#39

At this point in my life, my strengths and weakness are becoming pretty clear. And not that I like to focus on my weaknesses by any means, but this blog entry relies on one of my biggest – balance.

Since I was little, my balance has never been my strong point. I can elegantly trip over my own feet standing still, and while that sounds like a unique talent, I assure you it’s never been beneficial.

I’ve tried everything from skateboarding to surfing, but I’ve just never been able to figure it out. Perhaps I’ve never really given it enough of a go, but after watching a documentary on bones at the age of sixteen, the fear of falling with my wrists out first has ever since had me fear unbalancing the wellbeing of my radius’.

But as all things go in my life, this determined bundle of ambition I call myself can’t seem to ever give up on the hope of one day not being capable of losing balance on flat ground (or in a room full of people at Pilates).

The thing is though, if you don’t keep trying, you never will learn something new. And I’ve grown to learn that the moment you believe you can’t do something, is the moment you quite literally can’t.

I met someone the other day who told me she couldn’t snorkel because she hadn’t ever had lessons. Now I’m not sure I’ve met one person who’s ever actually had a snorkelling lesson, so I was confused by the notion at the time. Put the mask on, breathe through the tube, swim. Granted it takes some getting used to at first, but I’ve always thought the process to be pretty straight forward.

The entirety of our trip at Isla De Potipot in northern Philippines, she refused to snorkel the beautiful reefs surrounding the island because she’d already made up her mind that she couldn’t. She was scared she would fail at it, and despite us all offering to teach her how, she declined.

And the more I think about it, the more it really stands out to me as a lesson on never imprisoning yourself in accordance to what you think is not possible. She missed out on a whole under water wonderland that day, and while she had every right to make that decision – I just couldn’t understand it.

So I guess when it comes to balance, why should the fact that I have none of it mean I should corner myself in. The reality is, I’m happy to fall off, over or out, if it means experiencing something new. Sometimes you just have to give something a chance and see where it takes you. To hell with the wellbeing of my radial bones, right?

Ergo, bucket list #39. Learning to stand-up paddle board (SUP, as it will from here on be abbreviated to).

It’s always been something I’ve wanted to try. I live close to the beach, and on the ocean’s softer days, it’s home to many people aboard SUPs. To stand on the roof of the ocean, under blue skies and sunshine, had always struck me as being the dream.

On the fourth day of being at Moreton Island last year, we had woken up to a windless morning. The sea was calm, and clear. So my Mr. and I decided to hire a couple of SUPs and give it ago. The added bonus was that I figured falling off into water, would turn out to be a much softer break fall than concrete.

I must admit that while I knew my balance and lack thereof, would keep things interesting, I didn’t anticipate just how hard it would be to stand up, let alone remain upright.

In the time it had taken my Mr. to help me push my board out, head back to the beach, grab his board, head back out, stand up and paddle over the small breaking waves – I had barely accomplished kneeling on all fours.

He could barely control his laughter in between shouting encouragement my way as I put on a show that could only be likened to Bambi’s first steps. With wobbly legs and a whole degree of arm-waving, I finally stood up after far longer than I care to admit.

From there things got easier. Turns out standing up was the hardest part for me, the rest was relatively straight forward. While the occasionally lump in the ocean unsettled my balance, I never fell off. However I will admit to a fair bit of yelling, “Don’t come near me!” and some use of my oar as a jarring stick whenever my Mr. would teasingly come too close for comfort.

After we had paddled ourselves up the beach and back, we decided to spend the rest of our last hired hour laying on our boards. From the depths of the clear blue waters, we had been spotted by a pod of playful dolphins. Sitting on my sup with a smile as wide as my face plastered on, I watched them swim, dancing through the ocean as if it had been rehearsed especially just for us.

If I could SUP and swim with dolphins everyday, I would – because I’m really not sure how it ever gets any better than that, even if it does take me a small lifetime to stand up.

Balance or no balance, never let your weaknesses define what your capable of. There’s always a way if you will it. You can always do something extraordinary.

#39: Learn to Stand-up Paddleboard – Check!

d x

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A new set of tiny paws.

Four weeks ago, we added another tiny-pawed member to the family. Her name is Millie, and she’s Igloo’s new best friend…and our littlest golden love.

Living the busy lives we do, my Mr. and I thought it would be nice to have a friend for Igloo. Someone he could love just as much as we love him, and a furry companion between the early morning cuddles, and afternoon walks.

We searched for a long time for little Millie, requesting to be added to a very long waiting list with a breeder about an hour’s drive away from us. She hadn’t filled us with much confidence at the time stating that there were a lot of people wanting golden’s from her, and we would be added to the very bottom of the list. Nevertheless, she promised to notify us of the next litter and let us know they were planning this for November 2017.

November had come and gone, and we hadn’t heard anything. Then December, and soon after January had passed too. We started to lose hope a little, not able to find any other golden retriever puppies close-by, nor with breeding dogs as dark golden to match Igloo’s infamous coat-colour.

That was until one rainy afternoon sitting at my Mr.’s parent’s house. I had been curled up on one end of the living room couch, waiting for my Mr. and his Mum to come home after being out to pick up some furniture. As I scrolled through Instagram, my phone vibrated and a small drop-down notification boasted an email from an unfamiliar address.

Clicking on the email, I opened the message and read the first line, “We have just┬áreturned from the vet after Spice having a caesarean where she delivered 3 boys and 3 girls…“. I sat bolt upright to read the rest of the email realising this was it! This was the email we had been waiting for! Puppies!

I hesitated for a moment to ponder whether I should ring my Mr. and ask him whether we should send through a deposit, but then laughed to myself for thinking he would ever say no to that request, and sent through the money and an email without permission.

I couldn’t focus my attention on anything else while I repeatedly refreshed my Inbox, waiting for confirmation of a puppy. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life, before finally an email came through to congratulate me on the newest baby girl to join my world. I was ecstatic.

When I heard my Mr. driving back up the drive-way, I couldn’t help but run out to meet him halfway. With a stupid grin on my face, I put my hands up in the air and shouted, “We’re having a baby!”

It took him a couple of moments to realise I didn’t mean the human kind, and the fearful look on his face melted into a knowing smile. He was just as excited as me as I filled him in on the details.

On the 6th of April, we brought our newest family member home to the little white house. Igloo fell in love instantaneously, just as we had. She had melted our hearts, and it was one of my most favourite afternoons to date, spent sitting out in the backyard with my little family now of four.

Millie and Igloo are mostly inseparable, except for when Millie squeezes through the pool gate fence to adventure down the side of the house and Igloo proves too big now to fit. She has developed a deep fascination with the velcro strap of the BBQ cover, and also seems to be a huge fan of eating concrete pieces. Millie is definitely going to be the boss when she’s older that for sure, but for now she settles for being Igloo’s shadow, copying everything he does.

She’s bold and an explorer at heart, nothing seems to scare her. And unlike Igloo, she sure knows how to bark. After having gotten used to Igloo and his quiet nature, it’s definitely a whole new world to have Millie join the ranks. We’re a louder bunch now, consisting of a small bark and a whole lot of “No Millie!”. In fact, the “No Millie!” might just be our new most used phrase in general.

But I’ve come to realise that Millie was always going to look additionally naughty in comparison to Igloo, and for now that’s okay. She’ll learn, and one day she’ll be just as well-behaved as Igloo. She’s only 11 weeks old and has already mastered ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Lie Down’ and ‘Come’. We’ve almost got the hang of ‘Shake’, but we’re in no rush.

It’s been a handful, but I wouldn’t have wished for it to be any other way. The early morning wake-up notifications in the form of a hungry whine, have just meant for more time to spend snuggling with my golden babies (after their breakfast banana’s that is!).

I love watching them grow together, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I look forward to coming home each day to see them, and the slobbery licks to the face that come as part of the packaged deal. They are my home.

Welcome to the family, Millie. I love you from your wet nose, to your tiny paws.

If you wanted the picture evidence, you can follow their golden-tailed adventures at @iglooandmilliethegoldens. I promise it will be your daily dose of happiness! All you need in life is love, and a golden (or two!).

d x

Letting go.

If there is one thing I’ve come to really realise this year, it’s that life is constantly changing. I used to think of life as having chapters that would change seamlessly into the next at the catalyst of a big life alteration.

Like when I graduated high school and entered the ‘real’ world, and then again when I walked out of the cafe for the last time as a waitress to start my career as a nurse. And then of course once more when a close friend of mine passed away and almost everything changed.

I used to think that those kind of moments were the distinctive page turns into new chapters of my life, because they were all so large and significant events. But I now have come to realise that sometimes life chapters change subtly, without warning and without a big moment.

This year my life has changed, and I haven’t really taken a moment to accept that until now.

I was spending this morning organising a few things before my Mr. woke from his everlasting slumber to take me out to our usual Tuesday breakfast date, and in a moment of nostalgia, I had decided to look back through some of my blog posts from earlier this year.

As a person, I haven’t changed a great deal. Still determined as ever to make a difference, finding various adventures to get lost upon and new hobbies to take up. Even my surroundings haven’t changed. I still live in the same place and travel for the most part, to the same places. I still drink vanilla lattes and recklessly shop online, a bad combination turn a predicament I often find myself in at 2am in the morning on night shift.

Yes, I am rather the same. But It just seems to have been the people around me that have changed instead. And most surprisingly it’s been some of the people I counted on to always be there, who have undoubtedly left in pursuit of a life that no longer includes me.

And when I look back, there was no big moment that these people walked out of my life. There wasn’t a huge fight, or a dramatic parting. No one moved overseas or passed away. We just drifted, for whatever reason. And now it seems so odd to finish this year without them, or even that my life in it’s new chapter doesn’t include them.

I suppose in hindsight, I subconciously knew it was happening at the time. It was that surging ache in my heart for no longer being the person they turned to for advice or even a pick-me-up mid-week. And when I really sink my teeth into it, I’ve probably been putting off letting go of that chapter for a long time now. Angry in the idea of even having to accept that my life will never quite go back to being like that. Fearful to so conclusively close the prior chapter of my life.

But without doing that, I can’t keep writing my own story. And more importantly, it isn’t healthy to carry around that hurt and fear anymore, and it’s exhausting to hope something will return to it’s humble beginnings. I have to let go.

This new chapter includes new friendships, and new weekly traditions. And I absolutely love it for what it is, but it’s different.

And while I miss my old friendships fiercely, I’ve come to realise that sometimes you don’t need a lot of friends. Just a few close ones. Quality over quantity, you know how it goes.

I ┬ámay not have the people in my life that I once used to, but there’s reasons for that, even if I don’t entirely understand them right now. So I’m conclusively closing that chapter and choose to look back at it with a fondness for the memories it holds.

I didn’t see it coming, but it’s here. This is the new chapter. It’s wasn’t a life changing moment that catapulted me into it and I’m not even sure yet what this new chapter will be about, but everything from here is shaped differently now because the people around me are different. And finally, I’m okay with that.

d x

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