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I’m Only Just Getting (Re)-Started

The other day my daughter rolled her eyes at me. It wasn’t the first time, just another teenage reminder (in case I’d forgotten) that apparently, I’m an idiot.

I receive these regular showings of affection from my kids with amusement. Whilst there’s no escaping the fact that much of the time they think I’m old and uncool, I refuse to let them see me ‘hunkering down’ into middle age. In fact, I’m only just starting to power up. After over a decade with the pause button pressed on my dreams and aspirations I’m itching to step back a little from my motherhood duties. It’s time to press Play.

When I look in the mirror, a 50-year-old face stares back at me, but on the inside I am 30. I am curious, willing to learn and ready to explore this exciting next phase of my life.

So how do I get back out there?

How can I, and my 50-year-old face, land the job or create the business of my dreams when there so many (actual) 30 and 20 something-year-olds out there competing for the same opportunities?

To solve this dilemma, I’ve drawn on my sales background and created this USPP (Unique Selling Proposition for Parents). If you’re like me, looking to get back out there and reinvent your career, I hope this serves as a reminder of the awesomeness that you’ll bring to any new opportunity:

USPP (Unique Selling Propositions for Parents)

  1. I have many more years of work and life experience to draw from
  2. I have maturity and can relate to people of all ages
  3. I have developed empathy towards the needs of others
  4. I can multi-task across many projects all at once
  5. I am fully functional after only 4 hours of sleep
  6. I offer stability – I won’t be leaving to do my OE travel or to have a dozen children.
  7. I’m good at figuring stuff out (maths homework, deciphering lego instructions and stretching the family budget have provided solid training)
  8. I can prioritise and manage my time effectively and efficiently
  9. I know people – I have formed many professional and personal relationships over the years that I can reach out to for help, support and opportunities.

So, we might not be as hip or as social-media-savvy as our more youthful competitors out there, but we do have some unique strengths that they won’t be able to match. All we have to do is make sure we use them to our advantage when putting ourselves out there. We can do this!

Are you Ready? Set. Go!

 

Flesh and Blood

Mum waits till he goes quiet,
She clambers off the floor,
Inspects the mirror for wounds,
From another night of war.

She winces as she touches,
The bruise around her eye,
Blood drips from her bottom lip,
She slowly starts to cry.

I’m hiding in my bedroom,
Afraid to show my face,
The enemy still stalks the halls,
His rage turned to disgrace.

“I’m sorry Babe” he weeps,
His remorse makes me sick,
Expecting us to pity him,
For being such a prick.

A stream of excuses follow,
Soaked in beer and cigarettes,
“The AB’s played a shocker,”
“The TAB rigged the bets.”

Mum repeats the usual ritual,
Tidies up the lounge in silence,
Hopes it’s enough to hide her shame,
Of love returned with violence.

She’s lived a hundred battles,
Makeup hides the scars,
But shattered glass and confidence,
Deeply cut the heart.

My little sister cries,
Reaches out to grab my hand,
Her saucer eyes already know,
It hurts to love a man.

One day when I am bigger,
I’ll stand in front of Mum,
Smash Dad, send him flying,
See how he enjoys the fun.

I’ll punch the rage right off his face,
Beat him till he drops,
I’ll kick him in the stomach,
Till he’s begging me to stop.

But wait.  I shake my head,
It’s a war I cannot win,
Acting out my anger,
Means I’ll end up just like him.

I refuse to honour his mistakes,
Repeat his sorry ways,
I will not hit the re-play,
I will stop this rage and hate.

I will grow to be a strong man,
Who’s not afraid to fight,
Win against my demons,
Turn my darkness into light.

I’m going to love my woman,
Like my father never could,
With warmth, respect and kindness,
Like a real man would.

They’ll be no blood spilled on my floor,
No crying in the dark,
My kids will learn that courage,
Is a man who shows his heart.

© Lisa Nimmo  21/07/16

Tim Minchin - photo ABC news

Tim F’ing Minchin

Audio version

 

Owning the moment,
A master at large,
Effortlessly making,
Each one of us laugh.

It’s the tip of the iceberg,
We see on the stage,
Not the talent and toil,
That begins with a page,

Up with the sparrows,
Pad and pen,
Seven mornings a week
From five thirty a.m.

When the mind is fertile,
Full of ideas,
Expectations are low,
Cos nobody cares,

At this point in the game,
When the thoughts start to form,
Begin taking shape,
And an artwork is born.

But what happens next,
Sorts the pros from the rest,
Do you file it away,
And move on to the next?

Or do you plant that page,
In your mind like a seed ,
Let it grow and become,
A rock opera on cheese.

Or a poem for the driver of a mitsubishi colt,
An Ode to a Ginger, or a Trump revolt,
A song about loving somebody else,
Taking lonely tonight,
Leaving LA for self,
Respect and renewal,
Like phoenix from flame,
Golden locks flying,
A genius at play.

Tim Minchin, you’re a wonder,
Clever as fuck,
Keep telling stories,
And don’t ever grow up!

© Lisa Nimmo  20/04/19

If Monday wasn’t Monday

Audio version

 

If Monday wasn’t Monday
What could it be instead?
Maybe Saturday or Sunday,
I’d get to stay in bed.

If Monday wasn’t Monday,
I could wake at my own speed,
Wander to the kitchen,
And brew a pot of tea.

No rushing out the door,
To walk the dog before I eat,
Eggs on toast with mushies,
For breakfast what a treat!

If Monday wasn’t Monday,
It would simply be a someday,
A make-it-what-you-want day,
Have a huge amount of fun day.

Maybe I’ll take Monday,
And give it a little twist,
Or skip straight through to Tuesday,
And see if Monday’s missed.

It’s just one day out of seven,
After all, it’s no big deal,
Twenty four less hours,
And only three less meals.

But what if then my Tuesday,
Starts to lose it’s Tuesday shine?
And starts to feel like Monday,
It’d have been a waste of time.

I guess I’m stuck with Monday,
Might as well give it some zing,
Call it Magic Monday,
Let it be a whole new thing.

Oh yes I LOVE Magic Monday,
Freshest day of the week,
New beginnings and adventures,
The world right at my feet.

Monday’s SO exciting now,
It’s a whole new phase,
Thank you Magic Monday,
You’re my favourite day!

© Lisa Nimmo 09/04/19

Leaving Home

Audio version

 

I had all kinds of fantasies
About today,
Standing on the side of the road,
Waiting for our futures to arrive,
On a big green bus.

I hug you for the longest time,
Stroke the caramel curls,
Trailing down your back,
And breath you in.
Then, you go.

After all these years of telling you
To make your bed,
Do the dishes,
And get out of the shower because
Thirteen minutes really IS enough
to wash your hair AND shave your legs,
It’s over.

If only our futures could arrive,
Without you having to leave.

Tomorrow looks a little different,
Tidier, more empty,
Rainbow chaos turned to silence.
I remember craving such solitude,
Now I have it, and I don’t want it.
I want you.

You and your messy teenage madness,
Telling me I’m old and fat and slow,
As we run for the bus,
Laughing, wishing we’d got up earlier,
But for that Netflix show that,
kept us wide eyed,
Till midnight.

Without you,
Now there is no bus, no morning rush,
Just the promise of an empty day,
And a million possible ways to fill it.
I think of you,
Traveling into your new life,
And I think about my own,
It looks completely different from yours,
But in a way, the same.

Adventure, Freedom, Reinvention,
There for the taking, Or not.
We gave each other the moon,
But the moon cannot compete,
With the Universe and its stars,
Infinite and unexplored,
Calling you to find your place among them,
And for me, to find mine.

© Lisa Nimmo 22/05/19

The Audition

Audio version

 

Mum took me to an audition,
I had to stand and sing,
To a man at a piano,
With a gold and diamond ring.

As I waited for my turn,
My stomach full of knots,
I went into a panic,
Thought I’d lose the plot.

Running through my mind,
Everything that could go wrong,
Forget the words, sing out of tune,
Hold a note too long.

The more the movie rolled,
Inside my troubled head,
The more I felt I had to run,
Be somewhere else instead.

Then much to my dismay,
My eyes started to leak,
I turned away from the other kids in line,
Feeling like a freak.

I can’t do it Mum,
I need to go home I choked,
No you don’t she smiled,
Why don’t you tell me a quick joke.

Why did the chicken cross the road,
To get to the idiots house,
Knock knock,
Who’s there?
The chicken” I say,
Feeling cheeky, clever and proud.

Oliver J the lady called,
Holy crap that’s me, I’m on,
I clutched my music,
Good luck Mum whispered,
Waving her imaginary wand.

Five minutes goes fast when you’re in the room,
Sing this, march that, and again,
Scales up and down, la la la, la la la,
Keep going until I say when.

Then it was over, I left the room,
Mums waiting for me outside,
How did it go? she asked, I say
Not bad. At least I survived!

 © Lisa Nimmo  12/04/17

Letting go

Audio version

 

I know you want what’s best for me,
Pass my exams, earn my degree,
Get a job, pay my student loan,
Fall in love, buy a home.

I know you want me to succeed,
But what does that look like,
For not you,
But me?

Maybe I’ll run away to a zoo,
Go to New York, dye my hair blue,
Or work in a bar, kicking out drunks,
Shave my head, become a monk.

Maybe I’ll play guitar in a band,
Lie on a beach, dig my toes in the sand.
The point is I guess, I have no idea,
Of how I’ll turn out, or even where.

I ‘get’ why you might want it all mapped out,
Tick all the boxes, leave no room for doubt,
But I’m not one of those kids, who knows their path,
Not driven towards any ‘God given’ task.

However, I do know, wherever I land,
I’ll have tried the hardest I possibly can.
I’ll make dumb mistakes, one or ten,
And probably make some all over again.

But they’ll be my mistakes,
My lessons learned,
My stormy seas,
And tides to turn.

I’ll try not to be too stupid of course,
Remember the advice and wisdom you taught,
Keep my head straight and follow my heart,
Be grateful for your wonderful start.

Now you can let go, dismiss the guard,
Relax the reins, I’m taking charge,
I probably won’t choose what you want me to do,
But however it goes,
I’ll always love you.

Don’t feel sad in my empty room,
Who knows, I could be back in it soon!
As I step into my adult shoes,
Just have faith in me
And love me too.

© Lisa Nimmo 08/06/16

 

Footy Dad

Audio version

 

Dad comes to watch my football,
Every Saturday,
He says he wants to help my game,
Improve the way I play.

He paces up and down the line,
“Go faster, go harder” he growls,
I struggle through the muddy grass,
Afraid I’ll let him down.

He stamps his feet and screams aloud,
“For God sake, take the shot!”
Mum’s mortified, on the side,
Again, Dad’s lost the plot.

I wish I were a better player,
Like my other football friends,
Whose Dads smile and cheer and clap their hands,
And hug them at the end.

On the way home I am silent,
As Dad offers his advice,
Blocking out the words I’ve heard,
More than once or twice.

“Next week” he says “we’ll warm up more,
That’ll help to fire you up,
We’ll practice more drills to hone your skills,
And get aggressive, be more tough.”

“Actually Dad” I whisper,
Almost too afraid to speak,
“I think I’ll play a better game,
If Mum takes me next week.”

He glares in the rearview mirror,
“What do you mean?” He’s getting wired,
“It means as far as football goes,
I’m sorry Dad, but you’re fired!”

© Lisa Nimmo 08/06/16

Writing for Me

I’m prolific,
It’s terrific,
Ideas pouring out!
Can’t conceive,
Or believe,
I had any doubts.

Yesterday my pen refused,
To scribble on the page,
I’d begun to hunker down,
Submit to middle age.

I thought I had nothing to say,
The world would want to hear,
Worried I’d be criticised,
Now somehow, I don’t care. 

With this subtle shift in attitude,
My morning habits have changed,
Leaping out of bed,
I cannot wait to hit the page.

Snuggle into my favourite chair,
Mohair on my knee,
Mind is quiet, brain is full,
Wrapped in poetry.

Now when I sit down to write,
I do it just for love,
I’m prolific,
It’s terrific,
And that is good enough

© Lisa Nimmo 23/05/2019

Bed

A soft, warm bed
On a chilly winter morning.
I could lie here,
All day long,
Wrapped in the comfort
Of Nothingness.

The mattress pulls me in,
Holds me down.
Here I am safe,
From expectation, disappointment,
And mistakes that
I know I will make.

Do not ask me to leave,
Or suggest that I’ll feel better,
When I’m showered,
And dressed.
I will not. I will not.
I will not.

© Lisa Nimmo 22/05/2019