Fete of fate…

Tonight is the night of my kids school fete. Otherwise known as a fate worse than death.

A biannual event filled with noise, sugar and small children screaming.

I baked a lemon cake last night for the bake sale stall.

I donated blocks of chocolate and jars of lollies for prizes.

I paid 2 x $36 for ride wrist bands and then the worst of all I volunteered on the toddler game stand.

One hour watching other people’s children after working all day with other people’s children.

And I don’t usually work Fridays.

So I turn up.

My stall is set up in the shade and there are chairs to sit on. People don’t pay for admission so I don’t have to worry about handling money.

I sit down next to another volunteer.

She is one of the girls in my sons class grandmother.

We had the best chat over the course of our one hour shift.

She was born in Hong Kong and went to boarding school in England.

She had never seen cutlery when she got to boarding school and her first meal was mashed potato, peas and meat covered in brown runny gravy.

She had no idea what it was or how to eat it.

When I asked her what she does now she said she’s in investment and runs her business online at home.

When I asked her how she had trained to do that she told me she’s qualified as a nuclear physicist.

Then I told her about my job and she couldn’t believe that I teach 26 four year olds who mostly don’t speak any English.

She said she thought I was hilarious. I told her that I wished I was a selective mute because I have no control over my mouth.

I asked her if she saw the post on the entire class messenger group where I accidentally posted screen shots about the side effects of lithium instead of sending it to someone else.

She said she hadn’t but she thought it sounded pretty funny.

She also told me she hadn’t because she’d decided after living in Tasmania while working and schmoozing politicians she decided she didn’t want to have a mobile phone anymore.

We finished our hour of duty and hugged as we said goodbye and said that we would catch up for coffee sometimes.

Thus proving that sometimes when you dread something for weeks you might actually end up with a new 67 year old BFF.

xx

Advertisements

I’m still here.

People say that you should cut negative people out of your life.

So what happens to all the negative people?

Or the people who are just hard work because they require a bit of extra love sometimes?

Everyone needs someone.

I need someone sometimes.

I’ve been on antidepressants for a couple of years now.

Sometimes I have bad days and don’t know if it’s me or the meds.

I don’t know if worry is anxiety wearing a disguise and sadness is depression hiding under the bed.

Sometimes it’s the same with good days.

I haven’t been writing as often as I used to. I get a bit scared that I’ll say the wrong thing and offend someone or that I’ll upset someone.

It’s strange that when I write here I use my filters. In real life I have no filters.

I spew rubbish out of my mouth and then stew about what I said for days.

I’m strange like that but…

The sun has come out more lately and the fresh air and vitamin D seem to make life nicer.

The washing is drying on the line instead of inside which brings me so much joy that I’m sure my meds are working.

I’ve made enough bolognese sauce to last for 4 dinners today so that part of my brain that worries about dinner is on a break.

So in short I’m good. I hope you are too but I’m here for you if you need someone.

xx

P.S I “borrowed” that pic from Instagram.

Come stai? Benne, molto benne.

G’day. Hello. Ciao.

It’s me. (Please feel free to read back and remind yourself of who I am.) It’s been far too long between posts.

Anyway… A week ago I got back from a two week trip to Italy with my family.

It’s because of the “with my family” bit that I wrote trip instead of holiday because traveling with two youngish boys is not a holiday.

My youngest son is a special gift from God. (The kind of gift that can’t be returned.) I think he’s amazing and awesome most of the time but I also know that it’s only because I’m his mother that I think that. 🙂

He complained about the heat. He complained when we made him walk for 7 hours in the heat.
He complained when we bought him a strawberry ice cream that it tasted like real strawberries and not strawberry flavoured milkshake.
Ditto with the banana flavour.
He complained that the Vatican was boring.
He complained that he was bored during our hot air balloon flight over Tuscany.
He complained that his pizza had green herbs on it.

But I still love him. Next time he wants to go somewhere cold. I’m thinking Iceland. And every time he complains that he’s too cold I’ll remind him that he didn’t like the heat.

Having said that… Italy felt sooooo good.

There was something in the air or the atmosphere or possibly in the water that was good for the soul.

I felt mentally happier than I have in years. I felt free of something. Maybe it was being free of routine or being free to be yourself in a different place.

Anyway it was divine.

I’ve decided that I will be one of those rich people that spends a month every Australian winter in Lake Como. Lying on the sun lounge eating fresh croissants with marmalade and wandering down to the local cafe for an espresso at the bar when I need it.

Or maybe it was just that ER was on tv every night and seeing a little bit of 90’s George Clooney on a daily basis is also good for the soul.

I’ve come back breathing deeper and with some space to move in my head.

Which is just as well as I’m being the helper instead of the helpee at the moment.

I’ve got a beautiful friend whose grandmother has died and she’s dealing with all the family squabbling that happens when your mother has died before her mother and life is out of order.

Another beautiful friend witnessed a tragic suicide last week and needs a little extra love.

A friend has just completed a cycle of IVF in which no embryos grew well enough to be transferred.

And a colleague who found a lump in her breast and hasn’t been sleeping since she found it and her husband is away for 2 weeks.

Now the funeral is tomorrow, I’m spending the weekend with my friend who witnessed the suicide and the lump turned out to be a lymph node being reactive.

There is nothing I can do for the IVF friend but be there for her.

So while some of my favourite people are going through some awful times I am well enough to help.

It’s strange that sometimes you get so lost that you can’t help yourself and your friends help you and then the tables are reversed and you are so grateful that you can help them back.

So I’m seriously thankful not to be the one going through the crap at the moment and relieved that I’m able to help my friends that are.

Helping and looking after friends is good for the soul.

Italy is good for the soul.

Now if only I could take my friends to Italy…

c001254-r1-22-22

c001254-r1-17-17

c001254-r1-08-8

I wasn’t expecting that..

Me to my kids: We’re having fish and chips for dinner tonight.
My youngest (7): I don’t like fish and chips can I have frozen peas instead?

Surely all kids should like hot chips right? Isn’t that a rule? Unless they have a severe potato allergy and even then they would still want to have chips if they could wouldn’t they?

Life is strange isn’t it?

There’s never quite the right answer for it.

It’s unpredictable in both good and bad ways.

My very dear friends cat died recently. On the back of another of her cats dying not that long ago. Both sad accidents. That doesn’t seem to be fair. That’s not okay.

Life sometimes just sucks and it’s nobody’s fault. Or there’s nobody to blame which is probably worse.

My sister in law’s mum has cancer. She’s having chemo and has a fancy new wig. Her husband died after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for a decade and now she’s sick too.

That’s not fair.

But then there’s random good things too aren’t there?

Silly laughs with a friend.

Good coffee.

The perfect sugar-free slice of cheesecake.

Hot porridge in bed with a new book.

Clean sheets and towels.

YouTube clips of kids falling off slides.

Funny unexpected gifts in the mail.

Kindness in all its forms.

Microwave popcorn and a Disney movie.

There’s so much heavy sadness out there and sometimes in here too.

The not fair-ed-ness of life sometimes confounds me and leaves me at a loss for the right words to say.

The good moments that pop up in the midst of tragedy make it more bearable.

The strangeness of a kid not liking hot chips makes me laugh.

Life is complicated and it’s interesting isn’t it? It can all change in a second or you can be stuck in a rut for years.

I like to ramble a lot about nothing and post it online to remind myself when I look back that things change and that it usually works out okay.

xx

Like?

Are you good enough?

For yourself?

Or do you judge yourself too harshly?

It’s so much easier to be kind to others than to ourselves.

Self loathing can take a lot of energy can’t it?

We get so good at comparing ourselves to others that we forget to be proud of who we are.

Most of us do good things.

Most of us try to be kind.

Most of us are probably better than we think we are.

And sometimes we make mistakes and that’s okay too.

We’re too hard on us. We are all doing our best most of the time. We don’t think it’s good enough though.

I have so many friends that I want to help. People who need money. People who need love. People who just need to know how wonderful they are.

I wish I could help more.

I wish that I could like me more.

So in the mean time I’m going to like you and you’re going to like me and we’ll practice liking ourselves too.

xxoo

Anyone for a play date?

It’s week 4 of my summer holidays.

That statement makes me sound like a lazy slacker but I’m not, I promise.

Don’t tell anyone this but I’m missing my routine.

And by missing my routine I may mean that I’m sick of being around my children all the time.

They whinge a lot. Well not a lot but I feel like I’m adjudicating the last play fight on earth sometimes.

There are tears over ridiculous things and they’re not mine for a change.

I haven’t had many people want to include me in things either. I’m feeling a little bit stir crazy.

When did my friends stop being my friends?

Since when do I receive so few messages?

Why do people change?

When did all our lives get so big and full of other stuff that we don’t have as much time for others.

I want to be invited to the movies.

I want to be invited out for coffee.

I want someone to make me a cheesecake.

No really. I want cheesecake.

And yeah, yeah, I know it’s up to me to be proactive and go chase my friends down but why should it always be me.

Maybe it’s time I embrace the school mums. Learn their kids names. Learn their names.

How else do you make friends when you’re 36?

Anyone got a book club I can join? Not one of those intellectual ones though just trashy romance novels?

When I lived in Denmark the family I lived with took out an ad for friends for me. I was 19 and they had lots of responses. Not many of them were suitable for a good Christian girl like me though ;-).

I wouldn’t mind going back to study some more. Use the old brain. Talk to others also using their brains.

Or maybe I should do what a friend is doing and start a creative project just for fun.

But I want to include other people. I want them to include me.

Goodness me. Don’t I sound needy?

Or as I said at the start of this post maybe I just need to be back in my routine.

Back to whinging about how tired I am and how I don’t have enough time for me.

Holidays eh?

xx

Joining the sisterhood…

Right. Well. I swear I can’t remember what I’ve written about and I’m too lazy to look back but I want to write about my sisters.

All of them. And how much I love them.

Technically in real life I am the eldest of 2 children. My brother is 2.5 years younger than me.

We were close growing up but now we’re not and I hate that with all the hates. But I don’t think about it or I get sad.

(As I was typing sad I accidentally typed Sade which is kind of funny. I don’t Sade.)

Anyway. Sisters. I have 2 sister in laws who are beautiful but they also have amazing relationships with their younger sisters and we don’t have a close bond.

Earlier this year my mum remarried so now I also have a 55 year old step sister who has 3 grown children and 2 grandsons.

My step sister lives a 4 hour flight away and is busy with her own life but she’s lovely. Well she seems to be from the 2 times I’ve spent time with her.

But now here I am. All busy with life and stuff and yet I seem to be collecting wonderful sisters.

One of the mums at my work who makes the sweetest Turkish coffee called me her sister this week and it was the highlight of a crappy week. This gorgeous woman also had a cholesterol test on Thursday and her levels came back really good so she celebrated by buying me chocolate so we could celebrate together.

One of my delightful sisters posted me a card this week saying that she is thinking of me. I read it to myself today in her Irish accent. She took time out of her busy life raising 3 energetic boys to send me a card. For no reason. Other than that she cares. And man doesn’t that just mean the most ever.

One of my sisters I’ve known since High School but it’s only been the last year or so that we’ve begun messaging each other every day. She tells me she thinks that I’m strong and praises me for coping when my husband is away so much. But she has issues that are so big and wide that I don’t know where they start and where they end and her resilience and honesty blows my mind. We share truths with each other and support each other.

My sisters are strong women who have gone through plenty and been tested physically and mentally but still give all that they have to make the world better for their families and their communities.

They think of others. They’re selfless. They’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs.

Sisters might be doing it for themselves but they’re also doing it for me and I’m doing it for them too.

xx