My first bird is leaving the nest

I was reading back through my journal that I have been keeping since I had my children and it is entries like the one below that make me glad I have written consistently over the years.

Today has been a day for reflection.

My first born is moving out. I know as parents we joke about this day and the party we will have when it happens but in reality that’s not quite how it has felt today.

I am beyond proud and excited for her and I know she will be more than ok, but she will be more than ok without me.

I find in our busy lives we have little time for reflection.  With my journal I can reflect at any time and have a fantastic reference book of my own life’s experiences.

I look forward to being able to share these stories with my girls and then with their children. I know I would’ve loved a book filled with stories about me as I was growing up.

I fear that had I not kept this journal my memory would not have served me as well as I would have liked.  This is highlighted for me each week when I forget half of what I need at the supermarket.

09.11.2000

Today Morgan lost her first tooth.

It has been loose for about a week and I can’t believe it lasted as long as it did. 

The tooth fairy has just taken it from the fairy box she had placed it in and replaced it with two dollars. 

Two dollars seems so trivial an amount to place in the box for her tooth.

How can you put a price on the love and growing up and joy we have given and received from her since that tooth first came at the age of 3 months.

The sleepless nights as it formed in her gums, the red cheeks and constant drooling as it decided when to appear and the gorgeous grin with the dot of white when it finally came through.

How has one small piece enamel really made me think about my time mothering and about how fast this precious time is going?

It has been such a big month for Morgan (Not to mention the emotional turmoil for me).

She is into the 3rd week of her orientation program for primary school and she absolutely loves it.  Just to see my first-born going off to school like a little girl ready to face the world makes me want to wrap her in cotton wool like her tooth and put her away for safe keeping.

She is a full head taller than the other kids and she is just so smart that I am proud and sad at the same time.

I am so proud of how she handles situations and how she reacts with the other kids.  I wonder some days if I was that sure of myself at that age, then I remember how painfully shy I was and I am glad of her confidence.

 I try to be supportive of her and yet I just want to protect her forever from the world and anyone who would dare do the wrong thing by her.  If she is at all as worried as me about going she hides it well. 

She is excited by all she is learning as she should be, yet she asked me why the other kids didn’t all talk to her.  I asked her had she made the effort to talk to them and she just looked at me and said no but they should talk to me.

Paige is really going to miss her big sister when she is at school and I think Morgan will miss her too.  She feels so grown up being able to tell Paige all about school. 

I am looking forward though to having some one on one time with Paige and giving her a chance to develop her own personality with out her big sister monitoring her every move.  She is so funny at the moment and we are having some interesting outfit choices as she wants to dress herself more often.

Nana is convinced she has no nice clothes and that everything in her wardrobe is mismatched, but that is just the way she likes it.  She told her kinder teacher she likes to dress like the rainbow.  Who wouldn’t?

I never for one minute thought that being a mother could fill me with so many conflicting emotions, I am so joyously proud and in love with my girls but, like a mother in the jungle should any predator try to get near my young and hurt them, I will tear them limb from limb.

Everything I wrote in 2000 still resonates with me today.

Do yourself a massive favor and keep a journal or just note things down over the years. You will never regret having these memories to look back on.

Go and take on the world my gorgeous girl.

Lisa XX

 

Strap yourself in…….

Shopping a couple of weeks ago I came across a dress I loved instantly.

It was midnight blue (fitting in perfectly with my grey, black, blue palette).

It had a V-ish neck line (a must for the bigger busted women amongst us, according to my daughter).

It had beautiful lace sleeves. Slightly see through but enough to disguise any bingo wing action.

And best of all it had some delicate sparkles. Gorgeous little beads hand sewn onto the dress.

LOVE.

The only feature of the dress that gave me reason for concern was the low back. It didn’t look too low and I convinced myself I could wear a low backed bra with it.

Why is this a worry you ask?

If, like me, you have been blessed (cursed) with big (sagging over time) boobs then you will know that the thought of going braless is enough to cause severe hives and heart palpitations.

There are so few options for the bigger busted, apart from always choose an outfit you can wear a bra with. See, I know this and yet I still allowed myself to part with my hard earned cash (actually won on the pokies, at the casino during a girl’s weekend away) and leave the store with the dress.

Now, I am a believer in patterns and lessons.

Life throws experiences and challenges at us until we learn the lesson that was intended for this particular situation. If there is a pattern of behavior (usually negative) that emerges, it is a great opportunity to sit back and reflect on what might need addressing in your life. Some people see these patterns after a couple of failed relationships,  choosing toxic friends or through addiction.

Not me. My lesson is all around the fact that my boobs need to be secured by something other than tape!

Allow me to talk you through it.

It was 1996. My husband and I had a formal event to attend and I needed an outfit. My lovely sister in law offered to lend me a top that I had admired on her many times. I was about 8 months post baby and I was so happy that it actually fit, I was wearing it no matter what. I decided to team this top with a full length ball skirt (now known as a maxi skirt).

90s-dress
The above picture shows the cut of the top I was to borrow.

During my days of being at home with a young baby I had started watching a lady called Oprah. You may have heard of her. Inspirational!

For all the hundreds of segments Oprah had on her show over many, many years, I remembered the segment on how to strap your boobs down using tape if it was required. The stylist was demonstrating how to get that “I’m wearing a bra” look, if you couldn’t actually wear a bra. It was imprinted on my memory. I didn’t actually remember what tape she had used but……….all tape’s the same right?

Wrong!

Can I just mention here that I get a rash from leaving a band aid on too long.

On the day of the event I was getting ready to strap my boobs down and look glamorous. I couldn’t find any tape in the house. None. No strapping tape from my footballer husband, no masking tape, only a thin sticky tape left over from present wrapping at Christmas. Hollywood tape wasn’t even a thing in 1996.

I headed to the laundry because everything ends up in the laundry. I was in luck, silver duct tape. I knew it was strong because I had seen people fix things with it, perfect for holding my boobs in place all night.

duct-tape

Let me just say that I taped the absolute shit out of my boobs. Those suckers were not moving. I would even be able to dance with abandon.

I was dressed, made-up and ready to leave the house, taking all the compliments being showered upon me by my gorgeous husband. On the way to the function I ask “Is it hot in here?” Husband says it’s not but turns the aircon on for me anyway.

Feeling warmer still as we arrive at the venue.

Seated, chatting, entrée served, drinking water like I’ve just made it out of the desert. Temperature rising, sweat forming, starting to feel a slight itch on my chest. Ignoring all signs, I keep chatting. It gets too much and I head for the bathroom. Oh god!

The rash has come out of my top and is making its way up my neck. I lift my arm and it’s under there too. I head into a cubicle to get a better look. Taking off the top I see that the rash is now heading down my stomach. I panic. I start to remove the tape, but it is really strong and is taking skin along with it. It’s burning.

I head out of the cubicle and I am in a full panic now. I have my top off, I am bent over the basin and have the cold water running while I splash it over my chest. Women are walking in to use the bathroom and they look scared. One woman bravely approaches me and asks if she can help.

I pant, “Table 31, get Scott, NOW!” I am deranged.

Skipping a few (many) humiliating details, I can tell you we ended up in emergency with me being given an antihistamine injection and some help removing the tape. Who knew olive oil would come in so handy? I had a rash for about a week and the skin was sensitive for months.

So where is the pattern?

Fast forward to 2016, yep, that’s this year. Remember the low backed, blue number from earlier?

Well I decided to tape my boobs down because a low backed bra was not an option. Had I learnt anything from my previous taping experience? Of course. I used a hypo-allergenic tape that I had leftover from strapping my ankles for a walk I did.

tapebra
This is what it should’ve looked like….

So different to duct tape right? Well, yes it is different in that it’s not as strong. I used approximately 6.5 meters of tape to create a mono-boob. There was no breast definition at all and my boobs looked like badly made pork buns.

pork-buns
Boobs that look like this!

There was no dancing and the tape started to peel throughout the night. Pleased to report that I did make it through the entire function. I had some mild itching towards the end but no injections needed.

Lessons learnt……

  • your boobs are not perky enough to go braless or to tape them down
  • you are allergic to most tapes and using them will lead to pain
  • cover your nipples, that skin is delicate and hurts like a MOFO when being ripped off
  • choose outfits/dresses that allow for a bra to be worn
  • JUST WEAR A BLOODY BRA!

 

big-bra
Will this fit under a dress??

 

 

So life will send you lessons you just need to be willing to see the pattern and address the behavior. I am confident (today) that I will never tape my boobs again but if they invent a really strong, hypo-allergenic tape, I can’t be responsible for my behavior.

Lisa X

 

Images courtesy of –

http://www.affairlingerie.com/

http://www.palacechinese.com.au/?action=YumChaGallery

http://alldaychic.com/ways-to-tape-your-breasts-for-a-strapless-look/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-stengel/criminal

https://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/things-90s-girls-wore-to-prom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…..

I’ve recently starting doing Pilates.

It’s in a cute little boutique studio with a lovely vibe and really encouraging instructors.

My relaxation and switching off from the world starts as soon as I walk in the door. I love the smell, the lighting and the whole vibe the place puts out. The green colour scheme is so calming and god know we all need a bit of calm in our busy lives.

I have splurged and invested in a new sports bra. One that doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a 1920’s corset. I’ve done a bit of running in the past and these boobs of mine needed to be strapped down!  It’s also a bit different getting used to wearing no shoes. I love having bare feet so I think we will get along well.

The class starts with stretching and get this, while laying down.

Any activity that allows me to lay down, encourages deep breathing and helps me stretch away the day is for me.

After 4 or 5 sessions I felt less sore and more strong. I’m not in the class to get skinny, although if it happens by accident I will be ok with it, I am in the class to feel strong. I need to build some muscle to stop my bingo wings and bum both reaching much lower levels on my body than they should.

I’m learning to find my spine’s neutral position, how to isolate my upper and lower abs. This requires me actually finding my abs. Luckily for me you don’t need to be able to see the abs to isolate them.

So as you can probably tell I’m really enjoying Pilates and feel stronger for it.

Here is my one issue.

Mirrors.

The whole wall of the studio is covered in mirrors. As someone who avoids mirrors unless absolutely necessary, it’s like torture for me.

I have this thing in my head where I can see myself doing the moves and I look bloody good. I’m graceful, fluid and elegant.

pilates-reformer-classes
This is how I look in my head!

The mirrors ruin this picture for me and I become sweaty, clunky and a bit uncoordinated.

cfe7352a7d8cbc0d9f901c370d928551.jpg
Reality….

I have the same issue with mirrors in nightclubs or anywhere I like to dance. Again my mind’s picture is much more flattering to me than that mirrored reality and quite frankly I like my delusional head space.

So I will keep going to Pilates despite the mirrors and I will need to muster a new level of self acceptance –

  • My boobs get in the way of some of the arm exercises
  • I have some back fat
  • My stomach is flat when I lie down or stand up really straight and no where in between
  • My legs are skinny and I sometimes look like a lolly pop

The positives, (there are always positives)-

  • I’m still smiling at the end of class
  • I haven’t fallen down the stairs when my legs are shaking after class
  • I’ve met some lovely people
  • My daughter is doing this with me (I’m also competing with her in my head and I sometimes do heavier springs just to have a little victory)

See you when I have Michelle Obama arms!

Lisa X

 

 

 

 

International Women’s Day

Today I take a moment to celebrate all of the amazing women in my life.

I am lucky to have been raised by one, am honored to be raising two and I am surrounded by so many.

These women have filled my life with the moments that have made me cry, made me laugh until I leaked a little, and have made me proud to be a member of the sisterhood.

I am inspired daily with what women go though, rise above and do for others, often supressing their own needs to offer support to someone else.

I have witnessed silent acts of kindness. Those little notes, a meal cooked or that smile with a knowing nod, that lets you know you’re not alone.

The women in my life have supported me through;

  • my childhood
  • bad spiral perms and blue eyeliner
  • broken hearts
  • fluro clothing
  • sex, vagina, boob situations!
  • new jobs
  • engagement, marriage, childbirth
  • meltdowns (many  meltdowns)
  • career, sporting, life achievments
  • parenting – babies, toddlers and adults
  • my ever evolving marriage
  • turning 30 and 40
  • re-learning me as my nest empties

And everything else life has thrown at me. They’ve laughed, cried and danced with a hairbrush in the mirror with me.

I say today and everyday, thankyou.

Be a women that knows how hard it is to look as if you’ve got your shit together and congratulate those who manage to do it on any give day.

Be a women who supports other women.

Be a women who raises supportive women.

Lisa X

 

 

 

Time poor, experience rich.

This morning as I lay in bed going through the day in my mind, my thoughts wandered ahead to the coming few days.

My stomach was instantly filled with a piece of lead and my breathing became more shallow. I could feel myself become just a little anxious.

I have a busy weekend ahead. I know that, for goodness sake, I booked everything in.

I made a conscious choice to book myself out from 8am Saturday morning until about 4pm on Sunday. I will of course sleep on Saturday night, however briefly that may be.

But when I think about all I need to accomplish in two short days (the days of rest!!) I freak out ever so slightly.

I’m not doing anything bad, or seeing people I don’t want to give my time to, and yet I seem to be talking myself out of enjoying the things I do have planned.

My worry about fitting it all in, is actually zapping my ability to look forward to the experiences I have planned.

Tomorrow I am holding a fundraising BBQ at a local shopping centre to raise funds for Oxfam. I am taking part in the Oxfam 100km challenge in April and my team needs to raise $1500.

I love meeting people, I have generous friends and family who have offered their time to help out and the weather looks like it will behave for the day.

There is nothing about this day that looks like it will be something to dread and yet that is how I was feeling. I do need to be there at 8am and stay until about 4pm, so all day, but it’s one day!

One day out of my life, getting to hang out with my friends, meet new people and raise some money for a good cause. I choose, as of right now, to change my outlook and look forward to tomorrow.

No longer will I focus on a day gone out of my weekend, I will focus on the experiences and interactions I will gain by interacting with the community.

Saturday night catching up with friends (once I have washed the stench of sausage from my skin!) Friends I adore and love spending time with.

Want to know what we are doing?

We are planning our accommodation for our trip to Hawaii later in the year. Poor me. Having to plan for a trip to paradise.

Again, I had let the focus stay on more hours of my time being full,instead of focussing on what was filling the hours.

I know, from past experience, that I will arrive home with a face sore from laughing, a belly full of great food (maybe a wine or 4) and some amazing locations ready to be visited.

What a great night. My own thought process was putting this night at risk. I had nearly talked myself out of enjoying the experience. I pledge from this moment forward to change my outlook. I will cherish the time with good friends, planning a trip we have been talking about for 12 months. I will acknowledge how lucky I am to have these opportunities.

Insert brief sleep and coffee here.

Sunday morning 7am. Drive at chosen destination, ready to walk 30-35kms for Oxfam training. This will take approx. 7 hours.

I signed up for this event (this is the fourth time), there are no surprises here. It’s long hours of training. Training on hills, on flats and in ridiculous heat.

I have made a conscious decision as of right now to focus on why I love this event instead of dreading the training onSunday.

I love the physical strength I gain from the training. I love laughing with three amazing ladies as we walk through the pain barrier.

We cover all topics from penises to politics (would’ve been great team name) and we support eachother through any life issues we may be having at the time.

I’m proud of showing my girls the example of setting a goal and working hard to achieve it.

I’m now ready to face my busy, but rewarding weekend, full of things I have planned and filled with people I love.

I tackle this weekend with an attirude of gratitude and  be thankful for everyone and everything I ahve in my life.

I will plan some down time for next weekend and a few early nights this coming week.

 

Enjoy all you have planned for the coming weekend.

Lisa X

 

Make it all count

Donna Penny has written a book called “Why my mummy?” to explain to her son Kai about her terminal cancer. There was no resource available in bookshops.

I implore you to google her, read her story, let yourself feel and then donate to the crowd fund that has been set up to have this book printed.

I am in awe of people who are able to channel their energy and limited time into something that will not only benefit their children or family, but leave a lasting resource to help many others.

Donna, your story made me smile, bawl like a baby and encouraged me to to live more, make more memories and shout about how much I love those closest to me from the rooftops. I thank you of the important reminder.

It got me thinking. What advice, message or wisdom would I want to share with my girls?

I’m so blessed to have seen them grow into amazing young women. Strong, determined, funny, genetically mystifyingly gorgeous, kind, empathetic, stubborn, hardworking and smart young women.

To say I’m proud is an understatement.

I also probably pass on way too much information for their liking as it is but, there’s more.

Your happiness is your responsibility. Don’t let anyone else control it. Others can share or add to it but you get the final say.

Your body is the vehicle that will get you to all the places you need to go in life. Take care of it, fuel it, respect it and make sure others do too.

Dance, sing and be silly. Laugh until you cry and your stomach hurts. It feels so good to let go.

You only get one vagina so take care of it. If you are ignoring it, so should everyone else!

Be a good friend. Keeps someone’s secret and trust someone enough to tell them yours.

Spend money on good bras and undies. Trust me as gravity takes it’s toll you’ll be glad you did!

If you choose to get married, marry someone who makes you laugh and challenges you mentally. Oh, you should really, really love them and tell them everyday.

If you choose to have children, give yourself to the experience and never regret a moment. You get one chance to raise your babies, kiss their toes, smell their hair and fall asleep with them.

Learn to cook at least one great meal. More importantly make your house a place that is welcoming and full of laughter. If you can’t cook serve lots of wine so no one notices.

Learn to budget.

The rule to dressing is boobs or legs. Choose one to expose, but never both.

Over the years I have given much advice, in many forms. Dance, song poetry and not to scale diagrams. But I know that it would never be enough. I would be angry, I would feel cheated and I would be so sad at the thought of not seeing my children become their adult selves.

To wonder have I done enough, did I make enough memories, did my kids know who I was?

For the women who have faced this battle with such grace, dignity and class, I am in awe of you and I will honour your memory by remembering you and the example you have set.

I will be forever grateful and I will keep you in my heart and thoughts. You have inspired me to be more present and to live in the moments I am creating with my family.

Please donate to Donna Penny’s crowd fund, or find a women’s charity that strikes a chord with you. Donate your time at your children’s school or volunteer at a local hospital.

Be more present and be grateful for every moment we are privileged to experience.

Lisa X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The value of not being busy.

I was lucky enough last week to travel overseas with my husband while he worked.

My daily routine played out like that of a biggest loser contestant.

I woke, ate breakfast, worked out, showered, rested, ate, swam, had a nap then let the afternoon stretch out to dinner.

Of course the contestants on the show probably don’t pepper their day with G&T’s or restaurant food, but you get the idea.

My routine was deliciously devoid of responsibility, thinking about others and being haunted from day break by that question……”What’s for dinner?”

I don’t know about you but that question has me close to losing mind every time it’s asked. How the hell do I know? It’s 7am, eat your frigging toast and be quiet. OK…. and breathe.

I must admit that it took me the first 2 days to lose the guilt.

The guilt of the busy.

The guilt of not filling every moment of the day doing things predominately for other people.

The guilt of associating relaxing and re-energising with being lazy.

Reminding myself that it was ok to sit and breath. Letting the thoughts just pass on by and not having to focus on one in particular.

To blink and realise that you just spent 10 minutes staring at a flower and you have no recollection of the time or thoughts that passed through your mind.

Have you ever had to ask yourself the question, “What do I like to do?”

It was equal parts liberating and terrifying. I caught myself narrating my actions and  judging myself on the usefulness and productivity level of what I was choosing to do.

The key to me relaxing I have discovered is to shut sown the negative mental voice. That voice that judges, makes you doubt and tells you that what you’re doing isn’t good enough.

Take that voice and tell it to shut the f*&k up!

Once that voice was drowned out with positive affirmations, mediation chants and gratitude my holiday improved dramatically.

By positive affirmations I mean-

“Yes Lisa have that beer while you sit near the pool. It’s really hot and you will sweat it out anyway.”

“You deserve another massage”.

“You will never see these people again so don’t worry about the strays on your bikini line.”

My mediation chant ran along the lines of-

“I am a calm and spiritual being. I am relaxed and content.”

This chant was closely followed by,

“A mango daiquiri is 80% fruit, fruit is good for you, you are healthy.”

Gratitude became easier as I sat near the pool, sipping my beverage of choice-

“I am grateful that those noisy kids are not mine.”

“I am grateful for the time I have alone to order my thoughts, breath deeply and reflect.”

“I am grateful for the secret lining in my bathers that keeps all my lady business in position and looking sleek.”

By about 3pm in the afternoon a gorgeous man would join me at the pool and buy me a drink. He was lovely. We would talk, laugh and share details of our day. He asked me every night to have dinner with him. I accepted of course.

How lucky was I? Time to ponder life, a daily workout and the attention of a gorgeous man. Life is good.

 

I am back at work now, back to reality but my holiday has done me wonders. I am more aware of where I am spending my energy. Choices will be made that won’t make everyone happy but they will be right for me.

The negative internal dialogue is still being shut down and over ridden with kind, positive and encouraging thoughts.

The one thing that still manages to make me flip my shit is the dinner question at breakfast! But I’m working on it.

Lisa X

I’m not the middle man

I  find myself becoming the “middle man” in other people’s issues. A situation has developed and I find myself conflicted. I see both sides, I agree with some of what each person says, I also disagree with a lot too. I have been very honest in my dealings with both parties, but it’s hard.

This type of scenario has  happened a lot in the past. I believe that patterns of behaviour continue to happen until we decide to change them. This current situation has arisen because it’s time for me to step away. I need to distance myself for my own protection but also for the growth and change of those involved.

I’m a solver and a fixer. I like to fix things, keep them neat,wrap them up and re-set the balance. Life is throwing me lots of challenges at the moment to encourage me to let people fix things for themselves.

As my kids get older I’m learning to back off and let them set the course of their own lives. Now I need to learn to do it in a wider sense with friends and other family.

If I had a cocktail for everytime someone told me that I’m such a good listener, or I give such great advice, well, I would be in a constant drunk state. You can tell it’s getting to me when I would take cocktails over the usual dollar.

I may be a calm voice, a level head, a shoulder to lean on or wise beyond my years, and I may genuinely care, but I don’t necessarily want to live it out your situation with you.

Please remember to discuss other topics when we meet up. I don’t actually spend 23 hours a day fixated on your issue and trying to come up with even more wisdom to pass on. I manage to put it out of my head, go about my day and not give it another thought until I speak to you next. I have a life too and it would be nice to have you ask about it a little more often.

This in no way takes away from how much I care or the fact that I want you to be ok. I wish you nothing but happiness and a solution that meets your needs, but enough is enough. I also want  you to be a fully functioning adult who takes responsibility for all they have achieved and any mistakes they made along the way.

I’m a well balanced, empathetic human who always tries to see both sides in life. We all know every story has 2 sides and I choose to see them both. I may not agree with them both, but I need them, to allow me to have clarity and gather all information.

I will not make decisions based purley on your say so, I’m a big girl who can decide for herself. I promise to be honest with you and offer an opinion that deals with the facts at hand. I probably won’t get as emotionally invested as you would like, this will be frustrating but if you don’t like it, don’t use me a sounding board.

Your ego shouldn’t get the deciding vote in issues. Ask it to step aside and ask your heart what it thinks. I promise to love you enough to call you on it and encourage you to have a re-think. Please don’t let your need to be right override your need to be fair.

Know that I am here for you always, I will support whatever decision you decide to make, I may not agree with it, and that’s ok.

It’s your life and the way you choose to live it is yours too.

I will walk beside you, I will stand behind you, I can even take the lead if you need it, but please stop putting me in the middle. I’m compromised and I can not be the best support to you when I’m here.

I trust you, I believe in you and I love you.

Lisa X

 

Not a New Year’s Resolution, but an attitude change.

I have decided this is to be the year when I do all the things that scare the absolute crap out of me. These things may not be what you would expect.

images
I will not be jumping off a cliff.

If you met me you might think I was fairly confident, outgoing and willing to give anything a go. You would be correct to a certain degree. But there is stuff going on below the surface.

I will sing karaoke, dance interpretively and tell you embarrassing stories about myself.

I will push myself physically, training for and entering events just to know I can do it. That feeling when you cross the finish line, knowing you pushed yourself past your breaking point is addicitive.

I will overshare and use the word vulva (or labia, nipple, bowle movemenet etc.) in as many sentences as possible, but it’s the things I don’t say that you should listen to the most.

I won’t say that I am terrified of not being enough. Enough Mum, wife, friend, daughter, sister. Present enough, involved enough and there enough. Have I made enough memories with my girls? If something was to happen to me, do the people I love know I loved them? When is it enough?

I won’t tell you that I feel guilty when I know I need to take a break from being all those things, to take time for me, to continue to develop into the truest version of myself. If I was to go away for 5 days on a relaxation/meditation trip, I would spend the first 2 days reconciling the trip in my own head before I could relax. Why do I have the constant need to justify time on my own?

I won’t ask for help when I should at times. This based on fear and not wanting you to know that I am not coping.  I have ironed at midnight, baked a cake at 5 in the morning and used more make-up than a professional drag queen to keep the image of “I’m all good” alive and well.

So my goals for 2016 are not all based around diet, exercise and work/life balance, although the pursuit for rock hard abs and buns of steel will continue.

My goals will be based around self-reflection and learning to show others that it’s ok for me to be vunerable.

I, like many of you have had this thought that being vunerable is akin to admitting weakness. This is so wrong.

To be vunerable is to allow others to see that sometimes we are not as strong as we would like to be and we need some help. To allow others to see below the surface and to truly see who we are when the facade is gone, takes bravery.

I will practice asking for help from others.

I will be more open about how things make me feel. Not hiding behind a smile and the ever present “I’m Fine”.

I won’t be a martyr, doing/ attending/ agreeing with things that I really don’t want to, out of a sense of obligation.

Just so we are clear, for the year ahead, I will continue to dance and sing, not filter what comes out of my mouth (most of the time), but I will allow myself to be vunerable, drop the mask and ask for help when I need it. I will be kind to myself and have guilt free time out.

Sounds perfect………..images-1

 

 

 

 

 

A Letter to my 22-year-old self…..

Dear Lisa,

As you bundle your gorgeous newborn into the car for the nerve-wracking journey home you are excited, petrified and really hoping that Scott knows more about babies than you. You are sore but feel stronger than you have in your life. It just dawned on you that your body is capable of so much more than you ever gave it credit for. You just produced a human!

Morgan will be the perfect first baby. She is happy, content and the light of your lives. She will be lulling you into a false sense of security and will make you believe that all babies are this easy……It’s just as frightening the second time round but you have some experience under your belt. More experience with quiet babies that sleep! The universe has sent you Paige and you will be forever grateful that it did. You will also curse the universe for the lack of sleep.

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22 years old, first baby and matching vests!

Your decision to “just wing it” and not read too many books or listen to too much advice from others will serve you well. You will develop a strong sense of who you are as a mother. You will look to your babies for guidance and you will make mistakes, lots of mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself though, this is where the learning and the growing happens.

You will find your way through the minefield of post-natal depression. Your mum is your rock and she will be the one to help you on the road to recovery. This will be one of your biggest challenges and will change you. You will keep a journal and you will tell yourself to “let them love you”. Take that advice, the walls will come down and the darkness will turn to light once more. You will slow down and allow yourself the time to breathe. You will learn more about yourself from this experience than you thought possible. It will alter your perspective and approach to life, for the better.

Although you will not always agree on how things are done, you will be glad you stalked Scott and he is the father of your children. He is the sensible one. He will back your slightly off kilter decisions, he will give the birds and bees talk when you get the giggles and he will buy many sanitary products without batting an eyelid. He will be the man your girls look up to and he sets the bar so high for all men that enter their lives. He will show them every day how real men treat women. You two will have some ups and downs but will get through them fairly unscathed. Scott still makes you laugh more than anyone else, and he knows you are slightly twisted but loves you anyway. He is a keeper and you will keep him.

Trust your instincts. Move schools, say no, say yes, let them eat soup for breakfast and cereal for dinner. Paige’s dress sense will delight and frustrate you and you will wish Morgan did not out adult you at times. You will not like all their friends but allow them the experience of finding out for themselves.

There will be teenage angst and tantrums. You will out bitch them and tell them off through dance. They will never know what is coming next but they’ll always know it will come from the heart. They will ban you from using the words vagina, bowel and nipples. You’ll know why! Diagrams will be drawn to describe what words can’t when it comes to the female anatomy. Your girls will equal parts delighted and disturbed at your ability to make any subject dinner table conversation.

The greatest gift you are giving your girls is the confidence to be themselves. They will be strong, independent young women before you know it and you will wonder where they came from. At 42 you are comfortable in your own skin but it has taken work.

As you stand on the peak of a mountain called parenting, dig in your flag and know you did good.

Paige bought her first car. She is ecstatic. The car is cute, cheeky and reliable, just like her. She has worked hard to save and she is going to relish having her independence. You are happy/sad. Happy that she is achieving these goals and just a bit sad that soon the car conversations will not be as frequent. No more trapping her in the car and getting information and gossip. She is a joy to be around and one of the nicest people you know.

Morgan is on her way to Europe on a scholarship tour and then onto a group tour of Europe. She will be gone for 3 weeks and she is nervous. You will be strong for her, even though you just want to keep her close always. She is about to embark on the most exciting time of her life and you are so proud of her that you could burst. She is an amazing young woman and you would want to be her friend if she wasn’t your child.

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We made it!!

It is now your time Lisa. Time to be who you want to be. Age brings with it the wonderful gift of not giving a shit. Embrace this now and go forward. Book trips, take walks, sing and dance, laugh loudly and cry when the moment moves you. Be kind but don’t be a pushover. Accept that your boobs are not as perky and your skin more wrinkled, but your body is strong, has carried you over some rough terrain and on some fantastic adventures.

Enjoy being in a couple again and take time out for romance. This takes on many forms, don’t rely on flowers or chocolate. Recognise it in the form of a cup of tea made just the way you like it, the ironing being done and a full tank of petrol when it’s raining.

You have had quite a ride so far and it’s only getting better.

I am proud of you and all you have learnt over the years. Be kind to yourself and true to your soul. On a slightly vain note, you are still looking ok and everything is still working.

Lisa XX