Years

A year changes you a lot. You might not notice it but it does.

Bit by bit, day by day, there’s small changes happening to your body, mind and spirit. It’s amazing actually, and it’s lovely to look back and realise that you have changed. Because it’s good for you.

What about the change over ten years though?

Well, you’re a completely different being after that.

Think about where you were ten years ago. Really think about it. Are you a different person to who you are now? Have you discovered something about yourself that you never knew possible? Are you still the same wonderful person but with just a bit more grey hair?

Me? Ten years ago I was a mess.

Mess in the sense that I didn’t know where I was going but also I was just hating on myself for thinking it was my fault.

But now I know I didn’t actually screw things up and it was ok that I didn’t know which way to go.

Ten years ago my world came crashing down and I was a wreck. But – like a cliché – it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It set a chain of events in motion that would never have happened otherwise and it completely changed me inside and out.

Admittedly, the wreck came because of a breakup. Someone else had control over my heart and it shattered me into a million pieces when I wasn’t looking. I didn’t know how to put myself back together. It all sounds a bit dramatic, and to some people it might not mean much. But I’m a very loyal and emotional person so I thought there was no way of coming back from that.

But I’m so fucking grateful my heart got broken.

I would never have seen what I am capable of.

I would never have stepped outside of the box.

I would never have changed my path.

I could write an entire collection on the things I wouldn’t had done if that moment hadn’t happened. But I’m sure you get my point.

And it’s not as if I didn’t like who I was ten years ago. I was totally fine. I was happy.

But when something like that knocks you for six and redirects you, it’s pretty huge.

It helped me grow up and figure out who I wanted to be. I changed because I looked for experiences to help me and I decided to push myself.

Here’s a (extremely brief) recap of how the last ten years have looked for me.

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After the breakup, I had to move back in with my Mum, and after a few months of mixing tears with drinking, I ended up making the move east to Queensland to live with a friend. I needed to escape and, if I didn’t, I knew I wouldn’t get over it. I spent six months in the Sunshine State partying with new faces almost every night.

After not having any luck on the job hunt in Queensland I landed a job in Melbourne so I made the move south. It was here that I came into my own and LIVED. I absolutely loved that city. I would move back if it wasn’t so bloody cold. But I was living on my own, figuring stuff out for myself and it was absolutely the best thing I could ever have done. I was changing every single day and that was so important.

I met different people, I tried new things, said YES to new experiences – I pushed myself into a new place. And it changed me. It opened my eyes and I felt amazing.

I also drank a fair amount of red wine and smoked a lot of ciggies so I was, of course, on top of my game at most points.

Not gonna lie though, there were a few shit days too. It wasn’t all fun and games. I wasn’t very nice to my body. Or my mind. I was a bit destructive at times but I know now it was all part of my process. I needed to let things happen to me and to figure it out for myself.

I notched up a blur of fun experiences during this time. Everything from exploring the east coast of our beautiful country, multiple overseas adventures, attending festivals and gigs, many 1am knock off drinks after a late shift, countless inappropriate antics (there’s a photo of me dressed as a pregnant nun around somewhere),  and of course big laughs with many new friends.

By far the best thing about the last ten years was meeting some of the most incredible people from all walks of life. I absolutely loved meeting all those faces. And most of these friends are still in my life today even though we’ve all got our own things going on.

After a couple of years, I was ready to come home as I missed my family (and the warmer WA weather) so I came home to no job and landed at Mum’s again. Soon after, my luck came through with a job at a radio station where I still work today. A workplace where my wine drinking abilities came in extremely handy as the social calendar was off the charts. And that was where I was meant to be for this moment in my life. It was here that I learnt more about myself and it set me on another huge life path. I met my husband through work friends (forever in their debt) and it’s unbelievable just how quickly the years have passed to get us to where we are now. A home, a big wedding and our little bubba – what a whirlwind! But these two humans are my everything and I know this is where I’m meant to be now.

I feel like I’ve won the lottery.

***

That’s the extremely shortened version of my last ten years. There’s more to it than those mentioned but you get the gist. I look back on everything – career wise, social life, relationships, personal development – and sometimes I can’t believe I’ve achieved so much and experienced so many things.

I’m really happy.

Because I know I’ve done a lot of work on myself to get where I am today.

And that takes a lot of courage, determination and a shitload of wine to get you through the tough days.

x.x.

Mum

Mum’s. Aren’t they bloody great? Always there when we need them, helping us out, giving advice, teaching us secrets of the trade. What would we do without them?

Don’t get me wrong, dads are pretty awesome too, but obviously we’re focusing on mums today as it’s their big day. The one day* where everyone in the family pulls their finger out so mum doesn’t have to do anything. They get to sleep in, no cooking, no cleaning, get pampered, wined and dined… basically treated like royalty before that 24 hours of magic is over and they go back to packing lunches and cleaning up shit (quite literally in some cases).

*one day isn’t enough, guys. Make sure you do this for your Mum more than once a year. She’s bloody put up with a lot from you kids over the years so she deserves some extra love on those other 364 days.

Today I wrote five things that I am grateful my Mum (g’day Sandy) taught me. She has of course taught me a lot more than just five things in my 35 years around the sun but I didn’t want to rabbit on too much so I’ve narrowed it down.

These aren’t your standard “be kind to people” or “always take a jacket with you” or “don’t tell lies, your nose will grow” type of things that of course she also taught me (obviously my nose is perfect, I’ve never told any lies ever…) They’re more just nice things that I’m glad she taught me instead of someone else.

This is purely an appreciation post for my mumsy dearest, and it’s nice to think about the things your mum does for you, so make sure you take the time to do the same and write down something you’re grateful your mum gave or taught you.

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Skincare – SPF. All. The. Way.

Mum has beautiful skin and it’s because she’s always taken really good care of herself. She’s about to hit another milestone birthday but you wouldn’t bloody know it.

Growing up I remember she always had stacks of bottles in her bathroom filled with magic potions that she would lather on morning and night. And, luckily for me, she got me into the same routines during my teenage years. She taught me the importance of SPF, hydration, eye cream, cleansing, night cream, why your face moisturiser should always continue down to your décolletage, why you should still always wear SPF when the weather is overcast and so much more.

It seems like pretty basic stuff that everyone probably knows, and you too possibly learnt it from your Mum, but I love that she taught me all that stuff at a young age. Even though teenagers can be SUCH a drag sometimes and never listen to their Mums, this is one time I’m grateful past Jess wasn’t such a little cow and just listened to her Mother.

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Tea – how do you brew?

Everyone knows I’m a tea fiend. Always have been, can’t see it ending any time soon. And who got me into tea? Mum.

Most mums love a good cuppa (I know I’ve already got that part of being a mum covered once Nugget comes into this world) and my Mum is no different. She got me into drinking tea when I was a teenager. We’d sit down at night with our tea pot and bikkies and watch our shows.

Not only did she get me into drinking tea, but she got me brewing proper loose-leaf tea too. In a pot. None of this tea bag in a cup business. Nope, with Sandy it was always the good shit. Look, she probably installed the tea snob in me at a young age but I’m ok with that. Life’s too short to drink shit tea. I’ll always stand by that.

I’m grateful that she taught me how to brew a proper pot of tea. Sure, it’s a skill that I can’t put on my resume (unless I’m going for a job at a tea shop) but, goddamn, you can bet your sweet ass you’ll enjoy a good cuppa when you come round to my joint.

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Pasta sauce – a constant in my life

Mum is a bloody good cook and she taught all three of us kids to cook at some point. I must admit, my sister and brother are probably a bit more skilled in the kitchen than I am but one thing I am proud of is my ability to knock up a beaut pasta sauce.

My Dad is Italian and Mum is Australian so of course Mum had to learn how to make a good pasta sauce from scratch. She learnt from my Nonna but over the years I’m sure it’s changed in slight variations from time to time. Mum’s sauce is the bomb (I feel like that line could be narrated by Dale from The Castle. Non-Australians, please see this clip to enhance your knowledge of a classic Australian film). It’s so good that if she’s just made a fresh batch when I’m over for a visit, I’ll have a bowl of it on its own. And I’ll generally leave with a container full too.

Naturally, Mum taught me how to nail a good batch of sauce before I moved out of home. This was to ensure I always had something decent to eat apart from Nutella sandwiches. Pasta is my all-time favourite food and I’m glad Mum armed me with the ability to make an amazing sauce. If she hadn’t, I’d probably have diabetes from the amount of Nutella I would have consumed during those first few out-of-home years.

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Always pack the unexpected things – Mum’s method

This one might seem a bit over the top, but this rule has helped me out many times. When we head out of town for a few days I’ve learnt to always pack a few extra handy items. If you’ve got the room in the car for an extra bag of supplies, just whack it in. Mum always thinks of the things that other people don’t normally think of, things that when you’re at your destination you realise they would be bloody handy to have.

Case in point, a while ago a bunch of us went down south and stayed in a big holiday house. Generally, those places are stocked with most kitchen items but I decided to use the ol’ Sandy trick and pack a few extra items juuuuust in case. Well, that bag of goodies turned out to be a life saver more than once. Simple things like cling wrap, paper towel, empty containers for leftovers, butter, tongs, a good knife and disposable baking trays were a hit with my friends. I know, I need new friends. But none of them had thought about these sort things so they were suitably impressed that I managed to save the bacon.

The Sandy method of thinking has paid off in more ways than one in the past and I think it’s why I tend to go that one step further when I’m prepping for something. It’s not a bad trait to have, except for when I’m trying to fit a tea pot into my luggage, and I know I really don’t need it but what if I want a cup of tea and they don’t have a tea pot?! #crisis

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Family and food – both very important

This is probably my favourite thing Mum instilled in me. Growing up, Sandy would always cook a smashing dinner and make us sit around the dinner table to eat. It was a non-negotiable option. It might not seem like a big deal but looking back it was an important time for the five of us to be together and talk. No tv, just actual real-life talking in-person. What a concept. Or, in my brother’s case, no talking, just be annoying and throw peas at me.

I always remember this as being important to Mum but as a kid you’re like “but Muuuuummm I wanna eat in my room” or something ridiculous. I’m glad she made a point of making us do it and I know it’s something I will continue to do with my own family.

We still do it to this day but it’s a bit different now. After my parents divorced, my family unit was broken for quite a number of years and it was pretty shitty, but that’s not the case now. Mum is remarried, and we have regular family dinners with everyone, including Dad, coming together to catch up. It’s a bizarre concept to outsiders and yes, it’s completely bonkers most of the time as we’re all loud and a bloody mad, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m glad we take the time to be together as life gets pretty hectic and sometimes we forget to take stock of what’s really important. Being around family is one of my favourite things and with our family expanding rapidly with little ones it just keeps getting better and better. I hope our little one is ready for all of the noise it’s being born into…

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Some of these things might sound a bit trivial to most people but for me they each mean something big in their own little way. Mum taught me a lot about being a good person and values too, but I like that she taught me these five things. Without her I would have bad skin, be drinking shit tea, pasta sauce would probably come out of a jar, I’d be lost without packing those extra items and I wouldn’t know that family time is really bloody important.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mums out there.

Take a load off, pour a glass of chardonnay and enjoy yourself.

You bloody deserve it.

 

happy mother’s day, mumsy

 

xx