Feeling: MY AGE – ALTHOUGH, HAPPILY AT HOME
Last Friday night I was at the local pub having a bevy and watching oldmate Jacko Wallis play his gee-tar. I saw a group of kind-of-friends I hadn’t seen in a long while, and after the required hugs and what not we settled into chat.
The topic of main tete-a-tete? Housing and finance.
I was about to excuse myself from the conversation on account of being the youngest one in it and having nothing to say, when I realised I was the the oldest in attendance and I actually could pipe up a fair bit about the pros of KiwiSaver.
It shocked me. But not as much as the balding spot atop one of the lad’s heads, the pauch forming on another, or the admission that one of the females had been getting tri-annual Botox in her eye crinkles (at the age of 24!).
(An intense mirror session later revealed that I have a fair, fair few of my own now). (Eye crinkle wrinkles, not balding patches nor pauches. Though how I’m faring, I feel both may be near-future possibilities).
And what shocked me most? When I held my palm up in no at the offering of another wine – my two-point-five over the course of the few hours had me warmly toasted without leaving me scuttered, and, “I have an early start”. I mean, pardon?! What happened to the me raging at the Mud until closing even though I had 12-hour days the following three?
I am still somewhat in denial this age thing is happening. And bamboozled as to where the “last few years have gone”. But the fact that I talk about the weather a lot, tell kids I haven’t seen in awhile that they’ve “shot up” and was 16 a decade ago has started to wear me down into almost acceptance.
I’m 26 bitch. (And only pretend to be 22 three or four times a week rather than all the time).
And how’s being home a fortnight in? I’ll admit the first week was rocky. There was a few moments of despair, a flummoxed Pedaller asking what was wrong, and a couple of hissy, wailing responses in the first few days (“I want to be in Neeeepaaaaaaal”). But day 14 back in my hometown has me – only one word for it – happy.
I’ve started back at the clothes shop and I’m LOVING it. Each day when 5pm hits it surprises me every time because the hours have passed so swiftly. I’ve unionised three couples (one last Sat, two the one just been) and just know weddings are where I’m at. I’ve sorted out a pretty much full time yoga teaching job come February, have 12 more marriages to officiate at in the following few months and am absolutely giddy each evening when I realise I don’t have to work and have free time to socialise, attend a yoga class or simply just eat kumara and read my new Marian Keyes at 6.30pm if the action so pleases me (and believe me, it does. That woman is the Shakespeare of this era).
The weekend just been saw myself and The Pedaller stay the night at The Brother Michael’s abode. The three of us plus the-one-day-will-be-sister-in-law-Rachel had a fair few wines and many, many laughs, and as The Pedaller had indulged in a couple of buckets of vino (I was well past; on the way Brother’s-home-bound I’d stopped off at a friend’s and knocked back a couple of glasses of bubbles and a Baileys on the rocks, necessitating a call to The Pedaller to pick me up a further hour on than the 20 minutes I’d told him I would be), The Brother Michael declared we must sleep in the spare room.
I was extremely honoured. One of my wants on returning is to bolster up my somewhat tempestuous relationship with the lad, so this was an excellent step on the path to doing so.
And when 4.30am hit the following morning and I was up and awake, I did some yoga on the deck then stared at The Neph Hendrik (now 15 months old and the greatest thing ever) until he woke up and would play cars and boats with me.
Perhaps as a result of the Friday pub convo to spur me on, but I’ve found a fantastic Sunday afternoon activity – home hopping. Always one to love observing the abodes of others, and often perusing real estate websites or print issues of the latest on the market, I saw a house set up for sale whilst passing the other day and decided I would take up turnout at its open home.
And my goodness, what a dwelling spot. It ticked all the boxes of the kind of first home I want – old villa with renovated interior, simple layout with little quirks (rimu fans in each room, a slight sloping ceiling in the back living, grand fireplaces in three of the rooms) and even had a detached room currently utilised as a lounge, but which I would most definitely use as my very own yoga studio. I was in love! I wanted it! And we could definitely convert the single carport into a running-along-the-whole-side-of-the-house garage for The Pedaller and all his motorised toys. (I’m talking motorbikes and such here, let me clarify – he’s not some sexual deviant with a whole load of dildos or anything). (I don’t think).
I’ll admit I may have gone a little OTT on my actual interest in the property (“Has it been rewired? Replumbed? I can detect a slight slant to the left; does it need repiling?”). While it was one hundred per cent the kind of place I would love, I can’t imagine the old BNZ would fling a $695,000 finance my way at this stage. But when the agent disbelieving enquired as to whether the property was in my price range, I found myself eyeing her in a baleful, are-you-on-the-piss manner and curtly replying that yes, yes it was. And “accidentally” dropping a business card on the floor as I made exit, thinking, you fuck.
(Just to clarify here: I absolutely am actually starting to look around because I soon do want to acquire my own property. But the likelihood of such in the coming handful of months is highly, highly unlikely – its more a late 2019 sort of jobby, if not all vision at 2020). (Get that last bit?).
I’m finding that each morning I’m waking up just joyous. I’m pumped for summer, excited about possibilities and plans for 2018, and just so happy in absolutely all my roles in life – girlfriend, sister, small business owner (one employee counts, even if it’s yourself, right?), daughter, aunty, employee, just all.
And furthermore, I’m for the most part happy in myself. Always one to struggle with my form, I’m currently in a stage where I’m ok getting dressed in the morning and catching my reflection in mirrors and what not. I’m proud of the reception I’ve received upon returning home (I didn’t realise so many people enjoyed my company nor followed my adventures) and I can feel a more calm, relaxed and patient demeanour in my everyday (apart from when Mummy Deb wants a chat and I’m reading aforementioned Marian Keyes; leave me be, MD).
A friend told me I looked the best I’d ever looked since he’s known me. Instantly my heart sunk; he’s meaning my weight, I thought. As I started talking of kgs he interrupted me: “I’m not talking weight,” he said. “I know better than to ever address that with you. I mean your hair and your skin and how happy you seem. You’re glowing.”
Well if I was, that made me glow all the more.
I had a blood test the other day (the gut is still a bit unhappy) and for the first time in a long, long time I found myself quietly praying everything would be ok. You see, sick though it may seem to those who don’t understand, in my Ed-entrenched brain I used to always hope something would show up. Nothing serious, just low iron or some such to prove I was doing this eating disorder thing right. But something in me has changed: I want to look after myself, be in prime condition, so I can have the energy to do a couple of hours of yoga a day or finish work revitalised and ready to see friends or be a volunteer firefighter (next goal to achieve). I want dewy skin and eyes that are alive, not all my body haggard and deadened but me happy because I’m skinny.
I think health comes a lot from within. Before I went away my sparkle had dulled down so far there wasn’t even a slight ignition; I was stressed out, frantic, rather unhappy and just didn’t have enough time to do all in my diary.
Today? I feel more me than I have since I was in Nepal two years ago.
Sunday afternoon I had a wedding meeting (locked in another one, woohoo) and then went to The Pedaller’s place. In essence, we did nothing all night – bit of admin, he watched some YouTube vids while I read my book (Marian got me well absorbed) and had some dinner (he cooks kumara for me exactly as I like it – so chargrilled it could be considered burnt).
As I was going to sleep I thought about the past week and how happy I’ve been in every single capacity. Shit I absolutely love my life, I thought.
I don’t think I’ve been this content since I was 10 years old and didn’t yet really have serious hang ups nor worries.
Life is really, really great. And how good is home? (Both open ones and life in general).