Rekindling a Sense of a Freer Version of Myself

Recently I was listening to Dave Matthews Band after a huge hiatus of hearing them. The feelings that arose were those of freedom, ease, happiness, romance, and fully living. It was unexpected and it felt so very good. I realised that I haven’t had much room for those feelings in the last stretch of time. I wouldn’t change where I am as I know I left all those other places, people and times in search of something more, or better, however, I do miss the nights where I danced with reckless abandon under the stars of the Sierra Nevadas in Yosemite National Park and just lived life as I wanted to. It’s been so long since I’ve felt so expansive and easy go lucky.

The years that I have been in Australia have been intense and full in a completely different way. Having a head on collision, a stalking highly emotional stalking ex partner, the restriction of going through the very long immigration process, the near death experience of giving birth and the trauma the ensued after, all the while moving from an area that was progressive, free thinking, open, and inviting, to Western Sydney which is nearly the opposite of those things I value, caused me slowly but surely to close myself in more and more and more. Then choosing for various reasons to stay at home full time with our child just compounded this. Thank goodness for my Mother’s Group because they have well and truly been the support that I have needed in a time when I needed community, connection, and a feeling of having people around me who understood me in some way and what I was going through.

Listening to Dave Matthews Band rekindled something inside of me, something that makes me realise that as I continue to grow this second child inside of me and expand our family, that I must make myself a priority. I must make room for me to feel like I have some freedom and choice in my life. I must make room so that I can  feel alive and expansive, and independent, and strong, and capable. When I feel those things then I feel sexy, I feel accomplished, I feel intelligent, I feel invincible, and that is what I want in my life on the regular. I want to feel all of these things because when I do, I live in my full expression of who I am, and who I am becoming.

I know I needed these last years to go inward, to restrict myself so intensely so that I would know the feeling of breaking out of it. I MUST incorporate ways in my every day daily life where I feel more free and easy go lucky, and healthy, and smart, and strong. It is essential to my personal well being. It is essential and it is something that I MUST cultivate because I am reminded now that it is a part of me. I may not be the free dancing young Jennifer that I used to be, and I don’t want to be that person again as I’ll never be again and I understand that I left those places, those people, those experiences for a reason, and I’m not looking back in the sense that I want to recapture that youth, or that way of life, I just want to cultivate those feelings again and let them fly high and in every direction!! I want to be that force of life, that joyous force of life that brings light and energy to every experience and don’t apologise for it, but completely one hundred percent owns who I am and what I want and need in such an easy manner.

This is what I need. This is my intention. This will happen. This is happening.


I’ve let my job go. In part due to truly feeling like I need to have the flexibility to be available in case my family, including my in-laws who have experienced very ill health as of late, need me, and more specifically if they need my son, the golden sun, around to help brighten moods.

It was bittersweet. I know it’s been coming, and I truly do want flexibility, but I also liked that I did have a team of people I was working with and I enjoy the feeling of being productive. I learned a variety of different real estate based systems in a short amount of time and even wrote some Marketing AdCopy, which I definitely enjoyed doing.

My son has just gotten up from his nap and is standing next to me with his hand on my leg, asking for my attention, so I have to cut this short.

Now, comes the entrepreneurial phase and I’m totally open to this.

Thoughts on being unwell

Lately I’ve been having some issues that seem to be pointing to the large cyst that is on one of my ovaries. The combination of major bloating, loss of appetite, tiredness, abdominal pain, and general fear and stress about this has been a lot to handle. It’s been two and a half weeks straight of this and honestly it’s really wearing me down. I’m tired.

It’s so strange that my mind automatically goes to worst case scenario. In the Emergency Department they thought it was appendicitis at first, then another doctor on call there happened to be a gynaecologist and was tipped by the symptoms thinking it could be an ovarian cyst. It makes me cry thinking about it, but I’m lucky she was on duty that day and the week after when she called me to talk to me about the results of my ultrasound and what I needed to do next. I’m also lucky that I have a GP in our rural town who gives a damn and has helped me follow up with this. I have seen a GP here and they are so blase about everything and all the gynos here are booked out, with a possibility to be squeezed in a few months from now. Again that good rural GP has come through and secured me an appointment with the best gyno around in just a few days. I am so thankful and scared.

I am thankful because I can finally get some answers and not keep living with this pain and discomfort. It’s really challenging to be an energetic mum to a two year old when I feel like this. It’s really challenging emotionally as well, and I’ve been struggling with it. Sometimes I think I may need to get some antidepressants or something because my mind really does go to worst case scenario so quickly and I seem to get drowned in that feeling pretty easily. I’m not sure if it’s somehow still all triggered and tied in with my undiagnosed PTSD after having my son, or the fact that my father was diagnosed with cancer and died within one month, just last year, but it’s intense. So if physically I am having it hard, emotionally I am having it really hard.

I have such a fear of dying. I recently heard the thought that death gives life meaning, and although that can bring some comfort, overall, it still makes me question to myself “have I done enough” and this makes me sad. It makes me sad to think about all of the life I have not lived yet. It makes me sad to think about all of the experiences I have not shared with my husband and child yet. It makes me feel like I am going to miss out so much. This is a slippery slope to go on and seriously my mind just slides right in. I have to be careful.

So how do I overcome this? How do I overcome this feeling of helplessness while feeling so worn down? Usually I would say to a friend if they sought my help, I would tell them the following: Take time to feel your feelings. Then find every way possible to laugh. Find the positives that way. Eat really well. Groom really well. Wear nice clothes, wear makeup and perfume or whatever makes you feel good when you look at yourself in the mirror. Be good to yourself. Be easy on yourself, and trust that everything is happening as it ought to. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you. Do what makes you feel the best. Do what brings you joy. Create, create, create. Focus on the love, the joy, the goodness happening right now.

Navigating the Waters

In the last week, I have turned a corner, a major corner. I have started to allow someone else to look after my child in a maximum of 2 hour increments. This is a big deal. He’s now almost 22 months, and prior to now, I pretty much count on one hand the number of times someone else has looked after him besides my husband or myself.

I have so many feelings that are arising from this. Perhaps this is what primary carers of little people go through with this transition. Simultaneously wanting to have freedom and independence, but at the same time wanting to make sure that my little person is completely taken care of. The feeling of, YES FINALLY, I’m Doing Something For Myself, AND the feeling of guilt that someone else is looking after my most precious being, who is completely defenceless, completely incapable of articulating with words anything that goes on.

Exhale. I am doing that a lot, deep breathing. He is going to the day care option that is available at the gym I have joined. It’s all super new, totally customer oriented, and really top of the line. The classes are incredible, the machines are the newest available, the instructors are top notch, the child care is incredible. Even in the baby area, they have a huge play section that rivals the places you have to pay to go into for $12 for 2 hours where you have to buy an obligatory coffee as well. The carers are so lovely, so friendly, so very obviously kid people with big hearts and huge smiles.

All of this is good, I know it. I do. Me progressing forward by moving my body and getting back into shape, along with allowing the next stage of our lives to happen by me letting go and accepting help with my child. I know all of this, I know it’s truly all good. There is still a fountain of feelings coming up and I can’t ignore them. I even invited a fellow Mum from my mum and bub group to come over and watch a tear jerking movie that left us both sobbing, just so we could let the emotions out in a safe place.

The new chapter is beginning and I am grieving the last one. It’s normal, and it’s okay. I have loads of self compassion for myself and am being as gentle with me as I possibly can in this transition. I am also doing my best to be there for my son while he transitions, because it’s also a major shift for him as well. Such a big deal.

Older Women

When I see an older woman doing life right, I really try to observe her ways and learn from what she is doing. By “doing life right” I really mean, that she is healthy physically, seems to be nicely emotionally stable, and is well groomed. I guess it’s because I want myself to be like that, and I don’t really know that many women who fit this bill within my close personal circle, so when i see them, I want to know more.

My mother and I have had a strange relationship most of the life that I can recall, and her habits haven’t been so positive over the years. Even though now she doesn’t do any hard drugs, that was a mainstay for quite a while and it definitely took it’s toll. My grandmother looked after me a lot when I was growing up and I have noticed that a key to thriving in that 3rd stage of life, beyond 70, is to keep active, and eat lean meals.

My interest lately has been with women who are in their 50s and 60s. I’ve noticed from a woofer of sorts that we’ve had at the farm who is pretty healthy, that she has quite a routine with her meals. Every morning she has a bowl full of fresh greens, with healthy fats like avocado and a drizzle of olive oil, a dark piece of toast with chopped up fresh garlic, all kicked off with a shot of apple cider vinegar and a small glass of Vitamin C. Then about midmorning she will have a small shot of espresso with a tiny piece of healthy cake that she makes with dried fruit. This is her routine every morning.

This older woofer also gets out in the garden, and goes to regular meetings for something anonymous in town. Her interests are obviously in design and she keeps up to date with magazines from the library and others that are all current. It’s almost like she studies them. She keeps a very clean house and uses natural products to do it. Everything needs to be in order, and her room is nicely decorated despite not having too much stuff. She wears a beautiful kimono at night and in the morning, and seems to really enjoy that kind of luxury. Overall, I really like observing her and seeing what she does so that I can emulate it or at least take in a bit of it to help out my own life and longevity. Like anything in life, I’ll take what works for me, and leave the rest.

It’s really incredible to have the opportunity to actually live with people of different ages. There’s a difference when people are in their own home versus when they are out. You really get a truer sense of who a person is when you see them at 7am in the morning, or watching their daily habits. It’s really fascinating to me. It’s much easier to understand people when you see who they really are, not the version of themselves that portray in public. I appreciate looking behind the scenes of it all.

I would love to have a female mentor in that age group, in her 50s and 60s, who has experienced a life similar to mine, and has been able to really succeed emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I would absolutely love that kind of relationship in my life. A win-win for both of us.

Autumn Farm Grown Mandarins

Earlier after we arrived at the farm, my mother-in-law, my son and I went out to the mandarin trees where hundreds of the laying chickens are. It was in the afternoon and the autumn weather was absolutely perfect, maybe 25 degrees, with blue skies. The chickens gathered all around while we picked and ate them right there on the spot. How sweet life is.

My darling son learned that he could feed the chickens and they would come closer to him, so he would grunt for me to give him a piece of mandarin, he would then put it in his mouth and then give it to the chickens! So funny that guy is! He did this all from his pram before we moved on to the other fruit trees. One chicken even pecked his toe, and from angle it looked like she had his whole toe in her mouth for a split second, but it didn’t phase him at all! I on the other hand encountered a spider when reaching through the mandarin tree and dropped the mandarin and let out a squeal!

I love sweet moments, sweet country moments like this. They warm my heart and my soul. I also really love getting to spend this kind of precious time with my dear Mother-in-Law and her 18 month old grandson. It is so sweet. I can literally feel my heart pounding as I type this. We don’t have much family around, and it’s so nice when we get to spend some time together.

Writing as a Sexy Mistress

“Treat your writing, your craft as a sexy mistress” Elizabeth Gilbert suggests in her book Big Magic. I love this idea. Get dressed up so that inspiration will come knocking on my door. Steal away moments with my sexy mistress late at night or for 15 minutes in the middle of the day because the opportunity has arisen.

Take to writing or painting or anything else that requires inspiration, to come forth with passion and vigour. Think about it like a passionate love affair, about being totally in love with it that you HAVE to do it, to be with it. What a romantic notion. I’ll take that, thank you.

Adding Humour to Trauma

Writing a survival guide to the NICU has been on my mind for over a year now. I accept that I haven’t done it yet. I do think that it will help other women going through a similar experience if I can shed some light, and specifically some humour to the situation.

There in lies the challenge, how to add humour to what is normally quite a traumatic event? Not just an event, but a full experience that usually lasts weeks to months in duration.

I have read a few books from very funny women including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and one currently from Ann Handley and I appreciate when a little chuckle is thrown in. It allows the topic to be discussed that needs to be, without all the heaviness that can usually accompany it. I know I can write with compassion, and now I want to add humour to that mix.

How to do it… how to add humour to a traumatic experience when writing about it. Is it something that happens in the editing process? That would great. I just let whatever needs to come up, come up and out, and then in the editing process, then go back over it and add some humour, some more wit, and spruce it up.

That will be my plan of attack. Ready, set, go!

Sharing Love

I like to send cards to people. I used to hand paint and hand write them myself. I even used to hand cut them. All of this has been uber duber simplified since I have become a mother. For many reasons, mostly because of lack of “personal time” to fully be present in the making and creating of these gifts when bub is around. Currently my prime “me” time is when he naps, which is now down to one nap a day, which I am not overly happy about for the record, a second nap would make for a much happier baby and mama in my opinion, but I will happily take the early bed time if the other nap is skipped.

Thankfully the world and technology keeps on moving along so I don’t have to spend the time that i don’t really have and still be able to send cards, and I even have an app on my phone for it. How nice it is. How nice it is to be able to quickly and easily send someone a card when I am thinking of them. In a matter of a few minutes I can customise a card with a photo on it, and I can then send it out to them and rest assured that it will be printed, stamped and mailed for me. I love conveniences that make life easier without having to sacrifice on my own personal values.

Since I have opened up a bit about the very traumatic birthing process I had with my baby, many other women have since also opened up privately with me sharing their story of trauma regarding their birthing experience. It’s big. I wonder how many women actually experience something that is so hard and challenging but never get to fully express it because the societal pressure is to then move on and just be happy that the baby is healthy and here. It’s strange. and I’ve gone through it myself.

This easy card sending app then helps me to reach out to women, and this morning I reached out and sent a card to a woman I know in the US who I know will love it when she opens it. There really is something special about not only sharing the love, but doing so in a physical manner, in a way that allows for a keepsake so that the other person is reminded again and again of that love. It’s so easy to also send a text or an email, or post on someones page, but the physical letter or card really goes to the distance.

Take time to share the love. There are no downsides to this. It is good for everyone involved, absolutely everyone.

Mum and Bub Group

I am so amazingly grateful for the Mother’s Group that I’ve dubbed the “Lovely Ladies with New Babies” that I have here in Western Sydney. We meet every week and we just hang out, commiserate, share, and just are there. If all relationships are just a matter of being there for someone when they need then I truly do have ea relationship with these women. We laugh and cry together, we are vulnerable and able to really support one another. Having a new bub can be isolating, it’s hard work and it’s non-stop.

Today we all went out for a movie together and we rolled in like 10 prams deep and it was great! I felt more energy while out today than I have in a very very long time and it felt wonderful. I love having friends. I love that they are all in the same boat right now with bubs who also cry, poop, decide not to sleep, who grow out of clothes quickly, who know what it’s like to be in this situation right now. It’s truly a blessing.