I feel like it has been months since I wrote this blog. My life seems to have moved into overdrive with so much activity and planning going on. I have lost the knack after a year of CoVid quiet or more honestly perhaps, I have lost the taste for being over committed. Finally I may have conquered my FOMO habit. It has only taken me most of my life!
I have always felt that my ability to do a lot of activities was a testament to my ability to be flexible and spontaneous and achieve goals; to say yes to any invitation unless it was really impossible to attend or achieve, made me a good manager and made me feel like I was living life to the fullest. I would rearrange or time shift so I could do whatever was on offer. I was addicted to the adrenaline when I was young but then it became a habit and eventually created stress that was not exciting but draining.
This month I have been going out to plays and shows, galleries and parties. There have been birthdays to celebrate, as well as family get togethers. School holiday activities with Ziggy, winter bowls has started, as well as taking Ziggy to soccer training, life drawing, and general life matters to maintain. Life seems to have eaten this month in a whirl of pleasure and planning. I started to feel like I was losing control at home. The apartment was low priority. Paper piling on the desk. My steady study of French and Spanish went out the window. I barely had time to read for book club. I was watching more TV so sitting up later. I had appointments with doctors and financial planners. I started a new exercise program. I got tired! Very tired. I began to prioritise and start saying NO or not today. I chose to not rush. I drew up a weekly schedule! Is it working? Well I have managed to clean the house, work through the piles of paper ( I am a dreadful collector of information!), disposed of a few more clothes from the wardrobe, a tent and potentially a few bolts of fabric that have been clogging up the bedroom. I have continued to prioritise my time for less stress and more down time. Will it last? It is a work in progress. Life activities fluctuate and I will continue to roll with the ups and downs but also practice saying NO or Not Today.
My son and daughter in law are in the market for a house. Their priorities have changed too and so I have spent some time rearranging my finances to release some money to help them. It was something I wanted to do but was a bit scared about. I didn’t want to leave myself too short to live my life or end up a burden in a few years. Helping them now when they need it was better than leaving them something when I die. That might be useful if I drop off my perch tomorrow, but not so much if I live into my 90s! It is times like this that I desperately miss my husband. Having someone you love and trust with whom you can discuss and clarify issues is so special and plain helpful! The sole responsibility weighs heavy sometimes.
It seems so much harder for young ones to get into the market. When we were young we had a little bit of help with purchasing land from my husband’s father but in general our generation didn’t receive much financial assistance if any, from our parents. We mostly started small and worked up to the home we finally wanted. In those days though salaries were better in relation to housing costs, jobs were full time and plentiful and our expectations were different. We were all mad on DYI even when we were ignorant! Life was a lot simpler. Anyway their first attempt at auction was a great learning experience. The chosen property went for $300,000 over reserve! The market is hot and they were naive but have learned quickly and have recalibrated expectations. Hopefully they will get someplace by the end of the year.
A few friends and family have had some health crises this month. An unexpected heart operation, a visit to the hospital for blood clots after surgery, a mystery bite that caused a friend to be hospitalised, have all caused concern and prompted me to be a bit less cavalier about a chest spasm I experienced while minding Ziggy. I had an ECG and all is working well and my overall health is excellent which is reassuring. I had not expected otherwise but as we get older ( like used cars) things start to wear out! The cardiologist expressed the used car analogy. He said if I was a used car I would get a good rating from an RACV assessment as a solid purchase! Brmm brmm!
The winter bowls pennant competition has commenced and I had hoped to have had some coaching but the coach has broken his leg and I was more preoccupied with my family issues. The first couple of games were pretty ordinary. Our team lost and I was disappointed with my game. Last week started in the same vein. The team from Albert Park were wanting a fast game and when I found my team mate had the same colour bowls, I rushed to change mine and continued to feel rushed. I felt like giving up and having a good cry! When the game finished we were told we still had pairs to play. My team mate Christine and I groaned. Out we went after a brief break. We had a competitive game finally and we came from two down to win by three points! We were ecstatic. That was worth a bottle of champagne!
I have started taking Ziggy to Soccer training on Wednesdays at Kensington. I leave at 2.45pm to collect him from school and then we zoom home to change refuel and head off to training. I don’t get home till after 7.00 pm. It is a fun time and my own understanding of soccer skills is improving. They have good coaches and the kids are keen. I get to know the parents so it really is enjoyable even though it is jolly cold! There are no toilets, so one day when it was very cold I had to go to the local swimming pool to use their facilities. It was so warm inside I wished Ziggy was doing swimming training!
I have started at a new gym. I had continued to support my old gym through CoVid on Zoom and then their shift to a new place in Camberwell out of loyalty, but I was continually battling with a tight thigh and hip. Everything was different. It didn’t seem to be working for me anymore. The circuit training had always been so personal and effective but I finally decided that continuing the same routines was not helping and it was time to change. I decided to try the new super gym down the road. It was close and had lots of classes, as well as the circuit and weight training and cycling. I was really interested in trying Yoga again and Pilates to stretch and gain flexibility. I have tried reformer Pilates, Barre Pilates, Yin Yoga( bliss), Hot Yoga( Vinyasa), Body Balance (yoga, tai chi, Pilates) and loved them all, but gosh they have stretched me literally and figuratively. Another reason why I am tired! I haven’t had time to do the usual weights, and cardio stuff yet. I looked at the fancy machines and felt horrified. The work outs on machines seemed so anonymous, everything I abhorred. However all the teachers have been so friendly and excellent and some of my classes have been very small and personal. I have spruiked the place to a few dog walking people and other gym friends so now there is a nice group of friends going there. It has meant I have received a great deal! Same cost as I used to pay and the stretching has meant no more sore thigh either! It was time for a change but when you have a relationship that change is harder to make.
Irene, Bill and I have been planning a road trip around western Victoria in a campervan. We are excited and I feel it will be a good rest. I love to be travelling and freewheeling without too much booked so you have flexibility. We have discovered however that much is booked up ( post CoVid escapees,) and so we have recalibrated our trip from north west commencing to south west, so we can join a tour at Budj Bim National park to see the UNESCO world heritage listed historic eel farming by Indigenous Australians. We are then heading to the Little Desert, the Grampians and the Silo Trail. I am so happy to be travelling again. The weather has moved from glorious Autumn to chilly winter. It will be cold while we trip around. I am taking my warmest sleeping bag!
Today at the dog park one of the young women said she hadn’t slept well. When we enquired whether it was work or personal she revealed that she had an ethical issue at work and her eyes welled up with tears. She is in research and had counselled a student not to include as a contributor someone who had not actually participated in the preparation of the paper. Her boss had another agenda and chastised her but she explained her reasoning and felt there was an ethical issue. We supported her point of view and believed she was correct. She had been brave to stand her ground at work but had started to doubt herself. She is a young woman amongst older workers. They should be defending the integrity of the research. When we walked home together we discussed some strategies to support her arguments that might smooth the issue positively for everyone. When I left her at her gate she asked if I could hug her. I felt privileged to be asked. It was good to have all the different ages at the park contribute their perspectives in accord with her take on the integrity of the matter and I felt glad to be able to support her confidence in herself. The dog owners are as varied as the dogs, but a rich source of good sense and support. It is an enjoyable time in my day-despite Alf’s constant barking if the big dogs get really boisterous! Women supporting women, dogs full of mischief and energy. A great way to start the day.
Hopefully I can post some pictures of our trip next week.