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A crazy afternoon at my place

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Let me give you a rundown of my afternoon the other day. My oldest came through the door after school tired and emotional because he felt he was being unfairly picked on, and proclaimed it to be ‘the worst day ever’. Then, when I told him we were having roast chicken for dinner, he put on an Academy award winning performance of such abject despair that it would have made Hugh Jackman in Le Miserables proud (I mean I could have understood it if it was cauliflower soup, but it’s roast chicken!) Miss 9 promptly burst into tears when I had the audacity to suggest to her that she didn’t need to buy a present for the student teacher that had been in her classroom for a whole two weeks- what a crazy mother I was for thinking that a nice home made card would suffice. Then my youngest, confronted with the two other sad sacks, joined in and started crying when she realised that I had forgotten to go to assembly and watch her sing the national anthem with the rest of her prep class- yes, my mother guilt was well and truly activated.

Trying to be the caring earth mother that I like to pretend I am on occasion, I quickly pulled out the dairy free, sugar free, gluten free “ANZAC” biscuits that I had sourced from a wellness blog on the strength of a a good Facebook photo for afternoon tea. Not surprisingly, these were were thoroughly rejected by all (myself included) as taste free (why did I think a recipe by a 22 year old skinny yoga goddess would taste good?) But really, the piece de resistance of the whole afternoon, was when one of the kids yelled out “Mum, Otto’s just pooed out my sock!” Now, I’m sorry if you just spat out your delicious Arnotts ANZAC biscuit, but yes it’s true, our rather large and crazy puppy Otto does have a sock eating problem. Before you ask, we do try not to leave socks lying around, but this dog hunts them down like Kim Kardashian hunts down a photo opportunity!

All in all, it was quite a crazy afternoon at my place, and at the time I really couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry or do both. It was only after I called my sister to vent, that I could really laugh at the ridiculousness of it all- I mean what do you do with a dog like that! Which in turn made me think, that when times are a bit crazy or if everyone in the family seems to be having a bad day, sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, have a laugh with someone, and put it in perspective (maybe with a large glass of wine thrown in for good measure!) So often in these Facebook times we often focus on maintaining a perfect outlook to the rest of the world, and I for one always feel a tiny sense of relief when I know that other peoples kids behave as poorly as mine do sometimes, or that not every healthy snack tastes good or is worthy of posting to social media.

So in conclusion, if you need to feel better about your own family today, please feel free to compare yours to mine, but whatever you do, don’t come around to my house and leave your socks lying on the floor!

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I know I’m not the only one- How do you cope with a crazy afternoon at your place?

On The Other Side of Forty…I love to Dance

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‘Dancing enables you to find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time’

DANCING This is a word that can strike fear into your heart, or it can make your heart want to sing. Thinking back to when you were a child, or watching your own young children, it is clear that moving to music is something that our bodies want to do innately. A catchy beat comes on the radio, and little bodies can’t help but to move and spin- present in the moment, and in the joy of the music.
But along the way, we sometimes become more self conscious about who is watching us, or maybe we feel that our bodies don’t move with enough rhythm and grace, so we stop moving our bodies to the beat, and maybe just a tap of our hands or feet is all that shows we still enjoy the music within us.

For me, I discovered how much I loved to dance when I started going to nightclubs in my late teens. Like most people I enjoyed going out with my friends and having a few drinks and a laugh, but it was when the music was loud and the beat was pounding that I loved to let myself go and surrender into the moment.

Dancing was (and still is) a real time to switch off from the cares of the world and to feel a sense of connectedness to my body. I never cared about what I looked like to other people, because I was experiencing joy, and this seemed to be reflected in the people dancing around me, no matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ a dancer they were.

Many years later, about 10 months after my first child was born, I remember hearing a song on the radio (A Little Less Conversation) and I just got up out off the couch and danced like I hadn’t for years…and it felt GOOD. I experienced an incredible sense of release, and was truly connected to my self, like I hadn’t been for a long time.  Once my children were all old enough to move and groove, I regularly began to enjoy the sensation of losing myself in the music, this time in my living room- with the added bonus of three little faces thinking that every move I made was awesome!

On the other side of forty, I still love to dance, and I’ve often found that switching on a fun song (we like Live Louder at the moment) can instantly alter the dynamic in our busy stressed household.  Busting out a few moves with the kids helps everyone feel connected and in the moment (even if your teenager is rolling their eyes at you- I choose to believe that all kids like having a mum who knows how to have fun!)

So don’t let dancing be another thing that you used to do back in the day, or that you never did for fear of what you looked like- whether you’re doing housework by yourself, having a drink with your friends, or cooking with the kids- put on a classic dance hit and shake your groove thing along the way!

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Do you still love to dance? What songs are guaranteed to get you up and moving- either on the dance floor or the living room floor? I’d love to know…

Welcome to The Other Side of Forty

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A big hello to you, and thanks for taking the time to check out my brand new digs. I am a bit of a newbie to the online world (I only recently joined Facebook, I’m that behind the times), but I have to say I am already loving the shared vibe online of people looking to connect and better themselves. I know that we are all very busy, but hopefully my thoughts and musings about life on The Other Side of Forty will be somewhat interesting, sometimes amusing, and occasionally thought provoking. At the very least it will take no more out of your day than a round of two of Candy Crush (but be much better for your mental sanity!) Here’s to living your best life on The Other Side of Forty…

Looking forward to getting to know you,

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10 fun and (slightly embarrassing) facts about me

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In the spirit of getting to know me a little better (or maybe a bit worse for those of you that already know me) here are 10 fun and embarrassing facts about me…
  1. I can rap sing badly all the words to Knowhow by Young MC (yes, those 6 months in the late ’80’s when I was a white suburban middle class teenage hiphop gangsta really paid off!)
  2. I once actually owned a pair of gold crushed velvet hot pants (is it worse or better that I wore them with black opaque tights?)
  3. I love cheesy 80’s movies, particularly Footloose, Ferris Bueller, and Pretty in Pink (and had crushes on Kevin Bacon, Charlie Sheen, and Andrew McCarthy, but not anymore I hasten to add- well maybe Kevin Bacon just a little bit!)
  4. I still love to dance, and have been know to rock the horsey dance, the running man, and the robot in public on the other side of forty (although not all at the same time!)
  5. I once worked in a lolly shop and ate so much chocolate and lollies during my shift, that I had to put the closed sign on the door and lie down on the floor in a food coma.
  6. When I was 17 and met Cameron Daddo, I secretly thought that he would dump his hot model girlfriend and ride off into the sunset with me to live happily ever after. If you don’t know who Cameron Daddo is, you were clearly not an Australian teenage girl in the late 80’s/early 90’s or you had better things to do than read Dolly Magazine.
  7. I once spent a week in Salzburg, Austria, and barely left the hostel I was staying at, preferring to drink beer with other Australians, rather than see the cultural delights that Salzburg had to offer (I did watch the ‘Sound of Music’ on TV- that counts doesn’t it?)
  8. My first job was as a roller skating sandwich delivery girl (and I was not a good roller skater or a great sandwich maker for that matter!)
  9. My favourite memory of my first trip to Venice, is not seeing the Grand Canal or St. Marks square for the first time, but that a good looking Italian man helped me with my luggage up and down the steps of the main canal bridges, while my three travelling companions were struggling with their bags in the distance, giving me the evil eye.
  10. I used to have fun demonstrating to my kids that I could speak fluent Mandarin, French, Italian, and German, until my son told his teacher, and I had to explain that I am basically a liar!

Don’t forget to sign up to my fortnightly newsletter in the green box at the top of the page, and receive my tip sheet ‘4 easy ways to invite more fun into your life today’ for FREE. I promise no rapping. robot dancing, or wearing hot pants is involved!

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