Wednesday, 20 April 2022

pretty good


Sometimes, when I am asked how my week's been, I reply pretty good and then rack my brain to remember what I have done—not always with success.

There is less definition in my days now that I am retired ... and it is generally small pleasures that make life pretty good. It may be solving the world's problems with a friend over coffee or a neighbour's cheery greeting; or it could be walking along the beach at day's end and being uplifted by the soft pink-lavender or orange splendour that greets me; or watching the birds splashing in the birdbath, working out Wordle in less than 4 words, feeling stretched and relaxed after yoga and Zumba, cracking up over something my daughter has said; or helping G... from China with her English.

Monday, 11 April 2022

up down up

Have you ever felt you’ve lost your purpose and are barely finding reason to be and do? Your motivation has faded and your desire to create has vanished. Your tank is empty and even if you find an inkling of life force your mind can’t put a plan together. It can’t decipher nor picture the next move.  You wander aimlessly throughout each day and feel relieved when it’s over. Everything feels so dam hard. You put on a brave face, only offering your nearest and dearest a glimpse of your true feelings.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Fiz: inspired to 'be'


I was inspired by my friend Jean, taking the plunge to marry at 82 and I’m immensely glad I flew over to London for her wedding in December 2016 (see my earlier blog). I hesitated due to the expense (well, just a little) but what a precious time I had, and it seems even more precious now that she has died. I watched her memorial service online and I was inspired all over again.

You see, Jean’s legacy was love. This was made abundantly clear at her memorial service. Jean had enriched the lives of her children, grandchildren, and friends She made you feel valued and cared for, she listened, she was discerning about what you needed (a glass of sherry or an expenses-paid holiday), her ‘darling, how good to see you’ was magic.

I am so fortunate to have had her in my life. And I want to be more like her.

However, it’s not always easy, juggling all the ‘wants’ and ‘shoulds’. It’s a fulltime job as any retiree will tell you! The art of adjusting to age-related limitations (wonky joints, lapsed IT knowledge, need for afternoon power naps, sagging, etc.) is something I’m working on. There is the sorting, the rearranging of priorities, the culling—not only of stuff but also of expectations.

I don’t want to slip into some doddery caricature of myself. I want that sweet spot—caring for me and caring for others—while having fun, interesting, and fulfilling experiences!

Given that life is messy, it’s not all sunshine but so far I’m doing ok at being older. Of course, I’d do even better if clothes shops installed rose-tinted mirrors.

Got any tips for the good old life?







Saturday, 15 January 2022

Fiz puzzling over jigsaw

The sun is out! I take one last look at Lisbon’s historic cityscape and, then (not without reluctance), I start pulling the pieces of the completed jigsaw puzzle apart and putting them back into their box. 
Doing the jigsaw while the rain pelted down day after day was perfect. A buzz of achievement would flow through me when I found the pieces that filled annoying gaps, and Lisbon’s distinctive yellow trams and its buildings with wrought-iron balconies emerged before me. And as the scene became clearer so did the memories of our time there in 2019, a time when going overseas was de rigueur and Rhine cruises were a hot topic of conversation rather than booster shots and the efficacy of face masks.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

between the sheets on sunday


A Month of Sundays
by Liz Byrski. It took me a while to get into this book. There was the important set up–the basis from which to launch the story, the platform that introduced the characters, presented their life situations and their entanglement. I struggled to take this in. I needed to go back pages, re-read. 

We were heading for Christmas and I felt worn out; weary from work and the overwhelming planning and shopping that always consumes me on the lead up to the big day. So, while I may have read a few pages each night, nothing was sinking in. After skimming a couple of pages but believing I had been reading, I would reluctantly return the bookmark to its new place, close my blurry tired eyes and surrender to my lunar love

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Fiz is homeward bound


We are homeward bound and I feel a settling ... the gentle anticipation of being in my own place—the comfort of the familiar.
Don't get me wrong, I love trips away ... they stimulate my creativity, invigorate, and refresh. I often come back with clearer ideas about things that have been hovering in the background of my mind.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

I wouldn't have it any other way

Granddaughters in Europe

It’s all go with new things to explore and touch, touch again, and then touch some more. What happens if I drop it? Will it bend? What does it taste like? Can I make it a game? Throw it? Hey, does it bounce? There is so much to learn and experience. As a grandparent, my trick to survive is to be present and alert, to stay calm and to think ahead—and, all at once. Most importantly, I must keep up. I need to eat well (this is easy), get lots of sleep and, yep, not skimp on regular exercise (this is hard). It all contributes to my safety, endurance, and enjoyment when grandparent duty calls. It is one hell of a job and I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Grandies



Wow, my 17-year-old grandson graduated from high school on Wednesday. And my 8-month-old grandson has just learnt to crawl. I only have two grandchildren—so far. My daughter’s teenager and my son’s baby. Both have carved out a place in my heart.
Therefore, this is going to be a bit of a rave about them and, if you’re not into hearing about other people’s grandchildren, stop reading now and wait for our next blog. 

Monday, 8 November 2021

Farmhand


enjoying a ginger beer

There I am lobbing into the Mapleton Pub in my raggedy t-shirt, old jeans and Blundstones. And it feels good. It’s good because I have been helping my daughter with making vegetable beds: selecting logs for edging from the pile on the flat paddock, loading them into her Prado, and bringing them up the hill to her house yard. There’s been a bit of mattock work too and it’s time for me to stop the hard yakka before my back starts to complain. Besides I’m hungry and a hot pub lunch sounds just the ticket. 
 
Fortunately, Mapleton Pub—with its breath-taking views over the hinterland and out to the ocean—is just a few minutes away, and we are soon sipping on a ginger beer (on tap) and tucking into their beef pie. After lunch, there’s just a little more work arranging the logs in
the vege patch, and then I head off home for a power nap. 

Times like this are one of the perks of retirement! 

Monday, 1 November 2021

collide


Just as easy as picking up my laptop! I lean and reach over my desk—maybe a little too far, an opposing twist, perhaps off balance but only slightly, and boom. The attacking pain shoots through my lower back into my stomach and up into the space between my shoulder blades—excruciating and unexpected. I let out a muffled scream and hold my breath, frozen with fear.  What just happened?  What is happening … still?

Tentatively I begin to unwind. The hurt begins to subside. But, I am terrified that the smallest movement could unleash the agony again—the sharp jabbing stings and unwanted rhythm of throbbing pain. Ironically the nuisance desk, the offender, that only a moment ago was cursed and blamed, now offers respite, solid and available to lean on, but still I am frozen to the spot.

For several long minutes with the slightest and cautious movement, I continue to unravel. The pain has reduced to a dull ache but radiates brutally from my waist to my thighs. What have I done?

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

mischief

We began BOLDmag by writing about hair (black and white, stuck in the grey) so here's a new hairy tale.
Because our hair stories are intertwined, we are taking it in turns to share the why, how, and verdict.

Monday, 18 October 2021

restart

I’m back! So much has happened but, really, not a lot has changed.

Over three years ago I was offered a role as sales consultant in an over 50s Resort in Bongaree (a sleepy waterside suburb on Bribie Island). This opportunity, bolstered with the need to replenish my diminishing funds, forced a decision to return Bribie—to my enduring duplex on the canal. I bought this quaint little property in 2001 and refer to it fondly as my happy place. It was new, now it is old.  It has been dull then transformed to bold, bright and colourful. It has felt joy as well as sadness. It has always been there for me—stable and secure—at times an outward expression of me and where I was in my life. A place I keep returning to.

So back I went for a short time—back to my happy place. I took only the barest essentials as my intention was always to return to the Sunshine Coast, resume my coaster lifestyle and play with my friends. Any of my belongings that were not classified as necessities were packed and stored in a shipping container somewhere on the Sunshine Coast. I didn’t know where and, oddly, I didn’t care.

Work was now my priority. It was for a finite time. I put everything into it—my heart and soul. I loved my new job and the sleepy village vibe of Bongaree. Many people crossed my path—a multitude of characters. Some I connected with personally—a number will remain lifelong friends.  My job was extremely fulfilling and I felt honoured for the opportunity to help—to assist even in a small way—ageing singles and couples faced with major life-changing events and the resulting decisions that churned around them.  Largely these choices were met with eagerness and excitement but sometimes with regret, loss and deep sadness. I came to recognise that, at some point in my life, I too would be called on to make such decisions but not yet … phew! I can watch and learn and reflect for now.

During my time on Bribie I met a man. Well I met lots but this one was special.