20 year reunion

20 year reunion

A couple of weeks ago I went to my 20 year school
reunion.  I cannot believe that it is 20
years already since I finished year 12! 
I wasn’t sure that I would even go; I don’t keep in touch with anyone
that I went to high school with, apart from a couple of people on Facebook.  I was inspired by my best friend from primary
school though, she travelled interstate from where she lives now to go to her
reunion a few weeks ago, and while she was in town, we caught up.  I really enjoyed seeing her again and finding
out what has been going on in her life. 
Even though we haven’t seen each other for many years, it was lovely to
sit and chat with her.  I thought she was
really brave for going to hers and that I should also give it a go.
I enjoyed my school life. 
I had a very close knit group of friends, went to a good school, and
generally was pretty happy.  I suppose
though, like most teenage girls, there was a part of me that was always
insecure. And I didn’t even realise it at the time, not until a long time
later, when suddenly that feeling lifted. 
Sometime in my late twenties or early thirties I suppose, I had grown
into someone confident, who liked who I was and didn’t need the approval of
others to feel good about myself. 
So I was quite surprised when, after I had made the decision
to go to the reunion, lots of these insecurities came flooding back.  What if no one remembered me?  What if people didn’t want to talk to
me?  I was interested when talking to my
oldest dearest friend the week before, she mentioned that when her and her
sisters get together these days (doesn’t happen often, they are spread across
the four corners of the globe), that they seem to revert back to the roles they
had when they were younger.  They have
all grown and changed so much over the years, but something about getting back
together again brings out the younger versions of themselves.  Which is sometimes good and sometimes not
something my friend loves. 
I guess the same sort of thing was happening to me in the
lead up to the reunion.  I wasn’t part of
the cool group at school.  I had a small
circle of friends who I thought I would be friends with for life.  I was wrong! 
For some reason, while we were at uni, we lost touch.  I think it had a lot to do with a boyfriend I
had at the time who they didn’t like, nor did he like them.  I cannot remember the reason, or if something
happened, but we drifted and got on with our lives.  I have often thought of them over the years,
wondering what they did with their lives, but didn’t go much further.  I did contact one of my closest friends from
high school via Facebook and we have become friends again that way.  But I never got the same feeling of wanting
to be in touch with the others, so never did. 
I don’t know what I expected of the night, but I did have a
good time.  I went on my own (which I
thought was very brave!), and was looking forward to catching up with a couple
of people in particular.  One didn’t go,
she was sick.  There was another close
friend from school who I did get to chat to and it was great to reconnect.  She is someone I might even follow up with
and make more of an effort to keep in touch with in future.  She has had some pretty big struggles with
her kids health over the years, and was warm and engaging to chat to. 
I made a couple of new friends that night.  I spent some time chatting with the boys that
we had hung out with at school.  One of
the boys lives in the next suburb over from me, and we discovered our kids go
to the same school.  I met his wife, who
is lovely and had some good talks to her. 
I found refuge in a particular friend, who has two kids with
the same names as mine.  He made me feel
like he was interested in knowing about my life and his girlfriend was lots of
fun to hang out with.  We had a few (too
many!) drinks together and I enjoyed catching up with them. 
There were some aspects of the night that I wasn’t very
happy with.  I will not say much here,
but there were a couple of people who definitely bought out those insecurities
in me again.  I was disappointed when a
couple of the girls I was close to at school ignored my attempts at starting a
conversation.  The younger me was crying
inside, feeling so rejected and hurt. 
What has happened that they are so bitter about the past that one in
particular couldn’t even bring herself to say hello to me, despite me smiling
and saying hi to her three times?  The
other did talk to me, for two minutes at the end of the night.  But the energy coming from her was cold, like
she was only doing it because she felt she had to, not because she wanted
to. 
I chatted with others throughout the night, people who had
flown in from other countries, just for our get together, and others who live
just down the road.  I was amazed that
some of us still live so close together but never randomly run into each other
at the shops!
We have all grown and changed in the twenty years since we
last spent a lot of time together.  There
are elements of each of us though that are still the same.  I found the same people easy to talk to as I
did way back then.  They have a warmth
about them, a positive energy that attracts me and makes me feel at ease.  There were others who were very sure of
themselves as younger people, who are still very sure of themselves now!  In a way I am jealous that they found that self-confidence
at such a young age and life hasn’t taken it from them.  It took me far longer to feel like that.  I noticed some people going out of their way
to tell me how well they were doing financially or at work.  Others were much more humble despite great
successes.  I was particularly saddened
to chat to one friend who, when asked what she does with her life now, answered
“I’m just a Mum”.  I wanted to spend more
time with her, wanted to lift her up, give her some belief in herself that she
is amazing and there is no “just” about it. 
(If you are reading this, and you will know who you are, I promise you
it will get easier.  It will get better
and you will find something that you are searching for that is just for
you.  It may take a while until the
littlest one is bigger, but you will.  I
promise! We will talk more I’m sure).
I was happy to find that everyone that I spoke to had found
someone special to share their life with. 
We all stressed so much as teenagers that we wouldn’t find “the one” to
love us, but it looks like we needn’t have worried.  If I could go back and tell my teenage self
one thing from the reunion night, it would be “Don’t worry so much, it will all
work out ok”.
So overall, I was glad that I went.  I was not glad however when I woke up on
Sunday morning feeling a little bit dusty! 
I’m sure it was more the lack of sleep rather than the extra glasses of
wine 😉 I wonder how long it will take me to get over – both physically and
mentally? 
See even though I am now in such a great space in my life, I
am still, partly, that young girl just wanting to be loved.  And I know that I am, by the people that
matter.  I thought I had grown enough
within myself to not care about what others think of me or how they treat me,
but it seems I still have some work to do on that front.  I know in my head that I don’t have space in
my life for negativity, and am working hard to only fill my space with love,
warmth and connection.  I wonder if I
will go to the next one in ten years and how I will feel after that one? 
Only time will tell! 
Have you been to your school reunion?  How did it go?  Were you at mine?  What did you think?  Comment below (you can choose to be anonymous
if you like!) or on the Creative Calm Connected Facebook page. 
Until next time,
E xx

The best laid plans……….

The best laid plans……….

So you might have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blog this week.  I had such a wonderful week planned, lots of fun things to do, great people to catch up with, but the universe has been trying to teach me a lesson in surrendering this week.

I missed my Mum’s birthday on Monday (Happy Birthday Mum!) because I got sick.  My wonderful husband took the day off to look after the children so I could rest and recuperate  (Thankyou Husband!).  I had a busy day on Wednesday, helping in my son’s classroom at school and trying to catch up on all the jobs I needed to do, including shopping for my Dad’s birthday (which is today – Happy Birthday Dad!). What should have taken me an hour ended up taking most of the day.  On Wednesday, the universe was telling me that “connection” was far more important than “getting things done”.  I ran into so many people and enjoyed chats with them all.

Thursday went pretty much to plan but today, another lesson in surrendering to what is important in the moment.  I had planned to drop the kids off at school and daycare (which I did), and then was looking forward to taking my Dad out for a birthday morning tea before I started my shift at work. Just after we had ordered our tea and coffee, my phone rang.  It was childcare, wanting me to pick up my daughter who was sick.  Poor little poppet was beside herself and needed her Mummy.  Normally, it would have been ok, I have lots of support people who could have stepped in to help while I did my little shift at work.  But today, the universe was telling me I needed to be with my little girl.  My husband had commitments at work, my Dad had his follow up with the radiation people at the hospital, and Mum couldn’t leave work because she was the only one in the office.   My little girl clearly needed to be with her Mum.

So I picked her up, calmed her down and now we are home where she is resting peacefully.  Now that the initial stress of the situation has passed (is she ok?  I feel terrible for cancelling on my boss at such short notice etc etc), I am learning that I need to surrender and just accept rather than internally fight with what is going on.

I think this was an important lesson that I had to learn before having our children.  Many of you know that the road to having a family was a long and bumpy one for us.  I really think that looking back, I was being taught a lesson in patience and surrendering.  I am a bit of a control freak, and I think I needed to learn those things before I became responsible for two little humans who rely on me for so much.

Sometimes, it seems I just need a gentle reminder.

I have been sitting here in the quiet while my daughter rests thinking about what I am grateful for today.  This exercise always helps to centre and calm me, and often can help elevate my brain from a downward spiral.

Today I am grateful for:

  • my children’s health.  Hopefully our daughter will be back to healthy self again very soon. 
  • my parents.  I promise I will make it up to both of you and sometime soon, we will have an enjoyable relaxing catch up to celebrate your birthdays.  
  • The calm, flexible, “just roll with it” attitude and example of my Dad. 
  • My husband, that he was able to look after us all on Monday so capably while I was unwell. 
  • my daughter’s childcare centre.  They are so kind, caring and compassionate.  They had tried everything they could think of to settle our little princess today.  When I arrived to collect her she was snuggled up with her carer.  I am so grateful she has a safe place to go when I’m not with her, where they love her and give her what she needs until I can get back to her. 
  • My car.  I am so grateful that I don’t have to rely on public transport and can quickly and easily get to where I need to be. 
  • A boss who forgives. And hopefully recognises that I only cancel on her at the last minute if I absolutely have to.  I think it has only happened twice in ten years.  
  • Our evaporative cooling.  It is hot today and I have a comfortable space at home to rest and do my jobs. 
  • My puppy.  Well, she’s not a puppy anymore, but she is always waiting at home excited to see me, and gives the best snuggles.  She is very sensitive and seems to know when I need some extra attention! 
  • My five senses.  I was going to write my hearing, because as I sit here I am listening to the relaxing song of the birds who live in our neighbourhood.  But I am also so grateful for the other senses too.  
  • The picture of Whitehaven beach that hangs above our desk at home.  We have made many happy memories in that part of the world, and seeing the crystal blue water and white sand takes me back to happy, calm days.
Ahhh, that’s better.  
I also thought I should update you on NaNoWriMo.  Sadly, this week, there has been no writing happening!  At all!  While I was in bed on Monday unwell, I came to realise that while I am enjoying the writing of the novel, I am not enjoying the pressure I feel I am putting on myself at this time of year to get it done.  Last year in the lead up to Christmas I didnt cope very well.  We were super busy, and I put a whole load of pressure on myself to give the kids an epic Christmas.  I think this stems from me having grown up loving Christmas and all that we did to celebrate it, and wanting to make it the same for our children.  But, in doing that, I find I am almost sending myself crazy.  I vowed this year would be different.  But adding the challenge of writing 1600 words a day into an already busy month, I could feel my anxiety kicking in.  
So, the good news is that I have started writing my novel.  In other good news, I am listening to the whispers in my body and shelving the novel writing until next year.  I am not going to add any additional pressure to my load right now, because I want to enjoy both the lead up to Christmas and writing the novel.  I am confident that I can and will do it, but I need a bit more space to be able to do it around my life.  Here I am, surrendering to what is happening rather than what I want to be happening! 
I feel good about the decision.  I have been inspired by all of your lovely comments and encouragement, and writing the novel is one of the first things that will go on my list of things to do in 2017.  
So that’s me for this week.  I am hopeful that next week I will get back to the natural rhythm of my life, but I know you will understand if I don’t and remain MIA a bit longer.  
In the meantime, I would love to hear about what you are grateful for today.  Comment below or on the Creative Calm Connected Facebook page.  
Until next time, 
E xx

Wise Words Wednesday

These are the lyrics to a song that has resonated with me so much lately.  I hope you like it.

Life that’s good – Written by Ashley Monroe, Sarah Siskind
Sittin’ here tonight,
By the fire light,
It reminds me I already have more than I should.
I don’t need fame, no one to know my name,
At the end of the day,
Lord I pray, I have a life that’s good.
Two arms around me, heaven to ground me,
And a family that always calls me home,
Four wheels to get there, enough love to share
And a sweet sweet sweet song
At the end of the day,
Lord I pray ,
I have a life that’s good.
Sometimes I’m hard on me,
When dreams don’t come easy,
I wanna look back and say,
I did all that I could,
Yeah at the end of the day, Lord I pray,
I have a life that’s good.
Two arms around me, heaven to ground me,
And a family that always calls me home,
Four wheels to get there, enough love to share
And a sweet sweet sweet song
At the end of the day, Lord I pray
I have a life that’s good
At the end of the day, Lord I pray
I have a life that’s good
Check out this version of the song by Lennon and Maisy (from the awesome show Nashville) here.