Do you sometimes find yourselves in a down period, when you know you should be happy, but for some reason you cannot put your finger on, you are not?
Regular readers to my blog might know that I was "offered" redundancy/early retirement back in April 2015. I wasn't enjoying my workplace where I had been for the last nearly fifteen years, so I gratefully welcomed this change to my life as it meant that I could have more time to explore more creative areas of my life.
Life has been so busy since then....
Along with the usual family activities.....there has more time to walk in the mornings, I've attended a couple of art workshops (as well as running 2 photography workshops), lunches with friends, photographed a new cook book, danced in a couple of Flamenco shows, enjoyed two camping trips, tried new recipes (I recently started going to Spanish cooking lessons), spent time photographing wildflowers and I volunteer on Friday mornings in our local primary school library.
I won a photography competition "Against the Light" in September, met some wonderful people while being involved in photographing for the book "Ferguson Valley Plated" , walked with and interviewed volunteers on the Bibbulmum Track for a magazine article (coming out soon in Go Camping magazine), and had some of my photography displayed in a Spanish themed art exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.
August and September were very busy for me taking photos, in conjunction with another photographer, for the cookbook Ferguson Valley Plated. This is the first cookbook I had photographed and I felt very grateful for this great opportunity to gain experience and learn more, given to me by Kim from Peppermint Lane Lodge in the Ferguson Valley. Thank you Kim.
At the same time I was attending rehearsals three times a week for our Flamenco production "Ole" plus extra practice at home every day - well most days :). I have been doing Flamenco for the past three and a half years, and finally this year I think I am starting to "get it" thanks to the patience of my teacher and fellow members of Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company in Bunbury. Which goes to show you can learn a new dance style even at my age with no dancing background! I blogged about our show here - Ole-Celebrating 25 years of Flamenco
Here's a pic from our Flamenco and Tapas Soiree at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries on Sunday afternoon 25 October.
The day after the "Ole" production in September I received notification that I won the "Against the Light" photographic competition run by the WA Photographic Federation. I was completely overcome with emotion. Below you can see my photo on the front cover of the book, plus also our Spanish dance program and one of my pages from the cookbook. You can see more on the WAPF web page - Against the Light_WINNERS
Over this time I felt that life was running too fast. In fact I blogged about it way back in June before life really sped up! - Is Life Running too Fast?
"I'm loving this time I have been given to fly free, to explore new things, to find out who I really am. To step outside the square of retirement and to be open to the possibilities. To be true to myself."
Reading back over my post I certainly have been busy with opportunities that have come my way, but I don't know if I have quite found my new path. I wish the right one would hurry up and stand up!
Now all the froth and bubble of life has simmered down what now? I find myself with my days stretching before me, and I am not always enjoying my own time I have to do my own thing. We don't have to be happy all the time do we?
I am actually feeling low even though I have no need to be. I have a wonderful husband, family and friends, and I belong to very supportive writing, photography and dancing groups. I have health, food on the table, a comfortable house, and the time and dollars to do whatever I want with my days (within reason). We are planning my husband's retirement at the end of the year, and two trips away next year.
So there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for feeling like I am. I KNOW I have much to be GRATEFUL and THANKFUL for.
|Last rose - against the light|
Do you ever feel low for no reason? I don't know why it is. Perhaps I don't feel as useful as I did in the past. Perhaps it is the fact that I am fast approaching my next major "zero" birthday next month. Perhaps I feel like life is passing me by way too quickly and I still have so many things to do. Perhaps I feel like I haven't achieved anything or made a difference in my life. When I read back over my year I know this is silly.
I know it won't last. I will get over it. And life will be fine again. It is not that I don't have personal projects to be working on. They are scattered all over my computer desk.
Sometimes I think we just need to give ourselves space and permission to take time out in the garden with a cup of tea and a good book. Or just sit and ponder where we are at in life, what makes us happy and fulfilled, and what we need to move forward.
I need to take my own advice. And I know this feeling won't last and I'll pick myself up again.
I've just read Annabel Candy's blog post - The Happiness Project Review on her blog Get In the Hot Spot. She has listed great 23 tips for happiness from Gretchen Rubin's book. It seems like I'm not the only one after all! I've enjoyed scrolling through Annabel's blog this morning. There is lots of inspiration to find there, especially under Lifestyle & Wellbeing.
52 Exercises: How One Woman Dared to Deal With a Mid-Life Crisis
Katchy Marris has some fabulous tips for finding yourself over on her blog - Fifty Shades of Age - Finding Ourselves
Jo Castro's Lifestyle Fifty is a fabulous blog which talks about a range of issues for us Over50s. Jo says "I write Lifestyle Fifty to help empower older women like me to be have fun, make a difference, stay healthy, remain stylish and be happy."
Sadly soon I won't be in that age bracket - Oh there I go again!
|Tea in the garden with my mother's 1950's tea cups.|
But do you understand where I am coming from? Do you ever feel like that? What did you do about it? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
You might like to look at this stunning photographic series - Reflections of the Past - by Tom Hussey. The photos show an elderly person looking pensively at the reflection of his/her younger self in the mirror.
Are you surprised sometimes when you look in the mirror and expect to see your younger self? Do you still feel like your younger self? Where did all those years go?
And thank you so much for reading my ramblings today. I'm off to my Spanish cooking class. Tonight we are making Paella and Sangria. Here is our fabulous cooking teacher, my new Spanish friend, Montse - making a new life for herself and her family in a new country.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday