BFF Weekend

BFF Weekend

A couple of weeks ago, I treated my best friend of 34 years to a weekend away.  CG and I have been friends for so long now, we’ve really become sisters.  I think of her as family.  She’s more important to me than just about anyone.  She’s always been there for me and I can always trust her to support and believe in me.

When we were seven years old, her family built a house on my street.  Long story short, we became neighbours and best friends in a very short space of time.  We saw each other every day, went to school together (our Mums took it in turns to take us to school and pick us up), and then hung out together every afternoon.

In truth, we were, at least superficially, very different people.  I was short and awkward, clumsy and hated sport.  CG was tall and athletic, captain of the sports team, good at everything.  She was fashionable and pretty, I was dorky and a bit clueless where clothes were concerned.  But we bonded over books and toys, music and a love of tadpoling.  We shared hobbies and interests, celebrity crushes and talked about everything under the sun.

I’d never met another kid who knew how to play.  I didn’t have to explain the concept of playing “shop” or “detectives” or anything else.  She knew how to do voices for her Barbie doll and didn’t feel silly doing it.  She was happy to play with baby dolls and Star Wars figures equally.  We built cubby houses together and miniature cities for snails (not one of our best ideas, I have to admit) and dressed our dolls in clothes made from scraps of fabric or tiny sweaters knitted with fine wool on toothpicks.  I had my first proper tea party with her and countless sleepovers.  We sang and danced in my lounge-room with my brother and stayed glued to our radios at night, listening to the Top Ten countdown of chart hits.  We watched “Grease” approximately a million times.  We cried when Johnny Depp’s character was wrongly convicted and sent to jail in “21 Jump Street”.  We stuck posters on our walls and wrote in our diaries and talked about boys.

In year eight, we went to separate high schools.  I thought my world had ended.  I was lost and frightened and lonely and felt sure all my primary school friends would forget about me.  But not CG.  If anything, we were even closer and now had even more to talk about.  We still saw each other most afternoons and started the process of growing up and changing and navigating the trials of teenage-hood.  Throughout high school we remained best friends, even though we had our own separate groups of buddies in our own respective schools.  I was very lucky to have a wonderful group of friends, that I am still close to to this day.  But CG was always by best friend.

Fast forward a couple of decades and here we are – still best friends but with different lives and trials and realities.  CG got married quite young, to her high-school sweetheart (luckily, I approved of him, much to her relief) and went on to have two gorgeous kids.  I did the opposite and got married 15 years later, divorced and remained childless.  But we are still close.  I often say we have nothing in common but, truthfully, we have one major thing in common : each other.  Our core values are the same and I think our hearts beat to pretty much the same rhythm.  Our mothers have remained firm friends over the years and have moved away from each other, only to very quickly move to the same neighbourhood, just streets apart.  My Mum sees CG as another daughter, and I know CG’s Mum feels the same way about me.  We all see each other at Christmas – usually spending Christmas Eve or Christmas night together.  It’s been that way since I can remember.

So, this weekend was a celebration of that bond.  We hardly ever get to spend time together these days.  CG works extremely hard at two jobs, plus she has to coordinate the sporting and social arrangements of her children, one of whom competes at a National level in her chosen sport.  It’s not easy for us to find a window of time that can be spent together.  I wanted to spoil CG and give her a relaxing break and enjoy some time together, like the old days.  This was also a gift for her 40th birthday (which was in December) – I figured the thing she needed more than anything was a rest and some indulgence.

We stayed at the Hotel Rendezvous in Scarborough, overlooking the ocean.  The view was lovely, even if it was too cold to actually go out on the beach itself.  We watched the (crazy) surfers out there on the water and enjoyed the sunset.  We went out to dinner and ate our bodyweight in desserts.  We stayed up late talking and catching up, in our PJs of course, just like we would have done 30 years ago.  We drank tea and relaxed and bemoaned our ever-increasing age (although we think we look pretty ok for two women in their forties) and slept in.  We went to a movie and had afternoon tea (there was a lot of food involved in this weekend – can you tell?) and a delightful couple of hours in IKEA looking at all the pretty things we wanted to buy but didn’t really need.It was so nice just to hang out together with nowhere to be and no one to bother us.

I am so lucky to have had a lifelong friend and I hope we will always be close, no matter where life takes us.

To CG, I will say this : Thank you for always being my friend, through all the ups and downs, through boyfriends and heartache, from childhood to adulthood and beyond, through weight gain and weight loss, from illness to health, babies and career changes – I love you lots and wish you nothing but happiness and contentment all the days of your life.

With love xxx

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I like gardening.  I am not good at it, and I don’t always succeed in keeping things alive, but I enjoy getting my hands dirty and seeing things grow and blossom.  I used to love planting vegie gardens with my Dad when I was a child.  It was special Daddy-and-Daughter time which I truly loved and miss.  My brother was not one for getting grubby and so it usually was me out there in the rain and the mud, helping my Dad build fences and mark out rows, planting seedlings and watering in seeds.

We had a beautiful vegetable garden back then.  Potatoes and peas, tomatoes, cabbages and corn.  It was lush and green and abundant.  I can remember picking and shelling peas with my Mum and standing with my Dad at dusk, just watching our geese and chickens and ducks.  There is no better meditation than that.

So, while I am not the world’s best gardener, I do enjoy it, and continue to plant things and watch them grow, impatiently, just as I did as a kid.  I don’t have vegetables any more, although I am thinking I should perhaps give it a go again, but I do have my succulents and cacti, orchids and some other plants that I have managed to keep alive.

It’s nice to have green things around and, in the absence of any pets, it can give you the sense of having something to care for.  Do I talk to my plants?  Yes, I am guilty of that.  I don’t know if it makes any difference to their growth or wellbeing, but I do it anyway.  If they start answering back, that’s when I will worry.

May your garden always be green 🙂

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Quote for the Day : Learning

Quote for the Day : Learning

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

T.H. White, The Once and Future King

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Getting Something Off My Chest

Getting Something Off My Chest

When you read this, I will hopefully have had surgery and have come out of it successfully and with little drama.  I will have had a breast reduction.  That’s right, I have literally gotten something off my chest.

I have been thinking about it for years but finally got the guts to do it.  It is primarily to ease the chronic neck and back pain I have suffered for years.  Having big boobs on a little frame is not the greatest thing in the world, especially if you’re like me and self-conscious about it.  I hunch over, I fold my arms, I HIDE my “girls” and that cannot be good for my overall posture and muscle tension.  Most people I know think I am much smaller than I actually am – I am THAT good at hiding things.

Anyway, it was time.  I’m tired of being uncomfortable, physically and mentally.  I’m tired of having men never talk to my face.  I’m tired of struggling to find clothes that will fit me properly.  I tired of having to take painkillers all the time and plan my life around my discomfort.  I want to be able to exercise properly and un-self-consciously.  I want to be happy with my body for once.  I want to be rid of the ever-increasing headaches I have to put up with.  I want to be able to buy bras in “regular” shops instead of having to spend big bucks on speciality bras and be limited to ugly, Granny bras.

Mostly, I just pray that it gets rid of some of my pain issues.  Even if it takes away just 50%, that would be awesome.

It is not a procedure I have taken lightly.  It is not something I have gone into without some trepidation.  I have renal issues to consider and risks associated with any major surgery.  It’s financially draining (which is a huge deal for me because I am usually a tight wad) . It’s painful.  I will have scars and months of healing to deal with.

But I will hopefully feel better about myself.  I won’t be embarrassed about my figure.  I won’t have to cover up so much.  I can buy clothes in the right size.  I can live a bit more and maybe, just maybe, feel ok about myself enough to risk a new relationship.  Maybe, that might be pushing it.

I did struggle with the idea of changing my body when so many women have gone through breast cancer or other physically-altering health issues.  I felt a bit selfish.  Some women would love to have big boobs (I think they’re crazy) and here I am complaining about mine.  But I have thought long and hard about it and I have to just remember that this isn’t for cosmetic reasons.  And even if it was, that is my right and my decision.

I’m going to be out of action for a while, so that will mean no internet (I’ll be staying with my Mum who has the unenviable task of looking after me) and no blogging.  I’m going to try and schedule some posts if I can, for while I’m away.  But, all being well, I will be back soon enough. Just a little bit lighter and, hopefully, a little more content.

Hope you are all well and happy.  See you on the flipside! x

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Blog Prompt : 26 Letters

Blog Prompt : 26 Letters

“Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet…”

Always searching

Bending backwards

Creating a sense of calm

Deflecting the hurt

Easing the ache

Forever hiding from harm

Gently existing

Hindering self

Intending to raise the alarm

Joyful dreaming

Kindred spirits

Leading with open arms

Meaningful silence

Nonsense embraced

Openly lying to charm

Patiently waiting

Quest incomplete

Relying on wit to disarm

Speaking no judgment

Traitor to none

Untruth sung out like a psalm

Wallows in self

X marks the spot

Youth remembered as balm

Zoo-like, her heart is caged.  Wild and shackled.  Free, yet tethered.  Beloved but forgotten.
Waiting for extinction, or release.  Whichever happens first.

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Bushwalkin’

Bushwalkin’

A long day today at work with no computers and no phones.  Difficult to get any work done and especially frustrating as this is my last week before I go on a month’s leave, so I’ve got plenty that needs doing.  I filed and sorted invoices, shuffled paper around and looked out the window a lot today.  It was chilly, but bright and sunny outside, so I decided to take a longer lunch break and have a wander in the nearby bush.

We are lucky enough to be surrounded by bushland on all sides (pretty much) at my work.  It won’t be there forever ; we are soon to have new premises built which will take away most of the natural flora and landscape.  While a new building will be nice and bring all my workmates back together in one place, it will be sad to see the loss of the trees and wildflowers, not to mention the birdlife and reptiles.  I worry about the cockatoos and skinks, snakes, and possums that make their home there.

So today I soaked up the sun, wandered among the grass trees and banksias, and took a few happy snaps of the surrounding bushland.  So many beautiful textures and colours.  I would have been quite content to amble about by myself for hours, but that’s probably not the safest idea and I was still expected to be at my desk (albeit positioned near a window so I could stare out of it) until home time.  Such a shame.

I should go for a walk more often during my lunch break. Most days I don’t even have a lunch break.  I just forget to.  I often eat at my desk, which is naughty, I know.  I sit at my desk, grumbling at my computer, drinking too much tea and getting fat.  A daily midday walk would be much more productive and would mean I could forego my after-work walk which, I must admit, has also fallen by the wayside, much like my promise to eat better and stress less.

So, today, I walked.  Not far and not too briskly, but at least I got up from my desk and got some fresh air and sunshine.
Hope you managed to do the same today (or can at least promise to try to do it tomorrow).

🙂

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