Friday, 27 February 2015

Naz hits the books

The principal told me that to achieve my senior certificate I would have to re-sit junior maths as well as senior, and all within the next two years.  He said it was because my grade ten year was the last year of the old maths curriculum; the new maths curriculum was totally different.  I didn't understand and he made it sound like a gigantic mountain to climb.  It felt like a problem way too big to overcome and far from achievable; I just simply couldn't do it!  He had no strategies to offer me and I left his office deflated, disheartened and lost.

I was nearly 17.  I needed to believe in myself, go for my dreams no matter what.  But I didn't.  Where had the passion for my future gone?  Why couldn't I

Monday, 23 February 2015

Fiz’s job dilemma

What to do about work? My current job finances a lifestyle I enjoy, but— and it is a big but—I’m over it. I feel as though I have given the job all I can, and that staying in it will not be good for me or the job.  Once, this would not have been much of a dilemma: realising it was time to move on, I would have moved on.  My age is what makes me hesitate. At 64, I don’t have the same degree of optimism that I once had that something will turn up, that it will work out, that better is just around the corner. I don’t feel bold about this; and as to style and panache, it is so much easier with a secure income.

Closing down my working life really isn’t an option for me. I am single with not enough superannuation. I could be a long-term, poor retiree or I could stay in the workforce and continue to do the things that cost money but give me pleasure. Of course, if I knew my end-date it would make decision-making a whole lot easier— but that’s life. (I will resist getting side-tracked about the mysteries of life, perhaps another blog.) I am reminded of the oft-quoted words from The Leopard:  ‘If we want things to stay the same, things will have to change.’

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Changing Job Description

Isn’t it funny how time slides by and one day you stop, take a look around and realise that somehow by default you are becoming the obvious candidate for the keeper of your tribe’s history and secrets…..

As the older generations - our parents -grandparents - great grandparents - leave this earth they take with them the family secrets, memories, stories and traditions that only they knew.  Many are shared with us but the vivid details, times, places and people……things that made the stories memorable and alive, well most of these have moved on with their keepers and lost to the generations that remain.
I remember facing my Nan one day

Monday, 16 February 2015

Fiz on being in the back row

Once there were a whole bunch of older people in my life:  my parents, aunts and uncles, movers and shakers, and famous people who sang wonderful songs, people whose writing made me want to go and  discover the world, people who were inspiring,  substantial, and wise— and older. They were like the back row and it didn’t matter so much if I was mucking up in the middle or not standing as straight as I should because they were behind me.  I may have been all grown up and independent, but my ability to function well and get on with life owed much to having those people in the back row—the elders.

Great-grandparents Arnold Frederick and Wilhelmina with 8 of their 9 children
But the back row is thinning. There have been many deaths in the last few years: my parents, mother-in-law, beloved uncles and aunts, older friends like Peter Frost, and those people who I didn’t know personally but were part of that back row. Just recently a favourite aunt squeezed my hand as I bid her goodbye at her 70th wedding anniversary celebration and said, I probably won’t be seeing you again. Last week, I attended Uncle Morgan’s funeral. It was a great send-off but his death widened the gap at the back even further.

Whether or not I want to be there, I am now standing in the back row. It seems rather ridiculous that I should be taking on the mantle of ‘elder’.  I don’t feel old enough.  Perhaps when I am in my eighties, it will sit well with me but not now. I have only just turned 64. I still want to do all the fun stuff, to have adventures.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Naz's how NOT to do Yoga

Life has a wicked sense of humour!        

If I can't see them maybe they won't see me.
It began ten hours earlier when I was abruptly called into work to sort out computer problems.  Feeling the team’s anxiety and frustration and not wanting to let them down, I promised to get there pronto.  I raced upstairs, changed and threw some comfortable exercise gear in a bag for Yoga that night. I was in a hurry; in went a pair of tights, top and a pink exercise jacket just in case it got cool. 

The day passed, the computers were fixed and at 6 pm, racing against the clock, I grabbed my bag out of the car and went to get changed for Yoga. 

I put on my tights; eeek I had picked up an old pair with a bleach mark on the leg, a pair that should have been filed in the rag bag. Oh well not to worry, it’s really only a small mark.  No one will notice.

I put on my top: oops…. After having lost weight it was now way too big for me and gaped under the arms; it really should have been donated to St Vinnies months ago.  To make matters worse, it had a T Bar back and I had also forgotten my T Bar exercise bra so now my bra straps were showing.   Oh well I thought, not to worry.  Heaps of women (but not me up until now) wear tops with their bra straps showing…no biggy!!      

Ouch…..the bra I was wearing was old and overdue for the bin….I had worn it when exercising and the metal clips had rusted and left marks on the straps.  ….not attractive at all and now very obvious with the oversized top I had to wear. My composure was dwindling and I began to feel self-conscience but ‘no worries’ I reassured myself.  Thankfully I had put in my pink jacket and I knew this would hide those ugly straps and cover the gaping top……. ‘No need to stress’ I kept repeating over and over to myself.  Everything is fine.  No one will notice and anyway, who would be looking at me, I consoled myself.…….  I put my left arm in the pink jacket.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Fiz's take on 'Let's get physical'

Walking with my daughter the other evening, she asked me if I would go horse riding with her. I hesitated before saying that I didn’t think so. I have never been much of a rider; however, my reluctance was not so much that I would injure myself, but that an injury would have ongoing repercussions— those nasties like arthritis and wonky knees and back pain.  Once my answer would have been an enthusiastic ‘yes’: my ‘no’ was definitely due to ‘being older’.

I have become cautious. Is this good or bad? My yoga teacher tells me that of course I can stand on my head. I am just letting fear stop me. She is absolutely correct about the fear stopping me.  I clearly remember the months of intense neck pain following a dumping in the surf at Mudjimba Beach and the years of pain that followed a couple of whip lash incidents. And yet, with a bit of help I do stand on my head. Concentrating on my breath does help. And I have had no nasty after effects. Rather, I marvel at my lack of back and neck pain.