A hot mess, for real.

This is a story about a girl. One who was living her life as best she could.  With some extra struggles over and above your average person, but nothing she couldn’t handle. Migrains and bloating where the main struggles. Not being able to fit in her work shirts anymore, thinking she was putting on weight but only in the belly.  Pop some painkillers for the migraines and throw on a oversized shirt and off she went, good as new. 

Jump forward 2 months… and here she is, laying in bed, trying to take her mind off her impending surgery in just over 30 hours.  

You see, that girl is me. There was never a day in my 34 years that I thought I would be in this position.  I am the one laying here in bed, struggling to come to terms with the fact that I have to have major surgery first thing Monday morning.

A couple of months ago I woke up feeling unwell.  It was a cold. I also had a mild pain in my stomach and so when I saw the GP, I mentioned it. A new clinic and new GP.  I also mentioned my bloating, just out of the blue as I was sent packing with IBS medicines each time I mentioned to any other doctors, so I didn’t expect anything different this time.

I had questioned my bloating to 5 other GP’s in the previous few months with them all commenting that it was normal for females to have bloating and there is just nothing you can do, or they would tell me it’s IBS.  

For the firt time, this GP felt my stomach and instantly commented “that’s not right”. He told me he could feel a lump. 

The next week was a blur of tests. 3 Ultrasounds, full blood work and a papsmear.  

There is nothing like the doctor pulling and pushing and then going to get a second GP to do the same. So having two of them down that end with one with their arm up you like a bloody cow (whilst looking in your eyes! – please note this is not right GPs, don’t look us in the eyes as you’re ferreting around up there!) whilst telling you they can’t find what their looking for wasn’t very soothing.

A week later I find myself at a specialist office at the hospital, giving me another exam, because the first one wasnt enough! Then the next week, more bloods an MRI, a CT scan, followed by more bloods and then a referral to Gynocology Oncology. 

As I sit in the surgeons office with my better half and my father, through my bloodshot eyes, I see my MRI resultes on the screen and the surgeon tells me I have 30cm tumour on my uterus and I need to have a full hysterectomy.  

Not just some keyhole procedure though, but because I am so talented, and I grew my tumour nice and big, they are going to cut my whole stomach open with a verticle incision from my pubic bone to my chest bone. 

So many things run through my head.  Babies, surgery, dieing, the fact that the surgeon also told me that they are unsure if it is cancerous, but if it is, it could be very aggressive and I would have a 60% chance of living for 5 years. 

Unfortunately there is no alternative options, the mass is so big that it is killing itself on the inside to grow bigger so they tell me it’s starting to turn gangrene. 

I’m trying so hard to think positive, but until you have heard those words, it is very easy to tell people how to think and react.  

I will write again soon with an update, but in the meantime, please be sending me all of your positive vibes, good wishes and prayers. 

Love to you all xx 

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Live true to yourself

lIVE TRUE TO YOURSELFAs a childless 33-year-old female, I more often than not get put into the category of “career women”. If I don’t have children at this age, does that automatically mean I have to tick the career women checkbox?

A career woman is defined by Wikipedia as a woman whose main priority in life is achieving success in her career or profession. It may specifically refer to a higher interest in a career than in marriage and be having children. It can thereby be used in contrast to a housewife, or following the “mommy track”.

Society seems to enjoy categorising women into different boxes.  You are either in one box or another box and it is mandatory to tick a box. However, you can only pick one.  You either have children and choose to love unconditionally and wipe noses or you choose to follow a path of professional achievement where you partake in all day meetings and stress over budgets and sales targets.

So why does society say we have to choose one or the other.  Why can’t we be both? Or why do we have to be either?

I have friends who see themselves as both professionally successful and personally successful in that they are wonderful parents who are raising beautiful, well-respected children and have flourishing careers in high sector jobs.  They are achieving their career goals all while raising children.

Their children are not neglected by long hours in the office and their careers are not neglected by school drop-offs and sick children.  They structure their day to achieve everything they need to.  They are both career women and on the “baby track”.

On the flip side, I am 33 years old and I am neither.  I am not a mummy, nor am I a career woman.  Yes, I have a job and it allows me to eat a decent meal and keep a roof over my head, but it is not a career. I am not looking to achieve professional success, I simply work to live a life where I can achieve personal success with my hobbies and goals.

I am simply a woman living a life true to myself and not what others want or expect of me.  I call it like it is, and I encourage other women to live a happy and fulfilling life, whatever that looks like for them.

So how can we change the outdated view of what we are and who we are based on our reproductive system and what we do when we get out of bed?  How do we ensure we are viewed as individuals and women and not what we have, what we do or who we have in our lives?

We have to ensure we are living a true and honest life, doing what we want and when we want and making sure we are not the ones categorising ourselves.

Simply live a life that makes you happy.  Be whatever you want to be, be one or be all, or be nothing, but just make sure you be yourself and don’t let others dictate how you should live your life.

Have that child or don’t, have that career or don’t, get married or don’t. It is all up to you.  Do everything YOU want to do and you can have it all and be successful based on your own goals.

I am going to write my own box from now on. It will say AWESOME hot mess! and that is the one I will tick, as that is me to a T.

xx

Me time… You time…

Lately, I have started painting first thing in the morning.
We all get stuck in a morning routine and we all curse and moan (well I do!) that we have to go back to the office (or wherever it is that you may work) or have to get the kids ready for school etc AGAIN.

Painting is my new morning routine, where I don’t think about anything, I don’t think about the pending stresses of work, all the chores I have to do or the big one… finances.  I simply tune out to the world and paint my little heart out.

I also find that I paint better in the morning, sleepy-eyed and in my pyjamas!

It is my ME time.  I don’t have children, but I still find that most of my time is spent between work, chores and solving other people’s problems, so I don’t often get time to myself.

What do you do when you need some time out?  Are you an artist, do you paint or sketch? Do you read a book or go to the movies by yourself? When was the last time you took some time out for yourself?  Can you even remember?

In such a busy world, we need to remember to take time out for ourselves.

Too often, we focus our time and energy on everyone else around us that we forget to take care of yourself. Everyone needs a break at times. Some time to think, some time to enjoy our own company.

On so many occasions, I have seen people focus their time and energy on their partners, their children, work and chores, that the stress builds up and before they know it, they are struggling. Unmotivated to change because it all just seems too hard.  This often ends in depression, anxiety and can also have worse effects on some.  Life can get us down, we can be too busy to realise we are on the path to a stress overload and are at a risk of being burned out.

So I challenge you!

Take some time out for yourself this week.  For my fellow Aussies, it is a long weekend this weekend.  Take some time for yourself. Discover a new hobby that you enjoy… and continue this.  A few hours every week is not too much to ask for.

Just enjoy your own company and do something that you love. Read, paint, sketch, do your nails, build something for yourself, meditate or simply just sit and relax. You will feel light and happy once you start to make this a regular date with yourself.  Trust me!

What will you do?

xx

Living Mindful

Living Mindful

With the recent 12 month anniversary of my Grandfathers passing, I have been thinking about life.

My Grandfather (Pappa) lived a good life up until a few years ago, but even in the past few years he still had his happy moments. He suffered from dementia in the final years however he still enjoyed his family and he loved to play the harmonica.

So with him and his longevity fresh in my mind, it makes me wonder if my life is going to be as substantial as his.  Am I going to live a long and happy life until I am 94 too?

Only we are in charge of the way we live our lives.  So how do we ensure we get to live a long and happy life?  There are no guarantees in life, but there are ways to ensure we improve our life now. And if we improve our life now, we will have a better chance of continuing along on this happy and healthy path to living a long life.

Practicing mindfulness is one way to still your life and be thankful for the beauty in this world.  Being mindful allows you to see things from a different light and to really take the world in and appreciate where you are and what you are doing.

More often than not, we are too busy to notice the things around us.  We are rushing to our jobs, rushing to meet deadlines, rushing to pick up children and rushing to get dinner prepared and kids to bed.

If you stop to take in your surrounds even for just a minute, you can simply enjoy life to the fullest.  When you are rushing to get to work, look up, look around you. Notice the blue sky, notice the birds chirping, notice the landscape that you are so lucky to be able to enjoy.  When you are rushing to get dinner on the table, stop to appreciate the ingredients, appreciate the fact that you can afford these ingredients and stop to appreciate the meal you have cooked.

If you stop to appreciate the small stuff around you, you will realise that your life has more beauty in it than you would have ever imagined and you have more to be thankful for than you have ever known before.

Being mindful is just one way that you can slow down, as the days are going by so fast and the more we rush and hurry through life, the more stress we will encounter and the shorter and more hectic our lives will be.

Don’t let time and life get away from you.  Appreciate what you have and the people in your life and enjoy the moments while you have them. Practice being mindful every day and you will notice a shift in your moods, your stress levels, and your behaviour and in turn, this will enable you to start living positively and healthily that will ultimately turn into a long life just like my Grandfather (Pappa).

I am consistently working on this. I lose track a lot, but if you are like me, just keep trying.  One day it has to stick surely. In the meantime, just try on a daily basis

 

20151003_114727.jpgIn loving memory of Pappa (Jack Taylor)

03.10.1921 – 06.08.2016

RIP, Forever in our hearts

(Picture: Pappa playing his harmonica for 3 generations of family members on his birthday)

 

Do you have a vision and mission for your life?

Do you have a vision and mission for your life-

I have been thinking a lot lately, and yes, we all know that can be dangerous!  However… I have been thinking about values and visions/missions.  We all know that a business should have a mission, vision, and values to run successfully, but how many of us actually have these for our own personal life?

Some would say it just comes naturally, what you are passionate about is what you do in life.  But others could disagree and say that we do what gets us by and this is not always our passion. We don’t always live by our mission or our vision for our lives, let alone follow our values to a tee.

So, do you have a vision and set of values or a mission you live by in your personal life?

What are you passionate about, does this become your vision?

I am a person who wants to live life to the fullest and enjoy every minute.  I want my life to be fun, happy and fulfilling. So in light of this, I have been wondering what my values and vision is in life.  What am I here to do?  If I know my vision and have a list of values and a mission, will this lead me to fulfilment and a life full of happiness?

So, if I was to sit down and think about what my VALUES are… I guess they would be:

  • Happiness
  • Love
  • Fun
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Inspiration

My VISION would be:

To lead a happy and fulfilling life for me and motivate others to do the same.

And so with that said… my MISSION would be:

To achieve my vision by;

  • Encouraging strength and guidance for others
  • Motivating others through my written work
  • Leading by example
  • Taking risks and jumping into life without hesitation
  • Having endless amounts of fun and laughing at myself and with others

So, now that I have this information, I guess it is safe to say I am on the right path to living true to myself.  I have my blog and my bucket list I live life through… a list of everything I have ever wanted to do and I am doing these things on a daily basis.

So what are you doing to ensure you a living true to your vision and your values? Do you know what you passionate about and what will lead you to live a happy life?

Why not give it a go, write down what your values are and what makes you a better person and see if you can use these as a guideline for life.

Once you know how you want you your life to turn out, you can then follow through by writing goals. These goals will ultimately help you to succeed with your vision for your life.

xx

The list…

With exactly one month until my birthday, I am starting to get asked what I would like for gifts.
Normally my response is ‘I don’t need anything’ and in return I get told “I am not asking what you need, I’m asking what you want!”

So I decided to go back through my bucket list to see if I can get any ideas.  I have a list of over 100 things, made up of big travel goals, expensive one off purchases, small achievable goals and simple tasks and absolutely random ideas.

I sat down one day, and just wrote whatever popped into my head. It was so raw. I didn’t give myself time to think, which meant I couldn’t talk myself out of writing something down.  I didn’t have time for self doubt or to think about the conseques of different items.

By doing this, I felt like I had an honest list of everything that was in my conscious at that particular time. 

That was August 2012. Since then I have ticked different items off and also added more.  In 5 years, I have marked off nearly 70  items and added just as many.  

So one month out from my 34th birthday, not only am I looking through the list for some birthday gift ideas, (bridge climb, take a cooking class, learn pottery, complete a large puzzle, fly a kite, name a star, go to the ballet…) But I am also looking for something I might be able to do before my birthday.  

One thing that stands out to me is to finish my journalism diploma.  I have one assignment to complete to finish it because with the year I have had, I  dropped the ball and never did that last assignment. 

I need to take the leap and finish it. I work better with deadlines and stress so I have decided to give myself one month.  A month to research, plan, interview, write, proof and submit.  

Wow that is alot, but I know I can do it.  I did 11 modules in 5 months (yes, that is crazy insane but I did it) so one month to do the final big assessment should be a breeze right?

And because I like to challenge myself, I am going to find a few more items to tick off within the month. 

Here are 10 items from the list that I am considering. I probably can’t do them all in a month. I will just choose a few.

1. Find a street with my name ‘Loren St’ and take a photo.

2. Do a pay-it-forward good deed.

3. Have a proper picnic, picnic rug, basket etc.

4. Learn about chakras.

5. Leave an inspirational message for a stranger.

6. Spend a whole day disconnected from technology.

7. Practice origami.

8. Spend time with an old friend.

9. Paint a portrait ‘Ahn Do’ style.

10. Fold 1000 origami cranes.

I challenge you to start your own list. Write down whatever comes to your head. Just writing the list is enough to motivate you.  But just wait until you start to tick the items off, you will notice how your life starts to improve. You feel like you are accomplishing something, even if they are small items. You will be taking control of your life and really living, not just getting by.  

Try it, and feel free to share some of your items. I can’t upload my full list as some items are surprises for my family and friends who read my blog, but as I write more on this subject, I will share more of my list. 

Xx

The year that just keeps giving.

The year that just keeps

In July 2016 I was so excited, I was on my way to Hawaii with two of my girlfriends. Ready to have a fantastic time. Work was great, I was at the top of my game.  I was earning the big bucks and working from home, which was my dream.  My partner and I where at a really good place. Overall I was happy. I was feeling content with life.

Fast forward 14 months and life is completely different.  I could have never imagined this is where I would be at the end of 2017. I honestly thought 2017 was going to be ‘my year’.

As it creeps closer to my birthday, I always tend to reflect on what has happened for the year and as I look back, I get a overwhelmed by how this year has panned out, however I don’t have any regrets as I have changed as a person and for the better.

Like I said earlier, I was sitting pretty in a high paying job, working from home, going overseas on holidays, travelling for work nationally.  Things were ideal.

Then it all fell apart.  Firstly my Grandfather past away, which was sad, but he lived a good life and was 93, so while it was sad, it was also a celebration of his life. He was a loved character of the family, however he had been unwell in the months leading to his passing, so when he did, it was a relief that he was in a better place.

Then 2 weeks later I was told that my job was being made redundant. After almost 9 years of blood, sweat and tears (literally!).  The Directors of the business didn’t have the passion anymore and where giving up on the association. They had decided to merge with a competitor who had all their own staff, so didn’t need any of the current staff.

It took me a long time to find another job. It took months, many many interviews, being told I was too qualified, not qualified enough.  That my skills were too broad, that I didn’t have specific technical skills. It was simply rejection after rejection.

This didn’t sit well with me as I was already feeling rejected after losing my job. Then to have months of further rejection hit hard. I started to suffer from anxiety and mild depression. Doctors wanted to put me on anti depressants and anxiety medication, but I wouldn’t allow it.  I knew once my luck would change, I would start to feel better again, so I just tried to stay positive.

It wasn’t until early January when things finally picked up a little.  I managed to get a job.  Just a casual job, but at that stage I would have taken anything offered. Money was tight (still is), working casual and only 4 days a week has been a big adjustment financially.  Money stresses followed.  Going from earning great money and having savings and money to buy whatever I wanted, to barely scraping by, stretching out every dollar to be able to afford rent and food.

The battle of depression and anxiety is still prevalent, but I push through and continue to try and stay positive. It is all you can do when life just hasn’t been kind over and over for the year.

A good friend of mine said to me that it sucks that I had to go through all the crap with my job and as I responded, I came to the realisation that yes it did suck, but it was for the best. It was meant to happen. If it didn’t, I would still be putting all my effort in to a business that didn’t have a passionate board behind it, and it was inevitable that it would have changed in the long run anyway.

I grew from the experience, I became a stronger person, a better communicator. I learnt what my strengths and weaknesses are. I used the experience to grow and become a different person.  I am not a push over anymore, I don’t just jump when someone says jump.  I have learnt to say no and know that I don’t need to give a reason. I have learn’t what my passion is and I was forced to evaluate my life and what I want in my future.

If the struggles of this year didn’t happen, I would still be the same old person, in the same old job. Not living. Not growing. Not experiencing new things and tackling new challenges.

So for the first time in 14 months, I appreciate that life has been unkind this year. And it is still being unkind, but that is a whole other long-ass post. Life is still throwing me curve balls as I write this, but I will tackle it the same way as I have done in the past and treat it as a time for growth, change and learning about who I am and what I want in my future.

If I could give any advice it would be to embrace change. It may seem like your life is falling apart or things are changing, but in the end there is a lesson to be learnt and the ultimate change is that you will grow and become a better person.  You learn ways to cope and you learn ways to move through change with confidence and come out the other side with knowledge and skills you never knew you had.

It is cliche but “things happen for a reason” and whether you know that reason yet or not, it will come to fruition at some point. And it may not be now, it may not be next month, but at some point in the future you will be thankful for what you went through and be in a place where you can be happy again.

Keep fighting through, life is not bad, it is just a bad day (or year in my case), but it isn’t forever.

xx

 

Why do we care?

THIRTY SOMETHINGe (2)

I have always loved to write.  I can remember writing stories and poetry when I was a kid right through to my teenage years. My parents were very encouraging of all my creative hobbies as they are ‘creative’ too.

Being creative is in the blood. Ever since I was a child I have had a pencil in my hand. As well as writing, drawing has also been a huge part of my life from very early on.

The drawing continued into my teen years and I swapped my writing for photography.  I have studied the arts and photography and have been lucky enough to be successful in selling my art throughout my adult years.

I go through stages in my life where I am drawing for months, then I move back to my photography and then back to my art.

Writing has been creeping back in for the last 10 years or so though. I have started other blogs, I’ve written stories and had ideas floating around in my head for many years.

The one thing that has stopped me though is the thought of people judging me. Judging my writing and judging my personality. Family and friends reading my every thought scares me ten-fold.

Letting my guard down is one of my weaknesses. I am not sure where this barrier has come from. I can quite easily write for strangers and the general public. That doesn’t bother me at all. But the thought of letting my friends and family into view what’s in my head scares the shit out of me.

Why do we care so much? Family and friends (true friends) shouldn’t judge and simply love you for you, right? And they should encourage you to be the best you can be, right?

Why do we care about what others think of us? Isn’t being your true self, being honest with yourself and doing what you love and what makes you happy more important than what anyone else thinks?

How do we get over that fear of letting people in, letting the walls crumble down and opening up to a whole new world of personal satisfaction, creativity and love?

I have held back with so many things in my life, simply from my fear of being judged. So many unfinished projects. So many goals and dreams I have never persued.

I think the answer might be just to do it. Just take the leap into the unknown.  I might fail miserably, but I may also succeed.  And if I succeed, imagine the possibilities.

Those possibilities excite me.  They get me pumped to really give it my all.  Writing has always been my passion and my ultimate career goal from as early as I can remember, which is why I get so angry at myself for not giving it my all and not sharing it with my loved ones.

Well today, I am going to jump.  I am going to take that leap.

This blog, while only very new, is open to the public. However, I am yet to tell any of my friends or family. I plan to make the announcement on my Facebook page today.

If you want to follow on, like my page on Facebook @thirtysomethingandahotmess.

I may fly or I may fall in a heap.  But without taking that leap it will just be another thing I have given up due to my insecurities.

We can’t let our insecurities limit us in life. We have to let go and live.  Make our mark on this world before we go.  If we don’t, why where we even here?

Here I go….. ready to fly…

xx

Social Media VS Reality

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This is a topic everybody is aware of.  The fun, happy, beautiful and put together you and the hot mess that you really are.

If you use social media you will have an online presence that is somewhat different to your reality.

You know what I am talking about, those 300 selfies on your phone that are evidence that it takes 300 to get just one that you are happy with to upload to the socials.  For every food shot that you post there are 320 meals that you have prepared that are not photogenic.  For every great home decor shot you take there are 3 other rooms in your house that have suffered and look like a teenagers bedroom.  For every smiling pose with your children, there are 6 billion where someone is throwing a tantrum (parents and children!).

Social Media has turned the everyday person in to celebrities.  You strive for the perfection of celebrities where they have been airbrushed and look like a million dollars. You very rarely see the ‘real’ person unless a tabloid is doing a stars without make-up section.

No one is who they seem on social media, yet we still seem to expect perfection from ourselves and others.  Perfection is not reality.  No body is perfect, some people think very highly of themselves and think they are perfect, but we all have flaws.  It is what makes us individual and gives us our passions and hobbies.

Imagine a life where we were all perfect.  It means we would all look the same, all talk the same, all have the same hobbies.  The world would be a very boring place.  No one would be interesting, because perfection means we would all fit into the ‘perfect’ mould and be replicas of each other. Think ‘Stepford Wife’ robots.

Embrace your unique traits and quirkiness. Embrace that you are not perfect because it means you are not the same as every other person on earth. It means that you can excel at some things and fail miserably at others.  It means that you can have goals and dreams and grow and learn and look forward to your future.

From one hot mess to the rest, don’t strive for something that is not a reality.  Have goals, have dreams but ensure they are real.

xx

The Morning Drag

THIRTY SOMETHINGe

As I age, I have noticed it is becoming increasingly harder to get out of bed in the morning.

I used to be so chipper, a morning person if you will.  I would jump out of bed and be motivated for the day.

Lately, I can’t even motivate myself enough to open my eyes.  It takes me a good half an hour to even contemplate moving before I lay in bed for another half an hour simply dreading getting up.

My eyes are sore, my body is sore and my head is screaming “don’t get up!”.

4 alarms later and I roll out of bed looking like a bratwurst sausage rolling out of a frypan.

I need to get a better morning routine. This routine turns me into a depressive hot mess.  So in my procrastinating state this morning, delaying actually dragging my corpse out of bed, I googled how to get motivated for the day.

Here are some top tips. I will give them a try….tomorrow.

1. Have your alarm set as your favourite song.

2. Get straight out of bed and make the bed so you are not tempted to get back in.

3. Wash your face. This wakes you up and makes you feel a little refreshed straight away.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast as soon as you can.

5. Do some form of exercise. Even if it is only for 10 -20 minutes. Something that will quickly get your heart pumping and you metabometabolism going. Go for a walk, vacuum the house, dance around the lounge room, do some yoga or ride a bike.

6. Plan something exciting for the day. Something to look forward to and motivate you for the day. Maybe it’s stopping for your favourite coffee on the way to work, it could be a lunch date with friends or a romantic date with your significant other after work.

7. Remember that your time could end at any point. In 50 years or in 5 minutes. So don’t waste your time laying in bed sleeping those precious moments away, get out into this huge world and make memories, leave your mark on the world.

8. Stop procrastinating, women/man up and get shit done!

Now get your beautiful hot mess of an ass up out of bed and get out there and live your best life.

I’m up! And if I can do it, you can to.

Let’s rock!

xx