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Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m not saying that for felicitation purposes. I’m saying it because it will be my first birthday without Erika.

In a way, I’m almost dreading it. Wanting a message or a poke from her and knowing I’m never going to get one. Again.

Woman’s Hour had an article this week on bereavement, focussing on when a friend dies. And how it feels different from when a relative dies. It really does.

When you click with someone, when you choose them as part of your family, the pain from them not being there is searing. It is different to the pain I felt when my Grandparents died (well, three of them anyway, the fourth and last one that died can simply go forth and multiply).

As I got closer to Saturday; all week my thoughts kept returning to Erika. I hope wherever she is, she flicks me the bird, shoves against me in the mosh pit of life, or comes to visit me in my dreams and knows that I love her.

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Oh lordy, I’m still not in the swing of this (and this was a draft from yesterday!). It’s amazing how having a small person in school gives you a routine to hang your day / week / month / life on.

Back to work for two weeks, holiday feeling has well and truly gone! If only we didn’t need money to have a roof, food and clothing – I think we’d be a whole lot happier. Listening to Ruby Wax and Sane New World, our brains just are not designed to do the 9-5 thing. Neither are our bodies for that matter.

In case you were wondering, I’m at day 12 of no alcohol. I’m using an Andrew Johnson meditation app called (quelle suprise) Sober. I listen at least once a day, you can program the app for the meditation to either send you to sleep or wake up. Most often at the end of the day, as Andrew’s Scottish burr is heavenly. I’m very excited to report my spare Bluetooth headphones are coming in useful. It means I can leave my phone in the bathroom, listen to the app and then go to sleep.

Hubs and I have had a virus run through us this week, both of us were a bit wobbly on our feet.

The house looks like a student house; doing my exercises in the lounge room this morning (28 by Sam Wood), I kept thinking man, we need to vacuum…

This morning (actually 16 January) I had to wake Archie up, he was sound asleep at nearly 7am! He was so sleepy, he asked for breakfast in bed. Bless his heart, I gave him his breakfast and was packing his lunch, no bread rolls. None in the freezer either. I packed up his nibbles, he got dressed, I shot into the shower and shot back out again.

I wanted to get out the house on time, as I needed to move my computer to another building. We did get out the house on time, but needed to whizz into Coles to get Archie a bread roll, I also treated him to a milkshake in his lunch (excellent Mama Bear points there). We got wet getting out the car, then wet getting back in again. Then we got stuck in traffic getting him to his holiday program, got wet again. Then I got stuck in even more traffic, and apparently every red light along the way too.

I got to work later than planned, damp round the edges (read Monica hair), but got everything unplugged and moved over, replugged and the phone didn’t stop ringing all day.

We’ve had a security guard onsite with us, he looked at me and said ‘You look like you need a snooze!’ What I did need was some fresh air, so off I toddled to the closest, best coffee shop and back, with an almond latte. Felt like a new woman and had the best afternoon.

In other news, Sane New World arrived at work today too :D

Deep dive book club

Here are the deep dive books I’m going to interrogate this coming year. I’m going to be too restrictive on this study pile as I’ve learned don’t box yourself into life too tightly! If another book speaks to me, it will get added.

Deep dive book club

From the left:

Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck

Wherever You Go, There You Are, John Kabat-Zinn

Spiritual Liberation, Michael Bernard Beckwith

A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle. I’ll be revisiting the handy chapter breakdown, 10-part series Oprah did too.

Australia Day, Stan Grant

Becoming, Michelle Obama

Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo

Sane New World, Ruby Wax – not pictured because the book itself is in transit. I’ve listened to the audio-book twice though.

I’ll let you know how I go, and if through this self-imposed study I find the answers to life, the universe and everything.

7-366

I’m pecking this out on my phone, about to turn the light off and go to sleep.

I just mainlined Ship of Brides as it’s due back to the library tomorrow. My first JoJo Moyes book, picked up on holiday by Trish who said it was worth checking out – thanks for the recommendation!

I’m breathing normally again, thank goodness. The smoke haze has lifted, I could smell the trees again today. It’s been a funny week already, and it’s only Tuesday! I’ve been given access to another mailbox at work, opening an email I managed to infect my computer. I got a notification that it “had been taken off the network, call IT”. #ruhroh

Archie is back home, tired and emotional and more than a bit overwhelmed to be here – poor sausage. He said he missed us, we certainly missed him. Not sure if he’ll end up in our bed, or if I’ll head down to him.

6-366

I missed 4 and 5. I was drunk on 4, and at the cinema on 5.

I’ve reached out for help with my drinking, apologised to Hubs and am currently on Day 2 of getting sober. I was so far into shame yesterday, I nearly imploded on myself.

I’ve joined an eight-week fitness challenge, I asked Hubs to take front, back and side view photos of me. The front on is truly awful, will never see the light of day. I’m chewing my lip in pain, but it was real, raw and honest and so I didn’t going to ask him to retake it.

I also took my measurements, am at my heaviest weight, which I thought I’d hit last year. Barely fitting into clothes and cross with myself for abusing my body.

So here we are. Out there and open.

I’m going to share this with you. Because as I find my way through, others might need to as well.

Exercising is going to be interesting with the air quality being as bad as it is with the fires though. I was going for a walk each lunch time – but I don’t think I will be today.

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It’s been an odd day today. We’re packing up and cleaning the house ready to leave tomorrow; we may need to do two trips as we’ve accumulated so much stuff down here. I’m not sure how we managed it, but herding everything together we’re already thinking ruh-roh.

We’ve had the cricket on, interspersed with the news and if you saw my Facebook / Instagram story from earlier with the smoke haze hiding the other side of the road – you’ll know that life as we know it here in Australia has changed.

Ash is falling on New Zealand, cities are choked with smoke and haze, the EPA have issued air quality warnings for Melbourne; let alone the areas that are on fire. Canberra is hotter than Alice Springs, we’re f***ed basically.

And our illustrious leader seems to be waiting for the Pentecostal Rapture, because nothing else can explain his behaviour. He’ll be fine because he holds his hands up to pray and the world going up in flames is what the church predicts. What about the rest of us?

I’m trying not to get cross with it all, but watching the news tonight Archie first said “It looks like lava”, then “Why don’t they put it out?” then “Please turn it off, this is terrible.”

Any suggestions how I explain decades of inaction and resources to an eight year old? That for the past however many years profit has been put above everything else; because a planet with finite resources will always enable year on year growth and a strong economy? *snort* That coal lobbyists have the Liberals in their pockets by donating millions to the party?

Sigh.

I don’t know what to do. I do know that tomorrow, we’ll get up and we’ll carry on. Because our lives carry on, even if others in the Land of Plenty are now in limbo.

2-366

I took myself off to the beach today. I’m now sunburnt behind my knees. I also have a red patch on a thigh. Got to love intermittent sunscreen application.

I had a great time, I just laid on the beach – watched the world go by and listened to Ruby Wax’s Sane New World. Which will be one of my few deep-dive books, along with Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. I’m also going to revisit the Oprah’s 10 part course where you drill down into each chapter. I also remembered I brought Jon Kabat-Zinn Wherever You Go, There You Are and added that to the list.

That’s three. I’ll have a look when I get back home as to what else tickles my fancy.

We’ve got another couple of days here at the beach, then back home and enough hilarity, back to reality.

We’ve put on Order of the Phoenix for Archie, the first time he’s watched it. Not too many questions so far, that Delores Umbridge is truly awful…