting me down and I’m thinking that it’s having an impact on my internal monologue. So now I’m putting my fingers in my ears and trying not to listen because I think this pandemic time is making it worse as plans are disrupted and there’s very little you can plan. That’s why we did a spur of the moment weekend getaway – because I needed it. On another front, your art – both the watercolours & the garden photos is lovely – as are your models.x
Thanks Jo! Notepad and pen are beside the bed – TICK! You’re right to tell that voice in your head to shut up. You’ve written and published books AND you have a day job! You’re doing bloody good Jo! However, I do understand that no matter who we are or what we do, we all have a little battle with the voice in our heads. I’m glad you had your lovely weekend getaway – which I’m bloody envious of – as you know. Hopefully I’ll get a getaway soon too! xo
Your paintings!!! Still loving those. And the pretty flower pics. So much beauty. Despite the horrible menopause shit. Mine is acomin’. I just know it.
Thank you Leanne! Ugh menopause shit really is the pits. I wish I was one of those ladies who barely noticed it but alas (of course) I’m not! xo
Just like Joanne said, if you haven’t put that pad and pen by your bedside, stop and do it now. That has helped me so much. Of course, I have to roll around for a couple of hours first. And it is hard to write in the dark while PC saws logs beside me in bed. If I can’t write, I put something on the ground by my side of the bed…a book, a pen, a bottle of lotion…that can serve to remind me of something I thought of at 3:00 am but couldn’t write down.
Hope you will continue to foster baby kitties. You were so loving with those who were fortunate to be in your care. And Axel and Amaya might do very well with some fosters. My own kitties always did well with the strays I rescued.
Your water color inspires me. What restful shapes and hues you have chosen. Just loveliness. Hope you will continue this hobby.
I can relate to feeling a sense of self-sabotage or the frustration of not finishing things, projects. I have a 6 year old mosaic that needs to be finished and lots of other crafts that are half done. This was to be the summer to finish the mosaic and I had signed up for a course with a woman who was going to show me how to finish it. And then Covid.
Hang in there, friend. Keep writing, keep painting and keep loving.
Pen & paper is now beside the bed! 🙂 You’re so kind with your praise of my fostering efforts – thank you so much Leslie. I would really like to continue fostering kittens but will wait till next season I think as I need a bit of a holiday away. Also I need to change who I foster through because I really dislike the distance I have to drive at present. With neonatals you’re back and forth for vet visits a lot, and can only take them to their vet and it’s a 45 minute drive in low traffic but up to 2 hours in heavy traffic and I find that aspect quite stressful and disruptive when you have to factor in feeds and other aspects of my life. SO, I have found a rescue organisation closer to home that I might foster through in future. Vet visits would be A LOT closer! Thanks also for your kind words about my watercolour painting efforts too. I needed to hear that today as I’m trying to do my next little project and am getting quite frustrated with myself – so have walked away from it for a bit. Funny you should mention mosaics because that’s another of my interests but it’s been many years since I did it. I’m a Gemini – I always have a heap of things on the go and I switch from one to another depending on what mood I’m in. Drives me nuts sometimes but that’s just how I am. I hope you can do that course once Covid restrictions lift. Thanks so much Leslie for your kind words and encouragement. It’s so very much appreciated. xo
Dear Min, from someone who has been there, done that, except for the HRT patches, you will get through this. I remember the feelings of restlessness and self-doubt. Trust me, that shit is all in your head. At some point I figured out (after several attempts) that I really did not want to reinvent myself, and I stopped comparing and apologizing. My answer to your SIL would be, ‘I sit all day in my PJ’s and watch TV’. Point being, it is no ones business and you owe no one an explanation for what you do or do not do with your time. That is the beauty of this being YOUR LIFE. Hang in there.
Thank you Suzanne! Your comment has been so helpful. Makes me feel not so alone with my thoughts and feelings. I do have a lot of ‘shit in my head’ LOL. Anyway – thank you!
I so love your gentle pieces of art Min. Just beautiful. It’s really hard to be ‘stuck’ isn’t it? The restlessness, the isn’t there anything else and more. I see, from what I read, you are the one in the family who is not, WORK-busy. You are busy keeping the household running and providing but that is not rewarding you. I understand. I do not have an answer except this…let time play out and listen to your heart & gut.
I know you will see about the HRT. I ended up coming off it – I was post hysterectomy by quite a few years and had some signs of menopause in early-mid 50s but it did not suit me.
Have you considered that perhaps what you are doing is becoming the you that you need and want to be. Little by little. Some things stick, others go…and when you are ready to accept the life you can lead now (before Hub joins you in retirement!!) then you will feel peace I think.
Thanks for sharing…. Denyse xx
Denyse – you ‘get’ me. You’re amazing. You really understand how I’m feeling. Interesting about the HRT. It’s making me feel so awful. I’ve brought my next doctor appt forward and am going to see her tomorrow. I can’t go on like this. I’m not sure if she will suggest reducing it or stopping it altogether. If I stop it well at least I tried it and now I know. I do hope you’re right and I am slowly little by little becoming the me I’m supposed to be. To feel settled and peaceful would be lovely. Thank you Denyse! xo
Hi Min, I love your garden! I’ve lived in flats since about 2002 and I really miss having a garden (hoping that will change next year). I’ve also ‘started’ a lot of things in my life, and wondered about small businesses I could create, but had all the same thoughts as you and never really did anything. I still try new to learn new things, and I guess I like having an arsenal of talents that I can use for good (repairing clothes, knitting something, growing things from cuttings/scraps, etc.) even if I’m not an expert in any of them! I love not working, like you I’m not retired (and not looking for a job), and I’m happier at the moment than I’ve been for a long time. My husband asks me sometimes what I’ve done all day (we’re currently at home together 24/7, but he has a few French lessons online during the week), and I’m thrilled to be able to answer him, ‘Nothing! I’ve done nothing useful all day!’ and I smile, and he’s happy that I’m happy. Enjoy what you’re doing, even if it’s nothing, just get pleasure out of it and everything will be ok. 🙂 x
Hi Cheryl, I love having a garden but must admit I don’t like to look after a big garden anymore. It’s a bit much for me nowadays and I’d rather use my time in other ways but I do love looking at pretty gardens! You do sound like me – I’m a bit of a Jill of all trades (arsenal of talents – love that description!) and master of none. I enjoy lots of things and dabble away in each depending on what I’m in the mood for. I also love learning new stuff (if it’s of interest to me). I am still to allow myself to do ‘nothing’ without feeling guilt. It’s a bit of a problem I must say. I hope that I can relax into this new phase of life eventually and feel more settled and happy. xo