It's been two months since I last posted here. TWO WHOLE MONTHS! Which isn't really that long in the scheme of things....but it is in blogosphere terms, especially when I used to blog up to 5 times a week in the past. I logged into my site for the first time in 8 weeks tonight expecting to see cobwebs and the sound of crickets and my statistics sitting around sub-zero temperatures....however to my surprise my numbers are still the same as they were earlier this year when I was in the brunt of daily writing. So, thank you to all of you who have been checking in regularly and going back through old posts. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
So, why 2 months between posts?! Well....life has been busy. Really busy. Full-time teaching mixed with family life mixed with looking after myself mixed with a bit of Soul searching mixed with a change of speed/priority/direction has all taken every ounce of my time these past 8 weeks.
Last Friday I celebrated my 34th birthday. It was a public holiday here on the Gold Coast which was the best possible way to spend a birthday if you ask me. I slept in (til 7am!) and was greeted by excited kids, wrapped presents and a hot coffee from Hubby. We then smashed out a family 4km run (kids on bikes) around the lake and then my gorgeous friend had us over for a beautiful home-cooked lunch. Later that evening we headed to the local Italian restaurant where my 2 families and my childhood best friend dined with me and celebrated life with me. Perfection in a day really!
I can't help but reflect a little each year as my birthday clicks around. Isn't it amazing how much can change over the span of a year?! Gosh, to think where we were a year ago to where we are now blows my mind. Sometimes the hours, the days, the moments feel slow, but in retrospect they're flying by. And fast.
Last year on my birthday I wrote a list of 33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years. Instead of adding to that list I wanted to reflect in a different way, with a little recap of WHO I NOW AM...AT 34...
- I am a full-time Prep teacher at a local State School and I LOVE my job! (For the past 8 years I have worked part-time as a teacher, or been on parental leave and focussed on raising my babies and working freelance from home. The return to full-time work this year has been a GOOD thing for me and our family in so many ways. Yes, challenging and sometimes hard and always exhausting, but rewarding and fitting)
- I am a sometimes blogger. This has been a BIG adjustment for me. I was blogging/writing/freelancing/social media managing full-time prior to this year and it was something I first struggled to let go of, but now have accepted and know it was the right decision to step back from.
- I am more in tune and interested in HEALTH than ever before. As I head towards my mid-thirties I am very aware and grateful of good health, and am doing all in my power to treat my body well and fuel it in the right way.
- I am a runner! No way I would've said this on my last birthday. However, these days, you'll find me living more and more in activewear and less and less in high-end, current fashion (sorry if that makes you squirm) and reading more and more inspirational articles on marathon runners & cardio health and less on where to buy the newest handbag line (eeks....should a fashion blogger be admitting this???). I recently spent my hard earned savings on a new Tom Tom running exercise/watch to keep track my runs and a pair of custom fitted Asics so I could run to the best of my ability and smash some upcoming goals. Claire from a year ago would've never handed over cash for that - however would easily drop that amount on a cocktail buzzed night out. After a crappy day at work; instead of wanting to curl up with a bottle of wine, I yearn to run. To lace up my shoes, pop in my earphones and simply RUN! I have become addicted to this sport and it's already leading into other interests with my husband.....hello cycling (as we research bikes at this very moment) and swimming, trail runs, bushwalking... triathlons haaa.
- I am calmer than the person I was this time last year. Yes, life is busy and we're constantly on the GO...but my stress levels aren't epic and I am learning to tackle my inner peace (slowly, but surely, I'm learning) I feel like I can tackle problems a lot better as I get older.
- I'm still madly in love with my husband. Even after 15 years together. In fact, I think I may know him better now than I did this time last year. And have a more deeper love for him than I did last birthday. Why? How? Huh? He's been on a MAMMOTH spiritual journey this past 13 months and I am sooo proud of the man he now is. (Don't get me wring, I've always adored the man, but things are different lately!) I believe he is his TRUE SELF now. The butterfly after the chrysalis. (No, I haven't gone all woo-woo. But as I said, life is VERY different to a year ago!) I feel loved and safe and trusted and respected. We're equal.
- Everyday I thank the universe for bringing me my 2 children & 2 step-children. I love being a Mum and will ALWAYS put my kids first. They are my EVERYTHING!! To be able to show them what a hard working, loving, dedicated, healthy, multitasking woman is capable of....THIS is my ultimate happy place!
- I am a Step-Nanna. Yep, at 34 I am a step-grandmother to a beautiful little 6 week old baby girl named Amara. She's all kinds of perfect. And a welcome (and needed) addition to this family. Nothing is more important than family ....and love...and learning to grow, accept, forgive and let go when it comes to family, partnerships and relationships.
- I'm alcohol-free! You may remember THIS POST about my husband's relationship with alcohol. Well....he is now over a year into his no alcohol journey and still has had NOT ONE DROP of the toxic stuff. In May, I set myself a 100 day challenge of no alcohol. I was curious if I could stick to such a challenge and wondered what affects it would have on my body. The 100 days passed on August 21st and I haven't had a drink as of yet. I'm not vowing that I'll never drink again, but I'm sure loving life without alcohol (no, this may not make sense to you, and thats ok!) so I'll see where this takes me and weigh up it's worth down the track. (Blog post to come...in fact it's half written!)
- I'm 8kg lighter than I was last birthday. Refer to point 3, 4 and 9! Simple science really.
- Instead of running myself into the ground by working around the clock and depriving myself of any sleep, relaxation or 'guilty me' time... I now log off of work and emails by 8:30pm and then devour old seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. There's no way Claire a year ago, would've done that. I was functioning on limited sleep, bad food and ridiculous, unachievable workloads.
- I am still as motivated and goal-orientated and passionate as ever, but I can't help but be drawn to different callings these past few months. I'm curious where my life is heading. But as excited as hell. Here's to new adventures....
Wow...now that I've put it all out on screen, it's blatantly obvious how different I now am and much growth and change has happened these past 12 months.
What does this all mean for Mum's Closet? Who knows? Not even me. But please stick around because my love for writing has not changed. I'm still digging for a new rhythm, a new purpose, and I'd love for you to hang with me ;)
So, tell me....fill me in....what's changed about YOU these past 12 months??? New job, new baby, new relationship, moved house, different goals? Please...I'd love to know...