My gardens are both a blessing and a curse, I love to spend time in them but there are I believe 13 of them. They are often where I head out to for a little me time, I can work through a problem while weeding; or loose myself to the warmth of the sun on my back the feel of the dirt in my hands. Every now and then lifting my head to check to make sure that Oli is close and not off on his own personal adventure. Many times, I will take a moment and just sit there - a slight breeze on my face listening to the sounds of bird song. Then there are the times when I head out with a determined look on my face and a mission to accomplish. While I still enjoy my time playing in the dirt, these are the days that no matter what I will accomplish my goal. I believe I mentioned this before dear imaginary reader.
I took on a task last September, to tame the hydrangeas along the side garden of our pool and a few in the two front gardens. It took me two days, got completed my goal; and fubarred my low back. It wasn’t until after Thanksgiving that DC finally convinced me to get some professional attention. Seemed like no time flat and I was feeling better. Once summer is over, the pool closed and rainy days prevail I generally look for a different way to excercise. This past fall LLB introduced me to the on line lady that I mentioned in a past post. She and her group are amazing! A reasonable monthly fee, accountability, great workouts. Did I mention before that the median age of that group is probably 40? And mostly fit? The workouts do have modifications, but most workouts are HIITS. The most reps you can do in a certain time span. The trainer as great as she is cannot modify the mind set of someone far away who refuses to think that she can’t do something. See where I am going here? First came the cool HIITS, with cool excercise; then came me not listening to my body. Enter hip bursitis.
While having to take things easy due to injury I decided to once again work on my lack of style. I joined a couple of Facebook groups geared toward women of a certain age. The first group I joined are great believers in posting pictures of their outfits daily, many, many pictures. The all looked great, like they were headed to Efforttown and had taken the looking good to head to town in a serious way. Average age - probs 65. Great group, probs not going to be my style. The next group I joined has a blog with a petite lady that shows you how she put her outfit together. The stores (mostly American and not available here), sales, clothing and accessories. Its great to have an image on clothing that probably could work for me.
My gardens are at the point that other than a few annuals, they don’t require much financial expenditure anymore. My wardrobe is another matter. I have learned that many women in my position have trouble spending money on ourselves. I am not sure where this particular mind set comes from, I have no problem spending money on others. Just ask the love of my immediate life, he will be happy (or perhaps not so happy) to validate that statement! I worked outside the home and certainly contributed to the family “pot” so to speak but for me - I can talk myself out of a purchase in a heartbeat. Ok, maybe it takes me 20 but it happens.
It is my belief dear imaginary readers that no one would ever describe me as the life of the party. That said back in the day, when I knew exactly who I was I could hold my own in conversation, laughs; you know the basic skills of having fun while living. Then came work, kids and the basic skills of living with the odd flash of fun thrown in. And when work was gone the kids were gone and the flashes of fun became trickles of fun. Progressive fun equals backward steps for me WOOT! In March I hit rock bottom.
The love of my immediate life flew off to Halifax to begin what I was sure would be an epic road trip home with the baby girl. She would soon begin an external placement with The Get Real Movement, then graduation and then adulting for her (please). I had approximately 36 hours to myself, allllllll alone, ok, just me and Oli. Ok, honest, just me , my dog and some red wine. Back to the task at hand, I had plans - filing, tax prep, ironing, catching up on Grey’s exciting stuff.
I returned home after dropping my man at the GO station, grabbed a coffee and assumed my position at my perch, what ambition I had earlier had vanished. Candy Crush, chatting with the kids and the dog (yes the dog)...nothing was motivating me. I wasn’t feeling any zing to just do Jill - then I opened an email that showed that the replacement hose for my vacuum had been shipped. I followed the tracking number, et voila! It read DELIVERED!
The pup and I basically trotted to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, where we found pay dirt! Not only was my hose there, but low and behold so was the Touch of Orange wood cleaner I had ordered. Oli had done his thing so we both turned back towards the house, he with his tail straight up in the air and a prance in his step. Me with a smile on my face while thinking of the mission to be accomplished.
Rock bottom, 36 hours alone and I was excited by new cleaning equipment. It was time to get a life...or open a bottle of red. It is spring, so I guess its ok to be excited about spring cleaning right dear imaginary readers?
A few months ago, during our winter that seemed like it was never going to end, the love of my immediate life suggested that we take a road trip to visit our friends KB and her husband PB up in cottage country. As luck would have it, KB and my other partner in crime KB2 was able to come along to play as well, woot, woot!
A lovely drive along the highway (ok, perhaps that part wasn’t so lovely), along back roads through the country side, meandering alongside rivers that splashed through rocks, snow and ice. Quiet roads that ran beside farmers fields covered in snow, cutting through small towns eventually took us into the heart of the Kawartha’s. A quick stop for a bite to eat and we were finally there! We pulled into the driveway, the front door bursts open and out comes KB to welcome us, down the stairs, along the walkway all in her bare feet...gosh I love her, worry about her, but love her!
It had been a few months since I had last seen KB, and I believe over a year since the two KB’s had seen each other. The three of us once had an eventful trip returning my son to his College in WIsconsin with a stop on the way back in Chicago. That trip we were able to meet up with our favorite Milwaukee Mom, hit the Purple Pig, enjoy the Kohler Spa, shop and consume perhaps a tad too much wine. I thought that this visit would be much more reserved than that trip.
It wasn’t long until stories were being traded, a tour of the B’s house to see what changes had been made since our last visit. Boy, sad as I have been about them moving, they sure are content. So happy for them. Anyway, dear invisible reader, soon the husbands were chatting and the fun began. The next day included shopping (can you say sale at Bigleys!), eating, kids coming and going, wine and ordering funny tee shirts. KB2 even found a deal on a snowmobile helmet at the restaurant where we were eating lunch hahaha!
My mantra of the weekend to the KB’s was wine, water ladies! I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun just hanging out with my GF’s. We get so busy with stuff, when we were younger it was running around with our kids. Today stuff is just well - stuff, nothing urgent, the day to day things that we allow to take over our lives. In my case at times, allow myself to hide behind. Sometimes ok, often, I forget to drop my GF’s, these two goofballs and others a quick email, a call, a visit.
I guess I just needed a weekend like that one to remind me to reach out, chat, emoji, eat and yes, have a wee bit of wine with my GF’s. A step back to allow talking back into my comfort zone. Baby steps....this one was easy.
Cheers to you my dear imaginary readers!
P.S. The pic on the home page for Jill at home (gotta figure out how to post there :( ) shows me taking a sip with a guzzle buddy. The love of my immediate life when seeing the “buddy” decided that he just HAD to get one for each of the KB’s and I. I hope that one day soon we can get a picture of the three of us wearing our Tee shirts enjoying a wee sip.
It is a beautiful day here in the middle of nowhere, currently I am perched at my favorite spot at our island. Some of the windows are open and the bird song has helped soothe the two tired dogs at my feet to sleep. A long walk involving hills and meeting cars and people started our day off well. Our soon to be daughter in law dropped off their puppy Murphy this morning, I am always sure to get my steps in when he comes to visit. Not only steps, but walking with a puppy, even here in the middle of nowhere often means meeting new people. People means talking, talking can cause me anxiety. Today, just like pushing myself to write, publish and share this post, talking happened and I survived. I cannot even explain the nervousness and anxiety that went in to posting and sharing yesterday. Thank you imaginary readers for sharing some of your day with me.
These guys were my walking pals today.
On my walks I often get spend time thinking about changes that I have to make in order to grow and take baby steps off the tightrope. Today I was thinking back to when my final long term contract wasn’t renewed. It may seem strange, but I was fine with the end of my time there. The last year was very stressful, seemed like I was constantly sick (gee, do ya think my body was trying to tell me something) and I was tired, oh so tired. I wasn’t at the place that made me think of me, in fact that is something that I really need to work on. It was easy to let my work life go, I was ready, thankfully due to hard work and good planning the love of my immediate life and I were able to step back. The question was would we be able to step back together and not kill each other haha! What was I am sure a big surprise to many was that, yup, we survived that change and still chugging along. Thanks be for a house with many rooms and a garden to work in.
Living in the middle of nowhere makes it really easy to not use my voice - talking to others often involves a trip to Efforttown. At some point over this last year when it looked like this site and blog were going to become a reality I knew that I was going to have to follow through on some positive changes. I had many possibilities to choose from - when I left work my wardrobe consisted of work clothes and clothes fit for the garden, not much in between. As I moved into what ever my new life was going to be I moved myself into athletic comfy clothes. Unfortunately, I didnt apply the word “athletic “ to any other point in my life. I got a little fluffy, something else to work on. The picture on the home page of this site involved a lot of “ah, NO Mom..you cant wear that” and finally my girls putting together an ensemble from my closet. Who knew that stuff was in there!
In the fall I had been trying to work in the garden and work out a bit - sticking to the working out plan wasn’t working out so well. Working in the garden is a bit of a safe haven for me but I have a tendency to over do it, 3 hours no probs. How about 4 days of 6 hours a day...hello bad low back - that was September. In October I joined an online fitness group, you had to make a video to introduce yourself and check in after every workout. The bad back lead to meeting a new Chiropractor, the new fitness program lead to a bad hip this equaled bailing from the fitness group after a while which removed the having to talk to new people.
This blog is a way for me to take baby steps sharing with you my dear imaginary readers my long journey backward, to chatting and laughter, fitness and finding a new casually dressed and fancier me.
Hello dear imaginary readers, and welcome to what is a new beginning for me.
I had been bouncing around the idea of a blog for almost a year; in fact I began one as emptynesteralmost. A few posts in, it just didnt feel right to me., those posts have been added to this blog and show in the history. The stories and feelings were mine, but somehow hiding behind the name didn’t feel authentic. It was almost as though I was intentionally setting myself up for failure. I had been reviewing on Trip Advisor under that handle for about 9 years, and thought yeah, what a place to jump off from. In the end, heading that way took me further along the tightrope.
I have been someone’s employee, wife or mother for the past 40 years or so. I have worked in sub shoppes, butcher shops, sold cosmetics both retail and home based. There were jobs babysitting, coaching and working in the financial services industry wearing many different hats. Been married for 31 years (how the hell did that happen!), been a Mom for almost 30 years (oh dear lord!), somewhere along the line I lost my voice.
Back in the day as my kids would say, my Mom would share with everyone that I was not backward about being forward. Know what I mean? I wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone about anything, anywhere any time! Those days are gone and I want them back. For my life’s sake - I need them back.
I’m not sure how it happened. Clearly I used my voice during the positions I held, and with what life threw my way. But somehow, somewhere along the way I got careful and took my first steps out on that tightrope. Having to be careful of what was said to or in front of the kids is only to be expected - just good parenting. Next, came feeling that people didn’t need nor would want to hear my opinion at work and then at home. Not sharing my thoughts, feelings and opinions with anyone- my GOSH what might they think of me!
Each time I didn’t say what was on my mind, or allowed myself to be talked over, assisted me in perfecting my balance and moved me further along the tightrope. My God, if I actually spoke up my life may be thrown off balance and I’d be off the wire!
Well dear imaginary reader, for my life’s sake this blog is going to rock that sucker enough that I have to fall off. It is time to take my fist baby steps backward, toward the beginning of the tightrope. No way am I crossing to the other side, no more quiet for me. I am taking these steps with the help and support of my kids, those I actually bore and those that have adopted me (for which I am thankful). I had given up on getting my words down and therefore out of me - and they gifted me this website and blog. Now lets get one thing straight - I still don’t expect that my words will be read by anyone but me. I will always have my imaginary readers, and that is quite fine with me. I will try to check my spelling, admitt that grammar and I are not always friends. I just need to write, get my thoughts, and struggles ...actually allow my self to become a stronger person and begin to dream again. And with that dear imaginary readers, here we go again!
My name is Jill, in few months I turn 57 freaking years old. I have had some pretty cool experiences in the past couple of years and I will share some of that with you. My life is changing as my kids struggle with life, adulting, finding partners or not. My husband and I reclaim our marriage and not just parenting, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones; all of this will help me find my voice. I will do my best not to bore you, and will try to post two or three times a week. I am told that I am the only one that finds me funny and that’s ok. Laughter is just another kind of voice one that sometimes makes me laugh so hard I cry and no one else is :)
So welcome to my journey off the tightrope, my travels and travails as I am sure that I will take more than a couple of off balanced steps along my way off the tightrope.