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COUNTRY LIVING IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Do you ever wonder where other bloggers come from? I'm an Aussie blogger and this is where I live.

WHERE DO I LIVE?

I saw a meme the other day that caught my eye - it summed up exactly what I feel about where I live. I grew up in the suburbs of Western Australia and loved living on the outskirts of our capital city when I was younger. But as time went on and we had children, our life took off on a different course. We decided we wanted to raise our family in a place with room to spare, somewhere to kick a football, or to build a cubby house in the bush, or to just run free without worrying about stranger danger, or traffic problems, or being squeezed into a little block of land surrounded by other little blocks of land. So.....we moved to the country....

HOW TO ACCESS THE RIGHT AGED CARE SUPPORT FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE

How to access home care packages in Australa - and getting advice on choosing the best one for your family member.

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Recently I was approached by Kyra Snell to ask if I'd be interested in collaborating together to share her story about a difficult experience she had seeking care support for her grandmother, and how that led her to create a How To Guide to show others how to tackle the Australian Aged Care system and the services that are on offer if you know how to dig deeply enough to find them.

It's not a topic we think of much because most of us aren't quite ready yet to access help for ourselves, but we are often plunged into it unexpectedly when a mother, father, mother-in-law, or other family member's health starts to fail. 

I've learned a lot from this collaboration, and the free guide she shares at the end of the post is something I'm saving for when it's my turn to navigate the system. I hope you find her story as interesting as I did. Now let me hand you over to Kyra....

5 SUPER SIMPLE STEPS TO UNHURRIED LIVING IN MIDLIFE

5 Super Simple Steps I took from living in a hurry to slowing down and living an unhurried second half of life

WHEN LIFE USED TO BE HURRIED

The first half of my life was always lived in a hurry. My days were packed to the brim with work, or stuff to do when I wasn't at work - you know......cooking, housework, grocery shopping, socialising, volunteering, church, hobbies, and all the appointments (hairdresser, dentist, doctor etc). For a long time there was also all the "kid stuff" - school activities, after-school activities, sports, friends, youth group, and all the other responsibilities that come with being a good parent.

Back in those "good old days" there was rarely the opportunity to slow down - because all those responsibilities needed to be done - and done well. There was very little flexibility, and every day was packed full from when the alarm went off in the morning, until I slid into bed at night. They were great times, but always SO busy. Even after the kids left home and the parenting work disappeared, life still continued at a galloping pace. I loved living a busy life back then, but it's not how I wanted  to continue in the second half of my life. So what did I do to move from rushed to relaxed, from hurried to unhurried?

GREAT CREATIVE PROJECTS TO TRY WHEN YOU'RE NOT VERY "ARTISTIC"

Paper art collage - something to try when you want to be creative but don't see yourself as being "artistic"


BEING CREATIVE WITHOUT AN ARTISTIC STREAK

I mentioned in last week's post that I've been wanting to try my hand at activities that use the right side of my brain. Apparently right brain dominant people are more creative and artistic, and left brained people are more logical and analytical. If that's the case, I definitely tend to be more left brained and now I have more time on my hands, I thought it was my chance to try my hand at something a little bit "arty".....But where do you start when you've never dabbled in that area?

3 AREAS OF LIFE TO CULTIVATE FOR BALANCE AND GROWTH

3 areas of life to cultivate and focus your energy into that will lead to you thriving in Midlife.

CHOOSING 'CULTIVATE' AS MY #WOTY

Every January since I started blogging I've chosen a Word of the Year instead of making New Year's resolutions. Previous words have been Release, Embrace, Rise, Enough, More, Symphony, and for this year, I chose "Cultivate". I had mulled several words over in my head, but the idea of consciously setting out to cultivate aspects of my life that would lead to me thriving as I headed towards 60 just seemed to fit what I was looking for.

I originally came across the word in Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly" book and a pin I saw online that summed up the 10 areas of life we need to cultivate to live Wholeheartedly. It got me thinking about what areas of my life I wanted to grow more in, where I wanted to deepen my life, and where I wanted to focus my energy.

"YEAH.....NO" - SAYING YES TO WHAT MATTERS AND NO TO THE REST

It's easy to get caught up in all the "should do" and "must have" hype, but maybe it's time to say "Yes" to what really matters and "No" to the rest.

BEFORE I CHOSE TO SAY "YEAH.....NO"

If you're anything like me, you grew up in an era of trying to be all things to all people. Somewhere along the line we had convinced ourselves that we could do it all, and do it with a smile (well maybe, occasionally, with a long suffering sigh...) During the first 55 years of my life I tried my hardest to be the good daughter, the great wife, the hard worker, the hands on parent, the always available volunteer, the committed friend, and so on and on it went. Tie it all together with a lot of self-judgement and that was pretty much my life for a long time.

At the time those things were super important to me, and I thought I was doing a great job of keeping all the balls in the air. It gave me a sense of satisfaction to have said "Yes" to so many responsibilities and to have not drowned under it all. But that was then and this is now.....

REFINANCING YOUR HOME LATER IN LIFE: HOW TO MAKE IT A SUCCESS

Are you planning on retiring soon but the mortgage payments are still an issue? Refinancing your home loan may be a great option to consider.

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Today I have an interesting collaborative post that gives some insight into an area of retirement that I haven't covered previously here on the blog. My husband and I have been very diligent throughout our working lives in putting extra payments into our mortgage whenever possible, our goal was to have it paid out well before the 25 year lifetime of the loan. We also didn't move often, so that reduced buying and selling costs.

By the time we reached our 50's we were debt free and that made the decision for me to retire early a LOT easier. The pressure of being locked into a mortgage (especially one that's at a higher interest rate than the current ones on offer) can be very disheartening. So, today's post discusses an option that might be of interest if you still have those monthly mortgage payments hanging over your head.

WHOLEHEARTED LIVING - CULTIVATING A SENSE OF BELONGING

Are you thriving in retirement, or are you feeling at a loose end when it comes to finding new connections and a sense of belonging?

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Today I have the next guest in my series on Cultivating Wholehearted Living - thriving in the second half of life. Leslie is a fashion blogger, a Bucket List blogger, a book blogger, a home styling blogger, and writes about all of these things over at Once Upon A Time And Happily Ever After. She's writing today about a topic that has been in the back of my mind for several months - and I'm sure others have struggled with some of the same thoughts and feelings. So, on that note, I'll hand it over to Leslie from here....

WHAT ARE YOU CULTIVATING IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE?

A comfort zone can be a beautiful place where peace, contentment, satisfaction and gratitude grow in abundance.

COMFORT ZONES AND RISK

There's a well known saying that goes:
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, 
but nothing ever grows there
All the super busy, ambitious go-getters immediately nod their heads because it's a fact that you have to step out of your comfort zone if you want to take a leap forward into the unknown or into something bigger and riskier than you usually experience.

But......

HOW I BRIGHTENED MY SMILE WITHOUT BREAKING THE BUDGET

How to get a brighter, whiter smile without spending a fortune or having to DIY at home.  You don't have to spend a fortune to have a great smile.

BRIGHTENING A DULL SMILE

Have you noticed that your teeth have gotten duller and dingier as you've gotten older? I've certainly found that mine have been getting darker and less attractive since I hit Midlife and I wasn't sure whether I was just being vain or whether I wanted to get serious and do something about it. I used to be a Dental Therapist/Hygienist in my younger days, and I also worked for an orthodontist for many years. Teeth are something that I'm very aware of - and I also know how much it can cost to get a fabulous smile.....A LOT!!