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Archive of ‘Things I love’ category

On the Other Side of Forty I love…a Mumcation

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As those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram will know, I recently spent 5 nights on beautiful Hamilton Island with 5 lovely mums from my kid’s primary school.  This the third year we have done a girl’s trip, with an extra mum and and an extra night being added on each year (I think we’ll be up to a planeload of women flying around the world for a month in a few years!) Now, before you all roll your eyes and think there is no way that could be me, let me tell you I was the same initially.  The thought of a trip away without my husband and kids sounded as fanciful to me as getting a massage from a shirtless Ryan Gosling (but enough about my dreams…)  However, after a couple of Friday night planning (drinking champagne) sessions we discovered the secret to making your desires for some me time a reality.  Now listen closely my friends, for I am about to unlock the key to your dream getaway- seven little words that may just change your life:

YOU JUST HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN

Yes I’m sorry to break it to you, but your husband isn’t about to turn to you one night as you are emptying the dishwasher for the third time that day, and whisper lovingly in your ear, “Darling you look exhausted, why don’t you hop onto Trip Advisor and find a nice spot for you and the girls to go and sip espresso martini’s for a few nights.”  That ain’t happening, it’s more likely Ryan Gosling will come knocking at your door with a portable massage table.  Your darling offspring aren’t going to lift their precious heads from their iDevices and say, “Mum you do such a great job of getting us to school, soccer, ballet, playdates, and into the shower on occasion, you should have some fun with your friends, please don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine.”  Likewise your employer isn’t about to acknowledge all your dedicated hard work and suggest that you take some well deserved time for yourself while they pick up the slack.  No, all these things are unlikely to occur (and if they do occur for you, can we please swap lives?)

Going on a mumcation is akin to planning a secret reconnaisance mission in wartime- it require tactics, logistical manoeuvring and determination. For us, the date is set months in advance, and once you have all agreed on the date, and how long you’ll go for, the next important step is to choose a destination and just book it Danno! For me and my friends, we like sun, a bit of shopping, some good restaurants, and somewhere scenic to walk it all off the next day. A bonus of it being booked so far in advance, is that you can save money that you might normally spend on yourself and put it towards your mumcation, so as you don’t go into credit card shock at the end of it (I may have forgotten to take my own advice on this last point!)

Once the actual holiday details are locked in, then the real intensive planning begins. Yes, it is likely you will have to ask some people for help- the majority of dads cannot do both drop off and pick ups for school or kinder, as well as all the other activities most kids are involved with.  But guess what?  Most people are more than happy to help you out if you just ask them, and every parent likes having a favour or two up their sleeve to call on when required (I know I do).  In my case, my wonderful mother in law comes to stay- her only stipulations are a detailed running sheet of where everyone needs to be and at what time, and a fridge full of cold NZ Sauvignon Blanc (done and done!)

But that all sounds like a lot of hard work, I hear some of you ask, is it really worth it? My answer to you is a resounding Hell Yes!  On my recent trip, I felt younger, relaxed, joyful, in the moment, and free to be ME.  I laughed until I cried at least once every day (I might need to work on my pelvic floor muscles before the next trip!) Yes my liver took a bit of a pounding, but with no one to get up for in the morning- who cares?  This stuff is important in our lives, we are all much better mums, wives, daughters, employees, and friends if we get to manifest some much deserved self care and self love every now and then. Besides which, as my husband likes to say, “A happy wife means a happy life” (he can be remarkably smart on occasion!)

So there you have it, on the other side of forty it is possible to have a fantastic mumcation- it just requires ditching the mother guilt, getting some good friends together, a bit of logistical planning, and a suitcase filled with champagne (man, those Island alcohol prices are a killer!)

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Are you a fan of the girl’s trip?  If so, how do you make it happen and where do you go- I’d love to hear from you…

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…

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