Tag Archives: friends

How do I present myself to others in a positive way ?

I’ve never had a huge amount of self confidence.

I’ve never been the life of the party or the cool girl who people wanted to hang around with. Instead I’ve always felt like I live around the edges of the groups rather than in them.

Even when I was in my late teens and early twenties I didn’t think I was very attractive ( I look back now and wish I still looked like I did then-talk about not appreciating what you had till it was gone! )

With age is supposed to come wisdom and I guess I’ve developed a bit of that over the years.With the Lord’s help I’ve worked on some of the rough edges and I don’t think I’m as judgemental as I used to be. I’ve learnt that even if I do have stong views on how things should be done that I have to back off and let others do things their way. I try to wait till I’m invited to do so before I give advice. I know that I still have a bad habit of jumping into conversations immediately I think of something rather than waiting till the other person is finished – got to work on that one more!

I certainly think I have a better dress sense now than I used to. I have some dear friends who tell me that they like and appreciate me. Of course a broken marriage doesn’t help…. no matter how much I know there were lots of factors involved, I still feel at times that it was because I wasn’t worth loving.

I know that God loves me, but I still often feel like He can’t love me as much as He loves others – once again my head knows how untrue this is but my heart still holds onto the lie.

I’m not writing this for sympathy and for people who know me to rush to validate me….. although it’s always nice to receive that assurance even if I then go on to dismiss it.

There are two factors that have led to this navel gazing

1) In a couple of weeks I’m going to a class reunion (I was going to go to the last one but couldn’t as I was in hospital at the time)
2) I have to write a profile of myself for something

I’m sure 99% of people heading to meet up with former classmates experience the insecurity associated with this experience. Especially after 42 years. I had a fairly decent figure back then. My beautiful auburn hair was slightly wavy and fairly long. I wasn’t burdened with the back, shoulder and rheumatoid arthritis health issues I have now. The world was full of promise for me. Even though I’ve done some interesting things and had some wonderful experiences my current world is much more limited. I’m feeling nervous and hoping that I won’t spend the evening sitting by myself staring into a drink.

The second one is even worse. I don’t know what to say about myself. How do I start….. I guess saying ‘Hi my name is Kathie and I’m 60, overweight,divorced and got some disabilities’ isn’t really going to tell the story of me in a very positive way!

How DO you put onto paper who you are?

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We don’t stop playing because we grow old: we grow old because we stop playing. George Bernard Shaw

I’m having a bit of an identify crisis at the moment!

I turned 60 this year and due to lack of finances stopped dying my hair (gasp! horror!) which means I now have totally silver hair and it seems that since that happened people now categorise me in the old category. I mean immediately that the colour grew out I started getting asked if I had a seniors card and as I look in the mirror I don’t think that my face etc have changed that much…just the hair.

I know it’s a common problem that people these days don’t want to feel or look old and some go to great lengths to try to deny the passage of time (which I personally would never do even if I had the means –  is anyone really fooled by plastic surgery? However if that’s what you choose to do so be it. I’m not trying to offend anyone here)

The problem is that I’m in that in between land of not wanting to hang around with the oldies but not wanting to pretend that I’m younger than I am either. I think this is more of a problem when you’re single, as if you are half of a couple you have that built-in company and can go places and do things together.

Maybe this is a bit more of a problem in a smaller community too. For instance my Dad goes out to dinner every Monday night with a group of single acquaintances who enjoy spending an evening together and I know some of them are my age…..but honestly I wouldn’t want to be part of a group of 60 -80+ year olds on a regular basis in that context. I do socialize with a number of older people through my craft groups and church and throughly enjoy their company. One of my best friends is 81. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy mixing with people of all ages. Just that I am really feeling the lack of like-minded friends of my age group who still think young. There are a few couples that I mix with who are around my age and have similar attitudes, but not many and they are busy so I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like to. I had a wonderful time on the long weekend when I was a volunteer at the Black Stump Christian Music and Arts festival . I had an absolute ball on my time off checking out the different  musicians and groups. Two of my young single friends were there too and it was lovely being able to meet up with them and enjoy time with them. One of the highlights of the festival for me was dancing along when the Outback Hippies were playing. As I looked around there were people of all ages dancing and singing along too and it was one of those magical moments you wish could go on forever.

Most of my younger friends are busy with their families and I am so privileged when they include me in their activities. I also have a number of young single friends , most of whom live away from where I live. I am so grateful that they are willing to spend time with me when they can. It says a lot about what wonderful people they are that they make time for me.

I guess a lot of  the problem is that I haven’t fully come to terms with living by myself. Don’t get me wrong…. I enjoy the benefits of not having to consider another person’s likes and dislikes, of cooking or not cooking what I like when I want to, of only having to please myself – but at this point in my life I think I have come to the conclusion that the disadvantages maybe just outweigh the advantages. I have a number of friends of all ages and of course they all have their own lives to lead. I don’t want to be a needy burden to anyone. My health also means that at times I am not up to doing things and going places.

But…. I still long to be able to have the possibilities and energy and options that I used to have…..

I don’t think I need to turn into a little old lady in attitude and action but I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that I AM getting older.

Me in March this year

Me in March this year

Me 4 years ago

Me 4 years ago

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Life isn’t fair but God is good!

Romans 8:35-37
New Living Translation (NLT)
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves you.
 
Only about a month after my last post I ended up in hospital having a microdiscectomy on my lower back. About 10 days in hospital followed by 6 weeks of severely restricted activity. Then the realisation that the operation hadn’t been as successful as I had hoped. I was very blessed that I was cared for by some wonderful friends while I was out of action and in fact lived with them while I was recovering.
 
Then as the friends who had lent me their unit were returning to Australia and nothing had worked out in finding somewhere else to live, roughly 12 months ago I decided to move to Gunnedah to stay with my recently widowed aunt and try to get some casual work in the area. On the drive up I was careful in stopping every couple of hours to stretch my back and stayed overnight at my cousin’s place at Newcastle. All should have been well with my back – should have been but wasn’t.
 
After a couple of weeks of agony, physio, and massage I was advised to see a neurosurgeon again. As the nearest one was hours away I decided that the best thing to do would be to return to Ulladulla and make an appointment with the neurosurgeon who had operated on my back. Leaving my car up there I made the journey back by train, breaking it up to make the journey as easy as possible.
 
I think it was only a few days after arriving that I was admitted to Milton hospital ( I don’t have any memory of the first few days). From there I was sent to Shoalhaven Hospital where I was receiving rehab and pain management. One day as I was in the ward my bad leg gave way and I slid into the bed opposite and totally smashed my shoulder…. next stop was Nowra private where I had a  shoulder replacement ! From there I was sent to Berry Rehab hospital where I spent the next 7 weeks. In total I was in hospital for just on 3 months getting out towards the end of January this year.
Panda eyes
Hope you aren’t getting bored reading this long litany of bad experiences….. unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. The damage done to my shoulder was so severe that I am left with restricted movement and constant pain. I have been learning to live with that only to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis……and am now in the process of  trying to get it under control.
 
Through all this I have stuggled with feelings of self pity, abandonment and grief for the loss of not just my health but my marriage, my home, my security,money stuggles and loneliness. I’ve screamed out to God …. I’ve wondered why this all had to happen to ME!!!!  Surely I’ve been through enough I’ve demanded. How come after looking after John for all the years he was an invalid I’m left to deal with all this by myself????? Why isn’t he looking after me now I’m in need ????
 
The real question though is WHY NOT?  Am I more deserving of protection from the difficulties of life than someone born in a ghetto in India? Or someone who tries to eke out  a living in Ethiopia? Or someone who lost everything and all their family in the Boxing Day Tsumami? Or a child sold into slavery in Thailand? Of course I’m not.
LIFE ISN’T FAIR……. but through the trials and pain and loss I’ve experienced, as I’ve called out to God , the blessings have come and been there as long as I take my eyes off myself and see them.
 
I’ve had family and friends who have gone out of their way to care for me. My dear friend Jacqui made the trip up to Berry to see me at least once a week and called me every day for the 7 weeks I was there.  Christians from my and other churches moved my belongings into the  flat I am renting and set it up for me to come out of hospital to (one lovely couple even bought a washing machine and fridge for me to use). I didn’t have to cook  for about the first 6 weeks as  people dropped meals off to me and visited. I was able to call on a number of people to take me to doctor and physio visits.
I’ve been reminded again and again that I need to keep my eyes on the Lord, that as I seek Him and rely on him the fear and loneliness recede. He has provided the things I’ve needed – through family and friends in many cases but in others in amazing ways. An example of this is finding the granny flat. I wasn’t going to be released from hospital until I had somewhere suitable to go. Finding cheap accommodation isn’t easy in this area and yet I saw this unit advertised online through an agent. The lease was signed a week before I was released from hospital which gave my friends just enough time to move my things in and set it up ready for me to come home to. I’ve often been asked how I found it as many other people were looking for a similar place to live. I saw it at just the right time. A co-incidence? I don’t believe so.
 
Do I suceed in trusting God all the time? Sadly the answer is still no. However I can state with confidence along with Paul when he wrote Ephesians ‘nothing can seperate us from Christ’s love’ and that ‘despite all these things,overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us’
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A New Chapter in My Life

If you have been following my blog you will have noticed that my last entry before this was in late December.

When we leave our childhood and enter our adulthood we have our goals and dreams about the future. 35 years ago when I got married I never envisaged that I would be facing the rest of my life without my husband but sadly that is the case now. In January my husband and I separated and I now find myself living back with my father in a different state and faced with establishing a new life and new friends.

I am truly blessed as even though I have gone through a lot of pain and anguish, I know that the Lord has been with me holding my hand and sometimes carrying me as I have gone through the difficult times and sadness. He has also blessed me with a wonderful family- my much loved Sons,  Daughter-in- law & gorgeous Grandson, my dear Father,  my wonderful Brother and Sister and their partners,and precious friends who have loved me and supported me as I have struggled through this difficult time.

For quite a while I couldn’t even get my papercraft things out but at last I have started creating again and I am enjoying it immensely. I have also made some new friends through Church and also through my cardmaking & scrapbooking and this is helping me to find my feet in the new community I am now living in.

I am hoping that you will recommend my blog to your friends too.

At the Bogey Hole Ulladulla July 2011

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