A Real Life, Feel Good Story

by Belinda on May 3, 2011

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I admit I’m a sentimentalist.  I love real life, feel good stories.  I love movies with happy endings.  I love to hear how people met and fell in love.  I love to share in people’s happiness.  And I love to share my good feelings with others.

So today I want to share my real life, feel good story!

It all begins with my Mum.  This year she turns 70!  Can you imagine, my Mum is going to be 70.  Not only that, she still mows her backyard lawn with a push mower.  And the lawn just isn’t a little patch of green, it’s a huge hill!

When I ring her from all the way across the other side of the world she tells me “Bindy (that’s my family nickname and only my family can call me don’t so don’t even think about it), anyway, she says “Bindy, I mowed the lawn today and then I went up onto my little balcony and looked over my backyard and said to myself “Elaine, that’s a job well done” and admired my work.  Now despite the fact she tells me this almost every month crikey, I love hearing it.  I love the way she refuses to put away the mower and she gets out there and sweats and works hard and then pats herself on the back.

Moral of the mini-story:  Refuse to let others tell you what you can and can’t do and when you do well, reward yourself.

The story doesn’t stop there.  When my Mum was a girl she loved to swim.  I remember seeing a sexy black and white photo of her in a swimsuit  (she looked about 16 years old).  After all this time, in 2005 she decided to compete in the The 10th Australian Masters Games (50 meters freestyle and backstroke).  Never mind she hadn’t swum for many, many years.  She joined a club, trained her guts out and competed for the first time in her life.  When I asked her why she did it she said “I was getting older and thought I should do something”….

Moral of the mini-story:  Never give up on your dreams.

Then just four years ago, Mum got herself on a plane and flew half way around the world to see me in Panamá. We had all sorts of crazy (dangerous) adventures together; surfing, zip line canopy, snorkeling and drunken hammock swinging.  The last of which resulted in a 360 degree hammock spin and a split ear for Mum!  We were on tiny island with no medical help.  We had to wait 2 hours for a boat, then an hour boat ride and finally at the rinky-dink island hospital she got 8 stitches – but she was a trooper all the way.

Moral of the mini-story: Have fun but be careful when swinging in a hammock after one too many Piña Coladas!

Finally, it was my Mum who inspired me to follow my dream of learning to surf at age 37.  She made me realize I had lost my spark, forgotten my dreams and that I was trying to “be” someone I thought everyone else wanted me to be .  I had that “uha” moment when I realized I had stopped doing things “just for me”. But it only took a micro-second to make that adjustment and suddenly I was out in the ocean on a freezing winter day in a wetsuit that was 3 sizes too big for me, “surfing”!

Moral of the mini-story:  Sometimes the inspiration we need to change is close to us, we just need to open our eyes and see it.

The beauty of life is, you can write your own story.  None of us really know – we may be half way through our book, a third or two thirds – but it’s never too late to write a new chapter.  Turn the page today and start creating YOUR real life feel good story!

PS. Mum’s latest project is “walking” (yeah right) so my Mother’s Day present to her is a Polar Heart Rate Monitor Watch, but shhhhhhh don’t tell her 😉


Mum’s First Sky Dive At Age 62!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa September 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Hi Belinda, I come across to read your blog. It’s really unbelievable and inspiring. What I wanna say is Go on and Live Your Legend! All the best to you and brave Elaine! :)



Belinda September 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Hi Lisa!!! I LOVE your energy – thanks for the encouraging words. Following my dreams has taken me places I never believed possible….and now beyond even that. Elaine, my Mum loves me unconditionally and has given me support no matter where I lived, travelled to or what I did. Thanks Mum!

Keep up your positive spirit Lisa and keep inspiring people, it will come back to you over and over again! xoxo


Kim Newsom May 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

What an amazing woman your mother is and she raised another amazing woman!! This is probably my absolute favorite blog of yours!!

Thank you for sharing and for giving us the reminders we often need to motivate ourselves to do more.


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

Ayyeee thank you Kim! Yeah I reckon this is my favorite blog so far also….


Nikki de Oliveira May 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

So cool!!! Go Elaine. I had to forward this to my mum (her name is also Elaine and she used to be an amazing swimmer too)… thanks for posting this and I hope that my mum will be inspired to make some healthier choices and changes in her life from seeing how fantastic your mum looks and feels. Her positive energy is pouring out of her. God bless mums all over the world and especially for Mother’s Day!!! Thanks Bel for your continue inspiration and living your truth!!! Nikki xxx


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:18 am

Wow what a coincidence your Mum is Elaine and loves swimming!!!! :) God Bless all the Mums today. xoxo PS: and thanks for your sweet words also, “living my truth” I love that..thanks for the most wonderful compliment…..


Kat Eden May 5, 2011 at 12:01 am

Wow, that is a very cool story Belinda! How inspiring. I know I’ve been just as guilty as the next person from time to time of saying ‘I can’t do ‘x’ because of … (insert random excuse or justification)’ … this is an excellent lesson to all of us to never give up on our dreams and remember that life really is NOW and that we should be ‘pressing play’ every day!


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:21 am

Yeah life is now Kat, I love your mantra and your blog…keep going strong girl..and Happy Mothers Day to you! (I think it’s your first one right?)…woohoo!


Kimberly May 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Hi Belinda,

Thank you for sharing. It is amazing to think how strong the body can be when the mind Gera out of the way!!!


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

“thumbs up” :)


Jane Harris May 4, 2011 at 4:01 am

Hi Belinda,
Thanks for the motivational story. I can see where you get your enthusiasm from :)
Your Mum is right we do need to set ourselves some goals every now and then, otherwise we find ourselves drifting and doing nothing with meaning.
Good on ya Elaine!!!!
Can you come and do my lawn?…..lol!!!! (JUST KIDDING) :)

Jane Harris SA


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

Teeheee, yeah my lawn also…well I don’t have a lawn but a little house cleaning would be nice. How about just tucking me into bed with a little kiss like when I was a kid. Sigh, Mums are the best!


Joann Bosch May 4, 2011 at 2:18 am

Wow your mum’s a legend Belinda. You must be a very proud daughter!
We went to Fiji with my 84 year old mum and she went para-sailing!! Now that was the most fantastic sight. Especially knowing that she couldn’t swim at all. After that she was unstoppable. She went on the banana boat and was constantly in the pool. Yes, walking around in the water without a care in the world. Now there’s a true Aussie Legend!! Needless to say, while we were on the island everyone knew who ‘Nanna” was.


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:26 am

84 years old and para-sailing now that’s very impressive (and not being able to swim). Sometimes people get more adventurous in their latter years because they just throw caution to the wind and think “what the heck”. I learned that from my Grandmar (passed away at age 92 years) – she got to a point where she just didn’t care what people thought anymore. Everyday, I try to get a little closer to that point….I can’t wait to arrive!!


Billie May 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Belinda, I know your mum is one of the best. Many many years ago I was her bridesmaid so have known her for a long time. We traveled to New Zealand together..a lot of fun, many ‘boy friends”!! many new adventures. I envy her adventurous spirit and good health.I support your thoughts that life is a short journey and we need to pack it with love, fun, positive thought and authenticity. Your mum and I live in different states now but I love her and you are a chip off the ‘ old’ block. Good job Billie Parker WA


Belinda May 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

Billieeeeee! I was thrilled to read your comment and I vividly remember meeting you as a kid. Although Mum was careful to “censor” her New Zealand adventure stories with you, over the years I discovered more and more of her secrets – which while at first where a little shocking to think “my Mum” got up to that much mischief, was also inspiring in the courage and strength that you both took to break out of the social expectations around you both at that time. I still find it inspiring to think of that trip you guys did together! I hope you still have that adventurous spirit! xoxo


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