Life. That word has become a favourite of mine these days. Like the word ‘time’, like the word “love”, the word ‘life’ no longer is just a four letter word to me. It has become tangible. I can see it, feel it and I know it’s finite. This must be what happens when you pass the edge of the wedge time of life.
For me it has its own uniqueness (as does everyone else’s experience of course). Now that I am really stable and not chronically depressed my day to day living feels vastly different to what it used to feel like. I often feel as though I must have been living in a parallel world beforehand. Does that sound completely bonkers? Well, it may be but I am very grateful.
I have been going through my sixty squillion photos sitting on my computer and thought I might post some older ones up when I do a post.
The one below I think I must have taken in 2011 or thereabouts. That period of my life was the beginning of a long a difficult road to where I am now. It’s a nice photo but I have to tell you that I actually didn’t look like that on that day. It’s one of those weird photos where you kind of look like someone else. It was a very hot day, that I do recall.
When I look at that photo I know I was a bit confused and I had been crying. When I look at this photo I am reminded how difficult times pass and it is worth the effort to ride those times the best that you can because things generally get better.
The photo below is my beautiful old studio. It’s been replaced by my big studio which has all the mod cons so that I am never troubled by the hot or cold weather extremes. But this little studio is very special for me. The way it nestles under the canopy of my lovely weeping Dutch Elm tree makes it look so at home there. I have many fond memories of sitting in there doing some drawing and painting. It seems like ancient history now when I look back.
Its life now is a place to store our many vintage push bikes and other random things that really should be sent down to the charity shop but I have yet to do it. It’s a ‘one day’ thing.
The photo below was taken early 2011 (roughly) and I was on a family day out to Werribee Zoo. My younger sister was down for a visit. I had severe, debilitating anxiety. Despite that I still enjoyed the day. Anxiety for me was like a really bad background noise and I just had to get used to it. These days I have it less and it is so much more manageable. But that is not through mindful thinking, exercise and deep breathing. It is through adherence to taking medication, being aware of mood changes and weekly psych visits. So, no amazing miracles and strength of character here, just a whole lot of other things that met in the middle and got me to an okay place.
Of course, living a healthy life does help but it won’t cut it on its own no matter how much willpower that I was imbued with. Been there, done that.
So, now that I have had a self-indulgent rant about myself, let me think what else is going on in my life.
I work with people who are always doing things with their kids. Mainly sporty things. Swimming, soccer, basketball, netball, football, calisthenics, running and I have forgotten the rest. Just stuff and lots of it. They are always running the kids back and forth all over town to get them where they need to be. Weekends are taken up with these commitments and long drives to places far away for different games. It is tiring just listening to it all. I do admire them though. Very dedicated and fitting all of it in between work and home things as well. It is not easy for them.
I know I have mentioned before that my son made it very clear he did not want to do any extra curricular activities. He was about eight or nine years old when he said that he did not want to wake up on a Saturday and be committed to having to do something, he just wanted to wake up and it was Saturday. No more, no less. Deep down, part of me was so relieved because, to be honest, I am not at all cut out to be a “soccer mom”. I am too lazy. There, I said it. Lazy, lazy and lazy. However I will clarify that had he wanted to do anything I would have gone to the end of earth and back to accomodate that and I would have encouraged him one hundred and one percent.
Being the person I am I said ‘sure thing’ and that was it. He was very clear about what he wanted. Now, although my son is now a very amiable, engaging and well adjusted young man, I often wonder if I did the right thing by not making him do all these extra things. I don’t know where this self doubt has come from and maybe it is just the normal parent thing. My son laughs at me when I bring it up in that way that mothers bring things up (maybe wanting some reassurance that they did a good job). He says “Mum, if you like who I am then you have done a good job”. He also thanks me for letting him be who he really is and not trying to make him something he is not and does not want to be. I feel pretty chuffed when he says that.
I went to the pysch today for my usual therapy session. It is possible I am turning into a Woody Allen and will be going for ever and a day. But it helps greatly and everyone notices the change in me so if it works then it works. I often say that some people get fake tans, pedicures and massages for their well being. I go the the psych. When I go there and blather on he never takes notes. No pen and no paper near him and I often wonder how he remembers anything. Well, he recalls everything. Brings up the relevance and connection of something I said months ago and how it ties in with what I might be talking about. It is like lots of pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Okay, I shall confess that I am more than likely reliant on him at this point in my life, but that is a normal process in the world of therapy.
CrossFit is still my fitness activity of choice. Truly, I love it. The results of my efforts are now showing. Last night I dead lifted 185lbs. It may not be a huge amount compared to what a lot of the others do, but I was as pleased as punch. Strength training is so satisfying. However, I can’t say it has made me drop a dress size and I am finding my t-shirts and jackets quite tight across the shoulders. It is quite obvious that I don’t sit on the couch eating nachos and watching television. At the age of 52 (almost 53) I am, amazingly, the strongest I have ever been.
One of the suppliers I speak to is a personal trainer as well. She said that I should not do any more than two sessions of CrossFit each week as it is too hard on my body (now that I am older) and will make my thighs bulky. She suggested yoga and pilates as that was ideal for older women keeping a strong core. Well, gee thanks for the advice. Interestingly I am less tired after CrossFit than I was after other fitness activities I did in the past. I am also okay with my thighs. They are strong and shapely. My pursuit of the thigh gap has long gone. All I want is to be fit, strong and healthy. As for yoga and pilates helping me with my core, zzzzzzz. My core is strong enough.
I am still working on the layout of the blog and also going through my old posts that are sitting in draft mode. As I go through them I publish the odd one. There is a lot to go through but I am in no rush.
I have been working on my drawing a bit more and had a few of them printed onto canvas with the intention of colouring a few areas. In January I am having my art work in a local cafe for a month so really need to have a few things to sell. As I don’t sell my original drawings it will be the hand coloured prints on canvas available to buy.
This little drawing is my latest. Although I am not ever going to be adept at executing a great work of art (ha ha) I love drawing, I draw from my emotional state of mind and in each and every one of my drawings there is a part of me. It is the one time I never give a fig about what anyone thinks of what I have done.
Anyway, it is now late and I suppose I should go to bed and get a good sleep. Work tomorrow and all the obligations that go with being a grown up.