WHY MY JUNE WAS JUST FABULOUS

Living life fabulously - looking back at all the fun little happenings during June.

MY FABULOUS JUNE

June in Australia is the beginning of Winter - when it (finally) starts to rain. I love the cooler evenings and falling asleep to the sound of rain on the roof. I don't even have to worry about getting wet on my morning walks this year because I'm not walking as much with my limp - due to my dodgy hip, but this too shall pass. So, with a little singing in the rain, here's what's been Fabulous throughout the lovely month of June....

RETIREMENT ISN'T THE END OF THE ROAD - IT'S A NEW BEGINNING

Retirement doesn't mean boredom, or endless empty days. It's a new beginning where you fill your days with whatever you choose.

RETIREMENT ISN'T THE END

I've heard so many people worry over what they'd do to keep busy once they retire. They wonder how they'll fill their days, how they'll stay relevant, and how they won't die of boredom. I didn't have time to worry about those things before retirement became my life - and perhaps that was a good thing for an over-thinker like myself.

Instead, I went from gainfully (if miserably) employed to being at home full-time virtually overnight. And, in the process, I discovered that retirement isn't stagnation, it's the beginning of a whole new - and pretty Fabulous - phase of life.

HALFWAY THROUGH MY YEAR OF LIVING FABULOUSLY

In January I chose FABULOUS as my Word of the Year. I wanted something positive and upbeat....something to motivate me to make bright, happy choices and to assist me in focusing on the positives in life.

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE

In January I chose FABULOUS as my Word of the Year. I wanted something positive and upbeat....something to motivate me to make bright, happy choices and to assist me in focusing on the positives in life. We all know that what you choose to see often impacts on your whole approach to life - look for the bad stuff and you'll find it....alternatively, look for the Fabulous stuff and you'll find that instead.

WHAT IS APHANTASIA? AND DO YOU HAVE IT?

Aphantasia is a phenomenon where people can't see things with their mind's eye. I didn't know I had it.....do you?

WHAT ON EARTH IS APHANTASIA?

When our adult children were visiting a few weeks ago we got chatting about a condition known as aphantasia. Our son, who's a mechatronic engineer, just realized that he has it (much to his horror and annoyance). I think it comes from my side of the family because my husband doesn't have it and neither does our daughter. It provoked a LOT of discussion over several days and was quite an eye opener.

So, what is aphantasia?

LOOKING BACK AT A FABULOUS MAY

Here's what's made May fabulous for me - family, friends, fun, and fabulosity at its best.

MY FABULOUS MAY

Thank goodness for Autumn - the cooler weather, the sunshine interspersed with rain, the gradual lead-up to Winter, and seeing the garden and nature begin to green up after the long, dry Summer we've endured. As we head into Winter, there'll be no snow or freezing temperatures here in Western Australia, and that's fine with  me - I like my weather mild and fairly predictable. On that note, here's what's been Fabulous throughout the lovely month of May....

WHAT ARE GLIMMERS? AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

What are Glimmers? They're the opposite to triggers and can be used to change our brain's response to remembered trauma.

WHAT IS A GLIMMER?

My blogging friend Pat from Retirement Transition wrote a series of posts recently about understanding abandonment and its resultant trauma and triggers. There were a lot of interesting outcomes that she described that strongly resonated with me - especially these five behaviours below. 

  • Overly sensitive to any criticism
  • Seeking external validation 
  • Discomfort/stress in social situations - especially new social situations 
  • Perfectionism, trying to meet expectations, and being productive
  • Excessive planning, over-thinking, and a desire to control the situation

In an email conversation I had with Pat, she mentioned that a friend had told her about Glimmers and how they can be used to counteract some of the triggers that we experience....

THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW ON THE HORIZON IF WE'RE READY

Life gives and takes away. If you're open and ready for a challenge, then something new will come along to fill a gap and keep you balanced.

LIFE IS A SERIES OF UPS AND DOWNS

Life is in a constant state of flux isn't it? I feel like the last few years have been a bit of a roller coaster ride - from my job becoming less and less bearable, to finally resigning, to wondering what to do next, then covid throwing a spanner in the works, and  finally settling into a new routine where I expected to stay comfortably forever. 

I had my days nicely balanced with plenty of activities for my body, mind and soul and was feeling pretty settled and content....but then my hip gave out on me and life changed again.

ADULT HIP DYSPLASIA, OSTEOARTHRITIS, AND LIVING WITH A LIMP

Living with adult hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis when you're not "old". How that impacts daily life and what can be done about the pain.

WHAT IS ADULT HIP DYSPLASIA?

I used to have a life without hip pain. I had that life for 35 years or so and then one day I started to get a nagging pain in my left hip. I put up with it for a while but eventually headed off to the physiotherapist to get it worked on and to get some home exercises. It helped and it settled.

But over the following years it happened again.....and again.....and again....

A FABULOUS APRIL AND EASTER RECAP

Living life fabulously - looking back at all the fun little happenings during April.

MY FABULOUS APRIL

I can't believe April has come and gone already! Easter flashed past and Autumn has settled in with its cooler days and evenings (so much better for my sleeping than those hot, muggy nights). Quite a bit has happened over the last few weeks, including our first family covid experiences - which we all knew had to happen because we couldn't stay locked away from the world forever. But there have also been some lovely times as well, so on that note....here's what's been Fabulous throughout the very pleasant month of April....

6 VITAL QUALITIES I VALUE IN MY CLOSEST FRIENDS

The 6 qualities I value in my close friendships are: consistency, inspiration, encouragement, cheerleading, spiritual guidance and reciprocation.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE

Zina Harrington the author of Becoming Unbusy shared a thought recently on Facebook about the type of women she wants to be surrounded by. It resonated with me on a lot of levels because, as I've gotten older, there are certain qualities I look for in my friends too. 

I definitely steer clear of criticism, negativity, sabotage, or doom and gloom. I also don't need super sunshine-y, perfect Pollyannas either. I'm tending to seek out real, authentic, down to earth women with common sense and the ability to sift through all the dross to find the little nuggets of truth and joy that still abound in our lives. These are my tribe and today I'm sharing six qualities that speak to my heart when I'm with these types of women...

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR - YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT!

Sometimes we feel that we need a change or a challenge. If life chooses to offer you one, be brave enough to take a risk and see where it takes you.

NEVER GET TOO SETTLED

Just over three years ago, I finally walked away from my toxic job. I didn't have a lot of time to think about it. I'd been pushed to the end of my tether, and when that last straw broke this camel's back, I gave two weeks' notice, packed my bag and left. I was mentally exhausted and it took me a long time to recover my resilience. The ending was sudden and abrupt, and it left me feeling quite lost and unsure of what to do next.

By the time I felt like I had something to offer a new employer, covid arrived in all its "glory" and the world locked down. We all retreated and it became easier to stay at home than to worry about putting myself out there again. But life can sometimes surprise you....

MAKE ROOM FOR FORGIVENESS AND IT WILL HEAL YOUR HEART

Don't allow unresolved bitterness & hurt from the past to affect your life - choose to forgive, let go, and move on to create a new and better legacy

UNRESOLVED HURT

I was talking to a 90 year old woman recently, she was sharing some incidents from her late teens where her father's attitude had caused her pain. She felt that her needs and choices had been minimalized and overlooked (and from what she said, they had been). The saddest part of the conversation was that she still carried the same degree of anger and upset that she felt from when she was 20. 

She couldn't see that he was a product of his generation and, even though he'd passed away many years ago, she still carries so much bitterness and lack of forgiveness in her heart - 70 years of wasted anger and hurt. Those unresolved feelings and lack of being able to move on from earlier issues have left an ongoing legacy of pain in her life and have carried over into her relationships with others.

FINALLY FREEING MYSELF FROM STINGINESS AND SCARCITY AT 60

It's finally okay to lighten up on myself a bit and enjoy the little pleasures of life more. I'm kicking guilt and feeling unworth to the kerb.

WHEN FRUGALITY BECOMES STINGINESS

This is kind of a weird post about an issue I have that others may not have a problem with...but lately I've finally twigged to the fact that there's a fine line between being frugal and being stingy. I often muddle the two up and find myself happily spending time, energy, or money on others - while refusing to do the same for myself. I tell myself that it doesn't matter and I don't need non-essential things, but living a life of denying myself any little treats is not the way I want to live out the rest of my days.

I think it's time to stop being so stingy and to let myself enjoy a few small indulgences here and there - I'm finally allowing my tightly held fist to open a little - and it feels good.

MARCH IN ALL ITS FABULOSITY

Here's what's made March fabulous for me - family, friends, fun, and fabulosity at its best.

MY FABULOUS MARCH

March marks the beginning of Autumn here in Australa and we're still waiting for those cooler days and nights to arrive in full, and see an end to a very long, hot Summer. I think it's been the hottest and driest Summer I can remember - with very little rain and many days of temperatures in the 40°C range - and that's VERY hot! It's been Fabulous to have an occasional cooler day here and there though, and on that note of celebration, here's what's also been Fabulous throughout the lovely month of March....

NOW I'M 60 IT'S TIME TO LET MY LIGHT SHINE

Self-acceptace is the beginning of a journey out of uncertainty and hiding your light. You get to say "Here I am, this is me, take me or leave me."

HOW IT LOOKS WHEN WE ACCEPT WHO WE ARE

I spent many, many years working really hard to try to be someone I'm not. I always felt like I needed to be smaller, quieter, gentler, sweeter..... someone who didn't make too much noise or take up too much space. I thought I should be dimming my light so that I didn't overwhelm those around me. 

I thought I needed to be a gentle soul who quietly wafted through life - because that's what lovely women did - especially lovely Christian women. But no matter how hard I tried, I just never seemed to master the art of serene womanhood. 

It's taken me 60 years to realize that I don't need to be that woman and I don't actually want to be her either ....

COMFORT PLUS - 6 WAYS TO MAKE A RELAXING RETIREMENT

6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

INTRO

Entering retirement is different for all of us. I kind of leapt off the employment cliff and freefell into retirement. Fortunately we had enough in place (being excellent 'preparers') to sustain that sudden change, but for others it would be a nightmare to suddenly be out of the workforce and self-supporting. 

Today on the blog I have a lovely guest named Jenn who is sharing some great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition that has you questioning whether you can sustain your new life choice.

4 BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE

What books have made an impact on your life? When I asked myself this question, these are the four that immediately came to mind.

WHAT BOOKS CHANGED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE?

I recently saw a question on Facebook that asked "Name a book that changed your perspective on life". It caught my interest and within a minute or so I came up with four books that had impacted me over the years and caused me to change my worldview. I'm sure there's dozens of others, but these four leapt to mind and I thought I'd share them here on the blog today. 

I'd be really interested to know whether you have a book (or two) that changed your perspective on life - let me know in the comments or on my Cresting the Hill Facebook page if you have the time because I'm really quite fascinated with this question....

WHAT MADE FEBRUARY FABULOUS?

Living life fabulously - looking back at all the fun little happenings during February.

MY FABULOUS FEBRUARY

At the beginning of January I chose my new Word of the Year - which was FABULOUS - and in honour of all things fabulous, I've decided to return to my old habit of looking back over the month that's finished and sharing a few snippets that shone out during those weeks. My moments of "Fabulosity" is how I'm thinking of them.

How lovely that February is an "F" word and ties in so well with Fabulous - so without further ado, here's some of the small Fabulous moments from February.....

STROLLING ALONG LIFE'S PLEASANT PATH

Sometimes we wonder about life's struggles, but ultimately tough times deepen us and bring us to pleasant paths again.

PLEASANT AND PEACEFUL PATHS

When our children were born we chose a bible verse for each of them. For our daughter it was:
Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace.
Proverbs 3:17 

We chose it for a number of reasons - prompted by the name Erin meaning "peace" and also with a wish for a pleasant and peaceful journey through life for her. I doubt she'd agree that it's all been plain sailing, but I think it's something we'd all wish for our life journey.

7 POSITIVE CHOICES FOR LIVING A FABULOUS LIFE IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

Seven tips for living a positive (and fabulous) life in a world that seems to have gone slightly haywire over the last few years.

LIVING FABULOUSLY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

I saw a really interesting article recently on a blog post from the Online Counselling College  titled - How to be a Genuine and Fun-Loving Person. As I read through the points they listed, I could definitely see a correlation with how I want to approach the year ahead - living authentically, seeing value in myself, refusing to buy into the negative culture around me, and choosing to approach life with positivity.

So, I've adapted them today into a post about how to live Fabulously in uncertain times and I hope you find them helpful too...

HOW DO YOU DEFINE BEAUTY IN A WORLD FULL OF FILTERS?

It's time to redefine our concept of beauty. To take away the fake filters and to focus on what really makes us lovely.

SELFIES VS REALITY

I bought a new phone last year. I don't buy expensive phones because I don't use them for more than calling, texting, and taking random photos. I'm not on Instagram and I rarely take photos unless we're on holiday or there's an "occasion" to celebrate. 

I like my new phone/camera because it ticks all the boxes and takes much better photos than my old one did. I'm not a selfie taker - they always remind me of the meme of "this is what I think I look like - and what I actually look like"...

LIVING CHRISTMAS AND JANUARY FABULOUSLY

Living life fabulously - looking back at Christmas with the family, and all the little joys of January.

MY FABULOUS CHRISTMAS AND JANUARY

At the beginning of January I chose my new Word of the Year - which was FABULOUS - and in honour of all things fabulous, I've decided to return to my old habit of looking back over the month that's finished and sharing a few snippets that shone out during those weeks. My moments of "Fabulosity" is how I'm thinking of them.

So let's get the ball rolling as I look back on Christmas and January (a little more bang for my buck seeing that I didn't do a December stocktake). In Australia it's summertime - so lots of hot weather, sunshine and blue skies.

WHAT IS NEUROGRAPHIC ART? IT'S A GREAT CHOICE FOR THE NON ARTIST

Neurographical art is perfect  for a non artist. It creates mindfulness and peace without having too much structure or the ability to draw skilfully.
Created from original image by Bagdadi

WHAT IS NEUROGRAPHIC ART?

I've always been convinced that I have no artistic ability whatsoever, but now that I have more time, I'm on a journey to discover whether there may be kernels of creativity hiding inside me that are just waiting for the opportunity emerge. If you follow my Cresting the Hill Facebook page, I've been sharing what I've been doing since I stumbled across Neurographic art recently. It caught my eye and my imagination because it's an art form that just flows, and it reminded me of images of brain neurones combined with pretty colours. I was itching to explore more about it....

TEN THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER NOW I'M 60

Ten life lessons that my 50's taught me that have taken the stress and upset out of my life.

WHAT DOESN'T MATTER NOW I'M 60

Marc and Angel always have a lot of really straightforward, helpful advice to offer on their site and I often visited their links on Facebook while I was recovering from the fallout from my toxic job a few years ago. I don't tend to need their insights as much these days, but recently one of their articles caught my eye. It was titled 20 Things That Will Matter A Lot Less In 20 Years

I clicked across and several caught my eye because they were lessons I'd learnt over the last decade and they certainly matter a whole lot less now that I've reached 60. I thought I'd share my top ten today as a little victory celebration for how far I've come.

LIVING LA DOLCE VITA IN MIDLIFE

Living the sweet life in Midlife - no more rushing and fussing, just lots of balance, peace and joy.

LIVING THE SWEET LIFE IN MIDLIFE

According to Think In Italian living "la dolce vita" means living a life full of beauty, pleasures, and mundane events. (Note the definition included "mundane events" - not leaping from one exiciting, action packed moment to the next). It translates to "living the sweet life". A similar expression is "dolce far niente" which is "the sweetness of doing nothing" - I remember coming across that term in the book/movie "Eat, Pray, Love" where the main character learns about the sweetness of slowing down and having restful moments, instead of living at a break neck pace all the time.

STARTING MY 60'S FEELING FABULOUS

Let's choose to be fabulous.  I'm not talking about trying to be an over the top fashionista, or a flamboyant flamingo - just your very best self.

IT'S TIME TO CHOOSE MY #WOTY

Every January I choose a Word Of The Year (#WOTY) instead of making resolutions that I never bother keeping. I love finding a word that resonates with me and motivates me for the direction I want to head in for the rest of the year. Last year I chose "Cultivate" and that inspired me to proactively grow the areas of my life that needed some attention. It was a great word and felt very "intentional". This year I felt that I wanted to choose one that was a bit more fun, and one that would give me an energy boost when I thought of it.

So, after mullling it over for several weeks, I decided to go with my heart and chose my word from a post I wrote for my 60th birthday....