I got home from the supermarket the other day only to find that the bottle of milk had leaked all over the floor of my car. I was not happy. Fortunately, it was only on one of the removable carpets and not in the boot. I would have been really cross if it had gone all over the boot because that would have been much more difficult to clean. I got the offending bottle out of the bag, put it in the full sun, and told it in no uncertain terms “Let’s see how you like THIS then”. The bottle sat there contritely, filled with remorse, crying more of its contents over my driveway.
About 12 months ago, I was sitting happily writing an article when I felt something on my ankle. I looked down to find a big Huntsman spider making its way up my leg. With a shriek suitable for someone who was being
I started writing this 5 days ago. FIVE DAYS! It is NOT like me to half finish an article. Okay, yes it totally is like me, I’ve got half-finished articles all over the place, but that’s because they haven’t flowed; this one was FLOWING. Unfortunately, a bigger flow came along because motherhood called and when that flow hits you, it takes over your entire life…
I’ve spent two of the last three days going to Armidale to pick up Keeley from school. She’s having her tonsils out on Monday and it’s her birthday tomorrow. All in all, a big weekend. I’m hoping that the attitude and reticence is anxiety about the operation because right now, I’m putting up with quite a lot of teenage ways of behaving that I normally wouldn’t tolerate for more than about
Hi! And welcome! I'm Karen O'Connor and this is me in the photo on the right: a 50-something, happily married mother-of-four (I'm saying that not just because it's true but also in the hope that it helps stop all the friend requests & messages from weird guys), self-made millionaire, serial entrepreneur, blogger and mindset coach/mentor/expert kind of person who is unable to sit still for five minutes.
I've tried the whole 'focus on one thing and do it really well' numerous times during my life, and I
You know, sometimes life can be such a bitch. And I can sit here and moan about it all - the hot flushes, the weird rashes, the raging hormones, the sleepless nights - and, trust me, I DO moan about it occasionally, and then I get the giggles about it all. The things that we go through (and that we put ourselves through) are quite hilarious. I don't know about you, but I made such a MEAL out of being middle aged. I was totally stopped. I thought there was nothing else I could do with my life: I was too old, too out of touch, too slow, way past it. There was just no point in trying something else; I'd been out of the workforce for 20 years, there was no way I could get a decent job and I certainly didn't want to redo my professional qualifications. Besides which, I'm basically unemployable: I'd last about 5 minutes in someone else's company before I started taking over, let's face facts.
The thing is, why was I even CONSIDERING working for someone else? I'd had my own businesses, I'd been involved in our developments, I'd done numerous renovations for profit but
I’m one of those people who is constitutionally incapable of following a manual. I know the joke is generally about men who do that and, truth be told, I will actually look in the manual if I’m really, really stuck, I mean, REALLY stuck, but mostly, when I get a new ‘toy’, I’ll just start using it and wing the whole ‘how-to’ thing. Which is, of course, exactly what happened when I got my new KitchenAid Cook Processor. And – get this, right – I WON the thing in a raffle! I was so impressed! With myself, with the Universe, with the machine, with the lady who organised the raffle, with everything, really impressed with everything and everyone, in fact!
I’ve got to say that when I took the machine… I’m going to have to give it a name, aren’t I? I can’t just keep calling it “the Machine”, it sounds like some weird body building kind of bloke. Or maybe
Just eaten an entire tub of olive dip. All to myself. No help required, thank you very much. It was very nice.
In case you're wondering, I'm totally justified in doing this as in a few minutes, I'm going to be in desperate need of sustenance. I am about to head down to the Apple store for the second time in two days, to try to convince them, for the second time in two days, that there's something wrong with the battery on my laptop. And that, in actual fact, said battery not only misleads us as to how much life it has left in it, said battery is suspiciously shady about how much charge it has left and, more specifically, said battery actually tells outright lies about how long that charge is going to last.
Unfortunately, being a complete non-geek, in fact, I'd go so far as to say that I'm a total airhead when it comes to anything to do with computer innards...
I heard my Mum say to my Dad on numerous occasions, "You know what happens when you talk about religion or politics…"
I’m having a meltdown. Over something and absolutely nothing. To the point where I didn’t sleep last night. Actually, you can take that last statement with a pinch of story-tellers’ salt; this had nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t sleep well last night but it sounds good and it fits. So, as they say, if the glove fits… I didn’t sleep well last night because my mind was churning with conflicting thoughts. My adult, educated, resourceful, analytical mind is rolling its eyes and telling me not to be ridiculous. My six-year old inner child is telling me something completely different: I’m in mortal danger.
My Dad, bless him, will vehemently deny that he can be just a little bit obstreperous. He’d be totally insincere in his vehemence and we all know it. In fact, he’s highly likely to be so insincere that his
I woke up this morning and it felt like summer! Why did everything feel so different? John took me out for breakfast a new café. We’re very enthusiastic (read: too lazy to cook In the mornings) about eating out for breakfast and I don’t think there are too many cafes within a 5km radius that we haven’t tried breakfast at. But then we found this one. #happy #whatagreatfind Well done, my husband.
I decided, for some reason, I suspect because I just felt like summer was here, to put on a skirt instead of jeans, although I did hedge my bets by taking both a cardigan and my down jacket! John togged himself up in his jeans & jacket and I looked at him, silently regretting my rash decision to wear a skirt and prepared myself for an uncomfortable hour spent shivering in the wind, which is
I like to think that I’m a kind person. Occasionally, I’m too kind; I’ll tolerate people way beyond the point where I should have ended the relationship because I feel sorry for them, because I know that they’re getting a s**t load from our relationship, even if it’s all at my expense. And I know that if I end the relationship, they’re going to feel a lot worse.
I googled ‘toxic relationship’ last night and was quite astonished that the relationship I had in mind ticked every single one of the boxes to determine whether it was toxic or not. “Toxic people try to control you” – tick. “Toxic people disregard your boundaries” – tick, tick, TICK. “Toxic people take without giving” – oh my god, you have NO idea. “Toxic people are always “right”” – definitely (though I did feel a little guilty about that because I always like to be right, too). “Toxic people aren’t honest” – no they’re not (phew! I can breathe easier! I’m usually honest. And forthright. And I tend to open my mouth and start talking before I’ve engaged my brain). “Toxic people love to be victims” – dear god in heaven, I am so sick of the ‘not good enough’, ‘poor me’ litany that springs from this person’s mouth. “Toxic people don’t take responsibility” – no, they don’t, do they? They also get the s**ts when someone else succeeds at something they’re trying to do, and they pretend to hide it behind saccharin smiles and good wishes for the person.
If you're on this website, it's highly likely you're a woman aged between 40 & 65, who's staring down the barrel of the rest of her life, uncertain as to what the hell to do with it.
Welcome to the MAWS of life.
'Maws' in the dictionary means 'jaws' or 'mouth'. In this case, it's my acronym for 'Middle Aged Women's Stuff', although originally I had it down as 'Middle Aged Woman Syndrome'. It's that point we get to where we've been doing everything for our family, the kids are leaving home/have left, we're looking at an empty nest, and the rest of our lives, and we find ourselves a bit lost. What on earth are we supposed to do now? We can't even remember what it is we used to want for our lives, and we certainly can't remember how to put ourselves first, right?
We totally create our lives. I get it. And I love it. We are constantly creating ourselves, trying out new things and trying on new ways of being. I’ve been trying “focus” and “niche” and “define your message” for a couple of years now, but the fact of the matter is, if left to my own devices, I talk about, well, just ‘stuff’. There’s no point to what I want to talk about, there’s no purpose to it, it’s not aimed at getting people to do something or to change their lives in any way at all. It’s just observations, commentaries on the stuff that happens in life.
If I’m totally honest with myself, I like to talk, to communicate with people, with the sole intention of getting to know them and having some laughs. I’m interested in finding out about people and I have the strangest experiences all the time because people will come up to me, completely random strangers, and start to tell me their problems or their life story. I must have this invisible-to-the-naked-eye neon sign flashing over my head that says “I’m here to listen! Tell me your story!” because people do exactly that! All the time!
Like the other day, I was happily walking down Mount Warning… okay, if I'm perfectly honest, I was limping down Mount Warning, fully aware that my calf muscles were going to cramp up and reduce themselves to the size of two walnuts any second, but I was pretty happy - and I came across a lady, sitting on a bench, having a drink of water. “Well, look at you,” she says to me, “all pretty in pink and skinny.” Okay, maybe it wasn’t water in that drink bottle. Besides which, my top was purple. She then proceeds to tell me all about the 120km walk around Northern Ireland that she’s just completed, taking time out during her storytelling to yell at two young female doctors who happened to be walking past, that youth was wasted on the young and expecting them to agree with her. Which they politely (if bemusedly) did. In the space of less than five minutes, I found out what the hike was like, who she’d come on this walk with, where she’d stayed in Ireland, even what the food was like, along with her hopes for continuing to go hiking for many years to come.
Now, this kind of story is what I truly love talking about. Sure, I love talking about mindset and moving beyond our blocks and all that other stuff. I love talking about people’s money stories, partly because it’s such an emotionally-loaded topic (although not nearly as emotionally-loaded as talking about Obama or Trump!). But really, I love just having conversations with people, finding out about them and their lives and laughing about life in general and specific events in particular.
And there really is no point to it! It’s simply a conversation! I want to share my excitement about finding quite possibly the most amazing hand cream in the history of the universe (and god knows, I’ve tried a lot of them, including a large number of home-made creams that came from the fool-proof, never-failed-yet, life-(and-skin)-changing, so-incredible-the-big-skincare-corporations-tried-to-stop-this-recipe-from-being-published ilk. I want to have a conversation. There doesn’t have to be a point to a conversation, other than spending time with someone whose company you enjoy. It’s not brave to have this kind of conversation online, it’s just human, it’s spreading a bit of humanity around the internet.
Oh my god, I sound so sanctimonious. Scratch that last bit, or at least, take it with a pinch of salt, for sure.
Just because something doesn’t have a ‘point’ or a ‘purpose’ in that it isn’t educating people about something doesn’t mean that it’s worthless or that it isn’t actually going to make a difference. It’s taken me a long time to understand that and to not feel the need to justify my presence (though I still fall into that fairly regularly; it’s an old and comfortable habit).
PS The comment about my articles being pointless wasn’t intended as a criticism, by the way, it was an encouragement in the middle of a conversation about what I’ve just been talking about, kind of like pointing out that I’ve already been doing that (and probably trying to ignore that fact, too).
I’ve just spent a fruitless hour or so trying to find a colourful graphic of a woman or a woman’s body for my website.
I love colour, even though I’ve spent most of my life wearing black; I like black, it suits me and it’s really easy to find nice clothes in black, much easier than finding nice clothes in purple, which is a nigh on impossible endeavour, even on the internet. But just because I like colour DOES NOT MEAN that I’m into YOGA and MEDITATION and that I like to RELAX AND CHILL! I do not do “relax and chill”, and I do not do them OUT OF CHOICE! Now there’s a weird thing, right? I’m just not that kind of person. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that, either. I’ve spent years feeling like there was something wrong with me – and being made to feel like there was something wrong with me - because I don’t like to take it easy, because I don’t like yoga (and god knows, I’ve tried to like yoga, I keep on trying to like yoga but I go through the class feeling like I’m wasting my life by being there), because I would rather spend my days flying round like a dervish, getting a years’ worth of stuff done in a few hours. I’ve been told to my face that I’m wrong because I like living like that. I’ve been called an adrenaline junkie, a stress-head, a bored housewife who needs to do something with her life…
…yeah, okay, that last one was true. But the fact is, I ENJOY running round at full speed. It works for ME to go flat out until I drop and then I sleep for several days. It might not work for you, but it works for me. I’m happy doing that. In fact, I’m seriously UNhappy when I try to slow down and smell the roses. And let me assure you, I can smell a rose even when I’m screaming along at 100 miles an hour. And appreciate it, too.
Hang on, hang on, I need to go back several paces here. So, I was looking for a graphic for my website, a colourful picture of a woman that could represent the body & health, and the only ones I could find were pictures of women in yoga poses, doing meditations, with words like “soul” and “divine” on them. Oh, and “yoga”, too. There is nothing wrong with any of that stuff, but it’s just not me. I’m looking for ACTION. In colour. Maybe someone running or doing athletic stuff, in colour. Not peace & love hippy s**t. It’s very nice, but it’s not me. Using a graphic like that for MY website would be total misrepresentation.
So, I’m just putting it out there, if anyone has any suitable graphics of fit, aging, colourful, gothic women that might be suitable, let me know. I’d appreciate it.
PS I forgot the fairies! If it’s not colourful yoga and ‘peace & love’ hippy s**t, it’s fairies.
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...