Taking a "CHILL" day...in Australia


Big view on a cloudy day in Sydney.

Hello from Australia!

I am taking a break in Sydney to visit with family and friends. I have had a few questions about our Sydney connection and decided this is as good a time as any to fill you in. So here's the scoop.


The Sydney Connection..
Thirty years ago... Mr. H and I wed along the shores of New England...and the next day flew off (by way of a honeymoon in Bora Bora) to start a new life together in Sydney.

Quiet time Balmoral Beach, Sydney

Since then, in addition to our other expat travels, we have had two expat assignments in Sydney. As Aussie luck would have it, each time we settled into Aussie life... a son was born.  My first when I was 32 and the lucky last when I was 42. Our two girls were born during the ten years in between while living in Connecticut. I should add that our beloved family dog, Tika, was born in Australia too.

During our second assignment in Sydney we all became Australian citizens, adding an Australian passport to our American passport. A handy combination when travelling between countries. We also bought a house, Windswept ,which sits in wait for our eventual 'winter' retirement from expat life.

Three of our four children (and one Aussie daughter-in-law) currently live in Australia, two are based in Sydney. Daughter #1 (25 years) is spreading her wings in the world of business. Son #2 (16 years) is hitting the books in boarding school in Sydney.

Son #1 (27 years) and DIL are based in Townsville, Australia. Since I have listed all but one, I would like to include Daughter #2 (23 years) who is living in Botswana, Africa. All I can say is thank god for the Internet which allows us to  SkypeWhatsAppFaceTime and Facebook Messenger around the world. They are the threads that keeps us all together.


By the sea... Bondi to Tamarama, 

All hands on deck mom...
Visiting Sydney means I get to be an 'all hands on deck' mom again....and I love that. An extra bonus this trip is having Son #2 stay with me. It's great being a school mom again, having those hours in the car (Sydney traffic) to chat back and forth between school drop off and pick up, the hovering during homework hour, the endless trips to the supermarket to 'feed the boy', the reminders to go to bed and repeated reminders to wake up in the morning. I have been fussing and prissing and I am sure driving him crazy...but I secretly think he enjoys it...I know I do!


Lorikeet tweet

Daughter #1 recently took the big step to explore new horizons, leaving one job to start another. I am so glad I could be here in 'real time' (same time zone) to say how proud I am of her and encourage her along. We took a day out together and visited the Sculptures By the Sea exhibit from Bondi to Tamarama. It was one of those spectacular blue days that we frequently have in Sydney. We followed it with lunch at Bill's and a visit to one of my favorite shops, Aesops. It was the perfect mother/daughter outing.

I did text her on her first day of work to say... if she sees me hanging outside her new office building looking up to the sky, waving...not to worry. She asked that I please refrain from doing that as she would like to make friends in her new job.  I just love mischief making with my kids...in Australia ;)

Speaking of mischief...you know how we say it's always the little things in life that can make our day?  I had my little thing moment while driving my son to school this morning. He asked what I was going to get up to during the day. I told him I was going to take a "me" day and delve into my mindbox. He looked at me with one of those 'cringe' expressions on his face and said "Mom...NO... please don't say MINDBOX...it's weird and it makes you sound OLD. Just say you are taking a CHILL DAY."  To which I replied..."OK, I am going to take a chill day...with my mindbox."  ;)

Coffee rainbow in Sydney

Later in the day I recounted the story to a girlfriend ( Z.) over coffee and she looked at me with the same quizzical look and said "NO Jeanne...NO NO NO...it sounds like a recovery step for dementia. Please do not use the word mindbox!" I laughed hysterically as I always do when I am with her. Laughter truly is the best remedy.


So let's talk mindbox... because now I really need to talk about it.

What is it?

It's actually very simple...it's for those times in your life when you feel like you need to clear your head. For those times when you feel like your brain just might....EXPLODE...if you do not do something PRONTO.

I need to tune out before I can tune in again. I give myself five choices. I can either create, go solo, go mellow, exercise or reach out. If I can cover a few of these in the same day all the better.

'Celestial Rings' by Inge King
Sculptures By the Sea 2016
Bondi to Tamarama

CREATE
GO SOLO
GO MELLOW
EXERCISE
REACH OUT

On my list... 

go for a walk
listen to music
read a book
write in my journals
write a letter
write a postcard
write a blog post

get hysterical
laugh

grab a camera
 get lost 

Bondi Icebergs Pool
Bondi Beach, Sydney

escape into movie land 
with the BBC

go shopping
explore a museum
gallery hopping

get messy..
in the garden
in the house


bake
bake brownies
bake a cake
make ice cream
eat cake and brownies
and ice cream
and drink a glass of wine
might as well go for it all

spa day
yoga
pilates
meditate

hike
swim
kayak

catch up
 family and friend

write to you

'Mountains Air-Circles' by Koichi Ishino
Sculptures By the Sea 2016
Bondi to Tamarama

And there you have it...my mindbox. 
At any age, it works!

 How about you? 
Any of the above helpful to you?
What you do when you need to tune out?

Have a thought?
You can leave a comment 
or write to me
jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

As always, 
it is an ABSOLUTE PLEASURE
to hear from YOU!

Jeanne xx
Walking along Bondi to Tamarama, Sydney

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