Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Friendships In Your Forties - What I've Learned

IMAGE : MORGUEFILE.COM | Female Friendship In Your Forties

I've been having lots of wonderful times spent with friends lately.  New friends, old friends, new friends who feel like old friends, and friends you don't really know you have until you both step into each others' path and say, "I have always liked you and I want you in my life."

I seem to have struck that scenario quite a few times in recent years. I've written before about my love of the 'mummy mafia' and how I have been fortunate enough to have had a largely positive experience with the schoolyard interactions. The truth is, I love the friendships I've made in this chapter of my life. I love that at this age if you wish to connect with someone, you just do. No games, no pretense, no insecurity, just a simple desire to connect with someone who is like-minded and maybe makes you laugh, or makes you feel happy. It's as simple at this age as it was when we were kids ourselves because when you have kids of your own, potential friends seem to be all around you if you're willing to put yourself out there.  And while as a kid I was always more likely to hang around with boys as I seemed to connect with them more easily than with girls, these days my brilliant, widely-varying female friendships are pure gold to me and I'm so grateful for each and every one of them. 

I had a really special friend a few years ago who I adored and to this day I believe she taught me a lot about making friends and about the simple act of reaching out and being transparent.  We connected with each other almost immediately and she provided me with such happiness and joy. My friend had cancer throughout our friendship and while it didn't define our friendship in any way, I think in a small way it helped bring us together in the early days.  We weren't friends because of cancer, but I believe that we both knew that there was no point wasting time in making our connection 'a thing'. My beautiful friend, who was experiencing the awful possibility of dying sooner than the rest of us, knew better than anyone how to connect with others who would provide her with that wonderful friendship-y stuff I'm talking about; the friendship stuff that had nothing to do with her illness.  She connected with many of us wholeheartedly and in doing so, she taught me how to make friends without hesitation and without the time-wasting notion of waiting to see what pans out over time. Although we had to say goodbye to her some time ago, this lesson in friendship is something I have taken with me to this day. For that, (and for so many other things I learned from her), I'm truly grateful.

So here's the thing about me in this chapter of my life. These days, if you and I are destined to be friends, it probably won't be me hanging back in the shadows waiting for you to make the first move.  In my forties I've learned to step forward, to reach out a hand and to say what's in my heart; about what a friend means to me. My dear friend taught me that too. I really believe we should foster wonderful, deep and fulfilling friendships as though time is not a luxury and we shouldn't allow hesitation and insecurity to get in the way of whatever wonderful things are there to be experienced as a cherished friend. So if there's someone bubbling away on your radar that you know you're destined to be friends with, take that step. Discuss the prospect of coffee! It's the age old caffeine-y glue that binds friends together! You just never know the joy that you may be missing by hesitating.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Costco - The Magical Land Of Bulk!

IMAGE : THE MOTHER LOAD | Costco - The Magical Land Of Bulk
Anyone else fed up with spending $200 every time they sneeze in the general direction of the supermarket? I am. Goddamn, my kids can eat  - they're like two impatient chimps who have just completed a holy month of fasting. It's ridiculous. I buy what I think is more than enough at the start of the week and surprise, surprise we have a whingey, whiny 'cupboard is bare' situation long before the week is out.  It's like living with two Pacmen. So from a family budget perspective, I feel like there's a) the mortgage, b) the school expenses then c) the damn never-ending grocery bill.

I'm on a mission to shop cheaper and for better quality produce than my local large chain supermarket. *cough* Woollies *cough*.  Not only do I feel completely touched up at the checkout whenever I leave there, but I've also found myself walking away with more droopy eggplants and brown avocados than I care to count. Meh. Annoying. So as part of my mission to check out more economical options (you know already of my love for Aldi if you've hung around here for a while) we recently signed up for Costco. I know - sound the trumpets! I had my fourth visit there this week and I can finally say, I'm getting the hang of it. By getting the hang of it I mean successfully walking out of there having NOT spent $600.00 on stuff I really didn't need in the first place - to achieve that takes quite a bit of practice as it turns out.