LOOKING BACK AT MY WORD FOR 2017

looking back at my word for 2017 - "Enough"

MY WORD FOR 2017

Each January since I started blogging I've chosen a Word of the Year. In 2015 it was RELEASE, in 2016 it was EMBRACE and this year it was ENOUGH. I've included a link to each one if you're interested at all in why I chose those particular words. What I also do at the end of each year is to look back and see how it worked out for me.

A ROTTNEST RE-CAP

Our first visit to Rottnest Island, Western Australia - sun, sea and quokkas!

FINALLY! VISITING ROTTNEST

I'm a born and bred West Aussie and I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that, up until last week, I'd never taken the ferry ride over to Rottnest Island to enjoy some time with the quokkas. I also hadn't realized that a lot of people don't know that Rottnest is a lovely place where there are no cars (except for a few utility vehicles) - instead you walk or hire a bicycle for your time there.

TODAY I WILL.......

What are you planning for your day? Here's a few things I'm doing...

I'M BACK!

Today I'm back from holidays and first and foremost I would like to thank Sue, Dee and Kathleen for guesting on my blog last week and keeping it ticking along while I was enjoying sun, sea and a great time of relaxation. To start back this week, I'm linking up with Denyse and her Life This Week series where she gives a writing prompt each Monday. I've been planning to link up for a while and today is the first of many I'm hoping to do in the year ahead. The topic is "Today I will......" and I thought it was a good way to start my return from holidays.

I'm a big fan of groups of "5 things" so here we go with my top five!

TODAY I WILL:

GUEST POST - KATHLEEN FROM THE BLOGGER'S PIT STOP



KATHLEEN AHERNE

The last, but not least, guest in my series of great bloggers who host Link Parties is Kathleen from The Blogger's Lifestyle. Kathleen is another Aussie blogger and has been an inspiration to me from the very beginning of my blogging journey - she is always up with the latest online trends and a great supporter of other bloggers. And she also has a great little discount Luvit Store which everyone should check out for a Christmas bargain or two.

Kathleen is the driving force behind The Blogger's Pit Stop, and it has become my all time favourite weekly link up - I can't wait to share my posts every Friday morning when the party goes live. So without further ado, here is Kathleen and her answers to my questions about her blog and her Link Party.

GUEST POST - DEE FROM BLOGGING GRANDMOTHERS

Dee from Grammy's Grid is my guest on the blog today - discussing her link party

GRAMMY DEE

My next guest in my series of great bloggers who host Link Parties is Dee from Grammy's Grid. I've known Dee for a year or so now and love how she is focused on creating a community for women who are grandmothers to get together and share their blog posts and encourage each other.

She also has a second Link Party (AIM) to give other bloggers the opportunity to link up and share what they've been blogging about too. So without further ado, here is Dee and her answers to my questions about her blog and her Link Parties.

GUEST POST - SUE FROM OVER THE MOON

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond is my guest on the blog today - discussing her link party

SUE LONCARIC

The first guest in my series of great bloggers who host Link Parties is Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond. Sue and I are great blogging buddies - we're both Aussies and (although we live on opposite sides of the country) we just "get" each other and have very similar stories to tell of our blogging journey.

Sue co-hosts a few parties, but the one she was involved with from the very beginning is Over The Moon, and I never miss linking up on a Monday with Sue and her friends. (And just as a little hint of what is to come.... Sue and I are planning on running a Link Party of our own for Midlifers next year - stay tuned for more info in January - we're excited!)

So without further ado, here is Sue and her answers to my questions about her blog and her #OTM Link Party.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN DECEMBER?

Rottnest Island - cycling, blue skies, quokkas and relaxing

IT'S DECEMBER ALREADY!

The year has zapped by and we're already heading into December - where did the time go? I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks because they lead up to Christmas - which is my favourite time of the year because it encompasses family, food and holidays - three things very close to my heart.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee at my favourite coffee spot this is what I'd tell you

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

It's time to celebrate the end of November by sharing another virtual cup of coffee with me while I update you on what's going on in my life lately. I love a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while with me in a lovely little cafe I love to visit while I share my news.

3 THINGS I'VE LEARNED

After 3 years of blogging I've learned 3 important lessons

3 THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM 3 YEARS OF BLOGGING

Firstly can I just say that I can't believe I've been doing three posts a week for three years (and that doesn't include the two A-Z Challenges where twice I've blogged six days a week in April!) So much water under the bridge and I've learned so much since I first opened Google and searched how to start a blog.

That momentous day was exactly three years ago at the end of November 2014 and there have been numerous lessons along the way - blogging lessons where I've had to come to grips with all the background stuff that makes a blog work and look good, and also mental and emotional stuff as I've put my thoughts together and put them out into the internet ether. I've "met" so many fantastic people and I've grown more than I ever would have expected. So, on that note, here are three things I have learned along the way.

WHAT IS YOUR "PASSION"?

Finding your authentic self is what finding your "Passion" should be all about

THE "PASSION" HOOPLA

I sometimes feel like I am a voice crying in the wilderness when it comes to all the hoopla about "finding your Passion" and "pursuing your Passion" and about your life being incomplete unless you have found "your one true Passion". I've written about it here and here - feel free to take a look if you are struggling with this idea too. But I had a change of heart recently when I read the quote below because I liked the spin it put on what Passion may actually be.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST - MY MAN

Looking back over 35 years of marriage - beginning, middle and latest

OUR LIFE IN A FEW PICTURES

This is a short First, Middle and Last post - it's a bit of time travel through my meeting and being married to my man. Thirty five years of being together and I thought I'd do a few photos to document it - and the aging process!

A NEW 30 DAY CHALLENGE

taking up a new smaller 30 day challenge for November

A NEW CHALLENGE

Pennie from The Accidental Blogger commented on my 30 Days Of No Complaining Challenge that rather than one big one-off Challenge, she made a commitment each month to doing a little challenge. For instance her August Challenge was to drink a cup of green tea every day. I really liked the idea of extending myself a little and letting my no complaining challenge be the first of many. So for November I have given myself a new (fairly small) challenge.

WHAT IF?

What if we settled for an ordinary life? What if we were happy with being enough?

BEING ORDINARY

So much has been written recently on simplifying our lives and on minimalism. I follow a few Facebook pages that promote the idea of choosing to not accumulate and to not compete with others and I really like that concept. Recently I re-read a lovely article by Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui on her A Life In Progress blog that asked "What if I want a mediocre life?"

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST CARS

Do you remember your first car? Was it cute like mine? How about your last car?

GETTING MY LICENCE

When I was a teenager I couldn't wait to get my licence and to have the freedom of being able to drive when and where I wanted. The thought of never having to beg a lift from my parents ever again was a huge motivator for me and within weeks of turning 17 I had finished my final exams for High School and passed my driving test. Two huge accomplishments indeed!

MY 30 DAYS OF NO COMPLAINING

What I learned from my 30 Days of No Complaining Challenge

THE CHALLENGE

You may have read my post a few weeks ago about accepting the Challenge to go 30 days without complaining. I really needed a kick in the pants in this area so I committed to the process and now it's almost finished - only a couple more days to go!

THAT MIDLIFE CRISIS

A Midlife Crisis can be a good thing - a time to put ourselves first again


THAT MIDLIFE CRISIS

There's a lot of talk about the good old Midlife Crisis. It is laughed about and mocked by most people, but despite that, we can often look back and see a distinct time in our life when we asked ourselves a few hard questions. For some reason this seems to happen around the time we hit Midlife - probably because we actually have enough headspace to start thinking about ourselves again.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST SCHOOL DAYS

Do you remember your early school days? Do you look back at class photos and smile?

SCHOOL DAY MEMORIES

A friend posted some photos of our last day in high school on my FB wall the other day, and it inspired me to do a little overview of my school days - from starting Primary School, to finishing High School and then to finishing my Tertiary training. Hopefull you can spot me in the crowd - a bit like Where's Wally (except I'm not wearing a red and white striped shirt in any of the photos!)

THE "PERFECT" JOB

Is there any such thing as the "Perfect" job? Does it only happen for a lucky few?

IS THERE A "PERFECT" JOB?

I know that there are people out there who are happily ensconsced in their perfect job, but when I've been asked if I thought there was a "perfect" job for me I would always answer "No". I would tell you that there is no such thing as the "Perfect" job and that I'd be naive to believe any such entity existed. The funny thing is that, despite my pragmatism, I still fall into the trap of imagining that each new job I start will be that elusive unicorn - perfection at last.

THE "MID" OF MIDLIFE

Friday's Thought - Reaching the Midpoint of Midlife - what lies ahead?

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW

Another year has sailed by and tomorrow I leave 55 behind me for good. I think I saw 55 as the Mid-point of Midlife. If this stage encompasses 40-70 (approximately) then 55 was the exact middle - now I'm about to become 56 and I really feel like I'm looking back at what has gone and at the same time wanting to make the most of what is yet to come.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST BIRTHDAY PARTIES

First Middle and Last Birthday Parties - from parties with school friends to work friends

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

When I was a young thing we didn't have giant birthday parties when we were toddlers. A birthday party didn't happen until we reached Primary School and asked our Mums if we could have a few friends come to our house to celebrate - no event parties, no clowns, no magicians, nothing fancy - just your friends and a birthday cake and a photo.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee at my favourite coffee spot this is what I'd tell you

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

It's time to celebrate the end of October by sharing another virtual cup of coffee with me while I update you on what's going on in my life lately. I love a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while with me in a lovely little cafe I love to visit while I share my news.

WHO AM I?

Friday's Thought - Do you look at yourself and see who you are becoming?

WHO AM I?

Do you ever stop and look at yourself and wonder who you are and how you came to be there? As I've settled into Midlife I've had more time to take stock and to see who I've become and to appreciate the journey involved in getting here. I don't think I've arrived yet at my destination, but I'm really starting to enjoy the process of growing into the person I am capable of being.

I read in a Christian publication years ago that God knows who we are and the person he created us to be. I like that idea - that there is a whole person that I am becoming and it's not about appearances or the external stuff, it's about becoming a woman of worth who achieves all her potential.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST SPORTS TEAM

First Middle and Last sports teams I played on - school day memories

TEAM SPORTS

I'm tall - and when you're tall everyone thinks you're "sporty" - long legs mean you should be able to run faster and jump higher than everyone else. Unfortunately that's not always the case, I was never a fast runner and hated athletics events where I'd always be at the end of the running races.

One thing I did do well in was team sports. I started playing netball when I was around 10 years old and continued through into high school. I had great team mates and my Mum used to come along and watch from the car - tooting the horn when we shot a goal.

THE 30 DAY NO COMPLAINING CHALLENGE

Accepting the 30 Day No Complaining Challenge - and why I chose to try it (photo Photo by Guna on Unsplash)

THE CHALLENGE

You may have noticed the idea of going for a period of time without complaining bandied around on the internet over the last couple of years. I've seen it several times and thought - hmmmm great idea but not really my idea of something I need to tackle. Some of the challenges are for 24 hours and others are for a longer period of time - up to 30 days of no complaints. As the old saying goes, "water wears rock" and the constant dripping of these challenges has ultimately worn its way into my world.

FRIDAY'S THOUGHT - RELATIONSHIPS

Photo by Hưng Nguyễn on Unsplash

RELATIONSHIPS

All my life I've valued friends and family. They would be the top of my list for what's important to me. I invest so much of myself (and my self-worth) in my relationships with other people. The main downside of that is the assumptions I make - mainly that I assume other people feel the same way as I do.

What I've come to realize over time is that not everyone is as invested in relationships as I am. Some are quite happy keeping things superficial, some are happy with interactions that benefit them with no cost, some only want a friendship if it's on their terms, and some just aren't capable of investing the time and energy that's needed to maintain an ongoing friendship or close contact.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST PRETTY DRESSES

First, Middle and Last Pretty Dresses - do you have a favourite dress and memories that go with it?

THE JOYS OF A PRETTY DRESS

What's not to love about a pretty dress? My problem is that I don't have the opportunity, or occasion to wear one much these days. Fortunately both our children got married so there was the excuse to go out and buy a Mother of the Bride/Groom dress but before then there were these moments in my life.

MIDLIFE MUSINGS - HOLDING ON LOOSELY

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO

We read so much about not holding on to things - about opening up and letting them go. But, sometimes I wonder if there isn't somewhere in the middle, somewhere where we don't clutch too tightly, but also where we don't give up completely and give it all away.

Wouldn't it be nice to find that balance? To be able to have people and things in our life that we are in touch with, but not owned by. To be able to hold things that are precious, but not possess them or try to control them. To be able to appreciate connection without having to own everything.

FRIDAY'S THOUGHT ~ CHANGES AND CHOICES

Friday's Thought - have you noticed that you've changed and so have the choices you make?

CHANGES AND CHOICES

One of the many gifts of Midlife is realizing you're changing and that the changes aren't all about growing older physically. The wrinkles and the little aches and pains are par for the course, but with them comes the realization that you don't have to put up with all the crud that gets tossed your way.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST BIKES

First (Middle) and Last Bikes - from a toddler to now and still loving a bike!

FIRST AND LAST BIKES

What's not to love about a bicycle? Or in the beginning for most of us it was probably a tricycle. I went trawling through the old photo albums and managed to find a few pics that reflect the joy (and trepidation) that comes with owning and riding a bike in the backyard - complete with picket fences of course!

MIDLIFE MUSINGS - DEMENTORS

Midlife Musings - dealing with the drama queens and dementors

DEALING WITH DEMENTORS

A while back I wrote a post on people who drain the happiness out of every situation they find themselves in, and every person who takes time to listen to their woes. I called these type of people Light Suckers. They just seem to suck the joy right out of everything.

Then I heard a different term used the other day - a person I know referred to someone we both know as a "Dementor". The person in question is so full of drama and dismay that it is wearying just to be in the same breathing space as them.

FRIDAY'S THOUGHT ~ CONFIDENCE

Friday's Thought - finding self-confidence and proactively keeping it

CONFIDENCE

Something I've always felt lacking in is self-confidence. The ability to own who I am and not let my self-esteem be dented by other people is an area that I've put a lot of work into over the last few years.

So many people seem to possess this innate ability to shine and to radiate self-confidence without any trouble at all. I look at them and think - they're not particularly beautiful, or super smart, or extremely talented, or possessed of personality plus, and yet they are secure in themselves and nothing phases them.

FIRST (MIDDLE) AND LAST

the first and last of different aspects of my life, but there were also a few times when there was a "middle" that was relevant too

BEGINNINGS, MIDDLES AND ENDS

October is here already and I've had another change of direction for this month. I thought that once each week I'd share a walk down memory lane with some photos from my childhood and some from now. I read a prompt from Denyse Whelan's blog last month on "My first car" and it made me smile as I remembered the early days of having my first car, and that led me on to other "firsts" and before I knew it I had enough to keep me going for the next few months!

MIDLIFE MUSING - TAKING OFFENCE

Midlife Musing - Stop looking for reasons to be upset and offended - give others the benefit of the doubt

TAKING OFFENCE

What is it about people taking offence at things? It seems everyone has an opinion on everything and as soon as they meet someone who disagrees with them or doesn't conform to what they expect, they choose to take offence. I think the word "choose" is the vital ingredient here - because we make the choice as to whether we want to take offence or whether we want to give people grace and the benefit of the doubt.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

If we were having coffee at my favourite coffee spot this is what I'd tell you

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE

The 29th of September is National Coffee Day so what better way to celebrate than by sharing a virtual cup of coffee with me while I update you on what's going on in my life lately. I love a good 'Taking Stock' blog post, so I hope you'll humour me and sit a while with me in a lovely little cafe I love to visit while I share my news.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS DAY

National Women's Health & Fitness Day - Fit is not a destination, it is a way of life. (Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash)


NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH & FITNESS DAY

September 27 is National Women’s Health & Fitness Day. It is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages.  Seeing I am not the greatest example of supersonic health and fitness in Midlife (as I mentioned in Monday's post!), I thought I'd ask my great friend, and fellow blogger, Sue - from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond to share some of her thoughts on this important subject.

WHY IS EXERCISE SO HARD?

Why is exercise so hard for me? Why couldn't I be one of those women who love getting hot and sweaty at the gym?

THE ELLIPTICAL TORTURE DEVICE

If you read my blog on a reasonably regular basis, you may have read the post I put up a while ago about buying an Elliptical Exercise Machine. It was the next step in trying to keep my Midlife weight gain under control - sometimes it feels like I'm fighting a losing battle and I thought this machine might be the answer to my prayers.

SUMMER AND WINTER THOUGHTS

I've realized that on my personal FB page I'm all about making Winter feel like Summer

THOUGHTS ABOUT SUMMER AND WINTER

I've realized that on my personal FB page I'm all about making Winter feel like Summer. I guess that sums up my personality (most of the time!) I've been through my fair share of Winters and grey times, and in the process I've learned that I like sunny days better. But if there's going to be rain - the least I can do is dance in it (especially if the one I love dances with me).

MIDLIFE - FROM INVISIBLE TO FULL ON

Midlife - what happened to make the pendulum swing from invisible to full steam ahead?

MIDLIFE - THINGS HAVE CHANGED

Another of the questions I've been asking myself lately is why has the Midlife pendulum swung so far? It seems in the last decade or so we've gone from completely invisible to being gung-ho and full speed ahead. 

Have you noticed that every Midlifer seems to be on an adventure? They are traipsing all over the world, running marathons, writing blogs, starting new businesses, throwing big birthday parties, and generally living life on a large scale.

NATIONAL WIFE APPRECIATION DAY

Sept 17th is National Wife Appreciation Day  (Photo by Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash)


NATIONAL WIFE APPRECIATION DAY

National Wife Appreciation day is celebrated on the third Sunday in September (the 17th in this case) - I don't post on a Sunday, but I couldn't resist celebrating this one a day late (instead of National Cheeseburger Day!)

In keeping with the concept of the day, I thought "who better to ask to write about wife appreciation than my own beloved husband?" He tentatively accepted the challenge and took his life in his hands to write about this very sensitive topic! I hope you enjoy reading his thoughts as much as I did - it was a pretty honest account - not sugar coated (unfortunately) but from the heart and that's what really counts isn't it?

NATIONAL FELT HAT DAY

September 15th is National Felt Hat Day - Here's a little about hats and me

NATIONAL FELT HAT DAY

Friday the 15th September is National Felt Hat Day - and I couldn't resist having a little look back at the very few times I've ever been able to wear anything that remotely resembled a warm hat. In Australia our Winters are so mild that there's virtually no need to dig out a hat so the only opportunity I've had so far is when we visited Europe.

NATIONAL POSITIVE THINKING DAY

National Positive Thinking Day - it changes the way you see your world (Photo by Ethan Robertson)

NATIONAL POSITIVE THINKING DAY

The 13th of September is National Positive Thinking Day, and it's all about attitude.... a positive attitude.

The power of positive thinking is amazing - medical studies have shown that people with a positive attitude are healthier and fight illness more effectively than others. Also, people with a "can-do" attitude, are far more likely to succeed at work, and in accomplishing the goals they set in life. They're also nice to have around and bring joy to those they interact with. A positive person lifts the spirits of those they connect with on a daily basis. 

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FACEBOOK FEED?

I'm not sure why everything has become so political - but I miss my fun Facebook feed

THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF FACEBOOK

My Facebook feed used to be a place where I caught up on the news from my family and friends. It used to be a place where I saw engagement pics, wedding photos, new babies and their parents and grandparents. I got to follow along in the wake of those who were off on fabulous overseas holidays, or just on a weekend away in the countryside. It was a chance to celebrate happy events with people I care about. 

WISHING FOR MORE? OR LESS?

Sometimes I wish I was more by Rachel Martin #findingjoy (photo by Vil Son on Unsplash)

THOUGHTS FROM OTHERS

Sometimes I come across someone else's thoughts and they make me stop and consider. I love it when I read something another person has written and it strikes a chord in me and gets me thinking about things a little more deeply. There's nothing like being challenged and inspired by someone who takes me on a journey with them and leaves me feeling like I've grown a little more in life.

NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY

September 6th is National Read a Book Day - what book are you delving into to celebrate?

NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY

The 6th of September is National Read a Book Day - and there's nothing I like more than reading a great book. In fact, I think I probably churn through two or three a week - and I especially love it when a favourite author puts out a new book.

HOW FULL IS MY GLASS?

Midlife Musings - a question I ask myself is How Full Is My Glass?

HOW FULL IS MY GLASS

One of the questions I've been asking myself lately is to do with the old 'glass half full' concept. It seems we always focus on the glass being half full or half empty, but what if we thought about how full our individual glass actually was?

NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY

September 1st is National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day - it's a great start to September on the blog where anything goes!

WHAT'S NEW ON THE BLOG FOR SEPTEMBER?

Over the month of September I thought I'd change things up a bit and: 

1) I'd throw in a few National Days and how they apply to me in Midlife. I even have my beloved husband doing a guest post on one (with a little gentle persuasion from me), and also one of my favourite bloggers doing another towards the end of the month on a National Day that is close to her heart.

2) I'd discuss a few questions that I've been pondering lately - Midlife Musings!

3) I'd do a bit of an overview of life at the moment - while we share a virtual coffee. 

But to get started, the first cab off the rank for September is:

#12 DON'T PERSONALIZE THINGS

Happiness Choice #12 - Don't take things personally - it's not all about you

DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY

My final tip in my 12 Choices for Happiness series for August is to stop personalizing everything. I left this one til last because it's the biggest stumbling block I have in the area of maintaining my happiness. I am a great one for over-thinking everything and taking responsibility for stuff that isn't really about me. I tend to worry about anything and everything and then let that seep into my soul and suck the happiness right out of my day.

There are a few things I need to remember when I want to slow this process down (I'm hoping to stop it one day but I'll take a reduction in frequency as a positive first step along the way!) I've noted a few pointers I'm working on below.

#11 APPRECIATE OTHERS

Happiness Choice  #11 - Appreciate the other people in your life and remember to tell them

SELF ABSORPTION

Life can seem a bit dull and gray at times. We can get caught up in our own little world and forget to appreciate all the small things that we take for granted. We become so absorbed in ourselves and forget to acknowledge the contributions of the people around us. We don't hear the compliments, we don't notice the little acts of kindness, and we wonder why we're feeling a bit flat.

#10 TREAT YOURSELF KINDLY

Happiness Choice #10 - treat yourself kindly - know your worth

KNOW YOUR INTRINSIC WORTH

We all need to find our sense of worth outside of anything we do or achieve. Every time we place our self worth in the hands of others we risk losing our happiness. People are fallible and even the ones we love the most can undervalue us or hurt us. We need to have an intrinsic sense of who we are and what really matters to us to help us smile through the ups and downs of life.

If we let others define our values and priorities we begin to say yes to everything, and wonder why we are left so exhausted and drained. We need to value our time and abilities, and not sell them to the lowest bidder. Knowing our worth is at the heart of learning to treat ourselves kindly.

#9 LEARN TO SAY NO

Happiness Choice #9 - Learn to say "No" without feeling guilty

WHAT IS IT ABOUT SAYING "NO"?

I don't know if it's an oldest child thing, or a generational thing, or a personality thing, but I know I have a lot of trouble saying "No" to people. I want everyone to be happy, I want them to be happy because I agreed to help them. I want to facilitate things for everyone and supposedly in the process, for myself as well.

The problem is that saying "Yes" to everyone and everything usually means I end up over-committed and stressed. I end up running around after other people and not taking care of my own needs.