I remember when my husband & I had to attend our compulsory ‘pre marriage’ counselling session in order to be married in a beautiful little church I found and fell in love with. I remember feeling ‘quite the student’ sitting down, back straight, being spoken to about marriage and how it was inevitable we would have many ups and downs to face in the years ahead including the ‘seven year itch’. As I walked away from that meeting, I remember thinking, I love this man so much, is it possible I won’t feel the same in only 7 years time?
The ‘seven year itch’ is a term some refer to as a time where the love and happiness between a couple takes a downward turn. But if it’s at the seven year mark can’t we just enjoy married life in the meantime and mark it in our Google Calendar to prepare us a few months before hand? Nope… Is anyone immune to this? Of course… and what do we do if we start to get itchy? Well…The seven year (or thereabouts) is the likely timeframe because generally speaking at this time we know pretty much everything about our partners. We have been through the ‘getting to know you’ ‘butterflies in my stomach’ stage, the ‘honeymoon’ phase, life was content a few years ago, but today it’s the same as it was yesterday. You may begin to question, where has the fun ‘us’ gone? And if there are kids in the mix, well…a fun weekend has an entirely new meaning, the budget (oh yes there is a budget now) is different too, sleep…what is that? and its likely (highly likely) that sleeping with your partner is exactly that ‘sleeping’… hopefully for your sake in a deep sleep to block out the snoring of your partner and two little kids who are taking up just enough bed space to leave you to balance your body on the very edge of what was once your side of a very comfortable bed. Life changes, but if we get stuck looking back at the past, it becomes very easy to forget to appreciate the present.
I have to admit, having seen a snippet of the previews, I was really looking forward to watching channel sevens new reality show “Seven Year Switch” and although it’s only early days, it certainly has me hooked. The show follows four couples whose relationships are (putting it nicely) in a rough patch and they just don’t know how to get back to where they used to be. As the weeks progress will see the couples separate and switch spouses/partners to a partner who perhaps is a little more like them in terms of their personality.
I don’t know about you, call me crazy (many others have I’m sure) but if you and your partner are close to calling it quits, down to your last attempt before its all over, doesn’t the concept of sending your partner away on a break to a beautiful home (spa and all) with another well suited woman sounds slightly insane?
Well it is a social experiment after all because as far as I am aware I can’t find any feature in advanced search to add a new ‘like minded’ beau to my water view holiday house booking so where does that leave the rest of us? What can we do to stop that scratching the minute we start to itch? Surely if no one has come up with some kind of ointment by now, maybe we better get back to basics and consider this; try to stop looking back at what you were as an individual and what you were as a couple years ago. Life has changed now and so it should, embrace it and look forward to the future. Find happiness within yourself and try not to dwell on what you used to do or look like, it doesn’t make sense to be what we were five or ten years ago, otherwise we wouldn’t grow as people. Keep positive and seek comfort in knowing that no married couple will ever tell you that marriage is easy.
It seems long gone are the days when a brides ‘last day of freedom’ involves heading out to your local pub or bar, drinking far too many shots and waking up the next day having lost your voice due to screaming loudly at semi naked muscly men getting their strip on.
I get it, the thought of taking your mum and mother in law to watch you lay flat on the floor while men hump and thrust the air above you is not for everybody but with some of the latest hens trends around, have we all taken this fun girls night out a little too seriously?
Over the years, Hens night traditions have evolved into something a little less ‘night’ and ‘last day of freedom’ and little more ‘day’ and ‘all things sophisticated’.
Whether you think they are a hit or miss, here are some of the latest trends for the Modern Womans Hens Party;
Wineries – Well…there is wine tasting, there are a bunch of your favourite people, and either a fun bus trip their and back or an overnight stay, so all in all, sounds like a good one to me.
Escape rooms – If you’re a clever hen and enjoy your action and adventure movies, you may want to try gathering the girls and taking them to an ‘Escape Room’, full of mystery, puzzle solving and code cracking, an interesting and popular option for like-minded groups.
High Tea – I love a high tea, sandwiches, teeny tiny cakes and an endless supply of cups of tea, it’s all a bit royal and englishy (there’s a new word for you)…but if you’re going to go down this path make sure the venue is somewhere you can make a bit of noise, have a laugh and be a little silly. It’s a party after all !
Pole and Belly Dancing – Good exercise and a chance to have a laugh at and with each other.
Lawn Bowls – What can I say? We have gone from strippers to lawn bowls… If you and your guests are the type of people that can create fun no matter where you are, than this may be an option for you J
Day Spa – Many beautiful day spas have rooms designed for this type of occasion, where guests are massaged or have facials followed by refreshing drinks and afternoon tea. A nice option for a smaller group who prefer less conversation and a little more pamper.
Life drawing lesson – Let’s not kid ourselves, we aren’t all there because we are aspiring artists, we are there to see how long we can go keeping a straight face without bursting out laughing. A good chance to do something different and be silly with the girls.
Cocktail and Cooking Courses– A chance to learn something new and have a laugh with the girls whilst doing it.
At one stage or another, there may have been a time where you have said or at least thought, I wish I could…
For some, that dream might be to buy a house or pay off their mortgage, it might be to lose a substantial amount of weight or to run a marathon, perhaps its starting a new business venture, and for others it might be as simple as finding more time for yourself with a new hobby.
What sets people apart is what they do after they dream. In my life, I have come across three different types of people when it comes to the issue of Goals.
1) The Dreamers
These are the people that dream about something they might like to change or achieve but that’s where it starts and where it ends. They are people who just let life takes it course.
2) Then there are the Fakers
these are people who will tell you that they have goals, and as good as their intentions are when it comes down to it, their dream stays a dream because they don’t put anything into practice to achieve them. Then there are the creators;
3) The Creators
are people who are driven by their dreams to change their life path and do so.
So what are some simple steps to consider to get started on your journey?
Record Your Goal
Open up a word doc or do it ‘old school’ and get a note pad and pen. You know what you want to achieve but now it’s time to break it down.
Be realistic and specific
Goals aren’t about trying to achieve the unachievable, but they aren’t meant to be easy. Make sure you aren’t too general when setting your goal, for example, if you want to lose weight, have a specific amount you want to lose and make a realistic schedule that will allow you to do so.
Set short term goals within long term goals
Sometimes there are lots of smaller obstacles to get through before the big goal is anywhere in sight. To keep feeling motivated and driven, set smaller goals to reach along the way, so that you can feel accomplished and created good habits to continue in your success.
Create a path to your goal that whilst you know might end up with a few cracks and turns in it, you also know ultimately if you stick to it you will reach the end result. If you stumble, resilience is key and I like to avoid the term deadline and rather plan a schedule of expected dates of completion. If for example your goal is to pay off your mortgage in 10 years and you are scheduled to pay it off in 10 years and six months. Don’t be fooled by thinking ‘you didn’t meet your deadline’, you should be proud of an amazing achievement reached.
Keep being inspired
Read for inspiration, Write for clarity and Remember the reason of goal setting is about empowering you to achieve your dream.
As women, it is easy to feel like we have grown up in a world where our main mission in life is to meet the perfect partner, our soul mate. Surely if Disney movies weren’t the cause alone for you to begin your search for prince charming in your younger days, the endless supply of romantic movies and TV shows that tell the tale of women on their search for love will do the trick.
But as we grow and the years go by, what happens when we just can’t find the one? By the time you are a woman in your 30’s, you have passed the ‘lets go to nightclubs and party’ every night stage, you have been a bridesmaid or two, thrown your ’bf’ her baby shower, and a fun night out with the girls (married girls) turns into some kind of sympathetic support group rallying you on your mission to find love.
Let’s be honest, being single can be brutal at times and leave you feeling a little deflated, particularly when leaving yet another family gathering where everyone started a conversation with that same old dreaded question…So are you seeing anyone? Leaving you wondering, is that all I am…just single?
The truth of the matter is that too many people assume that being single is the same as being lonely, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Can’t a women just enjoy her life and not let being single define her existence? Many fabulous women are embracing the wonderful perks of being single, but if you need a little reminder the next time you start thinking the grass is greener on the marriage train, try to remember these;
1)Get excited about your future, because you don’t know what it holds.
There are few unpredictable surprises we get in life, so just remind yourself; you have got so many wonderful surprises ahead like, how you will meet your partner, what they will look like, your engagement, wedding, babies… Once you have done it, that will be your story, so don’t rush it and enjoy the process.
2)You may not know any different now, but there might be a time when you may not be able to spend your money on certain things for yourself as you may do now.
When you get married, your money also becomes his money and throw kids in the mix… you might be saying…what money? As at today, you might be able to buy yourself those heels, that handbag, maybe that dress you have been eyeing off…so if you can just enjoy it. Those extra years of working and climbing your way to the top might make you more financially stable and independent and that is something to be really proud of!
3) Celebrate your birthday and embrace your maturity.
Too often I hear my single friends dread their pending birthday. This is your life ladies! Once you meet your partner you won’t be able to turn back the clock and enjoy the birthday before, or the one before that. Instead, celebrate your life and realise that perhaps now you are a little older, you are also a little wiser. You will know what you want in a partner, or at least you will certainly know what you don’t want in a partner.
4)Love your single body.
It might sound a little silly, but before you find out what babies might do to that sexy body of yours enjoy it! Being single can often place you in the fortunate place of having more time to spend on yourself, and so take advantage of it. Exercising should not be limited to going to a gym; things like team sports and dancing classes may not only be great for your body but have a great social aspect to it too.
5) Surround yourself with good people.
Good friends are like diamonds too rare to ever trade in. They will listen and comfort you when you want to scream ‘where the hell is he?’ and ‘why can’t I find him’, and they will be your perfect ‘wing women’ when you are out and about on the town. Forgive them when they ask you too many ‘single’ related questions and have some comfort in knowing that chances are their curiosity likely comes after years of married life and wanting to live the single life vicariously through you.
6) One thing that we all can appreciate is time for ourselves.
Life can be so busy, so just a little time out to assess what you want from life, to refocus our thoughts or to simply just be and not think at all, can be so good for the soul. Be thankful for what you have and not what you don’t have, and if you’re truly happy with whom you are within yourself, then your future partner will be very happy with you when he finds you too.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The first time we held hands, our first kiss, his gorgeous smile and the crazy sense of urgency to see each other the second we were apart. Life was good. It was simple. Our love was consuming. But he was my first love. So was it all real or is my memory of it all, giving it far greater credit than it deserves?
It comes to no surprise that romantic movies and novels have appealed to women all over the world for many years and perhaps more so in last decade, but why? What is it that makes us want Allie to leave her loving partner and go back to her first love Noah in the “notebook”, why do we all think about starting up dancing lessons the moment we finish watching “Dirty Dancing”, and why do we dream of rekindling romance with our first love in “the best of me”?
I think that one of those reasons is that the world has changed so significantly that relationships between people today, leaves a little something to be desired.
Life is just busy, often too busy; the thought of escaping and losing yourself in a romance movie is just what the doctor ordered.
Communication has somehow moved past writing love letters and poems; professing your love for someone means you are ‘putting it all on the line’ and so onto a text message with a heart eyed emoji it is. (In all fairness, a love poem straight off the bat would probably have me questioning a man’s sanity and have me running for the hills).
Ok, so maybe we can all agree that we doubt we will be forgetting our first love any time soon, but since it was our first love, was it actual love? Is it such a stretch to think that we might have found love so young and first time out of the gates running? As an adult, it’s easy to dismiss young love as just part of the process of growing up. By the time you’re an adult, you have more than likely experienced heart ache and can be pessimistic (others might say realistic), on what the chances are of two young teenagers staying together for the long haul.
So, is first love fact or fiction? I say fact. I can reflect back at to my experience, and even though I might be forgetting those inevitable arguments and devilish lows, the adrenaline rush of a first love clearly outweighed it all. Do you remember your first love?