Have you ever wondered what life is all about? Do you feel that all you do is work, look after your family, work some more and then wonder where your day has gone? Your week, the month, the years!
Do you have dreams of having a Sea-change or Rural-change just to get away from the grind? I did! For years. And it wasn’t until my husband was made redundant that we decided this was a time to change the way we lived our lives. So we relocated to Brisbane. Two years on we haven’t looked back.
We moved here 2 weeks before my 50th birthday. I was overweight, sick, depressed, tired and so sad. I had lost my smile. I had been a pretty happy person. On deep reflection, I knew I did not want to enter the next stage of my life like this – a walking shell of a woman.
So I decided to stop and slow down. To stop multi-tasking, to take deep breaths and to not bring work home (I am a teacher). To find balance in my life and live the life I yearned for. This included being more sustainable because I think this planet is pretty special. This goal has given me the biggest purpose of my journey to a more balanced and serene existence.
I have started to meditate and I am working hard to commit to this daily.
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!
Over the past couple of decades, I have watched tattoos become popular, a fashion accessory and totally accepted in our society … well by some … my mother hates them and there are still those that can be a little too judgy. When I was growing up only people who were sailors, bikies or criminals got tattoos. If a female got a tattoo it was frowned upon and they were labelled as “that sort of gal”. However, the practice of tattooing has become an art form and with them a symbolic and poignant meaning in one’s life. My tattoo artist told me when I was getting my very first one just recently, that women, especially those in their 20s, are now their highest clientele and on researching this further, these statistics are similar across all studios in Australia. In fact, Australia is one of the four most tattooed nations is the world. I wondered about Italy, the country of my family’s heritage especially after attending the Italian Film festival here in Brisbane where one of the actors had the most beautiful tattoo. It was a rose climbing up her spine, the roses where red. Just gorgeous. We were privy to the actress’ tattoo in the lovemaking scene in the film. The Italians, along with their comedy and conflict in films do love some loving in their films. It was a serene and sensual piece of body art.
Change. There are many definitions of change. The two that sits strongly with me and which define our own journey over the past 16 months is: “make or become different” and “move from one to another” (Google 2018). Our change has been a major one. A new city. A new life. Our daughter at Boarding school living apart from us. It has not been easy and it will continue to be bumpy for another six months. It has been a miraculous and positive experience for us even when we were enduring a number of adversities. What we know for certain is that we love our new city and our new life.
The benefits of a great lie in are so great! For me lulling around in bed after waking up naturally is so deliciously blissful. In a world where our mornings are dictated by the alarm clock, being able to allow our natural circadian rhythms to wake us, is such a treat. For me this is the richness of life. To wake naturally to the morning sun that seeps quietly into my bedroom is serenity in abundance. I live in a converted Woolstore warehouse on the banks of the Brisbane River and we are on the top floor. We have these large windows set into the roof and the apartment is filled with natural light throughout the day. I love waking up to the early morning sun beams that spill quietly across my bedroom. In Summer this happens around 5am. It’s perfect! I get up naturally and at the right time so I get up and go running and, still be able to get ready for work in time! My husband hates it! There is tons of information that advises us on waking naturally and the benefits of going to bed at a reasonable hour to ensure we get the required hours of sleep. The standard is 7-9 hours and this is the amount of sleep we need for optimum health. For me 7 hours is enough. I know this because no matter what time I go to bed I wake naturally approximately 7 hours later. If I do this religiously I will not be tired. But enough about my sleeping habits! Getting enough sleep is about reducing stress and warding off, or improving on, depression and anxiety. It also prevents you from gaining weight. Getting enough sleep reduces the 3pm chocolate craving in the afternoon too!
We went on our first Sunday road trip in our newly adopted city of Brisbane. The weather was typical. Sunny with blue skies above. It was yet again a perfect day. I love road trips. I always have. I remember as a young woman in my 20s heading out with friends. It was so great to spend a Sunday together outside. We would picnic and share the food we had brought and, shared stories of our week and stories from our school days. These moments were som wonderful because there was this sense of connectedness and freedom. The laughter, the antics and the jokes. I felt protected in knowing I was part of a clan.
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