Musings

So yes, I’m writing a book…

Have you ever heard the one that goes a little something like this:

There once was a man who used to pray to God every night that he would win tattslotto. He would get down on his knees, look up at the sky and beg God, please God please, let me win tattslotto. And then one night God answered. His big voice boomed down a reply from the heavens above and do you know what he said? Help me out here man, buy a ticket. Ha!

I’ve realised recently that I’ve had exactly the same attitude towards becoming writing a book. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write a book and have that book published. But you see, to make that happen, I would first actually have to write a book. Seems obvious right? Well yes, it is, yet it’s something that I have yet to do, or even give a go really. I mean there was that one (rather feeble) attempt last year for NaNoWriMo but apart from that, my book has been nothing more than an idea, a dream, for many, many years.

So last week, I decided I’ve had enough of waiting, enough of the excuses (enough of praying to God if you will) it was finally time to take action and write the damn book. I announced it on social media; not because I wanted people to pat me on the back, say well done or offer any type of congratulations (though I did get that, which was lovely). No, I actually posted it for accountability. Because I know now that I’ve put it out there people might just ask me from time to time ‘hey, how’s that book of yours going?’ and I want to be able to give an answer that doesn’t entail me looking down at my feet, shrugging and offering some lame excuse as to why I have done anything about it.

Anyone who has read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert would know of her theory about creative ideas having a life of their own. The concept being that ideas find their way and attach themselves to people and if you don’t do anything with those ideas they will move on to someone else. She provides a (quite amazing) story about this great idea for a book she once had that she began to research but then gave up on and never wrote. Years later, another author wrote that book. The exact same story she had planned to write. The concept of the book was very specific, very unique and Liz had never shared the idea; there was no way this other writer could’ve have ‘stolen’ or copied the idea. The thought of that happening to me and my book idea actually scares the crap out of me (wouldn’t I just kick myself if that happened) and has been the final motivation I needed to get started.

So yes, I’m writing a book and it turns out it’s nothing like the book I have always thought I might write. It’s a young adult (YA) fantasy/sci fi…I don’t even really read sci fi, it’s never particularly been my thing, yet there it is. I think I’ve tried for many ideas to ‘come up’ with an idea for a great book and it’s always felt a bit forced. But this one? Well it’s just like Elizabeth Gilbert says; it seems to have a life of its own and has just come to me, out of nowhere and it just keeps coming, shifting and shaping…and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

So yes, I’m writing a book.

What have you been up to lately? Ever attempted to write a book? Ever wanted to?

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Embrace

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year my work held a free screening of the documentary ‘Embrace‘ at our local cinemas. I had heard great things about it so decided to invite my sister and Mum along for a girls night out.  The film is brilliantly done with a good balance of seriousness and humour. If you haven’t yet seen it, I highly recommend you do. I was a bit worried that the film might be a bit preachy, and to be honest, I was also a bit worried that I might not relate to it. Because here’s the thing, I’ve never had to battle with my weight in the traditional sense. I’ve never struggled with weight gain or trying to lose weight. But yes, I did still relate to the film, because even if I’ve never worried about being ‘too big’ I’ve certainly still had my fair share of body issues.

Case in point; I have a big nose. There’s no denying it, there’s no missing it, I have a big nose and I also have crooked teeth with pointy little fangs that a boy in high school once told me looked like I’d stuck two tic tacs to the top of my gums. I spent many years trying to perfect my smile without showing my teeth. It always looked awkward. And I’m naturally thin…oh yeah, I see you rolling your eyes sarcastically thinking ‘gee you poor thing’ but I can tell you that it was well into my mid twenties before I began to wear skirts or shorts due to being so self-conscious about my so called ‘chicken legs’. I was thirteen when a girl in my class began tormenting over those chicken legs, screaming out ‘anorexic’ across the courtyard every time she saw me. I quickly took to wearing pants, even on thirty plus degree days. That became a bit of a problem when I switched to a private catholic school a few years later and school dresses were mandatory for girls during summer. I wore them long, under sufferance and great awkwardness. Skinny shaming is totally a thing; I cannot begin to tell you the amount of strangers that have told me I need to ‘eat more’ or ‘put some meat on my bones’ like they actually know how much I eat! Pretty sure they would never dare tell a larger person to eat less so I wonder why they think it’s ok to comment on my weight?

I know someone who commented that the Embrace movie was sending the message to people that it’s ok to be ‘fat and unhealthy’. Umm, no, that person totally missed the whole point! The point is ,health and weight are not synonymous. You can be considered a ‘bigger’ person and still be really healthy. You can also be thin and be unhealthy. It’s not about weight, it’s simply not. It’s about learning to love our bodies and being kind to ourselves. It’s about the things we say to ourselves and the messages we send to our kids. As Nora Tschirner (German actress) says in the film “My body is my home. It’s my soul’s mate”. So take care of it, love it, embrace it. I’m learning to.

Have you seen Embrace? What did you think?

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First, we make the beast beautiful

Wednesday is usually my day for getting stuff done; it’s the one day of the week that I don’t have to go into the office and I’m kid free. Wednesdays for me usually involve working from home, doing the housework and washing, paying bills, going to the bank and the post office…you know all that boring grown up stuff that you don’t really want to do but needs to be done. But today? Well today I was totally self indulgent and I spent the whole day in bed reading. Hubby was home from work so he took the little man to and from school. It was cold and miserable outside so I cuddled up in bed with my heat bag and my latest read ‘first, we make the beast beautiful’ by Sarah Wilson. Hour later, I have emerged and I just need to share….

I’ve read many books on the subject of anxiety over the years but this one was different. The title and the cover grabbed me from the start, it promised to be ‘a new story about anxiety’ it really was.

As I was reading, there were parts of the book that I couldn’t relate to; Sarah’s life is (of course) quiet different to my own and she has done things I would never even dream of doing; from bungee jumping to taking off on week long hikes alone and living in a deserted shed in the woods for six months. Just reading about that stuff made me feel anxious. Nope, that’s not for me, because of course the control freak in me would never allow anything like that to happen! But there was so much in this book, and in Sarah, that I could relate to. I found myself nodding along furiously to parts wanting to yell “oh my god yes, this!”

By the time that hubby got home from running some errands I had flagged a whole bunch of pages that I wanted to read to him, which he lovingly let me do over lunch (bless him). There’s a part in the book where Sarah talks about how our loved ones can help us when we are feeling anxious or mid panic attack…

“Just be there when we wobble. Just stay. and be entirely certain and solid about doing so, even in the very convincing face of pushback and the frantic wobbliness from us. Your patience and calmness will exist in such stark contrast to our funk that we’ll start to feel silly and return to Earth. Our anxiety does pass.”  Umm yes! I’m lucky that my hubby is actually pretty good at doing this. It’s why he’s the one I always want nearby when I’m feeling anxious. He’s great at staying solid and bring me back down to earth.

And this; “don’t confuse our need to control our environment with our need to control you”. Yep, we anxious folks are control freaks but it’s not that we want to control other people, we’re just doing our best to try and control everything else to prevent (gasp) the worst from ever happening. (Of course deep down we know that’s actually impossible, because if we could control that we’d be God!)

And I giggled out loud at the trueness of this one; “Never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down from someone telling them to calm down”. In fact, it does the exact opposite…thankfully my husband learned this a long time ago!

There were so many other random and weird things that popped up throughout the book that I have always thought to be a ‘Sarah thing’ (me that is, not Sarah Wilson) but now wonder if it’s actually an anxious person thing. Like the fact that I just cannot relax at a day spa but I totally love those cheap and nasty, walk in and walk out, Thai massage places. The best! And why I sometimes like to sleep upside down in bed; putting my head where my feet usually are and vice versa (a trick I introduced to hubby years ago and he now also loves to try when either of us are having trouble sleeping). Or why I’m so bad at making decisions; Sarah explains this so perfectly in her book but I won’t delve into that here, it’s a little complex and I don’t want to give o away.

If you suffer from anxiety I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy of this book. Allow yourself to get swept away into the amazing, raw, yet ever  wonderful world of Sarah Wilsons mind. You might just find some comfort in it.

 

 

 

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Less than perfect

So, as most of you would know, our little man started school this year and with that, I’ve been thrown into a whole new world (of course he has too, but let’s focus on me for a minute, it is my blog after all ha!) I’ve had to learn all about readers and golden words and assemblies and canteen ordering….and the list goes on. It appears school has changed a lot since I was there!

Anyway, I digress, what I really wanted to talk about today was a certain certificate that the lil man was recently awarded at school. ‘Perfect attendance for Term 1’ it read. He was also given a little badge to wear on his chest along with all the other kids in school that managed to show up to school each and every day of term one. Normally I’d be super proud of any award my son wins, but this one just doesn’t quite sit right with me. I get it’s intention, I get that many schools are struggling with poor attendance and some children have parents that just don’t seem to understand the importance of regular school attendance. But what about all those other kids? Those kids that maybe had a day or two off because they were genuinely sick? I feel as though they’re kinda being punished for that; they’re being told they’re less than perfect. Sure, they’re not coping the strap or anything drastic like that but I’ll bet they felt left out when the other kids their class got an award and they didn’t. It’s like saying they did something wrong just by being sick.

I don’t think my son really got it; he was rapt he got an award sure, but I’m not sure he fully understood what it was for. But he’ll eventually get to the age that he will and I hope that he doesn’t feel any pressure to go to school when he’s not feeling well just because he’ll miss out on a certificate (because I’m pretty sure there will be some kids out there who would do just that). And it’s not even just about sickness; what about holidays? Yes, kids get school holidays but not all parents do (case in point- my hubby and I). The reality is, we probably will choose to take our son on a holiday away from school holiday times because it’s ridiculously more expensive! Yep, I totally get school is important but I also think life experience and travel is just as important.

So, an award for perfect attendance…hmm, I’m just not sure about this one. I don’t know what the answer is and how we can encourage those families whose lack of school attendance is negatively effecting their kids, I just think it’s a more complex issue….or maybe I’m just over thinking the whole damn thing, who knows! I would really love to hear your thoughts on this one.

 

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Reading, Watching, Listening.

When it comes to finding new books to read, shows to watch and podcasts to listen t,o I often base my choices on recommendations from others. So this week I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately…check it out, you might just find something you like.

Reading: Over our summer break down the beach I finally got to read Me Before You by Jo Jo moyes. I devoured it over a few days and really enjoyed it. There is a sequel book, After You, but I’m yet to decide if I want to read it. I feel like the story finished as it should and wonder what more there is to say. I’m not sure if the sequel will be too depressing? If you’ve read it I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’ve also got the movie sitting at home ready to watch, I’ve been told to have the tissues ready.

I also recently finished reading Motherhood and Creativity: The Divided Heart by Rachel Power. I won a copy from the beautiful Lauren (aka- Me and My Girl.) She told me I’d love it and I certainly did! In the book, Rachel interviews a number of well known professional creatives (from actors and writers to painters and musicians) about how they juggle motherhood and their creative pursuits and how one affects the other. Whilst I am by no means a ‘professional’ creative I could certainly still relate to much of what was said. It was a really interesting read and I discovered so many common themes threaded throughout. If you are a mother and a creative soul you, this book is a must read.

Watching: Last week hubby was away overnight for work and so with the little man sleeping soundly next to me I finally got to sit down and watch The Minimalism Documentary on Netflix. I’ll be completely honest and say that whilst I’ve heard a lot about The Minimalists I’ve never actually read or listened to any of their stuff, so I thought I’d start here. I loved it and fell in love with Josh and Ryan (how could you not love them?) And I’ve since starting listening to their podcast. Whilst I don’t think I could ever be as hardcore minimalist as these guys I can certainly relate and agree with a lot of what they have to say.

Listening: To podcasts, all the podcasts! Here are some of my favourite episodes that I’ve listened to lately:

No Filter- Mia Freedman interviews Jodi Picoult: Rather than listen to the No Filter podcast in order, I just pick out the episodes that I’m interested in. So of course when I saw that Mia had interviewed my all time favourite author, Jodi Picoult, it was at the top of my list and it didn’t disappoint. I also loved her interview with Kasey Chambers and Rebecca Sparrow.

Conversations with Richard Fuller: with Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. I’ve had Jon’s book on my ‘must read’ list for quite a while now (I really must get to it) and after listening to this podcast episode I want to read it even more! In this interview, Jon talks about some of the most famous cases from his book and gives a really interesting insight into not only the real stories behind them but also what happened to those people after they were so publicly shamed on social media. It’s quite sad how one small moment or action can literally ruin people’s lives. It’s certainly mad me rethink what I choose to share my social media pages.

The Well: The Grief Episode. I listened to every episode of The Well last year, except this one. I wasn’t sure if I could listen to it, I knew it would be a tough one but eventually, alone in the car one day not long after Christmas, I finally did. Listening to Robin and Rebecca talk is like listening in on a conversation with friends and this episode was both touching and insightful.

What have you been reading, watching and listening to lately? Got any good recommendations for me?

 

 

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One Word

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and hopefully managed some time with your family and friends, away from the daily grind. I’m currently down the beach with my boys, enjoying a nice two week holiday.

It’s tradition at the start of a new year to make resolutions; promises to ourselves that we either will or won’t do something in the coming year. I’ve never been one for new years resolutions, it’s just not really my thing. But I know hat many other people choose a word, just one word, that they want to represent that coming year for them. I think this sounds kinda nice so I thought that this year, I would do that instead.

My word for 2017? Be.

Last year, I discovered I find it really hard to ‘just be’. I’m forever thinking ahead, planning, worrying, preparing for the next thing. That’s not always a bad thing of course; it’s good to have goals and things to look forward to but not when it’s to the detriment of enjoying the present moment. As my son starts school this year I have this overwhelming desire to just press pause on life. I just want to be.

Be still. Be present. Be in the moment.

Be happy. Be sad. Be excited.

Be curious. Be kind. Be myself.

Let it be.

Just be….

And so that is my word for 2017, just two little letters. BE.

Have you made any new years resolutions? If you had to choose one word for 2017 what would it be?

 

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That’s a Wrap!

fast five friday, www.sarahdipity.com.au

It seems we say it every year but man, this year has gone so fast! Christmas is over for another year and next week it will be 2017. This is a time when we often sit back and reflect on the year that was and so today, I wanted to look back on this blog and share with you my top five posts for the year (based on views, readership and comments). I’ve also provided a little update on where I’m at today with the things I spoke about in these posts. So here we go, my top five posts for 2016:

The hardest decisions are sometimes the right ones: In this post I talked about my decision to give up working from home. At the time I was working two social media management jobs, plus freelance writing. I took a couple of months off but there was one job in particular that I really, really missed and so I ended up going back to it but with a promise; that I would not work when my son was home. I’ve kept that promise, managing to do the bulk of the work when he is at kinder. Sure, there’s an odd phone call or text message sent here and there but on those days when he isn’t at kinder or it’s the weekend it’s family first all the way! I’m just doing a small amount of hours each week and that’s working well. I’ve been tempted to take on more but I know it’s just not the right time and that’s ok.

Habit, Addiction and the Challenge: It’s no surprise that this post seemed to resonate with so many people. I think we’re probably all a little guilty of using our phones and social media too much. I’m ashamed to say that I have definitely fallen back into some old, bad habits. I pick up my phone way too much. I scroll mindlessly way too much. It’s purely habit….and bad habits can be heard to break! This might be something to work on in the new year.

I will be ok: The response I received to this post was overwhelming. I received tons of comments, messages, emails and phone calls from both friends, family and strangers. I had people confide in me that they too suffer from anxiety. I had people tell me that they appreciated me telling my story because it helped them to better understand someone in their life that has anxiety. I’m happy to say that I’m doing much better. I am now on some new medication, which seems to be working really well and I am visiting my counsellor regularly. More than that, I’m learning it’s ok to ask for help and sometimes rely on other people without feeling guilty (something I will probably always struggle with).

Creativity and Career: This is also one of my favourite posts. It’s the moment I realised that I don’t need to make a career out of my creativity in order for it to be valuable. Since this post I’ve continued to enjoy creating for enjoyment; I write, draw, take photos and paint…sometimes I share these things, sometimes I don’t. And I love it, I enjoy it, I need it. Creating things will always be good for my soul.

One Step at a Time: Following this post I received the results from the skin specialist. Whilst it came back that the lesion wasn’t skin cancer he still wanted to remove it. But I was hesitant. I’ve had bad experiences in the past of doctors being  little too knife happy and I really don’t want to go cutting into my face unless it was necessary; especially when he said he wouldn’t refer me to a plastic surgeon but rather do it himself under local anathestic in the chair. So I sought a second opinion. My GP also looked over the results and agreed that unless I wanted it removed for cosmetic purposes the spot was fine to stay. So stay it has. I will continue to keep and eye on it and monitor any changes.

So that’s it, a round up of my most popular posts for 2016. I will be taking a week or two off blogging to enjoy some time with my family but I’ll be back in 2017, that’s for sure. But for now, that’s a wrap!

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What I learnt in 2016

At the beginning of 2016 I began twelve months long service leave from my part time job in local government. Taking the year off work meant that I could take my son to and from kindergarten and spend some quality time with him before he started school. I’m so glad I took that time. I’m glad I was able to be there. 2016 was a year of change and realisations for me, here’s some things I learnt:

  • We were wasting a lot of money: I took my LSL at half pay, which meant that I was on half the income I had been on for the past five years. It surprised me how little this affected us. I found myself wondering what I used to do with that extra money? It made me realise we can always live on less just by making a few minor changes. It also made me realise how lucky we are. We are in a fortunate position. We aren’t rich by any means but we live a comfortable life. We have big plans for that extra money when I go back to work. We know we can live without it now so will be saving it and making some good investments for the future.
  • Working from home doesn’t work for me: I hadn’t planned it, but I ended up working from home for the majority of this year. I fell into a few opportunities and also chased some. I always thought I would love working from home (it’s the dream right?) and I did but it also has its own set of challenges. I realised I like getting up, getting dressed and going to work in an office with other people. Working from home can get lonely. It can be hard to switch off, the lines between personal/family life and work life become blurred. And it’s super hard when you have a kid to look after at the same time. Kudos to all you work from home parents out there!
  • I am a writer: I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to say that and not feel like an absolute fraud (ok maybe I do still feel like a bit of a fraud). This year I started to make money from my writing but more than that I had other people tell me that I was a good writer. People outside of my own friends and family. I became more connected with my writing and came to understand just how important it is to me, how much a part of me it is. How much I truly love it.
  • I can’t just be: I am forever doing stuff. I can’t sit still, I can’t switch off. I’m always doing more than one thing at a time. I feel guilty when I relax, there is always other things I ‘should’ be doing. This is something I know that I really need to work on.
  • I learnt what true friendship is.
  • Time goes fast: I mean I knew this, we all do, but wow, I actually can’t believe it’s been a whole year! I can’t believe our little man will be at school next year. I can’t believe I’ll be back at work soon. Sometimes I look back and think what did I do with that time? Did I achieve enough? Did I make the best of it? But it is what it is. And at the end of the day I was there every day to pick my son up from kinder and that was what it was really all about.

I learnt a lot in 2016 and I’m sure I’ll learn even more in 2017 because in life you never stop learning and that’s a great thing!

What did you learn in 2016?

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Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

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Since writing this post about my recent struggles with anxiety I’ve had many people email and message me suggesting different things to try that might help. I am always open to suggestions and have tried many different things over the years and will continue to do so. I am not anti-medication and I do believe that for some people, this is needed. For me, I knew a couple of months ago that I was in need of something more. I was struggling with everyday life, struggling to leave the house and that just wasn’t ok. So I went to my GP, we discussed it and I am now on some new medication. It is helping but that doesn’t mean I have stopped working on natural ways to manage it. I guess I just want to be really open about the fact that I am taking medication because I’m not ashamed about it and I don’t ever want anyone else to be either. The only thing I will say is that if you do ever decide to take medication (for anything really) is it important that this is done in partnership, and under the close supervision, of a trusted doctor. It is important to understand what you are taking, why you are taking it and the risks associated. Always follow the dosage your doctor prescribes and never start or stop without first seeking medical advice.

Ok, enough about that, what I really wanted to share with you today is some other things that I have tried over the years to help manage my anxiety. Some have worked, some haven’t. But I share them here today in the hope that if you suffer from anxiety, maybe they might just help you! Please remember, I am not a doctor or an expert, I am just somebody who has lived with anxiety for many years and am still figuring it for myself.

Research and understanding: Over the years I have done a lot of research on anxiety. I’ve found the more I understand it, the less afraid of it I become and the more confident I feel in managing it.  My favourite book of all time on the subject is Power Over Panic by Bronwyn Fox. It’s an easy, relatable and informative book that I had reread a number of times. There is also a companion book called Working Through Panic. I would highly recommend both. My advice is to stay away from Dr Google; the internet can often be unreliable and overwhelming but you can try asking your doctor their suggestions for helpful websites and online resources. My GP recently gave me a list of websites which provide information and free courses for people experiencing anxiety that you may like to check out:

mentalhealthonline.org.au

moodgym.anu.edu.au

mycompass.org.au

Counselling: I have been to counselling on and off for several years and I am not ashamed to admit that. Personally, I think everyone can benefit from counselling. When it comes to managing anxiety, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is highly recommended. This type of therapy helps to unlock and challenge the negative thoughts you may have that are causing your anxiety. At the end of the day I really think talking helps and having the guidance of a professional who understands anxiety can be life changing. It’s really important to find a counsellor that you feel comfortable with so don’t be afraid to try a few different ones (I have!) until you find one that you really like.

Meditation and mindfulness: I know this can be so helpful in managaing anxiety. I also know I’m slack and just don’t practice it enough…but I really need to start to make it more of a priority. Learning how to breath properly, slow down your breathing, be present, be aware of your thoughts and learn to stay in the moment is key to combating anxiety and it’s all learnt through meditation and mindfulness. There are some great free apps and podcasts out there that provide guided meditations that you can listen to and do anywhere. My current favourites are Calm, Smiling Mind, and The Meditation Podcast.

Get healthy: You need to look after yourself. It’s as simple (and as hard) as that. This is something I am constantly working on. Healthy body equals healthy mind! You need to eat right, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. I always find my anxiety is worse when I’m tired. Get outside, enjoy some fresh air and sunshine..I find that always helps.

Herbs and Tea: A few months ago I visited a Naturopath and was given some herbal supplements (in tablet form) to take. Apparently turmeric is very good for anxiety. For me, I didn’t find it made a big difference but my anxiety was really quite high by that point so maybe if I had gone earlier it may have helped to prevent me getting to that point.  I’ve also been drinking herbal tea before bed each night to help me sleep. I’ve been using Sleepy Soul from Love Tease.

Crystals: Some people might think it’s a load of hippy crap; me? Well I’m willing to try anything and figure it can’t do any harm so why not! I recently purchased some crystals and often carry them with me. I’ve been told the best place to put them is inside your bra. For a list of crystals that are believed to help anxiety see HERE.

Oils: Many people swear by the healing powers of oils…and they sure do smell nice! My favourite calming scent is lavender. I burn it in a diffuser every night before bed and also carry a vile of it to sniff and dab onto my pulse points if I’m feeling anxious. I’m told Doterra is the place to go for essential oils.

So that’s a few of the things I use to manage my anxiety. Have you tried any of these? Do you have any other suggestions?

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True Friendship

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They say there are three types of friends in life; friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime. Growing up I always had friends. I wouldn’t have ever called myself popular but I always had friends, at least the type of friends one has when they’re young; friendships that are fickle. One day your ‘best friends forever’ and the next day you’re not. I’ve had many friends come and go over the years.

During my teenage years I had a close circle of girlfriends, we’d have sleepovers and pass notes to each other in class. Towards the end of high school I moved to a new town and changed schools and it left me in no mans land. I tried hard to stay close with my friends at my old school but always felt a bit out of the loop. I tried to make friends at my new school but never felt like I really fitted in.

Friendships in my twenties consisted of my then boyfriend (now husbands) friends and the people I worked with. Conversation basically revolved around what had happened on the night out before or work; even outside of work. But then we grew up. People broke up. Others finished their uni degrees and moved on to different work. To this day I remain in contact with a few of those original work friends, and one in particular has gone on to be one of my closest friends…we still bitch about work but our friendship these days is based on so much more than that.

Now I’m in my thirties (and a parent) and I feel like I’ve finally hit the golden years of friendship. It’s the years when you discover your best friends really are your husband, your mum and your sister. It’s the years where you figure out who you are, walk away from toxic friendships and have no time for people who only ever call when they want something. I’m surrounded by good people, good friends. There are those friends that I may not see that often but know if ever I need them, they’d be there in a second. We can go for months without seeing each other and it’s like time never passed.

Then there are those friends that I see more often, on a weekly or sometimes even daily basis. These friends have been my saving grace these past few months.
My bestie (who I’ve written about here before), she’s the one who waits for me in the car park everyday at kinder because for me, just knowing she is there if I have a panic attack is enough to make me not have one. She’s also the one I called the day I had a massive panic attack at the check out at the supermarket and I had to walk out leaving my trolley full of shopping behind. She was there within five minutes to pay for and collect my shopping. No judgement. Ever.

Then there’s the new friend I’ve made this year (who also happens to now be my boss) but who I feel like I’ve been friends with forever. She’s the one who’s reintroduced me to the art of the telephone conversation. When I first started working with her I would email her (having worked in local government for over a decade, that’s just the way we communicate) and then she would call me. I would text her and then she would call me. I pretty quickly figured out she liked talking on the phone, a rarity these days and so it was a weird for me to start with. But now? I love those daily (sometimes three or more times daily) phone conversations. We get each other, without need for explanation and that’s a really nice thing to have.

I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and I know the people who are in my life are meant to be here, right now, for a reason (and hopefully a lifetime). I now know exactly what true friendship is and I’m lucky to have an abundance of it in my life.

Are you surrounded by true friends?

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