Too young to grow up, too old not to!

So today someone told me how many weeks until Christmas (I’m not going to write it here for fear of scaring you but spoiler alert, you can now count it on your fingers). I suddenly wondered where the year had gone, weren’t we just complaining about the end of the Easter long weekend?!? 

 

It made me think about the fact that the older you get the quicker time seems to go and dare I say it the less you feel you have accomplished in the time you’ve had. 

I am smack bang in the middle of the age range where everyone seems to have an opinion on what you should be doing with your life and what you should have already done. In one day I have had people (actual strangers) tell me how young I am, spring chicken, lots of gas left in the tank Yada Yada.. how I should embrace my 20’s whilst simultaneously judging me for not being grown up enough, successful enough or really not doing what they think I should be doing with my life. 

Your mid to late 20’s are complicated. On one hand everyone is expecting you to own a house (not even a crappy one but an actual nice house), be successful at work and be well on your way to ruling your very own empire? Yes, they expect you to have dollars in the bank with more than one bank account and a serious significant other but don’t forget to be “developing your identity” (Who else doesn’t get the idea that single = why? Is there something wrong with you, married = don’t you know how to be your own person?) Whilst the rest of the population tell you to enjoy your youth, travel, explore, you have plenty of time and don’t worry about all that other jazz. What’s a girl to do? 


Even when you are able to do some of the things on “The List”. That list being titled: How to adult and be perceived as successful, people still don’t think you did it right. And believe me I have tried! I am the person with the five year plan. I have written this list multiple times over, so for me it wasn’t just hypothetical. 

Still I received criticism. I have been told that we made a poor choice buying a property such as the one we currently reside in, that I should live in a nice house in town not a run-down place without a proper bathroom roof.  That I married far too young and must not know how to be by myself. Apparently I should have spent the last 5 years living out of a van backpacking through South America, be fluent in multiple languages, have a Kickstarter campaign, met and married someone in a week but have a really *strong relationship* – what does that even mean, like are we suppose to lift weights together?.. Apparently I am also suppose to now be planning children, remebering to send my sponsor child money and thinking about further education and don’t forget I STILL should have at least a few thousand in the bank for savings and know the bouncers name at the most popular club in town. 


It’s a hard line to walk – when are you too old to go dancing and drinking twice a week but not old enough to be taken seriously at an investment seminar. Why are you looked down upon for having kids too young, marrying too young but then judged for “waiting too long” a split second later?

As I pondered what I had achieved this year I realised I had actually done something big- I had decided not to care what others thought about me and have become far more accepting of where I am in life. I am throwing out The List.

This year I have gone on trips and made amazing friends without first comparing their lives with mine and I spent money on a whim to do it (tick in the against column for not being financially responsible.. I know old habits die hard that list is permanently in my brain. I promise after this blog it’s gone). I had worked long hours and achieved some great things at work and worn sparkly kids shoes when doing the aforementioned cool work stuff (footloose and fancy free and making big decisions, tick for multitasking). I had gone out drinking and dancing on consecutive nights and still mowed the lawn and cleaned the house the next day because really… we all know the true meaning of adulting successfully is having a clean house and a manicured lawn. I had finally (with the help of my voice of reason aka the husband) got on track to renovate our house. I believe that’s a big tick in the ‘grown up’ column – the house will soon be a nice one folks!

So to all the people in their 20’s or even 30’s out there – Don’t worry, don’t compare and if I have learnt anything this year it’s that it is perfectly ok to want to get white girl wasted on Friday, spend your Saturday re-evaluating your super, insurances and paying your speeding fine followed by a marathon of Vampire Diaries. Spend Saturday night with a good book and a glass of red and Sunday fixing your front fence whilst planning a 3 week holiday backpacking in Cambodia and thinking you might have to use sick days for leave at work to do it and not caring. 


You can do whatever you want- people might judge you (me included) but it doesn’t actually matter. You are an adult just as much of the rest of us and our failures and successes are what make us who we are. Own your life decisions. Everyone is on their own journey, love them for it, judge them silently (I mean I could rant about not judging others but we are all guilty of it and come on, admit it, it’s half the fun, just do it nicely and keep your opinions to yourself) and MOST IMPORTANTLY stay true to your own path 😉

Over and out. 

P.S. For those interested in my pledge to trade one thing a week for a whole year. It is going really well and today was an extra special trade with some homemade honey mead given to me. I cannot wait to try it. 

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Your Body is a Wonderland

No, no this isn’t a John Mayer fan story (seriously though who doesn’t love a little John Mayer?) but instead it’s a self love pep talk!

If you are like me, you have had your ups and downs with loving yourself both physically and emotionally. We have all been in tears over not fitting into our favourite dress, having a bad hair day or waking up on the wrong side of the bed and wanting to cry because..actually sometimes there isn’t a reason – we are just hating on ourselves a wee bit. 

Four years ago I looked at a photo of myself and almost fainted – I couldn’t believe what I saw, surely I didn’t actually look like that and if I did why were people still letting me walk around in public? I apologised profusely to my husband (boyfriend at the time) and wondered if as I was gaining weight he was losing his sight. But as I have previously mentioned he is just too nice to notice (well it was hard not to notice but I don’t think he cared). Wiser than he looks folks!

I was the heaviest I had ever been and so I decided to do something about it. I changed my diet drastically, joined a boot camp and over the course of a year lost almost 15kg. I maintained that loss up until about 18 months ago when I started putting on a bit of weight – I had started a new job which coincided with the gradual increase on the scales. A job where there was a morning tea even when it wasn’t morning and a magnificent birthday cake each and every week. I mean surely it would have been rude not to try all the deliciousness people had made. I also realised I wasn’t as active anymore. I didn’t worry too much and surprisingly I wasn’t really bothered by it. I mean if I did it once I could do it again and it was only a tiny bit of weight right? I know I know… I was clearly in denial. Even a 500g weight gain shows up when you are this short. It’s like looking in a funhouse mirror. So what did I do? I joined another boot camp and aimed to get physically fit; from the top, let’s do it once again!

I began to lose weight just like I assumed I would (I really did expect to lose the kgs since I had a pretty kick ass trainer). So what went wrong? I went travelling around Italy, France and America for 5 weeks. Who doesn’t dream of Italian wine and pasta, French breads and cheese and American ribs…. Well I did anyways and boy did I pay for it – a minute on the lips and it went straight to my hips. I didn’t regret one bit of it though and now have some fabulous memories of new friends and homemade cuisine from far away lands.

Like usual, I thought I could lose the weight whenever I wanted too – no, not right then but in the future, sure, it couldn’t be too hard. At the time, I had other things to focus on like finding my feet in a new role at work and trying to save money so we could *finally* renovate our house.  Eventually, I knew I would shed the unwanted baggage and it would be no big deal. Then I got sick (temporarily so don’t panic). I stopped exercising and suddenly had a few other things to think about. Being sick made me lose almost 7kgs (in a very short period of time and in a rather unhealthy way so this is not recommended) but as soon as I was ‘better’ I gained 12 kgs –  I swear I only looked at a donut once! 

The 12 kg gain wasn’t what I focussed on though, my body had done something I never thought it would, it got sick in an unexpected way and changed my expectations of how it was suppose to work. I had taken my body for granted. 

    
The last few months I have realised that losing weight is important for health reasons and confidence but it’s NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do. What’s important is loving yourself, for your spirit, your achievements and focussing on overall wellbeing- this includes your brain people!! Your body is so much more than what it looks like in a bikini and you are so much more than your body.


In the past year I have seen my closest friends have children and watched their bodies change and do amazing things- like truly, they grew actual people, from scratch!

 I have watched close family members battle illness’ and seen the strength their body gives them whilst enduring things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. I watch people around me everyday whose bodies defy expert opinion. They do this because they nourish their mind and focus on how their body works not what it looks like.

So this is a post to remind everyone that no matter where you are on your ‘love yourself journey’ you are still amazing. Your body has done amazing things for you, sometimes it may have let you done but for the most part it’s doing the best it can. Own your scars, your tiger marks, your tattoos and your freckles. Cherish the fact that you can swim, can jump, can roll over in bed, lie on a beach and cuddle your loved one. I certainly plan to do just that and the extra kg’s… well I might need them for the future to help me deal with the health stuff I now know about and in the meantime, I plan to buy a kick ass one piece swimsuit and enjoy the wonderful lifestyle North Qld has to offer. When your jumping off cliffs into a freshwater stream on a warm sunny day who in their right mind is thinking about what they look like?? 

I’ll just be sure to stay out of the photos this time.


P.s yes, yes I know that physical activity is linked to good health outcomes and decreasing stress. I am not against this and aim to get back into regular exercise myself but I just think we get far too focussed on what we look like instead of what we can do. Forget about fitting into those jeans at the back of your wardrobe and instead aim to bench and squat more, to run further and jump higher, to dive deeper and swim longer. The goal should be for health and sometimes you can only take one little step at a time.. and that’s perfectly  ok.


P.P.S Anyone else been humming along to John Mayer since the beginning of this post? 

About me

Musings of a 20 something overly ambitious, somewhat clever (and clearly modest) but rather lazy lady who married the nicest man on the planet. Blog is about anything and everything that might have crossed my mind.

 

Source: About

TRADE, SWAP, CONVERSE


I am yet to meet a person under the age of 50 who doesn’t have an opinion on sustainability. It’s a word we have heard multiple times, at school, on the news, on Facebook posts and Instagram hashtags but what does it mean for you? 

We each have our own way of reducing our footprint on this earth whether that be the simple decisions we make at the grocery store such as buying recycled toilet paper or only Australian made and owned produce, something more costly like putting solar panels on your house or by putting in a little more effort to grow your own vegetables at home and choosing to purchase pre-loved clothing.. Everybody seems to be doing something but recently I have wanted to do more in a much different way – blame our good friends who decided to pack up their life last year and move to a farm in Tasmania for a “better” life with NO farming experience as my kickstarter. P.S. We should stop right here and let you know that this is not one of those high and mighty blogs that condemn you for shopping at Woolies or Coles, I mean we can do better and we should BUT I too am a busy 20 something who works 40+hrs week, attempts to keep a menagerie of animals alive and maintain some semblance of fitness and a social life – so I get it. Sometimes we need to take the easy option and sometimes that option is driving to McDonalds at 8pm at night because you have nothing at home.

In saying all that, I wanted to encourage people to connect with each other more. I wanted people to know why they should buy local and get to know their farmer if they weren’t willing to do it themselves. I WANT people to feel passionate about the things others had worked for and understand how hard it can be to produce something we buy so easily. I WANT people to experience the goodness of someone else enjoying the fruits of your labour. I WANT people to have a conversation with each other instead of simply handing over money without even making eye contact.

This is where my thought process began and for awhile this is where it stayed, there were also a few ranting discussions along the way about farmer appreciation with my husband who is a patient and slightly (selectively) deaf man. 

Then, about 6 months ago I developed an interest in the idea of people exchanging and trading things with no thought of monetary value. This is probably where I need to apologise to some of my friends and work colleagues who have heard me passionately speak about this very concept over many a lunch or wine. 


I decided I needed to know more. I needed to know if this could be done in a modern world for the average person. I mean I’m not a crazy hippy who has a natural green thumb and can bake from scratch. So, I did some research into different ways people farm, how people buy goods and the different experiences people have when they travel within Australia and abroad doing so. I have watched documentaries, read blogs, articles and books on this very subject (usually late at night whilst my husband complains about the light from my phone mind you). These articles, books and blogs covered various topics – from people’s views of farmers and farming practices, to how to grow flowers and make your own candles, to alternative fertilisers and a wealth of ‘previews’ of new industries popping up in Australia, to the process of crafting leather- basically anything where people create something for purchase by someone else that instead could be traded. I looked a little at a lot of things. 


I found a few people and places that inspired me. People that truly traded items – in real life! They usually traded their own handmade or hand grown items for other wanted items or for experiences and knowledge. Some gave up money completely (this is no way realistic for me however these people really are awe-inspiring in their dedication and positive attitude). Most acknowledged that the exchange itself wasn’t the important part. When you read of people’s experiences trading and swapping you get the overwhelming feeling that it’s more than just giving one item for another; people are making friendships, people are learning new skills, gathering information and people are opening their minds to something a little more wholesome. People seem to appreciate things a little more when they trade.

A few sites really resonated with me. Some were very ‘judgemental’ others more ‘forgiving’, all had a perspective and I added knowledge like tools in a toolbox. I have listed some sites below which give you a dip your toe in view. One  of the sites below also gave me a platform to actually see people doing this in an online forum – I do think this works better in person though. I encourage you to check them out:

http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2010/04/12/2870334.htm

http://www.grownandgathered.com.au/trades/

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/the-barter-economy-14-great-places-to-trade-stuff-online/. 

I continued to read and dream about this society where we got to know people and appreciate other people’s hard work instead of expecting things to be available with little to no thought about how they got there. Do you appreciate how early a dairy farmer must get up to milk cows? The long days and sometimes longer nights in calving season. The effort a cattle producer goes to to carry a calf for kilometres on his lap in 40 degree weather? What about the sacrifice of never going on holidays because there are potty calves that need to be bottle fed and weaners given hay? The constant sore knees and dirty hands of vegetable growers or the pin pricks from a seamstress’ needle?

I believe to make things sustainable (there’s that word again) we must invest in superior farming practices and encourage tolerance to others who lead a different way of life, we must STOP the ‘need it now and throw it away later’ attitude. To achieve sustainability we must truly want to change the way we do things on an everyday basis and for us to do that we need to appreciate what we have.


One of the sites listed above is Grown and Gathered. The duo behind this fabulous name is Matt & Lentil. I read their book cover to cover in two days (thank god for long weekends so I can still get other jobs done). I have followed their online presence ever since they started the flower exchange and from this book I decided I can definitely put some of my ideas into action and hopefully influence some of the people in my own community to do the same.

In light of all this thought provoking stuff and my blinded passion for the idea of ‘appreciating things a little more’ I set myself a small goal. I will trade at least one thing a week for the next 12 months. I will aim to trade things with people I have never met for things I never knew about. So here goes… please share your experiences with me in doing the same. Currently I am in the process of thinking of ways in which to ‘upskill’ as I am not sure being a witty 5” nothing speech pathologist is going to cut it. I need to be a bit more crafty and creative but the possibilities are endless – homemade apple cider, bags of horse manure or lawn mowing anyone?


*success straight away – I traded some Sauerkraut (well the promise of a jar that is fermenting on my bench) for some eggs!