It takes a village

I’m painfully aware of the length of time since my last blog. But I’ve been working hard on myself and my mood. Rufus has retreated, the dark thoughts that were clouding my vision have definitely moved on. Be that because I asked for help and got it, from all sorts of people, thank you. Or be that through chemical means, my GP increased my anti-depressant dose by half daily till the end of the year – I don’t care.

This post has been a long time brewing with random thoughts that have been wandering around in my head, so I’m just going to do a stream of consciousness and let it go. Are you ready?

Work is better than it has been, since I started working here. The office that I’m in (as in the position I support) is incredibly busy, more so than before. I’ve been able to step into my PA shoes and really help, thank goodness. We’re still a long way away from being as organised as I would like, but I’m doing more with what I can and it is making a difference.

I listen to the BBC Woman’s Hour podcast each day, as every day there is an article that I take something from. This morning I was getting ready for work laughing my head off at the tanning options from a TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) participant, Amy Childs. From “Why bother?” (a natural tan) to “Oompah loompa orange” (self-explanatory), there were four levels of colour you could choose from. Amy Childs was quite sweet on the program, the salon she owns is in an industry she’s wanted to work in since she was 16. She’s now 25. I’m 40 and am still no nearer knowing what I want to do with my life than I did when I was 16.

Sidebar: I’ve told you about my careers advice at school haven’t I? Because I could swim, it was suggested I went into the Navy.

Anyhoo, on Womans Hour they were talking about how women in Essex and Liverpool will quite calmly walk around supermarkets etc. with curlers in their hair, onesies on through the day as they’re getting ready to go out in the evening. If anyone I knew in my social sphere appeared outside the house with curlers in while I was growing up; there would be loud tutting as it would not have been the done thing. I don’t get that, at all. It kind of ruins the mystique of it all really, ‘Yes you may see me dressed for the ball in a few hours. But hey, here’s my pumpkin carriage and mouse footmen too’.

Writing about Jack Monroe and their transition had me think long and hard about my childhood. I swum a lot, so to make everyone’s life easier I had short hair. Therefore looked like a boy, because girls only have long hair – right? I’m not a girly girl either, I can remember one time playing around with my make-up, once.

People would call me a boy when they bumped into me in the street too, most recently on Sunday actually. I was filling my car with petrol, M at work was with me, she went in to the shop to get some money out. The man behind the counter said ‘Is he, I’m sorry, is she paying for the fuel or you?’

One of my bosses said ‘You’re a good looking girl, but sometimes you really do look like crap’.

On a college placement in a residential home, the older ladies would say in their discrete stage whispers, one of those that could be heard on the moon, ‘She looks just like a boy’.

I’ve been this height since I was 12, all through my teenage years I was bigger and fatter, (even though looking back now I wasn’t fat at all, I was actually strong because of the swimming), but as my clothing sizes were larger than my peers – ergo I was fat.

People commented on the size of my feet, it still makes me feel physically ill when people do it and wonder why I get upset, “Jeez, I’m only joking!” Yes, it’s f-ing hilarious from here when for years you were bullied about them. I live in trousers because I can’t find shoes to fit that go with skirts,  so when I do wear a skirt, people comment on that too.

Having had a long period in my life where I could only look in a compact mirror to do my hair or make-up so I didn’t have to look the whole of my face at any one time, I am now able to do my make-up in a mirror that shows my face. Mind you our wardrobe doors are two floor-to-ceiling sliding mirrors, and my clothes are covered in dust, because when I’m sitting up in bed I hate looking at myself. I guess I still avoid mirrors, just not as much as I used to, at least I’m not taking them off the walls anymore.

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman where Vivian and Edward are talking in bed? He says ‘I think you are a very bright, very special woman.’ She responds with ‘The bad stuff is easier to believe.’

Be careful what you say to children and teenagers, it scars for life.

When my mood dips, all these things rattle around again inside my head (amongst others I’m too ashamed to share here). I try to listen to the gaps between words, but it gets harder and harder when you’re stressed, anxious or down. The voice in your head goes on and on and on. Before you know it, you think it will be easier to just shut the voice up, the voice agrees. Because look at all this case history of shit you’ve got to back up your argument.

My coven, my village held me up. We may be all over the world from each other, but the internet, smartphones and taking time out of our day to connect with someone who you think is having a wobble is so important. I was so busy taking care of everything else, I forgot to take care of me. Thank you everyone who commented on my previous blog, texted me, messaged me, called me, told me off.

I’m sitting here looking at peonies I picked at the weekend. Their gentle fragrance is soft through the house. I’m in a great marriage to a kind and gentle man, our son is healthy, happy and as mad as a box of frogs, I’m in the middle of a good book, with more on my bedside table waiting to go, we have a roof over our head, food in the pantry.

When you count your blessings, really sit down and count them, that nagging, whining, shitty little voice goes away. When you switch on the news and wonder what the hell is going on in the world, that nagging, whining, shitty little voice goes away too.

Village

picture credit

I know I’m not my thoughts, but they’re deafeningly loud

Trigger warning

I took myself off to the doctor this morning, the traffic was awful, so Peanut had to come in with me. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t speak as honestly as I needed to the GP. I couldn’t ask for help as clearly as I needed to. How do you explain, within earshot of a four year old, that you’re worried about what you’ll do to yourself? That if the never-ending stream of negative commentary in your head gets so loud, there is an apparently easy way to silence it.

Easy for who?

Nobody that is who.

But bluddy hell, I’m struggling here. Rufus has well and truly taken camp on my right shoulder. I’m at my desk when I want to be curled up in bed. Those bed sheets have magical powers, I’m sure of it.

Peanut and I went for a walk this morning, only 2km, but I got up and out the house. It took so long to get a blood-test done, I won’t get a chance to get out again at lunchtime, but I think I will take myself out tonight again too. I haven’t run in so long, my head feels fuzzy. My knee may be sore, but I’ve got to get going again. I’ll strap it up if I have to.

My GP talked to me, arranged for a blood test for iron and thyroid levels, examined me to make sure I wasn’t carrying a virus or anything else that would cause the lethargy and general apathy. He told me to come back in ten days, and to increase my anti-depressants.

In the interim – I need your help. I retreat into myself when I get like this. The circle of my life gets smaller, until I can hold my head up again. You know me, please help me through this. I can’t do this on my own, I’m fed up of pretending I can. I’m hanging on by my fingertips over here.

Baggage

A few things collided over the past few weeks, as they do when you notice connecting dots. I read an article on the difficulty of clearing and cleaning a relative’s house when they’ve passed on. How do you know what is important and not, when all you can see is stuff?

Diana Athill (one time editor of books, now a revered author of blisteringly good books) said moving into a home into her 90s was a difficult decision for her too:

I came home, sat down in my little sitting room, looked round at the magpie’s nest of beloved things accumulated in a long lifetime, and felt: “But this is me.” The extent to which a personality depends on the space it occupies and the objects it possesses appeared to me at that moment overwhelming. How could I perform an act of what amounted to self-destruction? The answer was: I can’t! I can’t and I won’t, I’d rather die.

She expands on the decision further than that one paragraph. It reminded me of both being an Army Wife and emigrating from the UK. Since 2000 I’ve had (hang on *counts on fingers*) twelve addresses(?), I think.

Packing up the flat in Portsmouth to move to Melbourne took a while, Hubs and I slowly worked our way through our belongings, selling, gifting, donating. We eventually shipped to Oz around 20 boxes, carefully cataloging what was in each in case the boat sank on the way over, (most reassuring when you’re packing prized possessions). At the bottom of each box was a layer of books, amongst my treasures: a boxed set of Arthur Ransome Swallows and Amazons series, a boxed set of Harry Potter, books my grandparents had given me.

Before I even started packing my books, I culled and culled and culled. Had I grown out the book? Had I finished with it? Had it finished with me? Over a period of months, I got my book pile down to what I simply could not bear to be without. Knowing I could always replenish books if they found me again, a good example: Perfume, brought once, lent, never returned; brought again, put in the discarded pile from the UK; brought again for Book Club, so now firmly hanging onto it. Mind you, that’s not quite as bad as finding a book in the Oxfam charity shop in Winchester that I’d picked up as I’d not read it in ages; opening it up to read on the bus on the way home, I found my name in it.

Any-hoo, a few weekends ago, Hubs and I had words. Nothing major, but given the cleaners had only been two days earlier, instead of dusting or vacuuming to clear my head, there wasn’t anything to clean. Dang, looks like I won’t get any cross cleaning done for the foreseeable future. Looking for something to work through, I turned to my bookshelves, my magpie’s nest. Reaching up for books I now needed to pass on, I cleared almost a shelf. Continue reading “Baggage”

R U OK?

Trigger warning

Started by Gavin Larkin after the suicide of his father, Barry, R U OK? is a simple but profound question to ask.

Am I ok? Thanks for asking. Most days are now better than others, much better. I had a wobble a few weeks ago, but writing about 10 simple things that bring me joy helped me to remember that I am not my thoughts. But when your thoughts are all persuasive and life is hard, sometimes it’s difficult to separate the two.

Eckhart Tolle had his spiritual awakening when in the pit of despair he said; “I cannot live with myself.” He realised that the ‘I’ and ‘Myself’ in that one sentence were different, distinct entities. I remember reading A New Earth on the train to and fro London. My book is heavily underlined, flagged, bashed round the edges from being stuffed in and out of my tote bags; to some it’s a book damaged beyond repair; to me, it’s priceless. It was the first of many books I’ve read that helped heal me from the wreckage of my first marriage, where I used to drive along the A303 gripping my steering wheel tightly, because some nights it would have been all too easy to turn it too far.

If you’re diabetic and take insulin, no biggie. If you’re in the middle of an infection, you take antibiotics, no biggie. If you break something, you get a cast put on, no biggie. But if your brain, our most complex organ that is recognised we don’t know very much about is damaged, or overwhelmed, people run in fear. Yet it’s estimated one in four people will struggle with mental illness during their lifetime. One in four.

We live such different lives from even our parents’ generation. We’ve got access to more information from our phones than Da Vinci could get access to in a lifetime. The Enlightenment is one of my favourite periods of history; the scientific, cultural, technological and sociological leaps that came out of it were incredible, but pale into insignificance to the information we’re bombarded with daily.

If someone you know is struggling with life; information overload, or they’ve two or three huge things going on at once (moving house, illness, bereavement, divorce, job / work issues), reach out to them. Not just today, but whenever you think they might need to be checked in on.

But don’t to forget to look after you too, because you can’t give what you don’t have. Put yourself at the top of your list, R U OK?

Ten on Tuesday (Monday) – Joy Edition

I missed typing this last week, but Carole asked us for 10 seemingly ordinary things that bring you joy.

1. Reading. I cannot tell you how much being able to read has helped, shaped and challenged me, and opened my eyes to what happens around the world.

2. Having a bath. Ridiculous how happy this makes me. I’ve always loved baths, but now they’re such a rare occurrence (thanks to the 4 year old), they’re a real luxury. Last week after a horrendous day at work, I ran a bath, got in it. Archie got in it with me, ‘Mama your legs are prickly!’ (thanks kid, but that is the least of my problems!) When he was washed, he got out, I filled it to the brim with boiling hot water and read a book.

3. Walking. I grew up by the seaside, but the town was nestled in against the start of the South Downs. The best of both worlds, we could be walking by the sea in 10 minutes. Or walk by the sea for over an hour and be on the Downs. Or drive for a bit and walk on the Downs, looking at the sea. I still love walking, where we live now is hilly, full of trees and has a creek that runs through for good measure. When I really need to clear my head though, I drive to Luna Park and walk to Port Melbourne and back, just over 10km.

4. Sleeping. I love being in bed. Blanket fort, security blanket, whatever you want to associate it with, curled up on my side, my ear under the covers, just my nose poking out. I can relax.

5. Meditation. Getting back into this, thanks to work who run at least one session a week, but I’m also using Andrew Johnson too. His apps are fabulous.

6. Friends and Family. I don’t get to spend enough time with either, but seeing them either virtually or physically restores me.

7. Breakfast. My favourite meal of the day, combined with number six, I’m a happy bunny.

8. Cats. I’m an unapologetic crazy cat lady, our current two Chief Brody and Doctor Hooper, (named after characters from Jaws) are the first male cats I’ve had. CB is the most affectionate boy, he is a beautiful, medium haired ginger tabby. DH is crazy, eats like a pig, is grey and white, yells a lot and has no idea he’s a cat. At all.

9. Hubs. He’s just come back from a business trip, tomorrow he leaves for another one. I like hanging out with him, we can go anywhere do anything, museum, art galleries, AFL or cricket matches, the cinema or theatre – you name it, we do it.

10. Archie. This little boy is truly the light of my life. When my mood begins to darken, when I struggle with life, he lifts me up and makes me realise that nothing I’m struggling with is worth worrying over. He gives the most amazing cuddles, cooks with me, helps with the grocery shopping and as we read books together completes the circle of important and joyful things in my life.

Take the donuts

People who’ve been reading my blog for a while will know of my adoration of Amanda Palmer. I found her by accident, through listening to an interview with her husband, Neil Gaiman. Yes, him. He wrote his book ‘The Ocean At The End Of The Lane’ for her, I looked her up as I’d never heard of her and slowly she crept into my life. I read her book ‘The Art Of Asking and it broke me open, I’ve downloaded the audio book, spending a voucher Hubs had given me for a present on it. I want to savour listening to it, so it’s sitting there, waiting patiently. I don’t want it on while I potter about the house, so I think I’m waiting for car trip to listen. I’ll know when it is the right time.

Take the donuts. What on earth does that mean? Ask for help. Be grateful for what people offer to help you get through. Amanda Palmer has just said goodbye to her best friend of 30 years who passed away this week. Anthony, she wrote about him in her book, he was her next door neighbour, he was also her mentor, guide, friend and a second father to her. Both she and Neil Gaiman were in the UK, fulfilling work commitments when they got ‘that’ call. The one that says you need to come now, don’t wait.

Squeezed onto the last row of a flight to Boston. Not pulling the ‘Do you know who I am / we are?’ cards so they turned left on the plane; just get us home – please. Collective fans on patreon, facebook and twitter held our breaths, willing them home while holding Anthony and his wife within us all around the world. Support was sent to them both all over social media and so on to Anthony and his family. They got there in time.

It was a remarkable use of social media; for good, not evil, no trolling, just an outpouring of love and support. They both said that it helped that so many people were thinking of them while friends and family rowed a loved-one out on his final journey.

Take the donuts.

I used to follow various famous people on instagram, less so now as I got fed up of the pleading, jumping up and down ‘Notice me please!’ from people in the comments. Celebrities are more accessible than ever before, they can tweet news about a new film to millions, they don’t have to sit in interviews to get their projects publicised. Journalists are now often rehashing twitter feeds for ‘news’; you almost know everything within minutes of it happening. Whether it is news, or not. Most often not.

People who are famous for being famous; famous for sex tapes; famous by association as a sibling or parent of someone else who was/ are famous; are now listened to intently. Whether for good or evil. Kardashians, I’m looking at you. Please, start doing something constructive with your lives, for the sake of the millions of teenage girls who think that contouring is now an appropriate level of make-up to wear to school. Please use your influence for good. Not spawning a phase of girls sucking their lips inside a shot glass – FFS.

Both Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman, from the beginning of their careers recognised that fans were important. They got the word out, shared stuff ‘All the things’ with their fan-base. They’re open, honest, very sweet and adore each other. Watching them on stage and the goofy looks they give each other, the interaction between the two of them was heartwarming. Was it any wonder that so many of ‘us’ reached out to ‘them’ – when ‘All the things’ they make, songs, music, art – whatever, touch us? When someone hears you; when their use of words or music and something in you resonates loudly, you hang on to it. We feel connections deeply, that’s why they’re connections, they’re more than just glimpses of something familiar.

I’m not very good at asking for help. It takes a deep breath and a leap of faith to admit that you’re drowning, not waving, struggling with life and being vulnerable. We’ve a lot of friends who are struggling at the moment, families with cancer affecting day-to-day lives,  I can offer help easily. Will run around like crazy after someone else, but less so after myself.

Take the donuts. When you need help, reach out and ask for it. Call someone. If you need some wallpaper hung, a birthday cake made, your car washed, dinners cooked, whatever it is, whatever someone offers you. Take the donuts. Here’s an extract from Amanda’s book where she explains it:

Thoreau wrote in painstaking detail about how he chose to remove himself from society to live “by his own means” in a little 10-foot x 15-foot hand-hewn cabin on the side of a pond. What he left out of Walden, though, was the fact that the land he built on was borrowed from his wealthy neighbor, that his pal Ralph Waldo Emerson had him over for dinner all the time, and that every Sunday, Thoreau’s mother and sister brought over a basket of freshly-baked goods for him, including donuts.

The idea of Thoreau gazing thoughtfully over the expanse of transcendental Walden Pond, a bluebird alighting onto his threadbare shoe, all the while eating donuts that his mom brought him just doesn’t jibe with most people’s picture of him of a self-reliant, noble, marrow-sucking back-to-the-woods folk-hero.

Taking the donuts is hard for a lot of people.

It’s not the act of taking that’s so difficult, it’s more the fear of what other people are going to think when they see us slaving away at our manuscript about the pure transcendence of nature and the importance of self-reliance and simplicity. While munching on someone else’s donut.

Maybe it comes back to that same old issue: we just can’t see what we do as important enough to merit the help, the love.

Try to picture getting angry at Einstein devouring a donut brought to him by his assistant, while he sat slaving on the theory of relativity. Try to picture getting angry at Florence Nightingale for snacking on a donut while taking a break from tirelessly helping the sick.

To the artists, creators, scientists, non-profit-runners, librarians, strange-thinkers, start-uppers and inventors, to all people everywhere who are afraid to accept the help, in whatever form it’s appearing,

Please, take the donuts.

To the guy in my opening band who was too ashamed to go out into the crowd and accept money for his band,

Take the donuts.

To the girl who spent her twenties as a street performer and stripper living on less than $700 a month who went on to marry a best-selling author who she loves, unquestioningly, but even that massive love can’t break her unwillingness to accept his financial help, please….

Everybody.

Please.

Just take the fucking donuts.

Standing Room Only

If the measure of someone is their life celebration at a funeral home being filled to standing room only; then my colleague’s mother who passed away last week after a long illness, showed that she touched many, many people. The celebrant and family friend who delivered the eulogies were open and honest, sharing joy and sorrow with us, making us laugh and cry. I never met her, I was there to show support for my colleague, along with a large contingent of the office. We’d been supporting her during her mother’s illness, so it felt right to stand with her and the family to truly celebrate the life of someone who would send out a text message ‘Pop’ to her friends: champagne had been opened at her house, come over if you can.

I’m hopeless at funerals, I feel so much for the people at the front of the room. I can feel the tears welling up and running down my face freely. I know other people think I’m odd, particularly when I don’t know the person themselves, but I’m crying for the people that are left to make sense of the gaping hole that’s opened up in their lives. How much you love someone is reflected in how much it hurts when they’re not there with you. Watching my colleague and her brother start the whole ceremony off reading a poem together, my heart broke. They also shared pictures of her life, her family; one picture was of her hand with her three grandson’s clasping hers, I wept all over again.

Emotionally, spiritually, everyone is with us all the time – we carry little bits of each other around, always. Being able to hug and hold your nearest and dearest is a bonus no one should ever take for granted. Being so far away from my family is hard work, keeping in touch with them is easier now thanks to technology, but there are times when you just need to be with someone. There are lots of people in my life that are struggling at the moment, and I’m aware that I can’t always do much other than send them words. But when I can and if they want, I’ll hold them, let them know I’m here. They can lean on me.

I’m not sure why offering being someone to lean on is something I feel I need to do. Maybe it’s because when I go to funerals I know how it feels to be at the front, bewildered and lost, I would have given anything to have someone let me know I could lean on them. Three of my grandparents died before I was out of my teens, I’d just about made sense of my Nanny’s death, when my Granny died, then again, coming out of that, Grandad passed away. I know that my family was never the same after those few years, we’d gone from being a family unit to four people living in a house together. We lost our ability to talk, to share, to pull together.

I acted up and out, did things I’m ashamed of now. More than the usual teenage angst of ‘Look at me! See me!’ I was truly lost, swimming along on a wave of hormones and emotions, unable to articulate how I felt, because when I tried to speak, I was shut down, repeatedly. I tried to find my voice; I admitted to my parents I was jealous of my brother. I asked to not go swimming training as I had homework due. I spoke to teachers about being bullied. I spoke to teachers about wanting more work to do at school. Wanting more, but being given less. Through one person and another, I was taught that my voice didn’t matter. So I tried to make my life matter in other ways, getting into trouble so I was seen that way instead. I’m acutely aware that when you don’t pay enough attention to a child, they will make you pay attention, getting a pay-off by being shrieked at, is better than no pay-off at all. When I’m with Peanut, I try to be there completely, phone down. We will watch TV together, but we play and read ahead of that.

The repercussions of not being heard have been huge, I still struggle to find words to say how I feel. Goodness knows I can type voraciously, but ask me to speak my feelings, I clam up. Hubs has learned to be patient with me as I literally wrestle the words out of my psyche. Which is why Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art Of Asking, broke me open last month. I knew that had I read it as a teenager, my life would have been so very different. She saw me. I don’t know how to explain it any other way.

I continue to try to find the words to share how I feel. I know that Rufus will creep up on me if I don’t, I’m better than I was and this blog helps in more ways than one. But I also know that I heal a part of me every time I offer and try to help someone else heal a part of them. That’s why I cry at funerals, even when I’m leaning against the back wall.

I’ll think of a title later

As previously reported, I took today off instead of Monday. Peanut had his 3.5year old check first thing with our Maternal Nurse, scoring highly on everything except ‘What one is bigger?’ What one is smaller?’ But by that time, he was getting a bit ratty, so we chalked it up to asking him to be a bit of a performing monkey and that what our nurse was asking him to do was a lot similar to what he was asked to do in hospital over the weekend. His teeth are excellent, worth all the effort in getting him to clean them. His language is good, luckily he didn’t drop the f-bomb. His balance and motor skills are also advanced and while he gave her a Paddington Bear hard stare, she was very happy with him.

We whizzed into work to catch the end of a morning tea for a girl who’s getting married tomorrow, he had a slice of brownie, I chatted to a couple of colleagues and confused BossMan a bit as he thought I wasn’t coming in at all today. I then dropped Peanut at nursery, headed to a cafe and got stuck into a book before my GPs appointment. I’m officially over half way in The Goldfinch. For a long wordy book, not much is happening I can tell you. I’m skimming bits here and there, but as my doctor was running half an hour late, I got nearly an hour and a half of reading under my belt today.

Ah, the GP. We’re very lucky, we have a great relationship with the practice, I walked in for the Practice Manager to greet me by name and say ‘He’s running a bit late, but take a seat’. When he called me in, I dug my phone out and showed him the dates and symptoms of what I was worried about. Any men reading, you may want to skim over this paragraph.

My cycle is way out of whack. And I mean way off. I’ve gone from clockwork to WTF. My mood is, well. Let’s say precarious and leave it at that. Upshot is, my anti-depressant dose has been doubled, to try and help even out my mood and other symptoms – the next couple of weeks could be interesting. I’ve also got a blood test next week and I’ve been referred back to my gynaecologist *deep sigh*

After that I went and got my nails did, I heard an article on Woman’s Hour about people biting their nails and while I now mostly bite around them, one of the suggestions was to get regular manicures, with acrylics or gel nails on top of your own, to help break the habit. We’ll see. I can’t do much with them as I’m not used to the length and I don’t like the extra weight on the ends of my hands. It’s daft really, it’s probably only a few grams, but it’s enough to notice and I don’t like the look of lots of layers of polish. I’ve gone for a neutral colour, but I’m not convinced.

And then, I saw Jo for an hour. I was ironed out, worked on and walked out feeling like I was floating. I didn’t cry, I think I did enough of that yesterday, but I left a lot of crap behind me in the room I can tell you. For whatever reason, the second toe on my left foot was killing me today, causing us much hilarity. It was so specific as to be ridiculous. My mid-section was also tight, she got a succession of cracks out of my back that impressed the both of us.

I didn’t get much housework done, I stripped our bed and that’s about it. I’ve also run a couple of loads of washing too, but as Jo predicted, I’m a bit washed out after the treatment. I’m going to hang this load of washing up and call it a night.

Not an exciting post, but after the emotional upheaval of the past couple of days, I’m conscious that people are worried about us. When we’re sleeping again, that’ll help enormously.

Resistance is useless

This weekend, I turn 40 years old. I’m not worried about it. Age is nothing more than a number, another year ticked off. I don’t feel 40, I’ve never been as old as I am today, so how am I supposed to know what I’m supposed to feel like?

I am worried about the surprise trip Hubs has organised for me on Sunday night. I’ve been given scant information, which is messing with my chi I can tell you. These are the hints he’s given me so far:

  • Pack a bag (I was worried I was being kicked out of home for a wee while, until he quantified it!)
  • Within 30km of home
  • Dressing up for dinner, slightly higher than is normally comfortable
  • Potential for a walk afterwards
  • Yes you can pack your running kit

I’ve asked him for more details, but he won’t give them to me. Which for someone who likes to know what is going on, to manage anxiety issues and being prepared isn’t sitting well with me. I’m hoping that he gives me more information as we get closer to Sunday, otherwise I’m worried my anxiety will manifest as rattiness – spoiling the whole thing. Continue reading “Resistance is useless”

Hammocks and hummocks

I love lazing around on a beach – but I can’t remember the last time I did it properly; I think it was when I was pregnant with Peanut. We visited the Out-laws over Easter and ANZAC day, went to Noosa Beach for the day, which doesn’t really count. My last beach holiday was Morocco for a week in October 2006, a longer one would be Cuba for two weeks in 2003 (?), endless summer days burning my feet on the pebbles of my home-town beach until I moved on in 2000.

I honestly do not know when I am next likely to lay rotisserie chicken style on a lounger, wading through a stack of books, dozing, laying on my back in the warm sea, ears full of water, looking at the sky. With a chaotic three and a half year old, it won’t ever be relaxing break on holiday, for a while at least. If I’m lucky, I’ll get the odd day here and there, but I fear a whole two weeks lounging around doing SFA will be a few years off.

I’m writing this listening to a Big Bash Twenty20 match, Jacques Kallis (be still my heart), Mike Hussey, Daniel Vettori and Andrew Flintoff are currently batting and bowling respectively. Aside from reaffirming what I’ve said for years, that playing T20 matches is no a young-mans game, you need a solid cricket career to play well in the shortened game – it really good cricket with sixes flying around all over the place. AND it is really good to see Flintoff bowling again after stuffing his knee so comprehensively a few year ago.

Ah, knees. I’ve been given the go-ahead to start exercising again. Albeit slowly and with lots of strengthening exercises, and (gloom) lots of swimming on the horizon. I say gloom, as when you’ve swum for as long as I have it’s really sodding difficult summoning any enthusiasm for yet again plodding up and down. I’m going back to basics with the running, starting Bikram again in the new year.

The hammock on our deck I can see out the window, but the last time I sat in it, I got eaten alive by mozzies. Finding time to sit down, to stop, is nigh on impossible. My mind doesn’t shut off easily, so I need to sit down with a book or catch up on a recorded program, but then I’m usually folding washing. Bikram is a 90 minute meditation, your brain really does not have room to stuff about, you have to concentrate on each pose. Running? I leave so much baggage behind me, it surprises me I don’t fall over any suitcases when I circle back and complete my route.

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