Making Changes as Middle Age sets in

Making changes is something I’m doing a lot right now and part of it could be because middle age sets in, or there could be other reasons, who knows.

Making Changes as Middle Age sets in

Why we are making changes as middle age sets in

On the weekend my daughters came home for dinner. It is something we want to make sure we do often so we get to see them regularly. When my youngest, who has just moved out, arrived she looked around the house and wanted to know why I was sorting out the house now, now that she has moved out.

What could I say? It wasn’t on purpose it was just all about the timing. My husband and I decided that my time would be better spent sorting and cleaning out our house. Not for any reason in particular, except that it is long overdue.

Unlike many other people, we don’t want to sell our house to downsize. When we bought our house we had only bought it for the short term, thinking we would only live here for five years. That was 25 years ago, actually almost 26.

We ended up with two children growing up in the house. I should mention that it isn’t a big house. Three bedrooms and only one living area. We watched so many people extending their houses or moving to larger houses as their families grew, but we never had the money to do that. We managed as best we could.

Our girls shared a room until they were teenagers and we had to give up having one room as a study so they could have their own rooms.

Making Changes as Middle Age sets in

Now in Middle Age

Well, now we are so glad we never could afford that. Both of them have moved out and the house is just right for us. If we downsized really, the only difference may have been that we would only have two bedrooms instead of three.

We have also spent a fortune making our house energy efficient We have changed all the heating and cooling and replaced all the lights with LEDs. On top of that, we replaced the roof and covered it in solar panels. It has been 12 months since we paid for electricity, you have to love that.

The Problem with making changes

There is a problem with all of this. My husband and I both had families that moved all the time, well every couple of years. One of the advantages of that is that you sort through stuff all the time, well every couple of years.

So here we are 26 years later and we have 26 years of crap filling our house. I’m so glad I’ve been allowed this time to sort through stuff and work out what we need and don’t. It is also funny that as I get to this age what matters to me has changed. I am just getting rid of stuff. I’m ruthless in a lot of situations. Maybe ten years ago I wouldn’t have been. I’m loving it.

So what now?

This has to be great for my photography. It means that I can just concentrate on what I want to. There is no need to worry about classes and workshops. Or trying to do things that will make people want me to teach them. Really, I don’t even need to take photos if I choose, though I am finding I want to do it even more now.

My desire has really come back, but more importantly, I want to start doing the work I really want to do. I am trying to build up my courage to go out more on my own, which I am starting to do more. Really, and I’ve even been enjoying it. My next trip is going to be one that will be a bit of a drive, but that will be okay too.

Obviously I don’t spend all day doing housework. That would drive me insane. Not too mention that it has to be done slowly as there is only so much rubbish you can throw out at a time. I have to ration it so to speak. Still there is no time limit, so it will all get done eventually.

I want to explore more of my photography too and get back to doing some things I’ve always wanted to try. I’m itching to get back to baking, I loved doing that when I was growing up, so now I want to do it more and then photograph what I’ve done.

Perhaps this blog will become more experimental as well. I want it to be more personal, more about me, and I hope you like that too.

Anyway time to stop there. I hope this doesn’t scare you off and I really hope you will be along for the journey, wherever that takes us.

Photos today

The photos in the post today I’ve taken from the first few months of me blogging here on my self hosted site. They are from late 2013 and early 2014. Great looking back on what I’ve done to help me see how I got to where I am now. I might even start picking some and reprocessing them. See how different they will turn out. Could be interesting.

sea farers bridge, over the Yarra River, Melbourne

Making Changes as Middle Age sets in

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  1. I’m so happy to read your account of this exciting transition. I’m sure you’re enjoying all the fun and freedom of this phase of life.

  2. Thank you Leanne for sharing your life project. We moved 18 years ago into a two bedroom bungalow. I love being able to walk to the sea and have made the garden more manageable. So do we move again?

    1. Moving is the pits. when I was growing up I wanted to stay put and it was my dream to live in one house. It is nice that my daughters lived in the same house for their childhoods.
      Why would you move again Diana, sounds like you live somewhere really beautiful? Thank you Diana.

    1. I wish I had started a long time ago, would have made the job easier, oh well, I will remember what you have said Nora. Thank you.

  3. I am so with you on that Leanne, sorting out what is really needed and what is not anymore, it’s a great relieve doing that, even with my camera equipment. The less the more sufficient. Same with photography projects, I choose what my heart and mind is drawn too. Happy changes to you from Cornelia.

    1. That’s great to hear Cornelia, it is a great relief. I have always enjoyed doing my own thing more, so I can’t wait to get back to it. Thank you Cornelia.

  4. I can definitely relate to a lot of this post. When we emigrated, we were moving from a house we had lived in for ten years and where all of our children had been babies. We had accumulated SO MUCH STUFF. It was completely overwhelming having to sort through it at pretty short notice. I had to make big decisions quickly as we could only afford to ship a very small percentage of our possessions. It was an intense process. As such, I vowed that I would not accumulate as much stuff when we next owned a house. Well, it has been six years and we are definitely surrounded by stuff so I did not quite keep to my vow (largely because my husband and sons are packrats). However, I frequently (every six months) edit the contents of our home and reevaluate what I want to keep and what I am ready to donate.

    1. Now moving countries would be a whole different matter. I remember moving to Denmark with just one baby for a few months and that was really hard. I can remember when we first moved into this house we loved how much space there was in the living areas and really wanted to keep it like that, like you, we didn’t. Doing it every six months is a good idea, I need to do the same thing. Thank you Laura, great to hear your experience.

  5. I guess we did the same thing. I used to laugh and say that we bought our retirement home when we still had three boys at home. And that was in 1986. We are still there and I love having a small house to clean instead of a big one. And, being an Army brat having to move every 2 years or so growing up, I know about how that forces you to keep the stuff under control. Things do accumulate especially if you are the kind who sees nostalgic value in objects. Which I do. I like knowing a certain dish or vase used to belong to my Grandmother and she got it in China when stationed there etc. I am trying to eliminate clutter and pass along to those aforementioned boys an heirloom or two as that is why I kept some items anyhow.

    I guess it is good to go alone as a photographer certain places. Yet, I find it hard also preferring company for the longer rides or a look out for gators if I’m otherwise distracted, which I usually am when looking through a viewfinder.

    Change is the only constant they say, and generally it is a good thing and helps refresh ones focus and point of view.

    Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New 2020 in the horizon. !!

    1. Haha, that sounds like us. I remember someone said to me once when I bought a tree that would reach maturity in 20 years and she said do you really think you will be still living there then, and I said yes, and she just looked at me. With you about the small house, not to mention how much cheaper they are to run. I’ve said to my husband in the past that we should pretend we are moving, lol. I have been quite nostalgic, but I’m trying to be strong, I do love the decluttered look, so that is driving me.

      I don’t really seem to have a lot of people that want to go out with me, so I need to start doing it on my own. I will have to push myself. We don’t have anything really dangerous around here, so I should be fine.
      Thank you so much Judy, and all the best to you as well.

  6. I can so relate to this, Leanne. My kids, too, have all moved out and we’ve been in our house for 25 years, also. Cleaning out–oh, the joy of purging. I saved so much for them and now they don’t want it! We had a couple yard sales and then just gave it all to the local charity shops in town. Feels like a burden has been lifted. I so enjoy your photography so glad you are excited to get back to it.

    1. Oh boy, it is amazing how much stuff you can collect, not to mention what the kids decide they don’t want anymore and leave behind. I did the same, saved a lot of stuff and realise now they don’t want it. We are sending lots to recycling and that sort of thing. Trying to be good about it. Thank you Lois, I am very excited about my photography now. Planning lots of things.

  7. I love being on this journey with you, Leanne, and can definitely relate to many of the issues that you discussed about getting older and feeling a desire to reprioritize things to focus on what is important to you. It seems to me that the next chapter of your life will be about a “Renaissance in the Middle Ages.” 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Mike, that is so good to hear. Reprioritising is the perfect word for it. I love that last part, I will have to write that down. Brilliant. 😀

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