Being found.

This week’s post is short. It’s been one of those weeks where I’ve bounced from one task to the next, on the periphery – just doing, not thinking. Having said that, I had 5 hours of happy-highway-trails today, heading north for work. I’m here now, but it’s late and the fuzziness is creeping in. So…short it is.

I’ve been thinking about relationships, life-partnerships. It’s worth saying upfront that I don’t subscribe to the theory that there is literally only one perfect match for us, one soul mate. The scientist in me screams numbers and proportions – an entire world population and one lil’ ol’ me. The odds are in my favour. Statistically speaking, there must be more than one who would speak to my heart.

What’s important though is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many or few people there are that hold a potential spiritual connection for you. What matters is finding someone who you love, who loves you back. What matters is the process of being found.

Let me note here that I have a wonderful, loving partner. Our story is one of missed moments, shared school buses, common workplaces and mutual friends. Seems we were dancing around each other for a good 20 years, we just didn’t know it. We both have the benefit of life experience – each having been married before – and we know that gives us a unique perspective on our relationship. We treasure what we have even more, because we know that things can change. We know that sometimes, despite your best efforts, things don’t last. We feel incredibly lucky to have finally found each other.

In truth, I think he found me. I had such a demoralising end to my marriage, a self-esteem-sapping separation, that I think I had forgotten what it was like to be wanted. To be sought after, to be found. He had to spell it out for me. Thank goodness he took notice and lucky me on being found.

Last night we went out with 2 other couples. One just celebrated 17 years of marriage the other will be married later this year. I don’t know their stories – previous relationships, how they met – but both couples are clearly happy to have found each other. As far as I know they aren’t looking elsewhere. They are both committed couples, people just enjoying being together.

So in pondering relationships, I think that most people generally just want to be found. We all want to be sought-after, discovered, held close and dear, treasured, precious. It really is sheer luck being found by, or finding someone who is right for you, who “fits”. Despite my theory about there being more than one in the world suited to us, being truly found is still a rare and wonderful thing.

The final word on this subject goes to my three-year old daughter. We play hide and seek – she hides out of sight and then, rather than remain quiet while I prowl my way around the house, she talks me through where to find her. She wants to be found, despite the fact that the purpose of the game is to remain hidden.

She’s a smart girl – she knows that being found is far more fun.

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Passage.

The older I get, the more keenly I feel the passage of time. I don’t remember feeling this way in my 20s or even my 30s. Now in my 40s, there are constant reminders of the passage of time – children growing up, facial lines deepening, my party-constitution failing me on a night out. I hear 40 is the new 30 (don’t ask me the source – I don’t care, I wholeheartedly support them anyway) so generally speaking, I’m not anywhere in the vicinity of what could possibly be classed as that dreadful term, ‘middle age’. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to do, to experience and to learn. I want to stay vital, invigorated and interesting if nothing else than for the sake of my 3 year old daughter. Yes that’s right – I’d like to be the coolest, wow-you-couldn’t-possibly-be-a-61-year-old Mum on the planet at her 21st birthday party. No pressure.

In terms of actually making it to my daughter’s 21st – by which I mean (to be quite blunt) life expectancy – I console myself with the fact we are generally a family of quality long-lifers. So I should be around. My grandmother is still alive, living in a house on her own in Merewether, the same house in which she raised her family. She still walks to the shops to get the paper. Apart from being a fairly deaf, she’s rockin’ it. She turns 90 this year. Another two family members have reached and passed the 100 year milestone. Both have arthritis, one is deaf and the other doesn’t “do” steps – but they are still loving, happy, gorgeous souls. Ummmm, yes alright, they’re dogs, but I’m including them in my familial-longevity assessment for the sheer fact they’ve been raised in our home environment. Sure, in their case it’s nuture over nature – but they’re still family so they count for the sake of my ruminations.

Centenarians

The funny thing about getting older is that you don’t feel like you’re ageing on the inside. My thoughts, memories and feelings are all swirling about inside me without a care about the general state of my body. I can still act silly and feel like a child. I can still feel infatuation, expectation and senseless passion. I can weep and mourn the same way I did 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Who I am on the inside remains relatively unchanged.

I find my memories aren’t really affected by time either. Those imprints are all there, jumbled, ready to access when wanted or needed. Many seem like only yesterday while some things from yesterday seem like long ago. And whether they exist in coloured detail or blurry sepia – what persists is the feeling around the memory. Joy, sadness, regret, happiness, shame, anticipation, embarrassment, loneliness or completeness – the memory is watermarked and I feel it more distinctly than I recall the event itself. The emotion of the past experience is like a hash-tag for accessing the memory.

Hey, I just used twitter-speak to describe personal memory referencing. See – I’m NOT old!

Tenuously connected to these thoughts: I read something in yesterday’s paper that startled me, an interview with an author about her recently published book ‘Losing February’ based on a period in her life. The author herself is quoted as saying “Falling in love is a bit like mental illness, you lose all sense of a lot of things… that’s why I called (the book) ‘Losing February’, because I was so in love. I lost February. For a woman my age I was a bit surprised”. Wait, what? A woman her age? I scanned the article for more information, wondering at what age the dramatic and wonderful effects of falling in love abandon us. She’s 50 now, it was set 10 years ago, so apparently it’s 40. Mental note: Let my single friends know they better get out there amongst it, because they might not feel that glorious emotional ascent into love if they don’t find ‘the right one’ before 40. A lot of my friends are already 40+, so I’m guessing they too will keenly feel the passage of time when I lay that one on them. Suffice to say I don’t agree with this premise at all. I can’t find any discernible loss of feelings at 43. My emotional boat still floats.

Note to readers: yes, yes, I know this author may simply be referring to the fact that she thought she wouldn’t find someone to fall in love with at 40, rather than actually losing the ability to love with age – but still, it’s a slightly grim view of the world. For the sake of my blogpost, just roll with it!

To sum up today’s mental meanderings: I’d like to think that what’s on the inside has great bearing on what happens on the outside. I’d like to think that the emotions I felt when I was younger are still accessible to me as I grow older, albeit shaded with life experience and some common sense I lacked in my youth. I’d like to think that I will still find things to wonder about when I’m older and that I can still be surprised every day. I’d like to think that I can age gracefully and be at peace with whatever happens to this housing for my soul.

And finally – paradoxically – I can’t wait for 2030. Why? Because I have a special party to go to.

Lazy.

Well, yes, it’s happened. The inevitable. What I just KNEW would happen.

I got lazy.

That’s right folks. Only 2 blog posts in and I’m already shirking Sunday responsibilities in favour of all things lazybonesy (technical term). Yesterday on my Sunday afternoon, I found myself reading the paper, fluffing about the kitchen, intermittently reading tweets and generally….not doing a lot. Still, not a bad way to pass the afternoon.

To make up for such slovenly behaviour I’m going to share a couple of shots featured on a blog I discovered called ‘you are my wild’. I love that simple statement for so many reasons. You are my wild……you’re what makes me nuts, drives me crazy, makes me seeth with rage or passion, makes me laugh hysterically, makes me sob with joy and smile with sadness, makes me explore, reminds me to be unihibited, to let go, to not care, to just enjoy. You are my wild.

No surprises that the stars of the blog are children. Being wild. Captured moments. Beautiful. http://youaremywild.wordpress.com/

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yamw4isabel

Older.

It’s not Sunday, but I feel compelled to blog. Here ’tis folk – (sits a little straighter) – I’m an “older” Mum.

What does that mean? That means I’m around 10 years older than all the other Mums sitting patiently around the edges of the scout hall watching their tiny-tutu’d daughters prance about after demonstrating ‘first position’. It means I’ve been asked if I’m my daughter’s grandmother (I mean, really? Get a clue people!). It means that whilst other Mums are talking about planning for and/or managing their second, third or even fourth babies, I’m planning for and/or managing my second, third or fourth hot flush for the day, usually by choosing seats near windows or air-conditioners.

And my daughter? She doesn’t know any differently. I’m just Mum. And that, my friends, is what often saves this little black duck from feeling very low. In the words of Maurice Chevalier (albeit a little creepy in this day and age) – thank heaven for little girls.

And no – I wasn’t born when that song was written. Just saying.

Let’s begin.

I’ve never tried tackling a blog before. I’m wondering if my mental meanderings should really be shared or not. OK – here’s the jump.

I was an avid diary-writer in my angst-ridden teenage years, but the business of life has taken over. I even tried maintaining a diary for my daughter, starting after she was born. There’s great entries in the early months; while she slept I filled the hours with e-shopping, house-tidying and diarising. They lessen a little in Year 1 thru’ 2, when life became more hectic (Cue movie title: ‘She walks’). I still add to her diary every now and again, but mostly the new entries are written in my head and never make it to the page. Ho hum, bad Mum.

Today however, I’ve been inspired. Perhaps it was a recent social media course (wordpress? really? how cool is this?). Maybe even the little glimpses of creativity, something exciting niggling at the corners of my intellect, not quite realised….quickly followed by wishing I was an artist, rather than someone who simply has a deep appreciation for same. Maybe even the emerging photographer in me (seem to be doing OK, well, I like my shots). Whatever. I’ve had what I would term ‘a moment’.

Sunday is a day where, come about 4pm, that ‘Sunday feeling’ kicks in. Relaxed, laid back, deeply appreciative of having had two days off work – followed by the lacklustre realisation that it’s also “the end” of said days off. Acknowledgement that Monday brings work commitments, routine and…..well…life in all its glorious extremes, chaos and predictability.

So I got to thinking – surely I’m not the only one who feels that bittersweet Sunday thing? Surely it happens all over the world?

The other notion that’s been capping my thought-full head is about connectedness. Probably another hangover of the social media course, but still – it’s exciting to consider how easily we can connect across our little planet. Facebook offers me stories and updates from family and friends. We share photos, stories of nights out, great new cafes to visit. Twitter is bigger. It’s knowing the instant thoughts of people everywhere, whoever you choose to listen to. I had to pursue both these avenues for work, and so started my own experience first. I was already converted to facebook, but not to twitter. I opened an account and was immediately stumped. Who do I ‘follow’? Friends? Already do. I’m happy with facebook. Politicians? not so interested. Aah, I’ll go the celebrity route. I started with a show I was watching at the time (for those interested – New Girl) and subscribed to some of its actors and the show’s twitter account itself. I found it quite bizarre to hear the immediate thoughts of people on another continent! Weird, even. A lot of it was show-promo, but every now and again I’d get a glimpse of what another human being was doing in their everyday life (dogs, gardening, art, jokes, music). Eventually I figured out the whole process and now I’m hooked.

This seems like a good time to reveal something else about me. I don’t consider myself a great socialiser. I like books more often than people, but that’s probably more to do with my own perceived inadequacies than other human beings. However, I am extremely interested IN other people. What they do, how they think, how they act. I find it very inspiring. But here’s my dilemma. I’m in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. I work, as does my partner, the lovely Martin. We have a big mortgage – we ain’t goin’ nowhere, not anytime soon. We have a 3 year old fairy princess, Belle, and Martin has a 10 year old son, Ewan. Life is currently driven by our glorious family, who I adore and love to bits. But I also feel this need to be inspired by people beyond what I know, by other walks of life, other day-to-day routines, to document, to share and “create content”. That, I believe, is at the heart of my brain-niggle.

So, back to the Sunday musings. How to connect? The platform is there, but what’s the thing we all have in common? I wondered if there was someone just like me thinking the same thing somewhere else in the world, on their Sunday afternoon. And then it hit me – all those other people, around the world, experiencing something, at 4pm on their Sundays. A day, a time, shared. What is everyone….doing? And what if I could use social media in a way to create content and connectedness by getting everyone, anyone, anywhere, to share what they’re doing at 4pm on their Sunday?

I’m going to let this idea mull around for the next week. Stew, ferment and hopefully – develop. This is something I want to do.

Me? I was in my kitchen listening to music, chopping tomatoes, spanish onion and home-grown basil for dinner. And I was creating content.