You’re Invited

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Gort Community Market January 2018

I don’t have a lot of pictures that aren’t of birds these days, so I thought I’d use one from our latest Gort Community Market day. It was soooo beautiful! Lovely people and great craic as usual. Since it’s winter now, we’ve also added open fires and a little market extension in the cosy back room of Hennelley’s Bar, where people gather around the fireplace and chat. The whole thing is the perfect environment for a cuddly hag.

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I’m now going to write about woman stuff, so if you’re squeamish or don’t want to know about these things, simply skip this and the next two paragraphs. Start reading again below the picture and you’ll find the invitation mentioned in the title. But for now, it’s pussy zone and if you’re still reading, I’m going to assume you’re fine with that.

You see, I haven’t had a period in five weeks and two days. Now, my cycle’s never been all that regular to begin with, but it tends to be below four weeks – something like 26 days – rather than longer. And now I’m fantasising about finally starting menopause and can’t contain my excitement. The time of its onset seems to run in families and my mum as well as my sisters all started perimenopause around this age. All I can think is, please pleeeeeeaaaaase let this be what it is! Yes yes, I know, hot flashes and depression. But they’ll pass, eventually.

The point is, I can’t wait to get rid of this bloody (literally) nuisance every month, and please don’t tell me about my divine femininity now! I’m on board with all that, I honour and welcome it, but I’ve also had a really painful time of my period for the past 20 years or so and I’m so done. I’m looking forward to being just like a guy – being able to run around, go camping, swing swords, and be fully functional instead of curled around a hot water bottle in excrutiating pain every few weeks. So, fingers crossed this is indeed the start of the whole thing getting less and less frequent until it finally stays away. Yay!

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Happy hag in the car

Here’s where you continue reading if you skipped the previous paragraphs. You’ve probably been wondering what invitation I’ve been going on about? The things is, I’ve a hag birthday coming up on the 13th of February, and since next month’s Gort Market is on the 11th, I’ve decided to have a little – or a big – celebration on Saturday the 10th. I’m not sure about the details yet, but it’ll involve good music and dancing and will likely happen either in Gort or Ennis. Soooo, if you’re close enough to visit, and you read this and I’ve forgotten to invite you on Facebook, do get in touch because you’re most certainly invited.

What I’d actually love to do is the 80s disco I’ve been sitting on for years and years. I’ve never DJ-ed before in my life, but I’ve been putting together a playlist. Without repeating a single artist, I’m now at 153 songs and counting. It’s going to be epic – if it happens. Actually, it’s more like when it happens, because I’ll do it one day for sure, it’s just not certain yet whether it’ll happen on my birthday. If it doesn’t, we’ll just go dancing somewhere else. I hope the Gort Market folks will all come, then we can all be tired and hungover the next morning at the market together!

If you’re too far away to make it: Don’t worry. We’ll take lots of incriminating pictures.

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Bliss

In Athenry (my nearest town)

I accidentally joined the nicest gym in the world.

Part of my benefits at my job is a gym re-imbursement. It explicitly excludes martial arts involving weapons, so I’ve always ignored it so far. But now, after almost a year and a half of forced inactivity due to injury, now that my muscles are once again non-existent and so is my endurance, I could actually use a few classes to build up some strength again. And so, in the proverbial last minute before 2017 was up, I signed up at a gym in Athenry over the phone.

Before I continue: Remember what I said about people only reading the first few paragraphs of my blog articles? It’s happened again with my entry last week. Hardly anyone even got to the juicy bits further down, so please please, bear with me. My articles aren’t that long, after all!

Today I went to my first class. I used to go to large gyms in Austria and loved the anonymity, the way you could show up to a class one week and a different one the next and nobody would notice. Here, it’s different, and to my surprise I love it. I was introduced to the class (I don’t remember all the names, but give me a few weeks!) and looked after, encouraged, and had a good laugh with my training partner. Oh, and in the end it was: “Well done for keeping up!” and: “See you on Wednesday!”

It was a circuit-style class, deceptively “simple” but by the third round I had serious trouble sticking it out. Now I’m back home and trying to determine what’ll hurt most tomorrow: My arms and chest muscles, my thighs, or my abdominals.

And I’m ecstatic. I’m finally, finally moving again!! The last year and a half have been tough. You may vaguely remember an entry from 2016 where I explained how my energy is kinetic (in the last four paragraphs of that article, actually – in case you’re going to click the link), how I slip into depression if I don’t move. I haven’t quite been that low lately, but the overflowing love and joy had become infrequent spikes, rather than a continuous flow. Being constantly sick since September didn’t help (I’m still coughing but I believe that this time, I’m actually getting better).

Getting back into it is going to be tough, too, but I’m loving every moment of it. I’ve got my life back. Again. I’m going to go slowly this time, listen to my body, take care of it, and not push myself into injury again, that’s a solemn pledge.

It’s always so good to be recognisably me again: The dancing hag in black velvet and lace. Silly, awkward, happy, in love with people and everything else. Such as my birdies. I said the other week that I used to have the cutest budgies, and now I’ve got the cutest garden birds. The air is full of chirps again.

And tomorrow I’ll go to Mayo to recharche my soul. I’ll get a haircut and dye, have lunch at McHughs, and get new arrows from Harald – and if the weather’s not too horrible, I’ll go on to Massbrook afterwards. In other words, I’ll have my favourite kind of day bar none; it’s like a very special holiday every time, anticipated with tingly, delirious happiness, a bit like Christmas used to be when I was little.

Mini hag, ca. 1974

All’s as it should be. 2018 has got off to a great start!

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New Year’s Hag

Every year when I wake up on the 1st of January, the first thing I do is to play U2’s “New Year’s Day” at top volume and dance to it. It’s easy to see why I live alone.

But seriously, the song’s got such energy and promise. It’s exactly the way I want to start a year, in motion and breathless and happy, music in every cell of my body! I did it again this year, although I’ve a bit of a fuzzy head and haven’t slept a lot over the past week or so because of my persistent cough.

If you read this and you have any idea why someone who’s normally healthy as a horse and gets the flu about once every decade, can be sick on and off with light flu-light symptoms for 2-3 months, do let me know please. I’d say I’m allergic to something in my house, if the exact same thing hadn’t happened in the last two places I lived in. This is the third year that I’m more or less sick from October to December – in this case, January, because it’s been worse this year and there’s still no end in sight.

It’s getting on my nerves. Like I said, I don’t have much experience of being ill, and I don’t deal well with it. I want to be fit and move and exercise and jump around and be happy. Instead, I’m stuck at home most of the time, feeling tired. It sucks! I try and make the most of it: For example, I decided not to go out on New Year’s Eve but stay at home and raise a mug of hot mulled wine to my loved ones at midnight, which I did, outside my beautiful little cabin, hugged by a beautiful mild wind and with the nearly-full moon above my head.

The moon just after midnight last night

Staying at home has the additional advantage of saving money. I’ve made a pact to pay back the rest of my student loan early (if you’re wondering why I’m still dealing with this in my 40s, it’s because I was exempt for much of my 20s and 30s – long story). It’s a huge commitment and means I’ll be very, very skint until the summer, but then it’ll be done! Right now I need to get people to visit me, rather than the other way around. The occasional trip to Mayo, and East Clare maybe once or twice a month is all I can afford these days.

Feels good to be taking control, though. Last night, I’ve also reviewed my goals for 2017 and set new ones, and with a slight shock I realised that I haven’t really achieved much of what I’d set out to do last year. This is a first, by the way, I usually manage most of the list, sometimes all of it. Thinking back, it’s been a good year anyway, full of people and adventure, so I’m not taking it to heart. It’s been a year of great intentions and not much follow-through but much in terms of experiences and love. In 2018, I’ll try and combine the two.

Whenever I think of what I need to do to get to my goals, I keep coming back to the same thing I coach people about: Prioritise my passions. As long as I let joy guide my decisions and my daily work, I’m going places. It’s not as easy and obvious as it sounds, because it also means that I won’t put undue focus on things like my job. It’s just not a priority, I needed a reminder of that. Something to work on with my own Coach!

Whilst we’re speaking of Coaching: I’m offering a chance to win a free 1-on-1 session worth 149 EUR this week, and it’s exclusive to subscribers of my Monday Sparkles newsletter. If you’re not subscribed yet, goeth forth and do it! If you subscribe by tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ll manually send you today’s newsletter so you can still participate. As with all communications from me, your email address is completely safe.

What else is new? Oh, I had some interesting conversations following the previous article on our ageist attitude. One insight from those is that it’s ageist even when someone tells me: “You don’t look 47 at all!” I know it’s meant as a compliment and I appreciate the good intentions, but it’s basically saying “Gods, you’re old. But hey, you don’t look it, at least.” I maintain that 47, or 57, or 67 aren’t “old”, they’re right in the middle of life when things can still improve.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to descend into another rant. Today, I just wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year and much joy and love in 2018!

Please feel free to leave a comment below. It will be visible after approval and I respond to every comment, so do check back later!

If you’d like a quick email notification every time I post something new on my blog, fill in this little form. I give you my hagish word that I’ll never spam you or pass on your data!