I lost and found myself in the last decade.

What new life challenges await me in the next decade?

When the decade started I was in my forties nearing the half century, now fifty is a distant memory and I am married to a sixty one year old, what the ‘F’, when did we become our parents?

During the past ten years, 3670 days, 87648 hours (allowing for the two leaps years 2008 and 2016) I became someone who I don’t recognise.

The person who was unstoppable, challenging, confident in her own skin and whose biggest regret in life was not being the first female fighter pilot now at times feels limited by choice, undecisive and fearful. Some of this loss of self has been influenced by events that have occurred in the past but just as much is consistent with normal aging and the affects of menopause. Well I’m not going to stand for it, no longer will I let the deterioration of who I once was continue, I intend to make this decade something special and action packed.

That sounds like a resolution for the next ten years, but actually when I look back, I managed to have an action packed decade filled with love, life and drama, all of which added to my every increasing collection of wrinkles. Yes I am different, yes I struggle with some things that I have not had to cope with before but rather than losing myself I have evolved, I have dug deep and achieved things in the past decade that I didn’t even think possible, I have overcome obstacles and I am a better different person, so I don’t recognise myself, change is constant and therefore maybe the resolution should be just keep pushing and challenging who you are and make more wrinkles.

Thankfully my eyesight has deteriorated to the point that I no longer see the wrinkles in sharp definition, so with a soft lens I have included a summary of 2010 – 2019 concentrating on what contributed to the laugh lines and not delved too much into the sad lines.

Laugh lines are what I thrive on and when I smile the face looking back at me is consistent with how I see life, happy, positive and sparkling, how I want to be and how I remember myself.

Laugh lines from the past decade include:

I became a grandmother early in 2010 and during the decade I have added two more darlings to the collection. Watching grandchildren learn and experience the world around them as they transform from babies to little people is AMAZING, probably because you are usually not the ones responsible for the clean up’s and constant sleepless nights that go hand and hand with babies. Experiencing the birth of one of them was also very special, made even more so because I was not that present during the birth of my own children due to the copious amounts of gas required at the time.

Witnessing the amazing transformation of how someone struggling on a daily basis with pain and mental illness can become successful in managing life and fighting for the future. Supporting journeys of struggle is hard but the sense of joy and pride when that person turns the corner and sees HOPE definitely brings out the smiles.

Choosing health and wellness by setting and ACHIEVING GOALS. Last decade I competed in an ironman, nine half ironman events and a number of smaller multisport, cycling and open water events clocking up many kilometres and hours of dedicated training, joy comes from crossing the finish line and knowing that you have committed and completed the challenge that you set yourself.

Helping my hubby to choose health and wellness, he joined the triathlon family in late 2010 and also has completed numerous half ironman and an ironman and now is addicted to cycling. I smile when I see him pull on his cycling kit, it is as if he suddenly becomes ten years younger as he is doing something he loves with people that bring out the best in him. USO has changed his life.

Holidays in the sun are good for the soul and the laugh lines, whether it is on a tropical island or at our local beach something about being in and near the water is REJUVENATING. Destressing is so important, especially when life is hectic and full of demands.

Becoming a day to day mum again as we rescued our grandson into our care six years ago and the laughter and smiles just keep on coming. Yes, times are tough and the demands on our energy and patience are sometimes stretched beyond believe but the joy and love of helping to keep this child safe and secure outweigh all of these. Smiles come often but the joy when you see a HAPPY child making their way in the world is pure gold.

I started a new business and have been self employed for the past four years and I started writing a blog both of which are challenging and bring me joy and pride.

Sad lines are the ones that I don’t enjoy, forged from red eyes filled with tears and an aching heart, the face looking back is joyless and haggard.

Sad lines from the past decade include:

Losing those that are dear to us is one of the cruellest things of life that we have to learn to endure, last decade my hubby and I experienced a lot of loss with my Dad, aunties and uncles, friends and mentors. Two of our friends took their own lives which was particularly painful as we are always left wondering what else we could have done. Three dogs were also lost to us during this time, pets are family and leave just as big a hole as humans. GRIEF is hard, but time must be given to the emotion of the loss.

PAIN and injury are debilitating and both of us have suffered with this during the decade but thankfully going into the new decade this is mostly under control, so fingers crossed. Good health is so critical and something that can’t be bought.  

Watching on as people struggle against their demons and not being able to help other than be there.

Anxiety and stress, when times like this occur I try to use the words from the Frozen song ‘LET IT GO’ but I generally resort to listening to music to take my mind off things and chew gum so as not to over breath.

Deterioration of our parents’ health, knowing that they too are asking the same question what the ‘F’ when did we become our parents/grandparents.

Going grey appears to make you INVISIBLE to strangers.

What does the next decade hold?

I think that much of the challenge will come from within and I intend to commit to set goals and achieve just as much as I did in the past decade and once again strive to create wrinkles with an over abundance of laugh lines that out weigh the sad lines.

I will not be invisible.

I will continue to strive to be the best that I can be.

I will be true to myself and be the person that I need to be.

Life with wrinkles is a life worth living!

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