PennyToday I turn 43.

2016 picked me up by the scruff of my neck, kicked my arse, chewed me up and spat me
back out.

And I’m grateful.

It’s taken a few month of some serious introspective work, some full on counselling, the most beautiful energy healer in the world and a team of health professionals to keep me upright. But here I am.

Upright.

Some days I fall to my knees but I always end the day upright.

Breathing in. Breathing out.

Grateful for life circumstances taking me to a place of healing in the country.

Grateful for a tribe of friends whose hearts spill over with love and support, whose hands reach down to me on the floor and instead of trying to pull me back up to where they are because that’s where they want me, they just sit and listen and wrap their arms around me. They know where I need to be in that moment and they don’t try and change things. They just listen. My tribe knows who they are. There is not enough words in the world to express my love for you girls.

So, the tradition continues. Here is what I have learnt in my 43 years.

 

  • When I was 1 I learnt my brother was smarter than me. He would take me out of my playpen and climb in with his LEGO and leave me to freely wander. My mum learned to get two playpens.
  • When I was 2 I learnt that my mum was scared of graveyards because we would have to run past every single one. We lived across the road from one. We ran a lot that year.
  • When I was 3 I learnt that being the youngest cousin meant the eldest cousin hated you because he had to hold you in every photo, babysit you at every playground and double dink you on the bike.
  • When I was 4 I learnt that if you said you were going to kiss one of the boys at pre-school people would line up to watch. That’s when I discovered my knack for event management.
  • When I was 5 I learnt that skipping on a rug in front of an episode of Romper Room meant that you will split your lip open on the channel button.
  • When I was 6 I learnt that library bag fights got you into trouble.
  • When I was 7 I learnt that you should invite the girl who moves in across the road to play handball with you: 30 years and counting for our friendship now.
  • When I was 8 I learnt that I had had a growth spurt after I got stuck in the dirty linen basket during a game of hide and seek.
  • When I was 9 I learnt that opening a can of Two Fruits will slice the top of your finger off.
  • When I was 10 I learnt that I could play softball and became a regional rep with Mrs Woog which lasted one season. We also learnt girls who play softball were a little bigger and tougher than us, and that purple knickerbockers were not our pant of choice.
  • When I was 11 I learnt that if you volunteered to take the trophies for the end of year school presentation across the road to the function centre, you could write down the winners and ask people to pay you for that information when you returned to the schoolyard.
  • When I was 12 I learnt that boys thought throwing you in the urinal meant that they liked you.
  • When I was 13 I learnt that what you wore to the Blue Light Disco was more important than the mark you got in English.
  • When I was 14 I learnt that single sex classes just made the girls bitchier and the boys hornier.
  • When I was 15 I learnt that you think green taffetta and big hair is high fashion.
  • When I was 16 I learnt the principle of out-sourcing when Dad declared he wasn’t teaching me to drive.
  • When I was 17 I learnt that what you got in your English mark was more important that what you wore to your Year 12 formal.
  • When I was 18 I learnt that the uni bar was open during lecture hours.
  • When I was 19 I learnt that I wasn’t very good at assignment deadlines.
  • When I was 20 I learnt that jeans, RM’s, Country Road shorts, plaited belts, pearl necklaces and earrings or fob chains were the clothes of choice at uni and that a ute-driving country boyfriend with a massive bullbar (not a euphenism) were the accessory of choice.
  • When I was 21 I learnt that my parents were going their separate ways.
  • When I was 22 I learnt that living overseas was the only way I could cope with it.
  • When I was 23 I learnt that all Scottish men don’t look like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Throw a rock in Edinburgh and hit a Begbie lookalike.
  • When I was 24 I learnt that the crew cabins on the QE2 were NOTHING like the passenger cabins.
  • When I was 25 I learnt that Russian acrobatic pirates were not marriage material.
  • When I was 26 I learnt that my family needed me and it was time to go home.
  • When I was 27 I learnt that tiger print floor length coats and black leather pants were not an investment purchase.
  • When I was 28 I learnt that you shouldn’t get excited with the real estate agent and accidentally offer $100,000 over market value when you bid on your first property.
  • When I was 29 I learnt that the man who was under my nose at work for the last four years would put a ring on it.
  • When I was 30 I learnt that our Double Income No Kids lifestyle was the wealthiest place I would be for many years to come!! I wish I had appreciated that and the ability to sleep-in a little more ;-)
  • When I was 31 I learnt that by resigning from a company because you knew your job wasn’t the right fit for you means you get offered a better, higher paid job in that company.
  • When I was 32 I learnt that the M2 and I had a precarious relationship which culminated in a break up and a rental property in the Inner West.
  • When I was 33 I learnt that in one year you can get engaged, adopt a kitten, get married, move interstate and fall pregnant. I also learnt weddings were expensive, but sooooooo worth it.
  • When I was 34 I learnt that it was Adam and I versus the world when we discovered the business ethics (or lack thereof) of the people Adam took a business over from. I also learnt that people like that don’t matter because we had our first son.
  • When I was 35 I learnt that I had missed my calling and perhaps had a career in wrestling considering the grip I put on the midwife when she went to turn the epidural down BEFORE the 4 kilos plus of our second son had come out of you-know-where.
  • When I was 36 I learnt that starting my own business and having two children is the hardest yet most fulfilling thing I have ever done.
  • When I was 37 I learnt that I have never worked so hard and been paid so little but have never been loved so much.
  • When I was 38 I learnt that being on a preschool management committee was not a ceremonial position.
  • When I was 39 I learnt that taking your eye off the ball meant that it will smack you in the face.
  • When I was 40 I learnt that the angels will catch you when you step off  the cliff into your life purpose.
  • When I was 41 I learnt that having two kids at school gave you 20 hours a week and your sanity back.
  • When I was 42 I learnt that if I sit quietly, the answers will come and I will land in the right place.
  • When I was 43 I learnt that I deserved to be somebody’s first choice.

 

Breathing in. Breathing out.

And so it is. And so it shall be.