I’m way overdue to do the next post in The Great Ocean Road (GOR) series … but I just haven’t had time to go through all the photographs and edit them and remember what photo is of what and write the post. So then I thought I’d write a post about 55 things I’ve learnt in my 55 years (in line with my impending birthday), but I haven’t have enough time to write that one either, so instead I thought I would do one of those coffee catch-up type of posts (aka ‘rambles’) and fill you in on what’s been going on around here lately. Life sure has been busy around these parts lately and there is more coming up, so pull up a chair, get comfy, and be sure you have your tea or coffee ready, and I’ll fill you in.
First and most importantly – tomorrow is my birthday!
As the post topic and my opening paragraph have eluded to, I have a birthday coming up. I was born on 31 May 1964. Tomorrow I’ll turn 55. How can that be? That’s the kind of age my mother always was! One minute I was 35 and now I’m turning 55. I honestly can’t believe how quickly those years have flown by. I can’t be sad about turning 55 though because throughout my lifetime I’ve known, and known of, so many people who’ve had their lives cut short. They never had the privilege of living to this age. I’m grateful that I’m still here.
My daughter’s move to FNQ
My daughter moved out of home not long after she turned 21. She just turned 24 earlier this month, so she’s been living out for nearly 3 years. She’s not been far away though – a few different locations but all within a 20 minute drive of home. Last week she moved to Cairns, about 1700 kilometres away. She’s a journalist who was producing regional news in Brisbane whilst relieving as reporter in the regions when needed. She’s happy to have secured a regional reporting role. Fingers crossed all goes well and she will be happy! Thank goodness though for mobile phones, social media and the like for helping us feel connected and not so separated by the distance. Luckily I will be seeing her again in a couple of weeks, but you’ll find out more about that as you read on.
Birthdays galore and Mother’s Day
May is always a crazy busy month around here! Let’s see – it used to be my father-in-law’s birthday on 1 May and it’s also a nieces birthday that day. On 3 May it’s my Mother and daughter’s birthdays, on 15 May is a sister-in-law’s birthday, 18 May is a niece’s birthday, 20 May is ‘The Tennis Player’s’ birthday (see below) and then there is mine on the 31st. In addition to all these birthdays of course, there is Mother’s Day.
The Tennis Player turned 60!
If you’ve been following my blog for some time you’d know that ‘The Tennis Player’ is the term I use to refer to the hubby (more here). He prefers to not be featured on the blog/internet so I don’t mention him much and keep Write of the Middle very much my own little space on the internet. However, turning 60 is a bit of a milestone and it has kept me a bit busy so definitely worth a mention! There was a quiet family dinner at home on the actual day of his birthday. Then a big extended family dinner a few days later, followed by a boys weekend away at the Sunshine Coast to play golf and go to the races, so it was a bit of a ‘festival of 60’ for about a week!
Melbourne and Harry Potter
Long before we knew that my daughter would be moving to Cairns we decided that for our birthdays (hers and mine) we would like to go see the Harry Potter productions (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) in Melbourne, so the bookings were made. My daughter arranged for some leave from work. This will still all go ahead, though some additional flights had to be booked to get her home and then back north again. This will all be happening in early/mid June. It’s only a couple of nights away but I’m so looking forward to it! Also looking forward to seeing my daughter as it will have been a few weeks since I saw her last by then.
Bupa Blogger Aluminae
By some good fortune I am a part of this group and really enjoying the experience. There was the Blog Awards in October 2018. Then there was a trip to Melbourne in January 2019 for the first ‘influencer program event’, and more recently the trip to Sydney for the second. The next one will be in Brisbane in late June, so no travel or hotels for this one but it’s still exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
My sister, her two kids (my niece aged 16 and nephew aged 11) and an additional friend of my niece are headed to Stradbroke Island next school holidays and guess what … I’m going too! I’m the driver and we’ll be going over on the vehicular ferry. I am ashamed to admit that though I live so close to Stradbroke Island, I have only been there once and that was more than three decades ago and was just a one night camping trip with a few others. I remember nothing much except that I was in a tiny two-man tent, it rained, my air mattress went down, I got wet, and I didn’t enjoy it much! I am SO looking forward to this trip. This time I’m staying in an apartment (yes!) and I have 5 nights and days to explore. The nature fix will do me wonders!
Zen Tip Tuesday
I’m so happy with the gems of zen (accumulation of great guest posts) I have had as part of this series so far, and very thankful to each and every contributor. I think it is turning into a wonderful resource of inspirational ways and means to reach a calmer, more zen-like state in what can be a very busy, stressful, overly connected and switched-on world!
Always seeking guest posters!
At the moment, the last guest post I have will be published on Tuesday 18 June. The next available publish date is Tuesday 25 June. So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence, maybe now is the time to jump in! If you’re not sure what to write about, have a look at the gems of zen accumulated so far and that might provide that inspiration and ideas may come! What is it you do – activities, rituals, practices, places you go – that calm you, that soothe you, that relax you? That’s what we want to hear about. Have a read here of what is required and if you’re interested send me an email at email@example.com
My thinking at the moment is that I might take a bit of a mid-late July break from #ZTT – 2 weeks or more and then continue on. However, if I haven’t got any guest posts to do that then instead of continuing each and every Tuesday, I might change Zen Tip Tuesday to be ad hoc – just when we have a post to publish.
Sadly this hasn’t really taken off as I had hoped. There are 2-3 wonderful bloggers (you know who you are) who have supported me and my ZTT Link-Up and I thank them very much for that, but I think the time has come to scrap the link-up. Unless suddenly we are getting some more linking up or there is a strong aversion to me scrapping it, the last ZTT Link-up will be on Tuesday 18 June 2019.
I’ve noticed quite a significant decline in the number of bloggers linking up with link-ups as compared to the participation of a few years ago (I’m talking about the Australian link-ups only here). I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s a cyclic thing. Maybe linking up to linkies isn’t deemed cool anymore, or is too much work – considering that generally the etiquette is to read and comment on the hosts post and a few others of those posts that have linked up (depends on the specific rules of the individual link-ups). The linkies that have been around a while have some dwindled but solid support but it’s very hard for new linkies to get off the ground with any more than a few linking up unless they are very broad (by broad I mean you can basically link up any kind of post old or new). Just my observations anyway – keeping in mind that I’ve been a participant in the Australian blogosphere since late 2012 so I have been around long enough to see how things have changed over the last 7 years. One final point on link-ups, particularly for new bloggers … they are the portal to the blogosphere! They are what get you seen and known and how you get to see and know other bloggers in your country and other countries. They are how you network and find link-minded bloggers. They provide opportunities to collaborate, to learn more about the blogging industry, and much, much more. They’re not just about getting comments on your blog posts. I recommend them, particularly when first starting out.
It’s been 17 months since I lost my Dad. It’s been my first ‘real’ experience of grief. I’ve been very sad when people I know (relatives and acquaintances) have died before but never have I felt this level of grief before. My Dad was everything to me – a gorgeous man and a stable, calming anchor in my life. I might not cry every day now but I think of him every day and I still cry often. I recently saw an article on a friends Facebook page that explained grief so well. It’s called the Ball in the Box analogy. Please have a look at it HERE. It explains grief so perfectly.
Authenticity – some home truths
In the interests of being authentic, real, and honest – I’ve not been feeling that great lately. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, sad/depressed, anxious, stressed. I’m not keeping up/coping with all the ‘things’. Sometimes we can be very good at dishing out words of wisdom and advice to others, but not so good at applying these things to ourselves. I’m at a point where I really need to take some time out, pull back a bit, and apply some self-care to myself.
There’s many factors at play that I guess have contributed and it’s important to acknowledge and try and understand these things. Here’s some, but probably not all:
- I’m at the peri-menopausal/menopausal phase of life with shifting hormones and lots of changes & challenges going on
- I’m still grieving
- My daughter has moved 1700 km’s away
- It’s been busy around here (see all the above) and I’ve had a lot on my plate (some personal stuff that can’t be shared here).
- I love my blog and I work hard at it and will continue to but it does consume a lot of my time (and quite a bit of my money!) and I very rarely earn any money from it. I often feel guilty that I’m not more productive in a financial/business kind of way – whether that be via my blog, associated with my blog, or completely separate to my blog. I’ve had a long time to explore and dabble since I left the corporate life but I still haven’t found the ‘thing’ that I need to be doing in order to feel fulfilled, productive and purposeful in a way that I can be proud of. I know there is a ‘thing’ – I feel it in my bones – I just haven’t found it yet. I’d really like to have hit that ‘aha moment’ by now and have some clarity about what this ‘thing’ is and be working away on this project of my very own that I would love and enjoy, that would bring some money in, and that I could be proud of. Having said that, I must mention my Gorgeous Women Skin Care business and say that these products are something I truly love and believe in. I adore the products and couldn’t live without them – but I’m a distributor, not the owner, and thus don’t have complete control over the brand. It’s not mine. It will continue but it’s not the ‘thing’.
- I get loads and loads of emails from people wanting to ‘collaborate’ – but really just wanting me to publish their guest posts (not as part of ZTT – I like emails from people wanting to participate in ZTT!!) with links to their social media, wanting links within my posts to their posts or they want me to use their infographic or whatever, and so on and so on, and it’s just all become a bit too much at the moment! It takes so much of my time to read, comprehend, consider, and reply to these emails, and it’s tiring to have my platform and skills used for the benefit of others and for no real benefit for me or the readers of my blog. I’ve been at this blogging caper for a long time and I’m tired of people expecting me to give my time and skills just for ‘exposure’. Ugh!
- I’m feeling drained by social media. Scrolling my Instagram feed lately is making me feel ‘less than’. You read about this. We’re warned about this. It’s a true and real modern day phenomenon. For example: I’m exposed to all the gorgeous fashion bloggers with their beautiful clothes, shoes, jewellery and handbags (that I can’t afford); gorgeous young figures that I compare my middle-aged mother of three figure to (so stupid to compare considering the age and life stage differences and anyway I too had a smoking figure at that age … but its so easy to forget all this when scrolling around social media); photographs of exotic travel locations (that I’ve never been to and probably never will get to); the fact that many other Aussie ‘influencers’ have squillions more followers, far more engagement, and perceived more success than moi – the classic comparison trap scenario! And so it goes. I think that every now and then we need to remove ourselves from social media and reset.
So I need to take a leaf out of my own book, pull back on my commitments and apply some self-care for my own health and wellbeing. I may even take a short break from the blog in coming months in order to disconnect from screens and social media for a bit, spend more time living in the physical world, take more time to contemplate how I want to spend my time and ponder what my ‘thing’ might be.
What else I’m looking forward to!
In order to end on an uplifting note I thought I’d include a few more things that I’m looking forward to!
- Muriels Wedding The Musical – I’m booked to see this with a girlfriend in September and I can’t wait!
- A visit to my daughter in Cairns – maybe September. This will probably include some day trips to Port Douglas and the Daintree and who knows where else!
- Chicago The Musical – with the same girlfriend as mentioned above – booked for November – yay!
So how’s your coffee/tea going? Need a refill? I sure did offload quite a bit of stuff didn’t I! How ’bout you fill me in now on how things are going for you lately? I promise I’m a good listener. By the way, 55 isn’t old … is it?? Happy Birthday to me for tomorrow!
Ciao for now,