I have found a new best friend. She was always trying to get me to pay attention to her and to encourage me to spend a good amount of quality time with her. But I neglected her for years, thinking I didn’t need her. feeling that she had the potential to stop me from doing the things I loved and in achieving my goals. She was always there for me when I could give her some of my limited time and she took what she could graciously. Some moments when we parted it was brutal and hard but I use to push through. I always thought she would be there. Until she wasn’t. Her name was Sleep.
O sleep, O gentle sleep,’ I thought gratefully, ‘Nature’s soft nurse!’ Elizabeth Kenny
I was always a great sleeper. I use to brag with pride that I could function on five hours, sometimes with less of sleep. My husband would be in awe. I was invincible. I could manage everything. I was an efficient multi-tasker juggling a number of projects at one time. I maintained this for a couple of decades. Until everything came crashing down.
If you follow my Blog you will soon realise that I always allocate a visual to my blogs and my posts all thanks to my best friend Shutterstock. I thought about going with the quintessential one that we all know; you know the one? The one with a woman looking hot and fanning herself in a sad attempt to keep cool. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s exactly what it can feel like. But I decided to go a more positive way to visualise that Menopause, or the Big M as I like to call it in polite company, doesn’t have to be or isn’t always that bad. I am writing this blog in the hope that it can help, and inform other women out there who are about to embark or who are already on the journey within this major hormonal milestone in a woman’s life.
We all want to feel loved. When my daughter was having a hard time at school with some girls who were just not too nice because they were dealing with their own sense of who they were and their place in the world, I use to say to her “… no matter what, know that you are well loved”. She has grown up to be a kind caring young lady who will look after her friends and is always there for them. Even when she was in that horrid what-happened-to-my-sweet-little-and-who-is-this-mean-rude-girl phase she was always so kind … well … to everyone else … I was not privy to that affection. That’s okay … unconditional love is when your daughter knows you will love her no matter what … pure and simple.
As John Lennon sang “All you need is love”. I believe that love and kindness are two very important elements that go hand in hand. Love and kindness truly do make for a happier and serene world. Can you imagine what our world would be like if, when you accidentally cut someone off in traffic, they smile and gave you that “all good” look? Or if you were taking your time ordering the coffee you like to have, the way you like it, and people smiled and were reminded that we are truly blessed to have choices. Or instead of all those conflicts happening across our world, people decided to drop their guns and bombs and learnt to smile and shake hands and accepted that one’s culture, one’s religion, one’s class and one’s gender is what makes our world so rich. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful global village us earthlings live in!
I am officially a perennial and not the flowering kind … Although I do like to smell just as sweet. I actually love that I am part of a generation of women that have our own label and, in my opinion, it’s a good label too. What is a perennial you ask? A woman who is 40 plus and has no age mindset. That is me! In an article from Daily Life from the Sydney Morning Herald tells us of its origins:
It was coined by US internet entrepreneur Gina Pell, 49, who explains, “Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.”
I tick all of the above. I keep current on all things happening around me. I love technology and give it a go and even take selfies. I have friends of all ages, from all decades. I get involved. I am mega-curious about everything. I mean everything! I am uber passionate and extremely compassionate. I am creative. I am confident most of the time and I do tend to throw myself into the deep end. That’s being confident don’t you think? I am very collaborative and I am always taking risks! Tick … tick … tick … I am a Perennial.
As a female, the word “sweet” has been part of the dialogue that surrounds us. I know for me, being on the small size, 157cm or 5″2 to be exact, there were many moments where I was considered as “sweet” or “cute”. I didn’t really mind because I was never the “Brook Sheilds” or “Cindy Crawford” type of beauty. But I was told I was “sweet” or “cute”, and sometimes, to my delight, told I was “pretty”. I never I hated this, in fact, I loved it. What young girl, teenage, gosh even as a woman, doesn’t want to be called “cute”. Deep down inside it did make feel warm and fuzzy inside. All I am saying is these terms are quintessentially associated with little girls. I wonder how Kylie Minogue feels about this? She is one inch shorter than me! At least she was blonde and blue eyed. I myself have jet black hair and brown eyes. I was growing up in a wonderful country where the bronze Aussie and beach culture was iconic. Where girls with blonde hair, blue eyes and long tanned limbs were sort after by both boys and the media. Although the stereotype is changing as we have become more multicultural over the last two decades, which is great, especially since I am born to Italian migrant parents who came here in the 1960s. Anyway … I have ventured way off topic. I tend to do this … a lot … on my blog, in conversation … gosh even in my texts. Thank goodness Twitter has a word limit!
Audrey Hepburn is my ageing guru. This is a woman who is the queen of graceful ageing. Although, she was a smoker, which thankfully I am not. For me, Audrey is the epitome of grace and feminity. I have always set out with the aim to look after myself. I never took drugs, other than panadol for a headache, which thankfully isn’t often. I don’t like putting foreign substances in my body. When I had my caesarian, my Obstetrician had to cajole me to take the morphine so my milk would come in. He knew I was looking forward to breastfeeding and so I eventually relented. I rarely went out and binged with alcohol. I wish I could say I never had, although, I can literally count how many times I overdid it with alcohol on one hand … okay, maybe two! I have a two glass limit.
I read an article very early in my teens that alcohol ages. I took note. Actually, I also recall reading in Dolly Magazine, which was the teenage girl’s bible of its day when I was growing up, that smoking created a “cats bum” mouth. That image was enough to avoid smoking for life. “Avoid” is the operative word here because I do need to confess that up until me reading about how smoking ages you, I did use to succumb to peer-pressure smoking. I was your typical Catholic Private schoolgirl who stereotypical use to sneak one with my girlfriends and think life was an adventure and that it was cool. I use to think I was so sophisticated. You really are so delusional when you are young and inexperienced!
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